A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Godelminge (xi cent.); Godhalminges and Godeliming (xiii cent.); Godlyman (xvii cent.). (fn. 1)
The town of Godalming is 32 miles from London, and 4 from Guildford. The parish is of an extremely irregular shape, the extreme measurements being 6 miles north and south, 4 miles east and west. The area is 6,980 acres of land, and 59 of water.
The parish is entirely upon the Lower Green Sand, with the exception of alluvium in the valley of the Wey. The town lies in the valley, but its outskirts extend on to the hill to the south, called Holloway Hill, and to the north near Hurtmore, where the Charterhouse School stands. The most extensive open ground is Highden Heath to the south, near Hambledon. High Down is a corruption; it was Hyddenesheth in 1453, (fn. 2) and Hyde Stile is near it. Hyden Ball rises to 592 ft. above the sea. Chauncey Hare Townshend, a poet of some celebrity, born at Busbridge in Godalming, 1798, celebrated the view from it. Burghgate, or Burgate Farm, where a road comes up the declivity of the sand from the Weald, perhaps gives its name to Bargate stone, a well-known building stone. But Topley (fn. 3) says that though the stone occurs freely in the parish, it does not occur here.
Manning and Bray suggest that this was the entrance to Godalming Common Park, which stretched over the waste land hence to the common fields on Holloway Hill and near Busbridge, south of the town. The tenants by copy of court roll had to repair the park palings. (fn. 4) The park is marked with no inclosure in Rocque's map; but, from absence of any early reference to it, the probability is that 'park,' in the sense of 'a pound,' is here intended. The meadows to the west, up the Wey, are called Salgasson. In the 14th century this was spelt Chelnersgarston. The meadows by the river, north of the town, were lammas lands, common pasture for the parish; under regulations as to the number of beasts allowed to townsmen. Westmede was old common pasture closed from Lady Day to St. Peter ad Vincula. (fn. 5) The common fields had been partly alienated to private use in Elizabeth's time. In Court Rolls of 23 September 1591 it appears that Arnold Champion had alienated to John Westbroke 6 acres by estimation, lately parcels of the field called 'Godalmyng field,' and four closes of 16 acres lately parcel of the field called ' Ashtedfielde' in Godalming. The fields in Shackleford were called Estfield, Southfield, and Buryland.
Shackleford inclosure had begun earlier. On 5 October 1503 Robert Bedon had inclosed 'land called Andyelle,' 'Rydys and Wodecrofte, that was never before inclosed.' The final Inclosure Act for Godalming and Catteshull was passed in 1803, (fn. 6) and Peasemarsh, partly in Godalming, Compton, and Artington, was inclosed by an Act of the same year. (fn. 7)
The three ancient mills of the Domesday Survey were at Catteshull (mentioned 22 September 1453), Westbrook (mentioned 21 September 1441), and Eashing; and there was a mill called Southmill at Lalleborne (fn. 8) (Laborne).
The road from Guildford to Portsmouth passes through the parish, and also the South Western Railway (Portsmouth line), opened through in 1859. In 1849 however, the line had been taken from Guildford to Godalming old station, now used for goods only as a siding. Farncombe station was opened when old Godalming station was disused in 1898. The Wey Navigation was extended from Guildford to Godalming in 1760, with four locks.
The old bridge of Godalming was owned by the lords of the manor and hundred. It was only open to the public in times of flood, when the ford was dangerous. This is the bridge at the east end of the town; it was first improved when the Portsmouth road was made, or improved, in 1749. (fn. 9) It was taken over by the county 5 April 1782, and the first stone of the new bridge was laid by Lord Grantley 23 July 1782. (fn. 10) The bridge near the church was made where a ford existed, about 1870. Bolden Bridge, just above it, was formerly repaired by the lord of the manor. (fn. 11)
Broadwater, in the Portsmouth road, is the seat of Mr. E. G. Price. Munstead Hall, picturesquely situated in the woods on what used to be called Munstead Heath, on the hills north-east of the town, is the seat of Sir Henry Jekyll, K.C.M.G. Applegarth, on Charterhouse Hill, is the seat of Sir John Jardine, K.C.S.I., M.P.
The situation of the town is very pleasant, as it lies in a great valley of green meadows, with the Wey winding in and out, and with wooded hills rising all around, on the spurs of which the outlying parts of the town are scattered. There is a modern Godalming, consisting of red-brick streets and trim villas, well surrounded with trees, lying to the north of the old town and around the railway station: but the old town follows the Portsmouth road, with streets right and left. At the junction of the principal of these — Church Street with the High Street—is placed the town hall or market-house, the successor of an older one, dating from 1814. With its small tower and cupola, polygonal end on open arches, and general irregularity, it groups well with its surround ings. For use it is superseded by new municipal buildings in Bridge Street, completed in 1908.
Both the High Street and the cross streets abound with old houses, some of timber and plaster, some tile-hung, and others with 18th and 19th-century brick fronts. In the outskirts of the town, on the south-west side, the houses are built on high banks above the road, with raised footways. Other specially picturesque parts are in Wharf Street, by the water-mill, and in Church Street, where are some ancient timber houses with projecting upper stories. Owton or Hart Lane, now called Mint Street, has some ancient half-timber work. The White Hart Inn, in the High Street, near the Market house, is another good example of a timber house with two overhanging stories having nicely carved brackets; and the adjoining shop has a projecting gable-end quite in keeping. The Angel Hotel, on the other side of the High Street, though its front has been modernized, has some interesting old timber work in the rear; and the 'King's Arms,' where Peter the Great and his suite of twenty-one lodged on the way from Portsmouth to London in 1698, is another hostelry. Among other ancient timber houses in the High Street is one which has the Westbrook arms on a pane of glass; but it was not their home. They lived at Westbrook, where the last of them died, 1537. It is now cut up into a bank and a shop, but retains its projecting gables, with richly carved barge-boards, and a hint of timber framing, concealed by stucco. Its date appears to be about the middle of the 16th century. But more interesting architecturally than any of these is a house with an overhanging upper story at the corner of Church Street and High Street. It is probably a house called 'at Pleystow,' belonging to the Croftes family in the 16th century. The upper story, like many of its neighbours, had been coated with plaster, but in the course of repairs a piece of this fell off, and disclosed some timber framing of unusual character. The whole front was then stripped, with the result that a very rich design of timber pargeting, consisting of interlaced squares and circles, has been brought to view. The narrow, winding street, the irregular roof-lines and overhanging stories, with this beautiful piece of detail in the foreground, make the whole corner a delightful study.
Very different in character, but equally valuable to the lover of old domestic architecture, are the elaborately ornamented brick fronts of 17th-century date in the High Street. As Mr. Ralph Nevill, F.S.A., observes,—'They are good examples of how to treat rough stone with brick dressings, and are of a more graceful and fanciful character than the later work when affected by the intrusion of Dutch taste under William III.' (fn. 12) One of these has, in an oval panel, the date 1663, and very elaborate cornices of cut brick. This retains also its mullioned windows, with ornamental casement glazing. Another, also of local stone, with cut brick dressings and brick panel-work, has good curved and pedimental gables.
Besides these specially valuable examples there are numerous specimens of the sober brick houses of the 18th century, with excellent plain details both inside and out.
On the high ground to the north-west of the town stand the buildings of Charterhouse School, which was moved here from its old home in London in 1872. The main block, designed by Hardwick, is built round three sides of a great court open to the west, called Founder's Court, with the chapel on the south, the head master's house, 'Saunderites,' on the north, and a tall tower with a spire, Founder's Tower, on the east, flanked on the north by the school museum and part of the old foundation scholars' house, 'Gownboys,' and on the south by the other part of the same house. An archway under Founder's Tower opens to the south walk of an arcaded cloister, Scholars' Court, leading directly to the west door of the school library, a fine room flanked by classrooms on the north and south, and opening on the east to a great hall, also flanked by classrooms, built in 1885 from the designs of Sir A. Blomfield. The cloister walk already mentioned is crossed at right angles by two other walks, one running at the back of the east block of the great court, and leading northwards to 'Saunderites,' and southwards through 'Gownboys,' to another passage which ends in a lobby east of the chapel, and a second walk near the west end of the library, leading to a block of classrooms on the north, and to the east end of the passage just mentioned on the south. South of this passage is a third house, 'Verites,' forming the south front of the group of buildings, which are collectively known as 'Block.' To the west and south of 'Block' lie the cricket and football grounds, with 'Crown,' the school pavilion, on the east, and the fives and tennis courts on the west. From Founder's Court a road leads westward down the hill past the rifle range to the racket courts and swimming baths, and beyond them to the River Wey, and the school bathing-place. The main approach to the school from Godalming is by a road running up the valley between Frith Hill on the east and Charterhouse Hill on the west, which turning on itself passes westward over a bridge and reaches the level top of the hill on which 'Block' stands just to the south-east of the great Hall. To the north is one of the outhouses—as distinguished from those in 'Block'—'Girdlestoneites,' with a group of classrooms and workrooms near it on the north-west, and to the south of the road is another house, 'Weekites.' The remaining houses of the school lie to the east and south, standing picturesquely among their trees and gardens on the slopes of the hill.
