A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Stratfield Turgis is a village and parish situated 4½ miles south from Mortimer station, on the Reading and Basingstoke branch of the Great Western Railway. Its northern and western boundaries are formed by the River Loddon. The elevation varies from about 250 ft. above the Ordnance datum in the east to about 160 ft. in the west by the banks of the Loddon. Stratfieldsaye Park extends into the north of the parish. One of its lodges is situated on the main road from Basingstoke to Reading, which intersects the parish, and the inn, 'The Wellington Arms,' hard by, marks the association of the Iron Duke with Stratfield Turgis. The church of All Saints is situated near the river, some little distance west of the main road, and quite away from the small and scattered village. The churchyard contains a fine yew tree, but is otherwise rather bare. Adjacent to it, but on the other side of the stream, is the old manorhouse called Turgis Court, access to the church being gained through the farmyard. The rectory, which was built by the patron in 1858, stands a short distance to the north-east on the borders of Stratfieldsaye Park. On 22 December 1879 a detached part of Stratfield Turgis, known as Boar Mead, was transferred to Hartley Wespall, (fn. 1) and by the Divided Parishes Act, 1882, part of the latter parish was added to the former. The parish now covers an area of 1,062 acres, of which 545½ acres are arable land and 307½ acres permanent grass. (fn. 2) Thorpe's Copse, Guyet's Copse, and Lower Pitham Copse, which surround Bylands in the west, are responsible, with portion of the park of Stratfieldsaye, for the 96½ acres of woods and plantations which are comprised in the parish. (fn. 3) The soil is strong loam and sand, while the subsoil is clay. The crops are a succession of grain.
The following place-names are found in early records:—Bormede (fn. 4) (xiii cent.); a messuage called Daniell, (fn. 5) the name of which was afterwards changed to Nedes or Martins, Blackmores landes, and Dederyche lande (fn. 6) (xvi cent.); Baylyes landes, Hindens landes, Kingeslandes, Wocrofte, and Stonyham (fn. 7) (xvii cent.).
At the time of the Domesday Survey the manor of STRATFIELD TURGIS, which had been held by Alvric of Edward the Confessor, was held by the same Alvric of Hugh de Port. (fn. 8) The name of the immediate successor of Alvric is unknown, but the overlordship continued with the Ports and their descendants the St. Johns for a considerable period, Stratfield Turgis occurring in lists of the St. John knights' fees as late as 1349. (fn. 9) From an early date the Turgis family held the manor of the Ports and St. Johns as overlords, but very little can be learned concerning them, as no inquisitions are extant concerning their property in the county. Henry Turgis was apparently holding the manor in 1270, (fn. 10) and he was succeeded by John Turgis, who presented to the church at the beginning of the 14th century. (fn. 11) John Turgis was one of those accused by John de Drokensford, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1318 of breaking his close at Hartley Wespall and fishing his stews, (fn. 12) but whether he was the same as the John Turgis who met with his death at the hands of John Oakland in 1347 (fn. 13) is uncertain. In 1349 another John Turgis was holding the fifth part of a knight's fee in Stratfield Turgis of the value of 40s. a year, (fn. 14) while a rector was presented by John Turgis during the episcopacy of William Edendon (fn. 15) (1346–66). By 1360 the manor had passed into the hands of William Fifhide, as is apparent from the inquisition taken after the death of Thomas Foxley, which stated that lands that he was holding at the time of his death in Stratfield Turgis were held of William Fifhide in socage as of his manor of Stratfield Turgis. (fn. 16) Robert Herriard, as lord of the manor of Stratfield Turgis, presented to the church in 1390, (fn. 17) and the manor for some time continued in the Herriard family, passing ultimately to Thomas Herriard, by whom it was held in the middle of the 15 th century. (fn. 18) The history of the manor for the next forty years is very obscure. In 1490 John Wayte and Richard Hooper, being summoned to show by what right they had disseised Nicholas Talbot, Thomas Manory, and John Oxsen of the manor, stated that it had been formerly held by Richard Lovell, and had on his death descended to his two daughters and co-heiresses, Agatha wife of John Wayte, and Joan wife of George Rotheram. (fn. 19) On the other hand Nicholas, Thomas, and John pleaded that it had formerly formed part of the possessions of James Cawode, and had by him been granted to them and their heirs for ever. (fn. 20) Their statement is supported by the fact that rectors had been presented by John Cawode, and by Nicholas Talbot and others during the episcopacy of William Waynflete (fn. 21) (1447–86), and by the feoffees of James Cawode, 'late deceased,' during the episcopacy of Peter Courtenay (fn. 22) (1486–92); but, nevertheless, the case was decided in favour of John Wayte and Richard Hooper. In 1505 John Wayte and Agatha his wife sold the manor and advowson of Stratfield Turgis to Francis Dyneley, (fn. 23) who as lord of the manor presented to the church twice between 1505 and 1528. (fn. 24) He was succeeded in the ownership of the estate by Sir William Uvedale and Edward Baynard, who sold the manor and advowson in 1539 to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John, (fn. 25) created Marquess of Winchester in 1551. The manor continued in the possession of successive Marquesses of Winchester until the reign of James I, (fn. 26) when it was sold to Sir William Pitt. At the death of Sir William in 1636 the manor of Stratfield Turgis, the advowson of the church, and the farm called Turgis Court descended to his son Edward, (fn. 27) and have since followed the same descent as the manor of Stratfieldsaye (q.v.), the Duke of Wellington being at the present day lord of the manor of Stratfield Turgis and owner of the whole parish.
