A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1968.
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The parish of Boddington lies 4 miles north-west of Cheltenham beside the road from Cheltenham to Coombe Hill, which marks its north-east boundary. The parish formerly included a peninsulated part on the south, stretching south of the GloucesterCheltenham road (fn. 1) and comprising 208 a.; in 1882 that part was transferred to Staverton, (fn. 2) leaving Boddington a compact but irregular area of 1,982 a., (fn. 3) and it is that reduced area that is the subject of the account here printed. On the west side of the parish, where Boddington Moor provided a large area of meadow common to Boddington and Leigh parishes, the boundary between the two parishes was not defined until Boddington was inclosed in 1803. (fn. 4) Apart from Boddington the parish includes three hamlets: Hayden in the south-east, partly in Staverton parish, Withy Bridge in the north-east, and Barrow — locally known as the Barrow — on the west side. The greater part of Hayden and Withy Bridge, belonging to Westminster Abbey, formed a separate tithing, in Westminster hundred, while Boddington and Barrow formed a tithing in Tewkesbury hundred. (fn. 5)
The parish is flat, lying mainly at c. 50 ft., rising to 150 ft. on the south-east side, and to 100 ft. at Barrow Hill, which despite a tradition that it is an ancient burial ground (fn. 6) is reliably thought to be a natural feature. (fn. 7) The River Chelt crosses the north part of the parish, and marks parts of the north-east and north-west boundaries. In the 17th century the river was known in the parish as Boddington brook. (fn. 8) The Leigh brook also forms part of the north-west boundary, and it was probably this that in 1691 was called Deane brook. (fn. 9) Small tributaries of the Chelt intersect the parish. It was one of them that was called the Mill brook in the 18th century, (fn. 10) and another that was crossed by a bridge at Barrow where there was a lake or marsh. (fn. 11) The parish is on the Lower Lias, which is partly overlain with gravel. Several springs rise from the Lower Lias, (fn. 12) and springs at Barrow and Hayden have saline waters which were used medicinally in the 18th century. (fn. 13) The land has been used mainly for arable farming, and open fields covered the greater part of the parish until inclosure in 1803; (fn. 14) there was also a quantity of rich pasture. (fn. 15) Barrow Wood, a large area of wood on the west side of the parish, (fn. 16) had been greatly reduced by the 20th century. Boddington Park in the north-east of the parish was made by the owners of Boddington manor probably c. 1237, (fn. 17) and by 1316 was stocked with deer. (fn. 18) In 1652 the close called the Great Park comprised 46 a. (fn. 19) By the 18th century the park had become farm-land. (fn. 20) Before 1924 Cheltenham Borough built a sewage works in the south-east corner of the parish. (fn. 21) A small army camp was built at Barrow in 1939 and enlarged in 1953. (fn. 22)
Boddington village was probably the earliest settlement in the parish, for the names of the other hamlets are not found earlier than the 13th century, while the name Boddington was in use by 1066, (fn. 23) apparently to describe an area which included the hamlets. (fn. 24) The name Boddington suggests that the settlement was originally a single farmstead, (fn. 25) and it never became a nucleated village. The pattern of settlement was perhaps dictated by the proximity of the Chelt and its tributaries. Although Boddington hamlet had the church and the principal manorhouse (fn. 26) it remained small. About 1700 Boddington had some six houses, (fn. 27) and the number remained about the same. Two groups of cottages, built in 1898 by the owner of Boddington manor, (fn. 28) probably replaced earlier ones; a large brick farm-house next to the church, built in the early 19th century by John Arkell, replaced an older farm-house. (fn. 29) Those houses, with the manor-house and its buildings, and a few more 19th-century cottages, were the only houses in the hamlet in 1964.
Barrow in Boddington may have been the origin of a personal name recorded in 1200. (fn. 30) As a placename, occurring in 1209, it may have been used not of a settlement but only of a wood or grove. (fn. 31) It was not mentioned in the tax-assessment of 1327, (fn. 32) but may have been included with Boddington, as it usually was later. (fn. 33) About 1700 Barrow was said to have nine houses, almost a quarter of all the houses in the parish. (fn. 34) Barrow Court, at the southern end of the hamlet, was built in the 18th century. It is a large brick farm-house, called Whitehouse Farm in the early 19th century, (fn. 35) which in 1964 was being extensively rebuilt. The Barrow Court estate in 1873 included also a small house and five labourers' cottages. (fn. 36) By the early 19th century Barrow was a scattered village along a road leading from Boddington hamlet. (fn. 37) Barrow was then apparently the biggest settlement in the parish, (fn. 38) and it was there that the school was held in the 19th century. A row of timber-framed cottages was pulled down in the early 20th century. (fn. 39) Most of the remaining houses are of the 19th century or later, comprising groups of brick cottages and a few farm-houses. Some houses were built at Barrow in the mid-20th century, and more were being built in 1964, when Barrow was the largest and most concentrated settlement in the parish.
