A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12, Ramsbury and Selkley Hundreds; the Borough of Marlborough. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1983.
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Winterbourne Bassett, 10 km. northwest of Marlborough, is the most northerly of three rectangular parishes, Winterbourne Monkton, Berwick Bassett, and Winterbourne Bassett, which lie across the valley of the upper Kennet. (fn. 1) From east to west it measures 5 km. and from north to south, at its widest point, 2 km. By c. 970 its eastern limit had been established at Hackpen Hill and it extended westwards to Stanmore on the high ground above the escarpment at Clyffe Pypard. (fn. 2) The straight northern boundary with Broad Hinton may also have been set early. The name Winterbourne was derived from the small streams at the head of the Kennet and was shared by neighbouring settlements. By the 13th century the suffix Bassett had been adopted from the lords of the manor. The parish then probably included Rabson and Richardson, south of Winterbourne Bassett. Rabson was known as Winterbourne in 1086 and as North Winterbourne, to distinguish it from Winterbourne Monkton, further south, in the 12th century. The names Rabson, derived from ownership by the abbess of Amesbury, and North Winterbourne were both used until the 16th century. (fn. 3) In the 17th century lands and tithes from Stanmore, formerly a detached but tithable part of Beckhampton chapelry in Avebury, passed to the lord of Winterbourne Bassett manor and the rector of Winterbourne Bassett respectively, and a portion of Stanmore thus became part of the parish; the remainder was absorbed into Clyffe Pypard parish. (fn. 4) The southern boundary of the modern parish of 886 ha. (2,190 a.) was defined by an exchange of lands between Richardson and Berwick Bassett in 1782. (fn. 5) In the 19th century the lands of Winterbourne Bassett township, some 1,070 a., occupied the northern half of the parish. Richardson, c. 460 a., including 150 a. at Stanmore, lay in the south-west corner and Rabson, c. 540 a., including lands formerly part of Richardson, in the south-east corner. (fn. 6)
From Winterbourne Bassett village near the centre of the parish the head stream of the Kennet flows south. It is fed by several tributaries, which sometimes disappear underground. One rises near the boundary north of the village, a second enters the parish 500 m. further east, a third follows a winding course from the western boundary south of Stanmore Copse. Only the valley south of the village lies below 168 m. Much of the land in the parish is flat but Hackpen Hill and the downland east of it reach heights above 259 m. and north-east of Stanmore Copse the land rises more gently to 198 m. Chalk outcrops over the whole parish; on the ridge of Hackpen Hill it is covered by clay-with-flints. (fn. 7)
Little evidence of prehistoric settlement survives. There are earthworks on the western slopes of Hackpen Hill and south of Stanmore Copse and barrows near Winterbourne Bassett village. The remains of a Neolithic monument of concentric stone circles, the outer ring of which was 65 m. in diameter, stand 1 km. west of the village. (fn. 8)
In historic times the flat, well drained lands of the parish have been used chiefly for arable farming. Pasture was mainly restricted to Hackpen Hill and to the rising ground in the northwest corner of the parish. Lands between and beside the streams provided extensive meadows. (fn. 9) There were woods at Rabson in the 16th century but small plantations established near Richardson House and at Stanmore in or before the 18th century accounted for most of the woodland in 1980. (fn. 10)
There were three north-south routes through the parish in the 18th century, the Ridge Way on the crest of Hackpen Hill, the Swindon–Avebury road, then known as Harepath Way, and a road from Broad Hinton to Yatesbury. The SwindonAvebury road, 2 km. west of Hackpen Hill, was turnpiked in 1767 and became the major route. The Ridge Way and the road from Broad Hinton to Yatesbury, which ran 600 m. west of Winterbourne Bassett village, were tracks in 1980. Then, as in the 18th century, the only road leading west from the Swindon-Avebury road ran through the village to Clyffe Pypard. East of the Swindon-Avebury road Lambourn way and Marlborough way led east across the downs in 1760. (fn. 11) Only Marlborough way, the more southerly, was visible as a track in 1980.
