Bardney Manor

  • The first mention of Bardney Manor came from the Domesday Survey in 1087. Bardney had a letter ‘M’, by the side of it, which indicated that it had a Manor. Dom is an Old English word meaning assessment, because it assessed the worth of the king’s realm. William the Conqueror, by 1085, had secured most of England, and sent his men into every shire to investigate his subjects and their property. They had to ask:

1)  Who owned the land before 1066?

2)  Who owned it now?

3)  How much land was there?

  • The objectives were to determine what each place comprised, in people, property and livestock.
  • Bardney is listed thus:
  • Land before 1066, was owned by the Saxon thane, Ulfr Fenman, who had a house in Lincoln with land. It is currently owned by Gilbert of Ghent, including:
  1. Land - 2 carucates, land for 3 ploughs
  2. 16 villagers — a Villager worked for the Lord of the Manor, lived in one of the Lords cottages, but had land he could work for himself. This was in strips around the village; these strips can be seen in the field behind the present Manor and the Viking way to Southrey, and in fields west of Abbey Road.
  3. 5 smallholders - he lived on his own bit of land, but worked for the lord of the Manor
  4. 6 Freemen with two ploughs - a Freeman owned and farmed his own land and could have 2 carucates of land.
  5. I mill (8 shillings)
  6. 5 fisheries (5s 4d)
  7. Meadow - 20 acres.
  8. Woodland pasture - 500 acres
  • When Gilbert of Ghent endowed the Abbey, he gave Bardney Manor, which included the Parish Church, to the Abbey. It is believed that the church, stood somewhere down Abbey Road.
  • The Manor at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1538) was the ancestral home of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt (1482-1548) and his family, and it would have been a thatched property.
  • Sir Thomas Heneage of Hainton (High Sheriff of Lincolnshire) received Tupholme Abbey, and Bardney Manor, excluding the Abbey site, and 1000 acres of woodland, which the King retained for repairing the houses he owned locally. The transfer of Bardney to Sir Thomas Heneage yields a list of the tenants of the Abbey, and field names which still exists today, (i.e. Tile House, Holmewood, Thickthorne, Horsley lands and Rush Close)

The tenants are described as having:

  1. A messuage (a dwelling with land round it)
  2. A croft, (a cottage with a garden)
  3. A bovate of land, (about 20 acres of arable land)
  4. A close, (fenced grazing land).

Examples include:

  1. A farm of one cottage in Bardney held by Thomas Knolles yearly tenancy of 5 shillings per annum.
  2. A farm of one and a half bovates held by Richard Smith 7 shillings per annum.
  3. A farm of one croft held by the wife of Richard Smith 4 Shillings p.a.
  4. One of the most expensive was let to William Boswell, a farm of two mills, in Bardney, a horse mill and a windmill, and a close £3-3s-4d.
  5. A farm of one house called Almoner Place with all the buildings except the Great Granary, all the pastures of Almoner fen, Ox close, ten acres below Horsley, with a pasture for 50 sheep in Bardney fields granted to Edward and Alice Walls for £3-6s-8d.
  6. The Ferry was let to Richard Thomas for 2 shillings per annum. Lord Willoughby had the Rectory farm, the rent asked from Sir Thomas Heneage was £67-13s-4d. per annum.
  • When Sir Thomas died, in 1553, William Willoughby (Lord Willoughby of Parnham) took over the role as Lord of the Manor until his death at Minting Park in 1570. The Willoughby family had various residences in the County. They built Knaith Hall and retained Bardney Manor until 1663.
  • Upon the death of William, a major controversy occurred over the legality of his Will. After much legal wrangling, the manor was eventually occupied by one of his daughters, Mrs Peter Hancock, whose son Peter, would have been about 25 years old at this time.
  • It was sold to Edward Maddison of Fonaby & Grimblethorpe (Grandfather to Peter Handcock) for £13,464. Edward was a barrister of the Middle Temple, in London, and in 1648 became the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. He was, reputedly, the wealthiest man in Lincolnshire, at the time.
  • A miniature drawing of the Manor can be seen on a map prepared for a Gervase Gibson in 1755, when the Manor was for sale. (This is the view from Horncastle road and the Almshouses can be seen on the right, the church behind the Manor and the long garden wall).
  • In 1755, Elizabeth and Robert Sutton were dead and the heir, Sutton Banks was in Kingston, Jamaica, as he was not willing to return and live in the Manor, according to the terms of the Will. The Manor returned to the Maddison family and was sold to the Earl of Harrowby, for £12,000. As the owner he had to take on the obligations regarding the Almshouses.
  • In 1755, according to a sketch by Gervaise Gibson, the property was a four-storey building.
  • In a document of the Earl of Harrowby, in 1795 it states ‘the Mansion House, formerly erected and then new built by Peter Hancock in the Parish of Bardney’, but Peter did build the present Manor. He never married but became responsible for two children, Elizabeth and Robert Sutton who he named as his heirs.
  • In 1817 the historian William Marratt, visiting Bardney, tells us “some people could remember the beautiful Mansion House but it had been pulled down by the Earl of Harrowby by mistake!” It was now Hall Farm, it certainly was drastically altered, the garrets no longer existed, and with the Victorian alterations it is now impossible to imagine its grandeur.
  • The property came into the hands of John Sharpe of Bardney Manor; he was a farmer and seed specialist, (born in Sleaford 1824). His garden, behind the Almshouses, was filled with greenhouses where vines grew in abundance; some bunches of grapes, reputedly, weighing 12 lbs each, and many other exotic fruits. Across the Horncastle road his land was known as the Trial ground. From here he made his selection of seeds, peas, mangolds, turnips, and potatoes.
  • In 1858, the Manor and lands were all put up for sale. The sale took place at the Saracen's Head, in Lincoln. (A list of plots, including tenants, is attached).
  • In 1913, the late Mr. John Sharpe was said to have explained that at the Manor, where the piece of wall down the present drive is, this was originally the entrance to the old manor house, which was entered through a splendid avenue of walnut trees running down to the Witham. The one standing in the corner near the Wesleyan Chapel was one planted at the same time as the avenue.
  • The trees were cut down during the American War and sold to make gun stocks for that war. Mr. Sharpe also added that Mr. Dudding, agent to Lord Harrowby, told him the facts. He also said some of the walnut wood was in the stables in his time. When he came to Bardney Manor Farm there were only 20 acres of ploughed land on the farm, all was open, no fences, nor hedges. The piece called ‘the fen’ was grass, and he ploughed it up. He borrowed 6 ploughs each from C. Robson, Esq., Tupholme Hall, and Mr. H. Tinley, Southrey. When he ploughed it up he was threatened with a law suit, but after giving instructions where to send the writ, he heard no more about it. Mr. Sharpe also said the house was called the Hall, not the Manor, for several years.
  • The Manor House was given a Grade II listing on 12th March 1986.