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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Cranham, a rural parish with extensive woodland and scattered settlement, lies 9 km. south-east of Gloucester and has in the 20th century become a residential area for people working in near-by towns. The ancient parish, once part of Brimpsfield, was irregular in shape and included the sources of the Painswick stream and the Overtown brook, which flow south-westwards in deep narrow valleys. The valley of the Painswick stream, the head of which was known as Ladlecombe by 1539, (fn. 1) was called Ledecome in a description of the boundaries of an estate to the north-west in 1121 and the stream, below its confluence with the brook, was possibly the Salcumesbroca of the perambulation. Cranham's northern boundary followed the crest of the Cotswold escarpment, part of which was called Witcombe's edge or hedge in 1121, and a track across a spur at High Brotheridge in the northern corner, and it then included three landmarks: (fn. 2) a beech tree, a place of execution, was probably by that track; the tree called Prinknash (fn. 3) was probably at the road junction called Prinknash Cross or Prinknash (later Cranham) Corner; (fn. 4) and Idel Berge, a barrow of which no trace is visible, was at the north-western corner. The northern boundary was the subject of a perambulation, requested in 1254, between a Cranham estate and Philip of Matson's land, presumably Pope's wood, now in Upton St. Leonards but formerly part of Matson. (fn. 5) The bank forming part of the eastern boundary of the parish probably marked the earlier limit of Hazel Hanger wood in Brimpsfield. Elsewhere the Cranham boundaries followed field boundaries and streams, including in the south-east a tributary of the river Frome.
The parish comprised 1,856 a. (fn. 6) in area after 1882 when Cranham absorbed a small detached part of Painswick in the south-west, where an open field had been shared by the two parishes. (fn. 7) In 1885 detached portions of Miserden and Bisley, containing 55 a. at Wateredge to the south-east and 3 a. east of Wateredge, were added to Cranham, (fn. 8) which retained 774 ha. (1,914 a.) in 1978. (fn. 9) The following description refers to the ancient parish as it was before 1882.
Outside the valleys the parish lies almost exclusively above the 152-m. contour on ground rising to over 274 m. at High Brotheridge and in the eastern part and to over 259 m. at Saltridge hill in the south-western corner. Most of the high land is on the Inferior Oolite but in places there are deposits of fuller's earth and the Great Oolite. The valley bottoms lie on Midford Sand, from the base of which issue many springs, but in those of the Painswick stream and the Overtown brook Upper Lias clay is exposed. (fn. 10)
Beech woods form the major feature of the landscape especially on the steep slopes in the north but the land on the high south-eastern plateau is suited to arable, and in the south-western part, an area of early inclosure, meadow land and pasture predominate. The extensive woodland recorded as Buckholt from the late 11th century extends into adjacent parishes (fn. 11) and includes large tracts subject by 1338 to common pasture rights. (fn. 12) The woods on the Brimpsfield estate, from which 76 trees were sold in the year 1379–80, (fn. 13) were a regular source of firewood for St. Sepulchre's Hospital, Gloucester, from the later 12th century (fn. 14) and Llanthony Priory from 1477. (fn. 15) In the mid 16th century a Gloucester tanner felled trees in Climperwell wood, lying partly in Brimpsfield on the south-eastern boundary. (fn. 16) Later that century copyhold tenants on the dean and chapter's estate were using oaks, ashes, and elms to repair houses, ploughs, and fences or, if the trees were dead, as firewood. (fn. 17) In the later 18th century the woods supplied timber for gun-stocks sold in Birmingham and for charcoal; (fn. 18) charcoal-burning continued in the later 19th century. (fn. 19) In 1901 c. 628 a., about a third of the parish, was covered by woodland and plantations (fn. 20) which provided much timber during the Second World War. (fn. 21)
The common woodland included those areas which became Cranham common in the centre of the parish, Saltridge common wood in the south, Cranham wood in the east, and Buckholt wood in the north (also known in the north-western corner as Short wood). (fn. 22) In the mid 17th century common rights in Buckholt wood were enjoyed by the inhabitants of Cranham, Brimpsfield, Birdlip, Brockworth, Upton St. Leonards, and Witcombe. (fn. 23) The common woods and the common that had been left when the woodland had been cleared were guarded against encroachments during the 19th century. In 1868 the commoners demolished several walls, erected during Robert Bartholomew Lawes's rebuilding of Cranham Lodge near the eastern boundary, as the area inclosed was larger than that which had been agreed. (fn. 24) Cranham common retained c. 105 a. in 1921 (fn. 25) and in all c. 453 a. of the parish were commonable in the mid 20th century. (fn. 26)
The Port way from Gloucester ascended the escarpment to Cranham Corner where several routes branched off across the parish. That to Birdlip became part of the route between Painswick and Cheltenham which was turnpiked in 1785. (fn. 27) The section between Painswick and Cranham Corner was moved to the south-east shortly before 1820 (fn. 28) when the new road from Cranham Corner through Shurdington to Cheltenham was completed. (fn. 29) The junction with the Port way was moved south-westwards shortly before 1853 (fn. 30) when the Gloucester–Birdlip road through Cranham Corner was included in a turnpike. (fn. 31) At Cranham Lodge that route's course was diverted to the north in 1889. (fn. 32) A road in the south-eastern part of the parish, part of the old Calf way route from Chalford to Birdlip, (fn. 33) was turnpiked as the Stroud–Cheltenham road in 1800. (fn. 34)
