A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 15, Amesbury Hundred, Branch and Dole Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1995.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Steeple Langford parish is in the Wylye valley 13 km. north-west of Salisbury and 19 km. ESE. of Warminster. (fn. 1) It contains Steeple Langford, Bathampton, and Hanging Langford, a total of 4,018 a. (1,626 ha.), with villages at Steeple Langford and Hanging Langford. In 1934 Little Langford was added to Steeple Langford parish, (fn. 2) thereafter 2,039 ha. (5,038 a.). In this article most aspects of the histories of Bathampton and Hanging Langford are dealt with separately under their own names.
Much of the parish is downland across which its boundaries are generally straight and in most places ignore relief. The south part of the eastern boundary, with Little Langford, the south part of the western, with Wylye, and, apparently, the north part of the western, with Deptford in Wylye, were described in the 10th century. (fn. 3) To the south-west part of the boundary follows a dry valley, and for short distances courses of the Wylye are the boundaries with Wylye and Little Langford. The northern boundary is on the watershed of the Wylye and Till, the southern on that of the Wylye and Nadder. The boundaries were drawn across two prehistoric settlement sites and the southern is marked by an ancient ditch.
Chalk outcrops over the whole parish. It is covered by clay-with-flints along the southern boundary where, at c. 185 m., the flat land between the Wylye and Nadder valleys is the highest in the parish. The northern downs reach 167 m. There are ridges and dry valleys in both north and south parts of the parish, but also a flat area of 300–350 a. at c. 125 m. in the north. The Wylye falls little as it crosses the middle of the parish from west to east; it has deposited a wide band of alluvium and, on each side, a strip of gravel on which stand the main settlements. The flat land near the river is at c. 75 m. (fn. 4)
From the Middle Ages the parish conformed to the pattern of sheep-and-corn husbandry normal on the Wiltshire chalklands: there were meadows on the alluvium beside the river, pastures on the gravel between the alluvium and the chalk, open fields on the lower slopes of the downs, and extensive pastures mainly for sheep on the upland beyond. Steeple Langford and Hanging Langford each had a system of arable fields and common meadows and pastures which was not inclosed until the mid 19th century. (fn. 5) The clay-with-flints of the Wylye—Nadder watershed supports woodland, but nearly all that now in Steeple Langford parish had apparently been cleared by 1086 when none of the estates of Steeple Langford, Bathampton, and Hanging Langford had recorded woodland. (fn. 6) Hanging Langford had a wood called Ridgely, (fn. 7) later Stourton Hat, (fn. 8) c. 10 a. in the south-east corner of the parish; a few acres were planted at Bathampton between 1773 and 1838, and several coverts were planted on the downs of Steeple Langford in the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 9) No trade unconnected with agriculture has ever been prominent in the parish.
From the 11th century or earlier the Wylye was used to drive mills in the parish and from the 17th century or earlier to drown meadows: (fn. 10) partly because of its low fall the river was diverted into leets and minor courses. The main public bridge may for long have been that immediately west of the church, called Maskell's from 1592 or earlier. (fn. 11) Further east the river was forded, presumably the long ford from which three villages take their name, until a threearched concrete road bridge was built c. 1880. (fn. 12) East of that bridge lakes were formed north and south of the river by mid 20th-century gravel extraction. (fn. 13)
The Roman road thought to link Winchester and Old Salisbury to the Mendips, (fn. 14) and a ridge way, sometimes called the Grovely ridge way, leading from Wilton along the Wylye—Nadder watershed, may have crossed the southern tip of the parish. Berwick Lane may have been part of the Harrow way, an ancient road thought to link Kent and Somerset, which may have crossed the Wylye at the ford. (fn. 15) A road crossing the northern downs was the main road from Southampton and Salisbury to Bath and Bristol, via Tinhead in Edington, and a road branched from it leading to Chitterne. (fn. 16) It was superseded by two other roads to Bath turnpiked in 1761, one through Steeple Langford village linking the villages on the left bank of the Wylye between Wilton and Warminster, the other via Market Lavington over the downs further east. Both were disturnpiked in 1870. (fn. 17) In the 20th century the road through Steeple Langford became the main Southampton—Bristol road, and it was designated a trunk road in 1946. (fn. 18) A new section to bypass the village was built in 1989. (fn. 19) A downland road across the north part of the parish, crossing the old Bath road near the north-east boundary, was turnpiked between Amesbury and Mere in 1761 and disturnpiked in 1871. As part of the main London—Exeter road it was designated a trunk road in 1958. A Wilton— Warminster road through Hanging Langford, linking the villages between Great Wishford and Bishopstrow on the right bank of the Wylye, was turnpiked between Little Langford and Stockton, also in 1761, and disturnpiked in 1871. (fn. 20)
The Salisbury—Warminster section of the G.W.R. was opened across the parish in 1856. A halt at Hanging Langford was closed in 1857, (fn. 21) after which the nearest station was at Wylye.
Artefacts of the Neolithic period and later have been found in the parish, nine bowl barrows have been identified, and four prehistoric settlement sites and the Grovely Grim's ditch are on or near the parish boundary. (fn. 22) To the north Yarnbury castle is a large circular hill fort constructed c. 650 x c. 400 B.C. and extended all around 400–100 B.C. and by a west enclosure in Roman times. (fn. 23) To the south-east East castle is a much smaller hill fort or enclosure possibly of the Iron Age, (fn. 24) and to the south-west Church End ring and Hanging Langford camp were late Iron-Age settlements, with enclosures for livestock, and were still occupied in the Roman period. (fn. 25) There were prehistoric field systems on both the north and south downs. (fn. 26)
Later settlement was beside the Wylye and, even in the 19th and 20th centuries, there has been virtually no settlement on the downs. With 230 poll-tax payers the parish was very populous in 1377. (fn. 27) The population was 523 in 1801. It rose steadily to reach a peak of 634 in 1851 but was again 523 in 1881. The decline continued, with fluctuations, and the population was 410 in 1931. (fn. 28) The addition of Little Langford and new housing after the Second World War increased it, and it was 517 in 1991. (fn. 29)
Steeple Langford, with c. 1,640 a., had more land than either Hanging Langford or Little Langford: (fn. 30) it had 83 poll-tax payers in 1377, slightly fewer than Hanging Langford, (fn. 31) and had 354 inhabitants in 1841, when it was more populous than Hanging Langford. (fn. 32) It was sometimes called Great Langford: (fn. 33) the epithet Steeple, in use in 1285, (fn. 34) is probably derived from a spire on the church. (fn. 35) Like others in the Wylye valley Steeple Langford church stands near the river: the rectory house, the demesne farm buildings of Steeple Langford manor, and a mill are nearby, respectively east, north, and west. (fn. 36) The old Salisbury—Bath trunk road crosses the village east-west: most of the village is beside that and Duck Street, which leads south to the former ford and the bridge. The demesne farmhouse, Manor House, was built in the later 17th century with a seven-bayed south front of chequered limestone and flint and a small twingabled stair and service projection at the rear: a mullion bears the date 1679. The ground floor and its windows were apparently altered in the earlier 19th century, the first floor and staircase in the later 19th when a red-brick north-east kitchen wing was built to incorporate an earlier single-storeyed limestone and flint extension. The drawing room contains reset 17th-century panelling. North of the house are extensive 19thand 20th-century farm buildings. Until c. 1800 most of Steeple Langford's land was worked from the village, thereafter as much from buildings further east. (fn. 37) Several farmhouses but very few farm buildings except for those of Manor farm survive in the village.
In Duck Street, south of the church and the rectory house, stand a timber-framed and weatherboarded barn, a stone and thatch house dated 1635, and a pair of cottages and a farmhouse both of the 18th century and much altered in the 20th. On the north side of Salisbury Road at the junction with Duck Street is a late 17th-century farmhouse of chequered limestone and flint. A line of buildings east of it includes two red-brick houses of the 18th century, one dated 1788, and an early 19th-century farmhouse with a redbrick facade. On the south side of the road three pairs of rendered estate cottages are dated 1870 and a fourth pair 1871. Several other 18th- and 19th-century cottages and the school stand beside the road; in 1936 a large house was built on the north side of the road at the west end of the village, (fn. 38) and about then another south of the road at the east end. A church house built in the churchyard, possibly in the 16th century, was in use as cottages in 1838 (fn. 39) and 1991; the cottages were renovated in 1947. (fn. 40) North of Salisbury Road there were in 1773 a few buildings at the south end of Berwick Lane, (fn. 41) of which only a chequered and thatched cottage at the junction with Salisbury Road survives. Several cottages, one dated 1802, were built in the lane in the 19th century. In Duck Street 12 council houses were built in 1956–7, and between then and 1991 a total of c. 13 private houses in all parts of the village. In the earlier 19th century a terrace of four cottages was built south of Salisbury Road and east of Duck Street, and in the mid 20th century a road to them from Salisbury Road was remade and called the Wirr. In the Wirr four council houses were built in 1947 and five old people's bungalows in 1969; (fn. 42) c. 20 homes for old people were built in the 1970s in Edgar's Close off the Wirr.
Steeple Langford had innholders in the 17th century, (fn. 43) a public house called the Bell in 1751, (fn. 44) and beer retailers in the 19th century. (fn. 45) A public house in Salisbury Road at the junction with Berwick Lane was rebuilt and named the Bell between 1880 and 1903: (fn. 46) it was closed soon after the village was bypassed in 1989. (fn. 47) A private room in the village was used as a parish reading room until 1909. (fn. 48)
Tucking Langford, which took its name from a fulling mill, (fn. 49) was referred to as a settlement in 1435 (fn. 50) and had at least 4 households and 23 inhabitants in 1528. (fn. 51) It was almost certainly the hamlet east of the village called East End in 1773. (fn. 52) Between c. 1800 and 1869 the eastern lands of Steeple Langford were worked mainly from the three farmsteads there. (fn. 53) The southernmost of the three farmhouses, an 18th-century house of chequered stone and flint, survives. The other buildings were demolished, presumably when, in 1869, (fn. 54) East Clyffe Farm was built north of them and the Salisbury—Bath road. The new farmstead consisted of a large farmhouse, of white brick with dressings of red brick and ashlar, model farm buildings, and a pair of cottages. Another pair of cottages was built in the early 20th century (fn. 55) and a large bungalow in 1990. On the south side of the road between the village and East Clyffe Farm the East End inn was opened in 1898. (fn. 56) It was later called the Rainbow's End.
