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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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Seven hides at Stonehouse that were held in 1066 by Tovi belonged in 1086 to William of Eu, (fn. 1) who forfeited his lands to the Crown by his rebellion in 1095. (fn. 2) Stonehouse passed with the castle and honor of Striguil (or Chepstow) to Walter de Clare, who was mentioned as lord of Stonehouse c. 1135. (fn. 3) On his death c. 1138 Walter's lands passed to his nephew, Gilbert de Clare, who was created Earl of Pembroke in the same year. Gilbert died c. 1148, his son Richard in 1176, and Richard's son Gilbert c. 1185 when still a minor. Gilbert's heir was his sister, Isabel; in 1189 she married William Marshal, (fn. 4) who held Stonehouse as one of the fees of the honor of Striguil c. 1200. (fn. 5) William's successors as Earls of Pembroke continued to hold the overlordship of STONEHOUSE manor until the mid 14th century. (fn. 6) In 1364 and 1403, however, the manor was said to be held of the Bishop of Worcester, (fn. 7) and in 1435 and 1599 of the Crown as of the honor of Wallingford. (fn. 8) In the early 18th century jurisdiction over Stonehouse was claimed by the Earl of Stafford as part of his honor of Hereford. (fn. 9)
About 1135 Ellis Giffard had an estate in Stonehouse manor presumably as the under-tenant of Walter de Clare, (fn. 10) and the Giffards of Brimpsfield (fn. 11) probably held Stonehouse from the de Clares during the 12th century and early 13th. In 1227 Hugh, son of Walter Giffard, had land there, (fn. 12) and in 1248 Iseult the widow of Ellis Giffard of Brimpsfield received dower in the manor. (fn. 13) Ellis's son, John Giffard of Brimpsfield, was seised of the manor in 1276 (fn. 14) and had a grant of free warren there in 1281. (fn. 15) He died c. 1299 (fn. 16) and the manor was assigned in dower to his widow, Margaret, (fn. 17) who held it until her death in 1338. (fn. 18) The lands of the Giffard family were granted by the Crown in 1329 to John Mautravers, (fn. 19) who received a quitclaim of the reversionary right in Stonehouse manor from John of Kellaways, heir of the Giffards, in 1330. (fn. 20) In the same year, however, John Mautravers forfeited his lands because of his part in the trial and execution of the king's uncle, Edmund, Earl of Kent, (fn. 21) and in 1337 the Crown granted his estates, including the reversion of Stonehouse manor, to Maurice of Berkeley for life. (fn. 22) Maurice of Berkeley succeeded to Stonehouse manor on the death of Margaret Giffard in 1338 and died in 1347, when a third part of the manor was granted in dower to his wife Margery. (fn. 23)
In 1351 John Mautravers was reinstated in his lands as a reward for service in Flanders; (fn. 24) he died in 1364, (fn. 25) having settled the manor on himself and his wife Agnes. On Agnes's death in 1375, the manor passed to John's grand-daughter Eleanor who had married John, son of Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 26) John FitzAlan died in 1379 and in 1389 Lawrence le Broke held the manor from John FitzAlan, (fn. 27) presumably John's son who died in 1391, (fn. 28) but in 1393 the manor was held by Eleanor, the wife of the first John, and her second husband, Reynold de Cobham, (fn. 29) who died in 1403. (fn. 30) Eleanor held the manor until her death in 1405 when she was succeeded by her grandson, John FitzAlan, (fn. 31) who became Earl of Arundel in 1415 and died in 1421. (fn. 32) John's widow Eleanor who held the manor until her death in 1455 was married twice again, to Richard Poyning (d. c. 1430) and to Walter Hungerford (d. 1449). On her death the manor passed to her son William, Earl of Arundel, (fn. 33) who died in 1487, and then to the successive earls, Thomas (fn. 34) (d. 1524), William (fn. 35) (d. 1544), and Henry. (fn. 36)
