Wulfhall

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For the 2009 book by Hilary Mantel, see Wolf Hall.

Coordinates: 51°21′18″N 1°39′14″W / 51.355°N 1.654°W / 51.355; -1.654 Wulfhall or Wolfhall is an early 17th-century manor house and the site of a deserted medieval village in the civil parish of Burbage (previously Grafton, previously Great Bedwyn), on the edge of Savernake Forest, in the English county of Wiltshire. The previous manor house was the seat of the Seymour family, one of whom was Jane Seymour, Queen to King Henry VIII.

Late medieval and Tudor manor house[edit]

Arms of Seymour: Gules, two wings conjoined in lure or

The medieval manor house was probably a timber framed double courtyard house, incorporating a tower (demolished 1569), a long gallery and a chapel.

The Seymours reached the peak of their influence in the 16th century, when Jane Seymour became the third wife of King Henry VIII. Their son became Edward VI and ruled England from 1547 to 1553. At the beginning of Edward's reign, he was nine years old and his eldest uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, was Lord High Protector of England, while another uncle, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, married Henry VIII's widow, Catherine Parr; both Edward and Thomas Seymour were executed for treason.

Henry VIII had stayed at Wulfhall during his progress of 1535, which may have been when he first noticed Jane Seymour and began the process of throwing over his second wife, Anne Boleyn. One historian suggests that Henry and Jane had a wedding feast at Wulfhall,[1] although they were married in the Queen's Closet at Whitehall Palace.

Wulfhall was "derelict and abandoned after 1571" as the family had moved out to nearby Tottenham Park. It was used as servant accommodation until seriously reduced in size in the 1660s and finally demolished in 1723. A few ruins survived until the beginning of the 20th century, but nothing now remains of the once great house.[2] The famous barn, where King Henry and Queen Jane supposedly celebrated their marriage, burnt down in the 1920s.

Present manor house[edit]

The present manor house dates back to the early 17th century. It started life as a simple farm house, but was expanded in the 18th century and has a Victorian facade.

In fiction[edit]

Wulfhall is the inspiration for the title of Wolf Hall, the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by English author Hilary Mantel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Beauties of Wiltshire, Vol. 2, by John Britton. 1801
  2. ^ "519". Wiltshire.gov.uk. 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2010-06-11.