A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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Bartlow is one of the smallest parishes in Cambridgeshire. (fn. 1) It covered 377 a. until 1965 when 7 ha. were transferred from Ashdon (Essex). In 1971 it covered 156 ha. (385 a.). (fn. 2) It lies 12 miles south-east of Cambridge, 5 miles north-east of Saffron Walden (Essex), and 5 miles west of Haverhill (Suff.). The parish boundary follows on the west the road from Ashdon to West Wratting, on the north a bank called Bartlow Broad Balk, on the east in part an old field-path stopped up at inclosure, (fn. 3) and on the south a stream and an irregular line which was straightened after the construction of the railway in 1865. (fn. 4) The south-west corner of the parish is at the point where the river Bourne from the south, a stream flowing through Bartlow from the east, and a stream from the north join to form the river Granta. The stream flowing through Bartlow was diverted and straightened before 1837, (fn. 5) but in 1974 it had been dry for several years.
Pieces of land within Ashdon parish, adjoining the county boundary with Castle Camps and together covering 1,072 a., formed what was known as Bartlow End, Stevington End, or Bartlow hamlet, (fn. 6) formerly part of Bartlow parish although they were in Essex. In an area that was heavily wooded as late as the 14th century (fn. 7) county boundaries were perhaps established early but approximately, according to geographical features such as the ridge between Ashdon and Castle Camps, whereas tenurial boundaries, and following them parish boundaries, were at a later date given precision as settlement slowly extended. In 1086 Bartlow was probably part of the estate of Aubrey de Vere, based on Castle Camps, as was part of Stevington; (fn. 8) the geographical position of Overhall, Winsey Farm, Bourne, and perhaps Newnham Hall, all part of Bartlow End (fn. 9) and all settlements separate from Ashdon in the 13th century, (fn. 10) suggests that they were colonized westwards from Castle Camps rather than eastwards from Ashdon. The name of Westoe, close to Bartlow, suggests that it too was settled westwards from Castle Camps, and Bartlow was hidated in Castle Camps c. 1235. (fn. 11) Inhabitants of Bartlow End attended Bartlow church and paid church-rates to it until the 20th century, but in 1801 agriculture in the hamlet was integrated with that in Ashdon. (fn. 12) The hamlet relieved its poor separately from Bartlow, (fn. 13) and therefore was accounted a separate civil parish in the 19th century, lying in the Linton poor-law union, but it was united with Ashdon civil parish in 1946. (fn. 14)
The highest point in the parish, at its north-east corner, lies just under 300 ft., but the village and the land by the stream are below 200 ft. Bartlow lies on the Upper Chalk, and its soil is chalky, with some gravel and clay. The parish is entirely agricultural, and was cultivated in open fields until inclosure in 1863. (fn. 15)
The Bartlow Hills, said to be the finest RomanoBritish burial mounds in Britain, (fn. 16) stand south of and close to Bartlow village, though only one of the four surviving mounds stands inside the parish boundary. Although they were long believed to cover the bodies of those slain at the battle of Ashingdon (Assandun) in 1016, (fn. 17) excavation showed them to be the graves of a wealthy family of a.d. 80140. A small Roman villa north of the mounds, occupied into the later 4th century, was excavated in 1852. (fn. 18)
Bartlow, first mentioned in 1232 (fn. 19) though the church is of the late 11th or early 12th century, appears to have originated as a subsidiary settlement to Castle Camps, as suggested above. A lost 'Brining', recorded in 1207, (fn. 20) may have been close to Bartlow or held with it. Bartlow had 32 tenants in 1279 and 32 people paid the poll tax in 1377. (fn. 21) There were 20 households in Bartlow in 1563, though only 11 were taxed in 1674. (fn. 22) The village contained 15 families in 1728, (fn. 23) and the rector counted 88 inhabitants in 1782. (fn. 24) Apart from a fall to 56 people in 1811, the population of Bartlow village fluctuated between 82 and 123 from 1801 until 1921, after which there was a slow decline. The population in 1971 was 70. (fn. 25)
Bartlow village lies in the south-west corner of the parish, in the south-east angle of the cross-roads formed by the road from Linton to Castle Camps and Shudy Camps and the road from Ashdon to West Wratting. It is a small, compact settlement, bounded on the east by the grounds of Bartlow Park, originally belonging to Bartlow House. Bartlow Hall and the rectory were the only large houses in the village in the later 17th century; (fn. 26) a row of 16thcentury cottages, called Maltings Cottages, stands east of the road to Ashdon, and the Three Hills is a 17th-century cottage with 18th-century and later extensions. North of the Linton-Camps road are the Dower House, built in the early 19th century as Bartlow Cottage, (fn. 27) and Chetwynd House, formerly the school. The village has not expanded in the 20th century and Bartlow Park is the only new building there. At the point where the stream crosses the Ashdon road there was a ford and footbridge until 1931, when a brick bridge was built. (fn. 28)
The railway from Shelford to Haverhill (Suff.), which runs across the southern edge of the parish south of the river, was opened in 1865, (fn. 32) and an extension to Saffron Walden, diverging at Bartlow, in 1866. Bartlow station, at the railway bridge over the Ashdon road, was closed in 1967 with the line to Haverhill, (fn. 33) and was converted into a private house called Booking Hall.
