Beinfeld, Benefeud (xiii cent.); Bentfeld, Benetfelde (xiv cent.); Bynfylde (xvi cent.).
The parish of Binfield was formerly part of Windsor
Forest and is still well wooded with many fine old
forest trees, particularly oaks and cedars. It has an
area of 3,489 acres, of which more than half is
permanent grass, while there are 206 acres of woods
and plantations and 543 acres of arable land, (fn. 1) producing
crops of wheat, barley and oats. An inclosure award
was made for the parish in 1817. (fn. 2) The soil is gravel
and clay with a clay subsoil. (fn. 3) The average height of
the ground is 200 ft. above the ordnance datum, but
an altitude of 300 ft. is reached in the south-west,
near Amen Corner. At Great Hazes Plantation in
the north-east it falls to 134 ft. The water supply
comes from the
Water Co., but a
spring about a mile
from the manorhouse was reserved
to the sole use of the
lord of the manor
when Windsor Forest
was inclosed in 1817.
A stream called the
Cut flows in a northerly direction
through the parish.
The main road from
Staines runs from
west to east, part of
it being known as
and the road from
Reading to Windsor
runs in the same
north. The village,
which is very scattered, is 2½ miles
station on the South
The rectory, Binfield Court, and a few other houses
stand by themselves to the north of the rest of the
village and probably represent the original settlement.
There is an undenominational chapel in the village
dating from 1875 and a Gospel hall. The working
men's club was built by subscription in 1885.
Probably the oldest house in the parish is Binfield
Place on the Windsor road, the residence of
Mr. Robert Caswall. The building, which faces
south, dates from the reign of Henry VII, though
much altered and reduced in size. (fn. 4) It was originally
E-shaped in plan, with a total length of about 88 ft.,
and was evidently of half-timber work above the cellars
and foundations. Of the original building only the
east wing and the part of the main block east of the
former entrance survive, the western portion of the
main block having been replaced by or incorporated in
an 18th-century wing. The half-timber walls were
probably converted into brick during the 17th century
and the greater part of the back, or north side, of the
building has been modernized. The original wood
wall-plate can be seen outside in the main south wall,
and the foundations of the west wing have been
discovered in places. All the windows are square with
wood frames and the roofs are tiled; one of the
chimneys bears the date 1702. The present length
of the building is about 48 ft. The entrance doorway, originally a window, is in the south wall. To
the right of the doorway, inside, is a passage-way lined
with early 17th-century panelling with fluted uprights
and cornice, and on the inside of the outer wall near
the ceiling is an original early 16th-century moulded
beam, evidently part of the former half-timber walling.
From the passage are steps up to the south-east room,
and there are also steps down to the cellar, the latter
now covered by an ingeniously hinged trap-door. The
room opening off this room to the north of the passageway has a 16th-century stone fireplace with moulded
jambs and lintel. The plaster ceiling hides some 16th-century moulded beams, one large bridge joist across
the middle supporting the moulded floor joists. These
were open from below and have traces of their
original painted decoration, a running pattern in red
and green with white roses. The stairs, which are
opposite the present entrance, are of no particular
interest. The screen on the first floor dividing the
top landing from the space above the entrance lobby
is made up with 17th-century panelling, and opening
off this space into the north-west room is an original
16th-century doorway of wood with moulded jambs
and four-centred arch in a square head with sunk
spandrels; the outside of the doorway is on the west
side towards the room. A passage on the south,
similar to that below, is lined with panelling of about
1620, as is also the south-east bedroom. In the
north-east room is a stone fireplace like that in the
room below. Against the road to the south, and exactly
opposite the position of the former middle doorway,
is a 17th-century gateway with brick posts having
moulded stone cappings and balls.
Elm Grove, now called Sarscroft, the residence of
Mr. Percival Soames, is a small building dating from
the 18th century and later. In its grounds is a raised
bowling-green, which, it has been surmised, is one of
the early earthworks with which this district abounds.
