Early Land Occupation & Estates


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This article has been written in order to try and establish the location of parcels of land and estates named in early family wills and deeds in the hope that a picture might emerge indicating where our ancestors lived before they made Hill House their permanent home.

Several land names recur between 1495 and 1796. Below, each has been taken in turn, quoting all the relevant references. There then follows a summary of what may be deduced regarding its location. Two maps have been used to help place locations where possible. The earlier John Rocque map was published in 1761 following a nine year survey of Berkshire. The benefit of this map is that it is relevant to the later time period of this study, and shows the roads, the wooded areas, the more prominent land boundaries and even individual dwelling places. It is not difficult to establish a scale for land area and then begin looking for suitable locations given the clues in the deeds below. Unfortunately, due to the scale of this map, the details of individual plots of land are not indicated. The later 1818 Land Enclosures map was drawn up in far greater detail, and this has been used to superimpose place names wherever possible. Some of the fields listed amongst the land awards bear the same name as those appearing within the family deeds, and these have been included. However, on close scrutiny the 'lay of the land' seems to have changed significantly during the 65 or so years between the drawing of these maps, with road widening schemes creating a different perspective, and land boundaries appearing to alter. Consequently, the end result is only a guideline for further research. It is hoped that publishing it may also draw attention to errors or discrepancies realised by others undertaking similar research.

Contents:

Keenefield / Kindfield

North Kindfield / Northkinfield / North Ken Field / Northfield / Northern Field / North Keene

Pitt Piece, Pitt Inninges, Butt Piece, Clout Piece, 5 acre Piece & Ruscombe Field

South Kinfield / Southkenfield / Southkinfield / Southfield / Southern Field / South Keene

Netherend Close / Northerend Close / Middle Close / Old Orchard / Old Orchard Piddle / Coppinscraft / Coppinge Croft Orchard & Close

Flint Croft & Corke in Woodrow

Dean Croft in Woodrow

Woodfynings & Helliars

Bycroft / Barnfield & Saweland / Childs Garden

Oldfield (including Harehatch Close) / Sheplands / Sheppards

Milley Field

Mumbry Hill / Mumberry Hill (School Hill) / Mumbery Field

Purfield & Pate Piece

Wargrave Meadow / Wargrave Mead / Marsh / Great Sterte / Lot Meade

Penny Farm / Pennys Fields

Laggs / Claggs / Clays

The Holt

Heddington Plot

Larges

Towers

 

Keenefield / Kindfield

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

30 November 1632 - Henry Thackham  (gent) of Henley upon Thames and John Fforde of Wargrave transfer land at the death of Henry Thackham (senior) to John Abeare the elder of the hill ?near? Hare Hatch (yeoman) – for the sum of 68.- 3 acres of arable land called hare hatch close, in Old Field, adjoining hare hatch lane. Thomas Millet’s and Thomas Ford’s land and Sheplands to the west. Richard ?Pirkett?’s land and Keene field to the east. John Ford to the south. Widow Martin to the north. Signed by William Ffloyde (senior), John Gunnell, Thomas A’Bear and Abraham Ffloyde.

1676 - There is also an indenture made on the seventh day of November in the sixteenth year of our soveraigne Lord Charles the Second (1676) between Thomas A’Beare of Wargrave yeoman and Richard Blyth of Sonning gent. The former in consideration of 250 conveys Long Withall Coppinscraft, Old Orchard Kindfield and The Holt. The land was bounded by the property of Ralph Newberry gentleman and Thomas Kent and the lease of one peppercorn expires in 2176. The parties contracted that the purchase money should be paid without deduction of taxes or imposition or Royal aide Subsidy. In 1680 Thomas Blyth of Englefield yeoman conveyed this property to John Sadler of Shinfield yeoman.

5 Aug 1695 - … all that messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the said county of Berks called or known by the name of Larges or by whatsoever other name the said was or had been called or known, together with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and bacesides?, and all the several closes and parcels of land with the appurturs to the said messuage or tenement called Larges belonging or appertaining or reputed to be a part or parcel thereof or therewithal used occupied or ? as appurtenant thereunto and called Netherend Close containing four acres more or less, Middle Close containing five acres more or less, Coppin Croft Close containing two acres more or less, the Orchard Piddle containing one acre more or less, and also four acres of arable land more or less lying dispersedly in the common fields called Kindfield, and all that close or piddle of land counting one acre more or less lying in Wargrave aforesaid near the common called the Holt, and all these two acres of meadow grounds lying in the common Mead in Wargrave aforesaid, one acre and an half thereof lying in Lottmead there marked with the whole Stirte and the other half acre thereof lying in Great Stirt there adjoining to the land then or late of George Webb on the north part and to the land of Mr? Watkins on the south part of the premises in Wargrave were by the said Elizabeth Jones the mother in her widowhood purchased of Thomas Blyth yeoman and all commons, common of pasture, ways, waters, easements, woods, underwoods, timber, ? , profits, commodities, advantages and hereditants to the ? belonging or in anywise appertaining or therewithal letted?, used, occupied or ? as or for or reputed to be part or parcel thereof appurtenant thereunto and thereveron and revercous? remaineder and remainders together with all the rents, revenues, ? and profits of the premises. And every part and parcel thereof and all estate right title wise? trust interest both in law and equity property claim and demand whatsoever of the aforesaid Elizabeth Jones the mother in and unto the premises to have and to hold the said with the ? unto the said Edward Jones beaver cutter Francis Knight and James Roberts their heirs and assigns forever.

