A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10, Munslow Hundred (Part), the Liberty and Borough of Wenlock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1998.
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Situated in Corve Dale, about 10 km. southwest of Much Wenlock, the agricultural parish of Stanton Long consisted c. 1831 of Patton township and parts of Brockton, Stanton Long, and Oxenbold townships. (fn. 1) The parish forms two compact blocks joined by a narrow isthmus, the southern block formerly containing several detached parts of Holdgate parish. The irregular shape probably resulted from the 12th-century separation of estates (perhaps all once served from a church at Patton) into the parishes of two newly founded manorial churches at Stanton Long and Holdgate. The southern part of the parish is bounded by the river Corve on the north-west, Oxenbold brook on the north-east, and the edge of the Clee plateau on the southeast; the northern part by the Corve on the south-east and Brockton brook on the southwest; elsewhere the boundary mostly follows artificial features. The parish had c. 2,423 a. from 1844, when its boundary with Shipton was defined, (fn. 2) until 1883 when some detachments of Holdgate civil parish in Stanton township were absorbed. In 1884 the Coates and three other Holdgate detachments in Stanton were added, (fn. 3) bringing the civil parish to 2,725 a. (1,103 ha.). (fn. 4) This article treats the parish as defined before 1883.
In Oxenbold and Stanton townships, in the southern part of the parish, the land rises from the Corve to the lower slopes of the Clee plateau. Trow brook runs down a shallow valley to cross the boundary on the south-west. In Brockton and Patton townships in the north the land rises more steeply from the Corve to the ridge behind Wenlock Edge on the north-west; at Brockton a deep valley cuts the ridge and runs down to the Corve.
The underlying strata dip from north-west to south-east. Most of Stanton and Oxenbold townships, and the eastern parts of Brockton and Patton townships, are on the Ledbury Group of the Downton Series of the Lower Old Red Sandstone; the highest parts of Stanton and Oxenbold are on the Ditton Series. Narrow bands of 'Psammosteus' Limestone lie near the junction of the series east of Little Oxenbold. Most of Patton and Brockton are on the Upper Ludlow Shales and, on the higher side, the Aymestry Group limestone, the highest parts of which are overlain by boulder clay. The soils are mainly red-brown loams; at Patton a freely drained silt loam is usual. (fn. 5)
A neolithic flint scraper was found at Brockton, (fn. 6) but the only clear evidence of pre-Roman activity is at Patton, on rising ground west of the main road, where indications of a Bronze Age round barrow (fn. 7) and several ditched enclosures of Iron Age or Romano-British date (fn. 8) have been observed.
St. Mildburg Way, so called in 1332, (fn. 9) ran from Much Wenlock through Bourton, Patton, and Brockton to Shipton and beyond. (fn. 10) It was turnpiked in 1756 (fn. 11) and used thereafter as the road from Much Wenlock to Ludlow. (fn. 12) It was disturnpiked in 1867 (fn. 13) and became a main road in 1879. (fn. 14) Branches ran from Patton to Easthope (the Greenway), (fn. 15) Presthope, Bradeley (in Much Wenlock), and Weston (in Monkhopton) but none of them was metalled in 1990.
A supposed Roman road, believed to run from Greensforge (Staffs.) to central Wales, crossed Oxenbold and Stanton townships on high ground. (fn. 16) It was the Bridgnorth-Munslow road c. 1575. (fn. 17) It was turnpiked in 1839 from Morville to Corfield Cross, in Stanton township, and thence by a new stretch to Shipton, to meet the turnpike from Much Wenlock to Ludlow. A branch from Weston via Brockton to Easthope's Cross was turnpiked at the same time. (fn. 18) The supposed Roman road south of Corfield Cross was then abandoned as far as the road from Stanton Long to Shipton, beyond which it remained in use as Rowe Lane. (fn. 19) The Morville-Shipton road and its branch from Weston were disturnpiked in 1872 (fn. 20) and became main roads in 1878. (fn. 21)
A lane from the supposed Roman road at Weston ran via Great and Little Oxenbold along high ground to Stanton Long, Holdgate, and beyond. It was the Bridgnorth-Stanton road in the 17th century. (fn. 22) South of Stanton Long it remained open to wheeled traffic in 1990, though in 1633 it was 'bad to go on foot and a dangerous way to ride'. (fn. 23) From Stanton Long a footway, mentioned in the 13th century, (fn. 24) branched to Brockton and crossed the supposed Roman road at Corfield Cross. (fn. 25) Another road linked Stanton Long to Shipton, and left the parish by Shipton's bridge, so called in 1591; (fn. 26) the road remained in use in 1990. Other lanes ran from Stanton Long to Ashfield and to Ruthall (both in Ditton Priors) via the Leath and the Coates respectively. That to Ruthall survived in 1990 only in part and as a footpath.
