The Manor Class was designed by C.B. Collett in 1938 as part of a policy to replace existing 2-6-0 and 4-4-0 locomotives with a range of 4-6-0's capable of mixed traffic use. The Manor was the final, lightweight design needed to implement the scheme. The axle loading was just over 17 tons, which was low enough to make them suitable for 'Blue' designated routes, from where the larger 'Grange' Class locomotives were barred.
The first twenty engines of the Class were constructed utilising the wheels and motion of withdrawn 4300 class 2-6-0 locomotives. This programme would have continued but for the intervention of the Second World War. In BR days, a further ten Manors were constructed.
The Manor boiler proved to a be a poor steamer and the Manor's were not considered too successful until a series of tests were made on 7817 in 1951-2. In the experiments, the draughting arrangements were modified and this transformed the steaming performance of the boiler. Once the problems had been solved, the same blast pipe and chimney arrangements were applied to the reminder of the class, which from that time onwards became noted for their fine performance.
Being a lightweight 4-6-0, the Manors could go where formerly only 2-6-0 and 4-4-0 locomotives were allowed. The Manors are remembered for their regular use on the Cambrian Coast Express, re-vitalised in 1954, where they were turned out in immaculate condition being extremely popular with their crews.
A total of eight Manor Class locomotives are preserved, their numbers are: 7802, 7812, 7819, 7820, 7821, 7827 and 7828.