A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Chedelingefelt (xii cent.); Chidingefalde (xiii cent.); Chudyngfold (xiv cent.). Twenty-eight different spellings are found.
The parish of Chiddingfold lies between Haslemere and Witley on the west, Godalming and Hambledon on the north, Dunsfold on the east, and Sussex on the south. Part of the parish was transferred to the ecclesiastical parish of Grayswood in 1900. The village is 7 miles south of Godalming. The area is 7,036 acres of land, and 7 of water. The soil is the Wealden Clay, very deep and tenacious in wet weather, but not unfertile. The parish is well wooded. The oak flourishes as usual upon this soil, and the ash is grown commercially for the making of walking-sticks and umbrellas. There are tile and brick works.
Formerly glass-making was largely carried on. The industry was curiously persistent, though not probably continuous, in the neighbourhood. Much Roman glass, some of it now in the museum of the Surrey Archaeological Society at Guildford, has been found in Chiddingfold. Remains of a Roman villa exist, but the glass is more abundant than would necessarily be the case were it merely the rubbish from one house, and probably glass was made here. In the 13th century (c. 1225–30) Simon de Stokas granted land in Chiddingfold, at Dyer's Cross, to Laurence the Glassmaker. (fn. 1) The history of the industry in the 14th century, and under Elizabeth, is dealt with in an earlier volume of this history. (fn. 2) On Thursday after Michaelmas, 1440, John Courtemulle of Chiddingfold was presented and fined for leather-dressing outside a market town. These country industries are continually noted, the same people being fined again and again.
The Godalming Hundred Rolls show that the parish was divided into two tithings of Chiddingfold Magna and Chiddingfold Parva in 1538. Earlier there had been three, Chiddingfold Magna to the west, Pokeford or Chiddingfold Parva to the east, Sittinghurst in the middle, afterwards merged in Chiddingfold Parva. The rolls show (fn. 3) that there were at least eight bridges, Southbrugge or Stonebridge, Middilbrugge, Pokeford Bridge, Bothedenesbrigge, Hazelbridge, Godleybridge, Jayesbridge, and Denebrugge, reparable by the Villa de Chudyngfold, and complaints were constant of the bad state of repair or the flooding of the via regia, the road, no doubt, which runs from Godalming through Hambledon and Chiddingfold into Sussex, which was reparable by certain tenants in Chiddingfold, and easily became impassable on the heavy clay. It was continually submersa, or profunda, or noxia. There are traces of another old road in the parish, running north-eastward towards Dunsfold. The common over which this road goes is always High Street Common on old maps and deeds. Rye Street is parallel to it on the north. There were two mills at Sittinghurst and le Estmull. But the most remarkable presentment to be made at a Hundred Court is that on 29 September 1483, when Richard Skynner of Chiddingfold 'non venit ad missam in festialibus diebus sed vivit suspiciose'; was a Lollard, in short. The lord of the hundred was a bishop, we may remember.
There are no references to common fields in the rolls in Chiddingfold, though they are frequent in Godalming proper. There seem never to have been common fields in the Weald, which was scarcely inhabited, or thinly inhabited only, in 1086 and before then. Nevertheless the common lands of the manor of Godalming within Chiddingfold were inclosed under an award dated 1811, now in the custody of the clerk of the peace.
There is a Congregational chapel, built in 1871, and a small Particular Baptist chapel at Ramsnest Common.
Schools were built at private expense in 1868, and in 1872 at Anstead Brook.
