Rural Parishes: Rotherfield Greys

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 16. Originally published by Boydell & Brewer for the Institute of Historical Research, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2011.

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, 'Rural Parishes: Rotherfield Greys', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 16, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2011) pp. 266-302. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

. "Rural Parishes: Rotherfield Greys", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 16, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2011) 266-302. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

. "Rural Parishes: Rotherfield Greys", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 16, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2011). 266-302. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

Long title
Rural Parishes: Rotherfield Greys

In this section


Until 19th and 20th-century boundary changes the ancient parish of Rotherfield Greys stretched for 6 miles (9.6 km) across Binfield hundred, from the Chiltern hills in the west to the Thames in the east. (fn. 1) The parish is mostly rural, although parts of Henley extended into its eastern edge from an early date, and in the 19th and 20th centuries suburban growth there expanded rapidly over former farmland. Otherwise settlement is scattered, comprising isolated farmsteads and widely spaced hamlets set around greens or at road junctions.

Greys Court, the imposing ancestral house of the lord of the manor from the 11th century, occupies a secluded position on rising ground 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Henley. The Greys were landholders on a significant scale, and the house became a major aristocratic seat and a symbol and focus of local power. The western part of the parish, which later became the parish of Highmoor, formed a largely separate community, and from the 15th to the 19th century belonged to the Stonor family. The suffix 'Greys', from the chief medieval owners, was added to the place name from the Middle Ages, distinguishing it from neighbouring Rotherfield Peppard; earlier it was briefly known as Rotherfield Murdac, from a late 12th-century lord. (fn. 2)

Parish Boundaries

The parish's elongated shape encompassed a variety of agricultural resources, from the wood pasture of the Chilterns to the waters of the Thames. (fn. 3) Almost certainly that reflected conscious planning when Rotherfield was separated from the large royal estate of Benson before the Norman Conquest, although on later evidence Rotherfield manor encompassed only the parish's eastern part, as far as Shepherd's Green. (fn. 4) The areas further west (including Highmoor, Witheridge Hill and Padnells) were presumably incorporated into the parish by the 12th or 13th century, as ecclesiastical boundaries crystallized. (fn. 5) In the 19th century the parish's (and county's) eastern boundary followed the river Thames, while that with Henley ran along Friday Street and the town ditch before pursuing a partly undefined course north-westwards through inclosed fields. (fn. 6) Much of the wooded northern boundary, with Bix and Nettlebed, followed stretches of the Iron-Age earthwork known as Grim's Ditch. (fn. 7) The western boundary, with Nuffield, Newnham Murren, and Mongewell, lay along a valley called Stony Bottom, before turning south-eastwards through woodland. The long southern boundary with Rotherfield Peppard passed mainly through fields before following the Henley road to the junction with Mill Lane, which it followed eastwards to the Thames.

In 1879 the ancient parish covered 2,927 a., similar to its estimated acreage in 1844. (fn. 8) Under the Local Government Act of 1894 the part of Rotherfield Greys included in Henley municipal borough became the separate civil parish of Greys (321 a.), which was combined with the rest of Henley civil parish in 1905, leaving 2,606 a. in Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 9) Following further urban growth, in 1932 another 244 a. was transferred to Henley from Rotherfield Greys, which at the same time lost 2 a. to Rotherfield Peppard and gained 148 a. from Mongewell, leaving it with 2,508 acres. In 1952 a new civil parish of Highmoor (1,297 a.) was created from the western part of Rotherfield Greys (1,148 a.) and a small part of Bix (149 a.), while Rotherfield Greys itself was extended northwards into the redundant parish of Badgemore (467 a.) and southwards into Rotherfield Peppard (269 a.), leaving it with 2,096 acres. Minor changes to the boundary around Shepherd's Green left Rotherfield Greys with 2,095 a. (848 ha.) in 2001, and Highmoor with 1,295 a. (524 ha.). (fn. 10)


The parish lies chiefly on chalk overlain by extensive patches of river gravel, except in the west where the high ground is capped by a mantle of clay-with-flints. (fn. 11) Chalk was used to improve the soil, dug from pits scattered throughout the parish. (fn. 12) Close to the Thames, the alluvium of the floodplain (at 32 m.) provided a significant area of meadow known as Greys mead, which was partly built on in the 20th century. From there the ground rises to 95 m. at the church and 110 m. at Greys Court, rising still further to 150 m. at Highmoor. (fn. 13) The dry valleys of the parish, known as 'bottoms', provided no water for the inhabitants, who depended for their supplies on ponds and wells until the introduction of mains water in the early 20th century. (fn. 14)

The name Rotherfield means 'open land where cattle graze', suggesting that the parish's greens and commons were already cleared of trees during the Anglo-Saxon period. (fn. 15) The wooded uplands in the west contrasted with the more open farmland further east, as noted in the 16th century by Leland, who observed 'plenty of wood and corn about Henley'. (fn. 16) Two parks called Highmoor extended into the parish in the Middle Ages, (fn. 17) and there was also a medieval park around Greys Court, part of which survived in 2005. (fn. 18)



Two parallel roads, both probably of medieval origin, link Rotherfield Greys to the town of Henley: that to the north passes Greys Court, while that to the south leads to the parish church. (fn. 19) The northern road may have formed part of an ancient route from Henley to Swyncombe. (fn. 20) The southern road, which continued (as Mill Lane) to watermills by the Thames, also served as a parish boundary, suggesting that it was well known in the early Middle Ages. A path called Pack and Prime Lane joins the two roads, and was perhaps part of the Henley-Goring road mentioned in 1353. (fn. 21) Other footpaths also lead to Henley, demonstrating the extent of the traffic between Rotherfield Greys and the area's principal market town. (fn. 22)

The various branches of the roads from Henley, which pass through or close to most of the hamlets and farmsteads of Rotherfield Greys, all meet the main north-south road from Nettlebed to Reading, which runs through Highmoor Cross. The only other north-south road is that from Henley to Reading, which cuts across the parish's eastern fringe close to the Thames. Though some considerable distance from Rotherfield's rural settlements, in the 19th century it became a focus for Henley's suburban development, including the market-gardening district known as Newtown. The road was turnpiked in 1768, and disturnpiked in 1881. (fn. 23)

Landscape changes around Greys Court resulted in the removal or realignment of several roads. (fn. 24) In 1741 permission was given to enclose a common highway which passed close by the house and to replace it with another road further away. (fn. 25) Implementation of the change, however, may have been delayed: Jefferys' map of 1767 depicts the original course of the road before its diversion around an enlarged park, while that by Davis (1797) shows the road in its present position. (fn. 26)

Carriers, Post, and Rail

In the early 20th century carriers to Henley or Reading passed through the parish on four, later five, days a week; one resident remembered the weekly shopping trip to be 'a very bumpy ride'. The carriers ceased to operate after 1935, replaced by motorised bus services to Henley, Reading, and Watlington, with which they had been in competition since the 1920s, and which continued in 2009. (fn. 27)

A postal service to Rotherfield Greys was recorded in 1847, and extended to Highmoor a decade later. The main post office for Rotherfield Greys was in Henley; for the inhabitants of Highmoor, that at Nettlebed was closer. A sub-post office opened at Witheridge Hill about 1863, transferred to Highmoor Cross before 1891, and closed in 1964. Another sub-post office, at Greys Green, was first recorded in 1864, but had transferred to Shepherd's Green by 1940. It remained open in 1960 but, like that at Highmoor, was closed later that decade. (fn. 28)

A branch railway line from Twyford to Henley, running north-south between the Reading road and the Thames, was opened in 1857; the railway station was located to the south of Friday Street, within Rotherfield Greys parish. It remained open in 2010. (fn. 29)

Settlement and Population

Early Settlement

Prehistoric hand-axes and other implements have been found in the east of the parish, near the church and New Farm, and in larger numbers at Hernes, close to where a Bronze-Age hammer head and Roman burial urn were also discovered. (fn. 30) Iron-Age coins and a Roman brooch were found in Lambridge Wood, near the Iron-Age boundary bank called Grim's Ditch. (fn. 31) A similar earthwork has also been identified in woodland near Satwell. (fn. 32) No evidence of prehistoric settlement has been found on the higher ground in the west, although there was a Roman pottery kiln in Swan Wood in the 2nd and 3rd century AD. (fn. 33)

65. Rotherfield Greys parish c. 1840, showing boundaries, land use and some later features.

In Anglo-Saxon times the area's defining characteristic was its open grazing land and wood-pasture. (fn. 34) No archaeological evidence for Anglo-Saxon settlement has yet been found in the parish, though by the 10th or 11th century it seems likely that there were some pockets of scattered and possibly transient habitation, perhaps clustered (as later) around emerging commons and greens, particularly those near crossroads. (fn. 35) The creation of an independent estate at Rotherfield Greys almost certainly pre-dated the Norman Conquest, and suggests that there was probably an early estate centre, possibly with an associated chapel. If so, its likeliest site is that of Greys Court, which from the late 11th century was developed by the Greys as a major aristocratic seat, and remained their primary residence throughout the Middle Ages. (fn. 36)

Population from 1086

In 1086 there were 20 tenant households on Rotherfield Greys manor, headed by 12 villani and 8 lower-status bordars; most, on later evidence, probably lived to the east of Shepherd's Green. (fn. 37) In the western part of the parish at Padnells (an Anglo-Saxon name meaning Peada's nook), a small number of tenants may have been included in Abingdon abbey's manor of Lewknor. (fn. 38) In the following two centuries population at least doubled, although many of the 100 tenants recorded on Rotherfield Greys manor in 1311 (then including Badgemore) were probably non-resident freeholders occupying small amounts of land. Certainly only 10–12 landholders were taxed in the early 14th century, each presumably representing a household, and excluding Friday Street it seems unlikely that there were more than 40 or 50 houses in all. A further four taxpayers were recorded at Padnells. (fn. 39) After the Black Death numbers almost certainly fell: in 1377 poll tax was paid by 61 adults over 14, suggesting a total population of c. 110–135. (fn. 40)

Population probably began to rise in the 16th century: 15 taxpayers were listed in 1523, and 21 in 1543, while from the 1590s baptisms usually outnumbered burials. (fn. 41) In 1642 the obligatory protestation oath was sworn by 106 men, implying an adult population of 212; 57 houses were assessed for hearth tax in 1662 (when burials briefly exceeded baptisms), and 233 adults were recorded in 1676. (fn. 42) Those listed came from all parts of the parish, though it is not possible to determine precisely the population in each of the various settlements.

Seventy two houses were reported in the rural parts of the parish in 1738, together with a further 51 in suburban Henley south of Friday Street; by 1801 the total figure had risen to 151 houses occupied by 164 families, comprising 677 individuals. (fn. 43) Much of the increase was probably a result of Henley's suburban growth. In 1861 about two thirds of the parish's 1,629 inhabitants lived in the suburbs, the population in the rural areas falling from 588 in 1861 to 555 in 1881. Of those, a growing proportion resided in the new ecclesiastical parish of Highmoor, comprising the settlements of Highmoor, Witheridge Hill, and Satwell: the population of Highmoor rose from 283 in 1861 to 305 in 1881, while that in the hamlets and farms of Rotherfield Greys fell from 305 to 250, probably because of greater employment opportunities in the woodlands during the agricultural depression. (fn. 44)

Between 1891 and 1901 the population of the new urban parish of Greys rose from 2,185 to 2,832, while that of Rotherfield Greys and Highmoor fell from 562 to 505. In 1901 there were 654 households in Greys, 58 in Rotherfield Greys, and 65 in Highmoor. In the first half of the 20th century the suburban population of Rotherfield Greys continued to grow, while the rural population remained largely unchanged. In the second half of the century, the population of both Rotherfield Greys and Highmoor declined, from a total of 748 in 1951 to 632 in 2001, though the number of households increased over the same period to 149 in Rotherfield Greys and 122 in Highmoor. (fn. 45)

Medieval and Later Settlement

Despite the establishment of a major seat at Greys Court by the later 11th century, medieval settlement in the parish remained dispersed, comprising widely spaced hamlets and isolated farmsteads: there has never been a village of Rotherfield Greys. Out of seven present-day hamlets in the parish, all but one (Highmoor Cross) probably had a separate identity in the Middle Ages. Each are treated in turn, running from east to west.

Settlement near Rotherfield Greys church

The settlement around the 13th-century parish church lies at a sharp-angled bend on the road to Henley. Pottery of the 12th or early 13th century, found in the churchyard, suggests that the site may have been settled before the earliest church was built. (fn. 46) The church lay about 1,200 yards (1.1 km) south of Greys Court, to which it was formerly connected by a path east of the existing road. (fn. 47) Building at Greys Court began in the late 11th or 12th century if not earlier, and the church was probably deliberately sited in relation to it. (fn. 48) The rectory house lay north of the church in its own grounds, and though recorded only from the 17th century was probably of medieval origin. (fn. 49)

66. Rotherfield Greys c. 1883, showing Greys Court, Greys Green, Shepherd's Green, the parish church, and the rectory house. Such dispersed settlement, focused on commons and early roads, is typical of the area.

In 1844 only nine houses lay near the church, of which 1–2 Pear Tree Cottages date from the early 16th century or possibly earlier. (fn. 50) The Maltsters' Arms public house, which also survives, was recorded as the Broom and Shovel in 1775, but was certainly of older origin. (fn. 51) Another public house closed in the early 20th century. (fn. 52) A well opposite the church porch was opened for the use of the inhabitants in 1818, the well house later serving as a bus shelter. (fn. 53) In the 20th century the hamlet increased substantially in size with the addition of a number of private and council houses. (fn. 54)

Greys Green

The settlement at Greys Green was marked but not named on 18th-century maps. (fn. 55) It developed around an area of common land, called Greys Common in 1635 and Greys Green in 1676, of which more than 20 a. survived in 1844. (fn. 56) Lying roughly equidistant from Greys Court, the parish church, and Shepherd's Green, the hamlet was an important focal point and by the 19th century was the location of a school, cricket pitch, post office, and smithy, and later of the village hall and war memorial (Fig. 67). (fn. 57)

67. Greys Green in 2009, showing the cricket pavilion (built 1983) and former smithy (closed 1981, now a private house). The green and grass verge on either side of the road was declared common land in 1949 and acquired by the National Trust in 1978. Greys Green was designated a conservation area in 1984.

At the beginning of the 20th century the most prominent house was Copse Hill, occupied by a Henley brewer, George Brakspear. (fn. 58) Other large houses were built before the Second World War, especially on the green's south-western edge along the road to Bolt's Cross. (fn. 59) Later development was also limited to individual dwellings. In 1951 an avenue of cherry trees was planted along the road to commemorate the Festival of Britain, and in 1984 the settlement was designated a conservation area. The focus of the present hamlet is the cricket pitch, around which the houses are loosely scattered, many hidden by high walls and thick hedges, and divided by an increasingly busy road. (fn. 60)

Shepherd's Green

The settlement at Shepherd's (formerly Sheepways or Shipways) Green similarly grew up around a small area of common land, much of which still survives (Plate 17). (fn. 61) The surname Shipway was in use in the 16th century, the place was recorded in 1679, and the settlement named on 18th-century maps. (fn. 62) Several houses date from the 17th or 18th century, including Backus on the green's north-eastern edge, which was probably the home of the carpenter John Backhouse (d. 1692). (fn. 63)

The hamlet has a more nucleated appearance than Greys Green, with houses lining either side of a lane leading to the common. Development in the 20th century, including a row of three council houses, blended unobtrusively with the existing housing stock, preserving the hamlet's character. To the west a new road – Satwell Close – was built in the 1920s, to provide access to an exclusive estate of large houses. (fn. 64) The Green Tree public house opened in the 1830s and closed c. 1960 when it was converted into a private residence. (fn. 65) There was also, briefly, a second public house called the Harrow in the late 19th century. (fn. 66)


The settlement at Satwell lies at the junction of the Nettlebed–Reading road (the B481) and the road to Henley. The hamlet was probably named after Sotwell (meaning Sutta's spring or stream) in Berkshire: there is no such stream at the Oxfordshire place, but John James (d. 1396) held land in both parishes. (fn. 67) In 1844 the hamlet comprised two farmsteads and six other houses; (fn. 68) the two farms may have been the successors of two estates which included land in Satwell in the Middle Ages. (fn. 69) The settlement was marked on a map of 1725 and named on maps of the later 18th century. (fn. 70)

The parish workhouse was located at Satwell in the mid 18th century. (fn. 71) A pub called The Lamb (which survived in 2006) opened possibly in the early 19th century, and certainly before 1860. (fn. 72) In the early 20th century a number of large houses were built at Satwell, including Satwell's Barton and Satwell Spinneys. Subsequent development was similarly limited to individual dwellings. (fn. 73) Before 1960 the straightening of the Nettlebed–Reading road enabled through-traffic to bypass the hamlet. (fn. 74)

Highmoor Cross

The settlement at Highmoor Cross grew up at the junction of the Nettlebed-Reading road and the road to Witheridge Hill, of which hamlet it may have formed part in the 18th century. (fn. 75) Later Highmoor Cross had a distinct identity. In 1844 its eight houses included Stonehouse Farm and a beerhouse called the Cannon; (fn. 76) that was later replaced by the Woodman (closed in 1984) further down the Nettlebed–Reading road. (fn. 77) St Paul's church was built on the site of the Cannon in 1859, to serve the new ecclesiastical parish of Highmoor. (fn. 78) A well was sunk in 1865, a post office was opened, and in 1920 a village hall was erected by public subscription as a war memorial. (fn. 79) Also in 1920, a row of 12 houses was built by Henley Rural District Council. (fn. 80) In subsequent decades the settlement continued to expand. The sale of glebe land in 1947 allowed housing development to the south-east of the church, and other private and council houses were built at intervals throughout the second half of the 20th century. (fn. 81)


The settlement at Highmoor developed along the edge of Highmoor Common, on the west side of the Nettlebed–Reading road, and was named on 18th-century maps. (fn. 82) In 1844 the settlement comprised about 17 houses, including Highmoor Hall and Highmoor Farm, parts of both of which were built in the 17th century. (fn. 83) Of the two public houses, both of 18th-century origin, only the Dog and Duck survived in 2006. The Green Man closed in the late 1890s or early 1900s and was converted to a private house. (fn. 84) There was some new building in the 20th century, but development was mostly limited to the improvement of existing houses and conversion of farm buildings into residences. (fn. 85)

Witheridge Hill

The settlement at Witheridge Hill grew up around an area of common land on the western edge of Rotherfield Greys parish. Presumably there was settlement in the area by the 1290s, when Ralph of Witheridge (de Wyterugge) was fined at the Bensington manor court. (fn. 86) The name is Anglo-Saxon, meaning 'willow ridge', and was recorded on maps of the 18th century. (fn. 87) In 1844 the hamlet comprised about 19 houses. (fn. 88) A school existed by 1841, and a National school was built overlooking the common in 1862. (fn. 89) There were two public houses: The (Old) Sun, later The Rising Sun, first recorded in 1804, which survived in 2006, and another which closed in the 1850s. (fn. 90) A grocer's shop was opened in the mid 19th century. (fn. 91) A few new houses were built in the 20th century in the southern part of the hamlet, but development was mostly limited to improvement and enlargement of existing buildings. (fn. 92)

The Built Character

The buildings of Rotherfield Greys are similar in character and style to those of neighbouring parishes, the consistent use of timber-framing, brick, and flint, with clay tile and thatch, giving an eclectic mix a harmonious impression. (fn. 93) From the 18th century almost all degrees of building were constructed of brick, made presumably at one of the nearby kilns. Apart from flint (which was often used as infill), building stone was unavailable locally. (fn. 94)

Except for Greys Court and the parish church (both described below), (fn. 95) surviving buildings are all post-medieval. Some of the farmhouses may have been built on the sites of medieval predecessors, but the present buildings date from the 16th century and later. The rectory house, too, originated probably in the Middle Ages, though the existing building was extensively remodelled in the 18th century. (fn. 96) A few cottages survive from the 16th or 17th century, but most of the present housing stock dates from the 18th century and later.

Two notable examples of high-class farmhouses built probably for prosperous yeomen are Hernes (described below) and Lower Hernes. (fn. 97) The latter originated in the mid 16th century as a two-storeyed timber-framed house of two bays (later extended to three). Tree-ring dating suggests a construction date of 1567, when the owner (Sir Francis Knollys) was rebuilding Greys Court. (fn. 98) In the 17th century the house was extended into an L-plan by the addition of a large south wing. The earlier part has a large panelled frame with curved braces and a queen-post roof, and retains an original diamond-mullioned window and some chamfering to internal timbers. The 17th-century range is more sophisticated: the first floor has chamfered beams and joists, and the south face glazed windows with ovolo-moulded mullions. The infilling of the frame (brick in the south wing and brick-and-flint in the north-west) may be original. (fn. 99)

By contrast the state of lower-class rural housing, especially in the west of the parish, caused 19th-century clergy some concern. In 1799 the rector of Rotherfield Greys thought that there were 'too many old houses', and in the 1860s the vicar of Highmoor complained about 'the bad dwellings of the poor' and 'the indecent crowding of the poor in their cottages'. (fn. 100) Many of these were farm workers' estate cottages, usually brick-built and thatched. Most were sold off in the early 20th century, and subjected to an ongoing process of enlargement and improvement.

There appears to have been little speculative building in the 19th century, perhaps because of the control exercised by great landowners such as the Stapletons in the east and the Stonors in the west. Following the sale of their estates in the early 20th century, piecemeal development got underway. Satwell Close, for example, to the west of Shepherd's Green, was built up following the sale of the Greys Court estate in 1922. Other fields auctioned as building sites the same year seem not to have been built on, suggesting limited demand for housing: (fn. 101) a local schoolmaster made a similar observation in 1912, when he purchased a cottage which he let for the very modest sum of £10 a year. But even though property prices were low, cottages were often let to London professionals, foreshadowing later gentrification. (fn. 102) The impact of Henley and perhaps London was also evident at Satwell, where several medium-sized country retreats were built after 1918.

