The History of Garnsgate Hall by Caroline Hyden (2014)
The first reference to a house with the name Garnsgate was in 1685 when William Delamore of Garnsgate House was married at Sutton on October 22nd 1685 to Benedicta Rayne; daughter of the vicar of Long Sutton. It is believed that the original Garnsgate House later become known as Garnsgate Hall but as the current architecture is predominantly Early Georgian (or even William & Mary) rather than Jacobean it is presumed the original house, if indeed it was even on the same plot the current Hall occupies now, underwent some radical changes as the owners gained in wealth or fashions changed. The origin of Garnsgate also the name of the local village/hamlet is:
"Garns" after a family called "Garnon" and "Gate" from the old Norse "Gata" meaning
"road" so literally Garnon's Road Hall.
William and Benedicta had 16 children some of whom died in infancy so it was Maurice (the 8th child) who ended up inheriting Garnsgate Hall upon the death of his father in 1728. Maurice (a mercer of textiles) married Amy Blyford and died in 1750 leaving 11 children but sadly none of them were to inherit the Hall.
In the 1749 edition of Gentleman's Magazine Maurice Delamore of Garnsgate Hall is noted as being declared bankrupt and in the Stamford Mercury (one of the oldest British weekly newspapers still being published) his estates were listed to be sold by auction at the Rose and Crown in Wisbech
"A capital messuage, with a Coach-house, Stables, Granaries and other outhouses, gardens and Orchard, well planted, with 24 acres and upwards of rich Pastures adjoining in Lutton in Lincolnshire, proper for a Gentleman and his Family. Also other estates...late the estates of William Delamore of Lutton aforesaid, Esq., deceased, and afterwards of the said Bankrupt". The
"capital messuage could refer to Garnsgate Hall.
It is unclear who purchased the hall but in 1706 Charles Allenby is listed as marrying Elizabeth Redmore
"of Garnsgate Hall", as the hall is believed to have still been in the Delamore family's possession at that time perhaps she was merely staying there. In any case what is clear is that by the time their son Hinman (the 8th and final child) born on 11th October 1725, married his wife Mary Petch in 1755, the Allenby family had taken the Hall over for good and the Delamore family then occupied Delamore House in the centre of Long Sutton. This, the first Hinman Allenby, had quite a reputation; it is said he was so upset when his wife's' sister who married Mr Lofts, received
£500 more in her marriage settlement than Mary had; that Mary was returned to her father until she received the same. Then in 1779 he was taken to court by one Henry Falkner
for owing him five hundred pounds for three "messuages", which he had agreed to purchase from Henry and two other plaintiffs but later refused to pay for.
Twelve of Hinman and Mary's 13 children were born in the Hall or at least within the parish of Long Sutton including Hinman Allenby (the second) born 14th September 1758 in Garnsgate Hall and died 17th August 1807 in Kenwick House, Legbourne, Lincolnshire. Hinman (the second) married Anne Reddish in 1770, the Great Great Great Granddaughter of Oliver Cromwell. This Hinman too refused to kowtow to the law and became rather infamous in Louth.
In September 1801 Thomas Parkinson and William Burgess, the inspectors of hides, found that Wharf Preston the tanner had bought unmarked hides from Hinman Allenby of Kenwick. When requested to bring his hides for inspection Allenby consigned the inspectors to perdition and then when summoned before Richard Codd (the Warden) and John Maddison (Assistant justice), to answer a charge of selling an unmarked sheep skin, he refused to appear using "much unhandsome and scurrilous language in the public market". In his absence he was fined
£5. He sent the money by his servant but at the same time he persuaded Rebecca Wilson/Willson of the Bricklayer's Arms to send the magistrates two halters which he had bought from Austin Brown the flax dresser. When the Corporation heard of this insult it decided to prosecute. In July 1802 at the last moment however Hinman wrote an apology assuring the two justices of his sincerest contrition and expressing his readiness to pay the costs of the prosecution commenced against him. He added that the two men were at liberty to make the letter public in whatever way they wished. The prosecutors gave directions for the case to be withdrawn and published the apology in newspapers and by handbills, arguing that the utmost publicity was necessary because the defendant had
"repeatedly boasted in the most public manner of the insult he had deferred and endeavoured as much as possible to ridicule the magistracy of Louth".
On the 1st September Allenby met Maddison in Louth and challenged him to a duel, because a bill had been posted up in a barber's shop in Gainsborough:
"I will treat you as a gentleman, though you do not deserve it and am ready to meet you as a gentleman in any way and where you think proper". Maddison declined the challenge and was called
"a stinking coward". As a result the case was heard at Lincoln in 1803 and Allenby described by the prosecutor as the
"inheritor of an ungovernable temper" and "inclined to submit to no law or will but his own" was made to enter into a recognisance in the sum of
£200 for his future good behaviour and pay the costs of Maddison's attorney. The cost amounted to nearly
£400 roughly equivalent to £30000 today.
