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.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Salperton, which lies 13 km. east of Cheltenham, ceased to exist as a civil parish in 1935 when it was united with Hazleton, to the south. (fn. 1) The ancient parish, known by the 18th century also as Cold Salperton from its bleak situation high on the uplands of the Cotswolds, (fn. 2) was 1,401 a. (567 ha.) in area (fn. 3) and roughly rectangular in shape. (fn. 4) Bounded on the west by an ancient salt way between Droitwich (Worcs.) and the river Thames at Lechlade (fn. 5) and on the east by the course of the stream in the top part of the valley called Turkdean in pre-Conquest charters, (fn. 6) it extended northwards to an ancient trackway leading eastwards towards Bourtonon-the-Water. (fn. 7) Elsewhere it was bounded by field boundaries.
The high downland of Salperton drains principally into the narrow valley of a small stream which curves through the ancient parish from north-west to south-east down to the valley on the eastern boundary. The lowest point of the parish, at just under 180 m., is at the southeastern corner; above the central valley the land rises to over 260 m. in the north and south-west of the ancient parish. The land is formed mostly by the Inferior Oolite, which in a few places is overlaid by fuller's earth, and the high ground of the north and west is formed by the Great Oolite with its Cotswold slate beds. (fn. 8) Much land in the parish was in open fields or common downland (fn. 9) and after their inclosure in the 1770s the higher land was mostly in tillage. (fn. 10) From the late 18th century, possibly from the 1770s, the south-western part of the parish was formed into a park for a new mansion called Salperton Park. Ornamental clumps of trees were planted in walled squares (fn. 11) before the diversion of a number of roads in 1796 facilitated further development of the park, (fn. 12) and plantations were established along much of the park's perimeter before the mid 1820s. (fn. 13) A little new woodland was planted elsewhere in the parish later in the 19th century, (fn. 14) and in 1905 Salperton contained 65 a. of woodland and plantations. (fn. 15) In the late 20th century over 40 more acres were planted, mostly on the edges of the park and as covers for pheasant and partridge. (fn. 16)
The Domesday survey of 1086 enumerated 22 people in Salperton. (fn. 17) The population of the parish remained small later in the Middle Ages, 10 people being assessed for the subsidy in 1327, (fn. 18) perhaps more than 26 people paying poll tax in 1381, (fn. 19) and 9 households being recorded in 1563. (fn. 20) A claim that there were c. 100 communicants in 1551 was clearly an exaggeration; (fn. 21) in 1603 the number of communicants was put at 40. (fn. 22) For much of the 17th century the population was very small, 13 families being recorded in 1650 (fn. 23) and 17 householders being listed in the hearth-tax return of 1672, (fn. 24) and c. 1710 it was about 60. (fn. 25) The population rose throughout the 18th century, when new cottages were built, (fn. 26) and was 186 in 1801. Thereafter it fluctuated, reaching a peak of 216 in 1831 and usually being below 150 in the later 19th century. After the First World War it declined to 92 in 1931 (fn. 27) and the decline continued in the later 20th century. In 1995, when some cottages were unoccupied, the village had 35 permanent residents. (fn. 28)
The salt way on Salperton's western boundary may have been the route on the west side of the parish known as Greenway in the late 13th century. (fn. 29) In the mid 18th century it carried traffic between Winchcombe and both Northleach and Cirencester. (fn. 30) The ancient trackway marking the parish's northern limit was part of a way from Gloucester and Cheltenham to Bourton-on-theWater until the late 18th or early 19th century when that section of the road was abandoned in favour of a route further north in Hawling. (fn. 31) The other roads in Salperton, as mapped in 1741, were not thoroughfares of great significance and most linked the village in the centre of the parish with nearby towns and villages. (fn. 32) South-west of the village the road to Hampen, and beyond that to Gloucester and Cheltenham, was known as Littleton way. The way to Hazleton led south from the village and west of the church, and the road to Cirencester branched south-westwards from it to join the salt way in Hazleton. Further south the Hazleton road was crossed by a road running east-west between Cold Aston and Andoversford and forming in 1597 part of the highway from Notgrove to Cheltenham. (fn. 33) In 1796, as part of the development of the park in the south-west of the parish, the Hazleton road was diverted away from Salperton Park house and the church to begin at a junction with the Hampen road, and a new road was built between it and the salt way to replace both the Cirencester and the Andoversford roads. (fn. 34) In the north of the parish the road to Stow-on-theWold was diverted slightly to the west and the road to Winchcombe, further to the west, was designated a bridleway at inclosure in the 1770s. (fn. 35) In the east the route of the road to Bourton-on-the-Water was altered slightly in 1876 to make way for a section of the Banbury and Cheltenham railway. (fn. 36) The road was later reduced to a footpath, as were the Cold Aston road and the southern part of the Hazleton road. The railway was opened across the northern part of the parish in 1881 with Notgrove station a mile from Salperton village. (fn. 37) The line was closed in 1962. (fn. 38)
