The Manor of Stukeley

Historical notes about the Manor of Stukeley also known as Nokes Manor in Huntingdonshire, England, UK


Also known later as Nokes Manor

At the time of the Domesday Survey (1086) the Countess Judith had three hides in Great Stukeley, with a church and a priest, which were held under her by a woman named Hungifu. Eustace the Sheriff had a virgate, then waste, which was held of him by Herbert. Eustace also claimed the Countess Judith's lands. Both these holdings were retained in the hands of Judith's descendants Earls of Huntingdon until Earl David (d. 1219) sub-enfeoffed Robert de la Carnaile (Kernilio, Kernele) of 20 librates of land for one knight's fee; he further gave to Ralph de Camoys 100 solidates of land for a quarter of a knight's fee and to Simon de St. Liz 10 librates of land for half a knight's fee.

Domesday Great Stukeley - Land of Countess Judith

In GREAT STUKELEY Hungifu had 3 hides to the geld. [There is] land for 16 ploughs, and in demesne [she had] land for 2 ploughs, apart from the aforesaid hides. There Countess Judith [has] 3 ploughs now, and 18 villans and 8 bordars with 5 ploughs. There is a church and a priest, and 26 acres of meadow, [and] woodland pasture 9 furlongs long and 8 furlongs broad. TRE as now, worth £12. Eustace claims it.

(Note: Demesne - Land retained by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis - In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

The first of these holdings seems to have been known as STUKELEY MANOR and later as NOKES MANOR. Maud, daughter of Robert de la Carnaile, probably a son of the grantee, married John de Den, and they held the manor in 1279 with suit at the court of the honour at Huntingdon called the 'Barunesmote.' In 1286, Maud evidently being dead, John de Den claimed the manor in right of his daughters Agnes and Alice, who were under age. John de Den held various appointments as commissioner of the peace and as collector of the fifteenths in Huntingdon from 1297 to 1302. It would appear that before 1306 Agnes de Den married William son of William de Wassingley and Alice married Hugh atte Noke. Richard atte Noke, possibly son of Alice, was holding this manor in 1346. Nicholas, son of John de Stukeley, settled this manor and Presteleys on himself and his son Nicholas in tail in 1378, and apparently died in or about 1377. Nicholas the younger was knighted and died about 1395. He was succeeded by his brother John, who, with his wife Agnes and son John, settled the manor of Woolley in 1388. It was probably the son John de Stukeley who presented to the living of Little Stukeley in 1404 and 1407, but in 1428 the manor of Great Stukeley was held by Nicholas de Stukeley. Nicholas was knighted and he and his wife Agnes were dealing with lands in 1432. John de Stukeley had apparently succeeded to the family estates by 1477, when he and his wife Margaret were dealing with lands in Buckden.

Stukeley Arms

The Arms of the Stukeley family

The Arms of the Stukeley family

Argent a fesse sable with three molets argent thereon.

In 1484 he made a settlement of the manor of Nokes among various other properties and died in 1488, his son Gerard being his heir. Gerard died seised in 1506, leaving a son and heir William, who proved his age in 1527. William Stukeley died in 1538 seised of the manors of Stukeley, Nokes and Presteleyes, the heir, his son Matthew, being a minor. Matthew died in the following year, and his inheritance passed to William's sister Katherine, wife of Henry Torkington, afterwards Katherine Broughton. Lawrence Torkington, second son of Katherine and Henry, succeeded to the property on Katherine's death in 1554, although it was not until the death, in 1565, of Emma Vaughan, formerly wife of William Stukeley, that he became seised of the whole property. Lawrence Torkington, son of Lawrence, succeeded his father in 1602 and was in turn succeeded by his son Thomas in 1627. At Thomas's death in 1634, a third Lawrence Torkington, brother of Thomas, inherited the manors, and died leaving a son of the same name in 1645. The manors descended in the family, being held by another Lawrence Torkington in the first half of the 19th century, when, and later, they disposed of much of the land of the manor, but retained the Hall until 1901. In that year it was sold to Captain Montgomery, and he in 1905 sold it to Mr. Howard Coote. It was purchased from Mr. Coote in 1923 by Mrs. Walter Fenwick, of Tixover Grange, Rutland, who is the present owner.

Torkington Arms

The Arms of the Torkington family

The Arms of the Torkington family

Sable a fesse argent with three leopards' beads gules thereon.

