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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Castle Camps lies 15 miles south-east of Cambridge, at the south-eastern extremity of the county. (fn. 1) It is basically triangular, and its south-western and eastern sides form the county boundary. That to the south-west probably follows a line traced from point to point through the ancient woodlands which formerly separated Cambridgeshire from Essex. (fn. 2) The straighter eastern side along the watershed may follow the pale of the former Camps park. The northern boundary with Shudy Camps, based on divisions between fields and inclosures, was and is much overlapped in terms of land-holding and cultivation, and at its western end follows a tributary of the river Bourne. The ancient hamlet of Olmstead at the south-eastern corner of the parish was sometimes reckoned by the 18th century to belong to Helions Bumpstead parish (Essex) upon which it depended ecclesiastically, and to which its tithes were still paid in 1840, (fn. 3) although it was earlier treated for feudal and jurisdictional purposes as part of Castle Camps and Cambridgeshire. In the 19th century, having been included in Risbridge poor-law union in Essex, it was sometimes described as part of Helions Bumpstead in Cambridgeshire. (fn. 4) In 1885 it was officially transferred for all civil purposes to Castle Camps. (fn. 5) Before that change the ancient parish of Castle Camps covered over 2,700 a., while Olmstead contained 429 a., (fn. 6) and from 1891 the enlarged parish measured 3, 184 a. (fn. 7) In 1965 an area at the southern tip of Olmstead was transferred to Essex, and the county and parish boundary elsewhere was straightened, so that in 1971 Castle Camps, enlarged by c. 73 a. taken from the Essex parishes of Ashdon, Hempstead, and Helions Bumpstead, covered 3,198 a. (1,294 ha.). (fn. 8) The history here printed deals with the ancient parish, including Olmstead.
The soil of Castle Camps lies mainly upon boulder clay, itself lying over chalk which is near the surface where the ground is lowest to the north-west. Along the east side of the parish runs a flat-topped ridge at over 400 ft., from which the ground falls away south-eastwards towards Olmstead, while two arms of high ground, each of over 350 ft., extend westward from the ridge. Down the narrow valley between them run three water-courses, one rising near ponds formerly feeding the castle moat, which meet south-east of Camps Hall farm to form a small brook which runs north-westward down the valley through Bartlow into the Bourne. (fn. 9)
The high ground along the south-western boundary was once heavily wooded. The name of Camps, probably dating from the early English period, presumably referred to small fields originally inclosed from that woodland. In 1086 it still covered the whole area later divided between Castle and Shudy Camps, sometimes distinguished until the 14th century as Great and Little Camps. (fn. 10) In 1086 there was woodland here for 500 pigs. (fn. 11) In 1263 the manor included small woods of oak and thorn and in 1279 40 a. of groves. (fn. 12) In 1296 there were c. 210 a. of foreign woodland. (fn. 13) To the west the former Westoe Lodge was once surrounded by woodland of which 7 a. survived c. 1840. (fn. 14) South-east of it lay ancient inclosures, covering 120 a. c. 1586, whose name, Stocking, and curved edge suggest that they were assarts from former woodland. Further south-east lay Langley (formerly Langeney) wood, then of c. 75 a., and Willesey (once Williottshey) wood of c. 30 a., (fn. 15) both demesne woods whose lessees in the 17th century were required to plant new timber there. (fn. 16) In 1840 Langley wood covered 72 a. and Willesey wood 23 a. (fn. 17) The latter had by 1863 been cleared and converted to arable. (fn. 18) Further east again lay inclosures around a farmstead called Charlwood by 1450; (fn. 19) in 1567 on Olmstead Hall farm Queens' College sold for clearance the timber on a 19-acre field later called Stocking. Waverley wood there, further east, had been stubbed up by 1822. (fn. 20) The areas cleared of woodland were, like the rest of the parish, mainly devoted to arable farming on a triennial rotation, although pasturage was also important on the large demesne farms. Much of the parish was, perhaps from its beginnings, inclosed as several, not much open-field land existing in the 16th century. The few remaining common fields were inclosed in 1862. In the 20th century the parish economy was entirely based on farming. (fn. 21)
It has been suggested that such parishes along the county's eastern edge were originally settled by men moving westward through the forest from Essex and Suffolk. (fn. 22) In early modern times Castle Camps had apparently closer links, economically and socially, with places to the east such as Haverhill and Helions Bumpstead than with the villages further down the Bourne valley. (fn. 23) In 1086 21 peasants and 6 servi were recorded on Aubrey de Vere's manor, (fn. 24) on which there were c. 60 tenants in 1279, when c. 25 others held of Olmstead manor, where there were c. 20 messuages, and 2 or 3 more of Westoe fee. (fn. 25) In 1327 28 men beside the lord paid tax at Castle Camps and 14 possibly at Olmstead. (fn. 26) In 1377 113 adults paid the poll tax (fn. 27) and in 1524 33 people paid the subsidy. (fn. 28) There were 37 householders in the ecclesiastical parish in 1563, (fn. 29) and the manor had c. 35 resident tenants in the 1560s and 41 by 1584. (fn. 30) The population may have grown to over 300 by 1640, but declined thereafter. (fn. 31) There were 185 adults in 1676 (fn. 32) and c. 400 parishioners in 80 families in 1728. (fn. 33) From the late 18th century numbers increased rapidly, reaching 550 by 1811, 734 by 1831, and 949 by 1851. (fn. 34) In the 1860s the population was swollen by 30 families of labourers deriving from and working in Shudy Camps where there was a shortage of cottages. (fn. 35) Thereafter the population declined slowly, partly through emigration, to 891 in 1871 and 713 in 1901, and fell in the 20th century to 505 in 1931 and, after a brief recovery in 1961, to 442 in 1971. (fn. 36)
As in other once heavily wooded areas settlement in Castle Camps consisted of scattered hamlets and farmsteads rather than one nucleated village. In the Middle Ages a group of houses stood in a field north-west of the castle, where one or two buildings survived in 1618 (fn. 37) and earthworks still mark the site. (fn. 38) The hamlet of Olmstead lay by the three-acre green recorded in 1279, (fn. 39) and several tenants of the earl of Oxford still dwelt around it c. 1450 and perhaps c. 1536. (fn. 40) After 1600 only Olmstead Green and Olmstead Hall farms and one or two dependent cottages survived. (fn. 41) In 1885 the place contained only four dwellings with 20 inhabitants. (fn. 42) Westoe, where the demesne lay in one block, had probably never contained more than the manor-house, to which a separate farmstead was added by 1800. (fn. 43) The main settlements in the parish were probably already in the 15th century, as in the 20th, at Camps Green and Camps End, lying off roads from Cambridge which forked to run north and south of the earl of Oxford's park. (fn. 44) East and west of each hamlet lay the small, mostly inclosed, fields of the villagers, and between them a belt of several demesne 2/3 mile wide. At Camps Green the houses lay along a wide green running north from the northern road called Broad street. Those east of the green were squeezed against the park pale, and the street was called Park Street by 1450. There were then 21 messuages and 23 cottages held of the manor, while the sites of 6 messuages and 5 cottages lay empty. In 1586 Camps Green probably contained c. 14 houses and 8 cottages, and in 1618 35 buildings. The lord occasionally granted plots of waste there for building cottages, and in the early 17th century other cottages were put up there without the land required by law. (fn. 45)
