In Search of Merton Priory’s Granges
by Janette Henderson
Merton Priory was once one of the most important monastic establishments in the country, with an extensive property portfolio. Though little remains of the priory today, it has been extensively studied. Less is known about its granges and this volume sets out to identify these monastic granges and examine what evidence, if any, still remains of them in the landscape.
Ten granges belonging to Merton Priory have been identified, some more credibly than others, and possible reasons for their choice by Merton Priory as granges are discussed. Substantial physical remains survive at two of the locations, while the earthworks of a moated site are evident at a third. At a further two, moated sites have been lost to us in the last century. However, the evidence suggests that the bounds of the granges may still be preserved in modern field and road systems.
It is argued that the sites of the monastic granges have suffered from a lack of awareness which has had a detrimental effect on their level of preservation. Factors specific to individual sites are important in the preservation of those that have survived, and their very survival has attracted sufficient attention for them to be listed/scheduled, which in turn has further contributed to their preservation. Though more are lost to us than survive, a couple of potentially important sites may warrant scheduling, if it is not already too late, to protect them from further loss and to enable archaeological investigation in future.
In 2012, Janette Henderson obtained an MA in Archaeology from the University of Bristol. She also holds a BA in Geography from Oxford University. Born and brought up in the North of England, she has lived for the past 20 years in Colliers Wood, SW London, close to the site of Merton Priory. Merton Priory was therefore an obvious choice of subject for her MA dissertation. She has had a keen interest in history and archaeology since she was a child and is particularly interested in monastic archaeology. She is also a keen walker, coordinating the social walking programme for the Surrey Walking Club and leading many day and weekend walks, mostly with an archaeological/historical theme. She is married to Jonathan, and has two cats, Charlie and Podge.
IN SEARCH OF
MERTON PRIORY’S GRANGES
Janette Henderson, BA (Oxon), MA (Bristol)
Research context 7
MERTON PRIORY AND ITS PROPERTIES 9
Merton Priory 9
Merton Priory’s properties 10
MERTON PRIORY’S GRANGES 11
What was a grange? 11
Overview of Merton Priory’s granges 11
The individual granges 12
Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange 12
Holdshott Grange, Heckfield 18
Tollsworth Grange, Chaldon 25
Upton Grange, Upton-cum-Chalvey 38
Milton Grange, Milton Bryan 47
Other Granges 52
a) Kingston Grange 52
b) Amerden Grange 54
c) Eton Grange 56
d) Tregony Grange 57
Overall conclusions 60
Limitations of this report and further research possibilities 63
Manors held by Merton Priory – sources 66
Methodology used for earthwork survey 68
Survey of Upton Manor 1605 68
Qualitative survey of local residents, Upton Court 70
Site of Merton Priory within London Borough of Merton 6
Plan of Merton Priory 9
Manors held by Merton Priory 10
The granges of Merton Priory 12
Location of Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange 13
Site of West Barnes Farm, 1935 14
Moat at West Barnes Farm, 1913 14
Raynes Park High School, 2012 15
Location of Merton Grange 16
Current appearance of area outside ‘Great Gate’, 2012 16
Possible extent of lands belonging to Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange 17
Merton and West Barnes Granges on OS map, 2012 17
Location of Holdshott Farm 18
Heckfield Place Estate Map, 1895 19
1895 Heckfield Place Estate plotted on OS map 20
Current OS map Holdshott 20
Holdshott Farm from NE, 2012 21
Holdshott Farm, 1961 21
Portion of map for Heckfield Place Estate, 1895 22
Portion of tithe map of Heckfield Parish, 1840-41 23
Sketch of crop marks observed by Mrs Rosie Mandry 23
Holdshott Mill from west, pre 1960s 24
Location of Tollsworth Manor 25
Tollsworth Manor from the SE, 2012 26
Plan of Tollsworth Manor 27
Tollsworth Manor, ground floor of solar, 2012 28
Tollsworth Manor, passage between open hall and service bay, 2012 28
Tollsworth Manor, sill leading into service bay from passageway, 2012 29
Tollsworth Manor, old service bay of hall range, 2012 29
Tollsworth Manor, part of former open hall, 2012 30
Tollsworth Manor, crown post at east end of open hall, 2012 30
Tollsworth Manor, smoke-blackened timber of east side of open hall, 2012 31
Tollsworth Manor, 18th-century ‘bakehouse’, 2012 31
Tollsworth Manor, west elevation, 2012 32
Tollsworth Manor, north elevation, 2012 32
Tollsworth Manor, east elevation, 2012 33
Sketch of possible remains of moat 33
Earthwork to south of Tollsworth Manor 34
OS map, 1977, first time earthwork appears 34
Measured earthwork survey of site south of Tollsworth Manor Farm, 2012 35
West side of earthwork, 2012 36
Extent of Tollsworth Farm according to 1837 tithe map 37
Location of Upton Court 38
Upton Court from west, 2012 39
Upton Court from west, 1883 40
Upton Court, upper end bay of hall, from W, 1987 41
Upton Court, screens passage, from NE, 1987 41
Upton Court, ground floor hall, from NW, 1987 42
Upton Court, cross wing attic, from E, 1987 42
Upton Court, approved ground floor plan and SE elevation, 1987 43
St Laurence Church, Upton, 2012 44
Upton, OS map, 1899 44
Extract from 1635 estate map for Upton Court 45
Extract from ‘Farms of Slough’ of 18th/19th century 45
Upton Court in 1635 and Manor of Upton in 1605 46
Probable site of Milton Grange 47
Milton Bryan enclosure map, 1793 48
Grange Farm from west, 2012 49
Moated site near church, Milton Bryan, 1989 49
Sketch plan of moated site at Milton Bryan, 2011 50
Extent of Grange Farm in conveyance document of 1892 51
Location of Kingston upon Thames 52
Kingston upon Thames tithe map of 1840 53
Current appearance of former site of Canbury Lodge, 2012 53
Possible locations of Amerden and Eton granges 54
Amerden, OS map, 1876 55
Amerden, OS map, 2011 55
Possible site of Eton Grange 56
Manor Farm, Eton Wick, from SW, 2012 56
Tregony, OS map, 1907 57
Tregony, OS map, 2011 58
Tregony from west, 2004 58
Alternative location of Tregony Grange, OS map, 1907 59
Alternative location of Tregony Grange, OS map, 2012 59
Table showing the ten granges 60
Table showing key characteristics of granges 61
Table showing what is left of Merton Priory’s granges 62
Upton-cum-Chalvey Parish Map of 1809 69
Merton Priory was once one of the most important monastic establishments in the country, with an extensive property portfolio. Though little remains of the priory
today, it has been extensively studied. Less is known about its granges and this volume sets out to identify these monastic granges and examine what evidence, if any,
still remains of them in the landscape.
Ten granges belonging to Merton Priory have been identified, some more credibly than others, and possible reasons for their choice by Merton Priory as granges are
discussed. Substantial physical remains survive at two of the locations, while the earthworks of a moated site are evident at a third. At a further two, moated sites
have been lost to us in the last century. However, the evidence suggests that the bounds of the granges may still be preserved in modern field and road systems.
It is argued that the sites of the monastic granges have suffered from a lack of awareness which has had a detrimental effect on their level of preservation. Factors
specific to individual sites are important in the preservation of those that have survived, and their very survival has attracted sufficient attention for them to be
listed/scheduled, which in turn has further contributed to their preservation. Though more are lost to us than survive, a couple of potentially important sites may
warrant scheduling, if it is not already too late, to protect them from further loss and to enable archaeological investigation in future.
Janette Henderson, November 2013
The aim of this volume is to identify what, if anything, of the granges owned by Merton Priory before its 1538 dissolution still exists in the current landscape.
Given that the surface remains of Merton Priory itself are limited, the key question posed is whether its granges are any better preserved. An overview of each grange
is given, with six specific granges examined in greater detail.
This volume was researched and written by Janette Henderson as a dissertation for her MA in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Bristol.
2.2 Research Context
St Mary Merton, Surrey, or Merton Priory as it is more commonly known, was previously in the County of Surrey in SE England but is today administratively within the
London Borough of Merton in SW London (Figure 1).
Its substantial portfolio of churches, farms, mills and other property was also concentrated in the south-east, though it had holdings as far away as Cornwall and
Yorkshire (see Section 3.2).
Though little remains on view of the priory today (the foundations of the chapter house, parts of the precinct wall and part of a 12th-century arch), it has been well
documented. Furthermore, the area within the priory precinct has been excavated on a number of occasions, most extensively prior to the construction of the huge
Sainsbury’s ‘Savacentre’ in the 1980s, under whose car park lie the remains of the priory church.
Little attention has been given to documenting Merton Priory’s properties outside the precinct, however. While some of the individual sites have been examined in
their own right, no detailed analysis of its properties, pulled together in one volume, has yet been completed. The most detailed published research on this subject
is by Lionel Green. Approximately 10% of his book, A Priory Revealed, focuses on Merton’s endowments, including three pages about its granges (Green, 2005, 46-48, 77
-84). More detailed analysis of Merton’s properties has been conducted by Peter Hopkins in his unpublished compilation of documentary evidence relating to Merton
Priory’s properties. The only other works to cover Merton Priory’s properties in any kind of detail are MoLAS Monograph 34, The Augustinian priory of St Mary Merton,
Surrey (Miller & Saxby, 2007, 171-176) which gives details of a number of the properties, and UCL’s ‘English Monastic Archives’
(http://www.ucl.ac.uk/history2/englishmonasticarchives/property/house_details), which lists the churches and manors formerly held by Merton Priory, giving the parish
name and date of tenure.
No-one has actually attempted to undertake a detailed analysis of what remains of these properties on the ground. This volume tries, in a small way, to redress this
omission, by focusing on the priory’s granges.
