Some notes; not including castles
Appleton Manor (Appleton): Ancient twelfth century manor with fabulous Norman doorway, south of the church. Surrounded by quadrangular dry moat. Three sides still to be seen. Hall dates from c.1210, probably built by Geoffrey De Appleton, though his lands were confiscated by King John in 1215, probably because he had sided with the Barons against him. His wife was Mabel, and his son, Thomas, had inherited by 1240. It was sold to the De Stokes in 1269, and continued to change hands constantly throughout the following centuries. Not be confused with the former Royal Vill, whose lords were the Visdelous.
Balsdon Manor (Kintbury): Occasionally called 'Balsdon Castle,' there is no reason to suppose that this site was anything more than a moated manor. A fine circular inner and irregular pentangular outer moats stand north of Folly Road, above Inkpen, at Blandy’s Corner. Ruin dismantled to build cottage between 1820 & 30. Used to have a drawbridge. Well exists (formerly in house). Depressions are supposedly fishponds. Park said to have enclosed 124 acres. Drive from Inkpen Common still discernable. The name derives from Beletson. John Belet owned the manor in 1224. Owners: Nicholas Yattendon (1272): Richard Polehampton (1313): Edmund Childrey, MP for Berks (1372): Almaric St. Amand: Lords St. Amand & Braybrooke: Elizabeth Darrel (heiress of Sir Thomas Calston of Littlecote) (d.1464): Sir Edward Darrel (d.1539).
Barkham Court (Barkham): Irregular shaped moat, next to the church, around Church Cottages, the core of which is the old manor house dating from 1480. It was probably built as a Dower house for Eleanor Bullock at the time the family were beginning to reside instead at Arborfield Hall. The previous building was the home of both the Neville and Bullock families. Alice (Neville) Bullock is commemorated by a fine wooden effigy in the church. A ditched enclosure to the east is thought to have been a farmyard and an adjoining field called 'Culver Croft' probably once housed a dovecote. Culver is an old word for pigeon.
Bear Place (Harehatch): Moated site next to the farm of the same name, north of Kiln Green. Probable home of the De La Bere family. Their main estates were in Herefordshire and South Wales, but they were also Sheriffs of Berkshire and MPs for Oxfordshire, and are mentioned in early Wargrave parish documents. Their descendants, the A’Bear family, lived in Harehatch up until 1928. The first mention of Bear Place as a manor occurs in 1438.
Bear Rails (Old Windsor): West of Crimp Hill. The Manor of Wychemere bought by Edward III from Oliver De Bordeaux in order to extend the Great Park. Bishop William of Wykeham lived there while attending the King at Windsor. He carried out extensive repairs at the house in 1365, and records show there was then a hall, chamber, wardrobe, kitchen, gatehouse and granary. Richard II pulled the house down in 1395. The site was excavated in the late 1910s but few records survive of what was found. Good surviving earthworks with a double moat circuit.
Beenham Manor (Billingbear): Now Beenham’s Farm in Binfield parish. It was owned by John Beenham in 1260. The stretch of water near Crockford Bridge may indicate a moat.
Biggs Farm (Barkham): Three sides of quandrangular moat survived here until built upon by the REME Garrison. The house was originally called Barkham Butts and is recorded as early as 1419. It may be named after Archery Butts or the nearby parish boundary. It was the home of the Booth family in the 15th & 16th centuries and they appear there in the Heralds' Visitations.
Bisham Manor (Bisham): Moat mostly filled in. The magnificent hall at the centre of the present building complex was a preceptory of the Knights Templar built in the 13th century. It later became the main home of the wealthy and influential Earls of Salisbury. They built the pretty solar extension. Much of the rest of the house is of Tudor date when it was owned by the Hobys. Princess Elizabeth was kept there under close watch for a while.
Blewbury Farm (Blewbury): Three sides of quadrangular moat survives, surrounded by irregular circular moat. Drawbridge still existed in 1780s.
Brightwalton Manor (Brightwalton): Two sides of moat surrounding Manor Farm & Old Church. Probably always dry.
