Windsor Across the Country

Windsor Across the Country

A black and white line drawing of a map of England and Wales, with a key indicating different shapes for properties which came into the College's possession during the reigns of Edward III, Edward IV, Henry VIII and one extra category marked private and miscellaneous.
A map of England and Wales showing when different properties owned by St George’s came into their possession.

St George’s has always had connections with other parts of England and Wales. This map shows the different properties which it owned from the tip of Cornwall to Northumberland, and when they came into the possession of the Dean and Canons.

The first gifts were made in the reign of King Edward III when he established St George’s, both by the King himself and his new Knights of the Garter. The College generally leased properties rather than managed them directly, with the exception of a couple which were very close to Windsor. This meant that the distance to their lands did not much matter, except when collecting rent.

King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville also gave extensive property to the College. Among Elizabeth Woodville’s gifts were High Wycombe and Great Haseley.

The major gift of property made by King Henry VIII is discussed further here: https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/image_of_the_month/henry-viiis-new-dotation/.

These gifts were often of whole manors, including land, other properties, and a church. Even when the Dean and Canons were leasing out the manor or properties within it, there were some rights and responsibilities which they usually retained. One of these was the right of presentation to a church, meaning that the Dean and Canons could choose, or be on the panel choosing, a new incumbent in a church. This right alone survives to the present day; hence the College are patrons or joint patrons of 51 parishes or benefices around the country. You can read more about our benefices here: https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/about-st-georges/benefices/.

Another responsibility was holding a manorial court. These were generally confined to matters concerning property, such as recognising new lessees or settling disputes about tenancies.

In later years, the manorial courts were used less frequently until they were abolished in 1922. St George’s archives keeps court records for its properties. The property on the map was reassigned by the Church Commissioners in 1867. After this point, the College had no further involvement other than with the churches in each area.

There is a new exhibition in the Chapel’s south quire aisle about St George’s connections with places outside Windsor, including pilgrims and visitors to Windsor, and College members with prominent roles outside the Chapel. Windsor Castle opening hours and admission fees apply.

Anne Courtney

The King's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.