White Colne: Manors and other estates

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'White Colne: Manors and other estates', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe, (London, 2001) pp. 131-133. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol10/pp131-133 [accessed 29 February 2024]


In 1086 Miblanc held 1 hide of Aubrey de Vere's manor of Colne, later Earls Colne. (fn. 1) Between 1142 and 1150, Aubrey de Vere, earl of Oxford, gave to Colne priory half the vill of Colne Miblanc. (fn. 2) The priory held the estate until the Dissolution, at first exploiting it directly as an outlying farm, from which it acquired the name BERWICK. By 1424 it was leased to a farmer. The priory apparently acquired one or more of the small Colne estates held in 1086 by Richard son of Gilbert de Clare, for in 1424 it owed suit to the honor court of Clare for Berwick, and the manor was said to be held of the honor c. 1600. (fn. 3)

The manor descended with Colne priory until c. 1597 when Richard Harlakenden sold it to Jerome Weston. (fn. 4) Weston died in 1603 and was succeeded by his son Richard (d. 1635), created earl of Portland. (fn. 5) Richard's widow Frances apparently held until 1644 when her younger son Benjamin Weston became lord. He seems to have sold the manor in 1645 to John Bramston. (fn. 6) In 1690 Bramston and his son Anthony conveyed it to trustees for William Forbes, who sold it in 1712 to Robert Kirkton. (fn. 7) In 1720 Kirkton's executors sold it to Thomas Knapp (d. 1750), who was succeeded by his sister Rebeccah Knapp; she held until 1772 or later. (fn. 8) By 1781 the lord and lady were Thomas Bever (d. 1791) and Catherine James. (fn. 9) Catherine conveyed the manor in 1800 to J. J. Hume (d. 1816) who was succeeded by his sons Revd. W. E. (d. 1867) and Henry Hume. (fn. 10) Henry sold the manor in 1868 to Charles Tabor, and he immediately sold it to Joseph Beaumont who enfranchised the copyholds, extinguishing the manorial rights. (fn. 11)

The Berwick Hall estate was sold in 1885 to Harris Hills (d. 1916) whose representatives in 1919 sold the house to E. C. Hill and the farm to P. D. Botterell. The house, then called Berewyk Hall, was sold by Mrs. E. F. Hill in 1935. (fn. 12) About 1958 Geoffrey Compton Dando bought the 120a. estate which remained in his family until the 1990s. (fn. 13)

Buildings at Berwick, including the gatehouse and two chambers, were repaired in 1424. (fn. 14) The house, which was occupied by tenant farmers until 1885, was called Barwick Hall in 1604. In 1724 it appears to have comprised a hall and two cross wings, of two storeys with attics. (fn. 15) It was probably rebuilt in the 19th century, perhaps by W. E. Hume, who erected new farm buildings in 1855. Northwest and east wings were added before 1897, presumably by Harris Hills. Hills may also have remodelled the interior, introducing 17th and 18th century fixtures, including a 17th century staircase. (fn. 16)

Aubrey de Vere granted an estate, later one knight's fee, in White Colne to Hugh Bigod (d. 1177) in marriage with his daughter Gillian. (fn. 17) The overlordship descended in the de Vere family until 1401 or later. (fn. 18) The mesne lordship descended from the Bigods to their successors as earls and dukes of Norfolk, being recorded in 1252, in 1307, and in 1433. (fn. 19)

Two ploughlands of that fee were given by Hamon le Enveyse in 1231 to his daughter Isabel and her husband Thomas of Ingoldisthorpe, (fn. 20) from whom the estate was called INGOLDISTHORPES, INGLESTHORPES, or INSTEPS. Thomas died in 1252 holding half a knight's fee, with other lands in Colne which Hamon had bought, and was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 21) The estate descended in his family with Ingoldisthorpe (Norf.) to John Ingoldisthorpe (d. 1283) and his son Thomas, to another Thomas Ingoldisthorpe (d. 1327), and to that Thomas's son John. (fn. 22) John died in 1336 and was succeeded by his son Thomas who held the White Colne estate in 1353. (fn. 23) William Ingoldisthorpe died in 1363 and was succeeded by his infant son John, probably the John who held in White Colne c. 1380 and in 1401. (fn. 24) Another John Ingoldisthorpe held in 1441. (fn. 25)

