Ewelme, in Oxfordshire, is a very attractive Village with a row of Cottages ½-mile long, which have before their Doors a sparkling Stream dammed here & there into Watercress Beds. At the top of the Street on a steep Knoll stand the Church & School and Almshouses of the mellowest 15thC Bricks, as beautiful & structurally sound as the Pious Founders left them. These Founders were the unhappy William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and his good wife the Duchess Alice. The Duke inherited Ewelme through his wife Alice Chaucer, a Kinswoman of the Poet, and “for love of her and the commoditie of her landes fell much to dwell in Oxfordshire,” and in 1430-40 was busy building a Manor-Place of “brick and Tymbre and set within a fayre mote,“ a Church, an Almshouse & a School. The Manor-Place, or “Palace,” as it was called, has disappeared, but the Almshouse & School remain, witnesses of the munificence of the Founders. The poor Duke, favourite Minister of Henry VI, was Exiled by the Yorkist Faction and beheaded by Sailors on his way to Banishment. Some 25-yrs of Widowhood fell to the bereaved Duchess, who finished her husband’s buildings, called the Almshouses “God’s House,” and then reposed beneath one of the finest Monuments in England in the Church hard by.
Ewelme (St Mary), a Parish, in the Union of Wallingford, Hundred of Ewelme, County of Oxford, 2-miles (E) from Benson; containing 663 inhabitants. This place, from a very clear & copious Spring that rises in the Village, obtained the Saxon Appellation of Æwhelme, signifying “a spring of water;” of which its present name is a modification. William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, who obtained the Manor by marriage with Alice, daughter & heiress of Thomas Chaucer, son of Geoffrey Chaucer, the Poet, in whose Family it had been for many years, erected the present Church and a Noble Mansion, of which latter only some of the Outoffices now remain. The Parish comprises 2346 acres, whereof 53 are Common Land or Waste. The Living is a Rectory, annexed to the Regius Professorship of Divinity in the University of Oxford, and valued in the King’s Books at £21-10s-5d: the Tithes have been commuted for £704-18s.
Ewelme Tithe Map 1840
The Church, which is beautifully situated on rising ground, and was backed by a row of fine Elms, is a spacious and interesting Edifice, in the early & decorated English Styles, with a low embattled Tower. There are some handsome Monuments, one of which, to the Memory of the Duchess of Suffolk, who died in 1475, is elaborately embellished; the Chaucer Monument, an Altar-Tomb, is ornamented with numerous Shields of Armorial Bearings, and inlaid with Brasses on which are the Effigies of a Knight and his Lady, in the costume of the 15thC. on the South wall of the Chancel are Monuments to 2 sons of Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire. In the Churchyard are Memorials to the descendants of Sir Matthew Hale. A Hospital, called God’s House, was founded by William de la Pole & Alice his wife, about the year 1446, and endowed with 200 Marks per annum, for 13 Poor men and a Master. It was valued, in the 26th of Henry VIII, at £20 per annum, but was not Dissolved, and the Mastership was annexed in 1617 to the Regius Professorship of Medicine in the University of Oxford, under which it still exists, for a Reader & 12 Poor men. It possesses a Rent-charge of £200, issuing out of the Estates in this County belonging to Hampton Court. An Urn containing Roman coins was found on the Common, near the Line of the Iknield-Street, which may be traced in the Parish; and another Urn was discovered on Harcourt Hill, nearly 2-miles from the Village.
Suffolk’s nickname “Jackanapes” came from “Jack of Naples“, a slang name for a Monkey at the time. This was probably due to his Heraldic Badge, which consisted of an “ape’s clog”, i.e. a wooden block chained to a pet monkey to prevent it escaping. The phrase “Jackanape” later came to mean an impertinent or conceited person, due to the popular perception of Suffolk as a nouveau riche upstart; his great-grandfather had been a Wool Merchant from Hull.
