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Barford Manor

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, gives the histories of all the five manors in Great Barford as far as they were known at the time. Of these five manors only one, Veseys, or Vaseys, can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086.

Barford manor seems to have originated in grants made by Hugh and Geoffrey de Barford to Saint Neots Priory in the 13th century. In 1428 the priory was recorded as holding that portion of a knight's fee which had formerly been held by Gerard de Braybrook and Margaret de Longville.

The Gostwick family coat of arms
The Gostwick family coat of arms

Saint Neots Priory was dissolved in 1539 as part of King Henry VIII's dissolution of all the religious houses in England. By 1580 Barford Manor was held by John Gostwick, of Willington, and stayed in that family until 1663 when it was transferred to William Delawne.

The manor stayed in the Delawne family until at least 1715 but in 1737 was owned by William Metcalfe. At some time between 1847 and 1854 Charles James Metcalfe sold the manor to Rev. Robert Delap of Monellan [Ireland]. The manor remained in the Delap family until a succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s abolished manorial fines and incidents as well as copyhold land tenure, thus abolishing manors in practically all but name.