The smaller settlement called Camps End lay by a cross-roads east of Langley wood and along the road running east from it called by 1586 the Netherstreet way. There were 6 messuages and 3 cottages there in 1586, and 13 buildings in 1618. Further east stood single farmsteads, such as Parkin's and Browning's farms, the latter mentioned in 1586, (fn. 46) where traditional timber-framed farm-houses, probably 17th-century, survived in 1975. There were c. 70 dwellings in the parish under Charles II (fn. 47) and 74 houses in 1801, when 2 or 3 families were sometimes crowded into each. (fn. 48) A few houses of the 18th century or earlier survive at Camps Green, including one 17th-century one east of the school with a central gable, but there are many one-storey cottages of c. 1800, timber-framed and plastered, and some still thatched. Several were built on encroachments made since the 16th century on the green, of which only two fragments survived in 1975. Of 207 dwellings in the parish in 1851 only c. 45 stood at Camps End, and almost 140 at Camps Green. (fn. 49) By 1881 35 houses stood empty, and there were only 155 inhabited houses by 1931, and 187 in 1961. (fn. 50) The mid 20th century saw little new building in the parish except for a few council houses built before 1956, mostly at Camps Green. (fn. 51)
Two alehouses were licensed at Castle Camps in 1682. (fn. 52) About 1800 there were 2 public houses, the George, closed c. 1910, and the Cock, which with the New Inn, opened by 1871, survived in 1975. (fn. 53) There was a parish lending library by 1887. (fn. 54) In 1970 the village had, besides long-established football and bowls clubs, a men's club occupying since 1951 the former Baptist chapel. A building was acquired for a village hall in 1952. (fn. 55)
On the plateau south-east of the castle an R.A.F. fighter airfield was located in 1941, which remained in active use until 1945 and was closed early in 1946. The land was sold between 1963 and 1966. (fn. 56)
Manors and Other Estates.
In 1066 King Edward's thegn Wulfwin held 2½ hides at Camps which by 1086 had with Wulfwin's other lands been assigned to Aubrey de Vere (fn. 57) (d. c. 1112). The manor of GREAT CAMPS, later CASTLE CAMPS, descended until the late 16th century in the male line of the Vere earls of Oxford, who held it in chief for 3½ fees as parcel of their barony, and retained it continuously in demesne. (fn. 58) In 1388 it was briefly forfeited by the attainder of Earl Robert, (fn. 59) but was restored in 1393 to his uncle and heir Earl Aubrey. (fn. 60) When Aubrey's grandson Earl John was executed in 1462 the manor was granted to Richard, duke of Gloucester, (fn. 61) but was restored in 1463 to John's minor son and heir John. (fn. 62) Following the latter's attainder in 1471 Castle Camps was again granted to Gloucester (fn. 63) who, as Richard III, granted it in 1484 to Sir Robert Percy. (fn. 64) Earl John was again restored in 1485, (fn. 65) and was succeeded in 1513 by his nephew Earl John (fn. 66) (d. 1526), whose widow Anne received the manor and castle as part of her jointure. The new earl, John (d. 1540), a second cousin, seized Camps castle in 1526. (fn. 67) Anne had got possession by 1534 (fn. 68) and retained the estate until her death in 1559 (fn. 69) when it passed to the next earl, also John (d. 1562). (fn. 70)
John's son and heir, the extravagant Earl Edward, in 1580 mortgaged and in 1584 sold the estate to the London merchant Thomas Skinner. Skinner died as lord mayor in 1596. (fn. 71) In 1598 his eldest son and heir John, knighted in 1604, (fn. 72) assigned the manor as security for his debts (fn. 73) to his father-in-law Thomas Markham and Markham's son Sir Griffin. (fn. 74) Upon Griffin's condemnation for conspiracy in 1603 the king granted his interest in Castle Camps to his kinsman and creditor Sir John Harington, (fn. 75) at whose instance the manor was sold in 1607 by trustees to pay Skinner's debts. (fn. 76) The purchaser, the rich money-lender Thomas Sutton, (fn. 77) took possession in 1608, (fn. 78) and settled Castle Camps manor shortly before his death in 1611 upon his foundation at the Charterhouse, London. (fn. 79) In 1919 the governors of the Charterhouse sold, mostly to their tenantfarmers, all of the estate except Castle farm and the lordship of the manor, (fn. 80) which they retained in 1975. (fn. 81)
Probably before 1100 a castle was built on the north-west slope of the eastern ridge. A two-acre motte, surrounded by a wet moat 25 ft. deep, had to the north-west a small bailey, across whose banks the church was later erected. A new and larger bailey was made perhaps in the late 13th century. Little remains of the fortifications. (fn. 82) The earls' chief messuage recorded in 1331 and 1371 (fn. 83) presumably stood within the motte. Probably in the late 15th century a four-storey brick tower was built, (fn. 84) attached to which was a large house where Countess Anne (d. 1559) dwelt in her widowhood. (fn. 85) The house, apart from the tower, was rebuilt, probably by Thomas Skinner, in the late 16th century. (fn. 86) It stood within a rectangular brick-walled inclosure, much of which survives, with a semi-classical gateway, and had a four-bay gabled front, probably facing north-west. (fn. 87) Thomas Sutton lived there from 1608 to 1611; (fn. 88) it was leased from 1616 to James Weston, baron of the Exchequer (d. 1634). (fn. 89) In 1639 the lessee was Sir James Reynolds of Olmstead Green, and in 1646 his son John Reynolds (fn. 90) (d. 1658), a Cromwellian general. (fn. 91) By 1666 the castle was inhabited by Sir Thomas Dayrell (d. 1669), and next by his eldest son Sir Francis Dayrell (d. 1675); (fn. 92) the Dayrells afterwards removed to Shudy Camps and the castle was occupied by tenant farmers. (fn. 93) The great house largely fell down c. 1738, whereupon the Charterhouse constructed a smaller farm-house (fn. 94) facing north, incorporating a fragment of the earlier building in a back wing. A farm-house for the main demesne farm, built near the middle of the parish between 1586 and 1597, (fn. 95) was by the late 17th century often called Camps Hall, (fn. 96) its name in 1975. The house was rebuilt in the 19th century.
