A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.
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The parish of Thriplow, (fn. 1) which covers 1,012 ha. (2,501 a.), (fn. 2) lies 10 km. north-east of Royston and 11 km. south-west of Cambridge. The land rises from 25 metres in the north and east to 50 metres in the southern corner. (fn. 3) The north and middle parts of the parish lie on the Lower and Middle Chalk, with patches of Taele Gravel on the higher ground in the south. (fn. 4) The parish is a rough parallelogram: parts of the south-eastern and north-western boundaries follow roads, and part of the latter follows Newton Bank. (fn. 5) Part of the Fowlmere boundary on the west follows the Wallington brook, and part of the eastern boundary also follows a watercourse which rises at Nine Wells, an area of springs on low-lying land long called the Moor, on the Whittlesford boundary. (fn. 6) Another stream rises near the centre of the parish and flows north to join the Hoffer brook in Newton. It is along the valley of that stream and on the slope of the hill to its south-east that the village of Thriplow has grown up.
The Icknield Way ran south of the parish, and the Norwich Way, possibly one of the tracks making up that Way, crossed the southern corner of Thriplow. It was recorded in the mid 17th century, but was disused by 1840. (fn. 7) Ashwell Street also crossed the parish. (fn. 8) The Royston-Bourn Bridge turnpike crossed the south of the parish, and the Fowlmere-Cambridge turnpike formed part of the north-west boundary. Both were in use in the Middle Ages, being known respectively as London and Cambridge Ways. (fn. 9) Several tracks such as Woodway, crossing the western edge of the parish, recorded from 1305, and Green or Street Way and Hurdles Way, crossing Heath field, recorded in the mid 15th century, were stopped at inclosure in 1840, as were a number of footpaths in the village. (fn. 10)
Tumuli in the southern corner of the parish suggest an Iron Age habitation in the area, (fn. 11) and a barrow east of the village containing a Bronze Age burial was possibly later named after the eponymous 'Tryppa'. (fn. 12) The area around the latter has yielded remains which may indicate continuous occupation up to Romano-British times. (fn. 13)
Twenty-seven inhabitants were recorded in Thriplow in 1086, (fn. 14) and there were c. 80 tenants and 85 messuages in 1279. (fn. 15) In 1327 twenty-five inhabitants paid the subsidy, (fn. 16) and 51 paid that of 1523. (fn. 17) By 1563 there were estimated to be c. 42 households, (fn. 18) as there were in the 1660s. (fn. 19) There were c. 160 adults there in 1676, (fn. 20) and c. 50 families in 1728 (fn. 21) By 1794 numbers had risen to 64 families, c. 320 inhabitants. (fn. 22) The population continued to rise during the earlier 19th century, reaching c. 520 by 1851. From 1871 however it fell steadily, to 386 in 1951, before rising sharply to 836 in 1961. In 1971 there were 721 inhabitants. (fn. 23)
The village of Thriplow grew south-west of the church, built on high ground near the Bronze Age tumulus, and in the valley to its west. It has been suggested that the village's three main streets may have originated as tracks connecting parallel branches of the Icknield Way. (fn. 24) Most of the houses lie within and around a rough square formed by Church Street on the east, Longcroft Road on the south, Farm and Blacksmiths (later Lodge) Lanes on the west, and Gutters Lane on the north. A small triangular village green lies north of the latter. The square is crossed from north to south by Middle Street. Settlement probably spread from three separate groups of dwellings around the Ely manor house in the southwest, Barringtons manor house on Middle Street, and the church. Church End was so named in 1521. (fn. 25) In 1979 the different parts of the village were to some extent still separate. A number of timber-framed houses survive, including Gowards, a late medieval house altered in the early 17th century, Bassets or Bury Farm, a two-storeyed timber-framed and jettied house built in the second quarter of the 16th century, with a two-gabled extension added to the south in the 1560s, and Cochranes, a 17th-century farmhouse much altered in the 19th century. There was little change in the size of the village between the mid 17th century and the early 19th, there being c. 45 houses there throughout that period. (fn. 26) By 1841 the number had almost doubled, (fn. 27) but building did not spread beyond the edges of the square until the 20th century. By 1864 Thriplow House, a large Gothic brick mansion, had been built near the southern edge of the village. (fn. 28) Four council houses were built south of the church in 1921, (fn. 29) and in the 1960s c. 40 more were built, mostly west of the Green, north of the Fowlmere road (Gutters Lane). (fn. 30) Modern development has filled in some of the spaces between the older houses, but much open land remains within the village. In 1970 a house to the design of Sir Leslie Martin was built for Lord Walston at Townsend Springs. A small smithy on the Green, in use until the early 1960s, was given to the village in 1964 and is preserved as a museum. (fn. 31)
The village is the only centre of settlement, but the western corner of the parish, known by the 13th century as Brook Street, (fn. 32) is part of Fowlmere village.
There was perhaps an inn at Thriplow in the late 17th century. (fn. 33) The Green Man, opposite the Green, is recorded in 1840 (fn. 34) and survived in 1979. Also recorded in 1840 was the Fox, on the east side of Church Street, which was burnt down in 1919. (fn. 35) The Red Lion, a jettied, timber-framed building at the north end of Middle Street, was burnt down c. 1941. (fn. 36) The site was occupied after 1958 by the village hall. (fn. 37)
Apart from some heath land in the south and the Moor in the east the parish has, since medieval times, been devoted to arable farming. It was cultivated on a three-course rotation in open fields until 1840; after inclosure in that year the heath and Moor were also brought under cultivation. Land in the south-east of the parish was included in Duxford airfield. (fn. 38) Apart from buildings on the airfield there has been little building outside the village; Heath Farm beside the Royston Road, built by 1884, (fn. 39) remains the only farmhouse in the fields.
