A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The parish of Milton lies upon the shores of Christchurch Bay, midway between Christchurch and Lymington. It contains 5,803 acres, of which 1,917½ are arable, 1,462 permanent grass, 701½ woods and plantations, (fn. 1) and 5 land covered with water. The south-western half of the parish lies upon the Bagshot and Bracklesham Beds, the north-western half upon the Hamstead, Bembridge, Osborne and Headon Series. Like the neighbouring parishes, it contains several disused gravel-pits, clay-pits and brick fields. Two miles of cliffs, 100 ft. in height, form the southern boundary of the parish; from here the land rises very gradually northwards until a height of 210 ft. is reached, close to Wootton Farm, in Little Wootton Inclosure, 4 miles from the coast. Walkford Brook, forming for more than 3 miles the western boundary of the parish, falls into the sea close to Naish Farm, through the chine known as Chewton Bunney. The Avon Water forms the north-eastern boundary of the parish and Danes Stream, which rises upon Bashley Common, the eastern.
In the north of the parish Broadley Inclosure, Wootton Copse Inclosure, Little Wootton Inclosure and part of Brownhill Inclosure belong to the southernmost fringe of the New Forest. In the village, which is about a mile from the sea, on the Christchurch and Lymington high road, is an old moat possibly marking the site of the mill. (fn. 2) East of the village is the hamlet of Barton, beautifully situated upon Barton Cliff. In the gravel beds topping the cliffs have been found numerous spear-heads and other weapons of the early Stone Age. In 1910 a pot of the late Celtic period was found on Barton Common. (fn. 3) Half a mile northeast of the village is New Milton, a modern extension, with a station upon the London and South Western main line to Bournemouth, and north of New Milton is the hamlet of Bashley, where are the Manor Farm, the residence of Major Brett, and Bashley Lodge. To the south-east is the hamlet of Ashley, including Ashley Clinton, the residence of Lieut.-Col. Henry Renebald Clinton, J.P., while in the north of the parish is the hamlet of Wootton. To the west is Ossemsley Manor, the property and residence of Sir Alfred Cooper, with its fine wooded grounds, and Ossemsley Manor Farm.
Fernhill Manor House is mostly of early 18thcentury date, and is planned in a single square wing. There are remains, however, of a house of 16thcentury date, probably in the form of an H, the later building taking the place of the central block, and only a part, the present (and probably the original) kitchen, remaining.
Among place-names that occur are Walkeforde (fn. 7) and La Gore, (fn. 8) the modern Walkford and Gore Farm (xv cent.); Erthe Pitts, Perocke, West Place, Southayes, Libertyes and Pyckerett (fn. 9) (xvi cent.).
In the time of Edward the Confessor MILTON was held by a certain Alwin in parage. In 1086 it belonged to Hugh de Port, (fn. 10) and the overlordship remained in the Port family, being held by their descendants the St. Johns (fn. 11) in the 14th century. However, in the 15th century it was evidently held of the Earls of Salisbury, being in 1477 held of the Duke of Clarence as of Christchurch Castle (fn. 12) (q.v.), and in 1511 of the king as of his earldom of Salisbury. (fn. 13) From that date the overlordship seems to have lapsed.
The manor was held of Hugh de Port in 1086 by a certain William Orenet, (fn. 14) who is almost undoubtedly to be identified with the William de Chernet who was holding neighbouring lands in Hampshire of Hugh de Port. (fn. 15) This William de Chernet was represented in 1166 by Hugh de Chernet, who held three fees, in which Milton was included, of Hugh de Port's heir. (fn. 16) In the early 13th century John de Chernet was holding the manor as half a knight's fee, (fn. 17) and from that date it followed the descent of South Charford (q.v.), in Fordingbridge Hundred, until the end of the 14th century, when this intermediate lordship presumably lapsed and the manor passed to the immediate holders.
