Population: 1911, 195; 1921, 151; 1931, 162.
The tiny village is mostly set about a triangular green,
south-east of the church at the junction of three roads,
that leading to the north finishing at the church. The
River Stour flows west of the village and the road to the
south crosses it by a bridge of c. 1685, built of ashlar
stone with four very small arches and with ball-ornaments on the parapets.
The oldest house seems to be 'Magpies', a former
farm-house facing east towards the green. The walls
are of timber-framing of the first half of the 16th century. The plan of the original part is L-shaped, the
long wing extending northwards and the short wing
having a gable-end flush with its east front. The lower
story is of fairly close studding, the upper of square
framing which in the short south wing and its gablehead is filled with herring-bone work. The infilling is
of plaster. The doorways and window-frames have
been renovated. The roof is covered with stone tiles.
The main rooms have heavy chamfered ceiling-beams
and exposed rafters and wide fire-places with oak
lintels. In the upper story is a fine cambered tie-beam
and other ancient timbers.
Two cottages opposite, north and south of the green,
more or less reconditioned, are of coursed stonework
and have 17th-century mullioned windows with labels
to both stories. In the northern, by the park gates, the
upper are in semi-dormers and the roof is red-tiled.
The southern also has a moulded doorway with a label,
and its roof, covered with stone tiles, has gabled
Farther east on the south side of the roadway is
Honington Lodge, built of light yellow rough ashlar.
The east half of the house has 17th-century windows
of dark Hornton stone with labels, but they have lost
their mullions, and there are two blocked doorways.
The house was restored in 1910 and probably all the
west half is of that period.
To the north of the park (fn. 1) is 'Deer-Keeper's Lodge',
of mid-late-17th-century date. It is of two stories, the
upper with three flush gables in front. The walls are
of coursed and squared light rough ashlar with darker
stone dressings and a plain string-course at the firstfloor level. The eaves and gables have moulded copings.
The comparatively tall windows have moulded architraves and sills and are of two lights with transoms to
the lower range. The middle entrance in the front has
a similar architrave and over it a headlight ranging with
the windows. The interior has a vaulted cellar and
some 17th-century panelling.
Honington Hall, north-west of the church, was built
about 1685 by Sir Henry Parker in place of an earlier
one. In 1737 the estate passed to the Townsend family,
who made considerable alterations. These included the
erection of a great octagonal salon at the back in place
of an earlier salon and loggia: the basement of the last
was retained but its colonnade was rebuilt in front of a
garden house to the north-west of the Hall. The main
block was of simple plan, having a central hall between
side-wings which project slightly on the east front and
contain the other two most important original rooms of
the ground floor, the Drawing Room in the south wing
with a boudoir behind (west of) it and the Dining
Room, now the 'Magistrate's Room', in the north wing
with the original main staircase behind it. There seems
to have been a rectangular salon behind and of the
same length as the hall with the loggia in front of it.
With the remodelling of c. 1745 it was abolished and
the domed octagonal salon, 30 ft. diameter, was built
projecting for three-quarters of its size from the main
west front and with windows in its three outer faces.
The space between it and the hall was made into a
lobby with north and south two-bay colonnades that
divided it from side-chambers, all between the original
north and south wings. The southern side-chamber,
that has its north-west corner splayed by the wall of the
octagonal salon, contains the main staircase of this
period with open iron-work balustrades. A middle
doorway opens into the lobby from the hall and the
same wall is also pierced with quasi-windows to the
The walls are of red brick with rusticated stone
angle-dressings and stone-framed sash windows, the
lower windows with bracketed drip-stones. The bracketed eaves-cornices are of wood. Over the upper
windows close below the cornices are fillings-in rather
than lintels, of white stone about a foot high, which are
apparently later insertions and suggest that the walls
and the first-floor ceilings were heightened a little at
some later 18th-century period. The entrance in the
middle of the east front has side-pilasters and a curved
broken pediment with a cartouche of the arms of
Townsend. In the east and south fronts, above the
ground-floor windows, is a series of busts of ancient
Roman celebrities backed by round-headed niches,
probably part of the 18th-century embellishments. The
roofs are hipped and are covered with slates. In them
are square-headed dormers. The chimney-stacks of
brick are plain, except the 18th-century pair on the
south wall which are panelled.
