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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Farmington is a small rural parish situated on the high Cotswolds close to Northleach and 20 km. ESE. of Cheltenham. Its medieval name was Thormarton (or Thormerton); the form Farmington, thought to be the same name modified by dialect changes, (fn. 1) was in use by the mid 16th century alongside the old form, (fn. 2) which it gradually ousted in the course of the next 200 years. (fn. 3)
The parish, comprising 915 ha. (2,261 a.), (fn. 4) is long and narrow, a shape governed partly by its creation out of the large manor of Northleach, (fn. 5) with which parish (called in 1999 Northleach with Eastington) it shares a long boundary on the west. The north-west boundary is on the Foss way, the north boundary follows a stream flowing in the valley called Broadwater bottom (fn. 6) (presumably from regular flooding of its level floor), and the southern tip of Farmington touches the river Leach. The high wolds at c. 170–90 m. constitute much of the parish and are broken into by the valleys of small streams, which combine near the east boundary as the Sherborne brook. The valley bottoms are formed of the Inferior Oolite, the valley sides of the fuller's earth, and the higher land of the Great Oolite. (fn. 7)
Until inclosure by Act of Parliament in 1714 Farmington parish comprised mainly two large open fields, and in its north-east corner was a tract of common downland (fn. 8) and a wood called Farmington grove. The grove was apparently held in severalty by the lord of the manor in 1629 when he leased it to the neighbouring landowner, John Dutton of Sherborne. (fn. 9) It covered 54 a. in 1707. (fn. 10) The rest of the parish was evidently sparsely timbered in the 17th century when its lords almost invariably reserved to their own use any trees growing on tenants' lands, (fn. 11) and c. 1770 Farmington was described as almost devoid of trees. (fn. 12) By 1825, however, a smaller wood called Furzehill had been established on part of the former downland north of Farmington grove, (fn. 13) and small copses and plantations formed later in other parts of the parish gave it a total of 120 a. of woodland in 1900. (fn. 14)
The south end of the parish, lying on the east side of the valley of the river Leach, was included, with land from three adjoining parishes, in New park (later Lodge park), a park and deer-coursing paddock of the Duttons of Sherborne. (fn. 15) In 1624 John Dutton bought 33 a., including some open-field land, from the lord of Farmington (fn. 16) and inclosed it in the park with the agreement of the freeholders and the rector. He was said, however, to have taken more than was conveyed to him (fn. 17) and the Farmington land within the park was estimated to be c. 60 a. in 1662. (fn. 18) A further 121/2 a. was added by Sir John Dutton in 1726, (fn. 19) and c. 1820 the part of Lodge park in the parish was surveyed as 86 a. (fn. 20)
Part of the west boundary of the parish follows the defences of a large rectangular fortification called Norbury lying within Northleach with Eastington parish. Another ancient fortification is indicated by the name Berry hill used in 1714 for a field north-east of Farmington village (fn. 21) and by the name Camp (or Undercamp) Farm adopted later for a house near by. Part of the high ground to the north of the later Lodge park was known by 1600 as Stoneborrow (or Stoneberry) hill, (fn. 22) perhaps from a long barrow on the land taken into the park. At Clearcupboard, in the valley north of Norbury camp, the remains of a Roman villa were discovered and excavated in the 1960s. (fn. 23)
Thirty people were assessed for subsidy at Farmington in 1327 (fn. 24) and 49 for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 25) In 1551 c. 60 communicants were recorded (fn. 26) and in 1563 13 households. (fn. 27) There were said to be 27 families in 1650, (fn. 28) c. 100 inhabitants in 25 houses c. 1710, (fn. 29) and (apparently by careful enumeration) 195 people in 38 houses c. 1775. (fn. 30) In 1801 216 people in 39 houses were enumerated. The population rose to 359 by 1841, before falling to 269 by 1881 and to 182 by 1901. The downward trend continued during the 20th century, the population standing at 155 in 1951 and 100 in 1991. (fn. 31)
The south part of the parish was traversed from west to east by a route from Gloucester to Burford and Oxford. It was recorded in 1600 and 1714 as the 'ridgeway', (fn. 32) though at the western edge of the parish that description evidently referred not to what later became the main road, climbing to the ridge from Northleach town, but to a wide green lane which forms part of the parish boundary before joining the road from Northleach at a place called Short Cross in 1707. (fn. 33) That green lane was called later the old London road and was apparently once used as much or more as the road through Northleach; both roads were turnpiked under an Act of 1751, but the road through Northleach later developed as the main coaching route from Gloucester and Cheltenham to London. (fn. 34) In 1824 there was a turnpike at the junction of the Northleach road and the old London road. (fn. 35) Later in the 1820s it was moved eastwards along the road to near the New Barn inn, (fn. 36) a coaching inn established in the mid 18th century, and it remained there until the road was disturnpiked in 1870. (fn. 37) A new Northleach bypass, opened in 1984, (fn. 38) re-joined the road from the town near the west boundary of Farmington. The Foss way, on the north-west boundary, was a turnpike between 1755 and 1877. (fn. 39)
Farmington village occupies the eastern end of a spur of land between the valleys of the streams which flow into the Sherborne brook. As depicted on a map of 1707, (fn. 40) a few years before the inclosure of the parish, the village comprised small tenant farmhouses and a few cottages on no clear plan but with a focus provided by a triangular green, where lanes leading from the Foss way, the Oxford road, and neighbouring villages met. There were then three groups of buildings: the largest was based around the green, another, including the church, the manor house (later called Farmington Lodge), and the rectory, was to the south-east on the lane leading towards Sherborne and the Oxford road, and a more distant group, called Wales End, stood south of the road leading westwards to the Foss way. The pattern of closes shown in 1707 and earthworks which survive (fn. 41) indicate that the medieval village was larger, and possibly had a more ordered plan, based on the road leading from the green towards the Foss; the green itself, on which an old boundary bank is visible, may have been formed after the shrinking of the village. (fn. 42)
The most coherent group of earthworks is to the north of the road leading to the Foss in a field that was called Lords Courthay in 1707. (fn. 43) The foundations of at least seven buildings can be seen ranged around a rectangular courtyard with a circular foundation, almost certainly of a dovecot, protruding at the south-west corner. Apparently a complex of manorial buildings, it may represent the centre of a sub-manor called Muttones Court which was absorbed by the chief manor of Farmington in 1327. (fn. 44) Other extensive earthworks, more difficult to interpret, lie in closes further north, by a track leading from the green to Clearcupboard farm, and the boundaries of several small closes can be seen east and south-east of Wales End.
