Widehaye, Estweydehay (xiii cent.); Wodehay
(xv cent.); Estwydhay (xvi cent.); Widhay, Woodhay (xvii cent.).
The parish of East Woodhay contains 5,079 acres,
of which 1,586 are arable land, 2,119 are permanent
grass and 651 are woods and plantations. (fn. 1) It lies on
the Berkshire border and is bounded on the north by
the River Enborne; the nearest station is Woodhay
on the Didcot, Newbury and Winchester line of the
Great Western Railway, 2½ miles north-east. The
chief crops are wheat, barley and oats; the upper
soil varies and the subsoil is chalk.
The village itself is in the north-west, the land
south of it rising to a considerable height, while on
the north it descends to the banks of the River
North End, Heath End and East End with
Malverleys, a building of white brick in the Italian
style, standing in grounds of about 500 acres, the
residence, until his death in October 1910, of Mr.
Paul F. Forster, are some of the hamlets in
this parish. Near North End is Burlyns House,
the residence of Mrs. Lindsey, and Northenby,
the residence of Mr. R. Manners Howard Williams,
J.P. Hazelby House, the residence of Capt. W.
Sandbach, is in the extreme north of the parish, and
was at one time occupied by Lady Louisa Howard,
who presented five bells and a clock with chimes to
the church. Stargroves, south of the village, is.owned
by Capt. Sir F. H. W. Carden, bart. Oliver Cromwell stopped at Stargroves after the second battle
of Newbury (27 October 1644), and was entertained by the then owner, John Goddard; the
basin or china bowl in which his breakfast (toast
and ale) was served is in the custody of the rector
besides some letters referring to the incident. (fn. 2)
East of Stargroves is Hollington House, rebuilt by Mr. W. P.Taylor, and sold in 1907 to Mr.
E. Fisher Kelly. It is in Woolton Hill, a separate
ecclesiastical parish formed in 1850. On the borders
of East Woodhay parish adjoining Highclere Street is
Hollington Cross and south of the park is the hamlet
of Hollington with Hollington Farm.
East Woodhay House, Burley, The Mount,
Woolton House, Harwood Lodge and Tile Barn are
within the boundaries of Woolton Hill parish.
Zell House Farm, situated on the Downs near
Hollington Cross, and a copse of the same name not
far off, perhaps commemorate the Sele family, who
were holding under the bishop in the 15 th and 16th
centuries. (fn. 3)
Place-names found in a document of the 16th
century are Inkapen and Bavers, (fn. 4) and in the indenture of Scele in the 17th century Park Mead, Stafford
Mead, the Great Park, the Little Park, Woodfalls,
Burleidge Field and Mancroft are mentioned. (fn. 5)
The manor of EAST WOODHAY
was the property of the see of Winchester, to which it had been given by
Alwara ' pro anima Sedwini viri sui,' (fn. 6) and confirmed
by Edward I in 1284. (fn. 7)
The Bishop of Winchester at an early period
granted the greater part of the estate to various
tenants, retaining only a small portion in his own
hands. Thus in 1346 the return was that the tenants
of the Bishop of Winchester in Woodhay were holding one fee in Woodhay 'quod episcopus solebat
tenere praeter antiquam tenuram,' and in 1428
Thomas Byflete, John Herries, John Sterregrave and
Edmund Lynche, Nicholas Jurdan and John atte
Sele, each held a separate part of the parish. (fn. 8)
In 1487 Robert Byflete, a brother of Thomas, died
seised of 40 acres in East Woodhay, worth 10s., held
of the Bishop of Winchester by service of 1 1b. of
pepper, leaving a son John, a minor at the time of
his father's death. (fn. 9) Thomas Byflete, who died in
1500, also owned land in East Woodhay, (fn. 10) and John
Sele, an idiot, who was the son and heir of Robert
Sele, held tenements in Woodhay in the reign of
Henry VIII. (fn. 11) Nicholas Jurdan was probably
descended from the John Jurdan, 'parishioner of the
church of Wydehay,' who in the early part of the
14th century was cited to appear before the Bishop of
Winchester to answer for his troublesome behaviour
in keeping the rector and his servants out of his fields
which paid tithes to the church. (fn. 12) East Woodhay
was included in the sale of the bishop's lands in 1648,
the manor with the courts leet and courts baron
belonging being purchased by James Storey, and the
capital messuage or manor-house with the lands
belonging, which in 1575 had been held in favour by
Edward Longman, and which the bishop had granted
on a lease of three lives to Edward Goddard in 1616,
being sold to Tichborne Long and John Goddard. (fn. 13)
At the accession of Charles II the manor was
restored to the bishopric, and in 1703 the Bishop of
Winchester was said to be the owner of the manor,
the demesne land being leased to a Mr. Goddard,
owner of Stargroves. (fn. 14)
The manor ultimately was acquired by the Earl of
Carnarvon, who was holding in 1821, and the present
earl is lord of the manor. (fn. 15)
The property at STARGROVES, designated a
manor in the 16th century, was probably represented
by the land held by John Stargrove in 1428. (fn. 16)
John Edwardes is the first known holder of the
manor as such, and he sold it in 1565 to Vincent
Goddard, (fn. 17) from whom, in 1570–1, it was acquired
by Edward Goddard, (fn. 18) who
appears to have been a nephew.
