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The Manor of Kitchen

The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, traced the histories of the various manors in the county. Volume II, published in 1908 includes Pulloxhill. In 1086 the Domesday Book recorded that all Pulloxhill formed just one manor which was held by Nigel d'Aubigny who had two tenants named Roger and Rhiwallon. All the later manors in Pulloxhill can trace their history back to this holding.

Kitchen Manor originated in lands held by Richard Wiscard from the Abbot of Saint Albans, as overlord, in 1284. When the abbey was dissolved in 1539 overlordship passed to the Crown and the later overlord was the Lord of Rectory Manor

Richard Wiscard is the first known Lord of the Manor which comprised one hide in 1284 and was known as the Manor of Kitchen by 1295 when it was alienated to John de Lacy from whom it passed to Robert de Hakeneye who conveyed it in 1329 to Robert de Bilkemore. After this the manor was known as the Manor of Bilkemore alias Kitchens. Robert de Bilkemore conveyed the manor to David, son of Bartholomew de Flitwick to act as trustee to ensure that after the deaths of de Bilkemore and his wife the manor passed to Sir John de Lylebone, Sibyl his wife and their heirs. De Bilkemore was dead by 1361 and in 1383 de Lylebone settled it on Henry Pyres and his heirs.

By 1431 William Ryman had acquired the manor but in that year yielded it to William Snowe, grandson of a sister of Robert de Bilkemore. In 1541 Laurence Snowe sold the manor to Simon Fitz of Aspley Guise. He died in 1543 and his son and heir in 1545, leaving his four sisters, Susan, wife of Thomas Sterne, Elizabeth, wife of Richard Rokes, Joan, wife of William Baker and Alice, wife of William Richardson. The three first named bought an action in Chancery against the Richardsons and the action noted that Roger Potton occupied part of the manor which descended to his six year old son on his death. The child's mother Katherine remarried a William Dodd. In 1590 John Potton, now of age, alienated his share of the manor to his son-in-law Thomas Johson. No further trace of this portion of the manor can be found. The other portion of the manor was occupied by John Man and John Godfrey in 1590. Man's daughter married William Newton and in 1608 they conveyed their half of the manor to Edmund Crouche and others as trustees before selling it to George Fitz. Fitz died soon after and the manor passed to Anne Briers, wife of Sir William Briers and Fitz's niece. Briers also held Pulloxhill and Greenfield Manor and, since the Manor of Bilkemore alias Kitchens is not recorded after this date it must be assumed that it was absorbed into Pulloxhill and Greenfield.

In the 1920s a succession of Law of Property Acts ended manorial fines and the copyhold status of land thus ending manors in all but name.

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county's historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The HER has an entry for Kitchen End, site of the mansion of the Manor of Kitchen [HER 787]: "The name of Kitchen End is suggested as early Anglo-Saxon. In the 13th century it appears as Kechyng or Kechinge, and may derive from Cyccingas, the place of the followers of Cuca. The well-documented medieval manor is therefore thought to have originated as an early Anglo-Saxon settlement".