Population: 1911, 215; 1921, 172; 1931, 162.
The parish is divided on the west from Hampton
Lucy by the River Avon, and on the south from Charlecote by the Thelsford Brook. The eastern boundary is
formed by the road leading north from Newbold Pacey,
and the northern by another road which connects this
with the Warwick-Kineton road in the west of the
parish. Between this last-named road and the Avon
stands the church, to the north of which is the small
village, containing four or five thatched cottages with
remains of 17th-century timber-framing.
The Manor House, about a furlong west of the
church, is an approximately square building facing east.
Externally it is mostly of 18th-century red brickwork
but internally the back part retains the remains of a
15th-century timber-framed hall running north and
south and having east and west narrow aisles. A rooftruss shows a tie-beam with the west half of a fourcentred pointed arch below it, the east half having been
removed for head room at the top of a later stair. The
space above the tie-beam is ceiled so that the upper
construction cannot be seen. The truss was probably
the south end of a two-bay hall. The north and south
sides on the first floor show the skeleton framing that
divided the hall from its aisles, which were about 3½ ft.
wide. Both sides have scissors trusses and curved
braces. A middle tie-beam is also supported by curved
braces. The bay south of the arched truss was probably
the solar wing. No distinctive roof construction is
visible above it but the ceiling of the lower story (now
a cellar or store) retains moulded cross-beams of the
15th century and stop-chamfered wide flat joists. The
back wall of this bay shows a little original timberframing. The front part of the house although now
modernized was probably part of the late-16th-century
enlargement and alteration when a 'central' chimneystack of L-shaped plan was built in the solar wing.
This has a Tudor stone fire-place on the first floor and
carries five diagonal shafts of thin bricks. A plain old
oak staircase next to the chimney-stack winds round a
central newel. The other fire-places, &c., are modern.
In the grounds east of the house is a tall and narrow
octagonal pigeon-house. The lower story is of early16th-century stonework with moulded rectangular
lights in three sides and a doorway, now blocked, in the
north side. This part was evidently not intended for
pigeons; it has no nests and the floor above is supported
by ancient posts. The upper and greater part is of midlate-17th-century brickwork with a west doorway and
brick rests. The roof is tiled and has a central lantern.
WASPERTON was part of Earl Leofric's original endowment of the Priory of
Coventry, (fn. 1) and figures among the estates of
that church in the Domesday Survey, being rated at
5 hides. (fn. 2) At the end of the 12th century the convent
of Coventry made over the vill of Wasperton to Walter
son of Thurstan of Charlecote, to whom it was confirmed by King John in 1203. (fn. 3) Walter's grandson
William de Lucy held ¾ knight's fee here of the Prior
of Coventry in 1242, (fn. 4) but soon after this the priory
seems to have recovered possession, as in 1257 Wasperton was among the demesnes in which they received
a grant of free warren, (fn. 5) and in 1279 the prior was lord
of the manor, where he had 2 carucates in demesne and
14 virgates held by villeins. (fn. 6) In 1291 the priory's
estate was valued at £9 6s. 4d., (fn. 7)
and in 1535 it produced just
over £9, with an additional 15s.
for fishing rights. (fn. 8) At the Dissolution it was granted, in 1540,
to William Whorwood, SolicitorGeneral, and William Walter
and Katherine his wife, (fn. 9) and
Whorwood promptly assigned
his rights in the manor to
Walter. (fn. 10) His grandson Sir
William Walter died in 1632,
leaving two daughters, Elizabeth wife of Sir John Sackville,
and Katherine who shortly afterwards married Knighton Ferrers. (fn. 11) Elizabeth in 1634 conveyed her share to her sister, (fn. 12) who in 1642 made a
settlement of the manor with her second husband Sir
Simon Fanshawe. (fn. 13) By Sir Simon it was sold, about
1680, to Sir Thomas Rawlinson, (fn. 14) from whom it
descended to Dr. Richard Rawlinson, F.R.S., F.S.A.,
the somewhat eccentric benefactor of the Bodleian
Library. (fn. 15) He was lord of the manor from 1726 to
his death in 1755, (fn. 16) when he bequeathed it to St.
John's College, Oxford, (fn. 17) in whose hands it remains.
St. John's College, Oxford. Gules a border sable charged with stars or and a quarter ermine with a lion sable therein and the difference of a ring or.
