Parishes: Tangley

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'Parishes: Tangley', in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 326-328. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Tangele, Tangelie (xiii cent.); Tankley, Tangelegh (xv cent.).

Tangley is a small parish with an area of 1,634 acres situated on the borders of Wiltshire in a hilly and well-wooded district 5½ miles north-west from Andover station on the Andover Junction and Southampton section of the London and South Western Railway. The general rise of the ground is from south to north, but nowhere does it fall below 462 ft. above the ordnance datum, and a height of 755 ft. is attained on the northern boundary of the parish. The Roman road from Winchester to Cirencester, called here Hungerford Lane, intersects the parish from south to north. To the east is Tangley Holt, the residence of Mr. Edmund Harvey Aston Oakes.

In the garden of Mr. F. A. Merceron's house is a rectangular lead cistern which came from an old house in Bethnal Green. It bears the date 1689, and the initials [H / IH], and is ornamented on the front and sides with a geometric pattern filled with shells, roses, crowns, fleurs de lis, cherubs' heads and crooked starshape forms.

The village lies to the west near the county boundary. The schools were erected in 1870 for forty-two children, and there is also an undenominational Mission Church erected by Messrs. Tasker & Sons of Upper Clatford. Waterswell Cross, Round Ash and East End are hamlets situated respectively ½ mile south, 1½ miles south and 1½ miles east from the village.

It is about an inhabitant of Tangley that Cobbett, in one of his Rural Rides, tells the following anecdote:

I rode up to the garden wicket of a cottage and asked the woman, who had two children and who seemed to be about thirty years old, which was the way to Ludgershall, which I knew could not be above four miles off. She did not know ! A very neat, smart and pretty woman; but she did not know the way to this rotten borough, which was, I was sure, only about four miles off! ' Well, my dear, good woman,' said I, ' but you have been at Ludgershall ?' ' No.' 'Nor at Andover ?' (six miles another way). 'No.' 'Nor at Marlborough ?' (nine miles another way). 'No.' ' Pray, were you born in this house ?' 'Yes.' 'And how far have you ever been from this house ?' 'Oh ! I have been up in the parish and over to Chute.' That is to say, the utmost extent of her voyages had been about two and a half miles.

The parish contains 846 acres of arable land, 341 acres of permanent grass and 201 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The soil and subsoil are partly strong clay and partly chalk, the whole being intermixed with a great quantity of flint. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, turnips and swedes. Common fields in Tangley were inclosed by authority of an Act of Parliament of 1827. (fn. 2)


TANGLEY is included in the entry under Faccombe in Domesday Book, (fn. 3) and continued to form part of that manor until about the middle of the 13th century, (fn. 4) when it was detached by some member of the Punchardon family—probably by Oliver de Punchardon—and granted to Andrew Wake, who in 1280 claimed to have part of the fines of the assize of bread and ale in Tangley. (fn. 5) He was succeeded by his son and heir, Ralph Wake, who died at the beginning of the 13th century. (fn. 6) His son and heir John (fn. 7) followed and died in 1348, leaving as his heirs (1) his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Richard Michel; (2) his daughter Isabel, who married into the Keynes family; and (3) his grandson John Tyrell, son and heir of his daughter Margery, (fn. 8) whereupon the manor was divided into three portions. Richard Michel, son and heir of Elizabeth, died without issue towards the end of the 14th century, (fn. 9) and on his death it is probable that his portion passed to his next heir, John Keynes, son and heir of his cousin, Thomas Keynes.