Most of the elms, from which the house was named,
are now gone, but one or two of extraordinary height
Other residences are Binfield Park House, situated
in a park of about 100 acres, lately the property and
residence of Mr. W. Burden-Muller, who sold it in
1913 to Mr. A. Vlasto; Binfield Court, the seat of
Mrs. W. E. Whitaker; Forest Lodge, belonging to
Lady Morshead; Binfield Lodge, the property of
Captain E. F. Rhodes, but occupied by Helen, Lady
Clark; Arthurstone, the residence of Mr. J. W.
MacNabb, J.P.; Egmont, of Major R. E. Lowndes
Radcliffe; Park Lodge, of Sir Frederick D. Cunningham; the White Lodge (formerly Seven Acres), of
Mr. H. E. Wiggett; Binfield Manor, of Mr. L. R.
Erskine; Allanbay, of Mrs. James A. Wiggett; Binfield Grove, of Sir Robert R. Wilmot, bart.; and
Farley Copse, the property of Col. Donald MacNabb.
The inn called the 'Jack o' Newbury' is mentioned at the end of the 17th century. (fn. 5) An old
house which stood 'near the eighth mile stone on
the road to Windsor' was occupied in the 17th and
18th centuries by the family of Lee. Robert Lee,
son of Robert Lee of Beaconsfield, Bucks., married
Joyce daughter of John Smewyn (fn. 6) of Binfield. Their
son Robert Lee of Binfield was aged sixty-three in
1665. He had a son Robert, then aged eighteen. (fn. 7)
Judith sister of the latter married Henry fourth Earl
of Stirling, who died in 1691. He and his wife,
who died in 1681, were both buried at Binfield, and
also their son Henry fifth Earl of Stirling, who died
in 1739. (fn. 8) His nephew William Phillips assumed
the name of Lee. (fn. 9) The house was pulled down
before Lysons wrote. (fn. 10)
Alexander Pope (1688–1744) spent most of his
boyhood at Binfield. (fn. 11)
The following place-names are found in Binfield:
Barghurst, (fn. 12) Redhurst and Suthale (fn. 13) (xiii cent.);
Roughgrove with la Giggehurne, Wythemedegrove,
Estgrove and le Halle place, (fn. 14) le Hethynnynge (fn. 15)
(xiv cent.); Budginhammeade (fn. 16) (xvii cent.).
A capital messuage called Cliftons was forfeited by
John Dancastle (see manors) for recusancy in the
reign of Charles I. (fn. 17)
At the date of the Great Survey
BINFIELD apparently formed part of
the royal manor of Cookham, as in
1225 it is called a member of that manor. (fn. 18) It
descended with Cookham, forming part of the dower
of the Queens of England during the 13th, 14th and
15th centuries, (fn. 19) and is still in the possession of the
A so-called manor of BINFIELD was surrendered
with Clewer to the Crown in 1546 by Thomas Lord
Sandys. (fn. 20) His mother was Margery Bray, niece of
Sir Reynold Bray, who had bought lands in Binfield
with the manor of Clewer during the reign of
Henry VII. (fn. 21) The Crown also obtained land in
1542 by exchange with George Throckmorton. (fn. 22)
This land had been bought by George Throckmorton
from Thomas Decons, (fn. 23) and had formerly belonged
to the Rippons, (fn. 24) and probably to the Smewyns. (fn. 25)
Another manor of BINFIELD was held of the
royal manor by the family of De la Beche. John de
la Beche died in 1328 seised of a messuage and a
hide of land held of the king's ancient demesne by
the service of 4s. 8d. and suit to the hundred of
Cookham every three weeks. (fn. 26) From John de la
Beche the manor descended in his family, and then
passed, like that of La Beche in Aldworth (q.v.),
through the Langfords to Reade Stafford, (fn. 27) who sold
it in or before 1597 to John Dancastle of Welhouse,
who died seised of it in 1610, leaving a grandson
John, aged thirteen, as his heir. (fn. 28) He settled it by
fine in 1658. (fn. 29) His son John (fn. 30) is apparently the
John Dancastle buried in the church who died in
1680. John Dancastle, probably his grandson, (fn. 31) the
last male heir and the friend of Pope, was holding in
1716, (fn. 32) and sold it in 1754 (fn. 33) to William Pitt, whose
nephew William Moreton Pitt sold it in 1778 to
Buckworth Herne. (fn. 34) The next owner was William
Coxe, from whom it was purchased in 1787 by
George Lord Kinnaird. (fn. 35) Eight years later Claud
Russell became the proprietor by purchase and was
holding in 1813. (fn. 36) It subsequently passed to Sir F.
