A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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MANOR AND OTHER ESTATES.
Offa, king of Mercia, was said to have included 10 mansiones in Stanmore among the lands granted to St. Albans abbey on its foundation c. 793. (fn. 1) Although Offa's charter, recorded by Matthew Paris, was probably spurious, (fn. 2) the abbey's lands in 957 stretched southward across Stanmore as far as the later boundary with Kingsbury. (fn. 3) At least some of them were lost before the Conquest, in spite of Thomas Walsingham's story that William I deprived the monks of nearly all their property between Barnet and London. (fn. 4) Nine and a half hides at Stanmore were held by Edmer Atule, a thegn of Edward the Confessor, and in 1086 by William I's half-brother Robert, count of Mortain, (fn. 5) whose son William had restored them to St. Albans by 1106. (fn. 6)
The division of Stanmore, first recorded in Domesday Book, persisted, although it was not until 1274 that the abbey's property was said to lie in Great Stanmore (fn. 7) and not until 1354 that it was called the manor of GREAT STANMORE. (fn. 8) Abbot Richard (d. 1119) granted the 'town' of Stanmore to Serle and his heirs, in fee farm for 60s. a year. (fn. 9) Serle's son Robert of Stanmore exchanged part of the estate in the north with the abbot, by whom it was incorporated into Aldenham (Herts.), and the rest passed to Robert's daughter Marsilia, whose husband, also called Robert, pledged it to a Jewish moneylender. In 1221, when the inheritance was disputed between William, Marsilia's grandson, and Richard de la Grave, descended from a younger son of Serle, St. Albans resumed possession. (fn. 10) The rights of William's sisters Maud and Felice were secured by a fine of 1244-5 and those of William's widow Alice and her second husband, John de Ros, in the following year. (fn. 11) Aloys of Stanmore, perhaps the son of the younger Robert of Stanmore by a different marriage, quitclaimed his interest at about the same time but regained possession by a writ of mort d'ancestor against Abbot Roger (1260-90), who had mislaid the title deeds. (fn. 12) In 1274, however, Aloys's son Robert surrendered all his rights in Great Stanmore to Edward the goldsmith and in 1279 it was agreed between Robert and the abbot that Edward and his heirs should hold the lands, paying 15 marks a year during the lifetime of John Clarel, to whom the abbot had leased the property, and 10 marks thereafter. (fn. 13) John de Shorne and his wife Isabel held the estate in 1307 (fn. 14) and in 1349 Walter de Shorne conveyed his interest in Broadcroft, Hall mead, and other lands in Great Stanmore to Roger Wendout, who was probably acting for the Francis family of London. In 1354 Walter's son John de Shorne released to Ellis Francis and Thomas de Loughtborough all his claims in the manor, which they had acquired from Simon Francis. (fn. 15) Simon died in 1358, seised jointly with his wife Maud of the manor of Great Stanmore. (fn. 16) In 1362 the prior of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, was licensed to acquire the manor in mortmain from David of Wooler, Keeper of the Rolls of Chancery, who was to have had the reversion on Maud's death. (fn. 17)
St. Bartholomew's priory, which already held the manor of Little Stanmore, in 1359 had been licensed to acquire other lands in Great Stanmore: (fn. 18) a house and 168 a. from Hugh de la More of Carleton, chaplain, and 20 a. from John de Affebrigge. (fn. 19) In 1392 the abbot of St. Albans was permitted to receive 5 marks for the manor of Great Stanmore whenever the priory of St. Bartholomew's was vacant, since he had been paid a relief of twice the rent on the death of each tenant before the priory's acquisition in mortmain. (fn. 20) In 1535 St. Bartholomew's, which drew profits of £20 a year from all its property in Great Stanmore, was still paying the old rent of 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.) to St. Albans. (fn. 21)
