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Helmingham Hall Estate

Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house in Helmingham, Suffolk, England. It was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. The present Helmingham Hall may have been initially constructed in 1510 on the site of an earlier house called Creke Hall. The exterior was altered between 1745–1760, again in 1800 by John Nash, and in 1840. The original half-timbered walls have been concealed by brick and tiles.  The house is surrounded by a moat, over which it is reached only by two working drawbridges, which have been pulled up every night since 1510. These were originally operated with a windlass but in recent years this has been replaced by an electric motor.  Queen Elizabeth I is said to have twice visited Helmingham: first in 1561, and later to attend the christening of Lionel Tollemache as her godchild. Lionel Tollemache marked the first of ten consecutive generati