On the south-east of Bliburgh grew West-wood, which, Mr. Gardner says, in
process of time was reduced to a park, now called the Grove. Herein stood the
mansion house of the lords of this manor of Bliburgh. Charcoal, burnt straw,
parched grain of divers kinds, bricks, stones, &c., discovered a few years ago,
when the ground whereon it stood was cleared, gives a reasonable supposition
that the ancient hall suffered by fire.
The present edifice, called Westwood Lodge, was begun by Sir Robert Brooke, and
finished by John Brooke, Esq., his son, in 1G52; whose chief seat was at
Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford.
Sir Robert Brooke, Knt., and Alderman of London, acquired this estate by
purchase, of the Hopton family. Thos. Hopton, natural son of Sir Robert
Swillington, sen., had issue John; who in the 8th of King Henry VI., by virtue
of an entail made on Thomas and his heirs, obtained considerable property, the
inheritance of the house of Swillington, in this and other counties.
In the 18th of the said King, Sir John Gra, of South Ingleby, in Lincolnshire,
released to him certain property he held, in right of Margaret his wife, heiress
to the Swillingtons; and at the same time, Bartholomew Whitfield, and Elizabeth
his wife, relict of Robt. Sampson, of Playford, Esq., who was found to be next
heir, as daughter of Thomas, son of Robert, son of Adam de Swillington, released
all their right in the manors of Bliburgh, Westleton, Lenvale's, Rysing's,
Cleydon, Wenhaston, Thorington, Westhall, Yoxford, and Muriel's, in this county,
and other lordships in Norfolk.
John Hopton died, seized of the above lordships, in the 8th of Edward IV., and
William Hopton, Esq., was found to be his son and heir. He is frequently named
in old writings, as John Swillington (alias Hopton), of Wood, in Suffolk.
William his son, was a great courtier, Treasurer of the Household, and of the
Privy Council of King Edward IV.; a Knight, and Sheriff of Suffolk and Norfolk,
in the reign of Richard III. Sir William married Margaret, daughter of Sir Roger
Wentworth, of Nettlestead, in this county, and died in the above reign.
Sir George Hopton, of Westwood, Knt., was his son and heir: created a Banneret
at the battle of Stoke, in the 2nd of King Henry VII. He died in the 5th of that
reign. William, his eldest son, deceased before him; and by an inquisition taken
at Woodbridge, in the 6th of King Henry VIII., Arthur was found to be his son
and heir: he was of Westwood, and married Anne, daughter of Sir David Owen, of
Cowdry, in Essex; natural son of Owen Tudor, who married Catherine, Queen
Dowager of Henry V.; and was father of Sir Owen Hopton, Lieutenant of the Tower
of London. It appears he alienated this estate in the latter part of the reign
of King Henry VIII. It has since passed as the Cockfield Hall estate.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page