A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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TWYFORD with CHARNDON and POUNDON
This large parish on the border of Oxfordshire, with its hamlets of Charndon (1,911 acres) and Poundon (980 acres), covers 4,458 acres, of which 305 are arable, 3,522 permanent grass and 324 woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The land rises from 246 ft. above ordnance datum in the south of the parish to 382 ft. on Poundon Hill in the south-west. The soil is chiefly a heavy clay. The Great Central railway crosses the north-east corner of the parish and the Bletchley and Oxford section of the London and North Western railway has a station called Marsh Gibbon and Poundon within the parish.
Two miles north-east of the station is the little village of Twyford. Near the church is the vicarage, which, although faced with modern brick and tiles, incorporates part of a 15th-century house consisting of a hall, now divided into two floors, with its original roof of three bays and a solar at one end. Considerable alterations and additions were made in the 16th century and many of the fittings, including the staircase and panelling, are of this date. In the village street are several 17th-century houses and cottages, among which is the Red Lion Inn. There are also in the village a school and a Congregational chapel. Twyford House, the residence of Major G. J. Fitz Gerald, is a modern house at the south-west end of the village. Twyford Lodge, a farm-house a little farther to the south-west, stands on the site of a former mansion of the Wenmans. (fn. 2) On the removal of that family to Oxfordshire in the early 18th century (fn. 3) their Twyford residence was converted into a farm-house which was taken down in 1857. (fn. 4) Twyford watermill is over half a mile north-west from the church. It was settled on Nicholas, son of Henry de Twyford, and his wife Amice in 1321 (fn. 5) and corresponds to the Nicholas Mill held by the Dayrells of Lillingstone Dayrell in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. (fn. 6) The water-mill is named as appurtenant to Twyford Manor in the mid 17th century. (fn. 7) The windmill mentioned in 1658 (fn. 8) was destroyed during a gale in February 1860. (fn. 9) The name Windmill Hill still survives.
Poundon (Powendone, xiv cent.) is a small hamlet about a mile and a quarter south-west of Twyford. Here is a Church of England mission room. The residence of Mr. John Pemberton Heywood HeywoodLonsdale, the principal landowner, is a modern stone house.
Twyford and Charndon were inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1774. (fn. 10)
Before the Conquest the Countess Goda held TWYFORD, a certain man of Earl Harold having there 3 hides as a manor, which he could sell; by 1086 it had passed as one manor of 17 hides to Ralph de Fougeres (fn. 11) (Felgeris, Feugeriis).
Twyford Manor was retained for over a century by the lords of Fougeres, descending to Ralf's greatgrandson, William de Fougeres, (fn. 12) whose lands were in the king's hands in 1207. (fn. 13) It evidently passed with the Fougeres estates in Devonshire (fn. 14) to Randolph Earl of Chester through his marriage with Clemence daughter of William de Fougeres, (fn. 15) and on his death without issue in 1232 escheated to the Crown. (fn. 16) Twyford Manor was granted during pleasure in the same year to Richard Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, (fn. 17) and in the following year to Peter Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. (fn. 18) In 1235 he renounced his allegiance to Henry III, who seized his possessions (fn. 19) and granted Twyford Manor during pleasure to Walter Marshal. (fn. 20) He succeeded to the earldom of Pembroke in 1241 and died in 1245. (fn. 21) In 1246 Twyford Manor was granted in fee to Ralf Fitz Nicholas. (fn. 22) After 1254 (fn. 23) he or his son Robert (fn. 24) subinfeudated the greater part of the original manor (see later) and the remainder which Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was holding temporarily in 