A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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The parish of Barton, 3 miles west of Cambridge, stretches for 3 miles between the road from Cambridge to St. Neots on the north and the Bourn brook on the south, and contains 1,834 a. (fn. 1) Its eastern boundary follows the edges of ancient openfield furlongs. To the west its boundary with Comberton was straightened and adjusted when the two parishes were inclosed in 1839. On the central section land that was formerly in Barton's open fields was allotted to Comberton, which yielded to Barton in exchange some land east of the Tit brook, a tributary of the Bourn brook. (fn. 2) Barton also includes at its south-western corner a triangular area of 13 a. beyond the Bourn, once used as common meadow. (fn. 3)
The parish once contained two settlements: in the south near the brook the surviving village of Barton, in the north beyond Barton Down, a spur of the West Cambridgeshire upland, the hamlet of Whitwell which eventually decayed. Both were almost entirely confined to agriculture, and formerly cultivated their land on a three-course rotation. In the almost flat southern part of the parish the soil lies over gault fringed by alluvium along the brook. A narrow rise of gravel running eastward from Grantchester provides a site for the village. North of it the ground rises, gradually at first, then more sharply, to the chalk down whose summit, reaching 150 ft. above sea level, is partly covered with boulder clay. From there it descends to 100 ft. on the gault of the valley where Whitwell stood, before rising again to the chalk ridge of Madingley Hill. Down the valley the Whitwell brook flows eastward from Hardwick. The land south-east of the decayed hamlet was formerly called Whitwell marsh. (fn. 4)
The probable line of the Roman road called Akeman Street passed through the site of the later village of Barton, whose church stands directly upon that line. Roman pottery and coins are said to have been found at University Farm north of the church. (fn. 5) After the Saxon village had been established, the route was deflected, shortly after crossing the brook at Lord's Bridge, along driftways further south and east which became the medieval highway to Cambridge. The road was turnpiked under an Act of 1797. (fn. 6) A lesser field-way called the Breachway (fn. 7) continued the line of the Roman road for a short distance towards the village. (fn. 8) The village probably developed from a nucleus surrounding a short green lying west of the church, around which most of the principal farmsteads were grouped until the early 19th century. Most of them are basically 17th-century in structure. The village had long before grown along lanes leading off the green, and old inclosures stretched out from each of its corners. South of the church along a narrow street, later called High Street, which led to the main Cambridge road, straggled cottages and farm-houses with their closes, some dating from the 17th century. South-west of the junction other cottages, some of which, timber-framed and thatched, also survived from the 17th century, stood on both sides of the Cambridge road as far as Bird's Farm, at the point where a road branches south to Haslingfield. The medieval framing of its farm-house shows that settlement had probably reached that point by 1500. (fn. 9) South of it more old inclosures extended along both sides of the Haslingfield road as far as the Bridge End Pightles.
From the north-east corner of the green another way zigzagged between closes, then turned east to become Sheepcote Way and run across the main road towards Grantchester. (fn. 10) The section in the village was straightened in 1839. (fn. 11) From the west end of the green Prior's Way led towards Comberton church, (fn. 12) and another way, probably called Hersty (fn. 13) or Thirsty Way, (fn. 14) ran north-west along the line of the modern road for some distance, then separated two of the open fields of Barton as far as the bounds of Whitwell. A little north of the junction with the new road to Comberton that was laid out at inclosure it was crossed by two other tracks, the Old Bedford road, called in the Middle Ages Cambridge Way, (fn. 15) passing north-east from Comberton into Grantchester Down field, and, further north, Hardwick Way, (fn. 16) which ran south-eastwards to meet the main road at the border of Barton and Grantchester. (fn. 17) Post-inclosure footpaths partially represent the course of those ways. The straight road north towards Whitwell Farm was not made until 1839. (fn. 18) Lord's Bridge railway station, partly in Barton parish on the Cambridge-Bedford railway-line, was opened in 1862, and closed completely by 1965. (fn. 19)
Until the inclosure in 1839 the village retained its irregularly triangular shape with base-points on the green and at Bird's Farm, without growing much. It contained 23 recorded dwellings in 1662, 35 in 1674, (fn. 20) and 30 in 1801. Between 1821 and 1831 over 30 new houses were built, and by 1871 there were 82 inhabited houses. Thereafter until the 1920s the number varied between 60 and 70. By 1931 c. 35 more houses had been built, and by 1961 another 168. (fn. 21) The earlier building consisted of infilling along the central section of High Street, besides houses along the main road near the Grantchester boundary. In the 1960s new housing estates were laid out east and west of the green, including c. 1961 44 houses in King's Grove north of University Farm, (fn. 22) and others in the angle between High Street and the main road leading south-west.
The hamlet of Whitwell stood by the track called Whitwell Way, formerly Burnway Street, (fn. 23) which ran westwards from Coton. Pre-inclosure maps show closes lying beside the eastern section of the way, between it and the Whitwell brook to the south. (fn. 24) Other grass closes south of the stream were probably taken in from open fields or commons in or after the 17th century. A green extended along the highway north of the closes. (fn. 25) Although Whitwell was in the 13th century attached to Barton for both civil and ecclesiastical purposes, it survived as a separate settlement until c. 1500. (fn. 26) Manorial courts at Barton were still giving orders, on such business as scouring ditches, to inhabitants of Whitwell in 1501 and in 1515, when fulling was being undertaken there. (fn. 27) The Angier family still had a branch there in 1526. (fn. 28) In 1597 Richard Angier of Coton owned a farm at Whitwell, once owned by Dr. Thomas Wendy of Haslingfield, which he proposed to sell to King's College. (fn. 29) The depopulation of Whitwell was probably consummated when during the 17th century almost all its field-land was engrossed into a single farm, held as freehold or leasehold by the Martin family, living at Barton. (fn. 30) By 1810 their farmstead was the only house left in the former township. (fn. 31) The farm-house was rebuilt c. 1834, (fn. 32) but the cottages near by were not built until c. 1876. (fn. 33) By 1938 a few houses had been built on land in the north-west corner by the St. Neots road. (fn. 34)
In 1086 31 inhabitants were recorded at Barton. (fn. 35) No separate figures for Whitwell survive for that or any later period. In 1279 there were c. 85 tenants in the two vills, (fn. 36) and in 1327 45 men were assessed for the fifteenth. (fn. 37) In 1377 140 persons paid the poll tax. (fn. 38) In 1524 there were 26 taxpayers, (fn. 39) and in 1563 30 families. (fn. 40) Barton contained 37 houses in 1666 (fn. 41) and 112 adults in 1676. (fn. 42) In 1728 23 families included 203 persons. (fn. 43) The population rose gradually from 218 in 1801 to 284 in 1831, and between 1841 and 1861 fluctuated around 320. In 1871, partly through the immigration of coprolitediggers, it reached 418, but had again fallen to 323 in 1881, and by 1921 had sunk to 243. After new building it rose to 327 in 1931, and more steeply to 528 in 1951 and 788 in 1961. (fn. 44) By 1970 it had reached 980. (fn. 45)
In 1851 the village contained two public houses, the Hoops in a cottage near the church, owned by Cambridge University, and the White Horse by the main road. (fn. 46) Both survived in 1970, the White Horse having recently been rebuilt. A village feast was held on May-day in the 18th century, (fn. 47) later on 15 May. By 1942 it had dwindled to a few entertainment stalls. (fn. 48) Before inclosure the village children used to play in the leys, south of High Street, after the grass was cut on 1 August. (fn. 49) Under the Barton Inclosure Act, 1839, 4 a. of the leys were allotted as a recreation ground. (fn. 50) By 1836 the vicar had established a lending library. A parish coal club existed in 1888. (fn. 51)
Manors and Other Estates.
