A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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CARLTON CUM WILLINGHAM
The modern parish of Carlton, (fn. 1) covering 2,415 a. (fn. 2) and lying 10 miles east-south-east of Cambridge, is derived from two of the three villages, hidated together in 1086, of Carlton, Willingham, and Brinkley. (fn. 3) The three were still sometimes grouped together for administrative purposes until the 14th century, (fn. 4) although they had formed independent parishes ecclesiastically before 1200. Willingham and Carlton parishes were united in the 15th century, the combination being sometimes in the 16th called Willingham with Carlton, (fn. 5) and officially until the 1950s Carlton cum Willingham. (fn. 6) The south-eastern corner, containing the demesne of Little Carlton manor, was entered in Domesday under Weston Colville, (fn. 7) with which it was occasionally linked in feudal documents until 1316. (fn. 8) The boundary with Weston Colville was slightly adjusted after 1612, (fn. 9) and when Weston was inclosed in 1778 the allotments for copyholds of Carlton manor, which paid tithes to Carlton rectory, were concentrated in Weston Brook field, south of Willingham Green, an area thenceforth reckoned as part of Carlton lordship and parish. (fn. 10) Some 60 a. of Norney farm, by the eastern boundary, remained a detached part of Brinkley lordship and parish until transferred to Carlton in 1886. (fn. 11)
The parish stretches for 5½ miles from the old Newmarket road south-eastwards, gradually widening, towards the Suffolk boundary. It lies mainly upon the chalk, overlaid in the south-eastern part by boulder clay. The ground slopes gradually upwards from c. 100 ft. near Six Mile Bottom at the north-western end to c. 370 ft. north of Willingham Green. The north-west part drains northward into Brinkley, by a water-course, which further upstream marks the Weston Colville boundary for a mile. South-eastward the land dips below 300 ft. to form the narrow valley down which the river Stour runs north-eastward into Suffolk; it then rises again to a height of over 350 ft., upon which Carlton church stands, and, after another dip, to over 375 ft. at Little Carlton.
The high ground along the eastern boundary was well wooded in the early Middle Ages. In 1086 there was woodland for 124 pigs. (fn. 12) Furthest north lay Carlton wood, where commercial felling was recorded c. 1580. (fn. 13) It still covered 148 a. in 1767, (fn. 14) but 19th-century clearances had reduced it by the 1880s to 25 a. (fn. 15) South of it lay a wood belonging c. 1225 to the lord of Brinkley, (fn. 16) with which manor it remained until purchased by the lord of Carlton in 1597, when already mostly cleared. (fn. 17) In 1767 its former area comprised the 60 a. forming the northern half of Norney farm. (fn. 18) The 60-acre wood belonging to Willingham immediately to the south had been assarted and inclosed by the early 13th century. It then adjoined the lord of Little Carlton's wood, (fn. 19) later called Lophams wood, covering 32½ a. in 1612 (fn. 20) and 33½ a. in 1942. (fn. 21) Furthest south, by the boundary with Weston, was the king's wood. Henry III granted it in 1227 to the Templars, (fn. 22) who had cleared most of it by 1300, but still employed a woodward there in 1307. (fn. 23)
Settlement in the parish was confined to the southeastern part, where scattered groups of dwellings were surrounded by ancient inclosures, probably taken in from the woodland. The north-western part was covered by heath and open fields, which remained under a triennial rotation until inclosure in 1800. The name Willingham, the dwelling of Willa's folk, (fn. 24) combined with its location on the road linking several other villages in the hundred, suggests that it may be an older settlement than Carlton. The latter, whose name might be taken to imply the dependence of its ceorls on another vill, (fn. 25) was first recorded in 989. (fn. 26) In 1086, however, Carlton had an enumerated population of 18, three times that of Willingham. No population was returned for what became Little Carlton. (fn. 27) Carlton and Willingham possibly contained 28 taxpayers in 1327, (fn. 28) but by 1428 there were only 4 householders at Willingham and 4 at Carlton. (fn. 29) There were still only 8 taxpayers in the parish in 1524, (fn. 30) but 22 households by 1563. (fn. 31) The population may have risen rapidly to 200 or more by 1600, thereafter fluctuating between 180 and 200 until 1700, (fn. 32) and then apparently declining. In 1676 there were 145 adults, (fn. 33) and in 1728 42 families with 180 members. (fn. 34) Numbers grew quickly from 229 in 1801 to 363 by 1821 and a peak of 469 in 1851. After 1871 the population declined steadily, falling by 1931 to 222, and although swelled to 266 in 1951 by displaced persons living in disused military hutments it numbered only c. 140 in the 1960s. (fn. 35)
In the 18th century and probably in the 17th the older houses lay in three or four small groups, (fn. 36) apart from the isolated farmsteads such as Lophams Hall and Cockshot, (fn. 37) later Cocksedge, (fn. 38) Farm. Furthest west was Willingham Green, where c. 8 houses stood in 1767 around a green narrowing eastward. About 1 mile to the south-east a group of cottages, c. 7 in 1800, lay by a lane running north from the church and rectory. At a place called in 1800 Hammonds, and later Stocks, (fn. 39) Green that lane met the road from Brinkley, curving uphill from Rayners Bridge over the Stour, recorded c. 1260, (fn. 40) and down again eastward towards Carlton Hall Farm. Houses and cottages, perhaps 5 c. 1800, stood at intervals along that road. South of the church, at Little Carlton Green, there were by 1612 c. 4 houses. The number of houses in the parish may have shrunk after 1700. About 50 dwellings were recorded in 1666 and 45 in 1674, (fn. 41) but only 34 houses for 44 families in 1801. (fn. 42) The later increase in population was met by subdividing existing buildings, one house being converted into three cottages and a cottage at Willingham Green into four. (fn. 43) New building, raising the number of houses to 97 by 1871, occurred especially along the road from Brinkley to Hall Farm, where there were then 28 dwellings. About 24 stood at Willingham Green, probably 16 near the church, and 17 at Little Carlton Green. (fn. 44) Thereafter the various settlements shrank, especially that at Little Carlton Green, and there were only 62 houses in 1901 and 49 in 1961. (fn. 45)
In the 19th century each settlement had its own public house. The Carpenter's Arms or Axe and Saw at Stocks Green, (fn. 46) kept by a carpenter in 1782, (fn. 47) survived until 1922, (fn. 48) and the Rose and Crown at Willingham Green until after 1961. (fn. 49) All had closed by 1975. In the mid 19th century the parish had a resident doctor. (fn. 50)
Manors and Other Estates.
