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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The history of Preshute, which adjoins Marlborough on the south, north, and west, has been closely involved with that of the borough from earliest times. (fn. 1) The prehistoric earthwork called the Mount which stands in Preshute and later formed the motte of Marlborough Castle, built by 1070, may have given the name Marlborough ('barrow of Maerla') to the surrounding area, which was a royal estate by the 11th century. (fn. 2) A church, most likely that built west of the mound, was, with the land encircling it, said in 1086 to be in Marlborough. (fn. 3) That church and its lands acquired the name Preshute ('priest's cell'). The name, not recorded until 1186, may have been given to the parish formed when the borough acquired its own churches in the late 11th century. (fn. 4) The area surrounding the castle, which by the 12th century formed the castle's barton or demesne farm, was the nucleus of the new parish and was later divided between Elcot tithing and that called in the 13th century the king's tithing in Manton township, which possibly contained Preshute church. (fn. 5) The westerly township of Clatford and a second tithing in Manton township were added to the new parish. Two tracts of downland to the north, the one in the Crown's hands and the other held by the Templars, had been added by the 12th century and formed the tithings of Langdon Wick and Temple Rockley. (fn. 6) Marlborough Common north of the borough was given by King John to the burgesses of Marlborough to provide the borough with pasture land, and Port field was acquired as arable land between 1216 and 1272. (fn. 7) Both, however, remained part of Preshute parish. (fn. 8) The portion of Elcot tithing east of Blowhorn Street and Rawlingswell Lane was 'new land' of Marlborough before 1252, (fn. 9) and was later built on. As the chapelry of St. Martin the area, still called St. Martin's in the later 20th century, remained in Preshute parish until it was transferred to St. Mary's parish, Marlborough, c. 1548. (fn. 10)
From the mid 16th century, when its boundaries crystallized, until 1901 Preshute comprised 5,358 a. (2,168 ha.) stretching 10 km. from northwest to south-east across the Kennet valley and at no point as much as 5 km. wide. (fn. 11) The eastern boundary was marked partly by a short stretch of the Kennet, the Og, the Og's western head stream called the Hungerbourne, (fn. 12) and the Marlborough-Salisbury road, the southern by the Wansdyke for 1 km., and the north-western by the Ridge Way on Hackpen Hill for 750 m.; elsewhere the boundaries pursued arbitrary courses across the Marlborough Downs and north of Savernake forest.
In 1901 Preshute was divided for civil purposes into the parishes of Preshute Without and Preshute Within. Preshute Without, 4,834 a. (1,956 ha.), comprised Clatford and Manton tithings, the northern part of Elcot tithing including most of Marlborough Common, and the western part of Elcot. Preshute Within, 400 a. (162 ha.) which included Preshute church and land south-west of the borough, land on the western edge of Marlborough Common, and St. Margaret's district, became a civil parish within the borough of Marlborough. At the same date the extreme south-eastern angle of Preshute was apportioned between Mildenhall, which received 46 a. (19 ha.), and North Savernake to which 78 a. (32 ha.) were transferred. (fn. 13) Preshute Without was renamed Preshute in 1925 and Preshute Within merged with the two Marlborough parishes. (fn. 14) In 1934 a further 824 a. (333 ha.), including Manton village and the rest of Marlborough Common, were transferred to the borough, leaving Preshute with 1,624 ha. (4,012 a.). (fn. 15)
Most of Preshute is on the chalk of the Marlborough Downs. (fn. 16) From the extreme northern boundary on Hackpen Hill at 269 m. the land inclines south-eastwards to the Kennet, south of which it rises to above 183 m. on Granham Hill. The figure of a horse was cut on Granham Hill in 1804 by boys from a private school in Marlborough. (fn. 17) The chalk is overlain by clay-with-flints north of the Kennet near Manton House and on Marlborough Common. Similar deposits occur south of the river on Granham Hill. Scatters of hard siliceous sandstones called sarsen stones, or grey wethers from their sheep-like appearance at a distance, occur near the Devil's Den at the north-western end of Clatford Bottom. (fn. 18) There are gravel deposits in Clatford Bottom and in the dry valleys in the north-west. The wider gravel terrace south of the Kennet provides sites for the principal settlements. Lush meadows cover the alluvial deposits of the Kennet and Og.
Preshute was inhabited at least from Neolithic times. The most notable prehistoric remains are the Neolithic mound which later formed the motte of Marlborough Castle, the Manton bowlbarrow which contained many articles illustrative of the rich Wessex culture of the Bronze Age, and the 'Marlborough bucket' found in an area of early Iron-Age settlement south-east of Marlborough. (fn. 19) There were Roman settlements on Barton Down north of Field Barn near Manton House, and in St. Margaret's district on the outskirts of the Roman town of Cunetio (Mildenhall). (fn. 20) The London-Bath road crosses the parish. The possible course of the road east of Marlborough is marked by the part of the London road called Newbury Street in the 14th century and in 1678 but London Road in 1752. (fn. 21) Between c. 1706 and c. 1752 the road was diverted from Marlborough high street to run along George Lane, so called in 1752 but London Road in 1706. (fn. 22) At the west end of George Lane the Bath road turned north-westwards across the Kennet at Castle, later Cow, Bridge, (fn. 23) followed the south-western boundary of Marlborough, and at its junction with Marlborough high street took a north-westerly course through the borough east of the castle mound. That section was diverted eastwards into the borough c. 1705 to accommodate a new house being built on the site of Marlborough Castle. (fn. 24) In 1706 it was called the Bristol road west of Marlborough. (fn. 25) The road was turnpiked east of Marlborough in 1726 and west of it in 1743. (fn. 26) All the major roads which converged upon Marlborough crossed Preshute. The Salisbury-Swindon road by way of Rockley in Ogbourne St. Andrew was turnpiked in 1762. (fn. 27) Its course across Marlborough Common was lined in 1910 with trees given by Thomas Free, mayor of Marlborough, and thereafter called Free's Avenue. (fn. 28) North of Marlborough it was replaced as the main road to Swindon when the more easterly low lying route through Ogbourne St. George was turnpiked in 1819. That entered Preshute at Bay Bridge, mentioned from the 16th century, and crossed Marlborough Common. (fn. 29) South-east of Marlborough the part of Salisbury Road called Daniell's Lane in 1752 and Station Road in 1900 was diverted eastwards to its present course through St. Margaret's in 1821. (fn. 30) The portion of the road from Marlborough to Wootton Bassett across Wick Down was turnpiked in 1809. (fn. 31) In the 18th century a road ran westwards from the Bath road as a continuation of George Lane linking Preshute church and the villages of Manton and Clatford. It ran south of the Kennet along the footpath called Treacle Bolly. Between Preshute church and Manton it was called Frog Lane in the 18th century and Preshute Lane in 1981. (fn. 32) The stretch west of Clatford was, like Treacle Bolly, no more than a footpath by 1981. Treacle Bolly was in 1773 part of the Marlborough-Pewsey road, the old course of which was marked by a footpath from Treacle Bolly to Granham Farm in Savernake in 1981. (fn. 33) That road was diverted eastwards to a less steep route over Granham Hill from Castle Bridge in 1798. (fn. 34)
Like other amenities provided for Marlborough in the 19th century, the railway stations which served the town were in Preshute. In 1864 the Marlborough Railway was opened and ran from a station west of the Salisbury road in St. Margaret's in a westerly loop to join the Berks. & Hants Extension Railway at Savernake station in Burbage. The line was worked by the G.W.R., in which it was vested in 1896. (fn. 35) In 1881 the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway, from 1884 the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, was opened and from a station east of the Salisbury road ran in an easterly loop round Marlborough northwards to Swindon. The M. & S.W.J.R. was extended southeastwards in 1898 by the construction of the Marlborough & Grafton Railway. The M. & S.W.J.R. worked the line from its opening and acquired it in 1899. (fn. 36) That railway merged with the G.W.R. in 1923 and from 1924 the G.W.R. and M. & S.W.J.R. stations were called High Level and Low Level respectively. Alterations between 1926 and 1933 reduced the former Marlborough & Grafton line to a single track and provided a second by the partial rerouting of the G.W.R. line. The original G.W.R. track, except a short stretch south-west of High Level station, was removed. The new route was first fully used, and High Level station closed, in 1933. (fn. 37) Passenger services were withdrawn from Low Level station in 1961. (fn. 38) Freight services were withdrawn, and the station and line finally closed, in 1964. (fn. 39)
Preshute, represented by Marlborough barton, Manton, and Clatford, was in 1334 taxed fourth highest of the ten parishes in Selkley hundred. There were 139 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 40) In 16th- and 17th-century taxation assessments Preshute appears one of the more prosperous parishes in Selkley hundred. (fn. 41) In 1801 there were 618 people in the parish. (fn. 42) The number had declined to 583 by 1811 but thereafter rose steadily until 1851. An increase from 898 to 1,227 between 1841 and 1851, although like the 1831–41 rise attributed to the opening in 1837 of a union workhouse on Marlborough Common, is more likely to be accounted for by the growth of Marlborough College. The population was 1,209 in 1861 but the expansion both of the college and of training stables on Manton Down had resulted in an increase to 1,374 by 1871. (fn. 43) In 1881 the population was 1,837 but by 1891 had declined inexplicably to 1,311. Numbers had risen to 1,622 by 1901. Preshute Without, later Preshute, parish had 559 inhabitants in 1911, 556 in 1921, and 615 in 1931. The population of the parish, from which Manton had been transferred in 1934, was 216 in 1951, 194 in 1961, and 132 in 1971. (fn. 44)
The village of Elcot gave its name to the tithing which was conterminous with the royal barton. In the 14th century another village grew up along that part of the London road called Newbury Street. Elcot was called St. Margaret's district from the later 16th century. (fn. 45) Most of the 81 people in the barton of Marlborough assessed for the poll tax of 1377 may have lived in those areas. (fn. 46) Smallholdings survived in the south-east angle of the parish in the 17th century. (fn. 47) Newbury Street was still so called in the later 17th century but afterwards, as London Road, was considered part of St. Margaret's district. (fn. 48)
St. Margaret's took its name from the Gilbertine priory which stood beside the Marlborough-Salisbury road. Of the inns along the London-Bath road the Wheatsheaf stood at Forest Hill, then partly in Preshute, in the 18th century and earlier 19th, and the Roebuck, mentioned from the earlier 18th century, at its junction with Elcot Lane. (fn. 49) The George, from which part of the London-Bath road took its name in 1752 or earlier, may have been an inn in the earlier 17th century and was so in 1713. A Roman Catholic church marked its site in 1981. (fn. 50) The Red Cow, which stood beside the old road over Granham Hill in 1773, was burnt down c. 1838. (fn. 51) The only building in St. Margaret's older than the 19th century is a range of 17th-century timber-framed cottages at the junction of George Lane and Salisbury Road.
In the late 19th century and earlier 20th Marlborough expanded commercially and residentially into St. Margaret's and much of the housing which fronts London Road and Salisbury Road is of those dates. Marlborough police station was opened in George Lane in 1898 and in 1900 sewage works in Elcot Lane. (fn. 52) Savernake Hospital was opened in 1872 south of London Road at Forest Hill. (fn. 53) Council houses were built in Isbury Road and Cherry Orchard from c. 1920. (fn. 54) St. Margaret's mead east of Low Level station was bought by the borough in 1945 and a council estate built on it c. 1950. (fn. 55) Priorsfield east of Salisbury Road was developed as a private estate in the 1970s. North of Elcot Lane and north-west and east of some earlier private houses interspersed with light industrial development dating mostly from the mid 20th century, Stonebridge Close, Barrow Close, and Willow Close contain private houses of the 1960s. Barnfield between Elcot Lane and London Road was first built upon in the 1920s. The estate was further expanded after the Second World War.