Salperton village, where in the early 17th century it seemed that several cottages had been abandoned long before, (fn. 39) comprises two separate groups of buildings. The southern, smaller settlement, which includes the church at its southern end, comprised three families and was known as the Upper Town c. 1703. (fn. 40) A farmhouse north of the churchyard, the principal residence of the rectory estate, was enlarged in the later 18th century to form the Browne family's mansion known as Salperton Park. (fn. 41) A farmhouse to the north-west, perhaps the site of the medieval manor, was acquired by John Browne under the inclosure award of 1780 (fn. 42) and was demolished during an extension of the mansion's grounds. (fn. 43) Another farmhouse, to the north-east, (fn. 44) was occupied by farm labourers after T. B. Browne built a new farmhouse, Cotswold Lodge, next to it in the 1850s. (fn. 45) Two matching barns of c. 1700 north of the old farmhouse also remained in 1996, when a wing of Salperton Park and a range of a stable block built to the north in 1901 were occupied as cottages. (fn. 46)
The village proper, sheltering in the central valley some distance north of the church, had eight families and was called the Lower Town c. 1703. (fn. 47) It extends northwards along the valley beside the route of the old Winchcombe road and while some buildings appear 17th-century in the gabled Cotswold style, most houses and cottages date from the 18th century. (fn. 48) One of the northernmost cottages was built in a corner of the open field on the east side of the valley. (fn. 49) John Browne, who bought the few cottages not already part of his estate, continued demolition, rebuilding and new building in the early 19th century and divided at least one farmhouse into cottages. (fn. 50) To the south, Village (formerly Lower) Farm, (fn. 51) occupying the site of a farmhouse recorded in 1624, (fn. 52) was rebuilt in the 1770s (fn. 53) and overlooks a group of barns at the entrance to the village from the south-west, on the Hampen road. The house below Village Farm incorporates the remains of a long range which was once three cottages and before that included an alehouse called the Bell; (fn. 54) a bell and the initials of John and Mary Dyer are carved on a datestone of 1752. (fn. 55) To the north-east a house with a brick garden front of the early 18th century and attics with dormers was part of a copyhold estate owned in 1741 by Henry Freeman (fn. 56) and in 1769 by John Chandler; (fn. 57) it also has a datestone of 1767. In 1861 there were 36 cottages in the main part of the village. (fn. 58) One or two at the northern end were demolished in the later 19th century to make way for the railway (fn. 59) and several had been amalgamated by the mid 20th century to form larger dwellings. (fn. 60) There was some new building in the later 20th century but the main part of the village contained only 25 dwellings in 1994. (fn. 61)
Very few dwellings were built in outlying parts of the parish. Farhill Farm, in the southeast, is a small farmhouse built after inclosure, in the late 18th century or the early 19th. (fn. 62) Some farm buildings recorded from 1781 at a place later called Crows' Castle, in the east of the parish on the Bourton road, (fn. 63) were pulled down in the early 20th century (fn. 64) and the remaining buildings there, including in the 1930s a small farmhouse, (fn. 65) were demolished after the Second World War.
An alehouse in Salperton was suppressed in 1672. (fn. 66) The Bell, which adopted that name in or before 1752, (fn. 67) was described in 1769 as an inn (fn. 68) and later as an alehouse. (fn. 69) It had closed by 1850. (fn. 70)
From the mid 18th century virtually the whole parish belonged to an estate centred on the house known as Salperton Park. (fn. 71) The Browne family, later owners of the estate, and their successors played an influential role in the life of the local community. In the early 20th century G. L. F. Harter provided a piped water supply to the village. (fn. 72) Before the advent of mains electricity in the mid 1950s the village received electricity generated at Salperton Park. (fn. 73) For much of the 1950s and the 1960s, in the time of Sir Edward Hulton, part of Salperton Park accommodated an estate social club. (fn. 74)
In 1919 a wooden Calvary was erected southwest of the village, at the corner of the Hampen road and the road up to the church, as a memorial mainly to members and relatives of the Harter family killed in the First World War. (fn. 75) The memorial reflects the taste of Frances Harter, wife of G. L. F. Harter, and her Roman Catholicism was a source of conflict between the family and the rest of the parish for many years. (fn. 76)
Manor and Other Estates.
