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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OGBOURNE ST. GEORGE
The parish of Ogbourne St. George, 1,445 ha. (3,571 a.), (fn. 1) straddles the valley of the river Og on the downs 5 km. north of Marlborough and contains the village of Ogbourne St. George and the hamlet of Southend. (fn. 2) The name Ogbourne was used in 9467 and was shared by several estates in the Og valley in 1086. (fn. 3) In the 12th century there was a church at the most northerly settlement in the valley, then known as Great Ogbourne. (fn. 4) That name continued in use until the 16th century but the settlement was also known as North Ogbourne in the 13th century and Ogbourne St. George from the 14th. (fn. 5)
The Og rises near the centre of the parish and flows southward to the boundary with Ogbourne St. Andrew. West of the river the land rises to Coombe Down and Smeathe's Ridge. The ridge forms the south-west boundary for 3 km. and the highest point in the parish, over 259 m., is near its western end. In the north-east corner of the parish is Whitefield Hill and south of that hill are Round Hill Downs and Church Hill. Beyond the crest of the downs, which rise to 235 m., the land slopes more gently to Whiteshard Bottom at the eastern extremity of the parish. North and west of the source of the Og the land is almost flat and lies mainly between the 152 m. and 198 m. contours. The chalk which outcrops over the whole parish is covered on the hills east of the river by clay-with-flints. In the valley the gravel deposits are 800 m. wide near Ogbourne St. George and there is alluvium near Southend. (fn. 6)
Downland near the eastern and western boundaries was ploughed during the Iron Age and the Romano-British period. (fn. 7) The downs were later used as pasture and the lower, flatter land in the north and west parts of the parish and near the river were tilled. Near the source of the Og and beside its banks were meadows. (fn. 8) Racing stables adjoined Ogbourne St. George manor house in the 18th century (fn. 9) and horses were trained there in the 1920s (fn. 10) but the location of any training course is unknown. The southern slopes of Church Hill were laid out as a golf course, and land west of the river became the site of an army camp and firing ranges in the 20th century. (fn. 11)
The woods of Aldbourne Chase extended into the south-eastern corner of the parish. In 1086 there was woodland league long and 4 furlongs broad (fn. 12) and in the later Middle Ages Ogbourne St. George manor included woods in Ogbourne St. George and Aldbourne. (fn. 13) Wheldon Coppice, mentioned in the 15th century, (fn. 14) was probably the later Wilding's Copse, some 65 a. in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 15) Moore's Wood, 40 a. south of Wilding's Copse in the late 16th century, probably included Yielding Copse, which was described as a separate wood to the south of it in the 19th century. (fn. 16) In 1843 there were 113 a. of woodland in the parish (fn. 17) and there has since been little change in its distribution.
Earthworks on Whitefield Hill, Church Hill, and Round Hill Downs, artefacts of the Bronze Age and later, and a ditch leading north from Church Hill indicate considerable prehistoric activity in the north-east corner of the parish. Another ditch crosses its eastern corner. Barrows are widely scattered along the northern and western boundaries and a circular enclosure west of the manor house was built over c. 1940. (fn. 18)
Major routes through the parish have long run north and south, mostly near the Og. The Roman road from Cirencester to Winchester crosses the parish boundary 500 m. north of Whitefield Farm and runs south-eastwards. (fn. 19) In the 18th century its course was followed by the principal road through the parish to a point 1 km. south-east of the church. From there the Roman road survived as a track, still visible in 1980. The main road turned south-west to approach the river at Southend, wound east and south through that hamlet, and ran south-west again to Ogbourne St. Andrew. When turnpiked in 1819 as part of the Swindon-Marlborough road, it was moved east to run directly from Ogbourne St. George to the eastern end of the lane through Southend. (fn. 20) In 1881 a railway line was opened between Swindon and Marlborough following the turnpike road and crossing it by a bridge where the road turns south-west. A station was built north of the bridge. (fn. 21) The line was closed in 1964 and the course of the road was altered to use the railway bridge. The new road rejoined the old one 1 km. south of the bridge. (fn. 22) A road from Draycot Foliat to Ogbourne St. Andrew ran parallel to the main road west of Ogbourne St. George village in the 18th century. The two roads were then connected by Ogbourne St. George village street and by the lane through Southend; (fn. 23) in the 20th century the route from Draycot Foliat was along the village street, the road between the west end of that street and Ogbourne St. Andrew having become a mere track. North of the village tracks ran east and west in the 19th and 20th centuries, among them Gipsy Lane, along the northern boundary, and Woolmer Drove, 1 km. south of that lane. (fn. 24) Other tracks led west from the former Draycot Foliat road in 1980. North of the junction of the Swindon-Marlborough road and the village street a road to Aldbourne, Copse Drove, led north-eastwards. Old Chase Road, then a track, ran south-east to Whiteshard Bottom and was joined to the Roman road by a network of lanes which changed little from the 18th century to the 20th. (fn. 25)
Ogbourne priory, a daughter house of the abbey of Bec-Hellouin (Eure), was established in the 12th century possibly on the site later occupied by the manor house. (fn. 26) In the 13th century many of the abbey's estates in the west of England were administered from the priory. (fn. 27) The prior or proctor was the chief officer of the abbey in England and in the 14th century occupied a position similar to that of vicar-general. Evidence of the spiritual life of the priory is slight and in the late 13th century there may have been no more than a farmstead and offices at Ogbourne St. George. In the late 14th century the title 'prior of Ogbourne' was a legal fiction and the priory was frequently in royal keeping until its suppression in the early 15th century. (fn. 28)
