Bayons Manor

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'Bayons Manor' took its name from the 'Bayeaux Estate' at Tealby, which was once owned by The Bishop of Bayeaux, brother of William the Conqueror. [NB. There is no known Drakes family link to the Tennyson d'Eyncourt line, but their estate was later purchased by a 'Drakes' - see below and Tealby]

Bayons Manor, Tealby, Lincolnshire from 'Eustace' 1851
This engraving was made especially for this book and it depicts Charles Tennyson's deceased son, Eustace, reclining in the foreground. (It was also published in A Visitation of The Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain by John Bernard Burke, esq., 1852)

An early print of Bayons Manor, Tealby, Lincolnshire, with the moat filled with water, from A Visitation of The Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain by John Bernard Burke, esq., 1852

George Tennyson was born 7.2.1750 at Hedon, Holderness, East Yorks. In 1783, he purchased half of the Manor of Beacons at Tealby from Wharton Amcotts for £1,000; in 1787, he bought the rest of it from the Rev. Browlow Potter for £1,100. He re-named it 'Bayons Manor', which was allegedly a corruption of the Norman name 'Bayeux'. It was then a small 17th-century manor house, situated just below the high ground where the foundations of an earlier manorial stronghold formerly stood. The manor had once belonged to Francis, Lord Lovel and d'Eyncourt, an ancestor of Dorothy Hildyard, who second married George's uncle Ralph Tennyson. George Tennyson also claimed descent from the ancient family of d'Eyncourt through his mother's Clayton ancestors, who were closely associated with the Hildyard family, though this link is more tenuous. George talked of re-building the old castle, but he never did. He eventually moved into the small manor house in 1801. He died in 1835, aged 85. In-keeping with his father's Will, Charles (born 1784) changed his name by King's licence to d'Eyncourt. He then fulfilled his father's dream and built a vast Gothic Mansion on the site, encapsulating the 17th-century manor house, which his father insisted should not be demolished. He also built a tower (folly) on the site of the earlier stronghold and a castle-like drawbridge over the moat. The new manor house was erected in parts, and designed as if built during different periods. This gave it the appearance of being extended over a period of centuries, like many of the larger stately homes were, rather than being new. Villagers estate cottages were demolished, and roads were diverted and sunk to create extensive parkland views. He installed herds of deer and horned sheep. A moat and wall, enclosing about six and a half acres, was erected around the new manor, and a lake with exotic birds was created in the park below. Furnishings, including statues and suits of armour, were purchased to give the whole a truly 'historic stately home' appearance. The drive was diverted to ensure that visitors drove around the outside of the entire house, to view it from all aspects, before finally arriving at the front door. If you are interested in reading more about this family and the creation of Bayons Manor, I recommend reading, The Tennysons - Background to genius, by Sir Charles Tennyson and Hope Dyson, published by Macmillan, 1974, ISBN: 33177029, which is frequently available under £2.00 (+p&p) via Amazon and Ebay. It gives considerable insight into the family and the creation of Bayons Manor.

There was a drawing of the original house at Bayons Manor in 1820, and some interesting photographs of Bayons Manor ruins on Rod Collins website: Bayons Manor. A copy of the original sketch was kindly sent to him by Amelia Mathieson; it is very interesting to see the earliest part of Bayons Manor before the 'big house' was built around it.

For a detailed description of the Bayons Manor house and estate, as they were in 1849, see the extract from the 1849 Post Office Directory on the previous page Tealby.

Bayons Manor, Lincolnshire, the seat of The Right Hon. Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt
from The Illustrated London News of 8th January 1859, page 28

