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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Uphavene, Uphaven

In the civil parish of Oaksey.
In the historic county of Wiltshire.
Modern Authority of Wiltshire.
1974 county of Wiltshire.
Medieval County of Wiltshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU135550
Latitude 51.29429° Longitude -1.80717°

Upavon has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.


Humphrey de Bohun was granted a licence to crenellate his 'masum manerii' at Uphavene, Wilts in 1347.

The early Middle Ages was a period of expansion and prosperity for the village, possibly because its extensive areas of arable and pasture land supported a larger population than surrounding villages and made its church and manor rich. In the 12th century a start was made on an unusually substantial church and a Norman abbey established a priory between the church and the Avon. After 1204, when the manor passed to one of King John's barons, work apparently began on a manor-house. Its site is unknown but was presumably near the demesne farm. If that was so, in the early 13th century the principal buildings were grouped in the south of the village with the priory, priory farm, church, demesne farm, and manor-house all fronting the river, and with tenantry farms along the roads to the north and west.
After Ela's death the manor passed to the elder Hugh Despenser, Philip Basset's grandson by his first wife, who was granted free warren in his demesne lands in Upavon in 1300. It was in the king's hand during the Despensers' banishment in 1321 but was later restored. After the Despensers were finally overthrown in 1326 it was granted, in 1327, to Queen Isabel, Edward III's mother. She surrendered it on her downfall in 1330. In 1331 it was granted to Edward de Bohun who in 1332 settled it on himself and his wife Margaret. Margaret held it after Edward's death in 1334 until her own death in 1341. Although in 1337 the reversion of Upavon manor was included in a restoration of lands to Hugh Despenser (d. 1349), by virtue of the settlement of 1332 the manor passed in 1341 to Edward's brother Humphrey (d. 1361), earl of Hereford and Essex, to whom all right of reversion was granted in 1347. Humphrey was succeeded by his nephew Humphrey who died in 1373 leaving as heirs his daughters Eleanor and Mary, both minors. Custody was granted to Thomas of Woodstock (d. 1397) but in 1384 Upavon was among the manors allotted to Mary (d. 1394) and her husband Henry of Lancaster. When Henry became king in 1399 the manor was merged with the duchy of Lancaster in the Crown. (VCH)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1347 Dec 22 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


It can be seen that there was some level of contention over the ownership of the manor. There were some incidents of people resorting to force to resolve such contended manors so the licence to crenellate may represent an intent to strengthen the physical building to secure it from attack but the licence, and the royal confirmation and blessing of ownership it conveyed, may have had more value of symbolic representation of de Bohun's ownership and of his close relationship with the king.
The given map reference is for the parish church. The site of the manor house is lost but may have lay on the southern side of the A342 just south from the church.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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