A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 975 the southern boundary of Wrockwardine was called the 'king's boundary' (fn. 1) and the king retained the manor of WROCKWARDINE in 1066. Roger of Montgomery, created earl of Shrewsbury by 1074, was tenant in chief by 1086, and the manor contained 7½ berewicks, (fn. 2) which probably included Admaston, Allscott, Burcot, Charlton, Cluddley, Leaton, Nash, and Orleton. (fn. 3) It has been argued that the multiple estate was of considerable antiquity, perhaps succeeding Wroxeter in the 5th century as an administrative centre, and was perhaps the site of Cynddylan's hall of Pengwern, burnt by the Mercians c. 660. (fn. 4)
The manor was presumably forfeited after the rebellion of Earl Roger's son Robert of Bellême in 1102 (fn. 5) and remained with the Crown until 1231. In 1172 Henry II granted half the manor's annual value to the brothers Roger and Jonas of Powys, the full value, £14, being assigned to them in 1175. Roger, one of the king's leading servants in north Wales and the marches, was sole beneficiary from 1176 to 1186 when his son Meredith was joined with him. Father and son were dead by Michaelmas 1187, but Meyrick, another son of Roger of Powys, received £10 a year out of the manor from 1195 until his death in 1200. (fn. 6)
In 1200 the manor was farmed to Hamon le Strange, whose elder brother, John (II) of Knockin, succeeded him as farmer in 1203. (fn. 7) In 1228 John became life tenant of the manor, previously held during pleasure. (fn. 8) In 1231, however, during John (II)'s lifetime, the manor was granted in fee to his son John (III) for £8 a year. (fn. 9) By 1255 John (III) who lived until 1269, (fn. 10) had enfeoffed his son Hamon in the manor. (fn. 11) Hamon granted it to his younger brother Robert before they left on Crusade in 1271. Early in 1273, when Hamon's death overseas became known, Wrockwardine was seized by the sheriff as an unlicensed alienation. Edward I regranted it to Robert in 1275 as 1/20 knight's fee. (fn. 12) Robert was succeeded in 1276 by his son John, who was succeeded in 1289 by his brother Fulk, summoned from 1309 as Lord Strange of Blakemere (d. 1324). Fulk claimed free warren in Wrockwardine in 1292. Fulk's son and heir John, Lord Strange (d. 1349), who was granted free warren in his demesnes in 1333, granted the manor in 1347 to his son and heir Fulk, later Lord Strange (d. 1349), and Fulk's wife Elizabeth, who retained it during two later marriages until her death as Lady Cobham in 1376. The manor then descended with the barony of Strange of Blakemere to the Talbots, earls of Shrewsbury from 1442, (fn. 13) being held by dowager countesses 1473-6, (fn. 14) 1538-67, (fn. 15) and 1590-1608. (fn. 16) On the death of Edward, 8th earl of Shrewsbury, in 1618 the manor was divided into three, and so it remained until the early 19th century.
One third was settled on Alathea, countess of Arundel and Surrey (d. 1654), niece of the 8th earl of Shrewsbury, (fn. 17) who was succeeded by her younger son Sir William Howard, Viscount Stafford, impeached and executed 1680. (fn. 18) His son Henry Stafford-Howard, created earl of Stafford 1688, sold his interest in Wrockwardine to Richard Hill of Hawkstone, the statesman and diplomat, in 1715. (fn. 19) In 1722 Hill settled it in marriage on his nephew Samuel Barbour, who took the name Hill. He lived at Shenstone (Staffs.) and died in 1758, when his cousin Thomas Hill, of Tern, inherited the manor. (fn. 20) Hill (d. 1782) was succeeded by his son Noel, created Lord Berwick 1784 (d. 1789). In 1813 the 2nd Lord Berwick sold his third of the manor, apart from the Wrockwardine Wood mining rights, to William Cludde of Orleton.