1254, (fn. 25) descended as TWYFORD MANOR with Great Linford (fn. 26) (q.v.) to James Butler, fourth Earl of Ormond, who made a settlement concerning it in 1430, (fn. 27) but appears to have afterwards sold it. It certainly passed before his death in 1452 (fn. 28) into the hands of Thomas Giffard, owner of the other manor (q.v.), since the two estates coalesced into one manor, of which Giffard died seised in 1469. (fn. 29) His son John Giffard (fn. 30) died in 1492 and was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 31) On his death in 1511 Twyford Manor passed to his son Thomas, (fn. 32) and in 1550 to the latter's daughter Ursula, wife of Thomas, afterwards Sir Thomas Wenman, kt. (fn. 33) Their son Richard succeeded his mother in 1558 (fn. 34) and died in 1572. (fn. 35) His son Thomas Wenman (fn. 36) settled this manor on his wife Jane in 1574, (fn. 37) and she was seised on his death in 1577. (fn. 38) Their son Richard, (fn. 39) who had succeeded before 1597, (fn. 40) made a settlement of Twyford Manor in 1617, on the marriage of his son Thomas with Margaret Hampden, (fn. 41) and was created Viscount Wenman of Tuam in 1628. (fn. 42) This manor descended with the title (fn. 43) to Philip the last viscount, who died in 1800. (fn. 44) In the early 19th century it was held in trust for his nephew Philip Thomas Wykeham. (fn. 45) The latter's niece Sophia Baroness Wenman (fn. 46) was lady of the manor in 1862. (fn. 47) Later in the century the manor was split up into freehold estates, the principal landowner in 1873 being Mr. Edward Athawes. (fn. 48) His property is now in the hands of trustees.
The greater part of the original manor, amounting to two parts of the vill of Twyford, (fn. 49) was subinfeudated, as above said, some time in the second half of the 13th century, and the overlordship was appurtenant to the smaller but more important Twyford Manor (fn. 50) until the amalgamation of the two manors, c. 1440.
The enfeoffment, which took place before 1276, (fn. 51) was made by Ralf Fitz Nicholas, (fn. 52) or more probably by his son Robert, to John Giffard (fn. 53) (or Gifford). He was holding in 1290, (fn. 54) but seems to have been succeeded before 1300 by John Giffard, (fn. 55) surnamed 'le Boef.' (fn. 56) He was knighted in 1303 (fn. 57) and was living in 1329, when his son John is called the younger. (fn. 58) The latter is probably the John Giffard of Twyford who is frequently named between 1333 and 1349. (fn. 59) He was succeeded about 1369 by his son Thomas, (fn. 60) afterwards Sir Thomas Giffard, who died seised of this manor in 1394. (fn. 61) His son and heir Roger Giffard (fn. 62) settled it on his wife Isabel and died in 1409, in the minority of their son Thomas. (fn. 63) He ratified their estate in Twyford Manor in 1430 to his mother and her second husband John Stokes. (fn. 64) They apparently transferred it to John Aston of Somerton, Oxfordshire, who enfeoffed Thomas Giffard in 1437. (fn. 65) From the time that he acquired the other manor there is no distinction between the two estates.
A fair at Twyford on the vigil, Feast and the morrow of the Assumption of Our Lady was granted to Ralf Fitz Nicholas and his heirs in 1250. (fn. 66)
In 1279 Ralf Pipard and John Giffard held the view of frankpledge for their respective tenants in Twyford. (fn. 67) A grant of free warren in Twyford was made to James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and his wife Elizabeth in 1328. (fn. 68) The liberties mentioned above with those of courts leet and baron and free fishing were appurtenant to Twyford Manor in 1824. (fn. 69)
CHARNDON MANOR was held before the Conquest by Eingar, one of Earl Harold's men. (fn. 70) In 1086 it was assessed at 10 hides and held by Ralf de Fougères. (fn. 71) It afterwards passed with the Twyford estate (fn. 72) to Sophia Baroness Wenman. On her death in 1870 (fn. 73) it descended with Haddenham Manor to Mr. Wenman Aubrey WykehamMusgrave of Thame Park, Oxfordshire, (fn. 74) who is still one of the principal landowners, the other (within the last few years) being Mr. William Smith.
