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Haddington Hall and Gardens

Reference Name MLI83407

Haddington Hall and Gardens

Haddington Hall and gardens, including dovecote.


Haddington Hall stood to the south of Haddington settlement. It was occupied by the Nevile family in the 16th century. A dovecote survives, with about 450 to 500 stone nest boxes. There are some possible garden remains surviving as earthworks. {1}{2}{3}

It was noted that the dovecote is roofless, and the stonework is very weathered during a site visit in 1996. {4}

Hall Close is the site of Haddington Hall, an early 17th century manor house of the Nevile Family. The Hall and its formal gardens incorporated the remains of two earlier manor houses, West and East Hall, which were acquired by the Neviles in 1575 and 1604 respectively. After 1628, when the Neviles bought the manor at Aubourn and moved to Aubourn Hall, Haddington Hall was leased out until at least 1675. By the mid 18th century it appears to have fallen into disrepair. An estate map of 1850 shows that a number of buildings formerly part of the hall complex were still standing, including the dovecote, which was still in use at that time.
The dovecote is a stone structure 6 square metres in plan, now unroofed. The walls are constructed of roughly dressed limestone laid in courses, now standing to a height of 3.5m and resting on a foundation of large undressed limestone blocks. At a height of about 2m is a projecting string-course which served to deter vermin. In the east wall is a low doorway that gave access to the interior; a window-like opening in the north wall is a modern construction. The interior of the dovecote now contains about 450 to 500 nest boxes, also constructed of limestone, with square openings and projecting flight ledges. In the early 20th century the dovecote is thought to have had a tiled pyramidal roof with a louvered flight-hole at the apex.
The dovecote stands near the centre of a broad rectangular platform, about 100m by 70m, which extends along the south side of Dovecote Lane. Until the mid 20th century this area was occupied by a series of farm buildings and cottages believed to have originated as part of the Haddington Hall complex. It is bounded on the south by a ditch and later pond, and on the east by a sunken trackway extending southwards from Dovecote Lane. This trackway represents the central access to the complex. It leads to a second platform, about 80m by 70m, adjacent to the south of the first, on which is a series of substantial earthworks representing the buried remains of a rectangular building, about 60m long by 20m wide and aligned north to south, partly cut into by the later pond. A third enclosure adjacent to the east, also about 80m by 70m, includes further rectilinear building remains aligned east to west, together with a sunken yard. This series of earthworks is thought to represent Haddington Hall, which in 1658 was described as having a library, hall, kitchens, pantry, dairy, three chambers, a closet, brewhouse and stables. This suggests a much larger complex than that of the West Hall described 70 years earlier, which had a hall, parlour, kitchen, larder and pantry, a bakehouse and milkhouse at the rear. Haddington Hall and its service buildings may therefore represent a substantial rebuilding of the of the sites of both the East and West Hall, which are thought to have been located on the east and west sides of the trackway respectively. To the north of the sunken yard is a fourth enclosure, about 80 square metres, which completes the group of rectangular enclosures centred on the trackway. It is subdivided into smaller enclosures, thought to have been used for cultivation and paddocks; that immediately adjacent to the trackway includes traces of ridged cultivation, possibly of earlier date, while that to the west includes a pond of modern origin. The dovecote is the only building of the post-medieval settlement complex at Hall Close to remain above ground. {5}{6}

Site of a farmstead, Aubourn with Haddington. Demolished 19th century farmstead. Regular courtyard with multiple regular yards. The farmhouse was attached to a range of working buildings. Isolated location. {7}

1 Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. SK 96 SW: 4, BHS, 5/3/64
2 Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1964. Photographs of dovecote at Haddington. GP AO/64/369/2-3
3 Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. SK 96 SW: J, RWH, 27/5/76
4 Verbal communication: David Gregory. 1996. Information from David Gregory. -
5 Scheduling record: English Heritage. 25/09/2003. Hall Close; a medieval and post-medieval hall complex south of Dovecote Lane, Haddington. SAM 22771
6 Intervention Report: Field Archaeology Specialists. 2010. Haddington Dove Cote: Historic Building Investigation. HTV09
7 Digital archive: English Heritage. 2015. English Heritage Farmsteads Project. 4859

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Last updated: 12-December-2016 14:50:03

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