Hameledune (xi cent.), Hameledon (xiii cent.),
Hameldon (xiv cent.).
Hambledon is a small parish inclosed on the north,
east, and west by Godalming, bounded on the south
by Chiddingfold. It is about 3 miles from north
to south, rather over 1 mile wide in the south, but
tapering to the north. It contains 2,721 acres. The
village is 4 miles from Godalming town. The
northern part of the parish is on the Green Sand,
which rises into a considerable elevation towards
Highden Heath (Hyddenesheth in 1453). Hyde
Stile is near it; High Down is a probable corruption. The clay in the south of the parish is very
thickly wooded, chiefly with oak; and Hambledon
Hurst, an oak wood, through which a clay track runs,
the old highway from Godalming to Chiddingfold
and beyond, is, when passable in dry weather, one
of the most picturesque woodland walks in Surrey.
This highway was continually being presented as out
of repair in the Godalming Hundred Courts in the
14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. (fn. 1) It is crossed more
than once by a stream, which ultimately joins the
Arun. On 21 September 1340, Thomas le Beel,
rector of Hambledon, was presented for having dug a
ditch in the highway.
Brick-making is carried on in the clay soil. Iron
also occurs in considerable quantities in the same soil;
Lord Montague claimed an iron mine at Hambledon, (fn. 2)
and Mine Pits Copse no doubt preserves the name of
it, though the part of the wood now so named is over
the Godalming border. On 20 February 1570 Lord
Montague had had trouble with the commoners who
resented his cutting wood for his ironworks, perhaps
in Hambledon Hurst. (fn. 3)
The school (under the National Society) was
enlarged in 1874.
The Union Workhouse for the Hambledon Union
is in the parish. It was originally built as a parish
workhouse in 1786, but has been much enlarged.
A small outlying portion of Hambledon, an enclave
of Godalming and Hascombe, was transferred to Hascombe by the Local Government Board in 1884. It
included Lambert's Farm on the road through Hascombe village.
Within the bounds of the parish are several old
houses and cottages, as well as a number of good
modern houses. The old manor-house close to the
churchyard is one of the best of the old buildings.
HAMBLEDON MANOR included lands
in Chiddingfold, Godalming, and Witley.
In the time of Edward the Confessor,
Azor held Hambledon. (fn. 4) After the Conquest it was
held in chief by Edward of Salisbury, ancestor of the
first Earl of Salisbury, and remained for some time a
member of the honour of Salisbury. (fn. 5)
The immediate tenant in 1086 was Randulf. His
successors in the 13th century took their name from
Hambledon. In consideration of a grant to William
de Brademer of certain land in Fetcham and Letherhead in 1207, Robert of Hambledon obtained a
release of William's claim to a hide of land in Hambledon in favour of his own son, Richard of Hambledon. (fn. 6) This hide had formerly been held by Robert
de Smallbrede, and may therefore have been identical
with the lands called Great and Lesser Smallbredes,
which were attached to the manor in 1621. (fn. 7) In
1251 free warren in Hambledon and Prestwick was
granted to Robert Norris, but there is no proof
that he held the manor. (fn. 8) Richard of Hambledon,
the son of Henry of Hambledon, was lord of the
manor later in the same century. (fn. 9) His successor in
1316 was Walter of Hambledon; (fn. 10) he apparently died
leaving heirs who were minors, for in 1321 the king
granted Hambledon to John de Toucester during his
pleasure. (fn. 11) Before 1324 it appears to have been
acquired by Robert Fleming and Alice his wife, for in
that year they had licence for a chapel in their manor
of Hambledon. (fn. 12) A 14th-century extent of the purparty of a certain inheritance assigned to Thomas
Fleming includes a hall at Smallbredes with a solar
and kitchen and a chapel. (fn. 13) The history of the manor
during the next century is obscure. It would appear
from the patronage of the church, which both before
and after this period belonged to the lords of the
manor, that it changed hands several times, for the
advowson was successively in the possession of Edward
the Black Prince, John de Bursebrigg, Richard Earl of
Arundel, John Ryouns, William Petworth, Robert
Payn, John Wintershull and Henry Payn, Robert
Marshall and Richard Payn, Richard Monsted and
Edmund Sumner, and Robert atte Mille and John Busbridge and others. (fn. 14) It is directly stated that Richard
Earl of Arundel held the lordship of Hambledon by
reason of the custody of the heir, a woman; it is
therefore possible that the above-mentioned patrons
of the church were also holding the manor either as
guardians or feoffees to the use of the heir of the
at Hyls or Hulls. In 1350 Thomas at Hyl was
lord of the manor and Maud was his wife. (fn. 15) She was
clearly seised of the manor and is said to have been
Maud of Hambledon.