The hamlet of Poundon is named in the early 14th century as forming part of the vill of Twyford. (fn. 75) It appears to have descended with the Giffard manor of Twyford during the time of subdivision, since Thomas Giffard ratified in 1430 a transfer of lands there made by John and Isabel Stokes. (fn. 76) On the death of the last Viscount Wenman in 1800 the Poundon estate distinguished as POUNDON MANOR passed to his elder nephew William Richard Wykeham, (fn. 77) and descended with Haddenham Manor to Mr. Wenman Aubrey Wykeham-Musgrave. (fn. 78) He has lately sold this property to Mr. John Pemberton Heywood Heywood-Lonsdale.
The church of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN consists of a chancel measuring internally about 29 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 5 in., north organ-chamber, nave 50 ft. 4 in. by 18 ft., north aisle 6 ft. wide, south aisle 15 ft. 7 in. wide, west tower overlapped by the aisles 11 ft. 5 in. square, and a south porch 9 ft. 9 in. by 9 ft.
The reset south doorway and the western jambs of the chancel arch are the only surviving details of a late 12th-century church; the extent of the nave of this building is probably represented by that of the present nave, and it is possible that the existing north and south arcades are pierced in the original walls. About 1250 the south aisle was added and the chancel arch, and probably the chancel itself, were reconstructed. The aisle is much wider than the normal aisle of the period, but the east wall, which contains the jambs of original lancets, is obviously of 13thcentury date, and suggests that the aisle, as first erected, had a chapel at the eastern end, the width of which was adopted for the whole aisle when it was afterwards rebuilt in the 15th century. The north aisle was first added later in the 13th century, and was extended westwards c. 1300 when the west tower was begun. The south aisle must have been similarly extended, as it opens to the ground stage by an arch like that which opens to the north aisle, but all evidence of this has been obscured by the later rebuilding above referred to. Early in the 15th century the clearstory was added and the nave reroofed, and probably at the same time the stairs at the north-east of the north aisle were constructed with the closed passage spanning the east end of the aisle and leading out upon the now destroyed rood-gallery. Late in the century the west tower was completed, the south aisle was brought to its present form, and the south porch was added. The nave, chancel, and tower were restored in 1887, and in 1897 the south aisle and porch were restored. The walling is of rubble, and the north aisle is cemented externally.
In the east wall of the chancel is a late 14thcentury window of three cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a pointed head. The middle light rises higher than the side lights, the arrangement recalling the similarly designed windows characteristic of the early years of the same century. At the north-east is a square aumbry rebated for a door, and at the opposite end of the north wall is a modern arch opening to the organ-chamber, in the east wall of which has been reset a two-light 15th-century window removed from the north wall of the chancel when the arch was pierced. Near the centre of the wall is a shouldered doorway of the late 13th century. At the east end of the south wall is a 14thcentury piscina with a semi-hexagonal pilaster rising from the floor and supporting a projecting quatrefoil basin, the niche having a trefoiled ogee head inclosed by a label with a restored finial at the apex. Immediately to the west of this is a square-headed early 16th-century window of three plain lights with fourcentred heads, and beneath the sill is a range of three 14thcentury sedilia which appear to have been reset when the window above was inserted, many of the stones being carelessly misplaced. The central sedile has a trefoiled ogee head, those on either side having semicircular heads; the partitions between them are pierced by rectangular openings and have attached shafts from which the heads spring. At the west end of the wall is a mid-14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery of a simple character in a square head. The chancel arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner order springing from large tapering corbels with chamfered angles and small moulded imposts, supported by small attached shafts with moulded capitals and restored bases of the water-table type. The impost moulding of the corbels is continued round the jambs of the outer order on the west side, and back to the side walls of the nave. The jambs of the outer order on this face are made up of re-used late 12th-century stones, the north jamb having an angle roll with overlapping 'dentelles' approaching the beak-head in form, while the southern jamb is enriched by a bold cheveron moulding. Externally the chancel has a low-pitched eastern gable, the walls being crowned by an embattled parapet.