The name Hayden occurred as a personal name in 1220, (fn. 40) presumably indicating the existence of a settlement. The oldest surviving buildings in Hayden are near Hayden's Elm, (fn. 41) where the road from Withy Bridge meets the former main road from Gloucester to Cheltenham. Hayden Farm (fn. 42) and a house which was a blacksmith's and wheelwright's shop until the 1930's are 17th-century timberframed buildings, and three cottages of the same period were demolished in the 20th century. (fn. 43) An inn was opened at Hayden's Elm by 1755. (fn. 44) It was known as 'The House in the Tree' because there was in the branches of a large elm growing near the inn a small wooden house said to have been built c. 1720. The house and tree were part of the inn in the late 19th century, (fn. 45) and in 1964 the base of the tree could be seen in the garden of the inn. Hayden developed mainly as a scattered settlement along the road running south-east from Hayden's Elm. About 1700 half the houses in the parish were in Hayden and Withy Bridge tithing. (fn. 46) A small group of houses had been built at Hayden Green, south of Hayden's Elm, by 1803, (fn. 47) and more houses were built there in the mid-20th century. Whitehall Farm, formerly called Ballinger's Farm, a large farm-house near the east boundary of the parish, was built before 1803. (fn. 48) A few houses were built at Hayden Hill on the road to Cheltenham in the late 19th century, and a few more in the mid-20th century.
The small settlement at Withy Bridge comprised, apparently, only the manor-house (fn. 49) and buildings associated with it. Though they were physically distinct they were usually associated with Hayden as a single township. (fn. 50) Two 16th- or early 17thcentury cottages survive at the end of the drive to the manor-house, Butler's Court. The cottages were faced with plaster in the early 1950's, covering their square-framed timbers. (fn. 51) A few cottages nearer the house were pulled down. The surviving brick buildings of Withy Bridge Mill are of the 17th or 18th century, as are Withy Bridge Farm and a few other cottages. Scattered houses beside the Cheltenham-Coombe Hill road were built in the 20th century.
Indications of the size of the population of Boddington before 1801 are so inconsistent that they are unlikely all to refer to the whole parish, and often the population of Boddington was given jointly with that of Staverton. In 1327 27 people were assessed for tax in Boddington and its hamlets, and the assessment of £2 12s. suggests a relatively high population. (fn. 52) While the indications of numbers from the 16th century to the 19th are unreliable, if only because of differing notions of the boundary between Boddington and Staverton, the figures of c. 100 communicants in 1551, (fn. 53) and c. 180 people in the early 18th century (fn. 54) are borne out by the combined figure of 140 communicants in Boddington and Staverton together in 1603. (fn. 55) The record, however, of 26 households in 1563 (fn. 56) seems too small, and that of 139 adults in 1676 (fn. 57) too great. In the mid18th century there were said to be c. 70 households, (fn. 58) and the later statement that there were only 95 people in the parish (fn. 59) is belied by the Census Reports. The population was 273 in 1801 and 413 in 1821. It fluctuated during the 19th century, and the boundary change of 1882 transferred 76 people to Staverton. The population remained fairly constant during the 20th century, showing a slight increase after the Second World War, and in 1961 was 263. (fn. 60)
By 1777 a road joined Staverton and Boddington villages. (fn. 61) The road going north-east through Hayden was the main road from Gloucester to Cheltenham until the new road further south was built in 1809. (fn. 62) In 1667 the inhabitants of Hayden and Boddington were presented for not repairing the road, (fn. 63) which was turnpiked in 1756. (fn. 64) The Tewkesbury-Cheltenham road runs along the northeast boundary of the parish; it was called Knightsbridge road in 1691 (fn. 65) from the bridge by which it crosses the Chelt at the north-east corner of Boddington. The bridge over the River Chelt which gave its name to the hamlet of Withy Bridge was so called by 1327 when the name was in use for the hamlet. (fn. 66) Barrow Bridge, mentioned in 1662, (fn. 67) was probably the bridge at Barrow Lake that was out of repair in 1549. (fn. 68)
The parish was noted for the Boddington Oak, an unusually large tree growing in the grounds of Boddington Manor. The base of the trunk was said to have a circumference of 18 yards c. 1783, when it was hollow. The tree was destroyed by fire in 1790. (fn. 69)
A small parliamentary garrison occupied Boddington manor-house in 1643, where it was besieged by Sir William Vavasour. (fn. 70)
Manors and Other Estates.
