A country house of C17 origins set within a park laid out in the mid to late C18 by Lancelot Brown and William Emes.
The Heneage family came to Hainton in the C12 when Sir Robert de Heneage is known to have lived there. His descendants added considerably to the family wealth and land holdings and by the C16 held positions of some power, Sir Thomas Heneage being Privy Councillor and Vice Chamberlain to Elizabeth I. Hainton descended to another branch of the family however when it was passed on to John Heneage in 1557. In 1638 his descendant, Sir George Heneage II completed the rebuilding of the house with a central Great Hall and two flanking wings; the south front still carries a cartouche dated 1638. In 1735 Sir George Heneage VI returned from a Grand Tour and embarked on a remodelling of the house in the Georgian style. Sir George VI was succeeded by George Fieschi Heneage who, in 1763, commissioned Lancelot Brown (1716-83) to landscape the park. Part of Brown's proposals were carried out although in 1780, William Emes (1730-1803) was brought in by Sir George Heneage VII to propose a position for a new lake, Brown's suggestion having proved impracticable. Sir George VII continued to make improvements and in c 1809 he employed the architect Peter Atkinson to update the Hall by rebuilding the west wing and adding a new entrance on this front to replace that on the south front. Atkinson is also thought to have built the stable courtyard and archway beyond the east front. In 1833 George Heneage VIII succeeded his father and he employed E J Willson to help him make changes to the estate, adding a lodge, a small Catholic chapel, and a stable block between 1834 and 1836. Willson also turned his attention to the gardens, making changes to the icehouse, glasshouses, and other garden buildings. George VIII died in 1864 to be succeeded by his son Edward (later Lord) Heneage, who in the 1880s began further improvements to the Hall under the direction of the architect William Burn. Burn added a porch, an extension to the east wing, and replaced Willson's east lodge. On Whit Sunday 1919 a fire destroyed the east wing, which was rebuilt by Lord Heneage in two rather than the original four storeys. Lord Heneage died in 1922 and in 1924 a further fire occurred causing more damage to the Hall. When the second Lord Heneage died in 1954 the estate passed to the nine-year-old James Neil Heneage from another branch of the family. During his minority the trustees demolished the east wing in 1956 and removed the top storey of the central block. When James Heneage came of age and inherited the estate he commissioned the architect W H Hemmings to rebalance the external appearance of the Hall, the work being completed in 1975. Further additions were made in 1985 to designs by Charles Morris. The site remains (2001) in private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Hainton Hall is situated c 30km to the north-east of Lincoln in a rural part of the Lincolnshire Wolds, to the north-west of the A157 Lincoln to Louth road. The c 72ha site is bounded to the north-east by Hainton estate village and to the north-west by a minor country road, to the south-west by farmland, and to the east and south-east by the A157. The ground falls very gently to the south and west, giving westerly views out across the Wolds.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance to Hainton Hall is from the east. A late C19 rubble and slate gothic lodge (William Burn, listed grade II) stands by a bend in the A157 beside gates flanked by a wall topped with railings (all listed grade II). The drive runs west through a cutting between grassed banks planted with mature trees to arrive at the south front. It continues round to the west entrance front below which lies a gravelled court. From the C19 until the middle of the C20 a second lodge stood on the southern tip of the site, linked to the Hall by a serpentine drive through the open park up to the south and west fronts. The lodge was demolished in 1959 and the drive is no longer in use.
Hainton Hall (listed grade I) is a large country house of C17 origins. The irregular-shaped building is constructed of red brick, coursed limestone rubble, and yellow limestone, mainly in two storeys under hipped slate roofs. The main entrance front to the west has seven bays and a large rectangular porch flanked by Ionic columns. On the north side of the north courtyard stands a rendered brick gateway (listed grade II) which was added in the early C19. The present house retains elements of each of its phases of development: the central core from 1638, with later alterations in 1737, c 1809 by Peter Atkinson, 1875 by William Burn, 1975 by James Hemmings, and 1985 by Charles Morris.
The stable block (listed grade II) stands c 80m to the east of the Hall and consists of two courtyards. That to the south retains only the two-storey east range, of colour-washed render under a low hipped slate roof, and the west range which survives (2001) as the gateway and flanking screen walls into the stable block. These have been attributed to Peter Atkinson and date from c 1809. On the north side of these ranges stands a second enclosed stable court, added in the mid C19 and constructed of red brick and tile.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The south front of Hainton Hall looks onto an open lawn, flanked to east and west by mature trees and mixed shrubs including cedars and Irish yews. The lawn is bounded to the south by a ha-ha, beyond which lies a small cricket field, divided from the park by a fence. A walk leads through the trees on the east side of the lawn towards the walled garden and the Catholic chapel (listed grade II), constructed here in 1836 by E J Willson for George Heneage VIII. Between the back of the chapel and the walled garden is a small, late C20 formal rose garden, enclosed by yew hedges.
From the west front the gravelled entrance court gives onto another lawn, divided from rougher grass by a curved ha-ha ditch. At the western end of the rough lawn, c 200m from the Hall stands the Canal Pond, designed by William Emes in the late C18 (Leach 1991), which forms the division with the parkland beyond. Both the south and west lawns appear little changed since the late C18 (Armstrong, 1779).
To the north and north-west of the Hall, running along the boundary of the park, is a pleasure-ground woodland known as The Wilderness. Mixed conifers and broadleaves are planted with an understorey of shrubs such as holly and yew, some arranged in groups close to the Hall; these may mark the positions of earlier features. From cartographic evidence, The Wilderness also appears to date from the late C18 and was certainly extant by 1837 (Tithe map).
The park at Hainton lies to the west and south of the Hall. It is entirely enclosed by boundary plantations and is retained under grass. There is a good scattering of parkland planting of mixed ages, ranging from veteran trees to the very newly planted. An early C19 icehouse (listed grade II) with broad wing walls stands on the edge of the open parkland c 300m to the south-east of the Hall. The disposition of the present park bears a close relationship to a mid C18 sketch, probably in Lancelot Brown's hand (Stroud 1984), which shows a scheme of peripheral trees round the grassy centre of the park; subsequent maps suggest the arrangement has altered little since that time.
The walled kitchen garden stands c 150m to the east of the Hall, on the south side of the main drive. It is divided into three compartments, with two small working areas to the west and north of the main open garden. This is laid to grass with a small area retained for fruit and vegetable production. Some C19 glass remains on the south side of the north wall. On the north side of the same wall is a range of storage buildings all along the length of the garden. The kitchen garden first appears on maps of the park at the beginning of the C19 (Tithe map, 1837) although it is possible that it was constructed here in the mid C18 when the park was first laid out.
N Pevsner and J Harris, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (2nd edn 1989), p 357
H Thorold and J Yates, Lincolnshire A Shell Guide (1965), p 72
D Stroud, Capability Brown (1984), p 227
T R Leach, Lincolnshire Country Houses and their Families II, (1991), pp 167-79
H Thorold, Lincolnshire Houses (1999), pp 59?60
Capt A Armstrong, Map of the County of Lincolnshire, 1779 (Lincolnshire Archives)
Tithe map for Hainton parish, 1837 (3 HEN 3/26), (Lincolnshire Archives)
J R Rose, Map of the park at Hainton Hall, 1938 (3 HEN 3/37), (Lincolnshire Archives)
OS 1" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1824
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1891
2nd edition published 1907
Description written: November 2001
Amended: March 2002
Register Inspector: EMP
Edited: May 2002