A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 9, Bradley Hundred. The Northleach Area of the Cotswolds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.
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The rural parish of Notgrove lies 16 km. east of Cheltenham and 10 km. south-west of Stowon-the-Wold and, for the most part, on the south side of the main road from Gloucester and Cheltenham to Bourton-on-the-Water. It comprised 1,724 a. (fn. 1) (698 ha.) and was roughly triangular in shape. (fn. 2) Notgrove was recorded in a mid 8th-century charter as 'Natangrafum' and its boundaries, some of which were included in a later Anglo-Saxon perambulation of an estate in Notgrove and Cold Aston to the east, (fn. 3) remained unchanged until 1987 when a few houses forming an outlying part of Cold Aston village on the eastern boundary were transferred to Cold Aston parish. (fn. 4) Those houses are included in this account of Notgrove.
On the north side of Notgrove the road from Cheltenham to Bourton-on-the-Water follows the route of an ancient trackway running close to a number of prehistoric remains, including those of a long barrow and a round barrow. (fn. 5) The track, which according to the Anglo-Saxon perambulation was a 'street' with 'Cynelm's stone' as a landmark on its course, (fn. 6) was later known as Stanborough (or Stamberrow) Lane, presumably meaning Stone Barrow Lane. (fn. 7) Its route forms Notgrove's long northern boundary save for a section in the north-east, near Upper Harford, where some land beyond the road was included in the parish. On the west the Notgrove boundary begins in the north at the head of the valley called in pre-Conquest charters Turkdean and descends the valley for over 2 km. before climbing its east side and turning south on Chalk hill, a place represented in the Anglo-Saxon survey by a landmark called 'cealcweallas'. The parish boundary then continues in a northeastwards direction and descends into a tributary valley of the Turkdean valley perhaps near the place described in the Anglo-Saxon perambulation as 'the middle of the seven springs'. After descending the tributary stream for a short distance the parish boundary resumes its northeastwards course, ascending the far side of the valley and making several sharp turns near Cold Aston village. (fn. 8)
The land, which rises from below 180 m. in the south to over 250 m. in the north, is open rolling countryside with valleys formed by small streams rising in the parish and flowing generally to the south or south-east. The parish is formed by the Inferior Oolite, which is overlaid in places by fuller's earth and capped on the higher ground by the Great Oolite. (fn. 9) In the 16th century, and probably much earlier, the economy was based on the traditional grain and sheep husbandry of the Cotswolds, and before inclosure in 1771 there were common downs in the north-west of the parish and extensive open fields in the east and west. The suitability of the countryside for hunting was noted in the later 18th century. (fn. 10) There were a few small areas of woodland in the parish before inclosure. (fn. 11) Several more had been planted by 1850 (fn. 12) and the main estate included 18 coppices and plantations containing 23 a. in 1871. (fn. 13) In the later 19th century a covert was planted on glebe land on the Salperton boundary in the north-west (fn. 14) and in 1905 the parish contained 38 a. of woodland and plantations. (fn. 15) In the early 20th century more coverts and coppices were planted and a park was created on the south side of the village, in the centre of the parish. (fn. 16) In the 17th and 18th centuries there was a small park of less than an acre on the north side of the village. (fn. 17)
In Notgrove 20 people were assessed for the subsidy in 1327 (fn. 18) and over 24 people were assessed for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 19) From the mid 16th century, when the number of communicants in the parish was estimated at 40 in 1551 (fn. 20) and the number of households at 13 in 1563, (fn. 21) Notgrove's population grew slowly. It included 52 communicants in 1603 (fn. 22) and comprised 30 families in 1650 (fn. 23) and an estimated 150 people c. 1710. (fn. 24) In the mid 1770s it was 218 (fn. 25) but by the late 18th century it was in decline, falling to 214 in 1801 and 166 in 1831. By 1851 it had risen again to 195 but for the next century it was always well below that figure and it dropped as low as 124 in 1931. There was a slight recovery after the Second World War, the population in 1961 being 158, but another decline was accentuated by the transfer of several houses to Cold Aston in 1987 and the population in 1991 was 105. (fn. 26)
Stanborough Lane, the ancient trackway on the north side of Notgrove, was known as Gloucester way in 1619 (fn. 27) and it was the principal road between Gloucester and Bourton-on-theWater in the later 18th century. (fn. 28) Its importance increased c. 1980 when traffic bound for Stowon-the-Wold was diverted along it from a road further north in Naunton. (fn. 29) In the Middle Ages the main east-west road through Notgrove ran south of the parish church and village. (fn. 30) It was part of a highway to Cheltenham in the late 16th century (fn. 31) and it was used by local traffic in the mid 18th century. (fn. 32) On the east side of the parish it incorporated the route from Cold Aston known in 1705 as Ash way (fn. 33) and designated in 1771 a bridleway. (fn. 34) Later, after 1796, that section was abandoned and a new path following field boundaries was formed; (fn. 35) an avenue of trees was planted along the path in the mid 20th century. (fn. 36) On the west side of the parish, west of the Turkdean road, the old Cheltenham road followed the route, south-westwards, known as Wain way in 1530 (fn. 37) and then ran west across the southern part of Salperton parish. (fn. 38) Its course was diverted just short of the Notgrove boundary before 1771 when the inclosure commissioners confirmed Wain way as a public road to Salperton village. (fn. 39) That way had become a bridleway by the mid 19th century. (fn. 40) The section of the old road between the church and the Turkdean road was closed to the public in 1910 during the creation of the park south of the village. (fn. 41) The Turkdean road, running northsouth through the parish, was in 1619 part of a way to Cirencester (fn. 42) passing west of Turkdean village where it was abandoned evidently in the later 18th century. (fn. 43) Among other roads recorded in 1619, (fn. 44) the Winchcombe way in the east of the parish ran north-eastwards from Cold Aston and was part of the main route between Cold Aston and Notgrove village in the mid 18th century. (fn. 45) Aywell way ran westwards from the village to Salperton. Both it and a route northwards to Aylworth, in Naunton, were footpaths in 1770. (fn. 46)
The section of the Banbury and Cheltenham railway opened in 1881 crossed the northwestern corner of the parish and included a station for Notgrove 1½ mile from the village. (fn. 47) Both station and line closed in 1962. (fn. 48)
Notgrove village stands in the centre of the parish at the head of a small valley. Most of the cottages are scattered around a sloping green, at the bottom of which rises a stream flowing south-eastwards, and there are also cottages on the hillside to the south. The medieval church and the Manor, the latter occupying the site of the medieval manor house, stand further south at the end of the village. The Glebe House, lower down to the north of them, is the former rectory.
