A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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The parish of Sherborne lies partly in the valley of the River Windrush, which forms the east boundary of the parish, three and a half miles east of Northleach and five miles west of Burford (Oxon.). It is 4,567 a. in area (fn. 1) and roughly rectangular in shape.
The Sherborne brook, from which the parish takes its name, (fn. 2) runs through it from west to east, at the 400-ft. level, and joins the Windrush at the point where the east boundary meets the river. The village lies in the valley of the brook. The brook, though apparently known in part at least as the Narrow River in the 17th century, (fn. 3) is wide and shallow near the village, and was used in the Middle Ages for washing the flocks of Winchcombe Abbey. (fn. 4) There are several springs in the valley, and a few small streams run into it from the meadow-land on its north bank. Small streams in the north-east of the parish around the area called Sherborne Common run into the Windrush. The land rises gently on each side of the brook, to a height of nearly 700 ft. in the north and over 600 ft. in the south before dropping again slightly to Snowbottom Belt.
South of the brook the parish is largely on the Great Oolite and north of it on the Inferior Oolite. The village stands on a belt of the Lower Lias, and along the valleys of the brook and river there are alluvial deposits. (fn. 5) The parish had a large number of freestone quarries, (fn. 6) many of which could still be seen in 1961 though none was in use. South of the village the land other than the park is mostly arable with small areas of meadow; north of the village and beside the stream there is more meadow. Sherborne Park, which contained c. 300 a. in the late 19th century, (fn. 7) stretches between the village and the main road. There are several small wooded areas, of which the largest is Sherborne Common.
The village lies on the south bank of the Sherborne brook on the valley road between Northleach and Burford. This road may have been the main GloucesterOxford road before the road along the ridge south of the village, turnpiked under an Act of 1751, (fn. 8) was made. The part running through the village was known as Tight Lane in the 18th century. (fn. 9) The village is in two parts separated by Sherborne House and Park. It may have been a more compact settlement at one time, but by the 14th century was a large village in two parts distinguished as the West and East Ends. (fn. 10) In 1658 an agreement between the inhabitants about cleaning the brook includes a definition of the upper and lower ends of the village, which suggests that the division was not so obvious as it is today. (fn. 11) It has perhaps become wider with the extension of the Park and the possible contraction of the village since the 14th century. At each end of the village the houses are almost entirely on the north side of the road, the park and house being on the south side. The west end lies near the junction of the road through the village with the road from Clapton. A small triangle of grass at the junction is, possibly, all that remains of a green. On both sides there are groups of cottages and houses, varying in date from the 17th to the 19th century, but all in a similar style. Beyond the cottages there are 12 council houses, in groups of 2 and 3, which were the only post-1945 buildings in the parish in 1961, and, beyond them, there are two early 20th-century cottages.
The east end is bigger than the west, as it was in the 14th century, (fn. 12) and less compact. Almost the whole of the east end was rebuilt early in the 19th century as a 'model' village, consisting of groups of cottages, in terraces of 2, 4, and 6, including a row built as almshouses. Two large farm-houses at the junction with the road from Windrush were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Outside the village are Lodge Park (described below) and several large post-inclosure farm-houses. Broadmore Farm, off one of the roads to Clapton, and Haycroft Farm, just west of the village, were built before 1793, (fn. 13) and Woeful Lake Farm, south of the main road, was built by 1803. (fn. 14) Home Farm, which stands on the east of Sherborne Park, includes one large and two small houses built in the 19th century, when also Sandy Hill Farm, on the road to Clapton, and Hill Barn Farm, on the road from the east end to the main road, were built. Two houses on the road from the west end to the main road were built in the 19th and early 20th centuries and a group of cottages east of Woeful Lake Farm in the 19th century.
