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  • A manor house is a large country house, which was historically the capital residence or messuage within a manor, the basic unit of territorial organisation in the feudal system in Europe, in which dwelled the lord of the manor. It formed the administrative centre of a manor and within its great hall were held the lord's manorial courts, communal meals with manorial tenants and great banquets. The term is today loosely applied to smaller country houses, frequently dating from the late medieval era, which formerly housed the gentry. They were often fortified, but this was frequently intended more for show than for defense. Manor houses existed in most European countries where feudalism existed, where they were sometimes known as castles, palaces, and so on. Many buildings, such as schools, are named Manor; the reason behind this is because the building was or is close to a manor house.

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