Brandsby Manor

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameBrandsby Manor
Alternative NamesBrandesby
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishBrandsby-cum-Stearsby


Cest endenture fait entre Mons. Thomas Ughtred dun part, et John del Wod de Rypon dautre part, testmoigne qe le dite John ad empris a edificer le mote en le close, le dit Mons. Thomas joust yeveres le tout entour si pres le fosse tout com le dit Mons. Thomas le wolt edifier a son perille ove un pount tretise et une chambre a defens de la long de trent pietz ove un garderobe; et tout le meryn sera de cheyn bon et covenable de porter pier. Des quex mesons une sera graunge de la long' de tout le mote, et le postes de la long' de xvi pietz estre les bases de pier, et les balkes de xx pietz, ove deuz elynges acordanz, et un sale joust la chambre ove les postes de la long' de xvi piez e les balkes de xx piez, et les postes et les balkes des autres mesons de offices serront de mesme la long' si le dit Mons. Thomas le wolt, et les pannes et les postes au tizon seront de leaes et espesse solonc le scanteloune fait enter les parties. Pour que fair et perfourmer devant la feste de la purificacion de notre dame procheyn avenir, le dit Mons. Thomas dorra au dit John ante marcz dargent ove une robe de soue ove toutz les garnementz a paier en mayn quaraunt souz et a la fest de Saynt Martyn XL. souls, et quant le overayn sera perfourmy deus marcs et la robe. Entesternoignaunce des quex choses les avantditz parties entrechaungeablement ount mis lour seales. Done a Brandesby le Mardy procheyn devant la fest del exaltacion de la Saynt Croice lan de notre Seign' MCCCXLI.

Endorsed—le scantelon de leesse et del espossour del meryn demort devers Hen

le Stedman et est merche de purlens (?) de la sale Mon' Thom Ughtred en Everwyk.

This indenture made between Sir Thomas Ughtred on the one part and John del Wod of Rypon on the other testifies that the said John has undertaken to build the chief messuage in the close of the said Sir Thomas according to the plans entirely to the best of his ability and quite as the said Sir Thomas wishes him to build, at his own risk; with a drawbridge and a room which can be defended of the length of 30 feet with a garderobe; and all the timber shall be of good oak and capable of carrying stone. Of which buildings one shall be a granary of the length of the whole chief messuage, and the posts of the length of 16 feet above the stone pedestals, and the tie-beams of 20 feet; with two aisles agreeing in dimensions and a hall next the room (above mentioned), with posts of the length of 16 feet and tie-beams of 20 feet. And the posts and tie-beams of the other buildings for offices shall be of the same length, if the said Sir Thomas wishes. And the compartments and the posts for spandrils (?) shall be of widths and thicknesses according to the specification made between the parties. For the loyal carrying out and completion of this work before the Festival of the Purification of our Lady next ensuing the said Sir Thomas will give to the said John 8 silver marks and a gown of silk with all its fittings; paying as (first) instalment 40 shillings and at the festival of St. Martin 40 shillings and when the work is done 2 marks and the gown. In attestation of which things the aforesaid parties have inter- changeably affixed their seals. Given at Brandsby the Wednesday next before the Festival of the Exaltation of Holy Cross, the year of our Lord 1341.

Endorsement—The specification of the thicknesses and widths of the timber is lodged with Henry le Stedman and is marked of the purlins (?) of the hall of Sir Thomas Ughtred in York (Transcription of 1341 contract from Ragg 1920)

When Sir Thomas Ughtred drew up his plans for the fortification of the Manor house at Brandsby, Yorkshire in 1341 his elaborate gatehouse, and drawbridge over the moat may have been to impress his neighbours with his quasi-noble style of life. Yet his specification for a granary running the whole length of the manor house itself leads one to believe that he was perhaps equally concerned with the more mundane consideration of defending is daily bread. (Williams 1974-5)

Gatehouse Comments

Although the 1341 contract was agreed at Brandsby it is not entirely clear the work was for building at Brandsby. Sir Thomas Ughtred had manors in York and at Rede House and Kexby (These two being granted a licence to crenellate in 1342) and elsewhere in Yorkshire and beyond. Gatehouse is not actually able to associate Sir Thomas Ughtred with Brandsby, which appears to have been held by the de la River family at this time (VCH N.R. 2 103-). Ughtred had duties which would have had him travelling around many houses in Yorkshire. Was it just that Ughtred met John del Wod of Ripon at Brandsby, perhaps while John was at work on a project for de la River, and ordered work then? This important surviving building contract is certainly for a building which might well be called a fortified manor house. It is recorded here as doubtful because of the uncertainty that it applied to medieval Brandsby Hall, rather than some other property of Sir Thomas Ughtred.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE598718
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Calculate Print


  • Salzman, L.F., 1967 (2edn), Building in England down to 1540 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press) Appendix D. no. 1


  • Gabriel Byng, 2016,'The Dynamic of Design: ‘Source’ Buildings and Contract Making in England in the Later Middle Ages' Architectural History Vol. 59 p. 123-148
  • Williams, Daniel, 1974-5, 'Fortified Manor Houses' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 50 p. 13 online copy
  • Ragg, F.W., 1920, 'Askham and Sandford of Askham' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 21 p. 200-1 online copy