A few relics from the old buildings in London were transplanted to Godalming in 1872, notably the arch of entrance to the old schoolrooms, carved all over with names of bygone Carthusians, which being placed in the lobby east of the chapel, together with a number of other similarly adorned stones, has caused a continuance of the custom of name cutting, and all the walls of the lobby are covered with names, singly or in groups, of those who from time to time have made their mark in the school.
The general arrangement of the various houses is fairly uniform, consisting of a 'hall' for the use of the upper boys, and a 'long room,' in 'Gownboys,' called 'writing school,' for the juniors, separate studies for the upper boys, and long dormitories with cubicles. In the halls are panels with the names of monitors and those who have represented the school in cricket, football, &c.
The chapel is a simple rectangle in plan, with a central passage and rows of seats facing towards it on the north and south, a south aisle at a higher level than the chapel proper, a west organ gallery and lobby, with canopied stalls on the east, and a south-west tower, under which is the main entrance. A cloister has lately been added on the south in memory of Dr. W. Haig-Brown, for many years head master, and is now filled with brass tablets and other memorials.
The library, originally a big schoolroom, contains a valuable collection of books, drawings, and pictures, and there are a number of pictures in the Great Hall, and the 'Orator' and 'Gold Medallist' boards from Old Charterhouse. The uses of 'Hall,' which is separated from 'Library' by a movable wooden partition, are many and various, such as concerts, rifle corps drill, examinations, prize-givings, 'call over,' and the like.
Of late years, a new museum, surrounded by classrooms, and new science classrooms have been built, and a wooden building with a central hall and classrooms at either end, familiarly called 'Barn,' has been taken down and set up again on a new site, to be used as a music-room. To former generations of Carthusians it chiefly recalls memories of a dreary ceremony known as 'extra school.'
The playing fields have been greatly extended in the last twenty years. 'Green,' south of the main buildings of the school, is devoted to school matches and first eleven cricket, while 'Big Ground,' west of the chapel, holds the same position in regard to football. On 'Under Green' are eight cricket grounds, rather close together, and on 'Lessington' are five football grounds. And there are a number of other grounds besides.
The hamlet of Eashing contains many old cottages of architectural interest, and an ancient bridge over the Wey. One of the cottages is on the river close to the bridge. It is largely of timber framing. The other cottages at Lower Eashing form a highly picturesque group, with high-pitched roofs, hipped gables, and dormers of half-timbered construction, with a specially fine and lofty group of chimneys, connected with the main roof by a sort of lean-to. An ivy-clad stone wall to the fore-court heightens the artistic effect, and within the court is an ancient well-house, retaining its old wheel and bucket. (fn. 13) Another cottage in this neighbourhood has a fine crowstepped chimney. Near Eashing House is a brick and timber building, with circle work in the gable. Eashing House itself was built by Ezra Gill in 1729–36 on the site of the house called Jordans.
Eashing Bridge, of three low stone-built round arches, with breakwaters between them, is probably of early 13th-century date. It has lately been acquired by 'The National Trust for the Preservation of Places of Natural Beauty and Historical Associations.' It was formerly repaired by the lord of the manor. In 1568 it is presented in the Hundred Court as valde ruinosa, the obligation of repair being on the queen. But in 1588 it was ruinosa still. (fn. 14)
The name Eashing is of great antiquity. It is mentioned in Alfred's will, where it was left to his nephew Ædhelm. In the Burghal Hidage, a document attributed by Professor Maitland to the 10th century, (fn. 15) it appears as a site of a fortified place, where the expression myd Æscingum shows that it was a tribal name. The burh is not likely to have been here. There are two tithings of Godalming, Lower Eashing where are the hamlets of Lower and Upper Eashing, as here described, and Upper Eashing Tithing, quite separate from it. The latter is 'High Tithing' of the Hundred Rolls, about Busbridge, which name has superseded it as the name of a hamlet. Busbridge seems to have been named from a family who came from Kent, in 1384 spelt 'Burssabrugge' and 'Burrshebrugge' (Hundred Rolls). There was other land called Bushbridges the possession of the same family in the Godalming common fields. James de Bushbridge sold Bushbridge or Busbridge to John Eliot of Godalming under Henry VIII. (fn. 16) His grandson Laurence Eliot sailed with Drake round the world. His son William, born 1587, (fn. 17) was knighted 1620. He built the old house of Busbridge, to judge from the features of the building, and formed the park, having a grant of free warren in his lands of 500 acres in 1637, (fn. 18) and died 1650. His son William, born 1624, died 1697, leaving a son William, born 1671, who died 1708. His brother Laurence sold the property in 1710. It passed through the hands of various owners. Among these was Philip Carteret Webb, F.R.S., born 1700, solicitor to the Treasury 1756–65, M.P. for Haslemere 1754–67. He was a distinguished lawyer, antiquary, and collector. He died at Busbridge in 1770. Chauncey Hare Townshend the poet was born here in 1798, when his father owned the property, which he bought in 1796. It now belongs to Mr. P. Graham. The house was pulled down in 1906, and a new one is being erected on a new site.
The hamlet of Shackleford contains some old cottages and farm buildings and many new houses in very beautiful scenery. Hall Place, the house of Richard Wyatt, who built the Mead Row Almshouses, was pulled down. The offices were made an inn, called Cyder House. The inn was acquired by Mr. William Edgar Horne, who turned it into a modern mansion. The panelling and overmantel of the dining-room came from the Cock Tavern in Fleet Street, London, whilst the gallery railings in the hall came from the old Banqueting Hall at Whitehall.
Neolithic implements found upon Charterhouse Hill and the school cricket ground are now in the school museum.
King Edward's school is in the Laborne tithing of Godalming parish, close to Witley Station. It is a school for destitute boys who have never been convicted of crime, who are trained for the Army, Navy, or industrial life, and is under the control of the Governors of Bridewell and Bethlehem Hospital. The corresponding girls' school is in Southwark. This building was erected in 1867, and enlarged in 1882 and 1887, and will hold 240 boys. It is in the Italian Renaissance style in brick. There is a chapel for the joint use of this school and the Convalescent Home for women and children in Witley.
The Technical Institute and School of Science and Art in Bridge Road was built in 1896 in the Renaissance style from designs by Mr. S. Welman.
A cemetery was opened in 1857. The present cemetery was opened in 1899. It serves both the civil parishes, the town and Godalming Rural, and is under joint management.
A Roman Catholic chapel used to exist, but had no resident priest. The new Roman Catholic Church of St. Edmund King and Martyr is in Croft Road. It was consecrated in 1906. It consists of a plain nave and chancel divided by a pointed arch. It is of local stone with a tiled roof. On the north is a low tower.
The Unitarian chapel in Mead Row was built before 1809, when worship is first recorded there in the church books, in accordance with a resolution passed as far back as 1788, for a Baptist congregation which had met at Worplesdon, and which admitted another body of Unitarian Baptists who met at Crownpits, Godalming, in 1814. In 1818 the Baptist qualification was dropped, and the meeting became Unitarian as the older members died.
A Congregational chapel was opened in 1730 in Hart Lane. The building has been replaced since. Under Charles II the population of Godalming had been very largely nonconformist; 700 or 800 people met in a conventicle every Sunday, and 400 or 500 monthly in a Quaker's house, out of a population of under 3,000. (fn. 19) In 1725 there was no meeting house, but 'several kinds of Protestant Dissenters of no great consideration as to numbers or quality.' (fn. 20) The congregation may be considered however the lineal representative of the conventicle of the reign of Charles II, organized in 1730. There is now a Wesleyan chapel, a Friends' meeting house, and a small Baptist chapel, opened in 1903.
The parish is divided into two civil parishes, Godalming Urban and Godalming Rural. (fn. 21) The former includes the borough of 897 acres.
