A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Generally Chalvedon down to xviii cent.; Chaldon (xvi cent.); Chaldron (xviii cent.).
Chaldon, a small parish lying on the chalk downs, measures about 2 miles from north to south and 1½ miles from east to west. It contains 1,643 acres, and the population in 1901 was only 266. (fn. 1) It is bounded on the north by Coulsdon, on the east by Caterham, on the south by Blechingley, on the west by Merstham. Although over a large area the chalk is crowned by clay with flints, the soil is generally exceedingly poor. The water supply is small and intermittent, and apt to fail in summer. The late Viscount Hylton connected his farms and cottages with the East Surrey Water Company's mains; otherwise the supply depends upon the shallow wells and ponds, filled in a wet season and empty in a dry one. At White Hill, on the borders of Chaldon and Caterham, the chalk rises to 760 ft. above the sea, and commands fine views over the Weald. The parish is wonderfully rural and sequestered considering it is under 20 miles from London. The church and Chaldon Manor farm form a picturesque group with a background of trees, and the curious wall painting in the church, recovered in 1870, now attracts a certain number of visitors. There is no village of Chaldon.
At the foot of the chalk, in the Upper Green Sand, to the edge of which the parish extends, are quarries of Merstham stone, formerly of sufficient importance to have led to the appointment of a bailiff of the works by the Crown in 1359. (fn. 2) This was at the time when Edward III was using stone from similar quarries in the neighbourhood for work at Windsor. The woods above the quarries are called Quarry Hanger. Chaldon forms an exception to the almost universal rule that in a parish which has part of its lands on the chalk and part on the next strata the church and manor-house are on the land next the chalk. But in this case Chaldon extends a very little way beyond the chalk, and only crosses the narrow Upper Green Sand by a few yards.
No distinct record of prehistoric remains seems to exist, but the neighbourhood of White Hill on the borders of Chaldon and Caterham has yielded flints. The site of Chaldon Church and Manor House, on a hill 500 ft. above the sea, suggests a primitive 'high place 'for both worship and defence. A lane in the west part of the parish, and its continuation near Willey Farm, seems to have borne the name Pilgrims' Lane before the ordnance maps were made, and it continues along the down in a rather circuitous route, but following a generally west and east direction near the southern face of the hill in a way which allows it to be recognized as part of the great west and east road along the chalk. The ordnance maps mark it as Pilgrims' Way.
In a deed quoted by Manning and Bray, (fn. 3) Gilbert son of Odo de Stansted granted to the chaplain of Watenden land lying between 'the King's Highway and the way from Colesden to Blechingley in valle and the ancient Stansted towards the South.' The way from Coulsdon to Blechingley is the road by Willey Heath, White Hill Lane and Brewer Street, the eastern boundary of Chaldon parish in part of its course. The Pilgrims' Way, so called, was presumably the King's Highway of this deed. Stanstead may refer to the diagonal road which there is reason to suppose came through Reigate and Gatton, which would then join the north and south road through God-stone. (fn. 4)
Mr. Bernard Godfrey, a principal landowner in the parish, lives at Quarry Mount, White Hill. The Rookery is the seat of Mr. A. F. T. Holder. In the house are a few traces of mediaeval work, including a vaulted stone undercroft with segmental arched doorways and aumbry. Quarry House is the residence of Mr. H. E. Broad. The rectory-house was built in 1760.
No school is on record between about 1714 (fn. 5) and 1871, at which latter date a mixed school was built at the expense of Mr. Edward George on land given by him. It was enlarged in 1903.
