A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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THE parish of Barrington, containing 2,282 a., (fn. 1) lies 7 miles south-west of Cambridge. It extends northwards from the river Cam, the hundred boundary, to the Mare Way, an ancient track along the ridge of the White Hill which reaches eastwards from the west Cambridgeshire uplands. (fn. 2) From the ridge the land falls sharply for 100 ft., thereafter sloping gently to the steep banks of the river. The parish lies on boulder clay overlying chalk on the hill, alluvium and gravels along the river, and gault in between. (fn. 3) It has long been mainly devoted to arable farming. Until 1610 it was cultivated in two open fields, thereafter in three, which were inclosed in 1798. Many of the old closes around the village have been converted into orchards. There is no ancient woodland, but plantations were made on the slope of the down in the 19th century. The local geology supported minor industries. From the Middle Ages the clunch was quarried for building stone. Coprolites were dug out of the gault in the later 19th century, and since 1880 the clay and chalk have been used in manufacturing bricks and cement. The older clay-pits west of the village have been abandoned, and some have been flooded and used as fishponds. More extensive chalk workings established north of the road to Haslingfield c. 1927 have eroded much of the hillside. (fn. 4) The tall chimneys of the cement works dominate the village sky-line to the east.
The original layout of the village was parallel to the Cam on each side of the long green, in 1968 occupying 22 a., from which several narrow lanes lead to the river. The church stands at the east end of the Green, possibly in an early encroachment upon it. All dwellings have now disappeared from the central section of the Green's north side, and the building line there has been moved southward to the edge of a large inclosure made in the Green, perhaps c. 1650. Two cottages there are dated 1657. (fn. 5) Around the Green stand many neatly kept timber-framed cottages, thatched and plastered, interspersed with a few larger farm-houses, Georgian, or with Georgian fronts, as at Rectory Farm, concealing medieval hall-houses. The Royal Oak inn, formerly such a hall-house, had its timber-framed front exposed by alterations in 1953–4, and a house north of the Green preserves internally much of the structure of a medieval aisled hall, with wings added later. (fn. 6) No dwellings were built away from the Green until after inclosure c. 1800, when farms were established at Wilsmere Down and Fox Hole Down. Otherwise there was little growth outside the village's traditional edges until the 1960s, when many new houses, mostly bungalows, were built along the roads to east and west. The largest development, 40 dwellings with more projected, lies beyond the Green's eastern appendage, called Challis Green.
The parish was one of the most populous in Wetherley hundred. In 1086 49 peasant households and 5 servi were recorded. (fn. 7) There were c. 107 tenants in 1279. (fn. 8) In 1377 256 adults paid the poll tax, (fn. 9) but in 1524 only c. 50 persons were assessed to the subsidy, (fn. 10) and in 1563 there were only 59 families. (fn. 11) The population probably increased considerably in the late 16th century, as appears from a sharp rise in the annual average of baptisms between 1580 and 1610. (fn. 12) Under Charles II there were about 75 houses (fn. 13) and in 1676 the number of adults was reckoned at 181. (fn. 14) In 1742 there were 312 inhabitants in 64 households. (fn. 15) By 1801 the population had reached 348, and rose gradually to 727 in 1871, then fell again as the size of households diminished, sinking to 440 in 1931. (fn. 16) After the war it recovered, by 1961 to 531. (fn. 17) Until the 1940s the population consisted predominantly of poor farmlabourers and cement-workers, but in the 1960s it was increased by middle-class immigrants, such as dons and business men, working in Cambridge. (fn. 18)
Though Barrington lay off the main roads of the area, it was linked with the neighbouring villages by ancient ways across the common fields, recorded in 13th-century deeds. Apewell way, later called White Hill way, led over the hill towards Haslingfield, and the Holeway towards Harlton. The Broadway ran east to Harston and Newton, and Lundway along the boundary with Orwell. A road went over Archer Bridge, formerly Archeford, to Shepreth, and various ridgeways and greenways gave access to the furlongs. (fn. 19) Many minor footbridges crossed the river from the village's back-lanes. The court leet tried continually to enforce their maintenance. (fn. 20) By 1547 the inhabitants had made two paved causeways, probably along the Green which in 1968 remained intersected with wet ditches. They undertook to maintain the causeways, in return for the lord's permission to plant along them rows of trees which they could lop and top. (fn. 21) The roads to Haslingfield and Harlton were straightened at inclosure, and that to Orwell had been straightened by 1890. (fn. 22) Barrington contained no inns but possessed several public houses in the 19th century, including the Royal Oak (the only survivor in 1968), the Boot, and the Catherine Wheel, all established by 1850; the Victoria and the Fountain had been opened by 1900, and the Butcher's Arms by 1937. (fn. 23)
In 1335 Sir Thomas Heslerton was granted the right to hold on his manor at Barrington a weekly market, and an annual fair on 19–21 July. (fn. 24) The fair had by the late 19th century been transferred to Ascensiontide, and transformed into a village feast at which entertainment booths were erected on the Green. (fn. 25) In 1917 the celebration of May-day with a maypole and other festivities was revived, and was maintained until c. 1964. (fn. 26)
The only substantial estate in Barrington in 1066 was the two hides held in demesne by Chatteris Abbey. They were later reckoned as a quarter of the vill, paying 5s. of the £1 which it owed to the sheriff's aid. Although they were held in chief in 1086, they were claimed in 1279 to be a fee of the barony of Munfitchet, but the abbesses used their dependence on the see of Ely to avoid performing any services, under colour of the see's liberties. (fn. 27) The manor of CHATTERIS was held by the abbey until its dissolution in 1538. In 1543 the Crown sold it to Michaelhouse, already lords of the rest of the village, with whose other estates it passed to Trinity College. (fn. 28)
Before 1066 the remaining 8 hides were held by three lesser thegns and 23 sokemen, variously commended to King Edward, Earl Alfgar, Ansgar the Staller, and Robert FitzWymark. (fn. 29) Of these lands, Achi the Dane's 40 a. had by 1086 come to Walter Giffard, from whose tenant, Walter son of Aubrey, they probably descended with the Huntingfield fee in Harlton. In 1279 Hugh Butler's heirs held them of the honor of Gloucester. (fn. 30) Picot the sheriff held 20 a. of Count Alan, and another 20 a., lately Ezi's, in chief. The latter descended from his tenant, Ralph de Banks, with the Banks fee in Wimpole until 1279. (fn. 31) The bulk of the vill, over 7 hides later known as LANCASTERS manor, was in 1086 held by Robert Gernon (fn. 32) (d. after 1118), (fn. 33) and passed with his barony to William de Munfitchet (d. after 1137). (fn. 34) William's widow Margaret de Clare (d. c. 1189) was holding Barrington, probably in dower, in 1185. (fn. 35) Having survived her son Gilbert (d. c. 1187) (fn. 36) she was succeeded by Gilbert's son Richard (d. 1204), (fn. 37) whose son, Richard de Munfitchet, died in 1267 without surviving issue. (fn. 38) His heirs were the descendants of his three sisters. (fn. 39) When the Munfitchet barony was finally divided c. 1274, Barrington fell in the purparty of the descendants