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Historic England Research Records

The Manor Of The More

Hob Uid: 395304
Location :
Hertfordshire
Three Rivers
Batchworth
Grid Ref : TQ0819693994
Summary : The buried remains of a great manor house of the late medieval period, overlying a 13th century moated site and with phases of enlargement in the Tudor period. Two main phases of occupation before and after 1426 have been demonstrated, when a royal license was granted for the construction of a large building, with a number of sub-periods of construction either side of that date. Three main periods of construction were identified prior to this date as well as three successive periods of adaption and aggrandisement. The earliest documentary reference to the site dates from circa 1182 when the Manor of the More was granted by the Abbot of St Albans to Adam Aignel. Excavations showed that by circa 1250-1300 (Period I) a small double island moated site had been constructed. The intervening arm, separating the two moats, was filled in around 1300-1350 (Period II) and partly overlain by a kitchen building. The construction work in Period III (c1350-1429) may coincide with the death of John Aignel in 1364 and saw the development of a new timber house on the northern island. This house was swept away in 1426 when Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and others, obtained a charter licensing them to construct an elaborate moated manor house. The house, constructed shortly thereafter (period IV) overlay the former dwelling. In the 1460s the house passed to George Neville, Archbishop of York, who elaborated on the work of his predecessors up to 1472 (period V). In 1522 the manor was in the hands of Cardinal Wolsley and was greatly embellished (period VI) with the addition of new wings and formal gardens. In 1531, the year after the cardinal's fall from favour, the manor was aquired by Henry VIII. Catherine of Aragon was housed here in winter 1531-32 . Work continued on the complex (period VII), perhaps completing projects begun by Wolsey which include reversing the effects of neglect in the gardens. Other changes included creating King's and Queen's lodgings and a hunting park.
More information : (TQ 082 940) Site of More medieval manor house (see fig 1). Excavation in 1952-5 revealed 8 periods of occupation with stratified pottery and other finds showing a sequence well linked with documentary evidence covering c. 400 years A double moated enclosure with little trace of building (Period 1: c. 1250-1300) was followed by a kitchen building containing 3 ovens (Period 2: c. 1300-1350). After its collapse a typical 14th cent. manor house was constructed (Period 3: c. 1350-1426). This was destroyed and a large house built (Period 4: 1426 onwards) which was altered and enlarged (Period 5) by Archbishop Neville, by Cardinal Wolsey (Period 6) and by King Henry VIII (Period 7). After c. 1555 squatters occupied it (Period 8) until it was demolished in c. 1650 a new house having been built by Edward (3rd Earl of Bedford) in c. 1617 (TQ 0752 9330). In c. 1830-45 the site became an orchard and between 1937-57 the moats filled in. S of the house lay the 15th cent. forecourt bulldozed in 1959-60 without being excavated.

Roman pottery, tegulae and tiles have been found (group centred (A) TQ 0816 9399), during the above excavations, by the Merchant Taylor's School Arch.Soc., under the direction of M.Biddle.

The Moor or More was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1531 and was held by the crown until annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster in 1556. [Full descriptions of royal works and reconstuction plan]. (3)

Listed as a possible strong house by Cathcart King. (5)

Additional source noting some of the history and features of the Tudor phases of The More, including details such as the 300 foot long indoor archery gallery built for Henry VIII. Anne of Cleves obtained The More in 1540 as part of her divorce settlement. Note plan of the site in appendix. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 136-199
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 116 (1959)
Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Sp 6" (M. Biddle 1953)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 164-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 11-Jul-97
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 222
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The royal palaces of Tudor England : architecture and court life
Source details :
Page(s) : 50, 58, 74, 78,114-115, 192, 193, 173
Figs. : PLAN 10
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1250-1300
Monument End Date : 1300
Monument Start Date : 1250
Monument Type : Manor House, Moat
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1300-1350
Monument End Date : 1350
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Manor House, Moat, Kitchen
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : New house built 1350-1429
Monument End Date : 1429
Monument Start Date : 1350
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licenced 1426
Monument End Date : 1426
Monument Start Date : 1426
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Moat
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Alterations 1460-1472
Monument End Date : 1472
Monument Start Date : 1460
Monument Type : Manor House, Great House, Bishops Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Embellished from 1522 (until 1530)
Monument End Date : 1530
Monument Start Date : 1522
Monument Type : Manor House, Formal Garden, Great House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Embellished from 1531
Monument End Date : 1531
Monument Start Date : 1531
Monument Type : Manor House, Formal Garden, Great House, Hunting Park
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Ruined by 1598
Monument End Date : 1598
Monument Start Date : 1598
Monument Type : Great House, Manor House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 29381
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 09 SE 11
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, THE MORE, RICKMANSWORTH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1952-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTHWOOD PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTHWOOD SPORTS HALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTHWOOD SPORTS HALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MANOR OF THE MORE (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31