Some questions about the Old Hall remain unanswered:
Why would the Lord of the Manor have such a large house built for tenants?
Why did it take such a long time to build?
Why were priest holes built into the structure at the time of building? (The
time when it was built was the peak period for their construction.)
The .first tenant Robert Edmondson is mentioned in the second account about the Old Hall above
‘In 1607 Robert was described as a poor Popish recusant unable to pay 8d fine‘
A recusant in those days was a person who refused to attend services at his/her local Anglican church, i.e. St Peter’s. This clearly implies that, like his landlord, Robert was a Catholic and the position of Catholics during Eilzabeth I reign was not easy.,
It is worth noting that Edward Croft, Rector of St Peter’s from 1568 -1583, resigned and became a recusant. This is not surprising when you find that the Croft family were staunch Catholics. See p.9 of the linked Croft family pdf and note the likeness of Claughton Hall west wing to Heysham Old Hall
There is a further reference to St Peter’s at the baptism of Hellen Edmondson, daughter of Robert ‘abode The Hall’ in October 1662. By then the position of Catholics has eased due to the Repeal of the ‘Recusancy’ acts during the Cromwell regime. This Robert must have been a son or grand son of the recusant Robert.