A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 5, Kington Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1949.
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The small parish, 1½ miles in length from east to west and ¾ mile in breadth, is bounded on the south and west by the River Stour. The road from Shipston-on-Stour to Chipping Norton runs from north to south across the western end of the parish, and the village lies between this road and one from Willington.
The village is small and has a few buildings of some age with stone walls and stone-tiled roofs. One house just east of it on the north side of the roadway is dated 1730: it has red-brick walls with diaper patterning in black bricks in the upper story and rusticated stone quoins. The tall windows have wood casements and transoms and the front entrance has a curved hood. The roof is covered with stone tiles.
The old Manor House, south-west of the churchyard, appears to be of early-16th-century origin but has been considerably altered. The walls, of stone rubble with angle dressings, retain two or three of the original stone mullioned windows with labels. The old plan was a half-H shape with the wings projecting to the south: the flush north face of three practically equal bays overlooks the churchyard; each bay has a gable head: the easternmost has plastering, but some of it is missing and exposes ancient timber-framing: the other two gables are weather-boarded and project on moulded bressummers now plastered. The interior has also been much altered, but the ground floor ceiling of the middle bay of the house (now reduced on the south side for a modern staircase) retains most of its early-16th-century moulded beams to show it was originally divided into three compartments by two. The kitchen, in the west wing, also has a moulded beam and the ceiling was probably similar but has been more altered. This room had a very large fire-place (now reduced) with an oak lintel.
In 1086 Robert de Stafford held 5 hides in BURMINGTON which had formerly been held by Godwin. (fn. 1) The overlordship descended in that family, one knight's fee here being recorded among the Stafford fees in 1212, (fn. 2) 1242, (fn. 3) and 1372, (fn. 4) and a half and a quarter of a half-fee in 1398 (fn. 5) and 1403. (fn. 6) In 1242 the fee was held by Adam de Greneville of Hawise de Wulleward, of Wolford (q.v.), who held of the Baron of Stafford. He was probably the successor of William de Greinville who was dealing with land in Burmington in 1232. (fn. 7) A later William de Grey(n)ville forfeited the manor for adhering to the king's rebels (under the Earl of Hereford) in 1322, (fn. 8) but it was regranted in July of that year to him and Lucy his wife and their issue, with contingent remainder to one John, son of Richard de Rodeneye. (fn. 9) At the same time William, with Richard de Rodeneye, who was keeper of the rebels' lands in Devon and Cornwall (fn. 10) and was probably surety for William, acknowledged a debt of £200 to the king. (fn. 11) William's wife Lucy seems to have survived him and been remarried to John de Wolverton before 1338, when they released their rights in the manor to John de Grenville. (fn. 12) The latter was living in 1346 (fn. 13) but seems to have died soon afterwards (fn. 14) and his estates passed to his daughter and heiress Alice, who married Sir Humphrey Stafford, (fn. 15) the representative of a junior branch of the overlord's family. He was holding the fee in right of his wife in 1372, (fn. 16) and his son Sir Humphrey held it in 1403. (fn. 17) The latter's son, also Sir Humphrey, acquired the estate of Hooke in Dorset and died in 1442. (fn. 18) He had three sons, of whom the eldest, Richard, predeceased him, leaving a daughter Amice, upon whom the manor of Burmington was settled in fee tail by the father's uncle John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury (1443–52), and other trustees. Amice died without issue and the manor passed to Humphrey Stafford (son of her uncle John). He died in 1461, holding the manor of Henry, Duke of Buckingham, and it passed to Humphrey, Lord Stafford of South wick (Wilts.), as son of his uncle William, (fn. 19) who had died in 1450. (fn. 20) Lord Stafford was created Earl of Devon in 1469 shortly before he rebelled against the king and was executed. (fn. 21) The manor went to Eleanor, wife of Thomas Strangways, eldest of the three daughters of his aunt Alice, (fn. 22) and their son Giles Strangways conveyed it in 1540 to Henry Annesley and Nicholas Tooley. (fn. 23) John Tooley died in 1606 seised of the manor, leaving a son Thomas, (fn. 24) who in 1617 conveyed it to Henry, Earl of Northampton, (fn. 25) in whose family it remained until 1801, when it was sold to the Rev. T. Lambert Snow, whose eldest daughter Mary Anne married John Staunton of Longbridge (fn. 26), and in 1932 Lady Beecham, wife of Sir Thomas, bought it from the Staunton Trustees on the death of Miss C. S. Staunton. (fn. 27)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there was in Burmington a mill worth 10s. (fn. 28) A water-mill was conveyed with the manor in 1540 to Nicholas Tooley, (fn. 29) and John Tooley was seised of two water-mills there at his death in 1606. (fn. 30) The mill, on the Stour, is still of considerable importance.