The parish was among the less prosperous and populous of Selkley hundred in the 14th century. (fn. 12) In the 16th century, however, tax assessments of Winterbourne Bassett were little lower than the average. (fn. 13) The population of the parish fell from 218 in 1801 to 203 in 1811 but had increased very rapidly to 291 by 1821. As men left to work in the Swindon railway yards and farm labourers were replaced by machinery numbers fell to reach 249 in 1861. The population had risen to 271 in 1891 but had declined, with occasional fluctuations, to 156 by 1971. (fn. 14)
The medieval settlements of Winterbourne Bassett, Rabson, and Richardson did not differ greatly in size or prosperity but Winterbourne Bassett was the most substantial. It was assessed for taxation at 13s. 4d. in 1334 and in 1377 had 35 poll-tax payers. (fn. 15) In the mid 16th century its taxation assessment was considerably higher than those for the other townships. (fn. 16) The older buildings of the village stand beside the road to Clyffe Pypard between the two south flowing streams. From the road a drive leads south to the church, the Manor and its farmstead, and the Old Rectory. North of the road are brick and sarsen cottages of the 17th century and later and the White Horse inn, established opposite the Manor in or before 1757 and rebuilt after a fire in 1913. (fn. 17) In the mid 18th century farmhouses attached to copyholds and small freeholds stood east of the Manor and the eastern stream. (fn. 18) Settlement spread beyond the western stream in the late 18th century and the early 19th. (fn. 19) Cottages and a school were built north of the road in the older part of the village in the 19th century. Buildings at the west end of the village were demolished in the late 19th century and a terrace of brick cottages was built further west. A former nonconformist chapel also stands beyond the western stream. By the late 19th century some houses east of the Manor had been demolished (fn. 20) and in the 20th century council houses were built there.
Rabson was the smallest settlement in the parish in the Middle Ages and had 21 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 21) In 1545 the tax assessment was similar to that for Richardson but there was only one contributor from Rabson, which may then have been no more than a single farmstead. (fn. 22) It was so in the 18th century when, as in the 20th century, Rabson Manor, 500 m. south of Winterbourne Bassett, was reached by a lane from the Swindon-Avebury road. (fn. 23)
There were 31 poll-tax payers at Richardson in 1377 and in 1545 two inhabitants were assessed for taxation. (fn. 24) The manor house stood 400 m. south-west of Rabson. In the late 17th century a second farmstead was built 1.25 km. further west, near the road from Broad Hinton to Yatesbury. In the 18th century a lane linked the large manor house directly with the SwindonAvebury road. (fn. 25) In the 19th century there was a pair of cottages on that site which was reached only from Rabson. Of greater importance then, as in 1980, was the second farmstead, Whyr Farm. (fn. 26)
Manors and Other Estates.
Between 967 and 975 King Edgar granted to his thegn Edric an estate at Winterbourne, (fn. 27) probably that at Winterbourne Bassett held in 1066 by two thegns and in 1086 by Humphrey Lisle. (fn. 28) Reynold de Dunstanville, husband of Adelize Lisle, a daughter and heir of Humphrey Lisle, held lands at Winterbourne Bassett in or before 1121. (fn. 29) The Dunstanvilles' estates formed the nucleus of the barony of Castle Combe, and the manor of WINTERBOURNE BASSETT was held of the barony until the 16th century or later. (fn. 30) In the 1240s Reynold de Mohun held the manor as intermediate lord. (fn. 31)
Walter de Dunstanville, great-grandson of Reynold (fl. c. 1121), granted the manor to his nephew Alan Basset in 1194. The grant was confirmed in 1199. (fn. 32) Alan's son Gilbert inherited the manor c. 1232. Gilbert's estates were confiscated for his rebellion against Henry III but were restored in 1234. He died in 1241 (fn. 33) and was succeeded by his brothers Fulk, dean of York and later bishop of London (d. 1259), and Philip (d. 1271). (fn. 34) The manor passed to Philip's daughter Aline, relict of Sir Hugh le Despenser and wife of Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk. On her death in 1281 it was inherited by her son Sir Hugh le Despenser, (fn. 35) later earl of Winchester. Despenser was deprived of his estates in 1321 but Winterbourne Bassett was restored to him in or before 1325. The manor again passed to the Crown at his execution in 1326 (fn. 36) and in 1327 was granted to Queen Isabel, Edward III's mother, for life. (fn. 37) The grant was revoked after her defeat in 1330 but was renewed in 1331. (fn. 38) Queen Isabel