A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 7. Originally published by Oxford University Press for Victoria County History, Oxford, 1981.
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Quenington is a small rural parish 12 km. ENE. of Cirencester. The ancient parish comprised 1,996 a. and was compact and roughly rectangular in shape. It was bounded on most of the north and east by the river Coln and a tributary stream and a short section of Akeman Street, and elsewhere by field boundaries. (fn. 1) In the east where the Coln was diverted between 1862 and 1881 (fn. 2) the addition in 1935 of 3 a. from Hatherop brought the boundary back in line with the river and gave the parish an area of 1,999 a. (809 ha.). (fn. 3)
Above the valley of the Coln which lies at over 91 m. the land rises to over 137 m. in the northwestern corner. The land is formed by Forest Marble, with the underlying strata of the Great Oolite outcropping in the valley and in the southeast and south-west, and by cornbrash in the south. (fn. 4) Most of the parish was included in the open fields and commonable downland which were finally inclosed in 1754, but there are some watermeadows. Sheep-farming was important by the mid 14th century. No woodland was recorded in 1086 (fn. 5) but Coneygar wood in the north of the parish was mentioned from 1754. (fn. 6) In 1901 the parish had 82¾ a. of woods and plantations, (fn. 7) some of it lying on the river bank which remained wooded in parts in 1976. Land in the wide loop described by the river at the north-eastern corner, which Sir John Webb acquired in 1778, (fn. 8) had been taken into Hatherop park by 1901. (fn. 9)
From Akeman Street, a route used by the Romans to a crossing of the Coln, a road branched eastwards. That road, which at Coneygar wood was crossed by an old route between Arlington Pike and Fairford, became the main route between Cirencester and Quenington village near the eastern boundary. North-west of the village it was crossed by a road between Coln St. Aldwyns and Fairford, on which a bridge had been built over the Coln by 1559, Quenington and Coln St. Aldwyns being responsible for repairing their respective halves. (fn. 10) A watering-place was reserved there at inclosure in 1754. (fn. 11) The London road mentioned in 1678 (fn. 12) was possibly the important old route across the south-western corner between Ready Token and Fairford (fn. 13) which with all the above-mentioned roads, except Akeman Street, was among those specified in 1754. (fn. 14) A private carriage-way between the Cirencester road at Coneygar wood and Williamstrip Park in Coln St. Aldwyns had been built by 1824. (fn. 15) Coneygar Lodge, recorded in 1828, was rebuilt in the later 19th century. (fn. 16)
The church recorded in Quenington in 1100 presumably occupied the site of the parish church in the valley. In the late 12th century a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers was founded to the southwest but, although some of its later out-buildings have survived, it had been demolished by the 17th century and Quenington Court was later built on the site. The houses near the church also include the former rectory and a former paper-mill, both dating from the 18th century.
Quenington village grew up on rising ground to the north. Above it to the west a large triangular green, the junction of a road from Poulton with the route between Coln St. Aldwyns and Fairford, (fn. 17) comprised 3 a. in 1754 when it was confirmed as common. (fn. 18) An 18th-century house stands northeast of Church Road, which links the church and green, but most buildings, including some large houses and a school, are of the 19th century. Quenington House, an early-19th-century two-storey building north of Mawley Road, which descends eastwards from the green, was a farmhouse on the Hatherop estate in 1862. (fn. 19) Mawley House to the south-east was built as a farm-house c. 1808 by Robert Mawley. (fn. 20) The houses in Victoria Road, which runs north-eastwards from the foot of Church Road, include Mawley Farm and its early-19th-century out-buildings at the south-western end, the Long House to the east which was owned in the late 19th century by the builder William Joynes Godwin, (fn. 21) and a former corn-mill at the north-eastern end.