of Margery, who had married Hugh de Bolbec (d. c. 1240). (fn. 40) Richard had given Hugh upon his marriage Bolbeck mill and other property in Barrington, (fn. 41) which Hugh in turn transferred to his younger son Richard, on whose death after 1253 they came to the elder son Hugh. (fn. 42) Hugh died in 1262, and his heirs were his four daughters, who married north-country barons. (fn. 43) Barrington was shared by Walter of Huntercombe, husband of Alice, and Hugh de la Val, husband of Maud, who had the smaller portion, with only 5 villeins' services. (fn. 44) After his wife had died Hugh de la Val demised his tenure by the curtesy to Robert Burnel, bishop of Bath and Wells (d. 1292), and died in 1302, (fn. 45) when his heir was Huntercombe, who himself died without surviving issue in 1313. (fn. 46) The heir to his Munfitchet lands was his nephew, John of Lancaster (1273–1324), son of Philippa Bolbec (d. 1294) and Roger of Lancaster (d. 1291). (fn. 47) John too was childless, and in 1319 sold the reversion of Barrington, after the deaths of himself, his wife Annora, and his brother Ralph (d. c. 1328), to John de Wauton, who, however, relinquished his right in 1325. (fn. 48) The reversion was acquired in 1326 by the judge Hervey of Staunton, whose intention to endow his new foundation of Michaelhouse with it (fn. 49) was fulfilled after his death by his kinsman Alexander of Walsham, (fn. 50) and the college entered into possession of the manor after the deaths of John of Lancaster in 1334 and Annora in 1338. (fn. 51) Lancasters manor-house and farm buildings may have stood on the moated site by the river south of the village, in a close held by the vicar as copyhold by 1550 and called the Hall yard. (fn. 52)
Two sub-manors, which together formed HESLERTONS manor, sprang from the Munfitchet lordship. One of c. 200 a. was held by a cadet line of the Gernon family, probably descended from Ranulf who in 1086 held under Robert Gernon a hide at Harston, (fn. 53) still in 1279 held with the Barrington land by William de la Stonhall, formerly mesne tenant under Ralph Gernon (d. 1274). (fn. 54) The other, ¼ knight's fee, was held c. 1235 by Baldwin de Vere (fn. 55) (d. 1243), of the Northamptonshire branch of the Veres, who had inherited his family's properties from his brother Thomas in 1204. (fn. 56) From Baldwin it descended to his son Robert (d. 1250) (fn. 57) and to Robert's younger son John (d. c. 1293). (fn. 58) Both estates were subsequently acquired by the family of Barrington, descended from Warin (fl. c. 1220), whose son Ralph (d. c. 1253) and grandson Warin (fn. 59) had by 1279 added to half a virgate, held by the serjeanty of providing the Munfitchets with saddle and bridle for Welsh expeditions, (fn. 60) 120 a. in demesne, and another 126 a. for which tenants paid rent, including before 1274 the Gernon fee. (fn. 61) John de Vere had by 1279 granted Warin of Barrington the rent of 100s. a year from 102 a., (fn. 62) and in 1292 sold him the whole property, including another 48 a. (fn. 63) In 1280 Warin took a lease of Walter of Huntercombe's share of the chief manor for 6 years. (fn. 64) Probably before 1288 his brother Mr. Giles of Barrington (fl. 1264–1308) acquired from Bishop Burnel his life-tenancy of Hugh de la Val's share, (fn. 65) c. 60 a., which was later incorporated with the Barrington family lands. (fn. 66) In 1307 Warin granted first a rent of £40 a year and then the reversion of all his lands at Barrington and elsewhere, on his and Giles's deaths, to his nephew, the justice Sir Robert of Madingley. (fn. 67) On Sir Robert's death in 1321 (fn. 68) his Barrington property passed briefly to his brother Henry, then rector (d. 1322), (fn. 69) and thereafter by right to Robert's daughter Alice, wife of Sir Thomas Heslerton of Yorkshire. The sons of Robert's sisters, led by Sir John de la Haye of Shepreth and Richard son of Thomas at Mill of Barrington, and abetted by Robert's widow, Emma Colville, who leased her dower lands to de la Haye, attempted to disseise Alice by force c. 1327. Heslerton and his wife recovered the manor at law in 1328. (fn. 70) Sir Thomas died c. 1355 (fn. 71) and Alice in 1356 granted the reversion on her death and that of Sir John Salvayn, possibly her son-in-law, to Michaelhouse, to support a chantry and two fellowships. (fn. 72) She leased her demesne and manor to the college in 1364, and made the grant absolute in 1374, in return for a £30 annuity. (fn. 73) She was dead by May 1375, when Sir John Engaine, who had married the de la Hayes' heiress, disseised the college. In 1376 Engaine, then sheriff, being promised 200 marks, allowed Michaelhouse to recover the manor of Heslertons at law from his co-parceners, and quitclaimed it to the college. (fn. 74)
The combined manors were transferred to Trinity College when Michaelhouse was incorporated in it in 1546. (fn. 75) Trinity also received the rectory glebe and great tithes, which Michaelhouse had obtained when it appropriated Barrington church in 1330. (fn. 76) From the 16th century the glebe, amounting in 1631 to c. 61 a., (fn. 77) and tithes were leased together at a rent, unchanged between 1600 and 1750, of £18, besides some corn and a boar on St. Andrew's day. (fn. 78) The lessees were often distinguished men, including John Manners, who was imposed on the college in 1572 by Elizabeth I, his brother Edward, earl of Rutland (d. 1587), (fn. 79) Edward Radcliffe, physician to James I, and in 1618 Sir Robert Naunton, Secretary of State. (fn. 80) They sub-let to the actual farmers of the rectory at much higher rents, in 1604 of £90, besides payment of the rent due to the college, and in 1752 of £245, of which the tithes accounted for £165. By 1750 the rectory lands were being leased with the Chatteris manor demesne, called Spaldings by the 1530s. (fn. 81) The two were gradually confounded; and the allotment of 132 a. made for both together at inclosure was subsequently called Rectory farm. The corn-rents allotted in lieu of the tithes were still leased with the farm until c. 1883. (fn. 82)
Trinity also owned from the 16th century some smaller plots, called the Hall lands. (fn. 83) It later acquired the property, 60–70 a., accumulated after 1650 by Thomas Stacy (fn. 84) (d. 1680), which his great-grandson John (fn. 85) sold in 1738 to Peter Calvert, steward of the manor, (fn. 86) who conveyed it in 1757 to John Hooper, fellow of Trinity (d. 1763). Hooper by his will of 1760 devised it to the college for prizes for English orations. (fn. 87) At inclosure in 1800 Trinity was allotted 129 a. for the lands. (fn. 88) In the 1940s it sold its farms to the tenants, Trinity farm, west of the village, in 1945, Rectory farm in 1948–9. (fn. 89)
The other large estate in Barrington, called BENDYSHE manor, originated with the enfranchisement in 1325 by John of Lancaster of the virgate of Thomas in the Willows (fn. 90) (d. 1348), (fn. 91) one of a long-established villein family. When Thomas's son Thomas died in 1392, (fn. 92) half his land held in chief passed to Thomas Bradfield (d. c. 1413), son of his sister Joan and John Bradfield. (fn. 93) The other half went through another sister to a London family, from whom Michaelhouse had acquired it by 1484. (fn. 94) Thomas Bradfield's daughter Alice (d. by 1413) married Thomas Bendyshe (d. c. 1447), of Steeple Bumpstead (Essex), who succeeded to his father-in-law's lands (fn. 95) and by the 1430s had transferred his Cambridgeshire estates to his son Edmund (d. 1474). (fn. 96) When Edmund's son William died in 1492, part of his Barrington property, then amounting to 110 a., was already known as Bendyshe manor. (fn. 97) His son Thomas died in 1520, (fn. 98) and was succeeded by his son William (d. 1546) (fn. 99) and grandson Thomas (d. by 1577). (fn. 100) In the time of Thomas's son Andrew (d. 1615) (fn. 101) and grandson Thomas (d. 1684) (fn. 102) the family property in Barrington was reduced by provision for younger children, but included about 215 a. c. 1610, (fn. 103) and over 200 a. when Thomas's son Robert (d. 1687) married in 1664. Robert's son Thomas (d. 1710) bought another 200 a. between 1695 and 1700. (fn. 104) His son, General Richard Bendyshe, died childless in 1777, when his heir was his nephew Richard, (fn. 105) who at inclosure possessed the largest estate in the parish, being allotted 833 a. in the fields, besides owning 75 a. comprising half the ancient closes. (fn. 106) His son John (d. 1855) was succeeded in turn by his sons John (d. 1865) and the Revd. Richard Bendyshe (d. 1914), whose nephew and heir, Richard Nelson Bendyshe, was killed in action in 1915. R. N. Bendyshe's son, Capt. J. N. Bendyshe, removed to Devon in 1928 and sold the family lands in Barrington in 1937. (fn. 107)