The village has been again altered since the inclosure of 1714, most of the houses existing then being either removed or rebuilt. The few buildings remaining near the green include Manor Farm on the west side, which was rebuilt in the mid 18th century, (fn. 45) and a former blacksmith's cottage and smithy at the north end which dates partly from the mid 1740s. (fn. 46) In the centre of the green stands a small open-sided wooden structure built over the village pump as a memorial to the lord of the manor Edmund Waller (d. 1898); its thatched roof was replaced with stone tiles in 1935 by the inhabitants of Farmington, in Connecticut, to mark the tercentenary of the foundation of their state. (fn. 47) A large sycamore tree was the most prominent feature of the green in 1999. Of the group of buildings further south-east, near the church and manor house, the rectory was rebuilt on a different site in the late 18th century (fn. 48) and two small farmhouses near by were removed, the site of one being occupied by a more substantial dwelling in the late 18th century and the early 19th and by a modern house in the late 20th. (fn. 49)
The name Wales End, (fn. 50) applied to the group of dwellings west of the main village on the road to the Foss way, was possibly a corruption of 'Walls End', referring to the adjoining rampart of Norbury camp. In 1707 there were three tenant houses there on a short lane leading south from the road. One, standing on the east side of the lane, was then occupied by Thomas Bedwell and became the farmhouse of a freehold farm that he acquired at the inclosure in 1714. (fn. 51) Part of a wall on the lane incorporates a 17th-century window and may survive from his house, but the farmhouse was rebuilt shortly before 1799 (fn. 52) further back from the lane. It was still called Bedwells in 1872 but by that time had been replaced as the farmhouse by a new one built in the fields south of the village. (fn. 53) During the 18th and 19th centuries Wales End became the site of most of the labourers' cottages of the Farmington estate, including a row of four called Bunkershill built on the valley side at its south end. (fn. 54) Others added in the mid 19th century included estate cottages in pairs; two pairs at the north end are plain in style, and two pairs further south have Tudor-style detail. The village school was built at Wales End at the same period.
The outlying farmsteads of Farmington all date from after the inclosure in 1714. (fn. 55) Camp Farm, called Undercamp Farm in 1825, (fn. 56) in the valley below Farmington grove, may have been built soon after 1721 when a lease of former downland in that part of the parish provided for the building of a farmhouse. (fn. 57) In the mid 19th century (fn. 58) a large new farmhouse in brick was built some way to the north-west of the old house and its buildings. Probably it was built for Hugh Sydney Waller, a cousin of the lord of the manor; (fn. 59) he was lessee of the farm from 1869 (fn. 60) until his death in 1924. (fn. 61) The old farmhouse was being used as labourers' cottages in 1900 (fn. 62) and was demolished c. 1975. (fn. 63) Another farmhouse in the same part of the parish was called by 1801 Starveall (or Starvehall) Farm, (fn. 64) a name which, like those of two other houses in the parish, Clearcupboard and Folly Farm, reflects a wry humour on the part of the farmers cultivating the stony, upland soil. In the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries it was called Grove Farm (fn. 65) but by 1999 it had reverted to its old name (then spelt Starvall). It is a two-storeyed stone farmhouse of the mid 18th century with late 20th-century alterations and additions. At Clearcupboard, in the valley to the north-west of the village, there was a farmhouse and buildings by 1870. (fn. 66)
Empshill Farm, south-east of the village, is a mid 18th-century farmhouse, established before 1777. (fn. 67) Folly Farm, south of the village, was probably the new farmhouse that Charles Miller, owner of that part of the parish, is recorded as building shortly before 1765; (fn. 68) it is a rubble-built house of two storeys and attics and has plain mullioned windows. At the site of Bedwell House, further west, an outlying barn and yard (then called Hill barn) belonged to Bedwell farm, based at Wales End, in 1825. (fn. 69) About 1830, presumably at the cost of the landowner H. E. Waller, (fn. 70) a new farmhouse was built beside the barn and replaced the house at Wales End as the home of the farmer. The new house, of three storeys with a hipped roof, is built of rubble with ashlar dressings and has a symmetrical, sash-windowed front facing south-west to the Cheltenham-London road. It was known as New House (or New Farm) in the mid 19th century and the early 20th, but the name Bedwell Farm was used in the late 19th century and again in the mid 20th (fn. 71) and it became Bedwell House after 1971 when sold away from its farmland. A range of barns adjoining the house, the earliest part (at the west end) dating from the mid 18th century, was converted to form a separate dwelling in the early 1990s. (fn. 72)
New Barn Farm, on the main London road near the east boundary of the parish, was presumably another site originally occupied by a barn after 1714, though it was fairly soon followed by a dwelling. By 1777 the New Barn inn had opened there (fn. 73) and possibly it was already established in 1755 when an innkeeper was recorded in the parish. (fn. 74) By 1799 the innkeeper was also lessee of one of the main farms on the manor estate, (fn. 75) and New Barn continued to be both inn and farmhouse until 1897 when the inn was leased to the Northleach brewery and the farmland was leased separately. (fn. 76) The inn remained open until the 1930s when it was called the New Barn Road House. (fn. 77) The south-west wing of New Barn Farm is the visible part of an early 18th-century T-plan house, the north-east part of which, together with part of a separate structure, has been incorporated in a larger, early 19th-century house. The 18th-century house, from which some two-light mullioned windows survive, was of two storeys with attics and vaulted cellars and had three rooms on each floor. Its south-western compartment, with part of its wall pierced by pigeon holes, was presumably not used for domestic purposes. To the north-east of the house, on the main road, stood another building of similar construction. One of those structures possibly represents the original barn at the site. The north-east gable wall of the original house and the south-west gable wall of the building adjoining the road are visible in the roof space of the larger early 19th-century house. That house presents symmetrical, classical fronts to the road on the north-east and to the stable yard on the north-west, the latter front having two full-height canted bays, a familiar feature of coaching inns of the period. The inn and farm were provided with extensive outbuildings, which in 1825 included a smithy and stabling for 60 horses. (fn. 78) Some of the buildings were demolished during the 20th century, (fn. 79) and the main surviving structure, a high and long barn at the north-west of the site, housed the stock of the owner's antiques business in 1999.
