A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Werpesdune (xi cent.); Werplesdone and Werplesden (xii cent.).
Worplesdon is a parish lying 3 miles north-west from Guildford. It contains 5,253 acres, and is about 5 miles east to west, and 3 miles north to south in extreme measurement. The village and church stand upon an abrupt hill of Bagshot sand (the Bracklesham Beds), but round it the soil is lower Bagshot sand. To the south the parish is on the London Clay, and to the east there is alluvium of the Wey valley. The river runs through the parish for a short distance, and is joined by a brook, sometimes called Worplesdon Brook. There are brick and tile works, and cement works in the parish, and nursery gardens. It is otherwise agricultural, and a great part of it is waste land. Whitmoor and Broad Street Commons are extensive wastes. The Guildford and Aldershot road passes through it, and the main London and South-Western Railway line from London to Portsmouth. There is a Worplesdon station, which lies however, in Woking parish.
The parish was divided into four tithings: Perry Hill, about the hill on which the church stands; Burpham, on the east side; West End; and Wyke. The last, which was separated from the rest of the parish, was added to Ash (q.v.) in 1890.
The heaths are rich in archaeological remains. Aubrey (fn. 1) mentions a trench and bank, the bank on the west side running through this parish from southeast to north-west. It is still visible on Whitmoor Common, though it is now curtailed at both ends by extended cultivation, and at the south end has been apparently incorporated into the bank of a lane. It is roughly parallel to the railway line, on the west side of it, some 400 yds. from it. The existing portion is about 600 yds. long, too long for one side of an inclosure, more probably a boundary ditch. There are also Bronze Age tumuli which have been opened, and pottery found there is now in the Pitt-Rivers collection, Oxford. Arrow-heads and implements, including a perforated stone hammer head, are in the Archaeological Society's Museum at Guildford, and in the Charterhouse Museum. On Broad Street Common a Roman villa was excavated in 1829. A piece of pavement of some interest was removed to Clandon Park by the Earl of Onslow, lord of the manor. Tiles and pottery, and some doubtful pieces of metal, but no decipherable coins were found. (fn. 2) RomanoBritish interments, with pottery, have been found at Burpham. Some of the pottery is in the Archaeological Society's Museum at Guildford; but it is chiefly kept in private hands.
Close by Worplesdon Church, on the top of the hill, a tower used to stand with a semaphore, forming part of the communications between Portsmouth and London.
Two rather notable names occur among the rectors: Thomas Comber, 1615–42, Master of Trinity Colledge, Cambridge, and John Burton, 1766–71. The latter was author of a curious work, Iter Surriense et Sussexiense, published 1752, which contains two different accounts in Latin and Greek of a journey from Oxford through Henley, Windsor, Kingston, Epsom, Dorking, Horsham, Lewes, Brighton, Shoreham, Chichester. He also wrote a defence of the study of Greek. His Greek journey is peculiarly interesting from its notices of the country. He is said to have made at his own expense the causeway on which the road to Guildford runs, near Woodbridge, in order that he might ride to Guildford in flood time.
The Inclosure Act for Worplesdon dealt mainly with the Wyke portion in 1803. (fn. 3)
Burying Place Farm has its name from a Friends' burial-ground, presented by Stephen Smith of Worplesdon, one of the early Friends, a friend of Fox, who died in 1678. The meeting was amalgamated with that of Guildford in 1739. The burying-ground was sold in 1852. (fn. 4) There was a General Baptist Meeting at Worplesdon, removed to Meadrow, Godalming, after 1805. (fn. 5)
There is a Congregational chapel built in 1822, and a Congregational mission hall at Rydeshill. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel at Burpham. On Whitmoor Common is a Joint Isolation Hospital, built in 1899 under the control of a Joint Guildford, Godalming, and Woking Hospital Board.
Schools (provided) were built at Perry Hill in 1861, and at Wood Street.