Cecily Tew made a settlement of Inglesthorpes manor in 1484, and in 1488 her son Robert Tew conveyed the reversion to Thomas Jermyn. (fn. 26) The manor later seems to have passed to Colne priory, and at the Dissolution to the earl of Oxford. (fn. 27) In 1592 it was among the estates which Edward de Vere, earl of Oxford, gave to the Crown in settlement of his debts, and Elizabeth I conveyed it to John Drawater. (fn. 28)

On John Drawater's death in 1597 or 1598, the manor was divided, two thirds being sold to Stephen Soame, the remaining third being devised to Drawater's nephew Seth Drawater. By 1598 Seth had sold his share to Oliver Drawater. (fn. 29) It was presumably that estate which Roger Wood (d. 1634) had acquired by 1620; (fn. 30) it has not been traced thereafter. Stephen Soames's share passed to his son William who in 1622 conveyed Inglesthorpes manor to his brother Thomas. (fn. 31) Thomas in 1652 sold it to Robert Davies. Davies's son Robert was succeeded by his widow Elizabeth, who married Humphrey Brent in 1701. By the mid 18th century the manor had passed to Francis Blount, whose assignees sold it before 1768 to Osgood Hanbury of Coggeshall (d. 1784). (fn. 32) From him the manor passed to three other Osgood Hanburys, who died respectively in 1852, 1873, and 1882, and to O. B. Hanbury (d. 1890). (fn. 33) The last Hanbury was succeeded by his widow Flora (d. 1920) and her second husband R. D. Hill (d. 1922). (fn. 34) The estate, then 144 a., was sold in 1925 to Mr. Pritchard. (fn. 35)

There is no record of a manor house. In 1923 Insteps Farm was an old tiled farmhouse, perhaps that on the site in 1724. (fn. 36) It was rebuilt in 1955. (fn. 37)

The other half fee may have been given to Roger de Reymes (d. by 1142) in marriage with another daughter of Aubrey de Vere, or it may have been acquired by William de Reymes with his wife Bertha, daughter of William Maskerell. It was held in the 12th or 13th centuries by William, Robert, and Roger de Reymes. (fn. 38) John de Reymes held in 1305. In 1321 John son of John de Reymes leased his land in Colne Reymes to Robert Tey and his son Robert for their lives, and by 1325 the younger Robert seems to have acquired the reversion. (fn. 39) He or another Robert Tey held land in White Colne of the earl of Oxford in 1353, and in 1374 the estate was called BART HALL manor. (fn. 40) It was apparently held by Roger Draper (fl. c. 1526) whose widow Thomasin, then Thomasin Lake, had a life interest in the estate in 1555. In 1544 Roger's son William Draper conveyed the manor to John Turner, from whom it passed in 1555 to Jeremy Green, who seems to have sold it in 1559 to John Freeman or Mounds. (fn. 41) In 1578 John and Josias Sampson conveyed the manor to Robert Ball. (fn. 42) Thomas Wagstaff acquired it in or before 1685, and he or his son Thomas sold it to Edward Johnson in or after 1693. Johnson died c. 1722, and was succeeded by his nephew Edward Frith. (fn. 43) John Moss sold the estate to Osgood Hanbury c. 1765, and it descended with Inglesthorpes or Insteps until 1922 or later. (fn. 44)

Bart Hall is an early 19th century, two storeyed, timberframed and plastered farmhouse of nearly square plan, with a pedimented doorcase in the three bayed west front. The staircase and other fittings are early 19th century.

