Hampshire Treasures

Volume 6 ( East Hampshire)

Page 71 - Buriton

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The principal manor in the parish of Buriton was known as Mapledurham; other manors were West Mapledurham, Weston, Ditcham and Sunworth. For several centuries the manor was held by the Clare family, dukes of Hereford and Gloucester. In 1719 the land was bought by Edward Gibbon, grandfather of the historian, with money from the South Sea Company; the manor eventually descended to the historian himself.

The manor house is a fine specimen of early Georgian architecture of which Gibbon wrote in his autobiography: "An old mansion in a state of decay has been converted into the fashion and convenience of a modern house ... and if strangers had nothing to see the inhabitants had little to desire". The principal industries in the parish have been farming and lime-burning.

The church of St. Mary has a very fine twelfth century interior although the exterior of the chancel is thirteenth century. The eminent seventeenth century botanist, John Goodyer, is buried here. His reputation was so great that during the Civil War a royalist general ordered his men "... on all occasions to defend and protect John Goodyer, his house, servants, family, goods, chattels and estates of all sorts from all damages, disturbances and oppressions whatever."

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