There were anciently nine tithings, for which tithingmen were chosen: Godalming Enton (the town), Binscombe, Catteshull, Eashing, Farncombe, Hurtmore, Laborne, Shackleford, Tuesley. Tithingmen also attended the Godalming Hundred Court from Shackleford, Artington and Littleton (in St. Nicholas Guildford), Compton, Peper Harow, Chiddingfold Magna, Chiddingfold Parva, and Haslemere. But the names of the tithings vary from time to time, nor are they all constantly represented in the extant rolls. High Tithing, from which tithingmen also came, is the same as Upper Eashing, answering nearly to Busbridge. To the Godalming Enton Court Vann, Haslemere, Chiddingfold, Shackleford, Eashing, and Godalming constantly sent tithingmen. All these were originally in the manor and were perhaps in the parish. There were parish churches at Compton, Chiddingfold, and Haslemere, and churches at Tuesley, Hurtmore, Catteshull, Artington (St. Catherine); there are modern churches at Farncombe, Shackleford, and Busbridge. (fn. 22)
In Domesday in the manor held by Ranulf Flambard, which was afterwards known as the Rectory Manor, there are twelve cotarii mentioned. In the king's manor of Godalming there were no cotarii, but in Tuesley, held by Flambard, were six cotarii. Tuesley was afterwards included in the Rectory Manor. In the rolls preserved at Loseley there are fourteen, and in the survey of 1 Edward VI, eighteen cotholders, on the king's manor. They are described as libere tenentes (fn. 23) or 'free tenants,' but their services seem to have been similar to the ordinary villein services in kind, though different in particulars. They all paid small money rents. They got in the lord's hay; (fn. 24) and did suit at the courts. (fn. 25) They paid heriots on succession, and fines, and were admitted, like other tenants of the manor, at the courts which did common service as both hundred and manorial courts. For instance, on 15 June 19 Henry VI (1441) Juliana wife of John Savage was admitted 'ad unam parcellam terrae unius cotlonde vocatam Hykemannes,' as heiress of Christiana wife of John Peck, and paid a fine of two shillings, doing fealty. Only six weeks after this, on 27 July 1441, Juliana who was the wife of John Savage was deceased. There was no heriot, because Juliana had no beast. John her husband was admitted as tenant for life of the 'cotlond,' paying a fine of one shilling and fourpence. (fn. 26) The cotholders had perhaps a share in the common fields: on 16 March 8 Richard II (1385) John Farnham claimed, as heir, Edward Waterman's land. Edward Waterman was a cotholder, and some of his land lay in campo and some in communi campo. But it is possible that this may have been apart from his cotholding. One of the services of the cotholders was to convey prisoners to the county gaol at Guildford Castle. This service was due from Waterman's land, and further he was hangman apparently, for after the conveyance of prisoners the words are added et cos suspendet. The conveyance of prisoners led on one occasion to a misadventure which illustrates the lawless action possible in the 14th century, though the perpetrator was a Frenchman of Calais, before Calais belonged to England, in the service of Margaret, the second wife of Edward I. Richard atte Watere of Godalming came to the king's court in 1317 or 1318, and complained that his tenure obliged him to convey prisoners to Guildford Castle from the court at Godalming, and that Andrew de Caleys, constable of the castle of Queen Margaret at Guildford, took Richard vi et armis, and shut him up with his prisoners for three months and more, and only let him go on payment of a heavy ransom. It was ordered that the sheriff should produce Andrew to answer to this on the morrow of St. Martin. (fn. 27)
The obligation to convey prisoners, at their own proper charges, lay in the cotholders as late as 1670. There was no chance then of the guard and prisoners being locked up together, but the county gaol was in Southwark, and the obligation much more burdensome than when it was at Guildford. (fn. 28) The question was raised at the same court whether the cotholders were bound to repair the fence of the common pound of Godalming. This seems to differentiate them from the other customary tenants; for there was no question that the latter had to repair it. The obligation occurs frequently, and had been affirmed so lately as by the court held on the Monday after St. Matthew 1626. (fn. 29) They certainly repaired the fence of the lord's pound or pinfold. (fn. 30)
Queen Elizabeth incorporated the town by a charter dated 25 January 1574–5, (fn. 31) when the cloth trade was flourishing there. (fn. 32) The corporate body was to consist of the warden (gardianus) and inhabitants, who were to have the usual right of impleading, and also a common seal. At the same time the queen granted the town a weekly market on Wednesdays, (fn. 33) thus forgoing her own right as lady of the manor to the market granted by Edward I. She also granted them an annual fair to last three days, beginning on the eve of Candlemas Day, which did not interfere, however, with her own manorial fair held in June. (fn. 34) The warden was to collect the tolls of market and fair for the maintenance of the town. The queen herself appointed the first warden, John Perrior, (fn. 35) to hold office till the following Michaelmas, at which time a warden was to be nominated by the chief inhabitants of the town in the presence of the other inhabitants, and then elected by the majority. In the following reign ordinances were drawn up 'for the better order and government of the town,' (fn. 36) directing that there should be eight assistants chosen from such inhabitants as had borne office as bailiff, constable, or tithingman, to be elected for life by the warden and inhabitants, a warden chosen by the majority of the assistants from their own number, and a bailiff elected yearly from those who were capable of being constable or tithingmen. The warden and assistants had power to levy assessments on the householders, more especially for the repair of the town clock, and opposition to them might be punished by disfranchisement.
The present extent of the borough of Godalming dates from November 1894. (fn. 37)
Before its incorporation by Elizabeth there were no traces of any institutions which might indicate the existence of a borough. During the lordship of the Bishops of Salisbury, Godalming was merely a market town with an annual fair held by the bishop under a royal grant of 1300. (fn. 38) In the Nomina Villarum of 1315 it is not distinguished as a borough. Constantly in the Hundred Rolls persons are presented for carrying on trades outside Godalming because in so doing they are extra villam mercatoriam. They seem to have been content with fines time after time, especially for the privilege of dressing leather where they pleased. In 1563 Godalming was constituted a market town by statute. (fn. 39)
The great industry in the 16th century was in woollen stuffs. The trade was in decay in the 17th century. (fn. 40) Shortly after the ordinances of James I the townspeople were in great distress, for in 1630 they were suffering from want of a market for their manufactures, chiefly Hampshire kerseys, (fn. 41) whilst a few years before they had been obliged to postpone their fair for fear of the plague, (fn. 42) but were nevertheless visited by the dread sickness in 1636–7. (fn. 43) The present industries are tanning (Westbrook) and papermaking (Catteshull). There are also flour-mills and timber-yards. (fn. 44) In 1666 Elizabeth's charter was confirmed by Charles II. (fn. 45)
In 1825 an Act was passed for paving, lighting, and otherwise improving the town of Godalming, (fn. 46) which, till then, had been ill-lighted with oil, and guarded only by a bellman or watch supported by arbitrary assessments levied by the warden and his assistants. (fn. 47) The first attempt to pave the town had been made in 1528.
In 1484 the lord of the manor had received 4s. profit from the watch of Godalming. (fn. 48) It is stated in a Parliamentary account of the borough drawn up in 1835 (fn. 49) that the greater part of its bye-laws appeared to be illegal; that the town was governed neither according to the charter of Elizabeth nor the institutions of James I; that the choice of warden was always so arranged as to ensure the election of a nominee three years after his nomination; that the number of assistants had diminished, and that the bailiff, who had then been in office twenty years, had succeeded his father. At this time the chief duty of the warden was to take the lead in all public meetings, to advise the constables, who were appointed at the court leet held by the lord of Godalming, and to defray the surplus expenditure, which was considerable, owing to the lack of any town property; while the assistants aided the warden, and the bailiff collected the tolls of the fair. The corporation was reconstituted by the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835, (fn. 50) under which the title of 'warden' was changed to that of 'mayor,' whilst four aldermen and twelve councillors took the place of the former 'assistants.'
The town has never had any property of importance. The tolls of the market and fair it possessed by Queen Elizabeth's charter of incorporation. They were levied in kind until 1825, when the tolls of market were for the sake of the town's prosperity forgone by the warden and assistants. The only other source of income was the Market House, which was leased from time to time, though still used for town purposes. (fn. 51) The old market house was pulled down in 1814 and a poor building erected in its place. The old house had been also the Hundred House, where the hundred court was held. It was from its appearance of a date not later than the 15th century. In 1616 it was in need of repair, as appears from the will of John Purchase, dyer, of Godalming. It is referred to as the 'Hundred House' in a deed of 1532. A court of pie powder was held there on market-days.
