A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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Before its extinction in 1954 (fn. 1) the parish of Stratford-sub-Castle lay to the north of the city of New Sarum. It was roughly square, but on its west side two excrescences projected across the Avon. Of these the hamlet called Avon formed the more northerly. Old Sarum, which lay within the parish, came to be regarded as extra-parochial, (fn. 2) but was transformed into a civil parish under the Extra-Parochial Places Act of 1857, (fn. 3) and was amalgamated with Stratford in 1894. (fn. 4) Avon was a recognizable township in or about 1249. (fn. 5) It contained at least three houses in 1567 (fn. 6) and 1631–2, (fn. 7) and five in 1841; (fn. 8) in 1955 it was reduced to little more than a farm-house. It seems to have been part of Stratford parish by 1631–2, for the then tenants were churchwardens. (fn. 9) The township was, however, in the hundred of Branch and Dole, and the 'manor' of Avon was included in Fugglestone in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 10)
At its greatest extent Stratford comprised 1,576 a., including water. (fn. 11) In 1897 that part of Stratford (apparently 1 a.) lying within the city of Salisbury was added to Milford Within — a parish incorporated in the city in 1904. (fn. 12) In 1904 91 a. were taken out of the parish and joined with Milford Without to form Milford. (fn. 13) In 1927 167 a. in Stratford were joined to New Sarum. (fn. 14) In 1954 237 a. of the parish with their 165 inhabitants, including the village and Old Sarum, were brought within the city boundaries, and the rest of the parish transferred to Laverstock. (fn. 15)
From the citadel of Old Sarum, 400 ft., the land falls away in every direction except the south-east, but near the northern boundary rises again to 300 ft. The lofty hill on which the ruined castle stands, clothed with yews and beeches, is the most striking feature. On the east the Avon flows roughly southwards. Not far to the east of the river a secondary road runs from Salisbury to Amesbury via Woodford, spanning the Avon by means of Stratford and Avon Bridges, about ½ mile from the former parish boundary on the north-west. Avon Bridge, which is the more westerly, was repairable by the county in 1852–5. (fn. 16) It was widened in 1936. (fn. 17) The soil and subsoil of the former parish are chalk and gravel. In 1956 the land, so far as it was not built upon, was mainly tilled in the north and grazed in the south.
The population was 352 in 1801 and rose to 385 in 1821. It then slowly declined until it reached 307 in 1871. It rose again to 375 in 1901, notwithstanding the boundary change of 1897. After the second boundary change in 1904 it was 281, and after the third in 1927 231. In 1951 it was 256. (fn. 18)
Stratford village, which had borne a variety of suffixes both in Latin and English, (fn. 19) was called Stratford-under-the-Castle in the census reports from 1801 to 1891. (fn. 20) The ecclesiastical parish was then given the name 'Stratford-sub-Castle' and this was extended to the civil parish in the next report and has since remained in use. There seems to be no early warrant for the form, though Thomas Mozley, who had been Rector of Cholderton (1836– 47), used it in 1882. (fn. 21) Between 1841 and 1881 Old Sarum was given the alternative name of Old Castle in the reports.
The parish had begun to accommodate the surplus population of Salisbury by about 1880 when a line of substantial villas, Park Lane, connected the tips of the prongs that clasp Victoria Park. (fn. 22) By 1955 the southern part of the former parish had been largely built upon, and contained, apart from dwellings, the church of St. Francis, the Salisbury and South Wilts. College of Further Education, and the works of Salisbury Precision Engineering, Ltd. These developments, however, form part of the history of the modern city and have been there considered. (fn. 23)
The city of Old Salisbury in its pride and decline, its castle, and the Parliamentary borough of Old Sarum are dealt with elsewhere. (fn. 24) The separation between Old Salisbury and Stratford cannot, however, be at all complete. As the population of the old city dwindled to nothing, the village of Stratford grew increasingly conspicuous and eventually engulfed its neighbour. This process cannot of course be traced accurately but it is obvious that lands and even buildings which were once said to belong to Old Salisbury came in time to belong to Stratford. (fn. 25) The 75 a. allotted to Old Sarum in 1881 (fn. 26) may well be far below the area of the old city.
The chief houses in the parish are the Manor House, (fn. 27) Mawarden Court, (fn. 28) Parsonage Farm, (fn. 29) and the Prebendal House, (fn. 30) all described below. New Farm seems to have been built in the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 31) Old Forge Cottage and the adjoining dwelling form together a long range with upper story timber-framed probably dating from the 16th century. The smithy stood immediately to the north. At the south end of the village there are several 17th- and early-18th-century cottages of stone and flint with thatched roofs. Other cottages in the same area, which existed in 1839, (fn. 32) have been demolished, probably during road improvements. A brick cottage adjoining the post office is dated 1703, with initials 'I.C.'. Stones bearing 12th-century ornament, taken from a demolished cottage in the village and now in Salisbury Museum, are thought to have come originally from Old Salisbury. Possibly several of the mixed stone and flint walls in the village contain material from the same source.
There were 2 inns in the parish. The Stratford Inn, towards the south end of Stratford village on the east side of the Woodford-Salisbury road, is mentioned as an inn from 1859 to 1889. (fn. 33) The brick building still stood in 1956. The 'Old Castle' on the main road from Salisbury, stands on the site of a building called Old Castle House in 1773. (fn. 34) A house with that name existed at least as early as 1668–9 when 19s. 6d. was spent on its repair by the overseers of the poor. (fn. 35) This suggests that it was then a poor house. On the other hand, it is stated on Wansey's plan of Old Sarum (1820) that the land on which the present building stands was given by Robert Pitt to J. Rose, an old servant, 'to build him a cottage on'. If this was so, the date of erection would be the early 18th century. The structural details of the earliest portions are consistent with either date. It was presumably this building which Defoe (c. 1722) (fn. 36) and the American Curwen (fn. 37) visited in their travels and chose to regard as the solitary domiciliary vestige of Old Salisbury. If so, its occupiers supplied visitors with punch, wine, and tea in 1776. (fn. 38) In 1790 the owner seems to have been John Cooper, of Salisbury, (fn. 39) and in 1839 John Cusse, who was also the occupier. The building was certainly a public house at that time. (fn. 40) The original stone cottage of two stories has been enlarged on its west side at various periods, the last additions being made to improve its appearance on the new road front between 1930 and 1935. An ancient stone fireplace inside the building was brought from elsewhere. (fn. 41)
A parish reading-room was erected on the north side of Mawarden Court in or about 1881 (fn. 42) and still existed in 1956. The Salisbury and District Joint Isolation Hospital, on the extreme east of the former parish, was built in 1911–12, (fn. 43) and closed in 1951. (fn. 44) It provided beds for 90 patients, and was later enlarged by huts. (fn. 45) The nearest railway station has always been in Salisbury. The Wilts. and Dorset omnibus company was running omnibuses past the Old Castle Inn by 1923. (fn. 46) Electricity was first supplied to the parish in 1938, (fn. 47) and a piped water supply in 1941. (fn. 48) In 1960 main sewerage was being laid in the village.
From the late 17th to the early 19th century Stratford was associated with the Pitt family. Thomas Pitt (1653–1726), (fn. 49) Governor of Madras, and purchaser of the Pitt diamond, acquired Mawarden Court in 1686, (fn. 50) and he and his eldest son, Robert, added to the property substantially in later years. (fn. 51) When Thomas left England in 1698 to become president of Fort St. George, his wife lived for a time at Mawarden Court. She was there in 1702, (fn. 52) but often stayed in Bath, (fn. 53) and left Stratford for good in 1708. (fn. 54) The house was then transferred to Robert (d. 1727) who was often at Stratford between 1714 and 1726. (fn. 55) Later Pitts do not seem to have frequented it, and it could be said in 1790 that they had not done so for many years. (fn. 56) In the letters of Thomas and Robert Pitt Mawarden Court is never so referred to, and in 1773 Andrews and Dury called it Stratford House.
The Revd. Edward Caswall (1814–78), divine and poet, was Perpetual Curate of Stratford from 1840 until his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1847. (fn. 57) In the 19th century H. J. F. Swayne, the Wiltshire antiquary, lived at Mawarden Court. (fn. 58)
MANORS AND LESSER ESTATES.
