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Peter Atte Wode

Birthdate: (44)
Birthplace: Wood's Place, Surrey, England
Death: Died in Coulsden, Surrey, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Atte Wode, I and Laurencia Atte Wode
Husband of Petronilla Atte Wode
Father of Peter Atte Wode, III; John Atwood; Geoffrey Atte Wode and Lady Alice Bower
Brother of Laurencia Atte Wode; Geoffrey Atte Wode; Alice Gower; William Atte and Hugh Quetche

Occupation: Called as a member of Parliament in 1384.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Peter Atte Wode

About Peter Atte Wode

Peter and his wife, Laurencia, had at least one son who was also named Peter Atte Wode (Bef 1363-aft 1384) who was a Knight of the Shire and married Petronilla.


  1. Geoffrey Atte Wood (1392 – 1459)
  2. John Atte Wode (1400 – 1459)
  3. Alice Atte Wode (1402 – 1450)


Genealogy & History:

The surname came from ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. An older form of the name is de Wyckhurst, recorded in 1204, according to family history.

Atte wode means at the wood, and those bearing the name would have lived at the edge of a forest. In 1279 Peter Atte Wode purchased a 220-acre estate known as Wood Place, and the Atte Wodes joined the influential class of yeomen who became prominent landowners. Atwood genealogy from the 1300s includes Sir William Atte Wode, who was Captain of the King's Guard at the Palace of Westminster under King Edward III.

Sanderstead Court was a country house most often associated with the Atwood family of Sanderstead, Surrey, England. It was located next to the All Saint’s Parish Church (c. 1230) in Sanderstead. This manor house evolved over the centuries to become a significant country house and the seat of power of the Atwood family.

The first mention of the Atwood family in Sanderstead is in 1346 when Justice Peter Atte Wood (Atte Wode) and his wife Laurencia purchased land there (Lewis 1894, p. 338). The Atte Wode’s had originally lived nearby in Coulsdon, first at Hooley House and then at Wood Place. Some time in the 15th century they moved to Sanderstead and began improving the property there. By the time John Atwood died in 1525, the family seems to have made the transition to Sanderstead, and he mentions Sanderstead manor in his will (Atwood 1928).

The Atwood family were benefactors to the Sanderstead Parish Church which was adjacent to their home, and John Atwood (Atwodde) and his wife, Denys, have a brass plaque in the church dated 1525. John’s grand son, Nicholas Wood, who died in 1565, is identified as “of Sandersted Corte who served quene Elizabeth sens the second yearr of her rayne” on his brass in the church (Stephanson 1919).

Several secondary sources repeat the tradition that Queen Elizabeth I once spent the night at Sanderstead Court while Nicholas Wood was the owner. His service to the queen included being a Sergeant of the Queen's Carriages. There has been no independent corroboration of the Queen's presence at Sanderstead Court, however, so the story remains an undocumented tradition.

Nicholas Wood lost a portion Sanderstead to Sir John Gresham, Lord Mayor of London, when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536 and conveyed their property to some of his favorites.

After a series of complicated transactions and inheritances, the Atwood’s regained control of Sanderstead Court, and Nicholas Wood's son, Harman Atwood, Jr., transformed Sanderstead into a significant country house in the 1670’s.

Harman Atwood was finished his renovations to Sanderstead Court in 1675. The completed house was a three story, red brick mansion comprised of a central core with two large wings at either end which were adorned with decorated chimneys. The central portion of the house had a great room, two stories in height, supported by fluted columns with Corinthian capitals; this great room was probably originally constructed by an earlier Atwood in the 16th century. Many of the rooms in Sanderstead Court were panelled with wood. The Atwood shield with a lion rampant between three acorns, the initials “H.A.” (Harman Atwood) and the date “1675” were once were carved in stone over the main entry to Sanderstead Court.

Harman Atwood, Jr. (1608-1676) was an attorney (solicitor) in London and Sanderstead was at the center of his vast holdings of real estate. Harman appears to have been a patron of the arts and had a friendship with John Oldham (poet). Oldham's poem, Pindarique, was written "to the memory of Harman Atwood upon his death." According to Charles Atwood "in a short biography of John Oldham prefixed to his poems...Harman Atwood was his liberal patron, that he died in 1676, that he was of Sanderstead, in Surrey County, England, where the name and family had been of long duration in a lineal descent"(Atwood 1888).

