Visit Gainsborough and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. King Alfred married Ealswith here in 868, and Cnut's father, Sweyn, King of the Danes, died at his camp at Thonock Park in 1014. Gainsborough was a frequent battleground between Royalist and Parliamentarian troops. George Eliot used it as the prototype of St Ogg's in The Mill on the Floss, describing the curious tidal wave known as the Bore, or the Aegir, which rushes up the Trent to a height of several feet during the spring tides. There are some interesting l8th-century warehouses on the quayside, but otherwise Gainsborough only retains one outstanding example of its past history, the Old Hall in Parnell Street, one of the largest and most important of the surviving late medieval houses in the country open to the public.
It was built by Lord de Burgh in 1484 after the Lancastrians had wrecked his former home, and here he received Richard III. Henry VIII visited the house in 1509, and in 1540 was introduced there to his last wife, Katharine Parr, widow of Lord de Burgh's eldest son. Thomas, the last de Burgh to live here, was Queen Elizabeth's ambassador in Scotland and Lord Deputy in Ireland, but so extravagant that the year before he died in 1597 he had to sell his property in Gainsborough to William Hickman of London. Several generations of Hickmans lived here until 1720 when they moved their family seat out to the “sylvan pleasaunces” of Thonock. Thereafter the Old Hall became in turn a parish church, a linen factory, a corn exchange, a mechanics' institute, a Congregational church, a selection of tenements and shops, a theatre, a soup kitchen after the Napoleonic Wars, a l9th-century public house, an auction sale-room, a public ballroom, and a Masonic temple. Perhaps this is something to be grateful for. The resulting lack of desire to improve and modernize, as in the case of most private dwellings, has left it with the best surviving example of a medieval kitchen in the country, a magnificent timbered great hall containing the finest remaining single-arch braced roof, and a very lovely stone oriel window.
Nearby cities: Lincoln
Nearby towns: Doncaster, Market Rasen, Retford, Scunthorpe
Nearby villages: Beckingham, Blyton, Corringham, East Stockwith, Gringley on the Hill, Heapham, Kexby, Knaith, Laughton, Lea, Littleborough, Marton, Misterton, North Leverton, North Wheatley, Pilham, Saundby, South Wheatley, Springthorpe, Stow, Sturgate, Sturton le Steeple, Tealby, Upton, Walkeringham, Walkerith, West Stockwith
Have you decided to visit Gainsborough or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Gainsborough bed and breakfast (a Gainsborough B&B or Gainsborough b and b)
- a Gainsborough guesthouse
- a Gainsborough hotel (or motel)
- a Gainsborough self-catering establishment, or
- other Gainsborough accommodation