Stockerston

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Victoria County History

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J.M. Lee, R.A. McKinley

Year published

1964

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303-308

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'Stockerston', A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5: Gartree Hundred (1964), pp. 303-308. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22072 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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STOCKERSTON

Stockerston is situated in the valley of the Eye Brook on the Rutland border, about sixteen miles east-south-east of Leicester. The parish includes, in the south, the territory of the former hamlet of Holyoaks which was transferred from Stoke Dry (Rut.) in 1885. (fn. 1) The total area of the parish is 1,534 a., of which Holyoaks accounts for about 500 a. Holyoaks was perhaps divided from Stockerston by the small stream crossing the parish from Holyoaks Wood to the Eye Brook.

In Holyoaks the valley is occupied by the Corby, Northamptonshire, and District Water Company's Eye Brook Reservoir. The ground rises from below 300 ft. near the reservoir and the Eye Brook to over 400 ft. at several points near the parish boundary on the west; south-west of Stockerston village it exceeds 500 ft. The valley side is dissected by a number of small streams flowing into the Eye Brook. The soil is clayey over a clay subsoil. The parish boundary follows the brook and the centre of the reservoir on the east, and mainly field boundaries elsewhere; it is formed by a road for a short distance in the west.

The road from Uppingham in the north-east to Medbourne in the south-west passes through the parish, crossing the Eye Brook by a small bridge north of the village. From near this bridge a second road leads westwards to Hallaton, and a minor road northwards to Allexton. The road from Stoke Dry to Great Easton crosses the Eye Brook by a bridge south of the village and skirts the reservoir as far as the parish boundary in the south. The village of Stockerston is a small group of houses around the junction of the Uppingham-Medbourne road with a minor road leading to the church and the hall. This latter road is continued as a footpath into Horninghold parish. There are several scattered houses in the parish, including The Hermitage and Holyoaks Lodge. The former park of Stockerston Hall occupied the angle of the Uppingham-Medbourne road, south-west of the village. Woods of about 130 a. were associated with the hall in the 19th century. (fn. 2) Near the parish boundary on the west are the large Bolt Wood and Park Wood, and the smaller Fishpond Spinney, Great Spinney, Little Merrible Wood, and Holyoaks Wood.

Stockerston Hall is a large two-storied house, Lshaped in plan and built of red brick with stone dressings, dating from c. 1800; it stands on the site of an older house said to have been demolished by 1797. (fn. 3) The principal front, which faces south, consists of five bays, the centre bay containing the main doorway with a Tuscan porch; the remaining bays have tall blank arcading rising through two stories in which are set stone-framed windows with large key-blocks. The low-pitched hipped roof has a stone parapet and cornice which terminate at each end of the front in angle quoins. Behind the west end of the principal block a service wing extends to the north, forming the other arm of the L. A vertical brickwork joint between the two portions is an indication of different phases in the rebuilding of the hall: the wing, which has tall sash windows and a brick dentilled eaves course, may be slightly earlier in date. Evidence of the former building on the site remains in the brick-vaulted cellars under the main block where an ovolo-moulded window-opening of 17thcentury date appears to be in situ in a rear stone wall. Probably much of the dressed stone in the other walls also came from the old hall.

The low stone-walled outbuilding bordering the churchyard was in existence in 1797 when it had a thatched roof and was in a dilapidated condition. (fn. 4) It probably dates from c. 1700 or earlier. Two tall brick porches were added late in the 19th century at the rear of the house. Other work of this period includes stables and coachhouses on the north side of the courtyard, an addition to the service wing, the main staircase, stained glass windows, and Tudorstyle fire-places. South of the hall on the road to Medbourne are two stone gate piers of c. 1700 but there does not now appear to be any trace of a formal approach to the house from this side.

Of the few houses in the village only two, Manor Farm and a small uninhabited cottage, date from before 1700. The latter is a detached stone building, formerly thatched, of one room and a cellar. The room has a large stone fire-place at one end with a moulded cornice of c. 1675 and a long side window with a later wooden frame. It is difficult to explain the function of a building of such small dimensions and obvious quality but it may have served as a lodge or staff cottage in connexion with Stockerston Hall.

Manor Farm, which stands on the north side of the village, is a two-storied ironstone building, Tshaped in plan, dating from the later 17th century. Two ovolo-moulded mullioned windows, one in the long granary block that projects from the north side of the house, date from this period. The main block was rebuilt at its east end c. 1730 and at the opposite end early in the 19th century. The 18th-century building is set on a high plinth and has limestone windows with raised key-blocks. A large chimney between it and the rest of the house is probably another remnant of the 17th-century structure.

