Stock History
By Charles Phillips
At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror, there is no mention of Stock. There are entries for Buttsbury and also Fristling. The parishes Buttsbury and Stock were until 1935 interwoven to the extent that part of Stock High Street was part of Buttsbury. Fristling was not a village as such, but a manor - a country estate, now Fristling Hall Farm. Buttsbury, written as Cinga in the Domesday Book, was held by the steward of Henry of Ferrers (or de Ferrers) for him. Henry was one of the Domesday commissioners, who had come over from Normandy with William. Fristling was owned by St Mary's Abbey, Barking, when the Church was a very influential force in the country and Abbeys were very powerful within the Church. Barking was one of, if not the most, influential in England and the abbess of Barking, Alfgiva, was a very commanding woman. The abbess of Barking's status was that of a peeress of the realm. Interestingly Barking abbey also held Ingatestone solely if one translation of the Domesday Book is read. Another has it holding only part but including Fryerning. The rest being held by one Robert Gernon.
The state was not going to make enemies of the church or its leaders. So, where was Stock at this time? The consensus is that it was a hamlet within Buttsbury - rather as Tye Green in Swan Lane is a distinct place, but is a hamlet within the parish of Stock today. Stock is not the only place locally not mentioned in Domesday, as Billericay does not figure therein.
Buttsbury was in medieval times quite a prosperous settlement round the church, but whilst the hamlet of Stock was on the main road, or the trackway that served as a main road in those days, from Chelmsford to the Thames, Buttsbury was on a minor lane from just south of Stock to Ingatestone. Not being on the main route itA summary of the two entries in the Domesday Book is as follows - Buttsbury. Henry de Ferrer's steward held Buttsbury for him, which at the time of the Conquest was held by one Bondi. It covered an area of 5.5 hides (a hide covered an area of 120 acres) thus an area of 660 acres. At the time of the Conquest there were 6 villagers (a villager being a superior type of cultivator), but at the time of the compilation of the Domesday Book only 4. At the time of the Conquest there were 8 smallholders (a smallholder being an inferior sort of cultivator), but there were now 12. At both times there were 3 slaves. These figures just quoted are only the actual workers - not their wives and family. became isolated and eventually died.
The name of Buttsbury is reckoned to be derived from St Botolphsbury, but there is some debate as to origin of the name of Stock. Stock was at various times also known as Harvard Stock or Stock Harvard. The accepted opinion is that it is derived from the Saxon word Stoks, which means a place within another district (in this case Buttsbury) and that most probably under the Saxon system of local government a man named Hereward was appointed to look after it. With a little bit of corruption of the words Hereward Stoks you end up with Harvard Stock and then you drop the Harvard.
There were always 2 ploughs for the sole use on the manor farm and 4 for common use by the workers on their allotted land. In the woodland there were 500 pigs and in the pasture 100 sheep. At the time of the Conquest the manor had 20 cattle, 50 pigs and 60 sheep. There were now 7 cattle, 100 sheep and 40 pigs. The manor was always valPrior to 15th February 1971 British currency was calculated in Pounds (£), Shillings (s) and Pence (d). with 12 pence (pennies) to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound or 240 pennies to the pound. Under Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth there were 360 pence to the pound, but it reverted to 240 in James Ps reign. It should also be remembered that £1 of silver pennies was worth an awful lot more in medieval times than it is now. If you had a very few pounds in savings then you would have been regarded as wealthy.ued £7.Os.Od.
Fristling. St Mary's Abbey, Barking, held this, both at the Conquest and at the time of the Domesday Book. The area was 45 acres. At the time of the Conquest there had been 3 smallholders, but there were now 4. At the time of the Conquest there had been 1 slave, but there was now none. The manor had always had I plough. In the woodland there were 200 pigs, 4 cattle, 37 sheep and 10 goats. The value of the land had increased from 8s.Od at the time of Conquest to £ 1.Os.Od.
From this it can be seen that at the time of the time of the Conquest and the Domesday Book that if the Domesday book is used to calculate population using the basis of an average of husband wife and two children there were probably about a maximum of some 150 people living in the area: perhaps even as few as 90. However the Domesday Book was a land survey and not a population census. William the Conqueror was more interested in the land that he owned and to the people working it rather than the actual number of people living in the country. There is therefore no mention in it of priests, nuns, monks, blacksmiths and millers for example. Whilst nuns and monks did not have (as far as is known did not have children) blacksmiths and millers did have wives and children and even priests at that time were sometimes married and had children. The area was agricultural with a lot of woodland, traces of which still remain in the area - notably Swan Wood and Hankin's Wood.