Manor and other estate.
Osulf held Steeple Langford in 1066; Wale ran the hunts— man held it as 10 hides in 1086. (fn. 57) The manor of STEEPLE LANGFORD descended to Waleran's heirs, possibly in the direct male line and presumably to William son of Waleran, Waleran (fl. 1131) son of William, Walter Waleran (fl. 1166), and Walter Waleran (d. 1200–1). (fn. 58) The second Walter's heirs were his daughters Cecily, Aubrey, and Isabel; Cecily married John of Monmouth, Aubrey Sir John de Ingham (d. c. 1203) and William de Botreaux (d. c. 1209), and Isabel William de Neville. The husbands held the manor jointly in the early 13 th century, (fn. 59) and John of Monmouth, Aubrey de Botreaux, and Isabel's daughter Joan de Neville (d. c. 1263), who married Jordan de St. Martin (d. c. 1223), held it jointly and in chief in 1242–3. (fn. 60) John of Monmouth (d. c. 1248) and Cecily were succeeded by their son John (d. 1257) who settled the manor or his right in it on his brother, evidently half-brother, John of Monmouth. (fn. 61) The brother was hanged for murder in 1281. (fn. 62) Aubrey (d. c. 1270) had a son Walter de Ingham (d. c. 1253) and a grandson and heir Oliver de Ingham (d. 1282), (fn. 63) and Joan had a son William de St. Martin (d. c. 1291). (fn. 64) Oliver and William claimed the manor but Edward I took it as an escheat, asserting that John of Monmouth (d. 1281) held it in chief, (fn. 65) and in 1299 settled it as dower on Queen Margaret. (fn. 66) In 1304 Oliver's son Sir John de Ingham and William's son Reynold de St. Martin petitioned parliament for the manor, acknowledging the king's right to have held, it for a year and a day but claiming it as their escheat on the grounds that John of Monmouth (d. 1281) held it not in chief but of the heirs of his brother John as coparceners. (fn. 67) In 1306 they recovered seisin, (fn. 68) and by 1310 had partitioned the manor, (fn. 69) which thereafter descended in moieties until 1588.
Sir John de Ingham's moiety passed at his death c. 1310 to his son Sir Oliver, from 1328 Lord Ingham (d. 1343 or 1344). Lord Ingham's relict Elizabeth held it (fn. 70) until her death in 1350, when it passed to his daughter Joan, Baroness Ingham (d. between 1360 and 1365), wife of Sir Roger Lestrange, Lord Strange (d. 1349), and later of Sir Miles de Stapleton (d. 1364). It descended with the Ingham title to Joan's son Sir Miles de Stapleton (fn. 71) (d. 1419), to that Sir Miles's son Sir Brian (fn. 72) (d. 1438), and to Sir Brian's son Sir Miles (fn. 73) (d. 1466), after whose death it was assigned to his daughter Joan (d. 1519), wife of Christopher Harcourt and later of Sir John Huddelstone (d. 1512). (fn. 74) Joan was succeeded by her son Sir Simon Harcourt (d. 1547), from whom the moiety descended in the direct line with the manor of Stanton Harcourt (Oxon.) to Sir John (d. 1565), Sir Simon (d. 1577), and Sir Walter. In 1581 Richard Knapton bought it from Sir Walter (fn. 75) and in 1585 sold it to Thomas Mompesson (d. 1587) of Little Bathampton. (fn. 76) In 1588 Mompesson's executors sold it to Nicholas Mussell, who already owned the second moiety. (fn. 77)
Reynold de St. Martin (d. c. 1315) (fn. 78) settled his moiety on the marriage of his son Laurence (d. 1318), whose relict Sibyl, (fn. 79) wife of John Scures, held it until her death in 1349. It passed to Laurence's son Laurence (fn. 80) (d. 1385) who settled it on his nephew Henry Popham (fn. 81) (d. 1418). (fn. 82) Popham's relict Margaret (fl. 1428) held the moiety as dower (fn. 83) and it passed to his son Sir Stephen (d. 1444), whose heirs were his four daughters, all minors. (fn. 84) The moiety passed to his daughter Alice (d. 1477), was held by her husband Humphrey Forster (d. 1500), and passed in the direct line to Sir George Forster (fn. 85) (will proved 1533) of Aldermaston (Berks.), Sir Humphrey (d. 1556), and William (d. 1574), (fn. 86) who in 1557 sold it to John Mussell for a rent charge of £34. (fn. 87) The rent charge descended to William's son Sir Humphrey (d. 1602) and to Sir Humphrey's son Sir William, (fn. 88) who in 1605 sold it to trustees under the settlement on the marriage of Tristram Mussell and Bridget Whitaker. (fn. 89) The moiety of the manor descended from John Mussell (d. 1576), to his son Nicholas, who united the two moieties in 1588. (fn. 90)
From Nicholas Mussell (d. 1619) Steeple Langford manor passed to his son Tristram (fn. 91) (d. 1624) and to Tristram's son Nicholas, (fn. 92) who in 1628 sold it to Sir Richard Grobham (d. 1629) of Great Wishford. (fn. 93) Grobham devised it to his wife Margaret (d. 1637) for life, to his brother John (will proved 1646) for life, to a relative George Grobham, who evidently predeceased John, and to his own heirs. (fn. 94) By 1647 it had passed to Sir Richard's nephew and heir John Howe (cr. baronet 1660). (fn. 95) From then until c. 1807 the manor descended with Great Wishford manor and was held after Sir John by Sir Richard Grobham Howe, Bt. (d. 1703), Sir Richard Howe, Bt. (d. 1730), Mary Howe (d. 1735), John Howe, Lord Chedworth (d. 1742), John, Lord Chedworth (d. 1762), Henry, Lord Chedworth (d. 1781), and John, Lord Chedworth (d. 1804). (fn. 96) About 1807 Chedworth's executors sold the manor, c. 1,660 a., to Alexander Baring (fn. 97) (cr. Baron Ashburton 1835, d. 1848). It passed with the barony to Alexander's sons William (d. 1864) and Francis (d. 1868), to Francis's son Alexander (d. 1889), and to Alexander's son Francis, (fn. 98) who in 1896 sold it to E. T. Hooley, a fraudulent financier declared bankrupt in 1898. Sir Christopher Furness bought the manor in 1898 and, through the Cavendish Land Company, offered it for sale in lots in 1909. (fn. 99)
In 1910 Manor farm, 878 a., including land in Berwick St. James, was bought by W. N. D. Burrows, (fn. 100) whose executors sold it to his son-inlaw E. F. Andrews. Apart from its water meadows and c. 220 a. north of the AmesburyMere road, including the land in Berwick St. James, Andrews sold it in 1948 to Mr. D. F. H. McCormick, who in 1989 sold it with the greater part of Little Bathampton manor to Mr. R. P. Merrick, the owner in 1991. The land north of the Amesbury—Mere road was bought c. 1948 by B. G. Ivory, the owner of Little Bathampton manor, was sold by him to Lord Hugh Russell in 1962, and passed with Great Bathampton manor to Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Maitland-Robinson, the owners in 1991. (fn. 101) East Clyffe farm, 826 a. including land in other parishes, was bought by Henry Andrews in 1909, was given by him to his four unmarried daughters, and in 1948 was bought from them by his son E. F. Andrews. In 1948 Andrews conveyed it to his son Mr. D. H. Andrews who, with members of his family, owned the farm in 1991. (fn. 102)
A small estate in Steeple Langford later called KINGSTON'S was possibly that in 1242–3 assessed as 1/10 knight's fee and held by John de Campeny. (fn. 103) John of Kingston held it in 1291. (fn. 104) It passed to Nicholas Kingston (d. c. 1323), who left a wife Anstice and as heir a brother John. John forfeited his lands as a contrariant but on the return to England of Queen Isabella in 1326 he re-entered by force. (fn. 105) The estate passed with Little Corsley manor in Corsley to his son Thomas and to Thomas's son Sir John (fl. 1383), and perhaps with that manor in the Kingston family until the death of Mary Kingston, wife of Thomas Lisle, in 1539. (fn. 106) It belonged to John Brimsden in 1560 (fn. 107) and probably to Thomas Brimsden of Steeple Langford in 1587. Thomas Brimsden of East Stowell in Wilcot held it in 1599 (fn. 108) and 1632, (fn. 109) and in 1652 his son Thomas (d. 1685) settled it on himself and his wife Anne (d. 1711). (fn. 110) Thomas's son Thomas married Eleanor Blagden (fn. 111) and Kingston's passed to a spinster Eleanor Brimsden, presumably the youngest Thomas's daughter and heir. In 1713 and 1717 Eleanor held it jointly with Edward Blagden (fn. 112) (d. 1730) of Keevil, (fn. 113) who was evidently her heir or assign. By 1733 it had passed to Edward's relict Anne Blagden (d. 1769) (fn. 114) and in 1770 was sold by her daughters Anne and Eleanor Blagden to Thomas Blake (fn. 115) (d. 1808). Blake devised Kingston's, 62 a. and pasture rights, to his niece Mary Dredge (d. 1816), wife of George Smith, for life, and to his grandnephew John Dredge (d. 1812), whose son Solomon Dredge held it from 1816 (fn. 116) to his death in 1856. Dredge's heirs were his sister Anne (d. 1858), wife of William Blake, and nephew J. J. Marshall. (fn. 117) Francis, Lord Ashburton, bought the estate, a moiety from Marshall in 1867 and a moiety from Anne Blake's trustees in 1868, (fn. 118) and added it to Steeple Langford manor.
