A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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Condicote is a small and remote parish lying on an exposed slope of the Cotswolds three miles northwest of Stow-on-the-Wold. The parish is 1,250 a. in area, and compact though irregular in shape, averaging 1 mile from north to south and 1 mile from east to west. (fn. 1) In addition, the parish once included a detached area of 23 a. (fn. 2) lying within the boundaries of Longborough, (fn. 3) to which this small area was transferred in 1883. (fn. 4) Condicote lay in two separate hundreds, Salmonsbury and Witley, (fn. 5) which later formed parts of Slaughter and Kiftsgate hundreds respectively. Hinchwick, the northern part of Condicote parish, was entirely in Kiftsgate hundred, but the rest was divided between the two. The division seems to have been not geographical but tenurial: perhaps Condicote was originally all in Witley, and part was detached because it was a member of Oddington manor in Salmonsbury hundred. (fn. 6)
The parish lies on land sloping down from 720 ft. in the north-west to the upper reaches of the Dikler valley, at about 550 ft. This narrow valley is formed by a geological fault, (fn. 7) and for most of its length through the parish and along the eastern boundary the bed is dry. The main stream flows underground from the lake on the northern boundary and emerges in Donnington Mill Pond, 200 yards beyond the south-east corner of the parish; in wet weather the stream sometimes flows also along the otherwise dry bed of the valley. (fn. 8) Above the steep sides of the valley the land rises westwards without precipitous slopes, though east of the valley, in the northeast corner of the parish, is a steep spur with an earthwork on its shoulder at 750 ft. The southern half of the parish, which lies mostly on the Great Oolite, is gently undulating; the northern half, on the Inferior Oolite and Chipping Norton Limestone, (fn. 9) has more marked changes of level. The soil is light, and exposed to winds that are seldom absent; there were hardly any trees in the parish before 1823, (fn. 10) and though 30 a. were planted on the Hinchwick estate in the following ten years, (fn. 11) the southern part remains bare. The landscape there is broken mainly by the characteristic stone walls and a few hedgerows, both the results of inclosure in 1778; (fn. 12) windpumps stand out against the sky-line; and the earthworks of Eubury Camp overlook the dry valley.
The defensive banks of Eubury Camp, enclosing an area of about 8 a., are part of an Iron Age hillfort, considerably eroded by ploughing. (fn. 13) The earthwork in the north-east corner of the parish, Hinchwick Camp, was circular, enclosing about 1 a. The banks were almost levelled in the early 19th century, and the area was planted with trees, in an irregularly shaped inclosure, shortly before 1880. (fn. 14) Another circular earthwork, sometimes called Condicote Camp, lies mile south-west of Eubury Camp, enclosing nearly 4 a.: its banks were too steep to be easily climbed at the beginning of the 19th century, but by 1881 had been almost obliterated. (fn. 15) Houses on the eastern edge of the village straggle across the banks, just discernible in 1960, and the road from Longborough passes through the middle. The earthwork appears to have been made in the Iron Age for ritual purposes, not for defence. (fn. 16)
Yet another earthwork a 'spacious oval British camp', is said to have been on the west side of the village, (fn. 17) and the richness of the surrounding land in finds of Neolithic and Bronze Age artifacts suggests a settlement site near here. (fn. 18) No trace of the alleged camp, however, was visible on the surface in 1960. A camp in this position would have been on the line of the Roman road which runs north-south through the parish. This was the Ryknild Street, known. locally as Condicote Lane, which stretched from the Foss Way at Bourton-on-the-Water (fn. 19) to Watling Street at Etocetum near Wall (Staffs.).
Condicote village lies 300 yards east of the Roman road, roughly at the centre of the southern half of the parish, and the course of the Roman road is broken where more recent roads leave it, north-west and south-west of the village, to meet at the village green. From the green another road leads northeast towards Longborough, and 100 yards east of the green a road leads south-east towards Stow. The road from Stow to Stanway (a turnpike road from 1794 to 1877) (fn. 20) and two minor roads form most of the southern and part of the western boundary of the parish.
On the western side of the green is a spring marked by a cross of which the basethree steps and a socketsurvive from the late 14th century. A new shaft and finial-cross were added in 1864; (fn. 21) the finial-cross was later destroyed and was replaced in 1888 by one from the western gable-end of the church. (fn. 22) The reputation of the spring as a holy well is thought to be a possible cause for the location of Condicote Camp. (fn. 23) Certainly the spring made possible the settlement of the village, whose chief supply it was until the mid-20th century. Beneath the base of the cross, perhaps contemporary with it, was a cistern or dip-well, which by 1868 was fitted with a pair of doors. The supply was evidently then in some danger of contamination, and before 1926 the cistern was sealed off and a pump took its place. (fn. 24) From before 1700 (fn. 25) until about the mid19th century the spring filled a pond on the south side of the green. (fn. 26) By 1882 the pond also was replaced by a pump, (fn. 27) and a pump still marked the site in 1960. A main water supply, however, was brought to the village in 1937. (fn. 28) The supply of electricity, authorized by an Act of 1928, (fn. 29) followed after the end of the Second World War. (fn. 30)
The green appears to have been inclosed by the lord of the manor before 1778, for it was not mentioned in the inclosure award of that date (fn. 31) and by 1797 had a fence round it and a cottage belonging to the manorial estate at the north-west corner. (fn. 32) The cottage was demolished between 1871 and 1882, (fn. 33) and subsequently the fence or hedge was allowed to decay. In the 20th century a new stone wall was built to inclose the site of the pond in addition to the formerly inclosed area, (fn. 34) which amounted together to something under an acre. The village centres on the green, the church standing on its north side and the four 17th- and 18th-century farmhouses at its four corners. Before the later 19th century none of the cottages was more than 200 yards from the green, but they were widely spaced, singly or in pairs. In the late seventies four cottages at the south-east end of the village, by the junction of the Stow and Longborough roads, were demolished, and in the nineties about the same number at the north end. (fn. 35) From the late 1930's the village began to expand again, and the new houses built were all at the north-east and north-west ends of the village, most of them widely separated.
