Randwick: Economic history

Pages 226-228

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.

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In 1267 the demesne of Randwick manor included c. 110 a. of arable, 7½ a. of meadow, and pasture in the woods and pastures for 24 animals, 40 pigs, and 30 sheep. Other demesne, perhaps half as much again, was held in dower by the widow of Walter of Bayeux. There were 4 free tenants on the manor: one had ½ yardland, another had ¼ yardland for which he owed a pair of spurs, and the others held 6 a. and 1 a.; all owed heriots. Four customary tenants held for one or two lives and owed rents and one bedrip and a day's mowing; two held a fardel, one ½ yardland, and another 4 a. There was also one tenant at will who owed a bedrip. (fn. 1)

Some of the land in the parish was held by the tenants of Standish manor in Oxlinch: in the late 16th century ½ yardland was the usual size of holding. There were then 12 copyholders, and a mondayland was mentioned. (fn. 2) In 1682 only a reversion was held by copyhold of Standish manor, when there were 10 leaseholders and one free tenant; all the leaseholders owed cash heriots. (fn. 3)

Most of the open-field arable of Randwick lay in fields shared with other parishes. Odmarlow field, Wadding field, Stony field, and Linch field, mentioned in the 16th century, all lay near Oxlinch and were shared with Standish tenants; (fn. 4) Randwick Ridge, Foxmoor, Kingley, and Pidgemore fields in the south of the parish were shared with Stonehouse tenants. (fn. 5) Ruscombe Ridge lying close to Randwick village on the east was shared with Ruscombe (in Stroud parish). (fn. 6) Moor field, west of Roadway Farm, (fn. 7) the only field mentioned in the extent of 1267 when the demesne had 15½ a. there, (fn. 8) and Blakemore field mentioned in 1776 (fn. 9), were perhaps peculiar to Randwick. In 1267 the demesne land lay in over 30 individually named places: three were called furlongs, and several, such as Edmundesleye, Chelewoldesleye, Bordesleye, Longeleye, Otrudinge, and Newerdinge, were presumably assarts taken from the woodland; some of the arable lay in crofts at Oxlinch and a small piece at Arlebrook. (fn. 10)

In 1809 most of the arable land lying near Oxlinch apparently remained uninclosed. There were only a few acres belonging to Randwick in each field. Lands were ¼ a. or less. Moorfield with 11 a. had been converted to pasture and Little Moorfield with c. 8 a. pasture was perhaps a former part of it. There was also uninclosed land in Ruscombe Ridge. (fn. 11) In 1820 Stony field and Puck Pits, another small field in the Oxlinch area, were said to have been lately inclosed, (fn. 12) but in 1841 there was still uninclosed land in Stony field, and also in Odmarlow, Linch, and Wadding fields. (fn. 13)

In the early 18th century the parish was said to consist mainly of woods and pasture. (fn. 14) In 1809 there were 165 a. of arable and 425 a. of pasture and wood, (fn. 15) and the proportions were the same in 1841. (fn. 16) In 1901 when all the arable land near Oxlinch had been transferred to Standish there were 75 a. of arable in the parish. (fn. 17) In 1809 the manor farm with c. 80 a. was the only farm based in Randwick village. There were four farms in the Oxlinch area: the Kings with c. 60 a. in the parish, Tiledhouse Farm with c. 50 a., Roadway Farm with c. 35 a., and another at Bartlett's Green with c. 25 a. (fn. 18)

There was apparently a mill at Oxlinch in the 13th century when a family surnamed 'of the mill' lived there. (fn. 19) The mill for which the Dursley churchwardens were paying rent to Standish manor in 1541 was, from later evidence, at Oxlinch. (fn. 20) In 1574 James Smallwood, a Dursley clothier, conveyed the mill to William Watkins; (fn. 21) it was perhaps a fulling-mill at that time and may have been worked in 1608 by Walter Watkins who was described as a clothworker. (fn. 22) The Watkins family continued to work the mill until the late 17th century. (fn. 23) It had apparently ceased working by 1824. (fn. 24) The mill was at a small stone cottage at the meeting of the streams east of Tiledhouse Farm (fn. 25) where a mill's existence was remembered in 1967; (fn. 26) no machinery survived, but the former position of the shaft for the wheel was evident in the stonework, and the cottage had a small loft doorway in its western gable. Another feature of the cottage is a staircase-turret.

