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Summary catalogue - Estates

The College no longer holds property outside of Oxford, and all its ancient estates have been disposed of.  Material relating to all the estates the College has ever administered is surveyed here, without differentiation between those vested in the College itself (i.e. Domus estates) and those managed for the College trusts, and those connected with College livings.  Domus, trust, and patronage business is in any case frequently found to be inextricably intertwined.  See A Balliol Gazeteer for notes on places connected with the College.

Most estate records are open to researchers.

Loose records

The loose estates records are mostly organised by county and property.  They comprise documentation relating to title, leases, etc. from mediaeval times; surveys, reports on visits for inspection, lists of tenants, terriers, maps and plans, valuations, litigation papers, insurance papers, correspondence, accounts, sale particulars, etc. increase in volume from the sixteenth to the present century.  There are a few Manor Court items.  The records often cover a much longer span than the College's ownership - the Buttermere estate, for example, was only in the College's hands for a few years in modern times but documents since the sixteenth century were acquired when the estate was bought and retained when it was sold.  The material is very voluminous from about 1820, falling off between 1920 and 1960 as the principal estates were sold off.  Because several of the estates were very distant, agents were employed: their reports and accounts are of particular interest.  Holdings for the principal properties are summarised below. Follow the links to more detailed lists.

Beeston in the Parish of Sandy
A small farm and lands, including Balliol College Meadow
ca. 15 items, 1615 - 1799.

Great Linford
1 item, a single leaf 'A Note of the Gleab and Chripses Land', 1658 - a detailed survey of lands at least partly in Great Linford, with field names and areas.

1 item, a single leaf ' Seymour's Court Survey by the Rump', 1649 - a detailed survey of lands at least partly in Marlow, with field names, areas, and valuations.

Hambleden and Medmenham
Burrow Farm and Woods
ca. 100 items, 1250 - 1898 and a file 1883 - 1892.

Princes Risborough
A farm in the hamlet of Loosely Row, including the moieties North's and Saunder's
ca. 25 items, 1622 - 1885.

Buttermere Estate in the Parishes of Brackenthwaite, Buttermere, Lorton and Loweswater.
Including Lanthwaite Green Farm, Low Hollins Farm, High Hollins Farm, Oakbank Farm, Netherclose Farm, Rannerdale Farm, Croft House Farm, Wilkinsyke Farm, Pottergill, Bowderbeck Cottage and Bowderbeck Barn.
ca. 160 items, 1581 - 1959 and ten files 1934 - 1963.

A small estate known as Lobb Philip
ca. 10 items, 1792 - 1881 and 2 files 1889 - 1896.

Thorn's Farm
ca. 25 items, 1654 - 1921 and a file 1884 - 1891.

Tirley and Chaceley
Little Cumberwood Farm, partly in Tirley and partly in Chaceley
ca. 60 items, 1391 - 1893.

Lands associated with the Rectory
ca. 200 items, 1256 - 1951.

A number of houses and gardens near St James's Church in St James's Walk
ca. 100 items, 1490 - 1920.

St Lawrence Jewry
The Parsonage House, etc.
ca. 150 items 1180 - 1950.  John Wycliffe is mentioned in 1360.  Some of the early deeds are discussed by Barron [9].  The earliest in the series, a grant of the Abbot of Montreuil of about 1180, is also the oldest document in the entire collection: it is reproduced in Domus de Balliolo [3].

St Margaret Pattens
Tenements at the corner of Rood Lane and East Cheap 1376 - 1837
ca. 50 items and two files, 1911 - 1927.  George Neville is mentioned in 1462.

Various other properties in London and Greater London
ca. 20 items and ten files, 19th - 20th centuries.

Happylands Farm
2 files, 1938 - 1995.

The Malt House, etc.
4 files, 1947 - 1951.

Marston St Lawrence
An estate including Manor Farm, Washpool Farm, Kytle Farm, Westhorp Farm, Marston Hill Farm, Costow Farm, Blencowe's Farm
ca. 30 files, 1919 - 1971.

Stuchbury Manor Farm
2 files, 1942 - 1960.

Long Benton (alias Mickle or Great Benton) and Stamfordham
Farms at Long Benton, Stamfordham, and the Heugh in Stamfordham, including Long Benton Farm, Scotts House Farm, Westerheugh Farm, Upper Heugh Farm, Hawkwell House, etc.
ca. 600 items, 1323 - 1974, and 20 files, 19th - 20th centuries.

A quarry
1 item, 1613.

Moreton near Thame
A farm
ca. 80 items, 1286 - 1863.  George Neville is mentioned in 1464, 1475.

Nethercote, Tackley
A small estate
ca. 25 items, 1563 - 1850.

ca. 50 items, 1150 - 1428. re Moreton Farm, near Northmoor, not to be confused with Moreton, a village near Thame.

