A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.
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Milton Lilbourne parish lies south of Marlborough in the east part of the Vale of Pewsey. (fn. 1) It is long and narrow, measured 1,452 ha. (3,588 a.), reaches from the Marlborough Downs in the north to Salisbury Plain in the south, and contains the strips of land of four settlements, Milton Lilbourne and Fyfield to the south, Clench and Milcot to the north. In 1987, when the northern tip was transferred to Savernake parish and small areas were exchanged with Pewsey, Milton Lilbourne parish was reduced to 1,411 ha. (fn. 2)
The long and straight boundary which Milcot and Fyfield had with Pewsey in the 10th century has survived as the west boundary of Milton Lilbourne parish. The Iron-Age hill fort on Martinsell Hill, which lay east of Pewsey's boundary in the 10th century, was later part of Pewsey parish. (fn. 3) On the east the boundary between Milton Lilbourne and Easton is also straight and its whole length is marked by a road; its south part follows a dry valley for 1.5 km. On the extreme south the boundary with Collingbourne Kingston, marked by a barrow, had been defined by c. 933. (fn. 4) On the north-east Clench's boundary with Wootton Rivers is irregular: it was uncertain when, c. 1215 and c. 1327, tithes were disputed by the appropriator of Milton Lilbourne church and the rector of Wootton Rivers, (fn. 5) and the irregularity may be due partly to compromise.
The parish and each of the four strips of land within it lie north–south across the geological outcrops. The chalk of the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain outcrops at the north and south ends of the parish respectively. To the north the scarp of the downs across the parish forms an arc and was called Bowcliff, the highest point of which is at 285 m.; north of Bowcliff there are deposits of clay-with-flints on Clench common, which declines gently to 206 m. at the north corner of the parish. To the south the highest point is at 238 m. on Milton Hill a little south of the scarp of the plain; south of the scarp the land slopes gently, is crossed by several dry valleys, and falls to 163 m. at the south-east corner of the parish. Between the scarps Lower Chalk outcrops to north and south, and in the centre, over about half the parish, Upper Greensand outcrops. The greensand is crossed east–west by four head streams of the Christchurch Avon, one of which is called Deane Water. The lowest point in the parish, at 115 m., is where the southernmost leaves it. In all four parts of the parish there were open fields on the greensand and the Lower Chalk, common pastures for sheep or cattle on the greensand, and rough pasture on the downs. Milton Lilbourne also had open fields on the downs. (fn. 6) Much of the parish is suitable for both arable and pasture: after inclosure there was usually more arable than pasture, (fn. 7) but in the earlier 20th century there was more pasture than arable. (fn. 8)
The parish, possibly excluding Clench, had 107 poll-tax payers in 1377; (fn. 9) it may have had no more than 362 inhabitants in 1676. (fn. 10) The population was 573 in 1801, 542 in 1811. It rose rapidly to reach a peak of 709 in 1841. By 1881 it had fallen to 599, by 1921 to 507, (fn. 11) and by 1971 to 469. After the changes of 1987 to the parish boundary it was 484 in 1991. (fn. 12)
The parish lies on the east-west route linking the villages between Burbage and Pewsey. Surviving tracks suggest that an early road linked the villages from centre to centre, but by the later 18th century the present road, on higher ground and bypassing each village at its north end, had superseded it. (fn. 13) Milton Lilbourne village and Fyfield village each has a north–south street, but neither street forms part of a main road. A north–south road via Clench links both villages to Marlborough; the section across Bowcliff was apparently remade between 1773 and 1817, (fn. 14) and the section across Clench common was remade on a straight course in the mid 19th century. (fn. 15) From the south end of Milton Lilbourne village a road leads south and south-east to the downs, joins the road along the east boundary of the parish, and linked Milton Lilbourne to Salisbury via the Marlborough–Salisbury road and Everleigh. The Everleigh–Salisbury part of the road was closed c. 1900 (fn. 16) and the road from Milton Lilbourne has been tarmacadamed for only 2 km. south of the village. A road also leads south from Fyfield village to the downs; the part south of the stream flowing from the south end of Milton Lilbourne village was declared a private road in 1823. (fn. 17) Other downland tracks included one from Easton to West Everleigh in Everleigh which in 1996 survived across Milton Lilbourne parish on the course it followed in 1773. (fn. 18) The Kennet & Avon canal, fully open from 1810, was built across the parish c. 1806–7; (fn. 19) it was restored in the early 1970s. (fn. 20) A little south of and parallel to it the Berks. & Hants Extension Railway was opened in 1862; (fn. 21) Pewsey was the nearest station.
In the north corner of the parish Neolithic and Bronze-Age artefacts were found on Clench common. On the chalk downland in the south part an artefact of the late Bronze Age was found and there are seven barrows in a group, other barrows, prehistoric earthworks, and a prehistoric field system. One of the barrows, Giant's grave, is an exceptionally large long barrow. On the greensand in the north part of the parish there was a Romano-British settlement; pottery from an earlier period and kilns have been found on the site. (fn. 22)
In 1237 the half of the parish north of Milton Lilbourne village and Fyfield village was defined as part of Savernake forest. All but Clench common was disafforested in 1330. (fn. 23) Clench common was later part of Clench manor (fn. 24) and of the parish.
The village apparently takes the substantive part of its name, the middle tun, from its relationship to Easton, the east tun, (fn. 25) to the east and Pewsey to the west. The suffix is derived from Lillebonne, the surname of the lords of the principal manor from the 12th century to the 15th, (fn. 26) and was in use in 1249; (fn. 27) in the 18th century the diocese adopted the form Lilborne for the name of the benefice, (fn. 28) but the form Lilbourne, presumably derived by analogy with the many villages in Wiltshire which stand beside small streams, was frequently used in the 19th century, (fn. 29) was adopted by the Ordnance Survey, (fn. 30) and has become the normal form of the suffix in the 20th century.
Milton Lilbourne is a street village, its name implies that it was founded, or named, after Easton, and, like Easton, it may have been colonized from Pewsey. (fn. 31) The church, the vicarage house, and the principal manor house stand in the south part of the street on the west side. (fn. 32) Immediately south of the vicarage house an east–west lane crosses the street, and south of that three large houses were standing in 1773: (fn. 33) one beside the lane to the east was replaced by King Hall, that beside the lane to the west survives as Havering House and has given a name to Havering Lane, (fn. 34) and one has been demolished. Beside Havering Lane two thatched cottages standing in 1996 had probably been built by 1700. Beside the lane to the east King Hall Farmhouse, of red brick, was built c. 1750 (fn. 35) and there are stables and farm buildings of red brick. South of the crossroads a school and Lower Farm were built in the later 19th century (fn. 36) and extensive farm buildings west of the street were erected in the mid 19th century and later (fn. 37) and demolished in 1996. Thatched farm buildings east of the street were converted for residence c. 1991. (fn. 38) Before the 19th century most of the farmsteads apparently stood in the north part of the street, where some eight farmhouses survived in 1996. On the east side the farmhouses included Upper Farm, built of red brick in the late 18th century with a three-bayed west front and extended in the 19th and 20th centuries, a timber-framed and thatched house of the 17th century, and an extended house, partly timber-framed and partly of brick, probably of 17th-century origin. On the west side two thatched farmhouses are apparently timber framed, encased in brick, and 17th-century, a third farmhouse is of red brick and of the late 18th century, and Lawn Farm is a red-brick farmhouse built in 1867. (fn. 39) At the north end on the west side eight houses were built in Forge Close c. 1971, (fn. 40) and in the 1990s some farm buildings were converted for residence (fn. 41) and others replaced by several new houses. Near the church and on the east side of the street there are two 18th-century houses of brick, one thatched and the other with an extension of c. 1900, and a group of three thatched cottages incorporating timber framing and walls of red brick. (fn. 42) Several other cottages and small houses, none apparently built before the 17th century, also stand along the street. A memorial hall had been built south of the church by 1923: (fn. 43) it was replaced by a village hall built on the east side of the street in 1974. (fn. 44) The whole street, apart from Forge Close, was designated a conservation area in 1985. (fn. 45)
Several offshoots of Milton Lilbourne village grew in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the mid 19th century a lane parallel to and north of Havering Lane, and a north–south lane linking it to Havering Lane, were laid out west of the village, and several houses and cottages were built beside them. (fn. 46) In the square formed by those lanes, Havering Lane, and the village street 15 houses and 7 bungalows were built by the rural district council between 1947 and 1954; (fn. 47) a few other houses and bungalows were built beside the lanes in the 20th century, and 6 private houses were built in the square in the late 20th century. Also in the mid 19th century farm buildings were erected at the west end of Havering Lane; (fn. 48) between them and Havering House 7 houses were built in the 20th century, and in the late 20th century the farm buildings were replaced by extensive new ones. (fn. 49) In the north-west angle of the crossroads at the north end of the village street a parish room was built c. 1906. (fn. 50) It was removed in 1927 when eight council houses were built there; (fn. 51) afterwards a nonconformist chapel and several other houses were built in the north-west angle, and in the later 20th century a commercial garage was built in the south-west angle. (fn. 52)
Littleworth, so called in the later 19th century, (fn. 53) is a hamlet 300 m. north of the north end of Milton Lilbourne village street. A red-brick house of the 18th century was standing there in 1773. (fn. 54) Another red-brick house and two pairs of cottages, neither of which survives, had been built by 1842, and a nonconformist chapel and a third red-brick house were built there between 1843 and 1886. (fn. 55) A house and 11 bungalows were built at Littleworth in the 20th century.
