A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Winkfield is one of the largest parishes in Berkshire, comprising part of Cranbourne, Winkfield Row, part of Ascot Side and part of Bracknell and Braywood, and having an area of 10,277 acres, the greater part of which is permanent grass (3,283 acres) and woods (3,606 acres), while only a very small proportion (467 acres) is arable land. (fn. 1) On this wheat, oats and peas are raised. The soil is clay, loam and gravel, with a subsoil of London Clay and Bagshot Beds.
The only antiquities found at Winkfield point to the Roman occupation of the district. (fn. 2)
The village of Winkfield consists of four parts. Winkfield Street, the oldest part, lies along by-roads to the north-west of the church, North Street about a mile to the east of the church upon the main road to Windsor, and Winkfield Row and Chavey Down, situated about half a mile to the southward in the direction of Bracknell and Ascot. The church stands on the north side of the road. To the west of the church stands the old rectory-house, probably erected at the same date as the church tower. An arched gateway in the garden wall leads into the churchyard. Opposite the church is the 'White Hart,' a modernized half-timber, brick-nogged building. At Winkfield Street is a blacksmith's shop known as the 'Forge,' part of which dates from the 17th century; the shop has been in the possession of the Druce family for upwards of 200 years. The old church clock was removed here when the present clock was installed, and on the dial is inscribed 'Henry Druce, Maker, 1698.' It was made in the blacksmith's shop and was given by Henry Druce on condition that he was paid 40s. a year for winding it. (fn. 3) About a mile to the east of Winkfield Street, along the same line of road, is the pump-house, erected c. 1800, containing the old 'Physic Well,' now covered in. The pumphouse has been converted into three small cottages. It formerly consisted of one large room containing the well, and extending the whole height of the building, a porch on the side towards the road divided into two stories, the upper story opening into the large room serving as an orchestra, and a projecting building at the back, probably containing the necessary offices, &c. The building is of brick and rustic timber work, with a tiled roof. Two large bay windows on either side of the porch light the large room. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel at Winkfield Row and also an iron Mission church.
Ascot, including Ascot Side, is now an ecclesiastical parish. There is a Baptist chapel built in 1879. The station, which adjoins the race-course, is on the Reading branch of the South Western railway. The brick works at Swinley provide occupation for a certain number of the inhabitants. (fn. 4) but Ascot is best known for the annual race meeting held in June. The racecourse was made in the 18th century, and was allotted to the Crown subject to its perpetual use as a raceground. (fn. 5)
The village of Cranbourne is scattered about four roads. roughly forming a rectangle, the longer sides running north-east to south-west, the northern extremity including part of Windsor Forest. The cottages are modern and built of brick. The church stands towards the north end of the village, on the west side of the easternmost road. A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1867.
The principal houses in the neighbourhood are Ascot Place, situated in a well-wooded park, the property of Mr. S. G. Asher; Foliejohn Park, the seat of Capt. Gilbert Gordon Blane, standing in extensive grounds to the north of the parish (fn. 6); Winkfield Place, belonging to Col. Van de Weyer, J.P.; Orchard Lea to Viscount Esher, Winkfield Manor to Mr. Charles Agace Ferard, and New Lodge to Col. Van de Weyer. This house was built in 1858 on the site of Hounds Lodge, for some time the home of Lord Raleigh, and is approached by a fine avenue of trees. At Cranbourne are Lovel Hill House, the residence of Mr. John Haig; Forest Farm, the property of the Duke of Newcastle; Ramslade, Col. Mackenzie; and King's Ride, the seat of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, bart. Fernhill Park was built about 1700 by John Thorp, from whom it passed to Thomas Handcock, who sold it in 1706 to General John Clayton, who was killed at Dettingen in 1743. (fn. 7) He was succeeded by his son Lieut. Clayton, who died in 1751. It afterwards became the property of Francis Knollys (fn. 8) and now belongs to Surgeon Lieut. Col. H. R. Odo Cross.