27 June 1730 – Elizabeth Simeon of Gibstrode in Wargrave disposes of the Holt ( to Henry Simeon, Francis Blandy and Mary Sayer ), Larges in Hare Hatch, Middle Close – 5 acres, Nether End Close – 4 acres, Old Orchard piddle – 1 acre ?Poppin? Croft Close – 2 acres, Poppin Croft Orchard - acre, Kindfield – 4 acres – in the common field.

Kindfield is listed in the 1841 Tithe Terrier as 45.59 acres in size, owned and occupied by John Newell A’Bear (ref 550-4). The 1818 Enclosures Map places this reference south of Harehatch Lane. This seems to agree with the indication in the 1632 deed that it lies east of Old Field. See map.

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North Kindfield / Northkinfield / North Ken Field / Northfield / Northern Field / North Keene

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1702 - John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Pope & Ref: pg38 TAFOW – but the year stated in TAFOW (1665) seems incorrect)

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for arable land in Northern and Southern Fields, formerly belonging to Michael Cutler.

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for 7 acre of land in Northern Field, Clout piece – 2 acre, Pitt piece and Ruscombe Field, formerly belonging to John Abear.

May 1709 - I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Bankham all them two messuages and tenements with all appurtenances named aforesaid in which I now inhabit and which is in the possession of the Widow Moody after the decease of my aforesaid wife, also all that my close lying on the north side of a lane commonly called Harehatch Lane and next adjoining to a close of Henry Frinsham Clerk on the east, also three acres of arable land in Oldfield, to her and her heirs forever, which close and arable land tis my will notwithstand my son John Abeare do hold and possess without wont or molestation from her or any other farming? under her during the life of my wife aforesaid.

August 1713North Keene and South Keene and Heddington Plot ?possessed by? Maria Jane and Eliza Simeon, at Harehatch.

12 October 1772 - To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall spinster admitted tenant to 10 acres of land 7 acres in Northkenfield (including Butt Piece - 3 acres, Clout Piece - 2 acres, Pitt Piece - 2 acres ) and 1 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder – near Ruscombe Field.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer) (Fine – 2 shillings, 6 pence).

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 4 pence for 2 acres in Northkenfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield. (Former owner – Robert Sayer).

24 June 1785 - John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and sixpence for 10 acres of land 7.5 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece – 3.5 acres, Clout Piece 2.5 acres, Pitt Piece – 2 acres) and 1.5 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder near Ruscombe Field.

[This land was formerly owned by Jane Rockall(1778), and before her, Robert Sayer].

24 June 1785 - To this court comes John Abeare of the Hill in the Parish of Wargrave and prays to be admitted tenant to 2 acres of land lying dispersedly in Northkinfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield with the appertuances which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the surrender of Simeon Rockall…A fine of 4 pence.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 4 pence to be admitted to 2 acres of land in North Ken Field and 1 acre of arable land in South Ken Field, formerly John A’Bear’s.

 

North Kindfield is taken to be the northerly part of Kindfield, and north of the road known as Harehatch Lane. Accordingly it must be situated between Harehatch and Wargrave in the old village field area. From the above it is clearly a large area encompassing at least 14 acres of land. See map.

Northfield (1772) contains 5 acre piece and Pitt Piece (3 acres). Northkenfield (1778) contains Butt Piece (3 acres), Clout Piece (2 acres) and Pitt Piece (2 acres). The 1704 deed mentions Northern Field, but it is not clear from the wording that it contains Clout Piece or Pitt Piece. This is supported by the view that Ruscombe Field is thought to lie much further south, and is distanced from Northkenfield in the 1778 and 1785 deeds. Taken together, there is no evidence that either Northfield or Northern Field are the same areas as North Kindfield, though they do sound similar.

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Pitt Piece, Pitt Inninges, Butt Piece, Clout Piece, 5 acre Piece & Ruscombe Field

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1685 – Bargain and sale conveying Pitt Inninges from John Gunnell of Sonning, yeoman, to John Lee of Shottesbrooke, yeoman, for 114 (John A’Beare a witness – his mark).

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for 7 acre of land in Northern Field, Clout piece – 2 acre, Pitt piece and Ruscombe Field, formerly belonging to John Abear.

12 October 1772 - To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall spinster admitted tenant to 10 ? acres of land 7 acres in Northkenfield (including Butt Piece - 3 acres, Clout Piece - 2 acres, Pitt Piece - 2 acres ) and 1 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder – near Ruscombe Field.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer) (Fine – 2 shillings, 6 pence)

24 June 1785 - John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and sixpence for 10 acres of land 7.5 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece – 3.5 acres, Clout Piece 2.5 acres, Pitt Piece – 2 acres) and 1.5 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder near Ruscombe Field.