GODALMING MANOR was a possession of King Alfred, who bequeathed it to his nephew Ethelwald. (fn. 52) The latter doubtless forfeited it to the Crown, for he rebelled against Edward the Elder in 905 and died in arms. (fn. 53) Edward the Confessor held Godalming, which remained an appurtenance of the Crown till Stephen's son, William Earl de Warrenne, obtained a grant of it, (fn. 54) but probably resigned it with his other lands before 1159. It seems that Henry II granted it to Stephen de Turnham, (fn. 55) for in 1206 he obtained a confirmation of Artington, and with it the hundred and all other appurtenances which he had of the gift of Henry II. (fn. 56) In 1221 a mandate was issued to the Sheriff of Surrey to deliver to the Bishop of Salisbury seisin of the manor and hundred of Godalming, which had been held by Edelina de Broc, Stephen's widow. (fn. 57) Mabel de Bavelingham, one of Stephen and Edelina's five coheiresses, released the manor and hundred to the Bishop of Salisbury in 1224, (fn. 58) while ten years afterwards three of the remaining co-heiresses sued Robert Bishop of Salisbury for the manor, (fn. 59) but were evidently unsuccessful, for it remained the property of that see till 1541–2. (fn. 60) In 1294 the king granted the bishop free warren in his demesne lands in Godalming. (fn. 61) In 1541 the Bishop of Salisbury exchanged Godalming Manor and Hundred for the prebend of Bluebery, then held by Thomas Paston, one of the gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, (fn. 62) and evidently an agent for the king, to whom he immediately gave Godalming in exchange for other estates. (fn. 63) In 1595 Anthony Viscount Montague was appointed steward of the manor, (fn. 64) and in 1601 Queen Elizabeth sold it to Sir George More of Loseley, (fn. 65) in whose family it remained for more than two and a half centuries. (fn. 66)
Mr. James More-Molyneux sold it about 1865–70 to Mr. James Stewart Hodgson, who died in 1899. It is now in the possession of Mr. F. A. Crisp of Hurtmore, who bought it in 1909.
There were court baron and court leet in connexion with Godalming Manor. (fn. 67) The lord of Godalming also had relief and heriot. (fn. 68) In 1394 Richard II granted to John Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury, all the amercements of the tenants and residents in his fee and in that of the dean and chapter, together with assize of all victuals, waifs and strays, and freedom from purveyance. (fn. 69) These liberties were claimed by Sir George More in 1605–6. (fn. 70) The fishing and fowling rights throughout the hundred were leased to Richard Bedon while the manor was in the king's hands. (fn. 71) Early in the 17th century a dispute arose between Sir George More and Mr. Castillion, farmer of the rectory manor, as to the fishing rights belonging to the latter. (fn. 72)
CATTESHULL (Chatishull, Cateshull, xii cent.; Catteshull, xiii–xiv cent.; Catteshill, xviii cent.) is a manor and tithing in the north-east of Godalming, and included lands in Chiddingfold. (fn. 73) Its separate existence seems to date from the reign of Henry I, who gave Catteshull to Dyvus Purcell. (fn. 74) Geoffrey Purcell, the king's usher (hostiarius), son of Dyvus, held it free of toll as it had been in his father's time, (fn. 75) and gave it to Reading Abbey on becoming a monk there. (fn. 76) This gift was confirmed both by the Empress Maud (fn. 77) and by her opponent Stephen, the latter stipulating in his grant that Ralph Purcell should hold 20s. of land in Windsor of the monks. (fn. 78) No mention is made of Catteshull in the confirmatory grants of Henry II to Reading Abbey, (fn. 79) and he seems to have regranted it to Ralph de Broc, son of Dyvus Purcell (identical with Ralph Purcell), to hold by the service of usher of the king's chamber. (fn. 80) This service or serjeanty by which the manor was held is variously stated as 'the keeping of the linen' (fn. 81) and being 'usher of the laundresses.' (fn. 82) Ralph de Broc's daughter Edelina having married Stephen de Turnham, (fn. 83) the manor passed to one of his (Stephen's) five heiresses, viz. Mabel wife of Thomas de Bavelingham, (fn. 84) who was also known as Mabel de Gatton. In 1224 she established her claim against the Bishop of Salisbury, lord of Godalming, in Artington and Catteshull. (fn. 85) She conveyed the manor to her son-in-law Robert de Manekesey in 1234, but the sale was opposed by her son Hamo de Gatton, whom Edelina de Broc had empowered to perform the service due. (fn. 86) Mabel was given the option of buying back the manor, (fn. 87) but does not seem to have done so, for in November 1234 the king confirmed the grant to Robert de Manekesey. (fn. 88) In 1254–5 Robert de Gatton was in possession of Catteshull. (fn. 89) He died c. 1264, leaving a son Hamo, (fn. 90) who was succeeded by his son Hamo de Gatton, (fn. 91) who dowered his wife Margery with Catteshull at the church door. (fn. 92) Their son, Edmund de Gatton, was an infant at his father's death, and died a manor. He had two sisters and co-heirs, Elizabeth wife of William de Dene, and Margaret wife of Simon de Northwood. (fn. 93) Of these Margaret obtained her purparty of her brother's lands in 1315, (fn. 94) although Guy de Ferre, custodian of Edmund's lands during his minority, (fn. 95) accounted for the manor in February 1319–20. (fn. 96) Margaret's portion evidently included the whole of Catteshull. Her son Sir Robert de Northwood, kt., inherited it and made good his claim to it against Robert de Dol of Loseley, who asserted that Robert de Manekesey had granted it to his grandfather Hugh de Dol and his wife Sibyl. (fn. 97) Sir Robert was in possession of Catteshull at his death in 1360, (fn. 98) and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who only survived his father a year. (fn. 99) One of his sisters and heirs, Joan wife of John Levyndale, was apportioned certain rents in Catteshull, while his other sister, Agnes, afterwards wife of William Beaufoy, received the rest of the manor, (fn. 100) and conveyed it to John Legg, or Leigh, serjeant-at-arms, who is said to have been her second husband, William Brantingham, and John West. (fn. 101) During the lifetime of John Legg land in Catteshull was leased to Elizabeth widow of Peter Stonhurst. (fn. 102) William Brantingham held a court there 25 July 1383, but almost immediately conveyed the manor to Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, and others, probably trustees, for William Brantingham obtained in 1384 a quitclaim of the rights of Joan Weston, wife of William Weston, daughter of Agnes and heiress of John Legg or Leigh. (fn. 103)
William Brantingham was in possession in 1407 when he granted the manor to trustees, evidently for the purpose of a conveyance to his kinsman John Brantingham, which was completed in 1413. (fn. 104) John was still holding in 1421, but in 1428 Richard Brantingham was assessed in a feudal aid for the manor. In 1430 John Brantingham sold it to Thomas Wintershull senior, and others, to the use of Robert, father of Thomas, (fn. 105) who was lord of Wintershull in Bramley (q.v.). In his family it remained (fn. 106) till 1565, when John Wintershull sold it to William More of Loseley. (fn. 107) His direct descendants retained it till 1836, (fn. 108) at which date James More-Molyneux sold it to George Marshall. (fn. 109) Mr. Marshall died in 1853, having bequeathed his estate to his wife, who died 1874, leaving it to her daughter Mrs. Fairclough.
When the lord of Godalming held his yearly view of frankpledge at Catteshull the lords of that manor were wont to have the amercements. (fn. 110) They also had court baron, heriot, and relief. (fn. 111)
The chapel of St. Nicholas at Catteshull is mentioned in the Dean of Salisbury's survey of Godalming in 1220. The lady of the manor claimed suit of court from its tenants, but the chaplain and vicar were strictly prohibited from paying it. (fn. 112) The chapel was near the present manor-house, on the right-hand side of the road from Catteshull to Munstead.
