South Mimms: Manors

Pages 282-285

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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



In 1086 South Mimms was held by Geoffrey de Mandeville as a berewick of the manor of Edmonton, and in the time of King Edward it had belonged to Ansgar the staller. (fn. 1) The overlordship of SOUTH MIMMS manor followed the descent of Enfield. (fn. 2) The manor seems to have been subinfeudated in 1140-4, when Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex (d. 1144), granted half of it to Hugh of Eu. (fn. 3) By 1210-12 the whole manor was in the hands of Ernulf de Mandeville, probably a descendant of Geoffrey's eldest son, Ernulf, who held it of the honor of Mandeville for one knight's fee. (fn. 4) Ernulf seems to have been deprived of his holding, for in 1216 the manor was granted by King John to Henry the Teuton. (fn. 5) Ernulf's son, another Ernulf, (fn. 6) had regained possession by 1235-6 (fn. 7) and from him it apparently passed to his brother Hugh. (fn. 8) It was later in the possession of the Lewknor family, who seem to have been connected with the Mandevilles, for in 1268 Sir Roger Lewknor held a Suffolk manor of Hugh de Mandeville. (fn. 9) Sir Roger was succeeded in 1295 by his son Thomas, (fn. 10) whose heir Thomas secured a grant of free warren in South Mimms in 1313. (fn. 11) The first recorded lease of the manor was by Thomas's son, Roger, to John de Byllyngdon in 1394 for 20 years. (fn. 12) The manor remained in the Lewknor family until 1483, when Sir Thomas Lewknor was attainted and his lands granted to Robert Scrope. (fn. 13) In 1484 Lewknor was pardoned (fn. 14) and his lands were restored in 1485. (fn. 15)

It is uncertain when the manor was transferred from the Lewknor family to the Windsors. In 1503 the manor court was held in the name of Edmund Dudley, and other feoffees, to the use of Dudley's brother-in-law Andrew Windsor, later Lord Windsor (d. 1543). (fn. 16) In 1519, however, Roger Lewknor, who was said to be seised in fee of the manor, leased it to Sir Andrew and George Windsor, during the life of Sir Thomas West and others. In 1525 Sir Edward Neville, who was Sir Andrew's son-in-law and said to be the sole surviving trustee, released the manor to Roger Corbett and Henry Draper. In 1530 South Mimms was conveyed by Draper to Sir Edward Neville, William Windsor, and others. (fn. 17) In 1542 it was claimed by Anne Knyvett, a daughter of Roger Lewknor, and her husband John Vaughan, (fn. 18) from whom it was eventually conveyed in 1567 to Edward, Lord Windsor (d. 1575). (fn. 19) The manor descended in the Windsor family until 1606 when Henry Howard, earl of Northampton, and other executors of Henry, Lord Windsor (d. 1605), sold it to Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury (d. 1612). (fn. 20) The manorial estate has remained largely intact in the hands of the Cecil family.

A castle assumed to have been built by Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex (d. 1144), on his manor of Mimms c. 1141, was discovered in 1918. (fn. 21) Excavations in 1960-7 revealed a simple but wellappointed motte-and-bailey castle, with a structure beneath the bailey bank which may have been the church granted to Walden in 1136 or may represent earlier manorial buildings. The castle seems to have been sacked by King Stephen's forces but pottery finds indicate the later domestic use of the bailey, probably in connexion with the working of the adjacent chalk pits. (fn. 22) A manor-house was first recorded in 1268. (fn. 23) There was a capital messuage with a dovecot in 1336 (fn. 24) and by the 15th century the house had become known as 'Mimmehall'. (fn. 25) The early building probably stood on or near the site of Warrengate farm-house, (fn. 26) whereas the modern Mimms Hall stands farther south in what was formerly Windmill field. (fn. 27) The northern part of the house, a hall with cross-wings, was built in the early 16th century, and afterwards encased in brick. It was extended in the 17th century on the east and south, and later was much altered. Some of the original timber-framing, with tie-beams and wall-posts, is visible and fragments of the moat remain. (fn. 28)

