A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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Before the Norman Conquest the manor of HAREFIELD was held by Countess Goda. By 1086 it had passed to Richard Fitzgilbert, (fn. 1) lord of the honor of Clare. (fn. 2) The association of the manor with the Clare family seems to continue until the later 12th century when Richard de Clare married Aline, daughter of Geoffrey son of Baldwin, (fn. 3) whose grandmother, Beatrice de Bollers, had held both the advowson and land in Harefield. (fn. 4) After Richard's death Aline called Harefield manor her own. (fn. 5) Of her two other husbands, the second, Reinfrid son of Roger, (fn. 6) or Reinfrid de la Bruere, (fn. 7) is known to have held a court for Harefield, (fn. 8) presumably in right of his wife. After the death of the third, Hugh de Clahull, Aline was again called Aline de Clare. (fn. 9) The manor remained a part of the honor of Clare, (fn. 10) and passed with it to the duchy of Lancaster. The manor's obligations to the honor consisted of the payment of 3s. 9d. a year, and of ½d. a day for castleguard at Clare. The manor also owed suit of court at Clare every three weeks. (fn. 11) In the 18th century the quitrent payable to the honor was £1 1s. 10d. (fn. 12) Fines continued to be paid to the duchy of Lancaster until 1790, when they were redeemed under an Act of Parliament. (fn. 13)
Some time during the 13th century the manor of Harefield passed to the Batchworth family of Hertfordshire, of whom at least three members, Roger, Geoffrey, and Richard, are known to have been lords of Harefield. By 1235 Roger of Batchworth held 1½ knight's fee in Harefield, (fn. 14) and a Geoffrey of Batchworth, who may have been the one described as lord of Harefield, (fn. 15) was living in 1258. (fn. 16) The Batchworths held the manor until 1315 when Richard of Batchworth conveyed it to Simon Swanlond. (fn. 17) There is no proof for Lysons's statement that Swanlond married one of the daughters and heiresses of Roger of Batchworth, Richard's brother; (fn. 18) Richard, however, continued to hold the manor for his life from Simon, (fn. 19) although he retired almost immediately into the neighbouring house of the Hospitallers at Moorhall, where he died. (fn. 20)
Simon Swanlond held the manor at least until 1333, (fn. 21) and another Simon, either himself or his son, was knighted in 1353-4. (fn. 22) Simon's son and heir William held the manor at least from 1364 (fn. 23) to 1371, (fn. 24) and probably to c. 1400. (fn. 25) On his death by 1403 he was succeeded by his son William (fn. 26) who in 1428 was holding it jointly with his wife, Denise. (fn. 27) Denise Swanlond held the manor alone in 1439. (fn. 28) During the first half of the 14th century the Swanlonds acquired at least 278 acres to add to their Harefield estate, (fn. 29) but after the 1370's they appear to have been in financial difficulties, and there is much evidence of the granting away of rents and small pieces of land, mainly to Londoners. (fn. 30) In 1409 William Swanlond granted the manor to four people, three of them Londoners, (fn. 31) who leased it in the same year for six years at £6 a year. (fn. 32) The manor, however, later returned to the Swanlonds. (fn. 33)
The date of the transfer of the manor from the Swanlonds to the Newdigate family is not known exactly. The story that Sir John Newdigate (fn. 34) married Joan Swanlond, daughter of Simon, in 1357 and so obtained the manor (fn. 35) is almost certainly incorrect. A licence to William and Denise Swanlond to alienate the manor was granted in 1428, (fn. 36) but they still held it in 1439. (fn. 37) The manor of Harefield probably passed to the Newdigate family between 1439 and 1446, when they are known to have possessed the Swanlonds' other manor of North Mimms (Herts.), and where they were described as of Harefield. (fn. 38) Joan, the daughter and heiress of William Swanlond, probably married John Newdigate at approximately this date. (fn. 39) The manor remained in the Newdigate family (fn. 40) until 1586 when John Newdigate exchanged the manors of Harefield and Moorhall for that of Arbury (Warws.) with Sir Edmund Anderson, chief justice of Common Pleas. From this exchange Newdigate reserved to himself the Brackenbury estate, which is discussed below. (fn. 41)