This romantic and stately pile, which is the residence of the Right Hon. Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt, is situated nineteen miles north-east from Lincoln, and four miles from Market Rasen. The outer walls contain between five and six acres. It is a castellated manor-house, which, with its ivy-mantled walls, towers, and machicolations; with its frowning barbican, courts, ramparts, and ruined keep, presents a picturesque and magnificent example of a baronial residence in the middle ages. It is surrounded by an extensive park abounding with deer, diversified by every variety of hill, dale, wood and lake, and situated in a beautiful and commanding position on the Wolds. A rapid stream, with occasional waterfalls, rising in the D'Eyncourt property, and forming the source of the river Ancholme, rushes through the park. The entrance over the moat, by a draw-bridge, and through four successive gates of powerful architecture - two of them with portcullises - is exceedingly picturesque and impressive. The interior comprises apartments of great size and dignity. The spacious, lofty, and magnificent banqueting-hall is entered through a Gothic oak screen, above which is a minstrels gallery. This apartment has an open and massive timber roof, with pendants after the fashion of early times, and is adorned with suits of armour, ancient weapons of war and chase, banners, and portraits. The library has a monastic effect, and has also a ponderous open timber roof, resting on stone corbels, like that in the hall, and equally occupies the entire height of the building. It is well stored in every department of elegant literature, history, topography, and antiques, with some curious MSS, and fine statuary, including a bust of the Queen when a child, by Behnes. here also is the only existing model of the Bastille, formerly belonging to Louis XVIII. The withdrawing-room is a splendid saloon, cruciform, fifty-four feet in length and thirty-six feet in the transept, corresponding in mediaeval character with the hall. The building contains, moreover, a variety of other apartments and galleries decorated with pictures, statuary, armour, &c. The oriels and windows are beautifully enriched with painted glass, exhibiting coat-armour and heraldic devices connected with the family. In the gallery are original busts of Napoleon I. and Byron, the former by Chaudet, and the latter by Bartolini, for each of which the sculptors had the benefit of several sittings. The bust of Napoleon was given by him to his uncle, Cardinal Fesh, and that of Byron was executed at Pisa before he went to Greece, and is mentioned by him in his correspondence. There are several portraits of great historical interest, and some noble Etruscan vases, among the finest in the country. The walls of some of the chambers are decorated by ancient arms, and in the state-room, which has an open wooden roof, is an antique bed, the canopy and hangings of which are of rare and brilliant bugle tapestry, formerly in the ducal palace at Venice. Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton wrote his "Harold" in this apartment, and in his dedication to Mr. D'Eyncourt refers to its peculiarities and to the history of this mansion, which, indeed, abounds in interesting relics of former ages. In a tower connected with the second gateway is a deep-sounding clock-bell with musical chimes. This bell forms a monument to Captain Eustace D'Eyncourt, the youngest son of the present owner of the manor, who died at Barbados in 1842, and bears the following touching inscription: -

Me posuit
Filium flore ætatis abreptum,
Eustachium delectissimum
Revocat vox mea dulcis amoris horas:
Moneat quoque-quàm figaces!
Quantuta sit vita!

This manor became at the Conquest the property of the Conqueror's brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, whence it was denominated Bayeux Manor (since corrupted to "Bayons"), and was subsequently the baronial inheritance of the family of De Bayeux till the reign of Edward II., when it passed to that of Beaumont, and thence, by inheritance, into the hands of Francis, Lord Lovel and D'Eyncourt, who forfeited it, with his other vast possessions, temp. Henry VII., in consequence of his share in the battle of Stoke, 1487. This powerful nobleman escaped from that battle, and Lord Bacon states that he was said to have lived for years afterwards in a cave or vault. In fact, about one hundred and fifty years ago his skeleton, as it was supposed to be, was found in a concealed room at his residence in Oxfordshire, Mister Lovel. It was seated in a chair, in rich attire, with a cap, book, pens, &c., all much decayed. Bayons Manor came thus into the hands of the Crown, and was subsequently granted by Henry VIII. to Sir Henry Norris, who was afterwards sacrificed on the block by the King, in order to rid himself of his unhappy Queen, Anne Boleyn. It was, consequently, again forfeited, but afterwards, by grant and re-purchase, came back to, and continues the property of, the descendants of William, second son of Alice, Baroness D'Eyncourt, and male heir (unattainted by blood) of the Lord Lovel and D'Eyncourt, whose untoward fate we have related. This manor with its appendages well corresponds with the romantic annals which belong to this baronial family, of which Sir Bernard Burke has given an account in his engaging history of Bayons Manor and genealogical works. The View we present to our readers is taken from the north-west. The varied landscape from the Manor-House is beautiful: the village and church of Tealby are seen hanging on the side of a steep acclivity crowned with wood, which is gracefully scattered over the green slopes of the park. Southward, beyond a vast plain, covered for miles with ancient timber, appears in the distance Lincoln Cathedral; and the whole scene has a charm incapable of description. Amongst the salient objects seen from the manor is a noble stone building of Gothic architecture, recently erected by Mr. D'Eyncourt as a school for the surrounding district and an institute for the instruction generally of the rural classes, to be maintained at his expense. The manor owes its existing condition chiefly to the present owner. It contains several of the ancient apartments; but he has restored and added to it in a style which has rendered it one of the chief ornaments of the county of Lincoln.