Bartlow was not among the estates of Count Alan of Richmond before 1086, (fn. 36) and it was therefore probably part of the 2-hide estate at Castle Camps of Aubrey de Vere, held T.R.E. by the thegn Wulfwin. (fn. 37) By c. 1235, however, the manor of BARTLOW, or BARTLOW HALL, was held under the earl of Oxford as of the honor of Richmond, (fn. 38) and it was said to be part of that honor until the 16th century. (fn. 39) Alice of Ashdon held land in 'Brining' before 1207, (fn. 40) and Ralph of Ashdon and Maurice of Bartlow c. 1235 held 1 knight's fee in Bartlow, hidated in Castle Camps with land in Finchingfield (Essex). (fn. 41) In 1269 the manor was granted to William of Chishill by Robert Gikel, (fn. 42) whose family held a fee at Finchingfield. (fn. 43) Sir William held the lordship as fee of Gikel's heirs in 1279 (fn. 44) and 1282, (fn. 45) and John of Chishill held it of another Robert Gikel before 1299 (fn. 46) and in 1316 (fn. 47) and 1325. (fn. 48) In 1331 John granted the reversion after his death to John Hotham, bishop of Ely (d. 1337), (fn. 49) whose probable heir Sir John Hotham (d. 1351) vindicated his right to the advowson against John son of William of Chishill in 1349. (fn. 50) The manor was subsequently acquired by William of Clopton, perhaps the eldest son of Sir William of Clopton who in 1347 bought Newnham manor, Ashdon. (fn. 51) In 1374 William's widow Avice quitclaimed Bartlow to Isabel, probably his daughter and heir, and her husband John Mohaut of Kingston, (fn. 52) also called John Kingston, (fn. 53) dead by 1392, when she had married William Clipston. (fn. 54) Clipston was murdered in 1406, (fn. 55) and the manor passed under an entail to Robert Kingston, a son of John and Isabel. (fn. 56) Robert lived at Bartlow in 1434 and held the manor in 1440. (fn. 57) Before 1459, however, the lordship had passed to John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, (fn. 58) and descended to his son Edward in 1470. When Edward died unmarried in 1485 (fn. 59) Bartlow was assigned to his father's sister Joan, widow of Sir Edmund Ingoldisthorpe, (fn. 60) and on her death in 1494 passed to her granddaughter Isabel, wife of William Huddleston and later of Sir William Smith. (fn. 61) Isabel's heir in 1516 was her son John Huddleston of Sawston (d. 1530), to whose widow Elizabeth, who married secondly Sir Thomas Butler, Bartlow was awarded in dower. (fn. 62) Her son John Huddleston was lord of Bartlow before his death in 1557, and was succeeded by his son Sir Edmund (d. 1606). (fn. 63) Edmund's son Henry held Bartlow in 1624, (fn. 64) but later sold the manor and advowson to Jon Baker, rector of Bartlow (d. 1639). (fn. 65) Baker's son Jon (d. 1645) (fn. 66) left three daughters as coheirs and the manor was divided between them. Blaise Pratt, husband of the eldest daughter Anne (d. 1668), improved the Hall and estate despite opposition from Anthony Bettenham, reputed husband of the second daughter Elizabeth (d. 1696); (fn. 67) Pratt presented to the rectory in 1667, (fn. 68) apparently lived in the Hall in 1672, (fn. 69) and was buried at Bartlow in 1689. (fn. 70) Elizabeth Mapletoft (d. 1717) inherited a third of the advowson, and presumably of the manor, and purchased the other two-thirds. (fn. 71) By 1750 the lordship was held by Edmund Mapletoft, rector of Bartlow 171150, whose widow and son Edmund sold it in 1751 to Francis Dayrell of Shudy Camps. (fn. 72) The manor descended in the Dayrell family until the late 19th century. (fn. 73) The Revd. Thomas Dayrell was awarded 178 a. in Bartlow at inclosure in 1862. (fn. 74) The manor was offered for sale with the estate in 1891 after the death of C. L. Dayrell, (fn. 75) and was apparently bought with the Dayrells' Shudy Camps estate in 1898 by Arthur Gee (d. 1903). (fn. 76) Bartlow Hall farm was sold again in 1903, presumably with the lordship, to the Revd. C. H. Brocklebank, a prominent landowner and farmer who had bought Bartlow House in 1899. (fn. 77) On his departure from the village in 1927 the lordship passed to his son C. G. Brocklebank, (fn. 78) who sold the estate in 1936 to Lord De Ramsey, lord lieutenant of Huntingdonshire. (fn. 79) In 1962 it was purchased from him by Lt.-Col. (later Brig.) A. N. Breitmeyer, (fn. 80) the owner in 1974.