Henry, Earl of Arundel, sold the manor in 1558 to two Stonehouse clothiers, William Fowler and William Sandford, who made a partition of it in 1567. (fn. 37) William Fowler's estate included the manorhouse and demesne, and his successors exercised manorial rights over the whole manor; (fn. 38) the Sandford estate, however, was also called a manor until at least 1673. (fn. 39) William Fowler died in 1599, (fn. 40) and was succeeded by his son Daniel. (fn. 41) Daniel Fowler was succeeded c. 1648 by his son Stephen (fn. 42) who died in 1671 or 1672, (fn. 43) when the manor passed to his daughter Mary and her husband, Thomas Smith of North Nibley. (fn. 44) Thomas Smith died in 1684 (fn. 45) and his son, also Thomas, held the manor in 1686. (fn. 46) Mary, daughter of the younger Thomas Smith, and her husband John Ball owned the manor in 1697. (fn. 47) John Ball was a cloth-factor and may have been a member of a Stonehouse clothing family. (fn. 48) He was dead by 1712, (fn. 49) and was succeeded by his son, also John, who died in 1729, (fn. 50) when the manor passed to Levi Ball, son of the second John. (fn. 51) Levi died in 1739 or 1740 and the manor passed to his son Robert, (fn. 52) who died in 1766, (fn. 53) and Robert's widow Mary held it in 1773. In 1784 her son, Ingram Ball, (fn. 54) sold the estate to Thomas White (fn. 55) (d. 1801). He was succeeded by his son, also Thomas White, who devised the estate at his death in 1811 to his nephew Edward Palling Caruthers. (fn. 56) Caruthers (d. 1842) devised the estate to his sister-in law, Harriet Mary Broadstock, who sold it in 1847 to Nathaniel Samuel Marling of the family of millowners. (fn. 57) Marling died in 1861, (fn. 58) and his wife Lucina held the estate until her death in 1880; by 1885 it had passed to her nephew, Sir William Henry Marling, Bt., of Stanley Park. (fn. 59) Sir William held it until 1906 when it was sold to Arthur Strachan Winterbotham of Cam, (fn. 60) who held it until his death in 1936. (fn. 61) His widow, Caroline, was lady of the manor in 1967.
The existence in Saxon times of a manor-house built of stone may be deduced from the name of the parish. John Giffard was said to have often stayed at Stonehouse in the mid 13th century. (fn. 62) The surviving house of Stonehouse Court was apparently built by Daniel Fowler in 1601. (fn. 63) The house, of coursed rubble, comprises a central block of two stories with two gabled wings of two stories and attics projecting on the south. On the north is a central gabled porch rising to the level of the eaves. The windows have stone mullions and most have segmental-headed lights. The diagonal chimneys have moulded stone caps. About 1906 a small bay was added to the south side of the central block. A fire gutted the house in 1908, (fn. 64) but the exterior received little damage. (fn. 65) In the early 19th century a dais and stained glass windows were mentioned. (fn. 66)
William Sandford's half of the manor under the partition of 1567 passed on his death in 1570 to his son Anselm, (fn. 67) and on Anselm's death in 1611 to Anselm's son, William. (fn. 68) William Sandford died in 1632 leaving the estate to his second son John, and the Sandford fulling-mill, later Upper Mill, (fn. 69) to his third son William. (fn. 70) John died in 1684; his brother William died in 1693, (fn. 71) and in 1709 William's son, also William, owned the mill and probably also his uncle's estate. (fn. 72) He died in 1726, and his son, another William, (fn. 73) sold the estate and the mill to his brother Thomas in 1731. Thomas Sandford, described as a haberdasher of London, died in 1753 and his will authorized his widow to sell his Stonehouse property. (fn. 74) The Sandfords' mansion house, adjoining their clothing-mill, was mentioned in 1632; (fn. 75) it was occupied by the family until 1731. (fn. 76) The house had 8 hearths in 1672. (fn. 77)
