A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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Buyiton (xiv cent.); Buryton (xvi cent.); Beriton (xvii cent.).
The parish of Buriton lies on high ground, rising from north to south-east from a height of little more than 200 ft. above the sea-level to more than 680 ft. near the Sussex border. A fine view of the whole of the south-east can be obtained from the high ground at the back of Chalton church, while, away to the south-west, the main road from Petersfield to Portsmouth winds between high downs on the east and Butser Hill (fn. 1) and Oxenbourn Down on the west, in the midst of wild and impressive scenery. (fn. 2) Butser Hill, which here rises some 889 ft. above the sealevel, is thus referred to by Cobbett:—'This is as interesting a spot I think as the foot of man ever was placed upon. Here are two valleys, one to your right and the other to your left, very little less than half-a-mile down to the bottom of them, and much steeper than the roof of a house. These valleys may be, where they join the hill, three or four hundred yards broad. They get wider as they get farther from the hill. Of a clear day you see all the north of Hampshire; nay, the whole county, together with a good part of Surrey and of Sussex. You see the whole of the South Downs to the east as far as your eye can carry you. Lastly, you see over Portsdown Hill, which lies before you to the south; and there are spread open to your view the Isle of Portsea, Porchester, Wimmering, Fareham, Gosport, Portsmouth, the harbour, Spithead, the Isle of Wight, and the ocean.' (fn. 3)
The village of Buriton itself, surrounded by woods and downs, lies almost in the centre of the parish, and is approached by two roads running off south-east from the main road from Petersfield to Portsmouth, and by a narrow winding lane which turns off south-west from the road from Petersfield to South Harting by the grounds of Nursted House. This lane is very picturesque, being in places deeply sunk between high banks and completely over-arched by trees. It leads by a steep descent to the east end of the village street, the church standing immediately to the east of the junction of the two roads, with the manor-house close to it on the north. The two roads from the main Portsmouth road meet at the west end of the village, and near their junction are the Congregational church, the schools, and the Five Bells Inn with its blue sign. From this point the village street runs eastwards with a gentle downward slope to its junction with the South Harting Lane, bordered on either side with cottages and gardens. In front of the church is an open space with a broad pond on the south side of the road, fed from springs which rise in the steep wooded hillside immediately to the south of the village. From the east side of the pond the ground slopes up to the churchyard wall, shaded by a fine row of trees, and to the west of the pond is the rectory garden, the whole forming one of the most charming pieces of scenery in the district. Before the railway line was made between the village and the hillside on the south, it must have been still more beautiful. The manor house stands on the north side of a large yard, bounded on the south and west by farm buildings, and consists of a two-story range, the oldest part of the house, with a three-story eighteenth-century addition on the east. It is a pretty building with red brick quoins and window-frames, but its chief claim to distinction lies in its connexion with Gibbon the historian, who in his autobiography speaks of it thus:—'My father's residence in Hampshire, where I have passed many light and some heavy hours, was at Buriton near Petersfield, one mile from the Portsmouth road, and at the easy distance of 58 miles from London. An old mansion in a state of decay had been converted into the fashion and convenience of a modern house, of which I occupied the most agreeable apartment; and if strangers had nothing to see, the inhabitants had little to desire. The spot was not happily chosen—at the end of the village and the bottom of the hill; but the aspect of the adjacent grounds was various and cheerful: the Downs commanded the prospect of the sea, and the long hanging woods in sight of the house could not perhaps have been improved by art or expense. My father kept in his own hands the whole of his estate, and even rented some additional land, and whatsoever might be the balance of profit and loss the farm supplied him with amusement and plenty.' (fn. 4) The room occupied by Gibbon is still pointed out, the added portion of the house having fine rooms and a good staircase. In the older part is some late sixteenth or early seventeenth-century panelling, and some early eighteenthcentury chimney-pieces and other details. The rectory house is of unusual interest. Though much altered, it is an H-shaped building, with a central hall and wings at the east and west. Part of the wooden partitions at the lower end of the hall—in which were the doors to buttery, pantry, and kitchen passage—is still to be seen, and appears to be of the fifteenth century, but at the south end of the east wing the arch and part of the jambs of an early fourteenth-century window in wrought stone witness to a considerably earlier date for the building. The window has been of two lights, with tracery in the head, but the tracery and central mullion have been cut away. The older roof timbers of the wing also exist below the present roof, and in the western gable of the rectory is a small arched opening high in the wall, which is of fourteenth-century date, and probably coeval with the window in the east wing.
Ditcham Park, about 100 acres in extent, is situated 2 miles south-east of the village. Nursted House, standing about midway between Petersfield and Buriton, the seat and residence of Mr. John Rowe Bennion, was purchased by him in 1863 from General Hugonin, whose family had long owned it. About a mile north-north-west of Buriton is West Mapledurham, known in modern days as Mapledurham only, (fn. 5) the property of the Legge family. In the north-western extremity of the parish is the little hamlet of Weston, marking the site of the reputed manor of Weston.
