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Helmdon Manor House

In the civil parish of Helmdon.
In the historic county of Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough.
Modern Authority of Northamptonshire.
1974 county of Northamptonshire.
Medieval County of Northamptonshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP58984308
Latitude 52.08423° Longitude -1.14185°

Helmdon Manor House has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.


Helmdon Manor House, 7 1/2 miles south-west of Towcester, has large enclosures bounded by slight entrenchments. (Downman 1906)

Helmdon. At Domesday the Earl of Marton had four hides of land ... In the reign of Henry V there are three distinct manors called Overbury, Netherbury and Minuicourt. These manors passed through several intermediate possessors, and the manor of Overbury (the principal one) is now the property of the Provost and Fellows of Worcester College Oxford. Worcester College manor house, which has just been thoroughly restored, is now a farmhouse standing west of the church where there are large enclosures bounded by slight entrenchments. The other manor houses cannot be distinguished (Whelan; Downman).
There are no extant remains of the original Manor House which, according to local traditional information, was demolished 'early in this century'. Extant earthworks representing the manorial complex comprise a well defended homestead/manorial moat situated between two large banked and ditched enclosures, the whole situated on a slight north facing slope. The moat island is well raised having a maximum height of 1.4m above the now dry ditch which itself has a maximum depth of 0.5m; the platform is flat with no surface evidence of the former structure. The enclosures, apparently ditched fields, are also devoid of evidence of early occupation, the ditching itself being a drainage requirement. All the works are now under permanent pasture. The farm-house is a modern structure (F1 FDC 14-JUN-77).
Site of Manor House and settlement remains (SP 589431). The manorial earthworks together with some fragments of former house sites, now mostly destroyed by modern redevelopment suggest a rectangular plan indicating the deliberate creation of this part of the village (RCHM plan).
A survey carried out in 1973 identified the shrunken village earthworks, especially around Manor Farm, where there are manorial ramparts and fishponds as well as the manor itself (Med. Arch. 1974). (PastScape)

Downman includes this site in the section entitled 'enclosures ramparted and fossed' rather than Homestead moats. This includes houses normally regarded as fortified manor houses although other authors and the archaeological databases seem to consider this as a none-fortified manorial site.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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