Chiddingfold and its neighbourhood abound in ancient farm-houses and cottages, prominent among which may be mentioned Lythe Hill Farm, with halftimber work of two periods, the richer and later being a gabled wing with square and circle patterns in the timber framing, probably c. 1580; but the main body of the house is at least half a century earlier. The wing is panelled, and has a good mantelpiece of c. 1700. It was owned by the Quenell, Quenel, or Quyneld family, to which, as the name is uncommon, the Quynolds who held land at Ware, Hertfordshire, in the 14th century, may have belonged. They were in Chiddingfold in the 14th and 15th centuries. Peter Quenell, of Lythe Hill, died in 1559, and was buried at Chiddingfold. His father was John Quenell, as was shown by a monument formerly at Haslemere. Peter's eldest son Thomas died in 1571; he married Agnes Irelond. (fn. 4) His brother Robert Quenell succeeded to Lythe Hill. He became owner of the Imbhams iron furnace in Chiddingfold (the works probably reached into Haslemere) after 1574. (fn. 5) Robert died in 1612. (fn. 6) His wife was Elizabeth Hall, heiress of George Hall of Field, Compton, whence the Quenells came to Field. (fn. 7) Their son Peter, who was born in 1580 and died in 1650, was a gentleman of coat armour at the Heralds' Visitation in 1623. He made guns for the king when the Civil War was breaking out, and his son Peter tried to raise a Royalist company in 1642, but it was soon disarmed. (fn. 8) Peter married his cousin Alice Cranley. Their son Peter, born in 1605, served in the king's army, and was nominated as one of the intended knights of the Royal Oak. He died 1666, and was buried at Compton. His son Peter sold Imbhams to William Golden, (fn. 9) and perhaps also sold Lythe Hill.
Hallands is another well-preserved timber house, of the 16th century, smaller, and of a plain oblong plan, with a lean-to against one of the long sides, a great chimney in the centre, having two large open fireplaces, back to back, in the kitchen and parlour on the ground floor, and sleeping apartments on the floor over, the upper story being bracketed out on three sides and the gable ends further projected. The brackets are of a classical scroll pattern.
The Crown Inn, opposite the church, retains a fine 14th-century king-post roof, over what was originally the open hall. A curious feature of the exterior is the canted wing in the rear, the angle of which has been planned askew to conform to the line of an ancient passage way. This wing, which is of massive timber framing, has an overhanging upper story, showing the projecting ends of the floor joists, stiffened with occasional brackets. There is a fine example of the corner-post at the angle of the main front, the bracket of which has been hewn out of the solid butt of a tree. Besides some excellent examples of oakjoisted ceilings and panelling, the interior contains two or three ancient fireplaces, one of which, on the ground floor, has a massive moulded and arched beam over the wide opening. (fn. 10) Two of the adjacent cottages show ancient features, such as four-centred arches of brick to first-floor fireplaces, and half-timber walls.
The manorial rights have always belonged to the lords of Godalming. Chiddingfold was a tithing of Godalming Hundred. (fn. 11) Three tithing-men reported for it in Godalming courts. No separate court was ever held for Chiddingfold as a manor, although Edward I in 1300 granted a fair to the Bishop of Salisbury at his 'manor of Chiddingfold.' (fn. 12) The fair was to be held yearly on the eve, day, and morrow of the Nativity of St. Mary (7–9 September). At the same time the bishop had a grant of a weekly market on Tuesday, but both have long ceased to be held. As living in the royal demesne the tenants were free from tolls elsewhere. (fn. 13) The rents from tenants at Chiddingfold formed a considerable item in the profits of Godalming Manor. The latter included in 1543 the holders of Killinghurst, 'le Crown,' and Pockford, (fn. 14) and in 1601 the rent of assize from free tenants in Chiddingfold amounted to £9 6s. 8½d. (fn. 15)
ASHURST or FRIDINGHURST
(Ayshurst, xiii cent.; Fridinghurst or Ashurst, xvi cent. et seq.).
The site of Fridinghurst manor-house is in Frillinghurst Copse; the Court House is now attached to a labourer's cottage. The existing Court Rolls commence in 1550. The manor contains 1,134 acres, chiefly in Chiddingfold, but also in Thursley (anciently Witley), Shalford, and Hascombe, with reputed members in Witley.
