Lurking under the foliage, tucked away to one side of our walled garden and only known by our Horti department and those that work in there, has been sitting a rather valuable artefact and possibly the oldest item we have of our site’s history.
This stone plaque bearing a coat of arms was spotted by one of our Communications Team, who hoped it was that of one of the site’s former owners, The Seawell Family. It was brought to the attention of our volunteer archivist, Nigel Price, who submitted it to the College of Arms for verification.
We are delighted to say that in April 2021 we had the response below, from the Chester Herald, Hon. Christopher John Fletcher-Vane from the Royal College of Arms confirming our suspicions.
Marriage banns of Thomas Seawell to Mary Newcome 14th December 1786
Portrait of Mrs Mary Seawell of Great Bookham in 1792 – painted by portraitist John Downman (1750 – 1824)
Click on photos to enlarge.
This is a wonderful addition to our heritage and we will be seeking to relocate and preserve it for our future visitors. It is also rather timely as local author and history Vivien White is currently writing a book about our site which will include the Seawell family, but here is what we know so far, courtesy of the Leatherhead and District Local Historical Society and visitors to The Grange. The History of The Grange Site