Land in Chaldon formed part of the alleged grant to Chertsey Abbey by Frithwald, subregulus of Surrey, and Bishop Erkenwald (fn. 6) in 675, and was confirmed by a charter of King Edgar (967) (fn. 7) and by one of King Edward in 1062. (fn. 8) In 1086, however, it is stated that Dernic held the manor of CHALDON of King Edward, and at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held by Ralph Fitz Turold of Odo Bishop of Bayeux. (fn. 9) With other lands held by Ralph Fitz Turold of the Bishop of Bayeux it is subsequently found attached to the honour of Rochester Castle. (fn. 10)
A Sir William Covert is said by Samson Lennard, Blue Mantle Pursuivant, who died in 1633 and made a pedigree of the Covert family, to have been lord of Chaldon in the time of Henry II, (fn. 11) but this is very doubtful. Merton Priory had lands in Chaldon by grant of William Hansard in 1201, and subsequently a John Hansard and Gundreda his wife granted the manor of Chaldon to Roger de Covert, (fn. 12) to be held of them apparently by the service of two knights' fees. (fn. 13) Roger de Covert granted it back to John and Gundreda for the term of their joint lives. (fn. 14) John Hansard died in 1275, (fn. 15) when the overlordship was acquired by his nephew James, who claimed to be his heir. (fn. 16) In 1297–8 Roger de Covert died seised of Chaldon, held of James Hansard by service of two knights' fees and rent of 1d. (fn. 17) Nothing more is heard of the Hansard family in connexion with Chaldon. Roger de Covert left a son and heir John, during whose minority Edmund Earl of Cornwall held the manor. (fn. 18) In 1329 a suit was brought against Thomas de Covert by Margaret de Gedding, who apparently had a term of years in the manor of Chaldon. (fn. 19) In 1350 Baldwin Covert son of Sir John died without male issue, and was succeeded by his uncle Richard, (fn. 20) in whose family the manor continued (fn. 21) until 1475, when William Covert of Sussex released all right in it to Thomas St. Leger, James St. Leger and others, (fn. 22) apparently in trust for Anne widow of another James St. Leger, and at that date widow of John Ellingbridge, who presented to the church as widow of John Ellingbridge in 1476. (fn. 23) John Ellingbridge, who died in 1473, was succeeded by his grandson Thomas, son of his son Thomas who predeceased him. (fn. 24)
This Thomas died 26 March 1507, and the manor afterwards passed to John, his posthumous child, who died an infant on 26 December 1507. Anne an elder sister of John was his heiress. (fn. 25) She married Sir John Dannett and their son Leonard (fn. 26) owned the manor in 1579. (fn. 27) The following year he sold it to John Southcott, justice of the Queen's Bench, (fn. 28) who held it of the queen as of the honour of Rochester Castle and died seised in 1585, leaving a son and heir John. (fn. 29) It was settled on the marriage of John Southcott with Mary Paston in 1709, and continued in the Southcott family (fn. 30) until 1727, when, under an Act of Parliament (fn. 31) for the sale of John Southcott's estates, Sir Edward Southcott and others sold it to Paul Docminique of Merstham. (fn. 32) He died in 1735, and Charles, his only surviving son, dying without issue the estate passed to his cousin Paul Humphreys, son of Paul Docminique's sister Rachel, and at his death in 1751 to Paul's sister Rachel. (fn. 33) She settled it on her second husband, the Rev. John Tattersall, (fn. 34) but it was conveyed the same year to his brother, the Rev. James Tattersall. (fn. 35) He devised it in 1784 to Edmund Estcourt and Mr. Tinkler in trust for sale, and it was purchased in 1788 by William Joliffe, whose son Hylton Joliffe was the owner in 1808. (fn. 36) From him it has descended, as Merstham, to his brother's great-grandson, the present Viscount Hylton.
The manor farm, which stands on the high ground by the church, is a very old house. The walls are built of chalk and flints, plastered for the most part, and a gable on the east front has an oak barge-board, much weather-worn, feathered with sub-cusping of early 14th-century character, probably the oldest of its kind in the county. In the rear (upper floor) is a massive moulded roof truss of the same early date, and among the other ancient features are a cellar, a 16th-century open fireplace, a half-timber wing, and a ceiling with oak beams.
