In 1847, almost the entire Elizabethan part of Easton Lodge, the main family seat, was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the Victorian Gothic style at a cost of £12,000 and the last project before his death for the country-house architect Thomas Hopper, who also designed Wivenhoe Park, near Colchester.
Rich history dating back to the Domesday Book and steeped in royal connections, The Manor of Estaines, as it was known, was held by the Windsor family and then passed to Godfrey de Louvaine (brother of the Duke of Brabant). In 1365 Eleanor de Louvaine married Sir William Bourchier of Stansted Hall, Halstead, uniting two great estates. The property and surrounding land remained with the Bourchiers for several generations and was favoured by the Plantagenets. It is rumoured that in 1460 Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville spent some of their honeymoon in the Manor House. The house later became home to a Plantagenet princess when Henry de Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex married Isabel Plantagenet, Aunt of Edward IV and Richard III. The property was consequently owned by their granddaughter Anne de Bourchier who married William Parr, brother of Henry VIII’s sixth wife. Although their marriage was annulled in 1543, Parr obtained his ex-wife’s lands and titles. Following Parr’s support of Lady Jane Grey, the lands were confiscated and passed to Henry Maynard by Elizabeth I in 1590 as reward for his services to her Lord Chancellor and Treasurer, Lord Burghley. Maynard rebuilt the manor in 1624 on the site of the medieval house, of which little remains apart from a fine 1th century chimney and the original moulded ceiling beams of two rooms in the centre of the building.
On taking over his new estate, Sir Henry pulling down the remains of an old hunting lodge a mile to the west of Little Easton Manor and built himself a grand, Elizabethan H-plan mansion, which he called Easton Lodge. According to records collated by the Pedley family, former owners of Little Easton Manor, its history can be traced to the 11th century, when it was listed in the Domesday Book (a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” by the order of William the Conqueror, completed in 1086) as Estaines Parva and, although nothing currently above ground is older than the 16th century, the current house is built on a site that shows traces of Roman activity and a fortified manor is known to have existed on the site. The family was to retain the estate and both houses right through to the 20th century.