A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Domraham (ix cent.); Domerham, Domarhame (x cent.); Dobreham (xi cent.); Dumbreham, Dumerham (xii cent.); Damerham, Damerham South (xvii cent.).
The parish of South Damerham was transferred in 1895 from Wiltshire to Hampshire, (fn. 1) and is locally situated in the hundred of Fordingbridge. It contains 3 acres of land covered with water and 4,680 acres of land, of which 2,102 acres are arable, 1,346¾ are permanent grass and 904¾ are woodland. (fn. 2) The land rises generally east and west from the valley of the Allen River from 100 ft. to 200 ft. in the east and from 100 ft. to 300 ft., even 400 ft. in the west, above the ordnance datum.
The village, set in the valley of the Allen River, is divided into five districts: North End, East End, Damerham Parva, South End, and the Marsh. The church of St. George is on the left bank of the Allen River, and near it are the remains of the Manor Court and an old tithe barn. About a fourth of the village was burnt down in 1863, but the damage was soon repaired owing to the exertions of the Rev. W. Owen, then vicar.
The soil and subsoil are gravel, clay and chalk, and the chief crops are cereals. The parish, except for Lopshill Common in the south, was inclosed in 1817–18. (fn. 3)
Place-names which occur in connexion with South Damerham are:—Penningford, Butelesheite, Shirefunte, Crofta Dieu (xiii cent.), (fn. 4) Eyresmede next Elingforde (fn. 5) (xiv cent.), Kyngesbarghe, Grenewayescrosse, Stony Crosse, Crokydeaysshe, Lyffordes Crosse, Mynstrelstrete, Caningmersshe, Merlynputtes and Meershegge (fn. 6) (xvi cent.).
Adam de Domerham, the author of Historia de Rebus gestis Glastoniensibus, was a native of South Damerham. It is believed that he became a monk at Glastonbury in the time of Abbot Michael (1235–52). (fn. 7)
The manor of SOUTH DAMERHAM (the capital manor of South Damerham Hundred (fn. 8) ) was originally an ancient demesne of the Saxon kings and was mentioned in the will of King Alfred of Wessex (880–5), who desired that his men of Damerham should in future be free. (fn. 9) In 940–6 King Edmund made a life grant of a hundred mansae at Damerham with Martin and Pentridge (co. Dors.) to his queen, Athelfleda, daughter of the alderman Alfgar, on condition that she should demise the same to the church of Glastonbury. (fn. 10) Accordingly Athelfleda in her will bequeathed Damerham to Glastonbury Abbey for the health of the soul of King Edmund, who had died in 946, (fn. 11) and of her own. (fn. 12) In 1086 the church of Glastonbury held the manor, which in the time of Edward the Confessor had been assessed at 52 hides. Of these Serlo held 5 hides, (fn. 13) the wife of Hugh held 3 hides and Roger held 1 hide and 8 acres, which could not be separated from the church. (fn. 14) With the exception of certain usual alienations of parts of the manor made by one abbot only to be recovered by another, (fn. 15) the manor, free warren in which was granted in 1330, (fn. 16) remained with the abbey until the Dissolution. (fn. 17) It then passed to the Crown, and in 1540 the king leased part of the demesne land and certain farms belonging to the manor for twentyone years to Richard Snell, on his surrender of another lease of the same held from the abbot. (fn. 18) These premises were in 1608 granted to Robert Earl of Salisbury and remained with his descendants. (fn. 19)
In 1544 Henry VIII (fn. 20) granted the manor of South Damerham to his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, but, passing back to the Crown on her death in 1548, it was granted in 1551–2 (fn. 21) to John Duke of Northumberland and Earl of Warwick, who held it until his execution in 1553, (fn. 22) when it once more escheated to the Crown. (fn. 23) In 1575 Elizabeth granted it to Edward Bishop of Salisbury, and, except for the temporary sale by the Parliamentary trustees to Sir William Litton in 1649, (fn. 24) it remained in the possession of successive bishops till 1863. It was then sold to the Coote family, who had held it by lease from the Bishops of Salisbury from 1810, (fn. 25) and now belongs to Sir Eyre Coote of West Park.