In 1066 Westminster Abbey had two estates in Boddington, one of 2 hides held by the radknight Wluvi, and another of 3 hides; in 1086 both were held by Girard the chamberlain. Another 3 hides, part of the manor of Kemerton held by Brictric with his Tewkesbury estate in 1066, were also held in 1086 by Girard. (fn. 71) In the mid-13th century the two 3-hide estates were again held by one tenant and were treated as one manor of BODDINGTON. (fn. 72) The overlordship of the part held by Brictric was linked with that of Kemerton; (fn. 73) it passed to the Earls of Gloucester, and on the division of the de Clares' estates descended through the Audleys to the Staffords. (fn. 74) The Abbot of Westminster's overlordship of another part of Boddington manor was recorded up to 1351. (fn. 75) From 1254 until 1351 part of the manor was said to be held of Deerhurst Priory. (fn. 76) In 1281 parts of the manor were said to be held of Nicholas Archer, Walter Sturmey, and Grimbald Pauncefoot, (fn. 77) and in 1351 20 a. were held of Thomas of Berkeley and his wife Joan, the heirs of the Archer family. (fn. 78)
Between 1125 and 1137 Frederick de Mucegros held land in Boddington, later called Boddington manor, which passed to his son Robert de Mucegros, and then to Robert's son Richard. (fn. 79) Richard's estate of 3 hides in Boddington was confirmed to his son, also Richard, in 1200. (fn. 80) In 1205 Patricia and Euphemia, daughters of Robert de Fécamp, claimed 3 hides in Boddington against Richard de Mucegros, (fn. 81) and in 1212 Euphemia Talbot (presumably the daughter of Robert de Fécamp) conceded £4 rent in Boddington to Richard. (fn. 82) Richard was dead by 1237, in which year his son Robert was granted free warren in his demesne at Boddington. (fn. 83) At his death in 1254 (fn. 84) Robert held Boddington manor of the Earl of Gloucester, the Abbot of Westminster, and the Prior of Deerhurst. His son and heir John, (fn. 85) said to hold one knight's fee in Boddington and Kemerton of the Earl of Gloucester in 1263, (fn. 86) died c. 1275 holding 7 plough-lands in Boddington. (fn. 87) John's son Robert (d. 1280) left an infant daughter Hawise as his heir. (fn. 88) Hawise married first, c. 1297, William Mortimer who died shortly after, seized of the manor of Boddington. She married secondly John de Ferrers, and thirdly Sir John de Bures (d. 1350). (fn. 89) Her heir was said to be John de Ferrers, grandson by her second husband, (fn. 90) but in 1329 Boddington manor had been settled on Katherine, daughter of Hawise and John de Bures, and her husband Giles Beauchamp, (fn. 91) who had possession of the manor in 1351. (fn. 92) John de Ferrers was unsuccessful in claiming the manor, (fn. 93) but his descendants retained a small estate in Boddington. (fn. 94)
From Giles (d. 1361) and Katherine Beauchamp the manor passed in turn to their son Sir John (d. by 1401), (fn. 95) to Sir John's son Sir William (fn. 96) (d. by 1431), to Sir William's son, John, Lord Beauchamp of Powicke (d. 1475), (fn. 97) and to John's son Richard, Lord Beauchamp (d. 1503), who was said to hold the manor in chief as part of his honor of Elmley Castle (Worcs.). Boddington manor was divided between Richard's three coheirs — his grandsons, Edward Willoughby (d. c. 1518) and Richard Read, and his daughter Ann, widow of Richard Lygon. (fn. 98) Richard Read (d. 1547) (fn. 99) apparently acquired the whole manor, and from him it descended in turn to his sons William (d. 1570) and John Read, (fn. 100) and to John's daughter Dorothy and her husband Oliver St. John, Lord St. John of Bletsoe (fn. 101) (d. 1618). In 1620 Oliver's son and heir, Oliver, (fn. 102) sold Boddington manor to Elizabeth Craven (fn. 103) (d. 1624) (fn. 104) and her son, William, later Lord Craven, (fn. 105) who sold it in 1678 to Matthew Lock. (fn. 106)
Matthew Lock or his son of the same name died in 1708 or 1709, to be succeeded by a widow Dorothy (fl. 1713) and another Matthew Lock (fl. 1720). From 1728 until his death c. 1766 John Lock held the manor. He was succeeded by his widow Mary, who by her will dated 1774 devised the manor to her cousin, the Revd. Edward Ford (fn. 107) of Norton-subHamdon (Som.), who was lord of the manor in 1782. (fn. 108) Under Mary Lock's will the manor passed, before 1790, to John Blagdon, (fn. 109) son of John Blagdon and his wife Anne, formerly Ford. In 1803 the younger John Blagdon was a lunatic, and his property was held in trust by his brother Edward and by John Neale, (fn. 110) who was Vicar of Staverton and had married into the Blagdon family. (fn. 111) After disputes with Neale, his father-in-law, Edward Blagdon's son John got custody of the estate in 1835, and succeeded as lord of the manor on his uncle's death in 1840. The younger John Blagdon died in 1853, and his trustees sold the estate in various parcels during the next 20 years. They sold the manor in 1863 to the Revd. Thomas Purnell, (fn. 112) who in turn sold it in 1880 to John Skipworth Gibbons, a noted sporting squire. (fn. 113) On Gibbons's death in 1942 Boddington manor passed first to his eldest daughter, Mrs. Edith Stacey (d. 1962), and then to a younger daughter, Maud, wife of Canon R. E. Grice-Hutchinson. (fn. 114)
John de Bures and Hawise were living at Boddington in 1334, when they had licence to crenellate their house there. (fn. 115) It may have been they who built the house called a 'fair manor place' in the 16th century, (fn. 116) and later described as belonging to 'the first style of building after castles were no longer necessary'. (fn. 117) In 1652 the house consisted of a hall, parlour, and offices, with rooms over, built of stone and covered with stone tiles. It occupied a moated site of 2 a. (fn. 118) After the manor passed to the Craven family it was occupied by a lessee, (fn. 119) and appears to have become a farm-house. About 1700 it was said that there was formerly a 'fair manor place and park'. (fn. 120)
Boddington manor was largely rebuilt in the mid19th century. The new building incorporated part of an earlier, perhaps 17th-century, house, and during later alteration part of an ancient wall was uncovered, bearing the arms of Tewkesbury Abbey and the Earls of Gloucester. The earlier wing is two-storied with attics, of stone with a Cotswold stone roof. The windows, apparently altered when the house was extended, have stone mullions and dripmoulds, with Gothic lights. The 19th-century wing, running east from the south end of the older building to form an L-shape, is an embattled Gothic building of stone, two-storied, and of the same height as the earlier building. A large ballroom and a twostoried porch with turrets were added in the late 19th century. (fn. 121) A farm-house was built behind the house before the 19th century; in 1885 extensive farm buildings were put up near the house, and stables and kennels were built a few years later. The kennels were built for the Boddington Harriers, (fn. 122) and in 1964 housed the pack of the Cotswold Vale Hunt.