At Salperton an estate of 10 hides belonging to Wulfward in 1066 was held by Hugh L'Asne in 1086. (fn. 77) The estate, the later manor of SALPERTON, evidently passed to Peter Corbezon (Peter of Studley), who in the mid 12th century granted the church and land at Salperton to a priory he had founded in Worcestershire. Peter moved the priory to Studley (Warws.) and increased its endowment. His son Peter Corbezon transferred the patronage of the house to William de Cauntelo, (fn. 78) who in 1236 had an overlordship in Salperton presumably by virtue of a grant also of the manor. (fn. 79) From William (d. 1239) the overlordship descended to his grandson George de Cauntelo and at the division of George's estates following his death in 1273 it was assigned to his nephew John of Hastings. (fn. 80) Its later descent has not been traced and in the early 15th century the manor was held directly from the Crown. (fn. 81)
In 1195 Ralph de Limesi held a knight's fee in Salperton evidently by inheritance through his mother. (fn. 82) In 1223 Ralph's daughter Margery and her husband Walter Comyn claimed that during his lifetime Ralph had granted Margery half a knight's fee in Salperton. That claim was denied by Ralph's son Ralph de Limesi (fn. 83) and in 1225 the Comyns and he were parties to a suit concerning ¾ knight's fee in Salperton. (fn. 84) Robert the dyer (tingtor) of Winchcombe held half a knight's fee in Salperton from William de Cauntelo in 1236 (fn. 85) and Robert son of Ralph and his wife Felice quitclaimed a ploughland there to Margery and Walter Comyn in 1241. (fn. 86) In 1254 the Comyns, whose estate was later rep- resented by ¾ knight's fee held from George de Cauntelo, (fn. 87) acknowledged an estate of 2 ploughlands, 64 a., and 40s. rent in Salperton to be the right of Felice, wife of Robert son of Nicholas, and in return were granted it by the service of 12 marks a year and scutage. (fn. 88) Margery conveyed the manor of Salperton to her sons Thomas and Robert and in 1284 Thomas held half a knight's fee from his brother William. (fn. 89) Walter of Cheltenham, described as lord of Salperton in the late 13th century, held land by grant from Thomas and Robert Comyn (fn. 90) and in the early 14th century he and Thomas Comyn granted lands making up the manor to Cirencester abbey, (fn. 91) from whom Thomas held the half knight's fee in 1303. Although another Thomas Comyn was said to hold the estate in 1346, (fn. 92) the abbey held the half knight's fee in 1402 (fn. 93) and retained the manor until the Dissolution. (fn. 94) In the early 16th century part of the manor formed an estate of 200 a. held by the Cassey family, owners of Cassey Compton. (fn. 95)
In 1551 the Crown granted Salperton manor to the college of St. Mary at Winchester (Hants) (fn. 96) and the college, commonly known as Winchester college, (fn. 97) retained it until the mid 19th century. (fn. 98) By the mid 17th century the manor was farmed under leases granted by the college for terms of 20 years and renewed every few years. At his death in 1637 the lessee Richard Browne of Bishop's Norton left the manor to his second son John, a minor, (fn. 99) who held it in 1659. (fn. 100) It was later acquired by the Roberts family of Cheltenham (fn. 101) and in 1694 it belonged to George Roberts. (fn. 102) On George's death in 1711 (fn. 103) the manor passed to his daughter Mary (d. 1717) and her husband Richard Cossley, a Gloucester goldsmith. In 1727 Richard's mortgagees sold the manor to his son William but Richard (d. 1742) (fn. 104) continued to hold the manor court in 1733. (fn. 105) In 1747 William, who had purchased Salperton rectory, (fn. 106) sold his estate to Thomas Fane of Bristol and in 1752 Fane, who later became earl of Westmorland, sold it to Thomas Browne, (fn. 107) a grandson of the John Browne mentioned above. (fn. 108)
Thomas bought most of the remaining freehold land in the parish (fn. 109) and in 1770 he settled his Salperton estate on the marriage of his son John and Mary Beale. (fn. 110) They both died in 1782 and the estate passed to their infant son John, (fn. 111) who in 1798 bought an adjoining estate at Hampen. (fn. 112) John (d. 1850) was succeeded by his son Thomas Beale Browne, who in 1866 purchased the freehold of the manor from Winchester college. T. B. Browne (d. 1888) (fn. 113) fell into debt and the estate, which became the subject of litigation, was conveyed in 1886 to trustees and was sold in 1891 to Richard Allen and Richard Stratton. (fn. 114) They sold it in 1900 to G. L. F. Harter (fn. 115) (d. 1920), whose son and heir F. J. C. H. Harter took possession in 1932. (fn. 116) On his death in 1938 the estate reverted to his mother Frances (fn. 117) and in 1951 she sold the bulk of it in two parts to Edward Hulton, a magazine publisher. Hulton, who was knighted in 1957, (fn. 118) added several cottages by piecemeal purchases (fn. 119) and in 1981 he sold the estate to Victor Watkins. (fn. 120) Members of the Houghton family bought the estate from Watkins in the mid 1990s, when it included the entire village and nearly the whole of the ancient parish of Salperton. (fn. 121)
In the late 13th century Walter of Cheltenham held a moiety of the manor house (curia) by grant from Robert Comyn. (fn. 122) The house was presumably near the church, perhaps on the site of the manor farmhouse, the freehold of which passed to John Browne under the inclosure award of 1780. (fn. 123) The farmhouse, which stood north-west of Browne's mansion (later called Salperton Park), and its outbuildings (fn. 124) were demolished, probably soon afterwards, for an enlargement of the mansion's grounds. (fn. 125)
