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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COLN ST. ALDWYNS
Coln st. aldwyns, known until 1959 as Coln St. Aldwyn, (fn. 1) is a rural parish lying 12.5 km. ENE. of Cirencester. The ancient parish, which before 1935 comprised 2,666 a., included Williamstrip, a large detached piece of land to the east almost completely surrounded by Hatherop and Eastleach Turville. (fn. 2) The name Williamstrip was recorded from 1287 (fn. 3) but in 1086 Williamstrip was represented by an estate called Hatherop. That estate was connected tenurially with land in Eastleach Turville (fn. 4) with which part of Williamstrip was assessed for the subsidy in 1327, (fn. 5) and in the early 15th century Williamstrip and part of Eastleach Turville formed a single tithing. (fn. 6) The inclusion of Williamstrip in Coln St. Aldwyns parish by 1505 (fn. 7) probably originated from the grant of some of its tithes to Gloucester Abbey before 1096. (fn. 8) Nevertheless in Williamstrip an estate was said to be in Hatherop parish in the later 16th century (fn. 9) and the alternative name of Hatherop was used for another estate in 1554. (fn. 10)
The main part of the parish (1,999 a.), roughly rectangular in shape, was bounded on the south by the river Coln and extended northwards to the river Leach, which had ceased to run there by 1976, and beyond. There the Aldsworth road marked the western boundary but elsewhere the boundaries followed lanes and field boundaries, (fn. 11) including Hatherop hedge mentioned in 1677. (fn. 12) Williamstrip, after changes in its boundaries from the later 18th century including an exchange before 1812 of 61 a. for 92 a. of Hatherop, (fn. 13) was an irregularly shaped piece of land of 667 a. extending north-eastwards from Hatherop village to the Leach. It was bounded for short distances by the Hatherop road on the south and the Hatherop–Burford road and Akeman Street on the south–east. (fn. 14) In 1935 the two parts of the parish were united geographically and the south-eastern boundary was brought into line with the Hatherop and Hatherop–Burford roads by absorbing 818 a. of Hatherop, to which 57 a. were transferred. The whole of Williamstrip park was thus brought into the enlarged parish, which comprises 1,387 ha. (3,427 a.). (fn. 15) The following account relates to the area included in the parish until 1935 and those parts of Hatherop in the park.
The land, which above the valleys of the Coln and Leach rises from 122 m. to over 137 m., is formed by the Great Oolite overlaid on the higher ground by Forest Marble. (fn. 16) Until inclosure in 1770 the main part of the parish was largely covered by open fields and there was a common south of the Leach. Meadow land was scarce and Downhall or Downhill meadow, the principal water-meadow by the Coln, lay partly in Hatherop. (fn. 17) The Coln was famed as a trout stream by the late 17th century. (fn. 18)
Bratch copse, the principal wood in Coln St. Aldwyns, was called Aldwins grove in 1824. (fn. 19) In Williamstrip woodland accounted for at least 20 a., mostly ash, c. 1680. (fn. 20) Tyning wood was recorded in 1754 together with woodland east of Williamstrip Park house and a small ornamental park north of the house. (fn. 21) Williamstrip park, created by Samuel Blackwell between 1769 and 1777, covered a rectangular area bounded on the north by Akeman Street, on the east by the old Hatherop–Burford road, on the south by the Hatherop road and on the west by a lane following the boundary of the main part of the parish. A lake was created north-east of the house. (fn. 22) After an exchange of land with Sir John Webb of Hatherop in 1778 the park was enlarged by the inclusion of Downhall meadow and other land and further ornamented. (fn. 23) As a deer park it inclosed c. 199 a. about 1785. (fn. 24) Home covert to the north-east had been planted by 1824 (fn. 25) and Cockrup Farm to the west had been taken in by 1881, possibly after road changes in 1871. (fn. 26) The park also included a triangular piece of Hatherop in the angle of Akeman Street and the Hatherop–Burford road, (fn. 27) until 1870 part of the Hatherop glebe and conveyed the following year to Sir Michael Edward Hicks Beach. (fn. 28) In 1901 Coln St. Aldwyns parish contained 119 a. of woods and plantations. (fn. 29)
Akeman Street, a route used by the Romans (fn. 30) and recorded in 1394, (fn. 31) ran north-eastwards from the Coln. It was crossed by the salt-way between Droitwich and Lechlade, and the village grew up south of the junction and above the valley of the Coln, which had been bridged by 1559. (fn. 32) Akeman Street, which was connected to the village by the lane along the parish boundary, remained the principal route to Burford until 1777. (fn. 33) Then it was replaced by the road through Hatherop, which was straightened, and a road built from Hatherop village north-eastwards to Akeman Street to replace that leading northwards through Williamstrip. (fn. 34) The lane from Coln St. Aldwyns village continued beyond Akeman Street to Dean Farm in Hatherop but in 1871 the southern part was closed and the remainder joined to the Aldsworth road by a new road. At the same time a road was built past Williamstrip Farm (fn. 35) thereby giving access across Williamstrip where right of way had been claimed in the mid 19th century. (fn. 36) The northern part of the salt-way was specified in the inclosure award of 1770 together with other routes, including one from Bratch copse to Dean Farm (fn. 37) which had gone out of use by 1862. (fn. 38) A private carriage-way from the southern end of the village to Williamstrip Park had been built by 1824. (fn. 39)
Until inclosure in 1770 settlement in the main part of the parish was concentrated in the village, where a church had been built at the western end and highest point by the later 12th century. Next to it stand the manor-house and vicarage, and a school and school-house were built near by in the mid 19th century. The main focal point of the village was a small green lower down where the Aldsworth road meets roads descending southwards along the main street to a 19th-century mill and eastwards towards Hatherop. West of the green Coln Stores, which bears the initials of Sir M. E. Hicks Beach, (fn. 40) was built in the late 19th century on the site of a church house (fn. 41) and incorporates on the west a fragment of an earlier, possibly 17th-century, building. The plot of land to the west served as a cemetery in 1976. There are several 17th-century cottages in the main street and one north of the Hatherop road is on a traditional cross-passage plan. A house to the south, in the later 18th century the Downhall farm-house, is of various dates from the 17th century. (fn. 42) Some 18th-century houses survive around the green but two buildings standing on it in the late 18th century (fn. 43) have been demolished. West of the Aldsworth road an early-18th-century house was extended on both sides in the 19th century. In the later part of that century some estate cottages were built to the north. The Mill House south-west of the village, which apparently was built in the later 19th century (fn. 44) for letting as a gentleman's residence, (fn. 45) was the home of Michael Hugh Hicks Beach in 1914. (fn. 46) The most striking 20th-century building is a block of six memorial cottages with a lodge built south-east of the school after the Second World War by Earl St. Aldwyn using masonry from a demolished range of Williamstrip Park. (fn. 47) The cottages provided cheap accommodation for retired estate labourers but by 1976 some were let at economic rents. (fn. 48)
There was a settlement at Cockrup Farm, north-east of the village, by the mid 13th century, when several people described as of Cockrup lived in the parish. (fn. 49) A house was recorded there in 1649 (fn. 50) and a farm-house from 1745. (fn. 51) Cockrup Farm is a late-18th-century house with later cottages to the west and out-buildings, including a range dated 1842, to the east.
