A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
There is today no civil parish of Great Chalfield. In 1884 by order of the Local Government Board under the Divided Parishes Act (1876) the parish of Great Chalfield, parts of the parish of Bradford, and the parish of Little Chalfield with Cottles were amalgamated to form the new civil parish of Atworth (q.v. in Bradford). (fn. 1) The parish of Little Chalfield with Cottles had existed only for a brief period. In ancient times Cottles seems to have been part of the parish of Bradford (q.v.) and the parish of Little Chalfield had had independent existence (see below, Church). In the returns to the census of 1801 Cottles alone was described as extraparochial. In 1811 Little Chalfield and Cottles together were said to constitute an extra-parochial place, and they continued to be so described until 1857, when they became a civil parish under the Extra-parochial Places Act (20 Vict. c. 19). The ecclesiastical parish of Great Chalfield consists of 701 acres. (fn. 2)
Great and Little Chalfield form the southern part of the civil parish of Atworth. They lie in the Oxford and Kimeridge Clay region of north and mid-west Wiltshire at a height of between 150 and 200 ft. above sea level. (fn. 3)
Great Chalfield manor house (see below, Manors) is 3 miles north-east of Bradford. Little Chalfield is ½ mile west of Great Chalfield. There is a park to the west of Little Chalfield. Chalfield Brook, which rises in South Wraxall and flows along the southern border of the parish of Atworth, passing through both the Chalfields, turns north and finally east. Lenton Farm is ½ mile north of Great Chalfield beyond the northern arm of the stream.
For about two years during the Civil War the manor house of Great Chalfield was garrisoned for Parliament. The garrison was an outpost of that at Malmesbury, and consisted of about 200 men, with 100 horses. Great Chalfield was probably first occupied in July or August 1644. Soon after (before 5 Sept. 1644) the Parliamentary troops withdrew to Malmesbury at the approach of Royalist forces from Bath and Bristol. The Royalists occupied the manor house for a day or two but were forced to withdraw in their turn by the approach of Col. Edward Massey. In March 1645 the presence of the Chalfield garrison was probably an important cause of the defeat and capture of the Royalist cavalry regiment commanded by Col. Sir James Long. A few weeks later (probably between 7 and 19 April 1645) Chalfield was besieged by the Royalist forces under the command of Goring, and in July of the same year the Chalfield garrison defeated the Royalist garrison of Lacock, which was surprised while on a foraging sortie. About this time the Parliamentary Committee for Wiltshire had its headquarters at Chalfield. The garrison remained at Chalfield until the autumn of 1646. Its commander for the first few months was Capt. Dymock, and from about January 1645, Lt.-Col. Pudsey. The garrison lived mainly on bread and cheese, bacon, and beer which were obtained by laying charge upon the surrounding parishes. (fn. 4)
Richard Warner (1763–1857), divine and antiquary, was appointed Rector of Great Chalfield in 1809 by his old schoolfellow and friend Sir Harry Burrard Neale. He held the living until his death but it seems unlikely that he was ever resident in the parish. He was a prolific writer whose publications included many topographical works, among them Hampshire Extracted from Domesday, History of the Isle of Wight, History of Bath, and History of the Abbey of Glastonbury. (fn. 5)
The manor of GREAT or EAST CHALFIELD was held in 1086 by Ernulf de Hesding. (fn. 6) Ernulf held two manors called Chalfield and it is not clear whether Great Chalfield was that held before the Conquest by Wallef, or that held by Godwin. In a charter of 1001 there is a reference to Aethelwine's landmark at Chalfield. (fn. 7)
Little Chalfield (see below) passed through Ernulf's daughter Aveline to the FitzAlans, but Great Chalfield evidently descended through another daughter, Maud, to the earls of Salisbury. (fn. 8) In 1242–3 1 knight's fee in Chalfield was held by Henry de Percy as of the honour of Trowbridge. (fn. 9) The subsequent descent of the overlordship follows that of Trowbridge (q.v.). In the 15th century the constableship of Trowbridge castle was said to be appurtenant to the manor and to have been so time out of mind. How far the claim of antiquity is reliable may be doubted. It descended with the overlordship and is last mentioned in 1840 (see Trowbridge). (fn. 10)