The soil varies; the subsoil is of the Upper Greensand formation. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans, oats, and hops. There are lime works near the village. (fn. 6) The area of the parish is 5,625 acres, comprising 1,742½ acres of arable land, 988 acres of permanent grass, and 876 acres of woods and pasture. Buriton Holt and Head Down were inclosed by authority of an Act of Parliament dated 24 July, 1854. (fn. 7) The following are place-names in the parish: —Westcleye and Crowburghfeld, (fn. 8) Countesparke, Bellelond and Britteshore (fn. 9) (xv cent.); a tenement called Whekys and lands called Holwysashe, Goffys, Forengerys and Halpenny Londe, (fn. 10) a copse called Godlecombe, (fn. 11) lands called Medplatts and Stigant Brynche (fn. 12) (xvi cent.), and Gaston Purrocke and Alder's Crofte (fn. 13) (xvii cent.).
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were three mills worth 20s. in 'Malpedresham,' (fn. 14) but only one of them seems to have been situated in the modern parish of Buriton. This was a water-mill, and is included in the extents of the main manor of Mapledurham taken in 1296 (fn. 15) and 1521, (fn. 16) but no trace of it now remains.
Malpedresham (xi cent.); Mapeldoreham (xii cent.); Mapeldereham, Mapledreham, Mapeldurham, Mapeldeham and Appeldoueham (xiii cent.); Mapuldrham (xiv cent.); Mapylderham (xv cent.); Mapel-Dereham (xvi cent.). Before the Conquest the extensive manor of MAPLEDURHAM was held by Wulfgifu ('Ulveva'), surnamed 'Beteslau,' who was the owner of wide estates in Hampshire and the neighbouring district. William the Conqueror deprived her of her lands, granting Mapledurham to his wife Maud, (fn. 17) on whose death in 1083 it reverted to King William, who was holding it at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 18) Later, the manor formed 'parcel of the Honour of Gloucester,' and doubtless part of the original Honour which was bestowed upon Robert Fitzhamon by William Rufus for services rendered in suppressing the revolt of Odo of Bayeux. By his wife Sibyl of Montgomery Fitzhamon left no son, and his possessions passed with the hand of his daughter Mabel to Robert, a natural son of King Henry I, who was created Earl of Gloucester some time between April, 1121, and June, 1123. (fn. 19) William, second earl of Gloucester, the eldest son of Robert, died in 1183, leaving three daughters—Mabel, Amice, and Isabel, the youngest of whom Henry II gave in marriage to Prince John with the possessions of the earldom which he had himself retained for six years, and which John retained after his accession and divorce from Isabel. However, in 1205 he granted Mapledurham to Aumary count of Evreux, who had married Mabel, the eldest of the three daughters of William. (fn. 20) The count died before 1214, in which year the king ordered the sheriff of Hampshire to cause the executors of the count to have full seisin of all his chattels in Mapledurham. (fn. 21) The manor, however, reverted to the king, who in the same year granted it to Geoffrey de Mandeville, whom Isabel had married after her divorce from John, (fn. 22) but before the year was out Geoffrey was in rebellion against John and was deprived of his lands, the manor of Mapledurham being granted to Savary de Mauleon in May, 1215. (fn. 23) However, in October of the same year the king bestowed it on his faithful adherent Roger de la Zouche. (fn. 24) Henry III by letters patent dated 12 March, 1217, took the men of Mapledurham and all their lands and possessions under his special protection, (fn. 25) and further in June, 1217, ordered the men of Mapledurham to be obedient in all things to Roger, to whom he had committed the manor to hold during his pleasure. (fn. 26) Four months later Randolph de Norewyz and Randolph … resham were appointed guardians of the manor. (fn. 27) After this date the manor again reverted to the Honour of Gloucester, which had devolved on Amice wife of Richard de Clare, earl of Hertford, as sole surviving heiress of William, earl of Gloucester. Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, the grandson of Richard and Amice, granted the manor to his brother William de Clare and his right heirs for service of one knight's fee with reversion to the grantor and his heirs. (fn. 28) Henry III confirmed this grant in 1248, and granted free warren in his demesne lands in Mapledurham to William de Clare and his heirs. (fn. 29) William de Clare died of poison in 1258, leaving no issue. Consequently the manor reverted to Richard, (fn. 30) who died seised of it in 1262, leaving a son and heir Gilbert. (fn. 31) The descent of the manor of Mapledurham from this point is identical with that of Corhampton in the hundred of Meonstoke (q.v.), until the close of the seventeenth century. According to the Hampshire Repository for 1801 the family of Hanbury held the manor until 1691, when the sisters as co-heirs of the last male heir sold the estate to John Barkesdale, who shortly afterwards sold it to Ralph Bucknel, whose heirs-at-law conveyed it to Edward Gibbon, (fn. 32) to whom it was with other estates granted and confirmed by the Trustees of the South Sea Company in 1724. (fn. 33) The historian, Edward Gibbon, in his autobiography states that his grandfather, Edward Gibbon, having acquired a fortune of £60,000, was chosen a director of the South Sea Company in 1716, and became involved in the general ruin which fell on that company in 1720, but soon made a fresh fortune equal to that of which he had been despoiled, purchasing large landed estates in Buckinghamshire and Hampshire. (fn. 34) Edward Gibbon died in 1736, and the manor passed to his son Edward Gibbon, the father of the historian. He was early left a widower, 'and soon withdrew from the gay and busy scenes of the world, and his prudent retreat from London and Putney to his farm at Buriton in Hampshire was ennobled by the pious motive of conjugal affliction.' (fn. 35) He lived there for the remainder of his life, keeping the whole of the estate in his own hands, and even renting some additional land. (fn. 36) He died in 1770, and the manor then passed to his son Edward Gibbon the historian, who in April, 1789, sold it to Lord Stawell, (fn. 37) the only son of Henry Bilson-Legge, from whom it passed by purchase on 19 April, 1798, to Henry Bonham of Petersfield. Henry Bonham died in 1800; his brother and heir died in 1826, leaving his Buriton estates to his cousin John Carter, who assumed the name of Bonham, and was the first John Bonham-Carter. He died in 1838, leaving a son and heir John Bonham-Carter, who died in 1884, leaving a son and heir John Bonham-Carter. The last-named died December, 1905, leaving the Buriton estates to his brother Lothian George Bonham-Carter, the present owner.
