DIDLINGTON (or Dudlington as it is spelt in its old form) is mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the time of the Conquest it was held by two Lords, Warren and Limesey. The name of Coke appears in the time of Henry III as a holder of a fee and a half, and in the reign of Edward II John de Hockham was Lord.
The Holdich family were in possession in the reign of Edward III. The tombs of several members of this family are still to be seen in the Churchyard.
About 1603, Susanna, the daughter and heiress of Henry Holdich, married Sir John Sidly, and their son, also Sir John, sold Didlington to Robert Wilson of Merton, Co. Surrey, ancestor of Lord Berners, who in 1855 again sold the place to William George Tyssen Amherst, of Foulden Hall, Norfolk, and Foley House, Kent, etc., grandfather of the present owner.
The oldest parts of the House are found only inside and may be traced in various thick walls and arched recesses. The 18th century South Front, with the door opening on to the terrace (as painted by Stark), remains in situ.
Didlington has ever been celebrated for its sport. The ancient Heronry is still one of the features of the place, and the Falconer's Lodge is a landmark for many miles.
The old training-ground for race-horses is in the Park. It was here that " Phosphorus," the winner of the Derby in 1837, was trained. His racing plates may yet be seen adorning the saddle-room door.
Many ancient trees beautify the Park and Pleasure Grounds. The Lime Avenues were planted in 1689. The Old Mill is mentioned first in the time of Edward the Confessor, and has, it is said, been in working order since the time of Henry III.
The chief part of the Lake at Didlington has existed from time immemorial, and its great antiquity has lately been demonstrated by the discovery in it of mammoth and other prehistoric remains.
© Transcription Copyright E.C.Apling, October 2004; links updated January 2010.
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