The village, which in 1669 had c. 25 dwellings, (fn. 49) comprises mainly stone cottages and former farmhouses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 50) Among them is a row of three cottages near the church and a solitary dwelling west of the green. An enlarged 17th-century farmhouse on the west side of the green was occupied as two cottages in 1871. (fn. 51) High House, at the north end of the village, is a four-storeyed building with a sundial dated 1800 on its main front (fn. 52) and is said to have once been a wool store. (fn. 53) From the early 18th century the village was almost wholly owned by the Pyrke family (fn. 54) and by the mid 19th century, after a long period of neglect, some buildings, notably the church and manor house, had fallen into serious disrepair. (fn. 55) D. F. Vigers, who became rector in 1858, carried out some improvements, including the rebuilding of the church and the planting of trees, many of them in the churchyard, (fn. 56) and in the early 20th century the landowner C. G. Cunard (d. 1914), who created the park on the south side of the village, employed a local mason versed in the traditional style of building to design a pair of cottages placed next to new allotment gardens on the west side. (fn. 57) New building in the mid 20th century included a pair of cottages on the east side of the green in 1937 (fn. 58) and another pair on the west side in 1948 or 1949. (fn. 59) Since the Second World War many of the older cottages and houses have been restored (fn. 60) and among new farm buildings erected in the later 20th century were large ranges east of the green.
In the north-east of the parish, at the head of a small valley opening to the south-east, a farmstead stood in its own closes in 1669. (fn. 61) Known in 1766 as the Folly (fn. 62) (later Folly Farm), it remained part of the Notgrove estate until at least 1871. (fn. 63) The farmhouse may date from before 1669 and another house was built to the west in 1938, when the farm had two owners. (fn. 64) Under the Bartlett family, which acquired the farm before 1959, (fn. 65) the land south-east of Folly Farm was landscaped with ponds from 1970 as a reserve for rare species of wild and domestic fowl, (fn. 66) and in 1996 the land immediately north of the farmstead included a camping site and a garden centre.
Elsewhere, following the inclosure of the rest of the parish in 1771 a few outlying barns were built (fn. 67) but most of the land continued to be farmed from houses in the village. (fn. 68) In the 1870s there was a cottage at Kitehill barn in the west (fn. 69) and in the 1930s and 1940s a farm labourer lived at Pountwell barn in the south. (fn. 70) In the late 19th century two houses were built at the railway station in the north-west corner of the parish. (fn. 71) After the Second World War the Northleach rural district council built three pairs of houses just outside Cold Aston village on the north-east side of the road to Notgrove, one pair being completed in 1947 and the others in 1951. (fn. 72) A bungalow was built there later and a pair of cottages, erected to the west c. 1959 by the owners of Folly farm, was a single dwelling in 1996. (fn. 73)
Notgrove village apparently did not have a public house at any time after the mid 18th century. A wake commemorating the parish church's dedication was held on the Sunday after the feast of St. Bartholomew (24 Aug.) in the early 18th century. (fn. 74)
In the 18th and 19th centuries none of the principal landowners lived in the parish and many of the rectors were non-resident. (fn. 75) D. F. Vigers, who took up residence on acquiring the living in 1858, was active in the parish and built a schoolroom in a new wing at the rectory. A few years after Vigers's death in 1906 C. G. Cunard became the most influential figure in the parish and he was responsible for, among other things, providing a piped water supply to houses on his estate. (fn. 76) After the First World War the principal landowners were the Andersons, who took an active part in parish affairs. A building in the grounds of the Manor was used as a village hall before 1959 when Sir Donald Anderson reerected a wooden hut, brought from a London dock for that purpose, south-west of the village green. (fn. 77) In 1996 meetings were also held in the building at the Manor and in the former schoolroom at the Glebe House. (fn. 78) In 1996 there was a cricket ground in a field on the west side of the village.