Brimpton Manor Farm (Brimpton): The remains of a moat can clearly be seen to the north and west of the present farm house which probably dates from, at least, the 17th century. It still retains its own chapel of St. Leonard, built in the 14th century on the site of a wooden building of pre-conquest date.
Chapel Manor (Ashbury): Perhaps called such because there is a small oratory over the porch. It is otherwise known as Ashbury Manor. North of the village. Stone house dating from the fifteenth century. Moat on north and east side is partly natural ravine. Manor owned by the Abbey of Glastonbury. Probably built 1488 (as indicated by an inscription in the rebuilt porch) for Abbot Selwood (1457-93) by Glastonbury stonemasons & carpenters. A chapel was built within a moat not far away at Chapel Close in Chapel Wick in 1220. The moat survives. Replaced by Ashdown Park as Lord’s seat c.1665.
Chawridge Manor (Winkfield): Probable site at Maidens Green Farm. North arm of moat represented by present pond. Field boundary across the road marks southern arm. Also second moat earthwork covered with trees, off Winkfield Lane.
Cholsey Manor (Cholsey): Remains of moat(s) near Cholsey Church. Form uncertain. There is another moat on the site of the old nunnery at Cholsey.
Cockmarsh (Cookham): Darby mentions a moated site in the very northern area of the Cock Marsh, thought to be connected with Little Marlow Priory. Or perhaps the Manor of Great Bradley, though this was supposed to have been in Winter Hill, just to the west.
Coleshill Manor (Coleshill): Three sides of moat still exist. North-east of village. Believed to be the old Pleydell manor.
Compton House (Compton Beauchamp): Large rectangular moat around present house. Brickwork sides.
Coningsbury Farm (Bray): Small rectangular pond survives next to the farm. 1823 map shows building within three arms of a moat. Very near the Fifield Manor site.
Cresswells Manor (Bray): It probably merged with Philibert’s Manor (which had its own moat) around 1283. North of the present farm, earthworks were still visible before the building of the M4.
Crookham Manor (Thatcham): Some medieval earthworks called 'Manor Ash Moats' can be seen near the Brimpton border, just south-east of the present Crookham House. This is all that remains of the moat which surrounded the old manor house of Crookham, owned by Reading Abbey, but lived in by the FitzHerberts. King Henry III visited Peter FitzHerbert there in 1229. His grandson, Edward II, later took possession and stayed there in 1308, 1317, 1321 and 1326. It had its own chapel of St. Mary from at least 1299 and was a favourite Royal hunting lodge. Eventually given to the Earl of Salisbury in thanks for arresting Roger Mortimer, King Edward's murderer.
Dedworth Maunsell Manor (Clewer): An irregular quadrangular moat in Wolf Lane in Dedworth is all that remains. It was owned by the Mansel family who originated in Wales. They obviously needed a home near to the Royal Court.
East Hagbourne Manor (East Hagbourne): three sides plus moat around present manor house. Also additional ditches.
Easthampstead Park (Easthampstead): Royal Hunting Lodge bought by Edward II from the Bishop of Bath & Wells in 1320. There are records of many monarchs having stayed here over the years. The original house was on the Golf Course, south-east of the present mansion. Only very slight earthworks remain to show where the moat was.
Ellington Manor (Maidenhead): Otherwise Knights Ellington or Spencers Manor. This triple moated site was extensively excavated in the late 60s. On the square platform once stood a Norman longhouse of one large room with divided sleeping quarters at one end and a hearth in the centre. there were also stables, kitchens, two wells and an industrial area. It was owned by the Pinkneys from 1086 to 1428, but they did not live there and there were various sub-tenants.
Fifield Manor (Bray): At Stroud Green in the parish of Bray, just north of the present Fifield House, on the road running east from Foxley Green. The old house no longer stands, but there remains an L-shaped pond. It was the home of Fowlers and, in 1479, was inherited by a branch of the Lancashire Norreys family who were only distantly related to the Norreys of Ockwells.
Foliejon Park (Winkfield): Originally called Belestre, it lies south of the Drift Road. Home of John Drokensford, Bishop of Bath & Wells, when he was attending court in Windsor. Later the centre of Oliver of Bordeaux's estates, but purchased by Edward III from his step-son in 1359. Two arms of the old moat still exist, just west of the stream roughly opposite Haws Hill Farm. The present house was built on the hill above, about 1801.