While Richard de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford was lord of the manor of MAPLEDURHAM he granted away from it three carucates of land, in frankalmoign, to the prior and convent of St. Swithun, Winchester, (fn. 38) receiving in exchange the manors of Portland and Wyke, the vill of Weymouth and the land of Helewell. (fn. 39) This exchange was confirmed by Henry III in 1260. (fn. 40) The title of the prior and convent to these manors was defective, (fn. 41) and knowing this the earl caused a proviso to be inserted in the agreement to the effect that they would restore to him, his heirs or assigns all the land and tenements in the manor of Mapledurham which he had given to them in exchange for the Isle of Portland and its members in Weymouth, Wyke and Helewell in case the latter were recovered from him, his heirs or assigns in court of law. (fn. 42) John de Gervais bishop of Winchester 1260–8, and Nicholas of Ely bishop of Winchester 1268–80, in turn petitioned that the Isle of Portland should be restored to the bishopric, (fn. 43) but it was not until about 1280 that determined efforts were made to recover it from Gilbert de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford. (fn. 44) In the course of the proceedings the manor of Mapledurham, as the three carucates of land had come to be called, was taken into the king's hands by the justices in eyre, but was restored to the prior by the king's orders in 1281 so that he might till and sow the land until the next Parliament in order that there might then be done what the king should cause to be ordained by his council. (fn. 45) The lawsuit between the king and the earl extended over several years. Thus as late as 1284 John de Pontoise bishop of Winchester, while granting to the prior and convent all rights which he had in various manors and other lands, expressly excepted his rights in the Isle of Portland and its members in exchange for which they held the manor of Mapledurham. (fn. 46) But it was ultimately decided in favour of the earl, as the manor of Mapledurham occurs in the list of the manors held by the prior of St. Swithun in 1290, (fn. 47) and the earl was seised of the Isle of Portland and its members at his death in 1295. (fn. 48) Evidently the manor of the prior and convent remained in a dependent position upon the chief manor of Mapledurham, and the tenants of the prior paid rent to the lord of the chief manor of Mapledurham. Thus for the year ending Michaelmas, 1448, the farmer of the chief manor accounted for 5s. 8d., the price of 34 hens collected from divers tenants of the prior of St. Swithun, and 10d. the price of 200 eggs collected from the same tenants. (fn. 49) The manor remained the property of the prior and convent until the dissolution, (fn. 50) when Henry VIII granted it to Nicholas Dering of Liss, (fn. 51) who died seised of it in 1557 leaving it in dower to his wife Anne (fn. 52) with reversion to his son and heir Thomas aged twenty-one. (fn. 53) Anne Dering held a court at Mapledurham as late as April, 1591, (fn. 54) but she must have died shortly afterwards, for Thomas Hanbury, to whom Thomas Dering and Winifred his wife had given their reversionary interest in the manor in 1581, (fn. 55) held his first court there on 20 September, 1591. (fn. 56) Six years later Thomas purchased the chief manor of Mapledurham, (fn. 57) when the two manors were merged, and the subsequent history is given under the heading of the chief manor (q.v.)
