This fine Church is
set on high ground. On one side lies the historic Manor House,
mentioned in the records of St. Swithun's monastery, at Winchester, in 1325. To
the south are the hangers of the South Downs. The picture is
completed by the village pond, and the Old Rectory which contains
features dating back to the 14th century.
It is large for a village
Church, having been the. mother Church for a parish of 6,000
Petersfield and Sheet. Petersfield with Sheet became a separate
parish in 1886, and St. Mary's, Sheet, was
built in 1869.
The Norman Church we see was built between 1150 and 1200, but a
previous Church is listed in Domesday
Book of 1086. Whether or not it was a Saxon building is not
certainly known, but the manor of Mapledurham
of which Buriton was the centre was Saxon. In the reign of Edward
the Confessor it was held by Wulfgifu
Beteslau, but at the Norman Conquest William deprived her of her
lands and granted the manor to his wife, Matilda.
In 1877/8 the Church was closed for a year for extensive
restoration which included a new roof, repairs to two Nave arches,
and a new Chancel arch and Screen. The Chancel roof was raised,
the East window and the windows of the North aisle were renewed.
The Church was re-seated and general repairs were carried out
which included removal of the Clerk's Desk and the Reading Desk.
The work was done by Messrs. Lewis of West Meon under the
supervision of the architect, Sir Arthur Blomfield. Other
Blomfield Churches in the district are Chawton near Alton, Privett, St. Mary's Liss and St. Mary's
Portsea. During the year
in which the Church was closed Services were held .in the Church
School, but a marriage took place " in the Church without a
The Nave in Transitional Norman style is of four bays with
typical rounded pillars and moulded capitals, the two western
bays having earlier details than those towards the east. The
finest capital, with detail of water lily leaves, is beside the
Pulpit. This one was restored in 1877. The roof is of trussed
rafter and crossbeams, supported between each arch by a stone
corbel. The oak Lectern was given in memory of John Sumner,
Rector 1845-86 and nephew of Mary Sumner who founded the Mothers'
Union. The stone 'used in the Nave is largely of the local
Greensand " Malm " rock which is variable in quality,
and there has been a good deal of patching over the years.
The North Aisle fell and was rebuilt in 1764, the windows being
renewed in 1877. The West End window is an 1877 addition,
containing beautiful modern glass inserted in 1917 in memory of
John Goodyer 1592-1664.
John Goodyer is famous as one of the first great botanists. He
lived in The Spain, Petersfield, his house
being in the tithing of Weston. He lies buried in the Churchyard
without a stone. He left his house and land
to form the Goodyer Charity which still distributes the income to
help young people within the old tithing of Weston who are
starting out in life.
The Goodyer Window
The South Aisle was rebuilt in 1300, and widened to provide room
for the Lady Chapel. The large window in Decorated early 14th
century style was presumably added to bring light into the Nave.
The glass is Victorian. At the east end stands the Jacobean Altar
Table, almost certainly the Chancel Altar in its day. Above this
the window of three trefoil lights is of the early 14th century
period, but the stonework has been renewed when the glass was
added. On the south side is a fine arched Piscina for the washing
of the Communion vessels. The South Doorway dates from about 1300.
The South Porch was rebuilt in 1860, and does no credit to the
Church. For 800 years the babies of Buriton have been baptized in the Norman
Font, said to be of Purbeck Marble of the late 12th
century, standing on a round central shaft with four supporting
columns. It would be interesting to know what symbols were so
completely removed by chisel. It is suggested that the surfaces
were varnished to reduce the effect of the scars. The wooden
Victorian cover of the Font was a gift from Holy Trinity Church, Aldershot, in 1928.
The unusually squat font
The Font originally stood at the west end of
this aisle, now the Choir Vestry. It was moved to its present
position in 1957, and surrounded by the floor of old London
paving stones. On either side of the rim of the Font are the lead
insertions which were designed to hold staples. An Order of 1234
directed that fonts should be covered and locked, to prevent the
water being taken away for sacrilegious purposes.
It is most unusual to find a wooden Chancel arch. The Chancel
Screen is the work of 1877, and is an exact copy of the 16th
century screen which preceded it.