The other outlying buildings in Coln St. Aldwyns were built after the inclosure of 1770. Swyre Farm, on a site north of the Leach recorded in 1777, (fn. 52) is a simple symmetrically-fronted house of the early 19th century with a back staircase and kitchen wing which had new rooms added to the west in the later 19th century. In 1971 it was bought by the Beshara Trust, a charity established to promote a spiritual orientation to life, and a 19th-century barn was converted as a meditation centre by the insertion of a central feature surmounted by a many-faceted geodesic dome. (fn. 53) At Moor's Farm, partly in Hatherop, where farm buildings were recorded from 1824, (fn. 54) a pair of 19th-century cottages stood derelict in 1976.
In Williamstrip, which c. 1775 had a population of 48, (fn. 55) Williamstrip Park stands on a site occupied at least since the late 17th century. To the south-west by the Hatherop road Dean Row, a row of cottages recorded in 1764 (fn. 56) and so called by 1830, (fn. 57) was rebuilt as estate cottages in the later 19th century. Williamstrip Farm in the north-east on a site recorded in 1754 (fn. 58) is an early-19th-century farmhouse. (fn. 59) Its out-buildings include a barn with an equestrian vane, presumably marking the riding school established there by 1919, (fn. 60) and there are some 19th-century estate cottages to the west.
In 1086 22 tenants were recorded in Coln St. Aldwyns and 12 in Williamstrip. (fn. 61) The numbers assessed for the subsidy in 1327 were 18 in Coln St. Aldwyns and 10 in part of Williamstrip, the inhabitants of another part being assessed with Eastleach Turville. (fn. 62) At least 25 people were assessed in Coln St. Aldwyns for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 63) In 1548 the parish was said to have 106 'houseling people' (fn. 64) but only 40 communicants were mentioned in 1551 (fn. 65) and 23 households in 1563. (fn. 66) There were 161 communicants in 1603 and 40 families in 1650, (fn. 67) after which the population increased rapidly to an estimated 300 by c. 1710 (fn. 68) and to 392 by c. 1775. (fn. 69) The last figure may be too high, for in 1801 the population was 385. It rose to 441 by 1831 and, after dropping to 428 by 1841, to 523 by 1871. It then fell to 310 by 1931 but in 1951, after the boundary changes of 1935, it stood at 327. By 1971 it had dropped to 263. (fn. 70)
An inn in Coln St. Aldwyns belonged to the Hatherop manor estate in 1653 and 1676. (fn. 71) Two innholders were licensed in 1755, (fn. 72) one of whom possibly occupied the Swan inn mentioned in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 73) From 1870 the parish had one beer retailer (fn. 74) who occupied premises east of the village street called the New inn by 1902. (fn. 75) The inn, a two-storey 18th-century building, has been much enlarged and was bought by the trustees of Viscount Quenington in 1917. (fn. 76)
In 1803 a friendly society in the parish had 44 members (fn. 77) and in 1876 the parish had clothing and coal clubs with 44 and 42 members respectively. (fn. 78) A benefit society was begun in 1908. (fn. 79) The parish had a lending library in 1833, the books being provided chiefly by the S.P.C.K. (fn. 80) A reading-room was opened in 1884 (fn. 81) but it was inadequate by 1912 when its function was taken over by a new parish room at the top of an old factory. (fn. 82) In 1914 the former vicarage barn south-west of the vicarage was converted as a village hall at the expense of Viscount St. Aldwyn. (fn. 83) It closed in 1967. (fn. 84)
The achievements of holders of Coln St. Aldwyns manor and the Williamstrip estate are noted below. The Hicks Beach family of Williamstrip became the dominant landed interest in the parish before 1845 with the acquisition by Sir Michael Hicks Hicks Beach of the leaseholds of Coln St. Aldwyns manor and the rectory estate. His son Michael Edward provided the village with a piped water-supply in 1878 (fn. 85) and electric street lighting by 1906. (fn. 86)
Manors and Other Estates
Between 779 and 790 Aldred, under-king of the Hwicce, granted an estate of 60 'manentes' in Coln St. Aldwyns, then called Enneglan, to Gloucester Abbey. (fn. 87) The estate was alienated by Wilstan, abbot from 1058, but Abbot Serlo had recovered it from the archbishop of York (fn. 88) by 1086 when it was assessed at 4 hides. (fn. 89) The abbey was granted free warren in 1354 (fn. 90) but by then its manor of COLN ST. ALDWYNS was held by a tenant at a rent of 13s. 6d. (fn. 91) John de Haudlo, tenant in 1322, (fn. 92) died in 1346 when the manor reverted to Isabel, widow of his son Richard. (fn. 93) Isabel, who married Robert of Hillesley, died in 1361 and, as her son Edmund de Haudlo had died, her heirs were her daughters Margaret and Elizabeth. (fn. 94) Margaret and her husband John of Appleby, who were awarded the manor for the life of Edmund's widow Alice, (fn. 95) secured it in 1366 (fn. 96) and in the early 15th century land there was said to be held from John. (fn. 97) The abbey later took the estate in hand but in the early 16th century the demesne was let at farm. (fn. 98)