FARNCOMBE MANOR was held by Ansgot under Edward the Confessor, and became demesne land of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, after the Conquest. He added it to the land which he had out in farm at Bramley ('convertit ad firmam de Bronlei'). One of the king's reeves, Lofus, claimed the manor in 1086, asserting that he had held it when the king was in Wales (i.e. in 1081), and had kept it till the bishop took his journey into Kent (i.e. in 1082). (fn. 113) It was probably granted out to tenants by the Crown after the forfeiture of Bishop Odo's lands, for in 1280 Reginald of Imworth and his wife Matilda held the manor in her right (fn. 114) and granted it to John son of John Adryan, to hold of Matilda and her heirs. (fn. 115)
The manor passed to the Ashursts of East Betchworth in the latter part of the 14th century. In 1371 William Prestwyke and others in Farncombe paid fine for leave of absence from the hundred court. (fn. 116) There are similar payments by the lord of Farncombe, not named, in 1377 and 1384. In 1382 William Ashurst paid a fine of the same amount, xiid. (fn. 117) The Ashursts held High Ashurst in Mickleham and other land in that neighbourhood, and probably had acquired Farncombe about 1382, and did not find it convenient to attend Godalming Hundred Court. Ashursts paid for non-attendance in 1412, 1440, and 1447. In 1413 Margaret Ashurst conveyed Farncombe Manor to her son William. (fn. 118)
In 1452 the death of William Ashurst, the holder of land in Farncombe, is mentioned. (fn. 119)
In 1503–4 John Ashurst of Farncombe paid 19s. 9d. towards an aid, (fn. 120) and he died seised of the manor in February 1506–7, leaving a brother and heir William. (fn. 121) He is said to have sold the manor, 12 January, to John Skinner, who had married John Ashurst's widow. (fn. 122) James Skinner sold it to John Mellersh in 1552, (fn. 123) and John Mellersh, clothier, died 1567 holding the manor of Farncombe, which he entailed on his son John and heirs. (fn. 124) John cut off the entail by recovery 1573, (fn. 125) but died seised in 1623 leaving a daughter and heir Juliane who married John Launder. (fn. 126) In 1675 John Launder senior, his grandson, and the latter's son John Launder junior, conveyed the manor to Thomas Mathew and others, (fn. 127) probably as trustees to sell, for five years later Robert Pratt sold it to Anne Duncombe of Albury, (fn. 128) who, with her second husband, Timothy Wilson, conveyed it to trustees in 1685. (fn. 129) After the death of Anne's granddaughter, Mary wife of Charles Eversfield, the manor, which had been divided among her four daughters, was sold by them, 1733–4, to Henry Page, (fn. 130) who left it by will to his nephew John Skeet, (fn. 131) after his widow's death. She died 1784, and John Skeet was in possession in the same year. (fn. 132)
His widow died in 1800, having bequeathed Farncombe in moieties to her two daughters, Sarah Hall and Elizabeth Geering Lane. The former's infant daughters Eliza and Sarah inherited her moiety. (fn. 133) In 1841 the manor was the property of William Saunders Robinson and others. (fn. 134) The British Freehold Land Society bought the land c. 1850–5 and pulled down the Manor House, which stood at the angle between Manor Road and Farncombe Street. The manor was advertised for sale in 1859, with 76 heriots and £2 a year quit-rents. (fn. 135) It was bought by Mrs. Marshall, and belongs now to Mr. George Marshall, her grandson.
In the road near Farncombe, besides several picturesque half-timber cottages and other ancient houses, there is a charming block of red-brick almshouses in Mead Row, founded in 1622 by Richard Wyatt, citizen of London, and owner of Hall Place, Shackleford. This has a wonderful row of chimneys, very irregular in outline, at the back, and in the centre is the chapel, in which are some curious details. (fn. 136)
A small stone and brick cottage on the road leading to Binscombe (fn. 137) has a good chimney and a brick hood-moulding over its windows.
HURTMORE (Hormera, xi cent.; Hertmere, xiii cent.; Hurtmere, xiv cent.), also a tithing in Godalming, was held before the Conquest by Alwin. In 1086 Tezelin held it of Walter Fitz Other, founder of the Windsor family, (fn. 138) in which the overlordship was still vested in 1541. (fn. 139) The under tenant in 1166 was Philip of Hurtmore, (fn. 140) and in January 1199–1200 William of Hurtmore released his claim in land in Hurtmore to Thomas son of Philip in consideration of a life annuity. (fn. 141) Thomas of Hurtmore held a fee in Hurtmore. (fn. 142) A Thomas of Hurtmore granted the manor to the Priory of Newark, Surrey, in 1259, (fn. 143) and about twenty years afterwards the prior granted to Mary Norries and her grandson Robert common of pasture in 'Quachet' and land called 'Lyth,' formerly the demesne of Thomas of Hurtmore. (fn. 144) The prior leased the manor from time to time, for in 1527 Henry Tanner obtained a lease of it for forty years, (fn. 145) and in 1535 the farm of the manor was £4 13s. 4d. (fn. 146) On the surrender of the priory in 1538 Hurtmore was taken into the hands of the king, who in April 1542 gave it with other lands to Andrew Lord Windsor in part exchange for the manor of Stanwell. (fn. 147) The latter's son William succeeded to his estates in the following March, (fn. 148) and his son and heir Edward Lord Windsor sold the manor to Eustace Moone of Farnham in 1564–5. (fn. 149) Edmund Moone, son of Eustace, sold Hurtmore to Francis Clarke in 1590. (fn. 150) He was resident in 1592. (fn. 151) In 1595 he conveyed it to his son John Clarke and his wife Mary. Their children were baptized at Godalming 1596– 1601.
In 1606 John Clarke sold it to Sir Edward More of Odiham. (fn. 152) For some reason he obtained a grant of it from the Crown in 1615, (fn. 153) probably on account of recusancy. By his will he directed that his daughter and her husband Sir William Staunton, recusant convict, (fn. 154) should have the house free of rent for life.
He died in 1623, having settled Hurtmore on his infant grandson Edward More. (fn. 155) The latter was dealing with Hurtmore in 1643, (fn. 156) and again in 1657. (fn. 157) His two children died in infancy. (fn. 158) In 1679 Isabel More, spinster, was in possession of the manor and sold it to Ralph Lee, executor to Simon Bennett of Calverton, (fn. 159) whose daughters, Frances wife of James fourth Earl of Salisbury (fn. 160) and Grace wife of John Bennett, held it in moiety. The fifth Earl of Salisbury had the remainder of Grace Bennett's share. (fn. 161)
In 1814 he and his wife sold Hurtmore to William Keen. William Keen sold in 1828 to James Henry Frankland and Mary his wife of Eashing. Mr. Frankland died in 1859. His son Major Frankland took the name of Gill, and died unmarried in 1866. Hurtmore passed to his sister, Mrs. Sumner, and from her to her niece, Miss Kerr. (fn. 164)
Though the conveyance of Hurtmore in 1598 ascribes a court leet to it, (fn. 165) and though it is spoken of as a manor, it is doubtful if it really was such. No court baron can be traced, and the assertion about view of frankpledge in a court leet is untrue. The Hurtmore people answered at the Godalming hundred court for view of frankpledge except a few who appeared at Compton. Trespasses, &c., in Hurtmore are continually noticed in the Godalming courts.
TAYLORS was held by Nicholas Taillard in 1486–7. (fn. 168) He conveyed it to Polsted and others, trustees, who enfeoffed Thomas Purvoch. His son Thomas Purvoch enfeoffed Arnold Champion as purchaser or trustee. (fn. 169) Thomas Purvoch junior had a daughter Anne who married Lawrence Rawsterne. It passed from him to Richard Compton, (fn. 170) who had married Agnes daughter of Arnold Champion. (fn. 171) Richard's son Thomas brought a suit in 1574 against Henry Hooke, who, having married Agnes widow of Richard Compton, entered upon the 'manor of Taylors,' which was settled on her for life, and spoiled the woods and suffered the manor-house to decay. (fn. 172) Thomas Compton left it to his nephew John Compton in 1606. (fn. 173) This Sir John Compton died seised in 1653. His grandson and heir was Compton Tichborne. (fn. 174) He died and left it to his cousin Sir Henry Tichborne, bart., who held it in 1658, (fn. 175) and Sir Henry Joseph Tichborne was in possession in 1695. (fn. 176)
In 1696 it was conveyed to John Yalden. (fn. 177) Edmund Yalden his grandson died in 1814 (aged 89) holding Taylors, (fn. 178) and left it to Edmund Woods his sister's son. (fn. 179) He died 1833 and it passed to his daughter Katherine. It was sold to the Marshall family, to whom it still belongs.
VANN (Fenne, xii and xiii cents.; Fanne, xiv and xv cents.), on the borders of Hambledon and Chiddingfold, was really a tithing, (fn. 180) but was called a manor later. It is mentioned in a conveyance of 1198–9, when Emma, widow of William of Vann, released land there to William of Vann. (fn. 181) In 1232 Walter of Vann witnessed a grant of land in Artington, (fn. 182) while Laurence of Yately and his wife Isabel granted lands in Godalming and Vann to Thomas of Vann in 1279. (fn. 183) Thomas atte Vann conveyed Vann to Robert atte Vann and his brother Walter in consideration of a life-rent in 1324. (fn. 184) It was held of William atte Vann in 1332, Henry Hussey being the tenant. (fn. 185) Tenants and tithingmen at Vann occur often in the Godalming Hundred Court. In 1371 Walter Webbele surrendered the tenement of William Piperham to Walter atte Vann and his heir. This was Piperham in Haslemere, which subsequently was conveyed as a separate parcel, with the manor of Vann. (fn. 186)
Walter atte Vann was subsequently in debt. In 1412 John Loxley for 'le Fanne' and Thomas atte Vann pay 6d. for leave of absence from the hundred court. (fn. 187) In 1448 Bernard Jenyn or Jenings was summoned to the court (fn. 188) to do fealty, probably for Vann, for in 1476 John Hill and John Mellersh, probably trustees, enfeoffed Bernard Jenings of 'land in the manor of Vann' in tail male. John son of Bernard succeeded to it at his father's death, (fn. 189) and his son Nicholas is said to have settled the manor on his wife Margaret for life, with remainder to their son Bernard.
