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Ufton Court
Hiding Place for Priests on the Run

Ufton Court -  Nash Ford Publishing

  • Ufton Court is a large Tudor manor house, with Medieval origins. The manor (associated land) was called Ufton Pole. It is near Reading in Mid-Berkshire.
  • The central part is a medieval hall house. It was built in the late 15th century as a hunting lodge for King Richard III's friend, Viscount Lovell. He probably visited sometimes.
  • When the king changed, Lovell fell out of favour and had his lands confiscated. King Henry VIII, gave Ufton Court to his accountant, Sir Richard Weston. His son, Sir Francis, grew up there but was executed when the King said he was the Queen's secret boyfriend.
  • In Elizabethan times, the house was extended by rich Lady Marvyn to become an E-plan-style house. With her first husband, Richard Perkins, she had previously lived at the nearby manor of Ufton Robert (a moated house near the church).
  • The Perkins family inherited the Court. They were well-known Roman Catholics. After the Reformation of the Church, they carried on worshipping God in the Catholic way in secret. So the house acquired secret priest holes (hiding places).
  • In the 18th century, the beautiful Arabella Fermor married Francis Perkins V and came to live at Ufton. She was escaping London gossip after a suitor stole a lock of her hair and caused a big scandal! Alexander Pope wrote a poem about it.
  • Today the house is an education centre where school children can visit or stay over in groups and live like an Elizabethan or a Celtic, a Roman or a Saxon.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.