The Manor House |
- The venue for the Fete is the garden of The Manor House and the adjacent field which is part of Manor Farm.
History of The Manor
- The history of the Manor and its moat goes back over 900 years.
- Sherington is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, under the name 'Serintone'.
- After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror gave the whole of Sherington to one of his followers, Geoffrey de Mowbray, who was Bishop of Coutances. Subsequently, it passed to the de Carun family. At that time the Manor House was located inside the moat, which was designed for protection against attack.
- In the mid-1100's William de Carun moved the main Sherington Manor to a site next to the Church, where Church Farm is now. Parts of his estate were sold off, including the moated Manor House, creating several smaller Manors.
- St Laud's Church (which is one of the Fete's beneficiaries) is another connection with the Norman Conquest, as it is named after a French bishop. It is the only Church in England dedicated to St Laud. Parts of the church date from the 12th Century.
- In the mid-1200's the moated Manor House was purchased by John de Cave, a Yorkshireman. It was then passed down through several generations of the de Cave family, before being transferred to other owners.
- The present Manor House, outside the moat, was built by Dryden Smith, a shipbuilder from Wapping in London, after he inherited the Manor from his father in 1770. He demolished the original building inside the moat and converted it to a garden and orchard.
- By the time of the Second World War, the estate was still over 76 acres (although in 1580 it had been over 220 acres) and included the farmland to the south of the house. Since then the estate has been split up. The Manor House, with its garden (including the moat), is now a private residence. Manor Farm is now farmed by J W Cook and Son, and the renovated buildings between the House and the Farm, Manor Courtyard, now accommodate a number of small businesses. Sherington still has close links with the French, albeit on much more friendly terms, as the village is twinned with Sameon.
- If you are interested in the history of the village, and would like further information, there is a summary on the village web site. The Sherington Historical Society, who are exhibiting at the Fete, maintains a comprehensive website containing a considerable amount of fascinating information. Come and visit their stand.
- What would the Bishop of Coutances, William De Carun and John de Cave and their colleagues from 900 years ago think of the Fete, if they were here today?
- They are likely to be very surprised to see the moat being used for canoeing, and they would probably think we are a bit mad to be doing the 'Uphill Tractor Pull'. However, they would probably excel at the archery. They would definitely enjoy the excellent food and drink. One thing is certain: like you, they would have a good time!
- Please respect the environment. Do not throw rubbish into the moat. Parents are asked to take a little more care of their small children when near the moat, as it was built to repel invaders, not as a children's paddling pool. We want our visitors to enjoy their day, and not go home in tears!
- Many thanks must go to our hosts, Dianne and Andy Stewart, for allowing us to use their garden for the Fete, and to J W Cook and Son of Manor Farm for the use of their field. Without their generosity, the Fete would not have been possible.