Earliest information: <1470
Original estate: Hungerford
Common Rights? Yes (Frontage 34ft; 2 horses or 4 cows)
Date of building: 15th century, re-fronted c1710
Listed: Grade II
Wilton House has a long and interesting history. Like many High Street houses, it is of timber frame construction, with a brick frontage (probably from c1710). The timber frame was investigated and drawn by John Brooks, and it revealed an early open hall from the 15th-16th century, shown in the drawings below.
15th-16th century: Open hall
16th century: Front bay added - with timber jettying
1665-1766 Maltster's (malthouse on southern side)
c1710: Brick frontage added - two entrances as two occupants.
1850-1922: Succession of Dame Schools, qv
1922-32: Mr. & Mrs. James Whishaw.
1931-32: Sold to A.G. Lacey, who then sold to Percy.
1932-42: Mr & Mrs M.H. Percy. Mr. Percy organised ARP in Hungerford. They called 33HS "Friar's Pardon" & when they moved to Charnham St to run an antique shop, the house sign went too!
1942-44: Lady Langford (Margaret Antonia)
1945-52: Col. Christopher Evelyn Blunt
1956-70: Mr. Adrian Leonard Moreton
1976-84: Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Janice Caine
1984-91: John & Gill Bensley
1999 Jonathan & Deborah Welfare
Description of property:
From Listed Building records: House now house and office. 16th century, refronted c.1700, with parapet of later 19th century. Tiled roof with four gables to road, brick dentil course to verges and ball finials, grey headers and red stretchers, moulded bands at upper floors. Timber-framed behind façade, with possible former jetty. Three storeys. Four glazing bar sashes on second floor all with flush moulded frames, five similar sashes on first floor. Central door with six raised and fielded panels under flat hood on cut brackets.
- Wilton House, 2007
- Wilton House, c1902, showing the pediment frontage, prior to the four gables
- Two of John Brooks' drawings (Jan 1988) of the timber frame of Wilton House, showing the site of the 15th-16th century open hall, a reconstruction of the 16th century front bay, the 17th century malthouse, and the brick frontage of c1710. Follow this link for more of John Brooks drawings of 33 High Street.
<1470 (NH) Richard Webbe
c1470 (NH) A rental: Thomas Webbe (own) - 1 burgage, quit rent 8d.
1474/75 (NH) Thomas Webbe was prepositus (reeve or constable).
1552 (NH) Document: Thomas Abingdon (own) - Thomas Penney (occ)
1573 (NH) Survey: 33HS = house + garden and backside, plus 2 acres of common land in Pidden Field (1819 Enclosure Award map shows "Pedden Field", south of town, east side of Salisbury Road; i.e. one field south of Kennedy Field.
1586 (NH) T.P. died. Widow Lucy moved to their other rented house in High Street.
1591 (NH) T.A. released to John Flower (occ).
1606 (NH) Survey: Edward Iremonger (leaseholder); John Lawrence (occ). (Still 2 acres in common fields, 8d QR)
1609 (NH) Survey: Edward Iremonger. (leaseholder); Tristram Dollman (occ).
1610 ) (NH) Hocktide Court Book: Thomas Abingdon still owner (Freeholder)
1621 (NH) H.C.Book: Robert Curtis (freeholder).
1661/62 (NH) Will: Robert Curtis - yeoman, teacher. Rooms = hall, kitchen, oast house, house, lodging chamber, school house, and chamber above school house. Son William (a tailor) inherited. Dispute re will. See Norman Hidden's notes.
1662 (NH) William Curtis (Parish Clerk).
1662 (NH) Hocktide Book: W.C. freesuitor.
John Boone, owner 1665-1714:
1665 (NH) Hocktide Court Book: William Curtis sold to John Boone (maltster) for £86 (no reference to Pidden Field, but QR down to 4d)
1675 (NH) John Boone convicted of felony:- he claimed right of clergy, and escaped imprisonment, but all his properties were confiscated to the borough. The feoffees (J.B. was one of them!) sold it for £200 to Jehosophat Stevens and John Lewis (or Lowis), but it was bought back by John Boone senior and John Boone junior (see 1722 deed) who thus kept his residence (other properties were not "returned"). For much more about what happened to John Boone and his property after his conviction, see under Crimes
1680 (NH) Commoners List: John Boone
1690 (NH) Commonors List: John Boone
1692 (NH) Hocktide Book: J.B. is Bailiff
1693 (NH) Hocktide Book: J.B. Portreeve
1696 (NH) J.B. was Constable (Town Hall list says 1695 & 1706)
1706 (NH, *2) Date of John Boone's will (probate 1714, after his death): maltster. Only daughter Sarah inherited. She married (in 1704) William Ryman (plummer (sic!) = plumber!)
c1710 (*6) Present frontage added early 18th century.