The parish was also an administrative centre for the honor of Wallingford (Oxon., formerly Berks.). The right to hold a view of frankpledge there at Easter belonged to the honor in 1300. (fn. 29) Courts held in the 15th century and perhaps earlier were attended by representatives of Wiltshire members of the honor. (fn. 30) Courts for the honor of Ewelme (Oxon.), to which the rights of Wallingford honor had passed, were held at Ogbourne from the 16th century to the 19th. Among the business transacted was the signing of certificates of admission for new burgesses of Calne; the guild steward brought the town book to Ogbourne St. George for the purpose. (fn. 31)
Its administrative importance may reflect the size and prosperity of Ogbourne St. George in the Middle Ages. Its assessment for tax in 1334 was high for Selkley hundred and in 1377, when there were 157 poll-tax payers, it was the second largest settlement in the hundred. (fn. 32) It was still one of the wealthier communities in the hundred in the 16th century. (fn. 33) The population had risen from 406 in 1801 to 593 by 1851 but declined, with some fluctuations, to 435 in 1931. In 1951, when there was an army camp in the parish, the population was 1,381; (fn. 34) when the camp was left empty numbers fell, to 421 in 1961 and 391 in 1971. (fn. 35)
The church and manor house of Ogbourne St. George stand on the west bank of the Og 2 km. south of the parish boundary. From there settlement spread south-eastwards across a spur of gravel to the Roman road. A second, smaller, settlement called Middle Town, later Southend, grew up 1 km. south of Ogbourne St. George in or before the 17th century. In the mid 18th century there were also farmsteads to the north, Whitefield, south, Bytham, and east, Cowcroft, (fn. 36) and by the late 18th century another, Buckerfields, had been built between Ogbourne St. George and Southend. Other farmsteads were built in the north and south-east parts of the parish in the 19th century. (fn. 37)
The village of Ogbourne St. George lies between the church and manor house, west of the river, and the Swindon-Marlborough road. Its position, between the possible site of the priory and the Roman road, and the straightness of the village street, which runs south-east for 500 m. from the bridge over the Og, give an impression of a medieval planned settlement, but no documentary evidence has been found to support the theory. The surviving older buildings of the village are at the western end of the street. Kemms, a timber-framed house of the 17th century, stands west of the river and south of the street, where it curves round the grounds of the manor house. East of the bridge there are cottages of the 16th and 17th centuries above the steep banks between which the street climbs for some 200 m. Newer buildings in the western half of the street include the old and new vicarage houses and, at its highest point, the school, the village hall, and a small group of council houses. Along its remaining length are farm buildings, houses, and cottages, chiefly of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Rectory Farm House and Rectory House, which bear dates of 1742 and 1755 respectively, and the Park, an 18th-century house much extended in the 19th century. Some 200 m. west of the junction of the street and the old Swindon-Marlborough road Jubbs Lane leads north to farm buildings. Another lane, 150 m. further east, runs north-east from the street linking it with the old road. On the triangle of land so formed stand cottages of the 19th and 20th centuries. East of the old road are a few buildings including bungalows built on the site of a Methodist chapel near the junction with the street.
In the 1750s there were two inns in Ogbourne St. George, probably the Three Bells and the New Inn which were licensed in the 1820s. The New Inn was known as the White Hart in 1843 but by its old name from 1855. It stands on the north side of the village street 50 m. west of its junction with the old main road. The Shoemakers' Arms stood east of the road and a little north of the junction in 1843. The Crown, first recorded in 1855, stands on the same side of the road, opposite the street. (fn. 38) The site of the Robin Hood, mentioned in 1858, is unknown. (fn. 39)
Southend consists of a group of cottages standing on both sides of the Swindon-Marlborough road and along a winding lane leading to the river. Its earlier name, Middle Town, describes its position between Ogbourne St. Andrew and Ogbourne St. George, as Southend reflects its relation to Ogbourne St. George alone. The settlement can be no younger than the 17th century, the date of most of the surviving buildings, and it was known in the mid 18th century as Middle Town. The name was probably altered in the 19th century but physically the hamlet has apparently changed little since the 1770s. (fn. 40) Of the cottages, some are timber-framed, some have walls of sarsen rubble, and some are of brick. Hallam, a larger house on the west bank of the river, is, like the cottages, of 17th-century origin, and is approached by a bridge from the lane. (fn. 41) The population of Southend was 96 in 1841. (fn. 42)
Waterworks were built for Swindon corporation 1.5 km. north of the church in 1902. (fn. 43) From 1903 deep well and surface pumps delivered water to Overtown reservoir in Wroughton. The pumping station was later enlarged and in 1980 was being renovated for Thames Water. (fn. 44)
The course for the North Wiltshire, later Swindon, golf club was opened north-east of Ogbourne St. George village in 1929. The singlestorey clubhouse, beside the SwindonMarlborough road, was replaced by a two-storey brick building completed in 1976. (fn. 45)
A hospital for sufferers from infectious diseases was built on the east side of the SwindonMarlborough road near the northern boundary of the parish in the 1920s. It was used as a geriatric hospital during the Second World War and later as a smallpox hospital. It was demolished c. 1965. (fn. 46)
In 1940 an army camp was built north-west of the village and between 1943 and 1950 the War Department bought the site and surrounding land, some 184 a. The camp was used principally as a transit camp for British and United States forces until c. 1957. The buildings were later abandoned and the camp was used for training in battle and street fighting. There were firing ranges west of the camp. (fn. 47)
Manor and Other Estates.
