DiCamillo Companion

Layer Marney Tower

  • Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: 1st Baron Marney

    House & Family History: Layer Marney was begun in the early 16th century by Henry Marney, 1st Baron Marney, a courtier and favorite of Henry VIII. It’s probable, because of the close connection between Lord Marney and the king, that the house was designed by Guialamo de Travizi, an Italian architect who was brought to England to Henry VIII to work on his palaces. The king, who made Lord Marney captain of his guard, visited the uncompleted house in 1522. Lord Marney died in 1523 and was succeeded by his son, John, 2nd Lord Marney, who died two years later. At the death of the 2nd Lord Marney, the male line died out and the house was never finished. Only the wings of the intended house and the eight-story gatehouse, the tallest in England, were built. The 80-feet-tall gatehouse, with its famous octagonal towers on the south side, was intended to be the entry of an enormous courtyard-plan house that would have announced the power and status of the Marney family.

    Comments: The English Renaissance terracotta window mullions and crestings are considered among the finest terracotta work in Britain.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The 16th century stableblock was built by the 1st Baron Marney.

  • Architect: Guialamo de Travizi

    Date: Circa 1520
    Designed: House for 1st Baron Marney
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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  • Country Life: XIV, 368, 1903. XXXV, 270, 306, 1914.

  • Title: Radical Classicism: The Architecture of Quinlan Terry
    Author: Watkin, David
    Year Published: 2006
    Reference: pg. 168
    Publisher: New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
    ISBN: 0847828069
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Campion" (1989 - TV series, aka "Mystery!: Campion," episodes 1.1 and 1.2, "Look to the Lady," as the tower, as in the original 1931 story). "Lovejoy" (1992 - TV series, episode 3.3, "No Strings," as the nunnery). "The Woman in Black" (2012).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Nicholas Charrington; Charrington family here since 1958.

    Past Seat / Home of: Henry Marney, 1st Baron Marney, 1520-23; John Marney, 2nd Baron Marney, 1523-25; Marney family here from 1166 until 1525. The Rev. Alfred Peache, 19th century. Walter de Zoete, early 20th century. Major Gerald Charrington, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01206-330-784

    Fax: 01206-330-884

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.layermarneytower.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: Yes