The de Vere's inherited the Manor of Wivenhoe through marriage

The De Vere's built Wivenhoe Hall in about 1450 which was one of the largest houses in Essex

Christopher Thompson and Peter Hill

Walton Hall Farm - an ancestral home of the Walton family who once owned Wivenhoe Hall and the manor of Wivenhoe.
Image from Google Earth
The De Vere family coat of arms
South prospect of Wivenhoe in 1734, with Wivenhoe Hall on the west

Wivenhoe was famous in the late-medieval period for its connections to the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford, and to the Howards, who were created Dukes of Norfolk in the late-fifteenth century, starting with John Howard in 1483. (Note: The family still holds the title today).

Wivenhoe Hall, which was built for the 12th Earl of Oxford in about 1450, was the largest house in Essex and, perhaps, the largest in the eastern counties of England. He inherited the estate from his mother, Elizabeth, who was the heiress to a number of landed families including the Waltons.  It was via Joan Walton and her daughter, Elizabeth, that the Wivenhoe manor came to the de Vere family as part of the 12th Earl of Oxford’s marriage settlement and it was he who built Wivenhoe Hall in consequence of acquiring the estate.

Interestingly enough, the site of the Walton family’s original homes still survives on the road between Mucking and Linford in the south of Essex. Walton Hall farm is now a small hotel and site for caravans and, ten or fifteen years ago, housed a motor car museum. it is very difficult to see from Walton Hall Lane since the road is lined with trees but Google Earth has an aerial view which can be accessed by clicking here.

The Wivenhoe Hall estate remained in the possession of the de Veres until 1584 when Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, sold it to Roger Townshend of Raynham. Roger Townshend was knighted in 1588 for his part in fighting the Spanish Armada,

See more about:

  • The de Veres – click here
  • Wivenhoe Hall estate – click here
  • The Corsellis Family who acquired the estate in 1657 – click here


This page was added on 20/02/2017.

Comments about this page

  • ‘…and to the Howards, who were created Dukes of Suffolk in the late-fifteenth century.’ Made dukes of Norfolk, not Suffolk, starting with John Howard in 1483, which family still holds the title today.

    By Ed (24/07/2023)
  • Thank you Ed for pointing out this error in our post. I have corrected it.
    Peter Hill

    By Peter Hill (30/07/2023)

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