The medieval manor house
Take a journey through more than 600 years of history and discover a timber framed manor house and family home which evolved to meet the needs of different generations.
Brockhampton manor house was built for John Dumbleton around 1425 at the heart of Brockhampton estate. Nestled in the hills of north east Herefordshire not far from the town of Bromyard, the manor house was built near the ancient Norman chapel at Brockhampton.
The manor house was probably built from timber sourced from the estate itself, and the history of the house is intimately connected to the rich wooded landscape that it sits within.
Making good use of the estate's productivity was the secret to the continued wealth of the family that lived here. We know from ancient seeds and pollen found during archaeological excavations that in medieval times cereal crops were grown near the manor house, to the north of the moat.
Over the years the house was adapted by each successive generation that lived here, the original medieval great hall had an upper floor inserted into it by the Barneby family, in order to accommodate their many children.
As society changed it became more important for the owning family to live separately from their servants and estate workers. Eventually in the Georgian period, and under the care of Bartholomew Barneby, the owning family moved out from the ancient timber framed building and into a grander mansion house at the top of the estate.
From the eighteenth century onwards the timber framed manor house was home to estate workers such as Joseph Cureton and his family. Joseph was the estate wagoner in the nineteenth century. He cared for the horses that carried out much of the heavy work on the farms and woodland that makes up Brockhampton estate.
Sadly as the centuries rolled by the ancient timbers suffered and the building had reached a state of disrepair by the time it was visited by architect JC Buckler in Victorian times. He was commissioned to undertake a sensitive repair of the building, bringing it back from the brink of destruction.
Much of the character of the house that visitors can see today is a result of his careful restoration. After all timber frame buildings are living buildings which require ongoing maintenance and repair in order for them to survive.