The village of Buscot lies beside the River Isis (the upper reaches of the Thames) and just downstream from Lechlade. Immediately downstream of the village lies Kilmester's Farm, now subject to a Countryside Stewardship arrangement to encourage wildlife.
Vilma Knight of the National Trust was kind enough to supply
background from the Vernacular Building Survey for the farm as follows:
There are numerous KILMASTER headstones (some are illustrated below) in the churchyard and the family appears to have been well established in the area
Robert and William KILMINSTER of Kilmester's Farm appear to have been unmarried brothers (marital status on 1851 census was 'Un'), with William farming and Robert working as a Baliff. They were both born in Radcot, Oxfordshire (just north of Faringdon, Berks), William in abt 1792 & Robert in abt 1789. Radcot is just downstream from Buscot and beyond Eaton Hastings. Alongside the KILMASTER graves are a series of PIKE graves. There was a marriage between Robert KILMASTER & Ann PIKE on 22 April 1781. This Robert was possibly at what became Kilmester's Farm in 1806, when The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Saturday, March 15, 1806; Issue 11495. carried the following advertisement
Freehold Grazing Farm. Berks, on the border with Wilts.A valuable and very desirable FREEHOLD E-
By Messes. SKINNER, DYKE and Co. on Teusday, the 25th
instant, at 12, at Garraway's.
STATE, situate on the High Road at Eaton, opposite Bus-
cot Park, in the county of Berks, only three miles from Farring-
don and Lechlade, six from Highworth, easy distances from
Cricklade, Abingdon, Burford, Wantage, and Cirencester, called
Eaton Hastings Farm ; containing near [20 or 210] acres of inclosed
meadow, grazing, and arable land, lying very compact, with a
farm house and out buildings, in the occupation of Mr. Robert
Kilmaster, on lease for eight years, at a net rent of 250l. per an-
num. The Land Tax is redeemed. To be viewed 21 days prec-
eding the sale and printed particulars may be had of the te-
nant; also at the Bell, Farringdon; George, Abingdon and Bur-
ford; Ram, Cirencester; White Horse, Cricklade; Angel, Od-
ford; of Messers Rigg and Merrifield, Solicitors, Carey-street,
Lincoln's Inn Fields; at the place of sale; and of Messers. Dkin-
ner, Dyke and Co. Aldersgate-street.
The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Saturday, March 15, 1806; Issue 11495, Page 1, Col 1.
In carried a notice related to the handling of a will, as follows
|Notice to Debtors and Vreditors.|
All persons indebted to the late Mr. THOMAS
HUMPHRIES, of Buscot, Berks, malster, deceased,
are requested forthwith to pay the amounts of their respective debts
to Mr. R. Pike, Step Farm, Faringdon, or to Mr. W. Kilmaster,
of Eton Hastings, his Executirs: and all persons having any
claim or demand on the said Thomas Humphris [sic], at the time of
his decease, are requested to send the particulars thereof to the
said Executors. Step Farm, Nov. 16, 1830.
Jackson's Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, November 27, 1830; Issue 4048, Page 4, Col 4.
On 24 Feb 1847 Messers. W. and R. Kilmaster of Eaton Hastings appear in a list of members of the Faringdon Association for the Prosecution of Felons and the Protection of Property. (Jackson's Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, February 27, 1847; Issue 4896, Pg 1, Col 6.)
John HATTON married Sarah KILMASTER in 1777 in Buscot, she and her brother were related to the KILMASTERs of Shilton, Oxon, Asthall, Oxon and Paynes Farm, Oxon, near Swinbrook, Oxon (where Sarah is buried in the HATTON tomb alongside several more KILMASTER graves). Papers relating to the Bankruptcy of John's son Richard HATTON are to be found amongst the papers relating to the Thames and Severn Canal, though precisely why is unknown at present.
Robert READY (1730-1791) was Rector at Buscot from about 1761 until his death. He was the son of Alexander READY (later called COLSTON, d1775) of Fairford, Gloucs, and Filkins Hall, near Broadwell, Oxon, who acted as trustee under the 1743 Will of Ann JORDAN (nee LODER) of Burford, Oxon, Wife of John JORDAN. Robert READY's brother, the Rev Alexander READY of Filkins, took as his wife the grandaughter of Edward HUNGERFORD of Black Bourton, Wilts (Louise ELERS, daughter of Mary HUNGERFORD and Paul George ELERS). This was probably the Edward HUNGERFORD who sold the Manor of Black Bourton to one John JORDAN of Burford, Oxon.
In 1779 Edward Loveden TOWNSEND (by then having changed his name to Edward Loveden LOVEDEN) commenced the building of the stately home of Buscot Park immediately south of the farm. Kilmester's new neighbour, Edward LOVEDEN, eventually became known as 'Old Father Thames' because he took such an active interest in the Thames navigation. He controlled a parliamentary committee with the aim of improving that navigation. He was also one of the prime movers behind the Thames & Severn Canal. The high prices that he charged for the use of Buscot lock are said to have contributed to his wealth.
A selection of links to other sites with information about this place