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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Northmoor and Moreton seem to have had separate fields from an early date. Northmoor's West (later Church) and East fields, both north of the village, were mentioned from the 13th century, (fn. 1) and in the 19th were estimated at c. 77 a. and 49 a. respectively. (fn. 2) Holdings were rarely balanced between them, and lay often in one field only. (fn. 3) A third field, More field, was mentioned in 1648. (fn. 4) Moreton's West (later Chawcroft or Chalcroft) field and East (later Moreton) field, occupying a narrow band across the parish's southern part, were also mentioned from the Middle Ages. (fn. 5) In the 19th century Moreton field was c. 41 a. but Chalcroft field only 12½ a., (fn. 6) and as in Northmoor most holdings were unequally divided. (fn. 7) Ramsey field near the river Thames in the east, c. 7 a. in the 19th century, (fn. 8) was by the 17th century associated usually with Moreton, and presumably never formed part of a separate field system. (fn. 9) Very few farms included land in both Northmoor's and Moreton's fields. (fn. 10)
Meadows, some perhaps among 170 a. recorded on Taynton manor in 1086, (fn. 11) lay chiefly in the south and east by the river Thames, and were estimated in 1672 at over 480 a. (fn. 12) West mead (c. 139 a. in 1672) and the adjoining Chalcroft mead (c. 20 a.), near Newbridge, with Moreton mead (c. 139 a.) in the south, seem to have belonged chiefly to Moreton, (fn. 13) though some Northmoor farms included small parcels of meadow notably in West mead. (fn. 14) Ramsey mead by the eastern boundary (c. 95 a. in 1672, probably including inclosed meadow), (fn. 15) Bownham meadow (c. 35 a.) (fn. 16) in the north-east, and Achim mead (20-30 a.) west of the river Windrush, (fn. 17) belonged chiefly to Northmoor. (fn. 18) All included common meadow until inclosure in 1844, and Bownham and some others remained lot meadows. (fn. 19) Large several meadows included 18½ a. (later 25 a.) in Ramsey mead, attached to Appleton manor (formerly Berks.) from the 13th century to the 19th, (fn. 20) 24 a. in West mead attached in the 17th century to Manor farm, (fn. 21) and North hurst (c. 32 a.) in the north-east, attached in the 14th century to Eaton manor in Appleton and later to Fyfield manor (then Berks.). (fn. 22) Gaingey (earlier Kadengeye or Cangay) by the Thames was mentioned from the Middle Ages, (fn. 23) and some small hams were also held in severalty. (fn. 24) In 1832 Ramsey mead was 'good Thames meadow', but holdings dispersed in Moreton common mead were 'of little value in their present state', and meadows flooded often. (fn. 25)
The moor from which the parish was named (fn. 26) ran between the two villages from the river Windrush on the west to near Bablock Hythe in the north-east, and in the 17th century was estimated at 1,000 a. It was then divided into Dedwick, Horseleaze, or Outer common in the south-west, mentioned from the 15th century, and Cowleaze or Inner common apparently in the north-east, (fn. 27) though North moor, the over and nether moors, and Moreton Lake were also sometimes mentioned. (fn. 28) Common rights attached to individual holdings varied: in the earlier 17th century the rectory estate, c. 40 a. including 15 a. of open-field arable, had commons for 8 cattle and 32 sheep at full stint, (fn. 29) while Gaunt House's estate, with c. 55 a. in Northmoor including 37 a. of arable, had rights for 21 cattle, 14 horses, and 100 sheep, (fn. 30) and a holding of 12 a. of arable and meadow had rights for 5¾ cattle, 3 horses, and 20 sheep, recently reduced to 12. (fn. 31) In all, there were commons for 1,600 sheep, 435 cattle, and 217 horses at full stint and for 800 sheep, 335 cattle, and an unreduced number of horses at half-stint, (fn. 32) though waterlogging caused rot and reduced the pasture's value. (fn. 33) Additional winter commons were claimed in North hurst, (fn. 34) and pigs were allowed in the common fields after harvest. (fn. 35) Standlake's inhabitants had commons in Dedwick in the 16th century, (fn. 36) as did the lord of Stanton Harcourt in the early 15th, when Thomas at More was impleaded for obstructing the droveway from Stanton Harcourt with a ditch and hedge; (fn. 37) Stanton Harcourt's claims prompted frequent litigation in the earlier 17th century, and in 1677 Sir Philip Harcourt sold to the lord of Northmoor commons for 400 sheep and other animals in Dedwick and Cowleaze. (fn. 38) Northmoor evidently retained common rights in Stanton Harcourt's West moor in the 18th century. (fn. 39) Small pasture closes were mentioned frequently from the 16th century, (fn. 40) and leys in some of the common fields from the earlier 17th. (fn. 41)
