The first record of the Rothamsted estate was made in 1212 when it was owned by Henry Gubion. By 1292 the estate had passed to William Nowell who sold it to Ralph de Creci in 1355. The Bardolph family acquired it by the marriage of Edmund Bardolph to Elizabeth Cressy 1519, the heir of Edmund Cressy.
In 1623 the house was bought from the Bardolph family by Anne Wittewronge, the widow of Jacob Wittewronge, on behalf of her son John who was then 4 years old. John became Lord of The Manor of Rothamsted in 1639 and the estate continued to be passed through the family until John Bennet Lawes, the founder of Rothamsted Experimental Station, now Rothamsted Research, was born in the house on 28th December 1814.
Rothamsted Manor and Gardens were bought from the Lawes-Wittewronge family in the 1930s after public subscription raised the required £35,000 in seven weeks. The house was at first let, but during WWII it was requisitioned for the use of the military and became a listening post, recording and feeding messages to Bletchley Park for decoding. After the war it was converted into accommodation for staff and visitors to Rothamsted and is now being transitioned into an exclusive venue in Harpenden.
Find out more about the history of The Manor House in our brochure.