About 989 Alfhelm Poga left land at Carlton to his wife. (fn. 51) Before 1066 4 hides there belonged to Earl Alfgar and 2 at Willingham to King Edward's thegn Tochi. (fn. 52) The Carlton manor is said to have been given by the Conqueror's wife, Queen Maud, to Gundreda, wife of William de Warenne (d. 1088), to endow William's Cluniac foundation at Lewes. In 1086 the abbot of Cluny held the 4 hides of Warenne. They were included among the lands which Warenne granted to Lewes priory, (fn. 53) to which also Walter de Grandcourt gave the 2 hides at Willingham, once Tochi's, which he had held of William de Warenne in 1086. (fn. 54) The combined manors, called GREAT CARLTON or CARLTON AND WILLINGHAM, augmented by some smaller gifts of land in the 12th century, (fn. 55) and held of the Warennes in free alms, (fn. 56) remained with Lewes priory until the Dissolution. (fn. 57) About 1200 the manor was at farm for a long term to Jocelin of Walpole, whose son Henry released it to the priory. (fn. 58) In 1346 the prior leased it for 20 years at a nominal rent to Sir Walter de Crek and his brother John, a clergyman, in survivorship. (fn. 59)
After the priory's surrender in 1537 (fn. 60) all its lands were granted in 1538 to Thomas Cromwell. (fn. 61) In 1540 he sold Carlton manor to Sir Thomas Elyot, to whom the Crown confirmed it after Cromwell's attainder. (fn. 62) When Elyot died in 1546 his heir was his sister Margery's son Richard Puttenham, but his widow Margaret held Carlton for life. (fn. 63) She married the lawyer James Dyer, knighted as Speaker in 1553 and chief justice of the Common Pleas 1559–82. (fn. 64) In 1552 Puttenham agreed to the settlement of Carlton upon Margaret and Dyer in survivorship, with remainder jointly to Puttenham's brother George and Margaret's brother Anthony Aborough for their lives, (fn. 65) and sold his reversionary interest to Hugh Stewkley, a lawyer from Marsh (Som.). Stewkley bought out George Puttenham's rights in 1559. (fn. 66) Margaret died in 1569, (fn. 67) but Dyer survived until 1582, (fn. 68) when Stewkley entered upon a moiety of the manor, (fn. 69) the other half being still held by Aborough (d. c. 1600) at Stewkley's death in 1589. Stewkley's son and heir Thomas (fn. 70) bought the 60-acre enclave of Brinkley manor, later included in Norney farm, from Thomas Stutville in 1597. (fn. 71) He was knighted in 1603. (fn. 72) He was succeeded in 1639 by his son Hugh, (fn. 73) created a baronet in 1627, who died in 1642. His son and heir Sir Hugh (fn. 74) mortgaged the Carlton estate in 1668, (fn. 75) and sold it early in 1676 to Sir John James (fn. 76) (d. 1676). Sir John devised his estates to his nephew James Cane, who was to take the surname James. (fn. 77)
Sir Cane James (cr. Bt. 1682) (fn. 78) and his son John sold Carlton in 1720 to John Goodden Woolfe, who died in 1742 leaving the manor to his brother Marsh Woolfe. (fn. 79) Marsh, dying in 1748, left it to his sister Margaret's son Thomas Brand of the Hoo, in Kimpton (Herts.). (fn. 80) Brand died in 1770, leaving his lands to his son Thomas (fn. 81) (d. 1794). (fn. 82) The son had married the heiress to the barony of Dacre, to which his son Thomas succeeded in 1819. The Carlton estate descended with the barony, after Thomas's death without issue in 1851, to his brother Henry Otway Trevor (formerly Brand) (d. 1853) and the latter's sons T. C. W. Trevor (d.s.p. 1890) and H. B. W. Brand, Speaker 1872–84, created Viscount Hampden (d. 1892). Hampden's son and heir, Henry Robert Brand (d. 1906), (fn. 83) had sold Carlton Grange farm, comprising the north-western half of the parish by 1904 to A. C. Hall, with whose Six Mile Bottom estate it passed thereafter. (fn. 84) Thomas William Brand, the 3rd viscount, had by 1914 transferred Carlton Hall farm, to the south-east, to J. A. Brand, (fn. 85) and sold Church farm c. 1920, partly to C. F. Ryder, partly to its tenant C. L. Long. (fn. 86)
Lewes priory's manorial farmstead probably stood in the 200-ft.-square moat, the remains of which adjoin Hall Farm, (fn. 87) so named by c. 1600. (fn. 88) A Georgian farm-house there (fn. 89) was demolished and replaced in the 1960s.
