Hackfall Buildings

Hackfall contains four listed buildings.

The Banqueting House – Grade II*
Fishers Hall – Grade II
Mowbray Castle – Grade II
The Rustic Temple – Grade II

The Banqueting House has now been fully restored and is owned by the Landmark Trust who make it available as a holiday cottage.

Fishers Hall has been substantially consolidated in order to prevent further deterioration but a decision has been made to not re roof the structure and to not replace the windows.

Mowbray Castle has been underpinned and stabilised to maintain the structural integrity of the building for the future.

The Rustic Temple has an unusual construction of interlocking sand stone and had survived pretty much intact. The stones that form the crenelations on top of the wall had fallen off and had to be replaced and some consolidation work was done on the walls at the back of the structure but otherwise very little work was required.

There are also some lesser structures which are not listed and there were in the past a number of wooden structures which have disappeared long ago.

The Grotto
Built from locally sourced Tufa The Grotto had almost completely fallen down. So much so that it couldn’t become a listed building. Work has been undertaken to restore the walls of the building and planning permission has now been obtained to do more work but there are no plans to complete the roof.

Kent’s Seat
A grotto opposite the alum spring. Kent’s seat is thought to have been named after William Kent the great garden designer. The structure had completely fallen down but old photographs have allowed a partial reconstruction.

The Dropping Well
The Dropping Well is at the Mickley end of Common Wood and is quite difficult to find as there are no paths up to it. It is well preserved and has required no remedial work.

Sandbed Hut
The Sandbed Hut had pretty much disintegrated into a pile of stone. A wall has been rebuilt using stones found in this pile on the old footprint. There are no photographs of the structure as it was originally so it is impossible to full restore it. It is thought that Turner sat here to do one of his famous views of Hackfall.

Wooden Buildings
In Dorothy Richardson’s 1771 description there were a number of wooden buildings mentioned. “very near Fishers Hall is a round thatched place for a kitchen … thro’ a long Serpentine Walk to a small wood building called the Sentry Box … We clim’d up the hill to the Chinese Tent”.

Other descriptions mention a stable near to Fishers Hall and the 1856 map shows a number of “sumer houses”.

Sadly these wooden buildings have all disappeared without leaving a trace.