Parishes: Clothall

A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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, 'Parishes: Clothall', in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912) pp. 220-226. British History Online [accessed 18 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Clothall", in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912) 220-226. British History Online, accessed May 18, 2024,

. "Parishes: Clothall", A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912). 220-226. British History Online. Web. 18 May 2024,

In this section


Cladhele (xi cent.); Clahall or Clohall (xiii cent.); Clothale (xiv cent.).

The parish of Clothall lies on the summit and slopes of the chalk hills to the south-east of the town of Baldock. It is a district of scattered farms and homesteads. The church, with the rectory and schools, lies to the south-east of the main road from Buntingford to Baldock in a commanding but somewhat isolated position on the eastern slope of Hickman's Hill. A branch of the main road here turns the summit of the hill at a height of about 492 ft. above sea level, descending abruptly northwards. Between Baldock and Clothall Church lies Clothall Field, containing about 600 acres, a 'common-field' of open arable land famous for its barley, and divided into irregular strips by 'balks,' or narrow banks of grass, sometimes grown with bushes. (fn. 1) The strips are still divided among the three chief landowners: the rector, the Marquess of Salisbury and Miss Cotton Browne. (fn. 2) On the hill-side the scarped terraces, or 'lynches,' form a distinctive feature of the parish. The high ridges between these terraces have the appearance of artificial defences, but are in reality due to the custom of turning the sod down-hill in ploughing. Groups of parallel strips lie together in 'furlongs.' In the 13th century 'Greneweyhull' was the lord's furlong; other furlongs were 'Hepingborow' and 'Smelinke.' (fn. 3) The lord of the manor had right of foldage. (fn. 4) The villagers no longer claim any rights in the open fields. An attempt to inclose in 1885 was frustrated by lack of unanimity among the landowners. (fn. 5)

Westfield, the second common field, lies south-east of the church. In 1609 there were at least two other open fields, 'Piebushfield' and 'Sheldonfield,' (fn. 6) the former near Kipple Field in Luffenhall. (fn. 7) The arable land south and east of the church is for the most part inclosed; in fact, the inconvenience of scattered holdings in the common fields was already experienced by the middle of the 13th century, when a certain William Pasket apparently endeavoured to consolidate an estate by buying up 23 acres in ten parcels in addition to bondmen, houses, crofts of pasture and other lands. (fn. 8) Especially about Kingswood Farm are the lands inclosed; in a 15th-century lease of the farm it was agreed that the owner should do all 'reparacions as of dyking and closing.' (fn. 9) In 1547 the owner of Kingswood had also 27 acres in the common field called Sheldonfield and 38 acres in Westfield, and these were held in twenty-one separate strips. (fn. 10)

The most notable of the scattered homesteads is Quickswood, which lies to the north-east of the church near the site of the former residence of the Earls of Salisbury. (fn. 11) The old house was demolished about 1790, but the brick foundations of the house and cellars exist immediately to the west of the present farm-house. The cock-pit may still be seen in a field to the north of the old house. Near Quickswood on the borders of Wallington is Spital Wood, evidently at one time the property of the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene. (fn. 12) Farther south a larger wood shelters Clothallbury, which appears to be on the site of the house called 'Clothall' held by George Kympton at the beginning of the 17th century. (fn. 13) The existing farm-house is said to have portions of the out-houses of the old 'bury' incorporated with it, though it shows very little signs of antiquity, but a few hundred yards to the south-east are traces of an extensive mansion apparently of considerable antiquity. Within the well-defined inclosure are several old pollard oaks, one of which measures 18 ft. in circumference 5 ft. from the ground. The inclosure has been moated.

South of the church is Hooksgreen Farm with a few cottages and the 'Barley Mow' public-house opposite the ancient site of Hook's manor-house. These lie near a moated site which tradition asserts was that of Clothall Hospital. Another such site to the southeast, upon Burnt House Lane, is that of the 'Tabard,' a 16th-century inn, which with the adjacent meadow called Fidler's Mead and other land (probably including the neighbouring field called Chapels) belonged to the gild of Baldock. (fn. 14)

Kingswood Bury is a farm in the occupation of Mr. Edward White in the south-east of the parish. Beyond it the ground slopes downwards to the hamlet of Luffenhall, built in a single street and lying partly in Clothall, partly in Ardeley. Around it lie three small open fields, known as Luffenhall, Newell and Swamstey Commons. Over these the farmers have the right of 'shackage' or grazing after harvest; but the farmers generally come to a mutual agreement about their rights of sheep-walk, (fn. 15) and the greater part of the Luffenhall land is inclosed. The hamlet is well watered by the River Beane and its tributaries.

The hospital of St. Mary Magdalene was founded by Sir Hugh de Clothall, kt., probably the Hugh de Clothall who was lord of the manor in 1217. (fn. 16) It was at first a house for lepers, known as the 'Hospital without Baldock.' (fn. 17) In 1226 a two-days' fair upon the feast of St. Bartholomew was granted to the hospital until the king (Henry III) should be of age. (fn. 18) In 1275 the brethren had licence to inclose a highway 588 ft. long from their close to Clothall Church. (fn. 19) The original building was in an unsafe place, more than a mile from the town, and suffered much from raids and burnings by robbers. (fn. 20) About 1308 it was therefore removed to a more secure spot at 'Brade,' (fn. 21) but the brethren were bound to continue the services at the old chapel. Tradition locates its second site within the moat near Hook's Green, but the name 'High Brade' was applied in 1839 to a field on the main road, further south, between Luffenhall Common and Westfield. (fn. 22) The advowson of the hospital belonged to the lords of the manor, and the lords of Botteles and Hauvills evidently presented jointly. (fn. 23) When suppressed in 1547 the chapel was said to be more than a mile from the church, and there were many people dwelling about it. (fn. 24) It was then simply a chantry chapel.