In 1086 Robert, count of Mortain (d. 1090), whose tenant Robert Fafiton had succeeded Judichael the huntsman, held 1 hide in Barton, which became LANCASTER manor. After Count William of Mortain's forfeiture in 1106 (fn. 52) the manor at Barton was included in that portion of his estates which came to the Beaumont earls of Leicester. Robert, earl of Leicester (d. 1168), may have held it in demesne c. 1167. (fn. 53) In 1199 it was held by Gilbert de Mynors, (fn. 54) who was serving in Normandy under Robert, earl of Leicester (d. 1204). (fn. 55) In 1204, because Gilbert had adhered to the king of France, King John confiscated his estates at Barton and elsewhere, and immediately committed them to the keeping of Brian de Lisle. (fn. 56) Brian held the manor until his death in 1234, (fn. 57) upon which Henry III granted it, during pleasure, to his clerk Robert of Canterbury, (fn. 58) who retained it until 1244, when following an inquest into the terre Normannorum the king resumed the manor and restored it to Simon de Montfort, already earl of Leicester. (fn. 59) Upon Earl Simon's death and forfeiture in 1265 his Barton estate was granted as part of the honor of Leicester to Edmund, earl of Lancaster (d. 1296), who held it in 1279. (fn. 60) The earls of Lancaster sometimes kept their Barton manor in hand, sometimes granted it to a dependent for life. Thus in 1302 the fee was held by Adam de Schar, (fn. 61) but by 1313 had reverted to Edmund's son Thomas, (fn. 62) who held it at his forfeiture in 1322. (fn. 63) His brother and heir Henry, earl of Lancaster (d. 1345), after 1327 granted it for life to his follower William Baret, who restored it to him in 1332. (fn. 64) In 1335 Earl Henry granted it for life to another Lancastrian retainer, Sir Robert de la Beche. (fn. 65) In 1359 Henry, duke of Lancaster (d. 1361), being alderman of the Cambridge Corpus Christi guild, granted the reversion of Barton Lancaster manor to the guild's newly founded college of Corpus Christi. The same year Sir Robert released his rights to the college, (fn. 66) which thereafter held in chief of the Crown, despite attempts by Duchy of Lancaster officials under Henry VII to claim the manor as held of the Duchy. (fn. 67) The site of the manor-house or farmstead of Lancaster is probably represented by College Farm, later Old Farm, standing north of the High Street near the main road. The farm-house is probably 17th-century, and was refronted in brick in the 19th century. (fn. 68)
Lancaster manor had two dependencies in neighbouring parishes: a fee in Grantchester, later incorporated into Jaks manor there, (fn. 69) from whose lords Corpus Christi unsuccessfully claimed suit of court and rent in the 15th century, releasing its claims in 1519; (fn. 70) and a fee in Girton, held of the Mortimers, who had succeeded as mesne tenants to Robert Fafiton's lands, by the Trumpington family, (fn. 71) which owed 50s. a year rent to Barton Lancaster until c. 1500. (fn. 72)
Guy de Reimbercourt held in 1086 3½ hides in Barton that had once belonged to 24 sokemen. (fn. 73) His honor of Chipping Warden descended successively to the Foliots, the Ledets, and the Latimers. (fn. 74) From c. 1235 the Barton lands were normally said to be held of the barony of Ledet. (fn. 75) In 1465, however, they were alleged to be held of the honor of Leicester, that barony being then in the king's hand by right of the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 76) By 1486 the estate, then called Burwash manor, was claimed to be held of the honor of Richmond, (fn. 77) a mistake frequently repeated and not corrected until 1616. (fn. 78)
The land was held under Guy in 1086 by Humphrey de Andeville who had under him three French knights. (fn. 79) Humphrey's descendants of the Andeville family (fn. 80) remained mesne lords of two knights' fees in Barton, (fn. 81) although their interest was sometimes overlooked. (fn. 82) When the Andeville lands were divided among coheirs c. 1300, Barton fell in the purparty of Robert Hoo, (fn. 83) whose representatives Sir Thomas Hoo, Edmund Perrers, and John de la Rivers were occasionally mentioned in the mid 14th century as lords of the fee. (fn. 84) The service due through them to the barony of Ledet was 5s. a year towards Rockingham castle-ward and scutage. (fn. 85)
By the late 12th century the tenants in demesne were a family descended, it was said in 1219, from one Fulky Warwell who settled in Barton after the Conquest, presumably the Folk Waruhel who was a juror in Wetherley hundred in 1086. Fulky was succeeded by his son Hugh and grandson William. (fn. 86) William's son, Ellis of Whitwell, died c. 1199, (fn. 87) leaving two daughters as coheirs, Rose and Maud, (fn. 88) who c. 1203 married respectively Alan of Barton and Thomas of Cotes. (fn. 89) Maud and Thomas were still living c. 1230, (fn. 90) but no descendants are recorded. Alan survived until c. 1242, (fn. 91) and was succeeded by his son Ralph, (fn. 92) called le Lord, (fn. 93) who died between 1263 and 1272. His heir was his son Walter le Lord, (fn. 94) who died between 1317 and 1320. (fn. 95) Walter's estate was broken up among coheirs who were probably his daughters. Thus in 1325 Margery Goldsmith granted John Chastelyn c. 65 a., including land which Walter's widow Nichole held in dower of Margery's heritage. (fn. 96) Chastelyn was one of those returned in 1346 as holding part of Walter's land. Others were Roger Russell (d. 1361), whose widow held 50 a. in 1374, and Thomas Fanne. (fn. 97) Chastelyn's share was divided among coheirs by 1397. One part, which descended to the Eyre family of Great Baddow (Essex), was in 1506 sold by Richard Eyre to Corpus Christi College. (fn. 98) Thomas Fanne (fl. 1329–46) (fn. 99) was followed by Robert Fanne (d. 1418) (fn. 100) and then by Thomas Fanne (fl. 1408–45), (fn. 101) whose son Robert was dead by 1487 when his sons Robert and John held his lands. The younger Robert had died by 1514, when his son Nicholas sold his inherited lands to Dean Colet, who incorporated them in Vaches manor. (fn. 102) In 1506 John Fanne sold part of his property to Corpus Christi College. (fn. 103)
The largest part of Walter le Lord's lands in Barton had by 1344 come to the hands of Bartholomew Burghersh, Lord Burghersh (fn. 104) (d. 1355), and was thenceforth known as BURWASH manor. It passed with Burwash manor in Grantchester successively to his son Bartholomew (d. 1369), to William Strete (d. c. 1383), to John Walden (d. 1417), and to Henry Somer (d. 1450), who devised it to his grandson James Vere. (fn. 105) James is not heard of after 1453. By 1462 Barton Burwash manor had been acquired by Sir Thomas Charlton, (fn. 106) of Edmonton (Mdx.), Speaker of the Commons in 1454–5, (fn. 107) who died in 1465. (fn. 108) His son Richard came of age in 1470 and was knighted in 1476, (fn. 109) but was killed fighting for Richard III at Bosworth in 1485, and was consequently attainted. (fn. 110) He had, however, in that year mortgaged Burwash manor to John Warde, (fn. 111) grocer and alderman of London (fn. 112) (d. 1501). (fn. 113) Burwash manor may have been occupied by Warde's brother Thomas in 1504. (fn. 114) By 1514 it was held by Richard Warde, probably son of John's brother George. (fn. 115) Richard (d. 1560), a lawyer, lived partly at Barton, and gave his manor there the alternative name of WARDES. He devised it to his eldest son Christopher, (fn. 116) who in 1561 sold it to his brother John. John, settling in London, sold the manor in 1573 to John Martin of Woodhurst (Hunts.) (fn. 117) (d. 1594). (fn. 118)
John Martin devised Burwash manor for life to his wife Margaret (d. 1602), and then to his son Matthie, (fn. 119) who considerably enlarged his estate. Besides several purchases from small freeholders, (fn. 120) he bought in 1613 from the heirs of Edward Slegge 150 a. in Barton and Grantchester, once part of Lacyes manor, Grantchester, (fn. 121) and had also by his death in 1613 acquired land in Whitwell once owned by Dr. Thomas Wendy of Haslingfield. (fn. 122) In 1547 Dr. Wendy had bought land there formerly belonging to the Virgin's chantry in Great St. Mary's Cambridge. (fn. 123) By his will of 1560 he devised two-thirds of his land in Barton and Whitwell, after the death of his wife Margaret, to Anne, wife of his friend and patron William, Lord Paget (fn. 124) (d. 1563). Anne died in 1587. In 1596 her grandson and heir William Paget (fn. 125) conveyed her land, said to be 200 a. in Whitwell and Barton, to Sir William Waldegrave and others, probably feoffees, who in 1597 granted it to Richard Angier of Coton (d. 1597). (fn. 126) Angier's son Francis in 1598 settled it on feoffees, perhaps to Matthie Martin's use. (fn. 127)
Matthie's will of 1613 left his Barton estate to his wife Elizabeth for life and to his son Thomas, (fn. 128) then aged 5, whose wardship was claimed by the Crown. (fn. 129) In 1632 Elizabeth and her second husband Sir Walter Devereux, later Viscount Hereford (d. 1658), conveyed the estate to Thomas Martin, (fn. 130) who was knighted by 1642. (fn. 131) Sir Thomas, a zealous Parliamentarian who was said to thirst for Stuart blood, died in 1650 in a hunting accident. (fn. 132) His son and heir Devereux Martin was from 1668 obliged by financial troubles frequently to mortgage Burwash manor and his other Barton lands. (fn. 133) In 1681 he sold the manor to Cambridge University, reserving to himself and his wife Dorothy a life-interest at a nominal rent. (fn. 134) Devereux was dead by 1705; from Dorothy's death in 1719 (fn. 135) the estate was owned by the university.
