A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1924.
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The small parish of Wasing lies in the south of the county and runs down to the Enborne stream, which forms part of its boundary on the north-west. The church stands in the well-wooded park of Wasing Place, the residence of Mr. W. A. Mount, a plain modern building with a stuccoed front. There are a few other houses in the parish, the most important being the rectory. The land rises from about 190 ft. above the ordnance datum at the north to 350 ft. at the south. The parish contains 690 acres, of which about one-third are arable, one-third permanent grass and the remaining third woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The soil is partly clay and partly sand and gravel. No railway or canal passes through the parish, but the high road from Brimpton to Aldermaston traverses the northern part.
Alwin held the manor of King Edward in alod, and after the Conquest it was held of the king by Bernard the Falconer. (fn. 2) The overlordship passed into the hands of the Earl of Hereford, who was holding it in the 13th century, (fn. 3) and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, died seised of it in 1372–3, (fn. 4) when with his honours it passed to the Crown.
Thomas of Kenet held the manor of the earl in the 13th century, (fn. 5) after which it passed to the college or hospital of St. Nicholas de Valle beside Salisbury, who were holding it until the Dissolution. (fn. 6) In 1535 the master and twenty poor scholars of this hospital had lands in Wasing worth £8 12s. 6d. yearly, out of which a rent of 3s. 4d. due to the king was paid yearly to the bailiff of the hundred of Faircross. (fn. 7)
In 1543 the king granted to Sir Humphrey Forster the manor of Wasing, formerly belonging to the college or hospital of St. Nicholas de Valle beside Salisbury, and certain closes and lands both in Wasing and Midgham. (fn. 8) Sir Humphrey died in 1555 (fn. 9) and his son William, who succeeded him, died in 1574. (fn. 10) He was succeeded by his son Sir Humphrey, at whose death in 1601 (fn. 11) the manor passed to his son Sir William, who was holding it in 1605 (fn. 12) and made settlements of it in 1608 (fn. 13) and 1617. (fn. 14) He died 28 January 1617–18 seised of the manor, when his heir was his son Humphrey, then aged twenty-one and more. (fn. 15) Two years later this Humphrey, who in the meantime, on 20 May 1620, had been made a baronet, sold the manor and certain adjoining lands to John Blacknall. (fn. 16)
John Blacknall died in 1625 seised of the manor, leaving two daughters Mary and Jane, then aged nine and one respectively. (fn. 17) Jane died in 1626, so that Mary, then aged ten and a half years, was the sole owner of the estate. (fn. 18) About the year 1638 she was married to Ralph Verney of Middle Claydon, Bucks., when they placed the manor of Wasing in settlement. (fn. 19)
Ralph Verney was created a baronet on 16 March 1661 and died in 1696, when he was succeeded by his son Sir John Verney, who was raised to the peerage in 1703 under the titles of Lord Verney of Belturbet and Viscount of Fermanagh in Ireland. (fn. 20) He had previously married as his first wife Elizabeth daughter of Ralph Palmer of Little Chelsea, Middlesex, and in 1707 he seems to have made some settlement on the children of this marriage, for he then conveyed the manor of Wasing to Narcissus Lutterell and Ralph Palmer. (fn. 21) At his death in 1717 he was succeeded by his son Ralph, the second viscount, who in June 1730 sold the manor to Richard Coope, (fn. 22) citizen and salter of London, who sold it in 1733 to Nathaniel St. Andre and Lady Elizabeth Diana his wife. She died in 1758 and in 1760 it was sold to John Mount. (fn. 23)
John Mount, who was the son of William Mount by his wife Jane Huckell, was Sheriff of Berks. in 1770 and died in 1786, (fn. 24) when the manor passed to his son William, who was born in 1752. (fn. 25) He married in 1771 Jane daughter of William Page of Poynters in Cobham, Surrey, and died in 1815, when the manor passed to his only son William. This William was born in 1787 and was a deputy-lieutenant for Berkshire and a justice of the peace, being chairman of the Newbury bench. He served as Sheriff of Berks. in 1826 and was M.P. for Newport, Isle of Wight. He married in 1818 Charlotte second daughter and co-heir of George Talbot of Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire, and died in 1869, when the manor passed to his elder son William George. (fn. 26)
William George Mount was born in 1824, was a deputy-lieutenant for Berkshire and a justice of the peace for Berks. and Hants, being Sheriff of Berks. in 1877 and latterly chairman of quarter sessions. He was chairman of the Berks. County Council from 1888 to 1905 and M.P. for South Berks. from 1885 to 1900. He married in 1862 Marianne Emily third daughter of Robert Clutterbuck of Watford House, Herts., and died in 1906, when he was succeeded by his eldest son William Arthur Mount, B.A., J.P., M.P. for South Berks. 1900 to 1906, and again in 1910, who is now lord of the manor. (fn. 27)
Certain lands in this parish were held in 1543 by Sir Richard Lyster, (fn. 28) the lord chief baron, who obtained permission in 1545 with his son Sir Michael and his grandson Richard to settle them on the occasion of Richard's marriage with Mary daughter of Thomas Lord Wriothesley. (fn. 29) No further mention has, however, been found of this property.
