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Bowels Manor Old Warden

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, gives the history of each manor in Old Warden. Bowels Manor had a separate existence for under two hundred years. In 1153 Walter Espec, Lord of the Manor of Old Warden, died and divided his estates between his sisters, Old Warden going to Hadwisa, wife of William de Bussy. She, in her turn, divided her estates between her granddaughters, one portion in Old Warden going to Maud, wife of Hugh Wake, the other, later called Bowels Manor, going to Cecilia, wife of John de Buili or Buly.

The Saint-Amand family coat of arms
The Saint-Amand family coat of arms

John de Buly was still holding Bowels Manor in 1212 and in 1274 a descendant, Peter de Bueles or de Bowels is noted as holding it. A John de Bowels claimed a market and manorial rights in Old Warden in 1330. He had borrowed £200 from John de Saint-Amand and it was presumably the non-payment of this debt which led to Bowels Manor being alienated to Saint-Amand; certainly in 1343 Almaric de Saint-Amand alienated the manor to Warden Abbey. This ended Bowels Manor's existence because Old Warden Abbey had been alienated to the abbey two years before, thus the two halves were re-united.