St Thomas, Bedhampton The ancient yews in the churchyard
Photographs copyright Ann James 2006
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Both St Thomas and St Nicholas
Researched by Anne James from original material and fully authenticated. COPYRIGHT ANN JAMES 2006 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This Parish lies in the Hundred of Portsdown 7 miles NE Portsmouth 4 miles from The Sussex Border. Bedhampton in DB 1086 is spelt BETAMETONE. Possibly Farmstead of dwellers where Beet is grown}OE Bete +Haeme+Tun.
An early form of Survey survives in a pre conquest letter to Denewolf Bishop of Winchestr in reign King Edward 901-908
The land at BEADDICTON as it was written at this time. This Anglo Saxon document is in Latin in the old Charterhouse in Winchester Cathedral.
Church and Village
The Parish church of St Thomas was founded in 1132c. it is of 12th c in part. It has a Chancel Arch resting on Pillars which have diamonds and chevrons of the Norman period. There is a mass dial on the wall. A large Bench carved with flowers 13th c and Roof timbers in the Nave. The font is of later work and the Bell is marked 1688. In the churchyard we see two ancient yew trees one 20ft in diameter and supported and one very tall. The monks of Hyde Abbey cared for the church and grounds. It was thought there was a Nunnery here but no evidence exists, to date. The Village contains the Old Rectory a grey stone building, The Elms was a residence of Lord Lee.
After Waterloo Arthur Wellesley who was created Duke of Wellington stayed here after his return and billeted some of his men and horses here .He was a distant cousin of Lord Lee and was at the Elms for some months.. Bidbury Mead east of the Church is a lovely Park. BedHampton is a conservation area, and is fed by the natural springs here
Survey 1665 Hearth Tax recorded 26 Houses
Returns of 1725 recorded 161 persons
Manor and Lands The earliest record is taken from the Priory of Southwick accounts when Hugh De Port Lord of the Manor here, is confirming grants of Land with Henry 11 in 1166.. From the Calendar of Inquests Post Mortem in 1286 Reginald Fitz Peter held the Manor on his death It devolved on his Widow Joan d 1314 After her death the Manor was empty for 30-40yrs. It came to Duchess of Kent widow of Edmund brother of Edward 11 and has been connected with Edw111 son Edward the Black Prince on his way to Crecy in France and is remembered in Kings Croft Lane and the golden lion Inn.
First Manorial Holding consisted of a house with two gardens and a Dovecote The area covered 301 Arable acres land 12 acres of Meadow and a Pasture by the sea. It had two water mills one for Corn. which were in existence in 18th-19thc From a report there was found a Fulling Mill for Woven cloth felted and shrunk to a woollen broadcloth, The Parish had fresh water springs which fed the area, Also St Chads Well source of water for the Village.
Manor House was a two story building of Timber and Stone walls and a thatched roof. With an upper storey overhanging as in the Elizabethan period. It was demolished in 1881 and a new one erected.
There was also an extensive Deer Park which stretched North to the boundary of modern Cowplain and is traced to Padnell Common it covered an area of 160 acres, The last surviving portion to-day is preserved in the Queens Enclosure a small forested area which formed part of the Forest of Bere. A Royal Hunting ground. Manor and Lands were a Royal Demesne
In 1632 Henry V111 sold the Deer Park off into five Farms. Little Park, Middle Park
Dunsbury, Upper Park, and Nevilles Farm which was located near the Warren.
The Binythwade refers to the N and S Binness Islands which went to the borders of Hayling, now almost submerged they were a causeway at low tide. These were used for grazing and Tillage.
Lord of Manor returned 2 knights fees yearly.
After 1542 Estate reverted to the crown.