Scrooby Manor House

Malcolm Dolby

This site, enclosing an area of about six and a half acres within a moat, was the site of the medieval manor house or palace of the Arbishops of York, who stayed here during tours of the extensive diocese.

The earliest reference to a building on the site occurs in 1207, when King John ordered wine to be sent their for the use of his half-brother, then the Archbishop.

King John himself was here in 1212.

Throughout the middle ages, references occur to the Archbishops visiting Scrooby and signing church documents here.

The eldest daughter of Henry VII, Margaret, stayed at Scrooby in 1503 on her way to Scotland to become the second wife of James IV.

Between 1501 and 1507 considerable building took place at Scrooby, and it is likely that the earliest brick buildings date from that time. Fragments of these buildings can be seen incorporated into Manor Farm.

Cardinal Wolsey, the great statesman of Henry VIII, stayed in disgrace at Scrooby throughout September 1530.

Around 1538, John Leland, King Henry VIII's historian, visited Scrooby and described the manor house:

 ... 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.  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 Courte.
A great manor place, standing within the moat, and belonging to the Archbishop of York, built in two courtes, where of the first is very ample, and all built of timber, saving the front of the hall, that is of brick, to which one ascends by stone steps. The inner court building, as far as I marked it, was of timber buildings, and was not a quarter of the size of the outer court.

King Henry VIII stayed at Scrooby overnight and held Privy Council here in 1541.

The gatehouse and some outbuildings were demolished in 1558.

William Brewster Senior was appointed Receiver and Bailiff of the Archbishop's estates at Scrooby in 1575 for the duration of his lifetime. The salary was ???£2 per year for the former post and ???£1 6s 8d per year for the latter. The terms of the appointment appear to suggest that Brewster should occupy all or part of the manor house.

William Brewster Senior was appointed to the additional post of Master of the Queen's Postes in 1588. He was then responsible for the safe accommodation of Crown messengers journeying along the main road from London to Scotland.

William Brewster Senior died in 1590, and was succeeded by his son, William Brewster Junior. From 1606-7 Brewster held Separatist meetings int he manor house.

Around 1636-7 most of the manor house and its outbuildings were demolished following a demolition order granted by Charles I.

Around 1750 part of one wing of the manor house was renovated as a farmhouse for the Archbishop's tenant. It is that building which can be seen today.

Download this history of Scrooby Manor House as a Adobe PDF document.