Lands at Ogbourne devised by the ealdorman Athelwold to his brother Edric in 9467 may have been in Ogbourne St. Andrew or Ogbourne St. George or both. (fn. 48)
Land in Ogbourne formerly belonging to Wigod, probably Wigod of Wallingford, was held by the king in 1066 and 1086. (fn. 49) It passed by grant or inheritance to Wigod's granddaughter Maud of Wallingford. The overlordship of the estate descended with the honor of Wallingford until 1540 and thereafter with the honor of Ewelme. (fn. 50)
With the consent of Brian FitzCount, her husband, Maud of Wallingford conveyed the manor of OGBOURNE ST. GEORGE to the abbey of Bec-Hellouin for the monks' wardrobe after 1122. The grant was confirmed in 1133. (fn. 51) The manor thereafter descended with that of Ogbourne St. Andrew as part of the endowment of Ogbourne priory. In 1410 it passed to John, duke of Bedford, and on his death in 1435 reverted to the Crown. With Ogbourne St. Andrew the manor or its reversion was granted variously to Cambridge University, King's College, and the London Charterhouse between 1439 and 1462. The college and the Charterhouse both claimed the manor in the late 15th century. From c. 1500 it was held by the college. (fn. 52)
The manor was sold in 1927 in four principal lots. (fn. 53) The manor house and 173 a. were bought by H. Colemore who sold them to Mrs. W. E. Tatton in 1934. (fn. 54) Oliver Frost bought the house and 40 a. in 1937 and his son Mr. Timothy Frost owned them in 1980. (fn. 55) Little is known of the buildings of Ogbourne priory although a reference has been found to a great grange there in the late 13th century. (fn. 56) The manor house appears to have changed little in plan since 1659 when it was described as 'a very fair house of brick 60 ft. long and 40 broad'. It was then said to have been built by 'farmer Bond', perhaps George Bond who was lessee in 1663. (fn. 57) The house was probably built in two stages. The north range, which is the earlier, has a north front of five bays with stone-mullioned windows. The south range appears to have been altered in the late 17th century, the probable date of the fenestration and the roof, and on later occasions.
Herdswick farm was sold by King's College to W. Pullen in 1927. (fn. 58) It was requisitioned by the War Department from James Bomford c. 1939. After 1945 that part of the land which had not been built on was sold by Bomford as two farms. Mr. C. J. Smith succeeded his father, the purchaser of Upper Herdswick, and owned that farm in 1980. Lower Herdswick was bought by the Ormond family in 1962. (fn. 59) Swindon corporation bought part of Whitefield farm in 1928. That land was held by Mr. M. R. Walker as owner or tenant in 1978. (fn. 60) Cowcroft farm, of which 105 a. lay in Ogbourne St. George and 225 a. in Aldbourne, (fn. 61) was sold in 1927 and several times thereafter. In 1982 the farm, called Chase Woods farm, was owned by Mr. J. D. Owen. (fn. 62)
Maud of Wallingford confirmed her gift of Ogbourne St. George church to the abbey of Bec c. 1148. (fn. 63) The church was appropriated by the abbey c. 1190 (fn. 64) and was part of the endowment of the prebend of Ogbourne established in Salisbury cathedral for the abbot of Bec in 1208. (fn. 65) The prebendal estate passed with that of Ogbourne St. Andrew to John, duke of Bedford (d. 1435), and in 1421 to the dean and canons of St. George's chapel, Windsor. (fn. 66) In the 15th century the estate comprised glebe and tithes but in 1650 it was of tithes only. (fn. 67) The dean and canons of Windsor held the tithes at commutation in 1843. (fn. 68)
In 1449 Isabel, relict of John Bird, was licensed to endow a chantry in St. Peter's church, Marlborough, with property including lands and rents in Ogbourne St. George. (fn. 69) When its foundation was confirmed in 1475, however, the chantry was endowed with lands in Ogbourne Maizey in Ogbourne St. Andrew but none in Ogbourne St. George. (fn. 70) Lands in Ogbourne St. George which may have descended like the manor of Huish from Isabel Bird to the Michell family were granted by Alice Michell to her daughter Elizabeth Hall in 1494. (fn. 71) John Michell conveyed that or another holding to Thomas Bush in 1508. (fn. 72)
Lands in Ogbourne St. George were settled on Francis Goddard in 1616. (fn. 73) In 1620 part of the estate was sold to John Potter. (fn. 74) Potter sold part of his estate to William Gardiner in 1642 and settled the remainder on Thomas Potter in 1688. The residue of Francis Goddard's holding was sold to Thomas Ayres in 1621. Ayres, or another of the same name, held the lands in 1676 and in 1689 his sons John and Vincent held an estate called WESTONTOWN. (fn. 75) Vincent sold it to John Kemm in 1704 and it was held by James Kemm in 1746. (fn. 76) He or another James Kemm held a smaller estate in 1796. That estate had passed to William Kemm by 1843 (fn. 77) and was apparently broken up in the late 19th century.