In 1541 the manor was settled on the dean and chapter of Gloucester cathedral (fn. 99) who held it until the mid 19th century. Sir Giles Poole farmed the manor in the mid 16th century (fn. 100) but it was leased, evidently in 1550 for 90 years, to Sir Anthony Kingston. In 1556, after Sir Anthony's death, Ralph Jennings, to whom the lease had reverted, sold it to George Fettiplace who acquired a lease of the demesne, in which the Jennings family had had an interest, from Jerome Barnard. (fn. 101) From the mid 17th century George's descendants farmed the manor under leases for terms of 21 years, generally renewed after 4 to 10 years. (fn. 102) The dean and chapter resumed the manorial rights in 1804. (fn. 103)
George Fettiplace, a judge, died in 1577 and the estate passed in turn to his wife Cecily and son John (fn. 104) (d. 1636). John's heir was his brother Sir Giles Fettiplace of Poulton (Wilts., later Glos.) (fn. 105) (d. 1641) who was succeeded by his nephew John Fettiplace. (fn. 106) John, who served Parliament as governor of Cirencester, (fn. 107) acquired the freehold from the parliamentary commissioners in 1650 (fn. 108) but took a lease in 1660. (fn. 109) By 1677 he had been succeeded by his son Giles, a prominent Quaker, (fn. 110) who died in 1702 (fn. 111) leaving as his heirs his daughters Elizabeth, Frances, and Theophila. They and their descendants held joint leases of the manor. (fn. 112) Elizabeth died in 1716 (fn. 113) and her interest evidently passed to, among others, Rebecca, wife by 1765 of Sir John Bridger of Coombe in Hamsey (Suss.). (fn. 114) Their daughter Mary married George Shiffner, created a baronet in 1818. (fn. 115) Frances Fettiplace (d. 1717) married John Bellers (1654–1725), a Quaker philanthropist, and their son Fettiplace Bellers (?d. 1750) was a dramatist and philosopher. (fn. 116) Theophila Fettiplace married in turn Thomas Church (d. by 1705) and John Partridge (d. by 1720), (fn. 117) and her interest passed, apparently with Bourton-on-the-Water manor, to the Ingram family. In 1720 Joseph Ingram and his wife Mary, and later Samuel Ingram (d. c. 1777) and his brother Thomas (d. 1806), were named among the lessees. Thomas's daughter Frances (d. 1834) married John Rice, but a distant cousin, Bowyer Vaux, (fn. 118) had apparently acquired her interest by 1833. (fn. 119) The lessees who held c. 1,487 a. (fn. 120) sold the lease before 1845 to Sir Michael Hicks Hicks Beach of Williamstrip (fn. 121) who already leased c. 217 a. from the dean and chapter. (fn. 122) The freehold, which passed in 1855 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 123) was bought in 1860 by Sir Michael Edward Hicks Beach, (fn. 124) with whose Williamstrip estate it then passed.
Coln Manor, north of the church, is a large gabled house of various dates and generally of two storeys with attics. The central east-west range incorporates a smaller house, possibly that which had been built by the mid 16th century, (fn. 125) of conventional plan, with a cross-passage entered through a north porch, a ground-floor hall to the west, and former service accommodation to the east. Beyond the hall a parlour block is probably of the 17th century and there are additional rooms, perhaps of the same date, in an eastern cross-wing. In 1649 the house was said to have about 6 bays and 19 rooms (fn. 126) and in 1672 it was assessed on 12 hearths. (fn. 127) A new block with two rooms on each floor was added north of the parlour c. 1700. At that time the house was used for Quaker meetings and John Bellers lived there c. 1710. (fn. 128) The hall and some other rooms were refitted in the earlier 18th century when a staircase was put in the parlour end. Later Thomas Ingram lived in the house, (fn. 129) which was occupied by tenants in the early 19th century (fn. 130) and again in the early 1890s. (fn. 131) In 1896, when Sir M. E. Hicks Beach made it his country residence, an access passage was built along the south side of the hall range, the south-eastern room was greatly enlarged, and additions were made on the north-west. Some new panelling was introduced to the principal rooms but some surviving 17th-century panelling may have been refitted in first-floor rooms. The reversal in the house's arrangement, whereby the north wing at the parlour end became kitchens, was probably made then. (fn. 132) The house, which after the First World War was the home of Lucy Catherine, widow of the 1st Earl St. Aldwyn, (fn. 133) was bought by Hatherop Castle School c. 1968 and used as a sixth-form college until 1974. (fn. 134) During that period several rooms were subdivided. In 1976 the house was sold to Mr. Anthony Hunt, a consulting engineer, and all sub-dividing walls were removed and the central range and east wing adapted as offices for his firm. (fn. 135) An early-18th-century dovecot and stabling stand north of the house.