A Stephen de Hassehurst in the 13th century, and Margaret atte Assch and Richard Asshehurst, both holding Frithinghurst Mead at Pockford in the 14th century, are known to have existed. (fn. 16)
There was an ancient manor of Ashurst in Witley which included in 1369 a fishery in Frithinghurst and a meadow called Frithinghurstmead. (fn. 17) Frithinghurstmead was afterwards part of the Fridinghurst property, (fn. 18) but not properly belonging to the manor. It seems that the manor of Ashurst in Witley, with members in Chiddingfold, drops out of sight, while the manor of Fridinghurst, with members in Witley, appears. The history of Ashurst in Witley is as follows:—
Henry of Guildford held land of Queen Margaret, including what was afterwards parcel of Fridinghurst Manor. (fn. 19)
The separate existence of Ashurst Park probably dates from the grant of free warren to Henry of Guildford in his demesne lands of Chiddingfold. (fn. 20) This took place in 1303, and in 1312 Henry of Guildford was returned as holding tenements called Ashurst and Bovelythe (in Thursley) of the Witley manor. (fn. 21)
The park of Ashurst came into the king's possession, but was not always in the same custody as that of Witley until near the end of the 16th century. (fn. 22) In 1363 the farmer of Witley Manor stated in his account that the rent of 16s. 8d. due from the tenant of Ashurst had not been paid for more than eight years because it was held by the king. (fn. 23) Later the manor and park were granted to Adam Pinkhurst, one of the archers of Edward III; (fn. 24) but six months afterwards, in June 1378, Philip Walwayn the elder had a grant of the manor and park for life in lieu of an annuity of £10. (fn. 25) In April 1379 a commission was issued for inquiry touching the persons who, 'in no small number both of horse and foot,' broke into the park, killed and carried away the deer, and intimidated the parker in his lodge. (fn. 26) It is a significant fact that in October of the same year masons, carpenters, and other workmen were repairing Ashurst manor-house. (fn. 27) The house was still under repair in 1385, when Philip Walwayn and William Taillard were given power to take sufficient carpenters and labourers for the work, and to 'imprison the disobedient.' (fn. 28) Walter Bedell had a grant of the manor and park in 1438. (fn. 29) In 1445 the sheriff accounted for Ashurst Park and Manor. (fn. 30) They were granted for life in 1464 to George, Duke of Clarence, who conveyed them, with other lands, to trustees on 'going across the sea in the King's service' in 1475. (fn. 31) In 1479, a year after the attainder of the Duke of Clarence, the same custodian, Thomas Wintershull, held both Witley and Ashurst, described in the singular as 'the manor.' (fn. 32)
Ashurst, in Witley, as a separate manor from Witley, now drops out of sight. Ashurst Park was probably united with Witley Park, to which it seems to have been adjacent (in the hollow to the east of the top of Hindhead). Fridinghurst was probably carved out of members of Ashurst and Chiddingfold by a successful intrusion of the Husseys of Hascombe. For, referring back to 1438, we find Walter Bedell, then appointed custodian, engaged in a suit against Henry Hussey for usurping rents of Ashurst. (fn. 33)
The manor of Ashurst and Fridinghurst came later into the possession of the Forde family. Edmund Forde, who acquired it from Henry Windsor and Eleanor his wife in 1549, (fn. 34) held the first court of which record remains in 1550, and in 1560 Thomas Rythe and Constance his wife and John Hussey further confirmed to Forde. (fn. 35) It passed from Forde to Blackwell. In 1567 Thomas Blackwell held his first court, in 1583 Margaret Blackwell his widow, in 1586 William Blackwell, in 1608 Henry Blackwell. In 1610 Henry and William Blackwell, brothers, sold the manor to John Middleton of Horsham and Thomas Burdett of Abinger for £1,100. (fn. 36) They held their first court in 1611, and conveyed the manor in 1622 to Peter Quenell of Chiddingfold and Thomas Payne of Pitfold. (fn. 37) But in 1625 Henry Hooke of Bramshott held his first court; in May 1679 John Hooke his son, and in 1685 John and his wife Griselda, and their son Henry and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the manor to William Salmon, (fn. 38) who held his first court in 1687. It passed to Salmon's daughter, who married William Bishop. In 1717 William Bishop held his first court, with Elizabeth his wife. In 1725 George Bishop, their son, held his first court; in 1733 William Bishop held a court; and courts were held in this name up to 1778, probably by father and son. In 1783 the court was held in the name of William Bishop, a minor; in 1804 by W. Bishop; in 1835 by his widow and John Cuming Bishop, a minor; in 1877 by Henry Parlett Bishop.
The manor and certain outlying portions bought at various times by the lord are distinguished in conveyances.
