Kempton Park, Surrey
Coordinates: Kempton Park formerly also a larger manor known as Kempton today refers to Kempton Park Racecourse in the Spelthorne district of Surrey which was in the Medieval period a private parkland, the remaining parkland of its royal manor.
Kempton appears on the Middlesex Domesday Map as Chenetone a later variant of which was Chennestone, with early royal references to Kenyngton a source of some confusion which may relate instead to Kennington; the first Kempton Park was inclosed by royal licence in 1246. Aside from the park, its land was for much of its history a slightly less valuable, smaller manor than that of Sunbury. Most of the ward of Sunbury East was in medieval times was part of Kempton as was the land of the Stain Hill Reservoirs and Kempton Park Reservoirs.
The Park of the Manor
A spinney was inclosed as a park in 1246 and in the following year 24 deer were sent to it from Havering-atte-Bower. 24 acres (9.7 ha) in Hanworth (now in Greater London) were added to the park in 1270; rabbits were mentioned in deeds in 1251 and in 1276, 100 deer were sent to Kempton. Horses were bred at Kempton in the early 14th century as on other royal manors. The park was first excluded from the lease of the manor in 1340. Deer were still kept in 1376 but a grant of the herbage was made in 1384.
Henry VIII enlarged the park by 150 acres (61 ha) and in 1538 he ordered the stock of deer replenished. In 1594 the Crown leased the park with the manor and in 1631 the reversion of the freehold was granted with that of the manor to Robert Killigrew, whose father held an 80-year lease of the manor with Hanworth from 1594. A proviso in Robert's lease was that 300 deer be maintained within the park for the royal enjoyment but this was discharged in 1665 following the Civil War and interregnum or Commonwealth, under Charles II. As early as 1692 the whole estate of 458 acres: the manor, house, lands, and park, was described as Kempton Park, and this description became usual in the 19th century. At the end of the 17th century the estate contained about 460 acres (190 ha), 105 of which were called the Great Park, while most of the rest was grassland. In 1803 nearly 300 acres were parkland. Many fine trees on the estate were felled in the early 19th century, but there were still deer in the park until about 1835. In 1876 the estate was sold to a company who leased part of it to an associated company as a racecourse. The park was used in the World War I by the army and in World War II as a Prisoner of War Camp. The estate contained 360 acres in 1957 which remains largely uninhabited except for three cottages, whereas the manor has been developed as residential housing or turned into reservoirs, a museum and pumping works.
A fish pond was ordered to be made in the park in 1246 and shortly afterwards was stocked with pike. Bream were put in the pond in 1253. A large pond in 2012 outside the eastern boundary of the park, lay inside it in 1692 and 1803.
The site of the medieval manor house may be represented by the traces of moats west and north what was Kempton Park House. The first recorded visit of a sovereign to Kempton was that of Henry III in 1220. Henry came to Kempton often in the next two decades and less frequently in the later part of his reign. Jousts were held in Kempton field in 1270. Edward I visited Kempton comparatively rarely and later kings seldom or never went there. Many apparent references to their visits in the 14th and 15th centuries seem rather to relate to Kennington which was then part of Surrey.[n 1] The lord of Kempton granted the great tithes of that manor to Grestain Abbey in Normandy before 1104.
From 1229 there are many references to buildings at Kempton. The king's chamber was mentioned in 1229 and in 1233 there was a chapel attached to it. The queen's chamber was mentioned in 1233 and the queen's wardrobe six years later. An almonry was to be built in 1233 and a hall was referred to in 1235. Two years later the chapel was rebuilt with an upper floor for the queen, and the king's court and chamber were enclosed by a wall. Various other rooms, gardens, and so forth are mentioned. A list was made in 1331 of repairs that were necessary; a record exists for 1340. It seems to have been demolished in 1374, when John of Kingston was given permission to sell all the timber and stone of Kempton manor-house.
