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Hiding Place for Priests on the
Court is a large Tudor manor house, with Medieval origins. The manor
(associated land) was called Ufton Pole. It is near Reading
- 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
- 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,
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
- 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.