13 June 1902 - Bedfordshire Times - Round the County….Westoning

13 June 1902 - Bedfordshire Times - Round the County....Westoning (i) of (ii)

Travellers by the Midland Railway can see the small lead-covered spar of the church of this parish midway between the Flitwick and the Harlington stations. The village lies some half-a-mile to the west of the railway line, and is pleasantly scattered over a network of lanes. The well-wooded grounds of the Manor House on the north west, and the abundant hedges and timber give a picturesquely sylvan look to the otherwise open and undulating surface of the land. The Flitt crossed by a bridge on the Flitwick –Westoning road, flows through the parish. All the customary varieties of village architecture are represented here from the ancient dormer windowed thatched home and the timber and brick structure to the modern model cottage and the red and white brick production of the small builder.

The more pleasing of the modern buildings bear the initials of the Lord of the Manor "J.G. C-C."

A conspicuous and very welcome and useful addition to the village was made in 1897, when Mr. and Mrs Campion put up a clock tower as a memorial of the Diamond Jubilee to Queen Victoria. On a triangle, surrounded by roads, stands a substantial block of school buildings the older portion of which dates from 1841. This is said to be but with one exception the oldest building of the kind in the county. It bears this inscription "National School for the Parishes of Westoning, Harlington and Tingrith.

Built by voluptuary subscription, Aided by Grants from the Bedfordshire Board of Education, The National Society and The Committee of Council of Education

Education MDCCCXLIA good masters house has since been added and the accommodation for scholars is still ample and of a sufficient character.

The school is now managed by a School Board.

The licensed houses that bear signs are The Chequers, The Bell, The Nags Head and a small one with the sign The Hop Vine,

Was the hop ever cultivated in this parish or is this sign merely an allusion to one of the ingredients of the beer?The parish, which lies near the southern edge of the outcrop of the Lower Greensand, touches the parishes of Flitwick, Flitton,

Higham Gobion, Tingrith, Harlington and Toddington. The church stands on the highest part about 270 feet above sea level. A peculiarity of the parish is its position of three detached junctions –two small ones in Tingrith parish and a large piece containing Washers Wood bordered by Milton Bryan, Toddington and Tingrith.

In the main parish itself there is no wooded land except the plantation in the park. The only local industry besides, general agriculture and some brickyards, is the straw hat and bonnet making for Luton firms. The area of the parish is given as 1580 acres.

The population in 1801 was 418; in 1871, 725; in 1881, 657; in 1891, 525; and the census of the present year showed it to have declined to 487.

This probable decrease in the population there now appears no lack of homes to live in. A few of the older houses are disused and a number of new one's have been built. The supply of water for domestic purposes is said to be generally sufficient.

There is no mention of the parish in "Doomesday," nor that survey leaves any area unaccounted for in the vicinity. An explanation may possibly be found by deriving the name from as Waste or Wasten a waste portion of one or more neighbouring parishes possibly of Priestley in Flitwick. This derivation is confirmed by the fact that localities known in parishes as "West End" referred to as being by name at the 'wast and' of their several parishes and were probably at first only the Wasten or Waste Ends. What seems to be the earliest extant mention of Westoning gives the name as Weston Tregoz; the present names dates from the beginning of the 14th century when the Inge family became possessed of the manor. Until the recently name was generally written Weston -Ing. By giving Ing to Westoning the name has erroneously given to look like a patronymie, the Saxon suffix -ing- having the force of... son of.... The parish was anciently the property of the Clare's, the Earls of Gloucester, the historical family descended from the eldest of the illegitimate sons of Bernard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy. The members if this family came to England with their relative the Conqueror and their descendants have played important roles in our history. Could we but recover the annals of the parish during the Norman and Plantaginat centuries it would be possible to make the local history a valuable means of interesting the school children and the villagers in the wider history of the nation.

The only dates I can give are these --in 1296 Marbella, wife of John Tregoz died possessed of the estate. In 1297 John de Lenham held it; and in 1298, by Alianore Kyniel who had license to sell.

It was early in the fourteenth century that the family of Inge Family appears upon the scene at Weston Ing, a William Inge (or Hynge or Ing) having bought the property of Juliana de Sandwich, daughter and heir of Matilda de Averquenes wife of Hamon Crevequer, a Kentish baron.

We shall meet with the Inge's at Totternhoe, where they held land in the thirteen-century; but a notice of them here will be appropriate here.

