Ad Lapidem (x cent.) (fn. 1) ; Staneham (xi cent.); Stanham Abbatis (xiii cent.)
The parish of North Stoneham, comprising over
5,026 acres, thirty-two of which are covered by water,
is situated in the New Forest division of the county,
north-east from Southampton, and south-west from
In the east is the River Itchen, which forms the
boundary between North and South Stoneham, and
one of its tributaries, Monk's Brook, traverses the
parish from north to south. The land is fertile and
well wooded; there are 896 acres of wood, 1,485 of
arab'e, and 1,088 of permanent grass-land. (fn. 2)
The soil is red loam with a gravel or clay subsoil,
and the inhabitants, mostly engaged in agriculture,
cultivate wheat, oats, and barley.
The main roads from Southampton to Winchester,
and from Romsey to Botley, cross the parish.
There is a gradual slope of the land from the north-west, where the average altitude is 200 ft. above the
ordnance datum, to the south-east and south, where is
the River Itchen, and where the altitude is only 50 ft.
Most of the centre of the parish is occupied by North
Stoneham Common and North Stoneham Park. The
latter surrounds the Manor House, now unoccupied,
and covers 500 acres. The grounds are well laid
out, and are used by the members of the North
Stoneham Club for games and athletic sports of all
kinds. There are also two fine fishponds, now used
for boating. The church of St. Nicholas stands just
within the park, while opposite is the rectory.
There is no village of North Stoneham, but about
half a mile north of the church is the little hamlet of
Middle, consisting of a farm and a few cottages, the
Cricketer's Arms Inn and the post office.
North End is a hamlet in the extreme north of the
parish, near Chandlersford, and comprises a few
picturesque old cottages, and a farm called the Home
Farm. Chandlersford was formed into a separate
civil parish in 1897, from portions of North Stoneham, North Baddesley, and Ampfield. A few years
ago it contained only a few small cottages, but it is
now rapidly developing into a favourite residential
neighbourhood, owing to its healthy situation and
charming scenery. The iron church and schools
erected in 1889 lie to the north of the village.
Chandlersford Railway Station on the Eastleigh and
Salisbury branch of the London and South Western
Railway is in North Baddesley parish, according to
the boundaries of 1895. Bassett, a group of large
modern residences, lies on the southern border of the
parish and contains the fine new church of St. Michael
and All Angels, opened in 1897.
Saxholme, to the north of the village, is the
residence of Sir Alfred Wills, Ridgemount is the
property of W. Erasmus Darwin, J.P., and Red
Lodge, in the south-west of the village, is owned by
Sir Harold Hewitt.
The old canal from Alresford, which still forms
part of the parish boundary, is now disused and
The village stocks have disappeared, but they were
formerly on the road to Chandlersford near the pound,
close to the gates of North Stoneham Park.
Lord Hawke, the victor of Quiberon Bay, formerly
lived in this parish, and is buried in the church.
King Athelstan, in the year 932, at
the Witenagemot at Amesbury, granted
certain land in NORTH STONEHAM to
the thegn Alfred, (fn. 3) who in 941 gave the same land to
the abbey of Hyde, Winchester. (fn. 4)
In Domesday North Stoneham is given as one of
the possessions of St. Peter's Abbey of Hyde, 'to
which it has always belonged.' Then, as in the time
of King Edward, it was assessed at 8 hides, and there
were considerable lands belonging to the manor. (fn. 5)
In 1329 the abbey of Hyde was granted free
warren in its demesne lands in North Stoneham. (fn. 6)
The property of the abbot here had been increased
three years before by a grant of one messuage and
land from John de Chekenhull and Beatrice his wife,
for the maintenance of a chaplain who every day should
pray for the souls of the donors and their ancestors. (fn. 7)
At the dissolution of the monasteries North Stoneham manor, with many of the other possessions of
Hyde Abbey, was granted to Thomas Wriothesley,
earl of Southampton. (fn. 8) He was succeeded on his
death in 1550 by his son Henry, then a minor. (fn. 9)
Henry died in 1582 and left as his heir a son Henry,
then only eight years of age. (fn. 10) Shortly after attaining
his majority he sold the North Stoneham estate to
Thomas Fleming, (fn. 11) whose descendants are the present
owners. His son Thomas, who succeeded him in
1623, (fn. 12) died in 1639, leaving a son Edward as his
heir. He also left a daughter Katherine, who afterwards married Daniel Eliot. (fn. 13)
Edward's grandson died unmarried, and the male
line of the Fleming family became extinct. The
estate of North Stoneham then passed to Thomas
Willis, great-grandson of Katherine and Daniel Eliot,
who assumed the surname Fleming. He died without heirs, and was succeeded by his half-brother John,
who also took the name Fleming, but died without
issue in 1802. The property then devolved upon
his cousin John Barton Willis, great-grandson of
Browne Willis the antiquary by Katherine Eliot,
daughter of Daniel Eliot and Katherine Fleming, who
became John Barton Willis Fleming. (fn. 14) His grandson,
Mr. John Edward Arthur Willis Fleming, holds the
manor at the present time.
