A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 12. Originally published by Boydell & Brewer for Victoria County History, Woodbridge, 2010.
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In the late Anglo-Saxon period Newent, as a substantial constituent of the royal estate at Westbury-on-Severn, (fn. 1) was an important local centre. The early ecclesiastical status of the large parish, of which Pauntley remained a chapelry in the Middle Ages, (fn. 2) is indicated by the discovery there of a cross shaft of the late 8th or early 9th century. (fn. 3) Following the Norman Conquest the manor of Newent became the property of Cormeilles abbey, which supported a reeve with his own tenants in 1086 and set up a priory in the principal settlement. (fn. 4)
THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEWENT TOWN
Streets and Street Names
The town of Newent developed from the 13th century on an irregular plan, probably inherited in its essentials from the Anglo-Saxon and early Norman village. Its main trading street follows a convoluted course with several changes of alignment. (fn. 5) The road from Gloucester enters the town from the east and after performing two almost right-angled bends reaches the town centre from a north-easterly direction, while the road from Ross-on-Wye enters at the north, where it joins the route from Dymock and Ledbury. A third street, of less importance but probably equally well built-up in the Middle Ages, enters the town from the south on the road from Huntley and Taynton.
The names of the town's streets have undergone several changes but their earlier forms can be recovered from records including a list published in the 1770s. (fn. 6) The Gloucester road in the east of the town was recorded as Church (or Churchend) Street from 1368 (fn. 7) and its outer part, beyond the first of the two sharp bends, was distinguished in the 17th and 18th centuries as Old Church Street (fn. 8) or Bartholomew's Street. The short stretch of Church Street (fn. 9) between the two bends became known as Upper Church Street by the late 19th century, (fn. 10) while the name Gloucester Street had become established as the name of the outer part, between there and the junction with Cleeve Mill Lane.
Where it curves towards the north-west through the centre of the town, the main thoroughfare was known by 1539 as Le Wall (fn. 11) (later Lewall Street), a name apparently derived from the wall of the priory precinct bordering it to the north-east. Beyond the crossing of Peacock's brook, known as Peacock's bridge in 1369, the thoroughfare continued to the junction with the Ross and Dymock roads as New Street, (fn. 12) a name recorded from 1300. (fn. 13) The part of the Dymock road continuing down to the bridge over Ell brook was known as Ellbridge Street in 1365. (fn. 14) By the 18th century the use of parts of the streets for livestock sales had given the alternative names of Beast Fair to New Street (fn. 15) and of Horse Fair to the beginning of the Ross road, (fn. 16) though the latter was also called Crown Hill from an inn at its junction with New Street. (fn. 17) By 1841 Lewall Street had become known as Broad Street (fn. 18) and by 1882 the name Lewall Street had been transferred to the section of New Street between Peacock's brook and the junction with Watery Lane. Also by 1882 the northern part of New Street had been renamed High Street. Ellbridge Street was usually known simply as Bridge Street by the early 19th century and was often called Station Street after the opening of the railway in 1885. (fn. 19) The entrance to the Ross road was from the late 19th century known as Ross Street.
The inner part of the long street entering the town from the south was known by 1300 as Lux Lane, (fn. 20) while its outer part was called by 1410 Coleford (or Culford) Street, taking its name from the brook flowing close to its western side and the ford near by on Boulsdon Lane. (fn. 21) From the early 18th century Coleford Street was more usually known as Culvert or Culver Street. (fn. 22) By the end of the century those names had come to be applied to the whole length of the southern street (Culver Street becoming established as the form in the 20th century); the name Lux Lane, for the northern part, was not generally used after c.1775.
Among minor lanes, for the most part little built on, Cleeve Mill Lane, recorded from 1366, (fn. 23) ran from the Gloucester road at the east entrance of the town down to a mill on Ell brook, and the short Currier's Lane, so called by 1624, (fn. 24) ran northwards from the double bend in Church Street into the manorial grounds north of the town. Symoundes Lane, which in 1410 adjoined part of the orchard of the former priory, (fn. 25) was possibly an alternative name for Currier's Lane. In the town centre a short lane, later known as Court Lane, led north into the priory precinct through a gateway that survived until the early 19th century. (fn. 26)
At the north end of the town a lane known as Park Lane by the 1770s led eastward from the junction of the Dymock and Ross roads into the manorial lands called the Parks and in the early 19th century became the drive to a new mansion called Newent Court. (fn. 27) Bury Bar Lane, so called by 1370, (fn. 28) enters the town from the south-east to join the main thoroughfare at the junction of Church Street and Lewall Street, traversing the north-east side of an open area known later as Market Square or in the early 19th century (from an adjoining inn) Red Lion Square. (fn. 29) Bury Bar Lane, which may have been the end of another route from Gloucester, (fn. 30) was evidently named from a gate standing at the top of a low ridge (fn. 31) that runs south of the town, roughly parallel with Church Street. Possibly that ridge was itself the 'Bury' which gave its name to gate and lane and to the adjoining Bury (or Berry) fields. (fn. 32) A long lane leading south-westwards from New Street and known as Watery Lane by the early 19th century (fn. 33) was apparently that called Isetts Lane in 1410 from a family of customary tenants whose house stood near its junction with New Street. (fn. 34) A small alley called List Bridge Lane in the 1770s led westwards from Lux Lane across a footbridge over Peacock's brook, which in 1423 was referred to at that point as the List brook. (fn. 35) 'Souhares' Lane mentioned in 1333 in the area at the south end of Coleford Street (fn. 36) may have been that called later Southends Lane running south-eastwards from Coleford Street, but it may equally have been the part of the old Boulsdon–Gloucester road which Southends Lane joins near a house called Southerns or Southends.
The Middle Ages
Newent parish church, recorded from 1181, stands on the north-west side of Church Street, very probably on a pre-Conquest site. (fn. 37) West of the church the domestic and farm buildings of Newent priory, from which Cormeilles abbey administered estates it acquired locally following the Conquest, occupied a large precinct in the 13th and 14th centuries, bounded to the south and west by a long wall following the curving course of the town's main thoroughfare. (fn. 38)
The market town that formed around those features after the grant of market rights in 1253 shows few signs of planning. It was evidently built up piecemeal during the later 13th century and the early 14th and therefore probably inherited its irregular street plan from an existing, but much more dispersed, settlement. A rental of 1278 listed 99 renters within Newent tithing and a more detailed rental of much the same period, undated and possibly incomplete, listed 76 tenements. Of the latter 6 were burgages owing cash rents alone, 30 were cottages owing rents and work in the lord's meadows with pitchfork or rake, and 8 were customary tenements owing a full quota of labour services. (fn. 39) The burgages presumably represent the beginnings of the enlargement and infilling of the existing settlement, while the others are probably its older constituents. Of the cottages 16 can be roughly identified (from their haymaking service as recorded in a rental of c.1315) as being in Church Street (most of them probably in the later Gloucester Street), another 5 near Ell bridge, and others in Lux Lane or in the part of Lewall Street between that lane and Peacock's brook. (fn. 40) Of the customary holdings those held by tenants surnamed Prank, Isett, and Puff (Pouf) were, from the later evidence of field names, located in the area between Peacock's brook and Watery Lane. (fn. 41) A burgage held by John Anketil was part of a row of tenements on the south-east side of the inner part of Church Street, (fn. 42) where long plots running back from the street to the top of the ridge behind are the only ones in Newent resembling the burgage plots of planned towns elsewhere. Other burgages may have been in New Street, whose name, recorded from 1300, (fn. 43) suggests that it was built up after the founding of the market; there, however, the plots are shorter and the houses, which in the early 16th century mostly only merited the description 'cottages', (fn. 44) were probably quite humble dwellings. Later terminology is of little help when trying to distinguish old and new additions to the town: the rental of c.1315 called all its dwellings messuages, and in the late medieval and early modern period the term burgage, when used, was applied indiscriminately to any dwelling wherever situated and of whatever origin.