The manor of WEST MAPLEDURHAM was parcel of the honour of Gloucester. It is mentioned in the Testa de Nevill, which states that Ralph de la Falaise and Robert 'Mercator' held three parts of a fee in Mapledurham of the old enfeoffment of the earl of Gloucester. (fn. 58) The one messuage and one carucate of land which Ralph de la Falaise had held was settled upon Peter de la Falaise (probably son of Ralph) and Alice his wife and their issue in 1271, no doubt on the occasion of their marriage. (fn. 59) Peter de la Falaise probably died before 1289, for in that year Alice quitclaimed to Richard Bruton and his heirs a messuage, 84 acres of land, 6 acres of wood, 5 acres of meadow and £1 7s. 5½d. rent in Mapledurham. (fn. 60) This part of the manor continued in the Bruton family until 1327, (fn. 61) when Alice Bruton quitclaimed it to Henry le Markaunt and Iseult his wife. (fn. 62) This Henry le Markaunt was the descendant of the Robert Mercator mentioned in the Testa de Nevill, and already probably held by right of inheritance a part of the manor. (fn. 63) The family of Markaunt continued in possession of the whole manor till the beginning of the fifteenth century, (fn. 64) when Joan the daughter and heir of Sir Robert Markaunt died, leaving as her heir her kinsman William Levechild of Sheet next Petersfield. (fn. 65) From William it passed to John Roger of Bryanston (co. Dorset), (fn. 66) and continued in the family of Roger until 1533, when Sir John Roger conveyed it by fine to trustees for purchase by Sir William Shelley, justice of the Common Pleas, (fn. 67) who died seised of the manor in 1548. By his will dated 6 November, 1548, he left the manor of Mapledurham and all lands in Hampshire which he had purchased of Sir John Roger to his son Thomas a recusant in tail male. (fn. 68) By an inquisition taken at Winchester 2 October, 1570, it was ascertained that Thomas Shelley, late of Mapledurham, had been a fugitive in foreign parts beyond the seas since 1 December, 1558, and was then living in Louvain, and that before his departure he had granted a twelve years' lease of all his lands and tenements in Mapledurham to Thomas Goldforde and John Jervys. (fn. 69) He died seised of the manor in 1577, his heir being his son Henry, aged thirty-eight, (fn. 70) whose name occurs five years later in a list of the prisoners for religion in the custody of Anthony Thorpe 'keeper of the Whyte Lyon in Southwarke.' (fn. 71) At this time the manor house was the refuge of numerous priests, who were always sure to find a welcome, a place to say their mass, and if necessary a secure hiding-place; and there are many references to it in the correspondence of the time. Thus Edward Jones, a recusant, writes as follows in June, 1586:—'At length old Mr. Titchborne, being then prisoner in the White Lion, in Southwark … sent for me and placed me with this Shelley's brother, being prisoner too, where I waited on him and his wife, and was reconciled there in my mistress' chamber by one Wrenche, who died in London two years agone; but being alive went down with my mistress unto her house named Mapledurham, near unto Petersfield, where he did say mass every day once, whither resorted certain priests more. … There I daily consociate withal and heard mass every day.' (fn. 72) Again, an informer, writing under the name of Ben Beard, gives the following information in 1594 about the hidingplaces in the manor house:—'At Mapledurham there is a hollow place in the parlour by the livery cupboard where two men may well lie together, which has many times deceived the searchers;' (fn. 73) and again: 'In Mapledurham house under a little table is a vault, with a grate of iron for a light into the garden, as if it were the window of a cellar, and against the grate groweth rosemarye.' (fn. 74) Henry Shelley died in prison in 1585, (fn. 75) and in 1605 his widow and sons sold the manor to Thomas Bilson bishop of Winchester, (fn. 76) who held his first court there 25 April, 1606. (fn. 77) He died seised of the manor in 1616, leaving a son and heir Thomas, aged twenty-four and more. (fn. 78) The latter died without issue in 1649, and was succeeded by his brother Leonard, on whose son and heir Thomas the manor was settled in 1678 on his marriage with Susannah Legge (fn. 79) daughter of Colonel William Legge and sister of George Legge afterwards Baron Dartmouth. (fn. 80) Two sons were born of this marriage, both of whom died without issue, Thomas on 11 June, 1709, and Leonard on 6 October, 1715. Leonard left the remainder of his estate, after Thomas Bettesworth (fn. 81) and his heirs male, to Henry Legge son of the earl of Dartmouth, provided he took the name of Bilson. Thomas Bettesworth Bilson died without issue 25 March, 1754, and was buried at Rogate. Hence the manor passed to Henry Legge, a well-known politician who took the name of Bilson in accordance with the terms of Leonard Bilson's will. He died 23 August, 1764, in the fifty-seventh year of his age and was buried at Hinton Ampner (co. Hants). West Mapledurham still belongs to the Legge family, the present holder being the Rev. Augustus George Legge, vicar of North Elmham (co. Norfolk).
