A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Middeltune (xi cent.).
The name of Longparish does not seem to have been used until about the middle of the 16th century. Before that the whole parish was known as Middleton, a name which is now used chiefly to denote one hamlet, although it is still the alternative designation of the parish.
The parish slopes from a mean height of 300 ft. above sea level in the north to a mean height of 200 ft. in the south. The soil is light, the subsoil chalk, with alluvial deposits in the valley of the River Test. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and turnips. The total area is 5,327 acres, of which 2,884 acres are arable land, 599 acres permanent grass and 1,324 acres woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The greater part of Harewood Forest, a tract of open copses and intersecting green roads, lies within this parish. In Deadman's Plack Copse is a monument erected in 1826 to the memory of Earl Athelwold, who, tradition has it, was murdered there in 963 by King Edgar for the sake of his wife Elfrida, whom the king subsequently married.
There is a station here, at some distance from the village, on the Hurstbourne and Fullerton branch of the London and South Western Railway. The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton branch of the Great Western Railway also passes through the parish.
On the main road, running through the parish from north-east to south-west, East Aston, Longparish, Middleton and Forton lie at short distances apart. Longparish House is the seat of Mr. Peter Thomas Ryves Hawker, whose ancestors have been there for many generations. (fn. 2) It lies between East Aston and Longparish. Middleton Hall (with its park), the residence of Mr. Cecil Lowry Wade, is between Middleton and Forton. Gravel Acre Farm, or Gavelacre, the residence of Mr. R. K. Hodgson, is near the meeting of Wherwell, Longparish and Barton Stacey. The oldest part of the present building does not antedate the 17th century and the greater part of it is modernized.
Ink Pin (fn. 3) Lane branches off from the main Andover to Basingstoke road at Harewood Farm and runs through the forest to Middleton. Another road from Andover runs south-east towards Bullington, and skirts the northern edge of the southern division of Harewood Forest, crossing the Test just below Forton.
In 1802 no less than 750 acres in West Aston and Middleton were inclosed. (fn. 4)
Place-names found in early documents are: Broad Ell, 'Rigge,' 'Adames Dene' (fn. 5); Lynford, Collett Close, Sheppard's Lane, Little Deanes, Great Deanes, 'Deanes where the Well is,' Upper Deanes and the Strip. (fn. 6)
Like the neighbouring manors LONGPARISH belonged to Wherwell Abbey, was granted to Thomas West Lord De La Warr at the Dissolution, and remained in that family until 1695. In 1086 it ('Middeltune') was assessed at 10 hides, and had a fishery for the use of the hall, (fn. 7) and in 1291 it was valued at £39 6s. (fn. 8) One of the 'innumerable works' of the good Abbess Eufemia, who ruled the convent in the second quarter of the 13 th century, was the rebuilding of the manor house. 'The manor house of Middleton, which occupied a dry situation and was close to a public thoroughfare, and was further disfigured by old and crumbling buildings, she moved to another site, where she erected permanent buildings, new and strong, on the banks of the river, together with farm-houses.' (fn. 9)
In 1698 Boulter, who had purchased of the Wests in 1695, sold Longparish to Richard Widmore of North Oakley, in the parish of Kingsclere, reserving an annual rent of £42 on Longparish Farm. (fn. 10) The estate is now in the hands of the trustees of the late Mr. James Widmore.