The lack of agricultural land in the parish and the large population suggests that most of the inhabitants of Randwick were engaged in the cloth industry from the 17th century or earlier. Many of the cloth-workers listed under Oxlinch in 1608 presumably lived in Randwick village; they included 23 weavers, 4 fullers, and a dyer. (fn. 27) Thomas Pill of Randwick was described in 1650 as a fuller and in 1651 as a clothier. (fn. 28) References to weavers in Randwick and Oxlinch in the 17th and 18th centuries were usually to weavers of broad cloth. (fn. 29) Men described as blue dyers were buried at Randwick in 1709 and 1719, a fine-drawer was mentioned in 1716, (fn. 30) and wool-scribblers in 1753 (fn. 31) and 1780. (fn. 32) In 1779 the inhabitants of the parish were said to be chiefly employed in the woollen industry, (fn. 33) and in 1831 105 families were supported by trade compared with 32 by agriculture. (fn. 34) Distress among the cottage weavers of Randwick was severe in the early 19th century; in 1839 their average earnings were among the lowest of the clothing parishes. (fn. 35) In the late 19th century many of the villagers were employed in the local mills. (fn. 36) Several clothiers lived in the parish in the 18th century, including members of the families of lies (fn. 37) and Harmer. (fn. 38)

The smith's spring at Oxlinch was mentioned in 1294, (fn. 39) and a carpenter was living there c. 1470. (fn. 40) A tailor of Randwick was mentioned in 1597. (fn. 41) In 1608 the craftsmen listed under Oxlinch, who evidently included the men of Randwick and part of Standish, were 7 carpenters, 5 tailors, 3 masons, 2 smiths, 2 slaters, and a cutler. (fn. 42) Carpenters were later, other than weavers, the craftsmen most regularly mentioned at Randwick and Oxlinch, (fn. 43) and perhaps their preponderance was connected with the ready supply of timber in the area as well as with the maintenance of the many weavers' looms. There was a village carpenter until c. 1930. (fn. 44) A saddler was mentioned in 1791 (fn. 45) and a shoemaker in 1832; (fn. 46) in the later 19th century there were usually two shoemakers at Randwick. (fn. 47) Masons were mentioned in 1736 (fn. 48) and 1837. (fn. 49) There were limekilns at the quarries to the west of Randwick village in the 19th century, (fn. 50) and a lime-burner and lime-merchant were mentioned in 1879. (fn. 51) In 1967 most of the inhabitants of Randwick village worked in the factories in Stroud and the locality. (fn. 52)


  • 1. Hist. & Cart. Mon. Glouc. (Rolls Ser.), iii. 44-47.
  • 2. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 3. Ibid. 66B.
  • 4. Gray, Eng. Field Systems, 519; Glos. R.O., D 678/ Standish/566; Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/2.
  • 5. Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/2; see below, p. 277.
  • 6. Ibid. D 149/T 525.
  • 7. Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/2.
  • 8. Hist. & Cart. Mon. Glouc. (Rolls Ser.), iii. 45.
  • 9. Glos. Colln. deeds 246.5.
  • 10. Hist. & Cart. Mon. Glouc. iii. 44-45.
  • 11. Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/2.
  • 12. Ibid. D 1134, partics. of Rodborough Charity estate.
  • 13. G.D.R. Randwick tithe award.
  • 14. Atkyns, Glos. 617.
  • 15. Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/1.
  • 16. G.D.R. Randwick tithe award.
  • 17. Acreage Returns, 1901.
  • 18. Glos. R.O., P 263/VE 1/1.
  • 19. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Frocester B, pp. 106-7.
  • 20. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/1248 rot. 13; cf. 17th Rep. Com. Char. 328.
  • 21. C.P. 25(2)/142/1816/14.
  • 22. Smith, Men and Armour, 308.
  • 23. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/612; 17th Rep. Com. Char. 328.
  • 24. Bryant, Map of Glos. (1824); Greenwood, Map of Glos. (1824).
  • 25. Glos. R.O., D 1241, deed of 1707, describing the mill as having the highway to Randwick on the west; ibid. P 263/VE 1/1-2, naming a piece of land near there as Mill Pond Bank.
  • 26. Local information.
  • 27. Smith, Men and Armour, 308-9.
  • 28. Glos. R.O., D 149/T 215, T 330.
  • 29. Ibid. T 453; Hockaday Abs. cccxxi, 1663; Glos. R.O., D 1086, deed of 1710; D 1241, deed of 1727; P 316/OV 4/1; D 678/Randwick.
  • 30. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 212.
  • 31. Glos. R.O., D 678/Randwick/45.
  • 32. Ibid. P 316/OV 4/1.
  • 33. Rudder, Glos. 619.
  • 34. Census, 1831.
  • 35. Rep. Com. Handloom Weavers, 408, 418-19.
  • 36. Fennemore, Randwick, 17.
  • 37. Glos. R.O., D 127/30; Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 212.
  • 38. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 212.
  • 39. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Frocester B, pp. 107-8.
  • 40. Cal. Pat. 1467-77, 432.
  • 41. B.M. Harl. MS. 4131, f. 478v.
  • 42. Smith, Men and Armour, 308-9.
  • 43. Glos. R.O., D 678/Randwick/10; Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 212; Glos. R.O., P 316/OV 4/1; Glos. Colln. RQ 246.1; Hockaday Abs. cccxxi, 1847.
  • 44. Ex inf. Miss Powell.
  • 45. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 212.
  • 46. Glos. Colln. RQ 246.1.
  • 47. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 48. Glos. R.O., D 678/Randwick/35.
  • 49. Ibid. P 263/SU 2/1.
  • 50. Fennemore, Randwick, 12.
  • 51. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1879), 329.
  • 52. Ex inf. the vicar.