A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1936.
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The parish of Brampton adjoins Huntingdon on the south-west, and comprises an area of 3,557 acres, 30 of which are covered with water. The soil is gravel and the subsoil clay. The greater part of the parish is grass land, and the arable land produces cereals and roots. Formerly the higher part of the parish was forest, but there are now only some 300 acres of woodland. The River Ouse forms the eastern and south-eastern boundary and the Alconbury Brook forms the northern boundary. Another brook, which rises about the middle of the parish, flows eastward through the parish to the Ouse. The land between the two brooks and that adjoining the Ouse is low lying, being about 33 ft. above the Ordnance datum, but the ground rises towards the southwest boundary, where it reaches 164 ft. The Great North Road forks as it enters the parish from St. Neots on the south, throwing off a branch road northeast which joins the Huntingdon to Thrapston road at Bell End, a little north of Brampton village. The Huntingdon to Thrapston road passes through the parish, crossing the Great North Road about a mile north-west of the village of Brampton. At the crossing stands an inn now called Brampton Hut, but formerly known as Creamer's Hut, well known in the coaching days.
There was an Inclosure Award in 1772. (fn. 1)
The district of Houghton (Hoghtone, Houtton, Wodehoghton) was frequently included by name with the vill of Brampton, and occurs in the boundaries of Harthay of 1154 as Houtoneslinche and the field of Houghtone. Houtoneslinche is no doubt a bank adjoining the Ellington Brook near the road, a little west of Stonehill Grove, and the field of Houghton was on the west of the Great North Road extending southward to the north-east corner of Brampton Wood. Houghton Field is mentioned as late as 1628–9, (fn. 2) but now the name has been almost lost.
The village is large and rather straggling and stands partly along the branch road from the Great North Road to the Huntingdon to Thrapston road, but mainly along the winding High Street, which runs westward from the branch road back to the Great North Road. The northern part of the village is called Bell End, the south part Bridge End, from the bridge over the brook here, the cutwaters of which are the remains of a 17th-century bridge, and the west part Brook End, West End or Green End, from the village green on the south side of the street. The church stands on the east side of the road to Bell End and on the south side of the churchyard is the Old Black Bull publichouse, an early 17th-century house with an 18thcentury addition. South of this house is the Manor Farm. There are a few timber-framed cottages in the High Street, and at West End, fixed over a spring, is the stone base of a cross of the 13th or 14th century. The base is square brought to an octagon with bold angle stops. Perhaps it was part of one of the 'four stone crosses' which Cardinal Pole, at his visitation in 1556, ordered the parishioners to rebuild. (fn. 3) The Manor House is on the opposite side of the road to the church. It was rebuilt in 1875, but probably stands where there was a royal residence from before the Norman Conquest until the 13th century. Henry I stayed here; (fn. 4) Stephen spent the autumn of 1136 hunting at Brampton; (fn. 5) Henry II visited it immediately after his accession, and here it was that he promised a new charter to the Abbot of Ramsey in order to restore the abbey after its sufferings in Stephen's reign. (fn. 6) His houses and birds are mentioned. (fn. 7) Henry was here in July 1174, when his corrody was accounted for at £18 4s. (fn. 8) King John also stayed here on 4 January 1213, (fn. 9) and Henry III on 22 November 1227. (fn. 10) The principal lay manor having been alienated by John, and Harthay granted by him in 1215 to the bishops of Lincoln, the royal visits ceased. The hall is mentioned in 1251, (fn. 11) and in 1348 it is said to have been destroyed by floods. (fn. 12) In 1595 the 'site of the manor or tenement called Lordship's house' is mentioned, (fn. 13) and it was called Brampton Berry in 1652. (fn. 14)
Brampton Park, the property of the Duke of Manchester, covers about 100 acres to the south-west of the village. The history of Brampton Park (q.v.), and probably that of the house, goes back to the 12th century. In 1328 the house was said to be ruinous. An Elizabethan house seems to have been built here, probably by the Throckmortons, which is described as a fair brick house. (fn. 15) This building was incorporated in a house probably built by Sir John Bernard, who succeeded to the property in 1666. (fn. 16) The mid 17th-century house was rebuilt by Lady Olivia Bernard Sparrow about 1820. Over her front door were the arms of Bernard, Bernard with St. John, and Sparrow and Bernard quarterly impaled with Acheson. Lady Olivia lived here until her death in 1863. In 1889 it became an institution for the cure of stammerers and was completely burnt down in 1907, when a smaller house was built on the site, which is now the residence of Viscount Mandeville. Another capital messuage was called in 1559 'Austin Frier' which possibly belonged to the Austin Friars of Huntingdon. (fn. 17) The lands of the Friars (q.v.) were granted to the Ardernes and from them passed to Philip Clampe (fn. 18) of Brampton, who died seised of 'Austin Frier' in 1559. (fn. 19)