Fleming. Gules a cheveron between three owls argent with an ermine tail on the cheveron.
Willis. Argent a fesse between three lions gules and a border gules bezanty.
Two mills are mentioned in Domesday among the
possessions of Hyde Abbey in North Stoneham. (fn. 15) No
such buildings exist here at the present day, although
there are two in the neighbouring parish of South
Stoneham, one called the 'Wood Mills' at Swaythling, the other called 'West End Mills,' a little above
the old Mansbridge, on the River Itchen.
In the extent of North Stoneham, as granted to
Hyde Abbey in 941, the boundary extended as far as
the River Itchen in two places, at 'Swathelyngford,'
and at 'a mylle place by Northe Mannysbrygge,' (fn. 16)
from which it seems conclusive that the mills now in
South Stoneham are those formerly in North Stoneham, having been transferred from one parish to the
other by a change of boundary, especially as there is
no river or stream in North Stoneham capable of
turning a mill. In the time of George I the sheaves
for the blocks of the men-of-war were turned in the
Wood Mill, some of the Hanoverian bodyguard being
given employment at the work. Now, however, it is
a flour mill worked by Messrs. A. & F. Ray, roller
millers, of Southampton. 'West End Mill' is now a
corn mill, the property of Mr. John Gater, whose
family have held it for over a century. It was formerly a paper mill, belonging in 1686 to the company of White Papermakers. Nine of the fifteen
members of the company were French refugees, and
in 1702 Gerard de Vaux, 'frenchman,' was living at
South Stoneham Mill. Here he was joined by
another Huguenot, Henry Portal, who afterwards set
up for himself at Laverstoke, and in 1724 obtained
the contract for making bank-note paper, which his
descendants still hold.
North Stoneham Park is of great antiquity, and in
the fourteenth century was a fine deer park belonging
to the abbot of Hyde. (fn. 17)
The messuage granted to the abbot by John de
Chekenhull in the fourteenth century was conveyed
with North Stoneham manor to Thomas Wriothesley
at the dissolution of the monasteries, (fn. 18) and shares the
same history as that manor. (fn. 19) Traces of this messuage possibly still exist in Chickenhall Farm.
The church of ST. NICHOLAS has
a chancel 25 ft. long, and of equal width
(15 ft. 2 in.) with a nave of 35 ft. 9 in.,
aisles of the full length of nave and chancel, 11 ft. 5 in.
and 11 ft. 2 in. wide respectively, a west tower 10 ft.
by 9 ft. 6 in., a north porch and a south vestry.
The various additions and alterations which have
brought the church to its present symmetrical plan
have destroyed all evidence of any work earlier than
the fifteenth century, with the exception of the
west window of the tower, which is a beautiful
triplet of thirteenth-century lancets, re-used here, as
it seems, when the tower was built in the sixteenth
The nave arcades, of three bays with octagonal pillars,
simply moulded capitals, and arches of two chamfered
orders, are probably fifteenth-century work, while
the two bays on either side of the chancel are of
curious pseudo-Gothic character, and apparently of
late eighteenth or early nineteenth-century date.
They are of different section, and may perhaps be
intended as copies of mediaeval work formerly existing here, but if this be the case the copying is not
sufficiently close to give grounds for assuming the date
of the former arcades.
The east window of the chancel is of fifteenth-century style, of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery,
and flanked on the inside by modern niches for
images; it is filled with painted glass made in 1826
by Edwards of Winchester, the subject being an
adaptation of Raphael's Transfiguration; the result
is not happy.
The aisle windows are of late Gothic character,
and probably in no case earlier than the sixteenth
century; they have been a good deal repaired, modern
cusping being inserted, so that their dates are chiefly
matter of conjecture. Both aisles have three-light
east and west windows, the east window of the
south aisle having image brackets on either side of it;
in the north aisle are four north windows, the eastern
of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a pointed
head, the next two square-headed, of three and four
cinquefoiled lights respectively, and the fourth also
square-headed, of three cinquefoiled lights. Between
the third and fourth windows is a round-headed
north doorway with a plain quarter-round moulding
of uncertain but not ancient date.
In the south aisle the south windows are all square-headed, of three or four lights. The details of the
windows are not uniform, the west window of the
south aisle, and the four-light window in the north
aisle, being of better style than the rest.
The tower is of three stages, with a stair at the
north-east angle. It is probably of sixteenth-century
date, but externally its details are hidden by ivy; the
east arch is of a single pointed order, edge-chamfered.