In 1581 eight tenants were presented to the manor court for inclosing 37 a. of land formerly lying in common, (fn. 42) and a new close in Moreton was mentioned in 1597. (fn. 43) A farm in 1654 included 20 a. of grass ground, presumably inclosed, in East field, (fn. 44) and by then over 40 a. of inclosed pasture adjoined Manor Farm and there were apparently consolidated blocks of arable nearby in Church field. (fn. 45) In 1666 the lord, Edward Twyford, secured agreement for inclosing Dedwick and Cowleaze, and work began soon after; owners' allotments, awarded for cow commons only, ranged from 2 a. for a labourer's single common to c. 160 a. for the lord, who received a further 5 a. as owner of the waste. (fn. 46) Disagreement over allotments and tithes led to protracted litigation and to intimidation and fence-breaking, organized by a local group dubbed the Jovial Crew; prominent agitators included the gentry John Pleydell and John Heron, who allegedly gathered supporters 'at common alehouses' and persuaded labourers and other commoners to join in their lawsuits. (fn. 47) A Chancery decree of 1673 ratified inclosure of the commons and of c. 25 a. of lot meadow in West mead, (fn. 48) and though plans to inclose the arable and the remaining common meadows (fn. 49) were abandoned, in the earlier 19th century only c. 430 a. (c. 20 per cent of the parish) remained uninclosed. (fn. 50) Winter commons in North hurst were extinguished for 30s. a year paid to the poor by the lord of the manor, (fn. 51) but common rights continued in the common fields and meadows, where in the late 17th century and early 18th those mowing once had commons not exceeding 2 cows per acre from Michaelmas to 2 February, and those mowing twice had a quarter rate. (fn. 52) Lammas meadows were noted in the 19th century. (fn. 53) The decree of 1673 required all landholders to clean watercourses passing through their land at least once a year, (fn. 54) and in the late 17th century floodgates allowed most inclosed meadows and pastures to be flooded if required. (fn. 55)
A wood of 6 a., attached apparently to Fyfield manor, was mentioned in 1448, (fn. 56) and coppices of ½-2 a. and sometimes more were noted on Manor farm and other freeholds from the 16th century. (fn. 57) In 1586 two inhabitants were presented to the manor court for cutting trees on the waste, though the court ruled that windfall oaks belonged to tenants. (fn. 58) About 1700 there were allegedly several thousand trees worth up to £5,000 on Northmoor manor, besides c. 3 a. thick-planted with fast-growing abeles (white poplars) which were expected to yield large profits, (fn. 59) and in 1768 Magdalen College's three small farms included over 370 trees, chiefly ash and elm, presumably in hedgerows. (fn. 60) In the 19th century the only recorded woodland was c. 2 a. of coppice in the south-west, let with Manor farm, and c. 1 a. on the rectory estate. (fn. 61)
In 1086 Northmoor was presumably surveyed with Taynton manor, on which 17 villani and 30 bordarii were noted with 17 ploughteams. Though some may have lived in Northmoor, the demesne, on which 4 servi worked another 4 ploughteams, was presumably in Taynton, (fn. 62) and Northmoor's unusual social structure in 1279 may reflect comparatively recent colonization. Only 10 villeins were then recorded, holding a total of 39½ a.; individual tenants held between ½ a. and 10 a. for varying rents and services, and one house was held apparently without land. The holdings suggest irregular encroachments on the waste, and none was described in terms of yardlands. (fn. 63) Far more land (188 a.) was occupied by freeholders, of whom 12 held between 2 a. and 30 a. for rents of between 1s. 9d. and 53s. 4d.; the