Land in Barrow belonged to Boddington manor, and in 1578 it was distinguished as the manor of BARROW. (fn. 123) Such a manor is named in Boddington court rolls of the later 16th century, (fn. 124) but no further reference to it has been found.
In the reign of Henry III Robert de Mucegros held land in Hayden which he had from Richard of Hayden. (fn. 125) That land may have been the 48 a. in Hayden which Hugh Mustel held at his death in 1325 or 1326 of Hugh le Despenser and John de Bures. (fn. 126) In 1495 Richard, Lord Beauchamp, was said to hold the manor of HAYDEN with his manor of Boddington, (fn. 127) and at his death in 1503 Hayden manor, valued at £11, was said to be held in chief. (fn. 128) An estate in Hayden continued to be held with Boddington manor, (fn. 129) but after the 16th century it was not usually called a manor. It was probably the estate called Hayden farm in 1653, comprising c. 80 a. (fn. 130) A house called Hayden Farm, which had been owned with Boddington manor in the 18th century, (fn. 131) and which John Neale held in 1803, (fn. 132) may be the house of the same name in 1964; it was built in the 17th century, L-shaped on plan and timber-framed in square panels, and it has a contemporary timber-framed barn with a thatched roof.
Westminster Abbey's manor of HAYDEN, which passed to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster (fn. 133) and was granted to William Dowdeswell in 1650, (fn. 134) may have comprised the overlordship of the 2-hide estate held of the abbey by Wluvi in 1066, (fn. 135) and is perhaps to be identified with the ½ knight's fee which the abbey had in Boddington in 1402. (fn. 136) Hayden manor, apparently only an overlordship, was later held on lease by members of the Dowdeswell family as part of the manor of Plaistow. (fn. 137) Thomas Dowdeswell, as lessee, received a small allotment at inclosure in 1803 for his manorial rights in Hayden. (fn. 138)
The 2 plough-lands disputed between Nicholas of Mitton and Robert de Stuteville in 1270 (fn. 139) may have been Westminster Abbey's manor of Hayden. In 1303 the abbey's ½ knight's fee in Boddington was held by Hugh Mustel as under-tenant. (fn. 140) When Mustel died in 1325 or 1326 he had not only the land held of Hugh le Despenser and John de Bures but also a house and 100 a. in Boddington said to be held of William Power as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 141) His son, another Hugh, was recorded in 1346 as holding the ½ knight's fee that his father had held. (fn. 142) He made a settlement of his land in Boddington, with remainder to Philip, son of Thomas Butler, in 1333, and another in 1345 with remainder to Thomas and Alan, other sons of Thomas Butler. (fn. 143) They may have been connected with Ralph of Hayden, who in 1242 had been a groom of the king's buttery. (fn. 144) The Butlers appear to have held Hayden manor in the late 14th century, for Ralph Butler (d. by 1419) conveyed both it and the manor of WITHY BRIDGE to trustees, who in 1419 gave them to Ralph's widow Margaret, then wife of William Hurte. (fn. 145) Withy Bridge, later called BUTLER'S COURT, manor and Hayden manor descended together, and may not really have been separate: after the 17th century Hayden was not distinguished as a separate manor from Withy Bridge. John Butler died seised of Withy Bridge manor in 1477, when his heir was his grandson, also John. (fn. 146) The grandson was probably the John that held Withy Bridge manor in the early 16th century. (fn. 147) A John Butler held Hayden and Withy Bridge manors in 1547, (fn. 148) and in the same year conveyed them to William Partridge (fn. 149) (d. 1578). (fn. 150)
From William Partridge the estate descended to his son Robert (d. 1600), and then to Robert's son John, (fn. 151) who in 1621 conveyed it to trustees for Elizabeth Craven. (fn. 152) The estate descended in the Craven family, through William, Earl of Craven (d. 1697), (fn. 153) his cousin William, Lord Craven (d. 1711), that William's sons, William (d. 1739) and Fulwar (d. 1764), in turn, and their cousin William (d. 1769), to that William's nephew, another William (d. 1791). The estate then passed to a younger son, Henry Augustus Berkeley Craven (d. 1836), and then to the latter's brother, Keppel Craven, (fn. 154) who sold it c. 1850 to Henry Arkell, the lessee. After Henry Arkell's death in 1878 the estate was bought by a younger son, also Henry (d. 1916), and passed in turn to his son, another Henry, and to that Henry's son, Mr. P. N. Arkell, the owner in 1964. (fn. 155) No manorial rights were known to survive in 1964.
