Brightwell

Britwell Manor, afterwards called Britwell or Brightwell Court, is first mentioned in 1338 in the possession of Edmund de Bereford.  The Britwell family ended in a female heir who carried the estate in marriage to the Attegate family of whom Thomas (Atte)gate is mentioned in connection with Britwell in 1484.

His daughter and heir Alice Gate married Robert Woodford of Ashby Folville.  In 1523 they settled Britwell and 200 acres of land on themselves for life with reversion to their son Thomas Woodford and Elizabeth his wife.

The modern Brightwell Court
The modern Brightwell Court

Thomas was succeeded in 1545 by his son and heir James.  He died some time after 1588, in which year Britwell was settled on his wife Katherine for life with reversion to their son Robert, who with his mother Katherine was defendant in an action brought in 1596 by Helen Wentworth about common rights.

Katherine Woodford died two years later and the lands and manor-house, then called Britwell Place, reverted to Robert, who died in 1599, leaving a young son John and a widow Ursula, afterwards wife of Hugh Holland, with whom she lived in the mansion-house.  

By his will Robert had given his friends power to sell his lands in Britwell, and they were apparently conveyed by John Woodford and others to Anne, widow of Sir John Hart.