Finding Wroth's Loughton Hall

West, Susie (2016). Finding Wroth's Loughton Hall. Sidney Journal, 34(1) pp. 15–32.



Lady Mary Sidney Wroth, daughter of Penshurst Place, Kent, made her marital home at Loughton Hall, Essex, and remained there as a widow until her own death in 1651. The house was burnt down in 1836, and little is known of its appearance or history. As the home of a major literary figure whose work draws heavily on her life, we might expect that the home environment she created was both shaped by and informed her evocation of place and space in her work. Secondly, Wroth had a role in remodeling the old house, and there is a tantalizing but unproven association with Inigo Jones, known to Wroth from the Court. This provides the second theme for this discussion, the Court and the classical tradition in architecture. In the absence of standard architectural sources such as building accounts, household inventories, plans, and interior views, an innovative use of sources more familiar to social historians, in the form of Hearth Tax records, provides new insights into the scale and relative status of Loughton Hall.

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