At his death in 1691 Gabriel Evans held an estate called BYTHAM. It passed jointly to his brothers Henry and John and sister Ellen, wife of John Launce. By conveyances of 1691 and 1693 Henry Evans acquired the whole estate. (fn. 78) In 1714 Arthur Evans conveyed it to Edward Wilson. (fn. 79) Jonathan Braithwaite owned Bytham farm in 1780 and after his death c. 1786 it remained in the hands of trustees until 1831 or later. (fn. 80) Job Buckeridge was owner or tenant of the farm in 1843 (fn. 81) as were John Bathe in 1885, James Groom in 1898, Edwin Habgood in 1903, and members of the Durnford family in 1911 and 1923. (fn. 82) The farm was part of an estate sold by J. E. Thorold in 1928. It was bought with some additional land by Nicholas Grove. In 1953 Bytham passed to Grove Bros., the owners in 1980. (fn. 83)
Michael Ernle sold to John Brunsden a messuage and lands called HALLAM which were held by John's son Henry in 1698. (fn. 84) Hallam was held by Elizabeth Brunsden in 1796 and by J. H. Gale in 1843. (fn. 85) It was sold, probably by a member of the Gale family, to Frank Courage in or before 1906 and again in 1917. Henry Hony bought the estate in 1926 and sold it to Mrs. Owen Edwards in 1944. Mrs. Edwards sold it to Lt.-Col. and Mrs. W. E. S. Whetherly in 1951. (fn. 86) The 17th-century east range of Hallam is partly timber-framed and partly of sarsen. A south front in cottage style was added in the early 19th century and the house was much enlarged by a new west range in the late 19th century.
Lands held by John Griffen in 1780 passed to John Bannings c. 1816 and to Thomas Bannings c. 1830. (fn. 87) In 1843 Rebecca Bannings held them with a large part of the holdings of Job Matthew and James Smith to whom allotments had been made at inclosure in 1796. (fn. 88) The estate passed to Stephen Bannings (fl. 1885) (fn. 89) and to S. T. Bannings before 1898. That Bannings sold the estate as RECTORY farm to Douglas Parfitt in or before 1923. (fn. 90) J. E. Thorold sold an estate including that farm in 1928. (fn. 91) Rectory farm passed to S. Maundrell after 1939. (fn. 92)
John Wooldridge had an estate in Ogbourne St. George, including some copyhold land, between 1780 and 1812. The estate, known as the PARK, passed to James Blackman who was succeeded by the Revd. Thomas Blackman Newell after 1831. (fn. 93) Newell (d. 1850) devised the estate to his wife Catherine. (fn. 94) The Park estate was held by J. H. Gale in 1885 and c. 1912 by Joseph Poole who was succeeded by F. H. Poole c. 1930. (fn. 95) Poole Bros. were owners of the estate in 1980. (fn. 96)
Geld was paid for 30 hides at Ogbourne St. George in 1066. The hidage was perhaps an overestimate as there was said to be land for only 25 ploughteams in 1086. That may also have been a generous assessment; if it was accurate much of the land remained uncultivated as there were only 14 teams on the estate, 4 in demesne and 10 held by 24 villeins and 14 bordars. There were also 6 serfs. The pasture was league long and 4 furlongs broad and there were 6 a. of meadow. The estate was valued at 25. (fn. 97)
The open fields of the parish lay mainly north of the village in the broad valley (fn. 98) and there were meadows by the river north and, probably, south of the village and beside the main street. (fn. 99) There was common pasture on Whitefield Hill: sheep were pastured on the downs in the southern and western parts of the parish and cattle on Round Hill Downs. (fn. 100) In the 18th century and probably earlier the keeper of the cattle there received the profits from a herd's ale held in spring or summer each year. (fn. 101) Inhabitants of Ogbourne St. George exercised certain rights in Ogbourne St. Andrew which may have arisen from the long association of the capital manors. In the 18th century the tenant of Herdswick farm pastured sheep on Ogbourne St. Andrew cow down during the winter. A field in Ogbourne St. Andrew was worked in common by the men of Middle Town; (fn. 102) by 1839 they had lost their rights there and the lands had become part of Poughcombe farm in Ogbourne St. Andrew. (fn. 103) Although produce from other manors held by the abbey of Bec was collected at Ogbourne St. George during the Middle Ages, there is no evidence of interdependence with the abbey's other estates. (fn. 104)
In 1294, when the manor of Ogbourne St. George was valued at 82 13s., (fn. 105) the demesne, in hand, was among the largest on the English manors of Bec and had recently been expanded by taking in lands previously tenanted. (fn. 106) There was said to be pasture, including some several pasture, for 700 sheep and lambs in the mid 13th century and for 1,450 sheep in 1294, but in the 14th century there was a flock of 600700. (fn. 107) Heavy labour services were exacted to work the demesne arable, 871 a. in 1294 when 558 a. were sown. Each of the 22 yardlanders worked in the lord's fields daily except Saturdays during harvest, and for three days a week for the rest of the year. Boonworks of ploughing were required three times a year as were works of making and carrying hurdles. Other services included washing and shearing sheep, preparing malt at Christmas and Easter, and carrying to and from local markets; remission of other works was granted in return for preparing malt and carrying services. Some sixteen -yardlanders owed lesser services. A reeve was appointed from the yardlanders and a shepherd and a hayward from the yardlanders. Twelve cottars held 8 a. between them in 1294, paid rents, and owed some services. A smith and harness maker, who served the manors of Ogbourne St. George and Ogbourne St. Andrew, held 2 yardlands and owed some works. (fn. 108) In the 14th century the tenants of Ogbourne St. George sought, unsuccessfully, to prove the illegality of the services exacted on behalf of the abbot of Bec, on the grounds that they held of the ancient demesne of the Crown and owed only suit of court and small money rents. They occasionally offered armed resistance to the abbot's servants and brought lawsuits against him in or before 1306, in 1311, 1332, 1341, 1389, and 1416. (fn. 109) In the early 15th century 32 tenants held 32 yardlands and paid rents totalling 8. The prior of Ogbourne's demesne, which probably included the prebendal glebe, then included 9 ploughlands, 40 a. of meadow, and pasture for 1,000 sheep. (fn. 110)