North of the London-Bath road Barton Farm was the only large private house in Elcot tithing west of Marlborough. It was extensively renovated, if not rebuilt, c. 1722 and extended southwards in the early 19th century by the addition of an entrance hall with principal rooms on either side. (fn. 56) The house, reroofed and altered in the 20th century for Marlborough College, was the college estate office in 1981. Near the house stood an aisled barn, built in the 17th century, extensively repaired c. 1722, and burnt down in 1976. (fn. 57) Westward expansion of Marlborough was blocked by Marlborough Castle and successive houses which later occupied its site. The second house, used as an inn called the Castle in the later 18th century and early 19th, was converted to a school, later Marlborough College, in 1843. (fn. 58) The buildings erected north of the house to accommodate the school straddle the former Preshute-Marlborough boundary. A court built in the style of c. 1700 to the north-west by Edward Blore, college architect 1844–9, had a dining hall and boarding house on the southwest side and another boarding house on the south-east. (fn. 59) The dining hall was replaced in 1961–2 by another, Norwood Hall, designed by David Roberts. The south-eastern range was replaced, but its style perpetuated and elaborated, by the Bradleian building constructed in 1871–3 by G. E. Street and by the Museum Block of 1882–3. That, which partly incorporated the stables of the old house, was perhaps designed by Street but completed by his son A. E. Street and partner A. W. Blomfield. The chapel in 13th-century style which Blore erected in the western angle of the court was replaced in 1883–6 by another designed by Bodley & Garner and built of stone in 14thcentury style. The northern angle was filled in 1893–9 by the North Block built in 16th-century style by Bodley & Garner. The Master's Lodge built south-east of the old house by Blore was enlarged in the 1860s by William White, who also erected minor school buildings in 1858 and 1863.
The school sick house built by White north of the London-Bath road stood in Marlborough, and the first substantial college buildings to be put up in Preshute on the north side of that road were two boarding houses, Cotton and Littlefield, designed by G. E. Street and built of cast concrete in 1870–2 by Charles Drake, a pioneer of that material. In the early 20th century the college expanded northwards into Marlborough where, on the north side of the London-Bath road, a gymnasium was built in 1908 by C. E. Ponting and Field House, linked to North Block on the south side by an enclosed footbridge, by Sir Aston Webb in 1910–11; the gymnasium incorporated windows from the Marlborough bridewell which had previously occupied the site.
Of the buildings designed between the First and Second World Wars by the college architect, W. G. Newton, the Memorial Hall of 1921–5 and Science Building of shuttered concrete begun in 1933 were west of the Mount and the Leaf Block of 1936 east of it.
The Marlborough union workhouse, designed by W. Cooper, became a children's convalescent home after 1929 and was still so used in 1981. (fn. 60) An isolation hospital built to the north-west by Marlborough rural district council in 1890 had merged with it by 1970. (fn. 61) North-west of the workhouse 2 a. of land bought in 1853 were consecrated in 1855 as a burial ground for Preshute and the two Marlborough parishes. A mortuary chapel built there in 1859 was consecrated in 1860. (fn. 62)
There was a village of Manton in the early 14th century and in 1377 it had 28 poll-tax payers. (fn. 63) Several inhabitants seem to have been prosperous in the later 16th century. (fn. 64) In 1841, when 290 people lived there, it was, apart from St. Margaret's, the most populous settlement in Preshute. (fn. 65) There was apparently no settlement near Preshute church other than a farmhouse which was enlarged in the later 19th century as a boarding house for Marlborough College and called Preshute House. The church was linked to the London-Bath road by two lanes which in 1773 apparently forded the Kennet but by 1817 were carried over it by bridges. (fn. 66) The village lies west of the church along the lane, called High Street in Manton, linking the riverside settlements south of the Kennet. Several 19th-century houses, of which those at the south-western end stand above the street on a chalk embankment, are of red brick with lower courses of sarsen. From the small green at the eastern end of the street Bridge Street crosses the Kennet, by a bridge which existed in 1773, to link Manton with the London-Bath road. Manton Drove, in 1773 called Manton Lane, (fn. 67) runs south from the western end of the street to join the MarlboroughPewsey road.
On the south side of the green the Old Post Office, formerly a farmhouse, was built of sarsen rubble in the later 16th century or the earlier 17th. It has been cased in brick but retains a thatched roof. Manton Weir, which stands south of the London-Bath road west of its junction with Bridge Street, was built as a farmhouse in the later 17th century. It was altered and cased in brick in the mid 18th century when a low kitchen wing was added on the east. It was called Braithwaite's Farm c. 1792. (fn. 68) In the later 19th century the kitchen wing was raised to two storeys and small additions were made to the north side of the main block. Manton Grange stands east of the village set back across meadows on the south side of Preshute Lane. It is a square red-brick farmhouse of c. 1800 which was enlarged, altered, and refitted, probably for the Maurice family, c. 1900. (fn. 69) A private housing estate called Manton Hollow was constructed north of the London-Bath road in the 1950s and another called West Manton west of High Street in the 1960s. (fn. 70)
Of the inns which stood along the LondonBath road, the Plough was on the south side in 1773. The Swan, on the north side, was called Lord Bruce's Arms c. 1792, the Lord's Arms in 1845, and as the Marquess of Ailesbury was still an inn in the early 20th century. (fn. 71) In the village the Oddfellows Arms at the north-west corner of the green was opened in 1878 and the Up the Garden Path on the south side of High Street in 1972. (fn. 72)
There was no settlement in Manton tithing north of the London-Bath road until racehorse stables were built on Manton Down in the later 19th century. (fn. 73) Manton House, intended for the trainer, occupies the south side of the red-brick stable block of two storeys round a courtyard. It was being altered and refitted in 1979. Near the stables are several late 19th-century cottages, an early 20th-century stable block, a hostel constructed in 1921 for stable lads, and a modern house. A landscaped garden incorporating a chain of small lakes was created in the later 1970s. The farmstead of Manton House, built in the 1970s on the downs south-east of the stables, includes extensive covered yards. (fn. 74)
The contribution made by Clatford to the tax of 1334, although small compared with other villages near Marlborough, was only a little less than that of its easterly neighbour Manton. (fn. 75) In 1377 there were 30 poll-tax payers, two more than at Manton. (fn. 76) In 1773 the village was closely grouped north of the lane running west from Marlborough. North-west of it Clatford Mill stood alone on the south side of the London-Bath road. (fn. 77) As the etymology of Clatford suggests, the Kennet was forded there. It seems to have remained so in 1773 but by 1817 a bridge carried the lane which linked the village with the London-Bath road across it. (fn. 78) There were 122 inhabitants in 1801, no more than 90 in 1841. (fn. 79) All that remained of the village in 1981 was Clatford Farm and a few cottages south-west of it.
The tithings of Langdon Wick and Temple Rockley were never sufficiently populous for their inhabitants to be enumerated or assessed for taxation separately. In 1981 each contained a 19th-century farmstead.
A castle at Marlborough is suggested by the imprisonment there of Ethelric, bishop of Selsey, in 1070. (fn. 80) It may have been built when William I early in his reign transferred a mint and a moneyer to Marlborough from Great Bedwyn. (fn. 81) Its site was the prehistoric earthwork, later called the Mount, easily defensible where the Kennet valley narrows between the chalk masses of the Marlborough Downs. (fn. 82)
Although Henry I spent Easter at Marlborough in 1110, (fn. 83) the first definite evidence of a castle there is from 1138. (fn. 84) The anarchy which followed Stephen's usurpation in 1135 caused the castle, on an east-west route in an area loyal to the Empress Maud, to be strengthened. Many preliminary skirmishes in Maud's campaign occurred there and in 1138 the castle was fortified by John FitzGilbert, the marshal, a supporter of the empress, and held for her against King Stephen in 1139. (fn. 85) He still held the 'very strong castle' in 1140 when he repelled the mercenary, Robert FitzHubert, who that year had captured Devizes Castle. (fn. 86) Despite harassment from Stephen's son Eustace in 1149, he held the castle for Maud until her son succeeded as Henry II in 1154, and continued to do so until 1158. (fn. 87) In 1189 Richard I gave the castle to his brother John on John's marriage with Isabel of Gloucester. (fn. 88) During John's rebellion of 1193–4 the castle was besieged and captured for the king by the regent Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 89) Richard I committed Marlborough in 1194 to Hugh de Neville who remained keeper under John. (fn. 90)
Devizes Castle may have been more important than Marlborough to the rival factions during Stephen's reign because it was then stronger and more sophisticated. That it was not so during the civil war of 1214 and during the French invasion of 1216 was due to extensive building works undertaken by John at Marlborough between 1209 and 1211 to strengthen it, not only as a residence, but also as a provincial treasury. By 1207 it had become part of a network of such treasuries and much money and plate were kept therein. (fn. 91)
After John's death Hugh de Neville defected to the baronial party and in 1216 surrendered the castle, which had been heavily fortified in 1215, to Louis of France. (fn. 92) Louis installed Robert de Dreux as keeper but in 1217 William Marshal recaptured the castle for Henry III. (fn. 93) Its keeping was then entrusted to William's father, William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, son of John FitzGilbert, and regent of England. William succeeded his father as keeper in 1219 but was deprived of the castle in 1221 for fortifying it in 1220 without royal permission. (fn. 94)
A constable is first referred to by that name in 1203. (fn. 95) It is unlikely, however, that he was other than the keeper or castellan, and the terms constable and keeper were used interchangeably throughout the 13th century. (fn. 96) The lesser officers upon whom the daily administration of the castle devolved in the later 14th century included a deputy constable, a porter, and a bailiff. (fn. 97)
Henry III spent Easter 1220 at Marlborough which for the next fifty years was favoured as a residence by him and his family. (fn. 98) He extended and strengthened the castle as a fortress and improved it as a dwelling. (fn. 99) Henry's sister Isabel was there in 1230, 1231, and 1233. Queen Eleanor was there in 1256 and the castle was assigned to her as dower in 1262. (fn. 100)
The growth of baronial opposition to Henry III after 1258 made the appointment of trustworthy men to keep strategically placed castles of first importance. Thus in 1261 Robert Walerand, one of the king's closest advisers, was appointed keeper for a five-year term. (fn. 101) His tenure was interrupted by the intrusion in 1262, probably at the insistence of Simon de Montfort, of Roger de Clifford (d. c. 1286) then an adherent of the baronial party who, however, returned to his allegiance the following year. Walerand was reinstated by the king in 1263. (fn. 102) After the battle of Lewes in 1264 all castles in royal hands were surrendered to the adherents of Simon de Montfort. Marlborough, however, was soon retaken for the king by Roger de Clifford and a group of marcher lords. (fn. 103) Henry III spent some days at Marlborough in 1265 recovering after the battle of Evesham. The parliament he summoned to meet him there in 1267, which probably assembled in the great hall of the castle, enacted the statute of Marlborough. (fn. 104)
In 1194 or earlier the borough of Marlborough, the barton farm, Selkley hundred, and Savernake forest, to which, however, separate wardens were appointed, belonged to the castle. (fn. 105) Such resources possibly rendered the creation of serjeanties for the garrisoning of the castle unnecessary. The castellans held the castle at farm from the late 12th century or earlier and had to maintain it in peacetime and to support a garrison there in time of war. (fn. 106) In the mid 13th century the king allowed £26 13s. 4d. for the maintenance of the castle in peacetime. (fn. 107) At other times more was allowed to munition the garrison and in 1264, at the time of de Montfort's insurrection, 4 knights with barded horses, 4 serjeants-at-arms with barded horses, 12 serjeants with unbarded horses, and 54 footmen were maintained for about ten weeks within the castle. (fn. 108) It continued to be munitioned at times of crisis, as in 1322 and 1360, until it fell into decay after 1380. (fn. 109)
After the death of Henry III the castle declined as a fortress because it lost favour as a residence. It continued to be used by Queen Eleanor, who spent three weeks there in 1274. (fn. 110) After her death in 1291 the accommodation within the castle, called the 'king's houses', was assigned during pleasure to Isabel (d. 1296), relict of Ingram de Fiennes who had been a knight in Henry III's household. (fn. 111) In 1295 the constable lodged Welsh hostages at the castle and was allowed 4d. daily to maintain them, probably in honourable confinement. (fn. 112) Joan (d. 1307), daughter of Edward I, who had married clandestinely Sir Ralph de Monthermer, was in 1297 allowed to retire to Marlborough where a daughter was born to her. (fn. 113) Beatrice, wife of Aymer de Valence, was also allowed to live there that year while her husband was with the king in Flanders. (fn. 114) In 1299 the castle was assigned in dower to Margaret, queen of Edward I. (fn. 115) Hugh le Despenser, later earl of Winchester, was appointed constable in 1308 and the queen's steward was ordered to deliver the castle to him. Later in 1308, however, the castle was restored to the queen. (fn. 116) In 1318 it was assigned to Isabel, queen of Edward II, but occupied by the elder Despenser in May 1321. (fn. 117) The castle was plundered by Despenser's political opponents that summer and surrendered by him on his downfall in September. (fn. 118) With the queen's agreement, the keeping of the castle was then committed to Sir Oliver de Ingham, who munitioned it. (fn. 119) The munitions were removed in 1322 before Despenser's properties and offices were restored to him. Marlborough was forfeited on his execution in 1326. (fn. 120) The castle was among the queen's estates sequestrated in 1324. (fn. 121) In 1325 the king's houses within the castle were repaired and assigned to Roger de Monthermer, Lord Monthermer, to whom the care of the king's daughters was entrusted. The charge was renewed to his relict Isabel, Despenser's daughter, in 1325. (fn. 122) Marlborough Castle was restored to Queen Isabel in 1327 but she was again deprived in 1330. (fn. 123) In the same year it was assigned to Philippa, queen of Edward III. (fn. 124) After French raiders burnt Winchelsea (Suss.) in 1360 the sheriff of Wiltshire arranged for the castle to be garrisoned. (fn. 125) Thereafter the castle was never put into a defensive state or visited by the queens who held it in dower. It fell into decay in the late 14th century and c. 1400 was possibly derelict and uninhabited. (fn. 126) The later ownership of the site, granted in reversion by Henry IV in 1403, is treated below. (fn. 127)
