A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 9, Bradley Hundred. The Northleach Area of the Cotswolds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.
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The small rural parish of Hampnett lies west of the Foss way 16 km. south-east of Cheltenham and adjoining Northleach. The parish contained 1,431 a. (fn. 1) and, bounded on all sides by ancient roads and tracks, was the shape of a rhomboid with the Foss way on the east side running SE.-NW. in a virtually straight line across the valley of the river Leach. (fn. 2) In 1950 a small area on the Hampnett side of the Foss way, in the valley and containing the former Northleach prison and the other buildings to the west of Northleach town, was transferred to Northleach with Eastington to leave Hampnett with 1,424 a. (576 ha.). (fn. 3) The prison is included in the history of Northleach given below. Stowell was united with Hampnett for ecclesiastical purposes in the mid 17th century (fn. 4) but remained a separate civil parish.
Hampnett's landscape is dominated by the valley of the river Leach, which rises in the parish and flows eastwards towards Northleach. Above the valley the land ascends northwards and southwards to well over 200 m. and in the west it looks southwards across the valley of a tributary stream of the river Coln from a height of 230 m. The river Leach has its source in a number of springs thrown out by a wide band of fuller's earth. Lower down in the east, the valley bottom is on the underlying Inferior Oolite; elsewhere, the higher ground making up most of the parish is on the overlying Great Oolite. (fn. 5) Open fields and commons once covering much of the higher ground had been inclosed by the mid 18th century. In the early 19th century the village green, c. 13 a. in the centre of Hampnett, was known as the Common (fn. 6) but its registration as common land in 1968 was rescinded a few years later. (fn. 7) Little ancient woodland has been recorded in Hampnett (fn. 8) and in 1842 woodland covering 31 a. included belts of trees alongside some roads crossing or touching the parish. (fn. 9) A small wood by the Northleach road south-east of the village was later enlarged to create Prison copse, (fn. 10) but in 1905 only 36 a. of the parish was woodland. (fn. 11) The area of woodland remained very small in 1999. During the Second World War land in the north-east of the parish towards the Foss way was used as an airfield. (fn. 12)
Twenty-five tenants were recorded in Hampnett in 1086. (fn. 13) Ten inhabitants were assessed for the subsidy in 1327 (fn. 14) and at least twenty-three for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 15) The number of communicants in the parish was estimated at 30 in 1551 (fn. 16) and was given as 24 in 1603, (fn. 17) while the number of households was put at 9 in 1563 (fn. 18) and the number of families at 14 in 1650. (fn. 19) The total population was estimated at 60 c. 1710 (fn. 20) and at 78 c. 1775, (fn. 21) and rose from 90 to 121 between 1801 and 1821. The census figures for the rest of the 19th century were much larger because they included the population of Northleach prison, and in 1851, when the figure was at its highest, 211, (fn. 22) the population outside the prison was 143. (fn. 23) Hampnett's population rose from 108 to 126 between 1901 and 1911, after which it fell for much of the 20th century, gradually to 103 in 1961 and more steeply to 44 in 1981. In 1991 it stood at 53. (fn. 24)
Archaeological evidence of early settlement on the land above the Leach valley and near ancient routes bypassing Hampnett village has been reported since 1781. (fn. 25) The Foss way, crossing the valley south-east of the village, was a turn- pike from 1755 until 1877 (fn. 26) and remained the most important south-north road in the area in 1999. An ancient salt way from Droitwich (Worcs.) to the river Thames at Lechlade, recorded in 1383 as salt street, (fn. 27) ran southeastwards across the west end of Hampnett, close to the site of several prehistoric barrows on Hampnett Downs, (fn. 28) and from Hangman's Stone on the southern boundary it continued in the same direction, marking the parish boundary, to the Foss way. A road leading east from Hangman's Stone, presumably a continuation of an ancient route marking the parish boundary west of the junction, (fn. 29) was in 1690 part of a road from Compton Abdale to Northleach town, descending in the east of Hampnett to a junction with the Foss way south-east of the entrance to the town. (fn. 30)
Much of an ancient route along Hampnett's northern boundary, beginning in the north-west corner at the place called Fleetgo (flytgor) in 1383, (fn. 31) was once used as a GloucesterOxford road. Known in 1683 as London way, (fn. 32) that road turned south-eastwards across the north-east corner of the parish and the Foss way on a route running north of Northleach town. (fn. 33) For some years from 1751 a new turnpike trust responsible for the Cotswold section of the GloucesterOxford road looked after the London way (fn. 34) but, although in the late 18th century there was a turnpike gate on it at the crossroads formed with the HampnettTurkdean road, (fn. 35) in 1764 it was described as an old highway. (fn. 36) In 1999 the part along the parish boundary survived as a green lane, marked by a belt of trees, while the stretch across the north-east corner was no longer visible. The main GloucesterOxford turnpike as established in 1751 followed the more southerly route along the salt way to Hangman's Stone and the road from Hangman's Stone to Northleach. (fn. 37) That route, which was diverted c. 1825 to descend more steeply to the Foss way directly opposite the entrance to the town, (fn. 38) was a turnpike until 1870 (fn. 39) and remained the main GloucesterOxford road until 1984, when a new Northleach bypass crossing the north of Hampnett was opened. (fn. 40)
Hampnett village stands near the middle of the parish at the centre of several local routes, mostly footpaths. Among the last is a way south to Stowell recorded in 1383. (fn. 41) The village shelters high on the north side of the Leach valley in a short tributary valley formed by one of the river's principal sources. The stream rises on a green, through which it descends sharply to the south, and the village comprises scattered groups of houses on or near the green with the 12th-century church a little way to the southeast amid former farm buildings overlooking the main valley. Earthworks indicate that the green was once the site of a larger and more coherent settlement and that several buildings and closes were abandoned there at an early date. (fn. 42) Although in the 19th century many houses and cottages were rebuilt and some new ones were built, the village has remained small.
