Monypenny Family Homes

    Shown on this page are the old homes of the Monypenny Family. My great great grandmother was Charlotte Monypenny, daughter of Robert Monypenny of Merrington Place, Rolvenden, Kent.

Pitmilly in Fife

    Tradition has it that Malcolm III Cænnmor, King of Scotland, being obliged to flee after his father Duncan the Gracious was killed by Macbeth in 1040, found refuge with a wealthy French merchant named James Dauphin. When the King sought to recover his Kingdom, he asked his friend for a few pennies, whereupon James Dauphin replied, "Not a few pennies but many pennies", and his two sons fought at the side of the King.  When the Kingdom was recovered, the King gifted to the eldest son James, the lands of Pitmilly, Fife; and married him to a lady related to Macduff, Thane of Fife . . . or so the story goes.

    However, the first of an unbroken line begins with Ricardus de Moniepennie who was granted a charter by Thomas, Prior of St. Andrews, of the lands of Pitmulin ("quam Malisius tenuit") in 1211. Pitmulin, or Pitmilly as is has been known in more recent times, is located about a mile west of Boarhills, Fife, Scotland. Boarhills is about four miles south east of St. Andrews.

Map of Boarhills and Pitmilly

Pitmilly House circa 1870's
Thanks to Doronée Monypenny
Pitmilly House ca 1870's
{Rev} James Isaac Monypenny, 25th Laird of Pitmilly, moved to Pitmilly in July 1871.
Thanks to Scotland's Lost Country Homes for the next image.

Pitmilly House
One of the trees which was cut down gave rise to a Pitmilly ghost,
referred to as the Green Lady,
who was perhaps bemoaning the fact that a favourite tree had gone.
Pitmilly Hotel circa 1964
Pitmilly House was sold by the Monypennys circa 1928
and eventually converted into a hotel.
Thanks to Douglas Campbell at Flickr.

Pitmilly Hotel

    Pitmilly House deteriorated badly and burned in 1967. Please check Wikipedia for details.
All that remain now are ruins of stables and outbuildings.
Thanks to Charlie Hay of Edinburgh for the photographs.

Pitmilly Ruins
Pitmilly Ruins

Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent

    Captain James Monypenny purchased Maytham Hall in Rolvenden in 1714. The estate dates from Saxon times and at least four Norman lords had manors here. Rolvenden is located about fifteen miles north of Hastings and fifteen miles south west of Ashford.

    We have drawings of Maytham Hall from Brigadier John Flaviell: Great Maytham Hall, 1982; kindly shared by Doronée Monypenny.

 Maytham Hall circa 1760
with coach house and walled garden behind, and “bothy” on the extreme right.

Maytham Hall ca 1760
Maytham Hall circa 1880
Maytham Hall ca. 1880

    Maytham Hall was sold by the Monypenny family in 1890, passed through several hands, and was eventually sold to the Rt. Hon. H. J. Tennant. The present Hall was built in 1909-10, on the site of the old Hall and incorporating part of it, to the design of Sir Edwin Lutyens. It became known as Great Maytham Hall.

Great Maytham Hall circa 2003
Photograph courtesy of Doronée Monypenny

Great Maytham, 2003

Great Maytham Hall
Merrington Place

    The following images, unless indicated otherwise, have been lifted from Google's Street View. You can find these images along with countless others by yourself. This is easy to do; go to Google Maps and search for "Great Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, United Kingdom." Then, simply use your mouse to move the little orange man on top of the scale over on the left side down onto the map . . . and Presto! The actual street view appears! You may have to pan around a bit to find the actual image you are searching for.

    Great Maytham is now luxury apartments; please click on Sunley Heritage for details.

The Gate House
as seen from Maytham Road
Great Maytham Gate House

    Maytham Hall was let in the 1890's to Frances Hodgson Burnett (Mrs. Townesend), authoress of Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden. When Miss Burnett first arrived at Maytham Hall, the walled garden to the west of the house was derelict, and its walls overgrown with ivy. With difficulty, and eventually aided by a robin, she discovered the only entrance to the garden. This was, of course, the old walled garden which inspired The Secret Garden and the robin which features so delightfully in her book.

The "Secret Garden"
Courtesy of Geograph Britain and Ireland

Secret Garden

    Merrington Place, the home of my greatX3 grandfather Robert Monypenny and his family, is located about a half mile due east of Great Maytham. Only a small part of Merrington Place can be seen from the road; but an aerial view is available at Google Maps. Search for "Merrington Place, Hastings Rd, Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent, UK." The search may not be totally accurate and you may have to pan around a bit. Merrington Place is about a half mile south east of the intersection of High Street and Hastings Road, Rolvenden, on the east side of Hastings Road.

Merrington Place
as seen from Hastings Road

Merrington Place

The following photos were shared by Sue Jenkins and Sarah McCarthy, granddaughters of Annie Mary Olive York, known as "Min" and Richard Montague Gybbon-Monypenny.  In the 1960's, they resided at The Parsonage in Benenden, Kent. This is about 3 miles north west of Rolvenden. Following the death of Richard in 1969, Min purchased Windmill Cottage in Sandhurst, Kent. The road that passes the house eventually leads to Rye, about 10 or 12 miles to the south east.

    When in her eighties, Min sold Windmill Cottage and returned to Benenden, Kent to live with her niece. The niece's home, known as "Clevelands", was located on a road called "The Street" (shown on some map sites as "The St") in Benenden.

Thanks to Doronée Monypenny for the background information.  

The Parsonage, Benenden, Kent.
York / Monypenny Home
"Min" standing at the door.
York / Monypenny Home

Windmill Cottage or "Mins' House"
Sandhurst, Kent
Min's House 1

Min's House 2
Min's House 3

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