Standish: Economic history

Pages 236-238

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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The 36 ploughs recorded at Standish in 1086, of which 3 were demesne ploughs, (fn. 1) are unlikely all to have been for tilling the area of the later parish. In 1291 Gloucester Abbey's demesne was large, containing 4 ploughlands, and the value of the customary works relaxed was put at nearly a quarter of the gross value of the estate. (fn. 2) Before 1515 the demesne was being farmed. (fn. 3)

There were 4 free tenants of the manor in 1540, (fn. 4) but only 2 were recorded in 1682. (fn. 5) A neif of Standish received manumission in 1508, (fn. 6) and mondaylands were recorded in 1547 (fn. 7) and 1583. (fn. 8) Some customary lands were leased in the 1530s, (fn. 9) but there were nevertheless 56 customary tenants in 1547. (fn. 10) In the late 16th century 37 or more tenants held by copy and 7 or more by lease, (fn. 11) but by 1682 the proportions were reversed, with only 3 copyholders, who had all received their holdings in 1649, and 31 lessees. The lessees all owed cash heriots, and some owed rents in capons. (fn. 12) The rents in kind recalled the 327 hens' eggs paid by the customary tenants in 1540, (fn. 13) earlier called landeggs. (fn. 14) A reduction in the number of eggs paid, to 253 in 1598, may mark the change from copyhold to leasehold tenure. A relatively small number of tenants still owed mowing, haymaking, reaping, and ploughing services in 1598. (fn. 15) In the earlier 16th century heriots were exacted in cash or kind at the lord's discretion; (fn. 16) in 1597 some at least were still recorded as though exacted in kind. (fn. 17) Copyholds were apparently not heritable; when granted to more than one person a copyhold was enjoyed by each tenant in turn, subject to widow's freebench, and forfeiture by one tenant did not diminish the right of the next and could not be pardoned by the lord of the manor. (fn. 18)

The name Vinegar Hill is thought to show that the land there was once used as a vineyard, (fn. 19) but apart from the name no evidence has been found. Although the parish contains land suitable for sheep-pastures, sheep-rearing has left little record. A sheep-house was recorded in 1547, (fn. 20) there were clearly many sheep in the parish in 1550, (fn. 21) and a place on the Arle brook is called Sheepwash. (fn. 22)

In 1501 Robert Twissell's estate in Colethrop was mostly pasture, and in Standish itself mostly meadow. (fn. 23) In the later 16th century only a quarter of the glebe was arable. (fn. 24) In the early 16th century wheat, barley, and particularly beans appear to have been the chief crops grown, (fn. 25) and in 1568 mention was made of land sown with beans and pulse. (fn. 26) In the 18th century Standish was described as pasture-land, with some arable and woodland. (fn. 27)

The open fields of Standish were extremely numerous by the mid 16th century, perhaps as the result of sub-division. Several fields were shared with neighbouring parishes, and some seem to have undergone a change of name. The disposition of open-field land in Standish manor in 1612 is shown in the analysis set out below. There had evidently been no fundamental change since the early 16th century, for apart from the fields of Colethrop all but two small fields in the 1612 survey were named in a survey of 1547 that recorded tenures granted in the preceding 50 years. (fn. 28)

The open-field arable of Standish tithing was fairly evenly divided between Stony field, lying towards Little Haresfield, and the other fields, which all apparently lay towards Randwick, and the fact may indicate an earlier division between two fields. Similarly, the arable land of Little Haresfield

(Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/612)
lands parcels acreage remarks
Stony field 554 154 125½ part in Little Haresfield; a further part in Randwick
Linch field 279 43 60 part in Standish Moreton; a further part in Randwick
Little Combe field 89 24 32 'in the Park'
Great Combe field 19 13 'in the Park'
Ridley field 8 13 'part of Gt. Combe field'
Odmarlow field 22 13 a further part in Randwick
Clayardin field 37 12 8
Wadding (Wayardin) field 3 4 a further part in Randwick
Stony field (see Standish)
North field 481 123 129 part in Standish Moreton
Dunhill field 203 50 40 next to Stony field
Ridings field 85 13 15
Linch field (see Standish)
North field (see Little Haresfield)
Shutfurrow 149 36 32 mainly in Moreton Valence
High field 106 21 21 mainly in Moreton Valence
Podley field 173 29 30
Cooknell field 48 19 30 next to Putloe Green
Broadcraft 68 11 23 next to Bristol way
Great Harefield 79 21 15
Little Harefield 9 2 2
Charcraft field 39 4 7
Moncraft field 31 4 6
Marsh field 13 8 5
Meadland field 16 6 4
Breach field 16 5 4
The Stopple 5 3 2
Newlease field 8 4 2
Odfurlong 5 5 1
Longhill field 200 45 43 a further part in Hardwicke
Pirton field 109 30 29 a further part in Hardwicke
Greenhill field 20 18
Yeesele field 47 7 15
Broad field mainly in Hardwicke

lay half in one large field and half in three others. In Standish Moreton and Putloe there was no open field with more than 32 a. belonging to Standish manor, but the greater part of High field and Shutfurrow lay, apparently, in Moreton Valence; Putloe (Podley) field, moreover, was perhaps much larger when it was recorded in the early 13th century, (fn. 29) and Broad field, recorded in the late 17th century as lying east of Putloe village, (fn. 30) is likely to have comprised several of the small fields named separately in 1612, so there again there may have been an earlier two-fold division, between Putloe field and Broad field. Of the fields in Colethrop in 1612 only Broad field was among the 10 named in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 31) In the fields of Colethrop in the Middle Ages selions ranged from ¼ to 1/10 a.; (fn. 32) a selion in Putloe was 1/5 a., (fn. 33) and one in Stony field in the 17th century 1/6 a. (fn. 34)

The open fields in 1612 contained some closes, and the fragmentation of the Putloe fields may have resulted from piecemeal inclosure. (fn. 35) In Colethrop in the late 13th century Gloucester Abbey was given permission to inclose land granted to it and to exclude the grantor from common in the land. (fn. 36) In 1616 ½ a. in Colethrop was described as lately inclosed, (fn. 37) and no later reference has been found to open fields in Colethrop. By 1547 all the demesne of Standish manor was inclosed. (fn. 38) In 1593 a close was described as once part of Stony field, (fn. 39) and the extinction of some commoning rights in the park and on Beacon Hill in 1661 (fn. 40) may have followed the inclosure of the land in Putloe to which the rights had formerly belonged. In the 1680s the arable of the vicar's glebe lay partly open and partly inclosed, and there had been no change by 1719; by 1807, however, all the glebe except some land in Putloe had been inclosed. (fn. 41) In 1801 the incumbent said that Standish was wholly uninclosed, (fn. 42) which was certainly an exaggeration. The latest clear evidence of open-field husbandry that has been found are presentments in 1732 and 1737 in the manor court, the first of inclosure of common and the second of the sowing of land in Linch field that should have been fallow. (fn. 43) In the following 20 years the court apparently made no attempt to regulate the open fields, suggesting that open-field husbandry had been abandoned. (fn. 44) In Putloe 168 a. in fact remained open until 1823, when the inclosure commissioners for Moreton Valence and Putloe allotted them to 10 owners, in amounts from 1 a. to 74 a. (fn. 45)

The smaller farms in the parish were said c. 1775 to have been amalgamated, (fn. 46) and in 1831 only 2 out of 17 farms did not employ labour. (fn. 47) In the 1840s the 7 farms in the eastern part of the parish ranged from 59 to 370 a., the 6 in the west from 22 to 124 a., and the 4 at Colethrop from 122 to 203 a. (fn. 48) Between 1856 and 1939 the number of farms rose gradually to 27, but in 1939 there were still 10 of over 150 a. From 1922 there was also a number of small-holdings in the parish. (fn. 49) By 1901 the extent of arable land, 434 a., was about one-seventh of the parish, (fn. 50) and by 1933 had shrunk to less than half that amount. (fn. 51) In 1967 dairying predominated.

