A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 9, Bloxham Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
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HORLEY AND HORNTON
The ancient parish of Horley covered 2,563 a. and was composed of Horley township (1,141 a.) and Hornton township (1,422 a.). (fn. 1) It lies in the extreme north-west of the county on the Warwickshire border, and is largely bounded by streams which eventually flow into the Sor Brook, a tributary of the Cherwell. (fn. 2) The woodless upland parts of the parish are well over 600 ft. and lie on Middle Lias rocks; they are divided by steep-sided gullies lying between the 450 and 500 ft. contours at Hornton village and along the boundary streams. At Bush Hill in the north of the parish there is rough land (c. 23 a.) at a height of 600 ft. and on the north-western boundary are extensive quarries of Hornton stone, some still working. (fn. 3)
The parish lies between the Banbury-Warwick and Banbury-Stratford roads, turnpiked in 1744 and 1753 respectively. (fn. 4) A secondary road connects Horley with both; a road from Hornton to Balscott crosses the main Stratford road and another meets it at Wroxton. The hard-bottomed ford on the Banbury road was not bridged until modern times, and the bridge over the Wroxton Brook dates from 1916. (fn. 5)
Horley lies near the eastern boundary of the parish crowning a hill 500 ft. high, some 3½ miles from Edgehill. The village lies between two streams, Wroxton Brook and Horley Brook; Horley means 'clearing in a tongue of land'. (fn. 6) The village has an irregular plan. One long street of cottages and farmhouses ascends the hill from Horley Mill to the church on the hill-top, still 'large and handsome' as it was when Rawlinson described it in 1718. (fn. 7) Here the houses are mainly concentrated on the west side of the hill in a rough parallelogram. On the west is the vicarage-house and on the south side of the hill-side are the manor-house of the sometime prebendal manor, and what is evidently the manor-house of the lay manor of Horley, now a farm-house. (fn. 8) The fishponds once existing to the west of the village presumably belonged to one or both of these manors.
At one time it was a more scattered village: in 1705 there was a substantial house called Yellow Well Hall on the edge of the village and there were still houses at Yellow Well on the north of it in the 19th century. There is a tradition that there were once houses in the Town Gore. (fn. 9) It seems always to have been a smaller village than Hornton and in the mid17th century, when it is first possible to make a rough estimate of the village population, 47 men took the Protestation Oath compared with 73 at Hornton. (fn. 10) In 1801 it had a population of 269 and reached the peak figure of 425 in 1841. There were then 90 houses in the village. By 1901 the population had fallen to 247 and in 1961 it was 232. (fn. 11)
In general the houses and cottages are built in the local ironstone and in the regional style. They mostly date from the period 1580–1640 but many may have been altered in the 18th century, Later buildings include some early-19th-century cottages, with their gable end to the road, and the mid-19thcentury vicarage-house, 'a small, neat, modern residence' built for the curate. (fn. 12) In the 20th century many old cottages have been reconditioned; and council houses in Lane Close were built after the Second World War. (fn. 13) Well-kept grass verges in the main street are a feature of the village.
There is now only one inn, the 'Red Lion', but in 1783 there was also the 'Crown'. (fn. 14) The latter house had probably long retailed beer, for it was occupied early in the century by a maltster, John Bray. (fn. 15) The churchwardens met in one or other of these inns in the 1780s. (fn. 16) Growing population led to the appearance of the 'Buck' in 1786 and the 'Bull' in 1806. (fn. 17)
The most imposing house is the Manor House, lying a little south of the church. Its medieval predecessor was occupied by the prebendaries (fn. 18) from time to time. They alone had a right to a seat in the chancel of the church, with which the house is directly connected by a right of way. The older part of the house, the present long east-west range, belongs to the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a 2storied structure of coursed ironstone rubble with mullioned windows. It has been little altered since 1624 when John Austin bought the manor from Richard Light, who had resided there. (fn. 19) Some interior panelling of about that date may well have belonged to the 17th-century house. In 1665 John Austin returned 5 hearths for the hearth tax and in 1718 Rawlinson reported that Nathaniel Austin was living there. (fn. 20) It was probably Nathaniel who remodelled the east end of the old house, which has an east wing of about 1700 as its front elevation. It consists of 5 bays, is of 2 stories with a hipped roof in which are 3 dormers, and has a central doorway surmounted by a broken pediment and approached by semi-circular steps; its large sash windows have moulded architraves with keystones and the interior is elegantly designed. The house was inhabited after 1741 by Edward Metcalfe. (fn. 21) By 1802 no person 'of note' resided in Horley; (fn. 22) but in 1852 the house was recorded once again as a gentleman's residence. (fn. 23) In 1892 it was bought by James Stockton, a Banbury solicitor. (fn. 24)
The manor-house of the lay manor, lying south of the prebendal manor, is now Bramshill Park Farm and may well have been used as a farm-house since the early 18th century, when the Copes bought it. (fn. 25) It was occupied in the 17th century by the Danvers family. Daniel Danvers died there in 1624 (fn. 26) and his Puritan son Anthony seems to have lived there until the 1660s when he went to London. (fn. 27) In the last quarter of the century the new lord, Richard Thomson, occupied the house. His wife and 3 of his children were buried in the church between 1678 and 1690, (fn. 28) and it is likely that Thomson himself remained in the house until 1718 when he sold it to Sir John Cope of Bramshill. As only this Horley house and the arms of Thomson are shown on Michael Burgher's map of Oxfordshire, (fn. 29) it was evidently then the most important house in the village. The existing house appears to represent only the southern portion of a larger building, the northern part of which has been demolished. This may have been the result of a fire, as local tradition has it. Three 18th-century sketch-plans of a house at Horley, now among the Cope papers, may represent Bramshill Park Farm soon after the Copes obtained possession, though it is difficult to relate them to any part of the existing building. (fn. 30) One gives the measurements of the rooms and shows that the hall, then divided into two, was 9–10 ft. high and once measured 30 ft. x 20 ft. The diningroom was 17 ft. x 20 ft. There were three flights of stairs — the great stairs, the back stairs, and the little stairs. A list of the chief rooms made in 1735 enumerates the great parlour, the hall, the diningroom, 3 bedchambers, and 3 garrets. (fn. 31) The surviving portion of the mansion appears to date partly from the 16th and partly from the 17th century. The rectangular bay which projects from the east front has a lead rainwater-head with the initials 'T.R.D.', which no doubt are those of the owner Richard Thomson who bought the manor in 1668. The outbuildings in the farm-yard date from c. 1600. They retain a doorway and two 3-light mullioned windows of that period.
Park House, once a Cope property, incorporates parts of a medieval structure. It was originally built on the 3-unit plan with the 2 ground-floor rooms both of about the same size, though on different levels, and separated by a through passage. To the right of this passage there is a doorway of 14thcentury date and in the rear wall there is a small medieval window with an ogee head. The back entrance is through another medieval doorway. In the west gable of the house is a 2-light 14th-century window, now blocked. The chimney once backed into the left side of the through passage. (fn. 32)
Besides the farm-houses there are several 17thand 18th-century cottages. One thatched cottage abutting on the Methodist chapel retains some of its 17th-century mullioned windows; some cottages have cellars. The schoolmaster's house and schoolroom were originally built c. 1630, (fn. 33) backing upon the churchyard. It is a substantially built stone house with mullioned windows and thatched roof. The master's house appears to have been enlarged in 1711, the date on the chimney stack. The schoolroom was extended in 1842 by the addition of a classroom with small Gothic windows; was again enlarged in 1899, and yet again in 1961, when glass and steel were the main building materials. (fn. 34)
Horley House, lying rather apart from the village, is a large early-19th-century mansion built of local stone in a plain late Georgian style. The main front has 5 sash windows and a stone pilastered porch. The house was perhaps built for John Hitchcock, one of the chief landed proprietors, who was living there in 1852. (fn. 35)
Hornton village lies mainly at the bottom of a steep sequestered valley at a height of 500 ft., but has spread up the hill which rises to 600 ft. The original settlement, as in the case of Horley, was on the land between two small tributaries of the Sor Brook, and the Old English name of the village signifies 'dwellers on a tongue of land'. (fn. 36)
It was among the larger villages of north Oxfordshire in the Middle Ages and by the 17th century the population may have been c. 300. (fn. 37) In 1662 there were 18 householders with sufficiently substantial houses to be taxed, and in 1665, besides the manor-house, there were 3 other farm-houses of about the same size, all assessed on 4 hearths; 8 others were assessed on 2 or 3 hearths. (fn. 38) By 1801 the population was 485; it rose rapidly to just over 590 in 1841 and 1851, and fell to 362 in 1901 and to 318 in 1961. (fn. 39)
The comparative isolation of the village has resulted in the preservation of many of the 16th and 17th-century farm-houses and even of cottages. The village has in recent years attracted commuters who have modernized and restored carefully. Local pride in the appearance of the village is evident not least in the exceptionally well-tended church and churchyard, a well-known feature of Hornton in the 19th century. (fn. 40) In 1959 'by a quiet communal effort' the villagers were awarded the Marlborough trophy for the best-kept small village in the county; (fn. 41) a century earlier Bishop Wilberforce had called Hornton the 'fringe of civilization'. (fn. 42) The older houses are built of the local ironstone rubble or, in the case of the better ones, of ironstone ashlar. The steep pitch of the roofs indicates that thatch was once used generally and it is still common.
