Historic Manors and Estates in Birchington
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Great Quex, Quex Park, or Quekes
The manor belonged, from the beginning of the 15th-century, to the family of Quex; and passed by marriage, in the time of Henry VII, to the Crispes. One of its owners, a distinguished puritan, in 1657, was carried off from it to the Continent, by the royalist captain Golding, and long kept prisoner at Ostend and Bruges. William III frequently rested at the manor house on his excursions to Holland. The present mansion is modern; bears the name of Great Quex; and is the seat of H. P. Cotton, Esq.. Two towers stand in the park, and are good sea-marks; and one of them contains a fine peal of bells.1
Quex Park, in the Parish of Birchington, the seat of John Powell Powell, Esq. is of greater extent, as a park, than any other in the Isle of Thanet. In the park are several ornamental buildings, and among them a tower, in which is an harmonious chime of bells, and some of the guns of the Royal George. The house is spacious and handsome, and contains some good paintings, several busts, including a laughing Democritus, etc etc. Quex Park is distant from Margate nearly four miles south-west, from Ramsgate rather more than five miles north-west, from Canterbury about 13 miles, and from London 68 miles.
The manor of Quex or Quekes was anciently the seat of a family who gave name to it: from them it passed by marriage in the reign of Henry VII. to the eminent family of Crispe, a descendant of whom died in 1680, leaving four daughters, his co-heirs, when this seat, on a division of their inheritance, became the property of Richard Breton, Esq. who had married Maria Adriana, the eldest of them. He sold it immediately to Edwin Wiat, Esq. who alienated it to John Buller, Esq. of Morvall, in Cornwall, whose son William dying without issue, the reversion of it (his widow being entitled to it for life) was sold to Sir Robert Furnese, Bart. and his daughter Catherine, Countess of Guildford, sold it in 1767 to Henry Fox Lord Holland. Lord Holland transferred it to his second son, the Honourable C. J. Fox, and he passed it away to John Powell, Esq. who rebuilt the greater part of the seat. Mr. Powell died without issue, and his sister, the wife of William Roberts, Esq. then inherited it, and to them succeeded their son Arthur, who thereupon assumed the name of Powell. At this house King William III. was accustomed to stay while waiting for a favourable wind to embark for Holland, and his chair is still preserved here. There was formerly a vineyard in the gardens of Quex Park.2
1John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).
2C. Greenwood, comp. Epitome of County History, vol. 1, County of Kent. (London, England: privately printed, 1838).
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