The methodology employed was:
Documentary background research on Merton Priory and its properties, covering current and historic ordnance survey (OS) maps, other historic maps, manorial records,
aerial photographs and LIDAR, historic photographs, offline and online publications.
The sites of eight of the granges were visited in July–September 2012, and a photographic record taken of the current appearance of the site.
A detailed photographic record of the interior and exterior of Tollsworth Manor in Chaldon was taken on 20 August 2012. This included photographs of the principal
exterior and interior elevations, together with principal features deemed relevant to understanding the building, and particularly its solar wing and hall range. A 2m
ranging rod was used to show the scale of larger features and a scale divided into 10cm sections was used to show the scale of smaller features.
Sadly, it was not possible to conduct a photographic survey of Upton Court in Slough since the leaseholders, a children’s nursery, refused permission to do so on the
grounds of security.
A measured earthwork survey was conducted on the possible moated site (a potential pre-cursor to the current Tollsworth Manor) in the field next to Tollsworth Manor
Farm. This was done by off-setting with tapes from known points (see Appendix B).
Following site visits in July/August 2012, sketches were made of earthworks surrounding Tollsworth Manor and near the church in Milton Bryan.
I should like to record my gratitude to the following individuals without whose assistance this report could not have been completed. In particular I would like to
thank: Mr and Mrs Gillett of Tollsworth Manor and Rosie Mandry of Holdshott Farm for all their help, including permission to take photographs on their properties;
Peter Hopkins of Merton Historical Society for sharing his published and unpublished research on Merton Priory; and Roger Colebrook of Court Farm for giving permission
to survey the earthwork on his land. Others that I would like to thank are:
Wayne Weller, Surrey HER;
Duncan Sutton and other staff, Surrey History Centre;
Alex Godden, Hampshire HER;
David Rymill, Sandy Mounsey and Steve Hynard, Hampshire Archives and Local Studies Enquiry Service;
Allan James, Verger, St Laurence church, Upton-cum-Chalvey;
Teresa Hocking, Berkshire HER;
Daniele Robson, Sabiha Barakat and other staff, Slough Library;
Roger Bettridge and other staff at Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies;
Namahn Khan, Planning Services, Slough Borough Council;
Paul Williams, Bedford Estates;
Stephen Coleman, Central Bedfordshire HER;
Nigel Lutt and other staff, Bedfordshire and Luton Archive & Records Service;
Louise Pettit, Geomatics Group;
Brigid Fice, DBRG;
John Henderson for his translation of the Ministers’ Accounts of 1538 for Merton Priory;
Cath Maloney, David Saxby and Tracey Wellman, MoLA;
Nigel Wilkins, Alyson Rogers, Poppie Starkie, Vaughan Roberts, Graham Deacon, and Elizabeth Freshwater, English Heritage;
David Pratt and Colin Cox, Ordnance Survey;
Staff at the National Archives.
3.0 MERTON PRIORY AND ITS PROPERTIES
3.1 Merton Priory
Merton Priory was a house of Augustinian canons. It was situated in what is now the London Borough of Merton, SW London (Figure 1) and was ‘one of the largest and
most influential monasteries in southern Britain’ (Saxby, 2005, 1), in particular due to:
Its role in hosting nationally-important meetings. Particularly key was the 1236 formulation in the Chapter House of the Statutes of Merton, the first comprehensive
statute since Magna Carta;
Its appeal to the kings of England, particularly Henry III who had private chambers there and visited several times a year. Edward III also held royal sports there
from 1346-49 (Stow, Aldsworth and Canning, 2006, 20-21);
Its place as a centre of learning. Thomas Becket, later Archbishop of Canterbury, was educated at Merton Priory in the 1120s, as was, a century later, Walter de Merton
who founded Merton College, Oxford (Saxby, 2005, 5 & 6).
The priory was founded by Gilbert the Norman, the Sheriff of Surrey, in December 1114 under Robert, sub-prior of St Mary’s Huntingdon. From May 1117 it was located on
the east bank of the River Wandle on a site which now straddles the modern Merantun Way. The remains of the Chapter House are visible in a purpose-built chamber
underneath Merantun Way and open to the public on limited occasions, while the excavated remains of the priory church lie underneath the car park of the large
Sainsbury’s to the north of Merantun Way (Figure 2).
Most of the principal buildings of the monastic complex are within an area designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument (List Entry No 1001976) and two lengths of the
surviving precinct wall are Grade II listed (List Entry Nos 1080856 and 1194014).
The priory was dissolved in 1538 and many of its stones used in local buildings as well as Henry VIII’s palace at Nonsuch. Later on, the site became known as Merton
Abbey and from the 1660s developed as a manufacturing centre, most famously including, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the workshops of William Morris and print works
owned by Liberty & Co.
3.2 Merton Priory’s Properties
Reflecting its importance, Merton Priory held numerous properties across the country, mainly in Surrey and SE England, but stretching as far as Cornwall and Yorkshire.
In 1535 the Valor Ecclesiasticus, commissioned by Henry VIII, valued Merton Priory and its properties at just over £1,039 (Dugdale, 1817-1830, 245-248). This income
came from 69 churches, 35 manors and 39 mills (Green, 2005, 78).
The map below plots the location of manors that are believed to have been held at some time by Merton Priory. Appendix A contains a table which details these
properties and the sources on which this is based. There were also numerous other land holdings across the country from which it received income, including tenements,
mills and urban property.
Figure 3 – Manors held by Merton Priory. Figures 3 & 4 were produced in QGIS (Quantum Geographic Information System) using a base map of Britain sourced from Edina
Digimap (OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
In addition to 7 manors, 15 ‘farms of the manor’, and 2 ‘farms of the grange’ (Merton and Upton), the 1538 Ministers’ Accounts to the Court of Augmentations lists 22
‘farms of the rectory’, 25 other farms (including 2 ‘farms of the mill’, 2 ‘farms of the sawmill’, one ‘farm of one weir’ and ‘one farm of the quarry’), 11
‘land’/’rent of land’ (including 1 toft and 1 messuage), 12 tenements, 1 mill, and various urban properties in London (particularly in Southwark) from which the priory
obtained income shortly before its dissolution (Dugdale, 1817-1830, 245-248).
4.0 MERTON PRIORY’S GRANGES
4.1 What was a grange?
In brief, a grange was a monastic farm, where consolidated demesne farming was organized into easily managed units and controlled by a team of lay brethren from an
‘administrative’ centre (the grange buildings).
The grange was ‘an economic unit designed to yield a surplus for the use and enjoyment of the monastic community that owned it’ (Platt, 1969, 14). Aston (2000, 129)
states that the historical definition of a grange is a ‘consolidated block of land from which all common rights have been excluded’ but that, from an archaeological
viewpoint, they are better seen as ‘groups of buildings from which an estate was worked regardless of the style of landholding’.
While some granges resembled small monasteries, most resembled the contemporary manor houses of the day. The main domestic buildings would usually be found within
some sort of enclosure – a moat or wall – which contained a hall house and kitchens and often an oratory or chapel for private use. The farm buildings (barns,
granaries, wagon sheds and so on) would be found outside this inner enclosure, often within a second outer enclosure next to the inner domestic one (Platt, 1969, 71-
73). Bond (2004, 119) thinks that at least 15% were moated and that the figure is likely to have been higher than this since many moats have probably been filled in
and are no longer evident. Granges often had their own corn mills, and some even had industrial water-powered complexes, while fish ponds were also common features.
Frequently there were also peasant hamlets nearby which housed the labourers who worked on the grange estate alongside the lay brothers (Aston, 2000, 129).
Granges are, quite rightly, thought to be characteristically Cistercian institutions since it was the Cistercians who first developed the idea in the 12th century.
However, their success encouraged other orders to adopt the idea, including houses of regular canons (Platt, 1969, 12) like the Augustinians of Merton Priory, who
converted some of their tenanted manors into granges (http://www.buildinghistory.org/buildings/granges.shtml).
Not all of the lands owned by religious communities were organized into granges, though, even in the case of the Cistercians and in the case of houses like Merton
Priory, many of their manors may never have been converted to a grange. Furthermore, from the 14th century onwards, many of the granges were let to lay tenants, though
the home farms and some of the other granges were often maintained.
Many granges were exempt from tithes and this exemption continued with their new owners after the Dissolution. However, this mainly applied to Cistercian granges and
less so to the granges of other orders. This greatly aids one in tracing the extent of Cistercian estates in the landscape, by cross-checking against tithe maps of
the mid-19th century (eg Williams, 1990, 111) but is often of little assistance in the case of Augustinian granges like those of Merton Priory.
4.2 Overview of Merton Priory’s granges
A total of ten granges belonging to Merton Priory have been identified by different authorities, some more credibly than others (see Section 4.3). In addition, it is
possible that other manors held by the priory possessed a grange at some point, but no evidence has been found to date.
Figure 4 shows that the ten granges were far more concentrated in SE England than were Merton Priory’s manors in general, which might be expected given the greater
level of control that was required of a grange than a manor. Three of these granges were close to the priory – Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange were within the
manor of Merton itself, while the grange at Kingston upon Thames was just 7km away. Tollsworth Grange was a little further away, but still only 15km distant. Five
others, however, were 30-67km distant, making control more challenging, while the tenth was hundreds of kilometres away in Cornwall. This may have been an important
contributing factor in the decision to let some or all of these granges to lay tenants in the later medieval period. Only two locations are specifically named as
granges in the 1538 Ministers’ Accounts to the Court of Augmentations – Merton Grange outside the priory gates and Upton Grange, both then leased to tenants –
suggesting that the others still owned by the priory had been let to lay tenants in advance of that date.
4.3 The individual granges
4.3.1 Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange, Merton
Two of the ten granges listed above were in the manor of Merton (Figure 5), one just outside the priory gates and another about 4km to the west, at the far west of the
manor, called West Barnes. That there was a grange at Merton is attested to by the fact that it is named in a number of documents, including its lease in 1533 to John
Hiller (Heales, 1898, 337). In the case of West Barnes, the Historic Environment Record for West Barnes Farm describes it as the site of a former grange of Merton
Priory and historic maps of West Barnes Farm show what appears to be a moated site typical of many monastic granges.