In the 13th century the manor included a park, said in 1263 to be 4 leagues round, (fn. 97) which by 1269 probably covered all the high ground east of the castle between the two roads as far as the parish boundary. (fn. 98) In 1331 the park was reckoned to include 200 a. (fn. 99) In 1586 it comprised the great park of 400 a. between the roads and an extension east of Camps Green, called the little park or Haverhill End, of 202 a. (fn. 100) In 1330 Earl Robert (d. 1331) was granted free warren at Castle Camps. (fn. 101) The deer in the park were frequently poached from the 13th century (fn. 102) to the 16th. (fn. 103) Deer were still kept there in the 1560s, (fn. 104) but after 1586 it was divided up and converted to pasturage, probably by 1596. (fn. 105)
The manor of WESTOE, in the west end of the parish, passed c. 1199 from Ralph son of Hugh to his son Hugh of Westoe. (fn. 106) In 1272 Roger of Westoe sold 100 a. there, held as ½ knight's fee of the earl of Oxford, to John of Sawston (d. after 1275), whose widow Catherine held 121 a. there of Roger in 1279. (fn. 107) John's son and heir William (fn. 108) (d. 1308) was succeeded by his son John, aged 19, (fn. 109) who still held Westoe in 1360. (fn. 110) Elizabeth Sawston, probably his daughter, was tenant by 1372, (fn. 111) and with her husband Austin Keeling conveyed the estate, held for life by John's widow Margery, to John Kingston of Bartlow and others in 1385. (fn. 112) In 1426 Ralph, son of Thomas Sawston of Sawston, released Westoe manor to Margaret, daughter and heir of John Kingston's son Richard. (fn. 113) About 1450 the estate belonged to John Oldale. (fn. 114) In 1465 John Gent, groom of the king's chamber, released it to Richard Vere (d. 1476) of Great Addington (Northants.). (fn. 115) Vere's son and heir Henry (d. 1493) left three daughters, (fn. 116) of whom Elizabeth and Amy released their estates in Castle Camps in 1526 and 1538 respectively to the third sister Audrey and her husband John Brown. (fn. 117) In 1555 Audrey and her son George Brown sold their whole property there to Richard Tyrell (fn. 118) (d. 1566), whose son Edward (fn. 119) held it of Thomas Skinner in 1586. (fn. 120) Edward's son Sir Robert Tyrell had succeeded by 1613 (fn. 121) and sold Westoe in 1632 to William, Lord Maynard (fn. 122) (d. 1640). William's son William (d. 1699) (fn. 123) and William Neville of Holt (Leics.) mortgaged Westoe Lodge and 26 a. around it in 1667. (fn. 124) In 1671 Neville sold the property to Clement Neville (d. 1683) who enlarged his Westoe estate and left it to his nephew Sir Thomas Neville of Holt, Bt. (fn. 125) In 1711 Sir Thomas sold it to Elizabeth Wenyeve, under whose will it passed in 1722 to William and Edward Wenyeve. They sold it c. 1737 to Thomas Carter and he in 1748 to Richard Crop, (fn. 126) who owned the Lodge, c. 32 a. of surrounding park, and 27 a. near by (fn. 127) and died in 1796. He was succeeded first by his widow, then by his greatnephew Charles Long. Benjamin Keene, owner of Linton, held Westoe on lease by 1806 and made the Lodge his main seat; (fn. 128) he had bought the freehold by 1825, when he owned c. 145 a. at Westoe. (fn. 129) He died in 1837, and his son C. E. Keene (fn. 130) had sold 171 a. around Westoe Lodge (fn. 131) by 1863 to Thomas Chalk (fn. 132) (d. 1901). In 1903 Chalk's executor sold 180 a. in Castle Camps to the Revd. C. H. Brocklebank of Bartlow House, with whose estate they afterwards passed, (fn. 133) belonging in 1974 to Brig. A. N. Breitmeyer. (fn. 134)
The manor-house, occasionally recorded in the Middle Ages, (fn. 135) had 10 or more hearths c. 1660 and contained a library of 220 books. (fn. 136) Westoe Lodge, standing in 1840, (fn. 137) was demolished probably between 1851 and 1861, (fn. 138) only a farm-house further north remaining.
The manor later styled OLMSTEAD or HOLMSTEAD HALL was held in 1259 by Maurice, son of John, of Olmstead. (fn. 139) Maurice died shortly before 1269, when his son William, who had been among the rebels in the Isle of Ely, was required to redeem his property at Olmstead. (fn. 140) By 1279 the manor, comprising 160 a. and held as ½ knight's fee of the earl of Oxford under the honor of Richmond, had passed to William's infant son John. (fn. 141) Simon of Horncastle and his wife Lucy, perhaps William's widow, held that ½ fee c. 1302. (fn. 142) John still held Olmstead in 1348, (fn. 143) when he settled 240 a. on his eldest son Robert. (fn. 144) In 1367 Robert settled the manor on John Bek and Robert Nailinghurst, (fn. 145) and in 1373 Thomas Nailinghurst released it to Sir Aubrey de Vere. (fn. 146) In 1376 John Wombe of Hempstead (Essex) conveyed the manor to William Bateman and others, probably feoffees. (fn. 147)
In 1400 Olmstead Hall was conveyed to other feoffees probably to the use of William Skrene, serjeant-at-law, (fn. 148) to whom William Olmstead, butcher, released the manor in 1417. (fn. 149) Skrene died after 1424, (fn. 150) and Olmstead passed to his son Thomas (d.s.p. 1466). Thomas's heir was the minor John Skrene, later knighted, son of John (d. 1452), son of Thomas's brother William (d. 1431). (fn. 151) Sir John Skrene died in 1474, leaving no close kinsmen; the various mesne lords claimed his lands as escheats, (fn. 152) and in 1475 Richard, duke of Gloucester, as lord of Castle Camps, granted Olmstead to Sir Robert Chamberlain, his servant and Sir John's executor. (fn. 153) Three claimants alleging descent from sisters of Serjeant Skrene released their interest in 1475 and 1477 to Chamberlain and others, (fn. 154) as did Sir John Skrene's widow Elizabeth in 1478, (fn. 155) and in 1477 the manor was conveyed to feoffees for Queens' College, Cambridge; (fn. 156) it was vested in fellows of the college in 1482. (fn. 157) From 1500 the college held it under the Veres and their successors at Castle Camps, (fn. 158) and retained Olmstead Hall farm, amounting c. 1800 to 270 a., (fn. 159) until its sale in 1920 to W. S. Kiddy. (fn. 160)
The farm-house once owned by Queens', surviving within a moat close to the parish boundary, may occupy the site of the manor-house; an alternative site is the moat beside the road at Olmstead Green. (fn. 161)
Another estate at Olmstead was amassed by the Reynolds family. (fn. 162) James Reynolds held tenements at Olmstead Green by 1586 (fn. 163) and by 1609 had built a large house there. (fn. 164) Reynolds, knighted in 1618, held on lease 300 a. of adjacent pasture in the former park from 1614 and the main demesne farms c. 1640. (fn. 165) When he died aged 80 in 1650 his Olmstead Green farm passed to his son James (d. 1662) whose son and heir James died in 1690 and was presumably succeeded by his eldest son, Capt. Robert Reynolds. (fn. 166) About 1726 the farm descended to Robert's son, Sir James Reynolds, (fn. 167) chief justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland 1727–40 and later a baron of the English Exchequer. (fn. 168) Sir James built at Olmstead an elegant summer residence, called the Green House, (fn. 169) which in 1755 contained a substantial library. At his death in 1747 he left the estate to his unmarried sister Judith (d. 1755) with remainder to his nephew James Hatley, (fn. 170) who c. 1767 apparently offered the house and c. 250 a. in Castle Camps for sale. (fn. 171) The estate was later acquired by the executors of William Prior Johnson (d. 1776), whose son-in-law Thomas Richardson (fn. 172) occupied it in 1780. (fn. 173) Thomas's son William, who took the surname Prior Johnson, held the Olmstead land from 1793 until the 1830s. (fn. 174) About 1840 the owner was James W. Prior Johnson, (fn. 175) from 1866 the Revd. J. W. Carver, and in 1882 Carver's widow. By 1886 the estate had been acquired by Daniel Gurteen of Haverhill (Suff.) (d. 1894), and in 1908 belonged to W. B. Gurteen. (fn. 176) By 1922 Henry Ruse, whose family had been tenants there since the 1860s, had bought it. (fn. 177) The Green House, standing in 1767, (fn. 178) was presumably identical with Greenhouse Farm a symmetrical timber-framed house of the early 18th century, refronted in brick in the 19th, which was pulled down in 1969.
