A History of the County of Rutland: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1935.
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Tixover is a small parish containing 842 acres on the Northamptonshire border of Rutland. The river Welland divides it on the south from Wakerley and on the east from Duddington. The village is small and stands very low on the left bank of the Welland, just off the main road from Uppingham to Peterborough. The church of St. Luke stands at some distance from the village on the bank of the Welland in the south of the parish and is approached by a footpath through the fields. The cottages are of stone with stone roofs. The Manor Farm is in the village, and Tixover Hall is on the main road to the east of the village. Tixover Grange and Tixover Lodge are in the north of the parish in isolated situations. The parish was inclosed in 1802.
At the time of the Domesday Survey TIXOVER was part of the king's manor of Ketton. (fn. 1) Henry I, between 1104 and 1106, granted it to Robert, Bishop of Lincoln (fn. 2) (d. 1123), probably for life, as he afterwards gave it with half the manor of Manton to the Abbey of Cluny by a charter dated between 1130 and 1133, (fn. 3) and, like Manton, Tixover remained in the possession of the abbey till the lands of the alien abbeys were seized by Henry V.
In 1205 it was granted with other manors of the Abbey of Cluny to the Abbot of Chertsey during the king's pleasure, (fn. 4) and in 1268 the abbot leased it to Imbert de Montferrant, for life. Imbert was still holding it in 1275. (fn. 5) Otherwise its history is the same as that of Manton, the two manors passing from time to time into the king's hands and being farmed together till restored to the abbey. (fn. 6)
In 1323 a question arose as to the king's right to custody of the manor during a voidance of the abbey. The escheator had seized the manor till the new abbot should do fealty, but the abbot claimed that the manor had always previously remained in the keeping of the house during a voidance, and Edward II ordered that the issues should be restored until the records of Chancery could be examined on this point. (fn. 7)
Tixover manor followed the same descent as Manton (q.v.) to Charles Dale. (fn. 8) It was sold by his trustees in 1679 to Henry Stafford of Blatherwick (co. Northants). (fn. 9) William Stafford, son of William Stafford, of Blatherwick died in 1687, leaving as heirs his sisters Susan, wife of Henry O'Brien, and Anne, wife of George Evans, afterwards Lord Carbery. (fn. 10) Tixover manor and Blatherwick were assigned to Susan, and she, then a widow, and her son, Henry O'Brien, made a conveyance of the manor in 1728. (fn. 11) This was probably a settlement on Susan's second marriage in that year with Arthur Geoghegan of Castletown in West Meath. (fn. 12) Arthur assumed the name of Stafford, and he and his wife were holding the manor in 1737. (fn. 13) Henry O'Brien, son of Susan, died in 1757, leaving an only child Susannah, wife of Edward O'Brien of Inistimon (co. Clare). Susannah and Edward made a conveyance of the manor in 1764, (fn. 14) but in 1758 Donatus O'Brien, brother of Henry, and third son of Susan [Stafford], with his wife Mary and son Donatus were holding it, (fn. 15) and in 1779 it belonged to Henry O'Brien, second son of the elder Donatus. (fn. 16) Henry died in 1811, when his son Stafford succeeded. Stafford, who was sheriff of Rutland in 1809, married Emma, daughter of Sir Gerald Noel, bart., in June 1808. Their son Stafford Augustus O'Brien held the manor in 1832. (fn. 17) In 1847 he assumed the additional name of Stafford. He died without issue in 1857, when his brother Henry Stafford O'Brien, who also assumed the surname Stafford, succeeded. His son Horace Stafford O'Brien succeeded him in 1880 and is the present owner of the manor. Tixover Hall is the residence of his second son, Major Horace Henry Stafford O'Brien.
The church of ST. LUKE consists of chancel 28 ft. by 13 ft., nave of two bays 26 ft. by 13 ft., north and south aisles respectively 9 ft. and 6 ft. wide, south porch, and west tower 12 ft. 6 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The width across nave and aisles is 32 ft.
The building is of rubble throughout with ashlar quoins and dressings and externally is very plain in character. The roofs are all modern and are covered with overhanging stone slates. There is a clearstory on the south side only, the roof of the wider north aisle covering the nave wall almost its full height. The gables are without coping, and there is a complete absence of buttresses. Internally, except in the tower, all the walls are plastered.
The tower belongs to a 12th-century church the rest of which was rebuilt early in the 13th century. The porch was added in the 15th century. The south arcade is c. 1200 and the north arcade slightly later, but when the body of the church was rebuilt and aisles added no increase in the size of the nave was made, the length of which is less than that of the chancel. The north aisle was apparently widened subsequently, (fn. 18) the old materials being re-used, but the position of its west window was altered. In the main, therefore, the whole of the building, with the exception of the tower and porch, is of the early part of the 13th century.
The massive Norman tower is of three stages marked by bold stringcourses and has a chamfered plinth and a small round-headed window in the west side of the otherwise blank lower stage. The middle stage is blank on the north and west sides, but on the south there is a round-headed window of two orders, the outer with edge-roll on jambshafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases, the inner with a continuous roll and cheveron on the wall plane. Both windows are without hood-moulds. The bell-chamber windows consist of three tall roundheaded openings of a single square order, the arches springing from chamfered imposts; the middle opening on each side is now blocked. (fn. 19) The tower terminates in a later roughly constructed battlemented parapet, below which, in the middle of each wall, is a gargoyle. There is no vice. The string between the first and second stages is enriched with hatching (fn. 20) and with star ornament; the upper string is chamfered on both edges. Internally the tower opens into the nave by a beautiful semicircular arch of three moulded orders, the inner order on half-round responds and the two outer on detached jambshafts on both sides, all with enriched cushion capitals and moulded bases on high chamfered plinths. (fn. 21) On the north side the capitals have ornament only at the angles, the cushion surfaces being plain, and the bases are fluted, but on the south the bases have a series of round mouldings and the capitals are enriched on the flat surfaces as well as at the angles, the lozenge pattern occurring on the upper part. The chamfered abaci on both sides are quite plain, as are also the hoodmoulds. The arch has a large soffit roll, with a series of smaller round mouldings on each side. Above it the lower stringcourse of the tower extends along the whole of the wall, between which and the line of the original nave roof (fn. 22) is a tall round-headed opening, (fn. 23) slightly to the south of the axis of the tower.