GOSTRODE reputed MANOR was held of Poyle in Guildford. Edward of Gostrode held 10 acres of land in Chiddingfold in 1254–5, which he had inherited from his father Alwin of Gostrode, who had it of the grant of Nigel of Littleton. (fn. 39) Later in the same century William of Gostrode was one of the tenants of Poyle for a house and 40 acres of land, not a manor. (fn. 40) His son Thurstan paid relief for a messuage and 52 acres of land in Chiddingfold in 1302–3. (fn. 41) John of Gostrode was the Bishop of Salisbury's bailiff in Godalming about the year 1320. (fn. 42) In May 1325 another William of Gostrode was pardoned for acquiring 7s. rent in Chiddingfold from John de la Poyle without licence. (fn. 43) William died c. 1328, and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 44) who held of the king because of the minority of John de la Poyle. He was probably the one free tenant who held at Chiddingfold of John de la Poyle in 1332. (fn. 45)
After the death of William about twenty years later his son Thurstan of Gostrode inherited tenements in Chiddingfold which were part of Henry de la Poyle's serjeanty in Guildford and Stoke, (fn. 46) and consisted of a messuage, 40 acres of land, and 12 acres of wood. (fn. 47) This Thurstan was still living in 1372. (fn. 48) William Novelt of Gostrode held Dyers in Chiddingfold before William Hammond, who was the tenant in 1547. (fn. 49) The Peytoes preceded the Chalcrofts till 1659. Gostrode was in the possession of John Chalcroft in the 18th century, and passed at his death to one of his sisters, Hannah widow of Richard Hughes. (fn. 50)
Gostrode is now a farm in the south of Chiddingfold belonging to Mr. Luttmare-Johnson.
COMBE BRABIS was held of the manor of Braboeuf in Artington by a rent of 2s. and services, and therefore was separated before the statute of Quia Emptores. It was held by the Purvoch family, and a rental of Thomas Purvoch of 1507 is in evidence. (fn. 51) Laurence Rawsterne, husband of Anne daughter of Thomas Purvoch, jun., son of the abovementioned Thomas, sold Combe in 1546 to William Hammond, (fn. 52) who had other lands in Chiddingfold which passed to Henry Hooke, (fn. 53) clothier, of Godalming. The latter held his first court in 1560, and his son John held a court at Combe in 1571–2 and 1577–8; he sold the manor in 1592 to William Peyto, a yeoman. (fn. 54) John Peyto of Pound, son of William, died seised of the manor of Combe Brabis in 1616. (fn. 55)
John Peyto left two daughters, Anise and Elizabeth. Anise married John Courtneshe of Chiddingfold, yeoman, in 1630, who in 1632 bought Elizabeth's share of the manor. (fn. 56) He held his last court in 1676, and died 1681. (fn. 57) William his son held a court in 1694, and in 1711 conveyed the manor to Henry Welland of Witley, yeoman. (fn. 58) Henry Welland died 1739, (fn. 59) leaving a son Thomas, who held his first court in 1745, and died 1749; his son Thomas died unmarried 1758.
The manor went to Thomas's three cousins Anne, Jenny, and Margaret. Their trustees conveyed two-thirds to Mr. John Leech, of Alton, co. Hants, surgeon, in 1764, and the remainder in 1768. Mr. Leech died in 1778. His son John died intestate 1786. Mr. Leech, his son, by agreement dated 22 September 1803, released to the tenants of the manor all heriots, fines, reliefs, services, &c., and put an end to the manor's existence, they on their part surrendering their common rights in the waste. (fn. 60) Combe Court was built by Mr. John Storer about fifty years after this.