In 1086 Durand held of Hardwin de Scalers 1 hide which had formerly belonged to Earl Alfgar's man Thurgar, and two knights of Hardwin held ½ hide previously occupied by three sokemen of Earls Alfgar and Harold. From those holdings, entered partly under Weston, (fn. 90) was derived the manor of LITTLE CARLTON, also called BARBEDORS and later LOPHAMS. It depended on the Scalers barony in the 13th century, (fn. 91) being held in 1269 of the Frevilles, heirs of Hardwin's son Richard; (fn. 92) a fee at Carlton was held of the Frevilles' half-barony until after 1400. (fn. 93) By 1526, however, Little Carlton was supposedly held of the Warennes' heirs. (fn. 94) William de Criketot owned land at Carlton by 1225, (fn. 95) having succeeded his father Heinfrid in 1221, (fn. 96) and died in 1235. His son William (fn. 97) held Little Carlton in demesne c. 1236 (fn. 98) and died holding it in 1269. His son and heir William, (fn. 99) a former rebel, had had his land at Carlton granted to a royal supporter after 1265, but presumably later redeemed it. (fn. 100) He, or perhaps his father, subinfeudated the manor, and he died in 1299, leaving the mesne overlordship to his descendants, (fn. 101) four Williams in four successive generations. They died respectively in 1310, 1343, 1354, and after 1368, the last being a minor who died without issue. (fn. 102)
By 1302 the manor was held in demesne by Roger, son of William Barbedor. (fn. 103) In 1304 Roger settled over 180 a. at Little Carlton on his son William, subject to a life-interest for William Down, clerk. (fn. 104) In 1320 Robert Beverley, clerk, settled the reversion from his death on George Barbedor, presumably William's heir, (fn. 105) who died in 1335 leaving two-thirds of the manor to his young son William, not recorded later. The other third was held by a female William, probably George's mother, and her husband Robert King, (fn. 106) from whom it was successfully claimed in 1346 by Joan, widow of Roger Brown (d. by 1341). Joan declared that William de Criketot, possibly he who died in 1299, had granted it to his daughter Joan (perhaps Roger Barbedor's wife) whose son Walter was her father. (fn. 107) Joan Brown held the Criketot fee in 1346, (fn. 108) and died after 1350. (fn. 109) By 1372 Little Carlton manor had come to John Lopham, (fn. 110) still alive in 1395. (fn. 111) His successor Thomas Lopham, recorded from 1397 (fn. 112) and appointed serjeant-at-law in 1415, (fn. 113) held the manor in 1412 (fn. 114) and died apparently without issue in 1416. (fn. 115) In 1417 Philip Inglefield and his wife Elizabeth alienated Barbedors manor, of Elizabeth's inheritance, to Sir William Fynderne (d. 1445) and others. (fn. 116)
From the time of William's son Sir Thomas the manor remained attached to the Fynderne estate at Weston Colville for 150 years, (fn. 117) and was sold with it to John Lennard. (fn. 118) In 1613 Lennard's greatgrandson Richard, Lord Dacre, sold Little Carlton to Sir Stephen Soame, (fn. 119) lord mayor of London 1598–9, upon whose adjoining estate at Little Thurlow (Suff.) it depended until the 20th century. (fn. 120) Sir Stephen died in 1620 leaving Little Carlton, charged with paying £60 a year to his alms-house and school at Little Thurlow, (fn. 121) to his son William, (fn. 122) later knighted, who transferred Little Carlton and Little Thurlow in his lifetime to his son Stephen (d. 1659). Stephen devised them, subject to a life-interest for his father, to his son William, (fn. 123) created a baronet in 1685, who died in 1686. He left his lands to his uncle Bartholomew Soame, (fn. 124) who sold most of the Little Carlton demesne to various farmers and the manorial rights to William Wilkes, lord in 1704. John Abbot was named as lord in 1716. (fn. 125) The estate was afterwards recovered either by Stephen Soame (d. 1727), son of Bartholomew's brother John, or by Stephen's son Stephen, (fn. 126) who probably possessed it by 1734. (fn. 127) He died in 1764, devising Thurlow and Carlton to his elder son Henry, a clergyman until 1771. (fn. 128) Henry Soame died in 1813, having entailed the family estates on Gen. Charles Stevenson, (fn. 129) apparently the illegitimate son of Henry's younger brother Stephen Soame (d. 1771). On the general's death without lawful issue in 1828 (fn. 130) the estate passed under Henry's will to a distant relative from Tobago, Stephen Jenyns Soame, who died the same year. S. J. Soame's son and heir John Frith Soame sold the western part of the Carlton property, Cocksedge farm, to John Hall of Weston Colville, and died in 1833, leaving the remainder, Lophams farm, to his mother Elizabeth Soame for life, then to his sisters Elizabeth Poole Soame and Catherine Maria Soame. (fn. 131) Mrs. Soame died probably after 1855. (fn. 132) Catherine died probably between 1874 and 1887, Elizabeth in 1889, both unmarried. The estate passed to a distant relation by marriage, Roger Bulwer Jenyns of Bottisham, who sold it c. 1900 to C. F. Ryder, a Leeds brewer. Ryder acquired c. 1920 200 a. of Church farm, (fn. 133) and died in 1942. In 1943 Lophams farm, then covering 395 a., was sold with his Thurlow lands to Mr. R. A. Vestey, who still owned it in the 1970s. (fn. 134)