There was a smithy at the cross-roads northwest of the village by the late 17th century but the western end of the village was not developed until the later 19th century when estate cottages were built by the green. A factory south-west of the cross-roads established then by W. J. Godwin expanded after 1920. (fn. 22) He also built two pairs of cottages south of the Cirencester road in 1899 and 1914 respectively; (fn. 23) the former housed offices for the factory in 1976. On land in the north-eastern angle of the cross-roads, given for a cemetery in 1905, (fn. 24) a mortuary chapel had been built by 1920. (fn. 25) From the 1920s the area near the factory was chosen for council housing development, 14 semidetached houses being built east of the Fairford road in 1929, (fn. 26) 8 north of the Hatherop road, and an estate of 18 south of the green. Modern buildings in 1976 included the village hall, a nonconformist chapel, 8 bungalows for old people on the north-east side of the green, and several large private dwellings west of the Fairford road and in the village.
Honeycomb Leaze Farm, the only building recorded by the road from Fairford to Ready Token in the 1770s, (fn. 27) was rebuilt in the early 19th century. To the north-west a house is dated 1931 with the initials of Ernest George Clifford who farmed at Honeycomb Leaze then, (fn. 28) and six detached houses north of the road are in the style of the 1930s. Of the other outlying buildings in the parish the barn north-east of Coneygar wood had been built by 1777. (fn. 29) To the north Coneygar Farm, which has some cottages near by, dates from the late 1870s (fn. 30) as probably do Coneygar Cottages, west of Coneygar Lodge. (fn. 31) Crossroads Cottages north of the Poulton road were built as estate cottages on the Williamstrip estate later in the century. (fn. 32) Donkeywell Farm to the south-west was built by S. J. Phillips c. 1960. (fn. 33)
In 1086 43 tenants were recorded in Quenington. (fn. 34) Sixteen people including the preceptor were assessed for the subsidy in 1327 (fn. 35) and 81 for poll tax in 1381. (fn. 36) The parish had only c. 16 communicants in 1551 (fn. 37) and 10 households in 1563 (fn. 38) but by 1650 there were 30 families. (fn. 39) From an estimate of 120 c. 1710 (fn. 40) the population increased considerably to 267 by c. 1775. (fn. 41) From 239 in 1801 it rose to 371 by 1841 and to 438 by 1871. It then fell to 357 by 1901 and, after rising to 388 by 1911, to 322 by 1921. By 1951 it had risen to 486 but by 1971 had dropped to 415. (fn. 42)
In 1755 one innholder was licensed (fn. 43) and c. 1840 the parish had two beerhouses (fn. 44) which by 1891 were called the Keeper's Arms and the Earl Grey. (fn. 45) The inns, standing in the angle of Church Road and Mawley Road and lower down Church Road respectively, were open in 1976 but a third beerhouse in the village, (fn. 46) recorded from 1870 (fn. 47) and called the Pig and Whistle by 1885, (fn. 48) has not been traced after 1939. (fn. 49)
A cottage hospital for children, in Victoria Road south-west of the corn-mill, (fn. 50) was opened c. 1900 by Mrs. Allfrey, the tenant of Williamstrip Park, (fn. 51) and it continued with her support until her death in 1911. (fn. 52) The village hall south-east of the school in Church Road apparently stands on the site given for a parish institute in 1906. (fn. 53)
In the period 1276–90 Edward I was a frequent guest, usually in February or March, at Quenington Preceptory (fn. 54) which was consequently furnished with provisions. (fn. 55) Several owners of the manor who were figures of national importance, including Michael Edward Hicks Beach, who as Viscount St. Aldwyn provided street lighting in Quenington c. 1911, (fn. 56) are mentioned under Coln St. Aldwyns.