At the end of the 12th century Lambert de Colne (Colonia) gave to the Priory of St. Mary of Huntingdon a meadow called Bromholme, parcel of his demesne of Brampton, for the health of the soul of King Richard. (fn. 20) The priory received confirmation of this land in 1253, when it is described as the land called Bromholme (Bramholm) by the water of Brampton. (fn. 21) Bromholme Bridge over a tributary of the Ouse, near to Huntingdon, probably replaced the ford mentioned below. After the Dissolution a meadow called Bromholme in the tenure of the bailiffs of Huntingdon and lately belonging to the Priory of Huntingdon was in 1553 granted to Thomas Reve and George Cotton of London. (fn. 22)
There is mention of the Guild of Our Lady of Brampton in 1531 (fn. 23) and there was a Brotherhood priest here in the 16th century. (fn. 24) Lands called Brotherhood Lands or Lady Lands or Lady Brotherhood Lands were dealt with in 1628–9, which doubtless were those of the Guild of Our Lady. William Ball, Brotherhood priest, obtained these lands and they passed to his sisters, Frances and Anne Bawdes. (fn. 25)
In 1086 there were two mills belonging to the manor; (fn. 26) in 1278–9 there were three, all water and one a fulling-mill; (fn. 27) and in 1576–7 there were four, one a fulling-mill, all on the Ouse. (fn. 28) There is still a mill on the Ouse to the west of the railway. The fishery in the mill ponds belonged to the manor. (fn. 29)
Brampton Wood Green and the bridge called Kate Bridge are mentioned in 1652, (fn. 30) and some early fieldnames are: 'the Axe and the Helse' (now Axe and Helve), Hardhill acres (now Hurdle Acres), the Castell Gore, Mylne Pitt (now Mill Pits), Curriers Holme, Great Bonest (now Great Bonurst), being parcels of meadow lying, in 1550, in the common meadow called Portholme. (fn. 31) The present Port Holme may represent the 'great meadow of Brampton in Estholm super Oldeland near the ford' mentioned in 1205, and lying on the north-east boundary. (fn. 32) Seventeenth-century names are: Long Stonegill (Stonehill), Bolsgraffe meadow, Banbury close, 'the bailiff's swayth near the ford'; and Haddon dole, Shipping dole, Sharndole, and Thackingdole, all in Portholme. (fn. 33)
John Pepys, father of Samuel Pepys the diarist, inherited from his elder brother Robert a property of about £80 a year in Brampton. (fn. 34) He resided here from 1661 until 1668, when Paulina Pepys married John Jackson and he went to live with them at Ellington. (fn. 35) Samuel's nephew John Jackson, to whom he left his library, is called 'son of John Jackson of Brampton.' (fn. 36) The house in which the Pepys lived is still pointed out, and an iron pot of silver coins, discovered at the foot of the garden wall about 1842, is believed to have been hidden by Samuel Pepys during the Plague, when he hid his gold. (fn. 37)
Sir Henry Hawkins, the eminent Judge, was created Baron Brampton of Brampton in 1899, having inherited a small farm here from his father's halfbrother. The peerage became extinct when he died childless in 1907. (fn. 38)
There was a parochial school, but a School Board was formed in 1880, (fn. 39) and there are now two Council schools, one mixed and one for infants. A Union Chapel (Baptist and Congregational) was registered in 1876 for the celebration of marriages. (fn. 40) The Institute was presented to the village by Mr. John Newberry.
Fifteen hides in BRAMPTON were held by Edward the Confessor and passed in 1066 to William the Conqueror. Ranulf, brother of Ilger, had the custody of the manor and Elric, the King's thegn, held a hide and a virgate. (fn. 41) The manor remained in the hands of the Crown until 1194 and Henry II, it is stated, had here 2 carucates of the manor in demesne with a messuage and woods, meadows, mills and pleas, and tilled those 2 carucates with his own ploughs. The men of the manor at the same time held 28 virgates in villeinage with the meadow pertaining thereto, some at a rent of 5s. a virgate for all services, and others by the services of ploughing, weeding, carrying and carting of food and venison, and giving heriot and merchet. Later the Crown leased the services of the villeinage lands for £20 a year to the men of the manor, retaining the woods, mills and pleas, until King Richard, on his return from Germany in 1194, granted the manor to Lambert de Colonia. Lambert continued to take £20 (fn. 42) a year from the men for three and a half years, when he demanded new customs which the men were unwilling to give. The men of the manor appealed to King Richard, but he increased the farm to £30. King John further increased the farm to £50 a year, but permitted the men to discontinue the payment of merchet and heriot; he continued, however, to tallage them when he tallaged his other demesnes. (fn. 43) He seems to have resumed the grant to Lambert de Colonia in 1202, (fn. 44) and in the following year granted the manors of Brampton and Alconbury to David, Earl of Huntingdon. (fn. 45) David died in 1219 and his son John le Scot being under age, his wardship was granted to his uncle Ranulf, Earl of Chester. (fn. 46) John le Scot, Earl of Chester and Huntingdon, died without issue in 1237 and Brampton was assigned to his widow, Helen, who married in the same year Robert de Quincy. (fn. 47) At this time (1239) the men of Brampton paid 60 marks for a confirmation of their farm. (fn. 48) The lands of John le Scot were partitioned, and before 1241 the manor of Brampton and Houghton had been allotted to Henry de Hastings, husband of Ada, sister and co-heir of John le Scot. (fn. 49) In 1247 the Crown desired to make an exchange for the manor of Brampton under the terms of the grant to Earl David, and writs were issued to John de Balliol and Henry de Hastings, (fn. 50) but nothing further was done.
