A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12, Ramsbury and Selkley Hundreds; the Borough of Marlborough. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1983.
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Ramsbury is 9 km. east of Marlborough. (fn. 1) Before the Norman Conquest it was the seat of bishops whose hundred of Ramsbury was the second largest non-royal estate in Wiltshire. (fn. 2) The hundred lay east and west along the Kennet valley and was attenuated northwards to include the modern parishes of Baydon on the downs and Bishopstone in the Cole valley. Both parts of the hundred were in areas which in 1066 were remarkable for the many royal, episcopal, and monastic estates in them. (fn. 3) Before the Conquest there was at Ramsbury a church of which the whole episcopal estate and hundred may have been the parish. (fn. 4) Bishopstone, where there was a church in the 12th century, was in the 13th century a distinct parish. (fn. 5) Baydon became a poor-law parish but its church, standing in the early 12th century, remained dependent on Ramsbury church until the 1790s. (fn. 6) This history of Ramsbury parish therefore embraces Baydon, but most aspects of the histories of Axford and Baydon, the largest villages in the parish apart from Ramsbury, are dealt with separately under the names of those places.
Ramsbury parish was roughly the shape of a boot with Axford in the toe, Littlecote in the heel, and Baydon in the leg. It measured 8 km. from toe to heel, 12 km. from top to heel; and it contained 12,358 a. (5,002 ha.) which was reduced to 9,873 a. (3,996 ha.) when Baydon was excluded. The parish has otherwise remained unaltered. The whole, including Baydon, is in the Kennet valley and on chalk. (fn. 7) The Kennet flows from west to east across its southern part without a southern tributary valley. North of the river the steep sides of the valley have been broken into many ridges and valleys now dry, and a tributary still flows from Aldbourne through Preston and Whittonditch. Only Hens Wood in the south-west corner of the parish and the northern slopes of Bailey Hill at the north end drain to the Kennet through tributaries in other parishes. The unbroken southern side of the valley, called Spring Hill near Ramsbury, rises sharply from 122 m. to 168 m.: above it the highest points on an almost flat summit are above 183 m. South-west of Spring Hill part of the down was called Ramsbury Plain in 1820. (fn. 8) The broken and complex relief of the parish north of the Kennet is typical of the Wiltshire downs. From its highest points, over 229 m. at Baydon, the land slopes south-eastwards, the heights of the ridges, 216 m. at Marridge Hill, over 198 m. along the boundary with the southern part of Aldbourne, and over 183 m. at Eastridge, decreasing nearer to Littlecote, which lies near the river at 107 m. The parish boundary followed a Roman road north-west of Baydon, the tributary between Preston and Aldbourne, and dry valleys between Aldbourne and Baydon, near Axford, and near Rudge in Froxfield, but for most of its length was neither straight nor responsive to relief. The boundaries with Aldbourne in Love's Copse and with Aldbourne, Little Hinton, and Bishopstone on the remote downs north-west of Baydon were first marked in 1778. (fn. 9)
Deposits of clay-with-flints, valley gravel, and alluvium overlie the chalk, follow the contours, and are very extensive for a Wiltshire parish. There is clay-with-flints on all the ridges, gravel in all the valleys. Most of the down south of the Kennet is covered by clay-with-flints and a broad tongue covers the ridge from Marridge Hill through Baydon to Bailey Hill. The high ground on the boundaries with Lambourn (Berks.) and Chilton Foliat between Membury fort and Foxbury Wood and the ridges between Burney Farm and Crowood House are similarly covered. The strip of alluvium deposited by the Kennet is 200–400 m. wide in the parish. Except near Ramsbury Manor there is a narrow strip of valley gravel south of it. North of it the band of gravel is wider, and near Ramsbury, Whittonditch, and Knighton there are extensive gravel deposits. The gravel extends in long tongues between Whittonditch and Preston and in the dry valleys between Marridge Hill and Membury and north of Axford, Preston, and Bailey Hill. (fn. 10) Leland aptly described the parish as fruitful of wood and corn, (fn. 11) and the normal sheep-and-corn husbandry of the Wiltshire chalklands has predominated in the usual pattern of meadows on the alluvium, arable on the gravel and chalk, and permanent pasture on the steepest slopes of the chalk. The highest land, covered by claywith-flints, has been wooded, arable, and pasture. (fn. 12)
In 1086 woodland at Ramsbury, 16 furlongs long and 4 broad, was possibly in that part of the parish south of the Kennet in which the lords of Ramsbury and Littlecote manors later had woodland in their parks and which was in Savernake forest in the Middle Ages. (fn. 13) That area was well wooded with little agriculture in the 16th century. (fn. 14) On the downs north of the Kennet there was by then tillage on most of the chalk and clay-with-flints, but large islands of woodland remained. (fn. 15) A north wood of Axford and 46 a. of coppice on Axford copyholds may have been north of the village. (fn. 16) A wood called Shortgrove south of Baydon, 86 a. in 1567, was mentioned from c. 1260. (fn. 17) There were woods at Membury, Eastridge, Whittonditch, and Marridge Hill, the largest of which was Witcha Wood, later Marridge Hill Wood, over 90 a. (fn. 18) In the late 16th century there may have been over 1,000 a. of woodland in the parish, perhaps equally divided between the downs north and south of the Kennet. (fn. 19) In the north part of the parish Shortgrove was the only woodland known to have been cleared for agriculture, possibly in the later 17th century. (fn. 20) In the south part the lords of Axford, Ramsbury, and Littlecote manors have preserved the largest woods, Hens Wood, 333 a., Blake's Copse and adjoining woods, c. 125 a., Park Coppice and Lawn Coppice, a total of 190 a., and Foxbury Wood, Oaken Coppice, and neighbouring woods, a total of 150 a. (fn. 21) The Plantation south of Ramsbury Manor and Staghorn Copse and Bolstridge Copse respectively south and east of Hilldrop were grown between 1773 and 1828. (fn. 22) All those woods remained in 1981 when more than 1,000 a. were wooded.
The north part of the parish is crossed by ancient and modern downland roads. The Roman road, Ermin Street, from Speen (Berks.) to Gloucester follows the Ridge Way between the Kennet and its tributary, the Lambourn. (fn. 23) The London and south Wales motorway, opened across the parish in 1971, (fn. 24) follows a parallel course. The other main roads have followed the valleys and are presumably as old as the settlements in them. That linking the villages beside the Kennet between Hungerford and Marlborough may long have rivalled the LondonBath road over the downs between those places. (fn. 25) Between Ramsbury and Axford the road presumably followed the river, as it did elsewhere, with Ramsbury Manor and Axford Farm near its course. East of Ramsbury Manor a road diverged from it and led through Sound Bottom across the downs to Ogbourne St. Andrew. That road may have been diverted northwards when the north park of Ramsbury manor was enlarged in the 15th century, and the riverside road between Ramsbury and Axford was stopped, possibly at the same time. In the late 17th century and early 18th, when it was called the Marlborough road and the London road, the road through Sound Bottom may have been the main HungerfordMarlborough road through Ramsbury. (fn. 26) Its course round the park was diverted eastwards and northwards when the park was further enlarged c. 1775. Afterwards the circuitous route between Ramsbury and Axford was made easier by a cutting at White's Hill and shorter by a new north-south road north-west of Axford Farm, (fn. 27) and the road through Axford became the main Ramsbury-Marlborough route. The road through Sound Bottom has never been made up. The road which diverges from the HungerfordRamsbury road at Knighton, and which links Aldbourne and Hungerford, was turnpiked from Knighton across the downs to Liddington in 1814, (fn. 28) was moved westwards to a new course between Knighton and Whittonditch in the mid 19th century, (fn. 29) and in the 20th century has developed into a main road serving Swindon. South of the Kennet the steepness of the valley side and imparking have restricted southward egress from the parish to a single steep lane. North of the Kennet, however, the more broken relief allows many lanes to link the settlements.
There are barrows and ditches near Whittonditch, Marridge Hill, and Membury and a field system on the downs north of Axford, but archaeological discoveries and earthworks indicate no concentration of prehistoric settlement or activity in what became Ramsbury parish. (fn. 30) Membury fort on the downs, partly in Lambourn, was strongly fortified in the Iron Age, (fn. 31) and near Botley Copse in Ashbury (Berks., later Oxon.) there was a Roman settlement, partly in Baydon, near which RomanoBritish artefacts have been found in a field system north of Bailey Hill. (fn. 32) An apparently luxurious Roman villa stood near the Kennet between Knighton and Littlecote: its site was discovered c. 1728, afterwards obscured, rediscovered in 1977, and since excavated. (fn. 33)
Two downland settlements in the north part of the parish possibly preceded the many Saxon settlements of its valleys. Its site on a Roman road and, unusual for a Wiltshire village, on a ridge covered by clay-with-flints supports the suggestion that Baydon has survived as a settlement from Roman times; (fn. 34) Membury's site near an Iron-Age fort and the British element in its name suggest pre-Saxon settlement. (fn. 35) Later settlement near the Kennet was on the extensive gravel deposits north of the river where a line of seven settlements at intervals of 1 km. was strung across the parish. Ramsbury seems likely to have been the largest of them in the 11th century when its name was that of a 90-hide estate, (fn. 36) and has remained so; Axford, the westernmost, may for long have rivalled Baydon as the second largest village of the parish; (fn. 37) and between Ramsbury and Axford were the hamlet called Park Town, a palace of the bishop of Salisbury, afterwards Ramsbury Manor, and the farmstead and manor house of Axford manor. East of Ramsbury, Knighton and Thrup were hamlets whose names suggest Saxon origins. (fn. 38) Thrup was called East Thrup to distinguish it from Hilldrop or West Thrup in the Middle Ages when it presumably stood beside the Kennet near the boundary with Chilton Foliat. (fn. 39) Also near the boundary with Chilton Foliat the manor house and farmstead of Littlecote were built south of the river. A further four settlements, Whittonditch, Upper Whittonditch, (fn. 40) near which Crowood House stands, Preston, and Ford, grew at intervals of 1 km. in the tributary valley between Knighton and Aldbourne, apparently decreasing in size up the valley. Other small valley settlements developed in the 19th century near Witcha Farm north-east of Whittonditch, as a hamlet called Burney or Upper Axford around Burney Farm north of Axford, (fn. 41) and at Gore Lane north of Bailey Hill. The only downland settlement likely to be of Saxon origin is Hilldrop whose name suggests it. (fn. 42) There were hamlets on the downs at both Marridge Hill and Eastridge, apparently in the 16th century when farms were based there, (fn. 43) and presumably much earlier. Elsewhere on the downs farmsteads including, north of the Kennet, Bailey Hill Farm, Thrup Farm, and House Farm near Axford, and, south of the Kennet, Park Farm, Darrell's Farm on the border with Froxfield, Elmdown Farm, and Littlecote Park Farm, were built in different periods, apparently following inclosure, changes in land use, or the adoption of new methods of farming.
So large a parish containing so many settlements was, as might be expected, populous and wealthy, notably so beside the Kennet, but in the early 14th century perhaps not remarkably so for its size. There were 413 or 431 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 44) In 1773 there was a total of 456 men living in five of the six tithings: (fn. 45) those in the sixth and least populous, Park Town, may have been counted with the men of Ramsbury. Almost certainly more than 300 men were living in the settlements beside the Kennet. (fn. 46) In 1801 the populations of Ramsbury and Baydon parishes totalled 2,253 of whom 1,963 lived in Ramsbury parish. (fn. 47) The population of Ramsbury parish had risen to a peak of 2,696 by 1851. It had fallen to 2,164 by 1891 and, with only slight fluctuations, to 1,504 by 1921 and 1,390 by 1971. (fn. 48) In 1981 its concentration in Ramsbury village was clearly even greater than it had been in 1773. (fn. 49)
Although Ramsbury developed on the gravel near the Kennet, apart from mills at its east and west ends there has been no building beside the river. A leat carrying water to the meadows between the mills has long been a clear southern boundary. (fn. 50) High Street, in which a Saxon iron foundry has been discovered, (fn. 51) and the church presumably mark the site of earliest settlement. If the bishops of Ramsbury had a house near their cathedral in the 11th century it may have been in the village rather than on the site 2 km. east on which the bishops of Salisbury had a palace. The medieval street names Castle Wall, (fn. 52) afterwards Whitehouse Lane and Burdett Street, (fn. 53) and Old Garden, later Old Orchard and Free Orchard, (fn. 54) and the shape of the village, in which the church and vicarage house are within an ellipse, formed by High Street and Back Lane and crossed by Burdett Street, and most settlement is on the periphery, may be evidence of such a house. The names and the shape, however, could be attributed to factors other than the existence of a large house. The straightness of the middle part of High Street, the long narrow plots on its south side, (fn. 55) and several 15th-century references to burgages (fn. 56) may be evidence of a planned expansion of the village. It is more likely, however, that it grew naturally east and west from its origin near the church along a street which followed the line of the river and may have been a market street from the early 13th century or before. (fn. 57) Ramsbury had grown eastwards from High Street by the early 14th century when Oxford Street, its north-east continuation, was so called. (fn. 58) Oxford Street had been built up by the mid 15th century. Burgages and shops then gave Ramsbury characteristics of a small town. (fn. 59) Its urban appearance may have been enhanced by the fact that, possibly because there was little agriculture south of the Kennet, and because settlement was dispersed north of it, there have been few farmsteads in it. (fn. 60) The junction of High Street and Oxford Street and Back Lane and Scholard's Lane formed a small square. (fn. 61)
The village continued to grow eastwards. Tankard Lane and Blind Lane, later Union Street, had been built up by the 18th century. (fn. 62) In 1778 there were several buildings beside and south of Scholard's Lane and in Crowood Lane. There were also houses east of the village at Newtown, so called in 1781. (fn. 63) In the later 19th century Crowood Lane, then called Andrews Lane, and Union Street still clearly marked the eastern edge of the village, (fn. 64) but in the 20th century 27 pairs of council houses and other houses and bungalows in Whittonditch Road, and 83 private houses in Ashley Piece and the Paddocks north and south of Whittonditch Road, have been built further east. North of Oxford Street council houses in Chapel Lane and private houses in Swan's Bottom, and north of Back Lane private houses in Orchard Close, are also 20th-century.
In contrast with its eastern end, the village's west end has not grown beyond High Street, possibly because the owners of Ramsbury Manor and park, the palings of which may have reached the village in the Middle Ages, (fn. 65) encouraged growth eastwards. There were houses in Mill Lane and at the west end of Back Lane in the 17th century, and in the 18th century Bodorgan House, afterwards Ramsbury Hill, and cottages north of the church stood on the south side of Back Lane near the house later called Parliament Piece. (fn. 66) North of Back Lane at its west end estates of some 70 council dwellings in Knowledge Crescent and Hilldrop Close have been built in the 20th century.
Street names in Ramsbury which have survived from the Middle Ages are High Street, Oxford Street, and Crows, later Crowood, Lane. Those lost include Castle Street, Free Orchard, Nolbit Street, and Cock's Lane. (fn. 67) Back Lane was first so called in 1663, Tankard Lane in 1677, (fn. 68) Mill Lane in 1724, (fn. 69) and Blind Lane in 1762. (fn. 70)
There were presumably coaching inns in Ramsbury in the 17th century. (fn. 71) By the mid 18th century the Bell and the Bleeding Horse had been established at the east and west junctions of High Street and Back Lane. (fn. 72) The Angel, in High Street, the Castle, later the Windsor Castle, in the Square, and the Swan were also inns in the 18th century. (fn. 73) The Burdett Arms and the Malt Shovel, both in High Street, were so called in the early 19th century: (fn. 74) the Crown, at the junction of Crowood Lane and Whittonditch Road, was so called in 1878, the Crown and Anchor afterwards. (fn. 75) Of those inns only the Angel and the Swan, which may have been succeeded by the Burdett Arms and the Malt Shovel, were not among the seven open in 1880, the eight in 1939. (fn. 76) The Halfway at the junction of Halfway Lane and Whittonditch Road and the Boot in Scholard's Lane had been opened respectively by 1839 and 1892. (fn. 77) The Burdett Arms, the Malt Shovel, the Bell, and the Crown and Anchor were open in 1981.
West of Ramsbury the bishops of Salisbury had in the 13th century or earlier a park and a palace (fn. 78) and there was a hamlet or village called Park Town. The bishop presumably had staff permanently resident in the palace. Some bishops possibly used the palace more than others but there is no evidence of neglect, and in the later 15th century and the earlier 16th the bishops spent much time there. (fn. 79) The household numbered over 100, including 12 grooms and 27 servants, c. 1523, (fn. 80) presumably as many as 300 including wives and children. Later owners of Ramsbury Manor may have had smaller households, but the successive houses on the site of the bishop's palace remained appreciable centres of population until the 19th century: there were 29 occupants in 1851. (fn. 81) Park Town, mentioned as a hamlet or village in the 1290s, (fn. 82) was beside the Kennet. In the Middle Ages and the 16th century a mill in the park, farmsteads, and cottages were said to stand at Park Town. One of the buildings, which were possibly neither numerous nor closely grouped, was near the eastern outer gate of the manor house. (fn. 83) Later the name Park Town was apparently applied to the hamlet consisting of Hales Court Farm and of those buildings in the park which in 1676 stood some 300 m. east of Ramsbury manor house near the junction of the drive of the house and the road round the park. Hales Court Farm was beside the Kennet and apparently outside the eastern boundary of the park. (fn. 84) In 1773 only Hales Court Farm, possibly a mill near it, and the mill in the park were standing. Buildings then north-east of Ramsbury Manor may have included a farmstead or the house called the Lodge in 1681. (fn. 85) About 1775 the mill or mills and Hales Court Farm were demolished when an ornamental lake was formed with water from the Kennet, and the farmstead or the Lodge was apparently demolished when the park was extended eastwards and northwards. A new farmstead incorporating Manor Farm, a house with an octagonal centre and short wings, was built beside the new road round the park. (fn. 86) A farmstead called Park Town Farm, later Harbrook Farm, has stood on the south bank of the Kennet between Ramsbury Manor and Ramsbury since the later 17th century. West of it three pairs of houses called New Cottages were built between 1958 and 1964 for employees of the owner of Ramsbury Manor. (fn. 87) South-west of them Manor Cottage is a small house of flint and thatch possibly built in the late 18th century. East of Harbrook Farm are two thatched cottages of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
South of the Kennet in Ramsbury and Park Town tithings, Ambrose Farm, an early 19thcentury farmhouse, is on the site of a farmstead which seems to have originated in the Middle Ages. (fn. 88) Several cottages west of it at Lamplands were built in the mid 19th century. (fn. 89) On the downs Elmdown Farm may have been the only farmstead in the 16th century. (fn. 90) A farmstead, later called Park Farm, had been established in the parkland by the late 17th century. (fn. 91) In the Second World War the flat land between those two downland farmsteads was used as an airfield, before 1943 as a satellite station of R.A.F. Andover (Hants) and from 1943 by No. 11 Troop Carrier Command of the United States Air Force. Hangars and a camp were built at its south-east corner and east of the RamsburyFroxfield lane and in Froxfield. After the war the airfield was used for short periods by Transport Command and Fighter Command of the R.A.F., became a sub-station of R.A.F. Yatesbury, and was disposed of by the state in 1955. In 1981 most of the runways survived but by then most of the buildings had been removed. (fn. 92) Bridge Farm, incorporating some of the buildings, and Darrell's Farm, partly in Froxfield, have been built near what was the south-east perimeter of the airfield.
