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Old Clingre Farmhouse

Mentioned in Domesday

OLD CLINGRE FARMHOUSE , until relatively recently called ‘Clingre Farm’, appears in ancient records under the parish of Cam. ‘Clingre‘ takes its name from the ancient Saxon word, Claenhangare, meaning ‘clayey wooded slope’. (As you will see, there have been many different spellings over the years). At the taking of the great Domesday survey in 1086 it was held of King William by Roger. It subsequently passed to the Berkeley family of Berkeley Castle. Together with other land in the parish it later belonged to the Tyndales, more generally known by the name of Huchyns.

An Aerial view of Old Clingre Farm and Farmhouse circa 1970 when it was purchased by the Cooke family

The following comes from “Open Domesday” and is a description with context for the entry for Clingre.

Clingre was a settlement in Domesday Book, in the hundred of Berkeley and the County of Gloucestershire and came under the control of the Lord Roger of Berkeley. Clingre had a recorded population of 12.5 households in 1086 (NB: 12.5 households is an estimate, since multiple places are mentioned in the same entry). The entry below mentions multiple places: Clingre; Hurst and [Old] Hurst; Newington [Bagpath]; Slimbridge. See the page in Domesday book

Land of King William

Households 

  • Households: 13 villagers. 21 smallholders. 16 slaves.

Land and resources 

  • Ploughland: 10 lord’s plough teams. 22 men’s plough teams. (A ploughland (terra carucis or carucata) was the area that could be ploughed by eight oxen in a year. Generally around 120 acres)
  • Other resources: 1 mill, value 5 shillings.

Valuation 

  • Annual value to lord: 11 pounds 10 shillings in 1086; 9 pounds in 1066.

Owners 

  • Tenant-in-chief in 1086: King William (The main landholders listed in Domesday Book)
  • Lord in 1086: Roger of Berkeley (The immediate lord over the peasants)

The Trye Family at Clingre

There is evidence that a branch of the Trye family were amongst the earliest occupants of the Old Clingre Farm site, pre-dating even the Hickes.

The Tryes of Hardwicke Court

While the family seat was at Hardwicke Court opens in a new windownear Gloucester from 1397 to 1726, the Tryes also held land at Clingre from the 15th century. An Inquisition Post Mortem entry for 1498 lists land at Overclehungr’ and Netherclehungr’ amongst the holdings of the recently deceased William Trye. (Searching Tip – it’s a very long entry so use <Ctrl F> to search on “Trye”).

John Trye comes to Clingre

Not until about 1629 is there evidence of a member of the Trye family actually living at Clingre. Gloucestershire Archives opens in a new windowhold a conveyance (ref D2957/65/27) between William Trye esquire of Hardwicke and John Trye of Clayhunger, gentleman. It relates to a tenement in Over Clayhunger and various pieces of land. Due to the current restrictions it has only been possible to look at the information in the online catalogue, which gives no clue as to the precise location of the tenement.

In The Lives of the Berkeleys Vol. 2 opens in a new window John Smyth notes that John Trye is William Trye’s uncle and that when he is writing, in 1639, still holds the land at Clingre. John Trye’s will, dated 3rd February 1665, is available on Ancestry.com. There has not been time to make a full transcription, but it mentions his dwelling house at Clingar, his wife and his son, also called John.

The Tryes get established

The Tryes became prominent members of the community in Stinchcombe. John Trye the younger is named in, and is a signatory to, a lease between the feoffees opens in a new windowof the Parish Lands and Elizabeth Attwood for the Clerk’s House in 1660. We know from the Parish Register that he married Lydia Bendall of Stinchcombe in 1678. They had a daughter called Lydia and a son called Edward, baptised in 1678 and 1680 respectively. The succint will of John Trye of Clinger, dated 4th July 1681, is held at Gloucestershire Archives (ref.D2957/65/62) and is available on Ancestry.com. Strangely, he mentions his daughter and his wife, who is sole executor, but not his son.

John Trye's signature on an indenture from 1660
John Trye’s signature on an indenture from 1660 relating to the lease of the Clerk’s House

Edward Trye sells out

Edward Trye went on to marry Mary White in Stinchcombe in 1706. Sadly, the couple seems to have lived beyond their means. In 1711, “Edward Trye of Clinger, gentleman and Mary his wife” contract with John Awood and Richard Merricke, both of Dursley, over a tenement in Clingre. The original document is held at Gloucestershire Archives (ref. D2957/65/85) but until they reopen it has only been possible to look at the information in the online catalogue. The phrase “upon trust to sell to pay a debt of £50 to Richard Merrick and other debts” appears, implying that this is a forced sale. It may well be that the Hicks family first acquired an interest in the property from Awood and Merricke.

Luckily, some details of the property are given in the online catalogue this time. The tenement is described as having a barn, stable, garden and 2 orchards (3 acres). Specific pieces of land mentioned include the Upper Meade (6 acres) and the Lower Meade (8 acres).

Relating the tenement description to old maps

Stinchcombe History Society is grateful to Gloucestershire Archives and Know Your Place opens in a new window for permission to use screenshots below from the Know Your Place website. On balance, the maps suggest that Old Clingre Farm fits the description reasonably well.

The 1st edition of the 25″ OS map, surveyed in about 1879, still shows two orchards next to Old Clingre Farm (lnumbers 429 and 431).