A small estate (c. 100 a.) in White Colne and Colne Engaine formed part of Barringtons Fee in Ballingdon from the mid 15th century until 1656 or later. (fn. 45) The fee was held of the earls of Arundel as of the honor of Castle Acre by Bartholomew Bourchier (d. 1409), Lord Bourchier, by his daughter and heir Elizabeth (d. 1433) and her husbands Hugh Stafford and Lewis Robessart, and then by Elizabeth's cousin Henry Bourchier (d. 1483), Lord Bourchier. (fn. 46) The estate, with other White Colne land, was held c. 1380 by John Bagerowke, (fn. 47) from whom it was called BAGGARETTS. It passed to Stephen Bagerowke, and in 1479 to John Potter and Thomas Upcher. It descended in the Potter family until 1601 or later; in 1656 John Woodthorpe held it. (fn. 48) By 1830 it belonged to Robert Hills of Colne Park, and it descended with Colne Park until the breakup of the estate in 1896. (fn. 49)

Baggaretts incorporates a timberframed hall house of the late 15th century or the early 16th, whose crownpost roof, outer frame of the dais end window, and dais beam survive. In the mid 16th century a floor, with richly moulded beams and joists, was inserted in the hall, and a large central stack in the cross passage, the four centred headed doorways of which survive. About the same time the south, parlour bay, with cavettomoulded joists and beams and possibly jettied at the south end, was extended east by one room and reroofed as a cross wing with a crownpost roof. By 1896 the house had been mostly encased in brick. (fn. 50) At that time or a little later the north wing was added, the house refenestrated, and a stair built against the stack.

Ovingtons, a freehold estate called a manor in 1659 and 1768, may have derived from the holding of Richard of Ovington (fl. c. 1300). (fn. 51) It was devised by Aubrey de Vere to his brother Edmund in 1576, later passed to William Vere, and in 1646 was held by William Gunner in right of his wife Elizabeth, formerly wife of Thomas King. (fn. 52) In 1768 it belonged to Samuel London, (fn. 53) presumably the owner of Over Hall, Colne Engaine, but it does not seem to have descended with that manor.