largest rent was for John de la More's 30 a., mill, and ferry, a reputed manor by the early 14th century. (fn. 64) Holdings not listed in 1279 included 97 a. claimed as freehold by the Ramsey family of Ramsey in the 1220s, but proved to have been held earlier in villeinage, (fn. 65) and since rents in 1294 were valued at c. £10 more than in 1279 (fn. 66) there may have been other unrecorded holdings. There was an active land market and complex subletting, and other families omitted in 1279 were possibly subtenants: (fn. 67) a freeholder with 20 a. in 1279 had earlier manumitted a servile tenant and regranted his house and 2 a. for 12d. rent, (fn. 68) and all or part of the More family's freehold was sublet in the earlier 13th century. (fn. 69) A ploughland in demesne in 1279 was valued at 100s. (fn. 70)
Labour services for the 10-a. villein holding in 1279 included mowing, haymaking, and carriage, worth 12d. in all, and one tenant of ½ a. owed services valued at 17d. Most labour services were worth less, and two small tenants owed only rent and 4 hens. The Mores performed the lord's suit at the hundred and county courts presumably as part of the service for their freehold, and tenants at Taynton and Northmoor collectively owed 20s. hidage and 10d. wardpenny, besides payments at the sheriff's tourn and 4d. cert money. (fn. 71) Farming, as later, was presumably mixed: former pasture in East field near the later Watkins Farm had apparently been ploughed by the late 12th century, (fn. 72) and an inhabitant's piggery was mentioned in 1203. (fn. 73)
Total wealth taxed in the early 14th century fell from c. £115 in 1306 to c. £94 in 1327, but average personalty rose from c. 42s. to 44s., placing Northmoor locally among parishes of middling prosperity. Some high payments were from freeholders recorded in 1279, among them John Laurence (alias de la More) who was assessed on £7 in 1306, but there was little consistency, and several prosperous taxpayers were otherwise unrecorded. (fn. 74) Hugh of Standlake, one of a prominent Witney family, was assessed in 1316 on over £33, by far the largest assessment in any year, (fn. 75) and John of Ducklington, the highest taxpayer in 1327, was a prominent Oxford clothier to whom a Northmoor freeholder had recently mortgaged some of his property. (fn. 76) The lowest payment in 1306, on goods worth 10s., was from one of a villein family with ½ a. or less in 1279. (fn. 77)
Northmoor seems to have escaped serious depopulation during the Black Death. (fn. 78) Buying, selling, and leasing by prominent families continued in the 14th century and the 15th; (fn. 79) no especially large freeholds had been created by the mid 16th century, however, when c. 15 tenants owed quitrents of between 12d. and 20s., excluding the More family's rent and 29s. from St. John's College, Oxford. (fn. 80) Among the more notable freeholders were the Martins, who later called themselves gentry and whose estate, after early 17th-century additions, included a mansion house (later Church Farm) and c. 80 a. of arable and meadow, to which 53 a. of new inclosure was added in 1666; (fn. 81) a smaller freehold, including a mansion house occupied in the 1630s by the lord of the manor, passed c. 1655 to the Pleydells. (fn. 82) Non-resident freeholders included the Yates and Walwyns of Standlake and the Seacoles of Stanton Harcourt, whose land passed later to the local Ferrymans. (fn. 83)
Eleven copyholders in 1568 owed rents ranging from 4d. for a cottage recently built on the waste to 55s. for 3 houses, 6 closes, and 52 a. of arable, meadow and pasture, (fn. 84) sublet by the Stones in the 1590s and bought by them in 1600. (fn. 85) Another copyholder had 11 a. of arable and 35½ a. of meadow, but most holdings were smaller, and 3 tenants were cottagers. Only one copyholder was also a notable freeholder. (fn. 86) All holdings were still measured in acres rather than yardlands and showed little uniformity, (fn. 87) though in the early 17th century yardlands were claimed variously to include 30 a., 35 a., or 40 a. (fn. 88)