Of the 2½ hides at Camps held by Aubrey de Vere in 1086 half was in demesne, and there were six servi and four plough-teams to cultivate it. Seventeen villani, who with 4 bordars occupied the rest, could provide another 7 ploughteams. The income from the manor had increased from £12 to £15. Another ½ hide held by an undertenant had one team to work it. (fn. 179) By 1279 when the cultivated area had been greatly enlarged, probably at the expense of the woodland, the Vere demesne, c. 740 a. in 1263, comprised half of the 1, 400 a. of arable in the chief manor. The Westoe demesne in 1279 was 121 a., while its 3 free tenants had only 31 a. Of c. 290 a. of arable in Olmstead the demesne covered 160 a. The tenants there, all freeholders, were 5 with 12 a. or more occupying 77 a., 12 with 5 a. or less occupying 34 a., and 8 with only their messuages and fractions of an acre. (fn. 180) In 1348, perhaps after further assarting, the Olmstead demesne included 336 a. of arable and 32 a. of meadow and pasture. (fn. 181) In 1279, apart from the 100-acre glebe, only 160 a. were held freely of the Vere manor, including 2 free tenements of 48 a. and 46 a. The 7 other freeholders held less than 20 a. each. Of the customary land c. 100 a. called mol-land, including 4 half-yardlands and 6 quarter-yardlands, was held mainly by rent, though also owing harvest-boons. The blacksmith held ½ yardland by supplying ploughshares. Eighteen half-yardlanders with 16 a. each owed 2 works a week between Michaelmas and Whitsun and 4 between Whitsun and Michaelmas, ploughing 9 a., and carrying hay. Nineteen cottars occupied 16 cottages and c. 12 a. of smallholdings, some owing harvest-boons like the molmen. The earl might tallage all his villeins at will. (fn. 182)
The area of demesne arable regularly ploughed possibly shrank from c. 600 a. in 1331 to 540 a. in 1371, when there was a triennial rotation. Another 180 a., not the regular fallow, were uncultivated. (fn. 183) In 1340 the yield of corn from the parish was said to have fallen by two-thirds since 1291, (fn. 184) and in 1347 the earl's tenants' tax was reduced from 10 marks to 5½. (fn. 185) The value of the manor allegedly declined from 100 marks c. 1315 to just over £15 by 1371, when the demesne was partly at farm. (fn. 186) By 1432 the whole demesne was on lease to William Petyt, whose descendants still occupied it in 1525. (fn. 187) Under Elizabeth beneficial lessees paid large entry fines and could sublet land for double the rent which they paid. (fn. 188)
Copyhold remained predominant. By 1371 all but 80 of the works due had been permanently commuted. (fn. 189) In 1618 the 40 copyholders, paying £48 a year, held c. 727 a. of copyhold, (fn. 190) and c. 1800 the Charterhouse manor included only 138½ a. of freehold compared with c. 725 a. of copyhold. (fn. 191) By 1450 the standard holdings had been broken up and recombined; out of 36 holdings, totalling c. 605 a., 6 of over 30 a. covered c. 265 a. and another 6 of over 20 a. covered 140 a. (fn. 192) Of 33 inhabitants taxed altogether at £224 in 1524, 22 worth £2 each or less had only £30 between them, while 6 people with £10 or more shared £155. (fn. 193) By 1586 out of 624 a. held of the manor 12 men with 20 to 60 a. occupied 380 a., including 180 a. held by 4 men with over 30 a. each, while 33 lesser tenants had only 168 a. The largest single landholder, John Bryant of Shudy Camps, owned c. 75 a. overlapping the border of that parish. (fn. 194) In 1618 his heir Edward Bryant owned 202 a. in the two parishes, including 72 a. in Castle Camps. (fn. 195)
By the 16th century, and probably by 1450, relatively little open-field land remained, most of the demesne and tenants' land lying in severalty. (fn. 196) In 1586 the tenants' several land, apart from 257 a. in closes and crofts, still lay in sections styled furlongs, and their portions of such furlongs, though hedged round, were mainly strip-shaped. In 1450 the c. 253 a. of open arable was divided among 12 named fields, 9 of which were still recorded in 1586. They were mostly small; only five exceeded 20 a.; four of those, including Tangley, Ereslade (later Yestley), and Lowtishay (later Lowsell), totalled 81 a. The largest, the West field, c. 85 a. in 1450 and 87½ a. in 1586, lay at the western end of the parish. It was also called Westoe field, but was distinct from the inclosed Westoe estate, measured in 1618 as 60 a., which lay further west. To the east the parish fell into three portions. The largest was the enclosed demesne, stretching across the centre of the parish to the castle and park: in 1586, when only 16 a. of demesne lay in the common fields, it contained c. 143 a. of meadow and pasture, mostly just west of the castle, and 607 a. of arable, including from east to west Stubbing field (c. 93 a.), Mill field (70 or 66 a.), Limekiln field (c. 75 or 84 a.), and Gidding field (c. 116 or 154 a.). The tenants held small blocks of inclosed strips in the corners of two of them, and in 1597 the lord was said to have sheep-walk over his own fields, suggesting that the demesne arable had been formed from common fields. The area to the south included c. 385 a. held in severalty by the tenants and c. 65 a. of small open fields of which c. 42 a. lay near Langley wood. The several land there, although consolidated into blocks, some of 10 or 20 a., had once been held in strips of 2 a. or less. North of the demesne was another area held in severalty, where no open-field land survived in 1618, but many holdings still lay in narrow strips.