Enlargement and infilling in the town continued during the late 13th century. Four new burgages on adjoining sites, probably in Lewall Street, were granted in the manor court in 1286, (fn. 45) and during the next decade the market place, a term then applied to a wider area than the narrow space later called Market Square, was being built up. Various transactions in the 1290s evidently relate to the block of property bounded by Market Square on the north-east and Lewall Street on the north and that bounded by Market Square on the south-west and Church Street on the north-west. In the former area, in 1290 John Deerhurst was granted a plot with permission to build on it (fn. 46) and in 1298 Geoffrey Fillol and his wife had a grant of a burgage opposite the priory gateway (the entrance to Court Lane) and bounded by Deerhurst's house and the market place. By c.1315 Fillol's plot had apparently been sub-divided, for three of his sons had houses in that part of the market place. One son also held an unbuilt plot of land adjoining his house and to that of a neighbour, Richard Plumtree, whose house to the west also was described as opposite the priory gateway (fn. 47) and adjoining the market place. (fn. 48) Further to the east, the market place evidently included what became the inner end of Church Street. Encroachment on the market from that direction was under way in 1297 when Henry Isett had a grant of two selds adjoining the southwestern side of a structure called the market gate, with the right to build a solar there. (fn. 49)
The market gate, providing the entrance to the market area from the Gloucester road, may have stood several plots along Church Street where the longer property boundaries on its south-east side give way to shorter ones and where a narrow yard still makes a break in the street frontage. Four other selds mentioned c.1315 adjoined the priory wall on the north-west side of Church Street, (fn. 50) evidently occupying part of the site of the range of houses that extends from the churchyard to the entrance of Court Lane; if nearer the Court Lane end of that range, they too would be within the market gate. The gate was among measures taken by Cormeilles abbey to control access to the market. All occupants of houses adjoining the market place were forbidden to have back entrances to their plots and were enjoined to keep up their parts of the walls and fences. Dwellers there also paid a premium for their advantageous position for trade. About 1315 their annual rents were mostly over 4s. compared to the usual 2s. or 1s. elsewhere in the town; Henry Isett paid 9s. 4d. and another householder 8s. 6d. (fn. 51)
The rental drawn up c.1315 listed 137 dwellings and 9 selds or shops in the town. Although few landmarks and no street names are included, it can be deduced that c.30 of the houses stood in the eastern part of the town on Church Street, c.20 in the central area including the market place and part of Lewall Street, c.40 in the southern part including Lux Lane and Coleford Street, and another 40 or so in the northern part on New Street and Ellbridge Street. The rental described the entrance of the Gloucester road on the east and that of the road from Yartleton (i.e. the south end of Coleford Street) as the two 'heads' of the town. The use of that description for the end of Coleford Street rather than the junction of the Ross and Dymock roads at the north end of the town seems to reflect the large number of houses then on the southern street; as a built-up part of the settlement it was perhaps earlier than New Street. (fn. 52) Also c.1315 there were six customary tenants with houses and small farms within Newent tithing, at least four of them probably in the area between Watery Lane and Peacock's brook. (fn. 53) The houses at the south end of the town in the late 13th century and the early 14th included some on the Boulsdon–Gloucester road. Near its junction with the end of Southends Lane a group of dwellings formed a small hamlet called Shaw: (fn. 54) four men surnamed of Shaw (de la Sawe) paid rent in Newent tithing in 1278 (fn. 55) and a family surnamed 'atte Cross' had houses in that area in 1333, some within and some outside the liberty (Newent tithing), the south boundary of which appears to have followed the Boulsdon–Gloucester road. (fn. 56) John de la Pludie, a rent payer in the tithing in 1278, (fn. 57) probably had a dwelling near by on the north-east side of the road, where a group of closes was later called Ploddy fields. Further to the south-east, beyond Ploddy brook, a field called Batteridge was presumably the site of a customary tenement known by that name in 1404. (fn. 58)
In the town centre infilling with new houses continued into the mid 14th century. A plot for building on was granted in 1333 (fn. 59) and three more in 1338; two of the latter adjoined the wall of the priory precinct, into which their owners were forbidden to make entrances. (fn. 60) Five new selds were mentioned in 1344, perhaps additions to the row at the entrance to Church Street where there were at least eight selds in 1367. The building of hearths in the new ones presumably marked a stage in their conversion into dwellings. (fn. 61) The central area of the town generally seems to have taken on its present form by the close of the 14th century. Two houses in Bury Bar Street adjoining the manor pound in 1396 (fn. 62) probably formed part of the range on the north-east side of Market Square; the pound may then, as in the early 19th century, have been near the south-east end of the square. (fn. 63) The town's high cross, mentioned in 1405 (fn. 64) seems to have occupied the site at the north-west end of Market Square where a new market house was built in 1668. (fn. 65) The erection in the 15th century of a boothall, used presumably as a court and market house, at the entrance to Court Lane also emphasises that the area was the focal point of the town. (fn. 66) Another prominent building in the central area was Porter's Place, the home of the lawyer Roger Porter (d. 1523) on the south-west side of Market Square. (fn. 67)
In the Middle Ages some or all of the entrances to the town were marked by gates. The Bury Bar at the top of Bury Bar Lane is mentioned above. Cleeve Bar, recorded in 1405, (fn. 68) was probably at the east end of the town at the junction of the later Gloucester Street and Cleeve Mill Lane, a place that was referred to as 'Townsend' in 1539. (fn. 69) Redes Bar, mentioned in 1367, (fn. 70) may have been at the junction of the Ross and Dymock roads or at the south end of Coleford Street.
By the end of the Middle Ages the town had assumed the form it was to retain with little enlargement for four centuries. A rental of 1539 enumerated 124 houses in the town. Of those 38 were in Church Street, where 22, mainly on its north side, were described as cottages, evidently the smaller houses sited at the bends in the street and in the later Gloucester Street, and 14 as messuages, mostly those on the longer plots on the south-east side of the street's inner part. Four shops remained near the entrance to the street in the range of buildings southwest of the churchyard and a cottage there had formerly been three shops. The 25 dwellings listed under the heading Lewall Street evidently included those on the south-west side of Market Square as Porter's Place was among them. Those on the north and north-east side of the street, backing on the former priory precinct, were classed mainly as cottages and those on the south and south-west side mainly as messuages. New Street, the description probably including also Ellbridge Street, had 40 houses, the majority classed as cottages. Lux Lane had 10 houses and Coleford Street 11: (fn. 71) the settlement on the long south street had evidently been much reduced in the late Middle Ages. Presumably by 1539 there was a considerable gap between the houses in Lux Lane and those in Coleford Street, which in the early 19th century comprised mainly a group of cottages at the far south end, between the junctions with Southends Lane and the Boulsdon–Gloucester road. (fn. 72)
The Early Modern Period and Nineteenth Century
The main change within the town in the early modern period was the refronting of many of its timberframed houses with brick. The prosperous years of the late 17th century and early 18th prompted also some more extensive and prestigious rebuildings: the most notable were at the Tan House in Lux Lane, at the house of the Skinner family at the far end of the inner part of Church Street, (fn. 73) and at the two largest houses in the town, almost the only ones standing detached in their own grounds, namely the manor house (the Court House) on the Newent priory site, remodelled soon after 1713, (fn. 74) and the vicarage on the east side of New Street, rebuilt in 1729. (fn. 75)
On the outskirts of the town most of the dwellings recorded in the 13th and 14th centuries had been demolished by the 17th. Of the customary tenements in the fields between Watery Lane and Peacock's brook, that called Puffs was ruinous in 1624 and the site an empty 'toft' in 1659, and that called Isetts was described in 1624 as a 'meese place', also presumably demolished. (fn. 76) Further south, however, a small farmhouse survived, reached by a lane that left Coleford Street opposite Southends Lane and crossed the brook by a footbridge. (fn. 77) Known at different times as Curtis Place (or the Hill), Reeces, and Tallys, the house and small farm belonged to John Curtis in 1539 and was sold in 1595 to William Rice (or Reece). He enlarged the farm and sold it in 1597 to Walter Nourse, whose heirs and successors, lords of Boulsdon manor, retained it to the mid 19th century. (fn. 78) East of Coleford Street the hamlet of Shaw had vanished or been much reduced by the 16th century, (fn. 79) its site being absorbed eventually into the farm called Southerns based on the house at the junction of Southends Lane and the old Boulsdon–Gloucester road. (fn. 80) The closes called Ploddy fields, lying northeast of those lanes, formed a small customary farm with a barn in 1624 (fn. 81) and a house called Skeeles had been provided for the farm by 1709. (fn. 82) In the early 17th century the only building on a wide tract of manorial demesne land south of the town, then leased among several tenants, apparently was a barn. Shortly before 1657, however, a new house, Nelfields Farm, was built on a low hillock (fn. 83) as the centre of a compact farm formed by the lords of the manor. (fn. 84) It was apparently of timber-frame which was replaced in stages in brick and stone. On the same side of the town but much closer to it, a small house built before 1692 at the top of the ridge at Bury Bar was rebuilt on a larger scale shortly before 1791, when it was bought by the Newent attorney Benjamin Aycrigg (d. 1822), (fn. 85) it was remodelled again in the late 19th century.
