The Old Manse, Concord, Massachusetts.

A manse (/ˈmæns/) is a clergy house inhabited by, or formerly inhabited by, a minister, usually used in the context of Presbyterian,[1][2] Methodist,[3] Baptist[4][5] and other Christian traditions.

Ultimately derived from the Latin mansus, "dwelling", from manere, "to remain", by the 16th century the term meant both a dwelling and, in ecclesiastical contexts, the amount of land needed to support a single family.[6]

Many notable Scots have been called "sons (or daughters) of the manse", and the term is a recurring point of reference within Scottish media and culture.[7] For example, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown was described as a "son of the manse" as he is the son of a Presbyterian minister.[8]

When selling a former manse, the Church of Scotland always requires that the property should not be called "The Manse" by the new owners, but "The Old Manse" or some other acceptable variation. The intended result is that "The Manse" refers to a working building rather than simply applying as a name.[citation needed]

The West Manse, Sanday, Orkney, Scotland (formerly the Free Kirk manse)

See also


  1. ^ "Guidelines for Manses" (PDF). Church of Scotland. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  2. ^ "manse". Oxford Dictionary. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Guidelines for Manses" (PDF). Methodist Church in Britain. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Manses and Church Houses". Baptist Union of Great Britain. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  5. ^ "North Adelaide Baptist Church – Manse". Adelaide City Council. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  6. ^ OED, "Manse"
  7. ^ "To the manse born". The Herald. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  8. ^ "The making of Gordon Brown". The Daily Telegraph. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2017.