A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 5, Kington Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1949.
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KINETON WITH COMBROOK
Acreage: 3,640 (including Combrook 1,145).
Population: 1911, 1,018; 1921, 950; 1931, 1,021.
The parish of Kineton, also called Kington, lies in the centre of the hundred to which it gives its name, and forms an irregular block with a maximum depth from north to south of rather over 2 miles and a maximum breadth of 4 miles. This includes the chapelry of Combrook, on the west, which was constituted a separate parish in 1853. For the most part the country is undulating, at an average altitude of 275 ft., rising steeply on the south-west, where the Roman Fosse Way forms the boundary of Combrook, to 350 ft., and on the south-east to 330 ft. on Edge Hill. At the foot of this hill, just within the parish, was fought the first battle of the Civil War on 23 October 1642, (fn. 1) and a mound on the hillside still marks the common grave of some 500 dead. It was at Kineton also that King Charles met Queen Henrietta Maria in July 1643. (fn. 2)
Just west of the town, at the foot of Pittern Hill, which rises to a height of 400 ft., are the remains of the earthworks of a castle of the motte-and-bailey type, popularly attributed to King John, whose name is also given to a well close by. (fn. 3) Adjoining this site is now Kineton station on the Stratford-on-Avon and Midland Junction branch of the L.M.S.
Early in the 13th century Stephen de Segrave had a Tuesday market in his manor of Kineton, (fn. 4) and a fair on the eve and day of SS. Peter and Paul. (fn. 5) The market had died out by 1840, when the market-house was pulled down and a school built on its site, (fn. 6) but the fair on 5 February, 'which formerly regulated the price of beans for seed', (fn. 7) continued until recently.
Kineton is now only a large village at the meeting of four ways. The church stands at the north-west corner of the junction and most of the older buildings are concentrated about it. East of it was probably the original green encroached on by later (18th-century) buildings.
North of the church and west of the road running northwards to Gaydon and Moreton Morrell is the small market square. Deflected eastwards from the south of the former village green is the road to Banbury, and passing westwards from south of the church is the road to the Wellesbournes and Warwick. Another broad thoroughfare from Oxhill meets it at right angles south of the church.
On the north side of the market square is an interesting row of five tenements that may have been almshouses originally, and date probably from the early 17th century. The walls are of white stone with a moulded plinth and with yellow stone dressings. There are five doorways, two of them with four-centred heads and moulded labels. Of the six lower windows, two have stone mullions and four have labels. In the upper story are four unaltered three-light windows with labels. There are two scratched random dates, 167 . . and 1674. The central chimney-stack above the tiled roof is of thin bricks. On the east side of the square, forming part of the island between it and the village street, are two small buildings showing remains of 17thcentury timber-framing, one, rough-casted, having a slightly jettied upper story. On the east side of the village street, opposite this island, are five separate long buildings of white stone, divided into tenements: generally the windows are mullioned. One having brown-stone dressings may be of the early 17th century, the others are somewhat later.
The Swan Hotel at the south-west corner opposite the former green is another 17th-century building of ashlar stone work with moulded plinths and stringcourses and mullioned windows. A house on the east side of the road running south to Little Kineton and Oxhill is of stone rubble with brown Edgehill stone dressings and has similar windows with labels. Several of the other buildings of stone may be as old but have been more altered.
At Little Kineton, south of the main village, there are also two or three stone buildings of the 17th century or a little later, one with a thatched roof. The Manor House, a fine building of Elizabethan origin with additions made in 1720, was pulled down about 1790 by Richard Hill, who began a new house that was never completed. (fn. 8)
North-west of the village, north of the Compton Verney and Wellesbourne road, is a stone windmill of the 18th century. Two windmills are recorded as belonging to the manor in 1279, (fn. 9) and again in 1325; (fn. 10) and in 1565 Thomas Bentley farmed the two windmills and was presented for taking excessive toll. (fn. 11)
A miller is mentioned under Combrook in 1551, (fn. 12) and there was a watermill in 1677 attached to the manor of Brookhampton, (fn. 13) which is on the River Dene, the stream that forms the southern boundary of Combrook.