The Hospital of Ewelme
In 1437 Licence was given to William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and Alice his wife, to establish an Almshouse at Ewelme and to endow it with Land to the value of 100 Marks yearly. By 1442 the Foundation was complete, the Endowments being the Manors of Conock, Ramridge, & Marsh Gibbon, worth £59 a year; but the Statutes drawn up by the Founder date from 1448-50. From them, we learn that the Inmates were to be 2 Priests & 13 Poor men. Each of the Former was to receive £10 a year, each of the Latter 14d a week. One of the Priests was to be the Master; the other was to be a Teacher of Grammar to instruct, Free of charge, the Boys of Ewelme and of the 3 other Manors from which the House derived its income. The Master was to be, if possible, of the University of Oxford, and was to be chosen by the Lord of the Manor of Ewelme, who also was to fill up all the other Posts. The 13 Poor men were to be such as had no means of livelihood, aged or infirm, and in selecting them preference was to be shown to men of Ewelme, Conock, Ramridge & Marsh Gibbon. They were not bound to a rule of absolute Poverty; one who came into Property worth £4 a year must leave the House but if the sum were Less he might remain an Inmate and was allowed to receive half the sum which he had Inherited, the House taking the other half. Whatever Property they had at the time of death was to come to the House. All members were to be present daily at Mattins, Mass, Evensong, and the Hours, to be said in the adjoining Parish Church, where there was a stall for each Inmate. The Visitor was to be the Lord of the Manor, and as a rule, he was to make a Visitation every year. The Brethren were to have Cloaks with a Red Cross on the Breast, and none with Leprosy or an ‘intolerable disease‘ were to be admitted. In 1526 the Income of the Almshouse was £64, but in the Valor of 1535, it is not assessed. This Favour, and its Escape at the Dissolution, are no doubt to be put down to the fact that Ewelme was a favourite Royal Manor and the King was the immediate Patron of the Almshouse. At the beginning of the 19thC the Lordship of the Manor of Ewelme, put up for sale by the Crown, was bought by the Earl of Macclesfield, and his heir became the Patron of the Almshouse, and has the right of nominating the Inmates; but the Post of Master was Granted by King James I in 1617 to augment the Stipend of the Regius Professor of Medicine, and since 1628 has been attached to that Professorship.
Masters of the Hospital of Ewelme
John Seyngsbery, appointed 1442, died 1454
William Marton, appointed 1st February 1455, died 1494
William Branwhaite, died 1498
John Spence, appointed 1498 or 1499, died 1517
William Umpton, occurs 1526
William Marshall, occurs 1535.
The 15thC Seal is a pointed Oval: in 2 carved Niches with elaborate Canopies & Tabernacle work at the sides, on the left St John Baptist, standing, with Nimbus, holding the Agnus Dei in the right hand and pointing to it with the left hand; on the right a female Saint with Nimbus, holding in the right hand a Sword. In the base, under a flat-headed Arch, a Shield of Arms—per pale, dex., a Fesse between 3 Leopards’ Heads, William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk; sin., a Lion Rampant queue fourchée, Alice Chaucer, his wife, Founders, AD 1437
Another Memorial of William de la Pole exists in the Almshouse of St Johns Hospital which he and his Duchess Founded for “2 Chaplains & 13 Poor men,” endowing it with Manors of the annual value of £59. The Foundation escaped the rapacious Reforming Nobles and still exists, a blessing to Ewelme. Its outward aspect seems to have been little changed, and its Cloisters & Quadrangle furnish a fine specimen Domestic Architecture of the Period.