WESTON (Westeton and Westreton xiii cent.; Westynton xiv cent.) is a tithing in the parish of Buriton and seems to have been, to some extent, co-extensive with the manor of West Mapledurham. Thus in the assessment for an aid in 1316 the name of Henry Markaunt is given as a holder of land in the vill of Weston. (fn. 82) This land probably refers to the portion of a knight's fee which Henry was then holding of the chief manor of Mapledurham, as a parcel of the honour of Gloucester, and which in time, as has been shown, developed into the manor of West Mapledurham. That this is so seems to be supported by the fact that in the fine conveying West Mapledurham to the Shelleys in 1553, the property is described as 'the manor of Mapledurham and Weston.' (fn. 83)
There was also a free tenement in the tithing of Weston which in origin was of the lands of the Normans and not of the honour of Gloucester, as was ascertained by an inquisition taken in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 84) This tenement was held by Robert de St. Remy in the reign of Richard I. (fn. 85) King John granted it in 1204 to his groom Roald to hold during his pleasure, (fn. 86) and it was afterwards held by Roland de la Genwar. (fn. 87) In September, 1233, Henry III ordered the sheriff of Hampshire to cause his servant Geoffrey de Bathonia to have full seisin of the land which had belonged to Robert de St. Remy in Mapledurham, to hold during the king's pleasure, saving however to Earl Richard, the king's brother, the corn which he caused to be sown in that land, and the stock which he had in it. (fn. 88) Henry III some time afterwards bestowed it upon William de Radyng, (fn. 89) who, for the safety of King Henry III and the safety of his own soul and that of Margaret his wife, granted all the lands, rents, and possessions, which they held of his fee in the manor of Mapledurham, to the abbey and convent of Dureford. (fn. 90) His son John de Radyng is described as holding 100s. worth of land in Weston of the king in chief in 1280. (fn. 91) In 1294, by a fine between Adam Wygaunt and Maud daughter of John de Radyng, and John de Radyng, five messuages, 90 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, 8s. rent, and rents of 4½ lb. of pepper, and 1½ lb. of cummin in Mapledurham and 'Westreton,' near Petersfield, were settled on John for the term of his life with reversion on his death to Adam and Maud, and the heirs of Maud. (fn. 92) This John probably left two daughters and coheirs, Margaret and Isabel, the latter of whom married Nicholas de Severyngton, who held land in the vill of Weston in 1316, no doubt in right of his wife. (fn. 93) In 1324 Margaret the daughter of John de Radyng and Nicholas de Severyngton and Isabel his wife quitclaimed lands in Mapledurham to Edelina de Ponte and John her son. (fn. 94) In the reign of Edward III Richard le Beel and Joan his wife acquired in fee from Margaret the daughter of John de Radyng the moiety of a messuage, 60 acres of land, 4 acres of meadow, and £1 17s. 10½d. rent in Weston without licence. On her husband's death Joan paid to the king a fine of £3, and obtained licence to retain the premises. (fn. 95) Richard le Beel died in 1346, seised of a messuage, 60 acres of arable land, 4 acres of meadow, £1 17s. 10d. rent from free men and villeins, and pleas and perquisites of court worth 6d. per annum in Weston in the manor of Mapledurham. (fn. 96) It has been shown that he had acquired a moiety of the premises from Margaret de Radyng. He probably held the other moiety in right of his wife Joan. (fn. 97) In the inquisition it was stated that Richard held the premises of the king in chief by the service of attending the view of frankpledge twice a year at Mapledurham. Before the year 1400 the manor had passed to the abbot and convent of Dureford who had gradually been acquiring lands in the tithing of Weston during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, (fn. 98) and in that year John the abbot of Dureford obtained an indult from Pope Boniface IX to retain for life and to convert to his own uses, even if he should resign or renounce the rule of the said monastery, the grange or manor of Weston, united to the monastery, and not valued at more than 20 marks. (fn. 99) The manor remained the property of the priory until its dissolution (fn. 100) when King Henry VIII granted it in tail male to Sir William Fitz-William (fn. 101) whom a day later he raised to the peerage as earl of Southampton. The earl was seised of the manor until his death without issue in 1542 (fn. 102) when it reverted to the crown. (fn. 103) In 1545 Henry VIII, by letters patent, granted the manor to Frances Palmer, to hold for the term of her life with remainder on her decease to William Stone and his issue by Frances, with contingent remainder to the right heirs of William. (fn. 104) William Stone died seised of the manor in 1549 leaving a son and heir Henry aged one year and five months. (fn. 105) Both Henry and his younger brother William died without issue, (fn. 106) and consequently the manor was divided between their two sisters and coheirs Catherine and Mary, the former of whom married Christopher Willenhall of Willenhall, near Coventry, and the latter Stephen Vachell. (fn. 107) In 1571 Christopher and Catherine having obtained royal licence, (fn. 108) alienated half the manor of Weston to Stephen and Mary to hold to them and the heirs and assigns of Mary. (fn. 109) In a charter of 1579, settling a dispute between Stephen and Mary, and Henry Shelley of West Mapledurham concerning the bounds of a down, the two former are described as lords of Weston. (fn. 110) In September, 1600, Stephen forfeited two-thirds of his lands and possessions for recusancy, and in December of the same year the queen granted the capital messuage called Weston Farm and lands in the parish of Buriton to Arthur Hide, for a term of twenty-one years, if the premises should remain in the hands of the queen or her successors so long. (fn. 111) It is doubtful, however, whether Arthur Hide ever gained possession of the manor, for in 1598 Richard Willenhall, Stephen Vachell and Mary his wife had conveyed it to Nicholas Hunt and Mary his wife the owners of the manor of Anmore in the parish of Catherington. (fn. 112) Nine years later Thomas Bilson, bishop of Winchester, purchased Weston from Nicholas Hunt and Edmund Marsh, (fn. 113) to the last-named of whom Stephen Vachell and Mary his wife and Thomas Vachell had conveyed messuages and lands in Buriton and Petersfield, (fn. 114) and at the same time Sir George Cotton and Cassandra his wife quitclaimed to him rents of £50 issuing from the manors of Weston and Anmore. (fn. 115) After the purchase Weston formed part of the manor of West Mapledurham. (fn. 116) Weston Farm, as it is now called, still belongs to the Legge family, the present owner being the Rev. Augustus George Legge, vicar of North Elmham (co. Norfolk).
