Stoney Thorpe

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdommap
Surnames/tags: Chamberlayne Hanslapp Holbeach
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Stoney Thorpe (Stoneythorpe) or Thorpe Hall [1]

The house, about two miles north of Southam, Warwickshire, is all that is left of a settlement.

THIS, of a small Hamlet, is now reduc't to one House, and hath its name from the rocky condition of the ground where it stands, the word Thorpe in our old English signifying a petty vil∣lage: But it was originally a member of Long-Ichington, and held thereof; though when first granted away by the Lords of that Mannour I have not seen.[2]
Few grand country houses encapsulate 800 tortuous years of English history as intriguingly as Stoneythorpe Hall at Southam, Warwickshire... Although the site of Stoneythorpe Hall probably dates from the Norman Conquest, the earliest official record of a substantial house on the site comes from 1202, when Thomas Samson granted it to Norman Samson, probably his son.
The Samson family owned the manor until 1310–11, when it was sold to a canny lawyer, the influential Sir William de Bereford[3], who sat in the Court of the Common Bench for 32 years. When charged with partiality in the administration of justice in Staffordshire, his fellow justices convinced the King of his innocence and his accusers were sent to the Tower ‘for publicly insulting a royal minister’. Sir William died in 1326, by which time he held estates in eight counties.[4]
Thereafter, Stoneythorpe passed by marriage, first to the Hoare family[5][6] and then to the Hanslapps of Aynho, who probably built the present hall around the original medieval hall-house, in about 1549. In the early 1600s, the house was occupied by the Rector of Southam, Francis Holyoake[7] whose life, according to the Dictionary of National Biography, was ‘abruptly disrupted in his old age by the Civil War [when] Royalist sympathies led to his home being raided by Parliamentary forces in 1642.[8]
The Stoneythorpe estate was part of the Parish of Long Itchington in Saxon times and was referred to as Torp or Thorpe....The current main roof beams, some retaining their bark, have recently been dated by a dendrologist to the summer of 1549.[9]
Its location, just outside the market town of Southam (which Shakespeare name-checks in Henry VI Part 3), was to play a key role 100 years later during the Civil War. The day after the King formally declared war on Parliament, on August 23 1642, a skirmish was fought outside the town, between Parliamentary and Royalist sympathisers. The Battle of Southam is claimed to have been the first of the Civil War and Stoneythorpe was soon raided by the King’s forces. [10]
In 1623 the Hanslapp family renovated the Hall.

In 1655 it was sold to Ambrose Holbeach of Mollington who sold it to London merchant, John Chamberlayne, in 1671. [9]

John died in 1684, and his brother Francis, a Cooper and Grocer of the City of London, inherited the house, and bequeathed it his son Francis Chamberlayne, MP for New Shoreham, who died without issue. Stoney Thorpe was then passed through Francis Chamberlayne senior's daughter Elizabeth, who married the French Huguenot Governor of the Bank of England, Jean Francois Fauquier, to their grandson Francis Fauquier, who married his cousin, Thermuthes Chamberlayne, daughter of Stanes Chamberlayne. The manor was the subject of a poem written by George Pearson, a close friend of the Fauquiers, possibly soon after they were married in 1787. Pearson had obviously stayed at Stoney Thorpe and felt its magic.

Stoney Thorpe Priory - Courtesy of Mark Chamberlayne

Stoney Thorpe Priory

Oh happy Stoney Thorpe; thou lov’d thou sweet retreat
How oft have I delighted, view’d the round?
How often view’d thy ancient Gothic seat?
Thy Woods, thy Waters, Thy enchanting ground!
Thy stately Elms, - thy pleasant park-like field;
Thy shady grove, thy daisy-gilded plain;
Those calm delights and tranquil pleasures yield
In busy, sinful life, sought for in vain?
Hark! – Hear the birds! – The Thrush, the Nightingale,
The chattering Daws – the Jays – The woodquies dove!
In zepher’s tall their several amorous tales;
And all they tell is harmony and love!
Thy lowing Heifers – bleating fleecy flocks;
Some near – some yonder, in the shade reclin’d;
With different voice call Echo from the rocks;
And send her softly sighing down the wind.
Stoney Thorpe - Courtesy of G. Greenwood
Thy long, green meadows – Ichen’s silver stream;
The cawing Rooks – rock’d by the blustering wind;
The Bridge – the embattled Mill assists my theam;
And fill with soothing joy the amusing mind;
Thy spangled pea-fowls – various Birds beside;
Tho with the vulgar, objects of abuse;
How ranging wild, as taste and nature guide;
Add use to beauty – elegance to use.
Thy snow-white Swan, while sailing slowly by;
As conscious of their worth and stately mien;
Look round with joy! - enrich and dignify;
And grace the lovely prospect they have seen!
How Judgement, Nature, Elegance and taste;
All meet, all join, to beautify the scene;
With Trees and Shrubs that may for ages last;
And easy opening Glades of grass between.
The Birds dear precious Birds! At early dawn;
Their songs of praise to their Creator sing!
Strain their sweet throats on every tree and thorn;
And with their Carols make the vallies ring!
Have lived belov’d, for several ages past;
A Worthy race of Chamberlaynes before;
And now their heirs with honour fill their place;
And will I trust till time shall be no more.
This happy Pair! Free, free from sin’s deed wound!
A virtuous happy life in peace they live!
With every Comfort – every blessing crown’d;
That Health and conscious innocence can give.
Francis Fauquier Esq and his Lady. Geo Pearson

The house then passed from father to son until the early 20th century, becoming more and more delapidated.