The manor of OLD FOLD emerged from the capital manor. It was bought from Ernulf de Mandeville by the Frowyks, who were prosperous London merchants, shortly after 1271 (fn. 29) and it descended in the direct male line of the family until 1527. In 1308 Henry Frowyk was kidnapped by Thomas Lewknor, lord of South Mimms, William Pouns, a local landowner, (fn. 30) his son Richard, and John of Felstead, parson of Hadley. Henry was married to William Pouns's daughter, Margaret, for which act the Frowyks subsequently obtained financial redress, on the grounds that Henry was a minor in the wardship of his mother Agnes. (fn. 31) Henry died in 1377, having outlived his son Thomas. His grandson Henry married Alice Cornwall, whose second husband Thomas Charlton had the manor in 1397, (fn. 32) apparently during the minority of Thomas, Henry and Alice's son. Thomas Frowyk was the husband of Elizabeth Aske, heir to the manor of Weld or Newberries in Shenley (Herts.). (fn. 33) His son and heir Henry married Joan Lewknor (fn. 34) but was sued for debt by Sir Roger Lewknor and committed to prison. (fn. 35) Accordingly Henry sold the manor of Weld and lands in Shenley, Aldenham, and St. Albans (Herts.) in 1473 (fn. 36) and sold the manor of Durhams and land in London to his cousin Thomas Frowyk of Gunnersbury two years later, (fn. 37) although he retained Old Fold. His successors seem not to have paid the rent for Old Fold which was due to the manor of South Mimms, and in 1501 Henry's grandson and namesake was distrained for the non-payment for many years. (fn. 38) The younger Henry married Anne, daughter and coheir of Robert Knollys, who brought the manor of North Mimms (Herts.) into the Frowyk family. Henry's son Thomas married Mary, daughter of Sir William Sandys, and died without issue. (fn. 39) By will proved in 1527, Henry therefore left his estates to his daughter Elizabeth and the children of her first husband John Coningsby. (fn. 40) It was not until 1547, however, that Elizabeth recovered Old Fold from John Palmer and his wife Mary, whose first husband had been Thomas Frowyk. (fn. 41) In 1551 Elizabeth and her husband William Dodds conveyed the manor to Thomas White. (fn. 42) It was eventually regained by Elizabeth's son, Sir Henry Coningsby, who, by will dated 1590, left it to his eldest son Ralph. (fn. 43) In 1639 when the manor extended beyond South Mimms and into the parishes of Enfield, Monken Hadley, and Chipping Barnet, it was sold by Thomas Coningsby to Thomas Allen of Finchley. (fn. 44) In 1841 the Revd. E. P. Cooper, whose father had inherited the Allen estates in 1830, sold the manor to George Byng of Wrotham Park. (fn. 45) Part of the estate was subsequently purchased by the Middlesex C.C. (fn. 46) and 124 a. were used from 1910 by Old Fold Manor golf club. (fn. 47)

Old Fold was said to comprise 132½ a. in the late 13th century. (fn. 48) At the inclosure of Enfield Chase in 1777 almost 37 a. were added to it (fn. 49) and in 1836 the estate, which included Old Fold House and land, Old Fold farm, Wales farm, and Pimlico House, consisted of 516 a. (fn. 50) The site of a manor-house, mentioned in 1310, (fn. 51) is marked by three sides of a moat alongside the headquarters of Old Fold Manor golf club. (fn. 52) Old Fold Manor House is an 18th-century house. Next to it stands the golf club house: two former cottages which are connected by an early19th-century gateway with four columns and a parapet decorated with Soanian incised line ornament. (fn. 53)