There is no trace of the mill which existed in the parish at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 28)
In 1336 John atte Oakland of Stratfield Turgis surrendered to Thomas Foxley and Katherine his wife all his right in the lands in Stratfield Turgis which had descended to him on the death of his father Richard, and the reversion of those which his mother Eleanor was then holding in dower. (fn. 29) At his death in 1360 Thomas Foxley was seised of a messuage and virgate of land in Stratfield Turgis, (fn. 30) and from this date this holding, afterwards known as the manor of OAKLANDS, followed the same descent as the manor of Bramshill until 1499, when it was expressly excepted from the sale of Bramshill to Giles, Lord Daubeney, being retained by William Essex and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 31) It continued in the possession of Elizabeth until 1514, in which year she joined with her second husband Sir Leonard Grey in conveying messuages, lands, and rent in Bramshill and Oakland to Henry, Lord Daubeney, son and successor of Giles. (fn. 32) In 1547 it was probably included in the grant of Bramshill to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John, who was already the owner of Stratfield Turgis, and from this date followed the same descent as the latter manor. (fn. 33) At the present day the site is marked by Oaklands, in the extreme west of the parish, on the banks of the River Loddon.
The history of a holding called WERHAM or WAREHAM, with lands situated partly in the parish of Stratfield Turgis and partly in the parish of Hartley Wespall, can be traced until the beginning of the 17th century, but no evidence of it now remains. In the middle of the 13 th century it was held by Sir Robert de Hauford, who left a son and heir Robert and Alice his widow. Alice subsequently married Ralph Danvers, and in 1288, as his widow, granted half of a messuage, a carucate of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 60 acres of wood in Hartley Wespall and Stratfield Turgis to Richard de Merton, clerk, to hold of her and her heirs for the rent of a rose. (fn. 34) A year later Robert de Hauford, in return for 20 marks, released to the same Richard all his right in the lands that belonged to Sir Robert his father and Alice his mother at Werham in the vills of Stratfield Turgis and Hartley Wespall. (fn. 35) In 1294 by fine between Richard de Merton and Alice Danvers it was agreed that if Richard died during the lifetime of Alice, one messuage, one carucate of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 60 acres of wood in Stratfield Turgis and Hartley Wespall, 10 acres of land called Cockeleslond in Hartley Wespall, 6 acres of land called La Feldelond, and 6 acres of meadow called Bormede in Stratfield Turgis, should remain to Alice for life for a rose rent, but that after her death they should revert to the heirs of Richard Merton. (fn. 36) Richard obviously predeceased Alice, for in 1303 his brother and heir John atte Oakland sought, but with no success, to dispossess Alice. (fn. 37) The holding next passed to the Warblingtons, probably by sale, from John atte Oakland. John de Warblington was seised of one messuage, one carucate of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 60 acres of wood in Werham, 12 acres of land in Hartley Wespall, 6 acres of land in La Feldlond, and 6 acres of meadow in Stratfield Turgis at his death in 1332. (fn. 38) The premises passed to his widow Margaret and his son Thomas, in accordance with a previous settlement, (fn. 39) and it is probable that the former married as her second husband Oliver de Bohun, for in 1346 Oliver de Bohun and Margaret his wife were returned as holding one-sixth of a knight's fee in Werham, formerly belonging to Alice Danvers. (fn. 40) John de Warblington, nephew of Thomas, (fn. 41) obtained a grant of free warren in Stratfield Turgis in 1368, (fn. 42) and his widow Katherine was seised of a messuage and 40 acres of land in Stratfield Turgis at her death in 1404, (fn. 43) but it is doubtful whether this holding represents Werham. By the end of the 16th century it had passed into the hands of Thomas Dabridgecourt of Stratfieldsaye, (fn. 44) who sold Wareham Farm, with 23 acres of land in Stratfield Turgis, Heckfield, and Hartley Wespall, to Matthew Ley and William Child in 1600. (fn. 45) Eight years later it was sold by William Forster and Matthew Ley to Thomas Wigge and his heirs. (fn. 46) This is the last mention that has been found concerning this estate.
