Exciting new discoveries confirm that this is one of the most historically important fifteenth-century domestic brick buildings surviving in England. Ayscoughfee Hall contains some unique features and remarkably, although the western facade was remodelled in the 1840s, the main structure is of one build which dates from the 1450s.
Anderson and Glenn were Project Managers and Conservation Architects for the recent restoration of this late medieval brick house, which is situated in Spalding, Lincolnshire. They were commissioned to prepare a Conservation Plan, a detailed Architectural Specification and an extensive Schedule of Works. This comprehensive series of documents was instrumental in obtaining a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant award for the project.
The Hall, photographed from the west, March 2005.
Recent archaeological investigation of the fabric, combined with archival research, has shown that many of the later alterations to the original medieval building were carried out by successive members of the Johnson family. They came into possession of Ayscoughfee at the end of the seventeenth-century and owned it until it was sold to the present owners about two hundred years later. The most distinguished member of the family was Maurice Johnson II, who together with a group of like minded people, founded the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society.
During the restoration work, many historical features that had been hidden by alterations, which had taken place over the centuries, were revealed. In collaboration with the Anderson and Glenn led Design Team, buildings-archaeologist Dr Jonathan Clark, of the University of York, assessed the importance of every new find. This work involved inspecting some underground water-features which required a great degree of dexterity to access.
As part of the restoration-contract, analysis of the surviving historic paint was carried out. This important work revealed information about many of the early colour schemes. The results of this research was used to replicate, in selected areas of the house, examples of period decor that would have been familiar to past generations of the Johnson family.
Due to the great professionalism and unstinting dedication of the Design Team, led by Anderson and Glenn, the restoration of the fabric of the building was finished within the agreed timescale at the beginning of 2005. To celebrate this achievement, a special ceremony was held in the Hall, at which the keys of the building were handed over to Councillor Nick Worth of South Holland District Council.