|Froyle stands in of the Harroway or Pilgrims Way
which like many other villages in the south is a broad band of tracks
that man made when he first settled in the area. These all ran from the
West country to the eastern sea and many of the settlements in this band
of roads has some fascinating and ancient stories to tell.
Before the Normans came the Manor of Froyle belong to Edward the Confessor and held by Queen Edith. In 1086 when the Domesday Survey was compiled the name was spelt Froli, the manor being held by the nuns of St Mary's Abbey in Winchester.
When the nunnery was dissolved Henry VIII gate the manor to William Jephson in 1541 for a sum of money and an annual rent of £4. 13s. 5d.
It wasn't until around 1581 that Froyle Place was built by the Jephson's on the site of an older house. The Manor was held by William Jephson until 1652 and then sold to John and Richard Fiennes who were the sons of Viscount Saye and Sele. They sold it in 1666 to Samuel Gauden of Lincoln's Inn and the estate remained with his descendants for 104 years. And in the church can be found the names Gauden, Draper, Salmon and Nicholas all Lords of the Manor.
But the manor changed hands again in 1770 when it was bought by Sir Thomas Miller who was the fifth Baronet and Member of Parliament for Chichester and it stayed in the family up til 1949 when it was acquired by the Lord Mayor Treloar Trust and puchased from them by Mrs Bootle-Wilbraham in 1960.
Froyle Place was modernised in 1816 by the Millers and it was in 1867 that other changes were made, some of these not being in keeping with the Elizabethan building. Sir Hubert Miller retired from the Army in 1892 and lived in Froyle, and Sir Huber Miller who was the last active Lord of the Manor did a lot to make Upper Froyle what it is today. He brought statues of saints from his travels in Italy every year and these can still be seen on the doorways of some of the houses in the village. There were also two smaller manors in Froyle, Husseys and Brocas, the first mention of Hussey being in 1262 when it was owned by Walter Heuse and sold by the Husseys to Thomas Colrith in 1416, later in 1656 after being owned by the Jephsons and Fiennes Bernard Burningham bout it in 1656 and this family can be found resting in the church.
John de Brocas the son of a Gascon knight too
service in 1314 with Edward II and by 1337 Sir John was made Master of
the Horse to Edward III, he was also made Ranger of Windsor and Warden
of Nottingham Gaol. It was then that he was given Froyle estate. His
son Bernard became the owner of Beaurepaire which lies just north of
Basingstoke as well. Being a friend of the Black Prince he fought in
the French wars and was given the titles of Constable of Aquitaine,
Master of the Buckhounds, Constable of Corfe Castle in Dorset as well
as many others. When he died aged 65 he was buried in Westminster
Abbey, and his son Bernard was hanged at Tyburn for taking part in the
plot to kill Henry IV at Oxford in 1399.
It was this that brought wealth to the village and also changes, the most obvious of which was Hodges and Husseys in Lower Froyle, they having new fronts added in the 1760's.
A good example of a yeoman's farm is Silvesters
Farm in Lower Froyle which is made of stone and brick and built 1674.
Blundens in the upper village is another Tudor farm that has seen many
changes in modern times. Also in Lower Froyle houses with stones bearing
the dates they were built can be found, Beech Cottage - 1719, Blue
Cottage - 1737, Bridge House - 1712.
There are three inns in Froyle and only two are mentioned in the Tithe Redemption records of 1847. The Anchor is believed to be 13th century. The Hen and Chicken is Georgian though the rear is believed to be older, and more important than the Anchor as it sat on the main road and thus gave refreshment for travellers and stabling for their horses. The Prince of Wales was built around 1912 where a previous thatched inn of the same name used to be.
The village also used to have five ponds but only the one at the corner of Husseys Lane in Lower Froyle remains. One of the Upper Froyle ponds was converted in a small green in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The parish registers show past generations and
accounts of the Overseers of the Poor. But few of the old families can
now be found here, though there still can be found descendants whose names
first appear in the Registers in the 17th, 18th and early
19th centuries - Westbrook (1653), Knight (1653),
Robinson (1751), Savage (1800), Binfield (1806); until
recently, Brownjohn (1729). Many other old families are
remembered in the names of
houses and farms - Baldwin (1656), Hodge (1657), Blunden
(1737), Silvester (1742).