Another third apparently passed in 1618 to George Saville (2nd bt. 1622) of Thornhill (Yorks. W.R.), grandnephew of the 8th earl of Shrewsbury. He died in 1626 and was succeeded by his brother Sir William (d. 1644), whose son Sir George (fn. 21) sold his third of the manor to Edward Revell in 1665, having previously disposed of the mining rights. (fn. 22) Revell held it until 1675. Rosamund Revell then held the third until her death in 1690 (fn. 23) when it passed to Edward Revell who held it until 1696. Thereafter it passed successively to John Revell (d. 1729); John's daughter Sarah (d. 1757), wife of Robert Moreton; Sarah's nephew John Revell Phillips (d. probably in 1766); Phillips's widow Sarah; and in 1767 to their son Thomas Carter Phillips, a minor. He died in 1783 and Revell Phillips, his brother, held it thereafter until 1811 when he sold it to William Cludde.
Another third of the manor was held by the 8th earl of Shrewsbury's widow Jane. After her death in 1625 or 1626 it descended with the earldom (dukedom 1694-1718) until 1822 when the 15th earl sold it to William Cludde. Like Lord Berwick, the earl retained the Wrockwardine Wood mining rights. (fn. 24)
Thus by 1822 the manor had been reunited by William Cludde, mayor of Shrewsbury in 1795 and high sheriff in 1814. He died in 1829 and was succeeded by his son Edward (d. 1840). Edward's daughter Anna Maria (d. 1906) owned the manor, from 1854 jointly with her husband R. C. Herbert (d. 1902). The manor was settled on their son Col. E. W. Herbert in 1901 and passed on his death in 1924 to his son Lt.-Col. E. R. H. Herbert, 5th earl of Powis 1952 (d. 1974). In 1982 Powis's nephew V. M. E. Holt owned the Orleton estate and possibly any manorial rights.
In 1324 the manor house was ruinous. It was said in 1650 formerly to have stood in the close called the Hall yard, (fn. 25) south-west of the church. A fishpond partly survived there in 1982. One of the main chimney stacks of Wrockwardine Hall, lying north-east of the church, bore a tablet placed there by Edward Pemberton to commemorate the building of the house in 1628 and his own completion of a new wing in 1750. (fn. 26) The limits of the 17th-century house cannot be defined with certainty but it probably lay in the range at the north-east corner of the surviving main block and extended eastwards from it. Much early 17thcentury panelling was reset in the dining room and bedrooms in the mid 18th century and there is a richly decorated late 17th-century staircase, apparently in situ, in the centre of the old range. A map of 1742 depicts the hall, probably accurately, as a building of five bays and two storeys with four pairs of windows, central entrance, two chimney stacks, and three attic gables. (fn. 27) The mid 18th-century work greatly enlarged the house to the west and to the south (where there was a new front of seven bays) and added new kitchens on the north and east. (fn. 28) Several interior fittings of that date survive, including richly decorated ceilings to the hall and staircase, several fireplaces, and an oak staircase with slender twisted balusters. In the earlier 19th century some rooms were redecorated and nearly all the windows were renewed and many enlarged. The front may have been rendered, perhaps preserving earlier rusticated plaster quoins. During 20th-century restorations most of the rendering was removed and the brickwork renewed. The house, never occupied by the lords of the manor, (fn. 29) was bought by the War Department in 1948 and became the official residence of G.O.C. West Midland District (Commander Western District from 1980). (fn. 30)
BURCOT was probably one of Wrockwardine's berewicks in 1086, and was one of its members c. 1285. (fn. 33) Its medieval holders are unknown. In 1650 and 1670 it was owned by Jonathan Langley of Shrewsbury Abbey (sheriff 1663, d. 1671); (fn. 34) he was succeeded by his son Peter, a draper, and Peter in turn by his son Jonathan, who died childless in 1742. In 1785 Edward Cludde left it with the Orleton estate to his nephew William Pemberton (later Cludde) and Burcot remained part of the Orleton estate in 1982. (fn. 35)
In 1670 the capital messuage of Burcot was apparently an H-shaped timber-framed building with a central gable on the cross wing and three chimneys. To the south lay two long barns. (fn. 36) By c. 1690 a range forming a courtyard had been added east of the main house, and two further barns to the south. (fn. 37) Probably c. 1807 that house, or a successor, was replaced by one in brick on the site of the former barns, overlooking Watling Street. (fn. 38) Earthwork terraces to the north-east, traceable in 1982, may have been the remains of a 17th- or 18th-century formal garden. (fn. 39)