Henry de Hastings died in 1250 and Geoffrey de Lusignan, the king's half-brother, had a grant of the manor in 1251 during the minority of Henry, son of Henry de Hastings. (fn. 51) Although the king had authorised Henry de Hastings in 1242 to take tallage from his men of Brampton, (fn. 52) they refused in 1243 to be tallaged and raised hue and cry on the bailiffs of the sheriff who had been called upon to assist the bailiffs of Henry de Hastings, and drove them to Huntingdon. Upon judicial inquiry it was adjudged that Henry could tallage his men, but only when the king tallaged his manors and demesnes. (fn. 53)
Henry, son of Henry de Hastings, was among the partisans of Simon de Montfort in 1265, (fn. 54) and the king seized Brampton until he 'came in.' (fn. 55) Henry died early in 1269 and was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 56) first Lord Hastings of Abergavenny, who died in February 1313. His second wife, Isabel, (fn. 57) with the assent of his son and heir John, received the manor in dower in 1313, (fn. 58) and was returned as sole proprietor in 1316. (fn. 59) She died in 1334, (fn. 60) John having predeceased her in 1325, leaving a son and heir, Laurence, a minor, created Earl of Pembroke in 1339. He died seised in 1348, leaving a son John aged one year, (fn. 61) who in 1362–3 received the custody of the manor. (fn. 62) John died in 1375 and, on the death of his son and heir John, still a minor, (fn. 63) in 1389, (fn. 64) the earldom of Pembroke became extinct, the barony of Hastings remaining dormant until 1841. Sir Hugh de Hastings, younger son of John, first Lord Hastings, had a son John who should have inherited in 1389, but for some unknown reason he was passed over. He died without issue in 1393, and his great-nephew and heir Hugh died in 1396 without issue. (fn. 65) When John the last Earl of Pembroke died, Reginald Grey of Ruthin, son of Reginald, son of Elizabeth, daughter of John de Hastings and Isabel his wife, was declared to be heir to this manor. (fn. 66) His superior claim rested on his descent from the first Lord Hastings by his first wife, while Hugh was descended from the second wife. In 1410 a court of chivalry granted the Greys of Ruthin the right to quarter with their own arms the quarterly coat of Hastings and Valence, (fn. 67) and in 1428 Reginald, Lord Grey of Ruthin, held the knight's fee in Brampton and Houghton that John, Earl of Pembroke, had held. (fn. 68) He died in 1440 and was succeeded by his grandson Edmund, whose desertion at the battle of Northampton in 1460 ensured the Yorkist victory. He was created Earl of Kent by Edward IV in 1465 and, dying in 1489, was succeeded by his son George, who died in 1503, leaving a son Richard, lord of Brampton. (fn. 69) Richard died childless in 1524, having greatly wasted his estate, (fn. 70) and his sister Anne, wife of John, first Lord Hussey of Sleaford, (fn. 71) inherited Brampton, which came to the Crown on Hussey's attainder in 1537 (fn. 72) for his share in the Pilgrimage of Grace. It was sold in 1538 to Richard Cromwell, (fn. 73) who in 1542 exchanged it for the manor of Upwood. (fn. 74) Edward VI granted the manor, with the meadows called Portholme and Southolme, to Princess Elizabeth in 1550 in part fulfilment of the will of Henry VIII, (fn. 75) and in the following year confirmed it to her. (fn. 76)
Immediately after his accession James I granted it to Queen Anne, (fn. 77) and on her death he bestowed it on his favourite George Villiers, Marquess (afterwards Duke) of Buckingham, who, however, was allowed to exchange it for other lands. (fn. 78) In 1627 it was leased to Henry, Earl of Manchester, for 40 years and it was further disposed of by the Commonwealth government in February 1651–2. (fn. 79) At the Restoration it was granted to the Queen Mother, and in 1622 the reversion of the lease in fee was granted to the Earl of Sandwich. (fn. 80) It has since descended with Hinchingbrooke (q.v.) to the present Earl of Sandwich.