A priest recorded at Salperton in 1086 evidently had land there. (fn. 126) Following the appropriation of Salperton church at the time of Peter Corbezon's grant of the church and land in the mid 12th century, (fn. 127) Studley priory owned two yardlands and the tithes of the parish (fn. 128) and retained the impropriate rectory until the Dissolution. (fn. 129) The impropriation was valued at £40 in 1603. (fn. 130) The Crown, which in 1537 leased the rectory to Thomas Chandler for 21 years, (fn. 131) sold it in 1543 to Richard Andrews (fn. 132) and he sold it immediately to Henry Heydon of Watford (Herts.). (fn. 133) In 1548 Henry granted it for life to Thomas Chandler (d. 1550) with remainder to his son Thomas Heydon (fn. 134) and, although in 1563 Richard Heydon was said to own the impropriation, (fn. 135) Thomas Heydon was the owner in 1566. (fn. 136) In 1569 Francis Heydon, another son of Henry, sold the rectory to William Fawkes (fn. 137) (d. 1589). His son and heir William (fn. 138) was granted seisin in 1598, some time after he came of age, (fn. 139) and in 1625 he sold a long lease to Robert Veysey (d. 1635) of Chimney, in Bampton (Oxon.), and the reversion to Robert's trustees. In 1630 the rectory was settled on Robert with reversion to his nephew Robert Veysey (d. 1666) of Oxford and in 1695 the younger Robert's son and heir Sunnybank Veysey sold it to John Burford. After John's death in 1702 it was assigned to his sister Catherine and her husband John Bee (fn. 140) (d. 1728 and 1731 respectively). (fn. 141) They were succeeded by their son John (fl. 1736) and in 1743 his son and heir John Bee of Andover (Hants) sold the estate to William Cossley, (fn. 142) the lessee of Salperton manor. (fn. 143) The rectory, which included the house later called Salperton Park, (fn. 144) then descended with the manor. (fn. 145) Under the inclosure award of 1780 the tithes were commuted for 212 a. and 13s. 11d. in rent charges and a further 86 a. was allotted to John Browne for the rectorial glebe. (fn. 146)
Salperton Park is a small country house of several periods. The west end of the east range, facing the church, incorporates a three-room 17th-century farmhouse with five gables and chamfered beams, one of which bears the date 1616 with the initials of William Fawkes. A date of 1616 is also carved on a jamb in the room above. A description of the house as a new built mansion in 1769 (fn. 147) undoubtedly refers to its enlargement in Palladian style by Thomas Browne. The main, west block was five bays wide by one deep and two and a half storeys high. Its west front had a three-bayed central pediment, alternating pediments above the firstfloor windows, and a rusticated ground floor. (fn. 148) There was a service wing in the north-east angle of the building and stabling in an extension of the east range. (fn. 149) In 1826 the west front had been altered by the addition of a pedimented porch and a two-storeyed north wing, (fn. 150) both evidently the work of Richard Pace (d. 1838) of Lechlade for they are the only features drawn accurately on the elevation of Salperton Park, dated 1817, illustrated on his firm's trade card. The matching south wing, also shown on the trade card, (fn. 151) was built later, perhaps after Pace's death; (fn. 152) both wings had trellised parapets c. 1880. (fn. 153) Other work perhaps associated with Pace was a partial refacing of the east range's south front. (fn. 154) One or two early 19th-century fireplaces were re-used when the house was remodelled and enlarged in 1900 and 1901 by F. W. Waller for G. L. F. Harter. The entrance hall and flanking rooms in the centre of the 18th-century house were thrown into one drawing room with a large bay in place of the porch, the entrance was transferred to a new north block, incorporating a billiard room, and a large top-lit staircase hall was inserted to link north, west, and east ranges, in place of the pantry and service rooms. The additions, both internally and externally, were in free Jacobean and 18th-century styles. At the same time the stables in the east range were converted as servants' quarters, extensions to the stables and a coach house to the south were demolished, and a new stable block incorporating a cottage on one side of its yard was built north of the house. (fn. 155) In the 1950s Edward Hulton, who lived in the village, converted the house as flats with part of the ground floor as a social club and the servants' accommodation at the east end as three cottages. (fn. 156) In the 1980s the main part of the building was restored as a house but the east end remained cottages and in 1996 there were also two cottages in the stable block to the north.
In 1185 the Knights Templar had 1½ yardland in Salperton by the gift of Peter of Studley. They annexed the land to the manor of Guiting (fn. 157) and it passed with that manor to Corpus Christi college, Oxford, in 1517. (fn. 158) From 1752 the land was farmed under leases by the Browne family as part of its estate. (fn. 159) The college was allotted 31 a. in the north of the parish by the inclosure award of 1780 (fn. 160) and it retained that land until 1943. (fn. 161)
Of ten ploughteams recorded on the Salperton estate in 1086 three belonged, with 11 servi, to the demesne and the others to 10 villani and a priest. (fn. 162) The area under arable cultivation had contracted by 1220 when only four ploughteams were recorded in Salperton. (fn. 163) The manorial demesne was farmed in the late Middle Ages (fn. 164) and under a lease of 1538 the rent was increased to produce about a fifth of the total profits of the manor. (fn. 165) The demesne remained in the hands of a farmer in the early 17th century, (fn. 166) and in 1735 it was represented by 346 a. held by the lessee of the manor under Winchester college. (fn. 167)
