The Tudor Roses

The Tudor Roses

The Rose Blog

Ightham Mote by Lady Emma

Ightham Mote

In the summer I went to Ightham Mote with my family on a day out, luckily for us the sun was out and it was a lovely hot day. Ightham Mote is a National Trust building that under went a major repair to get it looking the amazing building you see today!

A little about Ightham Mote - originally dating to around 1320, the building’s importance lays in the fact that successive owners effected relatively few changes to the main structure after the completion of the quadrangle with a new chapel in the 16th century. Nikolaus Pevsner called it "the most complete small medieval manor house in the country", and it remains an example that shows how such houses would have looked in the Middle Ages. Unlike most courtyard houses of its type which have had a range demolished, so that the house looks outward, Nicholas Cooper observes that Ightham wholly surrounds its courtyard and looks inward, into it, offering little information externally.

It was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1985 by an American businessman, Charles Henry Robinson, who had bought it in 1953. The house is now a Grade I listed building and parts of it are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

There are over seventy rooms in the house, all arranged around a central courtyard. The house is surrounded on all sides by a square moat, crossed by three bridges. The earliest surviving evidence is for a house of the early 14th century, with the Great Hall, to which were attached, at the high, or dais end, the Chapel, Crypt and two Solars. The courtyard was completely enclosed by increments on its restricted moated site and the battlemented tower constructed in the 15th century. Very little of the 14th century survives on the exterior behind rebuilding and re-facing of the 15th and 16th centuries.

The structures include unusual and distinctive elements such as the porter's squint, a narrow slit in the wall designed to enable a gatekeeper to examine a visitor's credentials before opening the gate. An open loccia, with a fifteenth-century gallery above, which connects the main accommodations with the gatehouse range. A large kennel was built in the late 19th century for a St. Bernard named Dido and is the only Grade I listed dog house.

In 1989 the National Trust began an ambitious restoration project which involved dismantling much of the building and recording its construction methods before rebuilding it. The project ended in 2004 after uncovering numerous examples of structural and ornamental features which had been covered up by later additions. It is estimated to have cost in excess of £10million.

The whole building was amazing and a must see but some bits standout more than others the first being the stained glass windows, of which there are loads and you can spend ages looking at them and taking them in. But the best part was the Tudor Chapel, it looks like any normal one until you look up at the barrel ceiling with its beautiful painted ceiling.

England's Royal Coat of Arms

The barrel vaulted ceiling has curved oak ribs - solaces - between which are 44 oak panels decorated with symbols of the Tudor court. Although faded and suffering from the loosening of paint, the quality of decoration is evident. The panels include the Pomegranate of Aragon, the Roses of York and Lancaster, the Fleur de Lys and Beaufort portcullis. The quivers of arrows for Aragon and castles for Castile are also part of the decorations and commemorate the union of Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon.

The Beautiful Ceiling showing the union of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

Another photo of the Chapel Ceiling

The Pomegranate of Chatherine of Aragon

The Tudor Rose

This blog is dedicated to Catherine of Aragon who was born on this day in 1485

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