The demesne lands of Ogbourne St. George, like those of other English estates of Bec, may have been leased from the 14th century, but no record of lessees has been found before the mid 15th century. (fn. 111) Thomas Goddard became lessee of the demesne of that manor and of Ogbourne St. Andrew in 1455. He was succeeded as lessee of both whole manors by John Goddard (d. c. 1507), (fn. 112) by William Goddard (fl. 1525), and by Vincent Goddard (fl. 1553); William and Vincent may have been sublessees. (fn. 113) Members of the Young family held the lease from c. 1590 to c. 1620 (fn. 114) and of the Bond family from c. 1620 to c. 1685. (fn. 115) The estate was still leased with Ogbourne St. Andrew manor in the early 18th century. (fn. 116)
The prebendal estate, held with Ogbourne St. George manor from the 12th century to the 15th, was valued at 6 12s. 3d. in 1341. It then included 1 ploughland, pasture valued at 26s. 8d. a year, and rents and services valued at 24s. a year. (fn. 117) The glebe was of 50 a. of arable, 20 a. of pasture, and 2 a. of meadow in the mid 15th century. (fn. 118) The tithes were commuted to a rent charge of 698 in 1843. (fn. 119)
There were still many small farms in the 16th and 17th centuries. Twelve 'acremen' held copyholds of the manor for lives; none of their holdings included more than 20 a. of arable. There were also copyholds of inheritance, the size and number of which is unknown. (fn. 120) Larger farms included John Moore's, 3 yardlands in 1567, (fn. 121) and Hallam, which had 43 a. of arable in 1698. (fn. 122)
Substantial areas of land, including downland, had probably been inclosed by the late 17th century. Bytham, a farm of 147 a. with a new farmstead on the downs in 1690, may have consisted mainly of newly inclosed land and in 1796 was a compact holding near the southeastern boundary. (fn. 123) The demesne lands of the manor were worked in severalty as three farms in the mid 18th century. Herdswick, which was worked from the manor house, comprised 745 a. north and west of Ogbourne St. George village, almost half of which was pasture, including 263 a. of down. New farmsteads had been built for Whitefield, 313 a. in the north-east corner of the parish, and Cowcroft, 147 a., south of Whitefield. (fn. 124) Small inclosures were made on other holdings during the 18th century and openfield cultivation was ended under an Act of 1792. (fn. 125) An award of 1,609 a. was made in 1796. John Wooldridge's allotment of 254 a. in various parts of the parish later became Park farm. Four other allotments of more than 100 a. were made and the remaining land was distributed in small parcels. (fn. 126)
During the 19th century the lands of the parish were consolidated into farms of 100 a. or more and three of over 500 a., Herdswick, the Park, and Rectory; those farms were still the major holdings in the early 20th century. The largest was Herdswick, which in 1803 was a farm of over 1,000 a. including downland in Ogbourne St. Andrew. It was mainly of pasture, 580 a., and meadow, 140 a. The soil of the downs was then considered too poor for crops (fn. 127) but between 1843 and 1858 some 150 a. of downland were brought under the plough. (fn. 128) About that time a farmstead, later called Lower Herdswick, was built 1 km. west of Whitefield Farm; that at the manor house may then have been given up. (fn. 129) In the 19th century, as in the 18th, Herdswick farm was leased. Lessees included members of the Canning family from 1800 to 1858 (fn. 130) and of the Gale family from 1858 to 1910. (fn. 131) In 1927 Herdswick was a farm of 969 a.; 422 a. of arable and 241 a. of down in Ogbourne St. George, the remainder in Ogbourne St. Andrew. (fn. 132) After 1945 the downland was worked separately, from Upper Herdswick, a farmstead in the north-east corner of the parish. Lower Herdswick was a dairy and arable farm of some 500 a. worked with lands in Draycot Foliat in 1980. (fn. 133) Between 1796 and 1843 three holdings were merged as a farm of 554 a. The lands, which lay east and south of Ogbourne St. George, were then worked from Blue Barn Farm, 500 m. north of Bytham Farm, and later from Rectory Farm in the village. (fn. 134) Park farm lay in scattered parcels north and south of the village in the late 18th century and the 19th and was of 636 a. in 1843. Rectory and Park farms together were of over 1,000 a. in the 20th century. (fn. 135)
Whitefield and Cowcroft farms were often sublet by the lessees of Herdswick farm in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 136) In the mid 19th century they were worked from Whitefield Farm as a single farm of 420 a., most of which was arable land. (fn. 137) By the 1920s they were again separate. Whitefield was then a farm of 660 a.: (fn. 138) Cowcroft, later Chase Woods, of which c. 100 a. lay in Ogbourne St. George, was a mainly arable farm in 1982. (fn. 139) Bytham farm, which was tenanted in the late 18th century and the 19th, was of 145 a., including 117 a. of arable, in 1843. (fn. 140) It had grown to 263 a. by 1928 and to 348 a. by 1960, since when it has included some 200 a. of arable, a flock of 250 sheep, and a dairy herd. (fn. 141) Hallam was a mainly arable farm of 113 a. west of Southend in 1843. (fn. 142) It was probably worked from the Park with other holdings of the Gale family in the late 19th century but was a separate pasture farm of 52 a. in 1917. (fn. 143) A further 40 a. were added in the 1920s when Hallam was taken in hand as a dairy farm. Dairying continued until 1967 since when the farm has been used for rearing young stock. (fn. 144)
