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Manor House, Boothby, Lincolnshire

By by Edward Impey

Manor House, Boothby, Lincolnshire

The 12th century Manor House stands just to the west of Boothby Hall at Boothby Pagnell in Lincolnshire. Despite having been described by the Buildings of England volume for Lincolnshire as "the most important small Norman manor house in England", it is relatively little known.
It was built on the site of a former dwelling by descendants of Theodoric and Lezelina de Botheby in about 1180, and in 1309 passedthrough marriage to the Pagnell family. Some time in the 17th century this "praty house within a mote" was relegated to becoming an outbuilding, a replacement new house being built alongside it. This in turn was replaced in the 1820s by the present Boothby Hall. After passing through several families, the estate was purchased in the 1970s by the 2nd Baron Netherthorpe.The evolution of the Norman manor house needs to be considered in the light of a recent reassessment of the development of many 12th century domestic buildings. Examples identified in Normandy, and others excavated in England, give credence to Dr. John Blair's theory thatfirst-floor halls and ground-floor halls coexisted in two separate buildingswhich were part of one complex.Archaeological investigation suggests thatthis pattern was of Anglo-Saxon and not Norman origin, as previouslyassumed. It seems that the Norman conquerors did not bring it to England, but took it back with them to their homeland.The surviving building at Boothby Pagnell is of the first-floor hall type, but it is now generally accepted thatthis was not a whole house. It contained only the private quarters of the owner and was accompanied by a ground-floor hall house of the familiar type. The position of this second building has been detected archaeologically; it stood to the south of the surviving Manor House.The Manor House can be visited by appointment. Apply to Lady Netherthorpe, Boothby Hall, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG33 4DQ.

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