Cranbourne Lodge was rebuilt by Sir George Carteret in 1668, the original building being early Tudor. It was afterwards occupied by Richard Earl of Ranelagh, paymaster of the forces in the reign of Charles II, and then successively by Charles Duke of St. Albans, a natural son of Charles II, the Duke of Cumberland and the Duke of York, uncle and brother respectively of George III, and then by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester. It was also the place of retirement of Princess Charlotte in 1819 when she refused to marry the Prince of Orange.
Swinley Lodge was at one time used as an occasional residence by the master of the Buckhounds. (fn. 9) The old house was pulled down about 1830, but there is an allusion to the gardens of Swinley in the private journal of Queen Victoria in 1830.
The manor of WINKFIELD at the date of the Domesday Survey belonged to the abbey of Abingdon. (fn. 14) In 942 Winkfield had been granted, together with Swinley, by King Edmund to a certain holy woman called Saethryth, (fn. 15) who is said to have transferred it to the abbey of Abingdon, (fn. 16) but it was not until 1015 that the abbey received the estate from Eadfled, a noble matron. (fn. 17) William I is said to have taken from it 4 hides to enlarge Windsor Forest, and also two woods called Jerdelea and Bacsceat. (fn. 18) Half a hide of this, however, seems to have been restored by William Rufus, who ordered Walter Fitz Other, constable of the castle, not to encroach upon the abbot's lands. (fn. 19) In an undated list of the possessions of the abbey during the first half of the 12th century (fn. 20) Winkfield is assessed at 3½ hides and is said to be held by the kitchener of the monastery, who was to use the proceeds for the purchase of lard. In 1225 it was alleged that each of the villeins of Winkfield had to render yearly a bundle of myrtle (fesseletum de mirto) and three baskets (hopas) of oats to the abbey. (fn. 21) There was apparently a revolt among the tenants of the abbey, who banded themselves together, refusing the customary services due from their lands. (fn. 22) The dispute appears to have been renewed in the latter part of the 15th century. (fn. 23)
After the Dissolution (fn. 24) the manor was granted in 1540 to Richard Warde. (fn. 25) It descended with Hurst (fn. 26) (q.v.) until 1652, when Richard Harrison conveyed the manor to John Lovelace and others. (fn. 27) At the beginning of the next century the manor is found divided into ninths (fn. 28) and in the possession of the families of Draper, Neville and Meeke. Dame Mary Draper, Grey Neville and Anthony Meek were said to be lords of the manor in 1709. (fn. 29) Richard Neville Neville suffered a recovery of a ninth in 1763. (fn. 30)
Katherine Meeke held eight-ninths of the manor in 1782, the remaining ninth being still in the hands of the Nevilles. (fn. 31) At this date it was purchased as his private estate by George III, who retained it till 1819. It was then annexed to the Ascot estate and bought from Lord Brudenell, the king's trustee, by Daniel Agace. On his death in 1828 it passed by will to the father of the present owner, Mr. Charles Agace Ferard. (fn. 32)
A messuage known as the Old Court House or King's tenement, now a public-house, together with part of the demesne lands of the manor of Winkfield, were sold by Richard Warde in 1593 to Lawrence Heydon, yeoman, who died seised of them in 1596. (fn. 33) His son Thomas died without issue in 1611, and was succeeded by his brother Gilbert, (fn. 34) and he also dying childless in 1616, the estate devolved upon his sisters Elizabeth Aldridge and Anne Maundye, (fn. 35) who had seisin of the property in 1632. (fn. 36)
The grange of Swinley was part of the Abingdon estate in Winkfield (see above), and was granted by the abbey in the reign of Henry II to the abbey of Stratford Langthorne in Essex. (fn. 37) In 1224 the abbot was engaged in a suit against Geoffrey de Bagshot, who successfully claimed the right of pannage in the wood there. (fn. 38) The property was assessed in 1291 at £1 12s. (fn. 39) Swinley was one of the walks of the forest in the 17th century. (fn. 40) In 1782 George III also bought the Swinley property from the Meekes and Nevilles, and it still belongs to the Crown. (fn. 41)
The manor of FOLIEJOHN (Folye Johan, Folieion, Folyjon, xiv cent.) consisted of lands within the forest of Windsor granted in 1302 to John de Drokensford, Bishop of Bath and Wells, to hold at a rent from the Crown. (fn. 42) His property, described as 'the manors of Hyremere and Belestre, which latter is commonly called Folye Johan,' was taken into the king's hands in 1313 in discharge of the bishop's debts, (fn. 43) and was granted in 1317 to Oliver de Bordeaux for the rent of a red rose, (fn. 44) with licence to inclose the wood of 'Foly Johan' and make a park. (fn. 45) In 1318 a further grant of 40 acres from the waste of the forest to be assarted was made to him. (fn. 46) The reversion of the manor, contingent on the death of Oliver de Bordeaux and his wife Maud without issue, was bestowed upon his step-son William Trussel of Kibblestone. (fn. 47) Edward III, however, wishing to reattach Foliejohn with the other lands granted out of the Crown to Windsor, effected an exchange with Trussel in 1359, granting him the manor of Eton Hastings. (fn. 48) In this deed the property is described as 'the lands of Folyjohan, Hermere and Widmere, which of the soil of the King's forest of Windsor were assarted and arrentated,' and in almost all later records these three names are associated together. Hyremere, which is supposed to have been that part of the manor lying to the west of Buntingbury, (fn. 49) is mentioned in the 10th century, when it was one of the boundaries of Winkfield Manor.