In 1086 Clothall consisted of a main manor and several small holdings. Osbern held the main manor of Bishop Odo. Leuiet held a virgate which may have been the nucleus of the lands known as Mundens. (fn. 25) The manor of William de Ow, in the neighbouring parish of Weston, extended into Clothall, where a certain William (lord also of Hinxworth) held half a virgate and 3 acres of him. (fn. 26) Luffenhall was already a separate hamlet, part of which was held by Osbern, while the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's held the manor of Luffenhall, (fn. 27) and Theobald, tenant under Hardwin Scales, had a holding which included half a hide in Luffenhall and a virgate all but 3 acres in Clothall. (fn. 28)


The main manor of CLOTHALL was held in the time of Edward the Confessor by Alnod Grud, a man of Archbishop Stigand's, and he could sell it without the archbishop's licence. After the Conquest it was acquired by Odo of Bayeux, of whom Osbern, tenant of a considerable fief in Hertfordshire, held it. Osbern's holding included 7 hides and 3½ virgates. (fn. 29) In the time of King Edward three sokemen of the king held 2 hides and 3 virgates, paying 11d. to the sheriff as commutation for 'avera,' or cartage; but after the king's death (and presumably before that of Stigand, whose men they became) their land was attached to the manor. (fn. 30) Two other sokemen of the archbishop held half a virgate which they retained in 1086. It also seems probable that the land which Osbern held of Odo of Bayeux in the hamlet of Luffenhall was added in the course of time to the manor of Clothall. This holding consisted of 2½ hides; 1½ hides had been held by two men of Archbishop Stigand, while the remaining hide had been held by a man of Almar de Benington, who had formerly rendered 'avera' as the king's sokeman. (fn. 31)

Odo of Bayeux forfeited Clothall with all his other English possessions in 1088, when he led the Norman rebellion against William Rufus. Many of his lands were subsequently held by service of castle guard at Dover; some of these were assigned to the custodia, or castle-guard barony, of Port, (fn. 32) and among them was Clothall. The barony was held by the family of Port of Basing, (fn. 33) and in 1166 John de Port returned the name of Robert de Clothall (Clahalde) among the knights who owed him service. (fn. 34) This Robert had apparently succeeded to the holding of Osbern.

The holding of Robert was stated to be one knight's fee, (fn. 35) but early in the next century the tenant of Clothall owed the service of two fees to the Port barony. (fn. 36) It was rendered three times yearly, (fn. 37) covering altogether twenty-four weeks. (fn. 38) During the 16th century the manor was still said to be held of the king as of the 'honour of Dover,' (fn. 39) but the re-grant to Thomas Chalmer and Edward Cason, kt., in 1604 stipulated that it should be held in socage and not by knight's service of the manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 40)

The overlordship passed from John de Port to his son Adam de Port, (fn. 41) and probably from him to his son William 'de St. John.' It remained in the male line of the St. John family until 1337. (fn. 42) It was then assigned in dower to Mirabel widow of Hugh de St. John, who had married Thomas de Aspall. (fn. 43) It afterwards formed part of the share of Margaret wife of John de St. Philibert, eldest daughter and co-heir of Hugh de St. John, after the death of her young brother Edmund. (fn. 44) Her heir was her sister Isabel wife of Luke Poynings, (fn. 45) but the mesne lordship was probably allowed to lapse, for late returns record only the service due to the Crown at Dover Castle.

In the 12th and 13th centuries the immediate tenants of the manor took their surname from Clothall. It is possible that one of these was a certain Laurence called 'Laurence Scot of Clothall,' for 13th-century charters refer to service due to the 'heir of Laurence Scot lord of Clothall.' (fn. 46) Robert de Clothall held the manor in 1166. (fn. 47) Richard de Clothall, who was living in 1200, was tenant of the manor in 1211–12. (fn. 48) During the disturbances of 1215 and 1216 his lands were in the hands of the king, who granted them to Eustace 'de Campo Remigii.' (fn. 49) The overlord, however, had the custody of Clothall, possibly during the minority of Richard's heir. (fn. 50) This seems to have been his son Hugh de Clothall, (fn. 51) who probably founded the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene. (fn. 52) In 1217 Hugh was restored to all the lands of which he had been dispossessed at the beginning of the war, (fn. 53) evidently in consequence of the grant to Eustace. At the same time he delivered to the Sheriff of Hertfordshire for the king certain chirographs and charters of the Jews. (fn. 54) He may possibly be identical with Hugh de Clothall (Clahull), who died seised of lands in Ireland before 1246. (fn. 55) At Clothall he was succeeded by his brother Simon de Clothall, (fn. 56) who died before 1248, (fn. 57) leaving three daughters and co-heirs, Emecine, Muriel and Maud. (fn. 58) During their minority Robert de St. John, the overlord, granted the manor to John de Gisors for fourteen years. He subsequently sold the marriage of Emecine for 40 marks to Geoffrey de Hauvill, the king's falconer and bailiff of Rockingham Forest. (fn. 59) Geoffrey and Emecine in contravention of an agreement made with the overlord entered upon the manor before the lease to John de Gisors had expired. The tenant brought a plea into the King's Court charging Geoffrey and Emecine with ejecting him by force, 'with habergeons, bows and arrows,' and with carrying off his corn and goods. It was finally agreed that John de Gisors should retain two-thirds of the manor (possibly the shares of Emecine's younger sisters) till the end of his term, while Geoffrey and Emecine paid the compensation estimated by Richard de Havering and William Pasket. (fn. 60)

