About the Old Hall

Welcome to Gainsborough Old Hall – one of the most impressive and best preserved medieval manor houses in England.

Regularly described as a “hidden gem in Lincolnshire” this exciting visitor attraction offers a variety of events and exhibitions and an award – winning schools’ education programme. Owned by English Heritage the Hall is operated by Lincolnshire County Council.*

Gainsborough Old Hall is a large, late- medieval manor house built by the noble Burgh family around 1460. The house boasts

  • an impressive Great Hall
  • original medieval kitchen
  • East and West ranges containing a myriad of rooms and a ghost corridor
  • an original brick built tower

Gainsborough Old Hall was not only the home of the Burgh family but also a demonstration of their wealth and importance. By 1596, however, the Burghs had fallen on hard times and the house was sold to the Hickman family. Although a number of "home improvements " have been made over the years it remains a “textbook of medieval architecture” (Simon Jenkins “England’s Thousand Best Homes”).

Famous visitors to the Old Hall inlcude Richard III, Henry VIII, John Wesley and the Mayflower Pilgrim.
Gainsborough Old Hall was given to the nation in 1970 by descendants of the Hickman family.

Opening Times

March to October 2019

Mon – Fri: 10am – 5pm
Sat and Sun: 11-am – 5pm

November to February 2020

Mon – Fri: 10am – 4pm
Sat and Sun 11am – 4pm

N.B. Please check our opening times here as opening times do vary.

The Old Hall’s History

Built in the 1460’s this impressive medieval building has a surpising history with connections to royalty and chocolate!


Royal Visitors

Gainsborough Old Hall’s famous royal visitors include none other than Richard III and Henry VIII accompanied by his fifth wife Katherine Howard.

William Hickman 1549-1625

Mayflower Pilgrims

Gainsborough Old Hall has a link to the Mayflower Pilgrims through the hall's owners William and Rose Hickman.

Gainsborough Old Hall Ghost

The Old Hall’s Ghost

The “Grey Lady” is the Old Hall’s most famous ghosts who walks the corridor of the Hall’s East Range and the Tower. Will you be lucky enough to see her when you visit?


Our Partners

The Old Hall could not exist without its external partners and funders. We are grateful to receive support from organisations who have provide us with advice, funding and resources.

Mechanised packing

Interesting Facts

The Old Hall has links to the production of linen, cars and boxes of chocolate...