Until c. 1270 the neifs of Standish manor were obliged to grind their corn at Gloucester Abbey's mill in Stonehouse. The abbot then gave them permission, in return for a payment of 8s. a year each, to grind at the abbey's mills of Standish, (fn. 52) which suggests that the Standish mills were either built or enlarged about that time. The reversion of the Over and the Nether Mill was granted to the farmers of the manorial demesne in 1515. (fn. 53) Both were corn-mills in 1547; the Upper Mill, immediately south of Standish Court, was of stone, and the Lower Mill, 150 yds. downstream near the fishponds, was mud-walled and thatched. (fn. 54) Both mills continued in use as corn-mills until the early 20th century; the Upper Mill had gone out of use by 1920, (fn. 55) and the Lower Mill stopped working in 1925. (fn. 56) In the later 19th century a single miller appears to have worked both mills. (fn. 57) After the Second World War the Upper Mill was converted into a cottage for Standish Court Farm and the Lower Mill, which had been burnt down, was rebuilt as a private house. A water-mill at Putloe was recorded in the 1840s (fn. 58) and apparently in 1808, (fn. 59) but has not been found earlier or later; it was presumably connected with the iron-works there. (fn. 60) The surviving house was built of brick in the early 19th century with a mansard roof. The mill at Oxlinch is discussed above. (fn. 61)

Oxlinch, which was partly in Randwick and was the home of some parishioners of Standish who followed non-agrarian callings, is considered under Randwick. (fn. 62) In the 17th century Standish included broadweavers, tailors, and other clothworkers, living mainly in Putloe; the Bennett family of clothiers is to be noted (fn. 63) in addition to those living at Oxlinch. A surgeon of Standish was licensed in 1718. (fn. 64) Smiths are recorded from 1607, (fn. 65) and there was a smithy at Little Haresfield until the late 19th century, one at Standish Moreton until the early 20th, and one at Putloe until the 1920s. (fn. 66) A wheelwright at Putloe was recorded from 1885 to 1914. (fn. 67) A forge at the north end of Putloe village in 1810 (fn. 68) was on the site of iron-works recorded in 1824. (fn. 69) The site was later that of Putloe Mill, which in the 1840s was owned by Thomas Barnard and occupied by Edwin Orchard; (fn. 70) the mill is said to have been last used as a pin-mill by one Barnard, (fn. 71) and Edwin Orchard was an edgetool maker in Putloe in the 1870s. (fn. 72) Blocks of slag built into one of the walls of Putloe Court may have come from the iron-works at Putloe. The malthouse at Stroud Green in 1882 and 1921 (fn. 73) was presumably one of the two in Oxlinch tithing in 1843. (fn. 74) In the first 30 years of the 19th century the number of inhabitants supported by trade or industry rose from a quarter of that supported by agriculture to a third. (fn. 75) In the mid 20th century agriculture was the only industry, apart from the haulage firm, filling station, and café, all in Putloe.


