Alford Manor House

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Alford Manor House

The Manor House is a Grade II* listed building which can be found on West Street within Alford, Lincolnshire. It is believed to be the largest thatched manor house in the land and was built to a traditional H plan in 1611.

The house is a very rare example of a composite structure, featuring a wooden frame with reed and plaster (visible from within the house), encased in brick. Ground floor and first floor rooms feature design interventions from Georgian through to Victorian times, whilst the attic floor is virtually untouched since 1611.[1][2][3][4]

The house was possibly built by a John Hopkinson[5][6] The house owes much of its existence to the wealth of one of its owners, Sir Robert Christopher.[1] Christopher fought for the Royalist cause in the Civil War and was knghted by King Charles II following the restoration.[5] The house was inherited by his granddaughter, Lucy, who married John Manners, Duke of Rutland. Thereafter Alford Manor House was inhabited by tenants, one of whom was John Higgins, who arrived in about 1820. He was a friend of Charles Darwin's father, Robert, and was the local Land Agent. He established his office in the nineteenth century annex which you can see on the east wing of the house.[6]

It was his descendent, Dorothy Higgins, a doctor and member of Alford Town Council, who bought the property in 1958 and gave it to the town in 1967. Alford Civic Trust was established then to manage and look after the property.[6][7]

The house itself is unusual in its construction: most properties of the period were built, using a wooden frame with wattle and daub infill, or with a brick infill, so that the wooden beams would be visible from the outside as well as from inside the property. However, Alford Manor House was encased in brick, and the brick was not merely ornamental: it was tied into the structure of the building via wall plates and floor joists.[1][3][4][6]

The house was renovated and re-thatched during the period 2004-2006.[2][3][4]

The house is owned by Alford and District Civic Trust Ltd which is a Registered Charity.[8]

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 National Heritage List England no. 1063001: Alford Manor House (Historic England)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Manor House Restoration Case Study, -accessed 18 November 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Manor House Restoration Architect, -accessed 18 November 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Manor House Restoration Grant, -accessed 18 November 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Conservation area appraisal". East Lindsey District Council. July 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Manor House own web site". Alford and District Civic Trust. Retrieved 2004-07-17. 
  7. "Alford web site". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  8. Alford and District Civic Trust Ltd - Registered Charity no. 252330 at the Charity Commission