On the Ross road north-west of the town a farmhouse called Mantleys in the early 17th century (fn. 86) seems to derive its name from Mammeclive, used for that area in the Middle Ages. A family styled 'de Mammeclive' had a freehold estate in the 13th and 14th centuries, but as they held it originally from the lords of Pauntley manor (fn. 87) it is possible that their dwelling was further west, within the detached part of Pauntley. Mantleys with its farm was sold before 1615 to the Hooke family of Crooke's Farm in Pauntley, (fn. 88) and a family called Matthews owned it for several generations from the 1770s when the house was remodelled with a new brick front. (fn. 89) Near by, a cluster of cottages formed at the green called Picklenash in the angle of the Ross road and Bradford's Lane. A cottage was built there soon after 1598 on a plot leased from the lord of Newent manor, Sir Edward Winter, (fn. 90) and another had joined it by 1624. (fn. 91) In the early 18th century the lords of the manor granted a number of leases of cottages at Picklenash (fn. 92) and in 1775 there were six small dwellings around the green. (fn. 93)
By 1831 the number of inhabited dwellings within Newent tithing had risen to 271. (fn. 94) With no expansion of the town beyond its ancient limits, population growth was accommodated by subdivision of existing dwellings or housing plots. (fn. 95) That was a feature particularly in the upper part of Culver Street (the part formerly called Lux Lane) and also in Gloucester Street where the party walls of the small dwellings came to bear little relation to the old boundaries of the plots behind them. (fn. 96) On the part of Church Street within the double bend and on the north side of Gloucester Street uniform rows of brick and tiled cottages were put up in the late 18th century or the early 19th. (fn. 97) Almost the only addition to the town's area was a row of cottages built on the east side of Bury Bar Lane in the mid 19th century. (fn. 98) More significant was the building of Newent Court in the old manorial grounds on the north side of the town c.1810. With its extensive landscaped grounds, drives, and lodges it took on the character of the town's 'big house' in the later 19th century when it was owned by Andrew Knowles. (fn. 99) Within the town a dwelling called by 1661 the Pigeon House, sited within the angle of the main street and Watery Lane, (fn. 100) was rebuilt in the mid 19th century as a substantial villa facing south-east on a large garden. (fn. 101) It was probably built for the Newent solicitor Thomas Cadle, who owned it in 1828. (fn. 102) Cadle sold the house in 1849 to his partner Edmund Edmonds, who renamed it the Holts, the ancient name of a group of closes on the opposite side of Watery Lane, and fitted and furnished it on a lavish scale. Edmonds or his mortgagee offered the land opposite for sale for building c.1880, (fn. 103) and in the 1890s a few brick houses were built there, including a short terrace on what became Holts Road. (fn. 104)
The Twentieth Century
During the first quarter of the 20th century new building was limited to a few dwellings on the town's outskirts, including several on the south-east side of the Ross road between the junction with Horsefair Lane and Picklenash (fn. 105) and a substantial residence called Mantley Chase west of Bradford's Lane, the latter built in 1909 for the Conder family of the Conigree. (fn. 106) In 1931 and 1932 Newent Rural District Council built a row of 12 houses north-east of the town in Compton tithing where Hill Top Lane joins the Upleadon road. (fn. 107) Its next schemes were west of the town, where during 1935 and 1936 it built eight pairs of houses on the north-west side of Watery Lane. (fn. 108) Another 24 houses on a plot north of the parish cemetery were completed in 1939 (fn. 109) when wartime restrictions confined council building to a few cottages for agricultural workers. (fn. 110)
The RDC resumed building in 1947 (fn. 111) and during the next 18 years it added c.160 houses in the area west of Watery Lane, mainly pairs and short terraces but from the early 1960s also bungalows for older tenants. Among the ground covered was the site a prisoner-of war-camp established in 1944. (fn. 112) There was also private building on individual plots adjoining the council's estate, and in the mid 1960s there were two larger private developments, one of 50 houses and the other of 22 bungalows, off Watery Lane. By the late 1960s housing filled much of the land between Watery Lane and Bradford's Lane, leaving the cemetery, recreation ground, and council allotments as the remaining open spaces in that area. In the same period private development proceeded between Watery Lane and Culver Street: the main estates there were 58 dwellings built during 1959 and 1960 on Johnstone Road and 50 houses and bungalows built in the mid 1960s further south. Individual houses and bungalows were built along Culver Street in a process that by the mid 1970s linked the older groups of houses at its northern and southern ends. (fn. 113)
From the mid 1960s housing plans were directed to the Bury Bar area south of Church Street and Gloucester Street. (fn. 114) Between 1970 and 1972 the RDC completed 67 houses in short terraces on the north side of a new road (Foley Road) running roughly parallel with Church Street and Gloucester Street and 24 bungalows adjoining it. In the early 1970s a private developer began building on a continuation of Foley Road to the south-west; that development eventually comprised c.100 small dwellings in short closes laid at angles to the road. Amid concern that Newent was becoming a dormitory of Gloucester, private development on the south-east side of Foley Road was limited to no more than 130 houses (fn. 115) built in the late 1980s (fn. 116) on a series of roads running down to Onslow Road. Onslow Road, which curved back northwards past the east end of Foley Road to the Gloucester road, provided access to all the new estates on the south-east side of Newent. Land east of its junction with the Gloucester road was developed as an industrial estate in the mid 1990s. (fn. 117)
On the north side of the town, where Wildsmith & Son, a local firm of builders, bought Newent Court and its grounds in the late 1950s, an estate of c.80 houses was built south of the grounds' ornamental lake in the early 1970s; the entry was from the Gloucester road at what had been the eastern drive to the mansion. In 1979 another estate was begun based on the site of the mansion and the drive leading to it from north end of High Street. (fn. 118)
Within the old town the only area to have been much altered by the beginning of the 21st century was Upper Church Street and Gloucester Street. The row of cottages on the south-west side of Upper Church Street was demolished under a slum clearance order obtained in 1963 and its site was used partly for road widening and extending the car park of the Black Dog inn. (fn. 119) On the same street during 1967 and 1968 the RDC built 21 flats and bungalows and a warden's house in a scheme (St Bartholomew's) for elderly people designed by its consultant architect Jean Elrington. (fn. 120) Following a slum clearance scheme of the early 1970s (fn. 121) the north-east side of Upper Church Street and the north side of Gloucester Street were developed as lowrise blocks of flats, including one completed in 1979 for the British Legion Housing Association. (fn. 122) Changes incidental to the building of the bypass in the late 1960s included the demolition of the houses on the east side of Bridge Street. (fn. 123) In the central area the principal changes were the demolition of the Holts, replaced in the early 1970s by the county council with a group of public buildings (library, health centre, and police station), (fn. 124) and the opening in 2000 of a supermarket behind the houses on the south-west side of Market Square. (fn. 125)
THE BUILDINGS OF NEWENT TOWN
Boothall and Market House
The most significant medieval building in Newent town is the former boothall, which presumably, as with structures so designated elsewhere, served as both court and market house. (fn. 126) Surviving as the northern end of no 1 Broad Street (a grocery shop since the mid 19th century), (fn. 127) details indicate a construction date in the mid to late 15th century. (fn. 128) The building, which comprised a hall open to the roof ridge above an undercroft, had a high standard of finish inside and out. The side walls are close studded, implying that they were exposed to the approaches from the former priory and the town, and the end walls have curved tension braces and near square panels; the western end was attached to the gateway at the entrance to Court Lane. The roof (fn. 129) has four bays and the arch-braced collar truss spanning the centre of the building has V-shaped struts above the collar, forming a diamond that has been cusped to create a quatrefoil design. The two intermediate trusses also have arch bracing and quatrefoils but a less massive cross section. Two tiers of heavy purlins are threaded through the principal rafters and three tiers of slightly curved windbraces (48 in total) have cusping at the top, so that each pair forms a semicircular cutout. The upper end was probably towards the east, as the bay lengths are marginally longer than those towards the west. A repaired or replacement window in the hall's north wall, perhaps a copy, has two lancet-headed openings, and there may have been three other similar windows to light the room. No evidence for original windows is visible in the undercroft, although a doorhead survives in its north side. The timber, of better quality than that used in many Newent buildings, may have been supplied from holdings of the owner of the manor, Fotheringhay college, which possibly employed a team of peripatetic craftsmen rather than local builders.
In the later 16th century or the early 17th a floor was inserted in the hall, but it was later removed from the western two bays. In 1624, when referred to as the old boothall, the building had presumably ceased to be used for its original purpose; it was then held on lease by James Morse, (fn. 130) members of whose family owned it in the early 18th century. (fn. 131)
The town's market house, built in 1668 at the northwest end of Market Square, (fn. 132) is modest compared with market halls near by in Herefordshire at Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, and Leominster. The decoration is principally on the gable facing Church Street, a feature which could be an addition. Its original length, 9 m (30 ft), repeats that of the boothall and close studding on the walls is a clear reference to the earlier building. The chamber, standing on eight posts, has three bays. The central one is the largest and the south-eastern, judging by the position of the entrance and the way in which the main trusses face towards it, was apparently the upper end. The two internal trusses each have two pairs of raking struts rising to the (hidden) principal rafters, a design possibly related to the later lining of the roof. The construction, originally with large braces from the soffit of the tiebeams to the wall posts, suggests that the chamber may have been built for trading activity rather than meetings. The posts (some of which are replacements) supporting the chamber lack decoration, similarly the jowels to the corner posts, the close studding, and the straight braces: they could be the re-used remnants of an earlier structure. In 1864, when the building was restored, the windows were replaced in late medieval style and an apsidalended south-east room was added. The chamber was probably ceiled then.
In Newent's old centre many houses, of a fairly uniform size and type, were built between about 1400 and 1660 with timber frames, of which only a few are not hidden behind later fabric. Many, especially in the parts of Church, High, and Culver Streets most distant from Market Square, remained in domestic use in 2007. Those described here can only give an indication of character and uses. In this section modern street names are used.
The buildings of the 15th century and early to mid 16th tended to be fairly plain. Seven jettied cross wings can be traced, some still associated with their 15thcentury open halls or with 16th-century floored hall ranges. In Culver Street no 3 is probably the cross wing of a cruck-framed range at nos 5–7, and no 14 Broad Street almost certainly belonged to a two-bayed hall to its south (no 1 Culver Street). The plausible but unauthenticated date 1465 has been painted on no 14, which has a deep jetty under its first floor, and a shallow one under its second, both now underbuilt. On the top floor the gable also projects slightly, with a moulded and crenellated tiebeam and curved tension braces down to the second-floor bressumer, both typical 15thcentury features. Evidence of a large mullioned window on the ground floor suggests that floor was not occupied by a shop, but a passage (once much wider) through the cross wing to rear premises might indicate the building had a commercial use.