Hinman and Anne had six children the eldest of which Hynman Reddish Allenby was born on the 31st January 1793 in Long Sutton and died on the 27th March 1861 in Kenwick House. He married Elizabeth Bourne whose family were neighbours of the poet Tennyson and indeed two of the girls are believed to have inspired the poem
"The May Queen". Two of Hynman's brothers died under sad circumstances with one
"drowned at the age of fifteen whilst bathing at Mablethorpe" and another lost his life
"in consequence of a cold ascending Mount Etna".
Although born at Garnsgate Hall it would seem that Hynman spent most of his time at Kenwick as the 1841 census lists Redmore Allenby a
"Farmer" and interestingly Henry Delamore "independent" as living at Garnsgate Hall along with a housekeeper and Sheppard (sic).
Redmore Allenby was Hynman's Uncle (one of his father's younger brothers). The interesting thing about the 1841 census is that there is a bit of a mystery surrounding which Henry Delamore lived at Garnsgate Hall and could have been the right age to be the one listed in the census (age 41). The Henry Delamore born in 1753 and grandson of bankrupt Maurice would have been too old (and was more than likely deceased).
As the Delamores and Allenbys were two of the biggest land owning families in Long Sutton it shouldn't be surprising that at some point they would intermarry and as it was: Hyman's Aunt, Mary Allenby (born 1761) married Richard Delamore (born 1749). They had two sons Henry W Delamore (1802) and Samuel Henry Delamore
(1805) either of which would be the right age to be the "Henry" Delamore listed in the census (as they were notoriously inaccurate at recording their true age) but both are supposed to have died before the census was taken. If either of them was indeed the Henry Delamore listed they would have been related to Hynman so it is conceivable that one of them lived with their Uncle in their cousin's house so it appears that a Delamore did at least get to return, however briefly, to the house that his ancestors built.
Hynman still kept a close interest in the area especially when it came
to the amount of "tythe" he (and the Governors of Guy's hospital, which owned a large portion of the land in the area) had to pay to the rector of Sutton St Mary when taken to court over non-payment.
By the 1851 census however it had all changed; Hynman's cousin Octavius H Allenby by another Uncle (Samuel) had moved into Garnsgate Hall with his wife Felicia Allenby nee Whitworth and their two daughters Felicia and Caroline. He is listed as a farmer of 600 acres employing 14 labourers. Six servants also lived with them: four just listed as servants, one a Governess and the sixth was the Groom. Octavius was one of the Lincolnshire Land Tax commissioners.
They still lived there in 1861 but he was down to 500 acres however he now employed 15 men and four boys. His servants had all changed and they now consisted of a new Groom, Cook, Housemaid and Dairymaid. His wife and children were not present at the time the census was taken but his sister-in-law Charlotte Whitworth was. A piece of a Rutland newspaper dated 1861 still survives in the Hall today lining the inside of one of the cupboards in the servants' attic accommodation along with sections of reed-backed plaster walls and small brick fireplaces giving us a brief glimpse into the living accommodation of the servants who looked after the Hall and the Allenby family.
By 1871 although Octavius' wife and children were back at the house on census day he was listed as farming just 200 acres and employing only four men. His servants had all changed again, although he still had four and they had another visitor, a young man, staying with them.
At this point it appears that the Hall was now owned by Henry Hynman Allenby (born 1820/1), his father Hynman, having died in 1861. Henry too made his base at Kenwick and was a Captain 3rd Volunteer Battalion Lincolnshire Artillery, described as a landed Proprietor and JP in the 1861 Census. He is also listed as attending Cambridge University.
Henry's first marriage to Eliza Lloyd produced four children, one of whom: Samuel Hynman Allenby (born 1856) inherited Garnsgate Hall. Samuel - listed in Burke's Peerage as being born and then living at Garnsgate Hall - married Lady Sophia Constance Montgomerie, daughter of Archibald William Montgomerie, 14th Earl of Eglinton, on 15 January 1885. He was baptised with the name of Samuel Hyman Allenby but in 1893 his name was legally changed to Samuel Hynman Allenby-Montgomerie by Royal Licence. He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) and died on the 15th June 1915 leaving three daughters. His occupation of the Hall is not substantiated by any of the censuses of the period.
Henry's second marriage to Catherine Cane in 1859 produced seven children one of whom was the famous Viscount Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby.
Interesting snippet: in the Medical Times & Gazette 1872: Boulton, Robert Godfrey, eldest son of BJ Boulton, MD, of Horncastle, [died] at Garnsgate Hall, Long Sutton, in the 35th year of his age.
