Wingfield Manor

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameWingfield Manor
Alternative NamesSouth Wingfield; Winfield; Winfeld; Wenfeld
Historic CountryDerbyshire
Modern AuthorityDerbyshire
1974 AuthorityDerbyshire
Civil ParishSouth Wingfield

The remains of a medieval great house built in the mid-C15 for Ralph, Lord Cromwell. Its upstanding remains date to four main building phases between 1439 and 1455. In its final form, it is a double courtyard great house comprising an inner court to the north and a larger outer court to the south. The buildings of the outer court were two-storeyed and provided accommodation and offices for staff. The east and west building ranges are ruinous but the former includes an upstanding gatehouse. The passage through the gatehouse is flanked on either side by a gate lodge while immediately south of the gate is an extant aisled barn with a residential upper storey thought to have been used as a dormitory for staff. A buttressed wall forms the south side of the outer court and may originally have been part of a third building range. There are no visible remains of such a range. The house was approached by a sunken track from the north east and entered through the gateway noted above. Access to the inner court was through a second gateway. This inner gateway was three-storeyed and similar in design to the outer gateway. The inner court was the site of the principal residential buildings and comprises three upstanding building ranges. The west range and south range are occupied by lodgings and include, at the south west corner, a five-storey residential tower known as the Western or High Tower. The north range also includes the great hall and Cromwell's private accommodation. Underneath the great hall is a vaulted undercroft which served as the servants hall. After Cromwell's death in 1456 the manor was sold to to the Earl of Shrewsbury and remained with that family until 1678 when it was bought by Immanuel Halton who built a house in the shell of the great hall. The site was abandoned in C18 though a section of the cross range was converted to a farmhouse and is still lived in today by the present owners of the manor

(PastScape)

Wingfield Manor is considered to be the most important great house to survive from the mid 15th century. Elements contributing to its outstanding importance are the extent and quality of its remains, the lack of later alteration, the lack of reference to earlier buildings on the same site and its association with a leading minister of the period whose position as Lord Treasurer was second in importance only to that of Chancellor. It is one of a group of major buildings built at this time by self-made men and, as such, is symbolic both of Cromwell's rise to power, wealth and high social status and of his success in protecting the country's economy during the long war with France. It reflects the level of comfort and amenity required and expected of a man of his position and, notwithstanding its elevated location and the retention of earlier defensive features, is of particular interest in being a house of purely domestic (that is, non-defensive) character. In addition to this, it is important for its influence on national architecture. The scale, design and layout of Wingfield were copied both regionally, as at Haddon Hall, and further afield, as at Thornbury Castle, Hampton Court and Gainsborough Old Hall. It is a well-preserved and well-documented example of a medieval great house and retains extensive upstanding remains through which its form and function can be clearly established. The survival of earlier medieval features as buried archaeological remains is also of importance and, though it is appreciated that Cromwell's levelling of the site and the erection of later buildings will have caused significant disturbance of these remains, limited excavation of the site has already established that features do survive and that they contribute significantly to the understanding of earlier phases of occupation.

