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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STONEHOUSE, an industrialized parish and a former centre of the cloth industry, lies 2½ miles west of Stroud, where the deep valley of the River Frome opens out into the Severn Vale. The ancient parish, to which the account here printed relates, was roughly rectangular in shape and covered an area of 1,786 a. The eastern part of the parish has been subject to boundary changes which resulted in the reduction of the area to 1,223 a. (fn. 1); the parish formerly extended further east, and included parts of the hamlets of Ebley, Cainscross, Westrip, and Dudbridge. The history of the whole of the first three hamlets is included below, but the history of Dudbridge is reserved for inclusion with Rodborough in another volume.
The southern boundary of the ancient parish ran west along the River Frome (or Stroudwater) from the bridge at Dudbridge, where it was met by the eastern boundary which followed the Ruscombe brook. The western boundary, which has remained unchanged, follows the Nastend brook. The northern boundary was very irregular, with a threepronged peninsula of Randwick parish reaching into Stonehouse west of Cashe's Green as far as Ebley. Within the peninsula there were detached parts of Stonehouse, and near it there were several detached parts of Randwick, of which the largest included much of the eastern part of Ebley hamlet. (fn. 2) The irregularity of the boundary between the two parishes partly resulted from piecemeal inclosure of open fields in which both held land; (fn. 3) the confusion that resulted is shown by the description of a small open field in 1737 as lying in the parishes of Stonehouse, Stroud, Randwick, or one of them. (fn. 4) In 1885 most of the southern peninsula of Randwick, with a population of 465 in 95 houses, was transferred to Stonehouse. (fn. 5) In 1894, however, most of the eastern part of Stonehouse, with 543 houses and a population of 2,158, was included in the new parish of Cainscross, and another part of Stonehouse with a population of 231 in 55 houses was transferred to Randwick. (fn. 6)
Three detached parts of Stroud parish lay within the ancient parish of Stonehouse near Ebley, two others on the boundary between Stonehouse and Randwick near Randwick village, and one on the boundary with Eastington on the west. In 1884 four of these parts, containing 37 houses and a population of 158, were included in Stonehouse. Two detached parts of Eastington which lay within the western part of the parish near Oldend were transferred to Stonehouse in 1882, when they had no houses or population. (fn. 7) Haywardsfield, an extraparochial place comprising c. 1 a. lying between the Stroudwater Canal and the Stonehouse-Ebley road, (fn. 8) was given parochial status for civil purposes in 1857. (fn. 9) It became part of Stonehouse parish in 1884, when it contained 2 houses and a population of 7. (fn. 10)
The western and southern areas of the parish are flat and low-lying at c. 100 ft.; the central area is dominated by Doverow Hill which rises to 469 ft., and a spur of land at over 300 ft. runs north from the hill; in the east the land rises with increasing steepness from the river towards Randwick, and the northernmost point of the ancient parish is at c. 650 ft. The western and southern areas of the parish lie on the Lower Lias; the higher ground to the northeast is formed by successive layers of the Middle and Upper Lias, and Doverow Hill has a cap of the Inferior Oolite. (fn. 11) The only woodland is Doverow Wood crowning Doverow Hill. It was probably the lord's wood mentioned in 1508. (fn. 12) In 1567 it covered c. 6 a., (fn. 13) and was about the same size in the late 18th century; (fn. 14) some felling took place in 1852, (fn. 15) but the wood remained a landmark in 1967. The park north of Stonehouse Court probably existed by 1327 when a John Parker was mentioned; (fn. 16) in 1567 it covered 25 a. (fn. 17) In the early 18th century the park was well wooded, and there were two avenues of trees running north and west from the house to the limits of the manorial demesne at Oldend Lane. (fn. 18) Parts of the northern avenue survived in 1967.