Thriplow contains two sites scheduled as of scientific interest. Thriplow Meadows, 13 a. immediately north of the village, was scheduled in 1960. The poorly-drained land is known locally for its marsh orchids. Since 1961 it has been managed by the Cambridgeshire Naturalists' Trust. (fn. 40) Thriplow peat holes, 25 a. in the east of the parish, part of the Moor where parishioners used to dig peat, were scheduled in 1958. The site has been known to botanists since at least 1763 as an area where fen species survive on the chalk. (fn. 41)
In 1647 the Commonwealth army was encamped on Thriplow Heath when it refused to disband during its dispute with parliament. (fn. 42)
Manors and other Estates.
Ealdorman Beorhtnoth (d. 991) left THRIPLOW to the monks of Ely, and the abbey held the manor in the early 11th century. (fn. 43) In 1086 it included 6½ hides. (fn. 44) On the creation of the see of Ely in 1109 most of Thriplow was assigned to the bishop, whose successors held it for the next five centuries. (fn. 45) A plan to acquire the manor, sometimes called Thriplow Bury, for Gonville Hall, Cambridge, c. 1355 was not fulfilled. (fn. 46)
In 1600 bishop Heton alienated it to the Crown. (fn. 47) Sold in 1602 to Edward Harvest, (fn. 48) it probably passed in 1611 to Henry Lucas, whose father Edward had previously leased it, (fn. 49) and perhaps in 1612 to William Reynolds (fl. 1645). (fn. 50) In 1654 it was held by Abraham Reynolds, probably his son. (fn. 51) By 1665 he had been succeeded by Thomas Reynolds, who in 1675 sold Thriplow Bury to Richard Minshull, later master of Sidney Sussex. (fn. 52) In 1681 it was bought by Ambrose Benning (fn. 53) (d. 1720). His son, also Ambrose (d. 1730), was succeeded in turn by his sons the Revd. William Benning (d. 1792) and Ambrose (d. 1819). (fn. 54) The latter left the manor to the use of his great-nephew Ambrose Hope Perkins (d. 1843). (fn. 55) In 1846 Perkins's nephew, Henry Perkins, then a minor, held c. 1,000 a. in Thriplow. (fn. 56)
In 1884 the latter sold the manor and estate to Joseph Ingle Ellis (d. 1890). (fn. 57) Ellis was succeeded by his son A. C. Ellis who sold the estate in 1928. (fn. 58) The manor was retained, and in 1937 was held by the latter's wife, Lady Innes Robinson. (fn. 59)
The manor house, Thriplow Bury or Place, stands at the south-west edge of the village. A house, recorded there in 1279, (fn. 60) was ruinous in 1356. (fn. 61) The present house includes in its main range part of a 17th-century timber-framed house, probably that with 10 hearths occupied in the 1660s by Anthony Bourne. (fn. 62) It was cased in brick and extended westwards by Ambrose Benning c. 1700 and again extended north-westwards in 1713. Further alterations were made in the early 19th century, and c. 1930 when it was restored by H. C. Hughes. (fn. 63)
Part of Ely abbey's estate was retained by the priory after 1109 and, since it was annexed to the priory's pittancer, became known as PITTENSARIES or PIGEONS. The prior held 2½ yardlands (75 a.) there of the bishop in 1279 and in 1537. (fn. 64) In 1541 the estate passed to the new dean and chapter of Ely (fn. 65) who held it until the 19th century. (fn. 66) In 1840 they were allotted c. 95 a. in Thriplow. (fn. 67) In 1874 the reputed manor was sold with land to J. I. Ellis whose family had leased it for some years. (fn. 68) It thereafter descended with his other lands. (fn. 69)
In the mid 17th century a small timber-framed and thatched house, including a hall and parlour, belonged to the estate. (fn. 70) It may have stood in Pitters Alley, a close surrounded by water south-west of the church, or east of there on Church Street, upon the site of later houses. (fn. 71) By 1763 one house belonging to the estate had been long since burnt, but that on Church Street survived in poor repair. (fn. 72) By the 1870s only a cottage remained. (fn. 73)
By 1086 Hardwin de Scalers had usurped 1 hide and 2 a. in Thriplow which had belonged to Ely. (fn. 74) Bishop Niel recovered some land, presumably 2 a., c. 1135, (fn. 75) but the hide was held in 1166 of Hugh de Scalers of Whaddon by Tibbald FitzFulk. (fn. 76) By 1206 Tibbald de Scalers held 4 yardlands in Thriplow of Fulk son of Tibbald. (fn. 77) In 1232 Richard of Thriplow held land of Tibbald's successor John de Scalers who had a fee there c. 1235 (fn. 78) and perhaps c. 1275. (fn. 79) In 1279 Alice de Scalers held the 4 yardlands of Ralph Fitzralph, as mesne lord under Thomas de Scalers of Whaddon. (fn. 80) The Scalers holding has not been traced later.
