A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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In 1086 STANWELL was held by William fitz Other and in the time of King Edward it had belonged to Azor. (fn. 1) The estate recorded in Domesday Book probably comprises most of the ancient parish except the manor of West Bedfont, which was already separate. It included the subsidiary estates of two knights, which may have corresponded to two of the three later manors which grew up in Poyle, Rudsworth, and Hammonds and comprised most of the parish west of Stanwellmoor. (fn. 2) In 1796 there were 539 acres copyhold of the manor, nearly all lying east of Stanwellmoor. (fn. 3) In 1279 the demesne arable of Stanwell manor was estimated at 124 acres and in 1328 at 200. (fn. 4) From then until 1535 it was generally reckoned at between 230 and 280 acres, while the lord's meadow increased from about 50 acres in the 13th and 14th centuries to about 90 in 1535. The demesne pastures and woods seem to have grown in proportion. (fn. 5) The manorial estate was increased by various purchases from the 15th to the 18th centuries, notably by the acquisition of West Bedfont manor in the 15th century and of Hammonds in the 18th. (fn. 6) Stanwell had some appurtenant land or rights in adjoining parishes and in the 17th century these included a farm-house in Horton, together with 48 acres in the open fields there. (fn. 7) In spite of the increase in their land, however, the lords of the manor owned few of the cottages in the village. (fn. 8) In the late 18th century over 300 acres were sold to Edmund Hill, the owner of Poyle. (fn. 9) By 1844 the lord of the manor owned Hammonds farm (252 a.), Merricks farm (238 a., later known as Southern farm), and Park farm (247 a., later Stanhope farm), as well as about 84 acres around his house and a few other small areas. (fn. 10) The manorial rights, house, and lands were separated in 1933. (fn. 11)
William fitz Other, the Domesday tenant, was constable of Windsor castle and his descendants took the name of Windsor. They held Stanwell of Windsor castle for over four centuries, together with lands principally in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. (fn. 12) William of Windsor is recorded as holding Stanwell in 1166 and in 1185 Hawise of Windsor held it in dower. (fn. 13) She had only one son, so that it may have been his two sons, Walter and William, who in 1198 divided the estates of their grandfather William of Windsor. William, presumably the younger brother, was to hold his share of Walter. It included Stanwell together with the neighbouring manor of Horton (Bucks.) and West Hagbourne (Berks.). (fn. 14) Walter's estate became divided between coheirs in the 13th century and Stanwell was always considered to be held in chief by William's successors. Throughout the Middle Ages it was held generally as half a knight's fee and owed 16s. 8d. to Windsor for castle guard every 40 days. (fn. 15) This sum was due from the whole Windsor barony, of which Stanwell became the head. Quit-rents were owed to Stanwell from former Windsor lands in several counties until the 19th century at least. (fn. 16) It was the appurtenance to Stanwell of these services which has led writers to say that Stanwell manor extended into several counties.
In 1212 William of Windsor recovered Stanwell which had been seized by the king. (fn. 17) He was succeeded apparently by his son, another William, by 1248. (fn. 18) In 1266 Stanwell was settled upon William of Windsor and his son William. (fn. 19) One of these two died c. 1275 (fn. 20) leaving a minor son Richard (d. 1326). (fn. 21) Following a settlement of 1305 Richard's widow retained Stanwell until she died in 1328. (fn. 22) It then passed to their son Richard who was succeeded in 1367 by his grandson Miles. (fn. 23) Miles gave his grandfather's widow the whole of Hagbourne (Berks.) in exchange for her dower in Stanwell. (fn. 24) He died in 1387 and his wife Anne, who held part of Stanwell in dower, died in 1395. (fn. 25) His son Brian (d. by 1412) left two sons of whom the elder, Miles, had died by 1415. (fn. 26) The younger, Richard (d. 1439), (fn. 27) left a son, Miles, who died in Ferrara on his way to the Holy Land about 1452. (fn. 28) His son Thomas (d. 1485) (fn. 29) left a widow, Elizabeth, who held Stanwell with her second husband Sir Robert Lytton. (fn. 30) Thomas's son Andrew was summoned to parliament as Lord Windsor from 1529. (fn. 31) The story of his loss of Stanwell has often been told: (fn. 32) in spite of Windsor's previous favours from the Crown, Henry VIII compelled him in 1542 to surrender Stanwell in exchange for monastic lands in Gloucestershire and elsewhere. (fn. 33)
