Ingatestone Hall is a 16th century mansion, set in formal gardens. The house belongs to the Petre family.
The estate was acquired by Sir William Petre in 1539 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Sir William was a lawyer from Devon who rose to become the Secretary of State to four Tudor monarchs. He replaced the existing Steward's House with the mansion and built almshouses in the village in compensation.
Sir William's son, John, made Thorndon Hall near Brentford the family's principal seat and in 1603 he became the 1st Lord Petre. The family's estates were confiscated but by the 18th century they had recovered the estates.
Ingatestone Hall was modernised in the early 18th century with sash windows and Georgian panelling. Thorndon Hall continued to be the family's principal seat and in the 1760s the 9th Lord had the house rebuilt to designs by James Paine. When the 16th Lord died in 1915 his widow moved back to Ingatestone and a careful restoration of the house was carried out. This lasted until 1937 and returned the house to its Tudor appearance.
When the 18th Lord inherited Ingatestone in 1989 he renovated the house and opened it to the public.
Ingatestone Hall is approached along a lime avenue, and the house is seen across sweeping lawns. It is built of local dark brick with brick mullion and transom windows.
The east or hall range was demolished in the 18th century and the entrance to the house is across the site of the hall and through a doorway in the west wing.
Inside the Stone Hall, created from several smaller rooms in the 1930's, has a stone floor and panelling and contains some English furniture and the first of Ingatestone's fine collection of portraits.
In the Drawing Room is a long low panelled room with some paintings, including works by Stubbs and portraits of Henry VIII and Prince Edward from the studio of Holbein. The Study contains one of the two Priest Holes uncovered in 1937 during restoration work.
The staircase has more portraits but the first floor in this wing is occupied by the Petre family.
The Dining Room has linenfold panellng and tapestries, and an unusual Mortlake tapestry with a portrait of Sir Francis Crane, the owner of the factory.
The Old Kitchen beyond the Dining Room contains the tea room.
From the Drawing Room is a spiral staircase to the first floor. The bedroom at the top contains Lord Petre's peer's robes and the walls are hung with 17th century Dutch School paintings. The Queen Ann Room retains its 18th century decor with panelling, the walls display early-18th century portraits, and has a superb carved and gilded table.
The 95ft Gallery retains its original form with over 40 family portraits, from a 16th century portrait of Sir William Petre, the builder of the house, up to the present generation.
The Hall is set in 11 acres of grounds, which include a formal garden and walk.