The manor of DEREHAMS or DURHAMS was also a derivative of the capital manor. (fn. 54) It derives its name from John Durham, who in 1340 acquired half a house and 324 a. in South Mimms, together with land in Ridge, from Thomas de la Pannetrye. (fn. 55) He was granted the remaining interest in the property by Margery, wife of Richard Pouns, in 1341. (fn. 56) John Durham's daughter and heir, Margaret, married Thomas, son of Henry Frowyk of Old Fold, and after Durham's death in 1368 (fn. 57) the manor descended with Old Fold (fn. 58) until its sale in 1473 to Thomas Frowyk of Gunnersbury (d. 1485). (fn. 59) The manor passed to Thomas's second son, Sir Thomas Frowyk (d. 1506), (fn. 60) Chief Justice of Common Pleas, whose daughter Frideswide became the first wife of Sir Thomas Cheyney, treasurer of the royal household. By will proved 1559 Cheyney left Durhams to his three granddaughters, Anne and Alice Kempe and the wife of William Cromer. (fn. 61) The manor was in the hands of Thomas Kempe in 1567, (fn. 62) and by 1578 it had passed to William Lee (fn. 63) who was still in possession in 1591. (fn. 64) In 1593 it was held by John Layce, (fn. 65) a London clothworker, whose heir was his son, Sir Rowland. (fn. 66) In 1602 the manor was sold by Henry Fleetwood to Clement, later Sir Clement, Scudamore (d. 1616), and Clement his son, later also knighted. (fn. 67) Sir Clement Scudamore the younger died in 1633, leaving his son and namesake a minor. (fn. 68) By 1653 Durhams belonged to John Austen, (fn. 69) whose grandson, John Austen, M.P. for Middlesex, sold the manor in 1733 to Anne, wife of William Anne van Keppel, earl of Albemarle (d. 1754). In 1773 Durhams was sold by their son William Keppel to Christopher Bethell, from whose executors it was purchased in 1798 by John Trotter, (fn. 70) an army contractor. (fn. 71) The manor was subsequently held by four generations of Trotters, until its sale to the Middlesex and Hertfordshire county councils in 1938. (fn. 72) The grounds have since been used as a private golf course. (fn. 73)

In 1506 the manor, which extended into Hertfordshire, included a house and 350 a. (fn. 74) The original manor-house may have stood beside Galley Lane, where a complete moat survives next to Fold Farm. (fn. 75) Another possible site is said to have been farther east, where there is an earthwork and enclosure. (fn. 76) The Elizabethan house, apparently on or near the site of the present building, (fn. 77) was destroyed by fire c. 1806 and replaced soon afterwards (fn. 78) by a large villa (fn. 79) known as Dyrham Park with a Tuscan entrance portico on the north, a semicircular bow on the south, and deep eaves. Some late-18th-century fittings in the north-west service-wing may survive from a wing in a similar relationship to the earlier house. There have been many alterations, the most recent being those to adapt the interior for use as a club house. In the mid 18th century the park had a predominantly formal layout with double avenues and a canal. Late in the century it was enlarged on the east and a costly new gateway (fn. 80) was provided to the New Road. The park was redesigned in a less formal manner c. 1822 (fn. 81) and nothing remained of the avenues in 1973.

WYLLYOTTS manor derives its name from a family, (fn. 82) although it was not called a manor in 1349 when held by Robert and John Wyliot. (fn. 83) By 1478 the manor had come into the possession of the Lewknors, for in that year it was devised by Sir Roger Lewknor to his younger son, Roger. (fn. 84) In 1479 it was held by Henry Kyghley and Thomas Bartelot, who had married into the Lewknor family and who were presumably trustees, (fn. 85) and was said to comprise 80 a. arable, 44 a. pasture, and 48 a. woodland. (fn. 86) From Roger Lewknor, styled lord of the manor of South Mimms and Wyllyotts in 1504, Wyllyotts passed to his son Edmund, (fn. 87) whose son Thomas and wife Bridget sold it in 1562 to William Dodds of North Mimms and his wife Catherine, reserving an annual rent-charge which was sold in 1568 to William Larke. The manor was sold by Dodds to William Stanford of Perry Hall (Staffs.) in 1575 and conveyed by Stanford in 1594 to his cousin Robert Taylor and his wife Elizabeth, (fn. 88) who in 1601 bought Larke's rent-charge. (fn. 89) Taylor enlarged Wyllyotts by the purchase of lands, including Cattalls and Smythies, which had formerly belonged to South Mimms manor. In 1603 he sold Wyllyotts to Sir Roger Aston, (fn. 90) who in 1605 conveyed it to Robert Honeywood of Hoxton, (fn. 91) from whom it passed in 1607 to Eleanor Hyde, widow, and John Wylde, her cousin and heir. In 1619 Sir John Wylde conveyed the manor to Henry Featherstone, from whom it was purchased in 1623 by Walter Lee, merchant tailor of London, who in 1629 conveyed it to his nephew, Walter Lee the younger. On Walter's bankruptcy his assignees sold Wyllyotts in 1650 to Alexander Wilding, (fn. 92) who in turn sold it in 1651 to Stephen Ewer and Bret Netter, (fn. 93) probably as trustees for James Hickson of the Brewers' Company of London, to whom they conveyed it later that year. (fn. 94) Hickson, by will proved 1689, devised the manor, including the 'chief manor house', to the Brewers' Company, (fn. 95) for the upkeep of his almshouses. (fn. 96) In 1925 the manor-house was purchased from the Brewers' Company by A. Hugh Seabrook. It was sold to Potters Bar U.D.C. in 1937. (fn. 97) In 1973 the council had leased it to a firm of restaurant owners. (fn. 98)

