The Hundred Of Spelthorne, Shepperton, History of Middlesex County
Shepperton is the most southerly parish in the county, lying on the north bank of the Thames opposite Walton and Weybridge on the Surrey bank.
Until 1930 it consisted of 1,492 acres and formed a rough triangle, with the winding river as the base and the east and west sides meeting at the apex about two miles north of the village. In 1930 the parish was incorporated in Sunbury urban district, but 77 acres in the north (nearly all lying in the Queen Mary Reservoir) were transferred to Littleton civil parish, in the same urban district.
The whole parish is between 25 and 50 feet above sea-level and lies upon flood-plain gravels. There is a superficial deposit of brick-earth in the east between Shepperton and Watersplash Farm and there is alluvium near the river. The Thames has changed its course at Shepperton, causing anomalies in the boundaries of the parish and county. At Walton Bridge the boundary follows a minor stream so that the meadow called Cowey on the south bank lies in Shepperton and in Middlesex. Another small bit of the south bank farther west is also in the parish for the same reason.
Both were considered by the parish officers in the 19th century to lie in Surrey, while in 1847 the parish unsuccessfully claimed six acres in Weybridge Mead. On the north bank many of the fields were surrounded by ditches of running water and were described as aits, and there are references to erosion by the river at several times: money was left to the water defences of Shepperton in 1504, the old church seems to have been destroyed or rendered unsafe by encroachment of the river about the end of the 16th century, land near Walton Ferry was said in 1633 to have been washed away, and the loss of 20 acres in Halliford manor between 1650 and 1739 was attributed to erosion.
Elias Ashmole (1617-92) associated the cutting off of Cowey from Middlesex with the destruction of 'a church', presumably that of Shepperton, which he told John Aubrey had been swallowed by the waves. Breaches in the banks at Stadbury (Hamhaugh Island) were repaired in the 18th century by the city of London authorities, who were responsible for this stretch of the river. They also had occasion to remove illegal fish-weirs: there had been a weir at Shepperton in 1086 and one is mentioned in the 14th century. The stakes found in the river at Cowey and popularly connected with Caesar's crossing of the Thames are very likely to have been the remains of one of the former weirs.
Early Saxon cemeteries on the north of Chertsey Road and near Walton Bridge suggest that a settlement was made here in the 5th or 6th century. There have been three centres of settlement since the Middle Ages. These are Shepperton, otherwise known as Nether or Lower Shepperton; Shepperton Green or Upper Shepperton; and Lower Halliford. Shepperton centres on the church, rectory, and manor-house. In the Middle Ages the church probably stood to the east of the present manorhouse and the manor-house was almost certainly north-east of its present site.
A green stretched from the present Church Square to the site of the old church. The village street may have run past the church towards Lower Halliford; it was perhaps diverted inland to the present line of Church Road and Russell Road because of erosion by the river. The present village probably represents the western end of the medieval settlement. It centres upon the little gravelled Church Square in which, apart from alterations to the Anchor Inn, all the buildings date from before the 19th century, though there is a modern petrol station across Church Road at the open end of the square. The Rectory, standing back from the north side of the square next to the church, is the oldest building here, since it incorporates a timber-framed hall of about 1500. It was remodelled and enlarged about 1700, and the present south front is largely of this date. This is twostoryed with attics and has seven bays with a projecting wing at either end.
At some period the walls were refaced with thin red tiles to simulate brickwork. The south side of the square consists of a row of low 18th-century buildings, including the King's Head Inn. The south end of Church Road also contains several houses of the 18th century and a little farther north is a timber-framed building of the 16th century now divided and known as Ivy Cottages. Behind the church, and hidden from the road, is the manor-house, which was built about 1830. In the Chertsey Road are several houses in their own grounds, some of which date from before the mid-19th century. Manor Farm House is the farthest west of these: it is a red-brick 18th-century house and has a timber-framed and weatherboarded barn of the 17th century.
The second ancient settlement is Shepperton Green
The second ancient settlement is Shepperton Green, which as Upper Shepperton is first mentioned in 1293.
Until the 1860's it remained a small village along the narrow green (inclosed in 1862) through which ran the road now known as Watersplash Road. By the 18th century there were also a few houses in Sheepwalk Lane at Pool End, as it was called in the 19th century. There is still a pair of 18th-century cottages here and several of the 19th century, and there are some 19th-century houses farther north in Watersplash Road. Halliford is mentioned in 962 and there was a settlement there by 1194.
Upper and Lower Halliford are not distinguished by name until the late 13th century, but Lower Halliford was almost certainly the main settlement of the manor, with Upper Halliford in Sunbury parish as a hamlet. Lower Halliford like Shepperton lies along the main road from Kingston to Chertsey on the outside of a northward loop of the Thames. The houses stood along the north side of the road and round the green, which still survives with the small manor-house hidden in the trees at the east end.
Round the green and in Walton Lane and Russell Road are a number of houses built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, among them Battle Crease Hall, Thamesfield, and Halliford School, all brick houses of the late 18th century. Several others were built as riverside residences, and in Russell Road is a long group of stucco-fronted buildings, including three inns, which face south towards the river. Of the inns the 'Red Lion' occupies a partly-17th-century building, and the 'Ship' a much altered one of the 18th century. Both were mentioned in 1723.
'Town End', which was referred to in 1639 and later, was probably one of the settlements already described. Except possibly for the almshouses on the north side of Windmill or Walton Bridge Common, there were no isolated buildings in the parish until the second half of the 18th century, during which Walton Bridge House and Watersplash Farm were built. Later a few houses appeared to the south of Lower Halliford in Walton or Windmill Lane.
