Forty Hall & Estate, Enfield, London, UK

Forty Hall & Estate, Enfield, London, UK

August 2012 - Working in partnership with our friends at PLB Consulting, we planned, designed, fabricated and installed orientation signage and interpretive media in and around the Hall.

Forty Hall is a manor house of the 1620s in Forty Hill in Enfield, north London. The house, a Grade I listed building, is today used as a museum by the London Borough of Enfield. Within the grounds is the site of the former Tudor Elsyng Palace.

The house was built between 1629 and 1632. It is generally said to have been built by Sir Nicholas Raynton or Rainton, a wealthy London haberdasher who was Lord Mayor of London from 1632 to 1633. However Tuff, writing in 1858, says that it was built by Sir Hugh Fortee and bought by Raynton, quoting a 1635 survey describing a copyhold house "some time Hugh Fortee's, and late Sir Thomas Gurney's". Lambert also gives Fortee as the origin of the name.

The detailed history of the house has until recently been poorly understood, since it is known to have been built in the 1620s, but has the external appearance of an 18th-century house. A detailed examination was carried out for Enfield council as part of the Forty Hall Conservation Plan. This concluded that the house was probably not designed by a famous architect such as Inigo Jones, but by a "clever artisan builder".

The Hall's permanent exhibition tells the story of the house and its estate throughout the ages and looks at the life and times of Sir Nicholas Rainton and life in the seventeenth century through a range of visual and audio interpretation and displays. There is also a range of guided tours, led by a Jacobean character. The exhibition programme focuses on art, ecology and heritage.