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Original small watercolour owned by me

The writing below this original watercolour painting reads:
"From a drawing done here in 1858, when a vagrant Artist.        G. H. Shepherd

Bayons Manor - Lincolnshire
Scenes of my hope! the aching eye ye leave
Like yon bright hues that paint the clouds of eve;

Fearful and saddening with the saddened blaze,
Mine eye the gleem pursues with wistful gaze;

Sees shades on shades with deeper tint impend,
Till chill and damp a moonless night descend."

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Entrance to Bayons Park, Tealby, Lincolnshire

Waterfall on the river Rase in the Bayons Manor Estate

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The Drawbridge at Bayons Manor, which still stands, but is hidden in undergrowth & the outside wall and tower

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The driveway leading through the Drawbridge & the Clocktower at Bayons Manor

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Bayons Manor, sadly abandoned with a central stone mullioned window frame hanging out on the first floor.

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Visitors to Bayons Manor during the 1930s, before World War II, and an earlier view with less undergrowth.

In 1934, Bayons Manor was open for public visiting. "Bayons Manor, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. Owner: A. E. C. Tennyson d’Eyncourt, Esq. Open: Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., May to the end of September. Admission: 1s. per person. Three miles east of Market Rasen on the Louth road is a turning to Tealby, which brings one after a mile to the lodge gates. Bayons Manor is a not unsuccessful product of the romantic spirit of the early nineteenth century, and has the merit of a nice quality of stonework and restraint in decorative detail. There was originally a modest thatched Elizabethan manor house on this site, and this Mr. Charles Tennyson took as a nucleus for his new house which he started to build early in the nineteenth century. At the west end he added a large hall, a small replica of Westminster Hall, and to the south several Gothic reception rooms, of which the Large Drawing-room is an interesting example of the period. In the Small Drawing-room are several delightful family portraits, of which that of George Tennyson, grandfather of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, by Lawrence, and that of Charles Tennyson, later Tennyson d’Eyncourt, the builder of the present house, are particularly charming." It is interesting that this and Burghley are the only two in Lincolnshire houses, out of a total of 70, that are detailed in this book, which covers the whole of England; a further 10 houses are mentioned briefly at the back of the book, but none are in Lincolnshire. (Source: English Country Houses Open to the Public by Ralph Dutton & Angus Holden, published by George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1934, p.90)

Bayons Manor c1930

Bayons Manor, side view c1960

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The following photographs were taken by W. T. Jones in the early 1960s a few years before Bayons Manor was demolished.
One of the bays in the front elevantion collapsed as the building became more dangerous, so these photos must be before then.

Bayons Manor - front elevation by W. T. Jones

Bayons Manor - The Great Hall by W. T. Jones


Bayons Manor - inside The Great Hall from the Gallery by W. T. Jones

Bayons Manor - fireplace in The Great Hall by W. T. Jones

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Bayons Manor at Tealby, Lincs. was once owned by Charles Tennyson, later Tennyson d'Eyncourt, the uncle of Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Poet Laureate. In 1944, the estate was purchased by Reginald William Drakes (1894-1969) [see Tealby]. He was a local farmer, who bought it primarily for the farmland, as the house was already derelict and becoming dangerous. Sadly, due its dangerous condition, a subsequent owner had it demolished in 1964 by Thomas Walkley & Son Explosives Ltd. The yellow Lincolnshire stone, from which it was built, was used to make a road on the estate. Elton John's songwriter Bernie Taupin living in a nearby cottage in Tealby and this was the origin of the song "Yellow Brick Road" - it was nothing to do with the Wizard of Oz.

The sad end of the beautiful and very expensive creation of Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt.

The 1960s was a period when a great deal of England's history was sadly lost. It was only 19 years after the end of World War II and people were looking forward to a bright and more 'modern' future. Many large houses were sold off, the estates frequently being broken up into smaller plots of land. There just wasn't the money or interest to preserve our heritage. Though this was a 'Victorian folly' created around an earlier and much smaller home, it was an inestimable loss to the Nation, the village of Tealby and the Lincolnshire Wolds. It would have become a great tourist attraction, and would have been of considerable benefit to the local economy, had English Heritage or The National Trust taken it over. Apart from being a beautiful building and estate, it was an extremely rare example of a Victorian Stately home in the style of a moated castle.

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 The Deserted House by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

[This is very appropriate here, though it is too early to have been written about Bayons Manor]

Life and Thought have gone away
Side by side,
Leaving door and windows wide:
Careless tenants they!

All within is dark as night:
In the windows is no light;
And no murmer at the door,
So frequent on its hinge before.