The manor or park remained in the king's hands, being entrusted to various keepers, generally the constables of Windsor Castle. (fn. 50) In 1630 the manor was granted to Serjeant Henne, (fn. 51) who was created a baronet in 1642. (fn. 52) He was succeeded on his death in 1667 by his son Henry, who died circa 1675, leaving a son and namesake. The latter died in 1705, and Foliejohn passed to his son Richard, upon whose death circa 1710 the estate devolved upon his daughters Penelope and Alice. The former in 1735 sold her moiety to Mr. Bennett, who in 1744 sold it to Lord Henry Beauclerk. The other daughter Alice married James Weldhurst and in 1748 sold the other moiety to Lord Henry Beauclerk. (fn. 53) In 1771 it was sold by his representatives to George Phillips Towry. (fn. 54) After 1800 the property for a short time was in the possession of Thomas Bingley, who sold it in 1802 to William Blane. (fn. 55) It now belongs to Capt. Gilbert Gordon Blane, who inherited it from his uncle Mr. Thomas Law Blane in 1885. The lagend of St. Hubert's Well in the park is told in an old Berkshire song or poem now quite forgotten. (fn. 56)
ASCOT (Achecote, xiii cent.) is returned with Winkfield as held by the abbey of Abingdon in 1316. (fn. 57) This seems unsupported by further evidence, and it is certain that a part of Ascot at least belonged to Windsor, and in the 14th century formed a bailiwick in the forest rented from the Crown (fn. 58) as fee farm by the Batayle family. Richard Batayle died seised of it in 1302 and was succeeded by his son Henry, who died about 1319. Possibly his heir was a minor, for the bailiwick was granted for life to Edmund de Alegate, though in 1313 it was said to be held in fee to Henry and his heirs. (fn. 59) The Batayles remained in possession of property in Ascot till the 17th century, (fn. 60) when Agnes the daughter and heir of the last Henry Batayle married Francis Broughton, against whom a bill was brought in 1614 in the Court of the Exchequer concerning lands in Winkfield held by him but claimed by the Crown. (fn. 61) Agnes died in 1622 seised of the manor of Ascot, which was then said to be held of the lord of Winkfield; she left as her heir a son Francis. (fn. 62) John Broughton, who was holding in 1718, (fn. 63) was probably his grandson. This John conveyed the manor in 1722 to Robert Foster, (fn. 64) and upon the death of the latter it was sold to Andrew Lindegreen, from whose executors Daniel Agace purchased it in 1787. He was holding in 1813, (fn. 65) and his descendant, Mr. Charles Agace Ferard, is the present lord of the manor.