University Farm, standing north-east of the church, was probably once the manor-house of the Martin family. The early-17th-century farm-house is timber-framed and plastered, with two gabled cross-wings. One room has a moulded Jacobean plaster ceiling, and upstairs is an arched stone fireplace. The garden is bounded to the south by a 17thcentury brick wall, to the north-east by a shallow moat, probably made as a garden ornament. (fn. 136) In an adjoining close north-east of the farmstead there survived until 1962 an irregular moated site, containing traces of occupation in the 12th century and possibly earlier, which may have belonged to an earlier manor-house. (fn. 137)
Devereux Martin did not include his Whitwell lands in the sale of 1681, (fn. 138) but in 1693 he conveyed them to Nicholas Gouge, D.D., who settled them on himself and his future wife, Thomasine Clutterbuck. (fn. 139) Gouge died in 1694, (fn. 140) and Thomasine held the estate until after 1748, (fn. 141) to be followed by Edward Gouge. (fn. 142) Edward, a member of the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, arranged in 1756 the sale of his family's estate in Whitwell to the corporation, (fn. 143) which owned it until 1914, when the estate of 255 a. was sold to the Tebbit family, its tenants since 1858. (fn. 144)
The later PRIORY manor derived from a knight's fee, amounting to one plough-land, of the Ledet fee in Barton, which was held in the mid 12th century of William son of Hugh and grandson of Fulky Warwell by William Breton. Breton's son and successor Robert Breton (fn. 145) granted the estate, to be held by one knight's service, to Walter son of Hugh, (fn. 146) possibly sheriff of Cambridgeshire 1177–83. (fn. 147) In 1194 Walter's son Walter paid the relief for the land to Robert Breton, (fn. 148) whose son William had succeeded by 1198. (fn. 149) Constance de Bonville, widow of Walter son of Hugh, probably held the Barton land in dower, and after 1199 married Geoffrey of Hatfield, (fn. 150) who was clerk to the sheriffs of Cambridgeshire, and later himself sheriff from 1224 to 1232. (fn. 151) In 1203 Walter son of Walter granted his step-mother and Geoffrey his knight's fee in Barton to hold at fee-farm for 1 mark a year. (fn. 152) In 1224 Geoffrey granted the one plough-land, with other land there that he had purchased, to Barnwell Priory to support a chaplain celebrating masses, reserving to himself and Constance a life-interest at a low rent. (fn. 153) Geoffrey was dead by 1236 when Constance released her interest to the priory. (fn. 154)
By 1225 Walter son of Walter had confirmed the grant and released the rent owed him. (fn. 155) After 1224 Thomas son of William Breton also confirmed the grant. (fn. 156) By 1232 Maud and her husband Thomas of Cotes, to whom the lordship over the Breton fee evidently came when the lands of her father Ellis of Whitwell were divided, granted the priory the knight-service due to them from Thomas Breton. (fn. 157) Thomas (d. c. 1261) and his brother William (d. after 1272) (fn. 158) still held some land in Barton of the priory, (fn. 159) and were followed by Thomas Breton (fl. 1279–98) (fn. 160) and John Breton (fl. 1309–48). (fn. 161) In 1347 Sir Thomas Hoo, coheir to the Ledet fee, sold his rights over Barton to the priory, (fn. 162) which had acquired more land in the late 13th century by grants from individual villagers, (fn. 163) and in 1278 appointed a canon as permanent attorney to accept or solicit their gifts. (fn. 164) It retained its manor until its dissolution in 1538. (fn. 165) In 1544 the Crown sold the manor, called Prior's Hold, to King's College, (fn. 166) which owned it thenceforward until it was sold in 1955 to Mr. M. J. H. Harrison. (fn. 167) The college's Manor Farm, also called Prior's Hold, at the west of the green, presumably occupies the site of Barnwell Priory's manor-house. The existing farm-house was built in the 19th century.
Two and a half hides in Barton, formerly possessed by 4 sokemen of Earl Waltheof and later held at farm from his widow, Countess Judith, were occupied in 1086 by William de Keynes. He had received them on the authority of Odo, bishop of Bayeux, (fn. 168) brother of Robert, count of Mortain, from whom William held many manors in Sussex and Northamptonshire. (fn. 169) After William's death in Henry I's reign (fn. 170) his lands were divided between his elder sons, Ralph and Hugh; (fn. 171) his Barton estate passed to Ralph (fl. 1130) (fn. 172) and was held in 1168 by Ralph's son Ralph. (fn. 173) Part had been given in marriage with the elder Ralph's daughter Gillian to Richard de Lestre (d. c. 1183). Gillian still occupied it as a widow in 1185. (fn. 174) Ralph de Keynes died c. 1174. (fn. 175) His son and heir William provoked Henry II's wrath in 1176 and was mulcted of 1,000 marks. (fn. 176) His father's cousin Richard, son of Hugh, (fn. 177) offered the king 1,000 marks for the repartition of the family lands. (fn. 178) Both branches of the family were still paying off their debts in 1212. (fn. 179) In the new division Barton was allotted to Richard, whose misconduct, however, caused Henry to seize his lands, including Barton, into his hands for 6 years. (fn. 180) Richard died in 1183, and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 181) (d. 1217) from whom Barton passed to his son Richard (fn. 182) (d. c. 1240). (fn. 183) The dispossessed William, son of Ralph de Keynes, who survived until 1222, (fn. 184) challenged Richard's possession of Barton and other manors in 1219, but Richard finally bought out his claims. (fn. 185) Richard's son and heir William, a minor, was dead by 1249 when his brother Richard did homage for his lands. (fn. 186) In 1276 Richard's daughter and heir Joan married Roger Lewknor. (fn. 187)
The Keynes fee in Barton had then already broken up. Much was eventually incorporated in Priory manor. Thus William son of Richard (d. 1217) granted half-virgates in fee to two peasants, one of whom granted his to Geoffrey of Hatfield, with whose lands it passed to Barnwell Priory. (fn. 188) William also set aside 45 a. each as marriage portions for his daughters Isabel and Margaret. The latter had by 1219 married Ralph de Dive, of Corby (Lincs.) (fn. 189) (d. 1224). (fn. 190) Ralph's son and heir William, of age in 1229, (fn. 191) died in 1252, and was succeeded by his son Hugh (fn. 192) who by 1279 had granted his 50 a. to Barnwell Priory to hold in fee-farm for £5 a year. (fn. 193) Hugh died in 1280. His son and heir William (fn. 194) granted the rent to John, son of Sir Andrew Luttrell of Irnham (Lincs.), who in 1304 granted it to Henry Campion of Chesterton, (fn. 195) who released it to the priory in 1309. (fn. 196)
Another part of the Keynes fee was held c. 1250 by Sir Robert Chastelyn, (fn. 197) whose wife Isabel married secondly William Tane (d. c. 1276) and thirdly John Metringham (d. c. 1302). (fn. 198) Tane c. 1275 included 20 a. of the fee, part of her dower, in a gift of 40 a. to Barnwell Priory for a chantry. (fn. 199) In 1285 the priory bought the interest in that land of Gunnora, daughter and heir of Chastelyn, who had married Ralph le Lord. (fn. 200) In 1279 Gunnora held 40 a. of the fee in dower, and Isabel and Metringham held the rest of Gunnora's son Walter's inheritance. (fn. 201) The same year Isabel and Metringham granted 100 a. to Tane's son Geoffrey, (fn. 202) who in 1309 granted them to Stephen Cosyn, probably in marriage with his daughter Isabel. (fn. 203) Cosyn was lord of a manor in Barton in 1316 (fn. 204) and held 208 a. in 1320, part of which was held of the Ledet fee. (fn. 205)
