A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Fifhidon (x cent.); Fifhide (xi cent.); Fiflyde (xiv cent.); Fyfhyde, Fifede, Fiffyd (xv cent.); Fiffehed, Fiffeld, Fifeld (xvi cent.).
The parish of Fyfield forms a long and narrow strip running from the Wiltshire border on the north to Thruxton on the south. It has an area of 1,290 acres, of which 820 acres are arable, 215 acres permanent grass and 105 acres woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The soil is light loam, the subsoil chalk, (fn. 2) and there are several old chalk-pits. The principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, turnips, sainfoin and clover.
The average height above sea level is rather over 300 ft., and there is a slight slope from north to south. Fyfield village lies in a slight hollow in the south of the parish and is approached by roads from Kimpton, Weyhill, Thruxton and Redenham. Redenham House, the residence of Mr. Arthur William Fulcher, J.P., which stands in a large park surrounded on all sides by copses, is situated about 1½ miles north of the village. It is now included in Thruxton parish, to which it was transferred by order of the Local Government Board in 1888. Near it is the small hamlet of Redenham. The main road from Devizes to Andover passes south of Redenham Park, following closely the course of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway, on which the nearest station is at Weyhill.
Excavations have been made on Lambourne's Hill in the extreme north of the parish at various times. A Roman hypocaust and pottery, &c, were discovered in 1830, a range of four rooms in 1850, and a detached building in 1899. In Great Copse, east of Redenham Park, traces of a small hut were discovered in 1882. (fn. 3)
In King Edgar's grant of Fyfield the boundaries are given in Anglo-Saxon, supplying several place-names:—'Wuresbyrigels,' 'Ælfheres Stapol,' 'Bæhildestocc.' (fn. 4)
Like the places of similar designation in Essex and Wiltshire, FYFIELD owes its name to the original extent of the land comprised in it, the 5 hides of the ideal manor. (fn. 5) In 975 King Edgar granted it to his thegn Ælfweard for life, with full liberty to dispose of it as he would after his death. (fn. 6) Under the Confessor it was held as an alod by Ulveva, and in 1086, when the geldable area had been reduced to 3 hides, William Mauduit held it. (fn. 7) He was the ancestor of the baronial houses of Hanslope and of Warminster and Holgate, of which the first merged in the Beauchamps and the second in the Greenes of Drayton. (fn. 8) Neither of these families, however, appears as overlords, and the Domesday tenant, or one of his immediate successors, must have disposed of it. The overlordship belonged first to the king (fn. 9) and later to the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 10) The manor was afterwards said to be held of the burgesses of Andover. (fn. 11)
Hamon son of Meinfelin lord of Wolverton (co. Bucks.) and nephew, by his mother, of William Mauduit of Hanslope, (fn. 12) inherited this manor of which he was lord in 1166–7 (fn. 13) and gave the church, with its appurtenances, to the nuns of De la Pré (co. Northants.), probably under Henry II. (fn. 14) He was succeeded here as at Wolverton first by his son William and then by his son Alan and grandson John, who in 1252 granted it to his mother Julia, widow of Alan, to hold in dower with reversion to himself. (fn. 15) In 1280 the possessions of John son of Alan in Fyfield—half a knight's fee, worth 100s. a year, and held in chief—were adjudged to be taken into the king's hands, as they had been given without the royal assent to Matthew Nowell, in free marriage with John's sister, to be held of him and his heirs. (fn. 16) Restoration was evidently made, for in 1292 William Nowell was granted free warren over his demesne there. (fn. 17) Within the next twenty years the Morewells had made their appearance. In 1309 Hugh Spinney granted Roger de Morewell a messuage, a carucate of land and rent in Fyfield and Redenham to hold for life, with reversion to his son John and Joan his wife. (fn. 18) In 1316 John de Morewell appears as holding the vill. (fn. 19) Later it became for a time divided among several holders. In 1340 Roger de Cormeilles and Agnes his wife fined with Stephen Malory, clerk, and William Randolph for a messuage, 2 carucates of land, &c, in Fyfield and West Shoddesden. (fn. 20) In 1345 Thomas de Wolverton sought against Roger Norman two parts and against John de Ann the third part of the manor. (fn. 21) The result of this suit is not given, but it evidently went against Thomas, for in the following year Roger Norman, Thomas de Ann and Hugh de Cormeilles held between them the quarter of a fee in Fyfield which had belonged to Roger de Morewell. (fn. 22) On the death of Henry Duke of Lancaster in 1361 his half fee here was said to be held of him by Roger Norman, Hugh de Cormeilles, Thomas son and heir of Michael de Ann and Ralf Dankyn. (fn. 23) Roger Norman had, however, died twelve years before seised of Fyfield as a member of the manor of Cholderton, and had been succeeded by his grandson Giles. (fn. 24) There is no reference to the manor about this date, on account possibly of the number of important holders. By 1428 the Cormeilles had dropped out, and Walter Sandys and Thomas de Ann held a quarter of a fee between them. (fn. 25) The Sandys family had replaced the Normans here, as elsewhere, and premises in Fyfield of slightly varying extent occur in their inquisitions until 1445, after which they are no more mentioned. (fn. 