Harman Atwood died childless in 1676 and left Sanderstead Court to his sister Dame Olivia Atwood (1614-1681). Olivia also died childless, and the house passed through a succession of distant Atwood relations until it passed out of the family line entirely in 1759. Later owners included members of the Wigsell family.

John Preston Neal provides a description of Sanderstead Court's grounds as they existed in 1818:

"The site of the Court House is on an eminence, having in front a spacious lawn, skirted by a shrubbery of rich and varied foliage, separated from the adjoining pleasure grounds by a light range of iron palisades. The Park was enlarged by the addition of an Estate, called Place House; and the whole now forms quite a sequestered residence; the grounds, which are extensive, admit the most beautiful prospects: on one side are seen the counties of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire; and on the other, a fine open coutnry for many miles, over all Bansted Downs" (Neal 1818).

In the early 20th century, Sanderstead Court was converted to a hotel and renamed “Selsdon Court.” During World War II it was used by the Royal Air Force. Sadly, Sanderstead Court burned, leaving only the outside walls in 1944. As of 1947 the mansion was still standing but reduced to ruins, probably never to be repaired, left in the edge of a little village in what is now the outskirts of London.

Peter Atte Wode From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For other people named Peter Wood, see Peter Wood (disambiguation).

  • Peter Atte Wode (fl. ca. 1325 – 1382) was a Justice in Eyre for England south of the Trent from 1360–1367.
  • Atte Wode was probably born in Coulsdon in Surrey (now Greater London) according to Manning and Bray's History of Surrey. The precise date of his birth is not known, but it is presumed to have been sometime before 1325. His father was Geoffrey Atte Wode (Abt 1297–1346), a Serjeant-at-Arms to Edward III and his mother was Anisia. Peter and his wife, Laurencia, had at least one son who was also named Peter Atte Wode (Bef 1363-aft 1384) who was a Knight of the Shire and married Petronilla.
  • On 15 March 1351 Peter Atte Wode and John De Roulegh along with seven others were appointed as "keepers" to the "joint commission for the peace and for labourers" in Surrey. This commission was formed in several counties in England to provide an enforcement for new laws that had been enacted to regulate labour and provide for peace after the Black Death decimated the population in 1348–49. On 15 September 1351 de Roulegh and Peter Atte Wode were removed from their positions on the commission as a result of complaints of impropriety by fellow commissioners. They were both tried and Peter Atte Wode was found to be innocent of the charges. De Rouglegh, however, was found guilty of extorting money from labourers, sent to prison and fined heavily (Putnam & 1908 pp 29–31) Ruth Sewill maintains that the Peter Atte Wode described in this court document was from Charlwood, Surrey; however, she does not provide documentation for her claim (Sewill 1951, p. 28). No other Atte Wode's from this part of Surrey rose to prominence, so it seems unlikely that her assertion is correct.
  • Atte Wode became associated with William of Wykeham (1320–1404). His association with Wykeham undoubtedly enhanced his stature and helped increase his wealth. Jean Froissart (1337–1405), the famed chronicler of medieval England and France, says in his Chronicles (1395):

"At this time reigned a priest called William of Wykeham. This William of Wykeham was so much in favour with the King of England, that everything was done by him, and nothing was done without him" (Froissart 1904).

  • Atte Wode was jointly appointed a Justice in Eyre south of the Trent along with Wykeham on 13 July 1361, a position he held until about 1367 (Turner 1903). The Eyre Court was created to hear cases involving forest law in the Royal Forests of England. Wykeham eventually became the Bishop of Winchester, and was also the Lord Chancellor under both Edward III and Richard II.
  • William of Wykeham was appointed the King's Commissioner in charge of rebuilding Windsor Castle and Clerk of all the King's Works in his Manors of Henley-on-Thames (Oxfordshire) and Easthampstead (Berkshire). E. F. Atwood has found a reference in the Rotulorum to Peter acquiring a commission to rebuild a portion of Windsor Castle during this period (there is no indication which Rotulorum records were used by Atwood during his research) (Atwood 1928)
  • The Atte Wodes had been in the employ of King Edward III since at least 1341. By 1346 three members of the Atte Wode family were serving in his royal bodyguard as Sergeants-at-Arms, including his father Geoffrey Atte Wode, his grand father Sir William Atte Wode (who had been knighted by the king), and his uncle Richard Atte Wode. Jesse's Memorials of London describes his grandfather's service to Edward III as Captain of the Guard (Jesse 1847) The London Letter Books describe Richard's role in moving the invasion fleet down the Thames in 1345 during the Hundred Years' War with France (Sharpe 1904). Based on Peter's land transactions after the successful campaign in 1346, the Atte Wodes seem to have acquired a considerable amount of wealth during this time(Lewis 1894). E. F. Atwood speculates that this family's treasure was gained as a result of the English success during the war. Froissart makes this observation in his Chronicles:

