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The Manor of Elstow Medbury

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It contained a description of the two manors which existed in Elstow. The Manor of Elstow Maidbury, Maydebury or Medbury only appeared in the 16th century though the place name is first recorded in the reign of King Edward II (1307-1327).

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. An entry for Medbury deserted medieval village [HER 7089] notes that earthworks represent the line of a road and three buildings grouped round a square. The buildings were demolished in 1894 and replaced by the current Medbury Farmhouse on a different site slightly to the north. The manor house must have been somewhere in this vicinity but The Victoria County History notes that “the greater part of the lands appear to have lain in Wilshamstead and Cardington”.

Richard Fitz Hugh died holding Medbury Manor in 1557. Presumably it had originally been part of the Manor of Elstow or a separate holding of Elstow Abbey. In 1583 another Richard Fitz Hugh alienated the manor to Thomas Deacons and it remained in the hands of this family until about 1639.

Edward Deacons’ widow Mary married a second husband, George Halfhide and with him alienated it to Gilbert Morewood in 1647. Morewood divided the manor between his daughters Grace Benett and Frances Gresley, both of whom alienated it to Thomas Rich in 1656. The manor is last mentioned in 1682 when Edmund Pye and Anne, his wife, conveyed it to Robert Stevenson and John Wagstaffe.