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Skegby Manor House, immediately south east of Pond Cottage

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

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

List entry Number: 1020993

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Ashfield

District Type: District Authority

Parish:

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Jul-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Feb-2004

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35607

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Selected 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

National Grid Reference: SK 49587 60940

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1020993 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 08:13:00.

End of official listing