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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Shipton, a small rural parish, lies in Corve Dale c. 10 km. south-west of Much Wenlock. From 1844, when the boundary with Stanton Long was settled, (fn. 1) its main part contained 1,753 a. (709 ha.). (fn. 2) It comprised the townships of Shipton and Larden, and part of Brockton township, which lay partly in Stanton Long. A detached area, Skimblescott (111 a., 45 ha.), was transferred to Monkhopton civil parish in 1883. (fn. 3) The main part is compact and regular in shape. The long south-eastern boundary lies mostly along the river Corve, the north-western along the limestone ridge of Mogg Forest. The land slopes evenly from c. 280 m. at the ridge to c. 145 m. on the Corve, and is cut by the valleys of streams running down to the river. (fn. 4)
The underlying strata dip down from northwest to south-east. (fn. 5) The higher part of the parish is on Aymestry Group limestone; several small quarries there yielded building stone in the 18th century. (fn. 6) Lower down, towards the Wenlock-Ludlow road, the rocks are mainly Upper Ludlow Shales. Along the road and east of it occur rocks of the Ledbury and Temeside groups of the Downton Series of the Lower Old Red Sandstone. At Shipton a search for lead near the road in the 1790s failed to find commercial quantities. (fn. 7) South and east of the Moorhouse is a covering drift of head, with boulder clay north-east of it; alluvial soils cover both deposits.
Neolithic tools have been found on high ground west of Shipton village and a Bronze Age cremation above Brockton, towards the Ditches. (fn. 8) The Ditches, or Larden Ditches, a circular triple-ditched Iron Age hill fort, (fn. 9) partly in Rushbury parish, was called Wylleburi or Bileburie in the 13th century (fn. 10) and Wynbury Castle in the 16th. (fn. 11) It seems that most of the parish, including what later reverted to woodland as Mogg Forest, (fn. 12) was occupied in the Iron Age and Roman periods. Ditched enclosures, presumed to be Iron Age or Romano-British, lie on the north-western ridge and below, near the Wenlock-Ludlow road. (fn. 13) Romano-British pottery has been found at the Ditches and elsewhere. (fn. 14)
In the Middle Ages each of three or four valleys descending to the Corve contained one of the parish's main settlements: Shipton, Nether Larden (on Moorhouse brook), Brockton (on Brockton, or Easthope, brook), and perhaps, if it was at Upper Barn, the deserted Over Larden. (fn. 15) In 1676 the parish had 90 adult inhabitants. (fn. 16) By 1793 there were 145 inhabitants (fn. 17) but by 1801 only 119. There was some growth before 1851 but a decline from the 1880s to a population of 91 in 1931. After the Second World War numbers stabilized at c. 130 until the 1980s, when they fell to 117. (fn. 18) By the 17th century the changes were mainly in Shipton and Brockton villages; earlier shrinkage at Over and Nether Larden is presumed but the Moorhouse and Skimblescott are unlikely ever to have had more than one or two houses.
Shipton ('sheep estate') was so called by 1086. In 1272 there was a Little Shipton, but no later reference to it is known. (fn. 19) Shipton township had at least 11 houses in 1540. (fn. 20) Henry Mytton, lord 1688-1731, stopped letting smaller farmhouses when they fell vacant but dwellings remained in view of the Hall across the road (fn. 21) until they were demolished in the later 18th century. (fn. 22) In the 19th century Shipton village consisted of the Hall, the Grange, the Bull's Head, and a few old cottages; (fn. 23) buildings were of stone or stone and timber framing. Shipton Hall Cottages (two) were added in 1937, Shipton Grange Cottages (two) in 1946, and six council houses c. 1956. (fn. 24) New House, an isolated farm at the parish's southern tip, was standing in the 17th century. (fn. 25) Barn farm (c. 118 a.) was amalgamated with it in the 1790s; its isolated house, later represented by Upper Barn, stood near Mogg Forest west of Shipton village. (fn. 26)
There was a settlement at Brockton by 1086, named from the brook that flows through it. (fn. 27) In 1404 Brockton township included 6 messuages, 2 cottages, the mill, and c. 14, mostly vacant, tofts or house plots. (fn. 28) Most of the dwellings presumably stood near the site of the castle, of which some earthworks remain. (fn. 29) The township had at least 10 houses in 1525 including the mill, (fn. 30) and at least 12 in 1581. (fn. 31) By 1591 there were cottages on Highley common in Stanton Long parish (fn. 32) and in the later 17th and early 18th century at least three cottages were built on the manorial waste. (fn. 33) Thomas More, lord 1780- 1804, was probably the builder or improver of Larden Cottage (renamed Brockton Grange c. 1990), a villa set in grounds inclosed from Mogg Forest; in 1793 he had it in hand, and the grounds were newly planted with forest trees. (fn. 34) It was much embellished in the 19th century and by 1834 (fn. 35) overlooked Cottage Pool, an ornamental lake created by a massive dam on Brockton brook. In 1805 the village had two farmhouses, the Feathers public house, a smithy, a wheelwright's shop, and 10 cottages, mostly old, stone-built or timber framed, and thatched. (fn. 36) The larger houses were grouped at a crossroads on the Wenlock-Ludlow road while several of the cottages stood by the northward road on the Mogg Forest and Easthope side of the village. (fn. 37) There was little change thereafter.
The parish had other cottages in or near Mogg Forest. Evan Robert of Mogg Forest was a tenant of Shipton manor in 1636. (fn. 38) In 1718 permission was sought for a cottage near the Ditches, (fn. 39) and in 1817 Larden had at least two cottages towards the Forest; (fn. 40) two, stone-built, were standing in 1944. (fn. 41)
Larden (formerly Nether Larden) consisted in 1817 of the Hall and the nearby farmhouse. About 1830 the farmhouse was rebuilt c. 500 m. to the north as Larden Grange. (fn. 42) The Hall grounds, 17 a. in 1805, (fn. 43) had been enlarged by 1833 and again, to 65 a., by 1869. (fn. 44) Earthworks and ponds near the Hall are probably those of the former farm buildings and of 19th-century landscaping. (fn. 45)
By 1752 the Moorhouse, associated with early medieval assarting, and Moorhouse Farm stood either side of Moorhouse brook. (fn. 46) A cottage was built for the Moorhouse c. 1782, (fn. 47) and a few others have been added nearby.