died in 1358 and in 1359 the manor was granted to Queen Philippa (d. 1369). (fn. 39) It reverted to the Crown and in 1377 Edward III granted it to his son Edmund of Langley, earl of Cambridge (created duke of York in 1385). (fn. 40) Edmund was succeeded in 1402 by his son Edward, duke of York, (fn. 41) who mortgaged the manor in 1415 to raise money for the foundation of Fotheringhay college (Northants.). (fn. 42) After his death at Agincourt in that year Edward's estate was held in trust for his nephew Richard Plantagenet, duke of York. (fn. 43) Winterbourne Bassett was presumably confiscated with the rest of the York estates when Richard (d. 1460) was defeated by the Lancastrians and afterwards recovered by his son Edward IV. In 1461 the king granted the manor for life to his mother Cecily, duchess of York. (fn. 44) In 1492 a further life interest was granted in reversion to Elizabeth, the queen consort, who retained that interest when the York lands were resumed by the Crown on Cecily's death in 1495. (fn. 45) The manor was granted as part of the jointure of queens consort to Catherine of Aragon in 1509, Jane Seymour in 1536, Anne of Cleves in 1540, Catherine Howard in 1541, and Catherine Parr in 1544. (fn. 46) In 1553 it was acquired by William Herbert, earl of Pembroke (d. 1570), in an exchange with the Crown. It passed with the earldom to William's son Henry (d. 1601) and grandson William Herbert. (fn. 47) That William sold the manor to Thomas Baskerville in 1614. (fn. 48) Thomas was succeeded in 1621 by his son Francis (d. before 1685), grandson Thomas Baskerville (fl. 1707), and great-grandson Richard Baskerville. (fn. 49) By will proved 1739 Richard devised the manor to Thomas, son of his daughter Meliora and her husband and distant cousin Thomas Baskerville of Aberedw (Radnors., later Powys). (fn. 50) In 1754 the younger Thomas sold it to Henry Fox (created Baron Holland in 1763, d. 1774). (fn. 51) The manor descended with the Holland title until the death of Henry Edward Fox, Baron Holland, in 1859. (fn. 52) Lord Holland's relict Mary, Baroness Holland (d. 1889), devised it to his nephew L. W. H. Powys, who took the name Fox-Powys in 1890. (fn. 53) On his death in 1893 the manor passed to Fox-Powys's nephew John Powys, Baron Lilford, who sold it to James Horton c. 1906. Horton (d. 1926) was succeeded by his son John (fn. 54) who sold the estate as Manor and Whyr farms to the Gaunts Estate Company in 1938. (fn. 55) After 1951 the farms were bought by Hosier Estates and in 1964 they were sold to Mrs. D. King. (fn. 56) In 1970 Whyr farm was sold separately to Mr. M. R. Young. Mrs. King and Mr. Young owned Manor and Whyr farms respectively in 1980. (fn. 57)
In the 1550s the manor house included a hall and a parlour with chimneys. (fn. 58) Silver and coin valued at £1,000 were stolen from the house in 1557. (fn. 59) In the 18th century the house was rebuilt in brick with an east front and a north wing projecting at the back. A long back range was added south of the wing in the 19th century. The interior was altered then and c. 1970.
An estate at Winterbourne held by Amesbury abbey in 1066 and 1086 became the manor of RABSON or NORTH WINTERBOURNE. (fn. 60) The manor was among the endowments of Amesbury priory, refounded from the older house in 1177, (fn. 61) and passed to the Crown at the Dissolution. In 1539 it was granted to Robert Seymour for life. The reversion of the manor was granted to John Barwick and sold by him in 1544 to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford and later duke of Somerset, probably a kinsman of Robert Seymour. It was forfeited on Somerset's attainder in 1552. (fn. 62) In 1562 the manor was granted to John Ayliffe. (fn. 63) In 1572 Ayliffe (d. 1581) settled it on his wife Susan for life with remainder to his younger son George (fl. 1602). (fn. 64) George was succeeded by John Ayliffe (d. 1631), probably his son. (fn. 65) The manor passed to John's son Sir George (d. c. 1647) and grandson John Ayliffe. That John's son John was executed in 1685, perhaps before his father's death, and the manor passed to his brother George (d. 1712) and George's daughter Judith. She devised it to her cousin Susanna, wife of Thomas Horner, (fn. 66) who in 1744 settled it on herself for life with remainder to Henry Fox, later Baron Holland, brother of her son-in-law Stephen Fox, Baron Ilchester. After Susanna's death in 1758 the manor descended with that of Winterbourne Bassett. (fn. 67) Rabson was sold by Hosier Estates c. 1965 to Mr. W. K. Horton, the owner in 1980. (fn. 68) Rabson Manor is a substantial L-shaped house of sarsen, built in the early 17th century and heightened and extended in the 18th and 19th centuries. It retains some original fittings and part of a late 17th-century staircase.
