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Byfleet Manor House

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Byfleete

In the civil parish of Byfleet.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ070602
Latitude 51.33154° Longitude -0.46381°

Byfleet Manor House has been described as a certain Palace.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

Byfleet came into Crown ownership by 1307. The hall, chamber, chapel and wardrobe were repaired during Henry IVs reign, and new drawbridges made over the moat. Soon after 1405 the house was pulled down and the materials used to build a new house at Sheen, which went by the name of 'Byfleet'. Byfleet was annexed by Henry VIII in 1539, but in 1610 reverted to the Prince of Wales. Ever since Henry V had demolished the manor house, the only building on the estate had been a keeper's lodge. In 1616, Queen Anne was granted the manor by James I, and in 1617 she began the construction of the new manor house, part of which is incorporated into the present building. (PastScape ref. HKW)

It is not clear how the manor became Crown property, but it was certainly in the king's hands in 1312. The overlordship continued to be vested in the abbey for some time after the manor became the king's property. A rental of 1319 speaks of it as being held 'in chief of the Abbot of Chertsey' by the service of half a knight's fee and 15s. rent to the abbot for the vill of Weybridge and 13s. 4d. rent for the vill of Bisley ... It is probable, however, that this overlordship, held by the abbey over the king or the Prince of Wales, soon became merely nominal. The courts of Byfleet were held by the king, and no further mention of Byfleet occurs in the records or court rolls of the abbey. Edward II appears to have stayed frequently at Byfleet, many of his ordinances being dated from here. A grant to Piers Gaveston in 1308 of free warren in his demesne lands at Byfleet suggests that he had been previously granted the manor also, probably as part of the lands belonging to the earldom of Cornwall. Edward III assigned Byfleet to his mother Isabella as part of her dower in 1327. She surrendered it shortly afterwards, and in 1330 the king granted it to his brother John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, to be held by knight's service; at his death it reverted to the Crown. In 1337, when the king's eldest son received the title of Duke of Cornwall, the manor and park of Byfleet were among the lands granted to him, to hold to him and his heirs, as parcel of the duchy of Cornwall. The Black Prince held the manor until his death, when it passed to his son. Richard II, as lord of the manor of Byfleet, granted it in 1389 to the Earl of Northumberland for two years, and in 1391 to John, Bishop of Salisbury, for ten years ... The bishop died in 1395, but two years before his death the manor was granted to William, Duke of Guelders, son of the Duke of Juliers, ... The duke afterwards granted the manor and park to Roger Walden, Dean of York and Treasurer of England, and John Walden his brother, for their lives, on condition that he, the duke, might lodge there with his household whenever he should come there. Richard's grants were aned by Parliament in 1399, and Byfleet was granted to Henry the son of the king. Roger and John Walden surrendered their estate in the manor for £100 to Sir Francis Court, who was a trusted friend of Prince Henry, and Joan his wife. ... Byfleet continued to be granted by the Kings of England to their eldest sons until the time of Henry VIII. The last-named king is said to have spent much of his boyhood at Byfleet. As king, he granted the manor in 1533 to Katharine of Aragon, whom he had divorced in that year, she being styled Princess Dowager of Wales. ... At the erection of the king's manor of Hampton Court into an honour in 1539 Byfleet was included in the possessions allotted to it. Queen Elizabeth visited Byfleet in 1576. James I granted the manor to Henry, Prince of Wales, and, after his son's death, to Anne of Denmark, his consort. In 1617 the reversion of the manor, after her death, was granted to Sir Francis Bacon and others, for the term of ninety-nine years, in trust for Charles Prince of Wales. During the Commonwealth the manor and park of Byfleet were sold as Crown lands to Thomas Hammond. After the Restoration Byfleet, again in the Crown, seems to have been held by Queen Henrietta Maria until her death in 1669. (VCH)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated on Saturday, September 20, 2014

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