One group of houses stands at the north end of the green, close to an abandoned well and a stone thought to be the base of an ancient cross. (fn. 43) The Crooked House, north-east of the well, displays a metal plaque dated 1799 (fn. 44) and comprises a later 17th-century house of two rooms and attics and, set at a right angle, a later range that was once a separate cottage. (fn. 45) Many of the house's features date from the mid 20th century and a garage added to the later range in the 1930s was incorporated in the house and a room built over it in the late 20th century. (fn. 46) To the north is another 17th- or 18th-century cottage and, beyond it, a plain three-bayed, two-storeyed farmhouse with a south front and end stacks has a datestone of 1799. (fn. 47) In the mid 19th century several cottages were built facing south over the green. Two dating probably from the 1860s were designed as a single composition in gabled Cotswold style. A plainer row of three (in 1999 Ballingers House) overlooks the green from the site, west of the Turkdean road, (fn. 48) of a small farmhouse that had belonged much earlier to Millard's farm; (fn. 49) there are some farm outbuildings immediately to the north.
To the south a close forming an island in the green contains a cottage and a later schoolroom built in the 1860s. Lower down to the south, a pair of cottages (in 1999 a single dwelling) was built in the mid 19th century on the edge of the green (fn. 50) at the site of a house and farmstead that had been part of Ballinger's farm. (fn. 51) Immediately below to the south, two separate mid 17thcentury cottages, each of two gabled bays facing the stream, (fn. 52) were linked by an additional two bays in the early 19th century, and three plainer cottages were added lower down to the south at or about the same time to form a terrace of six dwellings (fn. 53) known later as Paradise Row. The rectory house, situated south of the lane leading down to Paradise Row from the church, was rebuilt in the early 1870s to the south-west, on the opposite side of the little valley, (fn. 54) where it was known as Hampnett House in 1999. In the later 20th century a new house was built at the north end of the village but the number of individual dwellings around the green fell as groups of adjoining cottages, including the three at the north end of Paradise Row, were each combined as single houses. The creation of larger houses continued in the later 1990s, when the Crooked House was enlarged and two mid 19th-century cottages by the Turkdean road at the north end of the village were remodelled. (fn. 55)
Of the buildings near the church, the Old Manor House, west of the churchyard, possibly incorporates a late-medieval hall. It became a farmhouse and as such was superseded by Hampnett Manor, (fn. 56) which was built to the north in 1879. (fn. 57) A pair of cottages to the north-west, overlooking the green, is of a similar date to Hampnett Manor. (fn. 58) In the late 1980s and early 1990s Hampnett Manor became a private house and most of the farm buildings near the churchyard, including the former farmhouse and, to the south, stables and an 18th-century barn of eight bays, were converted as houses. A new farmhouse was provided east of the churchyard by remodelling sheds which had retained a thatched roof well into the 20th century. (fn. 59)
In the later 18th century there may have been several cottages at the crossroads on the parish boundary north of the village. (fn. 60) In the mid 19th century, probably in the 1860s, two pairs of cottages were built outside the village on the Hope family's estate, one at Oldhill barn to the south and the other at Furzenhill barn to the west; (fn. 61) both were in the same style as the contemporary pair of gabled cottages overlooking the village green. Beginning in the 1920s several houses and bungalows were built on the Hampnett side of the Foss way to the west of Northleach town. (fn. 62)
Manor and Other Estates.
