Hill Hall, Theydon Mount, Essex
Hill Hall was built in 1569-75 for Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I. It was the third house to be built on the site. The first house was built some time before 1373 and the second was built in 1486. This fine Elizabethan mansion features some of the earliest external Renaissance architectural detail in the country. It also has two rare and outstanding sets of 16th-century wall paintings of mythical and Biblical subjects. Hill Hall has now been divided into private houses, but parts remain open to the public by arrangement. This is a view of the house in 1995, before restoration and conversion to flats. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2011).