Upton, Uzmaston.

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Upton                   Jottings

Minor stronghold on creek of Carew river, built 13c by a member of the Malefant family who died out in the male line with Stephen Malefant whose daughter Alice married Owen ap Gruffudd ap Nicholas of Dinefwr.

1564 their descendant Rhys ab Owen took the name Bowen after the English manner.

18c purchased by John Tasker and then passed through marriage into the hands of the Rev. William Evans.

1927 purchased by Stanley Neale whose daughter married Canon Skelton. During WW2 she served as a WAAF officer at Pembroke Dock and played the organ when I took services at Nash Church.

Extract from National Park Guide.

The remains of the ancient castle have been incorporated in the building of the present mansion: they consist principally of the entrance gateway, and the two circular bastions by which it was defended; one of these now forms a projecting window in one of the apartments.

Lewis S. 1833 A topographical dictionary of Wales.

Upton castle overlooks the head of the valley, built by one of the honorial baron’s dependant on the Earldom of Pembroke; probably, one of the Malefant Family who held Upton early in the 13c. In spite of the outwardly military appearance of the defences in places the walls are quite thin and could have offered only token resistance to a siege engine.


Upton Chapel built as a family chapel dedicated to St Giles contains monuments of the Malefant family from the 13c. The figure opposite the entrance is thought to be William Malefant who died in 1362 and is clad in a complete suit of Chain mail and whose name appears in juries and official documents of the period.

The effigy of a large man 6 ft even without the lower limbs is considered to be the most ancient of its kind in the country reputed to be a Lord of Upton, drowned in a shipwreck as he was returning home from a long voyage.  It used to be at Nash Church and is sometimes called the" Admiral".

In the Chancel is also the figure of a woman who is thought to be the wife of William Malefant, from the clothing the figure would appear to be from about 1380 to 1420.    Did this figure also come from Nash Church ?

On the north side of the chancel is a stone showing the tonsured head of an ecclesiastic with a floreated cross; unfortunately the inscription is damaged.

In the Nave there is a candelabra in the form of a clenched fist and a Jacobean pulpit from St Mary's Haverfordwest.

On the Walls there are mural tablets to members of the Bowen, Taskers and Evans families.

Fenton describes the Chapel on his visit in 1810.

Giraldus Cambrensis called Upton Ucketune and Uccetena another old name was Ucton.

George Owen in Elizabethan Pembrokeshire lists Upton Manor under Narberth Hundred.

This benefice is a chapel subordinate to Nash Rectory, and from the earliest recorded institution the rector of Nash has also held Upton or Ucton.

George Owen in his list of benefices compiled in I594, states that it was a rectory appendant to the manor of Upton, the patron then being Harry Bowen [of Upton].

In a case submitted for Counsel's opinion on 23 Oct. I722, in regard to the liability of the owner of Upton to the payment of tithes on the demesne lands of Upton, it was stated that the benefice was a chapel, and had no manner of parochial officers belonging to it, and was supposed to be a chapel of ease belonging to Nash, a view which was corroborated by the fact that there was but one presentation and institution to both livings. The document adds that there is a tradition that during the celibacy of the clergy, the rector of Nash always lived at Upton with the patron, and had his diet there, and that there were then four instances within memory where the rector while he was unmarried had his diet in the house, whereof the then present incumbent was one.  - Llwynwormwood Papers.

1200 approx.

[According to J Conway Davies Journal of the Historical Society of Wales Vol 2 1950 p54]

Included in the locations in Pembrokeshire mentioned by Giraldus in his various works are Churches: Upton .

1290 November 6. Clipston.

Charter Roll 18, Edward I, m. 1 ( Cal .  p.373)

Witnesses included Walter Malenfaunt.

1298.  A witness of the Sloane Charter XXXII. 14 (British Museum) was David Malesent (Malefant,) of Upton).

1324 I. P. M. Edward II files 84 & 85. An Inquisition was held on August 20 1324 before John de Hamptona, King's Escheat, at Pembroke, regarding the estates of Aymer de Valance Earl of Pembroke one of the Jurors being; Walter Maeleufaut.

Half knights' fee was held by Walter Maleufaunt at Esse (Nash) worth yearly 10 marks.

1348 September 24 Pembroke.

Writ of certiorari de feodis etc., to John de Shol, escheator in Hereford and the adjacent March of Wales, 24 September, 22

Esse (Nash) half fee held by William Maleufant, worth yearly 10m.

1358 May 10.

Writ 10 May 32 Edward III, to Henry de Prestewode, escheater in co. Hereford and the adjacent marches of Wales, directing him to enquire of what liberties belonging to the earldom and lordship of Pembroke; Jurors included William Maleufant.

William Maleufant died in 1362 and was succeeded by his son William Malenfaunt.

1377 February 16 Westminster.

Patent Roll 51 Edward III m 3d (Cal p 501).

Commission to John Joce “chivaler”, Henry Wogan “ chivaler”, Matthew Wogan, Peter Perrot, William Malenfaunt, Laurence Bronhull, Richard Huscard, John Scurlag, Richard Wyrot, Peter Jurdan, John Wydlok, Philip Sutton, the mayor and commonalty of Pembrok, and Tenby, and the king’s steward and ministers of Pembroke. 

1377 February 16 Westminster [second entry on m.3d].

Commission to John Joce,”chivaler”, Henry Wogan, “chivaler”, Matthew Wogan, William Malenfaunt and Peter Perrot.

1380 April 20 Westminster.

Patent Roll, 3 Richard II, pt 3 m 23d (Cal p 509).