Bishop Niel (d. 1169) granted a mill in Thriplow to the abbey of Chatteris, which held the mill and a yardland there of the bishop in 1222. (fn. 81) The nuns regranted the mill to Bishop Hugh (d. 1254), in return for a 16s. pension from it recorded in 1298 and 1358. (fn. 82) The abbey retained the yardland in 1251 and 1279, (fn. 83) and probably until its dissolution. In 1587 a tenant of the bishop's held the abbess of Chatteris's house in Thriplow. (fn. 84)
William Muschet (d. by 1228) held 1½ hide in Thriplow of the bishop of Ely by knight service in 1222. (fn. 85) His son Henry held it in 1251, (fn. 86) and William Muschet, presumably Henry's son, in 1279. (fn. 87) Joan Muschet held the estate in 1302, and another William in 1346. (fn. 88) It presumably descended thereafter with the Muschet fee in Fen Ditton. (fn. 89)
Thomas son of Henry by c. 1235 held land in Thriplow of the bishop of Ely. (fn. 90) It had passed to William son of Thomas of Thriplow by 1279, (fn. 91) and to Thomas son of William by 1327. (fn. 92) That land may have formed the manor later known as BACONS which presumbably took its name from the Bacon family, recorded in Thriplow in the 14th century. (fn. 93)
William Cloville held the manor in 1412. (fn. 94) John Cloville, perhaps his grandson, held Bacons of the bishop of Ely at his death in 1489 when he was succeeded by his son Henry (d. 1513). (fn. 95) The manor was held in the 1550s by Henry's grandson Francis Cloville (d. 1562), (fn. 96) and in 1569 by Francis's son Eustace (fn. 97) (d. 1589). Eustace was succeeded by Sir Henry Cloville who in 1611 sold Bacons to Robert Wace or Wate of Thriplow. Wace resold it in 1617 to Richard Tyrrell, (fn. 98) who settled it in 1637 on his son Robert's marriage. Robert sold it in 1648 to William Knight of Denny Abbey, and Knight in 1686 to James Wortham. Wortham by will proved 1702 left his lands in Cambridgeshire for life to Sarah Winder, and then to his nephews. After Sarah's death in the 1720s Bacons passed to Wortham's nephew Hale Wortham (d. 1755) and then to Hale's son, also Hale (d. 1778). The latter's son, a third Hale (d. 1828), left Bacons for life to his brother George with remainder to George's son Hale. (fn. 99) In 1842 that Hale Wortham sold Bacons to Joseph Ellis who owned over 200 a. as Bacons manor in 1846. (fn. 100) It thereafter descended with Ellis's other estates until c. 1910 when it was bought by Sir Charles Waldstein. (fn. 101)
The Tyrrells lived on their manor at Thriplow in the 17th century, (fn. 102) presumably in the house still known as Bacons which stands on the west side of Church Street. A late medieval hall with a cross wing, it was altered and extended in the 17th century, and had 7 hearths in the 1660s and 1670s. (fn. 103) In the 19th or early 20th century it was divided into three cottages.
In 1303 William Crouchman held ¼ fee in Thriplow, later the reputed manor of CROUCHMANS, of the bishop of Ely. (fn. 104) From another William, presumably his son, tenant in 1346, (fn. 105) it descended with Crouchmans manor in Trumpington to the Winslows (fn. 106) and by 1428 to Walter Huntingdon. (fn. 107) Walter's son Thomas held it at his death in 1498, after which his lands were divided between his two daughters, the Thriplow estate passing to Anne, wife of William Mordant (fn. 108) (d. 1518). Their son Robert (fn. 109) in 1538 sold thee state to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, which held it of the bishop of Ely in 1548. (fn. 110) Trinity Hall was allotted 185 a. for Crouchmans at inclosure in 1846, and sold the estate in 1913 to Sir Charles Waldstein (fn. 111) (later Walston). Sir Charles was succeeded in 1927 by his son Henry, later Lord Walston. (fn. 112)
A house stood on the close called Crouchmans, east of Middle Street, in the late 18th century but it had disappeared by the 1840s. (fn. 113)
By 1538 St. John's College, Cambridge, had acquired two estates in Thriplow known as Suttons or Wentworths and Townsends, both held of the bishop of Ely. (fn. 114) In 1571 they included 147 a. (fn. 115) The college still owned the estate in 1840 when it was allotted c. 130 a. (fn. 116) It was bought in 1914 by J. O. Vinter (d. 1923) whose son H. S. Vinter sold it in 1935. (fn. 117) In 1979 it belonged to Mr. Guy Smith.
Both Suttons and Townsends had houses in the 16th century. (fn. 118) The former, on the west side of Church Street, was presumably the larger and became known as St. John's College Farm, later Manor Farm. Throughout the later 16th century the college, in its leases, reserved the hall, somtimes with other chambers and the kitchens, for its own use in times of plague. (fn. 119) The house consists of a large 15thcentury timber-framed hall, perhaps built by the Thurlows, (fn. 120) and a long north cross wing probably added by St. John's in the early 16th century. In the early 17th century the house was said to need extensive repairs; (fn. 121) it has been altered several times in succeeding centuries and considerably extended in the late 1940s. (fn. 122)
In 1284 Bishop Hugh gave the church of Thriplow to his new foundation, Peterhouse. (fn. 123) The college retained the rectory with 65 a. of glebe and the great tithes. (fn. 124) In 1840 it was allotted c. 55 a. as glebe, and the rectorial tithes were commuted for a rent charge of £617 12s. (fn. 125)
In 1872 the farmhouse, homestead, and c. 6½ a. were sold to Henry Perkins, lessee of the rest of the estate, (fn. 126) and by 1928 Rectory farm had passed to A. C. Ellis. (fn. 127) The Rectory House, which stood on the west side of Middle Street, was demolished in 1969. (fn. 128)
The Ellis family's holdings in Thriplow were accumulated by Joseph Ellis who at his death in 1829 leased Bury Manor farm, Pittensaries, Crouchmans, and the rectory and owned several copyhold estates. (fn. 129) He was succeeded by his son, also Joseph (d. 1858), who bought Bacons in 1842 and retained his father's lands. (fn. 130) In 1846 he owned nearly 500 a. in Thriplow apart from Bacons, and with his leases occupied over 1,000 a. there. (fn. 131) His son Joseph Ingle Ellis bought Pittensaries in 1874 and the Bury manor in 1884. (fn. 132) He was succeeded in 1890 by his son Arthur Cole Ellis who in 1918 owned or occupied over 1,720 a. in the parish. (fn. 133) In 1928 his estate of 1,260 a. was sold. (fn. 134) In 1943 Cochranes and Heath farms, part of Ellis's estate, were bought by Henry, later Lord Walston, who had inherited other lands in the parish and in 1979 a Walston family trust held c. 1,500 a. in Thriplow. (fn. 135)
