Scrooby Manor House is named in Top 10 Travel & Tourism places

Scrooby Manor House is named in Top 10 Travel & Tourism places announced in ‘A History of England in 100 Places’ campaign

A campaign led by Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) entitled Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places and sponsored by Ecclesiastical, led to Scrooby Manor House being nominated by members of the public.

Historian and Author Bettany Hughes judged the Travel & Tourism category in Historic England’s campaign and the final ten places chosen from a long list of public nominations include the home of a William Brewster, a Roman road and a pier hailed by John Betjeman as the most beautiful in England.  The nomination for Scrooby Manor House is as follows:

  • Site of the medieval Scrooby Manor House, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire: This was the home to William Brewster, one of the Pilgrims who journeyed on the Mayflower to New England in 1620. Brewster was among a group who, in 1606, broke away from the established church after becoming dissatisfied with the corruption in the Church of England. Called Separatists, they wanted to live a simpler life based on the Bible teachings. Brewster opened up his home, Scrooby Manor House, as a meeting place for the new congregation. The separatists were severely censured and a small group of them, led by Brewster, left for the New World in 1620. The influence of the small, idealistic colony they set up when they landed in Provincetown can still be seen in the beliefs of America today and has had a lasting impact on the world.

The earliest reference to the medieval Manor House or Palace of the Archbishops of York occurs in 1207 when King John ordered French wine to be sent to Scrooby for the use of his half-brother, who was the Archbishop at that time.  Throughout the Middle Ages references are found to successive Archbishops visiting Scrooby and signing ecclesiastical documents there. In 1530, Cardinal Wolsey spent the month of September at the Manor House when he fell out of favour with King Henry VIII. Henry himself stayed there in 1541.

It was from 1590 when William Brewster senior, Receiver and Bailiff of the Archbishop’s estate and Master of the Queen’s Postes died, and William junior inherited the position, that Scrooby Manor House played a role in the Separatist movement.  William Brewster and William Bradford from nearby Austerfield had been attending the Church at Babworth to listen to Richard Clifton preach but his unorthodox views led to him being deprived of his living in 1605.  It is believed that Brewster began holding meetings of the Scrooby Separatist congregation at the Manor House and it was here that the Pilgrims planned their escape, firstly to Holland in 1608 and then in 1620, making that seminal journey aboard the Mayflower to America.

Today Scrooby Manor House is privately owned and in in the process of being painstakingly restored by David and Julie Dunstan.  Julie said “We are delighted that our home has been recognised for its historic importance not only in England but also in America.  One of the remaining original walls of the former palace bears plaques donated by Mayflower descendants dating back over a hundred years and no doubt in 2020, which is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to America, there will be an additional plaque to commemorate this historic voyage.”

Although Scrooby Manor House is not accessible to the public, occasional tours of the grounds and exterior of the house can be organised through accredited Mayflower 400 tour guides (for more information on guided tours explore Scrooby & Babworth).

Councillor Jo White, Deputy Leader at Bassetlaw District Council said ‘We are absolutely delighted that Scrooby Manor House has been recognised in Historic England’s Irreplacable campaign which identifies sites that are widely agreed to have witnessed historic events.  Scrooby Manor certainly meets this criteria with its links to the Separatists who hailed from North Nottinghamshire and are attributed, through the signing of the original Mayflower Compact, to have been the founding fathers of modern American democracy.”

The other nine sites that feature in the top 10 places are as follows:

A railway bridge in Darlington that witnessed the dawn of the railway age, a Roman road stretching hundreds of miles, and the Victorian forerunner to Butlins holiday camp are among the 10 places chosen today by historian and author Bettany Hughes for Historic England’s campaign Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, sponsored by Ecclesiastical.

Bettany Hughes, who has judged the Travel & Tourism category, is one of a panel of expert judges, including Mary Beard, George Clarke and David Olusoga, who will choose 10 places in 10 different categories from a long list of public nominations.

The campaign aims to find the 100 places which bring England’s extraordinary history to life and best demonstrate our collective identity.

All 10 places picked by Bettany will be explored in new episodes of the recently launched podcast series, hosted by Emma Barnett.

The 10 places in the Travel & Tourism category of A History of England in 100 Places are:

