The History of Hookend Manor

1580 - 2004

 What happened to the gigantic  monasteries of England when the Monks have left them vacant?  A prime example is Buckland Abby that was founded by the Cistercian Monks back in 1278. It was converted into a house after the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1581 Sir Francis Drake purchased it and it was in the Drake family until 1946.

Hook End was built in 1580 for use as a Tudor Monastery. The Tudor era has given us some of the most captivating and enduring images in English history.

In an interview with Morrissey, former lead singer with the Smith's, here are his personal comments about Hookend Manor and his encounter with a friendly ghost.  

"Hookend Manor is the former stately home and domicile to flying fingers Alvin Lee and later David Gilmoure, originally it was a home for Monks as if monastery was a dirty word".

"Since I've been here several people have had certain visitations at night time, including me"   ".....It happened for each person at ten past four in the morning"  "It felt like a hand on your chest as if you were being woken or stirred. The conclusion I've come to is that it's the ghost of some misguided monk going round waking people up for prayers".   



 As the interview with Morrissey concludes, "It was time to try a different bed and the one here's quite comfortable"  Despite the Monk?  "Because of the Monk".      


Somewhere in this list there is also rumour that the house may have been used to house the mentally ill or the mentally  insane we don't know how true that is but it would make perfect sense to have such a samatarium located in such a remote setting. Rumour has it that Alvin purchased the estate from a dentist or doctor I only mention this as part of the long and vivid history that this house has had. 


The next owner  was Sir Charles Clore:
Born: 1904
Died: 6/26/79                

Who was Sir Charles Clore:  

Sir Charles Clore was one of Britain’s most successful and powerful financier, post war businessmen-multi-millionaire and one of the most generous philanthropists of his day, and property magnet.

In 1954 Sir Charles bought J. Sears and Company, a shoe manufacturer founded in 1912, he paid four million and changed its name to Sears Holdings in  the following year. It also should be known that he built the Sears retail empire from next to nothing starting in the 1950's and 1960's. Sir Charles was also one of the most prominent men in the Jewish West End of London.  He also owned a pharmaceutical company in the early years and later Selfridges's in London. 

Sir Charles was also a serious collector of fine art, part of his collection consisted of an early 16th century Italian Bronze Plaquette of David. Also included were Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary paintings, Drawings, Water Colours and Sculpture's. Some of his vast collection was sold at Christies.

Sir Charles, had only one daughter, her name is Dame Vivien Duffield who proceeded to carry on the work of her father. The Clore Foundation was established in 1964 by her father and she became the chairman of the foundation in 1979 and created her own foundation in 1987. In addition, named after them is the “Clore Foyer” and the “Duffield Room” in Britain.  

Also, there’s the Charles Clore Jewish-Arab Community Center, The Charles Clore Memorial Street, and he has a Hospital in his name, not to mention the Charles Clore memorial Horse Race.

Update: Benefactor Overboard: London’s Royal Opera House is ditching its greatest benefactor, Dame Vivien Duffield who has raised more than 100 million dollars for it and has personally donated millions more—perhaps as much as 25 million.                   


The next owner is our own  Alvin Lee:   

Alvin bought the house and then proceeded to build a complete recording studio with the help of his father Sam in the barn, it was the original Space Studios but is now being run by his ex-girlfriend Suzanne and their daughter Jasmine who also is working in the music business. 

At about the same time of the death of Sir Charles Clore in 1979 Alvin decided to give up his prized posession  Hookend Manor and moved elsewhere.  According to Alvin, his reasons for leaving were simple: The Manor House being centuries old was impossible to heat properly in the winter and something always needed to be repaired. The estate was so vast that  Alvin once found a mate of his living there that he was completely unaware of.  Also according to Alvin, he found it ridiculous to be living in that big house.  

In a short conversation about Hookend Manor with the members of Ten Years After:

Leo, being of psychic ability as the title of his book in progress sugguest “The Reluctant Psychic” told us very simply that he never felt comfortable there.

Chick never spent the night in the house as he lived so close by and he doubts the ghost stories or any misguided Monk roaming around the place.

Ric’s recollection I found more humourous as instead of being the least bit concerned with the wondering Monk coming to wake him up at 4:10 in the morning, I get the impression that he was  awake most of the night or at least not sleeping very well as he was just a little uncomfortable for a very different reason.

Alvin had waterbeads installed in every bedroom but the one Ric slept on had no working heater so the water was frijid, have you ever slept on a water bed with no heater he says? 


The house was then sold to David Gilmour who used one of the large buildings out back to store the monster inflateable Pink Floyd Pig.  David also moved out when allegedly, his wife Ginger couldn’t stand the ghosts any longer.  


Hookend Manor today is now "Sarms Recording Studios" and run by Trevor Horn, the producer of "Frankie Goes to Hollywood".  



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