Red brick was used in three of the largest houses to survive in the parish, Littlecote House, Ramsbury Manor, and Parliament Piece, as facing or as the main walling, in the later 16th century and the 17th: (fn. 95) in the 18th century red brick superseded timber framing in nearly all new building. Red brick has remained the predominant building material, but in the smaller houses was often used in bands or as dressings with flints. Timber-framed and thatched cottages of the 17th century survive at the west ends of High Street and Back Lane, in Burdett Street, and in Oxford Street, and there are a few houses with apparently 17th-century origins, some timber-framed, in Mill Lane, Scholard's Lane, Newtown Road, and Whittonditch Road. The Bleeding Horse, which has east and west extensions, may also be 17th-century. It is not clear where a serious fire in 1648 was most destructive. (fn. 96)
The main block of Ramsbury Hill in Back Lane was built in the early 18th century, possibly incorporating part of an older building in its north-east corner, and a new south-east block was added in the 19th century: an early 18thcentury staircase and fittings and decorations resulting from early 19th-century alterations remain in the house. The Cedars in Scholard's Lane was built in the 18th century and enlarged in the 19th, and Kennet House on the south side of High Street is an 18th-century house refronted c. 1830. Apart from those houses and the Old Mill the largest houses in Ramsbury were built in the earlier 20th century, particularly north of Newtown Road and south of Whittonditch Road.
Most 18th-century buildings to survive are houses and cottages of red brick, with which blue brick and flint were often used, in High Street. Thatched cottages of that period, of brick, sometimes perhaps encasing timber frames, and flint, are in Oxford Street and Union Street at its junction with the Knapp and Newtown Road. There is an 18th-century house with later additions in Chapel Lane, and an 18th-century house and Knapp House, built c. 1800, stand in the Knapp. Fire is said to have destroyed 40 dwellings in 1781. Several cottages north of the church in Back Lane were among them and were not replaced. (fn. 97) Few new sites were used for building in the 19th century and most of the many 19thcentury cottages and small houses in the village are replacements of earlier buildings, especially in High Street, the Square, and Oxford Street, some perhaps successors to houses or cottages burnt in 1781. (fn. 98) The Malt Shovel and the Bell are 18th-century, the Burdett Arms and the Crown and Anchor are 19th-century: all except the Malt Shovel have been much altered in the 20th century. A gabled house of c. 1900 stands in the Square and an earlier 19th-century flint cottage with brick dressings in Tudor style in Crowood Lane. While the village expanded eastwards and northwards in the 20th century there has also been new building in the older parts. In High Street 29 council houses and old people's homes were built in 1952 and the 1970s, and 20thcentury houses and bungalows have replaced earlier buildings and are on new sites in Back Lane, Tankard Lane, Crowood Lane, and elsewhere.
Ramsbury Building Society was started as the Provident Union Building & Investment Society in 1846. It took its present name in 1928. In 1976 it had assets of £50 million and fifteen branch offices in Wiltshire, Berkshire, Dorset, and Hampshire, in 1981 assets of over £100 million and 26 branch offices. (fn. 99) Its headquarters were moved to Marlborough in 1982. (fn. 100) Until then they had been in Ramsbury in houses on the south side of the Square. The 'great tree' at Ramsbury growing in 1751 is presumably the wych-elm in the Square in 1981 (fn. 101) which the society adopted as a symbol at its incorporation in 1893. (fn. 102)
None of the settlements beside the Kennet east of Ramsbury has been large. At Knighton, where the river was crossed by Deep bridge in the Middle Ages, (fn. 103) there may then have been several small farmsteads, but from the 16th century apparently only Knighton Farm. (fn. 104) The farmhouse was replaced in the mid 19th century and west of the new house a pair of cottages was built. There were extensive farm buildings there in the late 19th century: (fn. 105) none older than the 19th century, they survived, but not in use, in 1981. South of the Kennet, Littlecote House and the buildings associated with it, some in Chilton Foliat, have long been the only dwellings. There were 20 in the household of Littlecote House in 1523: (fn. 106) the house remained a small centre of employment in the later 20th century when it was open to the public. South of it Littlecote Park Farm, of banded flint and brick, replaced a farmstead nearer the house between 1839 and 1878. (fn. 107) Nothing remains to mark the medieval site of the manor house and hamlet of Thrup which may have been near the river and the boundary with Chilton Foliat. (fn. 108) Thrup Farm had been built on the downs possibly by 1712, certainly by 1773: (fn. 109) in 1981 the only one of its buildings to remain was a derelict 19th-century barn.
Whittonditch was clearly not a large village in the Middle Ages. (fn. 110) It was apparently a village of medium sized farmsteads in the 16th century, (fn. 111) and may not have been closely grouped. Its nucleus was beside the stream at the junction of Whittonditch Road and the KnightonAldbourne road, (fn. 112) where a pair of 18th-century thatched cottages are the oldest buildings to survive. Nearby is a 19th-century thatched house and farm buildings and other houses of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the late 18th century Whittonditch House was built north of the junction. Upper Whittonditch, formerly Minden, Farm is north-east of the junction, beside the Whittonditch-Membury lane. Witcha Farm, further north, is an 18th-century farmhouse with modern farm buildings and an older timber-framed granary. Near it in the later 19th century were several cottages and a nonconformist chapel which survive. (fn. 113) Farm buildings, a house, and a bungalow were built west of the Whittonditch-Membury lane in the mid 20th century. In the late 18th century a hamlet called Upper Whittonditch was east of Crowood House, (fn. 114) the name of which may echo Ramsbury (possibly Raven's burg). (fn. 115) The hamlet was no more than a farmstead in the early 19th century. The 19th-century farmhouse had become the Fox and Hounds inn by the late 19th century. The farm buildings have been replaced in the 20th century and the farmhouse has been altered to become two cottages. Farm buildings stood further north in the early 19th century: near them Crowood Farm was built in the mid 19th century and extended in the 20th century. (fn. 116) A second farmhouse was built in the mid 20th century. Most of the farm buildings are also 20th-century. Preston in 1377 may have had eighteen poll-tax payers: it was clearly a hamlet of small farmsteads in the Middle Ages and was possibly so in the 16th century. (fn. 117) It remained a hamlet, partly in Aldbourne, in the 20th century. In 1981 Preston Farm and a pair of 18th-century cottages of brick, flint, and thatch and a similar barn were the only buildings there in Ramsbury parish. No more than eighteen men lived in Whittonditch tithing, at Whittonditch, Upper Whittonditch, and Preston, in 1773. (fn. 118) In 1841 there were 135 inhabitants. (fn. 119)
The hamlet near Eastridge Farm was called Eastridge in 1773: (fn. 120) extensive 19th- and 20thcentury farm buildings, a pair of 19th-century cottages, and a pair of 20th-century cottages were there in 1981. Eastridge House was built west of it. In the Middle Ages a castle and a manor house, remains of which have been excavated, stood at Membury south of Membury fort. (fn. 121) Their site may have been deserted in the late 13th century. (fn. 122) There was a chapel, (fn. 123) and possibly a hamlet, (fn. 124) at Membury in the Middle Ages. From the 16th century or earlier there was almost certainly no more than a single farmstead, (fn. 125) presumably near the site of the present manor house. In 1773 there were several buildings at Membury south of the road leading north-east from Witcha Farm. (fn. 126) In the 19th century one was the Bottle and Glass inn: (fn. 127) none survives. Nine Oaks Farm west of Membury had been built by 1830: (fn. 128) a barn remains on the site. Farmsteads said to be at Marridge in the 15th and 16th centuries may have been at Marridge Hill, which has been so named from the 17th century or earlier and was a hamlet in 1773. (fn. 129) Baydon Manor, formerly Marridge Hill House, was built there, and all the buildings standing in 1773 have been replaced. A pair of estate cottages in Tudor style was built in the early 20th century. A second pair of cottages, a bungalow, and extensive farm buildings on both sides of the Marridge Hill to Baydon lane have since been built, and a small 19th-century house, possibly converted from farm buildings, survives. South of Marridge Hill an earlier Marridge Hill House was built, and north-west and south-east of it there were farmsteads in 1773 and 1839. (fn. 130) The north-western farmstead was replaced by Marridge Hill Farm, a small 19thcentury house with 20th-century farm buildings, near which is another 19th-century house. Nothing remains of the south-eastern farmstead, but east of its site Balak Farm is a late 19thcentury cottage with 20th-century extensions. In Eastridge tithing, which included Membury, Knighton, Littlecote, and possibly Marridge Hill there were 49 men in 1773: the population was 173 in 1841. (fn. 131)
In the late 13th century Hilldrop, sometimes West Thrup, was described as a hamlet. (fn. 132) There is no evidence that it ever comprised more than a manor house, in which there was a household of fourteen in 1523, (fn. 133) and a farmstead. The manor house may not have survived the 17th century. It was replaced much later by Hilldrop Farm, west of which is a small house partly of the 17th century and south of which are extensive 19thand 20th-century farm buildings. Love's Farm north-east of Hilldrop is possibly on the site of a farmstead so called from the 13th century. (fn. 134) Bolstridge Farm stood east of Hilldrop in the 19th century. (fn. 135) North of Hilldrop, Pentico Farm, near the boundary with Aldbourne, and buildings called Staples and Lattimore were standing in 1773. (fn. 136) Pentico Farm was demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 137) Of the others none in Ramsbury was standing in 1981.
Manors and Other Estates.
It is very likely that Ramsbury belonged to the bishops of Ramsbury in the 10th and 11th centuries, and that their successors kept it after the see was moved to Salisbury between 1075 and 1078. (fn. 138) The bishop of Salisbury held Ramsbury in 1086, when five burgesses of Cricklade were attached to it, (fn. 139) and the manor of RAMSBURY passed with the see. The manor and parish were conterminous. Several freeholds, possibly originating in the total of 22 hides held by Otbold, Herbert, and Quintin in 1086, became or were reputed manors, but the bishops kept demesne and customary lands in all parts of the parish. (fn. 140) Their lands in Baydon and Axford were frequently named in the title of the manor, as if there was a single manor called Ramsbury, Baydon, and Axford, but were sometimes referred to as if there were three separate manors. (fn. 141) In 1545, under an Act of exchange, Bishop Salcot granted the manor to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, protector of the realm 1547–9, and from 1547 duke of Somerset. (fn. 142) After Seymour's execution and attainder in 1552 it was granted to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 143) It passed with the earldom of Pembroke to Philip, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, who in 1676–7 sold it to the lawyer and politician Henry Powle. (fn. 144) Powle, who borrowed the money to buy it on the security of his manors of Williamstrip, in Coln St. Aldwyns, and Quenington (both Glos.), was apparently speculating. Named in the conveyances with the lenders' trustees, between 1677 and 1681 he sold nearly all the leaseholds and most of the copyholds, in most cases to the tenants, and in 1681 sold those remaining and the manor house and the parks and woods around it to Sir William Jones (d. 1682), attorney-general 1675–9. (fn. 145) Jones was succeeded by his son Richard (d.s.p. a minor in 1685) and by his brother Samuel (d. 1686) whose heir was his son Richard. (fn. 146) In 1736 Richard was succeeded by his brother William (d. 1753) whose heir was his son William (of age in 1764, d. 1766). (fn. 147) That William was succeeded by his sister Elizabeth, wife of William Langham (d. 1791) who assumed the additional name Jones and in 1774 was created a baronet. (fn. 148) After Lady Jones's death in 1800 (fn. 149) Ramsbury manor passed to her nephew Sir Francis Burdett, Bt. (d. 1844), and afterwards to Sir Francis's son Sir Robert. In 1880 Sir Robert was succeeded by his cousin Sir Francis Burdett, Bt. (d. 1892), whose heir was his son Sir Francis. (fn. 150) In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries the Joneses and Burdetts recovered by purchase some of the lands sold 1677–81, especially of those at Axford and Ramsbury. (fn. 151) In 1880 Ramsbury manor was a compact estate of c. 4,000 a. encompassing nearly all the west part of the parish and including little land in the east and north. (fn. 152) From between 1939 and 1943 until after 1945 c. 400 a. south and southwest of Spring Hill were held by the state for Ramsbury airfield, (fn. 153) and in 1944 Hens Wood, 333 a., was leased to the Forestry Commission for 999 years. (fn. 154) After the death in 1951 of Sir Francis Burdett (fn. 155) the airfield land, Park farm, nearly all of Park Town farm, (fn. 156) and Ramsbury Manor and c. 350 a. around it were bought by Seymour William Arthur John Egerton, earl of Wilton. In 1958 Lord Wilton sold the manor house and its surrounding land to Sir William Rootes (Baron Rootes from 1959, d. 1964): (fn. 157) they were sold in 1964–5 to Mr. H. J. Hyams, the owner in 1981. (fn. 158) Hilldrop farm, which had belonged to Sir Francis Burdett (d. 1951), was sold in 1957. (fn. 159) The remainder of Burdett's estate passed to his stepdaughter Marjorie Frances, wife of Sir Bertie Drew Fisher (Burdett-Fisher from 1952, d. 1972), who with her son Maj. F. R. D. BurdettFisher owned c. 2,200 a. in the west part of the parish, mainly at Axford, in 1981. (fn. 160)
Ramsbury throughout the Middle Ages was one of the bishop of Salisbury's principal and, especially in the later 15th century and the early 16th, most often lived in palaces. (fn. 161) The house stood beside the Kennet in a park which has been extended more than once. (fn. 162) The bishops had at the house a chapel dedicated to the Virgin and a cloister was mentioned in 1320. (fn. 163) Licences were granted to crenellate in 1337 and to wall and crenellate in 1377. (fn. 164) Leland described the house c. 1540 as 'fair' and 'old'. (fn. 165) Between 1552 and 1567 William, earl of Pembroke, spent over £2,000 on building work at the site. His house had a main symmetrical east front of two storeys with attics and nine gables. In 1676 it was at the centre of a series of enclosures bounded by high walls and covering 6 a.: it was approached from the north-east along a formal avenue. The plan of the house was nearly a square of 60 m., but it included three irregularly placed internal courts possibly vestiges of the bishops' palace, parts of which may have been incorporated in the house. There was a cupola over or behind the central gable in 1676. (fn. 166) In the 16th century the earls may have used the house as much as they used Wilton, but as Wilton's importance grew in the 17th century Ramsbury's declined. (fn. 167) In 1644 the house was said to be a 'fair square stone house . . . though not comparable to Wilton'. It was sometimes lived in by Mary, dowager countess of Pembroke (d. 1650), and Anne, Baroness Clifford, wife of Philip, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery (d. 1650). (fn. 168) It was leased to Charles Dormer, earl of Carnarvon (d. 1709), the grandson of Philip, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery (d. 1650), and afterwards to John Seymour, duke of Somerset (d. 1675). (fn. 169) A new house, Ramsbury Manor, was begun for Sir William Jones c. 1681 on the site of the old. (fn. 170)
Ramsbury Manor is of brick with dressings of stone and decoration of carved and painted wood. It has a symmetrical double-pile plan, nine bays by six, and two storeys with attics and basements. The architect was almost certainly Robert Hooke. (fn. 171) If, as is likely, building began in 1681, it may not have been far advanced when Jones died in 1682. Jones directed his executors to complete the house: (fn. 172) rainwater heads bear the date 1683 and there are many fittings of the 1680s inside the house. Some of the rooms were then finished to a high standard, but it is doubtful whether all were. The rooms which retain their 17thcentury panelling include the entrance hall, in the middle of the east side, the dining room, and the saloon, which is panelled with oak and has carved mouldings, an enriched overmantel attributed to Grinling Gibbons, (fn. 173) and painted panels above the doorways. The secondary staircase is in the middle of the south side and runs from basement to attics. The principal staircase, in the middle of the north side, served only the two main floors and has not survived. No 17th-century ceiling remains in the house. The basement, which at its south end is at ground level, has a brick-vaulted room below the hall. There and in the central corridor of the basement are stone architraves which, like the early 17th-century panelling reset at the bottom of the south staircase, seem to have been re-used from the earlier building. The first floor is planned as six bedrooms with closets accessible from the stairs or the central corridor, which is lit by a lantern passing through the attic floor.
The fitting or refitting of the inside of the house continued throughout the 18th century. Between 1766 and 1791 Sir William Langham Jones repaired and improved it and landscaped the grounds around it. (fn. 174) Most woodwork in the attics is of the early and mid 18th century and several bedrooms have mid and late 18th-century cornices, fireplaces, and panelling. On the principal floor the library was redecorated in the late 18th century and new fireplaces were installed in all the other rooms except the hall. The north-west room and its closet on that floor and one or more bedroom were then decorated with Chinese wallpaper. The last major alteration inside the house was c. 1800 when a new principal staircase was built. The Joneses lived in the house, but the Burdetts did not often live there until 1914 and in the 19th and 20th centuries only minor additions were made. (fn. 175) It has been extensively restored by its present owner.
North-east of the house stables were built in the mid 17th century. (fn. 176) By analogy with stables at Wilton House their design has been attributed to Isaac de Caux. (fn. 177) They have a south front with a central pedimented entrance bay, on each side of which are four bays: all the windows are vertical ovals each with a keystone at top and bottom. The building now houses a swimming pool and domestic accommodation. North of it a stable court was built in the late 18th century or early 19th. The late 17th-century walled kitchen garden is 350 m. west of the house and is now a rose garden. It was extended westwards in the 19th century for an orchard. Beside the house, but at a lower level south of it, a court of cottages for servants was built in the mid 18th century. Alterations were made to the park c. 1775. (fn. 178) The artificial lake was made with an ornamental bridge at its east end, and in 1775 a conservatory was built to adjoin the servants' court to the south. (fn. 179) The park was extended northwards and eastwards: the drive was lengthened and at the east end a new pair of lodges was built with late 17th-century gatepiers presumably reset from an earlier forecourt. A belt of trees was planted round the new boundary of the park and the Plantation south of the house may have been planted then. (fn. 180) Near the kitchen garden a rustic fishing lodge was built in the late 18th century or early 19th.