West of the crossroads at the north end of the village street two pairs of thatched cottages were built on the verge of the Burbage–Pewsey road in the 17th or 18th century, and west of them a hamlet was called Little Salisbury in 1691 and later, but occasionally Newtown; (fn. 56) some nine cottages were standing at Little Salisbury in 1842, (fn. 57) and a beerhouse, the Three Horse Shoes, was opened there in the late 19th century. (fn. 58) The Three Horse Shoes, occupying a building partly of the 19th century and partly older, remained open in 1996, when other buildings at Little Salisbury included one which may have been built as a cottage in the 17th century and, standing on Fyfield's land, workshops and other buildings on the site of a small 19th-century farmstead. (fn. 59) East of the crossroads and on the south side of the Burbage road two pairs of council houses were built in 1938. (fn. 60)
A mill standing on Milton Lilbourne manor in the late 16th century and later gave the name New Mill to a nearby settlement in Clench. (fn. 61) On the site of Totteridge Farm east of the mill barns were standing in the earlier 18th century. A timber-framed farmhouse, Totteridge Farm, was built shortly before 1754, (fn. 62) given a new south front of red brick in the later 18th century, and extended east c. 1800 and west in the mid 20th century. Large and mainly 20thcentury farm buildings stood at the farmstead in 1996. Milton Hill Farm was built on the downs south of Milton Lilbourne village shortly before 1724. (fn. 63) The farmhouse was replaced by a new house in the late 18th century, a pair of cottages built apparently in the mid 19th century was demolished when two new pairs were built in the mid 1940s, (fn. 64) and large farm buildings were erected in the 20th century.
Between East Wick in Wootton Rivers and West Wick in Pewsey the abbey of Battle (Suss.) held an estate called Wick, occasionally Bromham Wick, in Milton Lilbourne parish in the Middle Ages. (fn. 65) A settlement on the estate had apparently taken the name Clench by the 13th century. (fn. 66) The estate was called Wick Clench c. 1300, (fn. 67) and the names Clench alias Abbot's Wick and Clench by Wick were in use in the earlier 16th century. (fn. 68) A tithing was usually called Clench and Wick in the later 16th century, (fn. 69) but Wick gradually lost currency as the name of an estate or settlement. (fn. 70)
In the Middle Ages four or five farmsteads stood at Clench, (fn. 71) which was possibly a linear settlement in the valley, now dry, in which Clench Farm stood in 1996. In the later 18th century and earlier 19th there were three farmsteads and a house on that line, and the road from Marlborough to Milton Lilbourne bypassed three of them on higher ground to the east. (fn. 72) All that survives of them is a timberframed and thatched house of c. 1700 now called Brewers Cottages. The farmhouse at Clench Farm was rebuilt in the 19th century; in 1996 most of the extensive farm buildings were 20th century. North-east of Clench Farm a pair of cottages was built in 1870. (fn. 73)
Beside the Marlborough road a 17th-century cottage, timber-framed and thatched and now with walling of red brick, was built 70 m. north of New mill in Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 74) Between 1773 and 1814 five more cottages were built beside the road, and a wharf was built on the Kennet & Avon canal; (fn. 75) by 1822 the New inn had been opened in one of the cottages, and in 1842 the hamlet bore the name New Mill. (fn. 76) In the mid 19th century the inn was moved from a cottage on the east side of the road to a new house on the west side; (fn. 77) it was called the Liddiard Arms from the late 1930s (fn. 78) and was closed in the late 20th century. (fn. 79) Three of the cottages standing in 1814 were among eight dwellings at New Mill in 1996. (fn. 80) Between Clench and New Mill a pair of cottages for Broomsgrove farm was built c. 1845. (fn. 81)
Beside the road leading from Wootton Rivers to Clench three houses were standing in 1814. (fn. 82) Clench House at the parish boundary is a redbrick house of c. 1800; the other two houses have been greatly altered or rebuilt. In the late 20th century large farm buildings and a house were erected beside the road.
On Clench common two cottages standing in the extreme north corner of the parish in 1814, (fn. 83) three in 1842, had been replaced by two terraces each of four by 1886. (fn. 84) South-east of those a pair of cottages was built in 1955. (fn. 85)
Fyfield's name refers to an assessment of its land, half as extensive as Milton Lilbourne's and held for ½ knight's fee, at 5 hides. (fn. 86) The name Milton suggests that Fyfield was settled after Milton Lilbourne and therefore that it was colonized from it. (fn. 87) Fyfield village stands along a street, but there is no evidence that the farmsteads or cottages were ever numerous.
Fyfield Manor has stood on the east side of the street since the Middle Ages, (fn. 88) and in the 16th century there may have been several farmsteads along the street. (fn. 89) The only farmsteads in the village in the early 19th century, and probably from the late 17th or earlier, were two on the west side of the street: in the early 19th century most of the farm buildings were at the northern one; the only farmhouse was at the southern. (fn. 90) Between 1842 and c. 1880 the farmhouse was replaced by Fyfield House, (fn. 91) a large house of red brick. Most of the farm buildings were demolished c. 1920: (fn. 92) a beast stall, timberframed, thatched, and of the 18th century or earlier, stood on the site of the northern farmstead in 1996. The three cottages standing on the east side of the street in 1809 were standing in 1996 and all were thatched. The two pairs of cottages at the south end of the village and on the west side of the street in 1809 (fn. 93) were demolished in the 20th century. (fn. 94) Apart from Fyfield House no house has been built in the village since 1809. In 1985 the village was designated a conservation area. (fn. 95)
Cottages on the waste of Fyfield manor were said in 1651 and later to stand at Milcot water. (fn. 96) They presumably stood south of the stream which was probably the boundary of Fyfield and Milcot where a hamlet took the name Milcot Water. In 1809 four cottages stood on the waste in a hollow lane near the stream. (fn. 97) The two cottages which stood on the site in 1996 were of timber framing and red brick and were possibly 18th-century. The name of the hamlet was corrupted to Milkhouse Water in the 19th century. (fn. 98)
Some of the land on which cottages were built at Little Salisbury was Fyfield manor's; a cottage stood on it in the early 19th century, other buildings later. (fn. 99) A trio, later a pair, of cottages north-west of Fyfield Manor was standing in 1809 and was part of a hamlet called Little Ann otherwise in Pewsey; (fn. 100) the cottages were demolished in 1963. (fn. 101)
Milcot, so called in 1231, (fn. 102) apparently had no more than c. 275 a. (fn. 103) The settlement was not assessed for taxation separately in 1332 (fn. 104) and did not survive. Two small farmsteads may have been all that stood at Milcot in the 16th century; (fn. 105) their sites are obscure, and by the 18th century Milcot's land was referred to as Fyfield's. (fn. 106) Broomsgrove Farm was built on it in 1845. (fn. 107) A pair of cottages was added there in 1943 and a bungalow c. 1950; (fn. 108) most of the farm buildings were replaced in the 20th century. A pair of timber-framed cottages, (fn. 109) cased in brick and converted to a house, stands south-east of Broomsgrove Farm and near New Mill.
