Friday, 9 August 2019

King Edward III's Moated Manor House

Manor House Ruin, The Unfinished City
King Edward IIIs Moated Manor house.
Partial as I am to wandering and going off on a tangent, rather than sticking to a prescribed route, when visiting The Unfinished City, it is no wonder that I stumble across some interesting things and places.

Take, for instance, this Royal Residence. Had I not taken a detour then I would never have known that this piece of history existed. Obviously, there is not much left to see, and this photo does not do the place justice, but the moat and foundations are all still there.


Brief History

Back in 1350, when the residence was constructed, Rotherhithe was a small hamlet surrounded by marshland. This manor house, which consisted of stone buildings around a central courtyard was moated on three sides. The northern side was open to the River Thames.

It is unclear as to what purpose the residence served as it couldn't be a hunting lodge, as there was no Royal Park attached. Many believe it is where the King practiced his falconry skills. With the marshland and the River Thames, he would easily have been able to keep his birds in sight.

The building was completely enclosed, by the moat, by the end of the 16th Century. The King's ancestors, having no use for the crumbling buildings, sold the land and it eventually ended up in private hands.

By the 18th and 19th Centuries the land was being used for pottery and warehouses. One of these warehouses incorporated, into its frame, one of the walls from the 14th Century inner court, which was still standing in 1907.

Following the destruction of the warehouses, in the 1970s, so that the area could be redeveloped, the area was excavated, by a team from the Museum of London, in order to preserve the site for the public.

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