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Listed Building record MDR2786 - Mercaston Old Hall, Mercaston Lane, Mercaston

Type and Period (5)

  • (Medieval to Stuart - 1400 AD? to 1700 AD?)
  • (Medieval to Tudor - 1400 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • (Stuart to Georgian - 1700 AD? to 1800 AD?)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

At Mercaston Old Hall [presumably Mercaston Hall - SK 279419] there are a number of details which suggest that an extensive building once occupied this site, presumably the home of the Kniverton family; foundations of demolished buildings are regularly uncovered. Little now remains except a Georgian house which may be a modification of part of the original building. To the west of the present hall is a very fine long barn with pigeon loft, archway and attached cow house. (1) Mercaston Hall is mainly Georgian but incorporates half-timbering of a c.16th century date. See G.P. AO/66/7/7. The barn is 19th century and constructed from red brick. (2) The present house is the successor of the manor house of the Knivetons of Mercaston, which seems to have been a relatively large and complex timber-framed house built around three sides of a courtyard. This earlier building, in turn, may not have been the first on the site, as Bulmer reported that "another field (near the Hall) bearing the name Castle Moor is surrounded by a moat". Robert and Roger, who held the manor under Ferrers in 1086, may have been the ancestors of the de Mercastons who were there in c.1256. Geoffrey de Mercaston died in 1296 and the heiress of this line, Joan, married Nicholas de Kniveton, one of whose descendants built the medieval house. The family beggared themselves during the civil war and were forced to sell to the Poles of Radbourne in 1655, at which point the house went into a decline. In 1713 Woolley wrote "there are some remains of the ancient seat.. ..yet in being" but within a generation these were rebuilt in 18th century vernacular style, with two storeys and a three bay front except for the surviving north range, forming with the rest a letter 'L'. There are fragments of ashlar remaining on the south and west and a timber fragment was demolished in c.1960. From 1655, apart from a brief period of occupation by a younger member of the Pole family, it was tenanted as a farm and this is still its role today. A priests' hole, blocked, is reported to exist within the surviving fabric. (3) Mercaston Old Hall is an L-shaped farmhouse of many different dates. It is built chiefly of brick with some timber framing and one stone gable. It has a courtyard of early 19th century brick farm buildings that re-use earlier timber roof trusses. The house has a partly timber-framed east-west range, and a north-south range with a stone chimney at one end; the two ranges are structurally independent and so unlikely to be exactly contemporary. Stone footings under the present drive, buried charred timbers in the adjacent field, and a garden wall founded and built as if for part of a building, all suggest previous structures; the modern kitchen at the west end of the house, is probably rebuilt on ancient foundations. It is suggested that there was a 15th century hall originally on the site, with the east-west wing a storeyed wing to that hall. Either the north-south range is a remodelling of this hall, or the hall lay to the west of the east-west range. The stonework of the south end chimney, with its fragment of painted plaster, is probably 16th century. The insertion of a four-flue brick chimney transformed the east-west range into a conventional 17th century axial stack farmhouse of three rooms on each floor. The north-south range appears to have been rebuilt c.1840. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Article in serial: Derbyshire Archaeological Society. 1960. 'Mercaston Old Hall', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 80, pp 131-132. p 131-2.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 21-JUL-66.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Craven, M & Stanley, M. 1984. The Derbyshire Country House, Vol II. p 50.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Hutton, B. Derby Buildings Record. DBR 64, 8th June 1990.



Grid reference Centred SK 27949 41966 (76m by 47m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2023

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2023 8:06AM

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