During the 12th century Great Chalfield was apparently held by a family which derived its name from the parish. In 1201 Ralph de Torenny released to William de Percy his claim to ½ knight's fee in Chalfield, in return for which William surrendered to Ralph all his claim to the lands which fell to them of the heritage of Hugh de Scandefeld (Chalfield) their grandfather and Julia daughter of Hugh. (fn. 11) It seems likely that Ralph and William were uterine brothers, the sons of Julia. William may be identical with the tenant of the name who in 1166 held I knight's fee in Wiltshire of Humphrey de Bohun. (fn. 12)
Peter de Percy, probably the successor of William, forfeited his lands in 1216 when King John granted them to Ingram des Preaux. (fn. 13) Peter was probably the 'Sir Piers de Percy' mentioned in the pedigree of the family in the Tropenell cartulary as the son of 'Sir Harry de Percy'. (fn. 14) Beatrice, relict of Peter de Percy, and probably a benefactress to the priory of Farleigh, (fn. 15) was, according to the Tropenell Cartulary, the daughter of 'Sir Otys Dynham of Devonshire'. (fn. 16) In 1242–3 1 knight's fee in Chalfield was held by Henry de Percy. (fn. 17) His successor was William de Percy, to whom in 1260 the Prior of Farleigh confirmed the grant made earlier to Beatrice de Percy. (fn. 18) William was probably identical with the man of the same name who was involved in a dispute with Walter de Chaudefeld (see below, Agriculture and Mills). According to the cartulary William was succeeded by a son Henry. (fn. 19) In 1316 Roger de Percy held Chalfield. He was a rebel, and in August 1320 was one of those to whom pardon was granted for offences against the Despensers. (fn. 20) In spite of the pardon his lands at Chalfield were in the king's hand from Michaelmas 1320. As Sir Roger he fought against the king at the Battle of Boroughbridge. (fn. 21) In 1325 his lands at Great Chalfield were leased for six years to George de Percy, the tenant of Little Chalfield. (fn. 22) Sir Roger evidently regained possession after the fall of Edward II, and in 1327 was complaining that George de Percy had trespassed on his property. (fn. 23) Sir Roger's son Sir Henry de Percy had succeeded before 1338, in which year he presented to the church of Great Chalfield and settled the manor upon himself, his wife Eleanor, and their heirs. (fn. 24) There was one child of their marriage, Beatrice. Sir Henry married as his second wife Constance, 'bedfellow and cosyn to Maister Robert Wayville, bisshoppe of Salisbury, born to no land, neither to none armes'. (fn. 25) In 1349 Sir Henry settled the manor upon himself and Constance and their issue and in default to the right heirs of Henry; the settlement was repeated in 1354. (fn. 26) About this time Bishop Wyville was given or claimed land in Great Chalfield. In 1356 John son of Roger de Percy released to the bishop any right he might have in the manor. (fn. 27) In spite of this, according to the Tropenell Cartulary, Henry de Percy continued to hold the manor until he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, driven to that step by 'the naughty lyf the said Constance his second wyf lyved in with the bisshoppe Wayvile and with others'. (fn. 28) Henry died at Cologne on his way to Jerusalem and Constance held Great Chalfield by virtue of the settlements of 1349 and 1354. She married as her second husband John de Percy or Pershay, lord of Little Chalfield. The Percys of Little Chalfield were apparently not related to those of Great Chalfield. (fn. 29) In 1359 the manor of Great Chalfield was claimed by Beatrice, daughter of Sir Henry by his first wife. She cited the settlement of 1338 but lost the action and in 1361 was induced to resign her claims to her stepmother. (fn. 30) In the same year or earlier Constance de Percy had married, as her third husband, Sir Philip FitzWarin, and late in 1361 she settled the manor upon herself and her husband and their heirs, with remainder to her son Robert, her brother Hugh, and her right heirs. (fn. 31) According to the cartulary Robert was the bastard son of Constance by Bishop Wyville. (fn. 32) Sir Philip FitzWarin and Constance held the manor in 1366. (fn. 33) As her fourth husband she married Henry de la Ryvere, and by 1401–2 she was again a widow. (fn. 34)
By Sir Philip, Constance had two daughters, Isolde, who married John Rous of Imber, and Joan, who married Thomas Beaushyn. (fn. 35) In 1416 Constance settled the reversion of Great Chalfield upon her grandson William Rous, son of Isolde, with remainder to his brother John Rous, and in default to Thomas Beaushyn and his wife Joan. (fn. 36) The legal validity of this and the previous settlement made by Constance was of course doubtful in view of the entails created by Sir Henry de Percy in 1349 and 1354.
