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The Manor of Potsgrove

Volume III of The Victoria County History was published in 1912 and carries histories of each of the manors at Potsgrove. The Manor of Potsgrove can be traced back to the seven and a half hide holding of Jocelyn le Breton recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The overlord was the Earl of Gloucester from the middle of the 13th century until 1460.

The coat of arms of the Lucy family
The coat of arms of the Lucy family

Jocelyn le Breton was succeeded by his son Hugh and Hugh’s granddaughter Juliana married Geoffrey de Lucy. In the 13th century the Lord of the Manor of Potsgrove is recorded as being the overlord of Blankfronts Manor. The manor remained in the hands of the Lucy family until the death of the childless Sir William Lucy in 1461. Potsgrove Manor was devised to the children of Lucy’s sister Eleanor Hopton – Walter Hopton and Elizabeth, wife of Rober Corbet. Walter died within six months and so his sister inherited his half share of the manor. Elizabeth had a son by her first husband but he seems to have died before her because, on her death in 1498, his son, Elizabeth’s grandson Robert Corbet inherited the manor. He died in 1513.

The Duncombe family coat of arms
The Duncombe family coat of arms

The Corbet family continued to hold the manor until the late 16th century when Robert Corbet died without male heirs. He had two daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Sir Henry Wallop of Farleigh [Hampshire] and Anne, wife of Adolphus Carey. Anne died in 1602 and her rights to the manor passed to her sister Elizabeth. There is no mention of the manor after 1602 and it seems likeliest that it was absorbed into Blankfront Manor in the later 17th century when the Duncombe family acquired Gladley Manor, which had shared the same ownership as Potsgrove from 1461.

Potsgrove Manor in 1813 by George Sheppard [Z102-57]
Potsgrove Manor in 1813 by George Sheppard [Z102/57]

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 . A moated manor site [HER 13] stands at the southern end of the village opposite the church and this location suggests it is the site of the original mansion of Potsgrove Manor. The northern end, part of the western side and the southern end of the moat survive. A pond now lies between the western and southern sides. The eastern end has been removed by the road. There were still buildings inside the moat as late as 1901 as they are shown on the second edition 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of that date. They had been demolished by the time a series of aerial photographs were taken in 1947.

The pond on the site of Potsgrove Manorhouse March 2008
The pond on the site of Potsgrove Manorhouse March 2008