In 1920 Henley Rural District Council built its first council houses in Rotherfield Greys, on land given by the wealthy landowner Sir Paul Makins of Henley. Despite opposition from some councillors the initiative was championed by Harry Burr of Satwell, who was concerned that many agricultural labourers lived in derelict cottages. The four houses were built to a high standard, costing far more than the estimate. (fn. 103) Perhaps as a result, twelve council houses built at Highmoor Cross later in 1920 were in a plainer style. (fn. 104) More council houses were built later in the 20th century, near the church, at Shepherd's Green, and at Highmoor Cross. Private development occurred on a limited scale throughout the parish, cottages were enlarged and improved, and farm buildings and public houses were converted to residences. (fn. 105) Only in the east of the parish was development on a much larger scale, Henley's suburbs extending first over South field and later over farmland to the west. (fn. 106)


Rotherfield Greys was one of several 5-hide estates in the Henley area which were probably detached from the royal manor of Benson before the Norman Conquest, although no Anglo-Saxon holder of Greys was recorded in Domesday Book. (fn. 107) From the 11th to the 20th century the manor was held by a series of high-status and mostly resident lords, including the Greys, Knollyses, and Stapletons, who built and rebuilt the manor house at Greys Court, now in the possession of the National Trust.

The boundaries of Rotherfield Greys manor encompassed only the eastern part of the parish as far as Shepherd's Green (Fig. 65). (fn. 108) In the 13th century a holding called Padnells, belonging to Abingdon abbey, included land in the western part of the parish, which was later acquired by the Stonors of Stonor Park. (fn. 109) In the mid 19th century the Stonors, with 659 a., remained the principal landowners in that area; in the east the Stapletons retained 693 a., their holdings having been much reduced by the sale of part of the manorial estate in the late 17th century. Much of those detached lands were acquired by the Wrights of Crowsley Park in Shiplake, who had 634 a. in Rotherfield Greys in 1844. (fn. 110) A number of sizeable freeholds, among them Hernes and Padnells, were recorded from the Middle Ages.

Rotherfield Greys Manor

Descent to 1503

In 1086 Rotherfield Greys was held by Anketil de Grey of the fee of William FitzOsbern (d. 1071), earl of Hereford. (fn. 111) Anketil held eight other Oxfordshire manors, but Rotherfield Greys was his only possession in the south-east, and important because it lay close to the Thames and the road to London. (fn. 112) By 1242 the overlordship was held with the Isle of Wight by Baldwin (II) de Rivers (d. 1245), earl of Devon, passing with the Isle to the Crown in 1293, (fn. 113) and in 1311 the manor was held of the honor of Aumâle, which remained in the king's hands. The overlordship passed with life grants of the Isle to William Montagu (d. 1397), his son John Montagu (d. 1400), and grandson Thomas Montagu (d. 1428), successive earls of Salisbury, (fn. 114) after which no further references have been found.

In 1242–3 and later the manor was reckoned at 1 knight's fee, (fn. 115) but in the late 13th and 14th centuries the overlordship of the Isle was usually said to include only half the manor of Rotherfield Greys. The other half, at Badgemore, was held of the honor of Derby, and later of the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 116) Badgemore lay in the neighbouring parish of Henley, and was held with Rotherfield Greys from c. 1240 to the 15th century. (fn. 117)

The mesne tenancy of Rotherfield Greys descended presumably through Anketil's son Richard to his grandson Robert, who held the manor in 1166 and who apparently died childless. (fn. 118) Thereafter the manor passed to Robert's nephew John (d. by 1192), his brother Anketil's son. (fn. 119) John's daughter and heir Eve married the royal judge Ralph Murdac, who was lord in 1192 but whose lands were forfeited in 1194 for rebellion. (fn. 120) Rotherfield Greys was restored to Eve and her second husband, Andrew de Beauchamp, probably before 1200. (fn. 121) Although not without heirs, before 1240 and possibly as early as 1215 Eve gave the manor to her kinsman Walter de Grey, archbishop of York, who settled it on his brother Robert de Grey. (fn. 122) The archbishop nevertheless retained a life interest in the manor and advowson, for which he paid a nominal rent. (fn. 123) On his death in 1255 his heir was his nephew Sir Walter de Grey, son of Robert. (fn. 124) Sir Walter died in 1268 and the manor passed in the direct male line to Sir Robert de Grey (d. 1295), (fn. 125) Sir John (d. 1311), and John, 1st Lord Grey of Rotherfield (d. 1359). (fn. 126) John came of age only in 1321, Edward II meanwhile granting the manor to Thomas Wale for 10 years. (fn. 127)

John, 2nd Lord Grey, succeeded in 1359 and died in 1375, leaving as heir his son Bartholomew, who died the same year. The manor then passed to Bartholomew's brother Robert, who died in 1388 and was succeeded by his daughter Joan, an infant. (fn. 128) Joan married Sir John Deincourt, Lord Deincourt, who had livery of the manor in 1401; (fn. 129) he died in 1406 and his widow in 1408, leaving as heir their infant son William (d. 1422). (fn. 130) His heirs were his sisters Alice, who married William Lovel, Lord Lovel (d. 1455), and Margaret, wife of Sir Ralph Cromwell. (fn. 131) The manor remained divided between them until Margaret died in 1454, leaving Alice as heir; (fn. 132) she subsequently married Sir Ralph Butler, later Lord Sudeley, and held Rotherfield Greys until her death in 1474. (fn. 133)

Alice's heir was her grandson Francis, Lord Lovel, a minor, whose lands were given in custody to John Beaufitz. (fn. 134) Lovel came of age in 1477 when he had licence to enter on the whole of his inheritance. (fn. 135) He fought for Richard III at Bosworth in 1485, fled and was attainted, and his lands escheated to the Crown. (fn. 136) In the same year Henry VII granted Rotherfield Greys, along with other Oxfordshire manors, to his uncle Jasper, duke of Bedford. (fn. 137) On Jasper's death in 1495 the manor passed back into royal hands, and was held by Thomas Kemys of Henley from 1495 to 1501 and by Thomas Hales of Henley from 1501 to 1503. (fn. 138)

Descent from 1503

Rotherfield Greys was granted to Robert Knollys, gentleman usher of the king's chamber, in 1503, and in 1514 Henry VIII settled the manor upon him and his wife Lettice, at an annual rent of a red rose at midsummer. (fn. 139) The grant was renewed and enlarged in 1518. (fn. 140) Robert (d. 1521) and Lettice (d. 1558) were succeeded by their son Francis, reversionary interests granted to the Englefield family in 1524 and 1540 having been surrendered under an agreement of 1545. (fn. 141) Francis Knollys died in 1596, and was succeeded by his second (but eldest surviving) son William, created Baron Knollys of Greys in 1603, Viscount Wallingford in 1616, and earl of Banbury in 1626. (fn. 142) The paternity of two sons born in 1627 and 1631 was disputed, and on Banbury's death (aged about 87) in 1632 the manor passed to his nephew, Robert Knollys, under a licence granted the previous year. (fn. 143) Robert died in 1659 and was succeeded by his son William, MP for Oxfordshire in 1663–4. (fn. 144) Both William (d. 1664) and his son Robert experienced financial difficulties and entered into a number of mortgage agreements, security for which was provided by 1,000-year leases of parts of the estate. (fn. 145) When Robert died in 1679 his heirs were his sisters Katherine, wife of Robert Holdanby, and Lettice, wife of Walter Kennedy; the manor was to be divided between them, subject to clearance of a debt to the Pleydell family, to whom the various mortgages, totalling £7,000, had been assigned. (fn. 146)

In 1682 Robert and Katherine Holdanby sold their share of the manor, and of Robert Knollys's debts, to Thomas Cheyne of Luton for £3,500, thereby initiating the break-up of the manorial estate. (fn. 147) The lordship was not divided and passed in its entirety to Walter and Lettice Kennedy, who took up residence at Greys Court. (fn. 148) In 1688 Lettice (d. 1708), by then a widow, (fn. 149) sold the much reduced manor to James Paul of Braywick (Berks.) and his son William, whose daughter and heir Catherine married Sir William Stapleton, 4th baronet, in 1724, taking Rotherfield Greys as her dowry. (fn. 150) Sir William died in 1740 and was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. 1781), 5th baronet, (fn. 151) and grandson Thomas (d. 1831), who also inherited the title of Lord Le Despenser. (fn. 152)

Thomas's heir was his youngest and only surviving son, Revd Sir Francis Jarvis Stapleton (d. 1874), who was succeeded by his eldest son Francis George (d. 1899), 8th baronet. (fn. 153) His heir and nephew Sir Miles Talbot Stapleton (d. 1977) sold the manor in 1935 to Mrs Valentine Fleming, who in 1937 sold to Sir Felix Brunner (d. 1982), 3rd baronet. (fn. 154) He gave it to the National Trust in 1969, together with Greys Court and the lordship, which brought with it rights over the remaining common land in the parish. (fn. 155) Under the terms of the gift, Sir Felix and Lady Elizabeth Brunner (d. 2003) continued to live at Greys Court. (fn. 156)

Greys Court

Greys Court, which lies roughly in the centre of the ancient parish, was the principal residence of the lords of Rotherfield Greys from the 11th to the 20th century, and has been continuously occupied since its first construction. (fn. 157) Impressive survivals stand on a hillside terrace commanding approaches from the south-east (Figs 68–9; Plate 16). Towards the eastern side of a large platform, defined by an 18th-century ha-ha, a fragmentary but imposing line of curtain walls and towers forms the eastern limits of a fortified manor house, which gave an impression of power and authority beyond its physical strength. In the 15th century the southern part of the house was improved by at least two fashionable ranges, one of which survives in part along the west side. Leland gives a vivid impression of the house as he saw it early in the 16th century, when 'there appear entering into the manor place on the right hand three or four very old towers of stone, a manifest token that it was sometime a castle. There is a very large court built about with timber and spaced with brick, but this is of later work'. (fn. 158) His description suggests that by then either there was little to be seen at the northern end of the complex except the eastern range, or that he failed to penetrate the private, principal court.

68. Surviving buildings at Greys Court, with approximate dates; adapted (with permission) from plans by English Heritage.

In the 16th century the great courtier and politician Sir Francis Knollys (d. 1596) transformed the medieval remains into a prodigious Elizabethan mansion arranged around two or three courtyards (Fig. 68 A–C). Although only part of the house survives – chiefly a tall gabled block on the western side of the principal court, some of the eastern range of the base court, and the southern and western sides of the service court – the scale of it can be gleaned from records of the late 17th century when, despite depredations in the Civil War, Greys Court had at least 39 hearths. (fn. 159)

The medieval house

When Robert de Grey died in 1295 Greys Court was described as having a curia with curtilage and garden, (fn. 160) almost certainly set within or adjacent to the boundaries of a deer park. (fn. 161) His son, John de Grey (d. 1311), was probably responsible for the construction of the east curtain wall. Its considerable length and height, and the impressive size of the putative precinct, imply that even then Greys Court was arranged on a courtyard plan, the yard or yards enclosed by extensive buildings. (fn. 162)

Robert and John de Grey probably only aggrandized a residence established by the earliest known lord Anketil de Grey, possibly on or near the site of a pre-Conquest estate centre. Part of the late 11th-century building may be traceable on the inner side of the curtain wall (Fig. 68 D) at the point where the 'Great Tower' now projects east. Built of alternate bands of flint and tile to polychromatic effect, this seems to have been the eastern end of a high-status chamber block of rectangular or square plan; the block survived at least into the 14th century, when it was given a new roof with a braced tie-beam truss abutting the east wall. A well shaft, possibly 12th century, lies 90 m. to its south-west within the later well service court, which perhaps already formed part of an extensive curtilage. (fn. 163)

Between about 1250 and 1350 the curtain wall, mainly of knapped and rough flint, was extended north and south from this core, apparently in two separate phases. The southern part ends at an octagonal south-east tower (Fig. 68 E), which may have formed one side of the main gatehouse. (fn. 164) The northern section of wall, which was considerably thicker and probably rendered, incorporated a big square tower (Fig. 68 F; Plate 16) which extended the early chamber block beyond the eastern, outward-facing side of the curtain wall. At the north-east end an angle tower (Fig. 68 G) marked where the curtain wall turned west. That phase may have been associated with the licence to crenellate granted to John de Grey (d. 1359) in 1346, (fn. 165) although the towers, despite small windows and arrow loops, were designed to house chambers and garderobes rather than as primarily defensive structures. The ruined north-east tower is probably the remains of a chamber block of at least four storeys, with a single room on each floor. Where the great hall and the lord's private chambers were located has not been traced, and neither has the position and function of the other buildings within the curtilage. (fn. 166)

After John de Grey's grandson Robert died in 1388, Greys Court was neglected during two successive minorities, so that in 1422 the buildings were 'exceedingly derelict'. (fn. 167) Building began again shortly before Alice Lovel inherited her sister's share of the manor in 1454. (fn. 168) New work included an east-facing, two-storeyed, timber-framed wing along the west side of the base court; its interior, which probably provided accommodation for lesser members of the household, was plain, but its showy jettied façade was designed with expensive close-studding, and brickwork was used for hearths and chimneys. Two complete bays and a large brick chimney survive as part of the existing house (Fig. 68 H), but the range may originally have extended south to six bays or more: its relationship to other ranges in the base court cannot now be determined. (fn. 169)

Later in the 15th century, possibly during Francis Lovel's occupation, a single-storeyed brick range was built, with a low, shallow-pitched roof set behind a crenellated parapet (Fig. 68 J). A fragment of its walling survives at the north end of the so-called 'Cromwellian Stables'. The range's function is unclear, but it divided the base court from the principal court to its north. (fn. 170)

The Elizabethan house

Building was continued by the Knollyses after they acquired the manor in the early 16th century. Sir Francis Knollys undertook three major rebuilding campaigns, and by his death in 1596 the house was arranged around three enclosed courtyards (the principal or upper court, the base court, and the well service court), in the manner of the grandest Elizabethan mansions.

The earliest part of Francis Knollys's work to survive is a short timber-framed range built c. 1559 (Fig. 68 K), which forms the oldest part of the well service court. It has a smoke-blackened roof, may have been a brewhouse, bakehouse or kitchen, and is now known as 'The Keep'. (fn. 171) The most substantial of Knollys's surviving buildings, however, is the tall domestic range on the west side of the principal court (Fig. 68 L; Plate 15). Built some fifteen years after 'The Keep', it presumably replaced medieval accommodation, and incorporated into an L-plan the northern end of the 15th-century west range, which in the present house is a kitchen. The range is two-storeyed with attics, has three wide gabled bays, and is constructed of rendered flint, brick, dressed stone and re-used materials; probably it was intended not as a self-contained house but as fashionable new quarters for Knollys or an important guest. (fn. 172) The principal accommodation was probably on the first floor, lit by mullioned and transomed windows with flattened arched heads; the ground floor may have been blind towards the court. A blocked first-floor doorway in the east wall probably gave access to a wall-walk along the roof of the range between the upper and base courts. (fn. 173)

69. Greys Court from the south in the 18th century, following demolition of many of the medieval buildings. The 'Great Tower' is visible on the right of the upper court, which is separated from the base court by a wall and gateway (later demolished).

Knollys unified most of the base court and made it symmetrical. On its eastern side, in or soon after 1578, he built brick lodgings of one storey and attics lit by dormers. The northern third (now known as the 'Cromwellian Stables') survives intact (Fig. 68 M); the rest of the range is ruined, though its west wall still closes off the courtyard's eastern side. In the 17th century it was linked to the curtain wall by a brick cottage, now known as the 'Dower House'. To correspond with the eastern lodgings, the 15th-century range opposite was extended and refronted in brick and stone (Fig. 68 I); fragments of its front wall form the courtyard's present west side. On the south Knollys enclosed the base court with a wall which created a long south façade, and incorporated a new gatehouse. (fn. 174) That new southern boundary extended westwards to a rendered octagonal tower with pyramidal roof (Fig. 68 N), which was added in or soon after 1587 to mirror the medieval tower at the base court's south-eastern angle. The tower seems to have formed part of a more general refurbishment of the well service court, which included the insertion of a smoke bay within 'The Keep' and the building of the well house. The latter is of two-and-a-half storeys, and contains a contemporary donkey wheel. (fn. 175)

The house since 1600

Over the following decades much of Greys Court suffered damage and decay. Use of the house as a garrison during the Civil War undoubtedly took its toll, although the 39 hearths recorded in 1665 are many more than the 21 or 22 hearths that can be accounted for in the present buildings. (fn. 176) An inventory of 1679 also appears to describe more rooms than now survive. (fn. 177) Substantial demolition probably took place between 1708 and 1724, when the house (following the death of Lettice Kennedy) is likely to have been empty: in June 1722 the antiquary Thomas Hearne was told 'that a great deal of the old buildings at Rotherfield Greys have been pull'd down, and the stones carried to build with at Henley'. (fn. 178) A contemporary illustration (Fig. 69) confirms that the house was probably reduced to more or less its present form around that time. (fn. 179)

Members of the Stapleton family, who lived there almost continuously from 1724 to 1935, made changes to all parts of the site. Sir Thomas Stapleton (d. 1781) added brick crenellations to the medieval 'Great Tower' and south-east tower, and made other attempts to romanticize the buildings. (fn. 180) The surviving main block (Fig. 68 L), which was the family's chief residence, was changed most. In the early 18th century the main reception rooms flanked a central entrance hall, which led to a rear stair; there was a parlour in the north-west wing, and probably service rooms in the south-west wing. In the mid 18th century a two-storeyed ashlar bow window was added to the north front, lighting the drawing room, which was given a fine rococo plasterwork ceiling perhaps to celebrate a Stapleton family wedding in 1765. The north-west wing was extended northwards c. 1759–60 to create a large reception room (now called the 'school room'), whose ceiling was decorated with a plaster wreath. (fn. 181)

The house's appearance remained largely unchanged until Francis Jarvis Stapleton (d. 1874) inherited Greys Court in 1863. The details of his alterations are difficult to determine, but principally concerned the stairs and chimneys. (fn. 182) His son Francis George Stapleton (d. 1899) made more extensive alterations, all subsequently removed. The façades were transformed during the 1880s when bay windows were added to both main reception rooms, and a modest front porch was built apparently in ashlar; a large, single-storeyed billiard room was built onto the north-west wing about the same time. Stapleton's architect is said to have been David Brandon. (fn. 183) The central courtyards had by then been transformed into a garden, with an arrangement of sweeping drives that survived in 2006. (fn. 184)

Between 1935 and 1937 the porch and southern bay window were pulled down by Mrs Fleming, who stripped off the stucco and installed some new windows. It is not clear how far her extensive plans for altering the interior were carried out. (fn. 185) The Brunners' changes to the house early in the next decade left an arrangement with central hall and flanking reception rooms, similar to that which survived in 2006. They demolished the billiard room and eastern bay windows, replacing the latter with mullioned and transomed windows, and altered the windows of the so-called 'school room'. They also made major changes to the inner hall. (fn. 186) Lady Brunner was instrumental in re-landscaping the gardens, commissioning work from the architect Francis Pollen, amongst others. (fn. 187)

In 1982 the National Trust converted the house's south-west wing (abutting the 15th-century range) into a custodian's flat, and in 1984 a conservatory was added to the back of the house, west of the main stair. (fn. 188) Improved standards of accommodation for domestic and estate staff were also achieved in the other ranges, and alterations made to the garden and park. (fn. 189) The exterior and the roof were thoroughly restored in 2006.

Other Estates

Freeholds in Highmoor

A number of sizeable freeholds existed in the Middle Ages in the western part of the parish outside the manor of Rotherfield Greys. In 1284 land granted to Rewley abbey by Edmund, earl of Cornwall, extended into Highmoor. (fn. 190) In the 15th century estates held of the honor of Wallingford included land in Highmoor, (fn. 191) while one of the tenants of the honor, William Stonor (d. 1494), also held land in that part of the parish. (fn. 192)

An estate called Padnells was held of Abingdon abbey as a detached part of the manor of Lewknor. In 1279 the abbey's tenant, Thomas de Padehale, paid an annual rent of 5s. 1d., (fn. 193) and in 1494 William Stonor held 200 a. of land and 100 a. of wood there for 5s. rent. (fn. 194) The Stonors retained the estate after the Dissolution, and still owned a farm called Padnells (at Satwell) in 1815. (fn. 195) This formed part of the 659 a. held by the Stonors in the mid 19th century, which was later referred to as the manor of Highmoor. (fn. 196) Manorial rights over Witheridge Hill common remained in force in 1913, when they were sold by the Stonors' successor Robert Fleming. (fn. 197)

Another estate at Satwell was recorded in the late 14th century, when John James of Wallingford (holding in his wife's right) was granted free warren. (fn. 198) The estate passed by marriage to the Rede family, and in 1438 to the Marmions of Checkendon, who retained it in the mid 16th century. (fn. 199) Later it belonged to the House family, who sold the estate in the late 17th century to Robert Ovey of Henley. (fn. 200)

Freeholds in Rotherfield Greys

Reading abbey held lands and rents in Caversham and Rotherfield Greys in 1291, (fn. 201) and in 1324 Dorchester abbey was granted unspecified land in Rotherfield Greys by Elias Bakun and William de Crek, in return for a chaplain to celebrate daily service. (fn. 202) The rectorial glebe, c. 46 a. from the 17th to mid 19th century, lay mostly in the south and east of the parish. (fn. 203)

The part of the manorial estate sold by Robert and Katherine Holdanby in 1682 remained intact until the late 19th century, and was acquired during the 1680s by Francis Heywood of Oxford (d. 1739), a tenant of the Knollys family in Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 204) He was succeeded, in turn, by his sons Francis (d. 1747) and William (d. 1762), both of Crowsley Park in Shiplake, (fn. 205) after whose death the estate eventually passed to their sister Mary Wright, and subsequently to her nephew John Atkyns Wright (d. 1822) and his wife Mary (d. 1842). (fn. 206) The estate was sold in 1844 to Henry Baskerville, whose son-in-law William Dalziel Mackenzie of Fawley Court acquired the lands in Rotherfield Greys c. 1880. (fn. 207) Part of the estate was sold by Keith Ronald Mackenzie to Richard Ovey of Badgemore in 1890, while the remainder was auctioned in 1906. (fn. 208)


A substantial estate focused on the house now called Hernes (formerly Ardens) was of medieval origin. In the early 14th century it was probably owned by the merchant Henry de Ardern, one of the wealthiest taxpayers in the parish, who in 1300 lent money to John de Grey. (fn. 209) The estate seems to have passed to the Quatremain family, which c. 1400 had a yardland held of Rotherfield Greys manor for knight service, and a 'formerly built-up place' called 'Ardernes'. (fn. 210) In the early 17th century, when sold to Thomas Snelling of Kingston upon Thames, the estate comprised a chief house called Great Ardens, 110 a. of land, and 20 a. of wood. (fn. 211) Later owners, mostly non-resident, included members of the Northey, Heywood, and Wright families. (fn. 212) In 1815 the farm, renamed Hernes, measured 241 a.; (fn. 213) it was bought in 1890 by Richard Ovey, owner of the Badgemore estate, (fn. 214) and remained in the Ovey family in 2006.