Interestingly, the parish church of Buttsbury is some distance from the village and quite isolated, apart from a farm nearby, whereas Stock parish church is at the edge of the village centre. There is evidence of some Anglo-Saxon construction in Buttsbury church and evidence that Stock church had a Norman origin. This would indicate that Buttsbury church may well have its origins in Saxon times, whilst Stock has Norman origins. However, during work to the latter in 1948 the foundations of a building earlier than the present were found, which may suggest that there was a church in Saxon times. As to the actual dates of the construction of the churches, that is lost in time, in particular Stock. Lesley Harvard in her book on Stock, Country Chronicles, said that a face on the outside of the north-west wall dates about 1150, the piscina to about 1390, part of the roof beams to about 1430 and the belfry to about 1450 to 1465 give or take a few years on each side. A curious thing about Stock and Buttsbury is that whilst Buttsbury had seven manors, Stock had none. The seven manors of Buttsbury were Crondon; Imphey (pronounced lmpee) Hall; Ramsey Tyrells; White Tyrells; Fristling; Blunts; and Buckwynes
Of the manors, Fristling, because it appears in the Domesday Book, is the earliest. Of the others, there is evidence of Imphey dating back to 1190 and Crondon dating back to 1275. Fristling is of interest in that it has sometimes been very much on the borders between Buttsbury and Margaretting and is now part of the parish of Margaretting.
In 1140 Imphey was granted by Richard I to the Benedictine Priory and Nunnery of Ickleton in Cambridgeshire and remained in the Nunnery's possession for 350 years. There was small Nunnery there at that time.
Crondon was originally granted by the Monarch to the Priory of Orsett and remained part of that parish for rating and other purposes, being known as Orsett Hamlet, until 1881. The lands of what is now Crondon Park golf club, formerly Crondon Park farm, were once owned by the Bishop of London and was a Deer Park, frequently visited by the Bishop. The Deer Park dated from about 1205, as on 30 November 1204 a licence was granted by King John to the Bishop of London empowering him to enclose the park. However according to Robert Orr who at one time farmed Crondon Park farm a vestige remained of the connection with Orsett as Crondon Park farm continued to pay tithes to Orsett until tithes were abolished in 1977
Whites Tyrells and Ramsey Tyrell's can be traced back to Norman times. It is not precisely clear when, but it appears sometime after 1100 when Sir Walter Tyrell, who held certain lands in Essex at the time of Domesday, was hunting with William II in the New Forest and accidentally killed the King. He fled to France, but his version of what happened was believed and he returned to England to find favour with Henry I and found a family. The chief seat of the family was at East Horndon, but quite early they were granted the two manor houses at Buttsbury of Whites and Ramsey. The name of Tyrell first occurs in Buttsbury in the reign of Henry III who reigned from 1216 to 1272 which suggests a date sometime in that period for Whites Tyrells and Ramsey Tyrells.
Blunts took its name from a family who held it in the reign of Henry III when Tobert de Blund lost possession of it for joining Simon de Montfort, but was held by Thomas le Blonte of the same family under the Richard II. What one king took another gave. From this information an earliest date of 1259 can be established.
Buckwynes was at one time owned by the Abbey of Stratford Langthome, according to the Essex historian Philip Morant in The History and Antiquities of the county of Essex published 1760-68. Which on the information in Kenneth Neale's Essex in History suggests that it was established by the Cistercians sometime after the founding of the Abbey of Stratford Langthorne in 1135
An alternative theory on the origin of Stock could be that it was part of the manor of Fristling. This theory is based on the following. As mentioned earlier, evidence was found in 1948 of a Saxon church in the grounds of All Saints. Why would Buttsbury have two churches? (Buttsbury church has evidence of Saxon construction). Fristling manor house was near the river (as was Buttsbury church). Rivers were rather more important in medieval times as a means of transport than today. The roads were not as good as they are now. Even Ingatestone and Margaretting which are in the Domesday Book were within easy reach of a river. Roads though were still used though. Now we know that some form of settlement has existed in Stock since Iron Age times. Also Stock was on the direct road from Maldon to Hertfordshire. It was also on the main road from central Essex to the Thames. Supposing that in Saxon times there was a place of settlement on the highway i.e. Hereweg Stoc. Words get corrupted and Hereweg Stoc could easily be corrupted into Hereward Stock. Or alternatively supposing Stock was the dwelling place of the workers of the manor of Fristling and that only the Steward lived in Fristling manor house. Supposing that instead you Herewic Stoc or dwelling place. This could also easily be corrupted into Hereward Stock. Either version is feasible. Equally with the latter version it could have been the dwelling place of the workers of Buttsbury and that the original Saxon church at Stock was abandoned when the one at Buttsbury was built. However it could be argued that any manor would need a church. Religion was very important in medieval times. This all leads me to the conclusion that Stock was settlement place of the manor of Fristling. Some people may say that "Surely Fristling was separated from Stock by Buttsbury." My answer is twofold. Firstly we do know what the manor boundaries were like at the time of the Norman Conquest. Secondly it was not uncommon to have detached parts of one parish or even a manor in the middle of another parish or manor. Orsett hamlet -the detached part of Orsett in Stock being a very good example. This to some extent is borne out by a conversation that I had with Alan Smith, who at one time farmed Fristling Hall Farm. According to him the deeds of the farm included details of the tenants back to 900. This was before the Domesday Book. A French Celtic and Saxon coins had been found in the vicinity. He believes that the Fristling was bigger than it is now. Perhaps a Saxon settlement? Apparently there were tombs discovered in Margaretting church of Geoffrey and Godfrey de Fristling. Also the river Wid is reckoned once to have been navigable. Fristling Hall was a moated manor house. Parts of the manor still exist. Equally looking at Mountnessing on the first edition of the ordnance survey map the location of the church and manor house is quite some distance from the main settlement. The ordnance map denoting the main settlement as Mountnessing Street. The idea of the manor house and the main settlement being separate should not though be dismissed.
