A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Old Windsor is a fairly large parish, part of which was separated in 1894 to form the new civil parish of Sunningdale, while another part was annexed to its ecclesiastical parish. The hamlet of Coworth lies in the south of Old Windsor.
The parish, which includes a large proportion of the Great Park and part of Virginia Water, has an area of 4,320 acres, of which 2,961 are permanent grass, 488 woods and plantations and only 213 arable land. (fn. 1) The soil is sand and gravel with some clay and a subsoil of London Clay. Wheat, oats, barley and peas are cultivated. The land falls from 288 ft. above the ordnance datum in the west to 51 ft. in the east at the river level. The northern and part of the western boundary is formed by the Battle Bourne, while the New Cut isolates the bend of the river in which Ham Fields are situated.
The village is quite modern, and lies to the west of the road from Datchet to Staines. The cottages are built of brick and roofed with slates or tiles. The church stands about three-quarters of a mile to the east of the village and close to the river; the churchyard and grounds in the immediate vicinity are nicely wooded. On the south side of a lane running west from the Windsor Road, about a quarter of a mile from the west end of the settlement, stands a modern cottage on a moated site called Earl Godwin's Castle. The inner moat is complete with the exception of a crossing to the house, which has been filled in, but the outer one, which is of considerable extent, can in most parts only just be traced.
The village of Sunningdale is quite modern and somewhat suburban in character. It is composed of two settlements, the one having grown up along the London Road to the north-east of the station, while the other lies about a triangle of roads situated about a quarter of a mile to the west of the London Road and north of the station. The church stands at the junction of the two roads forming the south corner of the triangle, while flowing to the north into the Virginia Water between the two settlements is a small stream.
Cumberland Lodge in the Great Park was built in the reign of Charles II, when it was known as the Ranger's or Great Lodge. It was afterwards improved by the Earl of Portland and the dowager Duchess of Marlborough. It was the seat of William Duke of Cumberland, who died in 1765, and is now occupied by Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Prince Christian being the ranger of Windsor Forest. The house, which is faced with red brick and is generally three stories in height, consists of a rectangular block, with the entrance front towards the north-east and an office wing on the north. The western portion of the entrance front, built early in the reign of George III and containing a suite of state apartments, was burnt in 1869. The southern rooms, and perhaps the southwest front towards the garden, represent the extent of the original building, but the drawing room, which occupies the whole of the southern end of the house, is said to have been added by George IV. The Gothic facing of this and the garden front was carried out by Wyatt. Extensive alterations have recently been completed by which the former dining room immediately behind the entrance vestibule has been transformed into a large staircase hall and a new dining room has been made on the north-east front to the right of the entrance by throwing two smaller rooms into one. With the exception of some white marble chimney-pieces of the Adam type, no old fittings of interest remain. To the north-west of the house are large stable buildings, the north-east range, which, with the house adjoining on the east, appears to be in the main of the early 18th century, having a central archway surmounted by a pediment and clock-turret. The Royal Lodge, adjacent to this, formerly the summer residence of George IV, is now the residence of the Hon. Lady Ellis, widow of Maj.-Gen. Sir Arthur Ellis, G.C.V.O., C.S.I. Holly Grove, inclosed from the waste in 1773, became the seat of Andrew Snape Hamond, created a baronet in 1783, (fn. 2) and is now occupied by Capt. Sir Walter D. S. Campbell, K.C.V.O., the deputy-ranger of the park. Woodside is occupied by Col. Robert W. W. Follett; Ouseley Lodge is the seat of Lord Dunboyne, D.L.; the Dell was owned by Baron Sir John W. von Schröder up to the time of his death in 1910; Pelling Place is the seat of Mrs. Irving; the Friary, that of Mr. Francis Ricardo, D.L., J.P.
Other residences are Burfield Lodge, the Priory, the Grange and the Manor Cottage. Coworth Park, the seat of the Earl of Derby, is an old house surrounded by a thickly wooded park. It is described as a manor in 1770, when William Hatch and Elizabeth his wife conveyed it to William Shepheard. (fn. 3) It belonged to John Alves Arbuthnot, J.P., who died in 1875. His son William sold it to Sir William Farmer in 1884, who sold it to Lord Stanley, the present Earl of Derby. (fn. 4) Sunningdale Park, a modern mansion with beautiful grounds, is the property of Major W. J. Joicey, J.P., V.D. Lynwood, Shrubbs Hill Place and Broadlands in this parish are respectively owned by Mr. G. R. Thompson, D.L., J.P., Mr. Horton Harrild and Mr. P. B. Burgoyne, and there are several other mansions in the district.