The manor-house of Wyllyotts stands a little to the west of Potters Bar station. (fn. 99) A house existed there in 1581 and was said in 1664 to have been enlarged or rebuilt by Walter Lee, haberdasher of London. (fn. 100) The existing house, which is timberframed, is probably of c. 1800 but incorporates some re-used older material; (fn. 101) it was stuccoed prior to an extensive restoration for A. H. Seabrook. The adjacent aisled barn is incomplete but is probably part of one of the buildings shown on the site in 1594, (fn. 102) when it would have been newly built.

Under the Act for dividing Enfield Chase (1777), the South Mimms allotment of 1,026 a. 3 p. was to become the manor of NEW MIMMS. (fn. 103) The creation of a new manor, while unusual, was to oblige a local landowner, who intended to lease it 'for the purpose of protecting and supplying his table with game'. The lease, however, did not take effect. (fn. 104)

The reputed manor of MANDEVILLE (fn. 105) originated in lands called Mandevilles Oak, Mandevilles, Great Mandevilles, and Mandefield, which lay on Dancers Hill and formed part of the manor of South Mimms. The tradition of a manor persisted in the 18th century, when a list of claims on Enfield Chase, which alluded to rights supposedly granted by Hugh de Mandeville to the holders of Old Fold and Durhams, included an uncompleted draft by the lord of Mandeville. A manor was first recorded in 1575, when it was owned by Jasper Annesley and his wife Joan, who two years later conveyed it to Henry Isham, a London mercer. (fn. 106) Isham already possessed three small properties which later formed part of the estate: the field known as Roundabout, or Mandevilles, Ripley Grove and Welks field, which John Annesley had sold to John Walker in 1542, and a house called Dancers Hill with 6 a., which had been sold in 1558 to Christopher Troughton by William Dodds and his wife Elizabeth. In 1596 Mandeville was sold by Gregory Isham to Richard Ketterick, who added some copyhold lands bought from the lord of South Mimms. In 1635 it passed from the Ketterick family to Thomas Harrison, a collector of ship-money, and, like Ketterick, a governor of Barnet grammar school. Financial difficulties forced Harrison to sell the larger part of the estate in 1674 to Sir Henry Blount, whose grandson Henry sold it to Thomas Andrews in 1700. Four years later the property was conveyed to David Hechstetter, a Hamburg merchant, whose son David succeeded in 1721 and reunited it in 1748 with lands which he had bought from the heirs of Richard Harrison. Two years later he leased Dancers Hill House with 10 a. to Charles Ross, a Westminster builder, for eighty years. On Hechstetter's death in 1757 the lands passed to his wife Charlotte for life, with remainder to his nephews, but in 1768 Charlotte Hechstetter broke the entail and sold the property, comprising in all 158 a., (fn. 107) to the trustees of George Byng. Charles Ross, as lessee, was followed by his nephew William Gowan in 1770 and afterwards by a succession of other lessees, until in 1842 the tenant was Thomas White, who farmed most of the lands to the east of Wash Lane.