In the Middle Ages most of the parish was occupied by open fields and commons. West Field and East Field are mentioned in 1376, and North Field in 1424 and 1650. From the middle of the 17th century there are frequent references to the open fields under the names they bore at the inclosure of 1842. At that time East Field lay on the Sunbury side of Walton Bridge Road, and Shepperton Field, which is perhaps identifiable with the earlier North Field, lay north of Lower Halliford village reaching from Shepperton Green to Gaston Bridge Road.
West of Shepperton Green was Littleton Field and between that and Chertsey Road lay Upper Field or Upper West Field. The small Lower West Field lay south of the same road and east of the Range. West and East Common Meadows are mentioned in 1420. The name East Mead may refer to a meadow of that name within Halliford manor and just over the Sunbury parish boundary. In the early 19th century Town Common Meadow occupied the alluvial strip from Lord's Bridge to Pool End. Other common meadows lay between the Range and the present Ferry Lane.
The largest common was the Range, in the southwest of the parish, which contained about 60 acres. Cowey on the south side of Walton Bridge is mentioned in 1425. Windmill Common lay at the north end of Walton Bridge and there were other smaller greens. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the Range was the scene of many contests of all kinds, and several well-known boxers fought there.
Some small pieces of land around the settlements may always have been inclosed. There was some inclosure of open-field land around Fordbridge Road in the 17th and perhaps 18th centuries. An inclosed sheepwalk, possibly of some age, existed by the 18th century. The remaining open fields and meadows were inclosed in 1842, and the commons in Shepperton manor, including the Range, in 1862. Cowey, Windmill or Walton Bridge Common, and Lower Halliford Green, all of which lie within Halliford manor, still remain uninclosed.
The most important medieval highway was of course the River Thames. In the late 13th century and the 14th it carried away the barley grown at Halliford and brought in building materials. In the 17th century and later Shepperton was a recognized barge halt and in the early 19th century was the headquarters of several owners of barge horses. With the opening of the Desborough Cut across the Surrey bank in 1935 the loop at Shepperton and Halliford has been by-passed. The only main road in the parish ran from Kingston to Chertsey through the villages of Lower Halliford and Shepperton.
There was a bridge over the Thames at Kingston by the 13th century and one at Chertsey by the 14th, while Hoo Bridge over the Ash between Shepperton and Sunbury parishes is first mentioned in 1293. Between Lower Halliford and Shepperton the road may once have run nearer the river and in a more direct course than it does now. Shepperton Bridge, which is mentioned between 1274 and 1410, may have crossed the stream at Lower Halliford in this road. If this was so, the road was probably diverted inland in the 15th or 16th century to form the present Church Road, which crosses the stream at Lord's Bridge. This bridge is first mentioned in 1651 and is described in 1658 as a packhorse bridge.
Other roads probably dating from the Middle Ages are Charlton Road, Watersplash Road, Sheepwalk Lane, Walton Lane, and the road which formerly led from Gaston Bridge to Walton Ferry. The southern part of this road still remains as Felix Lane. In 1959 there were still footbridges with deep fords beside them, over the River Ash in Charlton Road and Watersplash Road. There was probably a ferry across the Thames at Shepperton village by the 14th century. This was held with the manor and was much used in the 17th century. Later, at least, it was a horse ferry. Mayes Bridge, mentioned in 1651 and later, has not been identified. The first Walton Bridge was opened in 1750 and the present Walton Bridge Road was laid out about the same time. The owner of the bridge built the timber Walton Bridge House before 1769. The Duke of Newcastle, whose estate was opposite to it, bought the building to prevent it becoming a public house and 'fitted it up for an object to his terrace and let it for an assembly house'.
He soon tired of it and sold it. It had disappeared by 1865, and for some years another house by the bridge has carried the same name. The bridge was replaced in 1863 by another which was still standing in 1958 but had been superseded four years earlier by a 'semi-permanent' structure along side it. In 1842 Gaston Bridge Road was laid out to the west of the old road from Gaston Bridge to Walton Ferry, and Laleham Road and Green Lane date from the same time. The Weybridge Ferry was in existence by 1862, when Ferry Lane, which leads to it, was made. New Road was built as part of a diversion made necessary by the construction of Queen Mary Reservoir.
Shepperton Terminal Station
In the 1820's coaches from Chertsey to London served Shepperton twice a day and there was a carrier to London three times a week. Largely owing to W. S. Lindsay, the owner of Shepperton manor, the single-line Thames Valley Railway (now part of the Southern Region) was opened in 1864.
Shepperton, the terminal station, was built at the junction of Charlton and Laleham Roads and there were at first eight trains each way daily. The branch was electrified in 1915 and there was a halfhourly service in 1957. Some building took place near the railway station and in what is now called the High Street during the 19th century. This included the five cottage-pairs called Highfield Cottages, which have twin gables with pierced barge-boards. They are probably among the cottages built by W. S. Lindsay to replace inferior dwellings which he found in the village.
Some more houses and Anglican and Primitive Methodist chapels were built at Shepperton Green, where there were also a Working Men's Institute and Library by 1894. In the 20th century the first new residential roads appeared. At Shepperton building centred on the station and along the part of Charlton Road from the station to Lord's Bridge, which was then known as Highfield Road and has since been named the High Street. In 1957 the High Street contained several rows of shops, the main post office, the parish hall, and the county library.
Roads with detached and semi-detached houses then covered most of the area between the High Street and Charlton Road on the west and Gaston Bridge on the east, and there were several factories near the station. Recent building north of Russell Road has virtually joined Lower Halliford to the newer district, though the old village round the church still remained distinct in 1959. Building was also going on in Chertsey Road beyond the village. Shepperton Green started to grow before the First World War and a council estate and other houses were built before the Second. There has been much building here since the Second World War, and more was going on in 1959.