Several notable examples of 17th-century yeoman houses survive. The manor-house, described as a cottage in 1852, and now a farm-house, bears the inscription '1607 C.E.'. (fn. 43) Though considerably altered at later periods its original construction can be traced. It is a 2-story house with attics, built on the common regional plan of a through passage with a large hall and kitchen on either side, and a third room, the parlour, adjoining the hall. A newel staircase in the north-east corner, which provides access from the ground floor to the roof, may be a part of the original house, and several original windows with flat-splayed stone mullions and moulded labels survive. The thatched roof has parapet gables and the dormer windows, flush with the second floor, project into it. The roof, of the tie-beam type with a single collar, shows an early example of a roof truss that was to be generally adopted in the 17th and 18th centuries for the more important houses in this region. The farm has an out-building with kitchen and oven, probably provided for farm labourers in the 18th century. (fn. 44) The Mount is a 2-story house dating from the end of the 17th century. It is of special architectural interest as it presents the 'final stage in evolution of the three-unit "upland" plan'. Built on the hill-side and facing down the valley, it comprises a parlour, with a cellar underneath, a small hall with a broad straight-flight stair against the rear wall, and front and rear entrance doorways. There is a kitchen containing a large fire-place and smaller second stair. The house is solidly built with walls 2½–3 ft. thick, and the architectural detail is of good quality, notably the moulded jambs and camber arch with lozenge-shaped stops to the label mould of the main doorway. The cellar has a well in it and a gutter to run off superfluous water. Eastgates Farm is similar in plan to the Mount, and like the Mount has its gable-end on the road and retains its original mullioned windows and doorway. It has masonry enrichment of the high quality found in small manor-houses in this area, and wrought iron casement fasteners, comparable with those at the Cope farm-house at Horley. Cromwell cottage is of the same 3-unit type, but is only 1½ story except over the kitchen bay where there are two. Wheeler's Farm, also on the hill-side, is of the 3-unit type and dates from the late 17th century. Other examples are the Glen, a smithy for much of its history, the adjoining Profitts House, and a house on the north side of the Hornton-Wroxton road, with a date-stone in the west gable inscribed '1661 T[homas] H[icks]'.
The village's two inns, the 'Bell' and the 'Red Lion', were probably licensed between 1753 and 1772, but they were not mentioned by name until 1782. (fn. 45) The name of a Hornton inn-holder, however, was recorded in 1709. (fn. 46) The 'Dun Cow' had opened by 1854 when it was a butcher's and beer-retailer's combined. Rock Tavern, lying isolated from the village near the quarries, was mentioned in 1854 and was clearly used mainly by quarry men. (fn. 47)
Outside the village Hornton Grounds House dates from the early 19th century and Hornton Hill House from 1864. The latter was built of Hornton stone in the Georgian style, and was notable in 1910 for its avenue of 'grand ornamental' beeches and other trees. (fn. 48)
Manors and Other Estates.
Hornton was not mentioned in Domesday Book but clearly was included under Horley, where there were 2 large and 2 small estates in 1086. One 10-hide estate, held by Berenger de Todeni and of him by Ralph, had been held before the Conquest by Queen Edith and Turgot the law man (lageman). (fn. 49) Like another of Berenger's estates, Hutton Bardolf (N.R. Yorks.), this estate, the later lay manor of HORLEY AND HORNTON, was held in the 13th century by the Bardolf family. (fn. 50) It formed part of the honor of Brandon, which, according to Dugdale, comprised 10 fees attached to Brandon Castle in Wolston (Warws.). (fn. 51) The overlordship of Horley and Hornton may thus have followed the descent of Brandon which passed from Geoffrey de Clinton to his daughter Lesceline, who in the early 12th century married Norman de Verdun. (fn. 52) In the 1220s Nicholas de Verdun was recorded as overlord. (fn. 53) On the death of Theobald de Verdun in 1316 a fee in Horley and Hornton was among the lands which were to be divided between his four daughters and in 1344 it formed part of the inheritance of his daughter Margery and her husband Mark Hussee. (fn. 54) As in the case of other manors granted to the Hussees all trace of the overlordship then disappears. (fn. 55) In 1458, however, Horley and Hornton were said to be held of the Earl of Warwick; (fn. 56) this may perhaps be explained by the fact that the earls of Warwick held the overlordship of Brandon in the 13th century. (fn. 57)
In 1222 Hugh Bardolf and Robert the Chamberlain, both descendants of Osbert, Sheriff of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (d. by 1116) (fn. 58) made a division of lands, Hugh taking the ½ fee in Horley and Hornton. (fn. 59) Hugh made a grant in the 1220s to Stanley Abbey (Wilts.) (fn. 60) and sold the rest of the ½ fee to Robert Lexington, a royal judge. (fn. 61) He held it in 1230 but had granted it before 1236 to his brother John, who in 1239 was allowed free warren in his demesne lands in Horley and Hornton. (fn. 62) John Lexington died in 1257 holding 10 hides in Horley and Hornton and leaving as heir his brother Henry Lexington, Bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 63) On the bishop's death in 1258 Horley passed to his nephew William Sutton, a member of a Nottinghamshire family. (fn. 64) William was dead by 1276, and his widow Eve was married to Robert Paynel, who held the manor during her lifetime, (fn. 65) and claimed free warren in the parish. (fn. 66) William Sutton's son Robert was already dead, and the manor eventually descended to his grandson Sir Richard Sutton, whose son John married Margaret, the sister and later the coheir of Sir John de Somery. (fn. 67) In 1307 Richard agreed with Agnes de Somery, Margaret's widowed mother, that he would hold Horley and Hornton and other manors for life, and that he would not alienate them so that they could not descend to his son. (fn. 68) Richard Sutton held a fee in Horley and Hornton in 1316, and still held it in 1344 and 1346. (fn. 69) The family descended in the male line, (fn. 70) but no later reference has been found of any connexion with Horley.
A manor of Horley is next found in the possession of the Arden family of Drayton, but it is not clear that this was the Sutton holding. Robert Arden had held land there by at least 1327, when he was granted free warren in his demesne lands. (fn. 71) In 1329 he was allowed view of frankpledge there. (fn. 72) Sir Giles Arden held Horley manor with his wife at his death in 1376. (fn. 73) He left two young coheirs one of whom, Margaret, married Lewis Greville. (fn. 74) Their son William, on whom Horley was settled in 1398, was living there in 1406, but later lived at Drayton, (fn. 75) and the family connexion with Horley came to an end.
By 1428 John Langston, presumably John Langston of Caversfield, held the lands in Horley and Hornton which had once belonged to Richard Sutton. (fn. 76) They seem to have passed to the Dynhams, for on his death in 1458 Sir John Dynham and his wife Joan held the manors of Horley and Hornton. This is the first time they are described as 2 manors. (fn. 77) They passed to his son John Lord Dynham, who died childless in 1501, (fn. 78) and for the next 40 years the 2 manors followed a somewhat different descent. In the end, however, both were acquired by the Light family. (fn. 79) Hornton had been settled by Lord Dynham on his brother-in-law Sir John Sapcote of Elton (Hunts.), the husband of Elizabeth Dynham, and his heirs. (fn. 80) Sapcote died in 1501 and in 1541 his son Sir Richard Sapcote sold Hornton manor to Christopher Light. (fn. 81) Horley manor, on the other hand, which in 1501 was held for life by Sir Reynold Bray (d. 1503) by gift of Lord Dynham, (fn. 82) was divided into quarters among the families of Lord Dynham's four sisters. (fn. 83) One quarter, which must have been that which went to Joan Dynham and her husband Lord Zouche, was bought in 1540 from Joan and Prudence Coke by Christopher Light (d. 1546); (fn. 84) in 1544 Light bought another quarter from Sir Michael Dormer, who in 1542 had bought it from Sir William FitzWilliam and his wife Anne, said to be the daughter and heir of Sir Richard Sapcote, who died in 1542; (fn. 85) in 1553 the younger Christopher Light bought another quarter from Sir John Arundell, the grandson of Sir Thomas Arundell and Katherine Dynham; (fn. 86) while the fourth quarter, which had gone to the Carew family, passed like their quarter of Souldern to the Comptons, (fn. 87) and was bought in 1580 by Christopher Light. (fn. 88) Light died at Horley in 1584, leaving half the manor-house and his demesne in Horley to his wife Margaret for life, and the rest of the two manors to his son Richard, aged four. (fn. 89) Richard Light probably sold off the land of Hornton manor, for there are no later references to it. (fn. 90) By 1617 he had left Horley for Banbury, and in that year he and his mother, who was again widowed, sold Horley manor to Daniel Danvers and his son Anthony. (fn. 91) In 1661 Anthony transferred the estate to his son and heir John Danvers, a London sugar refiner, (fn. 92) and in 1663 the Danvers family sold the manor to Sir Charles Wolseley, Bt. (fn. 93) Wolseley, who was connected with the neighbourhood through his marriage to a daughter of William, Lord Saye and Sele, sold the manor in 1668 to Richard Thomson of Edgcott (Northants.). (fn. 94) By 1680 Thomson was living at Horley, but in 1718 he sold the property to Sir John Cope of Bramshill (Hants), the son of Sir John Cope, Bt. (d. 1721), lord of the neighbouring manor of Hanwell. (fn. 95) While Hanwell went in 1721 to another branch of the Cope family, Horley descended with the title in the main branch. (fn. 96) By 1663, however, Horley manor consisted of only 6 yardlands, (fn. 97) and it is doubtful whether any manorial rights belonged to it. This manor is constantly referred to in 18th-century deeds, (fn. 98) and until at least 1813, but the inclosure award and other records refer only to the lords of the prebendal manor. (fn. 99) The Copes, however, continued to be landowners in the parish, their chief farm being Bramshill Park Farm. (fn. 100)
