September 30, 2023|Reports

“The Manor of Wickham” – Geoff Phillpotts

Ninety-three members and visitors – a record! – attended the first meeting of the Wickham History Society’s Autumn Programme. The subject was a local one: The Early History of the Manor of Wickham and Geoff Phillpotts, Chair of the Society, took members through the manor’s first 600 years from the eleventh century to the seventeenth century.

The talk included new material, particularly on our first lords of the manor, the de Scures family who are believed to have come from the small hamlet of Escures just south of Port en Bessin on the Normandy coast. Their fortune was made when they were granted Wickham and two other Hampshire manors by the very successful de Port family after the Norman Conquest. In doing so they transformed Wickham from two small Saxon manors, building an impressive aisled hall on the Glebe field behind School Road,  St Nicholas Church (the village’s first stone building) and a highly successful ‘new town’ where Wickham Square is today.  Despite the trauma of the Black Death, when around 80% of the population died, Wickham market thrived as one of the most prosperous in Hampshire. By the time of the Uvedale family who acquired the village by marriage in the fifteenth century, the manor had grown by more than a third to take in additional land in today’s Boarhunt, Titchfield, Whiteley and Soberton parishes.

The talk concluded with the division and sale of the manor in 1699 following  the death of the last Uvedale male heir. Half the village was sold off to pay for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle’s grand new home: Castle Howard by the North York Moors, while the other half went to a Shropshire family, the Corbett’s, to fund their political ambitions. Was that the end of Wickham Manor…? To find out, come along to the next instalment in 2024.

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