This stream runs from east to west across the parish, separating the village from Little Kineton, and about half a mile beyond the Fosse Way makes a right-angle turn to run north through Wellesbourne Hastings. It is evidently the 'welesburnan', which is the first of the boundaries of Kineton named in a Saxon charter of 969. (fn. 14) At that date Kineton seems to have extended slightly west of Combrook, the boundary apparently running up the Wellesbourne to a small stream just south of Walton House, then across to 'the street', i.e. the Fosse Way, then following the modern boundary up the Way and across to 'fulan pyt' (probably on the site of Compton Pools), so to 'the springs', i.e. Spring Hill, and mercna merc, the Mercian boundary, (fn. 15) represented by the parishes of Compton Verney, Chadshunt, Burton Dassett, and Radway, to the grundlinga broc, the stream which bounds Kineton on the south and southwest, and so, by two unidentifiable marks, back to the Wellesbourne.
Brookhampton is now a farmhouse of T-shaped plan, the cross-wing or head of the T being at the west end, and is a two-storied building with attics and tiled roofs. The west wing has walls of alternating courses of ashlar and lias rubble and probably dates from the 16th century. It is now used as a store and the mullioned windows with moulded jambs and heads in the gabled north end are blocked.
The stem, extending east, is built of streaky lias masonry with yellow ashlar dressings and dates from the early 17th century. It retains in its north and south walls several original mullioned windows with chamfered jambs and moulded labels, and the original doorway by the central chimney-stack in the south wall also has a label. The central stack had a wide fire-place, now reduced, and the rooms have chamfered beams. The chimney-stack at the junction of the two wings is of old brickwork with small square pilasters, but the others have been rebuilt, having been damaged by the blast of a bomb in 1940, when also farm buildings were destroyed.
Little Kineton is closely associated with the history of hunting in the county, the kennels of the Warwickshire Foxhounds having been built here in 1839 for 60 couples of hounds. (fn. 16)
The Methodist chapel, erected in 1842, was rebuilt in 1893, and in 1927 a barn was converted into a church for Roman Catholics. (fn. 17) In 1889 there was a Congregational chapel which had been originally 'built by a churchman for public worship when there was only one service on the Sunday in the Parish Church'. (fn. 18)
King Edgar in 969 granted 10 hides in Kineton to his thegn Alfwold and his assigns. (fn. 19) At the time of his death in 1066 Edward the Confessor was holding KINETON, called 'Quintone' in the Domesday Survey, and Wellesbourne as a manor and its berewick. The whole estate was assessed at only 3 hides, though there were 38 ploughteams there and 130 acres of meadow, as well as woodland. King William retained the estate in his own hand, (fn. 20) and it remained with the Crown until 1198, when King Richard gave it, then valued at £20, to his brother Count John. (fn. 21) In 1202 King John gave to Hugh de Hersy £12 of land in Kineton; (fn. 22) this was in exchange for land in Pillerton [q.v.] which the king had given to Hugh de Gournay and was to revert to the Crown if Hugh de Hersy recovered Pillerton by agreement or by suit of law. (fn. 23) Hugh in 1206 brought an action against Hugh de Gournay (fn. 24) and evidently recovered Pillerton, (fn. 25) so that Kineton reverted to King John, who in 1216 granted the manor to Stephen de Segrave to hold by fee farm of £12. (fn. 26) In 1220 Stephen had a grant of a market on Tuesdays for his manor of Kineton, (fn. 27) to which was added in 1228 a fair on the eve and day of SS. Peter and Paul. (fn. 28)