North of the stream which probably divided Milcot and Fyfield and as part of Milkhouse Water a bungalow was built c. 1921, (fn. 110) a pair of council houses was built in 1935, (fn. 111) and a private house was built in the late 20th century.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
As Stogursey (Som.) did, Milton Lilbourne may have belonged to William de Falaise (fl. 1086) and have passed to his daughter Emme, the wife of William de Curci (d. c. 1114). Emme's son William de Curci (d. 1125 × 1130) gave MILTON LILBOURNE manor for the service of 1 knight. The overlordship apparently passed as part of Stogursey honor to his son William de Curci (d. 1171), to that William's son William (d. 1194), to the youngest William's daughter Alice, the wife of Warin FitzGerald, and in turn to Alice's sons-in-law Fawkes de Breauté and Hugh Neville (d. 1234). Hugh's son John (d. 1246) (fn. 112) was overlord in 1242–3. (fn. 113) John's heir was his son Hugh (d. s.p. 1269), whose brother John (d. 1282) was overlord. That John's heir was his son Hugh (d. 1335), whose son and heir Sir John (fn. 114) was overlord in 1349 (fn. 115) and claimed to be in 1359. (fn. 116) About 1353, however, when the tenant in demesne was a minor, Ralph de Stafford, earl of Stafford, the lord of Wexcombe manor in Great Bedwyn and of Kinwardstone hundred, successfully claimed the overlordship, (fn. 117) which thereafter descended with Wexcombe manor and the hundred. (fn. 118)
In 1166 Milton Lilbourne manor was held in demesne by Walter de Lillebonne. (fn. 119) It passed in the direct line to William, (fn. 120) who held it evidently c. 1200, (fn. 121) and William, who held it in 1236. (fn. 122) Walter de Lillebonne held the manor in 1242–3 (fn. 123) and he or a namesake in 1272 (fn. 124) and 1278. (fn. 125) By 1282 the manor had passed to Walter's heir, (fn. 126) presumably William de Lillebonne (fl. 1318), who lived at Milton Lilbourne in 1286. (fn. 127) From that William it descended in the direct line to John (d. 1349) and (Sir) John, a minor until c. 1363. (fn. 128) In 1408 Sir John Lillebonne sold it to Edward Cowdray. (fn. 129)
Between 1412 and 1428 the manor passed from Edward Cowdray to Peter Cowdray; (fn. 130) it passed thereafter in the direct line to Edward and Peter Cowdray, (fn. 131) who held it in 1493. (fn. 132) It passed to the younger Peter's daughter Philippe, the wife of Robert Lard and John Strangways, and at her death in 1524 to her son Cowdray Strangways, (fn. 133) who held it in 1530. (fn. 134) It was acquired, presumably by purchase from Strangways, by Sir William Essex (d. 1548) and descended in the direct line to Thomas (fn. 135) (d. 1558), Thomas (d. 1575), and Thomas, (fn. 136) the last of whom sold it in portions. (fn. 137)
In 1578 the demesne of Milton Lilbourne manor was sold by Thomas Essex to Simon Gunter, (fn. 138) a lunatic in 1586, (fn. 139) and as Milton Lilbourne manor it passed to Simon's son Nicholas subject to successive beneficial leases to Nicholas's brothers Geoffrey and William. (fn. 140) In 1630 Nicholas sold the reversion to Sir Edward Clerk (fn. 141) (d. 1639), a master in Chancery. The reversion descended to Sir Edward's son Edward (d. 1664) and to Edward's son Thomas (d. 1714). About 1675 Thomas married Christian Gunter, to whose mother Grace Gunter (fl. 1663) a 90–year lease from 1595 had passed.
In 1740 the northern half of Edward Clerk's estate, thereafter called the manor of MILTON UNDER THE HILL, was bought by John Webb (d. 1756). In 1754 Webb gave it to his son John Richmond Webb (d. 1805), who devised the estate, c. 275 a., to his sisters Ann Richmond Webb (d. 1808) and Elizabeth Richmond Webb (d. 1823) for life as tenants in common and afterwards to T. G. Villet (d. 1817). (fn. 144) In 1825 Villet's executors sold it in portions. (fn. 145)
About 1300 William de Lillebonne and his wife Joan were licensed to have an oratory in their manor house at Milton Lilbourne for life. (fn. 146) Milton Lilbourne Manor (fn. 147) consists of a main block built in the early 18th century and, on the south side of that, of a service wing which may incorporate part of a 17th-century house. In 1740 it was said to be in part newly erected. (fn. 148) The main block, of red brick with ashlar dressings, has a seven-bayed east front, the three central bays of which have elliptically headed windows and are capped by a segmental pediment. In 1825, when it was bought by Edmund Somerset, the inside of the house was in poor condition, having been damaged by fire. (fn. 149) About then the west front was altered, much of the interior refitted, and the roof reconstructed as a mansard. Later owners included the land agent George Ferris (d. 1929), who lived in it for c. 60 years. (fn. 150)
Of the land sold in 1825 by Villet's executors TOTTERIDGE farm, 170 a., was bought by T. B. Merriman (fn. 151) (d. 1867) and passed to his son E. B. Merriman (fn. 152) (d. 1915). E. B. Merriman's trustees sold the farm in 1944 to Frank Wells, whose son Mr. D. C. Wells owned it in 1996. (fn. 153)
The southern half of Edward Clerk's estate, MILTON HILL farm, 546 a. c. 1842, was probably sold by him c. 1740. (fn. 154) It was acquired by Sir John Astley, Bt. (d. 1771), (fn. 155) as part of whose estate based at Everleigh, and with an adjoining estate in Pewsey, it descended in the Astley family to Sir Francis Astley-Corbett, Bt. The farm was probably sold by Sir Francis c. 1918 to Alfred Cook (fn. 156) (d. 1923), who owned it in 1920. It belonged to Cook's nephew Abraham Pocock from 1923 to 1939 (fn. 157) or longer, and to A. W. Alexander in 1944. (fn. 158) In 1952 it was bought by Charles Sackville-West, Lord Sackville (d. 1962), who was succeeded in turn by his son Edward, Lord Sackville (d. 1965), and Edward's cousin Lionel Sackville-West, Lord Sackville. In 1992 Milton Hill farm was bought from the Sackville-West family by Mr. A. C. Brown, the owner in 1996. (fn. 159)
From c. 1578, when Thomas Essex apparently broke up the rest of Milton Lilbourne manor by selling the copyholds, several small or mediumsized estates descended separately. By the later 18th century much of their land had been accumulated in several sizeable estates, and some had almost certainly been added to the Rectory estate. (fn. 160)
What became LAWN farm was sold in 1680 by Thomas Keylway to Sarah, duchess of Somerset (fn. 161) (d. 1692), who by her will endowed Froxfield almshouse with it. (fn. 162) The almshouse owned the farm, 184 a. c. 1842, (fn. 163) until 1920. It then sold it to A. E. Jeeves, (fn. 164) the owner in 1939. (fn. 165) The farm was bought by R. S. Hudson (cr. Viscount Hudson 1952, d. 1957), from whose representatives it was bought in 1958 by J. F. Osborne. In 1996 it belonged with Lower farm to Osborne's son Mr. G. E. R. Osborne. (fn. 166)
Michael Ewen (d. 1782), clerk of the peace for Somerset and Wiltshire, held an estate, possibly from 1753 or earlier, and devised it for sale. In 1784 his executor sold it to William Coles (fn. 167) (d. 1798), (fn. 168) who bought another estate c. 1791. Coles devised the two estates to his wife Susanna (d. 1825) and after to John Coles. About 1826 they were acquired, presumably by purchase, by Thomas White. (fn. 169) About 1842 White held 246 a. in Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 170) George Duke (d. 1757) bought an estate which he devised to his wife Mary and, after her death, to his children Frances, Selenhah, and Edward. (fn. 171) In 1786 the estate belonged to Nathaniel Weekes, who apparently acquired it c. 1780 and sold it to William Coles c. 1791. (fn. 172) J. W. Stevens (d. 1787) held an estate which he devised to his wife Elizabeth. At her death in 1842 Elizabeth Stevens held 110 a. in Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 173) The lands of Ewen's, Duke's, and Stevens's estates south of the village, c. 200 a., were bought from Lovegrove Waldron by Daniel Haines in 1863. In 1879 Haines sold his estate, 217 a., (fn. 174) as LOWER (later Sunnylands) farm apparently to one of Waldron's sons. It belonged to a Mr. Waldron until 1899 or later, and in 1905 to J. S. Haines (fn. 175) (d. 1937), who added the land of the Rectory estate south of the village and land in Fyfield to it. Lower farm descended to J. S. Haines's son J. S. Haines, (fn. 176) who in 1964 sold it to Mrs. B. Osborne. In 1996 it belonged with Lawn farm, a total of 1,100 a., to Mrs. Osborne's son Mr. G. E. R. Osborne. (fn. 177) Lower Farm is a red-brick house built by Daniel Haines c. 1863; (fn. 178) an east wing was added in the 20th century and extensive gardens were developed around the house from 1990. (fn. 179)
An estate given by William de Curci (d. 1125 × 1130) for 1/5 knight's fee and held c. 1166 by Goidlanus (fn. 180) may have been the estate in Milton Lilbourne held in 1199 by Peter son of Fulcher. (fn. 181) In 1242–3 John Fulcher held Peter's estate as 1/5 knight's fee; the overlord was Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 182) The estate apparently passed to Sir Richard of Havering (d. c. 1267), (fn. 183) whose estate in Milton Lilbourne was the later MILTON HAVERING manor. The manor may have belonged to Robert Hungerford (d. 1352) in the 1320s (fn. 184) and to Walter Hungerford in 1349. (fn. 185) In 1368 Thomas Hungerford apparently gave it to Sir John de Lillebonne in an exchange. (fn. 186) From then until c. 1578 the manor passed with Milton Lilbourne manor, (fn. 187) and by 1372 Ralph, earl of Stafford, had established a claim to be overlord. (fn. 188) Thomas Essex sold a farm representing the manor to William Jones (d. 1610), probably c. 1578. (fn. 189) The estate passed with the Rectory estate to John Jones (d. 1611) and William Jones (d. 1632), who apparently sold it. (fn. 190) In 1663 it belonged to Edward Brown (d. 1693 or 1694), who devised it to his daughters Mary and Grace Brown. (fn. 191) It was held by Grace (fl. 1728) and her husband Edward Naish (fn. 192) (fl. 1736) (fn. 193) and by 1773 had descended to William Naish (fn. 194) (d. 1790), who devised it in trust for sale. (fn. 195) By 1794 the estate had been bought by Edmund Somerset (fn. 196) (d. 1809), whose son Edmund (d. 1858) held 123 a. in Milton Lilbourne c. 1842. (fn. 197) The estate had been broken up by 1869. (fn. 198) The principal house on it c. 1842, Havering House, in 1996 incorporated a small house possibly of the late 17th century. In the mid 18th century a house of red brick with ashlar dressings and a principal north front of five bays was built to adjoin the small house on the north-west. In the early 20th century and to designs by Sir Herbert Baker (fn. 199) the south front of the enlarged house was extended westwards by a three-bayed block in 18th-century style and eastwards by a low range in the style of the original house. Further additions were made to the east later in the 20th century. West of the house an 18th-century walled garden was converted to an entrance court, and in 1996 the house stood in extensive formal gardens.