In 1564 Margaret brought a suit against Ralph, great-nephew of John Jenings, who had entered upon the manor after the death of Bernard. (fn. 192) Ralph Jenings held it, (fn. 193) and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who sold it to Thomas Cowper in 1590. (fn. 194) Thomas Cowper's brother and heir Martin sued for the lands as part of his inheritance, (fn. 195) and released his claim to John Hollinshed and Richard Sheppard in 1597. (fn. 196)
In 1608 they conveyed it to the Vintners' Company for the use of Mary Clarke wife of John Clarke of Battle in Sussex, and her son Francis and her other sons in succession. (fn. 197)
John Clarke, the third son, parted with it to William Byerley in 1635, (fn. 198) but apparently the purchase money was not all paid, (fn. 199) and it reverted to his son Mark, and afterwards to his son Antony, who was in possession in 1665, (fn. 200) and in 1689 sold to John Childe (fn. 201) the manor of Vann and a parcel of land called Pepperhams. John Childe died 1701, and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 202) He sold to John Greenhill in 1722. (fn. 203) In 1734 it was entailed on Peter, son of Sir Peter and Sarah Anna Myers, and Sarah his wife, daughter of John Curryer. The latter in her widowhood settled it (fn. 204) in 1758–9 on her daughter Sarah, wife of Thomas Geldart, but her son Peter Myers was treated as tenant in a court of 1762 as a defaulter. The Geldarts are said in a court of 1789 to have obtained Vann from Peter Myers. In 1822 Richard Smyth of Burgate died holding the manor, (fn. 205) and it was in the Smyth family for some time later. There is no record of any court in the reputed manor.
The reputed manor of WESTBROOK lies to the west of the town. From an undated customary of Godalming of the early part of the reign of Edward III, of which a 16th or 17th-century copy exists at Loseley, it appears that there was a Richard de Westbrook holding land in Godalming; by the marginal notes on the copy this seems to be the same land that was afterwards held by Thomas Hull, owner of Westbrook. The conditions of tenure are plainly servile in origin, including carriage of harvest and serving as reeve with food allowance. In 1334 a Robert Westbrook and his wife Bona were enfeoffed of land in Godalming, (fn. 206) but whether of what was afterwards called Westbrook is not clear. Westbrooks occur frequently in the Godalming courts. They held Prestwick in Chiddingfold soon after 1327, (fn. 207) and Asshtede, (fn. 208) which afterwards both belonged to the Westbrooks of Westbrook, but there is no evidence of their holding Westbrook. It was probably a holding in Godalming named from them. The original 'Westbroke' was perhaps that in Hampshire. There were members of the family about the neighbourhood, and they were rising in the world. A John Westbrook acquired the Strode moiety of Loseley in or before 1481.
According to Symmes, William Westbrook was buried at Godalming in 1437, and Thomas Westbrook in 1493; both holders of the manor. (fn. 209) It appears from a rental at Loseley that John Westbrook held Westbrook in 1486. John Westbrook sold his moiety of Loseley Manor in 1508. (fn. 210) He died in 1513–14 and was buried in Godalming Church. (fn. 211) William Westbrook died in 1537. His widow Margaret resided at Westbrook, and after her death the manor descended to the heirs of his sisters Florence Scarlet and Elizabeth Hull. (fn. 212)
Thomas Hull and John Scarlet a minor were holding Westbrook in moieties in 1547. (fn. 213) John Scarlet's portion seems to have passed to William Morgan, who sold it to Thomas Hull about the year 1576. (fn. 214) He was thus seised of the whole of Westbrook. A Thomas Hull and his wife Florence were dealing with it in 1600, and again in 1622. (fn. 215) Their son Thomas Hull was an ardent Royalist, (fn. 216) who suffered sequestration in April 1649 for lending money to maintain the war against Parliament. (fn. 217) He was obliged to compound, and in 1656 sold Westbrook to John Platt, clerk of West Horsley, (fn. 218) who afterwards held weekly conventicles at his house in Godalming, (fn. 219) and died in 1670. His son John, who was knighted in 1672, was raising money on the manor in 1674, (fn. 220) and is said to have built Westbrook Place. (fn. 221) In 1688 the manor was sold to Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, kt., (fn. 222) who sat in Parliament for Haslemere from 1698 till 1701. (fn. 223) His eldest son Louis was killed at Schellenberg in 1704. The next son, Theophilus, who also represented Haslemere, and died at the Jacobite court of St. Germains about 1728, was dealing with the manor in 1727. (fn. 224) His younger brother, General James Edward Oglethorpe, the great philanthropist and founder of Georgia, next came into possession. In spite of his frequent absences from England, he was five times elected member of parliament for Haslemere. After his final return from Georgia he was made a general in the English army and served under the Duke of Cumberland in the rebellion of 1745. He died in 1785, having left the manor by will to his widow, who devised it to be sold for the general's great-nephew, the Marquis of Bellegarde. (fn. 225) It was bought in 1788 by Christopher Hodges, who sold it in 1790 to Nathaniel Godbold, a quack doctor. (fn. 226) The latter's son of the same name was living there in 1824 and died 1834. (fn. 227) In 1844 part of the estate was sold to the Direct London and Portsmouth Railway Company; (fn. 228) and the house, after being occupied only for short terms, became the Meath Home for Epileptics in 1892. Mr. G. J. Hull bought the house, part of the estate, and the manor. The manor is now held by Mr. H. Thackeray Turner.
A quit-rent of 10s. 6d. was payable from Westbrook to the lord of Godalming manor, of whom it was held.
Near Westbrook are the town mill and a tanning mill.
Binscombe, about 1½ miles from Westbrook, seems to have been closely connected with that manor. 'Bedelescombe' and Farncombe sometimes sent two tithingmen between them, sometimes one each separately, to the hundred court of Godalming. (fn. 231) A list of tenants of Westbrook Manor at Loseley (circa 1670) contains some names in Binscombe, and it is called sometimes a manor, but always in connexion with Westbrook. The existing houses are the property of Mrs. More-Molyneux McCowan, owner of Loseley. There is a Friends' burial ground dating from the 17th century. This is now no longer used.
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL is charmingly situated in the meadows close to the River Wey, set in a large and prettily kept churchyard.
It is built of Bargate stone rubble, originally of a bright yellow colour, and of hard texture. The dressings in the earliest periods were executed in the same stone, but from the end of the 12th century clunch or hard chalk was employed for wrought work in the successive enlargements, Bath stone being used in the 19th-century additions. The roofs are tiled and the lofty spire is covered with lead—a valuable example of this treatment.
In its present form the church has been considerably extended laterally and to the westward, the north transept has been prolonged, and the north chancel rebuilt on a larger plan, all within the 19th century—in 1840 and 1879. It consists therefore now of nave, 68 ft. 9 in. by 20 ft. 6 in. at the east end and 19 ft. 5 in. at the west end; aisles of different lengths, 20 ft. wide; transepts about 12 ft. 3 in. wide and originally 14 ft. 9 in. long; central tower 16 ft. 6 in. square; chancel 40 ft. 5 in. long by 17 ft. 3 in.; and north and south chancel aisles, respectively 35 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 9 in. and 34 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft.
We owe it to Mr. Ralph Nevill, F.S.A. (fn. 232) (who, with the late Sir Gilbert Scott, carried out the last enlargements), and later to the painstaking and acute observation of Mr. S. Welman, (fn. 233) that a very complete architectural history of the building can be put together. Probably there are at least twelve periods of work to be traced in the walls of the present church. The nucleus around which it has grown lies in the centre, the eastern half of the nave representing the simple aisleless nave of the pre-Conquest church, and the central tower its short, square chancel. This would give a nave of about 32 ft. by 20 ft.; the chancel, which had an inclination towards the north, being 16 ft. 6 in. wide and in length originally about a foot longer. This Saxon church had walls averaging 3 ft. in thickness, and disproportionately lofty—about 25 ft.—as was commonly the case in work of this period. Until 1879 the original chancel arch, a plain circular-headed opening about 10 ft. wide, of one order, with plain chamfered imposts, remained as the western arch of the present central tower; but, against the wish of Mr. Nevill, this interesting feature was then removed, and a wide and lofty pointed opening put in its place. The outline of the gable wall above this arch (upon which the west wall of the tower had been subsequently raised), together with the drip-stone or weathering of the pre-Conquest chancel which abutted against its eastern face, was noted by Mr. Nevill, and their true relationship to the earliest structure finally established by Mr. Welman's subsequent discovery of two curious eyelet holes in the apex of this eastern gable of the nave. These are double-splayed, their narrowest diameter being in the heart of the wall, but the internal splay was protracted downward on the western face to throw the light in that direction. Doubtless they lit a roofchamber over the nave.
