A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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TUFTON or TUCKINGTON
Tochiton (xi cent.); Thoketone, Tokinton (xiii cent.); Tokyngton (xvi and xvii cent.).
The River Test forms the north-western boundary of the parish of Tufton or Tuckington, the mean height of which above the sea level is about 300 ft. The soil is light, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, oats and turnips. The total area is 1,546 acres, comprising 1,222 acres of arable land, 231 acres of permanent grass and 17 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 1)
The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton branch of the Great Western Railway runs through Tufton, but the nearest station is Whitchurch, 2 miles away.
The village lies in the extreme north-west of the parish on the left bank of the Test.
As the high road from Whitchurch to Winchester passes through Tufton it branches south-west, passing Manor Farm House, the residence of Major the Honourable William Chambré Rowley, and Westfield House, the residence of Mr. James Walter John Kennedy, which both lie a little south-east of Tufton village.
In 1787 there was an inclosure award for this parish. (fn. 2)
The manor of TUFTON descended with Wherwell (q.v.) until 1698, when Edmond Boulter, who had three years previously bought it from Lord De La Warr, (fn. 3) sold it to Alice Wallop, (fn. 4) widow of John Wallop of Hurstbourne Priors and mother of the first Earl of Portsmouth. The purchaser was to pay an annual rent of £7 17s. 6d. for Tufton Farm. Newton (Wallop) sixth Earl of Portsmouth is now lord of the manor.
Before 1698 the Wallops had owned property in the parish, lands in Tufton being among those which Sir Henry Wallop bought in 1636 from the Oxenbridges. (fn. 5) Robert Wallop, as one of the judges of Charles I, was barred from enjoying these same lands at the Restoration. (fn. 6)
Tufton Manor House, which in the 13th century was rebuilt by the Abbess Eufemia, (fn. 7) figures in the records of the Court of Star Chamber, where in 1553 one Christiana Grove brought an action against Thomas Wroughton of Overton and John Grove of Lyons Inn for forcible entry, false imprisonment of her servants and seizure of her goods. We have only the defendants' account of the affair, from which it appears that they had a title to the house. Coming to take possession, they found the door barred against them. So they went for Sir John Kingsmill and William Wares, the magistrates, who about three o'clock in the afternoon came with a train of mounted men to settle the matter. Christiana still refused to open the door and threatened to 'hurle hote lycor' on those without. The justices thereupon tried to come to terms and 'tolde her the dainger of hir suche enterprise.' But she 'still contyneueyed in hir stoutenes,' so they broke the door down, marched her servants off to Winchester Gaol and took possession of the house. Next day the lady rode freely away to London, and, affirms the deponent, 'she was not then and ther beaten or yvell intreated nor by violence appulsyd thens.' (fn. 8)
Licence was granted to Henry le Wayte, clerk, in 1323 to alienate a messuage, mill and land in Tufton to Wherwell Abbey, that daily service might be said for the souls of his father and the faithful departed. (fn. 9)
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel 17 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 1 in. and a nave 42 ft. 2 in. by 21 ft. 4 in., with a south porch and a small wooden bell-turret over the west end.
The building on this site in the 12th century probably consisted of a nave and chancel of much the same size as at present.
The chancel was rebuilt early in the 13th century and greatly restored in modern times. The nave retains none of its original details except the chancel arch and the rear arch of the south doorway. The south porch is of modern brickwork. The whole church was plastered over in the 18th century and wide latticed windows with wooden casements inserted in the nave at the north-east and southeast.
The east window of the chancel is modern and has two plain pointed lights. The north and south walls of the chancel are each divided into three bays by wall arcades of early 13th-century date, having detached shafts with plain bell capitals, square abaci, roll-moulded bases and two-centred arches, edge chamfered. All the arches are original, but much of the rest has been restored. In each bay is a lancet window, the easternmost in the north wall and all in the south wall being modern, but the remaining two north windows show old stonework on the outside, the jambs of one being square and the other slightly chamfered. All the internal wall faces of the chancel are covered with modern plaster.
The chancel arch is semicircular and quite plain, and may date from c. 1120. The abaci at the springing are grooved and chamfered and are not returned on the east or west sides of the wall.
On either side of the arch is a plastered squint, the plastering being modern.
The nave contains only three windows, one at the north-east of two lights in a square-headed wooden frame, a like one at the south-east, both of 18th-century date, as already noted, and a third at the west, of a single elliptical-headed light with the stonework restored in plaster. Its present form is probably only of 18th-century origin. Beneath the south window is a small arched recess, no doubt the remains of a piscina for the altar which stood on the south side of the chancel arch.
The south doorway has square jambs and head with a wooden frame and a high semicircular rear arch. The head is completely hidden by the porch, and there is nothing to show its date, but the rear arch is probably original, c. 1120. No trace of a north door can be seen.
The chancel has a modern open timber roof, and the nave has a flat plastered ceiling.
On the floor near the chancel arch is a blue slab, with a much defaced English inscription in black letter, dated August 1527.
The old plastering remains in most parts of the nave, and on the north wall a large piece of the outer coat of plaster has been cut away, revealing a large painting of St. Christopher carrying the child Christ on his shoulder, the whole within a border of vine pattern. The west border is painted on a line of 12th-century ashlar stones, which look like the jambs of a blocked window. In the centre of the panel a series of concentric circles has been scratched.
The bell-turret contains two bells, both by Thomas Mears, 1836.
The plate consists of a silver parcel-gilt chalice and paten of 1873 and a plated alms dish.
The registers begin with baptisms 1784 to 1813, followed by some more copied from an older book from 1716 to 1783. At the other end of the same book are burials from 1784 to 1812, with others copied in from 1714 to 1784.
The living of Tufton is a chapelry, annexed to the vicarage of Wherwell until 1852 and since that date to Bullington (q.v.).
The church of the Blessed Mary of 'Tokynton' is given in the list of the possessions of Wherwell Abbey in the privilegium of Gregory IX. (fn. 10) The abbey also had the tithes and assarts for which was paid an annual pension of 2s. (fn. 11)
In 1300 Thomas of Cambridge, rector of Wherwell, granted the abbess and convent all fruits, rents, &c., annexed to the chapels of Tufton and Bullington and all the lands of the said chapels—except the tithes customarily belonging to the chaplain—for the space of three years in exchange for an annuity of £40. (fn. 12)
On 28 August 1647 the inhabitants were petitioning the lords that they should not be united to Wherwell, which was 4 miles distant, nor to Whitchurch, which was in another hundred, but should have the use of their ancient chapel of ease. On the same day an order was made in accordance with this petition. (fn. 13)
There are apparently no endowed charities in this parish.