Answers to Questions


Mangrove Hall, Lilley/Offley

June, 2007





C. J. D.Watts (Sbs16b @t of Honiton, Devon, writes of his ancestors: John Field of Mangrove House in the Parish of Lilley Hertfordshire, Freeholder, left a will dated 1568. George Field of Mangrove House, Freeholder, contributed 25 pounds to the defence of the country at the time of the Spanish Armada 1588. Does Mangrove House still exist?.

I have just returned from holiday - and with a backlog of queries I am afraid I only have time for a few quick hints as to where you might look.

The place name Mangrove is first recorded as Manegrave in 1240 (The Place-names of Hertfordshire). The immediate area where it was is now known as Mangrove Green, and it was a detached part of Lilley but is usually considered to be be part of the parish of Offley - and in the hamlet of Cockernhoe. While it is in Hertfordshire it is very close to the old county boundary and the modern borough of Luton.

It is marked on Dury and Andrew's map of 1766 as "Mangrove Green," "Part of Lilley," and the name "John Field Esq" is given - and some indication of a laid out park, suggested a notable house. Bryant's map of 1822 only lists "Moxgrave Farm." However "Mangrove Hall" is clearly shown (with buildings layout) in circa 1880 on old-maps close to the King William IV Public House (which is still there - Hertfordshire Inns & Public Houses). This may well be sufficient for you to find it on modern maps and the excellent air photographs now available online on google and elsewhere. If you are lucky there may even be a picture on Geograph.

The lack of references in Chauncy, Cussans and the Victoria History of Hertfordshire suggest that it was never a manor.

August, 2007

Richard Kelly (richardakelly @t writes: I notice on this page the questioner asks whether Mangrove Hall still stands. Given that the questioner's references to it date from the 16th century, if it does still stand it is almost certain to be a listed building.  The website 'Images of England' has photographs of many listed buildings and their descriptions.  In the case of Mangrove Hall, there is no photograph, but the 'listing' description.  This confirms that the current building is late C17 and therefore probably too recent to be that of the questioner's ancestors.  The description is written for architectural features and planning purposes rather than being a full history. The IoE number is 163126.

Not only does this provide some useful information on the age of the present house, but it alters me to a valuable new facility that could be useful in many queries. I have therefore created a web page Images of England, and where appropriate I will include a box  (as on the right) to help the reader to link to the relevant information.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Page created June 2007