The village stands on high wooded ground, and is partly grouped round an oblong green and partly along the main road which runs north and south, with descents at both extremities of the village. There are several half-timber houses of 17th-century date, and on the west side of the green a red brick house of the same period with slight ornament in the form of brick labels to the windows. At the southwest is a pretty group of half-timbered cottages with brick filling and projecting bays with rounded pediments in brick over the lower windows. East of the green the ground rises to its highest point, on which the church is built. Though surrounded by trees a very fine and typical view of the county, particularly to the eastward, is obtained from the tower. William Cole the antiquary, who visited the parish in 1774, has left a description from which it appears that he had to drive up the hill to the church, although it is difficult to see by what route he approached.
Worplesdon Place is the residence of Sir J. L. Walker, C.I.E.; Rickford, of Lt.-Col. Montgomery; Rydes Hill, of Mr. F. Williams; Stoke Hill, of Mrs. Paynter.
The present rectory lies at the foot of a steep grassy slope south-west of the churchyard, with which it is connected by a footpath.
WORPLESDON (Werpesdene, xiii and xiv cents.; Worpisdene, xv cent.) was held by Earl Roger in chief at the time of Domesday. Turald held it of him, (fn. 6) and like the rest of the land of Earl Roger in Surrey it became part of the honour of Gloucester. (fn. 7) In the 13th century Gilbert de Basseville held a knight's fee in Worplesdon of the honour of Gloucester, and Gilbert de Holeye held a third part of a fee of the same. (fn. 8) The manor of Gilbert de Basseville in Worplesdon appears early in the 13th century in two moieties. In 1314 Roland de Wykford held half a knight's fee of the Earl of Gloucester, and the other moiety was held by Mary de Wintershull. (fn. 9) In 1317 the Wintershull moiety of the manor was said to be held of Nicholas de Seymour, (fn. 10) while in 1328 Thomas de Seymour, son of Nicholas, was declared to be intermediate lord between the heir of the Wintershulls and the Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 11) Mary de Wintershull died seised of this moiety in 1317. (fn. 12)
She left, as heirs, her sister Paulina de Hegham and the two daughters of Nathania de Ralegh, another sister, Joan wife of Ralph de Ditton, and Margaret. (fn. 13) In the next year Ralph, Joan, and Margaret joined in conveying their portion to Paulina, (fn. 14) who thus became seised of the whole moiety. She died in 1328 leaving as her heir her son Roger de Hegham. (fn. 15) She held of Thomas de Seymour, who held of the Earl of Gloucester as of the honour of Camberwell. When Hugh Audley, Earl of Gloucester, died in 1347, both moieties of Worplesdon, the Wintershull and Wykford parts, were still held of him. But in 1372 when Ralph Stafford, husband of Audley's daughter, died, there is no mention of Worplesdon among his lands. (fn. 16) The Wykford portion was conveyed to the Crown in 1363, (fn. 17) and the other half was probably also acquired at some time by the Crown, for the king's steward held a court for the whole manor in 1366. (fn. 18)
In 1387 John Worship, yeoman of the king's cuphouse, had a grant of the manor, (fn. 19) but only for life. (fn. 20) In 1453 it was granted to Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, later Duke of Bedford. (fn. 21) He was attainted by Edward IV, and in 1474 it was granted to the Duke of Clarence 'for the better maintenance of his estate.' (fn. 22) The Duke of Bedford was restored by Henry VII, but died without heirs in 1495. It was granted for life to Antony Browne in 1523, (fn. 23) and in 1570 his son, the first Lord Montagu, was made steward of the manor by the queen. (fn. 24) In 1623 a lease was granted to John Murray, Lord Annandale, for three lives. (fn. 25) He probably sold his interest to Charles Harbord, who had a grant for three lives in 1631. (fn. 26) In 1653 a court was held by Sir Charles Harbord, in 1665 by William Harbord. In 1668 John Payne of Hurtmore granted a moiety of the manor of Worplesdon to Thomas Newton of Stoke next Guildford for £510, having already sold him the other half. (fn. 27) Thomas Newton held a court in 1670. In 1681 it was bought by Richard Onslow, in whose family it has remained.
