A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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The village of Sutton Veny is situated about three miles south-east from the centre of Warminster and about a mile south-west from Heytesbury. In 1881 the area of the parish was 3,580 a. of land and inland water, but within the next decade changes in the parish boundary enlarged the area to 4, 111 a. (fn. 1) In 1884 land in Southleigh Wood, formerly a detached part of Heytesbury parish, and Pit Mead, a stretch of meadowland south of the Wylye, previously divided between Warminster, Bishopstrow, and Norton Bavant, were brought within the parish boundary. Two years later the whole of the northern part of the ancient parish of Pertwood was transferred to Sutton Veny. The acreage of the parish (4, 111 a.) then remained unchanged until 1934 when 151 a., representing a narrow tongue of land stretching westwards and taking in part of the hamlet of Crockerton, were detached from Sutton Veny and added to Longbridge Deverill. (fn. 2)
No further boundary changes have been made so that in 1963 the parish contained 3,960 a. It is long and rather narrow in shape with an extension at the north-west corner taking in Southleigh and Eastleigh Woods. (fn. 3) The western boundary of this extension is the River Wylye, here flowing from south to north. The Wylye, having turned eastwards also forms a part of the north-eastern boundary. (fn. 4) A strip of upper greensand runs through the northwestern half of the parish (fn. 5) and on this lie the extensive Southleigh and Eastleigh Woods once part of Selwood Forest. (fn. 6) The woods are situated at a height of over 400 ft. and beyond them, towards the west, the land falls steeply to the Wylye. The northern part of the parish, also bounded by the Wylye, is flat and, in parts, marshy, and it is this marshy land which gave Sutton the descriptive part of its name, i.e. Fenny, once pronounced and later spelt, Venny or Veny. (fn. 7) All the southern half of the parish lies on the chalk downs which sweep up to a height of over 700 ft. In the extreme south, formerly part of the ancient parish of Pertwood, there is some woodland, and a windbreak of beech trees, characteristic of that parish. (fn. 8) The downs have in the past supported large flocks of sheep, and the land of the parish has always been devoted to farming, pasture and downland grazing predominating over arable, although since 1939 much downland has been ploughed. (fn. 9)
There are numerous barrows in the southern part of the parish, and there are three on the outskirts of the village to the north and east. Robin Hood's Bower, in the middle of Southleigh Wood, is an Iron-Age earthwork. In Pit Mead, quite close to the Wylye, there are the sites of two Roman villas. (fn. 10)
By 1249 there were two townships within the parish, namely Great and Little Sutton, and by the early 14th century Newnham is mentioned as a third distinct area of settlement and was separately assessed for taxation. (fn. 11) All three places lay along the road running south of, and roughly parallel to, the Wylye. Little Sutton remains in 1963 a small, separate hamlet lying against the eastern boundary of the parish. Great Sutton was the area around the church of St. Leonard, and with Newnham, which lay just beyond it to the north-west, corresponds with what is called in 1963 the village of Sutton Veny. By the 16th century Newnham was sometimes included with Great Sutton for purposes of taxation, (fn. 12) but it retained its separate identity until the end of the 19th century and is marked on maps of that date. (fn. 13) A few houses belonging to the hamlet of Crockerton lay, until 1934, in the extreme west of the parish of Sutton Veny. But since the greater part of the hamlet lies in Longbridge Deverill, its history is reserved for treatment with that parish.
The parish may have been of some importance in the late 13th century, for in 1298 the lord of the manor of Little Sutton was granted a weekly market and an annual fair to be held on his land within the tithing of Great Sutton. (fn. 14) It is not known, however, whether these were ever established. To the 15ths of 1334 Newnham contributed 16s., Little Sutton 50s., and Great Sutton 80s. (fn. 15) In 1377 there were 33 poll-tax payers in Newnham, 36 in Little Sutton, and 82 in Great Sutton. (fn. 16) To the benevolence of 1545 Little Sutton had one subscriber, Great Sutton two, (fn. 17) and to the subsidy of 1576 there were 5 subscribers in Little Sutton, and 20 in Great Sutton. (fn. 18) On both occasions residents in Newnham were taxed with those in Great Sutton. When the Census figures begin in 1801 the population of the parish was 622. Thereafter it rose, except for a slight drop in 1861, to 881 in 1871. But ten years later it had dropped to 715. In 1911 it was down to 566, and although it was rather above 600 in 1921 and 1931, it was down to 568 in 1951. (fn. 19) These fluctuations cannot be attributed to changes in the parish boundaries.
No main roads enter the parish, and apart from two secondary roads which cross at the north-west end of the village, the only other road is a minor one leading through Southleigh Wood, across the Wylye, and out of the parish to join the main Warminster-Shaftesbury road. The railway line between Warminster and Salisbury, opened in 1856, (fn. 20) just crosses the extreme north-east corner of the parish, and Heytesbury station is less than ¼ mile outside the eastern boundary. During the First World War a railway line, 3½ miles long, was constructed by the War Department from Heytesbury station to the military camp in Sutton Veny. It was closed soon after the end of the war. (fn. 21)
The oldest part of the village seems to be its south-east end, which was once the separate tithing of Great Sutton. The parish church, the rectory, and, after 1850, the village school, all lay here until towards the end of the 19th century. (fn. 22) Here, too, on either side of the lane leading to the church, were Church and Polebridge farms, which were possibly the demesne farms of the two manors of Great, or Fenny, Sutton, dismembered in the 17th century. (fn. 23) After both farms were acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by the Hon. W. P. Alexander, the dwelling-house of Church farm became his residence, and has since been called Polebridge House. The central block on the north side of the house can be indentified as a medieval great hall, later divided into two stories, the timbers of the fine open roof being apparently of 14th-century date. (fn. 24) The house has been much altered and extended, notably in 1902 when the west wing, with that date inscribed upon it, was added. The Glebe farm also lies not far away, close to the road as it leaves the former tithing of Great Sutton for Little Sutton. (fn. 25) It has an 18th-century farmhouse with 19th-century additions.
In 1963 the main part of the village lay along the secondary road from Warminster which forms the village street for about ¾ of a mile and runs through the former tithing of Newnham. The new parish church, the school, and the Congregational chapel were all built on the north-east side of this street in the later 19th century. (fn. 26) Many of the houses along the street date from the early 19th century and are of coursed rubble with red-brick dressings. A few houses are, however, earlier, being of stone ashlar with mullioned windows, and on the southwest side of the street there is a row of four cottages, originally one building, which has exposed timberframing. The brick gutters running along either side of the road were constructed to replace earlier unpaved ditches in 1868 when the vestry was particularly concerned with the insanitary state of the parish. (fn. 27) A number of the cottages flank the road so closely that at that date dirt and damp from these ditches sometimes seeped through their walls. (fn. 28)
Many of the buildings at the north-west end of the village bear witness to the position of the Everett family in the parish in the later 19th century. In 1850 Joseph Everett acquired the Greenhill estate, formerly the home of the Hinton family, (fn. 29) and in 1856 he enlarged and embellished the house. (fn. 30) In 1963 this house was called Sutton Veny House. Before J. E. Everett sold the property in 1898 he built in a Tudor style the Greenhill farm buildings and estate houses which lie along the road to Norton Bavant. (fn. 31) Much of the 20th-century building in the parish has also been at this end of the village, along the road from Longbridge Deverill to Norton Bavant.