It is also possible, however, that the ‘grange’ at West Barnes merely described a large barn or set of barns (the ‘west barns’) which served the priory’s land holdings
on the west side of the manor of Merton and formed part of the same grange or monastic farm complex of Merton Grange, where the ‘east barns’ were located. ‘Grange’,
after all, simply means ‘barn’ in French.
Merton Priory acquired ‘the vill of the Crown called Merton’ in 1121, in the reign of Henry I, with the priory itself having been established there in 1114. That it
held the manor of Merton is confirmed in Edward IV’s charter of confirmation of 1468 (Heales, 1898, 300-3).
Exactly when Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange were established is not known. The name Westbarnes first appears in Merton Priory records in 1505, but it is
possible the farm existed before then.
It is likely that Merton Grange continued to operate as a grange for longer than the other granges that belonged to Merton Priory, no doubt due to its proximity to the
priory which made direct control more feasible. In the 1538 Ministers’ Accounts to the Court of Augmentations it is referred to as ‘the farm of the grange’ (Dugdale,
1817-1830), ‘farm’ being used in its literal sense as the rent from a property leased for a fixed period at a fixed rent [ad firmam]. We know that it had been leased
out to lay tenants by at least 1533. In the same document, West Barnes is simply referred to as ‘the farm of West Barnes’ so it seems likely that, if it had formerly
been a grange (in its meaning as a monastic farm) in its own right, it had not been operating as such for some time.
Some key facts in the history of Merton Grange immediately prior to, and after, the Dissolution are as follows. In 1533, shortly before the Dissolution in 1538, Merton
Grange was leased to John Hiller. After the Dissolution it passed into the hands of Sir Henry Sidney, initially in joint ownership with John, Earl of Warwick and
then, in 1564, in sole ownership. The lands that comprised the grange amounted to 392.5 acres (Hopkins, 2012a, 2-3).
Later that same century, Merton Grange was divided into two parts, the ‘moiety of Marten Grange’ which was initially held by Richard Garth, the lord of the manor of
Morden, and amounted to 161 acres in 1588, and the remainder initially owned by Rowland Wilson and subsequently sub-divided by his successors. One part of Rowland
Wilson’s original estate was eventually sold to Horatio Nelson in 1802. He in turn left part of it to Emma Hamilton, together with Merton Place, close to what is
thought to be the earlier location of the main gate to the priory.
In the case of West Barnes, by 1536 it covered 579 acres. Post-dissolution, it was granted to John Gresham (1545). By 1598 his tenant, John Carpenter, had bought
most of the West Barnes estate from John Gresham, the remaining 113 acres having been sold separately to Thomas Randall in 1573/4, to form what later became known as
Blagdon Farm (Hopkins, 2000, 3). The eastern section of John Carpenter’s estate was sold by his successors to Dr John Budgen between 1683 and 1689 and became known as
West Barnes Park. At some point before 1737 the SW corner of the estate was also sold off, and later became known as Blue House Farm. Each of the four parts of what
was originally the West Barnes estate at the Dissolution went through various owners (Hopkins, 2000, 6-9) until the site of the moated farm house became part of Raynes
Park High School, as it is now.
Nothing now remains of either Merton Grange or West Barnes grange, both now under a mix of housing, retail, light industry and schools, with some public open spaces
remaining. Until early last century there was still a farm at West Barnes, though, with the remnants of a moat in the form of a pond, suggesting it as a possible site
of the earlier grange. Its large barns are said to have survived until the 20th century (Green, 2005, 48). The farm used to be known as ‘Moat Farm’ (Jowett, 1987,
12) and the field next to the farm was called ‘Moat Meadow’ in the tithe map and apportionment of 1844. In earlier OS maps, right up to 1913, two arms of the moat are
clearly depicted to the west of the farm buildings (Figure 7).
In 1935, Raynes Park High School (then Raynes Park County School for Boys) was built on the site of the farm (Figure 6). In the early days of the school the farm pond
(the earlier moat) was still there, but by 1954 it was gone (OS National Grid 1:2500) and the school gymnasium was built on its site in 1985
Nothing is known of the whereabouts of Merton Grange other than it was just beyond the Priory gates (Heales, 1898, 336). Heales suggested that the ‘Great Gate’ into
the priory lay at the north-west corner of the precinct, leading onto the modern Abbey Road (Stow, Aldsworth & Canning, 2006, 29). Through his documentary research,
Peter Hopkins has identified Plots 221 & 222 on the tithe map as close to the buildings of the grange (Hopkins, 2012a, 14). By overlaying the tithe map onto the
modern Ordnance Survey map, we can estimate the location of the grange and its principal buildings as shown in Figure 9. Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that
this area, like the priory precinct, was tithe-free according to the tithe map of 1844. Figure 10 shows what this area looks like now.
Figure 11 shows the likely extent of the lands covered by Merton Grange and West Barnes Grange in the 16th century, based on an analysis by Peter Hopkins of changing
field names in documents relating to the two properties. Figure 12 translates this onto a modern Ordnance Survey map.
Through an analysis of leases of 1745, 1780 and 1804, Hopkins has been able to match the majority of the Merton Grange estate owned by Richard Garth in 1588 to the
1844 tithe map, though not necessarily on a field-by-field basis. He has also used estate maps from the part of the old Merton Grange estate owned by Nelson in the
19th century to match further field names to the tithe map (Hopkins, 1998, 20-23), and confirmed this by comparing it with the overall outline of adjoining estates.
It has proved impossible so far to prove the exact line of the western boundary, but the one given in Figures 9, 11 & 12 seems a reasonable estimate. Estate maps and
papers have also been used by Hopkins to trace the boundaries of the four farms which made up the earlier West Barnes estate (also shown in Figures 11 & 12).
4.3.2 Holdshott Grange, Heckfield
The National Monuments Record describes Holdshott as a monastic grange and chapel of Merton Priory and it certainly displays the characteristics one would expect of a
grange – a previously moated site with a chapel in the centre and a water management system including mill and fish stews, together with clear evidence that the manor
was owned by the priory right up until its dissolution.
Holdshott is in the parish of Heckfield in Hampshire, approximately12km NE of Basingstoke and 54km west of Merton Priory. The modern day Holdshott Farm is situated
immediately to the west of the site of the earlier grange’s principal buildings, on flat low-lying land next to the River Whitewater (Figure 13).
Figure 13 – Location of Holdshott Farm (OS 1:50,000, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
Merton Priory first obtained lands in Heckfield in 1208 when Robert de St. Manefeo granted them ‘one hide of his land in Heckfield, a wood, a meadow, common of pasture
for their cattle with his demesne cattle, pasture and mast for their pigs in his wood without pannage, and sufficient wood for firing and repairs’. At the same time,
he gave up all right to ‘fields called Dainymore and Le Breche and a mill-pond at Holdshot’ (and mill, too, though it is not specifically mentioned) in favour of the
priory (Page, 1911, 44-51). This landholding became known as the manor of Holdshott and remained in the ownership of the priory until its dissolution (Page, 1911, 44
-51). The Ministers’ Accounts of 1538 to the Court of Augmentations mentions the farm of the manor and values it at £38 13s 4d (Dugdale, 1817-1830, 245-248).
As mentioned above, granges fell out of favour in the later medieval period and were let to lay tenants. In Holdshott’s case this happened around 1350 when Sir James
de Woodstock became the tenant (James, undated, p2). Towards the end of the 14th century, the private chapel at Holdshott is said to have been replaced by a chapel
for public use at Mattingley, marking the end of the priory’s direct involvement in farming the manor. Later tenants included the de Puttes, possibly the origin of
Putham, the name by which the manor was also known.
After the Dissolution the manor passed into the hands of the Marquesses of Winchester, the Dukes of Bolton and Lords of Bolton until 1817 when it was sold to Charles
Shaw-Lefevre. In 1899 the manor was bought by Lieut-Colonel Horace Walpole (Page, 1911, 44-51).
The estate, including Holdshott Farm, is currently occupied and farmed by Mr and Mrs Mandry, who also run a tea shop and farm shop on the site.
Clues to the extent of the land that fell under the auspices of the grange are given in 1895 sales particulars (Figures 14 & 15), which show the 19th-century manor
included Holdshott, Mattingley and Hazeley, all three held by Merton Priory before the Dissolution. Mattingley and Hazeley are both named as members of the manor of
Holdshott in Edward IV’s charter of confirmation (Heales, 1898, 300-303) suggesting that the 1895 estate map may be an accurate depiction of the earlier manor, and
possibly the grange too.
Figure 14 – Heckfield Place Estate Map included in sales particulars of 1895 (Hampshire Record Office: HALS 38M49/D6/40).
Since none of Heckfield parish was tithe-free according to the tithe map and apportionment of 1837 this does not help in determining the extent of the grange’s land,
so the 1895 estate map is the best estimate.
Today, nothing remains of the original grange buildings, but it is clear that they were surrounded by a moat. About 20m of the north arm of the moat survived until at
least 1956 (Hampshire HER 20325) and this is still shown as a linear earthwork on OS maps (Figure 16) despite the fact that little is now evident on the ground (Figure
17). Recent aerial photographs show nothing of the earthworks.
Figure 17 – Holdshott Farm from NE, August 2012
Sometime in the 1960s, according to Mr Mandry the farmer, the remaining section of the moat was filled in, and this is confirmed by later maps and aerial photographs.
Indeed, in 1960s aerial photographs the shape of the moat is still clearly visible (Figure 18), marked by a hedge/line of trees immediately to the east of the current
farm buildings. This shape matches that depicted on earlier OS maps and by 1895 sales particulars (Figure 19).