Geoffrey Chamber, formerly chief steward for St. Bartholomew's in Great Stanmore (fn. 22) and from 1536 surveyor and receiver-general in the Court of Augmentations, (fn. 23) leased the manor for 15 years in 1538, acquitting the prior of payments to St. Albans. (fn. 24) Great Stanmore was among the manors granted for life to Robert Fuller, the last prior, in 1540, (fn. 25) the year after his surrender of the house, but it was granted to Chamber and his heirs in 1542. (fn. 26) Chamber sold some of his property there to Sir Pedro de Gamboa, a Spanish mercenary in the royal service, in the same year (fn. 27) and died in 1544, heavily in debt to the Crown. (fn. 28) The manor and its lands were forfeited and in 1547, when they covered 276½ a., they were granted to Gamboa in tail male, together with the land bought from Chamber in 1542. (fn. 29) Great Stanmore escheated on Gamboa's murder in 1550, (fn. 30) when it was leased to Sir George Blage at a rent which was slightly reduced after some lands had been granted to Hugh Losse, lord of Little Stanmore, in 1552. (fn. 31) Chamber's last surviving son Edward, an exiled Roman Catholic priest, vainly claimed the manor as late as 1593 and ascribed the Crown's refusal to sell it to the existence of a rightful heir. (fn. 32) Leases were made to Blage's widow Dorothy in 1563 (fn. 33) and, in reversion, to Thomas Marshe in 1576. (fn. 34) Marshe had conveyed his interest by 1587-8 to John Kaye, clerk of the Green Cloth, (fn. 35) whose son John obtained a lease in reversion in 1594 (fn. 36) but assigned it to John Burnell, a clothworker of London, (fn. 37) c. 1599. (fn. 38)
In 1604 the lordship of Great Stanmore was sold in reversion for £600 to Sir Thomas Lake, a secretary of state, who already held Little Stanmore. A fee farm rent was reserved to the Crown but granted in 1623 to the chapter of Westminster. (fn. 39) Lake's son, another Sir Thomas, secured possession in 1638 by buying in the Burnells' lease from Anne Rewse, widow of John Burnell's son and namesake. After the younger Sir Thomas's death in 1653 (fn. 40) the children of his first marriage, Thomas, Dorothy, and Elizabeth, claimed that Great Stanmore had been among the estates settled by their grandfather for 60 years and therefore that the profits could not be withheld because of any conveyance to their uncle, the earl of Rutland, who was in league with their step-mother. (fn. 41) More prolonged discord arose when the two sisters, supported by their uncle Sir Lancelot Lake of Canons, alleged that Thomas, who married while still a minor, was under the influence of his brother-in-law William Bockenham, formerly their father's steward. (fn. 42) Thomas mortgaged the manor to Thomas Mann, an associate of Bockenham, in 1661 (fn. 43) and died in 1662, leaving Great Stanmore to his widow Mary and Bockenham. After further litigation (fn. 44) Bockenham in 1663 agreed to sell most of the demesne lands to Sir Lancelot and to pay £9,000 to Dorothy and Elizabeth Lake. (fn. 45) The remaining lands, with the manor-house, were left to Bockenham and his co-feoffees, in whose names courts were held in 1664 and 1666. (fn. 46) Attempts by Thomas Lake and Bockenham to raise money encumbered the estate with many conflicting claims throughout the 1660s and 1670s, although as a result of one of Bockenham's mortgages possession passed to Mary Lake shortly before her second marriage, to Richard (later Sir Richard) May, a baron of the Exchequer. (fn. 47) May held the manor by 1668 (fn. 48) and mortgaged it in 1679 to Dame Barbara Wyndham. Both Bockenham and May evidently conveyed their interests to a London embroiderer, Matthew Smith, and other trustees, in whose names courts were held in 1679-80. (fn. 49)
Matthew Smith, hoping to entail the manor on his eldest grandson Thomas, empowered the trustees to sell some property to redeem the mortgage. Part was accordingly sold, with the consent of Smith's widow Margaret, to John and William Powell in 1681. The manor itself changed hands but unspecified lands were retained, to be disputed among Smith's heirs at least until 1713. John Powell, a London vintner, was the sole lord from 1685 to 1700, when he was followed by John Rogers. (fn. 50) Differences arose between Rogers and Warwick Lake of Canons over the payment of the fee farm rent to Westminster abbey: Rogers, maintaining that most of the charge should be borne by the Lakes, alleged that Sir Lancelot had bought as much as two-thirds of the demesne lands, leaving only 150 a. to the lords of Great Stanmore. (fn. 51)