The timber-framed, L-plan house was built in two distinct phases, and has been enveloped in later alterations. In 1647 a hall, parlour, kitchen, and inner cellar were mentioned, with a chamber over the hall. (fn. 215) The south-western part may be a medieval house, to which a north chimney with diamond stacks was added in brick in the 16th century. The north wall of the range is also of old brick, and the framed south wall has brick infilling. The two-storeyed cross-wing to its north, also 16th-century, is framed separately, and has curved braces and a queen-post roof. The east face of that range has been clad in flint and brick, probably in the early 19th century.

In the mid 19th century the property was improved by the construction of new brick farm buildings round a large farmyard east of the house; some buildings, including a grain barn, were demolished in the 1960s, and others have been converted into industrial units. The improvements included a trackway, and a water system which incorporated a timber tank in a water tower, added to the east side of the house. At the same period a row of rooms, brick built, two-storeyed and with three gables, was added along the north side of the house, and an additional bay built at the south end of the east range. In the early 20th century conversion into a gentleman's residence began with the building of a billiard room and master bedroom at the western end of the west range. Later the drawing room was extended west (squaring up the range), the south façade was remodelled with pebbledash, a porch was added, and an avenue of horse-chestnuts and more permanent oaks was planted as an approach. A conservatory and verandah have been demolished. (fn. 216)


Until the 20th century the inhabitants of Rotherfield Greys depended largely on agriculture: only at the parish's eastern edge, which became part of Henley's suburbs, was there a more diverse range of occupations. (fn. 217) Farms were dispersed throughout the parish's settlements and fields from the Middle Ages, and a variety of rural trades and crafts were practised, though evidence of local industries such as brick-making is limited. Some local shops were established by the 18th century, but most residents probably bought goods at the market towns of Henley and Reading. Employment opportunities in the parish declined during the 20th century, and the community was transformed by an influx of retired people and commuters. (fn. 218)

The Agricultural Landscape

The strip-like shape of the ancient parish provided the inhabitants of Rotherfield Greys with a variety of agricultural resources. The Thames produced fish and valuable meadow land. On the high ground in the Chilterns was plentiful wood, while the greens and commons provided the rough grazing reflected in the place name 'rother feld' or 'open land where cattle graze'. Arable and pasture fields and closes were scattered throughout the parish. The earliest depiction of this landscape is in Domesday Book, which suggests that the mixed countryside and mixed farming of later periods was well established by the 11th century. In 1086 Anketil de Grey's 5-hide manor had land for 7 ploughteams, 12 a. of meadow, and woodland 4 furlongs long and as many broad. (fn. 219)

Fields, Crofts, and Arable

Until the early 16th century, the arable belonging to the Greys' manor lay partly in open fields. Four fields were mentioned in 1409, among which the demesne arable was divided. (fn. 220) Communal farming in the later Middle Ages is suggested by occasional references to tenants' yardlands, but it is not known whether the demesne and tenant land were intermixed. Nor is there certainty about the location, extent or organization of the open fields, but presumably they included South field, south of Henley, which remained open until the 19th century. (fn. 221)

The medieval open fields almost certainly adjoined private inclosures or crofts, which were used for both arable and pasture. In 1400, for example, Thomas Quatremain's widow Joan was assigned dower comprising 29 a. of fallow scattered in various named crofts, such as Sheep croft and Crooked croft (by Broad field), located close to the present Hernes. (fn. 222)

Further west, yardlands were also recorded at Padnells in the 13th century, but most of the countryside around Highmoor was probably made up of inclosed crofts cleared piecemeal from the surrounding woodland and wood pasture, which was typical of the upland landscapes of the Oxfordshire Chilterns in the Middle Ages. (fn. 223) Characteristic of the area, including Rotherfield Greys, were strips of woodland called shaws, left as boundaries to crofts after clearing. (fn. 224)

Most of the parish's open fields were apparently swept away in the early 16th century when Robert Knollys inclosed about 245 acres. This presumably represented an attempt to maximize profits on the part of an ambitious new lord, whose tenure of Rotherfield Greys manor was confirmed by the king in 1514. (fn. 225) In 1515 Knollys took possession of a house and 80 a. of arable previously occupied by 10 people, and substituted his bailiff. Another house and 30 a. of arable, formerly supporting 5 people, were sublet to Robert Baret and Thomas Springold, both of whom were prominent taxpayers in Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 226)

Only South field appears to have escaped Knollys's inclosing activities, though consolidation of open-field holdings took place there too. A tenant in 1584 had 3 a. 'lying together in the field called Sowthffelde', and by 1815 the field was a patchwork of small closes and individual strips. (fn. 227) The field presumably remained subject to common crop rotation, and in 1679 common grazing rights there, enjoyed by tenants of the manors of Rotherfield Greys and Harpsden after harvest, were carefully apportioned according to size of holding. (fn. 228) Both South field and the adjoining Greys mead were finally inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1860, the new consolidated plots divided unevenly among 12 landowners according to the size of their former holdings. (fn. 229)

Woodland, Parks, and Pasture

Woodland was scattered throughout the parish, but in the 18th and 19th centuries lay mostly in the north and west: in 1844 about 380 a. were recorded, mostly beech. (fn. 230) The area of woodland was not unchanging, however: throughout the Chilterns between 1600 and 1800 woods were cleared for farming, and some new woods were planted. (fn. 231) A number of 18th-century holdings in Rotherfield Greys included land recently 'grubbed up' and converted from woodland to tillage, though their overall extent is impossible to determine. (fn. 232) Grubbed Hill, recorded in the 1760s, was still arable in the 1870s, lying to the south of Lower Hernes. (fn. 233)

In the Middle Ages great tracts of wood and wood pasture were owned and kept in hand by the principal landowners. John de Grey had 100 a. of wood and 200 a. of pasture in 1375, while in 1494 William Stonor had 100 a. of wood at Padnells. (fn. 234) The woodland was exploited for timber, underwood, and coppicing, and also for hunting and parkland. The Greys were granted free warren in their demesne in 1240 and had a park before 1290, which probably surrounded the house at Greys Court. (fn. 235) Two other parks belonging to Rewley abbey extended into Highmoor. (fn. 236) At Satwell, John James was granted free warren in 1394, bestowing limited hunting rights but not necessarily implying a park. (fn. 237)

Although some large private pastures were kept in hand by lords, there were also areas of common pasture, most notably around the settlements at Greys Green and Shepherd's Green. In 1679 tenants had the right to pasture sheep there according to the size of their holdings, and also alongside the road from Greys Court to Henley at the lord's will. (fn. 238) A lease of a house and 40 a. in 1743 included commons for 60 sheep, and another tenant enjoyed 'common of pasture for all manner of cattle' in 1737. (fn. 239) Grazing rights on Greys Green and Shepherd's Green persisted into the 19th century and later. (fn. 240)

Some common land close to Greys Court was inclosed in 1738 by Sir William Stapleton, who paid compensation to the copyholders. (fn. 241) Tenants, too, were sometimes able to inclose small pieces of common 'for herbage', for which they owed quitrents. (fn. 242) Perrings Farm, which belonged to the Stapletons, was surrounded by wood and common, from which it had probably been carved. Unusually, when recorded in 1815, none of its arable crofts had names, suggesting that they were recent creations. (fn. 243)


Lack of water meant that the area of meadow in Rotherfield Greys was largely confined to the Thames frontage in the extreme east of the parish. Only 12 a. were recorded on the Greys' manor in 1086 and 1409, along with several eyots, the small islands in the Thames which lay within the parish boundary. (fn. 244) Presumably this was private meadow, inclosed from the larger common meadow. In 1400 land granted to Thomas Quatremain's widow included arable lying alongside the 'ditch' of Rotherfield mead, similarly suggesting an inclosure, while another ¼ a. lay to the east in the meadow of Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 245) The distinction between private and common meadow persisted. In 1685 a grant of Corderoy's farm (modern Lower Hernes) included 6 a. of meadow in Greys mead, occupied by John Corderoy, and 1½ a. in the common meadow. (fn. 246)

In 1657 the Knollys family's demesne included 40 a. of meadow, perhaps part of the 'Greys great meadow' leased later that century for £50 a year. (fn. 247) A common meadow called Greys mead was recorded in 1679, but with no indication of how it was managed. (fn. 248) However, several references to 'lot mead' in the tithe award suggest that part of the meadow was distributed among the tenants by casting lots. (fn. 249) In 1844 most of the land to the east of the Reading road was meadow, covering about 70 a., with a few additional parcels to the west. (fn. 250) The common meadow, inclosed in 1860, lay to the east of the railway line, directly alongside the Thames. (fn. 251)

Medieval Agriculture

Medieval Demesne Farming

The Greys kept a substantial amount of land in demesne throughout the Middle Ages: two ploughlands (around 240 a.) in 1086, and 300 a. in 1295 and for much of the 14th century. The acreage fell to 260 a. by 1422, (fn. 252) when the remaining 40 a. was probably leased; possibly it included the land, with house and barn, 8 a. of meadow, and a private fishery in the Thames, leased to John Russell in 1462 for 60 years, at a rent of £3 8d. a year. (fn. 253)

In the early 14th century tenant labour-services were used to mow the meadows and harvest crops, but by 1375 these seem to have been commuted to cash payments. (fn. 254) A low valuation of 2d. or 3d. an acre suggests that the arable was not farmed intensively and may not have been kept in good heart, prompting its description as sterile and barren in 1422. (fn. 255) In the 15th century the demesne was probably leased, possibly for short terms: the record of John Russell's 60-year lease survives only because it continued beyond the grant of the manor to Robert Knollys in 1514. (fn. 256) Knollys himself leased some land, but reference to a bailiff in 1515 suggests that part of the demesne was still managed directly. (fn. 257)

The type of farming practised is not well documented, but probably continued the mixed farming recorded in 1194–6, when the demesne was stocked with cattle, pigs, and sheep, and produced grain, hay, and wood for sale. (fn. 258) The nearest market to Rotherfield Greys was Henley, which in the early 14th century supplied many of the Greys' consumption needs, purchased through a purveyor. (fn. 259) Henley was by then an important market for supplying London, especially with grain and wood, and much of the Greys' surplus produce was probably sold there. (fn. 260) Apart from grain, this may have included hay from the demesne meadow (valued at 2s. an acre in 1311), and underwood (worth 6s. 8d. in the same year). (fn. 261)

Woodland management was an important aspect of medieval demesne farming in the Chilterns. John de Grey had 100 a. in 1375, from which the underwood, often used for fencing and fuel, was probably cut and sold every few years after natural regrowth. In 1409 it was worth £2 13s. 4d. 'without causing waste'. (fn. 262) The demesne woods were probably divided into coppices, inclosed by bank and ditch, and cropped on a roughly regular cycle. Landowners might open coppices for pannage or pasture, worth 10s. a year to Robert de Grey in 1295, or sell the right to take underwood and timber, as William Stonor did in 1483. (fn. 263)

A private fishery in the Thames belonged to the Greys. Following the parish boundary mid-stream upriver, the fishery extended the length of the Thames frontage. (fn. 264) Before its lease to John Russell in 1462 it may have supplied the lord's household, particularly at events such as the feast to celebrate the birth of John de Grey in 1300. (fn. 265) The park, too, may have been a source of food as well as hunting. In 1482 Francis Lovel wrote to William Stonor: 'Cousin, I pray you that you will see that my game [i.e. deer] be well kept at Rotherfield'. (fn. 266)

Medieval Tenants and Farming

In 1086, when the manor was valued at £5 as in 1066, 12 villani and 8 bordars shared 5 ploughlands (about 20 yardlands). (fn. 267) The division of holdings into half- or even quarter-yardlands, recorded in 1295, suggests that rising population put pressure on resources. (fn. 268) In 1311 there were 32 unfree tenants on the Greys' manor, each holding half a yardland (perhaps around 12–15 a.), for which they owed cash rents and labour services on the demesne. Total rents rose from almost £5 in 1311 to more than £7 in 1375, probably because labour services were commuted. (fn. 269)

Although none were mentioned in 1086, no fewer than 68 free tenants were recorded in 1311, together paying almost £10 a year in rent. (fn. 270) The merchant Henry de Ardern was probably among them; so, too, was the early 14th-century taxpayer John Aleyn. (fn. 271) Aleyn may have been one of the more substantial freeholders. Only 12 taxpayers were recorded in 1316, their payments ranging from 8d. to 7s. 6d., suggesting that most freeholders (and unfree tenants) either evaded the tax, were taxed elsewhere, or were excused payment through poverty. (fn. 272)

Free tenants sometimes gave their name to holdings, which were bought and sold. Thus Emma Cork, a taxpayer in 1316, may have held 'Corkeslond', 5s. rent from which was sold by John of Satwell to John de Alveton in 1351. (fn. 273) Two witnesses at a proof of age in 1401 also held land by charter (i.e. as freehold). (fn. 274) But for the most part, little is known about the size or location of holdings, and about how and when they were created.

Further west, at Padnells, four cottagers held smallholdings for cash rents in 1279, and two free tenants held half- or quarter-yardland holdings. (fn. 275) Some free tenants of the honor of Wallingford also held land in the west of the parish, among them Willelma widow of John Roches, who had a house and 50 a. of arable, meadow, wood, and pasture in Rotherfield Greys, Bix, and Highmoor. (fn. 276)

Tenant agriculture probably resembled the mixed farming of the lords. John Aleyn's barn, which burnt down in 1386, was presumably intended to store grain. (fn. 277) In the early 16th century one tenant grew wheat, barley, oats, and peas, and kept horses, cattle, and sheep. Likewise, Thomas Springold (d. 1544), who was a tenant of Robert Knollys after inclosure, grew wheat and kept sheep and cattle. (fn. 278) John House (d. 1530), who lived at Ardens, also left sheep and cows in his will. (fn. 279) Manorial tenants presumably had the right, recorded in 1679, to take wood for fuel and repairs, but no medieval evidence survives. (fn. 280)

In the mid 15th century there is some evidence of buildings falling into ruin, an indication that holdings lay vacant or were being amalgamated. (fn. 281) Tofts (i.e. vacant house plots) were also recorded on the estates of Thomas Vyne (d. 1479) and of Humphrey Forster (d. 1488) and his son (d. 1500), which extended across a number of parishes including Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 282) There is, however, no evidence of a significant fall in population, and no settlements in the parish were deserted.

Farming C. 1550–1800

Estate Management

Few details of the management of Rotherfield Greys manor survive before 1650, though presumably the demesne was leased, as it was later. In 1657 the demesne comprised 300 a. of arable, 200 a. of pasture, 100 a. of wood, 40 a. of meadow, and the fishery in the Thames; (fn. 283) a rental of around that date shows that it was leased to a dozen tenants paying a total of £455 in rents. The Knollys family kept in hand the house and 'little park' at Greys Court, and 600 a. of inclosed woodland, which probably extended into the neighbouring parishes of Bix and Henley. (fn. 284) The 'great park' was converted to tillage by Robert Knollys in 1637, and later leased to four tenants. (fn. 285) Many parks and private woods were grubbed up around this time, releasing land for agriculture. (fn. 286) Individual coppices were also leased, among them Ashen shaw and Tapsters coppice, for which Ralph Messenger of Henley paid £330 in 1662 for a lease of 99 years, at a rent of £26 8s. a year. (fn. 287)

The Knollys family's financial difficulties led to the division of the manor in the 1680s. The part sold by Lettice Kennedy in 1688, later inherited by the Stapletons, comprised Greys Court with the park, wood, and farmland immediately surrounding the house; included was 120 a. called Park Wood, two farms of 193 a. and 120 a. leased to tenants, and a number of small closes and coppices. (fn. 288) The Stapletons evidently continued the practice of their predecessors: in 1785 the woods were still in hand and the two farms still tenanted. (fn. 289)

Those parts of the estate furthest from Greys Court, subsequently acquired by Francis Heywood of Oxford, were similarly exploited. In 1761 that estate included five leasehold farms, all of them south of the hamlets of Greys Green and Shepherd's Green, and east of the parish church; some woodland was kept in hand, though other coppices were let with the farms. (fn. 290) Rents for the five farms ranged from £26 to £145 a year in 1762–3, and totalled £435. (fn. 291)

The Stonor family's large estate in the west of the parish was mapped in 1725. Like neighbouring lords, the Stonors appear to have leased the farmland and kept the woods in hand. Two farms were shown, of which Padnells was leased to John Grove in 1719 for 14 years at an annual rent of £60. Grove was also to pay £2 10s. for every marked tree felled in the surrounding woods. (fn. 292)

Tenant Farming

The tenant farmers of the early modern period continued the mixed farming practices of the later Middle Ages. Late 16th-century wills record numerous bequests of wheat, rye, and malt, together with horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry. (fn. 293) Tax records indicate wide variations in wealth: in 1543, for example, 20 taxpayers were assessed on goods valued between £1 and £20. (fn. 294) Some tenants certainly appear to have prospered. The surviving farmhouses at Hernes and Lower Hernes were built to a high standard in the 16th century, probably reflecting the prosperity gained by supplying the London grain market via Henley. (fn. 295) Investment in the parish's farm buildings continued during the 17th and 18th centuries, though whether the costs were borne by lord or tenant is unclear. (fn. 296)

In the 17th and 18th centuries most of the larger farms in the parish were leased. One of the best documented is Hernes, formerly Ardens, which originated as a medieval freehold held of the Greys. (fn. 297) In the early 17th century the estate comprised a house called Great Ardens (including barn, stable, orchard, and garden), 80 a. of arable, 30 a. of pasture, and 20 a. of wood. (fn. 298) The farm was valued at £30 a year net in 1618, and for much of the 17th century was held by various tenants on 21-year leases at an annual rent of £40. (fn. 299) In the 1760s the farm was leased to Thomas Binfield for an annual rent of £145, and the family remained tenants there until the early 19th century. (fn. 300) Arable farming was prominent, with some livestock: in 1794 Frances Binfield insured two stables, wheat and barley barns, two other barns, a cart-house and waggon-house, and wheat, barley, and hay rickyards. (fn. 301)

A number of families remained in the parish for several generations, although not always without difficulty. In the 16th century members of the House family were (briefly) tenants at Ardens and owneroccupiers of the former Marmion estate at Satwell. (fn. 302) In 1654, when mortgaged for £300 by the yeoman John House and his son, the farm totalled 75 a. and was run from the surviving Satwell farmhouse. (fn. 303) Like other farmers in the parish, the family practised mixed husbandry: on John's death in 1677 his grain was valued at £75 and his cows, horses, sheep, and pigs at a further £62, and there were small amounts of wool and hops. (fn. 304) His inventory was valued at £173, considerably less than the £320 left by Ralph House (d. 1631), and hinting perhaps at financial problems. (fn. 305) In 1686 the farm was mortgaged to Robert Ovey, who subsequently bought and leased it; tenants included Thomas Harris, who in the 1770s had a 7-year lease at £41 a year. (fn. 306) It remained in the possession of the Ovey family in 1815, but was sold shortly afterwards. (fn. 307) The House family stayed in Rotherfield Greys during the 18th century, (fn. 308) and in the early 19th returned to Hernes as tenants, succeeding the Binfields; they left when the Oveys bought the farm in 1890. (fn. 309)

Seventeenth-century wills demonstrate not only the tenant farmers' mixed arable and livestock husbandry, but also less well documented activities such as brewing, cheese and butter-making, and linen, wool, and hemp spinning, the produce from which may have been sold. (fn. 310) Tools for cutting wood, such as axes and billhooks, were often recorded, and some wills reveal the purchase or leasing of woodland: John Backhouse (d. 1692) and his son bought 6 a. called Dryfield coppice, while William Benwell (d. 1669) bequeathed his wife an annual supply of firewood from a wood he had purchased. (fn. 311)

The farms were worked by numerous agricultural labourers, not all of whom were local. In September 1769 Ovey's tenant at Satwell, Thomas Harris, employed a Stokenchurch man at Henley hiring fair, paying him £2 4s. for the year. Samuel Bitmead of Greysgreen Farm hired a native of Rotherfield Greys at the fair in 1790, engaging him for a year at 4s. 6d. a week on condition that he found himself board and lodging. When employed on a Sunday he also received food. Although some labourers remained in employment for a whole year, others stayed for only a few weeks. In 1793 Francis Willis worked at Hernes for about 10 weeks before moving the short distance to neighbouring Lodge Farm, having apparently been hired at the Nettlebed fair rather than at Henley. In the same year John Bannister was hired during the hay harvest 'and lived and lodged with his master but no agreement was made either as to time or sum'. (fn. 312)

Farming in the 19th and 20th Centuries

In 1815 there were 15 farms in Rotherfield Greys, and a number of smaller freeholds. Three farms exceeded 200 a., and four 100 a.; the smallest, Witheridge Hill farm, measured only 27 acres. Two thirds of the farms were held under three principal landowners: the Stapletons of Greys Court, the Wrights of Crowsley Park in Shiplake, and the Stonors of Stonor Park. The Stapleton estate comprised New farm (241 a.) and Brickfield farm (77 a.), both established by 1688, Perrings farm (50 a.), probably created from cleared woodland and inclosed common, and Rose farm (75 a.), which lay partly in Bix. The Wright estate comprised Greysgreen farm (233 a.), Hernes (241 a.), and Lower Hernes (104 a., then called Lodge or Bottom farm), which were an amalgamation of the five farms recorded in 1761. The Stonor estate comprised Highmoor farm (156 a.) and Padnells (58 a.), both mapped in 1725, and Bromsden farm (116 a.), which lay partly in Bix.

