Letheringham Lodge

Today’s “Letheringham Old Lodge,” about 80 miles northeast of London, now has 4 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms, and 3 bathrooms. But what is perhaps of greatest interest to family members is the sight of the old wooden joists, which are very similar to those in the original 1290 Wingfield Manor House, subsequently becoming “Wingfield College” and now a private home near Wingfield village.

Scarfe believes that the Wickham Mar­ket Shire Hall may have been rebuilt at moated Letheringham Lodge (quarter of a mile south of Letheringham Hall), but agrees that its reconstruction at Letheringham Old Hall then was pos­sible. [Kirby, Suffolk Traveller; Muniments; N. Scarfe, The Suffolk Land­scape, 1972, p.41 & below plates 29 & 30.]. I agree with Scarfe. I can see no reason for the Wingfields to build up Letheringham Hall after the 1670s.

The Lodge is Medieval not Tudor!

It all started in December 2013 when a dendrochronologist discovered that the 4 huge corner posts of the Lodge were unequivocally 1472.  The Lodge was medieval and of the same age as the Pykenham’s Gatehouse in Ipswich.

Within hours, emails came flooding in from historians wanting to discover more. There are 48 Tudor hunting lodges in the country but a medieval one where one entire wall is intact is rare, possibly unique.

Leigh Alston was the first historian to comment about this exciting new dating and his report describes the Lodge as of national importance.

In April 2014, Edward Martin joined Leigh in the search for the truth behind this medieval mystery. His report celebrates the high status and standing of the Wingfield Family that designed, built and inhabited the Lodge for over 200 years.

Edward concluded that the high status panelling below was installed for the marriage of Sir Anthony Wingfield and Elizabeth De were in 1520. Sir Anthony was an important Tudor courtier and from 1539 was Vice-Chamberlain.

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33rd WFS Annual Meeting
September 19-22, 2019
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