History of Ayscoughfee Hall

Ayscoughfee Hall is a unique survivor of a family house from the mid-15th century.

Photo of AHM frontage 1 Dendrochronological or tree-ring dating has recently been carried on some of the original roof timbers, which have been dated to around 1450, making the Hall over 550 years old.

Throughout its history the Hall has continued to grow and develop, with each owner changing the building to represent their needs and the fashions of the time. This explains the rather Gothic-looking Victorian frontage, the Georgian ceiling best seen from the Entrance Hall, and the whole host of Medieval features exposed and explained throughout the Hall.

AHM Medieval roundel Once the home of the prestigious Johnson family, Ayscoughfee Hall spent much of its life as a private house for a succession of families, before being purchased by the people of Spalding during the early 20th Century. Since then it has served as a library, School, Council Offices and most recently as the District's museum.

In 2003 Ayscoughfee Hall closed for renovation and refurbishment, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, South Holland District Council, Lincolnshire Tourism and the Friends of Ayscoughfee. The Museum reopened in June 2006 to acclaim, winning Lincolnshire's Museum of the Year in 2007.

AHM grotesque 'Surprised Bishop' In 2008, Ayscoughfee took part in an exciting project with NAU Archaeology, which uncovered some interesting finds, including a boundary wall that was here before the Hall, and the remains of a hot house that one of our owners used to grow exotic plants!

Our most recent success was being upgraded to grade I listed status by English Heritage in January 2012. Only 2.5% of listed buildings in England hold this status, which reflects the significance and importance of Ayscoughfee Hall to British history.

AHM frontage 2 snow If you are interested in a particular aspect of the Hall's history, the owners/occupiers or the Gardens please email museum@sholland.gov.uk and we'll try to help.

Icon for pdf Brief History of Ayscoughfee [1.2MB]

Ayscoughfee Hall Museum & Gardens registered charity number 515905