The Stone Hall is the first room you see on the left as you go into the house, the space- now divided by four doric columns- is the full extent of what was the medieval Great Hall. Henry VIII dined here in 1533. He had seized the house on the death of its previous owner and had recently gifted it to his cousin and friend Henry Courtenay. 

Possibly the grateful Courtenay invited his cousin to dine in the Great Hall, or more probably the king invited himself and his large retinue. The list of dishes offered to the monarch survives. The first course included stewed sparrow, carp, capons, pheasant, duck, gull and stuffed rabbit, all served as cold dishes. The next, which was served warm, has stork, gannet, heron, quail, partridge and fresh sturgeon. For dessert there was jelly, blancmange, apples with pistachios, pears with caraway, clotted cream with sugar, quince pie and marzipan. This, as with a buffet meal today, was merely the choice of delicacies on offer for each course. 

Only a few years after this feast Thomas Cromwell, by now Courtenay's rival for power at court, persuaded the king on no known evidence that Courtenay was part of a Catholic plot to rise against him. After the legal niceties had been rapidly completed, Courtenay was beheaded in 1538. These were dangerous times. 

We know that Carew Raleigh (WHP owner from 1643-64) spent £2000 upgrading the manor house. It seems likely that it was he who was responsible for inserting the new ceiling in the Stone Hall to create the Drawing Room above, as well as adding the redbrick façade to the south elevation and building the Raleigh staircase. The Stone Hall's current classical design is likely to have been created by Henry Weston during his ownership of the house from 1749-59.