Sir Philip Hobby was made chief steward of the manor in 1545. He apparently leased the demesnes from then until 1547 at least. (fn. 34) Sir Thomas Paston was granted a 50-year lease during Edward VI's reign, and Edward Fitzgarret in 1588 secured a lease to run for 30 years from the end of Paston's term. (fn. 35) In fact Fitzgarret was in possession when he died before 1590. His estate was much embarrassed and after litigation Stanwell passed to his son Garret subject to certain rent-charges to his daughter. (fn. 36) In 1603 the freehold was granted to Sir Thomas Knyvett, who became Lord Knyvett in 1607. (fn. 37) The Crown reserved a rent of £68 19s. 11¼d. from the manor (fn. 38) and also retained the rents due from the subsidiary manors. (fn. 39) Knyvett and his wife both died in 1622, leaving their property to be shared between John Cary, the grandson of one of Knyvett's sisters, and Elizabeth Leigh, the granddaughter of another. Elizabeth married Sir Humphrey Tracy, Bt., and she and Cary held Stanwell jointly until her death. (fn. 40) In 1678 the Knyvett estates were divided between Cary and Sir Francis Leigh, who was apparently Elizabeth's heir. (fn. 41) Cary retained Stanwell, which he left to his great-niece Elizabeth Willoughby on condition that she married Lord Guildford; otherwise it was to pass to Lord Falkland. After Elizabeth's marriage to James Bertie she held the manor under a chancery decree until her death in 1715. It then passed to Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland (d. 1730), who sold it in 1720 to John, Earl of Dunmore (d. 1752). (fn. 42) His trustees sold it in 1754 to Sir John Gibbons, Bt. (fn. 43) It descended in the Gibbons family with the baronetcy (fn. 44) until 1933, when the manorial rights were sold to H. Scott Freeman, clerk of Staines urban district council, (fn. 45) who still held them in 1956. (fn. 46) In 1931 Stanhope farm (261 a.), and in 1933 Stanwell Place (90 a.), were sold to J. W. Gibson. (fn. 47) By 1937 all the Gibbons property in the parish had been sold; 346 acres, including Hammonds farm, were purchased by the Metropolitan Water Board in 1936, while most of the remainder went in a number of small parcels. (fn. 48) In 1948 Sir John Gibson (knighted 1945) sold Stanwell Place with 22 acres to the King of Iraq, to whom it still belonged in 1956. (fn. 49) Sir John Gibson's sons then still owned about 17 acres of Stanhope farm. (fn. 50)
There was a manor-house at Stanwell by the 14th century. Some of the rooms and farm-buildings were described in 1367. (fn. 51) Later in the 14th century the buildings were in bad repair. (fn. 52) Most of the Windsor lords of the manor seem to have lived at Stanwell. (fn. 53) James I's daughter Mary died there while under Lord Knyvett's care. (fn. 54) Sir Humphrey Tracey was living at Stanwell in 1648, (fn. 55) but the other jointowner, John Cary, was in possession of the house in 1664, when he paid tax on 32 hearths. (fn. 56) By this time, and presumably before, the manor-house stood on the site of the present Stanwell Place. (fn. 57) Except for a few years from 1909, when it was used as a golf and country club, (fn. 58) the house has been occupied by all its owners since the 18th century. (fn. 59) The main block of the present building was probably erected in the early 19th century. (fn. 60) It has two stories and is cementrendered with a low-pitched slate roof behind a parapet. The later west wing is of red brick. Part of the outbuildings are older than the house itself. The park was laid out in the 18th century. The southward bend in Park Road at the main gate is probably due to the diversion of the road by Sir John Gibbons (d. 1776) in 1760. (fn. 61) In 1771 Gibbons inclosed Borough Field so that the park extended to Oaks Road in the east and Borough Green in the north and contained over 300 acres. (fn. 62) Much of it was leased by 1844 and it has since been reduced to about the size it was before 1771. (fn. 63)