By his foundation charter St. Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, gave the canons of Salisbury 6½ hides in Stratford, besides land in the old city itself and before the castle gate. (fn. 59) In early times one of these hides had been assigned to the Prebendary of Grantham (Lincs.), who exercised jurisdiction over his men within it, but before 1225 he had lost it. (fn. 60) Apart from this assignment we lack early evidence of the way in which the cathedral lands in Stratford were distributed among the cathedral dignitaries, and when in 1120 Bishop Roger gave the canons the amercements of the assize of bread and ale of their Stratford tenants — revenue which he had apparently withheld — he gave it them in common. (fn. 61)
While in course of time the bishops conveyed nearly all the ecclesiastical property in Stratford to the canons, for the benefit either of a particular dignitary or the common fund, they seem to have retained a small amount in hand. At any rate in 1353 Bishop Wyville leased for life some land in Stratford to John and Beatrice Everard. (fn. 62) Before 1358 this grant had been converted into a feoffment in tail at a rent of 8 marks, (fn. 63) and shortly afterwards Everard was found to hold of the bishop by knight service a messuage and two carucates, (fn. 64) which was possibly the same tenement. In 1370 Isabel relict of Sir Hugh Tirell held a small plot of the bishop, (fn. 65) and lands belonging to the bishop in Penteslade in Stratford are mentioned in a deed of 1397. (fn. 66) The village itself, or some part of it, was called Bishop Stratford in 1443, (fn. 67) and in 1535 the bishop still held land there. (fn. 68) Perhaps these episcopal lands represent some part of the prebend of Old Salisbury, dissolved in 1226, (fn. 69) if the whole of the prebend was not made over to the Mary mass. (fn. 70)
The dissolution of that prebend was determined upon in 1225, and became effective in 1226 upon the death of the then incumbent. Thereupon the jurisdiction that he formerly exercised over his men in Stratford and which he had taken over from the Prebendary of Grantham, (fn. 71) together with jurisdiction over the Dean of Salisbury's men in Stratford, was granted to the dean. (fn. 72) Subsequent medieval references to the estate are rare, but in 1312 a conveyance was made of four acres in the fields of Stratford decani, and the property was expressly said to extend to the dean's meadow; (fn. 73) in deeds of 1336 there are references to land abutting upon the dean's. (fn. 74) In 1535 the dean's lands were under lease to Master Hilley, cathedral treasurer, though the lessee himself was then dead. (fn. 75) In 1539, as the manor or farm of Stratford Dean, they were leased to Richard Channons for 41 years from 1546, and from his determination this manor was successively leased to Richard Boulton and Robert Smyth for the same term from 1558, and to James Parham or Wiseman, a Salisbury tanner, for 51 years from 1567. (fn. 76) Parham devised his term in the lease to his son of the same name, who was confirmed in his tenure by chancery decree of 1583. (fn. 77) A James Parham or Wiseman, possibly the same, was still tenant in 1650, when the manor was sold by the Parliamentary Commissioners to Thomas Williamson, of London, for £369. (fn. 78) By 1656 the interest in the preceding leases had become vested in Richard Hill of Stratford. He seems subsequently to have acquired the fee simple, which he devised to his son John by will proved in 1659. (fn. 79) At the Restoration the freehold returned to the chapter, who leased it in 1665 to Thomas Cullinge and Thomas and Elizabeth Hill, of London. (fn. 80) The terms of the lease suggest that the Hills may have been descendants of Richard Hill. In 1672 the lease was transferred to Sir John Bankes, bt., and Sir Eliab Harvey, both of London, (fn. 81) who still enjoyed it in 1690. (fn. 82) By 1697, however, it had been transferred to Thomas Pitt, (fn. 83) and in 1724 passed to Thomas's son Robert. (fn. 84) Robert died in 1727 and the succession to his estates was disputed among members of his family, (fn. 85) but in 1739 seisin of the manor was delivered to Thomas, his eldest son, under a lease of 1737, (fn. 86) and in 1760 the manor was settled upon him, his son Thomas (cr. Baron Camelford, 1784), and William Pitt (cr. Earl of Chatham, 1766) for their lives. (fn. 87) In 1800 Thomas, 2nd Lord Camelford, was holding the manor. (fn. 88) In 1804 together with the other Pitt estates it was devised to Anne, Lady Greville, (fn. 89) and conveyed by her and her husband to the Earl of Caledon in 1805. (fn. 90) He sold the lease in 1818 to his first cousin James Alexander (d. 1848), M.P. for Old Sarum in 1812. (fn. 91) In 1851 Alexander's representatives sold it to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 92)
In 1650 the dean's estate included a farm house, 3 closes (6 a.), rights of herbage in several meadows, an inclosed meadow, and about 140 a. of arable, an orchard, and a hop garden. (fn. 93) In 1800 and 1839 the area was some 250 a., (fn. 94) and in 1856 some 270 a. (fn. 95)
The farm house, called the Upper Farm in 1793 (fn. 96) and the Manor House since 1867, (fn. 97) was said in the former year to be 'ancient' and built of flint and stone, with a tiled roof. (fn. 98) The east end of the present building is of those materials and dates from the late 16th or early 17th century. The house has been much altered and its west end was completely rebuilt c. 1900. (fn. 99) All the internal timberwork was renewed in 1954–5 after damage by death watch beetle.
In 1793 the house, with its adjacent garden and orchards, was occupied by Joseph Maffey. (fn. 100) By 1849, when it was occupied by T. O. Stevens, it seems to have been severed from the dean's estate and to have become Alexander's freehold. (fn. 101) It was sold to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851. (fn. 102) It was then successively occupied by W. C. Saunders (1867–88), Mrs. Saunders (1895–8), and Joseph Carpenter (1903–15). (fn. 103) In 1921 it was bought by the Misses C. M., F. A. and C. T. Carpenter, (fn. 104) from whom Mr. C. Thomas bought it in 1942. (fn. 105)
An L-shaped house of brick, stone, and flint dating from the 18th century and later, lies about 50 yards to the south of the Manor House. This building was known as North Hill Farm in 1773, and was then connected with the church by an avenue of trees, (fn. 106) traces of which still remain. Since at least 1839 it has been known as Dean's Farm, (fn. 107) and perhaps took the name of the dean's estate after the former manor house of the reputed manor had been enfranchised. It was then occupied by Thomas Waters, (fn. 108) and between 1849 (fn. 109) and 1867 (fn. 110) by his son Edward. He was succeeded by an occupier of the same name, who can be traced to 1895. (fn. 111) In 1896 the occupier was W. C. Young. (fn. 112) In 1920 the house was sold to C. D. Woodrow, (fn. 113) and a Woodrow still lived there in 1956. (fn. 114)
A yardland (30 a.), parcel of this manor, was the object of separate conveyances from the 17th century. It had once been in the tenure of James Parham, (fn. 115) and subsequently of Dr. John Elliott, who in 1672 was or had been tenant. (fn. 116) In 1690, 1697 and 1705 it was leased for years to Nicholas Elliott of Salisbury, later of Winterbourne Gunner, (fn. 117) and in 1729 and 1736 to Isabella, relict of John Elliott of Winterbourne Gunner. (fn. 118) Hence the name Elliotts, which the land bore until 1849. (fn. 119) Its descent has not been continuously traced but in 1818 it was sold by Lord Caledon to James Alexander (fn. 120) and by his representatives to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851. (fn. 121)