Other cross wings or hall-and-cross wing houses are incorporated in later buildings. Behind the 19thcentury front at no 28 Church Street stands a cross wing where one roof truss with cusped braces and the date 1481 survives together with a cusped single-light window. (fn. 133) The house to its east (nos 30–32) had a twobayed hall with open hearth and probably single-bayed ends in line; the eastern end was remodelled as a cross wing in the 16th century, a chimneystack inserted in the hall in the 17th, and the house partly refaced in brick c.1700. A 16th-century cross wing also survives at nos 25–7 on the south-east side of Church Street attached to what may have been a hall range, divided much later into cottages. Similar cross wings occur on the east side of Lewall Street at the long, partly refaced property which in 2007 included the 'Good News Centre' and at nos 1–2 High Street, built in the 16th century with a deep jetty to the wing.
A greater number of the timber-framed houses in the central area appear to date from the late 16th century and the 17th. They are more richly decorated, particularly Harwood House and no 4 Church Street, which have diagonal and square-patterned framing. Several have more than two jettied storeys, and most appear to have been built or rebuilt to occupy the full width of the original plots, as can be seen from the large square plot occupied by the Red Lion inn on the corner of Market Square and Broad Street, the wide frontage of Harwood House south of it, and the five-bayed refronted house at nos 17–19 Church Street: that suggests that the pressure to increase density, even close to the market, was not great at that period. Threestoreyed houses were fitted into prominent positions at the western entrance to Church Street, presumably replacing the buildings that were part of the early encroachments on the market area. They no doubt had shops on the ground floor with great chambers over, but evidence for the former has been destroyed. No 2 and nos 1–3, jettied on two sides, were clearly designed for their corner positions, though the latter was encased in brick in the early 19th century, as was the twostoreyed and jettied Red Lion which is built round a courtyard. No 2 Church Street seems to have been added to its jettied easterly neighbour, no 4, which is one of the most decorated houses of the period, having carved angle posts and a great chamber with an elaborate ceiling including a plaster panel of a griffin. Some houses of the late 16th century and the 17th, particularly those away from the market area in Culver Street (e.g. nos 1, 32, 50–52, and Queen Anne's Cottage), were built on a more rural pattern, detached and singlestoreyed with garrets, many of which have been raised. Several such houses with narrow fronts were only cottages, and nos 62–70 Culver Street is a cottage row. Many houses in Culver Street have cellars which were apparently excavated later. (fn. 134)
Several houses were replaced or refronted in brick in the late 17th century and the early 18th. Alterations, most commonly the insertion of shop fronts, were made during the 19th and 20th centuries but little wholesale replacement has been carried out since 1800. Entire houses of brick were reputedly introduced in 1698, with the exception of one built in 1660 for the mercer Thomas Master. (fn. 135) Good quality stone was scarce and used sparingly, many details which elsewhere would have been of stone being expressed in brick or timber. Early examples of brick casing appear at no 5 Broad Street and at the house now the Black Dog inn. The former incorporates an earlier L-plan house with basement and three storeys and two rooms on each floor. A well staircase with 'barley sugar' balusters in the angle of the L and panelling in a rear room go with the new work; there are vestiges of brick pilasters on the façade. The Black Dog, facing north-east at the far end of Church Street, was a large farmhouse when it was built in the earlier 17th century, having a two-storeyed hall range, a long south-eastern cross wing, and a north-west wing. About 1700 it was converted into a gentleman's residence for Stephen Skinner, (fn. 136) whose father, a Newent clothier, had acquired the nearby manorial demesne land called Bury fields. (fn. 137) The house was given a brick front with fashionable stone quoins, modillion cornice, casement windows, and timber doorcase. (fn. 138) The parlour, at the west end, was also refitted in the early 18th century, though some of the detail inside and out may be the work of the Gloucester architect H.A. Dancey in 1910. (fn. 139) Skinner, whose family remained in possession until the mid 18th century, (fn. 140) apparently intended to transform part of his adjoining land into pleasure grounds in 1705 when he leased it, reserving the right to build a summer house. (fn. 141) The house became the Black Dog inn in the mid 19th century, (fn. 142) while the land was farmed from Town Farm, a new farmhouse built at the west end of Gloucester Street. (fn. 143) The detached Tan House, on the west side of the part of Culver Street formerly called Lux Lane, may be slightly earlier than Skinner's house and contemporary with the upper part of the adjoining brick barn which is dated 1695. It was built by the Bower family, owners of the tannery there, (fn. 144) as a symmetrical composition in brick with hipped roofs, wooden mullion-and-transom windows on the first floor, and sashes on the ground floor. The house is set behind a narrow forecourt and approached through gateposts with ornamental finials. (fn. 145)
The style of the major houses of the period was repeated in rebuilding and refacing work elsewhere in the town, at for example nos 16 and 29 Broad Street, and at the five-bayed no 27 Broad Street. The grandest brick town house, no 8 Broad Street (in 2007 Lloyds Bank), was designed with a hipped roof as if it were a detached house. It has a first-floor Venetian window, a central pediment with a Diocletian window, and a Doric doorcase, unusually for Newent made of stone; surviving details suggest the interior was comparable in quality. At the north end of the town a large brick house, of five bays with a central pediment with a circular window, was built in the early or mid 18th century on a prominent site at Crown Hill, on the corner of the Ross road and Bridge Street facing down High Street. (fn. 146) It was used from c.1768 as the parish workhouse and later as the Newent union workhouse; in the mid 1860s a new range was added to it and in the 1920s, when it became a school, the 18th-century house was replaced. (fn. 147) Many buildings in High Street were remodelled or rebuilt in the early 18th century. A long row on the west side includes Shirley House, which appears to conceal a substantial timber-framed structure, and the brick-built Malt House, which has a long, partly non-domestic range alongside it and maltings at the rear, said to be of c.1800. (fn. 148)
Modernization continued into the late 18th century and the early 19th. (fn. 149) Doorcases and windows were changed, and a few timber-framed buildings were given completely new brick façades, for example no 12 Broad Street at the corner with Culver Street, nos 39–41 Church Street, and the almshouses on the east side of High Street which were refaced with a uniform frontage in 1810. (fn. 150) An extensive but plain rebuilding was carried out c.1800 at the George inn, Church Street, where an assembly room was provided. In the mid and late 19th century a few houses were rebuilt or refaced (for example no 5 Church Street and no 1 Broad Street), mostly replacing older houses and with only two or three bays. The few distinctive changes to the appearance of the town's streets in the Victorian era included the Congregational church, built on the southwest side of Broad Street in 1845 with a Gothic façade of Cotswold stone, (fn. 151) and the police station and magistrates' court in Court Lane, designed by James Medland in variegated red and blue brick in 1878. (fn. 152) Late 20thcentury additions, including the library and health centre in Lewall Street, a terrace of new houses on the site of the almshouses in High Street, and the new flats with which Gloucester Street and Upper Church Street were redeveloped, generally adopted plain and unobtrusive designs in accord with the traditional, small-scale townscape.
OUTLYING SETTLEMENTS AND BUILDINGS
Outside the town the parish was populated in the early Middle Ages in a pattern of small scattered farmsteads. A rental of Newent manor c.1315 listed 81 houses in Compton, Malswick, and Cugley, the tithings where most of its tenant lands lay. (fn. 153) With an unknown quantity of tenant houses on the smaller manors in those tithings and on the Boulsdon and Kilcot manors, the total in the five rural tithings is likely to have been at least double that number. Depopulation and amalgamation of holdings in the later Middle Ages (fn. 154) are reflected in the total of only 48 dwellings listed on Newent manor in Compton, Malswick, and Cugley in 1539 (fn. 155) and the 40 listed c.1607. (fn. 156) The abandonment of houses and the creation of larger farms continued in the early modern period, the formation of Green farm providing one example of a process evident generally in the parish. (fn. 157) The principal farmhouses, those attached to the manors or large freeholds, are described with their estate history. (fn. 158) Among the lesser farmhouses are some timber-framed structures, mostly of the 17th century, but the majority were rebuilt or extended in brick in the late 18th century or the early 19th.
From the mid 18th century the building of cottages on the commons and waste land increased the population in outlying areas of the parish, and in 1831 328 houses were enumerated in the five rural tithings. (fn. 159) Gorsley common and Clifford's Mesne were most affected by that process, and among the smaller commons Brand green acquired a compact hamlet. Some of the cottages were described as being very poor in quality and accommodation in the late 19th century, (fn. 160) remarks which may have referred particularly to those of the earliest date. The later cottages, dating from the early 19th century, were usually of two storeys with four or five rooms. (fn. 161) For many, particularly in the western parts of the parish, the yellow Gorsley stone was the chosen material, while others were of brick or, in a few cases, of thin timber framing with brick infilling. Abandonment or demolition much reduced the numbers of cottages during the 20th century. By 1921, for example, of 18 built before 1775 on the north part of Gorsley common within the parish only 7 remained though supplemented by a few of more recent date. (fn. 162) Demolitions continued under the statutory powers of Newent Rural District Council after the 1930s (fn. 163) and surviving cottages were provided with new bathroom and kitchen extensions in the 1950s and 1960s. (fn. 164) In the later 20th century many cottages underwent a more wholesale remodelling and enlargement and new houses and bungalows were built among them.
