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Mattingley Village

The Mattingly family for the first 600 years at least lived and worked in a village in Hampshire that still bears its name after over a thousand years.
It’s origins derives from Saxon times when it was known as Matta’s “Ley” or “Place”. The Matta were a family who belonged to a powerful tribe generally known as the “Basingas”, whose base was to be later called Basingstoke which was settled by them in 700. Whereas Basingstoke has expanded considerably since then, the village of Mattingley is a surprisingly unspoilt haven in this modern world. It still has its ancient 15th century timber church and a village green with a number of historic houses surrounding it. For members of the Mattingly family it is a treat to return back to our roots where our ancestors lived until at least 1700.
We are fortunate in that the village appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror. It is assessed at 14 hides (about 200 acres). There was approximately 180 acres of arable land (“3 ploughs”), 4 acres of meadow. There was a mill and the population consisted of 8 small farmers (“villeins”) and 3 cottagers with land (“Bordars”). To this we must presumably add the Lord’s household and farm staff, but even allowing each male head of household an average of five or six for his family the population was rather small. By 1086 (Domesday), Alsi, son of Brixi, was Lord of Mattingley. The remarkable thing is that in this case a Saxon family remained,  in most cases, a Norman was rewarded for his help in the Conquest of England. It appears that the name of the Lord of the Manor of Mattingley, Alsi, was perpetuated as Ellis, but though the Ellis family had close connections with Mattingley into the early 19th century, the Lordship passed in 1167 to one Revelendus, and in the early 13th century to Merton Priory.
The Mattingly surname appears frequently in the Registers of the 16th century, but as records only become officially required in 1538  by order of the then Chancellor of England, Thomas Cromwell, it seems clear that the family  had continued to live in the “hamlett of Mattingley”, of which they had been  “Lords” between 1167 (Revelendus) and 1206, when his son Stephen de Mattingley or his grandson Peter disposed of the Manor to the Prior of Merton, Surrey. I have tracked down every reference to the family, which has not been easy as it is often misspell as Matingelege, Mattingely, Matingele,Mattyngle,Mattynle, Matyngle, Mattynley. Even today the name appears as either Mattingly or Mattingley within the same family. The surname is still thinly distributed in England, although there is a large branch in America which originated when a Thomas Mattingly emigrated with his family to Maryland in 1663.

The area  around Mattingley was very important to the Romans who established a town nearby at Silchester.
It  was originally the centre of the Iron Age kingdom of the Atrebates tribe from the late 1st century BC. After the Roman conquest in AD 43 it developed into the town of Calleva Atrebatum. Laid out on a distinctive street grid pattern, the town contained many public buildings and flourished until the early Anglo-Saxon period. Unusually among the Roman towns of southern Britain, it was not abandoned until the 6th or 7th century and  remains one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain.
The Roman Road linked it to Bath in the West and London in the East and was a significant route during the 1st to 5th centuries. In the middle ages the road was used by Drovers, as well as by Merchants and Travellers. It was  called the Devil's Highway forming the county boundary on the north and the village boundary of Heckfield
Following the withdrawal of the Roman legions the Celts, left to their own devices, were unable to withstand the Anglo-Saxon invaders, who were intent on conquest and settlement. The Celts held out in their forests for some years, but their chief stronghold of Silchester was taken in A.D. 566-568.
The Saxons, who colonised this northern part of Hampshire, were a powerful tribe generally known as the Basingas. Belonging to this tribe was a family named Matta, who in the 6th century pushed north from the coast along the Whitewater valley and founded a settlement later to be known as Mattingley (Matta’s “Ley” or “Place”) fro where the Mattingly name derives. The high, open grazing land a little further north they called the “High Veld ”, later of course, Heckfield, which adjoins the village.
For many years life in the village must have been very uncertain, the whole district being in the nature of a “No man’s land”, the Saxons holding the chalk hills around Basingstoke and the Danes firmly in possession of Reading.
We have William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book of 1086 to thank for its description of  the ownership, value, use and population of every acre of land in England at the point in history at which Saxon England ended and Norman England began. Both Effele (Heckfield) and Mantingelege (Mattingley) are recorded. Early documents are rare that assoaciate the family with the village. Although I was fortunate to find in the Hampshire Record Office  A Mortgage agreement  for "Rychars land" in Mattingley dated 24th March 1483 between William Mattyngle and William Elysander. The Rychar Family were major landowners in the village in the 15th Century.  In the following century there is a Will and Inventory of Harry Mattyngle of Mattingley,  dated 1566 described as a Husbandman or Farmer. Copies of both these document are shown here.
The Mattingly family were to leave the village by 1600 and establish themselves in  the neighbourhood. The village was changing by then as the days of ownership by the Priors of Merton had come to an end in 1539. In Mattingley many old yeomen families continued to hold their own land. Much was freehold and the remainder copyhold or leasehold. In 1817 the Stratfield Saye Estate (including the Manor of Heckfield and part of Mattingley) was purchased by the nation and presented to the Duke of Wellington, and in the same year Charles Shaw Lefevre purchased the Manor of Putham, then (1818) Hazell, and in 1886 his son Lord Eversley purchased the estate of Mark Wyeth, of Hazeley Heath. In the meantime the enclosure of the common lands had taken place and the two great landowners, by an exchange, had concentrated their respective properties. Colonel Walpole purchased the Eversley Estate in 1895 and added to it the remainder of the Hawley Estates in Mattingley.
To find out more about the History of both Mattingley and Heckfield click on this Link to W.J.James Book on the Subject.

