Tattershall College Grammar School


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013525

Date first listed: 13-Feb-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Tattershall College Grammar School
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Tattershall

National Grid Reference: TF 21296 57848


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

A medieval college was an establishment of clergy sharing a degree of common life less strictly controlled than that prescribed by a monastic rule. In the late 12th and 13th centuries some bishops set up `secular' chapters of this type as an alternative to the structure of contemporary monastic houses; some barons followed suit by setting up colleges at their castles. After 1300 chantry colleges became more common. These were establishments of priests whose prime concern was to offer masses for the souls of the patron and their family, and sometimes housed bedesmen (deserving poor and elderly). Most colleges provided educational facilities in the form of grammar schools, which offered a general education to both choristers and lay pupils; at some colleges the educational function came to dominate over other activities. Collegiate schools formed part of a tradition of medieval grammar schools which included some monastic and many secular foundations; schoolmasters drawn from both the clergy and the laity might teach in both collegiate and secular schools, and appointments to the latter were frequently made by collegiate bodies. While most colleges were closed down under the Chantries Act of 1547, the schools attached to them were often refounded, many under royal patronage.

The collegiate grammar school at Tattershall represents a rare survival of a standing building of this type. Its continuation in use into the post-medieval period has ensured the survival of the fabric, in good condition, to nearly its original dimensions. Disturbance to buried deposits has been limited and archaeological remains relating to the construction and use of the building will therefore be preserved. Tattershall College was of considerable historical importance and was associated with well-known figures of the 15th and 16th century. As a guardianship monument open to the public it serves as a valuable recreational and educational resource.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the remains of a brick building believed to have been constructed in the mid 15th century as the grammar school of Tattershall College. The College of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1439 by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, and built following his death in 1454 in the area to the east of his castle at Tattershall. The grammar school was situated outside the college precincts and provided for the education of the choristers and of the sons of the tenants of both the college and Lord Cromwell. Its construction was completed by 1460 under the wardenship of John Gigur, who later helped to organise the building of a similar school at Wainfleet. The college was dissolved in 1545 but the school is thought to have continued for some time afterwards. By the late 18th century the building had been converted to form part of the Tattershall Brewery complex, a use which continued until the early 20th century. In 1972 it came into the guardianship of the Secretary of State and was subsequently restored to its original dimensions. The standing remains of The College are Listed Grade II*.

The monument is situated about 250m NNE of Holy Trinity Church upon which the college was centred. It lies on the south west side of a lane which runs south eastwards from the marketplace. The present building is rectangular in form with internal measurements of approximately 16m by 6.6m and is now unroofed. Three of the four walls stand to a height of over 6m and are constructed of 15th century brick and limestone ashlar dressings with later alterations; the fourth, south eastern, wall is a modern brick replacement and stands to a height of nearly 4m. In the post-medieval period the original two storeys were converted into three with the insertion of a cellar and the consequent raising of the upper floors. The present floor level of the building is approximately 0.8m below the exterior ground level, and is reached by a short flight of modern stone steps.

In both of the long walls are two rows of openings indicating the original two storeys of the 15th century building. At the northern end of the north eastern wall, which faces onto the lane, is a four-centred arched doorway; near the southern end is a small internally splayed window which formerly lit the original ground floor chamber. Between them is the site of a second small window, later enlarged to form a rectangular doorway to the inserted middle storey and now closed with modern brick. Above is a row of four openings representing the remains of the windows which formerly lit the main first floor chamber; the stone jambs of the northernmost window survive, and the edges of the sill which was broken through to create a door to the later top storey, from which an external staircase formerly led. Of the two southerly windows, formerly of similar dimensions to that at the north, the southernmost was later blocked with brick whilst the central window, originally larger than the other three, was reduced in size. At ground level are two rectangular openings, now blocked with brick, which were added when the cellar was created. At this time the ground floor doorway was partially blocked and a narrower doorway inserted, which now gives access to the interior.

In the south western wall are two original ground floor doorways, one in the northern corner opposite that in the north eastern wall and one near the centre. Both were later partially blocked, the former to create a smaller doorway and the latter to create an opening at cellar level; these openings are now blocked with modern brick. In each of the northern and southern parts of the wall is a small internally splayed window, of the same dimensions as that surviving in the opposite wall but externally blocked. Above are the remains of four first floor windows, opposite those in the north eastern wall; the large central window was, like the one opposite, reduced in size and a timber lintel inserted. In two of the three smaller windows the original stone jambs and sills are retained, including the bases of mullions which indicate that these windows were formerly of two lights. The two southerly windows were later blocked.

Set into the interior of both the north east and south west walls at first-floor level are the stubs of timber beams, now covered with lead. Inserted above the later cellar is another row of beam slots from which the later middle floor was supported. Below it, from the present ground level to a height of about 0.7m, the walls are covered by the remains of plaster which also date from the creation of the cellar. The north western wall of the building, which has been largely rebuilt, includes at its western end a modern rectangular doorway with a concrete lintel, now blocked. This wall is attached on its external face to an adjacent building which is not included in the scheduling.

All adjoining walls, fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 22687

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
A Topographical Account of Tattershall, in the County of Lincoln, (1813), 19
Curzon, , Tipping, , Tattershall Castle Lincs: A Historical and Descriptive Survey, (1929), 107-111
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Lincolnshire: Volume II, (1906), 237
Pickworth, M A, History of Tattershall, Lincolnshire, With its Collegiate Church, (1891), 28,46
LAO ref. CHAT 1/28-35, Inventory of Tattershall Brewery, (1901)
LAO ref. EX 31/7/48/6, Postcard of so-called college building, Tattershall, (1915)

End of official listing