Theme: Michaelchurch Court Estate ‘Under the Hammer’


1567 - 1990


Michaelchurch Court Estate


A moiety of the manor [or ‘reputed manor’] of Ewyas Lacy including properties that would later become part of the Michaelchurch Escley Court Estate were first sold [as distinct from being granted to a Lord by the Sovereign] by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in 1567 to Robert Hopton for £4600, shortly after he had been granted the moiety of the Manor by Queen Elizabeth I and had conducted a survey of the rentals . The manor remained in the Hopton family’s hands until 1643 when it was seized by Parliament from the Royalist Hoptons and subsequently sold in 1653 to Major-General Thomas Harrison of the Parliamentary army for the sum of five shillings. After the restoration of the monarchy the manor and estates were returned to the Hopton heirs until sold in 1693 to John Jeffreys, a wealthy London merchant whose family hailed from Brecon. When his son, John Jeffreys [junior] died in 1760, the manor and estates were advertised for sale and put up for public auction, but apparently without success since they passed subsequently to his heirs.

The property was again advertised for sale in 1815 and 1818 , and the 1815 sale particulars survive [see below]. The 1815 auction seems to have been unsuccessful, but when re-advertised in 1818 Thomas Edmund Lewis [then in possession of Michaelchurch Court] and perhaps the heirs of Walter Jeffreys [inheritors of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy] disposed of their interests to Thomas Daniell, a Cornishman resident at the time in Bath whose family had made a fortune in copper and tin mining and who chose to invest in a country estate.

Some time after Daniell’s bankruptcy in 1835 the property changed hands again, though apparently through private transactions since no evidence has been found of public auctions until 1862 when the property was again advertised for sale on the death of the then owner Richard Watson Barton. Again this seems to have been unsuccessful, and the estate was put up for public auction again in 1863 [see below for detailed 1862 and 1863 sale particulars]. This time it was sold to Elizabeth Rawson of Nidd Hall, Yorkshire, who bought it on behalf of her nephew Guy Trafford. Afterwards the estate remained in the hands of the Traffords and their heirs until sold again in 1990 [see below for detailed sale particulars] – although significant portions of the estate were sold off piecemeal by the Traffords after the end of World War II.


A more extensive history of Michaelchurch Court and its Estate can be viewed here .


Some detailed sale catalogues survive, and contain descriptions of the farms and properties comprising the estate down to the level of individual fields and their use, the nature of the buildings and outbuildings, and the names of the tenants with their tenancy terms. Large scale maps of the estate, numbered with individual field references for each lot, are also included. Brief summaries for 1815 , 1862 and 1863 are available showing the names of properties and their tenants.


The Digital Images Collection on this website includes photographs of the complete original sales catalogues, which can be viewed by clicking on the picture links below to download the relevant images in a PDF document.




Sale Particulars


Sale Particulars










Sale particulars





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