At the extreme east end of the parish, in the hamlet of Little Sutton, there are Sutton Farm, called in 1963 Pond's Farm, an early 19th-century house, and Little Sutton Farm, which may have been the demesne farm of the Kingston manor of Little Sutton. (fn. 32) But in 1963 the house belonging to this farm was no longer occupied as a farmhouse and was called Sutton Parva House. It is a timber framed house of 17th century, or earlier, date, re-fronted in stone in c. 1700. Further east still, where Little Sutton adjoins Tytherington, there was once another farm. A brick dovecot, with the inscription 'R.L. 1810', and some other farm buildings of coursed rubble with brick dressings of probably the same date remain. A ruined, rustic summerhouse in a nearby garden suggests that there was once a house of some standing here which has been demolished. Between 1919 and 1927 the kennels of the Wylye Valley Hunt were at Little Sutton, and between c. 1830 and 1918 those of the South and West Wilts. Hunt were at Greenhill (see above). (fn. 33)
Eastleigh Wood is thought to be the place, spelt Iglea, which King Alfred reached on the second day after entering Wiltshire in 878. (fn. 34) A wood called Elywood, perhaps the same, formed part of William Button's estate in c. 1589. (fn. 35) Iley Oak, sometimes called Hundred Oak, the meeting-place of Warminster Hundred, was somewhere in, or near, this wood. In 1651 the sheriff's tourns were held there. (fn. 36)
An estate of 4 hides at Sutton Veny was held before the Conquest by Spirtes the priest. At the time of the Domesday Survey it was held of Niel (Nigellus) the physician, by the abbey of St. Mary de Monteburg (dép. Manche). (fn. 37) It may have passed soon afterwards from Niel to Hamelin de Ballon, for Round suggests that the church of Sutton was among Hamelin's gifts made about the beginning of the 12th century to the abbey of St. Vincent at Le Mans (dép. Sarthe) for the endowment of a dependent priory at Abergavenny. (fn. 38) In the reign of Henry II Hamelin's lands, which included part of Sutton Veny, later to become the manor of GREAT SUTTON, were divided between Reynold de Ballon and Geoffrey FitzAce and his wife Agnes, (fn. 39) and by 1210 the manor of Sutton was held by Reynold's son, John de Ballon. (fn. 40) In 1215 Nicholas de Limesy was granted the land of Thomas de Ballon in Sutton during the king's pleasure, (fn. 41) but this appears to have been restored to the de Ballons shortly afterwards. In 1226 Margery Limesy, widow of Nicholas, Richard of Cromhale, and William of London were holding lands in Sutton which were said to have descended to them from Hamelin de Ballon. (fn. 42) Their holdings may, perhaps, represent the share of Geoffrey and Agnes FitzAce who shared Hamelin's lands with Reynold de Ballon in the time of Henry II. The overlordship, however, must upon this division have gone to Reynold, for Margery, Richard, and William were holding of Reynold's son, John, in 1226. (fn. 43) In 1242–3 the manor was held of John's son, another John, as of the honor of Much Marcle (Herefs.). (fn. 44) John was again recognized as overlord in 1274–5 but this is the last mention of the de Ballon overlordship. (fn. 45)
In 1242 Margery de Limesy had been succeeded in her holding by Walter de Limesy, presumably her son, and the other two tenants were, as in 1226, Richard of Cromhale, and William of London. (fn. 46) The next year William of London conveyed all his holding in both Great and Little Sutton to Roger of Cromhale, presumably Richard's son, (fn. 47) but in 1274–5 the manor was still held under John de Ballon by three mesne tenants, namely John of Cromhale, Roger's son, John de Kingston, and Joan de Wauton. (fn. 48) John de Kingston's holding presumably became merged with his manor in Little Sutton (fn. 49) and by 1325 William de Wauton was holding the other two parts of the manor, (fn. 50) presumably that held by Joan de Wauton in 1274 and that held at the same date by John of Cromhale whose kinsman William was. (fn. 51) A William de Wauton died some time before 1350 seised of lands in Sutton, but from his son William they passed in a way that is no longer clear to Elias Daubeny and his wife Agnes. Elias and Agnes then conveyed a life interest in the lands to William's brother, Thomas, in return for the manor of Cromhale (Gloucs.). (fn. 52) Two years later Elias and Agnes granted the reversion of the Sutton property after the death of Thomas to Nicholas Chamberlain, (fn. 53) and in 1359 they conveyed the manor to Thomas Hungerford (d. 1397). (fn. 54) Thomas was succeeded by his son, Walter, who died seised of the manor in 1449 and whose heir was his son, Robert (d. 1459). (fn. 55) Robert's son, also called Robert, was attainted in 1461 and executed in 1464, but as the manor had been settled upon his mother, Margaret Botreaux, it was not among the possessions which were forfeited. (fn. 56) In 1469 the manor appears to have been held by Robert's daughter, Frideswide, (fn. 57) but when Margaret Botreaux died in 1477 it was among her estates. (fn. 58) Margaret's heir was her great-granddaughter Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Hungerford (d. 1469), and later wife of Sir Edward Hastings. Great Sutton, however, was among the estates which Margaret directed by her will to remain in the male line of the family. (fn. 59) It passed, therefore, to Walter Hungerford (d. 1516), second son of Robert (d. 1464), who was in possession in 1510. (fn. 60) The manor, like that of Upton Scudamore, then descended in this line of the Hungerford family. After the execution of Walter, Lord Hungerford in 1540 it passed to his son Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1596) and descended in the family until 1684–5 when Edward Hungerford, the 'spendthrift' (d. 1711), sold it to Sir Stephen Fox. (fn. 61) With the other manor in Sutton Veny formerly belonging to the Hungerfords, namely Fenny Sutton, Great Sutton was immediately split up by Sir Stephen Fox and was sold in parcels. (fn. 62) A few facts about the subsequent descent of some of these parcels are given below with the manor of Fenny Sutton.
The names of some of the lessees of the demesne farm of the manor of Great Sutton under the Hungerfords are known. Between c. 1417 and c. 1435 it was John Claydon, who was stock-keeper of the Hungerford flock. (fn. 63) In 1439 it was Robert Vincent, and between 1454 and 1472 there were four tenants, namely John Osborn, John Cosyn, John Locke, and William Snell. (fn. 64) In c. 1574 a lease of the demesne lands and the mansion house by Sir Walter Hungerford to John Boland was renewed. (fn. 65) By 1582 Boland had been succeeded as tenant by John Elderton (fn. 66) who still leased the farm in 1609, (fn. 67) but had been succeeded as lessee in 1621 by his widow Jane. (fn. 68)
Another estate in Sutton Veny was held T.R.E., by Alwold and his sister and had passed by 1086 to William son of Guy (filius Widonis). (fn. 69) As was the estate held in 1086 of Niel the physician, (fn. 70) William's estate was later usually called Fenny or Great Sutton. In the 14th century it was sometimes called Northcourt, (fn. 71) and in the 15th century was known as Sutton Morton. Throughout this article, however, it will be called FENNY SUTTON, while the manor held of Niel in 1086 has been called Great Sutton.