The manor of CLUDDLEY was a member of Wrockwardine c. 1285. (fn. 40) Several possible early lords are known: Walter of Cluddley (fl. 1175- 80), Richard son of Ralph (fl. 1203), Robert of Cluddley (fl. c. 1235-c. 1250), Ralph of Cluddley (fl. 1256-60), John of Cluddley (fl. 1274). About 1285 Ralph of Cluddley, who was still living in 1300, was stated to hold the manor of John le Strange, lord of Wrockwardine. (fn. 41) Later a Richard Cludde of Cluddley occurred and his son and grandson, both William Cludde, inherited Cluddley. From soon after 1392 the manor descended with Orleton. The Orletons of Orleton had land in Cluddley by 1295. (fn. 42)
Between c. 1585 and c. 1642 the Forsters of Evelith (in Shifnal) held a messuage and 100 a. in Cluddley of the earl of Arundel. (fn. 43)
Although various possible earlier lords are known - Ralph of Orleton (fl. 1141-55), Adam of Orleton (fl. 1172-80), Ralph of Orleton (fl. 1186-c. 1225), and William of Orleton (fl. 1240- 64) (fn. 44) - the manor of ORLETON first definitely appeared in 1295 when the last named William or another of the same name died as tenant in chief. (fn. 45) The manor then passed from father to son, the following being lords: Adam (d. 1305), John (fl. 1346), Richard (d. 1382), and Richard (d. 1388). It then passed to the younger Richard's cousin Giles of Orleton, who did not live there and sold the manor to Richard's widow Joan in 1392. Soon thereafter Orleton passed to Joan's kinsman William Cludde (II) of Cluddley, the son of Margaret of Orleton. William (II) styled of Cluddley and Orleton, a woolmonger, (fn. 46) appeared from 1382 to 1431 when he was said to hold Orleton as 1/10 knight's fee. William was succeeded by his son Thomas and the manor thereafter passed from father to son, the following being lords: Thomas (II) (fl. 1485-90), Richard (d. 1545), Thomas (d. 1553), Edward (d. 1614), Charles (d. 1631), Edward (d. 1651), and Edward (d. 1721). The last named left it to his nephew William Cludde, on whose death in 1765 his son Edward became lord. Edward died in 1785 leaving the manor to his nephew William Pemberton of Wrockwardine Hall (d. 1829), who took the name Cludde under the terms of his uncle's will. From 1882 Orleton descended with Wrockwardine.
The medieval manor house of Orleton stood within a square moat; the moat remained complete in 1728. (fn. 47) In 1983 the surviving north-east arm of the moat was crossed by a possibly medieval stone bridge of two arches, which may have been contemporary with the stone foundations of the adjoining gatehouse. The later 16th-century superstructure of the gatehouse was timberframed and the upper floor jettied on all sides; a datestone of 1588 in a chimney stack may relate to that rebuilding. Later alterations included the installation of chimney stacks, the underpinning of the jetties with brick, and the removal of the original ground-floor outer walls. A lantern and clock were added in the earlier 19th century.
The oldest part of Orleton Hall is at the centre of the north-east front, represented in 1983 on the ground floor by the central hall. The walls are in part timber-framed; a map of 1728 (fn. 48) showed the site occupied by a triple-gabled house probably of the 17th century or earlier. The hall may have been entered through a porch in line with the gatehouse. In the later 18th century the house was greatly enlarged on the south-east, south-west, and north-west in a plain classical style with a main front of nine bays and three storeys. (fn. 49) The old hall was remodelled c. 1830 and fronted by a stone colonnade between the short 18th-century wings. There are extensive kitchen buildings and outbuildings along the north-east side of the house and beyond them farm buildings and stables, including a stable and coach-house range dated 1735. (fn. 50) To the east of the former moat there is an early 19th-century brick dovecot and a large walled garden with an elevated mid 18th-century gazebo in the Chinese style. (fn. 51)
Roger and Joan Child held a carucate in Orleton in chief in 1393-4. They were allowed to have a private oratory in their house in the parish in 1409. (fn. 52)