About 740 a.d. Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, granted 20 cassati at Cold Aston and Notgrove to Osred, a member of the Hwiccian royal family. The estate, of which Notgrove apparently accounted for 8 cassati, was given, possibly in 743, to the church of Worcester (fn. 79) and in 1086 Shelin held five hides at Notgrove from the bishop of Worcester's Withington manor. (fn. 80) In 1095, following the death of Bishop Wulfstan, Shelin's son Robert owed a relief for a knight's fee (fn. 81) and later the manor of NOTGROVE, so called by the early 13th century, (fn. 82) was held as a member of Withington manor for a knight's fee. (fn. 83) In 1166 the earl of Gloucester had an intermediate lordship over Notgrove. (fn. 84) That lordship evidently passed to Hugh de Barevill, who held the fee from the bishop in 1208, (fn. 85) but it lapsed before the later 13th century. (fn. 86)
John Shilling (Eschelling or Eskelling), the holder of the Notgrove estate under the earl of Gloucester in the late 12th century, (fn. 87) granted two ploughlands, representing the manor, to Alice Giffard in dower. On her death Walter Shilling took possession of the estate but his right to the manor was contested by John Shilling's son and heir John, who in 1231 was said to hold half of the estate, including the manor house. In 1234 John son of Geoffrey, who claimed the manor under a grant c. 1207 to his father Geoffrey son of Peter, earl of Essex, by the younger John Shilling, (fn. 88) quitclaimed the two ploughlands to Walter and John Shilling in return for a grant of the advowson of Notgrove church. (fn. 89) Bartholomew de Turberville held the manor from the bishop of Worcester in 1284 (fn. 90) and Thurstan de Turberville held it in 1299. (fn. 91) In 1303 the holder was Thomas of Rodborough, (fn. 92) and the following year Bartholomew de Turberville's son Edmund confirmed Thomas and his wife Joan in possession of the manor. (fn. 93) Thomas died c. 1306 (fn. 94) and Joan remained lady of Notgrove in 1336. (fn. 95) Another Thomas of Rodborough held the manor in 1346 (fn. 96) and, having repudiated a settlement of it made in 1359, died seised in 1367. Following Thomas's death John Browning the elder and his wife Alice held the manor by grant of Thomas's brother William, and in 1393, the year after Alice's death, the heir to the estate was William's grandson Richard Browning, the son of another John Browning. (fn. 97) Richard died a minor in 1400 leaving his sister Cecily, also a minor, as his heir. (fn. 98) Cecily married Guy Whittington (fn. 99) (d. 1441) of Pauntley (fn. 100) and in 1448 she settled the reversion of Notgrove manor on the marriage of her grandson William Whittington and Elizabeth Arundel. Elizabeth survived William (d. 1470) and was succeeded by their son John (d. 1525). (fn. 101) The manor passed to one of John's younger sons Alexander (d. 1579), who was succeeded by his grandson John Whittington, a minor. (fn. 102) John dealt with the manor in 1637, (fn. 103) but by that time he had settled it on his son Edmund (fl. 1660) and the reversion on the marriage of Edmund's daughter Catherine and George Talbot. (fn. 104) The estate, in which Catherine's second husband, Christopher Roper, acquired an interest in 1658, passed c. 1663 to her daughter Sarah (often called Catherine) Talbot and her husband Sir Clement Clerke, Bt. (fn. 105)
The Clerkes, by whose grant George Skipp had an interest in the manor by 1669, (fn. 106) fell heavily into debt and mortgagees took possession of the manor before 1690. (fn. 107) Sir Clement and his wife both died in 1693 and their son Sir Talbot Clerke (fn. 108) sold the equity of redemption to Ebenezer Sadler. In 1700 Clerke and Sadler agreed to sell the manor to Thomas Pyrke of Littledean, and after Pyrke's death that year they conveyed it to his sister and heiress Mary Young (fn. 109) and she, unable to pay the purchase price, conveyed it to her father Thomas Pyrke. (fn. 110) He died in 1702 and under his will his son Nathaniel held the manor until his own son Thomas reached 25 years of age in 1711 or 1712. From Thomas (d. 1752) (fn. 111) the manor passed with his Littledean estate in turn to his widow Dorothy (d. 1762), who bought adjoining land in Notgrove, and his grand-nephew Joseph Watts. Joseph, who changed his surname to Pyrke, died in 1803 leaving the manor, subject to the life interest of his wife Charlotte (d. 1835), to his son Joseph (d. 1851). In 1871 the younger Joseph's son and heir Duncombe (fn. 112) sold the Notgrove estate comprising almost the entire parish; (fn. 113) part including the manorial rights was acquired by the dean and chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, (fn. 114) and the rest by Corpus Christi college, Oxford. (fn. 115) Corpus Christi bought the Christ Church share of the estate in 1877 (fn. 116) and sold the principal house and most of the land to Cyril Grant Cunard in 1908. (fn. 117) Cunard, whose grandfather had founded the transAtlantic shipping line, (fn. 118) added the Notgrove glebe to his estate by purchase in 1909. (fn. 119) He died in 1914 and his widow Beatrice sold his estate to Sir Alan Garrett Anderson in 1918, a few months after her marriage to W. H. Curran. Sir Alan, who in 1920 and 1921 purchased those parts of the Notgrove estate retained in 1908 by Corpus Christi college, (fn. 120) was a shipowner, becoming a director of the P. & O. company and M. P. for the City of London 1935–40, and he died in 1952. (fn. 121) He passed the estate to his younger son Donald, (fn. 122) who was knighted in 1954. (fn. 123) In 1968 the estate, to which land in Turkdean had been added, was acquired from Sir Donald by C. H. Kleinwort for his daughter Elizabeth and her husband David Acland and in 1996 it comprised just under 1,500 a. (607 ha.). (fn. 124)