In 1676 the parish had 110 adult inhabitants. (fn. 27) From a total population of 184 in 1793 (fn. 28) there was marked growth, especially in the 1800s and 1830s, to a total of 327 in 1841; (fn. 29) the number of houses rose from 35 in 1793 (fn. 30) to 54 in 1845. (fn. 31) By 1851, however, there were only 224 inhabitants. Further decline after 1931 brought the number down to 148 by 1961, (fn. 32) at which level it remained in 1981. (fn. 33) By 1991 it had climbed to 170. (fn. 34)
The only nucleated settlements seem to have been Brockton, (fn. 35) Patton, and Stanton Long. In 1086 Patton had six recorded inhabitants, twice as many as Stanton. It had a priest, unlike Stanton, (fn. 36) and had been caput of a hundred. (fn. 37) By the mid 14th century Patton's economic difficulties (fn. 38) had probably reduced the size of the settlement; only a freeman and two neifs were paying cash rents in 1363. (fn. 39) Earthworks suggest the sites of houses abandoned at that period. (fn. 40) Nevertheless there were five tenants (not necessarily resident) in 1447, (fn. 41) and in the 1540s Patton had four farms (fn. 42) and in 1542 mustered seven men, nearly as many as Stanton. (fn. 43) By 1716 there were three farmhouses. (fn. 44) The Farm (probably the former chief house), the Upper House, and the Middle House stood close to each other south-east of the Wenlock-Ludlow road near a stream draining to the Corve; they were the only dwellings in 1746. (fn. 45) They were replaced when Patton House was built c. 1800 (fn. 46) and Patton Grange c. 1830, both north-west of the road, (fn. 47) but they were not demolished. In 1845 the Farm remained a house, later converted to a pair of cottages and ruinous by 1987; it was built of local sandstone, with a timber framed western gable. The Middle House was represented in 1845 by 'old buildings' (cattle sheds by 1987), (fn. 48) near which Patton Grange Cottages were later built; (fn. 49) the Upper House had been converted by 1845 to four cottages, (fn. 50) which were demolished in the early 20th century. (fn. 51) Farther south two cottages next to an isolated brick kiln in 1845 (fn. 52) were gone by 1901. (fn. 53)
As its affix indicates, (fn. 54) Stanton Long is strung out, along the road to Holdgate above Trow brook. Only three inhabitants were recorded in 1086, (fn. 55) but by 1315 the manor had 13 freeholders and four customary tenants (fn. 56) as well as farm servants, of which the demesne had eight or more in 1308. (fn. 57) It may be that dense occupation of the higher ground c. 1200 caused the church to be built farther down the slope. (fn. 58) The withdrawal of 11 tenants from their holdings by 1340 (fn. 59) presumably caused the settlement to shrink; the township mustered eight men in 1542, only one more than Patton. (fn. 60) The village was known locally as Dirty Stanton in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 61) Nine houses owed hearth tax in 1672, of which five had more than one hearth. (fn. 62) In 1845 the village had four farmhouses, the vicarage, and 10 cottages (one a smithy, another a wheelwright's shop). (fn. 63) By 1990 the pattern had changed little. Most of the old houses were timber framed.
Stanton township had several early outlying houses, especially near the supposed Roman road. Corfield ('Corve hill'), occupied by the 13th century, (fn. 64) stands on a knoll above the river Corve. The Bush, apparently mentioned in 1589, (fn. 65) likewise overlooks the Corve; as part of Stanton's demesne lands, (fn. 66) its farm may have been 'Harley's tenement' in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 67) Nearby cottages, New York (later York Cottage) and Stonehouse, occupied a single smallholding in the early 19th century. (fn. 68) East of Stanton village the isolated Field House, mentioned in 1584, (fn. 69) remained in 1990 as a rubble cottage with modern extensions. Cottages had begun to encroach on the Leath common by the mid 18th century; (fn. 70) there were five by 1845, (fn. 71) of which some remained in 1990.
In Oxenbold township the houses called Little Oxenbold and Oxenbold Leasows stood on isolated sites c. 1700. Little Oxenbold may have had open fields in the Middle Ages (fn. 72) and therefore may once have been a nucleated settlement.
The Feathers, Brockton, was probably the alehouse mentioned in 1793. (fn. 73) The Brockton Queen Dowager Benefit Society met there by 1855. (fn. 74) Harvest homes were held at Patton in the mid 19th century, and in 1869 an annual harvest thanksgiving was started, with a church service, a dinner for men and tea for women and children, and sports. (fn. 75) A parochial and school lending library began in 1868. (fn. 76)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The lands by the river Corve that Merchelm and Mildfrith gave to their half-sister St. Mildburg before 704 (fn. 77) may have included 'Stantune', first named in 901 when Aethelraed, ealdorman of Mercia, and his wife Aethelflaed restored 10 cassatae in 'Stantune' to the church of Wenlock, which had granted the land into 'royal lordship' ('in dominium regalem'). (fn. 78) The estate is presumed to have included the later manor of STANTON LONG. By 1066, however, the church of Wenlock no longer owned Stanton Long; it then belonged to Alwine (Elwin) a free man, (fn. 79) who may have been the son of Eadwig cild, a considerable landholder in Herefordshire. (fn. 80)
By 1086 Earl Roger held Stanton Long in chief. His overlordship presumably escheated to the Crown on Earl Robert's forfeiture in 1102. Roger de Lacy had a mesne lordship in 1086. (fn. 81) After his banishment in 1096 it is presumed to have passed by 1100 to his brother Hugh, and after Hugh's death, before 1121, to have escheated to the Crown. (fn. 82)