A chapel within the castle precincts, perhaps the chapel of St. Nicholas mentioned in 1241, existed in 1227. (fn. 128) Before 1232 the rector of Preshute gave it to a chaplain whom he constituted perpetual vicar and endowed with the obventions and oblations of the castle and a yearly stipend of 40s. (fn. 129) The living was variously referred to as a chapelry, free chapelry, or perpetual chantry and its incumbent as chaplain or vicar. (fn. 130) In 1265 Henry III allotted 50s. yearly to the prior of St. Margaret's for the maintenance of a canon from the house to celebrate daily therein. (fn. 131)
The rectors presented chaplains until the appropriation of Preshute rectory took effect in 1329. (fn. 132) Although, when his portion was allotted in 1330, the vicar was enjoined to continue payment of the 40s. stipend, no provision for the presentation of chaplains to serve the castle chapel then appears to have been made. (fn. 133) The bishop collated in the period 1334–1417. (fn. 134) In the early 15th century the lords of the castle were considered to have lost the right to present. (fn. 135) In 1402 the king appointed a warden of the chapel who still held office in 1412. (fn. 136) The chapel was last expressly mentioned in 1417. (fn. 137)
The chapel stood within the inner bailey. (fn. 138) Henry III repaired it, enlarged it by adding a chancel and belfry with two bells, and embellished it between 1227 and 1265. (fn. 139) It was again repaired in 1300. (fn. 140) During Despenser's first occupation of the castle, marauders plundered it and removed vestments and a gold chalice. (fn. 141)
A chapel dedicated to St. Leonard, mentioned c. 1230, may have been in the king's tower. In 1246 Henry III endowed a chaplain with 50s. yearly to celebrate there daily for the soul of Eleanor of Brittany. (fn. 142) The site of the queen's chapel, mentioned in 1241, is unknown. (fn. 143) In 1246 Henry III endowed a chaplain from St. Thomas's hospital, Marlborough, with 50s. yearly to celebrate daily therein for the soul of his mother Isabel of Angoulême. (fn. 144) The stipend was paid to the hospital and still claimed by its warden in 1378. (fn. 145)
The imprisonment of Bishop Ethelric in 1070 may have been no more than honourable confinement, (fn. 146) but in 1140 the freebooter Robert FitzHubert and his followers were placed in a 'narrow dungeon'. (fn. 147) The gaol was so called in 1194. (fn. 148) In 1205 it was called the king's prison and was thereafter referred to by either name. (fn. 149) The gaol was used chiefly for the detention of suspect felons. (fn. 150) In 1309–10, however, Templars, probably from Temple Rockley since they included Walter of Rockley, were in the custody of the constable of Marlborough. (fn. 151) During the 13th century and earlier 14th the gaol was delivered several times. (fn. 152) It is unlikely that it was used as a common gaol after the early 15th century although listed among such in the early 16th. (fn. 153)
Buildings. Springs rising near the site of the castle on the Mount provided a domestic water supply and water for the moat. The castle which may have been been built shortly after the Conquest was called 'strong' in the early 12th century. (fn. 154) The decay of the castle in the 15th century and later buildings on its site have made its plan difficult to determine despite much documentary evidence.
The defences were extended southwards from the castle mound over the area afterwards called the base-court or bailey of the castle. (fn. 155) There living quarters, the king's houses, and a chapel were built. Henry II constructed a chamber for himself in the later 1170s. (fn. 156) There were new works and repairs during Richard I's reign, such as those made to the king's houses by Ellis the engineer in 1197. (fn. 157) John repaired the castle wall, added a palisade and drawbridge, constructed a ring wall round the motte, and built a barbican in front of the keep to strengthen it as a repository for treasure. (fn. 158) An exchange of lands between John and the burgesses of Marlborough was possibly to extend the castle precincts into the borough, thereby providing an outer bailey to separate the castle and town. (fn. 159)
Henry III began new work on the castle in 1224 and during the next two years a twostoreyed tower was built behind the king's chamber, then apparently leaded, and a brattice put up behind the queen's bedchamber. (fn. 160) In the 1230s improvements to the great hall, such as partial wainscoting and decoration at the 'king's end' and the insertion of louvers and windows, and the decoration of the king's bedchamber, were carried out and the construction of a tower, possibly that on the motte, completed. (fn. 161) The fortifications, in particular those of the royal apartments, and the apartments themselves, were thoroughly repaired during 1238–9 under the supervision of Hugh Blowe, the king's master mason at Marlborough. (fn. 162) Another new tower was also constructed in 1238. (fn. 163) In 1241–2 a tower, perhaps that in the curtain wall behind the king's chamber, was repaired because its foundations were faulty. During that period, too, the towers behind the hall and over the great gate were roofed with lead and a new almonry and larder were built. A new first-floor chamber for the queen and a penthouse on the west side of the great hall were built in 1244–5. In 1250 a new round tower, which had been begun in 1241, was completed and fitted with a kitchen, a new barbican was built, several chambers were enlarged and improved, and part of the castle wall was crenellated. (fn. 164) Thereafter only a few small additions and alterations were made to the castle, the last in 1270 when Henry III built a chamber for his household knights. (fn. 165)
The castle seems afterwards to have received the minimum of maintenance. It was repaired in 1354, (fn. 166) and Edward III and his queen visited it briefly in the summer of 1358. (fn. 167) Further work was carried out in 1359 and 1360. (fn. 168) By 1367, however, the castle fabric had deteriorated to such an extent that an inquiry into its dilapidated state was ordered. (fn. 169) The attempts made to remedy defects in the 1370s were probably ineffective since Nicholas Hall, rector of St. Peter's, Marlborough, and apparently responsible for works at the castle in 1371–2, was afterwards accused of misappropriating materials supplied for the purpose. (fn. 170) A commission reported in 1391 that a complete rebuilding was needed to restore the castle. (fn. 171) It was thereafter allowed to decay. The site was recognizable as that of a castle in the mid 16th century when the ruins of the keep were still visible. (fn. 172)
Manors and Other Estates.
The reversion of the site of the castle was granted in 1403 by Henry IV to his son Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in possession by 1415. (fn. 173) On Humphrey's death in 1447 the site was granted to Margaret, queen of Henry VI, but was presumably forfeited on her attainder in 1461. (fn. 174) It was formally resumed by Act of 1464 and granted in 1465, to be held from 1464, to Elizabeth, queen of Edward IV, whose estates were sequestrated in 1483–4. The estate was restored to her in 1485 but she was finally deprived in 1487 when her daughter Elizabeth (d. 1503), queen of Henry VII, received a grant of it for life. (fn. 175) The site was granted to Catherine of Aragon the day before her marriage to Henry VIII in 1509 and passed to each of his wives in turn. (fn. 176) In 1547 Edward VI granted its reversion on the death of the last, Catherine Parr (d. 1548), to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset. (fn. 177) Somerset was deprived of it in 1549 but it was restored to him in 1550. (fn. 178) The castle site was forfeited on the duke's execution and attainder in 1552 but was restored to his son Edward, later earl of Hertford, in 1553. (fn. 179) On Hertford's death in 1621 the site passed to his grandson William Seymour, created marquess of Hertford in 1640 and restored as duke of Somerset in 1660. (fn. 180)
William in 1621 conveyed the site to his brother Sir Francis. It then comprised some 30 a. in Preshute and included the castle 'hill and motte' and Bailey's close on which Sir Francis had built a house. (fn. 181) Francis, then Baron Seymour of Trowbridge, was succeeded by his son Charles in 1664. The house and lands passed successively to Charles's sons Francis, Baron Seymour and from 1675 duke of Somerset (d. 1678), and Charles, duke of Somerset (d. 1748). The property was settled in 1715 on the marriage of Charles's son Algernon, earl of Hertford and from 1748 duke of Somerset (d. 1750). From Algernon the property descended to his half-sisters Frances, afterwards wife of John Manners, marquess of Granby, and Charlotte, wife of Heneage Finch, earl of Aylesford, and his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, Bt., afterwards earl of Egremont, as tenants in common. In 1779 the property was allotted to Frances's son, Charles Manners, marquess of Granby, who in the same year became duke of Rutland and sold it to Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, earl of Ailesbury. (fn. 182)
The manor of MARLBOROUGH, or BARTON, consisted of a large demesne farm west, north, and south of the castle. (fn. 183) In 1262 it was assigned with Marlborough Castle as dower to Eleanor, queen of Henry III, and passed with the castle until the death of Queen Philippa in 1369. (fn. 184) The Crown afterwards leased the manor to farmers and used the revenues chiefly to provide pensions for royal kinsfolk and servants. (fn. 185) In 1403 Henry IV granted the farm he received from the manor and the reversion of the estate itself to his son Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in possession by 1415. (fn. 186) The land afterwards descended with the site of the castle to William, duke of Somerset (d. 1660), (fn. 187) who retained the manor when he granted the castle site to his brother. The duke was succeeded by his grandson William Seymour, upon whose death in 1671 the manor passed to his sister Elizabeth, afterwards the wife of Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury from 1685. (fn. 188) It passed with the Ailesbury title to Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, who in 1779 acquired the castle estate. (fn. 189)
Thus reunited the site of the castle and the manor descended with the Ailesbury title until 1871 when the castle site, on which the buildings of Marlborough College stood, was sold to the college governors, (fn. 190) who bought the 1,042–a. Barton estate from George, marquess of Ailesbury, in 1930. (fn. 191) The land was sold to F. G. Barker in 1968 and in 1981 belonged to Mr. J. V. Bloomfield. The college retained Barton Farm. (fn. 192)
No trace remains of the house built by Sir Francis Seymour before 1621. It probably stood east of the old castle moat. The 'great rambling building' was set amid formal gardens which extended over the remainder of the outer bailey and incorporated the inner bailey, with moat and castle mound, as their principal feature. The gardens were probably created for Seymour, who occupied the house. (fn. 193) The mound, renamed the Mount before 1668 and possibly when it became the focus of the new garden, was ascended by a spiral walk flanked by low hedges. (fn. 194) The gardens were carefully maintained by Seymour's son Charles and grandson Francis. (fn. 195) In 1668 a water tower on the summit of the Mount supplied the house with water. A banqueting house and arbour on the Mount were mentioned in 1669. (fn. 196) The banqueting house was ruinous in the early 18th century. (fn. 197) The old house was visited by Charles I twice in 1644, (fn. 198) by James II in 1686, and by Mary of Modena in 1687. William III in 1690 and Queen Anne in 1702 and 1703 presumably stayed in the new house. (fn. 199)
The main house, called Marlborough House in 1683, was rebuilt over 30–40 years by Charles, duke of Somerset (d. 1748). (fn. 200) In 1684 he commissioned John Deane of Reading to design a new house. (fn. 201) The old house was apparently demolished and work begun on the new one in 1688. (fn. 202) Work greatly accelerated in the later 1690s. Two identical double-pile blocks linked by a hall range were planned. The north-east wing had been built by 1706. Before 1706 small formal gardens were laid out north-east and south-east of the house, a wilderness planted south of the Mount in the inner bailey, a 'green walk' constructed south of the moat, the southeastern arm of the moat straightened to form an ornamental canal with a raised walk on the east bank, and a summer house built at its southern end above the place where the canal cascaded into the Kennet. (fn. 203)
The eastward diversion of the London-Bath road c. 1705 was to make room for domestic offices to be built in Marlborough round a square courtyard north-east of the house. (fn. 204) The house was apparently completed between 1715 and 1723 by Algernon, earl of Hertford. (fn. 205) It had a south-east front of fifteen bays with a high basement, two storeys, and attics. The northwest front was of thirteen bays: the central three were deeply recessed and approached through a long porch which was possibly re-used from a house at Woodlands in Mildenhall. (fn. 206) The northeast wing contained mainly bedrooms and dressing rooms and the south-west wing the main staircase and principal rooms. The house was approached from the north-west across an axially planned forecourt. Stables north-east of the forecourt may have incorporated those of the earlier house.
