A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6, Knightlow Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1951.
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Harbury is a large parish and village in the centre of the county, about 5 miles south-east of Leamington and 3 miles south-west of Southam. The eastern boundary of the parish is formed by the river Itchen, and on the west it reaches for a short distance to the Fosse Way. At Deppers Bridge over the Itchen the height above sea level is only 260 ft., but the village, which is central in the parish, stands on a hill of over 400 ft., through which the former G.W.R. main line to Birmingham runs in a mile-long cutting, an important engineering feat in its time and so mentioned in White's Directory of 1850. There is a station (Southam Road and Harbury) about a mile east of the village, and at the south-east corner of the parish, where the railway crosses the Itchen, there are large cement works, which form a very prominent feature in the landscape.
The village has many stone and brick houses of the 17th and 18th centuries, and a few timber-framed with thatched roofs. In the middle of the village is a large circular 18th-century windmill, without sails, its base built of stone, with red brick above. Two windmills are mentioned on the abbot of Combe's property in 1279 (fn. 1) and 1291 and one on the Kenilworth property in the latter year. (fn. 2) The parish is not traversed by any main road, and in 1625 Harbury was described as 'no thoroughfare'. (fn. 3) The land is 'poor and unproductive' (fn. 4) and in 1740 the village is called Hungry Harbury. (fn. 5) It has, however, always been a large one, with 148 houses in 1730, (fn. 6) and in the middle of the last century acted as a reservoir of labour for neighbouring 'close' parishes like Chesterton and Ufton. (fn. 7) In 1638 it was ordered that Kingston in Chesterton should contribute towards the poor of Harbury. (fn. 8) There was a Quaker meeting here in 1758–9. (fn. 9)
An Inclosure Act for 120 yardlands, or 3,600 acres, was passed in 1779. (fn. 10) The names Leicester House Farm and Temple House are to be associated with the Earls of Leicester and Knights Templars, former landowners in Harbury. In 1397 Deppers Bridge was out of repair, and was ordered to be renewed by the lords of the manor of Ladbroke, who had built it on their own land for their own convenience, and not by the villagers of Harbury and Ladbroke, who had been presented as liable. (fn. 11)
Noteworthy men connected with Harbury include Sir Joseph Wagstaffe (fl. 1655), (fn. 12) soldier of fortune, who led the abortive Wiltshire rebellion of 1655, probably a junior member of the Wagstaffe family who were prominent in this village, and Richard Jago (1715–81), (fn. 13) poet, vicar here from 1746 to 1771.
Adjoining the churchyard on the north side there
is the school, (fn. 14) founded by Thomas Wagstaffe in 1611,
with a panel inscribed:
Estab. by Decree in Chancery
(Butler versus Wagstaffe)
Confirmed by order of ye same court
(Attorn: Gen. versus Baber)
Restored a.d. 1866.
It is L-shaped, built of squared and coursed limestone with dressings of brown sandstone, and has a continuous plinth of one splay. The west wing is of two stories, probably to accommodate a resident schoolmaster, and the east, which has no upper floor, forms one large schoolroom. The northern half of the west wing is occupied by a classroom, and the front portion by an open lobby and a small office. The upper floor has been divided up and is used for storage, but the room over the classroom has an original stone chimney-piece. The entrance doorway has a chamfered four-centred head, but its original oak door, of small square moulded panels, has been removed and is now (1949) lying in the vicarage stables. The schoolroom has a fire-place in the centre of the north wall, with four-light windows on either side, a five-light transomed window on the east, and two of five lights on the south. At the west end there is a contemporary glazed oak screen with moulded panels, and above it a gallery front of heavy turned balusters with a moulded capping, now boarded over at the back. It has two doors, one original leading to the lobby and a later inserted door into the classroom. The classroom has a stone chimney-piece in the north wall with a chamfered four-centred head, a fourlight window which has had its sill lowered, and on the west a five-light window. The small room in the front is lighted by a four-light window on the south and has an inserted fire-place on the west. There is a gable to the east wing and gables to the north and south ends of the west wing with ball finials, and on the south, at first-floor level, is the inscribed tablet in a moulded frame, flanked by three-light windows, and on the ground floor is the entrance archway with a fourcentred head within a square moulding, and a fourlight window to the office. The windows throughout are square-headed, of one splay, with label mouldings having return ends. The roofs have been re-tiled and the chimneys rebuilt in brick.