The Manor (formerly Notgrove Manor) stands on the site of the ancient manor house recorded in 1231. (fn. 125) The house, for which Sir Clement Clerke was assessed on six hearths in 1672, (fn. 126) was occupied by two tenants in 1666 (fn. 127) and under the Pyrkes half of it was a farmhouse. The other half, which a lease of 1700 reserved to the Pyrkes, (fn. 128) was abandoned, falling into ruin by the mid 19th century. The house, the east wing of which was shortened when rebuilt in the 1870s, (fn. 129) remained an L-plan farmhouse until the 1900s. Although the house has been extensively rebuilt in the 20th century one room in the main north-south range, 'in farmhouse days a medley of kitchen offices', (fn. 130) dates probably from the late 16th century or the early 17th; it has a large 17th-century fireplace opening and two mullioned windows. After he acquired the house in 1908 C. G. Cunard remodelled it to plans by A. N. Prentice. An entrance hall with an open timber roof and a first-floor gallery was created in the north end of the north-south range, the range was extended southwards to include a new drawing room, and a west block containing a dining room, a kitchen, and other service accommodation was added. (fn. 131) The east wing was rebuilt again soon after its destruction by fire in 1936. Also in the 1930s the service block was extended at the north-west corner. In the later 1960s the house was much reduced in size; the southern end of the main range was demolished and the east wing was truncated, its western end being remodelled as an entrance hall incorporating the doorway, decorated with a phoenix, from the 1930s rebuilding. At the same time an upper floor was inserted in the former entrance hall, a fireplace from the library (in the demolished part of the east wing) was re-used on the ground floor, and the main staircase was moved. Other changes have included the insertion of a new kitchen on the north side between the east wing and the west service block and the conversion of the former kitchen as a garage. In the 1990s a conservatory was erected in the south-west angle in front of the dining room, which retains panelling fitted in the 1930s. (fn. 132)
The grounds of the house were also redesigned in the years after 1908; a pergola was constructed to the west of the house (fn. 133) and a road to the village from the Turkdean road became a private carriage way to the house with entrance gates and a lodge (fn. 134) displaying a rainwater head dated 1910. In the late 20th century the gardens were simplified and all but one bay of the pergola demolished. The thatched roof of a small octagonal building erected north-east of the house for C. G. Cunard was renewed in 1996. (fn. 135) Of the other outbuildings a coach house and an adjoining cottage were converted as a farmhouse in the mid 20th century. (fn. 136)
In 1400 the lord of the manor's possessions in Notgrove were said to include three ploughlands of hilly ground, 4 a. meadow, 20 a. pasture, and 10s. rent. (fn. 137) No other early documentary evidence for agriculture in Notgrove has been found. In the mid 17th century some, if not all, tenants on the manor had leases for 99 years or lives and owed heriots either in cash or kind. (fn. 138) From c. 1663, to facilitate the inclosure of the manorial demesne, the tenants were induced to surrender their estates and take new leases for years or lives. The mortgagees who took possession of the estate before 1690 temporarily turned many tenants out of their holdings or obliged them to hold at rack rent. (fn. 139) The demesne, which comprised 467 a. in 1669, (fn. 140) was occupied by five tenants in 1700. (fn. 141) In 1720 there were 21 or more leaseholders on the manor, many of them with perhaps only a cottage and a garden. At the same time, excluding the rector's glebe, freehold tenements in the parish perhaps numbered only one or two and comprised a few acres. (fn. 142) All the holdings of 16 tenants listed in 1767 were presumably leaseholds, described in 1770 as lifeholds, and most were of less than 30 a. The largest rents were for farms centred on the manor house and on Folly Farm. (fn. 143) Pleydalls farm, which perhaps originated as a separate estate, was held with the manor in 1637 (fn. 144) and was known as Village farm later. (fn. 145)
The traditional sheep and grain husbandry of the Cotswolds was presumably practised in Notgrove before the later 16th century when several large flocks, one belonging to the lord of the manor, were kept there for at least part of the year. (fn. 146) Sheep belonging to non-parishioners were pastured in Notgrove during the summer long before 1754 (fn. 147) when the rector was engaged in a suit to safeguard his income from lamb and wool tithes. (fn. 148) In 1619 two large arable fields occupied much of the east and west sides of the parish. If the rector's glebe was typical the land of occupiers was divided almost equally between the fields and scattered in strips mostly of an acre, there being c. 38 acres to a yardland. (fn. 149)
The manorial demesne, although it apparently included recently inclosed land in 1658, (fn. 150) mostly comprised open-field land until c. 1663 when Sir Clement Clerke began to consolidate and inclose it. (fn. 151) Differences between Clerke and George Skipp on the one hand and the rector on the other apparently led to the destruction of some inclosures and remained unresolved in 1673. (fn. 152) After the inclosure in 1669 of 267 a., including land at Pountwell in the south and at Upper Harford in the north-east, (fn. 153) the area south of the village and the north-east corner of the parish were given over to demesne closes, covering 476 a. in all, and the east and west fields were left with 384 a. and 404 a. respectively. Outlying land (290 a.) adjoining Stanborough Lane and Salperton in the north and west was retained as common pasture organized as four pastures. The largest comprised 195 a. on Turk hill in the north-west corner, and 61 a. to the south, on the Salperton boundary, was used mainly to pasture horses. The other pastures, including the Stone Barrow Downs, were in the north, (fn. 154) in an area known later as Stamberrow Down. (fn. 155) In the mid 17th century each yardland was apparently allowed to pasture 50 sheep and some cattle and horses in the fields and commons. (fn. 156) The allowance for sheep was later raised to 60 but it had been reduced by agreement to 40 by 1705. (fn. 157) In 1719 the lord of the manor granted a lease of customary common rights for two cows. (fn. 158)