In 1271 Maud wife of Richard de Bottele and youngest daughter of Simon de Clothall surrendered one-third of 32s. 5d. rent and of the advowson to Geoffrey and Emecine. (fn. 61) It is said that this Maud died childless, and that her portion of the inheritance was so divided between her two sisters that Muriel had the greater part of the manor. (fn. 62) It is doubtless due to this fact that Muriel's purparty in Cloth all was known from the 15th century onwards as 'the manor of BOTTELES.' Apparently she married first Roger Scales, (fn. 63) and afterwards John Poley, (fn. 64) who was holding this moiety of the manor in 1303. (fn. 65) It is said that she had a son Laurence, (fn. 66) possibly the Laurence 'de Bottele' who held land in Clothall about 1317. (fn. 67) In February 1361–2 Henry 'son of John Bottele of Clothall' conveyed certain rents with manorial rights and one-third of the common fold of Clothall and onethird of the advowson of the church to Sir John de la Lee, kt., and Joan his wife. (fn. 68) These appear to have been identical with Botteles Manor. This Henry was said (in 1405) to have been son of Laurence son of Muriel Poley. (fn. 69) It seems possible that he was grandson of Laurence, and that the descendants of Muriel took the name of Bottele from their estate at Clothall.

Sir John 'atte Lee,' kt., died seised of the manor in 1369, leaving a son and heir Walter, (fn. 70) afterwards knighted. Sir Walter was burdened with debt, (fn. 71) and after his death his trustees transferred all his rights in Clothall to three brothers, Matthew and Henry Rede and Thomas Blount. (fn. 72) By 1405 these three had also acquired the manor of Hauvills (see below). Henry Rede died about 1421 and Matthew before that date. (fn. 73) Hauvills and Botteles were settled upon Margaret wife of John Mitchell, (fn. 74) for whom they had possibly been holding in trust. Her husband was returned as the tenant of a knight's fee (Hauvills) in Clothall in 1428, (fn. 75) and in February 1444–5 he died seised of both Hauvills and Botteles. (fn. 76) Margaret survived till about 1455. (fn. 77) Of her three daughters, Cecily wife of William Sydney, who died in her mother's lifetime, had two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Anne, aged respectively seven and six in 1465. Another daughter Elizabeth wife of John Wode died 26 March 1463–4, and the third, Joan, married first William Druell and afterwards John Brunne. (fn. 78)

Burgoyne. Gules a cheveron or between three talbots argent with a battled chief argent and three martlets azure therein.

Hauvills and Botteles passed to the descendants of Joan Druell. In 1485 William Druell (possibly the son of William and Joan) died seised of them. (fn. 79) He was succeeded by his son John, who died childless in 1495, his mother Anne (then wife of George Alyson) (fn. 80) being still alive. (fn. 81) His brother and heir Richard Druell came of age in 1503. (fn. 82) The Clothall estate descended at his death in 1525 to his daughter Anne, who married first Robert Warner (fn. 83) and secondly Thomas Perient of Digswell. (fn. 84) Two of her daughters, Mary then wife of George Horsey and Anne wife of Anthony Carleton, conveyed their shares in Clothall in the spring of 1550 to George Burgoyne, (fn. 85) who had married a third daughter, Dorothy. (fn. 86) In 1572 settlement of two-thirds of the manors was made on George and Dorothy Burgoyne with successive remainders in tailmale to their sons Thomas, George and others. George Burgoyne died in 1588, (fn. 87) but his widow apparently continued to reside at Clothall, with her younger son George, (fn. 88) upon whom the remaining third of the manors was settled. (fn. 89) During his mother's life the elder son Thomas Burgoyne of Weston raised £2,000 on his reversionary rights in the twothirds of the estate acquired by his father. (fn. 90) In February 1602 Dorothy Burgoyne presented to the rectory. (fn. 91) Probably she died soon afterwards, for in 1603 Peter Pierson and William Plomer and others were dealing with the estate, (fn. 92) and in 1604 her first cousin George Perient of Little Ayot and others surrendered to the Crown 'the manor of Clothall and manors of Hauvills, Botteles, Hooks and Brickfields formerly the possessions of Simon of Clothall and late of George Burgoyne and Dorothy his wife.' (fn. 93) The surrender seems to have been intended to procure a change in the tenure. (fn. 94) In 1604 the estate was re-granted to Sir Thomas Challoner, kt., and Edward Cason, (fn. 95) agents in a conveyance to Nicholas Trott, (fn. 96) son-in-law to George Perient. (fn. 97) Trott sold to William second Earl of Salisbury in June 1617, (fn. 98) and the estate has remained with his direct descendants until the present day.