As early as 1214 a Walter Inge at the city of Oxford was witness to a corporation deed. The William Inge of Westoning-Ing died in 1321, after taking an active part in the affairs of the kingdom under both Edward I and Edward II. He married Margeria, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Grapenell. In 1279 he appears as one of the commissioners appointed to perambulate the boundaries of Windsor Forest. In 1292 Edward I made him a sergeant -at -law; and in 1297, appointed him to make a perambulation of the Forest of Feekenham in Worcestershire. In 1301, and subsequently, he a judge of assize in several counties. The most interesting episode in William Inge's life, which has been handed down to us, is given in Rymer's Foedera Volume II, part I, page 29. Here we find Inge empowered to play the part of Lord Chancellor, under the notorious Piers Gaveston, while Edward II went to France to do homage and to be married. Lord Campbell, in his ""Lives of the Lord Chancellors"" does not mention Inge, and gives a very brief and confused account of the events of the period, an account, which however, does not absolutely contradict Rymers. The passage-under date A.D. 1308, An I. Ed. II- in the "Foedora" runs thus: - "Memorandum that on Sunday next to the feast of St. Vincent the Martyr, Sit year of K. Edward, at Dover in the chamber of the King, in the priory of St. Martin, at Twilight, in the presence of Do. Wm. Inge, Kt Wm. de Melton, and Adams de Osgodby, clerks, Dom. John de Langeton, Bp. Of Cirencester, and the aforesaid King's Chancellor, delivered under the seal his great to the said King. And the same King took the same into his hand and delivered it to Dom. William de Melton to be carried with him in his wardrobe into foreign parts. And presently the said King placed another seal of his (which was made new in London a little before for the government of his Kingdom while the King should be absent from it) in a certain red purse or pouch), with his own hands, and it was sealed with the seal of Dom. Willm. Inge, Chancellor, before spoken of that from thence he might use it during the King's absence. . With said seal the said Chancellor on the next Monday (the day on which the King set sail early in the morning) at Dover in the Hospital which is called God's House (after the passage of the King) caused writs to be sealed under the testimony of Peter de Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, then Regent (or keeper of England)."

As Edward was absent only a short month, Inge's holding of his duplicate great seal did not last long. He seems, however, to have continued to prosper under Edward II, for not only did he purchase the manor of Westoning, but in 1315 he acquired also several other manors and had a grant of free warren at Chipsted. A son William was collated to the archdeaconry of Surrey in 1327, the first year of Edward III's reign. This second William married Isolda de Seyntpiere (a widow) by whom he had only a daughter, Joanna. He died leaving his wife in possession; and at her death, in 1369, the daughter inherited the estates. This daughter- grand daughter of the elder Inge-married Euda la Zouche, whose son William thus became possessed of Weston-Inge in 1371, and died in 1381. He was also second Lord Zouche of Haryingworth. (The Lysons are in error in saying that William; Lord Zouche married William Inge's grand daughter. It was Lord Zouche's father Eudo who did this.) The Zouche's appear to have kept the property until 1541, when George Zouche surrendered the manor to the crown. The Lysons say that Queen Mary gave it to her god -daughter, Mary Curzon, one of her maids of honour, who married Sir George Fermor, ancestor of the Earl of Pomfret. Sir John Everitt purchased the property off of the Pomfret family in 1767; and early in the nineteenth century the Rev. John William Coventry-Campion of Bedford (father of the present owner Major John Gadsby Coventry–Campion) purchased the estate on the representatives of Sir John Everitt. The old manor house was pulled down in 1843; this site being still marked by a circular moat. The present Manor House, in the Elizabethan style, was erected about the same date. In the western part of the parish, at Woodend, is the site of another manor house, marked by a rectangular moat; the history of this manor house is possibly connected with that of an adjoining parish, the parochial boundaries being here very involved. Among the dying- if not dead – local traditions of Weston-Ing is that of the existence of a gallows at Hangman's Lane. The pound, which stood not far from the Village School, had now disappeared. In 1864, at a meeting of the society u of Antiquaries, in London, a Major Cooper Cooper exhibited a polished stone celt which had been found near a heap of gravel at Weston-Ing.

The church stands picturesquely in a well-kept graveyard at the north-western end of the village adjoining the Manor House Park. It is a building showing traces of the transition from the Decorated to the Perpendicular Style, parts of the chancel on the north aisle are probably the oldest, dating from about the middle of the fourteenth century. The south aisle has parts, which are a little later, and some of the windows and the whole of the tower are distinctly perpendicular. Extensive restorations were carried out in 1857, when the stonework on the present east window was put in and the vestry was added. The church contains western tower, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, with parvises, chancel, and vestry on north side of chancel.

**** Editor: -This next part of film of the 1902 newspaper from whence this copy has been taken is not able to be deciphered to any continuous degree or accuracy******

Some information on bells of the church is able to deciphered, and as described in 1902, as follows: -

The Chandlers who made two of the bells belonged to a family that carried on a foundry at Drayton, Parsloe, and Bucks from the early part of the seventeenth to the early part of the eighteen centuries. The latest of their bells in this county is dated 1723. The inventory of church property made under Edward VI in 1552 mentions four bells, none of which now remain; also a Saunce or Sanctus bell, two handbells and two Saering bells. The "Sarering Bell " is ringed at the Elevation of the Host and at other parts of the Roman Catholic service.(Information about the 6 bells installed between 1629 and 1923 can be found in the publication listed below.)

The inventory states that the church, the chancel and the steeple are all covered with lead.

*** Further more detailed information concerning the parish, village, manor etc and can be found in The Parish of Westoning Chronicle published in 2002 and available from several outlets in the village, The Clerk to Westoning Parish Council or Henry Jennings, Westoning Chronicle Editor, Tel. No. 01525-717517