Parishes: Dummer with Kempshot

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'Parishes: Dummer with Kempshot', in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908) pp. 357-360. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Dummer with Kempshot", in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908) 357-360. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Parishes: Dummer with Kempshot", A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908). 357-360. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


Dummere (xi cent.); Dumare (xiii cent.); Dommere (xiv cent.).

The parish of Dummer, with Kempshot added in 1876 for civil purposes, contains 2,774 acres of hilly country generally rising from west to east, and reaching a height of over 660 ft. above the ordnance datum in the east of the parish.

The main road from Winchester to Basingstoke, leaving the high ground near Popham church, continues north, and running downhill enters the parish of Dummer about half a mile south of the Wheat Sheaf Inn. Thence it continues north, forming for about a mile and a half the western boundary of the parish, until suddenly turning east it cuts across the parish north-west of Kempshot, and skirting the grounds of Kempshot House, the residence of Mr. Henry Gourlay, continues towards Basingstoke. Three-quarters of a mile north of the Wheat Sheaf Inn a road from North Waltham runs across the main road, and goes east to the village of Dummer, between banks and fields and hedgerows covered in the early spring with masses of primroses and violets and lilac-coloured 'milkmaids' or lady-smocks. Curving slightly north the road enters the village, past two or three more or less modern cottages lying back behind hedges and gardens, to the more old-world thatched and half-timbered cottages, farms and farm buildings, which lie for the most part along the north side of the street, and along the branch road which leads south from the west end of the village. On the south side of the road, nearly half-way along the village street, beyond a line of tall young spruce firs, a square tiled and now dilapidated roof, supported on four wooden pillars, forms the covering for the village pump. A few yards on, on the opposite side of the road, is the small village pond, beyond which are the schools, built in 1816. Beyond the schools a low brick wall encircles an old well-kept graveyard, entered from the street by an iron gate, and east of which runs a narrow grass inclosure. The church, the manor-house, and the rectory are grouped together at the east end of the village, the rectory, a grey stone house, standing on the north side of the road, facing west on the lane that turns off towards Kempshot, among well-grown trees which are much frequented by rooks. The simple quaint church, west of which a lane leads off south to Tidley Hill, stands opposite behind a low brick wall, in front of which several fine beech and horse-chestnut trees grow by the side of the road. Immediately south-east, almost behind the church, is the manor-house, a large square white building, the residence of Sir Richard Nelson Rycroft, bart. It is in the main a good specimen of early eighteenth-century date, with excellent details of panelling, staircases, and chimney-pieces. Parts of the building are, however, of earlier date, and there is some Jacobean panelling in some of the first-floor rooms. In front of the house on the north side of the short wide drive, spreading over the road is a fine horse-chestnut tree. From here the road winds east, generally uphill, through the parish, then, curving slightly north, enters Farleigh Wallop. As it rises towards Farleigh, climbing the side of the downland which rises to the east, fine views of the whole parish and of the surrounding country can be seen on the north and west and south from between the low hedges, and from the open fields which stretch on either side. Away to the north-west is the dark woodland surrounding Kempshot House, followed by undulating country, stretching away west and south to North Waltham parish, and over North Waltham to the misty outline of the woods which adjoin Steventon manor-house, and to the dark outline of Steventon Warren, which rises further south. Following on still further south beyond Tidley Hill another long stretch of woodland lies north of Woodmancott. Dummer Grange Farm, which was for some centuries before the Dissolution the property of Waverley Abbey, is near Tidley Hill in the south of the parish. Kempshot House stands in a well-wooded park of about 150 acres, north of the village and parish. The soil of the whole parish is clay with a subsoil of chalk, and hence on the 2,131¼ acres of arable land good crops of wheat, barley, oats, and turnips are produced, while only 654 acres are given up to permanent grass, and those mostly in the east of the parish. The 268½ acres of woodland are for the most part included in Kempshot manor, and encircle the grounds of Kempshot House. A small wood which extends mostly into Nutley parish lies in the south-east. Several disused chalk-pits, a familiar feature in most parts of Hampshire, exist in the parish.