Manor and Other Estates
Eight hides of land in Quenington, held as 3 manors by Aluuold and two men called Dodo in 1066, (fn. 57) passed to Walter de Lacy (fn. 58) (d. 1085), whose son Roger (fn. 59) held them in 1086. (fn. 60) On Roger's banishment in 1096 the property passed to his brother Hugh (d. by 1115). (fn. 61) It then apparently descended to Hugh's granddaughter Agnes, wife of William de Munchensy, (fn. 62) probably the Agnes de Lacy who with her daughter Sibyl granted QUENINGTON manor to the Knights Hospitallers in the mid 12th century. (fn. 63) The Hospitallers, who established a preceptory at Quenington c. 1193 (fn. 64) and from whom Edmund Tame of Fairford leased land there before 1506, (fn. 65) held the manor until the Dissolution (fn. 66) and during the short-lived revival of their order in England which ended in 1558. (fn. 67)
In August 1545 the Crown granted the manor to Richard Morrison (fn. 68) but in the following month it conferred the estate on Sir Anthony Kingston, the lessee of the demesne. (fn. 69) After Sir Anthony's death in 1556 the manor passed to his illegitimate son Edmund Kingston (fn. 70) (d. 1590) and then in the direct line to Anthony (fn. 71) (d. 1591) and William. (fn. 72) At William's death in 1614 the manor passed to his widow Mary for life. (fn. 73) Mary, who married Sherrington Talbot and granted a lease of the estate in 1649, was evidently succeeded by William Powle of Coln St. Aldwyns who had purchased the reversion in 1648. William, by will proved 1657, left the manor to his nephew Henry Powle (fn. 74) with whose Williamstrip estate it then descended. (fn. 75) In 1847 the estate owned 790 a. in the parish, where it acquired 225 a. from the Tombs family in 1879 (fn. 76) and 172 a. from the Mawley family in 1900. (fn. 77) In the mid 20th century Earl St. Aldwyn sold off parts of his estate, Donkeywell farm eventually passing in 1954 to S. J. Phillips & Sons (Kemble) Ltd. which bought Mawley (Crossroads) farm (401 a.) from the earl in 1961. After S. J. Phillips's death in 1965 his property was sold to Alexander Black Mitchell (fn. 78) (d. 1972) whose widow Violette held it in 1976. (fn. 79)
After the Dissolution the preceptory became a farm-house (fn. 80) but the laying-out of ornamental gardens, including water gardens, on the site in the early 17th century (fn. 81) suggests that a manor-house had been built there by then. The house, which would have been lived in only for a short time as a manor-house, was presumably the farm-house called the Court c. 1770. (fn. 82) Quenington Court which dates from a rebuilding of the 19th century was sold with 19 a. by Earl St. Aldwyn in 1969 to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gollins. (fn. 83) The out-buildings standing in 1976 included to the north a 14th-century gateway, partly reconstructed and extended to the north-west in the early 16th century, and to the north-west a round dovecot, possibly of the 17th century, with a revolving ladder.
There were several smaller estates in the parish in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 84) Land held by John Vokins (d. c. 1710) passed in turn to his sons John (d. 1714) and William. After William's death c. 1754 the estate was held by his widow Catherine (fn. 85) who was allotted c. 211 a. at inclosure in 1754. (fn. 86) Catherine (d. 1768) left it to her nephew Charles Stephens (d. 1781), whose devisee John Wakefield sold it to Estcourt Cresswell of Bibury in 1789. (fn. 87) In the early 19th century Estcourt Cresswell and his son Richard Estcourt Cresswell sold parts of the property totalling c. 110 a. to the lord of the manor. (fn. 88)
