A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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MANOR AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1086 Roger de Lacy held 1½ hide at Edgeworth which was later known as the manor of EDGEWORTH; (fn. 1) he also claimed unsuccessfully as part of Edgeworth a further ½ hide held by Hugh, earl of Chester, lord of Bisley. (fn. 2) Roger's lands were forfeited at his banishment in 1096 and granted to his brother Hugh de Lacy (d. by 1115) who was succeeded by Pain son of John, who had married Hugh's daughter. (fn. 3) Pain granted Edgeworth to his daughter Cecily on her marriage to Roger of Gloucester, earl of Hereford. (fn. 4) The overlordship of the manor remained with the lords of Painswick, (fn. 5) although in 1347 part was said to have been held of the archbishopric of York by knight service. (fn. 6)
In 1236 Peter of Edgeworth held ½ fee at Edgeworth (fn. 7) but he had died by 1248. (fn. 8) In 1253 part of the manor was claimed by Walter Helion, a kinsman of Peter, (fn. 9) and Walter shared the ½ fee at Edgeworth with Stephen of Edgeworth in 1285. (fn. 10) In 1303 the ½ fee was held by Thomas of Edgeworth and Alice Helion, (fn. 11) presumably the widow of Walter, who had died in 1300. Walter's son Peter Helion (fn. 12) held the advowson of Edgeworth in 1303 (fn. 13) and was recorded there in 1327; (fn. 14) he was evidently succeeded before 1338 by Walter Helion who died seized of two thirds of the manor of Edgeworth c. 1342. Helion's estate was divided between three coheirs, his daughters Eva, later the wife of Thomas Fabian, and Rose, the wife of John Raleigh, and John Cofe, the son of a third daughter Maud Helion. (fn. 15) In 1346 the ½ fee of Edgeworth was held by John Raleigh, Thomas Fabian, Robert of Edgeworth, and Richard Talbot, (fn. 16) lord of Painswick, who probably had custody of John Cofe's share of the estate, Cofe being an idiot. (fn. 17) Cofe died in 1362 when his portion of the estate passed to his cousin Thomas Raleigh, (fn. 18) probably the son of John Raleigh. Robert of Edgeworth's share presumably passed to Stephen of Edgeworth and then to the latter's niece, Christine Stevens, who quitclaimed lands in Edgeworth to Thomas Raleigh in 1379. (fn. 19) Thomas Fabian levied a fine of his estate in 1359 in favour of Robert Parsloe and John of Bruton (fn. 20) but that part of the estate is not recorded later so that from 1379 Thomas Raleigh was sole owner of the manor.
Thomas died seized of the manor in 1396 and was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. 1404), (fn. 21) whose son William died in 1419 still a minor. The manor passed to William's sister Joan, the wife of Gerard Braybrook (fn. 22) and later of Edward Bromflete. Joan died without male issue and in 1450 her husband Edward settled the manor on her cousin William Raleigh, reserving a life-interest for himself. (fn. 23) Edward Raleigh, probably the grandson of William, (fn. 24) died seised in 1513 when the manor passed to his son, George (fn. 25) (d. 1546), who was succeeded by his son Simon (fn. 26) who presented to the living in 1581. (fn. 27) Before 1595 Simon had been succeeded by his son George who sold the manor in 1602 to Sir Henry Poole, (fn. 28) and it descended with Sapperton (fn. 29) until c. 1650 when it was sold to Nathaniel Ridler to help alleviate Sir William Poole's debts. (fn. 30) Nathaniel (d. 1707) (fn. 31) was succeeded by his son, Thomas Ridler (d. by 1748), whose wife Anne (d. 1780) surrendered her right in the manor in return for an annuity from her three daughters. (fn. 32)
At a division of the estate among the daughters of Thomas Ridler in 1751 the manor-house and manorial rights were included in the share of Anne (d.1774) who devised her share to her mother for life and then to her sister Barbara, wife of the Revd. Richard Brereton, who had received another portion of the estate in 1751. Both shares passed, on Barbara's death in 1787, to her son Thomas Brereton (fn. 33) who changed his name to Westfaling when he married into that family. (fn. 34) Thomas died in 1814 leaving his estate to his wife Mary (d. July 1830), with remainder to the Revd. Edward Colston Greville (d. Oct. 1830) who left it to be sold for the benefit of his seven children. (fn. 35) In 1832 the estate was bought by Edmund Hopkinson (fn. 36) (d. 1869), who devised it to his three great-nephews who sold it in 1871 to Henry Grace Wilson Sperling. (fn. 37) Sperling died in 1879 when the estate was in the process of being sold to Francis James. James (d. 1895) was succeeded by his son Arthur John (fn. 38) (d. 1935), (fn. 39) after whose death the estate was fragmented; the manorial rights and 450 a. were bought by Richard Cadbury whose widow, Mary, lived at North Farm in 1971. The manor-house changed hands several times before 1956 when it was bought by Col. A. T. Smail, the owner in 1971. (fn. 40)
