A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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The ancient ecclesiastical parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, in the south-east of the county, has since 1900 been mainly included in the modern civil parish of Slough. Parts of it were added to Eton in the same year and to Wexham in 1901.
Its area in 1831 was 1,943 acres, (fn. 1) the greater part being rural in character and including a detached portion near Wexham practically all woodland, Upton Wood, Rowley Wood, Gallions Wood and others being found there. A stream called Chalvey Ditch borders the south of Upton, and eventually flows into the Thames below Eton.
The main interest of the parish centres in the old village of Upton, now continuous with the south-eastern part of Slough. It includes the ancient parish church of St. Lawrence, Merton Grange, which by its name recalls the estate formerly held by Merton Priory in this parish, and Upton Court.
The latter house until the Dissolution belonged to the same priory. The building, which faces east, probably dates from the late 15th century, and was originally of the normal central-hall type with the private apartments and staircase at the north end and the kitchen and offices at the south end, but 17th-century alterations have obscured the original arrangements. A wing which projected eastwards from the south end has been pulled down and the walls have been faced with brick and rough-casted; large additions have also been made on the north and south, but a small portion of the original half-timber work is visible on the west front of the house. In the centre of the east front is a two-storied porch, and at either extremity of the elevation are the gabled ends of the remaining portions of the solar and kitchen blocks. Over the porch door is a modern inscription, 'Welcome ye cominge, 1383 (here is carved the figure of a monk), 1434, speed ye parting gest.' The older internal fittings are principally of the 17th century, but the original doorways to the staircase at the north-east and part of the roof of the solar remain. In the window of the dining room, which is on the north side of the hall, are some squares of Dutch glass, on one of which is the inscription, 'In solo deo salus,' and on another the date 1667. Traces of the monastic fish-ponds are still visible in the grounds. (fn. 2)
The Red Cow Inn, to the north-west of the church, is a half-timber 16th-century building, much altered and added to, while Upton Dairy, a little distance to the north of the church, dates from the first half of the succeeding century, and has also been considerably modernized. It is built of brick and was once an inn. Upton also contains several other buildings of the same periods, but these also have been considerably altered.
The hamlet of Chalvey lies to the south-west of Slough. There is a Primitive Methodist and a Congregational chapel. The other buildings lie scattered round the neighbourhood, and consist mainly of modern residences and farm-houses; one of the latter is known as Manor Farm.
The lands of Upton-cum-Chalvey were inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1808. (fn. 3)
At the time of the Domesday Survey UPTON MANOR, formerly included among Earl Harold's lands, was held by the king himself. It was assessed for 18 hides, and paid £21 yearly, the appurtenances including a mill worth 4s. (fn. 4) It was subsequently held by the Beuchamp family, a member of which, Payn de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford, gave the manor to Merton Priory in Surrey, (fn. 5) presumably soon after its foundation in 1125. The priory continued to hold Upton until the Dissolution. (fn. 6) In 1254–5 the prior had view of frankpledge here, although by what authority was not known. (fn. 7) In 1291 the value of the priory estates in the parish was £12 4s. 9d. (fn. 8) This was augmented by various gifts of land, (fn. 9) and in 1535 their temporalities at Upton were worth nearly £60. (fn. 10)
During their lordship of Upton, as early, indeed, as the 13th century, the successive Priors of Merton appear to have had a cell where monks from the priory were always in residence. (fn. 11)