Cranham church stands on a ridge south of the Painswick stream and its isolated position suggests that when it was built, probably as a chapel before the late 12th century, settlement in the area was dispersed and confined to clearings from the woodland. Cranham village, the main settlement, grew up by the stream 1 km. to the north-east on a road leading from the Calf way to meet the Port way route at the top of the escarpment. In the eastern part the Old House, which has a doorway dated 1687 and 1727, is a late-17th-century gabled structure but most of the houses in the village date from the 19th century. Cranham House was the home of a curate c. 1880. (fn. 35) The pound at the eastern end of the village had been constructed by 1838. (fn. 36) Higher up and east of the village is the Knoll, a settlement which was enlarged considerably after the Second World War. Knoll House, the principal building, dates from the conversion in 1845 of an earlier dwelling as the residence of Peter Horlick. (fn. 37) During the 19th century a school and school-house were built by the road from the church and in the 1950s many houses were put up in the area of the church and school, including both private houses and an estate of 12 council houses. The playing field south-east of the church was opened in 1953. (fn. 38)
In the western part of the parish are scattered houses which belonged to small estates, farms, and mills. (fn. 39) North-east of the church Simmonds Hall Farm is an 18th-century farm-house with later additions. Brook Farm, by the Overtown brook, was rebuilt c. 1945. (fn. 40) The main range at Haregrove, lower down the valley, retains a medieval fireplace and blocked doorway which are probably in situ. The house appears to have been remodelled at various times and c. 1790 the south end was extended westwards and refronted; in the mid 19th century it belonged to the Pinchin family. (fn. 41) Further south-west Hazelhanger (formerly Woodlands Farm) (fn. 42) was a small farm-house on the Trotman family estate in the mid 19th century. (fn. 43) It was converted as a private residence after the land had been sold in the early 20th century. (fn. 44) Batch Farm, further west, may be of medieval origin but the house, which was possibly part of the property in Cranham and Painswick granted to Walter Tocknell in 1589, (fn. 45) was remodelled probably c. 1600 (fn. 46) and in the 19th century when the walls were heightened. To the north Mann's Court, which belonged to William Mann (d. 1766) and was acquired by the Frankiss family in 1790, was rebuilt in the 19th century. (fn. 47)
There were probably dwellings at Cranham (formerly Prinknash) Corner by 1381 when several people surnamed Nash lived in Cranham. (fn. 48) Four houses south of the road to the village were built in the 1920s. Further east stands Woodside Farm, a symmetrical early-18th-century house; it belonged to a small copyhold estate farmed by the Sadler family until the mid 19th century. (fn. 49) In 1918 the farm-house was bought by James Herbert Edwards (fn. 50) who built Woodside, to the west, as his residence. He rebuilt that house c. 1929 and laid out formal gardens to the south including a pond on the Painswick stream. (fn. 51) The area south of Cranham Corner also included Fream's Farm and several other farm-houses belonging to copyhold estates. The small house at Greenhill is dated 1698. Yewricks was originally the farm-house for a smallholding called Rises in 1743 (fn. 52) but by 1838 it was occupied as two dwellings (fn. 53) and it was later rebuilt.
There are few houses in the wooded northern part of the parish, where earthworks provide evidence of an early occupation of High Brotheridge. (fn. 54) Brotheridge Farm, a modern farmhouse on the eastern side, occupies a site recorded in the mid 18th century. (fn. 55) The Buckholt, by the Birdlip road, dates from the 19th century. There was a dwelling at Crayfield Cottage on the northern boundary in 1728 when it belonged to a copyhold. The house, which was possibly in ruins in 1838, was rebuilt later that century. The barn to the south-east is on the site of a farmstead which was part of a copyhold estate acquired by the Haviland family in 1776. (fn. 56) Settlement in the eastern part of the parish is sparse. Bramble Cottage, south-east of the Knoll, dates from the mid 19th century. At Dunley to the east a few cottages of similar date were demolished in the early 20th century (fn. 57) and by 1935 a substantial house and cottage had been built there. (fn. 58) Upper Cranham, recorded in 1543, (fn. 59) was possibly located to the south-west at Overtown where there were several dwellings in the 17th century (fn. 60) and one substantial house in 1978. There was a dwelling near the south-eastern boundary at Climperwell (called Habewoldesham in the late 12th century) by 1227 when a man was described as of Climperwell. (fn. 61) At the parish boundary south-west of Climperwell there was a small settlement at Foston's Ash on the Calf way in 1777. (fn. 62)
Ladlecombe, east of Cranham village, included fishponds when it was taken into the grounds of a summer retreat built c. 1821 for William Todd, a timber-merchant. The retreat, which stood in a glade by the Birdlip road, comprised several thatched buildings with verandahs, sometimes described as Swiss cottages (fn. 63) or villas. One contained the principal rooms, and another the service accommodation and kitchens. Sporting facilities were housed in the other buildings, including a billiard room. The retreat was known as Cranham Lodge by the late 1830s, (fn. 64) when it was retained in hand by the Revd. Edward Reed, (fn. 65) and it had fallen into disuse by 1861. (fn. 66) In 1866 R. B. Lawes rebuilt the two main buildings as a single residence, (fn. 67) which in 1872 was bought by the tenant, the Revd. Arthur Armitage of Cheltenham. He enlarged the house and in 1878 sold it back to William Frederick Hicks Beach, (fn. 68) who lived there for a time (fn. 69) before altering it in the later 1880s. (fn. 70)
