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Manor of Bolsover

The manor of Bolsover

The history of the manor of Bolsover, like that of most manors in England, can be traced from Domesday Book (1086) to the present day. The manor was held in 1086 by William Peverel, a prominent supporter of William the Conqueror whose extensive estates, centred on the royal castle at Nottingham of which Peverel was keeper, came to be known as the honor of Peverel. William's son, also named William Peverel, forfeited the honor including Bolsover) in 1155 and for the next four hundred years the manor remained in Crown hands.

The history of the manor in the Middle Ages runs parallel with that of the castle which was evidently built at Bolsover by the first William Peverel shortly after the Norman Conquest, since the keepers of the castle appointed by the Crown after the Peverel family's estate was forfeited in 1155 also had charge of the manor (although they were not `tenants' of the manor in the strict sense of the word). 

In 1553 the manor was granted to George Talbot, who in 1560 succeeded his father as 6th earl of Shrewsbury and was by far the most important landowner in north Derbyshire, north Nottinghamshire and south Yorkshire during the Elizabethan period. His son, Gilbert 7th earl of Shrewsbury, sold Bolsover to his kinsman, Charles Cavendish, in 1608, whose own son William eventually became duke of Newcastle. His descendants, the later dukes of Newcastle and after them the dukes of Portland, have remained lords of the manor to the present day.

The detailed history of a medieval manor, especially one which contained a royal castle, does not make for easy reading, but has been included here to make available an authoritative account of an aspect of Bolsover's history which is not well covered in existing publications.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Bolsover: Castle, Town and Colliery' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-484-3) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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