About half a mile south-west of the church is the Manor House, an L-shaped two-story building with gabled wings to the south front. The west wing has a modern brick extension, making the plan H-shaped. It dates from about the middle of the 16th century and although modernized and added to, it retains some interesting features. It is an unusual mixture of construction; the northern end of the east wing is built of stone, with moulded square-headed windows; south of this it is stone with half-timber above; and the remainder of the east front is entirely of timber-framing. On the south front, the east wing is stone with a modern redbrick gable, and the west stone with half-timber above. Between the wings is the hall, with a central door flanked by two-light windows. The door has a moulded oak frame, a four-centred head with sunk spandrels, and on either side 18th-century pilasters with Ionic capitals supporting a projecting semicircular hood. The windows have carved and moulded oak frames in the form of pilasters with crocketed pinnacles. The hall is stone-paved and the walls are panelled with oak, some contemporary. The open fire-place has a carved oak lintel with the initials H.G., and on the east side is a 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, square newels with carved finials, and a contemporary dog gate at the foot. The stone chimney-pieces in the two wings have moulded four-centred heads, and jambs with moulded stops; one has carved spandrels and all probably date from the middle of the 16th century. There is oak panelling in most of the rooms, some brought from elsewhere. Leading to the present kitchen there is a contemporary doorway with a moulded oak frame and four-centred head, fitted with a door of three vertical moulded panels. The roofs have been re-tiled and the chimney-stacks rebuilt in brick.
Harbury was one of the places in which Wulfric Spot gave an estate to Burton Abbey (Staffs.) in 1003, (fn. 15) but there is no later evidence of any connexion with Burton. In 1086 HARBURY had a total assessment of 12½ hides, of which 1 hide and 1 virgate in Harbury were held by Coventry cathedral priory, though not apparently of Earl Leofric's original endowment. Having been laid waste by the king's army this was worth only 2s. as against 10s. before 1066. (fn. 16) There were four other estates: William Buenvasleth having 3 virgates that had been held freely by Ulwin before 1066; (fn. 17) Wazelin holding 2 hides of Henry de Ferrers, this having been part of Siward Barn's estates; (fn. 18) William 4 hides of Turchil, which had been in the possession of Ordric; (fn. 19) and the remaining 4½ hides, in 1086 the property of the Count of Meulan, had before 1066 been held by Lewin and Alric, on whom Domesday Book adds the note that they could sell, but not withdraw themselves (discedere) with their land. (fn. 20)
Coventry Priory is not subsequently mentioned as a landholder in Harbury, and from the correspondence in area Dugdale is probably right in identifying this holding with the 5 virgates held in 1279 by Kenilworth Priory, 4 of them in demesne. (fn. 21) This priory during the preceding century had received grants of land totalling 3 virgates, one from Thomas son of Gurmund in 1199 (fn. 22) and two from Gilbert Mallore in 1227, (fn. 23) which may account for the 3 virgates of William Buenvasleth in 1086 which are not subsequently mentioned as a separate holding. A further gift of 2 virgates and 9 acres was made to Kenilworth before 1279 by Robert son of Odo. (fn. 24) The total value of the Kenilworth property in Harbury was in 1291 £4 10s. (fn. 25) and (excluding the rectory) £7 11s. in 1535; (fn. 26) it was kept in crown hands till 1561, when it was granted as a manor to John Fisher and Thomas Dabridgecourt, the former receiving the site of the manor-house, then occupied by Thomas Wagstaff. (fn. 27) They re-granted it in the next year to Thomas Fisher or Hawkins, (fn. 28) possibly a relative, who had been M.P. for Warwick and a confidential agent of the Duke of Northumberland. (fn. 29) He died in possession in 1577, when this manor was stated to be held of the Crown. (fn. 30) Edward Fisher his son conveyed it by fine in 1592 to Sir Henry Poole and others, (fn. 31) and Edward's son John sold it to Thomas Coxe of Bishop's Itchington, the latter in 1622 selling it to Richard Wagstaff, (fn. 32) a member of a family that had been settled in Harbury for some generations. (fn. 33) He and others dealt with 'the manor of Killingworth (i.e. Kenilworth) in Harbury' by fine in 1635 (fn. 34) and 1638. (fn. 35) By the marriage in 1697 of Sir Edward Bagot, bart., to Frances, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Wagstaff, (fn. 36) it passed to the Bagot family, who were lords in 1730, (fn. 37) after which date it was not reckoned a separate manor.