In 1714 the manor was acquired from John Rogers by Humphrey Walcot, (fn. 52) presumably on behalf of his patron James Brydges, earl of Carnarvon and from 1719 duke of Chandos. (fn. 53) In 1715 Great and Little Stanmore were united under the Brydges family, as they had been under the Lakes. After the third duke's death in 1789 (fn. 54) courts were held for his widow Anne Eliza, a lunatic whose estates were leased out under an Act of 1793, (fn. 55) and in 1795 for his daughter Lady Anna Elizabeth Brydges, de jure Baroness Kinloss. Anna Elizabeth in 1796 married Richard NugentTemple-Grenville, Earl Temple, who in 1813 succeeded as marquess of Buckingham and in 1822 was created duke of Buckingham and Chandos. His son, Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-BrydgesChandos-Grenville, succeeded in 1839 and sold the manor in 1840 to James Hamilton, marquess (later duke) of Abercorn (fn. 56) and owner of Bentley Priory. (fn. 57) In 1863 the manor was bought by John Kelk (later Sir John Kelk, Bt.), (fn. 58) the railway engineer, who in 1882 sold it to Thomas Clutterbuck of Micklefield Hall, Rickmansworth (Herts.). (fn. 59)
The Clutterbucks had held property in the parish at least since 1749, when a messuage was granted to Thomas Clutterbuck, a brewer. (fn. 60) In 1762 he had acquired the Vine at the top of Stanmore Hill and in 1763, on behalf of his son Thomas, a brewery which stood a few yards farther north on the opposite, western, side of the road. (fn. 61) Although not large landowners in Great Stanmore, the family had acquired many buildings, including the Crown in 1769, the Black Horse on a lease in 1851, and the Load of Hay in 1868, as well as many wastehold parcels. (fn. 62) The purchaser of the manor was described as of Great Stanmore in 1844, of Red Hall (Herts.) in 1847, and of Micklefield Hall in 1851. (fn. 63) The manor passed in 1895 to his son Thomas Meadows Clutterbuck (d. 1919) and to his grandson Captain Rupert Clutterbuck (d. 1933), both of Micklefield Hall. (fn. 64) Many manorial rights were sold in the 1920s, including those in the common and Stanmore marsh, for which Hendon R.D.C. paid £1,000 in 1929. (fn. 65) The last rights were extinguished by Captain Clutterbuck's widow and her co-executor, in whom the manor was vested, in 1935-6. (fn. 66)
According to Thomas Walsingham a manor-house was built by John, abbot of St. Albans 1235-60. (fn. 67) Presumably it occupied the moated site in the medieval village, south of the vanished St. Mary's church, between Old Church Lane on the east and the Stanburn on the west. (fn. 68) Four sides of the moat enclosed a rick-yard in 1838 (fn. 69) but only two survived in 1865. (fn. 70) Traces were visible in private gardens on the northern corner of Old Church Lane and Wolverton Road in the 1930s. (fn. 71) The 'capital mansion-house' recorded in 1587-8 (fn. 72) may have been a new building, ancestor of the later Manor House which stood at the northern end of Old Church Lane, opposite the Rectory. John Burnell (d. 1605) was said by his son to have spent over £800 in reconstructing and repairing his residence there. (fn. 73) It was assessed at 16 hearths in 1664, (fn. 74) again restored in 1682 and much altered in the 18th or early 19th century, (fn. 75) but was leased out after its acquisition by the owners of Canons: Humphrey Walcot held the lease for two lives in 1734 (fn. 76) and there was a yearly tenant in 1837, when the house and 14 a. were put up for sale. (fn. 77) Later occupants of the Manor House, which was demolished in 1930, (fn. 78) included Mrs. Sperling, Eugene Noel, and Charles Hartridge. (fn. 79) The so-called New Manor House, farther south in the same road and opposite the junction with Gordon Avenue, was merely a lavish Tudor-style remodelling, dating from 1930-3, of a late Victorian residence, the Croft. At the expense of Samuel Wallrock many ancient materials were incorporated in the new house (fn. 80) and in Church House, a range of former outbuildings to the north which included a banqueting room afterwards used as a church hall. (fn. 81) The New Manor House was bought with 5½ a. by the Ministry of Defence in 1940 (fn. 82) and was used as a residence for senior officers in 1971. (fn. 83)
In 1838 the Drummond family held 408 a. in Great Stanmore, twice as much as the next largest landowner, the duke of Buckingham and Chandos, (fn. 84) and part of a 1,406-acre estate which stretched westward into Harrow Weald. The Drummonds' connexion with the parish was foreshadowed in 1725, when the duke of Chandos opened an account at the Charing Cross bank of Andrew Drummond, founder of the family's fortune. (fn. 85) In 1729 Andrew was admitted to a copyhold tenement called Hodgkins, which he had bought from John Shepherd, a London merchant. (fn. 86) Many subsequent purchases were made by Andrew, who died in 1769 seised of at least 56 a. of copyhold land, (fn. 87) including three of the manor's head tenements. (fn. 88) Small parcels of waste were added by Andrew's son John (d. 1774) and John's son George (d. 1789). (fn. 89)