Sir Stephen de Segrave died in 1241 (fn. 29) and was succeeded by his son Gilbert, whose son Nicholas forfeited Kineton for his opposition to Henry III. The manor was given to the king's son Edmund, who granted it to Ralph le Boteler in 1266 (fn. 30) but in the following year restored it to Nicholas, (fn. 31) Ralph being compensated with the promise of £400. (fn. 32) Nicholas Segrave was lord of the manor in 1279, when he had 4 carucates of land in demesne and 31 virgates held by sokemen, and had view of frankpledge, gallows, free warren, and other liberties. (fn. 33) The see farm rent of £12 from the manor was granted in 1303 to Queen Margaret (fn. 34) and in 1327 to Queen Isabelle. (fn. 35) John, Lord Segrave, the son of Nicholas, died in 1325 seised of the manor, the tenants of which included 8 'burgesses', (fn. 36) and his son Stephen died very shortly afterwards, leaving a young son John. (fn. 37) This John died in 1353, having married Margaret, Countess (and later Duchess) of Norfolk, who survived him 46 years, and leaving a daughter Elizabeth, (fn. 38) born in 1338. (fn. 39) Elizabeth married John de Mowbray, who died in 1368 seised of the manor of GREAT KINGTON, (fn. 40) which is called 'Cheping Kington' in 1399 on the death of his second son, and eventual heir, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 41) The manor then descended in the Mowbray family until the main line became extinct with the death of Anne, Duchess of York, in 1481. (fn. 42) On the division of the estates between the descendants of the two daughters of Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, Kineton came to William, Marquess Berkeley and Earl Marshal, (fn. 43) who in 1490 settled the manor on himself and the heirs of his body, with remainder in default of such heirs to the king in tail male. (fn. 44) Accordingly, on the death of the Marquess without issue in 1492 the manor, then valued at £10, (fn. 45) passed to Henry VII. It remained with the Crown until Edward VI died without issue, when it returned to the right heir of the Marquess (the great-grandson of his brother) Henry, Lord Berkeley. (fn. 46) He sold the manor in 1575 to Francis Aylworth, (fn. 47) who was apparently already tenant of the estate. (fn. 48) Peter Aylworth, son of Francis, in 1617 sold the manor to Sir Fulk Greville, (fn. 49) whose descendants retained it until about 1806, when George, Earl Brooke and Warwick, sold it to John Peyto, Lord Willoughby de Broke, (fn. 50) in whose family it still remains.
Part of Little Kineton was held in 1279 by Nicholas de Segrave as a member of the main manor. (fn. 51) King Stephen granted to the priory of Kenilworth the lands of Miles son of William the Sheriff and Turgis in Kineton (fn. 52), which were confirmed to the priory by Henry II. (fn. 53) After the Dissolution Richard Andrewes and Leonard Chamberleyn, land speculators, acquired in 1542 the site and demesnes of the manor of LITTLE KINETON, late of the monastery of Kenilworth, formerly in the tenure of John Knyght and afterwards of Leonard Savage. (fn. 54) They alienated it to Robert Burgoyn, (fn. 55) who died seised of the manor in 1545, leaving a son Robert, then aged 5. (fn. 56) In 1576 Henry, Lord Berkeley, conveyed the manor of Little Kineton (presumably the Segrave 'member') to William Burton, (fn. 57) who, with his wife Elizabeth, transferred it in 1596 to Sir John Puckering, Keeper of the Great Seal. (fn. 58) Sir John died almost immediately after this, (fn. 59) and his son Sir Thomas Puckering, bart., died in 1637, having settled the manor on his wife Elizabeth for life, with remainder to Thomas, son of Thomas Puckering, D.D., his uncle. (fn. 60) This Thomas in 1638 conveyed the manor to Sir David Cunningham, bart., and Peter Newton, (fn. 61) and they with Sir Henry Puckering alias Newton, bart., who had succeeded to the Puckering estates on the death of Jane, only daughter of Sir Thomas Puckering, (fn. 62) conveyed it in 1652 to Simon Neale, (fn. 63) probably for sale. In 1650 Charles Bentley is found dealing with the manor, (fn. 64) presumably as either lessee or mortgagee. In 1726 another Charles Bentley was lord of the manor, (fn. 65) and he was succeeded by Edward who owned it in 1740. (fn. 66) Edward is said to have left the estate to his three sisters, of whom Charlotte, the last surviving, died in 1765 and bequeathed it to Bentley Gordon on condition of his taking the name and arms of Bentley. (fn. 67) He sold Little Kineton in 1786 to Richard Hill of London, (fn. 68) on whose death in 1804 it passed to his daughter Elizabeth Bishop, and she, with her daughter Mrs. Dormer, sold the estate in 1825 to Lord Willoughby de Broke; (fn. 69) after which time it descended with the main manor of Kineton.