PRESTWICK, otherwise HIGH PRESTWICK, and OKELANDS, otherwise ROOKELAND or NOOKELAND, were dependencies of Catteshull in Godalming. (fn. 61) High Prestwick and Prestwick are tenements which were of some importance in the early history of Chiddingfold. (fn. 62) Robert of Prestwick and William Prestwick witnessed deeds at Chiddingfold in the 14th century. (fn. 63) A little later Sir Thomas Fleming was possessed of a tenement called Prestwick, which included land extending from Fridinghurst to the land of Robert of Prestwick and from Prestwick Hatch to Shoelands. (fn. 64)
But this (Great) Prestwick to the west of Chiddingfold, to which the family of the same name belonged, was not part of the lands of the manor, which was at High Prestwick, and should probably be rightly called Oke or Okelands. A Richard de Oke, or del Hoc, witnessed local deeds in the 13th century. In 1316 Richard Lawrens conveyed land out of the tenement called 'del Ok' to William Frensh. Richard Frensh, heir of William, in 1327 granted to Robert de Prestwick money to be paid out of tenements held of Oke. This brings the Prestwicks first into connexion with Oke, afterwards High Prestwick, to which, perhaps, they gave the name. In 1434 a Robert Prestwick had a life interest in a moiety of the manor. (fn. 65) In 1581 the demesne lands were divided between Thomas Hull and Thomas Ropley. (fn. 66) The farm and land called 'High Prestwick formed part of the estate settled by Sir William Elliott on his wife Joan in February 1620–1. (fn. 67)
The existing Court Rolls date from 1649, after the manor had been divided. Courts were held between 1649 and 1676 by Richard Baker and Robert Elliott, in 1697 and 1711 by Henry Baker and Thomas Elliott. In 1723 Henry Holloway, husband of Elizabeth, only surviving child of Henry Baker, and Richard Elliott held a court. Henry Holloway died in 1755, leaving his property to his daughter's son Stephen Mills. Stephen Mills and Richard Elliott held a court in 1762. Stephen Mills died in 1772. His heir was his sister Mary the wife of William Sadler of Chiddingfold, yeoman. Richard Elliott died in 1785, leaving his moiety to his nephew Thomas Smyth of Burgate. It came eventually to his six daughters in 1837, and they sold in 1838 to Mr. James Sadler, son of William Sadler above. Mr. James Sadler of Cherfold, his descendant, is now, therefore, lord of the whole manor.
There are certain scattered lands in Chiddingfold known as College Lands, which were granted by Sir Thomas St. Leger, brother-in-law of Edward IV, for the formation of his chantry in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, 30 March 1481. (fn. 68) They were in the hands of the chapter of Windsor and then of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and were eventually sold to Mr. Sadler, lord of Prestwick Manor.
The church of ST. MARY, on slightly rising ground in the centre of the village, stands in a beautifully shaded churchyard, entered through a modern lich-gate. The ivy, with which the whole church is overgrown, conceals many features of archaeological interest. A few of the old wooden 'bed-heads' are still to be seen in the churchyard.
The church is built of Bargate stone rubble, with external dressings of the same stone, but the internal masonry is chiefly in clunch and firestone. In Cracklow's view (1823) and in pre-restoration photographs the outside face is shown as covered with a thin coat of plaster, which has been removed, together with most of the 'healing' of Horsham slabs which then covered the greater part of the roofs, an edging only being left at the eaves.
In plan the building consists of nave 39 ft. by 19 ft. 9 in., having aisles 9 ft. 6 in. wide before the restoration, but that on the north has been widened to 17 ft. 9 in., and lengthened a few feet to the west; a wide and shallow south porch, 8 ft. 6 in. by 8 ft.; chancel 34 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 9 in., chapel on the north of the same length, and 11 ft. wide; and west tower about 15 ft. square internally, with a modern heating chamber on the north. Originally the nave and its aisles (as at Alfold) made almost a square.
Between the nave and its aisles are exceptionally lofty arcades of four narrow arches. The chapel originally opened into the chancel by two arches, and by a half arch into the nave; a third, with the intervening pillar, was added to the west in 1870 in the course of a 'restoration' of an exceptionally destructive character. A great deal of the external stonework seems to have been renewed or re-tooled; the chancel arch, an interesting early 13th-century example, was taken down and rebuilt with heightened piers, being made central with the nave, instead of with the chancel, as before. The north aisle was rebuilt on a much extended plan, the windows in the north wall of the chapel were renewed to a different design and shifted. The ancient east windows in the chancel and chapel and those in the south aisle—exceptionally valuable examples of early tracery—were largely renewed in Bath stone, the former being shortened; and the quaint and characteristic 17th-century tower was raised some 14 ft., the whole being dressed up to imitate 13th-century work.
