Upton – The early days

At the time of Edward the Confessor, Upton was held by a freeman named Brictric, but after the Conquest he was succeeded by Turstin, son of Rolf.

In the Domesday book, Upton was known as “Optone”.  Shortly after 1086, it passed to Winebald of Baalun who in 1092 granted a moiety of Upton to the Cluniac priory of Bermondsey, which held the manor of Upton or Prior’s Barne in free alms until its dissolution.  There were four other Manors created from a moiety of subdivision.

This manor was then held by the Crown until 1600 when Elizabeth granted it to Michael and Edward Stanhope.  They alienated it to Robert Boswell and his wife Frances, who in turn sold it in 1636-7 to Sir Thomas Vachell of Coley.  He settled it on his cousin Thomas Vachell, who succeeded to it on the death of Sir Thomas in 1638.  This family held it till 1693 when Tanfield Vachell and his mother sold it to Charles Ambrose of Wantage.

In 1755 it belonged to Henry Tompkins and was sold by him in 1769 to John Phillips who had already bought the Great Manor of Blewbury, and shortly afterwards acquired Upton Russells.