BOLINGEHILL FARM, situated about a mile north from the village of Buriton, and a little to the south-east of Weston Farm, seems from early times to have been a parcel of the manor of West Mapledurham. In the fine conveying West Mapledurham to the Rogers in 1426 'Bonelynche' is mentioned, (fn. 117) no doubt representing the modern Bolingehill. Again Bowlinch Farm is mentioned in a deed of 1678 between Leonard Bilson of West Mapledurham and Thomas his son, and George and William Legge. (fn. 118) Bolingehill Farm still belongs to the Legge family.
DITCHAM (Dicham, xiii cent.; Dycheham, xvi cent.) was probably included under the heading of Mapledurham in the Domesday Book, as in subsequent grants the land of 'Dicham' is described as being situated in the manor of Mapledurham. (fn. 119) In the reign of Henry III Henry Hoese or Hussey, lord of the neighbouring manor of Harting (co. Sussex), received from Richard de Ditcham a grant of all his land of Ditcham, and about the same time gained possession of a tenement in Ditcham formerly held by Richard le Bel. After acquiring this property he granted it in free alms to the abbot and convent of Dureford, (fn. 120) and his grant was confirmed by Richard le Bel himself in 1272. (fn. 121) The abbot of Dureford seems to have held one court for the two manors of Ditcham and Sunworth, and at the time of the dissolution the two manors had coalesced. (fn. 122) Henry VIII in 1537 granted Ditcham and Sunworth as the manor of 'Beriton' formerly belonging to the late monastery of Dureford, with appurtenances in Buriton, Petersfield, Winchester, Langrish and Liss', in tail male to Sir William Fitzwilliam. (fn. 123) On his death without issue the manor reverted to the crown, and on 16 April, 1544, the king granted the site of the manor of Ditcham and Sunworth and all messuages and lands belonging to the site to Edward Elrington and Humphrey Metcalf and the heirs of Edward to hold of the crown by annual payment of 30s. (fn. 124) The next year the king gave licence to Edward and Humphrey to alienate the site of the manor and the other premises to John Cowper and Margaret his wife to hold to them in fee tail. (fn. 125) The manor remained in the family of Cowper (fn. 126) till 1762, when it was devised by the will of the last Richard Cowper to his cousin John Coles. (fn. 127) Ditcham Park remained the seat and property of the Coles family until the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1868 it was purchased by Charles Cammel, by whom the mansion was much enlarged and improved. The estate was sold in 1885 to Lawrence Trent Cave. The mansion was burnt down in March, 1888, but has since been rebuilt. It is at present the residence of Mr. Charles John Philip Cave, J.P.
SUNWORTH (Seneorde, xi cent.; Sugnewrth, Suneworde and Sonneworthe, xiii cent.; Sandworthe and Sanworth, xvi cent.) was held at the time of the Domesday Survey by Walter of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, (fn. 128) whose successors, the earls of Sussex and Arundel, were overlords of the manor until it finally passed into the possession of the prior and convent of Dureford (co. Sussex). (fn. 129) A family which took the surname of Sunworth held the manor 'de veteri feoffamento' of the earls of Sussex and Arundel by the service of one knight's fee. (fn. 130) It was in the time of William son of Otewy de Sunworth, who seems to have lived early in the thirteenth century, that a portion of the manor was detached from the whole and granted to the prior and convent of Dureford, (fn. 131) a portion which by 1252 had become a separate manor, (fn. 132) quite distinct from the manor of Sunworth, which continued for some time in the Sunworth family. In 1246 Ralph de Sunworth settled on his son and heir, Thomas de Sunworth, probably on his marriage, the third part of three carucates in Sunworth, and agreed henceforth not to alienate any of the lands and tenements which he was then holding in Sunworth, so that on his death they should wholly descend to Thomas and his heirs. (fn. 133) In 1256 the manor was in the possession of William Finamur and Joan (fn. 134) his wife, who granted it to William de Clare, brother of Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and his heirs, to hold of William and Joan and the heirs of Joan for ever by the service of a knight's fee, in return for 50 acres of land, 16 acres of wood, and 2 acres of meadow in Mapledurham. (fn. 135) A year later William de Clare received from Henry III a grant of free warren in his demesne lands in Sunworth. (fn. 136) He died without issue in 1258, leaving a brother and heir, Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, on whose death four years later the manor passed to his son and heir Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, who granted it to Roger Loveday, to hold to him and his heirs by the annual payment of a pair of gilt spurs at Easter. (fn. 137) In 1267 Roger released the manor of Sunworth to the abbot and convent of Dureford to hold at perpetual fee-farm for the annual payment of 24 marks to him, his heirs or assigns. (fn. 138) If Roger died leaving a minor it was agreed that the rent should be paid to Gilbert. A year later Roger released the fee-farm rent to the convent and granted them the manor in free alms, (fn. 139) and Gilbert de Clare shortly afterwards released to Dureford the annual payment of £16 from Sunworth, which was to be made to him in case Roger Loveday died leaving a minor. (fn. 140) With these final grants to Dureford the two manors of Sunworth naturally became one. The manor remained the property of the abbey (fn. 141) until its dissolution, by which time it had become attached to Ditcham, being known as the manor of 'Dycheham and Sandworth.' (fn. 142) Its subsequent history is given under the heading of Ditcham above. Sunworth is at the present day represented by several farm buildings called 'Sunwood.' Sunwood Farm still belongs to the Ditcham estate. The approach to it is by the private road leading to Ditcham House, and the farm is practically within the precincts of the park.
