Gainsborough Old Hall, still as it was in Tudor times

This is yet another location that is relatively unknown, despite the fact that it played a significant role in history, particularly during the Tudor period and for some time afterward.

The walls of Gainsborough Old Hall each contain a room with its own history, which can be explored by visitors. From the earliest days of the city to the time when it served as a retreat, the site is now managed by English Heritage and is located in Lincolnshire. The Hall is more than 500 years old and is recognised as one of England’s most well-preserved examples of a mediaeval manor house.

The Old Hall hasn’t undergone much of a transformation in terms of its architecture over the years. The majority of the structure is made up of half-timbering, which is what gives it its recognisable “striped” appearance. A brick watchtower can be found on the northeast corner.

Around the year 1400, Thomas Burgh displayed his wealth, power, and status by constructing an impressive English manor house. Sir Thomas was a very generous benefactor to the Church of Newark. He also established Chantry and Alms House in Gainsborough, which are both still in operation today. In the year 1484, Sir Thomas hosted King Richard III in the hall of his manor.

Edward Burgh, 2nd Baron Burgh, son of Sir Thomas Burgh and a member of the Burgh family, was confined to the Old Hall in 1510 after he was deemed to be insane. In 1529, Sir Thomas inherited the family property, and the following year, he wed Catherine Parr, who would later become Henry VIII’s queen consort.

King Henry VIII travelled to Gainsborough on two separate occasions: the first time was in 1509, and the second time was in 1541 with the imprisoned Queen Catherine Howard. At both Gainsborough and Lincoln, the queen was put to death after being accused of engaging in inappropriate behaviour. Henry Tudor took Catherine Parr, who was already a widow at the time, as his sixth wife.

This property, a mansion that dates back to the 12th century, was sold to William Hickman in 1596 after Thomas, the fifth Lord Burgh of Hall, passed away without any heirs. Mr. Hickman, a merchant in London, was responsible for making a number of significant alterations to the east wing of Hall.

Sir Neville Hickman was the one who extended the invitation for John Wesley to preach in the Great Hall on multiple occasions in the years 1759, 1761, and 1764.

In the year 1720, a new house was constructed on the outskirts of Thonock, and this resulted in the Old Hall becoming vacant. It was put to a number of different uses while it was in the possession of the family.

Both the hall and the kitchen, which is possibly the most intact medieval kitchen in England, have survived to the present day. The kitchen has kept many of its original characteristics, such as its two open fireplaces, each of which is big enough to roast an ox, and its two bread ovens, which are served by a third fireplace. You can also take the 59 steps up the tower to reach the top of the tower, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of the Lincolnshire countryside.

It is practically located between Sheffield and Grimsby and to the north of Lincoln, so although it is a little off the beaten path, you shouldn’t forget to visit if you happen to be in this area.


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