Apart from 5 a. of the glebe adjoining the downs inclosed in 1695 or 1696, (fn. 159) little further inclosure took place before 1771 when the open fields and commons were inclosed under a private Act. On the eve of inclosure Joseph Pyrke, the lord of the manor, held 436 a. in old closes, most of that land being devoted to arable and 63 a. and 37 a. to pasture and meadow respectively. (fn. 160) The inclosure award, under which some old closes were exchanged, dealt with 1,108 a. and allotted 553 a. to Joseph Pyrke for the land he had in hand and 310 a. to the rector for his glebe and part of his tithes. Ten leaseholders received allotments, the largest being 103 a. and the others between 1 a. and 22 a., and 8 a. was given to the parish as a source of furze and fuel for the poor. (fn. 161)
Although several barns were built in the new fields, the farms, except Folly farm, continued to be centred on farmsteads in the village. (fn. 162) Almost every family in the parish depended on agriculture for its livelihood, (fn. 163) and in 1851 the three principal farmers were said between them to employ nearly 100 labourers and two smaller farmers also hired labour. (fn. 164) In 1848 the manorial estate included farms of 709 a. and 518 a. and the rector's glebe, 309 a., was the third largest farm. (fn. 165) By 1857 the largest holding (Folly farm) had been almost halved in size to leave the manorial estate divided into farms of 512 a., 391 a., 302 a., and 70 a. (fn. 166) There were fewer farms in the late 19th century; (fn. 167) in 1896 four tenanted farms had a total area of 1,452 a. (fn. 168) After the First World War P. W. Cory farmed much of the parish as manager for Sir Alan Anderson (fn. 169) and by the later 1920s Folly farm, the only large holding not belonging to Anderson, was worked by its owners. (fn. 170) In 1926 two farms with over 300 a., one of them occupied by a tenant, and a farm with under 20 a. were returned for Notgrove. (fn. 171) The Andersons continued to run the Notgrove estate as a single farm after the Second World War, as did the Aclands in 1996. (fn. 172) In 1956, when at least 23 agricultural labourers still had regular employment in the parish, three smaller farms, two with over 300 a. and one with under 30 a., were also returned for Notgrove. (fn. 173) By 1996 Folly farm had been broken up by sales and part of it was included in Aston farm on the Sezincote estate. (fn. 174)
A few years after the parliamentary inclosure it was observed that most land was arable or permanent pasture, that better methods of husbandry were producing good crops of corn, and that large flocks of sheep were being kept. (fn. 175) In 1801 some 601 a., over a third of the parish, was planted with corn and root crops, mostly wheat and barley but also high proportions of oats and turnips. (fn. 176) The area devoted to those crops was greater in 1866, when 1,243 a., including some fallow, was returned as arable and only 172 a. as permanent grassland. As part of the crop rotation a third of the arable land was under clover or grass. (fn. 177) The livestock returned in 1866 included 843 sheep, 134 beef and dairy cattle, and 55 pigs. (fn. 178) Although fewer ewes were kept in the parish in 1896 the area used for grazing gradually increased in the late 19th century (fn. 179) and the early 20th, and in 1926, when at least 600 a. of the parish was permanent grassland, 687 ewes and 194, mostly beef, cattle were returned as well as 501 pigs and 76 fowls. (fn. 180) Under P. W. Cory poultry farming became a substantial enterprise on the Notgrove estate before the Second World War. (fn. 181) In 1956, when the livestock returned for Notgrove included 572 ewes, 333 cattle, 20 pigs, and 13,607 fowls, 378 a. in the parish was returned as permanent grassland, at least 797 a. was used for pasture and rough grazing and 462 a. for growing cereals, and 27 a. was fallow. (fn. 182) In the late 20th century more land was devoted to cereals (fn. 183) and in 1996 the Notgrove estate also raised dairy and beef cattle and sheep. (fn. 184)
In the mid 8th century a track known as mill way led from Notgrove's north boundary to, it has been suggested, a mill at Lower Harford, in Naunton. (fn. 185) Personal-name evidence suggests that a miller lived in Notgrove in 1381 (fn. 186) but no evidence of a mill working there has been found.
Inhabitants of Notgrove pursuing nonagricultural occupations included a tailor in 1608, (fn. 187) a weaver in 1666, (fn. 188) a baker in 1758, (fn. 189) and a carpenter in 1816. (fn. 190) A few village trades were represented in the parish in the mid 19th century (fn. 191) and a carpenter and wheelwright remained in business there until after the Second World War. (fn. 192) A number of people staffed the Manor in the early 20th century and a stud groom and a gamekeeper were among estate employees in the 1920s and 1930s. Earlier game rearing and preservation are indicated by the presence of a gamekeeper in 1818. (fn. 193) Building trades were represented by two masons in 1608 (fn. 194) and a slater in 1654, (fn. 195) and several stonemasons lived in Notgrove in the mid 19th century. (fn. 196) Stone and Cotswold slates have been quarried in several places in the parish. (fn. 197) A quarry in the north-west corner, on the Salperton boundary, was the subject of a lease in 1656 (fn. 198) and it produced paving slabs and roofing slates as well as building stone in 1865. (fn. 199) A limekiln built there after the railway opened in 1881 was disused in 1900. (fn. 200) Notgrove had at least one village shop in 1856 and three shopkeepers were recorded in 1894 and a post office in 1897. Most of the shops had closed by the late 1930s (fn. 201) but the village retained a post office in 1996.