Little Carlton manor-house presumably stood within the oval moat, 300 ft. across and up to 12 ft. deep, south-east of the church, by which Lophams farm-house stands. (fn. 135) The farm-house derives from a 15th-century house where Sir Thomas Fynderne probably, (fn. 136) and his son Sir William certainly, sometimes dwelt. In Sir William's time it included a chapel and parlour and was surrounded by gardens and a park, (fn. 137) the latter probably covering 78 a. (fn. 138) That house, timber-framed and comprising a hall and two cross-wings, was remodelled, probably after 1582, for use as a farm-house, one wing being demolished and the other curtailed, and additions were made on the north side in the 17th century. (fn. 139) In 1975 it was empty and under threat of demolition. (fn. 140)
In 1203 Herbert de Alençon (d. after 1238) held at Carlton, apparently in right of his wife Margaret, land (fn. 141) which was probably attached to the 1⅓ fee which he held c. 1236 at Swaffham Prior of the Scalers barony. (fn. 142) The yardland held at Carlton in 1086 by Wihomarc of Count Alan (fn. 143) presumably passed with Weston Moynes manor. (fn. 144)
In 1227 Henry III granted to the Knights Templars his wood at Carlton called the king's wood, kept by Roger Leverer. (fn. 145) The Templars later attached it to their manor, depending on Wilbraham preceptory, at Little Thurlow. In the king's hands from 1307, pending their suppression, it was leased from 1312 to Sir John Botetourt. (fn. 146) By 1338 it had been transferred to the Hospitallers, who then owned c. 180 a. in Carlton. (fn. 147) Following their dissolution in 1540 that estate, called CARLTON AND THURLOW manor, was sold in 1541 to Thomas Barnardiston (fn. 148) (d. by 1553). Thomas's son Sir Thomas sold 86 a. at Carlton to Sir Stephen Soame in 1594, and died in 1619. Sir Thomas's grandson and heir Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston sold the remaining 70 a. south of Lophams wood in 1626 to his brother-in-law William Soame, (fn. 149) with whose land in Little Carlton they descended thenceforth. In 1943 71 a. in Carlton were still attached to Temple End farm in Little Thurlow. (fn. 150)
In 1434 Richard Gatward owned 110 a. at Willingham, (fn. 151) which by 1452 had been acquired, as GATWARDS manor, by Sir Thomas Fynderne. (fn. 152) In 1516 Sir William Fynderne held it, supposedly of William Stutville, lord of Brinkley. (fn. 153) It passed with his Weston estates until 1618 when Richard Lennard, Lord Dacre, sold Gatwards farm of c. 85 a. to Sir Stephen Soame. (fn. 154)
On the 12¾ ploughlands in 1086, including 7 in Great Carlton, 4 in Willingham, and 1¾ in Little Carlton, there were 7¼ demesne plough-teams, while only 4 belonged to the 23 tenants, all but 6 of whom were bordars. No peasants were recorded at Little Carlton, which perhaps lay already mostly in demesne. The reported values of the manors, altogether £13 5s., had not changed since 1066. (fn. 155)
The south-east part of the parish saw much clearing of woodland before 1200; the felling of Willingham wood had by then produced a 'cultura' of 60 a. (fn. 156) Although the fields thus created bore such names as Monkcroft and Woodcroft and had common boundary hedges, they contained the land of several men undivided by hedge or ditch, (fn. 157) and the assarted woodland was subject to rights of common. A grant of land there between 1225 and 1250 included pasture for cattle, pigs, and unlimited sheep wherever the grantor's own beasts could feed. (fn. 158) In the early 13th century Lewes priory bought up much freehold land in those crofts, obtaining releases of common rights and consent to its inclosing and ditching the land acquired. (fn. 159) It was consequently able to turn most of the eastern quarter of the parish into several demesne land, (fn. 160) covering c. 250 a. (fn. 161) South of that land lay the anciently inclosed demesne of Little Carlton manor, (fn. 162) covering in 1612 c. 295 a., apart from woodland. (fn. 163) Northwest of Carlton Green lay some small open fields: (fn. 164) beyond the church and Pilcroft (c. 70 a. held in severalty by 1767) lay Carlton Crofts (fn. 165) (c. 35 a.); across the Stour Little Low (fn. 166) and Brook fields (fn. 167) (together c. 146 a.), and north of Willingham Green Kimwell, (fn. 168) later Kimmadge, and Mill fields (fn. 169) (together c. 35 a.) adjoining Brinkley. The names of Little Low, Kimmadge, and Mill fields matched those of adjacent larger fields in that parish, (fn. 170) suggesting that the boundary cut through what had once been an agrarian unit. Scattered among those small fields and closes were various common greens. The largest, Little Carlton Green, covered 17 a. in 1612 (fn. 171) and c. 19 a. in 1800, when Willingham Green amounted to 6 a. One green by the southern boundary was still in 1767 intercommonable with Weston. The main open field lay to the north-west, stretching for 2 miles from Willingham Green to the lord's heath, which was held in severalty by 1767 when it covered c. 140 a. The great field covered almost 800 a. Although land in it was said to lie in various 'wents', (fn. 172) it contained no larger subdivisions for cultivation. It was variously styled Willingham common field, (fn. 173) Willingham Out field, (fn. 174) Carlton Out field, (fn. 175) the Heath field, (fn. 176) or the outer shift, (fn. 177) suggesting that it was not originally included in the regular rotation. In 1767 its south-eastern third was apparently reckoned to belong particularly to Willingham, (fn. 178) but the whole field was owned, cultivated, and pastured by men from the whole parish indifferently. A triennial rotation was followed in the 1790s on the inclosed Norney farm, (fn. 179) and perhaps therefore on the open fields.