There is no evidence of tenants on the rectory estate, which was farmed in 1535 (fn. 168) and 1569. (fn. 169) In 1185 two tenants paid the Templars 7s. for their land in Salperton (fn. 170) and in 1535 Corpus Christi college received 5s. 4d. in rent for the same land; (fn. 171) the college took the same rent from a copyhold tenant in the early 17th century. (fn. 172) Cirencester abbey received £3 12s. 3d. in assized rents from free and customary tenants on its manor in 1535. (fn. 173) A few years later the assized rents on the manor yielded £3 10s. 1d., with three free tenants contributing 8s. 1d. and seven copyholders the rest. Most of the copyhold tenements were held for three lives and in the 1550s six of them comprised 16 arable yardlands between them, one having 4 yardlands, three 3 yardlands each, one 2 yardlands, and one 1 yardland. Of the freeholders one had 3½ yardlands and the others 1 yardland each. (fn. 174) A yardland was later reckoned to comprise only c. 20 a. (fn. 175) Copyholders' heriots were paid in kind (oxen) in 1570 (fn. 176) and in cash in the 1720s. (fn. 177) In 1608 the copyhold land belonging to the manor covered 22½ yardlands and remained divided between seven estates, two of which were in the same ownership. Those estates were virtually intact in 1692 (fn. 178) and apparently in 1740, when they comprised 476 a. At the latter date seven freehold estates, covering 214 a. and including those of the lay rector and of Corpus Christi college, were also held from the manor. (fn. 179) Shortly after he became the principal landholder in Salperton in 1752 (fn. 180) Thomas Browne bought most of the freehold and copyhold estates (fn. 181) and by 1769 his estate, which comprised virtually the whole parish, included two farms of 671 a. and 568 a. respectively. (fn. 182) Copyhold tenure was extinguished in Salperton in 1866 when Winchester college sold the manor to Thomas Beale Browne. (fn. 183)
The area of arable land may have been reduced before 1220 (fn. 184) to create new sheep walks on the downs surrounding the village. Shepherds were recorded in Salperton from 1327. (fn. 185) Cirencester abbey may have retained a flock and a sheephouse there when it first leased the demesne to a farmer, but in 1535 another tenant had the sheephouse and a right to pasture 300 sheep on the stubble fields and downs of the parish, and contributed just over half of the abbey's profits from Salperton. Under a lease of 1538 the farmer of the demesne was entitled to keep 20 wethers with the flock (fn. 186) and in the 1560s the tenant of the rectory estate, which had common rights for 200 ewes and a bell wether, was regularly presented in the manor court for exceeding that number. (fn. 187)
In the later 16th century the right to run 300 sheep continued to be held separately from the demesne (fn. 188) but by the late 17th century it belonged to the lessee of the manor under Winchester college. (fn. 189) In the mid 12th century Salperton had an east and a west field (fn. 190) and in the mid 13th century, when north and south open fields were also recorded, the west field touched the salt way on the boundary of the parish. (fn. 191) The arable was again cultivated on a two-field system in the early 17th century with an east or lower field and a west or upper field covering between them much of the parish. Although most land was in strips of ½ a. or ¼ a., in some places there were blocks comprising 3 a. or 4 a. (fn. 192) Areas of waste land in the open fields of the mid 16th century were used as leys and, despite a request in 1562 that they be divided up and allotted to the copyholders, were used as common pasture before the corn had been harvested. (fn. 193) Five acres of meadow were recorded in Salperton in 1086 (fn. 194) and the Nattocks, a meadow in the valley on the east side of the parish, was mentioned in the late 13th century. (fn. 195) Later Cirencester abbey granted the first hay crop from the Nattocks as feed for the flock of 300 sheep mentioned above and by 1535, to compensate for a shortage of meadow land in Salperton, it assigned 16 loads of hay from a meadow in Latton (Wilts.) as winter feed for those sheep. (fn. 196) The latter entitlement was commuted for a cash rent in 1857 (fn. 197) and was relinquished in 1866. (fn. 198) In the late 16th century Salperton's meadows included the Lamp Acre, in the south of the parish by the Notgrove–Cheltenham road, and, to its west, a lot meadow which extended across the road to the parish's southern boundary. (fn. 199) Corpus Christi college's tenant shared the fourth cock of the lot meadow with one of Winchester college's tenants. (fn. 200)
Among closes in Salperton in the later 1530s one called Nutcroft, used as a winter fold for the flock of 300 sheep mentioned above, (fn. 201) was next to the church. Most early closes were in the south of the parish and were created, some at least by the late 16th century, to allow for the separate cultivation of the manorial demesne. (fn. 202) The lot meadow, or perhaps what remained of it after part had been inclosed for the demesne, was inclosed and divided between the freeholders and copyholders before 1740. At that time the open fields covered large areas on opposite sides of the village, the lower field to the east descending to the floor of the central valley and and the upper field to the west extending to Pen hill at the south-western corner of the parish, and they were divided into narrow strips save in the few places where the lay rector and some other landholders had consolidated parts of their holdings. Scattered in the village and the fields were many small commons and roadside wastes, most on the east side of the parish and some on steep hillsides. The larger commons, lying beyond the fields, included Upper Downs (106 a.), a cow common, in the north, Old Down (40 a.), a horse common, in the west, Upper and Lower Mickle hill (29 a.) forming the north side of the central valley in the east, and the Furze hills (59a.) overlooking the valleys in the southeast. (fn. 203) In 1712 twelve landholders, including the lessee of the manor and the lay rector, reached an agreement for growing corn on Old Down, Mickle hill, and four smaller commons (one of which was called St. John's green) for four or five years. By the agreement, which permitted the lessee of the manor to cultivate certain other common land for the same period and he and the other landholders to inclose some land adjoining Nutcroft for good, the landholders were to withold 5 sheep from the commons for every acre of common land they ploughed. At that time each yardland had pasture rights for 20 sheep. (fn. 204) Later the stint was 25 sheep, 1½ cow, and 1 horse for every yardland. (fn. 205) In the mid 18th century the commons were managed by two or three shepherds or herdsmen. (fn. 206) Pasture rights in the open fields and commons belonged to the freeholders and the copyholders save in the Furze hills. There they were reserved for sheep of the lessee of the manor and of the freeholders, and the manor and the rectory estate had the right to pasture 10 and 3 cows respectively on one hill in one year and on the other hill in the next. (fn. 207)