Of the remaining farms in 1815, three were owned and occupied by members of the Piercy family: Witheridge Hill farm (27 a.), the neighbouring Stonehouse farm (42 a.), and Coldharbour farm (114 a.), which adjoined South field near Henley. Satwell farm (87 a.) was leased by the Oveys to Samuel Benwell, and Paradise farm (97 a.) was leased by the Hodges family of Bolney Court in Harpsden to William Chipp. (fn. 313)

Between 1815 and 1844 the number of farms fell to 11 as a result of amalgamations. (fn. 314) Further consolidation took place during the later 19th century, perhaps partly as a result of agricultural depression. Thus when the Stonor estate was sold in 1894 Witheridge Hill farm had been added to Highmoor farm, and the combined holding (259 a.) was leased for £100 a year. (fn. 315) By 1910 the Stapletons' New and Brickfield farms (336 a.) were also occupied by a single tenant, and Hernes and Lower Hernes (439 a.) were both owned by the Oveys. But some smaller farms also survived, such as Stonehouse farm (44 a.) and the owner-occupied Satwell farm (101 a.). (fn. 316)

Most farmers still practised mixed agriculture. An insurance ledger of 1782–1806 recorded buildings and stock used in both arable and livestock husbandry, (fn. 317) and in 1801 there were reported to be some 858 a. of arable, 771 a. of permanent grass, and 195 a. of woodland. (fn. 318) By 1844 the arable acreage had increased: the tithe award recorded about 1,740 a. of arable, 500 a. of grass, and 380 a. of wood. (fn. 319) By 1879 the amount of arable had risen again, to 1,875 a., while grass fell to 315 a., and woodland remained the same. (fn. 320) In the late 19th and early 20th century the chief crops were wheat, barley, oats, and root crops (especially turnips and swedes). (fn. 321)

Following the onset of depression in the 1880s, livestock (especially dairy) farming increased at the expense of arable husbandry, as it did throughout the Oxfordshire Chilterns. (fn. 322) After Highmoor farm was sold in 1928 some arable was laid down to pasture, and in the 1930s investment was made in livestock facilities: a modern Danish pig-unit was installed, and a new milking parlour replaced the old one. Much of the grain harvested was consumed on the farm. (fn. 323) In 1941 only three farms (Greysgreen, Hernes, and New) seem to have engaged in arable farming on a significant scale; elsewhere much land was used for grazing, and Stonehouse was a pig farm. (fn. 324)

Cherry trees grew in considerable numbers at Highmoor, from where large loads of cherries were taken to the markets at Oxford and Reading during the picking season from early June to late August. The trade was at its height in the late 19th and early 20th century during the agricultural depression. (fn. 325)

In 1970 three large farms (over 300 a.) and 12 smaller holdings in Rotherfield Greys and Highmoor included three dairy farms, one specializing in cattle rearing and fattening, one fruit farm, and two mixed farms growing mostly barley. Over the following 20 years the number of farms remained the same (by 1988 mostly owner-occupied), though farming was increasingly part-time and less labour-intensive. Cattle and fruit remained prominent, and a pig farm was established, while the acreage of wheat, maize, and oilseed rape grew at the expense of barley. (fn. 326)

Rural Trades and Industry

Various trades and crafts were practised in Rotherfield Greys probably from the Middle Ages and certainly from the 17th century, often alongside agriculture. The Perring family, who lived at Greys Green, were blacksmiths in the late 17th and 18th century; (fn. 327) among their successors were the Barretts, who occupied the smithy from the 1870s to the 1980s. (fn. 328) Carpenters in the 17th and 18th centuries included John Backhouse (d. 1692) of Shepherd's Green and the Wood family of Highmoor (later of Shepherd's Green), while John Burgess (d. 1633) was a ploughwright. (fn. 329) Blacksmiths and carpenters were mentioned in various parts of the parish in the mid 19th century, together with shoemakers, dressmakers, a machine-maker near Greys church, and a paper-maker at Witheridge Hill, who was also the local publican. (fn. 330) The range of trades and crafts was more diverse in the suburban part of Henley, to which the inhabitants of Rotherfield Greys probably travelled for many of their needs. (fn. 331)

There is no certain evidence for a mill in Rotherfield Greys. Two millers with whom Eve de Grey and Andrew de Beauchamp were in dispute in 1214–15 may have held watermills on the Thames in Rotherfield Peppard, (fn. 332) while a manorial windmill recorded in 1295 and 1311 may have been at Mill Hill in Henley parish. A mill there remained in 1587, and was apparently rebuilt c. 1600. (fn. 333)

Brickmaking and woodland crafts

The main centre of brickmaking in the area from the Middle Ages was Nettlebed. However, bricks for the Elizabethan buildings at Greys Court were probably made locally, possibly on the site of the 17th-century Brickfield Farm. (fn. 334) Among the brickmakers at Nettlebed in the 17th century was the Sarney family, who also farmed at Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 335) Numerous pits scattered across the parish may have been dug for the clay and sand needed in brickmaking, and for farming and road-mending. (fn. 336)

Many inhabitants of Rotherfield Greys, especially in the west of the parish, must have worked in the woods, although evidence of their activities is scarce before the 19th century. Sawyers and woodmen were recorded at Shepherd's Green, Highmoor, and Witheridge Hill in 1841–51, together with two faggot-makers. (fn. 337) In the late 18th and 19th century, when High Wycombe became a centre of chair-making, beechwood legs and spars were made by bodgers in the woods of the Chilterns, including those around Highmoor. Chair-turners were first recorded at Witheridge Hill in 1861, and continued until the 1910s; chair-makers were less common, although there was probably a workshop at the Green Man at Highmoor in 1871. Following the decline of chair-making in the 20th century the bodgers turned to making tent pegs, which were in great demand during both World Wars. Tent-peg makers were recorded at Highmoor and Witheridge Hill until the 1930s. (fn. 338)


There were shops in the west of the parish from at least the 18th century: Richard Amon, for example, was a shopkeeper at Highmoor in the 1780s. (fn. 339) In 1841 shopkeepers were recorded at Satwell and Highmoor Cross, and grocers at Shepherd's Green and Witheridge Hill; bakers lived at Greys Green and Witheridge Hill, and an egg trader (or higgler) at Highmoor Cross. (fn. 340) A grocer's shop established at Witheridge Hill in 1856 traded until the 1960s, (fn. 341) and there was a general store at Highmoor in the 1940s. (fn. 342)

Public houses sometimes sold basic provisions, such as the Dog and Duck at Highmoor in 1871, and Mary Cox's beerhouse in 1891. In the early 20th century a former resident remembered that one pub sold sweets to the children. (fn. 343) Pedlars were encountered at Highmoor Cross in the same period, and there was also a milkman. (fn. 344) Few shops were established in the east of the parish, presumably because of the proximity of Henley, though a general store was run from a cottage in Greys Green in the 1940s and 1950s. (fn. 345)


Social Character

The parish lacked a distinct or uniform social character, its dispersed settlement pattern, varied land-use and lordship, and the growth of suburban Henley all contributing to a mixed social complexion. In the 18th and 19th centuries, and probably earlier, the parish comprised three largely separate communities: Henley, Rotherfield Greys, and Highmoor. Their lack of cohesion was acknowledged in 1738 by the curate of Rotherfield Greys, who reported that many of the inhabitants of the Henley (or lower) end attended church at Henley or Harpsden, while those of Highmoor (or upper) end went to Nettlebed. (fn. 346) The division of the parish was institutionalized by the creation of the separate ecclesiastical parishes of Henley Holy Trinity (in 1849) and Highmoor (in 1860), and by the appointment of separate parish officers in the three districts. (fn. 347)

Suburban Areas

By the early 19th century the inhabitants of suburban Henley lived in densely packed housing and were more likely to pursue non-agricultural occupations than their rural counterparts. (fn. 348) Even those who engaged in agriculture did so on a different basis to farmers elsewhere in the parish: South field remained open until inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1860, (fn. 349) while the rest of Rotherfield Greys was mostly inclosed before 1600. (fn. 350) There was no dominant landowner in suburban Henley, and the major landowners of the parish held little urban property. (fn. 351) Their philanthropy, evident in the hamlets, may not have extended so readily to the suburbs. Friday Street was noted for its poverty, (fn. 352) and it is likely that the high costs of poor relief in the parish can be accounted for by the needs of its suburban population. (fn. 353) Protestant Dissent in Rotherfield Greys, too, was mostly confined to Henley's suburbs, (fn. 354) where a Congregationalist meeting house was built on Reading road in 1719 and enlarged in 1829. (fn. 355) According to the curate in 1738, the families who attended from Rotherfield Greys were 'all tradespeople or of the meaner sort'. (fn. 356) There were at least five public houses in the district at the end of the 18th century, and seven a hundred years later. (fn. 357)

Rural Settlements

The hamlets closest to Greys Court and the parish church were regarded by one former resident, who grew up there in the early 20th century, as the 'village' of Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 358) For others, too, the hamlets of Shepherd's Green, Greys Green, and Greys Church may have possessed a collective identity. In the Middle Ages most of the inhabitants were tenants of the Greys, although the large number of freeholders recorded in the early 14th century suggests that many enjoyed considerable independence from the lord. (fn. 359) None of the hamlets seems to have had a particular function or status, and each probably had a mixed population in terms of landholding, wealth, and occupation. Topographically Greys Green was at the centre of the 'village', but (for reasons unknown) it had no public houses, which instead were at Shepherd's Green and next to the church. (fn. 360)

The communities of Highmoor, Witheridge Hill and, to a lesser extent, Satwell were largely independent of the 'village' of Rotherfield Greys. From the 19th century (or earlier) each hamlet had its own public houses and a variety of other facilities. (fn. 361) Highmoor lay closer to Nettlebed, and Witheridge Hill to Stoke Row, than either did to Greys Court and the parish church. The rector was aware of the problem of distance: in 1854 he reported that he had recently begun taking services in the schoolroom at Witheridge Hill, in an attempt to remedy 'the low state of education, morals and church going' which he attributed to previous neglect, and which may have encouraged Dissent. The opening of a church at Highmoor in 1859 was a more satisfactory response to the spiritual needs of the community, and formalized the division between the two groups of hamlets. (fn. 362)

The landowners who dominated the hamlets of Rotherfield Greys held no land in Highmoor, where lordship was in the hands of the non-resident (and less actively involved) Stonor family until the sale of their estate in 1894. (fn. 363) For purposes of local government, the western hamlets remained part of Rotherfield Greys until 1952, which, given the lack of cohesion, may have caused tension. In 1866 a vestry meeting refused to acknowledge the way around Witheridge Hill as a parish road, but agreed to pay for the filling in of the ruts. (fn. 364)

Poverty and Gentrification

Perhaps the most notable social characteristic of Rotherfield Greys during the 19th and 20th centuries was the transition from poverty to affluence. In 1820 the overseer of the poor named 86 individuals, many of them heads of households, who were in need of poor relief; that is, approximately half of the 162 households recorded in the census of 1821. (fn. 365) Many of these families no doubt lived in Henley's suburbs, but poverty was also prevalent in the countryside, as noted on occasion by local clergy. (fn. 366) At Highmoor, for example, the vicar reported poverty and poor housing in 1866. (fn. 367) In the early 20th century the Stapleton family supported the parish clothing and coal clubs, which had about 30 members, at a time when some of the older charities had ceased to function. (fn. 368)

After the First World War the parish, like other parts of the Chilterns, became a desirable address for London commuters, and a number of substantial houses were built. (fn. 369) In the 1950s and 1960s local residents included a High Court judge, a Coutts' banker, and the chairman of an art gallery, and in 2001 most inhabitants were either retired or highly qualified professionals. (fn. 370)

Resident Lords and Gentry

From the 11th century, one of the defining features of Rotherfield Greys was the presence of a major aristocratic seat designed as a symbol and focus of local power, which must have influenced local society and politics in innumerable ways. The Greys and their successors, the Knollyses and the Stapletons, were almost continuously resident from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, exercising direct lordship over their tenants in the south and east of the parish through the holding of manor courts, and particularly in the Middle Ages influencing the development of the landscape through the creation of parks, management of woodland, inclosure, and the running of the demesne. Their status brought bishops and royalty to Rotherfield Greys, while in more recent times they took a limited but philanthropic interest in the life of the community, supporting local charities and schools. The same was true to a limited degree of the largely non-resident landowners who benefited from the break-up of the estate in the 17th century. By contrast, in the western part of the parish, the impact of the Stonor family (based only about 5 miles away at Stonor Park) was much less intense.

The Greys

Anketil de Grey, lord of the manor in 1086, probably began the building of Greys Court, on a scale clearly designed (like later building work) to impress. (fn. 371) Whether his immediate successors were resident is unclear, but the Greys certainly lived there in the 13th and 14th centuries. Among them was Walter de Grey, archbishop of York, who visited on several occasions between 1215 and 1254, and probably built the present church. (fn. 372) The family's local power and influence was expressed in several major building campaigns, and in the creation of a deer park, which was broken into in 1290. (fn. 373) In 1300 a lavish banquet was held to celebrate the birth and baptism (at Rotherfield Greys) of John de Grey, 'which feast is still notorious in these parts because abbots, priors and almost all other good men of those parts were present'. (fn. 374) The baptism of Joan de Grey in 1386 was also remembered years later, and in 1388 Robert de Grey, the last of the male line, was commemorated by a magnificent brass in the parish church, showing him in armour and helmet under a pinnacled canopy. (fn. 375) Throughout this period the Greys also ran an extensive demesne farm worked partly by the labour services of unfree tenants, and presumably they held regular manor courts. (fn. 376)

The Knollyses

Members of the Knollys family were resident at Greys Court throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Robert Knollys (d. 1521) established the family's fortunes by service to the Tudor court, a position inherited by his son Francis (d. 1596), an important Elizabethan politician, and grandson William (d. 1632). (fn. 377) The Knollyses were by far the largest taxpayers in the parish, assessed on £200-worth of goods in 1515 and 1543, while in 1662 they were taxed on 39 hearths at Greys Court (the second highest assessment was 9 hearths). (fn. 378) As with the Greys, the family's power and prestige was reflected in the building of a new mansion – probably in anticipation of a visit by Queen Elizabeth – and by the addition of a new family chapel to the parish church. (fn. 379) Relations with the local community may not always have been good, the inclosure of the open fields provoking complaint in the early 16th century. (fn. 380)

70. Brass commemorating Robert de Grey (d. 1388) in Rotherfield Greys parish church.

During the Civil War the prominence of the house and family, combined with the strategic importance of the Henley river crossing, brought unwelcome attention to Rotherfield Greys. In October 1643 the Royalist governor of Reading, Jacob Astley, ordered an inspection of Greys Court: 'they tell me it is very strong and sufficient to hold 300 foot'. (fn. 381) In 1645 Greys Court was occupied by a Parliamentarian force, and William Knollys absented himself for five weeks to escape the 'violence of the soldiers', who defaced the property and felled woods worth £2,000. (fn. 382) Though William (d. 1664) and his successors were subsequently afflicted by debt, (fn. 383) they nevertheless continued to live in some luxury. An inventory of goods taken at Greys Court in 1679 included furniture in more than 20 rooms, the whole valued in excess of £500. (fn. 384)

The Stapletons and their Successors

In 1724 Greys Court became the seat of Sir William Stapleton, following his marriage to Catherine, daughter of William Paul. Stapleton was born in the West Indies, where his grandfather had served as deputy-governor of Montserrat and captain-general of the Leeward Islands; he was elected to Parliament in 1727, when a contemporary reported that 'he has but little estate in Oxfordshire, and that by his wife Mrs Paul'. (fn. 385) His son Thomas Stapleton (d. 1781) was a member of Sir Francis Dashwood's notorious Hellfire club; his influence may have encouraged Thomas to romanticize earlier buildings and ruins at Greys Court and to create a fashionable parkland. (fn. 386) According to the memorial in the parish church, Thomas 'lived universally esteemed and respected; he died most cordially regretted and lamented'. (fn. 387)

From 1781 to 1863 Greys Court was home to Thomas's widow, Lady Mary Stapleton (d. 1835), and their unmarried daughters Maria (d. 1858) and Catherine (d. 1863). All three supported parish education financially, and in the 1850s the church organ was 'commonly ... repaired by the ladies of the manor'. (fn. 388) On the other hand, they appear to have provided few opportunities for employment outside agriculture, since in 1851 the family's staff of 14 included no-one born in Rotherfield Greys. (fn. 389) The house was leased from 1863 to 1874, the tenant, John Rapp, contributing to the refurbishment of the parish church in 1865. (fn. 390) Francis George Stapleton (d. 1899) lived at Greys Court, serving as churchwarden of the parish and probably establishing the clothing and coal clubs which his nephew, Miles Talbot Stapleton, also supported. (fn. 391) In the early 20th century a former resident of the parish remembered that the Stapletons gave Christmas presents to the school children, and opened the gardens of the estate in the summer. (fn. 392)

The Stapletons' successors, the Brunners, also opened the gardens of Greys Court to the public, and hosted local events, including fêtes, plays, pageants, and son-et-lumières. In 1969 the family gave the estate to the National Trust, although continued to reside at Greys Court until 2003. (fn. 393) The Brunners also commissioned the east window of the parish church, installed in 1955, which depicts Greys Court and their coat of arms. (fn. 394)

Other Landowners

From the 15th to the 19th century, the dominant landowner in the western part of the parish was the Stonor family. Without a residence in Rotherfield Greys, the family's influence on local society appears to have been small: in particular, the Stonors' staunchly Catholic faith was not observed among their tenants. (fn. 395)

Highmoor Hall, the most notable gentry house in the parish after Greys Court, did not belong to the Stonors, but was owned and occupied by a succession of local farmers, gentry, and clergy. (fn. 396) First recorded in 1661, the present house probably dates in part from the early 17th century, and is brick-built and tiled with stone-mullioned windows and leaded lights. (fn. 397) Some of the hall's residents played a prominent role in local society: the Misses Elwes, who lived there from 1859 to 1882, donated silver plate to Highmoor church and built the nearby public well-house. (fn. 398) Relations with the local community were not always smooth, however: in 1920 Mrs MacIntyre donated land for the building of Highmoor village hall, and without consultation took upon herself the task of drawing up deeds for its management and use. The inhabitants raised objections to her interference, their hostile attitude apparently coming as a shock to the lady and her supporters, the vicar, the farmer, and the churchwardens. (fn. 399)

Following its break-up in the late 17th century much of the former Greys Court estate was held by non-resident landowners, although some, such as the Heywoods, felt sufficient attachment to donate silver plate to the church. (fn. 400) Later a number of landowning families settled and played a significant role in the local community. Among the most notable in the late 19th and 20th century were the Makins family of Rotherfield Court in Henley, and the Ovey family of Badgemore and Hernes. Both were actively involved in the life of the church, and Makins enlarged the parish churchyard, around which Ovey planted trees. Both also helped manage parish charities. (fn. 401) Successive rectors and vicars, too, were often actively engaged in the life of the community, as was the patron, Trinity College, Oxford. (fn. 402)

Community Activities

Social activities and customs are poorly recorded before the 19th century. Unlike the inhabitants of neighbouring Peppard, those of Rotherfield Greys do not appear to have enjoyed a tradition of annual revels on the green or similar gatherings. (fn. 403) Village halls were built at Greys Green and at Highmoor Cross in the 1920s; that at Highmoor was financed locally, and was intended to provide a more convenient space for the many social occasions (such as concerts, plays, and dances) that had previously been held at the school, opened in 1862. (fn. 404) The hall at Greys Green was probably intended for similar purposes, and remained a well-used local resource in the early 21st century. The former school-teacher's house was taken over by trustees following the school's closure in 1966, and became a house for the hall's caretaker. (fn. 405)

A cricket team was established at Greys in 1873, playing at Greys Green. At Highmoor the cricket team (formed before 1907) played on land belonging to the Woodman public house. (fn. 406) From the 1930s Lady Brunner was involved in an active Women's Institute. (fn. 407) The churches provided another focus for community activities, including a choir, but it is likely that the public houses were the main source of local entertainment in the 19th and early 20th century. In the 1860s the vicar of Highmoor complained of their influence, while in the early 20th century the schoolmaster observed that attendance at the various pubs often reflected the presence of one or two popular local characters, whom the other customers found entertaining. (fn. 408) Public houses continued in most of the parish's settlements in the early 21st century, though by then they catered as much for visitors from outside the parish. (fn. 409)


Sporadic educational provision was recorded from 1738, when the rector of Rotherfield Greys was paying for poor children of the parish to be taught to read, and for some of them to write. (fn. 410) By 1784 the rector and Lady Stapleton supported a voluntary charity school, at which the boys were 'bred up' to day labour and the girls to service; (fn. 411) probably it was located at Greys Green or near the church. It continued in the early 19th century, (fn. 412) although not all rectors took an active interest: in 1815 the rector Benjamin Capel Heming declared that he had 'no opinion of schools in general, [and] therefore do not trouble myself about the management of them'. (fn. 413) In 1818 it was supported by Heming's successor and Lady Stapleton, and was attended by a total of 20 boys and girls. (fn. 414) A Sunday school established shortly before 1787 was also supported by Lady Stapleton and by the rectors (including Heming), and in 1805 the rector reported two or three schools at which children were taught the catechism. (fn. 415) Both the Sunday school and the voluntary day school continued in the 1830s, when the latter taught 15 boys and 17 girls. (fn. 416)