The history of the other half previous to 1363 remains to be traced. (fn. 28) In 1296 Thomas de Wykford granted a moiety of Worplesdon Manor to Margery widow of John de Wykford, to hold for life. (fn. 29) Roland de Wykford, possibly son of Thomas, was holding in 1314. (fn. 30) In 1347 Roland de Wykford granted the annual rent of 10 marks from his lands in Worplesdon to Robert de Wykford, (fn. 31) who in 1363 conveyed his manor of Worplesdon to the Crown. (fn. 32)
The family of Wykford had the rights of view of frankpledge and assize of bread and ale in Worplesdon. (fn. 33)
The manor of BURGHAM (Borham, xi cent.; Burpham, xvi cent.) in Worplesdon was at the time of the Survey held by Turald (fn. 34) of Earl Roger.
At the time of the Testa de Nevill Thurstan le Dispenser was holding a knight's fee in Burgham as of the honour of Gloucester, (fn. 35) and in 1276 Adam le Dispenser, presumably Thurstan's heir, released Burgham Manor to William de Wintershull and Beatrice his wife. (fn. 36) In 1314, at the death of the Earl of Gloucester, John de Wintershull, son of William and Beatrice, was holding Burgham. (fn. 37) John perhaps died without issue, (fn. 38) for the manor passed to his cousin Thomas, who died seised of it in 1340. (fn. 39) Burgham was assigned as dower to Alice widow of Thomas Wintershull, (fn. 40) who, a few years after her husband's death, became the wife of Henry de Loxley. (fn. 41) At her death in 1385 the manor passed to her second son Thomas de Wintershull, her eldest son William having predeceased her, and he died seised of it in 1388, leaving a son and heir Thomas (fn. 42) The younger Thomas died in 1400 and was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 43) who, however, left no issue, and the manor passed at his death in 1420 to his sister Agnes wife of William Bassett. She was in possession of it in 1436, (fn. 44) when she conveyed Burgham to trustees, probably in favour of the male heir of the Wintershull family, for Thomas Wintershull died seised of it in 1477, leaving Robert his son and heir. (fn. 45) It returned, however, to the Bassetts, for Richard Bassett died seised in 1509, leaving a son and heir Thomas then twelve years old. (fn. 46) Apparently Thomas died without issue, for at the death of Juliana widow of Richard in 1533 her heir was found to be her daughter Joan wife of Richard Unwyn, then twenty-nine years old. (fn. 47) In 1548 a certain Sir Anthony Windsor and his wife Joan were seised of the manor in Joan's right; (fn. 48) so that probably Sir Anthony was Joan Bassett's second husband. In 1566 Anthony Windsor, son of Joan and Anthony, died seised of the manor, leaving a son and heir Edmund, who was about four years old at the time of his father's death. (fn. 49) In 1592 Edmund conveyed the manor to Sir John Wolley, (fn. 50) who died in 1595. In 1597 Lady Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Wolley, was holding the manor in trust for her son Francis. (fn. 51)
Francis Wolley died seised of the manor in 1609, and bequeathed it to his illegitimate daughter Mary. (fn. 52) Chancery proceedings followed, but Mary Wolley was still in possession in 1629 (fn. 53) of half at least of the manor. But in the same year her cousin Sir Arthur Mainwaring parted with one-sixth of it, which he claimed, to Robert Bacon and Thomas Acton; (fn. 54) and in the same year Mary Wolley gave a warranty to Thomas Bosser against herself and her heirs for part of the manor. Mary Wolley married Sir John Wyrley, (fn. 55) and a court was held in their names in 1645. In 1679 a court was held by Sir John Wyrley alone. It seems that Mary Wolley compounded with the heirs-at-law for part of the manor, but kept the lordship. After her husband's death this passed to her half-brother Robert Wroth. Mr. Wroth was M.P. for Guildford in 1704, 1707, and 1714. He died in 1720, and the manor was bought by Lord Onslow, in whose family it has since continued. Burpham Lodge is the seat of Mr. J. B. S. Boyle.
