Ickenham: Manors

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley, 'Ickenham: Manors', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner, (London, 1971) pp. 102-104. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp102-104 [accessed 19 May 2024].

Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley. "Ickenham: Manors", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner, (London, 1971) 102-104. British History Online, accessed May 19, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp102-104.

Bolton, Diane K. King, H P F. Wyld, Gillian. Yaxley, D C. "Ickenham: Manors", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner, (London, 1971). 102-104. British History Online. Web. 19 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp102-104.


Three fees called 'Ticheham' are included in the Survey of 1086. (fn. 1) The largest of these, assessed at 9½ hides, was held by three knights and an Englishman from Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, lord of the adjoining manors of Colham and Hillingdon. (fn. 2) In the Confessor's time this estate had been divided into three holdings: Tochi, a housecarl, then held 2 hides, Alwin, a man of Ulsi son of Manni, had one hide and 3 virgates, and two sokemen, men of Wulfweard, held 2 hides and one virgate. All were free to sell their land. After the Conquest, however, these three holdings were apparently consolidated and the estate associated, perhaps for administrative purposes only, (fn. 3) with Earl Roger's manor of Colham in which it was said to lie (iacet modo in) in 1086.

A second holding called 'Ticheham', assessed at 3½ hides, was held in 1086 by two Englishmen from Geoffrey de Mandeville. In King Edward's time this holding had also been divided into two estates, one of 2½ hides held by a man of Earl Leofwine and the remaining hide by a man of Ansgar the Staller. Ansgar's man could not sell without his lord's permission; the other man was free to do so.

The smallest of the 'Ticheham' fees, assessed in 1086 at 2 hides, was then held by Robert Fafiton. In the Confessor's time it had been held by Ælmer, a man of Wlward 'White', who was free to sell it.

The later history of the Domesday holdings is obscure, but Earl Roger's Domesday fee of 'Ticheham' almost certainly formed the nucleus of the later manor of ICKENHAM. To this was probably joined part of the 3½-hide Mandeville holding, since later in the Middle Ages lords of Ickenham owed suit to the honor courts of both Wallingford and Mandeville. (fn. 4) On Earl Roger's death in 1094 his fief, presumably including 'Ticheham', passed to his son Robert de Bellême. Robert retained the property until 1102 when, following his abortive rebellion against Henry I, his lands were confiscated. The descent of 'Ticheham' then probably followed that of Colham (fn. 5) until the seizure of the honor of Wallingford by Henry, Duke of the Normans. After becoming king as Henry II in 1154, Henry seems to have granted out the manors of the honor. By 1196 Ickenham had apparently passed to Ralph de Harpenden, (fn. 6) members of whose family still held the estate of the honor of Wallingford at the end of the 13th century. (fn. 7) In the early 14th century Ickenham was apparently acquired by the Brok or Brook family, since in 1334 William del Brok, lord of the manors of Hillingdon and Cowley Hall, (fn. 8) conveyed Ickenham to John Charlton, a London merchant and a considerable landowner in west Middlesex. (fn. 9) Between 1332 and 1348 Charlton also acquired Cowley Hall and Hillingdon. (fn. 10) On Charlton's death Ickenham descended to his daughter Juette who had married Nicholas Shorediche. (fn. 11) The estate then descended in the Shorediche family until the early 19th century. (fn. 12) Michael Shorediche, who was lord of the manor in 1800, (fn. 13) apparently mortgaged most of his property while at university, (fn. 14) and by 1812 Ickenham, prob ably as the result of foreclosure on a mortgage debt, has passed to George Robinson. (fn. 15) In an attempt to repair his fortunes Michael Shorediche married a West Indian heiress in 1813, (fn. 16) but by the time their grandson, Edward Ricaut Shorediche, came to Ickenham from Antigua in 1859 to see whether any of the family property could be recovered the manor had again changed hands and it was too late to take legal action. (fn. 17) In fact George Robinson's will had been disputed. In the end all his property was sold under a Chancery order of 1857. At the sale, held in 1859, Ickenham was bought by Thomas Truesdale Clarke and subsequently merged with his manor of Swakeley's. (fn. 18)

Little is known of the extent of the manorial property. In 1334 the Ickenham demesne amounted to over 80 a., (fn. 19) to which 20 a. were added a few years later. (fn. 20) Subsequently much of this seems to have been granted away. In 1751 Robert Shorediche held land in Further Field, Bleak Hill, and Home Field. (fn. 21) In 1841 all that remained of the manorial demesne was a strip of land along the Hillingdon boundary near the manor-house. (fn. 22)