In 1830 the manor-house of South Damerham (West Park House) was attacked by the rioters against the introduction of machinery and several prisoners were secured and sent to Winchester. (fn. 26)
Damerham Park is mentioned in 1226–7 (fn. 27) and in 1283, and at the latter date it contained deer. (fn. 28) Various quitclaims to rights of pasture made in the earlier part of the 13th century by several of the abbot's tenants probably indicate extensions of the park. (fn. 29) Thus in 1324 and 1329 respectively William de Buttlesgate and William Gerberd surrendered pasture in Haywood which the abbot was about to impark. (fn. 30) In 1518 the park, which contained 125 acres of wood, was divided into three coppices, Edmundshay, Middle Coppis, and Drakenorth Coppis. (fn. 31) It was apparently disparked before 1540.
In 1246 the boundaries between the manor of Damerham and the Abbot of Tewkesbury's manor of Boworth in Dorset were inspected. They began at Butelesheite, passed in a straight line along old ditch, in Boworth, as far as a tree called 'le hiis,' through the middle of Kenteliscombe to the croft of William Schortefrende of Overton, from the corner of that croft to the great highway and along it to the great ditch called Blakedounes diche. (fn. 32)
The 3 hides of land in the manor of Damerham held in 1086 by the wife of Hugh (fn. 33) probably represented the manor of LITTLE DAMERHAM, held in the middle of the 13th century for the service of one knight's fee under the Abbot of Glastonbury by Alvred de Lincoln or de Nichole. (fn. 34) Alvred died in 1264, leaving three co-heirs, (fn. 35) to one of whom, his nephew Robert Fitz Pain, Little Damerham passed. A son and in 1335–6 a grandson of the same name held the manor, (fn. 36) but on the death of the latter in 1354–5 (fn. 37) it evidently reverted to the Abbot of Glastonbury.
About 1240 the fee was held by John de St. Quintin under Alured, (fn. 38) but before the end of the century this intermediate lordship had passed to the St. Martin family and it was held by knight service by Reginald de St. Martin in 1297 (fn. 39) and in 1300. (fn. 40) It passed from him to Lawrence de St. Martin, who died about 1385–6, leaving co-heirs, Thomas Calstone grandson of his sister Joan, and Henry Popham son of Sibil, a second sister of Lawrence. (fn. 41) The fee was apparently divided between them, for the portion held by the Servingtons (see infra) was held of the Pophams till 1456, (fn. 42) while the part held by the Horseys (see infra) was held of the Darells, descendants of the Calstones, till about the same date, (fn. 43) when both mesne lordships, like that of the Fitz Pains, lapsed to the Abbots of Glastonbury, (fn. 44) and the manor was held of the abbey until 1521. (fn. 45)
Under these lords the manor was held in the middle of the 13th century by Peter de la Mare. (fn. 46) It passed from him through a certain Margery, possibly his daughter, to Hugh Peverel, after whose death, about 1296, (fn. 47) the manor remained with Margery. However, she evidently died soon, since Thomas Peverel of Sampford Peverell, probably her son, died seised of the manor in 1300, leaving three sisters, Margery, Joan and Dionisia, his co-heirs. (fn. 48) Joan, to whom the manor fell, married Sir John de Wroxhale, who alienated half the manor to the Bissets of Combe Bisset. (fn. 49) The other half, as part of the inheritance of Joan, who had died before her husband, passed to Maud, her only daughter and heir. (fn. 50)