A small estate
ca. 40 items, 1300 - 1869.

Oxford City
Various properties
ca. 800 items, 13th - 20th centuries, and 50 files, 19th - 20th centuries.
Almost all the pre-1850 items are printed in full or summarised by Salter [1].

Steeple Aston
Balliol Meadow, near the course of the railway close to Lower Heyford station.
ca. 50 items, 1200 - 1858.  The earliest document in this group in fact concerns Kensington: its only obvious link with the others is that it has been kept with them for at least three centuries.  One of the deeds of 1321 has been printed and discussed by Fryde and Highfield [10]: it recites the whole membership of the college, mentioning Thomas Bradwardine.

Woodstock and Wootton near Woodstock
Various farms and other properties including 'The George', alias 'The Marlborough Arms', Praunces Place, Manor Farm, Parrotts, College Farm, etc.
ca. 400 items, 13th - 19th centuries, and 10 files, 19th - 20th centuries.  George Neville is mentioned in 1462, 1465; Cuthbert Tunstall in 1517, 1541, and 1549; there is a detailed plan and elevation of 'The George', 1794.

 Lands at Davendour
 3 items, 18th century.

Llandeilo Graban
An estate including Llandeilo Hall
ca. 40 items, 1657 - 1873.

Easter Balblair
As far as is known the College has never had any estates in Scotland, but there is in the Archives a very lengthy detailed draft setting out the disposition of Easter Balblair (near Cromarty) lands, ferry, alehouses, etc. by George Dallas, 1695.  No link is obvious, but the document may be a stray from the Library Strachan Davidson Papers, which include material relating to estates in Scotland (mostly at Ardgraith in the Parish of Errol, near Perth, however).

Culmington and Siefton
2 items, 18th century.

Cutcombe and Timberscombe
Farms and other properties including Guns, Well, West Stowey, Capersland, and Hammet's Cleeve
ca. 10 items, 1701 - 1896.

An estate (the Snell estate) taking in almost all the village, including 'The White Hart' Inn, Tithe Farm, Hill Farm, Posher Farm, Island Farm, Home Farm, Wood Farm, Town Farm, Colborne Farm, etc.
ca. 750 items, 17th - 20th centuries, and 25 files, 19th - 20th centuries.

Farms and other properties including Bennett's, Plaister's, Havingtree Farm, and Lower House Farm.
ca. 35 items, 17th - 19th centuries.


  • Lease Books: Registers of leases granted and other legal instruments executed by the College. 7 volumes, 1588 - 1850
  • Lease Log-book or Fine Book: A log of leases granted, with comments on the circumstances, arranged by property. The Oxford entries are printed by Salter [1]. 1 volume, 1588 - 1850.
  • Rent Books: The Bursars' Half-yearly and Annual Accounts are practically the sole source of rent data up to the late 19th century, but there are Rent Rolls giving great detail in 8 volumes, 1886 - 1960.
  • Survey Book: Most surveys are with the loose records, but there is a substantial one in book form: Particulars of Huntspill Rectory Manor and Freehold Estate Somersetshire, 1870.  Details of occupants are given, as well as precise particulars and valuations.


The loose estates records contain a large number of maps and plans. The substantial and significant ones of date 1850 and earlier are as follows:

Hambleden and Medmenham
A series of maps of Burrow Farm Estate, based on surveys made by Richard Comley (1616), John Ricler (1701), Richard Davis (1795), and William Rutt (1806).

'A plan of an Estate situated at Buttermere, the property of John Marshall Esq.' by Jonathan Stanmix (1838).

'A plan of an Estate called Thorn's lying in the parish of Stoodley in the County of Devon belonging to Baliol College Oxford' by Robert Leave (1770).

Tirley and Chaceley
A survey of an Estate in the Parishes of Tirley and Chaceley, by Richard Davis (ca. 1780), and a map of Little Cumberwood Estate, by W Price (1850).

Long Benton and Stamfordham
A series of maps by William Donkin and William Weleands (1767), J Fryer (1801, 1802), and Richard Jenkyns, Master of the College (ca. 1820).

Steeple Aston
A plan of lands let at Steeple Aston, by R Davis (1793).

Wooton near Woodstock
A plan of lands in the Parish of Wooton by Lewis Andrewes (1687); and another by William Rutt (1805); a 'Plan of Mr Thomas Sotham's Estate, Wooton', printed by CM Firth, n.d., but 1837.

A plan of 1757.

Culmington and Siefton
Plans by Thomas Sherrif (1757, 1760).

A plan of 1784.

'A Plot of the Lordship of Ufton' by Thomas Hewitt (1695).

- John Jones

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Updated 13.viii.14
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