Twelve taxpayers paid a total of 20s. 4d. in 1524, implying that Northmoor was relatively impoverished, though in 1576 fourteen inhabitants paid a total of £3 14s., a higher sum than in neighbouring Standlake with its larger population. (fn. 89) The wealthiest taxpayers included both freeholders and copyholders, often assessed on goods rather than land, and in 1524 one inhabitant was taxed on wages. (fn. 90) Few medieval surnames survived. (fn. 91) John More (d. 1566) was taxed c. 1558 on goods worth £10, and in 1576 John Herle, then lord, was taxed on lands worth £20; (fn. 92) a cottager twice paid on goods worth £5 and left personalty of c. £67, (fn. 93) and a copyholder taxed in 1610 on land worth £1 left personalty of £265. (fn. 94) During the 17th century Northmoor's prosperity and social structure remained similar to that of neighbouring parishes, most testators leaving goods worth between £11 and £60, and only a few leaving less than £10 or more than £100; (fn. 95) exceptionally, Thomas Harris (d. 1639), probably of later Stonehenge Farm in Moreton, left chattels worth c. £319, including a lease worth £100 and £90 in money. (fn. 96) Twenty-eight taxpayers (65 per cent) paid on 1 or 2 hearths in 1662, and only six (14 per cent) on 5 hearths or more, among them the lord (11 hearths), the lay rector (9 hearths), and members of the Pleydell, Martin, and Stone families (5 hearths). Eight inhabitants were exonerated through poverty in 1665. (fn. 97)
The chief crops in the 17th century and early 18th were wheat, barley, and pulses. (fn. 98) Maslin was mentioned in 1611, hops in 1671, and rye in 1688. (fn. 99) A few testators left malt or malt mills, several left hemp, and a few left apples; (fn. 100) many left hay, sometimes in large quantities. (fn. 101) A wealthy freeholder in 1550 had 2 yoke of oxen. (fn. 102) Cattle, cheese, and cheese-making equipment were mentioned frequently, and some wealthy farmers had herds of up to 15 cattle; (fn. 103) Manor Farm included a well-furnished dairy for 50 cows c. 1713, (fn. 104) and Northmoor cheesemongers evidently attended Oxford market in the 1750s. (fn. 105) Sheep were recorded less often and there were few large flocks, presumably because of the low, wet commons, though two freeholders in the 1560s were fined for exceeding their stints by 60 sheep, (fn. 106) and another in 1632 left 36 adult sheep besides cattle and crops. (fn. 107) Several testators owned a few sheep or left wool or fleeces, and some inventories itemized dung. (fn. 108) Pigs and bacon were mentioned frequently, several testators owned poultry, and a few kept bees.
A leasehold tenant was recorded on Northmoor manor in 1622. (fn. 109) Manor farm was let at rack rent on 10- and later 21-year leases from the 1640s, though in the later 17th century and early 18th it seems sometimes to have been kept in hand. (fn. 110) In the mid 18th century it comprised 270 a., mostly ancient and 17th-century inclosures, (fn. 111) and it remained the largest farm in the earlier 19th century. (fn. 112) Leasehold gradually superseded copyhold in the later 17th century and early 18th, though most early leases were lifehold grants of customary holdings let for small rents and large entry fines, (fn. 113) and some rack rents were reduced before 1755 'on account of the badness of the times'. (fn. 114) After 1755 the Harcourts systematically replaced lifeholds with short leases at rack rent, the last lifehold expiring in 1806. (fn. 115) Six freeholds totalling c. 300 a., bought by the Harcourts in the earlier 18th century, became part of Northmoor manor and were also let at rack rent. (fn. 116) By c. 1809 four out of nine farms on the manor exceeded 100 a., two exceeded 200 a., and at least one smaller farm was occupied with other lands. (fn. 117)
Rents to St. John's College were demanded partly in corn or its market equivalent under the Corn Rent Act of 1576. That for the rectory farm was increased to £100 before 1629 and so remained in the earlier 19th century, with large entry fines payable every 3½ years, (fn. 118) though in the mid 17th century the rent was not always paid and fines were sometimes waived. (fn. 119) Christ Church's farms were let at rack rent by the mid 17th century, (fn. 120) and Magdalen's by the later 18th. (fn. 121) Of those only Christ Church's Gaunt House farm exceeded 50 a., (fn. 122) but in the later 18th century many larger farmers held more than one farm, often combining freehold and leasehold; a freeholder who in 1785 paid over £42 land tax was tenant under five owners, and another who paid c. £22 held under three. (fn. 123) In all c. 40 proprietors were recorded, half of them owing less than 20s. land tax. (fn. 124)
