A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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LUDGERSHALL with KINGSWOOD
This parish covers an area of 2,732 acres, of which 2,347 acres are permanent grass and 199 acres arable. (fn. 1) The land rises from about 200 ft. above the ordnance datum in the north to an average of 300 ft. in the south of the parish. The soil is loam and clay, the subsoil clay. Two brooks, rising in Muswell Hill, across the Oxfordshire border, water the north-west of the parish. Akeman Street passes through the north of Ludgershall, forming part of the boundary.
The low-lying village, which is situated in the south-east of the parish, is irregular. The cottages, of which several are of 17th-century origin, are scattered along either side of the so-called High Street, which leads to a large village green. The Wesleyan chapel built here in 1844 is now disused, a new brick chapel having been opened in the High Street in 1904. To the north and east of the village are numerous outlying farms. Close to it, on the south-west, is a station called Brill and Ludgershall, on the Birmingham section of the Great Western railway.
The church stands at the south end of the village, at the junction of three main roads; to the north of it is the school, and the rectory grounds are separated by the road from the west end of the churchyard. The house was rebuilt in brick at the end of the 18th century. (fn. 2) There is no manor-house, but there is evidence that the capital messuage in Ludgershall was habitable at the end of the 16th century. (fn. 3) South-west of the church is a small moated (fn. 4) site with which the traditional name of King Lud's Hall (fn. 5) was still connected at the end of the 18th century. (fn. 6)
Bury Court, from which a portion of the tithes were payable to Bermondsey Priory (see advowson), stood on the north-east of the church in the middle 19th century, by which date it had been divided into small tenements. It was then in the hands of an Oxfordshire family named Coles, (fn. 7) and stood on a small estate owned by John Harris in 1777. (fn. 8)
The Five Bells and White Hart Inns in the High Street are 17th-century buildings of timber and brick; on the ground floor of the latter is a large open fireplace. On the Piddington road are several cottages and farm-houses of the same date, the most noteworthy of which is Home Farm, a building of half-timber with modern brick repairs and refacings, two stories in height with an attic. Originally T-shaped on plan, with the tail of the T projecting from the north side, a small wing was added at the south-west of the southern limb of the plan in the 18th century, as recorded by the date 1738 on a dormer window, and modern additions have also been made to the central wing. Some original doors remain on the first floor.
Tetchwick (Tochingewick, xi cent.; Togwick, xiii cent.; Touchewyk, xiv cent.) is a hamlet 1¼ miles north-east from Ludgershall, containing three farms. On the one known as Tetchwick Farm there is an irregular quadrangular moat. (fn. 9) The house is a late 17th-century building of stone.
Kingswood is another hamlet, covering 261 acres, (fn. 10) and extending into the neighbouring parish of Grendon Underwood. It lies about three-quarters of a mile further to the north-east from Tetchwick. One of the two farms within its borders, Mercers' Farm, was owned for nearly two centuries before 1829 by the Mercers' Company of London. Kingswood Lane Farm is a two-storied 17th-century house, much altered during the last two centuries. Kingswood, formerly forest land, is traditionally connected with Fair Rosamund, and in an old map of part of Bernwood Forest a lane between the woods appears as 'Rosiman's Waye.' (fn. 11) Kingswood is included as Crown property in the royalty of Brill.
Sharp's Hill Farm, in the extreme north-east of the parish of Ludgershall, probably derives its name from John Sharp, who paid £1 in tithes in 1659. (fn. 12) During the 19th century it was occupied by members of the Holt family, whose representatives are still living in Tetchwick. (fn. 13)
Ludgershall was inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1777, but there is no mention of Tetchwick or Kingswood. (fn. 16)
Among place-names in Ludgershall proper there are found Coston, the Portway, Brutine, Dylingsham (fn. 17) (xiii cent.); Hallehulle, (fn. 18) la Wecche, (fn. 19) la Breche (a wood which John de Moleyns was licensed in 1339 to impark with 100 acres of land adjoining) (fn. 20) (xiv cent.); pastures called Shippbridge and Tittersall (fn. 21) (xvi cent.); Wellfield (fn. 22) (xvii cent.); Room of the Rush Piece, Illoem Piece (fn. 23) (xviii cent.); and Lady Brown's Yard, (fn. 24) Gallows Lane and Bridge (fn. 25) and Dove House Field (fn. 26) (xix cent.).
