A number of Manor Houses existed in Longstanton after the Norman Conquest. Prior to that the the main Domesday holding in Longstanton was Tonys Feeof which Walwyns Manor was a part. (VCH Vol: IX). In the book ” Longstanton – Cheyneys Manor Unmasked by Hilary Stroude and Jane Lane (CRO / LDHS Archives) it is proposed that this Anglo-Saxon Manor may be found under what is now Hatton Park School. The manor on this site was demolished by the Hatton’s who came to the village in the early 17th Century. The family built an Elizabethan house which had fallen into disrepair by the middle of the 19th Century following the death of Thomas Dingley Hatton. By 1486 Walwyns Manor had passed to Sir John Cheyney. On his death in 1489 Walwyns thereafter descended with Cheyney’s Manor and no further reference to Walwyns Manor has been found. (VCH Vol: IX) Even if we are right and Walwyns Manor was originally on the Hatton Mansion House site – the Hatton’s house did not use this name. The only evidence of the Hatton’s Mansion House that remains is the Elizabethan garden wall which can be seen in the grounds of Hatton Park School and the rear gardens of the adjacent houses in Prentice Close.
Views of the remains of the Elizabethan garden wall from the Hatton Mansion House, 2005 – Hilary Stroude Collection.
In the book detailed above it is argued that Cheyneys’ Manor has survived to this day and is now known as The Manor on Woodside. A Georgian front to the house built by William Linton (who went on to build Westwick Hall) disguised the remains of a Medieval Hall house to the rear. William Linton held the house and farm “copyhold” from the Hatton family so he was unable to knock the old house down when he wanted to modernise the house. Westwick Hall was not so fortunate and on the death of his mother William Linton leaves Longstanton and returns to Westwick where he demolished the medieval manor and built Westwick Hall which we see today. (For further information see “The Rise and Fall of the Linton’s of Westwick Hall – J A Lane (CRO / LDHS Archives) The Manor has been identified as one of the principal medieval manor houses by the Architectural Historian Mac Dowdy; it has also been dendro-dated by Dr Roy Switzur. His results show that the medieval house is dated from 1450 -1475. Our Cheyney’s Manor is therefore not the original one that was built when the Cheyney family came to Longstanton from Guernsey in 1235. However, Cheyney’s Manor is still recorded in records relating to the Hatton family so the remains we have today appear to have been a “modernised” version.
As was the case with most of the manors of Longstanton, Cheyney’s Manor was owned by the Hatton family although they chose not to live there. The medieval house appears to have survived exactly because of this. No longer lived in by a lord of the manor after the death of Rev. John Cheyney (Rector of St. Michael’s!) Cheyney’s manor was lived in by tenants and became the principal farm in Longstanton. As with most of the farms in the village Cheyney’s Manor was not sold off until the Hatton Estate was broken up in 1874. Up until the “modernisation” of the house by William Linton the house must have remained “locked” in the past. Indeed when the timber structure was discovered in 1989 a complete timber frame still survived. Unfortunately the house was so derelict by then that some of the timber walls could not be saved. Fortunately, photographs taken by Ivan Cooke (whose father was the farm’s last farm foreman) and Colin and Sylvia Hicks give us an idea of what The Manor (Manor Farm) looked like in the second half of the 20th Century. Still farmed by horses in the 1950’s and owned by Jack Jones who preferred to live in Cambridge – the house and farm escaped modernisation until it’s conversion to offices in 1989.
Above: Selection of photographs from Ivan Cooke Collection showing The Manor ( Manor Farm).
Above: Photographs from Colin & Sylvia Hicks Collection showing Manor Farm prior to the sale of the house and its conversion to offices. The last photograph was taken in 1989 and shows the medieval timber frame un-covered during the building works. Unfortunately due to the leaking valley gutter the internal timber wall running the length of the medieval structure was destroyed.
Above: Images of The Manor 2005 – Hilary Stroude Collection
Colvilles Manor was another principal Manor of Longstanton. Located under or very near St. Michael’s Mount that stands today on the edge of Longstanton, near the boundary between the parishes of Longstanton and Oakington. As with the manors outlined above the large houses of the village appear to have been built on former manorial sites. If this is indeed the case it may help us locate some of the “lesser” manors of the village.
The location of this manor is not known but according to the Victoria County History (VCH Vol: IX) (an essential starting point for anyone interested in the history of their village) Campes Manor was part of Walwyns. If Walwyns Manor was indeed located where Hatton School now stands, then the next large house along the High Street was Brooklands House. Could this be the site of Campes Manor. Very close by on the opposite side of the road there is part of a field on Home Farm which is called Campes Close! …. there is no proof but it may be possible. Brooklands House was used to house RAF personnel during the war but was later demolished. But the driveway to the house still exists today (Brookfield Drive) and some of the houses in Brookfield Drive and Ladywalk contain part of what I think is the old garden wall of the house.
Photograph of Brookfield House – Colin and Sylvia Hicks Collection. It may be possible that Campes Manor originated close by but there is no evidence to support this except other examples of houses being built on manorial sites plus the Home Farm field name nearby.
According to VCH this manor appears to have merged with Colvilles Manor by 1476, and was therefore probably at St. Michael’s end of the village. As the Lords of the Manor of Longstanton often owned a number of the manors at the same time – amalgamation of land and the blurring of manorial boundaries appears to have been a common occurrence.
French Lady’s Manor:
Philip of Stanton enfeoffed William Cheyney of Steeple Morden before 1250 with land in Long Stanton to be held at 1/4 knights fee. (VCH Vol: IX) Originally partof Colvilles Manor the site of this manor is where The Grange now stands opposite St. Michael’s church. This William may have been identical to the one who held Cheyney’s but the two manors descended in different branches of his family. in 1274 it was in queen mother Eleanor’s hands as guardian of Nicholas, heir of William Cheyney (d.1269) (VCH Vol IX) Eleanor was French, hence the this is how the manor got its name. William Cheyney was from Guernsey, it appears from research I have done on the internet that his son Nicholas returned to Guernsey and rose to high office. More research on this could be done and it is highly likely that Guernsey record office could provide us with information on Nicholas, his father and Sir Thomas Vaux who went on to inherit the Longstanton manors.
Photograph of The Grange opposite St. Michael’s church – reputedly built of the site of French Lady’s Manor. Hilary Stroude Collection 2005.
For more information on Longstanton, its manors etc. Victoria County History for Cambridge and the Isle of Ely Vol.IX can be accessed via the local library or via British History Online. (www.british-history.ac.uk)