The house called Butler's Court included a building, reputed to have been a chapel, that was demolished in the 20th century, and from which small pointed windows of one and two lights were re-used elsewhere in the house. (fn. 156) John Butler had a house at Withy Bridge in the early 16th century. (fn. 157) The house surviving in 1964 was a three-storied L-shaped building of brick with a Cotswold stone roof, built in the 17th century. While the Cravens owned it the house was occupied by tenants. (fn. 158) It was altered and given sash windows in the 19th century.
In 1351 John Holloway had a messuage and land in Boddington, held of Hawise and John de Bures with reversion to John de Ferrers, Hawise's grandson, (fn. 159) which may have been part of the estate held by Robert Ferrers of Chartley at his death in 1413. (fn. 160) That estate, said to be held of Lord le Despenser, descended in turn to Robert's son Edmund (d. 1435), and to Edmund's son William, (fn. 161) but it has not been traced later.
In the early 12th century the Prior of Deerhurst granted to Tewkesbury Abbey the tithes of Frederick de Mucegros's demesne in Boddington; (fn. 162) in 1291 and 1535 that portion of the great tithes belonged to Tewkesbury Abbey. (fn. 163) The rest of the tithes in 1535 also belonged to the abbey as part of Deerhurst Priory's property. (fn. 164) The tithes descended with the rectory manor of Uckington until the early 18th century. (fn. 165) In 1752 William Norwood sold them to John Wells, who sold them in 1766 to Thomas Arkell. (fn. 166) John Arkell received an allotment of 49 a. for tithes at inclosure in 1803, (fn. 167) and his grandson, Thomas Arkell, sold the estate to John Skipworth Gibbons, owner of Boddington manor, in the late 19th century. (fn. 168)
Of five ploughs on the estate held of Tewkesbury manor two were in demesne in 1086. (fn. 169) The land of the Mucegros family, to which the estate passed, continued to include a fairly large proportion of demesne. John de Bures had in 1351 120 a. of demesne arable on his estate held of the Earl of Gloucester, c. 100 a. on his Westminster Abbey estate, and his two other estates, of 40 a. and 20 a., were probably all demesne. (fn. 170) In 1326 the Westminster Abbey estate in Hayden included 80 a. in demesne. (fn. 171) Some of the demesne pasture and meadow of the Mucegros estate was leased in 1463 and c. 52 a. of meadow remained in hand. The demesne arable does not seem to have been extensive at that time, and perhaps it also had been partly let at farm. Not all the work on the demesne arable and meadow at that time, if at any, was done by the labour-services of tenants. In 1463 the demesne included a considerable amount of woodland and a dovecot, (fn. 172) apart from Boddington Park. (fn. 173) The 120 a. in Withy Bridge belonging to John Butler in the early 16th century may have been the demesne of Withy Bridge manor, but by that time it was held by a copyhold tenant. (fn. 174) In the early 17th century the demesne of Boddington manor, including the park, was let at farm. (fn. 175)
There were several freeholders in Boddington manor in the Middle Ages, (fn. 176) at least 21 in 1351, (fn. 177) and 24 in 1620. (fn. 178) Some of the 16th-century freeholders owed heriots, but others only rent and relief. (fn. 179) The freehold estates varied in size, but, from the number of them, it seems likely that most were small. In 1247 one tenant had an estate of 63 a.; (fn. 180) in 1326 and 1352 estates of 48 a. and 36 a. were recorded; (fn. 181) and in the 15th century one of the freehold estates comprised two messuages and ½ yardland, and a mill and 8 a. (fn. 182)
Four villani were recorded on the estate held of Tewkesbury manor in 1086: (fn. 183) no reference has been found to customary tenure before the 16th century. Some of the 14 tenants mentioned in 1544 were copyholders. (fn. 184) In 1585 31 copyholders were recorded in Boddington, Hayden, Barrow, and Leigh. (fn. 185) There were 25 copyholders and lease-holders and 8 tenants at will in 1620. The numbers had perhaps been higher at one time, as several tenants then had more than one holding. (fn. 186)
Copyholders owed rent in cash and kind — two hens for each holding in 1552 — and heriots. (fn. 187) Widows had the right to freebench, (fn. 188) but there was no right of inheritance. (fn. 189) In 1620 leaseholds were for two lives or 99 years, and copyholds for one life. Copyholders and leaseholders owed suit of court. (fn. 190) A copyhold estate of 60 a. in the late 16th century seems to have been larger than most. (fn. 191) In 1620 several estates included small pieces of land called pennyland, apparently former demesne held at will. (fn. 192)
During the 17th and 18th centuries a number of substantial freehold estates was built up, such as those of the Arkell family, the Hide family, and the Leech family. (fn. 193) By the time of inclosure in 1803 about half the occupiers had freehold estates, some of them being among the largest estates in the parish, (fn. 194) but copyholds and leaseholds remained common. In the mid-17th century in Boddington manor, apart from the tenants of the former demesne who were said to hold in socage, there were 18 copyholders and leaseholders; (fn. 195) Withy Bridge manor in 1654 had four leaseholders and an unstated number of copyholders; (fn. 196) and Boddington manor in 1653 had 13 leaseholders apart from the lessees of the demesne. (fn. 197) Eight tenements were held by four tenants in Withy Bridge in 1775, (fn. 198) and Boddington manor had 15 tenants in 1790. (fn. 199)
The conditions of tenure appear to have changed a little. By 1677 copyholds could be held for three lives. (fn. 200) In the Westminster Abbey manor of Hayden copyholds were heritable in the early 18th century. (fn. 201) Some heriots were owed in kind in 1685, (fn. 202) but in 1737 one tenant paid cash instead, (fn. 203) and this may have been the general practice.
