A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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Wauton (xiii cent.).
Walton is a small parish of 772 acres, of which 202 acres are arable land, 5 acres woods and plantations and the rest permanent grass. (fn. 1) The land lies low, and in the neighbourhood of the Ouzel, which forms the western boundary, is liable to flood. The highest point attained above the ordnance datum is 294 ft. in the east. The soil is light clay, the subsoil gravel and clay. The principal crops produced are wheat, beans, barley and oats.
Cole, writing c. 1760, speaks of Walton as 'a most dirty, detestable village,' but notes that the pastures were remarkable for the goodness of their produce. (fn. 2)
The village is situated off the main road from Newport Pagnell to Fenny Stratford. It contains a few cottages and two farm-houses, one of which, the Manor House, formerly inhabited by the Gilpins, is an ancient building dating from the 16th century, with additions made about 1701 by Sir Thomas Pinfold. (fn. 3) It was thoroughly restored in 1855, (fn. 4) and is built partly of stone, half-timber and brick, and has tiled roofs. Many of the windows have wooden mullions, and inside is an original open fireplace. The old manorhouse of the Beales, pulled down by Sir Thomas Pinfold when he moved to the Gilpins' house on the Green, (fn. 5) stood north-west of the church, (fn. 6) which is some distance north-west of the village within the park of Walton Hall. Near the church is the rectory, which is described in 1639 as 'a Dwelling house of 3 bays, a Barn of 4 bays, a Stable of 1 bay.' (fn. 7) The present building is principally modern, but incorporates part of a 17th-century house now rough-casted. Walton Hall, the seat of Mr. Vaughan Harley, M.D., lord of the manor, is a spacious brick and stucco mansion built in 1830 by Charles Pinfold. (fn. 8) It stands in 60 acres of well-wooded park.
Walton is famous for the growth of walnuts, of which many hundreds of trees flourish in the parish. (fn. 9) These trees give their name to the farm with a halftimber house built towards the close of the 16th century and added to in later times. It is of timber framing with brick filling coated with plaster and has tiled roofs.
The following place-names have been found in documents connected with this parish: Hickson's Croft in the 16th and 17th centuries, (fn. 10) Abels, Margarets pasture, Peatelys (a farm), Portway, (fn. 11) Gabriel Thorn and Windmills Closes in the 17th century. (fn. 12)
There is no mention of WALTON in Domesday, and it has been assumed that it was included in the land which Walter Giffard held in the neighbouring parish of Bow Brickhill. (fn. 13) On its first appearance by name at the beginning of the 13th century it certainly appears as attached to the Giffard honour of Crendon (fn. 14) (q.v.). The overlordship was attached to the manor of Moulsoe, whose lords, the Coudrays, appear as intermediaries in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 15) The overlordship passed to that branch of the honour vested in the Earls of Shrewsbury; the latest mention of it occurs in 1458. (fn. 16)
The first reference to Walton has been found in 1201, when the manor was already divided into moieties. In that year Hugh Richepaut, or Rixbaud as it more usually appears, and Juliana his wife paid 1 mark for a writ of summons against Roger de Bray and Margaret his wife for lands in Walton and elsewhere, (fn. 17) but whether Juliana and Margaret were co-heirs has not been established. By 1231 Hugh Rixbaud was succeeded by William Rixbaud, who then made a presentation to the church. (fn. 18) William was followed by another Hugh Rixbaud, whose daughter Margery was in the guardianship of Richard de Hemington in 1262. (fn. 19) Before 1284 Margery married Nicholas de Hemington, (fn. 20) possibly a son of the above Richard, but obtained a divorce from him some time before 1291, in which year, described as his divorced wife, she combined with him in making a presentation to the church. (fn. 21) Roger de Brailsford, who is assumed by Willis to be her second husband, presented with Margery Rixbaud in 1292. (fn. 22) He held by knight service in Walton in 1302–3, (fn. 23) and his name again occurs with that of Margery in 1311, when they together made a settlement of the advowson and lands on Ralph de Hatle. (fn. 24) John Brailsford had succeeded before 1324, (fn. 25) but some time during the next twenty years the property had passed from this family, being held in 1346 by Nicholas Hunt. (fn. 26) In 1348 the presentation was made in the names of Nicholas Hunt of Fenny Stratford, Agnes