After the Dissolution the manor was annexed to the honour of Windsor, (fn. 12) and remained in the Crown for many years, various grants of its stewardship being recorded from time to time. (fn. 13) In 1630 a grant of Upton was made to Charles Harbord and others, (fn. 14) and in the following year it was sold by them to Sir Marmaduke Darrell, kt., and to Sir Sampson Darrell, kt., his son and heir. (fn. 15) The latter held after his father's death and died in 1635, leaving his son Marmaduke as heir. (fn. 16)
In 1662 Marmaduke Darrell sold the manor to Charles, afterwards Sir Charles, Doe, (fn. 17) by whom it was mortgaged to John Lane. The latter by his will, made and proved in the autumn of 1670, gave Sir Charles five years in which to redeem the mortgage. (fn. 18) The executor, Thomas Steane, died within that period, and in a law-suit which John Doe, heirat-law of Sir Charles, brought in 1676 Steane's executor, Richard Hodilow, was unable to state if the debt had been paid, (fn. 19) though it is recorded in a lay subsidy concerning four quarterly assessments made 'for the carrying on a vigorous war with France,' that Lady Doe, being rated and having paid her first three assessments, died before the fourth was collected, (fn. 20) Upton evidently passed to Benjamin Lane, brother and heir of John Lane. (fn. 21) He died in 1723 (fn. 22) and Anne Lane, who, as wife of Vigorous Edwards, made a settlement of the manor in 1724, was probably his niece. (fn. 23) Anne died in 1733 without issue, and on the death of Vigorous in 1760 (fn. 24) Upton passed to his relatives, the Edwards of Henlow Warden, Bedfordshire, (fn. 25) of whom George was in possession in the early 19th century. (fn. 26) A claim to the manor appears to have been made by Samuel Bedford Edwards, a member of the Arlesey Bury branch of the family, on the attainment of his majority in 1820, (fn. 27) but in the middle 19th century the manorial rights were vested in George Edwards of Henlow. (fn. 28) By 1862 Upton belonged to Henry Darvill, (fn. 29) members of whose family, Miss K. F. Darvill, Mrs. H. E. Hulton and Mrs. H. M. F. Wilson, at present hold it as co-heirs.
A survey made in 1605 gives an interesting account of the bounds of the manor, which were as follows (fn. 30):—
Beginning at the house at Mr. Woodward's Spring Corner, going after along the brookside parting Upton and Langeley and by the same brook still southwards to a corner of the meadow called Northmeade in Dachet, parting Upton and Dachet … and from the corner …to Merke Bridge …and by the Mill Ditch parting Upton and Dachet, to the Thames southward …and from the Thames by a ditch parting Eton College iand from Upton, west to Stonebridge, and so along the ditch …to Scipenham Parke …and along the same ditch parting Scipenham and Chalvey, and parting Chalvey and Farnham Royal, northward unto the king's highway by Farnham Mill leading towards London …and so eastward along the highway parting Upton and Stoke Poges to a great elme in the middle of Slowe unto a corner house of Andrew Windsor …and from the elme along by a lane northwards parting Upton and Stoke Poges to a certain ground called Sowetts … and from there to Mundaies Greene and after to Poke Lane parting Upton and Wexham to Mr. Woodward's Spring Corner.
The same survey records that according to the custom of the manor the heriot was the best clovenfooted beast. The tenants also had common of pasture in lands called the Marsh, Marshmead and Chalvey Green, Moor and Grove, together with herbage and pannage in Upton Wood.
The site of the manor, known as UPTON COURT, had been demised to Roger Erlewyn or Urlwyn and his heirs on a fifty years' lease for an annual rent of £20 a few years before the Dissolution. (fn. 31)
The survey of 1548 records that the tenant had to find provision for the king's officers whenever they came to hold a court at Upton. (fn. 32)
Successive grants were afterwards made from the Crown to Edward Hungerford, Thomas Duck and Robert Barker. (fn. 33) A permanent grant appears to have been made later, for in 1711 Benjamin Lane conveyed to Edward Lascelles and his heirs 'all that capital messuage or mansion house called Upton Court.' (fn. 34) Edward Lascelles was probably the greatgrandfather of Edward Lascelles, who was created Lord Harewood in 1796, as the latter held the property in 1809. (fn. 35) He was raised to the rank of earl in 1812, and the present Earl of Harewood now owns Upton Court.