Fenny Sutton passed, probably in the same way as William son of Guy's Somerset manor of Horsington, (fn. 72) to Henry de Newmarch who paid ½ mark for land in Sutton Veny in 1166–7. (fn. 73) Henry was succeeded in 1204 by his brother, James, (fn. 74) whose heirs were his two daughters Isabel, wife of Ralph Russell, and Hawise, first the wife of John Botreaux and then of Nicholas de Moels (d.c. 1264). (fn. 75) The overlordship of the land in Sutton Veny was assigned to Hawise and the manor was said to be held of her second husband in the mid-13th century as ½ a knight's fee. (fn. 76) The overlordship descended in the Moels family until the death of the last of the male line, John de Moels, in 1337. (fn. 77) In 1428 the overlords were still said to be the heirs of Nicholas de Moels. But this was probably inaccurate, since in 1340 the manor was said to be held of Sir John Haudlo, (fn. 78) in 1384 of Nicholas Burnell, Sir John's son, (fn. 79) and in 1433 of the king of the honor of Trowbridge. (fn. 80) In 1473 the same estate was said to be held of the dowager Countess of Wiltshire as of her manor of Warminster. (fn. 81)
No record has been found of any mesne tenants before the mid-13th century when Maud, daughter of Nicholas de Moels, married Richard Lorty. (fn. 82) The fee simple of the manor appears to have formed part of Maud's dower, for in 1242 Richard Lorty held it of Nicholas de Moels. (fn. 83) Richard was succeeded by his son, Henry Lorty, (fn. 84) who in 1309 settled the manor upon himself and his wife Sibyl. (fn. 85) Henry and Sibyl were followed by their son, John Lorty, who before 1340, conveyed the manor to Sir Ralph de Middleney and his wife Elizabeth, whose son, John, married Sibyl Lorty, John Lorty's daughter. (fn. 86) Sibyl released her claim in the manor in 1341. (fn. 87)
The descent of the manor over the next decade or so is obscure. In 1380 Sir Robert Ashton, who may have been the second husband of Elizabeth de Middleney, was said to hold three manors in Sutton Veny, one of which was possibly Little Sutton. (fn. 88) The reversion of a manor called Fenny Sutton was conveyed by Sir Robert to trustees for Alice Perers, mistress of Edward III, and wife of William of Windsor. (fn. 89) Alice's interest was subsequently transferred to her husband, and after the death of Sir Robert Ashton in 1384, William entered the manor without licence. (fn. 90) The heirs of John and Sibyl Middleney were their daughters Maud, wife of John Langrich, and Elizabeth, wife of John Gunter, and in 1385–6 they were claiming the manor in the court of Common Pleas. (fn. 91) In 1390 John of Windsor, presumably William's son, John Langrich, and John Gunter bound themselves to abide by the award of the arbitrators, (fn. 92) and in 1392 seisin was given to John Langrich and John Gunter. (fn. 93) Before 1394 John Langrich was dead and his widow, Maud, had married William Horslegh. (fn. 94) Maud died without issue and her share in the manor passed to her sister, Elizabeth, who married John Andrews as her second husband. (fn. 95) Elizabeth died in 1422 seised of the manor, then called Northcourt in Fenny Sutton, and was succeeded by her son by her first marriage, Roger Gunter. (fn. 96) Before 1469 Roger was succeeded by his son, John, (fn. 97) who died seised of the manor in 1473 and was succeeded by his brother, William. (fn. 98) William, by order of the king, assigned the manor in 1483 to Thomas Oxenbridge and William Weston, (fn. 99) and in 1484 and 1485 his nephews, Thomas and Edmund, sons of his brother Giles Gunter, assigned their interest in the manor to the grantees. (fn. 100) Oxenbridge and Weston appear to have conveyed the manor to John Morton, Bishop of Ely (later Archbishop of Canterbury), and to Robert Morton, (fn. 101) and in 1504 it was in the possession of Agnes Morton, widow of Robert, (fn. 102) who in 1507 released her claim to Thomas Morton. (fn. 103) Robert Morton was lord of the manor in 1536 and 1555. (fn. 104) He died in 1559 having devised the manor to his wife, Dorothy. (fn. 105) His grandson and heir, George Morton, sold it in 1572–3 to Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1596) and his halfbrother, Edward Hungerford (d. 1607), lords of the manor of Great Sutton. (fn. 106) Under the name of the manor of Sutton Morton (fn. 107) the estate then descended with that of Great Sutton, and was sold with Great Sutton by Edward Hungerford (d. 1711) in 1684–5 to Sir Stephen Fox. (fn. 108) Fox then almost immediately sold the two manors off in lots and all manorial rights became extinct.
Under the Hungerfords the manor of Fenny Sutton was leased to Elizabeth and Daniel Franklin who succeeded Robert Chamberlayne as tenants. (fn. 109) In 1609 and 1621 (fn. 110) Daniel Franklin was tenant. (fn. 111)
It has not been possible to trace the descent of all the various lands and tenements, which Sir Stephen Fox sold in c. 1686. One estate was conveyed to Farwell Perry, who with his wife Anne, conveyed it in 1706 to Sir Walter Long of Whaddon (d. 1710). (fn. 112) This subsequently passed as Whaddon to Walter Long of South Wraxall (d. 1807), (fn. 113) and thereafter as South Wraxall to the Longs of Rood Ashton, (fn. 114) who seem to have sold it towards the end of the 19th century. (fn. 115) Among the property which Sir Walter Long acquired in 1706 was Polebridge Farm and in 1788 his son, also Sir Walter Long, claimed unsuccessfully the lordship of the manor of Sutton Veny. (fn. 116) The manorial rights he was claiming may have been those of the former manor of Fenny Sutton, for in 1535 a tenement called Polebridge was held of Robert Morton, lord of the manor of Fenny Sutton. (fn. 117) From the Longs the Polebridge farmlands passed to James Nowlson Parham. Parham died in 1904 and the property was bought by the Hon. Walter Philip Alexander (d. 1934). (fn. 118)
Another estate was conveyed by Sir Stephen Fox in 1689 to Thomas Buckler. (fn. 119) This had formerly been part of one of the Hungerford manors in Sutton Veny. This estate passed to Thomas Buckler's grandson, also called Thomas, (fn. 120) who in 1741 was seised of a farm called Sutton Farm. (fn. 121) By 1783 Thomas was succeeded by his son William. (fn. 122) In 1804 Sutton Farm belonged to Francis Dugdale Astley, (fn. 123) who had married William Buckler's daughter. But not long after it was acquired by Worthy Beaven, described as the late owner in 1837. (fn. 124) Towards the end of the 19th century, by which time it was called Church Farm, the property was acquired by William Henry Laverton of Westbury. (fn. 125) Laverton sold it in 1889 to John Julius Estridge, (fn. 126) who sold it in 1901 to the Hon. Walter Philip Alexander. (fn. 127) W. P. Alexander thus became owner of both Polebridge and Church farms and amalgamated the two properties. (fn. 128)
The 5-hide estate of LITTLE SUTTON was held T.R.E. by Colo. By the time of the Domesday Survey it was held of William de Mohun by Walter Husee. (fn. 129) The overlordship of the de Mohuns descended with their honor of Dunster and the last mention found of it is in 1285. (fn. 130)
In 1242–3 Henry Husee, undoubtedly a descendant of the Walter Husee of 1086, held Little Sutton of Reynold de Mohun, and under Henry the manor was divided between Walter de Limesy, Richard of Cromhale, and William of London, the same three as were holding the manor of Great Sutton under John de Ballon. (fn. 131) In 1243 William of London conveyed his share in the manor to Roger of Cromhale, as he did in Great Sutton, and by 1274, again as in Great Sutton, John of Cromhale, son of Roger, had his father's holding, and the former Limesy holding was apparently divided between John de Kingston and Joan de Wauton. (fn. 132) The de Wauton land in Little Sutton then probably passed like the family's property in Great Sutton to Thomas Hungerford (d. 1397). (fn. 133)