The so-called manor of FRENCHES in Worplesdon originated perhaps in the 2 hides and a virgate held separately by two knights in Domesday. It certainly is represented by the knight's fee held there by Richard le French in 1349. (fn. 56) In 1402 John French, presumably a descendant of Richard, released the manor of Frenches to Robert Oyldesborough, brewer, of London. (fn. 57) In 1465 Robert Wintershull, son of John, granted the manor of Frenches to trustees in use for himself and his heirs. (fn. 58) In 1477 Thomas Wintershull died seised of Frenches, (fn. 59) and it is mentioned among the lands of Robert Wintershull at his death in 1547. (fn. 60) John Wintershull his son died in 1549 seised of Frenches. In 1570 John Wintershull his son parted with Frenches to William Hamonde of Guildford, (fn. 61) probably for the purposes of a settlement, as William Wintershull his son appears in possession later. In 1598 William Wintershull conveyed to Robert Russell. (fn. 62) The subsequent history of Frenches is lost, (fn. 63) but it is probably represented by Russell Place Farm. Anthony Russell was living in Worplesdon when Symmes wrote, about 1676. (fn. 64)
There is mention in 1742 of the 'manor' of MERRIST WOOD in Surrey, when George Grenville levied a fine against James Grenville. (fn. 65) This is Merrist Wood in Worplesdon, but it was only a reputed manor. In 1582 the queen, by charter, granted a lease to George More of Loseley of 'Merest Wood,' described as 82 acres of wood and wooded ground in the Forest of Windsor, in Worplesdon in Surrey, at £3 8s. per annum. (fn. 66) It may have been originally a residential property, for a John de Merehurst was suing in 1317 for land in Worplesdon. (fn. 67) A genealogy of Merehurst of Worplesdon is in the Visitation of 1623, (fn. 68) and a John Merest was vicar of Woking 1674–99. Merrist Wood Hall is the residence of Mr. S. Brotherhood.
The manor of WYKE (Wucha, xi cent.) in Worplesdon apparently originated in the hide in Burgham held by Godric of Earl Roger at the time of Domesday. (fn. 69)
The manor appears in the 13th century in the possession of a family which took its name from the place. (fn. 70) In 1279 William of Wyke was holding the manor of Wyke, (fn. 71) and in 1316 Richard de Wyke made a settlement of it on himself and his wife Joan. (fn. 72) He died before 1342. (fn. 73) His son Peter survived him, for in the inquisition on Hugh le Despenser, (fn. 74) Peter held a third of a knight's fee in Wyke as of the honour of Gloucester.
Peter was dead when his mother Joan died in 1353, (fn. 75) leaving as heirs Katerina, Joan, and Christine, daughters of her son Peter. From that date the history of the manor becomes obscure. In 1376 Walter Wyke, amongst others, (fn. 76) was reported to hold a fee of the honour of Gloucester, (fn. 77) but this is probably a reminiscence of a former tenant. Of the three shares of the co-heiresses two passed to John Logge or to his son John Logge by conveyance in 1457 and 1475 respectively. (fn. 78) Geoffrey the great-grandson of the first John Logge of Ash afterwards held these. (fn. 79) He had two co-heiresses, Alice and Mary, who married respectively John Bond and George Osbaldeston. (fn. 80) In 1563 Alice and Richard Osbaldeston, son of George and Mary, conveyed to William Harding. (fn. 81)
The remaining third was conveyed by one Stephen Parker to Thomas Manory, to whom and to whose daughter Anne there are brasses in Ash Church. Thomas settled in 1500 on Anne on her marriage with Ralph Vyne. Their son Henry Vyne, owner in 1552, (fn. 82) settled it on his son Henry in 1553. Henry the younger died in 1571 leaving a son Stephen, (fn. 83) who conveyed to Robert White in 1580, probably by way of mortgage, (fn. 84) and in 1584 sold outright to William Harding, (fn. 85) who thus acquired the whole. Henceforth it descended as Claygate in Ash (q.v.).