In 1242–3 ¼ knight's fee in Richardson was held of the honor of Hereford. (fn. 69) The overlordship of RICHARDSON manor descended with the earldom of Hereford until the death of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, in 1383. (fn. 70) On the division of Humphrey's estates it was allotted to his daughter Mary, wife of Henry of Lancaster, earl of Derby, later Henry IV. (fn. 71) William Quintin held Richardson of the honor in 1242–3 (fn. 72) and Reynold of Lavington, in his wife's right, in 1275. (fn. 73) In 1368 William Houghton and Thomas Torand, probably acting as feoffees, granted Richardson to William Wroughton (d. 1392) and his wife Isabel (fl.c. 1402). (fn. 74) It passed in the Wroughton family with Hinton Wase manor in Broad Hinton to William Wroughton (d. 1559). (fn. 75) In 1604 Thomas Hutchins (d. 1607) settled the manor on himself for life with reversion to Thomas Baskerville, and from 1614 Richardson descended with Winterbourne Bassett manor. (fn. 76) There was a substantial house set in formal gardens at Richardson in the mid 18th century. (fn. 77) Since the mid 19th century, however, the site has been occupied by cottages. (fn. 78)
Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke, held ½ knight's fee in Richardson in 1242–3. (fn. 79) The overlordship passed with the marshalcy to Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, who held it in 1275. (fn. 80) No later reference to a marshal as overlord has been found but the fee was probably that held in 1316 by William Mauduit as mesne lord and later by Ralph Mauduit. (fn. 81) Rents and services from Richardson, perhaps derived from that lordship, were settled on John Clyffe in 1395 (fn. 82) and in 1399 on Sir John Roches (d. 1400) and his wife William (d. 1410). (fn. 83) They passed with the Rocheses' other property in Winterbourne Bassett to their daughter Elizabeth, wife of Sir Walter Beauchamp (d. 1430). (fn. 84)
In 1387 Simon Best held lands at 'Fippesdene' in Winterbourne Bassett. John Lypiatt held them for life in 1394 (fn. 85) and in 1399 the reversion was granted by feoffees to Sir John Roches and his wife William. (fn. 86) The lands were inherited by the Rocheses' daughter Elizabeth (fl. 1430), wife of Sir Walter Beauchamp, who was succeeded by her son Sir William Beauchamp (d. 1457). (fn. 87) They passed in turn to Sir William's relict Elizabeth, Lady St. Amand (d. 1491), and son Sir Richard Beauchamp, Lord St. Amand (d. 1508). (fn. 88) In 1534 the estate of a messuage and 1 yardland was held by Edward Baynton who sold it to John Goddard of Upham in Aldbourne in 1557. (fn. 89) In that year it passed to John's son Thomas (d. 1598). (fn. 90) Another John Goddard held lands in Winterbourne Bassett, probably the same estate, at his death in 1635. He was succeeded by his grandson Edward Goddard (fn. 91) and Edward or a descendant of the same name sold the lands to Caleb Bailey c. 1708. (fn. 92) Later they presumably became part of Winterbourne Bassett manor.