As 1st built the Almshouse Cloister included accommodation for 13 Almsmen, ranged around a Courtyard and accessed from a covered Walkway with a Pentice Roof. Eleven of the units comprised a single upstairs & downstairs room linked probably by a recessed stair or ladder, with a stone window (possibly glazed) in the external wall, a timber-mullioned window to the Cloister, and a Fireplace possibly on each Floor. Two units in the North-east Range comprised adjoining Ground-Floor Rooms. Between them, a Stairway leads up to the Church through a covered passage, flanked on the left by a 1st-Floor Common Hall, and on the right by what appears to have always been the Almshouse Masters Accommodation. The Hall retains its original Roof and a Fireplace against the North wall; its Westernmost Bay was Partitioned as a Strong-room, probably by 1459–60 when alterations were made to the ‘inner chamber’. The Masters Accommodation was probably also heated and possibly included a Ground-floor Kitchen, but later alterations have obscured its layout. The Cloisters external walling is mostly rubble (formerly rendered), with Brick used sparingly and for effect, while Roofs were Tiled from the outset. The central Well is original and was replaced with a Pump by the 1820s.
The South-west Porch, with its Flemish-inspired decorative Brickwork, is an addition associated with the adjoining Domestic Range, which was probably allocated to the Grammar Master from its construction and may have also included rooms for guests & entertainment. The 15thC part comprises a 3-Bay Timber-framed house encased in contemporary Brick, with a narrower annexe of similar construction linking it to the Cloister through surviving 15thC doorways. Blocked windows are visible in the North-West wall, and a massive Chimney Stack in the South-West Gable wall is original. The Roof was originally open to the apex, and some timbers at 1st-Floor level retain traces of early 16thC painted decoration. A 2-Storeyed Block at the South-east corner was added in 1773/4 when the older part was remodelled and probably re-fenestrated.
The 2-Storeyed Brick-built School appears to have originally been freestanding, and though functioning by c.1454 may have been the last part to be completed. Stone-mullioned windows with distinctive pointed-arched lights & cinquefoil heads light each Floor, and the South Front (to the street) features 2 massive Chimney Stacks, one with Diaper patterning. Heraldic Shields displaying the de la Pole, Chaucer, & Burghersh Arms are modern replacements of 15thC Originals. Entry is through a heavily altered 2-Storey Porch in the West Gable, to the North of which are remains of a Medieval Spiral Stair; the Upper Floor remains open to its fine Timber Roof, which has double rows of Purlins with Windbraces and moulded Arch-braced Collar Trusses. Both Floors were heated, one (perhaps the Upper) probably originally providing Dormitory Accommodation, and the other the main Teaching Space.
Periodic repairs to all the buildings were noted from the 16thC, including unspecified (but probably largely cosmetic) alterations to the Cloisters & Walkway, renewed fenestration, and reordering of the Cottage Interiors & Almshouse Masters Accommodation, while a Clock was mentioned c.1567–1723. Nonetheless, the fundamental layout remained unaltered until a major remodelling in 1970, which reduced the original 13 units to 8. The School (largely derelict in the early 19thC) was reordered as a National Schoolroom c.1830 and subsequently as a Primary School, necessitating new Stairs and other internal alterations. The former Schoolmasters House (linked to it by a low Service Range by the 1820s) became part of the School in 2010, and new Classrooms were added on the East in 1999.
Less than 2-yrs. after the Final Settlement of the Almshouse, William de la Pole met with his gruesome end, journeying as a Banished man to France. Suffolk took a Ship to head into Exile on 1st May 1450, the date appointed for the beginning of his 5-year Expulsion by the King. As his Craft crossed the Channel a huge Ship of the Royal Fleet, The Nicholas of the Tower, intercepted him. William Lomner wrote to John Paston on 5th May that men of the Nicholas boarded Suffolk’s Ship and “the master badde hym, ‘Welcom, Traitor,’ as men sey”. He described Suffolk’s fate, continuing “and thanne his herte faylyd hym, for he thowghte he was desseyvyd, and yn the syght of all his men he was drawyn ought of the grete shippe yn to the bote; and there was an exe, and a stoke, and oon of the lewdeste of the shippe badde hym ley down his hedde, and he should be fair ferd wyth, and dye on a swerd; and toke a rusty swerd, and smotte off his hedde withyn halfe a doseyn strokes.” As the sun rose on the morning of 2nd May 1450, it revealed a grisly sight on Dover Beach. A headless body lay on the sand, dried blood staining the butchered neck. Beside the Body, atop a Stake, the vacant eyes of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk stared out over the Sea where he had met his fate. As his empty eyes stared out across the Channel toward the Land where his fortune had been made, he would never again look upon the Country that had turned its back on him, nor would he see the bitter Civil War that followed.