At his death in 1489 John Hull was lord of
Hambledon. (fn. 16) Probably he was a descendant of Maud
wife of Thomas Hull whose
death was presented at Godalming Court, October 1410. (fn. 17)
The sons of John Hull were
Richard and Edward.
Hull of Hambledon. Argent a cheveron azure between three demi-lions passant gules with three bezants on the cheveron and a chief sable with two piles argent therein.
In 1538 John Hull of Hambledon died. John Hull of
full age was his heir. (fn. 18) He
held in 1547–9 (fn. 19) and Giles
Hull in 1567 and 1572.
Giles was father to Samuel
and Joseph who sold in 1606
to Lawrence Stoughton. (fn. 20) In
1613 he sold to Laurence
Eliot of Busbridge, (fn. 21) a yearly
rent being reserved to Samuel
Hull during his life. (fn. 22) Laurence Eliot who held a court in 1614 died holding
the manor in 1619, (fn. 23) and left a son Sir William Eliot
who settled the manor on himself and his wife Joan in
tail male. (fn. 24) He died in 1650. His son Sir William
with his wife and son William barred the entail in
1692. (fn. 25) William the son died 1707. The manor
was mortgaged and in 1710 was sold to John Walter (fn. 26)
except the next presentation to the church, which
William had already granted
to his brother, Laurence Eliot. John Walter settled the
manor on his son Abel's wife
Anne Nevill in 1729, and they
conveyed it in 1737 to James
Jolliffe and others, (fn. 27) possibly
trustees for Hitch Young. (fn. 28)
In 1759 it passed to the latter's grand-nephew the Hon.
William Bouverie, created Earl
of Radnor 1761. His son
Viscount Folkestone was in
possession in 1770. (fn. 29) In 1800
his son Jacob Pleydell Bouverie
sold it to Henry Hare Townsend of Busbridge. (fn. 30) Mr.
Thomas Mellersh of Godalming purchased it from
him in 1823, and it has since remained in the
Bouverie, Earl of Radnor. Party fessewise or and argent an eagle sable with two heads having on his breast a scutcheon gules with a bend vair.
The old manor house is at the west end of the
church. It is now called Court Farm from the court
baron having been held there.
The lands of Great and Lesser Smallbrede, Shadwells and Durcombes are mentioned in another deed
of 1622–3. (fn. 31) In 1707 Shadwell Field and Upper,
Lower, and Little Darkham were included in Hyde
Style Farm in the northern part of Hambledon, and
Shadwell is an existing name north-west of the
farm-house. These seem to be the latter two.
Smallbrede was probably adjoining them, and perhaps
Great Smallbrede is preserved in what is called the
Great House on the right-hand side of the road from
Hambledon to Godalming, south of Hyde Style
Farm. Smallbrede was on the road, for the Hundred
Roll of the Court of 21 September 1340 refers to
injury to the via regia at Smallbrede.