Most of the internal decoration is of the 1745 period,
including much ornamental plaster work done by
Italian craftsmen. The hall has an overmantel with a
plastered panel of a classical scene, the doors have entablatures with amorini, and over them are similar
panels, and there is an ornate ceiling. The boudoir also
has an elaborate ceiling. The Drawing Room, however,
is lined with bolection-moulded panelling of the 1685
period, but its chimney-piece is of the later date. The
interior of the octagonal salon is lavishly treated and the
dome has a painted pictorial centre. The original main
staircase has heavy turned balusters, &c., and on the
first landing is a wall recess for a former 'grandfather'
As a contrast to the lower ceilings, the upper ceilings
are severely plain, probably because the rooms were
heightened at some later period. The attics show no
distinctive roof construction. One small room in the
south wing on the first floor has large wall panels of
17th-century stamped leather depicting Chinese subjects.
The stables north-east of the house are probably of
the early 17th century with walls of coursed yellow
ashlar and with a middle arch carriage-way made in the
1685 period. A granary north of it is of late-16thcentury red brickwork, and an octagonal dovecote, of
stone, is also probably earlier than the house. It has the
original stone nesting-boxes, and the central post with
the revolving ladder for access to the nests.
The entrance to the grounds, on the north side of the
village green, is of the 1685 period. It has four gateposts: the inner and taller pair are of brick with vermicular stone quoins and probably of 1685. The outer
and lower pair, to the footways, are of ashlar probably
of the 18th century. All have like entablatures with
ball-heads, and in the friezes is applied ornament—carvings of heads between swags of drapery.
When Earl Leofric in 1043 founded the
Priory of Coventry he endowed it with 24
vills, of which the first to be named was
HONINGTON, (fn. 2) and it was therefore among the estates
of the priory in 1086, when it was rated at 5 hides. (fn. 3)
In 1257 the Prior of Coventry had a grant of free
warren for this and other manors, (fn. 4) and in 1285 he
established the right of his house to have gallows, view
of frankpledge, and other franchises here and elsewhere. (fn. 5) Six years later the manor, including 3 carucates of land, was valued at £4 14s. (fn. 6) There appears to
have been some unrest in the manor in 1412, when it
was alleged that the bondmen and tenants of the Prior
of Coventry in Honington had combined to refuse their
due customs and services. (fn. 7) At the time of the Dissolution the manor was farmed at £16, the rents of customary
and other tenants amounted to
£22 17s. 2d., and with the mills,
rectory, and other sources of income the whole estate brought
in about £50. (fn. 8) It was granted
in 1540 to Robert Gibbes (fn. 9) who
died in 1557. (fn. 10) His son Robert
was twice married; his son by his
first wife, Anthony, (fn. 11) died without issue and the estate passed
to Sir Ralph Gibbes, Robert's
son by his second wife. (fn. 12) Sir
Ralph made a settlement of the manor at his marriage
with Gertrude daughter of Sir Thomas Wroughton, (fn. 13)
and was succeeded by his son Sir Henry in 1618. (fn. 14)
Thomas Gibbes, his son, was dealing with the manor
in 1668, (fn. 15) and not long after this date it was bought
by Sir Henry Parker, bart. (fn. 16) He died in 1713 and was
succeeded by his grandson Sir Henry John Parker, who
sold the manor in 1737 to Joseph Townsend. He
married Judith Gore and their son Gore Townsend
died in 1826. His son Henry on
his death in 1873 left his estates
to his nephew Frederick Townsend, (fn. 17) at whose death, without
issue, in 1905 they came to Sir
Grey Skipwith, bt., a descendant
of Harriet, daughter of Gore
Townsend. (fn. 18) Mrs. Horton was
lady of the manor in 1936. (fn. 19)
Gibbes. Sable three battle-axes argent.
