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Inner Court, Wingfield Manor, South Wingfield, c 1900
Wood Collection, Ripley Library
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Wingfield Manor was built by Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer to Henry VI, in about 1435-40. Originally the house consisted of two large courts; the outer (or southern) made up of barns, stables, guard-houses and other lowlier buildings; the inner (or northern), of the hall, kitchen, and the chambers occupied by the family. Under Henry VIII the manor was in the possession of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here for nine years during the reign of Elizabeth I. Wingfield continued to be the residence of the Shrewsburys until the death of Earl Gilbert in 1616. After this, the property was sold to Mr Imanuel Halton. In 1817, it was still in the possession of one of the Halton family, but not then inhabited. The last of the family who resided here wished to build himself a house at the foot of the high hill upon which the mansion stands and pulled down and unroofed part of the fine old house to construct Wingfield Hall. This left Wingfield Manor open to the elements and it quickly fell to ruins.