Beaumont Lodge, originally called Bowman's Lodge, was built by Lord Weymouth, who died in 1705. The house with 91 acres was bought in 1789 by Warren Hastings, who lived here during part of his trial. It was afterwards occupied by Mr. Henry Griffiths, who rebuilt it. (fn. 5) It is now a Roman Catholic College under the Jesuits, and has a chapel dedicated in honour of St. Stanislaus.
Among place-names found in Old Windsor are Wipestrode, (fn. 6) Nazeing (fn. 7) and la Wodegrene (fn. 8) (xiii cent.); Barndestone by le Knappes, (fn. 9) meadows called Quenegrove, (fn. 10) le Walles, le Hame, (fn. 11) a purpresture in Shawe called Merserude (fn. 12) and an acre of waste called Aylmerestrode (fn. 13) (xiv cent.); Crockerescroft, Crockereshaw and Garstones, (fn. 14) crofts called Leeryde (fn. 15) or Leerydynge (fn. 16) or Lyryd, Crokkers and Archersryd, Eldesworth (fn. 17) and Madgrove (fn. 18) (xv cent.); Todd's Eight and the Lampe acre (fn. 19) (xvi cent.); crofts called Colmanryde, Dowryde, Shepecotesrydende and Crowne Croft, (fn. 20) a mansion called Walton's (fn. 21) or Walton Mease, (fn. 22) a tenement called Pitters, (fn. 23) and Bishopsgate, (fn. 24) Highfield, Easthurst, Oldworth alias Ayllesworth alias Eastworth, Pescodstreete, Spitters, and Shaweclose (fn. 25) (xvii cent.).
The manor of OLD WINDSOR was granted by Edward the Confessor to the Abbot of Westminster in 1066. (fn. 26) William the Conqueror, however, regained possession in exchange for lands in Essex. (fn. 27) The manor comprised 20 hides, of which 10 hides were held by various tenants. Old Windsor remained with the Crown, being leased out from time to time. (fn. 28) Katherine Countess of Devon and Anne wife of Sir Thomas Hayward, daughters and heirs of Edward IV, quitclaimed the manor to King Henry VIII in 1511. (fn. 29)
In 1606 the site of the manor was leased to Richard Powney, who was succeeded about 1698 by his son Richard. (fn. 30) In 1699 the lease was renewed to Richard's son John, whose son Penyston was dealing with the manor in 1737. (fn. 31) After his death in 1757 his son and heir, Penyston Portlock Powney, retained the lease of the site until 1786, in which year he assigned his interest in it to Henry Isherwood. (fn. 32) The latter died in 1787, leaving a son a minor, who at some date previous to 1799 conveyed it to Arthur Vansittart. (fn. 33) The manor is still held by the Crown.
Mote Park is an inclosure in Windsor which dates from the reign of Edward IV. (fn. 34) After the Restoration it was acquired by the Duke of Albemarle, (fn. 35) from whom it passed to Bernard Granville (see Clewer), who was holding in 1699, (fn. 36) and whose nephew George sold it in 1720 to Arthur Vansittart. (fn. 37) The son of the latter, of the same name, was dealing with it in 1761, (fn. 38) and by his son Arthur it was conveyed to the Crown in 1813 for a sum of £23,000.
There were fisheries at Old Windsor at the time of the Great Survey. (fn. 39) The King's Weir in Old Windsor is mentioned in 1300, when Hugh le Despenser received an order to repair it. (fn. 40) In 1316 it was leased to the chaplains of the Royal Chapel at Windsor, (fn. 41) and in 1484 James Whitfield, one of the king's yeomen, received the custody of it. (fn. 42)
The manor of SHAWE (Shaghe, xiii cent.) is called the 'king's old purpresture' in 1280, when it was held on lease with the manor of Old Windsor. (fn. 43) It seems to have been part of the lands granted to Oliver de Bordeaux (see Foliejohn in Winkfield) and surrendered to the Crown by William Trussel. (fn. 44) In 1363 it was granted at fee farm to Robert Hartley, but escheated before 1436, (fn. 45) after which it seems to have been held by the Thorpes of Thorpe (co. Surrey) until 1481, when it was reconveyed to the Crown. (fn. 46) During the 16th and 17th centuries it was held by various tenants. (fn. 47) In 1699 it was granted to William Aldworth, (fn. 48) whose descendant, Lord Braybrooke, was holding in 1813. (fn. 49)
The manor of TILE evidently gave its name to the family of Tile, Tyghele or Tuyle. Land in Old Windsor held by Gilbert de Tile (fn. 50) was taken into the king's hands as parcel of the manor of Old Windsor, but was confirmed in 1270 to Alexander son of Gilbert after judgement given in the King's Court. (fn. 51) John de Tile, who in 1324 made a settlement of his lands, (fn. 52) apparently left an heir Thomas, (fn. 53) who is described as the king's esquire in 1386, when licence was granted to him to inclose and make a park of 70 acres of his lands lying round his place called Tyllestenement. (fn. 54) In 1483 Agnes widow of another Thomas Tile and John his son held the estate. (fn. 55) Agnes was still living in 1512. (fn. 56) In 1580 Edward Tile conveyed the property as a manor to John Morley. (fn. 57) In 1601 John Tile remitted his right to Edward Morley, (fn. 58) by whom Tile was sold in 1606 to Robert Barker. (fn. 59) The latter had a son Andrew, who was engaged in a suit in 1639 as to whether certain lands were part of the manor of 'Tileplace.' (fn. 60) Robert, Andrew and Matthew Barker were dealing with the manor in 1640–1. (fn. 61) In 1704 John Clinch, Isabella Foote and others were the possessors, (fn. 62) and in 1715 it was conveyed by Arabella Foote to Richard Topham. (fn. 63) The family of Topham owned the neighbouring manor of Clewer Brocas (q.v.), and possibly this estate subsequently followed its descent.
