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The manor of Drayton was owned from the time of the Norman Conquest by the Bassett family, until in the 13th century, the male line failed and Margaret Bassett heiress to the estate married Edmund Lord Stafford. The estate remained in the ownership of the Earl of Stafford until the attainder and execution of the Duke of Buckingham (the 7th Earl) in 1483, when it passed to the Crown. Thereafter several owners included the Earl of Leicester and from about 1600, the Earl of Essex. The latter's descendants sold the estate in about 1790 to Robert Peel (1750–1830) a Lancashire textile manufacturer, who was Member of Parliament for Tamworth 1790-1820. Following his death in 1830, his son Robert Peel (1788–1850), who followed his father into the Tamworth seat and later became Prime Minister, demolished the old manor house and its three storey banqueting house, and replaced it with a grand mansion (incorporating a three storey tower) designed in the Elizabethan style by architect Robert Smirke.
In 1843 Drayton Manor received a royal visit from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The house ceased to be the principal residence of the Peel family and in 1929 it was demolished. Only the clock tower now remains. The site was sold in 1949 to the Bryan family for the creation of leisure gardens which were later developed to become the Drayton Manor Theme Park. The nearest large town is Tamworth.
- A Survey of Staffordshire, containing the Antiquities of that County (1820) Sampson Erdeswick updated by Thomas Harwood. p308. Google Books
- Engravings in the William Salt Library collection, Stafford, at Staffordshire Pasttrack
- Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII, ed. James Gairdner, vol. X, no. 272
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