The latter died in 1615 seised
of ' a manor or capital messuage in Eastwoodhaie,' leaving
a son of the same name, who
in 1616 obtained a lease of
East Woodhay manor-house
from the bishop. (fn. 19)
Edward, son and heir of
the last-named Edward, died
in 1669, and was succeeded
by his son William, who died
in 1690; William's heir was
his son Edward, who dealt
with the manor by fine in
1692 and died in 1724. (fn. 20) In 1755 Edward Goddard, possibly a son of the latter, was holding, and in
1782 William was the owner; another Edward
Goddard held in 1814. (fn. 21)
Goddard of East Woodhay. Azure a fesse indented between three eagles' heads razed or.
Mr. Richard Hull ultimately acquired the manor
which he was holding in 1848. He sold the old
manor-house and about 35 acres of land to Capt.
George Graham Ramsay, who was living at Stargroves
House in 1875, and who sold his portion to Lieut.Col. Sir Frederick Walter Carden, bart., in 1879, the
latter acquiring the rest of the property in or about
the year 1896 from the representative of Mr. Richard
Hull. (fn. 22) Sir F. W. Carden died in 1909, and was
succeeded by his son Capt. Sir F. H. W. Carden,
bart., the present lord of the manor.
The church of ST. MARTIN was
built on an old site in 1823, and consists of a chancel 24 ft. by 24 ft. 8 in.
with a north vestry and organ chamber, and a large
aisleless nave 60 ft. 4 in. by 40 ft. with a west tower
and north porch.
The nave and tower are of brick, but the chancel,
vestry and porch are of flint and stone, the latter
being a memorial to the Rev. T. D. Hodgson, who
died in 1883.
The chancel has a five-light east window and two
windows in the south wall of two lights each, all
having tracery of 14th-century design.
The nave windows are plain pointed, with iron
On the north wall of the chancel is a large marble
monument of classic design to Edward son of William
Goddard, 1724, with large figures of Edward
and Elizabeth his wife. There are several other
18th and 19th-century monuments.
The tower contains a ring of four bells, cast by
John Cor, 1728.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten, of
1631 and 1696 respectively, the former given by
Edward Goddard in 1697; a silver flagon, inscribed
'Elizabeth Goddard, 1718,' and two glass cruets
and a plated spoon.
The registers are contained in six books, the first
beginning with baptisms, marriages and burials from
1610 to 1670; the second has baptisms and burials
1653 to 1671; the third burials 1678 to 1756; the
fourth has some more baptisms and burials from 1696
to 1762; the fifth has baptisms from 1696 to 1803
and marriages from the same date to 1754; and the
sixth book is of the usual first printed marriage forms
and begins at 1756, but several pages are missing.
The earlier entries are not chronologically arranged
and the pages are badly inserted in the binding.
The advowson of the church of
East Woodhay, with the chapelry of
Ashmansworth attached, has always
belonged to the Bishops of Winchester, (fn. 23) the living at
the present time being of the annual value of £434.
As late as 1535 a yearly pension of 100s. was paid
to the Hospital of St. Cross, (fn. 24) which had acquired an
interest in this church by the charter of foundation in
1132, which interest was confirmed to it by King
Richard in 1189. (fn. 25)
Bishops Ken, Hooper and Louth were formerly
rectors of this parish, Ken for three years (1669–72),
Hooper for one year (1672–3), and Louth from
1753 to 1766. (fn. 26)
In 1635–6 at the instigation of Edward Goddard
proceedings were taken by the Court of High Commission against Francis Edwards, curate of East
Woodhay, for neglect of duties, and on 14 May
1636 he was forced to acknowledge that the keys of
the church belonged to the churchwardens, and to
promise not to postpone baptisms, not to dismiss the
parish clerk without just cause and legal proceedings,
not to take upon himself the exercise of ecclesiastical
jurisdiction in the peculiar of East Woodhay, and to
say prayer betwixt 9 and 11 in the morning and
betwixt 2 and 4 in the afternoon, because the
parishioners dwell very remote from the parish church
and cannot hear the bells. (fn. 27)
The advowson of the vicarage of the church of
St. Thomas in Woolton Hill, which was consecrated
in 1849, belongs to the Bishop of Winchester.
There is a Wesleyan chapel in the parish at North
End, built in 1860, and a Primitive Methodist
chapel at Gore End.
There is also a school built to accommodate 118
The elementary school in Woolton Hill was built
in 1850 and enlarged in 1888 and again in 1897.
The Workman's Club and Coffee House in
Andover Road contains a large hall, capable of holding 250 persons, and a small library.
In 1732 Elizabeth Goddard, by
her will proved in the P.C.C., left
£100 to be put out at interest, which
was to be laid out in linen for the benefit of the poor.
Land in Ashmansworth was purchased therewith,
which was sold in 1900, and the proceeds invested in
£174 11s. India 2½ per cent. stock with the official
trustees, who also hold £23 5s. 8d. consols, arising
from sale of timber. The annual dividends,
amounting together to £4. 19s., are duly applied.
In 1753 the Rev. Joshua Wakefield, a former
rector, devised land in the parish, the rent to be
applied towards the education of poor children in the
parish. The land was sold, and the trust fund. now
consists of £167 12s. 7d. consols, with the official
trustees, producing yearly £4 3s. 7d., which, with
the authority of the Charity Commissioners, was
apportioned one-half in East Woodhay and one-half
in Woolton Hill.
The poor's allotments, acquired by an award
dated 4 August 1819, made under Inclosure Act of
56 Geo. Ill, cap. 10, consist of 18a. and a gravel
pit, producing £14 yearly, and £700 consols, with
the official trustees.
By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of
21 February 1908 all poor inhabitants of the
parish legally settled therein and not occupying
lands and tenements of more than the yearly value
of £8 are qualified to share in the benefits of the