The house was one of the principal residences of Algernon, earl of Hertford, from 1726 or earlier. (fn. 207) His countess, Frances, improved the gardens and built a grotto at the foot of the Mount. (fn. 208) That grotto and the spiral path around the Mount were still visible in 1981. By the later 19th century all that remained of the moat was a south-westerly section called, as still in 1981, the Bathing Place. (fn. 209) After 1751 Marlborough House, renamed the Castle, became an inn. (fn. 210) It was the subject of Stanley Weyman's novel The Castle Inn published in 1898. In 1842 plans were drawn up by J. M. Nelson to convert it to a school. (fn. 211) It was let as such in 1843. (fn. 212) In 1845 the lease was renewed to the governors of the school, then newly constituted Marlborough College. (fn. 213) In 1981 the building survived as C House of the college. Part of the stable range north-east of it in Marlborough was incorporated in the Museum Block of the school. (fn. 214)
The revenues of Preshute RECTORY, arising from tithes, land, and oblations, belonged to the warden and choristers of Salisbury cathedral from 1329. (fn. 215) Parliamentary commissioners sold them to William Hitchcock in 1651 but they were afterwards restored. (fn. 216) From 1330 to the later 15th century the vicar of Preshute collected them, paid £20 to the appropriators, and kept the residue. (fn. 217) From the later 15th century the revenues were leased to lay tenants, including members of the Hitchcock family from 1495 or earlier until 1711. (fn. 218) After 1711 the estate was let in portions. The tithes of Elcot, including Barton farm, were let as one holding. (fn. 219) Leases of the small glebe farm which surrounded the church, reckoned at 60 a. in 1649 and 45 a. in 1926, and of the Manton tithes were held from 1714 to 1735 by the Nalder family, tenants of Barton farm, from 1739 by the Comptons, and from 1778 by the Clarks, whose interest passed to D. P. Maurice, tenant in 1872. (fn. 220) In 1847 the appropriators were allotted a tithe rent charge, fixed initially at £850, for Elcot and Manton. (fn. 221) The farm was sold to C. J. K. Maurice in 1926 and the rectory house and 3 a. to the governors of Marlborough College in 1929. (fn. 222)
The rectory house, mentioned in 1649, was dilapidated in 1711 and rebuilt in 1712. (fn. 223) It was rebuilt in stone c. 1840 by the tenant J. W. Clark as an Italianate villa with an imposing north entrance front and a lower south service wing. (fn. 224) It was called Preshute House when it was let to Marlborough College as a boarding house in the later 19th century. It was still so used in 1981. To adapt it a red-brick extension, designed by William White, was added west of the service range c. 1863. (fn. 225) The house has been much altered inside and further extended in the 20th century.
The manor of ST. MARGARET'S was built up piecemeal by St. Margaret's priory. About 1235 Robert of Elcot gave the canons 2 a. within Marlborough barton. (fn. 226) Henry III leased 2 a. near the priory to the canons in 1248. (fn. 227) About 1318 John Goodhind granted 62 a. and 20s. rent within the barton. (fn. 228) In 1334 Edward III released to the prior and convent a rent of 16s. 8d. which they paid to him for lands in Newbury Street and Savernake forest. (fn. 229) Feoffees conveyed an estate which included land in Elcot tithing to the priory in 1412. (fn. 230) The manor thus formed passed to the Crown at the Dissolution. (fn. 231)
From 1539 the site of the priory was held in dower by the queens of Henry VIII, (fn. 232) but in 1544 the king granted it to Geoffrey Daniell with tenements in Marlborough and Newbury Street. (fn. 233) Geoffrey died c. 1561 and in 1604 his nephew William Daniell, M.P. for Marlborough in 1558 and 1559, died seised of the manor, (fn. 234) which passed in the direct male line to William (d. 1621), William, Geoffrey (d. 1681), M.P. for Marlborough in 1660 and 1661, (fn. 235) and William Daniell (d.s.p. 1698), M.P. for Marlborough 1695–8. The last William's sister Rachel (d. 1708) married Thomas Fettiplace. Thomas held the manor until his death in 1710 when it passed to his son Thomas, who sold it in 1715 to Francis Hawes, a director of the South Sea Company. (fn. 236) After the South Sea Bubble burst in 1720 Hawes's property was confiscated by parliamentary trustees who sold St. Margaret's in 1733 to the trustees of John Churchill, duke of Marlborough (d. 1722). (fn. 237) The manor descended like that of East Overton in Overton to George Spencer, duke of Marlborough (d. 1817), whose trustees sold it in 1820 to Charles BrudenellBruce, earl, later marquess, of Ailesbury, the owner in 1847. (fn. 238) A small part of the manor was possibly acquired in 1885 by R. W. Merriman and belonged to him in 1898. (fn. 239) George, marquess of Ailesbury, offered the remainder, 70 a., for sale in lots in 1929–30. (fn. 240)
The manor house, called St. Margaret's Farm or the Old Monastery, stood at the junction of the Marlborough-Salisbury road and Isbury Road until demolished c. 1930. It was of stone rubble and flint, with stone dressings and roofed with stone tiles, five bays wide with an extension. (fn. 241) The lower courses of a priory building and fragments of the house occupied by the Daniells, including the date 1680 on a south wall, are said to have been part of the house in the early 20th century when some medieval woodwork apparently survived in it. (fn. 242) Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, may have died there in 1612. (fn. 243)
By 1231 St. Thomas's hospital, a house for lepers, had been established on a site later called Spittle field lying east of Marlborough between London Road and the Kennet. (fn. 244) The chief duty of the brethren there was to pray for the soul of Isabel of Angouleme. (fn. 245) Its revenues were apparently of little value in 1393 when the king granted the reversion of the hospital, then held for life by a royal clerk, John Were (d. 1397), to the prior and convent of St. Margaret. (fn. 246) Its site and lands, reckoned in 1403 at 23 a., were merged with the priory lands. (fn. 247)
In 1066 Wigot held Manton. By 1086 the estate had passed to Miles Crispin. (fn. 248) The overlordship of the estate thereafter descended with the honor of Wallingford (Berks., later Oxon.). (fn. 249) Moieties of the estate are last expressly mentioned as members of the honor in 1335 and 1428. (fn. 250)
Sir Sampson Foliot held ½ knight's fee at Manton of the honor of Wallingford in 1242–3. (fn. 251) The mesne lordship probably descended like that of Draycot Foliat to Alice de Lisle who was lord in 1335. (fn. 252)
Hugh of Dover held MANTON of Sir Sampson in 1242–3. (fn. 253) The estate passed to Nicholas Barfleur (d. by 1295) whose son Nicholas (fn. 254) in 1300 conveyed land at Manton to Richard of Manton. (fn. 255) What was probably the same estate was held in 1412 by Thomas Russell. (fn. 256) The land may afterwards have passed to Robert Russell, who held it for ¼ knight's fee, (fn. 257) and later to John Russell. It was acquired by William Collingbourne in 1476. (fn. 258) Collingbourne forfeited it in 1485 for supporting Henry Tudor and was attainted and executed. In that year Richard III granted it to his chaplain Edmund Chaddington, possibly as a trustee. (fn. 259) Collingbourne's lands were afterwards restored to his heirs and Manton was allotted to his daughter Jane or Joan who married James Lowther. (fn. 260) Joan and James were in possession by 1520. (fn. 261) On Joan's death in 1541 the estate passed to James Chaddington. (fn. 262) Chaddington sold it in 1547 to William Button, who in the same year sold it to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford and later duke of Somerset. (fn. 263)
The estate was forfeited to the Crown in 1549–50 and after Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552. (fn. 264) In 1564 it was granted to Thomas Chaddington. (fn. 265) William Chaddington and his wife Bridget in 1571 conveyed the estate to Thomas Michelborne (d. 1582). (fn. 266) Although Thomas devised it to a younger son Edward it was held by Thomas's eldest son Laurence at his death in 1611. (fn. 267) Laurence was succeeded by his brother Thomas. (fn. 268) What was possibly the same estate was sold by Thomas Bennett to William, earl of Hertford, in 1633. (fn. 269) It descended with the manor of Barton to the earls and marquesses of Ailesbury, owners in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 270)
In 1320 John Goodhind held the remainder of Manton manor, then reckoned at 60 a. In 1336 he granted the estate, then 106 a. held for ¼ knight's fee, and 50s. rent to the prior and convent of St. Margaret in Preshute. That house held the estate until the Dissolution. (fn. 271) From 1539 the estate was held in dower by the queens of Henry VIII. (fn. 272) In 1547 its reversion on the death of the last, Catherine Parr, was granted to Edward, duke of Somerset, (fn. 273) who, except briefly in 1549–50, held the whole manor until 1552. In 1553 what had been the St. Margaret's estate was granted to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, who sold the estate in 1561 to William Daniell (d. 1604). (fn. 274) In 1618 William Bristowe, his wife Catherine, Anthony Bristowe, and Edward Thurman sold it to William Young, (fn. 275) who c. 1633 sold it in parcels. (fn. 276) Part, called Manton farm, was bought by John Hewlett, on whose death c. 1666 it passed to his son and namesake. From the younger John (d. c. 1679) Manton farm passed to a kinswoman Judith Garlick, whose descendant Edward Garlick sold it to Thomas Bruce-Brudenell (afterwards Brudenell-Bruce), Lord Bruce and from 1776 earl of Ailesbury, in 1774. Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, bought another small estate in Manton in 1780 and his son Charles, marquess of Ailesbury, bought others there in 1828 and 1832. (fn. 277) Some downland, however, was apparently sold to Alexander Taylor c. 1869. (fn. 278) Another farm, also originally part of the manor and owned in 1792 by the trustees of John Braithwaite and in 1847 by Thomas Baskerville Mynors Baskerville (d. 1864), was bought from Thomas's son W. T. Mynors Baskerville by George, marquess of Ailesbury, in 1872. (fn. 279) The reunited estate, apportioned between Manton Weir farm, 488 a., and Elm Tree farm, 93 a., was offered for sale by George, marquess of Ailesbury, in 1929. (fn. 280) The downland acquired by Taylor was afterwards bought by Joseph Watson (created Baron Manton, d. 1922), chairman of the Olympia Agricultural Co. Ltd. Watson's trustees sold the estate in 1927 to Tattersalls Ltd., bloodstock auctioneers, who sold it in 1947 to George Todd, the owner in 1973. Mr. J. V. Bloomfield owned most of the land in Manton held by the marquesses of Ailesbury including the downland in 1974 and 1981. (fn. 281)
There were two small estates at Flexborough in Manton in the late 12th century. An estate formerly Ralph de Babban's was granted by John, while count of Mortain, to Robert the Frenchman, who held it in 1202 and 1214. (fn. 282) A Robert of Flexborough held the land in 1230. (fn. 283) Possibly the same land was held in 1275 by Picot of Flexborough and, like the second Flexborough estate, may afterwards have belonged to St. Margaret's priory. (fn. 284)
John, when count of Mortain, granted the second estate to William Arblaster, to whom Richard I apparently confirmed it. In 1236 Henry III, with the consent of William's son Thomas, granted it to the priory of St. Margaret. (fn. 285) It was possibly the small estate which comprised land in Flexborough field in the 16th century. (fn. 286) In 1553 the land was part of the Manton estate granted to the earl of Pembroke. (fn. 287)
In 1535 the hospital of St. John at Marlborough possessed a small estate at Manton which passed with other hospital lands in 1550 to the mayor and burgesses of Marlborough for the endowment of a free grammar school within the borough. (fn. 288) A farm of 78 a. at Manton still formed part of that endowment in 1883. (fn. 289) Some 30 a. were sold to C. Smith in 1926, 40 a. to W. E. Free & Sons Ltd. in 1928, and 8 a. to A. Pocock in 1938. (fn. 290)
The estate called CLATFORD manor in 1328 (fn. 291) was held in 1066 by Alwin. By 1086 it had passed to Ralph Mortimer. (fn. 292) The overlordship of the estate descended in the Mortimer family and is last expressly mentioned in 1368 when Edmund Mortimer, earl of March (d. 1381), was lord. (fn. 293)
Ralph's son Hugh, probably in the earlier 12th century, gave Clatford to the abbey of St. Victor en Caux (Seine Maritime). The cell established at Clatford, to which priors were appointed, was called the priory either of Clatford or of Hullavington but is unlikely ever to have been more than a farmhouse inhabited by a few monks who oversaw the estate and served a chapel. (fn. 294) From 1338, on the outbreak of war with France, to 1360 and again after 1369 the estate was frequently taken into the king's hands and administered by keepers, usually the priors of Clatford themselves, appointed by the Crown. (fn. 295) When the alien priories were finally suppressed in 1414 the manor was assigned in dower to Queen Joan (d. 1437), relict of Henry IV. (fn. 296) In 1439 the Crown assigned Clatford to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, for life (fn. 297) and in 1441 granted the reversion to Eton College (Bucks.), to which Humphrey surrendered it in 1443. (fn. 298)
In 1547 the college exchanged Clatford with the Crown for other property and the same year it was granted to Edward, duke of Somerset. (fn. 299) The manor was forfeited to the Crown on Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552. (fn. 300) William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, received a grant of Clatford in 1553 (fn. 301) and in 1562 sold it to Thomas Goddard (d. c. 1598), who devised it to his wife Winifred for life. (fn. 302) Clatford passed to Thomas's son Richard (d. 1668) and afterwards to Richard's daughter-in-law Joan Goddard for life. (fn. 303) On Joan's death the manor passed, between 1685 and 1689, to her nephew George FitzJames (d. 1693). George was succeeded by his relict Ann, from 1699 the wife of Edmund Percival. (fn. 304) Ann's kinswoman Hester Kent, from 1716 wife of John Chetwynd, later Viscount Chetwynd, held the reversion which Chetwynd bought before 1728. After Ann Percival's death he sold Clatford to Charles Spencer, duke of Marlborough, in 1756. (fn. 305)
Clatford manor, 673 a. in 1906, descended like the manor of East Overton to Sir Henry Bruce Meux, Bt. (d. 1900), and passed like other Meux estates to Alexander Taylor and afterwards to the Olympia Agricultural Co. Ltd. (fn. 306) In 1923 that company sold Clatford farm, except its downland, to J. B. Wroth whose son Mr. J. T. Wroth succeeded him in 1965. Mr. Wroth sold the farm in 1978 to Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Goodwin, owners in 1981. (fn. 307) The downland became part of the Manton estate owned by the Olympia Agricultural Co. Ltd. and passed with it to Mr. J. V. Bloomfield, owner in 1981.