The Wenlock-Ludlow road, elsewhere called St. Mildburg Way, (fn. 48) was mentioned in Shipton parish in the 13th century. (fn. 49) It was turnpiked through the parish in 1756, disturnpiked in 1867, and declared a main road in 1879. In 1839 a new road, part of the Morville-Shipton turnpike, was authorized between Corfield Cross (in Stanton Long) and the Wenlock-Ludlow turnpike at Shipton. It was disturnpiked in 1872 and mained in 1878. (fn. 50)
In the early 18th century the road from Church Stretton to Bridgnorth (mentioned in 1675) went via Longville (in Eaton-under-Heywood), passed over Mogg Forest near the Ditches, (fn. 51) descended along the parish boundary to cross the Wenlock-Ludlow road at Brockton's Cross, (fn. 52) and continued thence through Weston, Monkhopton, and Morville. (fn. 53) By the mid 18th century a route via Easthope was evidently preferred; (fn. 54) it was turnpiked from Easthope's Cross to Brockton and Weston in 1839 and disturnpiked in 1872. (fn. 55) The Mogg Forest route was disused by 1827. (fn. 56)
In 1717 the road from Stanton Long to Shipton was allegedly part of the only road from Cleobury Mortimer to Shrewsbury, (fn. 57) presumably via Ashfield (in Ditton Priors).
In the Middle Ages local ways linked Nether Larden to Brockton mill and Shipton church, (fn. 58) and Brockton to Skimblescott (fn. 59) (crossing the river by Skimblescott bridge, mentioned in 1545) (fn. 60) and Stanton Long. (fn. 61) None was metalled in 1990.
St. Mildburg's well, presumably a medieval holy well, was recorded at Brockton in 1573. (fn. 62)
Shuffleboard was played at Shipton in 1639. (fn. 63) Brockton common was considered a 'fine hunting ground' c. 1740. (fn. 64) The parish had no alehouse in 1793, (fn. 65) but the Bull's Head, Shipton, opened before 1846. (fn. 66) It may have closed as an alehouse c. 1880. (fn. 67) It was a temperance house in 1895 but may have closed soon afterwards. (fn. 68) Brockton had the Feathers public house, in Stanton Long parish. (fn. 69) The Easthope Memorial Hall opened at Shipton c. 1955. (fn. 70)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Shipton was probably among the lands by the river Corve that Merchelm and Mildfrith gave to their half-sister St. Mildburg before 704. (fn. 71) In 1066 and 1086 Shipton belonged to St. Mildburg's church of Wenlock, and it remained with Wenlock priory until the house surrendered to the Crown in 1540. (fn. 72) By 1344, and probably by 1334, it was in the priory's manor of Oxenbold, (fn. 73) which was renamed Shipton after 1522. (fn. 74)
The Crown dismembered that manor in the 1540s; (fn. 75) the remnant, called Shipton manor, was granted in 1548 to Sir Thomas Palmer. (fn. 76) After his attainder for high treason in 1553 (fn. 77) the Crown sold it in 1557 to Thomas Reve and Anthony Rotsey, who immediately conveyed it to John Swyfte. (fn. 78) Swyfte sold it in 1560 to Edward Gilbert who sold it next year to John Molyneux. (fn. 79) John Lutwyche bought the manor from Molyneux in 1580. (fn. 80)
Dying without issue in 1615, John Lutwyche left it to his kinsman Edward Mytton of Worcester (d. 1620), (fn. 81) and it descended from father to son through Henry (d. 1663), (fn. 82) Henry (d. 1688), (fn. 83) and Henry (fn. 84) who died unmarried in 1731. The manor then passed to the last Henry's brother Thomas (d. 1752). Thomas left it to his son Henry (d. 1757), who was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. 1787). (fn. 85) Thomas left it to his widow Mary (fn. 86) (d. 1830), who left it to their grandson Thomas Mytton. At Thomas's death childless in 1874 the manor passed successively to his cousin the Revd. R. H. G. More of Larden (d. 1880) and the latter's nephew R. J. More of Linley. (fn. 87)
In 1896 R. J. More sold the Shipton estate (503 a.) to Charles Bishop of Darlaston (Staffs.), (fn. 88) whose family had farmed at Little Oxenbold (in Stanton Long). (fn. 89) When Bishop died in 1913 the estate passed successively to his sons the Revd. Thomas Bishop (fn. 90) (d. 1930) and F. C. Bishop. The latter settled it c. 1940 on his son Maj. C. R. N. Bishop, (fn. 91) who settled it in 1967 on his son J. N. R. N. Bishop, the owner in 1990.
Shipton Hall was built c. 1598. (fn. 92) The architect may have been Walter Hancox (d. 1599) of Much Wenlock. (fn. 93) The owner, John Lutwyche, had been responsible for some building work at Lincoln's Inn. (fn. 94) The house is built of stone on an H plan, facing southeast. The hall block has two and a half storeys and a lateral rear chimney stack. The hall has opposing doorways at the lower end, the front doorway covered by a west-facing four storeyed porch tower in the angle between hall and east wing; the tower had crenellation and a cupola c. 1730. A two storeyed canted bay window lit the upper end of the hall block. (fn. 95) Access to the first floor was apparently a stair case turret projecting at the rear, perhaps in the angle between hall block and west wing. (fn. 96)
About 1700, perhaps in 1670, (fn. 97) a two storeyed rear addition was built, apparently parallel to the hall block and abutting the stair turret. (fn. 98) In the mid 18th century it was partly replaced by a projecting two storeyed rear wing, which included a first-floor library reached by a new staircase on the site of the stair turret; the wing's parapet and cornice resemble those of the detached stable block of 1756-7. The house was extended east by a stone service block 1757-9. Work on the library was in progress between 1760 and 1767. (fn. 99) Its rococo overmantel, designed in the later 1760s by T. F. Pritchard of Shrewsbury, is similar in style to work in the hall. The iron grate in the hall was also designed by Pritchard, (fn. 100) and rococo plaster work there has been attributed to Francesco or John Vassalli, (fn. 101) of whom John seems to have worked with Pritchard at Hatton Grange (in Shifnal) 1767- 8. (fn. 102) It was probably at the same period that the timbers of the original hall ceiling were taken down to form the roof of the cellar below, (fn. 103) and the original panelling was removed to bedrooms above. A rainwater head of 1769 in the angle formerly occupied by the bay window seems to show that the bay window was removed then or a little earlier; the walling in its place resembles that of the stable block. An undated drawing shows a central front doorway to the hall, perhaps opened when the hall was redecorated. (fn. 104) The gothick plaster work over the main staircase and gothick windows at the rear of the house are presumably later 18th-century. By the 1830s the hall had no central doorway. (fn. 105)
