Monday, July 20, 2009

Thorpe Hall - The Lady in the Green Dress

By Ray Norris

Thorpe Hall in Louth, Lincolnshire dates back to
1596. It was originally owned by Sir John Bolles. During an expedition
with Sir Walter Raleigh to Cadiz he was captured by the Spaniards and
spent time in a dungeon. A wealthy Spanish noblewoman, Donna Leonora
Oviedo, passed by his cell which looked onto the street. She bought him
food and eventually bribed his jailers to release him.

When he
went back to England she begged him to let her follow. 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

Some months after he had left she followed him to England
and killed herself in Thorpe Park Gardens. John Bolles hung her picture
and laid a place at the dinner table in her honour.

She can be
seen walking the Garden some nights in the hope that she should see
John Bolles again. She is the lady in the Green Dress.

Thorpe Hall - Situated in 20 acres of magnificent gardens and parkland
laid out by Gertrude Jekyll. The present Hall was built in 1584 for Sir
John Bolle. Sir John died at Thorpe Hall in 1606. He was buried in
Haugh Church where a monument was erected to his memory. After the
death of Sir John's widow in 1647, his son, Sir Charles Bolle, felt
that the Green Lady's personality still breathed at the hall. 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

In 1872 John Lewis Fytche visited London and saw the
church of St Mildred's in the Poultry, designed by Sir Christopher
Wren, being demolished.

He arranged for the church to be
transported back to Lincolnshire to build a private chapel. He had all
the stones crated up and taken to the banks of the Thames.

From there they were lowered on to barges and taken out to the North Sea, up the coastline to Tetney and on to the Louth canal.

For more information visit

No comments: