​[40] The Great Hall seems ready for a banquet. In the early seventeenth century, Sir William Hickman lived in the manor. He supported the Separatists from Gainsborough and allowed them to meet in his house. John Smyth, who led the dissenters into exile at Amsterdam in 1607-1608, probably preached to them in this hall. Some of his followers returned to England as early Baptists. Later members of the Hickman family supported Methodist preaching here, too.

41] Just off the great hall is the lovely bay window alcove with its carved lion. The vaulting pendant is a detail that helps date this work at ca. 1500.

While visiting the sites in Gainsborough why not break of for some well deserved retail therapy at Marshall's Yard.With 32 fantastic stores, an Italian restaurant, coffee shop, health club and landscaped plaza, there's something at Marshall's Yard for everyone! Whether you want to shop until you drop, enjoy a leisurely meal or simply sit and watch the world go by, Marshall's Yard is the place to be. Parking is 50p for up to 2 hours and just £1 for up to four hours, to be paid on arrival at the centre.

[37] Gainsborough Old Hall, built by Sir Thomas Burgh ca. 1460-1480, is one of England’s best-preserved late medieval manor houses. The combination of half-timbered construction with some walls of brick indicates what Scrooby Manor once looked like. The cupola louvre on the roof at the far right of the picture is in fact the smoke hole of the great kitchen. The stone bay window is thought to have been moved here from a nearby abbey after King Henry VIII suppressed England’s monasteries in 1538-1541.

38] The front entrance of Gainsborough Old Hall is a courtyard with a small formal garden like those of Pilgrim times.


39] East Range.

​42, 43] The kitchen at Gainsborough rings and crackles with the sounds of cutlery and great fires, as the smells of banquets in preparation fill the air – at least in the imagination. [44] Smoke escaped from the louvres of the cupola high up in the peak of the timber-framed roof. A similar smoke hole must have been a feature of the great hall, too, where a hearth in the centre of the floor had no chimney.

​[48] Through the leaded panes of an upper hallway window we look down at the herb garden.

[45] Several rooms are furnished with (replica) medieval furniture that visiting children can use and explore. Some of the chests hold clothing to try on.[46]. [47] Gainsborough Old Hall has an extensive collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century furniture that rivals any. Visitors familiar with the furniture of Plymouth Colony will recognize some of the types that the colonists reproduced in their attempts to establish a new England in New England.

​Tour continues.


​[36] Gainsborough Old Hall is guarded by an alert and fierce lion that calls to mind C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books.