King John in 1199 gave land in Kineton to Luke de Trublevill and Ralph his brother (fn. 70) to hold as ¼ knight's fee. (fn. 71) In 1217 this estate, which had apparently been escheated from Luke about 1209, (fn. 72) was restored to his brother Ralph and was said to be in Kineton, Combrook, and Brookhampton; (fn. 73) and in 1231 it is definitely called a quarter-fee in BROOKHAMPTON. (fn. 74) Ralph died in 1232 (fn. 75) and his nephew Henry de Trublevill had livery of his lands in Combrook and Brookhampton in 1233, subject to the dower of Ralph's widow Alice. (fn. 76)
By 1235 the quarter-fee had apparently reverted to the Crown. (fn. 77) According to Dugdale (fn. 78) Thomas de Wapenbury granted the manor 'to John Mile, who had issue Richard, and he Henry Mile; whose daughter and heir called Margaret was wedded to William de Welham, and overlived him, being a widow in 30 E. 3. To this Margaret succeeded Sir John Brauncastre, Knight, as owner of this Mannor . . . which John demised all or the greatest part thereof, to one Robert Dalby, and John Dalby, his son, in 51 E. 3, and afterwards sold it to Hugh Dalby, whom I conceive to be son to the said John.' Before 1398 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, had granted Brookhampton and Combrook, as members of Great Kineton, to Robert and Hugh Dalby; (fn. 79) and Hugh Dalby died in 1439 seised of these manors and leaving a son John. (fn. 80) Richard Dalby held the manor of Brookhampton at his death in 1477, when he was succeeded by his son Robert. (fn. 81) Edmund Dalby died in 1558 and the manor, subject to the life interest of his widow Isabel and an annuity to his fifth son Thomas, passed to his son Richard, (fn. 82) who died in 1560, leaving an infant son Edmund, (fn. 83) father of Richard Dalby (fn. 84) who held the manor in 1640. (fn. 85) The manor was bought by Ambrose Holbech, apparently in 1677, (fn. 86) and remained in that family until at least 1795, (fn. 87) not long after which date it was bought by Lord Willoughby de Broke. (fn. 88) The manorial rights, however, of Brookhampton and Combrook appear to have become attached to Little Kineton, as Sir Thomas Puckering kept a court baron for Combrook c. 1630 (fn. 89) and the Bentleys and Hills appear as lords of these manors from 1725 onwards. (fn. 90)
The parish church of ST. PETER consists of a chancel with a north organchamber and vestry, nave with north and south transepts and a north aisle, and a west tower.
The west tower is said to date from 1315, but its west doorway is probably earlier and its windows later. The remainder of the building contains no ancient features. It was partly rebuilt by Sanderson Miller of Radway in 1775, (fn. 91) when the transepts and aisle were added, and again largely renovated during the period 1877–89, being furnished with new windows, pierced parapets, &c. The organ-chamber and vestry were added in 1897. The whole church is built of dark brown Hornton stone. An old view of the church shows the chancel with square-headed windows and the nave and south transept with plain four-centred lights.
The chancel (40½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has an east window of five lights and tracery. The north wall has two and the south three windows of three lights of similar design, and the former an archway to the organ-chamber. The walls are buttressed and have pierced parapets of 14thcentury style. The chancel arch is of three moulded orders. The arches to the organ-chamber are similar, of two orders, and the chamber has a north window of four lights. The nave (49 ft. by 22½ ft.) has a north arcade of three bays and a similar arch to the south transept. There are two windows, of three lights, in both north and south walls, and similar windows at the ends of the transepts. At the west end of the aisle is a pointed doorway. The nave parapets are embattled and have pinnacles.