Clatford Farm, called Clatford Hall in the early 20th century, (fn. 308) faces north across the Kennet valley. Its central range was apparently built in the earlier 17th century, perhaps following an older plan, by the Goddards who in the later 17th century may have added the eastern cross wing and formed the walled forecourt with ornamental gatepiers north of the house. (fn. 309) A western cross wing of unknown date was rebuilt in the 18th century and early in the 19th the northern entrance front was partly refaced in ashlar. The house was being extensively altered in 1979.
The estate which became the manor of LANGDON WICK originated in land within the barton of Marlborough which the king granted to Stanley abbey at fee farm in 1194. (fn. 310) The great tithes were acquired by the abbey in 1250 for a pension of 20s. and thereafter passed with the manor. (fn. 311)
Stanley abbey was dissolved in 1536 and in that year the manor was granted to Edward, Viscount Beauchamp (later earl of Hertford and duke of Somerset). The estate, like the site of Marlborough Castle, was forfeited to the Crown in 1549, restored to Somerset in 1550, and again forfeited by him in 1552. It was apparently restored to Somerset's son Sir Edward Seymour, later earl of Hertford (d. 1621), in 1553. (fn. 312) On Hertford's death the manor passed to his grandson Francis, Baron Seymour, and descended like the site of Marlborough Castle until 1779 when, called Langdon and Wick, it was allotted to Charles William Wyndham, son of Charles Wyndham, earl of Egremont. C. W. Wyndham (d. 1828) was succeeded in turn by his brothers Percy Charles Wyndham (d. 1833) and George, earl of Egremont (d. 1837), and nephew George, earl of Egremont, who in 1844 sold the estate to Joseph Neeld. (fn. 313) On Neeld's death in 1856 Wick Down farm passed to his brother John, later a baronet, who held it in 1860. (fn. 314) The farm later, like Clatford manor, became part of the Meux estate until sold to George Cowing in 1906. From 1911 it passed like Rockley manor. (fn. 315)
Azor held an estate at Rockley in 1066. In 1086 it was held by Edward of Salisbury and reckoned as 1 hide. (fn. 316) From Edward the land, afterwards the manor of TEMPLE ROCKLEY, passed successively to his son Walter and grandson Patrick, earl of Salisbury. (fn. 317) The overlordship was not mentioned again.
In 1155–6 John FitzGilbert, husband of Patrick's sister Sibyl, held the estate. By 1159 John had conveyed it to the Templars, (fn. 318) who held it until the suppression of their order in 1308. (fn. 319) In 1312 the estate passed with other Temple lands to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem in England, the Hospitallers, who held it until the Dissolution. (fn. 320)
The manor was granted to Sir Edward Baynton and his wife Isabel in 1541. (fn. 321) After her husband's death in 1544, (fn. 322) Isabel, who married secondly Sir James Stumpe and thirdly Thomas Stafford, held it until her own death in 1573. (fn. 323) She was succeeded by her son Henry Baynton who sold it to the tenant Thomas Hutchins in 1595. (fn. 324) On Hutchins's death in 1607 the manor passed to Thomas Baskerville. (fn. 325) From Thomas Baskerville (d. 1621) the estate, variously called Temple Down, Temple Rockley, or Temple farm, passed like Winterbourne Bassett manor in the direct male line to Richard Baskerville, who by will proved 1739 devised it to his grandson Thomas Baskerville (d. 1817). Thomas's cousin and successor Thomas Baskerville Mynors, who in 1818 adopted the surname Baskerville, (fn. 326) was the owner in 1846 and 1860. (fn. 327) The estate was apparently acquired by George Cowing in the earlier 20th century and merged with his lands at Langdon Wick and Rockley. (fn. 328)
The tithes arising from Rockley were possibly granted to Amesbury abbey by John FitzGilbert and were confirmed to Amesbury priory when it was refounded in 1177. (fn. 329) They passed with the manor of Rabson in Winterbourne Bassett to Henry Edward Fox, Baron Holland, who was allotted a rent charge when the tithes were commuted in 1846. (fn. 330)
The Barton. In the 12th century the lands which surrounded Marlborough Castle were called the barton. (fn. 331) They included the demesne, meadows beside the Kennet and downland north and south of it, customary holdings at Elcot and Newbury Street, and St. Margaret's priory and its lands.
Until the later 14th century the demesne land of the castle estate was managed directly for the Crown or the keepers or lessees of the castle. Among those employed in 1230 were a hayward, a swineherd, a granger, a shepherd for lambs, 5 carters, 7 ploughmen, and 2 dairymaids. (fn. 332) Sheep-and-corn husbandry prevailed and in 1196 and in 1279 over a thousand sheep were kept. (fn. 333) In the mid 13th century the hundred of Selkley was accustomed to supply 15 ploughteams for the land on which wheat was sown, 15 to plough for barley, and 15 to plough for oats. The hundred also found 50 men to hoop barrels, 17 to mow, 50 to reap, 17 carts to carry hay and another 17 to carry corn. (fn. 334) The men of the abbot of Glastonbury at Winterbourne Monkton were freed from their customary services in 1235. (fn. 335) Men at Rockley apparently subtracted theirs in 1252. (fn. 336) In 1285 free tenants of the barton manor had to do daywork at haymaking and harvest. Customary tenants then each held ½ yardland, presumably in the open fields of Elcot tithing south of the Kennet, and worked for the lord for 3 days each week in winter and for 5 each week in summer. (fn. 337) There were 25 customary tenants at Elcot and Newbury Street in 1466. (fn. 338) Demesne meadows and pastures had been leased in parcels for £46 a year by 1455. In 1473 certain other demesne lands were leased as a farm, later called Barton farm. (fn. 339) Successive leases were held by farmers until the later 16th century but Sir Thomas Wroughton and Sir George Wroughton, lessees from 1578 or earlier to 1634, sublet. From 1634 to 1722 leases belonged to the Seymours of Marlborough House who also sublet, but thereafter the land was again leased to farmers. The farm, worked from Barton Farm, was over 1,000 a. in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 340) Its meadows were watered from the mid 17th century or earlier to the early 20th century. (fn. 341) In 1847 the largest areas of arable lay north-west of Barton Farm in Thorn field, 93 a., King's field, 82 a., and Stars field, 54 a., and the most extensive pastures were north of them on Barton Down, 305 a., and Rough Down, 50 a. Barton Copse, 10 a., was then the only woodland within the farm, timber having been supplied to the owners of the estate from Savernake forest since the Middle Ages. (fn. 342) The right to train racehorses on Barton Down was leased to Alexander Taylor in 1869 and gallops there have since been used by the trainers based at Manton House. Barton farm, part of the Manton estate of the marquesses of Ailesbury in 1929, was a mixed farm c. 1930. (fn. 343) Still part of that estate and in hand in 1981, it was then used for cereal production and the rearing of stock for beef. (fn. 344)
In 1535 the estate of St. Margaret's priory included land near the priory and a few properties in Marlborough and Newbury Street which were worth a total of £4. Its demesne lands of 80 a., scattered throughout the open fields of Elcot tithing, were in hand at the Dissolution and worth £1 12s. (fn. 345) Meadow lands, and pasture rights for sheep, possibly on a sheep common on the downs south of the Kennet, were then part of the estate. (fn. 346) St. Margaret's farm, 282 a. in 1820, had been largely dispersed by 1847 when it comprised only 86 a. (fn. 347)
Free, leasehold, and customary tenancies within the barton manor and St. Margaret's manor remained at St. Margaret's and Newbury Street in the 17th century and in the 18th. Each comprised small parcels of inclosed arable land, some meadows, and shares in Marlborough Common and the sheep common south of the Kennet. (fn. 348) The narrow strip of land at the south end of the parish perhaps represents a corridor to Clench Common in Milton Lilbourne where the barton tenants, and possibly those of St. Margaret's, Clatford, and Manton, may at some time have shared the pasture with other communities. There were 10 freeholders, 17 leaseholders, and 6 copyholders within the barton manor in 1638. (fn. 349) In 1768 there were 14 freeholders, 9 leaseholders, one the tenant of Elcot mill and the others of no more than a few acres each in Baymead, and 7 copyholders who each held small amounts of land. (fn. 350) In 1759 the tenants of George Spencer, duke of Marlborough, at St. Margaret's comprised, besides the occupier of St. Margaret's farm, 13 leaseholders and 6 copyholders. (fn. 351) By the mid 19th century the tenantry land, including the common south of the Kennet, had been apportioned among a few small farms all of less than 100 a. (fn. 352) What remained in 1929 was apportioned among two 30-a. smallholdings and some allotments. (fn. 353) In 1981 Marlborough Common was still open.