A house at Dancers Hill is recorded in 1558. It was inhabited in turn by the Kettericks and by the Harrisons, who apparently added a bowling green, and in 1748 was described as the old manor-house, although during Ross's lease it became known as the mansion house. It was considerably altered in 1856 by John Chapman, a builder who used old materials. The core of the existing house is a small Palladian villa which was probably built by Charles Ross. It was of three storeys and had on the principal floor a saloon, at one end of which was an open loggia behind a portico, flanked by three smaller rooms with a staircase in the fourth corner. It was a tall house in relation to its plan and it appears that in the early 19th century an earth bank was raised on three sides to disguise the basement, when the entrance was moved from the south front to the north. (fn. 108) Balancing extensions to east and west were added c. 1860, when the attic floor was completely remodelled, and shortly afterwards a further extension was made to the east. The original house was of brick but it was later stuccoed, probably to disguise the alterations. The 18th-century gardens included an avenue on the north, of which traces remain. A less formal garden was made on the south in the 19th century.


  • 1. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 126.
  • 2. See p. 224.
  • 3. 'Original Charters of Herbert and Gervase, Abbots of Westminster (1121-57)', ed. P. Chaplais, Medieval Miscellany for D. M. Stenton (P.R.S. N.S. xxxvi), 96.
  • 4. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), ii. 283.
  • 5. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 250.
  • 6. Cur. Reg. R. viii. 110.
  • 7. Bk. of Fees, i. 474.
  • 8. Herts. Rec. Off., D/ETr/TI no. 166; Cartulary of St. Barts. Hosp. no. 1223.
  • 9. Story of Potters Bar, 34.
  • 10. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, pp. 179-80.
  • 11. Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 201.
  • 12. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Deeds) 219/8.
  • 13. B.M. Harl. MS. 433 pp. 47b, 122; Cal. Pat. 1476-85, 376.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. 1476-85, 435.
  • 15. Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), vi. 273.
  • 16. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 14/28, f. 6v.; Hist. of Parl. Biogs. 1439-1509, p. 285.
  • 17. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Legal) 28/8; ex inf. Hist. Parl.
  • 18. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Legal) 9/1; (Deeds) 143/2.
  • 19. C.P. 25(2)259/9 Eliz. East.
  • 20. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Deeds) 143/20.
  • 21. T.L.M.A.S. xiii. 175, 464.
  • 22. J. P. C. Kent, 'Excavations at the . . . Castle of S. Mimms', Barnet and Dist. Loc. Hist. Soc. Bull. xv.
  • 23. C 132/35/12.
  • 24. C 135/47/11.
  • 25. P.N. Mdx. (E.P.N.S.), 78.
  • 26. Brittain, South Mymms, 11.
  • 27. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Gen.) 62/5.
  • 28. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 95.
  • 29. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 228; J.I. 1/540 rot. 3v.
  • 30. C.P. 25(1)/148/37/320; and see p. 275.
  • 31. Year Bk. 2 & 3 Edw. II (Selden Soc. xix), 162.
  • 32. Cass, South Mimms, 25.
  • 33. Brittain, South Mymms, 17; V.C.H. Herts. ii. 270.
  • 34. Mdx. Pedigrees, ed. R. Mundy, 90.
  • 35. Cal. Pat. 1476-85, 8.
  • 36. Cal. Close, 1476-85, 12.
