top of page
  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 195, Travel Blog, Day out in the Van to English Heritage's Gainsborough Manor and Old Hall

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Created by KeefH Web Designs, July 3rd, 2023, 8.04 AM

Incidentally between Canada day (1st July) and Independence Day (4th July)

A Travel Blog by KeefH Web Designs Motorhome trip No55: 2nd July 2023

NOTTS-> Gainsborough Old Hall and back, mostly to try out the very expensive fixes on our T4 engine, have to say it was a success and a great day out, including Tuna mayo sarnie lunch with Nectarine and Choc brioche, oh and a coffee in the English Heritage café -> NOTTS 131 miles

Prefer to listen than read a blog, click HERE for the audiobook.



As you can tell from Blog 194 we had some severe problems with our lovely Wendy house van based on a Volkswagen T4 transporter in the last few days in Eire. Basically the oil warning light came on whenever you accelerated or slowed down and when it starts it is accompanied by a loud warning beep, extremely annoying. Anyhow we did top up with oil as directed by the manual, but could find no oil leaks so assumed on google searching it , it was an error with the oil pressure indicators. Anyhow to cut a long story short, we managed to nurse it back home and book it into our local garage. When I came 3 weeks later (as soon as they could fit us in) to start it up, smoke billowed out of the engine and it was mis-firing like crazy. Got it to the garage who discover the bolt on a fuel injector 5 had bust and needed work and piston regrind etc. etc. (sorry right over my head, I'm an IT guy not a mechanical engineer for my sins) #help So after a very expensive repair, way more than sticking plaster, we took it out for the day allegedly to Gainsborough but after 40 miles the same oil warning light and mega beeping was happening, so guess what, we took it back, 2 days later and yet more expense we got it back again. Oil sensors inside the engine replaced plus all wiring de-oiled (if that is a word) #hintsandtips The whole affair cost £2k, way more than we had anticipated so mega poor times to come #smile All the worked was charged at £60 per hour and supposedly (who can prove it?) took 15 hours, but I guess they had the engine head off on 2 separate occasions so maybe not unreasonable, any one out there with more experience or skillset care to comment, it would be gratefully received, thanks in anticipation. So once again full of trepidation for "what else can go wrong" we set out for Gainsborough again. This time, thank heavens, all was well with our lovely Wendy House #hooray

So basically travel blog 195 is all about testing out the van and visiting a slightly nearby English Heritage property. This is our Travel Blog created by KeefH Web Designs for motorhome-travels dot net site, featuring a day out in the lovely Wendy House Van to English Heritage's Gainsborough Manor and Old Hall , plus lunch in the van in a side street, and we had our own loo, what more could you ask for, tee hee oh yes a van that work!!!

To get a true overview of the manor house and hall click here. One word of advice, if you are visiting Monday to Saturday there is no car park as such and limited one hour parking on nearby streets, there are of course many public car parks in town you can walk from (10 mins max) BUT if like us you go on a Sunday there are many local streets you can park on for free for as long as you like #result

Through out this travel blog all images can be seen by just clicking expand on any then scroll forward or backwards thru them, hope that helps? #help

old manor house view blog 195 by KeefH Web Designs
The Gainsborough Manor House / Old Hall from the outside

There is a lot of history in this fine medieval hall / manor house. Starting in the 1400s with Thomas Burgh who served Edward IV, and was given this land for his loyalty. Richard III stayed here with his wife (I bet that was an expensive visit for Thomas) stayed here, then Henry VII made one of the Thomas' a Lord so he was entitled to make it a castle, so he added the turret end as a sort of "I think I'm richer than though" moment. One of the Burgh line was the 1st husband of Henry VIII's 6th wife Catherine Parr. The old hall then went to the Hickman's and Bacon Hickman's until it was eventually used to home the destitute, and even became a theatre and market place, as well as being used as rooms for stage coach travellers at some point, boy its seen a lot. Walking the upper area was like being on a ship as the crooked walls and floors gave you that feeling. I've even learned more about the separatist movement and John Wesley so can't all be bad, learn something new every day #fun #hintsandtips

an earky photo of old hall lodging range created by KHWD
Wash Houses

Annie bought some lovely historical tea towels in the gift shop showing English monarchs through out time, class and adds to our respective DNA journeys via genealogy.

tea towel images of royalty by KeefH Web Designs
English Heritage Tea Towels #fab


This was our travel route to Gainsborough old hall, up the M1, M18, A1 south to try out the van at speed and pressurise the engine to check all is fixed, then back through Retford and Worksop in Nottinghamshire and all the lovely villages before rejoining the M1 just past Rother Country Park. See it graphically now on a You Tube short.


Here are a set of travel blog videos constructed from the day , some using newly found AI techniques, created by KeefH Web Designs (KHWD)

This one is the complete set of images, hope you enjoy

This one shows all the historical info for you to read at your leisure should you chose to do so, just stop the video at any point to read any board in full at your own speed, maybe even make it full screen to help, click the square in the bottom right hand corner, thanks

This one shows just us on our day out, 4 videos, 3 of which are short reels in portrait mode and one in landscape, they are all only 3/4 of a minute long, the first 2 are created using AI and have been done to show the art of the possible by KeefH Web Designs, the rest were manually constructed. #enjoy Feel free to run these as full screen slideshows, thanks

Here is a slideshow of some of the menus that featured in this house of 120+ kitchen staff back in the 1400s. It also shows a comparison over 129 years of the contents of a bedroom.


Here are a few of the panoramas I took inside the manor house including the old hall, what a spectacular building. No wonder it counts as one of the "finest" and "best preserved" medieval manor houses. The clever use of dangly cards, info bowls, info bedspreads and tablecloths and downloadable audios certainly grabbed and kept your attention and was a great way to learn. So well done English Heritage, we were impressed.


The first of which is the audiobook of this blog collecting together the text to save you having to read it, some like that!

This is a full slideshow with the audiobook as its audio overlay.

Here are a few of the SoundCloud audio books that are available from English Heritage, the 3 we actually listened to on site don't seem to be readily available, maybe they are private, but as I still have the links on my phone, and these were specifically what we listened to I have added links for them whether they work or not for you is debatable as I sense it is clever enough to expect you to be in the building #audiobooks

An overview, very nice gardens and surrounds

We spent quite a while in the kitchens, the feast menus were amazing

This couple were featured in the upstairs long room

Here are the 3 we listen to, good luck, they still work on my phone but not necessarily for you, sorry 1. William Rose, wrapping machine maker and legend that is Cadbury's Roses chocolates, he lived in this building until the age of 17 with his parents His Candy wrappings patented machine can be read about HERE

image of William Rose by KeefH Web Designs
William of Roses Chocolates fame, CEO of Rose Bros Gainsborough Ltd

2. Mrs. Smith, the resident who almost set fire to the whole building, oh dear

3. Mr. Sankey, an actor or impresario who performed in the great hall (I'm guessing!) not one of the many lodgers and destitute' s who lived here for a while although mostly it was a travellers inn after being Burghs/ Hickman and Hickman Bacon residences.


From the manor house




looks like a fun place to visit!

bottom of page