Among the largest farms in the parish in the 17th and 18th centuries were the former demesne lands. Boddington manor farm was c. 190 a. in the early 17th century, (fn. 204) and Butler's Court farm in Withy Bridge increased from a little over 113 a. in 1654 to 233 a. in 1775. (fn. 205) Of the other holdings in Boddington manor one was 159 a., 6 were 50 a. or more, and the rest varied from 45 a. to 3 a. (fn. 206) Westminster Abbey's manor of Hayden in the 18th century included holdings of a messuage and yardland or of fractions of a yardland. (fn. 207) Withy Bridge in 1775 included one estate of 82 a., most others being between 50 and 20 a. (fn. 208)
Although the parish of Boddington comprised several separate hamlets and manors, there is no evidence that it had more than one group of open fields. Orders regulating the use of the fields were made both at Boddington manor court and, for Westminster Abbey's Hayden manor, at Plaistow court, (fn. 209) but the lands of the separate manors were apparently mingled in the fields. There may have been a five-year rotation in the Middle Ages, when the main crops on the demesne were wheat, barley, oats, and pulse. (fn. 210) By the mid-16th century there were at least five fields, called Church field, Moor field, Harden field, Broad field, and Little field, the last two apparently stretching into Staverton parish. (fn. 211) Other field names that occur later are Picksbury field, Deadfurlong field, and Staple Hill. (fn. 212) The fields were divided into furlongs, (fn. 213) which were subdivided into selions varying in size from ⅓ a. (fn. 214) to 1 a. (fn. 215) There had been some consolidation of strips by the 18th century. (fn. 216) At inclosure in 1803 the parish had a large number of old inclosures (fn. 217) which may have been taken out of the open fields; in 1745 reference was made to a close of arable in one of the fields. (fn. 218)
In 1086 8 a. of meadow were recorded in the 3hide estate of Brictric. (fn. 219) In the 14th century an estate of 80 a. had 10 a. meadow, one of 120 a. had 15 a. meadow, and one of c. 100 a. had 10 a. meadow. (fn. 220) The demesne of Boddington manor in the 15th century included a large amount of meadow, (fn. 221) and by the 17th century the same estate was perhaps half meadow. (fn. 222) Some estates in the 17th century had more meadow and pasture than arable land. (fn. 223) On the west side of the parish c. 100 a. known as Boddington Moor was lot meadow, (fn. 224) used by landholders of Staverton and Leigh parishes also. (fn. 225) A hedge separated it from Norton Moor in Norton by the 16th century, and the doles of meadow were divided by merestones. (fn. 226) Arle Meadow, in the north-west part of the parish, was also lot meadow. (fn. 227) The lessee of the demesne of Boddington manor in 1620 claimed common of pasture for 40 beasts in the meadow and 200 sheep in the fields; there was horse pasture on Incham common and Upper meadow. (fn. 228) In the late 18th century the parish was said to be mainly rich meadow and pasture, (fn. 229) and in 1801 only 634 a. were returned as sown, mainly with wheat, barley, and beans. (fn. 230)
The open fields of Boddington, comprising about half the parish, were inclosed with those of Staverton by a single Act and award in 1803. The largest allotment was that of John Blagdon who received 360 a., of which a small part was in Staverton; John Arkell received 238 a., H. A. B. Craven 173 a., and the Vicar of Staverton 290 a. divided between the two parishes. Apart from land in Boddington that formed part of two medium-sized allotments lying mainly in Staverton, there were other allotments of 69 a. and of 35 a., mostly in Boddington, and 51 of under 20 a., of which 33 were less than 3 a. (fn. 231)
In 1838 Boddington manor comprised c. 700 a. divided mainly into four substantial tenant farms. The largest farms in the parish were Butler's Court farm, of 318 a., and Boddington farm, belonging to the Arkell family, of 300 a. Three other farms were over 100 a., and there was a large number of small holdings. (fn. 232) Twelve farmers were recorded in the parish in 1889, and eight in the early 20th century. Four farms in the parish were said to be over 150 a. in 1923. (fn. 233) Boddington manor comprised c. 1,000 a. in 1964, divided into three farms, and there were about six other substantial farms in the parish.