Townsend. Azure a cheveron engrailed ermine between three scallops or with a crosslet fitchy between two annulets azure on the cheveron.
In 1236 the Prior of Coventry had 1/10 knight's fee in
Honington which was held by
Geoffrey de Wilnhal. (fn. 20) This
is presumably the 1/10 fee in
BROADMOOR which was held
of the prior in 1242 by William
de Timor and John de Brademor. (fn. 21) In 1279 no tenant
is mentioned, but the prior was said to have six bond
tenants in Broadmoor; (fn. 22) Nicholas de Trimenel, however, one of the prior's free tenants in Honington, was
said to hold 7 virgates as 1/10 fee, (fn. 23) which may have been
here. Broadmoor is called a hamlet of Honington in
1316; (fn. 24) and was the site of a chapel of St. Denis which
was included in the grant of Honington to Robert
Gibbes in 1540. (fn. 25) The chapel is mentioned in 1683
as having been converted into a cottage, (fn. 26) and its site
is still known as the Chapel Field.
There were in 1086 in Honington 4 mills worth
54s. 4d. (fn. 27) In 1291 the prior had 2 mills here valued at
£1, (fn. 28) and in 1540 the mills were farmed for £3 5s. 4d. (fn. 29)
Three watermills are mentioned in 1578, (fn. 30) and two in
1597, (fn. 31) and these two were leased by Henry Gibbes in
1620 to Sir Thomas Temple and Thomas Gibbes for
30 years at a peppercorn rent. (fn. 32) In 1741 (fn. 33) and 1809 (fn. 34)
the appurtenances of the manor included 4 water cornmills, 4 fulling-mills, and 3 dove-houses.
The parish church of ALL SAINTS
consists of an apsidal chancel, nave with
north and south aisles, and a west tower.
The structure was rebuilt, except the tower, about
1680 and is reminiscent of the plainer of the Wren
churches in the City of London. The tower is an
unusual example of a rebuilding in the 15th century
on older foundations with the re-use of windows, &c.,
of the late 13th century.
The nave (about 48 ft. by 18½ ft.) has north and
south arcades of four bays with round heads of square
section with panelled soffits; the white-stone columns
are cylindrical, with partly square-moulded capitals
enriched with egg and dart and other ornament, and
moulded bases on high plinths partly encased in wood.
The chancel arch is of similar detail.
The semi-circular apse (about 12½ ft. diameter) has
a wide round-headed single light in the middle, and
there are similar windows at the ends of the aisles, and
four each in the north and south walls. Under the
westernmost north and south windows are the squareheaded doorways.
The walls are of light yellow ashlar with moulded
plinths, and have plain parapets with pilasters dividing
the long sides into bays corresponding with the arcades,
&c., and crowned by carved urns.
The coved ceiling of the nave is plastered, the middle
part being divided into panels with moulded ribs. The
apse has radiating main ribs. The flat aisle-ceilings are
plain. The roof over the nave is a high-pitched gable
covered with stone tiles and with a stone cross at the
apex of the east end.
The west tower (about 12 ft. east to west by 11 ft.
inside) is of three stages with plain weather stringcourses. The walls are of deep yellow Cotswold stone
ashlar and have at the west angles diagonal buttresses
to the two lower stages and square buttresses projecting
north and south at the east angles. The masonry of
these buttresses of the 15th century courses in with the
walling, whereas none of that of the earlier windows
does so. There is no plinth, but the west wall, only, has
a scroll-moulded string-course at plinth level, like that
to the south wall of Halford church.
The archway in the east wall is of the late 13th
century and of three chamfered orders, the head being
sharply pointed and of small voussoirs. The outer order
on the tower side, which is hollowed, dies on the tower
walls. The archway is concealed on the nave side by
the large monument described below. In the south
wall is a doorway made when this blocking was done.