In 1817 there was said to be an abundance of education by public subscription, but no endowed schools, which meant that many of the poor were excluded. (fn. 417) The south and east of the parish were much better served than the west, where there is no evidence for any schools before the 1840s. Another eight schools reported within the parish in 1835 almost certainly lay in suburban Henley, among them two boarding schools, and a day school, infant school, and Sunday school attached to the Congregationalist chapel. 'Very many' of the children attending those schools lived in neighbouring parishes, while many local children attended the National school in Henley. (fn. 418)

Rotherfield Greys National School

Rotherfield Greys National school was opened c. 1836, built entirely at the rector's cost on the south side of Greys Green. A 'picturesque little building' of brick and slate, it consisted of a large room divided by a partition, with space for a mixed class of 40 on one side and 32 infants on the other. (fn. 419) The freehold was conveyed in trust to Trinity College, Oxford, which was to allow the rector to oversee a Sunday school there and, with permission, to superintend the day school as well. Writing and arithmetic were not taught. (fn. 420)

The school site (acquired by the rector in 1830) included a row of cottages as an endowment, (fn. 421) to provide the teacher's salary, repair costs, and Sunday clothing for the children. (fn. 422) Weekday attendance rose from about 40 in 1836 to 50 in 1866. (fn. 423) Improvements in 1872 were funded by the parish, and in 1879 the school was enlarged and redecorated. (fn. 424) By 1890 it received a government grant of just under £21, supplemented by fees of nearly £9 and subscriptions of over £27; the endowment produced just under £13. (fn. 425) A site for a teacher's house, with six rooms, was acquired in 1895 under the School Sites Act. The land was granted by Sir Francis Stapleton, whose wife loaned the £300 needed to build the house at 2¾ per cent interest. (fn. 426)

In 1900 the school had space for 90 pupils, though average attendance was only 38. (fn. 427) Reports in the early 20th century show the school generally making good progress, although the infants teacher was judged unsatisfactory. By the 1920s good work was being done especially in practical subjects, but in 1927 the children's 'power of reasoning' was 'rudimentary' and their arithmetic 'deplorable'. (fn. 428) In 1932 the school was reorganized for mixed junior and infant children, the seniors going to Rotherfield Central School in neighbouring Peppard. In 1934 there were still 30 children on the register, but by the school's closure in December 1966 attendance had fallen to 14. (fn. 429)

Schools in Highmoor and Witheridge Hill

A dame school at Witheridge Hill existed by 1841, when it had 10 pupils aged between 6 and 15, all but one of them girls. Two school mistresses lived in the hamlet: Mary Toovey at the school house, and Mary Whittick. (fn. 430) The school had closed by 1851, but the following year a different school at Witheridge Hill received a subscription from Trinity College, Oxford. (fn. 431) This was perhaps the dame school run by Mary Ann Jarrett in an old barn, recorded in 1861 and remembered by later inhabitants. (fn. 432) The rector of Rotherfield Greys reported in 1854 that he used the schoolroom at Witheridge Hill as a chapel, prior to the opening of Highmoor church. (fn. 433)

A National school at Witheridge Hill (called Highmoor school) opened in 1862 with space for c. 72 children in two rooms, the smaller reserved for infants. An endowment of £5 a year was given by a charity in Mongewell towards expenses, and the teacher was to pay £8 rent for the house. The school, of brick and stone with a tiled roof, stood on open common on the brow of a steep hill. (fn. 434) About 40 children attended in 1866, rising to 51 in 1875–6, and 57 in 1889. (fn. 435) In 1900 Highmoor school had accommodation for 85, average attendance of 60, and received a government grant of around £65. (fn. 436)

Inspectors reported steady improvements, though in 1909 the school was running at a deficit of nearly £80 a year. In the 1920s and 1930s reports were good 'despite the inconveniently cramped conditions', and in 1931 'it was a pleasure to deal with the children in this school'. (fn. 437) In 1932 the school was reorganized as a mixed junior and infant school, with 30 pupils in two classes; the seniors were transferred to Rotherfield Central School. (fn. 438) By 1955 there were rumours that Highmoor school was to be closed, but not until 1963 was notice served, the number of pupils having fallen below 20. (fn. 439) Despite local protests the school closed in 1964, and the building was converted into a private house. (fn. 440)

Charities and Poor Relief

From the 17th century the parish had a few endowed charities on the usual model. Augustine Knapp (d. 1602), a yeoman of Rotherfield Peppard, left a £1 rent-charge on two houses in Henley to provide clothing, which was so used until the early 19th century when it was briefly converted into a bread charity. (fn. 441) The rectors Robert Barnes (1612–39) and Robert Jones (1645–87) left £5 and £10 respectively, while William Cawdrey (d. before 1660) and William Baker (d. 1688) left £10 and £26. Those sums seem to have been variously used. Part was occasionally lent at interest to tradesmen, including (in 1674) a Henley maltster presumably living in the town's southern suburbs within Rotherfield Greys parish; another £38 was apparently invested before 1738, when the parish officers habitually distributed the interest at Easter to poor parishioners not otherwise on parish relief. (fn. 442)

The total capital from all those bequests barely exceeded £50, and by the later 18th century, as in many parishes, the cost of poor relief was increasingly falling on parish rates. In 1776 almost £250 was levied, of which £210 was spent on the poor, including rent for housing; more was apparently spent in the rural parts of the parish than in the suburbs. (fn. 443) The average levied from 1783 to 1785 was about £392, of which £373 was spent on the poor. (fn. 444)

In 1742 a workhouse was established at Satwell by Isaac Combee of Henley, to which the poor of Nuffield were to be sent. (fn. 445) Three years later Combee agreed to maintain the poor of Rotherfield Greys as well, for £100 a year from the parish. Following his death in 1748 his widow Jane offered to fulfil the contract; there were, however, calls to close the workhouse, principally because several other parishes, including Benson, Remenham, and Rotherfield Peppard, also sent their poor to 'this little house', where they were maintained 'in a miserable condition ... begging and praying to be sent to their own parishes'. By 1749 the workhouse was solely for the poor of Rotherfield Greys, its management contracted to three parish officers on the same terms as to Combee. (fn. 446) The parish register records the burial of several people from the workhouse from 1742 to 1754, after which no further reference has been found. (fn. 447) Presumably, like many workhouse schemes, it was abandoned after a few years because it was not financially viable. (fn. 448)

As elsewhere the cost of poor relief rose sharply in the early 19th century, when, out of £779 levied in 1803 (at a rate of 6s. in the pound), expenditure on the poor reached £683. A total of 95 persons received regular out relief, and another 16 occasional relief, including 28 children and 28 people aged over 60 – in all about 16 per cent of the population. (fn. 449) Between 1813 and 1815 expenditure averaged about £930, the number of adults on permanent out relief fluctuating from 88 to 96, and those on occasional relief from 27 to 46. (fn. 450) Spending on the poor peaked at more than £1,030 in 1819, falling to £574 in 1823 and 1826, then climbing again to £738 in 1834. (fn. 451) After 1834 the parish became part of the newly established Henley poor law union, to which responsibility for its poor passed. (fn. 452) A parish poor rate continued to be levied, at a rate of 2s. 6d. in the pound in 1840. (fn. 453)

During the 19th century the ancient charities also continued, though two of them were lost, one (Knapp's) through the parish's loss of the legal evidence, the other (Baker's) through being lent to a farmer who became insolvent. (fn. 454) No further charitable bequests were made, though Sir Francis Stapleton (d. 1899) established parish clothing and coal clubs, donating £10 a year. Members were required to pay 1s. a month to the clothing club and 3s. a year to the coal club, the money to be collected and administered by the rector. In 1902 there were about 30 members, each of whom received at Christmas a ticket for c. 16s.-worth of clothing and a quantity of coal. When the price of coal rose the rector made up the difference from his own pocket. The charity continued to be supported by the Stapleton family in 1916, but no later reference has been found. (fn. 455) In 1905 the rector was also distributing £8 a year to the parish's sick and poor. (fn. 456)


The church of Rotherfield Greys was closely associated with the lords of the manor from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, as surviving memorials to the Greys, Knollyses, and Stapletons attest. The living, a rectory, was not particularly well endowed, though by the 1840s tithe rents were worth over £800, and some rectors had considerable personal wealth. The patronage was sold by the lord of the manor in the late 17th century and acquired by Trinity College, Oxford, whose nominees (until 1950) were exclusively fellows of the college and frequently non-resident.

After the Reformation the parish suffered some neglect, but most inhabitants conformed, and in the parish's rural parts neither Roman Catholicism nor Protestant Nonconformity achieved much success, despite the lordship (in Highmoor) of the Catholic Stonor family, and the development of Protestant Dissent in Henley from the 1660s. District churches were built in Henley's suburbs and at Highmoor in the 19th century.

Parochial Organization

By the 13th century the church of Rotherfield Greys was fully independent, although there is no evidence of a church on the present site before c. 1200. The earliest architectural features are a plain round-headed doorway in the nave and a square font, both of early 13th-century type, (fn. 457) while archaeological excavation in the churchyard produced an assemblage of 12th or early 13th-century pottery, suggesting agricultural or domestic activity around the site before the earliest church was built. (fn. 458) Local tradition ascribed the construction of the church to Walter de Grey, archbishop of York, who was well known as a builder, (fn. 459) and who visited the parish (as bishop of Worcester) in 1215. (fn. 460) If Walter was indeed the founder, his influence could perhaps explain the new church's swift independence: certainly no evidence has been found of an ecclesiastical link with the important church at Benson, from which estate the parish was probably detached before the Norman Conquest. (fn. 461) Before the 13th century the Greys almost certainly had a private chapel at Greys Court, perhaps by the late 11th century, although its precise location is unknown. (fn. 462) If so, it presumably served some parochial functions before the present church was built. Its later functions were evidently much more limited, and by the 14th century the Greys used the parish church for baptism and burial. (fn. 463)

The church's medieval dedication is not known. The present dedication to St Nicholas is modern, though based on research by a former rector which suggested that it may have been in use at an earlier date and subsequently forgotten. (fn. 464)

Nineteenth- and 20th-Century Reorganization

The church lay in the centre of the ancient parish at some distance from suburban Henley and the hamlets of Highmoor and Witheridge Hill. District churches were built at Henley (Holy Trinity) in 1848 and at Highmoor Cross (St Paul's) in 1859, (fn. 465) and separate ecclesiastical parishes were formed soon after. (fn. 466) Both livings were perpetual curacies in the gift of the rector of Rotherfield Greys, who at Highmoor purchased the land and built the church and vicarage house at his own expense; the first two nominations to Holy Trinity were reserved to the bishop, however. (fn. 467) From 1955 to 1978 the rector of Rotherfield Greys served as vicar of Highmoor, which was subsequently united with Nettlebed, Bix, and Pishill; the grouping formally became a joint benefice in 1981. (fn. 468) In 2003, after a temporary union with Rotherfield Peppard, Rotherfield Greys was added to the benefice, the rector becoming local minister with the support of an assistant priest. (fn. 469)


The advowson of the parish church belonged to the lord of the manor, and was first recorded in the possession of Walter de Grey, archbishop of York. (fn. 470) He granted both manor and advowson to his brother Robert de Grey, who presented in 1242. (fn. 471) Crown presentations in 1317, 1318, 1320, and 1393 were made during minorities. (fn. 472) Although the Knollys family held the advowson until 1686, they last presented to the rectory in person in 1645, (fn. 473) and twice made grants of the right to present. (fn. 474)

In 1686 the advowson was sold by Lettice Kennedy to Thomas Springall, subject to an earlier grant of the next turn. (fn. 475) He sold it for £450 in 1687 to Thomas Rowney, who granted it (for £100) in 1688 to Trinity College, Oxford, for which he had previously served as steward. (fn. 476) Trinity College presented every subsequent rector, and in 2005 remained a joint patron of the united benefice. (fn. 477)

Endowment and Rectory House

The medieval rectory was valued at the relatively low sum of 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.) a year in 1254, and at £8 thereafter. (fn. 478) In 1526 it was worth £11 a year, and in 1535 £11 3s. 4d.; (fn. 479) in 1584–5 it was leased to Francis Stonor. (fn. 480)

By the 17th century, and probably from the Middle Ages, the glebe totalled around 46 a., comprising the rectory house and 3 a. of grounds, 8 a. of meadow and woodland, three arable closes (15 a.) west of the house, and another two closes (18 a.) adjacent to Hernes, about a mile to the east. The rector also held ¾ a. of meadow in Greys mead near Henley. (fn. 481) The tithes were commuted in 1844 for rent charges of £802 to the rector of Rotherfield Greys and £18 to the rector of Henley, whose ancient endowment included land and specified tithes in the parish; (fn. 482) when South field and Greys mead were inclosed in 1860, the rector of Rotherfield Greys also received ¾ a. of meadow. (fn. 483) Diversion of part of his income to Holy Trinity and Highmoor churches reduced the value of the living, however, which in 1895 was worth £475 a year net. (fn. 484) The closes next to Hernes were sold in 1906, and the rectory house and grounds (11 a.) in 1938. (fn. 485)

The 17th-century rectory house stood some distance north of the church, on the road to Greys Green. Presumably that was also the site of the medieval house, although there is no documentary evidence. In 1635 it comprised a hall, parlour, kitchen, buttery, and brewhouse, with five chambers on the first floor, and a cockloft. By the late 17th century a porch with study over it had been added. Outbuildings included a well house, barns, stable, and carthouse. (fn. 486) The house was extensively rebuilt in the early 18th century and refronted in the late 18th, when the ground floor included a parlour, drawing room, study, and kitchen. (fn. 487) Repairs were undertaken in 1825, soon after the appointment of a new rector, and mortgages taken out in 1902 and 1920 were probably for further improvements. (fn. 488) After its sale in 1938, the rector moved temporarily to Glebe Cottage in Rotherfield Peppard, while a new rectory, called Greys House, was built in the remaining glebe field. That field was leased to the Greys Court estate in 1960 and was later sold. The new house was sold c. 1980, following the union with Rotherfield Peppard. (fn. 489)

District Church Endowments

Arrangements for Holy Trinity, Henley, are discussed above. (fn. 490) St Paul, Highmoor, was endowed with a tithe-rent charge of £52 5s. 1d. by the rector of Rotherfield Greys, and a glebe of 3 a. which the rector purchased in 1858. (fn. 491) Two cottages built on the glebe were sold in 1947. (fn. 492) A proposal to sell the vicarage house in 1955, when Highmoor was first held in plurality with Rotherfield Greys, came to nothing. Instead the property was leased, and was finally sold in 1974. (fn. 493)

Pastoral Care and Religious Life

The Middle Ages to the Reformation

Few of the 19 known rectors of Rotherfield Greys before the Reformation were particularly distinguished. Some were local men, including John of Shiplake (rector 1320–6), John at Forteye (1346–9) of Haddenham (Bucks.), and possibly Robert Massam or Masham (rector 1493–1526). (fn. 494) Others were probably non-resident: Robert de Fayremere (rector 1293?–1316) also served as master of Marlow priory (Bucks.), (fn. 495) while Roger Gervays (1393–1401) was a minor canon and chantry chaplain of St Paul's cathedral, London. (fn. 496) Ralph Medley (rector 1526–57) held nearby Ipsden and later Harpsden in plurality; he employed a curate at Rotherfield Greys, named as John Thorne in 1526 and 1530, the earliest references to such a position in the parish. In 1526 both Thorne and (apparently) the rector received stipends of £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 497)

The relationship between patron and incumbent is generally obscure. Gilbert de Honyngham (rector 1361–?1380s) once acted as a feoffee for John de Grey, (fn. 498) while for some incumbents, the appointment to Rotherfield Greys came at an early stage in their careers. William de Stoke was only an acolyte at his institution in 1330, but on resigning the parish in 1338 he was apparently a university graduate. (fn. 499) A similar path may have been followed by Robert Massam. (fn. 500) Nevertheless, few rectors are known to have received a higher education: apart from Stoke and Massam, the most notable is Nicholas de Bliburgh (rector 1338–46), who probably studied at Oxford. (fn. 501) Most rectors served for less than 10 years, many resigning the living in favour of another. The longest-serving was Massam, who in 1526 (after his resignation) received a pension of £6 a year. (fn. 502)

Little evidence survives of popular religion. In 1530 the churchwardens reported that all was well. (fn. 503) A few wills of the 1540s, demonstrating conventional devotion to the Virgin, record bequests to the church: money for the high altar and for the repair of bells and vestments, and a gift of sheep 'to keep four tapers, two to stand before the sacrament and two before the rood'. One man requested five sung masses at burial and five more a month later; another arranged for an annual obit for seven years; and a third left £6 'to an honest priest to sing for my soul for one year after my death within the church of Rotherfield Greys'. (fn. 504)

The Reformation to the Early 18th Century

In 1552–3, in accordance with Edwardian legislation, the churchwardens witnessed the removal of church goods from the parish, including a cope, albs, vestments, and cruets, apparently without resistance. (fn. 505) Bequests to the high altar and references to the Virgin continued in wills of the 1550s, including that of the rector Ralph Medley (d. 1557), but ceased thereafter. (fn. 506) Some Catholic sympathies may have remained: one of the church bells, cast about 1576, has the inscription 'Hail Mary Full of Grace'. (fn. 507) No recusants were recorded in Rotherfield Greys in the late 16th century, (fn. 508) though Sir Thomas Tresham (d. 1559), third husband of Lettice Knollys and an ardent supporter of Mary Tudor, was resident during the 1540s and presented to the parish church in 1557. (fn. 509) His nominee Alexander Clerke (rector 1557–65) nevertheless subscribed to the Elizabethan Settlement in 1559. Clerke may have been only intermittently resident in Rotherfield Greys, especially in his latter years: in his will he styled himself vicar of Shiplake, to which he was instituted in 1562. (fn. 510)

His successor Christopher Alnutt (rector 1565–91) was probably also non-resident, and in 1583 was called before the archdeacon's court to answer 'for want of quarter sermons', suggesting neglect. (fn. 511) Alnutt's 17th-century successors may have resided on a more regular basis, among them Robert Barnes (rector 1612–39), an Oxford graduate, and Robert Jones (1645–87), who both left money to the parish's poor; (fn. 512) Jones was the longest-serving of all Rotherfield Greys's rectors, and was buried in the chancel. (fn. 513) Two of the church's bells were replaced in the 17th century, and around 1715 a new silver chalice and paten cover were given by the non-resident Heywood family. (fn. 514)

The religious tensions of the earlier 17th century appear not to have greatly affected the rural parts of Rotherfield Greys. The only recusants reported were the wife of a yeoman in 1615 and two labourers in 1624, (fn. 515) suggesting that the bulk of the population did not share the religious beliefs of the principal landowners. Of those, the non-resident Stonors were a staunchly Catholic family, (fn. 516) while some of the Knollyses, too, may have had Catholic sympathies: in 1706 Lettice Kennedy and Katherine Holdanby, the sisters of Robert Knollys (d. 1679), were both reported to be papists, together with two other residents of the parish. (fn. 517) Nevertheless, the family had a private pew in the parish church. (fn. 518) Nor was there a great deal of Protestant Dissent, except in the Henley part of the parish: there, Independents or Congregationalists were established from the 1660s, and a new Congregationalist chapel was built on Reading road (just within Rotherfield Greys) in 1719. (fn. 519) The principal obstacle to worship in the parish church appears to have been distance. Ralph Price (rector 1687–1720), according to his successor, 'used to toll the bell and wait for a congregation till at last he grew tired of it and left it off and indeed there are but four or five houses near the church'. (fn. 520)

Eighteenth to Mid 20th Century

From 1720 to 1950 rectors of Rotherfield Greys were exclusively fellows of Trinity College, Oxford. According to Francis Wise (rector 1745–67), the living was 'the worst in our College's gift', (fn. 521) and many of the 15 fellows appointed held other livings and were frequently non-resident.