There is some possibility that the nave occupies the same area as a pre-Conquest original, and that portions of its quoins remain in the piers at the angles. This would account for the extraordinary loftiness of the arcade walls—which are no less than 23 ft. in height, the measurement to the top of the capitals of the octagonal pillars being about 14 ft. 8 in. These pillars, which are 1 ft. 10 in. in diameter, have an unpleasantly drawn-out appearance, resembling in this the somewhat similar late nave arcades of Oxted Church. They have octagonal capitals and bases, flatly moulded, and the arches of two orders, a hollow and a chamfer, are slightly four-centred. There is reason to believe that they are as late as the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century, and that they superseded much earlier arcades of normal proportions, with, perhaps, a row of clearstory windows over them, which would be very necessary for the lighting of the nave under the older arrangement. Most probably, with the rebuilding of the arcades, dormer windows were introduced in the nave roof. It seems clear that the southern arcade was shifted 2 ft. to the southward in rebuilding. (fn. 69)
The early church would appear to have remained till the end of the 12th century, when aisles were added to the nave, and the forerunners of the present arcades were pierced through the older walls. These had pillars spaced as the later ones, and probably circular. The old stones—greenish firestone—were reworked and used again with the clunch employed for the new work, and the keelmoulding between quirked hollows that formed the outer order of the first arcades was re-used in part in the northern arches. Part of what may have been one of the earlier capitals was lying loose in the tower some years ago. It was decorated with foliage.
The aisles were probably quite narrow as first built—not more than about 6 ft. 6 in. in. width. The west window of the south aisle remains in its original position, and is a narrow lancet only 7 in. wide. In the early part of the 14th century the outer walls were rebuilt so as to add another 3 ft. to the width, the inner and outer doorways of the porch being moved outwards and rebuilt in the new work. The outer doorway has a pointed arch, with hood-moulding, and shafts having moulded capitals, the abacus of which is prolonged.
Before restoration the porch retained a foliated barge-board and a string-course of 14th-century date. The inner doorway is of plainer character, and a small holy-water stoup of 14th or 15th-century date is in the angle adjoining. To the eastward in the south wall is a square-headed three-light window, which, together with one to the west of the porch, and that in the east end of this aisle, dates from the reconstruction of the aisle in about 1330; the last two, however, had been deprived of their tracery, which has been restored. In the three-light window this was of a net pattern, which is somewhat unusual in conjunction with a square head. (fn. 70) Two shallow tomb-recesses remain in the outer face of the eastern part of this wall. They have segmental-arched heads with mouldings of 14th-century character.
The chancel in its rebuilding, about 1230, was probably greatly extended. It is spacious and lofty, with a stately row of five lancets and a priest's door in the southern wall. The western lancet has a silltransom, below which is a low side window, at present glazed, but the rebate and hooks for the shutter remain. In the same wall, to the east, are a good trefoil-headed piscina of c. 1260, and the original piscina with oak credence shelf, nearer to the altar, which has been turned into an aumbry. This wall and the east wall have a chamfered plinth and the original buttresses, with their stone water-tables, in good preservation.
The work to the chancel was either altered soon after its erection, or, more probably, resumed after suspension for lack of funds or some other reason. Then, in about 1260, the north chapel was built, and the present east window put in the chancel. It will be noted that the wall between the chancel and chapel is thinner than the outer walls, which seems to indicate that the two had been planned at the same time, although built with an interval. The eastern part of the partition wall is blank; the western has two pointed arches of two orders—a chamfer and a hollow—resting upon an octagonal column and semioctagonal responds, only the column having a capital and base of plain section. The space to the westward was pierced in 1870 with another smaller arch, thus making a second column in place of the respond. The windows of this chapel are practically new, except that in the east wall, which has been renewed upon the old lines. It is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head. The east window of the chancel, very gracefully proportioned, of three trefoiled lights with three trefoiled circles over, within an inclosing arch and hood-moulding, is a most valuable example of its period, c. 1260. In 1870, very reprehensibly, its lights were shortened about 18 in. There was a circular gable-light in the east wall before 1870, of which a modern copy, as an unpierced panel, has been preserved.