A hide held of the Keynes fee, later VACHES manor, came to the Mansel family of Shenley (Bucks.). (fn. 206) Thomas Mansel held land at Barton by c. 1200, (fn. 207) and occasionally witnessed deeds there later. (fn. 208) His successor Sir Thomas Mansel, (fn. 209) probably his son, purchased land in Whitwell (fn. 210) and died in 1258. (fn. 211) Sir Thomas's son and heir Thomas forfeited his lands in 1265 as a rebel. The king granted them to William de Aette. In 1267 Isabel, countess of Arundel, from whom many of the Mansel lands were held, partially bought out William's claims and undertook the wardship of Mansel's two daughters and coheirs. (fn. 212) In 1272 she sold the wardship to Richard de la Vache (fn. 213) (d. by 1290), a follower of Earl Warenne, (fn. 214) who had married one coheir, Mabel, to his son Richard by 1281 when the Mansel sisters redeemed their inheritance, including Barton, from Aette. (fn. 215) In 1308 Mabel's husband Richard settled Barton upon his younger son Richard, a clerk, for life, and in tail upon his elder son Matthew and Matthew's sisters Maud and Elizabeth. (fn. 216) Sir Matthew owned the manor between 1317 and 1335 (fn. 217) and was succeeded, probably by 1337, by his son Richard. (fn. 218) Sir Richard, who became vice-chamberlain of the king's household and constable of Windsor Castle and the Tower of London, (fn. 219) had a grant of free warren at Barton in 1363. (fn. 220) He died in 1366. (fn. 221) His son and heir Sir Philip la Vache, who came of age in 1370, (fn. 222) had a distinguished career at Richard II's court and was a friend of Chaucer. (fn. 223) Sir Philip died in 1408 (fn. 224) without surviving issue, (fn. 225) having directed that his estates, including Barton, be conveyed to that person with the best title under the settlement of 1308, who proved to be Amy, wife of John Kirkham. (fn. 226) Sir Philip's widow Elizabeth occupied Barton until her own death in 1414. (fn. 227)
Amy died in 1427, (fn. 228) and Kirkham held her lands until c. 1435. (fn. 229) They had passed by 1440 to Richard, Lord Grey of Wilton, (fn. 230) whose eldest son Reynold claimed to be heir of Sir Matthew's sister Maud under the settlement of 1308. (fn. 231) Shortly before his death in 1442 Richard settled the Vache estates on his second wife Margaret for life, with remainder to his heirs by her. (fn. 232) By 1445 she was again married, to Sir Thomas Grey (cr. in 1450 Lord Richemount Grey), (fn. 233) to whom her feoffees had conveyed Barton in fee before her death in 1452. (fn. 234) When William Grey, her eldest son by Richard, came of age in 1454, Thomas induced him to sell his claims to Barton and other lands. (fn. 235) In 1461 Lord Richemount Grey was executed as a Lancastrian after the battle of Towton. (fn. 236) In 1462 Edward IV licensed Reynold, Lord Grey of Wilton (d. 1494), Richard's eldest son by his first wife, to enter upon the forfeited lands that had been his father's. (fn. 237) In 1467, however, Margaret's feoffees conveyed the Barton estate to Edward Grey, her eldest surviving son by Richard, (fn. 238) on whom in 1472 Reynold settled Vaches manor. (fn. 239) Edward Grey died in 1504, (fn. 240) and under the settlement the manor passed to Edmund, Lord Grey of Wilton, son of Reynold's son John (d. 1499). (fn. 241) At once Edmund mortgaged Barton and other Vache lands to Sir Henry Colet, (fn. 242) who died in 1505. (fn. 243) In 1506 the mortgage was converted into a sale to Colet's feoffees. (fn. 244) Colet's son and heir, Dr. John Colet, dean of St. Paul's, in 1510 settled Barton, among other lands, on the Mercers' Company of London to endow St. Paul's School, (fn. 245) and the Mercers held the estate in trust from c. 1515 (fn. 246) until they sold it in 1919 to their tenant. (fn. 247) The manorial name is preserved in that of the farmhouse, the Vatches, a building of 17th-century origin (fn. 248) at the south-east corner of the green. Its great barn was mentioned in 1513. (fn. 249)
St. Catharine's College also had an estate in Barton, mostly acquired in small parcels from peasants in the late 15th century. By c. 1510 it owned land reckoned at c. 140 a., mostly in Whitwell, (fn. 250) besides c. 80 a. in Barton, which had once belonged to Richard Angier of Barton (d. 1479), (fn. 251) and c. 22 a. acquired with the Fyn estate in Coton in 1516. (fn. 252) Between 1758 and 1764 the college added an estate of c. 150 a. in Barton, Grantchester, and Comberton, which had formerly belonged to James Robson (d. after 1684), and had come to his widow Anne and their three daughters, Catherine (d. 1713), Mary (d. by 1721), and Anne. In 1721 Anne Robson and her mother sold the reversion to William Fuller of Caldecote (Hunts.), who in 1733 sold the estate to Thomas Belchier of Monmouth. In 1745 Belchier settled it on his son-in-law, Richard Huddlestone of Sawston (Cambs.) (d. 1760), and in 1758 Huddlestone's son Ferdinand conveyed the land to Thomas Lombe, acting for St. Catharine's. (fn. 253) In 1839 the college owned c. 322 a. in Barton and Whitwell, for which c. 300 a. was then allotted at inclosure. (fn. 254) It sold its lands there in 1920 when they were purchased by local farmers. (fn. 255) Maile's Farm, demolished between c. 1965 and 1970, represented the homestead of the farm acquired by St. Catharine's and once owned by Richard Angier (d. 1479). (fn. 256) Clare College owned c. 1545 an estate in Barton, probably bought between 1466 and 1470. In 1839 it amounted to 126 a. (fn. 257) The college still owned it in 1930. (fn. 258) Pembroke College also had a small property there c. 1545, amounting to c. 27½ a. after 1839, when also Caius College owned 15½ a. (fn. 259)
Before the Conquest most of the peasants in Barton, although they enjoyed the status of sokemen and could transfer their land, had rather small holdings. In Barton 5 men together occupied 4 hides, but another 24 had only 3 hides between them. Such smallholders were easily converted into the 27 bordars found at Barton in 1086, when it contained only 4 villani. By 1086 its value had fallen substantially since 1066, from £27 10s. to £16, showing a small decline even from the time when the land was assigned to the Norman newcomers. Agriculture was in 1086 probably already dominated by the demesnes. On the 12 plough-lands at Barton there were 8 demesne and only 5 peasant ploughs. The demesnes carried 190 sheep at Barton. (fn. 260)
By c. 1250 Barton was divided into three large fields and one lesser one. (fn. 261) East of the village lay Meadow field, (fn. 262) stretching from the meadows along the Bourn brook across the Cambridge road. From c. 1500 it was usually called Brook field, (fn. 263) or occasionally Stulp field, (fn. 264) after the Stulp ford, which crossed the brook at the south-east corner of the parish. Further west, between the roads to Haslingfield and Arrington Bridge, was the small Holes field, (fn. 265) later known as Horse field. (fn. 266) The Brache or Breach field, (fn. 267) called by 1800 Long field, (fn. 268) stretched along the west side of the parish as far as the fields of Whitwell. The high land east of it formed the Down field, (fn. 269) later Hill field, (fn. 270) which was occasionally called Mill field (fn. 271) after a windmill, probably built by 1224 and later owned by Barnwell Priory, (fn. 272) which during the Middle Ages stood near the crest of the down. The open-field arable of Barton probably amounted to c. 1,065 a. (fn. 273) Its common pasture lay mostly along the greenways that passed through the fields, occasionally broadening with greens, as at Broad green, south of Bird's Farm. In 1839 the area of permanent open common was reckoned to cover 97 a. Barton's fields were divided from those of Whitwell by an intercommonable furlong of c. 43 a. on the northern brow of the down. (fn. 274)
Although the demesne and tenant lands in Whitwell were in 1279 attached to manors in Barton, that hamlet retained during the Middle Ages its own fields, probably three in number. (fn. 275) In the south, on the slope of the hill, was a field probably called Down field, (fn. 276) later South field. (fn. 277) Between it and the closes was a belt of pasture, sometimes called Whitwell green, subsequently mostly inclosed. (fn. 278) Just north of the hamlet was Brache field, (fn. 279) and beyond it, north of a wide strip of common, was Wood field (fn. 280) or furlong, (fn. 281) probably named after the neighbouring Madingley Wood. West of Wood field, Street field or furlong also adjoined the St. Neots road. (fn. 282) South of Street field Westland filled the space between Whitwell way and the Comberton boundary. (fn. 283) About 1500 Wood field may have been farmed with Brache field, and Street field with Westland. Later Westland was combined with Street and Wood fields into a large West field, Brache field being called East field. (fn. 284) The fields of Whitwell, including much land later inclosed for pasture, apparently covered c. 450 a., the old closes c. 30 a. (fn. 285)
