About us at Downham Hall
Downham Hall has been around for hundreds of years, for most of it's time as a large residential home to wealthy familys, including the de Beauvoirs and descendants. All that has changed in 2017 when the conversion towards a Boutique Hotel and Venue commenced.
Edward Atslowe had Downham Hall on lease at a cost of £32 per annum and he appears to have acquired this in early 1574 after his marriage to Frances Wingfield in Stoke Newington on November 2, 1573. Frances was a descendent of Elizabeth de Vere, the sister of the 14th earl, thus a distant cousin to Edward de Vere. Astlowe, incidentally, was a supporter of Mary Queen of Scots, but not a catholic. He was twice imprisoned in the Tower of London where he was nearly racked to death, but later released.https://www.wickfordhistory.org.uk/content/churches/st-margarets-parish-church-of-downham
Below the church lies Downham Hall, now smaller than the original 17th century mansion, at one time the home of the De Beauvoir family, descendants of Osmund De Beauvoir who was rector of Downham for yearshttp://www.visitoruk.com/Basildon/downham-C592-V4427.html
As owners (Christina and Andrew Metcalfe) we bought Downham Hall in 2017 with a plan merge the 2 semi-detached houses, regenerate the gardens and go on an adventure. Today and several hard years of work we have come a long way, have further to go, but continue our passion to create a destination for all sorts of reasons. We have weddings, business travellers, wakes, holiday makers, people with healthy appetites and locals all using our venue.
We have been mindful of keeping the character of the building whilst completing large renovations throughout the venue which have been sympathetic to its' character and historical value. The building is contemporary inside, with simple, elegant dining spaces and 5 individually designed bedrooms which are comfortable and yet also luxurious, offering the perfect place for foodies, leisure guests, business guests and special celebrations.
Christina is the day to day driving force of the business, having the first initial idea to get some Airbnb listings that grew to the current plan. She spends her days keeping things moving forwards and working with the ever growing team to try and make the service and building fitting of it's stunning surroundings.
Andrew is also CTO of Guestline, a hospitality software provider, and works on the behind the scenes aspects of the business, of course the software needed to run a place like this in the modern day but also works on the gardens and planning changes in the buildings.
Links to the older history
The history books point to a much larger hall, some maps showing a figure of 8 property, others showing the to the front of the hall having a different route and ending at the Hall. Vineyards, 100 acres or ornamental gardens have all addorned the hall but for those truly interested, we provide some links out to relevant historical records:
- The Church and Downham Hall: https://www.wickfordhistory.org.uk/content/churches/st-margarets-parish-church-of-downham
- History of Downham: https://historyhouse.co.uk/placeD/essexd06a.html
Our part of Essex is often best used by walkers and cyclists due to it's various vistas, quiet roads and good routes. Short trips to local attractions are available with details in the links below:
- A walk around Downham: http://www.paginae-meae.me.uk/atrium/wickford_c/wickford_c.html
- Visit Essex: https://www.visitessex.com/
5 years + of Developing Downham Hall
We sometimes get asked for pictures of the progress we have made here, many say "I didn't know you were here and I have lived here for X years". The hall was largely hidden as a private residence and we have had to change a lot to work as a venue. The following gallery show a little of that work.