The hall was built by Sir Thomas Burgh in 1460. In 1484 he entertained King Richard III here. King Henry VIII visited Gainsborough twice; once in 1509 and again in 1541 with Queen Catherine Howard. The Queen was accused of indiscretions both at Gainsborough and nearby Lincoln, for which she was executed.
The Old Hall has changed very little over the years. It is principally a timber framed building, giving it its characteristic ‘striped’ or ‘black and white’ appearance. On the north east corner is a brick tower. The Hall with its elaborate timber roof survives as well as the kitchen—possibly the most complete medieval kitchen in England. The kitchen still contains many original features, including two open fireplaces, each large enough to roast an ox, and two bread ovens served by a third chimney.
The Hall is now owned by English Heritage and is open to the public as a museum. It is listed as Grade I for Heritage Protection. Unfortunately some philistine has built an ugly council estate right next to it.