The west tower (14¼ ft. by 12¼ ft.) is of four stages marked by plain string-courses, and has a chamfered plinth. The modern parapet is pierced and embattled and surmounted by crocketed pinnacles. Below its string-course, which has gargoyles at the angles, is a frieze of triangular trefoil panels. The string-course below this band is the original early-14th-century hollow-chamfer sparsely decorated with ball-flower and human head carvings. Near the angles of the tower are original narrow buttresses, 22 in. wide, around which the string-courses pass; in the top stage the width of the buttresses is reduced to 8 or 9 inches and the top offset is at the enriched string-course. At the south-east angle is the square projecting stair-turret reaching nearly to the same height. It is lighted by plain loops and has the gnomon of a sundial in the third stage. The pointed archway to the nave is of three chamfered orders dying on to the splayed responds. The west doorway is an exceptionally fine one for a village church but it has suffered badly from detrition. It dates from the mid 13th century. The two-centred head is of four orders, the innermost with a plain roll-mould continued from the jambs. The other three are more elaborately moulded with filleted rolls and hollows: they are carried on detached shafts against the splayed jambs; the shafts have moulded capitals, much perished, the bases are buried. Between them, cut from the solid of the splays, are filleted roll-shafts stopped by the abaci of the capitals. The hood-mould has practically lost all its form from decay: it was enriched with dog-tooth ornament which has now almost disappeared. Above it in the second stage is a window of two trefoiled ogee headed lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a hood-mould. The third stage has a plain rectangular west light and a modern south clock-face. The bell-chamber windows are each of two cinquefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a hood-mould.
The font and pulpit are modern. The communion table is of mid to late 17th-century date; it has turned legs and the top-rails are carved with honeysuckle and strap-work ornament. Set below it is a chest of earlier date with four panels in the front carved with raised diamond-shaped centres and low relief scroll-work. The panels at the ends are similar.
There are two elbow chairs in the chancel, one with the back carved with a lozenge having a central rose inscribed H B 1637. The other has an early-17thcentury round-headed panel in the back with enriched pilasters and head.
Under the east arch of the north transept is a roundheaded iron-bound coffer of the late 16th century with nine hinges and three hasps and padlocks.
A framed painted Royal Arms in the aisle is dated 1724.
The chancel screen of Italian Renaissance design was set up in 1905 in memory of the 18th Lord Willoughby de Broke, died 19 December 1902.
In the chancel are a number of monuments and floor slabs to members of the Bentley family. One slab to Charles Bentley, 7 July 1677, and Alice his wife, 1686, has a shield of arms. A brass plate on the east wall of the nave has a Latin inscription to John Venour, a distinguished surgeon, died 11 February 1729–30.
Set on a modern base at the west end of the aisle is the 15th-century stone effigy of a priest in mass vestments: the tonsured head rests on two cushions and there is a dog at the feet.
There are six bells: the treble of 1716, the tenor of 1717, and the others of 1703; all by Abel Rudhall. (fn. 92)
The communion plate includes a cup and a flagon given by J. Venour in 1729, with his arms, and a paten given by Elizabeth Bentley in 1735. (fn. 93)
The registers of baptisms and burials start in 1538, of marriages in 1577, but the earlier years are defective. (fn. 94) Separate registers for Combrook begin for marriages in 1716, baptisms 1715, burials 1701–3 and 1716 onwards; there are no marriages after 1786. (fn. 95)
The small parish church of ST. MARY AND ST. MARGARET at Combrook consists of a chancel, nave, with a small west bell-cote, north and south aisles, and a north vestry. The chancel was rebuilt in 1831, (fn. 96) and the nave in 1866. The masonry of the chancel, of roughly squared white stone rubble with Hornton stone angle-dressings, appears to be partly ancient, but all the windows and other features are modern, the only medieval fitting being the font, which is of flower-pot shape with no indication of date.