The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel 24 ft. 3 in by 15 ft. 6 in.; a nave 3 8 ft. 10 in. by 16 ft. 5 in., and a south porch. It has been so much altered and rebuilt as to make its early history a matter of uncertainty. The earliest fragments of detail are of 13th-century date, but in 1792 the church was burnt, or partly so, and the chancel rebuilt in brick, but on the old foundations, and at the same time the nave appears to have been largely reconstructed; it was again restored in 1901. The chancel shows a very marked inclination to the south, suggesting a rebuilding previous to that at the end of the 18th century.
The east window of the chancel is quite modern, and is of two cinquefoiled lights, with a small quatrefoil over. The north and south walls of the chancel are lit by four windows, two in each wall, filled with square wooden frames of two trefoiled lights. There is no chancel arch, its place being taken by a plastered beam. On the west side of this is a small modern rood of plaster inclosed in a wooden frame.
At the east end of the north wall of the nave is a window of 14th-century style of two cinquefoiled lights with an external label with ball-flowers for drips. It is placed very low in the wall, and has been reset and shortened in the process. Externally the cusping has been cut away. West of this is a reset and partly blocked 14th-century door with a distorted chamfered label. The head is filled with a glazed wooden frame. The third window is a curiously drawn single cinquefoiled light of uncertain date, and here again the cusps have been cut away externally. At the south-east is a small square recess, possibly once a piscina, and west of this a modern window of two trefoiled lights, the only one in the wall. The south door is of no great age, chamfered and with a three-centred head. In the roof on this side are two small dormers, one at the east to light the pulpit and one towards the west to light a now destroyed gallery. In the west wall is a modern door with a rounded chamfered head. Above this the whole wall appears to have been rebuilt in modern times, and three single trefoiled lights have been inserted. Externally the nave is cement-rendered, except the upper part of the west wall, and the walls are of flint rubble with ashlar quoins. The south porch is of brick, and quite plain. It dates from the rebuilding.
The font, near the south door, is a plain octagonal block of stone. It is of pre-Reformation but otherwise quite uncertain date. The seating, fittings, etc., are all modern. Under the south-east dormer is a twisted wrought iron bar intended to hold up a sounding board, but this together with the pulpit has gone. There are no monuments of any interest.
The plate consists of a cup and cover paten of 1662, given by Edward Drope, D.D., 'Minister of Turges,' a secular silver-gilt plate of 1774, given by John Awbery, rector, a silver bread-box of 1902, and a plated flagon.
There are four books of registers. The first concontains baptisms 1672–1801, burials 1674–1801, and marriages 1672–1753; the second contains burials 1731–75; the third marriages 1754–1809; and the fourth, baptisms and burials 1802–12. There are also churchwardens' accounts 1707–86.
The advowson of the church has throughout followed the descent of the manor, (fn. 47) the living at the present day being a rectory in the gift of the Duke of Wellington.
In 1340 it was stated that the value of the church was only sufficient to support one chaplain. (fn. 48)
Among the property forfeited in the reign of Edward VI for superstitious uses was a rent of 1s. issuing out of lands and tenements in the parish called Danyelles, which had been left to maintain a light in the parish church of Stratfield Turgis. (fn. 49)
Samuel Loggon, author of The History of the Brotherhood or Guild of the Holy Ghost in the Chapel of the Holy Ghost near Basingstoke, and of a very popular schoolbook, M. Corderii Colloquia, which reached its twenty-first edition in 1830, at one time master of the free school of the Holy Ghost, Basingstoke, was rector of Stratfield Turgis from 1746 to 1748. He died at Basingstoke about 1778, and was buried by his own desire in a sawpit in the churchyard of Stratfield Turgis. (fn. 50)
In 1791, George Lord Rivers, by will proved in the P.C.C., 1803, bequeathed the sum of £30 for the poor, which, augmented by subscriptions, is now represented by £53 consols with the official trustees.