Turville – Thyrefeld (8thC); Tilleberie (11thC); Tyrfeld (14thC, 16thC); Turfyld or Turvile (16thC)
This Parish lies among the Chiltern Hills on the Oxfordshire Border. The height above the Ordnance Datum (sea level) varies from 305ft in the South-east of the Parish to 713ft in the North-West, but the average is between 400ft and 500ft Of the 2,328 acres contained in the Parish, 818a consist of Arable land, 838a of permanent grass and 342a of Woods and Plantations. The soil is Chalk and Gravel, the subsoil very light, and the chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. There are Gravel and Clay-pits and a Quarry at South End. The inhabitants found their principal occupation in turning Chair Legs and Rails for the Wycombe Chair Factories. The Road from North End to Fingest and Hambleden passes through the Village in the South-east of the Parish. To the West of it are the Church, Vicarage and School. The Village contains about 20 Cottages, chiefly built of brick and flint with tiled roofs, but also showing some examples of half-Timber work of the 17th century. There are Farms and a Common at North End and South End near the Western Border and at Turville Heath midway between them. There is an Elementary School at North End and a Primitive Methodist Chapel at Turville Heath.
To the West of the Heath stands Turville Park, the Property of Mrs Hoare-Nairne c.1950, but let to Mr J S C Bridge. The present Mansion, commanding good views of the surrounding Country, was built by William Perry, High Sheriff for the County in 1741, who married Elizabeth, eventually sole heir of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester. French Revolution Wars General Dumouriez died there in 1823. Later it was for many years the Residence of John Copely, Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst (d.1863). At the House is a well dated 1308, and a long Lime-tree Avenue across the Property is now used as a Public Road. Turville Court, the Residence of Mr John M Astbury, is a plain brick building occupying a central position in the Parish. It was erected about 1847 on the site of the Manor-House built by Robert Doyley in 1635 and has been recently enlarged. To the north-east of it is Churchfield Wood and to the south-west Idlecombe Wood, while to the North of these Turville Wood stretches along half the Northern Border of the Parish. Some Roman copper coins, chiefly of the Middle Empire, were found in 1772 at North End, 8 of which were in 1797 in the possession of Col Innes of Ibstone House.
Memories of Turville & Northend
Chris Featherstone was brought up in the Village Shop at Northend, where her parents ran the Post Office, Shop and Petrol Station. She remembers turning the handles on the manual Petrol Pumps and delivering Groceries with her Father to Mrs Hoare-Nairne who lived at Turville Park, pictured. During the 1950s Mrs Hoare-Nairne would fell trees on the Estate herself and sell the wood. She drove an enormous black Car which local residents gave a very wide berth to, as she would reverse off the Common into the Path of any unwary vehicle and then proceed to lecture them about careless driving! Chris also remembers that the Pond at Northend “provided us children with many hours of pleasure. We used to skate on the ice, fish for tadpoles and feed the ducks“. Another use for the pond was that during the summer months the Carts that were used to transport Chair-legs made by the Bodgers to High Wycombe were kept there. This prevented the wooden wheels from drying out and the metal rims from falling off. Several famous people used the Village shop. They included the Calligrapher Irene Wellington and John & Myfanwy Piper who lived at Fawley Bottom. In those days, half a century ago, the names of John and Myfanwy Piper rang out much more resoundingly than they do today. He was one of the best-known Artists & Designers in the Country; she, a noted Author & Opera Librettist. Another regular shopper was John Mortimer, the Novelist, Playwright and former Barrister, and his Parents.
The Church of St Mary in Turville was started in 1228. Piper’s window commemorates St Saviour’s Church in Turville Heath which closed in 1972.
The following place-names have been found in Turville: land called Stokkyns Grove claimed against the Lord of the Manor in 1545 by William Pitcher as his Inheritance through his father and grandfather; a Messuage and Farm called Botlersmere (16thC); Strawberry Grove, Green Marsh & Crossleys (16th & 17thC); Davers Wood and Staeyes (17thC.).
Previous to the Norman Conquest, Turbert, a man of Earl Algar, held Turville alias Turville Court Manor. In 1086, when it was assessed at 5 hides, it was held by Niel Daubeney, and so became attached to the Barony of Cainhoe, Bedfordshire. From 1283, however, it was held of the Manor of Marston Moretaine in that County. The last reference to this connection which has been found occurs in 1428. In 1525 it is stated that the Manor of Turville was Held of the Knights Hospitallers as of the Manor of Widmere, Great Marlow. Later in the Century, however, the Overlordship was not known to the Jurors.