In the large north-eastern tithing of Compton there were 27 tenants of Newent manor in 1278, (fn. 165) and 23 tenancies there had houses attached c.1315, most of them held by customary tenure and with small farms varying in size from 8 to 36 a. (fn. 166) Settlement in the tithing was probably always of a dispersed nature, but in the 14th century it was regarded as forming two groups of dwellings called Great and Little Compton; the latter included houses by Sandy way leading from near Newent town northwards to Botloe's green in the west part, while the former was perhaps based on Compton green in the north-east part. (fn. 167) About 1607 there were still 16 houses on Newent manor in Compton, (fn. 168) but the process had begun by which many were demolished on being absorbed into the large farms, of 100–300 a., that covered most of the tithing by the 19th century. (fn. 169) Farmsteads north-east of Newent town By the early modern period the two principal farms in the north-east of Compton were Hayes and Walden Court. Both probably represented early freehold estates, and the latter was enlarged by absorbing three customary farms, Hillhouse, Nashes, and Greaves, which were granted in reversion to its owner in 1563. (fn. 170) The first two were possibly those held from the manor by Roger 'de la Hulle' and Simon 'Atennasse' c.1315. (fn. 171) The sites of the three dwellings were probably between Walden Court and Compton green. Three other customary farmhouses of Newent manor were recorded in the same area in 1624. Of these Wallys stood at the south side of Compton green on or near the site of Compton House (fn. 172) and presumably represented the dwelling of tenants with that surname in the 13th century and early 14th. (fn. 173) Its farm was among the few tenant holdings retained by the manor after the mid 17th century. Compton House, the centre of one of the main farms on the estate in 1775, (fn. 174) was rebuilt c.1820 as a large, stuccoed villa. It was sold some time before 1838 to the Pauntley Court estate and became the centre of a large farm in Newent and Pauntley parishes. A long, low house on the north side of the green, apparently a rebuilding of the 18th century, also belonged to Compton House farm in 1838. (fn. 175) It was probably the house on Newent manor called Walters in the early 17th century, (fn. 176) passing to a branch of the Pauncefoot family by the early 18th century and to the owner of Pauntley Court in 1819. (fn. 177)
Further south at Callowhill, near Brand Green, a house and one of the larger farms (72 a.) of the early Middle Ages was recorded as a freehold on the manor from the 13th century. Robert of Callowhill was succeeded there c.1240 by Robert Dobyns, whose family retained the farm for several generations. (fn. 178) The farmhouse, which by 1435 and until the mid 17th century belonged to the Hooke family of Crooke's Farm, Pauntley, (fn. 179) was rebuilt or extensively remodelled in the 17th century as a three-bayed range of timber frame with brick infilling. Lean-to extensions of a similar build mask both sides of the north-west bay and a small timber-framed barn adjoins the house.
Carswalls Manor, on the Upleadon road in the south-east of Compton, was the site of a manorial estate recorded from 1086. The large farm based there in the early modern period (fn. 180) had presumably absorbed some medieval tenant holdings of its manor. Moor House, recorded on the farm in 1778 (fn. 181) was probably at the south edge of its land at the place later called Little Carswalls; there were a pair of cottages and farm buildings there in 1838, (fn. 182) the cottages being replaced by a bungalow c.1959. (fn. 183) A house site called Rosehill mentioned on Carswalls Manor farm in 1778 was near Little Carswalls, on the opposite side of the lane. (fn. 184) A dwelling called Bullock's in 1624 (fn. 185) stood at the source of a spring by the Upleadon road 600 m to the east of Carswalls Manor. It was probably the home of William Bullock (Bolloc), a customary tenant on Newent manor c.1315. The house later took the name Kerry's from its early 17th-century tenant. (fn. 186) It still belonged with its small farm to the Newent manor estate in 1775 (fn. 187) but had been sold and demolished by 1838. (fn. 188)
Farmsteads north of Newent town The Scarr (formerly Atherlard's Place), south of Botloe's green, was the principal farmhouse on the lanes in the west part of Compton tithing in the early modern period. Probably of early medieval origin, (fn. 189) its farm too was enlarged at the expense of some of the smaller tenancies of Newent manor. Customary tenants in Compton in the early 14th century included members of the Coppe family and Walter Ysett; (fn. 190) in 1401 the lord of the manor granted the site of two houses called Coppehayes to new tenants with a provision for building a new house there, (fn. 191) and in the mid 17th century tenements called Coppes Place and Ysetts were held with Scarr farm by the Dobyns family. (fn. 192) Other house sites mentioned on the farm in 1685 included Broad Woodward's, (fn. 193) which probably represented lands called Great Woodward's held freely by Robert of Compton in 1278. (fn. 194)
Farmhouses further south, near the Upleadon road, included Stardens which is at or near a site occupied in the late 13th century; it was later part of the manor estate, whose owner enlarged and remodelled it as his own residence in the 1860s. (fn. 195) Newtown Farm, in the same area, was recorded from 1676 (fn. 196) and was rebuilt in brick in the late 18th century when it belonged to the owners of Carswalls; they sold it to the tenants, the Cummins family, in 1811. (fn. 197) Further east there was probably a number of dwellings around a ford through a stream crossing the Upleadon road in the 13th and 14th centuries, when several Compton tenants were surnamed 'de la Forde'. (fn. 198) Ford House Farm, standing some way north of the ford, was presumably the house of that name belonging to the Cooke family of Highnam in the early 17th century (fn. 199) and it was rebuilt as a large, rectangular brick house shortly before 1789, when as the centre of a farm of 220 a. it was sold to John Wood of Preston Court. (fn. 200) A small group of houses at a place called Littleford on the Upleadon road west of the ford includes two 17th-century timber-framed cottages. Small farmhouses established in the same part of Compton by the early modern period included Strawberry Hill, on the lane of that name leading from the Upleadon road to the junction called Limetree, and Farthings on Sandy way close to Limetree. Farthings, apparently built shortly before 1733, was renamed Sandyway Farm before 1819. (fn. 201)
The area around Limetree was possibly the part of Newent manor that was distinguished as Lindam in 1181 (fn. 202) and the area of Compton tithing where a number of tenants surnamed 'de la Linde' lived in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 203) There was, however, also a farm called by 1778 Line (or Linde) House (fn. 204) at the western edge of the tithing, beyond the Dymock road. Baldwin's Oak, a small farmhouse on the Dymock road in the north-west of Compton, was recorded from 1675, (fn. 205) and the same family gave its name to Baldwin's, a farmhouse on the east side of the road, (fn. 206) which in the later 20th century became the centre of the Three Choirs Vineyard. Shortly before 1882 a new house called the Parks was built west of the road between Line House and Baldwin's Oak. Part of the Newent manor estate, but named from a medieval park of the lords of Oxenhall which overlapped the parish boundary there, (fn. 207) the substantial residence, of polychrome brickwork, was leased separately from its farmland in the early 20th century. (fn. 208) Tenants surnamed 'de Castello' who held land in Compton under Newent manor in the 13th century were named from the earthwork by the roadside just within Dymock parish (fn. 209) and probably lived within Dymock.
Land Settlement Association Much of the western side of Compton was transformed by the purchase in 1937 of Scarr farm by the Land Settlement Association. During the following two or three years 57 small houses were built for the Association's tenants. Some stood along concretesurfaced roads laid east and west of Scarr farmhouse and its buildings, which became a packing and processing depot. Others were further north, on Birches Lane, and further south, on the lanes around Limetree. The chalet bungalows, designed in brick with tiled gambrel roofs and weather-boarded gables, each contained two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and downstairs bathroom. They were improved in the 1950s and 1960s with rear extensions, and most holdings were given new glasshouses, (fn. 210) which with the glasshouses of other farms covered a significant acreage of the western part of Compton by 1976. (fn. 211) Some of the houses were further enlarged after the Association was wound up in the early 1980s, but most retained their distinctive appearance in 2008 (fn. 212) and a few still had the timber piggeries and poultry houses provided at the start of the scheme.
Hamlets on the parish boundary In the late 18th century and the early 19th the building of cottages on waste land on the boundary between Compton and Pauntley parish created the hamlets of Botloe's Green, Brand Green, and Pool Hill. At Botloe's Green, a high point on the boundary, an old road from Newent town to Ledbury (by way of the Leadon crossing at Ketford) is joined by Birches Lane, leading from the Newent–Dymock road to the west. There were two houses adjoining the green in 1565, (fn. 213) and in 1749 the lord of Newent manor leased a cottage on a patch of roadside waste on Birches Lane just to the west of the green. The earliest to be built on an encroachment taken from the green itself was apparently one built shortly before 1776, presumably by the carpenter who then took a lease of it. (fn. 214) Further building followed, producing a scatter of c.10 cottages on the green by 1838, and some others were built on the waste on the south side of Birches Lane. (fn. 215) By 2007 most of the cottages had been demolished or rebuilt.