There was a manor-house at Bartlow in 1279, (fn. 81) and in 1397 William Clipston's manor-house was attacked by his enemies. (fn. 82) The manor was known as Bartlow Hall in the mid 15th century; (fn. 83) Lady Butler in 1540 leased the 'hall or chief farm place' of Bartlow, (fn. 84) and the hall served as the farm-house for the Bartlow estate from the later 15th century when the lords of the manor no longer lived in the parish. The present house, known as the Old Hall, stands southwest of the church by the river and dates from the later 16th century; it was ruinous in the 1650s, was extensively repaired by Blaise Pratt, (fn. 85) and had 9 taxable hearths in 1665 and 1672. (fn. 86) Minor additions were made to the south in the 18th century and there was much restoration in the 19th.
Bartlow House was mentioned in 1768 when it was in separate ownership from the manor. (fn. 87) Thomas Barnard, the occupant since at least 1824, (fn. 88) sold the house in 1846 to Mrs. Maria Cotton, (fn. 89) whose kinsman Richard Archer Houblon lived there from c. 1858 to c. 1892 and added to the park. (fn. 90) His heir Col. G. B. Archer Houblon sold it in 1899 to the Revd. C. H. Brocklebank, and Bartlow House became the residence of the lords of the manor. The house, which stood north of the churchyard on the Linton-Camps road and had over 20 a. of park in 1899, burned down in 1947, leaving its stables and out-buildings which were converted into accommodation for employees of the estate. (fn. 91) Brig. Breitmeyer built a large new house called Bartlow Park, east of the site of Bartlow House, after 1962.
In 1279 William of Chishill, lord of Bartlow, held 66 a. of arable, 5 a. of meadow, and 2 a. of pasture in demesne, but had only three tenants, who owned no arable. Some 30 other free tenants held directly of the earl of Oxford or of his tenants, and occupied c. 53 a. Three owned together 26 a., no others over 4 a. Almost all paid only small money-rents; three each had to send one man to 3 boon-works in harvest for the earl. (fn. 94) Bartlow was mainly arable, and the parish assessment for tax in 1341 was reduced because 200 a. had gone out of cultivation. (fn. 95) The lord of the manor's property in 1397 included 40 qr. of barley, 24 qr. of wheat, 6 qr. of oats, 3 qr. of peas, some malt, and a haystack. (fn. 96) Nonetheless, Bartlow contributed 21 stone of wool to the tax in 1347, of which 9 stone came from Elizabeth, widow of Nicholas de Beauchamp. (fn. 97)
The main crops mentioned in the 16th and 17th centuries were wheat and rye, (fn. 98) and the rector also collected tithes on cows, pigs, wool and lambs, eggs, cheese, honey, wax, apples, and wood. (fn. 99) Bartlow Hall farm was almost all arable in 1550; (fn. 100) in the 1650s Blaise Pratt improved the farm and sowed wheat and rye, but Anthony Bettenham contended that the land should lie fallow for seven years, and refused to till the fields. (fn. 101) The Hall farm was the only one in Bartlow, although parts of the parish were farmed from Horseheath; (fn. 102) as a result no group of yeomen developed in the parish, and there were only two substantial taxpayers in 1524. (fn. 103) The common fields of the parish, mentioned in the 17th century and later, were Bartlow field, which included all the land north of the Linton-Camps road, and Churchmeadow field south of the stream. (fn. 104) Stocking, Longmeadow, Deane, and Hadstock fields were probably just outside the parish boundary in neighbouring parishes, for the Hall farm and rectorial glebe both included land outside Bartlow: (fn. 105) in 1792 the Hall farm covered 157 a., of which 20 a. were in Essex. (fn. 106)