The church of St. Nicholas consists of a chancel 18 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft. 8 in., nave 52 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 1 in., south transept 17 ft. by 14 ft. 6 in., north vestry and a west porch. These measurements are all internal.
There is no earlier detail than the 13th-century lancet in the north wall of the chancel, which was built early in that century, though the thickness of some of the nave walling points to an earlier date. There are some 15th-century windows in the nave, the greater part of which was rebuilt with thinner walls in the 18th century, when the south transept was added, in or about 1761, which date is inscribed on the west porch. A good deal of restoration was done in the 19th century, when several windows were renewed.
In the east wall of the chancel are three modern lancets with a small modern niche on either side. A small 13th-century lancet in the north wall now opens into the late 18th-century vestry, which is entered by a doorway in the north wall. The remaining window in this wall is a modern lancet. The first of the two southern windows is of early 14th-century date partly restored, and is of two trefoiled lights with a spandrel sunk externally; the second is similar, but appears to be entirely modern. The chancel arch is also modern and has a moulded two-centred arch carried by detached jamb shafts. The chancel is paved with large black and white marble squares. The roof is tiled; its timbers appear to be ancient, but the cornice is modern.
The north-eastern window of the nave, which is of early 16th-century date, is of three trefoiled roundheaded lights under a flat lintel, with sunk spandrels containing leaf ornament and plain shields at the heads of the mullions. The second window is of the 15th century and has two cinquefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil above under a segmental arch. The window opposite is of similar detail and date. The walls on both sides are thinned by some 11 in. immediately west of these windows; the thicker portion is 2 ft. 7 in. thick on the north and 2 ft. 11 in. on the south. The remaining four windows of the nave, two on each side, are large round-headed single lights of the 18th century and are surrounded by plaster decoration in low relief. The west doorway has a wood frame and over it is a blocked round-headed window which, in place of its keystone, has been fitted with a piece of a 15thcentury cusped window head. On this is cut the date 1826. The keystone removed is probably the stone bearing the date 1761 set in the side of the porch, which has a round-headed doorway.
The transept has similar windows in its east and south walls with plaster decoration around them. The south window is larger and bears the date 1839 on its keystone, the record probably of an enlargement or restoration. In the west wall of the transept is a small square-headed modern doorway. All the walls are covered externally with whitewashed roughcast and the roofs of the nave and transept are tiled and are ceiled with plaster below the collar beams. The two heavy tie-beams of the nave roof are old, but have been reworked. A wood bell-turret with boarded sides and plain square luffered openings to the bell-chamber stands on the middle of the nave roof.
On the east wall outside are two tombstones, one to William Innes, M.A., rector, who died in 1717, and the other to Thomas Worrall, rector for fortytwo years 'excepting the years yt he was banisht for his loyalty'; he was eighty-one years old at the time of his death, the date of which is not given.
The communion plate consists of a cup of 1671, a flagon of 1851, a standing paten of 1846, a gilt chalice, and paten of foreign workmanship without mark or date, and a paten with the hall-mark of 1868, given to the church in 1904. All are of silver. There is also a knife with a silver handle.
The first reference that we have to a church here is in 1297. (fn. 30) In 1535 the church was worth 71s. 10d. (fn. 31) The advowson seems always to have passed with the manor, but the first mention of it that has been found is in 1625, on the death of John Blacknall, when it is mentioned as part of the estate purchased from Sir Humphrey Forster, kt. (fn. 32) Nevertheless, the Crown presented in 1622 and 1623, while the manor was in the hands of John Blacknall. (fn. 33) The advowson is again mentioned in conjunction with the manor in 1627, (fn. 34) and all subsequent presentations seem to have been made by the lords of the manor. (fn. 35) Mr. W. A. Mount, the lord of the manor, is the present patron.
An annuity of £1 is also paid out of the Hyde End estate at Inhurst in the parish of Baughurst, Hants, by the representatives of the late Charles Hyde, in respect of the charitable gift of John Hyde by deed 1673. The two sums are applied in coal by the churchwardens in the distribution.