Isabel Keynes, the second daughter of John Wake, died in 1359 seised of 2 carucates of land in Tangley in the hands of villeins, which she held of the king in chief by the service of the fourth part of one knight's fee. (fn. 10) Her heir was her son Thomas, who died seised of the third part of the manor of Tangley in 1361, leaving as his heir his son John, aged nine. (fn. 11) The latter at the time of his death sixty years later was said to be seised of a moiety of the manor of Tangley, (fn. 12) a description of the premises which would make it seem probable that he had by this time succeeded to Richard Michel's portion. His heir was his son John, who died the next year, leaving as his heir his daughter Joan, who married firstly John Speke, (fn. 13) and secondly Hugh Champernoun. (fn. 14) Her heir was her grandson John Speke, son of her son John, who succeeded to the moiety of the manor on her death in 1461. (fn. 15) The property remained with the Spekes for a considerable period, eventually passing to the Sydenhams on the marriage of Joan daughter and sole heir of William Speke of Dowlish Wake (co. Somers.) with Thomas Sydenham of Wynford Eagle (co. Dors. (fn. 16) ), and from its connexion with the latter family it became known in the latter part of the 16th century as the manor of SYDENHAM'S TANGLEY. In 1569 Thomas Sydenham and his son and heir Richard obtained licence to alienate their manor of Tangley to a certain John Welsted, (fn. 17) who by his will, dated 29 August 1574, bequeathed it to his brother Simon Welsted in tail-male, with contingent remainder to his brother William. (fn. 18) Almost immediately, however, after the death of John, which took place on 7 September 1574, (fn. 19) Simon must have sold his inheritance to Sir Richard Reade, kt., for the latter was seised of the manor of Tangley, or Sydenham's Tangley, at his death in July 1575. (fn. 20) By his will he left it, subject to an annual payment of £4 to the poor of Nether Wallop and Upper Wallop, to his son and heir Innocent in tail-male, with contingent remainder in tail-male successively to his youngest son John, and his brother's sons Thomas and Nicholas Reade. (fn. 21) Three years later Innocent, John and Nicholas gave up their right in the manor to Thomas, (fn. 22) who died in 1577, leaving as his heir a son John. (fn. 23) John died while still under age two years later, his heir being his brother Thomas, (fn. 24) who sold it for £45 to George Kingsmill, justice of the Common Pleas, in 1599. (fn. 25) Sir George died without issue in 1606, when the manor passed to his nephew, Sir William Kingsmill, kt., son of his eldest brother, Sir William, (fn. 26) who was already seised of the other original portion of Tangley, the history of which previous to this time is as follows. It passed, as has been already said, on the death of John Wake in 1348 to his grandson, John Tyrell, (fn. 27) who died seised of the moiety of four messuages, 4½ virgates of arable land and 6 acres of meadow in Tangley in 1360, leaving as his heir his brother Hugh, aged eighteen. (fn. 28) Hugh died without issue in 1381. (fn. 29) Before his death he had conveyed his property in Tangley to John Chitterne and other trustees, who in 1384 received pardon for entry without licence into the so-called manor of Tangley, together with permission to grant it in fee simple to Richard Holm and others. (fn. 30) It was in the hands of trustees for over twenty years, (fn. 31) eventually passing to Richard Milbourne, who held a court at Tangley in conjunction with Sir John Speke in 1439. (fn. 32) He died seised of the manor of Tangley in 1451, being followed by his son and heir Simon, (fn. 33) on whose death in 1464 it passed to his son Thomas, aged fifteen. (fn. 34) Thomas was succeeded on his death in 1492 by his son Henry, aged eleven, (fn. 35) who died in 1519, leaving a son Richard, aged twelve. (fn. 36) Richard died seised of the manor of Tangley in 1532, his heir being returned as his second cousin William Fauconer of Drayton (co. Bucks.), son of Eleanor, daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of his great-grandfather, Simon Milboume. (fn. 37) In 1539 the manor was settled on Edward Twynghoo and Edith his wife, for the life of the latter, with remainder to William Fauconer, (fn. 38) but it seems impossible to ascertain exactly when it reverted to the Fauconer family. It ultimately passed, however, to the Kingsmills by the marriage of Alice sister and co-heir of Sir Richard Fauconer with Richard Kingsmill of Highclere, attorney of the Court of Wards to Queen Elizabeth, the elder brother of the above-mentioned Sir George Kingsmill, justice of the Common Pleas. (fn. 39) Richard left a daughter and sole heir Constance, but this manor, being probably settled in tail-male on Richard, passed on his death to his nephew, Sir William, who also inherited Sydenham's Tangley. The two manors consequently merged, and from this time there is no further mention of Sydenham's Tangley. Sir William died seised of the manor of Tangley in 1619, leaving a son and heir Henry, (fn. 40) who died five years later, leaving a son and heir, William, under age. (fn. 41) Sir William Kingsmill, (fn. 42) son of the latter, who died in 1698, (fn. 43) left by his first wife Frances two sons, William and Henry, and one daughter, Frances, who married Hugh Cony of Newton (co. Down), and by his second wife Rebecca a daughter, Penelope, who became the wife of John Waterman of Barkham, near Reading. (fn. 44) Robert Brice, afterwards Admiral of the Blue, M.P. for Tregony (co. Cornwall) and commander-in-chief of His Majesty's ships on the coast of Ireland, married Elizabeth daughter and eventually sole heiress of Frances and Hugh Cony, while Rebecca, sole daughter and heir of Penelope and John Waterman, became the wife of Laurence Head Osgood of Winterton (co. Berks.). (fn. 45) On the death, unmarried and intestate, of William, last surviving son of SirWilliam Kingsmill, in 1766, Elizabeth and Rebecca succeeded to their grandfather's estates, (fn. 46) and in that year, in conjunction with their husbands, dealt by fine with the respective moieties of the manor, conveying them to Thomas Ward, (fn. 47) probably for purposes of settlement on Laurence Head Osgood and Rebecca. Rebecca afterwards married a member of the Brickenden family (fn. 48) and brought the manor to her husband. Richard Brickenden, by his will dated 30 May 1789, left his estates in Hampshire, including the manor of Tangley, to his brother, William John Erickenden, D.D., in fee-tail, with contingent remainder to his cousin, John Fisher, (fn. 49) and died in 1793. On the death of his brother without issue eight years later Tangley passed to John Fisher, on whom it was settled in 1801. (fn. 50) Later in the century the manor passed to the Merceron family, (fn. 51) and Mr. F. H. Merceron is the present lord of the manor.