Constance died between 1417 and 1425 and William Rous entered upon the manor. (fn. 37) In 1427, however, it was claimed by Thomas Beverley, son of Beatrice, daughter of Sir Henry de Percy by her third marriage to Robert Beverley. (fn. 38) Thomas Beverley based his case upon the entail of 1354, while the defendants produced in reply the release by Beatrice in 1361. Beverley answered that the release had been extorted from his mother in her nonage under duress. (fn. 39) He died before the case was decided, but the cause of his son Thomas was taken up by the Percys of Little Chalfield, who later put in a claim to the manor on their own account. (fn. 40) In July 1431 they and the Beverleys mustered 'a number of men of Salisbury and elsewhere' at their manor house of Little Chalfield for the purpose of ejecting William Rous from Great Chalfield, but he also had mobilized his forces—foresters of Blackmore and Pewsham. The outcome is not recorded. (fn. 41)
Another claimant to Great Chalfield appears about this time. In a Chancery suit of the period 1433–43 William Rous stated that at the request of Thomas Tropenell he had enfeoffed Thomas and Henry Long and Richard Chok of the manor of Great Chalfield. The request had been made, Rous alleged, because Tropenell had declared to many notable persons that he stood so enfeoffed, and said that his honour might not be saved unless the feoffment was made. William 'knowing that Thomas was a man chief of his council, having a yearly great fee of him', agreed to do as Thomas asked on condition that Thomas should re-enfeoff him at any time that he might require. William complained that the condition had not been fulfilled. (fn. 42) When the case was heard, however, the plaintiff failed to appear and Thomas Tropenell was discharged. The defendant's case is recorded in the Tropenell Cartulary. (fn. 43) It is that the feoffment was made on condition that if Rous had lawful issue the feoffees should make an estate to him and his heirs, but if not then the property should pass after his death to Tropenell and his heirs. According to the cartulary Rous conveyed the manor to William Darell and others, who then (1438) conveyed it to Tropenell. (fn. 44)
In 1444–5 Thomas Beverley sued Thomas Tropenell, Henry Long, and Richard Chok for possession of Great Chalfield, but without success. (fn. 45) In 1447 Thomas Tropenell and his cofeoffees conveyed the manor to William Rous, who settled it upon himself and his second wife Isabel and their issue. (fn. 46) The manor was soon after leased to Thomas Tropenell who according to the cartulary was tenant of the manor when Rous died in 1452. (fn. 47) Rous's relict Isabel entered upon the manor after his death but she was ejected by Tropenell, to whom in 1454 she gave up her claim in return for an annuity of £5. (fn. 48) In 1459 Tropenell compounded for the annuity by a payment of £53. (fn. 49)
Meanwhile, in 1454 Thomas Beverley had made an entry into the manor, but he withdrew in the same year and subsequently released his rights to Tropenell in several deeds. (fn. 50) Beverley again claimed Great Chalfield in 1459, but Tropenell produced these deeds and won his case. (fn. 51)
Yet another claim to the manor was made at this time by Joan Beaushyn, as aunt and heir of William Rous. Joan seized the manor in 1459 but later relinquished her claim to Tropenell. (fn. 52) Soon after this, in 1466, Thomas Beverley again impleaded Tropenell and this time gained the verdict. Evidently Beverley then sold his rights to Tropenell, who resumed possession of Great Chalfield. (fn. 53) Thomas Tropenell was a direct descendant of William de Percy of Great Chalfield (fl. 1260). (fn. 54) He was possibly implicated in Buckingham's conspiracy, for in 1484 he was granted a pardon for all offences committed by him before 3 November. (fn. 55)
Thomas Tropenell died in 1488 holding the manor of Great Chalfield of the Duchy of Lancaster as of the honour of Trowbridge, for the service (as it was said) of being constable of Trowbridge castle. (fn. 56) He was succeeded by his son Christopher, who died in 1503, leaving a son Thomas, a minor. (fn. 57) Part of the manor was assigned in dower to Anne, relict of Christopher. (fn. 58) In 1511, while still under age, Thomas Tropenell married Eleanor, daughter of Sir Thomas Englefield of Englefield (Berks.). (fn. 59) Thomas made proof of his age in 1519, and in 1523 granted the manor to Thomas Englefield, serjeant-at-law, for the performance of his will. (fn. 60) He died in 1547, having settled Great Chalfield upon himself, his wife, and their issue, with remainder to his sisters. (fn. 61) Giles son of Thomas succeeded his father and died still a minor in 1553. (fn. 62) The manor passed to his four sisters, Anne wife of John Eyre, Elizabeth wife of William Charde, Eleanor wife of Andrew Blakman, and Mary Tropenell. (fn. 63) Mary later married John Young, and in 1557 she with her sisters and their husbands conveyed the manor to William Button and Richard Parkins. (fn. 64) This conveyance was probably for the purpose of settling it upon John Eyre and Anne, who in 1563 settled it upon themselves and the heirs of Anne. (fn. 65) When John died in 1581 he was succeeded by his son (Sir) William Eyre. (fn. 66) Sir William died in 1629, shortly after his third marriage, and in the following year his son Sir John Eyre sold the manor to Richard Gurney or Gurnard. (fn. 67) Gurney was a London mercer, an ardent Royalist, and a benefactor of the Clothworkers' Company and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, of which corporations he was warden. He was chosen Lord Mayor of London in 1641 after a fiercely contested election in which 'each part put themselves in battle array, and the puritans were overcome with