In the 18th century a threefold rotation was practised, and the principal crop was wheat; barley, oats, turnips, clover, and trefoil were also grown. (fn. 107) Wool and lambs formed a considerable part of the tithes, and Thomas Hayward, tenant of Bartlow Hall farm 176295, kept c. 200 sheep. (fn. 108) The farm was leased with a right of sheep-fold in 1540, (fn. 109) and there were shepherds in Bartlow from the 17th to the 19th century. (fn. 110) Three flocks had rights of sheepwalk in Bartlow and the hamlet, most of the suitable land being shared between them, though the Hall farm had exclusive rights over 37 a. (fn. 111) In 1801 just over half the arable in the parish was under barley, with 33 a. of wheat and smaller amounts of oats, rye, peas, and turnips or rape. (fn. 112) Sainfoin was tried in 1806. (fn. 113)
About 86 a. had been inclosed by 1753, (fn. 114) but many holdings were still in strips in 1837 and 1848. (fn. 115) Bartlow was inclosed with Shudy and Castle Camps in 1862, under the Second Annual Inclosure Act, 1858. (fn. 116) Land was exchanged between estates in the three parishes; the Revd. Thomas Dayrell, as lord of Bartlow manor, received 178 a. in Bartlow, the rector 32 a., and Stanlake Batson of Horseheath 78 a. The trustees of Linton meeting-house with 13 a. and Henry, Viscount Maynard with 4 a. were the only others to receive land in Bartlow. (fn. 117) The Hall farm was said to comprise 340 a. in 1851, (fn. 118) and 396 a. in 1891 of which 193 a. lay in Bartlow. (fn. 119)
Bartlow House and the Dower House both had farm buildings, (fn. 120) but the Hall farm was the only establishment large enough to employ many labourers and provided most of the work in the parish. (fn. 121) The Revd. C. H. Brocklebank of Bartlow in the early 20th century owned and farmed c. 1, 250 a. in Cambridgeshire and Essex; he kept a well known flock of Hampshire Down sheep, and a herd of pedigree Shorthorns, and served as president of the Cambridgeshire Agricultural Society 191819 and the Dairy Shorthorn Society 19301. (fn. 122) Bartlow has remained largely arable since inclosure, (fn. 123) and the main crops are wheat and barley, with oats, beans, and sugar-beet. (fn. 124) Almost all the inhabitants are employed by the local landowner on the estate, and no other form of employment has arisen in Bartlow. (fn. 125)
The malting trade expanded in the parish in the 18th century, (fn. 126) there was a malting-house in 1819, (fn. 127) and brewers and maltsters were recorded in the 1840s and 1850s, (fn. 128) but later disappeared.
In 1279 the earl of Oxford was said to hold view of frankpledge and the assizes of bread and of ale in Bartlow; (fn. 129) no evidence of the holding of manorial courts, or of copyhold tenure, has been found in the parish. There were two constables in 1377, (fn. 130) and one in the 1750s. Bartlow hamlet had its own churchwarden in 1749. (fn. 131) There were separate overseers of the poor for the village and hamlet, and poor-relief in the two settlements was administered separately; more people were usually relieved in the hamlet than in the village, and it had higher poor-rates in the 18th century. (fn. 132) Annual expenditure on the poor in Bartlow fluctuated sharply in the late 18th and early 19th century, reaching peaks of 115 in 1813 and 112 in 1833, although it could be as low as 40 or 50. (fn. 133) The parish became part of the Linton poor-law union in 1835, and part of the South Cambridgeshire R.D. in 1934, (fn. 134) remaining in South Cambridgeshire in 1974. Bartlow hamlet was also included in the Linton poor-law union in 1835, but by 1911 was part of the Saffron Walden R.D., in which it remained after amalgamation with Ashdon civil parish in 1946, (fn. 135) becoming part of the Uttlesford district in 1974.
