Site of Jacobean manor house and gardens immediately west and south of St Maurice's Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017552
Date first listed: 18-Jun-1965
Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SE 98608 18161, SE 98739 18075
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
Country houses of the late Tudor and early Jacobean period comprise a
distinctive group of buildings which differ in form, function, design and
architectural style from country houses of both earlier and later date. Built
after the dissolution of the monasteries they are the product of a particular
historical period in which a newly-emerged Protestant elite of lawyers,
courtiers, diplomats and other officials, mostly with close contacts at court,
competed with each other to demonstrate wealth, taste and loyalty to the
sovereign, often overstretching themselves financially. Their houses are a
development of the medieval hall with flanking wings and a gatehouse, often
looking inwards onto a courtyard; later examples tend to be built outwards,
typically on a U- or H-plan. The hall was transformed from a reception area to
an entrance vestibule and the long gallery and loggia were introduced. Many
houses were provided with state apartments and extensive lodgings for the
accommodation of royal visitors and their retinues.
Country houses of this period were normally constructed under the supervision
of one master-mason or a succession of masons, often combining a number of
designs drawn up by the master-mason, surveyor or by the employer himself.
Many designs and stylistic details were copied from Continental pattern-books,
particularly those published in the 1560s on French, Italian and Flemish
models; further architectural ideas were later spread by the use of foreign
craftsmen. Symmetry in both plan and elevation was an overriding principle,
often carried to extremes in the Elizabethan architectural `devices' in which
geometric forms were employed to express religious and philosophical ideas.
Elements of Classical architecture were drawn on individually rather than
applied strictly in unified orders. This complex network of influences
resulted in liberal and idiosyncratic combinations of architectural styles
which contrasted with the adoption of the architecture of the Italian
Renaissance, and with it the role of the architect, later in the 17th century.
About 5000 country houses are known to have been standing in 1675; of these
about 1000 are thought to survive, although most have been extensively altered
or rebuilt in subsequent centuries to meet new demands and tastes. Houses
which are uninhabited, and have thus been altered to a lesser degree, are much
rarer. Surviving country houses of the late Tudor and early Jacobean period
stand as an irreplaceable record of an architectural development which was
unique both to England and to a particular period in English history
characterised by a flourishing of artistic invention; they provide an insight
into politics, patronage and economics in the early post-medieval period. All
examples with significant surviving archaeological remains are considered to
be of national importance.
Many early houses had gardens associated with them. The creation of gardens has an early history in England, the earliest examples known being associated with Roman villas. During the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods, herb gardens were planted, particularly in monasteries where the herbs were used for medicinal purposes. However, the major development in gardening took place in the late medieval and early post-medieval periods when the idea of the garden as a pleasure ground' developed. Early gardens take a variety of forms. Some involved significant water-management works to create elaborate water-gardens which could include a series of ponds and even ornamental canal systems. At other sites flower gardens were favoured, with planting in elaborately shaped and often geometrically laid out beds. Planting arrangements were often complemented with urns, statues and other garden furniture. Such sites were often provided with raised walkways or prospect mounds to provide vantage points from which the garden layout could be seen and fully appreciated. Whilst gardens were probably a common accompaniment to high status houses of the late medieval to early post-medieval period, continued occupation and subsequent remodelling of gardens in response to changing fashions means that early garden designs rarely survive undisturbed. Gardens provide a valuable insight into contemporary aesthetics and views about how the landscape could be modified to enhance the surroundings. Their design often mirrors elements of the design of the associated house, particularly following the symmetry of the buildings. In view of their rarity, great variety of form, and importance for understanding high status houses and their occupants, all surviving examples of an early date will be identified to be of national importance. Horkstow garden earthworks are particularly well preserved and retain a wide range of elements typical of high status early post-medieval gardens. Their importance is heightened by the survival of a 1761 plan of the gardens, aiding the interpretation of the earthworks without recourse to archaeological excavation.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument, within two areas divided by the Horkstow Road, includes the
earthwork remains of a Jacobean manor house and surrounding formal gardens to
the west and south of St Maurice's Church. It is sited towards the foot of the
west facing scarp of the Wolds.
The manor house was built between 1607 and 1620 for Sir Thomas Darrell and was
the predecessor of the mid-Georgian Horkstow Hall which is sited some 900m to
the north. A plan by John Lund dated 1761 shows the layout of the gardens and
the outline of the buildings, but it is believed that the old hall was
demolished by 1772 when part of it was sold to a Mr Bennett. The tithe award
map of 1840 names the enclosure which formed the gardens immediately around
the hall site as Top Crow Garth, and shows no indications of the former
To the west of the road is the site of the Jacobean manor itself. When
the house was demolished most of the building materials were removed for
reuse elsewhere. This has left a set of depressions up to 2m deep marking the
former cellars of the house with a level terrace to the east and a broad
grassy ramp extending downhill westwards. Beyond, and to either side of this
ramp there are slight earthworks extending up to a well defined, 150m long
linear depression which runs parallel to the field boundary to the west. This
linear feature has a raised bank on its west side. This depression is marked
as a fishpond on the 1761 plan. It is a formal water feature, known as a
canal, which is characteristic of Jacobean gardens. The bank to its west would
have formed a walkway. The earthworks between this and the house are remains
of additional walkways between flower beds and other areas of planting.
Further earthwork features can be identified and related to the 1761 plan.
These include a sunken garden cut into the north of the terrace to the rear of
the manor house and a long thin east west enclosure which survives as a
depression that runs downhill towards the canal.
To the east of the road, extending southwards from St Maurice's Church, is the
second area of protection. This includes a terraced walkway which runs north
south above a level area cut into the hillside. At the centre, the walkway
terrace bulges westwards to form a prospect platform and at either end there
is a graded ramp providing access to the level area below, which would have
contained formal gardens. The walkway would have provided a good vantage point
for these secluded gardens, as well as a view of the house with the broad
sweep of the valley beyond. Running along the walkway there is an avenue of
lime trees which is considered to have been part of the original planting
Excluded from the scheduling is all post and wire fencing, although the
ground beneath these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 30115
Legacy System: RSM
Lists all sources,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing