A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Evereslea, Evreslei (xi cent.); Everslegh (xiii cent.).
Eversley is a village and large scattered parish situated 5½ miles north from Winchfield station on the London and South Western Railway. The boundary on the north is the River Blackwater, so named from the tinge given to it by the peat moors through which it passes. It rises near Farnham, and forms the boundary first between Hampshire and Surrey and then between Hampshire and Berkshire, until about 2 miles north of Bramshill it turns off to join the Loddon. The elevation of the parish ranges from about 150 ft. above the ordnance datum in the north by the river to over 300 ft. above the ordnance datum on the heaths and moorland in the south. Of the 5,559 acres which make up the total area of the parish 47 acres are land covered by water, 1,293½ acres arable land, 819½ acres permanent grass, and 543 acres woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The rest is taken up by open commons and heaths. When Charles Kingsley became curate of Eversley in 1842 the parish was mostly common land, divided into three hamlets, each standing in its own little green surrounded by the moorland, with young forests of self-sown fir-trees cropping up in every direction. The population was very scattered, consisting, in the words of Mrs. Kingsley, of 'Heth croppers' from time immemorial and poachers by instinct and heritage. (fn. 2) In a letter written to his future wife from Eversley Rectory on 14 July 1842, Kingsley thus describes his first impressions of the parish in which he laboured for thirty-three years: 'The view is beautiful. The ground slopes upward from the windows to a sunk fence and road without banks or hedges, and then rises in the furze hill in the drawing, which hill is perfectly beautiful in light and shade and colour. Behind the acacia in the lawn you get the first glimpse of the fir-forests and moors, of which five-sixths of my parish consist. Those delicious self-sown firs !' (fn. 3) When Kingsley first came to Eversley the parish was in a very neglected state, and owing to the habit of the rector, who, for quite trifling reasons, would send the clerk to the church door at eleven to inform the few who attended that there would be no service, the ale-houses were full on Sunday and the church empty. (fn. 4) The farmers' sheep when pasture was scarce were turned into the neglected churchyard. Holy Communion was celebrated only three times a year, and the communicants were few. (fn. 5) The alms were collected in an old wooden saucer. A cracked kitchen basin inside the font held the water for Holy Baptism; and at the altar, covered by a moth-eaten cloth, stood one old broken chair. (fn. 6) Kingsley immediately set to work vigorously to remedy the state of neglect, and in a short time his efforts met with success. He remained as curate until 1844, living throughout that period at Eversley Cross, in a humble cottage in the corner of a sunny green. In that year, the living falling vacant, he was presented to the rectory by Sir John Cope in answer to a petition from the parishioners. Here he remained until his death in 1875, and lies buried in the churchyard of the church he loved so well.
The village of Eversley proper lies near the river in the very north of the parish. The church of St. Mary, the rectory, and Church Farm, are situated some distance to the south, on the borders of Eversley Upper Common. Warbrook House, south of the village, which was built by John James in 1724, is the property of Mr. Augustus Stapleton, and is at present occupied by Lady Glass. Sir John Nares, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who died in 1786, at one time resided here, and his elder brother, James Nares, the musician and a doctor of music, gave the name of Eversley to one of the psalm-tunes composed by him. A little to the west of Warbrook House, on the edge of Bramshill Common, are the modern residences of Moorcote, Gaddeshill, and Wixenford. There is a small cluster of buildings at Eversley Cross in the east of the parish. The Chequers Inn has some well-carved 15th-century beams. Near Up Green is Fir Grove House, which was built about 1736 by Mr. Wadham Wyndham, who resided here until his death in 1779. The house was much improved and enlarged by Lady Cope, the widow of Sir Denzil Cope, bart., who lived here till her death in 1840; and by the Right Hon. Thomas Erskine, the friend and counsellor of Kingsley, who resided here from 1852 till his death in 1864. Bramshill House, the seat of Sir Anthony Cope, bart., J.P.—said to be the scene of the Mistletoe Bough tragedy (fn. 7) —is a large mansion in a well-wooded park of 1,000 acres, which covers the south-western portion of the parish of Eversley, and extends into the adjoining parish of Mattingley. Since its formation in 1347 the park has been at various times much enlarged and altered. The deer were done away with by Sir Denzil Cope, bart., between 1806 and 1812. Kingsley was a great admirer of the firs (fn. 8) in the parish, and thus describes them in his Winter Garden: 'A green wilderness of self-sown firs. There they stand in thousands, the sturdy Scots, colonizing the desert in spite of frost and gales and barrenness, and clustering together too as Scotsmen always do abroad, little and big, every one under his neighbour's lee, according to the good old proverb of their native-land, "Caw me and I'll caw thee." I respect them, those Scotch firs. I delight in their forms from James the First's gnarled giants up in Bramshill Park—the only place in England where a painter can learn what Scotch firs are—down to the little green pyramids which stand up out of the heaths, triumphant over tyranny and the strange woes of an untoward youth.' (fn. 9)
The soil is gravel and loam, and the subsoil gravel. The chief crops are wheat, oats, and barley. Eversley Commons were inclosed by authority of the General Inclosure Acts in 1868.
Among place-names occurring in extant records are the following: The Hammes, Gillicroft, Alisotescroft, Mullemede, Wadebroke, and Brendemore (fn. 10) (xiv cent.); Akyr and Glassedone (fn. 11) (xv cent.); Baker's Lane (fn. 12) (xvi cent.); Hall Lands, Coggs, Russells, Flaxlande Meade, Norlandes, (fn. 13) The Grove or Edlyns, Patricksford, (fn. 14) Lipscombe, Pennyplott, Nashlin Feild, (fn. 15) Steadcroft, and Baker's Hates (fn. 16) (xvii cent.).
The manor of EVERSLEY for a considerable period was held as an alod for four manors by four freemen of King Edward the Confessor, but towards the close of his reign that king transferred the overlordship to the abbey of St. Peter, Westminster, granting to it sac and soc, toll and team, infangentheof, flemenesfirmth, and other liberties within the manor, and expressly commanding the four freemen to be in all things obedient to the minster. (fn. 17) This charter was confirmed by William the Conqueror, (fn. 18) and at the time of the Domesday Survey Eversley, then assessed at four hides, was in the possession of the abbey, (fn. 19) In 1280 the Abbot of Westminster,as overlord of Eversley, was summoned to show by what warrant he claimed to have the return of the king's writs, gallows, tumbril, and the assize of bread and ale in Eversley, and at the same time to give reasons why his tenants of Eversley did not make suit at the king's hundred court of Holdshot. (fn. 20) The result is not given on the roll, but of course the abbot's warranty lay in the charter of Edward the Confessor. The overlordship continued with Westminster Abbey as late at least as the end of the 15th century, the manor being held by the annual payment of a yearling sparrowhawk. (fn. 21) By the beginning of the 13th century the four freemen had been succeeded in the actual ownership of Eversley by William de Wauton, who in 1237 made an agreement with his tenant William Banastre about the mill-pond in Eversley. (fn. 22) In 1251 Gilbert de Eversley was holding a hide of land in Eversley of William de Wauton, (fn. 23) perhaps identical with the William de Wauton who, described as son and heir of Amisius de Wauton, sold the manor and advowson of Eversley for twenty-five marks to Alan de Hagheman or Haweman and Amice his wife in 1276. (fn. 24) Three years later Alan and Amice granted the reversion to John de Hagheman, (fn. 25) who as lord of the manor presented a rector during the episcopacy of Henry Woodlock (1305–16). (fn. 26) He died probably in the king's service abroad about 1320, (fn. 27) and was succeeded by his son Nicholas de Hagheman, the rector of Eversley, (fn. 28) who in 1336 granted the reversion of the manor and advowson to Thomas de Bradeston and Isabel his wife, (fn. 29) and fifteen years later gave up all his right in return for an annuity of twenty marks and an annual payment of five cart-loads of hay at the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula. (fn. 30) In 1336 Thomas de Bradeston obtained a charter from Edward III, granting him free warren in his demesne lands of Eversley, a market every Monday, a yearly fair on the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist and the two days before and following, as also licence to inclose 300 acres of wood and pasture in Eversley, and to make a park thereof. (fn. 31) He died in 1359, leaving as his heir his grandson Thomas, (fn. 32) who at his death in 1374 left an infant daughter Elizabeth to succeed him. (fn. 33) Elizabeth brought the manor in marriage to her husband, Sir Walter de la Pole, lord of Sawston, Meldreth, and Trumpington (co. Camb.), who died seised in 1434. (fn. 34) Their only daughter Margaret, who had married Thomas Ingaldesthorp, had died in 1426, (fn. 35) and the manor consequently passed to their grandson Edmund Ingaldesthorp, (fn. 36) who was afterwards knighted, and died in 1456, his heir being his daughter Isabel, aged fifteen and more. (fn. 37) Isabel married (1) Sir John Nevill, who was created Marquess of Montagu in 1470, and was slain at the battle of Barnet a year later; and (2) Sir William Norris of Rycote (co. Oxon.), (fn. 38) and died seised of the manor of Eversley in 1476. (fn. 39) Her son and heir by her first husband—George—had been created Duke of Bedford by Edward IV in 1470, (fn. 40) but, having no means of sustaining his honours in consequence of the forfeiture of his paternal inheritance, was degraded from the peerage by Act of Parliament in 1477. He died without issue six years later, (fn. 41) and his estates were divided among his five sisters and co-heirs, (fn. 42) Eversley falling to Lucy, who married (1) Sir Thomas Fitz William of Aldwark (co. York), (fn. 43) and (2) Sir Anthony Browne. (fn. 44) By her first husband she left issue Sir William Fitz William, High Admiral of England, who was created Earl of Southampton in 1537, (fn. 45) and died at Newcastle on Tyne in 1542 while leading the van of the English army into Scotland. By his will dated 10 September 1542 the earl left most of his estates, including Eversley, to his halfbrother Sir Anthony Browne, (fn. 46) who died in 1548, leaving a son and heir Sir Anthony Browne. (fn. 47) The latter was created Viscount Montagu on 2 September 1554, (fn. 48) and joined with his wife Magdalene in selling the manor, park, and advowson of Eversley to Deodatus Staverton in 1582. (fn. 49) Deodatus soon afterwards engaged in a dispute with his customary tenants of Eversley concerning the woods growing upon their tenements, the payment of fines, and other customs—a dispute which was ended in 1586 by an award of the Court of Chancery (fn. 50) —and died in 1590. By his will, dated 8 April 1590, he left the manor to his brother Thomas Staverton, (fn. 51) who before 1616 had been succeeded by another Deodatus Staverton. (fn. 52) The latter presented a rector in 1634, (fn. 53) and was followed by Richard Staverton, who dealt with the manor by recovery in 1647. (fn. 54) In 1669 Sir Andrew Henley, bart., of Bramshill, purchased the manor from William Lucy and Anne his wife, daughter of Deodatus Staverton, and heiress of her brother Francis, (fn. 55) and from this date Eversley has followed the same descent as Bramshill (q.v. infra).
There were two mills worth 105d. in Eversley at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 56) but only one is mentioned in the assignation of dower to Ella de Bradeston in 1374. (fn. 57) This was in ruins in 1435, (fn. 58) and after that there is no further mention of a mill in connexion with the manor.
A free fishery was appurtenant to the manor as early as 1282, in which year John de Hagheman, lord of the manor of Eversley, summoned Peter Husee and John his brother for taking fish worth £10 in his waters of Eversley. (fn. 59) The name of this fishery was Dodbrook, as appears from an inquisition taken in 1456, and its annual value was then l6d. (fn. 60)
As has been stated above, Edward III granted a market every Monday, and a yearly fair on the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist and the two days before and after, to Thomas de Bradeston in his manor of Eversley in 1336. (fn. 61) In 1795 fairs were held for cattle and toys in Eversley on 16 May and 18 October, (fn. 62) and they were not finally discontinued till about 1835. Indeed, some few beasts were sold as recently as 1850. Of the market no trace has existed within the memory of man. (fn. 63)
The bailiwick of the forest of Eversley was from time immemorial held by the ancestors of the Gilbert de Eversley (fn. 64) who died in 1251. (fn. 65) With the bailiwick of Pamber it was worth four marks yearly, and was held by an annual payment of 18s. to the constable of Windsor Castle, (fn. 66) this rent proceeding from a dairy-farm in Eversley. Gilbert was succeeded by his son Walter de Eversley, (fn. 67) who granted the bailiwick of the forestership of Pamber and Eversley to John de St. John the elder in 1298. (fn. 68) John de St. John son and heir of the latter granted it for life to his son Hugh in 1324, (fn. 69) but soon afterwards the forest was disafforested, and the bailiwick ceased to exist. The dairy-farm from which the rent was paid (fn. 70) was probably in the possession of Nicholas de Hagheman, lord of the manor of Eversley, in 1335, for in that year Nicholas with others rescued seventeen cows which had been seized by the king for £4. arrears of the rent. (fn. 71)
There are two manors in BRAMSHILL (Bromeselle, xi cent.; Bromeshull, xiii cent.; Bromyshill, Bromley Hill, xvi cent.; Bramsell, Bramshall, xvii cent.), called respectively LITTLE BRAMSHILL and GREAT BRAMSHILL. The former, which in spite of its name is the more important of the two, consists of the park and the common land which joins it. (fn. 72) It was held of Edward the Confessor as two manors by Alwi and Elsi, and at the time of the Domesday Survey was held with the king's manor of Swallowfield (co. Berks.) by Gilbert de Breteville. (fn. 73) In 1167 it was in the possession of Henry de Bramshill, (fn. 74) probably either father or grandfather of the Henry de Bramshill who in 1242 was stated to be holding half a knights fee in Bramshill of the heirs of William Turvill who held of the honour of Warwick. (fn. 75) The manor was held of the Earl of Warwick as late as 1361, (fn. 76) but in 1489 was stated to be held of the king in chief. (fn. 77) In 1306 John Foxley and Constance his wife, who was possibly the heiress of the Bramshills, were seised of property in Bramshill — probably the manor— in that year obtaining licence from Henry Woodlock, Bishop of Winchester, to have the divine office celebrated in their chapel of Bramshill during Easter week. (fn. 78) In 1317 John Foxley obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Bramshill and Hazeley, which were within the metes of the royal forests of Pamber and Eversley, (fn. 79) and died seised of a messuage and 180 acres of arable land with appur. tenances in Bramshill in 1324, leaving a son and heir Thomas, (fn. 80) who, however, did not succeed to the estate until the death of his mother in 1333. (fn. 81) Thomas obtained licence to impark 2,500 acres of land and wood out of his several soil in Bramshill and Hazelcy in 1347, (fn. 82) and died seised of the manor and park of Bramshill in 1360, being followed by his son Sir John Foxley. (fn. 83) Sir John died in November 1378, and was buried in the chapel of All Saints in the south aisle of Bray Church. (fn. 84) By his will dated at Bramshill on 5 November 1 378 he bequeathed 3s. 4d. to the fabric of Eversley Church, 3s. 4d. to the fabric of Bramshill Chapel, and to its altar a priestly vestment with ornaments and a chasuble of white silk with other things pertaining thereto. (fn. 85) He left two daughters by Maud his first wife, namely Katherine wife of John Warbleton and Margery wife of Robert Bullock, but he also had three illegitimate sons—Thomas, Richard, and John—by Joan Martin, whom he subsequently married. (fn. 86) Thomas succeeded to the manor, but his right was not undisputed, for in 1412 William Warbleton, grandson of Katherine, brought an action against him for intruding in his manor of Bramshill, (fn. 87) and it was probably with the intention of substantiating his claim that Thomas obtained a quitclaim of the manor from Margery Hertington, daughter of Margery Bullock, in 1429. (fn. 88) Thomas died in 1436, and was buried near his ancestors in the chapel of All Saints, Bray. (fn. 89) On his death Bramshill seems to have passed to his only daughter Elizabeth wife of Sir Thomas Uvedale of Wickham, for in 1467 William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, in consequence of the inefficiency of the chapel of Bramshill, issued a sequestration of its fruits directed to the rural dean of Basingstoke and Sir Thomas Uvedale, probably as representative in right of his wife of the original donors. (fn. 90) It is probable that Thomas soon afterwards sold the manor, for he was not in possession in 1474, (fn. 91) and Thomas Rogers of Beenham (co. Berks.) died seised in 1487, leaving as his heir his daughter Elizabeth wife of William Essex. (fn. 92) William and Elizabeth conveyed the manor in 1499 to Giles Lord Daubeney, chamberlain to Henry VII, (fn. 93) who died in 1508 and was succeeded by his son and heir Henry Lord Daubeney. (fn. 94) In 1517 Henry settled Bramshill upon himself and his wife on the occasion of his marriage, (fn. 95) but subsequently sold the manor to Henry VIII. (fn. 96) From Henry VIII it passed to Edward VI, who in 1547 granted it with the park to William Paulet, Lord St. John, (fn. 97) who was created Marquess of Winchester on 12 October 1551 and died seised in 1572. (fn. 98) On the death of John second Marquess of Winchester four years later, Bramshill passed to his son William, third marquess, who in 1595 granted a ninety-nine years' lease of the lodge, park, and lands of Bramshill to William Paulet alias Lambert of Basingstoke, his eldest illegitimate son, who was afterwards knighted and lived at Edington (co. Wilts.). (fn. 99) William fourth Marquess of Winchester succeeded his father in 1598, and two years later sold the manor to Sir Stephen Thomhurst of Agnes Court or Aghne Court (co. Kent) and Mary his wife for £1,650. (fn. 100) Sir Stephen mortgaged the property for £1,000 in 1602, (fn. 101) and three years later sold it to Edward Lord Zouche of Harringworth, (fn. 102) a patron of learning and science and one of the best horticulturists of the time. Almost immediately after the purchase Lord Zouche built the present mansion (fn. 103) in place of the house built by Thomas Foxley between 1351 and 1360, (fn. 104) and proceeded to entertain lavishly at his new seat. James I stayed at Bramshill in 1620, (fn. 105) and the next year George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, went down to Bramshill to consecrate a chapel for Lord Zouche. (fn. 106) The archbishop employed his leisure time in hunting in the park, and while engaged in this pursuit accidentally wounded a keeper, Peter Hawkins by name, so seriously that he bled to death in less than an hour. (fn. 107) James I on first hearing of the accident said that none but a fool or a knave would think the worse of him for such an accident, the like of which had once nearly happened to himself, (fn. 108) but such an outcry was raised by the Puritan party that the king was forced to suspend the archbishop from all his episcopal and metropolitical functions, and to order a commission to examine and report on the matter. (fn. 109) The commission, influenced by the arguments of the Bishop of Winchester, decided in the archbishop's favour, (fn. 110) and on 20 November 1621 the king pardoned him and restored him to his position, (fn. 111) but in spite of this the bishops elect were so unwilling to receive consecration from his bloodstained hands that Abbot was obliged to commission other bishops to consecrate for him. (fn. 112) It is said that from that day to the close of his life the archbishop observed a monthly fast on Tuesday, the day of his unhappy deer-shooting, and that he settled a pension of £20 a year on the widow of the keeper. (fn. 113)
Lord Zouche died without male issue in 1625, (fn. 114) and in accordance with his will Bramshill passed to his cousin Sir Edward Zouche, 'he being of my blood and the son of him I loved best in my life, except the Lord Gray of Wilton.' (fn. 115) From Sir Edward Zouche the manor passed to his son and heir James Zouche, who sold it for £12,000 to Randal MacDonnell, second Earl of Antrim, in 1637. (fn. 116) Some interesting references to this purchase occur in Archbishop Laud's correspondence with the celebrated Earl of Strafford. Writing on 28 August 1637 the archbishop says, 'Lord Antrim hath now purchased the house which my Lord Zouche built at Bramshill near Hartley Row with some little land to it, and a great pennyworth he had.' 'I think,' he contiuues, 'the reason of the purchase was the unhealthfulness of Newhall in Essex, which especially at this time of the year is very aguish' (fn. 117) In another letter, dated 11 November 1637, the archbishop writes, 'The truth is Bramsell was purchased for the unwholesomeness of Newhall. . . . After the death of my Lord of Antrim the father, my lady duchess of Buckingham, (fn. 118) disliking the air at Newhall, as she had reason, spake with me about Bramsell . . . so I referred her to my young Zouche, the owner of it, so the thing went on.' (fn. 119) Apparently the earl and countess found the air of Bramshill no more to their taste than the Newhall air, for they did not retain their purchase more than three years, selling the whole of the Bramshill property in 1640 to Robert Henley. (fn. 120) From him it passed to his son Andrew, who was created a baronet on 20 June 1660 and died in 1675, being succeeded by his son and heir Sir Robert Henley. (fn. 121) Sir Robert, who is said to have mortgaged his estates for £20,000, died unmarried in 1689. (fn. 122) His brother and heir Sir Andrew Henley was equally extravagant, and fell so deeply into debt that he was forced to part with all his property, the Bramshill house and estates being sold by his representatives and creditors to Sir John Cope for £21,500 in 1700. (fn. 123) Sir John succeeded to the baronetcy in 1721 and died in 1749, being followed by his son and heir Sir Monnoux Cope, (fn. 124) who died in 1763 and was succeeded by his son and heir Sir John Mordaunt Cope. (fn. 125) Sir John died unmarried in 1779, and the baronetcy and estates passed to his cousin Sir Richard Cope, who died without issue in 1806, and was followed by his nephew Sir Denzil Cope. (fn. 126) Sir Denzil died without issue in 1812, and his brother Sir John Cope, well known as a master of foxhounds and owner of celebrated horses, held the baronetcy and the Bramshill estates until his death without children in 1851, when they passed to his fifth cousin and heir Sir William Henry Cope. (fn. 127) Sir Anthony Cope, third but first surviving son of Sir William, is the present lord of the manor of Bramshill, having succeeded his father on his death in 1892. (fn. 128)
Bramshill House as it now stands is an interesting and somewhat unusual example of early 17th-century English domestic architecture. Traces remain, however, mainly in the plan, of a house some hundred years earlier in date, while the 17th-century plan was reduced by two wings and altered in a third at a date early in the 18th century. The house is thus of three main periods, about a hundred years apart, and there have been a few minor structural alterations in modern times, beside the necessary repairs.
The earliest house, recorded to have been built by Thomas Foxley, c. 1360, would appear to have been four-square with angle towers, set round a courtyard, the inner lines of which are perhaps represented by the external walls of the existing north-west and south-east wings. The only trace of the external walls of this earlier house is to be found in the tower-like wing at the south angle of the house, the lower part of which has walls considerably thicker than those in other parts of the building. An external entrance, earlier than the present house, also remains, apparently in situ, on the north-east front, and there is one mediaeval window looking into the court. The 17th-century rebuilding transformed the house into one of six wings, those to the north-east and south-west being on the lines of the old wings, and those to the north-west and southeast built within the old court; while two new wings, continuations of the old side wings, were projected from the south-west wing, forming with it three sides of a second court. In the 18th century these wings were almost completely destroyed, as already noted.
This process of development of the present house from an older one can only be set down as a suggestion which lacks definite proof. The plan, however, of a four-square building set round a court, and having rectangular towers forming its angles, is a very probable one for the recorded date, c. 1360, and the analogy of the late 14th-century north-country houses, Bolton Castle, Lumley Castle, Snape Castle, &c., is worth pointing out.
The main entrance-front faces south-west and has a central block flanked by two projecting wings, and having a projecting bay, while on the ground floor is a loggia linking up this bay with two smaller ones set in the angles between the main block and the wings. The central bay is very elaborate in character. At the ground level it is led up to by a broad flight of steps, and in the middle is a semicircular archway, giving entrance to the loggia, with carved voussoirs and spandrels and a grotesque keystone. This is flanked on either hand by a pair of fantastic fluted and panelled baluster pilasters, surmounted by a complete entablature and standing upon pedestals. Superimposed upon this is a second and a third order equally fantastic and even more ornate. In all cases the pilasters are diminished downwards, are square in plan, and have varied capitals of extraordinary detail. The uppermost order is capped by an elaborate pierced ornament in the form of a circle containing two plumes or scrolls flanking a central plume bearing a coronet. Over the archway on the first floor is a semicircular projecting oriel with a heavily-moulded corbel and a mullioned and transomed window of five lights and three stages. The mouldings of the pedestal and entablatures of the first and second orders are carried round this, and it is surmounted by an elaborate pierced parapet. The uppermost order has a third pilaster introduced into the centre, and in the two bays thus formed are two round-headed sunk panels with a modern or late plaster backing, and between the pairs of pilasters of each order are shell-headed niches.
The loggia is completed by a bay on each side of the central one, with balustraded arches of a similar character to the centre one but less elaborate. They are coped with intricate pierced parapets. The main wing and the square angle bays have mullioned and transomed windows of four lights. The ends of the two projecting wings date from the repairs and alterations of the 18th century, when the remains of the burned wing were cleared away and the other was pulled down. They have mullioned and transomed wooden casements and plaster architraves, and the rainwater heads are marked C.A. 1703. The earlier walls are finished with a pierced parapet, which is copied and carried round the later parts, while the chimneys have been restored in comparatively modern times to harmonize with the 17th-century ones. These, in the case of the central wing, are octagonal, with each flue separate, and moulded and ornamented with spurs in rubbed brick. The roofs, of moderate pitch, are tiled, and have lead hips.
The south-east front is considerably longer, and practically in its original 17th-century state. It consists of a long central wing with short flanking projecting ones. The latter, at the ground-floor level, contain small loggias with arcades of two bays of elaborately-ornamented arches having square rusticated columns, and spandrels filled with shallow ornament. Within are good contemporary garden seats, and built into the wall of the loggia, to the south-west, are four panels, discovered in some repairs as forming part of an original partition of the cellar. They are of early 16th-century date, and represent a lion, an elephant, a boar, and a camel. The long main or central wing is very simply treated; its length is broken by four projecting bay windows, each of four central and two flanking lights, and between the bays are pairs of twolight windows. All three wings are of two lofty stories, and the pierced parapet is carried round them, while the windows are all mullioned and transomed. Between the projecting wings, and with its front a little set back from them, is a brick terrace running the whole length of the central wing, with a short length of balustrading with circular moulded balusters, and a ramped handrail at each end, where are flights of steps to the ground, which at this point is considerably below the ground-floor level. The projecting wings have each a bay similar to those of the central wing. On all three wings are lead rainwater pipes marked with the initials e.z. and the date 1612.
The north-east front, the original entrance front, is in the form of a single long wing, broken by three bays of a character similar to those in the front last described. Above the central one rises a curvilinear gable flanked by obelisks, and having in its apex a niche containing a statue in early 17th-century costume. At the ground level, in the front wall of the bay, is a four-centred archway, giving entrance to a porch formed by the bay. The pierced parapet is continued round this front.
The north-west front is set out with a central and two projecting wings. All, however, are gabled, the parapets are plain, and it is far less symmetrically planned, having always been the 'utility' side of the house, and contains the offices. It was also considerably altered in the 18th century, and has an inserted range of double-hung sash windows, the only ones in the house. It is of three stories with an attic, the second floor being about on a level with the first floor of the rest of the house. The 17th-century windows on this side are all mullioned and transomed in plastered brick, except the bay window of the projecting wing at the north-east, and one window in its flank wall, now blocked, which are of stone. The extra number of stories here is accounted for by the insertion in the 18th century of a floor, making the old kitchen into two stories.
The house is planned about a long, narrow central court. The south-west wing contains the hall with the chapel-room over, and its projecting wings, which are really small square structures on the angles of the building, contain, on the north-west, offices below, and bedrooms, &c., above, and on the south-east a few small apartments, and over them the chapel. The long south-east wing contains the staircase and reception-rooms on both floors, all planned en suite. The north-east wing contains various small apartments on the ground floor, while the whole of the first floor is occupied by a long gallery. The north-west wing contains offices and bedrooms on all floors.
The hall is entered from the loggia, and is a room of fair size; it is lit only from the end by one of the bays on the terrace, at which end is the dais. At the opposite end is a stone screen of three arched bays elaborately ornamented with columns, entablatures, &c., of Renaissance detail. The ornament includes a number of shields, painted in modern times with the heraldry of the various alliances of the Cope family. The mantel of the hall is a large one of two orders, and is ornamented with the arms of Spencer, Mohun, Chaworth, and Mordaunt.
From the dais a door opens into the staircase hall. The stair, of a handsome width, has twisted and moulded balusters and elaborate newels, and against the wall are planted flat profile imitations of them. It is of slightly later date than the house, and was brought from Eversley Manor House in the 19th century, replacing a poor Georgian stair. It opens by an external door on to the terrace, while a door opposite the door from the hall opens into the dining room, which is of exceedingly fine proportions. It has a large black and white marble mantelpiece of two classical orders and fairly simple design. On the walls is some fine 17th-century tapestry in tones of white and blue-grey, and generally attributed to English looms. En suite with this is a smaller drawing-room known as the Red drawing-room, with a plain 17th-century mantelpiece and panelling, and a billiardroom with an early Georgian mantelpiece. Opening from the last, and in the north-east wing, is a small room known as the garden room; this is panelled in oak, and has an angle fireplace, with a carved oak 17th-century mantelpiece brought from Moore Place Farm. Doors from this room also open into the loggia at the end of the terrace, and into a small plain apartment next to the entrance on the north-east front. The latter retains, within the porch formed by the bay, the doorway of an earlier house, a four-centred arch of two continuously-moulded orders of early 16th-century date. A paved passage from this originally opened directly into the court, but now opens into a passage formed by the building, early in the 19th century, of a partition wall in the court. At the end of the court is a mullioned and transomed window of five pointed lights with a pointed main head, which appears to be part of the earlier work. If this is in situ it is difficult to see to what part of the old building it belonged. The rest of the north-east wing is filled on this floor with small apartments of no particular interest. The north-west wing contains no rooms of any particular interest on either floor.
From the staircase landing on the first floor a door opens to the great drawing-room, which is over the dining-room, and the same size in plan but more lofty. This has a handsome contemporary mantelpiece of a complete Ionic order superimposed upon a Doric order and carried out in red and white marble. The walls are hung with tapestries from cartoons by Rubens. The ceiling is a very elaborate one of modelled plaster in strapwork with heavy pendants, and there is a vinepattern frieze also in plaster.
Opening from the great drawing-room is the library, which is over the Red drawing-room and billiard-room. It has an elaborate 17th-century Renaissance mantelpiece in black and white marble, the upper part forming a complete Ionic order, and an arabesque plaster ceiling with small moulded circular pendants. The walls are principally lined with bookshelves of a later date.
From the library a door opens into the long gallery, which occupies the whole of the first floor of the north-east wing. It is about 126 ft. 6 in. long and 20 ft. 6 in. wide, and is lined with painted and stained deal panelling of mid or late 17th-century date in moderate-sized panels with mitred angles. Above this is a plaster frieze of Renaissance design, while the ceiling is ornamented with strapwork arabesques with modelled leopard-faces as bosses. There is a rather plain marble mantelpiece, above which is an overmantel of wood in continuation of the panelling, with a moulded cornice, carved panels, &c.
Over the hall in the south-west wing is the chapel, a fair-sized room in which is the oriel and bay of the main entrance front. The ceiling is of early 17th-century date with moulded plaster ribs in geometrical patterns with foliage sprays and small four-leafed pendants as bosses. The walls are panelled to the ceiling with small bolection moulded panels of late 17th-century date.
The mantelpiece is an elaborate one of 17th-century date, of black and white marble. Opening from this room, to the north-west, is the Green bedroom, completely panelled in 17th-century panelling, but with a poor Georgian mantelpiece. The small block of building which forms a flanking wing to the south-west and south-east wings appears in plan as a small nearly detached tower. The first floor is occupied by the chapel, which is ceiled at the level of the roof with an elaborate plaster ceiling of early 17th-century date, on which are repeated as bosses a lion, a rose, a thistle, and a pomegranate. The chapel also contains some fine tapestry apparently of 14th-century date, and representing the vices and virtues. The ground floor is occupied by some small rooms, while the basement appears to be part of the earlier house. It has a stone vault with chamfered diagonals, &c., and no transverse ribs, and springs from square piers. The walls are also, in places, considerably thicker than the walls in the rest of the house, some 4 ft. 9 in., and appear to belong to the 16th century. The upper part, however, has been rebuilt.
The park is large, on high rolling ground and beautifully timbered. The immediate grounds consist of a beautiful lawn and a drive on the south-west front on the site of the destroyed wings, and a semiformal rose and shrub garden opposite the north-east front. Opposite the old entrance in this garden is a brick and stone gateway contemporary with the house. It is of three bays, the central one forming the entrance and having a complete Doric order with panelled pilasters and a broken pediment of somewhat rudimentary design. The two flanking bays have lower arches with a pierced balustrade of the same design as that cresting the house. South of this garden and south of the house is a large 'troco' ground with a terrace and balustrade of circular moulded balusters on the south-west side. Some of the mallets and balls used in the game are preserved in the loggia on the terrace.
The manor of GREAT BRAMSHILL comprises the collection of cottages known as Bramshill Row and the farms and heath-land or common which lie along the Blackwater River. (fn. 129) It was held by two freemen as two manors of Edward the Confessor, and at the time of the Domesday Survey formed part of the large possessions of Hugh de Port. (fn. 130) The overlordship continued with the Ports and their descendants, the St. Johns, for several centuries, Bramshill being included among the knights' fees held by the St. Johns as late as 1349. (fn. 131) In 1167 Great Bramshill was held by Herbert de Sprai or Esprai, (fn. 132) who was succeeded by his son and heir Geoffrey de Sprai. (fn. 133) Geoffrey mortgaged it to William Fitz Andrew, who leased it to Roger Fitz Adam, but the latter was dispossessed by Henry de Brayboef. In 1206 Geoffrey sought to recover his property from Henry de Brayboef, (fn. 134) but apparently with no success, for the Brayboef family held knights' fees in Bramshill and other places of the St. Johns during the 14th century, (fn. 135) and retained their connexion with the parish as late at least as 1427, in which year land called 'Northlonde' in. Bramshill, of which Sir William Sturmy died seised, was stated to be held of Elizabeth Hamelyn, daughter and heir of Hugh de Camois and Joan his wife, daughter and heir of Hugh de Brayboef, (fn. 136) as of her manor of Cranborne. (fn. 137) The history of this holding cannot be traced further unless it is identical with two messuages, 25 acres of land, 1½ acres of meadow, and 4 acres of wood in Bramshill, which were conveyed by Henry Colman and Agnes his wife to Richard atte Moore in 1448. (fn. 138) This tenement, to which was afterwards given the name of the manor of BRAMSHILL or MOORE PLACE, was held by the Cresswell family at the beginning of the 17th century. From Edward Cresswell, the owner in 1616, (fn. 139) it passed to his grandson Thomas Cresswell, who dealt with it by fine in 1639. (fn. 140) Thomas was succeeded by his brother Robert, who sold the manor of Bramshill and the mansion-house there called Moore Place to Andrew Henley in 1649. (fn. 141) The further descent of Moore Place follows that of Little Bramshill (q.v.). Its site is marked by Moore Place Farm, a little to the north of Bramshill Park. The chimney-stacks and one or two of the fireplaces of this farm show it to be of the time of Henry VII.
The church of OUR LADY consists of a chancel 18 ft. 5 in. by 12 ft. 6 in., north chapel 14 ft. by 13 ft. 6 in., nave 46 ft. 9 in. by 19 ft. 7 in., with a large north aisle 18 ft. 9 in. wide, and north-west tower 10 ft. square. There is also a vestry north of the tower and a south porch.
The chancel is the only ancient part of the church, but has no features by which its date may be accurately fixed; its axis is markedly to the south of that of the nave. All the rest of the church was rebuilt between 1724 and 1735, the tower being dated 1735. The date 1724 was formerly on the porch. In 1863 the chancel was restored, an open timber roof being substituted for a plastered ceiling, and the reredos erected. The east window dates from this time, as well as the painting on the chancel screen, the designs being made by Charles Kingsley. In 1878 the church was restored in memory of Kingsley, and a gallery taken down, the aisle being lengthened and widened to make up for the lost accommodation, and the nave roof raised. Except the chancel, which is plastered, the whole church is of red brick, and of very simple character. The east window of the chancel has three lights with tracery of 15th-century style.
In the north wall of the chancel is a low plastered arch over a tomb with the elaborate effigy of Dame Marianne Cope, 1862, an excellent piece of modern sculpture. On the south side of the chancel is a window, perhaps of 16th-century date, with three uncusped four-centred lights under a square head.
The chancel arch is an insignificant plastered one of very flat pitch, filled in by a classic screen with three arched openings and some strapwork cresting above the cornice.
The north chapel has nothing ancient except a small four-centred recess at the south-east, partly overlapped by its present east wall; there is no drain in it. The east window of the chapel is of three trefoiled lights with tracery, but all other windows of the church, in nave and aisles, are plain roundheaded openings of brick.
The north arcade of the nave is of five bays with square piers and semicircular arches, all plastered.
The tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles, which till some twenty years ago had vanes. There are two-light windows in each face of the top stage, a circular west light in the middle stage, and a two-light window with a wooden frame in the west face of the bottom stage. In 1878 the lower part of the tower was opened out as it now is and the baptistery made, the door from the tower on its western side being bricked up. The walls of the tower, nave, aisle, and south porch are of brick. The chancel walls are plastered. The roofs are of modern open timber-work covered with tiles.
Below the east window of the chancel is a modern reredos of Elizabethan design, much damaged by damp, and the altar table is also modern, with heavy baluster legs and carved rails. The pulpit, which lost its tester in 1878, and the reading desk are of 18th-century woodwork, and all the other fittings are quite modern, including the octagonal marble font standing under the tower. There is, however, a small 17th-century table with baluster legs in the vestry.
There are two wall monuments in the chancel, the first to Alexander Ross, (fn. 144) 1653, with a punning Latin inscription. It is of Renaissance design with small flanking pilasters, and in the pediment are the arms of Ross: Or a cheveron checky sable and argent between three water-bougets sable.