The lord of Hambledon Manor had court baron,
and in Manning and Bray's time court leet in 'High
Hambledon.' (fn. 32) View of frankpledge and assize of
bread and ale were claimed by Robert parson of
Hambledon in 1278–9. He failed to appear and
justify his claim, whereupon the Bishop of Salisbury
was allowed those liberties as pertaining to his hundred of Godalming. (fn. 33) As late as 1808 the lord of
Godalming Hundred was paid 2s. when a court leet
was held at Hambledon. (fn. 34) The steward of the bishop
regularly held a view of frankpledge at Hambledon on
St. Matthew's Day, and tried cases of trespass, assault,
failure to maintain highways and bridges, breaking of
the assize of bread and ale, &c. (fn. 35)
The church of ST. PETER is a small
building almost entirely rebuilt in 1846,
consisting of nave, with small north aisle
and vestry, south porch, and chancel. There is a
bell-turret at the west end. It is most picturesquely
situated, with very fine views from the churchyard, in
which are two splendid yews; the trunk of the larger,
which must be of an immense age, measures about
30 ft. in circumference and is hollow. The smaller
one measures 17 ft. at 5 ft. from the ground.
Cracklow (1824) describes the old church as consisting of a nave and chancel, 'of rough materials,
covered partly with tiles, and partly with stone slates,'
with 'a small open chapel on the north belonging
to the manor, with a gallery on the north sides
and another at the west end. The floor of the
church is paved with bricks, and the entrance is by a
path at the west end; there is a wooden turret,
rising through the roof near the middle of the nave,
containing one bell, and surmounted by a small spire
covered with shingles. The basin of the font is cut
out of a solid block of stone. The style of the
architecture affords but few data on which to form
any idea of the period of its foundation. The Royal
Arms are painted on the shell of a turtle placed over
the pulpit, which was presented by the Earl of Radnor, patron of the church. Among the monuments
are some for the family of Hull, of the early date of
Cracklow's view, taken from the south-west, shows
a porch of timber at the west end, a somewhat lofty
nave, with its modern bell-turret nearly central (as in
the neighbouring church of Hascombe, before rebuilding), a square-headed blocked doorway in the
south wall, and eastward of it a two-light window,
apparently of 13th-century date, beyond which again
are two two-light windows, square-headed and
probably 'churchwarden' insertions: one is quite
low down in the wall. In the south wall of the
chancel is a lancet of 13th-century character, probably
a low side window.
The approximate dimensions of the old church were:
nave 30 ft. by 16 ft., chancel 16 ft. by 13 ft., and
north chapel 16 ft. by 7 ft., and the new church is
of about the same size. As might be expected from
the date of the rebuilding, the present church has not
much to recommend it, but the design is pretty good
in parts, and there is a profusion of carving, quite
excellent for the period, especially a cornice on the
outside of the south wall of the chancel, with
minute heads and paterae by the same hand as the
restored heads in the wall-arcade of 'the Round' at
the Temple Church, London.
A good deal of chalk has been used in the interior,
especially in the arcade of three arches to the north
aisle, and in the chancel arch. The font, octagonal
and modern, is a copy of that in Bosham Church,
Sussex. The original font appears to have been of
11th or 12th-century date and to have resembled in
design that in the neighbouring church of Alfold.
The roofs are modern.
The 17th-century altar-table is now in the vestry,
in which also is a deal chest of about the same date.
The registers date from 1617.
When the church was rebuilt in 1846, the then
rector, the Rev. E. Bullock, gave a cup, paten, and
flagon. The only ancient communion vessel is a
small paten with the London hall-marks of 1691.
There is one bell by William Eldridge, 1705.
There is no mention of a church
at Hambledon in the Domesday
Survey. A church existed in 1291. (fn. 36)
The lords of the manor presented to it in the 14th century, and the advowson of the church remained in
their possession (fn. 37) till the last William Eliot (who
sold the manor to John Walter) granted the presentation to his brother Laurence Eliot. (fn. 38) His son
Francis Eliot sold it to Lord Folkestone in 1761. (fn. 39)
It is now in the hands of Lord Radnor, his descendant.
Henry Smith's Charity (1627) for
the relief of deserving poor exists as
in most Surrey parishes.
Richard Wyatt (1618) left money for the maintenance of one poor man of the parish in the Carpenters'
Almshouse at Godalming.