Froyle
Froyle stands in of the Harroway or Pilgrims Way which like many other villages in the south is a broad band of tracks that man made when he first settled in the area. These all ran from the West country to the eastern sea and many of the settlements in this band of roads has some fascinating and ancient stories to tell.


St Mary of the Assumption


Stone and Bronze Age tools were discovered near here and the remains of a Roman villa at Coldrey in the south of the parish. Norman pottery was found at Baldwins and it is believed that the name of Froyle is derived from Froehill or Frija's Hill. Frija being the Norse goddess of love and a wife of Odin. The hill is believed to be the one that divides Upper and Lower Froyle and known as Saintbury.

Before the Normans came the Manor of Froyle belong to Edward the Confessor and held by Queen Edith. In 1086 when the Domesday Survey was compiled the name was spelt Froli, the manor being held by the nuns of St Mary's Abbey in Winchester.

When the nunnery was dissolved Henry VIII gate the manor to William Jephson in 1541 for a sum of money and an annual rent of 4. 13s. 5d.

It wasn't until around 1581 that  Froyle Place was built by the Jephson's on the site of an older house. The Manor was held by William Jephson until 1652 and then sold to John and Richard Fiennes who were the sons of Viscount Saye and Sele. They sold it in 1666 to Samuel Gauden of Lincoln's Inn and the estate remained with his descendants for 104 years. And in the church can be found the names Gauden, Draper, Salmon and Nicholas all Lords of the Manor.

But the manor changed hands again in 1770 when it was bought by Sir Thomas Miller who was the fifth Baronet and Member of Parliament for Chichester and it stayed in the family up til 1949 when it was acquired by the Lord Mayor Treloar Trust and puchased from them by Mrs Bootle-Wilbraham in 1960.

Froyle Place was modernised in 1816 by the Millers and it was in 1867 that other changes were made, some of these not being in keeping with the Elizabethan building. Sir Hubert Miller retired from the Army in 1892 and lived in Froyle, and Sir Huber Miller who was the last active Lord of the Manor did a lot to make Upper Froyle what it is today. He brought statues of saints from his travels in Italy every year and these can still be seen on the doorways of some of the houses in the village. There were also two smaller manors in Froyle, Husseys and Brocas, the first mention of Hussey being in 1262 when it was owned by Walter Heuse and sold by the Husseys to Thomas Colrith in 1416, later in 1656 after being owned by the Jephsons and Fiennes Bernard Burningham bout it in 1656 and this family can be found resting in the church.

John de Brocas the son of a Gascon knight too service in 1314 with Edward II and by 1337 Sir John was made Master of the Horse to Edward III, he was also made Ranger of Windsor and Warden of Nottingham Gaol. It was then that he was given Froyle estate. His son Bernard became the owner of Beaurepaire which lies just north of Basingstoke as well. Being a friend of the Black Prince he fought in the French wars and was given the titles of Constable of Aquitaine, Master of the Buckhounds, Constable of Corfe Castle in Dorset as well as many others. When he died aged 65 he was buried in Westminster Abbey, and his son Bernard was hanged at Tyburn for taking part in the plot to kill Henry IV at Oxford in 1399.

It was during the Georgian period that the yeoman farmers grew rich with corn and sheep on the downlands, and hops on the lower ground near the River Wey. (In 1800 there were 141 acres of hops in the parish, and oasts on every farm).

It was this that brought wealth to the village and also changes, the most obvious of which was  Hodges and Husseys in Lower Froyle,  they having new fronts added in the 1760's.

A good example of a yeoman's farm is Silvesters Farm in Lower Froyle which is made of stone and brick and built 1674. Blundens in the upper village is another Tudor farm that has seen many changes in modern times. Also in Lower Froyle houses with stones bearing the dates they were built can be found, Beech Cottage - 1719, Blue Cottage - 1737, Bridge House - 1712.

The Barracks in Upper Froyle were originally almshouses during the 18th century and French prisoners of war were held here. Whereas a few of the old houses were constructed using ships timbers that were being broken up at Portsmouth in the early part of the 17th century.

There are three inns in Froyle and only two are mentioned in the Tithe Redemption records of 1847. The Anchor is believed to be 13th century. The Hen and Chicken is Georgian though the rear is believed to be older, and more important than the Anchor as it sat on the main road and thus gave refreshment for travellers and stabling for their horses. The Prince of Wales was built around 1912 where a previous thatched inn of the same name used to be.

The village also used to have five ponds but only the one at the corner of Husseys Lane in Lower Froyle remains. One of the Upper Froyle ponds was converted in a small green in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The parish registers show past generations and accounts of the Overseers of the Poor. But few of the old families can now be found here, though there still can be found descendants whose names first appear in the Registers in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries - Westbrook (1653), Knight (1653), Robinson (1751), Savage (1800), Binfield (1806); until recently, Brownjohn (1729). Many other old families are remembered in the names of houses and farms - Baldwin (1656), Hodge (1657), Blunden (1737), Silvester (1742).

In the Registers we find:
1669 Buried John Turner, an old bachelor.
1674 Henry Wake was carried to Alton like fish in a barrel.
1687 Buried Mary Newman of Brocas in woollen.
1689 Buried Elizabeth Trimming, an ancient maid.
1691 Buried William Smith, a vagabond.
1693 Buried John son of Mary Davis, a stranger.
1758 Buried Joseph Newman, ye old miller.
1765 Buried William Draper, Esq., paid forfeit for not being buried in woollen.

1788 Was buried John Bone, who in a fit of insanity killed himself.

The payment of tithes is mentioned. In 1715 we find - "Tithe milk was demanded of Thomas Heath Sen'r. for now he has milked his cow nine days." The Heaths were Quakers who objected to paying tithes.

From the Overseer's Accounts:

1769 Carting of faggots from Upper Froyle for the poor 4s.0d.
Thomas Hall out of pocket by a mistake in casting his accounts 2.12s.l0d.
Beer at Sarah Hawkins' funeral as was forgot to be charged 2s.8d.
1771 A round frock for Trimmings boy ls.6d.
1773 Spent at the Hen and Chicken 4s.6d.
Catching sparrows Is.0d.
For bleeding Thomas Smith Is.0d.
1776 For getting the bucket out of the Almshouse well 6d.
1778 Cleaning the stables where the smallpox people was Is.0d.

We know that even in those days some householders disliked being overlooked. The owners of Highway House raised the height of the wall running beside the road so that their neighbours in Coldrey could not see into their garden. Likewise, the Millers of Froyle Place, early last century, raised their wall as they disliked the Burninghams, who at that time lived in Froyle Cottage,
looking at their brood mares!

It is interesting to note that the population of Froyle (812 in 1982) is now less than it was in 1859(826).

HISTORY OF ST MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION
FROYLE VILLAGE WEBSITE Visit the villages own website but bookmark this page to return