In 1279 the demesnes probably contained at least c. 540 a., about a third of the arable of the two vills. The largest was that of Barnwell Priory, which had by then acquired some 140 a. in addition to the plough-land given by Geoffrey of Hatfield. (fn. 286) Its estate in Whitwell was reckoned at 68 a. c. 1540, (fn. 287) that in Barton at 165 a. in 1691. (fn. 288) The Lancaster manor demesne was given as 80 a. in 1327, (fn. 289) and 93 a. in 1778. (fn. 290) That of Burwash manor was said to be 90 a. in 1355, (fn. 291) that of Vaches 120 a. in 1279, enlarged by later purchases to 186 a. by 1577. (fn. 292) In contrast, in 1279 53 free holdings comprised 435 a. and 40 villein tenements only 235 a. Most peasant holdings were exiguous. Only nine were as large as 15 a., all but one of which were free tenements, some owned by outsiders. They derived mostly from the Keynes fee. The largest villein tenements otherwise did not exceed 9 a., and many tenants who were not mere cottagers held only 4 a. or 3 a. (fn. 293) On Lancaster manor the greater and lesser bondages mentioned in 1392 (fn. 294) were probably holdings of 9 a. and 4½ a., such as in 1313 yielded entry fines of £5 and £2 10s., producing over half the year's income from the manor. (fn. 295) Little is recorded of villein services except on the Priory manor, on which c. 1250 each 9 a. holding, usually sub-divided, owed 3 or 4 dayworks a week between midsummer and Lammas, 3 to 6 a week during the four weeks of harvest, and 2 to 4 thence until Michaelmas, besides sending 3 to 6 men to two harvest-boons. They also did two days' harrowing and carrying. The prior's free halfvirgaters, whose lands probably derived from the Keynes fee, had also to furnish harvest-boons, and themselves attend on horseback with rods to supervise the work. (fn. 296) Later, in 1325–35, the prior was letting villein tenements for rents of 2s. to 2s. 6d. and service of reaping 12 a. at harvest. (fn. 297)
By the mid 13th century, with so many peasants holding small plots, there was a demand among them for short leases, even of single selions, for 5 to 8 harvests, for which detailed conditions were already being framed. (fn. 298) Demesne land was also occasionally leased. In 1261 Sir Thomas Mansel, to repay a loan from the priory, let his demesne to it for 6 years, stipulating that it must be restored with 24 a. sown with wheat, and 21 a. with barley, dredge, and oats, evidence of a three-course rotation. (fn. 299) In 1313 36 a. of the Lancaster demesne was on lease. (fn. 300) In 1368 the bailiff of that manor was renewing leases made by Sir Robert de la Beche. (fn. 301) By the late 14th century the demesnes were being leased en bloc. That of Barnwell Priory was farmed in 1367 for £16 10s. a year. (fn. 302) In 1392 Thomas Trivet, farmer of the Lancaster demesne, was himself sub-letting both demesne and bond-land to the tenants for the duration of his lease. (fn. 303) Part of the Burwash demesne was still being cultivated by its lord in 1387, (fn. 304) but by 1402 it also was at farm. (fn. 305) In the mid 15th century Henry Somer regularly let it to John Rolfe of Barton. (fn. 306) Rents declined with the 15th-century fall in corn-prices. The Barnwell demesne brought in £9 a year in 1422, (fn. 307) but only 10 marks in 1498, and £6 between 1512 and 1526. (fn. 308) Nicholas Fanne obtained in 1514, in return for selling his land to Dean Colet, a 60-year lease of the whole demesne of Vaches manor. (fn. 309) Even after it had expired, the Mercers' considerateness for their ancient tenants allowed his descendants to remain for many years as tenants at will at the old rent. (fn. 310)
Meanwhile, as Cambridge colleges bought up land, the number of peasants declined. Thus on Lancaster manor there were c. 16 molmen with 9 a. each in 1390, (fn. 311) but only 6 or 7 by 1500. (fn. 312) In 1588 two kinsmen, Thomas and Richard Aylmer, held 56 a. of 113½ a. of tenanted land, and St. Catharine's College 30 a. (fn. 313) In 1582 5 tenants had only 45 a. of customary land from Priory manor. (fn. 314) By 1839 only c. 60 a. of copyhold land of Lancaster manor and 30 a. of Priory manor remained. (fn. 315) The last copyhold of Lancaster manor was enfranchised in 1870. (fn. 316) The ancient course of husbandry was long preserved, and, as elsewhere, in the 16th century the inhabitants' rights of common were more strictly defined. In 1557 the stint of cattle was fixed at 6 oxen to a yardland, (fn. 317) while cottagers were allowed 2 cows and a bullock each. (fn. 318) Barton's commons were already in 1512 being let to butchers and others from Cambridge, (fn. 319) and the agisting of outsiders' cattle was frequently forbidden. (fn. 320) The lord of Lancaster manor was entitled to a common fold. His tenants alleged in 1524 that his farmer was failing to maintain it because of his poverty. (fn. 321) They also resisted attempts by a few farmers to exclude their cattle from pasturing in the leys, which by custom lay open after Lammas. (fn. 322) Until 1777 there were rights of common for 111 cows and 757 sheep. (fn. 323)
The colleges at first let out their large farms on long leases at fixed rents. Thus in 1541–2 St. Catharine's leased its Barton land for 80 years and its Whitwell land for 99 years. (fn. 324) Subsequently the colleges introduced their usual combination of low cash-rents with renders in wheat and malt. (fn. 325) The previous establishment of largish farms made it easier for the Martins, lords of Burwash manor, to gather most of the parish land into their hands. They enlarged their own demesne by purchasing peasant holdings until by 1680 they owned 295 a. in the fields of Barton, and 162 a. in those of Whitwell, besides 46 a. in closes there. (fn. 326) At his death in 1594 John Martin was lessee of Priory manor from King's College. (fn. 327) His son Matthie had also acquired by 1603 the lease of St. Catharine's College's 103 a. in Whitwell, (fn. 328) and his grandson Thomas in 1632 bought the lease of St. Catharine's farm in Barton. (fn. 329) The Martins were also lessees of c. 30 a. owned by Caius College in Barton. (fn. 330) By 1680 they controlled at least 995 a. of the arable of the parish. Lesser freeholders were sometimes induced to sell their lands to them in return for leases of the farms into which the Martins' estate in Barton was divided. (fn. 331) Their freehold and leasehold lands in Whitwell were combined by 1680 into a single large farm. (fn. 332) Even after Devereux Martin had sold Burwash manor, he and later his widow occupied much land as lessees until 1719. (fn. 333)
Thereafter Barton was divided among several large farms. (fn. 334) King's College's Priory or Manor farm contained c. 185 a., (fn. 335) Corpus Christi's College farm 108 a., (fn. 336) University farm 298 a., (fn. 337) and Vatches farm 196 a. (fn. 338) The St. Catharine's land was divided eventually into two farms of c. 111 a. and c. 82 a., later called Dale's and Maile's. (fn. 339) Whereas the colleges mostly preserved the old system of low rents and entry fines, the university and the Mercers' Company exacted high rents. (fn. 340) Few private estates survived. Only the families that were lessees of the colleges still owned any considerable area. Thus Bird's farm, with 36 a., was acquired in 1705 by John Atkyns, (fn. 341) whose family farmed Dale's farm until the 1770s. (fn. 342) About 1775 Bird's farm was purchased from Atkyns's legatee by Henry Page, (fn. 343) whose ancestors had been lessees of Corpus Christi since the early 18th century. (fn. 344) In 1839 his descendants claimed to own c. 130 a. (fn. 345) The Holben family, which c. 1800 became lessees of King's, St. Catharine's, and the Mercers' Company, (fn. 346) had also by 1839 built up a freehold estate of 52 a. (fn. 347) By 1840 two brothers, Wilson and Sanders Holben, were also tenants of most of the Page lands, (fn. 348) which Sanders's son had bought by the 1870s. (fn. 349)
In 1777 the vestry, which was then controlling the traditional agricultural routine, agreed to prevent overstocking by reducing the stints of cattle and sheep by a third. (fn. 350) The existence then of wheat and barley fields suggests that the customary threecourse rotation was still followed. (fn. 351) By 1801 the 1,100 a. sown were divided into 280 a. each of wheat and oats, 275 a. of barley, and 265 a. of peas and beans. (fn. 352) In 1796 clover was being sown instead of oats at Whitwell. (fn. 353) On Vatches farm, comprising 186 a., the tillage in 1814 consisted of 44 a. each of wheat and barley, 41 a. of oats, 32 a. of peas and beans, and 10 a. of clover. (fn. 354) Some open-field land was used as pasture: in 1839 c. 80 a. were grass leys. (fn. 355)
