The house was built during the reign of Henry VIII and constructed of stone taken from the ruins of the church of St. Mary in Crimsby. It is said a curse was placed on these stones that would bring ruin to anyone who used them.
The only contemporary evidence for this come from the 'Memoirs of Gervase Holles". Gervase Holles was convinced that a curse rested upon the desecration of St Mary's church. His great uncle Densel Holles, who lived at Irby, planned to build a new residence there, and even purchased the stone for it but death put an end to the progress. "Which indeed", wrote Gervase "I think the Heyre has no cause to be sorry for; for those stone [from the ruins of St. Mary's)were bought of the townsmen of Grimsby, being part of the sacriligiously demolished church of St Marys; out of whose ruins the once fayre houses of Heiyng and Hattecliffe. the owners of them that the name of the former [as to the legitimate race of them, none of the name being now left in Lincolnshire but such that are descended from bastardes] is quite gone out; and the inheritance in the possession of those that are strangers to their blood; and of Hatcliffe House there is not now one stone standing, neither hath Thomas Hatclyffe the present Heyre at this day one foot of inheritance. This that I have related is the known truth, and I may well fear that [had he layd his foundation with such materials] his posterity had not long continued in that eminency they yet do".
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