A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.
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The parish church at King's Stanley had evidently been built by the end of the 12th century, (fn. 1) although record of it has not been found before 1270. (fn. 2) The living was a rectory in 1291 (fn. 3) and has remained one.
Until the 16th century the advowson belonged to the lords of the manor, (fn. 4) one of whom presumably founded the church. Lord Lumley presented in 1560, and John Knoteford, apparently his stepfather, in 1568 and 1573. (fn. 5) In 1584 the Crown was said to be patron, (fn. 6) and the Earl of Arundel in 1603. (fn. 7) John Jones of Gloucester presented in 1614 and in 1630 William Beeley, the previous incumbent. The Crown was again said to be patron in 1637, and in 1667 John Trebick was patron for one turn. (fn. 8) In 1707 Richard Lumley, Earl of Scarborough, who had inherited some of Lord Lumley's former estates, presented, (fn. 9) and in 1732 and 1735 Thomas Small of Nailsworth. By 1779 the advowson had passed to Jesus College, Cambridge, (fn. 10) which held it in 1967.
The rector had c. 65 a. of glebe in 1618, (fn. 11) but c. 85 a. in 1705. In 1705 he received cash rents for tithes of grain and hay and cash payments for milk, apples and pears, hens, sheep's wool, and gardens; lambs, calves, arid pigs were tithable in kind. (fn. 12) Tithes were paid for the wheels at Stanley Mill in the mid 18th century. (fn. 13) In 1807 the tithes were compounded at a rent of 2s. 9d. in the £ for pasture and 3s. in the £ for arable according to the value of the land. (fn. 14) In 1839 they were commuted for a cornrent of £440. (fn. 15) The. rectory was worth £5 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 16) and £18 15s. 1½d. in 1535. (fn. 17) It was claimed that the tithes alone were worth c. £100 in 1597, (fn. 18) and the whole rectory was valued at £112 in 1650. (fn. 19) It was worth £180 in 1756, (fn. 20) and £518 in 1856. (fn. 21)
The stone rectory house retains features of a medieval house, although possibly reset; they include two arched doorways and a cusped 14th-century light in the southern part of the main block, which was apparently once a cross-wing. There are also indications of a lower roof-level over the northern part of the main block. The house had 6 hearths in 1672, (fn. 22) and in 1705 it was a house of 4 bays with a kitchen and coach-house in a detached building of 3 bays, (fn. 23) a barn and stable in a range of 9 bays, and other buildings. (fn. 24) In 1720 the rector, Thomas Morgan, was licensed to pull down some of the outbuildings and rebuild the house as a longer and higher building, (fn. 25) and the main block with three gables on front and back and stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds apparently survives from that rebuilding; in 1807 the house was described as of 6 bays. (fn. 26) A large cross-wing in the same style was added on the north by John Gibson, rector 1857- 1886. (fn. 27) A small cross-gabled dovecot north of the house is presumably the one mentioned from 1597, (fn. 28) and a building to the south with a projecting stone oven may have been the detached kitchen.
The Rector of King's Stanley had licence to study for two years in 1308, (fn. 29) and John Oldland was granted leave to be absent for a year in the service of Catherine Berkeley of Wotton-under-Edge in 1363. (fn. 30) Robert Aumfray, rector in 1405, was indicted for the theft of a cow and forfeited his goods to the Crown; they were restored to him in 1410. (fn. 31) The rector in 1532 was a doctor of theology; (fn. 32) he was apparently non-resident in 1540 when the farmer of the rectory was paying a curate. (fn. 33) In 1548 the lack of a curate was presented by the churchwardens who apparently believed the Crown to hold the rectory. (fn. 34) The rector was not resident in 1551 when the curate serving the parish was found unsatisfactory in doctrine. (fn. 35) Henry Prescott, presented in 1560, was dispensed for plurality in 1562 and was residing elsewhere the next year. (fn. 36) William Bridgeman, presented in 1573, (fn. 37) could not speak Latin, and was said to be a simple divine in 1576, (fn. 38) and neither a graduate nor a preacher in 1584; (fn. 39) in 1593, however, he was judged to be a sufficient scholar. (fn. 40) In 1595 he was cited for simony and when he failed to appear the rectory was sequestrated. (fn. 41) In 1597 Bridgeman was attempting to recover the rectory from two lawyers to whom he had demised it so that they could meet his legal costs. (fn. 42) Miles Smith was instituted on Bridgeman's death in 1614 but was apparently dispossessed for simony soon afterwards, being replaced by William Beeley in 1615. By 1627 Beeley was also Archdeacon of Carmarthen and Rector of Stoke Golding (Leics.). He was succeeded in 1630 by James Chadwick from whom the rectory was sequestrated before 1646 when a portion of the profits was assigned to the support of his wife and children. (fn. 43) William Hodges was rector by 1648 when he signed the Gloucestershire Ministers' Testimony; (fn. 44) he was described as a constant preacher in 1650. (fn. 45) In 1659 he was said, like his colleague of Stonehouse, to be a supporter of Massey's attempted rising at Gloucester. (fn. 46) Hodges and Chadwick were evidently disputing the living in 1662. Charles Stock, instituted in 1667, was also Rector of Cranham in 1669. Kynard Baghott, rector 1735-79, was also Vicar of Prestbury from 1756. William Forge, rector 1820-57, was absent on the grounds of his wife's illness until c. 1829, and because of his own ill-health for several years after 1839. (fn. 47)