Before 1242 an estate was held in demesne by Roger Baril, who sold land in Richardson, perhaps part of it, to Stanley abbey. The remainder of Baril's land passed in turn to Theobald of Winterbourne and his son Richard Theobald. (fn. 93) Richard or his son of the same name held it in 1242–3. (fn. 94)
In or before the 13th century Stanley abbey received 1 yardland from Theobald of Winterbourne, 4 a. from Richard Theobald the elder, and 1½ a. from Richard Theobald the younger, all of which was evidently held of the earldom of Pembroke. (fn. 95) From Nicholas Wase the abbey received small parcels of land in Richardson, probably part of 1 yardland conveyed to him by William Long, (fn. 96) and from Reynold of Lavington and his wife Emme 1 a. by exchange. (fn. 97) In 1227 William the clerk of Berwick and his son John of Berwick gave 24 a. and 5 a. respectively to the abbey. (fn. 98) In the same year Edmund of Rockley and his wife Scholace granted ⅓ knight's fee in Richardson to the hospital of St. Bartholomew in Bristol. (fn. 99) The hospital granted its holdings in Richardson to Stanley abbey, apparently in return for a rent. (fn. 100) The Crown conveyed the estates of the abbey to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (later earl of Hertford and duke of Somerset), in 1536 and presumably recovered them on his attainder in 1552. (fn. 101) In 1562 Cuthbert Vaughan and his wife Elizabeth were licensed to alienate the greater part of the former abbey's holdings to Thomas Hutchins. The lands were later part of Hutchins's manor of Richardson. (fn. 102)
In 1066 Stanmore was held by Bruning and in 1086 by Ansfrid as a tenant of Gilbert of Breteuil. (fn. 103) The portion of Stanmore which became part of the parish of Winterbourne Bassett passed with Gilbert's manor of Beckhampton in Avebury to the Stourton family and was held by John Stourton, Lord Stourton, at his death in 1462. (fn. 104) Thomas Hutchins (d. 1607) held lands in Stanmore, probably those formerly held by Stourton, which were afterwards absorbed into Winterbourne Bassett manor. (fn. 105)
Other lands in Stanmore were part of the endowment of the chapel of Beckhampton and passed to the Crown at its dissolution. In 1561 they were granted to Thomas Browne. (fn. 106) In the mid 17th century, and perhaps earlier, they were held with Winterbourne Bassett manor. (fn. 107)
In the late 10th century the lands of Winterbourne Bassett were described as '5 hides of land in individual holding to the west of the village and 5 hides in common occupation to the east of the village'. The boundary of the lands west of the village was then fixed but that east of the village is not recorded. It is not clear whether the division, presumably marked by the stream, was between the several holdings and the open fields, both used only by the inhabitants of Winterbourne Bassett, or between the lands of the township and the pasture shared by that and neighbouring townships. (fn. 108) In the later Middle Ages the lands of Winterbourne Bassett manor were probably worked with those of other estates in the parish, except at Stanmore which had its own fields. (fn. 109) In the 16th century the lord and tenants of that manor had holdings in severalty in the recently inclosed west field; there remained three open fields north and east of the village. There was common pasture at the eastern end of the parish on Hackpen Hill and Winterbourne Down, west of the hill. The lord or farmer and tenants of Winterbourne Bassett manor had summer pasture for cattle on Hackpen Hill; in winter it was grazed by the lord's sheep. Another pasture, called 'inlander', was reserved for the lord's sheep until Hocktide and then grazed in common as long as the grass was sufficient. Both lord or farmer and tenants had pasture for cattle in summer and winter in 'west leaze'. (fn. 110) By the mid 18th century Hackpen Hill and Winterbourne Down had been inclosed. (fn. 111) Open-field farming ended with the absorption of almost all the lands of the parish into a few large farms in the early 19th century. (fn. 112)
The estate which became Winterbourne Bassett manor was rated as 10 hides in 1066. In 1086 there was land for 6 ploughteams. In demesne were 4 hides and 10 a. with 3 teams and 8 serfs; 4 villeins and 8 bordars had 3 teams. There were 14 a. of meadow and 20 a. of pasture. The estate was valued at £10 in 1066 and 1086. (fn. 113) Rabson was a smaller estate on which geld was paid for 3 hides in 1066. Its value increased from £4 in 1066 to £5 in 1086 when it was rated as 6 hides. The demesne of 3 hides with 3 teams was then proportionately larger than that of Winterbourne Bassett although there were only 2 serfs. There were, however, more tenants: 5 villeins and 10 bordars held 1 team. There were 3 a. of meadow and pasture ½ league long and ½ league broad. (fn. 114)
In 1331 and 1338 Winterbourne Bassett manor was leased to Gilbert of Berwick, as it may have been earlier to Edward of Berwick Bassett. (fn. 115) The manor was leased for terms of years from the mid 14th century to the 16th. (fn. 116) In 1281 the demesne of the manor extended to 260 a. of arable, 8 a. of meadow, and pasture for 300 sheep. Rents totalling 46s. were received from customary tenants. (fn. 117) In the late 15th century the demesne was assessed at 16 yardlands, of which 10 yardlands were known as courtlands. (fn. 118) The size of the demesne farm increased as customary holdings were brought in hand. There were 300 a. of demesne arable in the open fields, 100 a. of several arable, mostly in the west field, and pasture for 500 sheep c. 1560. (fn. 119)