Free warren over its demesne of Middleton was granted to the convent of Wherwell in 1331 (fn. 11) and confirmed in 1378 (fn. 12); and the manorial rights of free fishery, free warren, liberty of foldage and view of frankpledge are mentioned in an 18th-century conveyance. (fn. 13)
In 1228 the Abbess of Wherwell was claiming an assize of novel disseisin against Henry Marshall and others in regard to the common pasture in Andover, which appertained to her free tenement in Middleton. This pasture was said to be royal demesne, and a mandate was issued to the justices itinerant to respite the said assize until the king had inquired further into the matter. (fn. 14)
In 1640 Edward Nicholas, then secretary to the Admiralty, purchased Longparish Farm from Lady De La Warr. (fn. 15) Ten years later, however, the estate was sequestered for delinquency, and Jane, Lady Nicholas, was begging an allowance for herself and her children. (fn. 16) In July 1651 Leonard Green, formerly Nicholas's tenant, who had been in arms for Parliament, had a grant of the premises. (fn. 17)
At the Domesday Survey there were two mills worth 40s. (fn. 18) In 1328 the Abbess Isabel and the convent of Wherwell granted to Maud wife of John le Fox and Richard his son the moiety of a fulling mill which lay south of the water running through the water-wheel, all the houses built on that side, and half the eels taken in the mill close, with other gifts and privileges. (fn. 19) On the same day a grant of the northern moiety was made to Richard of Freefolk. (fn. 20) In 1362 John atte Park of Winchester granted to Sir Robert of Bruddecombe, chaplain, a water-mill and other premises in Middleton which he had recently had of the gift of William atte Mill. (fn. 21) A little later, apparently the same John and Christine his wife quitclaimed to Richard Deneby of Lambourn, clerk, and William of Malmesbury, clerk, and the heirs of Richard a mill, three messuages and land there. (fn. 22)
In 1566 a tucking-mill with a watercourse in Longparish, formerly belonging to the Abbess and convent of Wherwell, was granted to Thomas Blackway and Francis Barker, both London citizens, to be held in socage of the royal manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 23)
At the present time there are two mills in the parish, the Upper on East Aston Common and the Lower some half mile further down the Test.
GAVELACRE, or Gallaker, represented now by Gavelacre Farm, was at one time a manor. Eustace of Gavelacre mortgaged his tenement in Gavelacre to the community at Wherwell for a debt of 25 marks payable within three years from the Feast of the Assumption in 1258. (fn. 24) In 1351 John Ingpen was found to have died seised, it would seem, of 12 acres of waste land there, held of the king in chief. (fn. 25) This John is probably the same as the Thomas Ingpen of 'Galaker' mentioned in the visitation pedigree of 1634, (fn. 26) who married Isabel Colshill and had a son Robert; for an inquisition of 1411 shows that Robert Ingpen held at his death, which occurred in the previous reign, the manor of Gavelacre, which had been part of the dower lands of his mother Isabel, late wife of Hugh Craan, and whereof the abbey of Wherwell was overlord. (fn. 27) From a previous inquisition taken in 1406 it appeared that Robert Ingpen died in 1389, since which date his wife Margery, who had married John Bennet, had taken the issues. (fn. 28) His mother Isabel died in 1409 holding—of whom and by what service the jurors were ignorant—the manor of Gavelacre, which then reverted to Richard son and heir of Robert. (fn. 29) In December 1509 John Ingpen died seised of this manor which he held of the abbey. (fn. 30) Gavelacre is not named among the Wherwell Abbey property granted to Lord De La Warr, but in 1623 Richard Blake died at Andover seised of the mansion house called Gavelacre with its appurtenances, which he held of Cecily Lady De La Warr as of her manor of Wherwell. (fn. 31) It is to be presumed, therefore, that it became merged in that manor (q.v.) at the Dissolution and followed its descent.
The vill of FORTON is named among the possessions of Wherwell Abbey in the privilegium of Pope Gregory IX in 1228. (fn. 32) Land there is the subject of several early undated charters in the Wherwell Cartulary. (fn. 33) In 1234 the convent of Wherwell agreed, for a rent of 1 lb. of cummin at Michaelmas, to give Eustace of Gavelacre and Maud his wife a mill with its appurtenances in Forton in exchange for his tenement in Compton. (fn. 34) About 1332 Nicholas le Wayte and Amice his wife fined with Roger Hussey for a mill and other premises there, which they were to hold to themselves and the heirs of their bodies with reversion, in default, to Roger and his heirs. (fn. 35) The same Nicholas and Amice had, some eight years later, confirmation of a life grant from the Abbess Maud of two messuages and 2 virgates of land in Forton. (fn. 36) In 1361 Roger Hussey died seised of lands and a mill there, (fn. 37) and in 1370 his brother John was found to have held the same premises of Wherwell Abbey conjointly with his wife Isabel. (fn. 38) Thirty years later one William Ringbourne was at the time of his death tenant in chief of a messuage, land and water-mill in Forton. (fn. 39) In 1468 John Gilbard son and heir of Nicholas Gilbard of Woodborough (co. Wilts.) released to Robert Ingpen of Southampton all his right in the 'manor' of Forton, a water-mill there, and pasture for two cows with the cows of the Abbess of Wherwell (fn. 40); but this seems to be the only occasion on which the 'manor' of Forton is mentioned. John Ingpen, who died seised of the manor of Gavelacre in December 1509, held also a mill and land in Forton, (fn. 41) described as parcel of the manor of Gavelacre. At the Dissolution these holdings doubtless went to Lord De La Warr. Richard Blake, who died in 1623, held a messuage called 'Chamberlaynes hold,' and others there, of Cecily Lady De La Warr as of her manor of Wherwell (fn. 42); and premises in Forton are repeatedly mentioned in the later conveyances of Longparish Manor.