The late 13th-century north arcade of the nave is of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders supported by clustered piers of quatrefoil plan with moulded bell capitals and restored bases of late water-table type. The responds repeat the half-plan of the piers; the capital of the west respond differs in section from the other capitals of this arcade and points to the conclusion that the respond was rebuilt when the tower was added. The arches are inclosed by roll-moulded labels intersecting over the piers. The whole arcade has been much restored, the first and second piers having been rebuilt. The south arcade is of the same number of bays, and has arches, piers and responds of the same form, but the capitals and bases are of a different section, the mouldings of the former resembling those of the capitals of the shafts attached to the jambs of the chancel arch. The west respond has a capital like that of the corresponding respond of the north arcade, and, like it, was evidently rebuilt during the construction of the tower. The clearstory has four square-headed windows on either side; those on the north are of the early 15th century and are each of two trefoiled lights, while those on the south are each of two plain lights, and probably assumed their present form in the succeeding century. Over the east respond of the north arcade is the rood doorway, which has a four-centred rear-arch towards the nave.
The east window of the north aisle is an early 16th-century insertion of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head. Above it, spanning the east end of the aisle, is a rough arch carrying the passage to the former rood, and at the east end of the north wall can be seen the east jamb of a doorway leading to the stairs by which the passage was approached. To the west of this is a late 14thcentury window of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil tracery in a two-centred head. The north doorway in the third bay of the aisle is of original 13th-century date, and has a pointed external head inclosed by a label and a segmental rear arch. In the next bay is a modern pointed window of two lights, perhaps a copy of an original window of c. 1300; the extended portion of the aisle overlapping the tower is lighted only by a 15th-century cinquefoiled light in the west wall.
In the east wall of the south aisle, now blocked internally by the Wenman monument, is a 14thcentury window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred drop head. To the north and south are the outer jambs of a triplet of original 13th-century lancets; no joint is visible externally between this wall and the east wall of the nave. At the east end of the south wall is a pair of small shallow recesses with pointed heads, and to the west of them is a window of two plain lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head, probably an insertion of c. 1300. Immediately to the west of this window is a recess with an ogee head inclosed by a finialled label with a head-stop on the east and a rough block for stop on the west. In the back of the recess is set a stone with a rudely carved figure holding a heart. Partly above this recess is a late 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head, with a plain wood lintel for rear arch. In the third bay of the aisle is the south doorway, reset work of the last half of the 12th century. It is of two round-arched orders externally, the inner order continuously moulded with the cheveron, while the head of the outer order has an angle-roll with beak-head ornament and is supported by nook shafts with sculptured capitals and enriched abaci. The outer order of the jambs on both sides is carved with large eight-rayed suns or flowers. To the west of the doorway is a window of the same type and date as the south-east window; the remainder of the south wall is blank, but in the west wall is a 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a flat segmental head. The walls are crowned externally by a moulded cornice and plain parapet.
The tower rises in two stages with a perceptible batter and has diagonal buttresses at the western angles and an embattled parapet. The ground stage has arches on the east, north and south opening to the nave and aisles. Each of these arches is twocentred and of a single chamfered order springing from jambs with moulded imposts and broach-stopped chamfers at the angles. The arch opening to the nave is larger than those opening to the aisles, and has roll-moulded labels on both faces, while the aisle arches have labels of the same section, but on the inner face of the tower walls only. In the west wall of the ground-stage is a late 15th-century doorway with a four-centred head within an outer square containing order, and above it is a contemporary window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. The bell-chamber is lighted by windows of two cinquefoiled lights on all four sides, those on the west and south having four-centred heads, while the remaining two windows are square-headed. Immediately to the south of the east and west windows are small single trefoiled lights placed with their sills at the level of the springing of the heads of the principal windows.
The south porch has a low-pitched roof with an embattled parapet and is lighted by a single trefoiled light in each side wall. The outer entrance has a two-centred head with an external label, and is of two continuously chamfered orders.