This district now centres upon Laleham Road, where there are some shops. In the south a camp was established on Hamhaugh Island about 1900 and since then buildings have appeared on the islands and along the river banks. This riverside area is in many ways more closely connected with Weybridge than with Shepperton. Since the 1930's large-scale gravel digging has produced large lakes around Sheepwalk Lane and in the east of the parish: one in the latter area was used in 1959 as a sailing school by a holiday club nearby. The remainder of the open land in the parish lies both east of Gaston Bridge Road and west of the old village. Much of it is used for market-gardening, and there are water-meadows south of the Chertsey Road.
No events of national importance have occurred in Shepperton if the probably legendary crossing of the Thames here by Julius Caesar is excluded. The British Lion Shepperton Film Studios lie just outside the parish in Littleton. Local tradition asserts that Erasmus visited William Grocyn, rector 1504-13, at Shepperton, and that Brian Duppa (1588-1662), Bishop of Winchester, lived there during the Interregnum. Neither of these stories is likely to be true since Grocyn himself probably did not reside in his living and Duppa is known to have been at Richmond.
Duppa, however, did endow an almshouse at Richmond with property at Shepperton. J. M. Neale (1818-66), the composer of many well-known hymns, pent part of his childhood at Shepperton and was taught by the rector. He afterwards wrote an historical novel entitled Shepperton Manor. For some 150 years the riverside strip, particularly at Lower Halliford, has attracted painters, writers, and others. J. M. W. Turner painted Walton Bridge. Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866), the novelist, lived at Elmbank, Lower Halliford, for many years and was buried in Shepperton churchyard.
One of his daughters died as a child and is also buried here: Peacock composed the verses on her tombstone. George Meredith married another daughter and lived for three years at Vine Cottage, Lower Halliford. The village of 'Shepperton' in George Eliot's Scenes of Clerical Life is not taken from Shepperton in Middlesex but from Chilvers Coton (Warws.).
The Manors of Shepperton 1
The manor of SHEPPERTON occupied the part of the parish which lies west of a line running just east of Charlton Road and the High Street and continuing down the small stream to the Thames at Lower Halliford.
Charters forged at Westminster Abbey about 1100 allege that St. Dunstan bought Shepperton from a widow named Æthelflæd and gave it to the abbey. There may be some truth in this, for Shepperton is associated in the charters more with Sunbury, which Dunstan very probably did give to the abbey, than with the neighbouring manor of Halliford, which, as a berewick of Staines, was granted to the abbey by Edward the Confessor. A writ from the Confessor, however, which is thought to be founded on an authentic original, granted Shepperton to Westminster between 1051 and 1066.
A little later a definitely authentic writ notified the abbey that the king had granted land at Shepperton to his 'churchwright' Teinfrith. This grant may have been only for life or may not have taken effect. In any case the abbey held Shepperton both in 1066 and 1086. They later granted it to an undertenant but retained the overlordship until the Dissolution.
Between 1121 and c. 1150 the abbey leased Shepperton and Halliford together and the name of the lessee, presumably at about this time, was later said to have been Robert Creuker. By 1208 the two manors had evidently been separated, for the king granted the custody of Shepperton with that of its owner Robert Beauchamp, who was a minor, to Hubert de Burgh. In or before 1284 John Beauchamp died holding the manor. He was succeeded in turn by his son, grandson, and great grandson, each of whom was called John.
Before his death in 1361, the fourth John settled Shepperton for life upon his wife Alice (d. 1384), daughter of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. By 1373 she had apparently enfeoffed her late husband's two coheirs, Cecily Beauchamp, his niece, and John Meriet, his great-nephew, and William Beauchamp, who may have been a member of her own family. John Meriet quitclaimed his third of the manor to William in 1373. Within a few years, however, Shepperton had passed to Sir Matthew Gurney, who had married Alice, widow of the last John Beauchamp, and to whom John had granted £1,000 a year from his estates. After Matthew's death his second wife, Philippa, married Sir John Tiptoft.
He and Philippa were described as joint owners for life in 1408, and on Tiptoft's death in 1442 or 1443 Shepperton passed to his son and heir John, later Earl of Worcester, who was beheaded for treason in 1470. Worcester's estates were restored to his son Edward (d.s.p. 1485) in the following year. The manor then seems to have passed through Joyce, one of Edward's paternal aunts, who married Sir Edmund Sutton or Dudley. Their son, Lord Dudley, conveyed Shepperton to Bartholomew Reed (d. 1505) and others in 1490.
Reed left Shepperton to his wife Elizabeth for life with reversion to his nephew William (d. 1534). William was succeeded by his son John (d. 1545), who left a son John aged three. It was probably this last John who sold the manor in 1589 to James Huish of London (d. 1590). Huish's sons James and Thomas held it in equal shares until they granted it in 1611 to Sir George Reynell (d. 1628). In 1621 Reynell's nephew, Sir Thomas Reynell, married Katherine, daughter and heir of Sir Henry Spiller of Laleham (d. 1649).
Spiller was said to be lord of the manor in 1632, and is said to have conveyed it to his grandsons, Thomas and Henry Reynell, in 1648. Spiller probably, however, held Shepperton only as trustee for his daughter's marriage, for his son-in-law was described as lord of the manor in 1651 and at his death in 1665. Thomas Reynell the younger died in 1670 and his brother, who later became known as Henry Reynell Spiller, succeeded him. Henry died in 1715 and was succeeded by his son Brent Reynell Spiller (d. 1736). His widow and their son Henry sold the manor in 1741 to the trustees of Penelope Stratford, who was then a minor.