Some parts of the former common were arable by the earlier 19th century, (fn. 125) but on Northmoor manor most farms in the later 18th century and early 19th were predominantly pastoral, (fn. 126) and in 1844 c. 1,414 a. (73 per cent of the parish) was meadow or pasture, much of it of inferior quality. (fn. 127) Flooding still occurred frequently, causing serious losses in 1829. (fn. 128) The best-quality arable was that in the common fields, which was potentially good turnip land, and in 1832 the Harcourts' agent claimed never to have seen a place where inclosure and drainage would bring greater benefit. (fn. 129) The remaining common land was inclosed c. 1844, when the award was inrolled; the Harcourts received c. 1,044 a. including c. 193 a. of new inclosure, 41 other owners or tenants received new allotments ranging from less than an acre to c. 67 a. for St. John's College's open-field land, and a total of 39 a. of old and new inclosure was exchanged. Achim mead was separately inclosed with Standlake c. 1853. (fn. 130)
Immediately after inclosure there were (excluding cottagers) 37 occupiers of land, of whom 20, many of them non-resident, had 15 a. or less. Eight farmers had over 100 a., frequently held under several owners, and Rachel Eagle of Manor farm and John Nalder of Rectory farm had over 200 a. (fn. 131) By 1861 there were 6 farms over 100 a. and two of 300 a. or more, in all employing 56 men and boys; c. 80 agricultural labourers and plough boys were recorded, by far the largest occupational group. (fn. 132) All the farms were worked from earlier homesteads, and in the 1870s and later some large farms were worked from outside the parish. (fn. 133) Flooding remained serious, and in 1866, on the initiative of local farmers and landowners, the Northmoor and Stanton Harcourt Drainage Board was established under the Land Drainage Act of 1861. Several miles of embankments and cuttings were constructed along the river Thames and a short stretch of the river Windrush, the cost met by levies on those likely to benefit; as a result land which had supplied only rough summer pasture for cattle was ploughed, producing spring corn (usually barley), Italian rye grass, and root crops which provided good sheep feed. Pastures on the newly drained land remained poor, and conversion to arable was recommended. (fn. 134) By 1877 arable in the parish had been increased to c. 49 per cent, (fn. 135) though most farms remained mixed; the Harcourts' Moreton farm (157 a.) was in 1871 a 'useful small dairy farm', and most homesteads included cattle sheds and piggeries. (fn. 136)
Such improvements did not offset the effects of agricultural depression, and in 1881 the tenants of Watkins and Brook farms, both members of the prominent Walter family, were granted rent reductions following losses caused by excessively wet seasons. Some newly cultivated land had produced poor-quality straw but no corn, and grassland had suffered. (fn. 137) Most rents had been reduced by 1886 when John Walter, who in 1881 had the best herd on the estate, received notice to quit, though several other prominent farmers continued into the 1890s or later. (fn. 138) Most notable was Richard Eagle (d. 1899), who by the 1880s held Manor, Moreton, and Rectory farms (c. 700 a.) besides freehold land and other farms in Stanton Harcourt and Standlake. (fn. 139)