1714 (NH) John Boone died.
William Ryman, owner c1714-1766:
1722 (*2) William Ryman (own), maltster; Richard Sare (leaseholder). Occ (north end =32HS) Thomas Woodroffe; (south end = 34HS) Anthony Woodroffe. His estate included The Bell (now Bossom's Needlework, 115 HS), plus SEVEN acres of arable land in the common fields. (The deed mentions the purchase of estate from Jehosophat Stevens and John Lewes by John Boone (snr & jnr!)
1711 ) William Ryman - Constable (Town Hall list)
1727 (NH) Fire insurance: brick and tiles dwelling with adjoining malthouse.
1741 (*3) William Ryman (own);
1751 (*7) William Ryman maltster of Hungerford sold his Kintbury malthouse (site = 1 & 3 Newbury St., Kintbury, recently Broughton Gallery) to Thomas Hays, a maltster of Kintbury. By 1791 George Bulpit owner of "Curr's malthouse",Kintbury.
1763 William Rymans will mentions "my neighbour Mr. Woodroffe" - this confirming the house being divided into two at this time.
John Curr, owner 1766-c1785:
1766 (*2) William Ryman died. Inherited by niece, Mary Curr , wife of John Curr of Adberry in Parish of Burghclere, son of William & Sarah Curr of Greenham. [+ The Bell + messuage & land in Kintbury] mentions "my neighbour Mr. Woodroffe and late wife Winifred" (ie north end of 33HS).
1773 (*3) John Curr (own)
1778 (*3) John Curr (own)
1781 (CL) John Curr
1785 (*3) "Formerly William Ryman, now John Curr" "now of James Gibbs" is added.
1786 (*3) Anthony Woodroffe (occ) "since of Christian Woodroffe, now of Judith Whitelock."(occ)
1788 (NH) There is a Sun Fire Insurance plaque no. 549086 on the front of the house which indicates an insurance policy dated 1788. Records for this period are missing so it is not possible to determine whether the plaque originally related to the house or has been a later addition. When Norman Hidden visited John and Gill Bensley in Nov 1987 they had a separate Sun Fire plaque inside the house no 653466, which is dated 1796. Also a Royal Liverpool Insurance Co. drain hopper.
1792 (*2) In tenure of Jethro Ryman Curr, (only son and heir of John Curr and wife Susannah, owners) [& Elizabeth Lawton (or Lawson) - 2 spellings in the same deed!] [+ estates at Greenham, H'ford, and Kintbury + The Bell, Thomas Watson occ] JRC sells lease to John Townsend & Benjamin Friend.
1793 (*3) Jethro Ryman Curr purchases 34 HS, let by Bridget Simkins, spinster, for 99 years. Judith Whitelock (spinster), occ of 33 HS.
1796 (BD) An entry under "Whitelock" includes Misses Judith, Mulso, and Harriet.
179? (*6) Late 18th century - north doorway blocked up?
1811 (NH) Enclosure Act claims: #26 Jethro Ryman Curr – 2 horse or 4 cow commons for tenement in own occupation AND 4h-2c commons for tenement in occupation Miss Mulso Whitelock with 6 acres 2 roods land.
1813 (*2) Jethro Ryman Curr died, all inherited by nephew John Dyer , gent, of Adbury, who sold all to Solomon Ayres (mealman), who had to borrow £400 from William Coxhead, gent. House described as messuage lately occupied as TWO messuages.
1817 (BD) of 1864 Congregational Chapel built, to north of 33HS, also details of erection on foundation stone of this church.
1818 (*2) Auction of 33HS at Craven Arms Inn, H'ford, top bid £400 by William Coxhead, in lieu of debt.
1819 (EA) No name entered on strip plot but William Coxhead owner of fields in Home Field, Chantry Mead, & N. Westbrooks.
1825 (*3) William Coxhead (own); Lidderdale (occ)
1832 (*2) 1889 deed refers to marriage of Herbert Hogsflesh to Elizabeth Coxhead (? William Coxhead's relative?)
1831 Herbert Hogsflesh came to Kintbury (K's Parish poor rate book) Herbert Hogsflesh rented mill from Dundas, employed miller to run it.)
1832 Herbert Hogsflesh marries Elizabeth Coxhead.)
1841 (Kintbury census) Herbert Hogsflesh (40) Independant,born in Wiltshire, wife Elizabeth (40) from Devon, son Hugh (4) & son John (3), both born in Kintbury, lived in Kennet House (Station Rd., Kintbury, now owned by Paul & Judy Kelly)
1851, 1861, (Kintbury census) ditto.
