Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > CommunityArchives > The Manor of Eversholt

The Manor of Eversholt

 Barony of Bedford
Arms of the Barony of Bedford

The Manor of Eversholt was held by Hugh de Beauchamp, later Baron of Bedford, at the time of the Domesday Book of 1086. The barons remained overlords until the mid-13th century when William de Beauchamp renounced all claim to the manor which had been granted to Woburn Abbey, which continued as overlord until dissolved by King Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1538.

 Woburn Abbey
Arms of Woburn Abbey

At the end of the 12th century a family taking its name from the village, Eversholt, are first recorded, and it is assumed they were tenants of the manor under the Barony of Bedford at that time. Certainly Miles de Eversholt was the tenant in the early 13th century, alienating the manor to Woburn Abbey in 1240, thus uniting overlordship and tenancy in the hands of religious institution.

When the abbey was dissolved the manor became a possession of the Crown and was annexed to the Honour of Ampthill then, in 1550, Edward VI (1547-1553) granted it to his half-sister Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I) for life. In 1574 Queen Elizabeth leased the manor to George Bredyman for sixty years at £31/11/5 per annum. By 1601 the manor was once more held directly by the Crown and was sold to Henry Astrey for £1,557/10/10.

Arms of the Dukes of Bedford
Arms of the Dukes of Bedford

By 1613 the manor was owned by Sir Thomas Hillersdon and remained in that family until 1702 when William Hillersdon conveyed it to the Duke of Bedford for £3,901/6/6 – thus, in a sense, returning it to the ownership of Woburn Abbey! The dukes owned the manor into the 20th century. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s abolished manors in all but name.