Prested Hall: A Historical Gem in Essex

Prested Hall, a captivating country house in Feering, Essex, has a rich history that dates back to the fourteenth century. Originally built for the Weston family, this Grade II listed building has witnessed the passage...

Prested Hall

Prested Hall, a captivating country house in Feering, Essex, has a rich history that dates back to the fourteenth century. Originally built for the Weston family, this Grade II listed building has witnessed the passage of time and the hands of different notable families. Today, Prested Hall stands as a boutique wedding and events venue, offering not only exquisite accommodations but also a range of amenities including a rejuvenating Elemis Spa, a health club, and even two courts for real tennis and padel tennis.

Unearthing the Past

Map of Prested Hall, 1874 Feering property of William Raven sold in 1898

The Domesday Book of 1086 first mentioned the site, referring to it as Peresteda. At that time, it was owned by Ranulf Peverel, who served as a knight for William the Conqueror. William rewarded his loyal followers with various fiefdoms, including Preston Hall. By 1360, the manor came under the ownership of Humphrey de Weston. The Weston family thrived here until the early seventeenth century when Robert Weston, the last member of the family, passed away. Robert's daughter, Amye, married Dean Tyndale, thus bringing Prested Hall into the Tyndale family.

The Tyndale family's ownership continued when John Tyndale, their son, inherited the property. Passing through generations, it eventually became part of a marriage settlement between Elizabeth Tyndale and Jasper Blythman. During the eighteenth century, the property changed hands and became the possession of the Eley family until around 1800.

In 1800, John Eley of Prested Hall passed away, leaving the property to his son, John Eley. However, it seems that John Eley chose to sell Prested Hall, as it was later owned by William Raven in 1814. William Raven, a wealthy landowner, owned several properties in Feering and leased Prested Hall to tenant farmers.

The Legacy of the Sherwood Family

Nathaniel Newman Sherwood

Following William Raven's passing in 1841, his eldest son, John Cornwell Raven, inherited all of his Feering properties, including Prested Hall. John Cornwell Raven left the property to his two sons, Cornwell Raven and William Raven. However, when William Raven died in 1898, the Feering properties were put on the market, and Nathaniel Newman Sherwood became the new owner.

Nathaniel Newman Sherwood, a successful merchant, accumulated vast wealth through his ownership of Hurst and Son, a wholesale seed merchant company. His passion for gardening led to renown in the gardening world. In addition to his financial success, he was a founding member and president of the National Sweet Pea Society. Sherwood generously donated to the Royal Gardeners Orphan Fund and received the Victoria Medal of Horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Upon Nathaniel Newman Sherwood's passing in 1916, his younger son, John Edward Newman Sherwood, inherited Prested Hall. John Edward, also known as Edward, had a background in the seed and horticultural industry, following in his father's footsteps. He was actively involved in various seed and horticultural societies and was a talented musician, hosting musical events at Prested Hall.

A Modern Transformation

Although the Sherwood family continued to own Prested Hall, they no longer resided there. During the war, the property served as requisitioned space for the army, and later became a nursing home. In 1994, Real Tennis enthusiast Mike Carter purchased Prested Hall and transformed it into a stunning hotel. One of its remarkable features is the privately funded pair of Real Tennis courts, making Prested Hall the only hotel in the world with such a distinctive offering.

Prested Hall stands today as a testament to its rich history and the vision of those who have embraced its past while adapting it to the needs of the present. Whether you're seeking a memorable wedding venue, a relaxing spa retreat, or a unique sporting experience, Prested Hall offers an enchanting escape in the heart of Essex.

References

  • Prested Hall website
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