After Samuel's death it is unclear whether the Hall was sold or whether it passed on to a relative but by the time of the 1881 census there was no more mention of the Allenby family at Garnsgate Hall and William M Bond (born in Louth so potentially at least known to the Allenbys if not related) was living at the Hall. Listed in White's as:
"Bond William Mitchell, farmer and grazier, Garnsgate Hall" he lived with his wife Frances, granddaughter (a scholar) and one servant. They had a visitor census night: Clara Porter. William was very active in the local community as a school board member of the National School, Long Sutton built in 1848/9.
In the 1891 census William Bond is now married to Clara, the visitor listed ten years ago (Frances having died in October 1884). His granddaughter still lives with him along with their new servant listed as a General Servant (Domestic). Also visiting were a timber merchant Charles Tucker and Clara's younger sister Jane. If I was Clara, given what happened between her and William after Frances died I am not sure I would have invited my younger sister to visit.
The Hall was believed originally to have been approached by a tree-lined avenue extending from the Wisbech Road (now A1101) all the way to the Hall. Some of the avenue still survives today in the form of a tree-lined public footpath approaching the house but as a
map of the area depicting Garnsgate Hall shows by 1888 Lutton Drain had been built across the avenue and the new road called
"Garnsgate Road" at that time, ran parallel to the house as it does today. The outline of extra outbuildings and the Orchard that was present at that time can also be seen.
1901 saw a change in family living in the Hall again, this time Frederick Jackson listed as a Farmer/Employer lived at Garnsgate Hall with his wife Mary, daughter Rose (listed as Mother's help) and sons Fred and Alfred. Frederick Jackson is a Shire Horse Breeder as recorded in the 1905 Shire Horse Stud Book:
"Frederick Jackson, Garnsgate Hall, Long Sutton, Line. Brown, black legs. Foaled 1901. Breeder, Frederick Jackson, Garnsgate Hall, Long Sutton. Sire: Lord Eosebeey (15214). Dam: 35015 Bonnie (Vol. 23), by Hitchin Drayman II. (13105)".
In 1911 Frederick, Fred and Alfred are still listed in the census as living at the hall along with unspecified women.
After then without the benefit of further census releases there is a bit of a gap in the history of the Hall. It seems to have survived two world wars with little or no damage and by the 40s had fallen into possession of the local council. At this point it was re-roofed and to save costs the original wooden cornice and the three dormers to the front of the property giving light to the servants' accommodation were removed; although their outline can still be clearly seen on the original beams within the roof structure.
While Lincolnshire County Council owned the Hall it was divided in two: the Chapmans (who still work the remaining land adjacent to the Hall), the Mountains, the Kents and the Hargreaves are four of the families known at some point to have occupied part of the Hall as tenant farmers, with the remaining land attached to the Hall divided between whoever occupied it at that time. As seen in an aerial photograph taken in the 1950s kindly supplied by the Hargreaves; the current garage occupies the site where an outdoor washhouse and privy was previously, which, along with a large granary between the washhouse and the Hall and the extension on the rear of the Hall (which housed a second kitchen area), have since been demolished. When the house was built the water for the house was supplied by two wells evidence for which can still be seen within the grounds.
In 1964 Garnsgate Hall was mentioned in "The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire" by Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris:
"Garnsgate Hall, 7/8m WSW. Dated 1724: MHLG. Seven bays, the windows l. and r. of doorway and upper middle window very narrow, a typical Queen Anne and Early Georgian motif." WSW = west/south/west. MHLG = Ministry of Housing and Local Government. The MHLG date making it some 40 years younger than thought and placing it in the time of Maurice Delamore, perhaps the building or redesigning of the Hall contributed to his bankruptcy.
On the 30th July 1966 the property was designated as Grade II listed making it among the first wave of buildings to be listed following the program's initiation in the 1950s. It was upgraded in the 1980s to II*. Grade II* buildings are described as particularly important buildings of more than special interest, just 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
In 1973 one of the Kent Family reported a ghost in the local paper but by 1986 planning had been applied for it to be turned into a restaurant and inn with the Hall being described in 1989 as "semi-derelict" however the plans were never finalised and the Hall remained empty for some time although the rear kitchen extension, the original central chimney and the servant’s staircase were removed.
In 1996 with help from council grants Kevin Russell set about repairing and restoring the house. Much of the original panelling remains and missing sections have been replicated so that the two reception rooms on the ground floor and two of the bedrooms are fully panelled along with panelled sections in the hall and up the stairs. The original staircase and balusters mentioned as one of the main reason for listing were damaged and had to be replaced and a previously fully panelled bedroom now only retains a small section of original panelling we found hidden behind plasterboard in 2013.
In 2001 the McClennons bought the house (adding the current stable block) and when they emigrated to America in 2010 we saw the property for sale, fell in love with the place and decided it was where we wanted to raise our family: the rest, as they say, is history.
Ancestry UK: http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
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British Listed Buildings: http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-197917-garnsgate-hall-with-wall-and-railings-lu