After leaving the hamlet of Southend, my walk continued down through Stonor Park with a great view of the house and superb views across towards Christmas Common.
Stonor House has been the home of the Stonor family for over 800 years. The main house dates back to the 15th century although parts are from the 11th century.
The Stonor family have always been devout Catholics, and during the Reformation in the 16th century there was strong social and legal pressure on Catholics to forswear their faith, including heavy fines of up to £50,000 in todays money. Jesuit priests were sent secretly to England to co-ordinate and stiffen resistance. One of these was Edward Campion, who was given refuge at Stonor Park. He lived secretly in attic chambers, and produced a pamphlet called 'Deem Rationes' or Ten Reasons, an attempt to offer a logical appeal for why Catholicism was preferable to Protestantism. This proved Campion's undoing. He was captured, tortured and confess were he had printed the work. He was hung at Tyburn.
Stonor was raided on 4 august 1581 and the family had to pat a huge fine to regain their house and estate, and John Stonor who had invited Campion into his family home was sent into exile in France.
The estate is also home to a herd of fallow deer, which I was lucky enough to see on my walk.
Uploaded: Jan 12, 2016