ID: 22065
A survey of the Rectory Lands of Pentlow in the County of Essex.

MANUSCRIPT: ESTATE PLAN: PENTLOW, ESSEX,, A survey of the Rectory Lands of Pentlow in the County of Essex. Taken 1767. Finley Met. & Delint.

A fine estate plan, 30 x 38 cms., drawn in coloured inks and watercolours, the title within a flamboyant rococo cartouche with pink flowers on a blue ground with a distant view of the church below, with a fine and large (17 cms x 8 cms) view of the elevation of the house and its stables painted in a full range of colours, the main part of the plan showing fields drawn in blue and green washes, all surveyed at 16 perches to one inch, the names of neighbouring owners indicated, and the fields all named. The two principal roads (i.e. from Belchamp to Foxearth and Sudbury and from Sudbury to Cavendish) are clearly indicated. Although the plan has at some time been mounted on card, it remains in very good state of preservation, the colours still bright and vivid, with only light soiling here and there.

When this plan was brought to the attention of the local history society (the Foxearth and District Local History Society) it was clearly considered by them to have been a find of some local significance. The following note is taken from the Society's newsletter and we acknowledge that source, with thanks. It was, they suggested a "long-lost survey that is essential to understanding eighteenth century Pentlow. .....". The society suggested that the Finley survey provided a "great deal of new information about the parish" [and that] "several mysteries were solved" most obviously because the old rectory, the subject of the Finley survey, had been demolished in the 19th century on the instructions of the Bull family. "The old house had a splendid tower in the roof. It seems to have been a viewing platform, for the view would have been magnificent. It explains the Bulls' later folly (i.e. the so-called Pentlow Tower built in 1859) which seems to have been a replacement for the viewing platform of the previous house". It should be noted that the Essex Record Office holds an undated engraving, probably ca. 1840-50, of the old Pentlow Rectory, clearly showing the tall, probably hexagonal, viewing tower projecting grandly from the roof ridge. Eighteenth century English estate plans as a genre are not uncommon, but there are we understand only a few of relatively modest parsonage houses such as this. It is a particularly appealing example.