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The Manor of Thurleigh

The de Grey family arms
The de Grey family arms

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It contains full histories for each manor known to have existed in the county. Thurleigh Manor seems to have begun as part of the Manor of Thurleigh alias Blackborne Hall. The overlords were the Barons Wahull. In 1279 Thurleigh Manor comprised 3½ hides; there was an ancient park of twelve acres and an inclosed wood of similar size and a windmill.

A generation earlier, in 1234, Andrew de la Leigh held a free tenement from John de Grey and Agnes, his wife, the first mention of the de Grey family in the county. Late in the century John de Grey held the manor. The manor remained in the Grey family, passing eventually, like Wrest Park in Silsoe, the family seat, to the Robinson and finally the Lucas families, Lord Lucas of Dingwall being Lord of the Manor in the early 20th century. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s extinguished all manorial incidents, courts and copyhold tenure of land. This effectively abolished manors in all but name.