A circular stone dovecot stands to the north-east. It was surmounted by an 18th-century wooden louvre (fn. 106) until the roof collapsed in the early 20th century; a new roof and louvre were made in 1962. (fn. 107)
In the earlier 12th century the prior of Wenlock enfeoffed Edric (Hedricus) with ½ virgate and a croft in Shipton. (fn. 108) It may have passed later to William Powke (fl. 1393). (fn. 109) Powke's House, with land near Shipton cross, (fn. 110) belonged in 1521 to John Paramore. (fn. 111) In 1581-2 William Paramore sold the greater part to the lord of Shipton manor and the rest to Maurice Ludlow of the Moorhouse. (fn. 112)
New House,a farm of 368 a. in Shipton manor, (fn. 113) was sold to a Mr. Stanley in 1796. (fn. 114) The two storeyed house of Aymestry limestone had two symmetrical wings at the rear and perhaps dated from c. 1700. (fn. 115) Soon after the sale it was remodelled inside and out. The front was heightened at the eaves, rendered, refenestrated, and given a classical stone doorway. The farm belonged to William Downes in 1846, (fn. 116) and later passed through the Hippisley, Burnett, Hide, and Farmer families to the Williamses. (fn. 117)
By 1255 Hugh le Gyrros (or Hugh of Larden) was lord of Nether Larden, later called simply Larden, which he held of Wenlock priory. His son Alan (fn. 118) succeeded, (fn. 119) and Roger son of Alan was lord by 1280. (fn. 120) Roger was succeeded after 1292 (fn. 121) by his son Henry de la Halle (fl. 1310-49). (fn. 122) John Broadstone (fl. 1418) (fn. 123) was lord of Nether Larden by 1377 (fn. 124) and held land there in right of his wife Isabel (fl. 1400- 1), (fn. 125) presumably Isabel de la Halle who received rent in Nether Larden in 1393 and 1415 (fn. 126) and in widowhood conveyed the lordship in 1423 to William Bailly of Brockton. (fn. 127)
Bailly sold it in 1434 (fn. 128) to his brother-in- law (fn. 129) Richard More of Nether Larden, who settled the manor house in 1463 on his grandson Richard More, also of Nether Larden. Richard More's brother William (fl. 1477-1505) (fn. 130) had lands there by 1489, (fn. 131) and the estate passed from father to son, through William's son Edward (d. c. 1554), (fn. 132) to Thomas (d. 1567), (fn. 133) and Jasper, (fn. 134) at whose death in 1614 (fn. 135) Larden passed to his kinsman and son-in-law Samuel More of Linley. (fn. 136) In 1622 Samuel, after divorce from Jasper's daughter and the consignment of her bastard children to the Mayflower, (fn. 137) sold the lordship to his father Richard, of Linley. (fn. 138) At Richard's death in 1643 (fn. 139) it reverted to Samuel, who settled it in 1650 on his son Richard. (fn. 140) When Richard died without legitimate issue in 1698 (fn. 141) it passed successively to his brother Robert (d. 1719) (fn. 142) and Robert's son Robert (d. 1780). (fn. 143) Robert left Larden to his illegitimate son Thomas Willes (fn. 144) (d. 1804), who changed his name to More and left the manor to his son R. H. G. More. (fn. 145) The Revd. R. H. G. More (d. 1880) left it to his nephew R. J. More of Linley, (fn. 146) who sold the estate in separate lots in 1895. (fn. 147)
Larden Hall, in 70 a. of grounds, was bought by Charles Bishop, purchaser of the Shipton estate, (fn. 148) and sold c. 1897 (fn. 149) to Col. F. A. Wolryche-Whitmore (d. 1927), whose widow gave it to their son J. E. A. Wolryche-Whitmore in 1931. (fn. 150) The son sold it in 1938 to Jasper More, R. J. More's grandson, who sold it in 1944 to T. F. M. Corrie. Corrie had just acquired the Moorhouse and in 1945 added the Poplars (in Stanton Long) and Larden Grange, thus creating a new Larden Hall estate of 805 a., which he sold in 1947 to Albert Curry of Theddingworth (Leics.). Curry sold the Moorhouse in 1951, the Poplars in 1952, (fn. 151) and Larden Grange c. 1958 (fn. 152) but remained at Larden Hall in 1990.
Larden Hall incorporated a late 16th-century two storeyed timber framed range. In 1607 Jasper More added a three storeyed stone wing at right angles. (fn. 153) The ground floor comprised a hall, parlour, and kitchen in 1614. (fn. 154) The house was demolished in 1968, the timbers intended for export to the United States of America. (fn. 155) A smaller brick house designed by Graham Goatley was built on the site in 1969. (fn. 156)
Hamon of Larden (fl. c. 1245) (fn. 157) was lord of OVER LARDEN, (fn. 158) which he held of Wenlock priory. His son William (fl. 1274) succeeded before 1255. (fn. 159) By 1306 the estate, or part of it, seems to have been annexed to the Moorhouse: Richard, son of Richard of the Moorhouse, was then the priory's tenant of lands in Larden. (fn. 160) Roger More (fl. 1346-78) of the Moorhouse, chaplain, had property in Over Larden, (fn. 161) apparently including a chief house that he leased out in 1360. (fn. 162) William Moorhouse had a freehold in Over Larden in 1409. (fn. 163) So did Thomas Ludlow of the Moorhouse in 1540 (fn. 164) and George Ludlow in 1632; (fn. 165) the Ludlows' property at Over Larden included a house in 1581. (fn. 166) By 1801 (fn. 167) the Moorhouse estate included land that lay in 1919 as a detached and compact area of 134 a. (54 ha.) adjoining the grounds of Larden Hall and centred on buildings called Upper Barn, (fn. 168) the possible site of Over Larden's chief house. That land, severed from the Moorhouse in 1951, was sold in 1953 by Albert Curry of Larden to Maj. C. R. N. Bishop of Shipton. (fn. 169)
In 1199 Otes of Larden held ¼ virgate at 'la More', (fn. 170) which adjoined the fields of Brockton c. 1300. (fn. 171) The MOORHOUSE, mentioned in the late 13th century, (fn. 172) was presumably named from that area. Thomas of the Moorhouse was mentioned in 1305 (fn. 173) and Richard (fl. 1322), son of Richard of the Moorhouse, was Wenlock priory's tenant there in 1306. (fn. 174) Roger of the Moorhouse or de la More (fl. 1355) was mentioned in 1320. A chaplain called Roger of the Moorhouse or More (fl. 1346-78), probably Roger's son, was living at the Moorhouse in 1375. He was succeeded by William Moorhouse or More (fl. 1352-1422), son of Isabel de Knoville, who was probably the chaplain's sister. (fn. 175)
