Richard Chernock's initials in nails on the door of Hulcote church March 2007
Hulcote contains 905 acres (360 hectares). Both topsoil and subsoil are heavy clay and contain some underground springs. The main drainage is a small stream which runs north-west into Salford.
Flints from the Neolithic or New Stone Age (3000-2000 BC) were found in Hulcote in 1922. Some pottery shards discovered in fields may be of Roman date but more certain is settlement during the Dark Ages. The name Hulcote (or Holcot or Holcote or Hulecote or Hulcott or Howcott) is first recorded as Holacotan in 969 (a charter setting out the boundaries of Aspley Guise) the name meaning "cottages in the hollow".
Domesday Book 1086
Hulcote was part of the Hundred of Manshead and the Domesday Book records that William Speke held four hides as a manor, with Ralph Passwater (or Passelewe) as his tenant. The manor had 5 villagers, 8 smallholders and 1 slave - a total of 14 which should be multiplied by a factor of at least four to account for the men's dependents - suggesting that Hulcote had a population of nearly 60, in other words, significantly more than today. The manor included a mill valued at 5/4 and woodland for 50 pigs. Before the Conquest it had been held from Alric by one Alfward Bellrope and had been worth £2. Depredations by William I's army had lowered the valuation of the manor to £1 when Speke acquired it but by 1086 it was worth more than ever at £3.
The overlordship of the manor passed from the Speke family to the Barony of Bedford (i.e. to the Beauchamp family) by 1284, remaining with that family until at least 1428. The Passelewe family continued to hold the manor until William de Passelewe conveyed it to Nicholas Fermbaud in 1337 and that family held it until in 1366 Katherine, daughter of John Fermbaud inherited it and effective control passed to her husband John Woodville.
The Woodville family held the manor until some time in the late 15th or early 16th century. Sir Richard Woodville, knighted in 1449, was an ancestor of Margaret Helwell, who married Thomas Sherard and had two sons by him, Richard and George, the latter selling the manor to the former in 1541. Richard Sherard kept the manor for less than a year, selling it to Robert Charnok or Chernock who died possessed of it in 1549.
The Chernock family remained Lords of the Manor of Hulcote until 1779 when the family became extinct. Richard Chernock completely rebuilt Hulcote church in the late 16th century [q.v.]. On Villiers Chernock's death in 1779 Hulcote Manor passed to his nephew Edward Hervey, son of his sister Helen. He died without male issue and the manor then passed to Elizabeth Chauncey, a daughter of Villiers Chernock's uncle Sir Pynsent Chernock. She in turn divided it amongst her great-nieces Barbara, cousin of Edward Hervey and his four daughters. Barbara left her share to her betrothed William Montague. Other shares eventually became consolidated in the children of Edward Hervey's daughter Charlotte Orlebar Smith.
Hulcote was never a large settlement, a guide to population since 1801 appears below:
1801 – 65; 1851 – 62; 1901 – 45; 1931 – 39
The two parishes of Hulcote and Salford were united for ecclesiastical purposes in 1750, the two civil parishes being joined together in 1933 to form the modern civil parish of Hulcute & Salford. Population figures for the combined parish have been as follows:
1951 – 233; 2001 - 182