LUDGERSHALL MANOR, which before the Conquest had been held of Queen Edith by Eddeva, in 1086 was held by the Bishop of Coutances. (fn. 27) The overlordship afterwards appertained to the honour of Gloucester. (fn. 28)
Ludgershall Manor had not been subinfeudated by the Bishop of Coutances in 1086, (fn. 29) but before 1190 (fn. 30) it was held by the de Traillys of Yelden in Bedfordshire as part of their barony. (fn. 31) It was evidently included in the four fees held by Walter de Trailly of the honour of Gloucester in the early 13th century. (fn. 32) Waleran Tyes was holding later in this century, (fn. 33) apparently as husband of Walter's widow Sybil de Huntingfield, who on her death in 1251 held it in dower. (fn. 34) It reverted to Walter's grandson John de Trailly, (fn. 35) who was succeeded in 1272 by his son Walter. (fn. 36) He was holding (fn. 37) Ludgershall in 1284, and shortly afterwards enfeoffed William de Louth, afterwards Bishop of Ely, and his heirs, subject to a payment of £40 yearly during William's life. (fn. 38) William de Louth died seised about 1298, when his heirs were William, afterwards Sir William, Touchet, his nephew, and Isabel wife of Roger de Morteyn, (fn. 39) his sister, who surrendered her right to William Touchet. (fn. 40) He recovered seisin in 1301 against John, son and heir of Walter de Trailly, who, attaining his majority, had disseised him on the ground that the manor had only been leased to William de Louth. (fn. 41) After retaining it at least seven years (fn. 42) Sir William Touchet granted Ludgershall Manor to the elder Sir Hugh le Despencer, (fn. 43) who before 1316 (fn. 44) had transferred it to John de Handlo for life. (fn. 45) Walter son of John de Trailly unsuccessfully claimed the manor against John de Handlo in 1327–39. (fn. 46) In the meantime the reversion forfeited by Hugh le Despencer was granted by the Crown to John de Moleyns in 1335. (fn. 47) After the death of John de Handlo in 1346 (fn. 48) Ludgershall Manor reverted to John de Moleyns, (fn. 49) and it descended in his family with their manor in Stoke Poges (fn. 50) (q.v.) until 1537, when George Earl of Huntingdon and his son Sir Francis Hastings conveyed Ludgershall with Chearsley (q.v.) to Sir John Baldwin, lord of Danvers in Marlow. This manor then descended with Danvers (fn. 51) (q.v.), and later also with Little Marlow (q.v.) to Sir John Borlase Warren, bart., (fn. 52) who sold it in 1784 to Mrs. Martyn, widow of John Martyn, formerly professor of botany at Cambridge. (fn. 53) She was buried at Ludgershall in 1786, and was succeeded by her only son, the Rev. Claudius Martyn, (fn. 54) who had shortly before become rector of the parish on his mother's presentation. (fn. 55) Ludgershall Manor descended in his family (fn. 56) to his great-granddaughter Miss Martyn, (fn. 57) the owner in 1911. Shortly afterwards she sold all her house property in Ludgershall to various purchasers, retaining only the village green, which now belongs to Lady Mary Jane Skrine.
In the mid-13th century John de Trailly held view of frankpledge in Ludgershall, (fn. 58) but apparently without due warrant. In 1338 this right was granted to John de Moleyns with the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 59) A grant of the return of writs and other regalities was made to John de Moleyns in 1337. (fn. 60) The manorial court was held every three weeks in the middle 15th century, (fn. 61) and a reference to it occurs in 1725. (fn. 62) In the mid-19th century courts leet and baron had not been held in Ludgershall for many years. (fn. 63) Free warren in this manor was granted in 1318 to Hugh le Despencer, John de Handlo and Hugh's heirs, (fn. 64) and in 1337 to John de Moleyns. (fn. 65)
A windmill is mentioned in the middle of the 15th century. (fn. 66)
A second manor of LUDGERSHALL evidently emerged later from the Domesday royal manor of Brill (q.v.). Overlordship rights in Ludgershall were appurtenant to Brill Manor, (fn. 67) and are still traceable in the mid-16th century. (fn. 68)
The capital messuage of this manor in the wood of Brill appears to have been retained by Henry II after his grant to the brethren of the Holy Trinity, St. Inglevert (see below). In the 13th century this capital messuage was held by the lords of the principal manor of Ludgershall (fn. 69) (q.v.).