hisses'. (fn. 68) In the same year he was knighted and a few weeks later made a baronet. He was committed to the Tower by the Parliamentarians and remained there until shortly before his death in 1647. (fn. 69) He had a son, who predeceased him, and two daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Pettus, and Anne, wife of Thomas Richardson. Meanwhile a life interest in the manor was retained by Anne third wife and relict of Sir William Eyre. (fn. 70) Anne was the tenant of the manor house at the time it was garrisoned in the Civil War. She apparently died before 1649 for in that year the daughters of Sir Richard Gurney sold the manor to Thomas Hanham junior of Wimborne Minster (Dors.), the purchase money being handed over in accordance with the will of Sir Richard to his relict Elizabeth. (fn. 71) Hanham died without issue in the following year (1650) and the manor passed to his nephew William Hanham, created a baronet in 1667. (fn. 72) Sir William died in 1671, leaving Great Chalfield to his relict Elizabeth for life. She, with her son Sir John and his wife Jane, must have sold the manor before 1678 to John Hall of Bradford, who presented to the church in that year. (fn. 73) In 1705 John Sartain leased the manor from him. (fn. 74) Great Chalfield passed like Hall's Manor in Bradford (q.v.) to Evelyn, 1st Duke of Kingston, who in 1726 leased it with the demesnes and water mill to Mary Willis and Thomas Hunt at £244 a year. (fn. 75) In 1763 it was let at the same rent to Widow Hunt and her son Henry. (fn. 76) Evelyn, 2nd Duke of Kingston, sold the manor in 1769 to Robert Neale of Corsham. (fn. 77) Robert died in 1776 and was succeeded by his granddaughter Grace Elizabeth, wife of Sir Harry Burrard, who assumed the additional surname of Neale on his marriage. (fn. 78) Sir Harry died in 1840, without issue, and the manor was sold by his relict to Sir George Burrard, who died in 1856. In 1878, shortly before her death, Sir George's relict sold it to George Pargiter Fuller of Neston, in whose family it has since remained. (fn. 79)
In 1943 the manor house of Great Chalfield, with 9 acres of land and an endowment fund, was given to the National Trust by Major R. F. Fuller, who also signed covenants guaranteeing the amenities of a further 340 acres. (fn. 80)
In 1769 there was a rent of 5s. 9d. called 'Sheriffs Torn' payable out of the manor of Great Chalfield at Michaelmas to Zachary Shrapnel. (fn. 81)
Great Chalfield Manor House was built by Thomas Tropenell in c. 1480, on the site of a ruined fortified house. Of the earlier building all that remains are the bases of the east and north curtain walls, the lower part of a circular tower at the north-east angle, and traces of a half round tower to the west near the bridge. Within the curtain at the north-east corner is the parish church of Great Chalfield. Tropenell's house was considerably altered about 1550; among the alterations was probably that of the long west wing for use as stables and servants' quarters. By 1837 a quadrangle of domestic offices had disappeared and other parts were in ruins, and in 1840 the building was adapted as a farmhouse. Between 1905 and 1912 the house was thoroughly restored under the supervision of (Sir) Harold Brakspear. The work included the rebuilding of the solar, the reconstruction of a 16th-century stone chimney-piece from original fragments recovered from a rockery, and the insertion of a staircase in the east wing. The principal front and entrance are on the north and are approached by a bridge over a moat and by a gateway at the northern end of the west wing. The front remains much as it originally was, with the hall in the centre, two projecting gabled wings with oriel windows, and, on the inner side of each, lesser gables, the western forming the porch. The south front, which originally had a southward extension, has been partly reconstructed to the original pattern, including a timber-framed portion on the west. On the apexes of the gables are carved the figures of armed knights. Inside the house are many 15th- and 16th-century features, including the original main timbers of the hall bearing the Tropenell motto, stone groined ceilings with the Tropenell arms, and panelling, chimney-pieces and decorated plaster-work dating from the mid-16th century. (fn. 82)
The manor of LITTLE or WEST CHALFIELD was held in 1086 by Ernulf de Hesding. Before the Conquest it had been held either by Wallef or by Godwin. (fn. 83) In 1242–3 the manor was held by William 'de Chaudefeld' of Viel Engaine. (fn. 84) It seems likely that Ernulf de Hesding conveyed the manor to a contemporary named Urse, and that it passed subsequently to Reynold FitzUrse (one of the murderers of Becket) and on the failure of his direct heirs to Viel Engaine, who was the descendant of Reynold's sister Margaret. (fn. 85) The overlordship of Little Chalfield passed from Viel Engaine at his death in 1248 to his son Henry, who between that time and 1272 gave it to the priory of Worspring (Som.) whose founder had been William de Courtenay, the last direct descendant of Reynold FitzUrse. (fn. 86) The overlordship was recognized as belonging to Worspring at least as late as 1428, but in 1477 was said to belong to the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 87)
The William de Chaudefeld who was tenant of Little Chalfield in 1242–3 was probably the descendant of Walter de Chaudefeld who was a tenant in the hundred of Bradford in 1198. (fn. 88) Walter de Chaudefeld, or a namesake, was in 1166 the tenant in Northamptonshire of Reynold FitzUrse. (fn. 89) In 1272 the tenant of Little Chalfield was William de Chaudefeld. (fn. 90) In 1285 another Walter de Chaudefeld was in possession, and a Walter de Chaudefeld presented in 1308 to the 'chapel of Chalfield'. (fn. 91)