Of these the first mentioned is Lucy de Limesey, who was holding Milton of John de Chernet in the early 13th century. (fn. 18) Later in the century Henry de Thistleden and Thomas Chalcombe (fn. 19) were, it seems, holding the manor jointly, but before the beginning of the 14th century Thomas Chalcombe was holding the whole manor and receiving grants of free warren, &c., in the same. (fn. 20) John Chalcombe, successor of Thomas, died seised of the manor, 'formerly belonging to John de Limesey,' in 1330 (fn. 21); his widow received a quarter of the manor in dower, (fn. 22) but his heir was his brother Henry. Before 1346, probably by failure of heirs male to Henry Chalcombe, Milton had presumably been divided among three heiresses, doubtless his three daughters. Thus in 1346 John Champfleur (possibly a son of one of the heiresses), Edith Peverell and Margaret Grimstead held the manor. (fn. 23) Before 1363, however, a settlement had evidently been made on the heirs of Edith Peverell, since in that year Sir Henry Peverell, kt., died seised of the whole manor, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 24) The latter granted it in 1365 to Sir Thomas Tyrrell, kt., (fn. 25) whose son John in 1428 held half a fee in Milton. (fn. 26) In 1475 the manor belonged to Sir Thomas Tyrrell, son of John, and was in that year settled upon Thomas Tyrrell, the grandson of the latter, in tail. (fn. 27) The grandfather died two years later, (fn. 28) and the grandson in the year 1510, being succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 29) whose son Sir Henry Tyrrell, kt., died possessed of the manor in 1589. (fn. 30) He was followed by his son Thomas, who died four years later, leaving a son John, (fn. 31) upon whom the manor devolved. He in 1595 sold it to Robert Odber of Hurn Court, (fn. 32) who, however, does not seem to have owned it at his death in 1614. (fn. 33) In 1670 the manor belonged to William Bursey and William MacNeill, (fn. 34) and in 1718 William Bursey together with his wife Anne suffered a recovery of it. (fn. 35) In 1790 it was conveyed by William Farr and Katherine Hicks, widow, to Jonathan Elford and Richard Fozard Mansfield. (fn. 36) In 1802 it belonged to John Bursey, from whom it passed in 1832, when his son John Bursey entered into possession and held the same until his death in 1852. He was succeeded by his daughter Frances Elizabeth Bursey and she in turn by her nieces, by whom the property was in November 1885 conveyed to trustees of the Dent family (then resident at 'Barton Court'). In 1892 the Milton Manor Farm was acquired by Mr. Thomas John Jones, by whom it has since been sold to the Barton Court Estate Co. Ltd. It is now subdivided among numerous purchasers, and the whole character of the property changed. (fn. 37)
In 1570 William Juniper died possessed of an estate known as the manor of MILTON or COPED HALL, which he held of the queen as of the manor of East Greenwich. It was described as lately belonging to the monastery of Beaulieu, (fn. 38) but no record to this effect has at present been found.