As regards the Ferrers holding, 1 knight's fee, in Harbury and Chesterton (q.v.), was held in 1166 by Odo son of John, of William de Boscherville, under Earl William de Ferrers. (fn. 38) In 1203 a lawsuit occurred over this fee, Isabel de Say, widow of Ralph de Boscherville, claiming it in dower against Odo's son Robert. (fn. 39) The matter was settled by Isabel quitclaiming her right and Robert agreeing to hold the fee of Hugh de Picheford and Burga his wife, daughter and heiress of Ralph de Boscherville, for 20s. yearly. (fn. 40) In 1242–3 this fee was held by Odo de Herberbiry of Ralph de Picheford of the Earl Ferrers. (fn. 41) In 1279 Robert son of Odo granted this fee, of which the demesne lands amounted to 175½ acres, with meadow and pasture, with 2 hides in Chesterton, and in Harbury some 13 virgates, of which Robert's daughters Julian and Elizabeth each held one and Thomas Ode two, with the chief messuage and all services due, to the abbey of Combe. (fn. 42) In 1285 the Abbot of Combe had view of frankpledge and assize of bread and ale in his Warwickshire manors, including Harbury. (fn. 43) The Combe property also included 2 carucates granted in 1202 by Henry de Elmton, saving a life-tenancy of Reynold Basset for 2s. yearly, (fn. 44) and a large portion of the Meulan holding in Harbury (see below). In 1484 William Catesby was granted by the Abbot and Convent of Combe a yearly rent of 26s. 8d. for life secured on their Harbury estates. (fn. 45) These estates were valued at £12 0s. 7d. before the Dissolution; (fn. 46) they were not granted out by the Crown till 1582, when the recipients were Edmund Frost and John Walker and their heirs. (fn. 47) They sold this Harbury manor to Thomas Wagstaff, a London lawyer, brother of Richard Wagstaff who subsequently bought the Kenilworth manor (see above). Thomas Wagstaff subsequently sold it, probably in the early years of the 17th century, to William Cookes of Snitterfield. (fn. 48) The sons of the latter, John (the first to be styled 'of Harbury' in the 1682–3 Visitation (fn. 49) ), and Henry Cookes, with Hester the wife of the latter, settled the manor in 1648 on William Cookes, John's second son, and John Townsend, a member of his wife's family, (fn. 50) Thomas Cookes, William's great-nephew, executing a similar transaction in 1694. (fn. 51) About 1717 this manor was bought by Henry Greswold of Solihull, who was lord in that year; (fn. 52) his brother the Rev. Marshall Greswold was in possession when William Thomas made his revision of Dugdale. (fn. 53) The manor has since remained with the Greswolds and their descendants, Anne (Henry Greswold's daughter) being lady of the manor in 1750–3, David Lewis (husband of Mary, Marshall Greswold's last surviving child) lord in 1759–66, (fn. 54) his son Henry Greswold Lewis between 1776 (fn. 55) and 1821 (fn. 56) and Capt. Edmund Meysy Wigley Greswold (vouchee in a recovery of 1832 (fn. 57) ) from 1829 to his death in 1833. (fn. 58) He was succeeded by his uncle Henry Greswold, whose executors held the manor in 1850. (fn. 59) By the marriage of Dorothy, Henry's sister, to John Williams of Pitmaston (Worcs.) in 1800, the manor passed to this family, who took the additional surname of Greswolde. (fn. 60) Since the death of Capt. Francis Wigley Greswolde-Williams in 1931 the manorial rights seem to have lapsed.
