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Bede House

This time the history group visited Bede House, set in the picturesque village of Lyddington, near Uppingham.  We started our day by meeting for a coffee at the Marquis of Exeter Public House at Lyddington then made our way to Bede House. Walking past pretty sandstone built cottages we entered the grounds of what was once a large medieval Palace, all that remains is the west wing now known as Bede House.  Paul the guide kindly gave us all a talk about the history and information for our tour. We learnt that The palace, built in the 12 century belonged to the Bishops of Lincoln who controlled the large area between the Thames and the Humber estuary.  After king Henry VIII’s reformation only one wing remains. It then passed to the Cecil family from Burghley.  It was Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, son of Lord Burghley who converted it into an almshouse for 12 poor ‘bedesmen’ over 30 years old and two women (over 45), all free of lunacy, leprosy or the French pox and it continued in this use until 1930. We wondered through the attic rooms and the Bishop’s quarters ending up in the bedesmen’s quarters.  None of us could imagine living in such conditions! At this point we broke away to have a lunch at the White Hart.

All feeling rested and refreshed we made our way back to Bede House via The “Bishop’s Eye” watch tower.

We spent some time looking in the church then into the gardens. After sitting in the sun for a while we went back into the shop where Paul the guide persuaded some of us to indulge in some wine samples. We thanked Paul and headed back to our cars to make our way home after a really wonderful and informative day.
If you would like to join our History Group please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the About Us page or the ‘Yarwell Mill‘ Facebook page.

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