The other houses in the village all date from the 18th and 19th centuries and are built of ironstone or brick with slate roofs. Earthworks and depressions in the fields to the north of Manor Farm were filled shortly before 1960; (fn. 5) they may have served at one time as fishponds. Other earthworks in the field opposite the farm probably represent the site of former cottages.

The former hamlet of Holyoaks is now represented only by Holyoaks Lodge which stands isolated on high ground to the west of Eye Brook Reservoir. It consists of a long ironstone house of two stories, with a short wing extending to the east. (fn. 6) This latter wing was rebuilt in the 19th century, together with the chimney stacks and main slate roof, but the rest of the house dates from the middle of the 17th century. One end has a projecting bake-oven of half-round section.

Stockerston has never been a large village. Only 3 inhabitants were recorded in 1086. (fn. 7) The poll tax was paid by 53 people in 1377 (fn. 8) and by 47 in 1381. (fn. 9) There were 16 families in 1563 and 70 communicants in 1603. In 1670 there were 25 households, and there were 80 communicants in 1676. (fn. 10) There were about 25 families in the early 18th century. (fn. 11) The population in 1801 was 56. It reached its maximum of 70 in 1891, when the 6 inhabitants of Holyoaks were included, but fell to 37 by 1931. In 1951 there were 50 inhabitants. (fn. 12)

MANOR.

In 1086 Robert de Buci held 3 carucates in STOCKERSTON from the Countess Judith. (fn. 13) By c. 1130 the overlordship of the holding had passed to the Earl of Leicester, who had inherited more than one of Judith's Domesday holdings. The immediate under-tenancy had passed, like that of so many of de Buci's properties, to Richard Basset. (fn. 14) Stockerston remained part of the property of the earls of Leicester and Lancaster and the dukes of Lancaster, and passed to the king in right of the Duchy in 1399. (fn. 15) The Basset family were holding from them until at least 1361. (fn. 16)

The early history of the tenants in demesne is obscure. The Sampson family, who held the advowson at the beginning of the 13th century, (fn. 17) probably also held the manor. By 1258 the demesne tenant was Henry Murdak, whose claim seems to have come through the wardship of an heir, perhaps one of the Sampsons. (fn. 18) In 1268 William and Iseult Murdak confirmed the manor to Henry, William's father. (fn. 19) Henry Murdak died before 1279, when his son William was holding Stockerston. (fn. 20) William was alive in 1290 but is not mentioned after that date. (fn. 21) His property passed to his daughter Alice and her husband Thomas Boyville. (fn. 22) In 1303 Thomas received a grant of free warren in his demesne. (fn. 23)

The manor descended in the Boyville family (fn. 24) until the death of John Boyville in 1467. Stockerston passed to his daughter Anne and her husband Henry Sothill. Their son John died in 1493 and was succeeded by his son Henry (d. 1505). (fn. 25) He left two daughters, both aged about one, whose custody was granted to Sir William Pierpont. (fn. 26) Elizabeth married Sir William Drury of Hawstead (Suff.) and the manor of Stockerston passed to her, although her sister Jane, who married Sir John Constable, seems to have retained some interests in the neighbourhood. (fn. 27) In 1580 Henry Drury, second son and heir of Sir William and Elizabeth, sold the manor to John Burton of Braunston (Rut.). (fn. 28) He was succeeded by his son Thomas, who, created a baronet in 1622, (fn. 29) supported Charles I (fn. 30) and died in 1655. Stockerston manor was sold about 1685 by his grandson Sir Thomas Burton to Sir Charles Duncombe, (fn. 31) in whose family it descended until 1807-8.

By 1808 the manor had passed into the hands of two owners-Robert Walker, whose family had leased land in Stockerston from the Duncombes for some years, and William Bellairs. (fn. 32) Walker's descendants still owned part of the manor in 1863, (fn. 33) but by 1877 this share had been inherited by the Revd. G. C. Fenwicke, lord of the neighbouring manor of Blaston. (fn. 34) The Fenwicke family remained joint lords until their share passed to Mrs. Walter, a relative, who owned it in 1922. (fn. 35) The Revd. G. G. C. Fenwicke's trustees held the manor in 1928. (fn. 36) By 1812 William Bellairs had been succeeded by William Stevenson, (fn. 37) a relative of the Bellairs family, whose share descended not to James Bellairs, his second cousin and heir who took the name and arms of Stevenson in 1834, but to James's younger brother George. (fn. 38) It descended in the Bellairs family until 1930, when the whole manor was purchased by Mr. J. L. J. Whitgreave, who remained the owner of Stockerston until 1948. (fn. 39) In 1957 the estate was the property of J. A. F. March Phillips de Lisle. (fn. 40)

LESSER ESTATES.