In some aspects of agriculture Steeple Langford showed remarkable continuity: the proportions, two fifths and three fifths respectively, in which the land was divided between demesne and tenantry, the largely several cultivation of the demesne, and the arrangement of the tenantry's common meadows, common pastures, and three open fields are all likely to have changed little between the late nth century and the mid 19th. (fn. 119) In 1086 there was land for 5 ploughteams: 2 were on the 5 demesne hides with 5 servi, and 8 villani and 4 bordars had 3 teams. There were 30 a. of meadow, and pasture ½ league by 2 furlongs. (fn. 120) In the 1290s the demesne was in hand and c. 260 a. were sown each year: in 1295–6, for example, 81 a. of wheat, 83 a. of barley, n a. of dredge, 70 a. of oats, 10 a. of peas, and 9 a. of vetch were sown. Livestock included a flock of 200–250 sheep and a small herd of cows. Stock was brought to Steeple Langford from Adam de Stratton's lands in north-east Wiltshire while both were in the king's hands c. 1290. In Steeple Langford c. 21 yardlands were held by freeholders (3), the rector (c. 2), customary tenants (15), and the tenant of the corn mill (1). The customary holdings were small, 11 of 1 yardland, 6 of ½ yardland, 3 of ⅓ yardland, and 13 of little more than a cottage. Instead of rent and other service one yardlander had to represent the manor at hundred and county courts and to carry the king's writs. (fn. 121)
The working of the land was unaffected by the partition of the manor which took place between 1306 and 1310. (fn. 122) The demesne was possibly leased in the early 14th century, and was so in the later 15th. In the early 16th century it was held by a member of the Mussell family, (fn. 123) which later owned the manor, and presumably remained a sheep-and-corn farm, but in the 1560s feeding on it for 500 sheep was leased to the owner of Great Bathampton manor. (fn. 124) In 1628 the large and mainly several farm was reckoned 12 yardlands; 26 tenants, who had open fields called East, Middle, and West, and of whom 9 were lessees, then held a total of 19 yardlands, and some holdings, one of 3 yardlands, one of 2½, and two of 1½, were larger than before. The rector held a few acres in the farm fields although he kept his sheep in the tenants' flock; (fn. 125). on the other hand, by the later 17th century some customary land had been added to the farm. (fn. 126) By 1662 a new meadow had been made, presumably by controlling the flow of the Wylye over marshy ground and evidently that south-east of the village later called Marsh mead, 27 a., (fn. 127) and by 1685 downland north-east of the village had been ploughed to form New field, 48 a.: the new meadow was divided and allotted in small closes but the new arable, divided into 36 strips, was open field. In 1685 a yardland consisted of c. 20 a. in the old open fields, c. 2 a. in New field, 1½ a. in the common meadows, 1 a. in the new meadow, and feeding for 6 beasts and 42 sheep: 5½ yardlands were then in a single holding. (fn. 128)
Common husbandry on the tenantry lands continued throughout the 18th century. To supervise the watering of meadows the manor court sometimes appointed surveyors of waterworks, who were paid 5s. for each acre watered; (fn. 129) the court also appointed overseers of fences and overseers of furrows. (fn. 130) The demesne, Manor farm, 567 a. in 1807 and 1838, occupied the west part of Steeple Langford tithing with buildings at the north-west corner of the village: it included Farm down, 196 a., 21 a. of meadow of which 19 a. were watered in 1807, c. 34 a. of lowland pasture, c. 310 a. of arable, and the exclusive right to feed sheep on Cow down in winter. To the east Yonder, 164 a., Middle, c. 134 a., Home, c. 131 a., and New were open fields with a total of c. 814 strips. Tenantry down, 281 a., and 25 a. of slopes too steep to plough were for c. 1,175 sheep throughout the year; Marsh common, 27 a. immediately southeast of the village, was for cattle, Cow down, 95 a., was for cattle in summer, and Great meadow, 51 a., was fed on by cattle after haymaking. The farmer of the demesne took the hay from two fifths of Great meadow and could keep 40 beasts in the herd of c. 100. In 1807 the open arable was held by the rector (c. 38 a.), the owner of Kingston's (c. 56 a.), and c. 9 tenants of Steeple Langford manor (between 6 a. and 115 a.). (fn. 131)
The commonable lands were inclosed by Act in 1866, (fn. 132) but before then, especially between 1807 and 1838, the number of those sharing them was reduced by accumulation of holdings. In 1838 a single tenant held 509 a. including 734 strips, c. 376 a., in the open fields. His farm was apparently worked mainly from buildings at East End. The only other farm on the commonable lands was Kingston's, 60 a., also worked from East End. (fn. 133) After inclosure and the absorption of Kingston's into Steeple Langford manor 1867–8 (fn. 134) nearly all the land of the manor was in two long and narrow farms, and in 1869 new buildings, East Clyffe Farm, were erected for the eastern one. In 1898 Manor farm was 874 a., including Cow down and 184 a. of downland in Berwick St. James, and East Clyffe farm was 824 a., including the old open fields, Tenantry down, and 41 a. of downland in Berwick St. James. (fn. 135) The tenant of East Clyffe from 1894, Henry Andrews, invented the Andrews sacklifter. (fn. 136) There was no major change of land use before 1939, (fn. 137) but afterwards more of the downland was ploughed. In 1989 Manor farm, 905 a. including Little Bathampton land, was mainly arable: coverts had been planted earlier and game birds were shot for sport. (fn. 138) East Clyffe farm had a dairy herd until the early 1960s. In 1991, then c. 800 a., it was an arable and sheep farm on which land was leased for pig and poultry rearing. (fn. 139)
Clothmaking at Steeple Langford is suggested by references to a weaver there in 1575, (fn. 140) to a clothier in 1632, (fn. 141) and to women who carded and spun wool in the late 18th century. (fn. 142) In the later 17th century Thomas Sadler of Steeple Langford prepared flints for use in guns. (fn. 143) Gravel was extracted from beside the Wylye in the 1940s and 1950s. (fn. 144)
There was a mill at Steeple Langford in 1086, (fn. 145) and a corn mill was part of Steeple Langford manor until the 20th century. (fn. 146) It was in hand in 1294, when it needed repair: new stones were installed and the mill was leased in 1297–8. (fn. 147) From the early 14th century to 1588 there was a moiety of the mill in each part of the manor. (fn. 148) In the early 16th century the mill was rebuilt to house a grist and a malt mill, and in the 1530s and 1540s there were disputes over how the Wylye was divided into streams to serve Steeple Langford mill to the north and Hanging Langford mill to the south. (fn. 149) Steeple Langford mill was described as a grist and malt mill in 1796: (fn. 150) it is not clear for how long it was used for malt. The corn mill, which was bought by G. H. Chilcott in 1909, (fn. 151) was used until the First World War. (fn. 152) The mill was refronted with red brick in the late 18th or early 19th century.
A fulling mill stood in Steeple Langford in the 13th century but in the 1290s was said to have fallen to the ground. (fn. 153) It was rebuilt, or a new fulling mill was built, and by 1435 had given a name to Tucking Langford. (fn. 154) The mill and its pond were mentioned as late as 1698 (fn. 155) but fulling may have ceased before then.