In 1290 William of Wyke was reported to have had without charter, from time immemorial, assize of bread and ale and view of frankpledge in the manor of Wyke. (fn. 86)
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel 42 ft. 1 in. by 15 ft. 7 in., with a north chapel 28 ft. 5 in. by 14 ft., a modern north-east vestry and south chapel; a nave 41 ft. 4 in. by 21 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles 9 ft. 4 in. and 6 ft. 8 in. wide respectively; a western tower 14 ft. by 16 ft. 9 in., and a south porch. The nave and tower are faced with Heath stone, the north and south chapels with flint, and the former has, like the chancel, some ironstone conglomerate in its walls. The whole church has been much over-restored, and in consequence it is now almost impossible to assign a date for the oldest part of the church. The chancel, however, is probably of fairly early 13th-century date, and the north chapel seems to be of about the same time. The nave arcades and aisles appear to date from the middle of the same century; and about the middle of the 15th century the west tower was built and the clearstory added. The porch, though much restored, is more than a century later, the date 1591 being still faintly discernible. In the middle of the 17th century the whole church was re-roofed, and in modern times the north vestry and south chapel were added, a new chancel arch inserted, and the arcade between the north chapel and chancel built.
The east window of the chancel is of late 14th-century style with modern tracery of two cinquefoiled and one trefoiled light, with a two-centred head and flowing tracery. On the north is a modern arcade of three bays opening to the north chapel, and on the south, at the east, is a window of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head which, though much restored, is of 15th-century date. West of this are three modern sedilia and a modern doorway and an arcade of two bays.
The north chapel is lit on the east by a lancet of which a few quoin stones are old, high up in the wall, two modern north windows of 15th-century detail, and a 13th-century lancet on the west, partly blocked by the aisle roof. In the north wall are two ogeeheaded tomb recesses, now empty, of mid-14th-century date. Between the chapel and the north aisle is a plain chamfered arch with a few old stones in its jambs.
The south chapel is entirely modern with a two-light window on the east and on the south two two-light windows and one single light.
The nave is of three bays and has arcades with round columns and half-round responds, moulded capitals and bases of curious profile, the mouldings having been much cut down, and two-centred arches of two chamfered orders. Like all internal work here they are of chalk; the plaster edges towards the nave are finished in scallop pattern, after an early fashion, but are here modern.
The tower arch is of two hollow-chamfered orders
with a moulded capital at the springing line and
shafted and moulded jambs, very fine and massive work
in chalk. On a stone set in the north side of its east
face is an inscription in 15th-century letters:
richarde exford made
xiv fote of yis touer.
The clearstory has, on either side, a single trefoiled light between two two-light windows, all under square heads.
Both aisles have two two-light windows in the side walls, with square heads, perhaps 15th-century work renewed, and in the west wall of the north aisle is a modern lancet.
A sketch of the church made in 1774 by William Cole shows these windows as apparently of late 14th-century date. At the south-east of the aisle is a plain pointed piscina. Between the windows is the south door with a plain modern four-centred head.
The south porch is a plain open timber one, a good deal restored. On the tie-beam over the entrance are faintly visible the royal initials E.R., the date 1591, and also the initials H.T. The sides are filled with modern arcading of 14th-century style.
The tower is of three stages built in Heath stone with an embattled parapet, and is surmounted by a small open lantern of 18th-century date, said to have been brought there from the rectory stables, and absurdly out of proportion. The belfry windows are of two cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head. The west window is of 15th-century date, much restored, of five lights with sub-mullions and smaller lights over and a wide hollow external reveal. The west door, of the same date, and also much restored, has moulded jambs and head in two orders, the inner being four-centred and the outer square. The tower has a turret staircase on the north-east and diagonal buttresses.
