In the Middle Ages, Newsells was owned by the de Scales family. Lord de Scales was important enough to be mentioned by Joan of Arc in a letter. He was a fighter of great passion (he fought until the English were ejected from France) and probably used Newsells as somewhere to stop between his homes in Norfolk and London. Ultimately he was murdered by Londoners who hated him.
His daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, married Sir Anthony Wydville, brother of Edward IV’s Queen. Elizabeth died childless but her husband kept Newsells and became Lord de Scales before he was beheaded by partisans of the Duke of Gloucester, (who later became Richard III). Richard gave the Manor to the Duke of Norfolk, but he was killed with Richard at Bosworth. Henry VII gave the estate to the Earl of Oxford, who had fought on the winning side at Bosworth and who, like the late Duke of Norfolk, was descended from a de Scales daughter.
In the later Middle Ages, Barkway must have been a busy and important place as we know from the publication of the Graftons Abridgement of the Chronicles of England that it was a stopping place on the road from London to the Holy Shrine at Walsingham and also a ‘stage’ on the coach road from Kings Lynn via Cambridge.