Following a blog post in late May, I was invited to see what remains of the house and gardens where my great-great-great grandfather lived at Newport, the surprisingly unspoilt part of North Essex, north of Stansted Airport.
The house was burnt down in 1966 as part of an insurance scam by an associate of the Krays, rebuilt on a much smaller scale in 2000. I’m not sure how much of the estate would have been recognisable to Joseph Smith: maybe some of the trees planted by Capability Brown in 1753; and the stable block thought to have been designed by Matthew Brettingham who worked there in the 1750s. Best of all were the wonderful greenhouses which must date from a later phase of the estate when it was bought by Carl Meyer, who worked for the Rothschilds, for £60,000:-
After a hundred years, the company which installed the greenhouses got in touch offering to repair them:-