Richard Bulstrode, who married Alice daughter and heir of — Knife, (fn. 36) died in 1502 seised of lands held of Merton Priory, and of CHALVEY MANOR in Chalvey and Upton which he held of— Worley of Upton, and which was valued at £8 yearly. (fn. 37) The manor remained in the Bulstrode family, passing regularly from father to son, (fn. 38) for many years. In 1636 Henry Bulstrode, the sixth head of the family to hold Chalvey, redeemed the manor from Henry Allen, to whom it had been mortgaged some years before. (fn. 39) His son Thomas Bulstrode was also a party to this transaction, (fn. 40) but whether Thomas eventually held the manor himself does not appear.
In 1704 it was held by John Montagu son of Ralph Earl of Montagu, (fn. 41) and in 1718 was sold by him to Henry Godolphin, Provost of Eton College. (fn. 42) Godolphin died in 1733, and at a court baron of the manor held in 1743 it seems that his widow Mary Godolphin was lady of the manor. (fn. 43) Their son Francis Godolphin died without issue, and his heir and cousin by marriage, Lord Francis Godolphin Osborne, was afterwards lord of the manor. (fn. 44) His son became eighth Duke of Leeds, and the present duke now owns this estate.
In 1600 a 'capital messuage or manor of Chalvey' was held by Thomas Asteley and Frances his wife. (fn. 45) They, together with Mary Asteley, widow, sold the property to Henry Bell in 1601. (fn. 46) Henry Bell still held in 1612, (fn. 47) but it was not apparently in his possession when he died, (fn. 48) and there is no other record of it.
During the first half of the 13th century Peter de Goldington had an estate in Upton - cum - Chalvey, which he held for one knight's fee of the honour of Bedford belonging to William de Beauchamp. (fn. 49) In 1254 Miles de Hastings and Dionisia his wife, one of the three daughters and co-heirs of Peter de Goldington, (fn. 50) conveyed lands in Upton and Chalvey to Eustace, Prior of Merton. (fn. 51)
In 1254–5, when Upton was held by the prior, a certain part of Chalvey belonging to Upton was held by Geoffrey Cumbaud. (fn. 52) A survey of the manor made in 1605 records that there was a certain fee called Gumbald's fee, which was paid annually to the king's manor of Upton by certain of the tenants for land in Chalvey. (fn. 53) It only amounted to 12d., but it was probably for the same land or part of the land held in the 13th century by Cumbaud.
In 1263 Guy de Chanceus held 12 acres of land and a mill in Chalvey and Upton (fn. 54); in the same year he quitclaimed a messuage, land and rent there to Andrew Chanceus. (fn. 55) The Prior of Merton and Andrew de Chanceus held a third of a knight's fee in Chalvey in 1302, (fn. 56) and in 1346 the same land was held in chief by the prior and Nicholas Knife in the proportion of two parts to one. (fn. 57)
The prior finally acquired the mesne lordship of the latter's land, as appears from a 16th-century survey, where the free tenants of Upton Manor include Thomas Bulstrode holding land in Chalvey, formerly belonging to Thomas Knife, for rent of 39s. 6d. (fn. 58)
The church of ST. LAWRENCE, Upton, consists of a chancel 21 ft. by 16 ft., central tower 12 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft., nave 55 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 6 in., south aisle 19 ft. wide, south vestry and organ chamber. All these dimensions are internal.
The nave and central tower appear to date from the early part of the 12th century, while the chancel was added or rebuilt, and the nave lengthened about 1160. The building having become very dilapidated, services were practically suspended after 1835. The new church at Slough was built in 1837, and the old building, the tower of which had been struck by lightning, was only saved from demolition by the action of Mr. Beach, a farmer, who gave £50 to the parish on condition that it should be left standing. (fn. 61) A general restoration was undertaken in 1850, when the south wall of the nave was rebuilt and the south aisle added, and new windows in the 'Norman' style replaced the windows which had been inserted in the 15th century in the east wall of the chancel and the north wall of the nave. At the same time the east and west arches of the tower were rebuilt. In 1879 the south vestry and organ chamber were added. The walls are of flint and stone and the roofs are tiled.