About the year 1100 the primitive church received its first enlargement, in the form of a long chancel (about 33 ft. 3 in. by 17 ft. 3 in.), a low tower being raised upon the gabled walls of the original chancel, and the eastern wall thickened by about a foot on the western side, an arch of two plain orders, with chamfered imposts, being pierced through it. This arch still exists, but in 1879 it was lifted up on higher piers, the old imposts being left in position and new added to mark the increased height. Earlier alterations had brought to light the remains of six of the windows of this period, three in either side wall of the chancel (lettered A on the plan), and the base and part of the jamb of a priest's door at the west end of the south wall: the east wall of this chancel no longer exists, having been pulled down and rebuilt farther eastward in the 14th century. (fn. 234) There are traces of flat pilaster buttresses having been added to strengthen the junction between the first and second period work. This chancel also inclines to the north.
About 1120 (third period) narrow transepts were added, some of the windows of which can also be traced, arches were pierced in the hitherto solid north and south walls of what had been the first chancel—now the central tower—and the latter was heightened by an additional stage, which still retains in each face the two round-headed openings that were then formed, with a string-course of rounded section below them. A small door of this period has been preserved in the rebuilt end of the north transept.
In the last ten years of the 12th century, but perhaps not quite at one and the same time, aisles were added to the nave, two lofty pointed arches being pierced in either wall, and smaller ones in the west walls of the transepts. This may be called the fourth period. At about the same date, but perhaps slightly earlier, the arches to the transepts from the central tower were altered to a pointed form, and perhaps widened.
In the fifth period, c. 1200, the chancel aisles, or north and south chancels, were thrown out, their arcades being pierced through the second-period walls, leaving the original windows largely intact, but blocked up. These chapels were lit by tall narrow lancets, the south chapel having five in its southern wall and three in its eastern, parts of which still remain (lettered B on plan), although displaced by later insertions. (fn. 235)
For some reason this displacement began very soon, for in about 1250 the curious grouped lancets, with acutely pointed heads and inner-plane arcade, in the south wall, took the place of two of the single lancets: and in 1270 an early essay in bar tracery was inserted in the east wall of the same chapel. This is of five lights, the central wider and taller than the others, with three circles above, having cinquefoil cusping on a recessed plane, and the whole united by a pointed inclosing arch and hood moulding. At some time between 1200 and 1300 the first spire, lower than the present, and covered with oak shingles, replaced the original squat cap of the 12th century. (fn. 236)
Period eight—the 14th century—produced further changes, in the shape of the blocking up of the plain lancets in the western part of this south chapel, and the insertion of square-headed three-light windows with cusped ogee tracery, this type of window being inserted also in the transepts and nave aisles, and probably in the north chancel aisle. At the same time the chancel was extended about 4 ft. eastward, a large five-light window and diagonal buttresses accompanying the rebuilding. In this period the first timber spire probably gave place to the much loftier one of oak covered with lead, which remains substantially as then reconstructed, save for the later addition of broaches at the angles when the parapet wall was removed.
To the ninth period—the 15th century—belong the extension westward of one bay of the nave and aisles, a window in the north wall of the north transept, a corresponding one in the south transept, and others which have been destroyed or shifted within recent times.
In the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century the roof of the nave was ceiled with panelling, the south chapel roof reconstructed, and a large doorway, having a four-centred arch within a square frame, was inserted in the west end of the church. This in 1840 was removed to its present position beneath the tracery window in the east wall of the south chapel. During the 17th and 18th centuries a western gallery and other galleries were erected; the south aisle walls were raised to provide the necessary height, and re-roofed with a span roof. Wooden frame windows were inserted in several places, and dormers made to light the north aisle.
In 1840, after the church had passed through the usual stages of neglect, disfigurement, and mutilation that characterized the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, a severe 'restoration' swept away not only abuses, but many valuable ancient features. Most of the work of 1879 was of the nature of a true archaeological restoration, in which much of the bad work of 1840 was undone and many valuable ancient features were brought to light.
The windows and doors of the nave and aisles and north chantry belong for the most part to 1840 and 1879, including that in the east wall of the north chantry, but the east window dates from 1859. The stair turret on the north side is also modern.
Some points of detail in the interior of the church have now to be considered.
On the window sills of the south chapel are carved fragments, in a very hard shelly limestone, of pre-Conquest date. Two seem to have formed the rims of a circular basin or basins, but they are hardly large enough to have served for a font, as has been suggested, nor does the shape at all suggest such a use. The total diameter of the two halves is only 1 ft. 7½ in. by 6¾ in. in height and 3¾ in. thickness. The upright face is ornamented with four horses' heads, separating alternate designs of interlaced work and a running scroll, such as are found in the pre-Conquest arch at Britford Church, near Salisbury. A third fragment, with a basket-work pattern, may have been part of the block on which this basin stood; and two others with a scroll-pattern and figures, much defaced, suggest the stem of a churchyard cross. Some of these were found built into the walls, notably in the west arch of the tower, i.e. the chancel arch of the pre-Conquest church, suggesting that they had formed part of some building of even older date.
Next in interest and date to these are the remains of the priest's door and six windows of c. 1100 in the chancel walls. The windows have splays running out to a narrow chamfered edge, without rebate or groove for glazing. The rough plaster of the splays is cut into patterns round the circular internal head, such as zigzag, fret, and saw-tooth; (fn. 237) and both on the plastering and stonework are painted well-preserved coeval patterns in red and white. The somewhat later transept windows are not so ornamented. In the south wall of the south transept is a 12th-century piscina and the remains of what may have been sedilia.
In the west wall of the south transept is the arch of 1190, with characteristic mouldings and a slightly incised cheveron ornament on the bell of one of its capitals. The two eastern arches of the north and south nave arcades are set upon unusually lofty piers, those on the south being circular, while the north are octagonal, an alteration of later date. The north and south arches of the tower are perfectly plain, and possibly a little earlier.
The nave roof is ancient—the eastern part perhaps even of 13th-century date—but the flat panelled ceiling added in the reign of Henry VII was in 1840 turned into one of canted shape; the old painted shields, bearing local and other coats of arms, which were fixed at the intersection of the ribs of the panelling, were preserved and re-used in the new work. Similar wooden shields, displaying general and local heraldry, initials of benefactors, &c., existed up to the same date in the south chantry and the adjoining transept. In both transepts, in the south chapel, and in the main chancel, are ancient roofs, parts of which may be as old as the 12th or 13th century, but with considerable reconstruction at different dates. The south chapel roof has somewhat elaborate mouldings on many of its timbers, of very much later date. This roof was always a span roof; but that of the north chapel, prior to 1840, when the extension took place, was a lean-to, as was also that of the north aisle of the nave.
Among smaller features may be noted the early 14th-century sedilia, piscina, and aumbry in the south wall of the chancel; the early 13th-century piscina and aumbry in the north chapel; and the unusually large double piscina, with two aumbries over, in the south chapel of the same date. The two piscinae are divided by a small octagonal shaft with cap and base. Beneath these is an altar-tomb of marble on chalk and brick base, (fn. 238) and a disused font also of late character and quite plain.
In the same south chapel, on the partly unblocked splays of the destroyed lancets, are some very valuable and well-preserved fragments of painting, coeval with the lancets themselves (c. 1200). These, which are somewhat elaborately executed in several colours, show figures of about life-size within trefoil-headed canopies. On the east splay of the easternmost lancet on the south side St. John the Baptist is shown, with hairy mantle, and bearing a disc on which is the Agnus Dei. Having been covered up from about half a century after the date of execution until 1879, these paintings are exceptionally well preserved. It is said that in 1840 many others, on the general wall surfaces, were uncovered only to be destroyed.
Aubrey mentions one or two coats of arms in the glazing of the chancel and south chantry windows, including those of England and France, but these no longer exist. There is a part of a lion, or, in the east window of the south chancel, and a rose with diamond quarters in the north transept.
A very large and solid oak chest, of the same date as the chantry, 5 ft. 7 in. by 1 ft. 9½ in. and 2 ft. 4 in. high, has lately been placed here. It belongs to the pin-hinge group of the 13th century, and has a pierced quadrant to the standards, and a money-hutch inside with a secret well below. (fn. 239) A good oak railing, which formerly fenced three sides of the sacrarium, was removed in 1867, and parts of it used as stair balusters in a house known as the 'Square.'
