A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Chementune (xi cent.); Keminton (xii cent.); Kemeton, Cumpton (xiii cent.); Kumetone, Kumeton, Cumynton (xiv cent.).
Kimpton, which is bounded on the north by the Wiltshire parish of Ludgershall, covers an area of 2,795 acres, thus forming one of the most extensive parishes in the hundred. There are 1,825½ acres of arable land, 721½ acres of permanent grass and 154 acres of woods and plantations, (fn. 1) Kimpton Wood in the south-west and Littleton Copse in the east being the principal woodland. The highest land is on Kimpton Down, in the south-west corner of the parish, where the summit of Pickford Hill, on which there is a tumulus, is 456 ft. above the ordnance datum. From this point there is a gentle slope towards the north and east down to about 300 ft., with a subsequent rise of 100 ft. in the extreme north. The soil is very light and the subsoil is chalk. (fn. 2) The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and turnips.
Kimpton Lodge, a large brick gabled house built about 1835, stands in a park, the entrance to which is on the road from Fyfield to Shipton Bellinger. North of this park lies the village. The church stands back from the road to the south, and near it is a pretty gabled brick house with a fine yew hedge. The rectory, which was built in 1872, is to the north and beyond it is the school. Great and Little Shoddesden lie a mile to the north, and Littleton Farm is on the eastern boundary, close to Fyfield village. About a quarter of a mile southwest from Great Shoddesden excavations made by the Rev. G. H. Engleheart, F.S.A., towards the close of last century revealed a small building, probably a hut, of the Romano-British period. (fn. 3)
The high road from Devizes to Andover and the Midland and South-Western junction railway pass through the north-east of the parish.
A 13th-century extent of Littleton in the Gloucester cartulary gives many place-names, among which are 'Thursbrakedenelonde,' 'Fernfurlonge,' 'Oppethebutten,' 'Pikedelonde-juxta-Dounam,' 'Foxenhulle,' 'Willwelande,' 'Stallingforlonge,' 'Stomdene,' 'La Dounhalf,' 'Langethornesforlong,' 'Witehulle,' 'Mushulle,' 'Hellinglonde.' (fn. 4) The following places are named in a deed relating to Shoddesden: 'Little Costord,' 'Hangers Close,' 'Periam.' (fn. 5)
KIMPTON was held by one Geoffrey under Hugh de Port at the time of the Domesday Survey, and had been held as an alod by Wenesi of the Confessor. (fn. 6) The Ports and their heirs, the St. Johns, continued as overlords, having two fees here, (fn. 7) which in 1349, after the death of Edmund St. John, were assigned, like so many neighbouring fees, to Sir Luke de Poynings and his wife Isabel, Edmund's elder sister and co-heir. (fn. 8) The manor was afterwards held of the burgesses of Andover. (fn. 9)
In 1167 Kimpton was held by a certain bastard, of whom nothing further is known. (fn. 10) In 1217 the king wrote to his uncle the Earl of Salisbury that Roger de Scures, having given surety that he would do homage without delay after the siege of Porchester Castle, was to have seisin of his land in Kimpton as he had it on the day when he withdrew from the service of King John. (fn. 11) Eve de Scures is mentioned in the Testa de Nevill as holding two fees here of Robert St. John, (fn. 12) and in 1349 John de Scures held the same amount of the heirs of Hugh St. John. (fn. 13)
The Scures, however, did not themselves hold in demesne. In the 13th century Hugh de Raumpenz held of Eve de Scures and the co-heirs of Adam Spinney held of Raumpenz by old enfeoffment. (fn. 14) The said co-heirs were the three daughters of Adam Spinney, Isabel wife of Alexander Hussey, Margery, who apparently married Richard de Dummer, (fn. 15) and Denise. (fn. 16) In 1256 Denise surrendered her share to Alexander and Isabel. (fn. 17) In 1306 Edmund Hussey, Alexander's son, disputed the right to present to the church with William de Dummer, who was probably the son and heir of Richard and Margery. (fn. 18) Ten years later John Hussey shared the vill with John de Wimbledon and William de Dummer. (fn. 19) In 1345 James Hussey granted manor and advowson to William de Edendon, clerk. (fn. 20) The real lord of the manor was, however, at this date Edmund Hussey, James having only a life interest in two-thirds, while Nicholas de Haywood and Joan his wife held the other third as the dower of Joan. (fn. 21) In the 'Aid' of the following year William de