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About Minster Lovell Hall & Dovecote
The ruins of Minster Lovell Hall stand in an attractive position on the banks of the River Windrush. Despite speculation, the ruins have never formed any part of any religious establishment, although at a later date, the owners of the property established a small religious foundation nearby which came under the jurisdiction of Ivry Abbey in Normandy, but the remains of this priory have long since disappeared.
Minster Lovell Hall and its lands were once Crown property, they where granted to the Lovell family by Henry I early in the 12th-century. From then the manorial holding passed through the family until John Lovell was created Ist Lord Lovell. After he died in 1310, there was a period of strife. The manor was held on behalf of the infant Francis, 3rd Lord Lovell, by a favourite of King Edward II, and later when Francis fought on behalf of Richard II at the Battle of Bosworth, the property was seized by the Crown. Jasper Tudor, uncle of Henry VII held it for time, after-which it was let to a succession of tenants.
The atmospheric remains on the site that we look at today are of a 15th-century manor house, the chief fragments are of the hall and its porch, high walls on the west and south, very little lies to the east where it is likely the once great chambers may have been. And there is no access to upper floors. It is only with difficulty that one can imagine the former splendour of Minster Lovell, which during its historic past is known to have received at least two Kings, Henry VII and Richard III.
There survive some ghostly tales surrounding Minster Lovell Hall; Francis, Viscount Lovell, who supported Richard III against Henry VII, fled back to his manor following the death of King Richard on the fields of Bosworth. Only a trusted servant knew of the room in which Francis was hidden. The servant is said to have died suddenly, with Francis being left to slowly die of starvation. There are many who have claimed to have heard the pitiful cries amidst the ruined estate.
The present ruined state of the Hall is largely due to demolition in the middle of the 18th-century. Adjacent to the ruins visitors can see a medieval Dovecote, and in Minster Lovell church there is a 15th-century effigy of Lord Lovell.
Access to the site is free.
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