At Pool Hill, at the extreme northern point of Newent parish, most of the settlement that formed on the hillside common was within Pauntley. Only one cottage had been built by 1775 on the higher part of the common within Newent, (fn. 216) presumably the same leased by the lord of the manor to a blacksmith in 1759. (fn. 217) Another was leased in 1819, (fn. 218) and by 1838 there were six or seven in the Newent part of the hamlet. (fn. 219) They include two which, though built after 1775, have thin timber framing, a feature also of a cottage at Botloe's Green and others at Brand Green.
Brand Green surmounts a ridge on the lane that marked the north-eastern boundary of Newent. A cottage built on an encroachment there before 1624 (fn. 220) was possibly the early timber-framed dwelling that survived near the north end of the former green in 2007. It may have remained an isolated dwelling until the mid 18th century when the lords of Newent granted further leases of cottages. (fn. 221) By 1775 there were three on the green and another on a smaller patch of roadside waste further north. (fn. 222) Further building formed Brand Green into the largest of the hamlets in Compton; by 1838 there were over 20 cottages on the former green, where a pattern of narrow lanes had formed, and on the patch of waste further north. (fn. 223) In 1947 the RDC built two pairs of houses of 'Swedish timber' type on the lane north of the hamlet. (fn. 224) Some bungalows were built among the older cottages in the early 1960s (fn. 225) and other houses were added later in the century.
In Malswick, the south-eastern tithing of the parish, the farmsteads were based on the Newent–Gloucester road. On the north-east side of the road they mostly belonged in the Middle Ages to three estates called Okle Clifford, Okle Grandison, and Okle Pitcher, while in the remainder of the tithing they were customary or freehold tenancies of Newent manor. Those on Newent manor included 22 dwellings c.1315. (fn. 226) Roughly half that number of farmsteads survived in the early 19th century and few can be identified with medieval predecessors. Coxmore, Malswick, and Yate's Farms, on the southwest side of the road in fields bounded by Ploddy brook on the north-west and Grange Lane on the south-east, illustrate the fairly close spacing of the medieval farmsteads. Coxmore (where only derelict farm buildings remained in 2007) was presumably at the site of the dwelling of John of Coxmore, a customary tenant c.1315 (fn. 227) and remained a copyhold of the manor in the early 17th century. (fn. 228) Yate's, where the small timberframed farmhouse dates from the 17th century, remained a tenancy on the manor estate in 1742. (fn. 229) Another early 14th-century tenant, John Horsman, (fn. 230) presumably had a house in fields called Horsman's by Ploddy brook to the south-west of Coxmore Farm. A toft (empty site) of that name was mentioned in 1482. (fn. 231) The small copyhold farm that included the fields in 1624 had a farmhouse (fn. 232) but it had been demolished by 1838 when the fields were part of Malswick farm. (fn. 233)
Grange Lane On Grange Lane remains of a large moat survive from what may have been an outlying farmyard for Newent priory's demesne farm. (fn. 234) Further to the southeast on the same side of the main road another such feature gave its name to Moat Farm, though that farmhouse stands a short way west of the moat's remains. (fn. 235) Presumably the site of a dwelling of some importance in the Middle Ages, it may have belonged to a Malswick family of freeholders surnamed 'de Chemino', who in the 13th and 14th centuries held c.90 a. (a large farm for the parish at that period). (fn. 236) The present farmhouse comprises a 17th-century timber-framed range, enlarged c.1800 by the addition of a parallel brick range on the south.
Other dwellings that were apparently in the same part of Malswick in the 13th and 14th centuries were those of freehold tenants surnamed 'of Cowmeadow' and 'of Slowe'; (fn. 237) the former took their name from a large common meadow on the boundary with Tibberton, while the name of the latter accords with the low-lying (and then doubtless poorly-drained) nature of the area. (fn. 238) A tenancy called Slow's Place was mentioned in 1464 (fn. 239) and a house, or possibly two houses, called Slow's was a copyhold on Newent manor in 1640. (fn. 240) Layne's Farm, standing by the Gloucester road where it enters the parish, was a copyhold on the manor held by the Layne family in the late 17th century and remained a leasehold in 1775. (fn. 241) By the early 1820s it belonged, together with Yate's Farm, to the Foleys' land agent William Deykes (d. 1827), whose nephew, William Deykes, succeeded to the two farms. (fn. 242) Layne's Farm comprises timber-framed and brick ranges of similar type and date to those at Moat Farm.
Rymes Place On the north-east side of the Gloucester road a house at or near the site of Rymes Place Farm was the centre of the largest copyhold estate (92 a.) on the manor in 1624. It had presumably absorbed other holdings, for it was then said to include three messuages. The other two houses may have stood on the opposite side of the road, in the angle with Grange Lane, where much of the farm's land lay. (fn. 243) Rymes Place was the centre of a larger farm in the mid 19th century when its farmhouse, a plain late 18th-century brick range, was enlarged by the addition of a block of red and yellow brickwork with a deep hipped roof and tripartite windows; at the same time it was provided with a set of new farm buildings. (fn. 244)
A copyhold farmhouse called Hog's House or Hogsend, (fn. 245) probably named from the family of Robert Hog, a mid 13th-century customary tenant, (fn. 246) stood north of Rymes Place in the angle made by the Ell brook and its tributary, Knowles's brook. The farm was among those sold by the lord of the manor in the 1650s. (fn. 247) By 1713 it belonged to the Beale family of the Court House and later was tenanted for many years with their Hay farm, in Upleadon parish. (fn. 248) The house, described as a cottage in 1838, was demolished later in the 19th century. (fn. 249) A former customary tenement in Malswick granted as freehold to Reynold Mile in 1307 (fn. 250) was possibly that later called Mile House, at Red hill beside the road from Highleadon green to Upleadon. In 1634 John Maddocks of Hartpury leased Mile House to a tenant who was to build a new house beside an existing cottage there. (fn. 251) Two houses standing close together at Red hill in 1838 were replaced a few years later by a substantial residence called Redhill Villa (later Redhill Farm). (fn. 252)
Okle Okle Clifford manor, the largest of the three estates in the area called Okle, was based on a moated site between Ell brook and Okle green. (fn. 253) In the late 16th century the estate included seven tenant farmhouses, as well as a mill on the brook. At least two of those houses, Bond House and Swain's, (fn. 254) stood between the brook and the Gloucester road, at the south-eastern edge of the large farm that was based on the manorial site in the early modern period. (fn. 255) In 1819 a cottage and small farm remained at Swain's and another cottage and small farm, called Shail's, fronted the main road further to the southeast. Their farmland was then leased with Okle Clifford farm (fn. 256) and both cottages were later removed. The sites of Okle Grandison manor and the six tenant houses recorded on its estate in 1659 (fn. 257) have not been identified. The area to the north-east of Okle Clifford farm, beyond Okle green and adjoining Hook's Lane which runs from the north-west end of the green to join the former parish boundary with Upleadon, seems the most likely location. The third estate, Okle Pitcher, appears to have been based on a house at Okle Pitcher mill, on the Ell brook upstream of Okle Clifford farm.
Almshouse green and Kent's green Scattered building of cottages on roadside waste included a few around Almshouse green, at the junction of the Newent–Gloucester road and a lane leading northeastwards over Ell brook towards Hook's Lane. The junction may be that called Deadman's Cross where a cottage and blacksmith's shop stood in 1728. (fn. 258) Its later name, recorded from 1841, may derive from the use of one of the cottages to house parish paupers. The construction of the canal, passing near by between the main road and the brook, appears to have encouraged the building of additional dwellings around the junction in the late 18th century and the early 19th. (fn. 259) At the same period a few cottages were built along Okle green, along the northwest side of Hook's Lane, and on roadside waste at Red hill where one squatter long defied the lord of Newent manor's attempts to establish rights over his cottage. (fn. 260)
Kent's green, on the south boundary of the tithing, attracted another small group of dwellings, some within Taynton parish. (fn. 261) A house called Kent's had been built by 1624 to farm demesne land of Newent manor adjoining Grange Lane. (fn. 262) In 1775 there were only two dwellings on or adjoining the Newent part of the green, (fn. 263) but five or six more cottages had been added within the parish by 1838. (fn. 264)
In the main part of Cugley tithing, (fn. 265) based on the road running south from Newent town to Taynton, tenant farmhouses of Newent manor provided the core of the settlement. In 1278 39 Cugley tenants paid rent to the manor, (fn. 266) and c.1315 37 houses were listed on the manor in the tithing. Only 15 of the latter, mainly customary tenancies, had a significant holding of land; most comprised only a freehold messuage and curtilage. (fn. 267) It is possible that the landless tenants lived mostly on the northern edge of the tithing, perhaps engaged in occupations connected with the town and its trade. At that period there were houses along the south-west side of the old Boulsdon-Gloucester road, where it marked the boundary with Newent borough, (fn. 268) and others may have formed an extension into Cugley of the settlement on Coleford Street. All the minor freeholds and their houses appear to have been abandoned in the later Middle Ages: in 1539 fewer than 12 houses were enumerated on the manor in Cugley tithing (fn. 269) and c.1607 only 10. (fn. 270)
Farmsteads south of Newent town In the north of Cugley were two ancient freehold estates, Stallings, at Stallions hill between the Taynton road and the Boulsdon brook, and Southorles manor, based on a moated house (the Moat) on the opposite side of the road. (fn. 271) During the 17th century, under the Woodward family, the farm based on the Moat absorbed a number of house sites: at the close of the century it contained five such sites. One called Paradise, standing near Anthony's Cross in the angle of the Taynton road and a lane leading to Clifford's Mesne, had perhaps belonged to the Stallings estate. Another, in Hill fields south-east of Anthony's Cross, was a former copyhold of Newent manor. (fn. 272)
The surviving farmsteads in the central part of the tithing all derive from early medieval tenant holdings of Newent manor, though it is not clear which occupy medieval sites. The tenants listed in 1278 and c.1315 included three men with the surname 'de la Pludie'; their dwellings were presumably on or near the site of Ploddy House Farm on the east side of the Taynton road. Two other tenants at those dates were surnamed Emlett; (fn. 273) a house of that name was in the lord's hands in 1482, (fn. 274) and in 1624 its site was part of a 77-a. copyhold based on Ploddy House. (fn. 275)
Other medieval holdings evidently passed into a farm based on Great Cugley on the opposite side of the road. They included probably a house held by Adam Ely c.1315 and mentioned as Ely's Place in 1409, and another held by John Dyne c.1315 and recorded as Dyne's Place in 1416. (fn. 276) In 1624 a number of small copyholds, held by members of the Woodward family, included a close called Ellys Hay and land called Vines and Deanes. The only house apparently then remaining on those holdings was one called Rabbit's; that was later the name of a field just to the west of Great Cugley Farm, which may be a new farmhouse built later in the 17th century. (fn. 277) Little Cugley Farm, standing by the Taynton road further south with land around the junction of Judge's Lane, seems to represent the customary holdings of 13th- and 14th-century tenants surnamed 'of Farley'. (fn. 278) In the early 17th century a house and large copyhold farm in that area, belonging to the Astman family, was called Farley and Woolrick, (fn. 279) and by the close of that century John Astman held it as a freehold. (fn. 280) The origins of the farm based on Poydresses, a partly 17th-century timber-framed house north of Great Cugley, have not been discovered.