It is not known whether Holyoaks was ever a manor, although demesne is mentioned in Domesday Book. In 1086 the preConquest owner Bardi had been succeeded here, as on a number of Northamptonshire estates, by the Bishop of Lincoln from whom an under-tenant called Rannulf held 3 carucates. (fn. 41) In 1279 the bishop's tenant was Geoffrey de Holiok, holding the same amount of land. (fn. 42) The bishop retained property in the lordship until 1500, but is not known to have had an interest there after that date. In 1303 Thomas de Nevill held the watermill in Holyoaks from a man who was probably the bishop's tenant, and his obligations included an annual payment to the bishop. (fn. 43) The Nevills were the bishop's tenants in Stoke Dry. (fn. 44) In 1346 John le Clerk was assessed for ¼ knight's fee in Holyoaks, part of the Bishop of Lincoln's land, (fn. 45) and the Clerk or Clarke family may have continued to hold an estate in Holyoaks until the 15th century. (fn. 46) It seems likely that the bishop's property in Holyoaks became reduced simply to rents, like that from the watermill, paid from individual holdings. In 1501 Sir Robert Brudenell purchased 12 a. in Holyoaks from William Hickson, and noted in his book of purchases that the land owed 12d. yearly to the bishop. (fn. 47)

About 1500 and probably before, Sir Robert Brudenell bought a number of small pieces of land in Holyoaks. (fn. 48) He had sold them again by 1517 when Everard Digby of Stoke Dry held the lordship. (fn. 49) The estate remained in the hands of the Digby family, who also owned the manor of Stoke Dry. (fn. 50) On the attainder of Sir Everard Digby for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot, the lands were forfeited to the king, but later restored, (fn. 51) though they were surveyed in May 1652 as royal property. In June they were recognized as the proper inheritance of the Digbys, (fn. 52) and formed part of their sequestered estates. (fn. 53)

Thereafter the estate descended with the manor of Stoke Dry and was sold in the early 18th century. (fn. 54) It was apparently purchased by John Conduitt, M.P., Master of the Mint, and descended to his daughter Katherine, Lady Lymington. From her it passed to Thomas Powys of Lilford (Northants.) and was exchanged in 1773 (fn. 55) by his heir for other lands in Northamptonshire with the Earl of Exeter, whose descendant the Marquess of Exeter still held it in 1932. (fn. 56)

Bradley Priory received a small grant of land in Holyoaks in 1392 from Sir Richard le Scrope. (fn. 57) In 1539 the priory's property in the lordship was granted to Thomas Nevill of Holt. (fn. 58)

The Hospitallers probably held land in Holyoaks before 1206 as part of an estate in Stoke Dry, where they also held the advowson. (fn. 59) In 1286 the prior of the Hospitallers held a view of frankpledge for 12 tenants in Holyoaks. (fn. 60) This property was probably administered from the preceptory at Dingley (Northants.). In 1543 it formed part of a grant of monastic lands to Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple, who had granted it by 1547 to Kenelm Digby. (fn. 61) It subsequently descended with the principal estate.

Pipewell Abbey (Northants.) held a small amount of property in Holyoaks, perhaps granted by Gilbert de Hauville who gave them a virgate in Stoke Dry in respect of the dues from which they paid him 2s. a year in 1235-53. (fn. 62) In 1535 this property was valued at 2s. (fn. 63) In 1543 it formed part of the grant to Andrews and Temple and it passed by 1547 to Kenelm Digby. (fn. 64) Thereafter it descended with the principal estate.

ECONOMIC HISTORY.