J. I. Ellis had by 1864 built Thriplow House north of Longcroft Road where A. C. Ellis later lived with his four sisters. (fn. 136)
In 1086 Sigar held of Geoffrey de Mandeville the 1½ hide in Thriplow which in 1066 he had held of Ansgar. (fn. 137) The overlordship descended with the honor of Mandeville, and was recorded in 1585. (fn. 138) Nicholas of Barrington, who occurs in Thriplow in 1228, (fn. 139) held the later BARRINGTONS manor of the Mandevilles c. 1235. (fn. 140) It seems to have been settled on his son Nicholas (d. before 1274) who left it for life to his wife Agnes, who held the manor in 1279. (fn. 141) Their son Nicholas Barrington was succeeded c. 1330 by his son, also Nicholas (fl. 1373). (fn. 142) By 1403 the manor was held by the latter's grandson John (fn. 143) (d. c. 1426). It presumably passed with his estates in Essex to John's son Thomas (d. 1472), and Thomas's son or brother Humphrey (d. by 1487). Humphrey's son Nicholas was succeeded in 1505 by his son, also Nicholas (fn. 144) (d. 1515). The latter's son John (d. 1537) was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 145)
Thomas Barrington in 1558 sold the manor to Richard Prime (fn. 146) whose family had held land in Thriplow since the mid 15th century. (fn. 147) Prime (d. 1565) devised Barringtons for life to his wife Katherine (fn. 148) (d. 1612), who held it in 1566 with her second husband Thomas Wale, (fn. 149) and survived her son Benjamin Prime (d. 1585). Benjamin's son and successor Richard (fn. 150) (d. 1653) devised Barringtons to the use of his wife Anne. In 1655 it was bought by Fuller Mead, (fn. 151) who resold it in 1658 to John Comes. In 1663 Comes sold Barringtons to Thomas Malet. He mortgaged it several times, and in 1678 it was ordered to be sold to pay his debts. (fn. 152) It was bought by Christopher Hatton, later Bt., who in 1696 sold it to Humphrey Gower, master of St. John's College. (fn. 153) Gower (d. 1711) by will of 1708 left Barringtons for life to his nephew Stanley West with remainder to the masters of St. John's, subject to a yearly payment of £20 for two exhibitions. (fn. 154) In 1840 the master of St. John's was allotted c. 200 a. in Thriplow. (fn. 155) The master retained the lordship when the land was sold in 1914 with the college's other Thriplow lands to J. O. Vinter. He resold it in 1935, retaining the manor house. (fn. 156)
Barringtons manor house stood on a moated site on the east side of Middle Street. The Barringtons seem to have lived there in the mid 13th century. (fn. 157) The present house, known as The Manor House, west of the moated site, has a rectangular front block of 1563, all that remains of a larger house built by Richard Prime, which had 7 hearths in 1672. (fn. 158) A two-gabled extension was built on the south side, probably by Gower, in the late 17th century. (fn. 159) The house was used as a vacation residence by masters until the mid 18th century, but by 1781 it was dilapidated and part was pulled down. (fn. 160)
In 1086 three of Ely abbey's 6½ hides in Thriplow were in demesne, cultivated by three ploughteams, and Hardwin de Scalers held a further hide which had been demesne. The abbey also had meadow for one ploughteam, and sufficient pasture. Presumably half of the Mandeville fee's 1½ hide was in demesne, cultivated by one of the two ploughteams there. (fn. 161)
By 1251 and in 1279 the Ely demesne included c. 370 a. of arable, 5 a. of meadow, 32 a. of pasture commonable between August and February, besides 13 a. commonable every third year. (fn. 162) By 1356 presumably rather less was cultivated as demesne as some was leased out. (fn. 163) The Barringtons demesne in 1279 included c. 120 a. (fn. 164)
By the later 13th century Thriplow's arable, probably c. 1,800 a., lay in three fields: West field, Church field east of the village, and Heath field to its south. Besides meadow and pasture held usually in severalty there were 30 a. of common pasture and 100 a. of common heath. (fn. 165) The arable was apparently cultivated in 1251 as in 1356, on a three-course rotation. (fn. 166) In the 13th century wheat, rye, barley, and oats were grown, (fn. 167) and in the mid 14th century barley and oats seem to have been the major crops, followed by wheat and rye. (fn. 168) From the later 15th century saffron was grown in closes and gardens. (fn. 169)
In 1086 sheep were already important in the parochial economy: there were then 100 on the Ely demesne, 77 on Hardwin de Scalers's land, and 180 on the Mandeville fee, besides pigs and a few cattle. (fn. 170) By 1251 the bishop of Ely had sheepfold for nearly 1,000 of his own and his tenants' sheep. (fn. 171) Shepherds were recorded in the parish in 1295 and 1422. (fn. 172) In 1251 besides sheep there were over 200 cattle and some pigs on the Ely demesne. (fn. 173)
In 1086 there were 5 servi on the Ely demesne, and the abbot had 12 villani and 5 bordars there, while on Sigar's estate there were 1 servus and 4 villani. (fn. 174) By 1222 twenty free tenants held of Ely manor, their holdings varying from 1½ hide to 1 messuage. Apart from William Muschet who owed knight-service all paid money rents, some paid winesilver, and some owed boonworks. Customary tenements included two yardlands, one divided into fractions, and 24 half-yardlands whose tenants paid witepund, winesilver, and renders in kind. The half-yardlanders owed two works a week between Michaelmas and Lammas, and three a week between Lammas and Michaelmas, besides boonworks, and ploughing, reaping, carrying, and other labour services. Five tenants held 4½ cotlands, owing two works a week throughout the year. All the customary tenants owed heriot. (fn. 175) By 1251 the half-yardlanders owed three works a week throughout the year. As in 1222 provision was made for commuting works between Michaelmas and Midsummer for 2s. 3d., and by 1251 the ploughing might be commuted for 2½d. an acre. Besides heriot tenants owed gersum, leyrwite, tallage, and suit of mill. The smith, reeve, and bedell held half-yardlands for reduced services. The cottagers' services remained unchanged, and in all the customary tenants owed 4,108 works in a year. (fn. 176)
