A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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The parish of Upham consists of 2,883 acres, of which approximately 1,596 are arable land, 1,018¾ permanent grass, and 556½ woods and plantations. (fn. 1) It lies on the southern slope of the downs, and is some four miles long from north-west to south-west, its greatest width being about two miles at the upper end, while the southern portion varies from a mile and a quarter to half a mile in width. The levels rise from a height of 130 ft. on the southern boundary of the parish, to about 420 ft. at the north-east, on the slopes of Millbarrow Down. As in the case of the parishes of Bishop's Waltham and Droxford, the country falls geologically into two portions, the chalk of the down land and the clay of the valley. The old road from Waltham to Winchester crosses the north of the parish, passing Belmore House, the residence of Mr. Kinnard, and running through a splendid grove of beech trees near the north-west boundary of the parish. Except on Stephen's Castle Down the country is beautifully wooded, the lanes being thickly shaded with oaks. Some two and a half miles to the southwest, the new road from Waltham to Winchester traverses the south end of the parish in a parallel direction to the old road; the two are connected by a third, which runs north-east and south-west up the middle of the parish, with smaller roads branching off on either side. On this central road, on an outlying spur of the downs, stands the main portion of the village, including the church, the vicarage, the manorhouse, the 'Brushmakers Arms,' and the school, which occupies the site of the old brush factory. To the north-west is Stroudwood Common, inclosed in 1860, (fn. 2) and on the south-east the outlying houses of the village are set at irregular intervals down the thickly wooded lane to its junction with the new Winchester road, where is a little group of newer-looking houses in more open country called 'Lower Upham,' at a distance of over a mile from the village proper. In the south-east corner of the parish is the hill called Wintershill, with the house which bears its name; the land attached to the estate extends into the adjoining parishes of Bishop's Waltham and Durley. Previous to the building of the Droxford Union there was a poor-house (now cottages) at Upham, the following being one of the rules for the conduct of its inhabitants: 'That all persons, both men, women, and children, shall attend Divine Service every Sunday morning at eleven o'clock, or else go without a dinner; except such as are not able by infirmity or age.'
The industry of brushmaking, which at one time occupied the villagers, has now become extinct, and the work of the people is purely agricultural. The chief crops are wheat, oats, and barley.
Edward Young, the author of 'Night Thoughts,' was born at Upham Rectory in 1684, but left the village when quite a boy.
There has never been a separate manor of UPHAM, the lands in the modern parish of Upham forming part of the ancient manor of Bishop's Waltham, (fn. 3) which passed from the bishop of Winchester to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1869. (fn. 4) The house known as Upham Manor House was built in the latter part of the nineteenth century, on the site of the old one, by Mr. J. C. Stares.
The WINTERSHILL estate was also included in the lands of Bishop's Waltham manor, and there were never separate manorial courts for Wintershill. The earliest record of the name is in 1420, when John Fromond de Spersholte conveyed land in 'South Waltham, Cleverly, Upham, Durley, Wintershill, Mincyngfield, and Botley,' to Margaret, widow of one John Tank. (fn. 5) This estate, or part of it, was next found in the possession of Edward Upham, (fn. 6) after whose death an amusing dispute arose between his widow, Iseult, and the trustees of the property. (fn. 7) The account relates that Iseult, who apparently had married again, sent her son to one of the trustees 'with a release from his mother Iseult, and required him (the trustee) to seal the said release, and thereto he said, "Nay—I was enfeoffed in the said lands to the use of the heirs of Upham, and not of Barnevyle, and to them will I release and to none other, to die for it or to be drawn with wild horses." Afterward the said Iseult came to him, and asked him why he had not sealed the release that she sent unto him, himself answering that it was not his duty so to do, and not well. Whereupon the said Iseult said unto him, "Thou beggar! Then keep my land against my will!" He saying again unto her, "Thou mare! wouldst thou make me damn my soul?" And so departed in great anger.' From the year 1500 onwards the estate was dignified by the name of manor, (fn. 8) and up till at least 1766 passed through exactly the same hands as did the manor of South Ambersham (q.v.). A certain Nicholas Taillard and Alice his wife, who was holding in her own right, quitclaimed the land to John Onley in 1500, (fn. 9) and in 1538 Thomas Onley sold it to Katherine Percy, dowager countess of Arundel. (fn. 10) She sold it three years later to the Yongs of Petworth, in Sussex, (fn. 11) and this family were still holding in 1629, when the estate was made over to Sir Thomas Bilson. (fn. 12) In 1733 and 1766 Wintershill was in the hands of the Caprons of Sussex, (fn. 13) after which no connected descent of the holders is traceable.