John de Kingston's holding seems to have comprised the manor of Little Sutton. In 1284–5 he held his fee there directly of John de Mohun, the overlord, (fn. 134) and between 1312 and 1333 he presented to the free chapel of the manor. (fn. 135) The lands belonging to this manor, like that of the other manors in the parish, lay in both Great and Little Sutton, (fn. 136) and when in 1298 John de Kingston was granted a weekly market and an annual fair on his manor, these were apparently held in the tithing of Great Sutton, while the accompanying grant of free warren was for his demesne lands in both tithings. (fn. 137) By 1322 John de Kingston had forfeited his lands, (fn. 138) and in 1325 Little Sutton was granted to Hugh le Despenser. (fn. 139) The following year it was in the custody of Robert Hungerford, (fn. 140) but by 1329–30 it had been restored to Sir John de Kingston, who that year settled it upon his son Thomas and Maud, Thomas's wife. (fn. 141) In 1363 Thomas de Kingston conveyed the manor of Little Sutton, with other lands in Sutton Veny, to Peter Piperd for life. (fn. 142) In 1380 the manor was said to be held by John Pecche, a citizen of London, at the time of his death in right of Mary his wife, who thus seems to have been a Kingston. (fn. 143) Two years later Sir Robert Ashton presented to the free chapel of Little Sutton and it is possible that he held this manor for a short time as well as that of Fenny Sutton. (fn. 144)
Sir Thomas de Kingston was succeeded by his son, John, who settled the manor upon himself and his wife Elizabeth in 1414–15. (fn. 145) Elizabeth survived her husband and held the manor until her death in 1463, when it passed to her grandson, Sir Thomas de Kingston. (fn. 146) Sir Thomas conveyed it in 1488 to his son John, and John's wife Eleanor, (fn. 147) and John died seised of the manor in 1496. (fn. 148) His heir, John de Kingston, was at that date a minor, but livery of the manor was made to him in 1511. (fn. 149) John died without issue three years later and was succeeded by his brother Nicholas. (fn. 150) Nicholas also died childless and was succeeded by his sister, Mary wife of Sir Thomas Lisle. (fn. 151) In 1521 the manor was among the lands conveyed as dower by Sir Thomas Lisle to Susan, widow of John de Kingston. (fn. 152) Mary Lisle died without issue in 1539 and the heirs to the lands which had come to her from her brother, Nicholas, were four cousins, namely William Gorffyn, of Reading, Margery, wife of John Cope, of Canons Ashby (Northants.), Katherine, wife of Thomas Andrews of Charlton (Northants.), and Margaret, wife of Thomas Boughton. (fn. 153) Little Sutton apparently passed to William Gorffyn on whose death without issue in 1547, (fn. 154) it was divided between his sister, Alice Gorffyn, and Margaret Boughton who is called one of his heirs. (fn. 155) Alice conveyed her share in the manor in 1551 to Thomas and Katherine Andrews, (fn. 156) who forthwith conveyed it to William Paulet, Earl of Wiltshire, that year created Marquess of Winchester, and Chidiock Paulet his son. (fn. 157) In the following year Thomas and Margaret Boughton conveyed their share to Lord Winchester, (fn. 158) and in 1563 Chidiock Paulet conveyed the whole estate to Sir John Thynne. (fn. 159) The manor then descended in the Thynne family to the Marquesses of Bath. In 1810 the Marquess of Bath conveyed the larger part of his lands in Sutton Veny to Francis Dugdale Astley in exchange for land elsewhere. (fn. 160) The manorial rights were not apparently, however, included in the conveyance and manor courts for Little Sutton continued to be held by Lord Bath until about the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 161)
Besides the manor held by the Kingstons in LITTLE SUTTON which eventually passed to the Thynnes in the middle of the 16th century, another manor there, passed to the Hungerfords, who were lords of the manor of Great Sutton after 1359. (fn. 162) This was probably the estate held by Joan de Wauton in Little Sutton in 1274 and may have passed to Thomas Hungerford (d. 1397) in the same way and at the same time as the de Wauton land in Great Sutton. (fn. 163) It apparently retained its separate identity, and in the 16th century while its courts were sometimes held with those of Great Sutton, they were more usually held separately although on the same day. (fn. 164) The manor apparently passed like Great Sutton after the death of Margaret Botreaux, Lady Hungerford, in 1477 to the male line of the family, (fn. 165) but after the forfeiture of Walter, Lord Hungerford's possessions in 1540, it did not descend with Great Sutton to Lord Hungerford's son, Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1596). (fn. 166) In 1545, with the advowson of the church of Sutton Veny, the Little Sutton estate was granted to James Tutt and Nicholas Hame. (fn. 167) Their rights, including the advowson, were apparently almost immediately conveyed to William Button who died seised of the manor of Little Sutton in 1547 leaving as his heir his son William. (fn. 168) The estate thenceforward descended as the advowson until 1796 when the Button freehold in Great and Little Sutton was sold to Mary Long by John Walker Heneage. (fn. 169) As far as is known all manorial rights were by then extinct and the estate is last called a manor in 1715. (fn. 170)
In 1265 Edith and Mabel, daughters of Hereward of Newnham, granted to the priory of Maiden Bradley land in Newnham called 'le Battedeaker' in 'le Battelond' to hold for the space of twelve harvests. (fn. 171) Two years later Geoffrey le 'Chamberlain' granted 32 a. in Great Sutton to the priory. (fn. 172) Maiden Bradley had an estate in Newnham until the house was dissolved in 1536. (fn. 173)
In 1532 the capital messuage and lands belonging to this estate were leased to Thomas Hinton, and John and Stephen his sons, on the understanding that they should rebuild the house with 3 bays of building. (fn. 174) A lease for the same term to the same persons was renewed in 1543–4. (fn. 175) In 1561 the property comprised a capital messuage, with a barn and stable, a number of small closes of meadows, one of which was called Hensford, 40 a. of arable in the fields of Great Sutton, and pasture for 360 sheep. (fn. 176) In the same year it was granted by the Crown to Richard Middlecot, clothier, of Bishopstrow. (fn. 177) The further descent of the estate has not been traced.
Two other Wiltshire religious houses also had land in Sutton Veny, namely Stanley Abbey in 1227 (fn. 178) and the Prior of Monkton Farleigh at the beginning of the 15th century. (fn. 179) The Stanley land had been given by Andrew Gifford. The descent of these lands has not been traced.
In 1341 the Rector of Sutton Veny had a small estate comprising a carucate of pasture, some meadow and more pasture, and rent and services from tenants valued at 28s. 6d. (fn. 180) In 1783 this glebe estate had 53 a. of arable scattered in small lots throughout the common fields, and 6 a. of pasture, meadow, and orchard. There was also grazing for 12 beasts, 1 horse, and 140 sheep, a plantation of elm and chestnut trees, and a farmyard with the usual farm buildings. (fn. 181) As shewn below, the glebe estate was greatly enlarged in 1804 by the allotments made in lieu of tithes under the Inclosure Award. (fn. 182) In 1880 it comprised about 800 a. and had then been farmed for many years by members of the Parham family. (fn. 183). After the death of James Nowlson Parham in 1904 Glebe Farm was rented by David Waddington who was succeeded in 1911 by H. W. Jeans. (fn. 184) Jeans bought the farm from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in c. 1920. From him it was acquired by Mr. G. A. Burt who farmed it in 1963. (fn. 185)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were three separate estates in Sutton Veny. The largest was William son of Guy's manor of 8 hides. (fn. 186) On this the land was divided equally between demesne and tenant farming. Two serfs were attached to the demesne, on which there were 2 ploughs, and on the remainder of the manor there were 6 villeins and 8 bordars with 4 ploughs. This estate had 6 a. of meadow, some pasture, and much woodland. William de Mohun's estate at Little Sutton comprised 5 hides, of which 3 were in demesne. (fn. 187) On the demesne there were 3 serfs and 2 ploughs, while 3 villeins and 6 bordars with 2 ploughs farmed the rest of the land. There were 4 a. of meadow, some pasture, and 2 a. of wood. There were at this date on the manor 300 sheep. (fn. 188) Niel's 4-hide estate was, like William son of Guy's, divided equally between demesne and tenant farming. (fn. 189) On the demesne there were 3 serfs and 1 plough, and elsewhere there were 5 villeins and 5 bordars with 2 ploughs. There were on this estate 3 a. of meadow, some pasture, and no woodland.
As has been shown above, (fn. 190) these three estates continued to share the greater part of the land of the parish until the end of the 17th century. The manors belonging to William son of Guy and Niel in 1086 both eventually became part of the large accumulation of lands belonging to the Lords Hungerford, and were farmed as units in that complex until they were broken up and sold in lots in 1684. The manor belonging to William de Mohun in 1086, except for a part which also became a Hungerford manor, descended to the Thynnes in the mid-16th century, and so became part of the estate of the Marquesses of Bath. Thus, for a considerable time all the manors within the parish were organized as but parts of large estates. (fn. 191)
The lands belonging to these manors were dispersed throughout the parish, so that all of them had parts situated in the three tithings of Great and Little Sutton, and Newnham. It is impossible to tell precisely how the common fields were arranged. In the 15th century those of Great Sutton and Newnham lay between what is in 1963 the village of Sutton Veny and the river, (fn. 192) and it seems likely that there was another set of fields for Little Sutton. In the 16th century a North and South Field there are mentioned. (fn. 193)
A series of 19 account rolls covers the period from 1417 to 1471 on the Hungerford manors in Sutton Veny. (fn. 194) At this time the Hungerfords had not yet acquired the manor of Fenny Sutton, but they held the manor of Great Sutton and another in Little Sutton. (fn. 195) By the date the accounts begin all the demesne arable was leased out for a rent of £7, and the Hungerfords farmed the land only as a sheep farm. As such, it was organized on an intermanorial basis with sheep coming and going between Sutton Veny and the other neighbouring Hungerford sheep farms, the interchange being usually with Heytesbury and Farleigh Hungerford (Som.). Between 1417 and 1436 Sutton Veny contributed between 400 and 600 fleeces annually to the Hungerford wool store. The demesne arable continued to be leased out for the entire period covered by the accounts, and for the first 17 years the lessee was the chief stock-keeper of the Hungerford estates in Wiltshire. For one year only (1439– 40) the Sutton Veny flock was leased with the demesne land, but thereafter its management was resumed by the lord of the manor. (fn. 196)
A HISTORY OF WILTSHIRE
In 1582, by which time the Hungerfords had acquired the manor of Fenny Sutton in addition to that of Great Sutton, but had lost their estate in Little Sutton, there were 6 freeholders, 24 copyholders, 3 tenants at will, and 4 leaseholders on the two manors. (fn. 197) The two farms were leased separately. Fenny Sutton farm had 125 a. of arable, 19½ a. of meadow, and 21 a. of pasture. There was pasture for 500 sheep on the downs, possibly inclosed, for there was additionally common pasture upon the East and West Downs, on the heath 'under the wood', and upon the west heath, known as the 'Sands'. The tenant of this farm at this time had to act as bailiff to the Lords Hungerford, and the manor had to provide hospitality when the steward of the Hungerford estate and his officers came to hold the manor courts. Great Sutton farm had c. 180 a. of arable as well as another 40 a. in the North Field of Little Sutton, and 69 a. in the South Field. There were 15 a. of meadow, 4 a. of pasture, and a number of odd acres of meadow lying in various fields. The farm had its own pasture for 12 sheep, and common pasture for another 640 sheep in Great and Little Sutton. There were also some 200 a. of common downland shared between the lord of this manor and the lord of the manor of Little Sutton.
Much of the land of the manor of Little Sutton, acquired by Sir John Thynne in 1563, (fn. 198) lay in Newnham and in the extreme west of the parish, although the demesne farm was on the east side. Special arrangements were necessary to provide for grazing rights for the tenants of this manor who were scattered throughout the parish, and those living in Great Sutton, Newnham, or Crockerton had a fixed share in the common pasture of those places. (fn. 199) In 1613 the demesne farm of Little Sutton had grazing for 160 sheep in the sheep-sleight of Little Sutton, 240 in that of Fenny Sutton, and 40 upon Tytherington Common. It also had grazing rights for other animals upon the downs and fields of Great Sutton. (fn. 200) In 1676 there were upon this manor 4 freeholders, 6 copyholders, and the tenant of the demesne farm. (fn. 201)
In the 18th century the land of the parish was still mainly devoted to sheep-farming. Little Sutton Farm, and two farms called Great Sutton Farm, and Sutton Farm, which were possibly the farms of the former manors of Great and Fenny Sutton, had between them grazing for 1,000 sheep on Cow Down, and the rector had grazing for another 140 sheep there. The sheep were pastured on the down from Michaelmas until May, after which month the down was left for about a month and then stocked with cattle until Michaelmas. (fn. 202) In the mid18th century a certain amount of inclosure was said to have taken place within the previous 20 years. Pasture rights on these inclosed lands were, however, shared in common, (fn. 203) and little inclosure seems in fact to have been done before the time of the Inclosure Award in 1808. (fn. 204) By the date of this award many of the meadows along the river, north of the village, had been artificially irrigated to make water-meadows, and provision had to be made in the award to ensure the fair control of the numerous channels.
Sutton Veny lies in that region of south-west Wiltshire where in the 15th and 16th centuries the production of wool was closely connected with the manufacture of cloth. (fn. 205) Within the parish lay one of the fulling-mills which were strung out along the upper reaches of the Wylye. (fn. 206) Mount Mill was a fulling mill at least as early as 1541 and from that date until the 19th century it was owned, or leased, by a succession of local clothiers. (fn. 207) Many of the inhabitants, were thus doubtless occupied with both agriculture and industry. A weaver in the parish is mentioned in 1576; (fn. 208) Richard Randall a clothier of Sutton Veny occurs in 1717 and 1749. (fn. 209) Towards the end of the 18th century a woolsorter and a tailor in the parish were taking apprentices, (fn. 210) and in 1798 it was recorded that there were spinning houses in the parish working for the Warminster clothiers. (fn. 211)
In the 20th century many of the inhabitants of Sutton Veny found employment in Warminster, although in 1963 there were still five or six farms of over 150 a. in the parish as well as a number of small holdings. Two of these farms, namely the two lying in Little Sutton, belonged to one farmer, who also farmed much land outside the parish.
There were two mills at Sutton Veny at the time of the Domesday Survey. One belonged to the Little Sutton estate of William de Mohun, and the other was divided between the holders of the other two estates in Sutton, namely William son of Guy, who held 2/3, and Niel who held ⅓. (fn. 212) The mill belonging to the manor of Little Sutton was situated on the Wylye on the west side of the parish, and later became called Wylye Mill. The mill which was divided between William son of Guy and Niel was presumably the one later called Mount Mill, which also stood on the Wylye, northeast of the village. Mount Mill derived its name from the family of Mount which held land in Sutton and the surrounding district in the 14th century. (fn. 213) By 1455 this mill was held by members of the atte Bergh family of Robert Hungerford (d. 1459) (fn. 214) and in 1476 of his widow Margaret Botreaux, Lady Hungerford. (fn. 215) By 1469 it was a fulling mill. (fn. 216) It is probably the mill said at the court of the Hungerford manor of Little Sutton to be ruinous in 1510 (fn. 217) and it seems to have been regarded at least for a time as belonging to this manor and to have passed like that estate from the Hungerfords to William Button, who was overlord in 1550. (fn. 218) There is some doubt about this, however, for in 1561 and 1591 Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1596) was granting leases of the same mill. (fn. 219)
About the middle of the 14th century Mount Mill was held by Walter atte Bergh, whose widow, Isabel, married Sir Hugh Tirell and died in 1369 holding the mill and other lands. (fn. 220) The mill was presumably held of the Hungerfords as it is known to have been in 1455 and 1476 (see above). Isabel's son, John atte Bergh, succeeded and his widow, Christine, died in 1396 holding extensive lands in south and west Wiltshire. (fn. 221) Christine was succeeded by another John atte Bergh who conveyed his lands in 1431 to Drew atte Bergh and Anne his wife with reversion in default of issue to John and his heirs. (fn. 222) In 1469 the atte Bergh property, including the mill, was settled by Walter atte Bergh upon himself and his wife Eleanor. (fn. 223) Eleanor was succeeded in 1476 by her son Maurice, (fn. 224) and in 1513 Sir Maurice Barowe (or atte Bergh) settled his estate, which was described then as the manors of Newnham, Sutton, and Bemerton upon himself and his wife Dorothy. (fn. 225) In 1541, after the execution of Lord Walter Hungerford, the lease of the mill was granted by the Crown to John Keysbye. (fn. 226) In 1561 the mill was leased by Sir Walter Hungerford, Lord Walter's son, to Thomas Ashlock and his son, also called Thomas, (fn. 227) and in 1591 a 60-year lease was made to Geoffrey Hawkins, clothier, of Norton Bavant, on the surrender of a previous lease to Thomas Ashlock. (fn. 228) In 1765 the mill was advertised for sale as a fulling mill with 2 a. of watermeadow and 1a. of pasture. (fn. 229) The purchaser was probably Thomas Benett, of Norton Bavant, who owned it in 1771 and 1780. (fn. 230) It was still owned by the Benetts in 1830 when Joseph Everett, clothier of Heytesbury was the occupier. (fn. 231) In 1963 the site of the mill could clearly be seen, but no trace of the buildings remained. It had probably ceased to be used about the middle of the 19th century.
Walter, the miller, of the mill at Little Sutton is mentioned in the 13th century. (fn. 232) In 1558 John Holgate was the tenant of the mill which was a grist mill and had pasture rights attached at West Heath and Crockerton Heath. (fn. 233) No other mention of the mill has been found until after the manor of Little Sutton had passed to Sir John Thynne. (fn. 234) In 1702 Lord Bath's tenant at the mill was Samuel Lewis, (fn. 235) who was involved two years later with William Adlam, clothier of Bull Mill, Longbridge Deverill, in a dispute over the regulation of the water at the two mills. (fn. 236) Samuel Lewis died in 1725 and was succeeded by his son and his grandson. (fn. 237) Both were called Job and henceforth the mill was sometimes called Job's Mill, its name in 1963. In 1782 the mill was described as a newly built grist mill with one pair of French, and one pair of Welsh stones, and with 7 a. of land belonging to it. (fn. 238) After the death of Job Lewis, the younger, the lessee in 1786 was John Phipps, of Chilmark. (fn. 239) Three years later the mill was leased to John Gale Everett, clothier, of Heytesbury, (fn. 240) and at the beginning of the 19th century J. G. Everett was succeeded by his son, Joseph Everett, who also leased Mount Mill from the Benetts. (fn. 241) In 1963 the mill-house was the home of Lord Bath.
The first mention found of the church of Sutton Veny occurs in 1220, (fn. 242) but there are traces of Norman work in the old parish church and it is probable that the church of Sutton was among the gifts made by Hamelin de Ballon about the beginning of the 12th century for the endowment of the priory of Abergavenny. (fn. 243) The small church, dedicated to St. Leonard, served the parish until towards the end of the 19th century when because of the condition of its fabric it was abandoned for a new church built about 700 yds. to the north-west (see below). There was a free chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas at Little Sutton by 1291. (fn. 244) This was the chapel of the manor of Little Sutton in which Sir Thomas de Kingston obtained licence to hear divine service in 1343. (fn. 245) The presentation of a fourteen-year old clerk to the chapel was allowed in 1312 because there was no cure attached. (fn. 246) The chapel survived until suppressed in the 16th century. Its site is unknown but is said to have been quite close to the parish church. (fn. 247)
The living of Sutton Veny is a rectory. Since 1953 it has been held in plurality with that of Norton Bavant. (fn. 248) Apparently presuming that the advowson belonged to the manor of Great Sutton, Nicholas de Limesy, Margery his wife, and Margery's sisters, Denise and Florence, claimed in 1220 the right of presentation from the Prior of Abergavenny. (fn. 249) The dispute was evidently decided in favour of the prior, for in 1291 Richard, Prior of Abergavenny, conveyed to Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, a rent of 50s. in Sutton Veny and the advowson of the church. (fn. 250) Robert died in 1292 and was succeeded by his nephew Philip Burnell. (fn. 251) Philip died seised of the advowson in 1294 and his son Edward, a minor, succeeded, (fn. 252) the king presenting to the church in 1304 on account of the minority. (fn. 253) In 1309 Henry Lorty, lord of the manor of Fenny Sutton, tried to present an incumbent to the parish church. (fn. 254) But he failed to establish his claim to the advowson, and so far as is known, the lords of Fenny Sutton never presented, although the advowson of the church was often said to accompany that manor in the disputes which arose over the lordship in the 14th and 15th centuries. (fn. 255) Edward Burnell died in 1316, (fn. 256) and the advowson was assigned as dower to his wife Alice. (fn. 257) Edward's heir was his sister, Maud, wife of Sir John Haudlo, (fn. 258) and in 1339 the advowson was said to be held for life by Joan, widow of Thomas Burnell, eldest son of Sir John Haudlo and Maud. (fn. 259) At the same time Sir John settled the reversion of the advowson, after Joan's death, upon himself for life with remainder to his younger son Nicholas and Mary, wife of Nicholas. (fn. 260) Sir John Haudlo died in 1346 and was succeeded by Nicholas, who, like his elder brother, assumed the name Burnell. (fn. 261) Nicholas died in 1382–3 and was succeeded by his son Hugh, who presented in 1398 and died in 1420. (fn. 262) Hugh's son died before his father, leaving three daughters, one of whom, Margery, married Edmund, a younger son of Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1449). (fn. 263) The first presentation after the death of Hugh Burnell was by Sir Walter Hungerford and six other persons. (fn. 264) Thenceforth the advowson descended in the Hungerford family like the manor of Great Sutton, until the forfeiture of Walter, Lord Hungerford's possessions in 1540. (fn. 265) Then, with the Hungerford manor in Little Sutton, the advowson was granted in 1545 to James Tutt and Nicholas Hame. (fn. 266) From them it passed, with the Little Sutton manor, to William Button. Button died in 1547 leaving William his son and heir. (fn. 267) Shortly before his death in 1591 this William had settled the manor of Little Sutton, and probably the advowson also, on a younger son William, (fn. 268) who eventually became the heir of his eldest brother, Ambrose. (fn. 269) William's son and successor, another William, was created a baronet in 1622, (fn. 270) and died in 1654 when the advowson passed successively to his sons, Sir William and Sir Robert, who both died without issue. (fn. 271) Sir Robert was succeeded in 1679 by his brother Sir John Button who died, also without issue, in 1712. (fn. 272) The advowson then passed to Sir John's great-nephew, Heneage Walker, grandson of his sister Mary. (fn. 273) Heneage Walker was succeeded in 1731 by his brother John Walker, whose eldest son John succeeded his father in 1758, and assumed the name Heneage. He died childless in 1806 and the advowson passed to his great-nephew George Heneage Wyld, who assumed the name Walker Heneage in 1818. The advowson then passed in the Walker Heneage family until 1946 when John David William Graham Walker Heneage presented. After that the patronage passed to the Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 274)
In 1291 the church was valued for taxation at £26 13s. 4d. (fn. 275) Out of it in 1341–2 a pension of 50s. was paid to the Prior of Abergavenny. (fn. 276) This is the only reference found to the pension and it is therefore not known for how long it was paid. In 1535 the rectory with its lands and tithes was said to be worth £21 10s. 1d. and the only charge upon it was 10s. 9d. paid for synodals and procurations. (fn. 277) In c. 1580 the value of the rectory was said to be £40. (fn. 278) The gross average income of the benefice in 1831 was £850, and the net average income £800. (fn. 279) It was thus one of the richer livings in Wiltshire. (fn. 280)
In 1341 a ninth of the value of the corn, wool, and lambs, including the corn belonging to the free chapel of St. Nicholas in Little Sutton, but excluding the corn, wool, and lambs belonging to the Prior of Maiden Bradley, was assessed at £12 7s. A ninth of oblations and other tithable commodities was at the same date reckoned at £5. (fn. 281) Under the Inclosure Award of 1804 the rector was awarded over 600 a. of land in lieu of almost all tithes, to which he was entitled, and as compensation for the existing glebe which lay in the open fields. (fn. 282) In the few cases where no allotment of land could be made, tithes were commuted for money rents which were eventually redeemed in 1924 for £50. (fn. 283) From certain land in the parish which had once belonged to the free chapel of Little Sutton the rector was entitled to only ⅓ of tithes. The other 2/3 were impropriated and in 1759 belonged to Thomas Buckler of Sutton, later Church, Farm. (fn. 284) Out of these impropriated tithes the Crown had an annual rent of 265. In 1804 the impropriated tithes were called 'Thirties' and were redeemed by an allotment of 22a. of land to Francis Dugdale Astley, by then the largest land owner in the parish and owner of Church Farm. (fn. 285)
At an unknown date Sir Walter Barrow granted 5 a. of land in the North Field of Great Sutton to the church for the maintenance of 5 tapers before the image of Our Lady. In 1549–50 this land was leased to the rector for an annual rent of 4s. (fn. 286) In 1554 William Benett of Norton Bavant conveyed the reversion of the lease to George Cotton and William Manne. (fn. 287) This land was exchanged for an allotment of just over 3 a. at North End under the Inclosure Award of 1804. (fn. 288) In 1955, by which date the rent was being used for the general maintenance of the church, the land was sold and the proceeds of the sale invested. (fn. 289)
There have been a number of distinguished men among the incumbents of Sutton Veny, although some of them had little direct influence upon the parish. Simon Sydenham, rector 1417–21, was elected Bishop of Salisbury in 1426, but his election was quashed the following year. (fn. 290) Thomas Benett (d. 1558), rector 1502–7, subsequently rose to high office in the church, and became Precentor of Salisbury in 1542. (fn. 291) Cuthbert Tunstall, successively Bishop of London and Durham, was instituted to the livings of Steeple Langford and Sutton Veny in 1509, but almost immediately resigned the latter. (fn. 292) Thomas Hyde, Chancellor of Salisbury after 1588, held the living of Sutton Veny by 1613, and until his death in 1618. (fn. 293) He presumably seldom, if ever, visited the parish, but employed a curate, (fn. 294) as did Thomas Dobbs, who in 1582 was instituted by William Button to the livings of Sutton Veny and Woodborough, some 30 miles apart. (fn. 295)
In 1646 the rector, Henry Swaddon, was apparently deprived of his living in favour of Daniel Burgess, one of the Wiltshire signatories to the Presbyterian Testimony of 1648. (fn. 296) But by 1662 Swaddon had been restored to the benefice, for that year he was presented by the churchwardens for saying no prayer in the pulpit before preaching his sermon. (fn. 297) Between c. 1779 and c. 1783 the Rector of Sutton also served the church of Norton Bavant because of the ill-health of the incumbent there. (fn. 298) The living was held from 1780 to 1854 successively by Brounker Thring and his son William Davidson Thring. After 1829 W. D. Thring was also Rector of Fisherton de la Mere and in both parishes he employed a curate. (fn. 299) On census day 1851 there were 130 people in church at Sutton for the morning service and 240 were present in the evening. Sunday school that day was attended by 42 children in the morning and 44 in the afternoon. (fn. 300) In 1863 the average number of the congregation was said to be 250. (fn. 301)
The church of ST. LEONARD, with the exception of the chancel, has fallen into ruins since the building of the church of St. John the Evangelist about 700 yds. to the north-west in 1868. (fn. 302) The old church was cruciform in plan with nave and chancel, north and south transepts, and central tower. (fn. 303) There are traces of a Norman doorway in the ruined north wall of the nave, but the rubble walls of the nave and chancel are of 13th-century date. The arches of the crossing and the lancet windows on the north wall of the chancel also date from the 13th century. On the south wall of the chancel there was once a large 15th- or 16th-century window. In 1868 the chancel was re-roofed and the chancel arch filled in to enclose this part of the church for use as a mortuary chapel. The rest of the church was abandoned. In 1963 there was little trace left of the transepts. The roofless walls of the nave still stood, although much broken down and overgrown with ivy.
The building evidently began at quite an early date to cause concern, and traces remain of the buttresses which had to be built in the 14th and 15th centuries on both sides of the nave and at the north-east corner of the chancel. (fn. 304) It was possibly for the work of buttressing that Nicholas of Bonham gave by his will, dated 1386, 8 bushels of wheat and the same quantity of barley for the fabric of the church. (fn. 305) In 1698 the room in the parsonage pew had to be taken away because of a buttress built there to support the tower. Another pew was allotted to the parsonage 'under the south window behind the pulpit'. (fn. 306) In 1825 the church was much in need of repair and in the following year extensive works of restoration were begun, (fn. 307) so that in 1831 it could be said 'the whole of the building has been repaired in good taste'. (fn. 308) Among the work undertaken was the addition of an organ and gallery at the west end, and the insertion of a new east window. (fn. 309) But within thirty years more repairs were needed, and it was decided to abandon St. Leonard's for a church which certain members of the Everett family offered to build for the parish in memory of Joseph Everett (d. 1865). (fn. 310) In 1963 the small ruined church stood in an overgrown and disused church yard, which was lined on two sides by well-grown chestnut trees. At the end of the 18th century the maintenance of the churchyard was shared between the parish, the rector, Sir Walter Long, owner of Polebridge Farm, and William Buckler, owner of Sutton, later Church, Farm. (fn. 311)
The foundation stone of the church of ST. JOHN THE EV ANGELIST was laid in 1866 and the church was dedicated two years later by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. (fn. 312) The church was built in memory of Joseph Everett (d. 1865) by his widow, Frances Alice, and their children. (fn. 313) The architect was J. L. Pearson. The church is cruciform in plan with a central tower and a spire. It is built in Early Decorated style of Frome stone with Box groundstone dressings. (fn. 314) The chancel and crossing are rib-vaulted in stone. The altar was presented to the church at the time of its consecration by the then Bishop of Salisbury, and the reredos was given by the parish. The carved oak lectern was displayed at the Exhibition of 1862. (fn. 315) A portrait of William Davidson Thring (rector 1819–54) hangs in the south transept, and there are two water-colour pictures of the old church. The belfry and ringing chamber in the tower are reached by an outside staircase. The six bells were brought from the old church and in 1927 were re-hung in a metal frame. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are of 17th-century date. The others date from the 18th century. No. 5 was cast by Robert and James Wells; no. 6 by William Cockey of Warminster. (fn. 316) Edward VI's commissioners took away 40z. of silver, and left the church a chalice of 90z. (fn. 317) Among the plate in 1963 were a chalice, paten, and flagon inscribed with the names of Samuel and Stephen Long, churchwardens in 1792. The registers begin in 1564 and are complete. (fn. 318) In 1918 a corner of the churchyard was set apart as the burial place of the service men, many of them Australians, who had been attached to the military camp and hospital in the parish. Many had died in the influenza epidemic of that year and others were battle casualties. Five Australian nurses are also buried there, and until 1963 there were the graves of 39 German prisoners from the First World War. That year the remains of the German prisoners were transferred to a German prisoner-of-war cemetery in Staffordshire.
