Sir Thomas Pope never lived at Wroxton but purchased the land and monastic ruins. He granted his brother, John a 99 year lease to the manor of Wroxton and Balscot in 1551.

Sir Thomas was the founder of Trinity College, Oxford and in 1556 he endowed Trinity College with the manors and lands of Wroxton. In accepting their founder’s endowment, the College was obliged to renew the lease of the estate to the male heirs of John Pope, Sir Thomas Pope’s younger brother.

Sir Thomas’ nephew, William Pope, began work on the site of the former priory near the turn of the 17th Century. He spent £6,000 on a mansion built in the symmetrical form of the letter E, in keeping with Elizabethan architectural taste. His house survives today as the centre section of the Abbey. Anyone who’s ventured down into the basement will find the 13th century arch and a 14th century moulded doorway which may be the remains of the priory cloister. They were incorporated into Pope’s designs.

The exact construction dates of the manor are unknown. It is thought that work began in the late 16th Century (c.1580) and the house was completed in 1618.

William Pope, 1st Earl of Downe
Sir Thomas Pope