WEST BEDFONT was already a separate estate in 1086, when it contained land for 4 ploughs. (fn. 64) In the 13th century it comprised 2 carucates. (fn. 65) By the 14th century there were 212 acres of arable in demesne, together with meadow (10 a.) and woodland. (fn. 66) The lord of the manor had a house in the 13th century, referred to as his court. (fn. 67) Its position is unknown, but it may be relevant that there were lands called Bedfont Court in the 17th century (fn. 68) and that the later Bedfont Court Farm, which was copyhold of Stanwell manor, stood until the 20th century on the west corner of Long Lane and Bedfont Road, some way east of the present factory of that name. (fn. 69)
In Edward the Confessor's reign West Bedfont was apparently divided into three parts. Half belonged to Brithman, who was Earl Harold's man, and the other half belonged to two sokemen who held of Azor, the lord of Stanwell. Brithman could dispose of his land freely but the sokemen needed their lord's permission to do so. By 1086 the whole estate was held of William fitz Other and the overlordship continued with his descendants, the lords of Stanwell. (fn. 70) At the division of the Windsor estates in 1198 the service due from West Bedfont was assigned to William of Windsor, who also received Stanwell, and was to hold of his brother Walter. (fn. 71) On several later occasions William's heir was said to hold this manor of Walter's heirs, (fn. 72) but this overlordship was generally ignored. (fn. 73)
In 1086 Walter de Mucedent held West Bedfont of William fitz Other. (fn. 74) By 1166 his estate had passed to Walter of Bedfont who held I knight's fee. (fn. 75) This continued to be the service owed, and by the 14th century Walter's successors also owed 6s. 8d. every 40 days for castle-guard at Windsor. (fn. 76) Walter of Bedfont may have been succeeded by his brother Torold but by 1198 Henry of Bedfont was in possession. (fn. 77) Torold, who was still living, claimed the manor on the ground that Henry was Walter's stepson, not his son. (fn. 78) This claim evidently failed, since Torold's son Robert in turn challenged Henry's title in 1200. (fn. 79) Robert and Henry came to an agreement whereby the whole vill of West Bedfont was given to Richard of Herriard. (fn. 80) Richard granted it in turn to Thomas of Haverhill, but Richard's heirs continued to be mesne tenants. His granddaughter Maud was mesne tenant in 1243, (fn. 81) and his grandson Richard de Sifrewast and Richard's son were on several occasions distrained to perform the services due. (fn. 82) By the 14th century the mesne tenancy seems to have lapsed. (fn. 83)
Thomas of Haverhill, who had received the manor by 1205, was succeeded between 1219 and 1222 by James son of William of Haverhill. (fn. 84) James granted West Bedfont to Andrew Bukerel in or before 1234. (fn. 85) Before 1238 Andrew granted it to Newark Priory (Surr.). (fn. 86) It remained in the possession of Newark until 1415, when, as a result of a complicated exchange involving the Crown and Chertsey Abbey, it passed to Richard Windsor, lord of Stanwell, who was already overlord of West Bedfont. (fn. 87) West Bedfont was not referred to as a separate estate after 1452. (fn. 88)
The manor of POYLE seems to have become an independent estate in the late 12th or early 13th century. Before this it was probably part of Stanwell manor and may have been one of the two subsidiary estates held by knights in 1086. (fn. 89) Its component lands varied from time to time. In the 13th century its owners bought and sold land in Poyle and Stanwell (fn. 90) so that whereas Poyle manor comprised 1 carucate in 1265, (fn. 91) by 1299 it included 50 acres of demesne arable, 72 acres held by free-tenants, and a house and mill. At this time the component lands were held of several lords. (fn. 92) By the 15th century it comprised a house and 200 acres of arable, together with 40 acres each of pasture and meadow. (fn. 93) Poyle was united to Stanwell manor in the 16th and early 17th centuries and when it became detached again it seems to have lost its manorial status. No courts or copyhold tenants are recorded and it was often referred to as Poyle farm in the 18th century. During the 19th century the title of manor finally disappeared. (fn. 94) In the late 18th century the estate was enlarged, but in 1831 the house and 69 acres, together with Poyle farm (187 a.) were detached from the rest of this property. The Poyle House estate occupied most of the land between the western boundary of the parish, the Bath Road, the Wyrardisbury River, and Poyle Road. (fn. 95)