Part of Stanton Long may have been among the Shropshire lands that Roger of More, said to be an ancestor of the Mores of Linley, (fn. 86) held of the king in serjeanty in 1199, (fn. 87) for c. 1250 another Roger of More held an estate in Stanton by the serjeanty of acting as a constable of infantry whenever the king invaded Wales. (fn. 88) Before the end of the 12th century a predecessor had subinfeudated his Stanton Long property and Simon of Stanton (fl. c. 1174-c. 1180) (fn. 89) may have been the terre tenant of that part of Stanton; his son Thomas of Stanton (or of Long Stanton), fl. 1250, (fn. 90) certainly was by c. 1215. Between c. 1215 and 1251 Thomas alienated much of his land by subinfeudations or sales, but in 1247 he still held 1 carucate in Stanton Long. (fn. 91) By c. 1251 the serjeant Roger of More was liable to pay the Crown (in addition to the serjeanty that he owed) 5s. a year, which he collected from the various tenants in fee, as composition for his ancestor's alienation of the serjeanty's Stanton Long estate. (fn. 92) Thomas's grandson Thomas of Stanton had succeeded to the family property by 1255 when he sold a moor in Stanton to the Templars of Lydley and soon afterwards conveyed the rest of his estate to them. (fn. 93) The Templars held courts for Stanton Long by 1273 (fn. 94) and before long were paying the king the serjeanty rent of 5s. (fn. 95)
Another part of Stanton Long had passed after 1086, perhaps in the period 1154-65, (fn. 96) to the baron of Castle Holdgate, who held it in chief in 1255. (fn. 97) In the late 12th century one of the barony's undertenants may have been Robert Walsh (fl. 1171 × 1176); (fn. 98) about 1225 a Robert Walsh gave 4 virgates in Stanton Long to the Templars of Lydley, who held them of Castle Holdgate barony in 1255. (fn. 99)
From 1263 to 1276 or later the Templars held Castle Holdgate manor and barony of the earls of Cornwall and thus owned a mesne lordship, as well as two demesne estates, in Stanton Long. Between c. 1284 and 1292 the chief lordship of Holdgate passed to the Burnells, who had succeeded to the Templars' mesne lordship, (fn. 100) and after Lydley preceptory was dissolved in 1308 (fn. 101) the Stanton Long demesne estate that the Templars had acquired from Robert Walsh escheated to Edward Burnell. After Burnell's death in 1315 (fn. 102) his widow Aline held it in dower and it was called a manor in 1316, (fn. 103) but nothing further is known of its descent. The Templars' other demesne estate, that which they had received from Thomas of Stanton, passed to the Hospitaller preceptory of Dinmore (Herefs.), (fn. 104) with which it remained until confiscated by the Crown in 1540. (fn. 105)
In 1547 the Crown granted the former Hospitaller estate, then called Stanton Long manor, to John Dudley, earl of Warwick. (fn. 106) In 1549 Dudley conveyed it, except for the chief house and demesne lands, to the see of Worcester, together with Holdgate manor. (fn. 107) The Stanton Long manorial rights thereafter descended with those of Holdgate. (fn. 108)
In 1554, after the attainder of Dudley, by then duke of Northumberland, the Crown sold the chief house and demesne lands of Stanton Long to Rowland Hayward (kt. 1570). (fn. 109) That estate was termed a manor before his death in 1593, (fn. 110) but it had no separate court and by 1560 was subject to Hayward's manor of Tugford. (fn. 111) Hayward's widow Catherine still held the Stanton Long estate in 1617, (fn. 112) but it was probably sold by their son Sir John, who died without issue in 1636. (fn. 113) By 1661 it had been severed from Tugford manor and was owned as a reputed manor by John Browne of Sowbach, who settled it on his son William. William's widow Anne settled it in 1702 on their son Richard. By 1732 Richard's son William was in possession. William Browne left the reputed manor to Thomas Tomkys the elder of Neachells (Staffs.), (fn. 114) who sold it in 1754 to Henry Mytton of Shipton (d. 1757). (fn. 115) Mytton's son Thomas (d. 1787) (fn. 116) left it to his widow Mary, (fn. 117) who sold off the estate in parts. (fn. 118)
The chief house, called the Manor House by 1873, (fn. 119) and its farm land were bought by 1793 by a Mr. Adney, (fn. 120) and in 1823 by Edward Howells. (fn. 121) In 1825 Howells bought the Coates (in Holdgate), (fn. 122) with which the Stanton Long estate thereafter descended (fn. 123) until F. G. Hamilton-Russell sold it as Manor farm in 1919 to the tenant George Bebbington. (fn. 124) Bebbington was succeeded in 1947 by W. A. Davies, (fn. 125) the owner in 1965. (fn. 126) The house has a 16th-century northsouth range of 1½ storey, which may originally have consisted of an open hall and parlour. A south cross wing of 2½ storeys was built in the 17th century, probably replacing the original service end; it had a basement kitchen. The wing is stone except for the gable end towards the street, which is brick. (fn. 127)
Another undertenant of the barons of Castle Holdgate was probably (fn. 130) Robert de Girros (d. 1190 × 1191); he had property in Stanton, (fn. 131) which may have come, by further subinfeudation, to another branch of that family and thus to Roger de Girros of Stanton (fl. 1225-31). If so, Roger was probably succeeded at Stanton by his son and namesake. (fn. 132) Henry Girros (fl. 1308- 22) held property at Stanton Long (fn. 133) and Robert Girros (fl. 1358) at Corfield. (fn. 134) By 1366 Sibyl Girros, wife of John Jenkyns, held property at Stanton Long and Corfield, (fn. 135) presumably by inheritance from Robert. At Sibyl's death her property descended, in whole or in part, to Margaret, wife of Thomas Russell. In 1432 their son Roger quitclaimed a moiety of her estate in Stanton Long and Corfield to his brother John. (fn. 136) In 1590 John Russell and his brother William, presumably descendants, sold what was evidently the same property to Richard Churchman, the vicar, (fn. 137) who bought more in 1591 from Richard