Eaton Bray Manor

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameEaton Bray Manor
Alternative NamesEitone; Eyton
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishEaton Bray

Earthwork remains of a moated fortified manor house with associated fishponds, known from documentary evidence to have been built in 1221 and rebuilt in the reign of Henry VIII. Empty and in poor condition by 1675 but repaired circa 1692. Barns, stables and other outbuildings, including a dovecote and a malthouse were documented. Demolished in 1794 and the site cleared and turned over to pasture by 1849. (PastScape)

The castle at Eaton Bray, which followed the descent of the manor, was built in 1221 by William de Cantlowe, and is described in the Annals of Dunstable as being a serious danger (in grave periculum) to Dunstable and the neighbourhood (Ann. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 66). In 1273 an interesting account of Eaton Bray Manor, unfortunately torn, includes the following particulars of the castle:—A manor inclosed with a wall, and moat and two drawbridges; within the principal inclosure is a hall with two chambers at the ends (capita) of the hall. The chamber beyond the pantry and buttery was covered with tiles. There is mention of a great chamber, a foreign chamber (camera forinseca), a garderobe, a house for a larder used as a kitchen because there was no kitchen, a drawbridge towards the park, a new chapel and a granary. In the other bailey, probably the outer bailey, there were stables for sixty horses, covered with tiles, a grange, cow-houses, pigsties and other outbuildings covered with straw. There were two gardens outside the inclosure, the one containing 3 roods and the other an acre. The park contained 28 acres of wood (Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. I, no. 16.). (VCH Vol. 3)

Gatehouse Comments

Described as a castle in 1221 by monks of Dunstable Priory and this is usually said to be an overstatement by nervous monks.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP960210
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  • Petre, James Scott, 2012, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 102 (discounted as castle)
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 13
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 8-9
  • Grundry, A.R., 1912, 'Eton Bray' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 3 p. 369-70 online transcription
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 139 online copy


  • Baker, D., 1982, 'Mottes, Moats and ringworks in Bedfordshire: Beauchamp Wadmore revisited' Château Gaillard Vol. 9-10 p. 38
  • Dyer, J.F., 1963, 'Bedfordshire Earthworks X, Moated Homesteads' Bedfordshire magazine Vol. 9 no. 65 p. 10

Primary Sources

  • Luard, H.R (ed), 1866, 'Annales Prioratus de Dunstaplia' in Annales Monastici (Rolls Series 36) Vol. 3 p. 66 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1906, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I Vol. 2 p. 17 No. 17 online copy