Barrington Hall, on whose site the Bendyshes had dwelt since the 15th century, (fn. 108) though externally Victorian, dates structurally in part from the 17th century, (fn. 109) having been built by Richard Stacy, father-in-law of Thomas Bendyshe (d. 1710) and brick-contractor to William III. (fn. 110) The family resided there only intermittently from the 1850s. After 1900 it was sometimes let. (fn. 111) In 1937 it was sold to Sir Charles Davis, later managing director of the cement company. After his death in 1950 the company acquired it for use as offices. (fn. 112)
Barrington's only preConquest manorial estate was that of Chatteris Abbey. In 1086 its demesne of one hide was cultivated by 13 bordars and cottars, who supplied 2 out of 3 plough-teams, and by 3 servi. The three smaller lay estates had no villani or demesne ploughs. Robert Gernon, however, had appropriated as demesne almost half of the 7½ hides once held by the 20 peasants whom he had reduced to villeinage. They furnished 9 plough-teams to his one, though there was pasture for only 6 teams. The value of Chatteris manor had fallen by £1 since 1066, but Gernon had doubled the income from his to £16 since he received it. (fn. 113)
The tenurial pattern of the village had substantially altered by 1279. Chatteris Abbey's villein lands were still represented by c. 155 a. held in villeinage, (fn. 114) and its demesne perhaps amounted to the 112 a. of the later Spaldings farm. (fn. 115) The Munfitchets' demesne, however, was much reduced, including in 1313 only 118 a., (fn. 116) supported by only 335 a. held by villeins, (fn. 117) equivalent in all to c. 4 hides. At Barrington, the virgate was by 1279 reckoned as 40 a., though the smaller estates show traces of a 30 a. reckoning, (fn. 118) the local acre being smaller than the statute acre. Down to inclosure Barrington was traditionally reckoned to contain 2,500 a. (fn. 119) The remainder of the Munfitchet manor was in 1279 occupied by free tenants paying rent and furnishing at most 2 or 4 harvest boon-works. (fn. 120) Much of the demesne had probably gone to found the Vere and Gernon mesne tenancies, whose absentee owners would readily exchange services for cash. All of John de Vere's 150 a. was held for rent, mostly at 1s. an acre. (fn. 121) The Gernon fee still formed a manor, including a demesne of 80 a., but its quartervirgaters performed only 3 harvest-boons, otherwise holding for quit-rents. (fn. 122) The Sweyn family held 2 virgates for doing suit for the vill to county and hundred courts, paying 6s. 8d. rent given by Richard de Munfitchet to St. Neot's priory. (fn. 123) The Munfitchets had also enfranchised some villein land at rents of up to 10s. for a half-virgate, matching the value of the services it owed. (fn. 124) The wealthier peasants sometimes acquired from the lord the quitrents due from villeins who had been enfranchised. (fn. 125) Of c. 900 a. of free land 400 a. was held by charters, and the rest, except for 70 a., was defined in terms of virgates, (fn. 126) and therefore represented former villein or demesne land rather than assarts or a survival of extra-manorial holdings from before the Conquest. Surviving 13th-century deeds show a lively market in small plots in the fields, or closes, and their assized rents. (fn. 127) Despite such freedom of alienation, however, 61 out of 111 tenants in 1279 still possessed moderate holdings of traditional size, 10–20 a. Only 7 had accumulated 40 a. or more. (fn. 128)
On the Chatteris manor labour-services may already have been commuted by 1279, when they were valued but not defined, though some free tenants had to render 2 harvest-boons. (fn. 129) Both on the Chatteris manor and on the Munfitchets' the basis for assessing villein services was a half-virgate of 20 a. On the Munfitchets', tenants of the 14 villein half-virgates, apart from the reeve and miller, had each to supply 65 winter and summer works (1½ a week) between Michaelmas and 31 August, and 21 in September; to plough for 4½ days and harrow 5 times; to perform 3 averages and carry corn 16 times in harvest, besides sending 2 men to one day's harvest-boon. In 1337 the harvest-boon raised 49 labourers. They must also brew, render corn and poultry, and pay dues called 'Scleyreth' and 'Warthpanes'. (fn. 130)
Even in 1279 the scheme probably did not represent the realities of demesne farming. The works were then valued at 10s. a half-virgate, equivalent to the figure calculable from later valuations for commutation, suggesting that they were traditional. Thus normal week-works were valued at 1d., harvest-works at 1½d., ploughing days at 4d. (fn. 131) In 1314–15 the ploughing and harrowing services were entirely commuted; winter-works were called on only for heavy tasks, like reconstructing a broken mill-dam, or when the regular staff were absent. (fn. 132) In 1336–7 out of 874 week-works 668 were sold, 132 allowed to office-holders or for holidays, and only 174 actually used. Only the harvest-works were still fully exploited, (fn. 133) and even in 1279 the lord was hiring men, for payment in corn, to help collect the harvest. (fn. 134) The demesne was in practice cultivated by servants who in 1337 included two ploughmen, a carter, and a shepherd. Apart from 19s. received in cash, they took their wages largely in food, pottage made from dredge. Three times as much dredge as of wheat was grown on the demesne, being used also for brewing and fodder. The farm servants had a house in the manorial yard, which also contained a grange, a stable, and a dovecot. (fn. 135) The demesne, however, maintained in 1316–17 only 6 horses and 9 oxen. Much of its pasture was sold each year to the tenants. (fn. 136) The net cash profit from the manor came in 1337 to £4, including, besides rents and commutation charges, income derived from such sales, from the quarry and the fishing of the mill pond, and from sales of corn. Receipts in kind were worth nearly as much, including livestock and wheat grown on the demesne or taken as dues for milling, and were mostly sent to Stansted Mountfitchet (Essex) to supply the lord's household. (fn. 137) Sometimes, however, the manor was leased out, as in 1280 for £22 1s. for 6 years. Hugh de la Val's share was once leased for £5 13s. 4d. (fn. 138)
On the Barringtons' sub-manor, later Heslertons, those few labour-services due were still being required in 1317. In the 1330s tenements were granted for customary harvest-boons, still enforced in 1340, and mowing works, besides their rent. (fn. 139) The demesne, amounting to 117 a. in 1364, (fn. 140) was still in hand, being worked by hired servants, including a ploughman, paid partly in kind, supervised by a reeve elected by the villein tenants, who might present him for neglecting to see that it was properly cultivated or for misusing the lord's plough and cart for his own advantage. (fn. 141) In 1342 Heslertons had 8 free tenants, 10 villeins, and 2 cottars. (fn. 142)