It seems to have been William Moorhouse's son Richard More (fl. 1409-22), (fn. 176) who bought the lordship of Nether Larden in 1434, (fn. 177) but the further descent of the Moorhouse is uncertain before 1518. In 1505 Maurice Ludlow and his daughter Joan Walwen confirmed their estate at the Moorhouse to Maurice's son Lawrence. (fn. 178) In 1518 John Godfrey's daughter and coheir Agnes quitclaimed the reputed manor of the Moorhouse to Lawrence. (fn. 179) At his death in 1538 Lawrence Ludlow held it of Wenlock priory in fee. He was followed successively by his sons Thomas (fn. 180) (d. 1581), Maurice (d. 1595), (fn. 181) and presumably Rowland. (fn. 182) Rowland's son Thomas succeeded, and in 1626 Thomas's sister and heir Jane, with her husband James Hall, conveyed the Moorhouse to Thomas's son George (d. 1670), (fn. 183) who was followed by his son George. (fn. 184) George Ludlow died in 1677 (fn. 185) leaving his daughters Anne, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Frances as coheirs. In 1684 Anne settled her share on her husband John Holloway, who bought Frances Ludlow's share in 1691. The share of Elizabeth (Mrs. Baugh) was divided at her death, before 1721, between John Holloway and his daughter Elizabeth. Katherine (Mrs. Rawlins) left her share, by will dated 1716, to a trustee; it apparently passed before 1721 to John Holloway's daughter Dame Anne Oxenden, for she then, with her father and sister Elizabeth Holloway, sold the reputed manor to Samuel Edwards (d. 1738). (fn. 186)
Samuel Edwards's trustees sold the estate in 1745 to Thomas Mytton, lord of Shipton (d. 1752), who left it to his daughters Amy (d. 1763) (fn. 187) and Anne. In 1779 Anne conveyed it to trustees, who sold it in 1782 to Maj. Richard Grant of Shrewsbury (d. 1788). (fn. 188) His son Richard sold the Moorhouse in 1802 to Richard Corser of Aston Munslow. At Corser's death in 1824 it passed to his son Richard (d. 1825) (fn. 189) who left it to his brother John. (fn. 190) At John's death in 1874 the estate passed successively to his son W. R. Corser (fn. 191) (d. 1894) and grandson J. S. Corser, who sold the Moorhouse in 1920 to Jonathan Roberts of Sarn (in Whittington). In 1941 Roberts sold it (311 a.) to Count P. A. W. Münster, who conveyed it in 1942 to his wife. In 1944 Countess Münster sold it to T. F. M. Corrie, who incorporated it into the Larden Hall estate, with which the Moorhouse then descended until bought by G. M. Stokes in 1951. Stokes sold it in 1969 to E. G. Jones of Brockton, who sold the house c. 1973 but retained the land in 1990. (fn. 192)
The present house, renamed Moor (later More) Hall in the early 20th century, (fn. 193) was built of rubble on an H plan facing west. The central range, whose walls may be medieval, contained the hall, which had a cross passage at the lower end and a stack against the rear wall. The two storeyed north wing, which contained two parlours, may have been built or rebuilt in 1571; (fn. 194) its north wall has two chimney stacks which are partly of diaper-patterned brick. A rear staircase wing was built at the same time, in the angle between hall and north wing. Both it and the north wing have roll mouldings at the quoins and in the jambs of a first- floor doorway linking the two. (fn. 195) A date stone of 1626 on the north wing may refer to later alterations, perhaps including the added garderobe tower on the north. There is much early 17th-century panelling in the house. That on the first floor of the central range may have been moved from the floor below, but that in the room over the former 'little' parlour incorporates an heraldic overmantel dated 1652 and may be in its original location. In the 18th century the external doorways of the cross passage were closed and a new doorway was made in the centre of the range. The southern part of the lower floor of the range was probably partitioned off at the same time to form a separate room and the northern part became an entrance hall with a stone flagged floor and reduced fireplace. Early in the 19th century a new staircase was put into the hall and the south wing was demolished, new windows being put into the exposed end wall of the central range. (fn. 196)
An outbuilding south-west of the house is probably of 17th-century origin. It may have been used as a malthouse. A stable with rooms or chambers over it and a mount in the garden were mentioned in 1664. (fn. 197)
In 1255 Skimblescott belonged to Wenlock priory. (fn. 198) It became part of the priory's manor of Oxenbold (called Shipton after 1522), (fn. 199) and in 1548 was presumably conveyed to Sir Thomas Palmer with Shipton manor, (fn. 200) to which it belonged in 1651 and 1783. (fn. 201)
In or after 1230 the terre tenant was called William. His son (fn. 202) Roger of Skimblescott had succeeded by 1255. (fn. 203) Roger's son Roger (fl. 1325) (fn. 204) probably succeeded, perhaps followed by Walter of Skimblescott (fl. 1330-9). (fn. 205) Thomas Clerke of Much Wenlock was the prior's freehold tenant c. 1496 (fn. 206) and was followed by his son Edward. (fn. 207) Thomas Lacon of Willey (d. 1536) (fn. 208) held the freehold by 1521 (fn. 209) and his son Edward succeeded. (fn. 210) On Edward's death in 1564 (fn. 211) it passed to his brother Lancelot (fl. 1567), (fn. 212) of Kenley, (fn. 213) whose son Christopher was in possession in 1576. (fn. 214) Christopher's brother Edward, who had succeeded by 1577, (fn. 215) sold the freehold in 1595 to Francis Newport, (fn. 216) who succeeded in 1598 to Oxenbold manor, (fn. 217) with which Skimble scott descended until the early 20th century. (fn. 218) Lord Barnard probably sold Skimblescott when Oxenbold was broken up c. 1919. (fn. 219)
