A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES
The manor of IMPINGTON was given to Ely abbey by Beorhtnoth, ealdorman of Essex, in 991, though the gift may not have taken effect until 1006 or later. (fn. 1) In 1066 the 10-hide vill was entirely in Ely's hands, 6½; hides being in demesne and the rest held by three sokemen. One sokeman was Aethelbeorht, probably the abbot's steward of that name, (fn. 2) who held 21/4; hides which he was not free to sell. (fn. 3) By the early 1070s Picot, sheriff of Cambridge, had taken 3 hides of the demesne and 2 hides of sokeland; (fn. 4) he was evidently obliged to restore the demesne (fn. 5) but in 1086 his tenant Walter held all the sokeland. (fn. 6) Walter's holding was probably the land recovered by Bishop Niel c. 1135. (fn. 7) Picot's successor as baron of Bourn, Gilbert Pecche, was named as intermediate tenant of a knight's fee in 1279. (fn. 8) The bishop of Ely complained in 1304-5 that Gilbert had given his holding to the Crown, (fn. 9) but no other reference to the mesne lordship has been found.
In the mid 12th century Robert son of Humphrey gave land in Impington to William son of Reynold as 1/4; knight's fee. (fn. 10) The bishop of Ely later created two knights' fees, held separately and covering the whole parish. One was evidently established by the late 12th century, (fn. 11) when Alan of Impington and his daughters Avice and Isabel were recorded. (fn. 12) Thorold of Impington in the first decade of the 13th century (fn. 13) and John, holding a knight's fee of the bishop c. 1210, were probably members of the family. (fn. 14) Alexander of Impington, probably Thorold's son, was tenant c. 1235, (fn. 15) and Alexander le Lord, perhaps his son, (fn. 16) later enfeoffed Henry de Colville. In 1279 the manor was held by Henry's son Philip de Colville and the manor house by Alexander le Lord's daughter Muriel. (fn. 17) The manor afterwards descended with the Colville lordships of Long Stanton and Histon (fn. 18) and became merged in Histon manor, to which up to half the land in Impington belonged until inclosure in 1806. (fn. 19) No manor house is known.
The other knight's fee in Impington, later BURGOYNES manor, was recorded c. 1193, when Simon son of Richard the constable had successfully contested possession of seven eighths of it. (fn. 20) He was presumably the Simon son of Eve who conveyed his land in Impington in 1201 to Simon de Lisle, and John son of Simon from whom Lisle held it in 1212 was presumably his son. (fn. 21) Simon de Lisle was alive in 1221, and the manor passed in his family successively to Philip (fl. 1251) (fn. 22) and Philip's son Simon, who to settle his debts conveyed it in 1269 to the courtier Peter de Chauvent. (fn. 23) Chauvent was granted free warren in Impington, Chesterton, and Howes in 1289 (fn. 24) and died in 1303, holding Impington from the heirs of Simon de Lisle. Chauvent's heir was his son John, (fn. 25) who in 1325 made a life grant of the manor to his creditor Geoffrey Seman of Cambridge. (fn. 26) Geoffrey was alive in 1351 (fn. 27) but the descent of the manor is obscure for at least 50 years after his death. John Goldsmith and his wife Margaret conveyed it in 1373, evidently to feoffees for Sir William Windsor of Rampton. (fn. 28) Among those to whom the right of free warren was confirmed in 1405 were John Shadworth and John Harris, both of whom held land in Impington in 1412. (fn. 29) By 1428 the manor had come to the lawyer John Burgoyne of Dry Drayton (fn. 30) (d. 1435), whose son Thomas (d. 1470) (fn. 31) left it to his eldest son John (fn. 32) (d. 1505). (fn. 33) John's widow Margaret held Impington until her death in 1528, (fn. 34) when it passed under a settlement of 1512 to their daughters Margaret, wife of George Heveningham, and Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Thursby. (fn. 35) A partition of the estate was made in 1574, and by the 1580s the shares were distinguished as Manor Place Part and Ferme (i.e. farm) Part, names deriving from the division of the estate in 1574. (fn. 36)
Manor Place Part, ultimately reverting to the name Burgoynes, came after the deaths of Margaret in 1529 and George in 1530 to their daughters Alice, Mary, and Anne. (fn. 37) On Mary's death in 1532 or 1533 it was evidently redivided, like Burgoynes manor at Caxton, between Alice, wife of Thomas Green, and Anne, wife of Sir Ambrose Jermyn. (fn. 38) Jermyn later acquired Green's share, (fn. 39) probably in 1549, (fn. 40) and sold the estate in 1559 to Robert Raye, (fn. 41) who sold it in 1569 to feoffees for Christ's College, Cambridge, (fn. 42) obtaining a 70-year lease. (fn. 43) The feoffees formally conveyed the manor to the college in 1601. (fn. 44) Christ's held nearly 150 a. after inclosure in 1806 (fn. 45) and sold the land in 1899 to W. A. Macfarlane-Grieve of Impington Hall. (fn. 46) Burgoynes Farm north of the church, occasionally called a manor house, (fn. 47) was rebuilt in the mid 19th century. (fn. 48)
