A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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In this section
Anne (xi cent.); Anna de Becco, Anne de Bec, Anna Bek (xiii, xiv cent.); Munestagne (xiv cent.); Monkestone, Moncston (xv cent.); Monkeston, Mounkeston (xvii cent.); Monkston (xviii cent.).
Monxton is a long, narrow parish bounded on the north by Weyhill and on the south by Over Wallop. The height above the sea level averages from 250 ft. to 300 ft., the highest point in the parish being on the southern boundary, where an altitude of 346 ft. is attained. The soil is partly light gravel, partly marl and partly chalk, and the subsoil is chalk, (fn. 1) and there are several disused pits. The principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, sainfoin and clover. The area of the parish is 1,156 acres, comprising 866½ acres of arable land, 162 acres of permanent grass and 38 acres of woods and plantations, (fn. 2) the most considerable woodland being Monxton Oakcuts in the south of the parish.
The village itself lies on both sides of Pillhill Brook and is contiguous with Sarson in Amport.
The Andover junction and Southampton branch and the Cheltenham branch of the London and South Western Railway both pass through the parish, the nearest station being Weyhill, a mile and a half distant on the former.
Prospect is a small hamlet lying 2 miles to the south of the village.
In 1806 600 acres were inclosed in the parish. (fn. 3)
MONXTON has been identified with the 'Anne' of Domesday Book which the king held in demesne, and Ulveve had held as an alod of the Confessor. (fn. 4) The manor was given to the Norman abbey of Bec Hellouin by Hugh de Grandmesnil, (fn. 5) as appears from an inspeximus dated 1228 of a confirmation charter of Henry II. (fn. 6) When called to account in 1281 for exercising the privileges of view of frankpledge, gallows, tumbril, and assize of bread and ale without licence, the abbot claimed not only those rights on the manor of Ann de Bec (Monxton), but also sac and soc, tol and theam, infangentheof and all royal liberties and customs as given to the abbey by the charter of Henry II. (fn. 7) The chief English cell of Bec was Ogbourne Priory (co. Wilts.) founded on land given in 1149 by Maud de Wallingford. (fn. 8) To this house Monxton was attached until 1404, (fn. 9) when, since the lands of alien priories were then in the king's hands, Henry IV granted all the possessions of Ogbourne to his son John of Lancaster, constable of England (afterwards Duke of Bedford), Thomas Longley, clerk, and William, prior of the house, to hold during the war with France, rent free for the term of John's life. (fn. 10) Ten years later the alien priories were dissolved, and in 1435 the great Duke of Bedford died seised of these premises, among them Monxton, which descended to Henry VI as his heir. (fn. 11) In the following year Henry VI granted Combe and Monxton for life to Ralph le Sage, lord of Saint Pierre and king's councillor, in lieu of a former grant of £40 a year and in consideration of his services to the king and his father. (fn. 12) Ralph le Sage died in 1437, and in November of that year the manors were granted to William Erard, master in theology, the king's chaplain, and to John de Rinel, the king's clerk and secretary. John de Rinel was to hold for life; William Erard until he was otherwise provided for, taking £20 of the yearly revenues, whereof John was to have the balance. (fn. 13) This gift was in reward of long service whereby William had lost his benefices and patrimony and John his inheritance and possessions. (fn. 14) In July 1439 Erard was dead and Rinel sought and obtained a ratification of the grant. (fn. 15) Three months later a commission was sent to inquire into the wastes and stripments which had occurred in the time of Ralph le Sage, (fn. 16) and in 1441 the reversion of Monxton was included in the endowment of the Royal College of the Blessed Mary and St. Nicholas at Cambridge, (fn. 17) now known as King's College, the provost and fellows of which are the present lords of the manor.
There was a mill at Monxton in 1086 (fn. 18) worth 7s. 6d. In 1628 a water-mill there which had belonged to Sir John Philpot, a recusant, and was then in the possession of William Baldwyn, was granted to Edward Barnes for forty-one years. (fn. 19) There is now a water-mill worked by Pillhill Brook.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN has a chancel 19 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft. 3 in. with a vestry and organ to the north of it, a nave 44 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft. and a south porch. It was rebuilt in 1854 in flint and stone, the only part of the former building preserved being the 12th-century capitals of the chancel arch and perhaps a few other stones belonging to it. These capitals are square with small scallops on each face and small volutes at the corners; the abaci are grooved and hollow-chamfered. The responds below are half-round. The arch is a pointed one, all modern excepting the outer order on the east face, which is hollow-chamfered and has been retooled. The chancel is lighted by a three-light east window and two in the south wall, the eastern one of two lights and the other a single light. A doorway in the north wall gives entrance to the vestry and next it is an arch to the organ chamber, into which is a small opening from the east of the nave. The nave has two two-light traceried windows a side, a single light to the south-west and another single light in the west wall. The entrance is in the south wall and has a wooden porch. A wood bell-turret is supported at the west end on an arch between two buttresses; it has oak shingled sides with traceried openings to the bell-chamber; above it is a small octagonal spire rising from a square roof and covered with oak shingles. The roofs of nave and chancel are tiled.
All the furniture is of modern date.
In the floor of the nave partly hidden by the pews are two brasses. One has the small figure of a lady in Elizabethan dress in a kneeling position with a man, also kneeling, behind her. The inscription runs:—'Here lyeth the body of Alice Swayne, mother unto Arthur Swayne, whose soule ascended into eternal joye the Xth daye of January ano 1599 aged lxxxxviii yeres'; below this is the verse, 'Christe is to mee as life on earth, And death to me as gayne, Because I trust to him alone Salvation to obtayne.' The other brass is an inscription in Latin to Richard Pore, grandson of Adam Roberts, rector of this church, died 1606. There are also other gravestones of later date.
The churchyard is small. The church is set back from the road and the entrance path to it has been inclosed in modern times in the garden of the private house next to the church.
There are two bells, one inscribed T. W. Francis foster 1669 Richard Wale churchwarden, and the other by R. Wells of 'Aubourn,' 1783, and with the churchwardens' names.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten cover of uncertain date, a silver paten and flagon of 1865 and 1868 respectively, a pewter flagon given by Robert Hatchet, churchwarden, in 1682 and two pewter alms plates.
The first book of the registers contains mixed entries from 1716 to 1812, the marriages stopping at 1754, and the second book has the marriages from 1755 to 1811.
Monxton Church, though not mentioned in the early grants, appears to have always followed the descent of the manor, and to have been in the patronage of the English representative of the Abbot of Bec, (fn. 20) except on those frequent occasions when the alien houses were in the hands of the king. (fn. 21) Again, the advowson is not specified in the grant to King's College, Cambridge, in 1441. However, the college was presenting early in Waynflete's episcopacy of Winchester (1447–86) (fn. 22) and still has the patronage.
Churches like Monxton, in the gift of a Norman house, were always likely to be served by a foreigner; and the lot of the Frenchman resident in England in the 14th century was a precarious one. An instance of this fact occurred in 1337, when the sheriff was ordered to deliver his church, its lands and possessions, goods and chattels, to Robert Swef or Swoef, rector of Monxton, whose property, as a subject of the French king, had been seized. The letter further states that the king had compassion on Robert's estate, who had remained for thirty years and more in his benefice, which was not worth more than 10 marks. (fn. 23) In point of fact Swoef had not been in his benefice for thirty years, having been instituted in 1317. (fn. 24)
There are no endowed charities in this parish.