Reynoldes. (fn. 138) On Churchman's death in 1621 (fn. 139) his son Joseph sold the premises, later represented by LOWER HOUSE farm, to Osias his brother, (fn. 140) whose son John (fn. 141) sold them in 1659 to Arthur Weaver (d. 1710). (fn. 142) Weaver left the estate to his son Arthur (d. 1764), (fn. 143) who left it to his niece Susannah Weaver. (fn. 144) She later married Henry Leigh Tracy (fn. 145) and at her death in 1783 left it to their daughter Henrietta Susanna. (fn. 146) On her marriage in 1798 to Charles Hanbury, who took the additional surname of Tracy, (fn. 147) Henrietta settled the estate on him. (fn. 148) In 1806 he sold it to John Cressett Pelham. (fn. 149) Its descent then followed that of Holdgate manor (fn. 150) until 1863 when the Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham conveyed it (66 a.) to Edward VI's charity, Ludlow, (fn. 151) the owner in 1913. (fn. 152) In 1921 it belonged to T. W. Howard (fn. 153) and by 1934 was called Lower House. (fn. 154) The timber framed house of 1½ storey was built in the 17th century. It had two units, separated by a lobby entry and stack. Another bay was added at the north end. (fn. 155)
About 1215 Thomas of Stanton, son of Simon of Stanton, sold 3 bovates in Stanton Long to Geoffrey Griffin. Geoffrey granted them to Haughmond abbey c. 1235 for the support of infirm canons, in exchange for land in Besford (in Shawbury). (fn. 156) In 1539 the estate passed to the Crown, (fn. 157) which sold it in 1560 to Thomas Reve and Nicholas Pynde. (fn. 158)
In 1513 Thomas Walle sold his Stanton Long property to Thomas Skrymsher, one of the executors of Thomas Cookes of Ludlow; the executors had by 1516 bought lands in Stanton Long, later represented by MALT HOUSE FARM, for the Ludlow Palmers' guild. (fn. 159) The guild was dissolved in 1551, (fn. 160) and in 1552 the Crown granted its property to Ludlow corporation, (fn. 161) which owned an 80-a. farm in Stanton Long in 1785. (fn. 162) In 1846 the farm was vested in the trustees of Edward VI's charity, Ludlow, (fn. 163) which still owned it, as Malt House farm (63 a.), in 1913. (fn. 164) By 1921 it belonged to Richard Jones. (fn. 165) The house is cruck-built, with an added 16th- or early 17th-century box framed cross wing. (fn. 166)
In 1245 Roger, son of William of Corfield, and Roger's son Robert granted lands in CORFIELD to Wenlock priory. (fn. 167) In 1358 William of Kinnersley and John de Chay, holding of Robert Girros, conveyed further property in Corfield to the priory. (fn. 168) The priory's Corfield estate became part of its manor of Oxenbold (fn. 169) (called Shipton after 1522) (fn. 170) and passed to Sir Thomas Palmer in 1548 with Shipton manor, (fn. 171) to which it belonged thereafter. (fn. 172) Mrs. Mary Mytton sold Corfield (83 a.) to a Mr. Whitehurst c. 1791, (fn. 173) and it later passed through the Deighton, (fn. 174) Jones, (fn. 175) Lewis, (fn. 176) and Allsop (fn. 177) families.
PATTON may have been among the lands 'by the Corve' given to St. Mildburg by her half-brothers before 704, for in 901 five manentes there belonged to the church of Wenlock: that year the church gave them to Aethelraed, ealdorman of Mercia, and his wife Aethelflaed, in part exchange for land in 'Stantune'. (fn. 178) Alwine (Alwin), a free man, held Patton in 1066. (fn. 179) He was presumably the man who owned Stanton Long. (fn. 180)
In 1086 Earl Roger held Patton in chief. The chief lordship presumably passed on Earl Robert's forfeiture in 1102 to Hugh de Lacy, whose brother Roger had the mesne lordship of Patton in 1086; (fn. 181) if so, Hugh's estate at Patton is presumed, like that at Stanton Long, to have escheated before 1121. (fn. 182) The Fourches family, to whom Herbert, Roger de Lacy's tenant at Patton in 1086, (fn. 183) probably belonged, (fn. 184) may then have become tenants in chief.
By 1166 Patton had been divided into moieties. The Crown had apparently restored the chief lordship of one of them to the Lacy honor. The subsequent descent of that tenure in chief has not been traced. The Fourches family seems to have held a mesne lordship of the moiety from the Lacy honor (fn. 185) and that mesne lordship had evidently descended by 1363 to Sir Nicholas Burnell, (fn. 186) beyond whom it has not been traced. Under the Fourches family, Walter of Hopton held a further mesne lordship of the moiety (½ hide) in 1255 and 1284, (fn. 187) not further traced. The terre tenancy of this moiety was united with the terre tenancy of the other by the mid 13th century. (fn. 188)
The chief lordship of the other moiety of Patton seems to have remained with the Fourches family in 1255 (fn. 189) and that too had evidently descended by 1363 to Sir Nicholas Burnell, (fn. 190) beyond whom it has not been traced. In the mid 12th century William of Middlehope seems to have held the moiety under the Fourches family, and he sold ½ hide at Patton to Joce of Dinham. Between 1143 and 1154 Joce gave it to Wenlock priory, (fn. 191) which held a moiety of Patton by c. 1170 and (as ½ hide) in 1255. (fn. 192)
Stephen of Patton, fl. 1226-30, lord of Patton, may have been terre tenant of both moieties, as was Hugh of Patton, lord in 1255 and 1256. (fn. 193) The demesne lordship belonged to Sibyl of Patton (fl. 1327) in 1316, (fn. 194) to another Hugh of Patton in 1329 and 1348, (fn. 195) and to Philip of Patton (fl. 1352) by 1360. (fn. 196) Philip's trustees conveyed Patton manor to Wenlock priory in 1364. (fn. 197) Patton was later part of the priory's manor of Oxenbold (fn. 198) (called Shipton after 1522). (fn. 199) In 1545 the Crown sold Patton to Thomas Ireland, (fn. 200) acting for Thomas Bromley, (fn. 201) with whose manor of Oxenbold it descended until the early 20th century (fn. 202) when Lord Barnard sold the farms separately. (fn. 203) In 1934 Patton House belonged to T. J. Wadlow and Patton Grange to the Misses A. J. and G. Wadlow. (fn. 204)