Penelope married Richard Geast, who later took the name of Dugdale. After his death she sold Shepperton in 1811 to Thomas Scott (d. 1816). The manor afterwards passed to his nephew James Scott (d. 1855). In 1856 it was purchased by W. S. Lindsay (d. 1878), who was succeeded by his grandson, W. H. Lindsay (d. 1949). In 1954 W. H. Lindsay's widow transferred the estate to her husband's nephew, Mr. P. A. R. Lindsay, who was the owner in 1958.
The Manors of Shepperton 2
Lysons speaks of some 'vestiges of building', said to be the remains of the manor-house of the Reynells, which lay to the east of the present house.
Other evidence shows that the 17th-century lords of the manor lived in Shepperton for at least part of the time. By 1723 the manor-house probably occupied the site of the present building, which was erected about 1830 by James Scott. W. S. Lindsay usually lived at the manor-house and died at Shepperton. He was a ship-owner and member of Parliament and wrote a history of merchant shipping as well as one of Shepperton. He was largely responsible for the construction of the Thames Valley Railway.
The manorial demesne contained 100 or more acres of arable in the 14th century and a good deal of meadow and pasture. There is no reliable information about its extent thereafter before 1843, when the estate belonging to the lord of the manor amounted to some 380 acres. This included the Manor Farm in Chertsey Road with which the bulk of the property was leased. By 1867 the estate comprised about 600 acres, but some of this has since been sold.
The manor of HALLIFORD formed a strip reaching northwards from the river to Sunbury Common. It thus included not only the eastern half of Shepperton parish but also a strip of Sunbury parish, with the smaller manor of Charlton (in Sunbury parish) separating the north ends of it from Shepperton manor. A few detached pieces of land on Hamhaugh Island also belonged to Halliford.
Halliford is not mentioned by name in Domesday Book. In charters forged about 1100 it is mentioned as one of the appurtenances or berewicks of Staines manor which was granted to Westminster Abbey about 1065. It was presumably one or part of one of the four unnamed berewicks of Staines mentioned in Domesday Book. The boundaries of Sunbury manor were described in a charter of 962 and it is possible that they then followed their later course so that Halliford was excluded. This is made the more likely by the statement in the charter that Sunbury had 10 yard-lands of meadow at Halliford, which suggests that the rest of Halliford was independent.
Halliford evidently became detached from Staines soon after 1086, since between 1121 and c. 1150 the abbey leased it along with Shepperton. Shepperton had passed into other hands by 1208, but Halliford seems to have remained with the descendants of the abbey's lessee, Robert Creuker, for in 1265 it was found that Halliford had been seized first by Maurice Berkeley and then by the Earl of Gloucester on the grounds that Robert Creuker was a rebel. Robert apparently regained the manor for he or another Robert Creuker conveyed it to Geoffrey Aspale in 1279. Seven years later Geoffrey granted the manor to his overlord, Westminster Abbey, who granted it back to him for life. Thereafter the abbey retained Halliford until the Dissolution. The manor was leased from 1303 until 1320 to Nicholas of Halliford, who was described as lord in 1303. It was leased again intermittently during the 14th century and constantly after 1404.
In 1540 Henry VIII included Halliford in his new honor of Hampton Court. It later belonged to Queen Henrietta Maria and in 1650, as Crown property, it was sold by Parliament to William Westbrooke, who already held it on lease. Eight years later it passed from James Westbrooke to Richard Hill. At the Restoration the queen dowager regained the manor and it later became part of Queen Catherine of Braganza's dower. Matthew Johnson obtained a lease of the manor in 1680 and until about 1754 the leases were held by his family. Lessees of different families followed until 1832, when the manor and lands were sold. Thomas Nettleship bought the manorial rights and 33 acres, while Thomas Carr bought 110 acres, including the manor-house and Watersplash Farm.
By 1845 R. W. Lumley (d. 1852) held the manorial rights. They were later held by his widow Susan (d. 1888) and Louisa Lumley. Between 1886 and 1890 they passed to Susan Lumley's nephew Sir Archibald Campbell, Bt., later Lord Blythswood (d. 1908). In 1914 his widow owned them and they remained in the family until 1922, when they were sold with land for building. It has not been possible to trace the lords of the manor after this. Their title had for many years been an empty one since there were no copyholders by 1739, and the courts had then been long disused.
In 1290 the manorial buildings included a hall, a private room, a servants' room, and a pantry. The hall was rebuilt in 1375-6. In 1650 the manorhouse was built of timber and 'Flemish wall' and consisted of a hall, kitchen, buttery, six rooms upstairs, and various ancillary buildings. There is no reason to suppose that this house stood elsewhere than on the site of the house now called the Old Manor House. This is at the east end of Lower Halliford Green and is a fairly small early-18thcentury house of two stories and attics with a stuccofront.
It has been altered and enlarged at several dates. After the manorial rights and house had been separated a house which had earlier been called Dunally and which stood on the land belonging to the owner of the rights was known as the manorhouse. It was later once more called Dunally. There is no evidence that the house called Halliford Manor at Upper Halliford is to be connected with this manor or with any other.
The demesne lands, which seem to have all lain within Shepperton parish, included between 110 and 140 acres of arable in the 14th century. The whole estate was estimated at varying amounts between about 140 and 180 acres from the 17th century until it was split into two in 1832. In 1843 the former demesne was said to cover 138 acres, all in Shepperton.
Other Shepperton Estates and Mills
In the late 12th century Richard Vautort held an estate in the parish, which apparently passed to his grandson, Simon son of Hugh.
In the reign of Henry III John Vautort, perhaps the brother or nephew of Hugh, claimed 2 carucates of land from Robert Beauchamp. A few acres in the parish were attached to Charlton manor in Sunbury, and it is possible that a few acres may have lain within Littleton and Astlam manors. Francis Newdegate by his will (proved 1583) left 'part of Shepperton lordship' to his wife. This seems to have been an estate within Shepperton manor. A least two houses and 17 acres in Halliford belonged to Kempton manor in Sunbury in the reign of James I and earlier.
