When renovation work was carried
out on the timbers, it was discovered it had been constructed
originally for domestic use. It was intended as a Public Court
or Guild Hall.
When plaster was removed from the
inner front walls, two original arched doorways were revealed.
Later a third door with a rectangular headed frame was found between
the previously located arched doors (see photo)
The public Court room would have been on the first floor.
The two ground floor rooms would have been used for storage and
a possible ante chamber for private interrogation in which wives
could be seen separately concerning matrimonial legal disputes.
There are no signs of it
being re-erected from some other location, the approximate date of construction
being 1500 - 1550, indicating the project was undertaken in the reign
of Henry VIII.
Conditions in Mount Bures by 1558 were dire, there was extreme hardship
and terrible cold. The upkeep of the court house would have been very
difficult for the villagers due to their poverty. Even the church lacked
tiling and glass in the windows!
It was sold with the manor
in 1578 by Sir Thomas Sackville to John Dister. The Sackville family
had held Mount Bures for over 400 years.
Thomas Sackville was to acquire the magnificent `Knole` estate in Kent.
One could speculate that he sold the property at Mount Bures for finance
to upkeep Knole, as it was an expensive property to maintain. Knole
remained with the Sackvilles until 1947 when it was handed over to the
The Old House finally became
the property of the Garrad family until the last surviving member of
the family died in 1978.
for this page has been obtained from the publication
It was finally bought at auction in 1989 by a local resident. This was
the time, when major restoration work commenced.
PLEASE NOTE - This is private property and has
no public access.
HERE FOR FULL HISTORICAL DATA
Bures, its Lands and People" by Ida McMaster & Kathleen Evans.