manor house has stood on this strategically important site
on the River Trent since at least the 13th century. King
Sweyn and his legendary son Knut (King Canute), Richard
III, Henry VIII and Civil War armies all have played a role
in Gainsborough's history. Tree ring analysis of the beams
and the late medieval architectural style suggest that the
whole building was completed before 1500.
Burghs, the first owners of Gainsborough Hall, were flamboyant,
rich and powerful, making their influence felt both in Lincolnshire
and in national affairs. Thomas, 5th Lord Burgh served in
Queen Elizabeth's army in the Netherlands, keeping the Spanish
at bay, while his affairs at home fell into chaos. When
the Queen refused Thomas' pleas to return home to sort out
his affairs he was obliged to sell Gainsborough Hall, the
manor house, estate and manorial rights to the town of Gainsborough
to William Hickman, a London merchant...