Other farms in the parish were smaller. The demesne of Richardson manor was said to consist of 6 yardlands in 1392. (fn. 120) Rabson manor was leased with portions of tithes outside the parish in the mid 16th century. (fn. 121) There were two free tenants of Winterbourne Bassett manor in the 15th and 16th centuries; their holdings were of 20 a. with pasture for 40 sheep and of 80 a. with pasture for 80 sheep in 1564. The number of customary tenants of the manor fell from thirteen in 1450 to three in 1564, and the average size of their holdings doubled from 1 to 2 yardlands. (fn. 122)
In the mid 17th century there were three principal farms in the parish, derived from the demesne farms of the three manors, Winterbourne or Winterbourne Down, Rabson, and Richardson. Richardson was divided into Upper and Lower Richardson farms c. 1685. (fn. 123) Rabson and the Richardson farms were inclosed farms in the mid 18th century but most of the arable land of Winterbourne farm was still commonable in the 1740s. Some 60 a. of down, recently ploughed, were, however, several. By 1760 much of the farm had been consolidated and there was a large inclosed arable holding north of the village. A further 250 a. north of the village remained open and was worked by the holders of the farm and of eight small copyhold and freehold estates, including the rectorial glebe. (fn. 124) Those holdings, except the glebe, had been absorbed into Winterbourne farm by the early 19th century. The glebe lands were exchanged for a consolidated holding in 1823 and in 1844 the whole parish was held in severalty. (fn. 125)
Winterbourne farm was worked by tenants in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 126) It was chiefly arable and the area of pasture was further reduced when downland was ploughed in the early 18th century. That and restrictions on the folding of sheep on the open fields were then said to have reduced the value of the farm. (fn. 127) In the early 19th century the tenant, H. H. Budd, adopted advanced farming methods, including the planting of root crops, and his use of agricultural machinery made him a target of protest during the disturbances of the 1830s. (fn. 128) In 1844 Winterbourne farm contained 1,071 a. in the eastern and northern parts of the parish. Only 94 a. were pasture but there were 120 a. of meadow land. (fn. 129) In the 1930s wheat was the principal crop, although the land was difficult to drain, and pigs were kept on Hackpen Hill. (fn. 130) In 1980 the farm was of 1,186 a., including 710 a. of arable, 360 a. of grass, and 99 a. of rough grazing, and there was a dairy herd of 120 cows. (fn. 131)
The lands of Rabson farm were mostly grouped around Rabson Manor in the mid 18th century. Rabson down, 30 a. west of Hackpen Hill, was a detached part of the farm. (fn. 132) Part of Lower Richardson farm was worked with Rabson farm c. 1780 and had been absorbed into it by 1844. Rabson farm then included 322 a. of arable, 94 a. of pasture, and 122 a. of meadow. (fn. 133) The farm was worked by tenants in the 18th century and the 19th and by members of the Horton family as owners or tenants from 1880. (fn. 134) In 1980 it was of 560 a., chiefly arable land. (fn. 135)
The lands of Lower Richardson farm lay in the west part of the parish in parcels along the southern boundary. (fn. 136) The farm was in hand in the late 17th century but was worked by tenants in the 1760s and 1770s. Its lands were divided between Rabson and Whyr farms after 1780. (fn. 137) Upper Richardson farm, known as Whyr farm from the mid 18th century, was at the west end of the parish and included a larger area of pasture than the other farms; c. 1700 there was a flock of 600 sheep. A farmstead had then recently been built and the farm included 110 a. of arable and 36 a. of meadow land, formerly part of Stanmore, and a further 120 a. of arable land, some of which was newly broken. (fn. 138) In 1844 Whyr farm, 464 a., included 237 a. of arable south of the road to Clyffe Pypard and 75 a. of meadow. Then, as in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was worked by tenants. (fn. 139) Whyr was a dairy farm in the 1920s. In 1966, when it comprised c. 480 a., it was converted from corn and stock to a wholly arable farm. (fn. 140)
A mill, valued at 12s. a year, was part of Winterbourne Bassett manor in 1281. (fn. 141)
Although tithingmen from Winterbourne Bassett and Richardson attended hundred courts from the 15th century until the 19th, (fn. 142) separate views of frankpledge were held for Winterbourne Bassett in the mid 16th century. There is no evidence that Rabson was a tithing nor is a tithingman from Rabson or Richardson known to have attended the views for Winterbourne Bassett. The views were held with manor courts and presentments were made by a tithingman. Business before the courts included tenurial matters and the regulation of common pastures. (fn. 143) Nothing is known of manorial courts for Rabson or Richardson.