In 1198 Michael of Milton held a small estate in Milton Lilbourne by serjeanty; (fn. 200) William Michael or Michel held it 1210 × 1217, (fn. 201) Richard Michel in 1236. (fn. 202) The service was to keep two wolf hounds for the king. (fn. 203) John Michel held MICHEL'S, 2 yardlands, in 1275 and 1289. (fn. 204) At the death of a John Michel in 1319 the estate, then held for 13d. a year, passed to his son William (fn. 205) (d. 1330), and it descended in the direct line to Robert (fn. 206) (d. 1348), Simon (fn. 207) (d. 1401), and Thomas, a minor, (fn. 208) who was given seisin in 1417. (fn. 209) The estate may have belonged to a Thomas Michel in 1460. (fn. 210) It has not been traced further.
From 1321 or earlier the lord of Easton Druce manor in Easton held land in Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 211) From c. 1349 to the Dissolution ½ yardland in Milton Lilbourne belonged to Easton priory as part of that manor. (fn. 212)
In 1086 the estate called Wick held c. 1210 by Battle abbey may have been part of the king's large estate called Wootton, (fn. 213) and it was that later reputed CLENCH manor. (fn. 214) In the 13th century it lay in the abbey's liberty of Bromham (fn. 215) and the abbey held it until the Dissolution. In 1538 Clench manor was granted by the king to Sir Edward Baynton (fn. 216) (d. 1544), from whom it passed with Bromham Battle manor in turn to his sons Andrew (fn. 217) (d. 1566) and Sir Edward (fn. 218) (d. 1593). From 1593 it descended in the direct line to Sir Henry (d. 1616), Sir Edward (d. 1657), Sir Edward (d. 1679), Henry (d. 1691), and John (d. s.p. 1716). John's heir was his sister Anne Rolt (d. 1734), whose heir was her son Edward, from 1762 Sir Edward Baynton-Rolt, Bt. (d. 1800). In 1803 Sir Edward's son Sir Andrew Baynton-Rolt, Bt., sold Clench manor to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury (d. 1814). (fn. 219) After an exchange of lands and inclosure of downland Thomas's son Charles BrudenellBruce, marquess of Ailesbury, owned 516 a. at Clench c. 1842. (fn. 220) That land descended in the Brudenell-Bruce family with Tottenham House in Great Bedwyn. (fn. 221) In 1921 George BrudenellBruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold Clench farm, 156 a., to T. J. Dixon; (fn. 222) c. 1960 that land was bought by R. J. Butler (d. 1983), and in 1996 it belonged to his son Mr. R. C. Butler. (fn. 223) In 1939 Lord Ailesbury leased 110 a., most of Clench common, to the Forestry Commission for 999 years, (fn. 224) and he or a successor as owner of Tottenham House later sold the reversion of c. 95 a. of that land to the Crown. In 1950 Lord Ailesbury sold c. 250 a. at Clench to the Crown; in 1996 the Crown owned c. 345 a. there, c. 330 a. of it as part of East Wick farm based in Wootton Rivers parish. (fn. 225)
A freehold in Clench, 2 yardlands c. 1400, (fn. 226) was held by Vincent of Wick in the later 13th century (fn. 227) and descended in the Vynz family. It was held by John Vynz in 1329–30, (fn. 228) by him or a namesake in 1371–2, (fn. 229) and by a second or third John Vynz (d. c. 1400), who left as heir a son William. (fn. 230) John Vynz held it in 1419, (fn. 231) Alice Vynz in 1428, (fn. 232) and John Vynz in 1430. (fn. 233) By 1451 it had been acquired, presumably by purchase, by Sir John Seymour (d. 1464). Sir John also held ½ yardland in Clench which probably belonged to his grandfather Sir William Sturmy (d. 1427) and in the later 13th century belonged to Adam Robe. (fn. 234) Sir John's two holdings were presumably the two in Clench which in 1536 were part of Huish manor, then held by Sir John's great-great-grandson Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (cr. earl of Hertford 1537, duke of Somerset 1547, d. 1552). (fn. 235) As part of Huish manor they descended in the Seymour family with Tottenham Lodge in Great Bedwyn; (fn. 236) they passed like Pewsey manor to Sarah, duchess of Somerset (d. 1692), who devised them to endow Froxfield almshouse. (fn. 237) About 1842, after the exchange of lands and inclosure, the almshouse owned 113 a. in Clench adjoining its land of Milcot. (fn. 238) The land was afterwards part of Broomsgrove farm. (fn. 239)
FYFIELD, like Milton Lilbourne, may have belonged to William de Falaise (fl. 1086) and have descended to his grandson William de Curci (d. 1125 × 1130). (fn. 240) It may have been an estate given by William for ½ knight's fee, (fn. 241) and the overlordship apparently descended like that of Milton Lilbourne manor to Alice de Curci. In 1242–3 Alice's daughter Margaret (d. 1252), the relict of Baldwin de Reviers and of Fawkes de Breauté, and Margaret's son Baldwin de Reviers, earl of Devon and lord of the Isle of Wight (d. 1245), were overlords; Isabel Mortimer held of Baldwin as a mesne lord. (fn. 242) The overlordship presumably passed to Baldwin's son Baldwin, earl of Devon (d. 1262), to his daughter Isabel de Forz, countess of Aumale and of Devon, and on Isabel's death in 1293 to Warin de Lisle (d. 1296), one of her heirs. (fn. 243) It was probably held by Warin's grandson John Lisle, Lord Lisle (d. 1355), and in 1368 was surrendered to the king by John's son Robert, Lord Lisle. (fn. 244) Presumably as part of the lordship of the Isle of Wight which was granted to him in 1385, William de Montagu, earl of Salisbury (d. 1397), held the overlordship, (fn. 245) and, despite a claim that it was held by Roger Mortimer, earl of March (d. 1398), a descendant of Isabel Mortimer, (fn. 246) it descended with the earldom of Salisbury. (fn. 247)
Warin of Fyfield possibly held Fyfield manor c. 1200. (fn. 248) His son William, otherwise called William Warren, held it for ½ knight's fee in 1235–6 and 1255. (fn. 249) Thomas Warren may have held it in 1337, (fn. 250) Edmund Warren in 1390. (fn. 251) Richard Warren (fl. 1454) held the manor in 1428; (fn. 252) Thomas Warren held it in 1474. The manor descended in the direct line from Thomas (d. 1493) to John (fn. 253) (d. 1527), John (fn. 254) (d. c. 1559), Anthony (d. by 1562), and William Warren (d. 1599). From 1562 or earlier it was held by Anthony's relict Alice, the wife of Thomas Michelborne (d. 1582). William Warren devised it to his sister Mary, the wife of Richard Venner, (fn. 255) and in 1613 Richard Warren, presumably Venner, sold it to Henry Cusse. (fn. 256)
Cusse mortgaged Fyfield manor to James Ashe and in 1648 sold it to James's son John. From John Ashe (d. by 1665) the manor descended in the direct line to James (d. 1671) and John, who sold it to Edward Ashe in 1682. In 1687 Edward conveyed it to his brother William Ashe of Heytesbury, and in 1688 Edward and William together sold it to Edmund Hungerford. (fn. 257)
The manor passed from Hungerford (d. 1713) to his son Henry (d. 1750). Under Henry's will it was held for life in turn by his wife Elizabeth (d. 1756) and his nephew Wadham Wyndham (d. 1768) and passed in turn to Wadham's son-in-law Charles Penruddocke (d. 1788) and Charles's son J. H. Penruddocke (d. s.p. 1841), (fn. 258) who at his death owned c. 629 a. in Fyfield. (fn. 259) Penruddocke's heir was his grandnephew Charles Penruddocke (d. 1899), whose son Charles (fn. 260) sold the manor in 1919. (fn. 261)
Fyfield Manor and 36 a. were bought in 1919 by W. MacC. Kirkpatrick, (fn. 262) who in 1924 sold the house and 107 a. to Louise Bishop, (fn. 263) the owner until c. 1942. From c. 1942 to 1957 the house belonged to Lord Hudson (d. 1957), (fn. 264) from 1958 to 1966 to Sir Anthony Eden (cr. earl of Avon 1961), and from 1966 to 1977 to the Hon. Charles Morrison. (fn. 265) In 1979 it was bought by Mr. D. K. Newbigging, in 1996 the owner of the house and c. 60 a. (fn. 266) Fyfield Manor (fn. 267) has external walls of red brick and is H-shaped in plan; its main range lies east–west and the north wings are longer than the south. Near the centre of the main range, and apparently surviving in situ from a late-medieval open hall, there is part of a post with a moulded capital on a pilaster below a mortice for a brace. At the east end of the range the two banks of purlins are moulded and 16th-century, but it is unclear whether they are contemporary with or later than the latemedieval post. There was a chapel in the house in 1577. (fn. 268) In the early 17th century the house was largely rebuilt and greatly enlarged: the west end of the main range, the north-west wing, the turret which forms the south-west wing, and the whole eastern cross wing are apparently of that date, and the principal south front was then encased with, or rebuilt in, brick and given a moulded string, a moulded cornice, and a row of brick gables which were probably decoratively shaped. In 1996 many features inside the house, including the staircase, survived from the early 17th century. In the 18th century sashed windows and a pedimented doorcase were made in the south front and the house was partly refitted; in the 19th century the gables were altered and bargeboards were added to them, and the house was reroofed with grey slate. In 1924 a narrow two-storeyed extension along the north front of the main range was built to improve access between the rooms of the house and to provide new service rooms. (fn. 269) A bath house, possibly associated with Fyfield Manor, had been built a little north of Milcot water by 1752; it stood very near the line of the Kennet & Avon canal (fn. 270) and was demolished probably c. 1806–7 when the canal was built. (fn. 271)