Three hides of land and 10 acres of wood in his manor of Ludgershall had been granted by Henry II to the brethren of the Holy Trinity, St. Inglevert (Santingfeld), near Wissant in Picardy, before 1156. (fn. 70) A hospital subordinate to that of Farley in Luton, Bedfordshire, was apparently built on this land, three oaks from the forest of Brill being granted by the king in 1236 to the master for the repair of his houses which had been burnt. (fn. 71) In 1238 Walter, son of Romanus of Ludgershall, increased the endowment, (fn. 72) and the royal grants were inspected and confirmed in 1285. (fn. 73) During the later war with France John de Felmersham obtained a life grant of the St. Inglevert lands from Edward III, (fn. 74) but after an inquiry in 1347 the master was reinstated. (fn. 75) In 1348 Richard de Cotyngham was sent to Ludgershall Hospital for maintenance during his life. (fn. 76) The estate of the hospital in Ludgershall, (fn. 77) called in the 16th and 17th centuries LUDGERSHALL MANOR, was after the Dissolution granted in fee in 1547 to Sir Thomas Palmer, (fn. 78) and after his attainder in 1554 to George Rotherham, (fn. 79) son of the George Rotherham (fn. 80) to whom in 1521 George Caron, then master of St. Inglevert, had granted a ninety years' lease. (fn. 81) On the death of the grantee in 1593 Ludgershall Manor passed by settlement to his second wife Anne for life. (fn. 82) In 1595 their son Isaac Rotherham sold the reversion to William, afterwards Sir William, Borlase and his wife Mary, (fn. 83) who in 1596 obtained a release from Isaac's half-brother George Rotherham. (fn. 84) Sir William Borlase died seised in 1629, (fn. 85) and this manor became merged into the principal manor of Ludgershall (q.v.).
The hamlet of TETCHWICK, formerly held by Alwin, one of King Edward's thegns, was in 1086 assessed as a manor at 2 hides, and included under the lands of William Peverel. (fn. 86) The overlordship was afterwards attached to the honour of Peverel, but no reference to it has been found after the mid-13th century. (fn. 87).
Tetchwick had been subinfeudated to a tenant named Payn before 1086. (fn. 88) It was given to the Knights Hospitallers by William Peverel, son of the Domesday holder, probably with Hogshaw Manor (q.v.), of which manor it was held, (fn. 89) and confirmed to them by King John in 1199. (fn. 90)
Henry of Chequers (de Scaccario) was tenant under the Knights Hospitallers of I hide of land in Tetchwick (fn. 91) before 1222, when he received ten oaks from the king for rebuilding and repairs. (fn. 92) The heirs of his son Ralph (fn. 93) held the whole of Tetchwick in fee in 1254. (fn. 94) One of these, Ralph's daughter Katherine, married William Hawtrey (de Alta Ripa, Haut-rive), (fn. 95) and in 1286–7 a moiety of a messuage and lands in Tetchwick was conveyed to them by their son William, (fn. 96) probably the William Hawtrey who was holding Tetchwick in 1302. (fn. 97) His son Thomas succeeded before 1346, (fn. 98) and from his second son Nicholas (fn. 99) Tetchwick descended through three generations to Thomas Hawtrey, (fn. 100) who held before 1490. (fn. 101) He died in 1522, having settled this manor on the marriage of his son Thomas with Sybil daughter and co-heir of Richard Hampden of Great Kimble. (fn. 102) Thomas Hawtrey, the son, died in 1544 (fn. 103) and was succeeded by his grandson William, son of another Thomas Hawtrey, who had predeceased his father. (fn. 104) He transferred Tetchwick Manor in 1589 to his son William, afterwards Sir William Hawtrey, kt., and his wife Winifred. (fn. 105) She survived her husband, who died in 1591, leaving as co-heirs his daughters Mary, Bridget and Anne. (fn. 106)
