The history of Hooton Pagnell Hall stretches back to the Norman Conquest and was first mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Hotone’ meaning ‘the house or township on the hill’, though the earliest part of the present house dates from the 13th century. The earliest known Lord of what is now known as Hooton Pagnell Hall was Edwin, Earl of Mercia, brother-in-law of King Harold who so famously met his demise at the Battle of Hastings when facing William the Conqueror.
In 1071, ownership of the house was passed to Sir Ralph de Paganell, a Norman knight who added his name to his new acquisition. The property passed via one of Ralph de Paganell’s great granddaughters, Frethesante, who married Geoffrey Luttrell, whose coat of arms remains today on the ceiling of the medieval arch, in 1171.
Luttrell is most widely known for his commissioning of the Luttrell Psalter, one of the most originally illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, the only remaining copy of which is in the British Library in London.
Two hundred years later in the 14th century, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, a prominent member of the Knights Templar, reputedly left an immense amount of money and jewellery to the great ecclesiastical centres at Canterbury, Lincoln, Southwell and York. Hooton Pagnell remained with the Luttrells until 1406, changing ownership through marriage various times, but became the property of the Crown during the reign of Richard III.
In 1681 the Hall became the home of Sir Patience Warde, an early Whig Politician, merchant and the former Lord Mayor of London, who began the restoration of the Hall, a task which his heir and nephew continued. The property acquired by Sir Patience was merely the nucleus of the present estate, which was enlarged by following generations.
The Hall was subsequently extensively restored and extended in Georgian and Victorian times and it was in the early 18th century that the gabled windows were removed from the back of the house and replaced with sash windows. Significant changes to the interior in the 19th century included the paneling to the walls and the grand staircase, a fine late 17th century staircase believed to have been purchased from Palace Yard House in Coventry.
The most recent and notable changes to the Hall’s appearance was instructed by Julia Warde-Aldam who carried out substantial re-modeling of the Hall in the late 19th and early 20th century, when what had become an essentially Georgian house was re-Gothicised to the front and given extensive crenellations.
HOOTON PAGNELL TODAY Majestically situated on a rise some 80 metres above sea level, Hooton Pagnell Hall overlooks the sweeping South Yorkshire countryside. Today the Hall is part of a farming estate of the current owner, Mark Warde-Norbury, who, along with his wife Lucianne and their children, live there as their country residence.