Fyfield farm, 568 a., was bought in 1919 by A. J. Hosier, (fn. 272) who sold it soon afterwards. By 1923 the southernmost 100 a. had been added to Milton Hill farm, a part of which it remained in 1996. (fn. 273) The rest of Fyfield farm, c. 450 a., was bought by F. Allen, who sold it in portions in 1921. A. J. Hosier bought 225 a. south of the village (fn. 274) and by 1922 had sold it to J. S. Haines. Since 1922 that land has been part of Lower farm, Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 275)
In the 16th century land in Fyfield was held customarily as part of Milton Lilbourne manor. (fn. 276) In 1578 it was in two copyholds which were apparently among the parts of the manor sold about then. (fn. 277) Another holding, a freehold of 3 yardlands, descended from John Benger (d. c. 1560) to his son William (d. 1571) and to William's son John (d. 1609). (fn. 278) All those three holdings were acquired by Thomas Keylway, who in 1680 sold his land in Fyfield, with what became Lawn farm in Milton Lilbourne, to Sarah, duchess of Somerset (fn. 279) (d. 1692). The duchess devised the land to endow Froxfield almshouse, (fn. 280) which, after land was given away by exchange at inclosure in 1823, (fn. 281) owned c. 95 a. at Fyfield. That land lay north of the village and adjoined the almshouse's land in Milcot: (fn. 282) it was afterwards part of Broomsgrove farm. (fn. 283)
King John gave land in MILCOT to Geoffrey de Hanville, who held it in 1231. (fn. 284) Holdings there were later parts of the manors of Fyfield, (fn. 285) Huish, (fn. 286) and Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 287) Those of Huish manor, like holdings in Clench, and those of Milton Lilbourne manor, like holdings in Milton Lilbourne and Fyfield, were assigned to Froxfield almshouse. (fn. 288) After 1823, when land was acquired at inclosure and by exchange from the lord of Fyfield manor, the almshouse owned 221 a. at Milcot, nearly all the land apart from Broomsgrove wood. (fn. 289) As BROOMSGROVE farm, 434 a. including land of Clench and Fyfield and, from 1877, including Broomsgrove wood, it sold it in 1920 to H. D. Cole (fn. 290) (d. 1953). Cole's son R. L. Cole sold the farm in 1953 to Andrew Veitch, whose son J. W. Veitch sold it in 1983 to Mr. Derek Baxter, the owner in 1996. (fn. 291)
Cirencester abbey (Glos.) appropriated Milton Lilbourne church, probably before 1195. (fn. 294) The RECTORY estate, consisting of great tithes and of land sometimes called MILTON ABBOT'S manor, passed from the abbey to the Crown at the Dissolution. (fn. 295) In 1560 the land was granted to Richard Oakham and Richard Bittenson, (fn. 296) and in 1588 the tithes were granted to Edward Downing and Miles Dodding. (fn. 297) By 1591 William Jones (d. 1610) had acquired the whole estate, which descended in the direct line to John (fn. 298) (d. 1611), William (fn. 299) (d. 1632), and John. (fn. 300) In 1624 William Jones sold the tithes of Fyfield and Milcot, and by 1628 he had sold those of Clench. (fn. 301) In 1640 John Jones sold the rest of the estate to Thomas Mitchell (will proved 1678). Mitchell's estate, to which a holding almost certainly a former copyhold of Milton Lilbourne manor was added in 1648, passed in turn to his sons Thomas (d. by 1695) and John. In 1720 John sold it to Richard Stacey, (fn. 302) after whose death in 1740 it was held by his relict Anne. (fn. 303) It was acquired, almost certainly before 1761, by James Pulse (d. 1770), (fn. 304) who devised it to his son Philip (d. 1824). From Philip the estate passed to his nephew S. E. Scroggs, (fn. 305) who c. 1842, when his tithes from Milton Lilbourne were commuted for a rent charge of £374, owned 242 a. there. (fn. 306) Scroggs (d. 1845) devised the estate in trust for his children. (fn. 307) By 1896 the rent charge had passed to his daughters Mary Scroggs (d. 1900), who held seven ninths of it, and Sibyl Dance (d. 1912). Mary devised her portion to Sibyl for life and afterwards to Milton Lilbourne vicarage as an endowment. Sibyl's portion descended to her daughter Mary Dance. (fn. 308) By the 1860s S. E. Scroggs's land had been bought by John Somerset, after whose death in 1892 it passed to Edward Somerset. (fn. 309) Between 1899 and 1905 c. 103 a. south of Milton Lilbourne village was bought by J. S. Haines and added to Lower farm, and c. 120 a. east of the village was bought by Mark Jeans (fn. 310) (d. 1924). As KING HALL farm, 156 a. in 1930, Jeans's land passed to his son G. M. Jeans. The later descent of the farm, which was offered for sale in 1930, (fn. 311) 1972, and c. 1989, (fn. 312) has not been traced. King Hall, a large Italianate house of brick, was built on the estate by John Somerset in the 1860s. (fn. 313)
The tithes of Clench were bought between 1611 and 1628 by Walter Bailey, who in 1628 sold them to his brother Thomas, rector of Manningford Bruce. In 1652 Thomas sold them to Richard Stephens, vicar of Stanton St. Bernard, who in 1657 settled them on the marriage of his son George (d. s.p. a widower and intestate c. 1672). The tithes were bought from George's administrators by his brother Nathaniel (d. 1678), a puritan divine, and they passed to Nathaniel's son Nathaniel. In 1679 Nathaniel Stephens sold the tithes to Christopher Willoughby, who in 1680 gave them to trustees for charitable purposes, including the provision of pensions for poor parishioners of Bishopstone in Ramsbury hundred. (fn. 314) The tithes were held by the trustees c. 1842, when they were commuted for a rent charge of £110. (fn. 315)
By the 16th century Milton Lilbourne's open arable had been divided into six fields. East Sands field and West Sands field lay on greensand east, west, and a little south of the village; the present Burbage–Pewsey road may mark their north boundary. Between those fields and the scarp of Salisbury Plain, East Clay field and West Clay field lay on the Lower Chalk, and further south East Hill field and West Hill field lay on the downland. The fields were shared among the demesnes of Milton Lilbourne manor, Havering manor, and the Rectory estate, customary tenants of Milton Lilbourne manor and the Rectory estate, a small freehold, and the vicar's glebe. In addition to land in the open fields the demesne of Milton Lilbourne manor included, north of the sands fields and probably north of Deane Water, a mainly several pasture called Totteridge for cattle and, south of the hill fields, an extensive and apparently mainly several rough pasture for sheep; (fn. 318) both pastures were probably several from the 13th century (fn. 319) or earlier. Part of the downland pasture may have been assigned to the parish church when it was built and as Parsonage down was a several part of the Rectory estate. (fn. 320) The other holdings included rights to use an extensive common pasture for sheep, which evidently lay between Totteridge and the open fields, and a Cow down, (fn. 321) presumably the east–west scarp, called Great down and Little down in the 18th century, between the clay fields and the hill fields. Hockham bottom, 12 a., was also downland used in common, (fn. 322) and there were small areas of common meadow probably beside the stream south of the village. (fn. 323) In 1578 Havering farm included nominally 123 a. in the open fields, the seven copyholds of Milton Lilbourne manor nominally 287 a. At 80 to each yardland sheep stints were generous. By 1578 small areas of land, presumably near the village, had been inclosed, and a holding of 2 yardlands which in the earlier 17th century included 10 a. of inclosed meadows, nominally 64 a. in the open fields, and feeding in common for 6 horses, 12 cows, and 160 sheep was typical. (fn. 324)
The commonable land in the north half of Milton Lilbourne was inclosed in the 17th century or early 18th. By the earlier 17th century the common sheep pasture, probably c. 300 a., had been divided into two, and in 1686–7 both parts were inclosed, divided, and allotted; (fn. 325) by 1720 the two sands fields and part of the two clay fields had been inclosed. A farm which in 1680 included nominally 116 a. in the open fields, 13 a. of inclosed meadows, and 25 a. of inclosed pasture, in 1720 included nominally 62 a. in the open fields and 112 a. in closes, of which 27 a. was former common pasture. (fn. 326)
