Discover Lower Brockhampton manor house

Manor house in winter

Once built as a medieval marvel, discover how the manor fell out of favour with the wealthy Barneby family and how it came to be a modest farmhouse. In 1946, the National Trust took on the responsibility for caring for the Brockhampton estate, meaning the manor house once again was centre of attention.

Evidence shows there has been a settlement at Brockhampton since at least the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086. The estate was named after the original owners the Brockhampton family, who built the now ruined chapel. The estate was brought by the Domultons or Dumbletons as they were also known. This family was responsible for building the manor we see today, built around 1380-1400 from giant timbers grown on the estate.

After having no sons, the manor passed onto John Domulton’s eldest daughter Mary, who took her husband’s name of ‘Barneby’ and the manor continued to stay inherited in the same family for four hundred years.

View of Brockhampton timber framed great hall from minstrels gallery
view of timber framed great hall from minstrels granary
View of Brockhampton timber framed great hall from minstrels gallery

Steeped in history, Brockhampton has witnessed many changes such as the original Medieval Great Hall having an extra floor inserted, to accommodate the family’s many children. In 1731 Bartholomew Barneby inherited the manor and surrounding estate and it was he who decided the little manor was simply not fit for the likes of a gentleman to live in. Barneby commissioned the renowned Thomas Farnolls Pritchard (best known for designing Ironbridge at Coalbrookdale) to design him a new home on the estate.

The landing showing drawings and plans by architect JC Buckler
desk and chair once used by architect JC Buckler
The landing showing drawings and plans by architect JC Buckler

It was then that Lower Brockhampton Manor became a farmhouse, occupied by poor tenants meaning the house was never modernised and fell into a poor state. This was actually really beneficial as it meant the house was never damaged by modernisation or changed drastically. In the late 1860s, the romantic fragments of 'Olde England' had come back into fashion. John Habington Lutley, was the latest of the Barneby family line to inherit and decided to consult the antiquarian architect J.C Buckler on restoring the manor to its earlier glory. The last of the line was Colonel John Talbot Lutley who bequeathed Brockhampton to the National Trust in 1946. By then the estate was a rare and picturesque survival of a vanished age.

The 1950s sitting room, as it might have been when the last family lived here
Sofa, chairs and fireplace in 1950s lounge
The 1950s sitting room, as it might have been when the last family lived here