Foxley Manor (Bray): Known as Pokemere in the 13th century. Home of the Foxley Family. Site of Foxley Green Farm, north of the Ascot Road (A330) at Touchen End. Rectangular moat survives in good condition. John De Foxley - whose fine brass can be seen in Bray Church - made a park here in 1321 around lands inherited from his father Sir Thomas De Foxley, Constable of Windsor Castle. 1344: Fence broken down and deer stolen. Arms: Gules, two bars argent. The Family also had a castle at Bramshill (Hants).
Hardwell Farm (Compton Beauchamp): Just north of the village.
Heathley Hall (Warfield): This was the name of the house which occupied the land within the moat at Hayley Green Farm in the 17th century. Two narrow water-filled arms still survive. The present house is now called the Moat House. It was the home of the Stavertons.
Hendons Manor (Bray): Very slight earthworks of the moat remain, but the old manor, dating from 1570, was demolished in 1846. It had its own private chapel and was the home of the Hyndon family between 1340 & 1445. A block of flats now stand on the site.
Heywood Farm (White Waltham): 1844 Tithe Map shows an L-shaped feature which may have been the remains of a moat. Still slight remains of a central platform which, when excavated, produced evidence of a 16th building.
Heywood Manor (White Waltham): Believed to be the Manor of West Waltham which belonged to Waltham Abbey (Essex). Very little now left, as it have been built upon by Woodlands Park. Part survives as a boundary on the estate. The moat was apparently in good condition up until the 1950s.
Kenny's Farm (Arborfield): Two sides of quadrangular moat in Moor Copse near Kenny’s Farm. This ancient site is thought to have been a livestock pound rather than a residence.
Letcombe Regis Manor (Letcombe Regis): Complete moat.
Lollingdon Farm (Cholsey): East of the Aston Tirrold. North of the A417. West of Westfield Road. Irregular Moat fed by broad ditch. Originally owned by the Peche family from 1240 until 1353 when it was sold by John son of Sir John Peche. It was bought by John Loveday. His daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Walter Catewy the younger of Harwell succeeded in the early 1360s, but in 1370 Walter was forced to admit he was a villein of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester. Thus Lollington became attached to the Episcopal manor of Brightwell. The present building is 17th century, but may preserve a few 14th rafters.
Lyford Grange (West Hanney): A sub-manor of Lyford. Not a grange, but let by Abingdon Abbey to Rainald, ancestor of the St. Helen family who held it until the death of Philip St. Helen in 1373. In 1428, it was held by Thomas Moore (d. 1460), later the acting Sheriff of Berkshire and probably one of the Moores from Burghfield. He called the house Moore Place. Fragments of the north, south and east sides of the moat are still visible. The present house was probably built in the early 16th century by John Yate (d.1541). However it does contain elements of a previous building dating back to the 13th century. It was here that the Jesuit priest, Edmund Campion, was arrested in 1581.
Mackney Court (Mackney): At Mackney Court Farm, south of Brightwell.
Middle Leaze Farm (Coleshill): Off Snowswick Lane, just north of the village.
Mills Farm (Bray): At Fifield, very near the Fifield Manor moat. North-east corner survives as a pond. The rest, filled-in in 1956, now only slight undulations. Demolished house was apparently called 'The Lodge'.
Mote Park (Windsor): Near Queen Anne's Gate on the Northern edge of the Great Park. Henry VI purchased 'Le Mote' from the Marquis of Suffolk in 1444 as an extension of the park. Earthworks remain.
Ockwells Manor (Bray): Also called Ockholt. The present manor house was built in the mid-15th century by John Norreys, however the site of the original house of his ancestors may be indicated by a rectangular enclosure in a copse on the estate. It was this house which was given to the Queen's Cook, Richard Le Norreys in about 1280.
Old Windsor Manor (Old Windsor): North-east part of the moat remains, but the rest flooded as part of Virginia Water. House built by Henry III in 1244. Popular medieval residence of the Royal family when the castle was considered rather unhomely. It was later known as Manor Lodge.