The manor known in the sixteenth century as EAST DUMMER or POPHAM DUMMER may be identified with the five hides of land in Dummer held at the time of the Survey by Odo of Winchester, and under him by Hunger. (fn. 1) Odo's lands subsequently became part of the honour of St. Valery, which, having escheated to the crown in the reign of Henry III, (fn. 2) was regranted by that king to Richard earl of Cornwall. On the death of Richard's son Edmund without heirs his estates, including the honours of St. Valery and Wallingford, once more came into the king's hands, (fn. 3) and the overlordship of Dummer by a confusion, not unusual about this date, seems to have been transferred to Wallingford honour and henceforth the overlordship followed that descent. (fn. 4)

At the time of the Survey one Hunger held these five hides as a sub-tenant of Odo. Three 'hagae' in Winchester which paid a rent of 2s. were annexed to the property. (fn. 5) It is possible that this Hunger may have been the ancestor of the family of Dummer, for between the years 1107 and 1128 a certain Henry Dummer possessed rents from three houses in Winchester, (fn. 6) possibly the three 'hagae' of Domesday Book, and Ralph Dummer, probably a son or grandson of Henry, held a rent of 5s. 7d. from lands in Tanner Street, Winchester, in 1148. In 1198 his son Robert gave half a hide of land in Dummer to his brother Geoffrey, parson of the church; and it may be assumed that the property in Dummer passed through his son Richard who was living in 1248, to John Dummer of Easton, co. Leicester, who died seised of the manor in 1304. Robert Dummer, son of John, was succeeded by his daughter Alice, from whom the estate passed to her husband John Astwick of co. Beds. (fn. 7) He appears to have been a 'King's merchant,' and was probably that John Astwick, who, when summoned to appear before the council at Westminster, sought protection on the ground that his person was liable to be seized on account of certain debts. (fn. 8) He was succeeded by his son John, whose daughter Agnes married John de Drayton, and in 1368–9 they conveyed all their right in the manor of Dummer to Sir John Popham of the adjoining hamlet of Popham. (fn. 9) From Sir John it passed to Philip Popham, possibly a younger son, and Elizabeth his wife, who were succeeded in 1397 by a second Philip and Elizabeth. (fn. 10) The latter survived her husband some years, and her son Philip dying a minor in the king's wardship in 1414 left as coheiresses two sisters, Margaret and Matilda, aged fourteen and thirteen years. (fn. 11) Dummer seems to have been allotted to Margaret, who married as her second husband Edward Wayte of Draycot (fn. 12) (Wiltshire), and thirdly Robert Long of Wraxall (fn. 13) (Wiltshire), who held one fee in Dummer in 1428, (fn. 14) and was succeeded by his son John, who had married Margaret Wayte, heiress of the family of Wayte, who held the manor in 1484. (fn. 15) For the next century it is impossible to trace any connexion between the owners of the manor. In 1529 Robert Drury and Alice his wife quitclaimed the manor of Dummer to William Barentyne, while fifteen years later it passed by fine from Walter Bonham and Alice daughter of John Dale to William Dale. In 1577 Richard Kingsmill and Robert Brinnage were each in possession of half the manor, while in 1591 Nicholas Venables conveyed half by fine to John Millingate. Six years later the latter was in possession of the whole estate, and it remained in the Millingate family until the middle of the seventeenth century, when it passed into the family of Terry. It remained in their possession until 1864, when the manor-house and a considerable part of the parish was sold to the Rev. T. J. Torr, and ten years later to the late Sir Nelson Rycroft, bart., whose son, Sir Richard Nelson Rycroft, bart., is the present lord of the manor.

