The name ‘Farringford’ occurs in various forms in documents from the end of the 13th century and is clearly based around the word ending –ford. Some versions of the name are spelt with an e as the first vowel, while at other times, an a is used. This led Kokeritz to surmise that the “ occurrence of a by the side of the more normal e tends to prove that the stem-vowel was ea; æ might be possible, but no suitable etymon with this stem-vowel can be suggested. Farringford may therefore mean ‘the ford of the Fearningas, i.e. the people living in the ferny place’ …The ford was either at Sheepwash Cottage, to the north of Farringford, or near Blackbridge .” In this case, Kokertiz was tentatively deriving the Farr- element from Old English fearn, fern, similar to Faringdon (Berkshire), Farnham (Hampshire) and Farningham (Kent). However, other explanations are equally tenable [see Place Name Derivation]
During the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, the de Ferringford family gradually acquired lands in the Freshwater region, centred on Middleton in Freshwater, which was shared amongst members of that family. Dating from between c.1280 and 1341, there are a number of deeds that refer to land in the Middleton/Sutton area of Freshwater and concern members of the de Feringford family [AC. 95/32.8; 32.11; 32.12; 32.17 & 32.23] Roger de Feringford; Walter de Feringford, Aveline (his wife) and Isabel (his daughter); Walter [junior], Robert, Roger and John (sons of Walter de Feringford, senior); and William de Feringford are the names mentioned. The actual holding of Farringford was relatively small and later became a part of the manor of Brook; it was only in the late 18th century, when Edward Rushworth bought up various properties in the area, that it became a large estate of about 300 acres centred of Farringford.
In 1324, the core of Farringford Farm consisted of a tenement and 15 acres of land [ACC. 95/32/17].
In 1393, William de Ferringford (of Barmeton, Hants.) sold the estate of Farringford to Henry Patrick of Barmeton [BL Add. Ch. 56616]. In 1403, Patrick granted it to his step-son, John Rookley of Brook [BL Add. Ch. 56616-7]. In 1419, John Rookley purchased a tenement at Easton with 21 acres of land from John Mohun or Mowne [JER/SEL/1/19], who also granted him the rest of his lands in Freshwater in 1428 [BL Add. Ch. 56618-9].
John Rookley had inherited a “Moiety of the manor of Brook” in 1390 from his father Geoffrey Roucle or Rookley. When, in 1452, John Rookley died, he bequeathed his half of the manor of Brook to his younger daughter, Joan, and her husband, Thomas Bowerman. The other half of Brook manor was owned by the Gilberts and was finally acquired by Thomas's great grand-son, William Bowerman, in 1566, when he bought it off George Gilbert. The holding of Farringford formed part of Bowerman's half of Brooke.
The Royal Survey of 1559 states, “Maud Godfrey holdeth by lease of Mr. Bowerman 23 acres and common for 46 sheep. rent 13s. 8d.” [1559 Royal Survey of the Isle of Wight: Staffs. Co. Record Office, D(W)1778,III,01] A year later, at the manor court of Brook, dated 11 March 1559/60, Thomas Godfrey surrendered 1 messuage and 28 acres in Freshwater but immediately took it again on his own life and that of his son, Nicholas [JER/SEL/8/1]. After the death of Nicholas, it was taken up by Thomas Salter:
1571 Sept. 16 Court Roll of the Manor of Brooke [JER/SEL/8/2]
Brooke infra Insul vect: Curia Willm Bowreman Armiger tent ibm XVI die septembris Anno Regni dne Elizabethe dei gra Angli ffrannc et Hibine regine fidei defensors et decimo terno
Et modo ad hanc curias venit Thomas Salter et in plena curia cepit extra manus dnd. extraditionis sua ppria per dictius tenementus et xxviii acras terre in tenura dicti Nicholai Godfrey facent et ixutet in ffreshwater vulgarit vocat ffarringfords Habend et tenend per dict tenement et xxviii acras terre [?] suis pertinentiis perfaco Thomas Salter, et Thomas Salter ficatri eius, et Thomas Salter filio per dicti prius ...
Paraphrased: Thomas Salter is admitted to the tenement of Farringfords with 28 acres on the lives of himself, Thomas Salter, his son, and Thomas Salter, his brother.
1608 Survey of the Manor of Freshwater, Isle of Wight [PRO E315/388]
Taken there on 7 oct. 1608
William Bowerman, gent, holds freely a house and certain lands in Farringford viz:
a house and certain land 24 acres
held of the King as of the said manor
Rent £1 - 19s. - 0d.
1656 Feb. 26 [AC. 95/32.139]
Half an acre of ground part of a close called Sempiehill (4 acres) situated in Freshwater, together with a tenement or cottage and barn, belonging to a tenement of William Bowreman called Farringford which the said Bowreman leased to (1) on 24 July 1643.
1. John Wall otherwise Wavell of Freshwater husbandman, & Eleanor his wife (daughter of Abraham Salter late of Freshwater, husbandman, deceased).
2. Henry Salter of Freshwater.
1662 May 10 [JER/SEL/7/7]
Counterpart lease for 99 years on 3 lives:
John Wall of Farringfords, carpenter
Elianor Wall, his wife, daughter of Abraham Salter of Farringford, husbandman
Thomas Wall, his son.
