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Wolf Hall /Wulfhall
Present Day Wolf Hall - front view - on grounds - original structure no longer standing
|Named after original structure formally on grounds - no longer standing - which was the birthplace of Jane Seymour - rear view of present day Wolf Hall - this 18th century house now on the grounds - only brick lined tunnels remain running from present buildings out to where the original structure stood. A 16th Century house still survives on the grounds near the canal where Henry VIII is to have stayed in 1535.|
The original building (of which very little remains) was the ancestral home of the Wardens of Savernake Forest. Originally the Esturmys then, via the female line, the Seymours lived here until abandoning it during the latter part of the 16th century. By 1575 the family was living at its replacement, Tottenham Lodge (an old hunting lodge in Tottenham Park), about 1 mile away. The house was then used for servants but gradually became more dilapidated until the majority of it was demolished about 1665 to help restore the fire-damaged house at Tottenham Park.
A daughter of the Warden, Jane, married Henry VIII and bore Edward, the future King of England. Local folklore has it that the wedding took place in the ancient barn although more reliable sources place the event in London. It is probable however that the King hosted a celebratory wedding feast at the barn as records show that he visited the old house on a number of occasions. The barn survived into this century and reputedly, when it burned down in the 1920s, it still had the hooks on which the decorations and tapestries had hung .
During Edward VI's reign his uncle Edward Seymour (later made the duke of Somerset) was Lord Protector until being beheaded for treason. It was during this period that the family's fortunes and the house fell into decline although the former were to be revived during Elizabeth's reign.
|John Aubrey visited the area in 1672 and said of Wulfhall :- "..the ancient seate of the Sturmeys, which house has been much bigger, and great part pulled downe within these 10 years to build the house of Tottenham Parke. I remember a long gallery. It was never but a timber house, v Camden (although he does not actually mention the material). Here is a very long barne of ..... bays, and 3 porches of timber and thatcht : in this barne, then 1536, hung with tapestry was a wedding kept for Queen Jane."|
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