In 1898 Cranham Lodge became part of the Cotswold Sanatorium, a private hospital begun that year for the treatment of tubercular diseases. The sanatorium, which also occupied a group of buildings, including chalets, to the west, had c. 32 patients by early 1901, (fn. 71) but the number rose considerably (fn. 72) and additional chalets were built in the 1920s. (fn. 73) In 1949 Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, finished his last articles in the sanatorium. (fn. 74) It closed in 1956 (fn. 75) and most of the buildings were demolished. In 1978 Cranham Lodge, which was in a dilapidated state, was used for agricultural storage and the forecourt for a timber-yard. The Red House, to the west, was built c. 1910 and later became the home of the Hoffman family, which ran the sanatorium for many years. (fn. 76)
In Cranham 14 people were assessed for the subsidy in 1327 (fn. 77) and 53 for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 78) There were said to be 24 households in 1563, (fn. 79) 93 communicants in 1603, (fn. 80) and 26 families in 1650. (fn. 81) The population, which was estimated at 170 c. 1710 and was said to be nearly the same c. 1775, (fn. 82) had reached 250 by 1801 and 428 by 1841. It had dropped to 354 by 1851 but had recovered by the 1860s when a recession in local employment led to another though less sharp fall. The population declined further in the 1880s, although a farmhouse was included in the area added to the parish then, and by 1911 it had dropped to 282. A rise to 441 by 1921 was accounted for by an increase in the number of patients in the sanatorium but after the Second World War the parish was favoured as a residential area and by 1971 the population had reached 476. (fn. 83)
In 1619 a weaver kept a victualling house in Cranham. (fn. 84) In 1788 the parish had two alehouses (fn. 85) and in 1838 a public house and three beer shops, (fn. 86) one of which was possibly the Potters Arms recorded in 1851. (fn. 87) In Cranham village the Black Horse inn, recorded in 1787, (fn. 88) had moved to a pair of cottages south-west of Cranham House by 1856. (fn. 89) Foston's Ash inn, which may have opened soon after 1800 when Foston's Ash became the junction of turnpike roads from Stroud and Chalford to Cheltenham, was mentioned in 1833. (fn. 90) The building dates from the 19th century and has been enlarged. On the Painswick–Cheltenham road the Royal William inn south-west of Cranham Corner was probably built shortly before 1837 when it was called the King William. The inn, part of the Sadler family's copyhold estate, was a local meeting-place (fn. 91) and in the mid 19th century two friendly societies met there. (fn. 92) The building was altered between 1904 and 1915. (fn. 93)
In Cranham village a disused pottery north-west of the Painswick stream was converted as a village institute in 1922 but since 1947 it has been the headquarters of the Gloucestershire Scout Association. (fn. 94) At the eastern end of the village a pottery, which had been converted as a nonconformist chapel, became the village hall in 1977. (fn. 95) The Cranham feast, which c. 1703 was held on the Sunday after the feast of St. James (25 July), was evidently an ancient event in honour of the patron saint of the parish church. (fn. 96) It lapsed during the Second World War and from its revival in 1951 was held on the day after the second Sunday in August. (fn. 97)
Manors and Other Estates
In 1086 Cranham was part of Osbern Giffard's large Brimpsfield estate, (fn. 98) but his successors had granted the area north-east of the Painswick stream to Gloucester Abbey by 1121, (fn. 99) and land at Climperwell had passed to Flaxley Abbey by 1227. (fn. 100) From the later 16th century that part of Cranham remaining in the Brimpsfield manorial estate was distinguished as the manor of CRANHAM. (fn. 101) In 1740, when the manors of Brimpsfield and Cranham passed to Alice and Emm Gilbert, (fn. 102) Windsor Sandys retained c. 398 a., comprising the common and common woodland in Cranham and Brimpsfield. (fn. 103) That land passed with the Miserden estate, which he inherited in 1745, to Sir Edwin Bayntun Sandys (fn. 104) while the manorial rights passed with Brimpsfield to Joseph Pitt. (fn. 105) Sir Edwin disputed Pitt's title, (fn. 106) but Pitt claimed the woodland and common (fn. 107) and was said in 1838 to own all save c. 17 a. at Ladlecombe. (fn. 108) The dispute was resolved in 1840 when Pitt sold Cranham manor to James Wittit Lyon. (fn. 109) It was bought in 1862 by Robert Bartholomew Lawes and in 1869 by Richard Mullings of Stratton. (fn. 110) He sold it in 1871 to William Frederick Hicks Beach, (fn. 111) heir to the Witcombe estate, (fn. 112) with which the Cranham property descended to William Whitehead Hicks Beach (d. 1975). His widow Diana retained the estate but gave the woodland to her son Mr. Mark Hicks Beach. (fn. 113)
In 1096 Ellis Giffard (I) gave Gloucester Abbey part of the woodland called Buckholt with 3 bordars. That land was presumably included in the grant, made to the abbey in 1121, of that heavily wooded part of the Brimpsfield estate north-west of the Painswick stream. When Ellis Giffard (II) became a monk of the abbey after 1148 he granted it his remaining property in Cranham, except for part of the woodland, (fn. 114) but that gift was set aside in 1167 in exchange for land belonging to the Giffards in Ullingswick (Herefs.). (fn. 115) In the early 14th century the abbey was apparently dispossessed by John Giffard but in 1343 Maurice of Berkeley, lord of Brimpsfield, acknowledged the abbey's right. (fn. 116)
