Hampshire Treasures

Volume 1 ( Winchester City District)

Page 235 - Owslebury

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In AD 964 land at Owslebury was granted to the Bishop of Winchester by King Edgar. According to the Domesday Book the Manor of Owslebury was held by the bishop before and after the Norman Conquest. In the early days the manor wascalled Twyford with Marwell, but during the fourteenth century it became known as Marwell or Marwell Woodlock, although the parish was still called, Owlesbury. The Woodlock family enclosed lands at Marwell and paid rent to the bishop. In the sixteenth century Bishop Fox granted the demesne lands at Owslebury to his college of Corpus Christi at Oxford, which was founded 1515-16.

The Manor of Marwell passed to the crown in 1551 and was granted to Sir Henry Seymour the same year. Marwell Hall was traditionally the scene of the courtship of Henry Vlll and Lady Jane Seymour. When Queen Mary came to the throne the Manor of Marwell was restored to the bishopric of Winchester, but it passed back to the Seymour family by 1577. In 1626 the manor was coveyed to Sir Henry Mildmay and remained in the Mildmay and Paulet St. John family until the nineteenth century.

The Bishop of Winchester had a park at Marwell from the third teenth century to the mid-seventeenth century where timber was cut, cattle were pastured and animals were hunted at various times. Longwood Warren and farm also belonged to the bishop until 1589 when it was granted to Thomas Ellys and Edward Vaughan. At Marwell Park, Bishop Henry de Blois (1129-71) founded a small college of secular priests; this building and the near by bishop's house were surrounded by a moat.

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