In 1601 Anderson sold the manor to trustees (fn. 42) for Alice, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, widow of the Earl of Derby, and wife of Sir Thomas Egerton, the lord keeper. (fn. 43) The Countess of Derby, as she was generally known, lived at Harefield until her death in 1636, when the manor descended to her daughter Anne Stanley, wife of Grey, Lord Chandos. Anne's son, George, Lord Chandos, bequeathed the manor to his wife Jane, who married secondly Sir William Sedley, Bt., and thirdly in 1657 George Pitt, a Hampshire landowner. The manor was finally bought back in 1675 from Pitt by Richard Newdigate, Sergeant-at-law, (fn. 44) who was created baronet in 1677 and died in 1678. (fn. 45) After this date the manor has remained in the hands of the Newdigate family of Arbury (Warws.). (fn. 46) The manorial rights were extinguished in 1925. (fn. 47)
The demesne in 1086 consisted of 2 hides. (fn. 48) About 1318 the manor lands that were subject to dower, which was claimed by Margaret, widow of Richard of Batchworth, from Simon Swanlond, were specified, and at that time the demesne lands extended over 509 acres. This also included three houses, a fishpond, and £10 4s. rents from free and customary tenants, with their services. (fn. 49) This is the only indication of the extent of Harefield manor alone, as after the Reformation the surveys cover both Harefield and the manor of Moorhall. A survey of both the manors in 1593 shows that they then covered 2,162 acres. Of these, 1,492 acres were demesne, either in the lord's hand or let out at will, and the remaining 670 acres were copyhold of the two manors, 516 acres of Harefield, and 154 acres of Moorhall. (fn. 50) After the estate had returned to the Newdigate family, the manorial demesne covered only 472½ acres in 1683, but Sir Richard Newdigate's mother, Juliana, held an estate of 734½ acres. (fn. 51) This total figure of 1,207 acres does not seem to vary much thereafter as in 1871 Charles Newdigate Newdegate's estate was estimated at 1,266 acres. (fn. 52) In 1877 approximately 1,117 acres of the estate were sold, (fn. 53) and more was sold after the First World War. (fn. 54) Most of the remainder was sold before the death of Sir Francis Newdegate in 1936, but in 1959 the family still retained a cottage in Harefield. (fn. 55)
By 1354 there was a park in Harefield, when the home park of Simon Swanlond is mentioned. (fn. 56) The park was probably made by the Swanlonds, as there is no mention of one belonging to the Batchworths in 1315. (fn. 57) The home park was referred to again in 1400, (fn. 58) but by 1440 it was called Harefield Park. (fn. 59) After the manor passed to the Newdigates the park was called by various names. (fn. 60) In 1593 it amounted to just over 72 acres, most of it wooded. (fn. 61) In 1683, when it formed part of the estate of Juliana, widow of Sir Roger Newdigate (d. 1678), it was estimated to be about 234 acres. (fn. 62) In 1686 proposals for disparking and turning it into plough-land (fn. 63) were probably carried out, and the park, farmed by various people, continued to appear in poor assessment and rate books. (fn. 64) The frequent reference to the 'old park' in the later 17th and early 18th centuries (fn. 65) probably relate to this park, the name 'old' being used because it was no longer parkland, and no longer attached to the lord's house. When the house was sold in 1761 the park seems to have been sold with it, (fn. 66) and in the 19th century the old park, as it was then called, appears to have been acquired by the owners of the Breakspear estate. (fn. 67) In 1951 it was an open space owned by the county council. (fn. 68)
In 1663 the church ways and ancient footways across the park were mentioned at the manor court, and four footpaths were specified. (fn. 69) Hares at least were preserved in the park in the 16th century, (fn. 70) and by 1666 pheasants, partridges, and hares were all preserved. (fn. 71) There were also deer, which in 1686 were to be destroyed if the disparking was carried out. (fn. 72) In the late 17th century a woodward was employed for the park at an annual wage of £3. (fn. 73)
In 1698 and 1701 there are references to two parks, (fn. 74) which might be accounted for either by the creation of a new park to take the place of that disparked about 1686, or by the existence of another park in the parish separate from the manorial estate. When Sir Roger Newdigate built Harefield Lodge in 1786 as a new manor-house a park was created around it. This park amounted to about 64 acres when the house and park were sold in 1877. (fn. 75) In 1934 this land came into the hands of the county council, (fn. 76) and in 1959 it formed an eighteen-hole municipal golf course. The park called Harefield Park in 1813 was that of a different estate, and had no connexion with the lord's park. (fn. 77)