In 1279, as probably earlier, a customary halfyardland contained 15 a. and a cotland 1 a. Services and dues remained the same at that date, those from a half-yardlander being valued at 9s. 4d. a year, and those from a cottar at 3s. In 1279 William Muschet had one customary tenant who held 2½ a. for 2 works a week between Michaelmas and June, and boonworks; Agnes of Barrington had three, each holding 9 a. of Agnes for similar services, and five holding cotlands for slightly lesser services. One halfyardland was also held of her for a money rent. (fn. 177) By 1356 the Ely manor had only 21 half-yardlanders whose services had been reduced to 2 works a week between Michaelmas and Lammas, and reaping and stacking 1 a. of corn a week in harvest. By then the cottars seem to have owed no labour services. (fn. 178)
By the later 15th century some families, particularly the Primes and Thurlows, were emerging from the tenant class to a position of prominence, maintained later as lessees of considerable estates. (fn. 179) The wealthy yeoman Nicholas Thurlow (d. 1519) leased the Bury manor and owned the estate called Bassets (fn. 180) which later passed to Edward Lucas (d. 1601). (fn. 181) Lucas, who from 1581 leased Bacons, also bought up other estates in the parish, and also leased the Bury manor earlier held by his brother Edmund. (fn. 182) Edward's estates later passed to the Flowerdew family as redress for his fraudulent dealings as his nephew John Flowerdew's executor. (fn. 183)
The Prime family increased in prosperity during the 16th century. Thomas Prime, one of only three villagers assessed to the loan of 1522, was one of the highest contributors to the 1523 subsidy. (fn. 184) He was the bishop of Ely's reeve in 1548, (fn. 185) and from at least 1540 lessee of the rectory. His son Richard (d. 1565), who bought Barringtons, retained the rectory and also leased Pittensaries and owned several copyholds. (fn. 186) His grandson Richard, a leading taxpayer in the mid 17th century, (fn. 187) retained all those lands and leased Crouchmans. By 1647 his family had held them for so long that it was impossible to disentangle them. (fn. 188) Other branches of the family flourished up to the 19th century. (fn. 189)
In the early 16th century not only was the Bury farm leased, but parcels of former demesne were let to tenants. In 1508 and 1548 the villein and cottage tenements were entirely rent-paying. (fn. 190) In 1587 rents of 12s. each were paid for 23 copyholds, presumably the half-yardlands, and there were 3 cottage holdings, 22 copyholds of non-standard sizes, and 14 freeholds. (fn. 191) By the late 16th century the farmer of the Bury was subletting parcels of the demesne. (fn. 192) In the early 16th century besides the most prominent farmers there were several substantial yeomen. In 1524 6 people were taxed on over £10 of goods, 4 on £5–£10, and 16 on £1–£5 of goods or lands. (fn. 193) By the early 18th century however the land seems to have been concentrated in fewer hands. In 1703 the lord of the Bury and Simon Purdue, lessee of Crouchmans and the Rectory, had the largest holdings, and apart from the farmers of the other manors only six parishioners had land worth over £20 a year. (fn. 194) By 1800 the main farms were held by Ambrose Benning, Joseph Ellis, Benjamin and James Prime, and John Faircloth. (fn. 195)
The arable land remained divided between the three open fields. As well as pasture closes near the village there were pieces of pasture in Church field, where it bordered the Moor, (fn. 196) parcels of which were inclosed as pasture from the early 17th century. (fn. 197) In the 1770s the open fields included c. 1,600 a. of arable. (fn. 198) Some strips within those fields were inclosed during the 18th century. In 1779 one farm's 334 a. of open-field land lay in large pieces and it also had 46 a. of inclosed arable. Parcels of up to 20 a. were recorded in Heath and Church fields. (fn. 199) By 1839 all but 70 a. of the heath was cultivated as arable, and there were c. 65 a. of inclosed arable and c. 100 a. of inclosed pasture. (fn. 200)
Barley, wheat, oats, rye, and lentils remained the major crops. (fn. 201) In 1773 c. 500 a. of the arable were fallow, 500 a. were sown with barley, 266 a. with wheat, 200 a. with peas and oats, and 133 a. with rye. (fn. 202) From the later 18th century cinquefoil and sainfoin were grown, and by 1808 trefoil, coleseed, and probably turnips. (fn. 203) In 1839 a three-course rotation was still used on the open fields, but a four-course system had been introduced on the inclosed arable. (fn. 204)
Sheep were grazed on the Moor between December and February, and on the greens between November and April. They also pastured on the stubble, led by the Bury flock. Cattle were fed on the balks, and in summer the Moor was mown. (fn. 205) In the 18th century there were six sheep walks, including one for each manor and supporting c. 1,400 sheep; each sheep walk had its own several heath. (fn. 206) By the early 19th century some farmers were ploughing up and re-sowing small pieces of grassland to improve the quality of the feed, and seeds were sown for the sheep. (fn. 207) Cattle and poultry were also kept, the former being fed on pasture near the village. (fn. 208) In 1812 Pittensaries had cow commons without stint. (fn. 209)
Inclosure of the common fields was apparently being discussed in 1819, but did not begin until 1840, and the award was not enrolled until 1846. (fn. 210) The allotment of lands had however taken place by 1841. (fn. 211) In all 1,920 a. of open and common land were allotted; (fn. 212) there were 218 a. of old inclosures and 300 a. of several heath. Allotments for right of soil were made to the lords of the Bury, Barringtons, and Bacons manors. Of the allotments nearly 500 a. was copyhold of Bury manor, c. 25 a. of Barringtons, and 10 a. of Bacons. Apart from the owners of the major estates, which totalled c. 2,120 a., (fn. 213) only one person was allotted over 20 a., three had between 10 a. and 20 a., four between 5 a. and 10 a., and the remaining 19 had less than 5 a.