The next tenant of the manor was George de Percy, who held it in right of his wife Margaret, who was probably the heiress of Walter de Chaudefeld. (fn. 92) George held the manor in 1318. (fn. 93) He was a retainer of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, and shared the earl's downfall in 1330. George was attainted and the manor seised into the king's hand. (fn. 94) Little Chalfield was, however, restored to him in the same year. (fn. 95) George de Percy was alive in 1344 (fn. 96) but dead in 1348, when an inquisition was held to decide whether his relict Margaret should be permitted to assign land and rent to support a chantry chaplain in the church of Little Chalfield. (fn. 97) At this time Margaret held 9 acres of land and 2s. rent of Henry de Percy (lord of Great Chalfield) by knight service, and the said Henry held the same property of the lords of Trowbridge by service of the ward of a tower there for forty days in time of war. It is possible that this tenure by castle-guard may be connected with the later claim of the lords of Great Chalfield to the office of constable of Trowbridge castle (see above). In 1359 the lord of Little Chalfield was John de Percy, who married Constance de Percy of Great Chalfield. John may have been the son of George, son of the above George de Percy. (fn. 98) In 1362 the Prior of Worspring presented to the church of Little Chalfield by reason of the minority of John, son of Thomas de Percy. (fn. 99) This Thomas de Percy was probably the son of George de Percy the elder. A John de Percy presented to the church in 1388. (fn. 100) Alice de Percy, daughter of John de Percy, (fn. 101) was the last of her line. She married first Richard Phillipps, alias Rous, the illegitimate son of John Rous, which John was the husband of Isolde, daughter of Sir Philip FitzWarin and Constance his wife. (fn. 102) As her second husband Alice married John Bourne, who in 1428 held immediately of the Prior of Worspring certain lands and tenements in Chalfield, formerly of George Percy, for the service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 103) John Bourne's heir was his son John, who died in 1477. Two years before his death John Bourne the younger had settled Little Chalfield on his wife Margaret and their heirs and the direct heirs of John. (fn. 104) The heir of John was his sister Gille, wife of Edward Cadell. In 1481 Gille and Edward recognized that the manor should be held for life by William Walrond and his wife Margery (doubtless the relict of John Bourne) who conceded the remainder to Gille and Edward. (fn. 105)
Gille and Edward Cadell seem to have been succeeded by John Savery, for in a Chancery suit of the late 15th or early 16th century Avyse and Anne Savery stated that their father John Savery had been seised of the manor of Chalfield and that on his death it had descended to them. (fn. 106) Avyse and Anne divided the estate between them; certain tenements in Chalfield and elsewhere, together with the chapel of St. Blaise in Chalfield passed to Anne, who married Thomas Bamfield and in 1545 conveyed her property to Thomas Horton. (fn. 107) Avyse as her share took the manor of Little Chalfield and the advowson of the chapel of St. John the Baptist. She married John Westbury and in 1536 settled the manor upon her son William Westbury. (fn. 108) In 1584 the manor was conveyed by William Westbury, Joan his wife, and John his son to Richard or Rice Phillipps, and in the same year Phillipps conveyed it to (Sir) William Eyre of Great Chalfield. (fn. 109) In 1614 Sir William apparently settled Little Chalfield on Robert Eyre—his son by his second marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of John Jackman, Alderman of London. (fn. 110) In 1630, after Sir William's death his eldest son Sir John confirmed this settlement. (fn. 111)
Robert Eyre was a Royalist and his estates were sequestered in 1644 for his delinquency in pressing soldiers into the king's service. He submitted in 1645 and took the National Covenant, and in the following year was allowed to compound for his estates. (fn. 112) He died in 1651, (fn. 113) and seems to have been succeeded by John Eyre, probably his son, who held Little Chalfield in 1651 and 1670. (fn. 114) From John the manor passed to Robert Eyre, probably his brother, who in 1675 conveyed it to Francis Hall and John Hill. Hall and Hill may have been trustees for Sir Edward Baynton, to whom (according to a note inserted in the Tropenell cartulary in 1695) Little Chalfield was sold about this time. In 1699 Thomas Baynton, younger son of Sir Edward, leased the manor for 60 years to John Foster and George Hatton. (fn. 115) In 1701 Baynton and his wife mortgaged the manor to Robina Woodfine and Daniel Germaine for £1,500. (fn. 116) Robina afterwards transferred her interest to Daniel and in June of the same year the manor was conveyed to Daniel. (fn. 117) The next mention of the manor that has been traced is in 1795, when it was conveyed by Thomas Lulham, Benjamin Harrison, and Sarah his wife to William Gill. (fn. 118) The exact meaning of the conveyances of 1675 and after is not clear. Thomas Baynton was the legal father of Rachel Baynton, who inherited the wide estates of John Hall of Bradford, her actual father (see Hall's Manor in Bradford). As shown above John Hall had acquired Great Chalfield before 1678 and he may have had an interest also in Little Chalfield. If Little Chalfield, like Great Chalfield, passed to Rachel (who married William Pierrepoint, son and heir of the 1st Duke of Kingston) then the absence of later references to Little Chalfield is probably due to the merging of the two manors. In this case the parties to the conveyance of 1795 may have been trustees.