Commission to Guy de Briene, John Joce, knight, Walter Mille, Matthew Wogan, John Hoton, Henry Shirmyn, William Malenfaunt.

1613 Lewis Dwnn Deputy Herald of Wales records that Henry Bowen of Upton Castle had married a daughter of the Wyriotts who lived at Orielton.

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Uzmaston   St David (or St Ishmael)   SM969144

The church has an unusual plan. The chancel has a north wall in line with the three bay arcade between a wider nave and a north aide with a squint. Tiny chapels open off the SW corner of the chancel and SE corner of the nave, and a small gabled tower stands north of the aisle. The whole south side was rebuilt in 1870; in the porch is a tiny figure of a civilian under a canopy. There is a scalloped late Norman font.

Described as 'Ecclesia vine Osmundi,' Uzmaston was one of the churches granted by Wizo, the Fleming, Walter his son, and Walter the grandson of Wizo, to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem at Slebech. - Alselm's Confirm. Charter.

In Sept., 1301, the preceptor of Slebech gave the advowson of Uzmaston to the precentor and chapter of St. Davids, for the maintenance of the fabric of the cathedral of St. Davids, and in March, 1302, this grant was confirmed by Bishop David Martin.

It will be seen from the extract given below, that Bacon's Liber Regis attributes the dedication of the church to St. Ishmael, but it is evident that this must be a mistake, or else a subsequent dedication, as it is recorded in the Stat. Menev that in the reign of Edw. I, Geoffrey, son of Robert, 'dominus de villa Osmundi,' granted, for the good of his soul, to the church of 'St. David de villa Osmundi' and to Master Walter de Greswent probably a mistake of the scribe for 'Trefwent' the rector of the said church and his successors, a messuage, garden, and an acre of land adjoining the road leading from Uzmaston to Wiston.

At the time of the grant in 1302 referred to above, the rectorship of Uzmaston was stated to be vacant owing to the resignation of Master Walter de Trefwent, the late rector. - Stat. Menev. This is the only record of an individual rector of the church.

Described as Ecclesia Ville Osemandi, this church was in 1291 assessed at £4 for tenths to the King, the sum payable being 8s. - Taxatio.

Osmundeston. - Ecclesia de Osmundeston non re hic quod inter ecclesias vicariorum choralium Meneven'  - Valor Eccl.

Under the heading 'Not in Charge':- Uzmaston alias Osmundeston Cur. ( St. Ishmaell. Chapter of St. Davids Patr. £5 10s. 0d. certified value. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

In 1554 the tithes of Uzmaston were leased to William Philipps of Picton, Pems, Esq, for 40 years at the annual rent of us 6s. 8d; the tenant to supply a curate to serve the church. This lease was renewed to the same lessee, and on the same terms in July 1565.

In July, 1600, John Philipps of Picton, Esq., obtained a lease at the same rent for the lives of himself, his wife Anne, and his eldest son, Richard Philipps, and in 1661 Sir Erasmus Philipps, Bart., was granted a lease for 21 years at the same rent.

In 1682 George Lucy, gent, was given a lease for 21 years, which was renewed in July, 1690, to the same lessee. This lease seems to have descended, on the death of George Lucy, the tenant, to his wife Elizabeth, as in the Chapter Records there is a memorandum that a lease of the tithes for 16 years should be given to her. This intention, however, was never carried out, as on 24 July, 1706, a lease of the rectory of Uzmaston for 21 years was granted to Richard Sparks, gent. Elizabeth Lucy, the tenant, consenting through her son George Lucy, gent.

In 17I8 and again in 1734 the lease was renewed by Richard Sparks, who was an alderman of Haverfordwest, and died prior to 7 Mar., 1736-7, the rent on the latter occasion being advanced to £15 6s. 8d and the curate's stipend being fixed at £ro.

In 1741 a lease of the tithes was granted for 21 years to Sparks Martin of Withy Bush, Pembs., gent., and John Barron, of Haverfordwest, at the rent of £15 6s. 8d. and a fine of £20 and in 1748 and 1756 the lease was renewed to the same lessees at the same rent as before, the fines paid being respectively £20 and £24.

In 1763 the tithes were leased for 21 years at the same rent to Sparks Martin, Esq. and David Hughes, gent, the assignee of John Barron, MD., the fine paid being 20 guineas.

In 1781 the Chapter decided that the next lease should be at rack rent without any fine, and in pursuance of this resolution, the tithes were leased for 21 years to Canon William Holcombe, at a rent of £66.

In 1806 the tithes were rented by auction, and John Phelps of Withy Bush being the highest bidder, a lease for 21 years was granted to him at the rent of £135.

1827. The tithes were rented to Sparks Martin Phelps, Esq., for 21 years at the rent of £120.

The present church of Uzmaston must have been restored or rather re-built about the year 1870, as an Act of the Chapter on 25 July in that year orders the chapter seal to be affixed to the deed authorising the re-building of the church.

On 20 Dec., 1907, a faculty was granted for putting up a window in the parish church in memory of Mr. George Bland and Mrs. Anne Bland.

Higgons Well    parish of Uzmaston

Higgon was a local surname – Rev. John Higgon held land in Haverfordwest in 1773.

Well first recorded as Higgons well in 1773 on the Picton Map appears also in the Picton record of 1789.

Formerly there stood on the site a well and a well chapel of great repute and popularity in the medieval period. Charles Norris of Tenby made two sketches of the interior of the well chapel and of the outlet for the escaping water.

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