During the 19th century farming continued to be mixed, with a predominance of meadow and pasture which increased towards the end of the century. In 1901 only 391 a. were arable, compared with 1,546 a. of permanent grass. (fn. 234) In 1933 the greater part of the parish was permanent grass, (fn. 235) and in 1964 the land was used mainly for dairy and beef cattle, with some arable.
Brictric's estate in 1086 included a mill worth 7s., (fn. 236) and it was probably the same mill that was mentioned in 1200. (fn. 237) In 1413 the estate held by Robert Ferrers of Chartley included a mill (fn. 238) which his son Sir Edmund Ferrers held in 1435. (fn. 239) One was perhaps one of the two mills held in 1620 by tenants of Boddington manor; (fn. 240) the two mills were presumably the Lower Mill, standing close to Boddington manor and later called Boddington Mill, (fn. 241) and the Upper Mill, (fn. 242) which has not been located. Both mills were part of the manor in 1653, (fn. 243) but only Boddington Mill remained in 1790. (fn. 244) It was still standing in 1924, (fn. 245) and the house survived in 1964.
A mill held by Hugh Mustel c. 1326, (fn. 246) may have been the Slate Mill, on the River Chelt, at the boundary between Boddington and Leigh, which was held at farm in 1585. (fn. 247) By 1707 it was part of Westminster Abbey's estate, (fn. 248) and was held by lessees of the abbey in the mid-19th century. (fn. 249) The Slate Mill was in use until the 1950's, (fn. 250) and in 1964 the brick mill-building and house attached to it, built about the end of the 18th century, were standing. There was a mill at Withy Bridge, on the River Chelt, in the late 19th century, (fn. 251) but it may have been used only for a short time. It had long been disused in 1964, when the brick buildings were in ruins.
Non-agrarian occupations recorded in the parish include a baker in 1327, (fn. 252) a carpenter and a smith in 1608, (fn. 253) a cordwainer in Hayden in 1663, (fn. 254) and a blacksmith at Withy Bridge in 1671. (fn. 255) A few other craftsmen and tradesmen were recorded in the parish in the late 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 256) In 1811 only seven families were occupied in trade and industry compared with 93 in agriculture. (fn. 257) By the mid-20th century, however, only a small minority of the population worked on the land, and most people went to work outside the parish, particularly to Cheltenham and to the large factories near-by.
In the 16th century view of frankpledge was held at Boddington for Boddington, Hayden, and Barrow. Court rolls survive for the early 1550's, 1563, 1585–1608, (fn. 258) 1660–75, and 14 years in the period 1695–1741, (fn. 259) and draft rolls survive for 1791–5. (fn. 260) In 1803 it was said that a court was held at Butler's Court for the manor of Withy Bridge. (fn. 261) Withy Bridge was sometimes included in the Boddington court rolls in the 17th century; it had its own court in 1661 and 1675, but to the second no one came. (fn. 262) In the 16th century a tithingman for Boddington was elected at the Boddington court, (fn. 263) and one for Hayden and Withy Bridge at the Plaistow court, (fn. 264) the two separate tithings corresponding to the division of the parish between Tewkesbury and Westminster hundreds. Hayden had its own constable in 1642, (fn. 265) and the two tithings had each a constable by the early 18th century, (fn. 266) the one for Hayden and Withy Bridge being elected at Plaistow court. (fn. 267)
The appointment of a registrar for Boddington was recorded in 1656. (fn. 268) In the 16th century the parish had two churchwardens, (fn. 269) but in the early 19th century there seems to have been only one, (fn. 270) as in 1964, when he was designated chapelwarden. (fn. 271) Churchwardens' accounts survive from 1732, and overseers' accounts for 1797–1827. (fn. 272) The tithings do not seem to have ever had separate overseers, though in 1718 Hayden had its own highway rate, (fn. 273) and presumably its own surveyors. The increase in annual expenditure on the poor between 1776 and 1803, from £68 to £406, was higher than average. In 1803 over one-third of the families in the parish were regularly relieved, (fn. 274) and though the number of people relieved remained high (fn. 275) expenditure afterwards fell. (fn. 276) Boddington became part of the Tewkesbury Poor Law Union in 1835, (fn. 277) and despite a petition by the inhabitants for transfer to Cheltenham Rural District (fn. 278) it remained part of Tewkesbury Rural District until 1935 when most of that district was transferred to the Cheltenham Rural District. (fn. 279) Boddington has not regularly had a parish council, and none existed in 1964. (fn. 280)
Boddington formed part of the parish of Deerhurst in the 12th century. (fn. 281) Architectural evidence shows that the church at Boddington was built before the end of the 12th century, but no documentary reference to it has been found before 1305. In that year Boddington was served by a chaplain, (fn. 282) and the church was probably built as a chapel to Staverton. (fn. 283) That would account for the absence of documentary reference to it in the Middle Ages. Boddington remained a chapel of Staverton, being served either by the vicars of Staverton (fn. 284) or by curates appointed by them. In 1469 a burial ground was consecrated at Boddington, with the consent of the Abbot of Tewkesbury and the Vicar of Staverton. (fn. 285) The church was used for baptisms by 1518 (fn. 286) and for marriages by 1656. (fn. 287)