Apart from the main GloucesterOxford road and the road running through the village to Farmington on the west and Windrush on the east, there are several minor roads. From the west end of the village a road, probably dating from inclosure in 1777, leads south-west, crossing the main road, into the parish of Aldsworth, and north-west into Clapton. It crosses the brook by a bridge with three arches, probably of the 18th century. In 1777 there were three roads to Clapton; (fn. 15) the one from the east end of the village is an unfenced road, and the third was by 1961 only a track leading from Haycroft Farm to the wood called the Fork. From the east end a road linking the village with the main road was made in 1822, (fn. 16) to replace one a little further west. At the west end the road to Farmington was diverted in 1856. (fn. 17)
The springs around the village provide a private water supply for the Sherborne estate, (fn. 18) but in 1961 most of the houses were connected to the main water supply. (fn. 19) Up to 1942 the village had no general supply of electricity (fn. 20) though one was provided by the private system of the estate. By 1961 the village was supplied with main electricity. (fn. 21)
In 1086 there were 59 people mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Sherborne. (fn. 22) Thirty-eight people paid subsidy in 1327 (fn. 23) and in 1355 there were 91 tenants of the manor, but it seems likely that their number was already beginning to decrease then. (fn. 24) In 1381 poll tax was paid by 176 people. (fn. 25) There was evidently a decrease in population in the 14th and 15th centuries, and by the mid-16th century there were 40 tenants. (fn. 26) The number of households was said to be c. 46 in 1563, (fn. 27) and it remained constant during the 17th century also. (fn. 28) The population increased during the 18th century and by 1801 was over 500. A sudden rise in 1831 to 767 was caused by the number of people employed in rebuilding Sherborne House. By 1861 the number had dropped to 584, and this was said to be the result of a system whereby only one family was allowed to occupy a cottage. The population continued to decline until 1951 when it had reached 430. (fn. 29)
The present site of Sherborne House is associated, by tradition, with a house belonging to the abbots of Winchcombe. This may have been the house where Thomas Dutton was living in the reign of Henry VIII and which he described as his 'house called Sherborne'. (fn. 30) Towards the end of the 16th century William Dutton made the park. (fn. 31) John Dutton rebuilt the house in the 17th century, and it was again reconstructed by the second Lord Sherborne c. 1830. It has frequently been claimed that the design of the 17th-century house, at least in part, was by Inigo Jones. (fn. 32) Most of the work, however, seems to have been done between 1651 and 1653, the builder, and probably the designer, being Valentine Strong of Taynton (Oxon.). (fn. 33) The stone is said to have been quarried at Windrush. (fn. 34) The house was of three stories and was apparently built round two courtyards with the front range, containing the principal rooms, facing west. The east courtyard was thought to be the older part of the house. The west front had mullioned and transomed windows and was enriched with three tiers of applied Classical orders. The roof was steeply pitched and near the centre of the front was a gabled porch bearing the Dutton arms and giving access to the north end of a great hall. The façade was flanked by two projecting wings, but these had been left unfinished and the scheme for a formal forecourt between them, shown in an engraving of c. 1708, was never carried out. (fn. 35) James Dutton (d. 1776) built stables and a coachhouse to the east of the house shortly before his death. (fn. 36) Alterations may have been made in the 1820's, (fn. 37) but soon afterwards the house was rebuilt under the direction of Lewis Wyatt. (fn. 38) The masonry of the old building was numbered before demolition and much of it was re-erected, so that many original features, including those of the entrance front, have survived. (fn. 39) The interior was remodelled, the roof altered, the front wings shortened, and the second internal court apparently eliminated. Lord Sherborne was dissatisfied with the work and extensive repairs had to be carried out at the expense of the architect. (fn. 40) The exterior of the building has undergone little alteration since then. On the south side of the existing courtyard an arcaded loggia appears to be a survival from the 17th-century house. The 18th-century outbuildings and the Sherborne estate office further east incorporate fragments of even earlier work, probably of the 16th century. In the centre of the stable yard is an octagonal stone building with a central cupola which may well be a reconstruction of the dovecot which formerly stood to the south of the house. (fn. 41) At each of the two entrances to the grounds is a single-storied stone lodge of the 19th century.
The house was the seat of the Lords Sherborne until the Second World War. In 1940 it was occupied by the army and from 1947 it has been used by a private school calling itself the King's School. (fn. 42) Considerable repairs and alterations to the interior were carried out when the school took over the house, though many of the internal fittings, including ornamental ceilings, remain from the 19th century. A few of the doorways and fireplaces, as well as one of the main staircases, are reconstructions or copies of 17thcentury features. Several of the paintings, which included works by Zoffany, Lely, and Wootton, have been moved to Lodge Park. Some of the stables and outbuildings have been converted into classrooms or living accommodation.
Lodge Park, the residence of Lord Sherborne in 1961, was built as a hunting lodge probably in the mid-17th century when the New Park (later Lodges Park), which is almost entirely in the neighbouring parishes of Farmington, Aldsworth, and Eastington, was made. (fn. 43) Inigo Jones has been named as the architect, (fn. 44) but the provincial quality of the detail makes it unlikely that either he or his pupil, John Webb, was responsible. It is suggested that a local man who knew the work of Jones and Webb, possibly Valentine Strong, was the designer. (fn. 45) The two-storied building is of ashlar with rusticated quoins, mullioned and transomed windows, and a balustraded parapet. At the centre of the east front, which is of five bays, is a projecting loggia of three bays, its round arches supported on rusticated columns. An extension at the back, in similar style, was built c. 1900 when the lodge was first made into a residence. In the 1930's further interior alterations took place, when a circular staircase was made. (fn. 46) The gateposts and two small stone lodges were probably added when the extensions were made and the grounds in front of the house were laid out.