The manor known in the sixteenth century as WEST DUMMER may probably be identified with the 5 hides of land held at the time of the Domesday Survey by one of the men of Hugh de Port. (fn. 16) The overlordship of this manor passed with Hugh's other estates to his descendants the St. Johns. (fn. 17)

The first mention of a sub-tenant of the De Ports in Dummer after the time of the Domesday Survey occurs early in the thirteenth century, (fn. 18) when William Dummer was called upon to do homage for two knights' fees in Dummer. (fn. 19) In 1294–5 the abbot of Waverley recovered seisin against John son of William Dummer of common pasture in Dummer, which the abbot alleged belonged to his free tenement, and of which he had been unjustly dispossessed. (fn. 20) This Sir John Dummer appears to have been a man of considerable local importance. He represented Somerset in the Parliaments of 1306 and 1313, and in the latter year obtained a writ de expensis with John de Beauchamp for £21 12s. at the rate of 4s. per day for attendance. (fn. 21) He was probably that John Dummer referred to in the order issued to the sheriff of Somerset in 1289 'to cause a coroner for that county to be elected in the place of John de Dummer lately elected, whom the King has caused to be amoved from office since he cannot conveniently attend to the duties of the office because he is of the household of John de St. John who is now staying continually with the King.' (fn. 22) In 1316 Thomas son of Sir John Dummer held one half of the vill of Dummer. As his father was then living it is probable that he granted it to his son on his marriage shortly before this date. (fn. 23) From Thomas the estate, then said to be worth 100s., passed to his son, also Thomas, (fn. 24) who appears to have been the last heir male of the family; and his daughter Ellen having married Nicholas atte More, her descendants assumed the name of Dummer, and continued to possess the manor until the death of William Dummer in 1593. (fn. 25) In 1579, however, William, who had married Kenborough Brydges, granted the reversion to Humphrey Brydges, possibly a cousin, with reversion to John Millingate, (fn. 26) and seven years later the manor was conveyed by fine from Humphrey Brydges to John. (fn. 27) It remained in possession of the Millingate family until the middle of the seventeenth century, and its later history is identical with that of East Dummer (q.v.).

Dummer alias Atmore. Argent two bars vert with six martlets gules over all.

The GRANGE OF DUMMER was granted to the abbey of Waverley by Stephen, and this grant was afterwards confirmed by John (fn. 28) and Edward II. In 1291 (fn. 29) its value is given as £2, but by 1535 it had increased to £2 10s. It remained in possession of the abbey (fn. 30) until the suppression of the latter in 1536, and in the following year the abbey and its possessions were granted to Sir William Fitz William, treasurer of the king's household. (fn. 31) It appears to have been acquired by the Dummer family before the end of the sixteenth century, and from that date followed the descent of West Dummer (q.v.).

The Grange is a good early seventeenth-century house, with a central block and two gabled wings projecting on the east side, the southern of the two having some good cut brickwork with Ionic pilasters at the angles and a blank scutcheon in the apex of the gable. The house contains a stair with an early seventeenth-century balustrade, and parts of it are probably of greater age. A coin of Henry V, among other things, has been found here. In front of the house is a large farmyard, the south side of which is formed by a fine barn built of oak timber, of large scantling and in excellent preservation.


The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel 23 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft., and nave 39 ft. by 21 ft. 3 in., with west porch and wooden bell-turret over the west end of the nave.

The south doorway of the nave dates from the end of the twelfth century, and the nave walls may be of this time; the chancel belongs to the first quarter of the thirteenth century, and has three lancet windows of that date in both north and south walls, and a small blocked north doorway between the second and third windows. A roll string runs round the chancel at the level of the sills of the windows, breaking up over the head of the doorway. The east wall was rebuilt in 1893, and contains three lancet windows of that date, and to the south of the windows is a small trefoiled recess of thirteenth-century date. On the splays of the eastern lancet in the north wall, and of that next to it, are traces of a masonry pattern in red, with a rose in each square. The roof timbers are modern, but the altar rails have good twisted balusters of the eighteenth century. The chancel arch is of the date of the chancel, of one pointed order edge-chamfered, and only 7 ft. wide; on the west face it has a chamfered label, cut away above the springing for the fitting of the back beam of the roodloft floor. On either side of it are squints from the nave, that on the south being round-headed and blocked with brickwork, so that it does not show towards the nave, while the other, a smaller round-headed opening, is cut irregularly through the back of a square-headed fourteenth-century recess marking the position of a former nave altar. The recess has a flat sill, and cinquefoiled ogee tracery with pierced spandrels in the head, with a label which is cut back like that of the chancel arch, and for the same reason.