The Tudor connection in Ewelme really began in or shortly after 1449 when a high born 6-year-old girl named Lady Margaret Beaufort entered the Household of the Duke & Duchess of Suffolk, betrothed to their equally young heir, John de la Pole. Lady Margaret had an impressive pedigree, being a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, the 3rd son of Edward III, and it was she who was destined to give birth to the 1st Tudor Monarch. Probably due to the Duke’s dramatic downfall in 1450, King Henry VI annulled the betrothal in 1453, and in 1455 married her at the age of 12, to his half-brother, Edmund Tudor. Margaret gave birth to the future King Henry VII in January 1457, 4 months short of her 14th birthday, and 2 months after her husband died of Plague.
Duchess Alice, who was confirmed by the King in all the Possessions of her husband, survived him for 25 years and died aged 71. Her Alabaster Tomb is beautifully preserved in Ewelme Church. The Duchess lies under a canopy of Stone carved with Angels & Saints, in her Mantle of Estate, with the rare Ornament of the Garter around her left arm, while below, 8 Angels, on either side of the Tomb, hold Shields blazoned with all the Heraldic Bearings of her House. The most memorable feature of the Tomb is the Cadaver, set beneath the Tomb Chest. It is the only life-size Cadaver of a woman that has remained intact in England, and the only Cadaver in the Country made in Alabaster. Tucked under the Tomb, the Cadaver’s Privacy seems an important aspect of the Tomb’s Design. Rather than a stark warning of the transience of earthly glory, it is a 2nd corpse contemplating the Paintings of Saints above it.
Bound as she was to the House of Lancaster, she had turned in time to Worship the Rising Sun of York and had found an Alliance for her son, which was to turn out to be Fatal. Her son, Duke John, contrived to escape the Perils that followed from his marriage to Elizabeth Plantagenet. Edward IV held him in high favour, Richard III nominated his eldest son in the succession to the Throne, and he himself assisted at the Coronation of Henry VII. But the ruin of his House was at hand, and Ewelme was to know the De la Poles no more. John’s eldest son, the Earl of Lincoln, had fallen at Stoke Field (Notts), fighting for the Pretender Lambert Simnel. The 2nd Son fled and was later Executed in the Tower. The 3rd son, Richard, fell at the Battle of Pavia. This was the end of the De la Poles.
In 1525, Henry VIII gave Ewelme and the Title Duke of Suffolk to Charles Brandon, who was married to the King’s sister Mary, the former Queen of France. They became the grandparents of the ill-fated 9-days Queen, Lady Jane Grey. In 1535 Henry claimed Ewelme back from the Widowed Brandon which proved beneficial for Ewelme when Henry VIII was breaking from Rome in 1536. As he had become the Patron of Ewelme Rectory he did not dissolve the Chantry at Ewelme, and thus the Suffolk’s Foundation was left untouched to prosper. Henry VIII also enlarged the old Hunting Park to cover 895 acres stretching from Ewelme to Park Corner at the top of the Chilterns. He built a Hunting Lodge where Ewelme Park now stands, which commanded wide views over the natural Amphitheatre of the Valley below. There is an area to the East of Ewelme still known as Huntinglands.
How often Henry Vlll visited Ewelme and with whom is uncertain, but it is recorded that he held a Privy Council in Ewelme on 25th & 26th August 1540 whilst on Honeymoon with his new Queen, Katherine Howard. The Village Pond is known as Kings Pool to this day, as Legend has it that Katherine playfully pushed him in. Another version is that he bathed his ulcerous legs in the pure Spring water.
