The Manor House

 

The Manor House has had major alterations, restorations and finally in 1988 was converted into flats. In order to identify the core of the original manor house, which in the Tudor period was typically an H-plan, we have to examine the aerial images that can be found on my aerial images page. The front of the Manor House displays Colonel Need's full Georgian Period transformation together with wall battlements that completely hide any trace of a Tudor mansion. Incidentally, the nearby Woodhouse Place, the home of Heyman Rooke, the celebrated antiquarian who discovered the Northfield Roman Villa just a few miles away, also installed walled battlements and the reason for this could be that he was great friends with Colonel Need. Both had retired to Mansfield Woodhouse after military service.

A look around the back of the Manor House, along old Manor Road, reveals clues as to how the original building might have looked. The image below (left) shows a pair of Tudor style windows with stone crosses on the centre gable and is typical of 16th manor houses. The smaller third floor windows are very similar to those on other early properties in Mansfield Woodhouse, including the 16thC Wolfhunt House reputed to be the oldest buiding in Mansfield Woodhouse. I must add that the origin date stated in the grade II listing of Wolfhunt House does conflict with the manorial records that state that the Wolfhunter (in direct service to the King) was living in Mansfield Woodhouse in the 15th century. Houses do fall into ruin though if neglected, become delapidated, burn down and get rebuilt! The records pertaining to the 'chief messuage' (medieval Latin for Manor House) start 18th October 1472, which states the 'confirmation' that John Stuffyn had transfered the 'chief messuage' to William Foljambe, whom, incidentally, had held office has the wolfhunter!

We get a clue as to the original Tudor H-plan in this photo of the rear. The left and centre gables with the round bullion windows are the original gables of the building. The roof line indicates an infill between the gables. The front of the manor house gives no clues as to the Tudor H-plan.The Digby's owned the house until the 18thC making substantial alterations and additions and in the early 19thC, Colonel Need put his Georgian stamp on the property. However, my mock up here to right, using all the available architectual evidence shows what the Manor House may have looked like in the 16thC tudor period.