A plain-fronted two-storied house stood near the site of the manor house (near the grandstand) in 1692. The "fair house" built at Sunbury by Sir Thomas Grantham in 1697 was probably a replacement of this. In 1711 Grantham was described as of Batavia House, which stood outside the park near the present Batavia Road and had been demolished by 1806, but Batavia House seems, to judge from Rocque's map of 1754, to have been less worthy of being called a fair house than was the manor-house in the park. The 18th-century owners of the manor occupied the manor-house, and Sir J. C. Musgrave continued to do so for a while after he sold it in 1798. In 1802 the exiled Duke of Orleans inspected and rejected Batavia House when he was looking for a house in the neighbourhood, describing it as a miserable place. After this the owner rebuilt it in a Gothic style which was described in 1816, before the rise of Neo-Gothic architecture as gloomy and unattractive. It was then unfinished but parts of the house and outbuildings were being sold for demolition. A Gothic coach-house still survived in 1959. Batavia house is said to have been blown up by dynamite and in 1845 it was described as a ruin. A smaller house, now demolished, was "probably built soon after" 1845 and a large aisled barn of timber and weather-boarding, with a tiled roof, which probably dating from the 16th or early 17th century has been pulled down.
History of the wider manor
Kempton Park appears on the Middlesex Domesday Map as Chenetone a later variant of which was Chennestone, with a variation also seen of Kenyngton however many apparent references to Royal Jousts in the 14th and 15th centuries seem rather to relate to Kennington that was then in Surrey. Its overlord and tenant-in-chief was Robert, Count of Mortain, half-brother of William the Conqueror. In 1086 the Domesday assets of the manor were: 5 hides; 4 ploughs, meadow for 5 ploughs, cattle pasture, 8 arpents (approximately acres) of newly planted vineyard; its parish and church was at all times Sunbury.
At this time the manor contained the eastern part of the parish of Sunbury, adjoining Sunbury manor at a line running approximately along the course of the modern road called the Avenue. This area forms most of the ward of Sunbury East. Common land for all of the riverside villagers to make use of was to the north for all three parishes from Hampton to Shepperton. This area forms the wards of Sunbury Common and Ashford Common.
Robert's son William inherited most of his land and was attainted of treason and all his lands were forfeited to the Crown. In 1206 the manor was in the hands of, in fee, of William Rivers, Earl of Devon. In 1228 Hubert de Burgh surrendered his rights in Kempton to the king: these rights possibly arose from a projected marriage between Hubert and Joan of Devon but the marriage did not take place. Administration of Feltham manor became merged with Kempton during this period, or possibly even earlier.[n 2]  A variant name of Kenton, now used in Kenton Avenue appears in John Speed's Middlesex map of 1611. Kempton does not appear at all in a place finder map of 1819 of the environs of London. In 1222 The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's appropriated the church, ordaining a perpetual and well-endowed vicarage; they sold the rectory estate after the building of a new church in 1799 to the owner of Kempton manor however 10 acres (4.0 ha) of glebe existed in 1957.
Land sold to enable a London Water Supply
In 1897 the New River Company established waterworks and reservoirs in the northeast of the manor to supply water to their facilities at Cricklewood. This company became incorporated into the Metropolitan Water Board in 1903, who completed the Kempton Park Reservoirs (which are now a Site of Special Scientific Interest) behind the racecourse when viewed from the grandstand and visible from the A316 (Great Chertsey Road); the southeast reservoirs were opened on the moving of the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company after an Act of Parliament prohibited them from taking water from the Thames below Teddington Lock. The Metropolitan Water Board Railway was opened in Kempton in 1916 to deliver coal from the riverside to the main London's drinking water pumphouse adjoining Hanworth — the reservoirs which span the border with and for the mostpart are in Hampton. This coal powered the pumping engines. In 1929 the Board opened a new engine house for their pumps, and this has become the Kempton Park Steam Engines museum.
Notes and References
- Further supporting this research, Chenintune was the early name of Kennington
- Thus a seat of both became Kempton Park for the enjoyment of the Lord of both.
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Sunbury: Manors". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Institute of Historical Research.
- Ordnance Survey map, courtesy of English Heritage
- "North Lambeth — history | Lambeth Council". Lambeth.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Sunbury: Churches". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Surrey Domesday Book
- Domesday Map
- 2001 Census — By Ward
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Sunbury: Introduction". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- John Speed's Map of 1619
- Leigh's New Map of the Environs of London, 1819
- "Kempton Park Reservoirs citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "Map of Kempton Park Reservoirs". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- Kempton Park Steam Engines History