Three free men, Saemaer (Semaer), Algeard (Eliard), and Edwin, held Brockton in 1066. Earl Roger held it in chief in 1086 and Reynold of Bailleul had a mesne lordship, (fn. 220) which is presumed to have become a tenancy in chief in 1102 on the forfeiture of Earl Robert, and to have passed a few years later, with Reynold's other Shropshire estates, to Alan son of Flaald and thus to the FitzAlans, (fn. 221) overlords c. 1243 (fn. 222) and still in 1507, when Brockton was held (as in 1404) (fn. 223) of their manor of Acton Round. (fn. 224) The overlordship belonged by 1615 to Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk, (fn. 225) having presumably been among the forfeited estates of his half-brother Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, grandson of the last FitzAlan earl. (fn. 226) In 1581, however, Brockton was said to be held of Sir Rowland Hayward as lord of Acton Round, (fn. 227) and Sir George Hayward granted a lease in Brockton in 1613. (fn. 228)
The terre tenant in 1086 was Richard. (fn. 229) Nicholas of Brockton, a tenant of the FitzAlans in 1166, (fn. 230) is presumed to have been lord, as are Robert son of Nicholas (fl. c. 1180) and William son of Robert (fl. 1203). (fn. 231) A William of Brockton, presumably the last named, held land at Brockton in 1203, (fn. 232) as did Hugh of Brockton (fl. 1227) (fn. 233) in 1221. (fn. 234) A lord called John was mentioned in the earlier 13th century. (fn. 235) Robert of Brockton was lord c. 1243 (fn. 236) and his son Thomas of Brockton (d. 1273 × 1280) (fn. 237) in 1255. (fn. 238) A John, perhaps Thomas's son of that name, (fn. 239) was lord in 1280 (fn. 240) and for over a century the manor was held, perhaps continuously, by lords called John, (fn. 241) among whom were John of Aston or le Fourches (fl. 1335-48), (fn. 242) nephew of John of Bromfield, (fn. 243) and John Walford (fl. 1358-81). (fn. 244) Thomas Cotes, however, was described as lord in 1378. (fn. 245) John, son of Sir John Ludlow, was lord in 1395, (fn. 246) and John Burley (d. c.1415) by 1397. (fn. 247) Burley's son William was in possession by 1428. (fn. 248) After William's death without sons in 1458 (fn. 249) the manor was held for life by Margaret Walwen, related to his brother-in-law Reynold, Lord Grey of Wilton. (fn. 250) At Margaret's death in 1491 it was divided between Edward Trussell, grandson and heir of William's daughter Elizabeth, and Joan Lyttelton, William's other daughter. (fn. 251)
When Edward Trussell died in 1499 his moiety passed successively to his son John, who died the same year, and daughter Elizabeth. (fn. 252) Elizabeth predeceased her husband John de Vere, earl of Oxford, at whose death in 1540 (fn. 253) their son John, earl of Oxford, had livery of their estates. (fn. 254) In 1552 the earl sold the moiety to John Stringfellow, (fn. 255) whose son Richard sold it in 1559 to Thomas Spragges. (fn. 256) Spragges sold it in 1563 to Thomas Ludlow of the Moorhouse. (fn. 257)
Joan Lyttelton died in 1504. Her moiety passed to her son Sir William (d. 1507) and then to his son John (fn. 258) (d. 1532), who left it to his son John. (fn. 259) That John sold it in 1546 to Thomas Gower (fn. 260) of Oxenbold and in 1553 Thomas conveyed it to his son Lawrence. (fn. 261) Lawrence Gower sold it to Thomas Ludlow in 1573. (fn. 262)
Ludlow thus owned the whole manor of Brockton at his death in 1581 (fn. 263) and it descended thereafter with the Moorhouse until 1745 when Samuel Edwards's trustees sold the Moorhouse. (fn. 264) They sold Brockton manor in 1746 to Robert More of Larden, whose ancestors had been freeholders in Brockton since the Middle Ages. (fn. 265) The manor descended with Larden (fn. 266) until Brockton and Larden were dismembered in 1895-6. (fn. 267) Lower Brockton Farm (with 327 a.), (fn. 268) probably the chief house, (fn. 269) was sold to Robert Morgan in 1896. (fn. 270) After Morgan's death in 1938 (fn. 271) it passed to David Thomas, (fn. 272) who was succeeded in 1942 by B. G. Thomas, (fn. 273) from whom it passed in 1944 to E. G. Jones, (fn. 274) the owner in 1990. Jones also bought Larden Grange c. 1958 (fn. 275) and the Moorhouse in 1969. (fn. 276) Lower Brockton Farm, renamed the Manor House c. 1989, is built of Aymestry limestone, has two storeys and two symmetrical wings projecting from the rear, and perhaps dates from c. 1700. (fn. 277) The space between the wings was later filled in.
There are remains of a small oval flat-topped medieval motte 200 m. east of the Manor House, with a water-filled ditch fed from the adjoining brook and indications of a bailey on the west side. (fn. 278) In 1895 the site belonged to Lower Brockton farm. (fn. 279)
Between 1256 and 1269 Nicholas, son of Robert of Walton, gave 5s. rent from Brockton to the sacristy of Wenlock priory. (fn. 280) Still payable at the Dissolution, (fn. 281) it was claimed by the Crown in 1567 (fn. 282) and granted in 1568 to George Darcye and James Glasier. (fn. 283)
Before the Dissolution all the TITHES, great and small, of Shipton, Larden, the Moorhouse, Skimblescott, and (under the name 'St. Mildburg's tithes') (fn. 284) of part of Brockton (fn. 285) belonged to Wenlock priory. (fn. 286) Having passed to the Crown in 1540, the grain and hay tithes of those places were conveyed with Shipton manor to Sir Thomas Palmer in 1548 (fn. 287) and resumed by the Crown at his attainder in 1553. They were granted in 1582 to Sir Christopher Hatton, (fn. 288) who sold them next year to John Lutwyche, lord of Shipton. (fn. 289) In 1586 the Crown granted the small tithes to Hatton, who conveyed them immediately to Lutwyche. (fn. 290) All the tithes then seem to have followed the descent of Shipton manor (fn. 291) until after 1823, when all belonged to Mrs. Mary Mytton, (fn. 292) but by 1846 those of the Moorhouse, New House, Larden, Brockton (in Shipton parish), and Skimblescott had been variously alienated. By 1849 all the tithes except those of Skimblescott had recently been merged. (fn. 293)
