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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 Cinderhill roundabout).

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.




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© 2014  All images and text in Hempshill Fields section of this site are copyright Jeremy Harrison.  All other content is included with permission of Richard Hunt.  Contact jeremy@nomadintent.com for permission to reproduce in any form.