In 1235-6 Walter Poyle (fn. 96) held half a knight's fee in Poyle of Richard of Windsor. (fn. 97) He had held land in Horton (Bucks.) of William of Windsor in 1212. (fn. 98) In 1242-3 William Poyle held half a knight's fee in Stanwell, (fn. 99) and in 1251 and 1267 he also held land there of other persons. (fn. 100) Walter Poyle died in 1299 having already given Poyle manor to his son John. (fn. 101) It was then said to be held of Sir Thomas de Huntercombe, who had inherited that half of the Windsor barony which had been assigned to Walter of Windsor in 1198. (fn. 102) This overlordship was also recorded in 1317, 1353, and 1423, though at other times Poyle was said to be held of the Windsors of Stanwell. (fn. 103) In 1299 John Poyle held 40 acres in the manor of Stanwell in addition to Poyle itself. When John died in 1317 the manor was leased for life to Richard de Walden. John's heir was his daughter Isabel but whether she held the manor is uncertain. (fn. 104) In 1353 it was held by Nicholas de la Despence, (fn. 105) but by 1423 it had reverted to the Poyle family and passed from John Poyle to his grandson Robert. (fn. 106) Like Tongham manor (Surr.), also held by the Poyles, (fn. 107) it passed to John Gaynesford who held it in 1452 and 1480, (fn. 108) and whose wife is said to have been in possession in 1490. (fn. 109) By 1542 it had passed to Lord Windsor who conveyed it to Henry VIII along with Stanwell manor. The Crown leased it in 1575 to Robert Holmes and in 1587 to Nicholas Hilliard the miniaturist, (fn. 110) while in 1591 a lease was assigned from William Daye to Thomas Ridley. (fn. 111) Thomas, Lord Knyvett, acquired Poyle from the Crown in 1613 and it descended with Stanwell until it was assigned to Sir Francis Leigh on the partition of the Knyvett estates in 1678. It was then in the occupation of Francis Swayne. (fn. 112) In 1754 (fn. 113) it was leased by Jane, widow of Francis Leigh and her son Francis to Henry Bullock (d. 1762) who already owned Poyle mill. (fn. 114) Poyle manor, which was often known as Poyle farm by this time, (fn. 115) was bought from the Leigh family by Sir William Gibbons who sold it to John and Henry Bullock, the sons of the original lessee, in 1781. (fn. 116) John died soon after and Henry mortgaged some of his property to Edmund Hill and then sold it outright to him, including, in 1800, Poyle House. (fn. 117) Hill had acquired other land in the parish from various persons. (fn. 118) He owned gunpowder mills and much property in the neighbourhood. (fn. 119) When he died in 1809 he left about 1,000 acres in Stanwell to John Hambrough. (fn. 120) Most of this property remained in the Hambrough family until 1925 at least. (fn. 121) It was sold by 1956. (fn. 122) In 1844 and 1910 it included Moor farm, Hithermoor farm, Town farm east, and Town farm west. (fn. 123) Neither Hill nor any of the Hambrough family lived in Stanwell and from the time when Hill bought Poyle House it was leased to its former owner Henry Bullock. (fn. 124) In 1831 it was purchased from Hambrough with about 250 acres by Bullock's grandson George Paterson. (fn. 125) After his death in 1866 (fn. 126) the house passed through various hands and in 1956 belonged to Mr. M. Parkhouse. (fn. 127)
Poyle House stands on a partly moated site. It is a brick house of two stories with a steeply pitched hipped roof and dormer windows to the attics. It contains a staircase, fireplaces, and panelling of c. 1700, and the house was probably built at about this time. An earlier stone fireplace in the east wing may have been brought from elsewhere, and the same is probably true of other internal features. (fn. 128) The south front, which has a central pediment, dates from later in the 18th century. Additions and alterations have been made to the house at later periods.