Lewes priory had apparently farmed out its whole manor before 1200, (fn. 180) at a time when its free tenants were also granting long leases of their property. (fn. 181) In 1340 340 a. in Carlton, Willingham, and Brinkley were said to lie uncultivated through the impotence of the tenants. (fn. 182) On the small Temple estate the demesne, comprising in 1338 144 a. of arable and 34 a. of grass, (fn. 183) was in hand in 1307. Some 40 a. was sown each year, mainly with wheat and oats. The wheat was sold, or used with pease for liveries to the hired servants, including 2 ploughmen, the oats to feed the plough-beasts, including 3 horses and 5 oxen. A flock of c. 60 sheep fed also on neighbouring Temple estates. Except for ploughingworks, possibly commuted, no labour-services were recorded. (fn. 184) In 1540 the estate was on a 40-year lease to Thomas Chicheley. (fn. 185) Of the other manors, Great Carlton had c. 23 tenants, probably mostly copyholders, in 1642, (fn. 186) and Lophams perhaps 16 tenants in 1655, (fn. 187) whose land lay not near its demesne but in the centre of the parish. (fn. 188) At inclosure in 1800 c. 130 a. were allotted for copyhold of Great Carlton manor, but only 3½ a. for that of Lophams. (fn. 189)
In 1086 there were 400 sheep in two flocks at Great Carlton and Willingham. (fn. 190) A flock of 80 sheep was stolen at Little Carlton in 1344. (fn. 191) In 1447 over 1,000 fleeces were sold from the Fynderne manor there. (fn. 192) In 1625 the tenants of Lophams were ordered not to put sheep on the commons except between 1 November and 10 April, and the 7 men entitled to keep 20 cattle there were forbidden to let their stints to outsiders. (fn. 193) In the 18th century the lord of Great Carlton and his farmers were said to have the sole right of sheep-walk over the commons, but others were entitled to put cattle without stint on to the stubble after harvest, and their sheep also from 1 November. (fn. 194) In 1751 owners at Willingham might put 1 bullock for each house on Brook field. (fn. 195)
Sir William Fynderne probably had land at Little Carlton in hand at his death in 1516, for he had his own corn and cattle there. (fn. 196) In the 1530s the Great Carlton demesne was farmed by Gilbert Claydon, who had succeeded his father as both lessee and bailiff. He sub-let most of the arable, reserving for himself 160 a. of inclosed pasture. Both his father and he allegedly inclosed commons without licence, converted arable to pasture, and assimilated their copyhold to their freehold land. In 1541 Sir Thomas Elyot, whose purchase Claydon had tried to obstruct, turned him out. (fn. 197) By the 1590s Lophams farm, covering c. 200 a., was on lease to Margaret Elrington (d. 1626), grandmother of Sir Giles Alington (d. 1638). Other farms belonging to Lophams manor covered c. 170 a. (fn. 198) The Lennards substantially increased their rents after 1608, raising that of Lophams farm from £20 c. 1595 to £100 by 1618 and the total rental from £53 to almost £178. (fn. 199) About 1700 Bartholomew Soame sold from the Lophams estate two farms covering 150 a. of arable and 66 a. of pasture and heath, (fn. 200) but the estate had been reunited by 1800. (fn. 201)
By 1767 the Brand estate covered half the parish. Its 1,235 a. comprised, besides 162½ a. of wood and 137 a. of heath, 141½ a. of inclosed arable and 337 a. of inclosed pasture, with c. 462 a. of open field, including c. 320 a. in the large north-western field. It was divided among three larger farms, each with an equal share, c. 150 a., of open-field land, and three smaller ones, Norney farm of 125 a. being entirely inclosed. The principal farmsteads all stood among the eastern inclosures. (fn. 202) Wick Farm, recorded by 1639, (fn. 203) standing at the west end of Willingham Green, had 183 a., Church Farm 339 a., and Hall Farm c. 228 a. There were also c. 68 a. in neighbouring parishes. (fn. 204) At inclosure in 1800 Thomas Brand bought an estate including 150 a. of copyhold, of which 92 a. had passed by inheritance from the Lawsells, tenants c. 1730, to the Long family of Brinkley. (fn. 205) He also bought in 1801 30 a. once belonging to the Symonds family. (fn. 206) In 1833 Lord Dacre acquired c. 35 a. belonging at inclosure to the Frost family. (fn. 207)
An inclosure Act was obtained in 1799, (fn. 208) and the open fields had been divided and the award executed by May 1800. (fn. 209) The area involved did not include the former Weston Brook field, inclosed with Weston Colville in 1777, nor that half of Norney farm belonging to Brinkley. (fn. 210) Apart from c. 180 a. of woodland there were c. 943 a. of ancient inclosures of which Thomas Brand owned 446 a. and Henry Soame 412 a. Except for the rector's 28 a. of inclosed glebe, none of the other 19 owners had more than 10 a. of inclosures, most only 1 a. or less. (fn. 211) Of 1,055 a. of open fields and commons Thomas Brand was allotted 875 a., (fn. 212) Soame only 4 a. Five other landowners with 12 a. or more shared c. 105 a., and c. 20 smallholders 55 a. (fn. 213)
The inclosure was at first followed by prosperity, rents rising from 6s. to 16s. an acre by 1806, and even the cottagers could profitably plough their 2-a. allotments. (fn. 214) Thomas Brand, having obtained the whole north-western field, built there a new farmstead called Carlton Grange, let in 1802 with 780 a. The first lessee, the Revd. N. C. Lane, (fn. 215) installed a flour-mill and a threshing-machine drawn by six horses, and c. 1806 was following a rotation of turnips, barley, tares, and barley again. In 1814 he left behind 131 a. of wheat, 208 a. of barley, 85 a. of oats, and 364 a. of grass and fallow. (fn. 216) The next lessee, John Frost, took the farm at twice the previous rent and was bankrupt by 1817. (fn. 217) The lessee of Hall farm (206 a.) owed in 1823 five years' rent. (fn. 218) By the 1830s a regular four-course rotation was followed on the Brand estate farms. (fn. 219) The number of sheep on those farms increased after inclosure from 400 to 500. (fn. 220) Five shepherds were working at Carlton in the 1860s. (fn. 221)
In 1851 (fn. 222) the five large tenant-farms included c. 2,530 a., while three smaller farmers occupied only 48 a. Carlton Grange farm, occupied from 1817 (fn. 223) until c. 1875 by the Nash family, covered c. 830 a. in 1851, but only 590 a. in 1912, having been separated from Crick's farm (237 a.) to the south-east. Both were kept in hand from 1904 until the 1930s. Hall farm (c. 238 a. in 1871) was leased from the 1820s to 1912 to the Nice family, and Church farm (1,040 a. in 1851) south of it was let from 1810 to William Long, with whose descendants its lease remained until C. L. Long bought 300 a. of it in 1920. Lophams farm, enlarged from 308 a. in 1871 to 395 a. by 1942, was let between 1880 and 1900 with Church farm, and subsequently managed by a farm-bailiff for C. F. Ryder. (fn. 224) Cocksedge farm covered 95 a. when bought by John Hall in 1830, (fn. 225) and 192 a. in 1912. Only c. 80 a. of the 1,120 a. then belonging to the Six Mile Bottom estate in Carlton was kept as permanent grass.
