History of Stourton Caundle

Sir Ivo FitzWaryn

By Richard Miles

About 700 years ago, our village was called Caundell Haddon. The ‘lord of the manor’ at that time, Sir Henry de Haddon only fathered a daughter, Amicia. She, as heiress to her father’s estate married Sir William Fitzwaryn, and when he died of the pestilence in 1361, their son, Ivo, duly inherited the manor of Caundell Haddon.

Tim Villiers and I paid a visit to the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester some months ago now and we came across a parchment dated 29 January 1415. It was actually written in the Old Style date of ‘Tuesday before Purification BVM, 2 Henry V’ and comprised an ‘inquisition’ held at Sherborne following the death of Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn on 6 September 1414. This led me to search related information on the Web when I happened upon an entry in David Nash Ford’s, Royal Berkshire History. There, I discovered that part of the will of Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn had been reproduced (http://www.berkshirehistory.com/bios/wills/ifitzwarin.html), an extract of which follows:

Extract from the Will of Sir Ivo FitzWaryn (1343-1414) dated 6th November 1412

Ivo FitzWaryn, Knt. … my body to be buried in the chancel, next my father in the parish church of Wantynge …

… I leave for the amending of the church of Caundell Haddon, one mark …

… Also I leave my best vestments of red silk gilt, of one suit, viz., a cope and a chasuble, with the tunicles and all their belongings, to the parish church of Wantynge, and there to remain for ever to celebrate for the souls of me and mine for ever…

… Vestment [described in detail] to chapel of St. Andrew, Caundell Haddon …

Proved 5th February 1414

Amazingly, in the one document we have mention of not only “the church of Caundell Haddon” but also of the “chapel of St. Andrew, Caundell Haddon”. Where is the Chapel of St. Andrew, you may ask? Well, it can only be one building, namely the old chapel in the grounds of Manor Farm (not the Primitive Methodist chapel recently refurbished). This ancient building, believed to be about 800 years old, is hidden away amongst the farm buildings behind Manor Farm. The fact that both churches are described in the one document means that we now know for sure that this chapel was originally dedicated to St. Andrew, just as the present Church is dedicated to St. Peter. What a discovery!

Sir Ivo was buried at Wantage Church, so I paid a visit there and found an original brass plaque some five-foot tall depicting him dressed in his knight’s attire as shown in the photograph. What a striking image of the man who was Lord of the Manor of Stourton Caundle between 1361-1414!

Richard Miles