A Wantage author aims to raise £500 by Christmas for the Vale and Downland Museum with the sales of his latest book, published two weeks ago.

He has been able to raise around £200 so far.

Terry Randall, local to the town, wrote ‘The Lost Manor House of the FitzWaryns’ after discovering the importance of the grade two derelict building he bought with his wife, Andrea, in 2004.

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The former motor engineer and physics teacher does not make any profits from the book, he explained: “The whole point of doing the book was to encourage people to learn history about Wantage, and to raise money for the Wantage museum.”

After extensive research, he was able to write a “good argument” as why he believes this house is part of the lost Wantage Manor, home for hundreds of years to the FitzWaryn’s dynasty, into which Dick Whittington married.

Herald Series: Terry Randall

He also thinks it highly likely that the royal vill, where King Afred was born, lies a few hundred yards behind the house in Grove Street, beneath what is now Sainsbury's car park.

After he commissioned some dendrochronology to be done to the house, he was able to prove the building is a 15th century cruck-framed hall house which, along with many other discoveries, strengthen his argument.

He said: “It is in the right place, the right time. There isn’t anything else that would fit the bill.”

The book is currently sold at The Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage and at several other locations in the town.


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