Guided Tours and Group Visits to Layer Marney Tower
The very best way to visit Layer Marney Tower is to come on a Guided Tour. Layer Marney Tower is still a family home and the Guided Tours are generally led by one of the owners, Nicholas or Sheila Charrington. Nicholas was born here, Sheila has lived here for 30 years, they are enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour leaders and enjoy sharing their home with visitors and have many stories to tell.
Groups coming on a Guided Tour are taken into parts of the house not normally open to visitors, including the Charrington’s private Dining Room and Billiard Room. They tell Tudor tales of the extraordinary man, Henry Marney, who built the Tower, his friendship with Henry VIII and visit his ornate terracotta tomb in the nearby church. There are also stories about Walter de Zoete, owner of the Tower in Edwardian times, who made a lot of internal improvements including the transformation of the Long Gallery from stables to huge drawing room, to showcase his paintings and furniture and went on to build himself a Tea House at the bottom of his garden so he could drink tea and admire his Tower from a distance.
A Guided Tour lasts for about an hour and a half with plenty of time to chat with the Charringtons and ask questions, the pace is set to suit the group with plenty of resting places on the way.
After the tour a light lunch can be booked in our Stable Tea Rooms and then allow time to wander in the gardens and to visit our two exhibitions; Crowns and Crests – a collection of 40 Crowns and Crests once owned by Garter Knights and displayed in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, they are brightly coloured and intricately carved, reflecting the lives of their illustrious owners (now dead) Sir Harold Wilson’s includes a carving of the Scilly Isles’ lighthouse, Sir Edmund Bacon’s a carving of a boar, a play on words of his name. We also have a fascinating exhibitions of paintings owned by the Batte Laye Foundation by well known East Anglian artists such as Maggi Hambling and Edward Bawden. For those interested in the miniature world, we have a huge dolls’ house, exquisitely furnished and with its own family members and staff in evidence.
Do get in touch if you would like to discuss bringing your group to us (groups of 20 or more) We have Guided Tour throughout the year. Alternatively, if you would like a Guided Tour, but are not members of a group, we have tours for individuals on set days during the year. Do get in touch if you are interested in these Invitation to View tours.
We look forward to meeting you in 2019.