"... All that his Messuage or Tenement wth Thappurtenances Comonly called or knowne by the name of Farringford Scittuate lying and being in Freshwater aforesaid ..."
1. 1 acres lying about the tenement, bounded with the highway on the north and east, the packway on the south and the land, heretofore Abraham Salter, on west
2. 2 acres on the north side of the highway there, with the highway on west, the land heretofore Sir Thomas Fleming (called Priory) on east, and the land sometime of John White on north
3. Calver Close (2 acres) between late Sir Thomas Fleming's land (called Priory) on north, late Sir John Meux land (called Strode) on east, land formerly Thomas Mitchell on south, and land anciently John West on west
4. Sempie Hill Close in Middleton (4 acres) having the high way on south and east and the Priory land on west, the land late John Hobson, Esq, on some part of the north and west
5. Ashmeade Close (2 acres, in Weston), having the highway on north and south, lands late of the Crown and John Dore on east, late Crown land now Stephen March (Manor of Uggerton) and Thomas Arnold and John Dore on west
6. Half an acre in Totland Meade (in Weston), late Crown land on north, formerly John Dore on east, formerly Robert Urry (Manor of Weston) on south and west running towards the sea
7. 2 acres called Furzefields (in Weston), having the late Crown land on south, formerly John Day on east, William Bowreman on north, land heretofore John Osbourne and the common there on west
8. Common for 60 sheep at the Down and 2 horses and 2 geese at the Green
1. William Bowreman of Brooke in the Isle of Wight in the County of Soton Esq.
2. John Wall of Farringfords in the parish of Freshwater in the Isle and County aforesaid Carpenter
Endorsed: "John Wall his Lease expired 1694 by the death of the lives".
1663B/67 Will and inventory of John Wavell of Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Carpenter 1663
An Inventory of the Goods Chattels of John Wavell late of the parish of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight & County of Southton Carpenter deceased & taken praized & vallued by his neighbours William Long? & John Salter the 20th Aug. Anno. Dom. 1663.
Item his weareyng Apparell & the money in his purse 1-0-0
Item in the Hall one table bord & his benche &
one cubberd one chaire 4 peeces of pewter 2 brasse pans
2 skillets 2 Joyne stooles & other goods 1-10-4
Item in the buttery the Brasse & drinke vessels &
other lumbar in the said roome 1-6-8
Item in the chamber 2 beds & bedsteeds & all
thereunto belonging & two coffers & all other goods 0-16-6
Item 1 bullock & 1 pigg 1-15-0
Item the corne upon the ground 2-4-6
Item a lease of a house & certaine lands 30-0-0
1664 Easton and Sutton
John Wavell 2 hearths 0-0-4
1665 Easton and Sutton
Jo: Wavell 2 hearths
1673 Easton Sutton Tything
John Wavell 2 hearths
1674 Easton and Sutton
John Wavell 2 hearths
On a number of occasions, in the last half of the 18th century, Walls or Farringford formed part of a parcel of properties, that William Bowerman used to obtain a mortgage. In 1774, he entered into a mortgage agreement with William Hardley of Whitwell and Farringford was one of the holdings that, amongst others, formed part of the secured property. Again in 1789, Bowerman mortgaged various properties to six mortgagees, one of whom still remained to be paid off by Bowerman in 1790, when he sold Farringford and Lodges. Of these mortgaged properties, one was Walls Farm [Home Farm] in the parish of Freshwater, containing 20 acres.
The Farringford holding remained with the Bowerman family from the middle of the 15th century until it was bought in 1790 by Edward Rushworth [see Appendix C - Rushworth]. “Edward Rushworth, sometime MP for Yarmouth and Newport, Recorder of Newport, and Mayor of Yarmouth thirteen times, was married to Catherine, daughter and co-heir of the Reverend Leonard Troughear Holmes, manager of the parliamentary interest in the Isle of Wight.”
[Malcolm Pinhorn and Robert Adams, Farringford Before Tennyson.]
1790 Oct. 9 Walls & Lodges [Edward Rushworth papers Box 5]
This Indenture Tripartite made ninth day of October in the ... Year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and ninety between
1. William Bowreman of Brooke but now of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight in the County of Southampton Esquire
2. Rev. Tovey Jolliffe of Corpus Christi College Oxford
3. Edward Rushworth of Afton House in the Isle of Wight aforesaid Esquire ...
... and the said William Bowreman hath granted bargained sold aliened released and confirmed and by these presents Doth grant bargain sell alien release and confirm unto the said Edward Rushworth in his actual possession now being by Virtue of a Bargain and Sale to him thereof made by the said William Bowreman and Tovey Jolliffe ...
All that Messuage or Tenement ffarm and Lands commonly called or known by the name of Farringford otherwise Walls situate lying and being in the Parish of Freshwater late in the possession of Widow Lacey and now of Osborne Dore containing by Estimation twenty acres (be the same more or less) together with all and singular Houses Outhouses Edifices Buildings Barns Stables Backsides Orchards Gardens Lands Meadows Pastures Feedings Commons Common of Pasture Woods Underwoods Timber Timber Trees Ways Paths Passages Lights Easements Waters Watercourses Privileges Profits Commodities Heriditaments Rights Members and Appurtenances whatsoever ...