A Horrible History of Hedingham

  • 43

    The Romans successfully invade Britain, bringing wine, civilisation and straight roads.

  • 410

    The Romans leave Britain, taking with them the concept of hot running water and canapes, and give it back to the British.

  • 1065

    Hedingham is owned and run by Ulwine, a Saxon, who at some point had taken it from a Briton, now living in Wales.

  • 1066

    The Norman Conquest. Bad news for the Saxons. Hedingham 'given' to Aubrey de Vera, a Frenchman, by William the Conqueror, his brother in law. There were no complaints of nepotism as the Romans had left, taking their language with them, and Aubrey was extremely tough.

  • 1140

    The keep at Hedingham and associated outbuildings are completed. From the roof of the keep, Aubrey can see most of Essex, and keep a lookout for people to hit.

  • 1215

    Civil War in England. Robert de Vere takes up arms against King John to make him sign the Magna Carta, which gave him and the other barons even more power.

  • 1216

    Hedingham is besieged by King John. Robert's men throw fish at him for a while to show that they don't care, but surrender anyway.

  • 1282

    King Edward, helped by the fifth Earl of Oxford, conquers Wales. The Britons are not wildly amused.

  • 1337

    The Hundred Years War with France begins, and sensing a long-running opportunity, Thomas the 8th Earl of Oxford, is born at Hedingham.

  • 1415

    Agincourt. Was a de Vere there? Oh yes. It was battle, wasn't it?

  • 1455

    War in England! De Veres Involved!

  • 1485

    End of the War of the Roses. The 13th Earl backs the right King and is made very rich, though the King, Henry VII, takes quite a lot away again when he sees quite how rich the Earl has become.

  • 1509

    Henry VIII becomes King, visits Hendigham, hurls a hambone at the Jester - Jonathan de Hadleigh the 1st - and composes Greensleeves by the lake. Prove he didn't.

  • 1561

    Elizabeth I visit Hedingham. Didn't compose anything, but hummed a little by the new bridge. This can still be done today.

  • 1591

    Fast performance of a play by William Shakespeare, who, as we all know, was really the 17th Earl of Oxford and a very clever and cultivated man. And the ancestor of the current owner.

  • 1720

    The dovecote is completed by the Bog Garden at Hedingham.

  • 1748

    Horace Walpole, son of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister, visits Hedingham and makes scathing remarks about the House. Great name Horace.

  • 1897

    The Bog Garden is completed by the dovecote at Hedingham.

  • 1968

    Birth of Jason Lindsay, a descendant of the Ease of Oxford. War with France feared.

  • 2015

    Smokeless heating Installed in the Keep, making it pleasant to use in the winter for the first time. Ever.