Robert de Buci's 3 carucates at Stockerston supported 4 ploughs before the Conquest. In 1086 Robert had one plough in demesne, and 2 villeins and a socman had another. There were 8 a. of meadow, and woodland 5 furlongs by two. The value of the holding had risen from 7s. before the Conquest to 20s. (fn. 65) There were still 3 carucates in 1279, when William Murdak held one in demesne and 1½ in villeinage. William Warde, whose family held land in Holyoaks, held the other ½ carucate. (fn. 66) In 1284 William Murdak, after a dispute with the Prior of Belvoir, undertook to break up no more pasture for arable in Stockerston; but it was agreed that he and the prior should have the right to make an inclosure for pasture from Easter to 20 July for their oxen and that by special mutual permission they could break up some land there which would cause no damage to the vills of Stockerston and Horninghold. (fn. 67) The 47 poll tax payers of 1381 included 9 tenants at will and their wives and 19 servants. (fn. 68)

The woodland mentioned in 1086 long remained a conspicuous feature in the parish. At the end of the 17th century, and probably since the inclosure, the wood remained in the possession of the lord of the manor. In 1685 the standing timber was valued at £2,000, with yearly profits from the woods of £150. (fn. 69) In 1840 there were still 129 a. of woodland, (fn. 70) and a considerable area of wood remained in 1956.

There were three open fields before the inclosure: South Field, Bridge Field, and Sweethedge Field. (fn. 71) The first known inclosure at Stockerston, apart from the creation of a park in the Middle Ages, took place between 1580 and 1607 when John Burton inclosed 47 a., Henry Herrendon 37 a., and the cottagers of Stockerston 5 a. In the same period John Dell allowed two farm-houses to decay, and John Burton robbed one house of its land. (fn. 72) These inclosures account, however, for only about 9 per cent. of the parish, and it is not known when the complete inclosure took place. In 1607 John Burton had conveyed several closes of pasture to trustees for the use of his son Thomas and his wife. (fn. 73) The whole lordship was probably inclosed before 1674, when the glebe included '2 grounds of very ancient inclosure', and 27 a. of other inclosed land. (fn. 74)

The conversion to pasture was lasting. In 1801 there were only 6½ a. of arable land, (fn. 75) and in 1840, out of 973 a., 843 a. were pasture and 129 a. woodland. (fn. 76) At least one rich grazier profited from the Stockerston pastures in the late 17th century. When Richard Cranwell's inventory was taken in 1703 he had goods worth over £1,000; more than 1,000 sheep and lambs in Stockerston and some neighbouring townships, including Hallaton, Bradley, and Blaston; 70 cattle; and wool worth £116. (fn. 77) In the late 18th century and for most of the 19th the lord of the manor owned the whole parish, retaining some land, often only the hall and park, for his own use, and letting the rest. In 1685 there had been 31 tenants, and Sir Thomas Burton farmed a few closes and retained the manor-house, woods, watermill, and wastes. (fn. 78) In 1780 there were only 12 tenants. (fn. 79) There have been only 4 or 5 farmers and graziers in the 19th and 20th centuries, and little nonagricultural employment. (fn. 80)

In 1086 the 3 carucates described under Holyoaks supported 3 ploughs, 2 in demesne and 1 held by 4 villeins and 2 bordars. There was woodland 4 by 3 furlongs, and the value of the estate was 20s. (fn. 81) In 1279 the bishop's tenant Geoffrey de Holiok held 2 carucates in demesne and 4 tenants held the remaining carucate from him. (fn. 82) Twelve persons were tenants of the Hospitallers in 1286. (fn. 83)

The village was still in existence in the middle of the 15th century, and had apparently suffered little decay before 1445 when its tax quota was cut by only 15 per cent., the average for Leicestershire. (fn. 84) In 1517 it was stated that in December 1496 Sir Robert Brudenell had destroyed 7 messuages, evicting 30 persons, and inclosed and converted 250 a. of land into pasture. (fn. 85) In the late 19th century Holyoaks was estimated to contain over 500 a., so that about half the township was affected by this inclosure. It is not definitely known that Robert Brudenell purchased land here before 1500, and it has been suggested that the inclosure might have been the work of a previous owner, (fn. 86) but this seems unlikely in view of the fragmentation of the estate. In and after 1500 Sir Robert made numerous purchases of small pieces of land until he probably owned all the land in Holyoaks which did not belong to religious houses. (fn. 87) He may have completed the process of inclosure in Holyoaks. At least some of the land he bought after 1500 was uninclosed and partly arable: in 1501 he purchased an acre in Stonyhull Furlong from Robert Irlond of Loddington, (fn. 88) and in 1500 he had bought the lands which had belonged to Henry Burrough of Burrough on the Hill at his death in 1495 and included 2 virgates. (fn. 89) His last known land transaction at Holyoaks was made in 1507 when he leased 18 a. of land. (fn. 90)