The chancel has an early 16th-century king-post roof of flat pitch with moulded tie-beams and wallplates. The nave roof, a fine example of early 15thcentury carpentry, has trusses of king-post type with foiled struts and traceried wall-brackets resting on carved stone corbels. The font is of the 13th century, but has been very drastically restored. The bowl is circular and stands on a circular moulded stem with a square plinth having a human face carved at the south-west angle and an animal's head at the northwest. The bowl is further supported by four modern shafts encircling the central stem. The communion rails with their turned balusters are of the late 17th century, and the former communion table, now preserved in the vestry, appears to be of the same date. The pulpit is of the early part of the 17th century and has arched panels of the type common at that period. The 15th-century oak chancel-screen has been much restored and in large part renewed; it is divided by the main uprights into three bays, the central bay being open, with tracery in the head, while the side bays have each three open traceried lights in the upper portion, and panels with quatrefoil piercings below. The doors in the north and south doorways, with their original strap hinges, probably date from the 15th century. In the nave is a remarkably interesting series of 15th century benches with desks. The seat backs have boldly moulded top-rails and the ends or standards have large trefoiled finials, with scroll-heads to the elbows and desk-wings, the back and front standards of each set being finished to a buttress form. They average 3 ft. 3 in. in height, 2 ft. in width, and 3 in. in thickness. Three seats of similar type remain in the south aisle, with three other plainer seats of the same date. In the chancel are two 15th-century seats with panelled desks. Fragments of 15th-century glass remain in the two western of the north clearstory windows, and in the west window of the south aisle.
In the recess in the south wall of the south aisle are preserved some carved stones; these include the capital of a late 12th-century shaft, a fragment of a moulded 13th-century label, a broken late 15thcentury gargoyle, and a fragment of a cornice from the table tomb containing the Giffard brass described below. In the churchyard is the base and part of the octagonal shaft of a cross of c. 1400. At each angle of the base, which is much worn and decayed, have been small niches with figures, and there are also traces of trefoil enrichment.
At the east end of the north wall of the chancel is a brass with the half-figure of a priest and the following inscription: 'Hic jacet d[omi]n[u]s Joh[an]es Everdon. quondā Rector istius Eccl[es]ie qui obiit iiijto die Septembris anno d[omi]ni mill[essim]o. cccc°. xiij°. cuius a[n]i[ma]e p[ro]picietur deus Amē.'
On a modern pedestal in the south aisle is a crosslegged stone effigy of a knight of the early 13th century, possibly representing William de Fougères, who held the manor at this time, in chain armour, long surcoat, and pot helm; the right hand rests upon the chest and the left on a sword, while a long shield, reaching to a point below the knees, covers the left side. The upper part of the effigy is in a good state of preservation, but the left leg i mutilated and the lower part of the right leg is broken off. On the north side of this is a 15th-century table tomb, the plain masonry of which is exposed on both sides as the facing has been destroyed, but the ends, each consisting of two cinquefoiled panels containing shields, remain in position, and a fragment of the cornice, as mentioned above, lies in the recess in the south wall. It was possibly erected to commemorate Thomas Giffard, who died in 1469. Placed on the top of the tomb there is now a Purbeck marble slab containing the brass figure of a man in plate armour with an inscription to Thomas Giffard of Twyford, who died in 1550, and Marie (Staveley) his wife; there are also four shields, two of which are for Giffard, one for Giffard impaling Staveley, and the other for Staveley. The figure and inscription are palimpsest, the reversed sides being composed of fragments of 15th-century brasses, rubbings of which are preserved in the vestry; they include parts of the figure of a priest in mass vestments and part of an inscription to William Stortford, Treasurer of St. Paul's 1387–93 and Archdeacon of Middlesex 1393–1416 (d. 1416). One of the shields is also palimpsest, the reverse being engraved with canopy work. Blocking the east window of the south aisle is a large monument to Richard first Viscount Wenman (d. 1640), son of Thomas Wenman and Jane (West), and great-grandson of Sir Thomas Wenman and Ursula (Giffard) daughter of the Thomas Giffard commemorated on the above brass. The monument also commemorates Agnes (Fermor) his wife (d. 1617), their son Thomas second Viscount Wenman (d. 1664), who erected the monument, Margaret (Hampden, d. 1658), wife of Thomas, Philip third Viscount Wenman of Tuam (d. 1686), and Ferdinand son of Sir Francis Wenman of Caswell in Witney, Oxfordshire (d. 1671). Over the inscription is an achievement of arms with fifteen quarterings. The monument stands on a base surrounded by iron railings, and the inscription tablet is flanked by Ionic columns supporting a curved pediment. Immediately to the north of this is a mural monument with a shield of ten quarters to Richard Wenman of Twyford, son of Thomas Wenman of Caswell (d. 1672); and on the south is a similar monument with a shield of twelve quarters, evidently to a member of the same family, but the inscription is now indecipherable. On the north wall of the north transept is a mural monument with arms to Anne Payne (d. 1624), erected by her daughter Margaret Edmunds in 1641.