The abbey's property was known as the manor of CRANHAM in 1541 when it was granted to the dean and chapter of Gloucester cathedral, (fn. 117) and it was held with Barnwood and Wotton manors under the dean and chapter by c. 1547 when a lease was apparently granted to Sir Thomas Seymour. The lease had passed to Thomas Winston of King's Stanley by 1550 when a lease in reversion was granted to Thomas Ellill of Northleach. The later lease passed to Edward Stephens (d. 1587) who devised it to his son Thomas, later of Over Lypiatt, whose title was contested by the dean and chapter in 1597. Thomas's grandson, Thomas Stephens of Sodbury, (fn. 118) took a lease of Barnwood and Cranham manors for a term of 21 years in 1661. Thereafter the estate was held under leases renewed every few years. In 1674 a lease was granted to George Johnson of Bowden Park near Chippenham (Wilts.) and from 1687 William Johnson was lessee. In 1713 Mary Wright of Gloucester was granted a lease but William's son William, a Bristol merchant, was lessee from 1715 until his death in 1750. Leases were then granted in turn to his father-in-law, Anthony Edwards of Little Shurdington (d. 1760), and his wife, Elizabeth Johnson (d. 1773). (fn. 119) Elizabeth was succeeded by her three daughters, Elizabeth wife of John Jones, Hester wife of William Walbank, rector of Cranham, and Sarah Wyatt, (fn. 120) but in 1783 the dean and chapter took the demesne and manorial rights in hand. (fn. 121) The following year they granted a lease of the demesne, which comprised woodland, to John Morris of Gloucester (fn. 122) but retained the manorial rights until the mid 1850s when they passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 123) The farm-land (c. 275 a.) continued to be held by copy after 1783 but about half was enfranchised in 1799 (fn. 124) and the remainder in the later 19th century. (fn. 125)
About 1799 the dean and chapter sold the woodland to the lessee, Robert Morris. He sold it to Thomas Jeffreys but by 1803 the woods had been bought by David Whatley. (fn. 126) Samuel Lediard owned them in 1838 (fn. 127) and Mary Croft Lediard sold them in 1862 to M. R. Griffin and J. Gardner. (fn. 128) The property, called Buckholt manor in 1866, (fn. 129) was purchased about that time by John Dearman Birchall of Upton St. Leonards (d. 1897). (fn. 130) His son and heir John, knighted in 1929, died in 1941. The woodland then passed in turn to his wife Adela (d. 1965) and son Maj. P. D. Birchall who owned c. 250 a. in Buckholt wood in 1978. (fn. 131)
In the late 12th century Llanthony Priory granted a yardland at CLIMPERWELL, formerly part of the Brimpsfield estate, to Dore Abbey (Herefs.) for a rent of 3s. Dore Abbey conveyed it to Flaxley Abbey which by 1227 had acquired more land there and at Bidfield in Bisley. (fn. 132) The abbey's Climperwell estate, which at the Dissolution was valued with property in Arlingham, (fn. 133) was described as a manor or grange in 1537 when the Crown granted it to Sir William Kingston (d. 1540). He was succeeded by his son Sir Anthony (fn. 134) (d. 1556), whose illegitimate son Edmund had licence in 1565 to grant it with Bidfield manor to his brother-in-law Edward Barnard. (fn. 135) Edward (d. 1570) left Climperwell to Edmund's son Anthony Kingston (d. 1591), whose son William was seised of it at his death in 1614. (fn. 136) In 1617 Charles and Anthony Kingston granted the estate for life to William's widow Mary, who had married Sherrington Talbot. (fn. 137) By 1762 Climperwell had been acquired by Samuel Hayward (fn. 138) (d. 1790), who was succeeded by his son-in-law Walter Wilkins, (fn. 139) M.P. for Radnorshire. (fn. 140) Walter Hayward Wilkins de Winton owned it in 1838 when it comprised c. 290 a. in Cranham and Brimpsfield, (fn. 141) but by 1860 it was part of John Hall's Brimpsfield estate (fn. 142) with which it passed. (fn. 143) By 1951 the farm-house, which dates from a late-19th-century rebuilding, had been acquired with c. 620 a., mostly in Brimpsfield, by Albert Broadstock. (fn. 144)
Evidence that Henry I granted Cirencester Abbey land in Cranham was apparently forged but in the 12th or early 13th century the abbey acquired 1 hide of land there from the Brimpsfield estate. (fn. 145) The land, which at the Dissolution was administered with the abbey's manor of Througham in Bisley and included property in Upper Cranham, was granted by the Crown in 1543 to Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple. The following year they conveyed it to John Robins (fn. 146) of Matson whose son Thomas inherited it in 1564. (fn. 147)
Richard Davies, who purchased land in Cranham in 1624, (fn. 148) was a member of a family whose OVERTOWN estate was settled in 1658, on the marriage of John Davies. John's son John enlarged the estate by several purchases, including one from a branch of the Cowles family in 1714. After his death before 1728 the estate passed in turn to his wife Abigail and son Halliday (fn. 149) who conveyed part in 1738 to his eldest brother John, a doctor. (fn. 150) By 1771 John had apparently acquired much more of the estate from Halliday (fn. 151) (d. 1783), (fn. 152) who in 1779 purchased from Samuel Sandys a substantial holding bought by Windsor Sandys in 1721. (fn. 153) By 1838 the Overtown estate (c. 395 a.) had passed to the Revd. John Davies (fn. 154) (d. 1870), but by 1860 his sister Martha was in possession. Martha (d. 1871) (fn. 155) left it to the Revd. William Henry Temple. (fn. 156) His successor Reginald Willock Temple (fn. 157) sold it in 1922 to Henry Workman, (fn. 158) owner of the Ebworth estate in Painswick. Henry (d. 1924) (fn. 159) was succeeded by his nephew F. E. Workman (d. 1962) and by 1978 the Cranham woodland had been divided between Mr. John Workman, his son, and Mrs. D. D. Walmsley, one of his daughters. They owned the Cranham farm-land jointly but c. 1966 the house had been sold to Mr. P. G. Meigh. (fn. 160) Old Overtown House, a small house of the early 17th century, had a short south wing added at the eastern end by John Davies in 1660 (fn. 161) when it was known as Colliers. (fn. 162) A barn which abuts the western gable was incorporated in the house in the 20th century. East of the house farm-buildings, used as service rooms in the 19th century, may have been built as a house in the 17th century.