Most of the parish was already owned or leased by Joseph Ellis, whose family remained in possession until the 1920s. (fn. 214) Immediately after inclosure a fourcourse rotation was imposed on all the arable, and the Moor was drained and brought into cultivation. (fn. 215) Most of Thriplow was good sheep and barley land, and the lessee of Bury farm had to keep 500 sheep on its 465 a. (fn. 216) By 1884 however almost all of the 712 a. south-west of the village, forming Home and Heath farms, was arable. (fn. 217) In 1905 the parish had c. 2,000 a. of arable and only c. 150 a. of grassland, (fn. 218) but despite the decline in pasture Barringtons and St. John's farms supported 500 Suffolk sheep in 1935 and there were still nearly 400 sheep in the parish in 1977. (fn. 219)
When the Ellis estate was sold in 1928 it was mostly divided between Rectory and Gowards farms, c. 220 a. each, Heath farm, c. 350 a., and Cochranes farm, nearly 400 a. (fn. 220) There was also a market gardener in Thriplow from c. 1904 until the 1930s, (fn. 221) and a poultry farm recorded in 1933 survived in 1979. (fn. 222) In 1937 Henry, later Lord, Walston built Thriplow Farm, north-east of the village on land bought from Trinity Hall. (fn. 223) He built a large grassdrying plant in 1949, which in 1979 continued to produce large quantities of cattle feed. (fn. 224) Since 1943 the Walston family have owned c. 1,500 a. in Thriplow, farmed with c. 500 a. in other parishes as a single unit. Thriplow Farms Ltd. mainly produces cereal seeds (wheat and barley), lucerne, sugar beet, herbage seed, and oil seed rape. Until 1978 it had a model dairy unit with c. 120 Jersey cattle. In 1979 there remained a beef unit of c. 60 cattle grazing c. 49 ha. (120 a.) of permanent grass. (fn. 225) Much of the rest of the parish was then farmed by Mr. G. Smith from College or Manor Farm.
A chandler was recorded in Thriplow in 1364. (fn. 226) Generally the parish offered no employment other than in agriculture or allied crafts. Malting was undertaken on a fairly large scale. Malthouses were attached to the Rectory estate, and to Barringtons, (fn. 227) and in 1559 John Chapman, farmer of the Bury, could leave a bushel of malt to every householder in the parish. (fn. 228) In the early 19th century agriculture provided by far the most employment, (fn. 229) and in 1873 eight-ninths of the population were said to be labourers. As well as adults children as young as 6 worked in the fields in the spring. (fn. 230) By the mid 20th century, apart from the few inhabitants still employed in farming, most worked at Duxford, Sawston, Foxton, or Cambridge. (fn. 231)
By 1250 the abbess of Chatteris held of the bishop of Ely a water mill at Thriplow recorded until 1358. (fn. 232) In 1251 a windmill had recently been built, perhaps on the site of the later mill south-east of the Bury manor house. (fn. 233) It said to be ruinous in 1356. (fn. 234) There was a windmill there by 1840 when it was occupied by Thomas Prime, miller, and until the 1860s. (fn. 235) The mill is not recorded thereafter, but the building on that site was still known as Mill House in 1979.
In the 1270s the bishop of Ely claimed the liberties of return of writs, vee de naam, gallows, tumbrel, and the assize of bread and of ale as well as view of frankpledge on his Thriplow manor. (fn. 236) A court and leet held at Thriplow in 1361 probably belonged to that manor. It dealt with agricultural and tenurial matters, and the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 237) In 1508 one leet and two courts were held during the year. (fn. 238) A court was recorded in 1652, (fn. 239) and court rolls and books survive (fn. 240) for 1654 to 1680, 1710 to 1768 with some gaps, and 1811 to 1840. Court minutes survive for 1864. In the mid 17th century leets were held annually and other courts three or four times a year. Besides dealing with tenurial matters the courts issued and enforced agricultural regulations, and elected a constable, a reeve, and a hayward. In 1659 a herdsman was chosen. From c. 1735 the rolls record only tenurial business, and courts were held at irregular intervals. In the 19th century, and presumably earlier, they were held at Thriplow Place. (fn. 241)
Nicholas of Barrington had a court at Thriplow c. 1250. (fn. 242) In 1279 Agnes of Barrington had view of frankpledge and the assize of bread and ale there, (fn. 243) and in 1299 the same liberties were allowed to Nicholas of Barrington. (fn. 244) Court rolls survive from 1566 to 1697. (fn. 245) In 1566 the court heard a case of assault, but otherwise it dealt solely with tenurial matters. Courts were occasionally held until at least 1841. (fn. 246)
Courts baron were held for Bacons manor from the 16th century to the 19th. Court rolls survive for 1577 and 1579, (fn. 247) and minute books from 1779 to 1870. (fn. 248) In the 1570s the court dealt with tenurial matters and encroachment on the demesne. Courts are recorded in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 249) By the late 18th century they were held irregularly and dealt solely with tenurial matters.
