Shefford Manor

Shefford Manor has been the demesne of the patriarchs in the Shefford family for five generations, since the time of Magnus Maximus when the praetor of Verulamium (St. Albans) granted the land to Sir Gergog of Cirencester. Sir Gergog moved his extended family to the forest abode and settled a small village of peasants to till the soil. The current landlord is Squire Bleger, a lad just entering his majority and expecting to be knighted in the coming summer. The grounds and commoners are watched over by Squire Bleger's aging mother, Aelfwine.

The manor estate consists of a simple, wooden hall with attached kitchen and solar. The hall has outlying buildings for the servants, storage, livestock and stables.

Shefford itself is a small village of approximately 300 souls. It contains a church, water mill and bakery. The village is surrounded by farmland. Two outlying hamlets also serve the lords of Shefford, each with about 100 souls. The landlord is newly come of age and the commoners have yet to judge his worth or intent.



This tiny hamlet sits about half a mile southwest of the manor hall. It contains nothing but farming families and a handful of woodsmen. The peasants all travel to Shefford's chapel for religious services.


This hamlet is very similar to its sister Aileswaite. It is further from the manor house and separated by a swath of the Landoine forest. As such, it enjoys a bit more freedom from the prying eyes of the steward, Dame Aelfwine. The peasants are expected to still provide their fare share of labor and fees.


© David Rees 2010

Berkesdon Green

A small lake with a beautiful forest glade is about two miles into the forest past the manor hall. The lake is a lively fishing spot for the nobles of Shefford Manor and their guests. Commoners are not allowed to take fish from the lake, though they are free to fish in any streams or smaller ponds in the wood. Any poachers will be severely punished. A small boat with oars is kept on the shore for those who would venture out on the water to fish.

There is enough of a meadowland alongside the lake for a large feast. Weddings in the Shefford family are traditionally held at the lake shore and a sumptuous feast follows on the green.

Old Ivy Tower


Lost in the woods north of the hall is a dilapidated stone tower. The tower sits on a small rise and was originally a three story affair. The roof and upper flooring has since collapsed; but, a stone stair winds up the inner perimeter of the tower. The stairs and walls of the place are treacherous. Much of the tower is covered in thick ivy that is slowly tearing the stones and mortar apart.

Of Roman origin, the utility of the tower is lost to time. Across the lintel and on any open surface a fine ivy decorative theme is carved into the stone. The ivy carvings are remarkably similar to the ivy consuming the tower now, though it seems purely by coincidence.

From the upper steps of the tower can be seen the surrounding forest, the lake of Berkesdon Green, the tilled fields and buildings of the manor and village.

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