It is interesting to note that the original manorhouse of this so-called manor was the old farm-house now known as Durley Hall Farm, standing about a quarter of a mile away from the upper lodge of Wintershill Hall, and within the parish of Durley. (fn. 14) This house is now the property of Dr. Maybury, and has no connexion with the Wintershill estate. Wintershill Hall was built by Mr. G. H. Stares in 1852, and the larger portion of it rebuilt in 1902 by Mr. J. S. Moss, the present owner and occupier.
There is an interesting entry in the churchwardens' accounts for 11 April, 1642: 'For cleansing the church against Christmas, after the troopers had abused it for a stable for their horses, 2s. 6d.'
The church (dedication unknown) has been so much repaired that it shows little appearance of age, but a small amount of thirteenth-century work remains. The chancel walls may be of this date, as their eastern angles have quoins of thirteenth-century character (on the southern of which is an incised sundial), and at the east end of the north aisle is a thirteenth-century arch, though it is not in its original position.
The chancel, which has a modern vestry and organ chamber on the north, has a three-light east window and a single-light south window, both with modern tracery of fifteenth-century style, though the rear arch of the latter appears to be old. There are two sedilia and a double piscina of doubtful date; and the chancel arch is a somewhat nondescript specimen with clustered shafts and a moulded arch. The chancel was restored in 1877, and its present appearance of comparative newness is doubtless due to that event. The north aisle of the nave was rebuilt in 1881, with an arcade of three bays, having hollow-sided octagonal columns and moulded capitals; the aisle has a doorway at the north-west and a west and two north windows, all modern. At its east end is the thirteenth-century arch already noted, with half-round responds, moulded capitals and bases, and pointed arch of two chamfered orders.
The south arcade, much taller than the north, is of fifteenth-century style but doubtful date, with slender octagonal columns and an east respond with clustered shafts corbelled off at some distance from the floor. The windows of this aisle, each of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head, preserve some old stonework of fifteenth-century date, but the south doorway has a plastered arch, and shows no signs of age. Over it is a modern south porch, and the aisle is prolonged westward to the west face of the tower, and has a two-light west window with a trefoiled circle over, and a single cinquefoiled light on the south.
The west tower is in great part a rebuilding in brick, on its north face being a stone with the date 1700. It has a plain pointed east arch, a plastered west doorway, and over it a round-headed window.
In the vestry is a panel of slate in a frame, dated 1756, and recording the names of the 'singers' of that time.
There are six bells of 1761, all by Thomas Swain.
There are two chalices, a paten, a flagon, and an alms dish of Sheffield plate, also a silver chalice 1901, and paten 1898, and a silver-mounted glass flagon of 1897.
The registers down to 1812 are contained in three books, the oldest having baptisms and burials 1598– 1734, with a gap in the burials from 1602 to 1640, and marriages 1622–1734. The second runs from 1734 to 1772, and the third from 1773 to 1812.
The churchwardens' accounts for 1640–60 are preserved.
Upham being a part of the manor of Bishop's Waltham, the advowson of the church was in the hands of the bishop of Winchester, lord of the manor, (fn. 15) being one of his 'peculiar benefices.' (fn. 16) As in the case of all the churches in this manor, Henry de Blois, bishop of Winchester (1129–71) made a grant of Upham advowson to the hospital of St. Cross, Winchester. (fn. 17) Upham was, however, once more in the hands of the bishop by 1284, being among those advowsons to which the monks of St. Swithun, Winchester, finally agreed to renounce all claim in favour of the bishop. (fn. 18) After this date Upham continued to follow the history of Bishop's Waltham manor, the advowson being specifically mentioned in the grant by Edward VI to William, earl of Wiltshire, of those manors, &c., which had fallen to the crown by the surrender of Bishop Poynet. (fn. 19) In 1852 an exchange of benefices was effected between the bishops of Winchester and Lichfield, and the patronage of Upham was transferred to Lichfield. (fn. 20) In the following year Durley, which had hitherto been served by a curate as a chapelry of Upham, was separated from it. In 1890 the patronage of Upham was transferred to the Lord Chancellor, in whose gift it still remains.
There is a Bible Christian Chapel at Lower Upham.