printer icon


Barton Manor

Burton 1274; Burtone 1289; Berton 1392; Burton/Barton 1438. Originally the fortified farmstead from OE burc-tun.

Barton Manor is a Jacobean manor house but incorporates medieval lancet windows from former Augustinian priory.

Barton is the most northerly of all the Island manor houses, and has had a very different history to the others. Originally the name was 'Burton' or 'Berton', meaning a farm attached to the manor of Whippingham, and as such it is mentioned well before the Norman Conquest. It was included in the Domesday Survey in 1086, when it was in the possession of the Fitz Stur family, supporters and beneficiaries of William of Normandy, with whom they arrived in England. Nearly two hundred years later John de Insula, a member of an important family who owned extensive lands in the Island, particularly at Wootton, purchased the manor of Barton. The name de Insula became, in course of time, de l'Isle, and untimely Lisle, a name which is still found in the Island today. In 1275 John de Insula was Rector of Shalfleet, and together with Thomas de Winton, Rector of Godshill, he founded at Barton an Oratory under the Augustinian Rule, and dedicated it to the Holy Trinity. The Oratory was well endowed by its founders with lands in Whippingham and other parts of the Island, two mills in Newport, and a long building, possibly a warehouse, on the shore at Southampton. The original Grant, and Rules of Conduct for the Oratory have survived and make interesting reading, the Rules including the following: There shall be six Chaplains and one Clerk to officiate, both for the living and the dead. One of these shall be presented to the Bishop of Winchester to be Arch-Priest to whom the rest shall take an Oath of Obedience. They shall only have one Mess, with Pittance, at a meal, excepting on the greater Festivals, when they may have three Messes. They shall be diligent in reading and praying. They shall not go beyond the Bounds of the Oratory, without Licence from the Arch-Priest. Their habit shall be one colour, either Black or Blue. The Arch-Priest shall sit at the Head of the Table, next to him those who have celebrated 'magnum missam'; then the Priest of St Mary; next the Priest of the Holy Trinity; and then the Priest who says Mass for the dead. The Clerk shall read something edifying to them while they dine. They shall sleep in one room. They shall in all Ceremonies and the tinkling of the Bell, follow the use of Sarum.

It is interesting to note that Barton was purely a local foundation, under the religious jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester and owing no allegiance to any monastery, or to the Pope, as was usual with most small chapels of its kind.

This small religious house, founded for an archpriest with six chaplains, Barton Oratory, near Whippingham,10 was experiencing difficult days under its superior, William Love. In 1386 he was declared to be absent, a prisoner in foreign parts, and so Barton was granted in commendam to one of its chaplains, Gilbert Norreys.11 The following year the abbot of Quarr with others was commissioned by the bishop to restore William Love, for Gilbert Norreys was accused of mis-appropriation, not to speak of other enormities. The election of Norreys was declared by the abbot to have been invalid but, early in 1390; the bishop of Achonry with the abbot of Quarr was given the charge of Barton. Things may have gone on quietly for some years, but in 1403 the abbot and rector of Niton were again appointed to investigate William Love. By 1440 however the oratory at Barton was dissolved and its possessions passed to the College of St Mary in Winchester.12

Barton Manor however reverted back to being a farm after 163 years, and so remained for the next 400 years until 1845. The building itself saw several changes, being practically rebuilt in 1605, and in 1795 Albin, in his History of the Isle of Wight, confirmed that it was still owned by the Warden and Fellows of Winchester College.

In 1845 Queen Victoria bought the neighbouring estate of Osborne, and she and Prince Albert set about building themselves a country house to which they could escape from the limelight of London or Windsor. At the same time she purchased Barton to act as an annex to Osborne. Albert who was much taken with Italian architecture, had already produced designs for the new house at Osborne, and his talents and enthusiasm were now let loose on Barton. Barton was purchased purely as an overflow to that of Osborne, somewhere to put up equerries and other high officials, also visiting royalty, particularly those with children whom the Queen could not stand. In addition, Barton was to provide extra kitchens, so that food could be cooked there and sent to Osborne in insulated vans when the demands on their kitchens became too great. The interior of the house was completely gutted by the Prince Consort and rebuilt. All the old fireplaces and panelling went and were replaced by Victoriana, and the character of the house was changed. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert once enjoyed the tranquillity of these beautiful parklands.

King Edward VII, who had unhappy memories of Osborne as a child, presented the estate to the nation, but retained Barton as a pied-a-terre in the Island. He extended the gardens originally planned by his father, built the terraces and walled garden and used the house for entertaining his friends.

In August 1909 the Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family paid a visit to this country and stayed at Barton, reviewing the fleet at Spithead and watching racing at Cowes.

King Edward VII sold Barton Estate sometime after 1922 when it was taken into private ownership. Also during this period and up to 1953 parts of the estate were broken up, thereby reducing the total acreage.

