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Cainhoe Manor

Cainhoe Manor February 2010
Cainhoe Manor February 2010

Cainhoe Manor was also known as Cainhoe Farm, becoming Cainhoe House, probably after its sale in 1934. The farm may have been the manor house of Clophill and Cainhoe Manor following the abandonment of Cainhoe Castle and the hall immediately adjoining the castle; at least that is the speculation made by Bedfordshire's Historic Environment Record [HER 225]. The farm certainly formed part of the Manor of Clophill and Cainhoe which was, from 1654, part of the Wrest Park Estate of the Earls de Grey, later the Lords Lucas.

Most of Cainhoe lies in the ancient parish of Clophill. Cainhoe Manor Farmhouse, however, lies in the modern civil parish of Gravenhurst which was created by joining the ancient parishes of Upper and Lower Gravenhurst in 1888. Earlier, whilst much of the farm buildings lay in Gravenhurst the farmhouse (now Cainhoe Manor) lay in Clophill.

The building was listed by the former Ministry of Works in October 1952 as Grade II, of special interest. The ministry dated the property to the 16th century, reworked in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It is built of coursed ironstone rubble, red brick, gault brick and colourwashed roughcast render over a timber frame. It has clay tile roofs.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Clophill was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Cainhoe Manor [DV1/C288/104] noted that it was owned by B. Brown and rented by J. B. Wickham. In fact, it was still owned by the Wrest Park Estate and leased by Brown who sublet the house to Wickham [DV1/H51/36].

The house stood in one acre, three roods and rent was £100 per annum. Wickham's lease was for four years from November 1926.

The plaster and tile dwelling comprised, on the ground floor: a small entrance hall; a dining room measuring 15 feet by 16 feet; a kitchen measuring 13 feet by 13 feet 6 inches; a scullery with a bath; a larder; a housemaid's parlour; a cloak room; a double drawing room measuring 19 feet 6 inches by 16 feet 6 inches and 14 feet 6 inches by 18 feet 6 inches and a "very small room as office". The first floor comprised a bathroom and w. c., a single bedroom measuring 11 feet by 13 feet, a double bedroom measuring 14 feet square, a dressing room, a double bedroom measuring 15 feet by 18 feet 6 inches, a panelled study measuring 15 feet by 16 feet 6 inches, a w. c. and a room for two measuring 13 feet 9 inches by 15 feet. Two maid's rooms lay upstairs.

Outside lay a gardener's shed, a garage, a three stall stable used as a store and a plant room for electric light. There was also a tennis court ("not used") and a kitchen garden. The valuer made a number of comments: "Tenant did all improvements and alterations and put in heating and electric light"; "Grounds very small"; "drainage cesspool"; "very fine old farmhouse"; "very fine panelling"; "outbuildings small"; "kitchen garden poor"; "hall bad".

Over two thousand acres of the Wrest Park Estate, including Wrest park itself, was put up for sale by auction in 1934. The particulars [AD1147/23] for Cainhoe Farm are as follows:

Highly Desirable Agricultural Holding
extending to about 

325 acres 2 roods 15 poles

situate between the Villages of Upper Gravenhurst and Clophill, and conveniently intersected by good public roads, to which there are long stretches of frontage.

The DELIGHTFUL OLD HOUSE OF CHARACTER (now sub-let as a Private Residence at a substantial rent), is constructed in brick and stone, part half-timbered and stucco; it is most pleasantly situate on high ground, standing back a little distance from the road with carriage drive approach. 

The accommodation comprises: Hall, Cloak Room, Office, Drawing Room, Dining Room, complete and well fitted Domestic Offices, Smoking Room or Study panelled throughout in fine old oak, Seven Bed and Dressing Rooms, Bath Room and two W. C.'s. 

Charming Small Garden and range of Garage, Stabling and Electric Plant House.

Electric Light and Central Heating are connected throughout the residence.

The EXTENSIVE FARM BUILDINGS, planned on model lines, include Stables, Cow Houses, Calf Pens, Barns, Cart and Implement Shed, Stockyards with Sheds. 


The excellent Land extends to about 184 Acres of nice working, heavy cropping Arable Land and about 125 Acres Pasture. 

Land at Cainhoe Farm was used to house a heavy anti-aircraft gun battery in 1940 [WW2/AC/2/5].

The land forming part of Cainhoe Manor Farm in 1971 [Z145-100]
The land forming part of Cainhoe Manor Farm in 1971 [Z145-100]
to see a larger version, please click on the image

Owner L. A. Dewing put Cainhoe Manor Farm up for sale by auction in July 1971 [Z145/100]. The sale particulars (rather speculative in terms of the opening paragraph!) were as follows:


Has its origin in the 14th Century, but is largely of 16th Century construction with later additions. The property was a Hunting Lodge in early times, and Catharine of Aragon is believed to have been kept in the House before her imprisonment at Ampthill

The Accommodation comprises 

On the Ground Floor


RECEPTION HALL, 24 feet 9 inches by 18 feet 3 inches with oak strip floor, three radiators, large open brick fireplace with moulded cornices, raised mouldings in panels on the walls, picture and wall light points, built-in wall cupboard, door to garden, leaded and shuttered windows.

CLOAKROOM, with oak strip floor, vanity unit, electric shaver point, wall cupboard, radiator.
SEPARATE W. C. also with radiator and hand basin. 

