Hammerton Hall is a large three gabled building built with a
layout resembling that of a capital letter "E". This
was a floor-plan often used in houses built or altered during
the 16th or early 17th centuries. The house has been extended
to the rear over the centuries and at one time was split into
This was once the home of the "de Hamerton" family,
a wealthy medieval family who are reputed to have been able to
ride from Slaidburn to York (approx. 50 miles) on their own land!
This is reflected in the place-names: "Kirk Hammerton"
and "Green Hammerton" near York; both villages owned
at one time by the family.
Unfortunately, the family lost most of their wealth and power
when Sir Stephen de Hamerton joined Abbot Paslew of Whalley in
the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536. This was a protest against Henry
VIII's proposed dissolution of the monasteries. Sir Stephen was
executed for treason and as a knight was hanged and beheaded in
1537. His neighbour Nicholas Tempest of Catlow, a commoner who
had also taken part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, suffered an even
worse fate; that of being hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.