The parish's highest ground, the ridge that formed its north-western boundary, was occupied in the Middle Ages by Mogg or Monk Forest, (fn. 294) a belt of woodland pasture that extended into Easthope and Rushbury parishes and was intercommoned. In 1530 a boundary was set between the common of Wilderhope (in Rushbury) and that of Shipton, Larden, and the Moorhouse, (fn. 295) and by 1588 Brockton's inhabitants were excluded from the recently inclosed Lutwyche coppices (in Rushbury). By the late 16th century Mogg Forest in Shipton parish had been divided into Shipton, Larden, and Brockton woods; the Moorhouse used Larden wood; (fn. 296) Skimblescott had no share but in the 13th century had been allowed common of pasture on Brockton's meadows and open fields. (fn. 297) In the 16th century Brockton also had a common woodland pasture, called Highley; it evidently occupied rising ground in Stanton Long parish between Brockton brook and Natal common (fn. 298) and was called Brockton common in the early 18th century. (fn. 299) Another waste, 'la More', on low ground south of Brockton, included 'Dademore', 'Frythemore', and the Marsh. Assarting began there in or before the 12th century; ¼ virgate of arable was mentioned in 1199. (fn. 300)
Open-field arable occupied the sloping ground below Mogg Forest. (fn. 301) Shipton had Middle (or Mynde) field towards the Forest, Barn field towards the Moorhouse, and Corve field. (fn. 302) Larden had Low field towards Shipton, (fn. 303) Wood field towards the Forest, and a field towards Brockton. (fn. 304) Brockton had South, North, and East fields. (fn. 305) In 1306 the tenant of the Moorhouse was permitted to get marl in Shipton's fields. (fn. 306)
Shipton manor was worth 30s. 4d. a year in 1086. Arable, with 10 ploughteams, (fn. 309) was probably complemented by sheep farming, which had given the main settlement its name. (fn. 310) In 1291 labour services were still owed, but nearly half of Wenlock priory's revenue of £4 9s. from Shipton consisted of assize rents. (fn. 311) In 1340 it was claimed that the parish had no sheep, much of the cereal crop had perished, and a third of the arable was uncultivated for want of tenants. (fn. 312) By 1370 the priory had stopped cultivating the Shipton demesne, having apparently let it off in small lots; assize rents totalled £10 10s., other income only 13s. (fn. 313) In 1540 the priory's gross rental from lands comprised £10 8s. 10d. from Shipton, £1 8s. 3d. from Larden and the Moorhouse, and 13s. 4d. from Skimblescott. (fn. 314)
Brockton manor was worth 28s. a year in 1066. Later 'waste', it was worth 15s. by 1086. There was then 1½ ploughteam but room for 4 more, (fn. 315) and there were assarts by the late 13th century. (fn. 316) Rents totalled c. £10 in 1404. The chief house and 2 carucates of the demesne were then on lease to John Broadstone, lord of Nether Larden, (fn. 317) but the lord of Brockton had ½ virgate in hand. There were five other ½-virgate holdings and another of 1 virgate, all held at will and with houses in Brockton. There were a few small assarts, mostly held by non-residents, and a larger assart held with one of the ½ virgates. Several vacant tofts (fn. 318) were held at will by a small resident freeholder. In 1573 rents totalled little more than in 1404 but holdings were larger on average, that of the chief house having been reduced. (fn. 319)
Wheat, barley, peas, and oats were grown in the 1370s. (fn. 320) The chaplain who died in 1521 had wheat and oats, oxen, a few cows, pigs, and poultry, and more than 100 sheep. (fn. 321) Some arable had recently been inclosed and converted to pasture at Brockton and Nether and Over Larden, (fn. 322) and there was evidently some pressure on available pastures later in the 16th century; sheep and other animals were stinted on the common by 1553, and in 1567 the inhabitants of Brockton, the Moorhouse, and Larden and of townships in neighbouring parishes were warned against grazing over Shipton's fields. (fn. 323) At Larden in March 1614 Jasper More had 62 cattle, including 12 draught oxen and 20 cows, 10 horses, 178 sheep, and 80 swine; he grew corn, barley, and oats. (fn. 324)
Mogg Forest was gradually inclosed, for example by Thomas More c. 1550, (fn. 325) Maurice Ludlow and Jasper More c. 1580, (fn. 326) and Thomas Mytton c. 1736. (fn. 327) Though some of the earlier inclosures were for coppicing, (fn. 328) New House and Barn farms, near the parish's south-western boundary, may have been created by clearance in the 16th century, (fn. 329) and in 1772 Thomas Mytton's grandson owned at least 60 a. of arable inclosed from the forest. (fn. 330) Part of the common remained open in 1793 (fn. 331) but that may have gone by 1801 when the Moorhouse had 27 a. called Mogg Forest new inclosure. (fn. 332) By 1817 the former forest had virtually no trees in Shipton parish except at the Ditches. (fn. 333)
Inclosure of the open fields, gradual in the 17th century, (fn. 334) seems to have been complete by the late 18th. (fn. 335) Over the same period Shipton and Larden halls ceased to be farmhouses, and other farms were amalgamated. Shipton township had eight farms in 1540, two cottage holdings, and the mill. (fn. 336) Under Henry Mytton, lord of Shipton manor 1688-1731, small farms were absorbed when they fell vacant. (fn. 337) In Shipton township by the early 19th century the farms were those of Shipton Grange (329 a., including two other houses), New House (370 a.), and the Bull's Head (41 a.), besides two cottage holdings; Shipton Hall retained only 23 a. (fn. 338) In the rest of the parish each township had had, probably for centuries, only one or two large farms; in the early 19th they were Larden Grange, (fn. 339) the Moorhouse, (fn. 340) Moorhouse farm, (fn. 341) Lower Brockton, (fn. 342) and Skimblescott. (fn. 343) Larden Hall then had only 17 a. (fn. 344)
At Shipton Grange progressive methods and meticulous accounting were practised c. 1770. Sheep farming was secondary to dairying, and in 1771-2 the farmer sold 5,220 lb. of cheese and 798 lb. of butter. Cattle were usually bought locally but the sheep included Leicesters and others bought at Ashbourne (Derb.). Horses, bought in Leicestershire and elsewhere, included a mare from Robert Bakewell. Apart from the usual cereals and beans, potatoes were produced in quantity for sale and as pig food. Turnip and clover seeds were bought, and lime. (fn. 345) Isolated barns, set by 1833 on the slopes above Shipton and Larden, (fn. 346) are further evidence of improved farming.
