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Forty Hall (1629)

Forty Hall. Image: Struan Bates.

I suspect there’s a lot more to discover about Forty Hall. The 1629 date quoted for the house we see today appears too early; it has more in common with the angular, astylar boxes built after the Restoration. That said, there are earlier stylistic precedents (e.g. Coleshill , usually given a date of 1650).

Forty Hall was built for Nicholas Rainton, a former Mayor of London, who was imprisoned for refusing to help Charles I raise a loan, and who died in 1646 (interesting monument in St Andrew’s, Enfield – Nicholas Stone?) A lottery bid put together by the hall and English Heritage in 2008 suggested a ‘clever artisan builder’ probably designed the house, but no name is suggested. Little information can then be found about Forty’s architectural development between Rainton dying and the property leaving the family’s possession in 1696. I’ve not seen Peter Mills‘ name associated, but Forty immediately brings to mind Thorpe Hall … just a thought.

Forty has a fascinating interior, too; the photos below were taken on a flying visit, but give a good impression of it inside and out:

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.

Image: Struan Bates.
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