[This land was formerly owned by Jane Rockall(1778), and before her, Robert Sayer].

18 April 1796 – Henry and William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 2 shillings and 6 pence for that listed in the 1778 deed above, formerly John A Bears.

 

From the wording of these deeds it is clear that Butt Piece (3 acres), Clout Piece (2 acres) and Pitt Piece (2 acres) all lay within Northkindfield. Regrettably neither the 1760 Rocque map nor the 1818 Enclosures Award map give us a clue where these plots of land lie, even though the 1818 map shows plot sizes.

The 1704 deed might suggest that Ruscombe Field, or part of it, was considered to be part of Northkindfield, here amounting to about 3 acres. The 1778 and 1785 deeds, however, distance Ruscombe Field from Northkindfield. In any case, the Ruscombe Parish boundary lies south of Southkindfield on the 1818 map.

It is unclear if Pitt Inninges and Pitt Piece are the same piece of land.

It seems that 5 acre piece is in Northfield, but Middle Close (5 acres) is associated with Netherend Close and Larges, so they are not considered to be the same plot.

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South Kinfield / Southkenfield / Southkinfield / Southfield / Southern Field / South Keene

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1478 / 1495 / 1526 / 1545 – A toft containing 12 acres called Corke in Woodrow and 2 acres in Southkenfield.

1616   …and in South Kinfield two acres lately purchased of Henry Manfield Esquire…

1702 - John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Pope & Ref: pg38 TAFOW – but the year stated in TAFOW (1665) seems incorrect)

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for arable land in Northern and Southern Fields, formerly belonging to Michael Cutler.

August 1713 – North Keene and South Keene and Heddington Plot ?possessed by? Maria Jane and Eliza Simeon, at Harehatch.

12 October 1772 - To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall spinster admitted tenant to 107 acres of land 7 acres in Northkenfield (including Butt Piece - 3 acres, Clout Piece - 2 acres, Pitt Piece - 2 acres ) and 1 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder – near Ruscombe Field.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer) (Fine – 2 shillings, 6 pence).

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 4 pence for 2 acres in Northkenfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield. (Former owner – Robert Sayer).

24 June 1785 - John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and sixpence for 10 acres of land 7.5 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece – 3.5 acres, Clout Piece 2.5 acres, Pitt Piece – 2 acres) and 1.5 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder near Ruscombe Field.

[This land was formerly owned by Jane Rockall(1778), and before her, Robert Sayer].

24 June 1785 - To this court comes John Abeare of the Hill in the Parish of Wargrave and prays to be admitted tenant to 2 acres of land lying dispersedly in Northkinfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield with the appertuances which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the surrender of Simeon Rockall…A fine of 4 pence.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 4 pence to be admitted to 2 acres of land in North Ken Field and 1 acre of arable land in South Ken Field, formerly John A’Bear’s.

 

The land in Southkinfield seems to occupy only 1 or 2 acres. It is named in the 1818 Enclosures List, where John A’Bear owns “a parcel of 6.71 acres in South Kind Field” and “a parcel of 14.86 acres in South Kind Field and an Old Field”. The references 553 and 554 clearly place this land west of the Bath Road and in the southerly region of Kindfield. See map.

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Netherend Close / Northerend Close / Middle Close / Old Orchard / Old Orchard Piddle / Coppinscraft / Coppinge Croft Orchard & Close

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1676 - Long Withall, Barnes, stables and offices, and Northerend Close, Middle Close, Coppinscroft and the Old Orchard, Kindfield and the Holt.

There is also an indenture made on the seventh day of November in the sixteenth year of our soveraigne Lord Charles the Second (1676) between Thomas A’Beare of Wargrave yeoman and Richard Blyth of Sonning gent. The former in consideration of 250 conveys Long Withall Coppinscraft, Old Orchard Kindfield and The Holt. The land was bounded by the property of Ralph Newberry gentleman and Thomas Kent and the lease of one peppercorn expires in 2176. The parties contracted that the purchase money should be paid without deduction of taxes or imposition or Royal aide Subsidy. In 1680 Thomas Blyth of Englefield yeoman c nveyed this property to John Sadler of Shinfield yeoman.

6 June 1680 - Thomas Blyth of Englefields, Berks (yeoman), brother and only heir of Richard Blyth (gent) ?sells/pays? Elizabeth ?Bonds? (Joanes) for 5 shillings, land at Harehatch – Northerend Close – 4 acres, another croft of 2 acres, the Old Orchard – 1 acre and Coppins Croft Orchard – half acre. The land was bounded by property of Ralph Newberry, gentleman, and Thomas Kent.

5 Aug 1695 - … all that messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the said county of Berks called or known by the name of Larges or by whatsoever other name the said was or had been called or known, together with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and bacesides?, and all the several closes and parcels of land with the appurturs to the said messuage or tenement called Larges belonging or appertaining or reputed to be a part or parcel thereof or therewithal used occupied or ? as appurtenant thereunto and called Netherend Close containing four acres more or less, Middle Close containing five acres more or less, Coppin Croft Close containing two acres more or less, the Orchard Piddle containing one acre more or less, and also four acres of arable land more or less lying dispersedly in the common fields called Kindfield, and all that close or piddle of land counting one acre more or less lying in Wargrave aforesaid near the common called the Holt, and all these two acres of meadow grounds lying in the common Mead in Wargrave aforesaid, one acre and an half thereof lying in Lottmead there marked with the whole Stirte and the other half acre thereof lying in Great Stirt there adjoining to the land then or late of George Webb on the north part and to the land of Mr? Watkins on the south part of the premises in Wargrave were by the said Elizabeth Jones the mother in her widowhood purchased of Thomas Blyth yeoman and all commons, common of pasture, ways, waters, easements, woods, underwoods, timber, ? , profits, commodities, advantages and hereditants to the ? belonging or in anywise appertaining or therewithal letted?, used, occupied or ? as or for or reputed to be part or parcel thereof appurtenant thereunto and thereveron and revercous? remaineder and remainders together with all the rents, revenues, ? and profits of the premises. And every part and parcel thereof and all estate right title wise? trust interest both in law and equity property claim and demand whatsoever of the aforesaid Elizabeth Jones the mother in and unto the premises to have and to hold the said with the ? unto the said Edward Jones beaver cutter Francis Knight and James Roberts their heirs and assigns forever.

27 June 1730 – Elizabeth Simeon of Gibstrode in Wargrave disposes of the Holt ( to Henry Simeon, Francis Blandy and Mary Sayer ), Larges in Hare Hatch, Middle Close – 5 acres, Nether End Close – 4 acres, Old Orchard piddle – 1 acre ?Poppin? Croft Close – 2 acres, Poppin Croft Orchard - acre, Kindfield – 4 acres – in the common field.

20 August 1744 - John Abear, Peter Whitfield and John Bunt of Caversham, Oxon, yeoman. Wood Fynings – 12 acres and Helliars – 3 acres “do lye together and do abut upon the lane … leading from Hare Hatch to Lawrence Waltham”. Coppinge Croft in Woodrow Milley Field – 13 acres Lye Croft – 6 acres. For 5 shillings and a rent of one peppercorn.

22 August 1744 - Agreement between John Abear the elder of the hill, yeoman, and Alice Whitfield of Ruscombe, widow of Edmund Whitfield, Peter Whitfield of Wargrave and John Bunt of Caversham. Regarding Edmund Whitfield’s will of 19 December 1741 which would give 150 to his sons John and Edmund when they should attain the age of twenty one. (Alice is the sole executor and residual legatee – she is shortly to marry John Abear).

John will make over to his sons-in-law the crofter close of meadow pasture and wood called Wood Fynings and Coppinge Croft in Woodrow. Clays or Laggs – formerly part of the Manor. 13 acres of arable land within a common field called Milley Field Lye Croft.

200 legacy to Elizabeth Whitfield, also, when she comes of age.

 

Netherend Close (1730) and Northerend Close (1680) both appear in much the same context, so seem to be the same plot. Northerend Close is clearly 4 acres in size and situated in Harehatch, and is associated with Middle Close ( 5 acres), the Old Orchard and Coppin Croft Close.

The land is surrounded by Ralph Newberry and Thomas Kent’s land around 1680.

Coppins Croft was situated in the tything of Woodrow, (as were Deane Croft, Corke and Flint Croft). Woodrow is considered to be an area in northern Harehatch, to the north of the Great West Road around Tag Lane.

This group is clearly associated with Larges. See Larges

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Flint Croft & Corke in Woodrow

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1478 / 1495 / 1526 / 1545 – A toft containing 12 acres called Corke in Woodrow and 2 acres in Southkenfield.

11 October 1790 – For a fine of 8 pence James Leigh Perrot Esquire is admitted to Flint Croft in the tything of Woodrow, formerly belonging to William Aubery.

 

Corke occupies 12 acres and lies within Woodrow which is considered to be an area in northern Harehatch, to the north of the Great West Road around Tag Lane.

The references come from the register of land ownership concerning John A Beyre (c1470 - 1550) and his descendants.

Flint Croft is not considered to be of any significance. Presumably this deed was simply witnessed by John A’Bear (1745 – 1795).

See also Dean Croft in Woodrow.

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Dean Croft in Woodrow

The following deeds refer to this land title:

4 May 1736 – John Laxton pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Deene Croft in Woodrow   

9 October 1749 – Elizabeth Silver pays a fine for Deane Croft, formerly belonging to John Laxton.

18 April 1750 -  The Lord of the Manor grants Dean Croft to John Matthews, formerly belonging to Elizabeth Silver

3 May 1779 – Thomas Day pays a fine of 6 pence for Dean Croft formerly belonging to Henry Micklam

21 April 1790 - John Abear Gentleman admitted to Dean Croft, formerly Esther Day’s, for a fine of 6 pence.

21 April 1790 - John Abear pays a fine of 5 shillings for Dean Croft in Woodrow, formerly belonging to Esther Day, widow.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell. William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 2 shillings for Dean Croft in Woodrow, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell. William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 6 pence for “ a little croft next to Dean Croft”, formerly John A’Bear’s.

 

Dean Croft in Woodrow changes hands several times during the 18th Century. Woodrow is considered to be an area in northern Harehatch, to the north of the Great West Road around Tag Lane.

Dean Field is listed in 1818 as plot 508 occupying 28.42 acres south-east of the village of Wargrave.

Dean Pit is listed under plots 680, 683 and 684 north of The Holt.

Dean Grounds is listed in the 1841 Tithe Terrier – plots 597 & 598 occupying 10.16 acres to the east of Tag Lane.

Bean Croft – a misspelling? – is also listed in 1818. Parcels within Bean Croft are given as plots 414, 414.1 & 414.2 amounting to about 11 acres and located about midway between Harehatch and Wargrave, west of Woodrow (and within Mumbry Field on the 1818 map). See map.

See also Flint Croft and Corke in Woodrow.

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Woodfynings & Helliars

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1705 - John A’Beare senior and John A’Beare junior settle the property of Woodfynings (previously belonging to the Lovelace family) upon the prospective wife of the younger – a maidservant at Culham Court. The trustee of the settlement is Stevens of Culham Court.

20 August 1744 - John Abear, Peter Whitfield and John Bunt of Caversham, Oxon, yeoman. Wood Fynings – 12 acres and Helliars – 3 acres “do lye together and do abut upon the lane … leading from Hare Hatch to Lawrence Waltham”. Coppinge Croft in Woodrow Milley Field – 13 acres Lye Croft – 6 acres.

For 5 shillings and a rent of one peppercorn.

 

Clearly Woodfynings (12 acres) and Helliars (3 acres) are located together somewhere along the lane leading to Waltham St Lawrence. The best indication might come from the Rocque Map of 1752 – 1761. From the wording, they do not seem to lie within Milley Field, which occupies much of the land to the south of this lane, and going by the name they may include or be near the wooded area shown on this map. See map.

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Bycroft / Barnfield & Saweland / Childs Garden

The following deed refers to these land titles:

1495 / 1526 / 1545 - A toft and court at Harehatch and another toft and courtyard called Childs Garden containing 1 acre and 1 rood. A Toft of Land called Saweland and 4 acres in Bycroft (permanent pasture). Three crofts containing three acres and 2 acres in Southkenfield.

 

Bycroft is listed in the 1841 Tithe Terrier as “Bycroft or Barnfield” 4.72 acres owned by Charles F Johnson and occupied by John Newell A’Bear ref 583. The 1818 Enclosures Map places this reference north of Harehatch Lane.

It is unclear from the wording whether or not Saweland lies within Bycroft.

Childs Garden is the earliest known named A Beyre residence. The size matches that of Heddington Plot in Harehatch, owned prior to 1704. This may well be just a coincidence. See map.

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Oldfield (including Harehatch Close) / Sheplands / Sheppards

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

30 November 1632 - Henry Thackham  (gent) of Henley upon Thames and John Fforde of Wargrave transfer land at the death of Henry Thackham (senior) to John Abeare the elder of the hill ?near? Hare Hatch (yeoman) – for the sum of 68 - 3 acres of arable land called hare hatch close, in Old Field, adjoining hare hatch lane. Thomas Millet’s and Thomas Ford’s land and Sheplands to the west. Richard ?Pirkett?’s land and Keene field to the east. John Ford to the south. Widow Martin to the north. Signed by William Ffloyde (senior), John Gunnell, Thomas A’Bear and Abraham Ffloyde.

1702 - John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Pope & Ref: pg38 TAFOW – but the year stated in TAFOW (1665) seems incorrect)

May 1709 - I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Bankham all them two messuages and tenements with all appurtenances named aforesaid in which I now inhabit and which is in the possession of the Widow Moody after the decease of my aforesaid wife, also all that my close lying on the north side of a lane commonly called Harehatch Lane and next adjoining to a close of Henry Frinsham Clerk on the east, also three acres of arable land in Oldfield, to her and her heirs forever, which close and arable land tis my will notwithstand my son John Abeare do hold and possess without wont or molestation from her or any other farming? under her during the life of my wife aforesaid

1770 - John Abeare pays a fine to be admitted tenant to Sheppards, formerly belonging to Thomas Young, and John Young his son.

12 October 1772 - To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear widow ask to be admitted tenants by the Lord of the Manor “to all that close of land called Sheppards part of the copyhold premises to which John Young Esquire was admitted to the reversion thereof at a court holden the third day of October 1770 in the surrender of Thomas Young and John Young Esquire and which now came into the hands of the Lord of the Manor by the ?surrender? and last will and death of the said John A’Bear…”

 

Old Field is named in the 1818 Enclosures List references 544 to 549, where it is placed adjoining Harehatch Lane on the south side. Plot 544 is named “Sheeplands Field and Old Field” and amounts to 77 acres. The remaining references name only Oldfield, and amount to 26 acres. The 1632 deed above names Sheplands to the west of Oldfield which is supported by the location of ref 544. It is uncertain if Sheppards is a misspelling of Sheeplands.

Harehatch Close, being 3 acres in size and lying within Oldfield and adjoining Harehatch Lane, may either be placed close to plot 545, or could be north of the lane ref 563 named “Harehatch Pightle” in the 1841 Tithe Terrier, and which happens to be 3.04 acres in size. See map.

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Milley Field

The following deeds refer to this land title:

1616 - … four acres more lieth in Waltham aforesaid in the common field there called Milley, which also I lately purchased of one Bold, sometimes of Waltham aforesaid…

22 August 1744 - Agreement between John Abear the elder of the hill, yeoman, and Alice Whitfield of Ruscombe, widow of Edmund Whitfield, Peter Whitfield of Wargrave and John Bunt of Caversham. Regarding Edmund Whitfield’s will of 19 December 1741 which would give 150 to his sons John and Edmund when they should attain the age of twenty one. (Alice is the sole executor and residual legatee – she is shortly to marry John Abear).

John will make over to his sons-in-law the crofter close of meadow pasture and wood called Wood Fynings and Coppinge Croft in Woodrow. Clays or Laggs – formerly part of the Manor. 13 acres of arable land within a common field called Milley Field Lye Croft.

200 legacy to Elizabeth Whitfield, also, when she comes of age.

 

Milley Field is clearly indicated on the 1818 Enclosure Map occupying about 20 acres. It is south of the lane leading from Harehatch to Waltham St Lawrence. See map.

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Mumbry Hill / Mumberry Hill (School Hill) / Mumbery Field

 The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1616 - …And also all those my four acres of Arable land be they more or less, lying in the common fields of Wargrave aforesaid whereof three acres do lie in Momberye Field, the other acre in Purfield…

1702 - John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Pope & Ref: pg38 TAFOW – but the year stated in TAFOW (1665) seems incorrect)

12 October 1772 - To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

 

Mumbry Field is clearly enclosed on the 1818 Enclosures Map occupying sixty or more acres. It lies north of Harehatch Lane and north of Oldfield. See map.

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Purfield & Pate Piece

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1616 - …And also all those my four acres of Arable land be they more or less, lying in the common fields of Wargrave aforesaid whereof three acres do lie in Momberye Field, the other acre in Purfield

1702 - John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Pope & Ref: pg38 TAFOW – but the year stated in TAFOW (1665) seems incorrect)

1708 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Pate Piece – 7 acres.

1709 - …also one half acre of land lying in Purfield near Purfield Oak for and during the term of her natural life…

Pate and Pur Fields are clearly enclosed on the 1818 Enclosures Map and lie north and north-east of Wargrave Hill. Together they occupy a large area in excess of one hundred acres. There is a parcel ref 254 which is 7.3 acres in size entitled ‘Parcel in Pate’ owned by Sarah Hill. Sarah Hill is named in the Enclosure Award of 1818 in which she is recorded to be “of Wargrave Hill”. Pate Field abuts and lies to the west of Purfield Road. See map. Presumably Pawfield is a mistranscription of Purfield.

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Wargrave Meadow / Wargrave Mead / Marsh / Great Sterte / Lot Meade

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1616 - …And also all those my two acres of meadow grounds in the common mead of Wargrave aforesaid whereof one acre and a half lieth in Lot mead, the other half acre lieth in the great Sterte

5 Aug 1695 - … all that messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the said county of Berks called or known by the name of Larges or by whatsoever other name the said was or had been called or known, together with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and bacesides?, and all the several closes and parcels of land with the appurturs to the said messuage or tenement called Larges belonging or appertaining or reputed to be a part or parcel thereof or therewithal used occupied or ? as appurtenant thereunto and called Netherend Close containing four acres more or less, Middle Close containing five acres more or less, Coppin Croft Close containing two acres more or less, the Orchard Piddle containing one acre more or less, and also four acres of arable land more or less lying dispersedly in the common fields called Kindfield, and all that close or piddle of land counting one acre more or less lying in Wargrave aforesaid near the common called the Holt, and all these two acres of meadow grounds lying in the common Mead in Wargrave aforesaid, one acre and an half thereof lying in Lottmead there marked with the whole Stirte and the other half acre thereof lying in Great Stirt there adjoining to the land then or late of George Webb on the north part and to the land of Mr? Watkins on the south part of the premises in Wargrave were by the said Elizabeth Jones the mother in her widowhood purchased of Thomas Blyth yeoman and all commons, common of pasture, ways, waters, easements, woods, underwoods, timber, ? , profits, commodities, advantages and hereditants to the ? belonging or in anywise appertaining or therewithal letted?, used, occupied or ? as or for or reputed to be part or parcel thereof appurtenant thereunto and thereveron and revercous? remaineder and remainders together with all the rents, revenues, ? and profits of the premises. And every part and parcel thereof and all estate right title wise? trust interest both in law and equity property claim and demand whatsoever of the aforesaid Elizabeth Jones the mother in and unto the premises to have and to hold the said with the ? unto the said Edward Jones beaver cutter Francis Knight and James Roberts their heirs and assigns forever.

1709 - …is that ten pounds which I owe to Walter Kent be paid out of one acre and a half of meadow ground lying in Wargrave Mead ?Marsh to the Bell...

1 December 1749 – William Button pays the Lord of the Manor for 2 acres in Wargrave Meade, formerly belonging to his mother Jane Swaine.

 

Presumably ‘Mead’ and ‘Meadow’ are similar references. Wargrave Meadow is a large area shown enclosed on the 1818 Enclosures Map lying north of Wargrave village and bounded by the River Thames on the western side. The same map shows a parcel of land of size 4.79 acres owned by John A’Bear adjacent to the towing path of the river. Lot Mead and Great Sterte clearly lie within Wargrave Mead. See map.

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Penny Farm / Pennys Fields

The following deed refers to these land titles:

 1702 - …Simeon acquired various other property including Gibstroud, Cockpole, Penny and Worley Farms…

 

Pennys Fields is shown enclosed on the 1818 Enclosures Map, lying near the northern border of Wargrave Parish.

A parcel in Great Pennys Field amounting to 1.19 acres was owned by John Newell A’Bear in 1818, ref 142. See map.

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Laggs / Claggs / Clays

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

1713 – Edward and Eliza Simeon pay a fine to the Lord of the Manor for ?Claggs?

22 August 1744 - John will make over to his sons-in-law the crofter close of meadow pasture and wood called Wood Fynings and Coppinge Croft in Woodrow. Clays or Laggs – formerly part of the Manor…

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 1 shilling and 6 pence for ?Claggs, Laggs?, formerly belonging to Robert Sayer.

24 June 1785 - John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and six pence for ?Clays, Laggs?, formerly belonging to Simeon Rockall.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of one shilling and three pence to be admitted to ?Clays, Laggs?, formerly John A’Bear’s.

 

Claggs was clearly once part of the Manor. Great Laggs (32.75 acres) is listed in the Tithes list as refs 781/3 and Little Laggs (6.22 acres) is ref 787. Both are situated east of Scarletts.

Laggs & Little Cutts (12.02 acres) is listed as ref. 803/4. These parcels of land are south of Hill House and virtually adjoining it.

It does not seem that Laggs is a misspelling of Larges as Larges was under different ownership at these times. (Nor does Laggs match either Heddington Plot or Hill House. In both 1744 and 1785 John Abeare named himself “of the Hill”). See map.

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The Holt

 See “Around Wargrave” article "The Holt & La Chaumiere".

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Heddington Plot

The following deeds refer to these land titles:

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Hedingtone Plot, formerly belonging to John Abear.

August 1713 – North Keene and South Keene and Heddington Plot ?possessed by? Maria Jane and Eliza Simeon, at Harehatch.

14 November 1760 – Robert and Mary Sayer are granted one acre of land in Harehatch – Heddington Plot – formerly belonging to Joseph Butler. (TAFOW pg48).

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 1 shilling and a rent of 6 pence for Heddington Plot – 1 acre – with a barn adjoining, in Harehatch. (Former owner – Robert Sayer).

24 June 1785 - John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and a rent of 6 pence for 1 acre – Heddington Plot – with the barn adjoining, in Harehatch. Former owner – Simeon Rockall.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 1 shilling for Hiddingtons Plott – 1 acre in Hare hatch with a barn adjoining, formerly John A’Bear’s. (TAFOW pg55).

 

Heddington Plot was sold by John Abear to Edward Simeon, schoolmaster, in 1704, at a time when he and his wife Elizabeth (nee Jones) already owned the 12 acre estate called Larges. [Certainly by 1728 her will declares her as living as a widow at Gibstrode Farm]. Edward seems to have acquired several plots of land around this time.

In 1713 it remains in the Simeon family. Some time later (perhaps around the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1748) it is sold to Joseph Butler, but it is bought back by Edward and Elizabeth’s daughter Mary and her husband Robert Sayer in 1760, and remains with them until 1778 when it passes to Robert and Mary’s niece, Jane Rockall, spinster. Jane died in 1784, and her brother Simeon Rockall must then have inherited the plot from Jane and surrendered it to John Abeare (1745 – 1795) in 1785, along with other parcels of land. John died in 1795 and his widow Mary (nee Newell) reclaimed the plot. In 1798 the Land Tax Assessment for Wargrave lists Mary as both a proprietor of a property occupied by Jonathan Butler and an occupier of two properties owned by James Hayes and Mr Adams. (Ref : TSBOW pg279). It seems likely one of these three properties was Heddington Plot. Mary lived until 1828.

There are few clues regarding the whereabouts of Heddington Plot. That it was one acre in size with a barn adjoining and lay within Harehatch and not within Northkeene and Southkeene is all that is known. It could not be the Hill House site, since in 1744 John Abear names himself “the elder of the hill”.

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Larges

Larges was a property bought by John Abeare (c1535 – 1616) from Henry Streatyn before 1616, as John’s will states:

 

ITEM, I give, bequeath and devise unto Thomas Abeare, my said son, All that my messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch aforesaid called Larges with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and one yard land be it more or less with the members, profits and appurtenances thereto appertaining which I lately purchased to me and my heirs and assigns of one Henry Streatyn, late of Wargrave aforesaid deceased, To have and to hold the said messuage or tenement and one yard lands with their members, profits and appurtenances to the said Thomas Abeare, my said son, his heirs and assigns and to his and their own proper use and behouse forever.

Even though Larges was situated in Harehatch, and the oldest part of Hill House is thought to have been built in 1612, Larges does not seem to have been Hill House. The property was sold in 1676 and owned by other families until at least 1730, and the land associated with Larges does not seem to ‘fit’ around the site of Hill House. In any case, the 1636 inventory of Thomas’s assets was written by his older brother “John Abear the Elder”, and John Abear the Elder’s son who named himself “John of the Hill”.

The details extracted from the various family deeds which relate to Larges give the following outline:

 

Pre-1616 – Bought by John Abeare off Henry Streatyn.

1616 – Inherited by John’s younger son, Thomas Abeare (1582 - 1636)..

1636 – Thomas Abeare died intestate – his inventory presumably describe Larges, with a Hall, kitchen, chamber, stables and barn – his eight year old son Thomas (1628 - >1679) inherits when he comes of age.

1676 – Thomas Abeare sells “…along with all barns, stables and edifices…Northerend Close, Middle Close, Coppinscroft and the Old Orchard” and other land to Richard Blythe.

1680 – Richard Blythe dies. His brother Thomas Blythe inherits, and sells to Elizabeth Jones upon her widowhood, property bought with her young child Elizabeth’s inheritance as security for this money. The property is named as Larges and stated to include Northerend Close (4 acres), another croft of 2 acres, the Old Orchard (1 acre) and Coppins Croft Orchard ( acre). The land at this time was bounded by property of Ralph Newberry, gentleman, and Thomas Kent.

1695 – Property is named as Larges with associated land – Netherend Close (4 acres), Middle Close (5 acres), Coppincroft Close (2 acres) and Orchard Piddle (1 acre) – soon to pass to daughter Elizabeth Simeon (wife of Edward Simeon) upon coming of age.

1730 – Larges and associated land sold by Elizabeth Simeon (widow) to Henry Simeon, Francis Blandy and Mary Sayer (Elizabeth’s daughter).

1744 – A deed concerning John Abear, Peter Whitfield and John Bunt of Caversham, Oxon, yeoman names Coppinge Croft in Woodrow, Wood Fynings and others.

1744 – Coppinge Croft in Woodrow (and Woodfynings and others) are made over to Alice Whitfield’s sons John and Edmund. (TAFOW pg 45, 46).

 

The 1680 deed states that Coppincroft Orchard was part of the Larges estate, but two deeds in 1744 make it clear that Coppinge Croft was situated in Woodrow. The tything of Woodrow is believed to be an area in northern Harehatch, to the north of the Great West Road around Tag Lane. In trying to place Larges, we need to look for an estate amounting to about 12 acres. The earliest map available is the 1752 – 1761 John Rocque map, but since this sizeable estate is known to have existed beyond 1730 it may well be shown. The best guess would be the eastern side of Tags Lane, stretching between the Great West Road northward to the woods. The 1818 enclosures map shows parcels of land corresponding quite closely to these acreages and includes two cottages, gardens, barn and yard. See map.

How so many deeds relating to Larges ended up in the family deed box remains unexplained, but it does seem as though part, if not all of the Larges estate, came back into the Abear family by or around the time that John Abear married the widow Alice Whitfield in 1744, at which time it passed to her sons.

 

Towers

The following deeds refer to this land title:

26 October 1716 – James Piggott, yeoman, of Wargrave leases land to Andrew Tawers, bricklayer, for one peppercorn per year to be paid on the feast of St Michael the Archangel.

October 1722 - Elizabeth Biddolfe pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for a plot of land called Towers, formerly belonging to Doyly Matus.

October 1733 - Dame Elizabeth Biddolfe surrenders her lands to the care of the Lord of the Manor.

10 May 1736 - …a cottage and garden and four acres of land called Towers …

12 June 1753 – Henry Micklem is granted a cottage and garden and 4 acres of land called Towers, formerly belonging to Thomas and Elizabeth Silver.

3 May 1779 – Thomas Day pays a fine of 5 shillings for a cottage and garden and 4 acres called Towers formerly belonging to Henry Micklam.

21 April 1790 – Esther Day pays a fine of 5 shillings for 4 acres – Towers – formerly belonging to Thomas Day.

21 April 1790 – John Abear admitted to Towers for 5 shillings, formerly Esther Day’s.

18 April 1796 – Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 5 shillings for a cottage and garden and four acres called Towers, formerly John A’Bear’s.

The first deed is included as it suggests a reason for the naming of this land. There is a clear succession of owners, and then in 1790 Towers came into the hands of John Abear (on the same day that Esther Day (widow) bought it). John died in 1796 when his widow Mary A’Bear nee Newell and her family paid to keep it on. Mary is known to have leased property to Jonathan Butler and Towers may be this property. Mary died in 1828. There is no indication as to the location of Towers. It could not be Hill House, as there are records of John A’Bears being “of the Hill” long before 1790.

 


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