The later manor of OXENBOLD was sold to Thomas Bromley in 1544. (fn. 205) Part of it lay within Stanton Long parish and may have included, besides part of Great Oxenbold, the farm called Nether Old Oxenbold, held of Wenlock priory c. 1522, (fn. 206) and that let by the priory in 1533 as Old Oxenbold. (fn. 207) A farm called Little Oxenbold was mentioned in 1697, (fn. 208) and another was called Oxenbold Leasows (or Leasow House) in the earlier 18th century (fn. 209) and Old House in the early 19th. (fn. 210) Old House was held by the tenant of Skimblescott (in Shipton) in 1846, when it served as a cottage, (fn. 211) and in 1913 by the tenant of Little Oxenbold. (fn. 212) Lord Barnard sold the farms c. 1919. (fn. 213) By 1922 the Poplars had been built to replace Old House, which was demolished, and its farm was again in separate tenure from that of Little Oxenbold. (fn. 214) James Carter sold the Poplars in 1945 to T. F. M. Corrie, who sold it to Albert Curry as part of the Larden Hall estate in 1947. Curry sold it separately to E. G. Brown in 1952, (fn. 215) to whose family both it and Little Oxenbold belonged in 1990; the early buildings at Little Oxenbold were demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 216)
BROCKTON (fn. 217) was probably wholly in Stanton Long parish (as successor to Patton) until 1271 or later, thereafter only partly so. (fn. 218) In 1895 R. J. More sold Upper (or Upper House) farm, Brockton, at 204 a. the largest of his farms in the parish, to the Revd. J. Hodgson. (fn. 219) By 1913 it belonged to the Philpott family, (fn. 220) owners in 1939. (fn. 221) H. Lewis owned it in 1965. (fn. 222) In 1987 J. Hayward sold the house alone, then called Brockton House. (fn. 223)
In the late 12th century CORVE, later called Corve Park (fn. 224) or Corve Barn, (fn. 225) was held, apparently in chief, by Robert son of Nicholas, (fn. 226) probably lord of Brockton. (fn. 227) By 1255 the tenancy in chief had passed to Wenlock priory. (fn. 228) Corve was later reckoned part of the priory's manor of Oxenbold (fn. 229) (called Shipton after 1522). After the priory's surrender in 1540 the overlordship of Corve was probably sold to Thomas Bromley, for in 1555 Richard Newport, Bromley's successor as chief lord of Oxenbold, (fn. 230) held Corve of the king and queen as of their manor of Stanton Lacy. (fn. 231) Corve was still said to be held of that manor in 1623. (fn. 232)
An apparent mesne lordship of Corve, with entitlement to a chief rent of 7s. (part of a 15s. rent that Robert son of Nicholas had in the 12th century), (fn. 233) belonged in 1255 to Robert de Emsteleg. (fn. 234) In 1555 Thomas Ludlow quitclaimed the 7s. rent to Sir Thomas Bromley. (fn. 235)
Ralph son of Edward became terre tenant of Corve in the late 12th century by feoffment from Robert son of Nicholas. (fn. 236) In 1255 John of Corve was terre tenant. (fn. 237) By 1350 Thomas, son of William of Corve, had succeeded Hugh of Corve in an estate there. (fn. 238) In 1410 Roger of Corve's son and heir Philip quitclaimed his estate to Thomas of Corve, whose widow married Thomas Hustyng (d. 1446). (fn. 239) Ralph Poyner, son-in-law of William Hustyng, (fn. 240) had William's estate by 1522, (fn. 241) and in 1545 sold it to Thomas Bromley, (fn. 242) with whose Oxenbold manor the estate descended until the early 20th century. (fn. 243) Corve belonged in 1934 to John Childe, (fn. 244) and in 1965 to E. G. Brown of the Poplars. (fn. 245)
Stanton Long RECTORY was appropriated to the dean and chapter of Hereford cathedral in 1295. (fn. 246) In 1315 the rectorial glebe included two barns, one of 11 bays. (fn. 247) By 1725 it consisted only of a meadow, Canons' close. (fn. 248) The rectorial tithes were commuted to £198 4s. 10d. in 1845. (fn. 249) About 1881 the rent charges passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 250) In 1938 they acquired Canons' close (3½ a.), (fn. 251) which the Church Commissioners sold in 1963. (fn. 252)
ECONOMIC HISTORY. (fn. 253)
No woodland was recorded in 1086. (fn. 254) Patton manor later included part of Cawley wood, which stood between Stanton parish and Monk Hall. (fn. 255) Cawley wood was being assarted from Corve in the early 13th century (fn. 256) and in 1545 was represented in Patton by only a 2-a. wood, Cawley grove. (fn. 257) Brockton had woods in 1301. (fn. 258) Ancient woodland also stood on the escarpment south-east of Little Oxenbold, (fn. 259) where some of it was in Oxenbold's new park, formed c. 1250; (fn. 260) Little Oxenbold Coppice (36 a.) remained wooded in the 1970s. (fn. 261) The old park of Oxenbold had lain farther west; land in Corfield lay between it and the river Corve in the 1250s. (fn. 262) On the escarpment southeast of Stanton Long, the Leath common remained open until the early 18th century, (fn. 263) and until the late 18th century farmers in Stanton township drove their animals annually to Earnstrey liberty on the slopes of Brown Clee. (fn. 264) Natal (or Natle) common, mentioned c. 1300, (fn. 265) covered the hill where Patton township met those of Brockton, Easthope, and Presthope (fn. 266) and remained partly open in 1746. (fn. 267)
Patton, Stanton Long, Brockton, and probably Little Oxenbold had each its own open fields. Two fields at Patton were mentioned in 1301. (fn. 268) In the 16th and 17th centuries Stanton had Rea field west of the village, Fulsich (or Leath) field east, and Coates field north. (fn. 269) Part of Rea field lay within the Coates (in Holdgate) and within Oxenbold township. In Stanton Long parish in 1494 Oxenbold township also had Tycley (or Ticknel) field, Pew field, Steward's field, and the field 'beneath the park', and Bentley field was mentioned in the 16th century; (fn. 270) those presumably were centred on Little Oxenbold.
