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Tattershall College Grammar School

A Scheduled Monument in Tattershall, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.104 / 53°6'14"N

Longitude: -0.1896 / 0°11'22"W

OS Eastings: 521296.100442

OS Northings: 357847.653282

OS Grid: TF212578

Mapcode National: GBR HSD.DWH

Mapcode Global: WHHL2.17ZQ

Entry Name: Tattershall College Grammar School

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1952

Last Amended: 9 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013525

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22687

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Tattershall

Built-Up Area: Coningsby Airfield

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Tattershall Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the remains of a brick building believed to have been
constructed in the mid 15th century as the grammar school of Tattershall
College. The College of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1439 by Ralph, Lord
Cromwell, and built following his death in 1454 in the area to the east of his
castle at Tattershall. The grammar school was situated outside the college
precincts and provided for the education of the choristers and of the sons of
the tenants of both the college and Lord Cromwell. Its construction was
completed by 1460 under the wardenship of John Gigur, who later helped to
organise the building of a similar school at Wainfleet. The college was
dissolved in 1545 but the school is thought to have continued for some time
afterwards. By the late 18th century the building had been converted to form
part of the Tattershall Brewery complex, a use which continued until the early
20th century. In 1972 it came into the guardianship of the Secretary of
State and was subsequently restored to its original dimensions. The standing
remains of The College are Listed Grade II*.

The monument is situated about 250m NNE of Holy Trinity Church upon which the
college was centred. It lies on the south west side of a lane which runs south
eastwards from the marketplace. The present building is rectangular in form
with internal measurements of approximately 16m by 6.6m and is now unroofed.
Three of the four walls stand to a height of over 6m and are constructed of
15th century brick and limestone ashlar dressings with later alterations; the
fourth, south eastern, wall is a modern brick replacement and stands to a
height of nearly 4m. In the post-medieval period the original two storeys were
converted into three with the insertion of a cellar and the consequent raising
of the upper floors. The present floor level of the building is approximately
0.8m below the exterior ground level, and is reached by a short flight of
modern stone steps.

In both of the long walls are two rows of openings indicating the original two
storeys of the 15th century building. At the northern end of the
north eastern wall, which faces onto the lane, is a four-centred arched
doorway; near the southern end is a small internally splayed window which
formerly lit the original ground floor chamber. Between them is the site of a
second small window, later enlarged to form a rectangular doorway to the
inserted middle storey and now closed with modern brick. Above is a row of
four openings representing the remains of the windows which formerly lit the
main first floor chamber; the stone jambs of the northernmost window survive,
and the edges of the sill which was broken through to create a door to the
later top storey, from which an external staircase formerly led. Of the two
southerly windows, formerly of similar dimensions to that at the north, the
southernmost was later blocked with brick whilst the central window,
originally larger than the other three, was reduced in size. At ground level
are two rectangular openings, now blocked with brick, which were added when
the cellar was created. At this time the ground floor doorway was partially
blocked and a narrower doorway inserted, which now gives access to the

In the south western wall are two original ground floor doorways, one in the
northern corner opposite that in the north eastern wall and one near the
centre. Both were later partially blocked, the former to create a smaller
doorway and the latter to create an opening at cellar level; these openings
are now blocked with modern brick. In each of the northern and southern parts
of the wall is a small internally splayed window, of the same dimensions as
that surviving in the opposite wall but externally blocked. Above are the
remains of four first floor windows, opposite those in the north eastern wall;
the large central window was, like the one opposite, reduced in size and a
timber lintel inserted. In two of the three smaller windows the original
stone jambs and sills are retained, including the bases of mullions which
indicate that these windows were formerly of two lights. The two southerly
windows were later blocked.

Set into the interior of both the north east and south west walls at
first-floor level are the stubs of timber beams, now covered with lead.
Inserted above the later cellar is another row of beam slots from which the
later middle floor was supported. Below it, from the present ground level to
a height of about 0.7m, the walls are covered by the remains of plaster which
also date from the creation of the cellar. The north western wall of the
building, which has been largely rebuilt, includes at its western end a modern
rectangular doorway with a concrete lintel, now blocked. This wall is
attached on its external face to an adjacent building which is not included in
the scheduling.

All adjoining walls, fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A medieval college was an establishment of clergy sharing a degree
of common life less strictly controlled than that prescribed by a monastic
rule. In the late 12th and 13th centuries some bishops set up
`secular' chapters of this type as an alternative to the structure of
contemporary monastic houses; some barons followed suit by setting up colleges
at their castles. After 1300 chantry colleges became more common. These were
establishments of priests whose prime concern was to offer masses for the
souls of the patron and their family, and sometimes housed bedesmen (deserving
poor and elderly). Most colleges provided educational facilities in the form
of grammar schools, which offered a general education to both choristers and
lay pupils; at some colleges the educational function came to dominate over
other activities. Collegiate schools formed part of a tradition of medieval
grammar schools which included some monastic and many secular foundations;
schoolmasters drawn from both the clergy and the laity might teach in both
collegiate and secular schools, and appointments to the latter were frequently
made by collegiate bodies. While most colleges were closed down under the
Chantries Act of 1547, the schools attached to them were often refounded, many
under royal patronage.

The collegiate grammar school at Tattershall represents a rare survival of a
standing building of this type. Its continuation in use into the post-medieval
period has ensured the survival of the fabric, in good condition, to nearly
its original dimensions. Disturbance to buried deposits has been limited and
archaeological remains relating to the construction and use of the building
will therefore be preserved. Tattershall College was of considerable
historical importance and was associated with well-known figures of the 15th
and 16th century. As a guardianship monument open to the public it serves as
a valuable recreational and educational resource.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
A Topographical Account of Tattershall, in the County of Lincoln, (1813), 19
Curzon, , Tipping, , Tattershall Castle Lincs: A Historical and Descriptive Survey, (1929), 107-111
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Lincolnshire: Volume II, (1906), 237
Pickworth, M A, History of Tattershall, Lincolnshire, With its Collegiate Church, (1891), 28,46
LAO ref. CHAT 1/28-35, Inventory of Tattershall Brewery, (1901)
LAO ref. EX 31/7/48/6, Postcard of so-called college building, Tattershall, (1915)

Source: Historic England

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