Medieval Manor Houses
By Michael Ford
Bewley Court OS.173 (ST926685)
Can be found between MELKSHAM and
CHIPPENHAM and East of Lacock at Bowden Hill on a
minor road. The house can be seen over the
The oldest parts of the
structure are 14c and 15c including the hall with
some timber framing and its roof. Externally the
main features are a fine oriel window, a porch
Bradfield Manor OS.173 (ST896830)
CHIPPENHAM at Hullavington off a minor road. An
end on view can be had from the road but this
does not do the house justice.
The Manor dates from Domesday
times with Earl Harold as its Lord and was
granted to Roger Mortimer by the Crown.
In the 14c the Manor was in the
hands of the Earl of March and on his death in
1398 passed to his daughter Ann who married
Richard Earl of Cambridge and then on to their
son Edward. The Crown took possession in 1461
with his succession as Edward IV. The house must
have been built in its present form around this
John Collingbourne owned the
property from 1472 on the death of the previous
owner John Russell. His heir William
Collingbourne conspired against Richard III and
wrote the rhyme The cat and the rat and
Lovell our dog rule all England under a hog
and for this was executed in 1484. The house
stayed with the Collingbournes until 1545 when
Edmund Collingbourne, Councellor and Chaplain to
Henry VII, died. It passed by descent to John
Whistler who sold it out of family ownership in
The house was restored in 1930
by Major Storey whose architect was Sir Harold
The house has a very Gothic
look with two full height transom windows. The
roof to the 15c hall still survives in the loft.
Great Chalfield Manor House OS.173 (ST860632)
North East of
BRADFORD-ON-AVON on a minor road from which an
excellent view can be enjoyed.
This is one of Englands
most perfect medieval manor houses, a superb
group of picturesque buildings including the
church, gatehouse, barn, mill, service buildings,
moat and bridge.
The House is now owned by the
National Trust and may be visited from May to
October. The guided tours are at set times and it
is important not to miss the start.
The exterior of the house
features beautiful oriel windows and a fine porch
and doorway with a coat of arms on the corbel.
There is some timber framing at the rear.
Inside the hall, screen and
solar are complete. Look out for the stone
looking mask squints.
The house was rebuilt be Thomas
Tropnell between 1467 and 1480 round a courtyard.
Thomas died in 1488. His Great-granddaughter Ann
married John Eyre in 1550 and they continued to
live in the house.
During the Civil War a
Parliamentary garrison occupied the property from
1644 to 1646.
The house was in a sorry state
at the start of the Victorian era and the East
wing was demolished in 1838 except for the North
wall with its oriel window. Between 1905 and 1912
Robert Fuller employed Sir Harold Brakspear as
his architect for restoration of the property. He
gave the Manor to the National Trust in 1943 with
a suitable endowment for its upkeep. His family
still have their home there.
King Johns1 House OS.184
South East of SHAFTESBURY in
Tollard Royal, the old Capital of Cranborne
The heart of the house is c.1240.
It has a first floor hall and both 13c and
Elizabethan windows. The structure shows some
timber framing externally.
The house belonged to General
Sir Augustus Pitt-Rivers the Father of
Archaeology in Victorian times from 1889
and it was he who examined the house in detail,
rediscovering its 13c and Elizabethan heart. He
uncovered some excellent windows of those times.
This is one King Johns
House which is believed to actually have
associations with King John.
term King Johns House etc.
generally bears no connection with King John
himself, it is just a name given to any ancient
structure where little is known of its history.
Manor Houses in Wiltshire N-Z
interesting Medieval Houses and Buildings
with Medieval Origins
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