The monument includes the medieval great house known as Wingfield Manor. It includes the upstanding remains of the house which are located on an adapted natural knoll defined by a bank and ditch. The bank and ditch relate to a period of earlier medieval occupation which was identified during part excavation of the site by the North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust between 1978 and 1980. Excavation revealed a 12th century building and defensive ditch and a 14th century dwelling. Further buried remains relating to all periods of occupation will survive in the unexcavated areas of the monument. Also believed to survive are remains relating to the estate which formerly surrounded the great house. These are likely to include such features as fishponds, gardens and a deer park. They have not been included in the scheduling as their extent and state of preservation is not sufficiently understood. Wingfield Manor was built in the mid-15th century for Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord Treasurer to King Henry VI. Its upstanding remains date to four main building phases between 1439 and 1455. In its final form, it is a double-courtyard great house comprising an inner court to the north and a larger outer court to the south. The bank and ditch extend further south than the outer court and enclose an area without upstanding remains which is currently occupied by modern farm buildings. This area is likely to have been the site of timber buildings and structures dating to all periods of medieval occupation and whose remains will survive as buried or rock cut features beneath the modern buildings. The buildings of the outer court were two-storeyed and provided accommodation and offices for staff. The east and west building ranges are ruinous but the former includes an upstanding gatehouse with square turrets, upper rooms and entrance arches for both vehicles and pedestrians. The passage through the gatehouse is flanked on either side by a gate lodge while immediately south of the gate is an aisled barn with a residential upper storey thought to have been used as a dormitory for staff. A buttressed wall forms the south side of the outer court and, according to a plan of the site made by Ferrey in 1870, may originally have been part of a third building range. There are no visible remains of such a range. However, if it existed, evidence for it will survive as buried archaeological features beneath the farm buildings south of the medieval wall. The house was approached via a sunken track from the north east and entered through the gateway noted above. Access to the inner court was through a second gateway in the cross range between the two courts. This inner gateway was three-storeyed and similar in design to the outer gateway. There is an heraldic panel over the entrance arch depicting, in addition to the arms of Cromwell and associated families, the purses of the Lord Treasurer's office. The inner court was the site of the principal residential buildings and comprises three upstanding building ranges and the site of a possible fourth range on the east side which may have included a chapel and high status lodgings for visiting royalty. The west range and south (cross) range are occupied by lodgings and include, at the south west corner, a five-storey residential tower known as the Western or High Tower. The north range, in addition to several reception and audience chambers, includes the great hall, with its traceried bay window and two-storey entrance porch, and Cromwell's private accommodation. It also includes, at the western end, a complex of service rooms which include a kitchen, a pantry and a buttery. Underneath the great hall is a vaulted undercroft which is believed to have served as a servants hall. It leads to a small garden which occupies the lower ground north of the inner court. Between the early 12th and mid-14th centuries, the manor of Wingfield was held by the Heriz family and subsequently passed through the Belers and Swyllington families to John Swyllington. His death, in 1418, led to it being inherited by his sister, Margaret Gra, who died without issue in 1428. Ralph Cromwell was designated her nearest heir but his claim was disputed by Margaret's husband and brother and, later, by Sir Henry Pierpoint, a descendent of Heriz. Cromwell won his claim against Gra in 1431 and, by 1439, had reached a settlement with Pierpoint whereby he was able to keep Wingfield and begin clearing the site preparatory to building work on the new manor house. Building work was complete either by the time of Cromwell's death in 1456 or shortly afterwards, following the acquisition of the property by John Talbot, second Earl of Shrewsbury. The Shrewsburys continued to occupy the house for the next 200 years during which time it was besieged twice during the Civil War and subsequently slighted in 1646. In 1678 it was bought by Immanuel Halton who built a house in the shell of the great hall. The site was abandoned in the last quarter of the 18th century though a section of the cross range continued to be occupied as a farmhouse and is still lived in today by the present owners of the manor, the Critchlows, whose family purchased the site at the end of the 19th century. The ruins are a Grade I Listed Building and have been in the care of the Secretery of State since 1960. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The Western High Tower has a superficial resemblance to a Norman Donjon. This is probably deliberate and would have given Wingfield a resemblance to ancient castles such as Peveril or nearby Bolsover in its original form. There were several other late medieval high status houses in this area, described by John Goodall as a 'millionaires row', including Hardwick Hall and the lost Owlcotes Hall.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK374547
Latitude53.0885887145996
Longitude-1.44263005256653
Eastings437430
Northings354790
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 357
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 26-9
  • Craven, Maxwell and Stanley, Michael, 2002, The Lost Houses of Derbyshire (Landmark Publishing) p. 29, 44
  • Craven, Maxwell and Stanley, Michael, 2001, The Derbyshire Country House (Landmark Publishing) Vol. 2 p. 241-44
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 449-58
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 13, 64, 310
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 51-2
  • Smith, Michael E., 1992, Castles and Manor Houses in and around Derbyshire (Derby)
  • Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 2312
  • Merill, J.N., 1988, Halls and Castles of the Peak District and Derbyshire (Matlock: JNM Publications) p. 45-7
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 111
  • Thompson, M.W., 1981, 'The architectural significance of the building works of Ralph, Lord Cromwell (1394-1456)' in A. Detsicas (ed), Collectanea Historica: Essays in Memory of Stuart Rigold (Kent Archaeological Society) p. 155-62
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus revised by Elizabeth Williamson, 1978, Buildings of England: Derbyshire (Harmondsworth) p. 217-9
  • Michael Thompson, 1976, 'The construction of the manor at South Wingfield, Derbyshire' in Sieveking, G. de G. et al (eds) Problems in economic and social Archaeology (London) p. 417-38
  • Tipping, H.A., 1921, English Homes, period 1 Vol. 1 (London) p. 303-12
  • Thompson, A. Hamilton, 1912, Military architecture in England during the Middle Ages (OUP) p. 345-52 online copy
  • Gotch, J. Alfred, 1909, The Growth of the English House (London: Batsford) p. 68-78 online copy
  • Le Blanc-Smith, 1907, in Cox, Memories of Old Derbyshire (London) p. 146-63 (history only)
  • Cox, J.C., 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Derbyshire Vol. 1 p. 391-2 online copy
  • Addy, S.O. and Croston, J., 1885, An account of Winfield Manor in Derbyshire (Derby: Richard Keene) online copy
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 3 (London) p. 90-1 online copy [online copy > http://archive.org/stream/abbeyscastlesan03timb#page/90/mode/1up]
  • Ferrey, E.B., 1870, South Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 222-4 online copy
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1817, Magna Britannia Vol. 5 Derbyshire p. ccxl online transcription
  • Blore, 1793, History of the Manor and Manor-House of South Wingfield (London)

