A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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WEEKE (or WYKE)
Weeke was formerly one parish containing about 1,093 acres, but under the Local Government Act of 1894 (fn. 1) it was divided into two civil parishes, Weeke Within comprising about 90 acres and Weeke Without containing about 1,004 acres, (fn. 2) the former being included within the boundaries of the city of Winchester. The growth of the city to the north-west during the last twenty years has changed Weeke Within from field and arable land to a thickly populated district, since newly-built cottages and villas extend almost to the boundaries of Weeke Without. The Winchester station of the London and South Western Railway is in Weeke Within, and close to the station is the church of St. Paul's, formerly a chapel of ease to Weeke Without.
The upper Stockbridge road comes straight out of the city through Weeke Within, and rises steadily to a height of 282 ft. before descending between high banks into the little village of Weeke Without. On the right a short line of pollard limes stands before plain-fronted houses; on the same side behind a low brick wall almost hidden by trees is the little church of St. Matthew or St. Mary the Virgin, a pathway of tombstones leading up to the church porch. Beyond the church are two or three low thatched cottages and the village pond, and beyond are farm buildings and Weeke Farm itself. Almost opposite the church is the manor-house, the residence of Col. Thomas Burnett Hitchcock, J.P., standing among well-grown trees which line the garden wall as it runs along the village street.
Fine stretches of down country away to the south and west, Weeke Down and Teg Down, the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, make up the rest of the parish. Teg Down Farm is on the south side of Teg Down on the right-hand side of the old Roman road from Winchester to Old Sarum. The soil of the parish is chalk and loam with a subsoil of chalk and produces ordinary crops of wheat, barley, and oats.
WEEKE was included in the grant made by King Kinegils to the church of Winchester when he endowed it with land within a seven-mile circle of the city. (fn. 3) It was held by the prior and convent not as a separate manor, but as part of the manor of Barton. (fn. 4) Hence in the inventory of the estates of the prior and convent made in the sixteenth century the rents and farm of Sparsholt, Weeke, and Fullflood were given as parcel of the manor of Barton at £32 19s. 6d., while the fines, tallages, and perquisites of court of the same were rendered at 20s. (fn. 5) There was also a special rent of 33s. 4d., called 'Downe Silver,' from Weeke. (fn. 6) In 1541 the manor of Barton with other possessions of the dissolved house was granted with all its dependent manors to the dean and chapter of Winchester, (fn. 7) who since that time have been lords of Weeke and the owners of 889 acres, 2 roods, and 5 perches of land in the parish. (fn. 8) In a list of the possessions of the dean and chapter made in 1682, Sparsholt and Weeke were bracketed together and their returns given as one sum, but no longer as part of the manor of Barton. (fn. 9)
The church of OUR LADY is a small building of very simple character, the oldest part dating from the end of the twelfth century. It consists of a chancel and nave, with a modern vestry on the north of the chancel, and a south porch and west bell-turret to the nave. The roofs are red tiled and the walls covered with roughcast. The chancel is 14 ft. 6 in. in length, and the nave 32 ft. 7 in., both being of the same width, 13 ft. The chancel has been rebuilt, probably in the fifteenth century, outside the lines of the former chancel, and has an east window of that date of three cinquefoiled lights under a square head with a four-centred rear arch. In the south wall are two square-headed two-light windows rebated for wooden frames, and in the north wall a small trefoiled recess of thirteenth-century date, and a modern door to the vestry.
The chancel arch is pointed, of two chamfered orders with square abaci at the springing, the angles of the upper member and of the jambs being cut back, probably at a comparatively modern date.
The nave is lighted by four small square-headed windows, two on the north and two on the south, which may be eighteenth-century insertions, and has a west window of three lights of similar character. The south doorway has a plain semicircular head with square abaci, and, with the chancel arch, belongs to the earliest work now to be seen in the church. It is to be noted that the tooling of the masonry in the doorway is of the normal diagonal type, that in the chancel arch is vertical and perhaps slightly later in date.
