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The Manor of Wrest

The de Grey coat of arms
The de Grey coat of arms

The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, traced the histories of the various manors in the county. Wrest Manor can be traced to the manor held by Walter, brother of Sihere as recorded by the Domesday Book of 1086. The tenant was a man named Hugh.

The Victoria County History states that Walter was related to Walter the Fleming, ancestor of the Barons of Wahull [Odell], hence the reason for the Manor of Wrest being part of the Barony of Wahull by 1284. The Barony of Wahull continued as overlord of the manor until 1623 when the overlordship is last mentioned in surviving records.

The tenant at Domesday, Hugh, may be the same Hugh who held manors in Podington, Turvey and Henlow from the Barony of Wahull. By 1284 Reginald de Grey was Lord of the Manor under the Barony of Wahull. The family may have held the manor earlier than this

Wrest Manor, of course, had its seat at Wrest Park. The manor and mansion were held by the de Grey family and their successors through the female the Barons and Baronesses Lucas of Crudwell the 20th century. The estate was sold off in 1918 and 1919, John George Murray buying the bulk of it, including the mansion. In the 1920s a succession of Law of Property Acts ended manorial fines and the copyhold status of land thus ending manors in all but name.

The South Front of Wrest Park September 2011
The South Front of Wrest Park September 2011