Through the centuries alterations and diversions have been made in the course of the River Frome to meet the needs of the mills in Stonehouse and the neighbouring parishes. For most of its length the river runs in two, and between Ryeford and Bridgend in three, streams. It is probable, as has been suggested, that the central stream west of Ryeford, the Banty ditch, represents the original course of the river. (fn. 19) The northern arm was the millditch of Gloucester Abbey's mill mentioned c. 1340, (fn. 20) and was probably constructed before 1085. (fn. 21) The southern stream of the river, running to Stanley Mill, probably also existed by 1086, (fn. 22) and in 1533 the river running to Lower Mill, west of Bridgend, was said to have been in three divisions from antiquity. (fn. 23) Nevertheless it was claimed in a dispute in 1653 that the southern channel had been made only fairly recently by the men of King's Stanley, and that the volume of water in it had later been greatly increased by the construction of a new floodgate by the owner of Stanley Mill. (fn. 24) There was a considerable alteration of the river at Ebley Mill c. 1800. (fn. 25) A discrepancy between the river and the boundary of the ancient parish east of the Oil Mill shows that the river was straightened there to ensure a better flow of water to the mill, and at a point halfway between the Oil Mill and Ryeford an alteration took place after 1839, (fn. 26) probably when the Nailsworth branch railway was built in 1867. (fn. 27) The lords of Stonehouse manor had a several fishery in the Frome, mentioned from 1610. (fn. 28)
The name of the parish, first recorded in 1086, (fn. 29) is likely to have been taken from a manor-house on the site of Stonehouse Court, and that was presumably the earliest settlement. The church had been built there by the late 12th century. (fn. 30) The main part of Stonehouse village, however, developed as a settlement stretched out on each side of a long village green on the road which ran northwards towards Gloucester from the river-crossing at Ryeford. In the early 18th century the main area of green was on the east side of the road opposite the junction with Oldend Lane. (fn. 31) That was formerly a more important junction, as Greenstreet Lane, later Woodcock Lane, the eastern continuation of Oldend Lane, was a common highway used until the late 19th century to link Stonehouse village and Westrip; (fn. 32) it was mentioned as a highway in 1497, (fn. 33) and its central portion, which survives as a footpath, was presumably the highway in Doverow Field mentioned in 1597. (fn. 34) To the south of the crossroads the green extended on both sides of the main street to beyond the turning to Bridgend, and to the north it extended to the parish boundary. (fn. 35) During the later development of Stonehouse most of the green was built over, but its former extent could still be seen in 1967 in the pattern of the buildings along the main street. The main surviving piece of green, on which the village pump was preserved, was then on the west side of the street.
In the early 18th century most of the houses in the village were probably on the east side of the street and set back from it, like those that survive from the 17th century or earlier, including the timber-framed and thatched Queen Anne Cottage, opposite the turning to Bridgend, the 'Globe', built of coursed rubble with later windows inserted, and the timberframed cottage faced with stone at what was once the main green. A 17th-century stone house set back on that side of the street, south of the Crown and Anchor Inn, was demolished c. 1961. (fn. 36) Apsley House, another 17th-century house on the east side of the street, is built of stone with later sash windows, and has on the west, projecting to the road, a brickfaced wing on a stone plinth with stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, formerly a malt-house but in 1967 used as a dairy. (fn. 37) There were also some houses on the west side of the street. One near the old vicarage was mentioned in 1533, and Tudor House, a timber-framed cottage with a cross-gable, may date from the 16th century. Orchard House at the surviving green is an early-17th-century stone house faced with rough-cast with a Cotswold stone roof and stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds. Hill View, on the same side of the street north of the old cinema, is probably of similar date; it is built of coursed rubble and has gables, stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, and stone chimney stacks with moulded caps. The 'Woolpack', a long low stone-built range at the Bridgend turning, is probably also a 17th-century house.