Most of the other houses in Sherborne are in the traditional Cotswold style. The 17th-century cottages in the village are two-storied, mostly with mullioned windows and dripmoulds. A 17thcentury farm-house has three stories, with a gabled porch. The windows are mullioned with dripmoulds, and one window at the back has a segmental head. One of the large farm-houses at the east end of the village may be the house which was designed and built by Richard Pace of Lechlade in 1818, (fn. 47) though it seems to have undergone some alterations. It is two-storied, of stone, with a hipped roof of Cotswold stone and dormers. The ground-floor windows are in shallow round-headed recesses. The doorway has a portico with two Doric columns. The other large farm-house at the east end is of the 18th century with two large gables added in the 19th. The windows have segmental heads. The house has several large barns, some perhaps older than the house, and two with pigeon-holes.
Woeful Lake Farm is a large 18th-century stone farm-house with 20th-century additions at the front. It has two gables and a small rounded bay on one side. It has mullioned windows, some with segmental heads and wooden dripmoulds. There is a stringcourse at floor level.
At the east end of the village there is a 19th-century cottage, sometimes called the old church, which has two 12th-century doorways and other details which appear to have been part of a church. They are said to come from an orchard at the east end of the village. The doorway facing the street has a carved tympanum, attached shafts, and chevron and zigzag ornament. (fn. 48)
The life of Sherborne has centred on the Dutton family, whose principal seat has been there since the 16th century. Several members of the family have achieved local prominence. William Dutton (d. 1618) was sheriff of Gloucestershire. John Dutton (d. 1657), a member of Parliament and deputy lieutenant of the county, was imprisoned twice for refusing to pay shipmoney, became a colonel in the Royalist army, and was one of the commissioners who drew up the Articles of Oxford. He subsequently won Cromwell's friendship. (fn. 49) James Dutton, the first Lord Sherborne, also represented the county in Parliament. (fn. 50)
Edward I stayed at Sherborne in 1282, (fn. 51) and in 1592 Elizabeth I spent a few days at Sherborne House. (fn. 52) There have been a few people of more than local prominence associated with the parish. James Bradley, the astronomer, was born there in 1693, (fn. 53) and the incumbents include Edmund Campion. (fn. 54) The village was a noted centre for morris dancing until the 1880's. The Sherborne dances, which are very elaborate and represent a highly developed form of morris dancing, have been collected and published. (fn. 55)
Manor and Other Estate.
The manor of SHERBORNE is thought to have been part of the endowment of Winchcombe Abbey by Coenwulf of Mercia. (fn. 56) The abbey held it in 1086 (fn. 57) and retained it till the Dissolution. (fn. 58) The manor, which included probably the whole of the parish, and part of the parish of Windrush, (fn. 59) formed with Bledington manor half a knight's fee. (fn. 60) The abbot was granted free warren there in 1251. (fn. 61)
In 1533 it was leased to Sir John Allen, a citizen and alderman of London. (fn. 62) Sir John's son Christopher Allen and Audrey his wife were holding the manor in fee in 1551, (fn. 63) and in that year sold it to Thomas Dutton (fn. 64) (a younger son of the Duttons of Chester), who is thought to have been surveyor of Crown lands in Gloucestershire at that time. (fn. 65) On his death in 1581 it passed to his son William, (fn. 66) and in 1618 to William's son John (d. 1657). It then passed successively to John Dutton's nephews, William (d. 1675) and Ralph, who was created a baronet in 1678. Ralph's son, Sir John Dutton, died in 1743 without male issue and the manor went to his nephew James Lenox Naper of Loughcrew (co. Meath), who took the name Dutton. (fn. 67) He was succeeded in 1776 by his son, James Dutton, who was created Lord Sherborne in 1784 and died in 1820; the manor then descended with the title, to James Dutton's son John (d. 1862), to John's son James (d. 1883), to James's son Edward (d. 1919), (fn. 68) to Edward's brother, the Revd. Frederick (d. 1920), to Frederick's nephew, James Huntley Dutton (d. 1949), and to James's son, Charles Dutton, Lord Sherborne. (fn. 69)
The land held by Winchcombe Abbey in 1086 included most, if not all, the parish of Sherborne. Of the 30 hides of the abbey there ten were quit of geld and belonged to the demesne, (fn. 73) though there were only five ploughs on the demesne and 12 servi; there were 22 ploughs on the land held by 40 villani and 7 bordars, and 30 a. of meadow. The decline in the value of the land from 20 to 14 (fn. 74) may reflect the low ratio of demesne ploughs to demesne hides.