Edendon appears with Bernard Brocas, who had purchased John de Wimbledon's estate in 1338, (fn. 22) and Margaret Spircock as his parcenaries, (fn. 23) and shortly after this John de Edendon presented to the church. (fn. 24) The manor subsequently appears to have passed to the Lisles, who acquired Thruxton (q.v.) about the same time. Elizabeth Lisle had a quarter of a fee here in 1431. (fn. 25) Thence it passed to John Rogers of Cannington (co. Somers.), who had married Margaret Lisle, one of the co-heirs of the Lisles of Wootton. (fn. 26) Sir Edward Rogers of Cannington (fn. 27) was dealing with the manor of Kimpton in 1551, (fn. 28) and his son, Sir George Rogers, died seised of it in 1582, leaving a son and heir Edward. (fn. 29) The latter sold the manor in 1591 to Robert Cook, (fn. 30) who died seised in 1601. (fn. 31) Richard son of Robert Cook died shortly afterwards, and in 1620 his sisters and heirs, Elizabeth wife of Henry Arthur, and Ann wife of Isaac Pennington, joined with their husbands in selling the manor to John Foyle. (fn. 32) The Foyles continued to hold in the male line (fn. 33) until the death of Mr. George Soley Foyle in 1839, leaving an only daughter, Mary Anne wife of the Rev. Charles Randolph. Mr. Charles Foyle Randolph, J.P., D.L., son of the Rev. Charles Randolph and Mary Anne Foyle, is now lord of the manor, and resides at Kimpton Lodge.
Azor held LITTLETON (known in modern times as the manor of LITTLETON AND SHODDESDEN) of Edward the Confessor as an alod. At Domesday it was one of the holdings of Hugh de Port, (fn. 34) and in 1096, on becoming a monk of Winchester, the great fief holder gave Littleton to the abbey of St. Peter, Gloucester. (fn. 35) This grant was confirmed by his son Henry, (fn. 36) and later by Adam de Port, (fn. 37) whose charter precedes in the cartulary, but was no doubt consequent on a command from Henry II forbidding him to vex the abbot in his possession. (fn. 38) The gift of Hugh de Port to Gloucester is also mentioned in the general confirmations given by King Stephen (1138), (fn. 39) Archbishop Theobald (1139–48) (fn. 40) and Henry II. (fn. 41) In 1280 the abbot was found to hold half a knight's fee of John St. John in Littleton. (fn. 42) In 1291 the abbot's temporalities in Littleton were valued at £10. (fn. 43) From an undated charter, probably of Abbot John de Felda (1243–63), it appears that the abbot held a court here, at which Henry de Reigate had to make suit twice in the year for the manor of Wallop Heathmanstreet, which he held at fee-farm of the abbey. (fn. 44) A very full list of tenures, rents and services in this manor has been gathered from the Gloucester cartulary.
A virgate of land held in villeinage was let to farm for five shillings a year, and besides this the tenant was to plough for the lord twice in the year (value 4d). He was on those days to eat at the lord's table, and to give five bushels and a quarter of barley for chirsaec (value 3s. 3d.). He was to harrow the lord's land at Lent until it was entirely sown (value 4½d.); to hoe the lord's corn for three days (value 2½d.); to carry the lord's hay (value 2d.); to plant beans for one day (value ½d.); to wash and shear the lord's wethers (value ½d.); to make a stack of hay in the court (value ½d.); to perform summage at Andover and Ludgershall (value 3d. per annum); to mow 2½ acres every week during the autumn (value in the whole 3s. 2½d.); to perform three bederipes in the autumn with two men subsisting at the lord's table (value 3d., such subsistence being deducted); to carry the lord's corn in the autumn (value 4s.); and if he did not reap or carry, then to thresh the lord's corn to the same value; to gather nuts for half a day (value ½d.): thus making the value of these services beyond the farm of five shillings, 12s. 2½d. The tenant of half a virgate of the same land was to plough for the lord twice in the year (value 2d.); he was also on those days to eat with the lord, and to give chirsaec according to his portion (value 19d.); to harrow (value 4½d.); to hoe (value 2½d.); to perform works relating to hay as if he had an entire virgate (value 2d.); to plant beans (value ½d.); to wash and shear the lord's sheep (value ½d.); to make a stack (value ½d.); to perform summage (value 1½d.); to mow, as for one virgate (value 3s. 2½d.); to perform three bederipes (value 3d.); to eat with the lord on those days, and to carry his corn in the autumn (value of such carriage 4s.), or to thresh to the same value; to collect nuts (value ½d.): sum total of the work, 10s. 3d. (fn. 45)