In the early 19th century the lord of Winterbourne Bassett manor made leases of farms conditional upon agreement to pay a labour rate. It is not clear whether the rate was a minimum wage or a tax related to the number of labourers employed but it was said to reduce the level of the poor rate. (fn. 144) In the 1830s, however, the average annual expenditure on the poor was £150, little lower than that in neighbouring parishes of similar size. In 1835 Winterbourne Bassett became part of Marlborough poor-law union. (fn. 145)
In or before 1121 Reynold de Dunstanville gave Winterbourne Bassett church to Lewes priory. (fn. 146) The church was not appropriated, and from the 13th century until the Dissolution the rector of Winterbourne Bassett paid an annual pension of 30s. to the priory. (fn. 147) In 1538 the pension was granted to Thomas Cromwell, later earl of Essex. It presumably reverted to the Crown on his attainder in 1539 and no further record of it has been found. (fn. 148) The priory held the advowson until the Dissolution. In the early 13th century the prior presented candidates nominated by Alan Basset. The patronage was exercised by the bishop of Salisbury in 1322 and, by lapse, in 1449. John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, presented in the 1340s possibly by virtue of a grant from the prior. (fn. 149) As a result of grants made shortly before the Dissolution, there were various claimants to the patronage in the mid 16th century. In 1531 the advowson was granted for a single turn to Sir John Gage and Sir Edward Baynton, who sold it c. 1544 to Robert Ward. Ward sold the same turn to John Thimble and to John Taylor. Thimble's right was acknowledged as valid (fn. 150) but there is no record of a presentation by him. Sir William Wroughton was said to hold the advowson in the 1550s. (fn. 151) After the Dissolution the Crown granted the patronage to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, in 1553. (fn. 152) Rights of next presentation granted by earls of Pembroke were conveyed by the grantees to Charles Wotton and Robert Holloway who presented in 1572 and 1608 respectively. (fn. 153) The advowson was sold in 1682 (fn. 154) and in 1696 Richard Glass presented. (fn. 155) His kinsman, the Revd. Richard Glass, then rector of Winterbourne Bassett, sold the advowson to Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1714. (fn. 156) The college was sole patron of the united benefice of Winterbourne Bassett with Berwick Bassett, established in 1929, (fn. 157) and held the presentation at alternate turns after 1951, when Winterbourne Bassett was held in plurality with Broad Hinton. (fn. 158) The living became part of the Upper Kennet team ministry in 1975. (fn. 159)
From the 13th century the rector's income was well above the average for the deanery of Avebury. The living was valued at £10 in 1291 and at £18 9s. in 1535. (fn. 160) In the 1830s the rector received £634 a year. (fn. 161) Tithes from the whole parish were paid to the rector in the 16th century. (fn. 162) In the late 17th century he also received half the tithes of Stanmore, except those from 20 a. of arable and meadow, formerly part of the glebe of Beckhampton chapel, in return for rights of baptism, marriage, and burial in Winterbourne Bassett church. (fn. 163) The tithes were replaced by a rent charge of £688 in 1844. (fn. 164) The glebe consisted of 24 a. and pasture for 60 sheep in 1564. (fn. 165) In 1662 there were also 13 a. of several pasture in the west field. (fn. 166) Some 30 a. of glebe were sold in 1915 and another 20 a. later. (fn. 167) In 1671 there was a rectory house of four bays. (fn. 168) In the 1830s the house was of two storeys, each of two rooms, and a kitchen and scullery. Although described as unfit for residence, it was occupied by the curate. (fn. 169) A new house was built in 1850 and sold in 1951. (fn. 170)