The so-called manor of BARTON (Bermeton, xiv and xv cent.; Barmeton, xiv-xvi cent.; Barhampton, xvii cent.).—An estate here was held of the lord of Christchurch for an eighth of a knight's fee in 1397 (fn. 39) in Milton parish, but the first mention of a manor is in 1559, when John Dowce died possessed of it, then worth £4 yearly. (fn. 40) William Juniper acquired it soon after, and at his death it was described as the capital messuage or farm called Barmeton. (fn. 41) The next record of it that has been found is in 1654, when Richard Stephens, lord of Winkton Manor, owned the 'site of the manor' of Barton. (fn. 42) It remained in the Stephens family until the 18th century, when Richard Stephens in 1733 sold it to Thomas Le Marchant of the Inner Temple. The latter willed it to his son John le Marchant, but, the will not being properly attested, a confirmatory deed by the heir-at-law was granted in January 1769. In 1771 John Le Marchant of Guernsey conveyed 'the scite of the manor of Barton, etc.,' to Edward Dampier of Corfe Castle, in whose family it remained (the last holder having taken the name of Crossley) until 1903, when Mr. Alexander Paris of Barton House, the present owner, bought the site of the manor and the land known as 'Barton Common' from Mr. Crossley Dampier Crossley. (fn. 43) The Barton manor farm-house and lands, originally part of the estate, were sold in 1896 by Mr. Crossley Dampier Crossley to Mr. David Duncan, from whom the same have since passed into different hands. (fn. 44)
The manor of FERNHILL (Fernehelle, xi cent.; Farnhill, xiii-xv cent.; Farnhall, xv-xix cent.).—In 1086 Earl Roger of Shrewsbury held the third of a hide in Fernhill, and Nigel held it of him. It had been owned by one Godric in the reign of the Confessor. (fn. 45) The estate was afterwards acquired by the de Redvers, Earls of Devon, and about 1200 William sixth earl granted the manor of Fernhill to Richard de Fernhill to be held of Christchurch Manor by castle guard. (fn. 46) In 1262 Richard de Fernhill, the successor of the original grantee, held the manor, (fn. 47) which ten years later he conveyed to John de Fernhill to be held by the latter in tail, with remainder to Richard. (fn. 48) The manor was afterwards acquired by John Fromond, who died in 1420, having by his will directed his feoffees to convey it to the Warden and scholars of St. Mary's College, Winchester, the income derived to be devoted by them, among other things, towards supplying sixteen choristers in the college with proper clothing. (fn. 49) In 1431 the manor was held for a quarter of a knight's fee by Richard Seman, one of the feoffees, and John Hall, (fn. 50) while later in the same year it was held for half a knight's fee by Sir Maurice Berkeley, kt., one of the assignees of the original feoffees, and Sir John Hall, kt. (fn. 51) The will was duly carried out in the year 1445, and from that date up to the present time the manor has belonged to Winchester College. The tenure is copyhold for lives without power of renewal. No manorial courts have been held in recent years.
The so-called manor of BASHLEY or BATCHLEY (Bailocheslei, xi cent.; Bailocusleia, xii cent.; Bayleckeslegh, Ballokeshulle, xiii cent.; Bayllokeslee, Baillakesley, Badeslo, xiv cent.; Baggesley, xv cent.; Baldoxley, Balloxley, xvi cent.; Ballexley, xvii cent.; Balleoxley, xix cent.) was in the time of the Conqueror held in chief by Alsi the priest, who had also held it of the Confessor (fn. 52); soon afterwards it was acquired by Christchurch Priory. (fn. 53) In 1262 William Boscher had held land there of Christchurch Manor, for which he owed castle ward at Christchurch, (fn. 54) and in 1315 Robert Boscher died possessed of Bashley Manor. (fn. 55) His son William being then an infant of five, the lands were ordered to be delivered to his widow Agnes. (fn. 56) This estate (fn. 57) is probably represented at the present day by Bashley Manor Farm, which is now owned by Major Brett, whose ancestor James Brett was holding the same in 1829. (fn. 58) The priory still owned part of the original estate in 1384, when it received a grant of free warren there. (fn. 59) This land seems to have been absorbed into their manor of Somerford (q.v. supra); it is included in an extent of the manor in 1628, (fn. 60) and sixty years later there is mention of a copse at Bashley belonging to the manor. (fn. 61)
The so-called manor of OSSEMSLEY (Oselei, xi cent.; Osmondesle, xiv cent.; Osmondley, xviii cent.; Ossamsley, Ossolei, Ossolie, xix cent.) was derived from two estates held there in 1086 by Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, one of which was held of him by Nigel and the other by Fulcuin. In the time of the Confessor Salide had held the former and Godwine the latter. By 1086, however, the whole of both estates, except 1 acre of meadow in the former and 2 acres of meadow in the latter, had been absorbed into the king's forest. (fn. 62) In 1670 Thomas Stevens was 'seised' in fee of an ancient messuage called 'Osmondsley' with 172 acres there and in Milton, together with 180 acres of uninclosed furze and heath called Eastfield. (fn. 63) It was probably this estate, then described as a manor, which his successor Thomas Stevens conveyed to John Jeanes, jun., in 1740. (fn. 64) In 1808 the estate belonged, together with the site of the manor-house, to Sir Henry Worseley Holmes, bart. (fn. 65) In 1820 it was conveyed by William Boothby and Fanny his wife to Thomas Carr. (fn. 66)
The so-called manor of NAISH (Ashe, xiv cent.; Aisshe, Aishe, xvi cent.) and SOUTH CHEWTON (Chyveton, xiv cent.; Chewghton, Southchuton, Shopton, Choppeton, xvi cent.; Southcheveton, xvi and xvii cent.) belonged to Christchurch Priory at the time of the Dissolution. (fn. 67)
In the 13th century Walter Noht granted a tenement in Milton to the priory of Breamore. (fn. 68) About the same time Nicholas son of Robert of Breamore granted the canons there a rent service and tenement in Milton. (fn. 69)
The Bishop of Salisbury held half a knight's fee at Bashley and Everton (in Milford parish) in 1346. (fn. 70) It was still in the hands of the bishop in the year 1428, (fn. 71) but no further record of it has been found.
