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Key Dates in the History of Wherwell

Key Dates in the History of Wherwell & Wherwell Abbey

DateEvent
955Wherwell, Andover and Clere bequeathed to Hyde Abbey, Winchester in the Will of King Edred (946 – 955)
978King Edward the Martyr stabbed in the back at Corfe Castle by order of Elfrida (Aelfthryth, wife of Edgar)
987Wherwell Abbey founded by Queen Elfrida
1002Queen Elfrida died, falling into River Test at Wherwell. King Ethelred (son of Elfrida) appointed a new Abbess Haenfled, endowed the Church and endowed nuns  ‘in the aforenamed place of Wherwell’
c.1040Queen Emma, wife of King Canute, takes refuge at Wherwell
1051Queen Edith (Eadygth), wife of Edward the Confessor, took refuge at Wherwell
1086Domesday Book – The Wherwell Hundred comprises the six Manors of  Wherwell, Tufton, Goodworth (Clatford),  Ann, Middleton (Longparish) and Bullington. Annual revenue amounted to £14 10s.
1141During the Rout of Winchester, Empress Matilda’s forces (commanded by Robert of Gloucester) attempted to fortify Wherwell and were defeated by King Stephen’s forces (commanded by William of Ypres) and the Abbey was destroyed by fire.
1186Abbess Maud ‘of sweet memory’ rules for 40 years
1215King John grants the Abbey a right to hold an Annual Fair
1226Abbess, ‘The Blessed Euphemia’ (d.1257) rebuilds the Abbey and doubles the number of Nuns from 40 to 80
1266Abbess and successors granted a weekly market by King Henry III
1348Plague ‘The Black Death’ 1348-1350 kills 1.5 million people   (population 4 million)
1523Wherwell provided 52 Archers and 118 Billmen, part of the Hampshire contingent for Henry VIII’s war with France.
1535Cromwell commands Abbess, Morphuet Kyngesmill to resign
1539Dissolution of the Monasteries (Wherwell had 25 nuns)
1540Manor lands sold to Sir Thomas West, Lord de la Warr
c.1600Church name changed from the pre-reformation name of Church of the Holy Trinity to Church of St. Peter and Holy Cross
1649Abbey ruins grown over and a commemorative plaque erected outside the Church
1695Manors bought by Edward Boulter, merchant of London.  Outlying Manors sold, except Goodworth Clatford
1709Wherwell Manor bequeathed to John Fryer, Pewterer, Alderman of London
1726Manor left to three daughters, Bithia, Susannah and Delicia
1742Delicia married Joshua Iremonger
1743Bithia and Susannah bought out by Joshua Iremonger
1826A monument called Dead Man’s Plack erected in Harewood Forest by Col. Iremonger
1856Railway built by London & South Western Railway (LSWR) – closed in 1931 (passengers) and 1956 (completely)
1856Work commenced on building a ‘new’ Church overlaying the footprint of the Norman Church. Architect – Henry Woodyer, Builder – Mr Holdway
1859Church of St Peter & Holy Cross consecrated by Bishop of Winchester, Very Reverend Charles Richard Sumner and Iremonger family mausoleum built
1872A mother and daughter in the Iremonger family succumb to a harsh winter
1899Countess of Lovelace (mother of Colonel “Teddy” Jenkins) rented Wherwell from the Iremonger family
1911Church clock installed to commemorate the coronation of George V
1914Wherwell Priory Estate bought by Sir Ernest Cassel and passed into the hands of Colonel and Mrs Jenkins (niece)
1920Wherwell War Memorial unveiled by Major General Sir Robert Wigham
1936The first Wherwell Pageant performed in the grounds of Wherwell Priory
1952Priory Estate switches to the National Grid, power from the River Test moth-balled
1959Wherwell Priory Estate bequeathed by Mrs Jenkins to her daughter Marjorie, Countess of Brecknock
1989Death of Marjorie, Countess of Brecknock
1990James, Clare and Domini Hogg move into The Priory, Thomas-Neil Hogg arrived 1991.
1996Geophysical survey of the Abbey site conducted by Southampton University
2008The Downs Benefice was formed; Wherwell joins Littleton, Crawley, Sparsholt and Chilbolton, with Rev. Juliet Montague the minister in charge.
2011Major fund-raising campaign successfully puts a new roof on the Church and Spire
2012Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus installed and the church clock renovated, including a new automatic winding mechanism
2013PCC decides to not pursue registration of the Chancel Repair Liability and Charity Commissioners informed
2014Revd Jax Machin appointed Rector of the Downs Benefice
2020Detailed survey of graffiti in Wherwell church by the Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project

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