his wife and William his son, (fn. 27) the last-named of whom made the presentation in 1361, (fn. 28) but Walton passed eventually to John, another son of Nicholas Hunt, (fn. 29) whose daughter Joan married John Longville, (fn. 30) and together with her husband obtained a quitclaim of this estate in 1399 from Robert Craven and Isabel his wife on behalf of Isabel and her heirs. (fn. 31) The half manor, as it is usually termed, thus acquired by the Longvilles was retained by them and follows the same descent as their principal manor of Wolverton (fn. 32) (q.v.) until the year 1622, about which date a transfer appears to have taken place to John Beale and Bartholomew Beale. (fn. 33) Bartholomew Beale died and was buried at Walton in 1660, (fn. 34) and his son, also Bartholomew, (fn. 35) combined with another son Charles Beale, (fn. 36) Richard Gilpin and others to make a settlement of the manor on George and Thomas Gilpin in 1668. (fn. 37) Bartholomew Beale died in 1674, (fn. 38) and his son and successor of the same name (fn. 39) made settlements of Walton Manor in 1676, 1677 and in 1690. (fn. 40) In the last settlement the names of Richard and Thomas Gilpin are again mentioned, appearing as deforciants with Bartholomew Beale, (fn. 41) and, according to Willis, Richard Gilpin definitely acquired Walton Manor at this date. (fn. 42) He did not long retain it, alienating it in March 1700–1 to Sir Thomas Pinfold, kt., (fn. 43) to whom he had already sold the advowson and some land in 1698. (fn. 44) Sir Thomas Pinfold, kt., was chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough, and died and was buried here in 1701. (fn. 45) He was succeeded by his elder son and heir Dr. Charles Pinfold, LL.D., Provost of Eton, who died in 1754. (fn. 46) His son, also Charles Pinfold, was for ten years Governor of the Barbadoes (1756–66). (fn. 47) On his death, unmarried, in 1788, at the advanced age of eighty-one, (fn. 48) Walton Manor passed to his nephew Captain Charles Pinfold, son of Joseph Pinfold. (fn. 49) He died in 1857, when Walton became the property of his granddaughter Fanny Maria Pinfold. (fn. 50) She was described in 1871 as lady of the manor, (fn. 51) and so remained till the close of the last century. The manor next became the property of Miss Seagrave, a connexion of Miss Pinfold on her mother's side. (fn. 52) She held Walton in 1903, but between that date and 1907 alienated it to Vaughan Harley, M.D., the present lord of the manor.
With reference to the second half of Walton Manor, the earliest tenants of whom mention has been found are the family of Bray, whose holding dates from the 12th century. (fn. 53) In 1201 Hugh Rixbaud, lord of the other half of the manor, obtained a writ of summons against Roger de Bray and Margaret his wife for lands in Walton and elsewhere. (fn. 54) In 1225 their turn of the advowson was exercised by Godfrey de Limhoud, who then presented Roger de Bray (evidently a member of the family) to a moiety of the parsonage. (fn. 55) In 1249 the patronage was vested in Stephen de Bray. (fn. 56) In the 13th century Robert del Hoo is stated to have 'wardam' in Walton. (fn. 57) Peter de Coudray as guardian of Hugh de Brabeu (? Bray) presented in 1278, (fn. 58) after which date no further reference has been found to the Brays, though at Silsoe, Bedfordshire, where they were also settled, they continued to hold for some time. (fn. 59) The fact that the next owners of the Walton property, the Grey family, appear about the same time in Silsoe suggests that a Grey may have intermarried with the Brays. Sir John Grey certainly held this moiety of Walton in 1302–3, (fn. 60) and presented to the church in 1307. (fn. 61) The Greys had Water Eaton and Bletchley Manors in this county (q.v.), Walton, like Simpson Manor (q.v.), passing with Bletchley to the younger branch, the Greys of Ruthyn. (fn. 62) The descent of Walton Manor diverges from that of Bletchley in 1524, when, like Brogborough in Ridgmont, Bedfordshire, it became Crown property. (fn. 63) It was annexed to the honour of Ampthill formed in 1542, (fn. 64) and was granted by Elizabeth in 1602 to Robert Morgan and Thomas Bradford, being then termed a messuage and lands in Walton part of Brogborough Manor. (fn. 65) It would appear to have passed shortly after this date to Richard Gilpin, lord of Redcote Manor, who at his death in 1616 held Kent House and Kent Farm, (fn. 66) with which may be identified the property anciently held here by the Greys. (fn. 67) In 1690, like Redcote Manor, it became once more united to the other moiety of Walton by the alienation of the latter to Richard Gilpin, a member of this family.
