What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Layer Marney

=How to get there.=–Train from Liverpool Street. Great Eastern Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Colchester (7 miles from Layer Marney). =Distance from London.=–51-3/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1 and 2-1/4 hours.

                     1st     2nd     3rd
=Fares.=–Single   9s. 9d.   ...   4s. 4-1/2d.
          Return  14s. 8d.   ...   8s. 9d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"The Red Lion Hotel,” “George Hotel,” “The Cups Hotel,” etc., all at Colchester.

The unfinished home of the Marneys rises in lonely grandeur in an out-of-the-way part of Essex. To the north runs the road to Colchester; southwards the ground slopes away in the direction of the Blackwater. The great gateway has stood in these peaceful surroundings quite untouched for 400 years. A small portion of the mansion is by the side of the gateway, and the church with the Marney monuments is further to the left.

Lord Marney fought for Henry VII. in France, and was one of the court counsellors at the time of his son’s accession. He became a great favourite with Henry VIII., and was created a baron, besides being made a Knight of the Garter and Captain of the Bodyguard. He came of an old Norman stock, but had not overmuch land. At Layer Marney, his chief estate, he determined to build a fitting abode for himself. It was one of the earliest buildings since Roman times to be built of brick. The terra-cotta mouldings are a peculiar feature. It is thought that Lord Marney brought over Italian workmen to make the terra-cotta, for there is a classic touch about the ornaments. The gateway has two towers, one ivy-clad. The whole structure is strikingly original in style. It was commenced in 1500, but Lord Marney died before the work was done. John, his son, died the next year, and with him the line of Marneys became extinct.

In the church are three monuments of the Marneys. The tomb of Henry, Lord Marney, is in the arch leading to the Marney Chapel, which was founded by him. The figure is of dark marble, clad in armour, and wearing the robes of a Knight of the Garter. An ancestor of Lord Marney, who died in 1414, lies near. The effigy is clothed in mail. The figure of John, the last of the Marneys, is of black marble. There are some curious frescoes in the church, and an oak screen. The interior of the building is probably older than the exterior, which is of about the same date as the towers.

The church keys may be procured at the rectory.


Commenced by the first Lord Marney about the year 1500, but owing to the death of Lord Marney and of his only son, the year following, the buildings were never finished.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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