A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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The parish of East Woodhay contains 5,079 acres, of which 1,586 are arable land, 2,119 are permanent grass and 651 are woods and plantations. (fn. 1) It lies on the Berkshire border and is bounded on the north by the River Enborne; the nearest station is Woodhay on the Didcot, Newbury and Winchester line of the Great Western Railway, 2½ miles north-east. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats; the upper soil varies and the subsoil is chalk.
North End, Heath End and East End with Malverleys, a building of white brick in the Italian style, standing in grounds of about 500 acres, the residence, until his death in October 1910, of Mr. Paul F. Forster, are some of the hamlets in this parish. Near North End is Burlyns House, the residence of Mrs. Lindsey, and Northenby, the residence of Mr. R. Manners Howard Williams, J.P. Hazelby House, the residence of Capt. W. Sandbach, is in the extreme north of the parish, and was at one time occupied by Lady Louisa Howard, who presented five bells and a clock with chimes to the church. Stargroves, south of the village, is.owned by Capt. Sir F. H. W. Carden, bart. Oliver Cromwell stopped at Stargroves after the second battle of Newbury (27 October 1644), and was entertained by the then owner, John Goddard; the basin or china bowl in which his breakfast (toast and ale) was served is in the custody of the rector besides some letters referring to the incident. (fn. 2)
East of Stargroves is Hollington House, rebuilt by Mr. W. P.Taylor, and sold in 1907 to Mr. E. Fisher Kelly. It is in Woolton Hill, a separate ecclesiastical parish formed in 1850. On the borders of East Woodhay parish adjoining Highclere Street is Hollington Cross and south of the park is the hamlet of Hollington with Hollington Farm.
Zell House Farm, situated on the Downs near Hollington Cross, and a copse of the same name not far off, perhaps commemorate the Sele family, who were holding under the bishop in the 15 th and 16th centuries. (fn. 3)
Place-names found in a document of the 16th century are Inkapen and Bavers, (fn. 4) and in the indenture of Scele in the 17th century Park Mead, Stafford Mead, the Great Park, the Little Park, Woodfalls, Burleidge Field and Mancroft are mentioned. (fn. 5)
The Bishop of Winchester at an early period granted the greater part of the estate to various tenants, retaining only a small portion in his own hands. Thus in 1346 the return was that the tenants of the Bishop of Winchester in Woodhay were holding one fee in Woodhay 'quod episcopus solebat tenere praeter antiquam tenuram,' and in 1428 Thomas Byflete, John Herries, John Sterregrave and Edmund Lynche, Nicholas Jurdan and John atte Sele, each held a separate part of the parish. (fn. 8)
In 1487 Robert Byflete, a brother of Thomas, died seised of 40 acres in East Woodhay, worth 10s., held of the Bishop of Winchester by service of 1 1b. of pepper, leaving a son John, a minor at the time of his father's death. (fn. 9) Thomas Byflete, who died in 1500, also owned land in East Woodhay, (fn. 10) and John Sele, an idiot, who was the son and heir of Robert Sele, held tenements in Woodhay in the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 11) Nicholas Jurdan was probably descended from the John Jurdan, 'parishioner of the church of Wydehay,' who in the early part of the 14th century was cited to appear before the Bishop of Winchester to answer for his troublesome behaviour in keeping the rector and his servants out of his fields which paid tithes to the church. (fn. 12) East Woodhay was included in the sale of the bishop's lands in 1648, the manor with the courts leet and courts baron belonging being purchased by James Storey, and the capital messuage or manor-house with the lands belonging, which in 1575 had been held in favour by Edward Longman, and which the bishop had granted on a lease of three lives to Edward Goddard in 1616, being sold to Tichborne Long and John Goddard. (fn. 13)
At the accession of Charles II the manor was restored to the bishopric, and in 1703 the Bishop of Winchester was said to be the owner of the manor, the demesne land being leased to a Mr. Goddard, owner of Stargroves. (fn. 14)
The manor ultimately was acquired by the Earl of Carnarvon, who was holding in 1821, and the present earl is lord of the manor. (fn. 15)
The property at STARGROVES, designated a manor in the 16th century, was probably represented by the land held by John Stargrove in 1428. (fn. 16)
John Edwardes is the first known holder of the manor as such, and he sold it in 1565 to Vincent Goddard, (fn. 17) from whom, in 1570–1, it was acquired by Edward Goddard, (fn. 18) who appears to have been a nephew. The latter died in 1615 seised of ' a manor or capital messuage in Eastwoodhaie,' leaving a son of the same name, who in 1616 obtained a lease of East Woodhay manor-house from the bishop. (fn. 19)
Edward, son and heir of the last-named Edward, died in 1669, and was succeeded by his son William, who died in 1690; William's heir was his son Edward, who dealt with the manor by fine in 1692 and died in 1724. (fn. 20) In 1755 Edward Goddard, possibly a son of the latter, was holding, and in 1782 William was the owner; another Edward Goddard held in 1814. (fn. 21)
Mr. Richard Hull ultimately acquired the manor which he was holding in 1848. He sold the old manor-house and about 35 acres of land to Capt. George Graham Ramsay, who was living at Stargroves House in 1875, and who sold his portion to Lieut.Col. Sir Frederick Walter Carden, bart., in 1879, the latter acquiring the rest of the property in or about the year 1896 from the representative of Mr. Richard Hull. (fn. 22) Sir F. W. Carden died in 1909, and was succeeded by his son Capt. Sir F. H. W. Carden, bart., the present lord of the manor.
