A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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The modern parish of Wingfield lies in the Oxford and Kimeridge Clay region of north and mid-west Wiltshire, 2 miles south-west from Trowbridge and 2½ miles south from Bradford-on-Avon. It is bounded on the west by the parishes of Tellisford and Farleigh Hungerford (Som.). (fn. 1) By the Divided Parishes Act, 1882 (45 & 46 Vic, c. 50) detached parts of Wingfield were transferred to the parishes of Bradford, Westwood and Farleigh Hungerford. (fn. 2) In 1884 a small detached part of Farleigh Hungerford was added to Wingfield, and a part of Wingfield added to the parish of Bradford. (fn. 3) The Wilts. County Review Order, 1934, added to Wingfield parts of the parish of Bradford Without and of the Urban District of Trowbridge.
The parish of Wingfield has a small and scattered population. The secondary road (B 3109) from Bradford-on-Avon to Rode (Som.) crosses the main road from Trowbridge to Farleigh Hungerford (A 366) approximately in the centre of the parish, and most of the houses lie within ¼ mile of this road junction. (fn. 4) These roads were turnpiked in 1799. (fn. 5) Midway Manor (see below—Manors) lies off the former road, near the northern boundary of the parish. Wingfield Common, Wingfield House, Trowle House, and Trowle Farm are just to the north and east of the cross-roads. Belle Cour (see below—Manors) is ¼ mile south-west of the cross-roads. Wingfield Church and the Church Farm (see below) are in an isolated position ¼ mile south of Wingfield House. Pomeroy Farm (see below— Manors) adjoins Belle Cour on the south-west, and Pomeroy Wood is ½ mile west. Stowford Farm (see below—Manors) lies on the western boundary of the parish opposite Farleigh Hunger ford. Swansbrook, a tributary of the Biss, forms part of the eastern and southern boundary of Wingfield, while the Frome forms most of the western boundary. The height of the land in the parish varies between 150 and 250 ft. above sealevel, being greater in the south-west.
Wingfield Church Farm stands a little to the west of the church. The original building, constructed in the mid-16th century, was L-shaped. The long arm of the L ran east to west; the short arm joined the long arm at the east end. In the 17th century two projecting wings were added on the south. The original windows from the east-west block were brought forward and inserted in these projections. At the same time the north-south arm was broadened and a porch entrance added in the centre of the east front. This porch is of the mid-16th century and was probably taken from the east-west block. It has a moulded four-centred arch, square head, hood with diamond-shaped stops, and spandrils containing shields. On the left shield have been added the initials C.P.M. and on the right shield the date 1630. The interior has been modernized but retains a 16th-century stone fireplace and a number of 17th century oak panelled doors with solid moulded frames and their original hinges. Extending beyond the west end of the south front there is a doorway very similar to the porch which seems to indicate that the original building has been shortened.
The lost village of Wittenham, formerly a separate parish, lay in Wingfield. It is first mentioned in the bounds of the charter of 1001 (see below-Manors) and is named without an alias in sundry records (notably the Nomina Villarum) until 1428. In and after about 1300 the manor of Wittenham is sometimes called the manor of Rowley, a name, however, which does not occur in the Nomina Villarum. In 1412 there is a reference to the manor of Wittenham and Rowley (fn. 6) and from this time onwards the forms Wittenham alias Rowley, and Rowley alias Wittenham are found, and also the single word Wittenhamrowley. From about 1450 the second of these forms tends to oust the first, suggesting that Rowley, if, as may be presumed, it was a separate place, was thenceforth the more important, or perhaps the only visible one. In 1428 the depopulated parish of Wittenham alias Rowley was amalgamated (see below) with Farleigh Hungerford (Som.) to which parts of its seem already to have belonged. This measure had the effect of transferring the village for parochial purposes to the diocese of Bath and Wells. The township or tithing, as distinct from the parish, was not, of course, affected and remained within the hundred of Bradford. Henceforth it was associated by the officers of that hundred now with one township and now with another. Thus at the sheriff's tourn for 1439 one tithingman presented for Westwood and Rowley. (fn. 7) In 1508 Rowley appeared with Trowle before the Commissioners of Array. (fn. 8) It was rated with Trowle and Wingfield to the subsidy of 1569, with Wingfield to the subsidies of 1629 to 1631 and 1642, and with Trowle to the monthly assessment of 1645. (fn. 9) The insignificance of the village doubtless made some grouping of this sort inevitable. There is today no trace of Wittenham on the map, but there is a Rowley Copse in Farleigh Hungerford.