1871 (Kintbury census) Surname changed - now Herbert HERBERT (70)
16.4.1875 Herbert Hogsflesh died aged 74, buried in Hogsflesh Tomb, Wesleyan Chapel graveyard, Church St. Hungerford with John Hogsflesh died Feb 1842, of Eddington Mill, "A man of unusual piety and moral worth". Wife Elizabeth died 26.10 1875 aged 80 (sic!). Son Hugh Herbert Hogsflesh died 26.5.1876 aged 30
1881 Kintbury's census shows John Herbert Hogsflesh still at Kennet House
1836 (QR) Trustees of Mrs Herbert Hogsflesh for house formerly Ryman's, q.r. 4d.
1838 (*3) James Lidderdale (occ)
1840 Congregational Church (next door to north) new building,to front of 1817 chapel (date on frontage)
1841 (CS) John Edwards (40) winemerchant
1843 (CL) Rev Alfred Davis (crossed out) - John Edwards over- written.
1847 (CL) Trustees Mrs. H. Hogsflesh (own); Void (occ)
1850 (SD) Sarah Susan Edwards, boarding, Wilton House, (in section Academies & Schools). 1st reference to "Wilton"
1851 (*3) Deeds of 34HS mentions John Lidderdale occupant of 33HS
1851 (CS) Sarah B. Edwards (30), schoolmistress - 7 pupils.
1861 (CL) Trustees of Mrs H. Hogsflesh (own); Miss Lewis (occ)
1861 (CS) Elizabeth Lewis (35) schoolmistress - 6 boarders.
1871 (CS) Elizabeth Turner ( ) teacher - day and boarding school.
1873 Advert in Parish Mag for Miss Turner at Wilton Hse, Establishment for Young Ladies
1881 (CS) No entry. [Miss E. Turner in ?106 HS no longer 33HS. By 1891 KD Miss Turner - Ladies Boarding School in Faulkner Square.]
1886 (*4) Arthur Webb Neate Window on ground floor facing courtyard -"A.W.Neate" scratched on it, pane replaced 1985 but kept.
George Wren, owner 1889-1891:
1889 (*2) John Elder Herbert (alias Hogsflesh) formerly of Kennet House, Kintbury, Gent., sold to George Wren, ironmonger and saddler - "formerly in the occupation of A.W. Neate".
Alexander family, owners 1891-1922:
1891 (*2) George Wren sold to A. Alexander. "formerly in the occupation of Arthur Webb Neate".
1896 (CL) Mrs. Ann Alexander - owner & occupant
1902 (T&M) Ann Alexander (owner)
1903 (KD) Mrs. Ann Alexander - owner & occupant
1914 (CL) Mrs. Ann Alexander - owner & occupant
1920 (KD) Misses Martha & Mary Alexander - aunts to Mr. Joseph Alexander of 120 HS; Mary Alexander ran a Dame School at 33 HS
1920 (T&M) Miss Alexander (occupier until ?1922)
Wishaw family, owners 1922-1931/32:
1922 (*2) M. & M. Alexander sold to James Whishaw
1923 (T&M) James Wishaw (occupier until ?1931)
1922-32 (*2) Mr. & Mrs. James Whishaw. Born 1883, Archangel, N. Russia. Came to Cheltenham England 1854. Med student at Barts during 1870's. Merchant in St. Petersburg from 1880's until Bolshevik revolution. To Hungerford 1920. Friend of Geoffrey Turner (H'ford Park), shooting & fishing. Wrote memoirs (Joan Macey has book). Died 1933.
Percy family, owners 1932-1942:
1931-32 (*2) Whishaw sold to A.G. Lacey, who then sold to Percy.
Undated (T&M) Mary Harrison Percy (owner)
1932 (QR) Mr Fisher "House formerly Rymans then Mr Coxheads afterwards Trustees of Mrs Hogsflesh".
1932 (T&M) John Henry Fisher (occupier until ?1941)
1932-42 (*2) M.H. Percy.
(*5) Mr. & Mrs. Percy - Mr. Percy organised ARP in Hford; They called 33HS "Friar's Pardon" & when they moved to Charnham St to run an antique shop, the house sign went too! Percys layed out garden with paths & false ornamental well. Mr. Fisher ( Mrs. Percy's brother ) lived in 33HS with them.
(*8) Mrs Percy also owned
- Charnham Meadows (later sold to Town and Manor),
- Mary Bellis' house in Charnham Street (related to her), and
- 28 The Croft (west side of tennis courts)
1939 (Blacket's) J.H. Fisher
H.L. Percy, Friars Pardon, antiques
1942 (*2) Percy sold to Lady Langford
1942 (T&M) Dowager Lady Langford (owner & occupier until ?1944)
1942-44 (*2) Lady Langford (Margaret Antonia) widow, from Reading, sold to ....
