Preston upon the Weald Moors: Manor

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.

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'Preston upon the Weald Moors: Manor', in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) pp. 177-178. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


Before the Conquest Burrer held PRESTON. In 1086 Ralph de Mortimer held it of Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, the tenant in chief. (fn. 1) Mortimer soon lost it, possibly by forfeiture for rebellion in 1088. (fn. 2) Earl Roger's son, Robert of Bellême, forfeited the family interest by rebellion in 1102. Probably from c. 1100 or soon after, Preston formed part of the fee of Hodnet, under which it was listed in 1284 (or 1285) and 1292. (fn. 3) The Ludlow family acquired Hodnet in the early 14th century, and in 1381 and 1391 Preston was listed as one of their manors. The Vernons succeeded the Ludlows at Hodnet (fn. 4) and in the early 18th century a chief rent of 6d. was paid for Kinley to 'Madam' Vernon. (fn. 5) From c. 1884 to c. 1903 Algernon Heber-Percy of Hodnet attempted, unsuccessfully, to reintroduce lapsed manorial rights. (fn. 6)

Pain of Preston was lord in the period 1187-9. In the early 13th century the manor passed to his four coheirs: Agnes, wife of William of Preston and later of Roger of Preston; (fn. 7) Sabin, wife of William of Horton, who, like her sister, was also later married to a Roger of Preston; Margery, wife of Thomas Rabas; and Sibyl of Preston.

By 1256 Henry and Sibyl of Lee had acquired Thomas Rabas's quarter from him; that year Robert of Ford sued them for it. In 1258 Thomas Rabas was allowed to retain possession of the quarter for life but with remainder to Robert and his heirs. Robert was lord in 1277. In 1292 Richard of Ford, presumably Robert's heir, was one of the four coparceners, with Pain of Preston (fl. 1296-1320), William of Preston (fl. 1304), and William of Horton. The last named was presumably a descendant of the early 13th-century William of Horton, and the recurrence of the surname Preston makes it possible that the other two quarters also remained in the same families between the early 13th century and 1292: Adam and Ralph of Preston probably held quarters in 1277. In 1336 the coparceners of the manor - to judge from their exercise of the patronage of the church (fn. 8) - were Richard of Preston, Richard of Horton (presumably William of Horton's heir), Thomas Steventon, and Hugh of the Heath (fn. 9) in right of his wife. (fn. 10)

Richard of Horton's quarter of the manor was held by him or another of the same name in 1336, 1345, 1350, 1369, and 1370. Philip of Horton had succeeded by 1382 and Richard Horton by 1402; (fn. 11) Philip, and after him Richard, are very probably to be identified with the contemporary owners of Dothill. (fn. 12) The subsequent succession is uncertain, but it appears that by 1481 the quarter was divided between Joan (née Horton), the wife of Reynold Sowdeley, her nephew William Titley, and her grandnephew William Steventon (II); all were descended from the Richard of Horton seised in Edward III's reign. By 1554 two separate thirds of this quarter were in the hands of Richard Sowdeley and William Charlton; the remaining third had evidently been subdivided between John Steventon and Francis Charlton, owners of quarters of the manor. The quarter was perhaps reunited in the Sowdeleys' hands later in the 16th century when it seems to have belonged to a John Sowdeley. (fn. 13) Its further descent is again uncertain but in 1614 it was in the hands of Sir Vincent Corbet, (fn. 14) who sold it in 1620 to Sir Philip Eyton. (fn. 15) Sir Philip thus probably became lord of a moiety of the manor, (fn. 16) though only briefly: later that year he exchanged the newly acquired quarter with Francis Charlton for property in Horton's wood. (fn. 17) Thereafter, presumably, it descended with another quarter that Charlton already held.

In 1336 Thomas Steventon held a quarter. Walter Steventon held it in 1345 and 1370. In 1382 Richard of Wrenbury was holding it, but from 1402 it was again held by the Steventons. Walter Steventon was lord in 1402 and 1428 (fn. 18) and William Steventon (II) was lord of the quarter in 1481, when he also held a third share in another quarter; (fn. 19) he was alive in 1507. The quarter then seems to have descended with Dothill until 1659, (fn. 20) for Richard Steventon, who died that year, left it to his cousin Thomas Newport (fn. 21) (cr. Baron Torrington 1716, d. 1719), (fn. 22) who in turn left his property in Preston to Preston hospital. (fn. 23) In the 1660s Preston Hall was the capital messuage of the quarter. Standing close to the church the Hall was rebuilt in brick in the 18th century. (fn. 24)

The quarter of the manor held in 1336 by Hugh of the Heath was still in his possession in 1353, when he and his daughter Gillian sold the reversion to Sir Alan of Charlton (fn. 25) (d. 1360). (fn. 26) Thereafter the quarter descended with Apley. (fn. 27) Its capital messuage, in Kinley, was mentioned in 1381. (fn. 28) In 1676 Kinley Hall farm consisted of a house of 3 bays, barning of 3 little bays, and 78 a. of land. Mention of the moat yard, apparently next to the house, suggests that the medieval messuage had been moated. (fn. 29) The modern Kinley Farm was built on the site c. 1820 and the farm was bought c. 1927 by the tenant Harry Sankey. (fn. 30)

