Thame Local History
Place House - Thame's Manor House
In 1419 the will of William Baldington, then living in Albury, brought the first
mention of Baldington manor.
A substantial collection of property and land, principally in Old Thame, Baldington manor had a manor-house which appears in historical references as either the Baldington Manor House or Place House.
In 1473, Agnes Baldington, the surviving heir to the Baldington manor estates, sold her properties to Geoffrey Dormer. This sale covered the substantial lands and properties and Place House.
The Dormer family was a substantially wealthy family, and Place House became the Thame residence of Geoffrey Dormer, although in 1498 he is said to have leased it for life to a John Hall.
In the early sixteenth century the manorial lands of Thame, including the town of New Thame, were farmed out to the son of Geoffrey Dormer, also called Geoffrey.
The Dormers were now the manorial lords of Thame, and Place House is very likely to have been the administrative centre for manorial affairs in Thame.
Place House stood within its three acre grounds, which occupied the land now the site of Thame Cattle Market. To the south of it, at the corner of Wellington Street and North Street today, stood a farm, which in later years became known as Manor Farm.
When Sir John Williams died at Ludlow in 1559 his body was brought back to Rycote to lie in state, but the night before his funeral at St Mary's Church in Thame Sir John Williams' body lay in state at Place House.
Place House was clearly a major centre of power and symbol of authority for Thame during the sixteenth century.