The manor of HAMPNETT had its origins in an estate of 10 cassati that Eldred, archbishop of York, settled on the monastery at Worcester possibly in 1061 after buying the estate from Earl Godwin, Edward the Confessor's minister. (fn. 63) Roger d'Ivry, who is said to have seized the estate during Bishop Wulfstan's absence from Worcester in the early 1070s, (fn. 64) held Hampnett in 1086 when Archbishop Eldred was said to have held two of its ten hides free of geld by the gift of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 65) The manor was, like Roger's Tetbury manor, acquired later by the St. Valery family. (fn. 66) Bernard of St. Valery, who owned both manors in 1176, (fn. 67) died c. 1191. His son Thomas forfeited his estates before 1197 and Hampnett and Tetbury manors were granted to William de Breuse, husband of Maud of St. Valery, before 1200. (fn. 68) William's estates were confiscated in 1208 after his quarrel with King John (fn. 69) and all or part of Hampnett manor was held c. 1212 by Ilbert of Hereford, presumably by royal grant. (fn. 70) Later, William de Breuse having died in 1211, the manor was included in various grants to his heirs and claimants to his lands. The Crown granted it together with Tetbury manor in 1213 to William's son Giles de Breuse, bishop of Hereford, (fn. 71) and in 1215 to Hugh de Mortimer, who had married William's daughter Eleanor. (fn. 72) Reynold de Breuse, another of William's sons, had seisin of his father's lands in 1216 (fn. 73) and defended estates in Hampnett and Tetbury against a claim for dower by Maud de Clare in 1219. (fn. 74)
Hampnett manor, evidently assessed as a knight's fee, (fn. 75) was broken up in the 13th century. Reynold de Breuse (d. 1227 or 1228) apparently included part of it and Tetbury manor in his grant of the honor of Bramber to his nephew John de Breuse (d. 1232) in 1226 (fn. 76) but he evidently retained land in Hampnett, for descendants of two of his granddaughters, Maud Mortimer and Eleanor de Bohun, had estates there. (fn. 77) In 1263 John's son and heir William de Breuse was the overlord of an estate in Hampnett held together with the advowson of the church there by Lawrence of Brook (fn. 78) and after William's death in 1290 the overlordship of the knight's fee in Hampnett descended with his Tetbury manor. (fn. 79)
In 1263 Lawrence of Brook at William de Breuse's request granted his estate, described as a ploughland and known later as the manor of Hampnett, to Reynold of Thornhill (or Cornhill) for life. Reynold gave it to Llanthony priory and, although both Reynold and the priory quitclaimed it to Lawrence in 1266, (fn. 80) the prior of Llanthony was among the lords of Hampnett named in 1316. (fn. 81) Lawrence's manor passed to Hugh of Brook before 1278 (fn. 82) and, as a share of the knight's fee in Hampnett, it evidently belonged in 1285 to Henry of Pinkney and in 1303 to John of Moreton. (fn. 83) The same or another John of Moreton was later patron of the church (fn. 84) and among the lords of Hampnett. (fn. 85) In 1317 he settled the reversion of three quarters of the manor and the advowson on his son John of Moreton, (fn. 86) to whom he also granted his lands in Moreton Pinkney (Northants.). (fn. 87) John of Moreton was the lord of Hampnett in 1322 (fn. 88) and perhaps in 1346, (fn. 89) but Edmund of Pinkney was granted free warren on demesne land in Hampnett in 1330. (fn. 90) The manor later passed, probably by 1361, to Roger of Moreton (fl. 1386), also known as Roger Surrey. (fn. 91) Roger was dead by 1391 (fn. 92) and Andrew Moreton, described in 1395 as lord of Hampnett, (fn. 93) conveyed the manor in 1396 to James Clifford, (fn. 94) whose right to it was acknowledged by Thomas of Wyford and his wife Eleanor. (fn. 95) James, to whom Roger's widow Denise surrendered her dower in Hampnett in return for an annuity, (fn. 96) was dead by 1424 and the manor passed, probably with his estate in Frampton on Severn, to Henry Clifford (d. 1452). (fn. 97)
By 1470 Hampnett manor belonged, with Stowell manor, to Elizabeth, daughter of William Clifford, and her second husband Thomas Limerick (d. 1486). (fn. 98) It passed to Limerick's daughter Agnes, wife successively of William Tame and Sir Robert Harcourt (fn. 99) (d. by 1504), (fn. 100) lord of Stanton Harcourt (Oxon.). Sir Robert's heir Richard Harcourt (fn. 101) also married Agnes and in 1508 feoffees settled the reversion of Hampnett on her heirs. Agnes died before Richard (d. 1513), (fn. 102) and her son Thomas Tame (fn. 103) owned Hampnett together with Stowell in 1522. (fn. 104) Although John Carpenter and his wife Millicent held Hampnett manor in 1529, when John Hall quitclaimed his reversionary right on Millicent's death to James Bure and his wife Elizabeth, (fn. 105) Thomas Tame evidently held it at his death c. 1545 and Edmund Horne, who married Thomas's daughter Elizabeth, (fn. 106) sold it in 1550 to Anthony Bustard of Adderbury (Oxon.). (fn. 107) In 1587, the year of Anthony's death, his son William (fn. 108) quitclaimed the manor to Robert Atkinson, (fn. 109) re-uniting it with Stowell. Robert (d. 1607) was succeeded by his son Henry (fn. 110) and Henry (fl. 1627) (fn. 111) evidently by his brother John, (fn. 112) who in 1631 quitclaimed Hampnett to his grand-nephew William Wentworth. (fn. 113) John Atkinson, however, apparently remained the owner in 1655, when he was patron of the church, (fn. 114) and, having been knighted, he died in 1662. (fn. 115) Wentworth, earl of Strafford from 1641, (fn. 116) was dealing with Hampnett manor in 1667 (fn. 117) and sold it in 1689 to John Grubham Howe. (fn. 118) It then descended with Stowell manor to the trustees of the 4th Lord Chedworth (d. 1804). (fn. 119)