Although little commonable land remained, the traditional triennial rotation persisted even on the demesne where in 1597 240 a. was to be cultivated in three seasons. (fn. 197) In 1609 its lessee was required to summer-till his land after every two years according to the custom of the country, (fn. 198) and in 1671 another lessee needed special permission to sow 100 a. with corn for three years running. (fn. 199) During the 18th century the forecrop and aftercrop were regularly distinguished on the demesne and other farms. (fn. 200) In 1801 there were 198 a. of wheat, 253 a. of barley, and 245 a. of oats, besides 78 a. of peas and beans; there were only 12 a. of turnips and 2 a. of potatoes, partly because of the heavy water-logged soil. (fn. 201) Sainfoin had been grown on Westoe farm by 1766, (fn. 202) and by the 1790s a system of one crop followed by a fallow was beginning to replace the customary rotation. (fn. 203)
The courts occasionally regulated rights of common in the 16th century, forbidding cattle to be put in the corn field before the rector had declared harvesting finished. (fn. 204) Custom allowed a tenant 2 sheep on Camps Green for each penny which he contributed to the common fine of 6s. 8d. and 2 sheep on the common fields for each acre which he owned in them. (fn. 205) Because of shortage of common-field land smaller farmers often kept cattle rather than sheep, and had much of their several land under permanent grass. One farm in 1714 included 11 a. of mowing ground and 24 a. of feeding ground for its cattle, and had only 27 a. under the plough. (fn. 206) Tithe of milk was the subject of a prolonged lawsuit in the 1710s. (fn. 207) The only large flock of sheep belonged to the demesne farms: (fn. 208) in 1607 the manor was said to include a sheep-course for five or six hundred sheep. (fn. 209) Including the park the demesne comprised in 1618 787 a. of grass and 721 a. of arable. (fn. 210) The lessee of Camps Hall farm c. 1770 had a flock of 240 sheep. (fn. 211) About 1795 c. 500 Norfolk sheep were kept in the parish. Old inclosures, long partly hollow-drained, yielded a rich herbage, but much pasture remained unimproved. (fn. 212) Some grassland was later ploughed and in 1840 the parish contained 760 a. of permanent grass compared with c. 1, 750 a. of arable. (fn. 213)
The demesne farms were gradually reorganized from the 1580s. By 1607 the park had been divided by hedges, the 202 a. of Haverhill End being shared among 5 men. (fn. 214) The main demesne farm, 360 a. of arable and 84 a. of grass, was let as one unit in 1597 with a newly built farm-house. (fn. 215) Under Sir John Skinner the demesne holdings were subdivided, one farm of 150 a. having 10 occupants, (fn. 216) but Thomas Sutton reconstituted the large farm, giving it 437 a. of arable and c. 56 a. of grass. (fn. 217) In 1613–14 the Charterhouse relet the demesne as 12 farms: only four of the lessees, occupying 164 a. out of 1, 597 a., came from Castle Camps. (fn. 218) From 1626 Sheepcoteley farm, the large western farm of 566 a., was let to the tenant of the castle, and from c. 1640 to Sir James Reynolds, already lessee of c. 290 a. of pasture in the park, and his son John. (fn. 219) The land was divided anew after c. 1665: on the west Camps Hall farm amounted to 587 a. by 1722, (fn. 220) and Castle farm to the east covered c. 365 a. in 1671 (fn. 221) and gradually between 1646 and 1719 absorbed c. 210 a. of smaller leaseholds to the north. (fn. 222) The Charterhouse apparently granted beneficial leases, the large farms going to outsiders until the 18th century. (fn. 223) In the 1740s Castle farm was divided, c. 283 a. being farmed from the rebuilt farm-house at the castle, and 248 a. further north from the newly built Moat Farm. (fn. 224) By 1800 consolidation had produced two other large farms, Hill (later Whitens Mere) farm of 183 a., and one of 155 a. that was later added to Moat farm. (fn. 225) Those large farms remained long in the same families: Camps Hall farm of 605 a. was occupied by the Colliers from 1744 to c. 1860, and Moat farm by the Frenches from 1747 to the 1820s and then by the Leonards until c. 1900. (fn. 226)
Outside the demesne consolidation had by c. 1760 produced copyholds of 124 a. and 66 a., (fn. 227) and soon afterwards there were only 13 farmers in the parish. (fn. 228) Olmstead lay in two large farms, both entirely inclosed: the southern one, Olmstead Hall farm, covered c. 270 a. in 1799, (fn. 229) and Greenhouse farm, mostly north of the road and sometimes let with adjoining farms in Helions Bumpstead, comprised in 1794 c. 196 a., of which c. 80 a. lay outside the parish. There was also Charlwood farm of 70 a. just west of the old parish boundary. (fn. 230) About 1800 the rest of Castle Camps, apart from the Charterhouse and Westoe estates, amounted to c. 945 a., and belonged to 25 landowners of whom three with over 100 a. each had 354 a., while 17 with 50 a. or less owned c. 320 a. The Dayrells of Shudy Camps, who then owned c. 83 a., (fn. 231) later acquired more land, buying 70 a., mostly in the smaller open fields, in 1825. (fn. 232) About 1840 the Charterhouse owned over half the parish, 1,541 a., divided into four farms; the Dayrells owned 276 a., farmed by six men; the Westoe estate comprised 171 a., William Carter of Shudy Camps owned 193 a., W. P. Johnson had Charlwood farm of 62 a., two local men had farms of 95 a., and 10 other landowners altogether 103 a. In all, six large farms of 150 a. or more accounted for 1, 741 a. out of 2, 490 a. of farmland in the parish. (fn. 233)
Only 205 a. of open field remained in 1840 of which 105 a. lay in the large western field, called by 1723 Camps Rows, and c. 15 a. in the adjacent Stonehill and Westoe Garden. The other 85 a. lay as before mostly around Langley wood. (fn. 234) In 1858 an order was obtained for inclosing Castle Camps simultaneously with Shudy Camps and Bartlow. (fn. 235) The common fields had been divided by 1862. The area allotted, including 109 a. of old inclosures, was 315 a., of which the Charterhouse received 116 a., including an allotment for sheep-walk, the Dayrell estate c. 62 a., Rebecca Carter 56½ a., and Thomas Chalk 54 a. Ten others, none with over 7 a., shared c. 26 a.; the great west field was divided between Westoe and Whitens Mere farms and Rebecca Carter. (fn. 236) In 1879 the Charterhouse consequently owned 1,649 a., the Dayrells 265 a., William Carter 208 a., Thomas Chalk 173 a., James Leonard 142 a., the rector 72 a., and four others 74 a. (fn. 237)
