BARROWBY - OLD HALL
Barrowby Old Hall is situated to the south-west of the church (Fig 52) , and the earthworks that partially enclose it seem to define a manorial curia. Throughout the recorded history of the settlement there was only one manor in Barrowby itself - numerous other manors were established within the parish at East Casthorpe, West Casthorpe, and Stenwith - and the site can therefore be identified with the fee. Before the Conquest it was held, along with the manors of Welbourn and Sedgebrook, by a certain Godwin who was the tenant of Azor son of Sualeva, a thane of some importance in the Northern Danelaw (1). By 1086 the whole complex had been granted to Robert Malet, and Barrowby, with its sokeland in Ingoldsby, Casthorpe, and Stenwith, was kept in demesne. Held by the service of one knight and castle guard at Eye, the manor was enfeoffed in the twelfth century, but seems to have remained undivided in the medieval period (2). No references have been found to the manor house, but the present Old Hall, which dates largely from the seventeenth century, preserves medieval fragments in its front wall (3).
The earthworks surveyed amplify the remains shown on the 6" Ordnance Survey map (Fig 52). In addition to what is probably the original moat round the main hall complex there is a series of ditches extending 550 metres to the west, where they join a field boundary that is an extension of the line of the northern side of the moat. This forms a curious triangular shaped area, suggesting that the western 150 metres or so of the field boundary cuts across the layout of earlier features, probably ridge and furrow. Two ditches more or less parallel to the moat, some 80 metres apart, do appear to be related to medieval furlongs fossilised in modern field boundaries (Fig 53). South of the Old Hall there is a more or less rectangular pond about 30 by 15 metres with traces of connecting ditches linking it to a further enclosed area now partly cut off by a fence. Less distinct features noted west of the house may mark the location of a path or flower bed. In general the layout of these earthworks outside the main moat hints at the presence of a formal garden, perhaps one that belonged to the seventeenth century hall (4).
1. Lincs DB, 58/2.
2. LRdeS, 411; BF, 185, 1034; RH i, 391b; FA ii, 155, 206; CI iv, 131; CI xiii, 408; CI xv, 257. Fees held of the earl of Stafford and Robert de Tatteshall appear in the fourteenth century, but seem to be identical with the Eye fee. The relationship between the various interests has not been elucidated.
3. Pevsner, Lincs, 446.
4. J. B. Manterfield, J. E. Smith, Barrowby: a Guide to the Archaeology of the Parish, Lincoln 1970, 41 and Pl. 44.