The estate known as MOXHAMS is of ancient origin. In 1236 Henry son of William conveyed to Thomas Cusin and Juliana his wife lands in 'Mockesham'. (fn. 119) Henry de Mochesam occurs as a witness in a deed probably of the time of Henry III or Edward I. (fn. 120) Adam de Mockesham, who died in 1277, had held in Moxham 62 acres arable, 5 acres meadow, 2/3 acre pasture and 5½ acres wood. (fn. 121) John de Mockesham held land in East Chalfield about 1300. (fn. 122) John de Mokesham was a juror at Bradford in 1342. (fn. 123) John of Moxham and Robert his son occur in 1460 in deeds concerning Atworth Cottles. (fn. 124) Christopher Moxham, who died in 1596, held a messuage called Moxham in the parish of Chalfield and various appurtenant lards. (fn. 125) This estate was then held of Lady Sharington, and in 1610–11 when the inquisition on Christopher's death was made, it was held of Sir Anthony Mildmay and Grace his wife as of the manor of Woodrow (in Melksham, q.v.). Christopher left a relict, Joan, who enjoyed all the issues of the estate for six years after his death, and thereafter ⅓ of the issues up to the time of the inquisition. Christopher's heir was his son John. The estate apparently remained in the Moxham family until the end of the 18th century, if not later. In 1692–3 a messuage, 40 acres arable, 5 acres meadow, and 5 acres pasture in Moxhams and Great Chalfield were the subject of a conveyance by Christopher Moxham and Anne his wife and James Moxham and Thomasine his wife. (fn. 126) In 1720 it was deposed that the parish of Great Chalfield consisted of three estates: Great Chalfield Farm, Farmer Moxham's estate, and Bowood, all of which owed tithes. (fn. 127) In the following year James Moxham, Christopher Moxham, and Susan his wife conveyed the estate to John Moxham. (fn. 128) James Moxham, described as a sugar refiner of London, held Moxham's farm in 1783. (fn. 129)
In and before 1302 Robert de Lyntonesford held lands in Great Chalfield, by exchange with William de Percy, and by conveyance of Mary Lunewode and John de la Ford. (fn. 130) Robert de Lyntonesford in 1302 conveyed to Walter Selyman and Edith his wife part of the above lands. (fn. 131) John de Lyntonesford about this time gave all his land in 'Lyntesforde juxta Chaldefeld Percy' to Walter and Edith Selyman. (fn. 132) Thus apparently was created the estate now known as LENTON FARM due north of Great Chalfield. In 1385 land in Lynsford, West Chalfield, and East Chalfield, probably but not certainly the same estate as the foregoing, (fn. 133) was leased by John, son and heir of John Aunger, to Constance FitzWaryn of Great Chalfield for the term of her life. (fn. 134) In the same year John granted the reversion of the property to John Grenyng of Holt, to whom this was confirmed by John Aunger in 1405 and by Constance in 1410. (fn. 135) John Grenyng and his wife Joan were in possession of the estate in 1426. (fn. 136) In 1433 Grenyng conveyed it to William Rous, lord of Great Chalfield, with which manor it descended thereafter. (fn. 137) In 1726 the Duke of Kingston let the farm, then alternatively called The Dairy, together with some pastures to Thomas Miles for seven years at £115 a year. (fn. 138) From 1755 Lenton or Dairy Farm with two closes were let to Henry Miles for fourteen years at the same rent. (fn. 139)
Much valuable information about the manors in this parish is to be found in the Tropenell cartulary, a rubricated parchment volume kept in Great Chalfield house. (fn. 140)
The advowson of the church of Great Chalfield has always been annexed to the manor. The first recorded institutions took place in 1316, when it was called a chapel. (fn. 141) In 1913 it was transferred by the late Mr. G. P. Fuller to his son Major R. F- Fuller, who is still the patron. (fn. 142) It was called a church for the first time in 1349, and thereafter continues to be so called. (fn. 143) In 1428 it was one of the churches exempted from taxation as having fewer than 10 parishioners. (fn. 144) The rectory was valued at £5. 17s. in 1535. (fn. 145)
