The Manor of Harvies
Arms of the Knights Hospitaller
Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912 and details the history of manors in Riseley. Harvies Manor is first encountered in 1279 when Walter, son of Geoffrey de Riseley held four hides from the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem. The authors of the Victoria County History speculate that the Riseley family were the same as the Harvey family of Riseley.
In 1351 John Harvey died whilst holding the manor and the family continued to hold it until about 1510 when it was alienated to a Thomas Sackville. He owed money to Henry VIII (1509-1547) and granted the manor to him for a term of years. He eventually made the lease over to Lady Radcliffe though by 1557 the manor was once more in the hands of the Sackville family as John Sackville alienated it to Edmund Elmes.
The Russell family arms
The manor seems to have passed to Elmes' younger grandson Thomas Elmes, who married Ann Clarke and the manor then came into the Clarke family, from whom it was sold to Sir Creswell Levinz at some point before 1680. In 1759 John, 4th Duke of Bedford, bought the manor from the Levinz family and it remained with the dukes into the 20th century. In the 1920s a succession of Law of Property Acts effectively abolished manors in all but name. Notes by Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Service staff [CRT130Riseley3] indicate that the site of the manor house may be near Riseley Lodge Farm at the end of Bowers Lane