TULLESWORTH (Towlesworth, xvi cent.) formed part of the possessions of the priory of Merton, (fn. 37) to which it seems to have been granted previous to the reign of John, for in 1201–2 William Hansard and his wife Avelina granted to Walter, Prior of Merton certain lands in Tullesworth lying next the grange of the prior. (fn. 38) It remained with the convent (fn. 39) until its dissolution in 1538, when it passed into the hands of the king, in whose name courts were held from 1541 to 1547. (fn. 40) In 1541 Henry VIII granted to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, in frankalmoign, a portion of the tithes of the mill, (fn. 41) and in 1542 leased the manor to Richard Aynescombe for twentyone years. (fn. 42) Two years later he granted it in fee with the wood called Okeley Copp pertaining to the said manor to Sir William Forman, Sir William Roche and others for the sum of £900, (fn. 43) probably in trust for John Roche, to whom Elizabeth granted licence to alienate it in 1562. (fn. 44) This was evidently for the purposes of a settlement, for in 1602 the queen made a re-grant of it to John and Thomas Roche and the heirs of Thomas, (fn. 45) and in 1607 Thomas Roche conveyed it to Gabriel Aynescombe, yeoman. (fn. 46) In 1632 he died seised, leaving four daughters, upon the eldest of whom, Catherine, he had settled the manor of Tullesworth on her marriage with Thomas Smith. (fn. 47) In 1648 Thomas and Catherine Smith conveyed the estate to William Lambert and Patience his wife, (fn. 48) the third daughter of Gabriel Aynescombe. (fn. 49) Patience appears to have married secondly Robert Roane, (fn. 50) and it was probably their son Thomas who suffered a recovery of the manor in 1685. (fn. 51) In 1690 Robert Roane made a settlement of it (fn. 52) on his marriage with Elizabeth daughter of Henry Bartlett. Elizabeth died in 1701 and was buried in Chaldon Church. Robert by his will dated 1710 devised Tullesworth Manor to his son Thomas, who in 1724 sold it to Paul Docminique. Since then it has passed with Chaldon Manor. (fn. 53)
The farm-house of Tullesworth, probably of the 17th century, is a good specimen of a small manor-house.
The manor of WILLEY (Willwyke, xiv cent.), of which the first records appear to be in the 14th century, was then held of Battle Abbey in socage by a rent of 50s. (fn. 54) as of their manor of Limpsfield. This rent had, however, apparently ceased to be paid before the dissolution of the abbey, as there is no mention of Willey among the abbey's possessions in the Valor Ecclesiasticus or in the Ministers' Accounts for the abbey's lands after its dissolution. At the beginning of the 14th century Willey was held of the abbot by the Warbleton family. (fn. 55) In 1317 an order was issued to the escheator on this side Trent to deliver to Eleanor, late the wife of Thomas Warbleton, tenant in chief, certain property in Willey, co. Surrey, which the king had assigned to her as dower from her husband's lands. (fn. 56) In 1332 John de Warbleton died seised of the 'tenement called Willwyke,' (fn. 57) held of Battle Abbey in socage, leaving a son and heir John.
Margaret widow of William Warbleton died in 1484 seised of the manor held of John, Abbot of the monastery of St. Martin of Battle. She died childless and the manor passed to William Puttenham. (fn. 58) In 1552 Sir Thomas Cawarden had it by grant from John Cooke. He obtained a confirmation of the grant of free warren made to John de Warbleton and in the following year devised Willey to John Browne and Alice his wife. In 1613 John Browne, jun., conveyed the manor to Richard Bettenson, (fn. 59) who died seised in 1624, having left the property to Thomas, his younger son. (fn. 60) Thomas sold it in 1640 to his elder brother Sir Richard, who settled it on his son Richard on his marriage with Albinia daughter of Sir Christopher Wray. This Richard predeceased his father, leaving a son Edward who succeeded to the title and estates. He died unmarried in 1733, and his eldest sister Albinia, wife of Major-Gen. Selwyn, was his heir. The following year she sold the manor to Sir William Clayton, bart. (fn. 61) The Clayton family held it till a little after the death of Sir William Clayton in 1866, when it was sold, and it is now divided among several owners. About the same time there was an inclosure of Willey Heath. Several small houses have been built upon parts of the land. (fn. 62)
STANSTEAD was a small holding in Chaldon parish. Among the charters of the hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, Southwark, there are several undated entries of grants and confirmations of grants of land to the hospital by Odo son of Gilbert of Stansted, part of which 'Luke, capellanus de Watendon,' held in fee of Odo in Stansted, paying annually 8s. 4d. for all services except services due to the king. (fn. 63) At the time of its dissolution the monastery had 20s. rent in Caterham and Chaldon. The king granted this farm to Sir Richard Longe for life, and in 1544 he granted to William Sackville in fee the reversion of all the lands which Sir Richard Longe held for life, inter alia a tenement called Stansted in the parish of Chaldon, co. Surrey. (fn. 64) Stanstead then for some time descended with Caterham Manor (fn. 65) (q.v.).