The old parish church of ST. GEORGE (fn. 48) comprises nave, chancel, south aisle, west tower, and south porch. The lower stage of the tower, which has round-headed lights on the north and south, the tower arch, the north wall of the nave with a badly weathered corbel-table and a blocked round-headed light, and the north wall of the chancel with a similar corbel-table, survive from the 12th-century church. The chancel wall, however, is actually a careful 19th century rebuilding using the old stone; (fn. 49) it formerly had a cusped light apparently of the 13th century. (fn. 50) The upper stage of the tower was added in the 14th century and contains two windows of that period, and another window was made in the west wall of the lower stage; battlements and gargoyles were added then or later. A 14th-century window survives in the north wall of the nave; two others in similar style there are 19th-century additions or restorations. Also in the north wall is a series of medieval corbel-heads which formerly supported the nave roof. In the 15th century a south aisle with battlements was made extending the full length of nave and chancel, and the porch was presumably added in the same period. In the late 18th century the aisle, under a roof that continued the pitch of those of the nave and chancel, was divided by buttresses east of the porch into four bays; three contained windows and the easternmost a squareheaded doorway, and there was a window at the east end. (fn. 51) The original Norman chancel arch was perhaps destroyed when the aisle was built; in 1851 there was no division between nave and chancel, (fn. 52) and 'the old chancel arch abutment' was mentioned in 1874. (fn. 53) The arcade between the aisle and the rest of the church was apparently destroyed when galleries were built in the aisle; (fn. 54) a gallery for the singers had been made at the west end of the aisle by 1726 when another was made opposite in the nave; another was made in the aisle in 1766. (fn. 55) In the late 18th century the chancel had a square-headed east window of two lights. (fn. 56)
Some repairs were done to the church in 1572, (fn. 57) but in 1576 the chancel was unpaved and some of its windows lacked glass and the nave was out of repair. (fn. 58) A buttress against the south aisle on the east of the porch is dated 1607. In 1823, when the church was said to have been enlarged, (fn. 59) two new windows were added in the south aisle which was remodelled as 6 bays, and a new arched doorway was made at its eastern end, and the east windows of the aisle and chancel were replaced by a single central window, (fn. 60) described in 1851 as 'a detestable modern one'. (fn. 61) Between 1874 and 1876 extensive restoration was carried out under G. F. Bodley and J. G. Garner. The chancel was extended c. 8 ft. eastwards by taking down its north wall and rebuilding it with the old stone further to the east and adding a vestry in the intervening space, and making new south and east walls. The east end was given a triple-lancet window, and a new chancel arch was built. The work on the chancel was paid for by the rector and parishioners, the rest, including a new nave arcade and a new Tudor-style doorway in the eastern bay of the south aisle, by Samuel Marling and his family. (fn. 62)
The church once had a 12th-century font comprising a large bowl with central pedestal and angle shafts; it was replaced by a new one of similar design, (fn. 63) probably at the restoration in the 1870s. There were said to be four old stained glass windows in 1870, (fn. 64) and the architects were directed to preserve fragments in the south aisle at the restoration. (fn. 65) A wooden chest carved with dragon heads has the initials T.C., perhaps for one of the Clutterbuck family. The church had an organ in 1829; (fn. 66) it was replaced in 1876 by a Gothic organ built by a local carpenter, Thomas Liddiatt. (fn. 67) Under the tower are preserved metal plates and wall-monuments to members of the Clutterbuck and Paul families, and, set under the west window, some medieval painted tiles. The plate includes two chalices with patencovers dated 1673 and given in that year by Lady Margaret Hungerford. (fn. 68) The one bell was cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1694. (fn. 69) The registers begin in 1573. (fn. 70) In 1309 an altar to St. Catherine was consecrated in the church. (fn. 71) A burgage called Lampclose given to maintain a lamp was granted away by the Crown in 1549. (fn. 72)
A new church, dedicated to ALL SAINTS was built at Selsley between 1859 and 1862; it was promoted and largely financed by Samuel Marling of Stanley Park. (fn. 73) In 1863 it was assigned the eastern half of King's Stanley as its parish. (fn. 74) The patronage was vested in the Marling family who provided a parsonage house. (fn. 75) The church, built to the design of G. F. Bodley, (fn. 76) combines Gothic styles of the 13th and 14th centuries; it has nave, north aisle, apsidal chancel, and at the west end a prominent saddle-back tower which was apparently modelled on that of the church of Marling in the South Tyrol. (fn. 77) The stained glass was provided by William Morris's firm and individual windows were designed by Morris, Burne-Jones, Rosetti, and Ford Madox Brown. (fn. 78) There is a uniform series of wall tablets to members of the Marling family in the nave. Two bells were provided in 1887. (fn. 79)