Haselour Hall

Nr. Tamworth





Gradually the Ardernes of Elford became the dominant family at Haselour, ousting the Timmons (who held the manor of Haselour) at last from the manor place.  Under them the two manors were united and remained so for many generations.  The Ardernes were a famous and warlike family.  Sir Thomas Arderne, who died in 1391, won glory in the French wars.  It was he or his father who led Haselour and Elford men at Crecy and Poitiers.

Early in the 15th century the heiress of the Arderne family married Sir Thomas Stanley, carrying Haselour to the Stanleys.  It was during their overlordship, in 1485, that the manor house figured in English history.  For here the Earl of Richmond (later Henry VII) is said to have passed the night on his march from Lichfield to the battle of Bosworth.  So it was probably at Haselour that Stanley secretly promised Henry his help, deceiving Richard III to the last because of the hostages.

In 1508 John Stanley died leaving no male heir, and for many generations the manor of Haselour passed through female inheritance.  Finally it descended from the Huddlestones to the Brookes, when Lucy Huddlestone, who was co-heiress, married John Brooke in 1557.  Her sister, the other heiress, married Sir John Bowes, taking as her share of the inheritance the manor of Elford.  So the two manors became finally saparated.  The Brookes, who held Haselour for over 200 years, were there at the time of the Civil War.  It was probably the impoverishment due to this which led them to sell Haselour to Samuel Dilke in 1672, so ending the lineal descent from the Ardernes, which had lasted for three and a half centuries.  In 1692 Mary Brook, sole daughter and heiress to William Brooke, Esq., of Haselour,  who died in 1672, married Christopher Heveningham of Lichfield.

When was the house built?  It was not there when William I compiled his Domesday survey.  But it is likely that the double moat which used to surround the manor house (and of which traces can still be identified) goes back to Norman times.  There was probably a house occupying the present site of Haselour Hall when the Selveins held the manor in the 12th century.  There may even be parts of the present house which go back to the Timmors and the Ardernes.  But most of the building (except the modern west wing built after 1885) are unmistakably Tudor.  The present house may have been built by the Stanleys.  It would be romantic to think so and that it was in this very building the Henry VII passed the night before Bosworth.  Romantic, but - alas - without corroboration.  The black and white half-timber work of the South front gives Haselour Hall its characteristic Tudor appearance.  There are still the original tiles on most of the roof, which are said to date from 1550.  Inside the house looks Tudor too.  The ceilings are low, the rooms lead one into the other and there are steps up here and steps down there in a pleasantly random way.  There are transomed windows, some vast ancient fireplaces and much beautiful oak panelling.  The panelling of the old dining hall is specially fine.  The chimneypiece in this room is a spendid example of oak carving, which depicts the battle of Hastings.

The chapel of Haselour is even older than the house.  Most of the present building appears to belong to the 14th century, but there was certainly a chapel here long before that date.  was only intended for the private use of the family at Haselour Hall. In the grounds of Haselour near the chapel are the remains of the ancient family burying place.


Haselour Hall




























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