Mr. George Roffey of Camberwell left Stanstead by will in 1709 to his daughter Joan with remainder to his nephew George Roffey, who succeeded. The Roffey family sold it in 1770, but in 1779 Edward Roffey had a lease for forty-two years of Chaldon and Tullesworth. (fn. 66) The house now called Stanstead is in Caterham parish, near the boundary. It is distinctly called a holding in Chaldon, and the land may of course have been in both parishes.
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL, which is renowned for the possession of perhaps the most interesting ancient wall-painting in England, is built of field flints, chalk and firestone rubble, with dressings of firestone from Merstham and Bath stone in the modern work. In plan it consists of a short nave with an extraordinarily high-pitched roof, 27 ft. by 17 ft. 3 in., co-extensive aisles 6 ft. 3 in. wide, south porch and modern vestry on the north, small chancel between 13 ft. and 14 ft. square and south chapel about the same in length by 8 ft. 9 in. The north aisle also had a chapel, now destroyed. Over the west end of the south aisle is a low tower, originally a mere bellcote, but raised in 1843 and a slender shingled spire added.
In the nave and chancel, without the aisles and chapel, the simple original plan of the 11th-century church is to be found. Of this first period the lofty west wall of the nave, with its extraordinarily highpitched roof and a solitary wide round-headed window (fn. 67) with the corresponding east gable, are the only visible evidences, the chancel preserving nothing but its diminutive plan. Towards the close of the 12th century the south aisle was added, the little lancet in its west wall, with radiating splay, and the two arches opening from the nave being the chief architectural features. The central column, its capital and base are circular, the abacus of the capital having a rectangular upper member with quirked hollow below, repeated as an impost to the east and west responds. The chamfered square arch sits awkwardly on this at the angles. It is probable that the chapel of St. Catherine was built at the same time, as the arch from the aisle and its southern window, with rounded internal head, suggest, but practically rebuilt in the early part of the 14th century. It has the remains of an original piscina; another of plain square shape with a circular bowl being in the southern part of the east wall of the chancel (fn. 68) and traces of a third in the east respond of the north arcade, all of late 12th or early 13th-century date.
In about 1220 a similar narrow aisle was added on the north of the nave and a chapel, now no more, built to the north of the chancel. The only trace remaining of this chapel is part of an arch, with an elegantly moulded corbel, left open, in the chancel wall. This has similar mouldings to the corbels which carry the inner order of the nave north arcade. The capital and base are moulded. The arch-orders are chamfered and the treatment of the respond chamfers piercing the impost is unusual. (fn. 69)
In about 1330 the lancet windows of this aisle were replaced by larger two-light openings with square heads, the sub-arches ogee trefoiled, with a demi-quatrefoil over, and a blocked window in the north wall of the chancel, inserted when the north chapel was destroyed and the arch before described blocked up, seems to have been of the same character, but with a pointed head. The east window of the south chapel, of about the same date, is of two ogeetrefoiled lights with an ogee-quatrefoil above, beneath a quatrefoil. The tracery has, unfortunately, been renewed in Bath stone, together with that of the north aisle windows. The design has been preserved with the exception of some pleasing irregularities which gave character to the old work. The doorway of the north aisle appears to be of the same date.
The east window of the chancel, of three wide lights, with super-tracery of somewhat poor character —disproportionately large for the tiny chancel—and the chancel arch both date from about 1460. The thinness of the east wall, which leaves hardly any internal splay to the window, increases the bad effect of the window, and the chancel arch is equally clumsy. It has semi-octagonal columns with capitals and bases, and shallow hollows alternating with a deep-cut hollow in the mouldings of the arch, which is somewhat acutely pointed for the date. The enormous size of the arch stones is noteworthy, contrasting as they do with the small voussoirs of the earlier arcades.