Allotments of 224 a. and 239 a. to John Carey and Thomas Hamblet respectively in 1754 (fn. 89) comprised land in the southern part of the parish. (fn. 90) Part of their property evidently passed to James Haynes whose estate of c. 338 a. was put up for sale in the 1830s after his bankruptcy. (fn. 91) Jenkin Thomas, a dissenting minister of Cheltenham, acquired part, and his estate, which c. 1840 comprised c. 297 a., (fn. 92) included land held in the right of his wife Mary Harriet, daughter and heir of James Tombs (d. 1825) and heir to an estate called Godwins in the mid 18th century. (fn. 93) Part of Jenkin Thomas's estate was bought in 1847 by Lord de Mauley of Hatherop, (fn. 94) whose son Ashley George John Ponsonby acquired most of the rest before 1860. (fn. 95) The Hatherop estate, which had acquired c. 62 a. from the lord of the manor in 1778, (fn. 96) included 567 a. in the parish in 1862. (fn. 97) The land was sold in the mid 20th century save for c. 80 a. north of the village. (fn. 98)
By 1086 the manor, on which 16 ploughs were recorded, had risen in value from £8 in 1066 to £10 and had a demesne worked by 3 ploughs and 12 servi. (fn. 99) In 1338, when the demesne included 644 a. of arable, sheep-farming was important but a flock of 330 was apparently farmed out, possibly for £10 a year. The preceptory did not retain a shepherd but a swineherd was among those receiving stipends. (fn. 100) The demesne, which with its tithes was let at farm for £10 by 1535 (fn. 101) and was farmed for £20 14s. 10½d. by 1541, (fn. 102) comprised 609 a. of arable, 205 a. of pasture, and 64 a. of meadow in 1545. (fn. 103)
In 1086 the manorial tenants included 20 villani, 7 bordars, and a reeve with 12 ploughs. The estate also supported 2 radknights with one plough and in Gloucester there was a burgess rendering 4 iron ploughshares and a smith paying 2s. (fn. 104) The assized rents of all of the preceptory's free and customary tenants were worth £30 in 1338. (fn. 105) Those in Quenington were valued at 2s. and £12 9s. 6d. respectively in 1535 (fn. 106) but in 1541, when two tenements with 3 yardlands and 13 a. of arable were let at farm for 30s., the rents of the customary tenants, holding by copy for terms of lives, were worth £7 1s. 6d. and those of 6 tenants holding at will £3 3s. 5d. (fn. 107)
The two open fields recorded from 1624 (fn. 108) were a north and a south field (fn. 109) and in 1753 they included c. 1,304 a. (fn. 110) Quenington Downs, the main common in 1507, (fn. 111) lay north of the Cirencester road in the north-west corner of the parish (fn. 112) and there the manor had common pasture for 400 sheep in 1545. (fn. 113) The taking of parts into severalty had begun by 1624 (fn. 114) and by 1753 only 14 a. remained commonable. (fn. 115) The 10 a. of meadow land belonging to the manor in 1086 probably included watermeadows, (fn. 116) and c. 1680 Grandage meadow, part of the Williamstrip estate east of Coln bridge, was valued at £90. (fn. 117) The Mill Ham north-east of the village between the river and mill leat may have been a common meadow, for in the later 18th and the 19th centuries the glebe included a strip there. (fn. 118) Sufficient pasture was needed for sheep, one farmer having a flock of 300 c. 1580, (fn. 119) and the use of land in the northern part of the parish by the river as sheep-pastures is indicated by the number of fields there called slaits. (fn. 120)
By 1753 at least 159 a. had been inclosed (fn. 121) and most of the remaining open and commonable land was inclosed by Act of Parliament the following year under an award which affected 1,306 a. Humphrey Praed, lord of the manor and chief beneficiary, was allotted 362 a. and of four other principal landowners Edmund King 138 a. The rector was awarded 58 a. for his open-field glebe, and 74 a. was contained in allotments to ten small landowners. (fn. 122)
In 1831 8 farmers employed 43 labourers. (fn. 123) The farms varied considerably in size in the 19th century. On the Williamstrip estate in 1861 Manor (later Court) farm had 601 a. and 109 a. were farmed from Hartwell Farm in Maiseyhampton. (fn. 124) The following year the Hatherop estate included a farm of 543 a. and Honeycomb Leaze farm which had 24 a. (fn. 125) Two freehold farms of 220 a. and 176 a. respectively in 1871 were later taken into the Williamstrip estate, (fn. 126) on which Coneygar farm, comprising 517 a. in Quenington and Bibury, had been created by 1879 (fn. 127) and Manor farm had been reduced to 263 a. by 1903. (fn. 128) In 1926 when 59 agricultural labourers worked in the parish full-time there were 13 farmers. Six of the farmers were smallholders with less than 20 a. each and the other farms were three over 300 a., two of 150–300 a., and two of 20–50 a. (fn. 129) Of 10 farms returned for Quenington and Maiseyhampton in 1976 four had less than 20 ha. (50 a.) each, three were of 50–100 ha. (123–247 a.), and the other three each had over 200 ha. (494 a.). (fn. 130)