The RECTORY MANOR of Old Windsor or lands appurtenant to the church belonged to the abbey of Waltham. (fn. 64) The grant of a garden was made to the canons in the reign of Henry III to enlarge their court there. (fn. 65) The descent of the manor is the same as that of the rectory (q.v.).
The church of ST. PETER consists of a continuous chancel and nave measuring internally 99 ft. 2 in. by 25 ft. 5 in. (30 ft. 7 in. of the length being given to the chancel, which is divided from the nave by a modern screen), a modern north chancel aisle, a west tower 12 ft. 5 in. by 11 ft. 11 in., and a modern porch.
The tower and the east wall of the chancel are of the early 13th century, but the north and south walls of both chancel and nave appear to have been rebuilt about the middle of the 14th century, when the chancel was made the same width as the nave. No further structural alterations appear to have been made until 1863–4, when the building was restored by Sir Gilbert Scott, who reroofed the chancel and nave and added the north chancel aisle to make up for the sittings lost by the removal of a west gallery. At the same time a new south porch was built and the spire was added to the tower. During these alterations the tower arch was discovered and the opening in the east wall of the ringing chamber brought to light.
In the east wall of the chancel is a group of three lancets, the centre light, which is original, being placed at a higher level than the side ones; these were reduced by Sir Gilbert Scott to correspond in width with the centre light, having been widened at some previous period. Below their sills on either side of the altar are large aumbries. On the north is a modern arcade of two bays opening into the aisle, and on the south are two modern windows, the eastern a copy of the nave windows and the western a lancet. To the west of them is a small pointed doorway with an outer relieving arch of tiles. At the south-east is a double piscina with circular basins under a pointed head.
In the north wall of the nave are four squareheaded windows, much restored, but all of 14th-century date. The north-east window is divided by mullions carried through to the head into three trefoiled lights with a trefoil in the head of each division, while the three remaining windows are each of two lights of similar design. A brick relieving arch is visible externally between the second and third windows, but all trace of a doorway has disappeared. The windows in the south wall are similar in design and arrangement to those in the north. Between the second and third from the east is a pointed doorway with continuous chamfered angles and a segmental rear arch, and having over the stone head a relieving arch of bricks.
The chancel and nave walls are of flint with chalk dressings to the doorways and windows, but the quoins and dressings to the buttresses, which have been entirely renewed, are of stone. Inside the walls are plastered and decorated with modern wall paintings, giving anything but a happy effect.
The east window of the modern chancel aisle is of three lights, while in the north wall is a two-light square-headed window, similar to those lighting the nave, to the west of which is a pointed doorway. In the west wall is a two-light pointed window. At the angles of the north wall are square buttresses. The walls are faced with flint with stone dressings.
The tower is in one stage externally, and has restored buttresses of one offset at the western angles. The tower arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders with labels. The outer order is the full width of the tower and springs from chamfered abaci, but the inner one is carried on corbels, round which the chamfered abacus is continued. The ground stage is lighted by three restored lancets with widely splayed inner jambs in the side and west walls. The inner splays of the west light have been carried down to form the jambs of a pointed doorway of two chamfered orders, while below the sill a small segmental arch has been thrown. Over the west window of the ringing chamber is a small squareheaded light with original inner jambs and pointed rear arch, while at the south-east of this story, looking on to the roof, is an original pointed doorway. Opening into the bell-chamber are four single lights, one in each wall; the south window is four-centred, but the others are pointed. All have original rounded rear arches, but the outer face of the east window is modern. The tower is finished by a modern broach spire covered with shingles. The walls are faced chiefly with flint, although a certain amount of chalk has also been used, while the mortar joints have been galleted with flint. Over the south doorway of the nave is a modern wooden porch.