In 1166 there seem to have been only two free tenants, one of whom was a new feoffee; (fn. 75) it is possible that there was a decrease in the amount of land held by free tenure in the 12th and 13th centuries. There was a number of grants to Winchcombe Abbey during that period of land in Sherborne, which may have been land formerly held in fee of the abbey. About 1163 Jordan of Brockmanton surrendered 9 yardlands in Sherborne to the abbey on assuming the religious habit there. (fn. 76) John, son of John the knight, who in the 13th century made several small grants of land, amounting to c. 80 a., to Winchcombe, may have been a free tenant. (fn. 77) He also conveyed land in fee to Elias of Foxcote, steward of the abbey. (fn. 78) Finally, in 1274, John surrendered all his land in return for a corrody, (fn. 79) and a few years later Elias made a similar agreement with the abbot. (fn. 80)
Of 38 tenants paying tax in 1327, 36 paid between 6d. and 2s., one paid 3s., and one, described as a merchant, paid 10s. (fn. 81) In the mid-14th century the number of tenants was between 80 and 90, of whom all but three were customary tenants. There had probably been a decline in the number of tenants by that time: a rental of 1355 shows that several holdings had lapsed into the abbot's hands, and usually had been leased again to people already holding land. (fn. 82) The decline in the number of tenants continued, and by the mid-16th century there were 36 customary tenants and four freeholders, (fn. 83) probably including the tenants of the land in Windrush belonging to Sherborne Manor.
Holdings of a hide or half a hide seem to have been frequent in the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the free tenants held a hide at 10s. rent, (fn. 84) and half a hide was held for 4s. (fn. 85) The customary estates were probably at one time normally a messuage and yardland, but a minority of the tenants were yardlanders by the mid-14th century. Of the 148 estates mentioned in the rental of 1355, 22 in the east end of the village were a messuage and yardland, at 8s. rent, and another nine at different rents. In the west end nine people held a messuage and yardland at 4s. rent and eleven more held the same at different rents. The other holdings varied in size with apparently little consistency in the rents. The individual estates were rarely larger than two yardlands, but several tenants each held a number of such estates. Henry atte Halle held five and a half yardlands, a few tenants held four, and several held three. There were a number of small holdings; of the free tenants one held two yardlands for 30s. rent, another the same for 5s. rent, and the third two yardlands and a mill for 28s. (fn. 86) The free tenants seem to have owed heriots as well as relief. (fn. 87) The total rent from the free and customary tenants, which was given as 100s. in 1291, (fn. 88) was 33 18s. 4d. in 1355. (fn. 89)
Only 47 of the customary tenants owed customary service in the 14th century. This suggests that in many cases service had been commuted for rent, though it does not seem that the tenants who owed service paid a lower rent than those who did not. Four bedrips was the most usual service owed by yardlanders; some owed service at haymaking also, and a customary rent called fernhens. Fifteen tenants, mostly cottagers, owed a day's work at the washing and shearing of the sheep. (fn. 90) Sherborne seems to have been the only one of Winchcombe's manors where this service was owed. (fn. 91) In 1355 160 bedrips, 39 days' haymaking, 15 days' washing and shearing sheep, and 20 fernhens were owed by the tenants. (fn. 92)
As the number of tenants decreased the holdings became larger. In 1466 Robert Taylor held 8 messuages and 5 yardlands. (fn. 93) By 1540 there was one tenant with 7 yardlands, another with 5, six with 4, and several tenants with 2 or 3 yardlands. The identity of separate estates each originally held by a single tenant, still evident in 1355, had been lost by that time. Only seven tenants still held one messuage and yardland, and most of them held some other land also. (fn. 94) Of the four free tenants, Thomas Lane's and George Hungerford's lands were probably in the part of the manor in Windrush parish. (fn. 95) The other two held respectively a messuage and yardland, and a messuage and two yardlands. (fn. 96)
In 1291 there were still five carucates in demesne, valued at 10s. each, with stock worth 60s. (fn. 97) The comparatively small amount of customary labour exacted in 1355 might suggest that the demesne was small, but, though parts of it had been leased by that time, it was evidently still large. The wages for hired labourers at harvest amounted to 10, the highest in any of Winchcombe Abbey's manors. (fn. 98) In the 15th century c. 200 a. were cultivated each year. The main crops were wheat and dredge, with some oats and pulse. Only a quarter of the land was harvested by labour-service, and the greater part of the produce was used to pay the wages of hired labourers and the permanent servants of the manor, among whom were included the bailiff, ploughmen, herdsmen, and drovers. The expenses of entertaining the abbot, and those of the steward and subcellarer, were also paid from the produce of the manor. Some of the dredge was used for brewing locally, but most was sent to the brewer at Winchcombe. (fn. 99) The value of the manor in 1535 was 84, of which 67 was assigned to the office of steward of the kitchen at Winchcombe. (fn. 100)