By 1204 a large fishpond had been made on the demesne land of the castle estate in the Og valley north-east of Marlborough. An earthen dam, sometimes called a bay, was raised across the Og to make a long narrow pond which extended north to Bay Bridge. (fn. 354) The dam could still be seen in 1981. The pond was stocked with bream in the 13th century when there were also pike and eels in it. Pike and bream were supplied as gifts and to royal residences including Windsor and Clarendon for food and breeding. (fn. 355) A quarter of the fish needed for Edward I's stay of five days at the castle in December 1302 was supplied from the pond. (fn. 356) In 1239 a new dam was built and the pond was raised and enclosed by a hedge. (fn. 357) The dam was raised in 1250 and in 1301 the sluices, which had been broken by floods, were repaired. (fn. 358) The pond was called Baylake in 1466 and, called Baywater, was part of Barton farm in the 17th century. (fn. 359) It had been drained by the earlier 19th century and most of its site, 15 a., became pasture. (fn. 360)
The reach of the Kennet between Manton village and Preshute church was divided into two fisheries which were part of the barton manor. Manton Water, the westerly one, and Stars mead, the easterly one, were apparently leased separately in the Middle Ages. Both were leased with Barton farm from the early 16th century and since the 17th have provided trout fishing. (fn. 361)
There was a large warren on Marlborough Common. In 1232 hares from it were sent to Reading for the king's use. (fn. 362) The constable of the castle in 1269 impounded twelve greyhounds taken into it illegally. Some sixty men with crossbows and other weapons and shielding themselves with doors and windows taken from houses near the castle gates rescued the dogs. (fn. 363) In the later 15th century, when it was said to lie within Savernake forest, the warren was possibly for rabbits. (fn. 364) It was apparently discontinued in the later 16th century, (fn. 365) but a smaller rabbit warren on Marlborough Common was part of Barton farm in 1574 (fn. 366) and in 1635. (fn. 367) Accounts of Port field and Marlborough Common are included in the history of Marlborough. (fn. 368)
A. W. Gale (d. 1969), who in 1922 began to breed bees for sale and later to sell beekeeping equipment, occupied premises in High Street, Marlborough, given up after 1939, and in London Road. He founded a subsidiary company, Honeybee Farmers Ltd., wound up after 1963, to distribute honey in jars. A. W. Gale (Bees) Ltd. in 1982 employed six men to tend a thousand hives at its bee farm in London Road. (fn. 369) Marlborough Ceramic Tiles was established at Barnfield in 1936. The firm opened a factory in Elcot Lane in 1955, to which employees from Barnfield were transferred in 1973, and where 22 people were employed in 1981. (fn. 370) The agricultural engineering firm of T. Pope Ltd. at Granham Hill was acquired by T. H. White Ltd. in 1946. Renamed T. H. White, Marlborough, Ltd. in 1965, the firm moved in 1978 to a factory in London Road where there were 32 employees in 1981. (fn. 371) The small factory established in Elcot Lane by Garrard & Co. during the Second World War to produce precision instruments employed 140 workers in 1960 but closed in 1964. (fn. 372) Pelham Puppets Ltd., begun in Marlborough in 1947, in 1981 occupied the site in London Road used in the later 19th century as a tannery by the Marlborough firm of C. May & Sons, and employed 100 people to make string puppets. (fn. 373) Avco Engineering Ltd., established in Elcot Lane in 1966, employed 120 people in general and precision engineering in 1981. (fn. 374)
Several mills along the Kennet, described in the early 18th century as 'a good river that turns many mills', served Marlborough Castle and its neighbourhood. (fn. 375) None is expressly mentioned until the late 12th century.
To distinguish how many mills were near Marlborough in the 13th century is difficult. The mills of Marlborough for which Hugh de Neville, keeper of Marlborough Castle, rendered account of £5 6s. 8d. in 1195 were perhaps those fitted with two new stones brought from Southampton in 1224. (fn. 376) In 1227 a mill beneath the castle was 'new'. (fn. 377) That was possibly the later Castle Mill, which stood south-east of the castle and outside its precincts. What was presumably another mill was to be 'built anew' in the king's garden in 1237. (fn. 378) That was possibly one of the two new fulling mills in the parish in 1251. (fn. 379) The mill in the king's garden is not expressly mentioned thereafter, although it may still have been in use c. 1356. (fn. 380) Castle Mill was still referred to as the 'new mill' in the later 13th century. (fn. 381) It had acquired the name Castle Mill by 1377. (fn. 382) The mill descended as part of Barton farm and remained within it in the 19th century. It was disused in 1929 or earlier. (fn. 383) Castle Mill was sublet or leased separately from 1279 or earlier until the mid 18th century. Thereafter it was leased with Barton farm. (fn. 384) Besides grinding corn, the mill perhaps also housed fulling machinery in 1613 when a newly built dyehouse stood nearby. (fn. 385) The castle mills, which restricted the supply of water to mills downstream in the mid 13th century, were themselves impeded c. 1356 by the reflux of water from Town or Port Mill. (fn. 386) The site of the garden mill may have been marked by the summer house in the garden of Marlborough House. (fn. 387) That of Castle Mill by Treacle Bolly was visible in 1981.
In 1215 King John conveyed a fulling mill, to be identified as that at Elcot, to Reynold Basset and William of Rowden. (fn. 388) Basset died c. 1224 and in 1225 the constable of Marlborough Castle was ordered to deliver his moiety to a namesake. (fn. 389) William of Rowden died c. 1235 leaving a daughter and heir married to Geoffrey Seymour. (fn. 390) The second Reynold Basset may also have died about then. His daughter and heir Isabel was a minor in 1238. The king had resumed the mill by 1237 in exchange for a pension paid to the heirs of Basset and Rowden. (fn. 391) The building de novo of a fulling mill 'under the mill of Elcot', ordered by the king in 1237, may represent the reconstruction or replacement of Elcot mill. (fn. 392) Elcot mill or mills passed with Castle Mill as part of the Barton estate until the 19th century. (fn. 393) It and the small farm attached to it were sold with other parts of the Savernake estate to the Crown Commissioners in 1950. The house was afterwards sold as a private dwelling; the land was still Crown property in 1982. (fn. 394)
In 1273 the fulling mills 'without Marlborough', perhaps that at Elcot and that in the king's garden, were leased together. It is possible that the mill at Elcot then, as in the 16th century, incorporated a grist mill and a fulling mill within the same building. (fn. 395) Members of the Westbury family were tenants throughout the 17th century. (fn. 396) The buildings still included a fulling mill in 1757, but apparently not in 1794 when the grist mill was leased to Samuel Cook, a Trowbridge clothier. (fn. 397) Cook was expected by the lessor, Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, to provide work for the industrious poor, but not to install spinning machinery in the mill without the consent of the lessor and of the burgesses of Marlborough. He had built a new cloth mill by 1796. (fn. 398) John Brinsden became tenant in 1799 when the property comprised a grist mill, a clothing mill, and a mill house. (fn. 399) Brinsden remained tenant in 1847 when a farm of 61 a. was attached to the mills. (fn. 400)
The mills stood on the Kennet 800 m. southeast of its confluence with the Og. In 1956 they ground corn and generated electricity. (fn. 401) The 18th-century mill house stood alone in 1981.
The mill later called Town or Port Mill, beside the Kennet and approached from Marlborough high street by way of Angel Yard, was, like Castle Mill and Elcot mill, part of the royal demesne. It was granted to Robert Barfleur by John, count of Mortain, between 1189 and 1193. It was regranted by John, then king, to Robert's son Nicholas in 1204. (fn. 402) Nicholas was disseised of it by William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, keeper of Marlborough Castle 1217–19. (fn. 403) Marshal's son William was ordered to restore the mill to Nicholas in 1219. (fn. 404) Nicholas, however, had not regained possession by 1221, when the younger William's successor as keeper of the castle was in turn ordered to reinstate him. (fn. 405)
In the early 13th century there may have been two mills, as there were in 1295, since Robert Barfleur's relict Maud paid for confirmations to her of a 'mill of Marlborough' in both 1210 and 1211. (fn. 406) She apparently held a mill in 1216 and still in 1225. (fn. 407)
In 1300 Nicholas son of Nicholas Barfleur received the king's permission to enfeoff William of Harden in the two mills. (fn. 408) William in turn was licensed in 1317 to convey them to St. Margaret's priory for masses. (fn. 409) The canons acquired the mills in 1319. (fn. 410) There was possibly no more than a single mill in the 16th century. (fn. 411) Port Mill descended with the manor of St. Margaret's until 1799 when George, duke of Marlborough, sold the mill to William Plank. (fn. 412) It was owned by William White in 1847. (fn. 413) J. and E. Dell were the owners in 1907 and 1923. (fn. 414) The mill was apparently rebuilt in the 19th century and ground corn until c. 1922. The upper storey was removed in the 1950s (fn. 415) but the lower storey still stood in 1981.
In 1236 the king granted to the prior and canons of St. Margaret's the right to hold a fair near their house on 19 and 20 July each year. (fn. 416) That right was sold as part of St. Margaret's manor after the Dissolution and the owners of the manor continued to take the profits and tolls of the fair, (fn. 417) worth £1 in 1759, £2 in 1763. (fn. 418) The fair, held in Newbury Street, had become limited to 20 July by the mid 16th century. (fn. 419) After 1752 the fair was held on 31 July. It was still held in 1763 but had apparently ceased by 1817. (fn. 420)
Manton. In 1066 Manton was assessed for geld at 3 hides. Then and in 1086 the estate was worth £3. There was land for 3 ploughteams in 1086. The 1 demesne hide supported 2 serfs and 1 team. On the remaining 2 hides 5 villeins and 5 bordars shared 2 teams. Meadows covered 4 a. and pasture land 40 a. (fn. 421)
A farmstead on Manton Down in the 12th century had been abandoned by 1300. (fn. 422) In the Middle Ages the land of Manton was apportioned among the manor of Manton, two freeholds at Flexborough, and customary holdings attached to the barton estate. The manor was divided into moieties c. 1300 (fn. 423) but it is not clear whether the division affected demesne or customary land. There were twelve customary tenants in Manton of the barton estate in 1466. (fn. 424) One of the freeholds remained a small farm in the early 17th century. (fn. 425) The barton estate land was then partly in a leasehold of 95 a., held by members of the Chapman or Hitchcock family in the later 16th century and earlier 17th, and partly in copyholds of 46 a. and 26 a. The copyholds were held in 1638 by Edward Mortimer and presumably formed Mortimer's farm leased with Barton farm in 1780. (fn. 426) In the 17th century there were several other small farms. (fn. 427) One of the moieties of Manton manor contained a Manton farm in 1633. (fn. 428)
Pasture rights in a meadow were unsuccessfully claimed by men of the barton c. 1246. (fn. 429) Common husbandry was practised in Manton. Barrow and Upper fields were north of the meadow land by the Kennet and South, West, and Flexborough, later Laxbury, fields were south of it. Common pasture was in Manton breach and meadows by the Kennet were held in common. (fn. 430) In the earlier 18th century some of the open fields were inclosed by agreement. (fn. 431) Others remained uninclosed. In 1792 390 a. on either side of the London-Bath road, mostly arable but including meadows and pastures, were either inclosed or reallotted. Of that, 171 a. were allotted to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, 103 a. to the trustees of John Braithwaite, and the remaining 116 a. were divided among several smallholdings. The earl of Ailesbury and Braithwaite's trustees were also allotted watercourses in Manton marsh to water their meadows. Inclosure was accompanied by the amalgamation, rearrangement, and consolidation of most of the smaller farms. A farm of 282 a. and another of 182 a. worked from Manton Grange seem to have been formed in that way. In 1847 there were four large farms and two smaller, one of 83 a. attached to Manton mill and the other of 79 a. (fn. 432)
Woodland of 40 a. was attached to the Manton estate in 1086. (fn. 433) The township and its surrounding lands were considered to lie within Savernake forest and were still part of it in the 14th century. Tenants at Manton were deprived of their pasture rights there in 1332. (fn. 434) In 1847 the only woodland in Manton was in downland plantations of 8 a. and 6 a. north of the Kennet. (fn. 435)
Most land in the tithing was reunited in single ownership in the later 19th century. Two of the larger farms formed after parliamentary inclosure were owned by Charles, marquess of Ailesbury, in 1847 and George, marquess of Ailesbury, bought a third in 1872. In 1895 or earlier and still in 1929 the enlarged estate was divided between Manton Weir farm, 492 a., and Manton (in 1929 Elm Tree) farm, 93 a. (fn. 436) Alexander Taylor (d. 1894), who had bought land in the north part of Manton c. 1869, built up a large racehorse training establishment at Manton House surrounded by level downland gallops. He and his son Alexander (d. 1943) trained many winners of classic flat races. After the son's retirement in 1927 training at Manton was carried on under Tattersalls' ownership by Joseph Lawson. George Todd trained horses, some of which he owned, at Manton from 1947 to 1973. (fn. 437) In 1981 the Manton estate, reunited in single ownership, extended over some 2,200 a. of Preshute parish, of which 100 a. were for training and the rest for mixed farming which included the maintenance of large flocks of sheep and the rearing of stock for beef. (fn. 438)
There was a mill at Manton in 1249 when it was acquired by the prior of St. Margaret's, who retained it until the Dissolution. (fn. 439) It was sold in 1553 to William, earl of Pembroke, and apparently passed with his Manton estate to William Young who in 1632 conveyed the mill to Richard Stephens and Robert Webb, perhaps a trustee or mortgagee. (fn. 440) In 1668, when the property comprised two water mills, William son of Richard Stephens sold his interest to Thomas Webb, son of Robert Webb. (fn. 441) Both mills descended in the Webb family and in 1751 Mary Webb, relict of a Thomas Webb, sold them to Prince Sutton, whose son James sold them, with a farm of 83 a., in 1800 to William White, a baker and maltster of Marlborough. (fn. 442) White occupied the mills in 1815 and in 1835 the trustees of his will conveyed them and the farm to George White, the owner in 1847. (fn. 443) Trustees under his will in 1870 conveyed the estate to S. B. White, who immediately sold it to George, marquess of Ailesbury, (fn. 444) whose successor and namesake offered it for sale in 1929. (fn. 445)
Manton mill ceased to work in 1933. (fn. 446) It and its 19th-century red-brick mill house stand on the Kennet west of the lane linking Manton with the London-Bath road. The mill, also of red brick and perhaps of the 18th or early 19th century, incorporates some older walling. An undershot wheel of the 19th century survived in the south range in 1981.