Inclosure of the open fields and commons took place in or soon after 1776 (fn. 208) and was ratified by commissioners appointed under an Act of 1780. The commissioners' award dealt with 1,382 a. and recorded a few exchanges involving some farmhouses and cottages as well as land. It allotted 368 a. to Winchester college and 31 a. to Corpus Christi college but the principal beneficiary was John Browne, the lessee under both colleges and the holder of nearly all the freehold and copyhold land in the parish; as a result of the award his estate comprised 1,344 a. Two other freeholders received allotments of 6 a. and 1 a. and five more owned only their cottages and gardens. (fn. 209) Immediately after inclosure most of the downland was put down to tillage (fn. 210) and in the early 19th century over half of the families in the parish were entirely dependent on agricultural work. (fn. 211) In 1851 the largest farm in the parish employed 33 labourers. (fn. 212) An area between the village street and the Stow-on-the-Wold road was laid out as allotment gardens in the late 19th century. (fn. 213)
For much of the 19th century, and presumably from soon after inclosure, there were three main farms on the Salperton estate. The home farm had 540 a. in 1782 (fn. 214) and 401 a. in 1850. The other farms in 1850 comprised 746 a. worked from a house in the village and 174 a. centred on a farmhouse at Farhill. (fn. 215) The following year T. B. Browne leased the home farm to a tenant and took Farhill farm in hand, leasing it out again in 1862. The home farm was taken back in hand in 1856 but it was let out again from 1883, (fn. 216) and in 1890 Cotswold Lodge farm (352 a.), Village farm (650 a.), and Farhill farm (110 a.) were all occupied by tenants. (fn. 217) The three farms remained roughly the same size in the early 20th century. According to a return of 1926 the estate also included four smaller agricultural tenancies, of which only one had over 50 a., and the only freehold farm in the parish comprised only a few acres. (fn. 218) The estate retained its three principal farms until after the Second World War, (fn. 219) but in the late 20th century it was managed as a single farm, which in 1994 provided work for eight full-time employees. (fn. 220)
In 1797 the farmland on that part of the Salperton estate held under Winchester college included 722 a. arable, 151 a. pasture, and 3 a. meadow. (fn. 221) Although only 523 a., mostly growing wheat, barley, oats, and turnips, was reported to be under arable cultivation in 1801, (fn. 222) farming in the parish remained predominantly arable until the later 19th century. In 1866 only 143 a. of permanent grass was returned compared with 1,191 a. cropped with corn, roots, and grass seeds. (fn. 223) In the 1850s and 1860s T. B. Browne bred and ran large flocks of sheep on his Salperton and Hampen estates and planted a large area of swedes and turnips as winter feed. (fn. 224) The number of sheep in Salperton in 1866 was estimated at 779, compared with 99 cattle, including 9 milk cows, and 65 pigs. (fn. 225) In 1851 Browne, who had established a flax mill at Hampen, (fn. 226) planted a small area of flax in Salperton. (fn. 227) In the later 19th century, when fewer sheep and more cattle were reared in Salperton, a large area was laid down as permanent grassland. A return of 1896 listed 362 sheep and 177 beef and dairy cattle and 822 a. of permanent grass and 503 a. of rotated crops. (fn. 228) By 1905 the area of permanent grass had been reduced (fn. 229) and in 1926 the recorded area was 685 a., which was mostly pasture, 37 a. was rough grazing, 505 a. was under crops, and 45 a. lay fallow; 243 ewes and 115 cattle were returned in the parish and pigs and poultry were also raised commercially. (fn. 230) In the 1990s the Salperton estate was run principally as an arable and dairy farm and as a game shoot but it also supported a large flock of breeding ewes. (fn. 231)
Although there is little documentary evidence for non-agricultural occupations in Salperton before the mid 19th century, the villagers, a small, relatively isolated community, included a number of craftsmen and tradesmen in earlier times. A carpenter and a mason were recorded in 1608 (fn. 232) and a cordwainer in 1739. (fn. 233) No record of a mill in Salperton has been found; the road leading north from the village towards Guiting Power and Stow-on-the-Wold was known as mill way in the early 17th century. (fn. 234) There was a malthouse in 1756 (fn. 235) and a brewery and shop in 1769. (fn. 236) The presence in 1791 of at least two butchers (fn. 237) indicates the continuing importance of animal husbandry after the inclosure of the 1770s. In 1811 eleven families were engaged in trade, manufacture, or handicraft. (fn. 238) Among the residents in 1851 were four stonemasons, two blacksmiths, a baker and maltster, two waggoners, and an engine driver presumably operating agricultural machinery. There were also two grocers, one of them trading also as a mercer and the other as a butcher. (fn. 239) The village retained a smithy until the 1930s and a bakery in 1939. It usually had at least one shop in the late 19th century and the early 20th and there was a post office in 1910. One shopkeeper ran a weekly carrying service to Cheltenham until the early 1930s. (fn. 240) A post office open in the 1950s also served as a general store in the late 1960s. (fn. 241) It closed and in 1996 the village was without shops.