The Chancel is exceedingly fine for a Hampshire Church, being
wide, well proportioned and light. The stone used is of good
quality and may well have come from Caen in Normandy, which was
extensively used in good Church building at that time. This part
of the Church was rebuilt and enlarged at the end of the 13th
century, a time when the continental wool trade brought
prosperity to this sheep growing district and before the Black
Death, spreading from Southampton, decimated the population
around 1348. It was also a time of military prowess under Edward
the First and, with the introduction of the Long Bow, the menfolk
of the parish would be obliged after Service to repair to the
Butts for archery practice.
The East window is of 1877 though of Early English design. The
nice Victorian glass commemorates John
Bonham-Carter, Lord of the Manor, who lived in Sheet and died in
1884. It came from the Whitefriars Glass Factory who used
cartoons by the artist Henry Holiday.
In loving memory of
Guy Bonham Carter 3rd son of
Mary & Alfred Bonham Carter CB
Captain 19th Royal Hussars and
Adjutant Oxfordshire Yeomanry
Killed in action near Ypres
14th May 1915 aged 30 years
Buried at Vlamertinghe
In loving memory of
Arthur Thomas Bonham Carter
Son of John & Mary Bonham Carter
1st Puisne Judge British East Africa
and Captain Hampshire Regiment
Killed in action at Beaumont
Hamel 1st July 1916 aged 47
and buried near that place
FEAR GOD HONOUR THE KING
In memory of
General GCB CMG DSO
Governor of Malta 1936 -1940
He loved chivalry trouth and
honour, freedom and curtesie
KCB CVO DSO
9 July 1889
5 September 1972
||In memory of Algernon
January 1 1888
September 26 1957
An unusual feature is the moulded String Course which surrounds
the Chancel. To the south of the well-proportioned Altar of 1931
is a beautiful double piscina and rare threefold Sedilia with the
stepped downwards. It will be noted how well the difficulty of
this design has been mastered. Within the
canopies of the arches are traces of 13th century painting.
Set in the floor of the Choir are six encaustic tiles made about
1260. These, all that remain of the original floor, possibly came
from the same local kiln as those found in the ruins of Dureford
Abbey which are now preserved in Lewes Museum. Similar tiles are
to be seen in Warblington Church and Winchester Cathedral.
Two good Jacobean chairs of about 1680 stand against the Chancel
|One of the two ornately
The Priests' Vestry on the north side is contemporary with the
Chancel and is a rare addition for that period.
The Vestry door and the Priests' door opposite show original
stonework and are beautiful. To the right of
the Vestry door is a recess which originally had locking wooden
doors, and was probably an Aumbry.
On the jamb of the window behind the Clergy Stall are traces of
13th century painting of the Madonna and
Child, below which are two lines of description, later work,
which cannot now be deciphered. The preservation of this painting,
and the scroll work on the opposite jamb, is due to the blocking
in of the complete lower
section in the 16th century. The sloping marks of the blocking
can be seen on the jambs on either side. The
glazed part of the section beneath the transom is an interesting
example of a " low-side window." These
are to be found in many Churches in the south country, and
usually in this position. They were originally closed with wooden
shutters within and without, a surviving example being in Downton
Church, Wiltshire. The reason for these openings is obscure and
several suggestions have been made. They may have been
Confessional openings used by the travelling Friars between the
13th and 16th centuries. At the time of the Reformation this
practice was officially discouraged, which could account for the
blocking of the opening. (Reference to Low-side windows is made
in the Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club, Vol. X, Part 2 of
Looking west from the Chancel the fine proportions of the Early
English arch, 13th century, can be well appreciated. This arch
stands upon stone plinths which are not central to the building.
These are thought to
indicate the west wall and entrance to an earlier Church,
possibly with no tower. The fact that the Nave
is irregular, being 9 inches narrower at the east than at the
west end, may indicate that the later building
was adjusted to fit the earlier foundations.
48 feet 6 inches in height, is a replacement. It is probable that
the original tower was a 13th century structure, built at the
same time as the arch noted above. It was considerably higher
present tower and must have looked well from the village street.
The Churchwardens Book records:
" Munday morning between 4 and 5 of the clock, the 17th
day of November anno 1712, Berriton Steeple, being shingled and
about SO foot high, took fire by a very terrible tempest of
thunder and lightning nigh the top, and was burn'd down. The
foure bells were brak down and melted. The new tower was rebuilt
in anno 1715 at the expense of the parish and by several good
benefactors. The barnes at the Manor House oft caught fire but
the people prevented the damage and saved them."
The cost of pulling down and rebuilding amounted to £320 .15.7,
which included casting and rehanging the
five new bells. A clock, with face towards the Manor House was
erected at a cost of £20. The present clock
was the gift of Mr. J. R. Bennion, of Nursted House, in 1906.