A piped water supply was laid from a spring to houses in the village by W. N. Waller, lord of the manor, in 1901. (fn. 80)
Manor and Other Estates.
In 1086 land which had formed part of the manor of Northleach before the Conquest was held by Walter son of Pons as a separate manor of FARMINGTON ('Tormentone'), comprising 12 hides. (fn. 81) No rights as overlord exercised by the lords of Northleach are recorded later, however, and in 1278 Farmington was held from the king in chief by the service of 1 knight or two esquires for 40 days in wartime. (fn. 82)
Farmington passed with the manor of Eaton Hastings (Berks.) to a family whose members were surnamed either 'of Eaton' or 'of Hastings', (fn. 83) and it was presumably one of the 3 knights' fees that Ralph of Hastings held in Gloucestershire in 1160. (fn. 84) Farmington belonged in 1182 to William of Eaton, (fn. 85) who died before 1189, when his heir was his brother John of Hastings. (fn. 86) John was lord of Farmington in 1209 (fn. 87) and his widow Muriel had the whole or part of the manor in dower in 1221. (fn. 88) Farmington apparently passed to William of Hastings (d. c. 1224), custody of whose land and heir was given to Osbert Giffard; (fn. 89) c. 1235 Osbert's wife was said to hold Farmington manor under another William of Hastings. (fn. 90) About 1271 William of Hastings gave Farmington to his daughter Joan on her marriage to Benet of Blakenham; they later regranted it to William for life and became owners again on his death c. 1278. (fn. 91) Benet, son of Benet of Blakenham, who was a minor in royal wardship in 1285 and 1289, (fn. 92) granted the manor in 1297 to his sister Alice and her husband Hugh of St. Philibert. (fn. 93) Hugh died c. 1305 (fn. 94) and John of Drokenesford, who presented to Farmington church in 1306 and 1309, (fn. 95) was presumably a trustee or the guardian of an heir. By 1317 the manor had passed to John of St. Philibert, (fn. 96) who in 1331 made an accommodation about dower rights in Farmington with Gillian, wife of Roger de Asperle, perhaps his mother. (fn. 97) John died c. 1333 (fn. 98) when his widow Ada was awarded land in Farmington and the advowson of the church as part of her dowry. (fn. 99) Another John of St. Philibert sold the manor in 1351 to William of Edington, bishop of Winchester, (fn. 100) who had a quitclaim of rights from John's widow Margaret in 1359. (fn. 101) The bishop gave Farmington in 1361 to his foundation, the monastery of the Bonhommes at Edington (Wilts.). (fn. 102)
Edington monastery retained the manor until its dissolution in 1539, and in 1540 the Crown sold the manor to Michael Ashfield. (fn. 103) Michael died later the same year, having settled the manor on his wife Joan, (fn. 104) later the wife of Thomas Parker (d. 1558). (fn. 105) Michael's son Robert Ashfield, an infant at his father's death, had succeeded to Farmington by 1571. (fn. 106) He died in 1616, having settled the manor on his wife Mary (fl. 1621), with reversion to his son John, who held part of the estate from 1600. (fn. 107) John Ashfield's failure to observe the procedure for securing livery on his father's death led to the Crown taking possession of the manor in 1631 and leasing it to Giles Cripps of Clapton and Anthony Powell of Northleach, (fn. 108) but in 1632 Ashfield sold his right in the manor to Rice Jones of Asthall (Oxon.), who bought out the interest of Cripps and Powell the following year. (fn. 109) Jones died before 1648, when his widow Jane was in possession of Farmington, (fn. 110) and it had passed by 1654 to his son Henry, who was later knighted. (fn. 111) Sir Henry died in 1673, leaving as his heir his daughter Frances; (fn. 112) she married in 1685 Richard Lumley, Lord Lumley, who was created earl of Scarbrough in 1690. The earl conveyed the manor in 1717 to his second son Thomas Lumley, who lived at Farmington for the next few years. Following other dealings between the earl (d. 1721), Thomas, and the earl's eldest son, Richard, Lord Lumley, who succeeded to the title, (fn. 113) the two brothers sold Farmington in 1724 to Edmund Waller of Beaconsfield (Bucks.). (fn. 114)
Edmund Waller died in 1771 (fn. 115) and Farmington manor passed in turn to his son Edmund (d. 1788) and his grandson Edmund (fn. 116) (d. 1810). The last Edmund was succeeded by his brother the Revd. Henry (Harry) Waller (d. 1824), rector of Farmington, and from the Revd. Harry the manor passed in turn to his son Harry Edmund Waller (fn. 117) (d. 1869) and grandson Edmund Waller (fn. 118) (d. 1898). The last Edmund was succeeded by his brother Maj.-Gen. William Noel Waller (d. 1909). (fn. 119) From c. 1830 (fn. 120) the Wallers, whose estate also included farms in Turkdean, Hazleton, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Clapton, owned the whole of Farmington parish except for the land at its southern end in Lord Sherborne's Lodge park. (fn. 121)
The Farmington land of the estate was bought c. 1910 by C. D. Barrow, (fn. 122) who sold part of it, New Barn farm with 400 a., before 1939. (fn. 123) He died in 1944 (fn. 124) and was succeeded by his son Lt.-Col. R. C. Barrow, who sold off other parts, including Starveall farm c. 1947 and the manor house, Farmington Lodge, and its grounds in 1952. Lt.-Col. Barrow (d. 1968) was succeeded by his son Capt. J. J. D. Barrow who, following the sale of a further part, Empshill farm, remained owner of c. 600 a. in Farmington in 1999. The purchaser of Farmington Lodge in 1952 was the Hon. E. R. H. Wills, (fn. 125) who also bought the farmland in the south of the parish. He retained the house and land in 1999 as part of an estate which also included much of Northleach with Eastington parish. (fn. 126)
The manor house, on or close to the site of Farmington Lodge at the east side of the village, was recorded from the 1630s. (fn. 127) It was rebuilt by Edmund Waller (d. 1771), (fn. 128) and remained the Gloucestershire residence of the Wallers during their ownership. In the 20th century it was the home of the Barrows until c. 1947 when they moved to Camp Farm, which they occupied until 1991 when Capt. Barrow moved to Clearcupboard Farm. Farmington Lodge became the home of Mr. Wills in the early 1950s (fn. 129) and remained so in 1999.
