Site of Manor House at Lower Skilts, Studley.

Description of this historic site

Site of a manor house dating to the Post Medieval period. The house is known from documentary evidence and its remains are visible as an earthwork. It was situated 800m north east of Cracknut Hill.

Notes about this historic site

1 Lower Skilts is all that remains of the ‘very beautiful house of brick’ with which William Sheldon, c1560-70, replaced the Prior of Studley’s Grange. It is of red brick of 3 stories, and had a courtyard entered by a N gatehouse which was connected by walls to square buildings at the angles. The remains consist of the E side of the house, the gatehouse, and a barn W of the courtyard. Further details of architecture are given.
2 Plan of the house.
3 The house has been demolished, but some of the foundations can still be seen. The gatehouse, angle buildings and barn, none of which are outstanding, are now used as farm buildings. Gatehouse and barn probably 17th century.
5 The E half of the house was demolished about 1963. The gatehouse and 2 side buildings survive in a poor state of repair, together with parts of the enclosing wall on the E side and a barn on the W side of the courtyard. There is possible evidence for a chapel on the site in 19th century (PRN 6125). In 1663 Ralph Sheldon paid tax on no less than 32 hearths, far more than any other householder in the parish.
6 A collection of finds comprising a 17th century bronze spoon bowl and an 18th century silver finger ring, were found by metal detectorists close to this site.
7 As post-medieval ‘country house’ is to be preferred to ‘manor house’.

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