Maud, who had married William de Baddeby, died in 1374–5, and her half of the manor passed to her daughter Edith wife of Oliver Servington. (fn. 51) The latter died in 1419 seised of a messuage and a carucate of land in Little Damerham, which passed to his son and heir Oliver, (fn. 52) who on his death without issue in 1420–1 was succeeded by his brother David. (fn. 53) David was followed in 1456 (fn. 54) by a son Edward and Edward in 1486 by a son Walter, (fn. 55) who died in 1510, leaving a son William. (fn. 56) Eleven years later William died, leaving a son Nicholas, then a minor, (fn. 57) who in turn was succeeded in 1554 by a son John, (fn. 58) by whom the manor was conveyed in 1564 to John Hawles. (fn. 59) The manor was subsequently bought by the trustees of Sir John Cooper. (fn. 60)
Meanwhile the half of the manor held by the Bissets, namely, a messuage and land at Stapleham, passed on the death of John Bisset in 1306–7 to his infant son John, (fn. 61) who died in 1334–5, leaving a sister and heir Margaret, formerly wife of Walter Romsey and then wife of Robert Martin. (fn. 62) She and her husband granted the reversion of a messuage, land and rent in Damerham, then held by Emma wife of John Bisset in dower, to John de Hymerford for life in 1341–2. (fn. 63) However, before her death Margaret apparently settled the estate on her son by her first husband, Sir Walter Romsey, (fn. 64) who in 1350–1 settled it upon himself and his wife Joan, with remainder to her children by a former husband, Thomas, Cecily and Maud Northlode, in tail. (fn. 65) Accordingly a moiety of the estate passed to Thomas and from him to his son John Northlode, but since both he and his aunts Cecily and Maud died without issue it reverted to Joan wife of Thomas Payne, great-granddaughter of Sir Walter Romsey by his second wife Alice Fyloll. (fn. 66)
The moiety which Sir Walter Romsey had retained he released to his son Thomas in 1393, and it descended, like Romsey Horseys and Rockbourne (q.v.), to the above Joan wife of Thomas Payne, (fn. 67) who thus held the whole estate. She died without issue before 1447–8, leaving as heirs her two second cousins, to one of whom, William Horsey son of Eleanor, daughter of Mary Byngham, sister of Sir Walter Romsey, (fn. 68) the estate in Little Damerham was assigned. He died in 1448, leaving a son Thomas, a minor, (fn. 69) who came of age in 1462–3 (fn. 70) and died in 1477, leaving John his brother and heir. (fn. 71) A John Horsey, possibly a son of the latter, died in 1546, when the manor passed to his son William. (fn. 72) Bartholomew, (fn. 73) who succeeded his father William, settled the manor in 1590 on his son Thomas and Dorothy his wife, (fn. 74) who conveyed the manor in 1624–5 to Richard Yardley and William Smith. (fn. 75) This estate was apparently bought, like the Servington moiety (q.v. supra), by the trustees of Sit John Cooper, and the whole manor of Little Damerham passed to his son Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, created Earl of Shaftesbury in 1672. (fn. 76) From that time the manor descended with the title of Earl of Shaftesbury (fn. 77) until 1860, when it was bought by John Silley, (fn. 78) who changed his name in 1867 to Egremont (fn. 79) He died in 1883, leaving the property in Damerham to his son James Egremont Egremont, on whose death in 1888 the estate passed to his widow, the present owner, now the wife of Mr. W. Wallis. (fn. 80)
The manor of HYDE belonged to the Abbot of Glastonbury, (fn. 81) and was possibly the hide and 8 acres of land held of the abbey by Roger in 1086. (fn. 82) William Fitz John did homage for the manor, holding it as a quarter of a knight's fee (fn. 83) in 1189, (fn. 84) and on his death in 1232 he was succeeded by his grandson Robert de Gurnay, (fn. 85) whose grandson John died in 1290–1, leaving an heir Elizabeth wife of John ap Adam. (fn. 86) Thomas, son of the latter, succeeded after 1305, (fn. 87) but, as he died without issue, (fn. 88) the lordship lapsed to the Abbot of Glastonbury.