In 1542 the Capital Mansion or Palace is described grandly. –
“The base Court of it is fair and is builded with Brick & Timber. The inner part of the House is set within a Fair Moat and is builded richly of Brick & Stone. The Hall of it is fair and hath great Bars of Iron overthwart it instead of gross beads.”
OS Map 1897 Sth Oxon XLIX.8 (Ewelme-Church End)
OS Map 1910 Sth Oxon XLIX.4 (Ewelme -Watercress Beds)
The House to 1612. The de la Poles’ new Manor House was a lavish Aristocratic complex, influenced in part by Henry VI’s buildings at Eton College (with which William de la Pole was involved), and making extensive use of Brick, which was still virtually unknown in Oxfordshire. The Building probably began in the mid-1440s after William became a Marquis, and the Family was regularly resident thereafter. The 15thC buildings were grouped around 2 adjoining Courtyards South of the Village Street, the main Domestic Ranges within a Moat, and ancillary buildings around a Base Court to the East. Entry was through a 2-Storeyed Gatehouse probably on the Base Court’s Eastside. The main House seems to have been Quadrangular, with a regular and probably symmetrical Groundplan incorporating a Great Hall, Parlour, Chapel, and (apparently) separate suites of rooms for male & female members of the household. Like Eton’s Cloister Court it was brick-built with Stone windows, doorways, & buttresses, and was richly furnished with Tapestries & painted or moulded family devices, while the Hall was spanned by unusual wrought or Cast-Iron Beams. A Keeper of the Garden mentioned in the 1530s suggests Landscaping, and in 1649 an Orchard West of the Moat contained 10 regularly arranged Fishponds which survived in 1817. A ‘Fair Park’ mentioned by Leland was probably Ewelme Park up on the Downs.
Part of the Service Wing of Ewelme Palace, or Manor House, now a House. circa 1450 with late 18thC fenestration & Wing to rear left. Last surviving fragment of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Ancestral Home. Enlarged after the marriage of Alice Chaucer to William de la Pole (Earl of Suffolk) in 1430.
Some 8-yrs later, in March 1550, Edward VI conveyed by Letters Patent the Palace & Park at Ewelme to his sister Elizabeth. During the dangerous days of her sister Mary’s Reign, it is believed that she stayed in Ewelme in the care of her Stepmother, Anne of Cleves. After becoming Queen, Elizabeth visited Ewelme with her favourite, Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester, and there is an authenticated account of 1570 of Elizabeth riding Pillion behind Dudley to visit the Tombs of the Crusaders in the Church at Aldworth. An early 20thC local Historian Mrs Prister Cruttwell speculates that a nearby Bridleway was so named because of the amorous behaviour carried on between the Queen & Dudley in that locality. ‘Indeed, there was in our time a Lane in Ewelme still known as Love Lane; and when my father [the Rector] asked the meaning of the name he was told by an old Villager – “Lor’ Sir, don’t you know, they do say that’s where Queen Elizabeth and that Lord Leicester, they did used to carry on shocking!” Her History also recounts the Legend of a young Elizabeth swinging on a Walnut Tree, which was situated near the Gates of the Palace and which blew down in a Gale only in 1971.
