Image ID: 16223
Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives
Manor Road looking east towards the gate giving access to Manor House Farm. A map dated 1886 indicates that the buildings on the left at that time housed the village post office, while the dwelling on the right is today called Alpha House, although it is not clear how far back this name goes. The site of the moat surrounding the medieval Scrooby Manor house, which occupied an enclosed area of about 6.5 acres, lies immediately beyond the gate. The Manor was once a palace belonging to the Archbishops of York and is known to have been existence by the early 1200s. About 1538 the Tudor historian John Leland described it thus: '.. a great Manor Place, standing within the Mote, and longging to tharchbishop of York, buildid yn to Courtes, where of the first is very ample, and al builded of Tymbre, saving the Front of the Haule, that is of Bricke, to the wich ascenditur per gradus lapideos [to which one ascends by stone steps]. The ynner Courte Building, as far as I markid, was of Tymber Buildings, and was not in cumpace past the four parte of the utter [not a quarter of the size of the outer] Courte. Scrooby holds a pivotal place in the history of the USA, being the birthplace of William Brewster (c 1566-1644), senior elder of the Pilgrim Fathers. In 1588 his father, also William Brewster, held the office of Bailiff of the Archbishop of York's estate and Postmaster, and had been granted the lease of the Manor on favourable terms. William junior had by 1587 already developed a strong inclination to Puritanism and was soon in trouble for irregular attendance at church; it is known that there was a strong Puritan congregation in the area at this time and that they sometimes met at Scrooby Manor, Brewster's home. In 1608 William Brewster left England with some of his fellow Puritans for the more tolerant surroundings of Holland where he became ruling elder of the congregation. Some years later, in 1620, after a period in hiding (as a result of his criticism of King James I), Brewster boarded the ship 'Mayflower' as the spiritual leader of the Separatist Church members; they later became known as the Pilgrim Fathers and were the founders of the Plymouth colony in New England. Brewster never returned to England and died in Plymouth in April 1644 at the approximate age of 78. As one contemporary wrote 'He was tenderhearted and compassionate of such as were in misery but especially of such as had been of good estate and rank and fallen unto want and poverty'. Meanwhile, around 1636-7 most of Scrooby Manor house and its outbuildings were destroyed following a demolition order granted by King Charles I, but about 1750 one surviving wing was renovated as a farmhouse for the Archbishop's tenant and this can still be seen today. Of Scrooby Manor Farm, website contributor, Catherine Bright (nee Browne) recalls: 'My mother's aunt (my grandfather's sister) and family worked Scrooby Manor Farm. The father had died but the mother, Mabel Keys and her children - my mother's cousins Authur and Nellie - ran it all the time I was young. We used to visit them usually on a Sunday in the 1940s/1950s from our home in Fulwood, Sheffield. I remember watching the milking being done, seeing all the pigs, calves, and Billie the Ram in the barn. There was a medieval loo in the garden, close to where the Pilgrim Fathers' plaque was on the wall of the house. We had to use an Elsan chemical loo also out in the kitchen yard. The farmhouse was wonderful. There were black hooks in the main room on the ceiling where hams used to be hung. There was a big open fire range for cooking pots. In the middle sitting room between the dining room and lounge a fox's head hung on the wall. After milking we had a wonderful tea with home-cured ham and home-made cream horns; I can still taste it now. Old Aunty Mab (Mabel) told me that the late Queen Mother waved to them as she passed the Manor on the Royal Train as the railway line was at he bottom of their field. I, of course, remember all this magic very well (I was born 1944). I remember the gate in the picture as we had to be very careful to close it after taking our car through on visits so as not to let the cattle escape. All my Grandad's family (Smiths) were farmers in Bawtry. He married a first cousin from Whitwell, Maud Ellen Wildgoose. I left Sheffield aged 20 for the swinging sixties' in London but I still have vivid childhood memories of Scrooby.'
Organisation Reference: NCCN002835