As ancient demesne of the Crown, Brampton was subject to tallage. (fn. 81) The jurors of 1278–9 said that Brampton used to make the sheriff's tourn but had ceased to do so, and view of frankpledge, gallows, and fines under the assize of bread and ale belonged to the manor. (fn. 82) In 1286 John de Hastings was summoned to show his right to these privileges and to waifs, tumbril, etc., and the jury stated that when the Crown held the manor, the men of Brampton paid a mark yearly for view of frankpledge and that they ought still to pay this direct to the king. The grandfather of John de Hastings, however, had by oppression and distraint compelled them to pay the mark to himself and he paid it to the king to have view of frankpledge; and his successors had retained the mark for themselves. An order was given for the king to recover his seisin of this payment. (fn. 83) The lord's court is mentioned in 1292. (fn. 84) In 1302 Hastings received a grant of free warren in all his demesne lands of Brampton and Lymage, (fn. 85) a member of this manor. (fn. 86)
The tenants of Devorgilla de Balliol, who shared Brampton with the Hastings in the thirteenth century, are mentioned in 1278–9, (fn. 87) and John de Hastings said that he held the manor jointly with her and Robert de Brus in 1286. (fn. 88) After the forfeiture of Balliol his lands were granted in 1306 to John de Bretagne, or Britannia, Earl of Richmond, the king's nephew, including a rent of 26s. 8d. from Brampton. (fn. 89) In 1313 he was granted tallage 'for the manor' as ancient demesne of the Crown; (fn. 90) in 1331 he had leave to grant his rent here to Mary, Countess of Pembroke, for life. (fn. 91) John de Britannia died childless in 1334, and his nephew and heir John (fn. 92) does not seem to have succeeded, in spite of an order for delivery of seisin. (fn. 93) Apparently this fee passed to Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Derby, who was in possession in 1338, when his pound was broken by 46 persons of Brampton and some outsiders, whose beasts he had impounded for services due. (fn. 94) This fee certainly merged in the Crown with the accession of Henry IV, if it had not already done so in 1341 on the death childless of John de Britannia. (fn. 95)
BRAMPTON PARK, called for many centuries a manor, can be traced back to the twelfth century and was held in socage of the king until at least the end of the fourteenth century, (fn. 96) and afterwards in chief. (fn. 97) William the Sokeman paid 6s. rent in 1167 (fn. 98) and from 1167–97 Walter the Sokeman held by this service. (fn. 99) In 1191 Ralph the Sokeman paid this amount 'of his relief.' (fn. 100) Ralph the Sokeman was probably the same as Ralph de Brampton, who held 5 virgates of land here by serjeanty in 1210–12 for 5s. (fn. 101) In 1279 Philip Daules (de Aulys, de Aules), free sokeman of the king, held 5 virgates in chief, paying 6s. a year for all services; and 12 free tenants held of him. (fn. 102) He died in 1288 leaving a son and heir, Robert, (fn. 103) who was succeeded in 1328 by his son Reyner. (fn. 104) In the following year Reyner conveyed a messuage, land, meadow and rent of 24s. 9d. in Brampton to John de Farendon, (fn. 105) clerk; his son and heir, John Daules, giving his assent in 1335. (fn. 106) In 1340 John de Farendon enfeoffed John de la Wyke of a messuage, 86 acres of land, 15 acres of meadow and 24s. 9d. rent in Brampton, to be regranted to John de Farendon for life with remainder in fee to John son of John Faron of Newbury. (fn. 107) John de Farendon died in 1349, John son of John Faron having predeceased him, leaving a brother Richard, aged 20, (fn. 108) who had seisin in the same year. (fn. 109) Richard was dead in 1377, when his Brampton lands were divided among his three daughters and co-heirs, Isabel, Margaret and Amice. (fn. 110) Amice died in 1383, still a infant; (fn. 111) Isabel married John Palmer and had a son John who died in 1427, when his aunt, Margaret, then the wife of Adam Forster, was his heir. (fn. 112) Adam survived and died seised in 1439, leaving a son and heir Gerard. (fn. 113) William Forster of Ramsey, yeoman, died seised in 1508, leaving a son and heir John 'Foster,' (fn. 114) who died in 1526 leaving an infant son Gerard. (fn. 115) The estate at this time became called 'Gerard's manor' or 'Foster's manor.' Gerard had livery in 1545, (fn. 116) and in the same year obtained licence to alienate it to John Newton, (fn. 117) whose wife Elizabeth appears to have been related to Gerard. (fn. 118) John Newton borrowed from William Betts of Haddenham (co. Camb.), on the security of this manor, but when he was unable to pay Elizabeth refused to sell. (fn. 119) However, all parties joined with Gerard Foster in 1550 in conveying the manor to Simon Throckmorton (Throgmorton). (fn. 120) Simon Throckmorton of Brampton was M.P. for Huntingdon in 1554. (fn. 121) He died at Brampton in 1585 leaving a son and heir, Robert. (fn. 122) Simon, brother of Robert, (fn. 123) died seised in 1613, leaving a brother and heir, Joseph, (fn. 124) who sold it in the same year to Thomas Hetley (fn. 125) (afterwards Sir Thomas Hetley, kt., of Brampton, serjeant-at-law), whose grandfather was of Riseley (Beds). (fn. 126) He died at Brampton in 1637, leaving two sons, Francis, (fn. 127) who died in 1638, and William, (fn. 128) who in 1653 conveyed the manor