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


Ordnance survey map of Site of Jacobean manor house and gardens immediately west and south of St Maurice's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Horkstow

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 buildings. 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 arrangement. 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


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End of official listing