The second manor, known later as the PREBENDAL MANOR OF HORLEY AND HORNTON, probably descended from the 10-hide estate held in 1086 by Robert, Count of Mortain. (fn. 101) Robert's tenant Ralph may have been Ranulf Flambard (d. 1128), the royal minister, (fn. 102) who in the early 12th century held land in Horley of the king. In 1115 Henry I granted Horley with the church of King's Sutton (Northants.) to augment the prebend which Ranulf and his son Elias held in Lincoln Cathedral. By the terms of the grant the prebend was to be held by Elias for life with reversion to Ranulf for life and remainder to the cathedral. (fn. 103) By 1146 Horley was listed among Lincoln's prebendal endowments (fn. 104) and the manor, which also included land in Hornton, was held by the prebendaries of Sutton-cum-Buckingham. (fn. 105)
In the early 13th century the archdeacons of Buckingham were usually the prebendaries: in 1212–14, for example, the archdeacon is found defending his right to 4 yardlands in Hornton; (fn. 106) in 1239 he was granted free warren in his demesne lands in Horley and Hornton; (fn. 107) and in 1243 he was returned as holding half Horley vill in free alms of the Bishop of Lincoln's fee. (fn. 108) Later the archdeacons of Buckingham ceased to be prebendaries and in 1276 the Archdeacon of Northampton claimed, as prebendary, free warren in the parish. (fn. 109) In the 14th century several cardinals held the prebend. (fn. 110) In 1535 the prebend was leased by the prebendary, Richard Pate, to John Pate, who was in the service of Bishop Longland. (fn. 111) On Richard Pate's attainder his successor, Richard Cox, a royal chaplain and later Bishop of Ely, was appointed in 1542 by Henry VIII. (fn. 112) Cox's rapid advancement under Edward VI (fn. 113) owed something perhaps to the fact that in 1547 he surrendered the endowment of this 'noble prebend' to the Crown. (fn. 114) Soon afterwards it formed part of a large grant to the Duke of Somerset, on whose attainder in 1552 it reverted to the Crown. (fn. 115) The prebend itself was never formally dissolved, but being 'disseised of its estate' the bishop's attempts to fill it were unsuccessful. (fn. 116)
During the rest of the 16th century the estate was leased by the Crown, first to Sir John Mason, who was in possession in 1554, (fn. 117) and in 1569 to Henry Seymour for life, a grant which was renewed in 1595. (fn. 118) In 1609 the estate was granted by James I to Sir Robert Brett, a gentleman usher of the Privy Chamber, (fn. 119) who at once divided it and sold the part in Horley and Hornton to Richard Light, the lord of the other manor in the parish. (fn. 120) It was charged with a rent of £20 to the Crown which was paid until it was redeemed in 1769. (fn. 121) In 1624 Light sold the manor to John Austin who settled it on his son Robert. (fn. 122) On John's death in 1639 (fn. 123) the property passed to his son Robert, and then to the latter's son John, who was probably the John Austin, the elder, who died in 1687. (fn. 124) He was succeeded by his son Nathaniel (d. 1728), (fn. 125) and by his grandson, John Austin of Drayton, who sold the property to Edward Metcalfe in 1741. (fn. 126) At the time of the Inclosure Act in 1765 Metcalfe was the only lord of the manor in the parish. (fn. 127) He only owned about 6½ yardlands, all in Horley, but also had manorial rights in Hornton. (fn. 128) After his death the estate was held by his relict Elizabeth until her death in 1791 when it passed to John Metcalfe Wardle, a relative by marriage. (fn. 129) In 1828 either Wardle or his son of the same name sold it to Daniel Stuart, the owner of Wickham Park, (fn. 130) and on his death in 1846 he left it for life to his daughter Catherine. (fn. 131) She never married and after her death it was sold in 1892 to James Stockton, a Banbury solicitor. (fn. 132) At this time the estate consisted mainly of Horley Manor farm (306 a.), the manor-house, and the manorial rights of Horley and Hornton manors, which were worth about £5 a year. (fn. 133) The property passed to Stockton's son, Lt.-Col. Arthur Stockton. (fn. 134) By 1965 manorial rights had lapsed.
In 1086 1 hide in Horley and Hornton was held in chief by Robert of Stafford, and of him by Richard. (fn. 135) Another hide was held of the Count of Mortain by the 'monks of St. Peter', tentatively identified as the monks of Préaux Abbey. (fn. 136) Nothing further is known of these estates.
In 1222 or 1223 Hugh Bardolf, tenant of the lay manor, with the consent of his overlord Nicholas de Verdun, granted 3 carucates in Hornton in free alms to Stanley Abbey (Wilts.). (fn. 137) The Abbey still held the land in 1229 (fn. 138) but no further record of it has been found.
In the Middle Ages the lay and prebendal manors held view of frankpledge for their tenants. (fn. 139) In the early 17th century, when the manors were jointly owned, the manorial rights of the lay manor appear to have lapsed. Some late records (1772–1894) of the prebendal manor, have survived; (fn. 140) the early court rolls were said to have been lost in the Civil War. (fn. 141) In the late 18th century there were usually one or two courts baron yearly for tenants in both Horley and Hornton but by 1839 the court was being held biennially. (fn. 142) Courts were held by the steward, with a bailiff, and the business was chiefly the admission of tenants and the payment of fines and heriots. The view of frankpledge was usually held in October or November. The homage, constable and tithingman were then sworn, and various village nuisances presented. In 1778, for example, the surveyors of the highways at Horley were presented because the footbridge across the ditch leading from Horley to Moor Mill in Hanwell was dangerously out of repair, and there were other presentments for not cleaning ditches. (fn. 143) The last court leet was held in 1920 at the manor-house. (fn. 144)
The townships of Horley and Hornton each had their own parish officers. The earliest record of their work in Hornton is the constable's book, 1798–1834. (fn. 145) The normal term of office was one year but one man served from 1797 to 1801. The constable's duties were the usual ones, although Hornton's constable spent very little on the travelling poor. (fn. 146) His most important item of expenditure was on the militia, particularly after the Acts of 1802–3. In 1803 their operation took up most of the expenses, and he also had to provide substitutes for 2 men chosen in the ballot at Banbury. These men were hired in Warwick and were paid £41 5s. in all. The rate for substitutes had doubled by 1808, and the whole expenses came to £106 17s. 4d., of which £73 16s. was paid by William Gardner, probably one of the overseers. Throughout the period the constable's expenses rose steadily; in 1793–4 they were over £5 and by 1834 £30–£40 a year, without the militia expenses.
No overseers' accounts for Horley and only one set for Hornton have survived. In 1776 Horley spent £100 on relief and Hornton £59 10s., and the mean average for 1783–5 was £170 and £150 respectively. In 1802–3 Horley and Hornton raised £380 and £343 respectively by poor rates, and they spent £340 and £310 respectively on out-relief alone. Hornton's population was almost twice as large as Horley's in 1801 and after; 37 Hornton people received permanent out-relief compared with 23 at Horley, and 101 children of all ages compared with 37. Occasional relief was given to 43 persons at Hornton and to only 7 at Horley. The poverty of Hornton is confirmed by the fact that a rate of 7s. 6d. there raised less money than a 6s. rate in Horley. (fn. 147) In 1834–5 Horley spent £176 on the poor out of £243 raised, Hornton £359 out of £438, the rest being spent on removals and county rates. (fn. 148) The overseers' accounts of 1831 to 1836 (fn. 149) show how Hornton's affairs were managed. Expenditure on relief, which in 1831–2 was £699, dropped steadily to £422 by 1835. (fn. 150) The receipts came mainly from levies, but there was also a small income of about £7 a year from rents, probably of the parish houses which were insured by the overseer in 1833. Two overseers were appointed yearly and each accounted for six months. The accounts were approved yearly by a small group of four or five. Unlike Horley, Hornton had no assistance from charitable funds. (fn. 151)
The bulk of the money for the poor was spent on regular weekly payments: in April 1831, for example, there were 49 persons, receiving between 1s. and 7s. There were occasional payments for rent and house repairs, for medical attention, and household equipment. The overseers also paid the constable's and mole-catcher's bill, and supplied coal to the poor at cheap rates. It was evidently bought in the summer and stored, for there are entries relating to the purchase of coal in June and to the rent of the coal shop. Nearly £4 was 'gained' by the sale of coal over the whole year. Roundsmen were mentioned occasionally, in the winter months. The largest number of men paid was 13 in a seven-day period from 14 February 1835, and the total soon fell again.
