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Guide to Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records. Watton also known as Watton At Stone, is a village, a parishand a sub-district, in the district and county of Hertford. Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July to the present day.
A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, This free content was digitised by double rekeying. Watton rights reserved. The River Beane flows through the parish from the north-west, and through Woodhall Park, where it is artificially widened.
The church stands a little to the west of the road from Stevenage to Hertford, but the village lies along the road. There are in this part one or two late 16th-century houses, notably a stone and plaster house in the middle of the village on the north side of the road, now much repaired, but stone retaining an oak door frame and some original beams. On the south side of the road are some 17th-century timber and plaster cottages with overhanging upper stories, one of which Watton thatched. Watton Place, now a farm-house, stands beside the main road at the north end of the village.
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It consists of a main building of two stories and a low kitchen wing, forming an L-shaped plan. The front part of the main building, above the ground floor, is timberframed, and overhangs the wall below, the upper part being divided into three equal gables. All the other walls are of brickwork, the old bricks being two inches thick. The building has been much altered both outside and inside, so that not many features of architectural interest remain. It was probably erected towards the close of the 16th century. There are some good brick chimneys on the main building consisting of a row of three shafts, a fourth, which was no doubt formerly there, having Watton.
The front Watton is circular with a large moulded twist, the capital consisting of triangular projections corbelled out; the second shaft is octagonal with moulded capital; the third is missing; the fourth is circular, with a moulded octagonal capital: the upper part of the shaft is covered with raised mouldings forming a honeycomb pattern, the lower part is twisted. The interior of the house has been so much altered that it is not stone to trace the original plan. Most of the work appears to be of the 18th century or later.
A part of the old cellar still exists under the main building. It is approached from a doorway outside. Immediately stone the door and Watton a few feet from it, over the stair, is a small shallow niche with arched head, and in the cellar itself are a of similar niches in the walls.
These are about 14 in. There are thirteen or fourteen of these niches, all about 2 ft. There is besides a large square-headed aumbry 2 ft. The door has disappeared. These niches are very similar in shape and size to those in the cellars at Wymondley Bury and Delamere. Broom Hall is a stone 16th-century farm-house in the north-west of the parish.
It is a rectangular building of brick in two stories, and with a small porch. The windows of the first floor have brick mullions.
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At Watton Green, and a little south of the Green, and at Well Wood, are homestead moats, and in Chapel Wood there are some defensive earthworks. Bardolphs, the ancient manor, with Bardolphspark Wood, is situated east of the village, a short distance north of Woodhall Park, which is in the south-east of the parish. The hamlet of Whempstead lies in the north-east, about half-way between Watton and Little Munden. Watkins Hall, in the stone of the parish, has been rebuilt, but an old beam over the entrance bears the inscription 'Watton Hall alias Watkins Hall I.
The parish lies on a subsoil of chalk. There is a chalk-pit south of Watkins Hall, and two now disused north of the village. Watton was anciently Crown land, and was of the extent of about 10 Watton.
During the reign of the latter the remaining 5 hides, which apparently formed the manor of WATTONwere held by Alwin Horne, one of the king's thegns. Of the two sub-tenants of Watton inWatton apparently died without heirs, for the whole manor was held by the descendants of Derman.
Derman's heir was his brother Leofstan, fn. He died infn. Thomas, the fifth lord, ed Stone rebellion inand died of wounds received at the battle of Bramham Moor infn. Sir William Phelip, who was a Knight of the Garter, and was in created Lord Bardolf, had served at the battle of Agincourt inbeing afterwards made Captain of Harfleur. Upon the death of Anne Cobham, his great-aunt, in he became possessed of the whole of Watton Manor, her moiety stone to him as the next heir, fn.
Watton was granted in the following year Watton his wife Joan, with Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury and George Bishop of Exeter as trustees, and with remainder to William Beaumont, fn.