In 1606, when Holyoaks was surveyed, it was described simply as the Upper and Nether Holliocks, with two closes of meadow and a small wood. (fn. 91) In 1652 the Upper Holliock was described as a stretch of pasture in four closes with a two-storied tenement. The Nether Holliock also had a house on it, and these two areas, with West Close, were estimated to contain 495 a., valued at £6 in common years. (fn. 92) Nichols stated that within living memory there were three houses in Holyoaks, but by 1796 there was only one, and the former divisions of the lordship had been forgotten. (fn. 93) The maximum population of Holyoaks in the 19th century was 11 in 1851. (fn. 94) There was only one farmer, at Holyoaks Lodge, in 1932. (fn. 95)

There was a watermill in Stockerston in 1086, rendering 2s. (fn. 96) It descended with the manor, but is not mentioned after 1685. (fn. 97) There was a mill in Holyoaks, probably on the Eye Brook, in 1086, rendering 5s. 4d. (fn. 98) The mill was still in existence in 1303, when it was held by Thomas de Nevill from Robert son of Nicholas and was charged with a payment of 12d. to the Bishop of Lincoln for the easement of water to it. (fn. 99)

PARISH ADMINISTRATION.

Stockerston had no workhouse, and in 1802-3 4 adults and 15 children were regularly given out-relief. (fn. 1) In 1835 it was placed in Uppingham Union. (fn. 2)

In the late 18th century Holyoaks was assessed to the county rate for Leicestershire, but paid church and poor rate, and every parish due except highway rate, with Stoke Dry (Rut.). (fn. 3)

CHURCH.

Stockerston church is first mentioned in 1220. (fn. 4) The patron was then one Sampson, (fn. 5) and the Sampson family retained the right of presentation until the mid-13th century. (fn. 6) Thereafter the advowson descended with the manor. In 1931 it was transferred to the Archdeacon of Leicester, (fn. 7) and he was the patron in 1957.

The rectory was valued at 1½ mark in 1217, 3 marks in 1254, and 7½ marks in 1291, (fn. 8) at which figure it remained for most of the Middle Ages. (fn. 9) In 1535 it was valued at £13 net, (fn. 10) in 1650 at £30, (fn. 11) and in 1831 at £184. (fn. 12) The net value in 1928 was £250 (fn. 13) and in 1951-2 £196. (fn. 14) The tithes were commuted in 1840 for £206, of which £6 was estimated to be the glebe tithe and the rest was paid in equal sums by the two principal landowners. There were then 37 a. of glebe. (fn. 15) In 1863 there were 32 a., (fn. 16) but more was purchased during the later 19th century. (fn. 17) There were only 8 a. in 1928. (fn. 18)

Stockerston has apparently had a resident minister for only short periods. In 1531 the rector was nonresident, (fn. 19) but in 1607 it was stated that he resided. (fn. 20) By 1708 he was again non-resident, (fn. 21) and throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the rectors seem to have constantly lived elsewhere. Although curates were put in to serve the living they seem never to have lived in the parish. One reason was the lack of suitable accommodation. There was a parsonage house, consisting of hall, parlour, kitchen, and four chambers, at the end of the 17th century, (fn. 22) but in 1795 it was said that the parsonage needed to be repaired. (fn. 23) In 1832 Archdeacon Bonney reported that the glebehouse was old and in any case only a cottage, and could never be made fit for a minister to live in. The curate then lived at Uppingham, (fn. 24) and in 1842 at Stoke Dry. (fn. 25) In 1846 it was stated that a parsonage was to be built for the rector, (fn. 26) but this was apparently not done.

There were two chantries in the church. One was founded, and a priest appointed, in 1468 and was attached to the hospital founded at the same time by the executors of John Boyville. This chantry was dedicated to the Virgin. (fn. 27) Nothing is known of its fate after the Dissolution. In 1567 an inquiry into former chantries in the county produced a statement that William Wharton, who was mentioned in 1535 as the chantry priest, was not such but a chaplain to the poor. No further information was offered about lands attached to the former hospital. (fn. 28) The other chantry was personally supported by Thomas Waldron in 1535 and had one priest who was paid £5 a year. (fn. 29) It is not known when it was dissolved, but it was stated in 1547 that Thomas Waldron had dissolved a chantry at Stockerston: it seems more likely that he had simply ceased to support it. (fn. 30)

The church of ST. PETER stands close to the hall. It is built of ironstone and limestone, and consists of clerestoried nave, north and south aisles, chancel, and embattled west tower. The earliest features in the church, the north and south nave arcades, each of two bays, date from the later 13th century. The south arcade, which has tall pointed arches, is the earlier and has a re-tooled east respond with nail-head decoration on its capital. Both the responds and the central octagonal pier are of limestone. The lower north arcade is of ironstone and has an octagonal pier and responds on high worn bases. The irregular bases of both arcades may include masonry from an earlier and aisleless church.