By the earlier 18th century the demesne of Milton Lilbourne manor had been divided into three farms. About 1600 Totteridge was overgrown with briars: by 1613 it had been divided and some of the fields had been ploughed and sowed with corn. (fn. 327) In 1688 a right to feed eight beasts in Totteridge with the demesne cattle in summer, which had been given in 1236 or earlier, was bought by the lord of the manor, (fn. 328) and in the earlier 18th century the land, inclosed, several, and with farm buildings standing on it, was being leased as a separate farm. (fn. 329) Shortly before 1724 a farmstead was built on the demesne sheep pasture at the south end of Milton Lilbourne: as Milton Hill Farm it was held with that pasture, part of which was to be ploughed, and the demesne arable in the two hill fields. (fn. 330) Presumably to give Milton Hill farm pasture for cattle, in 1729–30 the lord of the manor acquired the right to feed 38 beasts on Cow down in exchange for nominally 11 a. in East Clay field and 1 a. in West Clay field. (fn. 331) Between Totteridge farm and Milton Hill farm the remaining demesne was leased as Home farm. In 1740 Totteridge farm, 157 a., included 143 a. of arable and 14 a. of water meadows, and Home farm, 65 a., included 25 a. in West Clay field. (fn. 332) Of the other farms, almost certainly all of which were based in the village, that comprising the land of the Rectory estate, with 17 a. of meadows, the 50 a. of Parsonage down, nominally 162 a. in the open fields, feeding for 400 sheep, and a new farmstead built c. 1750, is likely to have been the largest. (fn. 333)
In the later 18th century Milton Lilbourne had c. 440 a. of open fields. East Hill field and West Hill field were each of c. 150 a., East Clay and West Clay each of c. 65 a., and near the village there was c. 10 a. tilled every year. With Great down, c. 30 a., Little down, c. 5 a., and Hockham bottom, all pastures presumably for cattle, the fields were inclosed by Act in 1781, when lands were also exchanged. Milton Hill farm, c. 500 a., was confined to the extreme south. Between it and Totteridge farm in the extreme north each of five farms was allotted a north–south strip of former open field and down south of the village, and each had closes north, east, and west of the village; Havering farm consisted mainly of land inclosed earlier. (fn. 334)
In 1826 William Cobbett thought it noteworthy that a large field on Milton Hill farm was planted with swedes. (fn. 335) By c. 1842 some of the farms had been merged. Milton Hill farm was then 533 a., including 196 a. of downland pasture and 19 a. in Everleigh, and Totteridge farm was 174 a.; between them, and all based in Milton Lilbourne street, there were farms of 313 a., 246 a., 242 a., 123 a., and 107 a. The 313-a. farm was worked from buildings on the west side of the street at the north end later called Lawn Farm, at which a new farmhouse was built in 1867. The 246-a. farm was worked from Upper Farm and Lower Farm, and the 242-a. farm from the mid 18th-century farmstead later called King Hall Farm. (fn. 336)
In the later 19th century and earlier 20th most of the land between the village and Milton Hill farm became part of Lower (otherwise Sunnylands) farm, on which a new farmhouse and a field barn were built. (fn. 337) Much land was converted from arable to pasture between c. 1842 and c. 1932, and from the later 19th century the other farms were apparently used for dairying. (fn. 338) In 1910 Milton Hill farm measured 505 a., Totteridge farm 201 a., Lower farm 312 a., Lawn farm 240 a., and King Hall farm 134 a. or more. (fn. 339) By 1923 Milton Hill farm had been enlarged with Fyfield down, 100 a.; (fn. 340) a dairy was built on it c. 1945, (fn. 341) and a dairy herd was kept until c. 1992. In 1996 the farm, c. 625 a., was entirely arable. (fn. 342) From c. 1905 to 1954 Lower farm was worked with Manor farm, Easton, from 1922 included 225 a. of Fyfield, and from 1954 included 130 a. in Easton. (fn. 343) Lawn farm was a dairy farm of c. 192 a. in 1930, (fn. 344) had been increased to 320 a. by 1958, and was added to Lower farm in 1964. In 1989–90 extensive new farm buildings west of the village were erected for the composite farm, which, as Lawn farm and including the land in Fyfield and Easton, was an arable and dairy holding of 1,100 a. in 1996. (fn. 345) Totteridge farm, 237 a. in 1996, was an arable and dairy farm until 1989, when the cows were replaced by horses. (fn. 346) In 1996 horses were also kept on King Hall farm, c. 150 a. (fn. 347)
Milton Lilbourne's only woodland in 1773, in the extreme south and part of that associated with Everleigh Manor in Everleigh, may have been planted in the mid 18th century. (fn. 348) As Milton wood it covered 24 a. in 1996.
A water mill stood on Milton Lilbourne manor in the later 16th century. (fn. 349) It was presumably that, or on the site of that, called New mill in 1599, (fn. 350) the later 17th century, (fn. 351) and later. New mill stands at the confluence of Deane Water and a stream flowing from Wootton Rivers village, gave a name to the nearby settlement in Clench, (fn. 352) housed two grist mills in the later 17th century and earlier 18th, and incorporated a malthouse in the 19th century. (fn. 353) It was rebuilt in brick in the 19th century, and from c. 1890 was driven partly by steam; it ceased to work in 1932. (fn. 354)
In the earlier 20th century F. C. Stagg, a locally prominent harness maker, had premises in Milton Lilbourne village. (fn. 355)
In the 16th century Clench, with meadow land beside the stream along its south boundary, a common lowland pasture, open fields on the greensand, and to the north rough pasture on the chalk and clay-with-flints of the scarp and the flat summit of the downs, (fn. 356) conformed to a normal pattern. In the later 13th century there were four or five farmsteads. (fn. 357) In the earlier 14th Battle abbey's demesne was in hand. On it 58 a. was sown in 1336–7, 79 a. in 1344–5, and 75 a. in 1346–7, and there was a flock of c. 115 sheep in the 1340s. (fn. 358) The demesne had been leased by 1400 and probably by 1386. (fn. 359) There were apparently four farmsteads in the earlier 15th century, when two holdings were added to the demesne because no tenant could be found for them. (fn. 360)
In the earlier 16th century the open fields were called North and South, (fn. 361) but references of 1575 to Man field and West field suggest that they were subdivided. Parts of them had been inclosed by the late 16th century. (fn. 362) The main period of inclosure seems to have been between 1596, when a holding of 91 a. included 66 a. in North and South fields, and 1612, when most of Clench's land, including the downland in the north-east corner, lay in closes. (fn. 363) The land not inclosed by 1612 was the scarp, Bowcliff, and c. 125 a. of flat downland north-west of it, Clench common. (fn. 364) From 1570 or earlier some land was worked from Wootton Rivers parish as part of East Wick farm, (fn. 365) and in 1622 a holding was sublet to the owner of Rainscombe in North Newnton. (fn. 366) Holdings based in Clench seem to have been of less than 100 a., although in 1672 a farmer had arable crops growing on 83 a., including 11 a. of peas and vetches, and 8 cows and 335 sheep. In the 18th century a holding of 91 a., then lacking a farmstead, was worked as part of Fyfield farm. (fn. 367)
Parts of Bowcliff or Clench common had been divided and allotted for furze cutting by the late 18th century, but all their land remained common pasture on which 640 or more sheep could be fed. Common rights were eliminated and holdings consolidated in 1805, when lands were exchanged between the two owners. (fn. 368) About 1842 there were c. 365 a. of arable and c. 230 a. of grassland in Clench. To the south there were two farms of c. 50 a., one based where Brewers Cottages stands and one at buildings south-west of that; the second was held with Fyfield farm. Clench farm measured 184 a. including 20 a. in Milcot, and 306 a., including Clench common and most of Bowcliff, was part of East Wick farm. (fn. 369)
By 1879 both the 50-a. farms had been added to Broomsgrove farm, based in Milcot; (fn. 370) their land remained part of it in 1996 when it was used for arable and dairy farming. (fn. 371) Clench farm, 160 a., was a dairy farm in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 372) In 1929 c. 342 a. of Clench's land lay in East Wick farm, in 1996 c. 330 a. In 1996 Clench farm was worked in conjunction with East Wick farm, all the land of which was used for arable and dairy farming. (fn. 373) Clench common was probably ploughed for the first time in the Second World War. (fn. 374)
In the early 19th century there was c. 47 a. of woodland in Clench in c. 10 copses, the largest of which were one of 13 a. on Clench common and Rook grove, 6 a. Several of the smaller coppices were grubbed up between c. 1842 and 1886, (fn. 375) but the larger ones remained among c. 40 a. of woodland standing in 1996.