By the 1370s the management of both Lancasters and Heslertons manors was changed, the reeve being replaced as accountant by a messor who was in practice a mere rent-collector. Even the harvestworks and bedrepes were then largely commuted. (fn. 143) Some customary works were still employed for mowing in 1395, but the corn was reaped by contract in exchange for its stubble. (fn. 144) About 1370 Michaelhouse was still cultivating c. 32 a., perhaps the rectory glebe, and employing a ploughman and swine-herd. (fn. 145) The manorial demesnes were mostly leased, Lancasters for £10 a year, Heslertons for £7 13s. 4d. (fn. 146) Commutation on the former yielded almost £6, (fn. 147) on the latter 21s., (fn. 148) but the regular sale of works was not yet replaced by fixed yearly rents from the customary tenants. The tithe brought in much corn; most of it was sold for a good price, (fn. 149) which was more profitable than direct cultivation. Both in 1395 and c. 1540 Michaelhouse received about £80 a year from its manors and the rectory combined. (fn. 150) The latter, both glebe and tithes, was farmed from 1468 for 40 marks. (fn. 151)
Control of the land was passing into the tenants' hands. About 1452 much of the demesnes, which in the 1430s had been leased for terms of 7 years, was divided among them, each tenant of a half-virgate receiving 7 a. of 'Buryland', also called 'Lotland'. To assure Michaelhouse of tenants for that land, a rule was then made that no tenant might throw up his allotment unless he simultaneously surrendered his copyhold land. (fn. 152) Michaelhouse's estate was farmed soon after 1500 to Thomas Fox, who before his death about 1520 collected substantial property in Barrington. (fn. 153) Chatteris Abbey's manor met similar fortunes. In 1507 its 8½ copyhold virgates were let to 11 tenants, paying rents of 8–10s. By 1492 its demesne was also farmed, sometimes to one man, sometimes to two or three tenants, perhaps acting on behalf of their fellows. (fn. 154) In 1533, when it was called Spaldings, perhaps after a former lessee, it was leased for 21 years to William Totnam, who had recently acquired 2 virgates, (fn. 155) and whose family continued to lease it until after 1599, when his descendant John bequeathed his lease to be shared between two of his sons. (fn. 156) A few tenants were growing wealthy, but the majority remained approximately equal in amount of property, and most of the copyhold half-virgates stayed intact during the 16th century. (fn. 157) In 1524 14 persons were taxed on their wages, 34 on their goods, of whom only 9 had goods worth over £4, but 20 owned £2 to £4 worth. (fn. 158)
The economy of the village was by 1500 not exclusively agricultural. Quarries were already open in the early 14th century, (fn. 159) one near the Haslingfield road, later called the Parson's pit, perhaps owned by the rector. (fn. 160) About 1394 a fuller received permission to establish a fulling ground by the stream. (fn. 161) Two glovers were working there c. 1500, (fn. 162) and a white-tawyer in 1558. (fn. 163) The cultivation of saffron had been introduced c. 1500, (fn. 164) apparently in fenced strips in the open fields as well as in closes. (fn. 165)
The late 16th century saw Barrington's resources strained by a rising birthrate and immigration. (fn. 166) In 1581 the leet ordered that no one should take in any strangers to dwell with them without permission, (fn. 167) and in 1600 resolved that no newly erected cottage should enjoy common rights. (fn. 168) Barrington did not in modern times possess an extensive distinct common pasture. At inclosure the only uncultivated land left, apart from the Green, was a town moor of 12 a. (fn. 169) Common of pasture was exercised in the fallow field, and in a part of the 'broke field', called the 'frith', that was left unploughed between March and June to provide spring grass for the cattle. (fn. 170) Many farmers also laid down some of their open-field lands as grass leys, of which there were at inclosure at least 64 a. (fn. 171)
In the 15th century regulations on grazing were principally concerned with preventing cattle feeding in the corn field until harvesting was completed. (fn. 172)
About 1490 complaints were made that sheep from outside the village were overcharging the commons. (fn. 173) After 1550 restrictions were imposed and stints established. In 1553 each tenant was stinted to a plough-team of 4 oxen (reduced to 2 in 1557) for his messuage, (fn. 174) and, by 1581, for each 20 a. of open field that he owned; he might also common 3 pigs for each 20 a. and 1 sheep for each 2 a., besides 2 oxen for each 5 a. that he kept as leys. (fn. 175) Cottagers might in 1550 common 1 cow and 1 horse, and by 1600 3 sheep each. (fn. 176) New by-laws in 1602 ordered that villagers without beasts of their own must not let their common rights for exploitation by outsiders, but only to their neighbours of Barrington. (fn. 177) In 1599 it was ordered that all enclosed leys and plots in the fields should have their fences removed after harvest so that common over them could be enjoyed. (fn. 178) In the last by-law on the subject, passed in 1776, basic stints were reduced to 1 cow for 20 a. and 1 sheep for 4 a. Each cottage carried a right to common 2 cows and 3 sheep. (fn. 179)
The output of grain was increased after 1600 by rearranging the fields. Since the 13th century there had been two, East and West fields. The names of some furlongs survived from the 13th century until the inclosure. (fn. 180) Each field was traditionally divided into the 'low field' on the flats by the river, the 'white land' on the chalk slopes, and the 'red land' on the clay summit of the hill. (fn. 181) The courts appointed overseers of the fields, frequently required the production of terriers of arable and leys, (fn. 182) and enforced the maintenance of ditches and the making of the water-furrows for drainage. (fn. 183) In 1610 a third field, Middle field, was formed and a threecourse rotation established. (fn. 184) One estate c. 1612 had, besides 17 a. of leys, arable divided between the three fields in the proportions 70 a., 63 a., and 53 a. (fn. 185)
The village contained several yeoman families, holding a virgate or two, whose surnames, such as Newling, Prior, Titchmarsh, Jepps, and Prime, are recorded from the 16th to the 19th and even the 20th century. (fn. 186) Ownership and occupancy, however, were both gradually concentrated. Of Barrington's 2,300 a. of arable, as locally reckoned, 1,940 a. were occupied c. 1700 by 24 farmers, 10 of whom, each owning 100 a. or more, together possessed 1,470 a. (fn. 187) Shortly before inclosure the village's larger estates were mostly made up of formerly distinct properties. (fn. 188) At inclosure Trinity College had 264 a. allotted to it, most of which was occupied by lessees. Richard Bendyshe received 833 a. Henry Lyell, who had inherited the Wendy lands in Haslingfield, had 149 a. (fn. 189) St. Catharine's College, which had bought land in Barrington in 1648, (fn. 190) was allotted 53 a., which it sold c. 1801 to its tenant, Edward Prime. (fn. 191) The Beldam family, landowners at Barrington since the 1750s, received 124 a. Several farmers, however, still owned part of the land that they cultivated, including John Coleman, allotted 86 a., the Jepps family with 76 a., William Pearce with 44 a., and four members of the Prime family with between them 156 a. (fn. 192) Such concentration produced disturbance of the traditional agricultural routine. By custom, the owners of certain plots enjoyed the right to fold the village's two flocks of sheep, 600 and 400 strong respectively, on their land for 4 or 5 nights in succession. The size of the plots by 1780 bore no proportion to the number of shares in the folding their owners could claim. By 1788 Richard Bendyshe owned 21 of the 44 shares, of 5 nights each, in the great flock. William Pearce, who had prospered by dubious means from being the village shepherd to the tenancy of Bendyshe's largest farm, instigated the separation of Bendyshe's and his tenants' sheep from the great flock into a new private one. When the other sharers objected Bendyshe merely offered to exchange their rights in the great flock for his less valuable shares in the small one, and they brought an action against him in 1789. (fn. 193)