The demesne meadow included the meadow called Cowham, on the east side of the parish and separated from the common field by the river, (fn. 101) which from c. 1468 was farmed at 8. (fn. 102) From that time the whole of the demesne was farmed except certain pastures which were reserved to the abbot's use. (fn. 103) One of the normal expenses of the manor was that incurred in entertaining the abbot when he visited Sherborne for the washing and shearing of the sheep, and in paying the labourers taking part in the operation; the number of sheep sheared in 14845 was 2,900. (fn. 104) All the abbot's sheep were brought to Sherborne each year to be sheared and the wool weighed and packed. (fn. 105) There was a special chamber there where the wool was weighed. (fn. 106) Sherborne was evidently big enough to provide sufficient pasture for the sheep during the operation, and to maintain the labourers. It was usual for the abbot to buy the tenants' wool and sell it with that of his own flocks. (fn. 107)
There were two open fields, the North and South fields, (fn. 108) presumably on the land which rises gently on the north and south sides of the village, and some tenants seem to have held land in Windrush also. (fn. 109) The East field and Netherham were apparently common meadow, (fn. 110) and there was common pasture at a place called Bickworth (fn. 111) and at Picardy (in the north-east part of the parish, where the name is still found) which was inclosed with a ditch in 1445. (fn. 112) One-acre parcels of arable seem to have been the most usual unit (fn. 113) and 30 a. the normal size of a yardland; (fn. 114) the proportion of meadow to arable was 1 a. to a yardland. (fn. 115) In 1466 the number of sheep-pastures to a yardland was 60. Four overseers of the harvest and two overseers of cattle, who received the fines of those who overstocked the common, were elected at the manorial courts. (fn. 116) From the 13th century at least some tenants held small pieces of inclosed arable, meadow, and pasture. (fn. 117)
After Thomas Dutton had acquired the manor in the 16th century it continued to be divided mainly into customary holdings, with a few freehold estates. During the 17th century farms were usually from two to four yardlands in size. Customary service was apparently exacted and rents were partly in kind. (fn. 118) In 1661 there were 5 freeholders and 36 customary tenants. (fn. 119) One of the freeholders, John Humphries, probably belonged to a family members of which had been free tenants in Sherborne since the 13th century, (fn. 120) and may have descended from the Humphrey of Sherborne who held in fee in 1166. (fn. 121) The number of tenants had not changed much by the early 18th century when there were 41, but there was apparently only one freeholder then, (fn. 122) who in 1766 sold his land in Sherborne to James Dutton. (fn. 123) In 1710 fourteen copyhold tenants surrendered their land to John Dutton. (fn. 124) At inclosure in 1777 there were no free tenants in Sherborne. (fn. 125)
In 1539 a dispute arose between the farmer of the demesne and the tenants because the farmer claimed preferential treatment for his animals in the common fields. It was agreed that he should inclose the demesne land within the next six years. (fn. 126) In the early 17th century 22 yeomen and husbandmen, and two shepherds, were named as servants of William Dutton (fn. 127) and were probably farming the demesne. There was evidently an increase in the demesne during this period. In 1622 it amounted to 1,017 a., including pasture and meadow. (fn. 128) In 1649 the demesne arable included 76 parcels scattered in the open fields. (fn. 129) In one year the sale of stock yielded 197, of barley 74, and of wood 984. (fn. 130)
During the 16th and 17th centuries, as the demesne increased, the amount of inclosed land also increased. The park made by William Dutton in the 16th century, later called the Old Park, was taken out of the common pasture and open fields and when the New Park was made in the 17th century the small part of it that lay in Sherborne was also taken out of the open fields. Several smaller inclosures had been made before 1635, (fn. 131) and the process probably continued after that time; in 1777 only a little over half of the parish remained uninclosed. (fn. 132) There was still common meadow in the East field, Netherham, and Overham, (fn. 133) and open arable in the North and South fields, (fn. 134) which were cultivated alternately, in the 17th century. In 1661 it was decided that the commons were overstocked, with 30 sheep to a yardland, and there was to be an abatement of 10 sheep a yardland. (fn. 135) Four tellers of cattle and overseers of the fields were elected each year, and a hayward, paid 8d. from each yardland, held office for six months. The tenants were allowed to keep only one horse to a yardland, and no mares. (fn. 136) A hundred years later rents for their beasts were paid by parishioners stocking the common. There was a further abatement of two sheep in 1763. The hayward then held office for a year and was paid 2d. a yardland by parishioners and 4d. by nonparishioners. (fn. 137)
