A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1945.
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The parish of Norton Lindsey lies on the north side of the small valley formed by Sherbourne Brook. The village is towards the north of the parish, on the top of the ridge, at an altitude of nearly 300 ft. Farther north again, the main road from Warwick to Henley-inArden runs, through Littleworth, (fn. 1) across the parish from east to west. At the foot of Ward's Hill it is crossed by a road from the village to Lower Norton, in Budbrooke (q.v), which was set out at the time of the Norton Lindsey inclosure in 1809.
A farm-house north of the church, refaced with brick or plaster, has two 17th-century chimney-stacks with groups of diagonal shafts in thin bricks above the tiled roofs. Close south-west of the church is a 16thcentury cottage, now several tenements, having original framing with curved braces on the north front. A cottage to the south also shows some 17th-century framing, and there is another in the village west of the church with square framing. A disused windmill west of the village is built of 18th-century brickwork on a round plan and tapering upwards; it has a pointed wooden roof, and two sails are left.
The parish was inclosed by an Act of 1807. (fn. 2) The allotments made in the award total 573 acres—indicating that comparatively little inclosure had hitherto taken place. This was divided between 10 proprietors, 7 of whom held between them 17 yardlands, for which they were compensated at rates varying between 17 and 38 acres per yardland. The largest holding was 150 acres, and there were 2 very small ones of less than an acre. The lord of the manor, Lord Dormer, received in all only 68 acres. The greater part of the land was thus held by yeoman farmers. (fn. 3) There is no mention in the award of rights of common, or of a waste, though the Moors Field, which lay south-west of the village, between the Snitterfield road and the parish boundary, may once have served this purpose.
Norton Lindsey has been said (fn. 4) to derive its name from the family of Ralph de Limesi, the Domesday tenant of Budbrooke (q.v.), but there is no evidence that the Limesis held land here and the suffix is presumably taken from the family of Lindsey. The manor is probably to be identified with the Mortone which in 1086 Henry held of Robert de Stafford. It was assessed at 1 hide, and before the conquest Waga—who gave his name to Wootton Wawen (q.v.)—had held it freely. (fn. 5) The Stafford overlordship continued at least until the middle of the 15th century: Hervey de Stafford held 2 knight's fees in Langley and Norton in 1212, (fn. 6) and his son Robert 1 knight's fee in the two places in 1243. (fn. 7) This fee was held of Ralph, Earl of Stafford, by Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in 1369; and descended to the succeeding Earls of Warwick, as tenants of the Staffords, down to 1460. (fn. 8)
In 1243 Robert de Stafford's tenant in this knight's fee was William de Curly. He had been allowed in 1205 to take over the Warwickshire property of his brother John de Curly, who had joined the French, including the manor of Budbrooke and 'the homage and service of William de Lindesey and Philip de Norton and their heirs', evidently in Norton Lindsey. (fn. 9) William de Curly apparently died between 1251 and 1253, leaving as his heirs his two nieces, Alice wife of Peter de Neville and Joan wife of Robert Hastang (fn. 10) (of the Leamington Hastings family). Alice and her husband seem to have inherited the manor, since their court at Norton is referred to in 1260. (fn. 11) From the Nevilles this mesne lordship seems to have passed with the manor of Shrewley in Hatton (q.v.) to Philip de Gayton. He died in 1316 (fn. 12) and his brother and heir Theobald died a few weeks later, seised of 10s. rent in Norton Lindsey of the fee of the Baron of Stafford. (fn. 13) Theobald's widow Margery, or Margaret, promptly married Henry de Valence and had ⅓ of this 10s. rent as dower. (fn. 14) The Hastangs had apparently retained some interest here, as Philip de Gayton held two closes of wood of Sir John Hastang, (fn. 15) probably identical with the 12 acres of wood in Hasely and Norton which were held of him by Julian, one of the sisters and coheirs of Theobald, when she was executed for the murder of her husband Thomas Murdak in 1324. (fn. 16)
The history of the tenancy in fee is obscure. In 1205, as already stated, William de Lindsey (fn. 17) and Philip de Norton (fn. 18) apparently held jointly. Of William, who presumably gave his name to the vill, no more is known, but Philip gave land in Norton comprising ½ virgate of 'warland', which Mauger held, and ½ virgate of his demesne to his daughter Isabel and her husband Walter the Clerk. By 1221 this had come to their son David, and he, as David de Norton, granted a messuage and 8 acres of land here to Robert son of Ernald and Maud his wife, who had claimed the whole as having been given by Isabel to Maud's father Isaac the Priest. (fn. 19)
In 1316 William de Warr[ewyke] and John de (sic) Blunt were returned as lords of Fulbrook with the 'hamlets' of Sherbourne and Norton Lindsey; (fn. 20) as William held the manor of Fulbrook (q.v.), John presumably held the two hamlets, and in 1322 John son of John le Blound and Elizabeth his wife conveyed a messuage, a carucate of land and 20s. rents in Norton Lindsey to Joan widow of John son of John Hastang. (fn. 21) The connexion between Sherbourne and Norton Lindsey occurs again in 1540, when the parish of Norton was said to form part of the manor of Sherbourne, lately surrendered to the crown by the Knights Hospitallers. There were then 8 free tenants here whose total rents amounted to 11s. 5d. (fn. 22) The property must have been included in the grant of Sherbourne to Thomas Lucy in 1553. A later rental, of the possessions of 'Sir Thomas Lucy' in Norton Lindsey held of the manor of Sherbourne gives 5 tenants, 2 of whom, though liable to heriot, are stated to be freeholders. They held between them, 2 messuages, 2 cottages, 1 yardland, 50 acres of land, and 2 acres of meadow, and their combined rents total 8s. 7d. (fn. 23) With Sherbourne the property descended to the Burgoynes and afterwards to the Webbs, John Burgoyne being mentioned as lord of the manor in 1742, John Webb in 1755, and Thomas Webb Edge of Strelley, Notts., and Elias Webb of Sherbourne in 1797. (fn. 24) It is presumably the estate referred to as half the manor of Norton Lindsey in 1773. (fn. 25) But the inclosure map of 1809 shows that Thomas Webb Edge held only a house, two gardens, and part of a close, in all less than 2 acres in extent.