In a terrier of 1671 it was stated that there was no house belonging to the parsonage, and that the minister occupied a chamber in the manor house. It was added that 'antiant men have reported that they have heard from other antiant men that were before them, that said there was a parsonage house which stood on a ground near the manor house, called Parsonage Close, alias Penclose'. (fn. 146) There were no glebe lands at that time, though upon the report of old men long since dead there had been such. It seems probable that the oral tradition connecting Parsonage Close with the church of Great Chalfield was false, and that the close had actually belonged to the chapel of Little Chalfield (see below). The jurors of 1671 also reported that Mr. Bradshaw, the previous incumbent, had had his diet, the keeping of a horse, and £16 per annum out of the manor of Great Chalfield in lieu of tithes. (fn. 147) They said that the then rector (John Wilton) had received an annual composition of £32 from the owners of the manor in lieu of tithes, together with the keeping of a horse. The rector also had £5 a year in tithes from Moxhams Farm and 10s. from 'a ground lying within the same parish called Bowood'. (fn. 148) In 1705 the tithe amounted to slightly less: £32 from the tenant of the manor (John Sartain, holding of John Hall) and £4 from Christopher Moxham. (fn. 149) In 1731 the tithe arising from the manor was compounded at £36. (fn. 150) In 1783 the rector received in composition for his tithes £50 from the manor, £3. 10s. from lands belonging to John Blagden of Gray's Inn, and in the occupation of John Reynolds, and 19s. from Bowood field. He also had tithe of hay, wool, and lambs for lands belonging to James Moxham of London, sugar refiner. The rectory had been augmented by £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty and £200 from the late Robert Neale of Corsham, producing in all £8 a year interest. (fn. 151)
Christopher Tropenell (d. 1503) left to the church of Great Chalfield 'a pair of vestments, a chaleys, a masboke, a portes, a procescyonall, a suplus and awterclothes there to belonging'. (fn. 152)
In the 14th and 15th centuries Little Chalfield was a separate parish, although like Great Chalfield a small and poor one. The 'chapel of Chalfield' to which Walter de Chaudefeld presented in 1308 must have been the manorial chapel of Little Chalfield, and in 1362 at the next recorded institution it was styled a church. (fn. 153) In 1348 Margaret, relict of George de Percy, was licensed to alienate in mortmain 33½ acres mead and 5s. rent in Little Chalfield to a chaplain who was to celebrate daily in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, Little Chalfield, for her good estate, for her soul when she was dead, and for the soul of her late husband. (fn. 154) In 1418 Little Chalfield (like Great Chalfield) was a parish whose church was exempt from tax because it had fewer than 10 inhabitants. (fn. 155) The advowson of Little Chalfield descended with the manor. The last recorded institution was made in 1537 by William Button by grant of Hawise (Avyse) de Westbury, widow. (fn. 156) This and the previous two institutions were to a 'chapel', and it is clear that by this time Little Chalfield had hardly any inhabitants. (fn. 157) That the church had ceased to fulfil parochial functions is clear from the fact that it came within the purview of the Chantry Survey of 1549. In that year it was described as 'a free chapel', ½ mile distant from the parish church, and it was found that the profits arising from the tithes from the farm of the manor had been demised to William Westbury (lord of the manor) by the incumbent of the chapel, William Thynne. (fn. 158) According to another chantry certificate of the same year the chapel of Chalfield was valued at 40s., and was said to be in the possession of (Sir) John Thynne by letters patent of the king. (fn. 159) John Thynne (not William) was the name of the incumbent instituted in 1537. (fn. 160) As mentioned above the advowson of the chapel had been allotted to Avyse Westbury as her share of the property of her father John Savery. The demise of the tithes to Avyse's son William Westbury was possibly accompanied, or was certainly followed by the acquisition by the lord of the manor of the glebe land belonging to the chapel. In 1614 the free chapel of West Chalfield and all tithes and glebe were apurtenant to the manor. (fn. 161) In 1630 the manor included the free chapel, tithes, and a close called Parsonage Close pertaining to the chapel. (fn. 162) The chapel is mentioned in conveyances of the manor up to 1701. (fn. 163) There is now no trace of it.
