Merton College links with Kibworth
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Kibworth Harcourt  Kibworth Beauchamp Smeeton Westerby
Saer de Harcourt, a supporter of Simon de Montfort, who led a rebellion against Henry III, was captured after the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and on his release was pardoned on condition he redeemed the value of his estates at seven times their annual value. As he already owed debts to Jewish moneylenders, he sold his Kibworth Harcourt estate to the Lord Chancellor of England, Walter de Merton, in 1270, for the sum of £400. The purchase document is stored in the archives of Merton College in Oxford. Walter added the estate to the growing number being used to support scholars in his new Merton College in Oxford. Over the centuries, various buildings owned by Merton College have been sold but even today, much of the agricultural land around the village is still owned by Merton College and leased to local farmers. The Warden and Fellows of Merton College took over the patronage of the 13th century St. Wilfrid’s Church after 1780. Merton College Fellows were installed as Rectors for the following 150 years, until the formation of the Diocese of Leicester in 1926, when the Bishop became joint patron. The Kibworth Improvement Team thank and acknowledge the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford for permission to use images on this website of the college and archived material.
Map of Kibworth Harcourt with Church c1608 Visit Mertonís Website
Founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Rochester, it claims to be the oldest college in Oxford. The chapel was begun in 1290 replacing an earlier structure and was used as a parish church until 1891. The great tower was complete by 1450. It’s Mob quad houses the old library on the upper floor and is one of the earliest libraries in England. With a priceless collection of early printed books and manuscripts the collection runs to 70,000 volumes.
Map of Kibworth Harcourt c1608 held by Merton College. Use your mouse to show a zoomed in area of the map.
Merton College Library
Merton College
Fellows quad - Merton College
In Ocober 2011 the Kibworth Improvement Team were invited by Merton College to  view documents at their archive relating to Kibworth. Since then KiT and Merton  College have worked closely together in enabling teachers and students to visit the  college and to work with them on the documents relating to kibworth. (press release  below). Photo Andrew Carpenter. 
Kibworth Improvement Team Achives visit October 2011. Left to right-  Andrew Southerden, Dave Adams, Emma Tilley, Julian Reid (Merton Archivist), Julia  Walworth (Fellow Librarian), Robin Hollick and Kevin Feltham. 
Andrew Southerden KiT Chairman KiT members examine Kibworth documents KiT Historic Linkup for Local School & Merton College Press Release Welcome About KiT Heritage Trails Merton college Story of England Jubilee Services Gallery Contact KiT members examine Kibworth documents Merton college