The timbers of the chancel roof are modern, and the nave has a canted plaster ceiling. At the west end is a gallery framed to the wooden posts of the bellturret, and reached by a stair on the south side. The font stands at the west end of the nave, and has an octagonal bowl on a round stem; it shows no traces of antiquity, having been entirely retooled. There are a few pieces of fifteenth-century glass in the east window, but otherwise the fittings of the church are modern.
On the north wall of the nave, opposite the south doorway, is a slab of Purbeck marble with an inscription plate and a figure of St. Christopher in latten above it. On the plate is engraved this inscription:—
Here lieth Will[m] Compton & Annes his wife ye whiche Will[m] decessid ye xxi day of mayi ye yere of oure lord mcccclxxxxviij. Also this be 3e dedis yt 3e said Will[m] hath down to this Churc[h] of Wike yt is to say frest dedycacion of ye church xls & to make new bellis to ye sam church xli also gave to ye halloyeng of ye grettest bell vjs viijd & for ye testimonyall of the dedicacion of ye sam church vjs viijd on whos soules Ihũ have mercy Amen.
The St. Christopher above the inscription is perhaps a substitute for the usual painting on the wall opposite the principal doorway, so often found in mediaeval churches.
In the north wall of the chancel is a stone slab inscribed,
Here lyeth Mr. Docter Harpesfeeld parson here 1550. Apri. iii. and in front of the altar are slabs to the Goodwin family. Thomas Goodwin, 1776, is commemorated by a monument in the south wall of the nave.
There are three bells, the second and tenor by Ellis and Henry Knight, 1673, and the treble a mediaeval bell, probably one of those to whose casting William Compton gave ten pounds, inscribed, 'Sancte Laurenti ora pro nobis.' It bears three marks, a cross paty, a w reversed, and a Latin cross on a shield. It is by William Hasylwode of London.
The plate consists of a communion cup and paten, a flagon and a standing paten. The cup is dated 1705, but the paten, which is of silver parcel-gilt, is a piece of the very greatest rarity and interest, being one of a very small group of early patens c. 1200, of which others have been found at Canterbury and Chichester. It has an Agnus Dei engraved in a central circular sinking, inclosed in a larger octofoil depression, with engraved foliage of late Romanesque type in the spandrels, and on the outer rim is an inscription, 'Cuncta creo vvirtute rego pietate reformo.'
The first book of the registers contains all entries from 1573 to 1645, and the second baptisms and burials from 1675 to 1769, and marriages from 1674 to 1753. The third continues the baptisms and burials to 1812, and the fourth is the printed marriage register from 1754 to 1812.
Weeke was a chapelry dependent on the parish church of St. Mary of the Valleys near Winchester (fn. 10) until early in the fifteenth century, when Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, united the church and chapel to the parish church of St. Anastasius without the walls of the city of Winchester. (fn. 11) Towards the end of the fifteenth century, however, the churches were in such a ruinous state, and the parish so destitute of parishioners, that the chapel of Weeke was made a rectory, continuing in the gift of the bishop of Winchester, and the other two churches pulled down. (fn. 12) In the reign of Henry VIII the church was of the annual value of £12 19s. 0½d. (fn. 13) The living is at the present day a rectory, net income £230, with 2 acres of glebe, and is still in the patronage of the bishop of Winchester.
The Parliamentary Returns of Charities for the poor dated 1786 mention that — Godwin gave £40 for the poor. In 1729 William Blake by his will left £100, the income to be disposed of among the poor on 22 July yearly, in memory of his wife's death, the clerk to have 5s. for his pains. The principal sums were lent on the security of a promissory note, and eventually lost. In the year 1892 the endowments were made good by Miss King, by the transfer to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds of £41 3s. 2d. India £3 per cent. stock, and £102 19s. 2d. like stock, in trust for the respective charities.
In 1895 General Henry Nott by will proved this date directed that a sum of £250 2½ per cent. annuities should be purchased in the name of the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, the dividends to be remitted to the vicar and churchwardens of Weeke or Wyke St. Mary, and applied by them in keeping in repair the vestry of the parish church and the monument erected therein to certain members of his family.