Farmington Lodge (fn. 130) is a classical house of two storeys and attics in a hipped roof and has a double-pile, 15-bayed plan, from which sections of both long main fronts — five bays in the centre of the north-east, garden front and three bays at each end of the south-west, road front – break forward slightly. The house is mainly of dressed rubble, but parts of both main fronts are ashlar-faced. The central nine bays were built as part of Edmund Waller's house in the mid 18th century and the south-west elevation retains small sash windows of 18th-century shape but in an irregular arrangement (fn. 131) that reflects alterations to the rooms behind. The three bays at each end of the south-west front and the parapet on the central part were probably added before 1825 when the accommodation included an entrance hall, three reception rooms, two staircases, and nine bedrooms on the first floor. (fn. 132) The centre of the house was extensively reconstructed to the designs of David Brandon in the mid 1850s. (fn. 133) The projecting section of the north-east front was added or rebuilt in Italian baroque style and the 18th-century staircase was moved (from a position immediately to the north-west) to a newly created staircase hall in the centre of the south-west front. Apparently at the same time, a heavy Greek Doric temple portico was attached to the five central bays of the south-west front; it was apparently modified from an earlier feature or even imported from another building. (fn. 134) The services may then have been at the south-east end of the house where in 1883 there were buildings forming a narrow yard. (fn. 135) Alterations made by Mr. Wills after 1952 included the insertion of new windows into the blank bays at the centre of the south-west front, the removal of the service buildings at the south-east (the other end of the house becoming the service end), and the partitioning of the entrance hall and other rooms. (fn. 136) Other 20th-century changes included the insertion of dormers in the south-east end of the roof and, probably, the Adam-style decoration in the dining room.
On the other side of the road, north of the parish church, a demesne close called Lord's Dowses Hay contained a circular, ashlar-faced dovecot by 1714, and to the south of it, opposite the house, farm buildings. (fn. 137) By the mid 1820s a large stable block, comprising three ranges around a courtyard, had replaced the farm buildings (fn. 138) and by 1883 the rest of the close was occupied by a walled kitchen garden. (fn. 139)
One among a number of freehold estates at Farmington in the Middle Ages was held c. 1180 by Nicholas of Mitton (Mutone). (fn. 140) In 1243 Christine of Mitton held ½ knight's fee from the lord of the manor, William of Hastings, (fn. 141) and c. 1255 the owner was evidently Philip of Mitton. (fn. 142) In 1285 Peter of Staunton held the ½ fee from Nicholas of Mitton, who held from the lord. (fn. 143) Peter, who was lord of Staunton (Worcs., later Glos.), died c. 1288 when his son and heir Robert of Staunton was a minor; (fn. 144) Robert was the tenant-in-demesne of the estate until 1311 or later. (fn. 145) In 1327 John Pachat of Farmington, a cleric and perhaps acting as trustee, granted the estate, comprising a house called Muttones Court, 3¾ yardlands, and some tenanted lands, to the lord of the manor John of St. Philibert and his wife Ada; (fn. 146) she held it as part of her dower in 1333. (fn. 147) Presumably it was then absorbed in the manor estate, and the house may have been at a site in a field in the north-west part of the village, called Lord's Courthay. (fn. 148)
Another estate of ½ fee at Farmington was held by William of Ramsden from Benet of Blakenham in 1285 and was retained by another William in 1346. In 1303 and 1346 Henry of Corse held another ½ fee at Farmington. (fn. 149) Also, at some time before 1398, a house with ¾ yardland there was given to Polesworth abbey (Warws.) by Joan de Salceta. (fn. 150) It was retained by the abbey to the Dissolution, (fn. 151) and was recorded again in 1636 when, described as a messuage and 1 yardland, it formed part of Thomas Fyfield's estate, mentioned below. (fn. 152) About 1180 Godstow abbey (Oxon.) had a gift of 2s. of rent in Farmington from Nicholas of Mitton, whose descendant Philip of Mitton confirmed it to the abbey c. 1255. (fn. 153) Godstow may later have alienated the rent to Eynsham abbey (Oxon.), to which 2s. annual rent was rendered by Farmington manor (which had absorbed the Mittons' estate) in 1506. (fn. 154)
In 1432, apart from the Polesworth estate, the freeholds under the manor were two estates of 2 yardlands each, held by Thomas Lovering and Richard Spencer, and, possibly representing the Ramsden and Corse estates, ½ yardland held by Richard Fifhyde, chaplain, and a large estate of 11¾ yardlands (664 a.) held by John Culmer. Culmer was probably a relative of Thomas Culmer, rector of Edington and lord of Farmington manor c. 1406–31, (fn. 155) and his estate appears to have been a fairly recent creation including former customary land. (fn. 156)
John Culmer's estate of 1432 was probably represented by the substantial estate owned by Thomas Bush, a Northleach wool-merchant, at his death in 1525. (fn. 157) In 1564 Thomas's son and heir William was challenged for possession of an estate at Farmington by Roger Fishpool of Cirencester on the grounds that Thomas had bought it from John Fyfield while Fyfield was a minor and therefore not legally empowered. (fn. 158) Whether Fishpool or another heir of the Fyfield family recovered the estate is not known, but a Thomas Fyfield owned a large estate, including a house called Fyfield's Place and 7 yardlands, at his death in 1636; he devised it to his grandson Thomas Standard, (fn. 159) who remained owner in 1662. (fn. 160) Thomas Standard was succeeded by his daughter Alice, who married Thomas Smith, (fn. 161) son of the rector of Farmington, Humphrey Smith. (fn. 162) Thomas and Alice, who both died in 1708, apparently left the estate to a younger son, Thomas (d. by 1713); the younger Thomas devised it to his infant nephew, also Thomas, whose father, Humphrey Smith of Kidlington (Oxon.), managed it for him. In 1714 under the inclosure of Farmington 494 a., mostly in the south-west part of the parish, was awarded for the estate. (fn. 163) The Smiths sold part of that land the same year to Thomas Bedwell, who also received a smaller freehold under the inclosure, and part to John Grayhurst of Cirencester. (fn. 164)