By the 1760s the parish appointed two churchwardens, two constables, and two overseers, and employed a hayward or herdsman. The overseers paid weekly cash doles to between 7 and 12 people in the later 18th century, as well as making payments for clothing, medicines, fuel, and rents. They also occasionally employed labourers in gathering stones or ditching. Occasional cash payments were also made to unemployed men. (fn. 250)
In 1803 c. £185 was spent on the poor, a threefold rise since 1776. In 1803 12 adults and 14 children received permanent relief, as well as 7 aged or infirm people. (fn. 251) Expenditure on the poor in Thriplow fluctuated more than the average for that hundred, varying from £133 in 1814 to £287 in 1828, but it was generally amongst the lowest in the hundred. (fn. 252) By 1831 no wages were paid from the poor rates and there were generally no unemployed. (fn. 253)
In 1834 Thriplow became part of the Royston poor law union. (fn. 254) In 1894 it joined Melbourn rural district, and in 1934 South Cambridgeshire R.D. From 1974 it was part of the South Cambridgeshire district. (fn. 255)
There was a church in Thriplow in the 12th century. (fn. 256) In 1284 Bishop Hugh of Balsham gave to Peterhouse the church of Thriplow which he had previously granted, probably in 1280, jointly to Peterhouse and St. John's hospital, Cambridge. (fn. 257) He reserved to himself and his successors the advowson, and the right to ordain a vicarage which he exercised in the same year. (fn. 258) The advowson has remained with the bishop of Ely. In the 14th and the 16th centuries the Crown presented several times during vacancies of the see. (fn. 259)
In the early 13th century Thriplow church was worth 30 marks, and in 1256, after being valued at 50, it was re-valued at 30 marks. (fn. 260) By the late 13th century the church was worth £28 13s. 4d. (fn. 261) In 1284 a pension of 4 marks a year from the rectory was assigned to the vicar. (fn. 262) It was confirmed in 1352 (fn. 263) and still recorded in the 19th century. (fn. 264) By the mid 16th century Thriplow vicarage was worth £9 4s. 2d. (fn. 265) In the mid 17th century it was valued at £23 4s. 11d., (fn. 266) but in 1665 the vicar complained that he only received c. £17 a year. (fn. 267) In 1728 the living was still worth only £20. (fn. 268) In 1739 it was augmented by £400 given by John Perkins, then vicar, and Queen Anne's Bounty, (fn. 269) and by c. 1830 the income was £130. (fn. 270) It had risen to c. £180 by 1872 and £279 by 1885. (fn. 271)
The vicar's income included the small tithes. In 1466 after a dispute it was agreed that they should include the tithe of saffron from certain named lands and that the vicar should be allowed to lease other such tithes from Peterhouse, paying 12d. a year for each acre of saffron sown. A similar agreement was made in 1474. (fn. 272) In 1800 the vicar was receiving the tithe of seeds. (fn. 273) In 1840 the vicarial tithes were commuted for a rent charge of £138. (fn. 274)
In the early 17th century the vicar had only c. ½ a. of glebe at the south end of Church Street, where the vicarage house stood. The house had been recently burnt down in 1615: (fn. 275) it had not been rebuilt by 1638, (fn. 276) and there was probably no vicarage house until a new one was built on the same site in 1738 by John Perkins. (fn. 277) That house was altered c. 1860 (fn. 278) and survived in 1979.
The money given to augment the living in 1739 was used to buy an estate in Cottenham, (fn. 279) which included 25 a. in the later 19th century when it was worth c. £70 a year. (fn. 280) It was sold in 1945. (fn. 281)
Vicars were presented regularly from the 1330s, (fn. 282) and there were chaplains at Thriplow in the later 14th and 15th centuries. (fn. 283) A guild of All Saints was recorded from 1471. (fn. 284) The guildhall was sold by the Crown in 1571. (fn. 285) It seems to have been part of the dean and chapter's estate in 1649, (fn. 286) but has not been traced later.
In 1561 it was said that the vicar did not celebrate communion as he should, nor read the homilies, nor teach the children. (fn. 287) He was able to preach but not licensed. (fn. 288) In 1579 the vicar employed a curate, but no service was said on weekdays. Several parishioners did not attend church or receive communion. (fn. 289) Theodore Bathurst, vicar c. 1616–19, wrote Latin poetry. (fn. 290) His successor Timothy Maude also held the vicarage of Wakefield (Yorks.) and a prebend at York. (fn. 291) Thomas Carter, vicar from 1625, was apparently still at Thriplow in 1655, (fn. 292) but had ceased to serve the cure by 1645 when William Reynolds complained that there was no incumbent, and that the church was locked up unless he himself procured someone to take services. (fn. 293) In 1650 it was served temporarily by Henry Johnson. (fn. 294)
Edmund Dickman, vicar 1690–1735, also held Harston. (fn. 295) Francis Gunning, vicar 1759–88, held Hauxton with Newton, but lived at Thriplow where in 1775 he held one Sunday service and thrice-yearly sacraments. (fn. 296) His successor Butler Berry, vicar 1789– 1832, was also resident despite holding Foxton and Chrishall (Essex). In 1825 services were held alternately at Thriplow and Foxton, and communions were held three times a year if any communicants attended. (fn. 297) By 1836 there were two services each Sunday, a Sunday school, and quarterly sacraments with c. 12 communicants. (fn. 298) In 1851 as well as c. 60 Sunday-school pupils c. 60 adults attended the morning and 130 the afternoon service. (fn. 299) By 1873 there were monthly communions attended by c. 16 communicants, (fn. 300) and by 1885 weekly communions. A weekly service was then also held at Thriplow Heath during the winter. (fn. 301) The living was vacant from 1936 until 1939 when Canon O. G. Bolton, rector of Fowlmere, became curate in charge. He became vicar of Thriplow in 1946, his successor held Thriplow with Foxton, and the parish has subsequently been held with Fowlmere. No vicar has lived at Thriplow since 1936. (fn. 302)
The church of ALL SAINTS, so called in 1471, (fn. 303) was known as ST. GEORGE'S by the mid 19th century. (fn. 304) It is built of field stones with stone dressings and consists of a chancel with north vestry, north and south transepts, a crossing tower with short leaded spire, and a nave with south porch. The Purbeck marble font and re-used fragments of 12th-century carving including shafts on the north transept buttresses suggest that there was a church of some importance there before the present one was begun in the later 13th century. The chancel and transepts are substantially of the latter date and the original lancet windows survive in the east and west walls of the transepts. Reveals for lancets can also be seen in the side walls of the chancel and in its east wall which probably had three or five grouped lights. The crossing arches and central tower are early 14th-century and a little later in that century and early in the next new windows were put into the side walls of the chancel. (fn. 305) The north and south windows of the transepts were enlarged in the 15th century and the nave was rebuilt in the late 15th or early 16th century when a rood stair was built into the angle with the south transept.