In or about 1812 Thomas Hope bought the Hampnett land, apart from the area (c. 140 a.) in the west beyond the salt way which the trustees included with the manorial rights in the sale of Stowell to Sir William Scott in 1812. (fn. 120) Thomas Hope, of Deepdene, in Dorking (Surr.), a connoisseur and patron of the fine arts, was succeeded at his death in 1831 by his son Henry Thomas Hope. Henry, who shared his father's artistic interests (fn. 121) and was elected M.P. for Gloucester several times, (fn. 122) owned 1,173 a. in Hampnett in 1842 (fn. 123) and was later described as lord of the manor. After his death in 1862 the estate passed, as did the Deepdene estate, in turn to his widow Anne Adele (d. 1887) and his grandson Lord Henry Francis Hope PelhamClinton. The latter, who took the additional surname Hope on his inheritance and was sometimes known as Lord Francis Hope (before his succession as duke of Newcastle in 1928), (fn. 124) sold his Gloucestershire estates in 1911 to the Cavendish Land Co. Later in 1911 the company sold the Hampnett estate, comprising nearly all the ancient parish and the putative lordship of the manor, to John Aubrey Handy, the tenant farmer. (fn. 125) Handy died in 1928 (fn. 126) and his executors sold the estate in the mid 1930s. Part, over 600 a. with Hampnett Manor, was sold in 1934 to the owner of the Notgrove estate, Sir Alan Garrett Anderson, (fn. 127) and a few years after his death in 1952 his son (Sir) Donald Anderson (fn. 128) sold the Hampnett land to John MacArthur, his farm manager there. (fn. 129) In 1958 MacArthur sold the land to Stephen and Elisabeth Jenkins and in 1987 they sold their estate of 637 a. to Mr. John Oldacre, in whose name a trust retained the land in 1999. (fn. 130)
Hampnett Manor was built in 1879 (fn. 131) as a farm bailiff's house (fn. 132) to replace a farmhouse to the south. The older house, known in 1999 as the Old Manor House, stands next to the parish church and is a two-storeyed, L-plan house of squared limestone with a stone-slate roof. The oldest part is the five-bayed west range with blocked mullioned windows on the west front. The southern three bays of the range have a roof on raised cruck trusses, with arched braces, cranked collars, and windbraces, and are possibly a hall that formed part of Roger of Moreton's residence at Hampnett in the 1380s. (fn. 133) The hall was probably floored in the 17th century, when the north end of the range was rebuilt, and the range was extended northwards in the 18th century; quoins are inscribed 1686 and 1777. By that time the house was a farmhouse. (fn. 134) The east wing was built in the 19th century. After the 1870s the house was used as a store and laundry (fn. 135) and later as the garage block of Hampnett Manor. (fn. 136) It was restored in 1988. (fn. 137)
The land sold with the manorial rights to Sir William Scott in 1812 (fn. 138) descended with the Stowell Park estate, whose owner, the Hon. Samuel Vestey, (fn. 139) acquired over 500 a. more in Hampnett at the sale of J. A. Handy's land in the mid 1930s. (fn. 140) The Stowell Park estate remained the owner of a large part of Hampnett in 1999.
In 1285 John de Muntrith and Reynold de Grandigall were assessed with Henry of Pinkney for the knight's fee in Hampnett. (fn. 141) John continued to be assessed for a share of the fee until 1346. (fn. 142) Reynold's share belonged in 1303 to Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, (fn. 143) whose part presumably derived from his grandmother Eleanor, first wife of Humphrey de Bohun (d. 1265) and daughter of William de Breuse (d. 1230), son of Reynold. Eleanor's son Humphrey de Bohun, who succeeded to the earldom of Hereford in 1275, died in 1298 and his successors as earls (fn. 144) evidently retained an estate in Hampnett in the mid 14th century. (fn. 145)
Land in Hampnett passed to Maud, another daughter of William de Breuse (d. 1230). She married Roger Mortimer of Wigmore in 1247 (fn. 146) and he died holding a yardland in Hampnett in her right in 1282. After Maud's death in 1301 her land passed with Charlton manor in Tetbury to her son Edmund (fn. 147) and grandson Roger Mortimer, earl of March. Roger was executed in 1330 and his title and estates were forfeited and later restored to his grandson Roger Mortimer (d. 1360). (fn. 148) The Hampnett land continued to descend with Charlton manor, which passed into Crown hands on the accession of Edward IV, (fn. 149) and it was included in the grant of Charlton to Drew Drury and Edmund Downing in 1574. (fn. 150) Its later descent has not been traced.
In the later 13th century John Clerebaud and, in 1287, Adam Clerebaud both acquired land in Hampnett (fn. 151) and in the early 14th century Henry Clerebaud, Hampnett's wealthiest resident according to a tax assessment of 1327, (fn. 152) had several tenants in the parish. All or some of the land may have passed by 1372 to Robert of the hazel and his wife Alice (both fl. 1383) (fn. 153) and later to Gloucester abbey, which in 1527 granted a reversionary lease of a holding in Hampnett to William Walter. The holding, which the abbey administered as part of Northleach Foreign manor, (fn. 154) was retained with the manor by the Crown after the Dissolution and has not been traced after 1582. (fn. 155)
In 1086 Roger d'Ivry's estate in Hampnett was assessed at 10 hides and contained 8 ploughteams. Three teams belonged to the demesne and eight teams to the tenants, namely 10 villani, a priest, and a bordar; 11 servi were also recorded there. The estate, to which 10 burgages in Winchcombe belonged, had fallen in value from 8 in 1066 to 6. (fn. 156) In 1220 nine ploughteams were recorded in Hampnett. (fn. 157)
Traces of ridge and furrow on the sides of the Leach valley in 1999 confirm that much of Hampnett was cultivated in open fields in the Middle Ages; the floor of the valley was possibly left as meadow land. In the later 14th century much of the parish was divided between a south field extending as far as the salt way and the Foss way and a west field extending as far as Fleetgo in the north-west corner. (fn. 158) The fields were cultivated on a two-field rotation of a crop and a fallow in the early 17th century and, although in 1683 they were described as southwest and north-west fields, they continued to cover much of the parish in the later 17th century. At that time at least nine tenants and the rector, whose glebe was mostly in strips of an acre or a acre, had land and common rights there. Hampnett may have had a number of commons dispersed throughout the parish and including Hampnett Downs beyond the salt way. In the early 17th century a common near the rectory house at the south end of the village was called the Moors (fn. 159) and in the early 19th century, after inclosure, the village green was known as the Common. (fn. 160) In the late 17th century there was a several meadow called the Cowleaze on the north side of the Leach valley next to the Foss way. (fn. 161)