From a small memorandum book belonging to Mr. Bonham-Carter it appears there was also in the parish the manor of MAPLEDURHAM RECTORY. The entries appear to have been made about the year 1816, and were evidently extracted from a book which began in the year 1600. It also contains a copy of a presentment in 1761 of 'a true and perfect terrier of all the several messuages and lands held of this manor at the will of the lord according to the custom of the manor.'
The church of OUR LADY, BURITON, is a good specimen of a village church of the larger kind, having a chancel 17 ft. 2 in. wide by 30ft. long, with north vestry, a nave 58 ft. long, 17 ft. wide at the west and 9 in. less at the east, with north and south aisles and west tower.
Its history cannot now be taken back beyond the latter part of the twelfth century, to which date the nave arcades belong, but the irregularity in the width of the nave suggests that the eastern part preserves the width of an earlier nave, which was lengthened westwards at the time of building of the existing arcades or possibly before. The details of the arcades in the two western bays of the nave, which are very similar to each other, are different from those of the two eastern bays, and of slightly earlier type, but as the spacing is the same throughout, the whole arcades were probably set out at the same time, though the western bays may have been built first. The chancel was entirely rebuilt, and widened after the usual manner, towards the end of the thirteenth century, the north vestry being contemporary with it.
The aisles of the nave have undergone so much repair that their history is not clear, but the north aisle, now modern, probably retains the width (7 ft.) of its twelfth-century forerunner, its east wall being on the line of the chancel arch of that date, destroyed, as it seems, at the rebuilding of the chancel, and the south aisle, 2 ft. wider than the north, has preserved no features older than the beginning of the fourteenth century. At its west end is an extension of doubtful date, and the tower, which from its eastern arch seems to have had a thirteenth-century predecessor, was rebuilt in 1714 after a fire.
The chancel, which has a modern east window of three lights, is of fine proportions, and dates from c. 1280. In its north wall is a single trefoiled lancet towards the west, the eastern part being covered by the contemporary vestry mentioned above. At the level of the sill runs a roll-moulded string, continuing all round the interior of the chancel, and serving as a label to the vestry doorway, which has an arch with continuous mouldings, and to the east of it a large locker rebated for a door. There is a second locker in the vestry, west of the doorway. In the south wall of the chancel is a two-light window with a circle in the head, all uncusped, with a moulded rear-arch. Below it are the sedilia, three moulded trefoiled arches with circular shafts and moulded capitals and bases, both seats and arches being twice stepped downwards, and to the east is a trefoiled piscina recess with two drains and a shelf, the trefoiled arch and shelf being in modern stonework. To the west is a priest's door with a moulded rear-arch, and in the south-west of the chancel a second two-light window, like the first, but with its sill at a lower level, the bottom of the western light being cut off by a transom, while the corresponding part of the other is built up with masonry, an arrangement which appears to be original, from the traces of ancient painting on the blocking and east jamb of the window. The best-preserved part is a figure of our Lady and Child on the east jamb, under a trefoiled canopy with foliate capitals, the details of which go to show that the painting is nearly contemporary with the wall. Below are two lines of inscription too much worn to be legible, but apparently in black letter and of later date than the painting above. On the west jamb of the window is a masonry pattern of usual type, and the marks of the blocking up of the lower part of the window in the sixteenth century are still to be seen. It has been unblocked, and the paintings revealed, in modern times. The nave has arcades of four bays with semicircular arches of two square orders, square capitals recessed at the angles, and round columns with moulded bases. The capitals of the two eastern bays of the north arcade are carved with simple leaf-work, while the corresponding bays on the south have plain bells; the western bays on both sides have scalloped capitals of various designs. Parts of the north arcade fell during a late repair, when the north wall of the aisle was entirely renewed, and were rebuilt for the most part with the old stonework. The only old work in the north aisle is the west window, a single thirteenth-century light. The south aisle was probably rebuilt c. 1300, and contains a trefoiled light of that date at the east end of the south wall, with a piscina drain in its sill. The design of the east window of three trefoiled lights is of the same period, but the stonework is modern. The south doorway is plain work of c. 1330, of two moulded orders without a label, and to the east of it is a large three-light window with net tracery, of which only the jambs are old. The roof over the window is gabled north and south, breaking the line of the aisle roof, and the provision for extra lighting at this point suggests that there may have been a chapel here of some importance. West of the south door is a fourteenthcentury window of two trefoiled lights under a square head, and beyond it another of the same description, but in modern stonework.
The tower has a fine thirteenth-century east arch, with half-round responds and moulded capitals and bases, set upon a low wall 3 ft. 2 in. thick, and projecting some feet in front of the bases, leaving an opening 4 ft. 9 in. wide in the middle. It is presumably part of the west wall of the church before the addition of the west tower, and the opening, which is not centrally set between the responds of the arch, may represent that of a former west doorway. The tower itself was burnt down in 1714 and rebuilt, and is a very plain structure, now for the most part hidden by ivy. It measures internally 10 ft. 10 in. from north to south by 11 ft. 7 in., and opens to the western extension of the south aisle by two low doorways. On this side also is a steep wooden stair leading to the first floor, which is the ringing chamber, and contains a set of rules for the ringers painted on the wall with the usual forfeits and warnings, apparently coeval with the tower.