About the end of the 12th century (fn. 46) Richard, clerk of Ann, renounced his claim to the tithes of the demesne of Littleton, receiving from the monks half a mark yearly at Easter in recompense. (fn. 47) After the dissolution of the monastery Henry VIII founded the see of Gloucester, and among his gifts to the dean and chapter of the new cathedral were Littleton Manor and Littleton Copse. (fn. 48) This grant is dated 30 August 1541. The dean and chapter, however, did not long keep the manor. In 1545 they surrendered it to the king, (fn. 49) and it came soon afterwards into the hands of Sir John St. John of Lydiard Tregoze, who died in 1576, having left Littleton, by a will made two years earlier, (fn. 50) to his son and heir William St. John, who died seised thereof in 1609. (fn. 51) The male lines of the St. Johns of Lydiard Tregoze and Farley Ghamberlayne (q.v.) came to an end on the death, unmarried, in 1699 of Oliver St. John, whose heir was his only sister Frances wife of Ellis Mews, who took the name of St. John on succeeding to the estates. Their son, Paulet St. John, was created a baronet in 1772 and was ancestor of the St. John-Mildmays, barts., now of Dogmersfield (q.v.). The manor, which began in the 17th century to be called the manor of Littleton and Shoddesden, descended in this line until 1795, (fn. 52) when Sir Henry Paulet St. John-Mildmay, third bart., sold threequarters of it to John Pollen, created a baronet in the same year, (fn. 53) to whose great-grandson, Sir Richard Hungerford Pollen, fourth bart., it has descended. A quarter of the manor had become detached at some uncertain date. In 1779 it was the object of a fine between Thomas Day and John Pett and others (fn. 54); and in 1825 between Robert Morrell and Richard Jordan, Phineas Pett, Ann Pett and Elizabeth Pett. (fn. 55) It must have subsequently become reunited to the main holding or have ceased to be manorial.
In 1086 Agemund held the manor of SHODDESDEN (Sotesdene, xi cent.; Shotesden, xiii cent.; Shadsdon, Shaddesden, xviii cent.) of the king, having also held it as an alod of Queen Edith. (fn. 56) In 1331 John de Bohun of Midhurst (co. Suss.) granted land here to the Prioress and convent of Easebourne, (fn. 57) who appear as overlords in the 16th century. (fn. 58)
Roger de Cormeilles, on whom Stephen Malory, clerk, and William Randolph settled land in Kimpton, Fyfield and West Shoddesden in 1340, (fn. 59) appears to have been lord of the manor; for licence to hear divine service within the manor of Shoddesden was granted once to himself and twice to Agnes his widow during the episcopacies of Orlton (1333–45) (fn. 60) and Edendon (1346–66). (fn. 61) In 1433 John Skillyng was seised of the manor of Shoddesden in fee simple. (fn. 62) He left a daughter and heir Elizabeth, who was the wife, first of John Wynnard, and secondly of Thomas Wayte. (fn. 63) John Wynnard and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the manor to John Wydeslade in 1465, (fn. 64) and in 1482 Thomas Wayte died seised jointly with his wife Elizabeth, who survived him. He was said to have held of John Lisle as of the manor of Kimpton, and left a brother and heir, William Wayte. (fn. 65) John Thornborough, however, died seised of the manor in 1511, holding of the Prioress of Easebourne. (fn. 66) His son, Robert Thornborough, died in 1522, (fn. 67) and was in turn succeeded by his son William, who died in 1535, having held the manor in reversion after the death of Anne, Robert Thornborough's widow, who had married Sir Anthony Windsor as her second husband. (fn. 68) In 1561 John son of William Thornborough sold the manor of Shoddesden to his brother-in-law Richard Kingsmill, (fn. 69) whose nephew William Kingsmill conveyed it in 1638 to Arthur Evelyn. (fn. 70) The next mention of the manor is not until 1705, when Dame Barbara Henley, relict of Sir Robert Henley, sold her life interest therein to her son John Henley of Abbots Wootton (co. Dors.), (fn. 71) who immediately sold the manor to Thomas Richmond alias Webb. (fn. 72) In 1720 John Richmond alias Webb and Anne his wife sold it to Edmund Stradwick, (fn. 73) and in 1756 Thomas Humphries and Frances his wife conveyed it to John Peachey, warranting him against the heirs of both. (fn. 74) It is probable that soon after this date this manor became merged in the manor of Littleton.