The moiety of the main manor which descended to Geoffrey and Emecine de Hauvill after the death of Simon de Clothall afterwards took the name of HAUVILLS. (fn. 99) Geoffrey de Hauvill died about 1302, (fn. 100) and was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 101) who also held his father's office in Rockingham Forest. (fn. 102) It is said that Richard Monchesney and his wife Joan acquired a life interest in Hauvills in accordance with a settlement made by Geoffrey de Hauvill, and that a certain Reginald de Hauvill succeeded under the same settlement. (fn. 103) Certainly Richard Monchesney was assessed for a sixteenth in Clothall in 1316–18, (fn. 104) and he had grant of free warren in Clothall in 1333. (fn. 105) Joan widow of John (possibly an error for Richard) Monchesney was holding this moiety of Clothall in 1349. (fn. 106) She seems to have been succeeded by Reginald de Hauvill, (fn. 107) and his son Thomas witnessed the conveyance of Botteles to John atte Lee in 1362. (fn. 108) Reginald de Hauvill had a brother Ralph of Baldock, whose widow Beatrice claimed dower in certain small parcels of land in Clothall in 1356 (fn. 109); but it does not appear that Ralph had any right in the manor, although his title to it was asserted later. (fn. 110)

The earlier settlement on Richard Monchesney evidently brought upon Thomas de Hauvill dissensions with the Monchesney family, for he was charged with entering the manor of Walter Monchesney (fn. 111) at Clothall and carrying away £280. At the same time he was accused of imprisoning the king's bailiff at Southwark for thirty-seven weeks and committing various other enormities. (fn. 112) The heirs of Thomas were his sisters Emecine and Anne. Anne's son Robert sold his moiety of Hauvills to Matthew and Henry Rede and Thomas Blount, who also acquired Botteles. The second moiety descended to Emecine's granddaughter Katherine wife of John Piers. (fn. 113) In 1395–6 John and Katherine conveyed their share in the manor to John and Anne Burwell, (fn. 114) from whom it was acquired by Matthew and Henry Rede and Thomas Blount. (fn. 115) It was thus re-united with Botteles and the rest of Hauvills.


The reputed manor of BRICKFIELDS (Brettevyle, xv cent.; Brytvyles or Britfield, xvi cent.) was held of the manor of Hooks (fn. 116) (q.v.). During the 14th century it was held by the Bretteville family. In 1300 Hugh Bretteville of Hertford gave to his son William, upon his marriage with Eleanor daughter of William Bretun, his tenement in Clothall with villeins, homage, wards, reliefs and escheats. (fn. 117) William son of Hugh Bretteville was possessed of land in Clothall in 1318, (fn. 118) and in 1333 William and Eleanor Bretteville granted their 'manor of Clothall' to Hugh Bretteville and his wife Joan in tail with remainder to John brother of Hugh. (fn. 119) A William Bretteville and his wife Joan conveyed the manor to William Pekke and William Goldington in 1443. (fn. 120) It ultimately came into the possession of Richard Druell, who held it with Hauvills and Botteles at his death in 1525. (fn. 121) Its subsequent descent is identical with that of the main manor (q.v.).


HOOKS (Hokeslond, xv cent.; Howkes, xvi cent.) was apparently held of the manor of Botteles. (fn. 122) It was presumably held by Robert Hook, citizen and grocer of London, about 1408, when he presented a rector to the church. (fn. 123) He would therefore appear to have acquired the one-third of the advowson which was subsequently attached to the 'manor' of Hooks between 1405, when Matthew and Henry Rede and Thomas Blount were possessed of the entire advowson, and 1408. (fn. 124) Robert Hook again presented a rector in 1421, (fn. 125) but between that date and 1445 'a moiety of the manor of Clothall called Hokeslonds' was granted to John Mitchell, lord of Hauvills and Botteles, by a certain William Aston. (fn. 126) 'Hokesmanoir' was settled on Elizabeth daughter of Margaret Mitchell. Her heirs were her sister Joan and nieces Elizabeth and Anne. (fn. 127) The subsequent history of Hooks is identical with that of the main manor.

The site of the 'manor-house' lies on the way from Clothall to Cumberlow, nearly opposite Hook's Green Farm. (fn. 128)

Kingswood Bury

KINGSWOOD BURY (Kingeswode, xii–xiii cent.; Kingswoodbery, xv–xvi cent.) was held of the Abbot of Westminster as of his neighbouring manor of Ashwell. (fn. 129)

A separate tenement of this name existed in 1198, when seisin of it was recovered by Robert son of Osbert, (fn. 130) who seems to have been succeeded by Julianne de Kingswood. (fn. 131) Robert de Kingswood owed service in Clothall about the middle of the 13th century; and there is reason to suppose that Kingswood was identical with the wood called 'Socage' in Clothall Park, for which Simon de Clothall owed two pounds of pepper to Adam de Hippegrave. (fn. 132)