A fair at Yarnbury castle on 23 and 24 September for cattle and general merchandise was granted to Sir Richard Howe in 1718. (fn. 156) No evidence supports the tradition that the fair was ancient. (fn. 157) It apparently flourished in the 18th century, and by the late 18th century, when it was held within the hill fort on 5 October, buildings had been erected for it. It was later for sheep on 4 October (fn. 158) and for hiring or amusements on a second day. It declined in the late 19th and early 20th century, and was moved to Wylye in 1917. (fn. 159) In the 1920s it was for sheep and a few cattle and horses, (fn. 160) and it has not been held since c. 1929. (fn. 161)
Neither Bathampton nor Hanging Langford was in Steeple Langford tithing. (fn. 162) A court of Steeple Langford manor was held in the late 13th century, (fn. 163) but no formal record of it before 1716 survives. The court baron, at which the homage presented rules for common husbandry, met six times in the period 1716–24, each time in autumn; most of the presentments were repeated at each meeting, but the rules were sometimes varied or added to. From 1722 orders to repair the stocks were made. (fn. 164) The court was held yearly 1782– 1800, and at each meeting the homage presented the same list of orders governing aspects of common husbandry; the death of tenants was reported and a hayward was appointed. (fn. 165)
Steeple Langford parish's spending on poor relief was above average in the later 18th century: £139 was spent in 1775–6, an average of £149 1783–5. In the early 19th century the two overseers gave most relief as regular doles: 20 adults were relieved regularly in 1802–3, c. 15 in 1809–10, c. 25 in 1819–20, and c. 40 in 1829–30. Other relief included payments for clothing, medical services, and fuel. Total expenditure on the poor fluctuated between £734, in 1812–13, (fn. 166) and £305, in 1829–30. (fn. 167) The parish became part of Wilton poor-law union in 1836, (fn. 168) and of Salisbury district in 1974. (fn. 169)
Steeple Langford church was apparently standing in the 12th century. (fn. 170) Recommendations of 1650 that Hanging Langford should be transferred to Little Langford parish and half of Bathampton to Fisherton de la Mere parish were not adopted. (fn. 171) In 1973 Steeple Langford was united with Little Langford to form the parish and benefice of the Langfords, and that benefice was united then with the benefice of Wylye and Fisherton de la Mere. In 1979 Stockton was added to create the new benefice of Yarnbury. (fn. 172)
John of Monmouth, who held Steeple Langford manor 1257–81, presented a rector, (fn. 173) the king, who held the manor 1281–99, presented in 1295, 1298, and 1299, (fn. 174) and Queen Margaret, who held the manor 1299–1306, presented in 1304. (fn. 175) When, between 1306 and 1310, the manor was partitioned Sir John de Ingham and Reynold de St. Martin was each allotted the right to present alternate rectors. Sir John was to have the first turn (fn. 176) and his son Sir Oliver (later Lord Ingham) presented in 1321. (fn. 177) In 1348 Reynold's grandson Laurence de St. Martin and the king disputed the patronage and made rival presentations. On the grounds that it had not been partitioned with the manor the king claimed that the advowson was the inheritance of Lord Ingham's granddaughter Mary Curzon who was then a minor. Although a nominee of the king may have been instituted in 1348, (fn. 178) Laurence established his right, and subsequently the advowson descended in moieties with the moieties of Steeple Langford manor, each lord to present alternately. In 1507 Henry Mervyn and William Tomson, possibly trustees of the Mompesson family, presented Henry Mompesson by grant of a turn from Sir George Forster, and Michael Scot, the grantee of Sir Humphrey Forster, presented in 1548. (fn. 179) John Mussell bought William Forster's moiety in 1557: (fn. 180) in 1572 he granted a turn to John Bailey, who became lessee of the rectory after his own grantee James Parham alias Wiseman presented John Parham, rector 1572–1607. (fn. 181) In 1586 Sir Walter Harcourt sold his moiety of the advowson to, apparently, trustees for Bailey, and Bailey also bought Mussell's moiety. Bailey (d. 1600), a mayor of Salisbury, devised the advowson to his son Samuel, (fn. 182) but in 1607–8 his elder son and executor John sold it to Joseph Collier, by whose grant his father Giles Collier presented him as rector in 1607. (fn. 183) The advowson descended in the Collier family, of which three more were rectors: trustees presented in 1635 and 1670 and Anne Collier, relict of Arthur Collier, rector 1670–98, presented in 1698, 1703, and 1704. Arthur Collier, rector 1704–32, (fn. 184) sold the advowson to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1725. (fn. 185) The college was assigned a share of the patronage in 1973 and 1979. (fn. 186)
The living was highly valued: in 1291 it was worth £20, (fn. 187) in the early 15th century £50 a year from it was paid to a rector who had resigned it, (fn. 188) it was worth £300 in 1650, (fn. 189) the glebe and tithes were leased for a total of £610 c. 1795, (fn. 190) and it yielded £594 net c. 1830. (fn. 191) The rector was entitled to all the tithes except those from the Hanging Langford manor of which Wilton abbey was overlord, (fn. 192) but by 1600 had lost most of the hay tithes. (fn. 193) The tithes were valued at £680 in 1838 and commuted. (fn. 194) From c. 1600 to the mid 19th century the glebe was c. 50 a. with pasture rights, (fn. 195) 60 a. after inclosure in 1866: (fn. 196) 37 a. were sold in 1947, (fn. 197) 11 a. were sold in 1989, and 7 a. were retained in 1991. (fn. 198) A new glebe house was built, apparently in the later 17th century and possibly soon after the Restoration, (fn. 199) of chequered flint and limestone with a main south front of seven irregularly disposed bays, a rear stair turret, and possibly a short rear service wing at the west end. In the mid 19th century, possibly soon after 1853 when Michael Harrison was instituted as rector, (fn. 200) the windows were renewed, the interior, apart from the staircase, was refitted, a porch on the south and other extensions on the north were built, and a coach house, other outbuildings, and garden walls were all built in chequerwork to match the house. A new house was built c. 1960 and the old one was sold in 1961. (fn. 201)
John of Winchester, rector 1299–1304, in 1300 was licensed as a subdeacon to be absent for three years to study: he proceeded to the orders of deacon and priest in 1301. (fn. 204) Nicholas of Winchester (alias Nicholas Fulflood), rector 1304–21, was an acolyte when instituted: in 1304, when a curate was appointed, Nicholas too was licensed to study for three years and he was ordained priest in 1307. (fn. 205) Many later rectors were resident but not, apparently, Cuthbert Tunstall, rector 1509–11 and later bishop of London and of Durham, (fn. 206) and R. T. Coates, rector 1802–53 and rector of Sopworth. (fn. 207) Joseph Collier, 1607–35, his son Henry, 1636–70, Henry's son Arthur, 1670–97, and Arthur's son Arthur, 1704–32, was each rector. (fn. 208) Henry was a royalist in arms and allegedly his wife and 11 children were left homeless in deep snow when he was ejected after the Civil War. The intruders included John Jessop 1646–8 and Nathaniel Giles, 1648–60, who is said to have preached twice on Sundays wearing a pistol at his neck (fn. 209) and was later a nonconformist. (fn. 210) In 1662 the church lacked a Book of Homilies and Jewell's Apology. (fn. 211) Arthur Collier (d. 1732) was the author of the metaphysical treatise Clavis Universalis. (fn. 212) In 1783 the rector, Samuel Weller, who was also curate of Little Langford, held two services at Steeple Langford each Sunday, services on other days, and communion with 30–40 communicants five times a year. (fn. 213) He died in the pulpit on Easter Sunday in 1795. (fn. 214) In 1864 two services were still held each Sunday, with an average congregation of 200, and communion was celebrated at the great festivals, with c. 30 communicants, and on six other Sundays. (fn. 215)
By will proved 1853 R. T. Coates gave the income from £100 to Sunday school children or, if no such school was held, to regular churchgoers. In 1904 and 1923 it was used to give treats and prizes to children. (fn. 216) Emily Straton (d. 1905) gave the income from £50 for the upkeep of the churchyard, (fn. 217) and Mrs. E. M. Brockbank (d. 1964) gave money for a similar purpose. In 1990 the income from all three charities was used as the donors intended. (fn. 218)
The church of ALL SAINTS, so called in 1763, (fn. 219) is of flint and ashlar, some of it coursed, and has a chancel with north vestry, a nave with north aisle and south porch, and a west tower with a short lead spire. The Purbeck marble font is of the 12th century and the east wall of the nave, which bears the scars of responds for a narrow, aisled, nave, may also be of that date. The chancel arch and the tower arch are 13th century. The church was largely rebuilt in the 14th century, and was rededicated in 1326: (fn. 220) the arcade, the north windows of the aisle, and the windows of the nave are early 14th-century, the tower is largely 14th-century, and the chancel may also have been. In the 15th century a rood stair was built against the south-east corner of the nave, windows were placed in the east and west walls of the aisle, and the upper stage of the tower was built. The porch was 15th- or early 16th-century, (fn. 221) and the spire was on the tower in 1589. (fn. 222) The chancel was rebuilt on its old foundations c. 1857 to designs of William Slater. (fn. 223) The vestry was built, the porch rebuilt, and the rest of the church reroofed and extensively restored in 1875 to designs by R. H. Carpenter. In 1782–3 two large pews were erected for the Moody family of Great Bathampton at the east end of the aisle, and other seats in the church were re-allotted: the church was reseated in 1875 when the west gallery, which had been erected by 1783, was removed. (fn. 224) Parts of a three-decker pulpit dated 1613, which was against the south wall in the mid 19th century, were re-used in 1875 in the reading desk and the pulpit. (fn. 225) The church contains monuments to the Mompesson family, an altar tomb commemorating John Mussell (d. 1576), and a stone slab incised, possibly c. 1300, to represent a man carrying a horn. (fn. 226) A Saxon cross shaft found at Hanging Langford c. 1937 was placed in the church. (fn. 227) A lych gate based on a design by Sir Gilbert Scott was erected in 1902. (fn. 228)
A chalice of 12 oz. was kept by the parish in 1553, when 18 oz. of plate were taken for the king. In 1991 the parish had a chalice of 1609, an almsdish of 1694 given in 1732, a paten of 1695, and a flagon hallmarked for and given in 1768. (fn. 229) There were three bells in 1553. Three new bells cast at Salisbury by William Purdue were hung in 1656. A tenor cast in 1737 by William Cockey and a treble cast at Salisbury in 1903 were added later, and one of the bells of 1656 was recast in 1903. Those five bells remained in the church in 1991. (fn. 230) The registers begin in 1674 and are complete. (fn. 231)
Several parishioners failed to attend Steeple Langford church in the later 16th century, (fn. 232) and Thomas Brimsden, who probably held the estate called Kingston's, was suspected of recusancy in 1587. (fn. 233) There was a protestant nonconformist in the parish in 1676, (fn. 234) and one or more papist until 1706 or later. (fn. 235) Nonconformists at Hanging Langford and possibly at Great Bathampton are mentioned below. (fn. 236)
There were in the parish in 1818 four small schools at which a total of 67 children too young for agricultural labour were taught to read, (fn. 237) but there was no more than a Sunday school in 1833. (fn. 238) In 1846–7 there were two Sunday schools united to the National society, and two dame schools. (fn. 239) The rector's proposal to extend the aisle of the church eastwards to provide a schoolroom was resisted by the parish in 1856, (fn. 240) and in 1858 the only schooling was in two cottages where 15–20 children were 'kept out of mischief. A National school incorporating a schoolhouse was built at Steeple Langford in 1861. (fn. 241) In 1864 boys left school at 9, girls at 12, and an evening school for boys was held. (fn. 242) In 1875–6 average attendance was 56 in the day, 17 in the evening. (fn. 243) The building was enlarged in 1895. (fn. 244) Average attendance, 108 in 1906–7, declined from 100 in 1913–14 to 38 in 1937–8, (fn. 245) and from 1938 older pupils attended school at Wilton. (fn. 246) Steeple Langford school was enlarged by new buildings in 1973. (fn. 247) In 1991 it had c. 27 on roll. (fn. 248)
Charities for the poor.