Figure 19 – Portion of map in 1895 sales particulars for Heckfield Place Estate (Hampshire Record Office: HALS 38M49/D6/40)
Furthermore, OS maps of the 19th century indicate the site of the chapel in the centre of the moat and, in the tithe map and apportionment of 1839-40, the field in
which the moat was situated is called ‘Chapel Meadow’ (Figure 20).
Aerial photographs going back to 1946 also show what looks like a second enclosure to the north of the moat (eg Figure 18). Monastic granges often had two enclosures
– an outer enclosure with barns, granaries and animal houses and an inner enclosure with domestic ranges (Coppack, 2006, 138). The location of the chapel within the
moated area suggests this was the inner, domestic enclosure, while the second one was the outer enclosure.
Mrs Rosie Mandry also reports that crop marks evident in dry weather reveal an enclosure (the moat) with four rectangular features inside. In Figure 21 a sketch of the
crop marks made by Mrs Mandry has been transcribed onto a modern OS map. Sadly, the weather was not dry enough when the author visited the site to see the crop marks
The rectangular features within the moat may simply represent the foundations of post-medieval buildings (a post-medieval farmhouse is recorded in this location on
19th-century OS maps) but it is also possible that some may represent the foundations of earlier buildings, including the chapel.
When Merton Priory acquired the manor, it included a water mill. Indeed, a mill on this site is recorded in Domesday Book. By 1341, the manor had two water mills,
the original mill at Holdshott and another at Mattingley, and at the Dissolution a water-mill and fulling-mill were recorded (Page, 1911, 44-51). Mills still stand at
Holdshott and Mattingley, both now in residential use. Though neither is medieval, it is highly likely that they stand on the site of the two earlier medieval mills.
The farmer reports that the Holdshott mill pond still existed until the 1960s when it, like the moat of the grange, was filled in. Figure 22 shows what it looked like
when the mill pond was still there. There is still clear evidence of the mill race created to power the mill (Figure 16). The fish stews shown on the Heckfield Place
Estate 1895 sales particulars (Figure 19) and early OS maps could also owe their origins to the priory. Such a water system is typical of monastic communities and the
complex system seen here may have been created by Merton Priory itself. However, since the Domesday entry for the mill included a ‘fishery value rated at a hundred
eels’ (Pitcher, 1982, 55) it is possible that it and the mill race were created before Merton Priory obtained the manor.
Figure 22 – Holdshott Mill from W. Pre 1960s (probably late 19th/early 20th century). (Courtesy Mr & Mrs Mandry, 2012)
4.3.3 Tollsworth Grange, Chaldon
Tollsworth Grange (or Tullesworth as it was called in the medieval period) is named as a Merton Priory grange in an early 13th-century charter (Malden, 1912, 188-194).
It continued to be held by the priory until its dissolution in 1538.
It is located in the parish of Chaldon in Surrey, approximately 7km NE of Reigate and a little over 15km south of Merton Priory. Still a rural area, Chaldon parish is
on the southern periphery of London and bordered by the M25 and A23 on its south and west sides.
Tollsworth Manor house is located approximately 1km SW of Chaldon village on gently sloping land immediately to the north of the North Downs escarpment. It dates back
to when the manor was owned by Merton Priory and is likely to represent the only surviving remains of the grange’s buildings.
Tollsworth first came into the possession of Merton Priory, and was already a grange before 1201–2 when ‘William Hansard and his wife Avelina granted to Walter, Prior
of Merton, certain lands in Tullesworth lying next to the grange of the prior’ (Malden, 1912, 188-194).
After the Dissolution it passed through various owners until 1724 when Thomas Roane sold it to Paul Docminique and it became part of Chaldon Manor (Lord Hylton, 1955,
20). In the Chaldon tithe map of 1837, the owner of Tollsworth Farm is given as Sir William George Hylton Joliffe, who also owned Chaldon Court (now Court Farm), and
the occupier is named as Thomas Budgen. Tollsworth Manor Farm continues to be owned by the same family to this day. It is farmed by Roger Colbrook of the nearby
Nowadays Tollsworth Manor house (or Tollsworth Farm as it used to be called until the mid-20th century) is in separate ownership from the rest of Tollsworth Manor Farm
(as of 1959 when Gordon and Rhona Davenport bought it from the Hylton estate). Since 1983 it has been owned and occupied by Mr and Mrs Gillett. It also spent around
25 years as a Youth Hostel (from 1936 – 1965, with a break during the war when it was let to the Czech Refugee Committee).
Tollsworth Manor house is Grade II listed. On the surface, it looks like a 17th-century building, but the stonework of the exterior hides two medieval ranges: a
14th-century solar wing and a 15th-century hall range. In both cases this would mean they were built while the manor was owned by Merton Priory.
Both the solar and the hall range have been substantially altered over the years, but still retain their original plan and a number of original features. Other parts
of the building are later in date, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
Figure 25 is a plan of the house based on a report by the Domestic Buildings Research Group, Surrey, in 1984. The sections in pink are the medieval solar and hall
range. The dates of the solar and hall mean this must surely have been the main domestic building (the typical open hall house of the time) of Merton Priory’s grange.
The solar is on the western side of the hall, its roof timbers at right angles to those of the hall. The solar was originally of two bays and would have consisted of
just one room on each floor, ground and first, as indicated by the short supporting braces for the central tie beam and transverse beam (Harding, 1984, 1). The main
alterations to the solar have been the addition, probably in the early 17th century, of the third bay, two fireplaces (one is dated 1604) and room partitions.
Figure 26 shows the current appearance of the solar, and the beam which was used for dendrochronology. Examination of the roof timbers of the solar suggests there
would have been an earlier hall range where the current hall range is today. The hall as it now stands originally consisted of three bays, two of which formed an open
hall with central hearth, with a service bay on the eastern side, probably, as was the norm with such houses, with a screens passage from which separate doors led to
the scullery and buttery.
The main alterations to the hall were the addition of a smoke bay and then a stone fireplace (dated 1607) and chimney towards the eastern end of the open hall
(Harding, 1984, 4), converting the screens passage into a solid passage (Figure 27).
The open hall was also divided into two levels at some point, probably around the time the fireplace was added. Other alterations involved the removal of the partition
between the scullery and buttery, the addition of a fireplace in the service bay and the replacement of the original two entrances to the service bay by a new doorway
(Harding, 1984, 2-4). The sills of these two original doorways are still evident (eg Figure 28).
Figures 29 & 30 show the current appearance of the hall (a kitchen where the old open hall would have been and a living room where the old service bay was).
Figure 29 – Old service bay of hall range, from SW, August 2012
Figure 30 – Part of former open hall, from NW, August 2012
Probably around the time that the fireplaces were added in the solar and hall, and stone chimneys built, the building was clad in Merstham stone, and the roof raised
in height (Harding, 1984, 1-4). The original roof timbers of the solar and hall range are still evident in the roof space, below the later timbers, as is the original
crown post of the hall roof (Figure 31).
There is clear evidence of smoke blackening on these original roof timbers from the earlier open hearth (Figure 32).
Other parts of the building are later in date, ranging from the 16th to the 20th century (Harding, 1984).
Figure 31 – Crown post at east end of open hall, facing east, August 2012
Figure 32 – Smoke-blackened timber on east side of open hall, facing east, August 2012
Figure 33 – 18th-century ‘bakehouse’, from south, August 2012
The south elevation is shown in Figure 24 earlier. For completeness, the remaining elevations are shown below.
Figure 36 – East elevation, August 2012
In 1984 DBRG also noted a long pond in front and shallow depression to the north of the house which they thought indicated a moated site (Harding, 1984, 1), another
attribute typical of manor houses (and monastic granges) of the period. Both are still in evidence, though the pond is oval as it was on the tithe map of 1837 and the
depression is very shallow. In addition, there is a further linear depression running N-S in the garden to the west of the house (Figure 37) which at first sight
would add further credence to a possible earlier moat, but in fact is more likely to be the remains of an earlier field boundary.
An earlier set of grange buildings may be represented by the sub-rectangular earthwork found in a field a few hundred yards to the south. This earthwork shows clearly
on aerial photographs going back to 1944, eg Figure 38, even though it is not plotted on OS maps prior to 1977 (Figure 39).
Figure 40 – Measured earthwork survey of site south of Tollsworth Manor Farm, August 2012
Figure 41 – West side of earthwork, looking south, August 2012
The earthwork is not scheduled and ploughing is permitted (indeed, an oat crop had been harvested less than a week before the survey took place). Because of this, the
earthwork is not well preserved; indeed it is only apparent on its north and west sides, where the rampart is less than 1m above the ditch on its outer side, with the
sides now flattened and gently sloping into this ditch (eg Figure 41).
The ditch where the moat would have been is only evident at the NW corner and even here it is fairly indistinct. There is also evidence that the bank rose above the
centre of the enclosure, with a slight inner slope remaining on its western arm (Figure 41). The NE corner of the rampart appears to have been cut into by a later
small quarry, shown on maps as a roundish pond. Though earlier maps show the bank continuing above this quarry, there is no sign of it today. The south side has been
destroyed by a larger quarry, while nothing is evident of the east side, which may have been destroyed by the current field boundary.
The Surrey Historic Environment Record for the earthwork (HER: 1232) speculates that this is the remains of a fortified manor house. A separate record (HER: 6016) for
the same location, describes it as the possible 10th-century site of ‘Tunel’s worth’ mentioned in the Merstham Charter of 947. It could be both of these things, since
the canons of Merton Priory may have built their original grange on the earlier site of Tunel’s worth, or even used its buildings.
Today there are modern farm buildings immediately to the south of the manor house (Figure 42). These are a little further south than the farm buildings which existed
in the 19th century. It is possible that the 19th-century buildings were located on the site of earlier farm buildings which accompanied the manor house/grange.
Figure 42 also shows the extent of Tollsworth Manor Farm in the 1837 tithe map (area within the red line), plotted onto a modern Ordnance Survey map. A Parish Map of
1825 shows the farm covering exactly the same ground. It is possible that this also reflects the extent of the earlier grange’s landholding.
4.3.4 Upton Grange, Upton-cum-Chalvey
The 1538 Ministers’ Accounts for Merton Priory to the Court of Augmentations includes the ‘farm of the grange’ at Upton (Dugdale, 1817-1830, 245-248), situated in the
modern day parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, now part of Slough. Upton itself is located approximately 1km SW of Slough railway station and around 30km west of Merton
Upton Court represents the only surviving remains of the grange other than, possibly, St Laurence church immediately to its north (Figure 43). While it is in a
predominantly urban area, over the road to the west is Herschel Park, and immediately to the east are the remains of farmland belonging to Upton Court Farm (a farm
which still exists today, though all the buildings are of 19th/20th-century construction) and Upton Court Park.
Upton Manor first came into the hands of Merton Priory in 1125 when Payn de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford, gave it to the priory. In 1291 its estates were valued at £12
4s 9d according to the Taxatio Ecclesiastica P. Nicholai conducted for Edward I (Burne, 1913, 34), while by 1535 the Valor Ecclesiasticus records that they were worth
nearly £60, though over half of this came from tenants and not the grange. As well as having a grange there, the priory also had a cell where monks were always in
residence (Page, 1925, 314-318). This may mean that the domestic grange buildings may have more closely resembled a small monastic establishment than other more
Although still called a grange in 1538 we can assume that the priory no longer had direct involvement by that stage since in 1532 Upton Court was leased to Roger
Erlewyne. The property comprised: The site of the manor-house of Upton (ie the present Upton Court and, it is assumed, the demesne lands) and amerciaments held
there….the granary tithes….the profits of the dove-cote there, together with half the goods and chattels called ‘weiffes and strayes’ as well as property on the
riverside previously leased to Henry VI for the endowment of Eton College (Burne, 1913, 51 and Frazer, 1973, 13). After the Dissolution the manor was annexed to the
honour of Windsor and remained in the hands of the Crown until 1630 when it was granted to Charles Harbord and others, only to be sold the following year to Sir
Marmaduke Darrell (Page, 1925, 314-318). It subsequently went through various other hands until passing into the Darvill family in 1852.
Upton Court was leased to tenants as early as 1532 but was permanently separated from the rest of the manor in 1711 when Benjamin Lane conveyed to Edward Lascelles
(who later became Lord Harewood) and his heirs ‘all that capital messuage or mansion house called Upton Court’ (Page, 1925, 314-318). Before that, it had been the
subject of successive grants to Edward Hungerford, Thomas Duck and Robert Barker. In 1952 it was sold to Frances Groves, who lived in it until 1986 when it was bought
by The Slough & Windsor Observer for use as offices. In 2012 it was sold to the current owner, Peter Laurance, who recently leased it to Crackerjacks Day Nursery.
Upton Court (Figure 44) is now a Grade II* listed building. Extensive renovations in the late 1980s, including an annexe and modern glazed link on its northern end,
have left it looking almost too good to be true – a reconstruction of a medieval building – but the core of the original building, a timber-framed open hall house
dated by dendrochronology to around 1330, is still there. This date places the construction of Upton Court very clearly in the period that the manor was held by Merton
Priory and gives strong credence to its being part of the original grange, its grandeur no doubt related to the fact that the priory had a monastic cell on the site.
Figure 44 – Upton Court from west (taken from the road), July 2012
When the building was surveyed by RCHME in 1987 prior to its renovations, it was found that the original building had an aisled hall range with a jettied upper end
cross wing. The three-bay hall wing and the cross wing were built at the same time, though at least two of the timbers may have come from a slightly earlier building.
There was a screens passage at the south end of the hall, beyond which was a service bay with two rooms, a pantry and a buttery, accessed by two separate doorways, and
an upper room, accessed by a staircase, via a third doorway.
The cross wing was at the northern end of the hall. Ground floor access was via a doorway at the west side of the north wall of the hall, and the first floor was
accessed by an external staircase, possibly covered, from the upper end of the hall.
The most interesting feature of the building was deemed to be the open hall truss which looked like an early attempt at the use of hammer beams (just one of which
survived intact), but adding extra support by the use of double tie beams which had probably originally projected beyond the roof line and were therefore covered by
dormer windows. Later on, probably in the 16th century, the dormers were removed, the posts and tie truncated and braces inserted. On this basis, the dormer windows
were reconstructed in the 1980s renovation (Thornes & Fradgley, 1988, 211-221).
The hall was originally heated by an open hearth located beneath the open truss. The northern end of the hearth was uncovered by an excavation by the Wessex
Archaeological Trust in 1987-89 (Hawkes & Trott, 1989, 5-7).
Over the years, however, a number of major alterations were made to the house. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries massive dormers were built on the front and
rear walls of the service bay, making it look like a cross wing. The hall was also effectively divided into two by the insertion of a brick stack where the open
hearth had been.
At some point, possibly in the 17th or 18th century, a floor at first floor level was added to the lower end bay of the hall. At the same time a brick stack was built
against the north wall of the wing, with fireplaces on both the ground and first floor. The front wall of the cross wing was rebuilt without a jetty about this time
and windows added along the entire length of the ground floor. The original external staircase was removed and replaced by an octagonal one (Thornes & Fradgley, 1988,
In the 19th century, an extension was added to the northern end of the building and an east wing pulled down (Records of Buckinghamshire, 1904-09, 248). The extension
has since been removed in the 1980s renovation. The result of this was a building (Figure 45) which looked quite different to the one we see post renovation (see
Despite these alterations, a number of features were found to have survived from the original 14th-century house, including the basic fabric of the hall and solar
(including parts of the original roof), one of the entrances from the hall to the screens passage, a wattle and daub partition between the pantry and the buttery, one
of the hammer beams and the tie beams, albeit truncated, and the spere truss in the screens passage. This makes it a very important survival from the days of the
grange. Shutter grooves and mortices were also evident in the soffits of the wall plates (Thornes & Fradgely, 1988, 211-221), showing the previous existence of
typical, unglazed windows of the period (Cunningham, 2008, 34). Figures 46–49 show how some of these features looked when RCHME surveyed it in 1987.
Furthermore, an excavation conducted in 1987-89 found the remains of a nearly intact pitched tile hearth in the centre of the hall (Hawkes & Trott, 1989). Figure 50
shows the final ground floor plan approved by Slough Planning Department when the building was renovated in the late 1980s, and shows the location of the original hall
and solar within the current building.
Figure 50 – Approved ground floor plan and SE elevation, 1987 (SPD 6917-6)
St Laurence church (Figure 51) is Grade 1 and was built in the early 12th century, ie about the same time as Upton Court was built. While only the tower remains from
this time, the rest was built in the late 12th century. Its location close to Upton Court makes it likely to have formed part of the grange complex.
Close to the east side of St Laurence church is a post-medieval building called ‘Parkside’, as it has been known since at least 1956 (OS National Grid 1:2500 map).
However, it used to be called Merton Grange, as shown on the 1899 OS map (Figure 52). Because of this, it is thought by some that this building is on the site of a
barn belonging to the priory (Frazer, 1973, 10). However, the appellation of ‘grange’ to the name of this building may not be as long-standing as it initially seems,
since it was called Merton Lodge in the 1st Edition County Series map of 1876.
It does seem plausible, though, that this and the 19th/20th-century buildings of Upton Court Farm immediately to the south are all on the site of the earlier grange,
probably the working farm buildings, alongside the domestic buildings, of which only Upton Court remains. Since Upton Grange was also a monastic cell, and was
surrounded by three other manors owned by the priory which might feasibly have fallen within the remit of the grange, it seems likely that it was a major site.
Upton Grange is also known to have had fish ponds, traces of which were said to be still visible in the grounds to the back of the house in the early 20th century
(Records of Buckinghamshire, 1904-09, 248-9). A lake, which might have represented the site of one of these fish ponds or even a moat, also existed to the west of
Upton Court as early as 1635 (Figure 53). Around 1880 it was filled in and replaced by a lawn (Some Stray Notes …, 1892, 8). Closer inspection of Upton Court on
the 1635 estate map also suggests that the house was rather bigger than today, with buildings arranged around a courtyard.
There is also likely to have been a mill on the site. In the 18th and 19th centuries there was a mill just to the SW of Upton Court (Figure 54), and it is almost
certain that there had been one there or close by in the medieval period, since a survey of the manor in 1605 mentions ‘mill ditch’ a little south of this position
(see Appendix C).
Turning to land controlled by the grange, the survey of the Manor of Upton in 1605 included a description of the bounds which makes it clear the manor covered the same
area as the Parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey (see Figure 55 and Appendix C). Chalvey is named as a member of the Manor of Upton in Edward IV’s charter of confirmation of
1468 (Heales, 1898, 300-3) and the 1605 survey confirms that this continued after the Dissolution, as does a map of the Manor of Upton-cum-Chalvey in 1822, which again
matches the area covered by the parish. Given that the 1605 survey was conducted less than 70 years after the Dissolution, it is likely to be a good representation of
the area held by Merton Priory. The fact that the majority of the parish was recorded as tithe-free in the tithe apportionment and map of 1851/2 also suggests this.
It is possible Upton Grange, like the manor, covered the whole parish. An alternative solution is that the earlier grange only represented a section of the manor
(like Merton Grange in the manor of Merton), for instance the area held by Upton Court in its estate map of 1635. The fact that over half of the value of the manor in
1538 came from lay tenants and not the grange (Dugdale, 1817-30, 245-249) also supports this, though it may also reflect a gradual letting over time of grange lands to
such lay tenants.
4.3.5 Milton Grange, Milton Bryan
Milton Grange in Milton Bryan is recorded as belonging to Merton Priory in UCL’s database of monastic properties
(www.ucl.ac.uk/history2/englishmonasticarchives/property) and a farm called ‘Grange Farm’ exists in the village to this day.
Milton Bryan is located in Bedfordshire, approximately 15km SE of Milton Keynes and 67km NW of Merton Priory, making it the most distant of the ten possible granges
identified, apart from Tregony in Cornwall (see Figure 4).
Merton Priory first obtained land in Milton Bryan during Henry II’s reign when it was granted one hide of land which ‘became the nucleus for the property later known
as Milton Grange’ (Page, 1912, 417-421). Part of this land was rented by Woburn Abbey prior to 1247. Woburn Abbey was the major landowner in Milton Bryan, and
obtained the Manor of Milton, later known as Milton Bryan or Milton Bryant, in 1344. It continued to hold the manor, and also to rent land in Milton Bryan from Merton
Priory, until the Dissolution (Page, 1912, 417-421). A possible complicating factor is that UCL’s database lists a Milton Grange as owned by Woburn Abbey by 1291 (and
by Merton Priory by 1189). If this is correct, it means either that Woburn Abbey had a separate grange also called Milton Grange (somewhat unlikely) or it acquired
most of Merton Priory’s Milton Grange by that stage.
Like the Manor of Milton Bryan, Milton Grange was annexed to the honour of Ampthill after the Dissolution. It was granted to Christopher Estwick before 1584 and his
son went on to buy the Manor of Milton Bryant in 1601. In 1892 the manor, including Grange Farm (which seems highly likely to be the earlier Milton Grange), was sold
to the Duke of Bedford (who owns the Woburn Abbey estate), and it has remained in the family until the present day. In 1906 the grange farm property was 126¼ acres in
extent (Page, 1912, 417-421).
The grange’s distance from Merton Priory was no doubt a key factor in its being leased to Woburn Abbey from at least 1247, as was the fact that Woburn Abbey, owner of
the manor, was and still is the primary landowner in the area (Page, 1912, 417-421). During this period the grange was no longer under direct control of the priory
and therefore must have ceased to be one of its granges. Indeed, UCL’s database of monastic properties lists Milton Grange as belonging to Woburn Abbey by 1291.
Figure 56 – Probable site of Milton Grange (OS 1:25,000, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
The site currently occupied by Grange Farm (Figure 56) seems most likely to represent the original site of the grange, though the buildings now on that site are later.
A farm complex has been there since at least 1793, when it is shown on the enclosure map (Figure 57). Indeed at least one of the current farm buildings (barns) is
earlier than 1793 and the HER record for the site (BHER:14085) describes the Grade II farmhouse (now demolished) as dating back to 1600.
Figure 57 – Milton Bryan enclosure map 1793 (Bedfordshire and Luton Archives & Records Service: BHC MA70/2)
By the time of the OS map of 1882, Grange Farm had gained more buildings than it had in 1793, forming the current courtyard shape, open at the west side. A slight
ditch adjacent to the barns on the east side might also indicate that the site was moated in the past, or it could simply be the remains of a track (Figure 58).
Figure 58 – Grange Farm from west, Jan 2008, NMR 24885 011, Source: English Heritage Archive
Figure 59 – Moated site near church, Milton Bryan, 1989, sortie no: OS/89067, frame no: 178, Source: English Heritage Archive
Another possible site for the original grange is a well-preserved, scheduled moated site approximately 200m NE of St Peter’s church and 600m south of Grange Farm
(Figure 59) in a field named Berry’s Close in the enclosure map of 1793. The area enclosed by the moat is rectangular with rounded corners and measures 50m x 36m
Figure 60 – Sketch plan by the author of moated site at Milton Bryan, superimposed onto OS Mastermap®, 2011
(OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
The moat itself is 3-4m wide, with two later ponds at its north-west corner and east arm. There is a raised platform in the centre which may contain the foundations
of buildings, and two causewayed entrances at its north and south sides (Scheduled Monument List Entry No: 1009401).
The fact that the church was also held by Merton Priory speaks in favour of this site as the grange, as does the fact that it was moated. However, since Woburn owned
the manor, it is perhaps more likely that this site was owned by the Abbey. It certainly falls outside the area of land which is recorded as belonging to Grange Farm
in sales particulars of 1892 (Figure 61, based on map included in Russell Papers, BHC R152) and which could reflect the earlier extent of the land covered by the
Figure 61 – Extent of Grange Farm in conveyance document of 1892, red line (OS 1:25,000, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
A further moated site is recorded near the rectory (BHER 10026 & Figure 60), but this seems unlikely to be the grange, and more likely to be a rectory moat which could
date back to when Merton Priory held the church. Also, today all evidence of the ditch of the moat has gone, though a distinct raised platform survives.
The 1901 Milton Bryan conversion of corn rent map gives no clues to the location of the grange, since the whole parish was titheable (Kain & Oliver, 1995, 35).
4.3.6 Other Granges
a) Kingston Grange
Merton Priory owned a number of manors and other landholdings in and around the modern day Kingston upon Thames in SW London (just 7km to the west of the priory),
including the manors of Kingston Canbury, Berwell, Coombe and Hartington.
Mention of Merton Priory’s land in Hartington is found as early as 1206 (Heales, 1898, 64), with ‘Berewell’ mentioned in 1252 (Heales, 1898, 124) and Coombe in 1423
(Malden, 1911, 501-516). Kingston Canbury is also said to have been owned by Merton Priory at an early date, possibly as early as 1130
Figure 62 – Location of Kingston upon Thames (Meridian™2 and Land-Form Panorama®, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
Green believed that Merton Priory had a grange in Kingston, something that would make sense given the number of landholdings it had there, and its proximity to the
priory. He stated that this grange had fallen out of use by the end of the 15th century and that the Kingston churchwardens’ accounts for 1503 refer to ‘a vacant plot
of ground where the grange had stood’. Until the mid-19th century, a large tithe barn, possibly related to the former grange, used to be on the site now occupied by
the railway station (Green, 2005, 48). This is confirmed on the tithe map and apportionment of 1839/40, which shows a tithe barn in plot 1755 (Figure 63). No other
clues to the location of the former grange are given in this tithe map; the whole parish was titheable (Kain & Oliver, 1995, 510), though the tithes had anciently been
appropriated to Merton Priory (Green, 2005, 76).
Based on this, and the fact that one of the manors held by the priory was called Kingston Canbury, it seems likely that the possible grange at Kingston was in the
vicinity of the area occupied by Canbury Lodge until at least 1913. Today this site is occupied by a modern cinema and leisure complex close to the railway station
b) Amerden Grange
Amerden Priory, or Amerden Bank as it was known until the latter part of the 20th century, is located in Buckinghamshire, around 7km west of Slough and Merton Priory’s
grange at Upton-cum-Chalvey (Figure 65), and 37km west of Merton Priory (Figure 4).
Figure 65 – Possible locations of Amerden and Eton granges (OS 1:50,000, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
Green believed that Merton Priory had a grange here (Green, 2005, 47) and there is a suitable moated site recorded at Amerden Priory. An L-shaped ditch close to the
river, possibly the remains of a medieval moated manor, was recorded on OS maps up to 1973, with an earlier extension to this earthwork up to 1912 (Figure 66). The
current buildings of Amerden Priory, never actually a priory, date back to the late 16th/early 17th century (Bucks HER 0144201000).
However, there do not appear to be any references to Amerden in other information relating to Merton Priory’s properties, so its ownership by the priory, let alone its
status as one of its granges, seems questionable. Merton Priory held the manor of Taplow (Page, 1925, 240-45), and Amerden is in the parish of Taplow, but all the
documentation points to Taplow Court being the seat of this manor, not Amerden.
There is no tithe map for Taplow parish, showing that it was not subject to tithes in 1836, probably due to earlier parliamentary enclosure, but also possibly due to
its past ownership by Merton Priory. This, however, does not help us in identifying Amerden Grange, if it existed, as the whole parish was tithe-free (Kain & Oliver,
c) Eton Grange
Eton is located just to the north of Windsor and approximately 30km from Merton Priory. It is also less than 1km from Merton Priory’s former grange at Upton (Figure
65). Merton Priory certainly held lands at Eton as it is referred to in the cartulary as early as 1196 (Heales, 1898, 50) and in 1301 a grange at ‘Eyton’ is also
referred to (Heales, 1898, 187). However, its close proximity to Upton Grange does pose some question marks over its true identity as a grange. Could it be that the
reference in 1301 was a transcription error (not unknown) and that it should have read ‘Upton’?
Even if there was a Merton Priory grange at Eton, this would have ended in 1443 when some or all of the priory’s land there was granted to Eton College. In Edward
IV’s charter of confirmation for Merton Priory in 1468 there is no reference to Eton (Heales, 1898, 300-3).
Figures 68 & 69 show the location of Manor Farm in Eton Wick. If Merton Priory had a grange in Eton, could this mark the site? Again, the tithe map of 1843 does not
help as all was titheable land
Figure 68 – Possible site of Eton Grange (OS 1:25,0000, 2012, OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
d) Tregony Grange
Tregony is located c.10km to the east of Truro in Cornwall and 356km from Merton Priory (Figure 4). It is the most far flung of any of the property owned by the
priory, by some way.
Tregony was unusual among Merton Priory’s properties, not only in its location but also in its manner of acquisition (see Section 4.2). Like most if not all of the
other granges, it ceased to be a grange and was probably let to lay tenants before the priory’s dissolution and/or its ownership transferred. In the 1538 Ministers’
Accounts to the Court of Augmentations (Dugdale, 1817-1830) the only property in Tregony is the ‘farm of the rectory’. Given how far it was from Merton Priory, it is
likely that it was let to lay tenants quite early on as the direct control needed in a true monastic grange must have been difficult.
Figure 70 – Tregony, 1st Revision OS County Series 1:2500, 1907 (OS Educational Copyright Licence Number 100022783)
It is uncertain where the grange was located in Tregony. The location shown as ‘Priory’ on 19th- and early 20th-century Ordnance Survey maps (Figure 70), close to the
site of the old Tregony castle, is conjectural and no evidence has been found to corroborate it. Before its ownership by Merton Priory, Tregony was an alien priory
cell of Le Val, Bayeux, so the priory site may represent the site of the principal buildings of the grange. Nowadays, the site is covered by 20th-century housing
(Figures 71 & 72).
An alternative location for the grange might be a small plot of tithe-free land in the neighbouring parish of St James Tregony, shown on the tithe map of 1841. This
has the attraction of being close to a mill (something often associated with granges) and in the same parish as the church also held by Merton Priory. Later, part of
the site became a small quarry (Figure 73) but the enclosure above this (also tithe-free) is an interesting shape suggestive of a building having been there. Figure 74
shows the location of this site on a modern map.
5.1 Overall conclusions
The central question posed by this dissertation was what, if anything, of the granges owned by Merton Priory before its dissolution in 1538 still exists in the current
It is necessary first to identify the granges that Merton Priory possessed. This is no easy task as the documentation of the period does not always make it clear
whether the land owned was a grange. While a total of ten granges have been identified by various authorities, the degree to which we can be certain that they were
granges varies (Figure 75). Furthermore, more may exist which are yet to be identified.
Figure 75 – The ten granges
Only two of these granges (Upton and Merton) were still given the title of ‘grange’ by the time the priory was dissolved in 1538. The rest (bar Milton Bryan which was
let to Woburn Abbey) had long been let to lay tenants, and therefore ceased to be monastic granges before this time, some as early as the 14th century. Even Upton and
Merton were let to lay tenants shortly before the Dissolution. Their longevity as granges seems likely to be due, in Merton’s case, to proximity to the priory (as the
‘home farm’) and, in Upton’s case, to its importance as a centre for various landholdings in the area, its suitability as a monastic ‘rest house’ and its location
close to the River Thames making transport to and from the priory more feasible.
Merton Priory did not have any choice in the property it obtained since this was gifted to it by rich benefactors, but it did have a choice in which became a grange.
Why these? As Figure 76 shows, there is a wide variety of location-types.
Most were in the south-east, but so were its properties generally. Not all were close to the priory. Soil fertility varied from low to high and, while the suitable
agriculture was a mix of arable and pasture (sometimes woodland too), this is often the case in the south-east. More likely a combination of factors applied:
proximity to the priory in some cases, particularly Merton Grange on its doorstep; access to river transport along the Thames (for Upton, Eton, Amerden and Kingston);
a location surrounded by many other priory properties (eg Kingston and Upton); locations which afforded other uses, like water (or wind) power for mills (eg Holdshott
and probably Upton and Tregony too); and, a key consideration, an area where the land could most readily be consolidated into easily managed units.
Figure 76 – Key characteristics
How well have these granges been preserved?
Despite its importance in the medieval period, Merton Priory itself is not well preserved. The fortunes of its granges are not much better. Figure 77 summarises what
A couple – Upton Grange and Tollsworth Grange – are better preserved than the priory itself. At both locations a medieval open hall and cross-wing/solar, albeit
significantly altered, survive to their full height. For a further two – West Barnes and Holdshott – moated sites remained until last century, while at one – Milton
Bryan – a moated site is still there and might have been the grange. However, for the rest no physical remains are known to exist.
One attribute of the former granges may have left its mark on the landscape, however – the area they covered. This is demonstrated by Upton Grange, where the manor of
1605 (possibly the same geographic entity as the earlier grange) mirrors the parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, with a number of roads still faithful to these old
boundaries. The 16th-century Merton Grange and West Barnes estates, likely to reflect the monastic granges, also show similar longevity in the street patterns.
Though available maps for the other manors/granges are later, they also suggest how enduring field and road patterns can be.
Furthermore, what remains of the granges confirms a tendency for the principal buildings to be moated – seven of the ten show evidence of moats or possible moats,
though only one is definite (Figure 77). The two surviving buildings at Upton and Tollsworth also confirm a tendency for granges to have open hall ranges from the 14th
century onwards (like other manor houses of the period), though this does not prove that they all did. The inclusion of mills, fish ponds, and other water management
features in some granges is also confirmed by evidence at one or more of the sites.
Why the different states of preservation?
Monastic granges are a relatively poorly researched area of medieval archaeology. They are even less well understood by the general public (see Appendix D). This low
profile among the general public and authorities alike is likely to have hampered their preservation.
It is notable that the Merton Priory granges that have survived are those that have been recognized as important and protected by legislation. The two sites where
parts of the domestic grange buildings remain – Upton and Tollsworth – are both Grade II buildings. Similarly, the only moated site to remain intact is the scheduled
site at Milton Bryan.
Furthermore, the probable moated site at Tollsworth has only two sides remaining and since it has no statutory designation it is gradually being ploughed away.
Already, part of the rampart that was recorded in the Ordnance Survey map of 1977 has disappeared. Similarly, the moated sites at West Barnes and Holdshott, neither
with any legal protection, disappeared less than 100 years ago. In particular, had it been scheduled, the moat at Holdshott would surely not have been filled in
during the 1960s.
There is something of the ‘chicken and egg’ in this, as those sites that have been scheduled/listed in Milton Bryan, Upton and Tollsworth would probably not have been
so protected were they not so well preserved (and noticed) in the first place. In the case of the buildings at Upton and Tollsworth, their high level of preservation
must surely come down to their continued use, and ability to be adapted to suit changing needs and fashion over the centuries, and a certain amount of luck. It also
suggests that they were, and continue to be, regarded as fine buildings. Whether they are urban or rural does not seem to have an impact. For instance, Upton Court is
urban, while Tollsworth is rural.
However, even scheduling does not necessarily protect sites or give them the profile they deserve. Despite being scheduled, the site of Merton Priory itself has been
poorly preserved. Much of the loss happened before it was scheduled, but even with scheduling and extensive excavation, little remains to show of it, not even an
outline of the church on the surface of Sainsbury’s car park.
Also, decisions taken with respect to protected sites and buildings can cause controversy, both at the time and also later when different approaches and thinking
emerge. There have been numerous examples of renovations which have been reversed years later when the approach previously taken has been found wanting. A case in
point is Upton Court whose 1980s renovation, which removed post-medieval additions to the building and ‘reconstructed’ some parts to reflect what the building was
originally thought to look like, attracts both criticisms and plaudits, and no doubt will continue to do so.
Despite this, some regulation of important historic monuments is better than none at all. In particular, given the relative paucity of information on monastic
granges, particularly those of orders other than the Cistercians, there is a case to schedule the previously moated site at Holdshott, in particular, but also that at
Tollsworth, before it is too late (if it is not already too late for them to be scheduled due to the destruction they have suffered).
Currently the possible moated site at Tollsworth is a good candidate for the Heritage At Risk Register. Protection from ploughing would be the highest priority in
order to reduce further erosion on the site.
The previously moated site at Holdshott is in no immediate danger, being currently used as pasture, but the fact that crop marks in dry weather show both the moat and
rectangular enclosures within it suggest that care needs to be taken to maintain the site until further investigation can be undertaken. These crop marks could
indicate the remains of medieval buildings within the moat, including the chapel, and therefore have the potential to add to our relatively limited knowledge of
monastic granges and, in particular, Augustinian monastic granges, together with their development post-Dissolution.
5.2 Limitations of this report and further research possibilities
While six of the ten granges have been examined in detail, it has not been possible to do the same with the other four within the parameters of this dissertation.
Scope therefore exists to conduct a similarly in-depth study of the remaining four.
Even for those examined in detail, it has been necessary for the author to be selective about the details included in this volume. In addition, though detailed
documentary research has been conducted in the time available, further research may reveal documents which shed more light on these granges.
A high priority for further archaeological evaluation is the previously moated site at Holdshott (for the reasons discussed above). In the first instance, a
resistivity survey of the area would be advisable to identify the precise location of features suggested by the crop marks, as well as any other features, for instance
of the second enclosure shown on aerial photographs. This could then help to direct any future archaeological evaluation, through targeted excavation, to identify
whether any of these features are survivors of the medieval grange (as opposed to post-medieval buildings) and, in particular, whether the site of the chapel,
identified in 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps, can be established.
Cunningham, P. 2008. How old is your House? Catrine: Stenlake Publishing Limited
Kain, R. J. P. & Oliver, R. R. 1995. The Tithe Maps of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Aston, M. 2000. Monasteries in the Landscape. Stroud: Tempus
Bond, J. 2004. Monastic Landscapes. Stroud: Tempus
Coppack, G. 2006. Abbeys & Priories. Stroud: Tempus
Platt, C. 1969. The Monastic Grange in Medieval England. London: Macmillan
Williams, D. H. 1990. Atlas of Cistercian Lands in Wales. Oxford: Alden Press
http://www.buildinghistory.org/buildings/granges.shtml (13 August 2012)
Merton Priory General
Dugdale, W. (Sir). 1817-1830. Monasterium Anglicanum. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown
Durrani, N. 2012. ‘Merton Priory. Saving the Chapter House’, in Current Archaeology 269, pp34-40
Green, L. 2005. A Priory Revealed. London: Merton Historical Society
Heales, A. (Major). 1898. The Records of Merton Priory in the County of Surrey. London: Henry Frowde
Miller, P. and Saxby, D. 2007. The Augustinian priory of St Mary Merton, Surrey. MoLAS Monograph 34. London: Museum of London Archaeology Service and English
Saxby, D. 2005. Merton Priory. London: London Borough of Merton
Stow, B., Aldsworth, F. and Canning, R. 2006. A Conservation and Management Plan for Merton Priory and Merton Abbey Mills. London: Barry Stow Architect Limited and
Merton Priory Properties
Bayley, M. H. H. 1987. The Farms of Slough
Burne, R. V. H. 1913. A History of the Parish of Upton cum Chalvey, commonly known as Slough. Slough: Charles Luff
Frazer, M. 1973. A History of Slough. Slough: Slough Corporation
Harding, J. 1984. Report on Tollsworth Manor. Surrey: Domestic Buildings Research Group (DBRG No 850)
Hawkes, J. W. & Trott, M. R. 1989. Excavations within the Medieval Hall at Upton Court, Slough, Berkshire, 1987-89. Source: Berkshire HER (SSL 4430, Event: ERM 289,
Hopkins, P. 1998. A History of Lord Nelson’s Merton Place. London: Merton Historical Society
Hopkins, P. 2000. Discovering the Past: 2. West Barnes & Cannon Hill. London: New Malden Evangelical Free Church
Hopkins, P. 2012a. Discovering Tudor Merton. Unpublished
Hopkins, P. 2012b. Records of Merton Property. Unpublished
Hylton (Lord). 1955. Some Surrey Manor Houses
James, W. J. Undated. The History of a Hampshire Parish, Heckfield and Mattingley.