In 1846 the parish had equal proportions of arable and grass. (fn. 347) Grass predominated increasingly until the mid 20th century, especially for beef cattle, though sheep remained important. (fn. 348) Lower Brockton, a prize-winning stock farm in 1884, kept Herefords for beef and milk. Its arable used no strict rotation. The local climate was 'backward', late harvests making wheat an economic risk; (fn. 349) in the parish as a whole wheat declined in relation to barley and oats in the late 19th century but recovered in the 20th. (fn. 350)
Shipton mill, mentioned in the 13th century, (fn. 351) stood near the Corve (fn. 352) on a 'flem' (leat) running by Flem meadow and Flem yard. (fn. 353) The mill ground malt and grain in the early 17th century. (fn. 354) By 1655 the flem was clogged and the mill ruined, (fn. 355) but it was mentioned as late as 1707. (fn. 356)
Brockton mill, mentioned in 1256, (fn. 357) rebuilt c. 1400, (fn. 358) and surviving in the later 17th century, (fn. 359) stood in Stanton Long parish, just upstream of Brockton village near Mill bank. (fn. 360) There had evidently been fulling at Brockton in or before the 16th century; Walkmill green was mentioned in 1565. (fn. 361)
Shipton township was part of Wenlock priory's demesne manor of Oxenbold by the mid 14th century (fn. 364) and had two constables in 1522; (fn. 365) Skimblescott, and probably Larden, also went into Oxenbold manor before 1540. (fn. 366) After the dismemberment of Shipton (formerly Oxenbold) manor in the 1540s (fn. 367) jurisdiction over Patton and Corve passed (by 1566) to the new Oxenbold leet (cr. 1544), though their suit was still claimed by Shipton. (fn. 368) Its court appointed two constables, (fn. 369) one for Shipton, the other for Patton and Shipton manor's other 'out hamlets'. (fn. 370) In the 16th and 17th centuries Shipton court baron met twice yearly. Court rolls, drafts, or estreats survive for much of the period 1553-1664. (fn. 371) The court claimed leet jurisdiction by 1553; (fn. 372) beatings, affrays, and bloodshed were presented, (fn. 373) as were breaches of the assize of bread and of ale. (fn. 374)
Brockton manor had one constable in 1413. (fn. 375) Rolls of Brockton court baron survive for several dates 1552-1627, (fn. 376) and Thomas More held a court baron for Brockton in 1784. (fn. 377) The court was concerned solely with agrarian and tenurial matters.
In the early 17th century highway labour was enforced by Shipton manor court. (fn. 378) Shipton, the Moorhouse, and Larden were each liable by custom for their own highways in 1707. (fn. 379) Shipton and Brockton had a surveyor each in 1716. (fn. 380)
The parish had no workhouse, (fn. 381) and was put in Church Stretton poor-law union in 1836, (fn. 382) in which it remained until 1930. (fn. 383) The parish was in Church Stretton highway district 1863-95 except for Skimblescott, which was put in Bridgnorth highway district. (fn. 384) From 1872 the parish was in Church Stretton rural sanitary district, (fn. 385) with which Church Stretton highway district was held to coincide by 1878. (fn. 386) In 1883 Skimblescott, since 1836 the only part of the parish in Wenlock municipal borough, (fn. 387) was added to Monkhopton civil parish and thus to Bridgnorth union and rural sanitary district. (fn. 388)
Shipton C.P. was in Church Stretton rural district 1894-1934, Bridgnorth R.D. 1934-74, and Bridgnorth district from 1974. (fn. 389) In 1970 a joint parish council was formed for Easthope, Shipton, and Stanton Long. (fn. 390)
Shipton, Larden, Brockton, and Skimblescott may have been parts of the minster parish of Much Wenlock in St. Mildburg's time. Brockton may have been attached to Stanton Long parish by c. 1200, whence part of Brockton may have been reunited with Holy Trinity parish, Much Wenlock, c. 1271. (fn. 391) Such changes would account for the geographical isolation of Shipton, Larden, and the part of Brockton not in Stanton Long from the rest of Much Wenlock parish. Parts of Shipton church are 12th-century. (fn. 392) A certain Grenta's claim that Shipton was a separate parish from Much Wenlock was dismissed c. 1110, (fn. 393) but Roger Owayn was called parson of Shipton in the mid 13th century. (fn. 394) In 1275 a chaplain was instituted on the prior of Wenlock's presentation, (fn. 395) but the archbishop ruled in 1282 (fn. 396) that he occupied the chapel unlawfully, and in 1284 the bishop required future chaplains to be appointed by the prior and merely presented to the bishop's official (evidently without institution or induction) and to pay 2s. a year to the vicar of Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock. (fn. 397) No institution or induction was recorded until 1909. (fn. 398) By 1539 weddings and burials were regularly performed; (fn. 399) the vicar of Much Wenlock's claims to exclusive burial rights were ineffective. (fn. 400) In or before 1425 land was charged with maintenance of a lamp in Shipton church for ever. (fn. 401)
In 1535 the prior appointed Alan Clyffe chaplain for life, with a stipend of £2 13s. 4d. and all the tithes of Skimblescott. (fn. 402) Clyffe was still chaplain in 1548 when the grant of great tithes to Sir Thomas Palmer required the impropriator to appoint and maintain a chaplain in perpetuity. (fn. 403) The patronage was later with the Crown, (fn. 404) presumably from Palmer's attainder in 1553 (fn. 405) until it was granted to Sir Christopher Hatton in 1586. (fn. 406) Meanwhile the stipend remained payable by the impropriators: the Crown until 1582, (fn. 407) Hatton 1582-3, and John Lutwyche from 1583. (fn. 408) Lutwyche acquired the advowson in 1586 (fn. 409) and it descended thereafter with Shipton manor. (fn. 410) After R. J. More sold the manorial estate in 1896 (fn. 411) the advowson was said to belong to the purchaser Charles Bishop. (fn. 412) The benefice, a donative chaplaincy, became presentative in 1899 and was called a vicarage from the first institution (1909). (fn. 413) By 1905 the advowson belonged to More's son T. J. M. More (d. 1947). (fn. 414) Mrs. Gladys Lyon had it in 1949 when she transferred it to More's son Jasper (kt. 1979). (fn. 415) The patronage was suspended from 1975 until 1981 when Shipton was included in the new benefice of Wenlock, with Sir Jasper (d. 1987) a member of its patronage board. (fn. 416)
The chaplain William Scaltoke (d. 1521) occupied a well stocked farm at the prior's will. (fn. 417) In the later 16th century the 'curate's house' stood in the churchyard; (fn. 418) 6 a. of arable and 1 a. of meadow belonged to it. (fn. 419) The queen granted the house to Sir Christopher Hatton with the advowson in 1586. (fn. 420) By 1588, however, the chaplain was usually non-resident, (fn. 421) and in 1615 the site was no more than a 'croft or waste place'. (fn. 422) There was no glebe in 1793 and Thomas Mytton (d. 1787) refused an augmentation from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 423) In 1879 there was still no glebe and the chaplain's stipend remained £2 13s. 4d., reputedly the smallest living in England, (fn. 424) but Miss Frances Holland (d. 1883), a relative of the Myttons, left endowments that in 1887 yielded £115 a year for the living. (fn. 425)