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL consists of a continuous chancel and nave 73 ft. 2 in. long (of which some 27 ft. belong to the chancel) and from 14 ft. 5 in. to 15 ft. 2 in. wide, north transept 13 ft. 2 in. wide by 12 ft. 5 in. deep, south transept of like dimensions, south aisle 5 ft. 9 in. wide, with south porch, and west tower 9 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft. 4 in., all internal dimensions.
The building was originally a plain rectangular structure. The chancel dates from about 1220, and the small and apparently original north door seems to be of the same date. It is possible, however, that the nave may retain the walling of an earlier building which had a narrower chancel. The two transepts and the south arcade are all work of the 14th century; the details suggest that the north transept was added fairly early in the century, and that the south transept and aisle followed in the latter part of the century. The north-east window of the nave is a 15th-century insertion, and that further west is a late construction with a re-used 15th-century head. The south aisle was evidently rebuilt in the 18th century in accordance with the date 1702 which it bears. The tower was built in 1837.
The east window of the chancel has two ogee trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil above; it is all of modern stonework except the external outer order, which is a sunk quarter-round mould, and dates from c. 1320. Below the window is a length of contemporary scroll-moulded string course. In the eastern part of the north wall is the front of a tomb recess; it has a round arch with six cusps under a gabled head, the spandrels being trefoiled. There was, no doubt, a label to the gable, but this has now gone, and the recess has also been filled in to within 7 in. of the face; the jambs are of two hollow chamfers with broach stop bases sunk below the present floor level; it dates from the middle of the 14th century. The two north windows are set comparatively close together in the western half of the wall; the first is a 13th-century lancet, the second window is a low-side one without glass grooves, apparently a 14th-century insertion, and has a trefoiled head and widely splayed jambs with a wood lintel; its west jamb is pierced by a squint from the north transept, which has a low ogee trefoiled head on the west. In the south wall is a small late 14th-century piscina, with a two-centred trefoiled head under a gablet with trefoiled spandrel; the jambs are of two hollow chamfers, and the details exactly like that of the tomb recess opposite. The first of the three south windows is a repaired twolight window of the same date, and doubtless all these alterations at the east of the 13th-century chancel belong to one time; the second window is a 13th-century lancet like that opposite, and the third is similar but with partly restored inner quoins. The south priest's doorway between the two latter is a 14th-century insertion, but the sharpness of its outside stonework suggests a later restoration; it is of a sunk quarter-round order with a scroll and bead label on round flower stops. The squint from the south transept opens into the west jamb of the third window, where it has a trefoiled head; part of the eastern jamb of the window is also cut away for the same purpose. There is no arch at the entrance to the chancel. That from the nave into the north transept or Shoddesden chapel has chamfered jambs with broach stops, now partly below the floor. The arch is of two wave-moulded orders dying on the jambs. The transept has a much restored north window of two ogee trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil above, under a two-centred arch. The east wall is unpierced, but has two original moulded image brackets, the south one of half-octagonal plan, and the north of square plan with a moulded face and flat sides, marking the site of an altar. The west window is a 14th-century (?) ogee-headed lancet with two small chamfered orders, now uncusped, but doubtless trefoiled originally. Below the north window is a blocked recess, perhaps originally like that in the south transept. It contains a plain marble altar tomb with indents for brasses, and above is a marble slab, crested and panelled, with the brasses of Robert Thornborough (vide infra).
The first of the two north windows of the nave is a square-headed one dating from the 15th century, with three cinquefoiled lights; the jambs outside are moulded with an ogee and wide hollow mould, and it has a moulded label; the edges inside have a double ogee mould which also passes around the head. The other window has three lights with cinquefoiled heads, old work re-used; the jambs are of two hollow chamfers outside, inside they are roughly moulded in plaster and the window has no label. Between the windows is a blocked doorway with a pointed head of a single chamfered order, probably 13th-century work. The south arcade has four bays; the pillars are octagonal, but that between the first and second bays is wider than the rest, to range with the transept; all the chamfered sides are stopped out with broach stops 1 ft. 11 in. above the floor excepting in the west respond, and have chamfered plinths below cut away in places. The east respond has an additional chamfered plinth. The arches are all two centred and of two chamfered orders dying on the jambs and pillars without capitals or any break at the springing.