On the chancel walls are several monuments to the Hugonin family, and a black marble slab engraved with the figures of Thomas Hanbury, 1595, and his last wife Elizabeth Grigge, together with six sons and two daughters. At the west of the south aisle is an altar tomb within an iron railing, to Thomas Bilson, 1692, and over it a white marble mural monument to Leonard Bilson, 1695. Near it, on the south wall, are several brass plates with inscriptions to members of the Hanbury family: Emma, 1595, Susannah, 1661, Thomas, 1668, Katharine, 1678, and Thomas, 1680.
The font stands at the west end of the south aisle, and is of late twelfth-century type, of Purbeck marble with a square bowl carried on a round central shaft and four shafts at the angles, the moulded bases of which are worked in one stone.
In the vestry is a seventeenth-century communion table with baluster legs and movable top, but with this exception there are no old wood fittings in the church, and there are no remains of ancient glass. There are five bells, the treble and tenor by Mears, 1864, and the other three by Richard Phelps of London, 1715, cast after the fire in the tower.
The church plate comprises a cup and cover paten of 1669, a standing paten of 1702 with the Hanbury arms in a lozenge, and a flagon given in 1740.
The first volume of the registers begins in 1678, and is continued to 1812.
There was a church in MAPLEDURHAM (afterwards Buriton) at the time of the Domesday Survey; (fn. 143) by 1291 the church with a chapel, probably the chapel of Petersfield, was worth £46 13s. 4d. annually, (fn. 144) and by the reign of Henry VIII the rectory of Buriton was worth yearly £336 8s. (fn. 145)
William, earl of Gloucester, when lord of the manor of Mapledurham, granted the church with the chapel of Petersfield in free alms to the church of St. Mary of Nuneaton (co. Warwick), (fn. 146) and his gift was confirmed by Henry II (fn. 147) and Pope Alexander III. (fn. 148) The abbey seems to have conveyed the advowson to the bishop of Winchester, for in 1331 the chancellor, John, bishop of Winchester, obtained licence from the king to alienate in mortmain to the prior and convent of St. Swithun, Winchester, the advowson of the church of Mapledurham, with the chapel of Petersfield in his diocese. (fn. 149) The abbot and convent at the same time obtained licence from the king to appropriate the advowson, on the condition of paying over and above the sum which they already paid to the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen without Winchester, the yearly sum of £25 19s. 4d., for the support of the sick poor there, which the bishop had been wont to pay at his exchequer at Wolvesey, out of his alms. The appropriation, however, never took place; the abbot and convent may have thought the annual payment too great. In 1337 the church of Mapledurham was described as of the bishop's patronage, (fn. 150) and the bishop has presented the rector up to the present day, (fn. 151) with but few exceptions. (fn. 152)
In 1265 Walter de Lichelad, rector of the church of Mapledurham, and the abbot and convent of Dureford, were parties to a deed concerning tithes in the parish of Mapledurham. (fn. 153) The rector of the church granted for himself that the abbot and convent should be quit for ever from the payment of tithes from the possessions which they had hitherto acquired, saving, however, to the rector and his successors the tithes of all gardens excepting the old garden, which was within the hey of the monastery of Dureford, from which the abbot and convent had not been accustomed to pay any tithes. Henceforward the abbot and convent were to pay every year to the rector and his successors, instead of tithes, in the nave of Petersfield Church (in majori ecclesia de Peteresfeld), 30s. a year, at Michaelmas and at Easter in equal portions. This deed was confirmed by John bishop of Winchester. Towards the end of the reign of Charles II, Richard Cowper, lord of the manor of Ditcham, had a long dispute with Dr. Barker, rector of Buriton, concerning the latter's right to tithes from the beech-woods of Ditcham Park, in the course of which controversy Richard 'used threatings, lampooned and made scandalous and reflecting verses which did very much disquiet and discompose Dr. Barker.' (fn. 154) The case was tried before Lord Chief Justice North, who decided in favour of Dr. Barker, but in spite of this judgement, some twelve years later, Richard Cowper, son and heir of Richard, to whom his father had conveyed Ditcham Park on his marriage, refused to pay tithes of beech-wood to Charles Layfield, rector of Buriton. (fn. 155)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a chapel in Sunworth, (fn. 156) but it must soon have fallen into decay, for there seems to be no mention of it in later documents. It is interesting to note, however, that 'Chapple Garden' and 'Chapple Furlong' are given as names of lands owned by John Cowper of Ditcham, in 1619. (fn. 157)
The Primitive Methodist chapel was erected in 1848, and restored in 1881.
Bishop Laney's Gift.
The Rev. Benjamin Laney, formerly rector of Buriton, and subsequently bishop of Ely, in his lifetime gave £130 to be placed out at interest, or in the purchase of land, the profits thereof to be applied in apprenticing of poor children of the parish of Buriton and the borough of Petersfield. In 1690 the gift was laid out in the purchase of 19 acres or thereabouts of land in the parish of Bramshott. The land is let at £20 a year for a term of twentyone years. Two apprentices are selected yearly from Buriton and Petersfield.
Tithing of Weston.
Goodyer's Charity; see under Petersfield.