The ongoing restoration of the Tudor manor house at Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of the family of the first US President George Washington, will receive funding from the Historic Houses Foundation.
Tudors and New World Emigrants
As a house whose Great Hall, porch and Great Chamber date from the 1540s, Sulgrave is interesting in its own right. Add a connection to George Washington, the first President of an independent America and leader of the Continental Army in the American War of Independence, and its preservation appears both miraculous and essential.
There has been an ongoing programme of restoration at Sulgrave Manor over the past few years, the first since the house was rescued and restored in 1914 by public subscription. Originally, the house was the family home of ex-Mayor of Northampton and successful wool merchant, Lawrence Washington and his family of 11 children. Washington was typical of the aspiring merchant classes of the Tudor period, keen to establish themselves as part of the landed gentry. Two generations later, Lawrence Washington’s descendant, John Washington, emigrated from Essex to the new colony of Virginia and was the great-grandfather of George Washington. Both the carved initials of Lawrence Washington in the salt cupboard in the Great Hall and the stars and stripes arms of the Washington family above the porch, provide a vivid and tangible link between Britain and today’s United States of America.
The Washington Trail
The house contains one of the best collections of Washington memorabilia in Britain and is a must-see stop for visitors from the United States as well an important resource for education in Anglo-American relations and American politics. Funding from the Historic Houses Foundation will provide for a further phase of roof repairs and for the repair of internal wall surfaces where the application of inappropriate modern paints in an earlier scheme needs to be reversed.