Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Mangehoo Manor

There is no evidence that Mangehoo was ever a true manor holding its own court, and there are no records listed for Mangehoo in The National Archives’ manorial documents register. The Victoria County History states that the first known reference to the manor of Mangehoo (or Marston Moretaine) is from the 16th century when it was held by the family of Dyve. It was in the hands of John Dyve when he died in 1537-38 and remained with the Dyves until Lewis Dyve transferred it to Robert Odell in 1553 in exchange for the manor of Bromham Bowels

In 1558 it was held by Thomas Odell, but by 1569 it had been transferred to Henry Edward. In 1590 Henry granted an annual rent charge of £6 13s 4d from his manor of Mangehoo “alias the land of John de Cootes in Wroxhill End in the parishes of Marston Mortayne and Wootton”, to be paid to Martha Maunsell, the future wife of his son Henry Edwards the younger, should she be widowed after their marriage [AD3693] 

When Henry Edward died in 1613 Mangehoo was inherited by his son, another Henry. At this time the manor included three closes which were held from Thomas Grigge as part of his manor of Shelton LINK, worth 20 shillings per annum. Ashelden Close, itself made up of three smaller closes and valued at 3 shillings and 4 pence per annum, was parcel of the manor of Shelton, and was held from the king under his manor of East Greenwich 

By the middle of the 17th century Mangehoo had been divided among six co-heirs; four of these shares were held by Thomas Dier (or Devotion), John Pryor, Thomas Bird and Alice Rogers. Thomas Bird acquired his share through a marriage settlement of 1655, in which one-sixth of the manor of Mangehoo was settled by Mary Prior of Barton-in-the-Clay, widow of John Prior, on Thomas Bird, a London brewer, and his future wife Katherine Sibthorpe (alias Butcher), one of the daughters of Thomas Sibthorpe (alias Butcher) of Newport Pagnell and his late wife Martha, the sister of Mary Prior. Mangehoo was described as being in Roxhill End in Marston Moretaine and Wootton, and the settlement included one-sixth of a messuage, a cottage, 200 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, previously in the occupation of the late Henry Edwards and of widow Martha Edwards, also deceased [AD1153].  

The Victoria County History indicates that by 1659 Alice Rogers had acquired Thomas Bird’s share, and states that later in the same year she managed to successfully claim the whole manor. However,  a final concord of February 1560 shows that James Aston, Alice Rogers, Thomas Sibthorpe (alias Butcher), Katherine Paley, and Thomas Cox and his wife Elizabeth passed their rights in the manor of Mangehoe or Mangehoo, with one cottage, 180 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow, and 90 acres of pasture in Marston Moretaine and Wootton, to John Beaumont in return for a payment of £320 [GA178]. 

A final document in the Bedfordshire Archives collection dating from 1678 again shows a 6th share of the manor of Mangehoo in Roxhill in Marston Moretaine and Wootton, a messuage, a cottage, 200 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow and 100 acres of pasture being transferred, on this occasion between London apothecary Samuel Couch and his wife Mary, and another London apothecary, Thomas Jones. At this time Mangehoo was occupied by a Richard Wheeler [X67/208-209]. 

The last known reference to the manor of Mangehoo comes in when 1782 John Pemberton conveyed Mangehoo through a suit of common recovery (a fictitious lawsuit used as a means to transfer land). 

The site of the manor house was probably marked by cropmarks previously visible in fields to the west of Lower Shelton Road. A farmer reported ploughing up stone from the mound in the centre of this earthwork, known as Dyers Moat [HER8334].