In the west wall is a wide pointed light of the late 13th
century with moulded jambs of two orders and a hoodmould with mask-stops. The lower part of the light is
The second stage has west, north, and south windows
of one light with pointed heads, with weatherworn
remains of foiling indicating that they were originally
traceried. The bell-chamber has pointed late-13thcentury windows, the jambstones of which, like those
below, all break joint with the wall-masonry. They
are all of two lights, but the heads are varied. The
eastern has cinquefoiled pointed heads and a quatrefoiled spandrel, the north and south have trefoiled
heads and a foiled circle in the main head. The west
has trefoil-headed lights with a trefoil over each and a
plain spandrel in the main head. All the windows have
hood-moulds with mask-stops.
The parapets are of the late 17th century or 18th
century. They are plain, with moulded copings, and
have intermediate and angle pilasters, above which the
moulded copings break forward. Above the angles
are square pinnacles with ogee hood-moulded gables
and topped by panelled heads of obelisk form with
foliage finials and arrow-vanes.
On the south face of the second stage above the
window is the iron gnomon of a former sundial.
In the chancel are contemporary communion-rails
with twisted and carved balusters, and two high-backed
chairs. The quire-stalls have original pierced foliage
panels in the upper parts and fielded panels below.
There are two high pews of similar type at the west
ends of the aisles but most of the other pews have been
cut down from their original height; some retain the
pierced foliage frieze-panels.
The organ is modern but has a re-used similar panel
in its casing.
The hexagonal pulpit has sides with fielded panels;
the angle-posts are carved with pendants of fruit and
flowers and have carried brackets to support the bookrest. It was carried on a central post which is now
reduced to a capital and base only.
The font has a moulded small bowl with reeded and
gadrooned underside, a slender stem and a moulded
base in which the bowl-ornament is repeated. It is of a
fine-grained white Italian stone and probably imported.
The pavement in the apse is of Italian marbles, the
chancel, in the front of it, of modern tiles, and the nave
of hard grey stone slabs.
There is a large carved achievement of the Stuart
Royal Arms on the west wall of the nave in the tympanum of the roof space.
Against the west wall of the nave is a large monument
of white-veined marble to Sir Henry Parker, bart., who
married Margaret Hyde and died 25 October 1713,
and his son Hugh, who married Joan Smyth and died
2 February 1712(3). Their statues stand upon a pedestal engraved with the inscription and with lofty pilasters
on either side supporting an architectural setting with
a cornice on which are two shields of arms. On the wall
to the south is a full achievement of arms.
There are 12 other later memorials to members of
the Townsend family: the earliest is to Joseph Townsend, 1763, an ugly white marble monument with a
large cherub, seated on a pedestal, a skull, books, and
foliage, all in a square-headed recess.
A floor slab is to the Reverend Richard Bland, Vicar
There are six bells, the treble of 1810, the fourth of
1726, and the other four by Matthew Bagley, 1687. (fn. 35)
The communion plate is silver gilt; it consists of a
large cup with paten cover, and a tankard-shaped flagon,
with an angel for thumb-piece, made in 1684 and given
in 1686 by Sir Hugh Parker, bart., whose arms they
bear; also a paten given at the same time by Barbara
Hyde, and an alms plate of 1696. (fn. 36)
The registers begin in 1558.
The church descended with the
manor throughout. It was assessed at
£10, with an additional £2 for tithes
assigned to the Priory of Coventry, in 1291. (fn. 37) The
monks were allowed to appropriate the rectory by
Bishop John de Thoresby in 1351, assigning a yearly
salary of 10 marks to the vicar and a payment of 1 mark
to the Bishop of Worcester. (fn. 38) The royal assent to the
appropriation was given in 1356. (fn. 39) In 1535 the rectorial tithes were farmed for £8; the pension payable
to the bishop was then 26s. 8d., with another 20s. to
the Prior of Coventry, and 7s. 2d. to the archdeacon. (fn. 40)
The rectory and the advowson of the vicarage were
included in the grant of the manor to Robert Gibbes
in 1540, and remained attached to the manor. In 1930
the living was united with that of Idlicote.
Richard Badger's Charity. An account
of this charity is given under the parish of
Barcheston. This parish receives an annual
sum of £17 16s. 9d., representing the church share,
and a like amount representing the poor's share.