A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Hartley Wintney is a large parish with an area of 2,449 acres of land and 3 acres of land covered with water, situated 2 miles north from Winchfield. The country is rather low, averaging 200 ft. above the Ordnance datum; one bench mark, however, by St. Mary's Church, records 2871 ft. Towards the west there are some copses, but the general aspect is that of open land. In the immediate vicinity of Hazeley Heath, which is partly within Hartley Wintney, gravel-pits are found. The village of Hartley Row lies on the main road from Bagshot to Basingstoke, and is entered by crossing Hartford Bridge and passing the golf links. After leaving the village this road leads on past Hartley Grange to Phoenix Green, and through Bear's Green to Odiham, whence it continues its course to Basingstoke. Branching off from the main road at the village is Church Lane, which passes the schools and the modern church of St. John on the west, and having proceeded due south for some distance beyond St. Mary's Church, winds to the far east of the parish, where Wintney Farm is situated on a spot once the site of the priory. West Green and Dipley Green are in the west of the parish, and are pleasantly situated on the road to Mattingley.
The soil is a light loam, the subsoil sand. According to the Agricultural Statistics of 1905 there are 683½ acres of arable land, 747¼ acres of permanent grass, and 69 acres of woods and plantations in the parish. The chief crops are corn and roots.
At the time of the Domesday Survey HARTLEY WINTNEY was probably included in the great royal manor of Odiham, and it is not mentioned by name until the 12th century, when a priory was founded here. Geoffrey Fitz Peter, whose name appears in an obituary of the priory as fundator ecclesiae nostrae, (fn. 3) had a sister Juliana, who married Stephen Bendeng of Winchfield, and to her he gave one-third of the vill of Hartley Wintney in free marriage, (fn. 4) so that for some time there were two distinct holdings in this parish—one of the nuns and the other of the Bendengs. Gradually by benefactions of or purchase from the latter family the priory of Hartley Wintney extended its holding, (fn. 5) until in 1258 the Bendengs finally quitclaimed to the nuns in the person of Alda, late the wife of Stephen Bendeng, grandson of Juliana sister of Geoffrey Fitz Peter. (fn. 6) The right of the priory to the manor was undisputed until the Dissolution, and the only records left are chiefly concerned with grants and licences to the nuns. Amongst others, permission was given to the prioress in 1228 to hold a fair each year for three days—i.e. on the eve, the day, and the morrow of the feast of St. Mary Magdalen. (fn. 7) Again, in 1340, the nuns were exempted from the subsidy of the ninths owing to their poverty; (fn. 8) and in 1388 they obtained leave from the king to receive land in the parish from Thomas Foster of Cholderton for lights in the priory church. (fn. 9)
In 1538 Henry VIII made a grant in tail male to Richard Hill, serjeant of the king's cellar, and Elizabeth his wife of 'the dissolved priory of Wintney, Hants; the church, steeple, and churchyard of the same; the manor of Hartley Wintney; and the rectory and advowson of Hartley Wintney, Hants; and all the lands in Hartley Wintney and in Winchester, Hants, belonging to the said manor and rectory—of the annual value of £26 14s. 9d. at a rent of 53s. 6d.' (fn. 10) After the death of Richard Hill, who left a son Henry Hill and other children, his widow Elizabeth married Sir John Mason, (fn. 11) and the manor was settled on them by fine in 1560. (fn. 12) In 1571 Elizabeth Mason, once more a widow, exchanged the manor and advowson with Anthony Weekes alias Mason for his interest and term of years in Elvetham, the neighbouring manor. (fn. 13) By a deed of 1590 the latter granted Hartley Wintney Manor to his son John Mason, (fn. 14) who sold to Edward, eleventh Lord Zouche, some years later. (fn. 15) Lord Zouche died in 1625, leaving as his co-heirs a daughter Mary, wife of William Connard, and a grandson, Zouche Tate, son of his other daughter Elizabeth. (fn. 16) From these heirs his cousin Sir Edward Zouche acquired the manor in 1627, and dying in 1634 was succeeded by his son James. (fn. 17) The Zouches continued to hold till 1708, (fn. 18) when Sophia wife of John Bayes and granddaughter of James Zouche became heir-general of the family. (fn. 19) She and her husband dealt with the manor of Hartley Wintney by fine in 1718 and again in 1723. (fn. 20) On the death of the last representative of the Zouche family the manor was thrown into Chancery, out of which it was purchased about 1745 by Paulet St. John. (fn. 21) It now belongs to his descendant, Sir Henry Paulet St. John-Mildmay, bart.
Henry VIII in 1542 granted to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John, certain messuages and lands called Woodpitts, Beles, Abrahams, Godfreyes, Gallways, (fn. 22) which Edward, Earl of Hertford, lord of Elvetham, had held of the Prioress and convent of Wintney, and which he had sold to the Crown as ' the manors of Wintney and Hartley-Wintney' in 1541 . (fn. 23) These were now to be held of the king in chief by knight service.
