Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Source: RUSHDEN A Duchy of Lancaster Village by David Hall & Ruth Harding
Rushden Manors

Plan of medieval Rushden showing the position of Scanthorpe and Tha Hall
Plan showing Scanthorpe & The Hall

Estates were organised into manors by the Saxons and Normans which would normally consist of a village and its fields. Everyone in the manor held land from the lord, even freeholders paid nominal dues and acknowledged the lord at his local court. 11th century fiscal returns indicate that there were two manors in Rushden and therefore two manor houses. There is no documentary evidence as to the site of the buildings. However, in 1086 the manor house would most likely have been situated in the centre of the village, probably near the church and the site of Rushden Hall is in the right place.

There was another manor (the crown manor) at Rushden in 1086 though it is not easily recognisable from the Domesday entries. Ancient Demesne of the Crown was land held by the King before the Conquest. The main local crown estate was centred on Finedon in 1066 and was held by Queen Edith, Edward the Confessor’s widow. An enquiry held in 1318 states that in Rushden there were 5 ¼ hides of land, this information clearly establishes the existence of another manor. The crown demesne manor was assessed in 1086 also at 5 ¼ hides which shows that in 1318 the original assessment was used.

In 1720 Bridges describes a substantial building called Scanthorpe and the name can be traced back to 1407 as ‘scantroplane’. This may have been the manor house for the 1066 crown manor. From various descriptions and an architectural fragment Scanthorpe was clearly a substantial, manorial type building in what is now Duck Street which was probably the Scanthorpe Lane of the 15th century. Fragmentary evidence suggests that each manor house controlled its own part of the village but there is no description of Scanthorpe Lands.

To summarise Rushden had two manorial centres in the 11th century which descended to the Duchy of Lancaster in the 13th century. The main manor house, Rushden Hall, was no longer needed when the administrative centre was moved to the Great Lodge in Higham Park so it was sold as freehold, paying a nominal sum to the Duchy. Various tithe records indicate that the two manors merged sometime in the 12th century.

Descendants of Scanthorpe & The Hall
Descendants of Rushden Manors
Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Land, Property & Tax index
Click here to e-mail us