Turchil's 4 hides passed to the earls of Warwick, who were the overlords of a fee in Harbury in 1235–6 and 1242–3 (fn. 61) and in 1401. (fn. 62) In the first case Robert le Megre is stated to be the tenant, and in the second he is said to hold of Henry de Lodbroc, who held of the Earl of Warwick. Another Henry de Lodbroc is mentioned as chief tenant in 1316. (fn. 63) This family had long been settled at Harbury and Ladbroke, though not descended from the William who was Turchil's subtenant in 1086, as suggested by Dugdale. (fn. 64) About 1130 there was a dispute between Robert de Lodbroc and Geoffrey de Clinton, chamberlain and treasurer of Henry I, as to the tenure of lands in Harbury, the right of the former being confirmed as a tenant of Geoffrey. (fn. 65) At this period the family divided into two branches, Ralph the son of Robert being known as le Megre, a nickname that attached also to his descendants. His grandson Robert was the subtenant and cousin of Henry de Lodbroc (see above). William le Megre, son of this Robert, left two daughters as heiresses, Amice the wife of John le Lou and Margery the wife of Philip le Lou. Their respective portions were both granted away to other subtenants by the end of the 13th century, Amice and her husband conveying to Eustace de Hacche in 1290 16 messuages, 2 gardens, 2 carucates, and 16 virgates of land, 12 acres of meadow, and 16s. of rent in Harbury and Wappenbury, (fn. 66) and Philip le Lou conveying a messuage, a carcucate of land, and 7 acres of meadow to Nicholas le Trimenel and Mabel his wife in 1295. (fn. 67)
The other branch of the Lodbroc family, probably the senior as the le Megre fee was held of them, continued to have interests in Harbury till nearly the end of the 14th century. In 1300 Henry de Lodbroc, grandson of the previous Henry, granted a life-tenancy of half a virgate to Robert Ede of Harbury and Alice his wife, for 5s. rent and suit of court. (fn. 68) The same Henry settled the manor, for 10 marks sterling annually, on his son John and his wife Hawise, daughter of Sir Robert de Daventry, (fn. 69) in 1323. (fn. 70) Two years later he granted the life-tenancy of another half-virgate, formerly held by John Page, to Thomas le Prestis and Alice his wife for 5s., (fn. 71) and in 1326 John de Lodbroc granted a life-interest in 5 marks rent to his father-in-law. (fn. 72) In 1328 he granted land and a mill to Simon the miller and his wife Margery for life, which property had in the same year been granted to him by John son of John Wylecokes of Harbury. (fn. 73) Another life-tenancy was made by John de Lodbroc in 1335 of a house, croft, and 1½ acres of land at le Euednest in Harbury to John le Ferur and Joan his wife; these had been held by Henry Attestretusende, and the rent was 4s. and a heriot at death. (fn. 74) In 1350 the manor was settled on Hawise, John de Lodbroc's widow, with remainder to John's son Thomas and Alice daughter of William Catesby and their heirs. (fn. 75) Thomas de Lodbroc and his brothers John and Hugh all died without issue, the manor descending to their sister Alice, wife of Lewis Cardican or Cook, who was 30 years of age in 1386. (fn. 76) Her daughter and heiress Katharine married William Hathwyk, who was the Earl of Warwick's tenant in 1401. (fn. 77) His son John held the manor in 1432–3, when it was rated at one-eighth of a knight's fee. (fn. 78)
In 1529 Robert Corbett conveyed a manor in Harbury to Michael Dormer, (fn. 79) and in the following year Joan Hall, formerly Corbett, widow (perhaps his mother) made another conveyance to Edward Underhill, (fn. 80) who died seised of this manor in 1547. (fn. 81) In 1553 his sons John and William, with Katharine Dormer, widow of Michael, settled the manor on her for life, with remainder to (her fourth son) (fn. 82) John Dormer. (fn. 83) He and his brother William conveyed the manor in 1591 to John Camden, (fn. 84) to whom it was confirmed in 1594 by John Stampe and Isabel his wife, (fn. 85) who was niece and heir of John Dormer. (fn. 86)
In 1635 John Bickley died in possession of a manor held of Francis, Lord Dunsmore (afterwards Earl of Chichester), which had been settled by his father Robert at John's marriage in 1619 to Anne Phippes; his son, another John, was aged 7 at his father's death. (fn. 87)
The 4½ hides of the Count of Meulan passed to the earls of Leicester, but disappeared fairly soon as a separate entity, although this had been the largest of the Domesday holdings in Harbury. The immediate subtenant of the earls in the reign of Henry I was Geoffrey de Clinton, who as already stated was in dispute with Robert de Lodbroc the tenant of the 4 hides of the earls of Warwick. (fn. 88) His son Geoffrey gave the church of Harbury, with 2 virgates of land, to Kenilworth Priory. (fn. 89) Henry de Clinton, son of the younger Geoffrey, granted much of the remainder of his land to various persons; 100s. worth to Henry Mallore in 1201, (fn. 90) and other portions to Reynold Basset, who also acquired land here from Henry Mallore, which Robert 'Fitz-Pernel', Earl of Leicester, confirmed to him, and from Walter le Bret. (fn. 91) In 1201 Reynold Basset granted 2 carucates and 5 virgates in Harbury to the Abbot of Combe, (fn. 92) who as a tenant of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester, held estates in Harbury that included two mills, a dovecote, and a garden (total value £9 2s.) in 1291 (fn. 93) and were reckoned at a fifth and a quarter of a knight's fee in 1298. (fn. 94) By the same inquisition John Mallore was declared to hold a quarter of a knight's fee, (fn. 95) which was held by others of the same name in 1330 and 1361 of the honor of Leicester. (fn. 96) It was separately distinguished as late as 1428 as having been held by John Mallore, though the overlord is unnamed. (fn. 97) Reynold Basset must have kept a small part of his estates when he made his grant to Combe Abbey, for in 1326 a commission of oyer and terminer was issued regarding a complaint by Ralph Basset that when abroad in the king's service persons had broken into various of his estates, including Harbury, and assaulted his servants. (fn. 98) But the greater part of the Clinton property in Harbury had by the beginning of the 13th century been granted to Kenilworth and Combe Abbeys, and descended with these monasteries' holdings in Harbury from other sources (see above).