Most of the Bedwell family's land at Farmington, comprising Bedwell farm southwest of the village, was bought by Edmund Waller in 1765 and descended with his manor estate. (fn. 165) Other land, however, belonged to Thomas Bedwell of Ampney St. Peter at his death c. 1776 and was sold by his widow Hannah (fn. 166) in 1792 to Edmund's grandson Edmund Waller. (fn. 167) The other part of the Smiths' former estate, bought at the inclosure by John Grayhurst, was settled on the marriage of William Grayhurst in 1723. (fn. 168) It later passed to another John Grayhurst who sold it in 1762 to Charles Miller. Miller died in 1778, leaving his estate in trust for his wife Elizabeth Miller (fl. 1784). (fn. 169) In 1796 it was sold to Edmund Waller but in 1799, having incurred large debts, he conveyed it, together with the land bought from Hannah Bedwell in 1792 (the whole comprising Folly and Clearcupboard farms), to Thomas Willan (fn. 170) of London. Willan, who also acquired some of Waller's land in Turkdean at the same time, died in 1828, (fn. 171) and Folly and Clearcupboard farms returned to the manor estate in 1830 when his trustees sold them to Harry Waller. (fn. 172)
In 1707 the Smith family's estate was based on a house standing at the west side of the village green. At the inclosure in 1714 the house was awarded to the manor estate (fn. 173) and it was rebuilt later on a different alignment as the farmhouse of the estate's Manor (or Green) farm. In 1777 Charles Miller owned, and apparently occupied, a house standing south of the churchyard, (fn. 174) on or near the site of a tenant farmhouse that had been awarded to the Smiths at inclosure. (fn. 175) That was presumably the seat of Thomas Willan at Farmington, recorded in 1811, (fn. 176) and his 'mansion house', which in 1827 was occupied by the widow and some of the children of the Revd. Harry Waller. (fn. 177) The house south of the churchyard was demolished before 1883, leaving only a stable block, (fn. 178) incorporating a cross-gabled dovecot, to the west of the site. A modern dwelling house was built at the site c. 1970 and the stable block was adapted to form a garage. (fn. 179) Farmhouses connected with the former Bedwell and Miller estates are mentioned above. (fn. 180)
In 1086 Farmington manor had 2 ploughs in demesne and 4 servi. (fn. 181) In 1432, when the owner of the manor, Edington monastery, apparently still had the demesne in hand, it included 708 a. of arable with pasture rights for 29 horses, 14 oxen, 14 cows, and 696 sheep. (fn. 182) In 1534 Edington leased the demesne to Richard Barton and members of his family, delivering to them farm stock which included a flock of 300 sheep; among the farm buildings included in the lease was a long sheephouse of 13 bays (spatia). (fn. 183) The demesne estate of Robert Ashfield in 1600 included an extensive holding of open-field land with pasture rights for 500 sheep and 20 cattle. (fn. 184)
The tenants on the manor in 1086 were 25 villani, working a total of 12 ploughs. (fn. 185) In 1432 13½ yardlands were held by customary tenants (a yardland comprising 48 a.). That was a relatively small area of the total arable on the manor, which was then extended at 45¼ yardlands (2,212 a.), and some former customary land had presumably been absorbed in the large demesne estate and the large freehold (11¾ yardlands) then owned by John Culmer; in addition four smaller freeholds comprised a total of 5¼ yardlands. The total acreage given shows the acre being used was a good deal smaller than the statute acre, as the modern acreage of the parish is only 2,261 and the extent of 1432 does not include home closes, common downland, and woodland. (fn. 186) The estate formerly of the Mitton family had a few tenants in 1329, the year it was absorbed by the manor: two, with 1½ yardland and ½ yardland, were held for life and another, with 2 yardlands, was held in villeinage. (fn. 187)
By the early 17th century most, possibly all, of the customary tenancies on the manor were held on leases for three lives or 99 years. (fn. 188) In 1673 there were 14 leaseholds. The three largest, two of which still owed heriots, were that of the Bedwell family, based on a farmhouse at Wales End and comprising some land in closes and 4¾ yardlands in the open fields, that of the Barton family with a farmhouse south of the church, 5 closes, a plot of meadow, and 4 yardlands, and that of the Spencer family with a farmhouse in the north-west part of the village, 2 closes, a plot of meadow, and 3 yardlands. The other holdings in 1673 ranged in size from 4 a. to 1 yardland. (fn. 189)
Most of the parish comprised two great open fields, a north and a south field, divided by the village and its home closes. They were managed on a two-course rotation of a corn crop and a fallow until inclosure in the early 18th century, though by then it was the custom to reserve a 'hitching' from the fallow field and sow it with a crop of peas. The two fields covered a total of 1,730 a. in 1707. The north field was bordered on the east by a tract of common downland, which covered 167 a. in 1707 when it was apparently used mainly for pasturing cows and draught animals, and there were small parcels of common and waste islanded within the open fields, used mainly for horse pasture. The only farmland in the parish held in severalty in 1707 was 118 a., comprising home closes in the village and inclosed meadow land at Broadwater bottom at the north boundary. (fn. 190) Farmington grove, the 54-acre wood between the downs and the east boundary, was apparently several to the lord of the manor, while c. 60 a. at the south end of the parish was by then included in Lodge park. (fn. 191)
Pasture for sheep in the open fields was stinted at 40 to the yardland in 1432, the lord, the freeholders, and the tenants having rights to a total of 1,810; each yardland also had a right to pasture 2 horses, an ox, and a cow. (fn. 192) By the late 17th century the stint for sheep was 50 to the yardland, that for horses and cattle remaining unchanged. (fn. 193)
Inclosure of Farmington was contemplated as early as the 1630s, (fn. 194) and when carried out under an Act of parliament of 1713 it was the earliest parliamentary inclosure in Gloucestershire to cover more than a small area of a parish. (fn. 195) The Act, which itself incorporated the award, was put into effect in 1714. In preparation for the inclosure the lord of the manor, the earl of Scarbrough, secured in his hands all the leaseholds except for the 181-acre estate of Thomas Bedwell. (fn. 196) He then, in 1711, re-granted several of the houses and their home closes on new leases for lives. (fn. 197) Some farmhouses and old inclosures were, however, re-allotted by the Act. The earl received 87 a. of old inclosures and 1,455 a. of the open fields and downs, 494 a. was allotted for the large freehold belonging to the Smith family, and Thomas Bedwell, who had presumably made some separate arrangement with the earl, was awarded a freehold estate of 65 a. in place of his leasehold. The rector of Farmington surrendered his tithes and glebe in return for rent charges payable from the three estates. (fn. 198)