Close the door, the shutters close,
Or thro' the windows we shall see
The nakedness and vacancy
Of the dark deserted house.

Come away: no more of mirth
Is here or merry-making sound.
The house was builded of the earth,
And shall fall again to ground.

Come away: for Life and Thought
Here no longer dwell;
But in a city glorious -
A great and distant city - have bought
A mansion incorruptible.
Would they could have stayed with us!

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The west front and other views of Bayons Manor, sadly since demolished.

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Interior views showing the Sitting Rooms & Dining Hall at Bayons Manor, Tealby, Lincolnshire



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The Southwold Hunt outside the west front of Bayons Manor, Tealby, Lincolnshire

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An original 'Bayons Manor' embossed letter-head

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A 'free-front' signed by Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt of Bayons Manor on 21st November 1836, and posted at Market Rasen to the Reverend W.H. Flowers at Hackthorne, Lincoln[shire]. In 1840, the Reverend Field Flowers was the vicar of Tealby

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The Clocktower at Bayons Manor, Tealby, Lincolnshire from 'Eustace' 1851

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'At Bayons Manor, a house which is quite the most picturesque of the stately homes of England in the County of Lincoln, the home of the ancient family of Tennyson d'Eyncourts, there is a Farewell Cup of considerable interest. The son and heir of the head of the family was about to journey to distant lands and, at a farewell dinner in the great hall at Bayons, the father presented to his son, Eustace d'Eyncourt, a hanap, shaped cup, the occasion being immortalised in a canto. Eustace; An Elegy, by Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt, first published by Wm. Davy & Son, London in 1850.'

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A 'Free Front' from London, dated 7th November 1832, addressed to Mr Eustace Tennyson, R. M. [Royal Military] College, Sandhurst. Eustace was the son of Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt of Bayons Manor, and he was attending Sandhurst College on the recommendation of Lord Hill in 1829. However, Eustace and other Cadets were later involved in an affray, which involved some of the inhabitants of Bagshot nearby; as a result he was subsequently expelled from the College. 'Free Fronts' bear the 'Free' stamp and the signature of a Member of the Houses of Parliament, who had a free-post concession at that time. He subsequently gained a Commission in the 46th Regiment of Foot, serving at Maghera, county Derry, Ireland in August 1835 & Barbados in 1842 - see below.

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The Farewell Supper held in The Hall at Bayons Manor prior to the son and heir, Eustace d'Eyncourt, leaving with his Regiment (46th Foot) for Barbados in 1842, copied from 'Eustace', second edition, 1851

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'The Farewell Cup' was created for the farewell dinner above, and it is this cup that is being held aloft in the engraving above. He took it to Barbados with him, and it was returned to Bayons Manor after his death and retained by the family in his memory.
(from 'Eustace' 1851)

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Eustace: An Elegy, published by Saunders and Otley, Conduit Street, London, second edition, 1851

Eustace - This Elegy is an expanded translation of the following lines inscribed on a deep-sounding Clock-Bell, cast in 1842, immediately after the death, at Barbadoes, - of Captain Eustace d'Eyncourt, aged 25, who fell a victim of Yellow Fever within a few days after he had arrived from England to join his Regiment.

The Clock and Bell are placed in one of the Towers of Bayons Manor, Lincolnshire, the residence of his family. -

Me Posuit
Carolus de Eyncourt,
Filium, Flore Ætatis Abreptum,
EUSTACHIUM Dilectissimum
Revocet Vox Mea Dulces Amoris Horas: -
Moneat Quoque-Quam Fugaces!
Quantula Sit Vita!

As in the Original, the Bell is supposed to speak, throughout the Poem.


On a Monument erected in the Chancel of the Parish Church of Tealby, in the County of Lincoln.


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Capt. Eustace D'Eyncourt and his friend Lieutenant Henry Mordaunt, 46th Regiment of Foot, died of yellow fever in Barbados on 9th March 1842 - copied from from 'Eustace' 1851.