Henry Shrapnel (1761–1842), inventor of the Shrapnel shell, was the son of Zachariah Shrapnel of Midway Manor. (fn. 10)
WINGFIELD is mentioned (under a corrupt form of the name) in the bounds of a charter attributed to King Edgar and dated 954. (fn. 11) Another charter, dated 1001, sets out the bounds of the manor of Bradford (q.v.); if this is to be believed then Wingfield at this date formed part of the Vill' of Bradford and was given by King Aethelred to Shaftesbury Abbey. (fn. 12) There is no other evidence that Wingfield was held by Shaftesbury, and there is another reason for scepticism: Westwood, which according to the charter of 1001 was also part of Bradford, had been granted in 987 by Aethelred to the thegn Leofwine. In and after 1086 Westwood belonged to the monks of St. Swithun, Winchester, and does not appear to have been connected with Shaftesbury at any date other than 1001. (fn. 13) On the other hand it must be admitted that during the Middle Ages the abbey of Shaftesbury held the hundred of Bradford, and that the bounds of the 'vill' of Bradford as given in the charter of 1001 are nearly the same as the later hundredal boundary. (fn. 14) If the charter granted the hundred to Shaftesbury then the above difficulties do not arise. (fn. 15)
In 1086 the manor of Wingfield was held by Geoffrey de Mowbray, Bishop of Coutances, and under him by Roger. Before the Conquest Azor held it. (fn. 16) Geoffrey had been a prominent supporter of William the Conqueror in and after 1066, and had received grants of many manors in England; his estates were most extensive in Somerset and Devon. (fn. 17) On his death in 1093 his lands passed to Robert de Mowbray, son of his brother Roger. (fn. 18) Robert, who had become Earl of Northumberland in 1080 or 1081, was dispossessed in 1095 after his rebellion against William II. (fn. 19) His estates were split up: those in Somerset were given to Robert fitz Hamar, whose daughter brought them in marriage to Robert, Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 20) It seems probable that Wingfield followed the same descent. In 1242–3 the Abbot of Keynsham (Som.) was holding ½ knight's fee in Wingfield of Joscelin de Bayeux, who held of the Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 21) The abbey of Keynsham was founded between 1167 and 1172, by William, Earl of Gloucester, son of Earl Robert. (fn. 22) There is no extant record of the gift of Wingfield to the abbey, but it must have been made before 1219–20, when the abbot was engaged in litigation with Roger de St. Lo over land in Wingfield. (fn. 23) Probably Wingfield was granted to a member of the Bayeux family by the Earl of Gloucester, and was later given to the abbey of Keynsham by the tenant—possibly at the instance of the earl. The Earl of Gloucester as overlord of the manor claimed the assize of bread and ale in 1280–1, and in 1288–9 was accused of withdrawing ½ mark which used to be paid by the vill of Wingfield to the sheriff at the tourn. The earl said that this ½ mark was included in a rent of 5 marks paid by the hundred at the tourn. (fn. 24) In 1428 it was returned that the Abbot of Keynsham held immediately of the Earl of Stafford certain tenements in Wingfield in pure alms by service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 25) The Earl of Stafford was a descendant of the Clare earls of Gloucester, through the female line. (fn. 26)
The Abbot of Keynsham retained the manor until the Dissolution. In 1241 Roger Whyteng surrendered to the abbot all his claim to the manor. (fn. 27) In the following year Adam de Greinville, lord of Southwick (in North Bradley), granted to the abbot common in Adam's heath called Cokmersdon, and in all the common belonging to the manor of Southwick. (fn. 28) A final concord of 1268 between the abbot and John of St. Lo, in which John recognized the abbot's rights in the manor, appears to have been the genuine settlement of a dispute between them. (fn. 29) The site of the manor, with a yearly stipend of 20s. for the woodward, was leased by the abbot in 1494 to William Clyvelode for a term of eighty years. (fn. 30) In the following year Clyvelode also received the lease of a messuage in Stowford, a cottage in Freshawe, land in Wingfield, a woodward's stipend of 13s. 4d., and four mills, for a term of ninety-six years. (fn. 31) At the Dissolution the possessions of the abbey in Wingfield and Stowford were valued at £12. 13s. 4d. (fn. 32)
In 1539 Wingfield was granted by the king to Thomas Bayley. The manorial rights, certain tenements, and the reversion of the site of the manor after the termination of Clyvelode's lease were to be held in chief for the service of 14/0 knight's fee. (fn. 33) Thomas Bayley died in 1543 and was succeeded by his son William, who died without issue in 1562. (fn. 34) William's heir was his brother Christopher, who died in 1602, having in the previous year settled the manor on his son John in tail male, with remainder to John's daughter and to another son Robert. (fn. 35) John Bayley died without issue in 1621, having settled Wingfield on his wife Katherine. He was succeeded by his nephew Christopher, son of Robert Bayley, to whom livery was made in the following year. (fn. 36) The manor passed out of this family in 1647, when John Bayley conveyed it to Samuel Ashe (al. Mercer). (fn. 37) There had been numerous conveyances of the manor between 1622 and 1647, most of them being between members of the Bayley and Ashe families. It seems likely that the Ashes were mortgagees. (fn. 38)