The church of ST. MARTIN was built on an old site in 1823, and consists of a chancel 24 ft. by 24 ft. 8 in. with a north vestry and organ chamber, and a large aisleless nave 60 ft. 4 in. by 40 ft. with a west tower and north porch.
On the north wall of the chancel is a large marble monument of classic design to Edward son of William Goddard, 1724, with large figures of Edward and Elizabeth his wife. There are several other 18th and 19th-century monuments.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten, of 1631 and 1696 respectively, the former given by Edward Goddard in 1697; a silver flagon, inscribed 'Elizabeth Goddard, 1718,' and two glass cruets and a plated spoon.
The registers are contained in six books, the first beginning with baptisms, marriages and burials from 1610 to 1670; the second has baptisms and burials 1653 to 1671; the third burials 1678 to 1756; the fourth has some more baptisms and burials from 1696 to 1762; the fifth has baptisms from 1696 to 1803 and marriages from the same date to 1754; and the sixth book is of the usual first printed marriage forms and begins at 1756, but several pages are missing. The earlier entries are not chronologically arranged and the pages are badly inserted in the binding.
The advowson of the church of East Woodhay, with the chapelry of Ashmansworth attached, has always belonged to the Bishops of Winchester, (fn. 23) the living at the present time being of the annual value of £434.
As late as 1535 a yearly pension of 100s. was paid to the Hospital of St. Cross, (fn. 24) which had acquired an interest in this church by the charter of foundation in 1132, which interest was confirmed to it by King Richard in 1189. (fn. 25)
Bishops Ken, Hooper and Louth were formerly rectors of this parish, Ken for three years (1669–72), Hooper for one year (1672–3), and Louth from 1753 to 1766. (fn. 26)
In 1635–6 at the instigation of Edward Goddard proceedings were taken by the Court of High Commission against Francis Edwards, curate of East Woodhay, for neglect of duties, and on 14 May 1636 he was forced to acknowledge that the keys of the church belonged to the churchwardens, and to promise not to postpone baptisms, not to dismiss the parish clerk without just cause and legal proceedings, not to take upon himself the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the peculiar of East Woodhay, and to say prayer betwixt 9 and 11 in the morning and betwixt 2 and 4 in the afternoon, because the parishioners dwell very remote from the parish church and cannot hear the bells. (fn. 27)
In 1732 Elizabeth Goddard, by her will proved in the P.C.C., left £100 to be put out at interest, which was to be laid out in linen for the benefit of the poor. Land in Ashmansworth was purchased therewith, which was sold in 1900, and the proceeds invested in £174 11s. India 2½ per cent. stock with the official trustees, who also hold £23 5s. 8d. consols, arising from sale of timber. The annual dividends, amounting together to £4. 19s., are duly applied.
In 1753 the Rev. Joshua Wakefield, a former rector, devised land in the parish, the rent to be applied towards the education of poor children in the parish. The land was sold, and the trust fund. now consists of £167 12s. 7d. consols, with the official trustees, producing yearly £4 3s. 7d., which, with the authority of the Charity Commissioners, was apportioned one-half in East Woodhay and one-half in Woolton Hill.
The poor's allotments, acquired by an award dated 4 August 1819, made under Inclosure Act of 56 Geo. Ill, cap. 10, consist of 18a. and a gravel pit, producing £14 yearly, and £700 consols, with the official trustees.
By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 21 February 1908 all poor inhabitants of the parish legally settled therein and not occupying lands and tenements of more than the yearly value of £8 are qualified to share in the benefits of the charity.