The Kingswood family held land in Clothall during the first half of the 14th century. (fn. 133) The 'manor' of Kingswood Bury came later to John and Joan Venour and was divided among their daughters and co-heirs. Margery Venour, one of these, surrendered her third share in the manor to Peter Paul and his wife Alice in 1422. (fn. 134) Alice Paul seems to have held another third in her own right. (fn. 135) Peter Paul was in possession of the whole manor by 1437, (fn. 136) In accordance with settlements made in 1445 and 1466 (fn. 137) it descended to his son Richard Paul of Baldock, who in 1477 let it to John Sturgeon for twelve years in return for £50 and a gown of cloth. (fn. 138) In 1484 Richard Paul conveyed the manor (probably in trust) to John Sturgeon and others. (fn. 139) In 1485 Thomas Nudegate, son of Richard's sister Alice, surrendered his right in the manor to Sturgeon. (fn. 140) The latter sold to Richard Sheldon, who was succeeded in 1494 by his son Richard. (fn. 141) Richard Sheldon the younger settled this manor on himself and his wife Alice with remainder to his nephew Richard Barington. He died in 1518, but his wife survived. (fn. 142) It is not clear whether Barington inherited the manor. Some, at least, of the manorial lands had been leased to Edmund Kympton of Weston. (fn. 143) In 1546 Peter Hering and his wife Joan conveyed the manor to Thomas Matthew and others, (fn. 144) evidently trustees in a sale to George Lucy, to whom Edmund Kympton released his rights in 1551. (fn. 145)

George Lucy was succeeded by his son Sir Edmund Lucy, kt., of Broxbourne before 1580, (fn. 146) and in 1610 Sir Edmund entailed the manors of Kingswood Bury and Mundens upon his son Henry and the latter's wife Anne Sheldon. (fn. 147) Sir Edmund died in 1630, and his son Henry inherited the estate, (fn. 148) which was retained by his widow after his death. In 1656 she joined with her eldest son, Edward Lucy, in a sale to Rowland Hale of King's Walden for the benefit of his son William Hale of Gray's Inn, who was about to marry Mary Elwes. (fn. 149) The manor remained thenceforward in the family of Hale (fn. 150) until 1888, when it was purchased by the Marquess of Salisbury, in whose family it still remains.

In 1552 the site of the manor is described as 'motted rounde abowte with an orcheyard gardeyn and a cow-yard adjoyning to the same motte.' (fn. 151)


LUFFENHALL was granted with Ardeley to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. (fn. 152) It has since continued to be a member of Ardeley Manor in this hundred (q.v.).


MUNDENS was a reputed manor near Kingswood Bury, its lands lying on the side of Burnt House Lane opposite the place called 'Chapels.' (fn. 153) Some of these may be identical with the virgate held by Osgot, one of Eddeva's men, before the Conquest, and afterwards attached to Munden in Broadwater Hundred. In 1086 this virgate was held of Count Alan by Leuiet. (fn. 154)

The earliest known reference to the 'manor' of Mundens in Clothall dates from 1466, when it was entailed upon the heirs of Peter Paul and his wife Alice. (fn. 155) It has subsequently remained in the possession of the successive lords of Kingswood Bury (q.v.).

Quickswood or Quicksett

QUICKSWOOD or QUICKSETT was the residence of George Burgoyne in 1554. (fn. 156) It may therefore be the site of either of his manors, Hauvills or Botteles. The site of the former house is near that of the present farm. Nicholas Trott resided at Quickswood, (fn. 157) and for many years after the acquisition of Clothall Manor by the Earl of Salisbury Quickswood was an occasional residence of the Cecil family. (fn. 158) It was occupied by the earl in 1620, (fn. 159) and in 1632 he caused the annual sermon provided by St. John's College, Cambridge, to be preached at Clothall instead of Cheshunt. (fn. 160) In 1647 the earl's bailiff was obliged to quarter four Parliamentarian soldiers at Quickswood. (fn. 161) The house was razed to the ground by James Cecil, the seventh earl, about 1790. (fn. 162)


The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN stands on rising ground to the north-east of the village, and is built of flint rubble with stone dressings; the roofs are of lead. It consists of chancel 27 ft. by 16 ft. 6 in., nave 36 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft., south chapel 18 ft. by 10 ft. 6 in., and south tower, the lower stage of which forms the porch. All the measurements are taken internally. A north vestry was added in the 19th century. The present church appears to have been erected c. 1350–70 on the foundations of the older one or the older stones re-used, as some of the lower stones are of shelly oolite, the rest of the stonework being of clunch. The south chapel, tower and chancel may have been built a little later in the 14th century. (fn. 163) All the windows of the chancel are of modern stonework, and the chancel arch has been cemented. The roof is modern. In the south wall is a trefoil-headed piscina of late 14th-century work, and in the north wall is a square locker with rebated edge; there is a blocked doorway on the south side. On the north wall of the nave are two windows having two cinquefoiled lights; one is of 15th-century date, the other being a modern copy; the west window of two cinquefoiled lights also belongs to the 15th century. All the old tracery has been repaired with cement. In the south wall is a 14th-century arch opening into the south chapel. The arch is of two splayed orders, the jambs of semioctagonal piers separated by filleted bowtels, and with moulded capitals and bases. The south doorway is of the 14th century, and retains the original plank door, with ornamental iron hinges. The name 'John Warrin' is painted in black letter on the inside. The south chapel has an east window with 15th-century tracery of three lights, the jambs being of earlier date. In the south wall is a two-light window with flowing tracery of the 14th century, the inner sill being carried down to form a seat, and beside it is a single-light window of the same date. There is a cinquefoil-headed piscina in the south wall, and just above it and in the north wall opposite are two small stone brackets, with sockets in their tops, probably for lights; there is a small square locker in the north wall.