Samuel Ashe and Anne his wife sold Wingfield in 1683 to Walter Greene. (fn. 39) It afterwards passed to John Cooper, who held it in 1762 and 1765. (fn. 40) John Allen Cooper of Cumberwell (probably the same man) sold it in 1784, to Joseph Mortimer, who, by his will proved in 1789, left it to his youngest son Capt. Edward Mortimer, of the 20th Regt. Light Dragoons: it was entailed upon Edward's male heirs with remainder to Joseph, eldest son of Joseph Mortimer and to the daughters of Joseph senior. (fn. 41) Edward barred the entail in 1808, evidently in order to sell the manor to John Tillie Coryton, in whose possession it was in the following year. (fn. 42) Thomas Timbrell, lord of the manor of Trowbridge, was lord of the manor in 1820 and 1825, and Charles Spackman of Bradford, dyer, in 1832. (fn. 43) The estate probably became annexed to that known as Belle Cour, which had come into the possession of John Tillie Coryton from his grandfather Sir James Tillie of Pentillie. (fn. 44) About 1828 this estate was sold to John Houlton of Farleigh Castle. John Houlton was described as lord of the manor in 1855 and 1867, but in 1875 Thomas Rumming, a local farmer, had apparently acquired such manorial rights as still existed. There is no reference to the lordship after this date. Much of the land in the parish was purchased about 1895 by Sir Vincent Caillard (1850–1930), administrator and financial expert. (fn. 45) In 1939 the chief landowners in the parish of Wingfield were Mrs. T. Place and the trustees of Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Butler. (fn. 46)
WITTENHAM is mentioned in the bounds of the charter of 1001 described above under the manor of Wingfield. In 1086 it also was in the hands of the Bishop of Coutances, with Roger as the mesne tenant. Before the Conquest it was held by Alvet. (fn. 47) The name of Wittenham is now lost, but the place must have been north-west of Wingfield near Midway Manor. The overlordship of the manor followed the same descent as that of Wingfield. In 1361 and 1375 Wittenham was held of the Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 48) In 1401 it was held 'from the heir of Thomas le Despenser as of the Honour of Gloucester'. (fn. 49) In 1428 Walter, Lord Hungerford, held lands in Wittenham for the service of ½ knight's fee immediately of the Honour of Gloucester. (fn. 50)
Like Wingfield, this manor was granted by the overlord to the Bayeux family, and it seems to have been subinfeudated by them to that of St. Lo. (fn. 51) By 1166 these two families were connected by marriage. (fn. 52) Joscelin de Bayeux and Roger de St. Lo were holding Wiltshire fees of the Honour of Gloucester in 1211– 12. (fn. 53) William de St. Lo held ½ fee in 1242–3 of Joscelin de Bayeux, who held of the Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 54) John de St. Lo and the men of Wittenham were presented in 1267–8 for having withdrawn the suit which they had formerly been in the habit of doing at the hundred court every three weeks. (fn. 55) John de St. Lo concluded an agreement with the Abbot of Keynsham in the same year concerning the manor of Wingfield. (fn. 56)
The manor is next found in possession of Sir Nicholas de St. Maur, 1st Lord St. Maur (d. 1316). (fn. 57) How he obtained it is not clear, but it is possible that his father, also named Sir Nicholas de St. Maur (d. 1297), had married as his first wife the heiress of John of St. Lo. (fn. 58) Sir Nicholas de St. Maur presented to the church of Wittenham in 1299. (fn. 59) He was tenant of the 'vill' of Wittenham in 1316. (fn. 60)
Wittenham passed on the death of Lord St. Maur to his second son by his second wife, Nicholas, 2nd Lord St. Maur. (fn. 61) He died in 1361, leaving the manor to his son, another Nicholas, then aged 10. (fn. 62) The king granted custody of the heir to his own daughter Isabel, but Nicholas died in the same year as his father, and was succeeded by his brother Richard. (fn. 63) Richard, summoned to Parliament as Lord St. Maur died in 1401, leaving his son Richard as his heir. (fn. 64) The younger Richard, 5th Lord St. Maur, died in 1409, when it was found that he had held Wittenham jointly with his wife Mary. (fn. 65) Mary died in the same year two days after giving birth to her husband's heir, his posthumous daughter Alice, whose marriage and custody were granted to Hugh Mortimer. (fn. 66) Before Alice's birth her father's heir had been his brother John, and the latter was holding the manor of Wittenham and Rowley in 1412. (fn. 67) Alice, however, must have regained possession for in 1429 she and her husband, William, Lord Zouche of Harringworth, conveyed the manor to Walter, 1st Lord Hungerford. (fn. 68) In 1455 Lord Hungerford's title was further secured by the quit-claim of John de Seymour and others. (fn. 69) Lord Zouche may have retained an interest in the manor, since it was numbered among his possessions at his death in 1468. (fn. 70) Meanwhile the manor (or its reversion) had passed on the death of Walter, Lord Hungerford, in 1449 to his son Robert, 2nd Lord Hungerford, and from the latter in 1459 to his son Robert, 3rd Lord Hungerford and 1st Lord Moleyns. (fn. 71) The last-named Robert was attainted in 1461 and suffered forfeiture. (fn. 72) The manor of Rowley was granted in 1462 to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of the king. (fn. 73) Richard became king in 1483, but after his death at Bosworth in 1485 the manor of Rowley was restored to Sir Walter Hungerford, a son of Robert, 3rd Lord Hungerford and 1st Lord Moleyns. (fn. 74) Sir Walter's grandson, Walter, Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, was attainted and executed in 1540. (fn. 75) The estates of Lord Hungerford were restored to his son Sir Walter in 1554, and this manor was included among them. On Sir Walter's death without issue in 1596 Wittenham passed to his brother Sir Edward. (fn. 76) In 1607 Sir Edward also died childless and the manor passed to his great-nephew and adopted heir Edward, son of Anthony Hungerford, upon whom it was settled in 1608–9. (fn. 77) Edward Hungerford died without issue in 1648 and was succeeded by his half-brother Anthony Hungerford of Black Bourton (Oxon.). (fn. 78) Anthony was succeeded in 1657 by his son, Sir Edward Hungerford the 'spendthrift', who in 1686 sold Rowley to Henry Baynton of Spye Park. (fn. 79) Baynton sold Rowley in 1700 to William Chaundler of Bradford. (fn. 80) In 1743 Stephen Sly sold the manor to John Halliday, and from John's descendant Simon Halliday the estate, now only a reputed manor attached to Iford (in Westwood), was bought by Charles Dingley. (fn. 81) Dingley's heir sold it to John Turner of Harbourne, who in 1777 in turn sold it to John Gaisford of Bitham in Westbury. (fn. 82) From this time onwards the estate apparently formed part of the Iford estate, which was held in 1939 by Major M. J. Peto.
