Marks Hall mansion stood on an ancient site of habitation at the heart of Marks Hall Estate. The archaeology reveals a site stretching back to Saxon, Roman and Bronze Age times.

Throughout the centuries the mansion, and manor house before it, had numerous owners, all of whom contributed to the house in different ways. The Honywood family owned Marks Hall, along with other estates, from the late Sixteenth to the late Nineteenth century.

The house is no longer standing, having been demolished in 1950. The true reasons for its demolition are obscure and complex. During the Second World War substantial parts of the Estate were requisitioned for occupation by service personnel including the house.  After the war the Estate became badly neglected, the buildings and lakes falling into disrepair and the great oaks were felled.  In 1950 the mansion was demolished and its entire fabric auctioned off.

Marks Hall Estate formed a working partnership with the University of Essex and Colchester Archaeological Group to research the story of the former mansion.  A geophysical survey was undertaken and excavations took place between 2011 and 2014.  These revealed the location and configuration of the mansion.  The findings from these excavations have been published in "From Demolition to Discovery" which is on sale at the Visitor Centre.

In July 2012, the Department of History at the University of Essex was awarded a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to help research the history of the mansion, and contribute to historical knowledge of lost mansions.  More detail can be found here.