Sir William Paulet sold them to William Wood in 1566, (fn. 24) and the latter granted them to John and Thomas Woods in 1578. From them Clement Daubney acquired the same in 1592, and he sold in 1602 to Robert Waller. (fn. 25) The latter dying in 1611 devised all his lands to his nephew John Waller, who, however, predeceased him, and was succeeded by his son Henry. (fn. 26)
The present parish church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST was built in 1870, and consists of an apsidal chancel, north and south transepts, with a north porch, nave, and north and south aisles with porches. There are also a vestry, an organ chamber, and a north-west bell-turret containing one modern bell.
The old parish church is now used as a mortuary chapel. It consists of a chancel 17 ft. 9 in. by 15 ft., nave 50 ft. 10 in. by 20 ft., with north and south transepts 17 ft. 5 in. by 12 ft., and a west tower 12 ft. square.
The chancel and nave have some 14th and 15th-century details, and the walls themselves are probably earlier; they are built of flint with a good deal of puddingstone and red brick. The transepts are 19th-century additions in red brick, and the tower of flint is still more recent. The east window of the chancel is modern with a poor imitation of 15th-century tracery without cusping, and the north window has two trefoiled lights under a square head, and seems to be in part old.
The easternmost of the two south windows is a 14th-century trefoiled lancet, and the other is a single light with chamfered jambs and four-centred uncusped head, set low in the wall. Below the sill of the first south window is a pillar piscina of late 12th-century date, with a plain foliate capital set under an arched recess. There are corbels at the north-east and south-east angles of the chancel, which carried a beam running across behind the altar. The chancel arch is plastered, and obviously modern, but the stopped south-west angle of its south jamb looks like 13th-century work, and the thickness of the wall is 3 ft. 6 in. South of the south jamb is a shallow trefoiled ogee-headed recess for the image over the former south nave altar.
The transepts each have two windows in their gable walls, one over the other, like the east window of the chancel, the upper ones being to light galleries. The arches opening to the transepts are of plastered brick and four-centred.
The first south window of the nave is similar to the east chancel window, and to the west of it is a window of two trefoiled lights like those in the tower, and contemporary with them. The west angles of the nave have been rebuilt with clunch rubble. Between the two windows is the sill of a single light, rather high in the wall.
The west doorway of the tower has moulded jambs and a two-centred arch, with a few old stones re-used. The tower is of three stages, with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles. The bottom stage has a lancet window in the north and south walls; in the middle stage is a two-light window in the north, west, and south faces, and the top stage has a two-light window, with tracery in each face.
The only old furniture besides the 18th-century altar rails is a table, now in the north transept. It has turned legs, and a movable top with an inlaid inscription in a rectangular border b 1. 1636. g h. There is an old oak chest in the west gallery of the nave. A broken modern font of 13th-century style stands under the chancel arch. Over the arch are the Lord's Prayer, Commandments, and Creed, and a moulded beam, which looks like early 16th-century work.
There are three books of registers, the first, containing baptisms and burials from 1658 to 1812 and marriages from 1658 to 1754.. All entries from 1658 to 1723 are copied from older books, which have been lost. The second book contains marriages from 1754 to 1796; and the third the same from 1792 to 1812.
The church was apparently included in the original endowment of the priory of Hartley Wintney. It was appropriated to the priory, and the prioress and nuns presented the vicars till the Dissolution. (fn. 27)
Richard Hill in 1538 acquired the rectory and advowson of the vicarage with the manor, (fn. 28) and since then the lords of the manor have continued to present to the vicarage. (fn. 29) The benefice, which is at present in the gift of Sir Henry Paulet St. JohnMildmay, bart., is valued at £170 a year. There is a residence with 5½ acres of glebe attached.
The charity of Robert Ray, founded by deed dated 24 March 1674, was formerly endowed with a moiety of the New Inn public-house, with its appurtenances, and certain quit-rents. The trust property was sold in 1904 for £1,900, invested with the official trustees, and a sum of £936 0s. 2d. War Stock, £16 13s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock, was appropriated as the share of this parish, together with £11 0s. 5d. consols, as a repair and improvement fund. The moiety of the Ray charity has since the War Stock ceased (5 April 1910) been invested in £1,152 17s. 8d. consols. About £26 a year is applied in the distribution of clothing. See under Odiham parish.
Charity of Robert Corham, founded by will, proved in the P.C.C. 1596, for the poor of this parish and Heckfield (Holdshot Hundred), consisted of an annuity of 20s. The one-third share for this parish was redeemed in 1904 by the transfer to the official trustees of £13 6s. 8d. consols. The annual dividend of 6s. 8d. is distributed among seven of the poorest people.
The Church of England school, founded by Augustus Hill Bradshaw, by deed of 18 September 1839, was formerly endowed with 5½ acres of land, which in 1897 was sold under sanction of the Charity Commissioners for yearly rents-charge amounting to £51 5s. The deed contains a proviso for cesser in certain circumstances in favour of the County Hospital at Winchester.