The chancel arch had originally low responds, which were raised about 3 ft. when the whole arch was shifted and reconstructed in 1870. The arch itself, which is of two orders, with bold roll and hollow mouldings on its western and chamfers on the eastern face, has been rebuilt on the original lines. The outer order of the jambs has a roll moulding with good stops, and the capitals, of a fine bold section, have their abacus continued as an impost to the outer order of the arch. (fn. 71)
It is somewhat difficult to fix a date for the tower before the alterations of 1870 masked its character, but the 17th century may be hazarded approximately, as its windows before they were altered had segmentalarched heads, and there was a parapet with obelisks at the angles, resembling that at the neighbouring church of Witley. It may have superseded an earlier stone tower, or perhaps one of timber.
The north aisle in its present form is entirely new, save for the lancet of c. 1200 rebuilt in its west wall, and is of discordant character—especially so a wheel window in its east gable. Originally this aisle had a lean-to roof like that of the north chapel.
The roof over the chancel is in the main that of the 13th century, and still retains its richly-moulded cambered tie-beams and king-posts. The nave roof, also with moulded tie-beams and wall-plates, is perhaps as old, but owing to the great height it is difficult to speak with certainty. The aisle and chapel roofs appear to have been renewed in 1870.
At this time also the seating and fittings generally were renewed, but a few old seats, perhaps as old as the 17th century, were worked in; and in the vestry is preserved one of much older date, with scrolled tops to the ends, resembling in design the remarkable late 13th-century nave seats at Dunsfold hard by. A Jacobean communion-table now stands in the vestry. There is a 13th-century font, disused, besides the modern one.
The church contains few ancient monuments, but in the churchyard is the grave of the mother of Dr. Young, the author of Night Thoughts.
The registers date from 1563.
Among the church plate are a cup and paten of 1661 (probably a thank-offering by Dr. Layfield on his reinstatement in the rectory after a long persecution by the Puritans), and a handsome silver flagon of tankard shape, bearing the hall-marks of 1747.
Of the eight bells one is probably of the second half of the 15th century, and is inscribed in black letter:—
Sancts. Trinitas Ora Pro Nobis
The second is by Richard Eldridge, 1622; the third by Bryan Eldridge, 1656; the fourth by Samuel Knight, 1699; and the tenor by William Eldridge, undated. Of the three modern bells one is by Mears & Stainbank, 1870; two by Warner & Sons, 1894.
The church is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. Chiddingfold was then parochially part of Godalming, of which it was later a chapelry. It was in existence late in the 12th century, for circa 1180 Ralph de Lechlade granted the church of Chiddingfold with the chapel of Piperham (i.e. Haslemere) to his clerk, Geoffrey de Lechlade, to hold for an annual pension of 1 lb. of wax; and a vicar was instituted in 1185. (fn. 72) Again, a few years later, Savaric, Archdeacon of Northampton, bestowed the church and chapel upon Richard son of Richard for a similar rent to Ralph de Lechlade. (fn. 73) A pension of 2 marks was conveyed, after the death of Ralph, to Thomas de Chebeham by Philip, Canon of Heytesbury, of which prebend Godalming was a member. (fn. 74) In a survey of Godalming Rectory taken in 1220 Chiddingfold is still called a chapel, the chaplain being appointed by the rector of Godalming, to whom he paid 100s. yearly, while the pound of wax was still due to Godalming Church. (fn. 75) In 1291, however, the church of Chiddingfold with its chapel was assessed at £20. (fn. 76) The right of presentation rested with the Deans of Salisbury, until it was transferred to the Bishop of Winchester when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners acquired Godalming Rectory in 1846 (q.v.).
In 1852 the advowson was transferred from the Bishop of Winchester to the Bishop of Lichfield, (fn. 77) and, finally, in May 1872, was exchanged with the Crown, in whom the right of presentation is now vested. (fn. 78)
Henry Smith's Charity applies to this parish, and was augmented by an annuity of 10s., paid by the parish officers since the sale of Poors' Land for the benefit of the new workhouse circa 1794, but this has not been paid for many years. Ballard's (before 1850) and Callingham's (1898) charities are for the repair of graves, the residue distributed to the poor, &c.