Mousehall History

Why the name Mousehall? 

The property was first known as Mousehall from as early as the Norman Conquest (11th century). Mousehall was first recorded in the Domesday book (the great land survey commissioned by William the Conqueror) in 1086.

In the 1300's Mousehall adopted many names: Monsehall, Mouleshale, Moushall, Mousehale. This period coincided with the "Monse" family who first arrived in Sussex during the Norman Conquest (11th century) and in

Mousehall was said to have been named after the first traceable owner, James de Mouleshale "James of Mousehall" in the 14th century.  

An old map of Mousehall Farm

The Mousehall Oast House 

An Oast, Oast house or Hop Kiln is a building designed for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Oast houses play a big part in England’s heritage, with some of Sussex & Kent’s famous Oast Houses dating back to the 15th Century.

Oast Houses were traditionally used to dry out the hops equipped with a fiery kiln, a drying room and a cooling room. The conical roof was topped with an Oast cowl to create a draft that kept the fire alight and was fuelled by wood until the 17th Century when charcoal took over.

The Mousehall Oast presents a Mouse on the windvane, this was designed by Sir Basil Spence for the Gibb family (previous owners of Mousehall). Sir Basil Spence was an architect who designed Coventry Cathedral in England and the Beehive in New Zealand. See below an image of the original Mouse on the Oast.

Mousehall Oast at Sunrise on a frosty Spring morning


 Original Drawing of Mousehall Oast Produced By Sir Basil Spence