After inclosure the parish was given over to mixed farming (fn. 131) and in the 19th century much land was farmed as arable, growing mainly cereals and turnips with some beans and peas. (fn. 132) In 1866, 1,578 a. were returned as arable or grass leys and only 139 a. as permanent grass. Large flocks of sheep were kept and then included at least 1,896 animals. (fn. 133) In the late 19th century and early 20th the area of permanent grassland was enlarged but arable farming retained its importance and in 1926 1,287 a. of arable and rotated grass were returned. During that period sheep-farming continued on a large scale and more cattle were introduced; in 1926 355 cattle, including 22 milk cows, were returned, (fn. 134) compared to 56 in 1866. (fn. 135) In 1880 there was a flock of Hampshire Down sheep and a herd of shorthorn cattle on Manor farm, (fn. 136) and between 1889 and 1906 a dairyman lived in the parish. (fn. 137) Pig-rearing and poultry-farming were also important in 1926. (fn. 138) Arable retained its importance in 1976 when much land was under cereals but several farms in Quenington and Maiseyhampton specialised in dairying. Sheep and beef cattle were also raised then. (fn. 139)
The two mills on the manor in 1086 (fn. 140) presumably occupied the sites of the water-mill and fulling-mill recorded in 1338. (fn. 141) In the former, a corn-mill in 1507, (fn. 142) Richard Morton had an interest in the early 18th century. (fn. 143) Richard Aldridge owned it in 1776 (fn. 144) and it was bought by Samuel Blackwell in 1783 (fn. 145) to pass with the manor until 1871 (fn. 146) when, as part of an exchange, it was transferred to T. S. Bazley's Hatherop estate. (fn. 147) The mill, a 19th-century building in Victoria Road, went out of use apparently after 1920. (fn. 148)
In the early 18th century the site of the fullingmill south of the church, which then included a gigmill and dye-house, was owned by William Thomas and the clothier Richard Pinfold (d. by 1725). (fn. 149) Richard's grandson Edward Pinfold sold it in 1731 to Charles Morgan of Fairford who in 1735 conveyed the fulling-mill to his great-nephew Charles Morgan. At his death in 1755 the mill passed to his widow Elizabeth and was sold by his son Robert in 1775 to John Raymond who later inherited Fairford manor. (fn. 150) By 1738 the mill had been leased to Joshua Carby for making paper. (fn. 151) He died there in 1791 (fn. 152) and Joshua Carby Radway, (fn. 153) who in 1820 was licensed to operate a papermaking machine there, (fn. 154) worked it until his death in 1840. The site included a new mill and a rag house in 1830 (fn. 155) and had four beating engines in 1851. William Alfred West, who was making newspaper from straw by 1860, (fn. 156) still worked there in 1876 (fn. 157) but the mill had apparently gone out of use by 1879. (fn. 158) In 1976 an 18th-century mill and mill-house, then called Knight mill, survived at the site.
In 1811 44 families were supported by agriculture and as many as 24 by trade but by 1831 the latter figure had fallen to sixteen. (fn. 159) William Godwin, one of two builders mentioned in 1879, (fn. 160) was presumably William Joynes Godwin, (fn. 161) who was dealing in drain pipes and cisterns among other things by 1894. By 1919 he had been succeeded by Harold J. Godwin and by 1939 the firm of H. J. Godwin Ltd. specialised in pumpingmachinery (fn. 162) and employed c. 100 people. (fn. 163) In 1974, when the firm was no longer owned by the Godwin family, its c. 140 employees made a wide range of pumping equipment. (fn. 164) It remained an important employer in 1976.