  • 37. Cal. Close, 1468-76, 351-2.
  • 38. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 14/28, f. 4v.
  • 39. Cass, South Mimms, 102, 111.
  • 40. Story of Potters Bar, 41.
  • 41. C.P. 25(2)/61/473/1 Edw. VI Hil.
  • 42. C.P. 25(2)/61/475/5 Edw. VI Mich.
  • 43. Prob. 11/77 (P.C.C. 5 Sainberbe).
  • 44. M.R.O., Acc. 351/683. For the descent of the manor in the Allen family see M.R.O., Acc. 351/715-717.
  • 45. M.R.O., Acc. 351/719; Story of Potters Bar, 45.
  • 46. Story of Potters Bar, 115.
  • 47. Ex inf. the secretary.
  • 48. Yr. Bk. 2 & 3 Edw. II (Selden Soc. xix), 162.
  • 49. M.P.C. 220.
  • 50. M.L.R. 1836/7/709, 710.
  • 51. Yr. Bk. 2 & 3 Edw. II (Selden Soc. xix), 162.
  • 52. Story of Potters Bar, 38.
  • 53. Pevsner, Herts. 168.
  • 54. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 74.
  • 55. C.P. 25(1)/287/40/287.
  • 56. C.P. 25(1)/150/58/141.
  • 57. Story of Potters Bar, 38.
  • 58. See above.
  • 59. Cal. Close, 1468-76, 351-2.
  • 60. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 74.
  • 61. Cass, South Mimms, 30.
  • 62. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 23/16.
  • 63. Prob. 11/61 (P.C.C. 13 Bakon, will of Hen. Taylor).
  • 64. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. i. 202.
  • 65. Norden, Spec. Brit. 18.
  • 66. Story of Potters Bar, 45.
  • 67. C.P. 43/78 rot. 6; Prob. 11/128 (P.C.C. 76 Cope, will of Sir Clement Scudamore the elder); Shaw, Knights, ii. 185.
  • 68. C 142/468/100.
  • 69. C 5/387/9.
  • 70. Cass, South Mimms, 34-5.
  • 71. D.N.B.
  • 72. Story of Potters Bar, 48.
  • 73. Potters Bar, Official Guide [1972].
  • 74. Story of Potters Bar, 48.
  • 75. Brittain, South Mymms, 16. The moat, however, seems more likely to have been part of Fold Farm: see above, p. 275.
  • 76. Brittain, South Mymms, 16.
  • 77. Story of Potters Bar, 48.
  • 78. Ambulator, 12th edn. (1820), 85.
  • 79. Except where otherwise stated, the foll. description is based on Pevsner, Mdx. 39-40.
  • 80. Ambulator, 10th edn. (1807), 100.
  • 81. Herts. Rec. Off., D/ETr/P1-4.
  • 82. Cal. Pat. 1345-48, 39; Guildhall MS. 6809; Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 14/27, f. 1.
  • 83. Cal. Close, 1349-54, 85.
  • 84. Prob. 11/7 (P.C.C. 1 Logg).
  • 85. Cass, South Mimms, 38.
  • 86. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 228.
  • 87. Story of Potters Bar, 58.
  • 88. Guildhall MS. 5885.
  • 89. C.P. 25(2)/173/43 Eliz. Hil.
  • 90. Guildhall MS. 5885.
  • 91. Guildhall MS. 5521.
  • 92. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 229.
  • 93. C.P. 25(2)/574/1651 Trin./Mdx.
  • 94. Guildhall MS. 5884.
  • 95. Story of Potters Bar, 59.
  • 96. See p. 307.
  • 97. Story of Potters Bar, 59, 103.
  • 98. Ex inf. the clerk, Potters Bar U.D.C.
  • 99. Para based on inf. of R.C.H.M. (Eng.).
  • 100. Guildhall MS. 6813 [charters of 1581 and 1664].
  • 101. Robbins, Mdx. plate 32.
  • 102. M.R.O., F. 58A.
  • 103. 17 Geo. III, c. xvii.
  • 104. Bk. of Surveys I (1783) penes Duchy of Lanc. office.
  • 105. Except where otherwise stated, this section is based on H. M. Baker, 'Dancers Hill and the Manor of Mandeville', Barnet and Dist. Loc. Hist. Soc. Bull. xvii (Nov. 1973).
  • 106. Cat. Anct. D. v, A 12483.
  • 107. M.L.R. 1768/7/47, 1769/1/483, 1/484.
  • 108. Proposals for the addition of wings in 1789 to the design of Ric. Pace of Burford do not appear to have been executed: Colvin, Dict. of Architects, 427.