The inclosure of 1777 affected 1,542 a. in the South field, 1,135 a. in the North field, and 132 a. of meadow in the East field and Elberham. Apart from the vicar's allotment, all the land went to James Dutton as the impropriator and sole landowner. (fn. 138) Shortly after inclosure there was said to be 3,784 a. of land divided into farms in the parish. (fn. 139) In 1801 there was 2,390 a. of arable, and the chief crops were barley, turnips, and wheat. (fn. 140) There were six farms in the late 19th century, and eight by 1919, of which six were over 150 a. (fn. 141) By 1961 most of the land was under cultivation, with some dairy- and sheep-farming. The farms, which were mostly c. 400 a., all belonged to the Sherborne estate and were farmed by tenant farmers. (fn. 142)
The population, at least to the 14th century, was comparatively large, and it seems likely that there was a thriving woollen industry in Sherborne. The decrease in population in the later Middle Ages probably indicates a decline in the industry. The many quarries in the parish provided some non-agricultural work: Sherborne stone was used for buildings at Windsor and Oxford in the period 13651525. Quarries in the parish remained in use until 1915. (fn. 143)
There was usually at least one smith in the parish until c. 1935. (fn. 144) In 1377 there was a weaver and in 1445 a plough-maker, and a tiler. (fn. 145) In 1608, apart from the millers and servants, no non-agricultural occupations were recorded. (fn. 146) There was a carpenter (fn. 147) and a wheelwright in the 1660's. (fn. 148) The number of people engaged in trade, manufacture, or industry was 82 in 1801, compared with 405 agricultural workers; there were 18 families so occupied in 1811 and 22 in 1821. The number had risen to 47 by 1831, but at that time there had been a big increase in the population because of the number of people employed in building Sherborne House. (fn. 149) By the late 19th century there were three shopkeepers, a barber, a grocer, a tailor, a carpenter, a builder, a wheelwright, and a road surveyor. (fn. 150) There was a brick and tile works in the parish in the late 19th century, but it was disused by 1902. (fn. 151) There were apparently two alehouses in 1755, (fn. 152) but there is no later evidence of an inn, and in 1961 there was no inn in the parish. There was one shop then. About half the working population was employed other than in agriculture, mostly at a distance from Sherborne. (fn. 153)
In 1086 there were four mills, valued at 40s. (fn. 154) One of them was known as the abbot's mill in the late 12th century, (fn. 155) and may have been the fullingmill which was next to a meadow called Westcroft. (fn. 156) One of the 12th-century abbots granted a mill in Sherborne to John Hastings of Farmington, near his land in Farmington, on condition that he should not turn it into a fulling-mill. A house and 1 a. were granted with it, but not the ploughed land and the miller's field, which, presumably, had been attached to it. (fn. 157) Probably the same mill, called Stagges Mill, was held by the lord of Farmington at a rent of 13s. 4d. in 1355. (fn. 158) William Fifield held it, by free tenure, at his death in 1405, and his son paid a relief and a heriot of an ox for it. (fn. 159) In 1291 there was one mill in demesne. (fn. 160) The abbot may have retained a fullingmill in 1341 when several people were in mercy for using fulling-mills outside the manor. (fn. 161)
There seem to have been three corn-mills and the fulling-mill as well as Stagges Mill in the mid-14th century. One was held freely with two yardlands and a meadow called the Newmede for 28s. rent. The other two corn-mills (one of which was called the Bury Mill) were held by customary tenants at rents of 13s. 4d., and the fulling-mill was held, also by customary tenure, at 16s. rent. (fn. 162) In 1391 one of the mills was taken into the lord's hands because the miller had let it deteriorate. (fn. 163)
In the mid-16th century there were three mills including Bury Mill, all held by customary tenure. (fn. 164) There were three millers in 1608. (fn. 165) A messuage called Kidwell's Mill in 1622 had evidently been associated with one of the mills. (fn. 166) A lease of Sherborne manor in 1803 included the mill occupied by William Cruss. (fn. 167) By the end of the 19th century only one mill remained, and it was disused. This was Duckleston Mill in the west end of the village near Farmington and was possibly the same as Stagges Mill. (fn. 168) It was a bakery for a time, (fn. 169) but in 1961 was a farm-house.