The Winch family came to the parish in 1787 and built up an estate there. George Winch (d. 1805) was an important barge-horse owner. George Winch (d. 1835) owned a farm which was burnt down in the course of agrarian disturbances in 1833. In 1843 Juliet Winch held some 200 acres in the parish. Duppa's charity in Richmond was endowed with land at Halliford in the mid-17th century. The estate amounted to some 90 acres in 1843 and still existed in 1954. The Wood family of Littleton had an estate in Shepperton amounting to 123 acres in 1843. In the same year John Stone held about 100 acres in the parish.
MillsBy 1289 there was a water-mill in Halliford manor. It was usually leased from that year until 1300 or later. There were two newly made water-mills on the same manor in 1320. There was an old water-mill of no value in Shepperton manor in 1336 and 1343. Windmill Common (now Walton Bridge Green) and Windmill Lane (now Walton Lane) in Halliford may commemorate a windmill which was built in Halliford manor in 1381 or 1382.
This mill existed for at least 20 years and may have replaced an earlier one at Upper Halliford. In 1597 a windmill in the parish was left by will with the proviso that it was not to be moved. There was a mill, apparently water driven, by 1805, which still existed several decades later. It was probably from this mill that the name of Millbrook House was derived.
Shepperton Economic and Social History 1
The Domesday survey lists 25 persons in Shepperton manor. About 1335 Shepperton was able to muster 32 men at a commission of array; Upper and Lower Halliford together mustered an additional 22 men.
In 1547 there were 133 'houseling' people in the parish. Sixty-six persons paid or were exempt from hearth tax in 1664, and there were said to be 100 families in the parish about 1723. The population gradually increased from 731 persons in 1801 to 858 in 1841, and then dropped a little until 1861. The increase to 1,126 in 1871 was attributed to the opening of the railway and of brickfields. By 1901 there were some 1,800 people in the parish, and by 1931 there were over 3,400. The slightly altered civil parish of 1951 contained over 6,000 people.
Domesday Book records 7 plough-lands in Shepperton manor, one of which was in demesne. There were then 17 villeins, 5 cottars, and 2 slaves on the manor. In 1336 and 1361 there were 100 acres of arable in demesne, which were apparently sown in a three-course rotation with a third lying fallow and in common each year. In both years 36 acres were sown with winter corn. In 1336 there was no pasture in severalty, but in 1343 and 1361 the lord had pasture in severalty as well as sharing the common and he also had meadows which lay in common part of the year.
The total number of tenants is not known but in 1343, when 4 virgates, each of 10 acres, were in the lord's hand, the villeins rendered ploughing and other services and the lord received 155 works at harvest. The rents of assize of free tenants seem to have risen from 56s. 5d. to £12 between 1336 and 1361, while the value of works dropped. In the extent of 1361 the only labour-services valued were harvest-works. They were worth 10s. a year, while all the customary works had been worth 60s. 7d. in 1336.
No Domesday statistics are available for Halliford, which was probably included in the totals for Staines. Westminster Abbey kept the manor in demesne for some years after it acquired it in 1286, but leased it from 1303 to 1320 and perhaps 1332, from some date after 1357 to 1375, from 1392 to 1397, and from 1404 onwards. While the manor was in demesne it seems to have been used to produce barley and sometimes sheep, which were both sent to Westminster. A little wheat was also sent. In 1289 and 1293 barley, rye, and wheat were the chief crops, with a fair amount of oats in 1293.
In each case more barley was sown than any other single crop and this predominance became more marked during the 14th century, so that barley often accounted for between a half and two-thirds of the total area sown, which varied between 110 and 140 acres. Rye disappeared almost entirely, but wheat, peas, and sometimes oats remained as subsidiary crops. No regular rotation is discernible: fallow is seldom mentioned, barley was often grown in successive years in the same furlong, and two or more crops were sometimes grown in one furlong, so that there can have been little, if any, common pasture on the fields. In the 1290's and again in 1339-40 a mixed flock of about 90 sheep was kept.
From 1375 to 1402 there were usually between 100 and 200 sheep. There were 2 ploughs on the demesne. In 1214, before Westminster owned the manor, the tenants owed labour-services, but from 1289 the demesne was managed by the paid servants, with help at the hay and corn harvests from hired labour. Since the tenants' holdings were mostly of 15 acres or less they probably provided a good deal of this casual labour.
The Black Death seems to have had little immediate effect upon the cultivation of the demesne or the tenants' holdings: in the 1350's the amount of grain sent to Westminster was some two-thirds less than in 1340-7, but the total arable acreage did not decrease and rents remained steady from 1290 to 1357. No holdings are known to have fallen into the lord's hands except for one of 7 acres about 1383, which was let piecemeal.
Between 1633 and 1785, when the manorial estate at Halliford comprised about 150-80 acres, the amount used as arable seems to have declined from 138 acres to 104 acres. From 1785 the estate was divided between four lessees. Just before it was all sold in 1832 the chief of these grew wheat and barley as his principal crops. He did not practise any rotation. In 1619 some Halliford people claimed that they had been prevented from enjoyment of their right to pasture sheep on the demesne openfield land after the harvest.
Shepperton Economic and Social History 2
Sheep and cattle were, however, pastured on the open fields, common meadows and lammas lands of the parish from the 17th century until the inclosure of 1842.
Virtually all the commons were stinted by the mid-17th century, though the Range (60 a.) in Shepperton manor was only stinted from May to June. The grazing rights on the Range were called farrens or half-acre rights. The lessee and tenants of Halliford manor also had sheep-grazing rights for three days a week on Sunbury Common.