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The D'Eyncourt Memorial Window in Lincoln Cathedral

A beautiful stained glass window has just been placed in the west end of Lincoln Cathedral by the Right Hon. C. T. D'Eyncourt, of Bayons Manor, in commemoration of Remigius, first Bishop of Lincoln, who founded the church in the eleventh century. Remigius died in May, 1092, on the eve of the day appointed for the consecration of his church. Remigius de Fescamp and his relative Walter D'Eyncourt accompanied William the Conqueror to England. Walter, having aided in the battle of Hastings, became a powerful Baron in Lincolnshire; and Remigius, being an ecclesiastic, was appointed to the bishopric of Lincoln, then for the first time constituted an episcopal see. He was a man full of energy and intelligence. Enriched by the King, with whom he had, through the D'Eyncourts, a family connection, and aided by Gilbert de Gant, the Queen's nephew, he erected the first cathedral. What remains of that work may be found in part of the west front, over which, and central in the nave, is a beautiful rose window of large dimensions, hitherto filled with plain glass, although it was doubtless a coloured window prior to the puritanical destruction of such adornments. For this a splendid substitute of coloured glass (represented by our engraving) has been presented by the Right Hon. C. T. D'Eyncourt, of Bayons Manor, and dedicated to the memory of the founder, Remigius. The centre is occupied by a figure of the bishop in his pontifical vestments, and the entire widow creditably competes with some of the beautiful ancient specimens existing in other parts of the church. Thus a memorial worthy of the distinguished founder, and continually reminding those who frequent the cathedral of their obligation to him, is justly provided by the munificence of Mr. D'Eyncourt. The consanguinity of Remigius and Walter D'Eyncourt, their connection with the Conqueror, and the fact that Remigius built the cathedral, are curiously corroborated by a leaden plate which, in 1760, was found in a tomb, supposed to have been that of the D'Eyncourt family, near the western entrance. This plate is preserved in the cathedral library, and bears a Latin inscription, which, translated, is as follows: - Here lyeth William, son of Walter D'Eyncourt, cousin of Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln, who built this church. The aforesaid William was of Royal descent; and, while receiving his education in the Court of King William, son of the Great King William who conquered England, died on the 3rd kalends of November. Accordingly, as some other gentlemen of the county of Lincoln have recently placed windows in the cathedral to the memory of their connections, Mr. D'Eyncourt very naturally, as the descendant of Baron Walter, has dedicated this conspicuous window to Remigius, the first bishop and founder. The result is a further evidence of the taste and judgment of Mr. Crace, of Wigmore-street, whose great and well-known experience so fully qualified him for this undertaking. The antiquarian correctness of the design, as well as the richness and harmony of colour, produce a most gratifying effect, in admirable keeping with the ancient and magnificent building, the origin of which is fitly recalled by this new illustration.

The 1858 D'Eyncourt Memorial Window dedicated to Bishop Remigius, situated high up
on the west face of Lincoln Cathedral, recorded it as a gift from Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt
of Bayons Manor, taken from The Illustrated London News of 8th January 1859, page 28.

The following is taken from the Lincolnshire Archaeological Society report of 1857. "The Right Hon. C. Tennyson D'Eyncourt has very generously filled the cinquefoil window in the western gable of the cathedral with a representation of Remigius, the first Norman Bishop of the diocese, executed by Mr. Grace. It is an agreeable addition to the appearance of that part of the fabric, and some of its features possess much beauty, such as the internal portions of the cusps; but the design, generally, excepting the figure of Remigius, is not bold enough for the situation it occupies and especially that of the border, which consists of far too many minute subdivisions of colour. Too great precautions also have been taken to guard against the effect of a strong western light; for, as yet, the sun has never been able properly to light up the hues of this window as it ought to do, in consequence of the artificial applications applied to its surface; these give a cloudy, dull appearance to the representation of Remigius, the inscription around it, and especially to the blue background."

                                                                        photo by Chris Drakes

The Remigius Window, Lincoln Cathedral in 2003

The present-day 'Bishop Remigius' stained-glass window in the western gable of Lincoln Cathedral is somewhat different to the earlier Victorian design.

In 1072, William I 'the Conqueror' gave orders that a Cathedral should be built at Lincoln. Remigius de Fécamp became the first Norman Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, which then stretched from the river Thames to the Humber estuary. Bishop Remigius sadly died two days before the Cathedral was consecrated on 9th May 1092. About fifty years later, most of that building was destroyed in a fire, then again by an earthquake in 1185. The next Bishop, Hugh d'Avalon later known as 'St. Hugh of Lincoln', began a massive rebuilding and expansion programme starting at the eastern end of the cathedral. About 1237/9, the main tower collapsed. Much of the Medieval stained glass was destroyed during Henry VIII's Reformation. In an attempt to restore the Catherdral to its former beauty, new stained glass windows were manufactured in the 1840’s and 1850’s, when Victorian churchmen tried to replace the lost medieval glass. By the 1990s, the enormous weight of the stained glass and lead was causing the windows to buckle. In 1998 work was carried out to repair the building’s 19th century stained glass windows, which were in danger of collapsing. The restoration work continues.

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