Originally, it was suggested that the name was derived from the Norse word 'lax', meaning a salmon. However, Loxton is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was known as 'Lochestone'. Today, it is believed that village names in those parts of the kingdom, where hamlets and scattered farmsteads had flourished, were probably derived from the name given to one of the farmsteads or enclosures which were described in Old English as a (tun) and where later a community consisting of working families, living in simple dwellings had evolved. Perhaps it was derived from a farmstead belonging to a Saxon landowner whose name sounded like 'Lock', although it is claimed that many place names were derived in this manner even after the Norman Conquest.
The surname of Loxton probably originated from the name of the village. Before 1066, people living in England only had a single Christian name consequently there could be several individuals with the names of John, William, Joan and Elizabeth etc. After the Norman Conquest an additional name was added that described the individual in some way. Many surnames were based on physical appearance and others described occupations. Place names such as Loxton were given to individuals after they had left their place of birth. This fact is supported by the early distribution of the Loxton surname in 1881, that can be obtained at the Surname Profiler Project Website. It clearly shows the high incidence of the name in the area surrounding the village.
In 1086 Count Eustace, of Boulogne held Loxton for his own use. He held six other estates in Somerset but these were 'sublet' to other tenants. Prior to 1066 Wulfeva held the estate. He paid taxes to Edward I for five hides(1). It was estimated that there was enough land in total for seven plough-teams. Four hides of the estate was managed with two ploughs and two serfs (slaves). Five villagers and six smallholders who had three ploughs between them cultivated the remaining hide. In addition there were fifty acres(2) of meadow, sixty acres of pasture, six acres of underwood(3), three beasts (cattle) and three swine (pigs). There was a mill paying sixpence in tax and the total estate was valued at 100 shillings, (£5).
In 1225 Gervase de Sparkford gave the manor of Lokeston as his daughter Jordana's dowry to Philip de Insula. Around 1311 William de Weylande held land in Loxton and in 1336 he had the "right of free warren", namely the right to kill game within the manor. He and his descendants were lords of the manor until about 1385. Then the manor was acquired by the Harewells, a leading ecclesiastical family. Various members of the family were canons & bishops. In 1404 William Staunton was lord of Lokston. Later in the 15th century Loxton was in the hands of trustees including Bishop Bubwith (Bishop of Bath & Wells 1404-1424). Bishop Bubwith left the manor to a Latimer and a Grenham in his will. In the reign of Henry VIII the heirs of the Grenham family sold the manor to Giles Doddington, whose descendants including the Grenville family held it until the end of the 18th century.
On 15th April 1796 Thomas Grenville (Earl of Aylesbury), William Lord Grenville, George Grenville (Marquis of Buckingham) and his son Richard Grenville (Earl Temple) sold the manor of Loxton to Samuel Tertius Galton, Theodore Galton, R.W. Darwin and John Gisborne for £11,420.
On 29th September 1806, Samuel Galton of Duddeston, Warwickshire, Samuel Tertius Galton of Birmingham and Theodore Galton of Duddeston, Warwickshire gave the manorial estate to Lambert Schimmelpennick (a Dutchman) and Mary Ann his wife (formerly Mary Ann Galton, sister of Samuel Tertius Galton), as a marriage settlement. In 1841, Erasmus Galton the son of Samuel Tertius Galton was living in the manor house, and when Mary Ann Schimmelpennick died in 1856 he inherited the estate. After 1851 the manor house was used as a farmhouse. On his death in 1909, Erasmus Galton always a bachelor left the estate to his nephew Edward Galton Wheler-Galton. In 1928 Edward Wheler-Galton gave the estate to his cousin John Lethbridge (he later changed his name to John Lethbridge-Galton). Erasmus Galton was the great-uncle of John Lethbridge.
John Lethbridge, another bachelor, died in 1952 and left the estate to his niece and nephew, Dorothy Mary Baron Lethbridge and Major James Christopher Baron Lethbridge (brother and sister) with instructions that it was to be sold in order to fulfil his bequests.
In 1953, The Loxton estate comprising of three fine dairy farms, Church Farm, 111 acres, 2 cottages; Court Farm, 293 acres, 3 cottages and Manor Farm (previously the manor), 301 acres, 3 cottages and Loxton Wood, was sold for £40,000.
The splitting up of the estate commenced in 1979, when Manor House Farm together with 3 cottages and 277 acres of land was sold for £270,000.
(1) A hide was a variable measure of land and was equivalent to the area that could be ploughed by a team of oxen and one plough in a season. About 120 acres.
(2) One acre=0.4047 hectares.
(3) Underwood is woodland that is coppiced.
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