The earliest mention of Stock, according to the Rev F W Austen in his Rectors of Two Essex Parishes and Their Times is in 1232, when Master Gregory was designated as `rector of the church of All Saints de Ginges'. However there is a definite evidence of Stock in 1239 in the Charter Rolls, which stated that the King (Henry III) had granted a market to the Manor of Imphey Hall to be held in the village each Thursday in the village of Herewarstoc. In 1269 there was an inspexus confirming the earlier charter. Some say that the market developed into an annual fair, held until the middle of the 19`h century in the square in front of the Bear. In 1248 there is mention in the Charter Rolls of the provision to the Prioress of Ickleton of six oaks for timber from Herewarstoc. A possible explanation for what suggests de facto evidence that Stock originated as part of Buttsbury is exchange of land from one manor to another i.e Fristling to Buttsbury. Finally there is one possibility that should not be discounted but is not proven. There are a number of places in the Domesday Book whose names do not correspond with any today. It is not impossible that Stock may have been known under a different name that cannot be traced through from that time to the present day. If that were the case it may be asked why did Stock change its original name. Who knows? One cannot answer that question.
Finally there is one possibility that should not be discounted but is not proven. There are a number of places in the Domesday Book whose names do not correspond with any today. It is not impossible that Stock may have been known under a different name that cannot be traced through from that time to the present day. If that were the case it may be asked why did Stock change its original name. Who knows? One cannot answer that question.
The most relevant ones are in the Chelmsford Hundred Berewic, which was held by Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux. The Anglo Saxon translation of Berewic is Corn Village or Barley Yard or Demesne Farm. Or alternatively from bere-wic -outlier. An argument in favour of this is that the Bishop of Bayeux also held the adjacent manor of South Hanningfield
In the Barstable Hundred which adjoins the Chelmsford the most relevant ones are Upham held by William of Warenne and Ateleia held by Hamo the Steward.
Taking Up ham first, I cannot find an exact translation of the meaning of the word. However two possibilities emerge.(a) a dwelling, fold, or enclosed possession on high as in high ground based Up Ham or (b) a home, house, abode, dwelling, residence, habitation, house with land, estate, property on high as in high ground based on Up Hám. Alternatively from up-ham or up-hamm - upper estate or upper enclosure
One has to remember that the Domesday Book was hand written. The printing press was several centuries away and that it was easy for the monk or who ever wrote the entries to accidentally leave out an inflection over a letter.
One argument for Upham is that the adjoining manor of West Hanningfield was also held by William of Warrenne.
Ateleia is from the Anglo Saxon atan-leage which means at the clearing where oats are grown. Hamo the Steward held small parcels of land all over the county. Ateleia was the only one in the Barstable Hundred. There were no ones in the Chelmsford Hundred.
As Stock was on the border line between Chelmsford and Barstable hundreds it is not implausible that Stock under a different name may have changed hundreds. Boundary changes are not unknown e.g. until the 1974 local government reorganisation Ingatestone and Fryerning were part of the Chelmsford Rural District, but are now part of Brentwood Borough, whilst in 1935 parts of the former Billericay Rural District were transferred to Chelmsford with the creation of the Billericay Urban District.
However this could suggest that if at some stage the holder of the manor what is now Stock changed the new holder may have decided to change its name. The thing about records medieval and otherwise is not what has survived, but what has not. And awful lot more has not survived than has survived. Also to the best of my knowledge there are no maps of the area at that time.
Also the Domesday there were some unnamed lands. Barking Abbey held some in the Barstable Hundred, as did Geoffrey de Mandeville whilst in the Chelmsford Hundred Thorkell the Reeve held some.
Finally it was suggested to me by Lord Petre that the name may have been copied down wrong. That is not an impossibility.
There is also the possibility of settlement drift where the location of a name settlement moved. If one takes this to a conclusion one could perhaps argue that Fristling was where Stock is now, but the settlement became Stock and the name moved to where Fristling Hall is now.
The problem is that the more one seeks to find an answer the more questions that cannot be answered arise.
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