Part of a large estate owned by George Cowles (d. 1627) (fn. 163) had been sold by 1660 to Sylvanus Wood, (fn. 164) owner of the Ebworth estate (fn. 165) which in 1838 included c. 145 a. in Cranham. (fn. 166) In the early 20th century the land was divided between Henry Workman (fn. 167) and Robert Preston (d. 1933); Preston built up an estate of 160 a. in the parish. (fn. 168)
In 1650 two copyholds were held by Thomas Fream (fn. 169) (d. 1663). (fn. 170) The Fream family's holding, which was farmed from FREAM'S FARM and comprised c. 91 a. in 1750, (fn. 171) passed in 1786 to William Hinton (fn. 172) and was enfranchised in 1799. (fn. 173) The Hinton family built up an estate which from 1804 included the small copyhold called Rises (fn. 174) and covered c. 272 a. in 1838. (fn. 175) In the late 1850s it belonged to Robert Hinton (fn. 176) and later passed through several owners (fn. 177) before William Sadler Hall acquired part with the farm-house. In 1918, following his death, his estate, which covered 435 a. in Cranham, Brockworth, and Upton St. Leonards, was broken up. (fn. 178) The farm-house, known in the late 19th century as Woodside, (fn. 179) is a tall gabled building of the 17th century. A two-storey wing added on the south-east is dated 1676 with the initials 'W.F.', presumably those of William Fream (fl. 1679). (fn. 180)
On the Brimpsfield estate in Cranham in 1536 two free tenements were recorded and there had been some amalgamation of its customary tenements, which included at least 7 half yardlands and 4 fardels and were held by 8 people for cash rent and customary payments. There was also a payment of 11s. for part of Hazel Hanger park, (fn. 181) presumably in the area of Brimpsfield where land was claimed for Cranham in 1838. (fn. 182) The rents of Cirencester Abbey's customary tenants were worth £1 13s. 4d. at the Dissolution. (fn. 183) Little is known about the demesnes of the various estates in Cranham but that on Flaxley Abbey's Climperwell estate included 3 plough-lands in 1291. (fn. 184)
In the 1260s the tenants listed on Gloucester Abbey's estate, which also included most of Barnwood parish, were unfree and owed aid and other customary payments. The customary tenements comprised 3 yardlands each held by a single tenant and 8 yardlands each held jointly by 2 tenants. The service owed from the full yardland, which was held with one or two acres of meadow land, included work on 4 days of the week with extra work on ploughing, harrowing, mowing, and haymaking. The ploughing-services included benerthe, the ploughing of an acre which was sown with the tenant's seed. During the busy months of August and September week-work was increased to 5 days, including reaping with 2 men, and bedrepes were performed. The cash rent owed from 24 smaller holdings, including 10 Cranham fardels, possibly represented commuted labour-services, for the tenants owed only bedrepes. There were also 19 or 20 mondaymen holding a few acres by a day's weekwork, which was doubled during August and September, and tasks at mowing and haymaking. (fn. 185) In 1650 the farm-land on the Cranham part of the estate was divided among 7 copyhold tenements held for terms of one or more lives. Apart from a mill the holdings ranged from c. 20 a. to c. 54 a. and included small areas of meadow land and pasture. (fn. 186) A century later 13 copyhold tenants held between them c. 275 a., in Cranham parish and a cottage in Brockworth. About half of that land was enfranchised in 1799 (fn. 187) and in 1826 7 copyhold tenements accounted for c. 137 a. (fn. 188) In 1894 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners retained only a few acres of former copyhold land near the northern boundary. (fn. 189)
In 1261 Cranham had at least two open fields, an east and a west field. (fn. 190) In the western part of the parish much of the farm-land, including arable, was inclosed early (fn. 191) though, west of Batch Farm, Haw field, an open field which had been partly inclosed by 1596, (fn. 192) was shared with Painswick parish until the early 19th century. (fn. 193) Buckholt and Sowdley fields were other areas of open-field land in the early 17th century. (fn. 194) Buckholt field, also called the Downs by 1740, lay south-east of the Knoll, (fn. 195) and Sowdley (or Town) field (fn. 196) was possibly the south field where John Davies and Samuel Hayward consolidated their holdings by the Birdlip–Bisley road in 1771. (fn. 197) The remaining part of that field, over 110 a., and an area of 76 a. east of Dunley were inclosed in the early 19th century. (fn. 198) Since then the common in the centre of the parish has been the principal common pasture.
By the early 13th century, when Flaxley Abbey was granted common rights in Brimpsfield and Cranham, (fn. 199) sheep-farming was important in the south-eastern part of the parish where the Climperwell estate was described as a sheep-walk in the late 16th century. (fn. 200) In 1381 the inhabitants included a shepherd, (fn. 201) and copyholders on the dean and chapter's estate in the north-western part of the parish in the mid 17th century enjoyed common rights for up to 100 sheep for each yardland held. (fn. 202) Many pigs were fed in the extensive beech woodland. In the late 16th century the rector kept swine (fn. 203) and customary tenants on the dean and chapter's estate paid pannage for rights in Buckholt wood. (fn. 204)
Arable farming occupied most of the land outside the woods and common in the 18th century (fn. 205) but in 1801 only 398 a. were said to be under crops, mainly wheat and barley with some oats, turnips, and peas. (fn. 206) In 1838 arable occupied 688 a. and meadow land and pasture only 215 a., (fn. 207) and in 1866 777 a. were returned as under crops, mainly cereals and roots, or temporary grass compared with 290 a. under permanent grass. Later that century the area under cereals and roots declined and that of recorded permanent grassland increased considerably. (fn. 208) Most of the 198 cattle returned for Cranham in 1866 were kept for dairying but dairy cows accounted for less than a quarter of those returned in 1926 when permanent grassland covered at least 762 a. and rough grazing 104 a. (fn. 209) The number of sheep returned declined from 964 in 1896 to 668 in 1926. (fn. 210) In the mid 20th century large flocks were kept in the eastern part of the parish but the numbers of cattle and pigs and the area given over to cereals increased. (fn. 211) By the 1950s most farms included dairy herds (fn. 212) and by 1976, when dairying and cereal production remained important, especially on the larger farms, the level of sheep-farming had been reduced. (fn. 213) Orchards accounted for at least 31 a. in 1926 and cider was produced at Mann's Court. Poultry-farming had been introduced by then (fn. 214) but fewer birds were reared after the Second World War. (fn. 215)
