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Sawston Hall, (MoC1063/86)

Sawston Hall

History of Sawston Hall

Sawston Hall by Henry Moule (MoC23/147/51)

Listed Building:

In 1377 the manor of Sawston was purchased by Sir Edmund de la Pole and it remained in the hands of his descendants until 1982. The estate passed by marriage through the Bradeston, Ingoldsthorpe and Neville families until 1502 when Lady Isabella Neville inherited Sawston and married William Huddleston. Their son, John, made Sawston his permanent home whilst his son, also Sir John, added significantly to his inheritance by acquiring other adjacent manors. Sawston manor house was burned to the ground in 1553, possibly by a Protestant mob, or possibly by the Duke of Northumberland, because Mary Tudor had stayed here during her flight following the death of Edward VI. It was rebuilt by Sir John, who died in 1557, and his son Sir Edmund between 1557 and 1584, probably incorporating parts of the earlier house. The VCH records that there was a ‘large court, being quadrant’ but no evidence of a park. The Huddleston family continued to live at Sawston, undertaking alterations, rebuilding and extensions in the early C18, as well as a major restoration of the Hall in the mid C19 by Ferdinand Huddleston who succeeded in 1852. The origins of much of the planting in the gardens dates from the mid or late C19. During the Second World War the Hall was occupied by the Air Force and following its return to the family it was replanned internally to make it more manageable. By the time Captain Reginald Eyre-Huddleston RN died in 1970 however the Hall and grounds had fallen into disrepair. The estate passed to Major Eyre who eventually sold it in 1982 to a company, Sawston Hall Ltd, who opened the Cambridge Centre for Languages. The site remains (1999) in single corporate ownership.

Sawston Hall

The ghost of Queen Mary I is associated with the building. In life she was terrified when the Duke of Northumberland torched Sawston Hall and she escaped disguised as a milkmaid. Once on the throneQueen Mary paid for the rebuilding of Sawston Hall.

Urbs Camboritum, Sawston Hall

In 2022 CB emailed:

As a school girl I had what remains my favourite job … guiding visitors to the Hall which was then open. Captain Huddleston was an invalid but Major Eyre ran it. I could probably do a tour from memory. Loved it.


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