Whitwell farm, established by the Martins, had survived through the 18th century as a unit since their successors, the Gouges and the Sons of the Clergy, also held the leases of the King's and St. Catharine's college lands, and sub-let all to a single farmer, (fn. 356) who fenced off part of the open fields as pasture. (fn. 357) The whole hamlet was surrounded by a single ring-fence. (fn. 358) About 1800 St. Catharine's decided to withdraw its portion of the farm and lease it with its Coton property, but since the long union of different estates made it difficult to determine which strips belonged to which owner, the four principal landowners agreed c. 1807 to divide the open fields into four large blocks among themselves in proportion to their supposed acreage. An award of 1810 allotted to St. Catharine's 82½ a. in the north-east, adjoining Coton; to King's 55 a. in the south-east, to Clare 32 a. beside the southern edge, and to the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy 141 a. along the western side, besides 79 a. in closes by Whitwell way. (fn. 359) The Corporation's farmer remained under-tenant of the King's College land until 1852, (fn. 360) and by the 1830s was independently Clare College's tenant. (fn. 361) After the inclosure he had ploughed up c. 40 a. of balks and headlands which had survived until then, (fn. 362) and by 1839 had laid much land along the western side down to grass. (fn. 363) He was able to abandon the traditional shifts and to crop as he pleased, although standard four-course farming was obstructed because c. 38 a. in scattered strips remained in the hands of Barton landowners whose tenants observed the traditional rotation. The Sons of the Clergy, as successors to the Martins, claimed ownership of the waste and exclusive rights of sheepwalk and shackage over the whole hamlet, and their farmer pastured his sheep freely over other mens' land, even when it was planted with clover. (fn. 364)
The inclosure of Barton was occasionally canvassed from 1826. (fn. 365) It was undertaken under an Act obtained in 1839, simultaneously with that for Comberton. (fn. 366) Notwithstanding opposition to the bill from the Sons of the Clergy, on the grounds that Whitwell had already been adequately inclosed, and that the expense of new surveys and fencing would be unfair, (fn. 367) the award, executed in 1840, included Whitwell. (fn. 368) The allotment of lands had been completed in October 1839. (fn. 369) The principal allotments were to the university (271 a. in Barton), King's College (172 a. in Barton, 46 a. in Whitwell), the Sons of the Clergy (160 a. in Whitwell, besides 94½ a. in closes there), St. Catharine's (171 a. in Barton, 93 a. in Whitwell), the Mercers' Company (157 a. in Barton), Corpus Christi (116 a. in Barton), and Clare (111 a., partly in Whitwell). Pembroke College received 27½a., Caius College 10 a., the vicar 38 a. for his glebe, three members of the Page family 60½ a., and Wilson and Sanders Holben 28 a.; 5 a. were allotted to Coton landowners, and 5 allotments totalling 8½ a. were made mostly for rights of common. (fn. 370)
After inclosure most of the parish was included in six large farms. The university, the Sons of the Clergy, Corpus Christi, and Clare Colleges kept their allotments as separate farms for most of the 19th century. (fn. 371) St. Catharine's College attached its Whitwell land to its farm in Coton, held from the 1840s by the Reynolds family. (fn. 372) King's College similarly annexed its 46 a. there after 1852 to its adjoining Manor farm in Coton. (fn. 373) In the mid 19th century almost all the remaining land was occupied by the brothers Wilson and Sanders Holben. Wilson (d. 1861) occupied the family lands near Town's End Farm, and was lessee of King's College for Manor farm, of St. Catharine's for Maile's farm, and of Pembroke College. About 1840 he farmed c. 324 a. and in 1851 379 a. Sanders (d. 1862) was lessee of St. Catharine's for Dale's farm, of the Mercers' Company for Vatches farm, of the Pages for Bird's farm, and also of Caius College and the vicar, occupying 440 a. in 1851. (fn. 374) After their deaths their lands and leases came to Sanders's sons. The elder son, Sanders, became a solicitor and c. 1879 built Barton House, a substantial dwelling in debased Tudor style. He left farming to his brother R. R. Holben (d. 1902). (fn. 375) After Sanders's death in 1908 his nephew and heir H. W. Holben (d. 1955) inherited most of the family property, which he still owned in 1936. (fn. 376)
Throughout the 19th century the parish economy was almost entirely dependent on agriculture. In 1801 188 inhabitants were engaged in agriculture and only 3 in any kind of craft. Between 1811 and 1831 3 to 6 families were headed by craftsmen, compared with 45 to 62 whose heads were employed in agriculture. (fn. 377) Later Barton possessed only a few of the normal rural craftsmen. In 1841 there were only a blacksmith, 2 thatchers, and a rat-catcher, in 1851 only 4 craftsmen, including a wheelwright, and in 1861 only 5. In 1861 21 men were engaged in coprolite-digging, (fn. 378) which continued in Barton from the 1850s to the 1870s. (fn. 379)
In 1885 during the agricultural depression the university agreed that part of its land be laid down as permanent pasture. (fn. 380) By 1905 c. 77 a., probably on the north slope of Barton down, was temporarily occupied by the University Golf Club, and Pembroke College had let its 27 a. to the parish council for allotments. (fn. 381) After several colleges had disposed of their Barton properties, the six farms of the parish were generally separately occupied. (fn. 382) The population was still almost entirely agricultural in 1921. (fn. 383)
Manorial courts were held for four of the manors in Barton. Court rolls survive for Lancaster manor almost continuously from 1355 to 1600 and from 1629 to 1688, (fn. 384) followed by court books between 1728 and 1870, which were only registers of copyhold title. (fn. 385) For Burwash manor only a few rolls of the 17th century survive. (fn. 386) Priory manor has left rolls for 1279–86, 1325–41, and 1544–1610. (fn. 387) Suit of court was said to be owed to Vaches court baron in 1600, (fn. 388) but no rolls remain.
Thomas Mansel's heirs claimed view of frankpledge and a gallows in 1279. (fn. 389) The Lancaster manor court had view of frankpledge by 1358, (fn. 390) and the Burwash court in 1635. (fn. 391) The Priory manor court was very seldom called a court leet before 1564, when it began to use that title, (fn. 392) perhaps under King's College's chartered privileges. (fn. 393) In the late 14th century Corpus Christi College, lord of Lancaster manor, claimed, perhaps through succession to or appropriation of the liberties of the earls of Lancaster, (fn. 394) to exclude the sheriff's bailiffs from distraining within the lordship, (fn. 395) and also took felons' chattels. (fn. 396) Until the mid 16th century its court made agricultural by-laws and enforced public order. It chose a reeve from c. 1360 to 1448, and bedels (messores) until 1483, (fn. 397) and again appointed those officers and constables in 1540. (fn. 398) It also exercised jurisdiction over Whitwell, even though Corpus Christi had little land there. (fn. 399) After 1550 the court of Priory manor began to perform similar functions; (fn. 400) in 1564 it was enforcing labour on roadwork, (fn. 401) and in 1579 it fined all the inhabitants for playing ball-games on Sundays. (fn. 402) The Burwash court had similar authority c. 1635. (fn. 403)
By the late 18th century the regulation of agriculture and common rights had been taken over by a vestry composed of the principal farmers. (fn. 404) Expenditure on the poor rose from £20 in 1776 to £104 c. 1785 and £229 in 1803 when 24 persons were on relief and the rates stood at 10s. 6d. in the pound. (fn. 405) The cost of poor-relief reached a peak of £319 in 1813 when 31 persons were on relief, 12 of them permanently, but had fallen to £270 by 1814 (fn. 406) and £120 in 1816. It then rose steadily to £320 in 1820 and £250 in 1821, and then fell to around £180. (fn. 407) In 1830, when it was £216, no labourer was unemployed. All the 65 labourers were assigned to the farmers in proportion to the acreage that they occupied. (fn. 408) In 1836 the parish was included in the Chesterton poor law union, (fn. 409) and in 1970 remained in the Chesterton R.D.