In the 16th and 17th centuries, if the rector's glebe is typical, each yardland contained 16 a. of open-field land and carried with it common rights for 3 cows, 1 horse, and 40 sheep. (fn. 162) Of cereals and sheep, the bases of the Cotswold economy, the former were the more valuable in Hampnett in 1535, when the rector's corn tithes were worth far more than his wool and lamb tithes put together. (fn. 163) In 1683 the rector claimed a penny at shearing for each sheep that was brought into Hampnett to summer in its fields. (fn. 164)
Hampnett was inclosed, presumably by one of the Howes, before 1759 when the bulk of the parish, including former farms called Old (420 a.), Millard's (260 a.), and Ballinger's (200 a.), was occupied by William Lovesey. (fn. 165) The consolidated farm continued to be occupied by the Lovesey family in 1801, when outlying land in the west, particularly the area beyond the salt way, was farmed from Stowell and one field was attached to a farm in Compton Abdale. (fn. 166) Most families in Hampnett depended on agriculture for employment and in 1831, when twenty-two inhabitants were agricultural labourers, two landholders living in the parish employed labour. (fn. 167) Thomas Wells (d. 1861), (fn. 168) who farmed most of Hampnett by 1830, (fn. 169) was the tenant of c. 1,200 a. comprising nearly all the Hope family's land and the rector's glebe (fn. 170) and in 1851 he employed 65 labourers. (fn. 171) Henry Bagnall (d. 1871) (fn. 172) took over the farm in the late 1860s (fn. 173) and his executors retained it until 1878. (fn. 174) A farm bailiff hired for Anne Hope in 1878 (fn. 175) had overall charge of most of the parish until the mid 1890s. (fn. 176) In 1896 six agricultural occupiers, all but one of them tenants, were returned for the parish (fn. 177) and in 1899 John Aubrey Handy took over the principal farm, 1,172 a., (fn. 178) which he continued to work until his death in 1928. (fn. 179) In 1926 one other farm, under 20 a., was returned and at least twenty-three Hampnett men found regular employment in agriculture. (fn. 180) The land beyond the salt way continued to be farmed mostly from Stowell in the 1840s (fn. 181) and was attached to one of the Yanworth farms on the Stowell Park estate in the 1920s. (fn. 182) The sale of J. A. Handy's estate in the mid 1930s led to a reorganization in farming in Hampnett with the Notgrove and Stowell Park estates each owning about half of the parish, (fn. 183) and in 1956 five farms, the largest with over 700 a., 500 a., and 300 a. and the smallest with over 30 a., were returned for Hampnett and provided regular work for thirty-four labourers. (fn. 184) The land belonging to the Notgrove estate formed Hampnett Manor farm, which in 1939 was occupied by a tenant (fn. 185) and a few years later was placed under a manager, John MacArthur. He bought the farm (637 a.) in the mid 1950s and it continued to be farmed by its owners until the later 1980s when it was again placed under a manager. The manager was given a tenancy before 1999. (fn. 186)
After inclosure most of Hampnett was devoted to tillage (fn. 187) and, according to a return of 1801, the 428 a. growing arable crops that year comprised equal areas of wheat, barley, oats, and turnips and a much smaller area of peas. (fn. 188) In the early 19th century, when less than a fifth of the land was permanent pasture, (fn. 189) it was reported that one of the two largest flocks of the old breed of Cotswold sheep was to be found in Hampnett (fn. 190) and in the early 1840s three villagers were shepherds. (fn. 191) In 1866 1,072 a. was returned as arable, 28 a. as fallow, and 108 a. as permanent grassland. Of the arable about a fifth grew root crops and a third clover or grass. (fn. 192) The animals returned in 1866 included 1,109 sheep, 114 cattle including 5 milk cows, and 37 pigs, (fn. 193) and a sale of the stock of the principal farm in 1878 included a flock of nearly 1,300 Cotswold sheep, 134 cattle, 86 pigs, and 12 cart-horses. (fn. 194) In the later 19th century and the early 20th the area of pasture in Hampnett increased slightly and in 1926 340 a. was returned as permanent grassland and 874 a. as arable, including 362 a. under grass seeds. Fewer sheep were kept in the parish and the livestock returned in 1926 included 244 breeding ewes, 141 cattle, 49 pigs, 19 carthorses, and 200 chickens. (fn. 195) J. A. Handy was prominent among farmers sending fat sheep and cattle to market at Andoversford. (fn. 196) Later more land was used to grow cereals and in 1956, when 368 a. was described as permanent grassland and 57 a. as rough grazing, at least 750 a. grew corn and the livestock included 598 ewes, 818 beef and dairy cattle, 14 pigs, and 2,110 chickens. (fn. 197) In the later 20th century most of Hampnett Manor farm was given over to cereal cultivation and in 1986, when the farm had a flock of sheep and a small herd of suckler cows, it employed four tractor drivers, one of whom was also a stockman. (fn. 198) The farm retained 159 ewes and 69 suckler cows in 1999. (fn. 199)
Stone has been quarried in Hampnett in several places until at least the early 20th century. (fn. 202) A large quarry was recorded in the west of the parish in 1383, (fn. 203) and a wooded area on the north side of the Leach valley west of the village was known as the Mine before 1900 and contained disused workings in 1999. (fn. 204) Most of the stone was probably quarried for local use and there were several disused limekilns in the parish in the late 19th century. (fn. 205) The parishioners included one or more slaters in the early 18th century (fn. 206) and a mason in the mid 19th. (fn. 207)
The Hampnett villagers probably relied on the nearby market town of Northleach for many services from an early date. None of the parishioners listed in 1608 followed a trade or craft (fn. 208) and only two or three families depended directly on a trade or craft for a living in the early 19th century. (fn. 209) Residents in 1841 included a builder and a shoemaker, (fn. 210) and the only craftsman recorded at Hampnett in 1881 was a carpenter and wheelwright. (fn. 211) A woman kept a shop in Paradise Row in the early 20th century. (fn. 212) In the 1920s a caf and later a garage were opened on the Foss way near the west end of Northleach town just within Hampnett. (fn. 213) A later caf, on the Oxford road at the entrance to the town, closed after the Northleach bypass opened in 1984.