Clatford. The 5-hide estate which became Clatford manor was worth £5 in 1066 and 1086. In 1086 there were 3 ploughteams and 1 serf on the 3-hide demesne. A villein and 7 bordars had 1 team. There were 5 a. of meadow and, presumably on the downs north of the Kennet, pasture ½ league long and 3 furlongs broad. (fn. 447)
In 1337 the demesne farm supported 12 oxen, 8 cows, 157 ewes, and 122 lambs; 15 or more cheeses were produced, and 20 a. were sown with wheat, 20 a. with barley, and 20 a. with oats. The hay crop was worth £1. (fn. 448) The demesne was leased from 1400 or earlier, from 1450 to 1532 to members of the Chapman or Hitchcock family. (fn. 449) Seven copyholds mentioned in 1443, of which four comprised a total of 9 yardlands, each included small areas of meadow and pasture in common for 80 sheep to a yardland. (fn. 450) The Goddards, owners of the manor in the later 16th century and the 17th, managed the demesne directly and may have lived at Clatford. The demesne arable was reckoned at 270 a. in 1700. In that year a common pasture was described as lately inclosed. (fn. 451) It is likely that much tenantry land was taken to enlarge Clatford farm both before and in the 18th century. Small copyholds survived in the later 18th century but had been extinguished by the earlier 19th when vestiges of the open fields remained north of the LondonBath road in East field and on both sides of that road in West field. (fn. 452)
From the mid 18th century to 1923 Clatford farm was leased and since 1923 has been occupied by the owners. (fn. 453) In 1840 it occupied the whole tithing and was a predominantly arable farm of 701 a. including water meadows beside the Kennet and 163 a. of downland in the north part of the tithing. (fn. 454) Clatford was a mixed farm c. 1930 and in 1979 when it comprised 624 a. (fn. 455) Clatford Down was leased as gallops in 1906 (fn. 456) and in 1981 was still used for training racehorses stabled at Manton.
In 1086 the woodland at Clatford was ½ league square. (fn. 457) The woods, in the south part of the tithing, were considered part of Savernake forest until put out in 1330. (fn. 458) In the later 18th century and the earlier 19th they were considered part of West Woods, most of which was in Overton. (fn. 459) In 1840 the Clatford woods were Foxbury, 47 a., Short Oaks, 7 a., Bottom, 28 a., and Ashen, 12 a., coppices. (fn. 460) Bottom coppice had been grubbed up by 1906. (fn. 461)
In 1086 there was a mill on Ralph Mortimer's estate. (fn. 462) It descended with Clatford manor until the 20th century and was leased separately in the 18th century but from the earlier 19th as part of Clatford farm. It was last expressly mentioned in 1906. (fn. 463) In 1416 the farmer of Clatford priory was accused of allowing the water mill with its bridge and flood gates to fall down. (fn. 464) The overgrown mill race in 1981 marked the site of the mill north-west of Clatford.
Langdon Wick. The downland called Langdon Wick or Wick Down was probably cultivated from the later Bronze Age. There is evidence of enclosures of that date and of a later field system on Preshute Down. (fn. 465) It was acquired by Stanley abbey in 1194 for sheep rearing, with which the medieval enclosure near Wick Down Farm may have been connected. (fn. 466) As Wick Down farm the land was leased for £240 yearly in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 467) The 743-a. farm, worked from Wick Down Farm, was in 1840 still given over to sheep-and-corn husbandry and then supported a flock of 600 sheep. (fn. 468) In 1981 it was part of the farm worked by Mereacre Ltd. from Temple Farm in Ogbourne St. Andrew. (fn. 469)
Temple Rockley. In 1066 and in 1086 the estate at Temple Rockley was worth £2 and was assessed at 1 hide. The demesne contained enough land to support 1 ploughteam. The rest of the estate supported 1 villein and 3 bordars with 1 ploughteam. There were 20 a. of pasture. (fn. 470)
The demesne comprised 1 carucate in 1185: eight tenants held 5 a. each and a ninth a croft. The eight had to perform boonwork with two men in the autumn, and to reap and to mow. Wives of tenants had to wash, shear, and milk the sheep. (fn. 471) Then and later in the Middle Ages the manor was administered from the preceptory of Sandford (Oxon.). (fn. 472) It was part of an estate which included land in Ogbourne St. Andrew and in Lockeridge in Overton. (fn. 473)
In 1338 there was a chief messuage, 320 a. of arable, a several pasture for 21 large animals, pasture for 900 sheep, and 6 a. of meadow. (fn. 474) No customary tenant was mentioned then or later.
The farm was leased to William Collingbourne before 1485. (fn. 475) In 1519 it was leased to Guthlac Overton, still farmer in 1540. (fn. 476) Three Thomas Goddards were lessees in turn in the mid 16th century and farmers may be traced until the 19th century. (fn. 477) The 400-a. downland farm was mostly devoted to sheep, although c. 1736 an undertenant built a brick kiln and drying house there. (fn. 478) The farm was worked in 1846 from the farmhouse called Temple Farm in 1960, Top Temple in 1981. (fn. 479) It was part of a more extensive mixed farm worked by Mereacre Ltd. from Temple Farm in Ogbourne St. Andrew in 1981. (fn. 480)
The honor of Marlborough and the hundred of the barton in the 13th century (fn. 481) presumably included the tithings of Elcot and Langdon Wick, the king's tithing of Manton, and possibly the tithing of Temple Rockley. In 1275 of the two tithings in Manton one, called the king's tithing, was made up of barton tenants in Manton who owed suit at the barton courts. (fn. 482) The honor of Marlborough was administered by the constable of the castle. (fn. 483) Some jurisdiction was delegated to John Bailey, tenant of the barton farm from 1503 to 1518. Bailey was also entitled to perquisites of court, presumably from the views of frankpledge and manorial courts held for the barton from the 15th century or earlier. (fn. 484) No record of the medieval courts of the honor and hundred is known to survive.
The franchises granted with the castle and barton estate to Edward, duke of Somerset, in 1547 were those enjoyed by grantees of the estate in the Middle Ages. (fn. 485) Although also lords of Selkley hundred, Somerset and his successors as owners of the barton estate apparently never exercised their franchisal jurisdiction through the hundred courts, except perhaps occasionally for Elcot tithing in the later 18th century and in the 19th. (fn. 486) Records of courts baron for the barton manor are extant for 1732–41 and 1760–1817. The courts, at which little was done except to collect quitrents, were held each summer until c. 1762 and thereafter each autumn. (fn. 487)
Direct royal jurisdiction over estates in the parish granted to religious houses was relinquished by Henry III. Between 1216 and 1272 the abbot of Stanley, lord of Langdon Wick, withdrew his men from the barton court. (fn. 488) In 1229 the king granted the prior of St. Margaret's the right to take within the barton the toll paid by the barton tenants for brewing and selling ale. (fn. 489) That privilege was exchanged in 1344. (fn. 490) It was probably with royal permission that c. 1245 the prior withdrew the suit of his tenants from the barton court, thereby creating a tithing which possibly did not survive the Dissolution. (fn. 491)
The second tithing in Manton comprised the tenants of the honor of Wallingford there who until c. 1259 attended the courts of Selkley hundred. (fn. 492) The tithing may thereafter, as in the earlier 16th century, have been represented by its tithingman at the views of frankpledge held at Ogbourne St. George for the honor of Wallingford. (fn. 493) Records of manorial courts for Manton manor survive for 1611–13. The courts, held each spring, were concerned with matters such as illegal undertenancies, repair of tenements, and the building of cottages on the waste. In 1611 two supervisors of the commons were elected. (fn. 494)
Between 1173 and 1182 Henry III granted to the monks of St. Victor, who held the manor of Clatford, liberties throughout their English lands including quittance from suit of shire and hundred and from tolls imposed in royal boroughs, ports, markets, and castles. Although those liberties were confirmed in 1328 the priors of Clatford, especially during the war with France, may never have fully used them. (fn. 495) At the later 14th-century courts, held once or twice yearly, the usual manorial business, such as admittances to copyholds, fugitive serfs, ruinous tenements, and the taking of the lord's wood and illegal fishing in his waters, was presented. Repairs to Broad and Blanchard's bridges were often ordered. (fn. 496) Courts from 1443 to 1446 and from 1450 to 1453 were apparently held twice yearly. Although called views of frankpledge with courts, the business transacted was limited to matters such as those mentioned above. (fn. 497) Manor courts were held in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 498)
In 1834 the parish had a cottage at Manton for the use of paupers. It was then occupied by two poor families but was later sold. (fn. 499) The parish became part of Marlborough poor-law union in 1835. (fn. 500)
It is likely that the church which was held in 1086 with a hide of land in Marlborough, perhaps by gift of the king, by William Beaufay, bishop of East Anglia (d. 1091), was Preshute church, (fn. 501) which is known to have been standing in the 12th century. Bishop Beaufay gave or devised to Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, 'the churches of Marlborough', among which Preshute church was probably included although it was not expressly said to be so until 1223. In 1091 Bishop Osmund endowed the newly constituted cathedral chapter at Salisbury with those churches. (fn. 502) Their revenues, and later those of Blewbury (Berks., later Oxon.), were used to endow the prebend of Blewbury and Marlborough. (fn. 503) The prebend was dissolved between 1142 and 1184 by Jocelin de Bohun, bishop of Salisbury, who used its endowments to augment the common fund of Salisbury chapter. (fn. 504) By the early 13th century, however, it had been recon- stituted and its original endowments restored. The advowson of the prebend was then held by members of the Sandford family. (fn. 505) In 1223 the bishop challenged the right of Hugh Sandford, to whom the advowson had passed in 1222, to present prebendaries. (fn. 506) The outcome of the dispute was that Sandford remained patron but that the churches of Preshute and Marlborough were taken from the prebend and assigned to the bishop, in whose peculiar jurisdiction they thenceforth remained. (fn. 507)
The bishops of Salisbury collated rectors to Preshute for the rest of the 13th century. (fn. 508) In 1322 the bishop appropriated the church to the use of the cathedral choristers, their warden, and their schoolmaster, the appropriation to take effect on the death or resignation of the rector. The bishop reserved the right to ordain a vicarage and to nominate a vicar whom the warden would present to him for institution. (fn. 509) Although the warden and choristers were admitted as appropriate rectors in 1323, and a vicarage was ordained and a vicar nominated by the bishop in 1324, the choristers' acquisition of the church's revenues was deferred when the rector, deprived of an alternative preferment by the provision of a papal nominee, was licensed by the bishop to return to Preshute in 1324. (fn. 510) Despite attempts to find an alternative benefice for the rector, (fn. 511) the warden and choristers did not finally gain possession until his death in 1329. (fn. 512) Since then, at the nomination of the bishop, they have presented vicars. (fn. 513) The only known exception occurred in 1579 when the archdeacon of Salisbury presented. (fn. 514) In 1976 the vicarage was united with the united benefice of Marlborough, St. Mary the Virgin with St. Peter and St. Paul, and a team ministry was established. (fn. 515)
In 1291 Preshute church was valued at £20, and in 1330 at £27. (fn. 516) The vicarage was worth £8 in 1535. (fn. 517) It was augmented in 1560 by £13 6s. 8d. yearly from the choristers. (fn. 518) In 1634 the oblations, stole fees, and the tithes of Clatford were allotted to the vicar, (fn. 519) and in 1662 the choristers gave an additional £25. (fn. 520) From 1829 to 1831 the vicar received an average yearly income of £186. (fn. 521)
From 1223 to 1330 the rectors of Preshute were entitled to all tithes from the entire parish with two exceptions. By the later 12th century the tithes of Temple Rockley manor had been granted to Amesbury abbey and the abbot of Stanley claimed by papal privilege to be exempt from payment of small tithes from his manor of Langdon Wick. In 1250 the rector agreed with the abbot to receive 20s. yearly in place of the great tithes of Langdon Wick. (fn. 522) The rector established his right in 1252 to tithes from the land east of Marlborough which became 'new land' of the borough. He was, however, to pay 40s. yearly to the then vicar of St. Mary's, Marlborough, during that vicar's incumbency, and assumed the vicar of St. Mary's duty to pay to the deans of Salisbury, after the death of the incumbent dean, 20s. a year for a candle to burn in the choir of the cathedral. (fn. 523) The rector paid the pension in 1291. (fn. 524) Its payment became the responsibility of the vicar in 1330, (fn. 525) but is not afterwards recorded.