Agriculture was the chief source of employment in 1831 when there were 11 farms employing 43 labourers between them and 4 family-run farms. (fn. 216) There were two large farms in the eastern part of the parish: in 1838 Overtown covered 380 a. and Climperwell, lying partly in Brimpsfield, 259 a. Elsewhere the farms were much smaller: in 1838 Fream's comprised 185 a. but another eight ranged in size from 10 a. to 87 a. (fn. 217) In the later 19th century Woodside farm was evidently farmed with Fream's. (fn. 218) Several farms in the south-western part were being worked together by the early 20th century when the Woodlands farm-house was detached from its lands. (fn. 219) In the later 19th century the smaller farms were worked on a part-time basis, one farmer finding additional work drilling seed for his neighbours. (fn. 220) The number of full-time agricultural labourers had dropped to 22 by 1926 when half of the 20 holdings listed in the parish comprised 20 a. or less. Three farms included 150 a. or more. (fn. 221) In 1958 seven farms, Climperwell (240 a.) and six ranging from 25 a. to 94 a., were owneroccupied, and Woodside (70 a.) was worked by a bailiff. The other principal farms, Overtown (350 a.) and Mann's Court (30 a.), had tenants. (fn. 222) Small farms worked on a part-time basis remained a feature in 1976 when 10 of the 15 farms returned for the parish had less than 30 ha. (75 a.) each. (fn. 223)
The two mills recorded on the Brimpsfield estate in 1086 (fn. 224) were probably in Cranham, where the estate retained two mills in 1536. (fn. 225) In 1608 two millers were listed in the parish (fn. 226) and by the early 18th century four corn-mills were working there. (fn. 227)
Three were on the Painswick stream. (fn. 228) Cranham mill, north-west of the church, was owned by the Walker family in 1750 (fn. 229) and by Thomas Sadler in the mid 19th century. (fn. 230) It went out of use c. 1900 (fn. 231) and the building, which is largely of the 19th century, had been converted to domestic use by 1978. Sutton's mill, the next downstream, evidently belonged to Robert Bliss of Painswick, a baker, in the later 17th century (fn. 232) and to John Sutton by the end of the 18th. (fn. 233) It fell into disuse in the 1860s. (fn. 234) The mill buildings comprise a 17th-century house with a later mill, driven by an overshot wheel, at the western end. A range of out-buildings to the west had been converted to domestic use by 1978. Eddell's mill, near the boundary with Painswick, may have been the mill granted to Gloucester Abbey in 1121. (fn. 235) As a grist-mill, it was held by copy in 1650. (fn. 236) In 1731 the copyhold was granted to John King of Gloucester, a dyer, who devised it by will proved 1743 to his wife Mary. The copyhold was granted in 1783 to George Birch, (fn. 237) owner of Oliver's mill in Painswick, (fn. 238) and in 1797 to Thomas Eddells of Minchinhampton, a clothier. (fn. 239) The mill had been enfranchised by 1805 and was then worked as a cloth-mill under Eddells, who had gone bankrupt, by Benjamin Wood. (fn. 240) It was later worked as a corn-mill (fn. 241) but went out of use in the late 1860s. (fn. 242) The 19th-century building was extensively restored as a house in 1926. (fn. 243)
The fourth mill was on the Overtown brook south of Haregrove. (fn. 244) It was idle in the 1860s (fn. 245) but a new wheel was installed in 1869. (fn. 246) The mill was then worked by William Gardiner until the early 1890s (fn. 247) when it went out of use. (fn. 248) The building, which fell into ruins after the Second World War had been demolished by 1978. (fn. 249)
There are few references to trades in Cranham before the later 18th century. Cranham had a smith in 1327 (fn. 250) and in 1381 when a tailor and several brewers also lived there. (fn. 251) The only tradesmen listed in 1608 were a tailor and a weaver, (fn. 252) but a tucker lived in the parish in 1651. In the late 17th century and early 18th members of the Baylis family of clothiers lived in the parish (fn. 253) where another clothier was recorded in the middle of the 18th. (fn. 254)
By the later 18th century some inhabitants were employed in trades exploiting the natural resources of the parish and in 1831 31 families were supported by trade compared with 42 supported by agriculture. (fn. 255) A mason lived in Cranham in 1797 (fn. 256) and the sites of quarries were discernible in the northern and eastern parts of the parish in 1978. Timber-merchants are recorded from the later 18th century. (fn. 257) In the mid 19th century there were timber-yards near the Knoll and at Greenhill (fn. 258) and several inhabitants were sawyers. (fn. 259) In the mid 20th century the woodland provided seasonal employment. (fn. 260)
By 1779, when John Weeks followed the trade of potter, (fn. 261) pottery was being made from clay found by the Painswick stream and in 1823 the Brimpsfield court leet prohibited the digging of clay and fuller's earth unless the pits were filled in immediately and levelled. (fn. 262) In the 19th century Cranham had several potteries producing chimney pots and rough earthenware suitable for horticultural or domestic use. (fn. 263) The potteries were small and sometimes short-lived, (fn. 264) but nevertheless provided much employment. A recession in the trade contributed to a fall in the population of Cranham and Miserden in the 1860s. (fn. 265)