Land in HEATHCOTE was included in the grant
by Coventry Priory to Walter de Charlecote, and other
land there was granted in 1196 by William son of
Godwin to Roger de Cherlecote, (fn. 18) who when he
conveyed 3½ hides in Wasperton to the Prior of
Coventry in 1229 expressly excepted 1 carucate in
Heathcote. (fn. 19) An estate here had before this been given
to the Friary of Thelsford, as in 1221 Geoffrey, Prior
of that house, leased 20 acres here to Henry son of
Roger. (fn. 20) The Priory of Coventry in 1291 received
10s. yearly as composition for the tithe of corn in
Heathcote; (fn. 21) and this was still paid in 1535, (fn. 22) at
which date Thelsford had 8s. rents in Wasperton. (fn. 23)
After the Dissolution, in 1544, pasture in Heathcote,
late of the Friary of Thelsford, was granted to Thomas
Arderne and William Walter, (fn. 24) and the so-called
manor of Heathcote then descended with Wasperton, (fn. 25)
being settled in 1630 on Sir William Walter's elder
daughter Elizabeth when she married Sir John Sackville. (fn. 26) It was sold by Sir Simon Fanshawe to Daniel
Rawlinson (father of Sir Thomas) in 1659. (fn. 27)
In 1086 there was at Wasperton a mill which
yielded 20s. and 4 loads of salt and 1,000 eels yearly; (fn. 28)
and in 1291 the Priory of Coventry had here two mills
worth £1. (fn. 29) There does not, however, appear to be
any later reference to mills.
The parish church of ST. JOHN THE
BAPTIST was entirely rebuilt (fn. 30) in the
14th-century style by Sir Gilbert Scott in
1843 and is a small building consisting of a chancel,
nave with a west bell-cote, south aisle, and north porch.
The walls are of ashlar stonework. The nave arcade is
of three bays.
The porch, of wood, has in its windows a number of
reset quarries of early-16th-century glass forming a
running pattern of foliage in yellow and made up with
The communion rails are of late-17th- or early-18thcentury gilded and painted wrought iron-work with
foliated terminal winged figures in the gates and, in the
side bays, two applied crowns with eagle-head crests.
The pulpit is modern but incorporates six early18th-century carved panels of foreign workmanship. They include the Baptism, the temptation of
Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Isaac, an angel receiving
a bearded man, and a figure of Charity with a woman
and child, all with cherubs' heads above and below the
subjects. The sixth (western) panel has a diaper
At the east end of the aisle is a late-17th-century
oak-framed chest with strap-hinges and two lockplates having swivelled strap key-hole escutcheons.
On the north wall of the nave near the entrance is
a brass plate inscribed with a verse of twelve lines to
'honest Henry Collins', 27 May 1664.
There are several 18th- and 19th-century graveslabs.
Of the two bells one is by Henry Bagley, 1638; the
other is dated 1817. (fn. 31)
The communion plate includes an Elizabethan cup,
dated 1571, of the usual type of that period, with paten
cover; a flagon of 1732; and an alms dish of 1754,
given to the church in 1842. (fn. 32)
The registers begin in 1546.
The church was definitely stated
to be a chapel of Hampton Lucy in
1279, (fn. 33) and the patronage of the vicarage has continued to the present day in the hands of the
rector of Hampton. (fn. 34) In 1535 the vicar of the 'parish
church' of Wasperton had £5 a year, of which £4 was
paid by the rector of Hampton. (fn. 35)
The Rev. George Hammond by will
dated 3 Feb. 1755 gave to the rector
and churchwardens of Hampton Lucy,
to the vicar of Alveston, and to the vicar of Wasperton
£400, the interest to be distributed to eight poor men
or women of Hampton Lucy and to four poor men or
women of Alveston and Wasperton who should frequent the communion of the Church of England at
least four times a year. The share of the charity applicable to Wasperton is now represented by £4 14s. 8d.,
annually in dividends.
Mrs. Alice Hammond, widow of George Hammond,
by her will dated 2 Jan. 1778 gave to the vicar and
churchwardens of Wasperton a sum of £100, the income to be given to the poor of the parish. The endowment now produces an annual income of £4 12s.
The two charities are distributed together in accordance with the trusts.