The tithes of Ramsbury parish belonged to the chapter of Salisbury cathedral until in the mid 12th century or earlier they were given to endow the prebend of Ramsbury. (fn. 181) In 1226 RAMSBURY PREBEND had a yearly value of 40 marks, all of which presumably came from within the parish. (fn. 182) At 50 marks it was clearly undervalued in 1291 since c. 1290 the prebendary's income from Baydon alone was leased for 25 marks a year. (fn. 183) The prebendary was entitled to tithes of corn, wool, and lambs from the whole parish, and various other tithes and oblations, some of which were given to the vicars of Ramsbury. (fn. 184) In 1341 he had a manor house, 2 carucates, 12 a. of meadow, 30 a. of several pasture and feeding for 100 sheep, 40 a. of woodland, a mill, and lands held by villeins whose rents and works were worth 31s. 4d. yearly. (fn. 185) The prebend was valued at £52 gross in 1535. (fn. 186) As Ramsbury prebend the endowments were given to Edward, earl of Hertford, in 1545 as part of the exchange between him and Bishop Salcot. (fn. 187) The estate was given to the Crown by exchange in 1547. (fn. 188) In 1590 Elizabeth I granted the tithes from the site of Ramsbury manor house and its surrounding parkland and woodland through trustees or agents to Henry, earl of Pembroke, and they were merged with those lands. (fn. 189) The remainder of the estate was similarly granted to William, earl of Pembroke, for a feefarm rent of £44 13s. 4d. in 1609–10. (fn. 190) The rent had been granted by the Crown before 1639 when it was conveyed, apparently between trustees, (fn. 191) and since it was not afterwards mentioned was presumably acquired by an earl of Pembroke before 1677. The land seems to have been absorbed by Ramsbury manor. The prebendal tithes descended with that manor. After the Reformation they were leased in portions, those of Axford for £5 13s. 4d. c. 1610, (fn. 192) of Baydon for £20 in 1585, (fn. 193) and of Knighton for £60 c. 1675. (fn. 194) In 1676–7 they were sold to Henry Powle, who broke up Ramsbury manor by sales between 1677 and 1681. (fn. 195) The sales included the majority of the tithes, sold in portions with, or to the owners of, the estates from which they arose. (fn. 196) In those cases the tithes were merged. In other cases tithes arising from lands in Baydon and Ramsbury Town tithings became separate estates: they are referred to among the descents of lands in those places. (fn. 197) The remaining tithes were sold to Sir William Jones and, as Ramsbury prebend, passed with Ramsbury manor. (fn. 198) In 1778 those arising from land in Baydon, Park Town, Ramsbury Town, and Whittonditch tithings and from land in part of Eastridge tithing were exchanged for allotments of land totalling 150 a. (fn. 199) The remainder, mainly arising from Coombe farm in Axford and from the lands of the Littlecote estate at Thrup and Knighton in Eastridge tithing, 1,160 a., were commuted for a rent charge of £348 awarded to Sir Francis Burdett in 1841. (fn. 200)
Three notable estates in Park Town tithing were created by sales of the parkland around Ramsbury manor house by Henry Powle 1677–9. North of the Kennet the north-east part of the park, 108 a. including Old field and Old Field Copse, was bought in 1679 by Edward Stafford (d.c. 1688) whose relict Anne held it in 1710. (fn. 201) The Staffords had four daughters, Elizabeth, wife of John Jennings, Mary, Anne, wife of John Hall, and Susannah. In 1720 the Jenningses, Susannah, and the executor of Mary sold the land to Francis Hawes, a director of the South Sea Company. After that company collapsed the land was confiscated by parliamentary trustees who in 1725 sold it to Richard Jones, lord of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 202) Most of the land was again imparked c. 1775. (fn. 203)
South of the Kennet the estate called PARK farm possibly originated in the purchase by Robert Gilmore of over 100 a. in the high park in 1677. (fn. 204) That land seems to have belonged to a Mrs. Gilmore in 1705 (fn. 205) but its later descent is obscure. Before 1771 it was reunited with Ramsbury manor. (fn. 206) Until the Second World War Park farm included c. 800 a. south of the Plantation and west of the Ramsbury-Froxfield lane. (fn. 207) The eastern end of it became part of Ramsbury airfield. (fn. 208) All of it passed with Ramsbury Manor to Seymour, earl of Wilton, who in 1953 sold it to R. A. Chamberlain and Mr. G. W. Wilson. (fn. 209) In that year they sold the western end of it as Park farm to J. E. Sandell who in 1969 sold the farm, 232 a., to Mr. F. Clothier, the owner in 1981. (fn. 210) Park Farm is a house of c. 1830 near which are some contemporary and later farm buildings. There has been a house on the site from 1676 or earlier. (fn. 211)
Alexander Dismore was lessee of over 100 a. in Ramsbury high park which in 1677 he bought from Henry Powle. (fn. 212) Buildings and a further 15 a. in the high park, which Powle sold to Thomas Gilmore in 1677, were bought from Gilmore by Richard Dismore in 1682. (fn. 213) Those two estates, which together made up PARK TOWN farm, were still held by the two Dismores in 1705. (fn. 214) They passed, apparently added to by several purchases, to Richard's grandson Richard Dismore whose heirs were his four daughters. (fn. 215) The farm passed after 1752 to his daughter Martha and her husband Edward Francis who owned it in 1780. (fn. 216) From c. 1790 to 1831 or later it belonged to a Miss Francis and in 1839, when it was a rectangle of 260 a. south of Ramsbury, mostly south of the Kennet with Park Town Farm in its northwest corner, the estate belonged to Ambrose Lanfear (d. 1864). (fn. 217) It apparently belonged to Charles Lanfear from 1865 to 1918, when it was bought by Sir Francis Burdett. (fn. 218) Nearly the whole farm, including the flat land above Spring Hill which was part of Ramsbury airfield, (fn. 219) passed with Ramsbury Manor to Seymour, earl of Wilton, who in 1953 sold it to R. A. Chamberlain and Mr. G. W. Wilson. The steep slopes of Spring Hill belonged to Mr. Wilson in 1981. (fn. 220) Park Town Farm, then called Harbrook Farm, and some meadow land remained part of the Burdett-Fishers' estate in 1981. (fn. 221) The house, bought by Richard Dismore in 1682 and later described as 'under the hill', (fn. 222) has walls of rubble and a central stack in which is a stone bearing various initials and a date, possibly 1668. The stone appears to have been reset but a later 17thcentury date for the building of the house is likely. It has a small 19th-century north extension and in recent years has been greatly enlarged westwards to incorporate many fittings from other buildings.
Ramsbury airfield, c. 400 a. in Ramsbury which had been parts of Park and Park Town farms, (fn. 223) was divided by R. A. Chamberlain and Mr. G. W. Wilson in 1953. Chamberlain was allotted the eastern part which he added to other land he owned west of the Ramsbury-Froxfield lane and called Bridge farm. In 1970 he sold Bridge farm, c. 125 a., to G. S. Wills and it has since been part of the Littlecote estate. (fn. 224) Mr. Wilson was allotted the western part. In 1976 he sold most of it, 300 a., to Mr. R. T. Candy, the owner in 1981, and retains the rest. (fn. 225)
In 1327 William of Baldonshall and Walter of Warneford were Ramsbury taxpayers. (fn. 226) In 1331 Walter held an estate called Baldonshall which in 1347 John of Baldonshall settled on himself, his wife Eleanor, and their son William. (fn. 227) Thomas Hungerford and his son Thomas gave it by exchange to John Lillebon in 1368. (fn. 228) In 1412 the estate belonged to William Winslow (d. 1414) whose relict Agnes (fl. 1441) and her husband Robert Andrew (d. 1437) held it in 1416. (fn. 229) Agnes was succeeded by her son Thomas Winslow, one of whose four daughters, Joan, married Henry Hall. (fn. 230) About 1450 an elder Henry Hall shared title to the estate with Winslow who conveyed it to him in 1456, presumably as a settlement on the marriage of Joan and the younger Henry Hall. (fn. 231) The estate consisted of more than 100 a. in Park Town tithing and of many tenements in Ramsbury. (fn. 232) The Halls had daughters Elizabeth and Agnes who married respectively the brothers Nicholas and Maurice Filiol: all four were defendants in a dispute over the estate among the heirs of Winslow's daughters c. 1500. (fn. 233) The estate passed to the Filiols' nephew Sir Thomas Trenchard (d. before 1559) and came to be called the manor of RAMSBURY TRENCHARD. (fn. 234) It included land in several parts of the parish, mostly in Park Town tithing, and cottages in Ramsbury. (fn. 235) Sir Thomas was succeeded by a son Thomas and that Thomas's son Thomas whose son George (knighted in 1588) held the manor in 1575. (fn. 236) Sir George was succeeded in 1630 by his son Sir Thomas (fn. 237) who in 1632 sold part of the manor, Hales Court farm, c. 185 a. in Park Town tithing north of the Kennet between Ramsbury, Hilldrop, and the park of Ramsbury Manor, to the tenant Daniel White. In 1649 White sold the farm to Richard King of Upham in Aldbourne. In 1669 King's executor conveyed it to Nicholas King who in 1682 sold it to Henry Nourse of Woodlands in Mildenhall. (fn. 238) It passed with Mildenhall manor to Nourse's daughter Sarah, countess of Winchilsea, and her husband William Rollinson. (fn. 239) They sold it in 1731 to Charles Bruce, Lord Bruce, who in the same year sold it to Richard Jones, lord of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 240) It was absorbed by that manor. The remainder of Ramsbury Trenchard manor was sold in 1631 to Thomas Freeman (d. 1637), a Ramsbury tanner. Freeman was apparently succeeded by another Thomas Freeman, a bankrupt in 1688 when his lands were sold. Most of what had been Ramsbury Trenchard manor was acquired by Richard Jones before 1700. (fn. 241)
BLAKE'S farm in Park Town tithing was in 1328 settled by Walter Blake on the marriage of his son Ralph (fl. 1341). (fn. 242) The farm descended in the Blake family, possibly with East Hayes manor in Ogbourne St. Andrew. (fn. 243) Thomas Blake held it in 1462 (fn. 244) and it descended to William Blake (d. c. 1550). (fn. 245) It belonged to the owners of East Hayes until, in the 18th century, it was acquired by one of the Pophams of Littlecote. Dorothy Popham, relict of Francis Popham (d. 1780), held it in 1780 when, as Ambrose farm, it was said to be in Ramsbury Town tithing. (fn. 246) The land has since remained part of the Littlecote estate. (fn. 247)
The manor of HILLDROP in Ramsbury Town tithing possibly originated in the gift by Bishop Bohun to Everard of Hurst of 5 hides at Ramsbury, which had been held by Alexander nephew of Everard and was part of Ramsbury manor. The land passed with Membury and Bishop Poore confirmed Everard's son Roger's free tenure of it in 1196. (fn. 248) Land at Hilldrop, rated as ½ knight's fee and held in the mid 13th century by Reynold of Ramsbury, was possibly the same. (fn. 249) Reynold still held it in 1275 (fn. 250) and as Hilldrop manor it had passed by 1278 to his son Reynold, a minor, who in 1310 settled it on his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Reynold son of Peter. (fn. 251) Elizabeth, then a widow, conveyed it in 1329. (fn. 252) In 1333 the manor was settled on Sir William Everard and his wife Elizabeth, presumably the same woman, and it seems to have passed to Thomas, son of Simon of Ramsbury, and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir William Everard. (fn. 253) Thomas and Margaret had no issue and in 1386 John of Ramsbury, son of Simon of Ramsbury, claimed to have inherited the manor from them and from Elizabeth. (fn. 254) Between 1392 and 1394 John settled it on himself and his wife Maud with remainder to Sir Thomas Brook and his wife Joan. (fn. 255) The land possibly belonged to Nicholas Read in 1412. (fn. 256) It passed to Nicholas Wootton who was said to be of Ramsbury in 1417 and to whom Joan, relict of Sir Thomas Brook, conveyed or confirmed it in 1423. (fn. 257) In 1446 Wootton (d. 1454) settled the manor on himself and his wife Elizabeth for their lives and on his daughter Agnes and her husband William York in tail. (fn. 258) The Yorks entered on it in 1454. (fn. 259) William (d. 1476) was succeeded by his son John (d. 1512) who gave the manor to his son Thomas in 1509. (fn. 260) Thomas, who was thrice sheriff of Wiltshire, (fn. 261) was succeeded in 1542 by his nephew Roger Bodenham, but Roger's mother Joan and her husband Stephen Parry possibly held the manor until c. 1556. (fn. 262) In 1566 it belonged to Henry Bodenham, (fn. 263) who is more likely to have been a son of Parry than a close relative of Roger Bodenham. Afterwards it descended in the Bodenham family. Roger (d. 1579) had sons Thomas (d. 1583) and Sir Roger (d. 1623) who was his brother's heir. Hilldrop passed to Sir Roger's son William (d. 1641) and to William's son Roger (fl. 1689) who had sons Edward, Walter, William, and probably Roger. (fn. 264) A Roger Bodenham held the manor in 1699. (fn. 265) One of the Bodenhams sold most of it to one Hawkins who in 1704 sold that portion to William Davies. One of the Bodenhams sold the remainder to Davies in 1714. (fn. 266) Davies's heir was his son Thomas who in 1701, at the death of his grandfather Thomas Batson, had taken the surname Batson. Thomas was succeeded in 1759 by his brother Edmund who then changed his name to Thomas Batson. After his death in 1770 Batson's relict Elizabeth held Hilldrop manor until her own death in 1808. She devised it for life to her nephew Henry Maxwell and afterwards to members of a branch of the Batson family distantly related to Edmund Davies (Thomas Batson) and herself. (fn. 267) Maxwell may have held it until 1824, but it may have belonged to Robert Batson in 1819 and to E. Batson from 1825 to 1830 or later. (fn. 268) It passed to Robert Batson's brother Alfred who held it until his death in 1856. Alfred's heir was his son Alfred (d. 1885) who was succeeded by his son Francis Cunninghame Batson (d. 1931). (fn. 269) Hilldrop farm was sold in 1921 to George Wilson and Henry Wilson: in 1937 Henry Wilson and George Wilson's relict, Mrs. M. M. Wilson, sold it to Sir Francis Burdett, lord of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 270) In 1957 the farm was sold to Bertram Ede who in that year sold it to Mr. C. E. Eliot-Cohen, the owner in 1981. (fn. 271)
The lords of Hilldrop manor may have lived in a house on it in the 13th and 14th centuries, and Nicholas Wootton and nearly all later owners have done so. (fn. 272) Its name suggests that Hilldrop manor house was on the downs north of Ramsbury. (fn. 273) The house presumably on its site, Hilldrop Farm, is a brick house of c. 1820 extended north and east in the later 19th century. A house called the Rookery in 1880, (fn. 274) Parliament Piece in 1981, was built beside Back Lane in Ramsbury in the early 17th century, presumably for one of the Bodenhams, and was later lived in by the Batsons. It had a central chimney stack with rooms on both sides and was of two storeys with attics and cellars. Late in the 17th century a rear north wing, containing a staircase and a room on each floor, was added at the west end. The new, and some of the old, rooms were then fitted to a high standard. Possibly at the same time the gatepiers, surmounted by urns, were built and the early 17th-century barn was encased in brick and converted into a coach house. The house was extended at the east end of the south front c. 1800 and in the late 19th century service rooms in 17th-century style were built in the angle between the 17th-century ranges. It was separated from Hilldrop farm in the earlier 20th century and in 1981 belonged to Mr. J. H. Pinches. (fn. 275)
An estate in Ramsbury Town tithing called LOVE'S passed in the Love family for more than two centuries. Walter Love held land in Ramsbury in 1241; (fn. 276) Alice Love was mentioned in 1249, William Love and Ralph Love in 1258, an elder Robert Love in 1299, and elder and younger Robert Loves in 1305. (fn. 277) In 1331 Walter of Warneford held land which had been a Robert Love's but Robert Love (fl. 1341) may still have held a substantial estate. (fn. 278) John Love (fl. c. 1390) was possibly succeeded by Walter Love who conveyed the estate in 1432. (fn. 279) Walter's relict Joan Love held it in 1462 when it was rated as 1 carucate. (fn. 280) About 1510 the estate seems to have been acquired by John York, presumably by purchase, from Harry Henley otherwise Love whose wife Joan then sold her claim to dower. (fn. 281) Love's thereafter descended with Hilldrop manor. (fn. 282) In the early 18th century, however, one of the Bodenhams may have sold it separately from the manor because in 1780 Love's farm belonged to John Barnes. It passed to Thomas Barnes c. 1791. It was apparently sold by Barnes to William Parsons in 1807 and by him c. 1813 to Edward Graves Meyrick (d. 1839), vicar of Ramsbury. (fn. 283) In 1839 the farm, 50 a., belonged to Meyrick's relict. (fn. 284) Meyrick had sons James, Henry Howard, Charles, and Frederick but the descent of the farm is obscure. (fn. 285) In 1892 some of its land was part of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 286) In 1981 Love's farm was owned by Mr. E. F. M. Talmage. (fn. 287) The farmhouse is a brick building of the 18th century.
John Helm (fl. 1249) possibly held land in Ramsbury which may have passed to his son William (fl. 1286). (fn. 288) In 1331 a William Helm held an estate in Ramsbury Town tithing, then rated as 2 yardlands, later called Bacon's and afterwards ELMDOWN farm. (fn. 289) Its descent in the Bacon family before 1462, when it was held by Joan, relict of John Stampford, and already called Bacon's, (fn. 290) is not clear. John Bacon held it c. 1556, (fn. 291) Richard Bacon in 1559 and 1567. (fn. 292) It passed like the Bacons' estate in Upavon to Nicholas Bacon (fl. 1598) and his daughter Joan Noyes who died holding it in 1622 leaving a son William Noyes as heir. (fn. 293) William presumably sold the farm, which was apparently John Gilmore's in 1661. (fn. 294) Catherine Gilmore, a widow, held it in the late 1670s. (fn. 295) It was possibly conveyed to Richard Francis c. 1713. (fn. 296) Between 1722 and 1726 Elmdown farm was apparently acquired by Francis Popham of Littlecote. (fn. 297) It has since been part of the Littlecote estate. (fn. 298) Elmdown Farm is a timber-framed house of 1654 (fn. 299) with a three-room plan. It was encased in brick in the early 19th century when a west kitchen was added behind the north end. The house was extensively restored c. 1970, when many old fittings were introduced, and has since been extended southwards.
In 1778 the Revd. Daniel Boreman owned an estate of c. 85 a. in Ramsbury Town tithing based on buildings on the north side of Oxford Street. (fn. 300) About 1787 it was bought by Henry Read and added to the Crowood estate. (fn. 301)
The tithes arising from Hilldrop manor were bought from Henry Powle by Roger Bodenham in 1677 but were not merged with the land. (fn. 302) They were apparently not sold with either part of the manor in the early 18th century. (fn. 303) They were twice conveyed in 1720, and in 1722 were acquired by William Davies from Richard Savors and others. (fn. 304) They were then merged.