to John Bernard, (fn. 129) son of Robert Bernard of Huntingdon, Judge of the Isle of Ely. John Bernard, who took a leading part in county affairs, married Elizabeth, daughter of Oliver St. John of Bletsoe. His father was created a baronet in 1662 and John succeeded in 1666. He was succeeded by his son Sir Robert and he by his son Sir John, whose son Robert, the last baronet, died in 1789 and left an estate of £14,000 a year to the son of his sister Mary, Robert Bernard Sparrow, then at Westminster School. Robert, afterwards Brigadier General, married Lady Olivia Acheson, daughter of the first Earl of Gosford, and died in 1805 leaving a son Robert Acheson Bernard St. John Sparrow, and a daughter Millicent. The son died in 1818 and his sister and heir Millicent married Viscount Mandeville, afterwards 6th Duke of Manchester. Lady Olivia outlived the Duke and Duchess and died in 1863. She made Brampton Park her home and was a philanthropist and a friend of Wilberforce and Hannah More. Brampton Park descended to her daughter's great-grandson, the present Duke of Manchester. (fn. 130)
PREBENDAL MANOR. King Stephen in 1146–9 granted the church of Brampton, with its lands, tithes and all appurtenances, for the foundation of a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral. (fn. 131) The prebend continued in possession (fn. 132) until 1848, when the lands attached were vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 133) The family of Burnaby were lessees of the prebendal house in 1722–59 (fn. 134) and afterwards acquired the freehold. They lived in the house until about 1895, when it was let for a time. In 1908 it was put up for auction, but it was not sold. It remained empty for a year or two and was later bought by James Edwin-Cole, Duke of Polignano, who died here in 1920. The house was then sold to Mr. Charles Scholefield, the present owner. The prebendary's court, view of frankpledge and rents of assize are mentioned in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 135)
A large part of the western side of the parish formed the FOREST OF HARTHAY (Hertehey, Herteye, Harthey, xiii cent.). In 1086 there was woodland in Brampton for pannage, half a league by two furlongs, (fn. 136) an area which would approximately correspond to that of Brampton Wood. In 1278–9 a wood belonging to the chief manor covered the same area, (fn. 137) and in 1302 John de Hastings had licence to sell timber from his wood in Brampton which was said to be in Weybridge Forest. (fn. 138) It was further shown in 1086 that there were 36 hides in Brampton which Richard Engaine, hereditary forester, wrongly claimed to belong to the forest, but were the king's demesne. (fn. 139) These 36 hides probably included the Forests of Weybridge and Harthay and must have been distributed among the king's demesnes in Brampton, Alconbury and apparently the waste hide in Ellington (q.v.), and, as many of these wrongful claims of 1086 were later allowed, these lands may have formed a forest. In 1130 the county made payments for the hays of Brampton, (fn. 140) that is, probably Weybridge, afterwards in Alconbury (q.v.) and Harthay in Brampton. The boundaries of Harthay in 1154 and 1299 were as follows: 'From Houtoneslinche (near Stonehill Grove) between the field of Houghtone and cover of said wood as far as Brampton wood, and so by the bounds of the same wood from Brampton and Hertheye to the field of Sybethorpe (in Ellington parish) and so between the same field and the cover of Hertheye as far as Rokespol (probably where the boundary between Brampton and Ellington turns north-east), and so by the duct descending to Wykenelond (in Ellington parish).' The two hays were contiguous, and both were royal demesne, afforested before Henry II afforested all Huntingdonshire on his accession. (fn. 141) Harthay did not form part of the forest of Weybridge, (fn. 142) which developed in the next century, but was granted by King John in 1215 to St. Mary's (Cathedral), Lincoln, as 'our wood of Harthay,' in compensation for the waste and destruction perpetrated by himself and his supporters in the park of Stow (Lincs) during the Interdict. The church might inclose and impark or assart the wood, (fn. 143) which was not far distant from the Bishop of Lincoln's manor and palace of Buckden to the south, while the church of Brampton was already a prebend of Lincoln Cathedral. Among the lands of Brampton in 1279 were 2 hides at Harthay held of the Bishop of Lincoln by James Grim, (fn. 144) and this land appears subsequently to have descended with the Prebendal Manor. Grounds called 'the Great Hartyes' and 'East Harty or Newbery's Hartyes' are mentioned in connection with the Prebendal Manor in 1722–3. (fn. 145) The name High Harthay in the north-west of the present parish indicates the site of this royal and episcopal wood, while the large wood to the south represents the ancient manorial wood.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel (42½ ft. by 18½ ft.) with north vestry (17¾ ft. by 12½ ft.), nave (55½ ft. by 22 ft.), north aisle (62¾ ft. by 14½ ft.), south aisle (60 ft. by 14½ ft.), west tower (13 ft. by 12½ ft.), and north and south porches. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings, except those of the tower and the west walls of the aisles, which are of ashlar. The roofs are covered with lead and slates.