In the south wall of the south transept is a piscina with a trefoiled ogee head and of a single chamfered order with broach stops above the sill; the sill has a circular basin, and half-way up is a shelf. The south window has two trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a quatrefoil over in a two-centred head with moulded labels inside and out, the latter apparently of modern repair. Below the window are the remains of a cinquefoiled ogee-headed tomb recess; its outer foils have been removed and it is partly filled in against either jamb. Its back is pierced by a low trefoiled light; this window had been filled in, and was discovered at a recent restoration. In the east wall are two image brackets; the southern one has been hacked away underneath, and had a chamfered quarter round below; the other seems a modern copy of it.
The south aisle has two small south windows. The first is a single trefoiled ogee light under a square head with pierced and cusped spandrels. Its lintel inside is plastered; it is evidently an 18th-century copy of a 14th-century window done when the wall was rebuilt. The south doorway is a plain one with chamfered jambs and segmental arch, probably of 18th-century date. The second window has a plain ogee-headed light and a plaster lintel inside; it is contemporary with a doorway. A panel outside, east of the porch, bears the date 1702 and the churchwardens' names.
The tower dates from 1837 and is built of flint and brick; the arch opening into it from the nave is a pointed one of cement. It has two stages with brick buttresses. The west window is of brick with a wood frame and a pair of brick lancet windows pierce each wall of the bell chamber.
The roof of the chancel is gabled and panelled below in oak; it is all modern except the moulded tie-beam to the middle truss, which has a carved foliage boss in the middle. The gabled nave roof is also modern; it is open timbered below. Both transepts are oak panelled below, and the aisle has a lean-to roof, all being modern.
The altar table dates from the late 16th century, and has heavy carved baluster legs and good rails.
The font is modern, octagonal in plan. The other furniture is also modern. The only old monuments are those in the north transept. The upper one has on a marble panel with cresting over the following inscription on brass, 'Off your charite pray for the soule of Robert Thornborough Esquyer whos body here restyth and dyed the xii day of May in the yere of Or lord God mvcxxii and for ye soul of Alys and Anne his wyves & all there children ō whos soul ihu have mercy.' Above the inscription are the brass figures of Robert Thornborough and his wives, the first with two children behind her and the other with seven. He is in armour, and above him is inlaid a cross with the five wounds; from his mouth issues the prayer 'Crux Xpi libera me'; the wives are dressed alike in kennel head-dresses with belts fastened by clasps in the form of three roses. The scrolls from their mouths are inscribed 'Crux Xpi salva me' and 'Crux Xpi defende me' respectively. Above the figures are the indents of three shields.
Below this slab is a small altar tomb half buried in the wall, it is 4 ft. 8 in. long and projects 1 ft. 4 in.; the top slab has a moulded edge and sunk in it are the indents of two figures, and an inscription, with two shields at the angles. The modern glass in the window above has the arms of Robert Thornborough, Ermine a fret and a chief gules, and of Henry Merceron, Azure two cheverons between two molets in the chief and a crescent in the foot all argent.
There are three bells: the treble by Warner, 1905; the second by Robert Wells of Aldbourne, 1764; and the tenor by William Purdue of Salisbury, 1662.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt chalice, a most valuable example of early silver work, possibly belonging to the late 15 th century, and a silver paten and flagon of 1688.
The first book of the registers contains baptisms from 1593 to 1659, marriages 1593 to 1656, and burials from 1593 to 1652; the second continues all three to 1753; the third has baptisms and burials to 1812 and marriages to 1754; the fourth has marriages from 1754 to 1797; and the fifth continues them to 1812.
Adam Spinney, lord of Kimpton, is said to have presented to the church of Kimpton in the reign of King John. (fn. 75) In 1306 William de Dummer and his wife Maud claimed the advowson against Edmund Hussey, but presumably without success, (fn. 76) and it continued to descend with the manor until 1886, (fn. 77) when it was acquired from Mr. Charles Foyle Randolph by Mr. Henry Merceron. Mr. Francis Henry Merceron of Tangley now holds it.
The school was built in 1873 and enlarged in 1895 for 75 children.
In 1795 Gorges Foyle, by a codicil to his will, left £100, the interest to be applied for the relief of the poor, invested in £133 11s. 5d. consols.
In 1839 George Soley Foyle, by will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 5 December, left £200 for the use of the poor, invested in £220 1s. 7d. consols.
The Rev. Edward Foyle by will, date not ascertained, left a legacy for the poor, represented by £135 18s. 2d. consols.
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees. The yearly income amounting to £ 12 4s. 4d. is applied wholly in the distribution of coal.
The National Schools are entitled to a share of the charity of Mrs. Sophia Sheppard. (See under Fyfield.)