When Bishop Poore granted to the Dean of Salisbury the jurisdiction which the Prebendary of Grantham had once exercised over his men in Stratford, (fn. 122) he kept the demesne, which seems to have amounted to 1 hide, in his own hands. Before 1228, however, he had handed it over to the succentor for the support of St. Mary's mass in Salisbury Cathedral. (fn. 123) The memory of this endowment is possibly preserved in the name 'Morwemasseclerk' applied to some land in Stratford in 1397. (fn. 124) It is also possible that the endowment represented the estate subsequently appropriated to the succentor. The succentor's land is mentioned in 1328, (fn. 125) and was said in 1336 to be in 'le Ridelonde'. (fn. 126) Robert South, of New Salisbury, by will proved 1540, bequeathed his term of years in a farm in Stratford, which he held under the succentor, to his son Robert (d. c. 1549). (fn. 127) The tenants who successively followed him were Ellis Bennett (1565), and Hugh and Mallet Halswell, the last of whom acquired a lease of the land in 1631 for a fine of £60. (fn. 128) In 1638 William Poulton, of Stratford, took Mallet Halswell's place, (fn. 129) and was still tenant in 1649. (fn. 130) The succentor leased the property to Bridget Earle in 1677, (fn. 131) to Thomas Curgenven (fn. 132) at an unknown date after her death in 1696, and to Robert Pitt in 1714. (fn. 133) Robert paid a fine of £86 and 'a broad piece of gold' and surrendered his interest in a lease of 1701 the text of which has not been found. The Pitt family continued as tenants, (fn. 134) and in 1800 Lord Camelford was holding the leasehold estate called Subchanter's Farm. (fn. 135) The estate then followed the descent of Stratford Dean manor. (fn. 136)
In 1649 the property comprised a farm house of two rooms above and two below, a stable adjacent, a barn of 5 bays, a granary and yard, and a backside adjacent to the Parsonage House. There were also closes of pasture and meadow, strips of arable in St. John's and Castle Fields and pasture for 300 sheep on the downs, but of these appurtenances only half was appropriated to the succentor. The other half belonged to the dean and chapter, though the apportionment between the two was uncertain. (fn. 137) In 1800, 1839, and 1849 the property amounted to some 120–130 acres. (fn. 138) The following are known to have been undertenants: John Whitchurch in 1793, (fn. 139) Charles James and Thomas Moody in 1839, (fn. 140) and Thomas Mitchell in 1849. (fn. 141)
Some land appropriated to the chancellor lay in Stratford field in 1328, (fn. 142) and in 1423 there is a reference to land late held of him. (fn. 143) In 1636 the estate was leased to Anthony Parry. (fn. 144) Before 1662 it had been in the joint tenure of five persons, of whom William Collis, a Salisbury physician, was one. (fn. 145) By that year Thomas Deare, of Stratford, had acquired Collis's interest, which he then surrendered in return for a lease to himself. (fn. 146) In 1671 the lease was transferred to John Brown, (fn. 147) who, when he renewed it in 1683, was also described as a Salisbury physician. (fn. 148) Later tenants were Samuel Squire, of Durnford, clerk, and John Squire, (fn. 149) who gave the estate the name 'Squires', which it bore in 1800. (fn. 150) It was then held by John Blake, of Ford (in Laverstock), (fn. 151) who still held it in 1856. (fn. 152) Joseph Maton was undertenant to John Squire, (fn. 153) and in 1839 Samuel Lampard and John Downton were sub-leasing part of the estate from Blake. (fn. 154)
In 1649 the estate comprised a house with hall, kitchen, parlour, buttery, milk house, and four lodging chambers, a barn, a stable, a cart-house, a pigeon-house, closes of meadow and pasture and arable in St. John's field, and the fields 'under the castle,' and 'shooting upon the down'. (fn. 155) In 1671 its area was small, (fn. 156) and in 1856 it consisted only of some 20 a., (fn. 157) including a house of brick and slate. (fn. 158) The house was sold in 1921 to W. G. Bigg. (fn. 159) It has been called Orchard House since at least 1945 when the executrix of Lt.-Col. F. P. St. Maur Shiel put it up for auction. (fn. 160) It is a long building, apparently of the 18th century and later. The end elevation, facing the road, is of Georgian red brick and has a central doorway dating from c. 1800.
The prebend of Stratford St. Lawrence existed in 1217 when it was taxed at four marks. (fn. 161) It was taxed at £5 in 1291, (fn. 162) at four marks in 1452, (fn. 163) and at £6 9s. 4d. gross in 1535. (fn. 164) In 1405 it was said to be endowed with tithe arising in Kingsfield and the oblations offered in Stratford church, and to possess glebe consisting of 60 a. of land, 6 a. of meadow, and pasture for 495 sheep. There were ten customary tenants who rendered 56s. 4d. for four virgates. (fn. 165) In 1408 and 1412 it was being farmed by Nicholas Petyte. (fn. 166) Presumably from this time the prebendaries normally let the prebend. It is known that in 1623, on payment of a fine of £45, it was leased in survivorship to William and Mary Poulton, of Kingston Deverill, and their son Edward at £5 6s. 8d., (fn. 167) a rent which continued to be reserved until at least 1703. (fn. 168) In 1651 it was sold to John Pewde, of Stratford, for £359. It was then called the 'prebend, manor, or lordship' of Stratford and comprised 'the prebend house', two small closes, a 'place' of river called Blackwell, and strips of arable. (fn. 169) In 1656 Pewde devised it to his mother Elizabeth Pewde. (fn. 170) The manor returned to the chapter at the Restoration, and in 1667 they leased it to Mary Poulton of Monkton Deverill for a fine of £40. (fn. 171) In 1670 it was leased to Bridget Earle (d. 1696), (fn. 172) and after her death to Charles Thompson, of Stratford, clerk, (fn. 173) who secured a new lease in 1703. (fn. 174) He was still lessee in 1717. (fn. 175) After this changes in the tenancy were frequent: Richard Thompson in 1731, William Townsend in 1737, James Townsend in 1738 and 1741, John Wadman in 1746 and 1752, John Cooper between 1753 and 1771, the Revd. Edward Cooper in 1776 and 1808, and George Fort in 1808 and 1819. (fn. 176) In 1820 James Alexander bought the leasehold interest from a Mary Cooper, (fn. 177) and his representatives sold it in 1851 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 178) Although Alexander was lord or farmer of the manor in 1839, some small parts of the prebendal estate seem to have been then separately leased to Thomas Blake and Vincent Wing. (fn. 179)
Courts baron for the manor were held at infrequent intervals between 1689 and 1844. In the later 18th century orders were made to beat the bounds in the autumn. (fn. 180)
In 1800 Cooper's leaseholds were subdivided into eight separate estates, three of which had been sublet to Joseph Brunsdon, John Whitchurch, and Stephen Hutchins respectively. (fn. 184) Two of the estates, not so sublet, preserved the name Kentons in their titles, a name which takes the reader back to some of the cestui que vies of the late 17th century. (fn. 185) In 1839 the chief undertenants were Charles James, Thomas Waters, and Thomas Blake. (fn. 186)
In 1405 the home farm consisted of a hall with a chamber under one roof, a grain barn, a hay barn, a byre, and a dovecote. (fn. 187) In 1408 a stable is mentioned. (fn. 188) In 1425 a bakehouse and a high gate by the road are also mentioned. The hall was then thatched, and the chamber at the end of the hall slated. (fn. 189)
The house now known as the Prebendal House lies immediately south of Mawarden Court. There are no traces of the medieval building, although stones in the north wall are older than the rest of the structure. The present red-brick house is of two distinct parts. The north end consists of a two-story splayed bay of early 18th-century date with a Venetian window to each floor. This bay may originally have formed the central feature of a longer frontage. (fn. 190) The south part of the building is much lower and is an addition of the mid-19th century. In 1849 the house was in use as two cottages. (fn. 191) The plaque now on the front, dated 1700, is not original. The house was occupied by H. J. Gibbs in 1885, (fn. 192) P. R. Foster in 1889, (fn. 193) C. McGill and Mrs. C. McGill from 1896 to 1920. (fn. 194) In 1921 it was bought by Mrs. B. V. Gordon. (fn. 195) F. C. Farrington occupied it in 1931, (fn. 196) and J. S. Woolley in 1935 and 1939. (fn. 197) In 1947 (fn. 198) it began to be used as the vicarage, and was still being so used in 1956.