The tower is of two stages with a tiled pyramidal roof. The lower stage forms the south porch, which has a moulded arched entrance, the mouldings dying on the splayed jambs. There is a single-light cusped opening on each face of the tower at the belfry stage. There are a few old timbers in the nave roof. The font is of the 12th century. It is of Purbeck marble, and has a square basin carried upon a large central shaft, with a smaller shaft at each angle; the bases are moulded and rest on a square plinth. On each face of the basin are four shallow round-headed panels. The 17th-century cover is of wood.

In the east window is some old glass; the head of a female saint is probably of late 14th-century work; a number of quarries painted with birds and a border with 'Maria' monogram repeated may belong to the next century. In the south-west window of the chapel are some heraldic fragments.

There are some 15th-century bench ends with poppy heads at the west end of the church, much defaced. In the chapel are fragments of a slab with foliated cross and remains of a marginal inscription in Lombardic characters, probably of mid-14th-century date.

In the chancel are several brasses: a priest in cope, without inscription, of the early 16th century; a priest in eucharistic vestments, the arms missing, to John Vynter, rector of the parish, who died in 1404; a priest in eucharistic vestments, holding chalice and wafer, with the symbol of the Trinity above, to John Wryght, rector of the parish, 1519; to Anne Bramfield, 1578; to William Lucas, rector of the parish, 1602. Fixed to the wall of the chapel is an inscription to Thomas Dalyson, rector of the parish, who died in 1541; this probably belongs to the brass in the chancel.

There are two bells in the lower: the treble is inscribed 'CALIT ME JOANNES +' with mark of Richard Wymbish, 14th century; the tenor 'I.H.S. ✠ T.W ✠ s.' by an unknown 16th-century founder.

The communion plate includes an engraved cup and cover paten, 1571, and a paten of 1693 presented by Rev. W. Neale, M.A., rector in 1755.

The registers are in two books: (i) baptisms and burials from 1717 to 1812 and marriages 1717 to 1753; (ii) marriages from 1754 to 1812.

There is a bishop's transcript for the year commencing Michaelmas 1588.


The earliest known record of Clothall Church is the presentation of a rector in 1237 by Simon de Clothall, lord of the manor. (fn. 164) Maud de Bottele, one of his three daughters, surrendered her share in the advowson to her sister Emecine de Hauvill in 1271, (fn. 165) and at the same time it was agreed that Muriel Scales, the third daughter, and her heirs should present for one turn and Emecine and her heirs for the two following turns. (fn. 166) This arrangement held good until 1404, when James Billingford and his wife Aubrey presented a certain John Hogges, under colour of their acquisition of the rights of John son of Richard kinsman of Ralph brother and heir of Reginald de Hauvill. Matthew and Henry Rede and Thomas Blount, who had acquired the manors of Hauvills and Botteles (q.v.), brought a plea against Billingford in 1405, and judgement was given in their favour. (fn. 167)

It has been seen that one-third of the advowson subsequently descended with the manor of Hooks (q.v.). The whole advowson was re-united when John Mitchell acquired that manor, and has since been retained by the successive lords of the main manor.

A meeting-place for Protestant Dissenters in Clothall was certified in 1720. (fn. 168)


The official trustees hold a sum of £131 6s. 2d. consols, which is regarded as representing the investment of £60, stated in the Parliamentary returns of 1786 to have been given to the poor by Dr. James Sibbald and others, and of a legacy of £50 by will of James Smyth, proved in the P.C.C. 20 September 1810. The annual dividends, amounting to £3 5s. 8d., are distributed in bread at Christmas-time.