Several freehold estates were held from the manor in the Middle Ages. John of Stonehouse had land at Dudbridge in 1276, (fn. 78) and in 1299 Geoffrey, son of John of Stonehouse, held a freehold estate of 1½ yardland from Stonehouse manor. (fn. 79) Geoffrey's son William was mentioned in 1327 (fn. 80) and was perhaps the William who disputed land in the parish with Richard of Stonehouse in 1340. (fn. 81) John of Stonehouse was mentioned in 1361, and John, son of John of Stonehouse, had a house at Stonehouse in 1375. (fn. 82) John Stonehouse was mentioned in 1422, (fn. 83) and in 1435 he or another John Stonehouse granted a plough-land and 40 a. of meadow and pasture in Stonehouse and King's Stanley to Robert Stanshawe of Yate; (fn. 84) he claimed, however, that Robert had tricked him into selling the land. (fn. 85) Robert Stanshawe died in 1472 seised of 4 messuages, 5 yardlands, 42 a. of pasture, and 24 a. of meadow in Stonehouse and King's Stanley, (fn. 86) and his son Richard held the estate until his death in 1498. (fn. 87) It was then apparently held by Richard's brothers, Humphrey and John, (fn. 88) and c. 1520 the estate was claimed by John's daughter Margery and her husband John Calton. (fn. 89)
An estate in Ebley belonged to the Rodborough family of Rodborough. John of Rodborough held 1½ yardland from Stonehouse manor in 1299. (fn. 90) It presumably passed to his brother Thomas, and to Thomas's son, also Thomas. Thomas, the son of the last Thomas, (fn. 91) held the estate at his death in 1367. In 1393 Thomas's lands were held by the Crown during the minority of the heir, Richard, son of John Browning, (fn. 92) who died under age in 1400. The property, described as 8 houses and 3 half-yardlands in Ebley, passed to Richard's sister Cecily, (fn. 93) who was married by 1405 to Guy Whittington. (fn. 94) Guy was dead by 1442 and the estate presumably passed to his son William. William's son John (fn. 95) was a free tenant of Stonehouse manor between 1487 and 1507. (fn. 96) John's son Thomas Whittington held the estate in 1533, (fn. 97) and died in 1546 leaving his lands among six daughters. (fn. 98) Elizabeth, one of the daughters, married Sir Giles Poole who held the Whittington estate in Stonehouse in 1567. (fn. 99) Robert Poole was living at Stonehouse in 1672 (fn. 100) and Nathaniel Poole owned a fairly large house and estate there in 1722. (fn. 101) Another estate in Ebley was acquired by John Mompesson in 1468, (fn. 102) and in 1501 he or another John died holding a house and 110 a. of land from Stonehouse manor by free service. His heir was his grandson, also John, (fn. 103) but another member of the family held the estate in 1507. (fn. 104) John Mompesson died c. 1525 having devised the estate to Richard Mompesson. (fn. 105)
A house and yardland in Stonehouse held by Edmund Giffard in the early 15th century (fn. 106) was perhaps the estate held of the manor by William Giffard in 1299; (fn. 107) by 1441 it had passed to John Giffard. (fn. 108) John died in 1444 when he was said to hold a house and a plough-land; (fn. 109) he was succeeded by his son Robert Giffard (d. 1446). (fn. 110) Joan, formerly the wife of Robert Giffard, who later married John Mervye, held the estate at her death in 1478, when her heir was John Giffard. (fn. 111) John Giffard held the estate between 1491 and 1497, (fn. 112) but was dead by 1507. (fn. 113) William Giffard held the estate in 1542 and 1554, John Giffard in 1556 (fn. 114) and 1567, (fn. 115) and George Giffard had an interest in it in 1591. (fn. 116)
