The Old Hall, 50m north west of All Saints Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017992

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of The Old Hall, 50m north west of All Saints Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Sinnington


National Grid Reference: SE 74603 86104


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval great houses were the residences of high-status non-Royal households. They had domestic rather than military functions and show little or no sign of fortification, even of a purely cosmetic nature. Great houses share several of the characteristics of royal palaces, and in particular shared similar characteristics of size, sophistication, and decoration of the architecture. Great houses usually consist of a group of buildings, including a great hall, service rooms, one or more kitchens, several suites of chambers for the owners, the household and its guests, and a gatehouse. Other ancillary buildings are known to have been present but very rarely survive. Earlier examples typically comprised a collection of separate buildings, but through the 14th and 15th century there was increasing integration of the buildings into a few larger buildings. By the later medieval period, such complexes were commonly laid out around one or more formal courtyards; in the 16th century this would occasionally be contrived so that the elevations were symmetrical. Many great houses are still notable for the high quality of their architecture and for the opulence of their furnishings. Several examples contain substantially intact buildings, others consist of ruins or complexes of earthworks. Great houses are found throughout England, although there is a concentration in the south and Midlands. Further north, great houses were more heavily fortified, reflecting more unsettled political and social conditions, but their domestic purpose and status were still predominant. Fewer than 250 examples of great houses have been identified. As a rare monument class which provide an important insight into the lives of medieval aristocratic or gentry households, all examples will be nationally important.

The Old Hall at Sinnington is a good example of a medieval great hall retaining substantial amounts of 15th century and earlier fabric. Its importance is heightened by the series of modifications and changes in use over its lifetime and the survival of documentary references adding to its known history. The hall has an additional group value with the adjacent parish church which shares some of its architectural features.


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


The monument is the standing and still roofed remains of a listed 12th century great hall located 40m NNW of All Saints Church, Sinnington, just to the east of the later and still occupied Sinnington Hall. The hall, which is Listed Grade I, is believed to have been built by Guisborough Priory in the later 12th century for the grange that was acquired from Ralph de Clere after 1168. At the same time, de Clere had given the church at Sinnington to the Benedictine nunnery at Yeddingham. In 1239 Yeddingham Priory agreed to support the chapel of St Martin and the other buildings at Sinnington owned by Guisborough Priory. In 1431-32 Matilda of York paid for a series of modifications to the chapel at Sinnington, which has been identified as being the great hall, including the installation of partitions and flooring, and the filling of holes and old windows. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s the hall is thought to have reverted to domestic occupation, becoming the rectory of William Thwaytes, but in the following centuries the building was re-roofed and converted into a barn and stables. The hall is orientated roughly north-south and is approximately 21m by 11m externally, stone built with a pitched slate roof. The west wall retains two partially blocked three light 15th century windows and, at the north end, a pair of two centre arched doorways. The east wall has an original 12th century door and window together with an additional larger three light 15th century window, all of which are now blocked. There is part of a large blocked 15th century window in the south wall together with two doors and a small rectangular window related to the change of use of the hall into a barn. Two later doorways, both relatively modern, have been inserted into the north wall and the northern end of the east wall respectively. Internally the hall has four bays, with the two end bays divided from the central pair by 2.5m high stone partition walls. These partition walls are later than the main shell of the building and form two separate rooms with a floor above open to the main body of the building. The southern partition wall partly blocks one of the 15th century windows and is considered to have been a post-Dissolution modification. The northern room, which has been used as a stables, is accessed by one of the two arched doorways and is believed to be earlier. The central pair of bays were originally divided by a 15th century oak screen which survived into the early 20th century. The carved oak cross beam for this partition believed to have been paid for by Matilda of York is still in place. Buildings lying immediately adjacent to the Old Hall on the north, east and western sites, including modern barns and a garage are not included in the scheduling. All modern walls and posts, and all modern road, path and floor surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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: 30134

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Platt, C, Monastic Granges in Medieval England, (1969), 233
HBMC Listed Building Description, (1953)

End of official listing