By deed of 1575 Susan Mompesson gave £1 6s. 8d. a year charged on her manor of Little Bathampton for distribution in Lent to the poor: in the early 19th century the curate distributed the money to elderly widows, sometimes biennially. Payment of the rent charge later lapsed but was revived c. 1905. Money was given to 13 widows in 1910–11 and 1923. (fn. 249) In 1991 the income was being allowed to accumulate. (fn. 250)
Susan Mompesson's sister Elizabeth (d. 1581), relict of Richard Perkins and Sir John Mervyn, (fn. 251) gave by will for the poor of Steeple Langford and Wylye parishes yearly 4 qr. of wheat to be distributed as bread in Lent, and, to be distributed on Good Friday, 25 ells of canvas for making shirts and smocks and 25 yd. of blue cloth for making coats and cassocks. The gifts were a charge on her Great Bathampton estate, and the parishes claimed them from the sequestrators of Francis Perkins's estate in 1651. In the early 19th century the tenant of Great Bathampton farm gave on Good Friday 3–lb. loaves of bread, possibly c. 750, to the old and needy, and, to 16 of the most needy, different recipients each year, a total of £3 6s. 8d. in place of cloth. The numbers of beneficiaries from Steeple Langford and from Wylye are likely to have been about equal. By a Scheme of 1875 Steeple Langford's share of the charity was commuted to yearly payments of £8 5s. In the early 20th century the income was used to pay for clothing and groceries for the poor: (fn. 252) there were 71 recipients in 1923, 2 in 1952, (fn. 253) 10 in 1960. (fn. 254) The rent charge was redeemed c. 1988 and the income was being allowed to accumulate in 1991. (fn. 255)
From 1628 or earlier £1 6s. 8d. a year for the poor was charged on Steeple Langford manor, (fn. 256) from 1675 or earlier by lease on the demesne lands: (fn. 257) no payment was made after c. 1811, and later it could not be shown that a perpetual charity had been endowed. (fn. 258) Thomas Mompesson (d. 1640) gave the interest from £20 to the poor: by 1655 only one year's interest had been paid, and the charity was apparently lost. (fn. 259) By the inclosure award of 1866 the poor were allotted 3 a., subject to a rent charge of £2. By Act of 1894 the land was transferred to the parish council, and it was used as garden allotments. (fn. 260)
The two Bathampton estates were called by the name Wylye in 1086, (fn. 261) and for long afterwards the name Batham Wylye was applied to each; (fn. 262) only from the 15th century did the name Bathampton become more usual. (fn. 263) Two groups of buildings c. 500 m. apart, Great Bathampton and Little Bathampton, each including a manor house and a farmstead, correspond to the two estates, (fn. 264) and it is unlikely that there was ever a single village or hamlet of Bathampton. Each group may be on the site of what in the early Middle Ages may have been a small settlement consisting of a demesne farmstead and a few tenants' farmsteads. (fn. 265) The estates had a total of c. 1,290 a., (fn. 266) and Bathampton had 60 poll-tax payers in 1377 (fn. 267) and 49 inhabitants in 1841. (fn. 268)
John Mompesson (d. 1500) had a house at Bathampton, almost certainly Little Bathampton, (fn. 269) and the present manor house, Ballington Manor, may be on its site. There was a mill nearby. (fn. 270) From, probably, the later 18th century to the early 20th the manor house was occupied by tenant farmers, (fn. 271) and in 1910 that house, extensive farm buildings, and five cottages were at Little Bathampton. (fn. 272) In 1939 a pair of stone and thatch cottages in vernacular style was built, the manor house was altered and extended, the mill house and farm buildings were altered, the latter to incorporate garages and a squash court, and stables were converted to a cottage. (fn. 273)
The survival near it of a medieval cruck barn of four bays, extended by three bays in the 17th century, suggests that Bathampton House is on the site of the medieval farmstead at Great Bathampton. Bathampton House was built in the late 17th century, and in the later 18th, presumably soon after 1764, (fn. 274) a farmhouse was built nearby. Great Bathampton farm had 11 cottages in 1910, most of them near the manor house. (fn. 275) In 1991 the farmhouse, a later 20thcentury house, and extensive farm buildings, some of the later 20th century, were near Bathampton House, and two bungalows, a cottage, and farm buildings were elsewhere.
In the 1960s and until the late 1980s the Wylye horse trials were held yearly at Great Bathampton. (fn. 276)
The grant by King Edward to his thegn Aelfric of 10 mansae at Wylye in 977 was possibly of Bathampton land. Of the two estates at Bathampton in 1066 Aluric held the larger, Edwin the smaller, and in 1086 Humphrey Lisle held both. (fn. 277) They passed through Adelize Lisle, wife of Reynold de Dunstanville and almost certainly Humphrey's daughter and heir, to Reynold de Dunstanville (cr. earl of Cornwall c. 1141, d. s.p.m. 1176), the son of Henry I and possibly of Adelize. From Reynold, earl of Cornwall, they passed to his son-in-law Walter de Dunstanville (d. 1194), (fn. 278) whose relict Sibyl and her husband Ingram de Pratell held them in 1204 and 1222. The larger estate had been subinfeudated by 1222, part of the smaller was subinfeudated by Earl Reynold. (fn. 279) The overlordship of the subinfeudated land, and a fee farm rent of £8 paid for the rest from the mid 12th century, (fn. 280) presumably passed to Walter's son Walter de Dunstanville (d. 1241); that Walter's son Walter (d. 1270) was overlord in 1242–3. (fn. 281) The overlordship passed to the youngest Walter's daughter Parnel, whose husband John de la Mare held it until his death in 1313. From John it passed to Bartholomew de Badlesmere, Lord Badlesmere (d. 1322), who bought the reversion from Parnel's son William de Montfort in 1309. Bartholomew's son Giles, Lord Badlesmere (d. 1338), (fn. 282) was succeeded as overlord by his sister Maud (fn. 283) (d. 1366) and her husband John de Vere, earl of Oxford (d. 1360), and Maud by her son Thomas de Vere, earl of Oxford (d. 1371). Thomas's son Robert, earl of Oxford (d. s.p. 1392), forfeited his estates in 1388. (fn. 284) In 1390 the overlord was said to be the lord of Castle Combe, then Giles de Badlesmere's grandniece Millicent (d. 1446), wife of Stephen Scrope. (fn. 285) Millicent's later husband Sir John Fastolf was overlord from 1409 to 1459, and thereafter the overlordship descended in the Scrope family with Castle Combe. (fn. 286) The £8 was still being paid to the overlord in 1476. (fn. 287) Richard Scrope was named as overlord in 1555. (fn. 288)
The more highly assessed estate at Bathampton, presumably GREAT BATHAMPTON manor, was held by Gilbert of Milford in 1222 and, as ½ knight's fee, in 1242–3. (fn. 289) It descended with Upper Woodfalls manor in Downton: Sir Stephen of Milford (alias Stephen of Woodfalls, d. c. 1260) presumably held it, and it passed to his son William of Milford (later Sir William of Woodfalls, d. by 1323), who in 1307 settled it on himself and his wife Margaret (or Margery, fl. 1342) and their issue. Margaret held it in 1316. (fn. 290) In 1338 it was held, possibly by a temporary tenure, by John Buckland, presumably the Sir John Buckland (d. 1362) who held a manor adjoining Woodfalls. (fn. 291) By 1369 the estate had passed with Upper Woodfalls to Joan, daughter of Joan of Woodfalls, (fn. 292) and it was held by her husband Sir Hugh Cheyne (d. 1390), (fn. 293) apparently by John Dauntsey (fl. 1391), who may have been her husband, (fn. 294) and by her husbands Sir Thomas Blount (d. 1400) (fn. 295) and Thomas Linford (fn. 296) (d. 1423). (fn. 297) It was apparently bought by John Chitterne, a clerk, c. 1409: (fn. 298) it evidently passed, like Upton Knoyle manor in East Knoyle and Hussey manor in North Tidworth, to his sister Agnes and her husband William Milbourne, and it descended in the direct line (fn. 299) to Richard Milbourne (d. 1451), Simon Milbourne (fn. 300) (d. 1464), and Sir Thomas Milbourne, (fn. 301) who in 1483 sold it to John Mompesson (fn. 302) (d. 1500), the owner of the second Bathampton estate. Both estates descended to John's grandson John Mompesson (fn. 303) (d. 1511) and to that John's son Edmund (fn. 304) (d. s.p. 1553). (fn. 305) At the partition of Edmund Mompesson's estates in 1556 Great Bathampton manor was allotted to his sister Elizabeth, wife of Richard Perkins (fn. 306) (d. 1560) (fn. 307) and later of Sir John Mervyn (d. 1566). (fn. 308) Although claimed by her heirs, under a settlement of 1573 it passed at Elizabeth's death in 1581 to her grandnephew Francis Perkins (d. 1616) who was also Richard Perkins's nephew and heir. (fn. 309) Two thirds of the manor were held by the Crown, apparently from 1590 to 1600, because Perkins failed to pay fines for recusancy. (fn. 310) He was succeeded by his son Francis (d. 1661), from whom two thirds were confiscated for the same reason in 1628 and 1650. (fn. 311) Francis was succeeded by his grandson Francis Perkins (d. 1694) and he by his son Francis (d. 1736), (fn. 312) whose sons Francis (d. 1749 or 1750), (fn. 313) James (d. 1755), Charles (d. 1762), and John (d. 1769) held the manor in turn. In 1764 it was sold to William Moody (fn. 314) (d. 1774), (fn. 315) and it descended in the direct line to William Moody (d. 1798), the Revd. William Moody (d. 1827), and Henry Moody (d. 1827). The manor, 713 a. in 1838, was held by Henry's relict Felicia Moody (d. 1888) (fn. 316) and passed to his daughter Henrietta Moody (d. 1911), who was succeeded in turn by her cousin J. H. S. Seagram (fn. 317) (d. 1920) and by Seagram's son T. O. Seagram (d. 1958). (fn. 318) Great Bathampton manor was sold in 1959 to Lord Hugh Russell, who sold it in 1986 to Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Maitland-Robinson, the owners in 1990. (fn. 319)
Bathampton House (fn. 320) was built in the late 17th century and bears a date stone for 1694 with initials FP for Francis Perkins. Its seven-bayed north entrance front is of ashlar with rusticated quoins and had mullioned and transomed windows. On the south side two short wings projected slightly east and west of the main range, and the fall of the ground allowed for a third, basement, storey. The chimneys, which have rusticated bases and tall fielded panelled sides, are set at the four corners of the house. In the 18th century, presumably soon after 1764, the mullions and transoms were removed from the windows of the north front, and the space between the wings was filled to make an unbroken south elevation. (fn. 321) Early in the 19th century a three-storeyed canted bay window was added towards the east end of the south front, and the wooden semicircular north porch is possibly of similar date. Inside the house the east wing has a late 17th-century staircase with turned newels and twisted balusters, there is some bolectionmoulded panelling, and a first-floor room has reset early 17th-century panelling, but most of the decoration is of the later 18th century or early 19th. The fireplace surround in the north-east room on the ground floor, of carved white marble with half-quatrefoil shafts of variegated brown marble, is reputedly from Fonthill Abbey in Fonthill Gifford. (fn. 322) East of the house is a late 17th-century stable block, and south-east later 18th-century walled gardens.
In the mid 12th century Reynold, earl of Cornwall, granted an estate at Bathampton, apparently what was later LITTLE BATHAMPTON manor, in two parts to John of Wylye and his wife Agace, 1 hide as 1/5 knight's fee, possibly the demesne, and land at fee farm, possibly the customary land. (fn. 323) The two parts were held by Agace and her husband Nicholas of Merriott in 1203. (fn. 324) John had a son Thomas (fn. 325) (d. by 1204) (fn. 326) whose heir was Nicholas of Wylye: (fn. 327) in 1242–3 Nicholas held the hide of Alfred of Lincoln who held of the overlord, and Philip of Deptford held it of Nicholas; Nicholas held the other land as ¼ knight's fee. (fn. 328) John of Wylye held the two parts in 1270 (fn. 329) and, apparently as one estate, in 1276. Maud of Wylye, possibly his relict, held the estate in 1316 (fn. 330) and Nicholas Lambert held it in 1338, (fn. 331) possibly by a temporary tenure. Presumably after the death of a husband, Elizabeth, in 1385 wife of John Knottingley, held the estate for life with reversion to Catherine, wife of Thomas Bonham, probably the earlier husband's daughter, and in 1386 it was also settled on John for life subject to rent of £5 if he survived Elizabeth. (fn. 332) The Knottingleys died after 1391, (fn. 333) Catherine Bonham died apparently before 1405, (fn. 334) and in 1409 Thomas Bonham held the estate. (fn. 335) At his death in 1420 it passed to his granddaughter Alice Godwin, wife of Robert Mompesson, (fn. 336) and at Robert's death c. 1433 (fn. 337) to her son John Mompesson, a minor until 1442 or later. (fn. 338) John held the estate until his death in 1500, (fn. 339) and the two Bathampton estates descended together until 1556 when Little Bathampton manor was allotted to Edmund Mompesson's sister Susan Mompesson (fn. 340) (d. 1583). (fn. 341) In 1582 Susan settled the manor on the marriage of her cousin once removed Thomas Mompesson, who died holding it in 1587. Thomas's heir was his son, the politician and extortioner Sir Giles Mompesson, (fn. 342) the profits of whose lands were taken by the Crown and leased to trustees of his wife Catherine in 1621. (fn. 343) In 1624 Little Bathampton manor was sold to Sir Giles's brother Thomas (fn. 344) (d. 1640). In 1638 Thomas settled it in tail on Sir Giles (d. 1651 or later), on his brother John, rector of North Tidworth 1617–37, and on John's son John (fl. 1669), (fn. 345) but by 1659 it had passed to his son Thomas (fn. 346) (knighted 1662, d. 1701), who was M.P. for Wilton from 1661. (fn. 347) Sir Thomas was succeeded by his son Charles (d. 1714), who built a house in the Close in Salisbury, (fn. 348) and by Charles's son Henry (d. 1733). Henry devised the manor to his mother Elizabeth Mompesson (d. 1751), who devised it to Charles's grandnephew Thomas Walker (d. 1782). In 1783 Walker's relict Elizabeth sold it to John Drummond, who sold it in the same year to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset (fn. 349) (d. 1792). The manor, 564 a. in 1838, descended with the title to Webb Seymour (d. 1793), Edward Seymour (d. 1855), Edward Seymour (d. 1885), Archibald St. Maur (d. 1891), Algernon St. Maur (d. 1894), and Algernon St. Maur (d. 1923), from the last of whom it was bought after 1910 (fn. 350) by E. J. Ashford. In 1929 Ashford sold it to Mrs. E. M. Brockbank, in 1939 she sold it to Philip Lyle, and in 1946 or 1947 Lyle sold it to B. G. Ivory. (fn. 351) In 1962 Ivory sold c. 200 a. north of the Amesbury—Mere road with other land there to Lord Hugh Russell, who sold it all with Great Bathampton manor to Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Maitland-Robinson, the owners in 1991. In 1962 Ivory sold the manor house and c. 350 a. to D. F. H. McCormick, the owner of Manor farm in Steeple Langford, who in 1989 sold his estate to Mr. R. P. Merrick, the owner in 1991. (fn. 352)
The house on Little Bathampton manor, called Ballington Manor in 1990, is of coursed stone rubble and bears a reset date stone for 1580 with initials SM for Susan Mompesson. The oldest part of the house is apparently an east-west range at the south-west corner, which has an early 18th-century staircase, possibly original, and a short south wing. North of that main range is an extension, with two north gables, in which an early 17th-century fireplace and 17th-century beams are probably reset. In 1939 a small single-storeyed west extension of the gabled range was built and, in a style to match its older parts, the house was more than doubled in size by an extension eastwards which, at its east end, incorporated outbuildings. (fn. 353) A north porch was built, and much of the house refitted, in 1990. Near the house are 18th-century brick-walled gardens and a square dovecot of stone.
In 1086 there were 6½ ploughteams on land for 6 at Bathampton. On the larger estate, presumably Great Bathampton, there were I hide and I yardland of demesne with 3 teams and 12 servi, 2 villani and 6 coscets with 1½ team, 10 a. of meadow, and pasture ½ league square. On the smaller, presumably Little Bathampton, there were 2 hides of demesne with I team, 2 villani and I coscet with I team, 5 a. of meadow, and 8 a. of pasture. (fn. 354) There is evidence of sheep-and-corn husbandry in the Middle Ages, (fn. 355) but it is not clear whether the two Bathampton estates, like the two at Hanging Langford, shared a single set of open fields and common meadows and pastures, (fn. 356) or whether Bathampton was divided in a way similar to nearby Stockton with a separate set for each estate. (fn. 357) About 1440 Little Bathampton manor had a demesne farm, which was leased, and several customary tenants: a dispute between the farmer and the tenants over a pasture, in which the tenants claimed feeding in common, may be evidence that Little Bathampton had its own fields and pastures. (fn. 358)
There is no later evidence of common husbandry or customary tenants at either Great or Little Bathampton, which were in the same ownership 1483–1566. (fn. 359) Probably in that period common rights over Great Bathampton farm and Little Bathampton farm were eliminated and the farms became, as they were later, the only ones at Bathampton. Each was mentioned in the 17th century, (fn. 360) and then and until the 20th century each normally seems to have been leased. Each was a long strip between the Wylye and the northern parish boundary and in each case the farm buildings were near the river west of the manor house. (fn. 361)
In 1763 Great Bathampton farm was 712 a. including 54 a. of meadow, 29 a. of lowland pasture, c. 430 a. of arable, and 178 a. of downland pasture: 156 a. of downland had earlier been converted to arable, (fn. 362) and the weirs and sluices for watering meadows mentioned in 1779 had presumably been built much earlier. (fn. 363) The proportions of arable, lowland and downland pasture, and meadow were almost the same in 1838. (fn. 364) In the later 19th century and earlier 20th the farm was reduced by c. 50 a. of grassland and woodland which formed a small park for Bathampton House. (fn. 365) In 1962 c. 420 a. of downland, including some of Little Bathampton's, were added to the farm and from 1987 much land in Hanging Langford was worked with it. In 1991 Great Bathampton farm was 1,900 a., of which 1,500 a. were for growing cereals and in large fields; sheep and cattle for beef were kept on the remainder. (fn. 366) Little Bathampton farm was 564 a. in 1838, when there were 30 a. of meadow, 24 a. of lowland pasture, 374 a. of arable, and 131 a. of downland pasture. North of the Amesbury Mere road 81 a. of downland had been converted to arable, presumably in the 18th century. The lessee in 1838 was also tenant of 541 a. in Hanging Langford. (fn. 367) The farm buildings at Little Bathampton were converted for dairying in 1939. (fn. 368) From c. 1948 to 1962 the farm included c. 220 a. of Steeple Langford's and Berwick St. James's downland: after 1962 the reduced farm was worked with the adjoining Manor farm, Steeple Langford. (fn. 369)
There was a mill on each Bathampton estate in 1086. (fn. 370) From the mid 15th century to the 20th there was a mill at Little, but apparently not at Great, Bathampton, (fn. 371) and in the early 17th century there were said to be two. (fn. 372) A water mill stood south-west of the farm buildings and from the later 18th century to the earlier 20th was leased with the farm. (fn. 373) There is no evidence that it was used to grind corn after the First World War. An 18th-century stone mill house and a 19th-century weatherboarded mill north of it survived in 1991.
Bathampton and Deptford were linked as a single tithing, usually called Bathampton, in Heytesbury hundred, and the tithingman attended the view of frankpledge for the hundred in the 15th century and early 16th. Among matters presented were the tithingman's failure to bring statutory measures, the taking of excess toll by millers, payment for licences by brewers and tapsters, and failure to keep watch. (fn. 374)
In the late Middle Ages there was a chapel at Bathampton, almost certainly at Little Bathampton, at which the Mompesson family heard divine service and received the sacrament. (fn. 375) It was called St. Nicholas's and was apparently rebuilt shortly before 1500. (fn. 376) Edmund Mompesson made the expenses of the priest serving it a charge on his lands for 20 years after his death in 1553. (fn. 377) No later reference to the chapel has been found.
Robert Hall of Great Bathampton in the 1580s absented himself from church 'upon a special inward zeal of his own conscience'. (fn. 378) Members of the Perkins family, owners of Great Bathampton manor on which they may sometimes have lived, were recusants. (fn. 379)
Hanging Langford, so called in 1242–3, (fn. 380) is a street village with c. 1,010 a. south of the Wylye. (fn. 381) The plan of the village, in which farmhouses face each other across the straight street of c. 500 m. with rectangular plots of roughly equal size behind them, (fn. 382) and its site along the gravel strip, with arable south of it and meadows and pastures north of it, suggest planned colonization. In 1556 a lessee of land in Hanging Langford destroyed a cross, (fn. 383) and part of a cross shaft was found c. 1937 built into a cottage in Hanging Langford: if the cross stood in Hanging Langford its carving, possibly of the mid 9th century, (fn. 384) may indicate the village's foundation date. By 1066 the land had been divided between two estates: (fn. 385) later evidence shows that it was shared in a complex and carefully organized way, that the two manors were of equal size and with the same amounts of demesne and customary land as each other, and that along both sides of the street the copyhold farmhouses belonged alternately to one manor and the other. The street is part of the Great Wishford to Bishopstrow road, called Wylye Road in 1991; the demesne farmsteads of each manor were beside the road east of the buildings in the street, and further east was the village mill. Away from the street and the road there was no other building in 1763. (fn. 386)
Hanging Langford was in Grovely forest, of which the northern boundary was the Wylye, and attended swanimotes. The west lodge of the forest was possibly on Hanging Langford's downs. (fn. 387) At the west end of the street a nonconformist chapel was built (fn. 388) and by 1859, perhaps by 1857 when Hanging Langford halt was closed, the Railway tavern was opened. (fn. 389) The inn was closed in 1966. (fn. 390) To the east, at the junction of Wylye Road and the Steeple Langford road, a parish reading room was built c. 1913: (fn. 391) it remained open as a parish hall in 1991. With 87 poll-tax payers the village may have been more populous than Steeple Langford in 1377, (fn. 392) but with 272 inhabitants was less so in 1841: (fn. 393) the two villages were of roughly equal size in 1991. Few farm buildings in the village were used in the late 20th century.
In 1763 Hanging Langford street was faced by c. 17 farmhouses, perhaps in origin one for each copyhold of the two manors and for a freehold. (fn. 394) About 12 survive, all small and apparently built in the 17th century or early 18th. Most incorporate chequered or banded walling of stone and flint, some incorporate timber framing, and a few are mainly of stone: several have been much altered. A malthouse was rebuilt on the south side of the street c. 1799. (fn. 395) None of the eight cottages on the waste in 1763, seven at the west end of the street, (fn. 396) survives, but there are several 19th-century cottages in the street. A new farmstead was built at the west end on the north side in 1937, (fn. 397) and after the Second World War c. 30 houses and bungalows were built to fill most of the spaces along the street.
Immediately east of the buildings in the street, on the north side of the road, the demesne farmhouse of one of the manors is probably of c. 1700: a cob and thatch wall encloses what was its farmyard, (fn. 398) in which a thatched building has been converted for residence. Further east, also on the north side of the road, the demesne farmhouse of the second manor was replaced in or soon after 1770 by a smaller house west of it: the new house, Peartree House, of stone and in early 18th-century style, was apparently built to match the demesne farmhouse of the first manor. Nearby, a small thatched house of chequered stone and flint, apparently built in the 17th century, and an earlier 18th-century thatched house were copyhold farmhouses which presumably replaced buildings in the street. (fn. 399) Near the site of the mill a thatched 17th-century house adjoins a pair of 19th-century cottages. Wylye Road east of Hanging Langford street has itself acquired the appearance of a village street: two council houses were built in 1937, four in 1948, (fn. 400) and 12 private houses thereafter.
Manors and other estate.
There were two 5-hide estates at Hanging Langford in 1066, and topographical evidence suggests that they were the halves of a former single estate. Chetel held one in 1066, and Robert, count of Mortain (d. 1090), held it in 1086. It apparently passed with the countship to Robert's son William (attainted 1106), Henry I's nephew Stephen (count of Mortain from 1115 or earlier, king from 1135, d. 1154), and Stephen's son William (d. s.p. 1159). The countship was resumed by the Crown in 1159 (fn. 401) and Richard I (1189–99) granted his manor of HANGING LANGFORD, one of two so called, to the collegiate church of St. Evroul, Mortain (Manche). (fn. 402) The dean and canons of Mortain held it in 1207, when the king gave possession of it to Henry Lovel, who was waiting to recover a prebend in the church, (fn. 403) and the church kept it. For several periods in the 14th century and early 15th it was held by the king in time of war with France, (fn. 404) and was apparently resumed when the alien priories were suppressed. In 1414 it was assigned in dower to Queen Joan (fn. 405) (d. 1437), relict of Henry IV, and in 1438 was granted for life to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. (fn. 406) The Crown granted the reversion to Eton College (Bucks.) in 1441, (fn. 407) and in 1443 Humphrey surrendered his life interest to the college. (fn. 408) In 1914 the college sold its land, 373 a. later called College farm, to Albert Whatley. (fn. 409) In the 1930s the farm apparently belonged to V. W. Perrett. (fn. 410) In 1987 it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Maitland-Robinson, the owners in 1991. (fn. 411)
The second estate in Hanging Langford was held by Norman in 1066 and by Waleran the huntsman in 1086. Erenburgis held it of Waleran. (fn. 412) There is no evidence that Waleran's heirs held the estate and from 1243 or earlier until the 16th century Wilton abbey was overlord. (fn. 413) Nicholas of Wylye may have held the estate in 1231, (fn. 414) and he held the second HANGING LANGFORD manor in 1242–3. (fn. 415) The manor may have descended, like Little Bathampton manor, in the Wylye family and was apparently held by another Nicholas of Wylye in 1300 (fn. 416) and by Joan of Wylye c. 1316. (fn. 417) Thomas Bonham and his wife Catherine (d. apparently by 1405) owned it in 1382, (fn. 418) and from his death in 1420 it was held by Thomas's relict Alice. (fn. 419) From Alice's death before 1428 (fn. 420) to the death of Edmund Mompesson in 1553 the manor descended in the Mompesson family with Little Bathampton manor, and from 1483 with Great Bathampton manor. (fn. 421) In 1556 Hanging Langford was allotted to Richard and Elizabeth Perkins, (fn. 422) and from then it descended in the Perkins and Moody families with Great Bathampton (fn. 423) until c. 1831 when, after a contract of 1826, the trustee of the Revd. William Moody (d. 1827) sold it to William Wyndham (fn. 424) (d. 1841) of Dinton. From inclosure in 1836 the manor measured c. 630 a. (fn. 425) It descended in the direct line to William (d. 1862), William (d. 1914), (fn. 426) and William Wyndham, who sold most of it in 1916 and the rest in 1918. (fn. 427) Thereafter the land descended in various farms (fn. 428) two of which, a total of c. 370 a., were bought in 1987 by Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Maitland-Robinson, who owned c. 750 a. of Hanging Langford in 1991. (fn. 429) Mr. W. Helyar then owned 214 a. of downland. (fn. 430)
The rector of North Newnton had been endowed with 1/20 of the revenues of Steeple Langford church by 1291: (fn. 431) later evidence shows it to have been tithes from the land in Hanging Langford of which Wilton abbey was overlord. (fn. 432) The prebendary of North Newnton, whose church was a prebend in Wilton abbey apparently from 1299, (fn. 433) owned the tithes until the Dissolution. They were among the abbey's possessions granted in 1544 to Sir William Herbert (cr. earl of Pembroke 1551). (fn. 434) Until the later 19th century earls of Pembroke appointed sinecure prebendaries: a condition of appointment was that the endowments of the prebend, including the tithes from Hanging Langford, were leased to the patron, (fn. 435) and successive earls held them until in 1838 they were valued at £42 and commuted. (fn. 436)
In 1086 there were 4 ploughteams on land for 4½ at Hanging Langford, 3 on the 8 hides and I yardland of demesne and I on the land of 3 villani and 9 bordars. There were 40 a. of meadow, and 30 a. and 4 square furlongs of pasture. The two estates there, each of 5 hides in 1086, (fn. 437) remained of equal size until the 19th century. The lands of the two were intermingled in the open fields, and the meadows, lowland pasture, and downland pasture were common to each. (fn. 438) Before the late 16th century, however, the demesne lands were separated from the tenantry lands so that the two demesnes shared a central north-south strip, in which lay all four kinds of land, running from the Wylye to the downs, and the two sets of customary tenants shared similar north—south strips to the east and west. (fn. 439)