In spite of the belief that Bartlow church was built by King Cnut near the site of the battle of Ashingdon (Assandun) in the early 11th century, (fn. 136) no documentary references to the church have been found earlier than the 13th century, and the building dates from the late 11th or early 12th. The advowson belonged to Sir William of Chishill in 1279, (fn. 137) and descended with the lordship until c. 1751. The advowson was conveyed to feoffees in 1393, (fn. 138) and in 1399 granted for life to John Sleaford, rector of Balsham, (fn. 139) who presented in 1400. (fn. 140) Robert Kingston, lord of the manor, presented in 1437. (fn. 141) When the next vacancy occurred, in 1469, three different rectors were presented by Thomas Westley, John, earl of Worcester, and John, earl of Oxford; the earl of Worcester's right was upheld in 1470, (fn. 142) and his son's guardian and stepfather, Sir William Stanley, presented in 1472 and 1480. (fn. 143) The bishop collated by lapse c. 1500, (fn. 144) but all subsequent 16th-century incumbents were presented by members of the Huddleston family, lords of the manor, although Margery Blodwell attempted to present in 1526. (fn. 145) Jon Baker, the rector, bought the advowson with the manor after 1624, his son presented in 1639, (fn. 146) and the patron in 1667 was Blaise Pratt, husband of one of the younger Baker's three coheirs. Elizabeth Mapletoft, widow, perhaps of Edmund Mapletoft, inherited a third of the advowson and purchased the other two-thirds. (fn. 147) She presented to the living in 1704 and 1711, William Mapletoft in 1750, each naming a relative, and Edmund Mapletoft, son of the late rector, in 1772, being subsequently presented himself by Robert Fiske in 1775. (fn. 148) In 1782 William Hall presented Joseph Hall, probably his son. (fn. 149) His successor John Bullen, rector 182863, may have been presented by a descendant of William Hall's daughter, Elizabeth Bullen, and himself owned the advowson in 1836. (fn. 150) Robert Watkins was said to be patron by 1858, and held the rectory himself 186672. (fn. 151) The Revd. H. S. Patterson apparently presented himself to the living in 1872, (fn. 152) and H. and F. Bullard presented in 1877. (fn. 153) In 1894 Lt.-Col. W. C. Western nominated his son W. T. Western, and his executors were patrons in 1904. (fn. 154) The advowson of Bartlow thereafter belonged to the Revd. C. H. Brocklebank until 1927, and then to his son C. G. Brocklebank, and later to his executors. (fn. 155) In 1972 the patronage was exercised by Brig. A. N. Breitmeyer. (fn. 156)
The rectory was taxed at 100s. in 1254 and 16 marks in 1291. (fn. 157) It was exempted from taxation for poverty in 1487, (fn. 158) but in 1535 was worth 19 16s. 8d., being the fourth richest living in the deanery. (fn. 159) It was worth 100 a year in 1650 and 1728, (fn. 160) and 259 net c. 1830. (fn. 161) After commutation of tithes its value rose to 347 in 1851 and 460 in 1877. (fn. 162)
In addition to the great and small tithes from Bartlow, rectors received tithes from small plots in West Wickham and Horseheath and from Bartlow hamlet in Ashdon. (fn. 163) Individual farmers made agreements for the composition of their tithes in the 1720s, and when corn tithes in the hamlet were offered in kind in 1776 it was thought inconvenient. (fn. 164) In 1767 Edmund Mapletoft successfully sued the tenant of Bartlow Hall farm and the rector of Ashdon concerning tithes of wool and lambs, which he claimed in kind. (fn. 165) The tithes were commuted in 1848, (fn. 166) and the rent-charge yielded 281 10s. in 1851. (fn. 167)
The church was endowed with 30 a. in 1279, (fn. 168) and the glebe comprised 64 a. in 1663. (fn. 169) On the inclosure of West Wickham in 1813 1 a. were allotted to the rector of Bartlow in place of tithes. (fn. 170) There were 66 a. of glebe in 1851; (fn. 171) the rector of Bartlow received 23 a. in Ashdon that year at inclosure, (fn. 172) and 32 a. at the inclosure of Bartlow in 1863. (fn. 173) The rector still had 55 a. in 1900, (fn. 174) but by 1933 only 2 a. lying in Horseheath remained. (fn. 175)