The earliest reference to the manor-house of Harefield was in 1559 when the mansion-house, a mill, Dews farm, and other lands were in the hands of the lord. (fn. 78) In 1593 Harefield Hall was in existence (fn. 79) and in the same year Norden describes the house of the lord of the manor, Sir Edmund Anderson, as 'a fair house standing on the edge of the hill. The River Colne passing near the same . . .' (fn. 80) Anderson's house has not been identified, nor is it known whether this was the house that was visited by Elizabeth I in 1602. In the 1770's Thomas Warton visited it and said that it remained mostly in its original state. The house was pulled down a few years later, when the porter's lodges on each side of the gateway were converted into a 'commodious dwelling house'. (fn. 81) In 1608 there are payments recorded for 'the building of the mansion-house at Harefield' by Sir Thomas Egerton. (fn. 82) It was presumably Egerton's house that was burnt down about 1660 in a fire that is reputed to have been started by Sir Charles Sedley's reading in bed. (fn. 83) When the house was rebuilt is not known, though Lysons states that it was done by Sir Richard Newdigate (d. 1710), repeating also the tradition that Newdigate linked the two lodges with an intermediate building to form the house. (fn. 84) It seems most probable that the two traditions had a common source but the accuracy of either cannot now be determined. The house seen by Lysons stood immediately south of the church, and in a print of 1800 appears to have been of two stories built on an H or half-H plan. The two wings which projected at the front may have represented the lodges to an earlier house. Between these the building is of five bays; these and the wings themselves are surmounted by small Dutch gables with finials. The central pedimented doorway with a Venetian window above it dates from the 18th century as do the sash windows on the main front. (fn. 85) By 1813 it had almost all been demolished, (fn. 86) and the last remaining part must have been demolished shortly afterwards. In 1813 the remains of this house were called Harefield Place, and were situated immediately south of the church. (fn. 87) The tradition that the manor-house had always been on this site cannot be proved, especially as Norden suggests a site nearer the river and on the hill. Apparently the earliest reference to the name of the house on or near this site was in 1754 when it was called simply the Place. (fn. 88)
The house to which the lords of the manor moved after the sale of 1760 was built in 1786 (fn. 89) on the southern boundary of the parish. This was Harefield Lodge, described as 'a handsome modern villa' in 1820, (fn. 90) which had acquired the name of Harefield Place at least by 1832. (fn. 91) It was occupied by Charles Parker, a collateral descendant of the Newdigates, (fn. 92) who assumed the name of Charles Newdigate Newdegate on succeeding to the family estates. (fn. 93) A racecourse was laid out in the grounds of the house in the early 1800's, and in 1834 the Uxbridge Yeomanry Cavalry, of which Newdegate was the captaincommandant, held its races there. (fn. 94) After the house was sold by his son in 1877, it passed through various hands until 1934, when it was bought by the county council for use as a convalescent and maternity home for women. (fn. 95) It was still so used in 1959, when it stood on the west side of the modern road called the Drive. It is a long, two-story house of yellow brick. The entrance front has a central Tuscan porch, with eight windows on the first floor and dormers above. There have been later additions at each end of the building.
The manor of MOORHALL seems to have originated between 1180 and 1185 with the grant by Beatrice de Bollers and her son Geoffrey of a virgate of land and the advowson of Harefield, to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 96) Beatrice and Geoffrey seem to have been grandmother and father of Aline de Clare, who held the manor of Harefield a little later, and they were doubtless owners of it themselves. (fn. 97) During the 13th century there were numerous other grants to the Hospitallers, among which the largest was of 120 acres and one virgate from Aline herself and her third husband, Hugh de Clahull, in 1221. (fn. 98) By the end of the 13th century the estate consisted of 3 virgates and 141 acres, in which were included some odd pieces of land, five houses, 11s. 8½d. rents, and rents of 3 lb. of pepper. As well as Aline de Clare, several members of the Batchworth family gave land, which included 10 acres of the moor. (fn. 99) The Hospitallers also acquired land in Harefield manor during the 13th century from the priory of Hurley (Berks.), which the priory had held of the inheritance of Aline de Clare and Nicholas de Stokes. (fn. 100) This may have consisted of at least 1 virgate and 80 acres. (fn. 101) It is not known when the Hospitallers acquired Bayhurst Wood, (fn. 102) but it was in their possession by the mid-13th century. (fn. 103) The manor remained in their hands until the Dissolution.