Speke. Argent two bars azure with an eagle gules with two heads over all.

Sydenham. Argent three rams sable.

In the 13th century Andrew Wake, lord of the manor of Tangley, granted £5 rent in that vill in free marriage to Alan Plukenet, who married his daughter Joan. (fn. 52) Alan claimed part of the fines of the assize of bread and beer in Tangley in 1280, (fn. 53) and died seised of the rent in 1298. (fn. 54) His heir was his son Alan, who died without issue towards the end of the reign of Edward II, when his property in Tangley passed to his sister and heir, Joan de Bohun. (fn. 55) The escheator delivered up to Sybil, widow of Alan, a third of certain lands in Tangley of the yearly value of £1 3s. 8d. in 1325, (fn. 56) and three years later Joan de Bohun died seised of two-thirds of certain rents in Tangley with reversion of the other third after the death of Sybil, leaving as her heir her cousin's son, Richard de la Bere. (fn. 57) The later history of this property in Tangley has not been traced, but it probably merged again with the manor of Tangley during the 14th century.


The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST consists of a small apsidal east end, and a nave 45 ft. 4 in. by 14 ft. 4 in. with a north vestry, west tower and a south porch.

In the 12th century there was a building on this site consisting of a nave, which probably did not extend as far westwards as the present one, but had an apse to the east as at present, the foundations having been discovered when the present apse was built. The chalk arch to the apse and the two small lights over are all that remain of 12th-century detail, and these were reconstructed in 1872, when nearly the whole of the church was rebuilt and the vestry and south porch were added. For some years before this date there was a rectangular chancel. The west tower was added in 1898.

The apse contains two very small modern windows and on the south side there is a sedile, divided into two bays by a shaft with moulded capital and base. The two-centred arch opening to the apse is of one slightly chamfered order and has a grooved and chamfered label on the west face. The chamfered abacus at the springing is either modern or has been retooled.

All windows of the nave and vestry are modern, of 14th-century style, and there is a plain south door of a single wave-moulded order.

Near the east end of the south wall of the nave is a small modern priest's doorway.

The tower arch is of two moulded orders, the innes one resting on corbels. The tower has a two-light west window of 14th-century style; its walls are of squared stone with a stair turret at the south-west angle, and it is finished at the top with a shingled octagonal spire.

There is a circular lead early 17th-century font, enriched with three fleurs de lis, two Tudor roses, and two crowned thistles.

The tower contains five bells and a small bell, the treble, third, fourth and tenor of the five being by Mears & Stainbank, 1900.

The plate consists of a silver chalice (secular) and two plated alms plates used as patens.

The registers are contained in three books, the first one having mixed entries from 1680 to 1756, and one entry dated 1762. The second book contains marriages for 1752 and 1753 and baptisms and burials from 1751 to 1812. The third book contains marriages only from 1781 to 1812.

There is a very large hollow yew tree to the north of the church.


The chapel of Tangley was consecrated by Henry Woodlock, Bishop of Winchester (1305–16), a petition having been presented to him by his parishioners of the hamlet of Tangley praying for a priest to minister to their spiritual needs and complaining of delay in a certain funeral at the mother church of Faccombe. (fn. 58) He did not, however, consecrate the churchyard, and accordingly the inhabitants of Tangley presented a petition to William of Wykeham in 1390, complaining of the difficulty of carrying the bodies of the dead for interment from Tangley to Faccombe. A commission was held to inquire into the truth of this statement and also to ascertain whose duty it was to provide books, vestments and ornaments for the chapel. (fn. 59) The result of the inquiry, however, is not given on the bishop's register. Tangley continued to be a chapelry dependent upon the mother-church of Faccombe (fn. 60) until on the destruction of the ancient church a new church was built in 1872. The living is at the present day a rectory, net income £250, with 2 acres of glebe in the gift of the lord of the manor, Mr. F. A. Merceron.