A secondary settlement existed at Hinchwick, on the site later called Old Hinchwick. It was presumably here that the largest house in Condicote, called the manor-house, stood in 1671; (fn. 36) it may have been built by a member of the Roche family, which in the 16th century farmed and later owned Hinchwick. (fn. 37) By 1800 there was a large and compact group of buildings comprising farm-house, cottages, and farm buildings. (fn. 38) Between 1826 (fn. 39) and 1835 (fn. 40) a new farm-house was built mile further north, the farm-house at Old Hinchwick was largely demolished, and the cottages there rebuilt. A house near New Hinchwick (known in 1960 as Hinchwick Manor), which was possibly the 'warren house' mentioned in 1672, (fn. 41) was demolished at about this time. (fn. 42) Three cottages were built at New Hinchwick in the late 19th century and mid-20th. (fn. 43)
The population of the parish as a whole may have increased between the 14th and the 16th century. Seven people were assessed for the subsidy of 1327, (fn. 44) and 32 for the poll tax of 1381. (fn. 45) In 1551 there were 42 communicants, (fn. 46) and the population represented by this figure appears to have increased by 1650 when there were about 17 families, (fn. 47) as in 1700; (fn. 48) in 1676 there were said to be 55 conformists, (fn. 49) and in 1712 the population was said to be 80. (fn. 50) The population remained steady at about 100 in the 18th century, (fn. 51) and rose during the 19th to a maximum of 191 in 1871. Thereafter it fell rapidly: 169 in 1881, 113 in 1891, 118 in 1901. The number of houses was reduced from 43 in 1871 to 32 in 1901; in 1891 10 out of 38 houses were unoccupied. The population increased from 106 (the lowest figure since the end of the 18th century) to 121 in 1951, when there were 35 houses. (fn. 52) By 1960 the number of houses had risen to 39. The village then remained almost exclusively agricultural and comparatively isolated: no 'bus route passed through it, and it was seldom discovered by the holiday tourist.
The older houses in Condicote are built of local stone, with Cotswold stone roofs. Some of the stone may have come from the five disused quarries in the parish, but two of them are recorded as road-metal quarries (fn. 53) and the others may have been worked largely for walling. Manor Farm was built partly in the 17th century, the windows having mullions and dripmoulds, and partly c. 1850, with sash windows and plain architraves. College Farm is of the same character and period as the older part of Manor Farm, but it is larger and more elaborate and has been partly faced in roughcast. Cotswold Farm dates mainly from the 18th century; its front of two stories under dormered attics with a continuous dripmould separating the mullioned windows of ground and first floor is of ashlar. Over the doorway, which has a keystone, is an inscribed stone of which only 'Mr. . . . 1750' is legible. The intervening lines seem to have been intentionally defaced. Cotswold Farm and College Farm both belonged in the 17th century to members of the Williams family: in 1643 one of the houses contained a woolchamber and a 'black bedchamber', the other (which seems more likely to have been College Farm) had once been called Milles's but was then New House, and had a 'great garden' within a new wall. (fn. 54) The fourth farm-house in the village, Glebe Farm, is apparently of the early 19th century. It is of rubble masonry with a Cotswold stone roof, but has windows with segmental heads. The 18th- and 19th-century cottages are of the same materials. The 18th-century cottages are lower and have dormers for the upper floors; two of the 19th-century cottages are dated, 1867 and 1883. (fn. 55) Most of the 20th-century houses (but not the Baptist chapel or the school), (fn. 56) are to some extent designed to match the older buildings: their roofs are of Cotswold stone, but their walls are of buff brick, dressed stone, or roughcast. Each of the farm-houses in the village has a range of stone farm-buildings, and there are some fine stone barns. As prominent, however, are the many barns and sheds of iron. The large rubble barns at Old Hinchwick, one with gabled porch and pigeon-holes, are typical of the Cotswolds. The farm buildings at New Hinchwick (c. 1830) are built as seven sides of an octagon, with the farm-house (described as old fashioned in 1880) in the gap. The house was enlarged c. 1937 (fn. 57) and is a creditable essay in the Cotswold manor-house style. Hinchwick Manor originally had blue slates, which were replaced by Cotswold stone tiles from Hinchwick Hill Barn (fn. 58) (in Cutsdean); the pair of cottages opposite retained its blue slates.
