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ArretonManor of HeasleyDownend EstateDownend hamletManor of Combley
Combley, c.1975
Combley, c.1975
Combley, c.1952
Combley, c.1952
Combley (Cumbley) was a manor and farm on the Downend Isle of Wight Estates. The farm was formerly a grange of Quarr Abbey, of some 800 acres[1]. It was acquired by Sir Thomas Fleming with other possessions of Quarr Abbey on 29 May 1609.

The farm comprised 432 acres in 1837; 378 acres in 1956. Combley was surveyed by George Salmon in 1771, and John Whitcher in 1817.

Combley Roman Villa was uncovered there in 1910.

Combley was offered for sale at auction on 8 June 1956 as part of the Downend Estate[2], but failed to reach the reserve price. A portion of Combley Farm, together with Downend Brickyard, formed Robin Hill Country Park from 1969. Combley Farm was sold in 1985.

Manor of Combley

Combley was acquired by Sir Thomas Fleming from John Mill with other possessions of Quarr Abbey on 29 May 1609. The manorial lands were mostly synonymous with Combley Farm, but also included Guildford Farm and other property in Arreton and Havenstreet. After 1544, Shalflet Wood in Whippingham was allowed as part of the manor of Combley.The manorial lordship of Combley was sold on 8 Mar 1991 for £8,650[3].

The house

Combley manor house or farmhouse was the seat of Philip Fleming, Steward of the Isle of Wight, and second son to Sir Thomas Fleming. The house has been described as being, in 1539, 'a vast edifice with twelve bays'.

Tenants & occupiers of Combley Farm

  • -- Colnet (17thC)
  • Philip Fleming, Steward of the Isle of Wight (17thC)
  • John Fitchett (1737[4], 18thC[5])
  • William Taylor (1793[6])
  • James Urry (1815)[7]
  • Mrs Urry (1817)
  • George Watson, estate bailiff (1837,1839[8],1841)
  • Mary Watson, widow (1851)
  • William Lock (1871, 1883[9])
  • Messrs Lock (1872[10])
  • Caroline Lock, widow (1891)
  • William Isaac Young (1919[11],1920[12])
  • F Thearle and Sons (1956)
  • John V Willis Fleming (20thC)

Manorial history before 1609

The Victoria County History (1912) says of Combley: 'Its first appearance is in a deed (c. 1230) between its then owner Simon Fitz Hubert and the convent of Quarr exchanging it for the somewhat insignificant holding of Blackland. It remained in the possession of Quarr Abbey until its dissolution, but does not appear as a manor till quite late in the 15th century ; indeed, in the valuation of Quarr Abbey lands in 1536 it is entered as 'a farm called Combley in Atherton parish.' In February 1537 Combley, called a manor, was granted in fee to Thomas Wriothesley, and it subsequently followed the same descent as Haseley (q.v.).[13]

The manor of Combley was granted to Wriothesley on 17 Feb 1537, valued at 24 li per annum. It included the tenements of Gylford (later Guildford Farm) and Blackburydge (Blackland?), and 2 messuages in Havenstreet. The farmer of Combley Farm at that time was John Mill. On 13 May 1538, Wriothesley sold Combley manor to John Mill for 620 li[14].

Manorial records

External links



  1. TNA PRO: E 326/12332
  2. Prospectus of the Fleming Downend Estate, 1956  (WFMS:23 )
  3. Sale of Fleming Estate manorial lordships in the 1990s
  4. Lease of Combley Farm, 1737  (WFMS:654 | IOWRO FLM/179)
  5. Schedule of deeds, leases, and manorial records, received by Sir Francis Seymour Pile, 1750
  6. Lease of Combley Farm, 1793  (WFMS:543 | IOWRO FLM/61)
  7. William Henry Davenport Adams, The Isle of Wight (1884)
  8. The Vectis Directory (1839)
  9. Administration, with the will annexed of the effects of William Lock of Combley Farm p. Arreton, dated 14 March 1883 IOWRO ELD87/38/PROB/99 13 December 1887
  10. 1872 Rent Roll of the Fleming Estate  (WFMS:2556 )
  11. Lease of Combley Farm to William Isaac Young, 1919  HRO: 117M91/D4/BOX/7
  12. Estate Account and Rent Roll Book, 1920  (WFMS:98)
  13. Victoria County History'
  14. S F Hockey, Quarr Abbey and its Lands, 1132-1631 (1970)
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