Eastbury Manor House
|Eastbury Manor House|
Eastbury Manor House
|Website:||Eastbury Manor House|
The land on which Eastbury House now stands was once part of the demesne of Barking Abbey. It was built in the 1570s by a wealthy merchant Clement Sisley, who purchased the land after the dissolution of Barking Abbey. It was probably the first brick built building in the area at that time; it had glass windows and very high chimneys, indicating the wealth of the owner. Glass was probably imported from Italy as at that time English glass was relatively poor in quality. A dendrochronology survey dates the timber roof to 1566 and there is documentary evidence which describes the dates 1572 carved in the brickwork and 1573 on a lead water spout indicating finishing touches to the building.
Recent research has shown that in the early 17th century the house was in the occupation of a family of Roman Catholic recusants with close family connections to some of the principal conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A local legend reported from the early 18th century that the Gunpowder Plot was first conceived in the house has however long been discredited.
The house fell into increasing dilapidation from the late 18th century. The Great Tower Staircase was demolished by 1814. Wooden flooring and original fireplaces were removed in the 1830s. By the late 19th century only the west wing of the house was habitable. In 1918 the house was bought by the National Trust and was restored. In 1931 it was opened as the Museum of Barking.
Eastbury Manor House though owned by the National Trust is now managed by the local borough council.The House was given Grade I listed status in 1954. In recent years the house has benefitted from a major restoration programme, financed through several successful Heritage Lottery Fund bids. The latest phase completed in 2010 includes a major permanent exhibition on the history of the building and its various owners.
- Eastbury Manor House - National Trust
- Barking and Dagenham, Heritage and History: Eastbury Manor House -
- The Gunpowder Plot Society Eastbury Manor's possible links with the Gunpowder Plot.
- Tree-ring analysis of Eastbury Manor House, Barking, Greater London Ancient Monuments Laboratory Reports Vol 24: January to June 1998 (English Heritage Dec 1997)
- Eastbury Manor House - A step back in time Gillian Gillespie (LB B&D: Heritage and History Publications 2002)
- Eastbury Manor House, Barking A Survey of London (Monograph series) (English Heritage, 1917) out of print