The lands of the two demesnes consisted mainly of 28 a. of meadows, 19 a. of lowland pasture, c. 142 a. of arable, and 224 a. of downland pasture: the two farms were of equal size and used that land in common, taking equal amounts of hay from the meadows and keeping a joint demesne flock. (fn. 440) There were three open fields, East, Middle, and West, in the later 16th century, when they lay divided into ridges estimated at ¾ a. each. (fn. 441) In 1617 each field was in furlongs averaging c. 4½ a. but by then was apparently not divided into strips, and each farm had an equal number of furlongs in each field. (fn. 442) In the later 16th century, but apparently not from the later 17th, tenantry cattle could be fed in the fields by night in autumn. (fn. 443) The three fields were of roughly equal size in 1763. (fn. 444) The boundaries between the furlongs were obliterated in the 18th century, when the two farms may have been in single occupation. (fn. 445) In the later 18th century the two demesnes made up a farm of c. 427 a., several except that each tenantry had the right to feed animals for part of the year on the meadows and lowland pasture, a few tenants had a few acres in the arable, 36 tenantry sheep might be in the flock, a few acres of demesne arable were in the tenantry fields, and a few acres of demesne meadow were in Towning mead. (fn. 446) In the later 17th century part of Farm down was covered by bushes and it was the practice to plough 15 a. of it each year, (fn. 447) in the later 18th century c. 22 a. were sometimes ploughed, (fn. 448) and by 1836 the southernmost 100 a. of the down had been converted to arable. (fn. 449) The demesne meadows were drowned from the later 17th century or earlier. (fn. 450)
Eton College's demesne was held on lease by two bondmen in 1443: when they took it 300 sheep could be kept, 30 a. were sown with wheat, 35 a. with barley, 8 a. with dredge, and 8 a. with peas and vetch. (fn. 451) It was leased to another bondman in 1455. (fn. 452) The Mompessons' demesne was leased in the earlier 16th century (fn. 453) and perhaps earlier. From 1756 or earlier to the late 19th century the college leased its demesne to the lord of the second manor, (fn. 454) and from 1754 or earlier members of the Thring family occupied both demesnes. (fn. 455) On the north side of the road and east of the village the college demesne included a farmstead and c. 4 a. of several pasture, and on the same side at the east edge of the village the other demesne included a farmstead and c. 6 a. (fn. 456)
The customary tenants of each manor had small home closes but all their other lands remained commonable until 1836. West of the demesne meadow land they had a meadow called Towning, 16 a., east of it c. 34 a. of lowland pasture for c. 50 cattle called the Marsh and the Moor. The arable south of the Great Wishford to Bishopstrow road was in four hill fields, called Upper and Lower East and Upper and Lower West in the late 17th century, but may earlier have been in two. North of the road and west of the village other arable was in smaller 'hitch' fields. All the arable was in strips of c. ½ a. and all the tenants of each manor had strips scattered throughout the fields, c. 245 a. in all. Some or all of the arable north of the road may have been converted from pasture. South of the arable and on each side of Farm down was a tenantry down, each of c. 120 a., on which c. 500 sheep could be fed. A communal shepherd and a communal cowherd were employed in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1659 c. 20 a. of the Marsh were converted to water meadow: 14 equal portions were designated and the hay from each taken by yearly lot. From 1723 a further 4 a. of the Marsh were watered and mown, and the hay from it was made into a rick from which the tenantry flock was fed. From, possibly, the early 18th century there were three hill fields and three 'hitch' fields after Upper and Lower West field were merged and one of the 'hitch' fields was divided. (fn. 457) From 1797, when it was agreed to convert the south end of each of East Tenantry down and West Tenantry down to arable, there were two new areas of open field: on each down 14 plots of 1 a. were assigned to the tenants by lot. (fn. 458) On the west down more land may have been ploughed before 1836. (fn. 459)
On both manors customary holdings were small. In 1443 Eton College's 9 tenants held a total of 5½ yardlands and there were 4 cottagers. (fn. 460) In the 17th century each manor had c. 7 copyholds. On each a yardland included c. 25 a. of arable, I a. of meadow, and feeding for c. 40 sheep. There was a freehold of ½ yardland, and ½ yardland was held with the mill. (fn. 461) In 1763 Eton College had 7 copyholders holding c. 106 a. of arable, the other manor 9 holding c. 120 a. The largest copyhold was of 2 yardlands. (fn. 462) By 1788 holdings of 76 a. and 72 a. had been accumulated, (fn. 463) and the concentration of the tenantry lands into fewer farms continued in the early 19th century. (fn. 464)
All the demesne and tenantry lands were inclosed by Act in 1836. Although their manors were nearly equal, Eton College was allotted only 357 a., William Wyndham 611 a.: the discrepancy is only partly explained by Wyndham's acquisition of a sale allotment and the inclusion of a higher proportion of down in his allotment. The college's land was a strip, beside the western parish boundary, of which the eastern part, 163 a., was held on lease by Wyndham. (fn. 465) In 1838 there was a farm of 541 a., held by the lessee of Little Bathampton farm, one of 248 a., and one of 196 a., the college's western strip then worked from buildings on the north side of the street. (fn. 466) The two larger farms were merged as Manor farm in 1842. The farm remained c. 785 a. until the 163 a. leased to Wyndham were reunited with College farm in the late 19th century. (fn. 467) In the early 20th century Manor farm and College farm had the same tenant. (fn. 468) About 1918 Manor farm was split into several farms, some of which may have been for dairying, (fn. 469) and new buildings, incorporating a dairy, were erected for College farm in 1937. (fn. 470) Dairying ceased in the later 20th century: in 1991 c. 750 a., including College farm and mainly arable, were part of Great Bathampton farm, (fn. 471) and 162 a. of downland in addition were arable. (fn. 472)
A linen weaver was mentioned in 1716. (fn. 473)
A mill stood at Hanging Langford from 1086 (fn. 474) or earlier to the mid 17th century, apparently east of the village near the junction of Wylye Road and the Steeple Langford road. (fn. 475) For its whole life the lords of the two manors owned equal shares in it. (fn. 476) In the Middle Ages the Wylye was divided north of Hanging Langford village by a great stone, presumably a cutwater, from which a stream led south to Hanging Langford mill, and in 1455 a causeway between the stone and the Hanging Langford bank needed repair. (fn. 477) The mill itself was in great decay in 1459. (fn. 478) It was presumably rebuilt, and a new wheel was fitted in the early 16th century. (fn. 479) In the 1530s and 1540s, however, the men of Hanging Langford claimed that alterations to the Steeple Langford bank to benefit the Steeple Langford mills obstructed the flow of water to Hanging Langford mill, (fn. 480) which was again ruinous in 1564. (fn. 481) By 1575 it had again been rebuilt, (fn. 482) and in the earlier 17th century Eton College's copyholders were obliged to have their corn ground at it. (fn. 483) The division of the water continued to be disputed with Steeple Langford, (fn. 484) and the mill was once more in decay in 1636. (fn. 485) There is no later evidence of milling at it, and by 1689 mill and mill house had fallen down. (fn. 486)
From the 16th century or earlier Hanging Langford and Little Langford were united as a single tithing. (fn. 487)
The dean and canons of Mortain claimed the assize of bread and of ale, view of frankpledge, and freedom from suit of shire and hundred for their manor of Hanging Langford (fn. 488) and from 1443 Eton College held a view of frankpledge and court at Hanging Langford, apparently attended by the men of only their own manor. In the 15th century the view and court was usually held twice a year. The assize of ale was enforced, and matters dealt with under leet jurisdiction included assault and the taking by the miller of excess toll. The tithingman presented and a jury affirmed his presentments. The homage presented manorial matters such as the death of tenants and disrepair of tenements. The lord often claimed incidents of bondage: those living away from the manor paid chevage, licences to marry were paid for, (fn. 489) and in 1455 a bondman was amerced for attending school at Winchester, at the expense of the rector of Steeple Langford, without licence. (fn. 490) In 1442 a Deptford man assaulted, and broke the right leg of, a bondman; negotiations over what damages were due to the college were referred to the provost in 1447. (fn. 491)
The court may have been held less frequently in the 16th century. (fn. 492) Leet business, including assault, petty larceny, and the miller's offences, was still transacted; the usual manorial matters were dealt with, and in 1566 letters of manumission granted to a bondman and eight of his family in 1537 were shown in court. (fn. 493) The jury and the homage coalesced and increasingly the court tried to enforce agreed practice in common husbandry. That was apparently the main function of the court in the 17th century, although a few matters under leet jurisdiction were still presented. In 1611, for example, jurors presented an assult and that three had sworn allegiance to the king, but there were c. 17 presentments dealing with rights of way, watercourses, tree felling, and the use of commonable land. (fn. 494) The taking of a trout under 8 in. long contrary to statute was punished in 1617; (fn. 495) in 1636 it was said that the tithing had no butt and none proficient in the use of bows and arrows and that men frequented alehouses; (fn. 496) and in 1664 the constable was ordered to make stocks. (fn. 497) In 1640 two surveyors of highways were presented for not mending a road, a failure which they attributed to being too busy pressing soldiers: (fn. 498) it is not clear whether they acted for Hanging Langford alone or for all Steeple Langford parish.
In the 17th century the court of the second manor of Hanging Langford dealt only with tenurial matters and the rules for common husbandry. (fn. 499) In agrarian matters consultation between the lords or stewards of the two manors was sometimes reported, (fn. 500) sometimes the same offence was presented at each court, (fn. 501) and sometimes a court for each manor was held on the same day. (fn. 502) From the late 17th century Eton College's court seems to have dealt only with tenurial business and to have been held infrequently. (fn. 503)
A chapel on Eton College's manor, presumably built by the dean and canons of Mortain, was ruinous in 1463, (fn. 504) and is not recorded later.
A house in Hanging Langford was certified for Baptist meetings in 1829, and in 1849 a small red-brick chapel was built for Primitive Methodists. (fn. 505) The chapel was attended by congregations totalling 125 at the three services on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 506) It was closed in 1960. (fn. 507)