Land in Harbury was in the reign of Henry II given by the younger Geoffrey de Clinton and his son Henry to the Knights Templars who, in 1185, had rather over 10 virgates of Henry's fee, of which 5 virgates of demesne and 'the court' were then leased to Seffrid the Dean (of Chichester). (fn. 99) In 1200 they sought warranty from Henry de Clinton of a number of grants which he had made in Harbury and Tachbrook amounting to 6 virgates, 1 acre, and 2 cotlands, as well as 2 hides given by Geoffrey, of which they had lost 'the chief court' and 1 virgate. (fn. 100) The Harbury portion consisted of 1 carucate, 2 virgates, and 6 acres, together with 5 virgates in demesne, held in 1279 from Robert son of Odo, under Earl Ferrers. (fn. 101) After the suppression of the Templars in 1308 this property evidently passed to the Hospitallers, whose prior was suing William son of Thomas Oede for land in Harbury in 1347; (fn. 102) and the grant to John Fisher in 1562 included a capital messuage in Harbury late of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 103)
Richard de Barre, with the assent of Robert, Earl of Leicester (1163–8), gave his land in Harbury to Nuneaton Priory, subject to a rent of 10 marks during his life. (fn. 104) And 2 virgates in Harbury were granted by Robert le Megre in 1213 to the Priory of Nuneaton, (fn. 105) the prioress being reckoned as one of the 'lords' of Harbury in 1279. (fn. 106) The Nuneaton property in 'Horrebury' (? Harbury) was in 1535 worth £3 5s. 8d. (fn. 107) and was included in the grant to Fisher in 1582. (fn. 108)
The Priory of Clattercote in Oxfordshire had a grant of land here from Philip son of Miles of Coventry, which they transferred to Combe Abbey in 1242. (fn. 109)
The church of ALL SAINTS lies to the north of the village, in the centre of a small churchyard entered by a modern lychgate. It consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north chapel, and west tower. When built in the latter part of the 13th century it consisted of chancel, nave, south aisle, and west tower. It has been much altered in modern times, the south aisle widened, a north aisle and chapel added, most of the windows renewed, and the upper part of the tower rebuilt in red brickwork, the whole building re-roofed, and most of the walls refaced. All the roofs are tiled.
The east gable wall of the chancel is built of small limestone rubble with occasional blocks of dressed sandstone and dressed stone angle buttresses. The three-light moulded tracery window with a pointed arch and hood-moulding is modern. On the south side, also built of rubble, are two modern squareheaded windows of two trefoil lights with label mouldings, and between them a narrow doorway with a pointed arch of one splay, probably of 14th-century date; at the western end there is a low-side lancet window with a single splay, the lower part blocked with masonry. The north side, also of rubble, has a long narrow lancet window at the east end, dating from the 13th century; the remainder of this wall is occupied by a modern vestry. The east wall of the south aisle has a modern three-light tracery window with a pointed arch and hood-moulding stopped on square blocks. On the south side there are two similar windows with a buttress between, and to the west a modern doorway with a moulded pointed arch of two orders, the outer supported on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the west wall there is a four-light window to the nave and a three-light to the north aisle similar to those in the south aisle. The north aisle is lighted by three three-light and one two-light tracery windows, and has a north door; all similar to those in the south aisle. The vestry is a continuation of the aisle and has a pointed arch doorway of one splay and lighted on the east side by a three-light window similar to that in the aisle. Against its north wall there is a small brick-built boiler-house with a tiled roof.
