Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Luton > LutonIntroduction > Greathampstead Alias Falconers Hall Manor

Greathampstead Alias Falconers Hall Manor

Crawley coat of arms
Crawley coat of arms

This manor, or reputed manor, was held from Luton Manor. The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1908 noted that the history "has been almost entirely compiled from papers in the possession of Mr. F. Crawley". Given the name of the manor it must have had some connection to Greathampstead Someries Manor, perhaps having been carved out from it. Greathampstead Someries was held of the Manor of Woodcroft, which came under the same ownership as Luton Manor in 1653.

The first mention of Greathampstead alias Falconers Hall is in 1564 when it was described simply as a messuage, farm and dove house and was sold by Richard Laurence to William Crawley, whose grandson Thomas sold it in 1662 to John Miller. His grandson, also John, sold it to Richard Fielden who whose widow Hannah was in possession in 1705. Richard Fielden's son, also Richard, devised it to his daughter Sara Jobson in 1725 because his son, yet another Richard had married beneath him (Richard the elder calls her "of mean parentage and doubtful reputation").  Stafford Jobson sold Greathampstead Farm, as it was now called, to John Crawley.

Sadly the farmhouse was demolished late in the 19th century or early in the 20th. There is no evidence that this was ever a proper manor holding manorial courts and copyhold land and all evidence shows it was simply a wealthy farm - hence the tag of "reputed manor"!