The tithes of Elmdown farm were conveyed by Thomas Abbot and his wife Martha to James Carrant in 1715. (fn. 305) They belonged to a Miss Anne Carrant, apparently from 1780 or earlier to 1831 or later, and were acquired in 1835 by Edward William Leyborne-Popham who owned the farm. (fn. 306) In 1841 the tithes were valued at £21 15s. and commuted. (fn. 307)
Most of the copyholds and leaseholds in Whittonditch tithing, all part of Ramsbury manor, were sold by Henry Powle between 1677 and 1681. (fn. 308) Most of what remained in Ramsbury manor was called PRESTON farm in 1778. (fn. 309) It was sold as two farms c. 1785. Thomas Rogers (d. c. 1801) bought that called Preston farm. By 1804 William Hillier had acquired it, and it passed to James Hillier who held the farm, 84 a., in 1839. (fn. 310) After Hillier's death in 1840 Preston farm was apparently bought by Sir Francis Burdett (d. 1844) and it was again added to Ramsbury manor. (fn. 311) Sir Francis Burdett sold it in 1912, probably to Moses Woolland, and it became part of the Baydon Manor estate. As a farm of 300 a. it was sold with the estate in 1947 and c. 1949. (fn. 312) It was retained by Sidney Watts, after whose death in 1961 it was sold. (fn. 313) In 1981 most of the land belonged to Maj. H. O. Stibbard and was in his Marridge Hill estate. The eastern part of it then belonged to the executors of G. B. Smith as part of Whittonditch farm. (fn. 314) Preston Farm is an 18thcentury house extended in the 19th century.
The remainder of the 18th-century Preston farm, 96 a. between Whittonditch and Preston, was bought by Anthony Woodroffe c. 1785, passed to Sarah Woodroffe c. 1815, and c. 1826 was acquired by William Atherton who owned the land in 1839. (fn. 315) Sir Francis Burdett (d. 1844) may have bought the land, which before 1899 had been added to the Crowood estate. (fn. 316)
In 1677 Henry Read bought from Henry Powle an estate in Whittonditch tithing based on a copyhold called CROWOOD and including land which became Witcha farm. (fn. 317) The estate had been held as tenants by members of the Banks family, to whom Read (d. 1706) was apparently related. (fn. 318) It descended, presumably from father to son, to Henry Read (d. 1756) and to Henry Read (d. 1786) whose heir was his son Henry (d. 1821). (fn. 319) That Henry devised the Crowood estate, 1,050 a., to his daughter Mary Ann, wife of John Richmond Seymour (d. 1848). (fn. 320) The Seymours were succeeded in turn by their sons Henry Richmond Seymour (d. 1876) and the Revd. Charles Frederick Seymour (d. 1897), whose son Charles Read Seymour apparently sold the estate in 1915 to Frederick Charles Giddins, the owner until 1945. (fn. 321) Later owners were the politician Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, Bt., from 1945 to 1951; Lord George Francis John Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 1951–60; Edward Henry Berkeley Portman, 1960–6; Mark George Christopher Jeffreys, Baron Jeffreys, 1966–9; and Philip Chetwode, Baron Chetwode, 1969–79. (fn. 322) In 1979 the estate, 1,059 a. including land in Baydon and Aldbourne, was sold by Lord Chetwode to Mr. J. F. Dennis, the owner in 1981. (fn. 323) Crowood House has a recessed north-east entrance front of five bays. The centre of the house has walls partly of timber framing and possibly 17th-century, and on the ground floor contains much reset early 17th-century panelling. It was apparently heightened in the late 17th century. Unequal wings which project northeastwards from its ends are also 17th-century. (fn. 324) In the late 18th century large north and west additions were built to provide more service rooms and a new staircase and dining room. More new rooms were built at the south corner of the house in the early 19th century when most of the older rooms were refitted: a stable and a cottage north of the house were also built then. In the late 18th century there were extensive formal gardens south-west of the house and beyond them a small park with a boundary plantation. (fn. 325)
WITCHA farm, 335 a., was sold in 1949 by Sir Oswald Mosley to Mr. A. E. Jones who later halved it into Witcha farm and Woodlands farm. In 1981 Mr. Jones's sons Mr. D. J. Jones and Mr. P. E. Jones owned respectively Witcha and Woodlands farms. (fn. 326)
A holding of more than 5 yardlands, WHITTONDITCH farm, was bought from Henry Powle by Jonathan Knackstone in 1677. Knackstone (fl. 1689) had sons Thomas and Stephen, both of whom held land in Whittonditch tithing in 1705. (fn. 327) Whittonditch farm passed to Stephen's son Jonathan (fl. 1736). In 1752 that Jonathan's son Jonathan was foreclosed from the estate which passed to his principal mortgagee, Henry Read of Crowood. (fn. 328) Whittonditch farm was part of the Crowood estate until in 1949 it was sold by Sir Oswald Mosley to a Mr. Day. It was later bought by G. B. Smith whose executors owned it in 1981. (fn. 329)
In 1567 Ramsbury Trenchard manor included 6½ yardlands in Whittonditch and Eastridge tithings of which most was at Marridge Hill. (fn. 330) Sir Thomas Trenchard may have sold those lands c. 1632, when he sold Hales Court farm in Park Town tithing. (fn. 331) Two freeholds in Whittonditch tithing were held c. 1556 by John Goddard of Upham and William Moore. (fn. 332) Moore's was bought by Thomas Seymour c. 1562. (fn. 333) In those estates and in sales of other copyholds and leaseholds by Henry Powle 1677–81 two later 18thcentury freeholds at Marridge Hill and others at Whittonditch and Preston presumably originated.
Thomas Shefford or Shelford, possibly in 1760, owned an estate at Marridge Hill which James Lovegrove bought in 1785. (fn. 334) From Lovegrove the estate passed c. 1800, presumably by will, to either his brother-in-law Cheyney Waldron or to Waldron's son and namesake: (fn. 335) the son held it at his death in 1819. Waldron devised his MARRIDGE HILL estate to his nephew John Waldron, a minor, who entered on it c. 1827. (fn. 336) John held the estate, 325 a. in 1839, until 1851 or later. (fn. 337) It was held from 1867 or earlier to 1880 or later by Stephen Waldron and from 1895 or earlier until his death in 1901 by James Lovegrove Waldron, John Waldron's son, (fn. 338) whose relict sold the estate, 554 a., in 1904. (fn. 339) It was apparently bought by Arthur Edward White but in 1911 belonged to Moses Woolland (d. 1918), under whose will its name was changed to BAYDON MANOR estate. (fn. 340) It passed to Woolland's son Walter who in 1947 sold the estate, then over 3,000 a. in Ramsbury, Baydon, and elsewhere, to Edwards & Sons (Inkpen) Ltd., timber merchants. That company sold it c. 1949 to a group of farmers, John White, Sidney Watts, and Albert Pembroke, who immediately divided it. (fn. 341) The land north of Baydon Manor which had been John Waldron's in 1839 was part of Marridge Hill farm in 1947. (fn. 342) It was bought c. 1950 by Maj. H. O. Stibbard, the owner of over 600 a. at Marridge Hill in 1981. (fn. 343) Baydon Manor, formerly Marridge Hill House, is a red-brick house of c. 1820 with an east entrance front of three bays. A water tower was added to the north side of the house in the late 19th century, and the house was extended westwards for A. E. White in 1905–6. West of it a large detached winter garden was built c. 1900 mainly of cast iron, glass, and wood.
George Moore (d. 1729) possibly owned the estate at Marridge Hill which descended in the Moore family with Riverside farm in Axford. (fn. 344) The land, 144 a., belonged to George Pearce Moore in 1839. (fn. 345) It was later part of the Baydon Manor estate, was part of Marridge Hill farm in 1947, and was part of Maj. Stibbard's estate in 1981. (fn. 346)
In 1753 a Roger Spanswick owned an estate in Whittonditch tithing which, with land in Eastridge tithing, was called MINDEN, later Upper Whittonditch, farm. (fn. 347) Roger was succeeded between 1778 and 1784 by his son Roger. After Roger's death c. 1810 the farm, 165 a. in 1839, was acquired by Robert Nalder who owned it in 1842. (fn. 348) The lessee in 1839 was Lovegrove Waldron: before 1909 he or one or more of his successors acquired the freehold, and thereafter the estate, which was enlarged, descended with Eastridge manor. (fn. 349) Upper Whittonditch Farm is a house of 18th-century origin.
Thomas Lovegrove (d. 1778) bought a farm at Preston c. 1777 and devised it to his nephew, the younger Cheney Waldron, who held it until his death in 1819. Waldron devised it to his nephew Lovegrove Waldron, a minor, who owned the land, 102 a., in 1839. (fn. 350) Its later descent is obscure until 1947 when it was in the Baydon Manor estate as part of Preston farm. (fn. 351)
Several large freeholds were created early in Eastridge tithing and became manors: only a small proportion of the land in the tithing, most of it at Marridge Hill, was held by copy or lease from Ramsbury manor. (fn. 352) The three estates in the tithing at Marridge Hill in the later 18th century presumably originated in sales of such copyholds and leaseholds by Henry Powle 1677–81 and in earlier 17th-century sales of the land there which was part of Ramsbury Trenchard manor. (fn. 353)
In 1677 Stephen Banks bought 2 yardlands in Eastridge tithing from Powle. His estate passed to one Crouch, possibly Stephen Crouch (fl. 1735), and later belonged to the two Roger Spanswicks in turn. (fn. 354) It passed with the Spanswicks' land in Whittonditch tithing as part of Minden farm.
In 1773 John Whitelocke, lord of a manor in Chilton Foliat, owned Marridge Hill House, a large house surrounded by a park. (fn. 355) It passed at his death in 1787 to Sarah Liddiard or Whitelocke, who c. 1791 sold it to Henry Read. (fn. 356) The house was demolished before 1828. (fn. 357) The land, with more of Read's at Marridge Hill, passed, as a farm of 122 a. in 1839, with the Crowood estate of which it remained part in 1899. (fn. 358) In 1981 the site of the house and some of the land were part of Maj. H. O. Stibbard's Marridge Hill estate. Most of the remaining land was part of Witcha farm. (fn. 359)
A large estate at Marridge Hill, including 80 a. of pasture called Broad Breaches formerly demesne of Ramsbury manor, (fn. 360) was accumulated after 1677, possibly by the Mildenhall family, and belonged to Thomas Mildenhall in 1780. Mildenhall apparently sold the Breaches to Cheyney Waldron, presumably the younger, c. 1788. (fn. 361) At his death in 1819 the younger Cheyney Waldron devised the land to his nephew Thomas Waldron, a minor, with remainder to his nephew John Waldron, also a minor. (fn. 362) Trustees held it until 1830 or later, but by 1839 it was apparently John's and was absorbed by his main Marridge Hill estate. (fn. 363) Mildenhall sold the remainder of his estate to Henry Read shortly before Read's death in 1821, and it was added to Read's other land at Marridge Hill. (fn. 364)
The manor of LITTLECOTE seems to have belonged to Robert of Durnford in 1182 and to have passed in 1189–90 to Roger of Durnford, whose right was disputed by Ralph de Brewer and his wife Muriel but confirmed by them in 1198. (fn. 365) Brewer was possibly lord of Axford manor and the overlordship of Littlecote manor, rated as 1 knight's fee, belonged in the 13th and 14th centuries to the lords of Axford. (fn. 366) It was still claimed in 1404 (fn. 367) but in the mid 15th century the lords of Littlecote themselves acquired Axford manor.
Despite a claim by Peter de Percy against Roger in 1202 (fn. 368) Littlecote manor remained in the Durnford family. It was held by Roger's son Richard of Durnford in 1219 and 1241 and possibly by a Sir Richard of Durnford in 1258. (fn. 369) The manor was later held by Roger of Calstone who c. 1292 died holding it and leaving as heir a year-old son Roger. (fn. 370) In 1328 Roger (d. c. 1342) settled Littlecote on his marriage, and in 1356 the manor was held by his son Laurence. (fn. 371) By 1385 it had passed to Laurence's son Thomas (d. between 1412 and 1419) whose heir was his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Darell (d. between 1439 and 1453). (fn. 372) At Elizabeth's death in 1464 the manor descended to her son Sir George Darell (d. 1474), (fn. 373) who was succeeded by his son Sir Edward (d. 1530). (fn. 374) Sir Edward's heir was his grandson Sir Edward Darell (d. 1549), (fn. 375) much of whose estate was devised for life to his mistress Mary Daniel. Littlecote manor, however, passed to his son William, then aged nine. (fn. 376)
As a result of a dispute with Sir Henry Knyvet, William Darell was imprisoned in the Fleet in 1579 for slandering the queen. He had been the co-respondent in Sir Walter Hungerford's action for divorce against his wife Anne 1568–70, and was or had been at law with many of his neighbours including Henry and Edward Manners, earls of Rutland, over Chilton Foliat 1563–5, William Hyde over Uffington (Berks., later Oxon.) 1573–4, Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, over manors in Great Bedwyn and Burbage, and Hugh Stukeley over Axford, litigation arising partly from his father's will and his own minority. Accusations, almost certainly groundless, of infanticide and murder were made against him. (fn. 377) The expenses incurred by his imprisonment, incessant litigation, building, (fn. 378) and attendance at court led him to sell the reversion, for a term of years if he had male issue, of Littlecote to Sir Thomas Bromley (d. 1587), Lord Chancellor, apparently in the early 1580s. (fn. 379) About 1586 the reversion seems to have been transferred on similar terms to Darell's lawyer and adviser John Popham. (fn. 380) Darell was indicted at Marlborough assizes in 1588, again for slandering the sovereign. (fn. 381) The survival of many documents illuminating his affairs (fn. 382) has led to much speculation about his life and motives. (fn. 383) He died without male issue in 1589 and Popham entered on Littlecote manor. (fn. 384)
The manor descended from father to son in the Popham family, from John (d. 1607), Lord Chief Justice and a knight from 1592, to Sir Francis (d. 1644), Alexander (d. 1669), Sir Francis (d. 1674), and another Alexander. (fn. 385) At that Alexander's death in 1705 Littlecote passed to his uncle Alexander Popham (d. 1705), and the manor again passed from father to son to Francis (d. 1735), Edward (d. 1772), and Francis (d. 1780), whose relict Dorothy Popham held it until her death c. 1797 and devised it to her husband's reputed son Francis Popham. At that Francis's death without issue in 1804 the manor passed to the nephew of Francis (d. 1780), Edward William Leyborne-Popham (d. 1843), who devised it to his son Francis (d. 1880). (fn. 386) Littlecote passed in turn to that Francis's sons Francis William Leyborne-Popham (d.s.p. 1907) (fn. 387) and Hugh Francis Arthur Leyborne-Popham, who sold it in 1929 to Sir Ernest Salter Wills, Bt. (d. 1958). (fn. 388) It descended to Wills's second son G. S. Wills (d. 1979), whose son Mr. D. S. Wills was the owner in 1981. (fn. 389)
In the early 14th century, when he had a chapel there, it seems likely that Roger of Calstone lived at Littlecote. (fn. 390) Apart from a late medieval range of building containing a chapel Littlecote House was rebuilt in the later 16th century for William Darell. (fn. 391) The new building was around two courts: the chapel range became the north side of the west court. The principal rooms and the entrance porch and hall are on the south side of the east court. The north side of that court, the contract to build which is dated 1583, (fn. 392) contains a long gallery on the first floor. Possibly because, when the court was built, older building survived at its north-west corner, the north and south sides are not on the same north-south axis. Most of the house was of flint rubble but the south front was faced with brick. A gatehouse, aligned with the porch, and garden walls were built of brick in 1585. (fn. 393) Most of the work on the house had presumably been done by then, but the fittings inside may not have been finished for several years. (fn. 394) In the mid 17th century an east pulpit and a west gallery extending along both sides were built in the chapel. (fn. 395) In the mid 18th century the south side of the west court, until then of a single storey, was rebuilt to full height, and about then the adjacent drawing room was altered and several windows in the house were sashed. (fn. 396) Other 18th-century work included the alteration of several fireplaces and the decoration of the 'Dutch' room with a painted ceiling and reset painted panelling. In 1810 the south side of the west court was again demolished and was rebuilt as a conservatory with tall Gothic windows. The west side was also demolished then and left open. There were alterations to several rooms including the drawing room and, to designs by John Robson, (fn. 397) the library. In the late 19th century the four service rooms east of the main entrance were made into a dining room and a study, in which there is a fine, presumably reset, chimneypiece dated 1592 and panelling in early 17th-century style in which the date 1896 has been carved. Both rooms have ribbed ceilings. The adjacent main staircase is also of the late 19th century. A ribbed ceiling was made in the long gallery in 1899, (fn. 398) but the original frieze incorporating the Darell arms was retained. Several other decorated plaster ceilings are possibly of similar date, but it is not clear when the sashes in the front were replaced by mullions and transoms. In the 19th century singlestoreyed service rooms were built over most of the east courtyard and a staircase was built at its south side.
Walled gardens and yards surrounded the house in the later 17th century and included a west raised walk from which there were views across the adjoining park. (fn. 399) Most of those features and formal gardens apparently survived in the later 18th century but by then the gatehouse had been demolished. (fn. 400) South of the house the walls were apparently demolished before 1806 and the park was brought up to the house, (fn. 401) but early walls survive north of it. The main feature of the park in the late 18th century was Park Coppice, on the high ground in the west part, which had a central clearing and eleven radiating vistas. (fn. 402) There are extensive 18th- and 19th-century farm buildings east of the house, mostly in Chilton Foliat.