Jowett, E. M. 1987. Raynes Park. A Social History. London: Merton Historical Society
Malden, H. E (ed) 1911. A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Victoria County History
Malden, H. E. (ed) 1912. A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Victoria County History
Moir, A. K. 2005. Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak Timbers from Tollsworth Manor House, Chaldon, Caterham, Surrey, England. Tree Ring Services Report: CDTM/10/05
Museum of London Site Record BE099. 1999. London Archaeological Round-up 1999. London: Museum of London
Page, W. (ed) 1911. A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Victoria County History
Page, W. (ed) 1912. A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3. Victoria County History
Page, W (ed) 1925. History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Victoria County History
Pitcher, A. 1982. Journey Down the Whitewater.
Thornes, R. & Fradgley, N. 1988. ‘Upton Court Slough: An Early Fourteenth-Century Open Hall’ in Archaeological Journal 149, pp211-221
Various. 1892. Some Stray Notes Upon Slough & Upton. Slough: privately printed
Various. 1904-09. Records of Buckinghamshire, Vol IX
http://british-history.ac.uk (July – August 2012)
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/history2/englishmonasticarchives/property/house_details (July 2012)
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/lockington/church/Churchnotesbyrector1150-1415.htm (20 July 2012)
http://www.raynespark.merton.sch.uk/index.phtml?d=25589 (26 July 2012)
www.etonwickhistory.co.uk (3 September 2012)
Archives and Maps
The National Archives (TNA)
IR29 & 30/34/85 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Merton Parish, Surrey, 1843/4
IR29 & 30/34/25 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Chaldon Parish, Surrey, 1837
IR29 & 30/6/190 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Tregony Borough and Township, Cornwall, 1841
IR29 & 30/6/191 Tithe Map & Apportionment for St James Tregony Parish, Cornwall, 1841
IR29 & 30/3/112 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Upton-cum-Chalvey Parish, Bucks, 1851/2
IR29 & 30/34/75 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, 1839/40
IR29 & 30/3/41 Tithe Map & Apportionment for Eton Parish, Buckinghamshire, 1839/43
Bedford Heritage Centre (BHC)
MA70/2 Enclosure Map of Milton Bryant parish, 1793
AT&MAT56/1 Conversion of Corn Rent Map and Apportionment, Milton Bryan Parish, 1901
R152 Russell Archive, Grange Farm Sales Particulars 1892, map of estate
Surrey History Centre (SHC)
P28/7/1 Chaldon Parish Map by B Babcock, 1825
703/1 Chaldon Parish Map, duplicate of tithe map, 1837
Hampshire Archives & Local Studies (HALS)
38M49/D6/40 Sales Particulars for the Heckfield Place Estate, July 1895, including maps of the estate
21M65/F7/114/1-2 Heckfield Parish Tithe Map and Award, 1840-41
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (CBS)
Ma 55 Map of Upton Court, 1635
D-BASM/76/31 Plan of Manor of Upton-cum-Chalvey, 1822
Slough Planning Department (SPD)
6917-6 Planning Applications for Upton Court 1987
OS Strateji®, 1/11; OS MiniScale®, 1/12; OS Meridian™2 and LandForm Panorama®, 1/12;
OS 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster, 5/12; OS 1:25 000 Scale Color Raster, 5/12; OS 1:10 000 Scale Color Raster, 6/12; OS Mastermap®, 12/11
Surrey TQ26 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1865; 1st Revision, 1897; 2nd Revision, 1913; 3rd Revision, 1935; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1954
Hampshire SU75 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1871; 1st Revision, 1896; 2nd Revision, 1911; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1975
Surrey TQ25 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1872; 1st Revision, 1895; 2nd Revision, 1912; 3rd Revision, 1935; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1965; OS National Grid
Buckinghamshire SU97 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1876; 1st Revision, 1899; 2nd Revision, 1912; 3rd Revision, 1932; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1956
Bedfordshire SP93 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1882; 1st Revision, 1901; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1978
Surrey, TQ16 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1868; 1st Revision, 1898; 2nd Revision, 1913; 3rd Revision, 1934; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1956
Berkshire, SU87 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1876; 1st Revision, 1899; 2nd Revision, 1912; 3rd Revision, 1931; OS National Grid 1:2500, 1973
Cornwall, SW94 – 1:2500 OS County Series, 1st Edition, 1880; 1st Revision, 1907;
Geology and Soils
http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes (15 August 2012)
http://www.bgs.ac.uk (15 August 2012)
A) Manors held by Merton Priory – sources
B) Methodology used for earthwork survey of site near Tollsworth Manor Farm (NGR: 3059 5435)
The survey was conducted by off-setting with tapes from known points on 22 August 2012. First of all, a 50m tape measure was laid out between two control points
aligned along a north-south axis. This was positioned so that the tops and bottoms of the slope of the western arm of the earthwork could be measured from this
baseline and the offsets kept as short as possible. At measured intervals along this baseline, a second tape measure was set out at a right angle to it, and the
distance from the baseline to the top and bottom of the earthwork’s slope recorded, making sure that changes in slope and direction were picked up by careful
positioning of the measuring intervals along the baseline.
For the northern arm of the earthwork, in order again to keep the offsets as short as possible, a second baseline was set out at the northern end of the first baseline
and at a right angle to it (ie the second baseline was aligned east-west). Again, a series of offsets was taken at right angles from this second baseline to the top
and bottom of the slopes of the northern arm of the earthwork.
Measurements were also taken (distance and compass bearing) from the control points at either end of these baselines to three points around the perimeter of the field
in which the earthwork is situated. This was to enable the plan to be correctly positioned within the field and to enable geo-referencing and the use of Quantum GIS
to superimpose it onto the modern OS Mastermap®.
C) Survey of Upton Manor 1605
This survey included the following description of the bounds of the manor:
Beginning at the house at Mr. Woodward’s Spring Corner, going after along the brookside parting Upton and Langeley and by the same brook still southwards to a corner
of the meadow called Northmeade in Dachet, parting Upton and Dachet …and from the corner …to Merke Bridge …and by the Mill Ditch parting Upton and Dachet, to the
Thames southward …and from the Thames by a ditch parting Eton College and from Upton, west to Stonebridge, and so along the ditch …to Scipenham Parke …and along the
same ditch parting Scipenham and Chalvey, and parting Chalvey and Farnham Royal, northward unto the king’s highway by Farnham Mill leading towards London …and so
eastward along the highway parting Upton and Stoke Poges to a great elme in the middle of Slowe unto a corner house of Andrew Windsor…and from the elme along by a lane
northwards parting Upton and Stoke Poges to a certain ground called Sowetts …and from there to Mundaies Greene and after to Poke Lane parting Upton and Wexham to Mr.
Woodward’s Spring Corner’ (Page, 1925, 314-318).
Using a map of ‘The Farms of Slough’ drawn by Michael H. H. Bayley in 1973 (Source: Slough Library), which details farms and field names around Slough in the 18th and
19th centuries with earlier names where known (based on tithe maps and inclosure maps/awards and other parish maps), it is possible to trace many of the boundary
markers used in the 1605 description. The results of this exercise have been plotted on a Parish Map of Upton cum Chalvey for 1809 (Figure 78) and show how closely
the two correspond.
Figure 78 – Upton-cum-Chalvey Parish Map of 1809 (Burne, 1913, 48),
Names from bounds description of Manor of Upton 1605 given in red
D) Qualitative survey of local residents, Upton Court, July 2012
20 short qualitative interviews were conducted face-to-face with local residents in the areas surrounding Upton Court by Janette Henderson on 24 July 2012. 10
interviews were conducted in Herschel Park and 10 further interviews in the streets surrounding Upton Court.
The interviews lasted no more than 5 minutes and covered the following areas:
Whether they recognized a photograph of Upton Court;
Whether they knew its name;
What, if anything, they knew of its history;
What, if anything, they knew of its connection with Merton Priory;
Whether they had seen any information about it;
Specifically, whether they have seen a copy of the walk leaflet presented to them.
Respondents were selected at random and resulted in the following profile, an even split between men and women, but a much younger profile than the population as a
whole, which may have had an impact on knowledge of the history of Upton Court.
60s + 1
The results of these interviews showed that, even in the case of Upton Court, which has the most information about it locally of all the granges investigated, out of
the 20 people interviewed, none knew of its connection with Merton Priory, let alone that it used to be a grange.
Despite the proximity of Upton Court, only half recognized it and even fewer (6 of the 20) knew its name, and none knew of its connection with Merton Priory. A couple
were aware that it had once been the headquarters of the Slough Observer. Few were aware of its true age; indeed one described it as ‘mock original’. Only three
remembered seeing the walk leaflet.