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WINGFIELD MANOR

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The remains of a medieval great house built in the mid-15th century for Ralph, Lord Cromwell. Its upstanding remains date to four main building phases between 1439 and 1455. In its final form, it is a double courtyard great house comprising an inner court to the north and a larger outer court to the south. The buildings of the outer court were two-storeyed and provided accommodation and offices for staff. The east and west building ranges are ruinous but the former includes an upstanding gatehouse. The passage through the gatehouse is flanked on either side by a gate lodge while immediately south of the gate is an extant aisled barn with a residential upper storey thought to have been used as a dormitory for staff. A buttressed wall forms the south side of the outer court and may originally have been part of a third building range. There are no visible remains of such a range. The house was approached by a sunken track from the north east and entered through the gateway noted above. Access to the inner court was through a second gateway. This inner gateway was three-storeyed and similar in design to the outer gateway. The inner court was the site of the principal residential buildings and comprises three upstanding building ranges. The west range and south range are occupied by lodgings and include, at the south west corner, a five-storey residential tower known as the Western or High Tower. The north range also includes the great hall and Cromwell's private accommodation. Underneath the great hall is a vaulted undercroft which served as the servants hall. After Cromwell's death in 1456 the manor was sold to to the Earl of Shrewsbury and remained with that family until 1678 when it was bought by Immanuel Halton who built a house in the shell of the great hall. The site was abandoned in the 18th century though a section of the cross range was converted to a farmhouse. Some alterations were carried out during the 20th century.

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