Winchester Bishopric archive

The collection (11M59) comprises the administrative records relating to the estates belonging to the bishops of Winchester and dates from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is distinct from the Winchester Diocesan archive, which relates to the bishops’ spiritual work.

At its height, the Bishopric estates comprised 60 manors spread across seven English counties, including Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. The records contain a wealth of place and family name information, telling us about property history, medieval agriculture, demography, labour and wages, the peasant land market, as well as medieval Winchester and London. Most of the records up to 1733 are written in Latin.

Some of the main series are:-

Hampshire manors owned by the Bishop were: Alresford, Alverstoke, Beauworth, Bensted, Bentley, Bishopstoke, Bishops Sutton, Bishops Waltham, Bitterne, Burghclere, Burley, Cheriton, Crawley, Droxford, Easton, East Woodhay, Ecchinswell, East Meon, Fareham, Gosport, Hambledon, Havant, Highclere, Odiham, Old Alresford, Overton, Newtown, North Waltham, Twyford, Wield, Winchester Soke. (Burghclere, Burley, Highclere, Twyford and Wield were appropriated by the Crown during the reign of Elizabeth I.)