DRAWING ROOM, 19 feet 7 inches by 16 feet, exposed timbered walls, open fireplace, radiator behind lattice grille, range of fitted oak bookshelves and drawers, wall light points, double doors to Hall.

DINING ROOM, 16 feet 3 inches by 15 feet, open fireplace with white painted Adam style surround, and marble fascia, moulded cornices, dado and skirtings, and the ceiling with swags and medallions. Four wall light points and radiator behind lattice grille.

KITCHEN, 30 feet (maximum) into bay by 16 feet 9 inches maximum; thermoplastic tiled floor, natural pine boarded walls, Breakfast recess with bench-seat, single and double radiators, double built-in store cupboard, total of 20 feet working surface with cupboards and Moffat 4-plate cooker hob, double drainer steel sink unit with twin sinks, Automatic Moffat oven and Electrolux refrigerator built into wall units. Expelair extractor and Golden Star hood. Extensive fitted cupboards. Wall hatch.

CELLAR, 16 feet 1 inch by 15 feet 9 inches used as Children's playroom (ceiling height 5 feet 4 inches) with boarded walls, ceiling and floor 


LAUNDRY ROOM, 18 feet 4 inches by 15 feet 9 inches with large airing cupboard, sink (hot and cold), Kayenco Access to second CELLAR.

OFFICE, 15 feet 4 inches by 12 feet, thermoplastic tiled floor, two radiators.

On the First Floor

Approached by primary and secondary staircases.

BEDROOM No. 1, 19 feet by 15 feet 4 inches, radiator.

BEDROOM No. 2, 14 feet 4 inches by 14 feet, radiator, pedestal hand basin.
Connecting door to 

BATHROOM No. 1, with low level W. C., hand basin, panelled bath, built-in cupboard, electric wall strip heater, radiator, fitted linen cupboard.

BEDROOM No. 3, 13 feet 8 inches by 11 feet, with hand basin, radiator, corner cupboard.

BATHROOM No. 2, 14 feet by 9 feet 7 inches, coloured suite of low level W. C., pedestal basin and bath with shower, fitted airing cupboard, heated towel rail and radiator. Adam style corner niche.

LANDING, with radiator and door to remainder of first floor accommodation.

BEDROOM No. 4, 17 feet by 15 feet, oak panelling to ceiling, fireplace with basket grate, double radiator.


BEDROOM No. 5, 15 feet 3 inches by 14 feet, two radiators, wall light points, electric wall strip heater, oak panelling to one wall, powder closet with single sink unit.

On the Second Floor

BEDROOM No. 6, 15 feet 8 inches by 12 feet 8 inches maximum.

BEDROOM No. 7, 17 feet by 11 feet 4 inches, with radiator and heated towel rail, vanity unit.

The Domestic Outbuildings

Brick and tiled STABLE BLOCK recently re-roofed, with white painted clock cupola in classical style.

WORKSHOP, 16 feet by 12 feet with boarded floor and open fireplace.

GARAGE, 16 feet b y14 feet.

STABLE, 18 feet by 16 feet, containing two stalls and loose box.

Lean-to brick and asbestos tiled general STORE and pony LOOSE BOX.

The Gardens

There are extensive lawns at the rear and in front of the property with a rose garden, an area of orchard, and a good kitchen garden, all in keeping with a property of this calibre, but capable of further development.


Concrete yard with petrol tank and pump. 

Steel and asbestos COMBINE SHED 30 feet by 19 feet 6 inches, partly enclosed.

Brick and asbestos BARN 146 feet 6 inches by 34 feet 6 inches, with loft over and adapted for grain storage and drying and containing:
Three grain-loading bays
Kennedy and Kempe Mark II oil fired grain drier, with 550 gallon fuel tank.
Large area of on-floor storage space, and three smaller areas, plus loft storage for 160 tons.
Nissen-type WORKSHOP 35 feet 6 inches by 24 feet, inspection pit, and double doors.

The Traditional Stock accommodation:

OPEN YARD with 11-bay open hovel on one side.

BRICK and SLATED RANGE 105 feet by 20 feet, plus lean-to G. I. Brick and timber STORE and containing loose box, former cowshed, feedstore, and 4 loose boxes converted for pigs.

BRICK and SLATED RANGE, 145 feet by 20 feet containing feedstore, 2 loose boxes and covered stock accommodation.



Situated adjoining the entrance to the farm buildings are a pair of brick and slate cottages, dated 1862. The cottages have been modernised with brick extensions, and the accommodation in each comprises: 

On the Ground Floor

Living Room, 13 feet by 10 feet 7 inches, with tiled fireplace and built-in cupboards.
Kitchen, 15 feet 5 inches by 8 feet, with shelved larder, electric cooker panel, Ideal solid fuel boiler.
Bathroom with panelled bath, and hand basin.
Separate W. C.
Rear entrance lobby with airing cupboard.

On the First Floor

Three bedrooms: 12 feet by 9 feet 6 inches, 11 feet by 8 feet 8 inches and 10 feet 2 inches by 8 feet 3 inches.


Each cottage has a brick coal store.


Both cottages are vacant.

The 334.724 acres of farmland included 105.385 acres in Gravenhurst and the remainder in Clophill.