Philberd’s Manor (East Hanney): Moat now lost, but stream indicates waterlogging. First owned by the Philberds in the fourteenth century. Hugh De St. Philbert (first owner): Sir John Philibert surrendered it to Edward III. Richard II gave it to his half-brother Sir John Holland.
Philibert’s Manor (Bray): Owned by Roger De St. Philibert in 1208, and Roger De Cresswell in 1333. It probably merged with Cresswell’s Manor (which had its own moat) around 1283. This moated house was pulled down in 1500 & replaced with the house that Nell Gwynne lived in for a while. This was demolished in 1850. The present house is late Victorian. The moat stands in the field at the end of Holyport Street.
Rectorial Manor (Old Windsor): Moat represented by backwater used for mooring boats at Manor Cottage. Home of the Abbots of Waltham (Essex) when attending court in Windsor. Very near site of Saxon Royal palace at Kingsbury.
Rush Court (Wallingford): East of the Wallingford Road, near Brightwell.
St. Peter's Hill (Old Windsor): Possible moated site.
Saunderville Manor (South Moreton): Otherwise South Moreton Manor, at the end of Paper Mill Lane at the northern end of the village. It has an irregular pear-shaped moat surviving on the north and east and in part on the south.
Scarlets Manor (Wargrave): Apparently not a manor until the 16th century, there is an old moat opposite the Home Farm. The Piggott family lived there.
Sheepbridge Court Farm (Swallowfield): Down by the Loddon (north side), off the Basingstoke Road.
Shoppenhangers Manor (Maidenhead): Small pond at the Holiday Inn may indicate the remains of a moat. The manor was created in 1288, but the present house - though looking old - was only built in 1915!
Smewyns Manor (Shottesbrooke): Named after the Smewyn Family, owners in the seventeenth century. On the road running south from the park. Said to have been Prince Arthur’s hunting lodge. Roger Smewyn mentioned in 1190.
Southcote House (Reading): Perfect square moated 30ft wide and ancient house demolished in 1921. Home to the Blagrave Family before they moved to Calcot. Built by the Mathematician who’s buried in St. Lawrence’s. Cromwell’s headquarters during the Siege of Reading.
Shinfield Manor (Shinfield): Probable site of manor, opposite the vicarage. Small rectangular moat. In Moorwood are a great number of moats, but their purpose is unclear.
Sotwell Farm (Brightwell): Greater part of moat surrounds present farm.
Stanford Park (Stanford-in-the-Vale): Irregular square moat surrounding Stanford Park Island. Just east of Stanford Park Farm, north of Park Lane.
Stanlake Park (Hurst): On the edge of the park, in Botany Bay Copse, is a quadrangular moat marking the original house of the Manor of Hinton Pipard alias Stanlake, a sub-manor of Broad Hinton. John Pipard owned the manor in 1250, but by 1470 it was known as Stanlake.
Steventon Priory (Steventon): There is a moat and a fishpond in the area of the former 'priory' or monastic grange .
Stonor Hayes (Brightwell): Ditches, possible a moat, in the orchards here. The floor of a former building has also been discovered.
Tile Manor (Old Windsor): In the Great Park, at the end of Clayhall Lane, west of Old Windsor, at Tileplace Farm. De Tile family lived there from at least 1170. They had brasses in Old Windsor Church, now lost. Sold up in 1580. Moat in good condition.
Tinteyns Manor (Appleton): Once had a moat, filled-in in the nineteenth century. The present house dates from Elizabethan times and is of stone.
Tubney Manor (Appleton): Site of Tubney Manor Farm, east of Oaksmere
Ufton Robert Manor (Ufton Nervet): Just west of the parish church, surrounded by medieval fishponds. It was the home of the Perkins family before they moved to Ufton Court, the house of the adjoining manor of Ufton Pole. In the early 16th century, Sir Humphrey Forster of Aldermaston broke into the manor with ten armed men, intent on murdering the owner, Richard Perkins. He was saved only by his wife’s pitiful pleading! Nearby Moathouse Cottage also has fishponds and had a moat until recent years. It may have been a predecessor.
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