The fittings of the church are largely modern. The font is of marble and of 18th-century date with a very graceful outline. The 18th-century notes referred to above, however, contain a sketch of a square font on angle shafts with an arcade on the bowl of pointed arches, apparently of 13th-century date.
The roofs are all apparently of the same date, except those which are modern, and on the moulded wall-plate of the north chapel is carved 'R.R. I.C. C.W. 1650. R.K.' They are all open and quite plain. The seating is all modern, but there is an extremely fine pulpit of late 17th-century date with moulded and raised panels and acanthus enrichment. This is said to have come from Eton College.
In the windows of the church is a quantity of stained glass mainly of 15th-century date, but some earlier. In the windows of the north aisle are two small 14th-century figures under contemporary canopies, and a kneeling priest in a cassock, over which is a red cloak and a brown hood. This is of the 15th-century, but the head of a bishop here is a piece of 14th-century work. In the same window are two shields: Argent three gimel bars gules impaling azure a cross argent; and Gules a fret or on a chief azure a lis or—probably three lis originally.
In the south aisle are the following: the arms of King Henry VIII impaling the augmented arms granted on her marriage to Anne Boleyn, which are: Quarterly of six; 1. Lancaster; 2. Angoulême; 3. Guienne; 4. Butler quartering Rochford; 5. Brotherton; 6. Warenne. Another shield is that of Robert Bennet, Bishop of Hereford 1602–17: Argent a cross gules between four demi-lions gules quartered with paly or and vert. This last is dated 1633. England quartered with France also appears, and the arms of Eton College. In the south-east window is the name W. Roberts, 1802.
There are six bells: the treble and third cast by Thomas Mears in 1827; the second, fourth, and fifth by R. Phelps in 1726; and the sixth by Thomas Mears in 1826.
The church plate consists of a cup of 1616; a flagon of 1598, the gift of Lady Margaret Savill; a repoussé salver, the gift of John Lancing in 1612; and a much-repaired unmarked standing paten, probably of early 18th-century date.
The first book of the registers contains entries from 'the 30 year of Henry VIII' (1538) to 1718. A second book contains entries between 1776 and 1812, the intermediate entries from 1718 to 1776 having been contained in one now fallen to pieces.
St. Luke's Church, Burpham, was built in 1859 as a chapel of ease to Worplesdon. It is a plain stone building of a nave and chancel and western bellturret.
The early history of Worplesdon Church is somewhat obscure. There was a church in Worplesdon at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 87) but the advowson does not seem to be mentioned before 1291, when Ladereyna Valoynes released it to Sir John de Cobham. (fn. 88) It remained in the direct line of the Cobham family (fn. 89) until the death of John, Lord Cobham, in 1407, when it passed to his granddaughter Joan, daughter of Joan de Cobham by her marriage with Sir John De La Pole. (fn. 90) The younger Joan, Baroness de Cobham in her own right, died in 1434; (fn. 91) and by a settlement made in 1428 (fn. 92) her fifth husband, Sir John Harpenden, was to retain possession of the advowson for life, with remainder at his death to Joan, wife of Sir Thomas Brooke, and daughter of Joan de Cobham by her second marriage with Sir Reginald Braybrooke. (fn. 93)
The advowson continued in the possession of the Cobhams till it was forfeited with the other possessions of Henry, Lord Cobham, who was attainted in 1603. (fn. 94) Before that Henry, Lord Cobham, had granted the next presentation to Sir George More of Loseley, who presented Thomas Comber, afterwards Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1615. (fn. 95) The Crown presented in 1660, 1670, and again in 1683. (fn. 96) The advowson was granted to Eton College in 1690. (fn. 97)
Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes.
In 1605 Mr. Shaw left £4 a year for the poor, charged upon the 'Nag's Head' in Guildford and land in Stoke.
In 1726 the rector, the Rev. C. Moore, left £200 in Government stock for educating poor children under the direction of the rector.