The tithings of EAST ASTON and WEST ASTON lie half a mile to the east and west, respectively, of the village of Longparish. In the list of Wherwell Abbey's possessions given in Pope Gregory's privilegium of 1228 the vill of Eston with its appurtenances is named. (fn. 43) In 1258 Robert Falconer granted to the convent of Wherwell all the land which he had bought or held of Henry le Frye in the vill of 'Eston,' except 3 acres in 'la ffrie breche' on the west of 'Asebrugges,' with common pasture for cattle and farm beasts, saving to himself and his heirs common pasture for sheep and pigs. (fn. 44) In 1325 Henry le Wayte had licence to alienate in mortmain 66 acres of land, 4 acres of meadow and 5 acres of marsh in Wherwell, Goodworth and 'Easton' (fn. 45) to the Abbess and convent of Wherwell. Robert of Knightsbridge quitclaimed to the Abbess Isabel in 1329 all his right in the moor of 'Esteston' which John of Gondoude had given to the abbess and convent (fn. 46); while in 1544 the king granted to William Bishop of Bredy (co. Dors.) and John Hyde of London in fee a fulling mill and garden called 'Knyght Bridge,' the property of the late monastery of Wherwell. (fn. 47)
In the Wherwell Cartulary there is a list of tenants in East Aston, West Aston and Forton together with those in Bullington, Little Ann and Goodworth Clatford, in 1493. (fn. 48)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of a chancel 24 ft. 4 in. by 13 ft. 6 in., with a north vestry, a nave 52 ft. 2 in. by 18 ft. 6 in., with north and south aisles 9 ft. 2 in. and 8 ft. 8 in. wide respectively, a west tower 9 ft. 10 in. by 9 ft. 1 in., also an organ chamber opening north from the north aisle and a south porch. All the measurements are internal. The general structure of the chancel, nave and aisles belongs to c. 1190–1200, but modern restorations have destroyed all the old windows, and the nave arcades are the chief features that remain of the original building. The tower was added in the 16th century and the vestry and organ chamber are modern additions.
The east window of the chancel has three trefoiled lights and tracery of 14th-century design and is modern, as is the tracery of all the windows of the church.
The four other windows of the chancel, two in the north wall and two in the south, are single trefoiled lancets, which have old masonry at the angles of the internal jambs and rear arches, the south-west window having 13th-century shafts with moulded capitals. Beneath the easternmost window on this side is a modern piscina and in the opposite wall a small modern credence. There is also a modern sedile on the south and over it a modern reminiscence of an Easter sepulchre. Between the two north windows is the entrance to the vestry, which is lighted by two small windows in the east wall and a very small twolight window in the north wall. There is an outside doorway in the west wall. Between the two windows of the south wall is a priest's doorway which has stopchamfered jambs, grooved and chamfered abaci and a plain semicircular arch. The internal jambs and rear arch are modern.
The chancel arch is two-centred and has two chamfered orders continuous with the jambs with a moulded abacus at the springing which continues round to the capitals of the aisle responds. The work is old but entirely retooled. The north and south arcades are each of four bays with circular columns which have roll and hollow-moulded bases and capitals with fluted scallops enriched with foliage, much repaired and recut. The capital of the first pillar on the south side has stiff-leaf foliage, while one on the north side has hollow flutings. The arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders with moulded labels on the nave sides.
The west window of the north aisle is a deeply splayed round-headed light in a pointed rear arch, the jambs of the rear arch alone being old, and near it on the north-west is a plain two-light window also widely splayed, but all the other aisle windows are of 14th-century character with modern tracery, their jambs being for the most part old.
The pointed arch opening to the organ chamber has modern semicircular responds with moulded bases, but the capitals, which are of the same type as those in the arcades, appear to be old. The chamber is lighted by two single trefoiled lights in the east and west walls and a window of two trefoiled lights with traceried head in the north wall. The south doorway has jambs moulded in two orders and a twocentred arch with a label, the outer order having a moulded base and modern capitals; the doorway must date from c. 1200.
