17 September 2019

A Day Out

Gainsborough Old Hall

Today a couple of my coffee morning pals whisked me off to Gainsborough, with the intent purpose of visiting the Old Hall, the last remaining medieval building in an unremarkable town.  This huge, imposing manor house sits incongruously in the middle of a residential area.

the grand hall
My friends insisted on having an audio guided tour which actually worked very well after I finally managed to figure out how to operate the gadget and turn the volume to high.  Unfortunately the battery ran out half way round.

It is an impressive medieval manor house built by Thomas Burgh in 1455. It had two royal visits, Richard III  in 1483 and Henry VIII, together with his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, in 1541. Gifted to the nation in 1970 the hall is now owned by English Heritage and the local district council.  Some of the props and costumes looked a bit cheap and amateurish, it would have been nice to see some furnishings that looked a bit more authentic.  But the medieval architecture was stunning.

medieval kitchen
So many old buildings have ghost stories attached to them and Gainsborough Old Hall is no exception.

Local legend says the Grey Lady is thought to be the daughter of the Lord of the Manor who fell in love with a poor soldier and planned to elope with him. Her father discovered the plan, locked her away in the tower where she died from a broken heart. Supposedly the girl’s spirit still wanders the tower and the corridor endlessly waiting for her lover to arrive.

I didn’t see the Grey Lady but the stuffed wild boar in the kitchen was a bit disturbing.





12 comments:

  1. Looks like some old places around here. Local councils never seem to quite know what to do with them. Nice building though. Brave of you to go out with village friends.

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    1. It's been used as a cinema and a linen factory in the past.

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  2. My father was born in Gainsborough but I agree with you it is quite an unremarkable place apart from this building.

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    1. I was amused to see that Gainsborough was named as capital of the country, and also Denmark, for five weeks in 1013. It has quite a history.

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  3. What an amazing house. I love that kitchen.

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  4. The coffee morning lasses must be fond of you. What a nice day out. I have visited Gainsborough several times and in spite of the worthy artist of that name - I agree with you that it is an unremarkable town.

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  5. Beautiful building and love the kitchen too. Looking at photos of your new one - aren't you glad we've advanced a little bit? I know I am !

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  6. That sure is an awesome looking place!

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    1. A genuine piece of medieval England still standing.

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