26) The probability is that these premises subsequently became merged in the manor of Fyfield. Only one quarter of a fee was assessed at the Aids of 1346 and 1428, while the Duke ot Lancaster had half a fee. (fn. 27) The Morewells may all the time have been seised of the balance, and have been represented at one period by Ralf Dankyn. (fn. 28) Be that as it may, in 1431 Joan Morewell held an eighth part of a fee, (fn. 29) and in 1484 John Morewell conveyed the manor to William Dale, John Dale, Agnes his wife and the heirs of John. (fn. 30) John Dale died seised of the manor in 1514. (fn. 31) His heir was his grandson John Dale, who died eight years later seised of the manor, the reversion of which had been conveyed to his brother William. (fn. 32) In 1543 the reversion, in default of heirs of his body, was settled on the right heirs of William instead of on Walter Bonham, and Alice his wife, to whom it then belonged. (fn. 33) Accordingly, on William's death in 1566, he was succeeded by his first cousin Valentine Dale, (fn. 34) a distinguished Elizabethan diplomatist, who died in 1589, (fn. 35) and whose daughter and co-heir Dorothy married Sir John North, eldest son of Roger second Lord North, (fn. 36) carrying with her the manor of Fyfield. (fn. 37) In 1602, five years after her husband's death, (fn. 38) Lady North sold this and other property to John Warner and Avice his wife. (fn. 39) Warner died in 1615, (fn. 40) and two years later Avice his widow and John his son and heir conveyed the manor to Maurice Abbott, Nicholas Kempe and William Baker. (fn. 41) In 1621 all the parties to this fine joined in selling Fyfield to Edward Wickham, S.T.P., (fn. 42) who died seised in the same year. (fn. 43) In 1640 his son Thomas Wickham, with his wife Winifred, conveyed the manor to George Grobham. (fn. 44) There is nothing to show what happened to Fyfield during the next seventy years, but in 1709 it belonged to Sir John St. Barbe, baronet, (fn. 45) who in 1717 sold it to Hugh Winckworth. (fn. 46) Winckworth conveyed it to George Clarke in 1723. (fn. 47) From this date material is again lacking, but the manor presumably passed to Walter Holt of Redenham House, whose daughter and heir Louisa was in 1778 married to Sir John Pollen, first baronet. (fn. 48) The Pollens' estate, comprising the manor of Fyfield and land in Fyfield, Thruxton, Kimpton and Andover, has always been known as the Redenham estate and their house as Redenham House. In July 1908 Sir Richard Hungerford Pollen, fourth bart., sold the property, which is now divided into many smaller holdings. (fn. 49)
In 1617 Sir Henry Wallop was granted free warren over various Hampshire manors. (fn. 50) The inclusion of Fyfield on the enrolment of this grant must have been an error, as the Wallops never held the manor, although they held at that date many in the neighbourhood. Possibly 'East Rednam and Fyfield' should be taken together as describing the Wallops' estate in the parish (q.v. infra).
REDENHAM is not mentioned in Domesday Book and was never a manor. In the Pipe Roll of 1167 Redenham is entered as 'of Hamon,' rendering account for half a mark. (fn. 51) The identification of this with Fyfield is discussed above. In 1263 Jordan de Clanville and Sybil his wife quitclaimed half a messuage and 3 virgates of land in Redenham to Roger de Redenham and his heirs, (fn. 52) and in 1314 Thomas de Redenham and Joan his wife conveyed a messuage and a carucate there to Michael de Ann. (fn. 53) Several undated grants of land in Redenham occur in the Gloucester cartulary. Luke de Clanville entailed on his son William a virgate of land and a messuage which Arnold at one time held in the vill of West Redenham (fn. 54); on his son Robert a virgate and all his capital messuage and one part of his wood 'scilicet per viam quae se extendit versus Westradeham in australi parte bosci ex opposito capellae' (fn. 55); and on his son Walter a virgate, an acre in East Redenham and half his wood. (fn. 56) The same Luke gave to the abbey of Gloucester a hide of land in Redenham, which he had had from Thomas de Cormeilles, his lord, in exchange for a hide of his inheritance in Thruxton; saving, however, a virgate which he (Luke) had given to William le Blund in free marriage with Annora his daughter and the heirs of their bodies, who were to render yearly a pound of pepper to the monks. In the event of the death of Joan daughter of Annora without issue the virgate was to revert to the abbey. The condition of Luke's gift was that the monks should find his three sons Robert, William and Walter ' in habitu religionis sive in habitu saeculari necessaria.' (fn. 57) The grant was con firmed by John de Cormeilles. (fn. 58) The abbot gave this land to Roger de Cheyne at the rent of a mark, saving to himself and his successors two suits yearly at the court of Littleton. (fn. 59) The service due from Roger for Redenham is also mentioned in an extent of Littleton made in 1265–6. (fn. 60) In 1486 John Wallop died seised of lands and tenements in Redenham held of the Abbot of Gloucester by fealty. (fn. 61) At a later date, perhaps at the Dissolution, this property became the absolute possession of the Wallops. It is first termed a manor in the inquisition taken after the death of Sir John Wallop in 1551 . (fn. 62) From that date onwards the descent has been identical with that of Appleshaw (q.v.), (fn. 63) with which it has come to be considered as one manor. (fn. 64)
The manor was sometimes called East Redenham, sometimes perhaps East Redenham and Fyfield, and later Appleshaw and Redenham.