In the 15th and 16th centuries the Darells were active in county government: from 1420 to 1519 a Darell was sheriff one year in six. (fn. 403) Littlecote House presumably became busier and more celebrated as a result of such activity. In the 17th century it was the home of a nationally important family, frequently visited by politicians, (fn. 404) and in 1688 was visited by William of Orange after meeting James II's commissioners at Hungerford. (fn. 405)
Jocelin de Bohun, bishop of Salisbury 1142–84, granted land at MEMBURY, presumably part of Ramsbury manor until then, to Everard of Hurst, to whom he may have granted Hilldrop. (fn. 406) After Everard's death Bishop Bohun conveyed it to Everard's son Roger. (fn. 407) The grant to Roger was confirmed by the king in 1175 and by Bishop Herbert Poore in 1196. (fn. 408) Gerard of Membury seems to have held the land in the 1220s (fn. 409) and Sir Peter of Membury did so in the 1240s and 1250s when it was rated as 1 knight's fee. (fn. 410) Between 1256 and 1262 Peter gave the manor of Membury to Giles of Bridport, bishop of Salisbury, in exchange for a life interest in the bishop's demesne land in Baydon. (fn. 411) Membury thus again became part of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 412) In 1678 Henry Powle sold the land as Membury farm to Thomas Seymour (d. c. 1717). Seymour's heirs were his daughters Anne, wife of Toby Richmond, Jane, who granted the land which she inherited from her father to Anne's and Toby's son Seymour, and Frances, wife of John Walford. (fn. 413) Seymour Richmond (d. c. 1784) held the farm in 1720. His heir was his daughter Alethea (d. 1786), whose husband Joseph Gabbit held it until c. 1790. (fn. 414) It was then sold to the tenant Thomas Bacon. (fn. 415) It was acquired, presumably by purchase, c. 1803 by Richard Townsend, who may have been succeeded c. 1815 by a younger Richard Townsend, the owner in 1839. (fn. 416) Thereafter the descent of the farm is obscure until 1903 when the Revd. Theodore de Lanulph Sprye owned it. Sprye held it until 1919 or later. (fn. 417) From 1922 or earlier it was part of Walter Woolland's Baydon Manor estate and as a farm of 363 a. was sold in 1947 and c. 1949. (fn. 418) Noel Bechely Crundall bought it in 1949 and after his death in 1968 it was sold to Mr. A. A. Horne, the owner in 1981. (fn. 419) The 12th-century keep of a castle at Membury was the site of a house built in the Middle Ages south of Membury fort. (fn. 420) The site was possibly deserted after the manor was reunited with Ramsbury manor in the mid 13th century. A farmhouse later stood further south. Membury House was built on its site in the 1960s following the destruction by fire of its predecessor. (fn. 421) West of the house 19th- and possibly early 20th-century outbuildings and stables are now dwellings, east of the house is a walled garden, and at the end of the drive south of the house is a 19th-century lodge.
The endowment of Membury chapel was granted as an appurtenance of Ramsbury manor to Edward, earl of Hertford, in 1545, (fn. 422) but in 1574, valued at 20s., was claimed by the Crown from the tenant of Membury farm as the concealed land of a dissolved chantry. (fn. 423) In 1575 it was granted to agents or speculators and later it was again part of Membury farm. (fn. 424)
The land of THRUP or East Thrup descended in a family which took its name from the place. Before 1249 it possibly belonged to Osmund Geraud, otherwise Osmund of Thrup, and in the mid 13th century it was Adam of Thrup's. (fn. 425) In 1275, when it was rated as 1 knight's fee, it was held by Adam's heirs, (fn. 426) one of whom may have been John of Eastrop (d. before 1300). John's brother Roger held the land in 1300. (fn. 427) Roger died before 1308 leaving as heir a son Roger, a minor, whose heir was his daughter Evelyn, wife of David of Witchampton. (fn. 428) She held the land in 1376. (fn. 429) In 1392 she released her right to it, and in 1394 trustees settled it on her son Robert of Thrup and his wife Agnes. (fn. 430) Robert died in the period 1408–11 and was succeeded by his daughter. (fn. 431) The land was possibly sold c. 1419 to Robert Andrew to whom Alice Witchampton, granddaughter of Evelyn Witchampton, possibly Robert of Thrup's daughter, and relict of John Upton, then released her right. (fn. 432) Andrew held Thrup in 1428 when, for reasons that are obscure, it was said to have been formerly held by John of Coventry (fl. 1327). (fn. 433) It was afterwards acquired, presumably by purchase, by William Darell of Littlecote or his relict Elizabeth, who died seised of Thrup manor in 1464. (fn. 434) As Thrup farm and as part of Knighton farm it passed with Littlecote manor until in 1896 it was sold to V. J. Watney. (fn. 435) It was later reunited with Littlecote manor, presumably by Sir Ernest Salter Wills in 1929. (fn. 436) In 1979 Thrup farm, 178 a., was sold to Mr. R. A. Pearce. (fn. 437)
Another estate at Thrup, the origin of which is obscure, belonged in 1780 to a Revd. Mr. Topping, presumably Thomas Topping, vicar of Iwerne Minster (Dors.) from 1783 to 1822 or later. Francis Popham (d. 1804) apparently bought it from him c. 1804 and it became part of Thrup farm. (fn. 438)
In 1291 Poughley priory in Chaddleworth (Berks.) held an estate in Ramsbury parish, in 1331 expressly described as in Eastridge and later called the manor of EASTRIDGE. (fn. 439) In 1428 it was rated as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 440) It belonged to the priory until in 1525 the priory was dissolved so that its revenues could be used by Cardinal Wolsey for Cardinal College, Oxford. Eastridge was granted to Wolsey in 1526. (fn. 441) After Wolsey's death in 1530 the college's endowments reverted to the Crown and in 1531 the endowments of Poughley priory, including Eastridge, were granted to Westminster Abbey. (fn. 442) They were again taken by the Crown at the Dissolution. (fn. 443) Eastridge was granted to John Carlton in 1541. (fn. 444) Carlton was succeeded after 1559 by Anthony Carlton, who in 1564 was licensed to convey the estate to Richard Pocock. (fn. 445) Carlton was named as owner in 1566 and 1567 but the land passed to Pocock (d. c. 1596), who in 1582 settled it on the marriage of his son Giles. (fn. 446) In 1624 Giles was succeeded by his son Richard (d. c. 1654), whose son Richard (d. 1694) devised his Eastridge estate to his own son Richard (d.s.p. 1718). The estate passed to that Richard's sister Sarah (d. 1733) and her husband Christopher Capel (d. 1740). After Christopher's death it apparently passed to his brother William (d. c. 1779), whose heir was his cousin William Capel. (fn. 447) Eastridge was sold by Capel c. 1791 to Cheyney Waldron, presumably the elder, (fn. 448) whose son John held the estate from c. 1791 to c. 1819. (fn. 449) John (d. before 1820) was succeeded by his eldest son Lovegrove (a minor in 1819, d. 1867) who devised his lands to his sons Thomas White (d. 1903), Lovegrove, and Walter Brind (d. 1913) as tenants in common. (fn. 450) Eastridge was apparently held by T. W. Waldron whose executors sold it to V. J. Watney in 1909. (fn. 451) Watney sold it in 1919 to Gerard Lee Bevan, who sold it in 1922 to Sir Ernest Salter Wills. From 1929 Eastridge has been part of the Willses' Littlecote estate. (fn. 452) Eastridge House was built in the style of a villa c. 1815. Its south front is of three bays with a central Doric porch. The gardens contain some trees which may be as old as the house, but the long entrance avenue, the lodge, and landscaping were created in the 1930s.
Ramsbury manor seems to have included little land in Knighton which, before the 15th century, may have been divided among several small estates. (fn. 453) William Darell and his wife Elizabeth bought an estate called Hopgrass in Knighton from William Horshill in 1426, and another from John Eastbury in 1432. (fn. 454) The Darell family built up a large estate there which in the 1470s was called KNIGHTON manor. (fn. 455) As Knighton farm it has passed with Littlecote manor.
In 1300 William of Wantage apparently acquired a small estate in Membury. (fn. 456) A carucate there later belonged to John of Wantage and descended to his son William (d. before 1369) and his brother Thomas of Winterbourne. In 1369 John's daughter Joan conveyed it to John of Eastbury (d. 1374), escheator of Berkshire, his wife Catherine, and their son Thomas. The validity of the conveyance was challenged in 1374 because Joan (d. 1392) was found to be of unsound mind and in John of Eastbury's keeping, but was upheld. (fn. 457) In 1406 John Wodhay and his wife Joan claimed the land from Thomas of Eastbury as Joan's descendants. (fn. 458) The claim apparently failed, but later owners of the carucate are unknown.
Gerard of Membury may have held land in Eastridge in 1221, and in the mid 13th century Sir Peter of Membury conveyed an estate there to Nicholas Eustace. (fn. 459) In 1275 John de Cornialles held ½ knight's fee there. (fn. 460) Maud, daughter of John Fleming, conveyed 1 carucate in Eastridge to John Bacon, his wife Sarah, and his son John in the late 13th century. (fn. 461) Sarah and the younger John Bacon conveyed it to Ellis Farman in 1319. (fn. 462) Nothing is known of the later descent of those estates.
Robert at the green possibly held land in Knighton in 1327. (fn. 463) Lands conveyed by his son Roger in 1364 presumably included it. (fn. 464) In 1399 trustees conveyed to Joan at the marsh, with remainder to John son of Robert at the marsh, land in Knighton which had been Robert's. (fn. 465) Poughley priory's Eastridge manor included land in Knighton which in 1439 was leased to William and Elizabeth Darell for 90 years. (fn. 466) The freehold was never again said to belong to the priory and the land presumably became part of Knighton manor; but a quitrent apparently paid for it passed to the dean and canons of Westminster, successors to the abbot of Westminster to whom the revenues of the priory had been granted, and was still paid by the lord of Littlecote manor in 1789. (fn. 467)
Agriculture. The bishop of Salisbury's estate of Ramsbury was assessed at 90 hides in 1084 and 1086. (fn. 468) The estate almost certainly included all of what became Ramsbury parish, including Axford and Baydon, which were later parts of Ramsbury manor, and Bishopstone, which was not mentioned in Domesday Book and was the bishop's in the early 13th century. It included five burgages in Cricklade and almost certainly nothing else. (fn. 469) The bishop's demesne of 30 hides, on which there were only 8 ploughteams and 9 serfs, (fn. 470) was presumably distributed among all four places, excluding Cricklade. Free tenants, who held a total of 27 hides, had demesne lands on which there were 11 ploughteams. The presence on the bishop's lands of 68 villeins and 43 bordars and on the free tenants' lands of 31 bordars all with a total of 35 teams suggest that villeins and bordars held most of the cultivated land. That, the low ratio of teams to hides on the bishop's demesne, and the fact that later most of the bishop's demesne land used for husbandry was at Bishopstone and Baydon (fn. 471) indicate that little of the bishop's land at Ramsbury was cultivated in 1086, and that, even if it was not then imparked, it was already reserved for sport and to keep animals for the bishop's household. (fn. 472) At £52 15s., compared to £17 5s. for the land held by others, the bishop's demesne was highly valued. (fn. 473)
Ramsbury was not among the bishop's manors leased in the late 12th century. (fn. 474) In the early 13th century, when it may still have included Bishopstone, assized rents totalled £31 12s. 4d. (fn. 475) Bishopstone had been separated from it by the late 13th century. (fn. 476) Thereafter the composition of the manor changed little: apart from the parks, woods, meadows, and pastures surrounding the bishop's palace at Ramsbury there was a demesne farm at Baydon and, except between c. 1160 and c. 1260, another at Membury. (fn. 477) Extensive demesne lands at Axford and Hilldrop may have been granted freely by a bishop before the late 12th century. (fn. 478) From the later Middle Ages there were free and customary tenants in all the tithings, more freeholders in Eastridge where the manors of Littlecote, Thrup, and Eastridge were located, and more customary tenants in Baydon, Axford, and Whittonditch. (fn. 479) The demesne lands of Baydon were leased for a short period c. 1260 (fn. 480) but in the 14th century those at both Baydon and Membury were kept in hand. (fn. 481) In 1331 there were, including cottagers, some 100 customary tenants. Many labour services from them, and even some from some freeholders, were required and, in addition to normal agricultural labour, when the bishop left Ramsbury the customary tenants had to cart his victuals to Potterne, Sonning (Berks.), or Salisbury. By then, however, labour services from a few holdings had been commuted for higher rents. (fn. 482) By 1396 the demesne land at Membury had been leased and labour services from 11½ yardlands in Axford, 14½ in Whittonditch, 5 in Preston, 6 in Ford, and 6 yardlands and various smaller holdings in Ramsbury had been commuted. (fn. 483) Assized rents were £36 5s. 10d. in 1404. By then more demesne land had been leased and a moderately sized farm at Baydon was then the bishop's only directly exploited agricultural land. Many labour services from holdings at Baydon had been commuted but 1,100 could be called upon from the tenants of 18½ yardlands and 8 'cotsetlands' there. (fn. 484) That farm was afterwards leased and in the 16th century the bishops' income from the manor outside the parks was nearly all from rents. In 1535 a total of £67 11s. 11d. was paid: (fn. 485) the customary tenants of Ramsbury paid £13 4s. 10d., of Axford £8 8s. 11½d., Whittonditch £4 4s. 8d., Marridge Hill £2 0s. 4d., Park Town £2 18s., and Baydon some £9. (fn. 486) About 1556 some 29 yardlands were held by copy in Baydon, 17 in Whittonditch, 6 in Eastridge, 22 in Axford, and 4 in Ramsbury: Baydon and Membury remained the principal demesne farms held on leases. (fn. 487) The tenures and distribution of the lands of the manor were little changed until holdings in all parts of the parish were sold between 1677 and 1681. (fn. 488) After 1681 tenants remained in all parts and a century later were a mixture of copyholders and lessees. (fn. 489)
Ramsbury manor and Ramsbury prebend were the only estates to extend throughout the parish, within which distinct agrarian economies evolved in several places. Those of Axford and Baydon are discussed below with other aspects of the histories of those places. The remainder of the parish was divided roughly by the Kennet, south of which there was for long little agriculture. There the steep side of the valley, close to the river and unbroken by a tributary valley, and the high flat land south of it were predominantly woodland and grassland imparked by the lords of Ramsbury and Littlecote manors and valued chiefly for sport. Several farms have been established there but only Elmdown shared in the common husbandry practised north of the Kennet. (fn. 490) The relief north of the Kennet is broken but few of the slopes between the ridges and dry valleys are steep enough to prevent ploughing, and arable farming predominated. In the 16th century cultivation there was in both open fields and inclosures. (fn. 491) In the Middle Ages there were evidently groups of open fields at Ramsbury, Park Town, Whittonditch, Preston, Eastridge or Marridge Hill, and Membury. They presumably developed in the early Middle Ages for use by those with holdings based at those places. (fn. 492) Inclosed land was principally at Littlecote, Thrup, Knighton, Hilldrop, and, later, Membury. The dates and circumstances of the inclosures seem to have been different. (fn. 493) Although it seems likely that they had been earlier, in the 16th century the groups of open fields were not self contained. As parts of each were attached to holdings based elsewhere in the parish, and as farms in most parts of the parish, becoming fewer and larger, encompassed land in several places, individual groups of fields were losing their identities. (fn. 494) Many open fields were still named after, and holdings located by, the places, but, even before general inclosure in 1778, separate agrarian economies in the main part of the parish could no longer be distinguished. (fn. 495)
The open fields of Ramsbury itself were in an arc north of the village, bounded on the west by Park Town, north by the inclosed lands of Hilldrop manor and Love's farm, and north-east and east by the fields of Whittonditch. (fn. 496) North, South, West, and Henley fields were mentioned in the Middle Ages. (fn. 497) There was also an East field in 1567 but neither South nor East field then seems to have been large. (fn. 498) North had been renamed Middle field by the late 17th century. (fn. 499) In 1778 the fields, West, 50 a. west of Hilldrop Lane, Middle, 69 a. east of Love's Lane, East, 60 a. south of Crowood Lane, and two smaller fields, Knowledge between West and Middle and Lower east of East, were inclosed under an Act of 1777. (fn. 500) The meadows and pastures beside the Kennet south of High Street and Scholard's Lane and bounded on the south by Royal ditch at the bottom of Spring Hill seem to have been part of the demesne of Ramsbury manor in the Middle Ages. (fn. 501) Oad marsh, meadow south of High Street, was floated c. 1642. (fn. 502) Wood marsh, demesne land leased to the tenants of Ramsbury manor in 1404 or earlier, was presumably what was later called Great marsh east of Oad marsh. (fn. 503) The yearly rent of 6s. 8d. was respited when 7 a. of the tenants' land was imparked, possibly in the late 15th century. (fn. 504) The tenants used the marsh in common and the right to feed a cow there was attached to cottages in the village. (fn. 505) In the later 18th century the leazetellers marked every beast on it at 1d. a head. (fn. 506) Although Wood marsh was reckoned no more than 20 a. in 1567, when it was inclosed in 1778 Great marsh was 44 a. On the northern slopes of Spring Hill south of Great marsh Elm down, 20 a., was a common cattle pasture in summer but at other times was used exclusively by the occupant of Elmdown farm. (fn. 507) Sheep seem to have been generously stinted on the open fields (fn. 508) but there was no upland sheep pasture at Ramsbury. Land there has been attached to large farms at Whittonditch, Park Town, and Hilldrop (fn. 509) but there has apparently never been a large farm at Ramsbury. In the Middle Ages customary holdings were small and they seem to have remained so even when there were only four of ½ yardland or more in 1567. (fn. 510) Many smallholdings were worked from buildings in the village, but the largest farm to have developed seems to have been Daniel Boreman's, c. 85 a. at inclosure. Because there were many smallholdings the arable and meadow land nearest Ramsbury continued to be worked in small parcels after inclosure. (fn. 511)