In the year 1330 there was a windmill here belonging to John de Chalcombe, lord of the manor, (fn. 72) and in 1086 half a mill belonged to the estate at Bashley held by Alsi. (fn. 73) There was also a mill belonging to Fernhill Manor situated close by the manor-house, but this no longer exists.
In 1304 Thomas Chalcombe received a grant of free warren in his manor of Milton, together with a weekly market to be held there on Tuesdays and an annual fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Mary Magdalene. (fn. 74) This was confirmed in 1318, when the market-day was changed to Thursday. (fn. 75)
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE consists of a chancel with vestry, a nave and a western tower. It was rebuilt in 1832 except the tower, which is of early 17th-century date. The chancel, nave and vestry are of brick. The tower is built of ashlar, and is of two stages with an embattled and pinnacled parapet. The lower stage serves as an entrance porch. The seatings, fittings, &c., are all modern.
In the ground stage of the tower is a well-designed monument of grey marble, taken from the old church, to Thomas White, 1720, son of Ignatius White of Fiddleford (co. Dorset). This was erected by his widow Frances (Wyndham). It consists of a niche hung with curtains, which are drawn back, showing a three-quarter length marble statue of a man in a periwig and armour of a fanciful nature and with a vizored helm at his side. In his hands he holds a rapier with a wavy blade like a Malay kris, with a bowl hilt and a plain guard. Over the niche is a correctly proportioned composite entablature with a curved cornice, detached columns, flat pilasters, &c., the whole supported on enriched consoles and surmounted by urns, a shield of arms and festoons of flowers and fruits. The arms are: Azure three crosslets bendwise or impaling Azure a cheveron between three lions' heads razed or. Chained to the monument is a real rapier like that carved in the marble, with its hilt inlaid with silver. The blade is stamped with three armed heads.
The first book of the registers contains all entries from 1695 to 1739, and a transcript of those from 1654 to 1691, with a few gaps. The second contains all entries between 1740 and 1812 except marriages, which run to 1753 and are continued separately in two books from 1754 to 1790 and from 1791 to 1812.
Milton was until 1867 a chapel to Milford Church (q.v.), and as such belonged to Christchurch Priory. After the Dissolution it was served by curates in charge, who were appointed by the vicar of Milford. This continued down to 1867, (fn. 76) when Milton was constituted a distinct rectory in the patronage of the vicar of Milford. The tithes of Milton were in about 1630 settled by Henry Hastings upon his wife Anne as jointure. The Hastings family continued to hold the rectory till 1702. (fn. 77) In 1768 Elizabeth Smith, Caleb Preston and Anne his wife and Mary Smith conveyed one-fourth of it to Caleb Smith. (fn. 78)
The rectory of Bashley, which belonged to Christchurch Priory, was granted in 1550 to George Mill. (fn. 79)