Except that the land was sometimes owned by important people, (fn. 59) Condicote has no associations with figures or events of national fame or notoriety. Its remoteness and its physical conditions are of the kind to have made the life of the community as uneventful as it was austere.
Manors and Other Estates.
The manor of CONDICOTE appears to have derived from two Domesday estates. The cathedral church of Worcester had two hides in Condicote, held of the church by Osbern, (fn. 60) which had been acquired for it by Agelwin, the dean, and Orderic, c. 1055; (fn. 61) Durand of Gloucester, the sheriff, held one and a half hide, held of him by perhaps a different Osbern. (fn. 62) The two hides were held of the bishop in the 12th century by Margaret de Bohun, (fn. 63) and the earls of Hereford, Margaret's descendants, (fn. 64) continued to be named as the bishop's under-tenants in Condicote until 1299. (fn. 65) Thereafter neither the bishop nor the earls are recorded as having any estate in Condicote. (fn. 66)
Margaret de Bohun also inherited Durand's land in Condicote from her father, Miles of Gloucester, (fn. 67) who had enfeoffed Hugh of Condicote with a share of half a knight's fee before 1136. (fn. 68) Hugh of Condicote held land of Margaret in Condicote in the later 12th century, (fn. 69) and Margaret's tenant for the land she held there of the bishop was also called Hugh (fn. 70) and was presumably the same man. Hugh of Condicote had a son of the same name, (fn. 71) who is likely to have been the Hugh of Condicote mentioned in 1193. (fn. 72) The family may have continued in Condicote throughout the 13th century, for although the under-tenant in 1299 of the land held by the Earl of Hereford of the bishop was named as Adam of Watlington, (fn. 73) a William of Condicote held half a knight's fee there, in chief, in 1303. (fn. 74) This estate passed soon afterwards to John of Stonor, (fn. 75) later Chief Justice of Common Pleas, (fn. 76) who in 1315 was granted free warren in his demesne of Condicote. (fn. 77) John was succeeded in 1354 by his son John (fn. 78) (d. 1361), (fn. 79) whose heir Edmund died in 1382 leaving an infant son, John, (fn. 80) who died the next year. This John's brother, Ralph, (fn. 81) died in 1394 leaving a son, Gilbert, (fn. 82) who died in 1397. The manor passed to Gilbert's brother Thomas (d. 1430), (fn. 83) and then apparently to Thomas's son Thomas, and to the younger Thomas's son Sir William (d. 1494). Sir William's son John died an infant and childless; (fn. 84) his sister and heir Anne married Sir Adrian Fortescue, and Anne's daughter and eventual sole heir, Margaret, married Thomas Wentworth, Lord Wentworth (d. 1551), whose son and heir Thomas (d. 1584) (fn. 85) sold Condicote manor in 1565 to Richard Palmer. (fn. 86)
This was the first of a series of frequent sales of the manor. Palmer apparently sold it in 1571 to Anne Croftes, (fn. 87) and in 1599 it was sold by Thomas Parker of Northleach to Thomas Machin, (fn. 88) an alderman of Gloucester, who may have added to the manor lands formerly belonging to the Archbishop of York's estate in Condicote. (fn. 89) Machin's son or grandson (fn. 90) Henry sold it in 1635 to Richard Beard, (fn. 91) also an alderman of Gloucester. (fn. 92) Members of the Beard family still had some interest in the manor in 1699, (fn. 93) but in 1704 it was bought by Charles Cocks of Dumbleton. (fn. 94) Sir Robert Cocks (d. 1765) (fn. 95) sold the manor in 1739 to George Haslam, (fn. 96) presumably the London apothecary who died in 1741 and was buried at Condicote. (fn. 97) The estate passed to Anthony Compere, one of Haslam's executors, who died childless in 1764. (fn. 98) In 1778, by which time there was little trace of manorial organization in Condicote, a small allotment to replace surviving manorial rights was made to the joint estate of Mary Hicks, Richard Knight, and Thomas Davis, the coheirs of Anthony Compere's brother John, who received 240 a. in all. (fn. 99) This estate, sometimes described as a manor in the 19th century, was owned in 1850 by the Revd. Henry Bishop, (fn. 100) and by 1870 had been acquired by John Clifford. (fn. 101) By 1889 it had passed to William Yearp, who owned it in 1919; (fn. 102) by 1931 this property, which included the house known as Manor Farm, belonged to George Alder, from whom it passed c. 1939 to Roger Pilkington, the owner of Hinchwick. (fn. 103) What was evidently another part of Anthony Compere's property was represented in 1778 by the allotment of 162 a. to Thomas Blizzard, (fn. 104) a grandson of one of Compere's sisters. (fn. 105) Between 1780 and 1787 this land passed to Mary Hicks (fn. 106) or to the estate of which she held a share, (fn. 107) but later passed, through a granddaughter of another of Compere's sisters, to members of the Byam family. It was later bought by Richard Collett, (fn. 108) who was the Byams' tenant in 1850 (fn. 109) and died in 1860, leaving his farm in Condicote to his nephew Robert Comely, (fn. 110) whose land in Condicote comprised, in 1877 after his death, 170 a. in the south-east of the parish. (fn. 111) This was sold to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, (fn. 112) and became known as College farm; it was bought from the college in 1955 by Mrs. F. H. Wynn, the owner and occupier in 1960. (fn. 113)