Very little is known of the life of the parish after the period covered by the medieval manorial accounts. The village did not share in the 18th-century fashion and prosperity of the river-side villages downstream, and in 1816 the houses were said to be 'chiefly of a mean and neglected character'. The village was then much frequented in the summer by parties of anglers.
In 1867 W. S. Lindsay, the lord of the manor, wrote that in the early 19th century most of the inhabitants had lived in 'a state of great ignorance and depravity', with 'somewhat limited' means of employment. A farmhouse in Shepperton was burned down in 1833 during agrarian disturbances nearby in Surrey. Lindsay himself replaced a number of the 'very wretched' one- and two-roomed cottages which he found in the village.
In 1843, just after the inclosure of the open fields and meadows, there were 800 acres of arable in the parish, 372 of meadow, 45 of oziers, and 125 acres still as commonland. The inclosure of the commons in 1862 was suggested by Sir Patrick Colquhoun, a diplomat and writer who lived at Shepperton Creek House and objected to the gipsies and butchers who made use of the common nearby. The commons within Halliford manor in the parish remained open, but there were no general grazing rights there and when the Walton urban district council bought the Cowey farren rights in 1956 the last pasture rights in the parish were virtually extinguished.
Wheat, barley, peas, and root crops were said to be the chief crops in the later 19th century. Orchards and nursery-gardens were then beginning to appear in the parish. The orchards never became as large or numerous as those farther east and north, but marketgardens and nurseries have increased much in this century. In 1947 there were 223 acres of commercial horticultural land in the parish, divided between eight holdings. Some of this land has since been taken for housing, but market-gardening remains important.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries there were malthouses at Shepperton and Lower Halliford. As many as four are recorded in 1767. A tanyard existed in 1742 and there was one in the mid-19th century near the south end of the present High Street. Some inhabitants engaged in the barge traffic. This traffic may have given rise to the ropery which was in existence at Lower Halliford in 1767 and was still there in the 1860's. The brick-earth was worked around Lower Halliford in the 1860's and 1870's and near Shepperton Station in 1920.
Gravel digging on a large scale started near Sheepwalk Lane between the two world wars; it continues but owing to mechanization employs few people. Since 1919 a small industrial area has grown up between Govett Avenue and the railway. FerroConcrete (Shepperton) Ltd. started in 1919 with about five employees. About a hundred people are now employed at the works. Winston Electronics Ltd. moved here from Hampton Hill in 1955, when it had about 85 employees. By 1958 there were twice as many, some of them living in Feltham and Sunbury.
Another concern manufactures horticultural equipment. Since at least 1936 there has been a boat-building yard by Walton Bridge. It was taken over by R. E. Odell Ltd. in 1945. Since then various craft have been constructed, including the London water buses which operated from 1948 to 1952. The works employed 40 persons in 1958. Shepperton Film Studios at Littleton provide further employment, and many people from Shepperton parish work in Feltham, Sunbury Common, Hampton and nearby places in Surrey. Comparatively few seem to work in London.
Shepperton Local Government
Halliford and Shepperton were both among the members of Staines manor for which the Abbot of Westminster claimed exemption from the county courts from 1265 until at least 1293.
The abbey also held in them the view of frankpledge and the assize of bread and ale. The lord of Shepperton manor continued to claim view of frankpledge in the 17th century. In 1651 the Shepperton manor court appointed a constable, headborough, and aletaster. Two years later it appointed two surveyors of highways, a hogdriver, and two field wardens. The constable and surveyors may have been appointed for the entire parish. Halliford manor included Upper Halliford in Sunbury parish within its jurisdiction.
In 1299 and until the mid-14th century four courts, one of them with a view of frankpledge, were held annually for the manor. In the early 15th and early 16th centuries only two courts were held yearly, one of them with a view of frankpledge. In the 15th century Upper and Lower Halliford each constituted a separate tithing with its own constable. By 1739 there were no copyholders and no courts were held. In the 14th century Kempton manor had some jurisdiction over at least part of Halliford. In 1792 it was said that the lord of Sunbury manor claimed that Halliford was subordinate to his own manor.
In the early 19th century the vestry usually met once or twice a month and the rector was normally in the chair. Voting power was related to the amount of property held, so that in 1845 49 people had 81 votes, of which 41 belonged to 9 persons. With rare exceptions there were under a dozen people at the vestries and half or more were parish officers. By 1820 the officers appointed by the vestry included the constable and headborough, who continued to be appointed after the parish was included in the Metropolitan Police District in 1840.
From 1822 there was a salaried assistant overseer and from 1826 there were one or two poundsmen. Until the mid19th century the pound stood beside the remains of the parish cage and stocks near the south end of the High Street. The pound was then moved farther north, where it was still in existence in 1921. The vestry refused to demolish the cage and stocks, and so the lord of the manor had it done about 1860, since he considered them a nuisance. There was a parish fire-engine by 1819. The chief preoccupation of the vestry before 1836 was of course the administration of the poor law.
In 1846 an inhabitant remembered an almshouse which used to stand on some parish land. This may have been the same as the almshouse mentioned in 1681 and 1744, but whether it stood on the parish land to the north of Walton Bridge Common which was sold in 1836 is not clear. In 1826 the parish gave up a house at Halliford of which it had been lessee and in 1833 a parish cottage next to the workhouse was repaired and let out: both these may have been used earlier as parish almshouses or poorhouses. From 1796, and possibly from 1776, there was also a regular workhouse.