The prior of Ogbourne had a windmill and a water mill, valued at 4 marks and 20s. respectively, at Ogbourne St. George in the mid 13th century. (fn. 145) In 1294 and 1341 there was only a windmill. (fn. 146)
John Goddard (d. c. 1507) and Thomas Bush, his executor, were described as 'woolmen' of Ogbourne St. George and had connexions with wool merchants from Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. (fn. 147) John Savery, a woollen weaver of Ogbourne St. George, died in 1638. (fn. 148) No other evidence has been found of the manufacture of or trade in wool in the parish.
There was a brick kiln 1.5 km. east of the junction of the Swindon-Marlborough road and Ogbourne St. George street in the 1840s. (fn. 149) Brickmakers are recorded in the parish in 1855 and 1875. Lime was quarried at or near the site of the kiln by Thorold's Pure Lime and Hydrate Co. Ltd. in 1927 and by National House Building Materials Ltd. in 1931. (fn. 150) The lime works were leased to Perry & Hawkins, later the Marlborough Lime Co., between 1941 and 1963. A liquid fertilizer plant installed by Soil Fertility Ltd. was in operation in 1973. In 1980 the quarries were being filled and landscaped. (fn. 151)
By a charter of c. 1178 the abbot of Bec was granted sac and soc, toll and team, infangthief, and quittance from shire and hundred courts in all his lands. (fn. 152) The charter was confirmed and rights to felons' chattels and amercements of the abbot's tenants before the king's judges were added in 1253. (fn. 153) Exemption from attendance at views of frankpledge held for the honor of Wallingford was also confirmed in 1253, although the bailiff of the honor was to attend the abbot's view once a year to ensure respect for royal rights. (fn. 154) No record has been found of attendance by the bailiff at the courts of the abbots and their successors.
Courts were held at Ogbourne St. George for Ogbourne St. George and Ogbourne St. Andrew manors from the mid 13th century. (fn. 155) In the 13th century and the early 14th courts met once or twice a year at dates determined by the arrival of the itinerant officials of Bec. Offences against public order, including assault and housebreaking, and breaches of manorial customs, such as the failure to perform boonworks, were brought before the courts. Presentments were made by two or three chief men or by jury. (fn. 156) In the 15th and 16th centuries courts with view of frankpledge, variously described as for the manor of Ogbourne St. George and St. Andrew, or for the manor of Ogbourne St. George and its members, were held in spring and autumn; in the 17th century they were sometimes held only once a year. (fn. 157) Additional courts were held at need, as in 1464 and 1468 when courts summoned for the prior of the Charterhouse were directed by royal writ to hear pleas of novel disseisin. Two tithingmen and a constable were elected for Ogbourne St. George at the autumn court. Presentments were made by a tithingman and by the homage in the late 15th century and the early 16th. In the late 16th century and the 17th the homage presented. Business before the courts then included breaches of manorial custom, repair of tenements, bridges, and roads, disputes over common rights, and orders for the use of commons and the marking of boundaries. Those involved in brawls or guilty of defamation were amerced. A court baron for the manor of Ogbourne St. George and Ogbourne St. Andrew was still held for the admittance of copyholders in the early 19th century. (fn. 158)
In the 15th century a tithingman of Ogbourne, probably Ogbourne St. George, and in the 16th century a tithingman and the constable attended the view of frankpledge held there for the honor of Wallingford. Cert money was paid and offences similar to those dealt with at the view for Ogbourne were brought before the court. (fn. 159)
Some decisions of the parish vestry, for example about the repair of bridges, were recorded with the churchwardens' accounts in the late 18th century (fn. 160) but separate records were kept of the vestry minutes and surveyors' accounts in the 19th century. (fn. 161) In the 1790s between 25 and 30 people received monthly poor relief at an average cost to the parish of 17 a month. (fn. 162) The number and level of monthly doles rose in the early 19th century and between 1833 and 1835 the average yearly expenditure on the poor was 489. Ogbourne St. George became part of Marlborough poor-law union in 1835. (fn. 163)