A wharf in Clench was built on the Kennet & Avon canal in 1810, (fn. 378) and a building was standing at the wharf in 1814. (fn. 379) There was probably little trade at the wharf; the building was demolished between 1842 and 1886. (fn. 380)
In the 18th century the boundary between Fyfield's open land and its inclosed land ran east–west a little south of the stream flowing across Fyfield from the south end of Milton Lilbourne village. To the south there was c. 200 a. of arable in three open fields, East, Middle, and West, each field lying north–south on the greensand in the north and on Lower Chalk in the south; there was also c. 10 a. of open arable on the summit of Weed Hill and 25 a. in Titcombe bottom. The scarp face, the steep slopes of Weed Hill, and to the south Fyfield down, a total of 181 a., were common pastures, presumably for sheep. (fn. 381) Beside the stream East mead may earlier have been a common meadow. (fn. 382) By analogy with Easton and Milton Lilbourne it is likely that in the Middle Ages open fields also lay on the greensand east and west of Fyfield village and were roughly bounded to the north by the present Burbage– Pewsey road, (fn. 383) and east and west fields which were sown yearly in the 17th century may have lain there. Much of the land north of the Burbage–Pewsey road was a common pasture partly or wholly for cattle. (fn. 384)
In the 16th century few holdings were based in Fyfield. Most of Fyfield manor seems to have been demesne; the only holding of the manor known not to have been was of 1½ yardland. (fn. 385) A freehold of 3 yardlands may have been based there, (fn. 386) but the land of Fyfield in two copyholds of Milton Lilbourne manor, of 1½ and ½ yardland, may have been worked from Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 387) The demesne of Fyfield manor, Fyfield farm, was leased in 1567 with a stock of cattle said to be worth £200. (fn. 388) In 1638 it included nominally 122 a. in the open fields and feeding in common for 520 sheep and 62 cattle. (fn. 389) The pasture north of the village was inclosed in the mid 17th century, (fn. 390) and the land east and west of the village had been inclosed by 1711. (fn. 391)
In the late 17th century there were evidently only two owners of land in Fyfield, (fn. 392) and from 1703 nearly all the land was held by the lord of Fyfield manor as owner or lessee (fn. 393) and worked as Fyfield farm. About 1750, when it included land at Clench and Milcot, Fyfield farm measured 867 a., included 614 a. of arable, and was several de facto; (fn. 394) in 1810 it measured c. 880 a. (fn. 395)
The lands of Fyfield and Milcot were inclosed de jure, and lands were exchanged, by Act in 1823. Nearly all the land north of the Burbage– Pewsey road was assigned to Froxfield almshouse, all that to the south as Fyfield farm to the lord of Fyfield manor. (fn. 396) The inclosure was agreed on in 1807, (fn. 397) and in anticipation of the award the land to the north had been separated from Fyfield farm by 1820. (fn. 398) North of the Burbage–Pewsey road 59 a. was held with Fyfield farm c. 1842, (fn. 399) and later, probably from c. 1845, most of the land north of the road was part of Broomsgrove farm. (fn. 400) On Fyfield farm, 599 a. in 1821, 56 a. of Fyfield down was ploughed in the 1820s. On the south part of the farm the arable inclosed in 1823 continued to be worked in large fields; on the north part 132 a. of arable lay in fields averaging 11 a., and 63 a. of meadows and pasture lay in fields averaging 4½ a. (fn. 401) About 1842, when it had two groups of farm buildings at Fyfield, a field barn, and land in Clench, Fyfield farm's 702 a. included c. 424 a. of arable, 151 a. of meadows and lowland pasture, and 125 a. of down. (fn. 402)
By the late 19th century Fyfield farm had been divided, and a small farm, Roadside, was being worked from Little Salisbury in 1896. (fn. 403) From 1922 the scarp face, Weed Hill, Titcombe bottom, and the arable in large fields south of the village have been part of Lower farm, Milton Lilbourne, (fn. 404) and from 1923 or earlier Fyfield down, 100 a., has been part of Milton Hill farm. (fn. 405) In the 1920s a dairy farm of c. 160 a. was worked from buildings in Fyfield village, (fn. 406) and in the 1940s and 1950s Lord Hudson, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1940 to 1945 and the owner of Fyfield Manor, kept pedigree Friesian, Jersey, and Ayrshire cattle at Fyfield and on Lawn farm, Milton Lilbourne. (fn. 407) In 1996 Fyfield down and the old East, Middle, and West fields were large arable fields; to the north c. 70 a. in Broomsgrove farm and 43 a. in Lawn farm was used for arable and dairy farming (fn. 408) and most of the other land was arable.
There was no more than a few acres of woodland in Fyfield in 1842 (fn. 409) and 1996.
To the north Milcot had open fields and, on the south side of Martinsell Hill, a common downland pasture for sheep; to the south there were meadows beside the stream, and, as there was at Clench, probably a common lowland pasture for cattle. (fn. 415) The lowland pasture may have been inclosed in the later 16th century. (fn. 416) Much of the land was probably worked from Fyfield and Milton Lilbourne in the 16th century, when two holdings each of ½ yardland may have been the only ones based at Milcot. (fn. 417)
In the late 17th century Milcot's land was held by the same two owners as Fyfield's was, (fn. 418) and apparently from then nearly all of it was part of Fyfield farm. (fn. 419) Milcot's open-field land was probably what was referred to as the north field of Fyfield, (fn. 420) and apparently none but the tenant of Fyfield farm worked land in it or had a right to feed animals on the down. In 1820 Milcot's land was severed from Fyfield farm (fn. 421) and, as were lands in Fyfield, the arable, 65 a., and down, 20 a., were inclosed in 1823, when lands were also exchanged. (fn. 422) Of Milcot's 232 a. of agricultural land c. 1842, 209 a., on which there was no farmstead, was worked as one holding with West Wick farm based in Pewsey and the manor farm of Oare in Wilcot. (fn. 423)
In 1845 Broomsgrove Farm was built and nearly all the land of Milcot was leased with it. (fn. 424) By 1879 land in Clench and Fyfield had been added to Broomsgrove farm, then of 424 a. and including 300 a. of arable. (fn. 425) The farm had been little changed in area by the 1920s, (fn. 426) but between 1903 and 1919 it was converted for dairying and 185 a. was laid to grass. (fn. 427) In the early 1930s it still included more grassland than arable; (fn. 428) in the early 1950s a dairy herd was kept but the farm had more arable than grassland. (fn. 429) In 1996 Broomsgrove was an arable and dairy farm of 450 a., on which a herd of 120 cows was kept. (fn. 430)
Watercress beds were constructed at Milkhouse Water between 1899 and 1920, when they covered 2 a. (fn. 431) How long watercress was grown in them commercially is not clear. About 1974 the beds were converted to a trout hatchery, and in 1996 trout fry were reared there at the Avon Springs Hatchery. (fn. 432)
Milcot wood, mentioned in the 14th century, (fn. 433) may have been Broomsgrove wood, which was standing in 1567. (fn. 434) Broomsgrove wood was accounted 34 a. in 1638, (fn. 435) 41 a. c. 1842, (fn. 436) 51 a. in 1876, (fn. 437) 55 a. in the earlier 20th century, and c. 30 a. in the later 20th century. (fn. 438)
A mill stood at Milcot in 1289. (fn. 439)
In the Middle Ages Clench was in Battle abbey's liberty of Bromham, (fn. 440) the abbey's tenants attended courts held at Bromham, and the tithingman of Clench presented at the view of frankpledge held there twice a year. The tithingman was to be chosen from the abbey's tenants, but attendance at the view was required from all men living at Clench. (fn. 441) In the late 13th century and in the 14th assaults and the harbouring of strangers were punished, the raising of the hue was reported, and the assize of ale was enforced, but then and later presentments were few. Pleas were sometimes heard, and in the 15th century orders were occasionally made to repair roads, bridges, hedges, and ditches. A miller was amerced in the 16th century. Often in the 15th and 16th centuries the tithingman failed to attend the view, and in 1552 he explained his absence by implying that it would have cost him more to attend than to pay the fine for default. In the later 16th century and earlier 17th the use of the open fields and of Clench common was regulated at the view, orders were made to repair boundaries, and normal manorial business was done, but the amount of regulation and other business was very small. (fn. 442) From the 16th century or earlier land at Clench was held by copy of Huish manor, (fn. 443) the court of which dealt with matters concerning it. (fn. 444)
There are records of four meetings of a court of Fyfield manor 1683 × 1697. The poor condition of bridges and the pound, and the building of cottages on the waste, were among matters presented. (fn. 445)
In 1775–6 Milton Lilbourne parish spent £148 to relieve the poor, in the early 1780s an average of £143. In 1802–3, when at 2s. 8d. the poor rate was average for the hundred, £413 was spent to relieve 25 adults and 81 children regularly and 10 adults occasionally. (fn. 446) Spending reached a peak of £838 in 1812–13, when 69 adults were relieved regularly; it was less than half that in 1814–15 but 50 adults were still being relieved. (fn. 447) Between 1815 and 1835 spending fluctuated between £818 and £393 and averaged £594. The parish joined Pewsey poor-law union in 1835 (fn. 448) and was part of Kennet district from 1974. (fn. 449)