Both Horley and Hornton became part of the Banbury Union, and Hornton overseers started to pay to the Banbury Board of Guardians from July 1835. The needs of the two parts of the parish varied widely; in 1851–2 Horley, with a population of 392 and a rateable value of £1,848, spent £80 on poor relief, while Hornton, with 591 inhabitants, spent £356. Though Hornton was larger in extent than Horley its rateable value was only £1,779, and its rates were three times as high. (fn. 152)
In 1086 there was land for 20 ploughs in the parish but only 16 ploughs were in use: there were 9 ploughs on the demesne of the 4 manors, while the tenants had 7 ploughs. All estates had some share in the meadow which was estimated at 46 a., and 1 furlong by 30 perches. Woodland (9 sq. furlongs) was only mentioned on one estate. There were 2 mills, one on Robert of Stafford's estate worth 5s., the other divided between the 2 10-hide estates and worth 1s. 4d. to each. The total value of the parish had increased from £12 in 1066 to £15 in 1086; 3 of the estates had risen in value, while the Mortain estate remained at £5. The recorded peasant population was 31, of whom 14 were serfs, 12 were villani, and 5 were bordars. No population was recorded on one of the 1 hide estates. (fn. 153)
In 1306 there were 39 tenants assessed for tax in Hornton and 19 in Horley. In 1316 and 1327 the 2 villages were assessed together, when 71 and 51 names were listed. The lord of a Horley manor paid 2 or 3 times as much as the highest peasant contributor in 1306 and 1316; most tenants were poor, for in 1306 three-quarters paid 2s. or less for the thirtieth and in 1316 and 1327 over half paid 2s. or less. (fn. 154) The parish's assessment was set at £10 1s. 11d. in 1334, the third highest in the hundred. (fn. 155)
For the 1523 subsidy the villages were assessed together and there were 18 names for the first assessment and 24 for the second. Christopher Light was assessed on £80 worth of goods, a few wealthier farmers at between £9 and £4, and as many as 9 at only 4d. for the first assessment, and 15 at between 4d. and 1s. 6d. for the second. (fn. 156) In 1577 the lord of the manor was again assessed highest, on £8 worth of land. (fn. 157) By the 17th century, however, the parish seems to have been dominated by a number of fairly wealthy farmers rather than by any one man. Of the 9 Horley and 13 Hornton men assessed for the hearth tax of 1665 only one had 5 hearths, 5 had 4 hearths, and 6 had 3 hearths; on the other hand 9 were discharged for poverty. (fn. 158) Richard Arne (d. 1665), 'gentleman' of Hornton, had chattels at his death worth £205; two 3-hearth householders, Thomas Hicks, 'yeoman' of Hornton, and Nathaniel Kinch, 'yeoman' of Horley, had chattels at their deaths worth £305 and £129 respectively. (fn. 159)
Most tenants held by copyhold and records of the terms of tenure of tenants of the prebendal manor have survived. In 1652 a widow was admitted tenant after her husband to 2 yardlands, and paid an entry fine of only 2d.; (fn. 160) entry fines were still low in the late 18th century. (fn. 161) Although some tenements were granted for 2 or 3 lives it was customary to make grants to the tenant and his heirs for ever according to the custom of the manor, eldest sons being admitted as rightful heirs. Heriots were paid in money and ranged from 8s. for a croft to £1 3s. 4d. for a house. (fn. 162) The manorial court's main concern was to keep a check on encroachments on the lord's waste. A late 18th-century rental shows that buildings on the waste included, for example, a house, a shop, and a stable, and payments for those were exacted in the courts. (fn. 163)
There are few records of the exploitation of the land in the Middle Ages. The lords had a warren in the parish by 1239, recorded also in 1272. (fn. 164) Both villages retained separate open fields until the mid18th century. There was a 2-field system at Hornton, (fn. 165) which may have survived, as in neighbouring parishes, into the 16th or 17th century and have then been converted into a 4-field system. Certainly at Horley in 1766 there was a 4-course rotation of crops on the Cope estate. (fn. 166) The situation of the fields is not shown on any map but the arable probably lay on the hill slopes while the valley bottoms, being a heavy clay and badly drained, probably provided meadow and pasture. (fn. 167) Maps of 1797 and later show that the common and wastes lay near Horley village, to the south-west of Hornton village, and on Bush Hill, which was still marked on maps as rough pasture in 1882 and in the 1930s. (fn. 168) When Sir Anthony Cope purchased the manor in 1609, he bought 40 a. of heath as well as 150 a. of pasture, 50 a. of mead, and 240 of arable. (fn. 169) Although some of the farming was conservative there are indications that many farmers had introduced improvements within the framework of the open fields. Whereas a yardland and holding in 1645 lay in 39 parcels, partly arable and partly greensward, the glebe some 30 years later was consolidated into 3 parcels of 10 a. to 16 a. and 4 parcels of 12 to 32 ridges. (fn. 170) On both holdings the system of leys farming had been adopted. In 1631 a grant in Horley included 3 leys, and the terrier of ½ yardland made in 1672 lists 8 leys, some lying in the plain and some on the hill. (fn. 171) Variety was further introduced by the use of 'hitches', and vetches and clover were grown on 2 such hitches in Horley in 1712. (fn. 172)
The keeping of comparatively large animal stock made the provision of pasture and commons and the regulation of their use a matter of importance. By a 12-year agreement of 1712, which in general confirmed a previous 12-year arrangement, (fn. 173) it was decided by the lord and tenants of Horley that a common cow-pasture should be inclosed and set out, that a 'horse hitch' should be taken out of the fallow each year, and that Upper and Middle Moors should be divided by lot. Everyone sharing in the cow-pasture was to stint 8 sheep 'for the better making' of it; if sheep were put on it without permission, 1d. was to be deducted from their shepherd's wages. The horse-hitch was to be 'mounded' and prepared by everyone sharing in it, and was to be divided by lot in proportion to each man's number of yardlands. Each man was to sow 3 peck of vetches on his lot for every horse, mare, or gelding which he wished to keep there, and was to stint 1 sheep. The owners of tithes on this land agreed in the one case to take only 1/15 of grain there and in the other case not to take any tithes from the new hitches, save rent for small tithes. It was specifically laid down that no one should put animals of Hornton men on this common, but Hornton men were evidently allowed to pay for the privilege of sowing in the new hitches. All common grass growing in the corn-field was to be sold and the money, together with the money from Hornton men, was to be used to trench the fallow, i.e. to drain the heavy soil. (fn. 174) Regulations were laid down at the same time for the grazing of cattle and sheep in other parts of the commons and open fields: animals were not to be put on the gores and moors until after harvest, nor on the stubble field before Michaelmas, nor on the hitch when sown, nor on any greensward after mowing, save for one or two horses for working purposes; and no horse was to be tied within 60 yards of any standing or cut corn, nor to be tethered on any balk or common ground in the field unless the grazing had been bought. Another order said that no one was to dig or take away the earth of the commons. (fn. 175)
The fields and commons were supervised by two fieldsmen chosen annually, and the grazing by two 'tellers', who in 1712 were to be the fieldsmen as well. Each commoner was obliged to inform the tellers of his stock turned out to graze, and the tellers could impound surplus animals; for payment they were given 8 sheep commons. Cattle were kept with the common herd under the herdsman, who received them night and morning and gave notice with his horn. Two bulls were to be kept each year to go with the herd; the providers of each bull were to have commons for 10 sheep and 3 lambs. (fn. 176)
Stints in the parish were diverse: in a dispute over the number of sheep-commons attached to the sale of 2 yardlands in Hornton the seller stated it to be 20 and the buyer 48, while the eventual agreement was for 40; and in 1611 the sale of 3 yardlands in Hornton included commons for 24 sheep, 5 beasts, and 4 horses to the yardland. (fn. 177) The Horley stint was changed by the 12-year agreement of 1712 to 24 sheep and 10 lambs in the cow-pasture and 12 sheep and 5 lambs in the field per yardland. At the end of the agreement the ancient stint of 40 sheep to a yardland was to be restored to the commoners and 67 sheep to a yardland to the parson. (fn. 178) There were a number of pasture and meadow closes (fn. 179) but when the open fields were finally inclosed in 1766 old inclosures amounted at most to 324 a. (fn. 180) It is not possible to locate these inclosures, but according to a grant of 1813 at least 68 a. lay in Horley township. (fn. 181)
The chief crops grown were wheat, oats, barley, and pulses; and cattle and horses were kept as well as sheep. (fn. 182) The sheep flocks, judging from inventories, were normally fairly small: few 17th-century farmers seem to have had flocks of more than 40 to 50. The following random selection of 17thcentury inventories shows the mixed interests of the farmers. Thomas Allen (d. 1616) of Horley, whose goods were worth £82, had £18 worth of corn and grass, a flock of 45 sheep, 5 horses, 8 cows and calves, pigs, poultry, and 8 stocks of bees. (fn. 183) Another Hornton man had £45 worth of corn (oats, pease, and maslin), and horses (with harness) and cattle worth £27, out of a total valuation of £94. (fn. 184) A rather more prosperous man, Nathaniel Kinch (d. 1693) had a large flock of sheep (valued at £20), 7 horses, swine, and cows worth £24; his crops of wheat, pulse, barley, and hay were valued at £40, and he had cheeses worth £1 6s. 8d. (fn. 185) Another rich yeoman had more than two-thirds of the value of his goods in crops and stock: his barley, pease, winter corn, and oats were valued at £124; his horses, colts, cows, sheep, and pigs at £91. (fn. 186) A gentleman of the parish had £100 worth of wool stored in his house; at the time of his death his flock of 45 sheep was small, but this may not have been its normal size. He also kept a few horses and cows. (fn. 187)
The inclosure of 2,289 a. in Horley and Hornton Fields took place in 1766. The largest single allotments were made in Horley Field where Sir John Mordaunt Cope received 219 a., the vicar 181 a., and Edward Metcalfe 252 a. for his 6½ yardlands in Horley and impropriate tithes. No award was made for manorial rights over the waste, which Metcalfe evidently retained. There were 15 other allotments in Horley Field, of which only 5 were between 10 a. and 100 a. and the rest were under 10 a. In Hornton there were 34 allotments: Richard Calcott received 174 a. and 4 others between 111 a. and 122 a.; there were 14 allotments between 10 a. and 100 a. and 15 of under 10 a. Seventeen of the Hornton allotments included compensation for impropriate tithes. (fn. 188)
