A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Goldentone (xi cent.); Goldinton (xiii cent.); Goldyngtone (xiv cent.); Goldyngton (xiv–xvi cent.).
Neuenham (xii–xiii cent.); Newenham (xiv–xvii cent.); Neuenam (xv cent.); Newnam, Newneham (xvi cent.); Putenehou (xi cent.); Putno (xii cent.); Potenho, Putenho, Potenhewe (xiii cent.); Putnoe (xvi cent.); Risingeho (xii cent.); Rysingho (xiv cent.).
The parish of Goldington has an area of 2,588 acres, of which nearly half—1,268 acres—is arable land and 1,161 acres are permanent grass, 37 acres are covered by woods and plantations, and there are 40 acres of land covered with water. (fn. 1) The soil is gravelly loam, with a subsoil of clay, and there are one or two old gravel pits in the south of the parish.
The Ouse forms the southern boundary of the parish, and one of its tributaries the eastern boundary, skirting Putnoe Wood and falling into the Ouse just below the Castle Mills. Hard by stands the elevated mound known as Risinghoe Castle.
The village of Goldington, which lies to the south-east of the parish, is reached from Bedford by the high road to St. Neots. To the south of this road, at the entrance to the village, lies Goldington Grange, a modern brick building belonging to Messrs. Miller, Conquest & Haynes, and occupied by Mr. Jenkins. It at one time acquired the unenviable reputation of being haunted, and was described in a London daily paper under the pseudonym 'Silverton Grange.' (fn. 2) Beyond the branch road which leads to the Sewage Farm, in the south-west of the parish, stand the public elementary school, built in 1866, and the Congregational chapel, erected in 1825. Beyond this again are the Anchor and Swan Inns, where the road emerges into open country past Bury Farm. To the north of the St. Neots Road is the Green, the principal part of the village, which is crossed by a running brook. The Manor Farm stands back from the road opposite Goldington Grange, and behind it lie the vicarage, built in 1876 in the place of an old one pulled down, and main group of cottages. Standing back in wooded grounds overlooking the Green from the north is Goldington Hall, a 17th-century brick building with stone dressings and a tile roof. In 1874, when the present owner, Mr. Harvey, took it over from the Polhill family, it was practically a ruin, and underwent three years' repair and restoration, with the result that excepting a room in the west wing of the first floor, which has some old oak panelling round its walls, the north wall is the only part of the original structure remaining, although all the windows on this front are modern. There are two exceptionally fine lead rainwater pipes on the north front, bearing the date 1650, while a similar one is on the west wall. A few pieces of old glass, found in the original building, have been worked into a design in a small window lighting the staircase on the first floor.
On the right of the Green is Goldington Bury, a large but severe late 18th-century mansion, which stands in well-wooded grounds of over 40 acres. It belongs to Colonel Shuttleworth, of Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, and was till lately occupied by Mr. Griffith Jones. The road passes St. Mary's Church on the outskirts of the village, behind Goldington Bury, and then forks; one branch, reaching Elms Farm about half a mile further on, crosses the brook into Renhold parish, and the other, passing by Putnoe Farm, leaves Goldington parish at Putnoe Wood. At one time there was a hamlet of Putnoe, but the only traces of it that now remain are uneven places in the field between Putnoe Farm and the spinney beyond, which mark the site of the old cottages. The road from Bedford to Kimbolton crosses the parish higher up, leaving on the north Jackman's Farm. Several bridle-paths and side-tracks strike off from this road and lead to the isolated farms in the outlying district of Highfields. Here the land rises as high as 250 ft. above ordnance datum, while in the south of the parish the low-lying land round the Ouse falls to between 70 ft. and 80 ft. (fn. 3)
Near Bedford the Ouse divides into two, and the island thus formed is within the bounds of Goldington parish though used as a recreation ground by the inhabitants of the borough. On it stand the remains of the priory mill and the old cottage belonging to it.
An extensive earthwork a short distance away, on the north bank of the Ouse, marks the site of Newnham Priory, and in 1805 a small silver vessel, said to be a pome or calefactorium manuale, was unearthed here. (fn. 4) The original form of the earthworks has been altered to a certain extent by the Bedford and Cambridge branch of the London and North Western Railway, which bisects the inclosure and crosses the south of Goldington parish.