While the lands of the Dean, Chancellor, and Succentor of Salisbury and of the Prebendary of Stratford, appear to have been set aside for the use of those dignitaries at an early date, the village as a whole was looked upon as the common property of the chapter. Lands of the communa of Salisbury Cathedral are so referred to in a deed of ante 1280, (fn. 199) and in 1316 the Sheriff of Wiltshire declared that the village was in the undivided lordship of the dean and chapter. (fn. 200) Whatever the precise position about the decanal and other lands may ultimately have been, there was undoubtedly spiritual and temporal property in Stratford which was always held by the chapter collectively, as part either of the common or the fabric fund. (fn. 201) It was these lands which in the 15th (fn. 202) and 16th (fn. 203) centuries came to be known as Stratford Common or Canon, and were apparently augmented by a mortmain licence of 1429 when the chapter acquired lands of the yearly value of 44s. in Stratford Dean, Stratford Common and Great Woodford. (fn. 204) These communal estates seem eventually to have been reputed two manors, Stratford Parsonage, belonging to the common fund, and Mawarden Court to the fabric fund. (fn. 205)
In 1228 the church of St. Martin, Salisbury, with the chapel of Stratford, was granted for life to Master Harvey. (fn. 206) This is the first mention of Stratford chapel. The effect of this grant was to convey the vicarial tithe, for the rectorial tithe had already been granted by the bishop to the common fund. (fn. 207) When St. Edmund's College, Salisbury, was founded in 1269 the vicarial tithe of St. Martin's was assigned to its provost, but the rectorial tithe in St. Martin's and Stratford remained with the chapter, (fn. 208) who acted as rectors of both until 1635 (fn. 209) and of Stratford until modern times. It was the chapter's habit to let their tithes to farm. In the 14th century these farms were assigned in chapter to residentiary canons. On the death of a residentiary it was usual for the next in seniority below him to take his farm and for the remaining canons in order of seniority to exchange their own farms for the next more profitable one. (fn. 210) In the case of Stratford this system is first seen in operation in 1334 (fn. 211) and for the next 92 years there are many further instances of it. (fn. 212) Presumably St. Martin's and Stratford were up to this time always farmed together, though the documents sometimes speak of St. Martin's alone. When the two separated is not clear, but in 1448 powers were taken by the chapter to let St. Martin's, apparently without Stratford, to a layman. (fn. 213) It is possible that Stratford continued to be farmed in the old way, for in 1460 Master Richard Whitby, a canon, took it. (fn. 214) In 1468, however, it was clearly transferred to lay hands for it was then leased to three husbandmen for 5 years. (fn. 215) In 1430 it was being called a manor. (fn. 216) In 1334 the rent for St. Martin's and Stratford was £40. (fn. 217) In 1461 it was £36 13s. 4d. (fn. 218) In 1468 the rent for Stratford alone was £18 13s. 4d. (fn. 219) and thenceforward until 1627 it fluctuated between £18 and £20. (fn. 220)
In 1545 the chapter leased their 'parsonage or chapel' of Stratford to Robert South, of Stratford, for 70 years at £20, (fn. 221) and in 1549 to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1570) for 99 years at the same rent. (fn. 222) In 1629 Mallet Halswell, of Charlinch (Som.), an assignee of Lord Pembroke, surrendered his interest, and thereupon the chapter gave him a lease for three lives. (fn. 223) In 1633 the lease was renewed to him and two others for the lives of Dr. Andrew Bowerman, Anne his wife, and James Young. (fn. 224) Bowerman seems to have become possessed of the lease, for during the Interregnum he compounded for £125. (fn. 225) In 1650 the rectory was said to be worth £150, (fn. 226) and, under the name of the rectory manor, was then sold with other capitular lands in Stratford to Philip Jermine, a justice of the Upper Bench, and his sons-in-law, John Greene and Roger Bisse, for £691. (fn. 227) In 1662 four persons, including John Young and Anne Bowerman, being then vested in the premises, surrendered them to the chapter, who at once leased them for three lives to Dr. John Earle, Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 228) After his death in 1665 the leasehold passed to his relict, Bridget. (fn. 229) She died in 1696 (fn. 230) and in 1699 a new lease was made to Nathaniel Trotman. (fn. 231) Trotman secured a licence to alienate at the same time (fn. 232) and evidently transferred his interest to Edmund Pitman, of New Salisbury, and Robert Burleton, of East Knoyle, who in 1700 acquired the leasehold for three lives. (fn. 233) Next year they were replaced as lessees by Thomas Curgenven, Thomas ('Diamond') Pitt's uncle, (fn. 234) with whom Charity Trotman, presumably Nathaniel's relict, levied a fine, (fn. 235) though her interest in the property is not obvious. The rent at this time was £100 as it had been regularly since 1664. (fn. 236) The property secured by fine was said to comprise three messuages or cottages, water-mills for grain and fulling, 120 a. of land and some meadow and pasture, with the rectory and tithe, but the mills had in fact been separately conveyed. (fn. 237) In 1709, presumably after Curgenven's death, Robert Pitt acquired the lease. (fn. 238) After Robert's death a lease was made in 1728 in favour of his relict Harriet and her son and daughter, Thomas and Essex. (fn. 239) In 1760 the manor, with the tithes, was settled upon Thomas, 'Diamond' Pitt's grandson, and his brother William, later Earl of Chatham. (fn. 240) The leasehold then followed the descent of Stratford Dean. (fn. 241)
The estate called Parsonage Farm consisted of some 113 a. in 1800 (fn. 242) and about 144 in 1851. (fn. 243) In 1839 it comprised a house, three gardens, and some arable and meadow. The tithe arising was then commuted for £484. (fn. 244)
In 1720 Pitt sublet the estate to John Burrough for 11 years, though he reserved to himself a part of the house, the flower garden, and 2 orchards. (fn. 245) In 1731 the same premises were sublet to Joseph Maton who held them until he died in 1767. (fn. 246) In 1793 they were occupied by John Whitchurch, (fn. 247) and in 1839 (fn. 248) and 1849 (fn. 249) by Charles James. In 1875 the farmhouse was in the occupation of John Marsh, (fn. 250) and between 1895 and 1920 of Francis Carey. (fn. 251) In 1921 it was bought by R. F. S. Coggan, (fn. 252) who was still in occupation in 1939. (fn. 253)
In 1426 the home farm, surrounded by a thatched wall (clausura), consisted of a hall and chamber, a kitchen, at least one barn, a stable, a byre, and a pound (locus imparcacionis). (fn. 254) The property, when next surveyed in 1430, had suffered from a fire which had consumed a chamber over (supra) the principal gate, a wall connecting it with the barn, the eastern part of the hall roof, the ceiling in the south part of the hall, and the chief end of the chamber, called the gable ('le puynnon'). A lower chamber by the principal gate was also defective. Fairly extensive repairs were then ordered, which included ceiling the chamber over the gate. The hall ceiling, however, was not to be mended, but replaced by a hipped roof. (fn. 255) The house was again repaired in 1470. (fn. 256) In 1614, when it was described as 'very fair', there lay beside it two tiled barns, a tiled garner, a stable, and a byre. A barton adjoined, and there were two gardens. (fn. 257) In 1793 the house was described as a large ancient building in good repair, and nearby were two large barns and a new dovehouse, all tiled, and two thatched carthouses. It was also remarked that 'the part which was formerly called the Farm, the boundary between which and the parsonage is to be seen, is now laid together, and part of the house which remains is converted into a stable with chambers over for carters.' (fn. 258)
The existing farmhouse consists of a front range parallel with the road and a long wing running back from it at right angles. The former probably dates from the 16th century, and is of two stories with attics, the base being of stone and the upper part timber-framed. The front wall was faced with yellow brick c. 1800 when Georgian sash windows and a porch were added so that no timbering is visible externally. The 5-bay roof is original and the former hall retains some 16th-century features. Incorporated in the back wing is a stone building, probably of the early 17th century, which is separated from the front range by a space about 10 ft. wide. On the first floor of this building is a panelled chamber with a coved ceiling, traditionally known as the 'chapel room'. In the late 17th or early 18th century the back wing appears to have been remodelled and a new roof constructed to connect it with the front range. This may explain the phrase used in 1793. Cob garden walls with thatched copings and two timbered barns were still standing in 1956.