The west window, as already noted, is a beautiful
piece of thirteenth-century detail: a triplet of lancets
under a segmental rear arch with engaged shafts to
the lights and rear arch, having moulded capitals and
bases and bands at half height. The rear arch and
lights are also moulded, and the date of the whole is
about 1230; the bonding of the masonry shows that
it has been carefully re-used in the tower at the time
of its building in the sixteenth century.
All the roofs and wood fittings of the church are
of modern date, but a seventeenth-century altar-table
with twisted baluster legs stands at the east end of
the south aisle. The organ is at the east end of the
north aisle, and the font, which has an octagonal
bowl of Purbeck marble on a modern stone stem, is
under the east arch of the tower. The bowl looks
like fifteenth-century work, but may be an older
bowl refashioned at that time.
In the middle of the chancel floor is a bluish limestone slab, 6 ft 8 in. by 3 ft. 8 in., formerly in the
north aisle, which was perhaps its original position.
On it is a shield charged with a double-headed eagle
surrounded by foliage of foreign Gothic type, and
round the edge of the slab runs a marginal inscription
with the evangelistic symbols at the four angles—
SEPULTURA DE LA SCHOLA DE SCLAVONI AÑO DÑI
There appears to be no record of any connexion of
North Stoneham with these Slavonians, who doubtless
came to Southampton with the Venetian fleet. The
Rev. G. W. Minns (fn. 20) suggests that the slab may
have been brought here from the destroyed church of
St. Mary, Southampton, c. 1550, as it is said that
some of the material of this church found its way to
North Stoneham. At the east end of the south aisle,
on the south side, is the monument of Sir Thomas
Fleming, Lord Chief Justice, who died in 1613, with
his effigy in scarlet robes, and that of his wife, and
kneeling figures of the six sons and two daughters
who survived him. Two sons and one daughter died
before their father, and are not represented on his
tomb. The inscription is in two panels on the base,
and above the effigies are the arms of Fleming, gules a
cheveron between three owls or, an ermine spot on
the cheveron, between Fleming impaling James (his
wife's family), and James, gules a dolphin or, quartering
per fesse sable and or a lion or and gules.
Opposite to the Fleming monument, on the north
side of the aisle, is a mural tablet to John Serle, 1576,
his wife Christine, 1561, and their son John, 1575.
In the south aisle also is a monument to Lord
Hawke, 1781, with a sea piece carved in white marble
of very good style.
A wooden screen now in North Baddesley church,
bearing Sir Thomas Fleming's initials and the date 1602,
is said to have been brought from North Stoneham.
It has been, as it seems, lengthened a few inches, and
its original size, 15 ft. 2 in., is precisely that of the
width of North Stoneham nave and chancel, so that
the tradition may be correct.
There are six bells by Taylor of Loughborough,
1893. The former ring was of three, by I H., 1651,
Antony Bond, 1623, and a Salisbury founder, c. 1400.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt cup of 1702, with
a cover paten, inscribed 'TA ΣA EK TΩN ΣΩN anno
domini 1702,' and a standing paten of the same date,
the gift of Margaret and Thomas Fleming, bearing
the Fleming arms, and Fleming with Bland on a
scutcheon of pretence.
The flagon, which has no marks but that of the
maker Ro — perhaps Philip Rollos of London—was
given in 1703, and is inscribed 'Humbly offered
by Richard Dummer.' There is also a modern
paten, silver-gilt, and two glass cruets, with silver-gilt
The first book of the registers runs from 1640 to
1716, and the second, which bears on the cover the
date 1716, and has lost a few pages, runs from 1722
to 1812, the marriages ceasing in 1754, and being
entered in a third book which carries them to 1812.
A chapel evidently existed in North
Stoneham as early as the tenth century, for besides the grant of Stoneham by Aelfrid the thegn to Hyde Abbey, it also
received from King Athelstan 6 hides of land at
'Stanham,' together with the chapel thereto pertaining and the vestments. (fn. 21)
The abbey held the church with the manor at the
time of the Domesday Survey, and in 1330 the abbot
received licence in fulfilment of a grant to his convent
by Edward I to appropriate the church as well as hold
the patronage. (fn. 22) The advowson continued in the
gift of the abbot until the Dissolution, when it was
granted with the manor to Thomas Wriothesley, since
which time it has always been held by the lord of
North Stoneham manor (q.v.).
In 1720 Edward Dummer, by his
will proved in the P.C.C. charged his
manor and lands in Swaythling with
the yearly payment of £5 for a schoolmaster for
teaching boys and girls to write and read.
The Poor's Money, the gifts of various donors,
formerly consisted of £168, which, it is understood, was
laid out on some cottages, now forming part of the
North Stoneham estate belonging to John Fleming,
esquire, by whom the sum of £6 15s., being interest
at £4 per cent., is paid annually and distributed on
Easter Thursday by the rector and churchwardens.
In 1906, sixty-eight cottagers received from 1s. to 2s.