" Ye carrage of ye bigest bell " from London amounted
to £1 . 12.0.
The cost was defrayed out of the Church Rate, and by the proceeds
of a Brief which was advertised with
authority of the Bishop. Before the age of Insurance these Briefs
provided a good means of mutual help in
times of sudden financial need.
On the walls of the Ringing Chamber are two painted inscriptions
coeval with the tower. One records the rebuilding of the tower,
the other being a rare " Ringers' Rule :
Advice to ringers and to
That delight in bells and love ye Church
Beware of oaths and quarrelings
Take heed of clams and janglings
There is no musik played or sung
Like unto bells if the are well rung
Do you keep silence and forbear
Of smoking of tobacco here
If you your bell doth overthrow
It is your four pence before you go
If you ring in hat or spurs
Be sure you pay make no demurs.
In 1552 there were " three great bells "; by 1712 there
were four, which were replaced by five in the new tower. The
present Treble was given by Mrs. Seward of Weston in 1935 in
memory of her daughter. This completes a melodious ring of six
bells, the Tenor weighing 8 cwt. 3 qtr. 12 Ib.
In the Choir Vestry, on the south side of the tower, is an altar
tomb with black marble cover, surrounded by wrought iron railings.
It is in memory of Thomas Bilson, Susanna his wife, and their
children. Thomas, who died in 1692, was a grandson of Bishop
Bilson of Winchester. Above, upon the wall, is a particularly
fine white marble monument to Leonard Bilson and Elenor his wife,
"In hopes of a joyful
resurrection, in the vault
adjoyning this pillar doth rest the body of Leonard
Bilson of West Mapledurham Esqr who having
lived an excellent example of Piety, Loyalty,
Hospitality and Charity, departed this life the tenth
day of Dec 1695 and in the yeare of his age 81.
" In the same vault doe lye the bodys of his two
only sonns viz, of Thomas Bilson Esqr who died
the 1st day of July 1692 in the year of his age 37.
And of Lewis Bilson who died the 24th day of Janr
1695, and in the year of his age 36.
" Elenor Bilson daughter of Sir William Lewis
Bart. and only wife to Leonard Bilson (but now his
sorrowful relict) erected this monument to the pious
memory of her late beloved husband."
Elenor Bilson died on December
This family acquired the manor of West Mapledurham from the
Shelley family in 1605 as a result of the persecution of Roman
Catholics, and the lands remained in the family until 1966.
The Hanbury Memorial
Near by are several brass memorial plates to members of the
Hanbury family who were Lords of the paramount manor of
Mapledurham and lived in the Manor House beside the Church in the
time of Elizabeth I. These plates were removed from the ledger
stones covering burials beneath the floor of the Church, which
were transferred to the Churchyard when the floors were renewed.
On the inside wall of this Vestry is a brass plate in memory of
William Warne, Scrivenor and Citizen of London, who died in 1697.
His signature is on parish legal documents of the period and so
we have his handwriting recorded. As a Scrivenor, or Scribe, he
would be one of the few in the whole community who could read and
write, and he must accordingly have been a man of some importance.
Incidently this plate appears to have been used at some time for
target practice. Another memorial plate with a history is the
small and finely scribed brass to Anne Bilson, 1644. This was
dredged from the Village Pond in 1925.
On the wall beneath the tower there are two funeral hatchments.
These were hung over the front door of the deceased during the
period of mourning and then laid up in Church. They represent, on
the left. Lee of
Shropshire who married Costomer of Yarmouth, and on the right.
Lee of Shropshire who married Pym of
Sidford in Devon. The family of Lee lived in the parish during
the whole of the 18th century. From the registers we cannot gain
much information but Thomas Lee who died in 1716 was a Bencher of
Lincolns Inn, and it appears that they may have lived in Sheet.
It has been suggested that these hatchments would look well if
fixed to the walls of the Nave.
Near the Font, high up on the wall, is a stone memorial to Jesse Ayling, Mason, who died in 1710, aged 45. He lived in the parish
and perhaps he died as a result of an accident whilst working on
the Church. Farther up the aisle are memorials to members of the
Seward family of Weston, who served the parish as Churchwardens
for ninety-five years successively.
