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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Gunpowder Plot hall for sale
Alan Burman, a local historian
Historian Alan Burman in front of Rushton Hall
A 40-room mansion in Northamptonshire, which was once home to a Gunpowder plotter, is up for sale.

Rushton Hall, a Grade I listed building, dates from the late 16th century.

It was built for Sir Thomas Tresham, a highly successful Catholic merchant whose son was later involved in the Gunpowder Plot.

The 1604 plot aimed to bring down the government by blowing up the Houses of Parliament, and is remembered in Britain each year on 5 November.

For the last 40 years the mansion has been used as a special school by the Royal National Institute of the Blind.

Priest hole

One of the more unusual features of the property is a priest hole which was built for Catholic clergy escaping persecution during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Alan Burman, a local historian, said: "Jesuit priests... were sought after and imprisoned, so most of these houses had priest holes."

Other features include a relief of a scene of the Crucifixion which is still hanging in the chapel.

The estate agents refused to speculate on the cost of Rushton Hall.


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01 Jul 02 | England
30 Apr 02 | England
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