The surviving remains of the Hogshaw Preceptory consist of a moated enclosure measuring 52m by 40m internally. This was the courtyard, or curtilagium, listed in the 1338 Extent. Within this would have stood the main preceptory building, the curia edificata​. There would also have been a kitchen and a bakehouse, though these may have lain in an embanked enclosure lying immediately to the south. This is also probably where the dovecot lay. A channel, leading south from the south-east corner of the moat formed the eastern side of this outer enclosure and originally continued south to a pair of fish ponds. These are not referred to in the Extent but the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Sheet marks them as an antiquity. They are 50m long and 24m wide in total, separated by a 5m wide bank. The 1888 Ordnance Survey sheet marks the site of the Church of St John the Baptist as lying immediately north of the fish ponds.

Little is known of the history of the Hogshaw Preceptory other than the details provided in the 1338 Extent. It seems to have been established in 1180 on the site formerly occupied by a community of the Sisters of St John who, along with members of similar communities, had been removed to their Order's main establishment at Buckland in Somerset. The preceptory had passed into private hands by 1470.


HOGSHAW in 1338


Bajulia de Hoggesshauwe


The document refers to a 'court' building (curia edificata) with a garden and courtyard valued at six shillings and eight pence per annum. There was also a dovecot worth six shillings and a windmill valued at 13 shillings and four pence. The values of various agricultural lands, rents, court dues, labour services, church appropriations and voluntary contributions are also listed.


The Reprise lists a knight as preceptor and a sergeant-at-arms along with a chaplain and a corrody holder (pensioner). A priest to serve in the nearby church is also mentioned as well as a squire, a clavigeri (key-keeper), a cook, a baker and two boys serving the preceptor. Although there was a resident chaplain there is no evidence of a chapel and it is assumed that the Brothers used the neighbouring church of St John the Baptist.​ The situation seems to be similar to that atGarway where members of the Order used a dedicated chapel in St Michael's church.

The church was badly damaged during the Civil War but was still partly extant in 1681 and burials in the adjoining graveyard continued until 1683. It was demolished in the early decades of the 18th century but occasional architectural fragments have been recovered during the course of more recent work on the site including a section of 12th century 'dog-tooth' moulding.

HOGSHAW PRECEPTORY; archaeology

The remains of Hogshaw Preceptory (SP73732241), a Scheduled Ancient Monument, lie 11 km south of Buckingham and 15 km east of Bicester. They consist of the earthworks of the moated site, the buried remains of the church of St John the Baptist and two fishponds.

REFRENCES

HOGSHAW PRECEPTORY; documents

HOGSHAW PRECEPTORY, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (NHLE 1405586)

Larking, Lambert Blackwell and Kemble, John Mitchell 1857 The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being a Report of the Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for A.D. 1338 Camden Society, 68-69.

Page, William 1905 'House of Knights Hospitallers: The commandery of Hogshaw', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1,  390. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=40319 

RCHM, 1913 An Inventory of the Historic Monuments in Buckinghamshire: Volume 2 (north), ​153, HMSO