Over the chancel arch is a large wooden coved canopy, panelled in squares with moulded ribs having carved and gilded bosses of foliage at their intersections; the background is painted a dark blue, and the canopy rests on a rough cambered beam, on which are traces of diagonal bands of colour on either side, and some other indistinct colouring in the middle. These probably were backgrounds to the three figures on the rood-beam, and the canopy is a rare and remarkable instance of a 'ceiling over the Rood' preserved almost intact.

The nave is lighted at the north-east by a fifteenthcentury square-headed window of three trefoiled lights, and there is a like window at the south-west, but without cusps and of sixteenth-century date. In the east jamb of the former window is a chase to take the end of the front beam carrying the rood-loft, and below the sill is a fourteenth-century tomb recess with a low moulded segmental arch containing a Purbeck marble grave slab; it is partly blocked with masonry, as the wall is very shaky at this point. The south doorway of the nave has a semicircular head with an edge-chamfer; it is blocked and fitted with a wooden lattice frame, and to the west of it is a plain two-light window of the sixteenth century or later, with fourcentred uncusped lights. The west half, or rather more than half, of the nave is taken up by a large west gallery set in front of the wooden posts carrying the belfry, and having a good seventeenth-century balustrade in front. In the gallery are the arms of Charles II, dated 1672. The west doorway of the nave is of the fifteenth century, with a four-centred head and a cinquefoiled niche above it; the porch is of the same date, with a wooden outer arch, a north window of two cinquefoiled lights, and a single light on the south side. Over the doorway, but only visible from inside, is a blocked round-headed opening, too little of which is at present exposed to give any clue to its date or purpose. The nave roof is old, plastered below the timbers, and, like the chancel roof, is covered with red tiles. The bell-turret also has a red-tiled roof, and its sides are covered with modern weather-boarding, except in one part, where the older flush boarding remains. The nave walls are in somewhat unsound condition, and have brick buttresses at the four angles.

The octagonal font, at the south-west of the nave, is modern.

On the east wall of the chancel, north of the east window, is a slab with the brass figures of William at Moore alias Dommer and Katherine (Brydges) his wife, kneeling at a desk, and their son kneeling behind his father. The inscription recounts William's birth in 1508, and that he was clerk of the mayor's court and controller of the chamber of London fifty years, but the date of his death has never been inserted. Above are the arms of Dummer, with helm and mantling, between shields of Dummer impaling Brydges, and Brydges. With the Dummer arms are quartered a cross engrailed and billetty a crescent. At the south-east of the nave is a brass to William Dommer and Elena his wife, 1427, with an inscription of six leonine hexameters; and at the south-west is a palimpsest brass plate, originally commemorating Robert Clerk, chantry chaplain of Peter Habiller's chantry, founded in this church, and afterwards used for 'Alys Magewik of Dumer wedow,' 1591.

There are five bells and a sanctus, the last being blank. Of the rest the treble is by James Wells of Aldbourne, 1811; the second by Thomas Swain, of Longford, Middlesex, 1759; and the other three by Joseph Carter, of Reading, 1590, 1599, and 1597. Each bears on the waist the name or initials of John Myllyngate or Milingat, and the fourth also has Carter's founder's mark, a bell on a shield between I C. Below the bell chamber, on the west wall of the nave, are painted in seventeenth-century blackletter type a set of ringers' rules of the usual character, an early example of the kind, and it seems that they are painted over a still earlier version of the same thing.

The plate consists of a large communion cup and cover paten of 1570; another cup and paten and flagon; and a pewter flagon and almsdish.

The first book of registers runs from 1540 to 1741, and the second from 1740 to 1812. There is also a marriage register 1760–1812.


There was a church at Dummer in 1086, (fn. 32) and it is probable that the advowson always formed part of the Dummer estate. In 1198 Geoffrey son of Ralph Dummer was parson of the church, and a half-hide of land in Dummer was given to him by his brother Robert, to be held in free alms by his successors. (fn. 33) Two generations later a dispute arose between Sir John Dummer and his cousin, John Dummer of Aston, joint-holders of the manor, respecting the advowson of the church, and it was ultimately agreed in 1275 that the heirs of each should present alternately. (fn. 34) This arrangement continued until the two moieties of the manors were acquired by the Millingate family in the sixteenth century, after which the histories of the manor and advowson are identical.