In the Chancel, on the south wall, is a beautifully scribed slate
memorial to " Anne Layfield, Virgo pie ", the daughter
of the Rector of 1688-99. On the north wall is a fine black
marble memorial engraved with the figures of Thomas Hanbury, 1617,
his last wife Elizabeth Grigg, together with six sons and two
daughters. High on this wall and easily missed is a memorial in
slate not to be overlooked. William Lowth, Rector from 1699 to
1732, leaves his epitaph for the good advice of succeeding
generations of Buriton people:
" Near the outside of
this wall lyeth the body of William Lowth, late Rector of this
Church, who died May ye \1th 1732. And being dead desires to
speak to his beloved parishioners, and sweetly to exhort them
constantly to attend public worship of God, frequently to receive
the Holy Communion and diligently to observe the good instruction
given in this place, to breed up their children in the fear of
God and to follow peace with all men and holiness, without which
no man shall see God.
" God give us all a happy meeting at the resurrection of the
Rector and Mrs. Lowth lie
beneath the two altar tombs outside the Priests' Door.
When the Church was restored a number of burials were removed
from beneath the floor. One remains, at
the west end of the Nave, to Hillard and Jane Hely, 1761. The
following1 are known to have been removed:
a. Thomas Lee, Bencher of
Lincolns Inn. (To which family the hatchments refer.)
b. Edmund Barker, D.D., Rector, 1688, aged 67, and Isabella his
c. Mrs. Roberts, wife of Wenman Roberts. Jan. 1, 1744/5, aged 28.
(Ledger Stone in South Porch}.
d. Mrs. Margaret Turner, wife of Thomas, 1748, aged 31. (Ledger
Stone in South Porch}.
(These two ladies were sisters of the ffugonin family of Nursted
e. Thomas Hanbury, son of Thomas, gt. grandson of Auditor Hanbury,
i. Susanna Hanbury, wife of Thomas, 1661.
g. Thomas Hanbury, son of Thomas and Susanna, 1686, aged 28.
h. Katherine Hanbury, relict of Thomas, daughter of Sir John
Jeffrys of Southampton. 1678, aged 71.
i. Emme Hanbury, wife of Thomas, an Auditor of the Queen's Court,
j. Susanna, wife of Samuel Palmer, Prebend of Winchester,
daughter of Thomas Hanbury. 1687, aged 29.
k. Hic jacet Sam. Palmer, AM. Ecclesiae Cath Winton Canonicus,
qui obiit Oct 30th anno dni 1701, act sui 55.
l. Mrs. Mary Lowth, mother of William Lowth, Rector. 1721, aged
88. On her right hand lieth the body of her sister Mrs. Elizabeth
m. This marble to Margaret, wife of Richard Holt Esq. (of Nursted
House). 17 Aug. 1685, lieth buried in the seat belonging to the
family. Eighth daughter of Richard Whitehead of West Tuderlie,
Southampton. (West Tytherley.)
n. Anne Bilson daughter of Sir Thomas Bilson, 1644.
The Vestry Book quotes from the Hampshire Telegraph of 1838:
" A daring outrage. The hardened wretches broke open the
vault of Gen. and Mrs. Hugonin and stole the brass handles off
the coffins." It would seem that this was also a vault
within the Church.
Of the Church memorials the most important and historic is the
War Memorial on the right within the west door. It commemorates
39 men of Buriton who fell in the First World War. Apart from the
human side, and few village families were not affected, such a
heavy loss of men in their prime from a small community altered
irretrievably the pattern of village life which had been
maintained through the centuries.
The old Church orchestra was succeeded by a barrel-organ until
1897 when the Organ was given by Mrs. Bennion. The organ was set
back within the new arch in 1911, when the Lamp Room behind the
organ was built. The Choir was first robed in 1937.
The central heating system was presented by Mr. J. R. Bennion in
1896. This replaced a stove which stood in the north-west corner
at the back of the Nave. It is said that the men took up the back
seats at this time.
The Register in possession runs from 1678 to the present day. The
early books are written on parchment which was possibly made in Buriton. The Tithe Map of 1840 shows that Parchment Yard was
situated adjacent to what is now at Beriton Court". The
earlier entries of burials include the affidavit that the burial
was in sheep's wool. This was by Act of Parliament to protect the
wool trade which was at this time decreasing, The name of Edward
Gibbon (father of the historian) occurs in the Register when he
became Churchwarden. He was Lord of the Manor in his time.