By the early 18th century there were also several large houses on the south of the village. Haywardsend House is basically an early- or mid-17th-century house of two stories and attics built of coursed rubble with stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds. It was owned from the 17th century by a branch of the Fowler family, and Nathaniel Fowler, a clothier, devised it at his death in 1781 to Thomas Skipp, (fn. 38) who extended the house to the east and added a south front of ashlar with a central pediment and a portico with paired Tuscan columns in 1789. (fn. 39) A timber-framed barn adjoins the house on the east. Ivy Grove by the Great Western railway, a threestory stone house faced with rough-cast, was built in the late 17th century and has gables with finials and stone verges, stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, and diagonal chimney stacks with moulded caps. It was acquired in 1888 by Wycliffe College. (fn. 40) A fairly large house stood at the Cross, formed by the Stroud-Eastington and StonehouseBridgend roads, c. 1730; it was occupied by the Andrewses, a clothing family. (fn. 41) In the course of the 18th century other houses were built in the village; they included Haywardsfield House, north of Haywardsend House, which became the main house of Wycliffe College in 1882, (fn. 42) a house in the main street, in 1967 occupied by Barclays Bank, built of ashlar with parapet and cornice and a wooden classical doorcase, and perhaps also a tall brick house with a pediment at the Cross.
By 1803 houses were evenly spaced along the east side of the main village street from opposite Haywardsend House northwards to the site of the later railway bridge, and several were grouped around the large green at Greenstreet Lane. There were fewer houses on the west side of the street; there were only about nine between Oldend Lane and the turning to Bridgend, and most of them stood around the area of green that survived in 1967. There were also three or four houses, perhaps early squatter settlements, widely spaced along the west side of the street north of Oldend Lane; (fn. 43) one that survives there is basically a 17th-century stone cottage, although it is faced in plaster and its thatched roof has been replaced with corrugated iron. (fn. 44) In 1810 part of the green east of the vicarage was sold by the lord of the manor for building; (fn. 45) the group of three brick houses erected there includes Park House which is faced with ashlar and has a porch with Ionic columns. By 1839 further building had filled gaps between the houses on the east side of the street, and the Congregational chapel and several large square stone houses on the west had closed the gap north of the turning to Bridgend. (fn. 46) By 1882 the road to the Great Western station had been built up on both sides, and the large area of green opposite Oldend Lane had been built over. (fn. 47) Later-19th- and early-20th-century development included the buildings along the east side of the road to the Cross, the houses on the north of Pearcroft Lane at Haywardsend, and the long terraces in red and yellow brick with terra cotta lintels at the north end of the village; the terraces were presumably built with the products of the Stonehouse Brick and Tile Works. (fn. 48) The main mid-20th century development was in estates near Woodcock Lane, south of Oldend Lane, and west of the main village in the former park of the manorhouse. In 1967 further building was in progress south of the Woodcock Lane estate, and was planned north of Oldend Lane.
The small settlement at Oldend near the western boundary of the parish also grew up around a green, lying west of Oldend Lane. (fn. 49) A house at Oldend was mentioned in 1570, (fn. 50) and another called Dudbridge's had been built near the green by 1622 and was divided into two cottages by 1774. (fn. 51) The largest house there, later called Oldend Hall, was occupied by the Beard family from 1661 to the late 18th century. (fn. 52) The house is two-storied and largely stone-faced, its entrance front facing north. The half-H plan consists of a central block and two flanking wings extending southwards. The. west wing is structurally timber-framed and dates from the earlier 17th century. The only exposed framing is along the upper story of the west wall; elsewhere the wing has been stone-faced at various periods. The central block has been more drastically altered, but also formed part of the original timber-framed house; the presence of several re-used smoke-blackened timbers in the roof suggests that it may have contained a medieval open hall before it was remodelled, and the framing of its former east gable-end incorporates smoke-blackened timbers which may be in situ. The house was much altered and enlarged c. 1700. The central block was extended eastwards to include a large chimney which stands against its former gable-end. The east wing, entirely of stone with two gables on the east was added and the north front of the older building was faced with stone ashlar to match it. Features of that period include several mullioned and transomed windows, a central dormer, and the central doorway with its semi-circular hood on shaped brackets. The only internal fitting to survive from the earlier house is a 16th-century door with linen-fold panels. Oldend Farm to the north of Oldend has a two-storied timber-framed wing with brick-filled square panels dating from about the middle of the 17th century; another range at right-angles to it, which is lower in height but has no visible timber-framing, may be of earlier 17th-century origin. The Spa Inn, a rubble and timber-framed cottage north of Oldend Hall, was named after a saline well which was being commercially exploited by 1804, (fn. 53) and in 1815 was said to be becoming increasingly popular. (fn. 54) The cottage was presumably the spa house mentioned in 1822 ; (fn. 55) it was a beerhouse by 1840, when there was also another beerhouse at Oldend. There was a wheelwright's shop at the western end of the green (fn. 56) until c. 1894. (fn. 57) Parts of the green were sold by the lord of the manor in the early 19th century. (fn. 58) A large factory was established on the east side of Oldend Lane near its junction with the Eastington road by 1946. (fn. 59) Avenue Terrace, the row of 19th-century brick houses south of the factory, was probably built for employees of Bond's Mill.
