Southchurch Hall as we know it now was built in the 14c and restored to its medieval look in 1930. Its grounds are reduced – the site of the old gateway, for instance, is the current Adult Community College, itself an interesting building that looks to me start of the 20c – but there is enough left for a luscious park full of the scents of the Tudor herbs that grow at the back, and with terrapins in the pond. Inside, different rooms show different eras. The kitchen is Tudor, the hall is 14c and the North Solar is set up as a 17c dining room, with lovely timbers in the ceiling, the wobbly ones being original and the straight ones being replacements from the 1930 restoration. The upstairs was closed at the time of my visit. Apart from the gorgeous dresser in the North Solar, my favourite discovery was the oil painting of a child from Jane Austen’s era. The label suggests that it shows one of the former residents of the Hall and was painted by another.