The moiety of the manor which went to Agnes de Den, who married William, son of William de Wassingley, was held of the Honour of Huntingdon by the service of carrying a white rod before the lord of the Honour from the cross called Stukeley Cross to Huntingdon Bridge. The manor continued in the hands of the Wassingleys of Washingley (q.v.) and passed to Joan sister and heiress of John Wassingley in 1464. John Dyke and his wife, heiress of John Wassingley, were dealing with the manor in 1480. From them it passed to Ralph Latham and Elizabeth his wife, who in 1517 sold it to the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge, who still hold it.

The second holding which was granted by Earl David to Ralph de Camoys and later known as CAMOYS MANOR, was also held of the Honour of Huntingdon. On the death of Ralph in 1259 the manor passed to Ralph his son. Ralph the son died about 1277, when he was succeeded by his son John, who settled the manor for life on his sister Ellen and her husband Stephen de Eppeworth, with remainder to his son Ralph.

In 1316 this Ralph de Camoys, with Elizabeth his wife, settled the manor and in 1318 obtained a grant of free warren. Ralph had a son John, who married Margaret daughter of Richard Foliot, and died after 1344 without issue. In 1386 the manor was held by Thomas son of John de Camoys, who died seised of it in 1421, leaving his grandson Hugh, son of his son Richard, his heir. Hugh died five years later, his heirs being his sisters, Margaret, wife of Ralph Radmylde, and Eleanor, wife of Roger Leukenor. Ralph Radmylde survived his wife and died in 1443, holding a moiety, their son Robert being the heir. This portion appears to have passed to the Leukenor family as Roger, outliving his wife Eleanor, held the whole of Camoys manor at his death in 1479. The manor was afterwards acquired by the Windsor family of Little Stukeley (q.v.). Sir Edward Windsor sold it in 1568 to Thomas Trice, and it had passed before 1581 to his son, Richard Trice. A settlement was made in 1601 by Richard Trice and Ann, his wife, on the marriage of their daughter Frances with Oliver Cheyney. Richard died in 1609 and his daughter in the following year. Oliver Cheyney, afterwards knighted, held the manor until 1618, when he conveyed it to John Stone. Sir Richard Stone, John's son, was sheriff and a prominent Royalist. He still held the manor in 1651. His son John sold it about 1679 to Mary, widow of Walter Norborne of Calne (co. Wilts), who settled it in 1702. Her grand-daughter Mary, daughter of John and Isabel Norborne, married Charles Bertie in 1704. Their son Charles Bertie sold it in 1757 to Sir John Heathcote, from whom it descended to Mr. John Norman Heathcote, the present owner.

The third holding granted by Earl David was later known as the manor of PRESTLEYS. It was held of the Honour of Huntingdon by the service of half a knight's fee. The grantee, Simon de Senliz or St. Liz, was probably a member of the family of Senliz, Earls of Huntingdon. The holders of this manor successively held the name of Simon, so that it is difficult to distinguish them. Simon de Senliz was dealing with a rent in Stukely in 1229, and in 1231 his son and heir, another Simon, was quit of being put on assizes. In 1236 Simon de Senliz held half a knight's fee in Great Stukeley of the Honour of Huntingdon. Anne, widow of Simon, in 1259 demanded dower in Great Stukeley against Ralph de Senliz. Simon de Senliz in 1276 claimed gallows and other liberties in his manor in Great Stukeley, and in 1279 he held a carucate of land in Great Stukeley for which he did suit at the court called Baron's Mote at Huntingdon. He and Richard de Senliz each claimed view of frankpledge. Simon died soon after Easter, 1287. Isabel, his widow, had dower of his lands and his heir was apparently a minor.

In 1346 this manor seems to have been held by John Senliz. It was shortly afterwards in the hands of another Simon de Senliz, the kinsman and heir of whose son Simon, John son of Edmund Middleton of Radclif (co. Bucks), conveyed the manor of Presteles in 1367 to Nicholas Stukeley and others, and it descended henceforth with the manor of Nokes (q.v.).

A messuage and lands in Great Stukeley were held in 1279 by Robert le Sumener of the Honour of Huntingdon by the serjeanty of summoning those who owed suit at the baron's court of the honour in the counties of Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Bedford. Robert had a daughter Margery who obtained half a virgate of land in Great Stukeley in 1272.

Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire Published in 1932