At least one slater lived in Salperton in 1381 (fn. 242) and stone slates were purchased there c. 1420 for a farm building on Winchcombe abbey's Yanworth estate. (fn. 243) In the early 17th century part of Salperton's east field was known as free quarry furlong. (fn. 244) In the later 19th century, when there were a few small quarries in Salperton, (fn. 245) field names showed that one or more limekilns had once operated in the parish. (fn. 246) Quarrying continued intermittently in Salperton until after the Second World War with stone from a quarry opened in the north in 1946 being used for roofing slates. (fn. 247)
One of several ventures by T. B. Browne providing work for local people was a brickworks at the north end of the village; (fn. 248) it presumably employed all 5 brickmakers lodging in the parish in 1851 (fn. 249) and continued in production in 1872. (fn. 250) Browne also started a sugar beet factory and an apiary, both short lived. (fn. 251) In 1851 two gamekeepers lived in Salperton. (fn. 252) Game shooting was on a modest scale in the mid 20th century, when the Salperton estate usually employed a gamekeeper, (fn. 253) and was developed commercially from the 1980s with new woodland being created to benefit the shoot. (fn. 254) In the mid 1990s, when few villagers were employed by the estate, some residents ran businesses from their homes and others worked in nearby towns. (fn. 255)
In 1286 the Templars claimed view of frankpledge, at Temple Guiting, for their tenants in Salperton (fn. 256) but in the later Middle Ages the view for Salperton, presumably the whole parish, was held in the hundred court. (fn. 257) The manor court was mentioned in 1535 (fn. 258) and its earliest surviving records include a court roll from the years 1552–62 and papers for courts held in 1566 and 1570. In those years the court convened apparently as need arose and primarily to deal with tenurial matters and to regulate activity in the open fields, notably the exercise of common rights. On two occasions it elected two haywards or overseers of the fields. (fn. 259) Court rolls also survive from the years 1722–33, 1752–6, and 1775–7, when the court was held by the lessees of the manor or their trustees and dealt with the surrender and admission of the customary tenants. Once most of the holdings of the manor had passed into the hands of the lessee, by the 1770s, the work of the court was much reduced but it continued to meet until 1828 or later. (fn. 260)
Salperton had two churchwardens in 1498 (fn. 261) and 1563, (fn. 262) but by the later 17th century there was usually only one churchwarden. (fn. 263) The amount spent by the parish on poor relief was small, rising from £10 in 1776 to £84 in 1803, when 18 people were helped, 14 of them on a regular basis. (fn. 264) The number on permanent relief had more than halved by 1813 and the annual cost that year was £55. (fn. 265) The annual cost was well under £80 in the late 1820s, falling to £45 in 1828, but on the eve of the reform of the poor law in 1834 it rose to £138. (fn. 266) Salperton was included in Northleach poor-law union in 1836 (fn. 267) and in Northleach rural district in 1895. (fn. 268) From 1974 it was, as part of Hazleton civil parish, in Cotswold district.
There was a priest at Salperton in 1086 (fn. 269) and the church there was granted to Studley priory (Warws.) in the mid 12th century. (fn. 270) The priory appropriated the living and in the later Middle Ages, no vicarage having been assigned, (fn. 271) the church was served by chaplains or curates (fn. 272) appointed presumably by the priory. After the Dissolution the right to nominate curates passed with the impropriate rectory to lay ownership. (fn. 273) Following endowments in the early 18th century the benefice became a perpetual curacy (fn. 274) (later a vicarage). (fn. 275) The patronage, which descended with the rectory and belonged to the Browne family from 1752, (fn. 276) was conveyed by Richard Allen and Richard Stratton to the bishop in 1892. (fn. 277)
In 1937 Salperton benefice was united with Hawling. (fn. 278) In 1953 that union was dissolved and Salperton was united with Hazleton and Compton Abdale. (fn. 279) At another reorganization of benefices in 1962 Salperton, Hazleton, and Shipton Oliffe with Shipton Solers were united (fn. 280) and from 1975 Salperton ecclesiastical parish was merged with that of the Shiptons as part of a new united benefice including Dowdeswell. (fn. 281) In the mid 1990s Salperton was served by a priest-in-charge living in Shipton Oliffe village. (fn. 282)
In 1540 the curate serving Salperton church received a stipend from the lessee of the rectory estate. (fn. 283) The stipend, which was later paid by the owner of the estate, was £7 in 1603 (fn. 284) and had been raised to £8 by 1650; (fn. 285) it remained a charge on the Salperton estate in the late 19th century. (fn. 286) Joshua Aylworth by deed of 1715 gave £200 in trust to augment the curate's income. The gift, together with Aylworth's gifts for three other Cotswold benefices, was used to buy land in Arle, near Cheltenham, (fn. 287) and provided an additional income of c. £5 in 1735 (fn. 288) and £12 15s. in 1807. (fn. 289) Queen Anne's Bounty made grants to augment the curacy in 1737 and 1752 and added £200 to a similar gift by John Browne in 1779. (fn. 290) Further augmentations were secured in 1817 and 1826, (fn. 291) and 18 a. in Bourton-on-the-Water was bought for the benefice in 1818 (fn. 292) and 16 a. in Westcote before 1828. (fn. 293) The benefice's value in 1856 was £95. (fn. 294)
