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The Fernhurst Society

Tales from the Archives - 23

A Medieval Royal Visit

This is an intriguing document from Fernhurst Archive, which I quote in full:

‘Stanury April 9 1838

Dear Sir,

In my last letter I made a mistake, which I now hasten to rectify. I stated that Verdley Castle was built by Anthony Beck, Bishop of Durham. I have since discovered that this castle existed in the reign of King John and was then called Cnap Castle. At this place he signed a deed bearing the date Jan: 6 1209. Two days after he signed a deed from Ludgershall Castle, now River Park Farm House. Both Cnap and Ludgershall were then in the king’s hands.

You will find this in a curious document in the Archaeologia, but in what volume I know not, giving an account of various places in which King John signed deeds during his reign. I have not the Archaeologia and I therefore cannot refer to it. It was not till this week that I discovered this. Cnap was Verdley Castle, but there is no doubt of it.

I had previously thought it was Knop (?) Castle in the Bramber Rape, belonging to the Burrells. Verdley Castle was for some time in the hands of Anthony Gere and then reverted to the Bohun family, to whom it had previously belonged. And therefore it will be important for you to find out how his brother from whom it descended to him for life came in possession of it.

Hasler Hollist’

If you would like to know more about this story, or research other local topics, the Archive is open on Tuesdays, 2.30-5pm in the Village Hall. Other times by arrangement.

Christine Maynard
Fernhurst Archive

One of a series of short articles bringing you some of the incidents from our rich village history. Collated by Christine Maynard, based on documents preserved at the Fernhurst Archives, these originally were published in the monthly Fernhurst News.

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