During the late 15th and early 16th centuries the church was largely reconstructed by John Boyville (d. 1467) (fn. 31) and his heirs. Both aisles were rebuilt and a clerestory was added to the nave. At the same time an aisleless bay was added at the west end of the nave with a tower beyond it; both are built of ironstone ashlar with limestone dressings. The tower rises in three buttressed stages to an embattled parapet below which is a continuous quatrefoil frieze. On each face are three-light belfry windows with Perpendicular tracery and there is a similar west window in the lowest stage. The plinth, with two moulded offsets, embraces both the tower, with its angle buttresses, and the west end of the nave. The tall narrow tower arch and the chancel arch both have wave mouldings towards the nave. Four of the clerestory windows and two low windows in the chancel are square-headed and of two lights; otherwise the Perpendicular windows throughout the church are identical, each having three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred arched head. The rubble walling of the chancel antedates the 15th-century fenestration. A chamfered string course above the arcade in the north aisle belongs to the earlier aisle roof and there is also the outline of the former steeply-pitched nave roof above the chancel arch. In the north-east corner of the south aisle is a polygonal stair turret, built of large blocks of finelyjointed stone ashlar, which originally led to a rood loft. Its doorway has a four-centred head and above it is a shallow niche for an image; it now contains a funerary helmet, probably of the 16th century. The former rood loft was carried at its south end by a stone corbel supported on a short octagonal pier above the capital of the east respond of the nave arcade. Both corbel and pier have decorative carving of c. 1500. The stair turret projects externally in the angle between aisle and chancel where it has a high moulded plinth and an embattled cornice. A small doorway in the south aisle has a scratch dial on one of its external jambs.

A general restoration of the church was undertaken in 1887 by G. C. Fenwicke, joint lord of the manor. (fn. 32) External work in that year probably included the provision of new roofs and guttering and repairs to the parapets and buttresses.

During the late-15th-century reconstruction of the church stained glass was evidently inserted in many of the windows. Much of this, including that in the east chancel window and in two windows in the south aisle, disappeared between 1747 and the end of the 18th century. (fn. 33) More was destroyed during repairs in 1851 and later. (fn. 34) The glass which survives is mostly in the north aisle where the east window contains the figure of a mitred bishop and fragments of a Crucifixion. In a north window are two kneeling figures, a woman bearing the quartered arms of Boyville and Murdak impaling Sothill and a man bearing the arms of Sothill on his surcoat; a head of Christ is in the central light. The window opposite the south door contains the figure of St. Christopher and those of Thomas Restwold and his wife Margaret.

The pews in the church were described at the end of the 18th century as 'old and open' except for one in the south aisle. (fn. 35) In the north aisle at this time there were bench-ends and a screen carved with the arms of Boyville and Restwold quarterly. (fn. 36) The old pews were removed during the restoration of the 1880's but ancient bench-ends now lying in the nave are carved with heraldic devices which include the arms of Boyville impaling Murdak and of Boyville and Murdak quarterly. A broken octagonal font bowl of c. 1400 lies in the north aisle.

An incised grave slab set upright against the west wall of the nave is of 13th-century date. A recess near the south-east corner of the south aisle contains the effigy of a knight of c. 1400. Another very worn effigy, probably of the 14th century, and an alabaster slab with the figure of a priest remain in the north aisle. Brasses from this aisle were set in the north wall of the nave during the restoration of the 1880's; they represent John (d. 1467) and Elizabeth Boyville, and John (d. 1493) and Elizabeth Sothill. (fn. 37) Floor slabs include one of marble and alabaster with a full-length figure of Elizabeth Havers (d. 1633), and one to John Abrahams and his daughter (d. 1761). The south aisle contains memorials to various lords of the manor from the early 18th to the early 19th century, most of them members of the Walker family. The west end of the aisle is occupied by a large altar tomb of the same family, below which is their vault.

There are three bells: (i) 1630, bearing the name of Thomas Burton, lord of the manor; (ii) 1842, by John Taylor of Loughborough; (iii) 1634. (fn. 38) New bells were set in the tower in 1467 by John Boyville. (fn. 39) There were four bells in 1626. (fn. 40) The plate includes a silver cup of 1669 with a modern paten. (fn. 41) The registers begin in 1574; the only major gap is from 1641 to 1653.

