Runwell Hall - the Lordship of the Manor of Runwell.

The history of 'The Thomas Kemble'.

AD 925 King Athelstone granted the Manor to the Cathedral Church of St Paul.

AD 1316 King Edward I confirmed the grant to the Dean and Chapter.

AD 1538 King Henry VIII bestowed the Manor upon Sir Anthony Browne.

AD 1547 from whom inherited Lord Clinton. It then passed to Sir John Gate who was attainted by…

AD 1553 Queen Mary who granted the manor to her Lady in Waiting, Susannah Tonge, who was succeeded by her nephew…

AD 1590 George White of Hutton, who disposed of it to…

AD 1679 Simon Rogers and thence it passed to…

AD 1723 Thomas and Benjamin Boddington.

AD 1824 It was acquired by Thomas Nash Kemble whose family resided here until…

AD 1951 when it was acquired by Harold Perry and Irene Elsie Susannah Liberty.

It was then acquired by Charles Kenneth Mayo and in…

AD 1980 a property within Runwell Manor was acquired by BASS and following extensive modernisation and refurbishment in…

AD 1985 the house was renamed The THOMAS KEMBLE.

For other photographs please click on this link

Runwell Hall and its last residents.

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  • I joined the Parish Council in the late 1960s and Mr Liberty was our Chairman, and a thoroughly nice person he was. He was also Chairman of the Chelmsford Rural District Council’s Highways Committee, so we always had road repairs etc.prioritised, unlike now. His wife also served on the Parish Council.

    By Roy Dockerill (07/05/2023)
  • Hi from sunny Australia,
    My mother was a Kemble, a direct descendent of Thomas Kemble – her Great Great Grandfather.
    I am hoping to get more information on the Kemble Family and Runwell Hall, especially any photos or links to relevant information.
    I have the Wickford book and the folk at St Mary’s Church, Runwell have been very kind and helpful and supplied me with 2 books about the Church.
    I have joined the Essex Family History Group.
    Thank you for any help or information, it will really be appreciated.

    By Charles Goulder (19/12/2022)
  • Augusta Kemble was, I believe, unmarried, and was the last member of the family to live there. She left my mother and uncle some money when they were teenagers, after the war, which helped them carve a life for themselves.

    By Peter Westcott (12/06/2020)
  • My grandmother, Ethel May, was cook at Runwell Hall in the early 1900s, and married Mark Gentry, who also worked there. When Jack Mayo bought it and refurbished the building into pub/restaurant he invited her to have a tour of the building and she was able to tell him how it was when she was there. She was in her 90s by then. I worked for Jack in the Windmill, at South Hanningfield, then. (1970?)

    By Christine Weir-Ewing (06/09/2018)
  • I had my wedding reception at the Thomas Kemble in the upstairs suite. I have photos of me on the staircase.

    By Sandra morter (02/01/2018)
  • Douglas, there is a series of photos on the site showing interior shots of Runwell Hall, dating between 1910 and 1930. Search ‘Eileen Cox collection’. One shows the staircase.

    By Geoff Whiter (19/01/2017)
  • What year was Kembles turned into a pub/ restaurant? Does anyone have a picture of the original staircase? I have been told it may have been 17th century. Any comments?

    By Douglas Wilson (08/01/2017)
  • I worked on Runwell Hall when it was converted to the Thomas Kemble.

    I remember what a dirty dusty job it was. In the way of insulation, all the floor joist (10″ deep) and the ceiling joist (6″ deep) had been filled to the top with soil. This in turn had been inhabited with mice. It was all bone dry. The lathe and plaster ceilings had to come down, this was done by knocking them through from above.

    It was like working in a desert dust storm, and the dust hung around for weeks.

    By Bryan Burnikell (30/12/2016)
  • Mr Liberty was a Runwell Parish Councillor. Jack Mayo bought it after owning the Windmill at South Hanningfield, turning the Kembles into a pub and restaurant; I went to the opening.

    By bobcroot (26/11/2016)
  • Thomas Kemble sold part of his Manor to the then government in about 1935 for a mental hospital. During WWII wounded troops were also treated there. It is now being knocked down, apart from the new 97 bed security block. The site is being developed for housing.


    By bob croot (14/07/2012)

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