Poor's Land.—The parliamentary returns of 1786 mention land belonging to the poor of the parish, the donor of which was unknown, consisting of about an acre in the common field.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. 7 & 8 Geo. IV, cap. 39.
  • 3. V.C.H. Hants, i, 456b.
  • 4. Thus in 1215 the sheriff of the county was ordered to deliver up to Hugh Ruffus and Alice his wife the dower of Alice in Faccombe and Tangley, of which they had been disseised in the Barons' War (Close, 17 John, m. 31). Again, in Testa de Nevill, Oliver de Punchardon and William Cosyn are returned as holding two parts of Faccombe and Tangley by the service of two parts of one knight's fee (Testa de Nevill, 235a).
  • 5. Assize R. Mich. 8 Edw. I, rot. 17.
  • 6. Vide De Banc. R. Trin. 47 Edw. III, m. 65; Inq. p.m. 32 Edw. I, no. 166.
  • 7. Vide De Banc. R. Trin. 47 Edw. Ill, m. 65; Feud. Aids, ii, 309.
  • 8. Inq. p.m. 34 Edw. III, no. 69.
  • 9. Coram Rege R. East. 5 Hen. VI, m. 85.
  • 10. Inq. p.m. 33 Edw. III, no. 26.
  • 11. Ibid. 35 Edw. III (1st pt), no. 107.
  • 12. Ibid. 7 Hen. V, no. 69.
  • 13. Ibid. 8 Hen. V, no. 95.
  • 14. Ibid. 2 Edw. IV, no. 13.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Phillipps, Visitations of Somerset, 139.
  • 17. Pat. 11 Eliz. pt vii, m. 32.
  • 18. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxii, 126.
  • 19. Ibid.
  • 20. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Scr. 2), clxxvii, 102.
  • 21. Ibid.
  • 22. Feet of F. Div. Co. East. 20 Eliz.
  • 23. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Scr. 2), cclv, 122.
  • 24. Ibid.
  • 25. Recov. R. Mich. 41 & 42 Eliz. m. 1.
  • 26. W. and L. Inq. p.m. (Scr. 2), bdle. 12, no. 106.
  • 27. Inq. p.m. 34 Edw. III, no. 69.
  • 28. Ibid. no. 66. In 1360 the king assigned to hit widow Agnes in dower half of certain lands and tenements in Tangier (Abbrev. Rot. Orig. ii, 260).
  • 29. Inq. p.m. 4 Ric. II, no. 54.
  • 30. Pat. 7 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 20.
  • 31. Close, 2 Hen. IV, pt. i; Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 10 Hen. IV; Close, 10 Hen. IV, m. 19.
  • 32. Co. Pleas in Chan. 17 Hen. VI, no. 46.
  • 33. Inq. p.m. 29 Hen. VI, no. 19.
  • 34. Ibid. 4 Edw. IV, no. 12.
  • 35. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), viii, 77.
  • 36. Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 975, no. 2.
  • 37. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lx, 24.
  • 38. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 31 Hen. VIII; Recov. R. East. 31 Hen. VIII, rot. 336.
  • 39. Berry, Hants Gen. 239.
  • 40. W. and L. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), bdle. 28, no. 49. Henry was the second son; the eldest son William died v.p. in 1608.
  • 41. Ibid. bdle. 41, no. 121.
  • 42. For the history of the Kingsmills see also under Sydmonton, Litchfield Sandford, Woodcote and Malshanger.
  • 43. Betham, Baronetage of England, iv, 409.
  • 44. Ibid.
  • 45. Ibid.
  • 46. Ibid.
  • 47. Feet of F. Hants, Hil. 6 Geo. III.
  • 48. New England Register, xx, 26.
  • 49. Close, 39 Geo. Ill, pt. ix, no. 16.
  • 50. Ibid. 43 Geo. Ill, pt. x, no. 6.
  • 51. Mr. H. Merceron built the church tower in 1898 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
  • 52. Inq. p.m. 27 Edw. I, no. 54.
  • 53. Assize R. Mich. 8 Edw. I, rot. 17.
  • 54. Inq. p.m. 27 Edw. I, no. 54.
  • 55. Banks, Baronies in Fee, i, 373.
  • 56. Close, 19 Edw. II, m. 27.
  • 57. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 81; 2 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 95.
  • 58. Egerton MS. 2031, fol. 107b.
  • 59. Wykeham's Reg. (Hants Rec. Soc), ii, 425.
  • 60. Close, 22 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 29 d.; Egerton MS. 2034, fol. 115b.