In 1896 Manor farm was scattered, of uneven quality, and expensive to cultivate, (fn. 140) and in 1920 scattered fields, wet and unproductive arable, and continued flooding near the Thames prompted Magdalen College to sell its estate. (fn. 141) River meadows yielded good hay crops and arable in the north-west on Pinnocks farm was 'fairly productive', (fn. 142) but poor communications with Oxford adversely affected the parish's economy. (fn. 143) In 1914 the parish was 61 per cent permanent pasture, and cattle were kept in relatively large numbers, though many fewer sheep were kept than elsewhere in the region and their numbers were falling. Pigs were kept also. The chief crops were wheat (24 per cent), barley (15 per cent), and oats (11 per cent), with swedes and turnips (6 per cent) and mangolds (5 per cent). (fn. 144) Most farms remained mixed in the 1920s, when there was some dairying and poultry farming, though the proportion of arable varied from 23 per cent on Watkins farm (229 a.) to over 75 per cent on the much smaller Brooks and Pinnocks farms. (fn. 145) In 1939 there were 9 chief farms, of which Church, Watkins, and the combined Rectory and Brook farms exceeded 150 a.; (fn. 146) in 1979 Manor farm was 232 a. (94 ha.), of which 16 per cent was permanent pasture, 43 per cent was under wheat or barley, 36 per cent was leys, and 5 per cent was fallow and stubble. (fn. 147) Rectory farm remained mixed in 1995, livestock including beef cattle and some sheep. (fn. 148) Land belonging to Stonehenge farm in Moreton was alleged in 1960 to be 'little more than a bog', though adjacent land was of good quality. (fn. 149)
Medieval surnames included Tailor, Draper, Weaver, and Carpenter, though none was recorded frequently. (fn. 150) Rural tradesmen recorded occasionally from the later 16th century included a butcher, baker, tailor, carpenter, cordwainer, and wheelwright; (fn. 151) several tanners were noted in the late 16th century and earlier 17th, (fn. 152) and some other testators left bark mills. (fn. 153) An apprentice tucker with Witney connections lived at New-bridge mill c. 1559, (fn. 154) and a moderately prosperous clothier and weaver died in 1688, though he was also a substantial mixed farmer. (fn. 155) Several inhabitants, some of them prominent yeomen, left linen or woollen wheels, (fn. 156) and in 1814 many poor children worked at home for Witney blanketeers rather than enter service. (fn. 157) Nineteenth-century tradesmen included a few carpenters and shoemakers, sawyers employed presumably on the Harcourts' estates in Stanton Harcourt or Ducklington, and coal dealers at Newbridge, and several women were seamstresses or dressor trousermakers; in 1813 there was a blacksmith, in 1841 a weaver and a basketmaker, and in 1861 a thatcher and a gloveress. (fn. 158) There were grocers' shops at the Red Lion and Dun Cow public houses by 1861, and in 1881 there was a baker. (fn. 159) In 1903 there was a machinist and boot repairer, in 1904 a blacksmith, and in 1911 a road contractor and a wheelwright, but traditional crafts had disappeared by 1939. The village shop closed presumably with the post office in the 1960s. (fn. 160)
Two annual fairs at Newbridge on 20 March and 20 August were granted to Edmund Warcupp as lord of Northmoor in 1675. (fn. 161) The first fair was moved to 31 March (20 March old style) presumably after the calendar change of 1753, and the second to 28 September before 1768. (fn. 162) Both were held in an inclosed meadow of c. 10 a. adjoining the Standlake road north-east of Newbridge, (fn. 163) and in 1768 the September fair was postponed because of flooding. (fn. 164) A 'fair house' was let with the Rose and Crown (later the Rose Revived) public house and its wharf from the later 17th century to the early 19th; (fn. 165) the tolls were let separately for £16 c. 1697 and for £13 in the earlier 18th century, at first with Manor farm, and in the 1750s to another local farmer. (fn. 166) 'Some little sage cheese' was sold in the later 17th century, and cattle and horses in the early 18th, when buyers came from Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire; (fn. 167) in the mid 18th century one or both of the fairs was evidently large, with 40 booths and stalls, 3 or 4 house boats from Oxford and Binsey, and tradesmen from Witney and presumably elsewhere. (fn. 168) From the later 18th century tolls were collected apparently by the lord's bailiff, but profits fell from c. £13 in 1780 to 9s. in 1798, when there may have been only one fair, and no income was recorded from 1799 to 1803. (fn. 169) In 1806 the tolls were let for 30s. to the tenant of the Rose and Crown, (fn. 170) but though the fair house was mentioned in 1816 (fn. 171) the fair itself had lapsed possibly by 1819 and certainly by the later 1840s. (fn. 172)
MILLS AND FISHERIES.