The west tower must have given trouble from the time it was built; the original shallow flat buttresses were unequal to arresting a tendency for its west wall to lean outwards and, as a result, massive buttresses in four weathered stages were built at the west corners, partly overlapping the original ones. The upper part of the second and belfry stages had been taken down to the level of the ridge of the nave roof, where the tower was finished off with a low pyramidal roof; (fn. 110) they were rebuilt in red brick, perhaps when the bells were recast in 1811. The tower, built of roughly coursed limestone rubble with worked sandstone dressings, is in three stages, with buttresses at each corner, that at the north-east angle coming down in the nave. On the west face in the first stage is a lancet window with a single splay and above, in the second stage, which is marked by a weathered splay, there is the blocked lower half of a narrow window. From half-way up this stage the tower is continued in modern brickwork. The buttress at the north-west corner is embodied in the modern nave wall. The later buttress to the south overlaps a loop light to the tower stair, and a square opening has been left in the north side to act as a borrowed light. On the south side in the lower stage there is a lancet window and above it in the second stage a diamond-shaped painted wooden clock dial dated 1835, but the clock itself dates from the 18th century. Above the clock in the brickwork is a roundheaded window to the ringing-chamber. On the face of the buttress to the west there is an incised and painted sundial with an inscription—'Time flieth what dost . . .' The modern brick belfry stage has a battlemented parapet with plain cement copings, a cement string-course marking the third stage, and roundheaded openings in each face.
The chancel (30 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 9 in.) has a modern tiled floor with two steps from the nave, one at the altar rail, and two to the altar. The modern roof is of the hammer-beam type. The east window has a pointed rear-arch and splayed stop-chamfered jambs and below it a modern carved stone reredos with coloured tile panels. At the east end of the south wall there is a modern piscina with a stop-chamfered trefoil head. The two modern windows have flatshouldered rear-arches, and the doorway between them a pointed one with a single splay. At the west end the low-side window has a splayed recess with a flat head. Fixed to this wall is a small brass inscription to Anne Wagstaff, died 1624. The western half of the north wall has been removed and a wide arch inserted, opening into the modern vestry, the organ being placed under the arch. In the eastern end the 13th-century lancet window has a widely splayed recess with a pointed rear-arch.
The nave (65 ft. 2 in. by 20 ft. 9 in.) has a tile and wood-block floor and an open roof of the queen-post type with curved brackets to the tie-beams. The south arcade has three bays with pointed arches of two splayed orders supported on octagonal pillars with richly moulded capitals and bases. At the ends the inner order dies out on flat responds and the outer continues down to splayed stops. The tower arch is of three splayed orders, the inner resting on responds, which repeat the inner order, with restored moulded capitals and single-splay bases, the two outer splays dying out on the walls.
The south aisle (38 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 6 in.) was widened when the nave was rebuilt and the north aisle added. The line of the earlier lean-to roof can be seen on the east wall of the tower below the modern kingpost truss roof. The arch from the aisle to the tower was not widened with the aisle but its south jamb was rebuilt; it is of three splayed orders, the inner order resting on a respond with a moulded capital on the south and dying out on the tower pier on the north. The modern north arcade is of five bays with pointed arches, octagonal pillars and capitals in harmony with the original on the south. The chancel arch is of two splayed orders which continue down to splayed stops without capitals, dating from about the middle of the 14th century. In the floor at the west end is a large stone slab to Alys Wagstaffe, died 1563, inlaid with an inscribed brass border enclosing the matrix for a female figure and on her right is a brass figure of her daughter in the dress of the period, her hands clasped in prayer, and on her left the matrix for her (five) sons. There are two brass inscriptions outside the border and two within. (fn. 111)
The north aisle (65 ft. 5 in. by 16 ft. 10 in.) is paved with tiles, and the open roof is a form of queen-post with curved brackets to the tie-beams. All the windows have pointed stop-chamfered rear-arches. In the floor at the west end is a large stone slab with a brass coat of arms in a lozenge with crest and mantling, and below a brass tablet to James Wright, died 1685. Opposite the north door is a modern stone font with an octagonal basin, having foliated panels on all sides, octagonal shaft, moulded base, and a circular basin lined with copper. In front of the north door there is an early17th-century carved chest with a plain panelled lid. The vestry is a continuation of the north aisle and shut off from it by a wooden screen. On the north side there is a door and a recess with a segmental-pointed arch. The floor is tiled.