Inclosure of the open fields was very gradual. In 1517 William Blakeway at Patton and the abbot of Haughmond at Stanton Long had recently inclosed arable for pasture. (fn. 273) Between 1589 and 1607 tenants of the Stanton Long demesne and Lower House inclosed some arable for pasture after consolidating it by exchange. (fn. 274) Parts of Rea field were 'lately inclosed' in 1648. (fn. 275) Nevertheless considerable open-field land remained on Manor farm in 1661, (fn. 276) Malt House farm in 1701, (fn. 277) and the glebe in 1707. (fn. 278) By 1747 the open fields of Patton and Oxenbold townships were wholly inclosed. (fn. 279) Malt House farm was all inclosed by 1785, (fn. 280) and virtually the whole parish was by 1793 except for little-used 'slips' of common at the edges. (fn. 281)
In Stanton township, with many freeholders in 1315 (fn. 282) and ever since, (fn. 283) consolidation and amalgamation of farms has been difficult to arrange; in the 1840s the holdings were still intermingled and fairly small. (fn. 284) At Patton, by contrast, the four farms of 1545 (fn. 285) were reduced to three by the early 18th century, (fn. 286) and to two large compact farms by 1845. In Oxenbold township, too, the farms were large and compact in 1845. (fn. 287)
In 1086 Patton had 1 hide but was worth twice as much as Stanton Long with 3, and had twice the recorded population. Both had increased in value since 1066. (fn. 288) In 1308 the former Templar estate at Stanton Long had much of its income in cash rents; on the demesne, cash was paid for mowing, reaping, and threshing work, and wages were paid to a carter, four ploughmen, a maid, and other servants. The demesne had 2 ploughs and 12 oxen, 2 wagons and 2 workhorses. Wheat and oats were the only crops, and in January 1308 there were no dairy cattle or sheep. (fn. 289)
By 1315 the Stanton demesne had no buildings (fn. 290) and its land was uncultivated. (fn. 291) There was a marked recovery before 1338, (fn. 292) but in 1340 the parish's cereal crop had recently been destroyed by storms, and its sheep attacked by disease; 11 tenants had abandoned their holdings. (fn. 293) When Wenlock priory acquired the demesne lordship of Patton in 1364 (fn. 294) the chief house was worth nothing and the demesne arable was decayed (debilis). In the next six years the value per acre of the demesne arable fell by half and of the meadow by a third. Meanwhile, however, the priory had reduced the acreage of demesne arable by a third and of meadow by half, and had increased the income from assize rents. Those measures raised Patton's value from 17s. 2d. in 1363 (fn. 295) to 47s. 8d. in 1370. (fn. 296) At Stanton Long the Hospitallers let the demesne on a long lease in 1506. (fn. 297)
At Stanton a three-year rotation of wheat, oats, and fallow based on the three open fields was maintained in the late 16th century. (fn. 298) In the 17th and 18th centuries arable farming was usually combined with dairying, and cheese was commonly made. Only the larger farms normally had sheep. Besides the usual cereals, some farmers grew hemp and flax. (fn. 299) In the Great pool at Corfield carp and perch were reared in quantity for the table c. 1770. (fn. 300)
At the close of the 18th century wheat and oats, in equal proportions, were the parish's principal cereals, with barley too at Patton, (fn. 301) where soils were different. (fn. 302) By 1844 the landlord stipulated a three-course rotation at Patton, but at Corve Park the rotation was fallow, wheat, clover (fed as hay to cart-horses), and oats. (fn. 303) By the late 19th century and more so in the early 20th, grass greatly exceeded arable. Cattle increased in the late 19th century but sheep were still important in the mid 20th. Arable then occupied a greater proportion of land than before, especially for barley, but remained subordinate. (fn. 304)
Wenlock priory had a mill at Stanton Long in 1291. (fn. 305) No later record is known, but the 'mill bridge' was mentioned in 1420 (fn. 306) and the 'mill fleam' and Mill Bridge leasow in 1701. (fn. 307) The mill had probably been on Trow brook north of the village. (fn. 308) Another early mill, probably asso ciated with the nearby shrunken settlement at Great Oxenbold (in Monkhopton), (fn. 309) evidently stood on Oxenbold brook, which formed the parish boundary through Oxenbold township; on the Stanton Long side Mill meadow and Mill leasow lay immediately downstream of a field called the Pools, (fn. 310) which is bounded west by an earth dam or causeway that carries the Ludlow- Bridgnorth road over Pool bridge. It was perhaps the 'mill of the park', which stood near there in 1339. (fn. 311)
By 1422 Stanton Long and Corfield presented at the court leet of Castle Holdgate barony; Corfield also did so in 1551 and Stanton in 1577. (fn. 312)
In the 16th century Stanton Long manor court had jurisdiction over most of Stanton township. A court roll survives for 1541 and transcripts of four from the period 1561-77. (fn. 313) After 1554 (fn. 314) the Stanton demesne lands were subject to Tugford manor court (fn. 315) but ceased to be so before 1808. (fn. 316)
The prior of Wenlock had a court baron for Patton in 1421, of which a roll survives. (fn. 317) By 1522, however, Patton presented at the prior's court baron of Oxenbold manor (later called Shipton). In that year Patton was released from its suit there and agreed to present instead at the prior's court baron of Bourton. (fn. 318) By 1610, however, Patton owed suit again to Shipton court baron, (fn. 319) and Patton supplied one of Shipton manor's constables in 1650 and 1793. (fn. 320) But Patton presented at the new Oxenbold court leet and court baron in 1566 (fn. 321) and owed suit there in 1821. (fn. 322)
Corve, a manor in 1255, (fn. 323) was presumably subject before the Dissolution to Oxenbold (later called Shipton) court baron. (fn. 324) Corve owed suit to Shipton between 1561 and 1650 (fn. 325) and Matthew Churchman of Corve (fn. 326) was elected a constable by Shipton manor court in 1655. (fn. 327) Nevertheless Corve presented at the new Oxenbold court leet and court baron in 1566 (fn. 328) and owed suit there in 1636. (fn. 329)
Brockton, partly in the parish, was a separate manor in 1066 and remained so. (fn. 330)
The parish was in Bridgnorth poor-law union 1836-1930, (fn. 331) Bridgnorth highway district 1863- 95, (fn. 332) Bridgnorth rural sanitary district 1872-94, Bridgnorth rural district 1894-1974, and Bridgnorth district from 1974. (fn. 333) From 1970 it had a joint council with Easthope and Shipton civil parishes. (fn. 334)
'Stantune' (which included the later townships of Stanton and Holdgate), Brockton, Oxenbold, and Patton probably formed part of the large parish dependent on the minster church of Wenlock in St. Mildburg's time. (fn. 335) Nevertheless the church lost lordship over 'Stantune' and Patton during the 10th and 11th centuries, (fn. 336) and it may have been 10th- or 11thcentury lay owners of those estates (or parts of them) who founded the benefices indicated by the existence of a priest at Patton and a priest and a church at Holdgate in 1086. (fn. 337) No priest or church at Patton was recorded thereafter, but by c. 1200 there was a church at Stanton Long, (fn. 338) where none had been recorded in 1086. It was to the Stanton Long undertenant that the patronage of the new church belonged in the earlier 13th century.