The Churchwardens Book starts in 1727. It records the accounts of
the Churchwardens through the years. Poor Relief is the greatest
expense. Poor Rate at 2d. in the £ in 1727 amounts to £10 . 17
. 6. Laurence
Patrick was the Churchwarden making the account. Pest destruction
is a frequent item. The Constable received £1.1.0 per annum.
Following are extracts:
1727 Gave 22 por seamen tacken by the Turcks 3/-. (Poor Relief
given to many seamen passing
1728 The Constabel £1.1.0 A gate for the Church liten 2/- For
minden the Church windas 8 /6 To Nicklas Houncom (Nicholas Hounsham) 1 /8 5 bell ropes 15 /-
1729 For 14 foxes and brocks 14/- 43 doz. birds 7 /3 (sparrows) A
new surplis and making him £5 . 15.9 A new bear 12/6 (bier)
1730 41 Edge Hoggs 13/8
Mr. William Lowth and others sign a statement saying:
" Wee hose hands are heare to subscribed do A low nickloas
Lufe Churchwarden for ye year in sewing and do a low him to pence
in ye pound for ye year in suing." (This admits Nicholas
Luff as Churchwarden and makes the church rate of 2d. in the £
1733 Oyl for the bels 1/4 Foxes and Polcatts 12/-
1737 " The acting Church Warden Thomas Wichard haveing
repaired the Parish Churchyard wall did also repaired a part
toward the Manner House a different make from the rest which they
old inhabitants doe
remember that the said wall belongs to the Manner House in
particular Farmer John Reden who did declared at the Publick
Vestry that the said wall was kept in repair by the Predesseser
of the Manner House, and wee hope that the Present Lord of the
Manner will be so good to return to the Parish the charges
bestowed on his wall (not without nessessity being bed) being
tweife shillins. Included in the sum of four pound sixteen
shillins and one penny." (In 1969 this wall was buttressed.
Notice the fine Flemish Bond brickwork.)
1739 pd for horse hyear 7/6 (to the Visitation) pdfor a letor
from the Belfoundr 3d
1744 To 25 prisoner es releste 5/- For mending the Chourch
windores 3 /2 For lockinaffor the cloack and washin the linon and
mendin the cloath £1 . 18.9 (the clock was the one installed in
1715, in the new tower)
1792 A Baseviol by order of Vestry £1.16.0
1802 For chaises to the Visitation 15/10 (Country roads improving)
1807 For a violincello and case £6 . 13.0
The Church Plate includes a silver flagon, the bequest of Mrs.
Mary Lowth, daughter of the Rector, and a fine silver chalice and
patten dated 1669 and regularly used since that time.
The Terrier of 1552, reads:-
Imprimis Pix silver gilt-Box
silver gilt-Cope Blew silk, Ij (2) vestments greene silk, white
vestment of silk-white fustian-three great bells in steeple-saunce
bell-holy water pot-pair of sensors, brass -Illy (4) small
sacring bells. All the rest stollen almost 1j years past.
Thomas Coke, Wyllyam Patrick.
It is considered that the parochial system came into being in
about 1100 A.D., but the first known list of parishes, rural
deaneries, and archdeaconries is in "Pope Nicholas9 Taxation"
in 1291, which was drawn up to finance the French wars. By this
time there was a settled order of Church, Parson and Tithe, and
in most parishes the first known " persona " dates from
about this time.