The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086), but, with the exception of a few pieces of 12thcentury chevron-ornament built into the tower walls, no part of the church is earlier than the 14th century. The chancel, with part of the east wall of the vestry, was built in the early years of the 14th century. The chancel arch, nave, aisles and porches were built early in the 15th century. The west tower is dated 1635, probably replacing one of 14th-century date, the western bay of the north clearstory, the western principal of the nave roof and much of the facing of the west walls of the aisles were rebuilt at the same time. The south porch was rebuilt in 1828. The church was repaired and repewed in 1835, when the pulpit was removed from the second column on the north to the north side of the chancel arch, a fireplace was made at the end of each aisle, and the old box pews were abolished. A thorough restoration took place in 1877–8, when the south porch was again rebuilt and the gallery at the west end was removed. The vestry was rebuilt before 1851 (fn. 146) and was enlarged in 1897.
The early 14th-century chancel has a five-light east window with a two-centred head, but the mullions and tracery are modern. (fn. 147) The western part of the north wall has a wall-arcade of two two-centred arches resting on a triple attached shaft with moulded capital and base in the centre, and on carved respond corbels at the ends. In the spandrel between the arches is a carved head. Under each arch is a tall two-light window with tracery in a two-centred head. In the eastern part of the wall is a doorway with a two-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs; and a rectangular recess with projecting sill and circular basin, probably moved from elsewhere, fitted with modern doors. Below the western window is a modern squint from the rood-stairs. The south wall has a wall-arcade of four two-centred arches, the third arch narrower than the others. The shafts between the arches appear to have been similar to that on the north, but those on either side of the narrow arch have been almost destroyed; the end arches rest on moulded and carved respond corbels. The two eastern spandrels have carved bosses as on the north. Under each of the three larger arches is a two-light window similar to those on the north, the western light of the western window being carried down below a transom as a low-side window. Under the narrow arch is a doorway with a two-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs. In the plain wall eastward of the wall-arcade is a piscina with a trefoiled head under a gabled crocketed label with remains of side pinnacles, and having an octofoiled basin, and a shelf partly of stone and partly of wood.
The early 15th-century chancel arch is two-centred, of two moulded orders, and is carried on responds formed of three attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The roof is modern. The modern vestry incorporates a short piece of early 14th-century east wall in which is a single-light window. There is a modern two-light window in the north wall and a doorway in the west wall.
The early 15th-century nave has an arcade of five bays on each side, having two-centred arches of two moulded orders carried on columns composed of four semicircular shafts with hollow mouldings between them and having moulded capitals and bases. In the east wall north of the chancel arch is the upper door of the rood-stairs, exceptionally low down and a long way from the stair turret. The contemporary clearstory has five two-light windows on each side, having simple tracery in four-centred heads. The early 15th-century roof is of moderate pitch with moulded beams and jack-legs and curved braces forming two-centred arches with traceried spandrels. At the intersection of the timbers are boldly carved bosses. The jack-legs rest on stone corbels carved with angels holding shields. The western principal seems to have been repaired in the 17th century, probably when the tower was rebuilt, and its jack-legs rest on 17th-century corbels.
The early 15th-century north aisle has a five-light east window with intersecting tracery in a depressed four-centred head. The north wall has four fourlight windows with vertical tracery in depressed fourcentred heads, and a doorway with a two-centred arch and continuous moulded jambs. The west wall has a four-light window similar to those in the north wall. In the south wall, eastward of the arcade, is a piscina with cinquefoiled head and a modern wooden shelf. (fn. 148) In the south-east angle is the square-headed lower doorway to the rood-stairs. The contemporary pent-roof has moulded beams and jack-legs with curved braces and traceried spandrels. The jack-legs are carried on stone corbels mostly carved with angels holding shields, some with emblems of the Passion, but one with the arms of the See of Canterbury, and another with those of the See of Ely. The aisle has bold buttresses coming to a point in front, rising straight from the plinth to the top and having large carved gargoyles at the base of the top weathering.
The early 15th-century south aisle is generally similar to the north. The east window has vertical tracery. The south doorway is finer than that on the north, and has a two-centred arch and continuous moulded jambs; and the folding doors have tracery of a rich flowing pattern in their heads. An early 16th-century semi-octagonal pedestal piscina, with curved under-edge carved with leopards' heads and leaves in the hollow (found in the garden at Hinchingbrooke), was fixed here in 1922. The roof is similar to that on the north aisle. The buttresses come to a point in front, but the carved gargoyles are rather lower down than on those of the north aisle, and the buttresses are carried up as square pilasters to the top of the coping of the aisle parapet.
