From a Facebook Thread in December 2011


Julius Marstrand: I never did understand why the obvious gatehouse, presumably built around the same time as the main house, was not built at the end of the spectacular avenue of trees leading up to the house that now forms the main entrance to Ipswich High School for Girls.

Paul Enstone: At the time of this pic (1909) it was known as the Monkey House, which is strange because several of the houses in Woolvo have monkeys on their roofs even now

Peter Warne: I think the lodge would have spoilt the view of Nelson's Avenue if it had been built at the end of it. I assume the lodge was where the tradesmen were received and told where to deliver their goods. I would think that 'guests' drove their carriages down the avenue. It is sort of fitting that we never went down the avenue.

Ray Conroy: the monkeys are an emblem of Woolverstone. The story goes that a fire broke out in the main house kitchen and the pet monkeys made such a racket the house was saved ... SEE HERE

Julius Marstrand: I should have thought, if a pair of matching lodges had been built on either side of the avenue, with the buildings outside the line of the trees, it needn't have spoiled the view down the avenue. (I'd forgotten it was called Nelson Avenue. When was it planted, bearing in mind that Nelson wasn't the national hero he became in 1760?)

Ian Thompson: Wasn't there another gatehouse to the estate built at the foot of Freston hill?

Paul Enstone: I think the gatehouse at Freston was for Freston Tower on the foreshore. It is currently for sale and was empty last month when it was stripped of its copper and lead

Ian Thompson:
Having done bit of research, the lodge at Freston is called Monkey Lodge, and (from www.oldmaps.co.uk) the 1881-2 map shows the road running to the north of Freston Tower, and is probably the same one shown on the river side of Cat House (unfortunately, viewing the maps has to be done piecemeal). John Speed and Ogilby Old, Antique, Historic and Reproduction

Ross Moynihan: You can rent Freston Tower for holidays; it was in the Sunday Times recently: http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk

Rory Marriott: The full link is HERE

Julius Marstrand: If the gatehouse at Freston is called Monkey Lodge and the Monkey is the symbol of Woolverstone, does this suggest that the Lodge was part of Lord Berner's Woolverstone estate? In which case Freston Tower may have been a folly on the estate .....

Mike O'Driscoll: JM, the lodge was part of the Berners estate but Freston Tower precedes that by a couple of centuries having been built in the time of Henry VIII (or Big Chopper to his mates and nervous wives!). It may well however, have been an early folly .... see the following: Landmark Trust History page for Freston Tower

Ian Thompson: JM, there was a road all the way to Woolverstone Hall, with another lodge en route at the bottom of Mannings Lane called Deer Park Lodge. The road carried on (possibly to Pin Mill), with a fork which went up to the western side of the Hall.

Julius Marstrand: Ah, that's what I was wondering about. I don't recall having seen any evidence of a road along the foreshore much beyond The Cat House.