BOWDEN

This land does not fall in the land mapped for the manor of Moreton in 1790 but seems to have been alienated from the manor at an early date and held as a free tenement.

In 1495 John Colshyll died in possession of ‘a messuage, two cottages, 50 acres of land, 4 acres of meadow, and 3 acres of wood in Boughdon, Little Cranbrook and Great Cranbrook in the parish of Moretonhampstead, worth 5 marks, held of Sir William Courtenay, by fealty’ (Cal. Inq. Post Mortem Henry VII (vol. 1, 1898), p.525).

In 1540 Sir Thomas Denys sold to John Endecott and John Eastbroke all his messuages, lands etc in ‘Boodon, Little Cranbrook, Northwest Cranbrook, Cranbrook Down and Leigh Parkes in Moretonhampstead in the tenure of William Loskey, John Harrys and Richard Hyll’ (WCSL Enrolled deeds, no. 102). Later the estate was divided up.

In 1571 Robert Cornysshe of Moreton, yeoman, sold to Richard Hill the messuages etc called ‘Inner Bowden, Outer Bowden, Cranbrooke and Cranbrooke Down within the manor and parish of Moreton’ all of which Robert lately purchased of Robert Eastbrooke alias Shilston’ (WCSL Enrolled deeds, no. 952).

In 1840 Bowden (53 acres) was in the hands of the owner, Elias Cumming. Listed by English Heritage (ID no. 85006) as ‘Farmhouse. Probably C16 origins but no pre-1600 features now visible...

This is a particularly puzzling house, the clues to its development may well still be concealed in its structure.’ The nearby ash house is also listed by English Heritage (ID no. 85007) as ‘probably 18th century’. The barn, which is dated 1810, is also listed (ID no. 85009), as is the early 19th century shippon (ID no. 85008). [IJFM]

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