The west tower (1635) has a 14th-century twocentred tower arch of two orders, one continuous moulded, and the other chamfered and resting on semicircular attached shafts with moulded and embattled capitals and moulded bases. The 14thcentury west doorway has a two-centred head of three continuous moulded orders, and is, no doubt, the doorway of the earlier tower re-used. Above it is an inscription 'an. dni. 1635.' The three-light west window has intersecting tracery in a very straightsided four-centred head, and above it the date '1635' in a panel. The stage above has a singlelight window in the west wall, and a small squareheaded and transomed opening into the nave roof in the east wall. The belfry windows are transomed, of two lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head having an ogee label with a large finial. The tower has a bold plinth the lower part of which is 14thcentury material, square buttresses set in from the angles and finished level with the heads of the belfry windows. The tower is finished with a string-course carved with an imitation dog-tooth, and surmounted with an embattled parapet having crocketed pinnacles at the angles. The whole tower is a remarkably successful attempt to produce a 'gothic' effect in the 17th century. The stairs are in the south-west angle and one of the lights is a 14th-century slit with crocketed label.
The shallow north porch, formed by enclosing the space between two buttresses, has a two-centred outer archway of one wave-moulded order on continuous responds; the gabled roof is of stone carried on two chamfered wall ribs. It has been much restored.
The south porch, originally of 15th-century date but rebuilt in 1828 and again in 1878, and now mostly modern, has a flat four-centred outer archway of two continuous chamfered orders. On either side of the arch are niches with carved brackets, trefoiled heads and ribbed vaults; the label of the archway has a lilly-pot as a finial, over which is a small projecting canopy. The side walls of the porch have each a modern two-light window with simple tracery in four-centred heads.
The font, c. 1400, has an octagonal panelled bowl, one side having a shield with the cross of St. George, and with coved under-edge ornamented with carved faces, rosettes and two shields, one charged with a cross and the other with a cross paty. The octagonal panelled stem and moulded base are modern.
There are five bells and a sanctus bell, inscribed: (1) Prais the Lorde 1600. (2) Thomas Norris made me 1659. Recast 1934. Mears and Stainbank, London. (3) Ambros. (4) Thomas Russell of Wootton made me. 1741. (5) All glori be to God one hi. 1630. I. K. The sanctus bell is blank. The first and third bells are by Watts, of Leicester; the fifth by James Keene, of Woodstock. In 1552 there were 'five great bells in the steeple and one littell bell.' (fn. 149) The late Mr. Owen thought that the sanctus bell had been recast since 1552. (fn. 150) The bells were rehung in 1902, but the first and second were afterwards cracked. The first was welded and the second recast and all of them rehung by Mears and Stainbank in 1934; the old frame being reconstructed.
Under the chancel arch is a low oak screen of c. 1370. It consists of a moulded top rail and four uprights; two side divisions each have a middle rail and are divided by narrow mullions into six lights, each with simple tracery in the head. The lights at the two ends are wider than the others and have lost their tracery; the central opening is fitted with folding doors of similar design to the rest but with more elaborate tracery. The coving and loft have been destroyed.
There are three oak stalls of c. 1350, having deeply moulded divisions and carved misericordes: (1) a knight and lady holding a shield once painted with a coat of arms; on one side, a man writing, and on the other an animal; (2) a man and a woman haymaking; on one side a carpenter at work, and on the other a weaver or cloth-shearer at work; (3) a man reaping corn, a woman with a sickle, and a man blowing a horn; on one side a woman gleaning, and on the other sheaves of corn. These stalls were taken out of the church, for repair, in 1878, but owing to the removal of the rector they were sold and came into the possession of the Museum of Archæology at Cambridge, (fn. 151) but were purchased and restored to the church in 1929.
The 17th-century Italian frontal of the altar in the south aisle is of wood carved and painted. The 17thcentury turned oak Communion rails of the high altar have been brought from elsewhere and made up.
Built into the east face of the tower (in the nave) are several fragments of 12th-century chevron-ornament. Lying loose in the tower is a piece of the shaft of a 13th-century cross, having bold rolls at the four angles with the dog-tooth ornament between them; another piece has been built into the wall of the modern heating chamber. These stones were brought to the church, from private gardens, in 1917. In the churchyard, east of the south porch, is a 13thcentury stone coffin with shaped head.