THe Domesday Entry for the village of Mattingley in 1085 and a Mortgage agreement  for "Rychars land" in Mattingley dated 24th March 1483 between William Mattyngle and William Elysander.

Will and Inventory of Harry Mattyngle of Mattingley , Husbandman dated 1566. 
Apprenticeship Indenture for William Woodison to Thomas Mattingley, of Stratfield Saye dated 1692

John Speed`s Map of Hampshire printed in 1611 clearly shows the Village of Mattingley at the top right hand corner near the boundary of Berkshire.
This recent Google Map shows the village of Mattingley in relation to other centres associated with the Mattingly Family.

Mattingley Church has always been associated with Heckfield, apart from the years 1863 to 1949 when it was a completely separate Parish with its own Vicar. The first church or chapel on the present site was probably built towards the end of the l4th century.  In 1425 Pope Martin granted a licence for a cemetery at the Chapel because the inhabitants found it inconvenient to carry their dead to Heckfield; the land between the two places being frequently flooded.
The building of the present church was probably started towards the end of the 15th Century; the bricks which are made as parallelograms and not oblongs seem to have been designed specifically for herringbone work and may well have been "burnt" on Hazeley Heath.  Up to 1837 the whole building was the same width as the present chancel but in 1837 the Nave was widened and the porch in its present form added.The Church has no patron saint - possibly because the original building on the site was, to start with, a moot hall - that is, a place where meetings were held.  On the other hand it may have been because it was, in the early days, a "chapel of ease" to the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Heckfield.

The magnificent ancient Timber interior of the village Church today.
These Houses were all occupied by wealthy families associated with the histoey of Mattingley. We can visit three of them today as Hotels and West Green House, near Hook belongs to the National Trust and is open at times to the public.
The picturesque unspoilt village has a number of ancient houses. Thses are just four to bw seen around the former Village Green today.
Four of the churches associated with the Mattingley Family which are nearby.
The village is fortunate to have the Leather Bottle Inn today. There are also three other historic Pubs in the area shown here.
To find out more about the village of Mattingley and its neighbour Heckfield - click on this link or on image above.
At the centre of the village near the church is a noticeboard which coinatins this useful panel with information for the visitor.
Earl Tylney who lived at Tylney Hall at Rotherwick owned a huge Estate whic extended in Mattingley. In 1774 he commisioined a large Map of his lands. The original is in the Hampshire Record Office. W.J. James included a sketch of it shown here in his booklet on the village.
The 1839 Tithe Map, a portion of which is shown here is very useful in supplying inforamation on the village at that time as it records ownership, rentals, acreage and names of properties.
This is one of the original record pages that go with the map. Most of the village had been purchased by Charles Shaw Levevfre who lived at Heckfield.
This is a combination of the 1872 and 1911 Ordnance Survey Maps of the village centre roughly in the same position of the former Tithe Map.
An early Ordnance Survey Map of Mattingley and Heckfield on its northern boundary.
Click here for a wonderful short film of Mattingley Church and Village today.
Click here for "The History of a Hampshire Parish - Heckfield and Mattingley" by W. J. James