The property of the fabric fund in Stratford was defined in 1535 as a rent of assize leased for £7 6s. 8d., and a mill leased for £6. (fn. 259) If statements made in 1576 may be believed, the property had by that time been enlarged, for it was then declared that the manor or farm of Mawarden Court formed part of the fabric fund estates. This property, which perhaps takes its name from Richard Mawarden, knight of the shire in 1403, who held lands in Stratford, worth £6, in 1412, (fn. 260) was by 1477–8 being leased to William Stanford or Stampford from year to year. (fn. 261) It remained in his family until 1547, when Robert Stanford, William's grandson, was claiming to hold it in fee by a quitrent. The chapter, however, seems to have leased it in the same year to Robert Elyott, who successfully challenged Stanford's claim, though shortly afterwards Stanford bought him out. (fn. 262) It was alleged in 1576 that Stanford then held the estate on lease, (fn. 263) but there has survived a 99-year lease of it, dated 1549, to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1570), (fn. 264) and this should still have been current. A carved stone escutcheon, reset in an external wall, suggests that between 1603 and 1618 the house was occupied by Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery and later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1650). (fn. 265) In 1623 the chapter leased the property to William Poulton, of Kingston Deverill, for the lives in survivorship of himself, his wife Mary, and his son Edward, one of whom appears to have been tenant in 1649. (fn. 266) Before 1651 the lease appears to have passed to Ellis Swaine, whose executors then conveyed it to Richard Hill of Stratford for 80 years if the three Poultons should so long live. Hill seems subsequently to have acquired the freehold which he devised to his son John by will proved in 1659. (fn. 267) At the Restoration the chapter recovered the estate, which in 1664 they leased to Thomas Cullinge and Thomas and Elizabeth Hill, all of London, (fn. 268) shortly to become lessees of Stratford Dean. (fn. 269) In 1686 the property was leased to Giles Lytcott, of London. (fn. 270) He surrendered it almost at once, and in the same year a lease was made to Thomas Pitt. (fn. 271) Robert Pitt acquired the lease in 1724, (fn. 272) and the Pitts evidently remained lessees until the property was conveyed to Lord Caledon in 1805 along with Stratford Dean, with which manor it afterwards descended. (fn. 273)
In 1649 the property comprised the farm house of Mawarden Court, 2 barns, 2 stables, a granary, woodhouse, and 'stawle', 2 gardens, an orchard, and a little courtyard. There were also 5 closes of pasture, a meadow, foreshares and aftershares of meadow or herbage, strips of arable in the common fields, and another house with a little ground belonging. The area was then some 265 a. (fn. 274) In 1800 and 1839 the area was only some 180 a. (fn. 275) This reduction is in part attributable to the fact that by 1793 the manor house had been separated from the lands formerly belonging to it. Both, however, were then occupied by Joseph Maffey. (fn. 276) In 1839 Thomas Waters occupied the lands, and the perpetual curate the house. (fn. 277) In 1849 the house was assigned by the chapter as the curate's permanent residence, (fn. 278) and became known as the Vicarage. In 1947 it was abandoned by the vicar, (fn. 279) and shortly afterwards sold to Mr. J. S. Woolley, (fn. 280) who in turn sold it c. 1952 to Brig. J. H. Gibbon. In 1954 it was bought by Major Ireland-Blackburne, (fn. 281) who was occupying it in 1956.
The present stone house, which probably goes back to Philip Herbert's coat of arms, (fn. 282) originally had a frontage consisting of two projecting gabled wings with a smaller gable in the centre of the connecting range. To the north was another low gabled wing and a high building of flint and stone chequerwork, pierced by an archway that probably led into a stable yard. (fn. 283) Internally it comprised in 1649 a kitchen, parlour, brewhouse, buttery, larder, milkhouse, 'old parlour', 6 lodging chambers, and 2 garrets. (fn. 284) A rusticated stone doorway, with a segmental hood, inscribed parva sed apta domino, (fn. 285) appears to have been inserted in the centre of the main block in 1673, the date it bears. The house seems to have been repaired in 1707, (fn. 286) and then or thereabouts a western range with fine panelling was added at the back, and some of the front rooms were also panelled. After 1805, and probably between 1834 and 1839, the house was much altered. (fn. 287) The north side, and the northern end of the western range were pulled down, and the northernmost of the two front gables rebuilt to within 12 ft. of the corresponding south gable. The porch was reconstructed within the gables, but lost its segmental head. The house then became square in plan with two projecting gabled wings. Repairs costing £200 were executed in 1859, (fn. 288) and the whole building was restored by Mr. Woolley after his purchase of it in the 1940's. (fn. 289) After the house had become a vicarage, possibly during the repairs of 1859, five paintings, one reputed a portrait of Nell Gwyn by Lely, were found behind the panelling of an upper room. These were adjudged the incumbent's property, and the proceeds of their sale were said to have been spent upon the house. (fn. 290)
In 1701 firs in a double line flanked the 'long walk' from the house to the river, and there were cross walks 'between the fish ponds' coming to meet it and two 'little gardens' before the pigeon house. (fn. 291) The walks and ponds still extended to the river in 1800, (fn. 292) nor had traces of the fishponds vanished in 1956.
Where distinct estates, leased to the same tenants, lie together contiguously, boundaries between them can easily be shifted and become uncertain either by accident or design. This happened in Stratford. In 1576 it was disputed at law whether certain small parcels of land belonged to Mawarden Court or to Stratford parsonage manor. (fn. 293) In 1649 it was declared that only a moiety of Subchanter's Farm (fn. 294) belonged to the succentor, the rest being the property of the chapter as a whole, but since both halves had for so long been in the same tenant's hand they could no longer be distinguished. (fn. 295) In a survey made in 1793, it was stated that the chapter lands in Stratford were granted under eight different tenures, but having been in the hands of one lessee for many years 'the various holdings are entirely blended and in a great degree unknown'. (fn. 296) The foregoing attempt therefore to trace the descents of various estates systematically is more than ordinarily unreliable.
By the Cathedrals and Ecclesiastical Commissioners Acts (1840–1) and a succession of Orders in Council made thereunder the fee simple of the ecclesiastical lands in Stratford became vested by stages in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who, as is shown elsewhere, bought the leasehold interests in 1851. (fn. 297) The dean's lands became so vested on the resignation of Dean Pearson in 1846, (fn. 298) the Prebendary of Stratford's in 1850, (fn. 299) the succentor's in 1854, (fn. 300) the chancellor's in 1856, (fn. 301) and the lands of the common and fabric funds (fn. 302) in 1861. (fn. 303) In 1875 all these estates, together with the freeholds purchased in 1851, (fn. 304) except the tithe rent-charge, (fn. 305) and two small plots that had been sold in 1853 and 1874, were transferred by the commissioners to the chapter as part of their endowment or permanent estate. This transfer was dated back to 1874. In 1895 the same property, apart from the hill-top of Old Sarum, was re-transferred to the commissioners, who sold most of it between 1920 and 1937. The chief purchasers were C. D. Woodrow (1920, 583 a.), R. F. S. Coggan (1921, 153 a.), Salisbury Corporation (1922, 94 a.), and Messrs. Woolley and Wallis (1925, 45 a.). Old Sarum was re-transferred in 1936 with effect from 1935. (fn. 306) In 1955 the Church Commissioners still held some 260 a. in the former ancient parish. (fn. 307)
In 962 King Edgar gave Titstan, his cubicularius, 8 cassati in AVON. (fn. 308) In 963 he gave Winstan, his chamberlain, 3 cassati there, (fn. 309) and in 972 4 cassati in the same place. (fn. 310) The second and third of these gifts are entered in the Wilton Abbey cartulary and have been taken as the abbey's title to the manor. (fn. 311) At all events the abbey held the demesne of Avon c. 1191. (fn. 312) At the Dissolution it was still seised of the manor, (fn. 313) which was granted to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1570), and Anne his wife in 1544. (fn. 314) In 1567 and 1631–2 at least part of it was reputed a member of the manors of Fugglestone and Bulbridge. (fn. 315) In the former year Lord Pembroke held a part of it in fee. This had formerly been in the successive tenures of John Beaton, Thomas Blecher, and Sir Giles Poole. (fn. 316) The rest was let by copy to members of the Davye (later Davies) family. (fn. 317) In 1631–2 two tenements were still let to members of that family, and a third to Christopher Merifield. (fn. 318) In 1839 Avon Farm itself, with the lands belonging to it, amounted to some 135 a. and was let to Joseph Compton, and there were other lands in Avon (c. 66 a.) let to Charles Dew and sublet to J. S. Vincent. (fn. 319) Subsequent occupiers of the farm were Alfred Tabor (1867), W. F. Stocks (1895), W. J. Snook (1898–1915), and E. Snook (1915–35). (fn. 320) It was to the executors of a member of the Snook family that Lord Pembroke sold the farm in 1920 for £9,000. (fn. 321) W. E. Davis was occupier in 1939. (fn. 322)
Besides Avon there were some other lands in Stratford held in fee by laymen, though no such estate was ever reputed a manor. Some of them, we must suppose, had formed part of the fields or purlieus of the old city, or even part of the city itself. Such properties cannot be enumerated or their descents traced. It must suffice to mention the early 15th-century lands of the Nedler family. From 1397 conveyances to this family of small parcels in Stratford can be traced, (fn. 323) and by 1535 a tenement in Stratford Common had acquired the name 'Nedlers'. It then belonged to Thomas Mundy, of London. (fn. 324)
In 1800 some 135 a. of freehold land in Stratford were inclosed, of which Lord Camelford held about 22, the Revd. Edward Cooper about 26, and John Blake, of Ford, about 50. (fn. 325) These lands undoubtedly extended to Old Sarum, where, however, there were several old inclosures. (fn. 326) In 1839 there were about 550 a. freehold, of which James Alexander held about 220, Lord Pembroke about 200, Thomas Blake about 88, and James and Josias du Pré Alexander about 24 jointly. (fn. 327) The Pembroke lands, at least in part, seem to represent the former manor of Avon, (fn. 328) which apparently was not inclosed with the rest of Stratford. If these lands and the pre-1799 inclosures be excluded from the calculation, the discrepancy between the two freehold areas is the more easily explicable.