This stood in 1834 in Watersplash Road and was held by the parish on lease. From 1796 and possibly before the vestry farmed out the workhouse, the master also acting as parish constable. In 1820 an extra payment was made to the master as typhus had reduced the earnings of the inmates and the need for nursing had increased his expenditure. The poor-rates rose from £155 in 1775-6 to £1,211 in 1819 and then dropped to just below £600 in 1829. In 1813-15 there were about 23 poor in the workhouse and about 38 regular outpensioners. In 1817 and later, employed labourers with three or more children sometimes received relief. The poor outside the workhouse were put to work in the parish gravel-pit or on the roads in 1819 and in later years. A little relief was given in bread in 1834. In 1836 the parish became part of the Staines union and the lease of the workhouse was disposed of in the following year.
The parish council which existed from 1895 until 1930, when the parish was absorbed by Sunbury urban district, met in the Shepperton church school. At first there were nine councillors who met seven times a year, but by the 1920's there was a monthly council meeting. In 1895 the council appointed one of its members to be unpaid clerk. Until 1929 its servants included a poundsman.
The parish property which the council took over included not only the pound and a farren right in Cowey for the poundsman, but a small piece of land in Ferry Lane and the allotments and recreation ground set out under the 1862 inclosure, which had been managed by the vestry. From about 1907 the council managed Lower Halliford Green and Walton Bridge Green. A lighting committee was formed in 1906 but the first lighting scheme, which came into force a year or two later, was supported by voluntary subscriptions. It lapsed in 1915, and in 1922 the council took over the 30 lamps.
By 1930 the Staines rural district council had built 110 houses in the parish. Others have since been provided by the Sunbury urban district council.
Shepperton Early Churches 1
There was a priest at Shepperton in 1086 and a church is referred to in 1157. The church continued to serve the whole parish until 1949 when the northern part was transferred to Littleton ecclesiastical parish.
Westminster Abbey was said to hold Shepperton church in 1157, but it did not appropriate the church properly to its own use except for the tithes of its own demesne at Halliford. These, or most of them, had been appropriated by 1291, but there were subsequently a number of disputes about them between the abbey and the rector. The rector acknowledged the abbey's right to them in 1305 and in 1410 he was awarded a pension of 16s. 8d. instead of them. This was not in fact paid then or for many years, but in 1758 the lessee of Halliford manor was ordered to pay eighteen years' arrears of it.
In 1843 138 acres of the parish were exempt from tithes because of this appropriation. The church itself, excluding the appropriated tithes, was valued at £14 13s. 4d. in 1291. In 1535 the living was valued at £26. By the early 18th century it had risen to £230 and by 1835 to £500 net. In 1843 the tithes were commuted for about £550. In 1955-6 the endowment provided £213 net out of an income of £607 net. In 1086 the priest held 15 acres of land, and the glebe was estimated at 19 acres in 1650. It covered 12 acres in 1843, but only a few acres of this still belonged to the living in 1957. The rectory house is described elsewhere: part of it was divided into flats in 1956.
The advowson of the church presumably belonged to Westminster Abbey in 1157 and passed afterwards to their undertenants of the manor. In 1251 the Master of the Hospital of Domus Dei at Dover quitclaimed the advowson to Robert Beauchamp the younger, probably the lord of the manor. The lords continued to present, except on occasions which probably represent grants of single turns, until 1660. From 1683 presentations were made by different persons on each occasion, including the lord of the manor in 1704 and a former lord in 1753.
After 1750 most of the rectors seem to have been presented by relatives or to have presented themselves. By 1913 Mrs. Mary Pickering (d. 1930) held the patronage. She left it to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Representative Church Council of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the Poor Clergy Relief Corporation. It was transferred to the Bishop of London in 1942.
The light of the Holy Cross is the only one in the church to which there are specific references in the Middle Ages, but in 1547 an unnamed light had an endowment of an acre of land. One medieval rector (1305-30) is known to have been a pluralist and probably did not reside. William Grocyn, the scholar, was rector from 1504 to 1513, but he held other preferments and did not reside at Shepperton. Nicholas Robinson, rector 1561-74, held Shepperton in commendam after becoming Bishop of Bangor in 1566.
He made a twelve-year lease of the rectory estate about 1562. Lewis Hughes, an outspoken royalist, was deprived in 1642. He was said to have taken services after his deprivation and to have forbidden parishioners to pay tithes to John Doddridge in 1647. Doddridge who was the third minister since Hughes had been deprived, was in turn ejected in 1660 but for some time refused to give up the rectory. His successor, Richard Peacock, was a royalist and had been a chaplain to the army in the Civil War. Matthew Kirby was deprived in 1707 for failing to take the oath of allegiance.
His successor Lewis Atterbury, brother of the Bishop of Rochester, was chaplain to Queen Anne, who presented him to Shepperton: he probably did not live there though he took enough interest in the church to contribute largely to building a new tower. In the early 18th century there were two Sunday services and about the end of the century there were seven communion services a year. In 1790 there were some 40 communicants, on Easter Sunday 1821 there were 37, and three years later there were 50. William Russell, rector 1817-70, lived in Shepperton and took an active part in local affairs.
It was afterwards said that when he started his work among them the parishioners 'by all accounts had for some time been living in great darkness and were morally and religiously much in need of a Christian Minister'. In 1870 a chapel of ease called St. John's was opened in Watersplash Road. It and the surrounding district were transferred to Littleton parish in 1949 and the church was closed about 1953. In 1959 there were 351 names on the electoral roll of St. Nicholas. The main Sunday service was then 11 o'clock matins except when it was replaced once a month and on great festivals by sung eucharist.
Shepperton Early Churches 2
The present church of ST. NICHOLAS is generally said to have been built in 1614 from the ruins of a former building which had been washed away by the River Thames.
A 16th-century drawing which includes a distant view of Shepperton church shows it standing to the south-east of the present manor-house. Land here was known as the Old Churchyard or Old Churchyard Close in 1734 and later, and in the early 19th century the rector received a rent for it. Elias Ashmole (1617- 92) was probably referring to Shepperton church when he said that a church had been swallowed up by the waves at the same time as Cowey was cut off from Middlesex.