Soon afterwards, in 1796, the inclosure Act was obtained, under which almost all the village's 2,000 a. went to the larger landowners named above. Ten smaller owners shared 100 a., and 17 owners of common rights received an acre apiece, most of which was later bought by the Primes. (fn. 194) The reallotment was completed by April 1798, when William Pearce leased a newly inclosed farm from Joseph Beldam, (fn. 195) but the formal award was delayed until 1800 by disputes over expenses between the commissioners and Richard Bendyshe, who complained that they had allotted to him land inferior in value and quality to his former property, and so far from the village that he must build entirely new farms. (fn. 196) He therefore left his third of the parish uncultivated, (fn. 197) preventing the inclosure from bringing all the expected advantages. Although rents had risen from 6–8s. an acre to 20s., the amount of corn and livestock produced had not noticeably increased by 1805, and still only 300 a. were sown with wheat. (fn. 198)
The village suffered severely in the agricultural distress after 1815. Bendyshe's farms remained waste and tenantless for several years, (fn. 199) and in 1820 the poor-rates reached a peak of £391. (fn. 200) Pauperism later declined. In 1830 there was no unemployment among the 156 men and boys described as labourers, (fn. 201) and in 1851 the farms provided work for 88 of the 99 agricultural labourers in the parish, (fn. 202) which was then largely comprised in a few large farms. The number of farmers fell from 15 in 1836 to 7 in 1851. (fn. 203) South of the road to Haslingfield lay Trinity College's Rectory farm, besides the vicar's glebe and the Beldam family's land, which were often farmed together until the 1870s, as were Rectory farm and the Beldams' land between 1888 and 1928 by T. H. Smith and his family. North of the road most of the land was owned by the Bendyshes. (fn. 204) The Prime family bought c. 1801 the land they had leased from St. Catharine's College, (fn. 205) and c. 1846 that of the Pearce family. (fn. 206) John Coleman and his son John gradually accumulated a farm of c. 703 a., which after the son had died c. 1875 was split up among his children and later sold. (fn. 207) Before the 1880s only the Trinity and Bendyshe farms were usually tenanted by outsiders. (fn. 208)
Barrington also provided some non-agricultural employment. In 1831 32 men were engaged in crafts and trades, compared with 69 agricultural labourers. (fn. 209) Besides crafts ancillary to farming, such as those of carpenters (12 by 1851), blacksmiths, millers, and wheelwrights, there were by 1851 several tailors and shoemakers and 7 female dressmakers. (fn. 210) Later alternative employment arose from the coprolite boom, between 1863 and the mid 1880s. Farmers received over £150 an acre for leave to extract the coprolites and then re-level the soil; Trinity as lord exacted from £30 to £35 an acre from its copyholders for such leave. (fn. 211) The high wages for digging coprolites almost doubled agricultural wages from 10s. a week, (fn. 212) but when the diggings finished there was considerable distress. (fn. 213) The two Bendyshe farms lacked tenants for several years after 1891, (fn. 214) and the vicar instigated relief work in 1894. (fn. 215) In 1899 a quarter of the parish was still out of cultivation. (fn. 216) About that period there was trouble over abuse of the Green. The inclosure award allowed cottagers to put only 1 cow and 2 sheep on it, but not geese or horses. (fn. 217) In practice, however, the cottagers grazed only poultry. A man born in 1873 had seen 600 geese feeding there. (fn. 218) Instead the Green was overrun with horses and cattle belonging to tradesmen and small farmers, whose vociferous resistance defeated an attempt by the parish council in 1914 to introduce a scheme limiting the grazeable stock to 40 cattle or an equivalent, under which cottagers could still graze poultry or livestock free, but other residents should pay fees for using the Green. A similar scheme, however, was adopted in 1917. (fn. 219)
An important industrial activity for Barrington was the development despite frequent setbacks of brick- and cement-manufacturing. In 1841 there were already four brick-makers. (fn. 220) By 1876 the Prime family had established by the Shepreth road brickworks (fn. 221) which in 1891 were producing bricks and glazed tiles and were combined with a cementworks north of them capable of producing 300 tons a week of standard Portland cement. The company managing them was liquidated in 1891. (fn. 222) The works were acquired in 1894 by the Barrington Cement Syndicate, in which the Primes again had an interest, were in the hands of bailiffs in 1896, (fn. 223) and were sold again in 1897, probably to Keeble Bros. of Royston. (fn. 224) They were subsequently owned by the Royston Cement Co. which remodelled the brickworks and built a tramway to the railway at Shepreth, but sold the works in 1904. (fn. 225) When the land was next for sale in 1909, the cement- and brick-works had both been closed. (fn. 226) About 1918 new cementworks were under construction north of the Haslingfield road, by the Dreadnought Cement Co. In 1920 it obtained leave to build a light railway to join the London-Cambridge line, but was liquidated in 1921, and the works and railway, then ready, were bought by Eastwoods Ltd. (fn. 227) In 1962 they were taken over by the Rugby Portland Cement Co., which extended them substantially in 1962–4. In 1968 they could produce 500,000 tons of cement a year, and employed over 300 people. (fn. 228)
In 1086 there were three mills in Barrington. (fn. 229) The West Mill probably belonged to Chatteris Abbey, which at its dissolution still owned West Mill close, though the mill itself had disappeared since 1330. (fn. 230) Bolbeck Mill, named after Hugh de Bolbec, to whom Richard de Munfitchet granted its overlordship before 1240, (fn. 231) descended with Lancasters manor to Michaelhouse and then Trinity, which from 1550 to 1800 normally leased it for 20-year terms at £18 a year, described in 1614 as the ancient, due, and accustomed rent. (fn. 232) It was in use throughout the 19th century, being rebuilt in brick c. 1810 and in 1863, and let at rents of up to £220. (fn. 233) It was closed by c. 1930, and c. 1967 the building was converted for use by Grant Instruments Ltd. of Cambridge. (fn. 234) The third mill stood by the Foxton road. It was called Thomes Mill, after Thomas at Mill, whose family managed it between 1250 and 1350, (fn. 235) and later East Mill. (fn. 236) In 1086 half of it belonged to Chatteris Abbey, and half had been usurped from Geoffrey de Mandeville, lord of Foxton, by Robert Gernon. (fn. 237) After 1283 the abbey granted its share to Warin of Barrington. (fn. 238) By 1520 half was held under Michaelhouse by the Bendyshes, (fn. 239) who eventually acquired the other half, once held by the Assumption chantry in Barrington (fn. 240) and bought in 1547 by Dr. Thomas Wendy. (fn. 241) In the later 19th century the Bendyshes owned the whole mill, until it was closed c. 1880. (fn. 242) A windmill, in 1604 lately erected by William Totnam, (fn. 243) was probably identical with that standing west of the village, which was reconstructed in 1822 and in use in the 1890s, (fn. 244) but had by 1968 been dismantled and incorporated in a dwelling-house and bird farm.