The 13th-century chancel has a squareheaded east window of three lights the sill of which is 8 ft. above the ground. The window has single-chamfered jambs and mullions and the lights are long and narrow like the usual lancet windows of the period, but the tops are square and quite plain. All the windows, both in chancel and aisles, are of this character, but only the east window has a hoodmould. Though the claim that these are unaltered 13th-century windows has been questioned, (fn. 24) there seems to be no sufficient reason for stating that they are not contemporary with the building, though their character is unusual. (fn. 25) There are two single-light widely splayed windows on each side of the chancel, (fn. 26) set somewhat far apart near the east and west ends, and in the usual position in the south wall a plain pointed piscina recess with circular bowl. (fn. 27) In the north wall is a rectangular aumbry and along its western portion, extending as far as the altar rails, a stone bench table. A similar bench on the south side has been shortened at its east end for the erection of a monument. (fn. 28) The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, without hood-mould, springing from rather roughly fashioned octagonal chamfered capitals, or imposts, below which the square jambs are plastered. The arch may have been altered at the time of the erection of the rood-loft, the stairs to which remain on the north side, with entrance from the east end of the aisle, as well as the square-headed upper doorway.
The south arcade of the nave consists of two semicircular arches of two chamfered orders, with hood mould on both sides, springing from half-round responds and a cylindrical dividing pillar, all with circular capitals and bases. The west respond has a plain bell capital, but the capital of the pillar is carved with a very simple water-leaf, while that of the east respond has more naturalistic stiff-leaf foliage. In the later north arcade the arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders, springing from an octagonal pillar the capital of which has boldly carved natural foliage, and at the east end from a half-octagonal respond with moulded capital. At the west end the arch rises from a moulded corbel supported by a mutilated figure, or draped torso, partly restored. (fn. 29) There are hood-moulds on both sides of the arches, with stops on the nave side only. The bases in both arcades are moulded.
The south doorway has an inner chamfered trefoil arch with plain chamfered jambs, set within a round arch with keel-shaped edge-mould and cheveron hood with an outer line of nail-head. The round arch springs from moulded imposts and jambshafts, with moulded bases and carved capitals, that on the east side having water-leaf and the other stiff-leaf foliage. The blocked north doorway has a pointed moulded arch apparently of 13th-century date. (fn. 30)
The south aisle has a single-light window at its east end and one of two lights in the south wall, but in the north aisle the east window is of two lights and that in the north wall of three; there is also a singlelight window at the west end. All these windows, as before stated, are of one type, with square heads, and are widely splayed, with dropped sills.
There is an image bracket above the east window of the south aisle, but the piscina, if still existing, is covered by a large pew. On the east side of the doorway is a portion of a stone wall bench. (fn. 31)
The font, now under the tower, has a plain square bowl with chamfered angles, standing on a slender modern shaft and four legs with moulded bases. (fn. 32)
Against the south wall of the chancel, between the windows, is an imposing marble monument with effigies of Roger Dale (d. 1623) and his wife, who are represented kneeling on either side of a prayer-desk under separate rounded canopies and entablature supported by composite columns, with arms and inscription above. On the base are the kneeling figures of two daughters.
Inserted in the two-light window of the south aisle is some foreign glass, including a panel with a figure of St. Katharine of Alexandria, and another with coat of arms and Latin inscription recording Iodocus Knab, provost of the church of Lucerne, 1646. (fn. 33)
In the tower is a single medieval bell inscribed 'Sancta Fides ora pro nobis.' (fn. 34)
The plate consists of a paten of 1767–7, and a cup of 1770–1 by Jacob Marshe. (fn. 35)
Tixover was a chapelry of Ketton, and the advowson belonged to a prebend of Lincoln. The advowson was probably given to the Bishop of Lincoln at the instance of Maud, queen of Henry I (d. 1118), at the same time as the manor, for there is an inspeximus dated 1329 of her charter granting to Robert, Bishop of Lincoln (d. 1123), 'Ticesoure and all that pertains to that manor.' (fn. 36) The king presented in 1267, the manor being then in his hands, (fn. 37) but in 1275 the advowson was said to belong to a prebend of Lincoln. (fn. 38) Ten years later the king sued Oliver, Bishop of Lincoln, and the Dean and Chapter for the advowson of Tixover, stating that King John had presented his clerk Albinus, who was admitted and instituted and took the profits of the living, and from King John the right of patronage descended to the succeeding Kings of England. Bishop Oliver denied the seisin of King John, (fn. 39) and appears to have made good his claim. The advowson was held by prebendaries of Lincoln to 1855, but by 1888 it was in the hands of the Bishop of Peterborough, (fn. 40) who is the present patron. Tixover was attached to Ketton until 1900, but it is now a vicarage annexed to Duddington (co. Northants).
The Poor's Land is comprised in indentures of lease and release dated 23 February 1802, and is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 1 June 1927. The endowment of the charity now consists of land at Tixover containing about 3 acres let at an annual rent of £5, and a sum of £78 13s. 1d. 3½ per cent. Conversion Stock held by the Official Trustees and producing in dividends the sum of £2 15s. per annum. The net income is distributed by the rector and two trustees appointed by the parish meeting among about seven poor people of Tixover.