A brick-kiln mentioned in 1734 and 1770 (fn. 226) was probably that which gave its name to Brick-kiln field near the southern boundary. (fn. 227) The village had few craftsmen, only 5 families being dependent on crafts or trade in 1811 and 8 in 1831. (fn. 228) In 1861 there were only two shoemakers, a wheelwright, and a carpenter, (fn. 229) and hardly any trades were recorded later. About 1830 there were 88 farm-labourers. (fn. 230) In 1851, when there were c. 80 adult labourers living at Carlton, the larger farms provided work for 111 men and 25 boys. (fn. 231) In 1871 three men were employed driving agricultural engines. (fn. 232) Except for a few farmers the whole population was said in 1897 to be farm-labourers. (fn. 233) In 1961 the only local work was on the farms, and others went to work in neighbouring towns. (fn. 234)
Mill field was presumably named after the mill near by in Brinkley. A mill conveyed with Great Carlton manor in the late 17th and 18th centuries (fn. 235) may be connected with the smock-mill attached to one farm in 1778. (fn. 236) No mill was recorded at Carlton after 1815.
In 1299 the prior of Lewes successfully claimed by prescription view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and of ale, and infangthief, and to be quit of suit to the county and hundred. (fn. 237) About 1540 Sir Thomas Elyot was still holding three-weekly courts baron for Great Carlton manor, (fn. 238) whose annual session in the 17th century was styled a view of frankpledge and court baron. After 1650 the recorded business was almost all concerned with copyhold transfers. (fn. 239) The court still occasionally elected constables, (fn. 240) and a pinder as late as 1740, (fn. 241) and it repeated regulations on common rights in 1751. (fn. 242) Court rolls survive, with gaps, for 1639–1766, followed by a court book for 1770–1834. (fn. 243) The court baron of Lophams manor passed and enforced rules on common rights and chose a hayward c. 1625, and renewed the by-laws in 1664. Court rolls survive for 1625–8, 1655, 1664, 1704, and 1716. (fn. 244)
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries the constables, churchwardens, and chief inhabitants were sometimes appointed to manage legacies for the poor. (fn. 245) In 1788 the overseers occupied half a cottage, (fn. 246) perhaps the old poorhouse. (fn. 247) The cost of poor-relief, c. £100 a year in the 1770s and 1780s, had doubled by 1803, when 20 people received regular payments, and again by 1813, (fn. 248) seldom thereafter falling much below £400 and occasionally, as in 1826, exceeding £500. (fn. 249) About 1830 up to ten labourers were paid from the poor-rate for work on the roads, and others were distributed among the farmers proportionately to the size of farms. (fn. 250) Although in 1832 £184, almost half the expenditure, went to widows, children, the old, and the sick, £57 was paid to paupers employed by the parish. (fn. 251) From 1835 Carlton was included in the Linton poor-law union, (fn. 252) and as part of the Linton R.D. was in 1934 incorporated in the South Cambridgeshire R.D., (fn. 253) being included in South Cambridgeshire in 1974.
Carlton church was probably included in William de Warenne's endowment of Lewes priory, (fn. 254) to which Archbishop Ralph confirmed it in 1121. (fn. 255) It was possibly lost before c. 1200, when Fulk son of William released to Lewes all his inherited claims to Carlton church and advowson. (fn. 256) The priory usually presented rectors from c. 1225 (fn. 257) until the early 15th century, (fn. 258) although in 1346 John, earl of Surrey, was named as patron, (fn. 259) and in 1349–50 Sir Walter and John de Crek, lessees of Carlton manor, presented. (fn. 260) In 1442, 1443, and 1445 Sir William Fynderne presented, (fn. 261) and in 1489 his grandson Sir William, claiming the Weston Colville advowson, may have obstructed presentation by the priory to Carlton, for the bishop then collated to it. (fn. 262) In 1492 Lewes leased the advowson of Carlton rectory to Sir William and his son William for their lives. (fn. 263) After the Dissolution the advowson was sold with the priory's manor to Sir Thomas Elyot, (fn. 264) and passed with it to the Stewkleys and their successors (fn. 265) until the early 19th century. The lords granted turns to present to Henry Goldsmith, who presented a kinsman in 1591, (fn. 266) to Dr. Richard Palmer, patron in 1619, (fn. 267) and to Thomas Clarke who presented himself or a namesake in 1772. (fn. 268) Between 1810 and 1830 the advowson was acquired by trustees for W. S. P. Wilder, who presented himself in 1832 (fn. 269) and died in 1863. It remained until the 1950s with trustees for his family, (fn. 270) who several times appointed Wilder's kinsmen, such as Thomas Wilder Sewell, rector 1863–9, John Trafalgar Wilder, rector 1869– 81, and P. H. E. Wilder, rector 1935–43. (fn. 271) From 1953 Carlton was combined with Burrough Green and Brinkley under a single incumbent; its patron, from 1965 Mr. R. A. Vestey, was entitled to present at every third turn. (fn. 272)
Before 1095 Walter de Grandcourt, lord of Willingham, gave Willingham church with its endowment of 1 yardland with his manor to Lewes priory, (fn. 273) which thenceforth possessed the church and its advowson. Rectors of Willingham, recorded from 1254, (fn. 274) were presented by the priory or its nominees, the last recorded presentation being in 1406. (fn. 275) Probably between 1428 and 1445 (fn. 276) the two benefices were united; in 1487 Willingham church was served by an impoverished chaplain. (fn. 277) In 1489 a rector was collated to the living of Carlton with Willingham. (fn. 278) About 1540 the advowson was described as that of Carlton church with Willingham chapel annexed, (fn. 279) and rectors were thenceforth presented for a single parish.