Ickenham manor-house stands about ¾ mile southeast of the church at the end of a lane leading off Long Lane. The building, begun in the early 16th century, was originally L-shaped and of closestudded timber framing. It has been partly refaced with brick and two gabled brick wings were added in the late 17th or early 18th century. There are some internal features of the original date and a 17thcentury staircase. A moat formerly surrounded the house and there is a large outer moat, now incomplete, to the west of it. The house, previously known as Manor Farm, had been divided into two dwellings by 1968. (fn. 23)

The early history of the estate later known as SWAKELEYS manor is obscure. The nucleus of the medieval estate was probably Robert Fafiton's 2-hide Domesday fee of 'Ticheham', (fn. 24) but land in Speraskescroft and Layfield, held in the late 12th century by William de Tikeham, may have been distinct from this holding and, if so, was probably consolidated with it during the 12th century. (fn. 25) In the early 13th century the estate seems to have passed to John de Trumpinton whose son, also called John, still held it about 1260. (fn. 26) By 1329, however, part of this land had apparently been acquired by Robert Swalcliffe of Swalcliffe (Oxon.). (fn. 27) Four years later Robert and his wife conveyed their lands to William le Gauger of London, (fn. 28) but the family name Swalcliffe, later contracted to Swakeleys, continued to attach to the estate. (fn. 29) Swakeleys changed hands at least once more before 1350 when Boniface Lapyn released the former Swalcliffe estate to John Charlton, (fn. 30) whose father, also called John, had held Ickenham manor since 1334. (fn. 31) Swakeleys then descended in the Charlton family until the forfeiture of Sir Richard Charlton following his death at Bosworth in 1485. (fn. 32) In 1486 Henry VII granted the reversion on an estate including Swakeleys manor to Sir Thomas Bourchier, subject to the life interest of Elizabeth, Richard Charlton's widow. (fn. 33) In 1510 Bourchier granted his reversionary interest in Swakeleys to Sir John Pecche and John Sharpe. (fn. 34) Sharpe died, and in 1521 Pecche transferred his interest to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon. (fn. 35) Ten years later Courtenay alienated the manor to Ralph Pexall and his wife Anne. (fn. 36) On Pexall's death in 1537 (fn. 37) the manor passed to his son Sir Richard Pexall (fn. 38) who died in 1571 leaving four daughters among whom the property was apparently divided. Most of the estate eventually came into the possession of Pexall Brocas, son of Sir Richard's daughter Anne. Pexall married Margery, daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley of Westmeston (Suss.), (fn. 39) and some time before his death in 1583 (fn. 40) he and his wife made over ten of the twelve parts of the manor to Sir Thomas Shirley. (fn. 41) By 1595 Shirley had sold Swakeleys to John Bromley, (fn. 42) who in 1606 sold it to John Bingley. (fn. 43) Two years later Bingley sold the manor to Edmund Brabazon. (fn. 44) This conveyance seems to have been invalid since Swakeleys was still in Bingley's possession in 1616. (fn. 45) In 1629 he sold Swakeleys to Edmund Wright, a London alderman and later lord mayor. (fn. 46) On Wright's death in 1643 the manor passed to his daughter Catherine, wife of Sir James Harrington. (fn. 47) Harrington was one of the judges of Charles I and after the Restoration was forced to leave the country. (fn. 48) In 1665 he or his representative attempted to sell Swakeleys to John Morris and Robert Clayton, (fn. 49) but the sale seems to have been invalid. By September 1665, when Pepys went to Swakeleys, (fn. 50) the house and manor were in the possession of Sir Robert Vyner, a London financier and later lord mayor. Sir Robert died in 1688 and the manor passed to his nephew Thomas Vyner, (fn. 51) whose son Robert inherited it in 1707. (fn. 52) In 1741 Robert sold Swakeleys to Sarah Lethieullier, a Huguenot widow, and Benjamin Lethieullier, her brother-in-law, who were to hold it in trust for Sarah's son Benjamin, then a minor. (fn. 53) Benjamin the younger came of age in 1750 (fn. 54) and in the following year sold the estate to the Revd. Thomas Clarke, Rector of Ickenham. (fn. 55) Members of the Clarke family held Swakeleys for over a century. Thomas Clarke died in 1796 and was succeeded by his son Thomas Truesdale Clarke. Thomas Truesdale's son, another Thomas Truesdale, succeeded in 1840 (fn. 56) and bought the manor of Ickenham in 1859. (fn. 57) He died in 1890 and was succeeded by his son William Capel Clarke, who had married Clara Thornhill and had added his wife's name to his own. William Capel Clarke-Thornhill died in 1898 (fn. 58) and in 1922 his son Thomas Bryan Clarke-Thornhill sold most of the Swakeleys estate to agents for development as a residential suburb. (fn. 59) In 1927 the agents sold the remaining undeveloped land and the manorial rights to David Pool, who was then owner of the old Ickenham manor-house. (fn. 60) At this time the manorial rights still included rights over what had been the manorial waste at Ickenham Green and Marsh. David Pool died in 1956 and in 1957 his executors vested the manor or lordship of Ickenham in the borough of Uxbridge. (fn. 61)