In 1751 the third portion of the estate was granted to the eldest daughter of Thomas Ridler, Elizabeth, wife of William Prinn of Charlton Kings. Elizabeth died in 1771 and her husband in 1784 (fn. 41) when the estate passed to their son-in-law Dodington Hunt (fn. 42) (d. 1803). Hunt was succeeded by his son William Hunt Prinn (d. 1821), from whom the estate passed to George Bragge Prowse, a cousin, who assumed the name Prinn on entering the family estates. (fn. 43) At Prowse's death the estate passed to a relation Jane Eliza, the widow of Sir William Russell, Bt., who changed her name to Prinn in 1841. (fn. 44) Lady Prinn, as she was known, conveyed the estate to her son Sir William Russell, Bt., in 1851, and his mortgagees sold it to Arthur James in 1889. (fn. 45) The estate was reunited with the manorial estate when Arthur succeeded his father in 1895. (fn. 46)
There was a manor-house recorded in 1358 (fn. 47) but the present house dates from a rebuilding by Nathaniel Ridler in the late 17th century, (fn. 48) the east front being dated 1685. That front is the oldest part of the present house and is of five bays with two storeys, attic dormers, and a basement. The house is built of coursed rubble and has a stone-slated roof and sash windows with keystones. The west front of the house was identical to the east, save for a porch at its southern end. Of the interior the original staircase and one room, which has early18th-century panelling with shell-headed cupboards, remain at the east front. The garden terrace has stone pillars with ball finials, wroughtiron gates, and sundials, and north-west of the house is an 18th-century stable block which incorporates a dovecot. In the mid 19th century a wing in the Tudor style was added to the south of the house (fn. 49) but it was replaced, and a north wing added, in 1882 when the house was remodelled to designs of Capel N. Tripp. (fn. 50) The wrought-iron gates, which stand at the entrance to the 19thcentury park, have stone pillars with pineapple finials and probably date from the same remodelling, which attempted to retain the original character of the buildings. In 1899 the house was considerably enlarged under Sir Ernest George who altered the country-house style of architecture of the earlier building to that of a baronial hall by replacing the west front and the north and south wings. The west front is in Cotswold Tudor style having windows with stone mullions and transoms and a gabled porch. The north wing, which projected beyond the level of the west front, was demolished in the 1930s (fn. 51) but its extent can be assessed from traces on the lawn and wall which occupy its former site. The ground floor is mostly occupied by the large panelled hall and a drawing room in the south wing.
A grant of £10 in lands and rents at Edgeworth and the advowson of the church made by Robert Walrond to his brother William in 1259 (fn. 52) possibly corresponded to part of the manorial estate; Robert exercised the advowson in 1271. (fn. 53) The heirs of Robert and William were Robert Walrond and John (fn. 54) (d. 1309) but no record of their holding property at Edgeworth is known to exist. Since both Robert and John were idiots their estate may have passed to the Helion family, owners of the manor, who almost certainly would have received it in 1309 when Cecily, wife of Peter Helion, was one of the heirs of John Walrond. (fn. 55)
Two yardlands at WESTWOOD were granted to Cirencester Abbey by Peter of Edgeworth c. 1240. (fn. 56) Those lands were administered with the abbey's manor of Througham until the Dissolution, (fn. 57) and descended with Througham (fn. 58) until 1550 when Walter Compton granted the Westwood estate to Thomas Smart. (fn. 59) Smart granted it in 1555 to Richard Aley (fn. 60) who died seised c. 1575, and it passed successively to his sons Thomas (d. 1580) and Michael. Michael sold the estate in 1586 to Jeremy Jefferies, (fn. 61) whose family were formerly customary tenants at Westwood. (fn. 62) Jefferies had already received land at Edgeworth from his mother, Maud Jefferies, (fn. 63) and died seised of both estates in 1606. He was succeeded by his son Jeremy, a minor, (fn. 64) who sold part of his estate to William Jones in 1638. (fn. 65) Jeremy Jefferies was still resident at Westwood in 1672 (fn. 66) but by 1719 Westwood Farm had become part of the manorial estate. (fn. 67) Westwood Farm includes a 17th-century, three-storey south wing of rubble which has the appearance of belonging to a more substantial residence, probably the house with four hearths that was one of two houses occupied by members of the Jefferies family in 1672. (fn. 68) A lower, two-storey, gabled wing was added on the north during the 18th century, presumably after the estate had been incorporated into the manor. The house was uninhabited in 1971.