The first institution found to the free chapel of St. Nicholas in Little Sutton is in 1312 when John de Kingston, lord of the manor, presented. (fn. 319) Until 1333 presentation was by the lords of the manor of Little Sutton. In 1382 Robert Ashton, who may have had a manor in Little Sutton, presented, (fn. 320) and in 1423 the patron was William Fyndern who held land formerly belonging to the Kingstons in Corsley. (fn. 321) Thenceforth, so far as is known, the lords of the manor presented. The last institution recorded is in 1530. (fn. 322)
In 1291 the chapel was worth £1 and was held by John of Berwick. (fn. 323) At the time of its suppression the tithes belonging to it were worth 26s. 8d. and were leased to Walter Bullour. (fn. 324) In 1563 the tithes of corn in Little Sutton which belonged to the chapel were leased for 21 years. (fn. 325) The last reference found to the chapel is in 1705 when it and all its tithes were conveyed by Matthew Davies to Thomas Buckler. (fn. 326)
The house called in 1963 the Manor House has for much of its history been the home of the rectors of Sutton, although it has been suggested that it may once have been a manor house. (fn. 327) So far as is known, those rectors who were resident in the parish lived here until c. 1913 when the present Rectory was built. In 1783 the parsonage house was said to be built of free stone and roofed with stone tiles. It had two parlours with oak floors, and five chambers, three of which had floors of elm. It also had a study, kitchen, cellar, and pantry, but no garret. (fn. 328) In 1831 it was known that the house contained a medieval hall with a number of pointed openings, although this was obscured by the partitions, floors, and ceilings that had been inserted. (fn. 329) The Revd. G. F. S. Powell, rector 1854–88, added a kitchen wing at the south end of the house, demolished the farm buildings, and built the retaining wall bordering the lane to North End. (fn. 330) In 1921 the 14th-century hall was restored by the then owner, D. E. W. Cowie. The roof was opened up and 4 pointed windows with stone tracery were inserted in existing jambs. One traceried head is original, another has been moved to the coachhouse. The end doorways to the screens passage were also restored. (fn. 331) In the medieval house, the hall formed, as now, the central range. The service rooms were apparently under the same roof to the south, entered from the screens passage by two pointed doorways which still survive. A solar wing to the north of the hall has been almost entirely rebuilt.
The Baptist chapel at Crockerton Green, founded at least as early as 1669, has the longest history of the nonconformist places of worship within the parish of Sutton Veny. It played an outstanding part in the early Baptist organization of the district. (fn. 332) But although situated until 1934 just within the Sutton Veny parish boundary, the chapel belonged to the hamlet of Crockerton in Longbridge Deverill, and its history is reserved for treatment under the account of that parish. In 1662 there were reported to be 15 sectaries in Sutton, and in 1679 18 nonconformists there were returned, these figures probably representing mainly the Baptists meeting at Crockerton. (fn. 333) At the end of the 18th century Thomas Gibbons, minister of the New Meeting in Warminster, preached to a group of Independents in a house in Sutton Veny. (fn. 334) In 1793, largely through the exertions and enthusiasm of Gibbons and a family called Imber, a chapel was built for this congregation. The building of this chapel met with some opposition in the village, and one farmer threatened to pull down the walls as they were being erected. (fn. 335) A schoolroom and burial ground were added to the chapel in 1818. (fn. 336) In c. 1800 average attendance at the chapel on Sunday mornings was 116, in the afternoons 151, and in the evenings 300, and in 1829 the regular congregation was reckoned at c. 100. (fn. 337) The chapel was rebuilt in Romanesque style in the later 19th century. Its log-book at this period, with its list of meetings, lectures, and tea-parties, illustrates vividly the social and educational importance of the congregation within the parish. (fn. 338) In 1962 membership was 8 and the chapel had no resident minister, but was supplied by a visiting minister who also served the chapels at Horningsham and Maiden Bradley. (fn. 339)
In 1839 a house in the parish occupied by Thomas White was licensed as a dissenters' meeting place, (fn. 340) but nothing more is known of the group that met there. By 1864 there was a Primitive Methodist chapel at Little Sutton, (fn. 341) but by 1959 it had long been out of use and that year was pulled down and two cottages built on its site. (fn. 342)
There is a set of court rolls for the Hungerford manors of Great and Little Sutton covering the period 1492–1537. (fn. 343) Often a single court was held for the two manors, but occasionally there were separate courts held on the same day. Courts were held annually. There are records of courts held for Lord Bath's manor of Little Sutton from 1605 until the mid19th century. (fn. 344) A court house for this manor existed in 1812 when it was in disrepair. (fn. 345) Deposited in the Wiltshire Record Office there are churchwardens' accounts from 1686 until 1828 and from 1829 to 1947, and overseers' accounts from 1686 to 1746. (fn. 346) At the time these records begin there were two churchwardens, two overseers, and two waywardens. In the later 18th century, and probably at other times too, one churchwarden was chosen to represent Little Sutton and the other Great Sutton. In 1867 a paid assistant overseer was appointed and by the mid-19th century the number of waywardens had been reduced from two to one. (fn. 347)
The later 19th century was a time of considerable activity for the vestry. (fn. 348) The closing of the old church, the building of the new, and the provision of a new school required its attention. (fn. 349) In 1868 a sub-committee was formed to supervise the building of the school. The vestry was also at this time much concerned with the sanitary state of the parish. An outbreak of scarlet fever had caused several deaths among children in the village and created some alarm. In 1868 the vestry asked the parish officers to report on drainage facilities and to arrange a rate to provide for any improvements found necessary. (fn. 350) At the same time the Turnpike Commissioners agreed to pay £25 towards improvements in the village if the same sum were to be subscribed by the parish. In 1878 scarlet fever was still prevalent and the vestry appointed a sub-committee to carry out another inspection. This body recommended that an investigation should be undertaken by an officer of the Board of Health, and this was done in the following year. The officer's report, although somewhat critical of the water supply and drainage arrangements, found that the outbreaks of sickness were largely due to the lack of proper isolation precautions. (fn. 351)
In 1732 the poor children of the parish repeated their catechism to the rector regularly on Sundays. (fn. 352) At the end of the 18th century there was a boarding school for 'young gentlemen' in the village. Here boys were taught subjects to qualify them for business. In 1794 Mr. Shapcot had succeeded Mrs. Lawes as head teacher. (fn. 353) In 1833 there was a small infants' school and 3 other day schools in the parish. About 25 boys and 33 girls, all paying fees, attended these schools. (fn. 354)
In 1850 a site was acquired and a school built in which in 1859 about 50 children were taught by a certificated teacher. (fn. 355) This school was at the southeast end of the village not far from the church of St. Leonard. It was originally a small stone building with brick dressings. In the later 19th century it was converted into a private house and was still inhabited as such in 1963. In 1873 this school was sold and the money used to build a new one in Gothic style just to the west of the new church. (fn. 356) Financial assistance was provided by the National Society and a further grant was made by the society in 1898 for the addition of another schoolroom. (fn. 357) In 1903–4 average attendance was 73. (fn. 358) By 1938 the school had become a junior mixed and infants' school with about 36 pupils. (fn. 359)
A school connected with the Congregational chapel, and later supported by the British Society, was established in the village by 1856. (fn. 360) A school adjoining the chapel was built to house it in 1869. (fn. 361) In 1893 average attendance was about 34 children. (fn. 362) The school was closed in c. 1908. (fn. 363) In 1859 there was a dame-school for about 40 children in the part of Crockerton which then lay within the parish of Sutton Veny. (fn. 364)
At an unknown date Joseph Dew and Anthony Long bequeathed between them £80 to be invested for the benefit of the poor of the parish. In 1823 most of the money was spent on buying a cottage which formed part of some premises called Old Castle. The rent from the cottage was then spent on clothing for the poor at Christmas. The poor were also remembered in the will of Mary Long, proved in 1807. In 1825 the £50 she had bequeathed, with a roughly equal amount raised by subscription, were used to build two cottages at Little Sutton. In 1833 the three properties and a small investment produced nearly £11, and in the previous year 8 coats, 8 shirts, and 8 shifts had been distributed. In 1903 the cottages at Little Sutton were derelict, and the older one produced an income of about £4 a year. (fn. 365) In 1917 all the property was sold and the money received from the sale invested for the benefit of the poor. (fn. 366) In 1957, from the charity so formed, 12 persons received 10s. each. (fn. 367)