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A Brief History of Kimpton Page 3

By John Pollington








12th - 17th Century and Variations of Name

By the 12th century, despite the attractions of the Crusades, the Lord of the Manor became more interested in his land and the hope of increasing his estates by marriage, than in the knight service for which the land had originally been granted. From 1159 Scutage was introduced, which was a cash payment in lieu of knights service, to enable the King to hire soldiers for his army.

Gradually the villeins began to pay rent for their strips instead of working on the Lord's demesne. By the late 14th century due to the financial burden of the 100 years war with France, the mortality of the Black Death in 1348 when about one third of the population was wiped out, and the general agricultural depression, Lords of the Manor began to lease their demesne for rent to gain financial security. These new tenants formed a new class in society - the prosperous Yeoman Farmer.

The only documentary information about Kimpton during this period comes from odd references on exchequer and court rolls regarding payment of taxes or tithes, and the granting or transfer of property.

The Name "Kimpton'' is derived from the Saxon "Cyma-tun," meaning "homestead of a person called Cyma." It is interesting to see how the original village name, Cyma's tun, changed through the centuries until reaching its present day form - Kimpton:

         11th century  Kamintone

         12th century  Cumintone

         13th century  Camentone, Cumitone, Cumytone, Cementone, Kimitone, Kymetone, Kymitone, Kymmetone, Kumyngtone, Kemintone, Kemytone.

         14th century Kymyntone, Kymyntone, Kemitone, Kemmyngton, Kemmynton, Kemynton.

         15th century Kympton

         16th century Kompton

         17th century Kempton


During the 17th and 18th centuries wealthy men acquired large country estates, buying up adjacent manors or obtaining them through marriage. The Hoo family of St. Pauls Walden had purchased the Manor of Hocknenhanger in 1596, and the land passed by inheritance to Susan Hoo who married Jonathan Keate. By 1670 he had purchased the manors of Parkbury with Leggats, and Bibbesworth and almost the whole of the east end of the Parish had become part of the "Hoo Estate," centred at Hoo End. In common with the practice of the time, a new grander house was built: Kimpton Hoo.

17th - 20th Century

In 1732 the "Hoo Estate" was sold to the Brand family, who later through marriage succeeded to the Baronetcy of Dacre. The 22nd Baron Dacre's brother, Henry Bouverie William Brand, had a distinguished Parliamentary career, serving for 11 years in the Treasury, and was Speaker of the House of Commons from 1872 -1884. On his retirement from the House, he was created 1st Viscount Hampden, and on his brother's death in 1890 became the 23rd Baron Dacre. The Baronetcy is at present in abeyance between the two surviving daughters of the 26th Lord Dacre.   (Kimpton Hoo was demolished in the 1950's. For a few years the outbuildings were used as a chicken farm;  today the site is a small housing estate. - C.T.)


The Dacre Rooms, in the High Street opposite Church Lane was erected in 1879 by Susan Lady Dacre, "for the benefit of the men of Kimpton". It was later used by the Football Club for changing facilities and the home of Kimpton Youth Club. It is now a community-run facility.

In 1938 the Hoo Estate of the 4th Viscount Hampden was purchased by the Oxford University, using money donated to them by the late Lord Nuffield.

The oldest houses in the parish date back to the late 16th and early 17th century. They include Little Priory, The White House, and the Craft Centre in the High Street, and the following farmhouses: Tallents, Ramridge, Stoneheaps, Kimpton Hall and Kimpton Mill.

At the beginning of the century there were many ale houses and pubs in the village:

         Black Horse

         Two Brewers

         The Goat

         The Greyhound

         The Posting House

         The White Horse

         The Boot

These last two are the only pubs remaining in use today.


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The grand house at Kimpton Hoo built by

Thomas Keate. The park was later landscaped

by Capability Brown for the Dacre family


The foundation stone of the Menís Reading

Room in Kimpton High Street, an example of

the Victorian wish to better the poor and wean

them away from thevillageís many public houses



The former Black Horse pub on the village

green (now a private cottage).


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