Sherborne was among the manors in which the Abbot of Winchcombe was granted quittance from suit of shire and hundred court in 1216. The grant was confirmed several times in the next 30 years, (fn. 170) but seems to have lapsed after that. In the late 13th century the Abbot of Fecamp claimed Sherborne as part of his liberty of Slaughter. (fn. 171)
The medieval court rolls of Sherborne manor survive for the period 13411466. Courts were held twice a year, apparently at irregular intervals. (fn. 172) There are a few court rolls for the late 17th century (fn. 173) and one for 1763. (fn. 174) The court may have ceased to function after inclosure in 1777.
No early churchwardens' or overseers' accounts survive for the parish. Expenditure on poor relief followed the general trend, rising sharply between 1776 and 1803 when 30 persons received regular relief, 12 of them old or disabled, and 24 were relieved occasionally. (fn. 175) The amount expended and the number of people relieved was doubled in the next ten years, but had decreased considerably by 1815, (fn. 176) and continued thereafter to decrease. (fn. 177) Sherborne became part of the Northleach Poor Law Union under the Act of 1834, and of the Northleach Rural Sanitary District under the Act of 1872. (fn. 178) The parish council met regularly in 1961. (fn. 179)
The earliest known reference to the church of Sherborne is in a confirmation by Pope Alexander III of the possessions of Winchcombe Abbey in 1175. (fn. 180) The Bishop of Worcester granted a yearly payment of 5 marks from the church of Sherborne to the fabric of the church of Winchcombe in the late 12th century. (fn. 181) In 1189 Robert of Chedworth was said to be perpetual vicar there (fn. 182) though apparently the church was not appropriated to Winchcombe Abbey until 1224; under the terms of that appropriation two-thirds of the tithes of corn were to go to the abbey and one-third to the vicar. (fn. 183) The benefice remained a vicarage; it was united with the benefice of Windrush in 1776, forming the united vicarage of Sherborne with Windrush. (fn. 184)
The advowson belonged to Winchcombe Abbey until the Dissolution. In 1538 it had been leased to John Harford, (fn. 185) and he presented in 1554. (fn. 186) The rectory and advowson passed with the manor to Christopher Allen and later to Thomas Dutton. (fn. 187) They descended to successive lords of Sherborne: at inclosure in 1777 James Dutton received 552 a. for rectorial tithes, (fn. 188) and in 1961 Lord Sherborne was the patron of the united benefice. (fn. 189)
In 1271 the vicar had half the tithes of hay and glebe land with pasture for six beasts, worth 15 marks in all. (fn. 190) The vicar's portion was said to be 5 in 1291. (fn. 191) The clear annual value of the vicarage in 1535 was 14 10s. 11d.; it included 24 a. of glebe then. (fn. 192) Until the 18th century the vicarage included a house and two closes, 24 a. of land, and pasture for six animals. (fn. 193) At inclosure the vicar received 133 a. for tithes and glebe, which, however, was exchanged for 175 a. in Windrush. (fn. 194) In 1776, when the question of uniting the vicarages of Sherborne and Windrush was raised, Sherborne was said to be worth 40, though the two had been set together at 100. (fn. 195) By 1835 there was no land or house in Sherborne belonging to the vicar, the whole estate being in Windrush. (fn. 196)
In 1284 Richard de Gretton refused to reside for fear of his enemies. The Abbot of Winchcombe was ordered to provide a priest for the cure of souls and to give Richard a pension. (fn. 197) In the late 14th century two successive vicars came into conflict with the abbot over the repair of the chancel at Sherborne. It was decided in both cases that the vicar was responsible for the repair. (fn. 198) In 1405 John Bradley was licensed to be absent to study and to farm the fruits of his benefice. (fn. 199) Most of the 15th-century vicars seem to have held the benefice for a short time only.