Wilder, whose widow sold it to Mr. Kinnersley.
He sold the manor-house and about 60 acres of land
about 1896 to Lord Arthur Hill, of whom it was
purchased in 1907 by Mr. Lestocq R. Erskine, the
present owner. (fn. 37)
De la Beche. Vair argent and gules.
Dancastle. Azure a fireball or.
The manor of DEPERS (Deapers, Diapers) was
surrendered to the king in 1544 by John Leigh of
Stockwell and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 38) It remained with
the Crown until the reign of James I, (fn. 39) who bestowed
the property in 1616 upon Charles, then Prince
of Wales. (fn. 40) In 1628 Charles granted it in fee to
Edward Ditchfield and other citizens of London (fn. 41)
in trust for the Corporation. In 1690 John Royse
and Mary his wife and Lydia R[oyse], widow,
conveyed the manor to Thomas Wright, sen., Thomas
Wright, jun., and John Bateman. (fn. 42) Later Depers
became the property of a Mr. Webb, (fn. 43) and in 1800
was held by Henry William Toovey Hawley. (fn. 44)
Five years later it was sold by Zachariah Boult to
Charles Browing. (fn. 45) In 1840 the estate was in the
possession of Stephen Henry Shepheard and later
came into the hands of the Rev.— Lambert, who
sold it to the Rev. J. S. Wiggett. It is part of the
Binfield Place estate, now called Allanbay, and is
the property of Mrs. Wiggett. (fn. 46)
There was a subordinate manor in Binfield called
BUCKHURST situated on Buckhurst Hill. It was
held in 1608 by Thomas Allen and in 1663 by the
heir of Nicholas Ticknor. In 1806 it belonged to
Charles Cove, and before that to the Southey family.
Cove was still in possession in 1840, but it was afterwards bought by Mr. Heelas of Wokingham and sold
to Mr. C. J. Murdoch, M.P. for Reading, to whose
widow it now belongs. (fn. 47)
The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel 35 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft.
11 in., with a north aisle 23 ft. 10 in.
by 17 ft. 9 in and a south chapel 23 ft. 5 in. by 16 ft.
2 in., north-east vestry, nave 53 ft. by 18 ft. 7 in.,
north and south aisles each 16 ft. 2 in. wide, south
porch, and west tower 9 ft. 11 in. by 9 ft. 9 in.
These measurements are all internal.
Only the font remains to suggest the existence of a
church here before the first half of the 15th century,
to which period the chancel, nave, south chapel and
south aisle belong. The south chapel is slightly later
in date than the south aisle of the nave, and the
tower was added at the end of the same century.
The north aisle of the nave was added in 1848, and
eleven years later the north chancel aisle was built
and the vestry added. The building has been very
thoroughly restored, so that but few of the windows
retain their original stonework.
The chancel is faced with flint externally. The
east window is modern and of three trefoiled lights under
a traceried two-centred head, and in either side wall
is a modern two-light traceried window, that on the
south side having a sedile in its recess. In the east
wall, south of the altar, is a trefoiled ogee piscina, of
which only the round basin appears to be old. An
arcade of three bays, the easternmost modern, divides
the chancel from the south chapel. The two original
arches are of two orders, the outer hollow-chamfered
and the inner moulded with a wave-mould; the
columns, the western of which is original, are
octagonal, as is the modern east respond, but the
west respond is of two chamfered orders. The
capitals have bead-moulded abaci. On the north
side an arcade of three bays opens into the modern
chancel aisle. There is no chancel arch, but a modern
iron screen on a stone base separates nave and chancel,
and a step descends from the former into the latter;
the side arches are also closed by iron screens.
The south chapel, which has been lengthened
eastwards, has a 15th-century east window (moved
out with the wall) of three cinquefoiled lights with
tracery under a depressed head. The six tracery
openings were filed with old glass, which was removed
in the last century to the modern south-east window.