Farmsteads below Newent woods An ancient freehold on the hillside north-west of Judge's Lane close to Yartleton woods formed the basis of the farm called Black House. Land there granted by Cormeilles abbey to Robert Jordan (also called Jordan of Cugley) in the early 13th century (fn. 281) belonged to William de Gardino c.1315. (fn. 282) By 1523 it was part of the estate of Roger Porter, under whose descendants (fn. 283) it was leased as two farms, both with houses, known from their respective tenants as Skinner's Jordans and Astman's Jordans. After the dispersal of the Porters' estate in the early 17th century the farms passed through various owners before being sold in 1665 and 1668 to Thomas Foley, lord of Newent manor, who bought a third house and land in the same area in 1668. (fn. 284) The Foleys later leased the whole as a single farm based on Black House, which presumably occupies the site of one of the earlier houses. (fn. 285)
Further north Green Farm, facing a green on the road leading from Anthony's Cross to Clifford's Mesne, became the centre of a farm that incorporated at least six earlier holdings and house sites. A family surnamed Boverel had a freehold, a house and 18 a., in Cugley in the 14th century. (fn. 286) Called Boverallys, it was among Roger Porter's lands in 1523 (fn. 287) and belonged to Henry Hartland in 1664. Thomas Hartland enlarged the farm in the early 1730s by purchasing houses and farms called Botgrove (later Arthur's) and Birches, together with three other holdings on which houses were recorded in 1607. By 1817 the whole formed a unit of 131 a. based on Green Farm, which is probably on the site of the medieval Boverallys. Arthur's, standing at the north end of the green, was then the only other house remaining; (fn. 288) it was presumably the cottage on the farm that burnt down before 1940. (fn. 289) The farmhouse was rebuilt in the early 19th century as a symmetrical building of coursed stone rubble with brick dressings and has contemporary stables and coach house.
Glasshouse green An early group of cottages formed at the south end of the tithing at a place called Yartleton waste or Glasshouse green; the site adjoins Yartleton woods within the angle formed by the junction of Judge's Lane and a lane coming through the woods from Clifford's Mesne. The cottages were established around a glassworks which also gave the name to the adjoining part of Taynton parish. (fn. 290) At least two cottages stood there by 1607, (fn. 291) and by 1624 there were nine held from Newent manor on or around the green. Some were apparently built for those working the glasshouse, but in 1624 four occupants were paupers excused payment of rent by the lord of the manor. (fn. 292) In 1659 five cottages remained (fn. 293) and in 1775 four stood on the green, which was then divided into small closes and orchards, and within Newent there were two others near by. (fn. 294) All those on the former green had been removed by 1838 (fn. 295) and by the early 21st century all the old close boundaries had been taken out, leaving a single field. In 1882 P.R. Cocks (later Lord Somers) built a residence called Clifford Manor at the top of Judge's Lane facing the former green. (fn. 296) In 2007 it was the only house in the area within the former Newent boundary apart from Home Farm, a farmhouse of c.1800 to its north-east.
A small group of cottages, probably of later origin than those at Glasshouse green, was established on Organ's green which adjoins the northern edge of Yartleton woods. One was leased from the manor in 1732 (fn. 297) and three stood there in 1838. (fn. 298)
In Boulsdon, which formed a separate manor from the 11th century, (fn. 299) the few farmsteads of the early modern period were presumably, as in the other tithings, survivors of a denser pattern of dwellings. They stand on the road from Newent town to Clifford's Mesne, on Boulsdon Lane which joins that road near the north end of the tithing, and on the higher, well-wooded land of the tithing's western edge.
Great Boulsdon Great Boulsdon Farm on the Clifford's Mesne road is on or near the site of the medieval manor house. (fn. 300) Further south on the road were farms based on Little Boulsdon, renamed Boulsdon Croft before 1882, Clifford's Mesne Farm, which for a time in the late 19th century housed an inn called the Plough, and Manor House Farm, (fn. 301) which was probably given that name only in the late 19th century when acquired by Lord Somers, owner of the residual manorial rights of Boulsdon. (fn. 302)
Common Fields Farm, north of Great Boulsdon at the junction with Boulsdon Lane, was built or rebuilt c.1800 as a tall, symmetrical brick farmhouse with new farm buildings, probably for the Hooke family of Crooke's Farm, Pauntley, which accumulated a large holding in open fields lying north of the house. (fn. 303) A house built shortly before 1719 on an inclosure made from an open field called Mill field, lying south of Boulsdon Lane, was probably at Common Fields Cottage near the west end of the lane; (fn. 304) the present house there is later in date. Lower Boulsdon Farm, standing on the north side of the ford by which Boulsdon Lane crossed the Boulsdon (or Coleford) brook, has not been found mentioned before 1779, when it was called Beach House. (fn. 305) A house that stood east of Great Boulsdon on a lane, since discontinued, that crossed Boulsdon brook to join the Newent–Taynton road was called Tanner's in 1607 when it belonged to the Porters' manor estate. Its name may have derived from an occupation, for its tenant, Thomas Curtis, (fn. 306) was perhaps the tanner of the same name then at Boulsdon. (fn. 307) Known later as 'Tanner's or Curtis's', the house remained standing, as a part of the Boulsdon manor estate, until at least 1789. (fn. 308)
Briery Hill Briery Hill Farm in the north-west part of Boulsdon tithing, near Kilcot wood, is apparently the survivor of a small group of medieval farmhouses. Part of a small farm owned in 1640 by John Pitt, a weaver, (fn. 309) its later owners included, from 1721, George Cowcher (d. 1745), a Gloucester attorney, (fn. 310) who was probably responsible for rebuilding the house as a fashionable residence with a formal garden. The house and its farm, which was enlarged in 1790, were sold in 1811 to Elizabeth Hooke, widow of an owner of Crooke's Farm, (fn. 311) and remained part of her family's estate until the mid 20th century. (fn. 312) The early 18th-century house is of two storeys on an L plan and built of red brick. It has main façades with tall segment-headed casement windows, a staircase, a partly hipped roof, and cellars with brick vaulting. A two-storeyed addition was built in the angle of the L soon after the house was finished. In the early 19th century the north-west front was given sash windows and a columned porch (fn. 313) and the main parlour and bedroom new chimneypieces: many details are like those at Crooke's Farm. (fn. 314) Single-storeyed buildings on the west side were later attached to form a service wing. The north-western garden slopes to a large rectangular pond, possibly converted from remains of brick pits created during building, and other elements, such as ramped walls and a brick alcove, survive from what was apparently an elaborate formal garden; in 1824 an area to the south-west of the house included a serpentine walk. (fn. 315) On the south side of the south-eastern garden or yard an early 18th-century detached kitchen or brewhouse, later used as a coach house, is built of stone but brick-faced towards the house. To the east an 18th-century barn, in which crucks were used as principal rafters, a cart shed, and stables are grouped round the former farmyard. Other outbuildings were built north-east of the house and farmyard between 1824 and 1882. (fn. 316)
Lands to the north and north-east of Briery Hill added to its farm in 1790 were called Croker's, White's, and Romer's. (fn. 317) Croker's, comprising a house and 12 a., was recorded from 1607, and White's, a house site and 24 a., from 1673; (fn. 318) both were possibly medieval customary tenancies of Boulsdon manor. One house remained on the land in 1790, standing just south of Wyatt's Farm at the boundary with Kilcot tithing. Romer's, apparently a former tenancy of Kilcot manor, was evidently represented in 1838 by fields called Greasy Romans and Stony Romans adjoining Wyatt's Farm on the northwest. (fn. 319) Land called Ravenshill belonged to the Boulsdon manor estate in the early 17th century (fn. 320) and perhaps already included the small farmhouse of that name standing on a hilltop site to the south of Briery Hill. The house and farm belonged in 1778 to the owners of the Carswalls estate in Compton. (fn. 321) A small house called Hudgemore, further south, also stands on land belonging to Boulsdon manor in the early 17th century. (fn. 322)
Apart from Clifford's Mesne hamlet (described below), few dwellings were added in Boulsdon tithing in the modern period. Two brick villas were built in the late 19th century on the stretch of road between Little Boulsdon and Clifford's Mesne Farm. Boulsdon Villa, the southern one, and its park-like grounds became a falconry centre in 1967. (fn. 323)