The south porch, which is unusually roomy for so small a church, appears to date from the 13th century but to have been partially reconstructed early in the 16th, when the present entrance and also the inner doorway were made. The half-timber gable end (restored) is of the same date. The splay on the right hand outer jamb of the porch doorway is curious. The inner doorway has a four-centred arch set within a square head, with sunk spandrels, but without a hood moulding. Its roof is ancient, of rough oak timbers. The other roofs of the church are modern.
Eastward of the porch is a characteristic two-light window with four-centred heads, inserted at the beginning of the 17th century, evidently replacing an early lancet.
In 1827 a repair seems to have taken place, as this date is cut upon the sill of the east window. The tiny tower at the south-west angle was raised and the spire added in 1843, as before mentioned, and in 1870–1 a general restoration of the church was effected. It was then that the wonderful painting covering the entire width of the west wall of the nave was brought to light and preserved. Unhappily, a figure of a demon on the respond of the north arcade was destroyed by the workmen. It seems to have had some relation to the great subject on the west wall. (fn. 70)
This painting, which dates from the last decade of the 12th century, is unique as to its subject in England, but Mr. Waller shows it to have been executed in accordance with a scheme originating in the East, preserved to us in the 'Guide to Painting of the Greek Church,' as used by the monk-painters of the monasteries of Mount Athos. (fn. 71) The title of one of the subjects in these formulae is 'The Ladder of the Salvation of the Soul and the Road to Heaven,' and this may be given as the title of the Chaldon painting. It is 17 ft. 3 in. long by 11 ft. 2 in. high, and is painted in tempera in thin dark red outline, the background of the figures being afterwards rubbed in with a paler red. A pinkish colour is used to distinguish some of the demons and in a few other places white has been applied to their eyes, and pale yellow ochre appears in the cloud-borders and hair, &c. In the centre of the painting is the Ladder of Salvation (pale yellow in colour) rising from earth to Heaven, at the foot being a palmette ornament (the emblem of life) and at the top within a circle the Vision of God—Christ, with hand upraised in blessing, and cruciform nimbus, bearing the cross against His left shoulder. This is set within a circular aureole, against a cloud, representing Heaven or Paradise, upon which the sun and moon are depicted. Over this and forming the top border to the picture is a zigzag riband, counterchanged white and yellow, with red diamonds in the upper angles. Another horizontal band of ornament divides the picture centrally. It is intended to represent the clouds between the earth and the nether world and Heaven. The ladder is thus made to separate four compartments. That at the bottom on the left has for its principal subject Hell Cauldron, in which two monstrous demons with two-pronged forks are stirring up a batch of souls in a great threelegged pot standing over the flames, and another little figure is being thrown in headlong. (fn. 72) One demon is white with a cat's head, wide mouth and lolling tongue; the other of a reddish colour with upturned nose and sharp teeth; both have clawed feet. Two smaller demons are tormenting other souls before they are cast into the cauldron; one, like a dog, is lying on its back and biting the feet of the little figures; another dog-like beast on the right is biting the hand of a woman who gave food to the dogs that should have been given to the poor. Holding on to the red demon is a man who carries in his right hand a large bottle and pilgrim's staff and wallet, which seems to depict the sin of drunkenness—a vice doubtless not unknown to the pilgrim. Next to the ladder is another great white demon with hooked nose, apelike tail and cloven hoofs, who bears a figure over his shoulder on a two-pronged fork. He is engaged in plucking off the ladder the souls who are striving to climb up it, and has succeeded in dislodging ten, who are falling down headlong and in other realistic attitudes. Behind him are two whom he has thrown to the tormentors—a man and a woman, holding between them a horn, the woman displaying a piece of money in her open hand. Illicit gains—the wages of sin—may be the moral of this incident. (fn. 73) A cross beneath this division is, no doubt, a consecration cross.