View of frankpledge in Barrington, with the assize of bread and ale, was claimed under Edward I by Chatteris Abbey by prescription, and by Walter de Huntercombe allegedly under a charter to his predecessors. (fn. 245) Warin of Barrington also held a court for his tenants, for which he claimed in 1281 a case from his lord's manorial court. (fn. 246) Under his heirs it evolved into the court of Heslertons manor, but without view or assize; (fn. 247) once Michaelhouse held both Heslertons and Lancasters manors those franchises were exercised in both courts, which were held on the same day. Each manor retained its separate presenting jury and chief pledges, and elected separately beadles, ale-tasters, and other officials, (fn. 248) but after c. 1460 most of the village business was handled in the court held first in the day, on an alternating system. (fn. 249) By 1450 the courts sat only twice a year. (fn. 250) Besides normal judicial and, later, conveyancing business, they regulated agricultural practice through by-laws, first mentioned in 1318 and recorded in 1452; (fn. 251) the enactment of by-laws was left to the court of Lancasters, as the principal manor, by those of Heslertons and Chatteris manors, whose rolls record no such ordinances. Before 1455 an ancient ordinance had forbidden suitors to take cases determinable in the Barrington courts to any other tribunal, whether hundred court, borough court, or court Christian. (fn. 252) About 1500 the tenants of Chatteris Abbey attended a court held at Foxton for all its manors near by, at which, however, each manor's business was handled by its own jury. (fn. 253) In the 15th century the income from fines for breaking by-laws went half to the lord and half to the church, whose share after the Reformation was transferred to the poor. (fn. 254) The jury stoutly upheld the tenants' customary rights, such as that to free beer during harvest-works. (fn. 255) Lancasters was electing a constable by 1461, and in 1474 a man was fined for disobeying the keepers of the watch. (fn. 256)
After Trinity had united all three manors in 1546 the courts were also united and dealt indifferently with business from each manor. Two separate juries were still sworn of chief pledges and of the homage, the first for leet and the second for court baron business. Under Elizabeth the court, besides making agricultural ordinances, (fn. 257) concerned itself with newer responsibilities, restricting immigration, (fn. 258) determining boundaries through a group of inquest men, (fn. 259) and fining those not contributing to highway work. (fn. 260) From the 1620s its rolls become largely a register of copyholds, (fn. 261) although it made by-laws on common rights as late as 1776. (fn. 262) The passing of administrative authority from the manor to the parish can be seen in the inclusion of churchwardens in the body appointed in 1581 to license new settlers. (fn. 263)
Expenditure on the poor was £70 in 1776, and had reached £306 by 1803, excluding the cost of lawsuits over removals. Fifty-four people were then on permanent relief. (fn. 264) In 1813, when almost 40 people were on relief, the cost was £358, (fn. 265) and although expenses were reduced to £186 by 1818 they rose again to an average of c. £300 in the early 1820s. (fn. 266) In 1835 the parish became part of the Royston poor law union, (fn. 267) was included in the Melbourn R.D. on the division of the Royston rural sanitary district in 1894, (fn. 268) and was transferred in 1934 to the South Cambridgeshire R.D. (fn. 269)
The benefice of Barrington was originally a rectory, whose advowson belonged to the successive lords of the principal manor, the Munfitchets and their descendants. (fn. 270) In 1217 the rector's income was taxed at £16 a year, in 1254 and 1276 at £42 13s. 4d., in 1291 at £40. (fn. 271) As one of the richest livings in the diocese, Barrington was held or desired by men eminent in the king's service. The first rector recorded was Robert Passelewe, a royal justice, in 1248. (fn. 272) Among his probable successors were the treasurer, Philip Lovel (d. 1259), (fn. 273) the wardrobe clerk, John Drokensford, Hugh Cressingham, Edward I's treasurer of Scotland, (fn. 274) and in 1299 the Exchequer official Thomas of Cambridge. (fn. 275)
Hervey of Staunton's executors granted the church to Michaelhouse, (fn. 276) and an executor and a fellow briefly held the rectory until the master was inducted in 1330. (fn. 277) The bishop ordained a vicarage, of which Michaelhouse and its successor Trinity have always been patrons. The college took the great tithes, of corn and hay, and 50 or 60 a. of the glebe. The vicar received 18 a., with the lesser tithes, including those of wool and livestock, of hay in certain meadows, and of two of the mills. The college was exempted from vicarial tithes on its glebe and demesne while occupied by itself or its farmer and on Bolbeck Mill. The vicar's portion was worth £8 13s. 4d. a year, reduced by 1536 to £7 13s. 4d. (fn. 278)
The college later augmented the vicar's living, granting him before 1550 escheated copyhold land which amounted by 1640 to 50 a. (fn. 279) In 1650 the vicarage was worth £40 a year, of which the glebe yielded £25. (fn. 280) In 1778 the annual value was £44. (fn. 281) The glebe of c. 60 a., worth £18 in 1742, and the small tithes, worth £16 in 1738, were often farmed together: one farmer in 1742 refused a lease of one without the other. (fn. 282) By 1750 the vicarial tithes were being taken in cash at a fixed tariff. (fn. 283) In 1770 the vicarage received an endowment of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty to match one of £200 from Trinity. (fn. 284) By 1795 the tithes alone yielded £68, (fn. 285) and at inclosure Trinity agreed to allow the vicar £80 a year, besides the 46 a. allotted for his glebe, out of the corn-rents assessed at 4s. an acre for which all the tithes were commuted. (fn. 286) When the lease of the great tithes expired in 1807 the college leased the corn-rents with Rectory farm to William Pearce, a man 'very obnoxious to the parish' for his former exactions as tithe-collector, who had quarrelled both with the vicar and the landowners. Richard Bendyshe led a refusal to pay Pearce the rents, which were legally due only to the college bursar. (fn. 287) The vicar's portion declined in value in the late 19th century: in 1858 the glebe yielded £90, while the corn-rents produced £81, (fn. 288) and in 1901 only £43. (fn. 289) His income was maintained by exploiting coprolite diggings on the glebe. In 1869 he agreed that money from that source should be paid to Queen Anne's Bounty to endow the benefice. (fn. 290) In 1873 his income was £285. (fn. 291) The glebe was sold to Capt. Bendyshe c. 1918. (fn. 292)
The church contained three chantries. The oldest was that of the Assumption of Our Lady, founded before 1350, (fn. 293) which yielded its priest £5 a year from lands controlled by feoffees, including, in Barrington, 66 a. and half the East Mill. (fn. 294) In her grant to Michaelhouse in 1356 Alice Heslerton provided for the maintenance of a chantry chaplain and the upkeep of a chapel, (fn. 295) perhaps the south chapel, later demolished, which was called 'dissolved' in 1594. (fn. 296) In 1536 Michaelhouse was paying the priest £5 a year. (fn. 297) The third chantry, founded under the will of John Admond (d. 1472), whose endowment included 31 a. in Barrington and 129 a. in Essex, was to maintain a priest, paid £6 6s. 8d., and two beadsmen. In 1546 it was worth over £10. (fn. 298) In 1549 Dr. Thomas Wendy bought its lands and those of the Assumption chantry. (fn. 299) Barrington had also by 1471 three guilds, of St. Mary, St. James, and St. Catherine, (fn. 300) one of which by 1495 possessed a guildhall. (fn. 301) In 1522 Thomas Rolf left to the church for his obit 5 a., probably confiscated with the chantry lands. (fn. 302) Disputes following the Reformation over a due called candle corn, perhaps intended to support altar-lights, were settled in 1549 when the parishioners agreed to give 8 bushels of wheat to the vicar and 7 for distribution to the poor. (fn. 303)