Her gift of Ogbourne St. George church to the abbey of Bec was confirmed by Maud of Wallingford c. 1148. (fn. 164) The church was appropriated c. 1190 by the abbey, which undertook to provide a chaplain to serve the cure. (fn. 165) At the establishment of the prebend of Ogbourne in 1208 a vicarage was ordained; the abbot of Bec, as prebendary, was patron. (fn. 166) From the time of Edward I the prebendaries had the right of archidiaconal jurisdiction in the parish as they did in Ogbourne St. Andrew. (fn. 167) As keeper of Ogbourne priory the Crown presented to the vicarage on five occasions between 1326 and 1401. (fn. 168) The advowson passed with the estates of the priory to John, duke of Bedford, and in 1421 was granted by him to St. George's chapel, Windsor. (fn. 169) In 1549 and 1589 presentations were made to the vicarage by virtue of grants of the advowson from the dean and canons; in 1589 the patron was one of the canons. (fn. 170) Ogbourne St. George and Ogbourne St. Andrew were served in plurality from 1951 (fn. 171) and were united as the benefice of Ogbourne St. Andrew and St. George in 1970. (fn. 172) Ogbourne St. George became part of the Ridgeway team ministry in 1974 and a representative of the dean and canons of Windsor was one of five members of the patronage board which thereafter appointed the team rector. (fn. 173)
The vicar received 4 6s. 8d. in 1291, a poor income compared with that from other prebendal churches of Salisbury. (fn. 174) In 1535, however, the clear value of the vicarage, 14 5s. 8d., was above average for Marlborough deanery. (fn. 175) Nevertheless, the dean and canons of Windsor paid the vicar 20 a year from 1666 or earlier, presumably in augmentation of his income. (fn. 176) In the early 19th century the living, valued at 244 c. 1830, was moderately prosperous. (fn. 177) Small tithes, not otherwise defined, were paid to the vicar from the whole parish except the prior's demesne in the 13th century. (fn. 178) In the 15th century the vicar's tithes were described as all but great and hay tithes (fn. 179) but he probably received then, as in the 17th century, all tithes except those of grain and of hay and wool and lambs from the demesne farm. (fn. 180) In 1843 the vicarial tithes were replaced by a rent charge of 249 14s. (fn. 181) In 1650 the vicarage house was of two storeys with three rooms on each. (fn. 182) In the mid 18th century it was a building of three bays with a wing at the west end. (fn. 183) The house, said to be fit for residence in 1831, (fn. 184) was described as a long thatched building in 1870. (fn. 185) In 1884 another house was built on higher ground immediately north of the old one which was demolished in 1885. (fn. 186) The new house was sold c. 1976 when another was built in its grounds. (fn. 187)
A chapel dedicated to All Saints, mentioned in the 13th century, was perhaps attached to Ogbourne priory. In return for saying mass there once a week the vicar held a croft and its hay tithes from the prior. (fn. 188) In 1589 a former chapel dedicated to St. Sitha on the west side of the 'west streetway' was sold by the Crown. (fn. 189) A chantry in the parish church was known as the chantry of the Holy Trinity or of St. George in the 14th century. In 1376 the Crown presented to the chantry in the right of the prior of Ogbourne, whose property was then in royal keeping, and c. 1395 the prior presented. (fn. 190) The advowson descended with Ogbourne St. George manor to King's College, Cambridge, but there was no chantry priest after c. 1543. (fn. 191) The chantry may have received additional endowments from Adam Greenfield and from a member of the Beke family in the early 16th century. In 15456, when it was described as a chantry of Adam Greenfield, and in 1548, when it was called St. George's or Beke's, the chantry was valued at 30s. (fn. 192) The endowment included 1 yardland in Ogbourne St. George and a house for the priest, which were granted to John Barwick by the Crown in 1549. (fn. 193) Another chantry, also Adam Greenfield's and valued at 6 7s., may have been ascribed to the parish in error in 15456. (fn. 194)
Before the Dissolution there was a guild or fraternity in the parish but no detail of it survives. (fn. 195) From the 17th century assistant curates were sometimes appointed to the parish, (fn. 196) although there is no evidence of non-residence before the 19th century. In the late 18th century and the 19th minor canons of St. George's chapel, Windsor, were presented to the living. (fn. 197) One of them, Benjamin Pope, vicar 182671, was a pluralist and non-resident. (fn. 198) Perhaps as a result, only a small proportion of the population attended the parish church in the mid 19th century. On Census Sunday in 1851 40 people attended service in the morning, 30 in the afternoon. (fn. 199) The average congregation had grown, but only to between 80 and 100, by 1864. There were then 40 communicants. Two services with sermons were held on Sundays and there were additional services at festivals and in Lent. Holy Communion was celebrated monthly and at festivals. (fn. 200)
The church had been dedicated to ST. GEORGE by the later 13th century. (fn. 201) It is built of sarsen and rubble with freestone dressings and has a chancel with north and south chapels, an aisled and clerestoried nave with a south porch, and a west tower. The chancel arch, some of the chancel walling, and the south arcade are of the early 13th century and show that there was then a building of the present length. The two eastern bays of the north arcade are of the late 13th century and probably opened into a short aisle or chapel. Alterations were made to the chancel in the 14th century and to the whole church in the 15th century or the early 16th. A priest's doorway and chapels were added to the chancel, the nave was reroofed and the clerestory made, and the tower added. Both aisles appear to have been largely rebuilt, perhaps wider than before, and the old doorways were reset. The north aisle was extended westwards, and one bay added to its arcade, and the south porch was built. Fittings of that period include the font, the north chapel screen, and a brass to Thomas Goddard (d. 1517), which was formerly in that chapel. In the 19th century the roofs were restored and the chancel rebuilt with the renewal of most of the tracery.