A farm with land in Coln St. Aldwyns and Hatherop, based on a capital messuage in the former called DOWNHALL and later known as Downhall farm, was held from the dean and chapter by John Blomer, lord of Hatherop manor. John (d. 1558) left the farm to his eldest son John (fn. 136) but his second son William, lord of Hatherop, later acquired it. (fn. 137) In 1769 Sir John Webb sold c. 166 a., mostly between the villages of Coln St. Aldwyns and Hatherop, to Samuel Blackwell, lord of Williamstrip, (fn. 138) who in 1778 acquired c. 81 a. near the two villages from Sir John by exchange for land in Quenington. (fn. 139)
In 1066 Dunning held an estate of 2 hides called Hatherop which by 1086 had passed to Roger de Lacy. It was held under him by William Devereux, (fn. 140) from whom the estate probably derived the name of WILLIAMSTRIP. The estate was held with land in Eastleach Turville with which it was assessed at a knight's fee in the early 14th century (fn. 141) and the overlordship passed with that of the Eastleach Turville land to the Verduns and their successors. (fn. 142)
In 1303 part of the estate was held by John Devereux, the rest having been granted to Thomas Dun and Bruern Abbey (Oxon.), (fn. 143) and by 1402 part, assessed at 2/3 fee, was held by several people, including Robert Andrews (d. 1437) and possibly Ralph Lingen. In the early 15th century Lingen owned lands there, some of which had once belonged to Robert Moryn. (fn. 144) Later John Lingen owned an estate with a capital messuage there which after his death passed to his daughter Joan, a minor in 1554. (fn. 145) Joan, who survived her husband, a Mr. Shelley, died in 1610 and her property, known as Williamstrip manor, passed to her cousin Edward Lingen. (fn. 146) By 1618 Edward had conveyed it to Henry Powle, (fn. 147) a member of a prominent Coln St. Aldwyns family. (fn. 148) Henry died in 1643 (fn. 149) and his son Richard sold the manor in 1657 to his younger brother Henry (fn. 150) who inherited Quenington manor. Henry (d. 1692) served as M.P. for Cirencester, East Grinstead (Suss.), and New Windsor (Berks.), and was Speaker of the House of Commons in the Convention Parliament of 1689, becoming Master of the Rolls the following year. (fn. 151) He was survived by his daughter Catherine who married Henry Ireton (d. 1711), and after her death in 1714 the estate passed under her will in turn to her cousins John Powle (fl. 1735) and (by 1741) William Forester. (fn. 152) In 1751 it was bought from Forester by Humphrey Mackworth Praed who in 1759 agreed to sell it to Samuel Blackwell. Blackwell, who became M.P. for Cirencester, mortgaged the estate before the sale was completed in 1761 and died in 1785. In 1790 the estate was sold under an Exchequer order of 1788 to Michael Hicks and his wife Henrietta Maria, following an agreement of 1784 between her father William Beach and Blackwell. (fn. 153) Michael, who took the name Hicks Beach in 1790 and was M.P. for Cirencester 1794–1818, died in 1830 and Henrietta Maria in 1837. She was succeeded by her grandson Sir Michael Hicks Hicks Beach, Bt., of Beverstone, who in 1854 was M.P. for East Gloucestershire. He died later that year to be succeeded by his son Michael Edward Hicks Beach, the statesman (d. 1916), who became Viscount St. Aldwyn in 1906 and Earl St. Aldwyn in 1915. (fn. 154) About 1907 he conveyed his land to his son Michael Hugh, M.P. for Tewkesbury and from 1915 Viscount Quenington, who died in 1916. His son and heir Michael John, who inherited the earldom later that year as a minor, (fn. 155) entered his property in 1937 (fn. 156) and retained 850 ha. (2,100 a.) of the Williamstrip estate in 1976. (fn. 157)
Williamstrip Park incorporates part of the house for which Henry Powle was assessed on 15 hearths in 1672. (fn. 158) That house, possibly of the early 17th century and perhaps with a courtyard in the centre, was roughly square in plan and the principal elevation, to the south, had a central porch of two storeys with square-sided bays on each side. Internal alterations accompanied the building c. 1700 of new fronts to the east and west of 7 bays with sash-windows. Land to the north-east occupied by extensive formal gardens (fn. 159) had been landscaped informally by 1754. (fn. 160) Mid-18th-century alterations to the house included adding canted bays to the west front and heightening the walls to include the attic storey, central pediments being built on the east and west fronts. (fn. 161) In 1791 Sir John Soane appears to have rebuilt the south front on the line of the front of the 17th-century bays and refaced the west front, which to maintain its symmetry was extended to the north, Soane probably being responsible for the segmental bays and central portico. He designed the two-storeyed addition on the north and refitted the library. (fn. 162) Some internal alterations were carried out in 1834 and there was much interior redecoration of ground-floor rooms on the south side, including the library, to plans by David Brandon between 1865 and 1866, when the canted bays were presumably added. (fn. 163) The house was occupied by tenants in the 1890s. (fn. 164) There was some rearrangement in and around the library in 1946 and a range of outbuildings to the north was demolished then. (fn. 165) The stables date from the early 18th century. A lodge at the western end of Hatherop village south of the house, designed by Richard Pace in 1822, (fn. 166) was demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 167) The eastern lodge on the Burford road, dating from c. 1810, (fn. 168) and the lodge east of Coln St. Aldwyns village were rebuilt in the late 19th century.
John Tame, who witnessed a grant of land in Williamstrip, Hatherop, and Eastleach in 1468, (fn. 169) with his son Edmund acquired 5 messuages and over 100 a. in Fairford, Williamstrip, and Hatherop from Thomas Mymmes in 1497. (fn. 170) John died in 1500 (fn. 171) and Edmund made further purchases in Williamstrip, including 4 yardlands in 1501 and the property of John Mymmes in 1505. (fn. 172) Edmund, who was later knighted, died in 1534 (fn. 173) and his Williamstrip property descended with his Tetbury lands to the Verney family. Under George Verney (d. 1574) (fn. 174) the Williamstrip land, which he settled on his natural brother Richard Verney, was occupied by John Hawkins (fn. 175) and in 1606 Francis Verney was party to a fine by which the land, called a manor, was confirmed upon Robert Hawkins. (fn. 176) Robert shared the lordship of Williamstrip with Joan Shelley in 1608 (fn. 177) but later lack of evidence suggests that his property was absorbed by another estate.
