The original Burton Agnes Hall was a Norman Manor House built around 1173 and still survives as a simple rectangular building set behind the courtyard shop. It was lived in for about 500 years until the Hall was built.
It was built of limestone, but was encased in brick during the 17thC to resemble the grand new brick Hall built next to it. The building was used to house servants and was also the laundry. It still has the simple round Norman arched doorway although the sash windows are a later addition.
The undercroft on the ground floor is pure Norman with massive round pillars with water flower capitals supporting the vaulted ceiling. On the far pillar are nine small holes in a square, which may be the peg holes for the game Nine Men’s Morris. It was used for storage and may also have provided sleeping and living quarters for the servants.
The original narrow spiral stairs in north west corner lead up to the great hall on the first floor, which was the living and sleeping quarters of the family. This has a wood beam ceiling dating from the mid 15thC. The remains of the original external door can be seen on the north wall. This would have been reached by an external stair. Beside it are the remains of the Norman fireplace, below the present floor level. Next to it is a later fireplace. The remains of the tracery of an early window can be seen on the west wall.
There was originally a second floor built later as servant sleeping quarters, but this has been removed although the windows remain.
The Building is now in the care of English Heritage and entry is free. It is worth looking at if visiting Burton Agnes Hall, but not worth making a special trip.