The history of the sub-tenants is not very clear. Elias de la Hyde held the manor in the middle of the 13th century, (fn. 89) and in 1274–5 John de la Hyde was said by right to hold a tenement at La Hyde by escheat of a certain Adam Barringe, who, having held it of him, had died without heirs. The tenement had, however, been seized in 1272–3 by the Earl of Gloucester's foresters of Cranborne (co. Dors.), and given to a certain Nicholas de Scordich, who sold it to the Prior of Cranborne. (fn. 90) This was probably due to some rights of overlordship claimed as owners of Cranborne Chase by the Earls of Gloucester (fn. 91) in the estate which the Prior of Cranborne already held in Hyde, assessed at 1 hide in 1086, (fn. 92) and probably identical with the land called Maloxdene. (fn. 93)
Probably John de la Hyde did not recover his tenement, for in 1428 the Prior of Cranborne held not only an eighth of a fee in La Hyde, but also another eighth of a fee jointly with the heirs of Isabel de Merton, Roger de Bradoneston and William de Butlesgate, (fn. 94) William Blundell and John Hannerford. (fn. 95) This, known as the manor of Hyde, from which a payment was due to Glastonbury, (fn. 96) remained to the Priory of Cranborne till the Dissolution. The farm of Hyde was granted in 1559–60, as a late possession of the monastery of Tewkesbury, to which Cranborne was a cell, to Robert Freke, (fn. 97) and it afterwards passed to Robert Earl of Salisbury, who held it at the time of his death in 1612. (fn. 98) It was demised by the Earl of Salisbury in 1642 to Sir William Litton and Roger Hill for three lives. (fn. 99) From this date it was merged in the manor of South Damerham. Hyde Farm and Hyde Cross still exist near Lopshill.
A hide of land at STAPLEHAM was held by knight service of the Abbot of Tewkesbury as lord of the manor of Up Wimborne in Dorset and in 1430 this hide was held of the abbot by John Northlode of Martin. (fn. 100) In 1518 the heirs of William de Merton held of the Abbot of Tewkesbury part of the abbot's 5 virgates at La Hyde and Stapleham. (fn. 101) At the Dissolution this was returned as a rent of assize of 15s. due to the abbey from John Horsley for a tenement at Stapleham. (fn. 102)
The Abbot of Glastonbury also had tenants at Stapleham and Boulsbury, and in 1297 William Knight of Lovecote granted the abbot's tenants at Stapleham and Boulsbury common of pasture in a moor called Le Howe, west of his tenement at Lovecote, in exchange for licence to inclose the moor called La Oldelond. (fn. 103) Certain tithes and demesne land in Stapleham were granted with the manor of Damerham to the Bishop of Salisbury in 1575, (fn. 104) and the farm of Boulsbury was leased with the site of the manor of South Damerham in 1540 for twenty-one years to Richard Snell. (fn. 105) This farm was granted in 1608 to Robert Earl of Salisbury, (fn. 106) and was leased by his son and successor William in 1642 to Sir William Litton and Roger Hill for three lives, (fn. 107) and from that time was merged in the manor of South Damerham (q.v.). It still exists as Boulsbury Farm.
The hide at LOPSHILL (Lopushale, x cent.; Logeshale, xiii cent.; Loppeshale, xiv and xv cent.; Lopsale, xvi cent.) occurs in the boundaries of the manor of South Damerham in 940–6, (fn. 108) and was probably identical with the hide in the manor of Damerham which was given by Herlwin Abbot of Glastonbury (1102) with the manor of Ower in Eling to Sir Robert Cotel. (fn. 109) The overlordship passed in the same way as that of Ower (q.v.) to the Bishops of Bath. (fn. 110) The manor apparently passed in the family of Cotel in the same way as Ower, and was held in 1274–5 by Elias Cotel. (fn. 111) Its descent is then lost until 1428, when the heir of Richard de la Rivere, the Prior of Cranborne, and the heir of Henry atte Solere held a fourth of a knight's fee at Lopshill. (fn. 112) The Earls ot Gloucester also claimed rent from tenants at Lopshill. (fn. 113)
In 1518 Thomas son and heir of Hugh Moleuxe held 2 virgates at Lopshill which had belonged to William Solar and William Cowle, and before that to Richard de Pytteney and John Hoke. (fn. 114) Lopshill Farm, in the south of the parish, was purchased by the Cootes about 1810, and is now in the possession of Sir Eyre Coote, lord of South Damerham. (fn. 115)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were four mills at Damerham. (fn. 116) One formerly held by Richard Fitz Martin was given to Geoffrey Fitz Ellis by John Abbot of Glastonbury (1274–90), (fn. 117) and passed to Richard son of Robert de Horstede, who sold it to Robert de Newburgh. (fn. 118) In 1330 the latter undertook to pay the abbot all rents and other dues which Richard had undertaken to pay, (fn. 119) and in 1330–1 he and his wife Margaret granted a messuage, some land and a mill in Damerham to Richard de Horsithe for life, with reversion to Robert and Margaret. (fn. 120)
In 1326 Henry Dotenel released to the Abbot of Glastonbury all his claim in a water-mill called Weremulle in Damerham. (fn. 121) In the survey of the manor taken in 1518 a water-mill called 'Lytellmyle' is mentioned. (fn. 122) This mill probably stood near Littlemill Bridge at North End, but it has now disappeared. In 1540 a water-mill was leased with the manor to Richard Snell, (fn. 123) and 'all the water-mills of Damerham' were granted in 1608 to Robert Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 124) Half a mill was annexed at the end of the 13th century to the manor of Little Damerham, (fn. 125) but it is not mentioned after 1300. The only mill now in existence in the parish is Damerham Mill in the village on the Allen River.
