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Skegby Manor House, immediately south east of Pond Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Skegby, Nottinghamshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1433 / 53°8'35"N

Longitude: -1.2601 / 1°15'36"W

OS Eastings: 449586.569371

OS Northings: 360937.786514

OS Grid: SK495609

Mapcode National: GBR 8F3.S9Y

Mapcode Global: WHDFY.M843

Entry Name: Skegby Manor House, immediately south east of Pond Cottage

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1957

Last Amended: 24 February 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020993

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35607

County: Nottinghamshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Skegby

Built-Up Area: Sutton in Ashfield

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Skegby

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham

Details

The monument includes the earthwork, buried and standing remains of Skegby
Manor House, a medieval hall thought to have been built in the early 13th
century. It is situated immediately south east of Pond Cottage, on a small
tributary of the River Meden which flows from beneath the monument and
marks part of the western edge of the site.

Skegby is first mentioned in the Domesday Book where it is recorded as being a
berewick of the royal manor of Mansfield. A berewick was a settlement that was
physically separate from the village where the lord lived but was still
governed as part of the manorial estate. It is believed that Skegby Manor
House was built by Godfrey Spigurnal, a `Sergeant of the King's Chapel', who
was responsible for the sealing and dispatch of the royal writs and commands.
In 1207 Godfrey paid 3 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 pence to the king in return
for a grant of five Bovates of land and a mill in Skegby. In addition to
this he paid an annual rent of 20 shillings. It is recorded that during
unrest Godfrey's property was burnt down, but in 1223 he became lord of the
manor of Skegby and it is thought that soon after this date the existing manor
house was built. Godfrey died in 1240 but the manor remained in the Spigurnel
family until 1315 when Edmund Spigurnel died and the male line came to an
end. In 1450 the manor passed to Percival Lindley and the family held the
manor throughout the 16th century, rising to a position of local importance
in the 17th century. By the early 18th century the family had a new manor
house built opposite the church in Skegby.

Again by the early 18th century a farmhouse had been built west of the
medieval hall and was occupied until the early 20th century. The manor house
and adjacent solar building were converted into cottages and farm buildings
but fell into decay by the late 19th or early 20th century. They are both
now Grade II Listed Buildings.

The monument survives as a series of standing, buried and earthwork remains.
Sections of the standing remains survive to roof height and show evidence of
several phases of construction. The earliest upstanding remains represent the
medieval hall built in the early 13th century. Of this only the north wall is
visible above ground but to the south of the wall the ground level is several
metres higher than that to the north, indicating remains of other walls are
buried beneath the lawn and gardens which now surround the monument. From
the south it is clear that the building is buried to its first floor which
would have contained the main rooms of the hall. Access to this level would
have been gained through the now blocked, round headed doorway which is
evident in the north wall. A contemporary square headed lancet window to the
east and an internal rebate to the west of the door indicate the presence of a
timber screened passage. A small loop at the west end of the wall is the only
other original window to survive. The larger, blocked windows were added in
the 16th to 17th century and the building subdivided, probably in the 18th
to 19th century.

A second building, possibly a solar, was added in around 1340. This survives
to roof height and, although the roof does not survive, the building is
substantially complete. Access is gained through a door in the west wall, with
a flat lintel below a round headed relieving arch. No trace of the original
windows survive but a 15th century window has been inserted in the north wall.
A ledge, formed by the reduction in thickness of the upper walls is evident
and would have supported the timber floor of the first storey. This floor was
lit by a large pointed window in the north wall which is now blocked. Other
blocked windows and doors provide evidence of different phases of adaptation
and use of the building. In the 18th to 19th century the building was divided
into cottages; doorways and fireplaces were inserted and a buttress
constructed on the west side. The hall and the solar form two sides of a small
courtyard with a stream marking the western side. In 1982 small scale
excavations were carried out in the courtyard and the solar building. These
revealed the cobbled surface of the courtyard, evidence of more buildings and
the medieval drainage system. Artefacts recovered from within the solar
included 13th century pottery as well as evidence that the building was at
one time roofed with stone slates and had leaded glass windows.

To the west of the hall lay an extensive area of footings and collapsed
walling. These are believed to be remains of the farm built in the 18th
century. Photographs of the buildings indicate their physical relationship to
the medieval hall and show the farmhouse to be bonded to the western side of
the hall. A series of stone steps leading from the south west corner of the
courtyard survive and probably provided access to the farmhouse. An
underground water course emerges to the west of the steps and appears to flow
from beneath what would have been the farmhouse. The water management system
implies this could once have been the site of a mill but there is no further
evidence to support this.

Footings and collapsed walling survive as both upstanding and earthwork
remains to the south and west of the upstanding remains of the hall and
continue to the edges of the monument. Outlying agricultural buildings and
domestic structures are common features of manorial centres and, although
some of the remains appear to relate to the 18th century farm, it is
likely that these were constructed on the site of earlier features. There
is evidence for the reuse of stone over much of the area.

All modern fences and path surfaces are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life. They served as
prestigious aristocratic or seigniorial residences, the importance of their
inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings.
Local agriculture and village life was normally closely regulated by the lord
of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling
interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many
forms. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat,
the latter being intended to further impress the status of the site on the
wider population. Other manors, like Skegby Hall, were not moated their status
being indicated largely by the quality of their buildings. This latter group
of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites
were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, which may
survive well, and the original buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned
layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of the site has
also in many instances led to destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples
of medieval manorial centres of this type which can be positively identified
and demonstrated to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are
relatively rare.

Skegby Manor House is a rare example of a medieval hall. The survival of
upstanding remains in association with earthworks and other buried remains is
particularly important. The site retains significant archaeological and
architectural remains which provide a chronological sequence from the
medieval period to the 20th century. Combined with archaeological and
historical documentation, these upstanding and buried remains provide a
comprehensive picture of the hall and its changing landscape over time.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Drage, C, Sheperd, R, Skegby Manor House, (1981), 1-17
Drage, C, Sheperd, R, Skegby Manor House, (1981), 1-2
Drage, C, Sheperd, R, Skegby Manor House, (1981), 1-8
Blagg, T M, 'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in Excursion 1904 - Skegby, , Vol. VIII, (1904), 1-15
Bonser, G G, 'Notts and Derbyshire notes and queries' in Notes on Skegby, , Vol. VI, (1898), 106-107

Source: Historic England

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