By 1788 the estate included Belmont, a mound constructed by the first duke of Chandos and surmounted by a summer-house which terminated the vista along the western avenue from Canons. Andrew Drummond is said to have lived at Belmont but it is more likely that his early home was south-west of the church, on the site of a Palladian mansion begun in 1763 by John Vardy and completed by Sir William Chambers. (fn. 90) The mansion later was mistakenly known as Belmont (fn. 91) and was called Stanmore House in 1816, when it was occupied by the Countess of Aylesford. Lord Castlereagh is said to have lived there for a short time, (fn. 92) presumably, like Lady Aylesford, as the tenant of George Drummond's spendthrift son, George Harley Drummond (d. 1855). The mansion stood in extensive grounds, which form the setting for Zoffany's painting of Andrew Drummond's family; (fn. 93) in 1838 they included South park, 87 a. extending from Temple pond to Belmont, and North park, 66 a. including Boot pond, north of Uxbridge Road. Park or Home farm, west of the mansion, and Old Church farm also formed part of the Drummonds' property, (fn. 94) which was bought by the marquess of Abercorn, as the Stanmore Park estate, in 1839. (fn. 95) Abercorn, having his own seat at Bentley Priory, sold the Stanmore mansion in 1848 to George Carr Glyn, later Lord Wolverton (d. 1873), a partner in Glyn, Mills & Co. The house, after some 50 years as a boys' preparatory school, was sold with 56 a. and pulled down in 1938 (fn. 96) to make way for no. 3 Balloon Centre of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. The site was occupied in turn by Balloon Command H.Q., and by groups of Transport Command and Fighter Command. In 1971 Stanmore Park was a station in no. 11 (Fighter) Group of Strike Command, whose headquarters were at Bentley Priory, (fn. 97) although part of the old park survived as Stanmore golf course.
When the earl of Abercorn bought Bentley Priory in 1788, (fn. 98) its grounds already encroached from Harrow into Stanmore. In 1795 the marquess of Abercorn was licensed to inclose part of the turnpike road which led north-west across Stanmore Common, with some adjoining waste-land, on condition that he made a new road and did not build anything other than 'lodges, temples and other ornamental buildings' of an approved design. (fn. 99) His grandson and heir thus already held 97 a. in the north-west of the parish, (fn. 100) before he bought the Drummonds' property and other lands, with the lordship, from the duke of Buckingham and Chandos's estates. Aylwards, (fn. 101) east of the Bentley Priory grounds, was acquired in 1842. (fn. 102) All the lands were mortgaged, (fn. 103) however, and the sale of Stanmore Park was followed by that of extensive farm-land in the south, whose purchase by St. Bartholomew's hospital was completed after three years in 1856. (fn. 104) The parkland attached to Bentley Priory was conveyed in 1857 to John Kelk, whose purchase of Aylwards at the same time as that of the manor ended Great Stanmore's connexion with a family which, twenty years earlier, had owned nearly half the parish. (fn. 105)
The Stanmore lands bought by St. Bartholomew's hospital comprised Kenton Lane, Old Church, and Marsh farms. Apart from a farm-house at the corner of Marsh Lane they formed a compact block which amounted to 808 a. in 1857, when it was by far the largest of the hospital's estates in Middlesex. No more than 440 a., however, were in Great Stanmore, for part of Marsh farm lay in Little Stanmore and most of Kenton Lane farm in Harrow. (fn. 106) The homestead of Marsh farm was sold with 7 a. to Dr. Begg of Canons in 1863 and a small additional purchase was made in 1864 (fn. 107) but much of the property, because of its value as building land, was retained after a general decision to dispose of the hospital's country estates in 1919. (fn. 108) The first sales took place in 1926 and the last, to John Laing & Co., the biggest purchasers, in 1934. (fn. 109)