The other monument was set up by Sir Andrew Henley, bart., to his wife, who died in 1666. The painted arms on the shield in the pediment are perished. At the west end of the nave are wall monuments to Judge Nares, 1756, his wife, Dame Mary Nares, 1782, and Catherine wife of William Wyndham, 1784, and under the tower one to Sir Richard Cope, 1806, and his wife, 1785, and to Sir William Cope, 1892. Under the chancel is the burial vault of the Cope family, made in 1703, and on its marble covering is an inscription dated 1704 recording its construction by Sir John Cope, who was nearly seventy at the time. On the chancel floor in front of the altar is a marble slab with a large brass cross curiously designed with interlaced strands, on a base of two squares formed by similar strands. Below is the inscription: 'Hic jacet Ricardus Pendilton quōdam s'vus p'potentis viri Egidii Dawbney Regi ñro Henrico Septimo Camerarii Qui obiit Anno dñi mill[essim]o ccccco iio xx die Septembris lra dnicali B cui[us] a[nima]e p[ro]picietur deus amē.'
There are two bells in the tower, of which the first is by Thomas Mears, 1841, and the second by Henry Knight, 1622.
The plate consists of a cup of 1705 inscribed 'Eversleigh ex dono E W,' a paten of the same date, a flagon of 1730 inscribed 'Ex dono A. Cope, 1730,' and an almsdish of 1844.
The first book of the registers is in parchment, and contains baptisms and burials from 1559 to 1769, and marriages to 1754; the second has baptisms and burials from 1770 to 1812, and the third marriages from 1754 to 1812.
A church was included in the grant of Eversley to Westminster Abbey by Edward the Confessor. (fn. 145) The advowson followed the descent of the manor until 1669, (fn. 146) when the next presentation was expressly exempted from the sale of the manor by William and Anne Lucy. (fn. 147) The living did not fall vacant till 1699, when Richard Staverton was appointed rector by Deodatus Staverton. (fn. 148) After this the advowson passed to Sir Andrew Henley, bart., and has since followed the descent of the manor, although the present patron, Sir Anthony Cope, bart., being a Roman Catholic, is debarred from presenting to the living. The right of presentation is at the present time exercised by the universities in turn. (fn. 149)
On 29 March 1306 Henry Woodlock, Bishop of Winchester, granted permission to Ellis the priest of Sir John de Drokensford to conduct divine service and administer the sacraments in the chapel of Bramshill during Easter week. (fn. 150) This permission was abused, for on 30 April the bishop wrote to the rural dean of Basingstoke saying that Nicholas de Hagheman, the rector of Eversley, had complained that John Foxley had had mass celebrated in the chapel for fifteen days after Easter Sunday, and that the celebrant had received and detained the oblations, not paying them over to the mother church. (fn. 151) At the same time the bishop ordered the dean to suspend the service there, but in spite of this prohibition John Foxley and his wife persisted in having daily service there, and on 11 May 1306 their chaplain John was summoned to answer 'for that he contemptuously and profanely presumed to celebrate the divine offices in the chapel of Bramshill laid under interdict by the dean.' (fn. 152) The Foxleys appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in 1313, with the consent of John de Hagheman, patron of the church of Eversley, it was agreed that the rector of Eversley and his successors should choose a suitable chaplain to take the service and celebrate the sacraments every day in the chapel of St. Peter of Bramshill, depending upon the motherchurch of Eversley, and that John Foxley should provide for the chaplain at the rate of £2 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 153) John thereupon granted a messuage and a weir in Staines in free alms to the rector of Eversley as an endowment, (fn. 154) and the next year the bishop released the interdict. (fn. 155) By the 15th century this chapel, which was situated about a mile from Bramshill House on the field still known as Chapel Close, had fallen into disuse and neglect, and on 19 June 1467 William Waynflete sequestered its endowment, no longer applied to its original purpose, to Sir Thomas Uvedale. (fn. 156)
A later rector of Eversley, Nicholas Walraund, allowed John Foxley and Constance to have the service celebrated in the chapel in their manorhouse by their own chaplain when floods and inclement weather prevented their household from attending the mother church, (fn. 157) and this grant was confirmed by the vicar-general in 1322. (fn. 158) This chapel was destroyed when the old manorhouse of the Foxleys was pulled down, and a new one was built by Lord Zouche at the beginning of the 17th century. (fn. 159) It was this building which was consecrated by George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1621. (fn. 160) It was pulled down in its turn during the alterations to the house in the time of Sir Denzil Cope, and the present chapel was arranged by the late Sir William Henry Cope and consecrated by Bishop Forbes of Brechin, N.B.
Nonconformity is represented in the parish by a Wesleyan chapel at Eversley Cross, and a Baptist chapel in the very north of the parish on the borders of Bramshill Common.
In 1612 Nicholas Parvis by deed left an annuity of 6s. 8d. charged upon a croft called Kittescroft, for aged and impotent poor. The charge is paid by Harriette Lady Cope, widow of the late Sir William Henry Cope, bart.
Sir Robert Henley, as stated in the table of benefactions, bequeathed £100 for apprenticing, now represented by £100 consols with the official trustees, the dividends of which are accumulated until required for apprenticeship premiums.
The Church House Charity, comprised in a deed of 10 April 1710, is now represented by £516 2s. 2d. consols with the official trustees, arising from sales of cottages and an allotment made in respect thereof. The yearly dividends, amounting to £12 18s., are applied in the repairs of the church.
The National School, founded by deed, 1853, is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 28 August 1891.
In 1847 Sir John Cope, bart., by his will left £200 for investment, the income to be applied in apprenticing children of the tithing of Bramshill. Sir W. H. Cope, bart., by deed of 18 April 1852, in respect thereof, granted a rent-charge of £10 a year, issuing out of Moore Place Farm, unto the Rev. Charles Kingsley (the then rector) and the churchwardens.
The annual sum of £10 is paid by Sir Anthony Cope, bart., and applied in apprenticing when required. In 1906 there was a balance in hand of £107.