There was a rectory house in 1279 (fn. 176) and in 1355. (fn. 177) Jon Baker was accused of letting the house lie desolate in 1643, (fn. 178) but in 1663 it had 18 rooms, 2 barns, and extensive out-buildings, (fn. 179) and was taxed on 6 hearths in the 1660s. (fn. 180) Rectors of Bartlow lived in the house, which stood on the south side of the churchyard, from the 16th century to the 19th. Considerable additions and repairs were made to the house c. 1835 by John Bullen, the incumbent. (fn. 181) In 1928 the rectory was pulled down, and C. G. Brocklebank gave Crossways House as a rectory. (fn. 182) From 1946 Bartlow was held with other livings, incumbents were no longer resident, and Crossways House was sold in 1950. (fn. 183)
An anchorite at Bartlow in 1279 owned 1 a. (fn. 184) There was a chaplain there in 1366, 1406, (fn. 185) and 1468. (fn. 186) John Fesant, rector in 1399, was licensed to study in Cambridge for three years, as was his successor Richard Hert in 1402 and 1405. (fn. 187) Arthur Dudley, rector 152677, held two other livings, in Staffordshire and Cheshire, and lived at Lichfield where he was a prebendary; (fn. 188) Bartlow was served by curates, paid for in the 1540s by Lady Butler, the patron. (fn. 189) Religious conservatism may have prompted a parishioner who tried to save a pax in 1552, (fn. 190) and the holy-water stoup remained intact in 1562. (fn. 191) Jon Baker, rector 15991639, was presented in 1599 for not holding services on many holy days or on certain weekdays. (fn. 192) His son Jon, rector from 1643, was ejected from the living in April 1644; he was a staunch Royalist and had refused the Covenant, had threatened parishioners who attended services elsewhere, and was accused of drinking, swearing, and scandalous conduct. (fn. 193) Richard Wells (or Weller), 164651, was described in 1650 as 'a very able man'; (fn. 194) Adiel Baynard, 165167, also held livings in Essex and Wiltshire from 1662. (fn. 195) William Kilborne, rector 170411, and master of Saffron Walden school, resigned to be succeeded by his pupil Edmund Mapletoft, rector 171149. From Mapletoft the living was inherited by his son Edmund, rector 175072, and grandson Edmund, rector 177582. (fn. 196) The first Edmund was resident in 1728, also employing a curate, as did his absentee successor in 1775. (fn. 197) During his long incumbency 1782 1828, Joseph Hall lived almost continuously at Bartlow; in 1806 he was involved in a dispute with the tenant of the Hall. He and John Bullen both held two Sunday services and thrice yearly communions. (fn. 198) On Census Sunday in 1851 58 people attended the morning service and 86 the afternoon one. (fn. 199) By 1877 there were also 12 communions a year, and 3 or 4 a month in 1897. Most inhabitants of the village, 150 in 1877, were church-goers. (fn. 200) Bartlow was held in plurality with Shudy Camps 193945, and with Horseheath 194672 when incumbents lived at Horseheath. (fn. 201) The rector from 1972 was instituted to Bartlow and Linton in plurality under a pastoral scheme, and lived at Linton. (fn. 202)
Bartlow hamlet in Ashdon long retained its connexion with Bartlow church. Robert Walton, lord of Waltons manor in Ashdon, gave cloth and a book to the church in the 14th century, (fn. 203) and six inhabitants of the hamlet were ordered in 1599 to receive communion at Bartlow, though they might attend Ashdon church at other times and participate in civil parish affairs there. (fn. 204) Inhabitants of the hamlet were commonly baptized, married, and buried at Bartlow: sons of the earl and countess of Lincoln, living at Waltons, were baptized at Bartlow in 1785 and 1786. (fn. 205) Inhabitants of the hamlet also paid church-rates to Bartlow in the 19th century. The portion of Bartlow parish lying in Essex, in the archdeaconry of Ely, was transferred in 1914 from the diocese of Chelmsford to that of Ely. (fn. 206) Bartlow also served people living at Westoe, in Castle Camps parish, who were far from their own church.
