Robert of Mortain sublet the lands of Bramham to Nigel Fossard whose family held a good deal of property about
York and Doncaster.
The heiress of the family, Johanna, daughter of William Fossard, was married to Robert de Turnham,
a great soldier and Crusader, who in 1191 was one of the commanders of the fleet at the siege of Cyprus.
After the Crusades
Sir Robert was given a castle in France and while he was away King John seized the manor of Bramham together with other lands.
Shortly after the death of King Richard, King John restored to Robert de Turnham some of the stolen lands but it was not until
1208 that he appears to have recovered Bramham when he presented the King with two beautiful Spanish war-horses.
Robert de Turnham
died in 1210, leaving a daughter, Isabella, who in time became the wife of Peter de Mauley, a famous man in his time.
Bramham seem to have been in the hands of the De Manley family during the 13th Century though long before this some of the land
had been given to Nostell Priory.
Bramham in Church Hands
The two over-riding political influences in England throughout the Middle Ages (the 500 years between William's Conquest and the
time of Henry VIII) were the great lords, of whom the king was greatest, and the Church.
This latter, in two respects, played a significant
part in Bramham's history, through its connections to Nostell Priory and its proximity to York.
In 1133 Aldewald, Prior of St Oswald's, Nostell, was said to have been the first holder of the prebend of Bramham,
soon after lands in the manor of Bramham were granted by Robert Fossard to Nostell between 1126 and 1129.
The priory at
Nostell seems to have acquired further gifts of land in the manor of Bramham between 1133 and 1190.
The Prior appointed
the priests and held lands at Headley, Huphusum (Hope Hall), and a large area which is
now within the Bramham Park estate.
The monks of Nostell also owned the village mill , and had pasturage for 360 sheep on the common moors of Bramham, together with
permission to create rabbit warrens, a valuable source of food.
When they held property at some distance from the monastery, they
built a cell, or small monastery, there. Bramham Biggin (to the west of the A1, just outside the east entrance to the Bramham Park
estate) is the site of a cell built by the canons of Nostell, and Monk's Style in Bramham Park marks the line of communication between
Nostell Priory and its Bramham house.
In the grounds of Bowcliffe Hall lies another small medieval chapel built by the monks of Nostell.
It is dedicated to Saint Michael in memory of Mont St Michel on the Normandy coast, doubtless in deference to the Lord of the Manor.