A considerable part of Condicote manor, which in the Middle Ages comprised by no means the whole parish, (fn. 114) was subinfeudated by various grants in the 12th century to Bruern Abbey (Oxon.), (fn. 115) which thus built up a compact estate, later known as the manor of HINCHWICK, covering the northern part of the parish and extending into Cutsdean. Hinchwick remained a sub-manor of Condicote until the early 16th century. (fn. 116) In 1542 Hinchwick was granted to Edmund Powell, (fn. 117) and Powell sold it in 1543 to John Roche (fn. 118) (d. 1561), (fn. 119) to whom the abbey had farmed the estate in 1530. (fn. 120) John Roche's son Thomas (fn. 121) sold it in 1574 to the Brydges family of Sudeley, (fn. 122) which bought additional grazing rights on Cutsdean Heath. (fn. 123) The manor was sold in 1598, and 500 sheep-pastures in 1605, to William Dutton of Sherborne, (fn. 124) in whose family the property descended (fn. 125) until 1826, when John Dutton, Lord Sherborne, sold it to Sir Charles Cockerell of Sezincote, (fn. 126) the estate that adjoined Hinchwick on the north-east. Hinchwick, comprising c. 400 a., remained part of the Sezincote estate (fn. 127) until c. 1920. It was bought in 1927 by Roger Pilkington, who subsequently acquired other land in Condicote, including Manor farm, and at his death in 1960 farmed c. 700 a. in the parish. (fn. 128)
In 1086 part of Condicote formed a berewick of Oddington manor, 5 miles south-east. Before the Conquest it had belonged, with Oddington, to St. Peter's Abbey, Gloucester, (fn. 129) and was afterwards the subject of disputes between St. Peter's and the Archbishops of York. (fn. 130) In 1128 Robert son of Erkembald gave St. Peter's half a hide in Condicote, (fn. 131) perhaps the same as the half hide held before the Conquest by Brictric and in 1086 by William Froisselew, (fn. 132) and this half hide was presumably included in the 2 hides in Condicote ceded by St. Peter's to the see of York in settlement of their disputes in 1157. (fn. 133) The estate in Condicote formed a distinct part of Oddington manor in the mid-14th century (fn. 134) and was separately farmed at the end of the 15th, (fn. 135) but it remained in the possession of the See of York, as part of Oddington manor, (fn. 136) until 1545, when it passed to the Crown by exchange. In 1552 the whole barony of Churchdown, including the so-called manor of Condicote, was granted to Sir Thomas Chamberlayne, (fn. 137) who had received a lease of the barony two years earlier. (fn. 138) It is possible, as has been argued, (fn. 139) that the Condicote estate passed to the heirs of Sir Thomas's second wife, whose first husband's surname was Machin, (fn. 140) the same as that of the lords of Condicote manor between 1599 and 1635. (fn. 141) The estate may thereafter have been regarded as part of Condicote manor.
Before 1274 the Templars had acquired land in Condicote which was attached to their manor of Guiting. (fn. 142) The Condicote estate passed with the manor through various hands to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, (fn. 143) which in 1535 was receiving rents of 8s. from Condicote. (fn. 144)
An estate called Nunheys, comprising a messuage and half yardland of 16 a., (fn. 145) belonged to Cook Hill Priory (Worcs.) in 1535. (fn. 146) It was granted in 1542 to Nicholas Fortescue and Katherine his wife, (fn. 147) whose descendant, another Nicholas Fortescue, sold it in 1694 to Jeremiah Jaques, a mason of Longborough. After further sales and mortgages Nunheys was acquired by John Scott, of Banks Fee in the adjoining parish of Longborough, in 1776. In 1769 Scott had bought an estate of six yardlands that had belonged to Hugh Williams of Condicote, whose descendants and successors in title had removed by 1749 to Tewkesbury; and in 1777 he bought from Henry Danvers Doughty Hodges another half yardland, (fn. 148) which had been held freely of Condicote manor in 1494 by John Harris (fn. 149) and had passed from Timothy Harris in 1598 to the Hodges family of Broadwell in 1605. (fn. 150) In 1778, at the inclosure, Scott received 165 a. in Condicote. (fn. 151) This estate passed with Banks Fee (fn. 152) to Edmund Temple Godman, (fn. 153) whose son sold nearly all his land in Condicote in the mid-20th century. (fn. 154)