In or before 1245 Thomas of Long Stanton gave the advowson to Wenlock priory. (fn. 339) By 1270 the priory had also acquired some of the tithes, (fn. 340) and in 1271, when the priory conveyed the advowson to the dean and chapter of Hereford, it reserved such tithes as it had been receiving and any it that it might in future receive from newly cultivated lands. (fn. 341) The part of Brockton that was afterwards in Shipton parish may thus have been united to the parish of Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock. In or before 1272 the cathedral had acquired from the priory a house and 4 bovates of land in Stanton Long, (fn. 342) and in 1272 the bishop appropriated the rectory to the dean and chapter at the next vacancy. (fn. 343) That took effect in 1295, when the bishop ordained a vicarage in the dean and chapter's gift. (fn. 344)
Thereafter the dean and chapter exercised the advowson of the vicarage (fn. 345) until the benefice was united in 1927 with that of Easthope to form the rectory of Stanton Long with Easthope, (fn. 346) to which the dean and chapter had the right to present alternately with Maj. G. R. Benson; (fn. 347) Benson conveyed his right to Albert Curry of Larden Hall in 1948. After the rector's resignation in 1975 the patronage was suspended and the vicar of Much Wenlock with Bourton was appointed priest-in-charge. In 1981 the rectory was merged in the united benefice of Wenlock, of which the dean and chapter and Curry were among the joint patrons. (fn. 348)
In 1291 Stanton Long rectory was worth £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 349) The vicarage was worth £6 13s. net in 1535. (fn. 350) About 1535 the dean and chapter, which recognized the living to be 'over slender', was augmenting it annually (fn. 351) and in 1607 was still doing so by £2 3s. 4d. (fn. 352) The vicarage was valued at £40 c. 1708. (fn. 353) In 1726 Samuel Baldwyn, until recently farmer of the rectory, (fn. 354) gave £200, which was matched by £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty; (fn. 355) the capital was used in 1785 to buy land in Clee Stanton, (fn. 356) and by 1793 the vicarage was worth c. £81, of which the glebe yielded c. £40, tithes £25, and the Clee Stanton land £16. (fn. 357)
The vicar's glebe was reckoned to be 40 a. in 1589. (fn. 358) In 1845 it included 67 a. in Stanton township. (fn. 359) The Clee Stanton land (32 a.) was sold in 1868. (fn. 360) The remaining glebe was slightly reduced by exchanges c. 1875 and in 1878 (fn. 361) and was worth £72 a year in 1887. (fn. 362) In 1707 the vicarage house had four bays and the barn three, with a stable and a wainhouse built into it. There were two cowhouses with haylofts over them, and other buildings for feeding swine and geese and for coal. (fn. 363) In 1733 the incumbent rebuilt the vicarage house at his own expense. (fn. 364) It was extended c. 1846 and in 1867, and in 1869 stables and a dairy were built. (fn. 365) It was sold in 1930, (fn. 366) after the incumbent moved to Easthope, (fn. 367) and was afterwards named Stanton Long House. (fn. 368)
In 1707 the vicar was entitled to the small tithes and half of the hay tithes, except from Brockton's 'franchise land' (the part of the township that was in Wenlock borough), and to all the 'tithe tilling' of Corve farm. From a number of holdings the vicar received moduses called 'custom money'. (fn. 369) In 1793 he was leasing his tithes. (fn. 370) In 1815 the new vicar refused to accept the customary moduses from 266 a. in Brockton, which then yielded a mere £3 18s., but neither he nor his successor was able to obtain tithes in kind from those farms. (fn. 371) By 1733 there had also been disputes over farms that lay partly in Shipton parish; (fn. 372) such difficulties recurred until the Tithe Commissioners defined the boundary between Shipton and Stanton Long in 1844. (fn. 373) In 1845 the vicar was adjudged to be owed no moduses but all the small and half of the hay tithes, except from the rectorial glebe, and all the tithes from the vicarial glebe and Corve farm. His tithes were then commuted to £135 6s. 11d. (fn. 374)
The surnames of some pre-Reformation incumbents (fn. 375) suggest that they were local men. Until 1780 the post-Reformation vicars usually lived in the parish and remained until death; (fn. 376) there were thus some long incumbencies. (fn. 377) The only known non-resident was John Tudor, 1729-33, who lived at Ross-on-Wye (Herefs.). (fn. 378) He employed a curate at Stanton Long; (fn. 379) no other seems to have been needed before the last years of Charles Hicks (d. 1780). (fn. 380) Of the four vicars 1780-1866 (fn. 381) the first three lived at Hereford (fn. 382) and the fourth was master of Eardisland endowed school (Herefs.). (fn. 383) The parish was served by assistant curates, most of whom lived at the vicarage. (fn. 384) From 1866 until the union with Easthope in 1927 the vicars resided. (fn. 385) In 1793 people in the northern part of the parish seldom came to church because of the distance, (fn. 386) but from 1867 (fn. 387) to 1909 (fn. 388) services were held for them in Brockton school.