Two small settlements in the south of the parish at Bridgend and Ryeford grew up near river-crossings and mills. There were apparently two mills near Bridgend by 1086, and a third by the 16th century. (fn. 60) There was a bridge there by the late 15th century; (fn. 61) in the 16th and 17th centuries it was usually called Bow Bridge. (fn. 62) It was a pack-horse bridge in 1677 when the men of Stonehouse were ordered to widen it to take wagons. (fn. 63) On the north-west of the bridge stands Bridgend House, dated 1691, (fn. 64) which is built of coursed rubble faced with rough-cast on an L-shaped plan, and has gables containing blocked oval lights and some windows with stone mullions and dripmoulds. The name Bridgend House was earlier borne by another house to the north-east (fn. 65) which was occupied in the early 19th century by the Dimock family of clothiers. (fn. 66) In the later 19th century it belonged to William Davies, who owned the cloth-factories at Upper and Lower Mills, (fn. 67) and his initials appear on part of its 19th-century stables which were cottages in 1967. The house, later called Holm Place, was demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 68) Bridgend Farm on the opposite side of the road may have been the stable-block erected c. 1770 by the owner of Bridgend Mill which formerly stood to the east of it. (fn. 69) It is a tall three-story brick building with a central pediment and recessed arches on three faces. A row of brick cottages was built east of Lower Mill in the early 19th century apparently to house employees of the mill. In 1967 three factories were housed in the buildings of the two surviving mills (fn. 70) and there was another small factory on the west of Upper Mill. In the mid 20th century a housing estate was built north of Bridgend.
The river crossing at Ryeford was mentioned c. 1340, (fn. 71) and a mill was built to the east of it c. 1500. (fn. 72) A stone bridge of two arches was built in 1727, but the ford to the west side of the bridge continued to be used occasionally until the canal was built in the 1770s. (fn. 73) The bridge was said to be a county bridge in 1740. (fn. 74) When the canal was built a brick superstructure was added to Ryeford bridge to bring it to the level of the new canal bridge, (fn. 75) but in 1833 the bridge was found to be unsafe and rebuilt as a single arch. (fn. 76) The house to the north of Ryeford Mill was probably built in the 17th century by the owner of the mill; it is of coursed rubble and has stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds. A group of brick cottages was built west of the house in the 19th century, and a group of cottages by the canal to the west of Ryeford was probably contemporary with the canal. Another group was built east of the river bridge in 1889. (fn. 77) A beerhouse had been opened at Ryeford by 1840. (fn. 78) Ryeford Hall, a large stone house, was built in the late 19th century; (fn. 79) in the early 20th century it housed a private girls' school, but in 1928 it was acquired by Wycliffe College for a junior school. (fn. 80) By 1882 several large villas had been built north of the main road near Ryeford. (fn. 81)
The settlement at Ebley in the east of the parish was mentioned in 1287. (fn. 82) By c. 1400 there were at least five houses there, (fn. 83) probably all grouped near the mill that was mentioned in 1393. (fn. 84) In 1803 Ebley was still a very small village with most of the houses on the south side of the road west of Ebley Mill. North of the road there were only one or two houses around the newly built Congregational chapel (fn. 85) and some at the turning to Westrip. (fn. 86) The latter included Solomon's Row, (fn. 87) probably recently built, a row of cottages faced with rough-cast with a small central pediment. By 1839 much new building had taken place, mainly on the north side of the road where houses extended for some way on either side of the Westrip turning; there were also several houses widely spaced out on the north side of the main road, linking the village with Cainscross. At the time the village had three shops and three beerhouses, including the 'Coach and Horses'. (fn. 88) By 1856 there were some six shops and five beerhouses. (fn. 89) The 19th-century expansion of Ebley resulted largely from the increased labour requirements of the large cloth-factory at Ebley Mill. (fn. 90) In the mid 20th century the western part of the village was much extended by building along the Westrip road and by a large housing-estate to the west of that road.
