Things to see and do
The Medieval Kitchen
The vast kitchen at Gainsborough, with its high ceiling and hulking oak beams, is one of the best surviving examples from the medieval period. Discover the many spaces around the kitchen and imagine Lord Burgh’s staff at full stretch as they prepare meals for 100 people or more. You can also find their voices in the newly commissioned replica equipment and furniture.
The Great Hall
Take a seat in the magnificent Great Hall, a place of entertainment, eating and politics. In the 15th and 16th centuries important guests would have feasted with the lord and lady of the manor on dishes such as venison porridge with saffron, roast peacock and jellied fruit slices. Later the Hall was hushed to the preaching of John Wesley, and filled with mirth and song as the space became a 19th century theatre.
The refurbished café is set in the 15th-century parlour – a place that has always been used for conversation and socialising. In the 19th century the room became the town’s Literary Institute and later a Masonic Temple. Here you’ll find hot snacks, homemade soup, teas, coffees and a variety of cold drinks. Lunch bags are available for the children and we have vegan and gluten-free options.
You can find allergen and nutritional information here.
Climb the old steps to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with fine views of Gainsborough and across the River Trent to North Nottinghamshire. From this vantage you can get a sense of the Old Hall at the centre of a large medieval estate, and the heart of the local community.
The Eastern Apartments
The Old hall was a home to families from the 1460s to the 1960s. Explore the atmospheric domestic apartments of the east range to uncover the lifestyles of the Hickman family in 17th century, and Mr and Mrs Baines who lived here during the early 20th century.