My Dad always
called it Herring Lane.
He was born in 1899. CH Painter in his book ‘A Short History of Hanham’
refers to this old name and he was of the same generation.
They knew the
name but not the meaning, and they surely thought it odd, not to say ‘Fishy’.
It must have
been for this reason that it was changed. We first see Greenbank on the OS Map
25-inch 2nd series dated 1904.
‘lane’ is suffering blockages due to the Housing development at the House of
Faith sports field. However I would like to take you back not 100 years but
over 600 years to a time when another ‘blockage’ upset the local population. ~
The year was 1385 and the day was the
second Tuesday after Easter. This day was the old festival of Hockaday. The
custom was to have a fair and day of leisure but because it was not a ‘working
day’ it was convenient to have the local assize court meeting when miscreants
had no excuse to avoid attending.
charge sheet says [in Latin] ~
“And that the
miller of Hanham unjustly took money (overcharged - or Short-measure?), and
that the ditch in Herynge Lane [Greenbank Rd] is blocked, and despite Maurice
Taylor’s promise of early repairs he will be subject to a fine”.
This report shows the Miller of Hanham
who is Wilielmus Heryng. His windmill was at the top of Heryngeslane at the site of the Cross Keys Pub. ‘Heringe Lane’ is
referred to on Maps of Kingswood Chase of 1610 and 1672, and in the Government
Survey of 1652.
If Greenbank Rd was already known as 'Heryngeslane' in 1385 it seems likely that the Heryng family had lived
there and held the mill for many years.
So Heryngeslane is eponymous to the Heryng family
(Millers). The surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin.
The land on the
east side of the road drains to the south and west into the roadway. From this
I infer that the blockage must be a problem with the ditch on the east side
because an owner on the west would have protected himself by clearing any
blockage on his own side of the road. He and all users of the road would have
problems from a blockage on the east side. So I am guessing that Maurice Taylor
lived on the east side and maybe in the very place that is today the cause of a
detour that we hope will soon be eradicated.
As for the name
of the development ‘Abbotts Croft’ we must say the site never belonged to an
Abbott nor was there as far as we know a Croft.If it belonged to an estate other than the King it would
have been Barr’s Court
Court Estate [From the Normans
to the Creswickes]
understanding of the land records as quoted by Fosbroke, & Ellacombe]
1.The Domesday Survey of 1086 established how
the land that William had promised to his lords was now held, and what they owed
him for it.-Yes they would owe him taxes, but more
importantly, some of them were becoming uppity and fractious and William needed
to have a firm grip over their entitlement to land and their fealty with a duty
to military service.
Once the Land Register was established,
land and its owners’ duties to the King could not be transferred without his
written permission. This permission was called Royal Licence. There are clear
examples locally where, - when Royal Licence had not been granted, land was
confiscated from the purchaser and re-allocated. Thus a Baron could not allow parts
of his Barony to be sold beyond his control without the King’s permission.
3.After a long time the operation of the Royal
Licence system became cumbersome and ways were devised to avoid the legal
rigmarole and expense.However the
Statute of Mortmain of 1279 was a specific ban on transferring property to
religious orders without a Licence.
4.One way that was devised to transfer
ownership as a sale was to set up a fictitious legal case that would record an
agreement of recompense to the previous owner.The final Judgement was called a finé. - Written copies were made for
the parties also a court record. [See following page]
These court copies are called ‘feet of
fines’. And so we see that a purchaser held land ‘by a fine’.
The Manor of West Hanham
John of Saltmarsh was a very young
baby when he inherited the Manor of West Hanham He was a descendant of the De
Hanham family who held the manor from the Lords of Berkeley. Two neighbouring
Lords, The Blounts of Bitton and De la More of Oldland wished to control the
Estate and fought a court action  as to who should acquire the wardship
of the manor during his minority. De la More prevailed.
In 1287 when Saltmarsh attained 15
years [the age of discretion] he took court action to oust the guardianship of
De la More. However De la More proved that by his lineage Saltmarsh held the
Manor by a Knight’s Fee, which was a military duty and he could not do so until
he reached the age of 21.
If he had held it under an ordinary
tenancy called soccage he would have been able to sell the manor later without
much trouble. But when he came to sell it in 1329 the Knight’s Fee was an
obstacle to a regular sale. ~ It seems likely that he would have approached the
‘Superior Lord’ to see what could be done about it.-The Knight’s Fee was part of the Baron’s duty to the Crown which could
not be removed without considerable trouble and expense. It was clear that the Berkeleys could not allow
a sale that might let it fall into the hands of another Lord unless they sought
the king’s permission.-They would have to specify the prospective
new owner who would take on the Knight’s Fee.
The Berkeleys had founded the Abbey of Keynsham
and over time had given much to it. -It is
recorded in Sir Robert Atkyns’ ‘History of Gloucestershire’ that William de la
Grene held land in Marshfield
for the Abbey of Keynsham . He and John de Bagworth would have been known
to the Berkeleys
as commissioners for the Abbey.
When Saltmarsh wishes to sell the manor in
1329 there remains this obstacle to a sale in the open market. However the Berkeleys do have a way to
help Saltmarsh by arranging the sale to William de la Grene and John de
Bagworth who will apply for a Licence under the Statute of Mortmain to give it
to the Abbey.This will extinguish the
‘Knight’s Fee’.-It then seems obvious that the Berkeleys would have
funded de la Grene and de Bagworth to make the purchase. Then the expected
conveyance to the Abbey took place within a year.It was in fact another gift to their
favourite Religious Order. A previous
suspicion that the commissioners were a ‘front organization’ appears doubtful
as they took the proper action by licence. Only the money source and amount are
not vouchsafed to us. - I doubt there was any subterfuge involved.
The estate transferred at this time is
listed as: -
One Capital messuage, [Hanham Court]: One
carucate [about 120 acres of arable]:
6 acres of mead & 4 acres of
wood:Estimated 60 acres tenanted @ 10
shillings from Wm. de la More;a
Water-Mill:3 acres of mead and 6 acres
of wood from Thomas de Berkeley:and 1
virgate [30acres] at Beach [Upton House] from Bath Abbey.
dissolution of the Monasteries (Keynsham
in 1539) the estate sold to John Lacey had grown
to 1470 acres, and Ellacombe completes the story via T Colston to the
Creswickes as follows: - Queen Mary In 1553 had sold West Hanhamto
Rowland Hayward. He in 1555, to John Reed and he in 1566 sold the manor house
and 1470 acres to John Lacy of London and Bristol.
In 1633 The
Laceys sold to T. Colston, who in 1638 sold it to Francis and Henry Creswicke,
whose family held it until 1842
Hanham Local History Society are pleased to confirm that
they are funding the replacement of the missing and damaged memorial stones on
the grave of John Chiddy at Christ Church, Hanham. In 1876 John died while saving the express
train, the Flying Dutchman, from disaster. The stones were replaced in 1976, one
hundred years after Chiddy’s death, by C H Painter life long Church member,
local undertaker and historian. Every
effort has been made by the society to contact all known descendants of John Chiddy
and we are grateful that neither they nor the church have raised any objections
to this replacement. When the new stone
is installed, a rededication service will take place, at which time children
from several local schools will be in attendance. The society acknowledges the valuable
assistance of T M Broodrie of Summers Memorial Masons, St George in this
venture. We also register our thanks to our
parish councils and the local councillors for their continued support,
especially in respect of the research and documenting of local heritage issues
carried out by the Society.
South Gloucester council have teamed up with volunteers from
South Gloucestershire museums, heritage centres and local history groups in an
ongoing project to place QR codes next to each war memorial across South
By downloading a QR app to a mobile phone, information can
be obtained from the website about the named people on the memorialplaque, tablet or statue.
South Glos council have a list of war memorials which are
open to the public across our area, and as the project continues more and more
information about the named people will be available.
Hanham now has its own QR code sited on a post alongside the