There is a fair amount of medieval masonry in the church walls perhaps dating from as early as the 13th century, but the only ancient architectural detail surviving is part of the chancel arch of c. 1200. The church had fallen into decay and the nave was rebuilt in 1693; it formerly had a central tower, 16 ft. square, but this was then abolished and the chancel reduced in size. (fn. 31) A further very complete restoration was also carried out in the 19th century when all the windows, doorways, and roofs were renewed, the bell-turret added, and other work done.
The chancel (about 17 ft. by 13½ ft.) has an east window of two trefoiled lights and tracery of early13th-century character and two south trefoiled lancets. On the north side is a modern doorway to the vestry and near the east end a small niche. The east wall is of ancient coursed yellow masonry below the gable. The north wall is coated with cement outside, and the south wall is of modern masonry with some reused ancient stones. The modern roof is covered with stone tiles.
The responds of the chancel arch are of one chamfered order. The head is of two orders, the inner being carried on late-12th- or early-13th-century semi-octagonal corbel-capitals: the northern is carved with upright flowers with hollowed trumpet heads, and the southern with a kind of hollowed scallop ornament having between the scallops stalked flowers with keeled ball-heads like closed tulips. The moulded abaci are deeply undercut, especially the northern. The flowers die away below into common plain rounded ends of later recutting, perhaps replacing former shafts.
The nave (40 ft. by 16½ ft.) has four north windows: the third from the east (probably in place of a former doorway) is of two lancet lights and the others are single lights. In the south wall are a two-light window and two lancets, the pointed and chamfered doorway being between the two latter and covered by a small porch.
East of the porch the south wall appears to have medieval masonry, except the two or three top courses, but west of it it is modern, as is also the west wall. The north wall is probably of 1693 except for the modern top courses.
The communion plate includes an Elizabethan cup with dotted line ornament, the cover converted for use as a paten; a second cup, probably of the time of Charles I; and two small patens of 1720. There is also a flagon of plated ware, and a pewter alms-dish dated 1764. (fn. 32)
The bell is of 1592, by Robert Newcombe of Leicester. (fn. 33)
The church of Burmington was a chapel annexed to the church of Wolford and is so styled when the latter was appropriated to Merton College in 1311. (fn. 34) The rectory was confirmed to Merton in 1634 (fn. 35) and was said to be worth £30 yearly in 1638, when there were certain scandals about the corrupt sale of leases of college property by the Warden. (fn. 36) The benefice became first a perpetual curacy and then a vicarage during the 19th century, but has continued to be held with Wolford. (fn. 37)
Richard Badger's Charity. The share of this charity applicable for the parish of Burmington consists of 1/84 part of the income, amounting to £8 18s. 4d. annually, and is applied by the vicar and churchwardens towards keeping the parish church in proper repair and main taining divine service. A similar amount representing the poor's share is applied for the benefit of deserving poor residents.
Court's Charity. It is recorded in the Reports of the former Commissioners for Inquiring Concerning Charities that J. Court left £10 to the care of the churchwardens and overseers of the poor to be set out for the use of the poor of the parish. The endowment now produces 13s. 3d. annually in dividends which are applied for the benefit of the poor.