The tower contains a ring of six bells: the treble and fourth by W. Blews & Sons of Birmingham, 1872 and 1869 respectively; the second by T. Mears, London, 1805; the third by Lester & Pack, London, 1758; the fifth, probably of the late 16th century, is inscribed with the ten initial letters of the alphabet; and the tenor is by Taylor & Sons, Oxford, 1828; there is also a small bell without inscription.
Half the church of Twyford seems to have been given by one of the Fougères family to Fougères Priory (fn. 79) before 1207, when a presentation was made by King John to the other half. (fn. 80) Presentations were made by the priory in 1225 (fn. 81) and 1235. (fn. 82) In 1260 (an intermediate presentation having been made by the Bishop of Lincoln) (fn. 83) Robert Fitz Nicholas secured his right of presentation in a suit against the Prior of Ipplepen (a small cell belonging to Fougères Priory in Devon) (fn. 84) by default of the prior. (fn. 85) The advowson of Twyford Church, valued at £16 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 86) eventually passed to the diocese of Lincoln. (fn. 87) In 1475 Bishop Rotherham obtained a licence, provided that a vicarage was ordained and a competent provision made yearly for the poor of the parish, to appropriate this church in mortmain to the rector and scholars of Lincoln College, Oxford. (fn. 88) They have since retained both the advowson and the rectory, (fn. 89) receiving an allotment in lieu of tithes at the inclosure of the parish in 1774, when their lessee was Viscount Wenman. (fn. 90)
William Coleman, by his will, proved 7 July 1705, charged an estate at Stewkley with an annuity of 11s., whereof 1s. was to be retained by the churchwardens for their trouble, and 10s. to be distributed in bread on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The distribution is duly made.
Unknown Donor's Charity, or Church Meadow. A sum of £40 invested in Local Loans 3 per cent. stock is held by the Commissioners for the reduction of the National debt under this title, and would appear to represent a rood of land, the rent of which was formerly claimed by the churchwardens. The interest is now applied to the Churchyard Fund.
The Rev. Richard Hutchins, D.D., a former rector, by a codicil to his will, proved in the P.C.C. 27 August 1781, bequeathed five Oxford Canal shares, vested in Lincoln College, Oxford, one moiety of the income to be applied in augmentation of the stipend of the clergyman at Twyford, and the other moiety in promoting Christian knowledge in the parishes belonging to the churches appropriate to the college, particularly in the parish of Twyford, in distributing Common Prayer Books, putting out children to school, and in such other ways as should seem meet to the rector of the college. In 1910 a moiety of the income amounted to £15 2s. 3d.
Mrs. Elizabeth Perkins, by her will proved at Oxford 21 September 1883, bequeathed £200, the interest to be distributed in coal or blankets in the first week of November in each year. The legacy, less duty, is represented by £176 13s. 8d. consols with the official trustees, producing £4 8s. 4d. yearly.