The medieval lords of Hampnett had apparently secured the right to hold their own view of frankpledge by the early 15th century when the manor was not represented at the hundred view. (fn. 214) No records for manorial government in Hampnett are known to survive. Hangman's Stone, recorded from 1759, possibly marked the site of gallows at the ancient crossroads midway along the parish's southern boundary. (fn. 215)
Hampnett often had two churchwardens, as in 1498, (fn. 216) but by the later 16th century it sometimes had only one. (fn. 217) The earliest surviving churchwarden's accounts cover the years 160720. The wardens chosen in 1610 were elected sidesmen and waywardens at the same time. (fn. 218) For at least part of the 1740s there was no churchwarden (fn. 219) and it was reported c. 1775 that a woman had acted as parish clerk for many years. (fn. 220) The cost of poor relief in Hampnett was 16 in 1776 and 39 in 1785. In 1803, when 12 people were being assisted on a regular basis, it was 144 (fn. 221) and ten years later, when fewer people were permanently on the parish, it was sightly less. In the next few years the cost fell considerably, to 80 in 1815, (fn. 222) and in the late 1820s and the early 1830s it was often even less and exceeded 100 only in 1826. (fn. 223) Hampnett became part of the Northleach poor-law union in 1836 (fn. 224) and part of Northleach rural district in 1895. (fn. 225) In 1974 it was included in the new Cotswold district.
A priest was among Roger d'Ivry's tenants in Hampnett in 1086. (fn. 226) The parish church was built in the later 12th century. The living was a rectory in 1305 (fn. 227) and remained one. The advowson belonged to Lawrence of Brook in 1263 (fn. 228) and descended with the manor. (fn. 229) In 1602 the Queen presented by reason of lapse of time, and in 1606 and 1619, at the next vacancies, the patronage was exercised respectively by Edward Cookes of Tardebigge (Worcs.) and Charles Holt, the latter by the grant of Henry Atkinson. (fn. 230) Holt was also patron for the turn at a vacancy in 1629 and the bishop collated to the living in 1636. (fn. 231)
In 1656 Stowell rectory was united with Hampnett on the petition of John Atkinson, who was patron of both, to form a single benefice with Hampnett church as its principal place of worship. (fn. 232) The union was evidently confirmed soon after the Restoration (fn. 233) and Hampnett with Stowell was united with Northleach in 1929. (fn. 234) Yanworth became a chapelry of Hampnett in 1938, (fn. 235) but in 1964 it and Stowell were detached from Hampnett. (fn. 236) In 1974 Farmington was added to the united benefice of Northleach and Hampnett. (fn. 237) The patronage of Hampnett with Stowell descended with Hampnett and Stowell manors, passing with them to Sir William Scott in 1812. (fn. 238) It then descended with the Stowell Park estate to the 3rd earl of Eldon, who sold the estate in 1923 (fn. 239) but retained the patronage of the united benefice at his death in 1926. (fn. 240) The advowson was later acquired by W. H. Madge, a Gloucester solicitor, and in 1929, the year of the union with Northleach, it was transferred from him to the bishop, who had the patronage of Northleach. (fn. 241) In 1938 the Lord Chancellor acquired the right to present at the second of every three turns (fn. 242) but in 1964 and 1974 the patronage of the united benefice was vested in the bishop alone. (fn. 243)
In 1291, when the rectory of Hampnett was not valued, evidently because it was too poor, Oseney abbey had a portion worth 1 in the church. (fn. 244) The abbey ceased to receive its portion, part of the rector's tithes, before 1535, (fn. 245) when tithes provided nearly all the rector's income of 9 8s. 6d. (fn. 246) The rector owned all the Hampnett tithes (fn. 247) and they were commuted from 1841 for a rent charge of 328. (fn. 248) The rector's glebe comprised 4 yardlands (64 a.), 2 in each of Hampnett's two fields, together with pasture rights and some meadow land in 1535 (fn. 249) and it covered just over 50 a. in 1842. (fn. 250) It was sold after the union of benefices in 1929, most of it in 1934. (fn. 251) Hampnett rectory was worth 8 18s. 9d. clear in 1535 (fn. 252) and 54 in 1650. (fn. 253) The united benefice of Hampnett with Stowell, worth perhaps 90 in the later 1730s, (fn. 254) was valued at 100 in 1750 (fn. 255) and 458 in 1856. (fn. 256)