The glass, which is of the 15th century, represents
the figures of St. George with the dragon, St. John
the Divine with the poisoned cup, St. Peter, St. Paul,
and the two figures of the Annunciation, the angel
and the Blessed Virgin. The second south window
as old and has two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil under a two-centred head; the inner jambs have
engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and
the rear arch is two-centred and moulded.
Binfield Church: The South Porch
The south arcade of the nave is of four bays with
octagonal pillars and responds of two chamfered
orders; the bases are hollow chamfered and the
capitals moulded; the arches are pointed and of two
double ogee orders. On the north side an arcade
of four bays with octagonal piers and pointed arches,
apparently set a little to the north of the former
nave wall, opens into the modern north aisle.
The south aisle, which is continuous with the
south chapel, has two south windows, both of two
lights and of the same type as the south-west window
of the chapel, with a south doorway between them.
The eastern window retains its old inner jambs and
has a stilted two-centred drop rear arch, probably
later than the jambs, but, like the western window,
has been restored outside. The doorway, which has
been partly restored, has a moulded label and is of
two continuous orders, the inner hollow chamfered,
with square flowers in the pointed head and upper
part of the jambs, and the outer moulded with a
double ogee. The west window is modern and of
two lights under a pointed head. The
walling of the aisle is of dark-coloured
conglomerate blocks, while the modern
extension at the east end of the chapel
is faced with flint.
The tower, which is also faced with
conglomerate, is of two stages with an
embattled parapet, and has diagonal
buttresses at the western angles. The
tower arch is of two continuous hollow-chamfered orders, and is somewhat to
the south of the axial line of the nave,
while the floor of the ground stage is
higher than the general floor level.
The modernized west window has two
trefoiled lights under a pointed arch,
and a small trefoiled light, breaking the
string between the two stages, lights the
first story on the south side. The bellchamber is lighted by old windows of
two trefoiled lights under two-centred
arches of two hollow orders. A modern
stair-turret has been built in the middle
of the north side, and the entrance to
the bell-chamber is through the north
window, which has had its mullion
removed. The roof is covered with
lead, which bears the date 1725 and
the initials I.H. and I.S.
The open wooden porch is of the
15th century; each side has eight
feathered and traceried bays, differing
in detail. The chancel has an opentimbered cradle roof, the timbers of
which appear to be old. The nave
roof has heavy tie-beams and wind-braced purlins
and is probably old.
The font is plain and has an old cylindrical bowl
on a modern octagonal stem. The pulpit, which
stands in the north aisle, is dated 1628 and is typically
carved and panelled. The sounding-board, which
was till recently in the vestry, has turned pendants
and open ornament over. Next to the pulpit is an
elaborate wrought-iron sword-stand with leaf and
grape ornament; in the back are a wolf, a pelican
and a lion repeated on either side with three
shields. The uppermost shield has the arms: Sable
a cheveron argent between three harts' heads
caboshed; the middle one has a rose tree with red
roses; and the lowest is charged Argent three
horseshoes sable, the arms of the Farriers' Company
At the west end of the nave is some panelling
matching the pulpit and contemporary with it, and
the vestry is also lined with 17th-century panelling
with carved strap-work. Near the pulpit and organ
stands a chest of the same date. The tower archway
has been closed by a wood screen in which are fitted
some pieces of 15th-century tracery, probably belonging
to a former rood screen.
At the entrance to the chancel is a small brass
half-figure of a priest with the inscription : 'Water
de Anneford gist icy dieu de sa alme eit mercy.'
He was rector of Binfield in the first half of the
14th century. Against the east wall of the south
chapel is a curious palimpsest brass; it has been
damaged and part of the later inscription with the
name is lost, but it is said to commemorate Richard
Turner and Katherine his wife. (fn. 48) It is in black
letter and reads : 'Here lyeth the bodie … yne
his wyfe, whiche in this parisshe sumtyme lyved …wyfe. But nowe dethe hathe them ravesshed their
ly … past and goone. Theire bodyes lyeth here
covered under this marbulle stoone wiche Richard
died the xxvi day of October in the yere of our
lord god MVcLVIII and the sayd Katheryne dyed the
xiii day of Aprill in the yer of or lord god MVc XXXIX
whose soules Jhū pardon.' In the registers is found
the entry of the death of Catherine Turner, 13 April
1538 , and of Richard Turner, 30 October 1558.