There are the following monuments: in the chancel, to the Rev. William Bunbury, late Vicar, d. 1754; Jane Richards, wife of Samuel Wells, of Huntingdon, d. 1822; Eliezer Heywood, d. 1839; Catherine Palmer, d. 1845; Ethel Mary Burnaby, d. 1908; Leslie Benito Fisher, d. 1915; floor slabs to Constant Silvester, d. 1671; (fn. 152) Henry Burnebye, d. 1716; the Rev. Benj. Burnebye, Rector of Whitwell, Rutland, d. 1716; and glass windows to Isabella Susan, wife of the Rev. H. S. Budge, d. 1888; the Rev. Henry Simcoe Budge, Rector, n.d.; Edward George Henry, 8th Earl of Sandwich, erected 1917; and Edmund Laundy Flint, Sarah his wife, and Marianne Charlotte their daughter, erected 1918. In the nave, to John William, 7th Earl of Sandwich, d. 1884; Lt.-Gen. Philip Smith, d. 1894; floor slabs to Elizabeth Young, d. 1710; Thomas Littlebury, d. 1765; Caroline Eden Want, d. 1811; Henrietta, wife of the Rev. C. Holworthy, d. 1835; and Arabella Want, d. 186–. In the north aisle, to James Lovesey, d. 1743, and Mary his wife, d. 1752; Etheldred Harriet, wife of Charles Seawell, d. 1831; floor slabs to Mrs. Eden Want, d. 1781; Caroline Matilda, wife of Basil Montagu, d. 179–; Charlotte Want, d. 1802; and glass windows to George Wady, d. 1892, and Mary his wife, d. 1874; Edmund Wady, d. 1904, and George Wady, d. 1919; and War Memorial window, 1914–18. In the south aisle, to Sir John Bernard, bart., d. 1679; Brig.-Gen. Robert Bernard Sparrow, d. 1805; Robert Acheson Bernard St. John Sparrow, d. 1818; Millicent (Sparrow) Duchess of Manchester, d. 1848, and Lady Olivia Bernard Sparrow, d. 1863; Paulina Jackson, widow, last of the family of Pepys of Brampton, d. 1689; (fn. 153) floor slab to Eliezer Heywood, d. 1839; glass windows to Mary, Countess of Sandwich; the Hon. Sydney Montagu; Col. the Hon. Oliver Montagu, d. 1893; Adml. the Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, d. 1915; and oak screen to Agneta Harriet, widow of the last named, d. 1920. In the tower, to John Miller, d. 81, and Thomas his son, d. 83; Mary Burnaby Palmer, d. 1795; Thomas Jay, d. 1817; Jane Cleaver, d. 1819; William Palmer, d. 1824; Edward Martin, d. 1839, and Judith Susanna his wife, d. 1863; John Allen, d. 1919; and Rose Emily Lowry, wife of Walter Judd, d. 1921, and Blanche Elizabeth Pryce Jones her sister, d. 1921.
The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms 8 June 1653 to 8 Aug. 1686, and 9 November 1783 to 27 July 1788, marriages 6 April 1675 to 8 May 1708, burials 15 July 1658 to 27 August 1708 and 6 October 1783 to 19 August 1788; in great disorder: (ii) the same 25 March 1708 to 21 February 1769, marriages end 19 April 1754; (iii) baptisms and burials 29 November 1767 to 27 December 1812, except October 1783 to August 1788; (iv) marriages 19 August 1754 to 14 October 1783; (v) marriages 19 October 1783 to 13 December 1794; (vi) marriages 13 December 1794 to 30 November 1812.
The church plate consists of a large and coarse Britannia silver cup inscribed 'Given by the Reverend Mr. Benjn. Burnebye Clerk Anno Dni 1716,' hallmarked for 1721–2; (fn. 154) a large and coarse silver cup, hall-marked for 1724–5; a standing paten inscribed 'brampton,' no date-letter, but a single mark seems to indicate it as a companion to Mr. Burneby's cup; a plate with rounded edge mounted on a cylindrical band, inscribed 'brampton,' no date-letter; a silver flagon inscribed 'The gift of Mr. James Lovesey & Mary His Wife to the Church of Brampton, 1743,' hall-marked for 1743–4; a large brass almsdish, engraved with the Annunciation, stags and hounds, and a 16th-century German inscription, now illegible, also engraved with a shield, now almost obliterated, surmounted with the letters 'e.b. c.w.' and dated '1618,' also inscribed 'Ipsum midd 1697.'
There were a church and priest at Brampton in 1086 (fn. 155) and the advowson followed the descent of the prebendal manor. (fn. 156) It continued in the possession of the prebendaries of Brampton until the 19th century. The benefice was transferred from the diocese of Lincoln to that of Ely in 1839 (fn. 157) and the lands of the prebend were vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1848. (fn. 158) The patronage passed to the Bishop of Ely, in whose gift it remains. The living was made a rectory about 1875. (fn. 159)
Mrs. Emily Burnaby, by will proved at Peterborough, 15 November 1893, bequeathed to the rector of Brampton the sum of £100, the interest to be applied towards providing a meat tea for widows. The charity is now regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 10 October 1902, under the provisions of which the rector and churchwardens of Brampton were appointed trustees of the charity. The endowment consists of £104 12s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock, with the Official Trustees, the income from which is distributed to deserving and necessitous widows in accordance with the provisions of the said scheme.
Good Friday Charity.—The origin of this charity is unknown. The endowment consists of a rent charge of 13s. 4d. per annum issuing out of a close in Brampton allotted on the Inclosure Award of the parish dated 19 January 1775 to the Master and Scholars of Clare Hall, Cambridge. The charge is received regularly and distributed to the poor in bread.
Thomas Miller, by will dated 22 December 1681, gave to the town of Brampton 4 acres of meadow in Portholme and a close called Cherry Orchard containing 3 roods. The Portholme is a common meadow, the grass of which is cut every year and sold to the highest bidder, and Cherry Orchard is let for £3 a year. The sum of 10s. is annually paid to the minister for preaching a sermon and the remainder of the rent is distributed among a number of poor people in money.