The modern pair of round-headed lights in the east wall of the chancel replaces a three-light 15th-century window. In the gable above is a small round-headed light opening to the roof. In each side wall are two round-headed windows with internal edge-rolls; the south-east window appears to be a restoration, but the others are original, though those on the north have been repaired externally with cement. An original string-course runs along the wall internally on both sides below the sills, and the lateral walls are strengthened by pilaster buttresses. At the east end of the south wall is a small 12th-century pillar piscina with a scalloped head and a square basin. The chancel retains its original quad ripartite stone vaulting in two bays; the moulded ribs spring from attached shafts with scalloped capitals, those in the angles stopping on the string-course, while the intermediate pair are carried down to the floor. The modern painting on the ribs is said to be a restoration of the original scheme.
The central tower is of two stages with a plain parapet. The lower stage has modern arches at the east and west. In the north wall is a window like those in the side walls of the chancel, the masonry of which is either modern or has been re-dressed, and to the east of it is a small modern window. The south wall is occupied by a 15th-century four-centred doorway, the semicircular rear arch of which is probably of the 12th century, and a modern arch opening to the organ chamber. The bell-chamber has plain rectangular openings on the north and south and traces of similar blocked openings in the other walls. In a modern niche on the south wall of the groundstage of the tower is placed a remarkable representation in alabaster of the Holy Trinity; it is probably of 15th-century date, and is about 18 in. in height, and, though much mutilated, retains traces of the original colouring.
At the east end of the north wall of the nave, set in a recess which may be of the 13th century, is a window of two lights, some of the jamb-stones of which appear to be of the 15th century. To the west of this is a restored round-headed light, probably inserted in the latter half of the 12th century, when the nave was lengthened. The next window, which is now blocked, but is visible externally, is a small early 12th-century light, and immediately to the west of it is a modern window, copied from the later 12th-century work in this wall, which replaces a 15th-century insertion. The north doorway was originally here, but appears to have been moved westwards to its present position when the nave was lengthened. It has been much restored, only the inner order and the angle shafts being original. Partly above the doorway is a second modern window like that just described, which also replaces a 15th-century insertion; the window at the west end of the wall, though much restored, is probably contemporary with the lengthening of the nave. On the south is a modern arcade of four bays, and in the west wall is a modern three-light window, above which is an original round-headed light.
In the east wall of the south aisle a remarkable pointed oak arch of the 13th century has been reset in the opening to the organ chamber; the moulded arch is enriched with dog-tooth ornament, and the responds have shafts with foliated capitals and moulded bases. Another arch of the same design is said to have formerly existed, the pair being placed on either side of the original western arch of the tower, where they probably formed reredoses to the nave altars. Built into the wall to the south of this are a 12th-century round-headed arch and a moulded two-centred arch of the 13th century, while reset at the south-east is a recess similar to that at the north-east of the nave and containing a window of the same character. The open king-post roof over the nave probably dates from the 15th century.
In the central recess at the east end of the south aisle is placed a brass commemorating Edward Bulstrode, who died in 1599, and Cecily his wife, daughter of John Croke, with their figures, the man wearing plate armour, and those of their four sons and six daughters. In the same recess are two other brasses, one engraved with the kneeling figure of a woman in a shroud, and the other bearing an inscription in Hebrew. The shrouded figure apparently formed part of the brass of William Bulstrode and his wife Agnes, who died in 1472. (fn. 62) In the adjoining arch are figures of a man in armour, two women, ten boys and two girls, and four shields with the arms of Bulstrode and their alliances. The inscription, now lost, is quoted by Lipscomb and commemorates Edward Bulstrode (d. 1517), esquire of the body to Henry VII and Henry VIII, with two of his three wives Mary, Ellen, and Margaret. On the west wall is a brass inscription commemorating Mary daughter of Thomas Read and first wife of Henry Bulstrode, the son and heir of Edward Bulstrode, who died in 1614, and one of their daughters. In the aisle is a slab with the matrices for two figures, an inscription, and two shields. There is also a mural tablet with arms to Henry Bulstrode, son and heir of Edward Bulstrode, the date of whose death is not filled in, and Bridget his wife, widow of John Allen, who died in 1631. At the north-east corner of the tower is a mural tablet in memory of Sir William Herschell, who died in 1822, and was buried here. On the south side of the churchyard is the tomb of Bazakell Gael, who died in 1668, and Elizabeth his wife, 1676; and a slab against the south wall of the nave is from the tomb of Margaret widow of Sir John Trevor, kt., 1614.