The valuable living attracted pluralist incumbents, including Fulk Basset, rector from c. 1214 to c. 1239, who was nominated to the living by his father. (fn. 171) Of his successors one was licensed as a non-resident in 1396, another as a pluralist in 1471. (fn. 172) In the mid 16th century and the mid 17th, following periods of disruption, the furnishings, ornaments, and service of the church were inadequate; quarterly sermons were omitted in the 1550s and in 1662 communion was not celebrated properly because the minister was sick and the people 'backward'. (fn. 173) Pre-Reformation traditions apparently died hard in the parish; in the early 17th century the clerk still invoked St. Catherine, patron saint of the parish. (fn. 174) From 1726 until the mid 19th century the rectors, most of them former fellows of Magdalen College, were pluralists who appointed curates to serve the parish. (fn. 175) Members of the Goddard family, who were also vicars and curates of Clyffe Pypard, were curates of Winterbourne Bassett between 1783 and 1842. (fn. 176) In 1783 morning and afternoon services on Sundays alternated with those at Clyffe Pypard. Communion was celebrated at the three principal festivals. (fn. 177) Morning and afternoon services were held each Sunday in the mid 19th century; 65 people attended in the morning and 72 in the afternoon on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 178) Additional services at festivals and in Lent and more frequent celebrations of communion were introduced in the 1860s and c. 1900 services were held daily. (fn. 179)
The church was dedicated to St. Catherine in the 16th century but was known as St. Peter's in 1848. (fn. 180) Since 1904 it has been dedicated to ST. KATHERINE AND ST. PETER. (fn. 181) Much of the building is of coursed sarsen rubble with freestone dressings. It has a chancel, a nave with north transeptal chapel, north aisle, and south porch, and a west tower. The earliest features are an early 13th-century font and a late 13thcentury effigy slab in the north chapel. The chancel and the nave with its aisle and chapel were apparently rebuilt in the mid 14th century although the nave may follow an older plan. In the late 15th century the tower was added, new windows were made in the north aisle, and the south-west corner of the nave, including a window and the south doorway, was rebuilt. Another window on the south side of the nave is of the 16th century. The south porch was added in 1611. (fn. 182) Most of the fittings in the nave, including the pews, pulpit, and font cover, are of the 17th century. The chancel roof, which was lowered at that time, was raised again at a restoration of 1857. New roofs were then built over the nave, aisle, and transept. (fn. 183)
In 1553 plate weighing 2½ oz. was confiscated and a chalice of 6 oz. left in the parish. (fn. 184) There was no communion cup or flagon in 1662. (fn. 185) A large late 17th-century chalice and a paten of 1695 were held by the parish in 1980. (fn. 186) There were three bells in 1553. Two new bells were cast in 1583 and another in 1609. One of the bells of 1583 and late 19th-century replacements for the other two bells still hung in the church in 1980. (fn. 187)
Registers of baptisms begin in 1681 but are incomplete before 1722. Registers of burials begin in 1724 and of marriages in 1727. (fn. 188)
A house was licensed for dissenters' meetings in 1824. (fn. 189) In 1864 Primitive Methodists met in a cottage; many members of the congregation also attended the parish church. (fn. 190) There were two services each Sunday and one during the week in the 1880s. (fn. 191) A small brick chapel, built c. 1903, (fn. 192) fell into disuse in the 1950s and was sold in 1960. (fn. 193)
Although there was a small day school in the parish in 1818, the poor were said to desire more adequate means of education. (fn. 194) There was no school in 1833 (fn. 195) but c. 1835 a cottage on the south side of the village street was converted for use as a school attached to the Church of England. (fn. 196) In 1858 there were 28 pupils and some older children attended Broad Hinton school. (fn. 197) A new school was built north of the village street in 1875. (fn. 198) Average attendance fell from 45 in 1914 to 36 in 1927 (fn. 199) although in the 1920s the pupils included some children from Berwick Bassett. (fn. 200) The school was closed in 1966. (fn. 201)