History

A Brief History of Ellingham Hall

Ellingham Hall was constructed in the seventeenth century by Sir John Haggerston, a descendent of the de Hagardestons who were part of the eleventh century invading force of William the Conqueror. Sir John and his wife Mary built the Hall on the site of an earlier building, thought to have belonged to the Grenville family during the reign of Henry I.
Edward Haggerston and his wife Mary then increased the size of the Hall in the early eighteenth century. Their initials can still be seen on a stone lintel above a courtyard window.
The family home underwent many changes over the following centuries and gave residence to a variety of different guests!
Fires devastated the Hall twice which resulted in the loss of the east wing.
During the reformation, the chapel safely harboured persecuted priests within its secret tunnels and chambers.
The war brought about different changes with the tennis courts being cultivated by the land girls, and the reception rooms used as a storage base for tea and flour.
1895 saw the Hall opening as a preparatory school for boy boarders aged between five and eighteen. One of the principles of the school being: “Genuine religion and real scholarship are equally indispensable and should harmonise in forming the Christian Gentleman”.
The school closed in 1988 and was bought by property developers but then repossessed in 1990 and lay dormant for the following five years. During this time the Hall suffered theft and vandalism and this resulted in the loss of many original features.
In the spring of 1994 the Hall was purchased by Helen and Aidan Ruff and eight years of renovation and refurbishment began, resulting in the beautiful building and grounds which are so popular today.