  • Skerne Bridge, Darlington: Spanning the River Skerne in the centre of Darlington, this bridge still carries daily railway traffic, making it the oldest railway bridge in the world in continuous use. In 1825 when the Stockton & Darlington Railway opened, Locomotion No.1, built by George Stephenson, passed over the bridge and began the railway age which was to change Britain and the world. For a time the bridge was on the back of the £5 note. The railways changed England forever, connecting distant towns and counties to each other and bringing the population closer together.
  • Fosse Way, stretching from Lincoln to Exeter: After the Roman invasion of Britain around 43AD, the Romans quickly built a road network of paved and gravel roads in a land where unpaved tracks were previously the norm. The network was around 15,000km in length, linking key military and administrative locations. Fosse Way was one of the most important Roman roads in the country and one of the longest, running from Exeter to Lincoln. The A46 follows the old road almost exactly from Leicester to Lincoln and some of the route survives as road or path south of Leicester and through the Cotswolds.
  • Clevedon Pier, Clevedon, Somerset: Opened in 1869, Clevedon Pier was built to receive paddle steamer passengers from Devon and Wales. A spectacular vestige of a Victorian seaside resort, it was constructed using Barlow rail tracks and is approaching its 150th anniversary. It is the only accessible Grade I listed pier in the country and was described by the poet John Betjemen as “the most beautiful pier in England”.
  • Dreamland, Margate: One of Britain’s oldest surviving amusement parks and home of the UK’s oldest operating roller coaster, the Grade II* listed Scenic Railway. The site of Dreamland (as it was re-named in 1920) dates back to the British railway boom and the early 1870s when, in its original form, the ‘Hall by the Sea’ was operated by a circus tycoon, the self-proclaimed “Lord” George Sanger.
  • Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn, Nottingham: This claims to be the oldest inn in England, with its establishment stated as 1189. The word trip formerly meant stopping point on a journey, suggesting the inn was originally used by travellers, pilgrims and crusaders on the epic journey to Jerusalem. The inn is built beside and into the sandstone rock upon which Nottingham Castle stands. Among the curiosities inside the inn are a wooden chair which is said to increase the sitting woman’s chances of becoming pregnant and a model galleon in a glass case, which is cursed so that anyone who has dusted it has met a mysterious death.
  • The Grand Hotel, Scarborough, Yorkshire: When completed in 1867, The Grand Hotel was one of the largest hotels in the world, as well as one of the first giant purpose-built hotels in Europe, and now at over 150 years old it still welcomes visitors. The building is designed around the theme of time: four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for the months of the year, 52 chimneys symbolise the weeks, and originally there were 365 bedrooms, one for each day of the year. The hotel itself is in the shape of a ‘V’ in honour of Queen Victoria.
  • Caister Camp, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk: Although Butlins, Pontins and Warners became popular, well known holiday camps in the mid twentieth century, they were certainly not the first of their kind. Caister Camp, close to the old Roman fort in the town near Norfolk, was one of the earliest holiday camps to use hut or chalet based accommodation that holiday camps became famous for. Caister’s camp was established on the Norfolk coast by John Fletcher Dodd in 1906, 30 years before Billy Butlin founded his inaugural camp in Skegness in 1936. Dodd was a tee-totalling grocer who fell in love with the area when he visited. He bought a small house there, put up some tents and the park was born. Dodd was a socialist and founding member of the Independent Labour Party and so initially this was a socialist holiday camp. Influential characters from the Labour party would come there, including George Bernard Shaw, and all guests were expected to help out with the chores.
  • Helvellyn, The Lake District, Cumbria: Although only the third highest peak in England, to many Helvellyn is the most enigmatic and evocative of the Lake District fells. With a commanding position between Ullswater to the east and Thirlmere to the west, Helvellyn has attracted hikers since it became a popular pastime in the area in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The Lake District, as well as being a place where people live and work, is also one of the most beautiful areas in England and has long been a destination for travellers and tourists alike. Celebrated author of guidebooks on the Lakeland fells Alfred Wainwright said of Helvellyn: “If it did not inspire affection would its devotees return to it so often?”
  • Pump rooms and Roman baths, Bath: The geothermal springs were the reason Bath developed as a city and this site has been a destination for tourists and travellers for thousands of years. The first shrine here was built by the Celts and the Romans worshipped the deity Sulis Minerva here. The great Roman buildings fell into disrepair and were built over after the Roman withdrawal, only to be rediscovered in the late 19th Bath was rejuvenated as a spa town in Georgian England and the Pump Rooms, were built around the springs. Fashionable society visited the city to bathe in the reputably healing hot springs and drink the supposedly curative spa water. Notable visitors to Bath and its spa include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Gainsborough, William Pitt the Younger and Lord Nelson.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “The desire to travel is in our bones, so charting how and where people have travelled around England through these 10 places is fascinating. From a natural spring around which a major city grew, to a Lake District fell which has inspired some of our greatest writers, England is full of places which have drawn travellers and tourists for thousands of years and will continue to play a central role in our national life.”

Faith Parish, who heads up Ecclesiastical’s heritage business, said: “From ancient landscapes to havens of fun and amusement, these 10 places paint a diverse picture of how travel and tourism have helped shaped England. Bettany Hughes has selected some truly extraordinary places that reflect our nation’s passion for discovery and adventure and continue to inspire and excite people today, just as they did our ancestors. As a specialist insurer, we play our part in protecting some of the most important visitor attractions in the UK, from world heritage sites to castles, museums, art galleries and stately homes. We’re proud to protect the irreplaceable.”

Images can be found here:

The campaign continues

Historic sites across the country have shaped England and bring our history to life. Historic England and Ecclesiastical still need the public’s help to create a list of the 100 buildings and places which best tell the country’s story and how it has shaped the world.

The categories:

Science & Discovery, judged by Professor Robert Winston: discover his chosen 10

Homes & Gardens, judged by George Clarke

Sport & Leisure, judged by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Music & Literature, judged by Monica Ali

Faith & Belief, judged by Revd. Davis Ison

Industry, Trade & Commerce, judged by Tristram Hunt

Loss & Destruction, judged by Mary Beard

Art, Architecture & Sculpture, judged by Will Gompertz

Power, Protest & Progress, judged by David Olusoga

Listen to the podcast:

Join the conversation: #100Places

About Historic England

Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) is the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places, looking after the historic environment, providing expert advice, helping people protect and care for it and helping the public to understand and enjoy it.

About Ecclesiastical, sponsors of the project

Owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust, Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of the faith, heritage, fine art, charities, education and private client sectors. Ecclesiastical is one of the UK’s top five corporate givers to charity according to the 2016-2017 UK Guide to Company Giving. It has donated more than £67million to good causes in the last four years. Find out more at

Through Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, Historic England aims to encourage debate about which places best tell the country’s national story. Historic England recognise that there may be different theories about where certain historical events happened and we welcome discussion which will encourage better understanding of England’s history. The places identified as the sites of important events during this campaign may not be definitive – they have chosen the spots that are widely agreed to have witnessed historic events. History is often disputed and part of their job is to raise a debate and help people to engage with their history and the places where it’s marked.