The manor of CHAWRIDGE consisted of 151 acres of woodland granted in free alms by Henry III as parcel of the manor of Cookham and Bray to the priory of Bromhall in lieu of rents from Windsor and Cookham and Bray. (fn. 66) After the Dissolution (fn. 67) the manor was granted to St. John's College, Cambridge, (fn. 68) with whom it has remained to the present day.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 29 ft. by 19 ft., north vestry and organ chamber, south chapel 23 ft. 3 in. by 13 ft. 8 in., nave, divided down the centre by the oak posts which support the roof, 54 ft. 2 in. by 51 ft. 9 in., a tower at the south-west angle 11 ft. 6 in. by 10 ft. 5 in., and a south porch. These measurements are all internal.
The church has been much altered at various periods, and the original plan is uncertain. The north and south walls and northern half of the west wall of the present nave appear to date from c. 1300. The original church may have consisted either of the normal arrangement of nave and aisles, the modern chancel being said to occupy the position of the old chancel, or of a double nave, the chancel replaced by the present one being regarded as a 16th-century addition. In support of this view it may be noted that the north-west window seems too high up in the wall to have lighted an aisle. A sweeping alteration of some kind was evidently made in 1592, when the whole area within the walls was cleared and reroofed in two spans, supported down the centre by a row of oak pillars. The brick tower at the south-west angle was added in the early 17th century. On one of the bricks is the date 1629 and the initials. J.D. There were further alterations made in 1723. The whole of the church east of the nave was entirely rebuilt about fifty years ago.
The chancel has a three-light east window and an arcade of two bays opens into the south chapel. On the north side are the vestry and organ chamber. The chancel, south chapel and organ chamber are divided from the nave by two-centred arches of two chamfered orders. These additions are designed in the 'Early Decorated' style.
The nave has three north windows, each of two trefoiled lights, with pierced spandrels and a ribbed segmental rear arch. The middle window is modern; the eastern and western windows, however, appear to be of original 14th-century date. The two eastern windows of the south wall are modern, of three and two lights respectively. The south doorway appears to be original and of the same date as the windows in the north wall. The head is two-centred with an external label and a semicircular rear arch. West of this is a 14th-century single-light window with a trefoiled head and modern rear arch. In the west wall are three windows, each of two trefoiled lights, having a two-centred segmental rear arch. The two northern of these are of original 14th-century date, but the other is modern. This portion of the wall is of brick and of the same date as the tower, but the window appears to date from about fifty years ago.
The remarkable Elizabethan roof is in two spans with a central plate supported by four octagonal tapering columns of oak and one half column against the west wall, with impost mouldings planted at about two-thirds of their height, and is stiffened longitudinally by curved braces springing from above the imposts and forming semicircular arches. The plate is stopped over the easternmost column, where the roof is hipped to clear the chancti arch. The principals have collars supported by curved braces springing from carved consoles on the north and south faces of the columns above the imposts. The console on the south face of the easternmost column is carved with a crown and Tudor rose, the date 1592, and the royal initials 'E.R.' The third column from the east and the half-column against the west wall are modern renewals and bear the dates 1887 and 1909 respectively. The roof is tiled. The walls of the nave are faced externally with localrag-stone. On the north side are three buttresses, and at the north-west is an angle buttress, all much restored, but, with the exception of the easternmost, probably of original 14th-century date. On the south side are two buttresses with a modern facing of flint.
The tower, formerly of wood but rebuilt in brick in 1629 by the parish, is in three stages, with an embattled parapet and clasping buttresses of three offsets, diminished with a gradual entasis. Over the pointed south doorway, which, like the other openings, has a moulded brick label, is a large elliptical-headed window of three brick-mullioned lights. The intermediate stage is lighted from the west by a pointed single light with a square label and the bell-chamber on all four sides by pointed two-light windows.
On the east wall of the nave, to the south of the chancel arch, is a brass to Thomas Mountague, who died in 1630, in his ninety-second year. He is represented in his uniform as a yeoman of the guard, holding a pike in his right hand and giving a loaf to two poor men. Below is an inscription in Roman capitals. On the north wall is a mural tablet commemorating Thomas Wise, 'Master Mason of England to King Charles the Second,' who died in 1685. Above is a shield, sable three cheverons ermine.