Clifford's Mesne The hamlet of Clifford's Mesne grew up from the late 18th century in the south part of Boulsdon tithing on the flanks of May hill below Yartleton woods. The second element of its name, the regional name for a tract of common or waste land, referred originally to a hillside common covering the north-western slope of a coomb formed by the headwaters of the Boulsdon brook. Late additions to the hamlet have given the road from Newent town, leading across the common some way above the brook, the character of a village street, but the earliest cottages were dispersed above and below that road. The earliest known lease of a cottage was made by the lord of Boulsdon, owner of the manorial rights in the common, in 1761, (fn. 324) and most of six cottages with inclosures paying rent to that manor in 1791 were probably at Clifford's Mesne. (fn. 325) As with similar hamlets in the parish, the pace of settlement quickened at the start of the next century, and by 1838 there were c.35 small dwellings within a pattern of minor lanes and small closes. One group of cottages, rather more regularly placed than the rest, stood alongside a track leading down the hillside near the common's northern edge and was perhaps built in connexion with the working of a quarry at the junction of that track and the road from Newent. A more irregular group stood along the bottom of the common, close to the brook, and others were scattered along the higher slopes near the boundary with Aston Ingham. (fn. 326)
In the late 19th century Clifford's Mesne hamlet was given a more definite identity by the provision of a building for a school and chapel at a junction of lanes with the road from Newent and, in 1882, a church further to the north-east on the road. (fn. 327) Although more cottages had been added and most of the waste land inclosed by then, the hamlet retained its dispersed character. (fn. 328) The building of new houses, mainly bungalows, among the old cottages was under way in the 1950s and early 1960s, (fn. 329) and the RDC built a group of six houses called Southall Terrace near the church in 1954 and 1955. (fn. 330) New building on a larger scale continued in the last quarter of the 20th century, mainly on the principal road of the hamlet, and by 2007, apart from its irregular street plan, Clifford's Mesne had the appearance of a modern residential development.
Kilcot and Gorsley
This section describes settlement within Kilcot tithing and the adjoining detached part of Cugley tithing, an area where boundaries and settlement names are difficult to define. (fn. 331) As much of the western part of the area was anciently part of Gorsley common, early settlement was presumably in the east end of Kilcot. One of the few known medieval sites is that of the Conigree (Conigree Court), which occupies a low hill in sight of Newent town and was the centre of one of several manors called Kilcot in the 13th century. (fn. 332) In 1307 its manor had 13 tenants, (fn. 333) whose dwellings were presumably in the same area of the tithing. The location of some is indicated by chief rents that were owed to the lord in the early 19th century from, among other lands, Bradford's farm on the eastern edge of the tithing at a bend in Bradford's Lane, Wyatt's farm to the southwest of the Conigree, the fields (part of Briery Hill farm) called Romans adjoining Wyatt's, and fields north of the Ross road at the boundary with the detached lands of Pauntley. (fn. 334) The part of the Ross road to the north-west of the Conigree was referred to as Kilcot Street in 1624, (fn. 335) suggesting that other medieval farmhouses had stood along that section of it. Kilcot In the early modern period the Conigree remained the centre of a modest-sized demesne farm and the only other dwellings attached to it were a few cottages on the Ross road to the north-east. One called the Squirrel, (fn. 336) standing near Stoney bridge where a small stream marked the boundary between Kilcot and Newent tithings, was mentioned from 1686 (fn. 337) and may have once been a roadside alehouse. Bradford's, a small 17th-century timber-framed farmhouse, took its name from a family that owned it in the mid 18th century. (fn. 338) Wyatt's was recorded from 1615, when it was called Roodes Place or Rudgeaton; it was acquired with its farm by the clothier Stephen Skinner in 1625 (fn. 339) and remained part of his family's Newent estates until the mid 18th century. (fn. 340)
Another focus of early settlement in Kilcot seems to have been near the centre of the tithing, where the Ross road meets a number of minor lanes. Judging from the various closes in the area called Kilcot field and Kilcot orchard, (fn. 341) it was there that the place name originated. By the early 19th century a loose cluster of cottages had formed there, (fn. 342) having as its eastern limit the Kilcot inn, standing at the junction with Kew's Lane (leading to a farmstead of that name in the detached part of Pauntley), and as its lower, western limit the junction called Kilcot Cross or Cross Hands, where after 1810 the old and new lines of the Ross turnpike road diverged. By 1838 there were over 20 cottages in the area, almost all owner-occupied and with just a garden or small closes belonging to them. (fn. 343) Of the older cottages that survive most appear to date from the late 18th century or the early 19th and are of brick or the local Gorsley stone. One, Lodge Farm, incorporates timber framing. The Kilcot inn (formerly the Welsh Harp) was established by the early 18th century, (fn. 344) but was rebuilt c.1800 as a double-pile building of brick, the symmetrical front having ground-floor bays; a lower outbuilding of the local stone adjoins it on the west.
In the north-west part of Kilcot tithing lands called Broadgrove and Bleisfield, lying between Hillhouse grove (part of Pauntley) and the old course of the Ross road, were once occupied by a number of dwellings, possibly of medieval origin. The lands were apparently among those, including also a large part of the detached lands of Pauntley, granted to Cormeilles abbey, lord of Newent, in the mid 13th century. (fn. 345) In 1624 Newent manor had eight tenant houses (two of them described as decayed) on Broadgrove and Bleisfield (fn. 346) and there were ten there in 1640, (fn. 347) all of them evidently with only very small holdings of land. By 1775 the houses had been removed and the sites included in a single 94-a. farm based on the farmhouse called Brassfields Farm. (fn. 348) The tall late 18th-century brick house with its large contemporary barn and other buildings constitutes the only substantial farmstead in the west part of Kilcot and was given more prominence by the building of the new Ross road just to the north of it in the early 19th century.
Gorsley common The tract of waste that once covered c.400 a. within Newent as well as extending into Linton and Aston Ingham was the site of the most extensive cottage building in Newent parish during the early modern period. Some were in the detached part of Cugley tithing belonging to Newent manor in the north of the common, and others were further south within the west end of Kilcot tithing, on part of the common belonging to the manor based on the Conigree. In the former part settlement began early: four cottages were built there before 1624, (fn. 349) and five were included in the sale of Newent manor to Thomas Foley in 1659. (fn. 350) Between 1711 and 1769 sixteen leases of cottages were granted by the Foleys, (fn. 351) and in 1775 eighteen cottages were widely dispersed over their part of the common. (fn. 352) The total had risen to over 30 by 1838, by which time inclosure of most of the common within Newent had produced a complex pattern of small lanes and a patchwork of paddocks and orchards. (fn. 353)
On Kilcot manor's part of the common building was under way by 1771, and between 1783 and 1786 the new owner of the manor, J.N. Morse, granted leases of eight cottages, probably to regularize the status of dwellings in existence for some years. (fn. 354) Morse also began a programme of token hedge-breaking on the inclosures of other squatters to prevent them gaining ownership by uninterrupted possession and persuade them to accept him as owner. (fn. 355) At least seven more cottagers agreed to take leases between 1808 and 1815. (fn. 356) By 1838 there were c.25 cottages on Kilcot manor's part of the common, dispersed among closes and orchards on both sides of Ell brook and to the east of the road leading from Kilcot Cross to Aston Ingham. (fn. 357)
Most of the cottages on the common seem to have been built of the local stone, though some were of brick. (fn. 358) One of those established on Newent manor before 1775 (fn. 359) stands by the stream that marked the old boundary between Newent and the detached land of Pauntley and in part has thin timber framing. Another of the early dwellings in the same area, Brockmore Farm (formerly Brockmore Head) near the north boundary, has its lower courses of stone and the rest of brick; the cottage that existed there by 1775 was apparently enlarged in the early 19th century when the original encroachment was expanded to create a small farm on the Foleys' estate. (fn. 360)
The settlement on Gorsley common retained its widely dispersed character. The new line of the Ross turnpike formed in 1810 (fn. 361) attracted few dwellings, and a building for a school and chapel, built beside it to the west of Brassfields Farm in 1872, and a church, built adjacent twenty years later, (fn. 362) have remained an isolated group. In the 20th century many of the old cottages in the Gorsley area were abandoned or demolished, but some new bungalows were built in the 1950s and 1960s. (fn. 363) The surviving older dwellings were almost all remodelled and extended later in the century, often retaining very little of their original character.