Inclosure did not immediately affect the pattern of landholding. In the late 18th century the land of the parish was still divided between a comparatively large number of proprietors: 27 in Horley and 36 in Hornton. There were 19 owner-occupiers in the parish, of whom 4 had fair-sized farms in Hornton. Seven tenant-occupied farms in Hornton were assessed at between £2 and £7, and there were 4 in Horley assessed at between £6 and £21 but other holdings were all small. (fn. 189) In 1831 tenants farmed the 4 chief farms in Horley; there was one fair-sized owner-occupied farm. In all there were 24 assessed for tax in Horley and 28 in Hornton, where the 4 larger farms were owner-occupied, and there were 5 tenant farms with smaller rentals. (fn. 190)
In 1851 there were 21 farmers in all, of whom 2 had large farms of 345 a. and 330 a., one in Horley and the other in Hornton. There were 2 other farms of over 200 a., but the average size was much smaller: 9 farms in the parish were between 100 a. and 150 a., and 6 between 26 a. and 70 a. (fn. 191) By the end of the 19th century the number of farms in the parish had been reduced to 13, and by 1939 to 9 and 3 small-holdings. (fn. 192) In 1961 the average farm was small (c. 150 a.), although some like the Mount dairy farm in Hornton were under 90 a., and one, the Upton Estate, which lay in both Horley and Hornton, covered 1,000 a. (fn. 193)
Davis's map of 1797 shows a mainly arable parish (fn. 194) and 19th-century leases contained the proviso, often found elsewhere, for extra payment for the conversion of meadow and pasture into tillage, indicating that increased profits were to be expected from arable: in a lease of 1804, for example, an extra £20 a year was asked for every acre of meadow and pasture converted without licence; and a lease of 1840 asked for £50 for every acre converted. (fn. 195) An agricultural expert stated in 1854 that the red land at Horley was 'well adapted for growing barley and turnips', (fn. 196) and this was still recognized at the end of the century. In 1892, for example, the arable of Horley Manor estate (306 a.) was described as 'deep, staple turnip and barley land, growing heavy crops and very healthy for sheep'. This estate was then about a third under pasture. (fn. 197) A smaller farm in Horley (140 a.) was over half arable; (fn. 198) Hornton House estate (303 a.) was described in 1910 as 'rich old pasture and production arable' and again over half was arable. (fn. 199) A survey of the county's agriculture in 1914 estimated that 51 per cent. of the parish was permanent pasture, while 22 per cent. of the arable was under wheat, 23 per cent. under barley, and 13 per cent. under oats. There was a high percentage of root crops as compared with the rest of the county, i.e. 10 per cent. swedes and turnips. The proportion of sheep kept was high: 61 to every 100 a. of cultivated land, and there were 17 cattle to every 100 a. (fn. 200) The chief disadvantage of farming in this area was said to be the distance from Banbury, as the roads were too hilly for it to be profitable to carry large quantities of feeding stuffs and manures or to send produce away frequently. (fn. 201) Compared with the best Oxfordshire land the land of the parish was of average fertility. Many of the valley sides were so steep that they could not be ploughed easily, if at all, and the light land with the ironstone very near the surface was prolific of weeds. Mechanization, introduced during the Second World War, reached a very high level on the large farms with the result that the labour force dropped considerably, horses almost disappeared, and hedges were bulldozed so as to enlarge the fields to 20–40 acres. Farming remained mixed: about half the land was permanent pasture, although on the larger farms there was a complete change-over to arable with 1-year or 3-year leys, and the heavier soil of the bottoms was drained by irrigation. Barley, wheat, and roots were the main crops grown, though there were some oats and sugar beet. The rotation used on the largest farm (700 a.) was 2 years corn, 1 rape and turnips, 2 corn, and 3 leys, compared with 1 year each of corn, roots, corn, and leys before the war. (fn. 202)
The comparative isolation of Horley and Hornton resulted in village craftsmen and small traders persisting rather longer than elsewhere. In 1851 there were 4 tailors, a clockmaker, and 2 millers in each village, and at the end of the century fruiterers, grocers, shopkeepers, a blacksmith, and a watchmaker were still to be found. (fn. 203) Agriculture was the chief occupation up to the 19th century, (fn. 204) but quarrying and weaving had always been of some importance. The Hornton stone quarries supplied the principal building stone in the Banbury and Edgehill districts. (fn. 205) Quarrymen and masons are recorded in wills and registers from 1609, and in the 1851 census there were 19 stone-masons, 5 quarrymen and 10 labourers in Hornton, and 5 stonemasons in Horley. (fn. 206) In the 20th century the stone was quarried mainly for the ironstone by the Oxfordshire Ironstone Co. and very little was used for building. (fn. 207) Carr's Pit, the last of the Hornton quarries to be worked for Hornton stone proper, was closed in 1942. Besides its extensive use for building this stone has been much used for monumental work, especially blue Hornton, though a purple and brown Hornton was also used. The Stanleys have been masons for generations, and since the First World War their firm has been based on Edge Hill. Their market is world-wide, stone being sent to New Zealand and South America, as well as all over England. At one time the firm employed 50 per cent. Hornton men, but in 1963 only a few of its 40 employees came from the village. Gilbert Scott was an admirer of Hornton stone, and several modern sculptors, including Henry Moore, favour it. (fn. 208)
Plush-weaving was another minor industry carried on in Horley and Hornton down to the late 19th century: weavers are recorded in the parish from the 17th century. Two weavers were listed for the 1851 census, as well as two plush-weavers and a shag-weaver. (fn. 209) In the 20th century most nonagricultural workers in the two villages are employed in Banbury.
The descent of the parish's 2 mills (fn. 210) in the Middle Ages is not recorded, but it is probable that one was the water-corn-mill at Horley, which later belonged to the prebendal manor and which descended with it in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 211) In 1631 it was rated at £12 a year. (fn. 212) In 1804 it was leased for £90 a year. (fn. 213) There was a miller, usually described as both farmer and miller, at Horley until 1920, but he was no longer recorded by 1924. (fn. 214) The fate of the other Domesday mill is not known. There was a windmill marked near Hornton village in 1797 and 1882, but no miller was recorded there after 1869. (fn. 215)
Architectural evidence shows that both Horley and Hornton churches were in existence by the late 12th century. In 1115 Henry I granted land in Horley, and the church of King's Sutton (Northants.), which Ranulf Flambard held of him, to augment the prebend which Ranulf and his son Elias held in Lincoln. (fn. 216) There is little doubt that from this date the churches and tithes of Horley and Hornton were appropriated to the prebend, which was known as the prebend of Sutton-cumBuckingham. (fn. 217) Until the mid-15th century Horley and Hornton, like Buckingham, were chapelries of King's Sutton. (fn. 218)
In 1231 Horley church belonged to the Archdeacon of Buckingham, (fn. 219) who held the prebend; from then until the mid-15th century it was served by a curate nominated by the Vicar of Sutton. (fn. 220) Hornton church was recorded in 1403 as a chapel of Sutton; (fn. 221) the nature of its relationship with Horley at that time is not known.
Between 1438 and 1448 a vicarage of Horley and Hornton was ordained. (fn. 222) The ecclesiastical revenue of the parish was divided between the prebendary and the vicar. The prebendary was patron and made the first presentation in 1452. (fn. 223) After the surrender of the prebend in 1547 (fn. 224) presentations were made by lessees of the prebendal manor, who occasionally sold turns. (fn. 225) In 1609, when James I granted the manor to Sir Robert Brett, he retained the advowson; since then Horley and Hornton has been a Crown living. (fn. 226)
The prebendaries and their successors in the rectory had all the great tithes of Horley, except those of 6 yardlands which were paid to the vicar, as well as 6½ yardlands of glebe: at inclosure the impropriator was allotted 252 a. (fn. 227) In 1839 Daniel Stuart, lord of the prebendal manor, declined to take sole responsibility for the upkeep of Horley chancel; although the vicar also held great tithes he claimed that he was exempt from repairing the church or the chancel. (fn. 228) Stuart repaired the chancel in 1840. (fn. 229) The great tithes of Hornton also presumably belonged to the medieval prebendaries. When the land of Hornton manor was split up, however, (fn. 230) the great tithes were apparently sold off in small quantities. (fn. 231) From this time they belonged usually, if not always, to the holders of the land, (fn. 232) and at inclosure in 1766 were extinguished. (fn. 233) Since the land-holders and tithe-owners were the same, the repair of Hornton chancel was paid for out of the church rates. (fn. 234)
In 1526 the vicarage was valued at £11 and in 1535 £16 13s. 4d. (fn. 235) After inclosure in 1766 the value of the living, which before then had been worth c. £120, (fn. 236) rose sharply and by 1789 the vicar was said to be receiving £500. (fn. 237) In the 1860s the net value of the living was c. £400, but agricultural depression later in the century caused a fall in the letting value of the glebe, from which most of the vicar's income came. (fn. 238)
In the 17th and 18th centuries the vicar was receiving the great and small tithes of 6 yardlands and a few acres in Horley except from the rectory's 3 yardlands there, and all Hornton's small tithes, which by 1765 had been commuted for 6s. a yardland. (fn. 239) The vicarial glebe comprised 3 yardlands in Hornton and a close of c. 5 a.; there was a vicaragehouse in Horley and a cottage in Hornton. The vicar also received £6 13s. 4d. from King's Sutton rectory, (fn. 240) which was still paid in the 19th century. (fn. 241)