Rowley Farm, which had formed part of the manor estate, was not sold with the manor in 1700 but was bought by a Mr. Bernard, who later sold it to Zachary Shrapnel of Midway, William Yerbury, and a Mr. Dyke. (fn. 83) Yerbury's portion afterwards passed to Thomas Cooper of Wingfield and is that part of Stowford Farm which lies in the parish of Farleigh Hungerford. By 1870 the Rowley farm buildings had long disappeared. (fn. 84)
From a survey of the manor of Rowley taken in 1585 it seems that there were only two houses on it, Rowley Farm and a cottage. At that time there were 37 acres in Stowford Field and 57 acres in Westwood Field. There were tenants of this manor at Box, South Wraxall, Atworth, Avoncliff, Dingley, Bradford, and at Tellisford (Som.). (fn. 85)
An estate formerly known as HAMUNDES probably appears first as a virgate of land in Rowley held by John the clerk, and a messuage in the occupation of Peter the baker (pistor) on the east side of a meadow belonging to the virgate, with ½ acre on the south side, next to the arable called Worthehes and with another ½ acre lying in the east field near Noreshall. This was granted, probably early in the 13th century, by Roger de St. Lo, lord of Wittenham, to Walter Brutun. Later in the 13th century, in the time of John de St. Lo, John Brutun, son of Walter, granted the estate to his daughter Catherine, evidently on her marriage to Roger de Sokerwyke. From a confirmation of this grant by Sir Roger de Clifton it appears that Catherine's husband was Roger Hamund of Sokerwyke, and from him no doubt the tenement derived its name. Catherine and Roger conveyed the estate in 1302 to their son Thomas, who was to pay for this grant two pairs of gauntlets. Two years later Thomas sold the property for 20 silver marks to Robert Bavent but in 1305 Robert conveyed it back to Thomas, and in the same year Thomas's brother Roger surrendered any claim that he might have to the property. (fn. 86)
By 1431–2 the tenement, then comprising a messuage and 40 acres in Rowley, had been reconveyed to the lord of the manor, since that year John Hamond was excused the quit-rent which he had previously paid for it. The tenement was leased out that year. It included closes called Homeclose and Bradecroft and a meadow called Trewmede. (fn. 87) In 1447–8 meadows called Hamondesmede and Trewmede, the two closes, some pasture, and 8 acres of arable, all apparently parcel of the lands late belonging to John Hamond, were being leased out by the lord of the manor. (fn. 88)
The manor of POMEROY appears to have been a very scattered one in the Middle Ages. In the early 14th century it was described as being in Pomeroy, Bradford, Westwood, and Rowley. (fn. 89) In 1523 Pomeroy was said to be in the tithing of Winsley (in Bradford). (fn. 90) In the 18th century the whole of Pomeroy was apparently in Wingfield. (fn. 91)
Like Wingfield and Wittenham, Pomeroy was mentioned in the bounds of Aethelred's charter of 1001. In the time of Edward the Confessor it was held by Alnod, and after the Conquest it passed to Osmund Latimar. (fn. 92) In 1242–3 William Waspre held 1/5 knight's fee in Pomeroy of the Earl of Salisbury as lord of the honour of Trowbridge. (fn. 93) There is no definite evidence to connect the tenants of 1086 and 1242. (fn. 94) Pomeroy was still part of the honour of Trowbridge in 1325, when it was among the 75 fees conveyed to Hugh le Despenser by Ebles Lestrange and Alice his wife, relict of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, to whom the lands of the Earls of Salisbury had descended. (fn. 95) In 1428, however, the manor was said to be held immediately of the Abbess of Shaftesbury and this finding was repeated in 14845. (fn. 96) The same evidence was given by the jurors in 1523, when it was added that Pomeroy was held of the abbess as of the manor of Bradford. (fn. 97) Since the abbess held the hundred of Bradford and the tithings of the hundred had long been in the habit of doing suit at her court of the hundred, it is probable that the distinction between her manorial and hundredal jurisdictions became blurred.
