The Prebendal Manor House - Nassington, Northamptonshire, UK
Posted by: Dragontree
N 52° 33.180 W 000° 26.014
30U E 673992 N 5825641
Quick Description: An old, medieval Manor House in the village of Nassington.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 11:40:59 AM
Waymark Code: WM44JT
The official website for the Manor describes the house:
'The Grade I listed Prebendal Manor House is the earliest surviving dwelling in Northamptonshire.
It forms the focus of a group of stone buildings, which includes a 16th century dovecote, a large 18th century tithe barn and a 15th century lodgings building.
The present stone house dating from the early 13th century stands on a historic site, which includes two medieval fishponds, and archaeological and historical evidence of one of King Cnut’s royal timber halls.
The Prebendal Manor and the church stand on a promontory over looking the village and river Nene.
Alan Titchmarsh described the gardens as a "stunning example of a recreated medieval garden". (Royal Gardeners Pub., BBC, 2003.)
The gardens were established to represent both the practical and decorative features that could be found in a high status garden between the 13th and 15th centuries.
The plants have been selected from several plant lists. These include the earliest English gardening book by ‘Jon Gardener’ and a 15th century ‘Leech Book’, that contains the sort of medical recipes that Nicholas Colnet, who was physician to Henry 5th during the Agincourt campaign in 1415. He was given the Prebendal Manor in 1417, probably in return for his services. (See Prebends for more information on Nicholas Colnet and other Nassington prebends.)
The gardens are at their best from late May until mid July. The ephemeral beauty of gardens was noted by many medieval poets:
‘Now shrinketh rose and lilye-flour,
That whilen ber that swete savour.
In somer, that swete tide.’
Ranulf de Nassington
A canon and the Presenter of the cathedral and the first prebendary, was appointed about 1160. He may have undertaken the repairs to the late Saxon timber hall in the 12th century.
William of Avalon
Appointed to the prebend in 1222 and St. Hugh of Lincoln’s nephew, may have been responsible for the demolition of the Saxon Hall and replacement of a stone built Great Hall and solar.
The archaeological evidence would suggest that the Saxon aisled hall was encased in stone and then gradually dismantled. Initially the aisle posts remained to support the roof and were not removed until about 1260. The central hearth was also retained and continued in use until 1434.
In 1254 the prebend was rated at £100 per annum.
During 1279 John Romayne obtained the prebend with the Precentorship of Lincoln cathedral by papal provision.
In 1290 the pope tried to annex the prebend to St Peters in Rome but failed, however 160 marks "the fruits of the manor" were paid to Pope Nicholas IV.
John of Lacey
Bishop Oliver Sutton’s visitations to the prebend with his large entourage occurred in 1291, 1295 and 1298. Prebendary John of Lacey the king's clerk and special equerry when on the kings errands abroad complained to the pope about the bishop’s use of his prebend during his absence.
Philip de Cabasolle
Was appointed by papal provision in 1371 and was immediately permitted to have a deputy to manage his prebend for three years. At the same time he was also archdeacon of York and Leicester and Cardinal Bishop of Sabena.
Simon of Sudbury
Later became the archbishop of Canterbury and was subsequently beheaded in the Tower of London during the Peasants Revolt of 138. He claimed the prebend in 1349. However, Richard II recovered the manor in the courts in 1350 and granted it to Henry Walton who was the treasurer to the Earl of Lancaster.
Edward de la Zouche
He was a scholar of civil law and became the Chancellor of Cambridge in 1380. He was appointed to the prebend in 1412 but died in 1414. He appears to have been very acquisitive in his ability to obtain prebends holding many during his life.
Was the physician to Henry V and prebendary from 1414 to 1417 and was granted three archers. He also maintained three servants and a chaplain. Colnet was excused the Knight's Fee on account of being away with the King at the Battle of Angincourt in 1415. The Lilium Medicinae and an ewer from the duke of Orleans are among his bequests in his will.
Many of the plants grown today within the recreated medieval gardens at the Prebendal Manor would have been known and used by Nicholas Colnet when treating the King.
Was Dean of Lincoln cathedral and was appointed prebendary from 1427-1451 was a "fruitful source of trouble and dispute throughout the greater part of his career".
Major works to the manor were instigated at this time and John Mackworth may have been responsible for the alterations and improvements to the property.
A service wing with chambers above was added to the Great Hall. A new grander front entrance was inserted into the existing entrance. The central hearth was replaced by a large fireplace in the north wall at the "high end" of the Great Hall, and stone tracery was inserted into the existing 13th century openings, which were probably glazed for the first time. It is possible that the Lodgings is dated from this period as is the cobbled surface which extended over the entire front courtyard.
John Mackworth was the longest serving prebendary in the 15th century and is thought to have visited the prebend on a number of occasions.
He was the brother-in-law of Edward IV, was appointed to the prebend from 1464-1471.
In 1535 Henry VIII let the prebend to a farmer, probably Thomas Berston, for 24 years at £38 per annum.
Dean of Lincoln and was a notable 16th century prebendary. Appointed to Nassington in 1572–1576 he later became the Bishop of Worcester in 1577, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1583 and later founded The Holy Trinity (Whitgift School, Croydon) in 1599.
Appointed prebend in 1618 and was ejected violently from the manor by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1650. The manor was then sold to Edward Bellamy "for ever". However, at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 it was restored to Lincoln cathedral.
Appointed from 1747-1757 may have paid for the Neve bell which is still rung today in Nassington Church.
The Cathedral Act of 1840 abolished endowed estates. Prebendal jurisdiction survived a further five years before it, too was abolished. In 1847 the manor was sold to the Ecclesiastical Commission who in 1875 sold it to the Earl of Carysfoot and it was then leased to tenant farmers.'
The manor is open to the public:
May to end of September
Every Wednesday & Sunday 1 p.m - 5 p.m.
Also Bank Holiday Mondays 1 p.m - 5 p.m.
Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1400
Additional Dates of Construction:
There are known to have been fifty prebendaries of Nassington some much more prominent that others. Many were the King’s clerks and some were the Pope’s appointees.
Please see above for the list of owners and alterations made by them.
Architectural Period/Style: Medieval
Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
The current owner describes her family:
Jane Baile’s interest in Archaeology stemmed from an archaeological excavation undertaken in the 1970s, when Roman occupation was discovered on land owned by her family near Oundle, Northamptonshire.
The impetus to excavate at The Prebendal Manor House came in 1984 when two members of a local archaeological society asked Jane for permission to investigate an area within the grounds of the Manor.
Jane has been involved in archaeology since then and is still works with one of the members who is now a professional archaeologist living and working in Prague.
The archeological excavations of the house and grounds have been extensive over the years and often floors had to be lifted so that access to the dining room or kitchen was only possible by walking along wooden planks!
Today the house continues as a family home enjoyed by Jane’s four children and six grand children.
Listed Building Status (if applicable): Grade I Listed Building
Main Material of Construction: Stone
Private/Public Access: Private with Public Open Days
Admission Fee (if applicable): 6.00 (listed in local currency)
Opening Hours (if applicable): From: 1:00 PM To: 5:00 PM
Related Website: [Web Link]
Architect (if known): Not listed
Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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