The chief manor, if such it can be called, came ultimately to the Dormers of Grove Park (q.v.). Members of this family are mentioned as lords of the manor of Norton Lindsey at various dates since 1767, (fn. 26) and in 1809 Charles, Lord Dormer, received the manorial allotment. But, as already mentioned, he held only a comparatively small portion of the parish, and the manorial rights have long since been extinguished.
An annual rent of 6d. (fn. 27) and a close in the occupation of John Blick, (fn. 28) both in Norton, were held by Warwick College at the Dissolution. The close was probably included among the lands of the college in Norton in the tenure of John Blick which were granted in fee to Clement Throckmorton and Alexander Avenon, ironmonger of London, in 1545. (fn. 29) Other Crown lands in Norton formed part of an extensive grant by exchange to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, in 1550. (fn. 30) This grant was renewed to Sir Edward Sutton in 1554 (fn. 31) and confirmed to him, on his marriage to Katherine Bridges, in the following year: (fn. 32) Frances Commander, widow, was holding lands of the Crown in 'Over Norton' at a rent of 5s. 4d. in 1608. (fn. 33) These may perhaps represent the lands in Norton Lindsey from which Kenilworth Abbey was receiving 22s. 3d. rents at the time of the Dissolution. (fn. 34)
The church of the HOLY TRINITY is a small building consisting of a chancel, nave, north aisle, and south porch. It is an early-13th-century structure with some later windows and a modern north aisle. The chancel (17¼ ft. by 11½ ft.) has an east window of c. 1330 of three trefoiled lights, the middle ogee-arched, and leaf-tracery in a two-centred head with an external hood-mould. In each side wall are two small original lancets, only 8 in. wide, with splayed round arches inside. The walls are of white sandstone ashlar with a chamfered plinth, and at the east angles are low shallow clasping buttresses. The roof is modern.
The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, the pointed head being of fairly small voussoirs: at the springing-level are 4 in. moulded abaci or imposts. The archway is probably of the early 14th century.
The nave (about 28½ ft. by 18 ft.) has a modern north arcade of three bays with round pillars and square responds. In the south wall are two modern windows of three cinquefoiled pointed lights in a two-centred head. The south doorway between them, is of early13th-century date; it is two-centred and of two orders, the inner chamfered, the outer with a roll mould which, in the jambs, is provided with moulded capitals and bases: the jambs are partly restored and the outer order of the head has been rebuilt.
The nave walls are of ashlar like the chancel: the south wall has an original square buttress at the west end; another buttress at the east end is a later medieval addition. The west wall has a wide and shallow buttress (4 ft. 9 in. by 1 ft. 2 in.) in the middle, rising to nearly the top of the gable-head. There is another buttress, also old, in line with the north arcade-wall. The roofs, which are tiled, have modern timbers. Rain-water pipe-heads are dated 1873.
In 1586 Nicholas Bucke of Claverdon was summoned before the Privy Council on the petition of the inhabitants of Norton Lindsey for his 'outrageous conduct' in having 'disquieted the whole parish, ruined their church, cast down the doors, destroyed the windows and totally deprived them of divine service'. (fn. 35)
Norton was a chapelry of Claverdon at least from about the middle of the 12th century, though in the 13th century the tithes of Norton were the subject of a protracted dispute between Claverdon and the Abbey of Conches in Normandy, which claimed them as belonging to their appropriated church of Wootton Wawen. (fn. 36) The Archdeacon of Worcester, as patron of Claverdon, held the advowson until 1925, when it was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry. (fn. 37) The parish was united with Wolverton by Order in Council in 1925. (fn. 38)
In 1651 the trustees for providing maintenance for preaching ministers granted to William Palmer of the Inner Temple a lease of the tithes of corn, hay, and wool in Claverton and Langley and the tithes of corn in Norton belonging to the rectory of Claverdon for 3 years at £95 per year. (fn. 39) In 1806 the great tithes of Norton were valued at £140 annually, out of which a pension of £4 was reserved to the incumbent. (fn. 40) There is no mention of the rectorial tithes in the Inclosure Award, but the vicar received 42 acres, of which 15 acres were in lieu of glebe and 21 acres in lieu of vicarial tithes—the latter allotment representing 1/28 of the value of the land inclosed.
Church Land. There is a small piece of land (¾ acre) in this parish called Church Piece, the rent of which has been immemorially applied to the expenses of the church but it is unknown how the property was acquired. It is now let at an annual rent of 15s.