In the early 16th century the rectory of Coln St. Aldwyns, which belonged to Gloucester Abbey and included the tithes of Ampney St. Peter chapelry, was let at farm. (fn. 178) The farm was £9 16s. 8d. in 1535 (fn. 179) when the grain tithes evidently belonged to it. (fn. 180) In 1541 the rectory passed with the manor to the dean and chapter of Gloucester cathedral, (fn. 181) from whom it continued to be farmed. (fn. 182) Leases of it were apparently held by Jane Parker in 1563 and by Michael Parker, described in 1572 as parson. (fn. 183) It was worth £60 in 1603 (fn. 184) and included c. 217 a. in 1649 when John Fettiplace was lessee. (fn. 185) From the later 17th century it was leased to the manorial lessees on similar terms (fn. 186) but in 1680 a renewal of Giles Fettiplace's lease was delayed on the ground that he had no right to take tithes which, as a Quaker, he refused to pay. (fn. 187) In the late 17th century the rectorial tithes of the Williamstrip estate were farmed by the landowner for £20 a year. (fn. 188) The rectory was worth over £120 c. 1710 (fn. 189) and in 1770 the dean and chapter's lessees were allotted 261 a. in Coln St. Aldwyns for the rectorial tithes of the whole parish. (fn. 190) The lease passed with that of the manor (fn. 191) to Sir M. E. Hicks Beach who also bought the freehold. (fn. 192)
In 1086 Roger de Lacy's estate had 2 ploughs in demesne with 6 servi. (fn. 193) On Coln St. Aldwyns manor an extension of cultivation is perhaps indicated by a rise in value from £6 in 1066 to £8 in 1086, when the estate supported 15 ploughs of which 3 were in demesne with 4 servi. (fn. 194) A permanent staff was retained on the manor in the 1260s when the demesne arable was worked in part by tenant labour-services, some of which were connected with sheep-farming. (fn. 195) Gloucester Abbey retained 3 plough-lands on the manor in 1291. (fn. 196) In the early 16th century the demesne was let at farm but under a lease granted in 1504 for 70 years or lives the abbey retained its flocks in hand. (fn. 197) A survey of 1649 recorded 899 a. as being held in hand by the dean and chapter's lessee, but probably as little as 416 a. in Coln St. Aldwyns, with 41 a. in Kempsford and 19 a. in Hatherop, represented the demesne farm; the remainder was grouped as 15 holdings, ranging in size from 3 a. to 60 a. except for a farm of c. 240 a. at Cockrup, and may have been held by tenants on leases or at will. The 416 a. included 180 a. of arable in an open field, 226 a. in pasture closes, and only 8 a. in meadow closes. Additional hay and pasture was provided by the Kempsford land. (fn. 198) The rectory estate was let at farm with a customary yardland in the early 16th century, the lease of 1521 being for 51 years or lives. (fn. 199) In 1649 it included 207 a. of arable divided between two open fields, c. 2 a. of meadow, and c. 1 a. of pasture. (fn. 200)
The tenants recorded on Roger de Lacy's estate in 1086 were 3 villani and 3 bordars with 1 plough. Coln St. Aldwyns manor then supported 11 villani and 7 bordars working 12 ploughs. (fn. 201) In the 1260s at least 29 tenements including some in Hatherop and 3 mills were held from the manor. The largest was of three yardlands (a yardland being 80 a.) and there was one of a yardland. Both owed cash rents and heriots in kind and the lord was entitled to wardship, marriage, and relief. Cash rents were owed for a yardland, a half-yardland, and 6 smaller holdings. (fn. 202) The customary tenements included 5 yardlands, 5 yardlands each held by two people jointly, and 9 smaller holdings. The holdings of another 7 tenants were not detailed. From October to July each customary yardland owed 4 week-works, services for threshing, ploughing, mowing, making hay, shearing and washing sheep, and carrying hay from Kempsford, and the service once every other week of carrying to Gloucester and of taking corn to sell at Fairford or Lechlade. Extra mowing services were due from one yardlander and the 5 pairs. In August and September 5 week-works and 9 bedrepes with 3 men were required from each yardland. Similar but reduced services were required from the smaller holdings most of whose tenants might have to act as ploughmen. Other customs included aid, toll on ale brewed for sale and on sale of horses, and pannage. (fn. 203) Rents of assize totalling 23s. belonged to Gloucester Abbey in 1291. (fn. 204)
In 1649 three freeholds, of three yardlands, a yardland, and ¾ yardland respectively, were held from Coln St. Aldwyns manor. The dean and chapter's lessee, who could grant copyholds for up to 3 lives, retained one of two yardlands in hand. Of the other 12 copyholds mentioned then 7 were over 40 a. and the remainder included a cottage and a mill. (fn. 205) In the mid 17th century some leasehold land was held from that manor, (fn. 206) which included 11 copyholds and 11 leaseholds in 1744 when part was worked under William Forester of Williamstrip. (fn. 207) By 1770 the dean and chapter's lessees had taken 4 copyholds in hand but another 5 were held by three tenants. (fn. 208) Several farms included copyhold land in the early 19th century but by 1812 some copyhold, including 355 a. of Swyre farm, had been replaced by leaseholds, although c. 78 a. at Cockrup (fn. 209) were the subject of grants in the manor court as late as 1827. (fn. 210) By 1830 c. 195 a. of another farm had become leasehold (fn. 211) and the last remaining copyholds were enfranchised at the sale of Coln St. Aldwyns manor in 1860. (fn. 212)
In Coln St. Aldwyns, where a west field was mentioned c. 1243, (fn. 213) the inclosure and conversion to pasture of 62 a. in 1496 or 1497 led to the abandoning of a house and the departure of 5 people. (fn. 214) Neat field, recorded in 1549, (fn. 215) was one of two open fields named in 1649, the other, Berry field, including 180 a. of manorial demesne. (fn. 216) By 1705 Neat field had been divided into an east and west field (fn. 217) but by 1769 all three fields had apparently been amalgamated to form a single open field said to comprise c. 1,950 a. (fn. 218) Downhall meadow (c. 13 a.), a water-meadow south-east of the village, was shared with Hatherop manor until 1778 after which it was taken into Williamstrip park. (fn. 219) In 1504 the main sheep-pasture in Coln St. Aldwyns manor was called the Bratch, (fn. 220) probably that let at farm by 1535, (fn. 221) and it comprised 200 a. in 1649. (fn. 222) Then the copyholders had small holdings of less than 1½ a. in pasture closes and the yardlander common rights for 4 beasts and 80 sheep in the common fields. (fn. 223) The Cow Downs where the stint of cattle was halved in 1657 (fn. 224) was the main common in 1769 when it included 100 a. (fn. 225) It was apparently situated between Bratch copse and the river Leach. (fn. 226)
Williamstrip, which contained open-field land in 1381 (fn. 227) and where several inclosures had been made in Williamstrip Downs by 1713, (fn. 228) had been completely inclosed by 1754. (fn. 229) In Coln St. Aldwyns most of the land was inclosed in 1770 under a private Act of the previous year, and by the award, which affected c. 1,572 a., the tithes in both parts of the parish were commuted. The dean and chapter's lessees received the largest allotments, 749 a. for the manorial demesne and four copyholds in hand and 261 a. for the rectorial tithes; of their tenants Samuel Blackwell was allotted 196 a. for his leasehold and three persons with leaseholds and copyholds received a total of 186 a. Of the freeholders Sir John Webb was awarded 80 a., which passed with Dean farm in Hatherop, but Samuel Blackwell only 1 a. because his Williamstrip estate was freed from tithes. The vicar received 54 a. for his glebe and tithes. One smallholder was allotted 24 a. and five others a total of 21 a. (fn. 230)