The list for this parish
|1260 - Simon Passelewe (King's
1265 - Walter de Lichlad
1294 - Thomas de Scarning
1309 - Roger de Scarning
1316-1318 Gilbert de la Bruere
1318- Isambard de Longavilla
- 1373 William Sandford
1373 - 1382 Thomas Butiller
1382 - 1384 Robert Whitecherche
1384 - 1390 Baldwin Shillingford
1390-1397 John Elmer
1397 - John Wykeham
- 1456 Richard Gowner (Crowener)
- 1494 J Langton
1494 _ 1499 Thomas Hall
1499 - Edmund Blenkensopp
1520 - 1548 William Hegel (Holgyll)
1549 - Henry Leder
1559-1569 Laurence Hall
1569 - 1580 William Overton
1580 - 1597 Walter Chatfield
1597-1631 Philip Watker
1631 - 1660 Benjamin Laney
1645 - 1660 Robert Harris (Commonwealth Intruder)
1660 - 1688 Edmund Barker
1688 - 1699 Charles Layfield
1699 - 1732 William Lowth
1732-1751 Philip Barton
1751-1796 Philip Barton
1796 - 1813 Edmund Poulter
1813-1829 Brownlow Poulter
1829-1845 Charles Boyles
1845 - 1886 John Sumner
1886 - 1890 John Gedge
1890 - 1906 Alfred Martell
1906 - 1927 Charles Hughes
1927 - 1930 Thomas Senior
1930 - 1936 Bernard Williams
1936- 1952 Stanley Moriey
1952 - 1955 (Presentation suspended pending new Rectory)
1955 - 1961 Wilfrid Crewe
1961-1974 Peter Galiup
1974 William Norman
Until 1886 Buriton was the
mother Church of the district and John Sumner was the last Rector
of Buriton-cum-Petersfield and Sheet. We know of Walter de
Lichlad through his dealings with the Abbot of Dureford on the
subject of tithes said to be due to the Abbey. Benjamin Laney
became Bishop and left land to the parish, the income of which is
used for the apprenticing of youths of the parish. During the
reign of Charles II Edmund Barker had a dispute with Richard
Cowper, lord of the manor of Ditcham, concerning the tithing of
the beech woods of Ditcham Park. Richard " used threatings,
lampooned and made scandalous and reflecting verses which did
very much disquiet and discompose Dr. Barker.
No description of the Church is complete without reference to the
graveyard. The entrance gates to the Church and Churchyard are of
wrought iron, of similar design to the surround of the Bilson
tomb of 1739. These gates are hung on Victorian cast iron pillars
which used to support an arch on which was placed the oil lamp.
The pathway is largely made of ledger stones from burials within
The Church from certain angles
appears to be crouching. This is on account of the ground level
having risen some 2 feet 6 inches. It will be remembered that
this has been the resting ground for the people of the place for
close on 1,000 years. It is indeed hallowed ground. The Records
show that in 1830 the ground was moved from the walls of the
Church down to the inside level and the brick gutters were laid.
This shows how much the ground has risen through the years.
The Churchyard contains much of the personal history of the
village. It must suffice to refer to one memorial stone whose
simple inscription records so much in the life of a family:
|SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THE
Mary Ann Aged 3, died 1842
Lucy Aged 2, died 1845
George Aged 20, died 1855
Charlotte Aged 6, died 1857
Elizabeth Aged 12, died 1859
Emily Aged 21, died 1866
Their parents died in 1890 and 1892.
The following summary from the
Burial Registers speaks for itself with regard to population
increase, advance in medical knowledge, and expectation of life
The Churchyard was enlarged in
1865 and the lower part was incorporated in 1906. The present
Cemetery is in South Lane, formerly known as Toads Alley.
Buriton is the eastermost of a line of ancient settlements
situated on the Upper Greensand beneath the north escarpment of
the South Downs. These settlements took advantage of the abundant
natural springs, with downland pasture on the one hand and the
light arable soils of the lower levels. Between the village and
Petersfield runs a band of Gault clay. Petersfield stands on the
Folkestone Beds of sand and sandstone, so in all there is a wide
variety of soils within the parish. Within the village area are
signs of Bronze Age and Roman occupation, so it may be that there
have been people living here for at least 3,500 years.
At the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086 Buriton was included
in the extensive Manor of Mapledresham. The chief manor house adjoins the Church, with its Dovecote and
fine range of farm buildings. The Manor comprised the tithings of
Weston, Buriton, Nursted and Sheet. Petersfield was awarded
Borough status in the 12th century, but owed dues to the manor
until relinquished to John Jolliffe in 1739. The lands of the sub
manor of West Mapledurham lay chiefly on the west side of the
Petersfield to Portsmouth road, but included Bolinge Hill Farm.
The Elizabethan mansion of West Mapledurham was pulled down about
1829 and replaced by Mapledurham House. At the time of the
Reformation West Mapledurham was a Papist stronghold and there
are records of priests taking refuge there. "At Mapledurham
there is a hollow place in the parlour by the livery cupboard
where two men may well lie together, which has many times
deceived the searchers
The name Buriton, pronounced " Berriton " has been
variously spelt through the centuries. In the Charter Rolls of
1227 it is known as Buriton, and the Inquisition Post Mortem of
1229 gives Bergton. The Dictionary of Place Names gives the
derivation of the name as Old English, either Byrgtun, "'
the settlement by the ,fort " or Beorgtun, " the
settlement by the hill." The fort might be the Stone and
Iron Age encampment on Butser Hill.