What the historians revealed
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 unequicovally 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.
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 of the Household, Captain of the Guard and Privy Councillor to King Henry VIII. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1541 and was later an executor of the king’s will.
Edward and Joanna Martin also discovered
- the nature and destination of the panelling
- the listing of Letheringham Lodge by Maud Gross in Suffolk Moated House with photographs from 1895
- the historical owners of the Lodge
- the wills of the Wingfield Family which pertain to the Lodge
- the heraldry and crest of the Wingfields
Edward was kind enough to let us publish his 40 minute lecture about the history of Letheringham Lodge.
We would like to extend a massive thank you to Joanna and Edward Martin who discovered so much about our panelling specifically the photographs of it found within the Maud Gross book in Woodbridge Library. The full documentation can be found here but if you would like a close look at every page, we have high resolution images here.
Possibly the rarest prototype in Europe
Philip Aitken is the latest historian to cast an authoritative view of the history. His report highlights some of the issues and complexities of the roof structure and provides some outline drawings of what the Lodge might have looked like.
Lastly and most certainly not the least, our wonderful friend Timothy Easton is researching our protective marks. He has written authoritative papers on superstituous burn marks and protective candle marks and his specialism is in interpreting witches marks which we have found many examples within the Lodge.
Joanna Martin discovered the sad and elusive truth about Elizabeth Wingfield and her hasty marriage to Henry Reynolds in 1610. Her name is inscribed in wood above our back door.
We would like to extend a huge thankyou to all the historians who have helped us discover more about this exceptional building for which we are custodians.