A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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The parish of Ibsley, including the hamlets of South Gorley and Furze Hill in the north and Mockbeggar and New Town in the south, contains 1,793½ acres, of which 379¾ are arable land and 329 acres are permanent grass. (fn. 1) The high road from Fordingbridge to Ringwood forms the main street of the village, which consists of a few deeply thatched cottages picturesquely grouped near the River Avon. From the village, which is only 79 ft. above the ordnance datum, the land rises to the east, in parts of Ibsley Common reaching sometimes a height of 256 ft.
Huckles Brook and Linwood Bog, tributaries of the Avon, run through the parish. The soil is chiefly sand and gravel. The village school, built in 1874 by the late Earl of Normanton, is at South Gorley.
Ibsley House originally stood on the banks of the Avon, but was pulled down when the estate was annexed to Somerley. (fn. 2)
In 1086 a certain Ralph, the successor of the Saxon tenant Algar, held the manor of IBSLEY of Hugh de Port. (fn. 3) The overlordship descended with Basing (q.v.), being annexed to the barony of St. John. (fn. 4)
In 1166 Richard de 'Avene et Tibesleia' was holding two knights' fees of John de Port. (fn. 5) These fees were apparently divided among co-heirs, and at the beginning of the 13th century Hugh de Godshill and Giles de Hattingley were returned as holding the third part of a fee in Ibsley of Robert de St. John. (fn. 6) The other third was probably included in the three-quarters of a knight's fee in Avon which Alexander Huscarle then held of Robert de St. John, (fn. 7) since in 1280 the heir of Roger Huscarle (fn. 8) was holding one fee and the eighth part of a fee in Ibsley and Avon of John de St. John. (fn. 9) The third that had belonged to Giles de Hattingley passed by 1280 to Henry de Hach, (fn. 10) while that of Hugh de Godshill was held by Adam son of John atte Bere, or Abarowe, the owner also of Malshanger. (fn. 11) This Adam had in 1271 obtained confirmation of a grant made to him and his clerk William Rus by Peter de Linwood (fn. 12) of all the lands belonging to Peter and to John de Newtown in Linwood (q.v.), (fn. 13) with quittance of the lawing of dogs and pannage, and with herbage for their swine and beasts in the New Forest. (fn. 14) A further inspeximus and confirmation given in 1440 (fn. 15) of obviously the same land and liberties substitutes Ibsley for Linwood. This is undoubtedly right, and thus the first grant also refers to Ibsley.
In 1316 the vill of Ibsley was divided among John atte Bere, who had succeeded his father Adam in 1287, Roger de Melbury, possibly a descendant of Roger Huscarle, and John de Nuthaven, probably representing Henry de Hach. The third holding had before 1346 passed to John atte Bere and William de Melbury, (fn. 16) so that the fee was henceforward held in two moieties. John atte Bere died in 1360, leaving as heir his son Thomas, who died childless in 1362. (fn. 17) His heirs were his great-nieces Maud daughter of John Punchardon, son and heir of his sister Sybil, and Joan and Christine daughters of John Ernys, son and heir of his sister Katherine. (fn. 18) In 1381 Maud, then the wife of John atte Pole, Joan, then the wife of Thomas Snell, and Christine, then the wife of Nicholas de Seintlowe, conveyed their manor under fine to William Earl of Salisbury and Thomas Street (fn. 19) for the use of the latter, who afterwards conveyed his property in Ibsley and Gorley to William Stourton of Stourton (co. Wilts.). (fn. 20) The latter died in 1414, and the manor passed to his son John, (fn. 21) who for his services in France under Henry V and Henry VI was created Lord Stourton in 1448. (fn. 22) He died in 1462, leaving a son William, who in 1478 was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 23) Francis son and heir of John, dying a minor, was succeeded in turn by his uncles William and Edward. (fn. 24) The latter left a son William, who with his first wife Elizabeth daughter of Edmund Dudley sold the manor in 1544 to Robert White, (fn. 25) from whom it descended with Rockford in Ellingham (q.v.) to the Beconshaws and Lisles. (fn. 26) After the death of Charles Lisle in 1818 Ibsley was purchased by Henry Combe Compton, (fn. 27) who sold it to the second Earl of Normanton. It is now annexed to the Somerley estate and belongs to Sidney James Agar Earl of Normanton, the grandson of the second earl.
The second estate in Ibsley passed on the death of Roger de Melbury in 1330 to his son William, (fn. 28) who in 1 348 settled it on his son and heir John and Joan his wife, (fn. 29) from whom it passed to Sir John Berkley and Elizabeth his wife. They settled it in 1415–16 on John Haregrove and Elizabeth his wife and their heirs. (fn. 30) In 1428 it belonged to a certain Thomas Tame, (fn. 31) but by the beginning of the 16th century it had reverted to another branch of the Berkley family. (fn. 32) Thus in 1506 Alice widow of Edward Berkeley settled it on her son Maurice and Maud his wife. (fn. 33) Maurice died childless in 1513, and Ibsley passed to his nephew John son of Thomas Berkeley, (fn. 34) whose son, Sir William Berkeley, died in 1551, leaving a son John. (fn. 35) The latter in 1556 sold the manor to William Batten, (fn. 36) who in the following year settled it on his wife Anne. (fn. 37) He died in 1606. leaving a son and heir Anthony, who with his brother William was dealing with the manor in 1609. (fn. 38) William Batten, (fn. 39) possibly son of William, sold it to Jeremiah Cray in 1697. (fn. 40) The latter by his will dated 5 February 1709 left most of his property to his nephew John, one of the younger sons of Alexander Cray. From him it passed in 1725 to his son Jeremiah Cray, (fn. 41) whose son and heir, also Jeremiah, died in 1786, leaving two daughters, Sarah wife of Alexander Grant and Margaret wife of Percival Lewis. (fn. 42) Ibsley passed to Margaret, who after 1810 (fn. 43) apparently sold it to Henry Combe Compton, and it thus became annexed to the other manor.
A mill, no trace of which survives, worth 10s., belonged in 1086 (fn. 44) to the manor.
Free fishing was attached to Ibsley in the 18th century. (fn. 45)
The hamlet of SOUTH GORLEY (fn. 46) was included in and followed the descent of the de la Bcre, atte Bere or Abarowe fee in Ibsley.
The church of ST. MARTIN is a small 19th-century building of red brick throughout, and consists of continuous chancel and nave, a west gallery, an inclosed bell above the west gable and a south porch. The building is of little architectural interest. On the south internal wall is a large monument with side shafts carrying an order and broken pediment.
Under an arch are the kneeling figures of Sir John Constable, kt., 1627, and his wife. Between the figures is a carved helmet and on the wall behind is a vine-tree, from which rise the busts of their three sons and two daughters. In the spandrels of the arch are two shields, which have been repainted and are uncertain in tincture. On the top of the monument is a carved achievement. A considerable amount of colouring remains on the monument and figures and the faces are particularly good work.
There are four books of registers. The first contains all entries from 1654 to 1676; the second has baptisms and burials from 1678 to 1791 and marriages from 1678 to 1755, with numerous briefs; the third has marriages only from 1756 to 1812, and the fourth baptisms and burials from 1784 to 1812. There are also churchwardens' accounts from 1689.
Ibsley, formerly a chapelry, (fn. 47) is now a rectory dependent on the church and served by the vicar of Fordingbridge. There is a Congregational chapel near Mockbeggar.
In 1682 Giles Rooke by will, proved in the P.C.C., charged his lands and tenements with an annuity of 6s. to be distributed to 12 poor men or women about New Year's Day. The distribution is made by the overseers.