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The History of Baginton

Over Two Millennia

The story of the village, hall and the church revolves largely around the three families which held the manor for long periods of time - the Ensors and Herthills, the Bagots and the Bromleys. All three families have left something important still to be seen in the church. The Domesday book, although recording Baginton under the name of "Badechitone", does not mention a church. Although there is an indirect reference in a grant of land about 1150, it is first mentioned specifically in the reign of Henry Il (1154-1189) as a chapel attached to the church at Stoneleigh, when that church was given to Kenilworth Priory.

Nothing of this chapel (or earlier buildings) remains and the present building was built (or reconstructed) in the thirteenth century. The village suffered various setbacks in the Middle Ages. In 1205 it was pledged to the Jews of Northampton and it seems to have required royal influence to restore it. Later it was the scene of an early strike when the bakers of Coventry "contumaciously refusing to be ruled by the Mayor's order, with one accord departed from the city and took refuge at Baginton, leaving the people destitute for bread". ln the thirteenth century the manor included 12 villeins and 12 freeholders, that is 24 families excluding the castle.

Baginton Oak Tree'Baginton Oak' - 500 years old and the symbol of Baginton.

In 1730, there were 27 houses in the village, and 5 on the "waste" (or common). In 1285, when the Lord of the Manor Thomas de Edensor (or Ensor) died, he left his lands (which included Baddesley Ensor) between his sister Amice and his grand nephew Richard de Herthill. Amice, then aged 50, and married to Andrew de Derlye, took the manor of Baginton. In the same year the first parish priest whose name we know, Thomas de Dunton, was appointed by the Prior of Kenilworth - a list of incumbents, recorded by Dugdale, in his Antiquities of Warwickshire, first published in 1656, is given on the wooden tablets in the chancel.

The north aisle was built in the late 13th century and in 1292 Amice de Derlye dedicated a chantry to St. Thomas the Martyr; for some time this was a separate incumbency. It was recorded in the endowment granted with the licence of the King and of Will Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, that the priest  "was to sing mass daily for the health of her soul, the souls of her ancestors and successors and for the soul of the said W. Beauchamp, Maud his wife and their children and of all the faithfull deceased". Amice also gave land to provide lights and torches in both the church and the chapel.

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