When the vicarage of Preshute was endowed in 1330 the vicars became responsible for collecting the tithes and doing the other rectorial duties. They paid £20 yearly from those revenues to the choristers. (fn. 526) By the later 15th century, however, the choristers had let the rectory at farm for £20 yearly to lay tenants, who possibly paid a yearly sum to the vicars, (fn. 527) as they were enjoined to do in the early 17th century. (fn. 528) By 1677 the vicar's tithes from the demesne lands of Clatford manor had been commuted for 20s. and 1 a. of wheat. Those from the tenantry lands were paid in kind in 1677 but, following difficulty in collecting them c. 1700, the vicars leased them to the owners of Clatford manor at rents varying from £60 to £80. (fn. 529) In 1840 they were valued at £179 and commuted. (fn. 530)
Since no glebe was apparently attached to either of the Marlborough churches, it is possible that the rectors of Preshute had the hide mentioned in 1086. It may have become the glebe farm of 60 a. held by the choristers. (fn. 531) A close allotted to the vicar in 1330 was probably the vicar's close mentioned in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 532) The vicar had 1 a. of glebe in Manton in the 19th century. (fn. 533) It was presumably the land sold in 1937. (fn. 534)
The rectory house was assigned to the vicar in 1330. (fn. 535) In 1560 the vicar was given buildings newly erected in the churchyard. (fn. 536) They may have included a vicarage house, presumably that burnt down c. 1606. (fn. 537) The house reputedly stood in the south-east part of the churchyard. (fn. 538) Where the 17th-century incumbents lived is unknown. From the earlier 18th to the earlier 19th century, while the vicarage was held in plurality with the rectory of St. Peter, Marlborough, the vicars lived at Marlborough. (fn. 539) There was still no house in Preshute for the vicar in 1829. (fn. 540) The vicar lived in a rented house on the north side of the London-Bath road in 1850. (fn. 541) The house was bought as a glebe house in 1926 and sold in 1976, when it was replaced by a new vicarage house at West Manton. (fn. 542)
A daughter church of St. Martin was built between 1252 and 1254 by the inhabitants of the 'new land' east of Marlborough, and the area which it served was transferred to St. Mary's parish, Marlborough, c. 1548. (fn. 543)
A recluse called Eve who lived at Preshute, perhaps in a cell attached to the church, in 1215 received 1d. daily from the king for life. (fn. 544) In 1250 Roger Green, rector of Preshute, who was also a canon of Salisbury, was licensed to hold a third benefice. (fn. 545) The royalist sympathies of Aylmer Lynch caused his ejection from the vicarage in 1647. He was replaced by the vicar of St. Mary's, Marlborough, Thomas Miles, who, despite his puritan leanings, was formally instituted in 1662. (fn. 546) It is likely that the vicarage house mentioned above was not rebuilt after c. 1606 because 17thcentury incumbents held other richer benefices on which they lived. Miles himself possibly lived at Poole Keynes (now Glos.) after he became rector there in 1662. (fn. 547) Henry Thorpe, vicar 1711–23, was also a canon of Salisbury where he possibly lived. (fn. 548) Joseph Soley, vicar 1723–6, was also a canon of Winchester. (fn. 549) From 1726 to 1829, except for the period 1795–1808, the vicarage was held in plurality with the rectory of St. Peter's, Marlborough. (fn. 550) Thomas Meyler, vicar 1773–86, remarked that one of his livings provided bread and cheese and the other a place to eat and sleep. Both he and Joseph Edwards, vicar 1795–1808, were also masters of Marlborough Grammar School. (fn. 551) Curates usually assisted the vicars from the 17th century and included John Collinson, 1779–80, author of The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset published in 1791. (fn. 552)
In 1783 services with sermons were held once on Sundays, alternately in the morning and afternoon, and on Christmas day and Good Friday. The Sacrament was administered to twelve communicants on Christmas and Easter days, Whit Sunday, and Michaelmas day. (fn. 553) On Census Sunday 1851 the morning service was attended by 208 people and that held in the afternoon by 304. (fn. 554) The vicar complained in 1864 of the difficulty of exercising his ministry in a large scattered parish. He stressed the need for chapels of ease at St. Margaret's and at Rockley in Ogbourne St. Andrew where one was built in 1872. Services with sermons were held at Preshute twice on Sundays in 1864 and on Christmas day, Good Friday, Ascension day, on Wednesday and Friday evenings during Lent with sermons at the Wednesday services, and on saints' days if congregations presented themselves. No more than 20 people attended except on Sundays, Christmas day, and Good Friday, when the average congregation was 200. Holy Communion was celebrated on Christmas and Easter days, on the first Sunday in each month, and in alternate years on Whit and Trinity Sundays. An average of 26 people communicated at the great festivals and 18 at other times. (fn. 555)
The church of ST. GEORGE, so dedicated by 1232, (fn. 556) comprises a chancel with north vestry, nave with south aisle and south porch, and west tower. (fn. 557) Except for the tower, which is of ashlar, it is built of flint with stone dressings.
The chancel arch of a 12th-century church survived at Preshute until 1854. (fn. 558) That church was enlarged by the addition of a west tower and south aisle which was approached through an arcade of four bays. In the 14th century the south aisle, but not the piers, and the chancel were probably rebuilt and the south doorway reset. The tower was rebuilt in the 15th century. At the same time a new window and rood stair were added at the east end of the north wall of the nave. The nave roof was reconstructed to a lower pitch in the later 15th or earlier 16th century. In 1726 Algernon, earl of Hertford, put up a west gallery to serve as a family pew. (fn. 559) It was reserved for guests staying at the Castle inn in 1783. There was then a gallery in the south-east corner of the nave. (fn. 560) In 1854 the church, except the tower, tower arch, and piers, was rebuilt to designs by T. H. Wyatt. (fn. 561) In that rebuilding the outline of the medieval church was preserved.
Of the fittings of the old church little remains. Part of a square 12th-century font is built into the porch. Its successor is a large elaborately turned and polished 13th-century font of black Tournai marble, which was in the church c. 1600 and may have been brought from St. Nicholas's chapel in Marlborough Castle after 1417. (fn. 562) Before the mid 19th century the east wall of the chancel was apparently lined with a panelled dado and the nave fitted with high panelled box pews. (fn. 563)
The parish cottage which housed paupers in 1834 had been assigned, with 5 a. in Manton, for church repairs, for which £50 yielded by its sale was invested. In 1981 the income was £6. (fn. 564)
The parish kept a chalice weighing 11 oz. in 1553 when plate weighing 3 oz. was taken by the royal commissioners. (fn. 565) In 1783 there were a small silver cup and flagon and a pewter flagon and plate. (fn. 566) The church still possessed the pewter in 1891 and two chalices and two patens, all hallmarked 1830. (fn. 567) Another silver chalice was given in 1918. (fn. 568)
There were three bells in the church in 1553. A new ring of five bells was cast in 1710 by Robert and William Cor. The fourth bell was recast by James Wells of Aldbourne in 1809 and the entire peal by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon (Surr.) in 1925. A new treble was added in 1938. (fn. 569)
A new register was begun in the spring of 1606 after the old was burnt. Registrations of baptisms, marriages, and burials are complete. (fn. 570)
James White, tenant of the Castle inn, was a recusant in 1778 and later. (fn. 571) There was dissent in the St. Margaret's area in 1667 and three dissenters were recorded in the parish in 1674 and another three in 1679. (fn. 572) In the later 18th century the nearness of Marlborough with its flourishing chapels presumably discouraged chapel building in the normally favourable conditions of a large parish with scattered settlements, attracting those inclined to dissent to the borough. (fn. 573)
William Sanger of Salisbury, a noted evangelist, certified premises at Manton for Primitive Methodists in 1817. (fn. 574) That building was replaced by another, built c. 1860 and closed c. 1920, which stood at Manton Corner in the burial ground opened there by the Marlborough Friends in 1658. (fn. 575) In 1818 John Gosling, another Primitive Methodist, registered a field of 3 a. in Preshute. The land was probably in St. Margaret's where Sanger registered a chapel belonging to Gosling in 1825. (fn. 576)
Independents certified chapels in Preshute in 1826, 1827, and 1829. (fn. 577) In 1864 there were reckoned to be a hundred dissenters in Preshute consisting of Primitive Methodists and of Wesleyans, who met in a cottage. (fn. 578)
In 1833 the parishioners of Preshute were considered illiterate. The vicar's attempts that year to start a school possibly resulted in the opening of one in High Street in Manton where the school stood in 1981. (fn. 579) The school may have been rebuilt in 1845 and in 1858 was attended by 20–30 children. (fn. 580) Some 20–30 infants were taught in a cottage and the children of the St. Margaret's area were taught in a small room, inadequate for its purpose, in a large 'forlorn-looking' building in 1858. Some children, however, were then and later sent to the schools in Marlborough. (fn. 581) In 1864 both the Manton and St. Margaret's schools were attended by an average of between 30 and 40 children. (fn. 582) The education provided was thought defective because the mistresses were uncertificated and because scattered settlement in a large parish discouraged attendance. (fn. 583) The National school at St. Margaret's, so called in 1867, ceased between 1867 and 1871. In 1871 a school, perhaps that at Manton, was attended by 20 boys and 21 girls. Two private schools were attended by 27 boys and 30 girls, and an adventure school by 25 boys. (fn. 584)
In 1894 Manton school was enlarged, and in 1906, when it was the only school in Preshute Without parish, it was attended by an average of 75 pupils and belonged to the churchwardens and overseers of Preshute. (fn. 585) Average attendance was over 100 in 1908–9 and 1911–12. (fn. 586) In 1981 65 children were taught by one part-time and three full-time teachers. (fn. 587)
Marlborough College, so called from 1845, was opened in the former Castle inn in 1843. Since its story is of national rather than of local importance, it has been treated elsewhere. (fn. 588)
In 1844 J. G. George ran a boys' boarding school in St. Margaret's but no more is known of it. (fn. 589) The Misses Smith had a private school for girls at Mayfield Villa, 40 London Road, in 1865 or earlier. (fn. 590) That school was owned and run by Misses E. M. and R. Hugill from 1897 or earlier until 1921. In that year and until 1945 Mayfield, still owned by the Hugills, was used as a girls' boarding house by Marlborough Grammar School. (fn. 591) Miss R. Hugill sold it in 1945 to Mrs. L. Wynburne who ran Mayfield College as a preparatory school for boys and girls. Older pupils were admitted in the later 1960s and the school closed in 1968. (fn. 592)
Charities for the Poor.
John Colman (d. 1619) of Dinton gave £13 6s. 8d. to apprentice poor children of Preshute. The capital had apparently been spent by 1786 and in 1905 the charity was deemed lost. (fn. 593)
By deed of 1888 H. B. Turner invested £55 for blankets to be lent to poor parishioners. The charity, called the Caroline Charlotte and Stephana Maria Turner charity, was administered in 1905, when there were 20 pairs of blankets in stock, as the donor had directed. (fn. 594) Its income in 1980 was £5.37. (fn. 595)
In 1938 Ethel Mary Dominy devised a house, formerly a mission hall called Salem, on the south side of High Street in Manton for use by an old person. A scheme of 1951 empowered the trustees to charge 5s. rent weekly. (fn. 596) The income from the Dominy charity was combined with that from the Turner charity in 1962 and in 1980 the total was used to help old people in Manton. (fn. 597)