Swineshead History Montage

Swineshead Parish Extension


After the Norman Conquest most local Lords founded a church to serve their Estate and the boundaries of the Estate became the boundaries of the parish, thus the area covered by the parish extended further than just the village. 

Most parishes had been established by 1200 and they became units of pastoral care. The parish was expected to provide the resources to maintain the church and its priest and so Tithes came into being.  These were paid in the form of a tenth of a man’s produce from his land. 

These were rural parishes but big cities later had many parishes, for example Norwich and York each had over forty and London had over one hundred. 


Swineshead Parish was made up of the village of Swineshead plus Baythorpe, Drayton, Fenhouses, Swineshead Bridge, Rakes Farm, Chapel Hill and Pelham’s Land. However in 1883 Chapel Hill and Pelham’s Land were united to form the parish of Chapel Hill. 


Gibbet Hills, Great Brand End Plot and Royalty Farm are now part of the parish but were originally extra parochial. This means they were areas outside the jurisdiction of an ecclesiastical or civil parish.  Their inhabitants were exempt from church Tithes or Poor Rates, although they were supposed to pay Tithes to the Crown.   These Tithes for the Crown were not always collected however.  

In 1894 extra parochial areas were incorporated into their nearest parish - or sometimes made into a new parish - and that was when Gibbet Hills, Royalty Farm and Brand End Plot were added to the Parish of Swineshead.