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Boothby Pagnell Manor

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Boothby Pagnell.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Lincolnshire.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK97053066
Latitude 52.86475° Longitude -0.55978°

Boothby Pagnell Manor has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Medieval manor house at Boothby Pagnell, believed to be the most important surviving small Norman manor house in England, surrounded by a defensive moat. (PastScape)

Incorrectly shown on OS map as Bothby Hall. Camera block of manor house. Late C12 with C16 alterations, C17 addition, C19 minor alterations. Coursed limestone rubble with ashlar quoins and dressings, Collyweston slate roof. T-plan, the rear wing probably a C17 addition. The camera block is all that remains of a complex of buildings forming the medieval manor house. The first floor hall and solar set above a vaulted 2 chambered undercroft. 2 storey with garret, 3 bay front having external stairs to first floor hall door, short pilaster, and chamfered eaves course. Central chamfered doorway with corbelled lintel with to left a square opening. To right a second blocked doorway. These openings have relieving arches. To first floor is a semi-circular headed and chamfered doorway, with chamfered and reeded imposts and hood with tightly curled stops. To right a C16 4 light window, pointed heads to the lights with concave moulded rectangular surround and hood. To right a C12 2 light window having chamfered surround, round heads to the lights and slender facetted mullion with plain capitals. Above the plain tympanum a chamfered hood mould. To the left gable a C19 planked door with segmental head occupies the position of an earlier opening marked by the relieving arch above. To the first floor a C12 2 light window and to the right a second similar window, repositioned to light the inserted staircase. To both gable ends are a chamfered string course with tall rectangular light above in chamfered surround. At the rear is the projecting added C17 wing now with C19 planked door and casements, and to the main range are 2 blocked C12 openings, a buttress and fine ashlar chimney breast terminating in a gabled square base to slender C12 circular stack with roll moulded top. In the roof a C19 2 light gabled dormer with rendered cheeks. Interior. The undercroft consists of 2 chambers, one of 2 bays with quadripartite chamfered vaults, springing from splayed corbels. The other having a barrel vault. On the first floor a magnificent C12 rounded back fireplace with massive ashlar hood having joggled lintel supported on a pair of chamfered corbels, with above a rolled and filleted string. In the wall to the right a triangular headed cupboard and round headed corbelled doorway. In the chamber beyond the C12 window has a stone seat and a C19 doorway to the rear wing. The C16 ceilings, inserted into the open hall, have chamfered girders with ogee stops. The hall has been divided into 2 rooms and a C19 staircase by C16 timber frame partitions with heavy oak studs. The clasped purlin roof is C19. The house was probably built for the de Boothby family and later occupied by the Paynelle family. It is a rare survival of a Norman Manor House. A new house has built nearby in c.1630, and the Manor House has been uninhabited since early C20. (Listed Building Report)

The upstanding building dates from the 1180's, and the findings challenge Margaret Wood's interpretation, discussed in her well respected book The English Mediaeval House 1964, that Boothby Pagnell was an example of a 'first floor hall'; ie that the larger of the upper rooms acted as the communal, semi-public hall, and the smaller room served as bedchamber for the family's private use. Work done by Dr John Blair - Manorial Domestic Buildings in England and Northern France London 1993, suggest that 'first floor halls' are not houses at all but would typically be accompanied by ground floor halls of a familiar kind - perhaps similar to Oakham Castle.
It is now assumed that the 'Manor House' was part of a larger complex which would have included a ground floor hall. Resistivity survey has detected a large rectangular outline to the east of the Manor House, shown by a small excavation in 1996 to belong to a massive stone building, either of the late 11th or early 12th century. The surviving building would now more correctly be defined as a chamber block and adds further weight to a changing view regarding the story of the evolution of the English House.
This can be summarised as follows: As the 13th century progressed, the chamber block began to be built attached to and at right angles across the upper dais end of the hall, and a second block became increasingly common that incorporated the 'services' at the lower end. The resulting 'H' shape, or E, including a porch, represented the basis of the English House plan in use from the 15th to the 17th century. (CSGJ 1999-2000)

Although surrounded by a moat, sometime said to be defensive and which is possibly later than the Norman house, this was not a fortified house. However, it is quite often listed by some castle studies authors because of it's architectural importance. As a rare survivor of Norman domestic architecture that architectural importance is considerable and this is a building that should be studied with regard to castles for its comparative significance.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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