The tower arch is narrow and four-centred, with wide chamfered jambs. The west doorway is modern and has moulded jambs and two-centred arch. Above it is a modern three-light window with traceried head.
The tower is divided into three stages and has an embattled parapet. The stair turret is on the northwest angle and is square at the bottom and octagonal at the top. The top stage contains a window of two plain flat-pointed lights filled with modern pierced stonework on each side except the east. In the west face only is a similar window in the middle stage. The walls of the tower are of chequer work with flint and stone, all other walls are of flint with stone dressings. The roofs are tiled.
All the internal fittings are modern and the roofs are of modern open timber work.
The font near the west end of the nave has a tall modern canopy which swings on a pivoted iron bracket. The whole interior of the church is decorated with modern painted ornament and texts in red, blue, green and gold, and all the windows are filled with stained glass. This and the absence of a clearstory make the building very dark.
The tower contains three bells, all by Robert Wells of Aldbourne, 1791.
The plate consists of a silver parcel-gilt chalice and two patens of 1884, a silver flagon of the same date, a plated chalice and flagon and two plated flagons given by the late Rev. Ellorough Woodcock in 1886.
The registers are contained in five books; the first having baptisms, marriages and burials from 1654 to 1759; the second has marriages only from 1754 to 1803; the third book contains baptisms and burials from 1760 to 1801; the fourth book, which has marriage forms printed on vellum, was in use from 1784 to 1802, and the fifth book has baptisms, marriages and burials on printed paper forms from 1802 to 1812.
The church was in the gift of Wherwell Abbey, where there was a prebend of Middleton.
In 1546 the advowson of the prebend, rectory and vicarage of Middleton was granted to Laurence Syeriward and others at a rent of 26s. 8d. for the rectory. (fn. 49) In the following reign Richard Venables and John Maynard had a pension and rent in this rectory to be held in soccage of the manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 50) At what date the advowson first belonged to the Paulets is uncertain, but in 1610 William Marquess of Winchester and Lucy his wife conveyed it among other premises to the Earls of Salisbury and Exeter, Lord Burghley and others. (fn. 51) In September 1614 Lucy Marchioness of Winchester made her will, which contains this among other dispositions:—'Mr. Johnson, my chaplain, has promised to make over an estate of the tythes of Longparish upon a yearly rent for lives or years unto whomsoever I shall nominate. My will is that the said Mr. Johnson shall make over the said tythes to Sir Anthony Mayne, knight, for such three lives as he shall nominate, for the bringing up of my son Edward, his godson, until he be 21, when Sir Anthony shall assign the interest of the said tythes to him.' The marchioness died 1 October 1614 and her will was proved in November. (fn. 52) In 1652 George Cony and Daniel Witcharley recovered seisin of various property, including the advowson of Middleto and tithes in Middleton and Longparish, against Sir Henry Paulet, Knight of the Bath, Charles Paulet the elder, and Edward Paulet, Charles Paulet the younger being vouchee. (fn. 53) The defendants here were the younger sons of William fourth Marquess of Winchester and the above-mentioned Lucy, and the vouchee would be their nephew, the future first Duke of Bolton. Just a century later Harry fourth Duke of Bolton was vouched as warranty when Thomas Barnard recovered seisin against Edward Woodcock. (fn. 54) Edward Woodcock was patron of the prebend of Middleton in 1795. (fn. 55) The living is now a vicarage in the gift of Mr. S. H. J. Johnson.
The prebend of Middleton seems to have been a constant bone of contention between Wherwell Abbey and the Crown. In 1347 the Court of Common Bench passed judgement in favour of the king against the abbess, (fn. 56) and pardon was granted to Roger Ferrour of Bedford, clerk, who prosecuted in the court of Rome to annul this judgement. (fn. 57) Again in 1398 and 1402 the king recovered the right to present. (fn. 58)
There are Baptist, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels in the parish.
The parliamentary returns of 1786 mention that Thomas Baker by his will demised a rent-charge of 10s. for teaching poor children. The annuity is received from the trustees of the Widmore estate and paid to the National school.
In 1825 James Widmore by a codicil to his will bequeathed £10 a year to be applied in providing clothes and bedding for the poor. The legacy is represented by £333 6s. 8d. consols with the official trustees, producing yearly £8 6s. 8d., which is usually applied in the distribution of blankets.