The Hampnett rectory house, recorded from the late 16th century, (fn. 257) contained 8 bays and had several substantial outbuildings, including a barn and stabling, in 1683. (fn. 258) The house, for which the rector was assessed on 4 hearths in 1672, (fn. 259) stood on the lane west of the church, and the outbuildings west of the house. (fn. 260) In the early 19th century the house was deemed unfit for a clergyman's residence but it was frequently occupied by a curate until, on becoming rector in 1871, William Wiggin rebuilt it for his own use on a new site, on the far side of the little valley to the southwest, and converted the barn and stables belonging to the old house to include a coach house and, on an upper floor, a small dwelling. (fn. 261) The new rectory house, completed in 1873 to plans by A. W. Maberly, was very large and tall with views across and down the Leach valley. (fn. 262) After the union of benefices in 1929 it was sold (fn. 263) and the rector lived in Northleach. (fn. 264)
The earliest known rector of Hampnett, Richard of Moreton (d. by 1305), was possibly related to the lord of the manor. (fn. 265) In 1395 the rector, Thomas Bristowe, was licensed to be absent for a year. (fn. 266) In 1410 Ingram Woderone exchanged the rectory of Stowell for that of Hampnett (fn. 267) and in 1429, having resigned the living, he was awarded a pension from it as his sole means of support. (fn. 268) In 1498 a chaplain served in the church. (fn. 269) Hugh Bennet, rector by 1532, (fn. 270) could not recite the Ten Commandments in 1551. (fn. 271) Edward ap David, his successor in 1559, (fn. 272) was resident in 1563 (fn. 273) and later also had the living of Blunsdon (Wilts.). (fn. 274) John Bicknell, his successor at Hampnett in 1577, (fn. 275) was neither a graduate nor a preacher and had no other benefice in 1584. (fn. 276) In 1591 Hampnett was united with Stowell for the remainder of the incumbency at Stowell of Edmund Bracegirdle, who was also vicar of Chedworth, and in 1602 Bracegirdle was succeeded at both Hampnett and Stowell by Brian Atkinson, (fn. 277) who in 1603 was also rector of Poole Keynes. (fn. 278) Hampnett and Stowell were again held separately from 1606. Robert Knollys, rector of Hampnett from 1619, was the rector of Wick Rissington; although he had resigned Hampnett by 1629, (fn. 279) it was among the livings in which much later he was alleged to have committed abuses. (fn. 280)
From 1629 to 1771 the rectory was held by four successive members of the Hughes family. Thomas Hughes, rector from 1636 and at the union with Stowell in 1656, was also rector of Coln St. Dennis from 1661. In 1675 he was succeeded at Hampnett with Stowell by his son Thomas, at whose death in 1733 his widow Frideswide, as patron for the turn, presented his son Simon (d. 1771). (fn. 281) In the 1720s and 1730s other members of the family served Hampnett with Stowell as curates (fn. 282) and in the 1740s Hampnett church had two Sunday services and Stowell one. (fn. 283) From 1771 to 1871 the rectors, including Edward Andrew Daubeny (181871), were non-resident, serving churches elsewhere and employing curates at Hampnett with Stowell. The curates lived in or near Hampnett (fn. 284) and in the mid 1820s Hampnett and Stowell each had one Sunday service, alternately in the morning and afternoon. (fn. 285) John Tordiffe, curate from 1829, was also chaplain of Northleach prison from 1832, (fn. 286) and Richard Rice, curate 184966, taught at Northleach grammar school. (fn. 287) William Wiggin, formerly rector of Oddington, was rector of Hampnett with Stowell from 1871 (fn. 288) to 1895 and served in person, taking up residence in Hampnett in 1873. (fn. 289)
Hampnett church has a dedication to ST. GEORGE, recorded from 1743, (fn. 290) but it once had one to St. Matthew, recorded in 1735 and later. (fn. 291) Built in the later 12th century, it comprises a chancel, a nave with a south porch, and a west tower. The 12th-century chancel is of two bays. The east bay or sanctuary has a rib vault supported on trumpet capitals with stiff-leaf decoration, and the sanctuary arch is of two unchamfered orders, the inner on paired, and the outer on single, keeled shafts with similar trumpet capitals and with waterholding bases. The chancel's shorter west bay has a flat, timber ceiling and originally was probably the base of a low, central tower. The chancel arch, which would have supported such a tower, is simpler than the sanctuary arch; it has a large, plain inner order, an outer order of a roll on heavy detached shafts with carved capitals displaying pairs of birds (one pair drinking from a bowl neck to neck, the other standing back to back), and a dogtooth hoodmould. The chancel east and north-west windows are small and roundheaded. The nave, which is of a similar or slightly earlier date, has a north doorway with a diapered tympanum and a small round-headed window high in its north wall.
