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Halstead Hall and its associated moated site near Stixwould

Reference Name MLI40033

Halstead Hall and its associated moated site near Stixwould

Halstead Hall, near Stixwould, dates to the fifteenth century and has an associated moat.


PRN 40033
Mid 15th century hall built of bricks similar in type to those of Tattershall Castle and the Tower on the Moor. Outside the moat is a barn of similar material. The hall was probably built by the Welby family. Halstead is mentioned by Richard Welby in 1465 in his will. {1}{2}{3}
The north-west gable has a 16th century mullioned and transomed window. Most of the other windows are 19th century additions. {4}{5}
A small country house dating from the 16th century which was restored in 1852, 1922 and 1966. It was constructed of red brick in English bond with ashlar dressings and has plain tiled roofs, raised stone coped gables with kneelers and finials and one brick coped gable. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.{6}
The scheduled monument includes the remains of a medieval moated site at Halstead Hall. A series of earthworks defines a sub-rectangular moat up to 10m in width and a maximum of 2.5m in depth. Excavations in 1980-84 recovered material suggesting a date of about 1290 for the initial phase of moat construction. The earliest documentary reference to the site is a deed witnessed by Lord Theobald of Halstead in 1281. The hall itself is believed to have been built by a member of the Welby family, a reference to the property being made in the will of Richard Welby dated to 1465. The interior of the moated site is occupied by the present Halstead Hall, a grade I listed building which is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included. Dated externally to the late 15th or early 16th century, this building is thought to represent the sole surviving wing of a much more extensive structure originally covering much of the island. Part excavation has revealed that an earlier building within the moat was probably of the three-sided courtyard type. {7}
Tree ring analysis was carried out on samples from oak timbers from within Hallstead Hall, 5 from the roof and 2 from ground and first floor ceilings. The two ceiling samples had a felling date between 1546-71 whereas the roof timbers were later, felled in 1736, indicating that the roof was repaired or replaced in the 18th century. {8}
Thermoluminescence dating of brick from the hall has provided a dates of 1555 +/- 11 years and 1555 +/- 27 years with a 68% level of confidence. {9}
The architectural style of the house is mid to late 16th century which accords with the dendrochronology and thermoluminescence dating. The medieval internal doorway may have come from Stixwould priory after the Dissolution, it does appear to be built in with the original fabric. The window style is late 16th to 17th century and the diaper brickwork in blue headers, seen in the rear wall, can be seen nationally in early brick buildings from the late 14th century, through to the 17th century, and is difficult to date diagnostically. It often appears haphazardly as at Hussey Tower in Boston (c.1500) or Gainsborough Old Hall in the solar tower (c.1460), as well as Tattershall (c.1434) and Wainfleet (1484); in the 16th century it is found at Layer Marney in Essex and well known at Hampton Court. In Lincolnshire it is seen at Doddington and on the ruins at Old Sturton Hall which seems to have the remains of an architectural style not dissimilar to Stixwould. Here it is being suggested that the remains are of a U-plan - as originally at Gainsborough - and it may be that the original at Halstead was also U-shaped with a hall range in the centre and two flanking wings. These wings would either be a service wing and solar wing or a lodgings range and solar (with services between the lodgings and the main range, as is often found (see for example South Wingfield, a stone courtyard house built by Ralph Cromwell shortly before he built the brick buildings at Tattershall). Curiously Little Sturton also has links to Stixwould in that Robert Dighton who owned and built it acquired the remains of Stixwould priory shortly after the Dissolution. {10}

Halstead Hall Farm (Halstead Hall), Stixwould and Woodhall. Partially extant 19th century farmstead. Regular courtyard of U plan. The farmhouse is detached from the main working complex. There has been a partial loss (less than 50%) of traditional buildings. Located within a Church and/or Manor farm group. Large modern sheds are located on the site. {11}

01 Map: OS. 1956. OS 6 INCH SERIES. TF 26 NE
03 Bibliographic reference: TIPPING, H.A.. ENGLISH HOMES, 1066 TO 1558. VOL2, PXXXI
05 Photograph: OS. 1964. OS. AO:64:65:1; AO 64:48:8,1964
06 Index: Department of the Environment. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 6/40
07 Scheduling record: ENGLISH HERITAGE. 1998. SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 30214. MPP 22
08 Unpublished document: Howard, R.E.. 2006. Tree Ring Analysis of Timbers from Halstead Hall, Stixwould. -
09 Unpublished document: University of Durham. 2006. Luminescence dating report on brick from Halstead Hall, Stixwould. -
10 Verbal communication: Beryl Lott. 2008. Information from Dr Beryl Lott. -
11 Digital archive: English Heritage. 2015. English Heritage Farmsteads Project. 5910

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Last updated: 12-December-2016 14:48:56

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