The Sandys family also held land in Redenham in the 15th century. (fn. 65)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of a chancel 18 ft. 9 in. by 15 ft. 5 in., nave 32 ft. 9 in. by 15 ft. 7 in., north vestry and south porch.
The building is probably of 12th or 13th-century date, but all early details have been destroyed, and such old work as remains does not go back beyond the 15 th century. The chancel was rebuilt (and perhaps enlarged) in the 16th or 17th century. Much of the work is now modernized, and the vestry and porch are both of recent date.
The east window of the chancel is apparently 13th-century work re-used. It has three cinquefoiled lights under a traceried head, and the only other window of the chancel, that in the south wall, has three plain square-headed lights, probably of early 17th-century date. The mullions are worked with a small chamfer.
In the north wall is a modern arch to the vestry. The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders and quite modern, and in the nave is a modern north window of two lights, now pointed but formerly square, and a south window, apparently of the 16th century, with two plain four-centred lights. The south doorway is a modern one with a segmental arched head.
The west window is of three cinquefoiled lights under a two-centred traceried head; the inner splayed jambs have old quoinstones; the rest of the window is modern.
The walling to the south and west of the nave is faced with flint, the chancel walls and the north wall of the nave are coated with cement. A modern bell-cote stands above the west gable of the nave, and has a pointed opening containing a modern bell without inscription. The roofs are gabled and of modern date. The font is a modern octagonal one of stone. In the rectory garden stands an ancient bowl with rounded sides and leaves at the angles, which is probably a mortar and not a font. All the other fittings are entirely modern. There are no old monuments.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten of 1773 and 1657 respectively, and a plated flagon given by George Watson Smyth, rector, in 1851.
The registers begin in 1628: the first book contains mixed entries to 1684, and is on vellum; the second book contains baptisms and burials from 1684 to 1764 and marriages to 1756; the third has baptisms and burials from 1762 to 1812 (it was begun by Henry White, the then rector, and brother of the Rev. Gilbert White of Selborne), and the fourth marriages from 1762 to 1810.
There was a church at Fyfield at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 66) It was given to the abbey of St. Mary de la Pré (co. Northants.) by Hamon son of Meinfelin, and was confirmed to that house by William son of Hamon, as appears from a general confirmation charter of 1328. (fn. 67) The abbey held the advowson until the Dissolution, (fn. 68) the abbess taking a pension of one-fifth of the fruits of the living, (fn. 69) concerning the payment of which the rector was cited during Woodlock's episcopacy (1305–16). (fn. 70) The king presented in 1350, the reason being, according to the entry on the Patent Roll, that the lands and heir of Roger Norman, tenant-in-chief, were in his hands. (fn. 71) No reason is given why the advowson belonged to Roger Norman rather than to St. Mary's, and a more probable reason is the vacancy of the abbey, (fn. 72) although the new abbess, Isabel de Thorpe, had had restitution of temporalities in the previous year. After the Dissolution the Crown kept the advowson of Fyfield in its own hands, the Lord Chancellor presenting, until 1871. (fn. 73) It was then acquired by the Rev. C. A. Hodgson, who was appointed rector in that year and held the advowson until 1882, when it became the property of Mr. R. A. Routh, in whose trustees it is now vested.
There was apparently a chapel at Redenham in early times. One is certainly mentioned in the deed entailing property in Redenham on Robert son of Luke de Clanville. (fn. 74) Its site is perhaps marked by Chapel Copse situated immediately south of Redenham Park.
In 1672 Henry Rogers, by will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, left the sum of £300 towards raising a stock and a working house for the poor inhabitants of Thruxton and Fyfield. The principal sum was laid out in the purchase of a farm at Chute Forest (co. Wilts.), now let at £1610s. a year. The charity is regulated by schemes of the Charity Commissioners of 1865 and 1880; new trustees were appointed by the same commissioners in 1901. The moiety applicable in this parish is applied with the income of the next mentioned charity in the distribution of coal (see also under Thruxton).
In 1876 the Rev. Henry Powney, by will, bequeathed a legacy for the benefit of the poor, represented by £102 16s. 6d. 2½ per cent. annuities, with the official trustees, producing yearly £2 11s. 4d., which is applied, together with Henry Rogers' charity, in coal.
The National School and subsidiary endowment consists of the school buildings and £935 16s. 7d. consols, with the official trustees, arising from an original gift of £800 consols (and accumulations) by Mrs. Sophia Sheppard (see under Amport) for education in this parish, Kimpton and Thruxton, producing yearly £23 7s. 8d. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 16 February 1907, made under the Board of Education Act, 1902, it was determined that the amount to which the school was entitled was £11 7s. 8d. per annum.