The Manor of Bluntisham

Historical notes about the Manor of Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


The history of the manor of BLUNTISHAM goes back to the early part of the 10th century, when it was seized by Toli the Dane, who is said to have been jarl or alderman of Huntingdon. Toli was killed at the Battle of Tempsford in 921, when the shire with Bluntisham returned to the rule of Edward the Elder.

Later Bluntisham, probably by grant from the crown, became the property of Wulfnoth (Wlnoth) who about 970–75 sold it to Bishop Ethelwold and Brithnold, the first abbot of Ely, for the endowment of Ely Abbey. The sale was confirmed by King Edgar, after whose death in 975 a claim to it was made by the sons of Bogo de Hemingford, who said it was the inheritance of Tope their uncle. According to their story Tope's grandmother in her maidenhood went to the assistance of Edward the Elder against Toli, the Danish earl, and consequently Toli seized her lands, which, as his property, would be confiscated by the crown after the Battle of Tempsford. In the pleadings it is stated that throughout the sheriffwick (vicecomitatus) of Huntingdon there was no land which was not subject to forfeiture saving two hides in Bluntisham held by Aelfsicyld and two hides in Spaldwick. The claim by the sons of Bogo was declared false by the county court and the men of the six hundreds, numbering over a thousand, testified to the title of Wulfnoth. The sale to Ely Abbey was therefore confirmed.

Arms of the Abbot of Ely

The Armorial Bearings of the Abbot of Ely.

The Armorial Bearings of the Abbot of Ely.


Domesday Bluntisham - Land of the Abbot of Ely

In BLUNTISHAM the Abbot of Ely had 6.5 hides to the geld. [There is] land for 8 ploughs and, apart from these hides. [he had] land for 2 ploughs in demesne. There are now 2 ploughs in demesne; and 10 villans and 3 bordars with 3 ploughs. There is a priest and a church, and 20 acres of meadow, [and] woodland pasture 1 league long and 4 furlongs broad. TRE as now, worth 100s.

(Note: Demesne - Land retained by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis - In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

In the Domesday Survey (1086) as Bluntisham as the land of the Abbey of Ely was assessed at 6.5 hides, and is the only manor of the soke of Somersham for which a priest and a church are returned.

When the bishopric of Ely was founded in 1108, a division of the lands of the abbey was made and Bishop Harvey allotted to the prior and convent certain payments of timber from Bluntisham and a 'mansura' of land with 5 acres from which the timber was collected and 8 acres of meadow upon which the oxen that drew the timber pastured. This evidently represented Bluntisham manor which continued to be in the hands of the prior and convent of Ely until the Dissolution. In 1541 the manor of Bluntisham formerly belonging to the prior and convent was granted to the newly formed dean and chapter of Ely. On the abolition of deans and chapters in 1649 the manor was granted to Valentine Walton the regicide, as a reward for his services to Parliament. At the Restoration it was restored to the dean and chapter and was owned by them until 1869, when it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are now lords of the manor.