In 1219 it was alleged that Fulky Warwell had founded the church at Barton on his land there, and that his son Hugh had presented Hugh, the first recorded parson. Hugh's son William had in turn presented Savaric, who was parson for up to 40 years before c. 1172. In his old age Savaric brought in his son Eborard to assist him. (fn. 410) The patronage had meanwhile been assumed, perhaps in the disorders under Stephen, by Ralph de Keynes, who on Savaric's death c. 1172 presented Eborard, (fn. 411) and soon after granted the churches on his estates, including Barton, to Merton Priory (Surr.), which Eborard recognized as his patron. After Ralph's death the grant was confirmed by his son William, by Geoffrey Ridel, bishop of Ely, and by Pope Alexander III. (fn. 412) Eborard was still parson in 1202, when the priory's title to the advowson was disputed by William son of Richard de Keynes, who claimed, wrongly, that the church was vacant, and also that Savaric had been presented by his grandfather Hugh. That suit was compromised after the prior of Merton had ceded to William the patronage of Greatworth (Northants.). (fn. 413) The priory secured releases from other potentially interested parties, including Thomas 'le Manseis' and his wife Maud c. 1210, and Geoffrey of Hatfield in 1211. (fn. 414) Its rights were again assailed in 1217 when Rose and Maud, granddaughters of William son of Hugh, and Rose's husband Alan, Savaric the parson's youngest son, tried to recover the living, then vacant. In 1219 they surrendered their claims. (fn. 415) In 1254 Alan's son Ralph challenged the prior's presentation of a rector, but withdrew when the surrender of 1219 was produced. (fn. 416)
Among the rectors presented by the priory was, before 1233, Mr. John le Blund (d. 1248), a royal clerk whose election as archbishop of Canterbury in 1233 was quashed by the pope. (fn. 417) The cure was already being served by vicars. (fn. 418) In 1202 Eborard had said that one Savaric had been his vicar. (fn. 419) Between 1250 and 1256 John Haddenham was several times mentioned as vicar or chaplain at Barton. (fn. 420) In 1267 Merton Priory appropriated the church and the bishop of Ely ordained a vicarage, reserving the patronage to himself. (fn. 421) His successors retained the advowson until 1852 when it was transferred to the bishop of Peterborough. (fn. 422) In 1874 it was transferred to the Lord Chancellor, (fn. 423) who held it thenceforth. (fn. 424)
The church of Barton was said to be worth 21½ marks in 1217 and 20 marks in 1254. (fn. 425) At the appropriation Merton Priory acquired only the great tithes, worth 40 marks in 1291, which it owned until its dissolution, and half of the parsonage buildings. (fn. 426) In 1544 King's College, Cambridge, bought the great tithes, then yielding £10 a year, and was thereafter the impropriator. (fn. 427) To the vicar were assigned in 1267 the altarage, small tithes, and tithe of hay, and the whole glebe, said in 1279 to amount to 45 a. He was also to receive a 5-mark pension out of the great tithes, and to bear all charges except the repair of the chancel. (fn. 428) The vicarage was said to yield 11 marks in 1276, but only 7 marks in 1291. (fn. 429) In 1353 the vicar had a three-year lease of the rectory. (fn. 430) The vicarage was worth £8 11s. 3d. in 1535. (fn. 431) In 1650 it yielded £40 a year, (fn. 432) in 1728 £50. (fn. 433) About 1830 the vicar had £156 a year. (fn. 434) For some years previously a composition paid in lieu of all the tithes had been raised by the overseers of the poor, presumably through the rates. (fn. 435) The tithes were commuted in 1839 into corn-rent-charges, of £400 to King's College and £138 to the vicar, under an apportionment made by the inclosure commissioners as a separate award and approved by the Tithe Commissioners in 1841–2. (fn. 436) At the inclosure the vicar was allotted 38 a. for glebe. (fn. 437) In 1851 the glebe yielded £60 a year, and the rent-charge £122. (fn. 438) The vicar's income was £216 in 1873 and £175 in 1896. (fn. 439) He still owned the glebe in 1970. (fn. 440)
When the vicarage was established, the priory and the vicar were each assigned half of the parsonage homestead. (fn. 441) The vicarage house, though in repair in 1775 and 1825, (fn. 442) was a mere cottage, where the vicar declined to live. (fn. 443) A new house was built between 1874 and 1884, (fn. 444) and had been burnt out and reconstructed by 1908. (fn. 445)
An anchoress, Alice, was dwelling at the church in 1270. (fn. 446) About 1275 William Tane granted Barnwell Priory a house and c. 40 a. to support a chaplain saying masses for his soul in Barton church. (fn. 447) The prior installed the first chaplain in 1277, reserving a pension of 10s. (fn. 448) The heirs to Tane's land sued the prior for 20 a. of it in 1285, and the service was interrupted for three years while the issues went to repay the prior's legal costs. (fn. 449) William of the Dole became a lay brother at the priory c. 1277 and granted it all his land in Barton, c. 30 a., to support another chaplain and a canon living at its manorhouse in Barton. (fn. 450) In 1278 the prior undertook to use those lands and others in Barton to sustain two canons sent to live there, serving God and St. Mary, and saying masses for their benefactors. (fn. 451) One of those foundations survived for some time as the chantry of St. Mary of Barton. (fn. 452) In 1370, however, the services were neglected and the prior took all the revenues. (fn. 453) A chaplain of St. Mary was again mentioned at Barton in 1383. (fn. 454) From 1450 the priory was leasing the chantry lands, 28½ a., to farmers without mention of any chaplain, (fn. 455) and by the Dissolution the chantry was in desuetude, and its lands came to the Crown with the priory's temporalities. (fn. 456) In the late 15th century there were guilds at Barton of the Trinity and Corpus Christi. (fn. 457) In 1479 Richard Angier bequeathed money to them for buying books. (fn. 458) The site of a guildhall was sold by the Crown in 1572. (fn. 459)
Only one vicar is found recorded between 1267 and 1329. (fn. 460) There was frequent change of incumbents in the 1340s, five in ten years, (fn. 461) and again in the 1390s, four in ten years. (fn. 462) Four vicars between 1440 and 1510 probably had degrees in canon law. (fn. 463) Percival Gibson, vicar by 1538, was deprived in 1554. (fn. 464) Robert Watkinson, vicar 1557–8, had been married, but had put away his wife. (fn. 465) His successor, Nicholas Stennett (1559–69), was considered in 1560 incapable of preaching. (fn. 466) Thomas Streacock, vicar 1569–1603, was failing in 1599 to catechize or read the homilies, and had inadequate moral control of his family and flock. (fn. 467) The next vicar, Thomas Westfield, later bishop of Bristol 1642–4, was also accused of neglect, and the living was probably sequestrated. (fn. 468) Like most succeeding vicars, he was a Cambridge graduate. Few of them held the benefice for very long. Until 1640 they were usually chosen from Peterhouse or Pembroke, colleges with High Church leanings and links with the patron, the bishop of Ely. (fn. 469) They included Matthew Wren, 1614–16, later the Laudian bishop of Ely. (fn. 470) Between 1609 and 1635 they often employed curates. (fn. 471) One curate was himself found in 1615 to be nonresident, being occupied in his studies at Cambridge. (fn. 472) Charles Eden, presented by Bishop Wren in 1642, may have escaped ejection until his death in 1648. (fn. 473) By 1650 a puritan fellow of Queens' had been put in by parliament. (fn. 474) His successor in 1656 had some difficulty in exacting his tithes. (fn. 475)
In 1728 the vicar held two regular Sunday services, besides the three annual communions, which 10 or 12 attended. (fn. 476) John Belcher, vicar 1752–62, (fn. 477) went abroad and became a Roman Catholic, but still retained his living for some time. (fn. 478) Most vicars between 1725 and 1875 were non-resident, living in Cambridge, or on some other living, or at best in a neighbouring parish. (fn. 479) From c. 1800 they employed curates. (fn. 480) In 1825 the vicar preached every Sunday, as also in 1836, when there were c. 20 communicants. (fn. 481) In 1851 the congregation varied between 50 and 92, besides Sunday school children, in a church seating 200. (fn. 482) By 1873 over 250 normally came to church, and there were 13 to 25 communicants. (fn. 483) In 1897 there were 57, and 200 out of 281 inhabitants were considered church people, though some of them also went to the chapel. Three Sunday services were held, besides communion up to three times a month. (fn. 484)
The church of ST. PETER is mostly built of field stones, much of the walling being rendered, and has a chancel, nave with south porch, and west tower. Parts of the south wall of the chancel are from a building of c. 1100 which was extended eastward in the later 12th century. (fn. 485) Otherwise the existing building is structurally of the 14th century. It was built in two phases, the first, of c. 1300, including the nave followed by the chancel, the second, towards the end of the century, including the tower, porch, rood-stair, and screen. On the screen, gilding and painting survived c. 1750. (fn. 486) Wallpaintings of the 14th century, uncovered in 1929 by Prof. E. W. Tristram, (fn. 487) survive in the nave. In the 15th century the east window and the first two windows in the south wall of the nave were replaced.