Bridget afterwards married Sir Henry Croke, and they sold her portion in 1615 to Robert Jenkinson, (fn. 107) who died seised in 1618. (fn. 108) His son and heir Robert (fn. 109) was knighted and died in 1645. (fn. 110) His son Robert, created a baronet in 1661, (fn. 111) was succeeded in 1677 by his son Sir Robert Jenkinson, bart., (fn. 112) ancestor of the Earls of Liverpool. (fn. 113) He sold his Tetchwick estate about 1703 to Edward Mitchell, (fn. 114) and it passed in succession to his sons John and Stafford, to Stafford's son Edward and to the latter's uncle Walter Mitchell. (fn. 115) John Hollier, who afterwards purchased this property and owned manorial rights in Tetchwick at the end of the 18th century, (fn. 116) sold it to Thomas Bett. (fn. 117) His nephew John Bett succeeded in 1819, and was owner in the mid-19th century. (fn. 118)
Sir William Hawtrey's youngest daughter and coheir Anne carried her third of Tetchwick Manor in marriage to John Saunders, and it descended with their moiety of Fleet Marston (q.v.) to their daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sir Walter Pye in 1631. (fn. 119) The share of the eldest daughter Mary, wife of Sir Francis Wolley, who died without issue, (fn. 120) appears to have reverted to them before 1639, when their estate in Tetchwick is described as a moiety of the manor. (fn. 121) They owned this moiety at Elizabeth's death in 1640, (fn. 122) but it was evidently sold after 1647, when there were difficulties about the restoration of Sir Walter Pye's estates, which had been confiscated for delinquency. (fn. 123) John Irons was owning in Tetchwick later in the century. (fn. 124) His property appears to have been transferred before 1697 to John Deacle, (fn. 125) who owned a farm here at his death in 1723, Thomas Holton being lessee. (fn. 126) He was dispossessed with difficulty in 1727 by the succeeding owner, William Deacle. (fn. 127) This property had presumably been purchased before 1777 by George Grenville, (fn. 128) and has since descended with other land which he afterwards bought in Ludgershall (fn. 129) with Stowe (q.v.) to Algernon, fifth Earl Temple of Stowe, the present owner.
This estate having reverted to the Crown, Henry I granted it to Gerard de Cauz subject to the serjeanty of keeping one of the king's hawks. (fn. 132) It descended in the Cauz family and in that of the Lords Grey de Wilton with the manors of Water Eaton and Bletchley (fn. 133) (q.v.). View of frankpledge was appurtenant to the manor. (fn. 134)
The hamlet of Kingswood corresponds to that part of the forest of Bernwood which extended into Ludgershall and Grendon Underwood and in which the inhabitants of the former parish had agistment rights in 1373. (fn. 135) These they claimed in 1577, when they petitioned the Crown against the inclosure of Kingswood by Sir John Dynham, as from time immemorable. (fn. 136)
Some coppices in Kingswood called Carwell Hill, Staple (or Stample Hill) and Copywell Hill were held by Sir John Fortescue at his death in 1607. (fn. 137) These, with others, were sold in 1613 by Peter Fyge of Winslow and his wife Elizabeth to Richard More and Timothy Wagstaff. (fn. 138) Richard More's estate, afterwards the Mercers' Farm, was sold by him to George Garth, and later, in 1639, by William Honeywood and others to the Mercers' Company of London. (fn. 139) They exchanged it for other property about 1829 with Richard, first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. (fn. 140) It has since descended with his estate at Stowe (q.v.) to Earl Temple of Stowe.
Timothy Wagstaff's estate is now represented by Kingswood Lane Farm. It had been purchased by the Borlases before 1659, (fn. 141) and has presumably since (fn. 142) descended with the principal manor of Ludgershall (q.v.).