After the battle of Caen "...the Englishmen were lords of the town three days and won great riches, the which they sent by barks and barges to Saint-Saviour by the river of Austrehem, two leagues thence, whereas all their navy lay" (Froissart 1904)

  • In 1346 Peter Atte Wode and his wife Laurencia recorded the first of many land transactions in Sanderstead in Surrey (now Greater London) and surrounding counties (Lewis 1894, p. 338). This would begin a long association with the Atwood family in Sanderstead. While he owned land in several locations (including Woodmansterne acquired in 1360 and Chipstead Manor acquired in 1364), it seems likely that Peter lived at Wood Place in Coulsdon, the ancestral home; in 1350, he was licensed by the Bishop to maintain an oratory (a private chapel) at Wood Place (Malden 1912).
  • The precise date of his death is not known, but on 20 December 1382 Laurencia, now a widow, founded a chantry at Newark Priory (which was dissolved in 1538) and endowed a mass for the soul of Peter Atte Wode (Malden 1912).
  • Peter Atte Wode amassed a sizeable estate during his lifetime as the scattered records demonstrate, and he stands an example of the emerging new class of wealthy land owners in England who were not members of the aristocracy but grew wealthy through their association with the royal family. His ancestors would continue to acquire land, particularly in Surrey, construct the large manor house known as Sanderstead Court which is depicted in Neal's Views, continue serve the royal family in a variety of positions, and also become elected as Knights of the Shire (Atwood 1888).


  • Atwood, Charles (1888), History of the Atwood Family in England and the United States, to which is Appended a History of the Tenney Family
  • Atwood, Elijah Francis (1928), Ye Atte Wode Annals, Sisseton, SD: Atwood publishing Co.
  • Froissart, Jean (1904), The Chronicles of Froissart, New York: P. F. Collier & Son, Harvard Classics
  • Jesse, John Heneage (1847), Literary and Historical Memorials of London, London: R. Bentley
  • Lewis, Frank B. (1894), Pedes Finium; or, Fines Relating to the County of Surrey, Guildford: Surrey Archaeological Society
  • Malden, H. E. (Editor) (1912), The Victoria History of the County of Surrey, np: Victoria County History (View online at
  • Manning, Owen (1804–14), The History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey; Compiled from the best and most authentic historians, valuable records, and manuscripts in the public offices and libraries, and in private hands. With a fac simile copy of Domesday, engraved on thirteen plates. By the late Rev. Owen Manning ... Continued to the present time by William Bray, London: Printed for J. White, by J. Nichols and son
  • Neale, John Preston (1818), Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, London: W. H. Reid
  • Putnam, Bertha Haven (1908), The Enforcement of the Statute of Labourers, During the First Decade After the Black Death, 1349–1359, New York: Columbia University
  • Sewill, Ruth (1951), The Free Men of Charlwood, np: Rose Garland Press
  • Sharpe, Reginald (Editor) (1904), Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: 1337–1352, London: Center for Metropolitan History (view online at
  • Turner, G. J. (1903), The Justices of the Forest South of Trent 18, The English Historical Review pp. 112–116

Categories: 1325 births14th-century deathsEnglish judgesPeople from Coulsdon

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Peter Atte Wode's Timeline

Surrey, England
Age 25
Coulsden, Surrey, , England
Age 32
April 4, 1400
Age 40
Sanderstead, Surrey, England
Age 42
Age 44
Coulsden, Surrey, England

Died between 1403 and 1452.