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Barnardiston House

Barnardiston House dates partly from 1500s, but has had many additions including the imposing brick front, and wrought iron railings with cast tops. The interior has some 17th. century panneling and a beam carved with the initials 'E. C.' and inscribed 'ANO DOM 1610'.

The property appears to have originated as a pair of cottages facing Moat Farm Chase but became a single house in the 17th. century when it was named after Lady Catherine Barnardiston, wife of Sir Thomas, who bought it for £100 in 1630. She endowed a charity for the benefit of a number of old people, a condition being that a preacher should be engaged to preach in the parish church once a year and that he was to be paid out of the endowment or, failing that, it should be used for educational purposes.

Refreshments for Spa customers were served here in the 1740s when the Witham Spa, further up the road in Powers Hall End, was fashionable.

It became a 'Young Gentleman's boarding School'  in 1858 until 1894. Francis Crittall, the future philanthropic industrialist was a pupil here in the 1870s and found it like the 'sunwashed fragrance of a spring day' compared to 'fear-wrecked' schooldays in Braintree.

Crittals then bought Barnardiston House for their Witham Manager. Crittals used their own team of builders for their houses, and they did the decorations inside, graining the dining room in oak to match the oak furniture that was coming in.

The building became a private nursing home in 1984, and returned to a private residence in 1997, and is listed Grade II.

Below: A drawing of the junction showing a view of the building that preceded the current structure.

Sources: Janet Gyford; Tom Henderson; Witham & Countryside Society.

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