The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.

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'Addington', in The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey, (London, 1792) pp. 1-10. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]




Addington Hills.

The name of this parish was anciently written Edintone. I can find nothing satisfactory relative to its etymology; it was probably denominated from some one of its remote possessors. The parish lies within the hundred of Wallington, and is bounded by Croydon, Saunderstead, Farleigh, and Chelsham, in Surry; and by West Wickham and Beckenham in Kent. The village (fn. 1) is situated about three miles to the east of Croydon, at the foot of a range of hills to which it gives its name. Their extent is about five hundred acres.


On the brow of the hill, towards Addington, is a cluster of tumuli, about 25 in number; they are of very inconsiderable height; one of them is nearly 40 feet in diameter; two others are about half that size; the remainder are very small. The greater part of them appears to have been opened. Salmon says, that some broken pieces of urns, which had been taken out of them, were, in his time, in the possession of an apothecary at Croydon.


The land at Addington is, for the most part, arable; there is little meadow, but a pretty large proportion of wood and common. The soil is very various; being, in some parts of the parish, gravel; in some, chalk; and in others, a stiff clay.


It appears, by Doomsday Book, that there were two manors in the parish of Addington in the time of William the Conqueror; they were not exactly divided, as Salmon (fn. 2) has asserted, though they were each taxed as eight hides; for the land of one manor was four carucates, (fn. 3) that of the other, two and a half; the one was valued at 5l. the other at 3l. The former manor had been held by Ofward, in the time of Edward the Confessor, and was then the property of Albert, a clerk; the latter having belonged to Godric, in the Confessor's reign, was, at the time of the survey, in the possession of Tezelin the cook; they were both held of the king. Tezelin's manor continued in lay hands, and was held by a very singular tenure, as will be mentioned hereafter.

Manor of the Knights Templars.

Manor of the monastery of St. Mary Overie.

Godric's manor, previously to the reign of Edward I. appears to have been divided into two; one of which was given to the Knights Templars by Walter de Morton (fn. 4), and was held of the Archbishop of Canterbury's manor of Croydon, by an annual rent of thirty-two shillings and one penny. The Templars were abolished by Pope Clement the Fifth, in the year 1311; and in the 17th year of Edward II. an act of parliament passed, by which their possessions in England, among which Addington (fn. 5) was included, were transferred to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The other moiety belonged, I know not by what grant, to the monastery of St. Mary Overie (fn. 6); to this manor the advowson of the church was annexed; it was rated at ten shillings. For twelve acres of land, which belonged to this convent in the parish of Addington, they were obliged to keep a lamp burning every night in the church (fn. 7). The mansion-house belonging to this manor is described as having a hall of 35 feet in length, and 28 in breadth; and two solarii, or upper rooms, the one 32 feet by 18, the other 32 feet by 11. At the dissolution of monasteries, both these manors came into the possession of the Leigh family (fn. 8); who, at that time, held the third manor above mentioned.

Aguillon's, or Bardolf's manor.

Manor house.

The earliest proprietor of this manor, that I find upon record after the Conquest, is Bartholomew Chesnet (fn. 9), or Cheyney, who had two daughters co-heiresses; one of whom married Peter (fn. 10), the grandson of Ailwin of London, and was buried in Bermondsey abbey; for which privilege her husband gave the monks a rent of 15 shillings, issuing out of a house in Addington; the other daughter married William Aguillon, who, in right of his wife, inherited the manor (fn. 11); his son, Sir Robert Aguillon (fn. 12), had a licence to fortify and embattle his manor house at Addington. A spot of ground near the church, being still called the Castle Hill, serves to ascertain the site of this mansion, which, most probably, continued to be the manerial residence till the year 1400, when the manor house, which was pulled down about twelve years ago, (and which was situated at the foot of the hill,) was erected; as appears by the following inscription (fn. 13) which was over the door:
In fourteen hundred and none,
Here was neither stick nor stone,
In fourteen hundred and three
The goodly building which you see.

