GOSBERTON 2 : CRESSY HALL
This moated enclosure is situated in the grounds of Cressy Hall (Fig 58), which lies 2 kilometres west of the village of Gosberton and defines the boundary of the curia of the medieval manor of Risegate in the vill of Surfleet. The site has been officially in the parish of Gosberton only in the present century (Fig 58). In 1086 the estate was assessed at four carucates and four bovates and was held by Heppo the Arblaster, probably by sergeancy (1). In the reign of King Richard I it escheated to the crown and was granted to Walter de Braytoft for the service of 40 shillings per year. Subsequently it passed to his granddaughter Sibyl de Cressy and descended in the Cressy family into the fifteenth century century when, with the failure of the male line, the Markhams inherited (2). Only one medieval reference has been found to structures that may have occupied the site. In 1384 an inquisition jury reported that 'The houses of the manor are so ruinous that 10 marks yearly must be spent on them for repair, as well as 10 marks yearly for the repair of the walls, gutters, sewers and dykes of the sea and marsh, and other charges incumbent on the manor'. Nevertheless the escheator noted that, should the estate be seized into the king's hands, it would be worth £81 per year (3).
The manor house was 'handsomely rebuilt' in the seventeenth century by Sir Henry Heron (4), probably away from the limitations of the moated area, which, enclosing about 1,100 square metres and comparable in size with other sites in the region such as Spanby, is somewhat small. Sir Henry died in 1695 and the house he built was destroyed by fire in 1791. By the following year his son, another Henry, had again rebuilt, and this is the Hall which stands today. Only three sides of the moat survive (Fig 59) but an additional ditch begins 20 metres west of the moat for a further 150 metres in a straight line. It is just possible that this last is part of a garden terrace, perhaps for the seventeenth century house, which linked with the medieval moat. The whole area slopes gradually down to the east from the present Hall, which may have been constructed on foundations of rubble from its immediate predecessor, to Cawood Lane.
1. Lincs DB, 61/5. Subsequently most of Heppo's estates were held by grand or petty sergeancy; see, for example, CI vii, 450; BF, 180.
2. RH i, 304b; CI ii, 245; Marrat 1, 210-14.
3. CI xv, 378.
4. White 1856, 813; Pevsner, Lincs, 539.