After inclosure the parish was given over to cereal production and sheep-farming. In 1801 1,069 a. were sown with crops, wheat and barley occupying the largest areas and then turnips and oats. (fn. 231) Sheep were kept for their wool and in the early 19th century cross-breeding increased the quantity but decreased the quality. (fn. 232) Flocks numbering c. 1,930 sheep were kept in 1866, when 1,962 a. were returned as arable and grass leys and 205 a. as permanent grass. (fn. 233) In the late 19th century and early 20th there was the usual shift from arable to grass and in 1926 1,210 a. were returned as under arable crops or rotated grass and 996 a. as under permanent grass. Another 77 a. were used for rough grazing. Sheep-farming continued on a considerable scale but more cattle were also reared: 348 cattle, including 54 milk cows, were returned in 1926, (fn. 234) compared with c. 133, including c. 18 in milk, in 1866. (fn. 235) By 1976, however, much land was under wheat and barley and arable had become more important, but large numbers of sheep and beef cattle were raised then. (fn. 236)
After inclosure the land was included in a few, large farms. The three listed on the Coln St. Aldwyns manor estate in 1778 contained 113 a., 209 a., and 688 a. (Swyre farm), (fn. 237) and in Williamstrip in 1784 there were farms of 283 a. and 493 a. (fn. 238) In 1831 there were 8 farmers in the parish of whom 7 employed 60 labourers. (fn. 239) In 1839 215 a. were farmed with land in Hatherop. (fn. 240) In 1861 the farms, all belonging to the Williamstrip estate, were Manor (734 a.), Williamstrip (520 a.), Swyre (501 a.), Moor's (264 a.), and Cockrup (181 a.). (fn. 241) In 1894 the Coln St. Aldwyn Farming Co-operative Society Ltd. was established to farm Cockrup farm (fn. 242) and in 1909 it took a lease of Moor's farm. (fn. 243) The society, which was working 575 a. and a corn-mill c. 1911, stopped farming in 1919 and was wound up in 1921. (fn. 244) In 1926, when 54 agricultural labourers worked in the parish full-time, there were seven farmers of whom two, with less than 20 a. each, were smallholders and another worked less than 50 a. Of the larger farms one was over 150 a. and three were over 300 a. (fn. 245) In 1976 Earl St. Aldwyn directly farmed 607 ha. (1,500 a.) on the Williamstrip estate, and in the enlarged parish there were also two farms with over 200 ha. (494 a.) and 100 ha. (247 a.) respectively. (fn. 246)
Two mills were recorded on Coln St. Aldwyns manor in 1086. (fn. 247) In the 1260s it had three of which the two that were then held for cash rent, services for mowing and making hay, bedrepes, and other customs, were in Coln St. Aldwyns. (fn. 248) In 1340 the tenant of one was granted a lease for 60 years with half of the suit of mill owed by Gloucester Abbey's tenants in Coln St. Aldwyns and Aldsworth. (fn. 249) In 1534 a reversionary right in a mill was granted to the lessee of the rectory estate, (fn. 250) to which a corn-mill belonged in 1649. (fn. 251) That mill, south-west of the village, (fn. 252) included two fulling-mills and a gig-mill in 1754 (fn. 253) but by 1770 was only a corn-mill. (fn. 254) It became a saw-mill in the 1920s (fn. 255) and continued in use until the 1940s. (fn. 256) By 1976 it had been converted as a house.
The mill further downstream at the southern end of the village street, called Kemeys's mill in 1598, (fn. 257) was always a corn-mill. (fn. 258) It was rebuilt by Sir M. E. Hicks Beach in 1858. (fn. 259) It went out of use after 1939 (fn. 260) and was used for storage in 1976.
There was a smith in Coln St. Aldwyns in 1327 (fn. 261) but the trade was not recorded in 1608 when nonagricultural occupations were represented by two slaters, two masons, a tailor, a butcher, and a carpenter. There was also a weaver, a wool-driver who had two servants and was presumably engaged in transporting wool by pack-horse, and a loader who may have handled corn for milling. No trades were recorded in Williamstrip then (fn. 262) but there was a smithy south-west of Dean Row by 1830 (fn. 263) and in 1976 the site was occupied by a firm of agricultural engineers. The parish had a carpenter in the 18th century (fn. 264) and a wheelwright from 1840 until 1939 at least. (fn. 265) There was a cordwainer in 1754 and 1835, (fn. 266) and a shoemaker was recorded from 1856 to 1906 and a tailor from 1863 to 1910. In 1856 there were two bakers and two maltsters but those trades disappeared after the 1870s. (fn. 267) Mercers were recorded in the 18th century. (fn. 268) The number of shopkeepers fell from four in 1856 to one by 1879 but the village then also had the stores (fn. 269) run by the Coln Independent Co-operative Society Ltd., founded in 1875 and wound up in 1955. (fn. 270) The shop remained open in 1976 as Coln Stores. A laundry set up to the south-west c. 1912 (fn. 271) closed after the Second World War. (fn. 272) In 1976 the village also had a post office. A lime-burner was recorded in 1852 (fn. 273) and a builder and a plasterer in the late 1880s, as well as a saddle and harness maker and a bacon-factor. (fn. 274) A cycle repairer lived in the parish in the 1920s and 1930s (fn. 275) and there was a garage in the village in 1976.
In the early 15th century the biannual view of the hundred court was attended by the tithingman of Coln St. Aldwyns but another tithingman represented the inhabitants of Williamstrip and part of Eastleach Turville. (fn. 276) For Coln St. Aldwyns manor (fn. 277) court rolls survive for 1293 and 1351 when it dealt with tenurial and agrarian matters. (fn. 278) It was apparently held twice a year in 1504 (fn. 279) but in 1649 it was said to be held at the will of the lord, presumably the dean and chapter's lessee. (fn. 280) There are further court rolls for courts held to deal with tenurial matters by the lessees between 1755 and 1794 and by the dean and chapter in 1813 and 1827. (fn. 281)
Two proctors of the parish church mentioned in 1519 held property on its behalf. (fn. 282) That was one aspect of the duties of the two churchwardens, recorded from 1543, (fn. 283) whose accounts survive from 1758. (fn. 284) Of the other parish officers a constable was mentioned in 1715 (fn. 285) and two overseers in 1823. (fn. 286) A church house, presumably built on the site of Catland House given to the parish for that purpose by Gloucester Abbey in 1519, (fn. 287) included rooms belonging to a holding on Coln St. Aldwyns manor in the mid 17th century. (fn. 288) It was used partly as a poorhouse from 1700 (fn. 289) until 1852 when the house, which by then also included a school-room, was bought by Sir M. H. Hicks Beach. (fn. 290) The cost of poor-relief rose considerably from £44 in 1776 to £222 by 1803 when 27 people received permanent and 22 occasional help, and by 1813, when the equivalent numbers were 38 and 13, it was £481. A drop in numbers was reflected in a fall in cost to £361 by 1815. (fn. 291) From £389 in 1825 expenditure rose to £480 by 1828 but after 1831 it fell sharply to £297 by 1834. (fn. 292) The parish, which became part of the Northleach poor-law union in 1836, (fn. 293) remained in Northleach rural district until 1974 (fn. 294) when it was included in Cotswold district.
