Henry VIII: Ancestral home of Catherine Parr on sale for £6.5m in Braintree

Henry VIII is arguably one of England's most notorious monarchs. His reign was notable for England's break from Rome and the formation of the Church of England, as well as his six marriages.

Catherine Parr was the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII from their marriage on July 12, 1543 until Henry's death on January 28, 1547. Catherine was the final queen consort of the House of Tudor, and outlived Henry by a year and eight months.

Catherine Parr's ancestral home, Stanstead Hall, located in the tiny Essex village of Pebmarsh, near Braintree, is currently on sale for £6.5million. Stanstead Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed moated Tudor House, set in about 45 acres of beautiful gardens and paddocks - and it's steeped in history.

READ MORE: Read more Tudor and other history news from EssexLive

The first evidence of a structure on the land where the manor house sits, dates from the reign of Edward the Confessor when Godwin, Earl of Wessex, inhabited a manor at Stanstead. When William the Conqueror annexed all the land, manors and farms, the estate was given to Robert Malet, who held the office of Chamberlain of England in 1092.

He was, however, banished from the realm and his estates seized for his part in the conspiracy to undermine the authority of Henry I. The estate was subsequently awarded to Hubert de Monchensy. The estate passed by marriage to Walter of Colchester in the mid 13th century and again to Sir John Bouchier soon after.

Henry VIII: Ancestral home of Catherine Parr on sale for £6.5m in Braintree

In 1340, Sir John Bouchier became Lord High Chancellor of England and was succeeded by his son, Robert, who in 1341 obtained a licence to make his home at Stanstead a castle. It was at this point that the stunning moat that surrounds the mansion was constructed.

The manor remained in the hands of the Bouchier family until it passed, by marriage, to Sir William Parr, grandfather of Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr. Sir William Parr was made Earl of Essex in 1551 and soon afterwards Marquis of Northampton. The marquis lost his lands for supporting Lady Jane Grey.

Queen Elizabeth, however, restored Stanstead Hall to him and within three days he had sold the estate to Sir William Waldegrave. The house passed through various hands until it was bought by George Ausrene Esq., Member of Parliament for Stamford in Lincolnshire, who was the owner at the time of the survey taken of Essex and its great houses in 1720.

There is little known about the manor from this point until 1907 when it came into the hands of Samuel Courtauld, then, by marriage, to R A Butler, Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden. The house, outbuildings, modern garden walls and driveway are all excluded from the scheduling, though the ground beneath them is included.

The beautiful, historic home is currently on sale at the real estate services Savills and is offered at a guide price of £6,500,000. Boasting a whopping 13 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 7 reception rooms, the estate is luxurious enough for a monarch. As well as a heated outdoor swimming pool, pool house and beautiful gardens, there's also a bar and pizza oven within the outdoor terrace.

Property agent Tim Phillips, from the country house department at Savills, said: “Set in a little over 45 acres with beautiful gardens and paddocks, Stanstead Hall is a perfect example of a Tudor country house in a private setting which very much feels like a family home.

"Entered via stunning brick pier electric gates, the long driveway meanders to the front of the house through an avenue of trees, with the extensive grounds featuring a walled garden, heated swimming pool, bar, pizza oven and gym, as well as a listed tithe barn. The interiors of the property have retained several original features, from wood-panelled fireplaces and corniced ceilings through to tapestry wall hangings and antique furniture which is a further reflection of its rich history.”

Although the home is already steeped with history, the modernisation of the stunning Essex home can provide plenty more history. You can view more details on the mansion by clicking here.

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