He seems to have dated the event too early, for Aubrey, recalling his statement in 1718, said it had happened two or three hundred years before. The earliest specific reference to the destruction of Shepperton church by flood occurs in 1790. Whether it was destroyed by a single flood or not, there is certainly evidence of encroachment by the river in the preceding centuries and the 19thcentury shape of Old Churchyard Close suggests that part had been removed by the river. The origin in printed sources of the year 1614 as the date of the present church is a now vanished inscription on the communion table which was mentioned about 1867.
It may in fact have been built rather earlier: between 1590 and 1592 two people gave and lent money to build the new church and in his will, dated and proved in 1592, the rector John Childmell directed that he should be buried in the new chancel.
The present church is a small cruciform building of flint and stone, partly chequered and incorporating medieval material. It originally consisted of a nave, transepts, chancel, and west tower. The west door and tower arch both survive from the building of c. 1600, but the rest of the tower was rebuilt in 1710, largely at the expense of the rector, Lewis Atterbury. It is of brick with an embattled parapet and is nearly twice as long from north to south as from east to west. The general style of the church is late Perpendicular.
Some of the windows have been enlarged, but there are few of them and the nave is further darkened by the gallery at the west end. This is approached through the tower by a stone staircase outside, and there is another gallery in the north transept, which is also approached by an outside stair and formerly belonged to the manor-house. Both galleries appear to be of the 18th or early 19th century. That in the nave is inscribed with texts and bears the royal arms of 1801-16.
The poppy-head pews date from the early 19th century: they used to extend into the transepts but were removed when the south transept was made into a chapel in 1951. The trussed-rafter roofs were ceiled at about the same time. The brick vestries on the south of the chancel were added in 1934.
There are three floor-slabs of 1675-1715, and a number of 18th- and 19th-century wall monuments. Among those commemorated are members of the Russell family (1806-67) and the Winch family (1863-76). An ancient octagonal font is said to have been removed from the church in 1710. The present one is modern. In 1877 a new peal of five bells was installed to replace the single bell. In 1685 the church had a 'little cup and cover and a little plate', all of silver. None of the plate now dates from before the 19th century. The registers date from 1574, with gaps in the early 17th century.
In the 16th century the rent of 2 acres of land was devoted to the maintenance of the church. This was probably part of the land known in the 19th century as the Church Lands, which lay between Charlton Road and the River Ash. It was bought by the urban district council in 1944 to be a public open space. The stock then purchased produced an income of £11 in 1956 which was used for church expenses. Frederick Goddard gave a house called Ashcroft in Linden Way for the maintenance of the church in 1924.
Shepperton Schools and Charities
There were said to be no dissenters in the parish in 1766 and in 1810, though one Quaker was reported in 1778. In 1811 a meeting-place for Independents at Shepperton Green was registered.
The Methodist church in Sheepwalk Lane, Shepperton Green, was built in 1879 as a Primitive Methodist mission hall. It was enlarged and Sunday schools were added in 1910.
The little brick-built Roman Catholic church of St. John Fisher, Squires Road, was opened in 1945.
SchoolsThere was a schoolmaster in Shepperton in the 1580's. A school was being formed in 1738 and a schoolmaster was mentioned in the following year. A school at Shepperton became associated with the National Society in 1816, and in 1818 it had about 40 pupils. In 1832 this school took only girls and attendance was about 30. It was incorporated into a new National school which was established in 1833 in the present High Street and was said to have been erected upon glebeland.
There were 87 pupils, both boys and girls, in 1833. In 1853 Mrs. Susan Lumley endowed the school with £35 a year for the mistress's salary. A new building was erected in 1860 so that there were separate schools for boys and girls. Attendance was usually between 120 and 170 from 1886 to 1938. New buildings were erected in 1929 on land to the west of the High Street given by the lord of the manor.
The old buildings were sold and one of them has since been demolished. In 1957 an additional building, designed by E. J. Harman, was opened in Manor Farm Avenue. In 1957 the school was known as St. Nicholas Church of England School and had 390 pupils on the roll.
A temporary council school was opened in Sheepwalk Lane in 1904. The permanent school, now Shepperton Green School, was opened on the same site in 1906, but the original iron building was still in use in 1957. The average attendance in 1907 was 200. Attendance dropped from 318 on the roll in 1955 to 261 in 1957, when the new Church of England school building had been opened.
There were two dame schools in the parish in 1833 and 1846 and since then there have usually been one or more private schools. In 1956 there was one all-age independent school, which was in Halliford.
CharitiesRichard Buckland left £1 a year to the poor of Shepperton in 1573, and this was still being distributed in 1956. The Parish land or Bread Charity arose in 1836, when parish land near Walton Bridge was sold. Before this the land may have been the site of one of the parish almshouses to which occasional references have been found and which are discussed elsewhere.
The proceeds of the sale were used to buy land for a new burial ground on which was charged a rent of £3 to provide bread for the poor. The rent was redeemed in 1950 for £120, which was invested. In 1862 the rector, William Russell, gave two houses in Chertsey Road, now known as the Church House, in trust for the poor; in 1956 £13 income from this was distributed among six people. Jane Boor (will proved 1908) left £500 in trust for payments to the aged poor. H. C. Henderson (will proved 1913) left £100 in trust to buy coal for the poor of Halliford.
In 1910 the incumbent thought that there were too many dole charities and they did more harm than good. A committee was set up in 1913 to administer the charities and since then the income has been expended in gifts of money and goods. In 1956 the combined annual income of all the charities was about £35. The 1862 inclosure set out grounds for garden allotments for the poor, which were managed by the vestry and its successors.