In 1086 the four estates in Condicote amounted in all to 5 hides. (fn. 155) It is possible that in the preceding 20 years some arable land had been left untilled, for the one estate for which details are given had included one carucate in 1066 but was assessed as half a hide in 1086, and its value had fallen from 20s. to 3s. (fn. 156) The Archbishop of York's land in Condicote, however, may have shared in the improvement of Oddington manor, of which it formed part: the whole manor, which had been reckoned as 10 hides, was supporting 14 ploughs in 1086, and had risen in value from 6 to 10. (fn. 157) The only members of the native population of Condicote specified were 4 servi. (fn. 158)
It is likely that the archbishop's lands and the lands of Condicote manor were not clearly divided from each other, but that they lay intermingled in the fields. In 1498 a lawsuit arose from doubt about whether particular land belonged to the archbishop's estate or to the demesne of Condicote manor. (fn. 159) The division between the archbishop's land and the manor was also that between the hundreds of Slaughter and Kiftsgate, (fn. 160) and the fact that inclosure in 1778 did not affect the assessment for land tax according to hundreds (fn. 161) suggests that the land of the two hundreds had lain as scattered and intermingled as the land of each owner. In 1780 the rector alone held land in both hundreds, (fn. 162) whereas in 1626 and 1711 other landowners held parcels scattered in every part of the parish except Hinchwick. (fn. 163)
By the early 14th century the archbishop's land in Condicote was apparently divided between five tenants (three having the same surname) whose goods were assessed for tax at between 1s. 2d. and 3s. 7d. Condicote manor, excluding Hinchwick, was almost all held in demesne: apart from the lord of the manor there was only one tenant, assessed at 8d. (fn. 164) The manor in the 14th century appears to have been largely devoted to sheep-farming: in 1345 account was rendered for the wages of two shepherds, a watcher of the flocks (tentor), a drover, and a dairymaid, and, among the livestock, for 2 horses, 7 oxen, and 420 sheep. Two tenants' holdings had recently been taken into the lord's hands. (fn. 165) In 1355 the demesne included one plough-land and 11 a. meadow. (fn. 166) By 1431 the demesne had been put out to farm, (fn. 167) and there may subsequently have been an increase in the amount of arable: in 1494 and 1523 the demesne was reckoned as 10 yardlands. There appears to have been no customary tenure of the manor by the end of the 15th century, and apart from Bruern Abbey at Hinchwick and a free tenant who held a single acre of meadow there was only one freehold tenant. (fn. 168)
Hinchwick, a compact estate which by 1711 was separated by a hedge from the open fields of Condicote, (fn. 169) included 500 sheep-pastures in the early 16th century, (fn. 170) and it is likely that any arable land on the estate lay in its southern part near the farm buildings at Old Hinchwick. (fn. 171) The pasture began to be converted to arable c. 1700, (fn. 172) and in 1823 nearly all the 400 a. of the estate that lay in Condicote was arable, including stubble, fallow, and sainfoin. (fn. 173)
The remainder of the parish, outside the village and the home closes, was cultivated by the early 17th century (fn. 174) and apparently by 1547 (fn. 175) as open fields. Perhaps because there was no suitable land nearer home, the meadow all lay in a detached part of the parish known as Horsendown or Hossington, (fn. 176) which was sometimes regarded as being in Longborough parish (fn. 177) although it tithed to Condicote. (fn. 178) Allotments of meadow appear to have been attached to each arable holding: in 1711 the rectory had 4 a. of meadow, (fn. 179) and in 1760 1 a. of meadow were conveyed with 13 a. lying dispersed in the open fields. (fn. 180)
Sheep-and-corn farming seems to have been the normal practice from the 17th century at least. A shepherd was numbered among the villagers in 1608, (fn. 181) and in 1643 the average number of sheepcommons to each yardland seems to have been 40 or more. (fn. 182) The yardlands varied in size from 14 a. to 30 a., (fn. 183) but to judge from the record of the rectory estate the reckoning was in field-acres, not statute acres, and the field-acre averaged about two-thirds of a statute acre. (fn. 184)
The arable land was divided, by the village and Condicote Lane, into two fields known as the north or north-east and the west or south-west fields. The rectory estate was divided almost equally between the two, (fn. 185) and the division may indicate the practice of a two-course rotation. References to furlonghedges in 1711, however, suggest that at that date furlongs were sometimes individually cultivated. There seems to have been little move towards consolidation of holdings, (fn. 186) and the single reference to piecemeal inclosure before general inclosure in 1778 suggests merely an extension of the home closes. (fn. 187)