In the Middle Ages the Dean of Lincoln had the right to visit the prebend of Sutton-cum-Buckingham, and therefore Horley and Hornton, once every 3 years. The Bishop of Lincoln instituted to the vicarage of Horley and Hornton and the chapter inducted. (fn. 242) After the Reformation and the formation of the Diocese of Oxford the parish formed part of the Peculiar of Banbury, Horley, and Hornton; (fn. 243) in the early 17th century the chapter's official held visitations sometimes at Horley and sometimes at Hornton and sometimes at Banbury, but later only at Banbury. (fn. 244) From the later 18th century the bishops of Oxford tried unsuccessfully to end the jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln. (fn. 245) In 1838, however, it was the chapter that dealt with complaints about Horley chancel and until 1858 Horley wills were proved in the Peculiar court. (fn. 246) In 1853 the parish was formally transferred to Oxford Diocese. (fn. 247) Before that date, however, the Bishop of Oxford licensed curates and occasionally visited. (fn. 248)
The connexion of the medieval prebendaries of Sutton with Horley and Hornton was sometimes close; in the 14th century there was a prebendal house at Horley (fn. 249) and prebendaries were responsible for rebuilding the chancel. Two prebendaries, Henry Roworthe (1416–20) and Robert Gilbert (1420–36), have their portraits in the church windows. (fn. 250) Another, Richard Lavender, left 13s. 4d. to Horley church in 1508. (fn. 251) By contrast an Italian cardinal who held the prebend in 1383 was said to have spent little on the churches annexed to it. (fn. 252)
The earliest known clerk connected with the parish was Thomas, who held a yardland in Horley in 1231. (fn. 253) According to the ordination of King's Sutton vicarage in 1277 the Vicar of King's Sutton was to receive 2 marks a year from Horley chapel (fn. 254) and the likelihood is that he chose and paid the chaplains of both Horley and Hornton. By 1438 at least Hornton had its own churchyard and it appears that Horley people were buried there; the dean and chapter at that date considered the possibility of providing a more convenient burial place for Horley, since the inhabitants had a via nimis tediosa to Hornton chapel. (fn. 255) The Vicar of Sutton apparently found chaplains difficult to find and keep and it was at the request of the prebendary, Nicholas Dixon (1438–48), that the Bishop of Lincoln ordained Horley and Hornton vicarage. (fn. 256)
Thereafter the Vicar of Horley probably nominated and paid a curate for Hornton; in 1526 he was paying the curate £5. (fn. 257) Later the curate probably lived in the 'very small' house of some 2 bays (fn. 258) which in the early 19th century was still known as the Vicarage. (fn. 259) Occasional references to individual curates have been found between the 1590s and 1736; (fn. 260) separate registers were kept and Hornton's churchwardens made regular presentments to the Peculiar court. (fn. 261)
Only one pre-Reformation vicar, David Caunton (1489–1502), was a graduate. (fn. 262) Hugh ap Richard (or Pritchard), vicar from 1583 to 1599, was a pluralist but lived at Horley where he was said to preach sometimes; (fn. 263) his curate at Hornton, however, was described as 'no preacher'. (fn. 264) In 1606 the vicar was said to read and preach the word faithfully. (fn. 265) His successors, John (1612–52) and Thomas Clarson (1652–68), sadly neglected the fabric and furniture of both churches. (fn. 266) One of their problems may have been church rates; in 1631 the rate for Horley was 7s. a yardland and that for Hornton 5s. 8d., but Hornton people refused to pay rates for the upkeep of Horley church. (fn. 267) Stephen Goodwin (1669–1722), member of a prominent local family, (fn. 268) rebuilt the vicarage-house; (fn. 269) he was, however, probably the last resident vicar for over a century. During his incumbency there was trouble over pews erected in the south aisle 'to the disturbance and great prejudice' of Richard Thomson, who had sole right to sit there, and they were ordered to be removed. (fn. 270)
Goodwin's successor was also Vicar of Banbury and a succession of curates served Horley. (fn. 271) With the institution of John Dechair in 1758 the parish fell into a state of deep neglect and became a subject of scandal in the neighbourhood. Complaints about Dechair were made not only to the Bishops of Lincoln and Oxford, but to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the patron, the Lord Chancellor. (fn. 272) By 1790 the 'venerable parsonage' was in ruins, the churchwardens' presentments having been consistently ignored, (fn. 273) while the vicar wrung every penny he could from the living by selling the materials of the farm buildings as they fell down and cutting and selling the timber from the glebe. (fn. 274) In 1804 Dechair spent several months in the parish, but as he was at this time 77 and subject to many infirmities, he gave 'little satisfaction' to his parishioners. (fn. 275) Of his curates, (fn. 276) one was dismissed for drunkenness; (fn. 277) the curate in 1805–6, Joseph Jones, aroused opposition by nonconformist tendencies. The latter distributed nonconformist literature, including a Presbyterian catechism, and indulged in 'violent and ranting' preaching. In 1806 a neighbouring rector wrote that he considered the churches of Horley and Hornton as 'meeting-houses', and the bishop insisted on a change of curates. (fn. 278) A later curate spent much of his time in Warwick, where he had 'some fortune', so that both sets of churchwardens complained to the Bishop of Oxford about the irregular hours of services and the 'indecent and scandalous' delay in burials. The bishop sent a sharp order to Dechair to engage and pay a reasonable stipend to a satisfactory curate. (fn. 279) As a final proof of Dechair's negligence lands which before inclosure had been used for the upkeep of the church were omitted from the inclosure award and were therefore 'melted down in the common mass' and divided among the landowners. (fn. 280)
On Dechair's death in 1810 the parishioners without success petitioned the Lord Chancellor to present their curate to the living. (fn. 281) Two nonresident pluralists followed, although the second, Sir John Hobart Seymour, Bt., (fn. 282) was responsible for considerable repairs to the church fabric, (fn. 283) persuaded the lay rector to repair the chancel, (fn. 284) and provided allotments for churchgoing parishioners. (fn. 285)
The parish obtained a resident and devoted vicar in 1853 on the presentation of W. J. Pinwell, who had been curate since 1848. (fn. 286) He held 3 services on Sundays in the 2 churches in summer and 2 in winter, (fn. 287) but growth in population, Dissent in both places, and long neglect made the parish a difficult one. Accordingly it was decided to make Hornton into a separate parish, so that it could have a resident minister and two Sunday services. Plans for the separation drawn up in 1864 and 1870 came to nothing largely because of the difficulty of dividing up the endowments. (fn. 288)
When Charles Heaven came to the parish in 1879 he found it in a 'most deplorable condition', especially Hornton, which had a population of 600 'poor people'. There was no musical instrument there and no choir, no light or heating in the winter months, the roof let in the water, the churchyard was neglected, and there had been no Sunday school for many years. He at once tried to raise the very large sum of £5,450 to pay for the restoration of both churches and the rebuilding of the vicarage-house. (fn. 289) There were no large landed proprietors in the parish, however, and he soon found himself in serious financial difficulties. He had to pay a third of the profits of the living to his retired predecessor and himself farm the glebe at a time of falling prices. (fn. 290) By 1893 the condition of Hornton church had become a public scandal and was the subject of a series of articles and letters in Birmingham newspapers. Because of lack of heat services had to be held in the school in winter, a house had been built in the churchyard, and the registers were badly kept. In the vicar's defence attention was called to his financial difficulties, to the past neglect and 'gradual decay' of Hornton church, and to the difficulty of finding churchwardens. In the previous year it may be noted there had been a disputed election for parish warden in which a female candidate had obtained nearly half the votes. It was proposed both to secure the vicar's resignation and to separate Horley and Hornton, (fn. 291) but Heaven remained vicar until his resignation in 1914 and Horley and Hornton still form one ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 292)
In the 20th century local pride in both churches developed and both were restored in 1915 through the energy of the vicar, H. J. Buxton, who later became Bishop of Gibraltar. Much voluntary work has since been done in the church and churchyard, and church life is described as vigorous in both villages. (fn. 293) J. H. Clements-Ansell, who lived at Horley Manor, was a noted benefactor from 1910 to 1948. (fn. 294) Since 1946 the living has been held in plurality with Hanwell. (fn. 295)
The church of ST. ETHELDREDA, (fn. 296) Horley, consists of a chancel, a central tower, a spacious aisled nave, and a south porch, all built of Hornton stone. (fn. 297) The tower dates from the late 12th century; it has 2 belfry windows of that date to east and west. The arch upon which its western wall stands retains its Romanesque chamfered abaci, while the bases of the eastern arch are said to exist beneath the chancel paving, the responds and capitals having been remodelled in the 14th century. (fn. 298) Above the same arch there is visible the outline of what appears to be a large relieving-arch, though it is possible that it represents an attempt, afterwards abandoned, to enlarge the chancel-arch. The massive diagonal buttresses at the external corners of the tower were probably added in the 19th century, but the footings of the original buttresses at rightangles to the tower can still be seen at groundlevel.
The existing chancel, though remodelled in the 14th century, appears to date substantially from c. 1200 and was probably built at approximately the same date as the tower. Internally it retains an aumbry with dog-tooth ornament and a heavy roll-moulding running beneath the windows in the north and south walls: externally the south doorway and the lower parts of the south wall are of the same date. Of the nave as it existed in the 12th century there is no trace except the outline of a steep-pitched roof on the west face of the tower. It may, however, be presumed that it was aisleless, as is still the case at Bucknell, a church of similar date and plan. During the earlier 13th century it was rebuilt with a higher roof and narrow lean-to aisles. The principal surviving portion of this 13th-century nave is the west wall, in which the line of the original roof can still be traced externally. Two cusped niches and a doorway ornamented with attached shafts are features of the 13th-century west front.