John Weeks's pottery, which was at the east end of Cranham village, (fn. 266) was worked in the early 19th century by Joseph Lovegrove, who was also a timber-merchant. (fn. 267) William Moulton, who worked the pottery by 1851 (fn. 268) and claimed the patronage of Queen Adelaide (d. 1849), (fn. 269) bought it in 1872. He died in 1884 and his son Edward (fn. 270) went bankrupt in 1886. (fn. 271) Later Charles Stirling included ornamental ware among his products there but the pottery closed in 1906. (fn. 272) Thomas Richings, who bought a pottery in the village north-west of the stream in the mid 1860s, (fn. 273) was also a grocer and postmaster but enjoyed a wide reputation as a craftsman. Production at the pottery stopped shortly after his death in 1909. (fn. 274)
Apart from the usual village tradesmen the inhabitants included three shopkeepers in 1856 and two castrators in the early 20th century. (fn. 275) A brewery at the Royal William by 1838 (fn. 276) closed between 1904 and 1915. (fn. 277) The malt-houses on the opposite side of the Painswick–Cheltenham road were demolished later. (fn. 278) From the Second World War many parishioners worked in neighbouring towns. (fn. 279)
An agreement reached in the 1230s about the liberties of Brimpsfield manor (fn. 280) evidently concerned Cranham, for in the early 15th century the view of frankpledge for Cranham was held in the Brimpsfield manor court. Cirencester Abbey then received the amercements of its tenants. (fn. 281) Encroachments on common land, the cutting of turf, and the fencing off of quarries in Cranham, as well as the election of officers, provided the bulk of the business of the Brimpsfield court leet until 1829 and of the separate court leet for Cranham held from 1830 by Joseph Pitt. The court, which was meeting yearly at Foston's Ash inn by 1833, dealt with the state of a bridge in 1840. After 1847 it was convened less frequently but presentments survive until 1866 when it met at the Royal William. (fn. 282)
In 1546 the Brimpsfield manor court dealt with agrarian and tenurial matters for part of Cranham. (fn. 283) For the court of the dean and chapter's manors of Cranham, Barnwood, and Wotton, which the lessees held at will by 1650 (fn. 284) and until 1783, there are court books for 1726–47 and 1774–1867 and a roll of a court of survey in 1796. It was almost exclusively concerned with tenurial matters. (fn. 285)
The parish had two churchwardens by 1498 (fn. 286) and their accounts, which survive from 1790, include vestry minutes for the period 1822–1930. (fn. 287) Two overseers of the poor were recorded in 1677. (fn. 288) Annual expenditure on poor-relief rose from £30 in 1776 to £75 in 1803, when regular help was provided for 13 of the 25 persons given aid. (fn. 289) Expenditure remained relatively low in the early 19th century when many parishioners found employment outside agriculture. It had reached £148 by 1814, when half of the 36 relieved received regular aid, (fn. 290) but averaged £67 in the late 1820s and rose to £103 by 1833. (fn. 291) In 1819 some poorhouses known later as the Row were built in the eastern part of the village. (fn. 292) The parish, which in 1836 joined the Stroud poor-law union (fn. 293) and was later part of Stroud rural district, (fn. 294) was included in 1974 in the new Stroud district.
Cranham remained part of Brimpsfield parish in 1342 (fn. 295) but architectural evidence suggests that there was a chapel on the site of Cranham church by the late 12th century. The chapel, which may have been that recorded on Cirencester Abbey's property in 1261, (fn. 296) had evidently been assigned parochial rights by 1455 when it was in the gift of the lord of Brimpsfield, Richard, duke of York. (fn. 297) The living, which in 1486 was a rectory, (fn. 298) was united with Brimpsfield in 1798. (fn. 299) That union was dissolved in 1892 (fn. 300) and Cranham remained a separate living until 1976 when it was added to the united benefice of Miserden with Edgeworth. (fn. 301)
The advowsons of Cranham and Brimpsfield rectories shared the same descent until the late 19th century. (fn. 302) For Cranham William Sandys of Painswick made an unsuccessful presentation in 1663. In 1673 Kenneth Freeman of Gloucester was patron for a turn and in 1739 the bishop presented through lapse. (fn. 303) In the early 1890s Richard Henry Denne sold the patronage of Cranham to Thomas Dyer-Edwardes of Prinknash Park, (fn. 304) who became a Roman Catholic shortly before his death in 1926, (fn. 305) and by 1927 it belonged to Athelstan Riley. (fn. 306) In 1978 Mr. Q. T. P. M. Riley was joint patron of the united benefice. (fn. 307)
Cranham rectory was worth £6 4s. 7d. in 1535 (fn. 308) and £30 in 1650. (fn. 309) There was no glebe. Tithes of corn, hay, and wool were paid either in kind or cash by 1679 when the rector received no tithes from 10 a. belonging to the Ebworth estate; (fn. 310) by 1705 that estate paid a modus of £1 18s. for tithes. (fn. 311) In 1772 the rector disputed a claim by Samuel Sandys, Samuel Hayward, and William Hinton that their beech woods had always been exempt from tithes. (fn. 312) The living, valued at £50 in 1750, (fn. 313) was allotted £200 by Queen Anne's Bounty in 1793 (fn. 314) but because of its poverty was later united with Brimpsfield. (fn. 315) In 1895, after the dissolution of that union, Queen Anne's Bounty awarded Cranham rectory £200 to meet a gift of £120 and land adjoining the rectory house. (fn. 316)
The rectory house north-east of the church is probably on the same site as that recorded in 1563. (fn. 317) The west wall includes an early window, possibly of the 16th century, on the first floor. In 1679 the two-storey building was said to have six rooms and there was a barn to the west of five bays. (fn. 318) The barn was demolished in 1845 and the site taken into the churchyard in 1868. (fn. 319) From the later 18th century rectors were non-resident; in 1835 the house was occupied by the parish clerk (fn. 320) and later by the schoolmistress. (fn. 321) It was repaired and extended to the north in 1892 when it became the rectory house again. (fn. 322) It was sold in 1977. (fn. 323)