By the beginning of the 17th century most of the land of Condicote was divided between a small number of farms. In 1608 three farmers were enumerated, one of whom employed two male servants, (fn. 188) and in 1626 there were five substantial farms (including the rectory and Hinchwick), (fn. 189) an arrangement that survived with little change into the 20th century. Some of the families farming the land remained in the parish for long periods. A John Boulton farmed the manor in 1523 (fn. 190) and Nunheys in 1532, (fn. 191) but later the family became less prosperous. Thomas Boulton had a small holding in 1626, (fn. 192) and another John Boulton, who was taxed on only one hearth in 1671, (fn. 193) was apparently unable to write his name as churchwarden in 1681. (fn. 194) Hannah Boulton was allotted an estate of 23 a. at inclosure in 1778, (fn. 195) and a Mr. Boulton had a small estate 20 years later. (fn. 196) Reference has already been made to the estate of the Williamses, (fn. 197) who in 1535 were named as the rector's executors. (fn. 198) In 1643, in settling his property, Hugh Williams reserved for his own use the woolchamber in his house, (fn. 199) which in 1671 had 4 hearths (fn. 200) and was occupied by John Williams in 1717. (fn. 201) The most elaborate monument in the church is that to John Payn (d. 1813), whose family, never apparently of great substance, (fn. 202) had provided a churchwarden in 1576. (fn. 203) Richard Humphries, the village blacksmith in 1769, (fn. 204) was apparently an ancestor of the James Humphries who farmed the glebe in 1910. (fn. 205)
At inclosure in 1778 nearly all the land in Condicote (excluding Hinchwick, which the inclosure award did not concern) was allotted among four estates, of which the rector's and one other received over 200 a. and two received over 160 a. Apart from allotments for roads and for fuel for the poor, the three remaining allotments were of 23 a., 3 a., and 2 a. The expenses of inclosure were met by the sale of the meadow on Horsendown. (fn. 206) Inclosure thus created the major farming units, five in number including Hinchwick, that became the permanent pattern for the parish, though sometimes two units were farmed together. (fn. 207) From 1939 Hinchwick and Manor farm were farmed together, forming much the largest unit in the parish; in 1960 there were three other farms, ranging from 50 a. to 200 a. (fn. 208)
Inclosure does not seem to have had any marked effect on the kind of farm produce. Most of the land remained arable until the late 19th century: in 1798 an estate of 236 a. running across the middle of the parish contained only 2 closes that were not arable, (fn. 209) in 1877 on an estate of 170 a. in the south of the parish 152 a. was arable, (fn. 210) and in 1880 there was still only 44 a. of permanent pasture in the part of Hinchwick in Condicote. (fn. 211) It seems likely that the traditional methods of husbandry survived for some time after inclosure, for in 1801 under a third of the total area of the parish was under crops. Wheat, barley, and oats accounted for all the crop acreage except for 7 a. of peas and beans. (fn. 212) By 1823 turnips were being grown at Hinchwick, but much of the arable was allowed to lie as stubble and fallow, (fn. 213) presumably to provide sheep-pasture. A division of the grazing land from the arable seems to have been made round the end of the 19th century, and by 1936 there was rather more permanent pasture than arable, and almost all Hinchwick and the eastern side of the parish were down to grass. (fn. 214) During the Second World War the amount of arable increased, but in 1960 most of the land continued to be devoted to sheep and corn. There was a small number of beef cattle on the farms, and even fewer dairy cattle. (fn. 215)
There is little record of the villagers' being employed other than directly in agriculture. There are solitary references to a weaver in 1608, (fn. 216) a blacksmith in 1769, (fn. 217) and a wheelwright in 1870. (fn. 218) There was apparently no blacksmith in 1671 (fn. 219) or in the later 19th century. (fn. 220) In 1801 only one man in the village was employed in retail trade or a craft; in 1831 three were so employed. (fn. 221) In 1870 and 1889 there were two village shops, and afterwards usually only one. (fn. 222) Since 1870 shopkeepers, school-teachers, and domestic servants seem to have been the only employed people in the village whose income has not derived directly from work on the land. The agricultural depression of the last three decades of the 19th century and the first three of the 20th is indicated in Condicote by the fall in population almost to half the figure for 1871, and the proportiona quarter in 1891of unoccupied houses. The revival of agricultural prosperity during and after the Second World War brought new building to the village, so that in 1960 the number of houses had increased by a third since 1931 and was nearly as high as in 1871. (fn. 223) The village has remained, however, primarily agricultural, and unlike many of its neighbours had not by 1960 become the home of more than two or three retired or professional people, or of workers from nearby towns.