In the late 19th century a few people worked at the station in the north-west corner of the parish (fn. 202) and several businesses operated from its yard. Two coal merchants and F. J. Comely, a corn merchant, had depots there in 1894. (fn. 203) Comely's successors also acted as agricultural valuers and insurance agents. (fn. 204) The yard included a cattle pen in 1900 (fn. 205) and retained facilities for handling coal, grain, and stone in the late 1930s, (fn. 206) when the Comelys remained in business along with one coal merchant. (fn. 207)
In 1299 Notgrove was under the frankpledge jurisdiction of the bishop of Worcester's court at Withington. (fn. 208) The court, which in the 16th century attempted to ensure that roads were repaired (fn. 209) and dealt with pleas of assault and bloodshed in Notgrove, (fn. 210) continued to swear in a tithingman or constable for the parish until at least 1818. (fn. 211) A breach of the pound was presented in 1545 (fn. 212) and an overburdening of common land in 1590. (fn. 213) Notgrove manor court was convened in 1803 (fn. 214) and perhaps until at least 1847, when a meeting was held in the building used as the court house, (fn. 215) but none of its records is known to have survived. Stocks and a pound were repaired out of the parish rates c. 1774. (fn. 216)
Notgrove had one churchwarden in 1498. (fn. 217) Although there were sometimes two churchwardens in the 16th century and later, (fn. 218) the parish often had one churchwarden for long periods and in the 1880s and 1900s the office was unfilled. The churchwardens' accounts survive from 1768. (fn. 219) The earliest surviving records of parish government begin in 1736 with the accounts of the overseers of the poor. In some years there was only one overseer. Relief usually took the form of a weekly dole, given to six women in 1736, and the parish also maintained several cottages apparently as poorhouses and paid for the cutting of furze as fuel and for medical and funeral expenses. The cost of relief, £36 in 1736, (fn. 220) increased throughout the 18th cen- tury. The rise became steeper at the end of the century, and in 1814, when 20 people received regular and 7 occasional assistance, it was £252. (fn. 221) The cost had been halved by the late 1820s and it remained at £120 or less in the early 1830s. (fn. 222) Notgrove became part of Stow-on-theWold poor-law union under the Act of 1834. (fn. 223) In 1935 it was transferred from Stow-on-theWold rural district to Northleach rural district (fn. 224) and in 1974 it was included in Cotswold district.
On architectural evidence Notgrove church dates from the 12th century. (fn. 225) The first known presentation to it was made in 1284. (fn. 226) The living, which was a rectory, (fn. 227) was united with Cold Aston in 1908 (fn. 228) and Turkdean was added to the united benefice in 1967. (fn. 229) From 1986 Notgrove was one of several parishes served by a priest-in-charge resident in Northleach. (fn. 230)
In 1234 Walter Shilling, acting also for John Shilling, conveyed the advowson of Notgrove church to John son of Geoffrey (fn. 231) (d. 1258). (fn. 232) In 1284 the patronage belonged to John's son Richard (fn. 233) (d. 1297) and in 1299 the advowson was assigned to Richard's eldest sister Maud de Beauchamp, dowager countess of Warwick. After Maud's death in 1301 (fn. 234) it descended with the earldom of Warwick. (fn. 235) In 1338 the earl, Thomas de Beauchamp, was licensed to grant the advowson to Little Malvern priory (Worcs.) and the priory to appropriate the church, (fn. 236) but he retained the advowson at his death in 1369. (fn. 237) In 1422, when the earl, Richard de Beauchamp, was overseas, the patronage was exercised by his attorneys. (fn. 238) In 1454 and 1467 Richard Neville, who had the earldom in the right of his wife, presented to the living (fn. 239) and in 1482 the next vacancy was filled by Edward IV by reason of his custody of Edward, the infant son and heir of George Plantagenet, duke of Clarence. (fn. 240) By the next vacancy, in 1494, the patronage had passed with the Warwick estates to the Crown (fn. 241) and it remained with the Crown. (fn. 242) In 1655 it was exercised by the Lord Protector. From the 18th century the Lord Chancellor presented on the Crown's behalf (fn. 243) and he was sole patron of the united benefice created in 1908. (fn. 244) In 1967, as patron of Turkdean, the bishop acquired the right to present at every third turn. (fn. 245)
Notgrove rectory was valued at £6 13s. 4d. in 1291. (fn. 246) In 1340 the rector held a ploughland in demesne. (fn. 247) The glebe was later described as four yardlands and in 1619 comprised c. 155 a. (fn. 248) In 1705 the tithes were paid to the rector in kind apart from moduses for milk and calves and for non-parishioners' sheep summering in Notgrove. (fn. 249) At inclosure in 1771 the tithes were commuted for 188 a. and £6 18s. 5d. in rent charges and the rector was also awarded 121 a. for glebe. (fn. 250) The land was sold in 1909. (fn. 251) The value of the benefice, £15 6s. 8d. in 1535, when it was farmed, (fn. 252) had risen to £80 by 1650 (fn. 253) and £150 by 1750. (fn. 254) It was £287 in 1856. (fn. 255)