A mill[11], a record of which can be seen in the 1841 census, also stood near the house, on the River Itchen. It is a ruin today.[12][13]

During their early years, the Chamberlayne family sometimes let the Hall to tenants. In 1999 the last owner from the Chamberlayne family was Mrs Gillian Reid. The photograph shows the Hall circa 1890.
Dallas Burston bought the Stoneythorpe estate and established the current Polo Club in the grounds. The Hall was left empty and largely untouched until, in recent years it was bought by local business man, Russell Harrison, who has made extensive improvements and turned the Hall back into a family home.[9]
Some of the outbuilding walls are three feet thick, filled with rubble, and were part of the mediaeval house. There is also a tradition that the place was a former monastery because of the enormous fireplace there – large enough to roast an ox. In the inter-War period, when a trench was being dug to lay a cable in the garden, a pavement was found and remains of a possible cloister wall and monastery garden.[9]
When William Tankerville Chamberlayne died in 1906 his coffin was carried from the Hall to Southam church along footpaths where the stiles were removed to let it through. By an old tradition, this meant that the path remained a public right of way for 100 years, and it now forms part of the Holy Well Walk. (William Chamberlayne’s widow had ‘The Church in the Wood’ built at Bascote Heath) [9]where a small private cemetery is kept up until today.
One legend mentioned in a letter by Mr H. F. (Henry Fitzroy) Chamberlayne in 1943 is that a Knight in armour is buried under a mound in a field known as The Grove in front of the house. He also mentioned a legendary underground passage between the Hall and the Parish Church.[9]
A room over the house porch had four wall niches, which might have been places for statues in a pre-Reformation chapel. In 1874 the wall of the great hall to the right of the porch collapsed and was replaced by a brick façade.[9]
During renovations instigated by Mr Russell Harrison, a carved panel dated 1807 above the drawing room fireplace was removed and revealed a beam that has been dated to 1549 and part of an original Tudor frieze decorated with Tudor roses.[9]


  1. British Listed Buildings, Stoney-Thorpe, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  2. The antiquities of Warwickshire illustrated from records, leiger-books, manuscripts, charters, evidences, tombes, and armes : beautified with maps, prospects and portraictures / by William Dugdale. Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  3. Wikipedia contributors. William Bereford. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. October 14, 2020, 14:52 UTC. Retrieved from Here Accessed June 13, 2021.
  4. Business News, Manor House survived 800 tumultuous years, by Luxury Leather Gifts | Apr 20, 2017 | Luxury Leather Gifts, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  5. The Visitation of the county of Warwick in the year 1619. Taken by William Camden, Clarenceaux king of arms., Fetherston, John., Great Britain: College of Arms. Retrieved from the Internet Archive (p.257;) Accessed 8 Nov 2022.
  6. History of the Family of Hoar/Hoare. Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  7. Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 27, 1891, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  8. Business News, Manor House survived 800 tumultuous years, by Luxury Leather Gifts | Apr 20, 2017 | Luxury Leather Gifts, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Morris, Helen, Cardall's Corner, Stoneythorpe Hall, Southern Heritage Collection, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  10. The Sunday Telegraph, By a labour of love, an ancient manor reborn, 16 April 201, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  11. Our Warwickshire, Stoney Thorpe Mill, Retrieved from [1]
  12. Our Warwickshire, Stoney Thorpe Mill, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021
  13. Our Warwickshire, Stoney Thorpe Mill, Retrieved from Here Accessed 13 June 2021

Further Reference

  • Dugdale: Stoney Thorpe in the Internet Archive: (Here;) Accessed 19 Sept 2022.
  • Camden, The Visitation of Warwickshire (1619).,: Hanslap: (here;) Accessed 7 Apr 2022.
  • Stoney Thorpe - Warwickshire's Past Unlocked. 03509 - CHAMBERLAYNE FAMILY OF STONEYTHORPE - 1524-1885., Acc. No. CR1470.,Title: CHAMBERLAYNE FAMILY OF STONEYTHORPE., Date:1524-1885., Description: Deeds, estate papers and maps of estates in Bishops Itchington, Southam, and Picadilly in London 1524, 1652-1885. Through Messrs Heath and Blenkinsop. Retrieved from Warwickshire's Past Unlocked (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Carpenter, Christine, (1992)., Locality and Polity: A Study of Warwickshire Landed Society, 1401-1499. Retrieved from Goole Books (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Stoneythorpe Hall. Retrieved from Our Warwickshire (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Stoneythorpe, Southam, Warwickshire. Retrieved from RightMove (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Hervey, Sydenham Henry Augustus, ( 1914)., Ladbroke and its Owners. Bury St. Edmunds [Eng.] Paul & Mathew Retrieved from the Internet Archive (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Burke, John (1835)., Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Enjoying Territorial Possessions Or High Official Rank: But Uninvested with Heritable Honours, Vol. 2. Henry Colburn. Retrieved from Google e-Books (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • Wooded country estate of an ancient Norman family. (1998) Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd. Retrieved from The Free Library (Here;) Accessed 20 Sept 2022.
  • John Hanslap of Long Itchington, Warks. FamilySearch Sources (Here;) Accessed 8 Nov 2022.

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