No court rolls for the manors of Condicote are known. (fn. 224) The Templars claimed view of frankpledge of their tenants there, (fn. 225) and the Archbishop of York's tenants were within his liberty; (fn. 226) the rest attended the hundred court. (fn. 227) It is unlikely that there was much power in the manorial government after the mid-16th century, and the parish officers appear to have been lax: in 1576 and 1584, for example, the churchwardens were not changed each year, (fn. 228) and in 1640 the constable was in trouble for his failure (not his refusal, apparently) to collect ship-money. (fn. 229)
The accounts of the two churchwardens survive for the period 17781861. The activity of the overseers is recorded in 5 settlement papers of the late 18th century and early 19th century. (fn. 230) The task of providing for the poor was either less urgent than in the neighbouring parishes or less generously undertaken. The number of poor relieved in 18023 was relatively small, and although the rate that year was about average for the district, less than half of the total raised from the rate was spent on the poor, less indeed than had been spent 20 years earlier. (fn. 231)
The parish was included in the Stow-on-the-Wold Poor Law Union under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, (fn. 232) the Stow-on-the-Wold highway district in 1863, (fn. 233) and the Stow-on-the-Wold Rural Sanitary District under the Local Government Act of 1872 (being transferred to the newly formed North Cotswold Rural District in 1935). (fn. 234) A parish meeting was initiated at an unknown date, but in 1950 no meeting had been held for several years. (fn. 235)
Although no documentary reference to the church earlier than 1291 has been found, the fabric of the existing building shows that there was a church in the 12th century. (fn. 236) Perhaps the church was founded in that period, and the fact that in 1291 the Rector of Oddington held a portion of the tithes of Condicote (fn. 237) (represented in 1535 by a pension of 10s.) (fn. 238) suggests that part at least of Condicote was dependent ecclesiastically on Oddington until after the general outline of parochial divisions in the area had been established. It may also be significant that Condicote church, like Oddington, is dedicated to St. Nicholas. Unlike Oddington, however, Condicote was in the deanery or peculiar of Blockley until the 16th century (fn. 239) when it was transferred, after some uncertainty, to the deanery of Stow. (fn. 240) The advowson belonged in 1293 (the date of the first known reference to it) to the lord of the manor, (fn. 241) whose predecessors, taking their name from the village and presumably living there, (fn. 242) may have founded the church. The advowson was held by the lords of the manor until the early 19th century, when it passed into the hands, apparently, of private trustees. Since 1881, members of the Davies family have presented, (fn. 243) and in 1960 had a share in the advowson of the united benefice of Longborough with Sezincote and Condicote. (fn. 244) The benefice of Condicote was united with the two others in 1927, the parish of Condicote remaining a separate parish. (fn. 245)
It has several times been stated that the rectory or tithes were appropriated to Winchcombe Abbey: (fn. 246) this is untrue. (fn. 247) The living has always been a rectory, though not a rich one. Apart from the Rector of Oddington's share of the tithes, Bruern Abbey retained half the great tithes of Hinchwick. (fn. 248) Condicote rectory was too poor to be taxed in the early 14th century, when the rector's net income from the great tithes was about 20s. (fn. 249) In 1535 the net value of the benefice was 7 0s. 10d. (fn. 250) At that date the tithes were being farmed, and the rectorial estate included two yardlands, (fn. 251) which in 1626 and 1711 lay scattered in the open fields. (fn. 252) At inclosure in 1778 the rector received 62 a. (fn. 253) in lieu of glebe (excluding 4 a. of meadow in Horsendown) (fn. 254) and 147 a. and 3s. 5d. rent in lieu of tithe. (fn. 255) The inclosure did not affect Hinchwick, for the tithes of which the rector was receiving a modus of 6 13s. 4d. by 1711. (fn. 256) The whole rectory estate was leased to farmers during the 19th century. (fn. 257) The clear annual value of the whole rectory estate was c. 50 in the mid-18th, (fn. 258) and c. 175 in the mid-19th century. (fn. 259)
Condicote's remote position and the comparative poverty of the living may explain why the parish was often inadequately served by its incumbents. In 1292 the rector was too old to look after his church or himself, and his successor remained at Condicote only one year. (fn. 260) In 1375 three priests were presented to the living in succession, (fn. 261) and there were frequent changes of incumbent in the early 15th (fn. 262) and early 16th centuries. (fn. 263) There are references to chaplains of Condicote, who seem more likely to have served in the rector's absence than with a resident rector, in 1372 and 1513. (fn. 264) Hugh Lydyate, rector 152335, who was also Rector of Evenlode, (fn. 265) put the tithes of Condicote to farm. (fn. 266) Nicholas Wicks, rector 153654, was also Rector of Batsford, where he evidently lived. He was enjoined to desist from 'superstition' at Batsford, and to preach more often, either in person or through another, at Condicote. (fn. 267) Wicks's successor resided in 1562, (fn. 268) but Walter Kent, rector from 1573, was neither a graduate nor a preacher, showed 'indifferent skill' in religion, allowed neglect in parochial affairs, and avoided paying the clerical subsidy in 1622. (fn. 269) Since 1675 (fn. 270) none of the rectors, with one possible exception in the late 18th century, (fn. 271) has lived at Condicote. From 1675 to 1927, when Condicote became part of a united benefice, all but two of the rectors held other benefices, (fn. 272) and between 1782 and 1840 the rectors lived at a distance of more than 30 miles. (fn. 273) Condicote was served by curates, who lived at Stow, Naunton, or Upper Swell. (fn. 274) In 1750 morning and afternoon services were held on alternate Sundays; (fn. 275) in 1826 there was an afternoon service (and no morning service) every Sunday except the four on which Holy Communion was celebrated. (fn. 276) Since 1840 the rectors have lived at either Upper Swell or Longborough and have themselves served the cure. (fn. 277) In 1960 there was at least one service each Sunday at Condicote. (fn. 278) The glebe house in Condicote, (fn. 279) because of the continued non-residence of the rectors, came to be regarded as no more than a farm-house. In the early 19th century there was said to be no fit house for the rector, (fn. 280) and in 1868 the living was said to have no residence. (fn. 281)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS, standing on the north side of the green, is a small building mainly of rubble masonry comprising chancel and nave, with a bellcot over the western gable, a small south porch, and a 19th-century vestry north of the chancel. Much of the fabric survives from a 12th-century building, the plan of which has apparently remained unaltered. The north and south walls of the nave were largely rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, (fn. 282) and the leaded roof was replaced in the late 17th century by Cotswold stone tiles. (fn. 283) Otherwise the church underwent little change until 1888 when, through the efforts of E. T. Godman of Banks Fee, (fn. 284) it was thoroughly restored by Mark Hookham of Stow. (fn. 285) The restoration, intended to change 'as little as possible', (fn. 286) has been described as 'more than usually disgraceful', (fn. 287) and included stripping the plaster from the internal walls.