In the churchyard is the stump of the shaft of a cross on an octagonal and square base with broach-stops at the angles.
The church of Kineton, with its lands, tithes, and 'church-scot' (cerchez) was granted to Kenilworth Priory by Henry I. (fn. 97) In 1291 the rectory was valued at £14, (fn. 98) and between that date and 1300 it was appropriated to the priory. (fn. 99) The endowment of the vicarage seems always to have been a sum of £8 6s. 8d., which was paid by the monastery in 1535, (fn. 100) at which time the rectory was farmed for £26, including the chapelry of Combrook. (fn. 101) After the Dissolution the advowson was retained by the Crown until about 1624, (fn. 102) in which year Edward Bentley presented. (fn. 103) From 1650 the rectory and advowson descended with the Bentley manor of Little Kineton, (fn. 104) the patrons now being the Bishop of Coventry, Lord Willoughby de Broke, and Lord Bicester. (fn. 105)
When Stephen de Segrave died in 1325 he was seised of 'a rent from the keeper of the chapel of Little Kyngton', (fn. 106) but no other reference to this chapel has been found, except that 'the late chapel of Kyngton and its site', with 1 acre of arable in Great and Little Kineton, was included in a multiple grant to Thomas Fisher. (fn. 107)
There was a chapel in Combrook which was consecrated by Bishop Simon (1125–50) in honour of St. Margaret. (fn. 108) The small tithes of the hamlet and the oblations were valued at £5 6s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 109) In 1853 the hamlet, with part of Compton Verney parish, was constituted a separate parish, at first as a curacy under Kineton, but subsequently consolidated with Compton Verney. (fn. 110) The patronage was acquired from the executors of Lord Willoughby de Broke, with the Combrook estate, by Lord Manton in about 1930, and since 1932 has been held by Samuel Lamb of Compton Verney House. (fn. 111)
Mrs. Frances Bentley, who died in 1684, left £30 to be added to the poor's stock in Kineton to be laid out for their benefit and the interest to be divided yearly among the poor at the discretion of the minister and churchwardens for the time being.
R. Burbridge gave £30, the interest to be laid out in bread to be distributed amongst the poor of Great and Little Kineton on St. Thomas's Day and St. John the Baptist's Day in equal portions.
Mrs. Norton gave the sum of £10 for the use of the poor.
The above charities are administered together by the minister and churchwardens. The income, amounting to £2 9s. 6d., is applied for the benefit of the poor.
Samuel Kilby by will proved 13 Aug. 1841 bequeathed to the rector and churchwardens £10, the income to be paid to the poor of the parish on Whit Monday in such manner as the trustees shall deem most proper. The income of 7s. 8d. is distributed to the poor.
Josiah Woodley by will proved 7 March 1887 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens £1,000, the interest to be applied on New Year's Day for the benefit of such of the necessitous poor of Kineton as in the discretion of the trustees shall be deemed deserving persons. The legacy produces £29 5s. 4d. annually in dividends, which are applied as directed.
The Bentley Charity for apprenticing. It is recorded that certain premises comprising a house with a barn and close thereto adjoining called the Poor's House were given by some of the Bentley family with directions that the rents and profits should be applied towards setting out poor children of the parish apprentice to any trade. The house was burnt down in 1800 and the land sold in 1923. The proceeds were invested and the income is applied for apprenticing as directed.
Thomas Aylworth by will dated 1 Feb. 1660 bequeathed £200 to be bestowed in lands or an annuity for providing four gowns for two poor men and two poor women inhabitants of Great Kineton yearly upon St. Thomas's Day and for one dozen of bread to be distributed to the poor there every Sunday; and for three gowns to be given on the same day to two poor men and one poor woman inhabitants of St. Mary Warwick, and one dozen of bread to be distributed every Sunday to the poor of that parish. The legacy was laid out in the purchase of lands and now consists of a farm containing 27½ acres at Staverton, let at an annual rent, which is applied for the benefit of the poor of Kineton and St. Mary Warwick. The charity is regulated by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 10 Dec. 1889.