Early in the 14th century the church was enlarged and remodelled. Both arcades were rebuilt with more lofty arches, and the south aisle at least was widened and re-windowed, though the original 13th-century south doorway was re-used in a new position. At the same time the chancel was largely rebuilt on its original foundations, though retaining much of the 13th-century masonry internally. Both in the chancel and in the south aisle the 14thcentury masons conformed closely to the pattern of the 13th-century plinth still existing in the west wall of the nave. At the same time a clerestory was constructed in order to light the nave and a south porch was built. The buttressing of the tower probably took place at the same time as the general remodelling of the church. Like the relieving-arch already noted it may indicate some failure of the masonry in the east wall of the tower. A staircase turret formerly rose about 3 ft. above the parapet of the tower; it was removed early in the 19th century. (fn. 299)
In the early 15th century the north wall of the north aisle was rebuilt, both the fenestration and the external plinth being of that date. The original 13th-century north doorway was, however, retained and reset in the new masonry. The large square-headed west window of 3 lights with a transom dates from c. 1600, and no doubt replaces a medieval window that had fallen into decay.
As at Hanwell, there is a fire-place and chimney in the south-west corner of the south aisle. The tubshaped font (restored in 1855) (fn. 300) may date from the late 12th or early 13th century.
The exposed position of the church no doubt helped to account for its early decay, though there seems to have been much neglect. The lay rector was constantly presented in the early 17th century for a dilapidated chancel. On one occasion some of the timber and one beam were said to have fallen down and in 1621 it was described as 'ruinous and much decayed' so that the rain came in. (fn. 301)
In 1632 the church itself was said to be 'ready to fall'. (fn. 302) In 1690 the roof of the 'north side' was ordered to be repaired with lead, (fn. 303) and in 1701, 1706, and 1714 repairs to the 'leads', generally, were again necessary. (fn. 304) Some time in the 18th century, perhaps about 1760, (fn. 305) the upper part of the east window of the chancel was rebuilt and new tracery was inserted in the westernmost of the 2 windows in the north wall of the chancel. In 1785 over £39 was paid for work on the tower and work in 1838–9 included new roofing and slating (not leading) the nave and the south aisle, repairing the north aisle, and reflooring and re-pewing the church. The work was paid for by subscription and was done as cheaply as possible, deal being used. The roof of the north aisle was not thoroughly repaired until 1855. (fn. 306) The pulpit and reading desk had been provided in 1836.
By 1879 a thorough restoration was required. (fn. 307) In a private letter the vicar wrote that the tower might fall any day. (fn. 308) In 1883 and 1884 the churchwardens examined the tower and found that it was necessary to do repairs at once to prevent the roof from falling in. Nothing was done, however, until 1915. The tower was then repaired and the fabric put in good order. The deal pews were replaced by chairs, and Persian carpets were given by the vicar. (fn. 309) Later, under the supervision of the architect, Mr. L. Dale, the rood, rood-loft, and rood-screen were erected; the pulpit was painted with scenes from the life of St. Etheldreda, and 2 new altars were installed in the north and south aisles. (fn. 310) The church is lit by clusters of candles.
Several coffin lids of the 12th or 13th century survive. A carved stone with cusped panelling at the east end of the south aisle appears to be part of a tomb of 15th-century date. There is also a brass indent of c. 1500 in the tower representing a civilian and lady with six daughters and several sons. Only parts of the brass itself remain. (fn. 311)
There is some ancient glass of the earlier 15th century: in a window in the north aisle is the kneeling figure of Henry Roworthe, rector until 1420 and Archdeacon of Canterbury. In the next window is the figure of Master Robert Gilbert, another rector, who became Bishop of London in 1436. There are fragments of the Beauchamp arms in the east window of the south aisle and in the westernmost window of the north aisle. (fn. 312)
The church is remarkable for its wall-paintings: the gigantic St. Christopher, dated c. 1450, is one of the largest and most perfect representations of the saint in this country. (fn. 313) Other scenes, the Annunciation, St. Michael weighing souls, St. George and the Dragon, and a representation of the Seven Deadly Sins, were uncovered by the vicar in 1853, but none could be preserved. A figure, probably of St. Etheldreda, remains on the western pier of the north arcade; on the north wall of the nave, near the tower, are some designs consisting of circles enclosing a character resembling the letter T. Some postReformation texts also remain on the south wall.
The painted Commandments in the chancel were put up in 1822, and the 18th-century organ and organ-case, said to have once belonged to Handel, (fn. 314) was acquired in the late 18th or early 19th century.
The church plate includes a pair of silver chalices of 1690, a silver paten of 1702 and a silver flagon of 1855. There were also a pair of pewter plates and a pair of tankard flagons, all of the 18th century. (fn. 315)
There is a ring of 4 bells by William and Henry Bagley dated 1706. (fn. 316)
The registers are complete from 1538. (fn. 317)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Hornton, is built of the local ironstone and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, western tower, and south porch. (fn. 318) It was originally built in the late 12th century, was enlarged in the 13th century, and again enlarged and considerably altered in the course of the next 2 centuries. Of the original church there remains the nave and the north aisle: the 3 arches of the nave arcade are in the transitional style between Romanesque and Early English and rest on cylindrical shafts which have capitals with square chamfered abaci. Another survival of the 12th-century church is the cylindrical font with an arcade of interesting arches and a base moulding of cables. (fn. 319)
In the 13th century the chancel seems to have been reconstructed, as the quoins at the east end are decorated with roll-mouldings of this period. The fourth arch of the north nave arcade indicates that the nave was lengthened westwards in the course of the 13th century.
Probably in the early 14th century the chancel was largely rebuilt and a chapel was added on the north side. Only one blocked-up arch remains of the 2 which formerly separated the chapel from the chancel. A south arcade of 2 bays was built, a clerestory was added, and a flat timber roof replaced the former steeply pitched one; nearly all windows and doorways in the body of the church and chancel were remodelled. A plain carpet was added to the exterior of the nave, aisles, and chancel. Later in the 14th or early in the 15th century the tower was built. In the 15th century the church was lightened by the insertion of a 4-light east window. An elaborately carved reredos, of which there are some remains at the east end, was probably also erected in the 15th century.
Minor repairs were carried out from time to time in the post-Reformation period but no structural alterations of importance have been made and the building remains an essentially medieval one. The roof was badly out of repair in 1629 and 1632 when the rain was coming in (fn. 320) but in 1670 and 1685 the church was stated to be in 'very good repair'; (fn. 321) no further reports on the state of the fabric have been found before the 19th century.
When Beesley wrote in 1841, the church was in a very unsound and dangerous condition; the walls were 'fractured in an alarming manner and were much out of the perpendicular'. (fn. 322) In 1848 the curate was proposing to open up the blocked tower arch. (fn. 323) A west gallery, probably erected in the 18th century, existed at this time. (fn. 324) In 1881 the vicar reported that the roof was so much out of repair that moss, ferns, and plants flourished inside the church. (fn. 325) This neglect continued despite the efforts of the vicar. In 1893 the windows were broken and the kneelers were rotting from the damp. High pews in church and chancel, 'fantastically placed to face all points of the compass' (fn. 326) also aroused criticism. The building was not thoroughly repaired until 1919. Work, including the installation of heating and electric light, was completed in 1922. (fn. 327)
The church is notable for its wall-paintings. The whole of the south aisle was once brilliantly painted and traces of a 14th-century painting of the Virgin and Child remained at the east end in the 19th century. They were in too bad a state to preserve and have since been almost entirely covered with whitewash. (fn. 328) Over the chancel there is a Doom and over the pulpit the figure of St. George. There are also the remains of post-Reformation decoration on the north wall of the church and the south wall of the chancel, including the Creed written in English and other texts.
Only a fragment of painted glass remains — the coat of arms of one of the Verdun family in the east window of the south aisle. (fn. 329)
Late brasses in the chancel are to Richard Arne (d. 1665/6), and to John Goodwin (d. 1727), to Mary Zouch, his daughter (d. 1736), and to Mary, his wife (d. 1740). There is a brass effigy of a civilian and his son, Thomas Sharman, yeoman (d. 1586), in the south aisle. (fn. 330)
There is a silver Elizabethan chalice and paten of 1582. (fn. 331)
The registers are complete from 1538. (fn. 334)
In 1656 Horley appeared in the lists of the Midland Association of General Baptists (fn. 335) and in 1693 Nathaniel Kinch of Horley was licensed to teach in any public meeting in the county. (fn. 336) He held a conventicle in the village attended by over 100 people, several of them described as gentlemen. (fn. 337) In the same year John Cox's house in Hornton was licensed for meetings. (fn. 338) In 1733 Horley was a member of the General Assembly of General Baptists; it was the only General Baptist community in Oxfordshire. (fn. 339) In 1768 the christening of 2 adult Anabaptists was recorded. (fn. 340)
In the 17th and 18th centuries there was a considerable group of Quakers living in Hornton and attending the Shutford meeting. (fn. 341) Prominent among them was William Rush who was imprisoned in 1688 and again later for failure to pay tithes; between 1697 and 1713 his goods were regularly distrained on for the same offence. (fn. 342) Of the 12 Hornton family names found in the Quaker register in the 18th century Jarrett was the most common. (fn. 343) In 1736 Stephen Jarrett was prosecuted for nonpayment of tithes. The case involved a not uncommon subterfuge whereby Quakers allowed a man to pay their tithes and deducted the amount from his next bill; earlier Quaker tenants of the land farmed by Jarrett had done this, but Jarrett refused and was in trouble over tithes until 1747. (fn. 344) The family survived in Hornton until at least 1806, when the death of Joseph Jarrett, weaver, was recorded. (fn. 345) Hornton provided many of the most active members of Shutford meeting, William Stevens, Stephen and John Jarrett, and Joseph Tompson. These men had all died by 1787 and their deaths seem clearly related to the decline of Shutford meeting. (fn. 346)
Between the late 18th and mid-19th century other nonconformist groups appeared of which little is known. In 1794 2 houses had been registered at Horley. One of them, Elizabeth Adams' house, was to be used for the 'public worship of Almighty God according to the Orthodox Faith'. (fn. 347) The 1851 Ecclesiastical Census gives the date of the foundation of the Methodist chapel as 'before 1800' (fn. 348) and in 1802 the vicar spoke of a Methodist chapel as 'lately erected' and licensed, though without a licensed teacher. (fn. 349) In 1805 the vicar reported that the group was ministered to by licensed visiting teachers and that many Methodists absented themselves from church. (fn. 350) On the day of the census in 1851 the chapel had a morning congregation of 75 and an evening one of 90. In addition there was a Primitive Methodist meeting attracting a congregation of up to 60; (fn. 351) this meeting perhaps began as the group which in 1831 was meeting in the house of William Salmons. (fn. 352)
In Hornton a house was registered in 1790 and there were three further registrations in the 1830s. (fn. 353) It is not possible to be sure what sect used these meeting-houses although one was probably registered by Methodists. (fn. 354) The Primitive Methodists registered a building in 1836, a chapel was built in 1842, and by 1851 there was an average congregation of 120. (fn. 355) There was also an independent meeting in Hornton dating from 1834 which in 1851 had an average congregation of 45. (fn. 356) This may be identical with an 'independent' Methodists meeting held in a club room belonging to the 'Bell' in 1854. (fn. 357) No further reference to either meeting has been found.