Parts the estate were broken up into smaller package to make easier to sell, and the estate equipment was sold off. We believe one of the new owners of this slimed down estate was Miss Annie Holt who later moved to Westwood House, Wootton. It is reported that in 1987, work started on restoring the house and farm buildings to their original splendour. We believe this work may have been carried by the new owners Anthony and Alix Goddard who gave the estate a new lease of life. Unfortunately in 1991 the restoration work was brought to an untimely end with the Lloyds insurance banking collapse, and the family were forced to sell.

It may be this was when the impresario Robert Stigwood bought Barton manor and undertook a lengthy programme of refurbishment, not only of the manor house, but of the estate, its buildings and the grounds.

The manor is approached by its own private drive, and stands beside the grounds of Osborne House. The manor is spacious but not over-large, with four main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a pool room and sauna, plus seven bedrooms, six bathrooms and a sitting room on the top two floors.

The magnificent farm buildings have been converted to a variety of uses, including a gym, a billiards room, a staff flat, various function rooms, a tennis pavilion and a two-storey barn. Estate houses include a lodge cottage and the refurbished, four-bedroom Barton Manor Farmhouse, currently used for holiday lets. But perhaps the most special of all the estate's amenities are its three-quarters of a mile of beach, with 18 acres of foreshore leased from the Crown and views of the Solent.

The celebrated gardens-which include two lakes, a secret garden, woodland walks and Fort Barton Maze, a mixture of hedge and roses with a central folly-come into their own in spring and summer; latterly, they have been open to the public for four days a year, in aid of charity.

In 2005 the manor was sold by Robert Stigwood to Panaghis N.F. Lykiardopulo and his wife, who were part of the Lykiardopulo family of Greek shipping owners. In 2009 Mrs Lykiardopulo became the sole owner of the estate and in March 2012 placed the estate on the market with an asking price of in the region of £6 million pounds. The estate was sold in June 2012 for a reported figure of £5.95 million pounds to Mr Haig-Thomas.

Of the newer owners we have records of, is that of Anthony and Alix Goddard, who had given Barton Manor a new lease of life. They having great taste and a natural sympathy for the old and beautiful under their care, the interior of the house is now modern, well furnished and cared for. The gardens and grounds being a delight in spring when thousands of daffodils make their appearance, The Queen’s skating lake is now an attractive water garden, well stocked with fish. They also planted out a 6-acre vineyard, which is producing excellent wines, and of these many are on sale to the general public to the thousands of summer visitors.

In 1991 The Goddard’s had to sell their lovely Barton Manor due to the collapse of Lloyds (the insurance market) and moved to a more modest Barnsley Farm on the outskirts of Ryde.

The next owner was Mr. Showbiz, Robert Stigwood, who produced such musicals as Grease. He is also credited with having discovered the Bee Gees and giving the nation people like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, producing Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever and Evita. The 500-acre estate was put on the market in June 2004 for £9 million.

In the main house there are seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, an oak-panelled reception hall and lounge, 35ft drawing room, library and dining room, all with Portland stone fireplaces. Adjoining the house is an indoor swimming pool with a whirlpool bath and steam shower room.

The gardens, which lead down to a private beach, are open to the public four days a year, and within the 159-acre grounds are two lakes, a water garden (in the area once used by Queen Victoria for ice skating), a secret garden, woodland walks and a maze. Your £9m also buys you Barton Manor farmhouse, a stone-built five-bedroom house, a huge two-storey barn, a gym, tennis pavilion leading to a walled tennis court, a billiard room, tea rooms, function rooms, offices and a two-bedroom estate cottage. Beauchamp Estates and Gascoigne Billinghurst are the agents.

The house and gardens are private but open four days during June/October in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. There is a fine vineyard here proving that English wine can be excellent! The gardens feature a lake, secluded water garden, a national plant collection & hedge maze. Both the wines & gardens have won awards

10. S F Hockey, “The cost of founding Barton Oratory”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, xiii, i, 55 (1962)
11. V. indices under Barton in Register of William Wykeham, I and ii
12.S F Hockey. Quarr Abbey and its lands 1132-1631, Leicester University Press, 1970

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:21

This Site is Sponsored by:


Help To Support Us

Wootton Bridge Historical is run as a not for profit organisation, if you have found this site useful please help to keep it running by donating a small amount.

Donate »

Another Way To Support Us

If you are looking for fast reliable web hosting you can do no better than Vidahost. We receive a small commission for each sale which helps us to keep Wootton Bridge Historical running.

Sign up »

Wootton Bridge Walks

Wootton Walk leaflet

If you are visiting the Isle of Wight you may be interested in our Wootton Walks leaflets which include a large scale route map.

These leaflets enable you, in a series of five walks, to explore some of our village’s history and beautiful surroundings. Enjoy your walk.

Continue Reading »