Hawkesyard

Nathaniel Lister purchased the Hawkesyard Estate in 1759 and had a mansion built about a quarter of a mile away from the site of the old Hall. He named the new house Armitage Park.

In 1839, Mrs Spode, mother of Josiah Spode purchased the Hall from Nathaniel Lister. The surrounding parkland was bought at the same time. During this period the building was much altered and became known as Spode House. It is the building which stands nearest to the canal. Following Mrs.Spode’s death in 1860, Josiah took up residence, and on his death in 1893 the property was left to his niece Helen Gulson. Helen had a vision of Mary in the grounds of the Hall and this led to the building of the Church.

Helen Gulson moved into Gulson House on the estate and left the Hall, Church and grounds to the English Dominican Order of Friars in 1894. Hawkesyard Priory was later built for the Dominicans, and was essentially a seat of learning. Students attended a three year course at Hawkesyard in philosophical studies, with the students then going on to Oxford to read Theology. The Domincans left in 1988, and the buildings and contents were sold by public auction. The Priory has now been refurbished as a nursing home for the elderly. Spode House was bought for a private dwelling and offices and the green acreage is now a golf course.