William de Warenne's grant to Lewes priory included the tithe of his demesne at Carlton. (fn. 280) In 1225 the priory recovered from the rector the tithe of former Warenne demesne land, thereupon leasing it to him for 6s. a year. (fn. 281) In 1254 the priory had portions of 4 marks from Willingham and 2 marks from Carlton church, (fn. 282) not recorded after 1340. (fn. 283) Later it retained a tithe portion from the Little Carlton demesne, possibly granted by Richard de Scalers. (fn. 284) About 1225 it vindicated against the rector its right to tithes worth £2 a year from William de Criketot's demesne, (fn. 285) and c. 1500 was supposedly entitled to two sheaves to the rector's three from 90 a. of that demesne. (fn. 286) In practice it received a portion of 1 mark called Barbedors, which, with a pension of 14s. 4d., remained annexed to Great Carlton manor (fn. 287) until 1800. The payments were then extinguished in return for a small reduction in the titherent-charge on Carlton Hall farm. (fn. 288) The rector of Brinkley also exchanged his tithe from 48 a. in Carlton for that from 22 a. in Brinkley, previously tithing to Carlton, and a rent-charge of £7 5s. (fn. 289)
In 1615 the rector of Carlton's glebe comprised 25 a. of closes, including the 2 a. of Willingham chapel yard, and 28 a. of open-field land. (fn. 290) He was allotted c. 3 a. for glebe and c. 12 a. for tithes arising in Weston Colville at its inclosure in 1778, (fn. 291) and c. 13 a. for glebe when Carlton was inclosed in 1800. (fn. 292) His glebe amounted in 1887 to 35½ a., (fn. 293) which he retained in 1975. (fn. 294) The tithes of Carlton were commuted at inclosure for a rent-charge of £256. (fn. 295)
Carlton rectory was taxed at 12 marks gross c. 1217, 20 in 1276, and 15 in 1291. Willingham was at those dates worth only 7½, 10, and 9 marks, (fn. 296) and because his income was low the rector was dispensed in 1263 to hold another cure of souls. (fn. 297) The united living was assessed at £9 in 1535, (fn. 298) and was worth £95 in 1650, (fn. 299) £140 by 1750, (fn. 300) and £287 net c. 1830. (fn. 301)
The rectory stood in 1615 just south of the church, in the northern corner of an 11-a. close with a 7-a. grove attached. (fn. 302) In 1750 it was surrounded by a moat, (fn. 303) of which one side survives and in which a rector was drowned in 1832. (fn. 304) Thomas Clarke, rector 1772–93, had by 1783 extensively rebuilt the old and irregular house, (fn. 305) which remained in use until c. 1930. (fn. 306) From 1937 the property was used as dogkennels. (fn. 307)
Sir William Fynderne (d. 1516) provided in his will for a friar from Cambridge to assist the rector at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun, presumably for confessions and communions, and left 25s. a year for masses in Willingham church every other day so long as the law allowed. (fn. 308)
Rectors were recorded at Carlton from the 1220s, including a cardinal's nephew c. 1225 (fn. 309) and possibly a pluralist chancellor of the Exchequer c. 1306. (fn. 310) In 1337 the rector was absent, serving the prior of Lewes. (fn. 311) A new rector, thrice admonished to reside in 1375, resigned after three years. A chaplain was then serving in the church. (fn. 312) Another rector was licensed in 1408 to farm out the church during a three-year absence. (fn. 313) Andrew Natures, rector 1523– 46, presumably related to Edmund Natures, executor of Sir William Fynderne, was a pluralist, in 1539 serving the earl of Westmorland. (fn. 314) In 1543 the church was served by a curate paid by Andrew's lessee. (fn. 315) Robert Kent, rector from 1561 until deprived in 1569, (fn. 316) perhaps later joined the Catholic Douai mission. (fn. 317) James Fludd, rector from 1610, was succeeded in 1619 by his brother-in-law Thomas Greek, (fn. 318) some of whose parishioners neglected the thrice-yearly communion in 1638. (fn. 319) Greek retained the living until his death in 1649. (fn. 320) His successor, Robert Sendall, son of the rector of Brinkley, was described in 1650 as an able, preaching minister, (fn. 321) and conformed after 1660, being formally presented in 1662. (fn. 322)
William Stewkley, rector 1679–1711, unrelated to the former patrons, held Carlton from 1693 in plurality with a Suffolk living, and, like his predecessor, employed a curate from the 1680s. He was briefly succeeded by his son John, rector 1711–15. (fn. 323) James Salt, rector from 1720 until he succeeded to Hildersham rectory in 1736, (fn. 324) lived at Chesterton in 1728, employing a neighbouring clergyman to perform services at Carlton twice every Sunday. There were then c. 20 communicants. (fn. 325) The next rector, Allen Cooper, an antiquary, also held Warboys (Hunts.), where he lived, employing the rector of Brinkley's son as curate at Carlton. (fn. 326) Thomas Clarke was resident in 1775, holding one service every Sunday, as did William Boldero, rector 1805– 32, in 1807. Boldero, who usually spent half the year at his other living of Woodford (Essex), also employed a curate. There were then few communicants, (fn. 327) and only up to 16 in 1825. Many parishioners from Willingham then resorted to Brinkley and Weston Colville churches, which were nearer their homes. (fn. 328) W. S. P. Wilder from 1835 also held Great Bradley (Suff.), whose advowson also belonged to his family. (fn. 329) He was resident at Carlton in 1836, and had c. 20 communicants. (fn. 330) In 1851 he held two services every Sunday, and claimed an afternoon attendance of 130, besides 20 Sunday-school children. (fn. 331) In the 1890s many, after going to church, attended dissenting meetings in the evening. (fn. 332) Carlton was again held with Great Bradley from 1935 to 1952. (fn. 333)
