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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
20th November 1906 George Bernard Shaws Doctor's Dilemma, premieres in London
20th November 1898 John Fowler, English engineer (London Metropolitan Railway), dies
20th November 1852 Charles Reade/Tom Taylor's Masks and Faces, premieres in London
Friday Hill House
Old Chingford manor house with a long history.
Location: 7 Simmons Lane, Chingford, E4 6JH
Description: This grand grade II listed building (on the site of a 16th century manor house) was built in 1840.
In 1631 it was recorded as having arbours, alleys, an orchard and even a tree house! Then it was known as Jacketts Hill.
It was formerly the seat of the Chingford Earl's before the estate was owned by the Boothby family from 1608 to 1774. Then it was bequeathed to Lydia Heathcote, half sister to Robert Boothby, and then remaining in the family's ownership until the 1938.
Since then it has been council owned and the gardens and land covered with housing and estates except for the immense plane tree (see the plaque identifying it as one of London's Great Trees).
There are some splendid features that can be identified today such as brick piers, paving and some fine Jacobean panelling and chimneys.
Friday Hill House once contained various family treasures including an oak table on which James I is reputed to have dubbed a loin of roast beef 'Sir Loin'. There was also a panel from Queen Elizabeth I's state coach and Dick Turpin's blunderbuss.
Typical for it's age, the house gained a ghost along the way. In an article from 29 August 2005 in the local Essex Guardian said Five years ago, the Guardian reported on former local woman Mavis Fisher's efforts to find out more about the ghostly apparitions in Friday Hill House, Simmons Lane, that haunted her childhood. Ms Fisher claimed a Stan Laurel lookalike, dressed in Edwardian costume and a bowler hat, and a weeping woman in a flowing white veil inhabited the old building.