There is a ring of six bells: the treble, cast by R. Phelps in 1723 and recast in 1874 by Mears & Stainbank; the second inscribed, 'Richard Clarke gave me 1630 New cast by William Eldridge 1707'; the third by Joseph Carter and inscribed, 'This bell Was Made 1597'; the fourth inscribed, 'Thomas Mears Fecit 1795 John Boult and George Lyford Churchwardens'; the fifth inscribed, 'Gloria Deo In Excelsis 1633'; and the tenor by Thomas Mears, 1839.
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1720 to 1778, marriages 1720 to 1753; (ii) baptisms and burials 1779 to 1812; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1789; (iv) marriages 1790 to 1812.
The church of ST. PETER, Cranbourne, consists of a chancel with a north organ chamber and vestry, a south transept, a nave, north aisle, south porch and west bellcote. It was built in 1846 in 14th-century style, but the vestry and south transept, which are designed in a French Gothic manner, were not added until about twenty years later. The walls are faced with flint with stone dressings; the roofs, which are of open timber, are tiled. The parish was formed in 1851 from parts of Winkfield, Sunninghill and Old Windsor. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford.
The parish of ALL SAINTS, Ascot, was formed from Winkfield and Sunninghill in 1864. The church, built in the same year, is of brick in 13th-century style, and consists of chancel, nave and bellturret containing one bell. The living is a rectory in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford.
The parish of ALL SOULS, South Ascot, was formed from Ascot and Sunninghill in 1898. The church, erected in 1896–7 and enlarged in 1910–11, is built of brick with Bath stone dressings, and consists of chancel and nave, south chapel and baptistery. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford.
The church of Winkfield belonged to the abbey of Abingdon, which in 1308 received a licence to alienate it to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral, (fn. 69) the latter at the same time obtaining licence to appropriate; but the transfer must have taken place at least twenty years previously, since the Bishop of Salisbury held the church in 1291, at which date a pension of 13s. 4d. was paid to the abbey of Abingdon. (fn. 70) The church, however, appears not to have satisfied the needs of the extra-parochial tenants of the king's new assarts, and in 1293 the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury obtained a vacant piece of land in the forest to the east of the Prioress of Bromhall's estate on which to build a chapel. (fn. 71)
The rectory was leased out by the dean and chapter, (fn. 72) and was held in the 17th and 18th centuries by the family of Hercy. (fn. 73) The advowson remained in the hands of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury (fn. 74) until 1846, when it was transferred to the Bishop of Oxford.
William de Pagula, (fn. 75) renowned in the 14th century for his piety and learning, was vicar of Winkfield, and at the close of the 19th century W. Lewis Rham, (fn. 76) the distinguished agriculturist, was the incumbent.
For the school founded by Richard Earl of Ranelagh in 1709 see article on schools. (fn. 77)
The foundation is now regulated by a scheme of the board of Education dated 21 December 1905, under the provisions of which a site at Bracknell for the erection of new school buildings was in 1907 acquired at a cost of £1,550, and a contract entered into for the erection thereon of a public secondary school for boys and girls for £6,357, towards which £2,000 was contributed by the Berks. County Council, the balance being provided out of funds held by the official trustees in trust for the foundation. The official trustees also hold a sum of £53 17s. 10d. consols, derived out of the endowment of the foundation, the dividends of which, amounting to £1 6s. 8d. a year, are under a deed dated 22 January 1861 applicable in moieties for the vicar for his own use and in trust for the poor.
The parochial charities are administered under the provisions of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 24 November 1891, as varied by a scheme of 3 December 1897, and are grouped under the following heads, viz.: the Highway Rate Relief Fund, trust fund, £388 10s. 2d. consols; the Poor Rate Augmentation Fund, founded by indenture dated 21 October 1799, trust fund, £450 consols; and the Sidwell Fund, founded by will proved 7 July 1873, trust fund, £323 9s. consols, the dividends of which are applicable in defraying the cost of repairing and restoring when necessary the three windows in St. Mary's Church presented by Mrs. Ann Sidwell, and subject thereto a fund to be formed for the beautifying and embellishment of the church.
The charity of Thomas Hatch, founded by will proved in the P.C.C. 7 February 1780, trust fund, £289 0s. 2d. consols, income to be applied primarily in paying the marriage fees of poor persons residing in the parish, surplus, if any, in paying any lawful fees for churchings or burials.