In the early 16th century there was an altar to the Virgin Mary in the nave. (fn. 306) In the 1590s the chancel was in very bad condition, permitting the church to be robbed. (fn. 307) In 1619 part of the north end of the church was said to have collapsed. (fn. 308) In 1639 the communion table was railed in and a three-decker pulpit built. (fn. 309) In 1644 William Dowsing broke many statues and pictures in Thriplow. (fn. 310) The church was kept in reasonable repair until the late 18th century when the roof was in poor condition; (fn. 311) the south porch fell down c. 1800. (fn. 312) By 1866 extensive repairs were recommended by R. R. Rowe: the walls were bulging, the roofs decaying, and the window tracery was in bad condition, that of the 13th-century east window having been replaced with wood. The south side of the chancel had already been buttressed, but the north vestry, which had also supported it, had collapsed, as had part of the south transept. (fn. 313) By 1873 the tower and transepts had been repaired but the chancel was still very dilapidated. (fn. 314) In 1875 it had to be partitioned off and it remained unusable until 1877 when Peterhouse employed Sir Gilbert Scott to restore it and to rebuild the porch and vestry. (fn. 315)
Fragments of a mid 14th-century wooden rood screen are set in the eastern tower arch. It originally stood west of the crossing. In the 1860s some medieval benches remained, (fn. 316) but they were not reinstated after the restoration. In the mid 18th century there were in the transepts the remains of some monumental brasses and painted glass. (fn. 317) Amongst monuments surviving in the 20th century were one to Edward Lucas (d. 1601), (fn. 318) one to John Perkins, vicar (d. 1750), and several to members of the Benning family.
The tower has 5 bells cast in 1743. (fn. 319) In 1452 Richard Sutton left money to buy a silver chalice for Thriplow, perhaps that recorded in 1552. (fn. 320) A chalice and paten dated 1569 survived in 1979, (fn. 321) although in 1685 the church had lacked a paten. (fn. 322) The registers begin in 1538; there are some breaks, notably in entering marriages, in the mid 17th century. (fn. 323)
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries some parishioners failed to attend church or receive communion. (fn. 324) In 1675 Thriplow was associated with Congregational churches in Barrington, Croydon, and Orwell, and by 1690 it was included in a preaching circuit with Orwell, Ickleton, Toft, and Little Gransden. (fn. 325) There were 48 nonconformists there in 1676, almost a third of the adult parishioners. (fn. 326) Francis Holcroft, who debated with the Quaker Samuel Cater at Thriplow in 1676, died there in 1692. (fn. 327) A house was licensed for Protestant worship in Thriplow in 1732, (fn. 328) and in 1783 the majority of the population were said to be dissenters. (fn. 329) Buildings were licensed for worship by the Prime family in 1800, and by Joseph Ellis from 1812. (fn. 330) Ellis's son Joseph built a meeting house in 1833 or 1835, and in 1851 Sunday evening services there attracted c. 100 people. It was served from Fowlmere. (fn. 331) From 1852 services were held in the British school, also built by Ellis, at the west end of the village on the Fowlmere road. In 1880 that building was bought and restored as a chapel by the Fowlmere Congregational church which used it as an outstation. (fn. 332) In 1897 two-fifths of the parish were dissenters, as were several wealthy landholders. (fn. 333) The Congregational church continued as an outstation of Fowlmere until its demolition in 1976. (fn. 334)
A Quaker meeting house was licensed in 1707, (fn. 335) but has not been traced later.
In 1759 preaching by John Berridge, an associate of Wesley's, attracted crowds of up to 2,000 to Thriplow, (fn. 336) and in 1783 the parish schoolmaster was a follower of Berridge's. In 1873 occasional Primitive Methodist meetings were held at Thriplow. (fn. 337)
There was a schoolmaster at Thriplow in 1783. (fn. 338) A small dame school taught 11 children there in 1818; (fn. 339) by 1833 two such schools taught c. 30 children and the church and the Independents each supported a Sunday school. (fn. 340) A dissenting day school had been started by 1844 in a building lent by Joseph Ellis, who built a new school in 1846 on the Fowlmere road. It was supported by contributions and school pence. A British school from 1854, it was attended by c. 46 children in 1857. (fn. 341) The school was recorded in 1875, but had closed by 1885. (fn. 342)
A church day school was started in 1850, for which a new building was erected, west of the church, in 1864. As well as housing night and Sunday schools it was attended by c. 45 day pupils in 1875. (fn. 343) Numbers rose gradually to c. 100 in 1905 before falling to c. 67 in 1927. (fn. 344) The seniors were transferred to Fowlmere in 1929, to Melbourn in 1954, and to Melbourn village college in 1959. (fn. 345) In 1974, when it was attended by c. 60 children, the school was enlarged, but numbers had fallen to c. 40 by 1977. (fn. 346)
Charities for the Poor. (fn. 347)
Thriplow was amongst the parishes to benefit from 1562 from Lettice Martin's charity, from which it received 7s. 2d. in 1790, and £1 6s. in 1825 and 1837, distributed with other charities. It was still so distributed in 1976, under a Scheme of 1911.
Money given before 1599 by Henry Gotobed for the poor and the repair of the church (fn. 348) has not been traced later.
Thomas Godfrey, by will dated 1632, left rent charges of 8s. a year each for the poor and the repair of the church. (fn. 349) In 1837 the poor's share was distributed with rent charges given by Richard Hicks, by will dated 1635, and Francis Peck, the combined income then being 24s.
Before 1710 Martin Gray left to the poor of Thriplow 3 a. known as Gray's or the Town land: it was let for c. £2 15s. in the early 19th century. (fn. 350) At inclosure in 1840 the charity was allotted nearly 3 a., let for £5 16s. 8d. in 1863. The income from the land was £12 in 1965.
All the parochial charities were distributed together from the 1790s or earlier. Following Schemes of 1887 and 1911, Thriplow united charities were distributed in cash and kind, and in the 1960s in coal. In 1976 c. £230 went in coal or groceries to 41 inhabitants.