In 1338 the services of a baker, cook, and laundress were retained for the preceptor, two other knights, and their dependants. (fn. 165) Most of the usual village trades have been recorded. The village smithy in the south-eastern angle of the cross-roads north-west of the village was mentioned in 1678. (fn. 166) It was worked by one or both smiths mentioned in 1856 (fn. 167) but was closed shortly after 1920 since when no smith has been recorded in the parish. (fn. 168) There were two carpenters in 1856 (fn. 169) and from 1889 at least one. (fn. 170) Masons were recorded from 1608 (fn. 171) and the parish had a plasterer in 1910. (fn. 172) In the later 19th century several lime-kilns, including some at Honeycomb Leaze, were worked. (fn. 173) Tailors were mentioned in 1381 (fn. 174) and the 19th century, and dress-makers between 1897 and 1923. (fn. 175) In 1608 there was a shoemaker, (fn. 176) a trade followed in the later 19th century. The inhabitants included a butcher in the 1860s and a baker and shopkeepers from the mid 19th century. Among the trades recorded in the later 19th century were those of draper, tea-dealer, and mealman (fn. 177) and in the mid 20th century a hurdle-maker lived in the parish. (fn. 178) There was a village post office in 1976.
The courts of the Knights Hospitallers mentioned in 1338 (fn. 179) presumably included the manor court and an annual view of frankpledge held there in 1535. (fn. 180) The lord of the manor had leet jurisdiction c. 1710 (fn. 181) but no later record of that or the manor court has been found.
Two churchwardens were recorded from 1498 (fn. 182) but there were three in 1683 and 1807 (fn. 183) and occasionally only one in the later 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 184) Their accounts survive from 1744 and their expenses between 1802 and 1830 were met out of the poor-rate. (fn. 185) There were two overseers of the poor in 1672 (fn. 186) but only one between 1802 and 1830. (fn. 187) The annual cost of poor-relief rose from £67 in 1776 to £180 by 1803, when 18 people were receiving permanent help, (fn. 188) and to £343 by 1813 when 20 people were regularly helped. It had dropped to £169 by 1815 (fn. 189) but in the late 1820s and early 1830s it remained at over £200. (fn. 190) In 1836 the parish became part of the Cirencester poor-law union (fn. 191) and remained in Cirencester rural district (fn. 192) until 1974 when it was included in Cotswold district.
The church at Quenington was presumably served by the priest recorded there in 1086, (fn. 193) and in 1100 the bishop of Worcester awarded a pension of 2 marks in it to Gloucester Abbey. The abbey later took a portion of the demesne tithes and held a yardland, (fn. 194) and claimed to hold the church by the grant of Hugh de Lacy (fn. 195) but the Knights Hospitallers secured their right to the church, those tithes, and that land in the mid 12th century and agreed to pay the abbey the pension, half of which was to come from the living. Payment was in arrears c. 1260. (fn. 196) About 1439 the abbey gave up its right to the pension in return for a grant of property in Gloucester from the Hospitallers, (fn. 197) who subsequently received the mark from the living. (fn. 198) It was being paid to the patron in the later 19th century. (fn. 199) The living, which was a rectory in 1287, (fn. 200) was united in 1928 with Coln St. Aldwyns and Hatherop. (fn. 201)
The patronage, which the prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England exercised in 1279, (fn. 202) passed with the manor. (fn. 203) Presentations were made by Jerome Barnard, patron for the turn, in 1555 and by Henry Banner, after he had relinquished the living, in 1577, (fn. 204) and in 1603 Sir Thomas Conway was said to be patron. (fn. 205) The patronage for a turn of Sir Lewis Dive was contested in 1636 and the Crown was patron for a turn in 1745. (fn. 206) In 1976 the patronage of the united benefice was shared by Earl St. Aldwyn, the dean and chapter of Gloucester, and Sir Thomas Bazley. (fn. 207)
