Ingatestone Hall

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Ingatestone Hall, May 2003

Ingatestone Hall is a Grade I listed 16th-century manor house in Essex, England some 5 miles (8 km) south west of Chelmsford. It was built by Sir William Petre, and his descendants (the Barons Petre) live in the house to this day. Part of the house is leased out as offices while the current Lord Petre's son and heir apparent lives in a private wing with his family.

The building comprises three wings (north, east and south) around a central court. Originally there was also a west range. The Hall has two priest holes. Among the priests to have been at the hall was St. John Payne who was executed in 1582.

William Petre bought Ingatestone manor soon after the Dissolution of the Monasteries for some £850 and commissioned the building of the house. Queen Elizabeth I of England spent several nights there on her royal progress of 1561. In the late 18th century the west wing which contained the Great Hall was demolished and the house modernised and divided into rented apartments. Following WWI a long period of restoration returned the hall to its original Tudor appearance. The hall itself has been grade I listed, the gatehouse grade II* listed and several of the outhouses listed Grade II. It houses the remaining Petre family picture collection.

The hall represented the exterior of Bleak House in the 2005 television adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel and also appeared in an episode of the TV series Lovejoy. Mary Elizabeth Braddon's novel Lady Audley's Secret is set at Ingatestone Hall and was inspired by a stay there.[1]

The hall is open to the public on selected afternoons between Easter and September.

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Coordinates: 51°39′41.5″N 0°23′25.3″E / 51.661528°N 0.390361°E / 51.661528; 0.390361