The chancel was partly decayed in 1561, when the rood-loft was ordered to be taken down, (fn. 488) and remained in bad condition during much of the 17th century. (fn. 489) In 1635 an oak pulpit was installed. (fn. 490) The churchwardens removed and hid the stained glass in 1644 in anticipation of William Dowsing's visitation. (fn. 491) The church was in tolerable repair during the 18th century. (fn. 492) In 1828 the lead from the roof was replaced by slates. (fn. 493) The church was restored in 1885–6, under W. M. Fawcett as architect, when the west gallery was removed. (fn. 494) Two windows in the south wall of the nave were modernized in 1908. (fn. 495) In 1552 the steeple contained three bells and a sanctus bell. (fn. 496) There were four bells c. 1740 of which three had been recast in 1608, and five in 1969. (fn. 497) The parish registers begin in 1687, but bishops' transcripts are available from 1599. (fn. 498)
Sanders Holben by his will dated 1908 bequeathed £100 in trust for structural repairs to the church, which in 1953 yielded £2 14s. 10d. a year. (fn. 499)
There were nine dissenters in 1676, (fn. 500) and in 1682 two people were presented for absence from church. (fn. 501) It was reported in 1685 that there was one Quaker, and that some people were not baptized. (fn. 502) No dissenters were recorded in 1728, (fn. 503) but in 1783 the majority of the inhabitants were described as followers of John Berridge, vicar of Everton (Beds.) and a helper of John Wesley, (fn. 504) and his disciples, some of whom usually preached in a barn every month. (fn. 505) Protestant dissenters registered a house for worship in 1798 or 1799, (fn. 506) but by 1807 the licensed meeting-house was used as a barn, there was no teacher, and the number of Methodists had declined. (fn. 507)
In 1822 the St. Andrew's Street Baptist chapel in Cambridge founded a 'village station' or local chapel in Barton, (fn. 508) which may have been the meetinghouse registered in 1823. (fn. 509) A place of dissenting worship was recorded in 1825, attended 'only by some of the lower class of society', where the service was held apparently after that of the Church of England, the teachers being continually changed. (fn. 510) In 1851 the Baptist chapel had 100 free sittings, and there was an estimated congregation of 70–80. (fn. 511) A new brick chapel built in the High Street in 1894 (fn. 512) was affiliated to the Baptist Union in 1920 (fn. 513) and from the early 20th century it usually shared a minister with Comberton, Coton, and Grantchester. (fn. 514) It was registered for worship (fn. 515) and marriage (fn. 516) in 1930, when it belonged to the West Group of the Cambridge Village Preachers Association and had 24 members. (fn. 517) The chapel was extended in 1962, (fn. 518) and there were 28 members in 1969. (fn. 519)
The Baptist chapel may have been the same as the Independent chapel said to have been used by c. 30 people in 1873, (fn. 520) and the Primitive Methodist chapel recorded in 1897, when there were c. 20 dissenters and many people went both to church and chapel. (fn. 521)
There was a schoolmaster in 1601 and 1604. (fn. 522) Five children were taught at the vicar's expense in 1728, (fn. 523) and in 1783 some poor children were taught by a schoolmistress. (fn. 524) There was said to be no school in 1787. (fn. 525) In 1818 40–50 children attended a Sunday school supported by voluntary contributions (fn. 526) which, in 1825, was the only school in the parish. (fn. 527) An infant school was started in 1830; 54 children who were taught at their parents' expense attended it in 1833. The Sunday school then had 59 pupils, (fn. 528) and was said in 1836 to be considerable for so small a village. There was also a lending library. (fn. 529)
In 1842 a brick schoolroom and classroom were completed in the churchyard, for the use of a Sunday school which the vicar said that he had started in 1838. The cost was met by the landowners and the National Society, with which the school was united in 1843. (fn. 530) It became a day-school as well as a Sunday school c. 1843 on the completion of a teacher's house (fn. 531) on a site provided by Cambridge University opposite the churchyard. (fn. 532) Government building grants were received in 1844 (fn. 533) and 1861. (fn. 534) School pence were 1d. or 1½d. in 1873, when the teacher was also the postmaster and was not certificated. (fn. 535) The day-school was attended by 38 children, the Sunday school had 84 children, and there was an evening school for adults. (fn. 536) Cambridge University gave more land, apparently adjoining the site of the teacher's house, in 1874 when a new schoolroom and a new classroom, for 102 children, and apparently a teacher's house, were built on the same site out of grants and local subscriptions. Control of religious instruction and the Sunday school was given to the vicar of Barton. (fn. 537) The 1842 school building was later demolished.
An annual government grant was first received in 1877, (fn. 538) and in 1895 four colleges and Cambridge University were making contributions. The school buildings were improved in 1901–2, (fn. 539) and an evening school receiving a government grant was recorded between 1895 and 1901. (fn. 540) Following reorganization between 1932 and 1936 the school became a junior mixed and infants' school for 50 children, (fn. 541) and in 1944 the senior children attended the Comberton Church of England school. (fn. 542) Barton school became an Aided school in 1951; (fn. 543) in 1953 many parents and residents subscribed regularly to the school improvement fund, which was applied towards the cost of a new classroom (fn. 544) opened in 1954, (fn. 545) and the school buildings were extended c. 1964. (fn. 546) Average attendance was 52 in 1898, (fn. 547) and 22 in 1937–8, (fn. 548) and there were 82 children in 1970 when children over 11 went to Comberton village college. (fn. 549)
Charities for the Poor.
The churchwardens held land in 1511. (fn. 550) In 1783 the poor were given £1 rent from 2½ a. (fn. 551) which, apparently, the churchwardens and overseers let c. 1788 for £1 1s., then applied to repairing the church. (fn. 552) By 1837 the land formed part of the Town Land estimated at 3 a., let by the churchwardens and overseers for £4 a year, of which £2 2s. was subscribed to Addenbrooke's Hospital, and the remainder was spent on coal for the poor. At inclosure in 1839–40 1¾ a. was allotted for the Town Land, (fn. 553) and the income was thenceforth used for church purposes. (fn. 554)
A quarter of maslin was given to the poor by the lessee of the rectory in 1783. (fn. 555) Three quarters were given by King's College, the impropriator, in 1788, (fn. 556) and distributed indiscriminately among the poor in proportion to the size of their families in 1837. The distribution had ceased by 1863–4. (fn. 557)
In 1787 or 1788 2s. 8d., supposed to be a rentcharge on Corpus Christi's Barton estate, was spent on bread for the poor. (fn. 558) It was reported in 1838 that it was received occasionally, and was usually given to one or two deserving widows. The charity was last recorded in 1863–4, when it was distributed in money. (fn. 559)
Wilson Holben, by will proved in 1861, gave £50 stock for coal for the poor. (fn. 560) Annual income was £1 5s. in 1965, when there was a credit balance of £15 10s., and it was reported that coal was distributed about once every three years.
William Adams, by will proved in 1849, gave £200 to the minister and deacons of the St. Andrew's Street Baptist chapel, Cambridge, for bread for the poor at Christmas. (fn. 561) Stock purchased yielded £5 10s. in 1863–4 which was distributed in bread. (fn. 562) Following long-standing practice the charity was administered through the Barton Baptist chapel in 1970, when the annual income was £4 11s. (fn. 563)