In 1542 the king granted Moorhall manor and Bayhurst Wood, with the rectory and the advowson of the vicarage, to Robert Tyrwhit, with permission to sell it to John Newdigate. (fn. 104) The latter transfer does not appear to have taken place until 1553. (fn. 105) After this date the manor was joined with Harefield in the ownership of the Newdigate family.
A cell of the Hospitallers was undoubtedly established at Harefield, and in the 13th century a warden, a preceptor, and a master of the house at Harefield are all mentioned. (fn. 106) How long this lasted is not known, but in 1333 the property of the cell consisted of one house, 3 carucates of land and 20 acres of meadow, £4 rents, pasture for 20 cows, 20 oxen, and 300 sheep, and a church 'in their own use'. Its value was 40 marks, and it had been farmed out for no rent. (fn. 107) Whether it was ever continuously occupied by the knights is not known, and at least in the early 16th century two leases of the manor and rectory are known. (fn. 108)
Until the early 20th century two buildings stood at Moorhall, a house and a chapel. The house, a twostory building, was at some time converted into three cottages, and was burned down in 1922. (fn. 109) The other building, which is described above (fn. 110) and stands to the north of Moorhall Road, dates from the 13th century, (fn. 111) and may have been a chapel. After the Dissolution it was put to various uses, sometimes as a cattleshed, (fn. 112) and sometimes as a granary. (fn. 113) In 1926 the Newdegates sold it and some land to the Uxbridge Rural District Council (fn. 114) who leased the building in 1927 to the vicar and churchwardens; they repaired it for use as a mission room and Sunday school. (fn. 115) In 1953 the roof fell in: (fn. 116) it was not repaired, and since 1955 the building has been under the threat of demolition. It was still derelict in 1959, but negotiations for its preservation were going on.
The origins of the manor of BRACKENBURY can be traced from as early as 1312 in the history of different holdings which in 1434 became fused into one estate. All these holdings seem to have originated in grants from the lords of Harefield, and the statement that Brackenbury was never anciently distinct from Harefield (fn. 117) appears to be true. The manor took its name from Thomas Brackenbury or de Brakenburgh, a London merchant, who in 1355 received for his life from William Swanlond the land that had been the property of Sir Thomas de Samford, whose heirs had conveyed it to Swanlond's father. (fn. 118) This holding was increased by other lands from William Swanlond in 1366. (fn. 119) Brackenbury's lands reverted to the Swanlonds on Thomas's death; in 1406 William Swanlond granted the holding away, (fn. 120) and in 1434 the Brackenbury lands passed to Sir James Berkeley. (fn. 121) The Brackenbury family, who were in any case related to the Swanlonds, (fn. 122) seem to have disposed of five fields in 1392, (fn. 123) and after various conveyances (fn. 124) these also came into the hands of Sir James Berkeley in 1434. (fn. 125) At that date Berkeley also held land which had been granted out by the Swanlonds in the 1360's. (fn. 126) Berkeley had disposed of the property in 1439, (fn. 127) and from this date the manor (it is first called Brakenburgh or Brackenbury manor in 1438) (fn. 128) passed through various hands during the 15th century. (fn. 129) In 1486 it was acknowledged to be held of John Newdigate, (fn. 130) and it came into the possession of the Newdigates some time after 1500. (fn. 131) It was definitely in their hands by 1558. (fn. 132) The Newdigates retained the manor in their own possession, and it was the sole land excepted from the sale of Harefield and Moorhall manors in 1586. (fn. 133) After Brackenbury had joined the other Newdigate estates it ceased to be regarded as a manor and by 1558 it was considered part of the demesne of Harefield manor. (fn. 134)
Before 1586 the area of Brackenbury is not known, and at that date it was said to comprise a farm and about 300 acres of the best land. (fn. 135) Both in 1349 (fn. 136) and 1536 (fn. 137) a water-mill was part of the Brackenbury lands, (fn. 138) but by 1620 the mill was no longer part of the estate. In 1620 the estate covered 304 acres in Harefield and 21½ acres in Ickenham. (fn. 139) This included three houses, one of which was said in 1591 to be lately part of Moorhall manor. (fn. 140) Brackenbury and 115 acres were included in the sale of the bulk of the Newdegate property in 1877. (fn. 141)
