Chimney: Manor

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.

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A P Baggs. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley, 'Chimney: Manor', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One), (London, 1996) pp. 82. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

A P Baggs. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley. "Chimney: Manor", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One), (London, 1996) 82. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Chance, Eleanor. Colvin, Christina. Day, C J. Selwyn, Nesta. Townley, S C. "Chimney: Manor", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One), (London, 1996). 82. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,


Chimney formed part of Bampton manor until granted to Bampton minster in the mid 10th century, and remained part of Bampton Deanery manor thereafter. (fn. 1) A lease of most of the township, with a share in manorial rights, was acquired in 1617 by Robert Veysey (d. 1635) of Taynton, (fn. 2) one of a local family which had an interest by 1603, and who had allegedly 'raised himself from nothing' through 'usury and crafty bargaining'. (fn. 3) He settled it on his nephew Robert Veysey (d. 1666) of Queen's College, Oxford, and later of Chimney, who bought it from the parliamentary commissioners c. 1650 and secured renewal of the lease in 1662. (fn. 4) The younger Robert was succeeded by his second wife Christian (fn. 5) and, before 1691, by another Robert Veysey, evidently not his son; that Robert died in 1700 leaving an infant son also called Robert. (fn. 6) From 1718 or earlier lessees held in trust for John Veysey of Chimney, living in 1733, (fn. 7) but by 1751 and probably from 1740 the estate, then 627 a., was held through trustees by George Baskerville (d. 1777) of London. (fn. 8) He left it to Abraham Atkins (d. 1792) of Clapham (Mdx.) and Kingston Lisle in Sparsholt (Berks.), (fn. 9) who in 1786 vested a part (266 a.) in trustees for the support of Baptist ministers. (fn. 10) The rest (376 a.) passed to his nephew Edwin Martin (d. 1799), who took the additional surname Atkins, and to Edwin's son Atkins Edwin Martin Atkins, whose trustees recovered the remaining part of the Chimney estate in 1844. (fn. 11) Manorial rights became separated in 1838, (fn. 12) and in 1921 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners sold the estate to their tenant, C. J. Bartless. (fn. 13)

A probably stone-built manor house, southwest of modern Chimney Farm, was erected by Robert Veysey (d. 1635), presumably in the 1620s when he returned to Chimney from Taynton. (fn. 14) In 1635 it included a hall and parlour, both with rooms above, an upper and lower kitchen, an upper and lower study, and various service rooms, with more upper rooms at the 'parlour stair head' and 'on the entry', and a cockloft over the hall. (fn. 15) It was taxed on 8 hearths in the 1660s, (fn. 16) and in 1789 comprised an east-west range with end wings projecting southwards. (fn. 17) It remained the Veyseys' principal residence, and in the later 18th century George Baskerville reserved part for his own use, dividing his time between there and London; the rest was let to a tenant farmer, (fn. 18) and though Abraham Atkins reserved Baskerville's part for a relative in his will (fn. 19) no later owners of Chimney lived there. The house was demolished between 1830 and 1846. (fn. 20)


  • 1. Above, Bampton and Weald, manors.
  • 2. O.R.O., D.Y. VII/i/1; 1½ yardland was held with the Bampton moiety of the manor: D. & C. Exeter, MS. 4030, p. 11.
  • 3. D. & C. Exeter, MS. 2000; B.L. Add. Ch. 38959; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 378, p. 272; cf. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 180, f. 39v.; ibid. 155/4/7; P.R.O., PROB 11/169, f. 59. A claim in Oxon. Visit. (Harl. Soc. v), 256-7 that Rob. was related to John Veysey, bp. of Exeter, is unsubstantiated: cf. D.N.B.
  • 4. Bodl. MSS. d.d. Harcourt c 109/28-32; D. & C. Exeter, MS. 1982; ibid. MS. 4030, p. 10; Oxon. Visit. (Harl. Soc. v), 256-7.
  • 5. P.R.O., PROB 11/322, f. 363v.; D. & C. Exeter, MS. 2001; Oxon. Visit. 256-7; cf. O.R.O., D.Y. VII/v/5; D. & C. Exeter, MSS. 6016/1/4-11.
  • 6. O.R.O., D.Y. VII/vi/5; D. & C. Exeter, MSS. 6016/1/12-14; cf. Bodl. MS. d.d. Harcourt c 110/17.
  • 7. D. & C. Exeter, MS. 4783; O.R.O., D.Y. VII/vi/7; cf. ibid. MS. Wills Oxon. 87/6/13.
  • 8. D. & C. Exeter, MSS. 6016/1/25-35; ibid. MSS. 1987-8, 2014.
  • 9. P.R.O., PROB 11/1037, ff. 87-9.
  • 10. V.C.H. Berks. iv. 319; Brief Acct. of Trusts created by A. Atkins (1803): copy in Baptist Union Corpn. file 1367/3; D. & C. Exeter, Ch. Comm. 14/74389.
  • 11. P.R.O., PROB 11/1215, ff. 231v.-246; D. & C.Exeter, MSS. 6016/1/36-8; ibid. MS. 6016/9; ibid. Ch. Comm. 14/74386, 74389-93; Burke, Land. Gent. (1871), 34; V.C.H. Berks. iv. 315.
  • 12. Above, Bampton and Weald, manors (Bampton Deanery).
  • 13. Ch. Com. Rec. 38451.
  • 14. D. & C. Exeter, MS. 1998; Bodl. MSS. d.d. Harcourt c 109/28-30; for stonework possibly from the house, above, intro.
  • 15. B.L. Add. Ch. 38960.
  • 16. Hearth Tax Oxon. 227; P.R.O., E 179/255/4, pt. i, f. 27.
  • 17. D. & C. Exeter, MS. M 1.
  • 18. Ibid. MSS. 1987, 1989, 2013-5, 2019-20; ibid. MS. 6016/6, letter from G. Frederick 22 Sept. 1768.
  • 19. P.R.O., PROB 11/1215, f. 242v.
  • 20. O.S. Map 1", sheet 13 (1830 edn.); O.R.O., tithe award and map; Giles, Hist. Bampton, 87.