The grant of the manor of Smewyns was made by the Crown to Sir John Norreys on 1 August 1558. It is written in ink on a single membrane of parchment and measures 475mm high by 687mm wide. The initial portrait letter shows Philip and Mary enthroned while there is additional decoration within and above a majuscule first line.
The grant provides rare evidence for this small manor. The physical manifestation of Smewyns is long gone, with parts of a medieval moat being the only trace of the original settlement. There are also very few surviving documents for Smewyns and no others at the Berkshire Record Office. It is possible that the grant provides the only full description of the manor’s extent.