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
Report by R
Williams. (Of joint investigation with Mary Antill & Roy Crew.)
Mary had asked
“Does anyone know about Grotto House, apparently on Bush’s Hill?” and offered
the story of John Creech Horse Dealer who lived there.
and old newspapers Nos. 14 & 16 Chapel Rd were identified as the properties
in question. Behind No 16 (Grotto House) was a yard with Stabling advertised
for 50 horses.
This pair of
houses appears on the 1st series OS Map, pre 1888,
confirmed that Bush’s Hill was a narrow lane running from Lower Hanham Rd to
the Junction with Lower Chapel Rd. Roger said that he believed it originally
ran through the narrow alley between ‘Curry Night’ & ‘Sticky Fingers’. In
fact he said that before the High
St was built as part of the Turnpike the lane
could have joined with Anstey’s Rd
Williams had spoken to the occupant of no 14 who confirmed that Albert Moss the
last Horse-Dealer had lived at No. 16. The yard was cobbled then. She also said
that her house had been called Coronation House, and that it had been the home
of Cliff Britton the Rovers Everton & England footballer. Pictures of the
Houses and of Cliff Britton were shown. Albert Moss had been enlisted as a
Wheelwright in the Great War (document shown).
had been converted to 14 Garages when the yard was sold in 1938, as part of the
estate of Robert Fussell, (Kingswood boot
Manufacturing Family). Moss’s Mother was a Fussell.
after WW2 the Yard became the property of G. Sampson’s Hardware business on the
and was used for Builder’s Merchants stocks.
couple of weeks of the original enquiry Roger noticed that the yard had changed
hands again and was now a building-site for 6 houses. The developer’s
archaeology watch had reported a crudely built well of late Victorian date. We
had noted this on the 1903 OS map.
We could not
find a specific reason for the name ‘Bush’s’. There did not seem to have been
any commercial operation to have given its name to the narrow lane. There were
but 10 houses in the earliest map and census details we found, with no
occupants of that name.
this afterthought: -
Methodist Preacher Cennick’s diary lists three, Peter, William & Aaron Bush
who were of the Moravian Brotherhood. These could be the coalminers who held a
mine called Bushes at the top of Stradbrook Vale by Kennard Close in the Map of
Player’s Manors of 1750. That’s just over half a mile away.
investigation; - Roger Windsor, Roy Crew, Mary Antill & Roger Williams
Victorian mansion was set in a site of just over 2 acres in a corner north of
the A431, and west of the old back lane (prehistoric Trackway). The corner is
now occupied by the NewBaptistChurch,
- a much smaller footprint.
The 2 acres previously extended west to the
LIDL boundary and north to the line from LIDL to Wesley Avenue. The estate in 1898
included fields as far as Woodyleaze
Drive to Lower
Hanham Rd. and all of Wesley & Wilshire Avenues
but excluding Tudor Rd / Holmwood and the old Baptist Church etc on the east.
The beginning (so far back as we know) is the
site boundary on the east. This was an ancient Trackway before the Romans came.
We can trace it from the Black Horse pub in Kingswood
over Hanham Mount, through Hanham Hall and crossing at Riverside Cottages it
appears again toward Queen Charlton. It was one of several routes between the
Dobunni in the north and the Durotriges to the south. The Romans in about 79 AD
created the southern boundary of the site (A431) when they built the ’Via
Julia’ from Bath to Portus Abonae (Port of Avon).
The Norman Kings held the Forest of Kingswood
and Filwood. What remained of the Kings Chase in 1610 had a southern boundary
that passed down the back lane and along the high Street. That is, - the site
was within the Forest
of Kingswood.By 1652 the eastern and southern boundaries of the site were still the boundary line of Kingswood Chase in the Government Survey under Cromwell’s Commonwealth. However already in 1638 the main road frontage as far as the Community Centre had been split into a number of plots and leased by Lewis Evans for the building of cottages, but these were still officially within the Royal Forest.
Evans was the grandson of the Vicar of St. Mary’s Bitton. He and his father
Thomas are recorded as Taylors
in Hanham. If they claimed title to a piece of the King’s Chase it is not clear how they had any right to do
1657 all that parcel of land between the A431 and Mounthill appears to have
been in the possession of Arthur Farmer, Brewer and Alderman of Bristol. This is
recorded as “Late Farmer’s Lands” in the Mapp of Kingswood Chace of 1672. Farmer
had bought several parcels of land in the Parish of Bitton from the Read family.
The first record we have of there being a
house on the site is in the Tythe map of the parish of Oldland of about 1840.
The footprint of the House then is the same as that which persisted until its sale
John Whittuck Palmer, JP (1809-1871) lived
there in the 1871 census with some of his family and four servants. He
died shortly after and we have not yet found a subsequent owner between him and
Mrs Jones - the last occupant. We feel there must be one.
By 1898 a number of improvements such as the 64
ft. long heated conservatory across the south elevation had been added.
Here is the Auction Offer handbill. It is the
last record we have of the house, as it has disappeared in the O.S 2nd
series Map published as 25‑inch in 1903.
The building of the NewBaptistChurch did not begin
All that FREEHOLD
substantially-built and conveniently-arranged RESIDENCE known as
With the Flower and
Kitchen Gardens, Lawns and Orchard, Conservatory, Greenhouse, Stabling and
Coach-House, Cowshed and other buildings, situate in the Parish of Hanham, and
late in the occupation of Mrs J A S L Jones, deceased.
The house contains on the Ground-floor Large entrance Hall
and Drawing-room and dining-room, both communicating with a Conservatory
(heated by hot water) 64 feet by 7 feet, 9inches extending nearly the whole
length of the front of the house. Panelled Morning-room, Smoking-room, two
w.c.s, one fitted as a lavatory, Servant’s-hall, Kitchen, two China Pantries,
Larder and Offices. On the first floor,
approached by two staircases are nine Bed and Dressing rooms, Fitted Bathroom
and w.c. In the Basement is extensive Cellarage, the Wine Cellar being fitted
with stone bins having lock-up fronts.
The STABLING comprises 3 large Loose-Boxes with capitally
fitted Harness-room, Large Coach-house and Loft. The OUTBUILDINGS comprise Cow-shed,
Fowl-houses &c. The FLOWER and KITCHEN GARDENS and ORCHARD lie well to the
sun and are plentifully stocked with Choice Fruit Trees. There is a well-built GREENHOUSE, 26 feet by
We don’t have any pictures of Hanham House
but the external features must have been similar
to those of Oldland Hall