Antiquarian

  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England ¬†(Sutton Publishing) p. 524
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 14 online copy

Journals

  • Creighton, O.H., 2010, 'Room with a View: Framing Castles Landscapes' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 24 p. 37-49 (slight)
  • Dixon, Philip, 1989, 'Summer meeting supplement' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 146 p. 57-9
  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 320
  • Emery, A., 1985, 'Ralph, Lord Cromwell's manor at Wingfield (1439-c1450): its construction, design and influence' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 142 p. 276-339
  • Emery, A. and Binney, M., 1982, 'Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire' Country Life Vol. 171 p. 946-9, 1042-5
  • 1979-82, East Midland Archaeological Bulletin Vol. 13 p. 6
  • 1981, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 25 p. 216 download copy
  • Notes and News., 1960, 'Wingfield Manor' Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 80
  • Hanbury, W.H., 1948, 'A note on Wingfield manor house' Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 68 p. 37-41
  • Tipping, 1915 July 17, Country Life Vol. 38 p. 90-7
  • Hope, 1914, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 71 p. 369-70
  • Cox, J.C., 1886, 'On the manor house of South Wingfield' Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 8 p. 65-78
  • 1885, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 42 p. 498-500 online copy
  • Errington, J.R., 1852, 'On South Winfield Manor and Manor House' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 7 p. 367-74 online copy

Guide Books

  • Dixon, Philip, 1995, Derbyshire Wingfield Manor (London: English Heritage)
  • Edmunds, W.H., Guide to Wingfield Manor

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk East Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 4 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 East Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 3 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 East Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 17 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 East Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 28 online copy
  • Lucy, S., 1986, A Study of the Kitchen Complex at South Wingfield Manor, Derbys (BA Thesis, University of Nottingham)
  • Floyd, S., 1982, South Wingfield Manor (BA Thesis, University of Nottingham)