Over this is a portion of a Latin inscription, above
which are two fragments of a curved inscribed scroll.
The back of the brass bears part of the figure of a
bishop or abbot with a staff, holding in his left
hand a book inclosed in a bag, while on the reverse
of the second inscription is a portion of another
inscription reading, 'Orate pro a[nima] Will[elmi] Brampt …
et Stok fisshmonger london['] cui[us] …'
In the chancel are gravestones to Elizabeth, the
wife of Gabriel Yonge and daughter of Edmund
Lechmere, who died in 1686, John Dancastle, 1680,
Henry Howard, lord of the borough of Clum, son to
Robert Howard, knight of the Bath, 1675, William
Blount, 1671, and Henry Alexander Earl of Stirling,
1739. In the nave is a stone to Judith Countess of
Stirling, who died in 1681; she was the daughter of
Robert Lee of Binfield.
There are six bells: the treble is by Mears &
Stainbank, 1882, and the remaining five are by
Samuel Knight, 1628; the second is inscribed 'I as
trebell do bee ginn'; the third, 'Feare God honer
the King'; the fourth, 'Samuel Knight cast this
ring'; the fifth, 'In Binfield touar for too sing';
and the tenor, 'Samuell Knight mad mee.
The plate consists of a cup and paten of 1850 and
a paten of 1861, all of silver-gilt.
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows :
(i) marriages and burials 1538 to 1730, baptisms
1551 to 1730; (ii) all entries 1730 to 1812.
The church of ST. MARK, built in 1866, consists
of chancel, nave, aisles and transepts. The materials
are red brick with stone facings and the design is in
the style of the 13th century. It serves as a chapel
of ease to All Saints' Church.
The church of Binfield appears
to have been one of the chapels of
Cookham given by Henry I to the
abbey of Cirencester, (fn. 49) as the church is afterwards
found in the possession of that abbey. In 1226
Henry III granted to the church of All Saints of
Binfield a piece of ground for making a courtyard. (fn. 50)
In 1347 the abbot paid £20 for a licence to appropriate the church. (fn. 51) At the Dissolution, however,
the living appears to have been a rectory, (fn. 52) as it still
remains. The advowson has been in the Crown since
the Dissolution. (fn. 53)
A chantry of one chaplain was founded in the
church of Binfield by Robert Broke for the soul of
Sir Richard Broke his father and all Christian souls,
the priest to have a stipend of £6 13s. 4d. from the
manor of Depers. When that manor passed to the
king the chantry ceased to exist. (fn. 54)
Two distinguished Royalist divines, David Stokes
(1591 ?–1669), the theological writer, and Thomas
Lamplugh (1615–91), afterwards Bishop of Exeter
and Archbishop of York, held the rectory of Binfield.
Henry Dison Gabell (1764–1831), the head master
of Winchester College, was the rector there in 1820. (fn. 55)
In 1652 Richard How, by deed,
gave land at Finchampstead, onefourth part of the rent to be employed in maintaining at school one or more poor
child or children of Binfield. The endowment is
now represented by £600 consols, this parish being
entitled to one-fourth of the dividends amounting to
£3 15s. a year (see under Wokingham).
In 1752 the Rev. John Birch charged Bridge
Close with the payment of 52s. a year for bread for
the poor, and by deed, 15 January 1770, conveyed
the Close and a cottage and orchard adjoining for
securing the payment of the charge, the remainder of
the rents to be applied in teaching poor children to
read. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of
22 April 1904 a sum of £104 consols, part of a
sum of £195 2s. 5d. consols, representing the proceeds of the sale in 1887 of Bridge Close, was placed
to a separate account entitled Birch's Bread Charity,
the dividends being applicable in the distribution of
bread under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners
of 19 February 1878. The residue of the endowment, entitled Birch's Educational Foundation, consists of a cottage and garden at Stubbs Hill containing
2 r. 14 p. near Manor Farm and £91 2s. 7d. consols. The income, amounting to £10 16s. 4d. is at
present accumulating pending the establishment of a
In 1647 William Winch by his will charged a
cottage and a piddle of ground called Hazel Hatch
and 4 acres of land at Rye Arsh with 10s. to be paid
annually on the feast of All Saints to ten poor people
of Binfield. The annuity is received from Mrs.
