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Tilwick Manor

Barony of Bedford coat of arms

The arms of the Beauchamps of Bedford

According to the Victoria County History an estate in Tilwick, in the north of Ravensden parish, formed part of the Beauchamp fief, and was held by the Boteturts, Latimers and Nevills successively. As the Boteturts owned the manor of Dylywyk (or Wick End) in Stagsden, some confusion may have arisen between the two estates, and have led to the description of the Ravensden property as “Tilwick Manor”in 1330 and 1351, for manorial rights do not appear at any time to have been attached to it. A small portion of these lands was acquired from the Beauchamps and their tenants by Newnham Priory, but the greater part was conferred upon Warden Abbey.  A dispute arose between the two religious houses over 3 acres of land which Geoffrey Rous, a tenant of Newnham, had bestowed upon Warden without permission.  The matter was finally settled by the payment to Newnham Priory, on the part of Warden Abbey, of an annual rent of 3d

In 1522 lands called Tilwick, formerly in the tenure of William Harte, were leased by Augustine, the last Abbot of Warden, to Robert Bulkeley for a term of forty years commencing at Michaelmas 1527, at an annual rent of 28s. 4d. and three capons or 9d

After the dissolution of the abbey in 1537 the lands were granted in reversion to John and Joan Gostwick in 1538, and on the death of William Gostwick in 1549 Tilwick Farm was included in the property which descended to his son and heir John, who in 1562 apparently alienated it to Richard Stonley.  The latter, as owner of the farm, brought an action against Thomas Webbe of Thurleigh, whose 14 acres of arable land and 20 acres of sward were intermixed with the farm lands.  Richard Stonley claimed that Webbe had obtained possession of documents which showed his right to common of pasture on the defendant's lands, after the latter had cut down and carried away his first crop of grain and grass—a right which lasted on the arable land until it was sown again, and on the 2 acres of meadow until Lady Day.  

By 1618 the farm, comprising a message, cottage and lands, was in the hands of George Franklin, on whose death in that year it was inherited by his eldest son Edmund. 

There is no further documentary evidence forth-coming for the descent of this property during the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1877 it was farmed by Charles Hartop.