Throughout the 18th century there were two Sunday services with one sermon, and communion three times a year attended by 15–20 communicants. Children were usually catechized in Lent. (fn. 522) Successive rectors reported poor attendance. In 1738 there were 'a great many that come but seldom; their pretences various; want of clothes, distance from church, a family of small children, absence from home, etc.'. The scattered population was probably the chief reason: the curate admitted that he was 'not so well acquainted with some of my parishioners as I should otherwise be, because the lower end all go to Henley church or Harpsden; and many of the upper end to Nettlebed'; (fn. 523) while in 1799 the rector reported that 'some parts of the parish are at a great distance from the church and the inhabitants make that an excuse for not attending its worship'. (fn. 524) Some scepticism was also expressed, however: a successor in 1805 noted that 'there are too many who absent themselves from public worship from trifling reasons; some indeed pretend that they attend churches that are nearer than their own'. (fn. 525)

Despite such difficulties religious Nonconformity, both Protestant and Catholic, remained minimal, except in the suburban part of the parish. At the visitation of 1738 only one Catholic was recorded, 'a wharfinger's widow by the Thames side, [who] was bred such'. (fn. 526) Likewise in 1767–8 there was a single Popish woman, a labourer's wife, who had been resident about five years. (fn. 527) No other Catholics were recorded during the 18th and early 19th century, and in 1823 the rector reported that there was 'no Popish place of worship, Mr Stonor's tenants being of the established church'. (fn. 528)

Protestant Nonconformists were present in some numbers in the parish's suburban areas, but were less conspicuous in the countryside. In 1738 there were seven families of Dissenters at the Henley end and two families elsewhere in the parish, 'but of what particular sect I believe they themselves are hardly able to inform me, being all tradespeople or of the meaner sort'. (fn. 529) Probably they were Congregationalists associated with the Reading Road meeting house, one of whose ministers, Nathaniel Scholefield, retired to Witheridge Hill about 1798, where he read Sunday evening prayers at his home. (fn. 530) Two families of Quakers were recorded at the Henley end in 1738, and in 1811 the rector noted 'some Methodists', though 'most of the Dissenters are Presbyterians'. In 1823 a Wesleyan chapel probably also in Henley was said by the rector of Rotherfield Greys to be 'lately almost deserted'. (fn. 531) In the parish's rural part a meeting house of unknown denomination was recorded at Highmoor in 1820–1. (fn. 532) It had closed by 1866 when the vicar of Highmoor reported that there were no Dissenting chapels in the parish, though some of his parishioners attended the Independent chapel at Stoke Row. The same year the rector of Rotherfield Greys reported just three Dissenters in his parish, 'two of whom occasionally come to church'. (fn. 533) Visiting preachers from Reading occasionally passed by; in 1805 the rector reported that they 'draw many of the idle people after them'. (fn. 534)

Attempts at improvement by Anglican rectors in the first half of the 19th century were undermined by ill health, short incumbencies, and occasionally outright neglect. There was little change in the pattern of services, although the number of communicants rose to about 30 and in 1834 the rector reported Sunday morning congregations of 150–60. (fn. 535) Joseph Smith (rector 1851–60) was particularly unimpressed by his predecessors, reporting in 1854 that 'nothing could be more lamentable than the condition in which the parish was found'. (fn. 536) Although accused by a fellow of Trinity College of pompousness, (fn. 537) Smith was energetic in tackling the perceived problems of the parish, and in 1854 judged that 'the congregation has increased in the last two years and is now very regular'. He instituted a monthly communion, delivered an additional Sunday sermon, and began to conduct services in the schoolroom at Witheridge Hill, which he judged to be a success. (fn. 538) In 1858 he paid £230 for a house and 3 a. at Highmoor Cross, on the site of which he built St Paul's church and vicarage at his own expense. (fn. 539) He retired shortly afterwards, still bemoaning the state of the parish. (fn. 540)

North Pinder (rector 1860–1901) built on Smith's work, conducting more services and encouraging an increase in the congregation to 180 by 1869. Further services were added by the end of the century, as well as a fortnightly communion, though Pinder nonetheless complained of 'growing indifference'. (fn. 541) He seems to have been well liked: after his death a new altar table was purchased and a stained glass window installed to his memory by the parishioners. (fn. 542)

In 1896 an organ was installed on the north side of the chancel, blocking the light from the Knollys chapel. During repairs and renovations in 1952, it was rebuilt at the west end and replaced in 1974. Heating was installed in 1914 and electric light in 1938. The improvements were funded by donations, subscriptions, and from general church funds. (fn. 543)

Mid 20th to 21st Century

After 1950 Trinity College retained the advowson of Rotherfield Greys but no longer appointed fellows of the college. Less than a century after Rotherfield Greys was separated ecclesiastically from Highmoor, dwindling numbers of church-goers compelled their reunion: the bishop of Oxford sought a plurality as early as 1946, but the rector, Robert Lloyd, felt unable to take on the additional responsibility because of ill health. (fn. 544) However, from 1955 John Martin (rector 1951–63) also served as vicar of Highmoor, as did his successors. (fn. 545) In 1979 the rector of Rotherfield Peppard was made priest-in-charge of Rotherfield Greys, holding both rectories in plurality, (fn. 546) and in 2003 Rotherfield Greys was added to the joint benefice of Nettlebed with Bix, Highmoor, and Pishill. (fn. 547)

A number of improvements to the church were paid for by private donations, including the iron screen across the Knollys chapel, and new altar rails, both in 1953. A new east window, displaying the Knollys and Brunner coats of arms and a depiction of Greys Court, was installed in 1955, and the Knollys chapel windows were restored in 1998. The clock on the north face of the tower was installed by Robert Lloyd (rector 1920–50) in memory of his son, killed in action in 1945. (fn. 548)

Highmoor Parish from 1859 (fn. 549)

Most 19th-century vicars of Highmoor were relatively young men at an early stage in their careers, who did not remain in the parish for long. The most experienced and longest-serving was Thomas Henry Lee-Warner (vicar 1878–90), the only incumbent to die in post. (fn. 550) Probably the living was not particularly attractive: its net annual value was only £75 in 1895, compared to £475 at Rotherfield Greys, and expenses were high. (fn. 551) When first opened congregations of up to 130 filled the church, but this early enthusiasm was not maintained and numbers slowly fell, in spite of an increasing round of services. (fn. 552) There were also social challenges. Horace Monro (vicar 1860–71) commented disparagingly on 'the habits of people in general', bemoaning their drunkenness and the influence of the public houses; he held evening classes during the winter 'with variable and mostly indifferent success', and blamed poverty and indifference for preventing more regular attendance at church. (fn. 553)

The 20th-century vicars tended to be more experienced, although most also served relatively short terms. Of the seven vicars appointed between 1904 and 1955, only John Hughes (vicar 1913–29) and Clifford Jesse Offer (1929–42) served for more than 10 years. (fn. 554) Hughes appears to have been the most memorable of Highmoor's vicars, playing an important role in community life, and establishing the Guild of the Holy Child 'to encourage and assist the children of the parish to keep their baptismal vows'. (fn. 555)

From 1955 to 1978 Highmoor was held in plurality with Rotherfield Greys. John Martin (vicar 1955–63), who complained that the church was unheated, resigned through ill health, preferring 'a more compact and less strenuous living'. (fn. 556) Kenneth Martin (vicar 1963–70) introduced a regular Sunday service at 10 a.m., wishing to 'remove the uncertainty ... as to what time the service was', but the experiment was not a success. He concluded that 'a plurality always presented problems', made worse by the fact that 'so many of the residents were either retired or week-enders having little contact with the village', and in 1971 his successor judged Highmoor 'a dying church'. The following year the Oxford Diocesan Pastoral Committee considered making Highmoor redundant, which seems to have encouraged church attendance; consequently it was proposed that Highmoor be separated from Rotherfield Greys and included in a group of parishes centred on Nettlebed. (fn. 557) A priest-in-charge for Nettlebed was given responsibility for Highmoor in 1978, and in 1981 a new joint benefice was created. (fn. 558)

In 1859 Lucy Elwes of Highmoor Hall donated a decorated silver chalice and paten to celebrate the church's opening. (fn. 559) An organ was installed a few years later. (fn. 560) The church was substantially refurbished in 1896, with new windows, floor, porch, and sittings. Electric lights were installed in 1938, and new heating in 1963. The chancel and vestry were reroofed in 1974 and the church redecorated. The churchyard was enlarged in 1938. (fn. 561)

Church Architecture

Rotherfield Greys Parish Church

The medieval church was heavily restored in 1865, resulting in a plain building of stone and flint with a tiled roof; much of the south wall has been rendered. The church has a two-bayed chancel and a five-bayed nave with gabled north porch; a timber-framed bell tower is supported from within the west end of the nave. The most interesting feature is the Knollys chapel, added at right angles to the north side of the chancel in 1605. (fn. 562)

71. Rotherfield Greys church from the north, before restoration in 1865; the projecting Knollys chapel was added in 1605.

A few pieces of 13th-century stonework have been retained, notably a plain round-headed doorway (blocked before 1850) (fn. 563) in the north wall of the nave, with continuous roll moulding, and in the chancel an aumbry and trefoil-headed piscina. The square font has angle shafts with water-leaf and stiff-leaf capitals. The only medieval monument is a brass to Robert de Grey (d. 1388), depicting an armed figure under a pinnacled canopy (Fig. 70); it was moved from the nave to a position under the altar in 1865, and from there to the chancel in 1903. (fn. 564)

The Knollys chapel was added by William Knollys (d. 1632), earl of Banbury, as a memorial chapel for himself and his father. Its design is subtle. The centre of its polygonal north end is crowned by a pediment, and the walls, now rendered, may have been polychrome like the parapet, which is flint-faced with red brick quoins. The windows have simple tracery in Perpendicular tradition. The interior was probably more richly decorated; fragments of 17th-century stained glass (restored in 1998) survive in the east- and west-facing windows, representing the marriages of the Knollys family. (fn. 565) Such decoration would have made an appropriate setting for the remarkable tester tomb to Sir Francis Knollys (d. 1596) and his wife Katherine. Erected in 1605 by their son William, it is of alabaster and marble with much restored painting and gilding, the effigies lying under a canopy supported by six columns of black marble. Along two sides of the tomb chest seven sons and seven daughters kneel in effigy. Beside Katherine is the figure of a child who died in infancy. On top of the canopy William Knollys is represented with his first wife, Dorothy, robed, as if kneeling before a desk with an open book. The Knollys chapel was used from the 18th century by the Stapleton family, and contains wall monuments commemorating many of them, mostly in austere classical style. In 1953 it was closed off with wrought-iron gates forged by the local blacksmith and churchwarden Bill Barrett. (fn. 566)

The medieval chancel was 'beautified and wainscoted' in the early 18th century, presumably by the patron, Trinity College, Oxford, but nothing remains from that work. (fn. 567) Running repairs were carried out in 1759 and during the first half of the 19th century. (fn. 568) A south-east vestry, added in brick, was retained when the rest of the church was restored in 1865. At that date most of the external walls were renovated, the north doorway was repaired, and a classical porch was replaced with a Gothic one. According to the rector the church's west end, being decayed and supported by only one buttress, was rebuilt as far east as the porch, and the western gallery was removed; buttresses were certainly added at the east and west ends, and the church was extended westwards by about 7½ feet (2.3 metres). (fn. 569) The windows (except for the medieval east one) were by then of wood, and were replaced by single and paired lancets; a new chancel arch was constructed, and the old roof, which had been ceiled with lath and plaster, was restored, re-using many of the rafters and tie beams. A small doorway, which had led into the Greys Court pew at the north-east end of the nave, was blocked, and a link was made from the vestry into the chancel. The architect was W. H. Woodman of Reading, and the builder Robert Owthwaite of Henley. (fn. 570)

72. St Paul's church, Highmoor, built in 1859–60 to serve the dispersed communities in the west of Rotherfield Greys parish.

Internal repairs and renovations were carried out during the 1990s, and the lychgate (demolished in a road traffic accident in 2000) was restored. (fn. 571) A parish room, a little larger than the chancel, was built at right angles to the south-west end of the nave in 2004, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee. Designed by Brian Hook in a simplified version of 13th-century Gothic style, it has rendered walls and stone dressings. (fn. 572)

Highmoor Church

Highmoor church (Fig. 72) was built in 1859–60 to a design by the architect Joseph Morris of Reading. (fn. 573) The building, flint-faced with stone dressings, is in 13th-century Gothic style with geometrical and plate-tracery windows. It has an aisleless nave of three bays with a west bellcote containing one bell, and a short chancel with south vestry. The entrance is through a west doorway set in a gabled projection. The furnishings are contemporary and economical in character; chancel furnishings and pulpit are wooden and gothic in style. Later embellishments include a stone and tiled reredos and some stained glass. (fn. 574)


Manor Courts and Officers

From the Middle Ages, tenants in different parts of the parish attended separate manor courts. Those in the eastern part, as tenants of the Greys' manor, attended the local Rotherfield Greys court, held presumably in the manor house (Greys Court). In the 13th century the manor was quit of suit at shire and hundred courts, and the lord held the view of frankpledge; (fn. 575) no medieval court rolls survive, however. Court pleas and perquisites were worth 2s. a year in 1295 and 1311, and £1 a year in 1375, (fn. 576) while an estreat of court of 1459–60 listed fines totalling 12s. 10d. from the separate tithings of Rotherfield Greys, Badgemore, and Friday Street. (fn. 577) A constable was mentioned in 1377. (fn. 578)

The right to hold courts leet and baron and the view of frankpledge was included in the sale of the manor in 1688. (fn. 579) A single, exceptional court roll of 1679 survives in an 18th-century copy; the principal business was copyhold conveyancing, along with a detailed survey of the manor. Agricultural officers included a hayward. (fn. 580) From the 18th century regulation of the parish's affairs was increasingly taken over by the vestry, a committee of which in 1745 included the lord of the manor, Thomas Stapleton. (fn. 581)

The western parts of the parish were held of the honor of Wallingford, and tenants surnamed Witheridge, Satwell, and Padnells, presumably Rotherfield men, were fined at Benson manor court in 1296–7. (fn. 582) The settlements of Highmoor, Satwell, and Witheridge Hill probably comprised the tithing of Padnells, part of the manor of Lewknor, which appeared before the honor courts of Wallingford in the 15th century. (fn. 583) Padnells remained a tithing of the honor of Ewelme (as successor to the honor of Wallingford) in the 18th and 19th century. (fn. 584)

Parish Government and Officers

Two churchwardens were recorded in 1530. (fn. 585) At a vestry meeting in 1749 one was nominated by the rector and the other by the parish; also elected were two overseers of the poor and two surveyors of highways, and a constable was mentioned. (fn. 586) Vestry minutes survive from 1745, when the main business was poor relief and provision of a workhouse. (fn. 587) That responsibility passed in 1834 to the new poor-law union, but until the 1894 Local Government Act the vestry remained responsible for repair of roads, maintenance of the church and school, appointment of parish officers, and the setting of rates. A rate of 1s. in the pound was levied for poor relief in 1836, 2d. in the pound for church repairs in 1840, and 4d. in the pound for the highways in 1858. (fn. 588) Vestry meetings were held usually in the parish church, but sometimes adjourned to pubs in Henley. (fn. 589)

From the 1850s the parish was divided into upper and lower ends, and individual overseers of the poor, surveyors of highways, and parish constables were given responsibility for one or the other. Poor-law guardians were mentioned in the 1850s, an assistant overseer of the poor was appointed in 1868, and a sexton in 1880. In 1863, following the creation of the separate ecclesiastical parishes of Henley Holy Trinity and Highmoor, the vestry decided to appoint only one churchwarden, but the decision was later reversed. Officers tended to be drawn from among the chief farmers and landowners of the parish: in the 1880s, for example, Sir Francis Stapleton served as churchwarden, while the guardians of the poor were the rector and the owner of Highmoor Hall. (fn. 590)

In 1894 Rotherfield Greys became part of the newly formed Henley Rural District, which appropriated many of the vestry's functions. (fn. 591) The vestry and (later) parochial church council continued to deal with church affairs, especially repairs and alterations. (fn. 592) A separate vestry and parochial church council was established at Highmoor presumably in 1860 at the parish's creation, although surviving minutes date only from 1947. (fn. 593) Under local government reorganization in 1974 the civil parishes of Rotherfield Greys and Highmoor became part of South Oxfordshire District. (fn. 594)


