In his classic book, “Forgotten Thameside”, Glyn Morgan states that there were three manors in Little Thurrock – the manor of Little Thurrock itself, the manor of Torrells and the manor of Berewes or Barons “which stood near the road to Chadwell”. Morant’s “History of Essex” gives Barowe as a manor in Little Thurrock, but with appurtenances in Chadwell. It used to appear in the Manorial Documents Register as Barrowhall and Longhouse where it was listed as one of five Chadwell manors. The recent digitisation of the MDR seems to have culled Barrowhall from the register.
Domesday mentions only one manor in Little Thurrock, so presumably Barrowhall was created sometime after 1086. The earliest mention of this manor seems to be in 1466 when one Richard Blyot acquired “the manor of Barrow and one toft and 18 acres of marsh” in Little Thurrock and Chadwell from Nicholas Codorowe and his wife, Elizabeth. It is interesting to note a warranty against the Abbot of Westminster, although his connection is unclear. When Humphrey Tyrell died in 1507, his possessions included the “Manor of Berowe, worth £12., held of the earl of Routeland (Rutland), as of his castle of Rochester, by fealty and a rent of 12s. yearly.” Once again the connection with Rochester castle or the Earl of Rutland is unclear. The rent of 12s is listed as “castleguard” in “Villare Cantianum” by Thomas Phillpott in 1659. Castle-guard was an obligation to provide guards for royal castles or payment in lieu.
The manor appears in three other feet of fine in the 16th century, as well as various 17th century deeds in the Essex Record Office. In 1607, it came into the possession of Sir Alexander Temple along with a number of other local properties. In 1610, he was hauled over the coals for not providing a cart and workman for the highways of Little Thurrock which he should have done as the owner of Barrow Hall.
The manor passed to James Temple (Sir Alexander’s son) who sold it to James Ravenscroft. He commissioned a magnificent estate map. The map has a cartouche which names the owner as James Ravenscroft and described the estate being mapped as “the manor of Barowhall and of Longhouse”. The cartouche goes on to say that the survey was made on 26th April 1646. The survey work for this map was undertaken by Richard Colier. It gives an accurate measurement of the size of each field – a key consideration in setting rents. The survey results were then used by Sylvanus Morgan to paint the map. Morgan was a heraldic painter and author of several books on heraldry.
In 1700, James Ravenscroft’s son Thomas sold the Thurrock estate to Sir William Russell of Stubbers in North Ockendon and it remained in the Russell family until the 20th century. The manor largely disappeared from public view after being mention in Phillpott in 1659.