The hermitage or chapel of Mirabel was in the patronage of the lords of the manor of Stockerston from at least 1220. (fn. 42) It is last mentioned in 1382 when the king presented to the 'chantry' of Mirabel in Stockerston while the heir of John Boyville was a minor. (fn. 43) The site of the hermitage was probably in the woodland to the south of the village. The names of Little Merrible Wood and Great Merrible Wood (the latter in Great Easton parish) survive, and a house on the Stockerston-Medbourne road is called The Hermitage, although this is probably a modern name. Nichols quotes Throsby as suggesting that the possible site of the hermitage was a 'lone and dreary place', actually in Great Easton, called Mirabel Hole. (fn. 44) A small area of woodland further east in Holyoaks was called 'le Holliock Merrybell' in 1606 and may also indicate the site. (fn. 45)

NONCONFORMITY.

None known.

SCHOOLS.

In 1832 it was reported that there were no schools in Stockerston, but that the children were sometimes taught the catechism in Lent. (fn. 46) In 1833 there was a Sunday school, to which the rector gave £1 a year and where 8-10 children were taught. (fn. 47) In 1888 there was an infants' school, (fn. 48) but there has never been a village school for older children.

CHARITIES.

None known.

Footnotes

1 V.C.H. Leics. iii. 199.
2 White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 525.
3 Nichols, Leics. ii. 817; Pevsner, Leics. 241 gives a date of 1792 for the present house.
4 Nichols, Leics. ii, plate cxxxii.
5 Local inf.
6 Nichols, Leics. ii, plate lxxxv.
7 V.C.H. Leics. i. 333. The number is given as 64 in ibid. iii. 157 where the Stoughton entry has been misidentified as Stockerston; this mis-identification also occurs in ibid. i. 306, 314: see p. 327.
8 Ibid. iii. 163.
9 Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 352.
10 V.C.H. Leics. iii. 166, 168, 170, 173.
11 Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxii. 342.
12 V.C.H. Leics. iii. 199.
13 Ibid. i. 333.
14 Slade, Leics. Survey, 23, 33.
15 See, e.g., Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 319; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, p. 98.
16 See, e.g., Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 349-50; Nichols, Leics. ii. 815.
17 See p. 306.
18 Rot. R. Gravesend, ed. F. N. Davis, 141; see p. 82.
19 Farnham, Leics. Med. Pedigrees, 103.
20 Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 23.
21 Farnham, Leics. Med. Pedigrees, 103.
22 Ibid. 102.
23 Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 41.
24 Farnham, Leics. Med. Pedigrees, 102 sqq.; see p. 82.
25 Farnham, Leics. Med. Pedigrees, 102, 106; Leics. Notes, iv. 354.
26 Nichols, Leics. ii. 816.
27 Ibid. 816-17; Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 354.
28 C.P. 25(2)/2631/22 and 23 Eliz. I Mich.
29 Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619-23, 424.
30 See V.C.H. Leics. ii. 120.
31 Nichols, Leics. ii. 817 gives 'about 1690'; surveys of the manor were made in 1685, perhaps in connexion with the sale: Leic. City Mun. Room, 35'29/467-8.
32 L.R.O. Land Tax Assessments, Stockerston.
33 White, Dir. Leics. (1863), 586.
34 Ibid. (1877), 606; monument in south aisle of Stockerston church.
35 Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1922), 634.
36 Ibid. (1928), 735.
37 L.R.O. Land Tax Assessments, Stockerston.
38 W. G. D. Fletcher, Leics. Pedigrees and Royal Descents, 25; White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 524.
39 Burke, Land. Gent. (1952), 2704.
40 Local inf.
41 V.C.H. Leics. i. 288n., 310.
42 Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 23.
43 See p. 306.
44 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 222.
45 Nichols, Leics. ii. 607.
46 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 224.
47 Northants. Rec. Off. Brudenell MS. O.xxi.10, f. 5v.
48 Ibid. ff. 3-9v.
49 Domesday of Inclosures, ed. I. S. Leadam, i. 229-30.
50 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 223.
51 Nichols, Leics. ii. 607.
52 E 317/Leics./13.
53 Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, 2043-4, 2172-5, 3170-1.
54 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 223.
55 N.R.A. Burghley (Exeter) Papers, 6666, Drawer 40/16-28, 41/90.
56 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 223-4; Nichols, Leics. ii. 607; Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1932), 838.
57 Nichols, Leics. ii. 607.