The great tithes belonged to Deerhurst Priory and Tewkesbury Abbey, (fn. 288) and the small tithes to the Vicar of Staverton. (fn. 289) There was no endowment for a curate for Boddington. (fn. 290) At inclosure in 1803 the vicar did not receive a separate allotment for his tithes in Boddington; his allotment of 159 a. in both parishes was for the tithes of both. (fn. 291)
In 1551 Boddington was served by a chaplain, later to become Vicar of Staverton, who was found to be satisfactory. (fn. 292) In 1563 the churchwardens complained that services were not regular because the vicar served both Boddington and Staverton, (fn. 293) and in 1584 sermons were not preached regularly. (fn. 294) The curate in 1669 and two of the 18th-century curates were not in priest's orders when they were appointed. (fn. 295) In the 17th and 18th centuries Boddington usually shared a curate with Staverton. In 1743 services were held alternately with Staverton in the morning and afternoon, (fn. 296) and they were the same in the early 19th century. (fn. 297) The 19th-century vicars who lived at Boddington manor probably took the services in Boddington church themselves. (fn. 298) In 1964 services were held at Boddington every alternate week. (fn. 299)
Before 1683 3½ a. had been given to the parish for the poor and the repair of the church. (fn. 300) At inclosure 3 a. were allotted for Boddington church land, (fn. 301) and in the 1880's produced £6 rent which was apparently used only for repairing the church. The rent had risen to £8 by 1924. Some of the land was sold in 1928, and in 1964 the charity was administered jointly with Staverton church land and with Jessie Mary Maud Purnell's charity, founded by will proved 1937, which was used partly for Boddington church. (fn. 302)
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE is a stone building, rough-cast on the east and north sides, with a Cotswold stone roof, and comprises a long, narrow nave, chancel, south porch, north vestry, and a low west tower with a pyramidal roof. The church was built in the 12th century, and the rear arches of the north and south doorways and one narrow, deeply-splayed window in the north wall survive from that time. A second, blocked south doorway, to the west, was partly visible from inside. Some of the nave windows were replaced in the 13th century, and a south doorway in the chancel is perhaps of the same period.
In the 14th century the west tower of two stages was added, though the roof may be later. The chancel, heavily restored in the 19th century, was rebuilt in the 14th century; the high, pointed chancel arch, the two-light east window, other windows in the chancel and nave, and perhaps the south porch, which retains a water-stoup, are of that period.
The west part of the nave was rebuilt in the earlier 18th century, and it is said that part of the tower was pulled down, (fn. 303) which may account for its unusually low appearance. A west gallery, later removed, lit by a window high in the west wall, may have been added at the rebuilding. (fn. 304) A vestry was built in 1865, and the church was restored in the 1870's. The pulpit was inserted in 1876, and the church was reseated in 1891. (fn. 305) The churchyard was enlarged in 1930, and a new vestry built in 1957. (fn. 306)
There are several 17th-century monumental floor-stones in the church, (fn. 307) and mural monuments for members of the Buckle and Arkell families. Of the three bells one is medieval, probably cast c. 1410 and bearing the heads of a king and queen, (fn. 308) another is of c. 1500 by Robert Hendley, (fn. 309) and the third is dated 1865. (fn. 310) The octagonal font is of the 15th century.
Six Protestant nonconformists were recorded in 1676, (fn. 313) one in 1707, (fn. 314) and a papist in 1735 and 1738. (fn. 315) Houses were registered for Protestant dissenters' worship in Barrow in 1816 and 1840, in Boddington in 1819, and in Hayden in 1821. (fn. 316) A body of nonconformists in Boddington calling itself the Protestant Free Church had a preaching room, owned by John Blagdon, in 1851. Services were held in the morning and evening with average attendances of 45 and 80 respectively. (fn. 317) A Gospel Hall mission in Barrow in 1913 does not seem to have survived long. (fn. 318)
In 1818 a school for 37 children was kept by the parish clerk, partly at the vicar's expense, and it was said that the poor had sufficient means of education. (fn. 319) There was no school by 1833, but a few young children were taught by some of the poor inhabitants, and others went to Staverton. (fn. 320) By 1856 an infant school had been opened at Barrow, (fn. 321) but it had gone by 1884. (fn. 322) After the formation of the school board for Staverton and Boddington c. 1879 the children of Boddington attended Staverton school. (fn. 323)
The land given before 1683 for the use of the poor and the repair of the church (fn. 324) is not known to have been used for the poor. Boddington shared in the charity of Jessie Maud Mary Purnell, founded by will proved 1937, for the poor and for the upkeep of the churches of Staverton and Boddington, and in 1964 £5 13s. from the charity was distributed in cash to the poor of both parishes. (fn. 325)