The pulpit is modern, but the font is apparently of early 17th-century date, being similar in design to the one in the parish church at Bray. It is octagonal with a moulded stem; the upper part is panelled with quatrefoiled arches, in which are leaves and symbolic devices.
There remain several pieces of 14th-century glass. In each of the trefoils in the head of the easternmost window in the north wall of the nave are two winged dragons with their necks entwined; they are on a deep red background and are of a rich purple colour, though those in the westernmost trefoil are of a deeper tint than the others. In the head of the lower lights is some original canopy work, though the bottom part of the window is filled in with modern stained glass in which the design of the heads has been carried through in a feeble manner. In a niche in the head of the westernmost light is the figure of the Child Christ with a nimbus, while across the top of the centre division is a tablet with the letters 'I.N.R.I.' In the trefoils in the upper part of the next windows are the letters 'T.T.' on a dark blue ground surrounded by a border of white and gold diaper; on the lower part of the border are the letters 'R.R.' The upper part of the lower lights is filled with canopy work similar to that in the first window; the background is red, and in a niche in the centre light is the small figure of a man. The glass in the westernmost window in the south wall is similar to that in the second window of the north wall. In the trefoils in the head are the letters 'T.T.,' while the upper part of the lights under is filled in with 14th-century canopy work; in a niche in the head of the east light is a small seated figure. There are also small fragments of dark red damasked glass in the head of the easternmost window of the south wall of the nave.
On the south wall of the nave, set with later tablets in a marble frame at the expense of Queen's College, Oxford, in 1878, are brasses to Humphrey Michell, 'Survayor' of Windsor Castle, who died in 1598, and his second wife Frances (Waller), with effigies of himself and his two wives, and to Samuel Michell, 'one of his Ma:tyes Marshalls of ye hall,' who died in 1613. On the east side on the upper part of the tablet is a Latin inscription to John Michell, who died in 1661, in the fiftieth year of his age, and an inscription to his mother Anne, who afterwards married William Duke of Richmond and died in 1669, in her eighty-first year. On the opposite side of the slab is an inscription to John Michell's wife Benet, daughter and co-heir with Elizabeth, afterwards Dame Oxenden, of Matthew Read of Folkestone, who died in 1683, aged sixty-three, leaving John Michell as the sole survivor of this branch of the family. Below is a Latin inscription to Humfrey Michell, who died in 1696, aged eighty-four. In the churchyard is the monument of Mrs. Mary Robinson, better known as 'Perdita,' who died 26 December 1800, and was buried here 'in Compliance with her Particular Request.' The date of her birth is given as 27 November 1758.
There is a ring of eight bells: the treble and second are by Mears & Stainbank, 1890, who at that date recast the fifth, which was originally made by Thomas Swaine in 1775; the third is also by Mears & Stainbank, 1872, while the fourth, sixth, seventh and the tenor were all cast by Thomas Swaine in 1775.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, a paten and a flagon, all of the year 1701; the chalice is inscribed 'Old Windsor Chalice Com: Berks 1702,' while the paten and flagon are similarly inscribed. There is also a smaller silver chalice and a paten, both stamped with the date letter of 1750; the chalice is inscribed, 'This Chalice was purchas'd with part of the Money left to the Parish of Old Windsor by Dr. La Croze, Vicar 1725'; the paten is inscribed in a similar manner. A modern silver paten of 1846 completes the set.
The church of HOLY TRINITY, Sunningdale, consists of a chancel with a south organ chamber, a north chapel, north vestries, a central tower, north and a south transpets, a nave, north and south aisles and a south porch. The building was first erected in 1839, but in 1860 the chancel was rebuilt and the south chapel added, while the remaining portion of the structure was entirely rebuilt in 1887; the organ chamber was enlarged and the vestries added in 1900. The materials are red brick relieved with flint work and bands of purple brick, and the style is of a 13th-century character.
