It had previously been thought that Hempshill Hall was built around
1550, either at the end of the reign of King Henry VIII or during
that of his son Edward VI, on the site of a church or chantry chapel.
However, a recent dendrochronological investigation carried out by
Robert Howard of the Nottingham Tree Ring Dating Laboratory produced
a felling date of 1497 for the timbers of the main part of the
house, which, as timbers were usually used in unseasoned form
directly after felling puts the actual date of construction some 50
years earlier than previously thought.
The tree-ring dates prove that the hall was not built after the
suppression of the chantries, and a document of 1535 stating that
Mary Sacheverall received lands including “the mill and chapel site”
shows that wherever the chapel had been, it was not on the site
occupied by the hall. However it does suggest that as the mill seems
to have been located about 200 yards to the west of the hall, the
chapel was more likely to be located nearer to the hall, (in what
later became Upper Hempshill), than in Nether Hempshill, (located
about two thirds of a mile to the east of the hall, near the present
The new dating evidence also does away with previous theories as to
who was responsible for building the house and who its owners were
during the first 100 years of its existence.