Walter Bidfield, rector from 1486, was presumably a local man. (fn. 324) In 1551 the rector, John Sewen, was found to be unlearned on some points of doctrine, (fn. 325) and in 1563 it was said that there had been no sermons for two years. Thomas Lane, who held Cranham from 1565 in plurality with Brimpsfield, was resident in 1570 (fn. 326) but later a curate served Cranham (fn. 327) and by 1584 Lane lived in Brimpsfield. (fn. 328) Thomas Wynell, rector from 1642, preached against Baptists and was ejected by the county committee before 1650 (fn. 329) when James Cleyland, described as a preaching minister, held the living. (fn. 330) Charles Stock, who subscribed in 1662 as curate of Great Witcombe and Cranham, was presented to Cranham the following year, when he was rector of Aston Ingham (Herefs.), but evidently failed to secure the living. In 1664 he subscribed as curate of Cranham and Upton St. Leonards and in 1667 Edward Jackson became rector. In 1669 Stock, by then rector of King's Stanley, was licensed to hold Cranham in plurality, but Brian Parry succeeded Jackson in 1670. Edward Hales, rector from 1673, also held Condicote from 1675. (fn. 331) William Hatton, rector from 1677, was suspended in 1688 for adultery (fn. 332) and was succeeded the following year by his curate, Obadiah Done (d. 1738). (fn. 333) Samuel Ridler, Done's successor, was also rector of Edgeworth (fn. 334) and a curate served Cranham. (fn. 335) Ridler's successor William Walbank, rector 1750–84, (fn. 336) served in person but lived in Brimpsfield (fn. 337) where he became a landowner in 1766. (fn. 338) William Metcalfe, rector 1785–97, was also rector of Brimpsfield from where he served in person. The livings were united in 1798 after James Pitt had become rector of both parishes (fn. 339) but from 1874 a curate was employed at Cranham. Henry Rastrick Hanson, rector of Cranham 1892–1924, (fn. 340) introduced High Church ritual. (fn. 341)
The church, which apparently was called ST. JAMES c. 1703, (fn. 342) is built of ashlar and has a chancel with north vestry and south chapel, aisled nave with north porch, and west tower. The chancel arch was probably of the late 12th century before its restoration in the late 19th century, (fn. 343) and there is a reset lancet window in the west wall of the south aisle and a 12th-century voussoir set over the north doorway. The only parts of the structure which have survived later restorations without being rebuilt are the late-15th- or early-16th-century tower, the south arcade, and parts of the south aisle including a window. The rood-screen is contemporary with those late medieval additions but the figures surmounting it were added in 1911. (fn. 344)
The church, which in the mid 19th century had a chancel, nave with south aisle, and west tower, (fn. 345) was restored between 1861 and 1862 by subscription, Martha Davies being the principal contributor. (fn. 346) Between 1894 and 1895 it was rebuilt, apart from the tower and aisle, and enlarged, chiefly at the expense of Thomas Dyer-Edwardes, to designs by Sidney Gambier Parry. (fn. 347) The chancel monuments were removed to the south aisle and the original east window, which had been inserted as a memorial to Mary Reynolds (d. 1852), to the west wall of the new north aisle. An altar stone was brought from Prinknash Park (fn. 348) and in 1915 Dyer-Edwardes gave some altar fittings, including a triptych of 16th-century paintings. (fn. 349) There were five bells c. 1703 (fn. 350) but in the mid 19th century the peal comprised three bells cast or recast by Abraham Rudhall in 1708 and one cast by John Rudhall in 1800. (fn. 351) One of the older bells was recast in 1887 when two by Mears and Stainbank were added, one being the gift of Joseph Alexander Horlick. (fn. 352) Four were recast in 1947 by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon (Surr.). (fn. 353) The plate includes a chalice of 1716. (fn. 354) The earliest surviving parish register, which begins in 1666, contains entries for Prinknash. (fn. 355) The lych-gate was built as a memorial to men of Cranham and Prinknash killed in the First World War. (fn. 356)
In 1642 a Baptist preacher serving a meeting at Whaddon was active in Cranham (fn. 357) and, although no nonconformists were recorded there in 1676, (fn. 358) 12 people were presented in 1682 for not receiving the sacrament. (fn. 359) A group of Presbyterians, numbering 10 in 1735, has not been traced after 1750, (fn. 360) and there were a few, evidently shortlived, meetings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 361) In 1839 Particular Baptists built a chapel in the eastern part of the village. The meeting was too poor to employ a minister in 1851 when the average attendance was ten. (fn. 362) Services were still held in the early 1880s but the building was demolished at the end of the century. (fn. 363) Congregationalists were meeting in the parish by 1899 (fn. 364) and in 1930 they converted the pottery at the east end of the village as a chapel, (fn. 365) for which furniture and fittings were made by Peter Waals. (fn. 366) The meeting had seven members in 1965. (fn. 367) The chapel was closed in the mid 1970s and adapted as a village hall. (fn. 368)
In 1818 there were dame schools in Cranham teaching a total of c. 25 children. (fn. 369) A dayschool begun in 1827 taught 55 children, including infants, in 1833 when it was supported by a private benefactor. (fn. 370) It was held in the rectory barn until 1845 (fn. 371) when a National school, known later as Cranham C. of E. school, opened in a new building on the road from the church to the village. (fn. 372) The income was supplied in part by subscriptions and pence and at first the boys and girls, who c. 1846 numbered 18 and 19 respectively, were taught separately. (fn. 373) A school-house was built c. 1883. (fn. 374) The average attendance at the school, which Thomas Dyer-Edwardes enlarged in 1894, was 70 in 1897 (fn. 375) but had fallen to 27 by 1936. (fn. 376) In 1948 there were 11 children on the roll but by 1958 that number had risen to 34 (fn. 377) and in 1978 the attendance was 40. (fn. 378)
Charities for the Poor
In 1868 George Jones of Upton St. Leonards gave a pair of cottages in Cranham village with £162 7s. 7d. stock to provide rent-free accommodation for widows or, in default, widowers. In 1900, when one cottage was empty and the other let, a Scheme included unmarried people among the beneficiaries. (fn. 379) In the early 1970s, when the charity's income was made up of donations and c. £3 from investments, one cottage remained empty because of failure to meet local authority building regulations. (fn. 380)