A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Wortinges (xi cent.); Wothing, Wurting (xiii cent.); Worthyng (xv cent.); Wourtinge (xvi cent.).
The parish of Worting covers an area of 1,145 acres: it lies to the west of Basingstoke, and the eastern boundary runs along the line of the Roman road (fn. 1) from Winchester to Silchester, part of which, under the name of Rooksdown Lane, is still used. The western border skirts the edge of Wootton Copse.
Worting village is on the road from Andover to Basingstoke, not far from the point at which the London and South Western Railway crosses both this and the Roman road. The great lime tree by the railway arch was planted in 1740 by Walter Bigg, rector of Worting, the son of Dorothy Wither, to mark the boundary between this parish and Basingstoke. (fn. 2) A lane leads north to Worting Wood from the Basingstoke road; at its junction with the road is the post office, at a little distance to the south is Worting Farm, and here too are the smithy and the village school. The church of St. Thomas of Canterbury stands to the north, on the way to Worting Wood; the rectory is on the opposite side of the road.
On 9 May 1655 a great fire broke out in the village ' which burnt to the ground the parish church, a farm-house adjacent to the parsonage, the White Horse Inn, six other dwelling houses, eleven barns and many goods.' (fn. 3) The inhabitants' lost £2,000 and were utterly destitute.' They appealed to the justices of the peace for ' leave to make a public collection, and a brief to pass through Hampshire and other counties for their charitable relief (fn. 4); and an Order in Council was issued for a collection in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Sussex and Dorset. (fn. 5) The church which was subsequently rebuilt was pulled down in 1848, when a new one was built on the same site. (fn. 6) The present rectory was built in 1732. (fn. 7) A little to the north of the rectory is Hillside House, the residence of Mr. Sidney Lauriston Bullock.
Within half a mile north of Lone Farm in the southern part of the parish there are four tumuli, two of which stand close together, the other two being at equal distance from them, to the north-east and southwest respectively.
Worting House, the seat of Major-General Sir Arthur Frederick Warren, K.C.B., stands at the western end of the village.
The soil is chalk and light loam, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats.
In 1249 the abbot enlarged the estate by the addition of 1 virgate of land, which was quitclaimed to him and his successors by Robert Achard, (fn. 10) and in February 1311 William de Lutgareshall obtained licence for the alienation in mortmain to the abbey of a messuage, 204½ acres of land, 3 acres of wood and 3s. 2d. rent in Worting and Wootton St. Lawrence, (fn. 11) for which concession the abbot paid 50s. to the king. (fn. 12)
In 1388 it was found by inquisition that 'the Convent of the Abbey of Hyde... hold, and they and their predecessors from time immemorial have held, of their own portion, separately from the portion of the Abbot thereof,' the manor of Worting. (fn. 13) The king therefore granted, in July of that year, that the premises and every parcel thereof distinct from the abbot's portion should on all voidances of the abbey be exempt from seizure, saving only the advowson belonging thereto. (fn. 14)
At the Dissolution, in 1539, Henry VIII granted the manor of Worting to William Paulet Lord St. John, (fn. 15) who in 1571 obtained licence to alienate it to James True and Richard Pyncke and their heirs. (fn. 16)
Richard Pyncke sold his moiety in 1579 to James Rumbold, (fn. 17) who in 1591 had a lawsuit concerning it with one William Stynt. (fn. 18) It seems that there was some agreement between them concerning the moiety of Worting, which, because Rumbold was 'a man utterly unlerned and could neyther wright nor read,' Stynt ' did set down with his own hand... which articles of agreement, before that they were read... he did cause the defendant (James Rumbold) to sign.' (fn. 19) Afterwards, when the document had been read to him, Rumbold ' did then make challenge to the said articles and said that they were not set down according to the true meaning of their agreement.' (fn. 20) Apparently James Rumbold won his case, for he was seised of his moiety in 1596, in which year he settled it on himself for life with reversion to his younger son James. (fn. 21) He died in 1607, and was succeeded by his son James, (fn. 22) who sold his moiety of the manor to William Wither of Manydown in 1619. (fn. 23)
James True and Elizabeth his wife and Thomas Dabridgecourt (fn. 24) and Margaret his wife dealt with the 'manor' of Worting in 1576, conveying it in that year to John Coroderoy (fn. 25) : it was afterwards bought by William Wither, who had shortly before acquired the other moiety from James Rumbold the younger. (fn. 26) The reunited manor subsequently followed the same descent as Manydown (q.v. in Wootton St. Lawrence) until 1871, when, although much of the land was sold to Sir Edward Bates, bart., (fn. 27) the manorial rights were retained by the Rev. Lovelace Bigg-Wither, whose son, the Rev. Reginald Fitzhugh Bigg-Wither, the rector of Wonston, is the lord of the manor at the present day.
Worting House was apparently included in the moiety which belonged to James True, and was leased for eleven years to Francis and William Saunders by William True and Anne his wife in 1615. (fn. 28) It subsequently passed to the Edwards family, by whom it was held in the 18th century, (fn. 29) and was sold in 1797 to Lovelace Bigg-Wither. (fn. 30) After his death in 1813 it was bought from his son and heir Harris by Lord Spencer Chichester, (fn. 31) whose creditors subsequently sold it to Lady Jones, (fn. 32) from whom it descended to its present owner, Major-General Sir Arthur Frederick Warren, K.C.B. The house, which was built in the time of George I, stands in well-wooded grounds of 47 acres, and commands a pleasant view of the surrounding country.
The church of ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY stands a little back from the main road in a very pretty and wellkept churchyard. It was built in 1848 in 14th-century style, and consists of a chancel 26 ft. 2 in. by 15 ft., with a small vestry on the north side, and nave 42 ft. 5 in. by 21 ft. 6 in., with a north aisle 8 ft. 8 in. wide. On the south side is a porch and over the west end is a timber bell-turret. The turret contains one bell.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt service made in 1848 and a silver paten. The flagon is engraved 'Kyrie Eleison' and Christe Eleison.' There is also a gilded alms dish.
The first book of the registers contains all entries from 1604 to 1733, but is in a very fragmentary condition; a copy made of it in 1812 is preserved. The second volume is the printed marriage register 1754–1812.
There was a church in Worting at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 33) The right of presentation belonged to the Abbot and convent of Hyde until the Dissolution, (fn. 34) though it was reserved to the Crown 'in times of voidance of the Abbey' by King Richard II in 1388. (fn. 35)
In 1539 it was granted with the manor by Henry VIII to William Paulet Lord St. John, (fn. 36) who apparently alienated the whole advowson to Richard Pyncke in 1571. (fn. 37) The patronage then followed the descent of Pyncke's moiety, (fn. 38) and subsequently of the whole manor until 1832, (fn. 39) in which year Harris Bigg-Wither presented to the church. The advowson was, however, bought from the Bigg Wither family in 1892 by Major-General Sir Arthur Frederick Warren, K.C.B., who is the patron at the present day. (fn. 40)
In 1835 Mrs. Waldo by deed conveyed to trustees two cottages and 2 acres 2 roods of land, the rents thereof to be applied for the benefit of the poor. The land is let at £6 a year, which is divided among poor families. A sum of £60 consols is also held by the official trustees, representing a gift in 1873 of George Lamb, for the repair of this property.
In 1873 George Lamb also by deed gave £120 consols, the dividends amounting to £3 a year, to be applied in prizes at the National School. The stock is held by the official trustees.