The rectory house stood on the steep hillside some way north of the church. (fn. 256) The main eastwest range, of three bays plus a west cross wing, was built in the 17th century. Thick west and south-east walls may be the remains of the rector's earlier house said, in 1619, to contain c. 6 bays. (fn. 257) By the early 19th century the house was occupied as a farmhouse by the tenant of the glebe (fn. 258) and in 1810, according to a datestone, the west wing was extended slightly southwards. (fn. 259) In the 1860s the ground floor was entered via a through-passage, perhaps in the 17th-century or earlier position. The passage opened west into a dining room with a southfacing study, stairs, and cellars beyond and east into a kitchen, from which a back kitchen projected north and a dairy or larder south; a loft over the dairy had been used before 1858 as a wool store. In 1869 and 1870 D. F. Vigers, the rector, remodelled the house as his residence to designs, by W. H. Knight, which included extending the east wing a few feet southwards to accommodate a bay-windowed drawing room and an upper bedroom, adding a porch and lobby west of the drawing room, and building a passage along the north side of the main range to connect the west end of the house with a principal staircase, which replaced back stairs in the back kitchen. A level garden was created in front of the house, the earth removed being used to landscape other parts of the grounds. At the same time Vigers extended the north-east wing to provide a first-floor schoolroom with an open arch-braced roof. (fn. 260) After Vigers's death in 1906 the house was unoccupied and in 1909 it was sold with the glebe land. (fn. 261) The outbuildings include an eight-bayed barn higher up to the west, on the opposite side of the lane; recorded in 1619 (fn. 262) the barn was reroofed in the 19th century.
John of Windsor, who was granted the rectory in commendam in 1284, (fn. 263) later became rector but was held in the Tower of London in 1294 on a charge of felony. (fn. 264) John of Cerney, instituted in 1303, resigned the rectory the same year but he regained it in 1304 and was later made a deacon. (fn. 265) His successor in 1306 held the living for six months in commendam. (fn. 266) In 1321 an assistant was appointed to help a blind and senile rector (fn. 267) and in 1336 a new rector was licensed to be absent for a year. (fn. 268) A later rector was licensed in 1391 to be non-resident for three years. (fn. 269) Most of the mid 16th-century rectors were evidently absentees employing curates in their place. (fn. 270) Under Richard Mounslow, rector 1541–58, several former monks of Winchcombe, where he had been the last abbot, served the cure; the curate in 1551 was knowledgeable on the main points of Church doctrine. (fn. 271) Edward Savacre, who as rector in 1579 was dispensed to be absent for seven years for study, acquired another benefice and in 1584 Thomas Cole was presented to Notgrove in his place. (fn. 272) Despite opposition from Savacre's supporters, including members of the Whittington family, Cole was inducted in 1586 but he was expelled from the rectory house and until his death in 1592 was prevented from serving the cure; Rowland Whittington who took part of the tithes employed a minister. (fn. 273) Savacre regained the living in 1593. Robert Scudamore, rector from 1641, retained the living in 1650 (fn. 274) but Robert Rowden, rector in 1654, was ejected in favour of William Dickins, the Lord Protector's nominee in 1655. (fn. 275) Dickins's successor was ejected in 1660 and later ministered to Congregational churches in Tewkesbury and Chipping Campden. (fn. 276) The next two rectors, Samuel and James Michell, were father and son and pluralists. James was succeeded in 1687 by George Yardley, who, although he was also vicar of Mickleton from 1707, apparently lived in Notgrove until his death in 1746. (fn. 277) The rectors in the late 18th century and early 19th, among them the divine and poet George Butt (1783–7) and Richard Wetherell (1810–58), were nonresident and employed curates, several of whom also lived outside Notgrove. (fn. 278) In the mid 1820s, when the curate was resident, two Sunday services were conducted in summer and one in winter. (fn. 279) Duncan Firmin Vigers, rector from 1858, took up residence and carried out improvements in the church and churchyard and built a schoolroom. (fn. 280) After his death in 1906 the parish was without a resident clergyman. (fn. 281) In 1996 a service was held in the church on most Sundays.
Notgrove church, on a site where a cinerary urn and other Roman pottery have been found, (fn. 282) was called St. Mary's in 1494 (fn. 283) but its dedication was to ST. BARTHOLOMEW in the early 18th century and later. (fn. 284) A small building of coursed rubble, it has a chancel with north vestry, a nave with north transept, narrow north aisle, and south porch, and a west tower with spire. Part of the fabric, including the nave arcade, dates from the 12th century, but the church was extensively remodelled in the 14th century, when the chancel was rebuilt, the chancel arch widened, and the short transept and the tower with its short, recessed octagonal spire were added: in the early 18th century the transept belonged to the lord of the manor. (fn. 285) Among other 14th-century features are the reredos with canopied niche and three ogee arches on the east wall, the aumbry below it, and the transept window with ballflower ornament. The chancel north wall has, like the east wall, remained windowless. In the late 15th century or the early 16th the nave windows were replaced, the nave's south doorway was rebuilt, and the porch was added. The mullioned windows in the north aisle are of the 17th century.