By 1878 the vicar admitted that two-thirds of his parishioners were professed dissenters. (fn. 358) Methodism has survived in both villages. The death of older members has led to a decline in recent years, however, the total membership being 67 in 1965. Of that number 51 belonged to Hornton chapel. (fn. 359)
The parish had 2 schools with 17thcentury endowments, one at Horley and one at Hornton. By his will, dated 1627, Michael Harding, a North Newington yeoman, left a house in Horley for a school-house, and c 14 a. of land to maintain the schoolmaster on condition that John French of Broughton and his sons might have free education for 3 of their children for ever. A Commission of Charitable Uses in 1636 found that the house had 'fallen flat down', but that the rents of £13 6s. 8d. from the land were sufficient to repair the house, and then pay a schoolmaster. (fn. 360) The earliest known master was also described as curate. (fn. 361)
Another schoolmaster is commemorated by a grave stone, placed in the church by a pupil, which records his death in 1776 and says that he acquired much useful learning which he dispensed with great integrity.
In the early 19th century Horley school was in a very unsatisfactory state. Reading and writing were being taught to a maximum of 20 boys, but the trustees of the school had no knowledge of its lands or funds as a Banbury attorney held the deeds and refused to give any information. (fn. 362) When the master died in 1820, the trustees had to postpone appointing a successor until they could repair the building. The school re-opened 9 months later under new rules: girls were now also taken and taught knitting and sewing by the schoolmaster's wife; all children over 6 years in Horley were admitted free, and children from adjoining parishes, on the payment of a fee. The new schoolmaster was to teach according to the National system for a salary of £42 a year. The new arrangement was extremely unpopular in the village and in 1823 there were only 14 free pupils; the number of paying pupils, however, had risen to 32, some of whom came from neighbouring parishes. Petitions drawn up by the parishioners against the National system seem to have alleged that children learned faster before it was adopted. The Charity Commissioners found no substance in the charges and pointed out that 3 of the principal inhabitants were satisfied with the changed arrangements. (fn. 363) By 1833 the number of pupils had risen to 16 boys and 25 girls, and there was also a Sunday school, supported by local subscription and attended by c. 60 children. (fn. 364) This increase necessitated the building of a new schoolroom in 1842. (fn. 365) In 1860 the vicar gave the attendance figures at Horley National school as 46 daily and 13 on Sundays, making a total of 59. Presumably the 13 who attended on Sundays were in addition to the day pupils since he also stated that, at Horley at least, he was able in many instances to retain children at Sunday school after they had left day school. There were no adult or evening classes in this year and none in 1878. (fn. 366)
When the National school was inspected by the Charity Commissioners in 1867, it was found that the number of children attending was 42: that prizes were given to children who had attended for 2 or 5 years; that a weekly fee of 3d. was paid for the children of tradesmen, but nothing for those of labourers; and that there were 2 teachers, appointed by the trustees. The schoolmaster's house was very dilapidated, and the commissioners recommended selling part of the Harding land and rebuilding the house. (fn. 367) In 1871 2 National schools were returned for Horley with accommodation for 61 children. (fn. 368) Up to this date no Government grant had been received and in 1878 the schools were refused Government inspection unless extensive alterations were made in the buildings and additional apparatus provided, all of which would involve the parish in an outlay of at least £100. (fn. 369) The schools continued to exist for the next 20 years without financial aid from the Government; every child attending who was born in the village received his education free. (fn. 370) A new building to contain all the children was erected in 1899 and opened in May 1900. (fn. 371) There is no record of Government inspection or grant in this year but £28 was received in 1902. (fn. 372) Average attendance was 41 in 1900 and 50 in 1906. (fn. 373) The land of the original endowment was sold in 1918 when the school was handed over to the Board of Education, and the proceeds invested. The income of c. £50 is used to keep the school in repair. The old schoolhouse, probably the 17th-century building, has a thatched roof; a small stone school-room was added and later a large brick building. (fn. 374) In 1962 the school was called the Horley Endowed School; it had a roll of 19 and received a grant. (fn. 375)
The school endowment in Hornton dates from 1613 when John Fox left ½ yardland in Hornton for a schoolmaster to teach 3 children. In 1665 the Commissioners of Charitable Uses decreed that the rent of £3 had been misapplied, and should revert to its original purpose. (fn. 376) It does not appear to have done so, for there was no school in 1738. (fn. 377) When the open fields of Hornton were inclosed in 1766, however, a plot of land was set aside to maintain a schoolmaster to teach poor children in Hornton to read, write, and count. This plot was occupied by the Giles family, and towards the end of the 18th century Richard Giles claimed the land as his own. In 1800, after much trouble and expense, the vicar and parishioners gained possession of it. The plot was then let for £9 a year, and 34s. was set aside to pay for the education of 3 or 4 children, the remainder being reserved to pay legal expenses. (fn. 378) By 1815 Hornton free school was attended by 31 girls and 20 boys. There had evidently been some agitation to affiliate it to the National Society, but there was opposition and it was said that the old system provided employment for people in the village and gave satisfactory results. (fn. 379) By 1825 the legal expenses had been paid off, and the full rent of 12 guineas now went to pay the schoolmaster, and to supply books and coals for the school. As yet there was no school-house and no master's house. (fn. 380) Finally, in 1833, a National school was built. (fn. 381) In this year 68 children at the school were supported by an annual subscription of £7 and by an endowment of £14. There was also an infants' school for 25 children, who attended at their parents' expense. A Sunday school had been founded by voluntary subscriptions in 1809 and in 1833 had 75 pupils. (fn. 382) The National school and the Sunday school were attended respectively by 35 and 40 children in 1854 and by 45 and 54 in 1860. (fn. 383) In 1853 £20 was raised by subscription to buy a cottage for the use of the schoolmaster. (fn. 384)
In 1867 the school was found to be 'as bad as it could be', an opinion which was apparently shared by the Diocesan Inspector. The schoolmaster was unqualified and was a tailor by trade, the instruction he gave was very limited and there was 'an entire absence of life and animation'; both the children and the school were dirty. The school's income came from rent paid by the schoolmaster, rent from allotment, subscriptions, and school pence. The school was open to Dissenters who were not obliged to learn the catechism. (fn. 385) In 1878 the School Board, compulsorily elected in 1875, was proposing to take over the school because there was insufficient accommodation for 30 of the children. The vicar complained that the Board had been forced on the parish and that they had been ordered to erect a Board school at a cost of £1,300. This order, in view of the poverty of the parish, was greatly resented. The vicar got the order suspended for 6 months and campaigned to raise a fund to enlarge the existing school at one-fifth of the cost. (fn. 386) He appears to have been successful and in 1882 a new school was opened. The old building had been thoroughly repaired and a new wing added to it. Whereas previously the school had not belonged to any religious denomination it now became a Church of England school and the new wing was to be used for a Sunday school, which had apparently been allowed to lapse some time ago. A night school in winter months was also to be started. The schoolmaster was certificated and a girl taught the infants. Children paid 2d. or 3d. according to the size of their families. The average attendance was 69. (fn. 387)
The school was destroyed by fire c. 1912 and the infants were accommodated temporarily in Hornton Reading Room, the older children in Hornton Primitive Methodist Sunday school. (fn. 388) In 1913 the Board of Education appointed Oxfordshire County Council as trustees of the school (fn. 389) and in 1914 a new elementary Council school was built. (fn. 390) It was decided in 1923 that the proceeds from the sale of the schoolmaster's house in 1881 should be used to promote the social and physical training of the poor in Hornton. (fn. 391) The school continued as a Council school and in 1962 had a roll of 42. (fn. 392)
In 1671 Thomas Saul left a rentcharge of 6s., which was given in bread to poor widows of Horley and Hornton every few years when sufficient money had accumulated. During part of the 19th century the landowner distributed this rent in pence to schoolchildren, but by 1903 the charity had reverted to its original purpose. In 1961 25s. was spent on logs of wood for pensioners. The rent-charge was redeemed in 1925.
A bequest was made by John Bray, maltster, in 1725 of an annuity of 10s. charged on his house and land to be given to 20 poor persons. The last distribution was in 1863. The tenant later refused to pay and by 1888 the Charity Commissioners considered recovery of the money impossible. (fn. 393)