|Boston Manor House Reopens|
When did you last visit Brentford’s Jacobean jewel?
Boston Manor House will re-open to the public on Saturday 7th April 2012, after being closed for several years. You can visit the House on Saturdays and Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays between 12 noon and 5 pm.
Boston Manor Housewas completed in 1623 for Lady Mary Reade, the wealthy young widow of Sir William Reade. Lady Mary re-married in 1623 and Moses Glover’s map, made in 1635, names the house as the home of her new husband, Sir Edward Spencer of Althorp – an ancestor of the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales.
Perhaps the construction of the house was rushed in order to have it ready for Lady Mary’s marriage. Problems with the walls and foundations have long bedevilled the house. But the standard of its interior furnishing was high and Lady Mary’s highly decorated moulded plaster ceilings are still the finest feature of the house.
In 1670, James Clitherow, a City of London merchant, bought Boston Manor House, with 230 acres and property in Brentford and Hanwell for £5,135. He spent a further £1,439 repairing and extending the house – adding a matching third gable to Lady Mary’s square, three-storey home. The Clitherow family owned Boston Manor House for over two hundred and fifty years - until 1924 when the house was bought by Brentford District Council for £23,000. Its park was opened to the public in September 1924.
From 1940 to 1961 the house was used as an Infants’ School for local children. When the school moved out the house was in a poor state. War damage and dry rot nearly caused its demolition. The council carried out a £35, 000 restoration and the Queen Mother attended the opening ceremony. Over the forty years between 1963 and the new millennium the house has been a training school for the National Institute of Houseworkers and its stables and upper floors have provided flats for the Housing For Women trust. Once again, its future became uncertain. After thirty years of limited public access, Boston Manor House closed in 1994 for repair and redecoration. It re-opened in 1997.
Concerns over the structural soundness of the building resulted in the closure of the ground floor Library Room in 2002. Walls were examined, samples were taken, scaffolding was erected; and by 2006 it was considered necessary to close the house to the public altogether.
Further work on the building has enabled it to re-open for the 2012 season, at Weekends and on Bank Holiday Mondays.
If you were in the Boston Manor School from 1940 – 1961 or know of someone who went to the school please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a future exhbition.
March 30, 2012