The inclosure effectively divided the parish into two sections by creating a long diagonal boundary, which the owners of the new estates made an agreement to maintain in 1714; (fn. 199) it ran from the Foss way near Foss quarry to the north side of the village and continued south of the village as far as the wall of Lodge park. The greater part of the parish, lying north-east of that boundary, formed the manor estate while the bulk of the land south-west of it (later included in the farms called Bedwell, Folly, and Clearcupboard) was awarded for the other estates. Later, by purchases in 1766 and 1830, all the land south-west of the boundary was added to the manor estate, which remained the sole landowner (except for Lord Sherborne's Lodge park) until the early 20th century. On the manor estate the pattern of new fields was largely laid out in 1714, (fn. 200) though a lease of 1719 provided for at least one further hedge to be planted by the landowner. That lease, granted for 12 years, was for a farm of 194 a. based on one of the old farmhouses in the village, but another made in 1721, of the whole of the former common downs for 11 years, provided for a new farmhouse to be built by the landlord. (fn. 201)
Two parts of the former open fields on the manor estate, 124 a. adjoining the Foss way and 140 a. south of the Gloucester-Oxford road, were described as sheep walks following the inclosure in 1714 (fn. 202) and were presumably then being laid down as permanent grassland. Another field, of 57 a. near the Foss quarry, was planned to grow sainfoin under the terms of a lease of 1719. Sainfoin had also been planted on a part of the former downs by 1721, when the lease of that area provided for the ploughing of the whole of the remainder, half for corn and half for grass seeds. (fn. 203) In the 1770s the land of the parish was used mainly for corn and sheep, with sheep of high quality being raised on it. (fn. 204) Turnips had been introduced as a course in the rotation on the farms by 1801. (fn. 205)
By 1804 the manor estate included five farms, which were then held on leases for 12, 14, or 21 years. Manor (or Green) farm, based on a farmhouse in the village on the west side of the green, comprised 299 a.; Bedwell farm (the land purchased in 1766), based on a farmhouse at Wales End, had 209 a.; and three were based on outlying farmsteads established since the inclosure, Starveall with 381 a., Empshill with c. 290 a., and New Barn with 260 a. A sixth farm, Camp farm, was perhaps in hand in 1804, and in 1825, when it comprised 167 a., was held with Empshill. (fn. 206) By 1825 three of the six farms were on annual tenancies. (fn. 207) Another farm, Folly farm, was added to the estate in 1830, (fn. 208) but the estate still comprised six farms in the later 19th century, for Manor farm was divided up before 1876 between Starveall farm and Camp farm; the latter then also included land and buildings at Clearcupboard. (fn. 209) In 1900 Starveall (then called Grove farm) had 470 a. and Camp 451 a.; Folly farm had 210 a. and the other three remained at approximately their 1804 acreages. (fn. 210)
In 1827 leases of three farms of the Wallers' estate in the south of the parish, New Barn, Empshill, and Bedwell, all then predominantly arable, provided that 1/7 of the land was to be kept in sainfoin and the remainder cropped on what was described as the usual six-field rotation of the neighbourhood. It comprised new grass seeds; grass seeds to be fed off; wheat; oats, peas, vetches, or other pulses; turnips; and barley. (fn. 211) On New Barn farm the stock of the previous tenant had included 80 ewes and 80 two-year old sheep (fn. 212) and all the farms presumably then had flocks, raised on the fodder crops in the rotation. Folly farm was tenanted at that period by successive owners of the King's Head inn at Northleach, James Heath (d. 1810) and Charles Day (fn. 213) who in 1835 was using it partly to breed horses. (fn. 214)
A similar regime to that laid down in the leases of 1827 evidently continued on the farms of the parish later in the century, as is indicated by the acreages of the different crops returned in 1866 and 1896. In 1866 a total of 1,571 a. was returned as under crops and 364 a. as permanent grassland, (fn. 215) but by 1896, with the general depression in corn prices, c. 300 a. had been taken out of cultivation and most of it turned to rough grazing. The sheep flocks, a total of 962 with 481 lambs in 1866, and the cattle, a total of 156 in 1866, had also fallen by 1896. (fn. 216) The depression reduced drastically the rents from the farms on the manor estate: they totalled £1,386 in 1856 (fn. 217) but only £622 in 1900 when the owner offered the estate for sale, stressing its potential as a base for hunting and shooting. (fn. 218)
By 1926 there had been a further, though smaller loss of arable land, then returned at 1,161 a. compared with 765 a. of permanent grass, but livestock enterprises, both sheep and beef cattle, had revived. (fn. 219) In 1956 (when the total figures suggest that at least one farm included a large acreage outside the parish) the five farms based in the parish returned a total of 1,804 a. of arable; hardly any roots were then grown and most was used for rotated grass and cereals, particularly barley which had become the dominant crop in the area by the late 1960s. A large stock of cattle numbering 818 animals and including one or more dairy herds was returned in 1956, but the number of cattle had fallen again by the late 1960s. (fn. 220) In the 1980s and 1990s the land was used mainly for growing cereals and raising sheep, though crops of oilseed rape and linseed were also planted, depending on the current subsidies from the European Union. The Barrows farmed part of their estate until 1991 but in 1999 it was all let. Most of the rest of the parish, belonging to the estate of E. R. H. Wills, was farmed for that estate with land in Northleach with Eastington parish. (fn. 221)
By an agreement in the late 12th century the lord of the manor, William of Eaton, allowed Winchcombe abbey, lord of Sherborne, to raise the height of its millpond, evidently on the Sherborne brook within Sherborne, and undertook that neither he nor his heirs would build a mill on a pond further upstream, within Farmington. (fn. 222) Some years later Winchcombe granted a mill in Sherborne near Farmington, probably the same one, to William's successor John of Hastings in fee, and the lords of Farmington still owned that mill, called Stagges mill, in 1355. (fn. 223) That suggests that there was no mill within Farmington itself in the Middle Ages, and no record of one has been found later. The name Mill path, recorded in 1600 for the lane leading south from the village toward Eastington (fn. 224) suggests that the inhabitants once carried their corn to a mill there.
