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Jumièges Abbey

Jumièges Abbey of St Peter was a Benedictine monastery in established in 664 by St Philbert and King Clovis inNormandy. It wast was suppoted by William the Conqueror and the of religious  link between Chewton Mendip and France had been established by Edward the Confessor before 1066. Therefore, it as natural that the manor of Chewton Mendip was awarded to the Abbey  of Jumieges by William the Conqueror.
The Bishop of Bath & Wells owned one-third of the church land of Chewton Mendip and it is probable that the Abbot of Jumieges and the Bishop of Bath& Wells came to a pragmatic arrangement which was later defined in 1241.
Jumieges retained the legal ownership of the church lands but the Bishop of Bath & Wells appointed a canon, or preband, to manage the village in economic and spiritual matters. The preband acted as a rector and collected the ‘great tithes’ due to the rector but paid some form of commission or compensation to the Abbot of Jumieges which was paid as a pension. The rate for pension was set at rate of £23 6 shillings and 8 pence or about £23.32pence in modern money.
Canon law defined that one-third of the income was to be used by the clergy to sustain themselves and two thirds was to be spent on maintaining the chancel of the church and providing care and support to the public which included health care, hospitality and in some cases, education. The Pension paid by Chewton Mendip was one of the highest received by the Bishop of Bath  & Wells but no inflation clause was defined so the same sum was paid  from then on.
The 1241 agreement and other records mention accommodation for curates because Chewton mendip was responsible for several subsidiary chapels. There was also a reference to a  priory farm which may have been on the site Sages Farm. Other records refer to Church House and a Court House  but no buildings from the Norman period have been found that have been proven to be any of these structures.
There were Lords of the temporal Manor who probably lived in what was to became Manor Farm.  They used several names as the titles and land passed through the female line or they married into families that had more prestigious names.
A number of other orders held land in the area. Bruton Abbey held land to the east, Carthusians and the Knights Templars also held land to the south and west whilst Keynsham Abbey held land to the north. Any one of these organisations may have been the source of the sacrafield tax or tithe that was still being levied in the 18th century.
Jumièges Abbey was one of the ‘alien houses’ that was suppressed at the beginning of the  100 years war and Hayling Island priory took control of Chewton mendip c1340. They retained control until Henry V founded Sheen Priory as a Carthusian priory in 1413/1414 and the land in Chewton Mendip was allocated to them.
Hampshire archive record 19M61 is the legal opinion of J Caley regarding the Sir Robert Kingsmill’s title to the tithes of Chewton Mendip dated 1814 confirmed the historic details.
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