A titular manor in this parish known as WALTON MANOR alias REDCOTE MANOR probably takes its name from a family of Redcote who owned land in this parish in the 13th century. John de Redcote, the first member of whom mention has been found, in 1285 conveyed a messuage, land and rents here to William Cheltenham. (fn. 68) In 1307 William son of Robert de Battlesden acknowledged John's claim to a messuage and a virgate in Walton. (fn. 69) Finally William de Redcote's name appears in the middle of the 14th century as one of the assessors in a levy of the ninth in Walton. (fn. 70)
The Redcote property reappears in 1542, when Edward Taylor transferred land in Walton, with which, as will be seen below, it may be regarded as identical, to Robert Chernock of Holcot (co. Bedford). (fn. 71) He died seised in February 1548–9 of a messuage and land in Walton described as formerly belonging to John Redcote. (fn. 72). It then passed to his son Richard Chernock, (fn. 73) who in 1589 together with Mary his wife and others transferred the manor of Redcote in this parish to Thomas Anglesey. (fn. 74) The latter in 1600 sold this estate to Richard Saunders, (fn. 75) by whom it was dispersed by sale, the greater part going to Thomas Gilpin. (fn. 76) No further mention has been found of Redcote Manor, but it may be identified with the White House of which Richard Gilpin died seised in 1616, (fn. 77) and henceforward follows the same descent as the Grey moiety of Walton Manor.
The church of ST. MICHAEL consists of a chancel measuring internally 22 ft. 6 in. by 13 ft., north vestry, nave 39 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft., west tower 10 ft. 6 in. square, and south porch. It is built of rubble, partially coated with cement, and the roofs are covered with lead and tiles.
A church existed here in 1225, (fn. 78) but the structure of that period was entirely rebuilt about the middle of the 14th century, the date of the present chancel and nave. The tower was added in the 15th century, and it is probable that the porch, with its pointed doorway and unglazed windows, though it has been considerably restored with cement, is of the same period. The vestry, now used as a store room, was probably added at the time of the general restoration of the church in 1861.
The chancel, which inclines towards the south, has one window on the east, one on the north, and three on the south side. All of them are of the mid-14th century except that at the west end of the south wall, a square-headed low-side window of two cinquefoiled lights, which was inserted a century later. The east and south-east windows are each of three lights with tracery in a pointed head, and the other windows are of similar character but of two lights with more simple tracery. A pointed priest's doorway below the middle window on the south is also of the 14th century, and a cinquefoiled piscina at the south-east, though considerably restored, probably dates from the same period. The pointed chancel arch is of three orders, and has semi-octagonal respond shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The nave has two windows on the north and two on the south, all of two lights with tracery under pointed heads, and of mid-14th-century date. There is also an original pointed doorway at the west end of each lateral wall. Near the south doorway is a restored stoup with a round bowl. A trefoiled piscina at the south-east marks the position of the nave altar, which probably stood against the east wall. This corner of the nave is further distinguished by the more elaborate character of the window tracery. A turret-stair with a narrow blocked light, which projects at the north-east of the nave, formerly gave access to the rood-loft. The 15thcentury tower arch is of three chamfered orders dying into plain responds. The nave has a lowpitched timber roof of about 1600, the king-post trusses of which have moulded and carved timbers and rest upon moulded stone corbels. Traces of a black-letter inscription and colour-painting remain on one of the tie-beams. The high-pitched collar-beam roof of the chancel probably dates from the early 16th century.