The church of ST. GEORGE is a very interesting but ill-kept building, so smothered in ivy that much of its detail is hidden. It consists of a chancel, to which was formerly attached a north chapel of two bays, a nave with north and south aisles, a large, unfinished tower at the south-east of the nave, and a south porch.
The lower part of the tower seems to be the oldest part of the church and dates from c. 1130, and there was probably an aisleless nave of this date equal in width to the present nave. A north transept balancing the tower may also have existed. A north aisle was added later in the 12th century, and in the 13th the chancel was perhaps rebuilt and a south aisle added to the nave. The north chapel seems to have been of this date, c. 1230, and the tower was nearly rebuilt at this time. The 12th-century north aisle and transept, together with the north chapel, were probably pulled down in the 15 th century and the existing aisle substituted, while the chapel was not rebuilt. The south porch dates from the latter part of the 15th century, and since its building no additions have been made to the plan of the church, but the north arcade has been rebuilt on new pillars in the 18th century or later.
The chancel is lighted by five three-light windows, one at the east and two each on the north and south, which have a superficial resemblance to 15th-century work, but in their unskilful and ignorant detail betray a later and probably 17th-century origin. Their labels, on the other hand, seem to be of good late 13th-century section, except in the case of the southwest window and the west half of that at the northeast. Between the two north windows, on the outer face of the wall, part of a moulded 13th-century arch is to be seen, and the base of the east respond of this arch and that of the west respond of a second arch adjoining it on the west are also visible and have typical 13th-century mouldings. The blocked and partly destroyed arcade to which they belonged was of two bays, but its middle column was apparently taken down when the arcade was blocked. There is a south doorway to the chancel between the two south windows, but its details are smothered in ivy.
The nave has a north arcade of three bays, with a length of unpierced walling to the west. The west respond of the arcade is a half-round column of 12th-century character, c. 1160, with a chamfered abacus ornamented with a line of billets and the arches of the two west bays are of the same date, semicircular and of two orders with roll mouldings. The arch in the east bay is of a different type and obviously later, though from its rough character and the fact that it, with the other two, has been reset, its date is doubtful. The east respond has had three engaged shafts, but is much mutilated; it has at the springing square-edged 12th-century abaci which have been a good deal cut away. The two pillars of the arcade are of classic type with plain round shafts and octagonal abaci in Portland stone, and are probably of 18th-century date. At the south-east of the nave is the tower, with a semicircular arch of two square orders opening to it; the voussoirs of the arch are alternately in ironstone and green sandstone, with a very good effect, and at the springing is a chamfered string enriched with a lozenge ornament. In the west wall of the tower, but at a higher level, is a smaller arch, now blocked, of the same character but in a single order; as far as can be seen it appears to be a doorway and not a window, and must have opened to some building west of the tower of which no other trace now exists. The walling of the tower in its lower parts seems to be also of 12th-century date, a good deal of ashlar showing the diagonal tooling, but the pairs of large angle buttresses and those in the middle of the east and south sides are 13th-century additions. The tower seems to have been in great measure rebuilt at this time, and has large lancets of this date in its east and south walls, but the work was evidently left incomplete and a small wooden building set on the top, and of much smaller diameter, serves as a belfry. High in the west wall a two-light 14th-century window exists, but the ubiquitous ivy hides any other architectural details which may remain. The rood loft was entered by a stair in the north-east corner of the tower, and the upper doorway of 15th-century date is still perfect.
