Eastbury Manor House
Joining the National Trust last year to help fund its work as well as with the aim of visiting as many properties as possible, Eastbury Manor House came to my attention as somewhere handy and one of the few NT properties in London.
Owned by the National Trust but managed by Barking and Dagenham Council, Eastbury Manor has to pay its own way. It does this by holding open days and hosting school visits as well as being a meeting place for local community groups.
The Manor is right in the middle of Barking and it’s pretty hard to picture the fields belonging to Barking Abbey that were there before Henry XVIII confiscated the lands. They were bought by Clement Sisley who built the house in the 1570s.
We were lucky to be given a guided tour by ‘candlelight’, spotted in Ian Mansfield’s weekly events listing Ian Visits . Our guides, Pat and Barbara were incredibly well informed, being members of Eastbury Research Group and had discovered many of the facts they were telling us about themselves. Sisters, they made a great double act, telling the story of the manor – the first brick building in the area up to its acquisition by the National Trust in 1918 and later. The next date for candlelight tours is Tuesday 27th March 2012.
Eastbury Manor is a gem in East London and I plan to return on an open day when I can see the painted walls in daylight and am promised homemade cakes.