Fictional account of Gilbert de Badeshell

 

Gilbert de Badeshell’s wife was a proud woman. When they had first married she had been concerned that her father had not made a good match and that her new husband was beneath her but she had reckoned without his astute business sense. Over the years he had built up the estate and now farmed many acres, with over forty villeins doing labour service for him. A few years ago he had extended the hall house by building a wing onto one end. This served as a parlour for the private use of the family, enabling them to use the old parlour as a buttery. He had also had the roof re-thatched and the infills between the big timber frames redone with fresh wattle and daub. The kitchen, a separate building lying a short way from the main house, had been totally rebuilt.

 

All in all, the manor was a fine building that was a credit to the de Badeshells but the crowning feature was the new moat. The villeins had been working on it for six months and had just flooded it by opening up the leat from Tudeley Brook. As soon as the mess from the spoil had been cleared up Badeshell would be a sight to be proud of, easily the finest manor this side of Tonbridge Castle. In the meantime she had to cope with the constant stream of mud being traipsed into the hall. ‘Gilbert, look at the mess your workmen have made!’