The house that probably became the Brackenbury manor-house is first mentioned in 1312 when Thomas de Samford (fn. 142) granted a 'chief messuage' in Harefield to a Huntingdonshire man to hold from the chief lords of the fee. (fn. 143) In 1410 his descendants sold the house to four men, (fn. 144) who in turn sold it to Sir James Berkeley in 1434. (fn. 145) The land called Brackenbury does not appear to have included a house before this time, or at any rate not a big house. (fn. 146) After the manor joined the Newdigate estate the house probably reverted to being a mere farm-house. In the late 18th century it was the house of the Newdigates' bailiff, (fn. 147) and between the sale of Harefield Place in 1760 and the building of Harefield Lodge in 1786, it became the chief house on the estate. It was there that the Newdigates stayed when they came to Harefield to audit the accounts, and tenants' dinners were also held there during this time. (fn. 148) During the 19th and 20th centuries it survived as a farm-house, (fn. 149) and in 1959 it was used as two dwellings. It stands on the west side of Breakspear Road and is still moated on the south, west, and north. It is partly timber-framed and partly of brick, and is L-shaped in plan. The brick south wing, which is of two stories and has a massive chimney at its east end, appears to date from the early 17th century. The west wing, which is largely timber-framed, is much higher and is of two stories and attics; it was probably built or remodelled about 1700 and may contain parts of an earlier structure. It has several features of the late 17th century, including the staircase, the chimneys, and the mullioned and transomed windows to the ground floor. This wing has been plastered externally and there are modern additions. A 16th-century barn was demolished in the 1950's.
There are a few references in the 13th and 14th centuries to another manor or estate which was known as HAREFIELD or, later, as KNIGHTCOTES. This was owned by Hurley Priory (Berks.). Hurley received a house, 1¾ virgate, and 76 acres of land in Harefield and Rickmansworth (Herts.) from various people, (fn. 150) who included Aline de Clare and Reinfrid son of Roger. Some of Hurley's land was given to the Hospitallers, (fn. 151) and in 1306 the priory sold its manor to Richard and Thomas de Luda. (fn. 152) Thomas obtained further grants from Richard Batchworth and Simon Swanlond in the early 14th century, (fn. 153) and in 1341 his property was still referred to as a manor. (fn. 154) In the 1340's his property amounted to a house and 418 acres in Harefield and a few acres in Ruislip. (fn. 155) In 1341 Thomas, son of Thomas de Luda, or de Louth, leased a house and 428 acres in Harefield and Ruislip to Robert Hackett and Nicholas of Shoreditch, (fn. 156) and a few years later, in 1344, he appears to have conveyed this same property to Nicholas. (fn. 157) Both in 1372 and 1374 the land, which was almost certainly the same as Thomas de Luda's, changed hands, (fn. 158) and in 1379 came into the possession of William Knightcote, a London merchant. (fn. 159) After various conveyances (fn. 160) Knightcotes, as it came to be known, was bought by Thomas Downton in 1436, (fn. 161) and is known to have been in the possession of the Ashby family of Harefield by 1603. (fn. 162)
By the beginning of the 17th century the Ashby family were the owners of the largest non-manorial estate in the parish, which was known as BREAKSPEARS. The story that this estate was the original home of Pope Adrian IV (fn. 163) appears to have no foundation. (fn. 164) The estate takes its name from William Breakspear, who was in Harefield at the end of the 14th century. He is mentioned in 1376, (fn. 165) and later received grants of land and rents from the Swanlonds and others. (fn. 166) The family remained in the parish at least until 1440, (fn. 167) and a few years later George Ashby, who was in Harefield by 1447, (fn. 168) was acquiring land in the parish. (fn. 169) Ashby, who was clerk of the signet to Margaret of Anjou, died in 1474, and was succeeded by his son, John (d. 1496). John's son, George, was a clerk of the signet to Henry VII and Henry VIII, and was followed at Breakspears in 1514 by his son Thomas, a clerk of the spicery to Elizabeth I. He died in 1559, and his son, another George, was succeeded in 1603 by Robert, the eldest son, who was knighted in the same year by James I. The estate was inherited in 1618 by Francis, Robert's eldest son, who was created a baronet in 1622 and died in 1623 leaving only a daughter. Francis left the estate to his younger brother, Robert (d. 1674). Robert's only surviving son, Francis, born of his second marriage, then succeeded to the property, which passed in turn to his eldest surviving son William in 1743, and to his youngest son Robert in 1760, as William was survived only by daughters. Robert Ashby died in 1769, and was the last male heir of the family, being succeeded at Breakspears by his only daughter, Elizabeth, who had married Joseph Partridge. Elizabeth lived until 1817, when the property was inherited by her son, Joseph Ashby Partridge. (fn. 170) He bequeathed the estate on his death in 1857 to a relative of his wife, William Wickham Drake, whose widow left it to her husband's cousin, Alfred Henry Tarleton, in or about 1877. (fn. 171) Although Tarleton's widow lived at Breakspears until her death in 1951, (fn. 172) the estate was acquired in 1942 by the county council as 'green belt' property, (fn. 173) and in 1959 the house was in use as an old people's home.
