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Sutton House: A Tudor brick home through the centuries

Sutton House - Exterior Entrance

Sutton House: A Tudor brick home through the centuries

One of the first places I visited in England was Sutton House, located in Hackney. It is one of many historic sites owned by England’s National Trust – an organisation devoted to the protection of historic homes, woodland, reserves, villages, gardens and archaeological remains. I was looking for something to do on a weekend afternoon and so I decided to go online and see what little hidden gems London had to offer of a quick trip out on the tube. I was very happy I made this my destination.

Sutton House is a Tudor Manor House built in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir,  Principal Secretary of State to Henry VIII who also served Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Sutton House is one of the few brick buildings from this period as building a home entirely from brick was rare. Most homes of the period were made from wattle, daub and timber with brick only being used in chimneys. Most of the bricks in the house are over 500 years old with later owners making additions with different types of brick. Brick is a good building material because it is cheap, relatively easy to make, lasts a very long time and can be reused. Although much of Sutton House has been rebuilt and restored, it still provides an interesting glimpse into life in Early Modern England right up to the Victorian period.

Over the centuries, it changed hands and was owned my many different families, notable people of stature, and even

Lady Mary Sadleir and Sir Edwyn Sadleir, 2nd Baronet of Temple Dinsey
Lady Mary Sadleir and Sir Edwyn Sadleir, 2nd Baronet of Temple Dinsey

squatters. The home also has some remarkable artwork, one of my favourites was the portraits of Lady Mary Sadleir, and Edwyn Sadleir. Mary Sadleir was the widow of William Croone, a famed seventeenth century physician. She later married Sir Edwyn Sadleir, 2nd Baronet of Temple Dinsey.

One of the most intriguing features is the Linenfold room. Linenfold is a style of carving used to decorate wood and got the name because it was thought to imitate stiffly folded fabric. The style originated in Flanders and was popular in England during the late Middle Ages and Tudor period. The home boasts many historic rooms: a Georgian parlour, Tudor kitchen, chapel, Victorian Study, Gallery, Cellar, an Exhibition room that had been occupied by squatters who wished to turn the home into a cafe in the 1980s, and a Little Chamber that was most likely a bedroom for Sir Ralph’s wife. There is also a café/tea room and courtyard with wifi if you should want to stop by and work in a cool historic setting one afternoon.

Linenfold panel - Sutton House
Linenfold panel – Sutton House

Sutton House became part of the National Trust during the 1930s and remains a museum today. It has a cafe and books shop and is popular as a wedding venue. I enjoyed my visit; there was a wedding being set up while I was there but I was able to quickly visit the house and snap a few pictures. It’s a great place to stop by and visit if you’re in East London.

To view the complete gallery of Sutton House pictures – please visit here: Medievalists Flickr



Sutton House Opening Times:

CLOSED: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday: 10:30-17:00
Friday: 12:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 12:00-17:00

Sutton House Admission:
Adult: £3.50
Child: £1.00
Family: £6.90
Group adult: £2.70

For more information, please visit>>> SUTTON HOUSE 

Follow Sutton House on Twitter: @SuttonHouseNT
Follow the National Trust on Twitter: @nationaltrust 

~Sandra Alvarez

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