References to Park field and Bishop's field possibly suggest open fields in Park Town tithing, but if such existed they were eliminated early by the expansion of the bishop's parks. (fn. 512) The right of the tenant of the lord's mill in Park Town to feed cattle and sheep in a marsh and in Blake's Lane c. 1600 may be a vestige of common pasture. (fn. 513) Nearly all the land of the tithing outside the parks was in a leasehold of Ramsbury manor, in Ambrose, formerly Blake's, farm, and in Hales Court farm, so called in 1584, the demesne of Ramsbury Trenchard manor. (fn. 514) In 1416 that manor included 3 carucates, most presumably in Park Town, and 24 messuages, some let for lives and most of them presumably smallholdings in Ramsbury. (fn. 515) The land in Park Town was reckoned as 7 yardlands in 1567. (fn. 516) In 1632 Hales Court farm measured 185 a. including 60 a. of meadow and pasture, 42 a. of woodland, and 83 a. of arable of which 11 a. were in the common fields of Ramsbury. (fn. 517) The farm buildings were near the Kennet between Ramsbury and Ramsbury Manor on land flooded or imparked c. 1775 when they were demolished. (fn. 518) In 1567 the lands of Ramsbury manor held by lease amounted to c. 30 a. and Blake's farm to c. 70 a. including 30 a. of woodland, presumably Blake's Copse. (fn. 519)
Meadow land at Whittonditch was presumably beside the stream flowing from Aldbourne to Knighton. Open fields were on both sides of the stream. (fn. 520) In the Middle Ages Whittonditch lands were used by the lord of Ramsbury manor in demesne, by his customary tenants at Whittonditch and later by others elsewhere, and by possibly three free tenants. (fn. 521) In the 14th century apparently all the demesne was pasture, sold yearly or leased, or woodland. By the 16th century the pasture, Witcha down, 30 a., had been appended to a copyhold. (fn. 522) There were ten or more customary tenants holding 14½ or more yardlands in 1396: in the mid 16th century they were fewer and their holdings were larger and extended into other parts of the parish. Thomas Seymour then held 60 a., John Goddard 18 a., and the lord of Ramsbury Trenchard manor 1½ yardland in Whittonditch tithing, but where their lands lay is obscure. No more than two or three copyholds then seem to have been based there: the largest, 154 a. including Witcha down, was possibly the later Whittonditch farm. Those and copyholds based elsewhere in the parish included some 215 a. of arable at Whittonditch. (fn. 523) In the late 17th century land was apparently being worked as Whittonditch, Crowood, and Witcha farms. (fn. 524) Whittonditch farm measured 209 a. in 1737. (fn. 525) In the mid 18th century all three farms belonged to Henry Read who in 1755 was accused of removing merestones and of ploughing linches in the open fields. (fn. 526) In 1778 those fields were called Lower and Middle: they were possibly of roughly equal size and separated by the Aldbourne-Hungerford road. Of some 250 a. at Whittonditch inclosed in that year more than 200 a. were in Whittonditch and Witcha farms and imparked around Crowood House; 20 a. were in Minden, later Upper Whittonditch, farm; and land at Upper Whittonditch was in Preston farm. (fn. 527)
In 1396 four or more customary tenants held 5 yardlands or more at Preston. (fn. 528) In the later Middle Ages copyholds at Preston and Ford may have been merged: in the mid 16th century, when 7 yardlands said to be at Preston were held by four tenants, some of whom held land elsewhere in the parish, and when those tenants' lands were in Preston, Ford, and other fields, the two were not distinguished. (fn. 529) As a result there was uncertainty about what was Preston land and what was Ford land until the inclosure commissioners resolved it in 1778. (fn. 530) In the 16th century a common pasture, 16 a., on Hodd's Hill was for the ewes of the Preston copyholders. (fn. 531) There may have been no more than two farms based at Preston in the 16th century, and in the late 18th century there were only two. At inclosure the fields of Preston were apparently North field, c. 230 a. extending north-west of Marridge Hill and Hodd's Hill, and Little field, c. 75 a. nearer Preston. Some 200 a. were allotted in respect of farms based elsewhere. Preston farm was possibly of more than 100 a. including its land at Whittonditch and Marridge Hill and on Hodd's Hill. The second farm was smaller. (fn. 532)
There was demesne, freehold, and customary land of Ramsbury manor at Marridge Hill. (fn. 533) In the 16th century there were open fields, presumably on the flat land at the summit of the hill, and Marridge heath, 100 a., was a common pasture for sheep and cattle. (fn. 534) Before 1462, however, 40 a. of the demesne land, called Broad Breaches, had been inclosed and attached to a customary holding. (fn. 535) In the mid 16th century five copyholders held a total of 7½ yardlands and other land at Marridge Hill: 3½ of 4 freely held yardlands were part of Ramsbury Trenchard manor. Most of the copyholders also held land in Preston and elsewhere and it seems unlikely that more than three or four farms were based at Marridge Hill. The largest apparently included 120 a. of inclosed lands, among them Broad Breaches then said to be 80 a. (fn. 536) Marridge heath was inclosed in the 17th century but farmers in Marridge Hill, Preston, and Whittonditch cultivated Upper Marridge field, c. 100 a., in common until inclosure in 1778. (fn. 537) Three farms then seem to have been based at Marridge Hill. Most of Upper Marridge field and Broad Breaches made up Thomas Mildenhall's farm based at buildings south-east of the earlier Marridge Hill House. Other land, including much of the North field of Preston, was worked from Marridge Hill Farm and from buildings on the site of the later Marridge Hill House (Baydon Manor). (fn. 538)
In the Middle Ages there may have been common husbandry at Eastridge. References in 1567 to arable land in an apparently open field at Eastridge called Minden, possibly near what became Minden Farm, and to a common sheep pasture called Eastridge heath, 40 a., are evidence of it. (fn. 539) Land at Eastridge was held of Ramsbury manor but by the 16th century had apparently been attached to a copyhold based at Ramsbury. (fn. 540) Eastridge manor, 6 yardlands, then consisted of two farms. (fn. 541) The larger presumably included most of the land of Eastridge and may have been mainly several. In the late 18th century it was based at Eastridge Farm on the summit of the down. Minden farm then included more land at Whittonditch than at Eastridge. Other land was apparently worked in farms based at Ramsbury and Marridge Hill. (fn. 542)
At Knighton in the 16th century there were vestiges of common husbandry similar to those at Eastridge. A copyholder of Ramsbury manor held land in Knighton field, took hay from a common meadow, possibly that near Deep bridge mentioned in 1462, and had rights to feed beasts on Jacket marsh, 8 a., and Knighton marsh. (fn. 543) By then, however, most other estates in Knighton had apparently been absorbed by Knighton farm. At Thrup, however, even in the Middle Ages there seems to have been only a single estate, the lands of which were bounded by the Kennet and by those of Knighton and Chilton Foliat. (fn. 544) There is no evidence that any of Thrup manor, reckoned as 3 carucates in 1331, (fn. 545) was held customarily, and none of common husbandry. As parts of the Littlecote estate the lands of Knighton and Thrup may have been linked in the late 15th century, (fn. 546) but only from the mid 16th is it clear that Knighton farm encompassed Thrup. For a fine of £50 paid in 1545 the farm, including Thrup, was leased for 20 marks a year from 1550. (fn. 547) By 1712 a new Thrup farm had been created, possibly with a farmstead on the downs, (fn. 548) but it may not often have been leased separately. (fn. 549) In 1773 the buildings of Knighton farm were on their present site beside the AldbourneHungerford road. (fn. 550)
In the Middle Ages there were open fields at Membury called East and South, possibly both south of the hamlet, and later evidence refers to a pasture which may previously have been common. (fn. 551) Those lands were presumably shared by the lord of Membury manor as demesne, by his customary tenants, and by the two freeholders with land there. The bishops of Salisbury may have exploited the demesne directly in the early 14th century. In 1330 three poor tenants of Membury were mentioned and it is unlikely that they or others held much land customarily. (fn. 552) John of Eastbury's estate was reckoned as 1 carucate in 1374: (fn. 553) some land in Membury was part of Pig's Court estate in Baydon, but how much is obscure. (fn. 554) By 1396 the demesne, Membury farm, had been leased. (fn. 555) The farm presumably absorbed Eastbury's and the customary tenants' lands, and in the 16th century all Membury land was inclosed. About 1556 Membury farm included 114 a. of arable, 9 a. of meadow, 98 a. of pasture, and Membury heath, 30 a., which was divided by ditches from Eastridge common pasture. The farmer also had pasture for 240 sheep and 28 beasts on Eastridge heath. (fn. 556) For much of the 16th century and in the early 17th century members of the Ballard family were lessees. The rent in 1567 was £4 13s. 4d. (fn. 557) In 1678 the farm included land on Membury fort which had been wooded and was then arable, almost certainly that encircled by the woodland still covering the banks and ditches called Membury walls. (fn. 558) The farm, 275 a. in 1721 when it included land in Baydon, was held by members of the Bacon family from before 1721 until c. 1803. (fn. 559)
There is no evidence of open field or common pasture at Hilldrop, nor of any other farm there but Hilldrop. The fact that the land, mainly north-west of Hilldrop, (fn. 560) was on the downs and near the bishop of Salisbury's palace at Ramsbury suggests that the inclosed farm originated in a grant of episcopal demesne pasture over which any common right had previously been extinguished. (fn. 561) In the Middle Ages the farm may not have been leased. (fn. 562) In the 16th century its extent was estimated at 400 a. and in the late 18th century, when members of the Rawlins family were tenants, was over 500 a. (fn. 563) Love's farm between Hilldrop and Ramsbury was possibly reckoned as 1 carucate in 1462 and in the early 16th century may have been c. 100 a. (fn. 564) It may then and later have been worked with Hilldrop farm but in the late 18th century was separate. (fn. 565)
After the mid 1780s there is no evidence of a farm of more than 50 a. with buildings in Ramsbury village, nor of much copyhold land of Ramsbury manor. The land north of the village between Hilldrop and Whittonditch, which after inclosure in 1778 remained in small pieces with various owners, was gradually absorbed by the larger farms. (fn. 566) After inclosure there were in Ramsbury north of the Kennet, excluding Axford, between fifteen and twenty farms of more, most much more, than 50 a. In the west Ramsbury Manor farm, encompassing Hales Court farm and based at new buildings, was of 355 a. including 253 a. of arable in 1839, 329 a. in 1880. Bolstridge was a mainly arable farm of 67 a. in 1839, 144 a. in 1880, part of Ramsbury manor with buildings south-east of Hilldrop. In 1839 Hilldrop farm measured 530 a. including 370 a. of arable, and Love's was a wholly arable farm of 50 a. with buildings north-east of Hilldrop. In the centre in 1839 were Whittonditch farm, 248 a. worked from buildings beside the AldbourneHungerford road, Witcha farm, 236 a. worked from buildings on the west side of the Whittonditch-Membury lane, William Atherton's farm of 100 a. with buildings at Upper Whittonditch, 220 a. of agricultural land south and west of Crowood House, and Minden, later Upper Whittonditch, farm, 165 a. worked from buildings on the east side of the WhittonditchMembury lane. Those farms included a total 840 a. of arable. The land around Crowood House was presumably worked from Crowood Farm from the mid 19th century. In the north in 1839 Marridge Hill was a compact farm of 144 a. north-west of its buildings and including Large's barn, and the farm based at the later Marridge Hill House measured 325 a.; the third farm at Marridge Hill included 122 a. In Preston farm, 84 a., were 65 a. of arable, and Waldron's farm at Preston, 102 a., included 84 a. of arable. Membury was then a compact farm of 300 a. In the east Knighton and Thrup farms were being leased together in 1806 and in 1839 were a single farm of 570 a. including 458 a. of arable and 74 a. of permanent grass. Eastridge farm then measured 377 a. of which 268 a. were arable. (fn. 567)
The concentration on arable farming evident in that whole area in the earlier 19th century has persisted, with little evidence of dairy farming at any time. In the mid 20th century most of the land of Ramsbury manor in the west was brought in hand and worked from Axford: in 1981 only Ramsbury Manor farm, 85 a., was held by lease. (fn. 568) The imparked land, which was leased for grazing in the 19th century and earlier 20th, (fn. 569) was not used for agriculture in 1981. Hilldrop was then a corn and sheep farm of over 600 a. including land in Aldbourne: Love's remained a separate small farm. (fn. 570) Most of the land of the Crowood estate in the centre had been brought in hand by the 1940s when there was mixed farming on it. (fn. 571) In 1981, including its land in Baydon and Aldbourne, the Crowood estate of over 1,000 a. was in hand and worked from Crowood Farm and buildings at Upper Whittonditch where there was a dairy. (fn. 572) Witcha farm measured 335 a. in 1949 including much of the land which had been in the third farm at Marridge Hill in 1839, the land north-west of the WhittonditchMembury lane formerly in Upper Whittonditch farm, and land formerly in Whittonditch farm. In 1981 its halves, Witcha and Woodlands, were pasture farms respectively for cows and sheep. (fn. 573) Whittonditch was then a mixed farm with c. 200 a. at Whittonditch and Preston and additional land in Aldbourne. (fn. 574) As part of the Baydon Manor estate in the north the two farms at Preston were merged before 1947 into a farm of 293 a., including 10 a. in Aldbourne, of which only 30 a. were grass. (fn. 575) In 1981 over 200 a. were part of Maj. H. O. Stibbard's farm based at Marridge Hill. (fn. 576) The two larger farms at Marridge Hill were merged before 1947 as Marridge Hill farm, then 511 a. including land in Baydon and buildings at Marridge Hill Farm. (fn. 577) In 1981 Maj. Stibbard's was an arable and pasture farm of over 600 a. with land in Baydon and large buildings, including some for cattle rearing, north of Baydon Manor, and was in hand. Other large buildings at Marridge Hill were for poultry rearing. Those at Marridge Hill Farm were not used for agriculture. (fn. 578) In 1947 Membury farm measured 363 a. including 54 a. which were part of Membury airfield and 11 a. in Lambourn: (fn. 579) with more land in Lambourn and Ramsbury it measured 561 a. in 1981 when it was worked under contract from Hilldrop Farm. (fn. 580) In the earlier 20th century A. J. Hosier used new techniques of dairy farming at Knighton farm, of which he was tenant. (fn. 581) In the later 20th century Eastridge farm, the land of Upper Whittonditch farm south-east of the Whittonditch-Membury lane, Thrup farm, until 1979, and Knighton farm were in hand as parts of Littlecote estate and were devoted solely to arable farming. Their buildings were given up by the estate and only those at Eastridge, where cattle were reared, were in use in 1981. The land of Thrup was then worked from Lambourn. (fn. 582)
The large area which Domesday Book suggests was neither tenanted nor ploughed in the late 11th century (fn. 583) was around the bishop of Salisbury's palace on the Kennet between Ramsbury and Axford. (fn. 584) The part of it south of the river was taken into Savernake forest, but in 1228 was disafforested. (fn. 585) In 1246 it was acknowledged to be a chase of the bishop. (fn. 586) In 1281 the bishop maintained his right to a chase but successfully denied allegations that he also claimed free warren without licence and obstructed men hunting hares and other beasts of the warren. (fn. 587) Free warren was granted in 1294. (fn. 588) The lands, which had been imparked by the 14th century, had thrice to be defended by bishops against their neighbours: in 1316 hedges and fences were broken and animals killed and removed by Henry Esturmy, warden of Savernake forest; (fn. 589) in 1347 Hildebrand of London, lord of Axford manor, forcibly entered the park and took fish from the bishop's waters, deer from the park, and hares, rabbits, pheasants, and partridges from the warren; (fn. 590) and in 1541 Sir Edward Darell, lord of Littlecote manor, hunted without licence. (fn. 591) The first two of those incursions were possibly intended as challenges to the bishops' rights.