Milton Lilbourne church was appropriated by Cirencester abbey, and a vicarage had been ordained by 1195. (fn. 450) In 1929 the vicarage was united to Easton vicarage, and in 1991 the united benefice was united to Pewsey rectory and Wootton Rivers rectory. (fn. 451)
In 1278 Walter de Lillebonne quitclaimed the patronage of the church to Cirencester abbey, (fn. 452) and the advowson of the vicarage passed with the Rectory estate. Until the Dissolution all known presentations of vicars were by the abbey, and in 1546 Thomas Trussley presented by the abbey's grant. (fn. 453) In 1588 the advowson was granted by the Crown with the tithes of the Rectory estate, and it passed with the rectorial tithes of Milton Lilbourne (fn. 454) until 1846. In 1846 S. E. Scroggs's trustees presented J. H. Gale and sold the advowson to his father T. H. Gale, vicar until 1846. (fn. 455) The advowson passed to J. H. Gale (d. 1893). (fn. 456) After his death the patronage was exercised by his relict Augusta (d. 1913) and after hers by his daughters: in 1924 four of the surviving daughters and Oxford University in place of a fifth who had become a Roman Catholic presented jointly. (fn. 457) In 1931 the advowson was transferred to Wadham College, Oxford, (fn. 458) which shared the patronage of the united benefice formed in 1929 and became a member of the board of patronage for the united benefice formed in 1991. (fn. 459)
The vicarage was endowed, presumably at its ordination, with a house and ½ yardland, all tithes and 1 qr. each of wheat, barley, and oats from the Rectory estate, small tithes from the whole parish, and mortuaries, oblations, and other obventions. About 1300 tithes of milk and cheese from the whole parish and tithes of hay from Clench, Fyfield, and Milcot were added to the endowment, (fn. 460) and later the vicar was also given 46s. 8d. a year from the Rectory estate. (fn. 461) The vicarage was worth £7 13s. 6d. in 1535, (fn. 462) £40 in 1704, (fn. 463) and £70 in 1812. (fn. 464) In 1816 it was augmented by lot with £600 given by parliament (fn. 465) but, with a net income of £111, it was still poor c. 1830. (fn. 466) In 1866 the Revd. S. M. Scroggs gave £833 stock to augment it: the vicar was to receive the income and, from when it was possible to use the capital to buy it, to be given rent charge for which rectorial tithes of the parish had been commuted. In 1900–1 the vicar received £26 from Scroggs's charity. From 1912, by gift of the owner, the vicar also received seven ninths of the rent charge in respect of the rectorial tithes of Milton Lilbourne, and no rent charge was bought by Scroggs's trustees. (fn. 467) In the later 16th century and earlier 17th the vicar claimed, in addition to those assigned c. 1300 and earlier, tithes of hay from Milton Lilbourne and of 100 sheep. (fn. 468) No such additional claim was made in 1704 (fn. 469) or later. In the later 18th century the owner of the Rectory estate paid £20 a year to the vicar in place of the tithes, corn rent, and pension from his estate. (fn. 470) About 1842 the vicar's tithes were commuted for a rent charge of £140. (fn. 471) In 1608 the glebe included a house, 1 a. of meadow, and nominally 15¼ a. of arable; (fn. 472) in 1704 feeding for 120 sheep and 6 beasts was held with the land. (fn. 473) There was 18 a. of glebe c. 1842. (fn. 474) The vicar sold c. 6 a. c. 1914, and 4 a. in 1917; the final 6 a. of glebe was sold in 1994. (fn. 475) The vicarage house was apparently rebuilt in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 476) In 1783 it was a thatched house with three bedchambers, (fn. 477) and in 1833 was unfit for the vicar. (fn. 478) It had been demolished by c. 1842. (fn. 479) A new house was built on its site c. 1855 (fn. 480) and was sold in 1987. (fn. 481)
In 1553 quarterly sermons were not preached, (fn. 482) and by 1556 goods taken from the church in Edward VI's reign had not been returned. (fn. 483) From 1564 to 1986 it seems that few vicars were not resident or were assisted by a curate. (fn. 484) George Pinch was vicar from 1595 to 1645. (fn. 485) In the late 17th century and in the 18th each of several vicars was curate of Easton, (fn. 486) and John Swain, vicar 1777–1800, was also curate of Collingbourne Kingston. At Milton Lilbourne in 1783 Swain, who lived in Wootton Rivers, conducted a service on Good Friday, Christmas day, and every Sunday; there were c. 17 communicants, and communion was celebrated four times. (fn. 487) T. H. Gale was vicar from 1812 to 1846 and his son J. H. Gale from 1846 to 1893. (fn. 488) As Parson Gale the son became well known as a huntsman and a magistrate. (fn. 489) In 1864 he held two services each Sunday and a service on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Christmas day, and he celebrated communion six times a year; there were 20–40 communicants at the great festivals. (fn. 490) From 1971 to 1986 the united benefice was held in plurality with Wootton Rivers rectory. (fn. 491) An iron cello played in the church c. 1800 and made at Milton Lilbourne was in Devizes museum in 1996. (fn. 492)
In 1906 Laetitia Penruddocke gave the interest from £100 for maintenance of the churchyard. The income, £3 11s. in 1907–8, £5.46 in 1975, was used as she intended. In 1996 the trustees of the charity resolved to spend the capital as if it was income. (fn. 493)
The church of ST. PETER, so called in 1763, (fn. 494) is built of flint and ashlar and consists of a chancel, a nave with north aisle and south porch, and a west tower. The proportions of the chancel and nave, and the thickness of their walls, suggest that they were built in the 12th century, the date of imposts on the chancel arch. The aisle was presumably first built in the later 13th century, the date of the arcade. In the 14th century the chancel was altered and in the south wall of the nave a doorway and a window were replaced. The tower is probably late 15th-century and the porch, to the west of which there is a 15th-century window in the south wall of the nave, may be contemporary with it; the aisle was rebuilt soon after the tower was built. Surviving windows which lit galleries, and surviving fragments of carved wood, suggest that the church was refurnished in the 17th century, and until 1874 it had south and west galleries, box pews, of which those in the aisle and those near the chancel arch were high, and a pulpit adjoining the east pier of the arcade. (fn. 495) The chancel was restored in 1859 to designs by G. E. Street. (fn. 496) In 1875 the nave, aisle, and porch were restored to designs by J. L. Pearson; much of the walling was rebuilt, the old windows being re-used or copied, and the box pews and galleries were removed. (fn. 497) In 1925 the arcade, which was leaning, was rebuilt with the old stone. (fn. 498)
An 8-oz. chalice was kept by the parish in 1553, when 2 oz. of plate was taken for the king. In 1891 and 1996 the parish had a silver paten cover apparently of the later 16th century, a silver chalice hallmarked for 1655, and a silverplated paten of 1875. (fn. 499)
There were three bells in the church in 1553 (fn. 500) and in 1783, when one was cracked. (fn. 501) A new ring of six was hung; the bells were cast by Robert Wells at Aldbourne in 1789 and remained in the church in 1996. One of the bells was recast by Llewellins & James at Bristol in 1906. (fn. 502)
The registers begin in 1686 and are complete. (fn. 503)
In 1584 one of several parishioners who did not attend communion was the vicar's wife. (fn. 504) There was no nonconformist in the parish in 1676 or 1783. (fn. 505) A meeting house was certified in 1821 by Methodists, a newly built chapel in 1825 by Independent Methodists, and a chapel in 1843 by Primitive Methodists. (fn. 506) Only one chapel was open in 1864, (fn. 507) presumably that at Littleworth used by Wesleyan Methodists and said to have been built c. 1854. (fn. 508) In 1932 a new Methodist chapel was built a little north of the north end of Milton Lilbourne street, (fn. 509) and that at Littleworth was closed. (fn. 510) The new chapel was closed in 1967. (fn. 511)
In 1818 there was no day school in the parish; (fn. 512) in 1833, when the population was c. 660, one for nine infant boys was the only school. (fn. 513) A school was provided with new premises, possibly c. 1854, but it was still attended only by very young children: the 30–40 children who were pupils in 1858 and 1864 left at an early age to go to work. Several evening schools were held in winter in 1864. (fn. 514) The day school had 52 pupils in 1871. (fn. 515) In 1876 the parish was compelled to form a school board, which replaced the old school with a new school and schoolhouse opened in 1878. The board was dissolved in 1903. (fn. 516) The school had 64 pupils in 1906–7, 75 in 1909–10; with fluctuations attendance had declined to 49 by 1937–8, (fn. 517) and to 29 by 1981. The school was closed in 1985. (fn. 518)
A residential school for deaf and dumb Jewish children was moved from London in 1940 and was held in Havering House from then until 1945. (fn. 519)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Although land in all parts of the parish was given by Sarah, duchess of Somerset, to Froxfield almshouse, (fn. 520) which was opened c. 1695, in 1716 parishioners of Milton Lilbourne were declared inadmissible to the almshouse as manor widows. (fn. 521) No other eleemosynary charity is known.