The parish has been inclosed under an Act passed in 1847. (fn. 5)
The following place-names are found in Goldington during the 13th and 14th centuries: Bronescrofte, Coheresbrugg, Cohereswega, Coppesbrech, Goldine-halfhaker, Goteshoslade, Goteshull, Holesendresden, la Lowe, Limbuttee, Offinesbrok, Otelynescroft, Prestemade, Ravensbrok and Sandhurst. (fn. 6) In the 16th century occur Nethersell, Oversell, Reyefurlong, Sextenspece, (fn. 7) Perlesse, Portmede Close, (fn. 8) Alderwowers, Hempwyke and Trycotts (fn. 9); in the 17th century Scott's Close and Wood; and in the 16th and 17th centuries Highfield (203 acres). (fn. 10)
In 1086 Hugh de Beauchamp held in Goldington, as appurtenant to Puttenhoe, 3 hides and 1 virgate, of which 2 hides and 3 virgates had been held by his predecessor Ralph Tallebosc in exchange for Ware. (fn. 11) It was doubtless this portion of the Beauchamp fief which was conferred upon Newnham Priory in the foundation charter of Simon de Beauchamp, (fn. 12) and confirmed by his son William, (fn. 13) and also by Henry II, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Richard II and Henry IV. (fn. 14) It continued to be held of the honour of Bedford until the Dissolution, (fn. 15) when it escheated to the Crown, of whom it was afterwards held. (fn. 16) After the Dissolution it is known as GOLDINGTON MANOR, but does not at any time appear to have been of great importance, for in 1291 the possessions of Newnham Priory in Goldington were assessed at £3 13s. 4d. only. (fn. 17) In 1330 the prior claimed view of frankpledge and waif and stray by prescriptive right here, (fn. 18) the privilege of free warren being conferred by Richard II in 1385. (fn. 19) This estate was valued at £4 10s. 7d. in 1535, (fn. 20) and was conferred in 1543, after the dissolution of Newnham, upon John Gostwick and Joan his wife, (fn. 21) who had already in 1539 obtained other lands belonging to Newnham Priory in Goldington. (fn. 22) The estate, which for the first time appears as a manor, was then valued at £5 5s. 7d. per annum, and was obtained by the Gostwicks for £157 6s. and a yearly payment of 10s. 9d. to the Crown. (fn. 23) The pedigree of this family has been given under Willington, their chief seat (q.v.), with which Goldington was held until the beginning of the 19th century. During the 16th century the Gostwicks were continually involved in disputes over their Bedfordshire property, especially the manors of Ravensden, Goldington and Puttenhoe, the latter of which they had also acquired shortly after the Dissolution. William Gostwick, who died in 1545, (fn. 24) left a widow Margaret, who married as her second husband Francis Lord Russell, afterwards Earl of Bedford. (fn. 25) William Gostwick, uncle and heir of her first husband, considered the dowry which had been assigned to her excessive, and an appeal was made to Thomas Lord Wriothesley, by whose decision she acquired Goldington and Ravensden Manors for life. (fn. 25) Upon the death of Margaret in 1562 (fn. 26) her son Francis Russell, afterwards Lord Russell, obtained a lease of the premises for sixty years from John son and heir of William Gostwick. (fn. 27) The indenture by which the lease was made came into the possession of Richard and George Ackworth, against whom Francis Russell brought an action in 1568. (fn. 28) John Gostwick was then described as 'being á man of greate simplicity' and having 'very little or noe understanding,' (fn. 29) who had entered into a number of incompatible leases which gave his relatives and heirs great trouble. He married Elizabeth the daughter of Sir William Petre, kt., of Ingatestone (Essex), (fn. 30) to whom his father William Gostwick had mortgaged Goldington and other manors for a sum of 2,000 marks in 1545. (fn. 31) In spite of this mortgage, however, John Gostwick, in 1562, leased part of the premises to Alexander Scroggs for a rent of £76, (fn. 32) and, although Sir William Petre carried the case into the Court of Chancery in 1567, (fn. 33) Alexander Scroggs' interest descended to his son Oliver, who in 1587 refused to pay the rent agreed upon to William son and heir of John Gostwick. (fn. 34) In 1598 this William, afterwards created a baronet, contested the claim of the Russell family in the person of Edward Earl of Bedford, son of Francis Earl of Bedford, to a lease of Goldington, Puttenhoe and Ravensden Manors on the ground that they had been granted a month earlier, for sixty years, to Gilbert Martyn, of whom the lease had been purchased by Sir William Petre, and had passed to his son Sir John Petre, from whom it had finally been acquired by William Gostwick, his nephew. (fn. 35) In the meanwhile the Scroggs' interest in the Goldington and Ravensden property, said to have been confirmed by William Gostwick in 1588, was sold to the father of Sir William Beecher, against whom Sir Edward Gostwick, bart., son and heir of William, brought an action in 1622. (fn. 36) In 1630 Sir Edward conveyed the manors to trustees in order to provide for his son and heir Edward, who was deaf and dumb, and to ensure marriage portions for his daughters. (fn. 37) One of these, Jane, married, without the trustees' consent, William Oliver, 'an ordinary servant' in the house of her grandmother Lady Lister, and so forfeited her portion. (fn. 38)
The last baronet, Sir William Gostwick, conveyed his Bedfordshire property, among which were Goldington and Willington, in 1731, to Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, (fn. 39) from whom they were purchased by the Duke of Bedford in 1774. (fn. 40) Goldington Manor appears to have been acquired from the latter by John Polhill about the end of the 18th century, (fn. 41) and was held in 1831 by his son Frederick, (fn. 42) whose son, Captain Frederick Charles Polhill Turner, was in possession in 1877. The manorial rights probably lapsed after this date, but the present representative of the family, Mr. Cecil Henry Polhill, is part owner of the rectorial tithes, and owns lands in this parish.
In 1086 Hugh de Beauchamp himself held Puttenhoe, which was assessed at 4 hides, (fn. 43) but it was granted to Warden Abbey by the Beauchamp family some time before 1198, in which year the gift was confirmed by Richard I. (fn. 44) The abbey held PUTTENHOE MANOR or GRANGE of the barony of Bedford until the Dissolution (fn. 45) when it was annexed by the Crown, of which it was afterwards held.
In 1252 Warden Abbey received a grant of free warren in the woods belonging to the grange, (fn. 46) and this charter was brought forward by the abbot in 1330 in proof of his right. (fn. 47) In 1286 the monks were confirmed in their possession of the grange by Edward I, (fn. 48) and their estate in Puttenhoe, comprising lands, rents, fallen woods, mill and court, was assessed at £9 6s. in 1291. (fn. 49) Considerable damage was done to Puttenhoe Woods at the siege of Bedford Castle in 1224, and the abbey in compensation received a pension of 20 marks a year during the lifetime of Henry III, the grant being renewed in 1304 for another twenty years. (fn. 50) The manor was surrendered in 1537 to the king, by whom it was bestowed in 1539 on Oliver Leader at the yearly rent of £4 5s. 8d. (fn. 51) In the same year Oliver Leader obtained licence to convey Puttenhoe Manor to John Gostwick and Joan his wife, (fn. 52) who shortly afterwards acquired Goldington Manor (q.v.), with which it was held until about the end of the 18th century. Puttenhoe Manor underwent the same vicissitudes as Goldington Manor during the 16th century and was leased by John Gostwick to Robert Hatley for a rent of £30, although worth 500 marks. (fn. 53) After the death of John, Robert son of Robert Hatley persuaded William son of John Gostwick to make a further lease of the premises for twenty-one years for £124 in ready money. (fn. 54) There was also a dispute about Puttenhoe Wood, which Richard Ackworth and George Franklin claimed to have purchased from John Gostwick and refused to deliver the deeds to William his son. (fn. 55)
Puttenhoe Manor was sold with Goldington and Willington by the Gostwicks in 1731 and finally obtained in 1774 by the fifth Duke of Bedford, whose successor, the ninth duke, was lord of the manor in 1877, the estate being estimated at 650 acres. The manorial rights seem to have afterwards fallen into abeyance, but the name is preserved in a farm and wood to the north of Goldington village. The estate has recently been sold, and portions are laid out for building.
Warden Abbey acquired lands in Risinghoe, probably as appurtenant to their Puttenhoe Manor. A grant of free warren in the woods belonging to their GRANGE OF RISINGHOE was obtained by the abbot in 1252, (fn. 56) and when the right was called into question in 1330 it was said to have been confirmed by Edward I. (fn. 57) In 1291 the lands, rent, mill and meadows comprised in the grange were assessed at £6 8s. 1d., (fn. 58) but, as it is not mentioned after this date, it was doubtless included in Puttenhoe Manor at the valuation of church lands in 1535 and so passed with it to the Gostwicks.
Another manor in Goldington, which before the middle of the 17th century was known by the name of GOLDINGTON BURY, and was held in the 16th century of John Lord Bray as of the barony of Bedford, (fn. 59) appears towards the end of the 14th century in the Pycard family. William Pycard, who was defendant in an action brought by the Prior of Newnham to recover certain tithes of hay, (fn. 60) was killed by his wife Joan. For this offence she procured a pardon in 1380, (fn. 61) and in the following year alienated her right in Goldington Manor to Thomas Haselden, (fn. 62) who is first mentioned in connexion with the parish in 1369. (fn. 63) The Haselden (Hasilden, Hasuldene, Hasylden, Hasselden) family continued to hold this manor until some date early in the 18th century, when they appear to have sold it, and the last entry relating to the family on the parish registers occurs in 1742 on the death of Robert Haselden of Bedford. (fn. 64) The early descent of this family is obscure. Thomas Haselden made a settlement of the manor in 1301, (fn. 65) and was apparently succeeded by Hugh, who is mentioned in connexion with the manor during the years 1387 and 1432, (fn. 66) and who sat on several commissions of peace for Bedfordshire. (fn. 67) In 1439 Thomas Haselden received a pardon for breaking the peace when bound over, (fn. 68) but no trace of the family can be found again until 1517, when Hugh made his will. (fn. 69) He is said to have acquired Goldington from Thomas Stringer, chaplain, (fn. 70) but it is more likely that this statement refers to a settlement made at that time. Robert son of Hugh Haselden died in February 1548, and by his will dated shortly before his death left the rent of certain cottages in Goldington for the salary of a priest to pray for his soul from Easter 1548 for two and a half years. (fn. 71) He left by his wife Alice a son William, nine months old. (fn. 72) The latter in 1573 married Mary Fairclough, but on his death in 1581 the manor passed to his son Robert, a boy of seven. (fn. 73) During Robert's minority John Fairclough, his uncle, was appointed guardian, and in 1593 contested the claim of the inhabitants of Goldington to pasture their sheep in the commons of the manor, a right which they demanded in 'respect of their severall cottages,' and which they had enjoyed for 'as longe tyme as no man can remember the contrarye.' In his answer John Fairclough stated that the common fields did not contain more than eight or nine 'ploughe-lande,' and were divided into three fields, two of which were common from Lady Day to Lammas Day or till the corn was harvested. There were about twenty-four ancient cottages in the parish and no pasture would be left for the sheep and cattle of the farmers if this claim were allowed. (fn. 74) Robert died in 1640, leaving a widow Margaret, (fn. 75) by whom he had no issue, but by his first wife Mary daughter of Robert Castell of Great Hatley, Cambridgeshire, (fn. 76) he had four sons and seven daughters. (fn. 77) The eldest son Robert had died in 1632, (fn. 78) leaving a son Benjamin, aged twelve at his grandfather's death in 1640. (fn. 79) Benjamin married Catherine daughter of John Berkley of Colmworth, (fn. 80) and made a settlement of the manor in 1669 (fn. 81) on the occasion of the marriage of their son Robert with Anne daughter of John Sanderson of Kingsford. (fn. 82) Benjamin died in 1676, (fn. 83) when Goldington Bury descended to Robert, on whose death in 1682 it became the property of his son Benjamin, then aged ten. (fn. 84) Robert's widow Anne married as her second husband Robert Hawkins, vicar of Goldington, (fn. 85) whose descendants had for many years the right of presentation to the parish church. Benjamin Haselden died in 1697, a few years after his marriage, (fn. 86) and left a daughter Elizabeth, aged two years, who afterwards married Richard Hillersdon of Elstow. (fn. 87) Goldington Bury, however, became the right of John Haselden, the brother of Benjamin. (fn. 88) He married Dorothy Smith, with whom he was holding the manor in 1712. (fn. 89) After this date the manor seems to have passed out of the Haselden family, and for the next 150 years no trace can be found of it. In 1867 it was the property of Mr. Harry Thornton, but by 1877 it was in the possession of Mr. J. Shuttleworth, who died in 1883, and whose son Colonel Frank Shuttleworth of Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, is the present owner.
The Haseldens owned among their other possessions in Goldington during the 16th century a capital messuage called Berrystead or Berested, (fn. 90) which may have been the site of their manor, afterwards known as Goldington Bury. Opposite the entrance gates to the grounds of the modern Goldington Bury stands a homestead called Bury Farm, and it is probable that the Haseldens' mansion-house, Berrystead, may formerly have stood on this spot. It has been suggested that the vicarage may have stood much closer to the church than does the present house, and that the old house has been partly incorporated in Goldington Bury, which adjoins the church. (fn. 91)
Part of the fief of Hugh de Beauchamp in Goldington included 3 hides which were held of Hugh as a manor by Richard in 1086. (fn. 92) This manor, which continued to be held of the Beauchamps and their descendants the Mowbrays as of the barony of Bedford (q.v.), (fn. 93) was probably the one afterwards called GOLDINGTON MANOR, which passed into the possession of the Goldington family, who figure largely as benefactors in the chartulary of Newnham Priory. (fn. 94) Ralph de Goldington is mentioned in 1227, and one of the same name with his wife Christiana added to their estate in Goldington in 1282. (fn. 95) It was probably the same Ralph who was holding in 1302, (fn. 96) and he was succeeded by his son William, who, with his wife Joan, was in possession in 1316. (fn. 97) In 1330 Roger de Goldington claimed by prescriptive right view of frankpledge held in his manor once a year on the Hockday, when all present above the age of twelve years paid 1d. and those absent were fined. For this right he paid 2s. to the king's bailiff at the hundred of Barford, to which all owing frankpledge within the view were bound to go once a year. (fn. 98) Roger was still holding in 1346, (fn. 99) but by 1428 the manor had been alienated to Hugh Haselden, (fn. 100) lord of Goldington Bury, in which it doubtless became absorbed, as there is no further mention of it.
After the Dissolution NEWNHAM MANOR, comprising principally quit-rents due from tenants in Newnham and Bedford to the lord of the manor, was retained by the Crown and annexed to the honour of Ampthill. As Crown property it was surveyed by the Parliamentary Commissioners for Bedfordshire in 1650. (fn. 101) The quit-rents were then estimated to produce £6 5s. 8d., and the court baron and fines 5s., while the freeholders paid one year's quit-rent as relief upon descent only. (fn. 102) A further survey was taken four years later. (fn. 103) Lysons, writing at the beginning of the 19th century, states that the manor was then on lease to the Duke of Bedford, but the manorial rights appear to have afterwards fallen into abeyance. (fn. 104)
The site of Newnham Priory in this parish was granted in 1541, together with the advowson and rectory of Goldington, to Urian Brereton and Joan his wife. (fn. 105) The grant included the ponds and fishponds there, and a meadow called the 'great gardeyn, with a stone wall and moat.' (fn. 106) The site passed with the advowson and rectory (q.v.) through the families of Brooke, Spencer and Compton, but shortly after the acquisition of the property in 1661 by Henry Heron and Thomas Heyhoe (fn. 107) their descent diverged, and few records remain of the history of the site and rectory during the 18th century. The site appears to have come into the hands of Whitebread and others, who were attainted of high treason as Jesuits, when the property escheated to Charles II. It was still attached to the Crown when in 1692 Adolph son of Sir William Curtius, bart., petitioned William and Mary for it. (fn. 108) The site and appendant premises were then valued at £200 yearly, (fn. 109) and probably included the rectory, with which they were mortgaged to George Heneage of Hainton. (fn. 110) The mortgage was not redeemed, and after the death of George Heneage the site and rectory were inherited by his nephew George Fieschi Heneage, by whom they were alienated in 1761 to Christopher Metcalfe. (fn. 111) In 1767 the latter, with Ellen his wife, conveyed the premises to Joseph Addington, (fn. 112) by whom the site of the priory was doubtless alienated, for at the beginning of the 19th century it was the property of Mrs. Mary Best. (fn. 113) At the present day no trace of the monastery buildings can be found, but the inclosing earthworks are clearly defined. (fn. 114)
Half a hide in Goldington was held in 1086 by Alric Wintremelc of the king in chief. During his lifetime he granted the reversion to the canons of St. Paul, and it was afterwards included among the possessions of Newnham Priory. (fn. 115)
An estate in Goldington held by the Pippard family may have originated in the 2 hides which Roger son of Teodric held of Hugh de Beauchamp in 1086, and which Ralph Tallebosc had formerly exchanged for Ware. (fn. 116) The overlordship of this fee remained vested in the Beauchamps, and in the division of the honour of Bedford was held of that part which became the right of the Paynels and Picots. (fn. 117) The names of Adam Pippard and Walter his son occur among the donors to Newnham Priory in the 13th century, (fn. 118) and in 1284 Robert Pippard held this fee. (fn. 119) John Pippard, in possession in 1302, (fn. 120) appears to have been the last of this family to own the property, for in 1346 it was held by Henry Flamville and Roger Goldington in two parts. (fn. 121) By 1428 these two parts were in the possession of the Abbot of Warden and Hugh Haselden, (fn. 122) and doubtless became absorbed in the estates they held respectively in Goldington.
One hide of the fee in Goldington which Ralph Tallebosc had exchanged for Ware was held of Hugh de Beauchamp by Walter in 1086. (fn. 123) Peculiar interest attaches to this entry, the only one of its kind for the county, as it states that 'this land the men of the vill held in common and could sell.' (fn. 124)
The fifth part of a fee was held by the Gustard family in the 14th century of that part of the barony of Bedford which passed to the Wakes and Patishulls. (fn. 125) Falk Gustard is mentioned as holding in 1302 and 1315, (fn. 126) and was succeeded by William Gustard, in possession in 1346. (fn. 127) Nothing further is heard of this fee, and the last mention of the family occurs in 1351, when Thomas de Goldington received a pardon for killing Robert son of Falk Gustard in self-defence. (fn. 128)
Among the smaller landowners in Goldington was the Wigain family, who held of the barony of Bedford. (fn. 129) Wigain de Goldington was succeeded by William his son, mentioned in 1194, (fn. 130) who took the additional name of Wigain, afterwards used by members of this family as a surname. The names of Hugh and Roger Wigain occur in the 13th century, (fn. 131) and in 1284 Henry Wigain held the estate, (fn. 132) which was in the hands of Ralph Wigain in 1302. (fn. 133) The last member of this family in possession appears to have been William, who owned the property in 1346. (fn. 134)
In 1086 Ivo Tallebosc held half a hide in Goldington of the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 135) but there is no further mention of this small estate.
There was a mill worth 30s. and 100 eels attached in 1086 to that part of Hugh de Beauchamp's fee which was afterwards held by Newnham Priory as Goldington Manor. (fn. 136) The mill remained appurtenant to this manor (q.v.) and passed with it after the dissolution of the priory to the Gostwick family, and afterwards to the Duke of Bedford. It is now known as the Priory Mill, and stands on the bank of the Ouse on the outskirts of Bedford borough, but the buildings have for long been in disuse and are in a ruined condition.
There was another mill mentioned in 1086, worth 30s. and 100 eels, on Hugh de Beauchamp's Puttenhoe estate. (fn. 137) This mill, which passed with Puttenhoe (q.v.) to Warden Abbey, was situated on the Ouse close to Risinghoe Castle, from whence it derived its later name of Risinghoe or Castle Mill. Warden Abbey was obliged to pay tithes for the same to Newnham Priory, which had received a grant of them in its foundation charter. (fn. 138) These, which were assessed at 20s. in 1535, were then paid to the vicar of Goldington. (fn. 139) For land acquired from William son of Edwin de Goldington it was bound to render four quarters of corn yearly at the mill. (fn. 140) The Castle Mills, valued at £10 in 1535, (fn. 141) were described in the grant to John Gostwick in 1538 as three watermills under one roof, and attached to this property was a house with two closes, called the Mill and Castle Closes. (fn. 142) Leland visited the neighbourhood, and noticed that 'The Ryver of Huse againe the Castelle licketh into 2 Partes, and closing agayne a little beneth the Mylle maketh an Isleand. The lesser streame servith the Mil. I passid first by a Bridge of wood over this Arme. And by and by over the mayne Streame of the Use-Ryver by a Timber Bridg.' (fn. 143) This mill, until recently the property of the Dukes of Bedford, has now passed to Mr. W. H. Rogers. In 1672, after the suspension of the penal laws against Nonconformists, Bunyan applied for licence for Edward Isaac to preach at Gilbert Ashley's house in Goldington. (fn. 144) Gilbert Ashley was the miller at Castle Mills, and married in 1677 Elizabeth, Bunyan's second daughter. From the Gostwicks the mill passed with Puttenhoe Manor (q.v.) to the Duke of Bedford.
The conical-shaped mound on the left bank of the Ouse, called Risinghoe Castle, which has been described in the article on 'Earthworks' in this county, (fn. 145) was already spoken of as the 'old Castle' towards the end of the 12th century. (fn. 146) Leland conjectures that it belonged to the Especs, one of whom founded Warden Abbey, (fn. 147) but, as this family held no lands in Goldington, it is for more likely to have been the property of Hugh de Beauchamp, the chief landowner in Goldington in 1086. It was probably obtained by Warden Abbey with the grange of Risinghoe and Puttenhoe Manor (q.v.), with which it was conferred on John Gostwick at the Dissolution, afterwards passing with the rest of their property in Goldington to John Duke of Bedford.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 24 ft. 9 in. by 14 ft., a nave 39 ft. 5 in. by 21 ft. 5 in., north aisle the same length as the nave and 10 ft. wide, south aisle 16 ft. by 6 ft. 3 in., adjoined on the west by a porch, and west tower 12 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft. 9 in.
There are no details in the church earlier than the 15th century, except the arch to the south aisle, which seems to be a bay of a 13th-century arcade, which continued westward for at least one bay more. The chancel arch may be of the 14th century, and the tower dates from the 15th century, as well as the south aisle and south porch; the chancel has been rebuilt comparatively recently, and the north wall of the nave and the north aisle, with the organ chamber and vestry, are modern.
In the south wall are two windows. On the north side of the chancel are a new organ chamber and vestry. In the east jamb of the south-east window of the chancel is a 15th-century piscina, having two pointed arched heads resting on an angle shaft.
The nave has a clearstory with two-light windows, all uncusped, except the east window on the south, which is quatrefoiled, an unusual treatment. The second window on the south has four-centred heads, and those of the third are rounded. The north clearstory, of four windows, is modern. The south aisle has an east and a south window of 15th-century style, with a little old glass in the former.
The south porch is of the 15th century; in its west wall is a blocked window, and its outer archway is in two chamfered orders with a pointed head. The jambs and arch of the inner doorway have continuous chamfers separated by a hollow. In the wall to the west of this door is set the life-sized effigy of a woman of 14th-century style, of good, but not first-rate, work; on the opposite side of the door is an arched recess for a holy water stoup. The door itself is plain but old, with vertical boards and an old drop handle. To the west of the porch is a modern window of 15th-century style. The nave arcade is new, consisting of four bays in two hollow-chamfered orders, resting on piers alternately round and octagonal with moulded capitals and bases.
The north wall of the north aisle, which is quite modern, is divided into four bays.
The tower is of the 15th century, in three stages, terminating in an embattled parapet; at each east angle is a square buttress coming down upon the nave walls and at the west angles are diagonal buttresses in three stages. In each face of the top stage is a window of two cinquefoiled lights in two chamfered orders with a pointed head and moulded label. The west doorway has continuous mouldings and two chamfers separated by a hollow, and immediately over it is a four-centred window of three cinquefoiled lights. In the middle stage of the south side is a narrow rectangular light, and at the south-east angle a square staircase turret with two small trefoiled lights. The tower arch is pointed, being in two hollow-chamfered orders, resting upon simple capitals.
The nave roof is restored, but is built of old timber, with moulded wall plates, tie-beams with braces, purlins and ridge piece; it is in four bays. The south aisle has a lean-to roof, also with old timber; the other roofs are modern.
The font, which is near the west end of the nave, is of the 14th century, and is circular on a circular pedestal, with ball-flowers on the chamfer under the bowl.
On the east wall of the chancel is a brass to Robert Hatley, 1585, having a kneeling figure in armour and a ruff, and underneath an epitaph in Latin and its translation in English. The arms are, a sword bendwise between two molets with a crescent for difference impaling a cheveron between three leopards' heads. On the north wall is a good black and white marble monument to Benjamin Haselden, 1697, and in the north aisle is a similar monument in marble to John Pemberton, 1687. In the north aisle is a brass to Richard Fyssher, 1507.
There are four bells: the first, of 1600, inscribed 'Cum cum and praye,' by Hugh Watts; the second, of 1696, by Richard Chandler; the third, of 1617, by Newcombe; the fourth is of 1600.
The plate consists of a communion cup of 1695, inscribed 'Goldington, James Benson, John Palldocke, Churchwardens 1696,' a paten of 1823, a flagon of Sheffield plate and two pewter plates.
The registers previous to 1813 are in four books: (1) has all entries, 1559 to 1705; (2) the same, 1706 to 1753; (3) baptisms and burials 1754 to 1812; (4) marriages (printed) 1754 to 1812.
The church of Goldington was included in the foundation charter of Newnham Priory, (fn. 148) and was among their possessions at the Dissolution. (fn. 149) The gift was confirmed by William de Beauchamp, son of Simon the founder, (fn. 150) and by subsequent kings. (fn. 151) Bishop Hugh of Wells about 1218 instituted the vicarage, which was to consist of all altar offerings, the small tithes and 2 acres of land, with a suitable house valued at 5 marks yearly, the whole church being estimated at 10 marks. (fn. 152) His successor, Bishop Robert, attempted to augment the vicarage, but the prior appealed to Rome, and Bishop Hugh's assessment was confirmed in 1255. (fn. 153) The justification for Bishop Robert's action is to be found in the small stipend paid to the vicar, the lowest in the county, assessed at £2 13s. 4d. only in 1291, (fn. 154) and at the like sum in 1535. (fn. 154) At the latter date the vicarage was valued at £8 9s. 4d. and the rectory at £8. (fn. 155) At the dissolution of the priory in 1540 (fn. 156) the advowson and rectory were annexed to the Crown, by whom in 1541 they were conferred upon Urian Brereton, afterwards knighted, and his wife Joan the widow of Edmund Lord Bray. (fn. 157) In 1549 the reversion of the property was granted to Sir George Brooke Lord Cobham, (fn. 158) who by his will dated 13 January 1558 left it to his son Sir William Brooke Lord Cobham. (fn. 159) At the latter's death in 1597 the advowson and rectory descended to his son and heir Henry, (fn. 160) on whose attainder they reverted to the Crown, and were obtained by Duke Brooke of Templecombe, Somerset, in 1604. (fn. 161) The latter, with Margaret his wife, alienated the property in 1606 to Sir John Spencer, (fn. 162) who died seised of it in 1610, leaving a daughter and heir Elizabeth the wife of William Lord Compton, (fn. 163) created Earl of Northampton in 1618. On the death of Elizabeth, then a widow, in 1632, her son Spencer Compton inherited the property. (fn. 164) He and his son James adopted the Royalist cause, and the latter in 1646 was ordered by the Committee for Plundered Ministers to pay out of the rectory of Goldington the sum of £40 each to the minister of Cople and John Knapp, vicar of Goldington. (fn. 165) John Knapp appears to have had some trouble in obtaining the augmentation, for he appealed to the Committee in 1647, (fn. 166) and the order was confirmed in 1650. (fn. 167) The rectory and advowson are last mentioned as the property of the Earls of Northampton in 1654, (fn. 168) and in 1661 they were bestowed on Henry Heron and Thomas Heyhoe and their heirs, notwithstanding the grant to Duke Brooke. (fn. 169) Shortly after this date the history of the rectory and advowson cease to be identical, and in 1663 William Bedcott presented Richard Bedcott, (fn. 170) who, with his wife Sarah, alienated the patronage in the same year to Nicholas Luke, (fn. 171) who in 1676 presented John Langdate to the living. (fn. 172) The latter in 1681 married Elizabeth only daughter of Benjamin Haselden, lord of Goldington Bury, and died within ten days of the marriage, (fn. 173) when his widow presented Robert Hawkins to the church. (fn. 174) He married Anne Sanderson of Tempsford, widow of Robert Haselden, son and heir of Benjamin aforesaid, by whom he left a son John Sanderson Hawkins and a daughter Anne. (fn. 175) On his father's death in 1714 the patronage vested in John Sanderson Hawkins, (fn. 176) and passed at his death in 1718 (fn. 177) to his sister Anne, whose husband Barwell Collins became vicar of Goldington in 1728, (fn. 178) and lived until 1743, when the advowson became the right of his son and heir Robert. (fn. 179) The latter's sister Ann Collins presented her brother to the church in 1747, (fn. 180) and on his death in 1749 joined with her sister Elizabeth in presenting John Saunderson. (fn. 181) The latter in 1755 sold the advowson and 3 acres for £300 to John Duke of Bedford, (fn. 182) in whose descendants it remained vested for over 120 years, (fn. 183) until between 1877 and 1897 it was acquired by the Bishop of Ely, the present patron.
On the separation of the rectory and advowson (c. 1661) the former became the property of John Petre and his wife Elizabeth, who were in possession in 1668. (fn. 184) In 1761 they were alienated by George Fieschi Heneage to Christopher Metcalfe, (fn. 185) and by him conveyed to Joseph Addington in 1767, (fn. 186) who was probably identical with the Joseph Addington the lay rector at the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 187) The Addington family, whose names occur in the parish registers, (fn. 188) appear as considerable landowners in the county in 1873, (fn. 189) but by 1877 the trustees under the will of the late Dr. Bowers, Dean of Manchester, were the impropriators; and at the present day the great tithes are the property of Colonel Frank Shuttleworth and Mr. Cecil Henry Polhill.
The Chantry Commissioners in 1548 found that 1 pightell worth 4d. per annum and 1 rood of meadow worth 3d. per annum, both in the tenure of the vicar, had each been given for the maintenance of a lamp, while 12d. rent arising out of 1 rood of meadow, held by the churchwardens, had been left for the same purpose. The rent-charge of certain cottages in Goldington, amounting to 53s. 4d., had been bequeathed by Robert Haselden to provide a priest to pray for his soul for two and a half years from Easter 1548. (fn. 190)
In 1732 James Haselden, by will, charged a farm at Wollaston (co. Northants) with a clear yearly sum of 52s., to be equally distributed in bread to four poor persons.
The Town Land, the origin of which is unknown, consists of 1 a. 2 r., let in plots to twelve tenants, producing £3 16s. a year.
In 1718 John Sanderson Hawkins, by will, directed that a sum of £100 should be raised out of certain estates and laid out in the purchase of freehold, the rents thereof to be applied in the purchase of clothing for three poor widows on St. Thomas's Day. The payment of the legacy was in abeyance for many years, and proceedings were taken in Chancery in 1795 for its recovery and for the arrears. The trust fund is now represented by £314 11s. 4d. consols, with the official trustees, and the annual dividends, amounting to £7 17s., are applied in clothing and gifts of money to four poor widows.
These charities are administered together by the parish council.