After the appropriation many vicars were Cambridge graduates connected with Michaelhouse, (fn. 304) including several fellows, (fn. 305) under a rule that they should be chosen 'de gremio collegii'. (fn. 306) From the 1550s to 1750 the living was almost invariably held by fellows, past or present, of Trinity College, and until 1928 by Trinity men. (fn. 307) Most pre-Reformation vicars probably resided, for they figured in the court rolls and witnessed parishioners' wills. (fn. 308) Michael Calvert, vicar 1558–94, was absent in Norfolk in 1560. (fn. 309) Between 1600 and 1640 successive vicars usually employed curates (fn. 310) and rapidly obtained preferment to other livings. (fn. 311) In 1619 the vicarage was out of repair. (fn. 312) The church was sufficiently Laudian by 1638 when Bishop Wren had only to order the reading desk to be turned. (fn. 313) Anthony Marshall, then vicar, was ejected in 1646 as a royalist. (fn. 314) In 1650 a fellow of Emmanuel was acting as preacher and receiving the revenues, but he was no extreme puritan, obtaining episcopal ordination in 1651. (fn. 315) Trinity succeeded in installing fellows as vicars throughout the Interregnum. (fn. 316)
Barrington had six vicars between 1662 and 1670. (fn. 317) For the next century the benefice was often occupied by non-resident dons who combined it with other livings, or with fellowships and other academic appointments. (fn. 318) John Price, vicar 1720–34, was forced by debt to serve an Essex curacy, leaving Barrington to occasional ministrations by a fellow of Trinity. (fn. 319) Seven vicars followed him between 1734 and 1750, (fn. 320) and Philip Foley, vicar 1750–75, also received a Worcestershire living from his kinsman, Lord Foley, in 1764. (fn. 321) The vicarage, which stood north of the church where the school was later built, was burnt down c. 1720 and not rebuilt. (fn. 322) The church fell into disrepair, and the churchyard became a wilderness. (fn. 323) In 1775 Thomas Finch, then vicar, was living in Cambridge, and during his long incumbency (1770–1837) church life in the parish steadily decayed. (fn. 324) In 1807 only one service was held on Sundays. The thrice-yearly communion attracted only 10 or 12 persons, (fn. 325) in 1836 only 3. Only the poor came to church. All but one of the farmers were dissenters, and refused to contribute voluntarily to church repairs. The parish clerk was drunken and unpaid, and the curate whom the bishop forced upon the vicar in 1836 reported that the aged Finch did not perform any duty at all. (fn. 326)
The energy of that curate and succeeding vicars restored the situation. The vicarage was rebuilt in the 1840s on a new site; a Sunday school and a church school were opened. (fn. 327) In 1851 99 persons attended evensong: the church had in 1836 130 sittings. (fn. 328) J. E. W. Conybeare, vicar 1871–98, the Cambridgeshire antiquary, who was an enthusiastic Tory and High Churchman, held four services each Sunday and communion every Sunday and holy day. By 1873 he had raised the average attendance at communion from 8 to 27, and increased his Sunday congregation from 100 to 450. By 1893 he had 175 people on the parochial roll, and had 'revived' the church guild. Between 1871 and 1892 he spent almost £2,150 of his own on the church and the school, obtaining another £900 from Trinity College and Richard Bendyshe. (fn. 329) He resigned in 1898 following disputes with the newly established parish council over the control of the parochial charities. (fn. 330)
The church of ALL SAINTS is built of clunch ashlar and field stones, and has a chancel, aisled and clerestoried nave with north and south porches and side chapels, and west tower. In the mid 13th century the church consisted of a chancel and a nave with aisles, all recently built but possibly incorporating at the west end some fragments of an earlier structure. The tower may also have been set out but its completion was delayed until later in the 13th century. The clerestory and nave roof were rebuilt and both the north aisle and the chancel were enlarged in the 14th century, and the south porch and an annexe north of the chancel were added then. The chancel windows once contained the arms of Bolbec, Huntercombe, Lancaster, and Barrington. The porch may have been contemporary with the south chapel which was probably Alice Heslerton's chantry from 1356. A north porch and chapel similarly arranged were added to the north aisle in the 15th century, the chapel perhaps for John Admond's chantry although it later became the Bendyshes' mortuary chapel and their arms were formerly in the glass of a window. (fn. 331) In the same century the west window and those of the aisles were replaced, and the rood-screen and nave seating installed. The tower was probably raised to its full height after 1500; several bequests for work on the spire were made in the 1520s. (fn. 332)
The south chapel was in ruins by 1600, although it may not have been destroyed until 1710. (fn. 333) The pulpit is 17th-century. (fn. 334) The rood-screen survived in 1742 (fn. 335) but was later removed. In the late 18th century the church was in bad repair, with leaking roof and broken windows. The chancel, for whose upkeep the lessees of the rectory were responsible, was very indecent, its seating battered by the schoolboys taught there. (fn. 336) Soon after 1800 its exterior, even the dressings, was entirely coated with Roman cement. (fn. 337) The church was eventually restored between 1872 and 1881. (fn. 338) The tower was again under repair in 1920. (fn. 339) It contained four bells in 1552, five in 1742, six in 1900. (fn. 340) A clock was installed in it in 1744. (fn. 341) The church plate includes a chalice and paten of 1569, a paten of 1683, (fn. 342) and a cup and paten of 1870. The registers start in 1570, surviving only in a transcript until the mid 17th century. (fn. 343)
In 1783 the churchwardens were letting certain balks for 16s. a year to pay for church repairs. (fn. 344) At inclosure the church estate was allotted 3 a. (fn. 345) which were subsequently managed with the town estate. (fn. 346)
Congregationalism flourished in Barrington from the mid 17th to the mid 20th century. Francis Holcroft's congregation at Bassingbourn consisted of many people from parishes besides his own, and after he had been ejected from that parish in 1662 his congregation was divided into separate societies, one of which met at Barrington. (fn. 347) Although Robert Barces's house was licensed in 1672 as a Presbyterian meeting-place, (fn. 348) it seems more likely that it was Congregational. (fn. 349) Three years later the combined membership of the Congregational communities of Barrington, Orwell, Thriplow, and Croydon was said to number 124, (fn. 350) and in 1676 40 dissenters and 141 conformists were recorded in Barrington itself. (fn. 351) In 1679 five people were presented for being excommunicated, (fn. 352) and in 1682 six people for absence from church. (fn. 353) A chapel was built in 1689, (fn. 354) but it is not known when it was replaced. In 1968 a graveyard south of the Green survived near the site of a former meeting-house, which had been built before 1800. (fn. 355)
Although it is not clear whether the Congregational communities of Great Eversden and Barrington were united during Holcroft's life, they did unite after his death in 1692, and they chose as their first minister Mr. Harris, (fn. 356) who had probably been one of his assistants. (fn. 357) Under Thomas Jennings, chosen as minister in 1694, (fn. 358) the congregation increased to 800. (fn. 359) In 1715 or 1716 it was the second largest Congregational congregation in the county, (fn. 360) and evidently drew on a much larger area than Great Eversden and Barrington alone. (fn. 361) Numbers declined towards the end of Jennings's ministry, and he was succeeded by Gabell in 1728, (fn. 362) when about seven Independents were recorded in the parish. (fn. 363) There was a further decline under Gabell, (fn. 364) and after his death in 1738 'the church appears to have been destitute a considerable time' (fn. 365) before William Bond was chosen as minister in 1750. (fn. 366) Numbers increased again, and in 1774 there were about 40 members and an estimated congregation of 475, 100 of whom were occasional hearers. (fn. 367) In 1783 70–80 dissenters were recorded in Barrington. (fn. 368) After Bond's death in 1794 the congregations of Great Eversden and Barrington separated. (fn. 369)
A licensed meeting-house was recorded in 1807, (fn. 370) and a house was registered for Protestant dissenting worship in 1817. (fn. 371) An Independent chapel was registered for worship and marriage in 1839. (fn. 372) In 1851 it could seat about 400, and there was an estimated congregation of 202 for afternoon service, including 58 Sunday school children. (fn. 373) The freehold of the site was bought in the following year, (fn. 374) when five of the trustees were among the most substantial farmers in the parish. (fn. 375) In 1856 a new chapel built of yellow brick was erected on the north side of the Green, (fn. 376) and it was registered for worship (fn. 377) and marriage (fn. 378) in 1860.