In the late 14th or early 15th century the chancel south-west window was replaced by a tall, cusped lancet and, probably at the same time, the upper part of a central tower may have been removed and the three-stage west tower was added. The west tower has a high arch of two chamfered orders on polygonal capitals and shafts resting on high chamfered stops. The church was renovated more extensively in the late 15th or early 16th century, when the nave south wall was rebuilt to make the nave wider and the porch was added. The south doorway has a four-centred arch with multiple continuous rolls and hollows surmounted by a hoodmould with whorl stops. The chancel north-east and south-east windows, which are of two cusped lights in square frames, have similar stops on their hoodmoulds. The nave south-east window has similar lights but has straight reticulation in the head and a plainer hoodmould. In the nave south wall are the steps and entrance to the former rood loft, for which, it was recorded in 1548, tapers were provided from funds derived from a flock of sheep. (fn. 292)
In 1610 the churchwardens allocated three seats or pews 'in the higher or outmost room of the church' on a provisional basis pending a final decision on their ownership. (fn. 293) The north doorway was closed and the church had a new roof in 1857. (fn. 294) In 1868 the church was restored to designs by G. E. Street, the cost being met primarily by voluntary contributions, principally from the rector, E. A. Daubeny, and the main landowner, Anne Hope. During the restoration, which may have included the insertion of the second small, round-headed window in the nave north wall, the sanctuary arch and vault were rebuilt and the chancel roof was decorated. The decoration, by the London firm of Bell & Almond, (fn. 295) was painted in reds, blues, and greens on a light background and comprised four angels, one in each of the vault spandrels, and geometric and foliate patterns and stars. After becoming rector in 1871 William Wiggin transformed the appearance of the church interior by having the rest of it painted with simpler if similar patterns and with texts on the walls, (fn. 296) but after the First World War the parishioners whitewashed the nave walls apart from the chancel and tower arches and the window and door splays. (fn. 297) The encaustic tile floor in the chancel was presumably laid in 1868.
The octagonal font has quatrefoil decoration on its bowl and dates perhaps from the late 15th or the early 16th century. (fn. 298) The oldest parts of the south door are of a similar date. Among the fittings introduced in 1868 is the wooden tower screen, and a painting hanging on the nave north wall in 1999 may have come from a reredos erected in 1868. In 1874 the church organ was sold to Taynton parish and a new, larger instrument was installed under the tower; built by John Nicholson of Worcester, it incorporated parts of an organ that the Revd. William Wiggin had owned at Oddington. (fn. 299) The pulpit, built in 1959 as a memorial to the Rice Wiggin family, (fn. 300) displays a carved figure representing St. George and has at its rear early 17th-century wooden panels that had been incorporated in the Victorian pulpit it replaced. (fn. 301) The oldest monuments are the remains of two stones in the chancel, marking the graves of members of the Hughes family in the 1640s. (fn. 302) Several windows contain 19th-century stained glass, some of it fitted before 1868 (fn. 303) and including memorials to Thomas Wells (d. 1861) and his wife and, in the chancel, to Edward Hugo Rice Wiggin (d. 1879). The church has three bells including a sanctus; the two larger bells were cast in 1832 at Gloucester by John Rudhall (fn. 304) as replacements for two cracked bells. (fn. 305) The church also has a chalice and paten cover of 1576 and a pewter flagon dated 1677. (fn. 306) The churchyard contains the base and part of the octagonal shaft of a medieval cross.
The Hampnett registers survive from 1591 and include occasional entries for Stowell from the mid 17th century. From 1690 the number of marriages conducted at Hampnett by members of the Hughes family grew as nonparishioners from an area extending eventually well beyond the county resorted to the church for their weddings; between 1737 and 1754, when the practice ended, Simon Hughes married nearly 700 people in the church. (fn. 307)
One nonconformist was recorded in Hampnett in 1676, (fn. 308) and a man presented in 1679 for not paying his church rate was one of several parishioners not receiving Holy Communion in 1682. (fn. 309) One parishioner was a Roman Catholic c. 1720 (fn. 310) and a Roman Catholic family lived in the parish in 1825. (fn. 311) The Congregational church in Northleach supported a mission to Hampnett in 1858. (fn. 312)
A Sunday school recorded from 1818 was supported by the rector E. A. Daubeny, (fn. 313) who paid its teacher six guineas a year. The school, which taught 30 children in 1833, (fn. 314) also received a small income from subscriptions and in the mid 1840s it was held in a cottage in the winter and in the church for the rest of the year. (fn. 315) In 1833 an infants' school taught c. 8 children at their parents' expense (fn. 316) and in 1841 a schoolmistress had 9 pupils boarding with her. A schoolmaster resident in 1841 (fn. 317) taught a day school until at least 1861 and presumably also conducted the Sunday school. (fn. 318) Later a dame taught a day school in a new schoolroom next to a cottage on the village green. (fn. 319) The school was described in 1870 as a parish school (fn. 320) and, having been reorganised as a National school for Hampnett and Stowell, it reopened in 1872 under the management of the rector William Wiggin and others and was dependent on voluntary contributions and pence. (fn. 321) The average attendance, which rarely exceeded 30, (fn. 322) fell below 20 after 1910 (fn. 323) but was boosted between 1916 and 1919 by the temporary closure of Turkdean school. (fn. 324) Hampnett school closed in 1921 and the children of Hampnett and Stowell were transferred to Northleach school. (fn. 325) The Hampnett schoolroom was later occupied with the adjacent cottage, which for a time had served as the schoolhouse, (fn. 326) and was used as a stable before being converted in the late 20th century as an annexe to the cottage. (fn. 327)
Charities for the Poor.