|Published: 30th July 2007 21:09|
By Manor Court Nostalgia Writer, Peter Keat
Have you ever wondered where the Manor came from in the name of Manor Court School ? No, nor had I so with a little research amongst the books at home comes the details below.
The manors of Farlington and Drayton seem to have changed hands many times up to 1347 (and for a time it was in the hands of Edward 111) when on the death of John Montgomery, they passed to the hands of the Priore of Southwick in return for the losses caused by the invasion of the King's enemies under a grant made to them in 1346. It remained with the Priors until the dissolution, when Henry VIII by letters-patent bearing the date 29th June in the 32nd year of his reign, granted them to William Pounds of Beaumond.s, his wife Eleanor and their heirs, with its rights and royalties, together with the advowson (right of presentation of the benefice) of the Rectory of Farlington. These possessions descended to Anthony Pound, who, it appears by a judicial enquiry taken in the first year of the reign of Edward VI, seized the Manor of Drayton, which he held of the King by grand sergeantry, on condition that he provided one sldier to guard the eastern gate of Portchester Castle in time of war.
His eldest son, Richard Pound, followed, but the Drayton Manor passed out of the family through the female line, and it was not until 1703 that a Mr. Smith, who had taken possession of Farlington, purchased the Manor and land of Drayton from the co-heirs of Mr. Richbell and Sir Benjamin Newland. There appears to have been some financial trouble, for the Manors were both mortgaged, and it was some 60 years later (about 1764) that a Mr. Peter Taylor took over the estate. By now the Parish of Farlington not only comprised the Manors of Farlington and Drayton, but also those of Stakes, Purbrook and Crookhorne, and this remained so up until about 1913. But where was the Manor House ?
The remaining parts can be found on the corner of Dysart Avenue. The last house was built in the 19th Century and was eventually sold the the Portsmouth City Council in 1947. It was mainly demolished in 1957 but records state that it was a three storey detached house of partly coursed random sized flints with quoins. 'M'-shaped tiled roof with exposed purlins and dormer windows, three chimneys. Casement windows. Closed flint porch with sloping slate roof, one window and tiled roof. Wooden panelled door set within pointed arch. Side door surmounted by cambered arch. Crest above front door and motif on wall. Part of the original house was allowed to remain and it was converted into flats, but there is a local myth, I believe, that the house was haunted, but does anyone know the full story behind the ghost ? Strange to think that our school dayswere conducted within the grounds of the 'big house' probably in the garden, even the land where Kinross Crescent was built was still part of the estate.
I expect most of you can remember the playing field along Central Road which must have been part of the estate and I certainly can remember riding my bicycle over the rough ground between Central Road and Grove Road where Manor Court (Springfield) School was later to be built. I seem to remember concrete building such as Home Guard headquarters or similar to the south of the site and derelict 'Dig for Victory' type allotments over the rest of the ground. A great place for a boy and his mates to play in. Does anyone else remember these buildings and the site before the school arrived? If so let's have your memories.
Funny thing is I can remember the site but not the school being built (G.A. Day Ltd again I suppose), I seem to have a mental block there. But I do remember the youth Club and the Friday night. I also remember that I was in the youth club when we heard that President Kennedy had been shot (doesn't everyone remember where they were then) it ruined the evening and we all went home early.