In 1873 six out of seven farmers were said to go to the chapel, which had a congregation of about 300. Some people attended both church and chapel, and most went to church for baptism, marriage, and burial. (fn. 379)
In 1894 the chapel could seat 250, (fn. 380) and in 1897 there were said to be 120 dissenters in the parish. (fn. 381) In 1899, however, the chapel had only five members, and membership remained small in the 20th century. There were 14 members in 1917, ten in 1948, and in 1967 there were only six. (fn. 382) The chapel was out of use by 1969.
Francis Holcroft by will dated c. 1690 is supposed to have left land in Sutton, Isle of Ely, for the Independent congregations of Great Eversden and Barrington. (fn. 383) In 1774 the charity was distributed to the Great Eversden congregation and, apparently, to the Baptist congregation of Great Gransden (Hunts.). (fn. 384) The land, c. 8 a. in 1827, yielded £9 10s. in 1837, when it was recommended that Gransden should continue to receive £1 15s. a year and Great Eversden and Barrington half the residue each. (fn. 385) In 1941 Great Eversden and Barrington received £3 10s. net each, and Great Gransden £1 10s. The land was sold for £500 in 1953, and accumulated income amounted to c. £366 in 1969. (fn. 386)
A schoolmaster was recorded in 1601, 1610, when he was also the stipendiary curate, and 1616. (fn. 387) There was a school in 1719 (fn. 388) which by 1724 was in association with the S.P.C.K. (fn. 389) In 1730 it was supported partly by subscription and partly by Trinity College, (fn. 390) which continued to give it £5 or £6 a year in the 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 391) It was evidently held in the church. (fn. 392) There were 12 pupils in 1818, (fn. 393) and in 1833 there was another day-school which was supported by parents, each school having about 15 children. In the same year 90 children attended a dissenting Sunday school, which had a lending library, (fn. 394) and two small dissenting dame schools were recorded in 1836. A dissenting day-school with 38 children and a dissenting Sunday school with 58 survived in 1873. (fn. 395)
The incumbent started a Sunday school in 1836, (fn. 396) and in 1839 a National school was built on part of the glebe with the aid of a grant from the National Society, (fn. 397) apparently to replace the Church day-school. In 1851 it was supported principally by Trinity College, the vicar, and John Bendyshe, (fn. 398) and in 1859 a new schoolroom was built at the north end of the existing building. (fn. 399) In that year average attendance was 57, the day-school teacher was not certificated, and an evening school was held in the building. (fn. 400)
An annual government grant was received regularly after 1872, (fn. 401) when there was accommodation for 127, (fn. 402) the vicar made up a deficit of £82, and the leading ratepayers agreed a voluntary school rate. In 1873 there was a certificated mistress, and school pence were charged on a graduated scale. (fn. 403) Both the day-school and the Sunday school were attended by 110 children. (fn. 404)
A school board was formed in 1878 (fn. 405) at the request of the vicar, because of the difficulty in retaining a certificated teacher. (fn. 406) By 1879 the northern classroom of the 1839 building was used for the infants, and the southern classroom formed part of the teacher's house. In the same year the school buildings and the teacher's house were let to the school board for 5s. a year. (fn. 407) Religious instruction was reserved; (fn. 408) in 1885 the Chapel children attended the Church class, (fn. 409) which was still held in 1897. (fn. 410) Irregular attendance was recorded between 1889 and 1899, (fn. 411) when the average attendance was 89. (fn. 412) There was an evening school with 33 pupils in 1900–1. (fn. 413) In 1903 the school reverted to being a National School, although the County Council opposed the change and withheld salaries and supplies for about eight weeks. The school thereafter became a non-provided school. (fn. 414) There were 77 children in 1906, (fn. 415) and in 1937–8 average attendance was 52. (fn. 416) The school became Controlled in 1954, (fn. 417) and its buildings were enlarged c. 1968. In 1970 there were 76 children, those over 11 going to the Melbourn village college. (fn. 418)
Charities for the Poor.
John Prescott, by deed in 1508, gave property later described as the Town House or Gilbards with an adjoining close and land called the Town Marsh, (fn. 419) which produced c. £4 net in 1788. (fn. 420) Thomas Lane, by will proved in 1546, left the rent of a house and about 3 a. on trust to pay the taxes of the poor; (fn. 421) in the 1590s a rival title was claimed under the will of Henry Lancaster, (fn. 422) who was later said to have given the property; in 1788 net income was £1 19s. Robert Casebolt, apparently, in 1600 gave 6 a. in Barrington for the poor, which produced c. £2 net in 1788. (fn. 423) In 1713 2 a. of unknown provenance were conveyed for the repair of the causeway and the hayward's wages. Those four properties formed the Town Estate in 1782, when the first three were conveyed on trust for the poor, and the fourth on the trusts of 1713. The Town Estate was allotted 19½ a. at inclosure, and in exchange for 3½ a. allotted by the Foxton inclosure award of 1830 received a cottage and land adjoining Barrington Green; a new double cottage was built in 1834. In 1837 the Town Estate and the Church Estate were apparently administered together. Combined gross income was £32 15s., of which £28 15s. was spent on coal, distributed amongst the poor of the parish indiscri- minately. About £341 had been spent on coal since c. 1813. A Scheme of 1879 named the combined charities as the Town and Church Estate Charities. The Church Estate was established as a separate ecclesiastical charity by order of the Charity Commissioners in 1895. Between 1880 and 1900 it was difficult to let the 22 a. field belonging to the charity. The rent had declined to £7 a year by 1899, but increased to £9 10s. before 1911. The field had been unlet for two years by 1939, when it was requisitioned by the county agricultural committee. It was sold for £257 c. 1954, of which £221 was invested in stock for the Town Estate, and £36 for the Church Estate. In 1962 orchards between the Green and Boot Lane were sold for £1,400. In 1966–7 about £23 10s. was spent on coal and £237 10s. on rethatching the two cottages. Since 1968 the charity has been distributed in coal at Christmas.
In 1837 about one rood in the Green, reputed to belong to the parish, was let for 15s., added to the coal fund. The Green apparently produced no charity income in the years before 1917, when fees for grazing began to be collected: (fn. 424) £20 from that source in 1927, £11 in 1931, and £17 5s. in 1957–8 was spent on coal.
William Hunnington, by will proved in 1599, left 40s. to the use of the poor, (fn. 425) of which no later record has been found.