Rectory Manor, Alconbury

Historical notes about Rectory Manor at Alconbury, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


Merton Priory Arms

The Armorial Bearings of of Merton Priory.

The Armorial Bearings of of Merton Priory.

Or fretty azure with eagles or at the crossings of the fret.


Henry II granted to Merton Priory, Surrey, which held the rectory, 50 acres of assarts at Alconbury, which became the RECTORY MANOR. This would be the land in Weybridge forest held by the priory. Richard I granted and Henry III confirmed to the canons soc, sac and all other liberties in all their lands, and permission to enclose the 3 acres of wood they held in Alconbury, in the forest. In 1259 they had leave to assart and cultivate this land. They held 2 carucates of land here independent of the Segrave fee in 1285, when the right of the priory to gallows and view of frankpledge was questioned, and the juries of the hundreds of Leightonstone and Normancross stated that there were gallows at Alconbury in ancient times, but that they belonged to the Crown manor; the prior was parson of the church, and no parson by reason of his church had the right to gallows. The gallows, it appeared, had been knocked down by an infuriated man forty years before, after a woman had been hanged; and the Crown claimed that having therefore no gallows, the prior could not claim view of frankpledge or its appurtenances. No decision is recorded.

The prior had at that time 16 tenants at Alconbury who formed a tithing for view, twice yearly, without the king's servant being present, and he continued to exercise his judicialia here. This manor always descended with the advowson (q.v.). In March 1650, as 'the manor of the rectory,' it was granted with the advowson of the church to William Godbid and John Dryhurst, citizens and weavers of London, and Nathaniel Herbert, of Alconbury, under the Act for abolishing deans, prebends, etc. With it were conveyed a windmill, all courts leet and baron and other royalties held by the late dean and chapter of Westminster. At the Restoration this property was returned to the dean and chapter.

Merton Priory paid rents to the lord of the lay manor, and the vicar held an acre by grant of Stephen de Segrave, for keeping a lamp burning in Alconbury Church during service. The vicar held 191 acres in 1873.

Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire Published in 1932