Situated in 20 acres of magnificent gardens and parkland Thorpe Hall was built in 1584 for Sir John Bolle in Louth, Lincolnshire who was knighted for his military exploits in Cadiz, Spain in 1596.
The History of Thorpe Hall
Sir John died at Thorpe Hall in 1606 and was subsequently was buried in Haugh Church where a monument was erected to his memory. In time Thorpe Hall passed through a succession of owners to John Fytche son of Stephen Fytche, vicar of Louth, and a first cousin to the Tennyson brothers.
Thorpe Hall is considered to be one of the finest country houses in Lincolnshire. However, much of the present building is later having been altered and enlarged at various times during the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
The building stands on the site of an earlier hall which belonged to a family of merchants called Chapman in the 15th and early 16th centuries.The formal gardens and grounds, which include a deer park and lake, were originally laid out by Gertrude Jekyll in 1906.
The hall stayed in the hands of the Bolle family until the 18th-century and their Coat of Arms can still be seen in the wall of the Dovecote at Thorpe Hall. There have been many esteemed residents since including Captain Julius Tennyson, nephew of the Poet Laureate, and Captain Langston Brackenbury, MP for Louth, who actually died in the House of Commons.
The Haunted History of Thorpe Hall
During an expedition with Sir Walter Raleigh to Cadiz Sir John Bolle was captured by the Spaniards and spent time in a dungeon. His cell looked out onto the street where a wealthy Spanish noblewoman, regularly passed by. She began to have feelings for him and regularly bought him food before eventually bribing his jailers to release him.
Once free, Bolle was to return to England. She begged him to let her follow but he refused and told her he was happily married. She let him go with a portrait of herself in her favourite green dress and he promised to hang it in his home.
Some months after he had left she followed him to England where she killed herself in Thorpe Park Gardens. John Bolle hung her picture and laid a place at the dinner table in her honour.
Her ghost is still said to be seen walking the garden wearing her favourite green dress in the hope that she should see John Bolle again.