The pulpit is Elizabethan. There are two communion tables; one of Elizabethan or Jacobean date, which formerly had extending leaves, now stands in the north chancel, cruelly mangled to suit modern taste, and concealed by upholstery; the other, a good but more modern table, has now been placed in the vestry.
Besides the altar tomb above mentioned, there are no monuments of importance, (fn. 240) and, what is rather surprising in a church of this size and antiquity, practically none of pre-Reformation date. In the chancel are brasses to Thomas Purvoch and wife, 1509, and John Barker, 1595, in armour; and there are slabs, some with brass plates, escutcheons, and carved armorial bearings. The inscriptions to Thomas and Isabella Westbrook no longer exist, but the old family of the Eliots of Busbridge are largely represented: and on the south side of the chancel is an alabaster and black marble tablet, with a kneeling figure, to Judith Eliot, wife of William Eliot, 1615. The inscription is of the quaintly laudatory style so often met with in monuments of this period.
In the south transept is a tablet to the Rev. Owen Manning, Canon of Lincoln, rector of Peper Harow and vicar of Godalming for thirty-seven years, joint author of Manning and Bray's History of Surrey, who died in 1801. He is buried in the churchyard.
The Registers of Godalming, edited by Mr. H. E. Malden, have been published by the Surrey Parish Register Society (vol. ii), and extracts from them in a paper on the church by the late Major Heales, F.S.A. (fn. 241) They commence in 1582, but copies of earlier entries are to be found in Symmes's MS. in the British Museum, among which is:—
'1541, July 7, Sir James Wall, Soul Priest of Godalming, was buryed.' (fn. 242)
The famous Nicholas Andrews, 'Vic. de Godalmyn,' has signed each page of vol ii, from March 1636 to 1642. In the plague-year, 1666, there are many entries of deaths due to 'ye great sickness,' which, no doubt owing to the proximity of the Portsmouth road, must have spread from London with fatal effect.
Besides more modern pieces, there are patens of 1685 and 1722 among the church plate, and a fine silver alms basin of 1632.
The bells have all been recast in the 18th and 19th centuries. Prior to 1849 or 1850 there was a unique survival (so far as Surrey is concerned) of a sanctus bell, hung externally at the base of the south-east side of the spire. This now does duty at the cemetery chapel. It was cast by Richard Phelps in 1724.
The church of St. John the Baptist, Busbridge, is of Bargate stone with chalk quoins and windows in 13th-century style. There is a central tower. It was consecrated in 1867.
The church of St. John the Evangelist, Farncombe, is of Bargate stone, with a bell-turret but no tower or spire, in 13th-century style. It was consecrated in 1849. The Rev. Charles C. R. Dallas, rector 1859–80, was as an ensign in the 32nd Foot wounded at Quatre Bras. The church was built upon land given by the late James More Molyneux which had escheated to him as lord of the manor owing to the tenant having committed murder.
The church of St. Mary the Virgin, Shackleford, is of Bargate stone in a good 13th-century style, built by Sir Gilbert Scott. It is cruciform, with north and south aisles divided from the nave by arcades of four arches. A central tower and spire were built in 1865.
The ancient site of the parish church was Minster Field at Tuesley. A chapel dedicated in honour of the Virgin Mary was still standing in a ruinous state there in 1220, and its memory was preserved by celebrations on the Purification, the Vigil of the Assumption, and the Nativity of the Virgin. There was also a burying-ground there. (fn. 243) After the dissolution of free chapels under Edward VI, the chapel in Godalming called Oldminster, with a cemetery round it, was leased to Laurence Eliot. (fn. 244) The foundations of this chapel, which have been uncovered in recent years, prove it to have been stone-built, with a nave 21 ft. by 14 ft., and a chancel 11 ft. long, of the same width as the nave, and separated from it by a wall with an arch or door in it. The nave itself was divided up the centre longitudinally by a wall or foundation, and many ancient interments were found within this area, the skeletons being disposed from east to west. The close called 'Chapel Fields' is mentioned with the Eliots' manor of Busbridge in May 1622; (fn. 245) it is close to Minster Field. A fair was held on Lady Day at the Old Minster as late as the 16th century.
GODALMING RECTORY was a separate fee in the time of Edward the Confessor, when Ulmaer held it of the king. In 1086 it consisted of a church and three hides, and was held of Godalming Manor by Ranulph Flambard, who became chief adviser of William II; he also held the church at Tuesley, (fn. 246) and Tuesley was parcel of the rectory manor. (fn. 247) Ranulph fled from Henry I to Duke Robert of Normandy; and though he was pardoned by Henry in 1106, (fn. 248) he does not appear to have regained entire possession of his lands, for a few years later (fn. 249) the king granted Ranulph's fee in Godalming, Tuesley, Enton, and Guildford, together with Heytesbury co. Wilts, to the church of St. Mary, Salisbury, as a prebend on condition that Ranulph should hold the churches for life as a canon of Salisbury. (fn. 250) It was known as the prebend of Heytesbury, and, Ranulph Flambard having died in 1128, (fn. 251) the prebend was annexed to the possessions of the Deans of Salisbury. (fn. 252) The cathedral obtained a confirmation of Godalming Church and a grant of 30 librates of land in Godalming in 1157 in return for the castle of Devizes. (fn. 253) The rectory was impropriate to the dean by 1285. In a visitation of the manor dated 1220 it is stated that there had been a vicar there for a long time, but he had never been residentiary. (fn. 254)
The estate and the advowson were leased frequently. In a dispute between the lessee (Mr. Castillion) and the vicar in 1578 some curious evidence was given of the former state kept by the dean when he visited the rectory house, then ruined, north of the church. He spent '30 hogsheads of drink at Christmas.' (fn. 255) A picturesque old house which stood here till about 1860 must have been a successor to the one described. The dispute continued till 1628. The final decree in Chancery preserves the survey of the rectory manor made in 1622. (fn. 256)
The manor remained the property of the successive Deans of Salisbury till the Act of 1649 abolishing deans and chapters. Whilst it belonged to the State a survey of the rectory manor was taken. (fn. 257) It included, besides the right of presentation and tithes, the parsonage or rectory, glebe and 'sanctuary lands,' and the profits of court leet where 'one constable for the Deanes' was sworn. The lease by a former dean to Valentine Castillion was confirmed, but the manor was sold to George Peryer. (fn. 258) The dean and chapter were reinstated after the Restoration, (fn. 259) and the successive deans continued in possession till 22 May 1846, when the manor was transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 260) The rectory manor was sold with the land about 1860 to Mr. John Simmonds, whose son, Mr. J. Whateley Simmonds, is now owner. The Commissioners retained the great tithes, and the advowson was vested in the Bishop of Winchester.
The early history of the advowson of the parish church is coincident with that of the rectory manor. After the deprivation of Dr. Andrews, whose Calvinistic parishioners petitioned against him in 1640, (fn. 261) the king presented Isaac Fortrey. The Crown again presented in 1660, (fn. 262) but withdrew the presentation at the petition of the dean and chapter. (fn. 263)
The parsonage or rectory, now demolished, was directly north of the church. Parts of the vicarage house are of great antiquity.
Farncombe was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1849; (fn. 266) the living is in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester.
Shackleford parish was formed in 1866. (fn. 267) The living is also in the patronage of the bishop. These three are rectories, endowed by the Commissioners out of the great tithes.
There were also churches or chapels at Catteshull and Hurtmore, now lost. Traces of the Catteshull Chapel remained near the manor house when Manning wrote.
The wooden chapel of All Saints, Hurtmore, was held in 1220 by Nicholas, apparitor of the Chapter of Guildford, for half a mark, who had it from Thomas of Hurtmore. The latter had made a composition for it with the Chancellor of Salisbury. (fn. 268) In 1260 the Prior of Newark, then lord of Hurtmore, pleaded that he had been permitted to present to Hurtmore 'Church.' (fn. 269) It has long disappeared, but its site was south-west of the Charterhouse Hill towards Eashing.
Wyatt's Almshouses were founded in 1619 by Richard Wyatt, of London, carpenter. The management is vested in the Carpenters' Company. They stand in Mead Row, Farncombe.
Smith's Charity exists in Godalming as in other Surrey parishes; it is distributed here in money, not in bread. Richard Champion in 1622 left a house and land in Crayford, now represented by £1,138 consols, which is administered as Smith's Charity.
The Meath Home for Epileptic Women and Girls was founded by the Countess of Meath, who in 1892 bought for the purpose the manor house of Westbrook, near Godalming station. A new wing was added in 1896. It accommodates seventy-four patients.