From the 14th century the imparked land was divided between north and south parks. (fn. 592) In 1458 Bishop Beauchamp acquired by exchange 154 a., mostly from Henry Hall from what was later called Hales Court farm, and was licensed by the king to enlarge his parks by inclosing 400 a. including 100 a. of woodland. (fn. 593) It seems likely that the exchanged land was inclosed to extend the north park: an embankment extending round Old Park Wood north of the Kennet and the site of the Plantation south of the Kennet may have marked its new boundaries, and in places is still visible. (fn. 594) In the 16th and 17th centuries that park was called the little or old park, the south park was called the great, new, or high park. (fn. 595) About 1545 the little park measured 190 a., including pastures in the north called the old fields, presumably the land inclosed c. 1458. (fn. 596) The great park, described by Leland as a 'right fair and large park hanging on the cliff of a high hill well wooded over the Kennet', (fn. 597) contained 600 a. of pasture, 300 a. of woodland, and a rabbit warren. Near his palace the bishop had some 50 a. of meadow land, the right to exclusive fishing in the Kennet, and four well stocked fishponds. Trees in the great park were valued at 2,500 marks, those in the little park at 200 marks. There were said to be 400 deer in the great park. (fn. 598) Bishops had appointed one man as keeper of the manor of Ramsbury and of its buildings, gardens, and orchards (for 40s. a year), keeper of the warren or chase and keeper of the woods and chief parkkeeper (4d. a day), overseer of swans (10s. a year), and keeper of the waters and river bank (1d. a day): a pension of £40 a year paid to Sir Edward Baynton for surrendering the offices in 1541 possibly reflects their true value. (fn. 599) Other 16thcentury estimates of the area of the parks and of the woodland, pasture, and meadow within them vary, but the distinction between the great and little parks and the pattern of land use apparently continued throughout the century. (fn. 600)
Sales of wood and payments for agistment in 1330 show that fiscal profits could sometimes be taken from the parks: (fn. 601) in 1462 rabbits and meadow land were at farm. (fn. 602) The parks, however, may have been created and been used primarily for the bishop's sport, larder, and horses. In the 17th century such use declined when the owners, the earls of Pembroke, were usually absent, and leasing became more the rule. The woods were held by lease in 1633 (fn. 603) and in the later 17th century Ramsbury manor house was leased. (fn. 604) Herbert Saladin held the old park, apart from its woods and the old fields, and 57 a. of meadow in 1675. (fn. 605) Parts of the high park had been leased for agriculture before 1670 when, of 265 a. so leased, some 200 a. were tilled. (fn. 606) In 1676 the boundaries of the parks, still inclosing c. 1,100 a., apparently followed the southernmost part of the parish boundary, bisected Hens Wood, crossed the Kennet near Axford Farm, extended northwards round Old Field Copse, and crossed the Kennet again east of the manor house. (fn. 607) Nearly 300 a. of the high park were sold between 1677 and 1681. (fn. 608) In 1681 the remainder, 545 a. impaled and divided into three by hedges and rails, was leased with 33 a. of water meadow for £446 a year. (fn. 609) Some of the old park was also sold in 1679: the remainder was presumably kept in hand by the Joneses to surround the new Ramsbury Manor. The sold portion may have been imparked again in the 1720s. (fn. 610)
In the later 18th century the non-agricultural part of the high park was again in hand and c. 1775 the old park was extended eastwards. (fn. 611) Both parks seem to have been used primarily for sport and the long pasture called Horse Race between the artificial lake and the new Plantation may have had the use implied by its name. (fn. 612) The agricultural land was taken from the south and east parts of the high park and was the basis of Park and Park Town farms. (fn. 613) By 1839 most of the parkland was used for agriculture. Ramsbury Manor had been leased with only 93 a.: much of the woodland had also been leased. (fn. 614) Park was then, as in 1880, a compact farm of 807 a., including in 1839 over 500 a. of arable and extending across the flat upland from Hens Wood to Spring Hill. (fn. 615) Park Town farm, c. 150 a. in 1752, was in 1839 a rectangular farm of 260 a., of which 240 a. were arable, extending from the Kennet to Spring Hill, with its buildings, now Harbrook Farm, beside the river in its northwest corner. (fn. 616) In 1839 there was also an arable farm of 96 a. with buildings near the parish boundary south of Spring Hill. (fn. 617) Those farms survived approximately thus until c. 400 a. were taken for Ramsbury airfield c. 1939. (fn. 618) Park farm was reduced to 232 a., mostly south and west of its buildings: in 1981 it was an arable and dairy farm. (fn. 619) The large buildings housing pigs at Darrell's Farm were part of it. (fn. 620) The lowland part of Park Town farm and the steep northern slopes of Spring Hill were pasture in 1981. After the airfield was returned to agriculture after 1955 most of it was ploughed. West of the RamsburyFroxfield lane, in 1981 Littlecote estate included extensive buildings at Bridge Farm and c. 125 a. of arable. (fn. 621) Since the Second World War there has been commercial forestry in Hens Wood. (fn. 622) By 1981 the parkland around Ramsbury Manor had been increased to c. 350 a. (fn. 623)
It seems likely that the Darells, lords of Littlecote manor, had a park at Littlecote long before Henry VIII had 'goodly pastimes and continual hunting' there in 1520. (fn. 624) There is also evidence of sheep-and-corn husbandry on the demesne in the 16th century: in 1549 over 700 sheep were kept and in 1589 wheat was sold for £52 and barley for £25. (fn. 625) Littlecote House is beside the parish boundary, its owners have held much land in Chilton Foliat and elsewhere, (fn. 626) and it is not certain whether the greater parts of the park and agricultural land were in Ramsbury or Chilton Foliat. Later evidence suggests that more than half of each was in Ramsbury. (fn. 627)
By the late 17th century the demesne had been leased as Littlecote, later Littlecote Park, farm, apparently 364 a. in 1699. (fn. 628) The farm sometimes included the water meadows, over 50 a., south of the Kennet between Knighton and Littlecote. (fn. 629) In the 1830s it consisted only of land in the triangle formed by the south-east corner of the parish, 327 a. including 293 a. of arable, and of c. 250 a. in Chilton Foliat. Its buildings were on the north side of the east-west road which ran south of Littlecote House and was otherwise its northern boundary. (fn. 630) In the mid 19th century those buildings were replaced by a new farmstead in the south part of the triangle. (fn. 631) In 1893 the farm, 471 a. including 305 a. in Ramsbury, was still primarily arable, but the tenant, S. W. Farmer, was a leading dairy farmer who also held 65 a. of Littlecote park in Ramsbury. (fn. 632)
Sales of wood from the park and from the woods elsewhere in the parish and in Chilton Foliat and Hungerford were a source of much income to the lords of Littlecote manor in the 18th century. (fn. 633) Wood was then also taken to fuel their brick and lime kilns in Hungerford and, possibly, near Elmdown Farm. (fn. 634) In the mid 18th century deer were still regularly hunted in the park (fn. 635) which in 1775 included c. 200 a. between the gardens around Littlecote House on the east and Park Coppice, c. 60 a., on the west. (fn. 636) The park, 200 a. of woodland in the eastern part of the parish, and the water meadows were then in hand, (fn. 637) in 1839 a total of 638 a. in Ramsbury including 56 a. of meadows, 200 a. of pasture in the park, and over 300 a. of woodland. (fn. 638)
In the later 20th century Littlecote Park farm and all the other lands of the Littlecote estate, over 4,000 a. in Ramsbury, Chilton Foliat, Hungerford, and elsewhere, have been brought in hand. In 1981 farming on them was entirely arable. Fields have been enlarged, hedges removed, and all farm buildings given up except airfield buildings at Bridge Farm which have been extended and in 1981 were used to house large machinery. Some of the woodland has been cleared for tillage but the shooting has been carefully preserved for letting. (fn. 639)
Elmdown farm had been established on the upland between Ramsbury great park and Littlecote park, presumably by the 13th or 14th century. (fn. 640) In 1567 it consisted of 30 a. which were possibly inclosed around the farmstead, Elm down which was subject to summer pasture rights of those holding land in Ramsbury, and 10 a. in the fields of Ramsbury with pasture rights in the great marsh. (fn. 641) As part of Littlecote estate in the early 18th century the farm was leased separately. (fn. 642) From the late 18th century Elmdown and Ambrose farms were held together for long periods. (fn. 643) In 1839, when they were held separately, each with its farmstead and lands east of the Ramsbury-Froxfield lane, Elmdown measured 131 a. including 113 a. of arable, Ambrose 82 a. including 66 a. of arable. (fn. 644) In the later 20th century those lands, like other parts of Littlecote estate, were worked from Bridge Farm. (fn. 645)
Robert Maisey combined the businesses of watercress growing and basket making in Ramsbury apparently from the 1890s until the First World War. (fn. 646) The watercress beds passed to members of the Wootton family who in the 1930s had more than 20 employees and sometimes sent in a week 15,000 lb. of watercress via Hungerford to London from beds in Ramsbury, Froxfield, and Shalbourne. (fn. 647) The beds at Ramsbury, 14 a., were in the waters of the Kennet near How Mill and in the tributary valley between Knighton and Whittonditch. (fn. 648) Cultivation near How Mill ceased c. 1970, but watercress was still grown in the beds between Knighton and Whittonditch in 1981. (fn. 649)
Fishing. Several fishing in the Kennet was apparently the right of the lords of each manor with land reaching to it. It was claimed as part of Thrup manor in 1411, (fn. 650) of Ramsbury manor c. 1545, (fn. 651) of Axford manor in 1601, (fn. 652) and of Ramsbury Trenchard manor in 1634. (fn. 653) Fishing rights were excluded from the sales of much of Ramsbury manor between 1677 and 1681. (fn. 654) The Kennet at Ramsbury was then already noted for its trout. (fn. 655) Grayling were introduced c. 1890. They were later found to be harmful to trout and were with pike and coarse fish taken from the river by an electrical fishing machine and other means in the 1950s. (fn. 656)
Mills. The 80 a. of meadow and 10 mills paying £6 2s. 6d. on the bishop of Salisbury's Ramsbury estate in 1086 (fn. 657) are perhaps no more than might be expected since the estate included, apart from the Kennet at Ramsbury and Axford, streams suitable for mills at Bishopstone. In the Middle Ages the bishops had a demesne mill on the Kennet near their palace and in the north park, called Park Mill in the 1290s, (fn. 658) later Porter's Mill. It was in hand in 1330. (fn. 659) By 1395 it had been converted to a fulling mill and leased. (fn. 660) It was still a fulling mill in the 1460s but in the early 16th century was again a corn mill. (fn. 661) When the bishop was at Ramsbury the tenant had to grind for him with no more reward than food and drink and to allow him half the eels taken in the waters of the mill. (fn. 662) Henry Powle sold the mill with feeding rights in Park Town marsh and Blake's Lane to the tenant Edward Kingston in 1677. (fn. 663) It was bought back by a lord of Ramsbury manor, apparently between 1705, when a widow Porter held it, and 1728: in 1728 it was said to house three grist mills under one roof. (fn. 664) The lessee of Park farm held it in 1771. (fn. 665) It was apparently demolished c. 1775 when the artificial lake was made. (fn. 666)
How Mill, mentioned between 1274 and 1284, was a corn mill on the Kennet east of Ramsbury and was held by lease of the bishops of Salisbury in the later Middle Ages. (fn. 667) It passed with the manor and in 1559 was taken in hand by the lord following a dispute arising from a lease by him and an earlier lease in reversion: (fn. 668) thereafter the mill was held by copy. (fn. 669) It was not sold between 1677 and 1681 and remained part of the manor. (fn. 670) Milling apparently stopped there in the mid 19th century. (fn. 671) The surviving mill house is 18thcentury.
A water mill at Ramsbury, presumably on the Kennet and possibly that held by William at the hill in 1331, was part of Love's estate in the Middle Ages; (fn. 672) Parson's Mill, possibly at Park Town, belonged to the prebendaries of Ramsbury from c. 1300 or earlier to 1515 or later. (fn. 673) They were possibly the two mills which were part of Ramsbury Trenchard manor in 1575. (fn. 674) After that manor was broken up in the 1630s one of the mills may have been acquired by John Cooke, who was a party to a conveyance of a mill in 1636. (fn. 675) That mill was apparently bought by Richard King, the owner of Hales Court farm, from Stephen Cooke and others in 1650, and passed with that farm to Nicholas King in 1669. It was apparently near Hales Court Farm at Park Town (fn. 676) and was possibly Parson's Mill or its successor. It may have been the mill acquired by Richard Jones, lord of Ramsbury manor, from Henry Shute in 1711 and called Shute's Mill in 1771. (fn. 677) If so, it seems likely to have been demolished with Porter's Mill. The descent of Love's Mill is obscure. Its successor may have been the mill on the Kennet in Mill Lane leased in 1758 by Sir Michael Ernle, Bt. (d. 1771), and later called Upper Mill. Ernle's heir was his brother the Revd. Sir Edward Ernle (d. 1787) from whom his nephew Sir William Langham Jones, lord of Ramsbury manor, bought that mill in 1783. (fn. 678) Milling continued until the earlier 20th century: the machinery remained in the building until the 1960s. (fn. 679) The surviving mill house was built in the later 17th century or earlier 18th and extended in the later 18th century or earlier 19th.
A mill belonging to Edward Jatt in 1752 was apparently that on the Kennet beside Scholard's Lane later called Town Mill. (fn. 680) Nathan Atherton owned it from 1778 or earlier to c. 1821 and Joseph Atherton from c. 1821 to 1839 or later. Afterwards it became part of Ramsbury manor. (fn. 681) There is no evidence that corn was ground there after the 1890s. (fn. 682) The Old Mill is a large house the south half of which was built in the 18th century, the north half in the 19th century.
A mill was part of Thrup manor in 1394. (fn. 683) In the late 18th century there was possibly a mill on the Kennet near Littlecote House where Mill meads were so called in 1775, (fn. 684) but no part of such a mill survives. (fn. 685) A map of 1773 perhaps mistakenly infers that there was another mill on the Kennet between Town Mill and How Mill. (fn. 686)
Market and Fairs. The bishop of Salisbury had a market at Ramsbury in 1219. (fn. 687) In 1227 the king ordered the sheriff not to prevent it and, on condition that it harmed no other market, formally granted a Tuesday market to the bishop. (fn. 688) By 1229, however, it had been found detrimental to the market at Marlborough and was prohibited. (fn. 689) It may nevertheless have continued until 1240 when the bishop agreed with the king to give up his weekly market for two yearly threeday fairs at the Invention (3 May) and Exaltation (14 September) of Holy Cross. (fn. 690) Although it seems unlikely that the market at Ramsbury was a serious rival to that at Marlborough in the mid 13th century, (fn. 691) it remained hard to eliminate. In 1275 and 1281 the Crown accused the see of prejudicing Marlborough market by raising a new Sunday market at Ramsbury for trade in merchandise of all kinds. The accusations were disproved and the bishop claimed that there was no more than the buying and selling of food and drink on feast days and Sundays as was permitted under the agreement of 1240. Such trade and the two fairs were allowed to continue providing that no one market day should become fixed. (fn. 692) By 1300 a market at Ramsbury may have been considered no danger to trade at Marlborough and in that year the king again granted the bishop a Tuesday market. (fn. 693) The market was held in 1319 (fn. 694) but nothing is known of it thereafter. The lack of surviving references to it suggests that it failed to flourish and that it petered out long before the 1790s when it was expressly said to have been discontinued. (fn. 695)
The fairs at the Invention and Exaltation were held in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 696) In 1830 a cattle fair was held on 14 May and a hiring fair on 11 October. (fn. 697) Later both fairs were for dealing in cattle, but after the First World War that in October was a pleasure fair. The May fair had ceased by 1939 and the October fair ceased in the 1950s. (fn. 698)
Trade and Industry. A fulling mill and a quilling house on the bishop of Salisbury's demesne at Ramsbury in the 14th and 15th centuries are evidence of clothmaking. (fn. 699) From the 17th century Ramsbury had many trades related to agriculture and typical of a large village. The leather trade has been the most prominent. There was a tan house at Ramsbury in the 1630s, (fn. 700) when inspectors of leather were appointed at the view of frankpledge, (fn. 701) and there were tanners, shoemakers, glovers, and collar makers throughout the 18th century. (fn. 702) In 1780 there were three or more tan yards. (fn. 703) One, on the south side of High Street, passed from the Day to the Ashley family, members of which were tanners and curriers until the 1880s. (fn. 704) The furriery of Joseph Maslin was possibly linked with the tanning and glovemaking of the Ock- wells at Cricklade in the later 19th century. (fn. 705) In addition to tanners and curriers there were seven bootmakers and shoemakers and a collar maker at Ramsbury in 1848. (fn. 706) Bootmaking was slow to die out and was continued by Hunter & Son in Oxford Street until 1981. (fn. 707) Malthouses stood in High Street and Oxford Street in 1778 and brewing was said to be successful at Ramsbury in the 1790s: (fn. 708) in 1839 London was the destination of much of the beer from the brewery south of the Square. (fn. 709) Malting and brewing ceased in the late 19th century. (fn. 710) In the 1850s S. T. Osmond established a brass and iron foundry at Newtown to make agricultural implements. There were other workers in metal in the later 19th century, and in the 1890s work similar to Osmond's was done at the Jubilee Royal Foundry. The Newtown foundry survived until the First World War. (fn. 711) Other trades at Ramsbury have included candle making (1655 and 1788), (fn. 712) clockmaking, (fn. 713) soapmaking (1744), (fn. 714) hurdle making (1936), (fn. 715) and jewellery design and manufacture (1980). (fn. 716) The firm of N. Turnbull & Co. made printed electrical circuits at premises south of High Street from c. 1965 to 1981. (fn. 717)
Regalian rights may have originated in the acquisition of the lands of Ramsbury hundred by the bishop of Ramsbury, (fn. 718) and they were held unchallenged by the bishop of Salisbury as lord of the hundred. (fn. 719) A grant of general liberties to the bishop by Henry III in 1227 confirmed them, and may have inspired the mistaken belief of the jurors of Selkley hundred in 1255 that they were then new. (fn. 720) In 1255 the bishop was said to have return of writs, pleas of vee de naam, and view of frankpledge: gallows and the assize of bread and of ale were specified in 1275, tumbrel and pillory in 1289. (fn. 721) In the later Middle Ages the bishop held three-weekly hundred courts and exercised public jurisdiction in biannual courts called law hundreds. (fn. 722) Men of Bishopstone may have attended both. In the mid 16th century the right to hold the three-weekly hundred court, although still claimed by the lay lords of Ramsbury manor, may no longer have been exercised, (fn. 723) and the bishop retained the right to exercise leet jurisdiction for Bishopstone, which was not subsequently represented at the Ramsbury law hundreds held by the lords of the manor. (fn. 724)
The tithings of Ramsbury parish in the Middle Ages cannot be clearly identified. The two tithings of Ramsbury named in 1289 may have been the forerunners of Ramsbury or Ramsbury Town and Park Town tithings. (fn. 725) Eastridge, Ashridge, in Axford, and Whittonditch were tithings in the 13th century. (fn. 726) In the 1550s there were eight tithings, Ramsbury, Park Town, Eastridge, Whittonditch, Axford, Ashridge, Littlecote, and Baydon, but only six tithingmen: the tithings of Littlecote, the home of the Darells who had long held Axford manor, and Ashridge shared a tithingman with Axford tithing. (fn. 727) Those three tithings were merged as Axford tithing in the 17th century but in the 18th Littlecote was transferred to Eastridge tithing. (fn. 728) Ramsbury tithing included Hilldrop, (fn. 729) Whittonditch included Preston and Marridge Hill, Eastridge included Membury, and Baydon included Ford: (fn. 730) before the 17th century Thrup and Knighton may have been in Littlecote or Eastridge tithing. Each tithing was required to have its own instruments of punishment in the late 16th century. There was a constable for Ramsbury village and another, called the hundred constable, for the remainder of the parish. (fn. 731) In the 17th century there was a second constable for Ramsbury village: a weigher of bread and taster of ale and an inspector and sealer of leather were appointed, officers later duplicated. (fn. 732) A 'constable of Baydon' named in 1703 was the Baydon tithingman, (fn. 733) but his activities presumably superseded those of the hundred constable in Baydon.
