One of the reasons for visiting Ellys Manor House in Grantham is to admire the stunning wall paintings which date back to 1500 and have been described as the most ‘complete and extensive domestic decoration’ from this era in the UK. Architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner has continued to highlight how rare such French tapestries are.
The wall paintings, which are a priceless piece of Early European and British Northern Renaissance history, were accidentally stumbled upon when the building was still a rectory. Along with the Flemish architectural style, the paintings also reflect the contemporary lives of the merchants, as they depict a ‘Pleasure Garden’ full of snapshots “collected” by the merchants whilst travelling the continent. As for the house, it was built at the turn of the 16th century by the Ellys family; rich merchants who traded wool between England and Flanders which explains the Flemish influence on its architecture.
Happily and perhaps surprisingly, most of the building remains true to its original form as little work was needed to maintain the structure. The architecture itself is also very impressive with high ceilings, window arches, stone fireplaces and large black ochre beams which all indicate its classic and very well preserved Tudor heritage.
A church tower has also defied the passage of time and still stands high looking over the main building, decorated by eight coned pinnacles and a golden fiddle weather vane. Meanwhile, stepping outside you can enjoy the lawns with a Deodora cedar tree which dates back to the 19th century.