A chaplain residing in Salperton in 1221 was arrested for homicide. (fn. 295) In 1551 Salperton's curate could not recite the Ten Commandments. (fn. 296) Several curates in the later 16th century had a second cure elsewhere (fn. 297) and in 1572 it was reported that no sermons had been preached at Salperton for two years and that cattle were allowed to graze in the churchyard. (fn. 298) Preaching was also neglected in 1576, (fn. 299) and in 1593 the then curate was described as a sufficient scholar but no preacher. (fn. 300) In 1576 the curate was said to have played bowls in the churchyard on a Sunday. (fn. 301) After the Restoration, there being no house attached to the curacy, (fn. 302) the church was usually served by clergy from nearby parishes and for much of the 18th and 19th centuries the Sunday service was held alternately in the morning and afternoon. (fn. 303) Edward Iles, curate in 1680, was vicar of Cold Aston (fn. 304) and the next two curates, in the 1720s and the early 1730s, were successive vicars of Turkdean. (fn. 305) Between 1768 and 1808 Salperton was served with Sevenhampton by John Lawrence (also rector of Hawling from 1772). (fn. 306) R. J. Dawes, perpetual curate of Salperton 1837–40, was perhaps the only incumbent to live in the parish. His successor W. P. Mellersh, (fn. 307) who was also perpetual curate of Compton Abdale, (fn. 308) lived at Shipton while he was curate there. (fn. 309) He had taken up residence in Cheltenham by 1870, (fn. 310) and his successors at Salperton also lived in the town until after the First World War. E. A. T. Lowndes, vicar 1922–37, was also vicar of Compton Abdale, where he resided. (fn. 311) In 1995 one Sunday service a month was held in the church. (fn. 312)
In 1549 an acre of land in Salperton which had formerly supported a lamp in the parish church was granted by the Crown to William Sawle and William Bridges. (fn. 313)
The church of ALL SAINTS, which bore that dedication by 1750 (fn. 314) but was called St. Peter's in the late Middle Ages, (fn. 315) is a small building of limestone rubble and ashlar and comprises chancel, nave with north porch and south vestry, and west tower. The chancel and nave date from the early 12th century, as two north windows in the chancel, the chancel arch, and the arch of the nave's original north doorway show. The porch was added in the late 14th century or the early 15th, with an ogee niche (reset in the 19th century) in its east wall and a new doorway to the nave made within the earlier opening. The tower was also added about that time; it fell down c. 1700 (fn. 316) and was rebuilt. (fn. 317) Some windows were replaced in the 16th century.
A west gallery had been erected by the late 18th century, when the fittings included new pews, (fn. 318) and the church remained cluttered in the mid 19th century, when windows in the chancel were obscured by memorials to members of the Browne family. The gallery was removed and the memorials blocking windows were moved in 1885 when the church was restored to plans by J. C. P. Higgs of London. (fn. 319) During the restoration, which was partly paid for by W. H. Gore-Langton, grandson of John Browne (d. 1782), (fn. 320) the church was reroofed and repewed, the north wall of the nave was rebuilt with the old masonry reassembled and a large plate-tracery window inserted, the porch was rebuilt, and the vestry was added.
The church has a 19th-century font and a wooden pulpit installed in 1968. (fn. 321) An early wall painting is visible north of the tower arch at the west end of the nave (fn. 322) and a medieval sculptured stone has been placed below the tower against the west wall. There are memorials to members of the Browne family, dating from the later 18th century and including early 20th-century glass, in both chancel and nave; among the wall monuments moved from the chancel to the nave in 1885 is that to John and Mary Browne (both d. 1782). (fn. 323) The churchyard monuments include two late 17th-century tombchests with arcaded decoration on their sides. The church's three bells (fn. 324) were recast in 1720 by Abraham Rudhall and, as a chime, in 1952 following a fire in the tower. (fn. 325) A clock dated 1959 on the tower's north face was not working in 1996. The plate includes a chalice of 1747 and an unmarked paten. (fn. 326) The parish registers survive from 1629, with a few entries for the years 1617 and 1618 and some gaps before 1666. (fn. 327)
Four nonconformists were recorded in Salperton in 1676. (fn. 328) William Preston, a farmer, was the most prominent resident not attending the parish church in 1686, (fn. 329) and he or his son, also William, (fn. 330) later subscribed to the building of a Baptist chapel in Bourtonon-the-Water. (fn. 331) At least one Salperton resident in 1735 was a Baptist. (fn. 332)
A brick building of the 1920s near Village Farm was used as a Roman Catholic chapel by the Harters and later by the Hultons. It was demolished in the 1960s. (fn. 333)
Two small day schools were started in Salperton in 1821. They were presumably a single enterprise and in 1833 they taught 13 boys and 13 girls at parental expense. (fn. 334) In 1847 a dame school taught 12 children and a Sunday school supported by subscriptions taught 39. (fn. 335) In the mid 1850s a day school, supported by T. B. Browne, (fn. 336) was held in the stable of the former Bell alehouse. (fn. 337) The school had adopted the National plan by 1863 (fn. 338) and it occupied a room above a laundry in 1881 (fn. 339) and a new building near the former Bell from 1888. Under the management of the owners of the Salperton estate and the vicar, it was known as Salperton C. of E. school in the mid 1890s when its income came mainly from voluntary contributions. (fn. 340) The average attendance rose from 18 in 1885 (fn. 341) to 30 in 1904 (fn. 342) and was only slightly less in 1933 (fn. 343) when the estate's owner F. J. C. H. Harter, a Roman Catholic, gave notice of his intention to close the school. (fn. 344) The school remained open, however, until 1946 when the ten children on the roll were transferred to Sevenhampton school. (fn. 345)