Inside the Dagnams Mansion

Lingham gives the following description of Dagnams.
“The house had three stories with six rooms to each floor. On the ground floor, to the right, were the drawing and dining rooms, with an ante-room, and to the left, were billiard and smoking (study) rooms with another ante-room. The rooms were entered from a large main hall, from which staircases ascended on both sides to a landing on the first floor. The first floor landing continued as a central corridor on both sides of the house from which the main bedrooms of the Neaves and their guests were entered. On the top room were bedrooms for the governess and senior servants; also the nursery and schoolroom.....The majority of the servants lived in an annexe built onto the east side of the house, where the kitchen and other domestic rooms were located. The butler had a waiting room and bedroom in the main house at the back of the stairs on the ground floor”.

A lengthier description of the internal layout and furnishings, etc can be found in Essex Historical Biographical and Pictorial published in 1914

e wood panelled hall, taken in 1914. From English Heritage website

This section of carved panelling ca 1775 was salvaged from the site of Dagnams, in August 1950 by Mr K.H. Arnold of Romford who was then foreman bricklayer for W & C French, one of the contractors engaged in building the Harold Hill Estate. It was donated to Havering Museum by Patrick Arnold, September 2011. (The images are two aspects of the same section) Thanks to Jo Gregory for supplying these two images.

We are grateful to Granpic for sharing the photographs below and for supplying the descriptive text. These roundels were removed from Dagnams at the time of demolition in 1950. Their whereabouts between 1950 and 1970 is uncertain. The three roundels below can be seen at the very bottom of the east window in the fourth picture of the set. You can also view the St Thomas's, Noak Hill stained glass here.

The Neave's once held a notable stained glass collection. Much was sold off between the wars. See a new york catalogue here


East window, Nowton

Roundels at St Peter's church, Nowton, Suffolk.

Nowton is a small Suffolk hamlet with a church full of stained glass treasures. There are 84 roundels in all, mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries , which were collected by a Colonel Rushbrooke in the early 19th century and sold to local landowner Orbell Ray Oakes who installed them in St Peter's in 1820. In the 1970s three further roundels were added to the East window by glassmaker Dennis King of Norwich. These have a different history, for they came from Dagnam Park after the mansion was demolished. They appear to be part of a series which shows the progression of the Easter story from Gethsemane to Golgotha and are remarkably similar in style and colouring to the lights covering different episodes of the same story in the glass at St Thomas's, Noak Hill. The Nowton roundels were described by William Cole in, 'A description of the Netherlandish glass in the church of St Peter, Nowton', published in 'Crown & Glory' ( Editor Peter Moore). Norwich. 1982. Cole identified all three of the roundels pictured as 17th century Flemish work. The first roundel shows the disrobing of Christ below a courtyard arch, while the Virgin and Child can be glimsped through a second arch on the left. The second roundel ( placed out of sequence in the Nowton window) is a dramatic depiction of the Betrayal of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, with Judas delivering the traitor's kiss and Peter striking Malchus with his sword in the right foreground. Cole mentions that there is a very similar illustration in the Bijloke Museum ( now the Archeological Museum) in an old Cistercian abbey in Ghent. The third roundel shows the Nailing of Christ to the Cross, again set in a courtyard and again there is a scene within a scene, as St Sebastian and his martyrdom by arrows is shown beneath an arch on the left.

Beech Wood stool, the stool is one of a pair from the Neave Collection at Dagenham Park [sic] Essex. The pair to it is at Temple Newsam House, Leeds.

The design of the stool closely follows that of a marble seat in an unspecified location in Rome. Here the stool is made from beech wood, painted in white and grey to simulate the appearance of marble. Beech wood would have been much easier and less costly to carve than marble, and resulted in a more flexible seat which weighed less and could be moved around without difficulty.


Photograph and Text from the Tate Gallery Website


Peter Adam's researches have discovered these paintings from a Christie's auction sold on an Old Masters Day Sale in London| on the 9th December 2016. He also located The Times cutting with a distressing tale of woe for the seller and one of pure joy for the buyer.

This small painting may have once hung in Dagnams.

LOT 116 Circle of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) Head studies Price realised GBP 110,000 Estimate GBP 40,000 - GBP 60,000 Oil on panel 18 3/8 x 29 ½ in. (46.7 x 75 cm.) Provenance (Probably) Sir Thomas L. H. Neave, 5th Baronet (1874-1940), Dagnam Park, Essex, and by inheritance to, Captain Kenelm Digby Neave, Saunders Farm, Kent, in 1940, and by descent to the present owner.

This one may also have shared wall space

LOT 122 Circle of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) Portrait of a gentleman, half-length, in a black velvet cloak and white lace collar and cuffs Price realised GBP 137,000 Estimate GBP 15,000 - GBP 20,000. Oil on canvas 39 ¾ x 29 ¼ in. (101 x 74.3 cm.) Provenance (Probably) Acquired by Sir Richard Neave, 1st Bt. (1731-1814), or his son, Sir Thomas Neave, 2nd Bt. (1761-1848), Dagnam Park, Essex, and by decent to the present owner.