The church of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN consists of a chancel measuring internally 26 ft. 6 in. by 18 ft., organ chamber, nave 42 ft. by 15 ft., north aisle 7 ft. wide, south aisle 5 ft. 6 in. wide, south porch, and a west tower 9 ft. by 8 ft. 6 in.
A church apparently existed here in the 13th century, consisting of a chancel and nave. The chancel was rebuilt early in the 14th century, while the nave was lengthened and the aisles thrown out about fifty years later. Early in the 15th century the tower, which encroaches upon the west bay of the nave, was erected, and in the following century the south porch was added. In 1889 the organ chamber on the north side of the chancel was built and the church restored. With the exception of the rubble walls of the chancel and porch the whole exterior is rough-casted; the roofs of the nave, aisles and porch are covered with lead, but that of the chancel is tiled.
The chancel is lighted from the east by a modern window of three lights with tracery in a pointed head, and from the north and south by two 15thcentury windows on each side with tracery in depressed heads, those on the north being of two lights and those on the south of three. Between the windows on the north side is a modern opening to the organ chamber. The priest's doorway on the south, which is pointed and continuously moulded, is of the 15th century, but the label on the outside appears to be of the 13th century, reset. The piscina, in the usual position, is of the 14th century and has a square head, the jambs being ornamented with four-leaved flowers. The openings of squints from the aisles may be seen at the west ends of the side walls. The roof is of the 15th-century hammer-beam type. In the floor on the north side are some mediaeval tiles. The chancel arch is low and wide and dates from the 14th century. It is pointed and of two orders, the inner order springing from engaged shafts and the outer being continuous.
The 14th-century arcades which separate the nave from the aisles are each of four bays with pointed arches of two orders springing from octagonal columns and responds. The capital of the second column on each side has peculiarly bold carving representing the busts of men wearing capes with liripipe hoods; the capital of the third column on the north side has a dog-tooth pattern on the abacus, while that of the corresponding column on the south has carved heads. The other columns have bell capitals without carving, that of the first column on the south having been recut in the 15th century. The roof of the nave is of flat pitch and dates from the 16th century. At the rafter feet are angels with shields.
The north and south aisles are each lighted from the side by three square-headed windows with uncusped lights, dating from the 16th century. The easternmost windows are of two lights and the middle of three lights. The westernmost window of the north aisle is of two lights and the corresponding window of the south aisle is a single light. The east window of the south aisle is also a single light of the same period, but that of the north aisle is a 14thcentury window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head. In its upper lights are some fragments of contemporary coloured glass, comprising a Majesty. At the east end of the south wall is a 15thcentury piscina with a flat head and quatrefoil bowl. The north doorway is now blocked; both it and the south doorway are pointed and of the 14th century. The south porch has a parvise reached by a vice on the west side, which is entered by a pointed doorway in the south aisle. The parvise is lighted by a single light on the south side. The entrance arch to the porch is pointed. Over the east gable is a small and much-restored 15th-century bellcote for a sanctus bell, with a finial and pinnacles.
The tower is of two stages and is crowned by an embattled parapet. There is a vice at the southwest, and the tower is strengthened by square buttresses at each angle, which finish at the top of the first stage. The ground stage opens to the body of the church by three 15th-century pointed arches, each of three orders. The west window was apparently the west window of the 14th-century lengthened nave. It is pointed and has three lights under a traceried head. The upper stage is lighted from the north and south by pointed two-light windows with pierced spandrels.
In the chancel is a table tomb with brasses commemorating Anne wife of Michael (Mihill) English, Sheriff of London, who died in 1565, aged ninetyfive; Anne (English), wife of John Gyfford, and her daughter Anne Neele. There are mural monuments to the Spiers family.
There is a ring of five bells: the treble is without date or inscription, but is perhaps by Richard Keene; the second is by Messrs. Taylor, 1892, and replaces a bell by Richard Keene, 1658; the third is by Thomas Lester of London, 1745; the fourth by Richard Keene, 1658; and the tenor, by Messrs. Taylor, 1892, replaces a bell by Richard Keene, 1662.
