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Northborough Manor House

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Northborough Castle Farmhouse

In the civil parish of Northborough.
In the historic county of Northamptonshire (Soke of Peterborough).
Modern Authority of Peterborough; City of.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TF15100782
Latitude 52.65616° Longitude -0.30006°

Northborough Manor House has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

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

Description

Built 1330-40 by the de-la-Mare family. The Manor was sold to James Claypole in 1565. His son who succeeded him was knighted and died in 1630. It retained in the Claypole family until it was sold in 1681 to Lord Fitzwilliam. Reputedly visited by Oliver Cromwell whose daughter Elizabeth married John Claypole. A hall and gatehouse survive from what must have been a medieval manor house, with early C17 alterations. Built of coursed stone rubble with freestone dressings and with steeply pitched Collyweston stone roofs with gabled ends. The west gable of the hall has coping with leaf crockets and hexagonal base of pinnacle or chimney shafts at the apex. The north front has 2 tall 2-light windows with straight heads and blocked reticulated tracery and buttress between. Large C17 gabled semi-dormer above with mullion windows. To the right is an early C16 2 storeyed gabled porch with moulded arch, and original doorway behind with filleted roll moulding. Through the screens passage to similar back doorway. Some partly blocked reticulated tracery windows at the rear with buttress between and 3 C17 gabled semi-dormers above. To the west, is a 2 storeyed cross wing gabled at north front with crocketed finial and mullion transom windows, and a hipped roof to south with small gablet, and large chimney stack on west side. To the north-east is a C17 2 storey and attic wing with asymmetrical gable. Interior, though the screen is missing, there are 3 doorways from the screens passage to the former buttery, kitchen and pantry, with crocketed ogee heads within ogee gables. The traceried heads to the windows were blocked when the hall was floored in the C17. Stairs in hall with shaped slat balusters, and with heavy moulded balusters to top stage. The hall has braced collar rafter roof with ashlaring. (Listed Building Report)

The gatehouse had neither portcullis nor drawbridge, but, such as it was, it was relied on, together with the surrounding walls and buildings to protect the house. Bridges speaks of the 'noble gatehouse with spacious stone arches and mouldings, and chambers over it'. The chambers and vaulting are gone, but the circular stairs remain, leading to a delapidated loft. He also mentions stone stairs in the house, and a window 'at the E end, now almost filled up, where probably was formerly a chapel', but there is now nothing by which this part of the building can be identified. Built in 1330 - 1340 by the de-la-Mare family. The gatehouse and hall is all that survives from a major manor house. The gatehouse has a slightly lower roof line and has large moulded and chamfered arch through. Inside there is a narrow bay, formerly rib vaulted, separated from the larger rib vaulted S bay by a cross wall with an arched carriageway and a pedestrian way. Northborough Manor was built by Roger de Northburgh, Bishop of Lichfield, in 1335. The house had a great hall with separate private apartments at one end, an imposing gatehouse and various other buildings. It was originally intended to be larger, but Roger had difficulties with the builders. A stone gatehouse of the same period as the manor house (early C14), to which a range of C17 buildings have been added (not scheduled). The carriageway of the gatehoue is in two sections a section by a vertical wall, pierced by cat and mouse doorways also with pointed arches. A further large pointed arch gives access to the courtyard. Both sections have had quadripartite vaults, but only the springings remain. The E section of the gatehouse contains a small porter's room and a circular stair leading originally to a room above this, but, since the removal of the vaulting, to a loft running the whole width of the gatehouse. Stonework in reasonable condition, some repair work evident, but this does not seem to be of a recent date. String course on NW side is damaged. Roofing slates are in poor condition, covered in moss and slipping badly in some areas. (City of Peterborough HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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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 on Sunday, October 19, 2014

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