Big Dig 2019 - Finding the lost manor of Barton Stacey
17th August – 1st September 2019
A second season of excavations
A little over three years ago the Barton Stacey History Group started to research the origins of the village fair. Over the next three years they uncovered an unexpected wealth of information on two little-known knights, Rogo and Emery de Sacy, from whom the village gets its name.
Before the Conquest Barton Stacey was a royal manor. At the time of Domesday, Barton Stacey was in the top 10-20 manors in Hampshire. Then in 1199 King John gave the manor plus much of the St. Malo peninsula to Rogo for his service to King Richard.
The records show that Rogo crusaded with Richard; was instrumental in his release from imprisonment in Germany; and was most likely with him when he was shot at Chalon and eventually died.
When Rogo died in 1206/7 his son Emery inherited the manor and King John stayed here in July 1207. By the time of Emery’s death Barton Stacey had some of the earliest charters for a market and fair, and Emery had been showered with gifts by both Kings John and Henry. Luckily for historians his manor was split between his two daughters and the split is described in detail in subsequent inheritances.
For Winchester Archaeology and Local History
We know that as King John stayed in Barton Stacey in 1207 there had to be a building large enough for him and his court and from the inquisitions we can see a description of a substantial group of buildings located somewhere north of the church. However, in later inquisitions we see firstly a reference to a derelict manor.
Our oldest building, with the exception of the church, is Church Farm House built around 1492 and its west wall contains a substantial quantity of reused high quality medieval stone.
The research now focused on finding the location of the manor complex and we were lucky enough to have old maps dating back to 1754 that allowed us, along with the historical records, to home in on three locations which looked to be undisturbed back to the 1750s.
We have added aerial photographs and LIDAR to the mix and are grateful to Winchester University for undertaking some geophysics for us. The geophysics took place over a half term and we appealed to the village for help including asking children to come and sift the soil being thrown up by moles in the fields we were looking at!