Chantry Farm (also Chauntry or Chantrey) has almost certainly some connection with the source of revenue for the Englefield Chantry prior to its dissolution in 1535 and there are in existence several leases to various people dating back to 1598. The farm is not mentioned as such in the 1762 survey but in 1779 the joint owners were William Toovey and Richard Carter and a map of February that year shows the extent of the lands at the time, five years after the reallocation of the holdings in the Great Field. In 1762 the lands shown on the 1779 map, which are almost all enclosed fields with some holdings in the still unenclosed Englefield Meadow, are shown as belonging to a number of people and the large single block in the centre was part of the Great Field divided into many individually-owned strips.
The farm house was clearly Cranemoor House (here “Cranemore”), called Cranemoor Farm in Ballard’s survey of 1762, and the six-acre site is likely to have included the house that Sir Edward Norreys enlarged and where he created a garden and park, and entertained Queen Elizabeth in 1601. The approximate location of this is shown by the red rectangle. The main farmyard with two fields seems to have been where the estate yard now is. This yard was separated from the main block of land by a short distance and the two were connected by Chantry Lane so this is probably the origin of the name of that thoroughfare. A further block of land is let to a Mr Simmons as tenant. This is in two separate parts, amounting to seven acres in all, with a single enclosure immediately to the north of Englefield House at the junction of the Bradfield Road and Beenham Lane, now part of Daintylands, and the remainder further along Beenham Lane with two cottages, one of which was later lived in by Miss Winchcomb’s grandparents and from where her mother, Mary Elizabeth Horne, was married in 1883.
Ballard shows Cranemoor Farm having Philip Wyatt as the occupier and the lord of the manor as the freeholder but before that Cranemoor Farm was leased to John Powel and left to his widow Elizabeth on his death in 1755. In addition to Philip Wyatt, the other lands making up the 1779 farm were shown in 1762 as belonging to “the two Mrs Powels”, and “the widow Powel, now Carter and Toovey”. So Elizabeth Powell had clearly passed on her inheritance to her sons-in-law.
The map alongside is not fully to scale and has been transposed onto a more modern map below. The large field to the east of Cranemoor Lake was the land allocated to the widow Powel in 1774 when the Great Field was reorganised. Chantry Farm had disappeared by the time of the final parliamentary enclosures but the field marked as Long Ground on the 1779 map is marked “Chantry Field” on the 1829 enclosure map.
The 1779 map of
Chantry Farm lands
(Courtesy of Berkshire
© 2019 Richard J Smith