Ebley village consists mainly of 19th-century houses. Crossley Buildings, which have gables and stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, are apparently the only cottages that are much earlier. Elmfield, a house of ashlar with two stories and attics, is dated 1702, and has gables with blocked oval lights, mullioned windows with dripmoulds, and stone chimneys with moulded caps; a wing in similar style was added on the west in 1846. (fn. 91) Holly Tree house, north-west of the Oil Mill, is a three-story brick house of c, 1800 with a fan-light over the door. It was probably built by the Lewis family of the Oil Mill who owned it in 1841. (fn. 92) The miller was living in it in 1892. Bridge House to the east, which was in a bad state of repair in 1967, was also part of the Oil Mill estate in the late 19th century. (fn. 93) It is a three-story building of c. 1800 faced with ashlar and with a mansard roof; the doorway has a fan-light and rusticated pilasters, and a central first-floor window has fluted Ionic pilasters. Ebley House, a large 19th-century stone house, apparently occupies the site of a house built by the clothier Joseph Ellis (d. 1771), who made a fortune in the trade. (fn. 94) In the later 19th century it was the home of Edwin Gyde (d. 1894), a notable benefactor to Painswick, and since c. 1923 it has been a National Children's Home. (fn. 95)
Cainscross, east of Ebley, was a fairly late settlement although both the main routes which form the cross-roads there are probably ancient. There was a bridge where the road from the south crossed the river at Dudbridge by c. 1240, (fn. 96) and in 1368 one of its three arches was maintained by the men of Stonehouse. (fn. 97) The first mention found of the name Cainscross was in 1550; (fn. 98) the alternative form King's Cross was used in the 18th and early 19th century. (fn. 99) A house was being built there in 1634, (fn. 100) and others in 1670 (fn. 101) and 1717. (fn. 102) The White Horse Inn at the cross-roads was mentioned in 1746, (fn. 103) and had probably been established soon after the main road became a turnpike in 1726. (fn. 104) By 1772 there was another inn, the 'Golden Cross'. (fn. 105) By 1803 houses were grouped closely together around the cross-roads, (fn. 106) and by 1839 building there covered roughly the same area as in 1967. (fn. 107) By 1856 Cainscross was a minor centre with 12 shops, 3 inns, a bank founded c. 1817, (fn. 108) a library and reading room, and the offices of two solicitors and an auctioneer. (fn. 109)
The small settlement at Westrip in the north-east of the parish was mentioned in 1557. (fn. 110) Two houses there were mentioned in 1603, (fn. 111) and there were five or six by the early 18th century. (fn. 112) In 1803 there were several houses at the cross-roads, where there was a small green, and seven or eight along the road running west towards Stonehouse. (fn. 113) In 1967 Westrip consisted mainly of stone cottages of the 18th or early 19th centuries, but there was one 17thcentury house at the cross-roads. There are two early outlying houses east of Westrip, More Hall (fn. 114) and Humphries End Farm. Humphries End Farm is built of coursed rubble and comprises a main block, which was evidently a hall range with a screens passage on the east, to which the doorway is blocked, and a gabled cross-wing, added or rebuilt in 1699 when the whole house was remodelled. (fn. 115) The windows are mainly stone-mullioned with dripmoulds and include one of five lights. There is a stone newel stair beside the chimney at the west end of the main block. At the Croft on Foxmoor Lane, leading from Ebley to Westrip, an old house was demolished and replaced by a new one c. 1902 ; (fn. 116) it had apparently been occupied in the early 18th century by the Dangerfields, a family of clothiers. (fn. 117) In the mid 20th century the area along the road which climbs steeply from Cainscross to Randwick has been transformed by the building of large housing estates; they are centred on Cashe's Green, where there was already an estate of late-19th-century brick houses, the earliest, Springfield Terrace, built by 1882. (fn. 118)