The three large Charterhouse farms in the centre of the parish were sold to their tenants in 1919. (fn. 238) South of them the land west of Olmstead was shared by three partly intermingled farms and the rectory glebe. (fn. 239) The ancient inclosures west of Camps Green were divided among four small farms of 60 a. or less, mostly belonging to estates in Shudy Camps. (fn. 240) Of the 21 farmers recorded at Castle Camps in 1851, seven, each working over 100 a., occupied 1, 870 a., while 12 with under 50 a. occupied only 243 a. (fn. 241) By 1871 there were only 16 farmers. (fn. 242) After the breakup of the Charterhouse and Dayrell estates between 1900 and 1920, the 12 substantial farms in the parish were mostly owned by the men who farmed them, which was still so c. 1970. Much land was occupied by the Haylock family. Thomas Haylock owned Hill farm by 1922, and Moat farm by 1933, and held Castle farm on lease; in 1960 he occupied the largest single farm in the parish. (fn. 243)
Pastoral farming may have declined slightly in the later 19th century. In 1905 there were 2, 075 a. of arable and 654 a. of grass in the parish, (fn. 244) and on the Charterhouse estate, where in 1840 there had been 387 a. of grass, there were only 240 a. in 1919. (fn. 245) In the 1930s parts of the heavy clay land, apparently on the east side of the parish, were beginning to revert to scrub. (fn. 246) In 1960 crops included wheat, potatoes, and sugar-beet, and 80 a. south-west of Camps Green had been planted with fruit trees. (fn. 247)
In 1821 109 out of 138 families were supported by agriculture, (fn. 248) and c. 1830 there were 86 adult farm labourers and another 56 aged between 10 and 20. (fn. 249) Not all could find work in the parish. In 1861 when there were c. 190 labourers the farmers provided work for only 83 men and 36 boys. (fn. 250) Wages remained among the lowest in the county, 9s. for married and 7s. for single men c. 1830 and 10s. a week in the 1860s. (fn. 251) By 1830 the Charterhouse provided onerood allotments: in 1840 it was letting 11 a. of Moat farm for that purpose, (fn. 252) and in 1919 its estate included 21 a. of allotments. (fn. 253) Many women and girls did 'slop-work', making cheap clothes for a manufacturer at Haverhill. (fn. 254) By 1851 there were 46 slopmakers beside 14 needlewomen and dressmakers, and in 1861 106 women were thus employed. (fn. 255) In 1897 many people were emigrating to Tottenham Hale (Mdx.). (fn. 256)
Other kinds of opportunities for employment in the parish had diminished. Limekiln field was so named in 1586 from a kiln standing apparently in its south-west angle, (fn. 257) where a chalkpit survives overgrown with trees. A meadow north-west of that field was between 1618 and 1755 renamed Brickkiln meadow. (fn. 258) There were still bricklayers in the parish in 1841, when there were also 5 carpenters, 4 blacksmiths, 5 thatchers, 7 shoemakers, and 3 tailors. (fn. 259) In 1871 9 boot- and shoemakers, 7 carpenters, and 3 wheelwrights remained. (fn. 260) By 1879 there was only one shoemaker's workshop, not recorded after 1929, and the wheelwrights and tailors had disappeared by 1916, although a forge was still working in 1933. There were two shops in 1937 and 1975. (fn. 261) In 1960 most of the men still worked on the farms, while many women were employed in factories at Haverhill. (fn. 262)
The earl of Oxford's manor by 1263 had a windmill, which presumably stood in Mill field, where a pond was called the mill pond in 1597. (fn. 263) That mill was ruinous by 1371. (fn. 264) Between 1586 and 1618 a new windmill was built further west, on the brow of the hill. (fn. 265) After reconstruction in 1635 it was regularly let with the surrounding Camps Hall farm until the 1720s. (fn. 266) It was possibly still in use in 1861, (fn. 267) and was pulled down in 1910. (fn. 268)
In 1279 the earl of Oxford, besides holding view of frankpledge and the assize of bread and of ale, was entitled to keep a tumbrel and gallows. (fn. 269) A plot near Langley wood was later called Hangman's acre. (fn. 270) In the late 16th century the earls' court still had leet jurisdiction. (fn. 271) It had forbidden parishioners to take in inmates without the consent of the chief men of the leet by 1609, and was allotting fines half to the lord, half to the poor. In 1650 those receiving strangers were ordered to safeguard the parish. (fn. 272) In 1559 and later the court elected two constables and occasionally an aletaster. (fn. 273) In the 1640s it appointed a hayward (fn. 274) and sometimes fined men for refusing the constable's office. Leet proceedings had become purely formal, although regulation of common rights continued until the 1650s. (fn. 275) After 1700 the registration of copyholds became the court's sole business. Court rolls survive for 1557–1739, (fn. 276) and court books for 1620–1935. (fn. 277)
Jurisdiction over Olmstead, which in 1285 was fined for not being represented before the royal justices as a separate vill, (fn. 278) was ambiguous. In 1279 its lord owed suit both to the earl of Oxford's court at Castle Camps and to the honor of Richmond's tourn in south-east Cambridgeshire, (fn. 279) to which it sent four men in 1334. (fn. 280) The men of Castle Camps did not invariably recognize Olmstead as part of their township. About 1545 men apparently living at Olmstead were excluded from benefit under the bequest of Lewis Blodwell (d. c. 1521), to relieve Castle Camps township from tax, on the grounds that they belonged to Helions Bumpstead. (fn. 281) Under Elizabeth I the lords of Castle Camps held a nominally separate view of frankpledge for Olmstead. (fn. 282) Its proceedings sometimes went unrecorded, (fn. 283) and soon became purely formal. By c. 1630 even the exaction of a common fine, the last relic of jurisdiction over Olmstead, had ceased. (fn. 284)
The expense of poor-relief rose from £187 in 1776 to £264 by c. 1785 and £513 by 1803, when 53 people obtained regular relief. By 1813 expenditure had again more than doubled to £1, 313 and c. 50 people were on regular relief. (fn. 285) Expenditure seldom fell below £1, 000 a year until c. 1830, (fn. 286) when large families were receiving allowances and 15 unemployed labourers were working for the parish. (fn. 287) The parish became part of the Linton poor-law union in 1835, (fn. 288) was incorporated with the rest of Linton R.D. into the South Cambridgeshire R.D. in 1934, (fn. 289) and was included in South Cambridgeshire in 1974.
