Fate plays a part in homecoming

DRAWN to the richness of his history and the majesty of it grounds, Crow's Hall has provided a homecoming Caroline Spurrier never expected.Before looking around for a new home, the 50-year-old had only been to Suffolk once in her life and had never even heard of the Grade II building in Debenham.

DRAWN to the richness of its history and the majesty of its surroundings, Crow's Hall has provided a homecoming Caroline Spurrier never expected.

Before looking around for a new home, the 50-year-old had only been to Suffolk once in her life and had never even heard of the Grade II building in Debenham.

However, fate intervened and Miss Spurrier fell in love with Crow's Hall as soon as she saw it.

But, it was not until she bought the 500-year-old building that Miss Spurrier discovered it had been home to one of her ancestors half a millennium ago.

She said: “It's slightly spooky really, but rather lovely. I had always had a very warm feeling about this place. It's like coming home after 500 years.”

Miss Spurrier discovered the link to her family above the entrance over the property's gatehouse.

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She said: “There's a very worn stone which once bore the Framlingham coat of arms. It was edged with Neville quarterings and Neville is the family name of Warwick the Kingmaker.

“We found Charles Framlingham married Lady Margaret Neville, who was the niece of Warwick the Kingmaker.

“My great grandparents were the 5th Earl of Warwick and Daisy Warwick, whose real name was Frances Evelyn Maynard.”

Miss Spurrier had lived at Easton Lodge, next to Stansted Airport, along with her brother. However, she said he had always wanted to sell the building and its grounds and when a good offer came along Miss Spurrier said she could not afford to stay.

The sale set her off on an extensive round of house-hunting, which culminated when fate introduced her to Crow's Hall.

Miss Spurrier said: “I didn't know Debenham existed and only had one friend in Suffolk. I looked all over the country. I even considered Cornwall and just happened to find this place through a friend. I love it.”

N Has your home a link to your family you did not know about? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N Crow's Hall, Debenham, is a 16th century Grade II listed red brick manor house, with moat, gatehouse and bridge. It also has Grade II listed barn.

N There was probably a house on the site in the 13th century as the name John Crowe is in records dating from 1274-5.

N The Framlingham family built the present house, of which only the north wing and gatehouse remain.

N Originally, a second wing ran parallel to the existing building, linked by the front gateway with terraced rooms on either side, to a further hall comprising the fourth side of the courtyard.

N Richard Neville, who became Warwick the Kingmaker, lived from 1428 to 1471. He was instrumental in putting Edward IV on the English throne in 1461.

N In 1470 he drove Edward IV into exile and put Henry VI in power, controlling England through his figurehead.

N Six months later Edward IV returned to England. His troops engaged Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, where the Kingmaker was killed.

N Sir Charles Framlingham died in 1595. His and Lady Neville's tomb is in St Mary Magdelene Church in Debenham.

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