Who built Godwick Hall?
I’ve always thought that Lord Chief Justice Coke built the wonderful three storey Hall at Godwick that used to sit in close proximity to the Great Barn.
Commonly, Coke is cited as the builder of the original Godwick Hall, which is mostly dated as 1580.
This would make sense as Coke bought the estate from John Drury, from Rougham in Suffolk, in 1580 for £3500. However, it is Drury whose coat of arms, along with his wife’s (nee Sidney) that adorned the spandrel in the porch with the date 1586.
Could it be then that the Manor House was built earlier, perhaps in 1576? John Drury purchased Godwick off Thomas Le Strange of Hunstanton in 1574. That would make sense to me, but clearly that’s just conjecture on my behalf. More research required, me thinks.
However, I have found a magnificent reproduced drawing of what the Hall looked like when it was built, which I need to scan and add to this blog post. The reproduction demonstrates why when Lord Chief Justice Coke built Godwick Great Barn sometime around 1586, he ensured that the western side had very ornate mullion windows built into the brickwork.
These mirrored the exact style of the windows in the Manor House and you can understand why… the Manor House really was not that far from the barn, perhaps only about 150 metres away.
Coke became Attorney General to Queen Elizabeth I in 1593 and so would have been a wealthy man and able to afford such an ornate and large barn. Anyway thanks to all those at Gressenhall Rural Life Magazine for letting us have a rummage around the archives. (Note to editor: Apologies for not scanning in this picture and reproducing it. I need to go back over the archives again!)