Manors

Introduction

According to Victoria County History (A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely Vol: IX) in 1086 the vill was divided into three holdings, the earl’s, the abbot’s and Picot the sheriff’s. As the result of amalgamation by 1250 Oakington was said to be divided between the earl and the abbot.

About 1100 the monks of Crowland abbey believed that their Oakington estate, along with that at Cottenham was among 6 ancestral estates that their supposed re founder, the clerk Thurcytel, of an Anglo-Danish noble family, had endowed them, according to VCH probably by 970. This is an indication of the presence of the Danes (Vikings) in our district – a subject that we can hopefully expand upon in due course.

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1544 the Crown sold Crowlands Manor in Oakington along with the impropriate rectory. Eventually the manor was sold to Queen’s College, Cambridge, which retained the manorial estate into the 20th Century. Parts were sold off including Slate Hall Farm to Chivers Ltd. in 1924. The northern part was sold by the college to the Papworths a local farming family, and the rest to the Air Ministry.

According to VCH (Vol: IX) the abbey’s walled manorial farmstead probably occupied the site of the current day Manor Farm, sited opposite Oakington church.

More details from this volume of Victoria County history and details of their references can be viewed on at British History online.

The second largest estate in 1086 when Domesday Book was complied was that occupied by Picot the Sheriff. By 1500 part of this holding was known as Rushtons and Moreyns manor. According to VCH the estate disappears from trace possibly incorporated in the later Hatton Estate: Robert’s daughter Thomasine married Christopher Burgoyne.

A third medieval manor was derived from an estate held Earl Roger in 1086.  A list of all the landholders in Cambridgeshire at the time of the Doomsday Book can be found in: History from the Sources: Domesday Book – Cambridgeshire.Editor John Morris. Alongside the Abbot of Crowland, and Picot the Sheriff of Cambridge Oakington land was shared out amongst William I’s loyal supporters after the Conquest of 1066. Ultimately it appears that by 1524 at least part of this land had come to Christopher Burgoyne of Longstanton who had a manor in Oakington in the 1560’s.

More information on the Burgoyne family see: The Sign of the Talbot – The Burgoyne Family of Impington & Longstanton. A Family of Lawyers in Medieval Cambridgeshire. By HAE Stroude and J A Lane (CRO)

It is difficult to trace the descent of the manors using VCH and to understand what land-holdings they relate to on the ground today. “Hatton’s great farm” according to VCH covered 579 acres until 1834. The purchase / inheritance of land by these influential local families appear to have “blurred” the boundaries of the old manors just as was the case in Longstanton.

Hopefully with some more work we can more clearly understand the old manorial sites in Oakington.