Friends of Beddington Park
Carew Manor

Entrances from Church Road, Beddington

Beddington Park is the location of Carew Manor which was the home of the Carew family. The Domesday Book mentions two Beddington estates and these were united by Nicholas Carew to form Carew Manor in 1381. The Manor, once a medieval moated house, was home to the Royal Female Orphanage from 1762 until 1968. It now contains council offices and Carew Manor School.

In about 1591 Sir Walter Raleigh secretly, and without royal permission, married one of Queen Elizabeth I's maids of honour, Elizabeth Throckmorton of Carew Manor. Raleigh spent time in the Tower of London for this and Elizabeth was expelled from the court but the marriage appears to have been a genuine love-match and survived the imprisonment. A popular story is that when Raleigh was beheaded by James I in 1618, Elizabeth claimed his embalmed head and kept it in a bag for the rest of her life. His body buried in St Margaret's, Westminster but many suspect his head remains in Beddington park. Some say his son [is this Carew?] inherited the enbalmed head and that it was buried with him.

The banqueting hall, which boasts a fine hammerbeam roof, survives from the original house along with part of the orangery built by Sir Francis Carew and claimed to be the first in England. In the grounds is an early 18th century dovecote.

Archaeologists have recently discovered a Tudor garden including a grotto at Carew Manor, believed to have been created by Sir Francis Carew in the 16th century. It's exact location is currently not being disclosed in order to protect it from looting.

Carew Manor Pictures

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