The House from a circa 1910 postcard
The House from an 1830 engraving
The Courtyard from a circa 1915 postcard
Built / Designed For: Sir Humphrey Stafford and Sir Christopher Hatton
House & Family History: Kirby Hall was begun in 1570 by Sir Humphrey Stafford, a courtier at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Sir Humphrey's monumental house far outstripped his insignificant position at court and he sold the House, unfinished, to Sir Christopher Hatton, who completed Kirby in 1575. Sir Christopher was lord chancellor to Elizabeth I and finished the House in grand style. Kirby is a stone house constructed on a quadrangle and was one of the first buildings in England to employ Renaissance principles of classical architecture. The House was enlarged and altered in the 17th century. In the 19th century Kirby fell into a decline from which it never recovered. The House is today a partial ruin that is owned and operated by English Heritage. The H.H. Wills Physics Laboratory at the University of Bristol, designed by Oatley & Lawrence 1921-27, is closely modeled on Kirby Hall.
Comments: Kirby is considered one of England's greatest Elizabethan houses.
John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. III, 1826.
Country Life: XX, 558, 1906.
Title: Pevsner Architectural Guides: Bristol
Author: Foyle, Andrew; Cherry, Bridget
Year Published: 2004
Reference: pg. 243
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
Title: V&A Guide to Period Styles: 400 Years of British Art and Design, The
Author: Jackson, Anna; Hinton, Morna
Year Published: 2002
Reference: pg. 15
Publisher: London: V&A Publications
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat of: Sir Humphrey Stafford, 16th century. Sir Christopher Hatton, 16th century.
Current Ownership Type: English Heritage
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction