Earliest information: c.1332
Original Estate: The Manor House of Hungerford Engleford
Common Rights? Yes (Frontage 68ft + 12ft = 80ft; 4 horses or 8 cows)
Date of current building: 1998
Manor House used to be 121 HS, but the shop unit is now numbered 120a.
The shop to the north is 121 HS on their letter heading, and then Inklings is 122 HS (in the phone book!)
"Hospice" -> The Swanne (c1470-1700) -> Manor House (1573-1965)
This very important area of the town was the site of the Manor House of the Hungerford Engleford manor.
The Swanne (formerly "hospice") was on the site of Manor House (now 121 (now 120a) High Street). There is no definite evidence of it being an inn or hostelry apart from the reference to being a "hospice". The first mention is c1470, but previous owner goes back to 1332. It is thought that this was the residence of Sir Walter Hungerford prior to his attainder in 1460. By 1573 it was known as "the Manor House", and the manorial steward's court was held there in 1583.
In 1950, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government arranged for all councils to identify and describe buildings of historical importance - the original "Listed Buildings". The entry for 120 High Street reads "House. Modern 2 storey variegated brick in C.18 style with what appears to be original late C.18 2-columned doorframe. House said to be a new building.". This was a somewhat dismissive record of a building of considerable heritage!
In a somewhat surprising planning decision, the old listed building fronting the High Street was demolished 1965 to make way for a petrol station! This did not last long, and soon a small supermarket was built. In 1998 the whole area was redeveloped as a large car park and supermarket.
- Manor House, c1955
- Craven Hunt at Manor House, Pancake Day 4 Mar 1930 (from Muriel Cornwell).
- Petrol Station, c1968
- Petrol Station, c1968
- The supermarket site before redevelopment, c1975 (from Colin Honeybone).
- The roof timbers exposed during renovations in 1969, thought to be a Jacobean Chapel hidden in the roof. See text description for link to NWN article.
- "The Brewery" inscription and gate hinge on the railway buttress, Jan 1979.
- Loheat, c1995 [Ivor Speed].
- Building the supermarket, Aug 1999 [Ivor Speed].
- International Stores, Feb 1980.
- International Stores, May 1981.
- International Stores, May 1981.
- The old brewery, March 1981.
- International Stores, July 1985.
- International Stores, c1985
- Gateway Supermarket, Jul 1987 [Ivor Speed Collection]
- Gateway Supermarket, Oct 1994.
- Old Brewery and Loheat, Jun 1997 [Ivor Speed].
- Loheat, Jul 1997 [Ivor Speed].
- Somerfield Supermarket, c.1998.
- Somerfield Supermarket, c1998.
- Somerfield Supermarket, Feb 1999
- 120a High Street, Jan 2008
- "From The Heart" & "Pralibel", Nov 2010
- Coffee #1, 11 Aug 2020.
The Swanne, the Manor House of Hungerford Engleford manor, c1470-c1700:
c.1332-1340 (NH) Thomas Coterle, q.r. 5d. (see c1470 entry below)
<1470 (NH) Walter Hungerford.
1470 (NH) Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The earliest usage of "The Swan" is that in the c1470 rental of Hungerford (DL 43/1/4) which records that Richard, Duke of Gloucester , holds "parcel divs burg' voc le Swan", late Walter Hungerford's, before that Thomas Coterel's at a quit rent of 5d. "Parcel divs burg" I take to mean "a parcel or a portion of various burgages". In addition, a further entry shows Richard as holding in Sanden Fee "certain lands appertaining to le Swan, late Sir Walter Hungerford's, and before that to William Ferror" at a quit rent of 7s.
Sir Walter Hungerford had been attainted following the defeat of the Lancastrian cause by Edward IV in 1460 and the lands in question, passing to the Crown, had been granted by Edward to his brother Richard.
William Ferror, son and heir of Walter Ferror (?..? 1366-90), was active in 1405-1426, and was probably dead by 1434/5, since a rental "late William Ferror" is mentioned in the Collector's Account for that year (SC6/749/21). This item, "late William Ferror", is for rent of the 'hospice', along with 70 acres of land, half acre of meadow, and another ¾ acre of meadow. Of these, 8 acres were said to lie in West brooke field. The total holding was demised to William Tyghe for 7 years, commencing 1434/5, and the rent was, for the first three years, 53s 4d, rising to 56s 8d thereafter.
The reference to the hospice and the description of the land attached make this sound suspiciously like the Swan and its land appertaining later in c1470. There is a further reference in the same account to a rent of 7s 6d repayable to the Duchy of Lancaster for the land and tenement lately William Ferror's, that is, the quit rent due to the overlord. The sum of 7s 6d corresponds (to 1d) with the total of the two payments given as quit rent in the c1470 rental. In the same account of 1434/5 is an item of expenditure on a tenanted house, vis. "for divers costs and repairs to the Lord's tenement and hospice in Hungerford". As the amount so charged was £9 2s 1d would seem that the repairs etc were substantial.
It is probable that the hospice at this time was not known as the Swan. It is not known at what date it did in fact acquire this title, prior to 1470, but it is likely to have been in the lifetime of Sir Walter Hungerford, who died in 1449. Sir Walter, who was strongly attached to the House of Lancaster, was prominent both in war and peace in the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V and the early part of Henry VI. He served under Henry V at Agincourt and was an executor of Henry's will; when the infant Henry VI came to the throne he was one of the protector's council (D.N.B). This closeness and attachment to the three Lancastian kings, and especially to Henry V, may provide the clue for the use of the name 'le Swan' as applied to Sir Walter's chief house in the town of Hungerford.
The swan had been the badge of the ancient family of de Bohun. These badges had come into extensive use in the 14th and 15th centuries as devices which a nobleman's followers could use as a sign of their alleigence.
Upon Henry IV's marriage to a de Bohun heiress, the swan became a royal crest and was attributed both to Henry IV and, in particular, to his son Henry V (J.P. Brooke, Boutell's Heraldry Revised, 1978). The de Bohun swan was ducally gorged and chained (as may be seen in the present arms of the county of Buckingham); no doubt, Hungerford's was a plainer version of the bird. [Although the Hungerford family seal was normally based on the crest so described, there is a record of an alternative seal dated 1418 bearing Hungerford and Heytesbury quarterly, with two swans having their wings addarsed(?) as supporters, and the crest of a talbot's head issuing from a crest coronet (J.G. Nichols in an article in The Herald & Geneologist, vol 5, London 1870, quoting Boutell's "Heraldry, Historical and Popular").]
This account of the possible origin of Hungerford's "le Swan" is, of course, speculative: Hungerford's own family badge was one of three sickles and three sheaves of wheat.
From 1470 onwards the Swan and its lands are mentioned in a series of town surveys of 1552, 1573, 1591, 1606-09 until the enfeoffment of the town and manor finalised in 1617.
The 16th century:
1552 (NH) The Swan now held by Robert Throgmorton "in the right of his wife", quit rent 7s 6d, for the tenement and lands.
1573 (NH) In 1573 it is leased as "the manor house of Sir Walter Hungerford called the Swanne", together with a quantity of land, and a quit rent of 7s 6d. The acreage of land is larger than in c.1470 because it now includes land which in the earlier rental were listed appertaining to other Hungerford family tenements. That this is so is made clear by an indenture dated 1561 and quoted in 1583 where "the tenement called The Swanne" is described as having 60 acres of arable lands in the common fields of Hungerford and Sanden Fee (WCRO 442/1).
In addition, the same document ascribes to the Swan another 60 acres of arable land in the common fields; also one close of meadow called Fermans containing 6 acres; ½ acre of Lammas mead in Wood marsh; 1 acre of Lammas mead at Sheepbridge; 1 close of pasture called Cambes(?) containing 1 rod and 1 close of pasture "which hath been a sheeppen, lying at the town's end", containing 3 rods.
It seems clear that the lord's "hospice" of 1434/5 has now become "the manor house" of 1573. Indeed, I have a note (Wilts RO 442/1 f.267) that in 1583 the manorial Steward's court was held there in 1583.
1583: (NH WRO 442/1 f.267) Hungerford (dated 2 Feb 25 Eliz (=1583) grants a lease to Seymour which includes a clause that he must provide for the Steward of Sir Walter Hungerford and up to three other persons, together with their horses, "competent meat, drink, lodging, provender and litter for one day and one night only and yearly, when it shall please Sir Walter, his heirs and assigns, to send any steward to keep a court upon the premises, with the use of re-entry if the rent be behind and lawfully asked at the said tenement called the Swanne and not paid".
1589 (NH - Berks R.O. D/Q1 T21/3 20 Oct 31 Eliz) Refers to the adjacent "Hell House" (122 HS) demised to Thomas Sarre the elder, Thomas and Richard Sarre 10 October 31 Eliz. (=1589). Rent 20s per annum.
John Isbury almshouse of Lambourne, Martyn Culpeper, warden of College of St. Mary Winton, in Oxon; and Frances Alford of London esq.
On East side of Queen's High Street between house of Sir Walter Hungerford, knight, called The Swan, now in tenure and occupation of Thomas Seymer on south, and another tenement of Sir Walter now in tenure of Philip Seymer on north, and backside and four acres arable, one acre in Westbroke in Honey Furlong and two in Middlefield, for the life of Thomas Sare the elder and Thomas Sare, his son, and Richard Sare, his son. Rent 20s p.a. and repairs and maintenance. Attorney for Lambourne is Edward Brooker, clerk, and Thomas Watkyns, shearman.
1591 (NH) In the 1591 survey the Hungerford Englefield estate is excluded from reference (DL42/117).
The 17th century:
1609 (NH) In 1609 "Thomas Holmes holdeth the Manor House of Sir Edward Hungerford called the Swanne", with 60 acres arable, quit rent 7s 6d. In an additional entry under the heading Sanden Fee is added "Thomas Holmes holdeth one tenement, with a backside and orchard thereto adjoining by estimation ½ acre, and he likewise holds from Sir Edward a close of meadow called ?..? by estimation 8 acres, and 8 acres of arable land thereunto belonging, quit rent to the heirs of Sir Edward with the manor house called the Swanne". (BRO H.M8).
1622 (NH) In 1622 there was a lawsuit (C2/JasI/C14/8) concerning the sale of the lease of the manor of Hungerford Englefield. It was said that by indenture 1 Dec 38 Eliz, Sir Walter Hungerford and his brother Sir Edward Hungerford (of Rowden, Wiltshire), now deceased demised the Swan and other lands and tenements etc. to Philip Seymor, yeoman, of Hungerford and to William and Philip Seymor , his sons, for term of their three lives.
The Seymours sold their lease to Thos. Holmes of Newbury, clothier, for 99 years, but failed to take a lease from the chief landlord for an alteration of the lives and suffered Seymour to continue with the freehold. Seymour became bound to Holmes in £700, but Holmes was indebted to John Kendrick of London, draper, to whom he mortgaged his interest in the premises for £500 (or ?£600).
Kendrick assigned his mortgage to Sir Alexander Chocke(?) of Shalbourne, and Chocke agreed to sell to Thos. Hillington of Newbury, gent, for £130(?) (21 Nov 16 Jas I), Chocke to secure from Edward Hungerford a lease for 99 years on the lives of Thomas Hillington, his wife Anne, and his son Thomas. However, Anne having died before the time for proving the lease, Thomas Hillington remarried and Chocke agreed to procure(?) a lease which would incorporate the second wife. Edward Hungerford, being a tenant in tail of the manor, had the power only to grant a lease for three lives in possession, and that the freehold remained with the Seymours.
1633-34 (NH) Jn Gunter, gent
1650-54 (NH) Edward Mills, gent.
1658 (NH) (re adjacent 122 HS "Hell House") Lease of Thomas Sare Baker and Alice Sare spinster sister of Thomas and Richard Sare younger, son of Richard Sare the elder, of Ore in the parish of Chieveley, Berks, clerk, and nephew to Thomas Sare … Hell House between The Swanne, late of Sir Edward Hungerford, now occupied by Edward Mills, and another tenement now in the occupation of Ursula Osmond, widow, on the North. Rent 30s p.a.
1663 (NH) Hearth Tax: (by position) Edward Mills, 5 hearths
7 Nov 1663 (NH) Mr Edward Mills, gent (s/o Edward Mills, ob. 1659) [wife=Dorothy]
1664 (NH) Hearth Tax (by position) Dorothy Mills, widow 2; Mary Mills, widow, 4.
1673 (NH) In a deed of 1658 for neighbouring Hell House (now 122 HS), now occupied by Edward Mills, (Berks RO D/Q1 T21/3), but in a revised lease of 1673 it is no longer called the Swan, merely " the house of Sir Edward Hungerford knight", now in occupation of Walter Bosley.
1674 (NH) WRO 490/1542 – the Hungerford Inglefield Court Book has an entry dated 1674 in which "it is ordered that they of the new homage shall on New Year's Day next by eight of the clock in the forenoon all meet together at the farm where the court is used to be kept." Presumably, as in 1583, at the Swan.
1689 (NH) Constables Accounts: "Expenses at the Swan 2s", (again), also "spent at the Swan in quartering soldiers 2s", "expenses at the Swan when the Justices came about apprenticeship boys 1s 8d",
1693: (Constables' Accounts): "spent at the Swan".
1700+ (NH) After the 17th century I have found no further reference to the name "the Swan", although the building – or a building – continued to stand there. At about the same time that the name "the Swan" seems to have died out, a nearby building used as an inn began to be known as "the Three Swans". The earliest reference to the Three Swans I have found so far is 1661 (C93/25/14).
John Hungerford, 1724-1743:
1724 William Hungerford sold to John Hungerford (son of Walter Hungerford) the "Manor and Lordship of Hungerford" [i.e Hungerford Engleford].
John Hungerford of Lincolns Inn, was a Bencher, Counsel for the East India Company, and Member of Parliament for Scarborough. He was part of the Cadenham branch of the Hungerford family, probably one of the three sons of Sir George Hungerford. He died on 8.1.1729, and was buried at Hungerford Church one week later. He left £16,000, and his extensive library went to Kings College, Cambridge, where there is a monument in his memory. A striking memorial tablet (illustrated in Sir Richard Colt Hoare's "Hungerfordiana") was placed in Hungerford Church, but has not survived.
A memorial to his manservant, Henry Capps (known as "Trusty") has survived. He died in 1774, leaving his legacy to the poor of the Parish. In 1782 the £50 legacy was used to build the Grammar School.
1729 John Hungerford leased (?25 HS only?) to Rev. Thomas Mangay and John Coppinger; John and Mary Hungerford to use during their life.
1729 John Hungerford died. In his will, Mangay and Coppinger were executors. One third of his estate was to go to Mangay; two-thirds to the Provost and "Scollars" of Kings College Cambridge.
1739 Mary Hungerford died.
1740 Kings College Cambridge brought a bill in the High Court of Chancery against Mangay and Coppinger re the will. The Hon. Mr Justice Page decreed that the freehold estate was to be sold.
1742 The estate was advertised in the London Gazette at £2,600 – a large sum!
Matthew Loder, 1743-1771:
The Manor of Hungerford Engleford passes from the Hungerfords to Matthew Loder Smith. (Much of the following has been gleaned from the deeds of 25 High Street)
1743 The estate was bought by Matthew Loder, a surgeon, of Thame. £1,000 went to Rev. Dr. Thomas Mangey (note different spelling!) of Eling, Middlesex, Doctor of Divinity. £1,600 went to John Coppinger of St. Clement Danes. [The deeds mention previous purchase by Henry Smith and tenure of John Ball, and formerly purchased by John Hungerford, Esq., late of Lincolns Inn, Middlesex.
1762 The Will of Matthew Loder bequeaths "his Manor in Hungerford" to Sam Smith, his son-in-law (married to his daughter, Frances) and after Sam's death to Sam's son Loder Smith. By his will dated 31 May 1762 and proved 21 November 1763 Matthew Loder left to Samuel Smith, the husband of his daughter Frances, his manor in Hungerford, to go after the death of Samuel to the latter's son Loder Smith. (fn. 211 P.C.C. 518 Caesar).
Matthew Loder Smith, 1771-1811:
1771 Sam Smith of Stroud, Lacock, Wiltshire, renounced his right of inheritance in favour of his third son Matthew Loder Smith, surgeon in Hungerford.
1776: The Reading Mercury of Mon 29 Apr 1776 includes the following advert: "Hungerford, Berks. To be let, for a Term of years, and entered upon immediately, Mansion House, bricked, tiled, and sashed, situated in the High Street of Hungerford; consisting of three Parlours in Front, and one backwards, a spacious Hall at the Entrance, an excellent Kitchen, and Servants Hall on the Ground Floor, a handsome Staircase, very good Bedchamber with Lodging Rooms over them for Servants, good Cellaring, a large Brewhouse, Wash-house, and two Stables, with sundry other useful and convenient Offices, an exceeding good Garden commodiously laid out, which is walled in, and well planted with Fruit Trees, Shrubs, &c. The whole Premises are in excellent Condition, having been lately repaired and improved, and for a complex Residence for a Gentleman's Family. - The Brewing Utensils, &c. to be taken at a fair Appraisement.
Hungerford is most delightfully situated on the Banks of the River Kennet, which runs at the Bottom of the Town, and is much distinguished for Trout, Crayfish, &c. Lies near the Bath Road, 65 miles from London and 42 from Bath, in a fine Sporting Country, being near the Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire Downs, with three Packs of Fox Hounds and several Packs of Harriers in the Neighbourhood. The Premises have a commonable Right of Fishery in the above Trout Stream, and have also a desirable Right of Common for Horses and Cows.
For further Particulars, enquire of the Proprietor, Mr Matthew Loder Smith, Surgeon, in Bradfod, Wilts, Mr Seymour Mundy, Attorney at Law, or to Mr John Pocock, Joiner in Hungerford, who will shew the Premises."
It seems (from the references to "bricked, tiled and sashed" and "lately repaired and improved" that the "Mansion House" had received its Georgian "make-over" by this time.
1798 The estate included the "Mansion House", as well as cottages occupied by Matthew Bance, John Hidden, Richard Challis, William Talmage, as well as land purchased by the Kennet & Avon Navigation.
1781 (CL) Matthew Loder Smith (also 128 H/S)
1792 (UD) Matthew Loder Smith Surgeon
1808: The manor of Hungerford Engleford was offered for sale in 1808, including a Mansion House of six rooms on a floor, two walled gardens, 117 of unenclosed land, farmyard, coach house, stables and granary. A brew-house was not mentioned. Perhaps it had already been sold? The Morning Post of Sat 1 Oct 1808 included the following advert: "Freehold Estate, Hungerford. To be sold, the Manor, or reputed Manor of Hungerford Ingleford, with the Mansion-house thereto belonging, situate in the pleasant town of Hungeford, in the county of Berks, consisting of six rooms on a floor, in good repair, with coach-house, stables, two walled gardens excellently planted with young fruit trees, in great perfection, dairy, good cellars, and all other conveniences. And also, all those several closes, pieces, and parcels of arable meadow and pasture land, part of the meadow adjoining the said mansion-house, containing altogether 117 acres or thereabouts, farm-yard, coack-house, stables, granary, and all other convenient out-buildings, with right of common for 200 sheep; the whole land-tax redeemed. The arable land lies in the commonable fields in the parish of Hungerford, which are capable of great improvement by an enclosure, together with an extensive right of fishing in the River Kennet, so much famed for trout, eels and cray-fish. The Kennet and Avon Canal, from London to Bath, now nearly completed, runs through the town, in which there is fine rich fishing. The fixtures in the mansion-house must be taken at valuation, and the purchaser may be accommodated with 4000l. (£4,000) on the security of the estate. Hungerford is situate sixty-five miles from London and forty from Bath, and the Bath coaches pass through it every morning and evening; the roads are excellent, and the neighborhood abounds in field sports. The Purchaser may have immediate possession of the mansion-house and great part of the estate. For further particulars, apply personally, or by letter post paid, to Mr James Hall; or Mr George Ryley, Solicitors, Hungerford; and for a view, at the mansion-house."
John Pearce, 1811-
1811 Matthew Loder Smith sold the manor to John Pearce.
Extract from Victory County History - 'Parishes: Hungerford', in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4, ed. William Page and P H Ditchfield (London, 1924), British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4/pp183-200. "One hide of land at Hungerford afterwards known as the manor of HUNGERFORD ENGLEFORD was held between 1204 and 1208 as a quarter of a knight's fee by John Belet.
…By his will dated 31 May 1762 and proved 21 November 1763 Matthew Loder left to Samuel Smith, the husband of his daughter Frances, his manor in Hungerford, to go after the death of Samuel to the latter's son Loder Smith. (fn. 211 P.C.C. 518 Caesar). Samuel Smith, who lived at Lacock, Wiltshire, renounced his right in his estate in 1771 in favour of his son Matthew Loder Smith, who was a surgeon in Hungerford, and sold the manor in 1811 to John Pearce. Soon after this the common fields of Hungerford were inclosed, and all manorial rights disappeared, but the capital mansion, still known as the manor-house, now belongs to the South Berks. Brewery Company. (fn. 212 - Notes from the late Rev. W. H. Summers.)"
1811 (NH) Enclosure Act claims M.L. Smith esq. as Lord of the Manor. It includes:
- (?25HS) Copyhold – reversionary interest in messuage in which the Misses Robinson live, being copyhold for the life of Thos. Robinson.
- (?) Copyhold tenement now occupied as 2 tens. Held by life of J. Bear
- (?121HS) Tenement in own occupation
- (?) Tenement in occupation of ..Shepherd, widow.
- (?119HS) Tenement in occupation John Bance
- (?) Tenement in occupation Henry Clements
1829: The contents of Manor House belonging to Mr W Wyndham were offered for sale by auction. The Berkshire Chronicle of Sat 11 Apr 1829 advertised: "Sale by Auction. Manor House, Hungerford, Berks. By Mr Westall. On Friday, the 24th April, 1829, and following day, at Eleven o'clock each day; All the neat modern and well manufactured (nearly new) household furniture, and other Effects, the property of W Wyndham, Esq, (leaving his residence;) consisting of three handsome lofty four-post bedsteads, with carved and twisted mahogony pillars, with rich morine and chintz furniture, lined, bordered with lace, fronged, and drapery; mahogony, black, and gold cornices; window curtains, lined fringed, bordered with lace, and rich cornices, to match the beds; seven four-post bedsteads, with check and stuff furniturs; tent and stump bedsteads; fourteen fine seasoned, bordered, goose and feather beds, bolsters and pillows; horse-hair and flock mattresses, Marseilles and cotton counterpanes, quilts, and blankets; eighteen (and two arm) rosewood chairs, French loose seats, and morine covers, twelve (and two arm) mahogony chairsm horse-hair seats, brass bound; parlour and beroom carpets, to close-fit the room; stair carpets, and brass rodes and eyes; painted floor-cloth, mahogony claw, dining, Pembroke, card, and dressing-tables; mahogony bason (sic!) stands, chests of drawers, bidets, chamber and kitchen chairs; painted dressing-tables, two elbow lounging chairs, three elegant chimney glasses, in burnished gold carved frames; pier glasses, in gilt frames; twelve dressing-glasses, in neat mahogony frames; Venetian split window blinds; iron and copper saucepans, tea-kettles, boilers, 90-gallon brewing copper (new within a few months past), washing copper, mash tub, coolers, washing-tubs, six seasoned iron-bound 80-gallon casks, with numerous other articles, which will be expressed in catalogues, at sixpence each, to be held at Mr Westall's, Marlborough, and at the Auctioneer's, Hungerford; and may be viewed with the same three days previous to the sale."
Note the inclusion of a 90-gal brewing copper (new), washing copper, mash tub coolers, etc, six 80-gal casks (this size known as a 'New York tierce'.
We learn from the next cutting that William Wyndham was the master of the Craven Hunt 1827-1829.
1829: William Wyndham was replaced as master of the Craven Hunt by Thomas Smith. (We learn later that Thomas Smith lived at Manor House). The Sherborne Mercury of Mon 1 Jun 1829 records that "Mr King is in treaty with the gentlemen of the Hambledon Hunt to take the country bext season, previous to which arrangements are expected to be concluded. Thomas Smith, Esq., who has hunted that country for several years past with unexampled success, has relinquished the task, having yielded to the necessary solicitation of the gentlemen connected with the Craven Hunt to undertake the direction of the sport in the Hungerford country, to which place, it is understood, he takes his own hounds, in the room of Wm. Wyndham, Esq., who has removed his to the New Forest."
William Wyndham died in 1841. The Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette of Thu 7 Oct 1841 records a long obituary, including mention that he had been "a master of a pack of fox hounds".
The cutting below refers to John Pearce, who must have been John Pearce junior, having once occupied the Manor House. This fits with the Victoria County History account, which states that John Pearce bought the manor of Hungerford Ingleford from Matthew Loder Smith in 1811. But could it have been the case that John Pearce junior was a tenant of the manor and the Manor House, both still in the ownership of Matthew Loder Smith? It was common for wealthy men to live in large houses as tenants of other wealthy men. (Will Swales, Oct 2018).
1831 – Death of Martha, wife of John Pearce ‘late of the Manor House, Hungerford’. The Reading Mercury of Mon 9 May 1831 recorded "Died: May 2nd. At Thorpe, after severe suffering, which she bore with Christian resignation, Martha, wife of Mr John Pearce, late of Manor House, Hungerford."
1833 - Thomas Smith, late of Manor House, married. The Salisbury and Winchester Journal of Mon 25 Nov 1833 recorded "Married, in Gloucestershire, Thomas Smith, Esq., late of Manor House, Hungerford, to Matilda, daughter of the late J Denison, Esq., M.P."
1835 - Matthew Loder Smith died. The Reading Mercury of Mon 2 Feb 1835 recorded: "Died. At Hungerford, on the 25th inst., Matthew Loder Smith, esq., in the 86th year of his age."
Manor Brewery, inc Manor House, sold, Feb 1837:
Full details of this sale can be found under the history of the Manor Brewery.
1841 (CS) Thomas Langford (50) Maltster. A. Marriott (40) Brewer.
1843 (CL) Henry B. Marriott is crossed out, & Mr. Henry ? spelling ?Salt
1844 (PD) James & Thomas Langford - Maltsters
1847 (CL) John Platt owner & occupant
1847 (KD) John Platt - brewer, maltster, wine, spirit and hop merchant.
1851 (CS) John Platt (40), brewer and spirit merchant.
1861 (CL) John Platt owner & occupant
1861 (CS) John Platt (50) - 290 acres/9 men/3 boys.
1869 (PO) -do- .Also John Platt jnr - The Poplars, HS (behind brewery off Everland Rd.)
A connection with the Craven Hunt:
An interesting connection between Manor House and the masters of the Craven Hunt has been made by Will Sale (2018) during his research on The Three Swans Hotel, Manor House and the Manor Brewery.
During the period 1776-1831 the Manor House was apparently let to, and occupied by, some distinguished gentlemen, including a succession of masters of the Craven Hunt. It must have become regarded as the hunt-master’s house. Perhaps it was the owner’s contribution to the Craven Hunt, which was certainly dependent upon very large subscriptions in cash and kind from the gentlemen of the district.
An extract from a history of the Craven Hunt referers to John Warde, master of the hunt [1814-25], later identified as having lived at the Manor House, Hungerford, and also Thomas Smith, who also lived at the Manor House and was master 1829-33.
The Berkshire Chronicle of Sat 9 Dec 1865 records "Two years having elapsed, Mr John Warde, whose character needs no comment, brought his celebrated pack from the New Forest. He hunterd the country for ten years, four, occasionally five, times a week. His conduct in the field was most gentlemanly and affable, only to be equalled at his hospitable board, which was enlivened by the brilliancy of his wit and humour. Old age compelled him to forego the pleasures of the chase and retire to his estate in Kent, where he died at the age of ninety years."
Confirmation that John Warde became master of the Craven Hunt in 1814, and that he lived at Hungerford: The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of Sat 10 Jan 1885 recorded that "In 1814 came the great John Warde, of Squerries, in Kent, great both in reputation and weight, as he rode over 22 stone, the "father of fox-hunting" as he is styled by Nimrod, and "glorious John" by his brother sportsmen, who hunted the Craven country for eleven years with a subscription of £1,000 a year. He lived at Hungerford, and with him resided his intimate friend and ally John Starkey, of Spye Park, and had his kennels there also...."
Confirmation that John Warde was master of Craven Hunt from 1814 to 1825 and in 1826 sold his pack to Mr Horlock, who was replaced as master by William Wyndham in 1827, and he in turn was replaced by Thomas Smith in 1829. (Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, Sat 10 Mar 1888).
The Faringdon and Vale of the White Horse Gazette of Sat 15 Oct 1898 recorded the sale of the Manor Brewery to the South Berks Brewery Company Ltd. The report mentions that "the "Old Manor House" was said to have been the residence of that famous old-world fox-hunter, Mr Ward, when he hunted what was then the Craven country, which is thought to have reached nearly from Reading to Bristol."
1871 (CS) John Platt (60) - Brewer and farmer (580 acres) John Platt jnr (29) - Brewer. Platts Malthouses: Thomas Tipple (44) maltster.
1881 (CS) John Platt (Manor House), farmer 127 acres, employing 4 men and 1 boy. Malthouse: Thomas Taylor & William Seymour, servants.
1847-1882 (NH) According to Kenneth R. Goodley ("Berkshire Breweries of the 19th Century") John Platt held the Manor Brewery 1847-1882 and was then succeeded by John Platt junior.
1867: The Reading Mercury (1 Jun 1867) records that Elizabeth Platt (daughter of John Platt of Manor House) married Wiliam Skinner of Greenham.
1881 (CS) John Platt (72) Farmer of 127 acres, employing 4 men and 1 boy.
16 Oct 1890. The Reading Mercury recorded that John Platt died at Manor House, Hungerford, aged 80 years. For his obituary, see Platt Family.
1891 (KD) John Platt, junior, Manor House.
1892 We know that George Platt was living at Manor House from a record in the Bicester Herald of Fri 4 Nov 1892 of the birth of a daughter to G E Platt and his wife on 31 Oct 1892. A further daughter was born on 17 Sep 1893, as recorded in the Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle of Sat 23 Sep 1893.
1896 (CL) South Berks Brewery Co (owners). George Platt (occupant).
1902 (T&M Register) South Berks Brewery Co (owners)
1903 (KD) George Platt - The Priory, HS (sic!).
1903 (T&M Register) George Platt (owner)
Undated (T&M Register) Hungerford Laundry Co Ltd (owners)
1905 (T&M Register) Charles Russell Hopkins (occupier until 1906)
1907 (T&M Register) Robert Blake James (occupier until ?1914)
1915 (T&M Register) Thomas Gordon Starkey-Smith (occupier until ?1937)
1938 (T&M Register) Douglas Herbert Stuart Boyd (occupier)
Undated (T&M Register) Dr Robert Kennedy (occupier)
The Manor Brewery:
There is now a separate article devoted to the Manor Brewery.
The Hungerford Laundry:
There is now a separate article devoted to the Hungerford Laundry.
Also in Everland Road:
- Great Western Mills, James & Co.
- Miss D.E. Saunders' riding school
- W. Champ mineral water manufacturer.
c.1908 Hungerford Sanitary Laundry Company (renamed "Rose of Hungerford Laundry" in 1950s – closed 1966).
1914 (CL) South Berks Brewery Co (owners). Dr. Robert Blake James (occupant).
1920 (KD) Dr. Thomas Gordon Starkey-Smith (partnership with Dr. James).
1939 (Blacket's) 121: Dr D.H. Stuart Boyd, The Manor House
1939 (KD) Dr. Douglas Herbert Stuart Boyd (Tel. no. 7)
1947 (CL) Dr. Douglas Herbert Stuart Boyd.
1947 Dr. Robert Dill Kennedy.
1952 (CL) Dr. Robert Dill Kennedy
1956 (CL) Robert Dill Kennedy
1959 Sold - new surgery built in The Croft.
1963 (CL) Void.
Manor House Petrol Station, 1965-1973:
<1968 (T&M Register) Shellmex & BP Ltd (owners until 1974; William Warren James Norman - occupier until 1970)
1965 Manor House demolished. Petrol Filling Station opened. A great insight into the interior of the house, and the possibility that there was a Jacobean Chapel hidden in the roof, can be read in "Church in Manor House may have been Jacobean", NWN 18 Mar 1969"
1966 Rose of Hungerford Laundry closed. Loheats opened.
1968 (CL) William Warren James Norman.