A woolman John Taylor lived in Farmington in 1505 when he was dealing at Gloucester; (fn. 225) he died in 1509 and was buried in Northleach church, commemorated by a brass with symbols of his trade. (fn. 226) From the mid 17th century to the end of the 19th the usual complement of tradesmen at Farmington was a blacksmith, a cordwainer, and a wheelwright or carpenter. In the mid 19th century there were also several stonemasons. (fn. 227) A weaver was recorded in 1657, (fn. 228) and there were maltsters in 1711 and 1726. (fn. 229) A newly built cottage and smithy in Farmington was mentioned in 1633, (fn. 230) and another was built on a plot of land at the north end of the green (fn. 231) by the smith Thomas Wheeler c. 1746 (fn. 232) and worked by his family until c. 1906. (fn. 233) In 1851 among heads of household in Farmington the nonagricultural tradesmen were 5 stonemasons, 2 smiths, a carpenter, a cordwainer, a tea dealer, and a grocer; the others included 30 farm labourers and various estate and domestic workers employed by the resident owner. (fn. 234) A carpenter, employed on the estate, worked in the parish until the First World War, (fn. 235) and the village had a shop until 1939 or later. (fn. 236)
The lord of the manor leased a stone quarry on the common downs at Farmington to two Northleach masons in 1634, (fn. 237) and a quarry or 'mine' was recorded on the Fyfield family's estate in 1639. (fn. 238) The principal quarry in the parish was later the Foss quarry, which was opened before 1707 beside the Foss way at the north-west boundary. It was probably an area where stone had long been dug in many small pits, for the part of the open fields adjoining the quarry on the south was known as the Diggings. (fn. 239) The Foss quarry, where the old extensive workings had been closed and replaced by new ones to the south before 1882, (fn. 240) was leased to a Farmington mason Caleb Joynes from the mid 19th century. (fn. 241) He was succeeded there before 1876 (fn. 242) by Stephen Joynes who worked as a mason in Farmington until the early 1930s, (fn. 243) presumably still leasing the quarry. The owners of the estate, the Barrow family, took the quarry in hand before the Second World War and worked it subsequently on its own account. From 1991 Capt. J. J. D. Barrow made it his principal enterprise, modernizing the equipment and expanding the business. In 1999, when 70 people were employed there, including 15 qualified stonemasons, the business had two main branches, the supply of building stone, including ashlar and rubble walling stone, flagstones, and architectural dressings, and the production of a range of fireplaces in traditional styles. (fn. 244)
The Farmington manor court was exercising leet jurisdiction by the early 15th century. (fn. 245) It was evidently still being held at the end of the 17th century, (fn. 246) though the leet sessions at least had become intermittent by 1674, when the county magistrates appointed a constable for Farmington to hold office until another leet was held. (fn. 247) Court rolls survive for the years 1438–40 (fn. 248) and a record of a court of survey for 1673. (fn. 249)
Two churchwardens were being elected for the parish by 1498 (fn. 250) but none of their records or other parish records are known to survive. Farmington suffered a particularly severe burden of poor relief for a small rural parish during part of the early 19th century. In 1803, when 21 people received relief regularly and 14 occasionally, the annual cost, £287, was the highest in the hundred after Northleach and Withington, (fn. 251) and in 1815 the cost reached £424, with 38 people on permanent relief. (fn. 252) Farmington parish became part of the Northleach poor-law union in 1836, (fn. 253) and was in the Northleach rural district from 1895 (fn. 254) until that was absorbed by the new Cotswold district in 1974.
The church at Farmington had, on architectural evidence, been built by the 12th century. The living was a rectory in the 1280s when the first presentations are found recorded, (fn. 255) and it has remained one. In the late 14th century, however, burial rights over the parish belonged to the church of Northleach, of which manor Farmington had once been a part, and mortuaries were paid to the vicar of Northleach; (fn. 256) he was receiving a small annual cash payment from the rector of Farmington in 1535. (fn. 257) The right to bury at Farmington was possibly not secured until after the mid 16th century. (fn. 258) In 1974 the living was united with Northleach and Hampnett, (fn. 259) and in 1999 Farmington was one of a group of parishes served by a priest-in-charge based at Northleach.
The advowson of the church descended with the manor (fn. 260) until c. 1950 when the Barrow family transferred it to the bishop of Gloucester. (fn. 261) Queen Eleanor presented in 1289 when the manor was in the Crown's hands during a minority. (fn. 262) Richard Yate of Longworth (Berks.) presented in 1569 under a grant for one turn, (fn. 263) and the Crown presented in 1621 and 1636. (fn. 264)
The rectory was endowed with all the tithes of the parish and with glebe, which was described in 1535 as a close and 2 yardlands (fn. 265) and in 1662 comprised c. 7½ a. in closes and 78 a. in the open fields. (fn. 266) At the inclosure in 1714 the rector surrendered his tithes and glebe in return for rent charges totalling £120, apportioned among the freehold estates awarded to the lord of the manor, the Smith family, and Thomas Bedwell. (fn. 267) The living was valued at £10 in 1291, (fn. 268) £17 2s. 4d. in 1535, (fn. 269) and £90 in 1650. (fn. 270) In 1856, no augmentation having been made since the inclosure, the fixed value remained at £120. (fn. 271) In 1918 the patron, C. D. Barrow, gave £500 to augment the living, which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners met with a like sum; the annual income was as a result increased by £40. (fn. 272)
In 1707 the rectory house stood just to the west of the church. (fn. 273) It was rebuilt by the rector Harry Waller c. 1788 (fn. 274) on a site further to the north-west. The house, of ashlar, is of two storeys and attics with a hipped roof and has a symmetrical, sashed main front to the south. After 1974 the incumbent of the united benefice lived at Northleach (fn. 275) and the rectory was sold.