One of two mills recorded on Taynton manor in 1086 may have been in Northmoor. (fn. 173) In 1279 a predecessor of Newbridge (earlier Moreton) mill on the river Windrush belonged to the More family's freehold, with which it descended until 1608 when John More sold it to Thomas Webley; (fn. 174) the Loggins of Swalcliffe and Butlers Marston (Warws.) acquired it before 1635, but following disputes sold or released it to Henry Webley of Northmoor in 1653. (fn. 175) Like their predecessors the Webleys let it to resident millers, (fn. 176) and in 1719 sold it to John Blewitt, lord of Northmoor. (fn. 177) It remained part of Northmoor manor until 1924. (fn. 178)
In the mid 15th century it was a corn mill, to which Robert More (fl. 1445) added a fulling mill presumably at its western end, encroaching on land belonging to Standlake manor. The fulling mill was demolished after intervention by a lord of Standlake, though the corn mill was allowed to remain. (fn. 179) That, too, encroached on Standlake lordship, (fn. 180) implying either that the mill stood on a different branch of the river Windrush west of its later site, or, more likely, that the boundary there was adjusted later. (fn. 181) Another fulling mill was built onto the mill's west end c. 1548 and continued c. 1556, when the tenant gave 2 bu. of malt a year to Standlake parish in acknowledgement of his encroachment. (fn. 182) In 1608 there were two fulling mills and a corn mill, and in 1637 two corn mills and a fulling mill; (fn. 183) in 1682 there were two grist mills under one roof, to which two more were added c. 1719, (fn. 184) and the mill remained a corn grist mill thereafter. (fn. 185) In 1832 it was 'of great power', and in 1871 it had 3 pairs of stones driven by 2 undershot wheels. (fn. 186) Milling ceased apparently between 1915 and 1920, and in 1924 the mill was a storeroom; (fn. 187) it was demolished during the earlier 20th century. (fn. 188) The surviving millhouse, formerly attached to the mill's east end, is of the 18th century, (fn. 189) and incorporates an originally symmetrical, 3-bayed front of squared limestone blocks, to which a matching fourth bay was added on the west after 1950. (fn. 190) Service ranges at the rear are probably 19th-century.
A freehold mill in Northmoor or Standlake, mentioned in the early 14th century, has not been identified. (fn. 191) A mill in Northmoor by the Thames, called Thames mill, was recorded in 1687 but had been demolished by 17O4. (fn. 192)
The name wilstede, recorded in 1059, may indicate a fishtrap. (fn. 193) The surname Fisher (Piscator) was recorded from the 13th century, (fn. 194) and two 17th-century yeomen left fishing tackle. (fn. 195) Common waters apparently in a tributary of the river Thames were mentioned in 1394 and 1424, (fn. 196) but in the mid 15th century Standlake parishioners vindicated their common rights in much of the river Windrush against Robert More, perhaps to the exclusion of Northmoor's parishioners. (fn. 197) Lords of Northmoor claimed royalty of fishing (as of hunting and fowling) throughout the parish, (fn. 198) and in 1696 a tenant was fined for appropriating and leasing a pond or watercourse stocked with fish near Dag Lane. (fn. 199) Courts in the later 17th century repeatedly fined those erecting weirs or fishtraps in a stream called Flexneys Lake. (fn. 200)
A several fishery in the Thames at 'Widewere', near Gaingey meadow, was mentioned in 1247, (fn. 201) and a fishpond in a freeholder's garden about the same date. (fn. 202) Freehold fisheries mentioned later included one from west of Newbridge to south of Moreton, acquired by St. John's College, Oxford, (fn. 203) and Newbridge mill carried fishing rights in tributaries of the Windrush. (fn. 204) The moat around Manor Farm was well stocked with fish c. 1700, and manorial fisheries in both rivers were let in the later 17th century, (fn. 205) though one of the Thames fisheries was sold in 1704 to the lord of Appleton (then Berks.). (fn. 206) A fishery in the Thames at Noah's Ark weir, so named by the mid 18th century, was detached from Northmoor manor in 1600 and was bought in 1741 by Magdalen College, Oxford, which let it to local fishermen. (fn. 207) The attached house,. new-built in 1768, was in disrepair in 1798, (fn. 208) and in the 1850s the weir was unused and decayed; its remains were cleared after 1866. (fn. 209) Hart's, Ridge's, Cock's, or Langley weir further upstream, within the parish but with buildings on the south bank in Berkshire, belonged to Fyfield manor, (fn. 210) and was perhaps associated with a fishery mentioned from the 15th century. (fn. 211) The weir was working but dilapidated in 1879 and was removed in 1880, leaving only a newly built footbridge. (fn. 212)
In the 1880s Edward Harcourt complained that crayfish could no longer live in the Windrush because of pollution from Witney factories, (fn. 213) but in 1924 there was 'first class' trout fishing near Newbridge mill. Fishing in the Thames was by then let to the Oxford Angling and Preservation Society and non-resident sportsmen. (fn. 214)