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Bruce Castle, Tottenham

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Manor of Bruses; Brus Castle; Lordship House

In the civil parish of Tottenham.
In the historic county of London and Middlesex.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Haringey.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Middlesex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ33399067
Latitude 51.59886° Longitude -0.07440°

Bruce Castle, Tottenham has been described as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


House with a complex construction history. Elements of the building and the adjacent tower date back to circa 1514-6 when Sir William Compton took possession of the manor. These appear to be the fragmentary remains of a courtyard house. The current building is the product of several phases of building, the main phase being circa 1578, circa 1684, the early 18th century and the mid-late 19th century. The house became a school, run by Rowland Hill and family, in 1827 and was sold to the local authority (at the time Tottenham Urban District Council) in 1892 so that the grounds could be used as a public park and the house was used as a health centre and welfare offices. In 1927 the house became a local history museum with an additional collection on postal history. In 1969 the Regimental museum of the Midddlesex Regiment also became housed in the museum. Currently in the possession of Haringey Borough Council and consisting of a museum, offices and art gallery. (PastScape)

The portion allotted to Robert de Brus (who was competitor for the crown of Scotland with Baliol) was called the Manor of Bruses, by which name it is still distinguished. Richard de Brus, a younger son of Robert, who held this manor for life by grant from his father, died seised of it, anno 1287. His father survived him, and died in 1295. Robert Earl of Annandale, and in right of his wife Earl of Carrick (eldest son of Robert de Brus above-mentioned), after his return from the holy war retired to England, and it is probable made Tottenham his residence, whence the mansion-house belonging to this manor obtained, I suppose, the name of Brus, or Bruce Castle. He died in 1303, leaving Robert his son and heir, who, revolting from England in 1306, and claiming the crown of Scotland, King Edward II. seized all his lands in this kingdom. The manor of Bruses, in Tottenham, continued in the crown till 1335, when Edward III. granted a third part of it at first for life, and afterwards, it appears, in fee to Richard Spigurnell, in consideration of his good services to his father and grandfather, in Chancery. A few years afterwards (anno 1340) the King granted the reversion of all the lands in Tottenham, which had been Robert de Brus's (then held by Walter Shobbedon for term of life), to Sir Thomas Hethe, for his life; in consequence of which Hethe claimed the portion formerly granted to Richard Spigurnell; but upon Spigurnell's application to the crown, the grant to Hethe, so far as it related to the said third part, was revoked. Sir Thomas Hethe died in the year 1374, when the other two parts (still called the manor of Bruses) reverted to the crown, and were granted the same year for life to Edmund de Chesthunte, one of the King's falconers. In 1376, in consideration of his good services, this manor was granted to him in fee. He died seised of it, anno 1399. His son Robert de Chesthunte, alias Fauconer, who was at his father's death 26 years of age, sold it in 1400 to John Walden, Esq. and others. John Walden died seised of it in 1417 his wife Idonea in 1427, when by virtue of several former deeds and releases, the reversion of this manor, then indiscriminately called Bruses or Fauconer's, came to John Gedeney, alderman of London in the year 1429, in whom all the manors were united. (Lysons)

One of three manors in Tottingham and numerous others in easy reach of the royal court at Westminister held by nobles. The houses on these manors are likely to have had some martial decorative features, such as crenellations. This house particularly could be expected to so decorated. The name castle seems to be a latter attribution to the manor though. The brick Tudor building on the site, of which a round tower remains was crenellated. The site may have been moated.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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