The tower is of two stages divided by a stringcourse and surmounted by an embattled parapet. It is constructed with very thick walls and supported by diagonal buttresses at the west and straight buttresses at the east. In the west wall of the ground stage is a three-light window with modern tracery, and on each side of the bell-chamber is a two-light window, the tracery of which is original, though considerably restored with cement. Below the north and south windows of the bell-chamber are small square-headed cinquefoiled lights.
The font is modern. On the north wall of the chancel is a marble monument in memory of Bartholomew Beale, who died in 1660, and Katherine his wife (d. 1657), with their two busts flanked by Corinthian columns and surmounted by a broken pediment and achievement of arms. There is also on the north wall a brass inscription in verse in memory of Elizabeth daughter of William Pyxe (d. 1617). In the nave is a mural monument with a medallion portrait and arms commemorating Sir Thomas Pinfold, kt., LL.D., king's advocate and Chancellor of Peterborough, who died in 1701, Elizabeth (Suckley) his wife and Elizabeth his mother. There is also a tablet to Charles Pinfold, LL.D., Governor of Barbadoes 1756–66, who died in 1788, and Ann his sister (d. 1805). In the tower is a panelled chest of the early 17th century.
The tower contains two bells, the treble by Anthony Chandler, 1679, and the tenor by Richard and George Chandler, 1709. (fn. 79) They are set in an old frame dated 1639.
The plate consists of a silver cup of 1814 inscribed 'For the town of Walton'; a silver paten of the same date; a plated flagon with the same inscription; and a plated flagon without date or inscription.
The registers begin in 1598.
In the early 13th century the church was attached to the manor of Walton and, like it, was divided into moieties, the lord of each moiety of the manor having the right to present a rector to his moiety of the church. (fn. 80) This system of two rectors persisted until 1458, when, at the request of the two patrons, the unification of the moieties took place. (fn. 81) Probably by mutual arrangements made at that date the lords of the manor have since made alternate presentations.
That moiety of the advowson which went with the Rixbauds' share of the manor (see above) follows the same descent as that property until its transfer to Sir Thomas Pinfold, kt., in 1698, when he purchased the advowson in trust for John Harrison, who owned it c. 1735. (fn. 82) The right of presentation belonged to William Ellis, rector 1790–1821, at the close of the century. (fn. 83) In 1851 it belonged to the Rev. G. W. Pearse, who was instituted rector at that date and so remained for nearly fifty years. His trustees have the right of alternate presentation at the present day. (fn. 84)
The moiety of the advowson which with the Greys' share of the manor escheated to the Crown has so remained vested, an alternate presentation being made at the present day by the Lord Chancellor. (fn. 85)
In 1291 the church of Walton is returned at £5 6s. 8d., (fn. 86) and at the Dissolution the rectory was worth £9. (fn. 87) In 1495 lands in Walton were granted to the gild at Fenny Stratford (fn. 88) (q.v.). In 1598 these lands were granted by the Crown to Henry Best and Robert Holland. (fn. 89) In 1589 a messuage and land in Walton and Simpson given in pre-Reformation times to provide obits were granted to Walter Coppinger and Thomas Butler. (fn. 90)
Unknown donor's charity.—In the Parliamentary Returns of 1786 some land is stated to have been given by an unknown donor for the use of the parishioners. The charity is now represented by a sum of £532 2s. 2d. consols, with the official trustees, and is regulated by a scheme of the High Court of Chancery of 26 February 1862. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 20 January 1905 one moiety of the stock, namely, £266 1s. 1d., was appropriated as the educational foundation, the annual dividends, amounting to £6 13s., being applicable towards the salary of master or mistress of the infants' or Sunday school, and the other moiety as the eleemosynary charity, the dividends being applicable in the distribution of coals and clothing.
The Church Land consists of 2 a. 1 r. in the adjoining parish of Milton let at £4 10s. a year, which is carried to the churchwardens' accounts.