  • 1. Dom. Bk. (Rec. Com.), i. 164v.
  • 2. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 231.
  • 3. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, i, f. 31v.
  • 4. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/1248 rot. 13.
  • 5. D.C los. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 6. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Braunche, f. 79.
  • 7. S.C. 12/2/46 ff. 7, 16.
  • 8. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 9. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/1248 rot. 13; Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, ii, ff. 49v., 61v., 131v., 134v.
  • 10. S.C. 12/2/47 ff. 6-32.
  • 11. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 12. Ibid. 66B.
  • 13. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/1248 rot. 13d.
  • 14. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, ii, f. 50.
  • 15. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 16. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, ii, f. 62.
  • 17. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 18. E 134/5 Jas. I East./3, a case concerning forfeiture intentionally incurred by unlicensed felling of a tree; cf. E 124/2 ff. 230-1v.
  • 19. P.N. Glos. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 192.
  • 20. S.C. 12/2/46.
  • 21. Hockaday Abs. cccxlv.
  • 22. Cf. Lilley, Standish, 151.
  • 23. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 319.
  • 24. G.D.R. Standish terrier, n.d.
  • 25. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Braunche, p. 112.
  • 26. Req. 2/32/82.
  • 27. Rudder, Glos. 681; cf. Atkyns, Glos. 679; Glos. R.O., D 1388, map of Moreton Valence, 1818.
  • 28. S.C. 12/2/46, the source for the information in H. L. Gray, Eng. Field Systems, 89-90, 519, which gives a wrong reference, and assumes a neater division between the tithings than in fact there was.
  • 29. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Frocester B, pp. 101-2.
  • 30. G.D.R. Standish terrier, ? 1680.
  • 31. Glos. R.O., D 214/T 25; T 30A/5, 9-10, 12; Reg. Abb. Frocester B, pp. 116-18.
  • 32. Glos. R.O., D 214/T 30A/3-4, 10, 12.
  • 33. Reg. Abb. Frocester B, pp. 101-2.
  • 34. G.D.R. Standish terrier, ? 1680.
  • 35. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/612.
  • 36. Reg. Abb. Frocester B, p. 125.
  • 37. Glos. R.O., D 326/E 59.
  • 38. S.C. 12/2/46 f. 33.
  • 39. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/566.
  • 40. B.G.A.S. Libr., Royce MS. II, ff. 45-46.
  • 41. G.D.R. Standish terriers.
  • 42. Trans. B.G.A.S. lxviii. 171; the same incumbent said he could make no return of the crops grown: ibid. 167.
  • 43. Glos. R.O., D 678/Standish/569, 573.
  • 44. Ibid. 573-89.
  • 45. Ibid. Q/RI 104.
  • 46. Rudder, Glos. 682.
  • 47. Census, 1831.
  • 48. Glos. R.O., P 305A/VE 1/1.
  • 49. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.); the changes in the parish boundary make the computation after the 1880s rather speculative.
  • 50. Acreage Returns, 1901.
  • 51. Land Util. Surv. Map, sheets 92, 103.
  • 52. Hist. & Cart. Mon. Glouc. (Rolls Ser.), ii. 287.
  • 53. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, ii, f. 31v.
  • 54. S.C. 12/2/46 f. 4.
  • 55. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLI. 9 (1903, 1923 edns.).
  • 56. Lilley, Standish, 200.
  • 57. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 58. Glos. R.O., P 305A/VE 1/1.
  • 59. Glos. Colln. JF 1.5.
  • 60. See below.
  • 61. See p. 227.
  • 62. See p. 227.
  • 63. Smith, Men and Armour, 308-9, 316; Visit. Glos. 1623, 199; E 134/5 Jas. I East./3; Hockaday Abs. cccxlvi; B.G.A.S. Libr., Royce MS. II, f. 93; Glos. R.O., D 678/ Moreton Valence/117.
  • 64. Hockaday Abs. cccxlvi.
  • 65. E 134/5 Jas. I East./3 f. 10d.; Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 247.
  • 66. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLI. 5 (1884, 1903, 1923 edns.).
  • 67. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1885), 571; (1914), 308.
  • 68. B.M. Maps, O.S.D. 172.
  • 69. Greenwood, Map of Glos. (1824).
  • 70. Glos. R.O., P 305A/VE 1/1.
  • 71. Ex inf. Miss L. E. Leonard-Willey, of Woodfield House, Moreton Valence.
  • 72. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1870), 602; (1879), 743.
  • 73. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLI. 10 (1884, 1923 edns.).
  • 74. G.D.R. Standish tithe award.
  • 75. Census, 1801-31.