This house was built chiefly of flint, mixed with chalk, and very strongly cemented.

Sir Robert Aguillon was sheriff (fn. 14) of Sussex in the reign of Henry the Third; he married Margaret (fn. 15), Countess of the Isle of Wight, by whom he had two daughters; one of whom married Jourdan de Saukvil, ancestor of the Duke of Dorset; the other married Hugh Bardolf (fn. 16), and had for her portion the manor of Addington, which continued in the Bardolf family for two or three generations. William Walcot (fn. 17) died seized thereof, in the reign of Richard the Second, having held it for life, by a grant from William Bardolf. In the reign of Henry the Sixth it was the property of William Uvedale (fn. 18), who, for a fine of forty shillings, paid into the exchequer, obtained a licence to alienate it to John Leigh and others, and the heirs of the said John. The descendants of this John Legh or Leigh obtained a grant of the other manors at the suppression of monasteries, and the whole became united into one; which continued in the possession of the Leigh family till the middle of the present century. Sir John Leigh (fn. 19) died in 1737, without male issue. After his death, there was a suit in chancery depending for many years, relating to the right of succession to the Addington estate, which was at length determined in favour of his female heirs, one of whom married John Bennet, Esq. and the other Henry Spencer, Esq. The manor and estate were sold by their sons, Wooley Leigh Bennet, Esq. and Wooley Leigh Spencer, Esq. (about the year 1767,) to Barlow Trecothick, Esq. alderman of London, and they are now the property of James Trecothick, Esq. his nephew; who has a handsome modern mansion, situated about half a mile from the church, and nearly in the centre of the park; it was begun in 1772, by the late alderman Trecothick, and finished after his death by the present proprietor.

Singular tenure of the manor.

That part of the manor of Addington, which belonged to the Aguillons and Bardolfs, was, and still is, held by a very singular species of grand ferjeanty, viz. by the service of presenting a certain dish to the king on the day of his coronation. Of the origin of this service, it seems not an improbable conjecture, that the manor was an appendage to the office of the king's cook, as Richmond, then Shene, anciently was to the office of baker. It is certain that Tezelin, the cook, held it of the Conqueror; being afterwards separated from the office, the nature of the serjeanty might continue, though confined to the service of presenting a dish to the king once in his reign. The service and the dish are variously described in the different records. Bartholomew Cheney (fn. 20) is said to have holden Addington by the service of finding a cook to dress such victuals in the king's kitchen, as the Seneschall shall order. This was, in fact, only executing the office of cook by deputy; and his son-in-law, William Aguillon (fn. 21), held it by the service of making bastias (fn. 22), as the record expresses it, in the king's kitchen on the day of his coronation, or of finding a person who should make for him a certain pottage, called the Mess of Gyron; or if seym (fn. 23) be added to it, it is called, Maupygernon; the seym in another record is called unguentum. Sir Robert Aguillon (fn. 24) held it precisely by the same service, and the dish is mentioned by the same name (viz. le Mess de Gyron) in the pleas of the crown; though Blount (fn. 25) has quoted it thence by the name of Dilligrout, and Aubrey has copied his mistake. Thomas Bardolf (fn. 26), who died seized of Addington in the reign of Edward the Third, held it by the service of making three messes of Maupygernoun at the coronation, one of which he was to present to the king, another to the archbishop of Canterbury, and the third, to whomsoever the king would. The service is still kept up, and a dish of pottage was presented to the present king at his coronation, by Mr. Spencer, as lord of the manor of Addington; but I cannot find that there exists any ancient (fn. 27) receipt for the making of it.


In the enumeration of the manors (fn. 28), which were the dower of Margaret the widow of Sir Robert Aguillon, Addington is mentioned, with its member of Waldingham. This place, which is mentioned as an appendage to the manor in another record (fn. 29), is in Tandrige hundred, about three miles from Addington.

The church.

The church of Addington is a very small structure; it consists of a nave, a chancel, and a small south aisle, separated from the body of the church by plain pointed arches, and massy ancient pillars of rude workmanship. The church appears to have been partly rebuilt, about the reign of Edward the Third; the windows in the north wall being of the architecture of that period.

The pillars above mentioned, are probably coëval with the original structure, as is the chancel; at the end of which, are three narrow pointed windows. The tower, which is at the west end, is low, square, and embattled; it was originally composed of slint, but has been almost rebuilt with brick, and is now covered with plaster. The church is of slint; except the windows, which are of soft stone. Aubrey, who in general has little of description in his work, is uncom monly diffuse in describing this church; his account of the chancel, is quaint and curious. "Here we find the indifferent spectacle of an unsealed roof, and walls sufficiently wanting the beautifying art of the painter; heretofore enriched at certain places, with I know not what disagreeable ornament of black, at best a confused medley of daubing; appearing horrible enough, were we not diverted by the several streamers, &c. bearing the hatchments and arms of many of those honourable persons here interred (fn. 30)." The streamers still remain, but they are grown almost as horrible as the walls were when Mr. Aubrey wrote his account; there are likewise some helmets, and other pieces of rusty armour.


In the north-east corner of the chancel, is an altar tomb, of Purbeck marble, on which are brass plates with figures of a man and woman, praying, with labels issuing from their mouths, on the one of which is "Deus misereatur mihi, et benedicat nobis;" and in the other, "—vultum suum super nos et misereatur mihi:" underneath are the figures of five children; the slab is likewise decorated with the arms (fn. 31) and quarterings of the Leighs and Harveys; and the whole is surrounded with a border of brass, on which is the following inscription in the black letter:
"Here liethe John Leigh, esquyer, and Isabell hys wyfe, daughter of John Harvey, of Thurley in Bedfordshyre, and sole syster of Sir George Harvey, Knyght; whych John decessed the 24th day of Aprill, in the yere of oure Lorde God, Mcccccix, and the sayde Isabell, desseased the 8th daye of January, in the yere of Chryste's Incarnacion, McccccxLIII. on whose soules I pray God have mercy."

Against the north wall, is a large monument, composed partly of marble, and partly of alabaster; erected by Sir Oliph Leigh, Knt. to the memory of his father and grandfather. In the upper part of the monument are two arches; under one of which, are kneeling figures of John Leigh, (father of Sir Oliph,) who died in 1576, and of his wife Joan, daughter and heir of Sir John Oliph, Knt.; under the other arch, are figures in the same posture, of Nicholas Leigh, the grandfather, who died in 1565, and of his wife Ann, daughter of Sir Nicholas Carew. Underneath is the effigies, as large as life, of Sir Oliph Leigh, who erected the monument, and died in 1611; he is represented completely armed, and reclining upon his elbow. The effigies of his Lady Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Browne, of Betchworth, Knight, leaning on her right hand, with a book in her left, is beneath, and the whole is inclosed with iron palisades. Most of the arms about this monument are obliterated; there only remain those of Leigh, Oliph (fn. 32), and Carew (fn. 33). Above the altar tomb before described, is a monument to the memory of Sarah, wife of Sir Francis Leigh, who died in 1691; and of her mother, Elizabeth Lovel, sister of Henry Guy.

Near the communion table, on a slab of Purbeck marble, is a brass figure of a man in armour; and underneath the following inscription in the black letter:
"Of your charite pray for the soule of Thomas Hatteclyss, esquyre, sometyme one of the fowre Masters of the housholde to our soverayne Lord Kyng Henry the 8th, and Anne hys wyfe; wiche Thomas departed the 30th day of August, An. MVcXL."

On the slab are the arms (fn. 34) and quartering of Hatteclyff impaling Leigh. There is likewise in the chancel an inscribed tablet, to the memory of Mary, daughter of Sir George Chudleigh, Bart. and wife of George Cole, Esq. of Addington, late of Petersham, who died 1652; a large marble urn, and an inscribed tablet to the memory of Barlow Trecothick, Esq. late alderman of London, who died in 1775; and a monument of white marble against the south wall, to the memory of his first wife, Mrs. Grizell Trecothick.

In bishop Fox's Register (fn. 35), at Winchester, is the will of John Att Lee, or at Legh; who directs his body to be buried in Addington church, in the sepulture of his father, John at Legh. He bequeaths to the high altar for his tithes forgotten, twelve-pence; to our Lady altar, sixpence; to St. Katharine altar, sixpence; to the altar of Cosme and Damiane (fn. 36), sixpence; to every of his God-children within the parish of Addington, one ewe sheep; the residue of his effects, he bequeaths to his cousin Nicholas at Legh. The will bears date 1511. I imagine, that this John was son of John Legh, who died in 1509; whose tomb is at the upper end of the chancel, and that his cousin Nicholas is the person who obtained the grant of possessions in Addington, from Henry the Eighth.

Rectory and vicarage

The church of Addington is dedicated to St. Mary; the benefice is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester, and in the deanery of Ewell. The great tithes are impropriated to the lord of the manor. The rectory formerly belonged to the monastery of St. Mary Overie, being the gift of Bartholemew de Kaisnet (fn. 37), the same person, I apprehend, whose daughter William Aguillon married. There was a chapel annexed, called the chapel of All-Saints; the patronage of which, belonged to Reginald de Edintone, the lord probably of the other manor: this chapel was likewise granted to the monastery. There is a tradition in the village to this day, that formerly there were two churches, to which the above fact probably gave rise; though the chapel here mentioned, was most likely a chantry adjoin ing to the church. The rectory, at the dissolution of monasteries, came into the possession of the Leighs, and has descended with the manor. The church was taxed in 1291 (fn. 38), at twelve marks. The vicar formerly had half of the small tithes of Aguillon's manor (fn. 39), and he had the 20th of sheaves belonging to the manor of St. Mary Overie; but he received nothing from the ancient manor of the Templars, nor from the twelve acres, for which the monastery of St. Mary Overie kept a lamp in the church. The present vicar is George Edmonstone, A. M. The vicarage is in the patronage of James Trecothick, Esq. It is rated in the king's books, at 4l. 16s. 5½d.

Parish register.

The earliest date of the parish register, is 1559.

Comparative state of population.

Average of births. Average of burials.
1580 (fn. 40) 1589 4 3
1780 1789 7 4

The register towards the latter end of the last century, was too imperfect to form an average. There are now twenty-two houses in the parish.

Plague years.

In 1603, there were only two burials; in 1625, eight; in 1665, no burials are entered.


The parish of Addington receives 1l. per annum out of the benefactions of Henry Smith, Esq. Thomas Purdy, who died in 1646, and is buried in the belfry, left twenty shillings per annum towards the repairs of the steeple.


  • 1. This parish is situated almost beyond the limits proposed for this work, the church being nearly 13 miles from Westminster bridge; a circumstance which the author was not acquainted with before he had collected his materials: Aubrey calls it 12 miles.
  • 2. Antiquities of Surry, p. 58.
  • 3. A carucate is generally supposed to be as much land as one plough can till in a year.
  • 4. Chartulary of Christ's Church, Canterbury, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, p. 97.
  • 5. Cotton MSS. Brit. Mus. Claudius, E. vi. f. 186. and Nero, E. vi. f. 100. a-b.
  • 6. Register of the monastery of St. Mary Overie, Cotton MSS. Faustina, A. viii. f. 234.
  • 7. Ibid. f. 271.
  • 8. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII. p. 28. July 17.
  • 9. Madox's History of the Exchequer, p. 453.
  • 10. Cotton MSS. Brit. Mus. Claudius, a. viii. 12. Extracts from a register of Bermondsey abbey.
  • 11. Harleian MSS. Brit. Mus. 313. f. 22. b. This MS. appears to be a transcript of some records in the Exchequer, the originals of which are not now to be found.
  • 12. Pat. 54 H. III. m. 26.
  • 13. Letter from Archbishop Herring to Dr. Ducarrel, in the Appendix to the History of Croydon, p. 184. Bib. Topograph. Britan. No. 46.
  • 14. Collins's Peerage, edit. 1756. vol. i. p. 701.
  • 15. Pat. 53 H. III. m. 11.
  • 16. Cl. Rolls. 20 Edw. I. m. 3.
  • 17. Esch. 12 Rich. II. Harl. MSS. 708.
  • 18. Pat. Rolls, 25 Hen. VI. pt. 1. m. 24.
  • 19. Addington Parish Register.
  • 20. Mag. Rot. 18 Hen. III. Surrey.
  • 21. Brit. Mus. Harl. MSS. 313. f. 22. b.
  • 22. The word bastia does not occur in any of the Glossaries.
  • 23. Seym or Seim, is a Saxon word, signifying fat; it is still in use amongst the butchers, and is usually spelt seam; it is now generally applied to the omentum of a pig, of which they make lard. Some derive it from the Latin word sevum, suet.
  • 24. Placit. Coron. 39 Hen. III. m. 33. and Esch. 14 Edw. I.
  • 25. Blount's Jocular Tenures, p. 1. and Aubrey's Antiquities of Surrey, v. ii. p. 39.
  • 26. Esch. 5 Ed. III.
  • 27. In a collection of ancient cookery receipts of the fourteenth century, printed at the end of the royal household establishments, published by the Society of Antiquaries, is a receipt to make a dish called Bardols; though there is no evidence to support it, it would not be an unfair conjecture, as the Bardolfs were lords of Addington at the period above-mentioned, to suppose, that this might be the dish in question; it was called a pottage, and consisted of almond mylk, the brawn of capons, sugar and spices, chicken parboyld and chopped, &c. See p. 466, of Household Establishments, 4to. 1790.
  • 28. Cl. Rolls. 14 Ed. I. m. 6. The manor was then valued at 17l. 18s. 11 ½ d.
  • 29. Esch. 14 E. 1.
  • 30. Antiquities of Surrey, vol. ii. p. 49.
  • 31. Leigh bears Or, on a chevron Sab. three lions ramp. Arg. and quarters, Az. on a chief indented Arg. three mullets pierced, Sable; for Payne. Harvey bears Gules, on a bend Argent, three tresoils Sable, and quarters Sable, a lion ramp. Arg. within a bordure gobony Arg. and Sable, for Nernuit Co. Berks.
  • 32. Party perchevron, and per pale, Or, and Sable between three greyhounds heads erased, collar'd, and counterchanged.
  • 33. Or, three lions passant in pale Sable.
  • 34. Az. three quartrefoils Argent, two and one, quartering Az. two bars, Or, over all, a lion ramp. Gules, both born by Hattecliff.
  • 35. Regist. Winton. Fox, p. 3. f. 61. b.
  • 36. Cosmas and Damianus were Arabians by birth; they were cousin-germans, and suffered martyrdom under the Emperor Dioclesian. A church was built in honour of them at Rome. Aurea Legenda Sanctorum. Leg. 138.
  • 37. Dugdale's Monast. vol. ii. p. 340.
  • 38. This taxation was made at the time that Pope Nicholas IV. granted a tenth of all ecclesiastical revenues to the king, to defray the expences of the holy war. A record of this taxation is preserved in the Exchequer; another copy is in the Bodleian Library, and is often referred to by the title of the Bodleian Valor. The valuation of ecclesiastical revenues was the same in most instances in 1406, when the clergy of the province of Canterbury granted a tenth to the king. Vide Regist. Winton, at the beginning of Beaufort's Register. The valuation in the king's books was made in 1534.
  • 39. Cotton MSS. Brit. Mus. Faustina, A. viii. f. 234.
  • 40. An average of ten years in each century, is given in every parish to show the comparative state of population.