Col Christopher Blunt, 1944-1952:
1945-52 (*3) Col. Christopher Evelyn Blunt - owner & occupant, born 1904, ed. Marlborough, Merchant Banker, married Elizabeth Bazley (1s, 2d). brother to the spy Anthony Blunt; Colonel's son, Simon scratched "S Blunt" on kitchen window. Famous numismatist, moved to Ramsbury. Died 11.87
1945 (T&M) Col Blunt (occupier until ?1967)
1947 (CL) Col. Christopher Evelyn Blunt
1952 (CL) Col. Christopher Evelyn Blunt. [See Obituary ]
Info from Charles Jones:
Charles Jones kindly contacted the Virtual Museum (Oct 2013) with the following information correcting and updating the information about Mr Adrian Moreton:
Re Wilton House, 33 Hungerford High Street and 37 High Street:
One of its previous occupants, and my grandmother's second Husband, was Adrian Leonard Moreton MS FRCS (note correct spelling of his name): often referred to as 'Dr Moreton' this is incorrect since, as a surgeon, would be Mr not Dr. This error occurs in almost every entry of his name. I can confirm he had worked at Barts'. He was a keen fisherman which is probably his reason for retiring to Hungerford. He lived 1886-1975.
I do not know when he first occupied Wilton House, but it was certainly before 1956, as it is consistently recorded. He was already living there with his sister Anita (I have the impression they had been there several years) when he became engaged to my Grandmother (then widowed) and whom he married in 1955. As he had 'been around' in Hungerford for some time, I suspect he had bought the house (directly?) from the Blunts. In confirmation or otherwise of this, there may be records of him living elsewhere in Hungerford, almost certainly in a property with fishing rights.
After her marriage in 1955 (at about this time of year) my grandmother left No 37 to move into Wilton House. Shortly afterwards (I was away on National Service at the time) Anita went into a home. 'Rian as he preferred to be called (a contraction of Adrian) continued to live in Wilton House until his death there in late 1975. Although a service was held for him at St Lawrence's, he is buried at Upper Upham.
Not strictly relevant to Wilton House, though perhaps of interest in confirmation of general records, my maternal grandmother Margaret Camilla Coventry (née Macartney) lived at Denford Mill (rented from Sir Harrison Hughes) from early 1946 with my grandfather. She remained there after his death in 1950 till 1952 or early 1953 when she moved to the 37 High Street: here she is wrongly referred to as H.C. Coventry. She died at Wilton House in 1958 and is buried beside her first husband at St Saviour's Eddington. She always used her second name Camilla.
After her marriage, she retained No 37 as a source of income through letting. After her death it was put up for auction, but failed to reach the reserve price. My father (an Executor of her will) placed an advertisement in a fishing journal on account of its fishing rights. It sold immediately to a Mr Yorke and is still called Yorke Cottage!
1956, 1963, 1968, 1970 (CL) Adrian Leonard Moreton (Wilton House)
1968 (T&M) Adrian Leonard Moreton (owner & occupier until 1975)
1976 (CL) Void
1976 (*2) Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Janice Caine, Mr. Caine worked for Express Dairies in London
1976 (T&M) Michael Harris Caine & Janine Denise Caine (owners 1977)
1977 (T&M) Adrian Leonard Caine (occupier)
1983 (CL) Michael Harris Caine (Wilton House)
1984- John & Gill Bensley. J.B. was a Quantity Surveyor.
1984 (CL) John Arthur Bensley
1985 (CL) John Arthur Bensley
1988 John Bensley "Fine quality 17th, 18th and 19th century English longcase and bracket clocks".
19.9.1991 Bensleys moved to Mulroe, Dunbeacon, Durrus, Bantry, Co. Cork, S. Ireland. Arranged a lodger in Wilton House for one year.
1993 Empty (Bensley's had moved to Ireland)
1993 Let to Mrs Sherwood.
1996 (T&M Register) Robert Walker (occupier)
1997 (T&M Register) Paula Walker (occupier)
1998 (T&M Register) Ann Hudson (occupier)
1999 Jonathan & Deborah Welfare
2005 (CL) Jonathan Welfare
2011 (CL) Jonathan Welfare
2014 Sold to Peter & Alicia Sharland
2016 (CL) Peter Sharland (Tuttiman 2016)
Key to reference sources:
*2 = Deeds of 33HS (@33HS)
*3 = Deeds of 34HS (@34HS)
*4 = Mr. John Pallett
*5 = Mrs. Joan Macey
*6 = Mr. John Brooks
*7 = Deeds of 1 & 3 Newbury St., Kintbury (BRO ref no D/EB 835 T5.1,2)
*8 = Robert James
CL - Commoners' Lists
CS - Census
NH - Norman Hidden
QR - Quit Rent Rolls
SD - Snare's Directory
T&M - Town & Manor Register