Besides the bishop, the Dean, and the Chapter of Salisbury, other ecclesiastics and ecclesiastical bodies once enjoyed territorial interests in Stratford. In 1548–9 some land there belonged to Bishop Beauchamp's chantry in Salisbury Cathedral. (fn. 329) Twenty acres of this land, formerly held by William Hake, were granted in 1554, to Elizabeth Gravener, of London. (fn. 330) In 1535 a small rent issuing out of arable was drawn by Ivychurch Priory. (fn. 331)
In 1227 the Prior of St. Denys, Southampton, assured his right in a virgate in Stratford. (fn. 332) Before 1280 a succeeding prior, Nicholas, and the convent, had granted away some land in Stratford stretching from the road leading to the river to the meadow on the water, together with some rights of pasture. (fn. 333) The meadow itself they retained, and in 1296 a succeeding prior still enjoyed pasture rights. (fn. 334) As has been shown, the Prior of St. Denys held one of the Old Salisbury mills in the 13th and 14th centuries, (fn. 335) and he still held lands in the neighbourhood at the Dissolution. (fn. 336) It is not known in what circumstances his interests in Old Salisbury and Stratford were extinguished.
Apart from King's Field, which belonged peculiarly to Old Salisbury, (fn. 337) none of the Stratford fields is named in early days, but from 1312 there are a few general references to holdings in 'the fields' of Stratford, (fn. 338) Stratford Dean, (fn. 339) and Stratford Common. (fn. 340) In 1351 Marsh Furlong is named, (fn. 341) in 1420 Paul's Dean, (fn. 342) in 1423 South Field, (fn. 343) and in 1483 North Field, then a sheep-run. (fn. 344) In 1614 we hear of the field adjoining Little Down, (fn. 345) St. John's Field, and Stratford Lane, (fn. 346) in 1649–51 of Upper, Home, and Castle fields, Rephill, Ivers, and the 'field over the water'. At the latter date Stratford Dean manor seems to have had strips in North, Home, and Upper fields, the prebendal manor in St. John's and Castle fields, and the 'little field by the down', and Mawarden Court in North and Upper fields, 'the little field by the down', Rephill, and 'the field over the water'. The succentor held strips in St. John's and Castle field. (fn. 347) In 1672 the chancellor held strips in Home, South, St. John's, Castle and Little Down fields, Marsh Furlong, Stratford Lane, and Paul's Dean. (fn. 348) North, South, Upper, and Home fields still existed in 1800, and there are also references to Great and Little Home Fields (perhaps the same as Home Field), and to Middle Field, and the Twenty Acres Field. (fn. 349) The fields were inclosed in 1800, (fn. 350) though it is clear that some inclosure, both within the old city (fn. 351) and in Stratford itself, had taken place already. The area affected by the award was 1,073 a., exclusive of roads.
The Tithe Award of 1839 and its map help us to plot some of the fields. (fn. 352) It is clear that Upper Fields lay in the north-west of the parish opposite Avon hamlet on the left bank of the river, with Great Home Field to the south of it, and Little Home Field south of that. North Field was in the northeast of the parish, separated from South Field by the old castle. St. John's Field lay in the extreme east. Stratford Lane ran north-eastwards from the present Manor House towards the castle. Paul's Dean, represented in 1955 by a housing estate, was in the south-east of the parish.
In 1614 there were uninclosed meadows called Gryffin's Mead, Mill Mead, Cables, and Cheynams, (fn. 353) and in 1649–50 Upper Mead and Ivers as well, and at the latter date many small closes or paddocks of meadow or pasture. Two of them bore the suggestive name of Hop Garden; another was called Cherry Close. (fn. 354) Many of the meadows, e.g. the Upper Meadows, Ivers Mead, and Cheynam's Meadow, survived until 1800 and 1839, and, as is to be expected, lay on either side the Avon. (fn. 355)
The place called Avon has been taken as an example of a pre-Conquest open-field township. (fn. 356) In 1567 Avon manor seems still to have possessed three fields, North, Middle and South, and there was pasture for at least 240 sheep and 30 beasts. (fn. 357) In 1631–2, when the fields were the same, there are references to four meadows, and there was pasture for at least 330 sheep, 14 horses, and 21 beasts and calves. (fn. 358) The manor seems to have been inclosed by 1800.
Parts of the parish must always have provided pasturage for beasts. In 1560 100 sheep going to Thomas Bedford's leazes in Stratford were bequeathed by Thomas Parsons, (fn. 359) and in 1596–8 it was declared that the farmer of Old Salisbury castle site had usually kept 300 sheep on the castle and borough lands. (fn. 360) Common of pasture for 300 sheep belonged to the succentor's estate in 1649, (fn. 361) and pasture for 60 sheep to the chancellor's in 1672. (fn. 362) In 1936 there was still a good deal of pasture, though there were substantial areas of arable in the north-east and north-west of the parish. (fn. 363)
Statements of manorial custom presented at the prebendal manor court between 1737 and 1797 declared that Stratford marsh should be laid up and hained at Lady Day, and should not be broken by the pasturing of any beast upon it before Whitsun Eve; that no cattle should be kept in the marsh by night until after the corn fields had been cleansed, unless fences were maintained in good order; that agistment cattle might not be taken into any common; that those whose lands bordered the Avon should cut the river weeds growing beside their own grounds; and that sheep should not be fed on the common meads or marshes. After 1741 it was provided that Mill and Bridge Meads might be fed in common from Lammas to Lady Day with all cattle except sheep. (fn. 364)
The agents of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners declared in 1856 that the church property in Stratford was of good quality and 'exceedingly well farmed'. A fair proportion of it was water-meadow, also of good quality. (fn. 365) That it had long yielded a good return to those who tilled it is suggested by the fact that 'farmer Maiden' (recte Joseph Maton) died in 1767 worth £20,000 and qualified for a mention in the Gentleman's Magazine. (fn. 366)
In 1867 the chief crops were said to be wheat, barley, and turnips, the last of which was changed in 1885 to 'green crops'. (fn. 367) A nursery garden, called Blundell's Garden or Hart's Close, was among the freehold lands sold by Alexander to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851. (fn. 368) It was some 8 a. in extent in 1839, (fn. 369) and lay at the point where the Salisbury— Woodford road turns west as it enters Stratford village, and on the left-hand side of that road.