The church of ST. PETER, (fn. 334) built of field stones with stone and brick dressings, comprises only a chancel and nave with south porch. The thick nave walls are probably 12th-century, part of a window reveal of that period surviving. Spirally carved shafts re-used as window-mullions may come from a Norman doorway. In the nave the south doorway and two south windows, one flat-headed with curvilinear tracery, are 14th-century. New north and west windows were inserted in the nave in the 15th century, when also a crown-post roof was built over the nave, the chancel arch and two-bay chancel were rebuilt, perhaps on a wider scale than before, and a new font was procured. The timber-framed south porch, originally 17th-century, has been much reconstructed. A 15th-century rood-screen, still in place in 1750, (fn. 335) has been re-used to form a vestry in the nave. The long communion table and the pulpit, with arcaded panelling, are early-17th-century. A brass of Sir Thomas Elyot, buried at Carlton in 1546, disappeared after 1640. (fn. 336)
The church was said to be ruinous in 1549, (fn. 337) and has had substantial buttresses added to the sidewalls. There were three bells in 1552, 1750, and 1783, (fn. 338) housed, probably by 1644, (fn. 339) in a bellcot above the west gable. (fn. 340) In 1783 it was ruinous, and the rector proposed to remove it. (fn. 341) When the church was restored in 1885, with F. J. Smith as architect, (fn. 342) the west wall was entirely rebuilt, and a stone Gothic bellcot erected above it, containing as in 1975 two bells. (fn. 343) Both had black-letter inscriptions to the Virgin, and were probably cast at Bury St. Edmunds c. 1500. (fn. 344)
The chapel at Willingham, probably of ALL SAINTS, (fn. 345) stood at the west end of the green, and probably consisted only of a nave and chancel. (fn. 346) It was possibly still in use in 1552, when two chalices, perhaps for two churches, were left for the parish. (fn. 347) Sir James Dyer (d. 1582) converted it temporarily into an alms-house, providing in his will for the almsfolks' maintenance. (fn. 348) Only at the west end did the walls survive to any height in 1750; (fn. 349) the ruins were removed between 1807 and 1851. (fn. 350)
Sir William Fynderne bequeathed in 1516 to Carlton church a gilt chalice from his domestic chapel. (fn. 351) The parish has a cup and paten acquired for the town of Willingham cum Carlton in 1569, a cup and paten of 1732, and a beaker of 1798. (fn. 352) The registers, surviving as fragments for 1588–90, 1610– 17, and 1711–15, are continuous only from 1726. (fn. 353)
Only one family of dissenters at Carlton was recorded in 1728, (fn. 354) and one, of Presbyterians, in 1825. (fn. 355) In 1830 Thomas Hopkins, the Independent minister at Linton, registered for worship a building, probably the Independent chapel at Willingham Green, later said to have been built in 1825. It could hold 120 people in 1851, when a minister held services there on Sunday afternoons. (fn. 356) It was not recorded later. In 1848 a Weston Colville grocer registered at Carlton for the Primitive Methodists a building which in 1851 had 50 seats and standing room for 170 more. The preacher from Saffron Walden, who acted as steward, then claimed an average attendance of 120, sometimes rising to over 160. (fn. 357) The Primitive Methodist chapel may have closed by 1879, (fn. 358) although chapel services, of an unspecified denomination, were still occasionally held in a room in the parish in 1897. (fn. 359) In 1888 a man from West Wickham opened a Salvation Army hall near Carlton Green. (fn. 360) In 1897 it was attracting many people, including some church-goers, (fn. 361) but by 1923 the building was disused. (fn. 362)
Although schoolmasters were licensed at Carlton c. 1580 and in 1617, (fn. 363) the parish had no regular school before 1800. (fn. 364) In 1818 there was one day-school with 14 pupils, (fn. 365) possibly closed by 1825. (fn. 366) In 1824 William Wright left c. £105, received in 1829, and yielding £3 13s. 6d. a year, to support six children at school. (fn. 367) In 1833 the money was being paid to a day-school, with 20 pupils, which was connected with the Sunday school with 40 pupils, started in 1833 and supported by the rector, Lord Dacre, and his farmers. The 22 children at two other day-schools were paid for by their parents. (fn. 368) In 1846 the Sunday school, held in the church, had c. 45 pupils. The Wright bequest, worth £4 a year, was then used by the rector to pay half the salary of the mistress of a dame-school with 12 pupils. It had a schoolroom and adjoining teacher's house, (fn. 369) owned by the parish, probably those still standing at the road junction at Carlton Green. In 1876 the school, by then a National school, was receiving £25 a year from a voluntary rate which continued to be paid until the 1890s, and had 42 pupils, usually taught by one mistress. (fn. 370) Attendance did not rise above the 45 recorded in 1888, (fn. 371) and after 1900 was usually just over 30, (fn. 372) falling by 1922 to 26 and, following reorganization after 1927, to 14. (fn. 373) The school was closed in 1933, the children thenceforth attending Weston Colville and Brinkley schools. (fn. 374) Wright's charity, then yielding £2 12s. 6d. a year, thus lost its object, and £71 had been accumulated by 1975 when a Scheme to benefit the village children was proposed. (fn. 375)
Charities for the Poor.
John Dobido by will proved 1586 left £5, the interest to be distributed to the poor in Lent. (fn. 376) Margaret Elrington by will proved 1627 left £10 for doles to six poor widows on Good Friday. (fn. 377) Nothing more is known of either bequest.
Edward Briggs by will proved 1735 left 10s. a year charged on a house near Carlton Green for the poor. It was being paid in the 1780s, and after an interruption between c. 1815 and 1834 was recovered and in 1837 was being added to money subscribed for the poor at Christmas. (fn. 378) In the 20th century it was sometimes uncertain which property was charged, but the income was still being received in the 1960s and was given to one woman in 1969. (fn. 379)