Hinchingbrooke House Virtual Tour



The House

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Learning Materials

Learning Materials

Key dates in the history of Hinchingbrooke

(see also dates of the owners)
1200 Benedictine nuns set up the Priory of St. James.
1535 Dr. Leigh visited the nunnery in December. He was one of Thomas Cromwell's commissioners who had to report on the nunneries and monasteries. He found only Alice Wylton, the Prioress, and three nuns living at Hinchingbrooke.
1536 The dissolution of the nunnery.
1538 The estate passed to Richard Cromwell. He also got the abbeys of Sawtry and Ramsey, and the priory at St. Neots. He began the conversion of Hinchingbrooke from a nunnery to a Tudor country house.
1545 Richard Cromwell died.
1564 Queen Elizabeth visited the house.
1602 The great bow window was built.
1603 King James I came to visit the house as a guest of Sir Oliver Cromwell when he came down the Great North Road to his coronation in London.
1627 Sir Oliver Cromwell sold the house to the 1st Earl of Sandwich.
1660 Edward Montagu became 6th Earl of Sandwich. He began major building works on the house which were described in the writings of Samuel Pepys.
1759 The south east part of the house and south west tower were altered by the 4th Earl in the Gothic style.
1830 A serious fire badly damaged the north east part of the house on the 22nd January. The Great Hall, the Bow Room and the staircase were all destroyed.
1832 Edward Blore, the architect, was called in to carry out repairs and rebuild the damaged part of the house.The two stone coffins are found containing the remains of 2 nuns.
1894-6 The west wing was built. It contained bathrooms and servants rooms.
1947 The west wing extension was demolished. The 9th Earl thought it was inhabited by a werewolf!
1962 Hinchingbrooke was sold by the son of the 9th Earl to the County Council. It began to restore and convert it into a school.
1970 Hinchingbrooke House is opened as the sixth form centre for Hinchingbrooke School in September.

The Owners of Hinchingbrooke
c.1200-1536 Benedictine nuns.
1536-1538 Henry VIII
1538-1545 Sir Richard Cromwell.
1545-1603 Sir Henry Cromwell.
1603-1627 Sir Oliver Cromwell.
1627-1644 Sir Sydney Montagu.
1644-1672 Edward Montagu, created 1st Earl of Sandwich 1660. Portrait
1672-1688 Edward, 2nd Earl.
1688-1729 Edward, 3rd Earl.
1729-1792 John, 4th Earl. Portrait
1792-1814 John, 5th Earl.
1814-1818 George, 6th Earl.
1818-1884 John, 7th Earl. Portrait
1884-1916 Edward, 8th Earl.
1916-1962 George, 9th Earl.
1962- Mr. (Alexander) Victor Montagu, gave up the title of Earl of Sandwich and sold Hinchingbrooke to the Huntingdon and Peterborough County Council. (Cambridgeshire County Council from 1974).

Information from Huntingdon Town Web about:
The Montagues | The Priory | The Cromwells | Photographs c.1900 | Hinchingbrooke Buildings | The Gatehouse


Other Historical Links -

Oliver Cromwell

Hinchingbrooke's Local History Pages -

Samuel Pepys

Civil War

Brief History of the House

The House through the ages

Hinchingbrooke School Homepage