The main Eastington-Stroud road and the road from Standish through Stonehouse village which joins it, were turnpiked in 1726. (fn. 119) There were tollhouses on the first road at the Ryeford turning and at Cainscross, and on the second in the north of the parish. (fn. 120) The toll-house at Cainscross, a stone building in the Tudor style south of the crossroads, survived in 1967. The Stroudwater Canal running through the south of the parish was begun in 1775 and opened in 1779. It was closed to commercial traffic in 1954, (fn. 121) and in 1967 part of the canal in the east of the parish had been filled in. The original brick-built hump-backed bridges survived in several places. The Bristol and Gloucester railway line and a station in the west of the parish were opened in 1844; (fn. 122) the station was closed in 1964. (fn. 123) The Great Western line, with a station immediately south-east of Stonehouse village and halts at Ebley and Cainscross, was opened in 1845. The Nailsworth branch, leaving the Midland line near Oldend with a station at Ryeford, was opened in 1867; (fn. 124) it was closed in 1965. (fn. 125)
A sewerage system for Stonehouse was built at Bridgend in 1885 (fn. 126) and main water had been laid on to the village by the Stroud Water Company by 1895. (fn. 127) By 1930 the south-eastern part of the parish was supplied with electricity, and the western half of the parish and Westrip were being supplied in the early forties. (fn. 128)
Thirty-four inhabitants of Stonehouse were enumerated in 1086, (fn. 129) and 14 were assessed for tax in 1327. (fn. 130) There were said to be c. 280 communicants in 1551, (fn. 131) 52 households in 1563, (fn. 132) and 90 families in 1650. (fn. 133) An estimate of about 500 people in 110 houses was made c. 1710, (fn. 134) and there were said to be 759 people in the parish c. 1775. (fn. 135) In 1801 there were 240 inhabited houses and a population of 1,412. By 1841 the number of houses had more than doubled and the population had risen to 2,711. The steady increase in population continued during the later 19th century, and in 1891 there were 4,352 people living in 958 houses. The population was roughly halved in 1894 by the formation of the parish of Cainscross out of the eastern area of the parish, (fn. 136) and it then remained at c. 2,300 until 1931. By 1951 the population had risen to 4,232, and it was 5,311 in 1961. (fn. 137)
The cloth industry, which employed the majority of the inhabitants from the 16th century, was the main influence on the life and character of the parish. Leadership in the community, rather than being retained by a single landed family, was shared between a number of wealthy clothing families, some of which nourished through several generations. (fn. 138) Most of the larger houses in the parish were built with money made in the trade, and the Sandfords, Fowlers, Balls, and Marlings who acquired the manor at different times between the 16th and 19th centuries were all clothing families. (fn. 139) The influence of the cloth industry was maintained with the reorganization and rebuilding of the mills in the earlier 19th century, accelerating the expansion of the villages of Stonehouse, Ebley, and Cainscross; when the industry declined the buildings and labour were exploited by new industries. (fn. 140)
In 1866 a church institute with a reading-room, lecture hall, library, and meeting-room for the C.E.Y.M.S. was opened in the High Street of Stonehouse. (fn. 141) It also housed the library of c. 800 volumes mostly of a theological nature which had been left to the parish by the vicar, Samson Harris, at his death in 1763. (fn. 142) In 1894 subscription rooms were opened in Regent Street. (fn. 143) A Cottagers' Horticultural Society was started in 1867 by the vicar, W. F. White. (fn. 144) Another feature of the life of the parish in the 19th century was musical activity: in 1839 it was noted that several of the