Castle Camps had a church before 1111, which in that year Aubrey de Vere (d. c. 1112) granted to Abingdon abbey (Berks.) when endowing his priory at Earl's Colne (Essex), newly founded from that abbey. (fn. 290) Aubrey's son Aubrey (d. 1141) agreed that the priory might annex the church at the next vacancy, (fn. 291) but in and after 1217 the church was still an unappropriated rectory. (fn. 292) The advowson belonged in 1263 to the earl of Oxford as lord of the manor, with which it afterwards descended. (fn. 293) Earl Edward (d. 1604) sold turns exercised by John Bendyshe of Steeple Bumpstead (Essex), who in 1579 presented his kinsman Robert Bendyshe, (fn. 294) and by John Persfield in 1586. (fn. 295) From 1611 the advowson belonged to the Charterhouse, which in accordance with its statutes normally presented former masters or pupils of Charterhouse school. (fn. 296) It still owned the advowson in 1974. From 1945 the rectory was held jointly with Shudy Camps vicarage. (fn. 297)
Whereas the rector did not receive the tithes of Olmstead, he was entitled to tithes from beyond the northern and western boundaries of Castle Camps. Until after 1291 Hatfield priory's estate at Nosterfield, in Shudy Camps, was apparently reckoned as part of Great Camps in respect of a tithe portion arising from it. (fn. 298) The rights of the priory and the rector of Castle Camps to tithe from land apparently lying in the western fields of Shudy Camps, held of Westoe fee by Horseheath men, were upheld at arbitration c. 1313 against the rector of Horseheath. (fn. 299) In the 17th century the rector of Castle Camps was entitled to great and small tithes from 32 a. in Shudy Camps, 20½ a. in Bartlow, and 4 a. in Horseheath. (fn. 300)
The glebe was reckoned at 104 a. in 1279, (fn. 301) and in 1615 and 1638 at c. 89 a. by local measure, lying mostly in the south part of the parish. In 1779 there were said to be 97 a. of glebe, (fn. 302) but when accurately measured in 1840 it came to only 70 a., (fn. 303) of which c. 14 a. were sold in 1904, and other portions later, (fn. 304) leaving 36 a. in 1975. (fn. 305) By the early 18th century both great and small tithes were regularly taken by composition, which was occasionally revised. (fn. 306) John Watson, rector 1703–24, caused some resentment c. 1715 by demanding, according to ancient custom and the practice of neighbouring parishes, payment of tithe milk at the church porch the whole year round and not only in summer. (fn. 307) The tithes were commuted under an agreement of 1838 for a rentcharge of £650 of which £20 was laid on the glebe. (fn. 308)
The rectory was taxed at 12 marks in 1217 and 1254 and at 22 marks in 1291. (fn. 309) In 1535 it was worth £15 4s. 2d., (fn. 310) by 1650 £160, (fn. 311) and in 1728 £200. (fn. 312) About 1830 it was valued at £570, (fn. 313) and after increasing in value until the 1870s had declined by 1896 to £407 net. (fn. 314)
The rectory house stood by 1615 amid 16 a. of inclosed pasture south of the road to Olmstead, almost ½ mile south-west of the church. (fn. 315) In 1638 it included a parlour, hall, and kitchen. (fn. 316) John Watson (d. 1724) rebuilt it as a handsome seven-bay brick-fronted house, partly with materials from the decaying mansion at the castle. (fn. 317) It was kept in good repair throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 318) In 1952 it was sold to Col. A. G. B. Stewart and renamed Berghane House. (fn. 319) The rector thereafter lived at Shudy Camps. (fn. 320)
A rector in 1337 obtained leave of absence at the countess of Salisbury's instance. (fn. 321) His successor in 1349 was only in minor orders, and in 1350 was given leave of absence to study. (fn. 322) Another in 1353 was required to hire a priest to instruct him in his duties. (fn. 323) In the late 14th century and early 15th a parish chaplain was employed, (fn. 324) and a chantrist was recorded in 1437. (fn. 325) In 1471 the duke of Gloucester presented his clerk Thomas Barrow, later Master of the Rolls. (fn. 326) In 1543 the countess of Oxford was paying, besides her own chaplain at the castle, a curate who became rector in 1547. (fn. 327)
In 1524 a guild at Castle Camps had a stock worth £7. (fn. 328) Its guildhall was confiscated, and in 1549 sold, (fn. 329) as was also a close of 2 a. left by Robert Allen in 1519 to maintain a sepulchre light. (fn. 330)
Geoffrey Astley, rector from 1557, although not a graduate and a poor preacher, was resident in 1561, (fn. 331) but by 1563 had departed, leaving the parish to a curate who failed to catechize the children and the rectory to a farmer. (fn. 332) Later Elizabethan rectors frequently employed curates, sometimes unlicensed, and were often themselves pluralists, as was William Hutchinson, rector 1590–1605 and archdeacon of St. Albans. (fn. 333) Thomas Sutton's presentee, Abraham Bedell, rector 1611–30, apparently served in person. (fn. 334) His successor, Dr. Nicholas Grey, was successively headmaster of Charterhouse, Merchant Taylors, Eton, and Tonbridge schools. (fn. 335) He employed curates in his parishes of Castle Camps and Saffron Walden, but persecuted his more puritan parishioners for not receiving communion at the altar rails. In 1638 his curate was directed to report those not communicating thrice a year. Grey forbade one yeoman to bring in a 'godly' minister to preach a funeral sermon at Castle Camps, and his curates there preached in favour of ceremonies and read the services in the chancel facing east. During the civil war they read out royal but not parliamentary declarations and orders. (fn. 336) Grey was formally ejected in 1644 and replaced by Nahum Kenitie, a puritan schoolmaster from Linton, (fn. 337) whose successor, Faithful Theate, was described in 1650 as orthodox and godly. (fn. 338) Martin Francis, ordained by the Cambridge presbytery in 1658, (fn. 339) escaped displacement in 1660, having been re-ordained, because Grey died before he could be reinstated. (fn. 340)
The next rector, Thomas Hall, being a non-juror, resigned in 1691 in favour of his son-in-law. (fn. 341) John Peter Allix, rector 1724–60, son of a Huguenot refugee, was also dean of Ely and, until 1733, vicar of Swaffham Bulbeck, (fn. 342) but often resided at the new rectory and in his absence employed a curate. In 1728 services were held twice on Sundays, and c. 30 people attended the thrice-yearly communions. (fn. 343) In 1775 and 1807 services were held twice on Sundays in summer and communions four times a year, and the rector was resident. (fn. 344) George Pearson, rector 1825–60, continued those practices, preaching at Sunday evensong; in 1836 he had 40 communicants, (fn. 345) and in 1851 an average attendance of 170, besides 100 Sunday-school pupils. (fn. 346) J. E. Bode, rector 1860–74, had some reputation as a preacher and hymn-writer. (fn. 347) His successor introduced monthly communions, but found that few attended. (fn. 348) George Pearson's son E. L. Pearson, rector 1879– 1911, (fn. 349) held weekly communions and special services, introduced cottage lectures, and in winter, because the church was remote, held services in the schoolroom. He had 56 communicants in 1897, but reckoned that only a third of the population went to church. (fn. 350) Only two later rectors remained more than seven years. (fn. 351) R. E. Royse, rector 1948–52, had High Church leanings, and in 1950 introduced a robed choir. (fn. 352)