The south arcade of the nave is of two bays with tall pointed arches of two chamfered orders and an undercut string at the springing of 13th-century character, and the arch opening from the tower to the south aisle is also of this date, with continuous chamfered orders. The south wall of the aisle is probably of the 13 th century, but the only window which it contains, set between the tower and the porch, is 15th-century work of two cinquefoiled lights, now blocked with masonry. The north aisle seems entirely of 15th-century date, and has a blocked north doorway between two windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights, and an east window of two trefoiled lights. If the last is in its original position it goes to show that the north chapel must have been pulled down before this date. At the west end of both aisles is a squareheaded two-light window of 18th-century date, and in the west wall of the nave a very large and ugly window of five cinquefoiled lights with tracery over in 15th-century style, now glazed with opaque plate-glass, cracked in all directions by unskilful and too rigid fixing to the mullions. The south porch has a moulded outer arch, c. 1500, and over it a defaced 12th-century carving of a Majesty in a vesica-shaped frame, seated on a rainbow. The ceilings of chancel, nave and porch are of 15 th or early 16th-century date, of barrel shape, plastered and divided into panels by small moulded wooden ribs with carved bosses at the intersections. On one of these in the nave is the i.h.s. monogram crowned, but the porch roof, with its embattled and carved plate, is the most interesting part of the woodwork. The roofs are red-tiled, much overgrown with moss, and on the east end of the nave is the base of a large gable cross, which when perfect must have been a very fine example. It has a small gablet on each face, with the head of a beast at the four angles. The font is modern, octagonal with sunk quatrefoils in the sides, and the other fittings of the church are of small interest.
There are five bells, the treble, third and tenor cast in 1666, with inscriptions referring to the calamities of the time on the two latter. One has, ' Our three became five when few els did thrive,' and the tenor, ' I was cast in the yeere of plague, warre and fire.' The second bell is by Wells of Aldbourne, 1803, and the fourth by William Cockey, 1739.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten cover of 1577, a paten of 1719, a flagon of 1755 given by John Nourse, vicar of South Damerham, in 1754.
There are five books of registers. The first has all entries from 1678 to 1753; the second all entries from 1753 to 1788; the third marriages from 1755 to 1793; the fourth marriages from 1793 to 1812; the fifth baptisms and burials from 1795 to 1812.
The advowson of Damerham belonged until the Dissolution to the Abbots of Glastonbury, (fn. 126) and in 1255 was appropriated to the abbot and convent, (fn. 127) who on the death or resignation of the then rector appointed a vicar, John Burnel, to whom in 1270 Walter Bishop of Salisbury confirmed the houses and manse which had formerly belonged to the rectory. (fn. 128) After the Dissolution the advowson was granted in 1551–2 to John Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 129) and was apparently bought from him before his attainder in 1553 by William Earl of Pembroke, who presented to the vicarage in 1554. (fn. 130) It remained with the Earls of Pembroke till about 1608, (fn. 131) but was granted in that year by the Crown to Robert Earl of Salisbury, (fn. 132) with whose descendants it remained till about 1674. (fn. 133) The Dukes of Newcastle presented from 1698 (fn. 134) till 1849, when the patronage passed to the Earl of Chichester. (fn. 135) He gave or sold the advowson to Hyndman's trustees, in whom it is still vested.
The tithes of corn and hay belonging to the rectory of Damerham were leased in 1540 for twenty-one years to Nicholas Snell on the surrender by him of a lease of the same granted to him by the Abbot of Glastonbury. (fn. 136) The rectory was granted in 1544 to Katherine Parr, consort of Henry VIII, (fn. 137) and was leased in 1569–70 for twenty-one years to John Stokeman, (fn. 138) to whom a further lease for twenty-one years was made in 1572–3. (fn. 139) The rectory and church and all tithes in Damerham and Stapleham were granted in 1579–80 to Anthony Ashley. (fn. 140) From that date the rectory has followed the descent of the manor of Rockbourne (q.v.).
The house of Mary Harris at Damerham was licensed in 1672 for Presbyterian worship. (fn. 141) There are now Primitive Methodist, Baptist and Congregational chapels in the parish. The Baptist church was founded in 1828. (fn. 142)
There are no endowed charities in this parish.