A reference to the Manorial Court of this Manor occurs in 1285.
The Turvilles, or Marstons were the 1st Tenants of the Manor of whom mention has been found. Isabella de Turville or Marston, probably the Widow of Niel de Marston (see Advowson), sued Ralph son of John de Marston for her Dower in Turville in 1226 and was Holding 1 Fee there in 1235. Ralph sued her for Waste to his Inheritance in 1247. In 1283 Constance, who seems to have been the wife of John de Morteyn of Marston, granted Turville Manor to her son Eustace in Tail-male. His son and Successor Eustace left a son Thomas, who, in 1344, made a Settlement of this Manor on his wife Margaret and their children with continued remainders to his right heirs and is named as Holding the Fee of Turville in 1346. In 1401, Thomas Morteyn having died without issue, William Morteyn obtained seisin as the lineal descendant of Eustace son of Constance by his younger son Roger. A counterclaim as Right heir of Thomas Morteyn was made in 1404 by Julia daughter of his brother Gilbert and wife of Alan Butler. William Morteyn appears to have held the Manor for life, but Joan (evidently the same as Julia) was in Joint possession with her husband Alan Butler in 1412. The Butlers, who were of Great Badminton, Gloucestershire, retained possession of Turville Manor and John Butler, who was appointed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1505, died seised in 1525. He was succeeded by his grandson John afterwards Sir John Butler, Knight, who in 1545 sold this Manor to Sir John Williams. He sold it to John Doyley, who died seised in 1570. On the death in 1577 of his son and successor Robert it passed to the Widow Elizabeth for life by the terms of her marriage settlement. (Sir Robert Doyley had the Right of Free Warren there in the 16th century.) She soon afterwards married Sir Henry Nevill. Having survived her 3rd husband, Sir William Periam, she died in 1620. After Lady Periam’s death Edward & Thomas Goddard and Sir Thomas Hinton, who had purchased the reversion from John Doyley of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, sold Turville Court Manor in 1621 to Robert Doyley, who belonged to a collateral branch of the Family. He secured his Title against the heirs of Cope and John Doyley by a Suit in Chancery in 1622–3. In 1652, a year before his death, Robert Doyley gave up Turville Court Manor in marriage Settlement to his son Henry, who died in 1664 leaving an infant daughter Mary. A proviso in Henry Doyley’s marriage settlement by which the heirs male of his father might take possession of the Manor by paying £30 yearly for maintenance to his daughter during Minority and a sum of £2,000 when she came of age, gave occasion to interminable Chancery Suits. Her mother, who was entitled to the Mansion and £50 yearly from the Manor for life, strengthened her position by obtaining a release of his claim in 1665 from John Doyley, brother and heir male to Henry. In spite of legal difficulties, Mary Doyley brought her Inheritance to 3 husbands, Christopher Smith, William Alexander and Richard Pocock.
The last survived her by 5 years and died Lord of the Manor in 1724. His brother Roger’s son, William Pocock, appears in possession in 1725 and died in 1740. The Executors of Sarah, William Pocock’s Widow, sold this Manor in 1753 to John Osborne the Bookseller, who was Sheriff of the County in 1759. He was buried at Turville in 1775, and after the death of his son John in 1799 without issue, the Estate was entailed on his sister Letitia Alderhead and her daughters Sarah and Letitia. They with their husbands Charles Walcot and Thomas Penn conveyed it in 1802 to James Wood. It subsequently passed to Joseph later Sir Joseph Bailey, Bart. He died in 1858 and was succeeded by his grandson Sir Joseph Russell Bailey, afterwards Lord Glanusk, who sold Turville Court Manor in 1901 to Mr Thomas Hewitt of Grimsby, the Owner c.1957.