In 1649 the great timber belonging to Mawarden Court was said to be 'considerable'. (fn. 370) As surviving correspondence shows, Thomas Pitt fully exploited that part of his purchase. In 1701 trees had been planted in the Court meadows on the bank of the 'carriage', bordering a walk from the parsonage barns to the mills, on the castle mound, and in two 'groves' beside the house. (fn. 371) Next year Pitt gave instructions that large nurseries of trees were to be maintained, (fn. 372) and in 1706 orders went forth to plant a newly-purchased plot. (fn. 373) In 1839 there were about 2 a. of plantations belonging to this estate. (fn. 374)
The earlier history of the mills in Stratford has been traced under Old Salisbury, where it is clear that in the 13th and 14th centuries there were at least two mills, one belonging to the king and the other to the Prior of St. Denys, Southampton. (fn. 375) It is also known that the bishop had half a mill in 1086. (fn. 376) No connexion between these and the Stratford mills of later days can be satisfactorily established. The Mill Ham, belonging to the churchwardens, is continuously referred to from 1573, (fn. 377) but it seems to have lain in the marsh, (fn. 378) and therefore well south of the site on which 'Stratford Mill' stood in 1773. (fn. 379) In 1477–8 the chapter owned a fulling mill and a cornmill in Stratford. (fn. 380) In 1549 the Stratford mills, presumably the same as these, were leased to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1570), for 99 years. (fn. 381) They eventually came on lease into the hands of his grandson Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke (d. 1630). In 1637 they were acquired at a fine of £40 by Sir John Lambe of Coulston. (fn. 382) Thereafter 21-year leases at £5 were granted to a succession of tenants (fn. 383) ending with Robert Pitt (1709–16). (fn. 384) The mills then seem to have followed the descent of Stratford Dean manor. (fn. 385) In 1793 they were occupied by John Whitchurch, (fn. 386) in 1839 by J. S. Vincent, (fn. 387) and in 1849 by Job Sutton. (fn. 388) They were sold to R. F. S. Coggan in 1921. (fn. 389)
In 1637 the mills consisted of a fulling mill, with two stocks, and a grist mill, together with a little land, (fn. 390) and this was their customary description. In 1805 the property was conveyed as three mills, (fn. 391) but a single building, called Stratford Mill, is marked on the map in 1773, (fn. 392) and after 1805 one mill alone is referred to in 19th-century documents, though in 1849 it drove two stones. (fn. 393) It was noted in 1793 that much water had been diverted from the stream, and that this had caused a reduction in the rent, (fn. 394) or perhaps more properly the fine. In 1920 the mill was being used by the Stonehenge Woollen Industry, (fn. 395) and was subsequently used as a bone mill until its disuse c. 1933. (fn. 396) The lower part of the red brick structure is probably of the 18th century. The upper storey was rebuilt after it was struck by lightning and burnt in 1900. (fn. 397) The wooden wheel was still in position in 1956. The mill house, now Avon Cottage, dates from the early 19th century. (fn. 398)
It has been said above (fn. 399) that Stratford chapel, first mentioned in 1228, was originally annexed to St. Martin's church, Salisbury. When St. Edmund's College was established in 1269, and territory assigned to it for a parish, the opportunity was taken to define the bounds of St. Thomas's parish as well. It then appears that the ecclesia of Stratford, as it was called, was considered to belong to St. Thomas's, (fn. 400) but this arrangement, if it was ever in force, did not last. In fact, Stratford appears to have become a separate parish by the late 14th century (see below). Old Sarum remained extraparochial for ecclesiastical purposes until 1953 when it was joined with Stratford. (fn. 401) In 1937 parts of the ecclesiastical parish were combined with parts of the parish of St. Mark, Salisbury, to form the new 'district' of St. Francis, Salisbury. (fn. 402)
In the early 19th century, and presumably long before, the Sub-Dean of Salisbury exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction within the parish. (fn. 403) As early as 1429 he had claimed spiritual jurisdiction against the prebendary of Stratford. The dispute was then referred to arbitrators but their award has not been traced. (fn. 404)
While the rectorial estate was termed a chapelry at least until 1701, (fn. 405) the church itself was often styled and always regarded as a parish church from 1394 at the latest. (fn. 406) In proof of this it was asserted in 1405 that it had a graveyard, baptistry, and all sacraments and sacramentals. (fn. 407) The responsibility for maintaining the chancel fell originally on the prebendary, whose farmer in 1408, (fn. 408) and executor in 1462 (fn. 409) were charged with making good dilapidations. In 1461, however, the cost of mending the chancel was met out of the chapter's common fund, (fn. 410) and when the rectory was let to laymen in 1468 the chapter undertook the maintenance of the entire building. (fn. 411) Later leases saddled the lessee with responsibility either for the whole (1694) (fn. 412) or for the chancel (1700). (fn. 413)
A parochial chaplain, John Atteyate, seems to have been regularly serving the cure in 1394. (fn. 414) In 1405 it was said to be the prebendary's responsibility to find a curate who celebrated weekly on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. (fn. 415) It was found in 1573 that vicars choral of the cathedral had often, against the statutes, filled the office. (fn. 416) Throughout the 17th century, and in the earlier 18th, the dean and chapter found stipendiaries, though the cure was vacant in 1650 'for want of maintenance'. (fn. 417) It was agreed in 1670 that the bishop should nominate pro illa vice. Because the curate then appointed was also Rector of St. Martin's it was also provided that he should find an 'under-curate' out of his stipend. This arrangement lasted until 1687. (fn. 418) Until the late 18th century the curates were not instituted and there was no patron. Ecton declared that the subdean was patron (fn. 419) — a misleading statement based either on the fact that Stratford was in his peculiar jurisdiction or that he had nominated on the chapter's behalf at the last vacancy. Later in the century the curacy became presentative in the dean and chapter who were patrons in 1789, (fn. 420) as they were in 1955–6. (fn. 421)
Between 1461 and 1556 the farmer of the parsonage was wont to pay the chaplain a yearly wage of £2. In 1627 this sum seems to have been augmented by £6 by the grace of the chapter. (fn. 422) In 1629 a new farmer covenanted to pay the chaplain £16. (fn. 423) In 1662 the stipend, payable by the farmer, was raised to £80 (fn. 424) and in 1835, (fn. 425) and perhaps in 1849, (fn. 426) the figure was still the same. In 1861 the chapter were paying the incumbent £150. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners then assumed the responsibility and at the same time augmented the benefice by £10, (fn. 427) to which they added £85 in 1864. (fn. 428) In 1871 a tithe rent charge (then c. £137) was substituted for twothirds of the former sum, (fn. 429) so that the stipend came to consist of tithe rent charge, commissioners' endowment, and patron's grant. In 1887, on a change of incumbents, the stipend was nicely calculated at £279 gross, £226 net, with 3 a. of glebe. (fn. 430)
In 1849 the chapter gave Mawarden Court as a home for the incumbent, who was indeed already occupying it. (fn. 431) It remained the Vicarage until 1947, when it was replaced by the Prebendal House. (fn. 432) The glebe mentioned in 1895 and after was presumably the grounds of Mawarden Court.
To judge from the records of bread and wine purchased, the Holy Communion was celebrated regularly between 1578 and 1711, though there were no charges in the period 1648–54. The most usual frequency was four times a year, but five times was almost as common. Once, in 1630, there were seven celebrations, and in seven years there was but one. In 1665 there was a special communion 'for young people'. (fn. 433) Under the 1670 agreement the curate was to celebrate four times a year and preach on Sundays alternately with the under-curate. (fn. 434) When Caswall was curate (1840–7) there were daily celebrations. (fn. 435) It was decided in 1597–8 that the cost of the consecrated elements should be defrayed from a levy of 1d. upon each communicant, but in 1600–1 this was not fully meeting the cost. (fn. 436)
The church (formerly chapel) of ST. LAWRENCE, of flint and stone, consists of nave, chancel, south porch, and west tower. (fn. 437) It is probable that much of the stone came from Old Sarum; at least two blocks, incorporated in later masonry, bear Norman ornament, but the date of their incorporation is unknown.
The antiquity of the building is unascertainable. It was 'consecrated' in 1326, (fn. 438) but since a chapel had existed in Stratford from 1228, (fn. 439) it is not clear what the act of consecration implied: a new chapel may have been built on the original site, a new site may have been found for an existing chapel and a building raised upon it, or there may have been a desecration followed by a reconsecration. The architectural evidence is too ambiguous to help to solve the problem.
The presence in the building of a late 12th-century font suggests the existence of a church at this period; on the other hand the font may be an importation from elsewhere. Although there is nothing inconsistent with a complete rebuilding c. 1326 there are features in the chancel, the oldest part of the church, which could have survived from an earlier structure. In particular a splayed window jamb, discovered in the north wall in the 20th century, may have belonged to a 13th century lancet. The altered 'low side' window could have had a similar origin. Alterations and repairs to the chancel are known to have been made in the 15th century. In 1426 the shingled roof, beams, and walls needed repair at an estimated cost of £8 6s. 8d. (fn. 440) In 1462 further repairs, though less extensive ones, were required in the walls, and two stone benches were found defective. Tiles for the roof and flints for the walls were among the requirements. (fn. 441) There is no proof that these works were done, but the estimates are specific. A sum of £2 19s. 10d. was certainly spent on the chancel in 1461. The present east window was inserted in the same century. (fn. 442) The waggon roof, which has carved bosses of great variety and interest, is probably of the same date. The 3-light windows in both north and south walls are more likely to be of the 16th century. A wood lintel built into the south wall suggests the position of a former priest's door.