Charity of John Millingate for the poor.

—In 1607 John Millingate, by deed, charged his close, called Leedgar's Close, in this parish, and nine acres of arable land lying in the open fields (inclosed in 1742) with 20s. yearly for the poor. In 1905 half-crowns were given to eight recipients. Charity of John Millingate for school and charity of John Henshaw thereto (1759). (fn. 35)

In 1710 Michael Terry, by will, devised his manor of Popham in Dummer and other lands in the open fields with 20s. for the poor at Michaelmas, which sum is distributed in half-crowns to eight recipients.

John Marriott, by will (date unknown), gave to the parish £20, for the raising of an annuity of 20s., to be employed for the buying of three Bibles for three poor children. The Bibles are duly distributed.

— Adams gave £86 14s. 10d. consols (with the official trustees), dividends to be applied in aid of funds of provident club, etc., by scheme of Charity Commissioners of 31 July, 1891. The annual dividends amounting to £2 3s. 4d. are distributed in coal.


  • 1. V.C.H. Hants, i, 504b.
  • 2. Cal. Inq. p.m. 56 Hen. III, No. 32.
  • 3. Chan. Inq. p.m. 28 Edw. I, No. 44.
  • 4. Ibid. 21 Ric. II, No. 44; ibid. 10 Hen. IV, No. 22, &c.
  • 5. V.C.H. Hants, i, 504b.
  • 6. Liber Winton, 532.
  • 7. Feud. Aids, ii, 330.
  • 8. Cal. of Pat. 1343–5, p. 225; ibid. 1345–8, p. 248.
  • 9. Close, 42 Edw. III, m. 30.
  • 10. Chan. Inq. p.m. 21 Ric. II, No. 44.
  • 11. Ibid. 12 Hen. IV No. 10.
  • 12. Ibid. 2 Hen. V, No. 15.
  • 13. Chitty, Family of Long, 14.
  • 14. Feud. Aids, ii, 344.
  • 15. Chitty, Family of Long, 16.
  • 16. V.C.H. Hants, i, 482b.
  • 17. Inq. p.m. 3 Edw. III, No. 67. Early in the thirteenth century two knights' fees in Dummer were said to be held of Henry Hosato, but Henry probably merely represented Adam de Port, with whose family he was connected by marriage; Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 736; Suss. Arch. Soc. viii, 46, 47.
  • 18. If, however, it be a fact that the Dummers were really holding of the honour of St. Valery in this parish in the twelfth century, it is also possible that they acquired the de Port 5 hides at an early date, or indeed it may even be the case that the man of Hugh de Port who held of Hugh at the time of the Survey was that Hunger who was the ancestor or predecessor of the St. Valery tenants. In this case the two holdings probably followed the same descent until the division of the property between the two sons of Ralph about the year 1198.
  • 19. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 73b; and see ante note 17.
  • 20. Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), 91.
  • 21. Parl. Writs (Rec. Com.), i, p. xxviii.
  • 22. Cal. of Close, 1288–96, p. 25. Though this does not prove that John Dummer was holding Dummer of John de St. John, yet in the light of later evidence this is extremely probable.
  • 23. Plac. de Banco, Mich. 14 Edw. II, m. 332.
  • 24. Inq. p.m. 3 Edw. III, No. 67.
  • 25. Som. Arch. Soc. 1871–3, p. 106.
  • 26. Pat. 21 Eliz. pt. 6.
  • 27. Feet of F. Hants, East. 28 Eliz.
  • 28. Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), 7 John, 61.
  • 29. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 215.
  • 30. Cal. of Pat. 1340–3, p. 294.
  • 31. Dugdale, Mon. v, 240, 243.
  • 32. V.C.H. Hants, i, 482b.
  • 33. Feet of F. Hants, 10 Ric. I, No. 8.
  • 34. Ibid. Trin. 3 Edw. I.
  • 35. See article on 'Schools,' V.C.H. Hants, ii, 398.