In 1309 the tenancy of Pomeroy was settled on John de Hauvill for life, with reversion to Robert de Hauvill. (fn. 98) Four years later (possibly after the death of John) Robert de Hauvill conveyed the property to trustees who in 1312 settled it upon him and his wife Margery. (fn. 99) Tristram de Hauvill, who had put in a claim in 1310, held Pomeroy in 1335, and settled it upon himself for life with remainder to Thomas de Bradeston, Isabel his wife, and the heirs of Thomas. (fn. 100) By 1352 the estate, now known as the manor of Pomeroy, had passed to Edmund de Brokenborough, who in that year conveyed it to John de Edyndon. (fn. 101) About this time the estate was greatly increased in size. In 1361 John de Edyndon settled the manor upon himself and his issue with remainder to Goda Butesthorn and Maud, daughters of John Cormailles, and their issue, with remainder in default to the right heirs of John de Edyndon. (fn. 102) John de Edyndon died before 1369 without issue and Roger Husyerd and Christine his wife, John's relict, took possession of the manor contrary to the settlement of 1361. (fn. 103) Christine and Roger evidently retained possession, for in 1387 John Butesthorn and his wife granted the reversion after the death of Christine and Roger to certain trustees. (fn. 104) Possibly this conveyance was for the purpose of a settlement of the manor on a member of the Lisle family, for in 1428 John Lisle held ¼ knight's fee in Pomeroy, which had formerly belonged to Tristram de Hauvill. (fn. 105) John died in the following year and from that time the manor descended in the same way as that of Holt in Bradford (q.v.). (fn. 106) Edward Lisle settled Pomeroy on himself and his heirs in 1723. (fn. 107) Before 1793 it had become the property of Isaac Webb Horlock, a banker who owned considerable property in the neighbourhood. Horlock became bankrupt and in 1793 Pomeroy was sold with the rest of his property to pay his debts. (fn. 108) It seems, however, to have been redeemed, for in 1826 Isaac William Webb Horlock conveyed it to Jeremiah Osborne. (fn. 109) The site of the manor was probably at Pomeroy Farm, which was bought by Sir Vincent Caillard and became part of his Wingfield estate.
Tithes from Pomeroy were given to the priory of Monkton Farleigh by Geoffrey 'dapifer' and were held by the priory at the Dissolution. (fn. 110)
There appears to have been another manor or reputed manor at Pomeroy, called POMEROY-LA-SLOWE. In 1385 Thomas de Hungerford was granted free warren in his lands at 'la Slo', and in 1420–1 a rent of 106s. 7½d. was received by the king from land at Pomeroy which belonged to Walter, 1st Lord Hungerford. (fn. 111) This Thomas de Hungerford was presumably the father of Walter, Lord Hungerford (who died in 1397). This estate descended in the Hungerford family until 1607, and was then mentioned as appurtenant to the manor of Rowley. (fn. 112) In a Farleigh terrier of 1675 'the Slow grounds' are described as the inheritance of the Longs and as in the tenure of 'Mrs. Shertrin': possibly the property was sold to the owners of the advowson. (fn. 113) The name survives in the modern Slough field. (fn. 114)
The reputed manor of STOWFORD was annexed to the manor of Wingfield and was leased in 1458 by the Abbot of Keynsham, to William Sewey or Stowford and Margaret his wife for ninety-six years. (fn. 115) In 1495 the reversion of the property was granted to William Clevelode, to hold for eighty-six years after the expiration of Sewey's lease. (fn. 116) In 1539 the reversion was confirmed to Thomas Bayley, and from that time Stowford descended along with Wingfield. (fn. 117)
In 1661 the mansion house of Stowford with various lands belonging to it was held under a lease made in 1654 by Samuel Ashe to John Brownjohn. This tenant refused to pay tithes to the Rector of Wingfield because the latter was a royalist. (fn. 118) At that time the tenant of this estate had the right of fishing in the Frome 'from the upper end of Countsham to the lower end of Taggle mead in Wingfield'. (fn. 119)
Stowford Farm is situated on the west boundary of the parish. It has two stories and attics and is built mainly of rubble with worked dressings and stone-slated roof. The original house was built late in the 15th century, and looked east. About the middle of the 16th century a small projecting oratory was added at the south end of the east front and another larger kitchen block at the north end. Late in the 16th century the building was extended by a wing running west from the back of the original house and about the middle of the 17th century a small wing was added at the west end of 16th-century wing, on the north side. All that remains of the original house is part of its east wall with a blocked window of two trefoiled lights and parts of other blocked windows. Of the early additions the oratory remains with its four-light windows to each floor blocked, also its side lights. The kitchen block has been much altered, its transomed windows partly blocked and the east gable wall rebuilt in ashlar. The interior has been modernized and, apart from a 16th-century stone chimney-piece with an added moulded shelf and a number of moulded ceiling beams, there are no features of interest. (fn. 120)
A tenement called FRESHAWE was granted in 1331–2 by William Ursel to the Abbot of Keynsham. (fn. 121) In 1458 the abbot granted a cottage in Freshawe to William Sewey and Margaret his wife for a term of ninety years. (fn. 122) It followed the same descent as Stowford and is last mentioned in the reign of Elizabeth as Freshawleaze, a close in the manor of Wingfield. (fn. 123)
Another tenement called BRADLEYS was annexed to Freshawe and followed the same descent.
MIDWAY, now called Midway Manor, formed part of the Rowley estate, and was bought by Zachary Shrapnel from Mr. Bernard after the break-up of the estate. (fn. 124) Zachary's son, Henry Shrapnel, is noticed above, p. 70. In 1908 Midway was the property of Henry Summers Baynton.
The church of Wingfield was annexed to the manor until the Dissolution, and presentations were made by the Abbots of Keynsham. (fn. 125) The church of Wingfield was below the minimum value for the purpose of the Taxatio of 1291. In 1428, though entered as a church that was not taxed, it was rated for the purposes of the subsidy at 6s. 8d. (fn. 126) In 1535 its net value was £4. 16s. 4d. a year. (fn. 127) The king presented to the living in 1547, and in 1551 granted the advowson to Thomas, Lord Darcy. (fn. 128) Darcy transferred the advowson to Christopher Bayley of Stowford, (fn. 129) who died in 1558 or 1559, leaving his son Thomas, a minor, as his heir. (fn. 130) Thomas came of age in 1567 and was given livery of his inheritance, but he died in 1568, leaving a daughter and heir Rebecca; her wardship was granted to Nicholas Brooke, who transferred it in the same year to Edward Horton of Westwood. (fn. 131) Rebecca married Henry Long of Whaddon (q.v.) and in 1592 she and her husband were granted a third part of the advowson by Maud, wife of Walter Bush and relief of Christopher Bayley, who had previously held it in dower. (fn. 132) Henry died in 1612 and Rebecca later married Henry Sherfield, who in 1620 presented to the living jointly with her. (fn. 133) Sir Walter Long, son of Rebecca and Henry Long, succeeded his mother and died in 1672. His son and successor Sir Walter Long died unmarried in 1710 and his estates passed to Calthorpe Parker, son of Rebecca, sister of the younger Sir Walter Long and wife of Sir Philip Parker. Calthorpe died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew Sir Philip Parker, son of his elder brother. (fn. 134) In 1723 presentation was made by Benjamina Parker 'soluta' and in 1747 by Martha Parker, daughter of the above Sir Philip Parker the younger. (fn. 135) Martha married John Thynne Howe, Lord Chedworth, who presented to the church in 1757 in conjunction with the Earl Harcourt and Theophilus Jones. (fn. 136) About this time the estates inherited by the Parkers from Sir Walter Long reverted under the provision of Sir Walter's will to the Longs of Rowden. (fn. 137) What happened to the advowson of Wingfield is not absolutely clear, but in 1762 the presentation was made by Daniel Clutterbuck of Bradford. Edward Bowles of Bristol presented in 1775. (fn. 138) The Revd. Edward Spencer, who became rector in that year, bought the advowson. On his death it passed to his son, the Revd. Thomas Spencer who also became rector and who held it in 1859. (fn. 139) After the death of the latter the advowson became vested in trustees. It is now held by the Church Pastoral Aid Society. (fn. 140)
In 1704 the rectory consisted of 28½ acres and 7 'yard lands'. The churchyard and the rectory house together occupied ¾ acre. There were 6½ acres of glebe in the 'home grounds' and the remainder lay in small parcels in places that included Stowford Field, Lower Slow, Sheepmead and the Moor, and in 'Westwoodfields' (perhaps the common fields of Westwood). (fn. 141)
The church of ST. MARY lies at the south-east end of the village, and consists of a chancel, nave, west tower, south porch, and a vestry. With the exception of the 15th-century tower and chancel arch it dates from the 17th century, and all the windows, other than the east, which is modern, are of that period. The vestry, built on the north side, is a late addition, and houses an organ, installed by the 5th Earl Temple of Stowe.
The parish registers begin in 1654 and are complete. (fn. 142) In 1553 the king's commissioners took 8 oz. of plate and left for the church a chalice weighing 9 oz. The plate now comprises a paten given by John Bayly (probably John Bayly, d. 1665, whose monument is in the church), and a paten and flagon given in 1749 by Martha Parker. (fn. 143) There were three bells in 1553. Of the present three bells the oldest dates from c. 1500 to 1550, the others from 1607 and 1615. (fn. 144)
At the end of the 13th century Wittenham with Rowley was a separate parish, with the advowson of the church in the gift of the lord of the manor. (fn. 145) The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was described in successive presentations as Wittenham, Wittenham alias Rowley, and Wittenham Rowley. In 1428 Wittenham was included among the parishes which, having fewer than 10 parishioners, were exempt from the payment of the subsidy. (fn. 146) In the same year Walter, Lord Hungerford, the new lord of the manor, obtained permission from the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Bishop of Salisbury to unite the parish of Wittenham with that of Farleigh Hungerford, of which also he was patron. (fn. 147) It was stated that the church of Wittenham was impoverished and that for a long time no priest had been found willing to occupy it. The amalgamation of parishes was not a frequent event in the Middle Ages, and the amalgamation of parishes in different counties and dioceses is of peculiar interest. Those who carried it out did not intend that the church of Wittenham should be abandoned. The parishioners of Wittenham were to maintain the nave of their church, and were not bound to contribute to the upkeep of that of Farleigh Hungerford. The rector of the combined parish was to maintain the chancel of Wittenham church as well as that of Farleigh. The books, vestments, and ornaments of Wittenham were to remain in the church, and services were to be held there three times a year. The parishioners of Wittenham were to have unrestricted access to the church of Farleigh, and to pay the usual dues to the rector. To indemnify the Bishop of Salisbury for the loss of future institutions to the church of Wittenham it was provided that the Rector of Farleigh should pay annual pensions of 8d. each to the Bishop, the Dean and Chapter, and the Archdeacon of Salisbury. The church of Rowley was mentioned in 1535, when 8d. was still being paid to the 'ministers and servants of the cathedral church of Salisbury'. (fn. 148) The date of the disappearance of the church is not known and its site is uncertain. There is a tradition that it stood in Rowley Lane, midway between Westwood and Farleigh Hungerford, where the lane widens into an open green that still preserved the name Holy Green in 1872. (fn. 149) Another tradition is that the roof of Rowley church was moved in Elizabeth's reign and put on the corn mill at Iford, which still stood in 1907. (fn. 150)
The parish of Wittenham alias Rowley had never been compact, and the amalgamation of 1428 did not therefore add a neatly bounded area to Farleigh Hungerford. The church terriers of Farleigh show that in 1675 many acres of land situated locally in the parishes of Westwood, Bradford, and Wingfield were part of and titheable to Farleigh. The glebe lands of the rectory of Rowley had also been scattered, and it was not until the Tithe Commutation of 1838 that these ecclesiastical anomalies were fully investigated and reduced to order. (fn. 151)
In 1672 the house of Joseph Bernard at Stowford was licensed as a place of worship for Presbyterians. (fn. 152) The Baptist chapel at Wingfield was built in 1896 to accommodate 150 persons. (fn. 153) It was founded by a mission band from Emmanuel Church, Trowbridge. (fn. 154)
Little is known about the agrarian history of Wingfield. As the names Wingfield, Wittenham, and Rowley (fn. 155) indicate, this area was once forest. It lay at the northern edge of Selwood in Wiltshire and was included legally in that forest at least until the end of the 13th century. Little of it was woodland at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 156)
The economy of the Hungerford manor of Wittenham in the 15th century is to some extent exposed by a broken series of bailiffs' accounts running from 1431 to 1452. In 1431–2 the demesne had been leased out the previous year to Thomas, Rector of Farleigh, for seven years at an annual rent of £2. 16s. 8d. All charges upon the land, except the fifteenth and the king's subsidy, were to be borne by Thomas. He was, however, allowed 11s. 8d. for hay from a meadow called le Greneham which had been given to the parker of Farleigh for the support of beasts there. Some stock thus appears to have been retained for the use of the lord of the manor, and in the same year 9s. was spent on three cart-loads of hay for the animals in the park. (fn. 157) In 1440–1 Thomas, described as late Rector of Farleigh, paid £3 for the farm of the demesne. (fn. 158) In 1447–8 it was leased out in closes and small parcels of land ranging from 1 to 7 acres. The parcels lay in fields or meadows called Chesthull, Cleyfurlang, Wittenhamfurlang, Estevillefurlang, Holland, Longfordeyerde, le Clyff, Stofordyate, Northull, Rodemede, Goremede, Edisshelese, Langmede, Fyneacre, Whitecrosse, and Grenham. Tanggelmede and le Shawe were described as closes. Another close called Corneham and pasture for 2 oxen were leased to the Rector of Farleigh for life. (fn. 159) The demesne was leased out in the same way and for the same rent in 1449–50 (fn. 160) and 1451–2. (fn. 161) In the former year, however, 7s. rent had to be debited on the account for the rent of a meadow called Langmede which had been mown for the use of the lord of the manor. In the latter year £2 had to be debited for the rent of Haynesplace, afterwards called Muchell, which had been granted that year by the lord of the manor to William Hangsoke 'for his service'.
