Built by Richard Bennyngton in the mid 15th century, Hussey Tower in Boston is the remains of a once great manor house.
After Bennygton’s death in about 1475 the house passed into the hands of Sir John Hussey, a rich and influential man and member of the royal courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII.
Sir John Hussey was executed by Henry VIII following the Lincolnshire Rising in 1536, after which Boston Corporation took ownership of the property. The Borough Council still owns it today, although it has been a ruin for several hundred years.
Heritage Lincolnshire has managed this historic monument since 1996 and during that time has worked with Boston Borough Council to improve the condition of the building and the landscaping around it. However, despite this care and maintenance, its condition was gradually declining and had reached the point where major investment was needed to safeguard its structure for the future.
A Masterclass in Traditional Repair
In June 2011 a project to repair and conserve Hussey Tower began. It was made possible by grant funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd), the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lincolnshire County Council, Boston Borough Council and from the Wash Fens Rural Development Programme through the RDPE LEADER Approach, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.
This education pack is part of that project. The assistance of local volunteers and Boston Guildhall Museum in producing it is gratefully acknowledged.
Aspects of the history, archaeology, architecture and form of Hussey Tower, as well as its relationship to the town of Boston, provide a wide range of opportunities across the curriculum and at all Key Stages.
While this pack has been designed primarily for use at Key Stage 2, the information contained in it will also be of interest to students working at other Key Stages, and to anyone who wants to find out a little more about Hussey Tower and its place in the late medieval and early Tudor history of Boston.
The repair projectopen resource
This section introduces you to Hussey tower and its powerful owner, Sir John Hussey. It tells you a little about what the building is and outlines its history. It also explains about the repair project that took place in 2011 and how people in Boston were able to get involved.
Medieval Bostonopen resource
This section tells the story of Boston as an important medieval sea port and the wealth that was created by the trade that went on there. It talks about the town and its buildings at that time and shows how important the church and religion were for the people who lived and worked there.
Building with bricksopen resource
This section tells about the history of building with bricks and about some of the earliest surviving brick buildings in Lincolnshire, which date from the medieval period. It also describes how bricks were traditionally made by hand close to where they were going to be used.
Building the Toweropen resource
This section explains how Hussey Tower as it survives today fitted into what was once a large and important medieval manor house. It shows how the house was built to accommodate a particular way of life, how it might have looked in the very early 16th century, and how its rooms and grounds would have been used.
Daily lifeopen resource
This section paints a picture of what life was like for people living in a wealthy household in the early 16th century and contrasts it with the lives of people who were not so well off. Here you can find out about their food and their clothes, their sports and entertainments, what plants they grew in their gardens and how their children were educated.
Lord Husseyopen resource
This section tells the story of Sir John Hussey who owned Hussey Tower and from whom it takes its name. Sir John was once one of the most important members of the royal court, but he fell out of favour with King Henry VIII and was executed in 1537.
Educational Approachesopen resource
This section gives ideas for school activities based on Hussey Tower and its relationship with Boston, both in the classroom and on a visit to Hussey Tower. They are designed chiefly for use at Key Stage 2. Separate downloadable sheets are provided for some of the activities: