A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Beorhtnoth, first abbot of Ely, purchased after disputes four estates at Chippenham, totalling 3 hides, between 970 and 984. He then exchanged them for 2 hides at Downham with Aelfric, son of Earl Hereric, who bought out his younger brother Leofwine's rights in Downham with land at Chippenham given them by their mother. (fn. 1) The brothers' estates almost certainly formed part of the 10-hide manor of CHIPPENHAM held by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1086 in demesne. (fn. 2) It may have passed to his son William de Mandeville (d. c. 1116), but by 1130 had reverted to the Crown. (fn. 3) By 1136 William's son, Geoffrey (cr. earl of Essex 1140, d. 1144) held the manor, and it passed in turn to his sons, Earl Geoffrey (d. 1166) and Earl William (d. 1189). (fn. 4)
In 1184 William de Mandeville gave his Chippenham manor in free alms to the Knights Hospitaller, to whom the king confirmed it in 1199. (fn. 5) The Hospitallers continued to hold it in free alms under the Bohun earls of Hereford, successors to the Mandevilles, in 1302-3 and 1346, but thereafter no overlordship was recorded. (fn. 6) The Hospitallers established a preceptory at Chippenham, still accommodating six brethren in the 1330s, but by the early 15th century it was managed by the preceptor of Carbrooke (Norf.). (fn. 7)
In 1540, following the Dissolution, the Hospitallers' manor was granted to Sir Edward North, who sold it in 1556 to Thomas Bowles, second son of John Bowles (d. 1543) of Wallington (Herts.). (fn. 8) John Bowles had obtained it on lease in 1529 from the preceptor of Carbrooke, and Thomas Bowles was North's tenant in 1544. (fn. 9) Thomas, who had also inherited the appropriated rectory from his father, sold both estates in 1558 to Thomas Revett, a London merchant (J.P. from 1569; kt. 1578; d. 1582). (fn. 10) Revett or Thomas Bowles had acquired a third manor in Chippenham; the three estates were combined into the CHIPPENHAM estate. (fn. 11) Revett having no sons devised the manor in 1582 to his wife Griselda for life, then to his daughter Alice. (fn. 12) From 1583 until 1596 Griselda's second husband, William Waldegrave, was lord, and Alice's husband, Thomas Gerard (d. 1613), held the manor with her c. 1612-13. (fn. 13)
In the 17th century the estate was held continuously by members of the Russell family. In 1622 it passed, by marriage to Thomas Gerard's daughter Elizabeth (d. 1626), to William Russell (kt. 1618, d. 1654). (fn. 14) It was inherited by their eldest son Sir Francis Russell (M.P. for Cambs. 1641, 1654, 1656; d. 1664). (fn. 15) His son Sir John married Frances Cromwell, daughter of the Lord Protector. (fn. 16) Sir John died in or before 1670, leaving the estate to be sold to pay his father Francis's debts and to purchase a smaller estate for his own widow and son Sir William. (fn. 17) The manor house was occupied c. 1677-83 by a creditor of Frances Russell. (fn. 18) Further debts inherited from Sir William Russell led to the sale of the manor in 1689 to a distant kinsman Admiral Edward Russell, nephew of William Russell, duke of Bedford. (fn. 19)
Edward Russell (treasurer of the navy 1689-99; M.P. for Cambs. 1695-7; cr. earl of Orford 1697; Lord Lieutenant of Cambs. 1714) owned the Chippenham estate from 1689 until his death in 1727, when it passed under his will to his niece Ann Tipping, with reversion to her daughter Letitia (d. 1779), who held it with her husband Samuel, Lord Sandys (d. 1770). (fn. 20) In 1749 George Montgomerie purchased the estate from Lord Sandys. (fn. 21) Montgomerie, whose daughter Catherine had married Crisp Molineux, was succeeded in 1766 by their son George, then a minor six years old. (fn. 22) Crisp Molineux (d. 1792) administered the estate until 1782 during his son's minority, but in 1787 it was sold to Drummond Smith, a London merchant. (fn. 23)
In 1791 John Tharp (d. 1804) of Good Hope, Jamaica, purchased the Chippenham estate from Smith. (fn. 24) Tharp's eldest son Joseph died before him in 1797, leaving as heir a son John, a minor until 1818 and from 1816 a lunatic (d. 1863). (fn. 25) A claim to a share in the estate by his wife Hannah in 1818 failed. (fn. 26) The estate was managed from 1804 successively by Joseph Tharp's younger brother, also John (d. 1851), and by that John's son Joseph Sidney Tharp, who succeeded his cousin as owner in 1863 and died in 1875. (fn. 27) His son William Montagu Tharp succeeded him. On William's death in 1899 the estate passed jointly to his widow Annabella (d. 1929), who remained at the house, and his cousin Arthur (d. 1928), a childless widower, son of Augustus Tharp, vicar of Chippenham. (fn. 28) In 1916 Arthur gave up his share in favour of Lt.-Col. G. P. Tharp, grandson of another brother of John Tharp (d. 1851). (fn. 29) Lt.-Col. Tharp (d. 1934) succeeded to the whole in 1929, and established the Chippenham Park estate company in 1932. (fn. 30) His widow Dora occupied the estate until her death in 1948 when it passed to his nephew Basil Bacon (d. 1958). (fn. 31) Bacon's widow Dorothy owned the estate from 1959 until 1985, when Chippenham Park passed to their daughter Dorothy Anne and her husband, Mr. E. Crawley, who were owners in 1997. (fn. 32)
The only extant remains of the Hospitaller preceptory are the 12th-century cellars under the old schoolhouse. (fn. 33) That preceptory was probably responsible for the building of a manor house at Chippenham, which in 1544 occupied a 2-ha. site left of the main village street, north of its junction with Middle Way. The manor house had two courtyards, and a moat and drawbridge behind it. (fn. 34) Sir William Russell (d. 1654) probably built a new house, but the southern half of the main street was then probably still empty. In 1669 the new Chippenham Hall bore 'comparison with the most distinguished country seats of the kingdom'. (fn. 35) It had a gallery with an open promenade which faced southwards, and a staircase rose to the lead-covered roof from which there were clear views northwest to Ely. It had 34 hearths, and 8 guest bedrooms c. 1674-86. (fn. 36) The house was probably remodelled in the 1690s by Lord Orford. In 1698 the roof was set off with chimneys. (fn. 37) The richly decorated hall was paved in freestone and black marble, and was adorned with paintings of the royal family, as was the staircase with ones of Lord Orford's victory at the battle of La Hogue. The state rooms contained fine wood carvings in the style of Grinling Gibbons. (fn. 38) The reconstruction of the house was completed by 1712, probably to a design by Thomas Archer. (fn. 39) The orientation of the house was changed from south-facing to east-facing with the extension northwards of the east wing to a length of 45 m., while the west and south ranges probably only received minor alterations. The elongated U-shaped building had an open north-facing courtyard. Though in 1724 it was described as a 'fine' building with rich apartments, it was probably unoccupied c. 1728-80. (fn. 40)
In 1790 much of the house was pulled down by Drummond Smith, and the materials were sold off. (fn. 41) The hunting box, to which the house was reduced, faced south. It had a symmetrical Georgian-style two-storeyed central block of 1,030 sq. m., and contained a hall, five reception rooms, and five bedrooms, flanked by eastern and western wings. (fn. 42) The rebuilt house was out of proportion, the servants' quarters in the wings being more spacious than the accommodation for the family. After John Tharp (d. 1804) bought the estate in 1791 there was a succession of ambitious plans for rebuilding the house. In 1794 and 1800 James Wyatt and Francis Sandys respectively drew up plans to enlarge the central block, and in 1798 Wyatt and Sandys both submitted plans for a new house. In 1821 Charles Humfrey, a former pupil of Wyatt, proposed another scheme of enlargement. (fn. 43) Instead from 1792 until 1820 there was an almost continual programme of expensive repairs. (fn. 44)
Three further schemes on diminishing scales prepared by John Noyes between 1859 and 1863 probably resulted in little more than alterations to the service wings. A substantial rebuilding of the house was begun c. 1886-90. The east and west wings were extended in Jacobean style with shaped gables, and the interior was refitted. (fn. 45) Mrs. Tharp added a further extension to the eastern wing c. 1899-1921, but the Hall still faced south. In the late 19th century the eastern wing contained guests' bedrooms, and the western wing servants' quarters.
In 1686 there was stabling for 14 horses at the manor, and in 1698 there was a coach house with a central clock turret. (fn. 46) It was probably that long symmetrical stable block which survives to the north of the Hall within the park walls. (fn. 47) The clock in the turret dates from 1793. In the late 19th century a slate roof was added. The coach house provided workshops in the late 19th century and the early 20th. In 1987 it was converted into six flats, and in 1997 prospective tenants of Clock flat were offered a reduced rent in return for undertaking clock-winding duty. (fn. 48)
Between 1821 and 1841 a substantial house called the Cottage was built 500 m. east of the southern end of the village off the Kennett Road. (fn. 49) Between 1841 and 1875 J. S. Tharp occupied the Cottage, but it was almost continuously rented by tenants c. 1876-1937, except c. 1929-33 when Lt.-Col. G. P. Tharp resided there. (fn. 50) In 1931 it was renamed Chippenham Lodge, and after the Second World War it was the home of the owner of Chippenham Lodge stud, but in 1982 the house was separated from the stud. (fn. 51)
In 1702 Lord Orford petitioned King William III for a licence to create a park, and was granted free warren over his proposed parkland. (fn. 52) The Park of 130 ha., largely created from existing inclosures, was square with a northwards projection. It was enclosed by a brick wall completed by 1712. Between 1791 and 1799 John Tharp enclosed a further 12 ha. in the north-west section of the Park. (fn. 53) His rebuilding of the Park's walls may have led to the local belief that every brick in the wall represented a slave owned by him in Jamaica. That is most unlikely, as the Park walls, stretching for 3 km. and 2.1 m. high, contained c. 2,500,000 bricks. The wall was in a good state of repair in 2001.
In 1712 the principal entrance to the park was in the eastern wall off the Kennett road, but it was bricked up c. 1791-9, and henceforward the main entrances were the northern gate adjoining Park Street, and the southern gate leading to Newmarket drive. (fn. 54) At that northern gate NeoClassical lodges were built c. 1791-8 of gault brick, to designs by James Wyatt. (fn. 55) In 1794 at the southern entrance Wyatt added an elaborate gateway, resembling a triumphal arch, and lodges of limestone ashlar. (fn. 56) In 1997 the north gate was used as the entrance to the park.
In the 17th century the gardens attached to the house included a 'delightful plain', fine green walks, and a bowling lawn. (fn. 57) Lord Orford remodelled the landscape c. 1693-1712, creating canals and formal gardens. (fn. 58) A canal 300 m. long which ran southwards to the west of the house was refashioned from a stream, and from its central point another canal of 450 m. ran westwards into the park. In 1712 there was a water garden in the north-west angle between the canals, and beyond that a walled kitchen garden. To the south of the Hall there were 8 ha. of formal gardens. Orford may also have commemorated his naval victory at La Hogue (1693) by planting two lines of lime trees representing the AngloDutch and French fleets. (fn. 59) The western line running south-eastwards parallel to the western Park wall had 27 trees in 1889, but only 23 survived in 1997, while the eastern line running north-eastwards parallel to the southern Park wall had 48 trees c. 1889-1997. The fleets at La Hogue comprised 99 English and Dutch ships, and 44 French vessels, suggesting that each tree was to represent two ships, with the western line showing the French fleet and the longer eastern line the Anglo-Dutch force. Alternatively the western line may represent captured French ships. On each tree two large horizontal limbs were trained to curve upwards, with one central vertical limb, to suggest a ship's bows and a main mast.
In 1724 the formal gardens were 'perfectly finished', but in the late 18th century they were almost certainly neglected by absentee landlords, and between 1793 and 1804 they were replaced by open woodland to Emes's and Webb's designs of 1792. (fn. 60) One hundred men were employed c. 1803-4 to create the Park's lake by extending the short 300-m. canal southwards and northwards, deepening it, and lining it with chalk stone. (fn. 61) When completed it was reputedly 2 km. long, but since 1889 its dimensions have comprised 900 m. in length by 91 m. across at its widest point. From 1804 a stream from the fen flowed into the northern end of the lake, and since 1991 an underground pipeline from Water Hall farm has supplied the southern end. (fn. 62) In 1826 there was a steam-heated hothouse 34 m. in length in the Park where 23 types of pineapple were grown. (fn. 63) The hothouse and an ice-house behind New Row were extant c. 1889-1910, but there were no remains in 1997. (fn. 64)
