Inside Forty Hall

The Great Hall


Your visit will start in the Great Hall where Sir Nicholas Rainton greeted his guests in the 17th century. The elaborate fireplace and screen are faithful recreations of Sir Nicholas's decorative choices. As was the fashion of the time, he had surfaces painted to mimic walnut, marble and tortoiseshell. This is the first room in a suite - a series of rooms that lead from one into the next.

Once you've explored the downstairs suite, including the Parlour, Withdrawing Room (now our tastefully stocked gift shop) and our historic kitchen, climb our stunning Grand Staircase, crafted locally from oak, to discover two further suites. Make sure you explore the top floor too, where Forty Hall's servants lived throughout the centuries. Upstairs, you can also find out about King Henry VIII's Elsyng Palace. A lift is available to all floors.

The Parlour

A more favoured guest might be invited into the Parlour. Click here to find out more about dining in a fine house in the 17th century.

The Historic Kitchen

Visit our Historic Kitchen to find out how Forty Hall's cooks and servants fed the household. Have a go with our hands on activities. Click here to find out about cooking in the 17th century..

The Grand Staircase & Stained Glass Windows

These stunning stained glass windows were installed during an extensive renovation by the Bowles family around 1896. The first-floor landing window is divided into four sections, and contains the arms of the Bowles family and other families linked to them. The second-floor window depicts a hermit in a pastoral scene.

The Great Chamber - an entertaining space

The Great Chamber was originally a larger space used for formal entertaining. It was made smaller during the 1700s as smaller rooms became desirable. Our 18th century landscape was shaped during this time. Find out more here...

The Withdrawing Chamber

A more favoured guest in Sir Nicholas Rainton's time may have been brought into the Withdrawing Chamber. This room was used as a breakfast room by the Meyer family in the 1800s. Find out more about this room and the Meyer family here.

Sir Nicholas Rainton's Bedchamber

A 17th century bedchamber may have been used to receive guests; a bed was a prized status symbol. Warmed by the kitchen below, Sir Nicholas Rainton's bedchamber tells the story of his later life, his death and his legacy.

Forty Hall during the War 1939-45

Stand in the doorway of our wartime living room, look at the things such as clothes, toys and household goods for clues as to who might live here. Use your imagination to work out what their lives might be like in 1941.

Visit the Museum of Enfield in the Dugdale centre for our ‘Enfield at War 1939-45’ exhibition. On until April 2020

The Chamber

The Chamber is a delightful space to relax, play board games and read. It has an intriguing original ceiling: within the interlocking quatrefoils, jewelled arabesque and foliage motifs can be seen traditional mythical creatures including the cockatrice.

The Long Gallery

The Long Gallery and the Café were originally part of a service courtyard, probably added in the late 17th century by Nicholas Rainton the Younger.

Find out much more at Forty Hall!

Visit Forty Hall to discover more rooms telling the story of Forty Hall and its families. We look forward to seeing you!