In the chancel, the two round-headed east windows were inserted in 1888 to replace a 15thcentury window of three trefoil-headed lights. The north wall has a restored 12th-century window, and a blocked opening which may have had a similar window. Internally, the south wall has a heavy string-course, below which are two aumbries at the east end flanking a 13th-century piscina with a projecting basin supported by a small corbel-head. Of the two south windows the eastern one is blocked, and below the western one, which has two pointed lights and a trefoil under a segmental rear-arch, is a small blocked opening thought to have been for a low side window. (fn. 288) The north wall has, externally, fragments of a string-course with unusual zigzag ornament, which is repeated on two string-courses across the western gable-end.
The pointed chancel-arch, comparatively plain on the east side, is embellished on the west side with 'a remarkable and highly distinctive example of Norman enrichment', (fn. 289) which continues on stringcourses across the walls forming the east end of the nave. The north wall of the nave has a 14th-century window of two lights with curvilinear tracery, and west of it the reset east window, which is surmounted on the outside by a dripmould. The 15th-century window in the south wall is of three lights with tracery, and has an image-bracket in the eastern splay and a dripmould on the outside. High up in the west wall is a narrow round-headed light, with a small square window above it. The bellcot on the western gable-end replaced, in 1888, one that was put there after 1700. (fn. 290) The 12th-century south doorway is richly ornamented and has a tympanum and an arch of two orders supported on attached shafts, the outer order with zigzag ornament, the inner with cable and bead moulding. (fn. 291) The porch surrounding it was rebuilt in 1888, and incorporates fragments of a 12th-century string-course and what may have been part of the tympanum of a north door. (fn. 292) The restoration of 1888 included reslating the trussed rafter roof, removing the gallery, and scraping all the plaster from the internal walls.
The plain octagonal bowl of the font, which was moved to its position by the south door in 1888, appears to have been cut into its present shape in the 15th century from an earlier circular bowl. (fn. 293) There are six inscribed floorslabs of the 18th century, now partly illegible, and five mural monuments, of which two are to victims of the Boer War and the First World War and one is to a 20th-century rector. (fn. 294) The furniture was all renewed in 1888. The church possesses an Elizabethan chalice and paten cover, the chalice inscribed 'Cundicot Cup in Gloucester Shire 1571'. (fn. 295) There is one blank bell, surviving from before the restoration of 1888 and possibly one of the two recorded c. 1700. (fn. 296) There is a register of marriages for 16881736, a register of burials for 16681736, and a combined register of baptisms, marriages, and burials for 17421806; all three have suffered neglect.
John Wolgrave or Dunce, Rector of Condicote from 1646 (fn. 297) and described as a preaching minister there in 1650, (fn. 298) is thought to have been an itinerant nonconformist in 1669. (fn. 299) No nonconformist, however, was recorded in Condicote in 1676, (fn. 300) and the next reference to nonconformists there is in the mid-19th century, when two of the inhabitants were leading members of the Baptist congregation at Stow. (fn. 301) By the end of the 19th century the Baptists were meeting at Condicote in a furnished barn lent by James Humphries, (fn. 302) the tenant of the glebe farm. (fn. 303) A permanent chapel, a small building of roughcast with a slate roof, was built in 1911 (fn. 304) and was apparently served from Stow. The chapel was closed in 1921; the Home Guard used it during the Second World War, and for a short period from 1949 Baptist children's services were held there. (fn. 305)
Before 1823 there appears to have been no school in the parish. (fn. 306) In that year a day school was started, run at the parents' expense and teaching 8 children in 1826. In 1826 a Sunday school also was started, with an attendance of 30 and a teacher whose salary was paid by the parish. (fn. 307) Condicote C. of E. School was opened in 1873 in a new building, of stone with a slate roof and prominent eaves, comprising one school-room and a house for the one teacher. There were then 30 pupils, who paid 2d. a week. (fn. 308) The school received a state grant from 1877. (fn. 309) By 1906 attendance had risen to over 40 and there were two teachers. (fn. 310) By 1960, partly as a result of the removal of the older children to Bourton-on-theWater, attendance had dropped to c. 20. (fn. 311)
Five acres on the western edge of the parish, allotted at inclosure in 1778 for growing fuel for the poor, were in the 19th century let to pay for distributions of coal. In 1934 the rent was 3, distributed in coal among 18 people, (fn. 312) and was still 3 in 1960. (fn. 313)