The extent of Swakeleys in the Middle Ages is unknown: from the 14th century the manor included much land outside the parish. In 1531 it was said to comprise more than 1,000 a. and in 1608 over 2,000 a. (fn. 62) At inclosure in 1780 Thomas Clarke held 368 a. in Ickenham. (fn. 63) A park is mentioned in 1453 (fn. 64) and again in 1517. (fn. 65) This presumably was that surrounding Swakeleys manor-house. An inventory (fn. 66) of the goods of Sir Thomas Charlton (d. 1465) includes details of what is almost certainly the medieval manor-house. At this date the dwelling contained nineteen rooms and a chapel, as well as stables and outbuildings. Nothing further is known of Swakeleys manor-house until 1616 when John Bingley had a dispute with William Cragg, who was then living in the house as a tenant. Bingley had reserved for his own use the great chamber known as the king's chamber with an adjoining inner chamber, the kitchen, buttery, hall, great parlour, and a room required for dressing meat, as well as stabling for his horses. (fn. 67) Most of these rooms are identifiable in the inventory of c. 1465.

The present mansion was built by Sir Edmund Wright between 1629 and 1638, (fn. 68) presumably on the same site as the medieval dwelling. It was altered by Sir James Harrington and again by the Clarkes at the end of the 18th century. (fn. 69) From 1894 the house was rented to tenants, (fn. 70) and in 1923 it was sold to estate agents. To prevent it from being demolished it was bought by H. J. Talbot in 1924 and then resold to the Foreign Office Sports Association. (fn. 71) During the Second World War it was occupied by the Army and after 1945 stood derelict. The London Postal Region Sports Club obtained the house in 1955 as a sports pavilion and social centre, while the grounds were used as playing fields. (fn. 72) The house as it stands today is substantially that erected by Sir Edmund Wright between 1629 and 1638. It has been little altered and remains one of the most notable mansions of its period in Middlesex. The building has an H-shaped plan and is of two stories and attics. The walls are of brick with dressings mostly of plaster to simulate stone; a few of the windows and doorsurrounds, however, are of black marble. There are central entrances on both east and west fronts, the latter masked by a projecting porch of two stories. Both in its plan and in its unconventional use of classical detail, the house is typically Jacobean in character. External features include two-storied bay windows at both ends of the two cross-wings, a continuous entablature to each story with pediments above the windows, and curvilinear attic gables with crowning pediments. The roof line is further broken by tall clustered chimneys and, on the two principal fronts, by central niches with shell heads and flanking volutes. Internally two carved newels with shaped finials have been preserved from the original staircase and some of the panelling is of the same date. The hall screen, which has three round arches, columns painted to simulate marble, a central broken pediment, and carvings of lions and cherubs, is said to have been inserted by Sir James Harrington between 1643 and 1665. He may also have been responsible for the fine ornamental ceiling in the saloon on the first floor. Murals above the staircase representing scenes from the Aeneid are attributed to Robert Streater (1624-80). Other internal fittings are of the later 17th and 18th centuries. Alterations by the Clarkes in the late 18th century include two groundfloor windows on the south front. Immediately north of the house is a stable court enclosed by low buildings of the 17th century and later; the north range has been converted into three cottages and the east range includes an 18th-century orangery. A square brick dovecote with an ice-house below it, which formerly stood north of the courtyard, (fn. 73) was demolished in the early 1960s. The interior was partially restored in 1955 and the outside and roof were restored in 1961. (fn. 74)


