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Stanlake Park, Berkshire, England

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Stanlake Park, Berkshire, England

The present house dates from the latter part of the 16th century. A wing was added on the south-west in the 18th century, when the house was considerably renovated, while in recent years further additions have been made to the south of the house, a central entrance porch built, and the building generally restored and modernized. The Elizabethan building was H-shaped and symmetrically designed both on plan and elevation. It is two stories in height with attics in the roof, and is built of red brick with stone dressings and roofed with tiles. In the centre block of the original house was a large hall, apparently entered directly from the outside, though now through a modern porch. On either side of the hall were smaller rooms, lighted from the front by large bay windows. The staircase, an open one with turned balusters and moulded handrail, was situated behind the northernmost of these two rooms in the space now converted into a boudoir, it having in recent times been removed to its present position on the south side of the hall. The offices, it would appear, were on the site of the 18th-century addition, and were rebuilt when this addition was made. At the same time the present drawing room at the back of the hall was added, though it is possible that a smaller room previously existed here. The rooms on the ground floor have all been redecorated in the 18th century or later. One bedroom alone retains its original fireplace. Most of the bedrooms, which open off a central passage, have 18th-century panelled dados and plaster cornices of the same date. In the window of the bedroom called the King's Arms bedroom, at the northernmost corner of the house, are the royal arms of the Stuarts with the garter and supporters; under the motto is the date 1626. The front of the Elizabethan house has three gables, the two side wings projecting in front of the central block and having bay windows carried up to the level of the attics. Most of the windows in this part of the house are mullioned and transomed, but may have been restored. The 18th-century addition, which is three stories in height, is built of red brick and, as with the earlier building, is roofed with tiles. In this block and the modern additions are accommodated the offices and servants' quarters. To the south-west of the house are the stables, one block of which dates from the 16th century, while in the garden beyond is a domed brick ice-house.

High Chimneys, appropriately so called, is a small H-shaped house of 17th-century date, situated about half a mile to the south-west of the church. The entrance and garden fronts are almost exactly alike, and at one end a modern wing has been added. The entrance doors have rectangular moulded panels and are hung in heavy moulded frames. The house was until recently in the possession of the Barker family, but is now the property of Captain Godsal.

There is an interesting inn close to the church, now called the 'Castle,' but formerly known as the 'Church House' or the 'Bunch of Grapes.' A curious mural painting has been recently discovered beneath several layers of wall-paper. It has an old bowling-green, which has been in use for a very long period. Hurst Cottage, now rented by Mr. G. Roupell, contains a curious mantelpiece. There is a Baptist chapel in Hurst dating from 1849.

The manor of HINTON PIPARD was held of the manor of Broad Hinton. About the middle of the 13th century a John Pipard is found as witness to a grant by the Earl of Salisbury of rents to Reading Abbey, including one payable by Sir Henry de Mara. A Simon Pipard of Hinton was living in 1297. Another John Pipard was holding lands in Hinton, Hurst and Ruscombe in the following century, which in 1362 were quitclaimed by his daughter and co-heir Denise, widow of Robert de Crokeford, to her sister Felicia, widow of William Mawardyn. Rather later the manor came to the Thorpe family of Thorpe, co. Surrey. John Thorpe, son of John Thorpe, left a daughter Alice, who inherited the manor. She married Robert Osborne, from whom she was divorced, and afterwards as Alice Flemyng granted the manor to certain feoffees, against whom several suits in Chancery were brought about 1470 by her cousins and heirs, Maud wife of William Revell and Ela wife of Robert Blount, the daughters of Nicholas Stanlake, son of Elizabeth daughter of the elder John Thorpe. Probably at this date two properties in Hinton Pipard and Stanlake coalesced, as the manor is generally found in later records as the manor of HINTON PIPARD alias STANLAKES or STANLAKE.

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The manor came possibly through inheritance to Henry Reynold and Agnes his wife, who were holding in right of Agnes in 1502, when they conveyed it to Sir Reginald Bray. The manor descended to his niece Margery wife of Sir William Sandys, created Lord Sandys of the Vyne in 1523. It descended to their son Thomas Lord Sandys, whose son William Lord Sandys suffered a recovery of it in 1599. This was possibly part of a transaction by which the manor was granted to Miles Sandys (of the family of Sandys of Latimers, co. Buckingham), fatherin-law of Elizabeth daughter of William Lord Sandys above mentioned, for he died seised of it in 1601, when Edwin his son and heir (husband of Elizabeth) succeeded. A life interest was apparently reserved to Elizabeth widow of Henry Sandys, eldest son of William Lord Sandys, who died in his father's lifetime, afterwards wife successively of Sir George Paulet of Crondall (co. Hants) and of Ralph Scrope of Hambleden (co. Buckingham). She held courts as Elizabeth Scrope Lady Paulet or as Elizabeth Scrope from 1583 onwards. After her death in 1601 Sir Edwin Sandys conveyed the manor in 1606 to Sir Thomas Windebank. Sir Thomas died the following year, and his son Francis sold Hinton Pipard in 1610 to Richard Aldworth. He died seised in 1623, when the manor descended to his son Richard. It descended in the Aldworth family (fn. 120) to Richard Aldworth of Stanlake, whose son (by his second wife Catherine Neville) Richard Neville Aldworth, after 1762 Richard Aldworth-Neville, was the father of Richard AldworthNeville, second Lord Braybrooke, who assumed the name of Griffin and died in 1825. His son Richard, who succeeded as third Lord Braybrooke, was born at Stanlake. He, who is well known as the editor of Pepys' Diary, was succeeded in 1858 by his son Richard Cornwallis Neville, fourth Lord Braybrooke, on whose death without male issue in 1861 the manor passed successively to his brothers, Charles fifth Lord Braybrooke and Latimer sixth Lord Braybrooke, then to the latter's son Henry seventh Lord Braybrooke.

Stanlake Park was alienated from the manor during the first half of the 19th century, and became the seat of Sir Nathaniel Duckenfield, from whom it was purchased in 1847 by George Barker. His grandson Mr. Frederick G. Barker is the present owner.

Part of Stanlake Park lies in the parish of Ruscombe, and in Botany Bay Copse, near the park, is a quadrilateral moat which is thought to mark the site of the original manor-house.

The right of fishery in Stanlake is mentioned in conveyances of the manor. The house overlooks a tributary of the Loddon, which has here been widened to form a large sheet of water.

Hinton Hatch, which in the Court Rolls of Ashridge Hundred (see Wokingham) appears as a separate tithing, does not seem to have had manorial rights attached to it. In the latter half of the 13th century a John atte Hatch of Hinton and Scolastica his wife were dealing with the half of a messuage and 70 acres of land in Hinton. Probably this was a holding within the manor of Hinton Pipard. The capital messuage called Hinton Hatch was in the reign of James I in the possession of William Hide, who died seised of it in 1624, when it descended to his son William. Hinton Hatch Corner lies between Hinton Farm and Hinton Lodge to the south of Stanlake Park.

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