The Hospitallers took the demesne tithes and by 1535 had let them at farm with the demesne. (fn. 208) After the Dissolution their land, Court farm with 12 yardlands, was described as tithe free since the rector received no tithes from it; (fn. 209) its tithes were valued at £30 c. 1710. (fn. 210) Old inclosures at Honeycomb Leaze were also tithe free (fn. 211) and some of the tithes from them were sold in 1789 by Thomas Hamblet. (fn. 212) The rector took all the tithes from the rest of the parish. (fn. 213) They had been let at £60 before the inclosure of 1754 when they were commuted for rent-charges totalling £80, increasing after six years to £90. (fn. 214) By the mid 19th century they had been converted to corn-rent-charges. (fn. 215) Of the glebe, which comprised 100 a. of arable in 1535, (fn. 216) 80 a. of open-field land had been let at £14 by 1754 when the rector was allotted 58 a. for them. (fn. 217) The glebe contained 62 a. in 1907 (fn. 218) when 59 a. were sold to Viscount St. Aldwyn. (fn. 219) The rectory was valued at £9 6s. 8d. in 1291 (fn. 220) but only £7 18s. 2d. clear in 1535. (fn. 221) Its value had risen to £60 by 1650, (fn. 222) £100 by 1750, (fn. 223) and £204 by 1856. (fn. 224)
The rectory house north-east of the church was a two-storey building of 8 bays with 4 rooms on each floor in 1704. (fn. 225) The main south-east front facing the mill leat dates from the 18th century and a large back wing was added before 1807. (fn. 226) Since 1928 the incumbent has lived in Coln St. Aldwyns (fn. 227) and in 1929 the house was sold to the Hatherop estate (fn. 228) and enlarged. (fn. 229) It was enlarged again in 1963. (fn. 230)
When Ralph de Hokyngton resigned the living in 1309 it was granted in commendam for 6 months to Andrew de Tothale, (fn. 231) and Andrew, who later also held it with Stondon vicarage (Essex) (fn. 232) and was licensed in 1316 to be absent for 2 years, (fn. 233) surrendered it to Ralph in 1318 upon an exchange. (fn. 234) Between 1378 and 1417 the rectory figured in at least nine exchanges of livings. (fn. 235) Anthony Aldwyn, who could not repeat the Commandments in 1551, (fn. 236) was deprived in 1555 for being married. Henry Banner, rector from 1558, (fn. 237) who also held the adjacent benefice of Coln St. Aldwyns but was resident, (fn. 238) was deprived in 1577. His successor Thomas Skinner, (fn. 239) who was considered no preacher but a sufficient scholar in 1593, (fn. 240) resigned in 1619. George Albert, who became rector in 1636 (fn. 241) after serving in Germany during the Thirty Years' War, (fn. 242) was with Prince Maurice's army in the West Country during the Civil War. (fn. 243) Nevertheless he retained the living in 1650, when he was described as a preaching minister, (fn. 244) and died in 1668. (fn. 245) His successor John Jones (d. 1673) and Richard Hutchins, rector 1745–9, both held the adjacent living of Hatherop. (fn. 246) Hutchins's predecessor Henry Allen, rector from 1732, was removed for simony. John Pettat, rector from 1789, (fn. 247) lived at Stonehouse, where he was vicar until 1798, and appointed curates to serve Quenington (fn. 248) which he resigned in 1797. His son Thomas, who succeeded him and also became rector of Hatherop, resigned Quenington the following year. John apparently became rector again, holding the living until c. 1810 and appointing a curate in 1799. (fn. 249) John William Peters, rector 1823–34, was later an active nonconformist in Quenington and Fairford. (fn. 250)
The church, which was called St. Mary's in the 12th century, (fn. 251) was dedicated to ST. SWITHIN by 1735 (fn. 252) but it bore an invocation to the Holy Rood in the 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 253) It is built of limestone rubble and ashlar and has a chancel with north vestry and a nave with north and south porches. A central tower with spire, for which there is now no certain architectural evidence although it could have arisen from within the east end of the nave, was said to have been removed by the early 18th century. (fn. 254) A west tower, not shown in a view of 1790 (fn. 255) and possibly added shortly before 1825, (fn. 256) was demolished in 1882 when the church was extensively restored. (fn. 257)
The lower stages of the walls of the nave and chancel are substantially of the later 12th century, having a continuous string-course and flat buttresses, and the north and south doorways are both of three richly decorated orders. That to the north has the Harrowing of Hell on the tympanum (fn. 258) and that to the south the Coronation of the Virgin. The only other medieval features to have survived are the windows of the chancel, those to the north and south being of the 13th century and that to the east of the 15th century. The present side windows of the nave are square-headed and probably of the 17th century. At the 19th-century restoration a west window and bellcot, a north porch of open timberwork, and a canopy to the south doorway were added to the nave, and a vestry was added to the chancel. The chancel was also rebuilt, perhaps to a new design. A western gallery, where the organ had stood in 1867, was removed. (fn. 259)