The church of ST. MARY, so called by 1521, (fn. 207) is of field stones and rubble with dressings of freestone, and has a chancel, nave with north porch, and circular west tower, one of the two such towers in Cambridgeshire. The tower is apparently all that survives of the late-11th- or early-12th-century church, the west window being inserted in the earlier 14th century at about the same date that the whole of the nave and chancel were rebuilt. Alterations to the structure in the 15th century included a new east window, the north and south doorways and north porch, and the buttresses on the south wall. Fragments of glass and wall-paintings survive from the 15th century, including depictions of a St. Christopher, painted over one of St. Michael weighing souls, and on the north wall St. George's dragon. (fn. 208) The rood-loft, mentioned as new in 1506, (fn. 209) was backed by a board filling the upper part of the chancel arch. Apart from a new communion table and rails installed in 1756, (fn. 210) and occasional repairs, little work was carried out on the church in the 17th and 18th centuries. There was a general restoration under the direction of R. R. Rowe in 1879, when most of the window tracery was renewed, (fn. 211) and there were extensive repairs to the roof in 1897. (fn. 212)
The three bells, which survived in 1974, were made in London c. 1460, perhaps by William Chamberlayne. (fn. 213) The church had one chalice c. 1278, (fn. 214) perhaps the same silver chalice and paten as in 1552. (fn. 215) A silver cup and paten belonged to Bartlow in 1837, (fn. 216) and with two more patens and two flagons given in the 19th and 20th centuries, were still there c. 1960. (fn. 217) The parish registers begin in 1573 and are virtually complete. (fn. 218)
Joan Willowes, a widow, was frequently presented as a recusant between 1579 and 1599, although there was some doubt whether she lived in Bartlow or in Essex. (fn. 219) Another Bartlow woman was presented with her in 1599. (fn. 220) Though there were five families of Independents in 1728, (fn. 221) they may have lived in the hamlet, and in 1783 there was only one nonconformist family, who attended the meeting-house at Linton. (fn. 222) There were no dissenters in Bartlow village in 1807, (fn. 223) and only one family in 1825; (fn. 224) none were known in 1836 or 1897. (fn. 225)
There was a small school at Bartlow for poor children by 1807, (fn. 226) though the only establishment besides the Sunday school in 1825 was for teaching girls needlework, both schools being supported by the rector. (fn. 227) Children from Bartlow village attended schools in Bartlow End hamlet in 1833. (fn. 228) The rector supported a day-school in the village in 1836, apparently held in the rectory which he had recently extended, (fn. 229) and it had 17 pupils in 1846. (fn. 230) From 1872 the parish guaranteed 70 a year towards the school. (fn. 231) A National school was built at Bartlow in 1875, north of the Linton-Camps road; (fn. 232) it was attended by 27 boys and 17 girls in 1877, and reached its highest average attendance of 47 in 1889. (fn. 233) Attendance declined slowly thereafter, to 40 in 1896, 27 in 1906, and 15 in 1922. (fn. 234) The senior pupils were transferred to Linton village college in 1937, and when in 1939 the number of children attending Bartlow school fell to 9 it was closed, the junior pupils being transferred to schools in Linton. (fn. 235)
Charity for the Poor.
Thomas Carter D.D., rector of Debden (Essex), by will proved 1697 gave a rent-charge of 4 on the tithes of Debden for woollen cloth for four poor people, three from Debden and one from Bartlow, after 10s. had been deducted for an annual sermon. (fn. 236) The cloth was given regularly from 1702. By 1775 it was customary to give it, sometimes in the form of a coat, to a member of the church congregation who was impoverished but not receiving parish relief, (fn. 237) a qualification which sometimes made a recipient hard to find. Two rectors of Bartlow, Joseph Hall 17821828, and John Bullen 182863, gave an extra coat of their own gift with Carter's charity. (fn. 238) The rector of Debden from the 1860s to the 1890s objected to paying 4 each year from his income and occasionally refused, but the trustees' claim was upheld by the Charity Commissioners. By a Scheme of 1891 Bartlow received a quarter of the income after the payment of 10s. to the rector of Debden for a sermon. The rentcharge was redeemed by the Church Commissioners in 1956 for 160 stock; the charity was regulated by a scheme in 1970, and 17s. 6d. a year was paid to the rector of Bartlow to be spent on a coat.