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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At least from the 13th century there have always been many freehold estates in Stanwell, only some of which are known to have been held of the Windsors. (fn. 1) In 1166 Richard de Raines held a knight's fee in Stanwell which may have become one of the later manors though it is not possible to identify it with any one of them. (fn. 2) Master Richard of Staines, who was probably Rector of Stanwell, (fn. 3) held half a knight's fee there in 1242-3 and acquired more land in 1276. (fn. 4) William de Keynes (d. c. 1336) held a house and 120 acres in Stanwell of Richard of Windsor as a third of a knight's fee, and his father William also had property there. (fn. 5) Andrew of Walden also held half a fee of Richard in 1315. (fn. 6)
Eton College acquired an estate in Stanwell in 1449, which became known as Rudsworth farm. (fn. 7) It originated in a grant made by Pain de Cleremont to Richard the Harper, Henry III's harpist, in 1245. (fn. 8) This comprised a house and 20 acres of arable, with meadows and other appurtenances, in Rudsworth. It passed to Henry Lovel and, in 1260, to Henry's son Thomas. (fn. 9) With some additions, mostly in Rudsworth, it descended to the atte Mill family, and in 1435 Thomas atte Mill conveyed it to Edward Norfolk. He conveyed it in 1449 to Eton College, whose estate in Stanwell was estimated at 60 acres in 1457. (fn. 10) From the 16th century, Eton seems to have leased it on 20- to 30-year terms. Except for Henry Bulstrode in the early 17th century, the lessees do not seem to have been landowners or residents in Stanwell. (fn. 11) After the death of the lessee, Francis Haynes, in 1800, Eton sold the farm to Thomas Williams, who had taken on the remainder of Haynes's lease. (fn. 12) Williams acquired two other small pieces of property, (fn. 13) and in 1844 he held 200 acres, comprising nearly all the part of Stanwell parish north of Staines moor, west of the Wyrardisbury River, and south of Horton Road. There was no farm-house at that time but the estate included a moated site on the west of Moor Lane, about 800 yards south of Horton Road. (fn. 14) This moat gradually disappeared in the late 19th century and in 1956 pools left by gravel-working covered the site. (fn. 15)
A number of religious houses held land in Stanwell in the Middle Ages. Among these were Newark Priory, Ankerwyke Priory, and Chertsey Abbey, whose main estates are discussed elsewhere. (fn. 16) In addition to the rectory, Chertsey also owned a small estate in the parish, comprising land north of London Road granted to the Abbey by Elias, vicar of Fulham, and rents granted by tenants of Stanwell manor, all probably in the 13th century. (fn. 17) Land in Bedfont was granted to Southwark Priory in the 12th century, but as there is no record that the priory held land in the parish later this may have been in East Bedfont. (fn. 18) Richard of Herriard granted to Wintney Priory (Hants) a rent of 5 marks from West Bedfont manor. (fn. 19) This grant was disputed by Richard's undertenant James of Haverhill in 1222 but was substantially confirmed. (fn. 20) James himself seems to have granted 5 acres of meadow in Stanwell to Kilburn Priory, which still held them, with other property, at the Dissolution. (fn. 21) William of Windsor made several grants of land in Horton to Missenden Abbey (Bucks.) in the early 13th century, (fn. 22) and he may also have granted to the abbey the rent in Stanwell which it held in 1291 and 1401. (fn. 23) In 1251 Roger le Gras granted to Hurley Priory (Berks.) 20s. rent due to him from William Poyle for land in Stanwell. (fn. 24) Hurley still held this in 1314. (fn. 25) Pain de Cleremont gave 40 acres of land in Stanwell to Hounslow Friary before 1275 (fn. 26) and they acquired more land there in 1338, 1358, and 1367. (fn. 27) By the Dissolution they held a house in Stanwell village and another in the moor and about 90 acres of land. (fn. 28) These were being leased from the Crown with other of the friary's lands in 1558. (fn. 29) Barking Abbey held rents in Stanwell in 1291. (fn. 30)
The accumulation of land by the lords of the manors from the 16th to the 19th century reduced the amount of land held by other freeholders. By 1844 just over two-thirds of the parish belonged to three men, and the remaining thousand acres were divided among some 120 freeholds and copyholds of which only three were over 100 acres. These three were Bedfont Court farm (227 a.), another farm centring on West Bedfont (105 a.), and the former Eton College holding (about 200 a.). There were seven estates of over 50 acres, and the remainder were nearly all very small, many comprising only cottages and gardens. (fn. 31) By 1956 the bigger estates of 1844 had been broken up, (fn. 32) and the largest holdings were those of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and the Metropolitan Water Board. The county council also held land in the north of the parish. (fn. 33)
Several manors outside Stanwell had appurtenant property within the parish. Among these were the neighbouring manors of Pates, in East Bedfont, which extended into the extreme west of Stanwell; (fn. 34) Grovebarns and Staines manors, in Staines; (fn. 35) and Perry Place, in Harmondsworth. (fn. 36) The owners of slightly more distant estates also had Stanwell property at one time or another. These estates included Charlton, in Sunbury, (fn. 37) and Upton (Bucks.), (fn. 38) both belonging to Merton Priory; (fn. 39) Colham Garden, in Hillingdon, (fn. 40) and West Drayton; (fn. 41) and Southcote manor, in Ruislip, whose property here may have originated in the acquisition of 7 acres of land by Roger of Southcote in 1283; (fn. 42) this was enlarged in 1341 by lands apparently lying in the north and west of Stanwell. (fn. 43) Hanworth and Uxendon manors, or one of them, also apparently once had Stanwell appurtenances. (fn. 44) None of these outside manors, however, accounted for any appreciable area of the parish.