The tower (15 ft. 3 in. by 15 ft. 5 in.) is paved with tiles and has an octagonal base in the centre for the font, now in the north aisle. The two lancet windows have widely-splayed jambs and sills with pointed reararches. The south-west corner is splayed for the door to the tower staircase, which has a pointed arch formed of two stones. On the walls there are several 18th- and 19th-century memorials, and against the south wall an oak chest with iron bands terminating in fleurs-de-lis, two locks, and hasps for padlocks, probably early18th-century.
The five bells were recast by Thomas Mears in 1811. (fn. 112)
The church was granted to Kenilworth Priory by the younger Geoffrey de Clinton about the middle of the 12th century. (fn. 113) His gift was ratified by Robert de Lodbroke and his brother William, a priest, and by Robert's son Ralph le Megre, in the presence of his grandmother, his wife, and her mother and her uncle Ralph de Parco, with the addition of 2 virgates of land, one of them in remorse for having laid violent hands on the canons in a quarrel as to their rights to it. (fn. 114) It was appropriated to the priory by Bishop Muschamp in the reign of John. (fn. 115) The patronage remained with the convent; just before the Dissolution they granted a turn, which was not exercised till 1550, to Nicholas Cooke and others. (fn. 116) The rectory and advowson were retained by the Crown till 1589–90, when they were granted to Richard Thekeston and others. (fn. 117) They were soon passed to the Wagstaff family, Henry and Thomas in 1598 conveying the advowson to Richard Wagstaff, (fn. 118) subsequently lord of one of the Harbury manors. Between 1633, when Richard Wagstaff presented, (fn. 119) and 1638 (fn. 120) the advowson came into the hands of James Wright; he or his son James presented in 1670, (fn. 121) and Dorothy Wright of Warwick in 1711. (fn. 122) By 1743 the advowson had passed to the Newsham or Newsam family, who continued to hold it for more than a century, the Rev. Clement Newsam (died c. 1852) being incumbent as well as patron. (fn. 123) The next presentation was made by trustees, (fn. 124) and after being in private hands early in the 20th century (Mrs. Edith Kearney patron, 1900, (fn. 125) Mrs. Beardsworth, 1915), (fn. 126) the advowson is again in the hands of trustees. (fn. 127)
The value of the church in 1291 was £12 4s. 8d., together with pensions of 10s. yearly to the Prior of Warmington and 12s. yearly to the Prior of Tutbury (Staffs.) (fn. 128) In 1535 the rectory was farmed at £10 (fn. 129) and the vicarage was worth £5 clear. (fn. 130) At this time Tutbury still received the 12s. pension, in lieu of tithes from Kenilworth. (fn. 131) This pension must have been derived from the gift of 'Vasolinus' of two-thirds of the tithes of his demesne in Harbury and Chesterton, which gift was confirmed by Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, between 1140 and 1160. (fn. 132) The pension to Warmington originated in a grant of tithes here and elsewhere made by Robert, Count of Meulan, and his brother Henry, Earl of Warwick, to the abbey of Préaux, confirmed by William I c. 1080. (fn. 133) Warmington Priory was a cell of Préaux and was granted in 1428 to the Carthusians of Witham (Somerset), (fn. 134) but there is no evidence of the 10s. being paid to them.
John Jorge. It is recited in a deed dated 20 May 1736 that certain land in Harbury was given for the relief of the poor and the maintenance and repair of the church of Harbury. The land has been sold and the proceeds of sale invested. The annual income amounts to £47 14s. 8d.
Poor's Allotment. Upon the inclosure of the common fields of Harbury about 1780 an allotment of 30 acres was awarded in lieu of the right of the poor to cut furze. The allotment is now let, producing an annual income of £33 1s.
The charities are regulated by schemes of the Charity Commissioners dated 16 June 1865 and 31 July 1869. The schemes appoint a body of trustees and directs that one moiety of the income of Jorge's charity shall be applied towards the maintenance of the fabric of the parish church, inclusive of the tower and steeple but exclusive of the chancel, and, subject thereto, towards defraying the other expenses usually covered by a church rate, and the other moiety and the income of the Poor's Allotment shall be applied in the provision of clothes, bedding, &c., for the most deserving poor persons resident in the parish.