Henry Willis, who became vicar in 1524, apparently was not resident and the living was served by a curate. (fn. 200) Willis was deprived of the living in 1554 because he was married. (fn. 201) The next vicar was nonresident and the cure was served by a curate who also served Farmington. (fn. 202) For a short time between 1568 and 1569 the benefice was held by Edmund Campion, (fn. 203) who was martyred in 1581. In 1569 it was complained that there was no Book of Homilies and that the vicar's house was out of repair. The vicar, Alexander Read, was non-resident, refused to pay first-fruits, and neglected to repair the chancel. (fn. 204) In 1572 he failed to appear before the consistory court, was suspended, and excommunicated. (fn. 205) He was still said to be the vicar in 1576 and apparently another vicar was not presented; in 1582 he was reinstituted to the vicarage, and continued to hold it until 1616. (fn. 206)
Nicholas Tucker, who became vicar in 1616, retained the living, uninterrupted by the Interregnum and Restoration, until his death in 1669. (fn. 207) He was probably resident and there seems to have been no curate until 1666. (fn. 208) The vicars resided during the 18th century, and there were said to be 'full services' in 1750. (fn. 209) From 1758 when Richard Rice, the Vicar of Windrush, became Vicar of Sherborne in plurality the two benefices were held together, until 1776 when they were united. Services were then to be held at Sherborne church in the morning and evening on alternate Sundays in winter, and in summer both morning and evening every Sunday with a sermon after the morning service. (fn. 210) Joseph Twining, the vicar when the benefices were united, resided and served the cure himself. (fn. 211) From 1788 there were usually curates serving Sherborne. (fn. 212) In 1825 the number of services was the same as in 1776 and the congregation was c. 400. (fn. 213) Two services were held each Sunday in 1961 when the congregation varied from c. 150, when the pupils of the King's School attended, to c. 20. (fn. 214)
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALEN stands beside Sherborne House joined to it at the southeast corner by a corridor. In the 17th century the church apparently consisted of nave and aisle with a 14th-century south-west tower and spire. (fn. 215) James Lenox Dutton rebuilt much of the church between 1743 and 1776, and a portico supported by Doric columns was added on the north side. (fn. 216) John Dutton, Lord Sherborne, rebuilt the church c. 1850, (fn. 217) in the style of the 13th century, consisting of a wide nave with a short projection for the sanctuary and incorporating the 14th-century tower and spire. The portico was probably removed at the time of the rebuilding. The tower, of three stages, has a window in each of the north, south, and west sides of the third stage and two narrow louvred lights in the spire.
The church is remarkable for a series of white marble monuments by prominent sculptors to members of the Dutton family. They include monuments to John Dutton (d. 1657) by T. Burman, 1661; to Sir John Dutton (d. 1743) by Rysbrack, 1749; to James Lenox Dutton (d. 1776) by Richard Westmacott the elder, 1791; to William Naper (d. 1791) by J. Bacon, 1804; to Frances May, Princess Bariatinsky (d. 1807), daughter of James, Lord Sherborne, by J. Bacon the younger; and to James, Lord Sherborne (d. 1820) by W. Theed.
Of the six bells one, undated, is perhaps medieval, (fn. 218) three are of 1653 by Neale, and two of the 18th century. (fn. 219) The church plate includes two patens and a chalice of the 18th century. (fn. 220) The parish registers date from 1572; the register of marriages for 1792 1812, which existed in 1830, was missing by the 1950's.
Before the 14th century the church may have been on a different site at the east end of the village; this would account for the traditional location of the 12th-century features built into the cottage at the east end of the village (fn. 221) and for the need of a chapel at the west end. The chapel of St. John, which existed in the 13th century, (fn. 222) was described as the west end chapel in 1549, when, with its two bells, it was included in a grant by the Crown. (fn. 223)
There was one recusant in Sherborne in 1577. (fn. 224) No other record of nonconformists there is known.
A small close of land in Sherborne was given for maintenance of a schoolmaster some time before 1684. In that year the income of 2 went to the parish clerk, and it was said that there had been no schoolmaster for several years; (fn. 225) there had been one, apparently, in the late 16th century. (fn. 226) A Sunday school, supported by voluntary subscription, was started in 1791. (fn. 227) Two separate Church of England schools for boys and girls were established by Lord Sherborne in 1824. They were combined in 1862 under a master, with one assistant, and given a new building in 1868. (fn. 228) The school received an annual grant from 1869, when the average attendance was 83, with an evening school attended by 6 pupils. (fn. 229) In 1871 the evening school had risen to 24. (fn. 230) By 1906 the school had been enlarged to take 165 pupils, (fn. 231) and in 1938 the average attendance was 80. (fn. 232) In 1961 there were 45 pupils, between the ages of 5 and 11; the older pupils attended schools in Bourton and Northleach.
Alexander Read, Vicar of Sherborne 15691616, gave 40 in trust to provide for the marriage of two poor girls and to help aged householders. (fn. 233) In the late 17th century the charity yielded 13 a year, and there was another 15 given by various people for the poor. (fn. 234) These charities had apparently been lost by 1828.