A 2nd Manor in Turville, that of Turville St Albans, was Granted in 796 by Ecgfrid, King of the Mercians, to St Albans Abbey, which 3 years earlier had been founded by his father Offa. Further information about the connection of Turville with St Albans Abbey has been given under the Advowson (qv). The Abbey was surrendered in 1539, and among its former possessions, Turville Manor with Rectory and Farms was valued in 1544 at £3 6s 8d a year. A Grant in Fee of this Estate was made in 1544 to John Marsh & Christopher Edmunds, who obtained a licence to alienate it in 1547 to Sir John Williams. The Manor of Turville St Albans appears to have been severed from the Rectory and sold to one of the Dormers. It was in the possession of Robert Lord Dormer (afterwards 1st Earl of Carnarvon) in 1621. The Dormers being Royalists, evidently alienated some of their Turville Estates during the Civil War, but they still retained an interest in this Manor, belonging in 1704 to John Dormer (afterwards 7th Lord Dormer). The division of the Manor into 6 parts, the local Accounts of which were confused in 1797, had certainly taken place before 1721 when 2 additional names occur as part Owners of the Advowson (qv). One-6th of the Manor now part of the Turville Park Estate came to Timothy Perry by his marriage with Jane daughter and co-heir of John Ovey. His grandson William Perry succeeded in 1732 and died in 1757. His only surviving son Algernon, who took the name of Sydney, died in 1768 without issue and Turville Park passed through the marriage of his sister Elizabeth Sydney, died in 1769 to Bysshe Shelley (grandfather of the Poet by his 1st wife). He sold it with the consent of his son John Shelley Sydney in 1796 to Thomas Butlin, who on his death in 1817 is described as one of the Lords of this Manor. Some time about this date the Rights of the Holder of one of the 6ths appear to have reverted to or to have been bought up by the Owners of the other portions since the division of the Manor is henceforward in 5ths, 2 of which are represented by the Turville Park Property. It was sold by Thomas Butlin’s grandson John Rose Butlin about 1858 and, passing through several hands, was purchased in 1863 by Mr Cotterill Scholefield. Ten years later, during his Ownership, this Estate covered 71 acres, valued at £306 15s yearly. He sold it in 1880 to Mr Stafford O’Brien Hoare, Sheriff of Buckinghamshire from 1893 to 1894. His daughter, Mrs Hoare-Nairne, was the Owner c.1957. A 2nd 6th Part of this Manor was evidently the Property owned in Turville by Francis Styles in 1721. He married Jane daughter of Robert Ovey of Henley-on-Thames. She is probably Jane Winter, Widow, Owner in 1771 when the reversion belonged to Richard Ovey. This Property, like the Turville Park Estate, augmented to 2/5ths of the Manor during the 19th century, consisted of some 290 acres of land, worth £235 13s yearly in 1873. It has remained in the Ovey family, the representative being Mr Richard L. Ovey of Henley c.1957.
The last 6th Part of the Manor traceable at the present day was held by Nathaniel Carter in 1721 (see Advowson). He died in 1743. His property in Turville passed from the Carter to the Stopes Family between 1786 and 1797 (see Advowson), represented in 1823 by William Aylmer Stopes. Lord Camoys is the Owner c.1957, his Rights extending over 1/5th of the Manor.
The Right of View of Frankpledge belonged to the Lord of this Manor in 1621. At this date, the Steward accepted an ‘English Gown‘ as satisfaction for a Heriot due from a Cottage and Land.
Two Virgates of Land in Turville Held of Eustace de Morteyn by William de Hamelden in 1285 were apparently Granted by the latter in that year to Medmenham Abbey. At the Dissolution, this Property was worth 15s 4d yearly in addition to the Services of the Customary Tenants. In 1540 it was Granted in Fee to Sir Michael Dormer. On his death, it passed by the Terms of his Will to his son Geoffrey with the remainder in Tail-male to his sons William, John & Ambrose. It has not been found possible to trace the later Descent of this Estate, which appears to have lost its identity when the Manor of Turville St Albans was acquired by the Dormers.
Some land in Turville was held by the Earl of Gloucester in 1254 when he was served with a Writ as to his Right. From 1315, when Bartholomew de Badlesmere was granted Free Warren there, to 1339, when it was extended at 116 acres of land and wood worth 16s yearly, this land follows the same Descent as Hambleden Manor (qv). It reappears as Botlersmere Farm in the 16th century, being named as the only part of Turville [Court] Manor not owned by Sir Robert Doyley in 1577. As such it seems to have been the property acquired from John Butler by Sir Michael Dormer between 1540 and 1545. The identity of Botlersmere Farm has not been preserved.