  • 1. Cf. the open field at Bygrave.
  • 2. Inform. kindly supplied by the Rev. A. R. Buckland.
  • 3. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv.
  • 4. Cal. Close, 1360–4, p. 387.
  • 5. See Slater, Engl. Peasantry and Encl. of Com. Fields, 43–4.
  • 6. Add. MS. 33582, fol. 5d., 8d.
  • 7. Tithe apportionment, 1839.
  • 8. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, passim.
  • 9. Add. Chart. (B.M.), 35421.
  • 10. Close, 5 Edw. VI, pt. iv, no. 26.
  • 11. See below.
  • 12. See below.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccviii, 118.
  • 14. Misc. Bks. (Aug. Off.), lxviii, fol. 270 d.; Com. Pleas D. Enr. East. 1 Eliz. m. 11; cf. tithe apportionment.
  • 15. Slater, op. cit. 45; inform. kindly supplied by the Rev. A. R. Buckland.
  • 16. There is no direct proof that this Hugh was the founder, but the priests were to celebrate daily for his soul and those of his parents (Harl. Chart. 112 A 3).
  • 17. Harl. Chart. 112 A 3.
  • 18. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 107.
  • 19. Cal. Pat. 1272–81, p. 85; Inq. a.q.d. file 4, no. 7.
  • 20. Harl. Chart. 112 A 3; Linc. Epis. Reg. Dalderby, fol. 239.
  • 21. See an interesting article on the hospital by H. C. Andrew, East Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iv (1), 86.
  • 22. Tithe apportionment 1839; the name 'Brode,' however, seems to have been somewhat general; it was also applied to a field near Baldock abutting on the Icknield Way and on 'Bradstreet' (Harl. Chart. 112 F 14).
  • 23. Clutterbuck, Hist. and Antiq. of Herts. iii, 506.
  • 24. Chant. Cert. Herts. 20, no. 65.
  • 25. See below.
  • 26. V.C.H. Herts. i, 328a.
  • 27. See below.
  • 28. V.C.H. Herts. i, 338b.
  • 29. Ibid. 309b.
  • 30. Cf. ibid. 267–70.
  • 31. Ibid. 309b.
  • 32. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 618.
  • 33. Cf. V.C.H. Hants, iv, 115–16.
  • 34. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 208.
  • 35. The same service is given in the time of Adam de Port (Testa de Nevill [Rec. Com.], 270, 280).
  • 36. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 618, 721.
  • 37. Ibid. 706.
  • 38. Memo. R. (Exch. L.T.R.), Trin. 44 Edw. III, 'Recorda,' m. 1.
  • 39. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xlv, 23.
  • 40. Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. xix, m. 21.
  • 41. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 270, 280.
  • 42. Feud. Aids, ii, 433; Chan. Inq. p.m. 3 Edw. III, no. 67; 11 Edw. III, no. 49. For the pedigree see Gen. (new ser.), xvi, 1, and V.C.H. Hants, iv, 115–16.
  • 43. Cal. Close, 1337–9, p. 20.
  • 44. Ibid. 1349–54, p. 70.
  • 45. V.C.H. Hants, iv, 115–16.
  • 46. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, m. 1 d.; Harl. Chart. 111 D 24.
  • 47. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 208.
  • 48. Ibid. 618; Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), ii, 275.
  • 49. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 251.
  • 50. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 270, 280.
  • 51. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, m. I.
  • 52. See above.
  • 53. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 324.
  • 54. Ibid. 323.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 487. There were, however, others besides the lords of the manor who took the name of Clothall (cf. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, passim).
  • 56. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, m. 1; Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 706.
  • 57. Cur. Reg. R. 161, m. 3.
  • 58. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 59. Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 227.
  • 60. Cur. Reg. R. 161, m. 3.
  • 61. Feet of F. Div. Co. 55 & 56 Hen. III, no. 488.
  • 62. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 63. Feet of F. Herts. 56 Hen. III, no. 638.
  • 64. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 65. Feud. Aids, ii, 433.
  • 66. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 67. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 10.
  • 68. Cal. Close, 1360–4, p. 387. It is noteworthy that the manor of Hooks was, at a later date, said to be held of John Botles (Chan. Inq. p.m. [Ser. 2], xlv, 23).
  • 69. De Banco R. 578, m. 231. It is to be noted that Laurence 'de Bottele' was coroner of Hertfordshire till 1327, when he was disqualified by infirmity and age (Cal. Close, 1327–30, p. 16).
  • 70. Chan. Inq. p.m. 44 Edw. III, no. 37. In 1357 Thomas Hauvill, lord of the second moiety of Clothall, released all reversionary rights in this moiety to Sir John (Assize R. 339).
  • 71. Close, 50 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 8 d., 9, 12, 13 d.
  • 72. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 73. Sharpe, Cal. of Wills in Ct. of Husting, ii, 424.
  • 74. The manor was settled on her heirs (Inq. p.m. 33 Hen. VI, no. 31).
  • 75. Feud. Aids, ii, 447.
  • 76. Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Hen. VI, no. 15.
  • 77. Ibid. 33 Hen. VI, no. 31.
  • 78. Ibid. 4 Edw. IV, no. 25.
  • 79. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), i, 134.
  • 80. H. C. Andrew, 'Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene,' East Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iv (1), 92.
  • 81. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xi, 12.
  • 82. Ibid. xvi, 119–20.
  • 83. Ibid, xlv, 23. His second daughter Joan, who was fourteen years younger, does not seem to have inherited and possibly died s.p. In 1546 Anne was styled heir, not co-heir, of Richard Druell (Feet of F. Herts. East. 38 Hen. VIII).
  • 84. Visit. of Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 157.
  • 85. Feet of F. Herts. Hil. 3 Edw. VI.
  • 86. Visit. of Herts. loc. cit.
  • 87. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cciii, 85.
  • 88. Chan. Proc. Eliz. Bb iii, 40. Evidently misled by an erroneous reading of these proceedings, Mr. Andrew asserts that this Dorothy was wife of the younger George (East Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iv [1]. 95).
  • 89. Close, 36 Eliz. pt. x, m. 2.