  • 1. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 124-6, 128. For. 'Ticheham' see above, pp. 69-70.
  • 2. See pp. 70, 72.
  • 3. See V.C.H. Mdx. i. 125.
  • 4. See pp. 82, 118.
  • 5. See p. 70.
  • 6. Chanc. R. 1196 (P.R.S. N.S. i), 160.
  • 7. Boarstall Cart. (Oxf. Hist. Soc. lxxxviii), 301.
  • 8. C.P. 25(1)/150/56/100.
  • 9. See pp. 72-73.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. C.P. 25(1)/150/56/96.
  • 12. e.g. M.R.O., Acc. 640/2,/5,/8; C 142/149/72; /207/65.
  • 13. Lysons, Mdx. Pars. 190.
  • 14. Letters from Paul, son of Michael Shorediche, written in 1844 penes the rector.
  • 15. M.R.O., EA/Hil. /2.
  • 16. Letter penes the rector.
  • 17. Photocopy of letter from Edw. Ricaut Shorediche penes Uxb. libr.; indenture penes Uxb. Bor. Council.
  • 18. Indenture penes Uxb. Bor. Council. For Swakeleys see below.
  • 19. C.P. 25(1)/150/56/96.
  • 20. C.P. 25(1)/150/58/130.
  • 21. M.R.O., Acc. 85/13/625a/5.
  • 22. M.R.O., T.A./ICK.
  • 23. Lysons, Mdx. Pars. 191; Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 84; Pevsner, Mdx. pl. 35a.
  • 24. See above.
  • 25. Cart. of Missenden Abbey, pt. 3 (Bucks. Rec. Soc. xii), 164, 165.
  • 26. Red. Bk. Exch. (Rec. Com.), 543; Cart. Missenden Abbey, 163, 166.
  • 27. C.P. 25(1)/149/52/351; /150/53/12; the Oxfordshire place-name is pronounced 'Swaycliff'.
  • 28. C.P. 25(1)/150/56/91.
  • 29. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 241.
  • 30. Cal. Close, 1349-54, 235.
  • 31. See above.
  • 32. Rot. Parl. vi. 276a.
  • 33. Cal. Pat. 1485-1509, 63.
  • 34. L. & P. Hen. VIII, i(1), p. 289.
  • 35. Ibid. iii(2), p. 750.
  • 36. Ibid. v, p. 148.
  • 37. P.C.C. 14 Oyngley.
  • 38. P.C.C. 46 Holney.
  • 39. Visitations of Sussex (Harl. Soc. liii), x. 7; W. H. Godfrey, Swakeleys (Lond. Survey Cttee.).
  • 40. Par. Recs., Reg. 1.
  • 41. C.P. 25(1)/173/33 Eliz. I, Mich.
  • 42. C 2. W. w. 15/26 Eliz. I.
  • 43. E 112/99/1065.
  • 44. C.P. 25(2)/323/6 Jas. I, Mich.
  • 45. E 112/99/1065.
  • 46. C 66/2522/86.
  • 47. P.C.C. 21 Crane.
  • 48. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1660-1, 413.
  • 49. C.P. 25(2)/689/17 Chas. II, Mich.
  • 50. Pepys, Diary, 7 Sept. 1665.
  • 51. Godfrey, Swakeleys.
  • 52. M.R.O., Acc. 85/4/353.
  • 53. M.R.O., Acc. 85/4/349-51.
  • 54. Ibid. /352.
  • 55. Ibid. /13/623.
  • 56. Inscriptions in Ickenham church.
  • 57. See above.
  • 58. Inscriptions in Ickenham church.
  • 59. Abstracts of title penes Uxb. Bor. Council.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Letters penes Uxb. Bor. Council.
  • 62. C.P. 25(2)/181/22; /323/6 Jas. I, Mich.
  • 63. Ickenham Incl. Map penes Uxb. Bor. Council.
  • 64. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 647.
  • 65. C 47/7/2/2/14.
  • 66. W.A.M., 6646.
  • 67. E 112/99/1065.
  • 68. The house is described in Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 82-84 and illustrated in plates 156-60. See also plate on facing page.
  • 69. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 83.
  • 70. M.R.O., Acc. 85/13/632-3.
  • 71. Godfrey, Swakeleys.
  • 72. Ex inf. Lond. Postal Region Sports Club.
  • 73. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. pl. 49.
  • 74. Ex inf. Lond. Postal Region Sports Club.