In the bottom compartment to the right two demons, one coloured a pale tint, the other yellow, with clawed feet, hooked noses and wide, open jaws, full of teeth, are holding the 'bridge of spikes,' across which, in opposite directions, five souls are essaying to pass, illustrating the occupations of life. The first, a man, holds a bowl of milk; the next two, females facing each other, appear to be holding a ball of wool and some uncarded flax; the fourth carries a mason's pick; and the fifth, advancing to meet him, is intended for a smith, and bears in his left hand pincers and a horse-shoe, while his right wields a hammer. They would appear to have robbed God of the fruit of their labours by withholding tithes and offerings; so they are failing in this ordeal. Beneath the bridge a usurer is seen seated in the flames, money-bags tied round his waist and neck, his upraised right hand holding a coin, while with his left he is striving to catch the gold pieces that he is vomiting under the tormentors—two demons, pink and yellow, who are flying at him with pitchforks and thrusting out his eyes. Between these and the two demons who hold the bridge of spikes are other evil spirits tempting two couples—a man and a youth and a man and woman—to illicit affections. On the extreme right of this compartment is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, loaded with fruit and leaves, and having the Serpent entwined in its upper branches—a spirited piece of drawing. (fn. 74)
In the right hand division over this the subject is 'The Harrowing of Hell,' in which our Lord, with cruciform nimbus, is thrusting the butt-end of a long staff into the open jaws of Satan, who lies, bound, under His feet. The staff or lance has a three-tailed pennon and a cross at its upper end. Satan is lying within the open jaws of Hell, and from the flames issue a multitude of the 'spirits in prison' flocking with outstretched arms to the Redeemer, foremost amongst whom are figures of a man and woman, perhaps intended for Adam and Eve; while flying in the midst of heaven above is an angel bearing a scroll. On the left another angel, habited like our Lord, assists two other souls (perhaps Enoch and Elijah) to mount the upper stages of the ladder.
The left hand upper compartment shows St. Michael weighing souls, while Satan, a hideous demon, with outstretched tongue and bristling hair, dragging with a rope a train of lost souls, is depressing one of the scales to outweigh the merits of a soul who is about to be tested in the other. (fn. 75) An angel, flying, bears a soul to Paradise; and below another angel, carrying a book, conducts three female figures (possibly the three Marys) towards the ladder.
On the column of the south arcade of the nave is a coeval painted consecration cross, the bottom limb prolonged.
The only ancient glass remaining consists of some grisaille flowered quarries of 14th-century date, and another showing a white flower upon a dark background with white border, which is perhaps as old as the latter part of the 13th century. There are several stained glass windows of modern date and varying merit.
The font, in local firestone, with shallow, square basin (plain, except for a chamfer and hollow on the upper and lower edge), and octagonal stem on a square plinth, having a hollow on its upper edge, is probably of the 13th century, altered at a later date.
The whole of the fittings are new, except the oak pulpit, a handsome piece of work, bearing the inscription 'Patience Lambert. 1657.' She was the widow of William Lambert, of Tullesworth Manor, whose tomb remains in the nave. The guilloche and other carved patterns and the cornice-shelf, with its iron brackets, are worth notice. The modern chancel screen and seats, made to match the pulpit, the work of a local carver, are quite excellent. In the vestry is a chest of 17th-century date. The remains of panelling of a late 14th-century wall-tomb or Easter sepulchre, built into the north wall of the chancel, have been before noticed. The design consists of a heater-shaped shield, alternating with a niche, and the parts are said to have been separated a century ago. It is possible that this was the base of the tomb of Baldwin Covert (d. 1350). To the westward is a very singular wall tablet in firestone of elaborate design, consisting of a gable or pediment with dentils and a richly-moulded cornice and frieze, resting upon pilasters with Ionic capitals, which are supported by grouped consoles. Between the pilasters is a bolectionmoulded panel. Within the pediment is a sun, carved as a human face, and the initials R/IE disposed round it. On the frieze is the date 1562, otherwise there is no clue to the identity of the person commemorated; but in the central panel is the following quaint inscription, in which some of the letters are linked together:—'Good . redar . warne . all . men and . woomen . while . they . be . here . to. be ever . good . to . the . poore . and . nedy . the poore . ever . in . thys . worlde . shall. ye . have God grante . vs . svmwat . in . store . for . to save . the . cry . of . the . poore . is . extreme . and very . sore . God . gravnte . vs . to . be . good evermore . in . this . worlde . we . rvn . ovr . rase God . gravnte . vs . to . be . with . Christ . in tyme . and . space.' (fn. 76)
In the floor are slabs to the memory of William Lambert, 1656, the husband of the Patience Lambert whose name is inscribed on the pulpit, and T. Roane, 1689. In the porch are two early grave slabs, one perhaps of 12th-century date, in chalk 'burr,' with a plain cross, and the other of Purbeck marble, with double hollows on the edges and a cross-patée on a long stem of early 13th-century date, neither in its original position.