  • 90. Ibid. The money was to be repaid to John Goodman of Cumberlow in the church porch of Clothall; cf. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 29 & 30 Eliz.; Mich. 33 & 34 Eliz.; Hil. 35 Eliz.; Hil. and East. 38 Eliz.; Recov. R. Trin. 39 Eliz. m. 6. Dorothy Burgoyne suffered recovery of the remaining third in 1588 (Recov. R. Hil. 30 Eliz. m. 66).
  • 91. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Odsey Hund. 72.
  • 92. Feet of F. Herts. East. 1 Jas. I
  • 93. Close, 2 Jas. I, pt. xxxi.
  • 94. See above.
  • 95. Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. xix, m. 20.
  • 96. Close, 9 Jas. I, pt. xxxiv, no. 13; cf. Feet of F. Herts. Hil. 10 Jas. I.
  • 97. Herts. Visit. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 157.
  • 98. Hatfield MSS. quoted by Clutterbuck, op. cit. iii, 503.
  • 99. The name has first been found in 1445 (Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Hen. VI, 15).
  • 100. He was pardoned for taking a stag in the king's forest 28 May 1302 (Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 227). His son held Clothall in 1303 (Feud. Aids, ii, 433).
  • 101. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 8.
  • 102. Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 323; see Cal. Gen. ii, 707.
  • 103. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 104. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 10, 11.
  • 105. Chart. R. 7 Edw. III, no. 23. In 1329 an inquisition on the knights' fees held of John de St. John returns the tenant as 'Amice' de Hauvill (Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 19, no. 1). It is possible that this refers to Emecine wife of Geoffrey, for in such returns the name given is often that of a former tenant.
  • 106. Cal. Close, 1349–54, p. 70.
  • 107. De Banco R. 578, m. 231. A Reginald Hauvill was also assessed for the sixteenth of 1317–18 (Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 11).
  • 108. Cal. Close, 1360–4, p. 387; cf. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 109. De Banco R. 348, m. 435 d.; 349, m. 171 d.
  • 110. Ibid. 578, m. 231, by James Billingford and his wife Aubrey, who failed to make good their claim to it.
  • 111. This may refer to part of Wallington Manor (q.v.), which extended into Clothall.
  • 112. Assize R. 339. The roll is undated; apparently the presentments were made in or after 1362.
  • 113. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 114. Feet of F. Herts. 19 Ric. II, no. 169.
  • 115. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 116. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xlv, 23.
  • 117. Had. Chart. 111 D 57.
  • 118. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 11; cf. Cal. Close, 1318–23, p. 382.
  • 119. Feet of F. Herts. 7 Edw. III, no. 153.
  • 120. Ibid. 22 Hen. VI, no. 116.
  • 121. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xlv, 23.
  • 122. Ibid.
  • 123. Epis. Reg. quoted by Clutterbuck, Hist. and Antiq. of Herts. iii, 504.
  • 124. Chan. Inq. p.m. 3 3 Hen. VI, no. 31; De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 125. Epis. Reg. quoted by Clutterbuck, loc. cit.
  • 126. Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Hen. VI, no. 15: cf. 33 Hen. VI, no. 31.
  • 127. Ibid. 4 Edw. IV, no. 25.
  • 128. See Andrew, 'Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene,' East Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iv (1), 89.
  • 129. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), x, 70; xxxix, 88; De Banco R. 349, m. 279.
  • 130. Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), i, 177.
  • 131. Ibid. ii, 233.
  • 132. Exch. Transcr. of Chart. xv, m. 1 d.
  • 133. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 120, no. 11; De Banco R. 349, m. 279.
  • 134. Close, 10 Hen. V, m. [8?].
  • 135. Feet of F. Herts. 1 Hen. VI, no. 2; cf. ibid. no. 14.
  • 136. Close, 15 Hen. VI, m. 10.
  • 137. Add. Chart. (B.M.), 35417–19.
  • 138. Ibid. 35421.
  • 139. Feet of F. Herts. 2 Ric. III, no. 8; cf. Add. Chart. (B.M.), 35422.
  • 140. Add. Chart. 35423–4; cf. Feet of F. Herts. 22 Edw. IV, no. 65, a quitclaim from Naverina wife of William Foljambe two years before the conveyance from Paul.
  • 141. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), x, 70.
  • 142. Ibid. xxxix, 88.
  • 143. Close, 5 Edw. VI, pt. iv, no. 26.
  • 144. Feet of F. Herts. Hil. 37 Hen. VIII.
  • 145. Ibid. Mich. 5 Edw. VI.
  • 146. Recov. R. East. 22 Eliz. m. 105.
  • 147. Add. Chart. 35429–30; cf. ibid. 35431.
  • 148. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxvi, 58; cccclxxxi, 186.
  • 149. Add. Chart. 35432–3; Recov. R. East. 1656, m. 107.
  • 150. Add. Chart. 35416; Feet of F. Herts Hil. 10 Anne; sec the account of King's Walden.
  • 151. Add. MS. 33582, fol. 4.
  • 152. MSS. of D. and C. of St. Paul's, W.D. xvi, fol. 80, &c.
  • 153. Add. MS. 33582, fol. 5.
  • 154. V.C.H. Herts. i, 319b.
  • 155. Add. Chart. 35419. In 1362 Henry Bottele had rent from lands 'sometime Mundenes' in Clothall (Cal. Close, 1360–4, p. 387).
  • 156. Acts of P.C. 1554–6, p. 106.
  • 157. Visit. of Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 157.
  • 158. Buccleuch MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 338.
  • 159. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1619–23, p. 113.
  • 160. Andrew, 'Quickswood,' East Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iv (1), 96.
  • 161. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vi, App. i, 170a.
  • 162. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Odsey Hund. 64. See above.
  • 163. Richard Druell (d. 1525) bequeathed 3s. 4d. to the sepulchre light in the church of Clothall (P.C.C. Wills, 7 Porch). In 1526 Grace Druell directed that her body should be buried in the chapel of St. James within the parish church of our Lady of Clothall, leaving 26s. 8d. for the repair of the chapel and all her bee-hives for the maintenance of the lights (ibid. 14 Porch). The south chapel is probably the chapel of St. James here referred to.
  • 164. Linc. Epis. Reg. Grostestc, R. 8, m. 1.
  • 165. Feet of F. Herts. 56 Hen. III, no. 488.
  • 166. Ibid. 638.
  • 167. De Banco R. 578, m. 231.
  • 168. Urwick, op. cit. 787.