Hampshire Treasures

Volume 1 ( Winchester City District)

Page 5 - Bighton

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Bighton was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bighetone, but had already been mentioned in early documents of the tenth century as Bykingtune and Bicincgtun.

Part, if not all, of the Manor and Parish of Bighton was included in a grant of land said to have been made by Ine, King of the West Saxons, to Alresford Cathedral in A.D. 701. In 959 King Edwy granted ten properties in Bighton to Hyde Abbey, Alresford; shortly after this the monks, with the king's consent, granted the land to EIfric (a minister of the king) for life in return for sixty marks in gold. The Manor of Bighton was held by Hyde Abbey at the time of the Domesday Survey, and continued so until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. The manor was then given to an Italian but later granted to Thomas Wriothesley and his heirs; the property later passed into the hands of the Withers of Manydown, then the Eyre family, and was finally sold to James Brydges, Duke of Chandos. This family later became Dukes of Chandos and Buckingham, and the Duchess built a school for the village in 1827 at a cost of £100.

Another part of the Parish of Bighton was held by the Bishop of Alresford in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and was leased to the Gervays family. Part of this property was sub-let to another family, and the rent was a pound of cummin (a spice used for flavouring) payable at Michaelmas. In the fourteenth century this land reverted to the Bishop of Alresford, William of Wykeham, who granted it to his newly founded Alresford College.

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