Ruislip has a rich historic heritage including the Manor Farm site, a 12th Century church, a number of houses from the 16th Century onwards and a substantial conservation area preserving early 20th Century suburban housing.
Manor Farm has a rich historical past stretching over a period of 1000 years. The site covers 22 acres and includes the Manor Farm House, Great Barn, Little Barn, Cart Sheds, Duck Pond, Motte and Bailey, Cow Byre and Pram Shed. It is situated at the North end of Ruislip High Road. There is pedestrian access and a car park in St Martin’s Approach.
Conservation began on the site in 2007. It was funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Hillingdon Council. Work finished in 2008.
Manor Farm House
The Manor House is Grade 2 listed and was built between 1506 and 1511 over a number of building seasons, from Easter to Michaelmas, although the preparation of building materials occurred outside this period. At one point carpenter Henry Cogge and his mate were paid a generous daily rate of 8d and 4d. The house was built in the latest style of the period with a decorative frontage designed to showcase the wealth of the owner. When the house was built it had oriel windows on the facade and inside moulded ceiling beams reinforce that this is a high status property.
As a manorial court, the farmhouse was used to administer the estate and the house had a courtroom where two types of court were held:
Court Leet – cases involving land disputes, assaults and minor offences;
Court Baron – administrative matters, deeds, wills etc. Court cases were held twice a year.
From 1529 to 1932 Kings College Cambridge leased the Manor House and surrounding lands to a succession of people who were either local men, fellows of the College or members of the nobility. In1932 Kings College gave the Manor Farm site as a gift to the people of Ruislip.
During the conservation works wallpaper from circa1700 was revealed. It is believed to be the oldest surviving in situ wallpaper anywhere in the country. The refurbished Manor House contains an interactive display illustrating the history of the site. It features a range of artefacts and finds uncovered during the site refurbishment.
Admission is free.
2012 Opening hours:
Winter: 1st October to the end of June
Monday to Friday 12pm – 3pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 4pm except on Market Days (1st and 3rd Sunday of the month) 11am - 4pm
Closed on Bank Holidays
Summer: 1st July to the end of September
Monday to Friday 10am - 3pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am - 4pm
Closed on Bank Holidays
The Great Barn
The Great Barn, Grade 2* listed, was built between 1280 and 1300 from trees felled in Ruislip Woods. It is thought to be the oldest timber framed building of its type in Greater London and is the largest building on the site at 36.5m long and over 9m wide. The barn would have been used to store and process crops and other produce of the Manor of Ruislip. The size of the barn meant that a lot of the produce could be stored. Between the 2 large double doors there is believed to have been a threshing floor. Grain would have been stored in a granary and straw inside the barn or outside in haystacks located behind the little barn on what is now the bowling green.
The Great Barn can be booked for functions.
The Little Barn
This barn dates from the 16thCentury. It was used as a barn until the 1930s. In 1937 it was converted to a library. Many of the original timbers can still be seen including the fine queen post roof. The windows have heraldic shields – one of which is of Kings College Cambridge. A copy of the Doomsday Book is on view in the library.
2012 Opening times:
Monday to Thursday 9am to 8pm
Friday 9am to 5.30pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
Tots and Tales Story Time - Monday 10.30am & Wednesday 10.30am for babies
Creative Writing Group- Monday 7.30pm
Scrabble -Thursday 2pm to 4pm
Kids Games – ages 6 to 11 - Friday 3.30pm to 5pm
The Cart Sheds
These would have been used for storage of the horse drawn carts on the site. These have been renovated and are now craft workshops:
Studio 1 – Arts and Crafts
Studio 2 – Pottery. Open Monday to Thursday 10.30am to 4pm and market days
Studio 3 – Shaker Maker. Fine furniture maker. Open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm. Weekends by appointment
Studio 4 – Mad Cat Crafts. Hand decorated gifts for home and garden. Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm
Studio 5 – Sumi London. Designs and makes leather handbags and accessories. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm and for special events on site.
This was originally a horse pond. The horses from the farm would be washed down here.
Motte and Bailey
This is a site of national importance and a scheduled ancient monument.
This dates back to the 19th century and forms part of the farm courtyard rebuilt in 1980 following a fire. Today it houses a tea room and art gallery.
Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm and Market Sundays 10am to 3pm
The Pram Shed
Other Events on Site
Traditional Craft Courses at The Stables
Courses run from 1pm -2.30pm in blocks of three consecutive Mondays.
The cost of a three week course, including materials is £15
Manor Farm Site There are a range of educational activities and guided tours available to schools and the general public. Volunteers are required to welcome visitors to Manor Farm House and The Great Barn. There are various opportunities to get involved in activities and events on the site, Open House in September & the Education Programme throughout the year.
Manor Farm Women’s Institute 2nd Tuesday of the month at 1.45pm to 4pm in the Manor Farm Hall.
Duck Pond Markets
1st Sunday of the month – Farmers Market 10am to 3pm in the Great Barn
3rd Sunday of Month – Community Market 10am to 3pm in the Great Barn
Ruislip Country Market Every Friday 10am To 11.30am. Produce And Crafts in the Manor Farm Hall in the car park.
Manor Farm, Ruislip, London Borough of Hillingdon Historic Buildings Report by Geraint Franklin & Linda Hall. Published by English Heritage. ISSN 1749-8775
Manor Farm. A unique site of historical and cultural heritage in Hillingdon. Published by London Borough of Hillingdon
Photographs of the farm implements are the copyright of Donald Edwards & Ruislip Residents Association. Other photographs of the site are the copyright of David George.