In the later 16th century the law hundred proceeded on the presentments of the six tithingmen, affirmed and added to by a jury theoretically of 12 but actually of 15–17. Offences included those of brewers, bakers, tapsters, and butchers in Ramsbury and of millers, assaults, poaching, and harbouring rogues and vagabonds. (fn. 734) In the 17th century tipplers, tapsters, and nuisances caused by muckheaps were presented under leet jurisdiction in courts called views of frankpledge, (fn. 735) but in the 18th century the appointment and listing of the officers was the only recorded business at the biannual view. (fn. 736)
In the 14th century the bishop of Salisbury held courts, in addition to the hundred courts, presumably to deal for Ramsbury manor with matters normally connected with customary tenure. Four a year were held in the 15th century. (fn. 737) The business of the courts was enrolled with that of the law hundreds in the later 16th century, under the heading of courts of the manor held on the same day as the views in the 17th century, and under the heading of courts baron in the 18th century. It was mainly the recording of presentments by the homage, orders intended to promote good husbandry, deaths of tenants, and transfers of copyholds. The condition of hedges seems to have caused concern in the later 16th century when orders were also made to ring pigs and to exclude horses and cattle from sown fields. In the 17th century bylaws promulgated at the courts regulated common husbandry at Ramsbury, Axford, and Baydon. (fn. 738) Each part of the parish in which there was common husbandry was called a homage but was not represented at the court by a separate jury. (fn. 739) In the 18th century, however, orders governing husbandry in Baydon, where hitching was closely controlled, were distinguished in the records from those for the remainder of the parish, where the ploughing of linches was an issue. The leazetellers for Ramsbury were appointed at the courts. (fn. 740)
Prebendaries of Ramsbury apparently held courts for their tenants in Ramsbury in the mid 14th century. (fn. 741) Courts to deal with the copyhold business of Trenchard manor were held in the late 16th century and early 17th. (fn. 742)
Expenditure on the poor in Ramsbury parish, excluding Baydon, rose from £807 in 1775–6 to £1,321 in 1802–3 and exceeded £3,000 in 1812–13 and 1818. The parish had a workhouse but in 1802–3, when 237 adults were permanently relieved, four fifths of relief was outdoor. There were then 36 men and women in the workhouse, a number which had been halved by 1813. (fn. 743) From 1832 to 1835, when the parish joined Hungerford poor-law union, an annual average of £2,100 was spent on the poor. (fn. 744)
Parts of two cross shafts and three tomb slabs, all of stone carved in the late 9th century, were found beneath Ramsbury church in 1891. (fn. 745) They suggest that before 900 there was a large and architecturally elaborate church at Ramsbury, and the creation of a bishopric of Ramsbury in the early 10th century supports the suggestion. There were bishops of Ramsbury until 1058 when the see, which comprised Wiltshire and, from the mid 10th century, Berkshire, was united with that of Sherborne (Dors.). The united see was transferred to Salisbury between 1075 and 1078. Although the bishops of Ramsbury were so called only in charters, and although they had a seat at Sonning and possibly another at Wilton, it seems likely that the setting up of a see at Ramsbury, where the bishops had a notable church and an estate of 90 hides, was more than nominal, and that the church was served by a small cathedral establishment. In the 1050s Bishop Herman complained that there was no adequate community of clerks, but in 1086 there were priests at Ramsbury who may have been a vestige of such a community. (fn. 746) Ramsbury church passed to the canons of Salisbury, possibly as heirs to those priests or as a gift of a bishop, and was among the chapter's endowments specified in its foundation charter of 1091. (fn. 747) The chapter had used the church's revenues to establish the prebends of Ramsbury and Axford by the mid 12th century. Axford prebend was then held by the succentor. (fn. 748) The prebends were replaced by the two prebends of Gillingham in 1545. (fn. 749) By 1294 a vicarage had been ordained. (fn. 750)
In 1086 the church presumably served all the places in Ramsbury hundred and possibly others. Bishopstone was later separated and Ramsbury parish and manor became conterminous. (fn. 751) The parish was within the peculiar jurisdiction of the deans of Salisbury until 1846. (fn. 752) It included Baydon where a dependent church had been built by the early 12th century. (fn. 753) In the Middle Ages there were dependent chapels at Membury and Axford, neither of which survived the 15th century. There were also private chapels at the bishop's palace, Axford, and Littlecote. (fn. 754) Baydon became independent of Ramsbury in the 1790s. Another dependent church was built at Axford in 1856. (fn. 755) In 1973 the vicarage was united with the united benefice of Aldbourne and Baydon to create the benefice of Whitton: a team ministry, led by a rector living in Ramsbury, was established. A new benefice of Whitton was created in 1976 by the addition of the rectory of Chilton Foliat and the vicarage of Froxfield to the old. (fn. 756)
The advowson of the vicarage belonged to the prebendaries of Ramsbury and until the Reformation every known vicar was presented by a prebendary. (fn. 757) In 1545 the advowson was granted with Ramsbury manor and the endowments of Ramsbury and Axford prebends to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, who apparently retained it when in 1547 those endowments were given to the Crown. (fn. 758) Seymour, then duke of Somerset, presented in 1548. When he was attainted in 1552 (fn. 759) the advowson presumably passed to the Crown which thereafter presented. (fn. 760) The advowson was bought from the Crown in 1865 by Angela Burdett-Coutts (created Baroness Burdett-Coutts in 1871, d. 1906), (fn. 761) and passed to her widower William Burdett-Coutts-Bartlett-Coutts (d. 1921) whose executors transferred it to Sir Francis Burdett in 1922. (fn. 762) It descended to Burdett's stepdaughter Lady (Marjorie) Burdett-Fisher who in 1981 was a member of the board of patronage constituted to present the rector of the Whitton team ministry. (fn. 763)
Although the prebendaries Thomas of Bridport, William de St. John, and Simon de Montagu augmented it in 1294, c. 1323, and in 1333 respectively, the vicarage remained poor, worth £9 13s. in 1535. (fn. 764) The living was augmented by the state in 1658 and 1659. (fn. 765) The vicar's income, £115 10s. in 1756 and £219 c. 1830, (fn. 766) remained low, but, despite the large parish, no record of a complaint by a vicar has been found. The living was augmented by the proceeds from the sale of the advowson in 1865. (fn. 767)
In 1294 the vicar was given all corn tithes from the prebendary's demesne. (fn. 768) After the augmentation of c. 1323 he was entitled to various small tithes paid in kind and to those tithes paid in cash arising from calves, foals, and lambs and from hay made in Axford: oblations at the Invention and Exaltation remained the prebendary's but those on the Sunday after the Exaltation were the vicar's. (fn. 769) In 1333 oblations at both feasts and more small tithes were given to the vicar. (fn. 770) In 1405 the vicar received nothing from Baydon, the church of which he did not serve: from the remainder of the parish he was entitled to all hay tithe from Axford, all small tithes and altarage, some commuted tithes of sheep and lambs, tithes from all mills except the prebendary's, and, in place of tithe from the prebendal glebe, a meadow of 1 a. and some grain tithes. The rent from 8 a., apparently given to the church in the late 14th century, was then being witheld by a former vicar's executors. (fn. 771) In 1756 the vicar received two thirds of his income from tithes, mostly paid in cash, the remainder from fees and offerings. (fn. 772) At inclosure in 1778 he was allotted 43 a. between Crowood Lane and Whittonditch Road, 12 a. at Ramsbury, and 14 a. near Marridge Hill to replace tithes from the land then inclosed and from other premises belonging to the owners of that land. (fn. 773) In 1784 the vicar gave tithes from land in Axford in exchange for a site in Back Lane, on which six cottages had been burned down, to enlarge his garden. (fn. 774) The vicar's remaining tithes, mostly from Axford and the Littlecote estate, were in 1841 valued at £125 and commuted for a rent charge. (fn. 775) The glebe, which included a house in High Street, was being leased for £225 in 1864, £110 in 1934. (fn. 776) The Back Lane site was used for a church room in 1907 and there were 999-year leases of small areas of glebe for council houses in Whittonditch Road in the 1930s. (fn. 777) The land near Marridge Hill and the house in High Street were sold after 1934: there were 50 a. of glebe in 1981, mostly north of Whittonditch Road. (fn. 778)
The vicarage house between the church and Back Lane was repaired by the new vicar in 1681, partly with the aid of £46 contributed by parishioners. (fn. 779) The house was refronted and partly rebuilt c. 1786 when a schoolroom was attached to it. (fn. 780) That house was replaced c. 1840 by a new square house to which a third storey, possibly raised from attics, was later added. (fn. 781) The new house was sold c. 1967 when a new glebe house was built in Back Lane. (fn. 782)
There was a chapel on the bishop of Salisbury's demesne at Membury in 1324 when the bishop gave the chaplain appointed to serve it a stipend of 50s. a year in addition to the endowment of a house and land, (fn. 783) valued at 20s. a year in the late 16th century. (fn. 784) Bishops continued to appoint chaplains until 1412 or later. (fn. 785) The chapel may have been that called St. Anne's which was said to be in ruins in 1504 when the bishop granted an indulgence for it to be rebuilt, (fn. 786) but there is no evidence that it was used after 1412.
A chapel of St. Mary was mentioned in 1405 and was presumably served by the chaplain mentioned then as appointed by the vicar and in 1409. (fn. 787) A later reference to St. Mary's guild suggests that it was an endowed chantry. (fn. 788) In 1459 William York was licensed to found a chantry with a chaplain to say mass daily at the altar of St. Mary in the parish church for the souls of his father John, wife Agnes, and fatherin-law Nicholas Wootton. (fn. 789) The chaplain of the Wootton and York chantry, who was also required to hold no other benefice, to live in the chantry house, and to teach grammar, was serving there in 1469. (fn. 790) In 1476 John, son of William York, gave an estate in Purton and elsewhere, including several cottages in Ramsbury, to endow the chantry, and the right to nominate the chaplain passed with Hilldrop manor. (fn. 791) The foundation charter was formulated in 1478. (fn. 792) In a way and for reasons that are not clear the endowment, worth £7 12s. in 1535, (fn. 793) was recovered by Thomas York from the chaplain in 1539: (fn. 794) in 1547 it was taken by the Crown as land of a chantry dissolved without licence, and was later sold. (fn. 795) Sir Edward Darell (d. 1530) had devised money for daily masses in the chapel, (fn. 796) the north chapel now called the Darell chapel which contains monuments possibly to the lords of Littlecote manor. (fn. 797) In 1455 the bishop of Salisbury consecrated an altar dedicated to St. Catherine in the north part of the church, possibly below the easternmost window of the north aisle. (fn. 798)
Although on their visits to Ramsbury the bishops of Salisbury worshipped in the chapel in their palace, they sometimes held services in the parish church. (fn. 799) The prebendaries of Ramsbury and of Axford, like other prebendaries, were frequently pluralists and sometimes men of distinction. (fn. 800) None seems to have had a close connexion with the parish. In 1399 the parish clerk was appealing against excommunication for contumacy and he was still in office in 1405 when he was accused of misappropriation and inefficiency. (fn. 801) The vicar was accused in 1409 of condoning immorality and of saying mass in the church when he had been suspended by the dean. (fn. 802) His penance was ordered in that year. (fn. 803) Later vicars included from 1518 Richard Arch, vicar of Avebury and principal of Broadgates Hall, Oxford. (fn. 804) John Wild was vicar from 1599 to 1664. (fn. 805) He was noted for his puritanism in the 1630s but his living had been sequestrated by 1646. The intruder was Samuel Brown. (fn. 806) Wild was restored in 1660. (fn. 807) His curate then was a schoolteacher, Henry Dent, whom John Wilson, vicar 1664–80, ejected and prosecuted for nonconformist preaching. (fn. 808) Richard Garrard was vicar from 1737 to 1784 and his successors Edward Meyrick and Edward Graves Meyrick were vicars from 1786 until 1839. (fn. 809) E. G. Meyrick, who was also rector of Winchfield (Hants), preached once a month and administered the Sacrament thrice yearly. (fn. 810) In 1851 there were congregations of 403 at the morning and 275 at the afternoon services on Census Sunday. (fn. 811) In 1864 the resident vicar employed an assistant curate: three services were held every Sunday, two with sermons; there were services on Wednesdays and Fridays and at festivals with congregations of 20–30; prayers were said in the church morning and evening on Mondays and Fridays; and the Sacrament was administered at Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Whitsun and monthly, respectively to some 110 and 60 communicants. (fn. 812)
The invocation of the church, called HOLY CROSS in 1405 and almost certainly in 1323, (fn. 813) may have caused or resulted from the choice of the feasts of the Invention and Exaltation for the fairs at Ramsbury granted by the king in 1240. (fn. 814) The church, of flint rubble with ashlar dressings, consists of a chancel, a north chapel, an aisled and clerestoried nave with a south porch, and a west tower. Apart from the cross shafts and tomb slabs, (fn. 815) the oldest part of the present church is the long 13th-century chancel. By the later 13th century the nave had been aisled: the easternmost bay of each aisle was distinct from the others and each was possibly a transept extending further north or south than the true aisle. The west end of the church, including the two westernmost bays of each arcade and the aisle walls, was largely rebuilt in the 14th century, and the aisles were then widened to incorporate what may have been the transepts. The tower is also 14th-century. The chapel was built in the early 15th century, and in that century new windows were inserted in the chancel and at the east end of the south aisle. In the early 16th century the clerestory and a new nave roof of lower pitch were made. (fn. 816) A west gallery was built in 1698–9 and aisle galleries in 1788 when the roofs of both aisles were remade. (fn. 817) In an extensive restoration of 1890–3 the walls of the aisles were largely rebuilt and were given stepped buttresses and embattled parapets, a new lower pitched roof on the south aisle was made, the plain south porch was replaced by an elaborate porch in a late medieval style, a porch was added to the chancel, and the galleries were removed. (fn. 818) The bowl of the font, of stone carved in the shape of a pineapple, was possibly an ornament on a gateway of Ramsbury Manor replaced c. 1775. The base was carved by Thomas Meyrick c. 1842. (fn. 819)
In 1405 the church plate included a silver and gilt chalice, bearing a design illustrating the crucifixion, and two other silver and gilt chalices with patens, one of which had possibly been misappropriated. (fn. 820) The king took 3 oz. of silver in 1553 and left a chalice of 11 oz. That chalice had presumably been lost by 1719 when a flagon hallmarked 1707, a paten made in 1718, and a chalice with paten also made in 1718 were given. A copy of the chalice of 1718 was given in 1839 and a spoon of 1666 or earlier was given in 1881. (fn. 821) The church retained all that plate in 1981. (fn. 822) There were four bells in 1553. They were replaced by a ring of six cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester in 1708. The tenor was recast by Warner & Sons of London in 1865. (fn. 823) Those bells hung in the church in 1981. (fn. 824) The registers are complete from 1678. (fn. 825)
Roger Bodenham (fl. 1689), lord of Hilldrop manor, whose lands had been sequestrated by 1646 for his papism, lived at Ramsbury as a papist for over 40 years. (fn. 826) Francis Bodenham and in the 1670s members of the Gilmore family of Ramsbury, including Paul Gilmore (d. 1748), a Benedictine monk, were also papists, (fn. 827) but their cause did not flourish in Ramsbury.
Henry Dent, ejected from Hannington vicarage and later from the assistant curacy of Ramsbury, (fn. 828) led dissent around Ramsbury. He kept a school in Ramsbury and preached there and at Lambourn and Newbury. (fn. 829) In 1669 the presbyterian conventicle at Ramsbury was attended by 50–60, and Christopher Fowler and John Clark, ejected from the vicarages of respectively Reading and Hungerford, were among the preachers. (fn. 830) Dent's was among several houses in Ramsbury licensed for presbyterian meetings in 1672. (fn. 831) The congregation apparently survived and in 1715 built a chapel on the north side of Oxford Street, possibly the 'presbyterian barn' referred to in 1716. By 1766 it had been demolished. (fn. 832) Congregationalism was revived at Ramsbury in the 1820s, and in 1830 a chapel and a private house were licensed for meetings. They were apparently replaced by the Ebenezer chapel built in High Street in 1839. (fn. 833) The minister's house was east of it and a schoolroom south of it. (fn. 834) There were congregations of 77 at the morning and 130 at the evening services on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 835) By will proved 1890 Walter Samuel Chamberlain gave £100 for the chapel, the income from which was used for general expenses. (fn. 836) Services were still held in the chapel in 1981.
Three chapels built mainly of flint with brick dressings survive in Ramsbury. Services at a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, said to have been built in 1805 and rebuilt and enlarged in 1833, were attended by congregations of 130, 70, and 169 on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 837) The chapel is that behind buildings on the south side of High Street: it has not been used for services since 1944. (fn. 838) Another Wesleyan Methodist chapel was at Marridge Hill in 1851 when attendance at it averaged 20, (fn. 839) but it has not survived. There were Primitive Methodists in Ramsbury from the 1830s and a chapel had been built by 1839. Where it stood is uncertain but it was possibly the flint and brick chapel, on the east side of Chapel Lane, later used as a Sunday school. (fn. 840) The Primitive Methodist chapel was attended by congregations of 70, 160, and 200 on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 841) A new chapel was built in Oxford Street possibly in 1876. (fn. 842) Sunday services in it were held weekly in 1981. Near Witcha Farm the smallest of the three flint and brick chapels was built for Primitive Methodists in 1859. (fn. 843) It had apparently been closed long before 1981. (fn. 844)
In the early 19th century several houses in Ramsbury were registered for worship by dissenters. (fn. 845) One may have been that used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in which 30 attended the service held on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 846) A hall was built on the north side of High Street for the Salvation Army in 1881. (fn. 847)
In the period 1459 to 1539 chaplains of the Wootton and York chantry were charged with teaching grammar to poor scholars coming to Ramsbury from elsewhere: how conscientiously they did so is unknown. (fn. 848) In the 1660s and possibly for longer the nonconformist Henry Dent kept a school at his house in Ramsbury, and in 1780 there was a schoolroom on the south side of High Street: nothing further is known of either school. (fn. 849) When he became vicar in 1786 Edward Meyrick moved his school from Hungerford to Ramsbury. The school was held in buildings adjoining the vicarage house and in Bodorgan House, now Ramsbury Hill, and the house now called Parliament Piece. After Meyrick resigned the vicarage in 1811 the school was kept by his son Arthur. It was a boarding school for the sons of the middle classes: there were 60–70 pupils c. 1840. It was closed in the 1840s. (fn. 850) A boarding school for girls was mentioned in the 1790s. (fn. 851)
A charity school mentioned in the 1790s may have been the predecessor of the school for 35–40 girls being supported by a Miss, possibly Mary Ann, Read of Crowood House in 1818, when there were said to be many small schools in the area. (fn. 852) In 1833 there were five day schools paid for by the parents of the 105 children attending them: one was possibly for Independents, for whom a schoolroom was built behind the Ebenezer chapel in 1839; two had been started after 1830. (fn. 853) In 1857 one was replaced by a school for girls built on the south side of Back Lane and endowed by Louisa Read of Crowood House. The school and schoolhouse are of flint and banded brick in a plain Gothic style. That school had 55–65 pupils in 1859: then the other four were a boys' school for 100–110, a school for 15–20, and two dame schools for a total of 40 children of dissenters. (fn. 854) In 1872 the parish formed a school board. (fn. 855) A school was built at Axford in 1874, and in 1875 a new boys' and infants' school on the north side of Back Lane replaced all the schools in Ramsbury except the girls' school. (fn. 856) In 1906–7 the two Ramsbury schools were attended by 84 girls, 76 boys, and 73 infants. The number of pupils at the former board school in Back Lane had declined to 97 by 1922: they were joined by those from the girls' school which, although it still had more than 70 pupils, was closed in 1925. Attendance at Ramsbury school reached 190 in 1936 after Axford school was closed, but later fell. (fn. 857) The school has remained a primary school and in 1981 there were 115 children on roll. (fn. 858)
By will Louisa Read (d. 1879) endowed Ramsbury girls' school with £60 a year and gave money for eleemosynary purposes and for bibles and other books for both the boys' and girls' schools. From 1904, when £30 was paid, the school's income was reduced. (fn. 859) The giving of bibles and prayer books to children leaving school afterwards lapsed. It was revived by Sir Felix Pole in memory of his father Edward Robert Pole, a headmaster of the boys' school, in a trust set up in 1939 and endowed with £200. In 1960 Lady (Ethel Maud) Pole, Sir Felix's relict, gave a further £600 in memory of Sir Felix. (fn. 860) Bibles were given in 1981. (fn. 861) By deed of 1921 A. E. Oakes gave £1,000 in trust to provide yearly pleasure trips for schoolgirls. There were 40 trippers in 1936: trips are still made. (fn. 862)
Charities for the Poor.
By will proved 1878 Mary Jane Lanfear gave £600 to apprentice boys living in Ramsbury and East Kennett, two from Ramsbury to one from East Kennett, but in the period 1895–1904 six from Ramsbury were the only boys apprenticed. In 1905 the charity had £666 capital and £23 income. (fn. 863) A separate trust for Ramsbury with two thirds of the endowment was set up in 1924. Capital continued to accumulate as income was not spent and by a Scheme of 1936 the object was extended to general help to boys learning a trade. In 1970, when the charity had £1,600 capital and £69 income, it was renamed Lanfear Educational Trust. Benefit was extended to men and women under 25 and the use of the income to general educational purposes: £163 was spent in 1975. (fn. 864)
By will proved 1887 John Osmond gave £200 to be invested for the poor. Coal was bought with the income, £4 8s. in 1904, and distributed. (fn. 865) Louisa Read (d. 1879) by will gave £3,000 for education and to perpetuate gifts of clothes and blankets to the poor. The residue of income after fixed payments to Ramsbury girls' school or £30 was to be spent on gifts. It was not clear whether £30 was intended to be a maximum or minimum. In 1904, when £20 was spent on clothing, the Charity Commissioners divided the charity. (fn. 866) From 1936 Lanfear's and Osmond's charities and Read's eleemosynary charity have been dealt with together under a Scheme. The income from Osmond's and Read's, £20 in 1960, has been used for the general benefit of the poor. In 1965 vouchers worth £21 were given at Christmas. (fn. 867)
By a deed of 1951 and a Scheme of 1953 S. G. and Lilian Chamberlain gave £1,390 stock to perpetuate their practice of giving vouchers to the poor, old, and widowed at Christmas. S. G. Chamberlain gave additional stock of £2,700 and £5,000 in 1954 and 1956 for organized activities and for the old and poor of the parish. In 1975 the three funds had a total income of £924. (fn. 868)