The History of the Manor of Byfleet is both ancient and fascinating; not just the bricks and mortar, but the living history – the actual people involved at any particular time.
The first written reference to Byfleet occurs in 727 when the land was owned by Chertsey Abbey. Then, in the Domesday Book of 1086, Byfleet was listed as having a Manor, a Mill, and a Church, along with enough forest to feed 10 Hogs. Byfleet came into Crown ownership in 1307, and from then on, glamorous figures from history lived at, destroyed, and rebuilt Byfleet Manor, and many Kings, Queens and Princes have visited, or granted the manor to their favourites.
Edward II appears to have stayed frequently at Byfleet, Edward III gave it to his mother Isabella as part of her Dower, and the Black Prince bred his horses here and held it until his death. It continued to be granted by the Kings of England to their eldest sons until the time of Henry VIII, who is said to have spent much of his boyhood at Byfleet. As King, Henry granted the manor to Katherine of Aragon in 1533, whom he had divorced that year, and his daughter Queen Elizabeth I visited in 1576. Later, Queen Anne of Denmark, wife of James I, rebuilt the grand style, though this building was later destroyed during the reformation.
The Manor house as it stands today was built around 1686, but incorporates details of the earlier house, such as the 10ft high walls forming the courtyard, the two 18th century gate piers, the staircase, and some fireplaces.
Fast forwarding a few hundred years (and very briefly!), Locke King of Brooklands fame owned the Manor for a time, the two asymmetric wings were added by Mrs Rutson around 1905. The house was requisitioned during the second world war and housed British and Canadian Officers training them here before they left for France. Later the house fell into disrepair.