A grant of tithes at Coln St. Aldwyns to Gloucester Abbey in 1100 (fn. 295) suggests the existence of a church there but no record of it has been found before the later 12th century. (fn. 296) The church, of which Ampney St. Peter was a chapelry, (fn. 297) was appropriated to the abbey in 1217 and a vicarage ordained, (fn. 298) to which presentations were recorded from 1274. (fn. 299) In 1928 the living was united with Hatherop and Quenington. (fn. 300)
The patronage was exercised by Gloucester Abbey which in 1538 granted the next turn to William Mitchell, a Gloucester draper, and two others. (fn. 301) In the mid 16th century presentations were made by lessees of the dean and chapter of Gloucester, Jerome Barnard in 1550, Ralph Jennings in 1553, and George Fettiplace in 1557. (fn. 302) Robert Westwood was said to be patron in 1584 (fn. 303) and the Crown presented through lapse of time in 1591. In 1618 John White was patron for a turn. The patronage which from the later 17th century passed with the lease of the manor was resumed by the dean and chapter in the early 19th century. In 1852 the bishop presented by reason of lapse. (fn. 304) In 1976 the patronage of the united benefice was shared by the dean and chapter with Sir Thomas Bazley and Earl St. Aldwyn. (fn. 305)
In 1217 the vicarage was assigned a portion worth 5 marks (fn. 306) and the vicar's portion was presumably comprised in the valuation of the church and its chapel at £7 6s. 8d. in 1291. (fn. 307) In 1535 the vicar was taking tithes of wool, milk, calves, pigs, and lambs among others, and had 1 a. of glebe. (fn. 308) In the later 17th century £6 13s. 4d. was paid to him by ancient composition for his Williamstrip tithes (fn. 309) but in 1705 he was taking all small tithes, except those of the demesne of Coln St. Aldwyns manor and of the rectory estate, mainly in kind. (fn. 310) Those from the manor were evidently paid to the impropriated rectory, from the lessee of which the vicar received a stipend of £7 for them. By 1662 it had been raised to £20, and another £10 was added under the inclosure Act of 1769. (fn. 311) In 1862 the stipend was charged on Manor farm. (fn. 312) An award of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1765 to meet a grant of £200 by T. Willoughby and Alexander Colston and his wife Sophia (fn. 313) was used to buy 17 a. in Quenington. (fn. 314) At inclosure in 1770 the vicar was allotted 53 a. for his commuted tithes as well as 1 a. for glebe. (fn. 315) A further grant in 1842 of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty which met benefactions of £100 by the patron and £270 by the vicar, Horatio James, (fn. 316) was used in part for rebuilding the vicarage. (fn. 317) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners endowed the living with £163 a year in 1869, with 10 a. of land in 1870, and with 4 a. in 1886. (fn. 318) Most of the glebe was sold in 1912 to Michael Hugh Hicks Beach, (fn. 319) leaving 2.4 ha. (6 a.) in 1976. (fn. 320) The value of the vicarage in 1535 was £8 19s. 5d. clear. (fn. 321) It rose to £26 6s. 8d. by 1649, (fn. 322) £37 by 1750, (fn. 323) £60 by c. 1775, (fn. 324) and £104 by 1856. (fn. 325)
There was a vicarage house with out-buildings in 1649 (fn. 326) but the present house south-east of the church began as a small 18th-century house which was largely rebuilt in the 1840s. (fn. 327) It was further enlarged in 1857 and 1875 (fn. 328) and two bay-windows were added and other external alterations made c. 1911. (fn. 329)
The appointment of at least six incumbents between 1402 and 1420 possibly reflected the poverty of the living, (fn. 330) but when John Russell resigned in 1524 he was awarded a pension of 4 marks from the profits of the church. His successor Thomas Moorcroft (d. c. 1528) was a doctor of medicine. (fn. 331) Edward Barnard, vicar 1550–3, (fn. 332) lived at Oxford, the living being served in 1551 by an unlearned curate. (fn. 333) In 1563 Henry Banner, who was also rector of Quenington, where he lived, served in person (fn. 334) but by 1572 he had a curate at Coln St. Aldwyns. (fn. 335) Banner, who was presented in 1576 for not teaching the catechism and for preaching only one sermon, (fn. 336) resigned to be succeeded that year by William Banner, (fn. 337) described as learned in Latin and zealous in religion. (fn. 338) John Fifield, vicar 1728–75, (fn. 339) served on alternate Sunday mornings and afternoons in 1750. (fn. 340) John Keble, also vicar of Blewbury (Berks.) until 1824, held the living from 1782 until he died in 1835. (fn. 341) Although he lived at Poulton (Wilts., later Glos.) and then moved to his family house in Fairford, the vicarage being too small, he served in person. (fn. 342) His son John, who between 1825 and 1835 was curate, (fn. 343) was the Tractarian divine and author of The Christian Year published in 1827. (fn. 344)
The parochial chaplain recorded in 1340 (fn. 345) may have been, like the proctor of Blessed Mary mentioned in 1533, (fn. 346) connected with a chantrychapel in the churchyard dedicated to the service of Our Lady. In 1548 the vicar celebrated Mass once a week in the chantry and the endowments, valued at 17s. 4d. clear (fn. 347) and comprising 7 a. and 3 cottages in Coln St. Aldwyns, 20 a. in Williamstrip, and a close in Hatherop, were sold the following year. (fn. 348)
The parish church was called St. Athelwine's in the later 12th century (fn. 349) but the dedication was changed after 1535 (fn. 350) and before the beginning of the 18th century to ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. (fn. 351) It is built of rubble and ashlar and has a chancel with north organ chamber and a nave with north transeptal chapel, south tower, and south porch. The south wall of the nave is substantially of the later 12th century and has a doorway with three enriched orders. The chancel was rebuilt in the 13th century. Its upkeep was later the responsibility of the lessees of the rectory estate. (fn. 352) The tower is placed transeptally to the nave but appears to have been entered from the south and to have had a small building against its east wall. The second stage bears the initials of John de Gamages, abbot of Gloucester 1284–1306, (fn. 353) and it is possible that it was a chantry for him, the chapel being that to Our Lady mentioned above. In the 14th century the west wall and probably also the north wall of the nave were rebuilt and a new window was put into the south wall. The old south porch, of which only the roof-line survives, may also have been of that date. The roof of the nave was rebuilt to a flatter pitch in the 15th century when the embattled parapet was added. The top stage of the tower, which has crocketed pinnacles and a pierced parapet, was also added in the 15th or early 16th century.