In 1545 Thomas Bamfield, husband of Anne, the other daughter and coheir of John Savery, conveyed to Thomas Horton the advowson of the free chapel of St. Blaise, Chalfield. (fn. 164) No other mention of this chapel has been found but it is possible that it was identical with the chantry set up in 1348 (see above).
In 1656 an order was approved to sever the chapel of Holt from the parish of Bradford and to unite with it the parishes of Great and Little Chalfield and Staverton. (fn. 165) At the same time it was proposed to unite the chapels of Atworth and Wrazall in Bradford with the parishes of Monkton Farleigh, Cottles' House, and Moxham's House. (fn. 166) The Restoration put an end to this and other projected reforms of local administration, and to the present day the ecclesiastical parish of Great Chalfield has remained the same, although the small value of the rectory and the absence of a glebe house have meant that there has been no resident rector at Great Chalfield for many years. (fn. 167)
The chapel of Little Chalfield had probably been pulled down before the church terrier of Great Chalfield was drawn up in 1674, for it must have been mentioned in the terrier had it survived. So completely had the memory of it disappeared that in the censuses of the early 19th century Little Chalfield and Cottles (see under Bradford) were classed as extra-parochial. (fn. 168)
The church of ALL SAINTS, Great Chalfield, is small, consisting of chancel, nave, south chapel, vestry, and west porch. It dates from the early 14th century, when it consisted only of chancel and nave. Of the original building only part of the nave remains. The chancel was rebuilt about 1480, no doubt by Thomas Tropenell. At the same time the west end porch, bell-cote, and south chapel were built. The eastward extension of the south chapel, flanking the chancel and now used as a vestry, was added in 1775 by Robert Neale, (fn. 169) and at the same time the chancel was lined with ashlar and reroofed. The bell-cote has two-light traceried openings on each face and is crowned by a short crocketed octagonal spire. There are traces of painting on the splays of the north window, and in the walls of the chapel traces of six panels representing the life of St. Katherine. There is a description of these written in 1760 before they were disfigured and whitewashed over. The screen to the vestry is probably late 15th century and is said to have been brought from Goodnestone (Kent). The oak panelled pulpit dates from the late 17th century. The oak chancel screen, the seating, and the organ case, which is richly painted and gilded in medieval style, are modern.
No plate was entered for Great Chalfield in the returns of 1553. A chalice and paten cover (both hallmarked 1680) were presented by John Hall of Bradford (d. 1711). (fn. 170) An alms dish was purchased in 1922 with money subscribed by the parishioners. (fn. 171)
A book recording births and deaths in the Eyre family from 1545 is kept in the manor house; from 1605 to 1812 it continues as a parish register. Complete registers from 1813 are kept in the parish chest at the church. (fn. 172)
There were two bells in the church in 1553. The present single bell was cast in 1627. (fn. 173)
There are no Nonconformist chapels at Great Chalfield, nor is there any indication that there ever have been. John Eyre in a letter dated at West Chalfield in 1670 complained of the activities of sectaries in his area, (fn. 174) but no Nonconformists were returned for the parish of Great Chalfield in 1676. (fn. 175)
Agriculture and Mills
For February and March 1322 there is an account of the profits of Great Chalfield, then in the king's hand owing to the rebellion of Roger de Percy. In these weeks a foal, 4 bullocks, 30 two-year-old sheep (hogastri), 12 pigs, 7 piglets, 2 qr. of wheat, 5 qr. of barley, and 10 qr. of oats were sold, and 30 acres sown with wheat and one with oats. The price of an acre of wheat was 3s. and of oats 1s. 10d. (fn. 176)
In the Domesday entry for the manor of Chalfield which had formerly belonged to Wallef it is stated that there was half a mill there worth 18d. (fn. 177) Probably the two Chalfields shared a mill lying on the stream which runs through them. The mill was again mentioned in 1280–1 when there was a dispute concerning it between the lords of Great and Little Chalfield. Walter de Chaudefeld, lord of Little Chalfield, complained that William de Percy had made a pond which caused the site of Walter's mill to be flooded and also rendered impassable a pathway by which Walter was accustomed to carry hay from a meadow near the pond. The jurors found that both litigants were in the wrong, for although the pathway was submerged it was not impassable, nor was the mill flooded. (fn. 178) A miller of Chalfield is mentioned in 1439 (fn. 179) and 1501–2 (fn. 180). A corn mill was in use at Great Chalfield while the Parliamentary garrison was in occupation in 1645. (fn. 181) In a plan of the manor house and its environs made in 1834 a corn mill is marked to the east of the house. By 1900 this mill had been replaced by cottages. (fn. 182)