The other half manor, FERME PART, was held by Thomas Thursby (d. 1543), his son Edmund (fn. 49) (d. 1547), and for life by Edmund's widow Ursula, wife of Erasmus Spelman. Ursula's son Thomas Thursby, of age c. 1565, (fn. 50) held it by 1567 (fn. 51) and sold it in 1579 to John Pepys, the lessee from c. 1569. (fn. 52) Pepys, of a long-established Cottenham yeoman family, (fn. 53) left the manor by will proved 1589 to his youngest son Talbot (fn. 54) (d. 1666), and it descended in the Pepys family to Talbot's son Roger (d. 1688), Roger's grandson Roger (d. 1730), that Roger's son Charles (fn. 55) (d. 1778), and Charles's widow Anne (d. 1805). Anne left it to her husband's nephew the Revd. John Pine-Coffin (d. 1824) of East Downe (Devon), (fn. 56) who held 615 a. after inclosure in 1806, the largest block stretching east and south from Impington Hall as far as the parish boundary and the mill. (fn. 57) Pine-Coffin was succeeded in turn by his younger son Charles (d. 1850) and Charles's son Charles J. S. PineCoffin, (fn. 58) who in 1864 sold the estate, already reduced to 450 a. by the disposal of most of the outlying parts. (fn. 59) Charles Bamford evidently bought the Hall and 300 a. north of the railway, which he sold in 1872 to W. B. Caldwell. (fn. 60) That estate was for sale in 1891 (fn. 61) and W. A. Macfarlane-Grieve had bought it by 1894, when he moved to Impington. He died in 1917, being succeeded by his son R. W. Macfarlane-Grieve. (fn. 62) In 1899 the father had bought Christ's College's principal inclosure allotment, which adjoined his own land on the north. (fn. 63) When his son offered the estate for sale in 1921 it covered 460 a. (fn. 64) Chivers and Sons Ltd. bought it in 1926 (fn. 65) and it remained in the possession of Chivers Farms Ltd. in 1986.
Peter de Chauvent's manor house at Impington was large enough in 1298 for his master Edward I to stay there, and part of Edward II's household lodged with Peter's son John in 1315. (fn. 66) Robert Raye evidently acquired the house and sold it to John Pepys, who pulled it down before 1570 (fn. 67) and began building a replacement, Impington Hall. The Hall was completed by his executors (fn. 68) and had 17 hearths in the mid 17th century. (fn. 69) After rebuilding c. 1725 (fn. 70) it comprised a rectangle of three by four bays on two floors with attics. Its main rooms were an entrance and staircase hall running through the depth of the house and containing a pair of Corinthian columns between the stair and the entrance hall. The hall was flanked on the west by a dining room and a drawing room and on the east by service rooms. (fn. 71) A service wing may have been added on the east by 1781. (fn. 72)
The house was remodelled in the 1860s by Charles Bamford, who recased it in red brick and added a new service wing on the east. The Tudor detailing included crenellated bay windows, hoodmoulds, and steeply pitched gabled porches. (fn. 73) A room on the north was extended in similar style to form a library in 1909. (fn. 74) Much of the 18th-century internal decoration was left intact. (fn. 75) After the estate was bought by Chivers in 1926 the Hall was at first used to hold classes for their younger employees. (fn. 76) It fell into disuse after 1945 and was demolished in 1953. (fn. 77)
The Hall evidently had a formal garden in 1661, (fn. 78) and in the 1770s there were 'canals'. (fn. 79) A park was probably made in the late 16th century and by 1781 covered 40 a. (fn. 80) A small ornamental lake in front of the house and part of an avenue leading south-east for over 1 km. to Akeman Street survived in 1872. (fn. 81) During the agricultural depression much adjoining farmland was planted with trees, the park being enlarged to nearly 300 a. by 1904. Many trees were cut down in the early 20th century and by 1950 the park was little larger than before the depression. (fn. 82)
The rectory estate belonging to Ely cathedral priory, including 42 a. of arable in 1480, (fn. 83) was granted to the dean and chapter in 1541. (fn. 84) The lessee was allotted 26 a. for glebe and 129 a. for tithes in 1806. (fn. 85) It was sold in 1886. (fn. 86)
The Knights Templar of Denny owned land in Impington by 1227-8, (fn. 87) covering 17 a. in 1279. (fn. 88) On their suppression it was apparently separated from the Denny estate and granted after 1313 with other Templar property to the Hospitaller preceptory of Shingay. (fn. 89) Shingay owned land in the parish at its own suppression in 1540. (fn. 90) Barnwell priory had at least 30 a. by 1303 (fn. 91) and 72 a. of arable in 1480, (fn. 92) retaining its estate until the Dissolution. (fn. 93)
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, had land in Impington by 1388 (fn. 94) and in the 17th century, (fn. 95) but had lost it by 1801. (fn. 96) St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, bought land in Histon, reckoned c. 1774 as 33 a., to add to the bequest of Samuel Frankland (d. 1691). After an exchange at inclosure in 1806 it held 21 a. in Impington, exchanged with Messrs. Chivers in 1944 for land in Chesterton later sold, and 3 a. in Histon, sold in 1951. (fn. 97)