Wistow Church

In the Ramsey Chronicle Wistow is mentioned as being in existence prior to the founding of Ramsey Abbey.  At that time it was known as Kingestune (Kingston).  We are told in the Chronicle that Oswald purchased Needingworth from King Edgar intending to give it to Ramsey Abbey.  However as Needingworth was quite a distance from the Abbey he exchanged it with the King for Kingestune which he then gave to the Abbey.  This gift of Oswalds was confirmed by King Edgar in 974 and later by Edward the confessor and then by William the Conqueror in 1078. 

Revenues from the manor of Wistow which was mainly let for farming went to support the office of the cellerer at the Abbey.  The Abbot of Ramsey had the right to the gallows and tumbril (a cart used to carry people to the gallows) of Wistow.

At one time a family called Clairvaux rented the manor of Wistow from the Abbot of Ramsey.  Also rented from the Abbot was a house, outbuildings and 10 acres of land by ohn de Claxton in a deed the date of which is between 1114 and 1130 AD we find:

' This affords testimony that Siward, the clergyman of Wistow, gave to God and St Benedict his lands and Churches (probably Wistow, Little Raveley, and Upward), and eight tithe fields which he received from the Abbots' Hall, on the condition that he should hold them of us during his life, paying annually for the good of his soul, twenty shillings for them at the Altar of St Benedict, and the Abbot frees him from all dues to the Abbey, and whenever he wishes to change his life, either to become a monk or a hermit, he may demand, if he go abroad and return, he may hold it as he now does. '

This agreement was concluded in the presence of Rainald (Reginald) the Abbot, and all the brethren, and before these laymen Reinald Monk, Radulf de Felt' , Herveus Monk, and Guido Steward.

Between 1120 and 1130 A.D. William treasurer of London, confessed that he had unjustly  taken possession of land at Pekesdene? belonging to the Abbot; this he restored, and it was then conferred on one Elronius; this formality was gone through in Ramsey Abbey Church at  the Altar of St Mary and St Benedict, but on the same day the Abbot and the treasurer of London came to Wistow, and in the presence of the 'Barons of the Church of Ramsey," made the agreement public.

The witnesses were Henry Archdeacon of Huntingdon, Robert of Stukeley, and others.

Wistow is well documented in the Ramsey Abbey Court Rolls.

(Ref 11)

 

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