The manor of HAMMONDS or SHEPCOTTS was probably always centred upon Hammonds farm in the south-west of the parish, though it originally held lands scattered over the common fields. (fn. 129) It seems to have extended into Staines and in 1511 was said to contain 200 acres of arable, together with houses, meadow, and pasture, &c., though by 1564 the demesne arable was said to be 400 acres. (fn. 130) Although by the late 16th century Hammonds was referred to as a farm, (fn. 131) it still had 30 free and 8 copyhold tenants in 1651. (fn. 132) In 1844 Hammonds farm contained 252 acres. (fn. 133)
Hammonds manor can be traced back to the holding of half a knight's fee by Roger Tichborne and Guy Brian in 1353 and to one of 10 marks' worth of land by John Tichborne about 1335. (fn. 134) In 1353 (fn. 135) the holding was identified with the half-fee held by Ernest Malemains in 1235-6. (fn. 136) Both Ernest and Roger held as of the manor of Stanwell, and Hammonds continued to owe half a knight's fee and 6s. 8d. for castle-guard to Stanwell. (fn. 137) It seems likely that Ernest's holding was connected with the 20 acres of land which were claimed in 1229 by Isabel, daughter of Robert Palmer, who had purchased them from Serlo Malemains. (fn. 138) Isabel secured her lands, but there is no later history of this holding until 1353. From that date Hammonds, which was also called Tichborne in 1542, followed the descent of Tichborne (Hants.) (fn. 139) until 1638, when it passed to John Hyde. There is no evidence that any member of the Tichborne family ever lived there, and in 1594 Richard Hatchman had a 70-year lease of the manor. (fn. 140) It apparently passed through the hands of various mortgagees to John Maculloch, who conveyed it in 1735 to the Earl of Dunmore. (fn. 141) From that time it has been held with Stanwell manor. Copyhold of the 'manor of Stanwell and Hammonds' was mentioned in 1795, but Hammonds evidently soon ceased to be considered a manor. (fn. 142)
The farm-house was pulled down when the King George VI Reservoir was built. It was a brick building of about 1700, (fn. 143) standing on the east of Bonehead Ditch, just above its confluence with the Colne and a little way west of the corner of the reservoir. (fn. 144)
It is not certain how far CLEREMONT or CLERMUNDS was ever really a manor, or what the estate comprised, though it seems to have lain in the west of the parish. From 1235 until 1275 Pain de Cleremont held half a knight's fee in Stanwell of William of Windsor. (fn. 145) In 1277 Hugh de Cleremont, probably Pain's son, (fn. 146) owned a weir in Rudsworth. (fn. 147) Pain de Cleremont had granted part of his estate away and this became Rudsworth farm, the property of Eton College. (fn. 148) The greater part, however, evidently passed to John, son of Simon Fuller, who held Pain's half-fee in 1353. (fn. 149) In 1428 Richard Wyat was said to hold this property, now assessed at a whole fee. (fn. 150) Wyat had secured property from Ralph atte Mill and Richard Lovell, between whom it had been disputed for some time. (fn. 151) By 1534 Cleremont manor had come into the possession of George Bulstrode (d. 1558) of Horton. (fn. 152) His estate extended into Staines and apparently comprised about 200 acres of arable together with over 200 acres of meadow, pasture, and wood. Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley, George's father, had owned a farm of 140 acres here in the late 15th century. (fn. 153) Thomas Bulstrode (d. c. 1561) and his son Edward (d. 1598) both held property in Stanwell and Rudsworth. (fn. 154) The last member of the family known to have held property in the parish was Edward's son Henry (d. 1632), who sold land in Stanwell in 1619 and 1627. (fn. 155)
About 1335 Thomas atte Knolle had lands in Stanwell worth 40s. (fn. 156) and in 1391 William atte Knolle, son of John, held property there. (fn. 157) This seems to have become the estate or manor of KNOLLERS, which was conveyed in 1546 with lands in Staines to Robert Good, by Thomas Windsor, the son of Andrew Lord Windsor. It was then occupied by Henry Winter. (fn. 158) By 1620 Good's lands had been split up and part of them were alleged to have been part of a farm called Knowlers, sometime held by Henry Pigg. (fn. 159) A house formerly called Knowles was purchased by Edmund Hill in 1797, apparently from the Gibbons family trustees. (fn. 160) It then had 152 acres attached and may have been the same as Stanwell Town farm east which comprised 153 acres in 1844: both were held by members of the Pott family. (fn. 161)
Another estate at one time reputed to be a manor was THE PARK or STANWELL PARK. Richard son of Jocelin held land in Stanwell by 1231. (fn. 162) At an unknown date he granted to Philip of Bedfont rights of common in a field and in his wood called the Park. (fn. 163) About 1252 Richard Jocelin, son of Ralph, leased the Park to Westminster Abbey and in 1271 Ralph Jocelin gave his house, a close called the Park, and a carucate to Ankerwyke Priory (Bucks.). (fn. 164) In 1267 he had granted some rents to the priory, which had also acquired about 50 acres each from Ralph Argent and William Passavaund, in 1266 and 1285 respectively. (fn. 165) At the Dissolution Ankerwyke held a property called Stanwell Park manor, which had been leased since 1516, if not before, to Andrew Windsor, to whom it was granted when the priory was dissolved. (fn. 166) It was thereafter merged in Stanwell manor and its position is unknown, though lands called Great and Little Park lay north of London Road, near Hammonds farm, in the 18th century. (fn. 167) Ankerwyke held another property in Stanwell of about 12 acres, which was separately leased before the Dissolution but also probably became merged in Stanwell manor afterwards. (fn. 168)