  • 1. This account was written in 2005–6 and revised in 2009–10.
  • 2. PN Oxon. I, 77–8; below, manors.
  • 3. ORO, tithe map; OS Map 1:10560, Oxon. LIII (1883 edn).
  • 4. Above, vol. intro. (local govt); below, manors; econ. hist. (agric. landscape).
  • 5. Cf. below, relig. hist.
  • 6. Above, Henley, bdies.
  • 7. R. Bradley, 'The South Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch and its Significance', Oxoniensia 33 (1968), 1–13; HER, PRN 8901.
  • 8. OS Area Bk (1879); ORO, tithe award (2,910 a.). Earlier 19th-cent. estimates were less accurate: Census, 1831–41 (3,460 a.).
  • 9. Census, 1901–11; above, Henley, bdies.
  • 10. Census, 1921–2001; OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn).
  • 11. Geol. Surv. Map 1:50000 (solid and drift), sheet 254 (1980 edn).
  • 12. Orr, Oxon. Agric. 173–5; below, econ. hist. (brickmaking).
  • 13. OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn); below, econ. hist. (meadow).
  • 14. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 18, 208; B. Read, Henley Rural: A History of Henley Rural District Council 1894–1932 (2003), 55–6.
  • 15. PN Oxon. I, 78.
  • 16. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, V, 71; below, econ. hist. (agric. landscape).
  • 17. Dugdale, Mon. V, 699; HER, PRN 11681.
  • 18. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, 396; Jones, 'Greys Court', III, 81; below, econ. hist. (parks).
  • 19. Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 20. Above, Bix (communics).
  • 21. R. T. Hermon-Hodge (Lord Wyfold), The Upper Thames Valley (1923), 29–34; above, Henley, communics (roads).
  • 22. OS Maps 1:10560, Oxon. LIII (1883 edn); 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn).
  • 23. Above, Henley, communics; devpt of town.
  • 24. HER, PRN 11384, 14025.
  • 25. PRO, C 202/128/2.
  • 26. Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 27. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1899 and later edns); ORO, P341/MS/1a–b.
  • 28. PO Dir. Oxon. (1847 and later edns); Dutton, Allen & Co.'s Dir. Oxon. (1863); Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); Kelly's Dir. Henley (1940 edn); A. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells (1999), 247–8; OS Map 1:25000, SU 78 (1960 edn).
  • 29. Above, Henley, communics.
  • 30. HER, PRN 2137, 2147, 9936, 12904, 14220; VCH Oxon. I, 341.
  • 31. HER, PRN 16964. For Grim's Ditch, Bradley, 'South Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch'.
  • 32. HER, PRN 2819.
  • 33. Ibid. 2025.
  • 34. PN Oxon. I, 78; above (landscape).
  • 35. Above, vol. intro. (settlement).
  • 36. Below, manors; relig. hist.
  • 37. VCH Oxon. I, 425; below, manors.
  • 38. VCH Oxon. I, 407; VIII, 100; PN Oxon. I, 78; M. Gelling, Place-Names in the Landscape (1984), 100–2; below, manors (other estates).
  • 39. PRO, C 134/26/10; ibid. E 179/161/8–10; below, econ. hist. (medieval tenants); for Badgemore, above, Henley, outlying settlement.
  • 40. Poll Taxes 1377–81, ed. Fenwick, II, 295; cf. E. Miller and J. Hatcher, Medieval England. Rural Society and Economic Change 1086–1348 (1978), 29.
  • 41. PRO, E 179/161/195; E 179/162/233; OxS, par. reg. transcript (based on decennial totals 1591–1800).
  • 42. Prot. Retns, 58; PRO, E 179/255/4, pt i, f. 126; Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 424; OxS, par. reg. transcript.
  • 43. Secker's Visit. 126; Census, 1801.
  • 44. Census, 1861–81; below, econ. hist. (woodland crafts).
  • 45. Census, 1891–2001.
  • 46. HER, PRN 2148 (S. Anthony, 'St Nicholas Church, Rotherfield Greys, Oxon.' (2003), 8–9); below, relig. hist.
  • 47. HER, PRN 11384, 14025.
  • 48. Cf. R. Morris, Churches in the Landscape (1989), 248–50, 268; J. Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (2005), 393.
  • 49. Below, relig. hist. Called Pindars, the house-name misspells the name of North Pinder (rector 1860–1901).
  • 50. ORO, tithe award and map; in 2006 the cottages belonged to Henley Housing Trust. Cf. ORO, SC 79, lot 25; ibid. E/299/D/2, lot 22; Bldgs List.
  • 51. ORO, QSD/V/1–2; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 449, f. 28.
  • 52. OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.12 (1878 edn); ORO, Brakspear III/iv/1, p. 25; ibid. E299/D/2.
  • 53. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 14; OS Maps 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.12 (1878 edn); Oxon. SU 7282 (1988 edn).
  • 54. OS Maps 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.12 (1878 edn); SU 7282 (1988 edn); ORO, Will. III/xiii/2a–c; below (built character).
  • 55. Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 56. ORO, MS Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 41, ff. 68, 75; ibid. tithe award and map, no. 235.
  • 57. Above (communics); below, social hist.
  • 58. ORO, S III/v/3; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1891 and later edns).
  • 59. OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. SU 7182 (1999 edn); Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1931 and later edns).
  • 60. 'Greys Green Conservation Area: A Character Study' (1997): copy in OxS; OS Maps 1:2500, SU 7282 (1988 edn); 1:2500, SU 7182 (1999 edn).
  • 61. PN Oxon. I, 79; OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn).
  • 62. PRO, E 179/161/201, m. 5d.; E 179/162/331, m. 16; Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289; Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 63. R. Gibson, 'Backus, Shepherd's Green' (HAHG Vernac. Bldgs Report 11, 1983); Bldgs List; ORO, MS Wills Oxon. 8/1/16.
  • 64. Sale Cat., Greys Court Est. (1922), lot 3: copy in ORO, MS dd Par. Bix b 4; OS Map 1:2500, SU 7183 (1988 edn); below (built character).
  • 65. ORO, Brakspear VII/7, 14, 16; OS Maps 1:25000, SU 78 (1960 edn); 1:2500, SU 7183 (1988 edn).
  • 66. ORO, S IV/5; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1891 and later edns).
  • 67. PN Berks. (EPNS), II, 529; PN Oxon. I, 79; Cal. Inq. p.m. XVII, pp. 312–13.
  • 68. ORO, tithe award and map.
  • 69. Below, manors (other estates).
  • 70. Stonor Map (1725); Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 71. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 3 (c); below, social hist. (poor relief).
  • 72. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 171; Dutton, Allen & Co.'s Dir. Oxon. (1863); PRO, RG 9/882, s.v. Clargo; RG 10/1273, s.v. Wilder; OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. SU 7083 (1988 edn).
  • 73. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1907 and later edns); OS Maps 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.11 (1913 edn); 1:2500, SU 7083 (1988 edn); below (built character).
  • 74. OS Map 1:25000, SU 78 (1960 edn).
  • 75. Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 76. Bryant, Oxon. Map (1824); ORO, tithe award and map; ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 29–30.
  • 77. OS Map 1:10560, Oxon. LIII (1883 edn); Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 176.
  • 78. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1857; below, relig. hist.
  • 79. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 49–50, 247–9; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns).
  • 80. ORO, Will. III/vii/1a–g; below (built character).
  • 81. ORO, MS dd Par. Highmoor c 2 (g); OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn).
  • 82. Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797).
  • 83. ORO, tithe award and map; R. Gibson, 'Highmoor Farm', HAHG Jnl (1984), 12–14; below, social hist.
  • 84. ORO, tithe award and map, nos. 35, 127; ibid. QSD/V/1–4; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 166–70; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); Sale Cat., Stonor Est. (1894), lot 29: copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 92; PRO, RG 13/1368.
  • 85. ORO, Henley RDC XVII/xvii/4–5; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 332, 387–90.
  • 86. Midgley, Ministers' Accts, I, 96; Rot. Hund. II, 752; below, local govt.
  • 87. PN Oxon. I, 78; Stonor Map (1725); Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767).
  • 88. ORO, tithe award and map.
  • 89. PRO, HO 107/874, s.v. Tovey; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.6 (1878 edn); below, social hist. (educ.).
  • 90. ORO, tithe award and map, nos. 78, 81; ibid. QSD/V/4; PRO, HO 107/1725; ibid. RG 9/882, s.v. Blackall.
  • 91. PRO, RG 10/1273, s.v. Page; RG 13/1368, s.v. Heath; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 250; below, econ. hist. (shops).
  • 92. OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn); Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 372–87.
  • 93. Above, vol. intro. (bldgs).
  • 94. J. W. R. Whitehand, 'Traditional Building Materials in the Chilterns: A Survey Based on Random Sampling', Oxoniensia 32 (1967), 1–9.
  • 95. Below, manors; relig. hist.
  • 96. Below, relig. hist.
  • 97. For Hernes, below, manors (other estates).
  • 98. R. Gibson, 'Rotherfield Greys, Lower Hernes', Vernac. Archit. 39 (2008), 138; below, manors (Greys Court).
  • 99. R. Gibson, 'Lower Hernes, Rotherfield Greys' (HAHG Vernac. Bldgs Rep. 20, 1984); Bldgs List.
  • 100. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. b 15, f. 36; c 332, f. 235; c 335, f. 199; below, social hist.
  • 101. Sale Cat., Greys Court Est. (1922): copy in ORO, MS dd Par. Bix b 4; above (settlement).
  • 102. J. H. Baker, School on the Ground Floor (3rd edn, 1969), 68–70; Sale Cat., Outlying Portions of Fleming Est. (1913): copy in OxS; below, social hist.
  • 103. ORO, Will. III/xiii/2; B. Read, Henley Rural District Council (2003), 70–4.
  • 104. ORO, Will. III/vii/1.
  • 105. Ibid. Henley RDC XVII/xvii/1–23; above (settlement).
  • 106. Above, Henley, devpt of town; bldgs.
  • 107. VCH Oxon. I, 425; above, vol. intro. (local govt); Henley, manors.
  • 108. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, mm. 1d.–2.
  • 109. Below (other estates).
  • 110. ORO, tithe award; below (other estates).
  • 111. VCH Oxon. I, 425.
  • 112. Ibid. 385, 407, 420, 425–6; Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 34–41; below (Greys Court).
  • 113. Book of Fees, II, 829, 834; Cal. Inq. p.m. III, p. 183; cf. VCH Oxon. XIII, 180.
  • 114. Cal. Inq. p.m. V, p. 194; XVII, p. 323; XIX, p. 229; Cal. Close 1405–9, 456.
  • 115. Book of Fees, II, 829, 834; Rot. Hund. II, 38; Cal. Inq. p.m. V, p. 194; Feud. Aids, IV, 176, 200.
  • 116. Cal. Inq. p.m. III, p. 183; X, 406; XIV, pp. 134–5; XVI, p. 222.
  • 117. Above, Henley, outlying estates. Grey family members had it from 1208.
  • 118. Misc. Gen. et Her. 5th ser. V, pp. 161–4.
  • 119. Ibid. 164; Eynsham Cart. I, p. 84.
  • 120. Eynsham Cart. I, pp. 84, 90; Misc. Gen. et Her. 5th ser. V, 164; Pipe R 1194 (PRS n.s. 5), 15–16; Pipe R 1195 (PRS n.s. 6), 44, 60; Chanc. R 1196 (PRS n.s. 7), 203.
  • 121. Cf. Farrer, Honors, III, 238; VCH Oxon. XIII, 180.
  • 122. Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 250–1; Cart. Worcester Cathedral Priory (PRS n.s. 38), pp. 121–2.
  • 123. Oxon. Fines, pp. 131–2.
  • 124. New DNB, XXIII, 467; Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 293; Rot. Hund. II, 38.
  • 125. Excerpta e Rot. Finium, II, 464–5; Cal. Inq. p.m. III, p. 183.
  • 126. Cal. Inq. p.m. V, p. 194; X, p. 406; Complete Peerage, VI, 145–7.
  • 127. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, pp. 204–5; Cal. Pat. 1307–13, 492.
  • 128. Cal. Inq. p.m. XIV, pp. 134–5; XVI, p. 222; Complete Peerage, VI, 147–9.
  • 129. Cal. Close 1399–1402, 247.
  • 130. Complete Peerage, VI, 150; Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 219; XXII, pp. 92, 227.
  • 131. Complete Peerage, IV, 127–9.
  • 132. PRO, C 139/159/34; Complete Peerage, IV, 127–8; cf. VCH Oxon. XI, 60.
  • 133. Complete Peerage, IV, 129; PRO, C 140/47/64.
  • 134. Cal. Pat. 1467–77, 421.
  • 135. Ibid. 1476–85, 62.
  • 136. Complete Peerage, VIII, 225.
  • 137. Cal. Pat. 1485–94, 64.
  • 138. Complete Peerage, II, 73; PRO, E 150/787/8.
  • 139. PRO, E 150/787/8; E 159/293, rot. 6d.; L&P Hen. VIII, I (2), p. 1329.
  • 140. L&P Hen. VIII, II (2), p. 1217.
  • 141. Ibid. IV (1), p. 231; XIII, p. 280; XV, p. 218; XX (2), pp. 412, 533; PRO, C 89/3/46.
  • 142. Complete Peerage, I, 400.
  • 143. New DNB, XXXI, 972; Complete Peerage, I, 401; Cal. SP Dom. 1629–31, 199; 1631–3, 53; HMC 4th Rep. 22.
  • 144. Hist. Parl. Commons 1660–90, II, 701–2.
  • 145. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3293.
  • 146. OxS, par. reg. transcript; Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3049, 3293; Cal. SP Dom. 1683, 47–8; 1684–5, 3, 225; Cal. Treas. Bks 1681–5, 1109.
  • 147. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3290, 3300.
  • 148. Ibid. MS Ch. Oxon. 3300.
  • 149. Ibid. MS Ch. Oxon. 3735; OAS Rep. (1888/9), 38.
  • 150. ORO, S III/ii/1; Hist. Parl. Commons 1715–54, II, 441–2.
  • 151. Hist. Parl. Commons 1754–90, III, 474.
  • 152. Complete Peerage, IV, 286.
  • 153. Complete Baronetage, IV, 112.
  • 154. Greys Court (National Trust, 2000), 6; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1935 and later edns). For the Flemings, below, Roth. Peppard, manors.
  • 155. Greys Court (National Trust, 1970), 4; OS Map 1:25000, sheet 171 (1999 edn).
  • 156. New DNB, s.v. Brunner.
  • 157. For other accounts, Jones, 'Greys Court' (on which much of following based); Pevsner, Oxon. 735–7; A. Emery, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales 1300–1500, III (2006), 104–7.
  • 158. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, V, 72.
  • 159. Hearth Tax Oxon. 14; PRO, PROB 4/10789; Cal. Cttee for Compounding, II, 996; Jones, 'Greys Court', II, 92–3.
  • 160. PRO, C 133/72/6.
  • 161. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, 396.
  • 162. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 42–52.
  • 163. Ibid. 34–41; IV, plan of medieval remains; Emery, Greater Medieval Houses, III, 105.
  • 164. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 53–7; Emery, Greater Medieval Houses, III, 105.
  • 165. Cal. Pat. 1345–8, 514; 1348–50, 36.
  • 166. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 58–81.
  • 167. Cal. Inq. p.m. XXII, p. 92.
  • 168. For felling dates of spring 1445, summer 1450, and winter 1450–1, B. Jones, 'Rotherfield Greys, Greys Court', Vernac. Archit. 35 (2004), 99.
  • 169. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 89–101; IV, plan of medieval remains. The range's southern part (Fig. 68 I) was partly remodelled in brick c. 1578: below.
  • 170. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 102–5.
  • 171. Ibid. II, 21–4.
  • 172. Possibly Elizabeth I, who may have visited Greys Court in 1574; dendrochronology suggests that it was built 1574–6, however. For similarities with a range of 1568 at Harpsden Court, above, Harpsden, manors.
  • 173. Jones, 'Greys Court', II, 25–38 (felling date winter 1573–4).
  • 174. Ibid. 39–55.
  • 175. Ibid. 58–81.
  • 176. Cal. Cttee for Compounding, II, 996; Hearth Tax Oxon. 14; Jones, 'Greys Court', II, 92–3.
  • 177. PRO, PROB 4/10789.
  • 178. Hearne's Collns, VII, 369.
  • 179. Jones, 'Greys Court', II, 93–5.
  • 180. Ibid. III, 12–19.
  • 181. Ibid. 20–6.
  • 182. Ibid. 41–6. For occupants 1781–1863, below, p. 291.
  • 183. Jones, 'Greys Court', II, 47–50; Pevsner, Oxon. 736.
  • 184. OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.11 (1878 edn).
  • 185. Jones, 'Greys Court', III, 62–7.
  • 186. Ibid. 70–4.
  • 187. E. and H. Brunner, Child of the Theatre (2010), 73, 78; F. F. Darling, 'Subverting the Hortus Conclusus: The Brunners at Greys Court, Oxfordshire' (Bristol Univ. MA thesis, 2005).
  • 188. Jones, 'Greys Court', III, 76–7.
  • 189. Ibid. 78–81.
  • 190. Dugdale, Mon. V, 699; Black Prince's Reg. IV, 30.
  • 191. Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 314; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, II, pp. 245–6.
  • 192. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, I, p. 441.
  • 193. Rot. Hund. II, 782.
  • 194. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, I, p. 441.
  • 195. PRO, C 142/93/6; ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 37–8.
  • 196. ORO, tithe award; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns).
  • 197. Sale Cat., Outlying Portions of Fleming Est. (1913), lot 16: copy in OxS; below, Roth. Peppard, manors.
  • 198. Cal. Inq. p.m. XVII, p. 312; Cal. Chart. 1341–1417, 349.
  • 199. Hist. Parl. Commons 1386–1421, III, 486–8; VCH Oxon. VIII, 9; ORO, Marmion III/i/1–2, 4; ibid. Bi. XI/i/4 and 6.
  • 200. BL, Add. Ch. 58526–9; below, econ. hist. (fming 1550–1800; fming in 19th and 20th cents.).
  • 201. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, 416; Abbrev. Rot. Orig. I, 280; PRO, C 143/169/8; cf. ibid. SC 2/197/60.
  • 202. Tax. Eccl. 45.
  • 203. Below, relig. hist.
  • 204. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3048, 3051, 3053, 3056, 3058–9, 3289, 3297, 3299–3301, 3303, 3734.
  • 205. Ibid. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3096, 3105, 3342, 3345, 3356, 3377, 4246–8, 4381–2; E.J. Climenson, History of Shiplake (1894), 305–6, 349.
  • 206. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3110–11, 3383; ibid. MSS Top. Oxon. b 166, ff. 47–8; c 114, ff. 222, 260–1; ORO, Brakspear X/1, pp. 63–5, 145–8; VCH Oxon. V, 127; Climenson, Hist. Shiplake, 349–50, 361; Hist. Parl. Commons 1790–1820, III, 96–7.
  • 207. Sale Cat., Crowsley Park Est. (1844): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 92*; ORO, Birch. V/1; ibid. Mercer III/vi/1–4; Burke's Landed Gentry (1921 edn), 1168; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 edn).
  • 208. Docs in priv. possession; Sale Cat., Gillott's Est. (1906): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 90; below, Roth. Peppard, manors (other estates).
  • 209. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, pp. 204–5; PRO, E 179/161/8–9.
  • 210. Cal. Inq. p.m. XVII, p. 473; XVIII, p. 178.
  • 211. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3267, 3276; below, econ. hist. (fming 1550–1800).
  • 212. BL, Add. Ch. 28976, 28981; Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3281, 3356; ibid. MS Top. Oxon. c 114, ff. 222, 260–1; below, econ. hist. (fming 1550–1800).
  • 213. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 81–2.
  • 214. Above, Henley, outlying estates.
  • 215. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3287.
  • 216. For the plan, OS Maps 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.16 (1878 and 1913 edns); SU 7481 (1989 edn).
  • 217. Above, Henley, econ. hist.; below (rural trades).
  • 218. Above, vol. intro. (20th-cent. transformation); below, social hist.
  • 219. VCH Oxon. I, 425.
  • 220. Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 219.
  • 221. PRO, C 134/26/10; Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, m. 4; ORO, incl. award and map; cf. D. Roden, 'Field Systems of the Chiltern Hills and their Environs', in A. R. H. Baker and R. A. Butlin (eds), Studies of Field Systems in the British Isles (1973), 328–33.
  • 222. Cal. Inq. p.m. XVIII, p. 178; above, manors (other estates).
  • 223. Rot. Hund. II, 782–3; cf. VCH Oxon. VII, 99; Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 77–82.
  • 224. P. G. Preece, 'Medieval Woods in the Oxfordshire Chilterns', Oxoniensia 55 (1990), 57.
  • 225. I. S. Leadam (ed.), Domesday of Inclosures (1897), I, 382; above, manors.
  • 226. Leadam (ed.), Domesday of Incls. I, 382; PRO, E 179/161/163, mm. 3–4; E 179/161/195, m. 4d.
  • 227. Briers, Boro. Recs. 223; ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 97–110.
  • 228. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, mm. 1, 2v.
  • 229. ORO, tithe award and map; ibid. incl. award and map.
  • 230. Stonor Map (1725); Jefferys, Oxon. Map (1767); Davis, Oxon. Map (1797); OS Maps 1:63360, sheet XIII (1830 edn); 1:10560, Oxon. LIII (1883 edn); ORO, tithe award and map.
  • 231. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 181–4.
  • 232. e.g. ORO, QSD/E/II/4; Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. c 114, f. 249v.
  • 233. Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. b 166, f. 78; OS Area Bk (1879); OS Map 1:2500, Oxon. LIII.12 (1878 edn).
  • 234. PRO, E 152/4/173; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, I, pp. 440–1.
  • 235. Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 250; Cal. Pat. 1281–92, 396.
  • 236. Dugdale, Mon. V, 699; HER, PRN 11681; above, manors (other estates).
  • 237. Cal. Chart. 1341–1417, 349.
  • 238. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, mm. 2–2d.
  • 239. Ibid. MS Ch. Oxon. 3103; ORO, Mor. XL/i/3a–b.
  • 240. Sale Cat., Crowsley Park Est. (1844): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 92*; Sale Cat., Gillott's Est. (1906): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 90.
  • 241. Berks RO, D/Est E8.
  • 242. e.g. John Perrin in 1795: Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. b 166, f. 99; cf. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 196.
  • 243. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 65–6.
  • 244. VCH Oxon. I, 425; Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 219; OS Map 1:10560, Oxon. LIII (1883 edn).
  • 245. Cal. Inq. p.m. XVIII, p. 178.
  • 246. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3299.
  • 247. Berks RO, D/Est T28; ORO, Clayton 1/27.
  • 248. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, f. 2v.
  • 249. ORO, tithe award and map.
  • 250. Ibid.
  • 251. Ibid. incl. award and map.
  • 252. VCH Oxon. I, 425; PRO, C 133/72/6; C 134/26/10; ibid. E 152/4/173; Cal. Inq. p.m. XXII, pp. 92, 227.
  • 253. PRO, E 150/790/4.
  • 254. Ibid. C 134/26/10; ibid. E 152/4/173.
  • 255. Ibid. C 133/72/6; C 134/26/10; ibid. E 152/4/173; Cal. Inq. p.m. XXII, pp. 92, 227.
  • 256. PRO, E 150/790/4.
  • 257. Leadam (ed.), Domesday of Incls. I, 382.
  • 258. Pipe R 1194 (PRS n.s. 5), 16; Pipe R 1195 (PRS n.s. 6), 44, 60; Chanc. R 1196 (PRS n.s. 7), 203.
  • 259. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, pp. 204–5.
  • 260. Above, Henley, econ. hist.
  • 261. PRO, C 134/26/10.
  • 262. Ibid. E 152/4/173; Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 219; Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 118.
  • 263. PRO, C 133/72/6; Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 122–6; Preece, 'Woods in the Oxon. Chilterns', 65–6.
  • 264. PRO, E 150/790/4; Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, m. 1d.
  • 265. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, pp. 204–5; below, social hist.
  • 266. Stonor Letters, II, p. 150.
  • 267. VCH Oxon. I, 425.
  • 268. PRO, C 133/72/6; above, par. intro. (popn).
  • 269. PRO, C 134/26/10; ibid. E 152/4/173.
  • 270. Ibid. C 134/26/10
  • 271. Ibid. E 179/161/8, m. 7d.; E 179/161/9, m. 12d.; above, manors (other estates).
  • 272. PRO, E 179/161/8, m. 7d.
  • 273. Ibid.; Cat. Ancient Deeds, I, C.770.
  • 274. Cal. Inq. p.m. XVIII, pp. 412–13.
  • 275. Rot. Hund. II, 782–3.
  • 276. Cal. Inq. p.m. XIX, p. 314.
  • 277. Ibid. XVIII, pp. 412–13.
  • 278. ORO, MS Wills Oxon. 179, ff. 14, 25.
  • 279. Ibid. 178, f. 20.
  • 280. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, m. 1; cf. Preece, 'Woods in the Oxon. Chilterns', 57.
  • 281. PRO, SC 2/197/60.
  • 282. Ibid. C 140/70/26; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, I, p. 176; II, pp. 245–6.
  • 283. Berks RO, D/Est T28.
  • 284. ORO, Clayton 1/27. The Greys Court estate included woodland in Bix and Henley when sold in 1922: Sale Cat., Greys Court Est. (1922): copy in ORO, MS dd Par. Bix b 4.
  • 285. Whitelocke Diary, 109; ORO, Clayton 1/27.
  • 286. Roden, 'Field Systems of the Chiltern Hills', 364; above (woodland); cf. above, Henley, agric.
  • 287. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3046, 3288. For another example, ORO, MS dd Oxon. Rotherfield Greys (1 Nov. 1658).
  • 288. ORO, S III/ii/1; above, manors.
  • 289. ORO, QSD/L/229.
  • 290. Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. c 114, ff. 260–1; above, manors (other estates).
  • 291. Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. b 166, ff. 47–8.