The rector of Wrockwardine, Odelerius of Orleans, gave 1 hide in CHARLTON, probably that held by his church in 1086, to Shrewsbury abbey before 1092. (fn. 53) The abbey retained the overlordship until 1540, (fn. 54) although the earl of Arundel was called overlord in 1494 and 1504. (fn. 55)
In the 12th century the Charlton family presumably held the manor of the abbey by subinfeudation. (fn. 56) By 1306 John Charlton (kt. c. 1307) was probably lord. He was a prominent servant of Edward II before and after his accession (fn. 57) and c. 1309 was granted the manor of Pontesbury, with which Charlton descended. (fn. 58) Free warren in both manors' demesnes was granted in 1307. In 1588 Edward Grey sold Charlton to Francis Newport (fn. 59) (kt. 1603), (fn. 60) and thereafter it descended with Harley and was a member of the manor of Eyton on Severn. (fn. 61) In 1611 the Vernons of Hodnet abandoned a claim, maintained since 1551, to a moiety of the manor. (fn. 62)
Before 1260 a virgate in Charlton was held of St. Mary's and St. Julian's, Shrewsbury, by William of Uppington (alias of Charlton). By 1284 it belonged to Master John of Charlton, who later occurred as rector of Wrockwardine. (fn. 63)
Sir John Charlton was licensed to crenellate his dwelling at Charlton in 1316, (fn. 64) and in 1341 was allowed to have mass celebrated in a chapel there. (fn. 65) The defended manor house, known as Charlton Castle, was apparently still used as a residence of the lords of Powys in the earlier 16th century (fn. 66) but following the manor's sale to Francis Newport in 1588 it fell into disuse. (fn. 67) Part of an apparently round corner tower and a length of curtain wall remained standing c. 1820. (fn. 68) In 1982 the site was marked by a quadrangular wetmoated enclosure, 68 × 54 metres, with some red sandstone walling visible on the island. To the south-east lay a fishpond, to the east a rabbit warren. (fn. 69)
Richard of Sugdon granted 4½ a. in Charlton to Haughmond abbey after 1274 for the maintenance of lights at St. Mary's altar in the abbey church. (fn. 70)
Before 1066 BRATTON was held by Erniet. In 1086 Warin held it of William Pantulf. William was also lord of Eyton upon the Weald Moors, and the two manors descended together in the Eyton family. (fn. 71) Mention of the chapel yard in 1784, and the presence of a large fishpond in 1839 may indicate the existence of a medieval capital messuage, perhaps on the site of the modern Bratton Farm. In 1784 the capital messuage was Bratton House, south-west of the farmhouse. (fn. 72)
In 1333 and 1350 the great tithes, with the tithes of hay in Allscott and Charlton, were appropriated to Shrewsbury abbey, (fn. 73) which already enjoyed two thirds of the manorial demesne tithes and had probably done so for two centuries or more. (fn. 74) The annual value of the rectorial tithes 1487-91 was £17 6s. 8d. and £14 in 1534-5. (fn. 75) In 1537 the abbot apparently leased all the tithes of wheat, barley, rye, peas, oats, muncorn, and hay, with the tithe barn at Allscott, to John Steventon of Dothill, although a similar lease to John Eyton is also known. The Steventons continued to lease the impropriate tithes after the rectory passed to the Crown in 1540, and in 1609 William Steventon bought the tithe estate from two speculators who had acquired it from the Crown shortly before; a fee farm of £18 was due to the Crown. In 1655 the rectorial tithes were worth £120 a year. They were then said to be in Richard Steventon's possession, (fn. 76) but had in fact been sold in six undivided shares in 1635. At least five of the shares were reunited in the Cluddes' hands between 1728 and 1790 (fn. 77) and the Cluddes also bought the fee farm of £18, which by 1705 had belonged to Henry and Anne Brett. (fn. 78) Thomas Eyton apparently bought the rectorial tithes of Bratton from the Cluddes in 1813. (fn. 79)
In 1838 Edward Cludde, Thomas Eyton, and the half dozen smaller impropriators who owned parts of the hay tithes of Allscott merged almost two thirds of the rectorial tithes in the parish (excluding Charlton township) with the land that they owned. The unmerged rectorial tithes were commuted to £208 6s. 8d. a year: £9 12s. to the duke of Cleveland for part of the hay tithes of Allscott and £198 14s. 8d. to Edward Cludde. The great tithes in Charlton (except the corn tithes from the 'home closes') belonged to Cleveland and were commuted to £133 a year. (fn. 80) In 1847 Mrs. Edward Cludde, preferring not to own ecclesiastical property, sold the family's tithe rent charge to Queen Anne's Bounty for the incumbent of Wrockwardine Wood. (fn. 81)