In the mid 19th century, after years of neglect, the nave was in a dangerous state (fn. 286) and in the years 1871–3 the church was restored by the Revd. D. F. Vigers to plans by J. E. K. Cutts. The work on the chancel, completed in 1871, included widening the chancel arch and raising the floor. The restoration of the other parts of the church, during which the aisle and part of the south wall were rebuilt, was paid for partly by Christ Church and Corpus Christi colleges, Oxford, and began in 1872. At the same time Vigers built the vestry in the angle of the chancel and transept. During the restoration, which revealed that the chancel's side walls were once decorated with a painted flower motif, (fn. 287) the remains of a 14th-century niche and crucifix were placed on the external east wall and architectural fragments, including the head of a 12thcentury window, were reset in the porch.
The font has a 12th-century tub-shaped bowl. (fn. 288) The upper part of the chancel screen incorporates 14th- or 15th-century carving and the pulpit 17th-century woodwork. The south side of the nave contains pews installed in 1619 (fn. 289) and lengthened a little in 1872 and 1873. The rest of the nave and the aisle were seated with chairs from 1873 (fn. 290) and were partly pewed in the mid 20th century, beginning in 1937; some of the pews were memorials to members of the Anderson family. (fn. 291) In 1909 the chancel was given new pews and a new organ was built between it and the vestry, all at the cost of C. G. Cunard. The organ, a memorial to Cunard's brothers-in-law J. A. and S. V. Gibbs, (fn. 292) was replaced in 1973 (fn. 293) and the new instrument was replaced in 1985 by a pipe organ from a chapel in Ruardean. (fn. 294)
In the porch is a 14th-century stone coffin, and the transept contains two 14th-century priests' effigies, both of which were in the churchyard before 1895. (fn. 295) Three effigies in the chancel date from the late 16th century and the early 17th and are believed to represent members of the Whittington family; (fn. 296) one of those monuments, to a lady, (fn. 297) is on a base dated 1630. Among the chancel monuments moved in 1871 were floor tablets to the rectors William Dickins (d. 1659), Samuel Michell (d. 1665), and James Michell (d. 1687). (fn. 298) The vestry window contains 14th-century stained glass depicting the Virgin and Child. (fn. 299) All but one of the windows on the south side of the church contain later 19thcentury stained glass. Those on the north side of the aisle are filled with glass made in 1996 by Rodrick Friend of Edge, in Painswick, to a design, inspired by Elizabeth Acland, depicting the four seasons in local agricultural scenes. (fn. 300) A tapestry covering the reredos and imitating its outline was worked from 1936 to a design by Colin Skelton Anderson and was completed in 1954. (fn. 301) The church has a bell cast c. 1350 by John of Gloucester and another probably of c. 1600; a third bell was recast in 1779 by Thomas Rudhall. (fn. 302) The church plate was melted down in 1871 to make a new chalice and paten. (fn. 303) The churchyard contains the remains of a stone cross. The surviving parish registers begin in 1660 for baptisms and burials and 1679 for marriages. (fn. 304)
Several, if not all, of the seven nonconformists recorded in Notgrove in 1676 (fn. 305) were Baptists. Prominent among them was William Evans (fn. 306) and in 1705 his widow's house was registered as a Baptist place of worship. (fn. 307) The Notgrove Baptists, at least some of whom attended meetings in Bourton-on-theWater, (fn. 308) numbered 10 in 1735. (fn. 309) In 1727, and again in 1740, a house in Notgrove was registered for their use (fn. 310) and in 1784 they held services, apparently jointly with the Naunton Baptists, at Folly Farm. In 1795 at least 12 Notgrove people were members of the Bourton Baptist church (fn. 311) but houses registered in 1802 and 1825 were served from the Naunton chapel. (fn. 312) In the early 20th century many, perhaps a majority, of the villagers attended the Naunton meeting. (fn. 313) Several Notgrove residents contributed to the building in 1852 of a new Baptist chapel at Stow-on-the-Wold. (fn. 314)
Notgrove had a Sunday school supported by voluntary contributions in 1818 (fn. 315) and 10 children attended a day school there at their parents' expense in 1833. (fn. 316) In 1841 the villagers included a schoolmistress (fn. 317) and in 1847 a master taught 38 children in day and Sunday schools held in the church and supported partly by subscriptions. (fn. 318) There was a village schoolmistress in 1861. (fn. 319) In 1869 and 1870 the rector D. F. Vigers built a schoolroom as part of an extension of the rectory house (fn. 320) and started a school on the National plan. The school, which in 1885 had an average attendance of 21, (fn. 321) remained under Vigers's management until its closure in 1903, and local farmers contributed £10 (from 1896 £16) a year towards its cost by a voluntary rate. (fn. 322) Following the school's closure Notgrove children attended the Cold Aston school (fn. 323) and, for a time, the Turkdean school. (fn. 324)
Charity for the Poor.
In 1771 the inclosure commissioners set aside 8 a. in the north-west corner of the parish for growing furze and wood for fuel for the poor. (fn. 325) In 1834, when the land had almost ceased to yield fuel, it was divided into small plots assigned to each house and from 1842 it was let as allotments. (fn. 326) The allotment rents, intended under an Act of 1832 for buying fuel for the poor, (fn. 327) were collected until after 1894 (fn. 328) and the land was later leased to a farmer. For part of the 20th century the charity was not distributed and, following its revival, a Scheme of 1972 allowed its income, then £1.50 a year, to be used for other purposes than fuel. (fn. 329)