A priest held 1½ hides at Old Windsor at the time of the Great Survey, (fn. 66) and therefore probably a church existed. In 1189 the church of Old Windsor was granted by Richard I to Waltham Abbey for the hospitality of the monastery, being then described as a chapel belonging to St. John's Church at New Windsor. (fn. 67) In 1224 the abbot obtained a licence to inclose his burial-ground, through which the king's highway passed, provided he substituted a new road near it. (fn. 68)
After the Dissolution the advowson came to the Crown, with whom it has remained to the present day. (fn. 69)
In 1306 a grant of an acre of waste at Aylmerstrode in the forest was made to Waltham Abbey for the building of a house in which to store the tithes from purprestures in the forest belonging to the churches of Old and New Windsor. (fn. 70) After the Reformation the rectory was leased in 1575–6 to Humphrey Michell, (fn. 71) and in 1606 to Richard Powney, (fn. 72) lessee of the site of the manor of Old Windsor, the descent of which it follows from this date. (fn. 73)
By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 22 September 1896, made under the Local Government Act of 1894, the following charities were determined to be parochial charities other than ecclesiastical charities, on the government body of which the parish council of Old Windsor and the parish council of Sunningdale were each entitled to appoint three additional members, namely, the charity of James Weldon, or the North Town (Cookham) tithe fund, founded by will dated 3 June 1686. The annual amount of the tithe rent-charge varies. In 1907 the amount received was £17 17s., of which £7 was distributed in bread among eighty poor of Old Windsor and £6 12s. 4d. paid to the treasurer of the Sunningdale charities.
William Redington, founded by will 11 April 1755. The donor charged his estate with the annual payment of £13 for distribution of bread in this parish, Langley Marish, Bucks., and Thorpe, Surrey. The estate charged now belongs to Lieut.-Col. the Rt. Hon. Sir William H.P. Carington, K.C.V.O., and Mrs. Sarah Ann Mills, by whom in 1907 the sums of £9 18s. 6d. and £2 19s. 6d. were respectively paid, and applied under the title of the quarterly bread charity among the poor of the several parishes.
Fuel allotment, acquired under an inclosure award dated 2 September 1817. Trust fund consists of £1,234 18s. 3d. consols arising from the sale in 1875 of land allotted. The annual dividends, amounting to £30 17s. 4d., are applied in the distribution of coal among the poor of Old Windsor and Sunningdale.
Miss Sophia Jane Maria Beal Bonnell, by will proved in the P.C.C. 8 April 1841, trust fund, £333 6s. 8d. consols. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 13 April 1875 the dividends, amounting to £8 6s. 8d., are made applicable in providing clothes, bedding, fuel and other articles in kind for the poor of the parish. The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees.
The Waste Land Charity—The official trustees hold a sum of £2,093 6s. 4d. consols, arising from sales from time to time of waste lands, the dividends of which, amounting to £52 6s. 8d., are applied towards the poor rate of Old Windsor and Sunningdale.
The trust known as the Penny Royal Cottages, originally built for the use of the poor with funds left by Alexander Morley (will 1594) and others. The accounts for 1907 show the trust property to be vested in the vicar and churchwardens, and to consist of nine cottages and gardens, producing £17 16s. a year, which is needed for keeping the property in repair. There are also forty-seven garden allotments vested in the vicar and churchwardens, let at the annual rent of one penny per pole to working men.
It was stated in the table of benefactions in the church that Edward Lane charged the great tithes of Coworth, Old Windsor, with 40s. for the poor yearly on Easter Monday. The annuity is received from the Earl of Derby and applied in 1907 in tickets for goods for eight widows at 5s. each.
Mrs. Dorcas Walters, as appears from the Parliamentary returns of 1786, left £40 and John Meredith £5 for the poor. These sums were laid out in land in respect of which allotments were made on the inclosure in 1816, out of which the annuity was paid.
In 1861 Mrs. Maria Hughes, by will proved 10 September, left £100 stock to the vicar to be applied by him towards such charitable objects and purposes in the parish as he in his discretion might think fit. The sum of £100 consols is held by the official trustees, the dividends of which are, in accordance with a declaration of trust of 10 July 1863, applied in the distribution of blankets.
In 1889 the Rev. James St. John Blunt, a former vicar, by his will proved 28 June, bequeathed £100 to the vicar and churchwardens, the income to be applied towards the preservation of the old churchyard. The legacy is represented by £101 5s. 4d. consols with the official trustees.
—The official trustees hold a sum of £770 17s. 7d. consols, representing a legacy by will of Lady Onslow dated in 1786. A further sum of £2,968 5s. 9d. consols is also held by them, representing the gift of Mrs. Ann Hammersley by deed 1799. The dividends from these charities, amounting to £93 9s. 4d., were formerly applied under a scheme of the Court of Chancery, 1843, to the school of industry, which has ceased to exist, but are now, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 20 December 1878, paid in aid of the general income of the National schools.