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A Perspective on Pendley: A history of Pendley Manor (ebook)
by Bob Little. A descriptive ebook on the history of Pendley Manor. Also available in paperback.
Price: £3.20

A Perspective on Pendley A history of Pendley Manor

A Perspective on Pendley: A history of Pendley Manor

ISBN: 978-1-908941-29-9
ISBN (Printed): 978-1-908941-35-0
File Types: ePub, PDF
Formats: eBook, Kindle or Paperback
To purchase this eBook please click the ‘Buy Now’ button below, or click the ‘Add to Cart’ to the right if you have a coupon code
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“The essence of what Pendley is all about, a living history relevant to the modern day.”

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A detailed history of Pendley Manor.

Pendley has accumulated over 1,700 years of history – from:

Ancient Britons and Romans, who settled this area at least some 1,700 years ago. To England’s last great heathen King, the warlike and impressively vigorous, Penda, who seems to have given his name to this area. He sired a child when he was aged 77 and died, in battle, aged 80;

The Anglo-Saxon nun, Eddeva, via William the Conqueror’s half-brother, Robert. To Sir Robert Whittingham, who demolished mediaeval Pendley and built the first manor house in its place;

The Verneys and the sixteenth century’s changeable politics. To the Andersons, who facilitated the initially illicit union which was to produce US President, George Washington;

The Harcourts who, in the end, didn’t care about Pendley and let the old manor house be destroyed. And the trade-wealthy Grouts with their illegitimate heir, Lawrence Williams, who secured his family’s fortune by marrying into his own family and then buying Pendley;

His son, JG – supervisor of the building of the new manor house, a successful agriculturalist who also shepherded his brother’s children and, so, secured the future of Pendley for a century. To Dorian, the last of the Williams’ line at Pendley;

The short-term ownership of David Evans and the Grass Roots Partnership. To the current owner, Vinu Bhattessa, who’s turned the place into a hotel and conference centre.

Along the way, Pendley Manor acquired some peacocks, a famous Shakespeare Festival, a couple of ghosts and a host of stories. Many of these are unrecorded but some, at least, have come down to us through the ages – and these are told within this book.

To find out more see Bob’s Blog.

Pendley Manor Author: Bob Little

Visit Bob’s Author Page.

If you’ve read this book and enjoyed it, please also rate it on Goodreads.


Reader ratings and reviews:


As the person for getting Dorian’s “Pendley Residential Centre of Adult Education, the first 25 years, 1945–1970” into print, I am delighted that simple anniversary publication has been superseded by Bob Little’s “A History of Pendley Manor”.

He describes his book as “A Perspective” which, on reading the depth of his starting historical narrative, is a generous understatement. As a Berkhamstedian born and bred, many of the ancient family names he mentions were known to me but not in their relationship to Pendley. For the nonhistorian, these pages may be a little dense but for many local people they will be of immense interest. That detailed, arguably perverse history, also underlies the unique nature of the later to modern style of Pendley in Dorian’s time: diverse, creative, artistic, familiar, cosy, formal with informality (one might use ‘haphazard’). In Dorian’s days it was without doubt an extended family of casual, exciting, comfortable characters (read ‘eccentrics’).

It is a pity that Bob and I have never met and despite being only ‘down the road’ my detachment has been more than I have wished these latter years, although I do periodically drop in for after-noon tea—highly commended.

I am horrified to realise that it is nearly half-a-century since that first publication and too many years since I stayed on to help ensure the Festival’s continuation, through the change of ownership following Dorian’s death but Bob has not only filled in the history since but has brought to the fore the essence of what Pendley is all about, a living history relevant to the modern day. At least, certainly when Pendley Open-Air Shakespeare is running!

Peter Such
The pre-publication reviews were very complimentary about this first book in our new "Endless History" series. The book is full of fascinating facts which would interest anyone who has visited, or would like to visit, Pendley Manor.

There is also some content of much wider appeal, such as the references to George Washington.

Carl French

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