John Lawrence, rector of Farmington from 1541 until his death in 1568, held the living with Withington rectory; (fn. 276) his curate at Farmington was found only moderately satisfactory in his knowledge of doctrine in 1551. (fn. 277) Nicholas Jones, rector 1571–9, (fn. 278) was accused of acquiring the benefice by simony, and in 1576 his failings included not preaching and not perambulating the parish bounds. His wife was then described as 'a breeder of discord between man and wife'. (fn. 279) The lord of the manor Robert Ashfield presented a relation, William Ashfield, in 1607. From 1642 the rector was Humphrey Smith, (fn. 280) who was described as a preaching minister in 1650; (fn. 281) he subscribed at the Restoration and served until his death in 1688. (fn. 282) Thomas Beynon, rector 1773–86, (fn. 283) was residing at Haverfordwest (Pemb.) in 1784, when Farmington was served by a curate who lived at Cold Aston. (fn. 284) Harry Waller was instituted in 1786 on the presentation of his father, the lord of the manor. From 1789 he was also vicar of Winslow (Bucks.) and from 1793 rector of Hazleton, but he served Farmington in person for most of his incumbency, during which in 1810 he became owner of the manor. (fn. 285) In his last years, however, his debts forced him to live abroad, at Boulogne. At his death his son, Harry Edmund Waller, presented his own former tutor, John Boudier. (fn. 286) Boudier was also vicar of St. Mary's, Warwick, and from c. 1831 until his resignation in 1858 the living was served by curates. (fn. 287)
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 288) comprises chancel with north vestry, nave with north aisle and south porch, and west tower. The nave was built in the early or mid 12th century, probably with only a small chancel attached and without a tower. It has north and south corbel tables with animal heads and pellet ornament and the south doorway and the chancel arch have similar ornament. The chancel was rebuilt near the end of the 12th century, when the north aisle, which has an arcade of wide scalloped capitals on circular piers, was added. (fn. 289) There is a plain corbel table with pellets along the chancel and the north aisle, and both the aisle arcade and a blocked chancel window have slightly pointed arches. In the late 13th century two windows were inserted in the chancel south wall. The south porch was added in the late 14th century or the early 15th. In the late 15th century or the early 16th a slight and plain tower of three stages was built against the west wall of the nave, which was pierced for a tower arch but retains a blocked 12th-century window above. Two windows were inserted in the nave south wall at the same period. The upper part of the east wall of the chancel was rebuilt in the 16th or 17th century; its squareheaded window contains a late version of Perpendicular tracery, its head incorporating patterns which could be intended for the initials 'M Y' (though no connexion with any rector or landowner has been discovered).
The interior was repaired c. 1850, (fn. 290) the work perhaps including the heavy restoration visible on two south windows of the nave. A thorough restoration was carried out in 1890 and 1891 by the firm of Waller & Son of Gloucester, which rebuilt the aisle with a central bay of unusual appearance, having a gable over a domesticlooking window. A north vestry was added then and the church was reroofed and reseated. (fn. 291) The roofs were retiled in Cotswold stone in 1998.
A piscina in the chancel bears the initials of Thomas Jackson, rector in 1509 and until 1540 or later. (fn. 292) Jackson's name appears, together with obscure symbolism including a boat's rudder, on a carved fragment, presumably part of a memorial monument, which was set above a window in the 19th-century north aisle; the boat's rudder is represented on another fragment set in a splay of a chancel window. The fittings of the church include a 17th-century communion rail, an early 18th-century pulpit, a Gothick-style font installed in 1784, (fn. 293) and an Art Nouveau brass lectern by Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr, given in memory of W. N. Waller (d. 1909). (fn. 294)
There are three bells, a treble of 1650, a second cast by Henry Neale in 1637, and a 15thcentury tenor, thought to be by Robert Hendley. The ring was restored in 1902 in memory of a daughter and grandson of H. E. Waller. (fn. 295) A set of plate, comprising a chalice and two patens, was given to the church in 1718 by the lord of the manor, the earl of Scarbrough, and a silver almsdish of 1805 was given by the rector John Boudier in 1850. (fn. 296) In the churchyard, raised on a plinth against the west side of the tower, is a large chest tomb for the Waller family, with inscriptions for family members who died between 1788 and 1944. There are several ornately carved headstones of the mid and late 18th century. The parish registers survive from 1613. (fn. 297)
In 1836 Caleb Joynes, a mason (fn. 298) of Farmington, registered his house there for dissenting worship. (fn. 299) There was a village meeting in connexion with the Northleach Congregational church in 1862; (fn. 300) it probably did not long survive.
There was no school in Farmington in 1818, (fn. 301) but by 1833 a Sunday school and a day school had been established; the day school taught 44 children and was supported partly by charitable contributions and partly by weekly payments of ½d. for each child. (fn. 302) By the mid 1840s the day school had been replaced by two small parish schools, one with 12 children attending and the other with 16; neither had a secured schoolroom and both were apparently financed by payments from the parents. The Sunday school, held in part of the church, continued, supported by subscriptions. (fn. 303)
By 1856 a National school had been opened (fn. 304) in a building at Wales End provided by the Waller family. Edmund Waller supported the school in 1870 (fn. 305) and remained owner of the building in 1875 when, to meet government requirements, it was enlarged to provide accommodation for 60 children. In 1876, however, the average attendance was c. 35 children in a single class; it was then supported wholly by subscription, (fn. 306) presumably mainly from Waller and the rector. In 1885 the average attendance was 44 (fn. 307) but by 1904, when the school was called Farmington C. of E. school, it was down to 25. (fn. 308) There was some revival to an average attendance of 34 by 1922, but by 1932 it had fallen to only 14. (fn. 309) The school was closed that year or soon afterwards. (fn. 310)
Charity for the Poor.
Edmund Waller (d. 1810), lord of the manor, left £5,000 stock to provide an income for life for his housekeeper Anna Joynes and then to benefit the poor of Beaconsfield (Bucks.), Upper Turkdean, and Farmington in bread, clothing, and blankets. (fn. 311) The charity became active on Anna's death in 1835, by which time the costs of a suit brought by her against Edmund's trustees had reduced the principal to £3,692 stock. (fn. 312) In 1887 the principal was divided into three, with £1,231 assigned to each place, under separate trustees. (fn. 313) Farmington was receiving £36 a year as its share of the proceeds in 1889. (fn. 314) About 1970 the income, £29 a year, was being distributed in coal. (fn. 315)