  • 292. Stonor Map (1725); ORO, QSD/E/II/4. For estate, above, manors (other estates).
  • 293. ORO, MS Wills Oxon. 185, ff. 13, 143, 186, 564.
  • 294. PRO, E 179/162/233, m. 2.
  • 295. Above par. intro. (bldgs); manors (other estates: Hernes); cf. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 139.
  • 296. Bldgs List; R. Gibson, 'New Farm, Rotherfield Greys' (HAHG Vernac. Bldgs Rep. 23, 1984).
  • 297. Above, manors (other estates: Hernes).
  • 298. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3276; BL, Add. Ch. 28976.
  • 299. Bodl. MSS Ch. Oxon. 3276, 3279, 3287, 3329.
  • 300. Ibid. MS Top. Oxon. b 166, ff. 47–47v., 59v., 77; ORO, QSD/L/229.
  • 301. ORO, Brakspear X/1, pp. 162–3.
  • 302. Ibid. MSS Wills Oxon. 178, f. 20; 185, f. 143; above, manors (other estates).
  • 303. PRO, C 10/24/25; ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 53–4.
  • 304. ORO, MS Wills Oxon. 132/2/22.
  • 305. Ibid. 31/3/21.
  • 306. BL, Add. Ch. 58526–9; docs in priv. possession.
  • 307. ORO, MS dd Cooper and Caldecott c 36 (15); ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7, pp. 53–4; ibid. tithe award and map.
  • 308. Ibid. MSS Wills Oxon. 133/3/37, 36/1/47.
  • 309. Ibid. QSD/L/229; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); above, manors (other estates).
  • 310. ORO, MSS Wills Oxon. 8/1/16, 12/3/23, 31/3/21, 115/2/25, 156/2/27.
  • 311. Ibid. 6/3/42; ibid. MS Wills Oxon. 204, f. 225.
  • 312. Ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 10, printed in E. Bartlett and A. Hillier, The People of Rotherfield Greys (2003–4), III, 14, 22, 24–5.
  • 313. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys e 7.
  • 314. Ibid. tithe award and map.
  • 315. Sale Cat., Stonor Est. (1894): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 92.
  • 316. ORO, DV IV/34, nos. 1697, 1713, 1791, 1800.
  • 317. Ibid. Brakspear X/1.
  • 318. PRO, HO 67/18; these figures may not be wholly reliable.
  • 319. ORO, tithe award.
  • 320. OS Area Bk (1879).
  • 321. PRO, MAF 68/255, 68/711, 68/1281; Orr, Oxon. Agric. 11, statistical plates.
  • 322. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 208–9; Orr, Oxon. Agric. 4–6, 8, statistical plates.
  • 323. ORO, E307/D/3; R. Gibson, 'Highmoor Farm', HAHG Jnl (1984), 15.
  • 324. PRO, MAF 32/917/139.
  • 325. A. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells (1999), 209–10; Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 209.
  • 326. PRO, MAF 68/5189, 68/6123.
  • 327. ORO, MS dd Cooper and Caldecott c 43 (15); ibid. Mor. XL/i/1–8; ibid. MSS Wills Oxon. 53/1/22, 304/1/9, 304/1/38.
  • 328. PO Dir. Oxon. (1877); Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); information from Sir Hugo Brunner.
  • 329. ORO, MSS Wills Oxon. 8/1/16, 5/3/53, 74/4/20; ibid. MS dd Cooper and Caldecott c 50 (2–10); ibid. Cu. I/i/1–6, II/1; ibid. Cal. QS, I, p. 129.
  • 330. PRO, HO 107/874; HO 107/1725; ORO, P341/MS/1a–b.
  • 331. PRO, HO 107/1725; above, Henley, econ. hist.
  • 332. Rot. Litt. Claus. I, 204; below, Roth. Peppard, econ. hist. (milling).
  • 333. Above, Henley, outlying settlement.
  • 334. J. Bond et al., Oxon. Brickmakers (1980), 12–13; above, manors (Greys Court). In 1679 'lime kiln house' lay in 'Brickfield': Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289, m. 1d.
  • 335. Bond et al., Oxon. Brickmakers, 13; ORO, MS dd Cooper and Caldecott c 35 (13–16); ibid. MSS Wills Oxon. 59/4/32, 149/2/9.
  • 336. Above, vol. intro. (landscape).
  • 337. PRO, HO 107/874; HO 107/1725.
  • 338. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 185–90; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 198–207; PRO, RG 9/882; RG 10/1273; RG 11/1491; RG 12/1157; RG 13/1368; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); L. Williamson, 'The Lost Tent-peggers who Made Millions', The Countryman, 90 (1985), 33–8.
  • 339. ORO, Brakspear X/1, p. 11; ibid. MS Wills Oxon. 2/5/8.
  • 340. PRO, HO 107/874.
  • 341. PRO, RG 10/1273, s.v. Page; RG 13/1368, s.v. Heath; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 250.
  • 342. Kelly's Dir. Henley (1940 and later edns).
  • 343. PRO, RG 10/1273; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1891); ORO, P341/MS/1a–b.
  • 344. E. May, Chatter from a Council Cottage (1923), 8, 21.
  • 345. Information from Sir Hugo Brunner.
  • 346. Secker's Visit. 126.
  • 347. Below, relig. hist.; local govt.
  • 348. ORO, tithe award and map; PRO, HO 107/1725.
  • 349. ORO, incl. award and map.
  • 350. Above, econ. hist. (agric. landscape).
  • 351. ORO, tithe award and map.
  • 352. Burn, Henley, 18.
  • 353. Below (poor relief); Roth. Peppard, social hist. (poor relief).
  • 354. Below, relig. hist.
  • 355. Above, Henley, relig. hist.
  • 356. Secker's Visit. 126.
  • 357. ORO, QSD/V/3; ibid. Brakspear III/iv/1. In the 1790s: Plough, Blue Blacksmith, Wheatsheaf, Horseshoes, Brickmakers Arms; 1890s: Anchor, Gas Tap, Lion, Royal Oak, Black Horse, Saracens Head, Oddfellows Arms.
  • 358. ORO, P341/MS/1a–b.
  • 359. PRO, C 134/26/10; above, econ. hist. (med. tenants).
  • 360. Above, par. intro. (settlement).
  • 361. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); above (settlement); econ. hist. (shops).
  • 362. Wilb. Visit. 122; ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 571, f. 61; d 573, f. 63; below, relig. hist.
  • 363. ORO, tithe award and map; Sale Cat., Stonor Est. (1894): copy in Bodl. GA Oxon. b 92; below (resident lords and gentry).
  • 364. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2; below, local govt.
  • 365. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys b 9; Census, 1821.
  • 366. Secker's Visit. 126–7; Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 368; Wilb. Visit. 122.
  • 367. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 332, ff. 234–5.
  • 368. Ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 14; below (poor relief).
  • 369. Hepple and Doggett, Chilterns, 212–21; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1920 and later edns); above, par. intro. (settlement; built character).
  • 370. E. Brunner et al., 125 Years of Cricket on the Green (1998), 8; Census, 2001; above, vol. intro. (20th-cent. transformation).
  • 371. Above, manors (Greys Court).
  • 372. Cart. Worcester Cathedral Priory (PRS n.s. 38), pp. 121–2; Reg. W. de Gray (Surtees Soc. 56), 14, 72–3, 77, 86, 119, 201, 252, 274; below, relig. hist.
  • 373. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, 396.
  • 374. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, pp. 204–5.
  • 375. Ibid. XVI, p. 222; XVIII, pp. 412–13; Pevsner, Oxon. 734; BL, Add. MS 32478, no. 19.
  • 376. Above, econ. hist. (medieval demesne); below, local govt.
  • 377. New DNB, XXI, 960–5, 971–3; above, manors.
  • 378. PRO, E 179/161/163, mm. 3–4; E 179/162/233, m. 2; E 179/255/4, pt. i, f. 126.
  • 379. Above, manors (Greys Court); below, relig. hist.
  • 380. Above, econ. hist. (agric. landscape).
  • 381. Royalist Ordnance Papers, II (ORS 49, 1975), 368, 507–8; Jnl of Sir Samuel Luke, III (ORS 33, 1953), 218.
  • 382. Cal. Cttee for Compounding, II, 996.
  • 383. Above, manors.
  • 384. PRO, PROB 4/10789.
  • 385. Hist. Parl. Commons 1715–54, II, 441–2.
  • 386. Jones, 'Greys Court', III, 12–19; above, manors (Greys Court).
  • 387. Bodl. MS Don. c 90, p. 409; cf. New DNB, s.v. Dashwood.
  • 388. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 2202, no. 43; below (educ.).
  • 389. PRO, HO 107/1725, s.v. Stapleton.
  • 390. Jones, 'Greys Court', III, 8–9; OxS, par. reg. transcript.
  • 391. ORO, MSS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2; c 14; below (poor relief).
  • 392. ORO, P341/MS/1a–b.
  • 393. Greys Court (National Trust, 2000), 4–5, 13; ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 14; E. and H. Brunner, Child of the Theatre (2010), 78.
  • 394. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1; information from Sir Hugo Brunner.
  • 395. Below, relig. hist.
  • 396. Stonor Map (1725); ORO, Cu. I/i–vii; ibid. tithe award; A. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells (1999), 295–302.
  • 397. ORO, Cu. I/vii/2; Pevsner, Oxon. 649; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 296, 298; Sale Cat., Highmoor Hall (1909): copy at NMR; The Times 28 Apr. 1938 (sale notice).
  • 398. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 295–6; Evans, Ch. Plate Oxon. 86.
  • 399. J. H. Baker, School on the Ground Floor (3rd edn, 1969), 74–5.
  • 400. Evans, Ch. Plate Oxon. 148; for estate, above, manors.
  • 401. ORO, MSS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2; c 14.
  • 402. Below (educ.); relig. hist.
  • 403. Below, Roth. Peppard, social hist.
  • 404. Baker, School on the Ground Floor, 74.
  • 405. Brunner, Cricket on the Green, 15; local information.
  • 406. Brunner, Cricket on the Green, 10; Baker, School on the Ground Floor, 50–1; PRO, MAF 32/917/139. In the mid 20th cent. there was also a cricket pitch and pavilion at Greys Court: information from Sir Hugo Brunner.
  • 407. New DNB, s.v. Brunner; E. and H. Brunner, Child of the Theatre (2010), 72–3, 79, 82.
  • 408. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 332, f. 235; c 335, f. 199; Baker, School on the Ground Floor, 48, 125; J. H. Baker, The Story of the Chiltern Heathlands (1932), 78–9.
  • 409. Above, intro. (settlement).
  • 410. Secker's Visit. 127.
  • 411. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 327, f. 33.
  • 412. Ibid. b 15, f. 36; c 327, f. 222; d 567, f. 73; d 571, f. 63; d 573, f. 61.
  • 413. Ibid. c 433, f. 164.
  • 414. Educ. of Poor Digest (Parl. Papers 1819 (224), ix), II, p. 728.
  • 415. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 327, f. 33; c 433, f. 164; d 569, f. 61.
  • 416. Educ. Enq. Abstract (Parl. Papers 1835 (62), xlii), p. 753.
  • 417. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. d 577, f. 64; Educ. of Poor Digest (Parl. Papers 1819 (224), ix), II, p. 728.
  • 418. Educ. Enq. Abstract (Parl. Papers 1835 (62), xlii), p. 753; above, Henley, social hist. (educ.).
  • 419. ORO, Mor. XL/iii/1b; ibid. Macc. House, no. 169; Educ. Enq. Abstract (Parl. Papers 1835 (62), xlii), 753; Gardner's Dir. Oxon. (1852).
  • 420. ORO, T/SD 2a; ibid. Mor. XL/iii/1b–e; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. b 199; ibid. Macc. House, no. 169.
  • 421. Ibid. Mor. XL/i/10–11; Mor. XL/ii/4.
  • 422. Ibid. T/SD 2a; ibid. Mor. XL/iii/1b; ibid. Macc. House, no. 169.
  • 423. Ibid. Mor. XL/iii/1b; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 332, ff. 366–7.
  • 424. Ibid. MSS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2 (25 Mar. 1872); c 14.
  • 425. Public Elem. Sch. Return (Parl. Papers 1890 (403), lvi), pp. 214–15.
  • 426. ORO, T/SD 2b–d; ibid. Macc. House, no. 169.
  • 427. Schs. in Receipt of Parl. Grants 1899–1900 (Parl. Papers 1900 [Cd 332], lxiv), p. 200.
  • 428. ORO, Macc. House, no. 169.
  • 429. Ibid.; ibid. T/SL 79/3, pp. 411–12; below, Roth. Peppard, social hist. (educ.).
  • 430. PRO, HO 107/874.
  • 431. Ibid. HO 107/1725; Gardner's Dir. Oxon. (1852).
  • 432. PRO, RG 9/882; Baker, School on the Ground Floor, 127; Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 118.
  • 433. Wilb. Visit. 122.
  • 434. ORO, Macc. House, no. 170.
  • 435. Ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 332, ff. 234–5; Return of Income and Expenditure for Pub. Elem. Schs. 1875–6 (Parl. Papers 1877 [C 1882], lxvii) pp. 214–15; Pub. Elem. Sch. Return (Parl. Papers 1890 (403), lvi), pp. 214–15.
  • 436. Schs. in Receipt of Parl. Grants 1899–1900 (Parl. Papers 1900 [Cd 332], lxiv), p. 200.
  • 437. ORO, Macc. House, no. 170.
  • 438. Ibid.; below, Roth. Peppard, social hist. (educ.).
  • 439. ORO, MS dd Par. Highmoor c 1, pp. 12, 55.
  • 440. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells, 149.
  • 441. 4th Rep. Com. Char. (1820), 218; Secker's Visit. 127; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 327, f. 33.
  • 442. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 11, printed in People of Rotherfield Greys, II, 28–9; 4th Rep. Com. Char. 218; Char. Don. 974–5; Secker's Visit. 127.
  • 443. Poor Abstract, 1777, p. 436; ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys b 9.
  • 444. Poor Abstract, 1787, p. 654.
  • 445. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 11, printed in People of Rotherfield Greys, II, 29.
  • 446. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 3; Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. c 114, ff. 231–45.
  • 447. OxS, par. reg. transcript.
  • 448. Cf. K. Wrightson, Earthly Necessities (2000), 324–5.
  • 449. Poor Abstract, 1804, pp. 398–9; Census, 1801.
  • 450. Poor Abstract, 1818, pp. 352–3.
  • 451. Poor Rate Rtns (Parl. Papers 1822 (556), v), p. 135; (1825 (334), iv), p. 170; (1830–1 (83), xi), p. 158; (1835 (444), xlvii), p. 153.
  • 452. ORO, PLU4/RL/1.
  • 453. Ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys d 2.
  • 454. Ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 2202, no. 43; ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 14; 4th Rep. Com. Char. 218.
  • 455. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 14.
  • 456. Ibid. c 2.
  • 457. Pevsner, Oxon. 734; below (ch. archit.).
  • 458. HER, PRN 2148 (S. Anthony, 'St Nicholas Church, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire' (2003), 8–9); above, par. intro, (settlement).
  • 459. Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 368; Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. a 29, f. 162; New DNB, XXIII, 467.
  • 460. Cart. Worcester Cathedral Priory (PRS n.s. 38), pp. 121–2.
  • 461. K. Tiller (ed.), Benson: A Village Through its History (1999), 29, 48–51; above, par. intro. (par. bdies).
  • 462. Jones, 'Greys Court', I, 39, 51.
  • 463. Cal. Inq. p.m. VI, p. 204; XVIII, pp. 412–13; Pevsner, Oxon. 734.
  • 464. Priv. corresp. 8 Jan. 1955.
  • 465. Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 367; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); above, Henley, relig. hist.
  • 466. Lond. Gaz. Index 1830–83, 817, 1445.
  • 467. For Holy Trin., above, Henley, relig. hist.; for Highmoor, ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1857; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns); below (pastoral care).
  • 468. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (1998/9), 170, 395, 462–3; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1906/2.
  • 469. Privy Council Order, 27 Feb. 2003; Oxf. Dioc. Year Book (2005), 77; below, Roth. Peppard, relig. hist.
  • 470. Reg. W. de Gray (Surtees Soc. 56), 251; Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 293; Oxon. Fines, pp. 131–2.
  • 471. Rot. Grosseteste (LRS 11), 470.
  • 472. Cal. Pat. 1313–17, 555; 1317–21, 143, 414; 1391–6, 313.
  • 473. Title to the Manor and Advowson of Rotherfield Greys (1810), 4: copy in BL; LJ, VII, 700; HMC 6th Rep. 84.
  • 474. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 264, f. 149v.; d 106, f. 110v.
  • 475. Title to Manor and Advowson, 5; above, manors.
  • 476. Title to Manor and Advowson, 2, 5; C. Hopkins, Trinity: 450 Years of an Oxford College Community (2005), 190.
  • 477. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (2004/5), 1062.
  • 478. Lunt (ed.), Val. Norw. 304; Tax. Eccl. 30; Nonarum Inquisitiones, 136; Feudal Aids, VI, 372.
  • 479. Subsidy 1526, 250; Valor Eccl. II, 166.
  • 480. Archdeacon's Ct. II (ORS 24), 131, 139, 147, 153 etc.; for Stonor (d. 1625), VCH Oxon. VIII, 155.
  • 481. ORO, tithe award and map; ibid. MS Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 41, ff. 65–6, 68, 70, 72, 74–6; ibid. MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 449, ff. 28–9; c 2202, no. 43.
  • 482. Ibid. tithe award; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 449, f. 28; above, Henley, relig. hist.
  • 483. ORO, incl. award.
  • 484. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1895), 263.
  • 485. Ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1–2; ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys b 12.
  • 486. Ibid. MS Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 41, ff. 65–6, 68, 70, 72, 74–6.
  • 487. Bldgs List; ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 327, f. 33; c 449, f. 28.
  • 488. ORO, MS Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 96, f. 108; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/2.
  • 489. Ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys b 12; ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/2; local information.
  • 490. Above, Henley, relig. hist.; cf. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 746, ff. 201–204v.; c 2201, no. 7; Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 367.
  • 491. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1857.
  • 492. Ibid. MS dd Par. Highmoor c 2 (g).
  • 493. Ibid. c 1, pp. 7–8, 53, 130.
  • 494. For the Mashams or Massams, above, Henley, manors; social hist.
  • 495. Reg. Sutton, IV (LRS 52), 76–7.
  • 496. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, 313.
  • 497. Oldfield, 'Clerus Oxf. Dioc.'; Pearce, 'Clergy', 131; Subsidy 1526, 250; Visit. Dioc. Linc. II, 67.
  • 498. Cal. Pat. 1367–70, 81.
  • 499. Reg. Burghersh, II (LRS 90), 78, 94.
  • 500. Lincs. RO, Reg. Russell, f. 232v.; Subsidy 1526, 250.
  • 501. Emden, OU Reg. to 1500, I, 202.
  • 502. Subsidy 1526, 250.
  • 503. Visit. Dioc. Linc. II, 67.
  • 504. ORO, MSS Wills Oxon. 178, f. 163; 179, ff. 14, 25, 205.
  • 505. Chant. Cert. 95, 114.
  • 506. ORO, MS Wills Oxon. 181, ff. 115, 159.
  • 507. Ch. Bells Oxon. IV, p. 363.
  • 508. Recusant Rolls 1581–96 (Catholic Rec. Soc. 18, 57, 61, 71).
  • 509. PRO, E 179/162/233, m. 2; Pearce, 'Clergy', 131.
  • 510. Pearce, 'Clergy', 131.
  • 511. Ibid. 131–2.
  • 512. Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, I, 75; above, social hist. (poor relief).
  • 513. OxS, par. reg. transcript.
  • 514. Ch. Bells Oxon. IV, p. 363; Evans, Ch. Plate Oxon. 148; above, manors (other estates).
  • 515. H. E. Salter, 'Recusants in Oxfordshire 1603–33', OAS Rep. (1924), 29, 42.
  • 516. VCH Oxon. VIII, 174–5.
  • 517. W. O. Hassall, 'Papists in Early 18th-Century Oxfordshire', Oxoniensia 13 (1948), 81.
  • 518. OxS, par. reg. transcript; below (ch. archit.).
  • 519. Above, Henley, relig. hist.
  • 520. Secker's Visit. 126.
  • 521. S. Gibson, 'Francis Wise, B.D.: Oxford Antiquary, Librarian and Archivist', Oxoniensia 1 (1936), 182.
  • 522. Secker's Visit. 126–7; ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 556, f. 203; d 560, f. 9; d 563, f. 9; d 565, f. 101; b 15, f. 36.
  • 523. Secker's Visit. 126–7.
  • 524. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. b 15, f. 36.
  • 525. Ibid. d 569, f. 61.
  • 526. Secker's Visit. 126.
  • 527. E. S. Worrall (ed.), Return of Papists 1767 (Cath. Rec. Soc. Occas. Publ. 2, 1989), II, 117; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. d 560, f. 9.
  • 528. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. d 581, f. 54.
  • 529. Secker's Visit. 126.
  • 530. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. c 644, f. 35; d 571, f. 63; d 573, f. 61.
  • 531. Secker's Visit. 126; ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 573, f. 61; d 581, f. 54.
  • 532. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 644, ff. 226, 238.
  • 533. Ibid. c 332, ff. 234–5, 366–7; for Stoke Row, Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 421.
  • 534. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. d 569, f. 61.
  • 535. Ibid. b 39, f. 226.
  • 536. Wilb. Visit. 122; above, social hist. (social character).
  • 537. C. Hopkins, Trinity (2005), 227.
  • 538. Wilb. Visit. 122; ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 179, f. 330v.; d 180, f. 962v.
  • 539. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1857; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns).
  • 540. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. d 180, f. 963.
  • 541. Ibid. c 335, f. 325v.; c 365, f. 339v.
  • 542. Ibid. c 1987/1; ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2.
  • 543. Ibid. MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1.
  • 544. Ibid. MS dd Par. Highmoor c 1, p. 7.
  • 545. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (1998/9), 395, 462–3.
  • 546. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1; Crockford's Clerical Dir. (2004/5), 120.
  • 547. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (2004/5), 31, 1062.
  • 548. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. 1987/1.
  • 549. For creation of parish, above (par. organization); for Holy Trinity, above, Henley, relig. hist.
  • 550. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (1890), 770.
  • 551. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1895 edn); ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 347, f. 220.
  • 552. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 180, f. 583v.; c 335, f. 198v.; c 365, f. 206v.; c 368, f. 199v.
  • 553. Ibid. c 332, ff. 234–5; c 341, ff. 230–1.
  • 554. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (1940), 668; ibid. (1951/2), 959.
  • 555. A. Spencer-Harper, Dipping into the Wells (1999), 63–4. For a less complimentary account of Hughes, J. H. Baker, School on the Ground Floor (3rd edn, 1969), 75–82.
  • 556. ORO, MS dd Par. Highmoor c 1, p. 50.
  • 557. Ibid. pp. 60, 69, 101, 110, 128, 132, 143.
  • 558. Crockford's Clerical Dir. (2004/5), 191; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1906/2.
  • 559. Evans, Ch. Plate Oxon. 86.
  • 560. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 332, ff. 234–5.
  • 561. Ibid. c 1857; c 362, f. 212; c 365, f. 207.
  • 562. For other accounts, Pevsner, Oxon. 734–5; J. Sherwood, Guide to Churches of Oxon. (1989), 161; illust. before restoration in Bodl. MSS Top. Oxon. a 68, f. 428; c 112, f. 115; after restoration, ibid. c 521, p. 41; c 852, f. 48v.
  • 563. J. H. Parker, Ecclesiastical and Archit. Topog. of England: Oxon. (1850), no. 166.
  • 564. OxS, par. reg. transcript; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1.
  • 565. E. A. Greening Lamborn, Armorial Glass of Oxf. Dioc. (1949), 148–52; ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1.
  • 566. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1; information from Sir Hugo Brunner.
  • 567. OAS, Rep. (1888/9), 37.
  • 568. ORO, MSS Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 96, ff. 68, 71, 108, 118; d 13/3, f. 56.
  • 569. HER, PRN 2148 (S. Anthony, 'St Nicholas Church, Rotherfield Greys, Oxon.' (2003), 2). In 1855 the church was said to be 85½ feet long; a plan of 1937 gives a measurement of 93 ft: ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 2202, no. 43; ibid. MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 4.
  • 570. OxS, par. reg. transcript; Incorporated Ch. Bldg Soc. 06336: (accessed Apr. 2009).
  • 571. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1987/1.
  • 572. Rotherfield Greys Church Guide.
  • 573. ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 748, f. 218v. For 19th-cent. illustrations, Bodl. MSS Top. Oxon. c 521, p. 38; c 852, f. 46.
  • 574. Incorp. Ch. Bldg Soc. 05376: (accessed Apr. 2009).
  • 575. Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 251; Rot. Hund. II, 33; Plac. de Quo Warr. 664.
  • 576. PRO, C 133/72/6; C 134/26/10; ibid. E 152/4/173.
  • 577. Ibid. SC 2/197/60.
  • 578. Poll Taxes 1377–81, ed. Fenwick, II, 311.
  • 579. ORO, S III/ii/1.
  • 580. Bodl. MS Ch. Oxon. 3289.
  • 581. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 3.
  • 582. Midgley, Ministers' Accts, I, 96, 102–3, 108–9.
  • 583. PRO, SC 2/212/4; 7; 12.
  • 584. ORO, CH/E VII.
  • 585. Visit. Dioc. Linc. II, 67.
  • 586. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys b 9, printed in People of Rotherfield Greys, I, 4.
  • 587. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 3; above, social hist. (poor relief).
  • 588. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2.
  • 589. Ibid. c 3.
  • 590. Ibid. c 2.
  • 591. Youngs, Admin. Units, I, 404.
  • 592. ORO, MS dd Par. Rotherfield Greys c 2.
  • 593. Ibid. MS dd Par. Highmoor c 1.
  • 594. Census, 1981.