Stonehouse cottage-weavers owned musical instruments and that some took part in concerts at Stroud; (fn. 145) there were three music teachers living in Stonehouse village in 1879, (fn. 146) and the Westrip fife and drum band was mentioned in 1888. (fn. 147) A cinema, opened in the old church hall in 1933, (fn. 148) was rebuilt on another site in the north of the village in 1937 after being destroyed by fire; (fn. 149) it had closed by 1967 when it housed a small factory. In 1921 a field west of Stonehouse village was acquired as a public recreation ground, and in 1967 20 a. at Oldend Lane were bought for a playing field. The upper part of Doverow Hill was given to the parish as a public park in 1896. (fn. 150) In 1967 communal activities centred on a community centre started in the early 1940s, and the church hall; the subscription rooms were no longer in use but it was proposed to make them a youth centre. (fn. 151)
There were several friendly societies in the parish in the early 19th century: the Clothworkers Society was meeting at the Globe Inn at Stonehouse from 1812, and at Cainscross by 1817 there were the United Provident Society and the Journeyman Millwrights Society both meeting at the White Horse Inn, and another society meeting at the 'Golden Cross'. (fn. 152) In 1815 74 parishioners belonged to friendly societies. (fn. 153) In 1846 the 'Globe' at Stonehouse was the headquarters of the Stonehouse District Widows and Orphans Society. (fn. 154) The Cainscross and Ebley Co-operative Society was founded in 1863 with a shop at Cainscross which, after a fire, was replaced by new premises in 1869. In 1883, when there were 258 members, the premises were extended by the purchase of the Golden Cross Inn, which had closed a few years earlier, and in 1886 a branch was opened in Stonehouse village. (fn. 155)
Wycliffe College, a public school for boys, was founded in 1882 by G. W. Sibly in Haywardsfield House. (fn. 156) Several other large houses were purchased and new buildings put up as the school expanded, (fn. 157) and its premises were scattered over the southern part of Stonehouse in 1967. A chapel was built in 1911. (fn. 158)
There was a tavern in the parish in 1491. (fn. 159) Inns and beerhouses at the smaller settlements in the parish are mentioned above. The 'Swan' at Stonehouse, mentioned in 1709, (fn. 160) was bought by the charity school in 1775. (fn. 161) Of the public houses in the main street of Stonehouse village the 'Globe' was open by 1812, (fn. 162) the 'Crown and Anchor' by 1815, (fn. 163) the 'Woolpack' by 1820, (fn. 164) and the 'Plough', whose landlord was also a farmer, (fn. 165) by 1840. By 1840 there were also two other beerhouses in the main street south of the 'Plough', and three grouped around the Cross, probably attracted as much by the canal as the main road. (fn. 166) In 1838 the whole parish had a total of 33 public houses and beerhouses (fn. 167) and in 1891 there were 21 public houses. (fn. 168)
Three natives of Stonehouse, all members of clothing families, achieved repute as writers on various subjects: Augustus Clissold (d. 1882), of an Ebley clothing family, was an enthusiastic publicist of the scientific writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg; (fn. 169) James Henry Lewis (d. 1853), one of the sons of James Lewis of the Oil Mill, invented and taught new systems of handwriting, shorthand, arithmetic, and book-keeping; (fn. 170) and James F. Dimock (d. 1876), the grandson of the Bridgend clothier, John Dimock, and son of a curate of Stonehouse, was an antiquary and theologian. (fn. 171) H. E. Hawker, who became station-master for the Great Western Railway at Stonehouse in 1917, (fn. 172) was an energetic researcher and writer of the history of the locality. (fn. 173) Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander John Ball (1757-1809) who served under Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and was later governor of Malta, (fn. 174) was one of the family who held Stonehouse manor in the 18th century. (fn. 175)