High House has stood for over 450 years and after four and a half centuries of standing over Purfleet, the house, farmstead and indeed Purfleet itself has changed so much.
Originally, the entire area used to be known as the Manor of West Thurrock, and Stone House was the original manor of the West Thurrock area. But after a short number of years, High House became the central manor, as shown by the quality and sheer volume of wooden paneling inside the house.
Two theories have emerged as to the location of the original 1552 house that stood on the site. The first is that the coachman’s cottage is the original house with the current house simply built in-front, and secondly that the original timber-framed structure simply had a brick facade built around it.
During the restoration, original timbers from the 1500’s house were found through the house itself, as shown by the panels removed in the photographs below. Here it can easily be seen the immense timbers that still support the giant wooden structure lying under the surface.
There is some excellent panelling throughout the house and the ground floor has these wonderful doors in the photographs below, from which we can only imagine through period dramas the servant opening the double doors into the reception room beyond. Throughout the house, most of the beautiful panelling is still intact and in good condition for its age, minus some questionable wallpaper.
Panelling from the late 1600s to the early 1700s created a great deal of excitement when it was found on the first floor in the below photographs. But during restoration further panelling was revealed in the room directly below it on the ground floor. This panelling is a rare sight as it has been reused from the earlier house on the site.