The nave, including the south porch, contains much 16th-century work and was probably largely rebuilt at this time. Among the arms which appear on the roof corbels are those thought to have been used by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland (d. 1553). (fn. 443) In general the carving of the roof is late medieval in character.
The church was repaired fairly regularly between 1574 and 1728. Much of the work consisted only of retiling and repointing, but in 1583–4 £6 10s. 7d. was laid out in 'decent making', paving and levelling 'the Communion place', fitting seats in the chancel, and building three buttresses against the south wall. (fn. 444) Much more expensive works were carried out in 1595–7 for some £53, both parishioners and 'strangers' contributing to the cost. (fn. 445) In 1700–1 the repairs seem again to have been fairly extensive, (fn. 446) and in 1711 Thomas Pitt rebuilt the tower, (fn. 447) probably as a copy of the original late medieval one. The altarpiece and rails are thought to have been the gift of Thomas Pitt, (fn. 448) and it is likely that the considerable rebuilding which has taken place at the east end of the chancel is contemporary with their installation.
An early 19th-century view of the south side of the church (fn. 449) shows a dormer window, since removed, lighting the gallery, and two sundials, one above the porch and one on a buttress further east. In 1904–5 the building was restored under the direction of W. D. Caroë, largely through the efforts of Major C. McGill (d. 1913). (fn. 450) Further repairs were carried out in 1926, (fn. 451) and electric lighting was installed in 1948. (fn. 452) The church was further restored and the nave roof strengthened in 1957–8. (fn. 453)
The oak chancel screen is of the 15th or early-16th century with embellishments added in the early 18th century. The carved pulpit and sounding-board date from the early 17th century. The former is mentioned in 1619–20, when it was under repair. (fn. 454)
Many of the internal fittings, including the pews, carved altarpiece and panelling date from the early 18th century. The seats in the chancel are thought to have been for communicants and not for the choir, which is likely to have been accommodated in the west gallery at this time. The chancel seats include two square family pews immediately east of these. William Stamford, perhaps of Mawarden Court, (fn. 455) was occupying just such a seat at the time of his death. (fn. 456)
A barrel-organ was brought into use in 1852. (fn. 457) Among the mural monuments and floor-slabs a number date from the 17th century. (fn. 458) The earliest commemorates Anne (d. 1630), daughter of Hugh Halswell, of Wells (Som.), and wife of Dr. Andrew Bowerman. (fn. 459) Josiah Nesbit, whose relict married Horatio Nelson, later 1st Viscount Nelson, in 1787, is commemorated by a tablet of 1781.
A small sum was spent in 1608 on painting the royal arms. (fn. 460) New 'flourishing' of the arms took place in 1660–1, (fn. 461) and in 1713 Thomas Pitt provided the present achievement, (fn. 462) a carving in high relief.
An 'old' church chest existed in 1462. (fn. 463) The oak chest, now standing in the chancel, probably dates from the 16th or early 17th century.
In 1553 there were three bells. One of these seems to have been superfluous in 1582, and to have been sold in 1584. (fn. 464) There are now two bells, one of 1594, and one of 1767. The clock made by George Hewett of Marlborough, with its single-handed dial, is thought to be contemporary with the latter. (fn. 465)
It was stated in 1405 that Prebendary John Walbronde had taken away a chalice from the church with other goods. (fn. 466) Edward VI's commissioners left for the parish a chalice (12 oz.); 2 oz. of plate were taken for the Crown. (fn. 467) The chalice, which had a cover, still existed in 1582–3. (fn. 468) Thomas Pitt gave a chalice, paten, large tankard-shaped flagon, and almsdish, all of which bear the family arms. (fn. 469) The parish still owns these, and also another chalice and a paten given in memory of Thomas Maunder, and some minor pieces. (fn. 470)
The registers are complete from 1654, except for burials between 1687 and 1767. There are also 'church books', vestry minutes, and 'poor books' which furnish a fairly continuous record of parochial activity from 1573 until 1836, except for the period 1729–65, when they are wanting. An inventory of church goods (1928, with additions) and a modern entry book of notes on the church may also be mentioned. (fn. 471)
Houses in Stratford were certified for Independent worship in 1798 (fn. 472) and for Baptist worship in 1823. (fn. 473) The Baptist meeting was returned by John Saffery, minister of the Brown Street church in Salisbury, (fn. 474) and was therefore presumably served from there. A Sunday School was attached to it in 1826. (fn. 475) There was still a Baptist meeting in 1851, apparently served from Salisbury, but since it was said to have been set apart in 1847, (fn. 476) a continuous connexion with the congregation of twenty years before cannot be proved. In 1816 a building, occupied by Jonathan Viney, was certified for unspecified nonconformist worship by the same man who seven years later certified the Primitive Methodist meeting in Fisherton. (fn. 477) It was, therefore, presumably Primitive Methodist. It appears to have existed, under the name of Andrews's, in 1829–30. (fn. 478) In 1851 there was also a Wesleyan Methodist meeting, apparently served from Salisbury, in a house said to have been set apart in 1849. (fn. 479) Nothing further is known of any of these congregations.
There was one churchwarden in 1572 and 1573. Afterwards, so far as is known, there were always two, except perhaps in 1671. (fn. 480) A sidesman existed in 1602 (fn. 481) and there are many references to two sidesmen in the 17th century. Two overseers of the poor were presenting their accounts in vestry by 1617, (fn. 482) but had existed before, and after 1617 these officers were normally appointed. Surveyors of the highways were being appointed from 1654. (fn. 483) A parish clerk was paid intermittently from 1665. (fn. 484) From 1573 there was an annual vestry, not always held at Easter, at which until 1728 at least the accounts were audited in the presence of eight of the principal inhabitants or fewer. In 1824 and 1825 vestry meetings seem to have occurred five times a year. (fn. 485)
Apart from casual gifts and collections the parish revenues arose from meadows called the 'hams' and from church rates. The 'hams' first come to notice in 1573 and were regularly let from that time. One lay by Blackwell, in the south of the parish. The other, sometimes distinguished as Mill or Rack Ham, was near the Mill Mead. (fn. 486) In 1800 and 1839 they were vested in the churchwardens and amounted to about 2 a. (fn. 487) Between 1626 and 1671 rates were assessed upon the yardland and in the former year the area of assessment was reckoned to be 50 yardlands. (fn. 488)
In 1819 there was one unendowed day school. (fn. 489) A Baptist Sunday school was started in 1826, (fn. 490) and in 1835 was attended by 15 boys and 17 girls. Fifteen infants were taught in another school at their parents' expense. (fn. 491)
The present Church of England school, in the Salisbury-Woodford road, was erected in 1840, (fn. 492) with the help of a government grant, (fn. 493) and in 1847 was united with the National Society. (fn. 494) In 1858 20 to 30 children of both sexes were being taught in a fair room with a boarded floor and wall desks by an uncertificated mistress with one leg. (fn. 495) A 'singing man from the Cathedral' conducted the evening school, held thrice weekly in winter. (fn. 496) The government paid an annual grant from 1862. (fn. 497) The site was enlarged in 1906 and the premises reconstructed about 1913. (fn. 498) In 1929 the senior children were transferred to the appropriate schools in Salisbury. (fn. 499) Average attendance was 42 in 1866, (fn. 500) 34 in 1886, (fn. 501) 45 in 1896, (fn. 502) and 58 in 1937. (fn. 503) The school became a controlled school under the 1944 Education Act. (fn. 504)
In 1535 the chapter was distributing 20d. a year to the parishioners in fulfilment of an ordinance of unknown purport. (fn. 505)
Anthony Parry, of Stratford, by will proved 1604, left £10, to be called 'Parries Stocke', for loans or gifts to two poor parishioners, with a gift over to the poor of Salisbury. (fn. 506) There is no evidence that this charity was ever distributed either in Stratford or Salisbury. (fn. 507)
No charities were reported to exist either by the Brougham Commissioners or in 1901. (fn. 508) In 1925 the sum of £320 was transferred from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the Official Trustees for Charitable Funds. This sum appears to represent the capital upon which a voluntary payment, made by the Chapter of Salisbury when owners of the soil, was charged, for which payment the Commissioners made themselves responsible upon the transfer to them of the chapter estates in 1895. In 1950 the income amounted to £8. (fn. 509)