In the early 17th century the church lacked even a pewter jug for the communion wine. (fn. 202) A chalice and paten cover of 1729, an almsdish hallmarked 1814 and presented in 1857, and a chalice and paten of 1910 are held by the parish. A chalice and paten of 1872 from the chapel of All Saints at Rockley in Ogbourne St. Andrew are used at festivals. (fn. 203) There were four bells in 1553. Five new bells were hung in the 17th century and are still in the church. (fn. 204)
Registers of baptisms survive from 1639 and from 1663; those of burials and marriages survive from 1664. (fn. 205)
Bartholomew Webb, who was ejected from Ogbourne St. Andrew vicarage in 1662, led a conventicle at Ogbourne St. George until his death in 1681. (fn. 206)
Between 1816 and 1819 there was a meeting house at Ogbourne St. George and in 1823 a building was registered for use by Independents. (fn. 207) An Independent chapel was built south of the road to Aldbourne at its junction with the Roman road in 1842. On Census Sunday in 1851 there were 75 people attending service there in the afternoon and 71 in the evening. A lay preacher officiated (fn. 208) and the teachings followed those of the Independent congregation at Marlborough. Independent services ceased in the late 19th century. (fn. 209)
Meetings were held at the house of Joseph Phelps from 1837, and in 1847 a chapel was built on his land. (fn. 210) Phelps used it for nondenominational preaching and in 1851 there were 12 people at the morning and 50 at the evening service. (fn. 211) The chapel was probably that bought by the vicar and churchwardens in 1882 for use as a reading room and was presumably on the site of the present village hall. (fn. 212)
A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built north of the junction of the village street and the Swindon-Marlborough road in 1864 (fn. 213) and the former Independent chapel was used by Primitive Methodists in the late 19th century. (fn. 214) In 1888 the congregations of both chapels were drawn from ten families, half of whom also attended the parish church. (fn. 215) The Primitive Methodist chapel was disused in 1911, that of the Wesleyan Methodists was closed c. 1950. (fn. 216)
A Baptist congregation which flourished in the 1860s may have held services in Joseph Phelps's chapel. (fn. 217)
Four day schools in Ogbourne St. George established by Mr. Gosling, a Marlborough banker, were attended by 41 children, some from poor families, in 1818. (fn. 218) There was a day school in 1833, (fn. 219) and in 1850 a schoolroom and teacher's house were built. In 1858 c. 30 children attended that school and 20 a dame school. (fn. 220) The school buildings of 1850, perhaps including the house, were replaced in 1862 and another classroom was added in 1875. (fn. 221) The school was affiliated to the National Society and attended by 40 children in 1871. There was then also a private school of twelve children. (fn. 222) Attendance at the National school had risen to 96 by 1906 (fn. 223) but fell from 83 to 53 between 1922 and 1936. (fn. 224) A new school was built in 1975 and in 1980 there were 53 pupils drawn from the Ogbournes and Chiseldon. (fn. 225)
Charities for the Poor.
By will dated 1782 William Wooldridge gave 50 to buy bread for the poor. In 1786 another 66 given by various donors was held in trust for the poor of the parish. In 1795 only 35 of it remained. That and Wooldridge's money were invested in 1797 and the income, 6 a year in 1867, was used to buy bread for the second poor at Christmas in alternate years. Peter Thomegay gave 50 by will in or before 1786. The income was not used before 1834 but after 1847 110s. was distributed annually. Under a Scheme of 1901 the income from Wooldridge's and Thomegay's charities was applied to any form of relief except the reduction of the poor rate. Bread was distributed in the early 20th century (fn. 226) but from 1956 money payments were made. Between 1971 and 1974 the average yearly income was 8 and payments were made to 25 people in 1973. (fn. 227)
Under the Inclosure Act of 1792 King's College, Cambridge, as lord of the manor, was allotted 20 a. north of Bytham Farm for furze for the poor. (fn. 228) The land was leased until 1867 or later and the rent, 5 yearly, used to buy bread and fuel. After 1876 furze was taken and coal bought with the accumulated rents from the shooting rights. (fn. 229) Under a Scheme of 1950 the income, c. 13 in 1979, was allowed to accumulate for several years and then distributed. (fn. 230)