The largest thatched house in England dating from the 17th century

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The largest thatched house in England dating from the 17th century

Article supplied by Alford Manor House

If you are looking to find another to visit with your coach group, why not come to Alford Manor House, the largest thatched house in England dating from the 17th century.

A Grade 2 Listed building the house is situated on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, approximately 7 miles from the coast. Together with the Hackett Barn Museum full of rural and agricultural artefacts, a recently restored walled garden ( with chickens)  the tea room providing homemade fare, and the award winning WW1 exhibition “Alford Remembers 1914-1918”, we can offer an interesting and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.


Sited on the west side of the town, the house was started in 1611 built to a traditional H plan. It is a rare example of a composite structure, featuring a wooden frame with reed and plaster encased in brick.  By the late 1600s it was recorded as being owned by Sir Robert Christopher.  As he was a financier it was thought he may have taken it to recover debts from the previous owner. Sir Robert had amassed large fortune which he invested in property with the Manor House being of a high quality finish many of the original features still in evidence.

The house was eventually gifted to the town by the  owner Miss Dorothy Higgins  one of the descendants of a former tenant of the house, John Higgins who arrived in Alford about 1820 and was a friend of Charles Darwin’s father, Robert. In 1967 Miss Higgins gifted the Manor House to the town and it is now managed by Alford and District Civic Trust.

The Manor House is also home to the Hackett Barn Museum, which is situated at the rear of the manor and houses the town’s historic artefacts. These include a rare man-driven wheelwright’s lathe complete with tools and samples, and a bootmakers shop with leather patters, old studded boots, clogs and a hobbing iron.

The award winning “Alford Remembers 1914” exhibition started in 2014, continuing until June 2019, reflects the way in which the community of Alford was affected by the local, national and international events of the Great War. It commemorates those who went to serve their country as well as demonstrating the way in which families lived at that time, with displays updated regularly to show how the community altered.

Displays include memorabilia and photographs of those who served in the Great War, these artefacts and stories being kindly loaned by local families. A variety  of  fascinating domestic items  are included in the displays of  the social and commercial side of life in Alford, an Edwardian bedroom, dairy and wash  house. Our VAD story has the added focus on Alfordian Miss Dorothy Higgins who was a VAD 1915-1919

With a replica WW1 trench complete with battlefield sound, our  Hackett Barn Rural  Museum having    a comprehensive collection of period agricultural items,  an exhibition on the way farming was affected with an emphasis on the role of the horse it is a comprehensive record of Edwardian life in our community. Tours of the House, Hackett Barn and Gardens can be arranged in advance by contacting  the Manor House on:

Tel: 01507 463073




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