Alan Clyffe, chaplain from 1535, was a former monk of Wenlock. Later, as vicar of Kinlet, (fn. 426) his duties at Shipton were presumably done by deputy, as his indenture of appointment allowed. (fn. 427) No chaplain is known to have lived in the parish after Richard Churchman, chaplain c. 1563-1621, became vicar of Stanton Long in 1572; (fn. 428) he did not live at Shipton in 1588 (fn. 429) and was buried at Stanton. (fn. 430) Until 1826 many of his successors (fn. 431) are known to have been clergy of Stanton Long or nearby parishes, (fn. 432) where some certainly lived. (fn. 433) John Gough, however, was bur ied at Shipton in 1639. (fn. 434) Ambrose Phillips, ejected from Westbury in 1646, later ministered at Shipton briefly. (fn. 435)
In 1716 services were weekly. (fn. 436) The stipend was probably insufficient to attract a chaplain. Instead the Myttons paid fees to local clergy to take the services. By the 1790s, however, the Myttons could afford only a service every three weeks in summer and every month in winter, performed by the rector of Willey (living at Much Wenlock) at ½ guinea a time. (fn. 437) R. H. G. More, chaplain 1826-80, (fn. 438) presumably required no stipend or fees because he had a private estate in the parish, on which he lived. (fn. 439) There was a service every Sunday by 1851. (fn. 440) His successors until 1975 were incumbents of nearby parishes (fn. 441) and lived outside Shipton. (fn. 442) Weekly services were maintained in the 1920s and 1930s. (fn. 443) The church was served 1975-81 by clergy of Much Wenlock with Bourton parish (fn. 444) and thereafter by the Wenlock team ministry. (fn. 445) There were two services a month in 1987. (fn. 446)
The small church of ST. James, so dedicated by 1535, (fn. 447) consists of chancel, nave with south porch, and west tower. It is built of coursed rubble with tiled roofs. The nave and tower are rendered externally, as in 1789. (fn. 448) The chancel arch dates from the 12th century; in the nave a blocked south window, a north doorway, and the plain font bowl may be of the same period. The south doorway is an unmoulded rectangular opening of unknown date, its lintel a massive block of rough-hewn stone. The tower was added c. 1200 or a little later. The timber framed belfry stage was presumably added before 1552, when the 'steeple' contained three bells. (fn. 449) About 1300 a two-light window was inserted in the south wall of the nave and two cusped lancets in the north, one of them in place of the north doorway, then blocked. A blocked opening high on the north side of the chancel arch, and a central stone bracket above the arch on the west, indicate a medieval rood loft. Squints of unknown date flank the chancel arch. A plain chest with medieval ironwork remained in 1990 but the attached carvings of c. 1600 and panelled lid, recorded in 1952, (fn. 450) were gone.
The chancel was in 'great ruin' by 1553. (fn. 451) It was demolished and replaced at John Lutwyche's expense in 1589. (fn. 452) Medieval floor tiles in the nave may be from the old chancel. Lutwyche's chancel is probably a copy of its predecessor; the asymmetrical placing of its southern openings and its mixture of styles seem inconsistent with a fresh design of the late 16th century. The two-light south window resembles that of the nave, and the three-light east window also uses a style of c. 1300; the medieval chancel may therefore have been refenestrated with the nave. The chancel's embattled parapet and priest's doorway, square headed, may have copied alterations made to the former chancel in the 15th century. Lutwyche furnished the chancel with glass depicting Elizabeth I's arms and badges; much of it remains in the east window. His trussed-rafter roof also remains. The south porch is contemporary with his chancel but has a round arch of Renaissance pattern.
A communion rail, originally round three sides of the table, and a reading desk and a pulpit were added in the 17th century. The nave had pews of the same period, one inscribed 'AP 1640'; there were also pews in the chancel. The nave roof seems to be 17th- or 18th-century. There are many 17th-century and later memorials to the Myttons and Mores. A west gallery was built after 1789. To light it a medieval south lancet was heightened above the eaves and capped with a dormer. The gallery entrance was a plain external doorway high in the north wall. A barrel organ stood in the gallery by the 1830s. Other 18th- and early 19th-century additions were the funeral hatchment of Thomas More (d. 1804), the royal arms of 1816-37 in front of the gallery, the Commandments and Creed on large canvasses flanking the east window, and a small pedestal font, the ancient one having been abandoned outside.
In the Victorian period the communion rail was altered to span the chancel, a harmonium and choir stalls were provided, the ancient font bowl was reinstated on a new base, and stained glass was fitted in some windows. The character of the nave was much altered 1905-6 when the gallery was removed, the walls stripped of internal plaster, and the pews dismantled to make benches. (fn. 453) The Commandments and Creed were taken down during a general restoration of 1954- 5. (fn. 454)
The three bells are of the 1550s, 1694 (by Ellis Hughes), and 1875. (fn. 455) In 1961 the plate consisted of a silver chalice and cover, perhaps of the 1620s, a plated flagon and paten, and a Norwegian silver tankard given in 1909. (fn. 456) The registers begin in 1539 (fn. 457) and are virtually complete.
Brockton chapel, with land belonging to it, was mentioned in the earlier 13th century (fn. 458) and in the 16th century a 'Lady acre' was said to have once supported a service of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockton 'church'. (fn. 459) Brockton chapel was the lord's personal property in 1552. It was then disused but still stood in 1627. (fn. 460) The attached chapel yard, (fn. 461) mentioned in 1812, (fn. 462) was presumably represented by the later Chapel field immediately south of the castle site. (fn. 463)
Mogg Forest was put on the Hopton Bank Primitive Methodist circuit in 1831 (fn. 466) and the sect had several members in the parish in the late 19th century. (fn. 467) A Convent of the Sacred Heart occupied Larden Cottage 1940-5. (fn. 468) From 1947 to 1951 weekly mass was said at Shipton Hall by Montfort Fathers from Brockhurst (in Church Stretton). (fn. 469)
Ambrose Phillips had a private school c. 1650 (fn. 470) and a master was keeping school in 1678-9, (fn. 471) but there was none by 1716. (fn. 472) A school that opened in 1824 was still active in 1835, when there were 58 pupils; 30 of the poorest were taught at the Revd. R. H. G. More's expense; he also supplied books. (fn. 473) From 1845 children attended Brockton National school. (fn. 474)