A small estate, including the house called MORE HALL in the north-east of the parish, was held by a branch of the Fowler family from the 16th to the 18th century. It was presumably the freehold estate held of Stonehouse manor in 1567 by Edward Fowler (fn. 117) who was perhaps the younger brother of William Fowler, lord of the manor (d. 1599). (fn. 118) Anselm Fowler, who held a house and a yardland called Moorhalls in 1603, (fn. 119) was apparently Edward's son. (fn. 120) He had two servants in 1608 (fn. 121) and was living at the house in 1622; (fn. 122) in 1623 his sole heir was said to be his daughter Elizabeth. (fn. 123) Another Anselm Fowler of Moorhalls died in 1700, and his son also Anselm in 1704. Another of his sons, William, died in 1708, and Anne, widow of William Fowler of Moorhalls, died in 1742. (fn. 124) The house was occupied in 1766 by Richard Peglar, a clothier (fn. 125) (d. 1781), whose daughter, Sarah Peglar, lived there until her death in 1830. (fn. 126) In 1839 it was owned by Richard Cooke and occupied by Sarah Peglar Drew and Joseph Turner. (fn. 127) There was apparently a house on the site of More Hall by 1449. (fn. 128) The present house, dated 1582, is a large gabled house of coursed rubble with ashlar quoins, partly of two stories and attics and partly of three stories and attics; it has a Cotswold stone roof, stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, boldly projecting stone waterspouts, and diagonal chimney-stacks with moulded caps. From 1912 to 1916 More Hall was occupied by a community called the Evangelist Brothers of the Common Life (fn. 129) founded by the Revd. C. H. Sharpe, who built a small stone chapel on the western corner of the house. In 1917 Sharpe became a Roman Catholic, and at his death in 1932 he left the house to the Sisters of the Temple, a French nursing order, who occupied it in 1967. (fn. 130)
In the 16th century and early 17th an estate at Stonehouse and Ebley was acquired by the Selwyn family of Matson. In 1588 Jasper Selwyn bought a fulling-mill at Bridgend and lands from Humphrey Osborne, (fn. 131) and in 1602 his estate in Stonehouse was described as 4 houses and over 100 a. of land. (fn. 132) By his marriage to Margaret Robins in 1592 (fn. 133) Jasper Selwyn acquired lands in Stonehouse and Ebley which had belonged in 1533 to Thomas Lane (fn. 134) (d. 1544); Thomas's son, also Thomas, (fn. 135) sold the lands in 1557 to John Robins of Matson, (fn. 136) whose successor, Thomas Robins (d. c. 1578), left them to his daughter Margaret. (fn. 137) In 1621 Jasper Selwyn's son William married Edith, daughter of an Ebley clothier, Leonard Bennett; her inheritance included Ebley Mill and the house called EBLEY COURT. (fn. 138) Jasper Selwyn died in 1635 (fn. 139) and William in 1643. (fn. 140) The estate then passed to William's son, also William, who died in 1679. (fn. 141) William the son of the younger William (d. 1702) then held the estate, (fn. 142) and his widow Albinia (d. 1738) held it in 1711. (fn. 143) In the late 17th century the property at Ebley included the cloth-mill with 70 a. of land, and another farm of 60 a., and, at Stonehouse, the Bridgend cloth-mill and c. 100 a. of land. (fn. 144) Albinia Selwyn's son John died in 1751, and his son, George Augustus Selwyn, owned Ebley Mill in 1788 (fn. 145) and died in 1791 when the estate passed to his nephew Thomas Townshend, Viscount Sydney. On Viscount Sydney's death in 1800 (fn. 146) all but a small part was sold to Stephen Clissold and James Hogg; (fn. 147) in 1804 Clissold owned Ebley Mill and 24 a. of land, and Hogg 50 a. (fn. 148)
Ebley Court, to the north of Ebley Mill, may occupy the site of the house called Skinner's Place which was lived in by the miller of Ebley Mill in 1405. (fn. 149) The house was built or rebuilt by Thomas Bennett in 1587, (fn. 150) and was presumably the mansion called Ebley House the freehold of which was conveyed to Leonard Bennett by Edmund Barrow in 1610. (fn. 151) It is a gabled building of coursed rubble, partly faced in rough-cast, of two stories and attics. A long north wing evidently survives from the building of 1587 as perhaps do other parts, but many alterations and additions in Tudor style were made in the 19th century. In 1967 the house was a hotel.