The charity known as Pople's charity (comprising the charity of William Derson and Thomas Elye, the charity of Thomas Montague and Vicar Pople's Gift), founded by indenture dated 15 May 1607. The trust estate consists of 1 acres of land, with a building on part thereof let for the purposes of a school for girls, a two-roomed cottage at either end of the school, and two detached buildings, each containing four dwellings called almshouses, producing £10 a year; 4 a. 13 p. called 'Picked Innings,' let at £8 a year, £20 on mortgage, and £314 2s. 10d. consols.
Thomas Law Blane, founded by will proved 25 April 1885, trust fund, £1,003 15s. 3d. consols. It is provided by the scheme that the income of this group should be applied by the trustees thereby constituted in defraying the cost of the repair and insurance of the buildings above referred to, and subject thereto for the benefit of the eight almswomen, who are to receive a stipend at the rate of not less than £10, and any residue of income to be applied in out-pensions to women possessing the same qualifications as the almswomen.
The charity known as the Industrial School Charity, consisting of 1 acre of land in Winkfield, with buildings on part thereof lately used as a school for boys, and 1 a. 2 r. let at £2 a year. The charity of Richard How, by deed 1652, so far as applicable in this parish (see under Wokingham), being one-fourth of the rents of 12 a. 3r. 12 p. in Finchampstead, £3 a year, and £45 2s. 6d. consols; and the charity of Admiral Sir Charles Rowley, founded by will, trust fund, £70 consols.
By clause 59 of the scheme the net income of these charities, together with the annual sum of £10 to be paid, as mentioned below, out of the income of Thomas Winder's charity, is applied in one or both of the following ways, viz.: (a) in prizes for children attending public elementary schools, (b) in maintaining evening classes.
The charities of Roger Lock and John Poynter, founded by deed 1678, trust funds, £2,314 16s. Midland Railway 2½ per cent. debenture stock. By clause 60 of the principal scheme a sum of 20s. yearly is payable to the governors of Christ's Hospital (for which purpose a sum of £40 of the said railway stock was by an order of 19 May 1904 made under the Board of Education Act, 1899, set aside), and subject thereto the yearly income is made applicable in payment of premiums for the apprenticeship of poor boys or girls, or obtaining for them technical instruction, suitable outfits, scholarships or exhibitions, preference to be given to those related by consanguinity to the founders or bearing by descent their surnames.
The following charities so far as the same are applicable in Winkfield (see under Wokingham), viz.: Thomas Winder, founded by will proved in the P.C.C. 12 February 1651, trust fund, £1,778 7s. 4d. Great Northern Railway 3 per cent. stock; Bartholomew Bromley, by will proved 6 December 1656, trust fund, being an annual sum of £9 14s.; Henry Smith, trust fund, about £28 a year; the poor's allotment fund, £104 1s. 8d. consols, and Mrs. Ballard, by will date unknown, trust fund, £45 consols. By clause 61 of the principal scheme the trustees are directed to pay out of the income of Bromley's charity a yearly sum of £2 to the vicar and 5s. to the sexton, out of the income of Winder's charity the yearly sum of £2 to the vicar, the said two yearly sums to be for sermons to be preached on four days in the year other than Sundays. Also a further yearly sum of £10 out of Winder's charity to be applied with the income of the Industrial School charity and Richard How's and Admiral Rowley's charities (for which purpose a sum of £344 of the said railway stock was by an order of 31 May 1904 made under the Board of Education Act, 1899, set aside), the residue of the income to be applied for the general benefit of the poor, in such manner therein indicated as the trustees should consider most advantageous.
The poor's fuel allotment is administered separately, not being included in the scheme. The allotment was acquired under the Windsor Forest Inclosure Act. (fn. 78) The land was sold from time to time and the proceeds invested in stock with the official trustees, who now hold in trust for the charity a sum of £4,782 Midland Railway Company 2½ per cent. debenture stock, producing £119 11s. a year. In 1907–8 coal was distributed among 178 recipients who had deposited 4s. 6d. each and among sixty-nine depositors of 3s. 6d. each.