Rhodes of Newmarket.
In 1648 William Symondson by will gave 100
marks, the income to be distributed on his birthday,
17 November. A cottage and lands were purchased
with the money. The property consists of a building formerly used as an infants' school and now for
parochial meetings; a pair of cottages with yard,
garden and outbuildings; 3 r. 24 p. of land, Brook
Meadow, containing 2 a. 1 r. 32 p. and coal shed,
and two allotments of land containing 1 a. 2 r., producing in the aggregate £24 a year or thereabouts.
The net income is now applied to the Sunday school
clothing club as an addition by way of bonus to the
sums deposited by the members. (fn. 56)
In 1655 William Randall by deed gave a rentcharge of 10s. charged on Pease Croft and 5s.
charged on Long Close to be distributed to the
poor every Good Friday. The rent-charge on
Pease Croft was redeemed in 1868, and is represented by a sum of £17 10s. 10d. consols. The
rent-charge of 5s. is paid by Pembroke College,
Oxford, who now own Long Close.
It appears from a tablet in the church that Sir
John Ketcher by will gave a rent-charge of 10s.
secured upon Paradise Mead to be distributed to the
poor on Good Friday. The annuity is distributed
with the income of Randall's charity in gifts of 2s.
each to poor widows on Good Friday.
In 1719 Michael Wondesford by his will gave
£40 for apprenticing poor boys. A piece of land
was purchased with the legacy, exchanged in or about
1719 for a close containing 3 a. 36 p. called Overlicks, adjoining Priestwood Common. There was
also set out by the award of the commissioners, dated
8 November 1817, under the Windsor Forest Act, (fn. 57)
an allotment containing 2 r. 11 p. separated from
Overlicks by a stream. The rents, amounting to
£45s. 2d. per annum, are applied in apprenticing boys.
In 1777 Lumsey Bowes, by his will proved in the
P.C.C. 27 March, gave £500 3 per cent. East India
annuities, the dividends to be applied amongst the
poor not receiving parochial relief.
In 1785 James Batson, by his will proved in the
P.C.C. gave £100 to the parish to be applied as his
executor, Edward Batson, might think fit. This
sum was invested by the executor (together with a
sum advanced by himself) in £200 East India
annuities, and he directed that the income should be
distributed to the poor.
In 1804 the Rev. Edward Wilson, canon of
Windsor, then rector, by his will proved in the
P.C.C. 15 December, gave £500 3 per cent. reduced
annuities, and directed that the dividends should be
distributed together with those belonging to Bowes'
and Batson's charities. The endowment of these
charities is now represented by £1,203 0s. 2d.
consols, producing £30 1s. 4d. per annum, which is
distributed on St. Stephen's Day in sums of 20s. to
the poor not receiving poor-law relief.
In 1830 John Stevenson gave £50, now represented by £59 16s. 11d. consols, for the benefit of
the poor. The income, amounting to £1 9s. 8d.
per annum, is applied in the distribution of bread in
the same manner as Birch's bread charity (see above).
The several sums of stock above mentioned are held
by the official trustees.
The fuel allotment—By an inclosure award dated
8 November 1817, under the Act for inclosing
Windsor Forest, there was allotted to this parish, in
lieu of the right of the poor to cut turves, & c., for
fuel, a parcel of land containing 12 a. 3 r. 34p., and
another piece of land containing 1 r. 2p. has been
purchased subsequently. The land is let and produces £14 17s. 2d. per annum, which is applied in
an annual distribution of coals to about fifty poor
persons in quantities of 5 cwt. each.
Lucas Hospital—Binfield is entitled to have an
inmate selected from the parish (see under