At the east end of the nave is a small poor-box of 16th or 17th-century date. In a circular window over the south doorway are preserved some fragments of old glass. Parts of the rood screen and other fragments from this church are now in the modern parish church.
The church of ST. PETER, Chalvey, was built in 1860–1, from the designs of G. E. Street, on a site given by Mrs. Beauchamp of Finefield. It consists of chancel, nave, north porch and western bellcote containing two bells. It serves as a chapel of ease to St. Mary's, Slough.
This church was granted to Merton by Payn de Beauchamp and was held by the priory with the manor until the Dissolution. (fn. 63)
A vicarage was ordained during or before the early years of the 13th century. (fn. 64) In 1232, when Simon de Gumecestre was instituted as vicar by the prior, he was ordered to have 'a suitable chaplain as associate until he is competent himself.' (fn. 65)
In 1655 an augmentation of £20 to the vicar's living at Upton was proposed by the Committee of Maintenance for Ministers and was approved. (fn. 68)
The living remained a vicarage until about 1883, at which period it was converted into a rectory, the great tithes having been purchased for that purpose by gift of Mr. F. Charsley. The parish church is St. Mary's in Slough. At the time when this was built in 1837 the old parish church of St. Lawrence in Upton had fallen into absolute decay, so that the parish rights were granted to St. Mary. (fn. 69)
The survey of 1605 records that the 'gardian of the Church of Upton' held a house and garden containing a rood of land, and also 1 acre of arable land at Stonebridge. This property was held by the warden at the will of the lord for money rent according to the custom of the manor. (fn. 70)
At the Dissolution the rectory of Upton was valued at £10. (fn. 71) A grange was attached which at that time and for many years after was held to farm by the family of Erlewyn. (fn. 72) In 1664 the grange and tithes belonging were held by Edmund Duck, George Duckens and William Williams. (fn. 73)
In 1720 Benjamin Lane by a codicil to his will charged his lands called Henscrofts with an annuity of £20 to be applied as follows: in the purchase of six Bibles to be distributed at Christmas, in supply of suits and hats to six poor men and coats and petticoats to six poor women, £1 to the vicar for preaching a sermon annually on the Sunday after the date of the donor's death (19 October), showing the excellency and use of the Holy Scriptures, 5s. to the parish clerk, and £1 for entertainment of the trustees at their meeting. The directions of the donor are specifically observed so far as is practicable.
In 1728 Robert Webb by his will charged his estate in Upton and Stoke Poges with an annuity of £10 to bind out one boy every year, born in the parish, to a trade. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 29 July 1910.
In 1832 Mrs. Harriet Ladbrooke Thomas by her will bequeathed £400 consols, the dividends to be applied in keeping the family vault in repair, and the residue to be distributed in bread on the Sunday following the donor's interment (7 October). In 1909 £1 2s. 6d. was expended on the tomb and £8 19s. in bread.
In 1847 Charles Hatchett by will, proved 14 April in that year, bequeathed £100 stock, now £101 10s. 10d. Local Loans 3 per cent. stock, the dividends, amounting to £3 0s. 10d. (subject to repair of tomb in the churchyard), to be distributed among deserving poor.
In 1859 Mrs. Ann Mason by will, proved 26 February, founded a charity to be known as the Chappell Fund, consisting of £690 consols, the yearly dividends, amounting to £17 5s., to be applied in December and January of every year in the distribution of beef and coals, preference to be given to widows and farm labourers out of work and having families.
In 1879 Mrs. Ann Beauchamp by will, proved 17 April, bequeathed £200, the income arising therefrom to be distributed in meat, coals and bread among poor families in Chalvey on Christmas Eve. The legacy was invested in £205 7s. 10d. consols, producing £5 2s. 8d. yearly.