The Breakspears estate consisted of various pieces of land which came into the hands of the Ashby family at different times. By 1545 the houses called Breakspears, Belhacketts, and Hammonds were held by various members of the family, the land that had belonged to William Breakspear being described as a house and garden in Harefield Street, 17 acres in various closes, and a larger house called Downtons. (fn. 174) Belhacketts, which was more often called Belhammonds, with 'Hacketsruding Croft' beside it, came to George Ashby in 1459. (fn. 175) After a dispute in 1498-9 two houses called Baldwins and Belhacketts or Belhammonds passed from John Ashby to John Newdigate, although Ashby continued to occupy them. (fn. 176) Hammonds may have been the house occupied by Robert Hammond in 1367, (fn. 177) and Downtons was probably the house better known as Knightcotes. (fn. 178) By 1625 Bournes, Battleswell, and Drapers farms were included in the estate. (fn. 179)
The tenure of the Ashby property seems to vary. In 1545 most of the estate was copyhold of Harefield manor, including Breakspears itself, and other land was freehold of both Harefield and Moorhall manors. Thomas Ashby also held other copyhold land of Moorhall. (fn. 180) Belhacketts and Hammonds were freehold in 1558, (fn. 181) but by 1639 all the estate was held of the lord of Harefield manor; this estate included Langley's farm, which was leased from him. (fn. 182) The extent of the estate is difficult to estimate at any one time, as it seldom seems to have been concentrated in the hands of one person. In 1569 George Ashby held 1,110 acres in Harefield and Enfield; (fn. 183) in 1625 the late Sir Francis Ashby had held 718 acres of which 497 were in Harefield, (fn. 184) and about 1640 the Breakspears estate amounted to 301 acres. (fn. 185) In 1871 it was considered to be about 833 acres, (fn. 186) and when it was acquired by the county council in 1951 it amounted to some 572 acres. (fn. 187)
Breakspears house is first mentioned in 1500. (fn. 188) It was known to Norden, (fn. 189) but later maps twice mark it in the wrong place. (fn. 190) Breakspears is shown on the inclosure map of 1813, together with a house called Little Breakspears about a mile to the north. (fn. 191) This may be the house referred to in the 16th century as 'Breakspears next the heath, otherwise Saunders', when it was not part of the estate. (fn. 192) In 1956 Breakspear's house was opened by the county council as an old people's home, and it was still being used for this purpose in 1959. (fn. 193) It stands on the south of Breakspear Road North and is a large brick mansion of two stories and attics. Although it retains late Tudor features internally, the building appears to have been reconstructed at the end of the 17th century. The central part of the north front, consisting of seven bays, survives from this period. A shell hood which formerly surmounted the doorway has been removed. Considerable additions at the east and west ends of the house were made in a similar style to the original portion, probably at the end of the 19th century, and at the same time the eaves were raised and the south front was largely rebuilt. The interior is mainly modern, except for the chimney pieces in the entrance hall and dining-room, which are of the late 16th or early 17th century, that in the diningroom being surmounted by the Ashby achievement of arms between their rebus. There is also some 17thcentury panelling, and in the windows of the north front is incorporated some 16th-century heraldic stained glass. One shield of arms has the date 1572 incorporated. (fn. 194) To the west of the house is a square red-brick dovecot, which is known to have been built in what was then the orchard by about 1640. (fn. 195) Four diagonal buttresses were added to the corners rather later.