Richard of Preston and his wife Margaret had acquired their quarter of the manor from Richard's father William of Preston in 1332. (fn. 31) Richard of Preston died between 1345 and 1350, when his widow Margaret held it. The quarter eventually passed to the Eytons of Eyton upon the Weald Moors who owned a quarter in 1659. William Cotton, who acted as a joint patron of the living in 1382 and 1402 probably then had an interest in the quarter. (fn. 32) In 1659, soon after the death of Sir Thomas Eyton, his widow Margaret and their son Philip sold it to Edmund Waring of Humphreston, the sheriff, who in 1674 settled it on his son Richard at his marriage. On Richard's death the quarter was apparently divided between his sisters Elizabeth Colemore and Hannah, wife of George Ashby, who sold his property in Preston to Richard Higgins of Wappenshall in 1719. In 1731 Elizabeth Colemore and Richard Higgins sold their property to Preston hospital. (fn. 33) The hospital sold Hoo Hall farm c. 1953 and it was later bought by Telford development corporation. (fn. 34)

The capital messuage of the quarter is identifiable from 1612, when it was called 'le Howghe Hall'. (fn. 35) In the Middle Ages it was probably moated, and had two fishponds to the east. In 1981 Hoo Hall had a late 16th-century hall range, running east-west, with a cross wing projecting northwards beyond its east end. The hall range, of three bays in 1981, formerly extended farther west beyond a closed truss and is unequally divided by a large brick chimney stack, probably late 17th-century and contemporary with the first stage of replacing the timber walls by brickwork. The cross wing retains exposed timber framing in its upper storey. The rest of its walls and those of the south side of the hall were renewed in, or encased by, brick in the 19th century. The interior contains late 16th- or early 17th-century panelling, not all in situ; some late 16th-century plasterwork in the main upper room of the cross wing; a rearranged late 17th-century staircase with turned balusters; and two moulded stone fireplaces, one surmounted by the arms of Eyton quartering Pantulf in plaster. A farm range lay to the north-east.


  • 1. V.C.H. Salop. i. 331; iii. 10.
  • 2. Eyton, viii. 255, 257.
  • 3. Feud. Aids, iv. 221; Eyton, viii. 260.
  • 4. Eyton, ix. 333; Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, pp. 135-6; xvi, pp. 407-8; Cal. Close, 1389-92, 238; S.P.R. Lich. xi (2), p. iv.
  • 5. S.R.O. 625, box 11, acct. of charges on est. of St. John Charlton.
  • 6. S.R.O. 3887, box 60, letters to G. G. Warren.
  • 7. Rog. was possibly the younger bro. of Baldwin of Hodnet (d. 1224). For this para. see Eyton, viii. 39, 258.
  • 8. The exercise of patronage has been used to elucidate the following manorial descent.
  • 9. Eyton, ii. 316-17; viii. 259-61; S.R.O. 972, box 220, deed of 1277.
  • 10. K. C Newton, Medieval Local Records (Hist. Assoc. 1971), 14-15.
  • 11. Eyton, viii. 261; L.J.R.O., B/A/1/9, f. 99v.
  • 12. Below, Wellington, Man. and Other Est.
  • 13. Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls, ed. G. Wrottesley (1905), 456-7; S.R.O. 665/1/257; L.J.R.O., B/A/1/15, f. 6v.
  • 14. S.R.O. 322, box 2, survey of Salop. est. of Sir V. Corbet.
  • 15. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/344/18 Jas. I Hil. [no. 7].
  • 16. Below.
  • 17. S.R.O. 665/1/257-8; below, Hadley, Man. and Other Est.
  • 18. Eyton, viii. 261; Salop. Peace Roll, 1400-14, ed. E. G. Kimball (1959), pp. 110, 114; L.J.R.O., B/A/1/9, f. 99v.
  • 19. Wrottesley, Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls, 456-7.
  • 20. Below, Wellington, Man. and Other Est.
  • 21. S.P.L., Deeds 5658.
  • 22. Hist. Parl., Commons, 1715-54, ii. 294.
  • 23. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, p. 360 (1823), ix.
  • 24. Barnard MSS., Raby Castle, box 12, bdle. 21, deeds 21 Aug. 1662, 12 Apr. 1664.
  • 25. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/195/15, no. 2; Newton, Medieval Local Records, 14-15.
  • 26. T.S.A.S. liii. 258.
  • 27. Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, p. 136; P.R.O., C 137/67, no. 149; Sir Chris. Hatton's Bk. of Seals, ed. L. C. Loyd and D. M. Stenton (1950), p. 148; Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 23-4; L.J.R.O., B/A/1/9, f. 99v.; below, Wellington, Man. and Other Est. (Apley).
  • 28. Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, p. 136.
  • 29. S.P.L., MS. 2340, f. 18.
  • 30. Inf. from Mr. J. H. Sankey. An acct. for the rebldg. of Kinley farmho. c. 1754 is in S.R.O. 676/21.
  • 31. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/194/11, no. 49.
  • 32. Eyton, viii. 260-1.
  • 33. Staffs. R.O., D. 1287/13/11/1; V.C.H. Salop. iii. 114.
  • 34. T.D.C., deed pkt. 907.
  • 35. P.R.O., C 142/332, no. 148. It was probably the 'Hoyall' mentioned in 1481: Wrottesley, Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls, 456.