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Rushton Triangular Lodge

A three-sided, three-storied building, with each side thirty-three feet long with three gables on each wall, topped with a three-faced chimney. What is the place about?

Throw into the puzzle TREfoils and the name of the builder, Sir Thomas TREsham and we’re presented with one of the (literally) oddest buildings in England.

On the face of it this building was created in the 1590s (1594-96), to be the home for the keeper of a rabbit warren, by Sir Thomas Tresham.

But its unique design was intended to send a clear message to anyone who could ‘read’ it and the message was one of devotion to the persecuted Roman Catholic Church.

The lodge signifies the mystery of the Christian Holy Trinity - God, who is the Father, the Son (who was made man as Jesus) and the Holy Ghost, which Tresham wanted to use to declare his allegiance to Roman Catholicism. It can also be seen as a play on his name Tresham (‘I am three’).

You don’t have to subscribe to any belief to enjoy the extraordinary lengths Sir Thomas went to in creating an homage to the number three. The three Latin inscriptions that form a frieze along the top of the second story are from the bible and each contain 33 letters. The roof gables are triangular and the three rows of three windows on each side of the building contain trefoil shapes (a three-lobed design similar to the clover leaf).

Although Sir Thomas was a supporter of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I his refusal to attend Anglican services in church resulted in his becoming a target for financial penalties, imprisonment and being viewed with suspicion by those who supported the ‘new Protestant faith’ in England.

This was his response in stone.

There are still unsolved mysteries connected to the Lodge, including the number 5555 above the door. Is it a date or a code relating to five letter words?

Its rural setting off the Corby to Kettering road makes it a tranquil place to visit and contemplate the Hidden messages of this English Heritage site.

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