After Dudley’s death, his young arrogant Stepson Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex became the elderly Queen’s favourite but was eventually banished from Court in 1600. Being related to the Knollys, a prominent Tudor Family beloved by Elizabeth, he went 1st to their nearby House at Greys Court and subsequently to the Hunting Lodge at Ewelme Park. On 26th September 1600, Rowland Whyte Esq wrote to Sir Robert Sydney – “My Lord of Essex I hear is gone to Ewelme Lodge and at Michaelmas he will return to London to be a humble Suitor to her Majesty’s sight. As yet there is little hope of it but time brings forth wonderful things… There are many that state the Queen begins to relent towards him and to see him in her heart.” Whyte was mistaken; Elizabeth had Devereux’s beheaded on 25th January 1601. The Keepership of Park became a Sinecure of the Knollys Family; Sir Francis was followed by his son Sir Henry, who was Granted Keepership of the Park for life in 1578. In 1584 his brother Sir William was appointed as “Keeper of Ewelme Park and Master of the wild beasts therein”. Nevertheless, by 1609 “the Capital Mansion of Ewelme was completely ruined and in decay.” Only the building known as the Banqueting Hall was left. Today, Buttresses on the Western Corners of the existing Manor are all that remain of the Suffolk’s Home.
Ewelme passed into the possession of the Crown. Edward VI gave it to his sister Elizabeth. In 1609, we are told that the “Capital Mansion of Ewelme” the Seat of the De la Poles, “was completely ruined and in decay.” Some remains still exist, built up into a more modern Edifice. Whatever celebrity Ewelme has had since the 16thC owed to its connection with Oxford. King James I, attached the Rectory to the Regius Professorship of Divinity, and the Mastership of the Almshouses to the Professorship of Medicine. Ewelme has enjoyed a succession of Rectors always respectable and sometimes learned, and remembers them with respect. Parliament has now severed the connection and Ewelme then was nothing more than an ordinary Country Parish, except for the distinction of a Mansion-like Rectory which obviously requires the Revenues of a Canonry to support it.
Rectory, now house. Probably late 17thC with late 18thC main Front to Garden, early 20thC addition possibly by W D Caroe. Red brick with grey headers in Flemish bond; plain tile Roof; brick Stacks. 3 storey; 5-window Range to Garden. Central sash door with Fanlight and wood Doric Pilasters supporting flat Hood. 8-pane sashes to Ground Floor. 15-pane sashes to 1st-Floor, 6-pane Sashes to 2nd-Floor. Parapet to hipped Roof. Right return: 3-Storey, 3-window Range with 8-pane Sashes to Ground and 1st-Floor and 6-pane sashes to 2nd-Floor. 20thC extension to left of 2-Storeys & Attic; 3-window Range.
The Duchess of Suffolk, Alice Chaucer (granddaughter of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer) Built & Founded Ewelme Grammar School in 1437 as a place for high-quality Education. The School forms part of a complex of Medieval Buildings, which includes the Church & Almshouses. This is the oldest functioning maintained School Building in the Country.
Ewelme Grammar School. c.1450, Knapped flint base; red brick; old plain-tile Roof; brick lateral Stacks. 2-Storey, 3-window Range. 15thC double door with Perpendicular Tracery pattern ribbing & studding to 2-Storey Porch to left return. Stepped angle Buttresses to left & right corners. 2-light Stone mullioned window with triangular cupsed Tracery top to left. Single-light Stone window with triangular cusped Tracery top to the Right. Two 2-light Stone mullioned windows with Hood moulds with winged Figures & Armorial Shields to label stops to centre. 2-light Stone mullioned window to 1st-Floor centre & left. Single-light Stone window to right. Massive lateral Stacks to left & right of centre. 2-light Stone mullioned window to 1st-Floor of Porch to left return.
Interior: 6-Bay Arched Collar-truss Roof with Wind Braces. Subsidiary Wing to rear left; red Brick base; limestone rubble to 1st-Floor. 20thC window openings.
History: Built at the expense of the Earl & Countess of Suffolk. The Countess (nee Alice Chaucer) was born in Ewelme in 1404, the daughter of Thomas Chaucer, the Lord of the Manor, and grand-daughter of Geoffrey, the Poet. She married William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk in 1430 (created Duke of Suffolk 1448). He “for love of his wife and the commodity of her lands felt much to dwell in Oxfordshire“. They rebuilt the Church, established the adjoining Almshouse and built the Grammar School. The use of Brick is one of the earliest in the County.