In 1821 a north vestry was built in the church by Michael Hicks Beach. (fn. 354) The 19th-century additions and restoration, mostly done between 1853 and 1868, are extensive. (fn. 355) The organ chamber was added, a new south porch built, and a canopied entry made into the east face of the tower, the southern doorway having been blocked before 1787. (fn. 356) The nave windows were restored, presumably following the original designs, and the chancel and transept arches renewed. A western gallery, probably that built in the mid 17th century by members of the Powle family, (fn. 357) and a gallery in the transept were taken down.
A monument recorded in the later 18th century to George Fettiplace (d. 1577), his wife, and six children was possibly removed from the chancel (fn. 358) when it was refitted in 1917 as a memorial to Earl St. Aldwyn and Viscount Quenington and his wife Marjorie, who all died in 1916. The pulpit was then given a 17th-century appearance. (fn. 359) The chancel chandelier is dated 1767. There were three bells c. 1703 (fn. 360) which possibly included the sanctus bell of 1656 by Edward Neale of Burford. (fn. 361) In 1725 Abraham Rudhall cast a peal of 6 to which 2 were added by G. Mears of London in 1865. (fn. 362) The plate includes a chalice and a paten-cover of 1625, a paten and tankard flagon of 1777, and a cruet of 1813. (fn. 363) The registers begin in 1650 but have some gaps, including one between 1727 and 1775, the incumbency of John Fifield. (fn. 364)
Four protestant nonconformists recorded in Coln St. Aldwyns in 1676 (fn. 365) presumably were Quakers including Giles Fettiplace, who was presented the same year for not coming to church. (fn. 366) In 1677 George Fox attended a meeting in Giles's manor-house (fn. 367) which was registered as a Quaker meeting-house in 1702. (fn. 368) In 1735 there were 6 anabaptists in the parish (fn. 369) and in 1860 a group of Congregationalists met in Coln St. Aldwyns under a Fairford minister. (fn. 370)
In 1676 there were also two papists in the parish. (fn. 371) Eleven were recorded between 1714 and 1724 (fn. 372) and five in 1735. (fn. 373) They presumably attended the mission in Hatherop; after its closure in 1844 a cottage in Coln St. Aldwyns was used as a mass centre for a few years. (fn. 374)
In 1818 two Sunday schools, presumably one for boys and the other for girls, were recorded in Coln St. Aldwyns teaching c. 60 children and supported by voluntary contributions and Lady Bridger's charity (fn. 375) from which £2 10s. a year was paid in the 1820s. (fn. 376) In 1833 there were also three day-schools, including a boys' school begun that year where a private benefactor paid for the education of 12 of the 15 boys, and a girls' school with 24 girls of whom 21 were paid for by subscription. In the third school all 12 children were supported by their parents. (fn. 377) The girls' day- and Sunday schools had been united by 1846 when they taught 36 children but the boys' day- and Sunday schools, with 16 and 28 respectively, remained separate. (fn. 378) The girls' school was held in the church house which was sold in 1852, (fn. 379) the sale partly financing the building of a National school, completed in 1856 east of the church. (fn. 380) The school, which was mixed and included infants, was supported in 1866 by voluntary contributions, pence, rent from part of the building, £5 from Betton's charity, and an endowment of £2 12s. from the combined Fettiplace and Bridger charity. (fn. 381) There were 77 children on the roll in 1876. (fn. 382) The classroom was enlarged in 1881 (fn. 383) but the average attendance fell from 80 in 1885 to 60 in 1897. (fn. 384) In 1894 the school was supported partly by Lambert's charity. (fn. 385) Attendance dropped from 56 in 1910 to 35 in 1922. (fn. 386) In 1929 the juniors were transferred to Hatherop and the school became the infants' school for both parishes (fn. 387) but attendance had fallen to 17 by 1936. (fn. 388) The school, known later as Coln St. Aldwyns C. of E. Controlled Primary school, closed in 1970 and its 11 children were transferred to Quenington. (fn. 389)
Charities for the Poor
Catherine Ireton by will proved 1715 left a rent-charge of £10 for distribution among the Protestant poor of the parish. (fn. 390) Between 1777 and 1893 the charity was usually distributed as a coat for a man, a gown for a woman, and as bread. A deficit in 1856 was met by subscription. (fn. 391) From 1967 to 1970 the income of £10, derived from investments, was used to provide a cardigan each for a man and a woman, and groceries for two families. (fn. 392) Elizabeth Fettiplace (d. 1716) left £20 for the poor but the income was misapplied in the early 19th century. (fn. 393) The bequest by Lady Bridger of £50 to the poor, (fn. 394) which was used in 1818 to support two Sunday schools, (fn. 395) had been amalgamated with the Fettiplace charity by 1838 when they were invested in stock. (fn. 396) In the later 19th century the National school was assisted by the combined charity, (fn. 397) which in 1970 had an income of £3. (fn. 398) The charity of James Anthony Lambert who by will dated 1828 left £25 for eight poor people (fn. 399) assisted a cloth and coal club in 1876 (fn. 400) and the National school in 1894. (fn. 401) It was applied with the Fettiplace and Bridger charity by 1970 when all the above charities, with a total income of £13, were amalgamated as the Coln St. Aldwyns United Charities. (fn. 402)
Under the will of Edmund James Wilkins, proved 1917, £600 was left for an alms-house. A charity was established which took a lease of two cottages south of the school (fn. 403) but in 1973, when the income was £50–100, a new Scheme applied it to individual cases of need (fn. 404) and in 1976 it was distributed with the United Charities. (fn. 405)