A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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Bleneworth and Blonewrth (xiii cent.); Blednewyth and Blenelworth (xiv cent.).
Blendworth is a parish of scattered houses adjoining Bere Forest, and contains 2,333 acres of undulating land, including 1,376 acres of arable, 544 acres of permanent grass, and 629 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The parish is intersected by the main road to Havant, which runs south from Horndean, and by the road to Rowland's Castle, which, after skirting the grounds of Blendworth Lodge and Idsworth Park, turns due south, forming the eastern boundary of the parish.
The small group of houses which represents the old village of Blendworth stands on fairly high ground in the north of the parish close to the disused church of St. Giles, and from this point there is an extensive view over the thickly-wooded country to the south. The church of the Holy Trinity, erected in 1850–1, stands to the west of the old village, and nearer to the busy main road which passes through Horndean. To the north-west is Crookley, the residence of Mr. G. A. Gale, J.P.; while to the south are Cadlington House, the property of Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry Clarke-Jervoise, and at present occupied by Mrs. Ashley Williams; and Blendworth Lodge, the residence of Mrs. Long, widow of the late Mr. Samuel Long.
At Padnell, a hamlet in the south-western extremity of the parish, bricks and tiles are manufactured. Woodhouse Lane and Woodhouse Ashes (fn. 2) are in the east of the parish. The elementary school for girls and infants was built about 1850. The boys attend Horndean School.
The soil is of a chalky nature, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat and oats. Blendworth Down was inclosed in 1816. The whole of the parish is within the manor of Chalton (q.v.).
Neither of the two churches has much architectural interest. ST.GILES' CHURCH is a little rectangular building with plastered walls and red-tiled roof, showing no features which can be older than the eighteenth century, though it may well be that the masonry of the walls is mediaeval. As has been already said, it is disused, and contains no old fittings. It is said to have had a small chancel, which was pulled down at the building of the new church, its material being used up in the new work.
The new church of the HOLY TRINITY consists of chancel with north vestry, nave with south aisle and south porch, and west turret with spire. It was built at a cost of nearly £3,000 in 1851, and stands in a well-kept churchyard, the rectory being near it to the north. The font is of alabaster, given to the church in 1893, and the oak quire seats date from the preceding year.
In the turret is one bell without inscription.
The plate consists of a silver cup and cover paten, a flagon given by Thomasina Francklyn in 1720, and an alms-dish given by William Francklyn, who died at Pembroke College, Oxford, 24 November, 1718, aged twenty-six. There is also a modern winestrainer.
The first book of the registers contains baptisms 1586–1726, marriages 1587–1729, and burials 1586– 1732, and is of parchment. The second, of paper, has a few burials in woollen 1678–95, but otherwise contains only the parish accounts from 1702 to 1827. The third book has baptisms 1726–91, marriages 1729–89, and burials 1733–90; and the fourth, baptisms and burials from 1791 and marriages from 1793 to 1812. (fn. 3)
The prior, prioress, and convent of Nuneaton presented to the rectory of the church of BLENDWORTH until the dissolution, (fn. 4) when it passed to the crown like the rectories of the churches of Clanfield and Chalton. Queen Elizabeth presented Henry Hooper to the parsonage in 1579. (fn. 5) Some time later Edward, earl of Worcester, although possessing no legal right to the advowson, presented Richard Perkinson. (fn. 6) On the death of the latter, Toby Shaw was presented to the church by the Lord Chancellor, Sir Francis Bacon, whereupon the earl brought a plea of 'quare impedit' against the new rector, who relinquished his possession in the church to Launcelot Andrewes, bishop of Winchester, and accepted a presentation of the same from the earl, (fn. 7) to whom James I, by letters patent, granted the advowson in 1618. (fn. 8) The right of the crown to the advowson was re-established when Dr. Gillingham, by private agreement with Godfrey Price, rector of Chalton, regained the advowson of Chalton for Charles I. (fn. 9) The advowson of Blendworth then followed the advowson of Chalton until the end of the eighteenth century, when it passed out of the possession of Jervoise Clarke-Jervoise, the bishop presenting in 1794. (fn. 10) Since that time it has been in private hands, (fn. 11) Mr. M. Margesson being the present patron of the living.
The School (see article on 'Schools,' V.C.H. Hants, ii, 396, note 7).—William Appleford, by will proved at Winchester, 1696, left £200 to be laid out in land, the income to be applied in putting poor children to school. The legacy was in or about 1703 laid out in the purchase of a house and 17 acres. The property was sold in 1880 and the proceeds invested in Stock, which is now represented by £1,186 Consolidated 4 per cent. Preference Stock of the Great Eastern Railway Co. with the official trustees, producing £47 8s. a year, which is carried to the school account.
Church Lands Charity.—The parish was formerly in possession of a small piece of land known as the 'Church Acre.' Upon the inclosure of the common lands in 1816 an allotment was made in respect thereof. The land was sold in or about 1880, and the proceeds were invested in £54 8s. 5d. Consols with the official trustees. The annual dividends of £2 2s. 4d. are applied towards repairs of the church.