The story of a Victorian vicar on a bike and a fashion guru in the Swinging Sixties is on public show at the historic Grade II-listed Rainham Hall for the next 18 months.  

Tales and old snapshots are being displayed at the National Trust property until the end of 2024 which include tenants like The Rev Nicholas Brady and a century later Vogue photographer Anthony Denney in the 1960s.

Brady was Vicar of Wennington parish in the 19th century who loved early ‘cycling machines’.

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He was an amateur geologist who helped unearth prehistoric mammal remains found in Ilford brick pits, then got involved in the campaign to stop the Epping Forest enclosures which led to the founding of the National Trust.

Victorian artefacts on loan from Brady's church in nearby Wennington village are being displayed in Rainham Hall’s Layers of History exhibition going back 300 years to when the place was built by sea captain John Harle in 1729.

The hall became a day nursery during the Second World War to help working mothers support the war effort.

The trust, founded in 1895 to protect the nation’s heritage, looks after 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coast and 500 historic properties like Rainham Hall which it opened to the public in 2015.