The rectory church of Ludgershall appertained to the Knights Hospitallers before the middle 13th century. (fn. 143) It was valued in 1291 at £6 13s. 4d. yearly, (fn. 144) and in 1535 at £18 4s. yearly. (fn. 145) The advowson remained with the Knights Hospitallers (fn. 146) certainly until 1511 (fn. 147) and apparently until the Dissolution. (fn. 148) It was granted in 1554 as parcel of the possessions of Henry late Duke of Suffolk to John Petty and William Winlove. (fn. 149) Later it came into the possession of Thomas Rede, who sold it in 1581 to Henry Poole. (fn. 150) He died in 1593, and his son Henry, then a minor, (fn. 151) obtained freedom of his inheritance in 1606. (fn. 152) In the same year he with his wife Dorothy and Robert and Cecily Ruffyn conveyed the advowson of Ludgershall to Sir William Borlase, (fn. 153) lord of the principal manor of Ludgershall. It descended with this manor (fn. 154) (q.v.), from which it was alienated on the death of the Rev. Thomas Martyn, in 1869, (fn. 155) to Messrs. Philip Rose (afterwards Sir Philip Rose, bart.) and H. E. Norton. (fn. 156) After a few years they transferred it to Lady Anna GoreLangton, (fn. 157) who died in 1879. (fn. 158) The advowson of Ludgershall has since belonged to her third son, the Hon. Edward Grenville Gore-Langton. (fn. 159)
In 1588 William Knight, then rector of Ludgershall, leased the rectory for ninety-nine years to the queen, who immediately transferred her interest in it to Christopher Freeman. (fn. 160) In 1606 John Dynham conveyed it to George Woodward and John Freston, to hold for seventy-six years at a peppercorn rent. (fn. 161) The remainder of the lease was afterwards purchased by Sir John Borlase, bart., probably in the later 17th century. (fn. 162)
The tithe on inclosures in Ludgershall is stated in 1517 to have declined from £6 8s. 4d. to 40s. yearly. (fn. 163) An allotment, now represented by the 300 acres of glebe, was made to the rector in lieu of tithes at the inclosure of the parish in 1777. (fn. 164).
Two-thirds of the tithes of Ludgershall, afterwards known as a portion of the Bury Tithes, (fn. 165) were granted by Geoffrey de Trailly in 1190 to Bermondsey Priory. (fn. 166) This portion, estimated at £1 yearly in 1291, (fn. 167) was retained by the priory until the Dissolution. (fn. 168) It was granted in 1553 to Thomas Reve and George Cotton, (fn. 169) but later was included in the grant in 1581 to Henry Poole of the advowson (q.v.), with which it descended until the early 18th century, when the tithes on Bury lands appear to have been commuted. (fn. 170)
In 1548 1 acre of land, worth 2d. yearly, maintained a light in Ludgershall. (fn. 171) It was probably half of this land, called the Rood-land, which in 1553 was granted to Sir Edmund Bray, John Thornton and John Danby. (fn. 172)
John Hart, by will proved in the P.C.C. 15 May 1665, devised (inter alia) a yearly charge of £3 issuing out of the manor of Easington, Oxfordshire, for apprenticing a poor boy. In 1809 William Spiers, by deed, charged land in this parish known as Brown Yards with an annuity of £8. These charities are administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 14 July 1908. The annuity of John Hart's charity (less land tax) is applied in apprenticing as occasion requires, and five-eighths of the income of William Spiers' charity is applicable in providing coats for old men and three-eights in gowns for old women.
Elizabeth Cole, by her will proved 22 January 1871, bequeathed £50, the interest to be applied in coals for the poor, and preference to be given to widows and persons having large families. The legacy was invested in £53 15s. 1d. consols with the official trustees, producing £1 6s. 8d. yearly.
The National school, founded by deed 10 April 1847, is possessed of £310 consols, given by William Barker by deed 24 June 1847, and of £100 consols derived under the will of the same donor proved at London 27 October 1862, held by the official trustees, producing £10 5s. yearly; also of an annual rent-charge of £10, charged upon a farm in the parish by Robert Morrell, by deed dated 1 October 1847.