In 1136 Geoffrey de Mandeville (d. 1144) and his wife, Rohese de Vere, granted Chippenham church to Walden abbey (Essex). (fn. 65) In 1279 the abbot held 45 a., received as a gift from Earl William de Mandeville. (fn. 66) In 1373 the overlordship of WALDEN manor was held by the earl of Hereford, in 1397-8 by his successor the duke of Gloucester, in 1399 by the duke's widow Eleanor, and in 1403 by the earl of Stafford. (fn. 67) At the Dissolution the abbey estate was granted to Sir Thomas Audley, who sold it in 1538 to John Bowles (d. 1543). It passed to his younger son Thomas, thereafter descending with the main manor of Chippenham. (fn. 68)
Rohese de Vere and her second husband Payn de Beauchamp c. 1144 granted BREND manor, including a grange 'with all its compass' to Chicksands priory (Beds.), to which it was confirmed c. 1145 by Earl Geoffrey de Mandeville (d. 1166), who added over 127 a. of his demesne fields. (fn. 69) Between 1147 and 1187 his brother Earl William (d. 1189) took back part of that arable, giving in exchange 176 a., mostly assarts. (fn. 70) In 1254 the Chicksands grange was taxed at £2. (fn. 71) In 1541, after the Dissolution, it was held by John Sester of Ashwell (Herts.). He leased it to John Bowles (d. 1543), (fn. 72) who presumably later purchased it from Sester. John Bowles's eldest son Richard predeceased him, and in 1556 Richard's son, Thomas Bowles, sold the estate to William Hyde. (fn. 73) In 1563 Thomas Revett purchased Brend grange from John Drury, and thereafter it descended with Chippenham manor. (fn. 74)
Between 1066 and 1086 the overlordship of BADLINGHAM passed from Eddeva the fair to Count Alan of Brittany, later lord of Richmond. (fn. 75) Overlordship was exercised by the earls of Richmond from c. 1235 until 1302-3, but is not recorded thereafter. (fn. 76) Ordmaer the sheriff was tenant c. 1066-86, and in 1161-3 the manor was held by Geoffrey le Franceis. (fn. 77) He may have been succeeded by Walter le Franceis in 1178, and c. 1220-36 by Everard le Franceis. (fn. 78) The estate was next held by Robert le Franceis, whose widow survived in 1286. Robert was probably dead by 1270, when Alan le Franceis was granted free warren. He held the manor until c. 1302, and his widow Amice in 1316. (fn. 79)
From Sir Matthew of Bassingbourn, lord 1327-32, Badlingham descended to his son Sir John, still lord in 1348. (fn. 80) In 1345 he had settled its reversion on his son Sir Richard and his wife Anne. (fn. 81) Sir Richard died between 1372 and 1375 when Anne and her second husband Roger Newent settled the manor. (fn. 82) Newent, who had a life interest, occupied Badlingham until 1389 when he leased it for £10 a year to Robert Bassingbourn, Sir Richard's son, whose right to its reversion on Newent's death he acknowledged. (fn. 83) When Robert died in 1391 his heirs were his sisters: Joan was married by 1392 to William Bregg and by 1400 to Walter Reynell, and Maud to Richard Athelwald by 1402, when the coheirs were probably leasing it jointly. (fn. 84) In 1415 Maud and Athelwald released their moiety of Badlingham for a life-rent to Joan and Reynell, who in 1422 with his son and namesake sold the whole manor to John, Lord Tiptoft. (fn. 85)
Lord Tiptoft, the owner in 1428, died in 1443 holding Badlingham jointly with his wife Joyce (d. 1446). (fn. 86) From his son and heir John, earl of Worcester, (ex. 1470), it descended to his son Earl Edward. (fn. 87) Earl John's widow Elizabeth (d. 1498) brought her life interest in it to her second husband Sir William Stanley (ex. 1495), still in possession when Edward died without issue in 1485. (fn. 88) His heirs were his father's sisters. (fn. 89) Isabel, daughter of the eldest, Philippa, lady Roos, married Sir Thomas Lovell, who at his death left Badlingham manor to his nephew Sir Francis Lovell (d. 1552). (fn. 90) His son Sir Thomas Lovell at his death in 1567 left Badlingham for life to his widow Elizabeth, with remainder to his son Sir Thomas. (fn. 91)
In 1669 Badlingham was owned by Sir John Russell, but in 1674 the manor house was occupied by Benjamin Clarke, and in 1684 the manor was sold by Sir John's widow to Samuel Clarke (cr. Bt. 1698, d. 1719), lord of Snailwell, passing to his son, Sir Robert (d. 1746). (fn. 92) His son Sir Samuel sold it in 1757 to John Swale, and in 1797 it was purchased by John Tharp (d. 1804), thereafter descending with the Chippenham Park Estate. (fn. 93)
The medieval manor house at Badlingham was surrounded by a rectangular moat inclosing 1 ha. (fn. 94) The river Kennett forms the eastern side of the moat. The west moat and most of the north and south sides are 15 m. wide. New timber was provided in 1452 for the repair of the manor house, which was replaced by the surviving timber-framed building in the late 16th century. (fn. 95) In 1674 Badlingham Hall had nine hearths, and it was refurbished in the 19th century. (fn. 96)
Geoffrey le Franceis granted 124 a. to Sibton abbey (Suff.) c. 1161-3. (fn. 97) In 1254 Sibton grange was valued at £2. (fn. 98) In 1279 the abbot held c. 100 a. under Alan le Franceis in free alms. (fn. 99) In 1582 it formed part of Chippenham manor, having presumably been acquired by either Thomas Bowles or Thomas Revett. (fn. 100)