Heysham Old Hall & Parker’s Warning

The Old Hall at Heysham is a fabulous old building which is now a public house. I've often admired it while passing and decided to take some shots of its exterior. As I waked round into the back carpark, the landlady was out like a shot, demanding to know my business. There’s no need for a guard dog on these premises. 


The house and land once belonged to a certain William Parker, otherwise known as Lord Monteagle. It was he who received a mysterious letter in 1605, urging him to avoid attending that year’s opening of Parliament:

26 October 1605

My lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation, therefore

I would advise you as you tender your life to devise some excuse to shift your attendance at this

parliament, for God and man have concurred to punish the wickedness of this time, and think not

slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your country, where you may expect the event

in safety, for though there be no appearance of any stir, yet I say they shall receive a terrible blow

this parliament and yet they shall not see who hurts them, this counsel is not to be condemned

because it may do you good and can do you no harm, for the danger is past as soon as you have

burnt the letter and I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it, to whose holy

protection I commend you.

The terrible blow here referred to was Guy Fawkes’ and others’ gunpowder plot to destroy the protestant government of this nation. Parker, though a Catholic himself, immediately informed the King and later searched the basement under Westminster Palace, wherein Fawkes was found. Consequently, Parliament- and Protestant England- were saved. So well rewarded was Parker for his deed, that some have suggested he self-authored the letter, betraying a conspiracy to which he was already privy.

The gospel is a warning against a terrible, future blow. And those who act on its counsel not only avoid such catastrophic judgement, but are richly rewarded thereafter.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16