Joan was still living in the reign of Richard III, fn. William Viscount Beaumont was, however, restored to his honours in He was again attainted infn. He lost his reason inand was placed under the custody of John Earl of Oxford fn. The latter conveyed it in to Samuel Smith, lord of the manor of Woodhall, with stone manor it has since been united. The manor of Watton Watton a mill infn. Robert Aguillon obtained a grant of free warren in The hide held by the abbot remained in his possession, fn. This seems to have been held of the lords of the neighbouring manor of Benington fn.
In Alexander de Balliol, lord of Benington, claimed liberties in his manor of Watton.
In the 12th century the sub-tenants of the manor appear to have been a family of Watton. There was a Ralph de Watton, whose son Robert succeeded, and settled his 'vill of Wattun' on his wife Katherine in dower, some time before After this the manor passed to John de Tuwe or Teu, who was stone it inand was in that year accused of obstructing a way in Watton by making a ditch where the road was accustomed to be. In she Watton the reversion of the manor to Philip de Peletot, fn. The lastnamed Philip died in stone issue, and his estates passed to John Boteler, the son of his great-uncle John.
After the death of the latter Woodhall was purchased in by Paul Bendfield, after whose bankruptcy it was sold, and acquired in by Samuel Smith, fn. Abel Henry Smith is the present lord of the manor. Boteler of Watton. Gules a fesse checky argent and sable between six crosslets or. Smith of Woodhall. Or a cheveron cotised between three demigriffons sable. Alexander de Balliol claimed liberties there as at Woodhall in Apparently, however, the manor was kept by Philip Boteler, for it appears in the Boteler family as late as Abel Smith see advowson.
A water mill fn.
The church of ST. MARY stands on rising ground to the south-west of the village, and is built of flint rubble with stone dressings. It consists of a chancel, north chapel, nave, north and south aisles and porches and a west tower, all of a 15th-century rebuilding.
In the church was restored throughout by the late Mr. Abel Smith. The original church was entirely obliterated by the 15th-century rebuilding. The stone window of the chancel and the two windows in the south wall are each of three lights with tracery in a two-centred head, but very few of the stones are old. A door between them is modern, as are also the chancel arch and the arcade of three bays opening to the modern north chapel.
Below the eastern of the two south windows is a 15th-century piscina, in one range with three sedilia of the 15th century, with cinquefoiled canopies and cusped spandrels. All Watton much stone. The nave arcades are of the 13th century and are of four bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders, supported on piers of Watton shafts separated by hollows and having moulded capitals and bases.
The two arcades are almost exactly alike in detail. At the north-east and south-east angles are stair turrets to the roof, which also served as rood-stairs; only that on the south side is accessible from the nave.
Above on each side are the doors opening from the stairs to the rood loft. The turrets are carried up beyond the nave parapet in an octagonal form, and that on the south is embattled, while the northern one is plain. The clearstory has on each side four much restored two-light windows of the 15th century. The north aisle has a modern Watton at the east end opening into the north chapel, in the north wall three three-light traceried windows, and in the stone wall a two-light window, all much restored.
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The north door and another small door to the east of it are both modern. The north porch, of two stages, is of the 15th century, but all the detail is renewed, and the straight stair and the parvise are also modern. The south aisle has an east window of three lights, and the remaining windows are like those of the north aisle. The south doorway, with a Watton arch of two wavemoulded orders, is of the 15th century.
The south porch was wholly rebuilt in the 19th century. The west tower opens to the nave by a 15th-century arch of three moulded orders. The tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet; it has a stair turret at the south-west and two square buttresses at each angle. The turret is carried up above the parapet and is itself embattled. At the foot are an stone and an exterior doorway, both with four-centred he.
The west doorway and the three-light window stone it are so much restored Watton to be almost wholly modern. The bell-chamber windows, which are of two lights, are also much restored. There is a brass in the chancel of a priest in a quire cope of midth-century date. The other shield is plain, a modern restoration.
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