Rents of assize at Wittenham amounted to £12.2s. 9d. in 1431–2 and were collected according to a rental of 15 September 1430. (fn. 162) In 1440–1 and the following year they were £12. 3s. 7d.; (fn. 163) in 1447–8 and 1449–50 —£12. 6s. 1d., (fn. 164) and 1451–2—£12. 7s. 1d. (fn. 165) Moveable rents amounted to 3d. every year for which there is an account. Courts were held twice a year except in 1430–1 when there was only one, (fn. 166) and brought in small sums ranging from 9d. to 13s. 4d. Total receipts from the manor were: 1431–2, £17. 2s. 4d.; (fn. 167) 1440–1, £17. 16s. 4d.; (fn. 168) 1441–2, £17. 3s. 8d.; (fn. 169) 1447–8, £18. 9s. 3d.; (fn. 170) 1449–50, £17.17s. 1d.; (fn. 171) 1451–2, £20. 16s. 5d. (fn. 172)
There was a statutory inclosure in Wingfield in 1823. (fn. 173) Nineteen named parcels of land were to be sold to defray expenses incurred in obtaining the Act. The inclosure award allotted a total of 90 acres. The lord of the manor, Thomas Timbrell, received half (amounting to 1 a. 3 r. 1 p.) of what remained after the sale of the 19 parcels. The commoners, apparently well-to-do gentlemen, were allotted 41 parcels in lieu of common rights, of which 41 the lord of the manor received 6 parcels in addition to his initial share. Two parcels of land were sold to 'labourers' apparently already in occupation by encroachment at some previous unspecified time. One piece, also said to be an encroachment, was sold to Thomas Timbrell and not to the tenant in occupation. (fn. 174) There is still a small common north of the church. A public carriage road and twenty-five private carriage roads and public and private foot-ways were enumerated in the award. The private roads and foot-ways were to be maintained by the new allottees by 'the Road Rate' as set out in the schedule.
In 1801 the crop acreages for Wittenham were: wheat, 92; barley, 35; oats, 45; potatoes, 6; peas, 8; beans, 2. (fn. 175)
In 1086 there was a mill in the manor of Wingfield, valued at 20s. It was probably situated on the Frome at Stowford. There was also a mill in the manor of Wittenham, worth 12s. 6d. (fn. 176) There is frequent later mention of mills at Stowford. In 1458 there were 2 water-mills there under one roof, which were leased by the Abbot of Keynsham to William Sewey. (fn. 177) In the 16th and 17th centuries Wingfield was evidently exploited by the clothiers of Bradford and Trowbridge as both an industrial and a residential area. This is reflected in the history of the mills. In 1495 there were 4 fulling-mills in Stowford. (fn. 178) When the manor of Wingfield was granted to Thomas Bayley, the Stowford mills passed with it. (fn. 179) Thomas Bayley was a clothier of Trowbridge. Four fulling-mills were among the possessions of Christopher Bayley in 1602. (fn. 180) In 1654 a water cornmill and 2 fulling-mills at Stowford, with a fishery in the Frome annexed, were leased by Samuel Ashe to John Brown John. (fn. 181) These mills were attached to Stowford Farm, and there was still a mill at Stowford in 1903. (fn. 182)
There was a private school at Wingfield about 1800, kept by the rector, the Revd. Edward Spencer. Its most distinguished pupil was Thomas de Quincey. (fn. 183) 'The religious principles' (of the school), says de Quincey's biographer, were 'more satisfactory than the scholarship'. Another pupil was Edward Grinfield (1785–1864) biblical scholar and author. (fn. 184)
In 1833 there was a school at Wingfield supported by voluntary contributions and attended by 25 children. (fn. 185) In 1851 the site for a school, for which J. Bailey was paid £3. 10s., was conveyed in trust, and the school was built in the following year. (fn. 186) By the terms of the trust the school was allied to the National Society, which made a grant of £20. (fn. 187)
In 1859 the school was attended by 50–60 children, and was considered to be 'under excellent auspices'. (fn. 188) Accommodation (omitting a small classroom) was computed in 1872 at 66. (fn. 189) It rose in 1893 to 82, presumably because the classroom was then included in the estimate. (fn. 190) A deed of 1901 provided for the enlargement and improvement of the premises. (fn. 191) Accommodation was assessed at 67 in 1910, and 52 in 1938 and 1950. (fn. 192) On the removal of the senior children in 1926 the school was left with junior mixed and infants' departments. Controlled status was granted in July 1949 on application by the managers. (fn. 193) The average attendance, which had fallen to 17 in 1938, was 29 in July 1950. (fn. 194) There was then one teacher. (fn. 195)
By his will proved 1684, Richard Bissie charged his parsonage or portion of tithes in 'Pomfrey' (probably Pomeroy) with the payment of £4 a year towards the placing of a poor boy of the parish of Wingfield as an apprentice. It was stated in 1903 that the owner of the tithes of'Pomfrey' was not known, but that from time immemorial the rector had paid in £4 a year, and that a poor boy, son of a parishioner, had been duly apprenticed.
By his will proved 1781, Thomas Pennington of Bristol bequeathed to the minister and churchwardens of Wingfield £50, the interest of which was to be applied to the relief of those poor people not receiving weekly pay. This legacy, with an addition from some other source, was in 1807 laid out in the purchase of £100 Consols, which in 1858 was transferred to the official Trustees of Charitable Funds. The dividends were in c. 1903 distributed to the poor every second year in sums varying from 2s. to 4s. 6d.
Cooper's charity, now lost, was reported in 1834 to have originated in 1724, when Thomas Cooper left £40 by will, the interest to be applied to the relief of the poor. The legacy was vested in his son John Cooper and £2 was distributed every year on St. Thomas's day. Distribution ceased after 1783, when John Cooper became financially embarrassed and sold his property. (fn. 196)