1970 (CL) William Warren James Norman
International Stores (later Gateway) supermarket, 1975-1985:
1975 (T&M Register) Richard Percy Bourdon-Smith (owner)
1975 International Stores new supermarket.
1976 (CL) Void
1978 International Stores
1983 (CL) Void – International Stores
1985 International Stores sold to Gateway Supermarkets.
1998 BT Directory: Somerfield =120 HS. (Smithers also at 120 HS!)
1998 Redevelopment of Gateway Store – demolition of old laundry and other building to reach as far as David Hunter's "Hungerford Service Centre", new store to rear of plot, car parking for 140 in front. Widening of Everland Road entrance. New shop on High Street frontage. "The Brewery" is inscribed on the old stone at gateway on railway bridge.
1999 Shop, old laundry (Loheat) and other buildings all demolished – new Somerfield supermarket developed at rear (opened by Jack Williams in November 1999). First Manager: Ian Copperthwaite. The archaeological dig of the site uncovered a gully containing prehistoric flints and Roman artefacts.
2000 (CL) "Manor House now a road entrance"
13.4.2002 African Trackwoods (re-cycled railway sleeper furniture).
2007 African Trackwoods closed ("increasing difficulty sourcing supplies from Zimbabwe")
Nov 2008 "Zippee" opened – gifts, party goods etc. (Closed after Christmas)
Mar 2009 Somerfield closed.
22.4.2009 Tesco store opened.
27.11.2010 "Pralibel" (Belgian Chocolatier) and "From The Heart" (Cards and gifts) opened.
2011 (CL) "121HS" Louise Brain
Oct 2012: Pralibel left - Thornton's Chocolate came (still with "From the Heart").
Jun 2018: "From the Heart" and Thornton's Chocolates closed.
Sep 2019: Coffee #1 opened.
I am grateful to Will Swales who kindly sent much material on this topic in 2018 - HLP.
From the Newbury Weekly News, 18 Mar 1969:
Writing from his home at High Wycombe, Dr D H Stuart Boyd, who used to live at Hungerford, throws considerable light on the origins of the Manor House, which stood in High Street, Hungerford until its demolition recently.
He says “For some nine years immediately prior to our leaving Hungerford in 1947, we lived in this house, and in January 1964, when I read in the Newbury Weekly News that it was about to be pulled down, I wrote to my old friend, Mr Dennis Brittain, Clerk to Hungerford RDC, telling him about the old church incorporated in the house in case anyone should be interested enough to see it before it was too late…
“I had hoped that interest might have been roused thereby, but when I visited the house during its demolition nothing seemed to have transpired, so I sadly gave up the attempt. Now, alas, it is too late, except as a matter of history.
“Some years before the war I was trying to find out something of the origins of this disused part of the house and mentioned its existence to several of the older inhabitants of Hungerford, among them the late Mr. Church of the Mount. He told me there was a church within the building, and with the help of this information I was able to reconstruct what I believe to be the sequence of events leading up to the house assuming the form as one knew it in recent years.
“The original house would appear to have been typical late 17th century of one-room depth and occupying two storeys, with dormer-windowed attics. The type of panelling in the hall would seem to confirm this dating of the house, and as was usual then, the stairs probably ran round this hall on three sides to the next landing.
“The church projects at the rear of the house on the north side – that is the left side when viewed from the street. Whether it was contemporary with the house or later was not apparent due to subsequent alterations. It may, in fact, have been earlier, probably Jacobean as suggested in the newspaper article. It seems to have contained a nave with a tie-beam truss-type of roof, and a vestry at the end butting into the house, with a small gallery over it.
“In Victorian times (mid-Victorian) the house was considerably enlarged, three storeys being added in the process behind the greater part of the original house, and the front stairs altered to a central stairway from the hall, dividing on a half landing and proceeding on both sides up to the first-floor landing.
“During this re-building the church was incorporated into the house. The outer walls were clad with the same type of brick as the new portion, and typical Victorian dormers were incorporated in the roof which in fact lighted nothing but waste space because the nave was given a ceiling (but without any floor over it). Thereafter this formed the drawing room of the house. This room was approached from the newly formed back hall, and from this another doorway was made into the vestry, which then formed an additional anteroom to the dining room of the original house lying to the front of it, with double doors between them.
“The original gallery was thereafter approached up three or four steps from the first-floor landing, the door thereto being just above the half of the divided stairs on that side. This is the derelict room referred to by Mrs Kennedy, though it was in fact possible (though risky) to walk over the gallery portion, not, of course, over the old nave which only had a lath and plaster ceiling.
“I think that what was referred to in the article as thatching under the main tiles, was in fact an in-filling with reeds. As re-roofing seems to have been carried out at the time of rebuilding the house, presumably this form of weatherproofing was also Victorian.
“I hope that this will be of some interest to a number of your readers. Possibly some of them may be able to add to it or correct me if my deductions have been wrong.
Dr Stuart Boyd lives (in 1969) at Old Connaught, Stag Lane, Grrat Kingshill, High Wycombe.
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