58 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), p. 241.
59 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 224; Cur. Reg. R. iv. 311.
60 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 224.
61 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xviii (1), pp. 535-6; xxi (2), p. 420.
62 Reg. Antiquissimum, ed. C. W. Foster, ii. 89; Dugdale, Mon. v. 438.
63 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 294.
64 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xviii (1), pp. 535-6; xxi (2), p. 420.
65 V.C.H. Leics. i. 333.
66 Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 23.
67 Hist. MSS. Com. Rutland, IV, 138-9.
68 Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 352.
69 Leic. City Mun. Room, 35'29/468.
70 L.R.O. Stockerston Tithe Award.
71 Studies in Leics. Agrarian Hist. 112.
72 T.L.A.S. xxiii. 280-1.
73 Parker, 'Inclosure', III.
74 Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/2/653.
75 Studies in Leics. Agrarian Hist. 152.
76 L.R.O. Stockerston Tithe Award.
77 L.R.O. Probate Records.
78 Leic. City Mun. Room, 35'29/467-8.
79 L.R.O. Land Tax Assessments, Stockerston.
80 White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 525; (1863), 586; Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1932), 776.
81 V.C.H. Leics. i. 310.
82 Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 23.
83 V.C.H. Rut. ii. 224.
84 Parker, 'Inclosure', 44n.
85 Domesday of Inclosures, ed. Leadam, i. 229-30.
86 M. E. Finch, The Wealth of Five Northants. Families, 1540-1640 (Northants. Rec. Soc. xix), 138.
87 Northants. Rec. Off. Brudenell MS. O.xxi.10, ff. 3 sqq.; in this, Sir Robert's notebook of purchases, the first entry is dated 1500 but there may have been earlier, unnoted, purchases.
88 Ibid. f. 8.
89 Ibid. f. 4; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 462.
90 Northants. Rec. Off. Brudenell MS. O.xxi.10, f. 9.
91 Parker, 'Inclosure', 44.
92 E 317/Leics./13.
93 Nichols, Leics. ii. 617, and plate lxxxv.
94 V.C.H. Leics. iii. 199.
95 Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1932), 776.
96 V.C.H. Leics. i. 333.
97 Leic. City Mun. Room, 35'29/467.
98 V.C.H. Leics. i. 310.
99 Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 96.
1 Poor Law Abstract, 1803, 256-7.
2 White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 468.
3 Nichols, Leics. ii. 607.
4 Rot. Hugonis de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore, i. 261.
5 Ibid.
6 e.g. Rot. R. Grosseteste, ed. F. N. Davis, 439.
7 Doc. among par. recs.
8 Val. of Norw. ed. W. E. Lunt, 533.
9 Feud. Aids, iii. 111.
10 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 162.
11 Nichols, Leics. ii. 822.
12 White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 525.
13 Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1928), 735.
14 Crockford (1951-2), 341.
15 L.R.O. Stockerston Tithe Award.
16 White, Dir. Leics. (1863), 586.
17 Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1900), 342.
18 Ibid. (1928), 735.
19 Visitations in Dioc. Linc. 1517-31, ed. A. H. Thompson, i. 11.
20 Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxii. 138.
21 Ibid. 342.
22 Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/2/653.
23 Ibid. /18/22.
24 Ibid. 245'50/3.
25 Ibid. /9.
26 White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 524.
27 See V.C.H. Leics. ii. 45.
28 Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxiii. 249-50.
29 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 162.
30 Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxx. 528.
31 Burton, Description of Leics. (1622), 272.
32 Commemorative plaque in church.
33 Nichols, Leics. ii. 820-22.
34 T.L.A.S. i. 367; there are many glaziers' names scratched in the windows. Some of the destroyed glass is illus. in Nichols, Leics. ii, plate cxxxiii.
35 Nichols, Leics. ii. 821.
36 Ibid. and plate cxxxii, fig. 6.
37 Ibid. 816; Burton, Description of Leics. (1622), 272.
38 North, Ch. Bells Leics. 286.
39 Burton, Description of Leics. (1622), 272.
40 Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/18/4, f. 6.
41 Trollope, Ch. Plate Leics. i. 247.
42 Rot. Hugonis de Welles, i. 261; ii. 321; Rot. R. Gravesend, ed. F. N. Davis, 141.
43 Cal. Pat. 1381-5, 185.
44 Nichols, Leics. ii. 815n.
45 Parker, 'Inclosure', 44.
46 Leic. City Mun. Room, 245'50/3.
47 Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 1835, 497.
48 Kelly's Dir. Leics. (1888), 722.


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