The Shropshire Connection

on Tuesday, 04 August 2015. 1 Posted in Beyond Wiltshire

The Lacock Estate spreads beyond the boundaries of Wiltshire and can be discovered far to the north in the county of Shropshire.  Like many great estates this was due to the marriage of different families.  The Davenport family owned various lands in Shropshire, including the manor of Worfield (north of Bridgnorth), due to the marriage of William Davenport and Jane Bromley.  The manor in Worfield was eventually passed to their eldest son, Henry Davenport.  Henry Davenport built Davenport house at Worfield in 1726 which was designed by the architect, Francis Smith of Warwick.

Davenport House

Henry Davenport's son William by his second wife, Barbara Ivory, inherited the Lacock estate which meant that many of the deeds of Shropshire properties became part of the Lacock collection. Later Shropshire deeds would have been retained by Sharington Davenport and passed down through that line of the family.

Due to this the Lacock Archive holds a vast array of documents, deeds, bills and accounts concerning the Shropshire estates.  These primarily concern Henry and Barbara Davenport with the day to day running of th ehousehold and manor.  However, the earliest documents within the collection are court rolls concerning the manor from 1427.  

It is interesting to note the level of detail that Henry Davenport spent on his estate with numerous letters being sent to the Worfield gardener, Thomas Wooley.

Letter to Wooley

For example on 25 August 1719 he hopes Wooley will soon find out what destroyed the dusthouse; talking about getting a good flight of pigeons and asking Wooley to send Lady Ivory and his sisters some grapes when they are ready.  Various other letters were sent including on the 12 September 1719 to say he is glad they found out what destroyed the pigeons and that he has been promised some breeding pheasants by his brother Talbot.  Numerous other letters concerning the upkeep of the household and land are held within the Lacock archive.

Numerous other letters concerning the upkeep of the household and land are held within the Lacock archive.  The Lacock archive offers a wide array of information that does not solely focus on the Abbey but encompasses various other areas in the country and the world.