Ickford (St Nicholas) – a Parish, in the Union of Thame, partly in the Hundred of Ewelme, County of Oxford, but chiefly in that of Ashendon, County of Buckingham, 4¼-Miles (West by North) from Thame; containing, with the Hamlet of Draycott (nr Waterstock), 386 inhabitants. This is supposed by some Writers to be the place where the Treaty between Edward & the Danes was signed, in 907. The Parish comprises 1133a. 1r. 3p., of which 820a. 3r. 13p. are Pasture and 312a. 1r. 30p. Arable Land. The Living is a Rectory, valued in the King’s Books at £9 9s 7d; net income, £392; Patron, the Rev J C Townsend. Here is a place of Worship for Baptists. Calybute Downing, a celebrated Divine in the 17thC, and Gilbert Sheldon, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, were Rectors of the Parish, to which, during his Incumbency, the latter presented part of the Communion-plate.
Ewelme (Harcourt Hill): In 1722 a fairly large Hoard of 3rdC coins was discovered in a Pot at Harcourt Hill, Ewelme. At some date within the 2 following years, 337 of the Coins were entrusted to John Pointer, then Chaplain of Merton College, for description; of this number, Pointer catalogued somewhat less than 1/3rd in his Britannia Romana (1724), pp. 1230. His list opens with a single Æ 2 of Domitian. This was clearly a straggler and, as such, is not unparalleled. The catalogue of the remaining Coins (all Æ 3) then runs as follows:—34 Gallienus, 6 Salonina, 2 Valerian II, 6 Postumus, 8 Victorinus, 2 Marius, 1 Laelian, 9 Tetricus I, 3 Tetricus II, 21 Claudius II, 2 Quintillus, 1 Aurelian, 1 Tacitus, 4 Carausius. Pointer includes also an ‘Urbs Roma‘ issue of Constantine I, but this can scarcely be correct, and the Coin must have been an intruder.
An Inn called the Broadgates (later the Crown) existed by the 1530s, located on the Main Street near Fords Lane, and an Alehouse Keeper cum Farrier died in 1663. In the 1770s there were at least 2 Inns (the Greyhound and The Hare & Hounds), both used for Auctions; the Lamb (on the Fifield Road) existed by 1786 and with the Greyhound continued into the 20thC. Thomas Garlick at the Greyhound was both Innkeeper & Butcher. Maypoles were erected in the early 18thC, traditionally on Burrows Hill near the Church, until Lady Tipping allegedly insisted that they be moved nearer to Westcourt where she could see the Festivities. An Easter Monday Fair was Established by 1792 when it attracted Travellers from Coventry; it continued until WW1, latterly with stalls, swings, & roundabouts along the Village Street between King’s Pool and the Greyhound. The Eyres’ Main Farmstead was at the bottom of Eyres Lane, & Bekes’ Place (latterly called the Tavern House from its proximity to the Lamb Inn) was demolished in 1876. Villagers’ Social life still partly revolved around the Pubs, supplemented by several Beerhouses including the Shepherd’s Hut (opened c.1841–51). A Friendly Society met at the Greyhound by 1869, and an Ewelme Band existed c.1890. Plough Monday, May Day & Guy Fawkes Celebrations continued (with a summer Marbles contest) into the 20thC while Cricket was mentioned from the 1850s and a Football Team by 1906. A short-lived Golf Course on the Common (opened in 1885) catered for more affluent residents. Other activities included Coronation Sports, and from 1906 to the 1950s Villagers staged several Pageants enacting Scenes from Ewelme’s past. A thatched Reading Room was built in 1909–10 on Land given by Miss Maxwell of Saffron Close, with an adjoining Rifle Range given by Charles Schunk of Old Mill House. Fundraising for both included a Fete at the Old Mansion in Cottesmore, with Prizes given by Jerome K Jerome and by the Earl of Macclesfield as Lord. A Women’s Institute was Founded in 1920.