Following the sale The Times of May 16, 2018 reported that. "Christie’s sold £10m Rembrandt for £137,000. The painting sold as “portrait of a gentleman” was consistent with known works by the Old Master The painting sold as “portrait of a gentleman” was consistent with known works by the Old Master A painting sold by Christie’s 18 months ago as an unremarkable “portrait of a gentleman” by an unknown follower of Rembrandt has been authenticated as the work of the master. The auction house estimated that the portrait was worth £20,000, but the attribution means that it is now likely to be worth about £10 million. It is the first newly identified Rembrandt in almost 50 years. Dealers’ suspicions that it could be a Rembrandt resulted in a sale price of £137,000, but the attribution was uncertain until it was authenticated this week by the scholar Ernst van de Wetering. The former head of the Rembrandt Research Project and author of the definitive catalogue of the artist’s works described it as “one of Rembrandt’s most masterly"


The eleven roundels below were declared to be part of the stained glass collection maintained at Dagnams. They have been in the possession of the Neave family up until the present day (2016) They are currently being reviewed by Sam Fogg Ltd the London art specialists prior to going to auction. Thanks to Mathew Reeves of Sam Fogg for passing them on and to Sam Fogg Ltd for allowing us to reproduce them. Download the comprehensive auction catalogue Here


The magnificent stained glass window below can still be seen at  St Mary The Virgin's Church, in Prittlewell. (

Essex Churches, the site from whence this image came inscibe the image thus " This ancient stained glass is erected to the Glory of GOD in memory of Sir Arundell Neave, Baronet who died September 21st 1877, by his widow The Honourable Gwyn Gertrude "

See the church site for yourself and our thanks to and more importanly to the Honourable Gertie.

Without  the "Essex Churches" web site and this woman's dedication to her husband's memory you may never have seen this image.

There is an article on the Neave's glass at This item details some of the glass from their collection at their Anglesey mansion


The 12 panels from the Prittlewell window above have been photographed by Granpic and annotated by her below. We are grateful to her for permission to reproduce them here.

The Sacrifice on Mount Carmel
Elijah sacrifices the ox on Mount Carmel and prays to God to set it alight, after the followers of Baal have failed to persuade their own gods to light their sacrificial offering. "Hear me O Lord hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench". Kings Book I ( also known as Book III at the time the glass was made). Chapter XVIII.

Tree of Jesse
Jesse sleeps, soothed perhaps by the sound of King David's harp on the right. The customary Tree of Jesse, so common in medieval manuscripts, painting and stained glass, is shown behind him. "And their shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him". Isaiah Chapter XI.

Elisha Revives The Widow's Son
"And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead and laid upon his bed ..... And he went up and lay upon the child and put his mouth upon his mouth and his eyes upon his eyes and his hands upon his hands ; and he stretched himself upon the child and the flesh of the child waxed warm". Kings II Chapter IV.

Virgin & Child
Although this is clearly glass of continental origin and almost certainly from the 16th century, this particular panel in the East window of the Jesus chapel of St Mary's church, Prittlewell, Essex, does not fit the pattern of the other tableaux, which are known to date from the early 16th century and are considered to be of Flemish origin and were purchased purchased by the local Neave family along with much other glass that had been rescued from the Revolutionary fervour in late 18th century France which destroyed so much glass.

Christ brought before Caiaphas
"Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest". John Chapter XVIII.
Christ is brought before Caiaphas in this panel from the East window of the Jesus chapel of St Mary's church, Prittlewell, Essex. One of a series depicting the Life of Christ , now scattered in many places , though several in this particular series do belong to the Neave collection, as does this one.
Compare the illustration from St Thomas, Noak Hill, which shows the Agony in the Garden, with Christ in identical garments and with the same 'piecrust' nimbus as the illustration at Prittlewell. Both came from the Neave collection.
And compare the soldiers in this Old Testament illustration
also from the Neave collectiion and now in St Thomas's church, Noak Hill, Essex. Or, again, in this panel at Nowton in Suffolk.


The Crown of Thorns
Christ is led away to Crucifixion in this panel from the early 16th century glass of the East window of the Jesus chapel in St Mary's church, Prittlewell, Essex."And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe ...... Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him away". St John Chapter XIX.

Behold the Lamb of God
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me ; for he was before me". St John Chapter I.

Fish and honey
"And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish and of an honeycomb. And he took it and did eat before them." St Luke Chapter XXIV.

The Temptation
"And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written that Man shall not live through bread alone but by every word of God" St Luke. Chapter IV.
The devil tempts Christ in this scene, though, hardly set in the traditional scene of wilderness or desert. See the landscape near the Monastery of the Temptation
This illustration appears to be set in the contemporary continental Europe, of the artist, in front of a castle ( Nuremberg?)

Rebuilding Jerusalem

"They which builded on the wall and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work and with the other hand held a weapon". Nehemiah Chapter IV. Though this seems to be a more peaceful building project with an angel to watch over them and not a weapon in sight.

Death of David. Coronation of Solomon
"The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule and bring him down to Gihon. And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel : and blow ye with the trumpet and say God save King Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne ; for he shall be king in my stead : and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah." Kings Book I, Chapter I ( confusingly described in the St James bible as ,' commonly known as the third book of Kings', as it is also described in the lettering below the illustration).

The burning fiery furnace
"And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished and rose up in haste, and spake and said unto his counsellors. Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True O King. He answered and said , Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt ; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came forth of the midst of the fire. Daniel Chapter III.