There were two 'belles in the steple,' according to the inventory of Edward VI, one of which seems to have disappeared in the 18th century. The remaining has lately been removed from the tower to the interior of the porch, where it hangs over the internal door. It is undoubtedly the oldest bell in Surrey. Mr. Stahlschmidt says 'it may be certainly reckoned as not later in date than 1250, and from its archaic shape may well be much older.' (fn. 77) It seems reasonable to conjecture that the bell was made for the small tower at the end of the north aisle, when this was built in about 1190, and that therefore the bell and the painting are of the same age, and the archaic lettering of the inscription agrees with this. This reads:✠ CÂPANA : BEATI : PAVLI. (fn. 78) The letters are well formed, and of an early Lombardic type.
The plate consists of a cup and paten cover of 1703 and another paten of 1717, presented in 1841, all of silver. The former were given by Samuel Owfield or Oldfield, grandson of Samuel Owfield, esq., of Upper Gatton, M.P. for Gatton in 1664, and in four subsequent Parliaments.
The registers are in two books: (I) all entries 1564 to 1753, deficient 1612 to 1650; (2) the same 1754 to 1812.
A church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey on the manor held by Ralph Fitz Turold. (fn. 79) The living has always been a rectory, in the gift of the lord of the manor. In 1275, when Roger de Covert made a grant of the manor to John Hannsard and his wife for their lives, he expressly reserved the advowson to himself and his heirs. (fn. 80) The same Roger had a suit with Nicholas Bishop of Winchester concerning the advowson, (fn. 81) and was apparently successful, for the right remained with the lord of the manor (fn. 82) until 1715, with the exceptions that in 1641 the Crown presented and in 1684 George Ketchley. (fn. 83) In 1715 John Southcott, eldest son of Sir Edward Southcott, then lord of the manor, who was a Romanist, conveyed the advowson to the Rev. John Parker, late vicar of Farnham, and his heirs. (fn. 84) After his death Mrs. Grover, perhaps his daughter, became patron, and in 1725 advertised the advowson for sale. (fn. 85) In 1726 George Vernon of Farnham presented to the living for that turn, (fn. 86) Mr. Piggot being then owner. He died before 1760, leaving a son George, then a minor, who took orders and held the living. (fn. 87) After his death the advowson was put up for sale by his brother and heir Samuel Piggot, and sold to Thomas Welton. (fn. 88) It was in the hands of Mr. James Upton in 1891, and is now held by Messrs. T. R. and E. F. Fisher.
Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes.
In 1672 Mr. Robert Roane left £1 per annum for the poor.
The Rev. Thomas Jackson recorded in 1725 a most praiseworthy and persistent effort of his own to recover another small benefaction, which seems, however, to have been lost. In 1613 Mr. Nicholas Richardson left by will 10s. a year, to be paid in quarterly sums, for the poor of Chaldon, in the south porch of the church, out of the house where his son Benjamin lived in Bassishaw. The last half-crown was paid on Lady Day, 1660, by the said Benjamin. But soon after 1664 (? 1666), when the house was burnt, Benjamin pleaded poverty and begged for forbearance, and then absconded and died. In 1684, when Mr. Jackson became rector, the parish had lost the name of the donor and any record of the house on which the money was charged. 'I after nigh twenty years' search in the (Doctors') Commons by others went myself, and by a special good providence found out all. So that the owner of the house being a minor his guardian came to Chaldon and owned all of it to the parish, but desired that they would not distrain till the minor came of age. The parish forbore so long, and at length were obliged to sue in the Exchequer, but were weary of the charge when they had but one frivolous answer. I have the copy of the will before me, and all other evident proofs out of the churchwardens' accounts recorded in the parish of St. Michael Bassishaw in London.' £40 or £50 were owing when the parish grew weary and refused to back up the indomitable rector. But there were then only 100 people in Chaldon.