The small parish church of ST. MICHAEL, so dedicated by 1835, (fn. 389) is built of rubble with tiled roofs and consists of chancel with north vestry and nave with south porch and timber framed west bell turret. The chancel and wide nave appear to date from c. 1200; the south doorway of the nave, with its original door and decorative ironwork, is of that date, and plain lancets remain in the west wall and in the north wall of the chancel. The south wall of the chancel seems to have been rebuilt by the later 13th century; it is thinner than the north wall and has a two-light window. The north wall of the nave, too, was evidently rebuilt before 1300; its plinth is discontinuous with that of the west wall, and a blocked lancet remained in 1862. Two vertical masonry breaks inside the south wall indicate alterations there as well. The church acquired several new features in the later 13th and earlier 14th century. On the south side of the chancel are a tomb recess, a priest's door, and a singlelight low-side window. In the nave a two-light south window was inserted, and east of it a piscina marks the site of an altar, lit by a cusped lancet. Nave and chancel received new timber roofs in the later Middle Ages; the wind braces form quatrefoils, and in the chancel the collar beams have carved bosses. The porch was of similar date. (fn. 390) Barrelled plaster ceilings were made over nave and chancel in the 16th or 17th century. The bell turret was present by 1736. (fn. 391)
The church was restored in 1842. There was a further restoration 1869-70 by S. Pountney Smith. A chancel arch was then inserted, the ceilings were removed, new north windows were provided in the nave, and the porch walls were rebuilt in stone. The east wall and east window were rebuilt in 1869, with stained glass by Done & Davies of Shrewsbury. The vestry was added in 1871. (fn. 392) In 1879 stained glass by John Davies of Shrewsbury was placed in the larger south chancel window, (fn. 393) and the chancel's north lancet received its glass in 1893.
A lamp in the church was endowed with land, which the Crown confiscated c. 1547, (fn. 394) and in 1547 an 'image' of St. Blase, patron saint of wool combers, was removed to Much Wenlock and burnt in the market place. (fn. 395) In the 17th century a communion rail was placed round three sides of the table. (fn. 396) The plate consisted in 1961 of a silver cup and paten of 1571, a silver paten of 1700, and a flagon of 1725. (fn. 397) Until 1893, when they were recast, one of the three bells was probably by Richard le Belyetere of Worcester (fl. 1464), another was pre-Reformation or Marian, and the third was dated 1676. (fn. 398) The seating (fn. 399) and the plain font's octagonal stem (fn. 400) may date from the 1842 restoration. A harmonium was acquired in 1861. (fn. 401) The stone reredos and flanking blind arcades were designed by F. R. Kempson, carved by Robert Clarke of Hereford, and erected in 1888. (fn. 402) Also of the 19th century are the wooden pulpit, reading desk, brass lectern, and wooden communion rail, and the floor tiles of chancel and porch; the nave tiles are of 1954. (fn. 403) A clock was placed in the bell turret in 1927. (fn. 404)
Five papists were reported in 1767. (fn. 407) Primitive Methodists, apparently of the former Brookhampton society, (fn. 408) built a plain brick chapel, Bethel, on the north side of Stanton Long village in 1880. (fn. 409) It had seats for 75 in 1940 (fn. 410) but had closed by 1955. (fn. 411)
With the aid of government and other grants (fn. 412) a long needed (fn. 413) National school opened at Brockton in 1845. Designed by S. Pountney Smith, it adjoined a teacher's house and had ground- and first-floor schoolrooms, the lower floored in brick. Boys and girls were taught separately in 1854 but together by 1871. During those years attendance averaged 38-9, and the school received £5 a year from 'Betton's charity' (fn. 414) and was supported by voluntary contributions; school pence varied with parents' occupations. Besides those from Stanton, (fn. 415) some pupils came from Church Preen in 1846 and from Easthope, Shipton, (fn. 416) and Weston (in Monkhopton); some children from the southern end of the parish presumably began to attend Holdgate and Stanton Long National school when it opened at Holdgate in 1876. (fn. 417) Attendance at Brockton averaged 70 in 1885, 81 in 1900, and 70 in 1913; the 120 places were reduced to 113 by 1910. (fn. 418) By 1907 the school was earning what were usually good reports. (fn. 419)
Gardening was introduced in 1925, and from 1936 11-year-old boys and 12-year-old girls attended Much Wenlock woodwork and domestic-science centres. (fn. 420) The roll was 60 in 1920, 57 in 1930, and 60 (including 25 evacuees) in 1941. In 1939 the school had admitted pupils from Middlemore Emigration Homes, evacuated from Birmingham to Wilderhope Manor, and two years later Wallasey evacuees with their teacher. (fn. 421)
Brockton school became controlled in 1948 and was much renovated. (fn. 422) In 1949 13-year-old pupils went to Much Wenlock C.E. school and in 1953, when 11-year-olds went to the new Much Wenlock Modern school, the roll fell to 18 (fn. 423) and there was only one teacher 1953-8. (fn. 424) Thereafter several Much Wenlock children attended. (fn. 425) By 1962 the roll was 47 and in 1966 a demountable classroom was added. (fn. 426) As had long been planned, pupils from the closed Bourton C.E. (Aided) Primary school were admitted in 1967, (fn. 427) and in 1971 the building was replaced by an open-plan school with 90 places, (fn. 428) the old school serving as a field study centre 1973-c. 1986. (fn. 429) The school had 71 pupils in 1980 (fn. 430) and by 1986-7, with over 80 pupils and an additional teacher, was in danger of being overcrowded. (fn. 431) By 1990 the roll was 77. (fn. 432)
County-council classes in poultry keeping and ambulance work held at Stanton Long and in dressmaking and horticulture at Brockton were usually well supported 1898-1902. (fn. 433)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
In 1712 Mrs. Anne Browne gave £5, the interest to provide bread doles; the charity lapsed before 1820. There was a poor's stock of £12 in 1758, allegedly the remains of an earlier single benefaction of £40. (fn. 434) The annual income was 12s. in 1787 (fn. 435) but the capital was lost after 1820. (fn. 436) Tasker's Charity, mentioned in 1869, (fn. 437) yielded £1 a year for bread in 1975. (fn. 438)