  • 1. V.C.H. Essex, i. 534.
  • 2. Colne Cart. pp. 19-20.
  • 3. E.R.O., D/DPr 14; B.L. Harl. MS. 5061, p. 32.
  • 4. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xi, p. 8; E.R.O., D/DPr 424; cf. P.R.O., C 66/1385, m. 9.
  • 5. P.R.O., C 3/257/6; Complete Peerage, x. 582-4.
  • 6. E.R.O., T/B 548/1 (formerly D/DBm M65); P.R.O., E 315/36/26; Complete Peerage, x. 582-4; Morant, Essex, ii. 215.
  • 7. E.R.O., T/B 548/1 (formerly D/DBm M68-9); Morant, Essex, ii. 215.
  • 8. E.R.O., D/DU 530/29; ibid. T/B 548/1 (formerly D/DBm M69-71); Morant, Essex, ii. 215; Gent. Mag. xx. 429; Hist. Essex by Gent. vi. 204.
  • 9. E.R.O., D/DHt T76/12, 47; D.N.B. s.v. Bever.
  • 10. E.R.O., D/CT 104A; Keble Coll. Oxf. Mun., White Colne deed of 1869; Alum. Oxon. 1715-1886, ii. 713.
  • 11. E.R.O., T/B 548/1 (formerly D/DBm M327, 331); Keble Coll. Mun., conveyance of White Colne advowson 1869; Kelly's Dir. Essex, (1886).
  • 12. E.R.O., D/DMb E33/166; E.R. xxv. 169; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1922).
  • 13. E.C.S. 19 Mar. 1965.
  • 14. E.R.O., D/DPr 14.
  • 15. P.R.O., C 142/286, no. 167; E.R.O., T/M 266.
  • 16. E.C.S. 19 Mar. 1965; E.R.O., D/DQn 29; D/DMb E33/166; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Essex XVII. 11 (1881 and 1897 edns.); inf. from Mr. John McCann. It was not possible to gain access to the house.
  • 17. Morant, Essex, i. 497; Rot. de Dom. (Pipe R. Soc. xxxv), 71.
  • 18. Cal. Close, 1399-1402, 251.
  • 19. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 59; iv, p. 298; Cal. Close, 1429-35, 212-13.
  • 20. Cur. Reg. R. xiv, p. 257.
  • 21. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 59.
  • 22. Ibid. ii, p. 283; vii, p. 109; Feet of F. Essex, ii. 214.
  • 23. Cal. Inq. p.m. vii, p. 493; P.R.O., C 143/311, no. 16.
  • 24. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiii, pp. 158-9; E.R.O., D/DPr 5, p. 45; Cal. Close, 1399-1402, 251.
  • 25. E.R.O., D/DPr 18.
  • 26. Ibid. D/DPr 156; Cal. Close, 1485-1500, 91; Feet of F. Essex, iv, 88; cf. above, Colne Engaine, Sherives manor.
  • 27. Morant, Essex, ii. 216.
  • 28. P.R.O., C 66/1385, m. 9; C 22/406/21.
  • 29. Ibid. C 2/Eliz1/D1, no. 44; B.L. Add. Ch. 5273; Feet of F. Essex, vi. 193.
  • 30. P.R.O., C 142/509, no. 30.
  • 31. B.L. Add. Ch. 5273.
  • 32. Morant, Essex, ii. 216; E.R.O., D/DU 330/13.
  • 33. E.R. xlix. 46-8; deed in possession of owners of Forge Farm, White Colne; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 146.
  • 34. E.R. xxxi. 110-11; xlix. 46-8; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 146; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1892 and later edns.); deeds in possession of Mr. and Mrs. P. Burnford, Forge Farm, White Colne.
  • 35. E.R.O., T/P 181/3/15.
  • 36. Ibid. sale cat. A315; ibid. T/M 266.
  • 37. C.T.S., Short Story of White Colne (priv. print. 1974), 6.
  • 38. B.L. MS. Cott. Vesp. B xv, f. 93 and v.; ibid. Tib. E ix, f. 8v.; E.R.O., T/P 195/11; Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 298; xi, p. 314; J. H. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, 399-402.
  • 39. B.L. Cott. Ch. xxix. 9, 11; Feet of F. Essex, ii. 220.
  • 40. P.R.O., C 143/311, no. 16; E.R.O., D/DPr 13.
  • 41. Feet of F. Essex, iv. 271; v. 50, 74; Morant, Essex, ii. 216.
  • 42. Feet of F. Essex, v. 217.
  • 43. E.R.O., D/DHt T76/64; P.R.O., CP 25/2/777/1JasI/ Trin., no. 11; CP 25/2/828/5Wm&Mary/Trin. no. 22; Morant, Essex, ii. 217.
  • 44. Morant, Essex, ii. 216; cf. E.R.O., D/DHt T76/44 which suggests that Moss was still holding part of the estate in 1769; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 146.
  • 45. E.R.O., D/DGd M12-13, M51-2, M54, M56.
  • 46. P.R.O., C 138/61, no. 60; C 139/51, no. 52; Cal. Close, 1429-35, 217; Complete Peerage, ii. 247-8.
  • 47. E.R.O., D/DPr 5, pp. 50-1.
  • 48. Cal. Close, 1476-85, 130; E.R.O., D/DGd M13, M54, M56.
  • 49. E.R.O., D/Z 2/7/16B; ibid. D/CT 104A; ibid. sale cat. B5169; ibid. T/P 181/3/15.
  • 50. Ibid. sale cat. B5169.
  • 51. Morant, Essex, ii. 216; P.R.O., PROB 11/293, f. 362; E.R.O., D/DPr 5, p. 45; D/DPr 68, rot. 9; D/DPr 104; ibid. Acc. A8173 (uncat.).
  • 52. Essex Wills, iii, p. 336; E.R.O., T/B 548/1 (formerly D/DBm M65).
  • 53. Morant, Essex, ii. 216.