Places of Interest
Hartpury is a rural parish of some 3,500 acres and has numerous places of interest.
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A Grade I listed monument, St Mary’s Church was, from Norman times, a possession of St. Peter’s Abbey in Gloucester. There was a Norman west window in the nave but the tower was built against it in the 14th century. Also 14th century is the font, while the timber framed porch dates from the 15th century and the pulpit is Jacobean. The church was restored by Waller in 1882 when the nave walls were scraped.
An interesting tomb in the churchyard is that of John Hale, Blacksmith, who in 1692 was crushed by a bell of Newent Church.
Loe here's interred the Muses Passive Friend;
Their Noblest Science (Ringing) was his End.
His Actions Just, a Martyr of that Skill,
Crusht by A Bell twas Heaven's Sacred Will.
Melodious Bells delighting him on Earth
Exchang'd Terrestriall for Celestiall Mirth
This fatal Stroke in haste did stop his Breath
Lamented was his Unexpected Death.
Other monuments of note include (21m N of W end of the Chancel) a Grade II* listed stone chest tomb to Thomas Sloper who died in 1703 and (6m N of the Nave to the W of the E window) a Grade II listed stone headstone(pictured here), the earliest decipherable in the churchyard, to Henry Eldridge who died in 1661. The churchyard also houses the restored bee shelter.
This is a Grade II* listed building of 15th century origin and once of the Manor of Hartpury. It is approximately 49m by 11m externally and supported by largely modern buttresses although some original 2 stage buttresses remain on the south side. An earlier slate roof was replaced by one of red tile, with elaborate diamond and triangular patterns, which was restored in 1981 following major damage in the winter gales of 1976/77. Since the middle of the 19th century the barn has been used mainly as a cow-house and there is an interesting tramway installed along the feeding passage.
It is believed that a mill and mill house have existed on the site since the 12th century, but the present Grade II listed building dates from the 18th and early 19th centuries. The River Leadon forms the race for the mill whose 4.3m wheel ceased work during the Second World War. However, a Gloucester engineer restored it in 1982.
The building at the roadside between the Church and Hartpury Court was built by the Cannings in 1830 as a Roman Catholic chapel for use by the nuns and their pupils who were at that time occupying the Old Court. Note the cross on the end of the roof. The chapel was used as a farm store after the nuns left but was renovated as a Catholic chapel in 1940 and used for eight years. It then reverted to use as a store and fell into disrepair. It has now been converted (see below) into meeting rooms by Hartpury Historic Buildings Trust and is known as The Old Chapel.
The Old Court, which was the Manor House of Hartpury up until the creation of Hartpury House (see below) had been used from 1794 to 1839 as a home for English Dominican nuns forced to retire to England by the French occupation of Brussels. The nuns opened a school here for young ladies aged from six to twelve. The school closed in 1832 and the Old Court was used as a farmhouse. The building was demolished in the 1880's when the present Court was built.
If visiting the Old Chapel please respect the privacy of the occupiers of Hartpury Court.
Grade II* listed building. Originally New Court House, built in the early 19th century as a home for the Cannings on the site of a Queen Anne farmhouse at what was then Three Ashes Farm. The house was enlarged and remodelled by Dawber in 1896 and the courtyard at the front was framed by an attractive wall and railings, which are listed in their own right. The formal gardens were laid out by Parsons at the end of C19 and re-worked by Mawson in 1907. It is now part of Hartpury College.
The college was founded in 1947 by the Gloucestershire County Council as The Gloucestershire Farm Institute. Now, as Hartpury College, it is a faculty of the University of the West of England and has developed into a major centre for students of most rural and equestrian activities with an extensive modern campus.
Built in 1869/70 on land given by the Cannings “to be .. used as and for a school for the education of children .. of the labouring manufacturing and other poorer classes in the Parish”. The original School building with the attached Schoolhouse is Grade II listed. In 1874, when there were 61 children on the roll, it was enlarged to take a further 31 and in 1903 had 120 on its books - but with almost non-existent sanitary provision (one closet for each sex). In November 1999 the pupils moved to new school buildings in Over Old Road. The buildings are now used as an educational unit for The Marlowe Child and Family Services.
The former Wesleyan Chapel is an essentially unaltered example of a late 19th century Non-conformist chapel. A Grade II listed building, its foundation stone records the building date of 1887.
This old farmhouse, now a Natural Therapy Centre, has a remote connection with Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, since the reputed model for the tailor - John Pritchard - was married in St Mary’s Church on 3rd October 1907 to Martha Ellen Williams of Prestberrie Farm.
There are a number of half-timbered, thatched cottages around the village, some of which are only visible from our network of footpaths. Glebelands (behind The Royal Exchange) and Broads Orchard (close to Corsend Farm) are two 15th Century examples. Catsbury Cottage (at the foot of Catsbury Hill) was until recently thought to date from the 17th Century but is now considered to be earlier. Pears Cottage in Corsend Road is another survivor of Hartpury's early days.
In addition to the two tombs in Hartpury churchyard and the wall and railings at Hartpury House there are a couple of "oddities" which are on the register of listed buildings.
The first is a beehive rack or bee shelter which is situated in Hartpury churchyard. This is a most unusual "building" and dates from the mid 19th century, although originally thought to be much older. It is made of stone and can accommodate 28 boles on two levels. It was originally located at Nailsworth but was moved to the grounds of Hartpury House in 1968. By 2000 it was falling into disrepair and was relocated and restored by Hartpury Historic Buildings Trust.
The second is a milestone, situated on the Gloucester Road between Woolridge Farm and the Old School which indicates that "GLOSTER" is 4 miles away. It is possible that this was also relocated but, in this case, only from the Over Old Road in the vicinity of Chapel Farm. This road running along the top of Woolridge was the turnpike road until about 1820 when the current Gloucester road was constructed.