The church of ALL SAINTS, so called in 1470, (fn. 353) stands north-west of the castle motte, is built of flint with stone dressings, and comprises a chancel, nave with south porch, and west tower. Before extensive 19th-century remodelling the fabric was mostly of the 15th or early 16th centuries, although the lower part of the chancel walls, including the south door and a piscina, are possibly 14th-century. The chancel received new windows, including a four-light east window, in the 15th century, and the nave of three bays was then rebuilt, making it much higher and wider than the chancel. The tall two-light nave windows partly retain their original Perpendicular tracery. The tower was of three storeys, buttressed and embattled, and looked short beside the nave. The nave roof, originally of c. 1500, has kingposts upon tie-beams. The octagonal 15th-century font was largely recut c. 1850. (fn. 354) Some 14th-century glass surviving in the nave's south windows was reset in 1923. (fn. 355) In 1744 some medieval tomb-slabs with insets for brasses survived. The chancel formerly contained slabs to various members of the Dayrell, Neville, and Reynolds families, and on its north wall a marble monument, with a short sarcophagus before a pyramid, to Sir James Reynolds (d. 1747). They were mostly removed into the nave when choir stalls were inserted in 1883. (fn. 356)
The church was said to be in decay in 1549, the rector having neglected to repair the chancel. (fn. 357) In 1644 William Dowsing broke many windows and ordered the altar-steps to be levelled. (fn. 358) Altar-rails with turned balusters had been reinstated probably in the 1660s and a chimney inserted in the chancel by 1665. In 1744 the chancel screen survived. (fn. 359) Its base alone remained in 1851, (fn. 360) as in 1975. The church was said to be in decent repair throughout the 18th century, (fn. 361) but in the early 19th century the chancel received a new ceiling and an east window with cast-iron tracery, (fn. 362) perhaps c. 1818, when the rector obtained leave to replace the lead roof with slates, themselves replaced in 1883. (fn. 363) The old tower collapsed in July 1850. A new one in the Decorated style, standing on concrete, was completed in 1851 with W. G. E. Pritchett as architect. George Pearson rebuilt the 15th-century south porch in 1855 and inserted new windows in the chancel, heightening its walls, in 1856. (fn. 364) In 1882–3 the whole church was thoroughly restored by J. P. St. Aubyn. Stone tracery replaced cast-iron in the east window, the west gallery was removed, and the internal woodwork entirely renewed. The nave's north windows were renewed in 1908 and its roof-timbers mostly replaced in 1913. (fn. 365)
The plate in 1552 included two silver-gilt chalices and patens. (fn. 366) In 1960 there were a silver paten of 1684, acquired in 1686, a cup of 1777–8, and a silver plated paten, flagon, and plate given by George Pearson in 1846. (fn. 367) The tower contained four bells in 1552, of which one was riven in 1596, (fn. 368) and four in 1744. (fn. 369) By 1826 two bells were split, and in 1828 the four were recast by William Dobson of Downham as five. One, broken when the tower fell, was recast in 1852 by John Taylor of Loughborough. (fn. 370) The registers begin in 1563 and are virtually complete. (fn. 371)
After the Restoration some puritans refused to attend church. (fn. 372) By 1669 there was a conventicle in the parish, (fn. 373) and there were five nonconformists in 1676. (fn. 374) The two dissenting families in 1783 commonly went to Linton Independent chapel, having no meeting-house of their own. (fn. 375) In 1813 a building was registered for dissenting worship, as was another, by different persons, in 1822. (fn. 376) The second was probably for the congregation of Baptists, said in 1851 to have been established in 1818; their chapel was built in 1822 at Camps Green. In 1851 it seated 170 with standing room for 60 more, and had an average attendence of 200, besides 68 Sunday-school pupils. The minister, himself an Independent, described his congregation as Independents and Baptists. (fn. 377) It survived as a Particular Baptist chapel in 1871, (fn. 378) but had disappeared by 1877. It was perhaps amalgamated with the Independent chapel at Camps Green, which seems to have been founded in 1852 and built in 1856, (fn. 379) but later traced its origins to 1812 or 1817. (fn. 380) A house was given for the minister c. 1880. In 1897 a third of the population were said to be dissenters. (fn. 381) In 1916 the chapel had 350 sittings. Its adult membership had by then declined from 56 in 1899 to 31, and from the 1930s fluctuated around 30. (fn. 382) It was still open in 1974, when it was attached to the United Reformed Church. (fn. 383)
There was an unlicensed schoolmaster at Castle Camps in 1579, (fn. 384) but no regular school was recorded before the 19th century, although 30 children were being taught in 1728. (fn. 385) A Sunday school held at the church by 1807 (fn. 386) had 70 pupils in 1818. Benjamin Keene's wife Mary (d. 1823) in 1818 and Keene himself in 1836 supported a school for c. 26 girls, while the rector in 1818 maintained another girls' school which by 1833 also took paying pupils. A third school, started after 1825, was attended in 1833 by 28 boys. (fn. 387) Benjamin Keene by will proved 1838 left £300, which later yielded £9 a year, to maintain the church Sunday school. (fn. 388) In the 1960s an annual £7 10s. was still being paid to that Sunday school, (fn. 389) which had expired by 1974. In 1846 there were two day-schools supported by subscriptions and school-pence. A master taught one with c. 38 pupils, which had a £25 grant from the National Society, a mistress the other with c. 21 pupils. They probably combined to form a Sunday school with 120 pupils, attached to the National Society, and held in a building in the churchyard. In 1851 the day-school's average attendance was 60. (fn. 390) The pupils were mostly very young, for most parents sent their children to work at seven years old, and in the 1860s few adult parishioners of the labouring class could sign their names. (fn. 391) The rector was still financing the school in 1858. (fn. 392) In 1863 W. M. Collier of Camps Hall farm gave c. £50 to endow the day-school, which still received £1 a year from that source in the 1960s. (fn. 393)
In 1865 the school was reorganized as a Church of England mixed school, including an infants' department. With a building grant and gifts from the Charterhouse, a new schoolroom in Gothic style was completed at Camps Green in 1866, the old one being left for the Sunday school. There were then 96 pupils paying school-pence on the books, (fn. 394) and in 1877 120. (fn. 395) The average attendance, 73 in 1872, rose to 124 by 1888 and 153 by 1906. (fn. 396) The schoolroom was enlarged in 1876, and again in 1886 to accommodate 160 pupils, and a master's house was built in 1892. (fn. 397) In 1897 the school received a voluntary school-rate. (fn. 398) Attendance declined from 107 in 1914 to 75 by the 1930s. (fn. 399) In 1937 the older pupils were transferred to Linton village college, leaving 34 juniors. (fn. 400) The surviving junior day-school was taken over by the county council in 1960, and enlarged to take also the younger children from Shudy Camps. (fn. 401)
Charities for the Poor.
Bartholomew Stavers by will dated 1784 left £100, the interest, £4 10s., after maintaining his tomb, to be given to the poor in bread on 27 December. In 1837 it was all being distributed indiscriminately in small sums. (fn. 402) In 1895 an eighth of the capital was severed to form a distinct charity for repairing the tomb, and the remainder was managed, under a Scheme of 1936, with the other parish charities.
Sophia Elizabeth Keene by will proved 1856 left £100 for the rector, George Pearson, to distribute among 30 poor persons. He invested it to provide coal for the poor at Christmas, and added £100 of other benefactions for the same purpose. When Pearson died in 1860 he left for the poor £100, invested with £41 given anonymously. In 1890 it was ruled that Olmstead Green was not included in the area entitled to enjoy those charities. In 1918, owing to the scarcity and high price of coal, cash doles were given instead. In the 1960s the income, just over £11, was normally used to provide credit at local foodshops for old-age pensioners, but occasionally given in cash. The number of beneficiaries was reduced from 30 in 1965 to 16 after 1970. (fn. 403)
In 1954 Thomas Haylock of Moat farm settled on trustees a plot just east of Camps Green on which he built four bungalows, to be called Haylock's alms-houses, for disabled poor long resident or born at Castle Camps. (fn. 404)