Monuments to members of the Powle and Ireton families and to some rectors have been reset in the west end of the nave. (fn. 260) The font, which is of the later 16th century, has a hood dated 1662. The central tower and spire were said to have held six bells in the late 16th century but c. 1703 the church had only two. (fn. 261) A bell cast by Abel Rudhall in 1757 (fn. 262) was the only bell in the mid 19th century but another was added at the restoration of 1882. (fn. 263) The plate includes a chalice and paten of 1579. (fn. 264) The surviving registers begin in 1653 (fn. 265) and contain entries for Netherton, a hamlet on the boundary of Hatherop and Fairford, in the 19th century. (fn. 266)
Two protestant nonconformists and two papists were recorded in the parish in 1676 (fn. 267) and one Independent in the mid 18th century. (fn. 268) A house occupied by the Revd. W. Lawrie was registered for use by protestant dissenters in 1822 (fn. 269) but there were no meetings in the parish in 1825. (fn. 270)
Premises in Quenington were registered for dissenting worship by Jenkin Thomas, a Baptist minister of Cheltenham and a local landowner, (fn. 271) in 1834 and by John William Peters, who resigned that year as rector, in 1835. (fn. 272) The latter were probably for the Baptists who in 1838 built a chapel which had attendances of up to 50 in 1851. (fn. 273) By 1854, when it had a burial ground, it was in bad repair (fn. 274) and the meeting ceased in the early 1880s. (fn. 275)
No other record has been found of a house registered in 1851 (fn. 276) but a meeting of Plymouth Brethren recorded from the early 1880s (fn. 277) used a room adjoining the Long House until c. 1900 when it moved to the smithy north-west of the village. (fn. 278) It met there until at least 1939. (fn. 279) From c. 1880 Congregationalists met in a room adjoining Mawley Farm. (fn. 280) The meeting, which had 8 members in 1898 and was connected with the Fairford chapel, (fn. 281) ceased after 1939. (fn. 282) In 1926 an evangelical congregation bought a small building at the south-western corner of the green and used it until 1961 when a chapel was built south of the green. In 1976 the meeting, which used the name Christian Brethren, had between 20 and 30 members. (fn. 283)
In 1616 Marmaduke Watson was teaching at Quenington without a licence. (fn. 284) The poor lacked sufficient means of education in 1818 when only eight girls were taught in a privately supported day-school. There were separate Sunday schools financed by voluntary contributions for 26 boys and 12 girls. (fn. 285) A day-school was begun in 1831 and by 1833, when the income was supplied by contributions and pence, it taught 35 children. At that time a Sunday school taught 28. (fn. 286) In 1847 a dame school taught 22 children and there were separate Sunday schools for 18 boys and 19 girls. (fn. 287)
A church school, which in 1854 had 40 children with more on Sundays, met in a small cottage (fn. 288) until 1856 when the National school was built on land belonging to Sir M. E. Hicks Beach (fn. 289) south-west of Church Road. (fn. 290) It had an average attendance of 42 in 1871 and was supported by voluntary contributions. (fn. 291) The average attendance rose to 63 by 1885 and in 1901 61 children were taught in two classes. (fn. 292) It was later called Quenington C. of E. school; its attendance fell to 43 by 1922 (fn. 293) and, after the juniors were transferred to Hatherop in 1929, (fn. 294) to 15 by 1936. (fn. 295) In 1970 the school also became the infants' school for Coln St.Aldwyns and Hatherop and in 1976 there were 20 children on the roll. (fn. 296)
Charities for the Poor
Catherine Ireton by will proved 1715 left a rent-charge of £10 to be distributed, as at Coln St. Aldwyns, among the Protestant poor of the parish annually. (fn. 297) By 1748 a coat for a man and a gown for a woman were provided each year. (fn. 298) The remaining income was spent on bread. (fn. 299) In 1970, under a Scheme of 1907, investments provided an income of £12, used to buy bread. (fn. 300)