Old Clingre Farm on 1st edition of 25" OS Map
Old Clingre Farm on 1st edition of 25″ OS Map (courtesy of Gloucestershire Archives and Know Your Place)

The 1840s Tithe Map shows a field called the Upper Mead (Plot 135) immediately to the west of the garden. Plot 135 on the Tithe Map is the Upper Mead, owned and occupied at the time by Samuel Long. Plot 134, called the Mead, is adjacent to it and is also owned and occupied by Samuel Long. Both fields are between 5 and 6 acres, which does not tally exactly with the description. We should remember, however, that 130 years have elapsed between the document and the map.

The information on field names, areas, owners and occupiers has been obtained from the Tithe Apportionments Database opens in a new window. It is important to remember that Old Clingre Farm was in Cam not Stinchcombe at the time of the Tithe Map and search the numbers for the correct parish.

Old Clingre Farm on 1840s Tithe Map
Old Clingre Farm on 1840s Tithe Map (courtesy of Gloucestershire Archives and Know Your Place)

The Hickes arrive

The first person we can actually associate with Old Clingre Farmhouse with any degree of certainty is ‘William Hickes, clothier of Cam’, whose will opens in a new window was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 3 February 1708, the sixth year of the reign of Queen Anne and the year the Old Pretender, James Edward, landed in Scotland in a vain attempt to reclaim the throne for the Stuarts. Hickes was a rich man who left his wife, Mary, three hundred pounds, about £30,000 in modern money. Mary was also to have the use for her life ‘of all my household goods‘. However, like many a husband before and since, William sought to control his wife’s behaviour from beyond the grave by adding the rider: ‘so long as she shall remain unmarried‘. If she chose to take a second husband, the bequest was withdrawn. ‘immediately upon her marriage‘ and everything bar the gift of money was to be handed over to his cousins including Mary Allen, who additionally received ‘my silver tankard‘.

Hickes’s brother, Richard Hickes, also a clothier, who received twenty shillings, may have shared the farmhouse with William and Mary during his brother’s lifetime and died possessed of it three years later. He left ‘half a guinea of gold apeece‘ to various family members; and ten shillings to his great niece, Ann Hickes, provided she agreed to forego levying any charge on his executors for ‘raising the water in the Mill pond for the benefit! of her Mills in Cam‘. Although he was a married
man, Richard’s relationship with his servant, Elizabeth Blanch, may have been more than that of master and servant. He left Elizabeth five pounds, almost twenty times the sum he bequeathed to his brother, Nathaniel, and the fourth highest of all his benefactions.

The next member of the Hickes family associated with Old Clingre Farmhouse was Richard’s cousin, Daniel [sometimes ‘Daniell’] Hickes also a clothier. The woollen-cloth trade was then central to this area’s fortunes; and from about 1550 accounted almost entirely for the region’s population growth.

Cloth Manufacturers

The Ewelme or Cam valley was famous for its fine broadcloth opens in a new window. Twill, cassimere, buckskin, medley, serge and worsted were all produced in the kind of mills operated by the Hickes family. They provided employment for a large number of people who spent their days shearing, washing, carding [combing to align the fibres], spinning, weaving, fulling [pounding with fullers earth to remove natural greases], dying and raising the nap. Finally, the cloth had to be pressed. Factories were a thing of the future and most village folk were self-employed, working in their own cottages, perhaps for many masters, and often walking long distances to collect and return materials.

Stinchcombe’s connection to the Slave Trade?

The references to shipping and Jamaica imply that Daniel may have been a slave-owner and trader, plying out of the port of Bristol. Being mindful of his end, ‘and the uncertainty of the time thereof, he left most of his fortune to his ‘beloved sisters, Mary Allen and Anne Elton to be equally divided between them’. This was probably the same Mary Allen who had received her uncle William’s silver tankard. Daniel also left each girl a golden guinea to purchase a mourning ring by which to remember him.

Daniel Hickes’s will opens in a new windowwas proved 9 September 1715 and is available at the National Archives. He seems to have sub-let Old Clingre Farm and may have spent much of his time in the capital. His will makes mention of property ‘in and about the City of London and in the Island of Jamaica‘. He also had a ‘share part and right in and to the Ship called the Elton Galley‘.

Joseph Hickes – Yeoman

By 1720 Old Clingre Farm was occupied by ‘Joseph Hickes, yeoman’. Joseph is not mentioned in the will of Daniel Hickes and the relationship between the two is not known. The term ‘yeomen’ was first noted in 1362 by Piers Plowman and probably meant ‘young men’. Yeomen were the backbone of middle England: conservative farmers and ‘freemen’, fiercely proud of their
independence from feudal servitude [at least from Tudor times]. A yeoman had his own servants and was addressed as ‘Master’, his wife being called ‘Mistress’. From these terms derive the modern ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ Joseph Hickes would have held Old Clingre Farm from the Lord of the Manor not for a term of years but a series of ‘lives’, most probably his own, then his son’s and grandson’s, but variable or assignable according to requirement on payment to the Lord of a ‘fine’ or fee. These agreements were terms ‘copyhold’ for no better reason than that details of them were, literally, copied into the manorial court rolls. Sub- and under-leases could spring from these agreements with such fiendish complexity that it is sometimes almost impossible to determine who the physical occupant of a property might have been.

The Parish Register lists the burials of Joseph Hicks of Clyngar in 1728 and his widow in 1739. They had a son, William, who may well be the father of Deborah, Ann, Mary, Sarah, Hester and Jane Hickes mentioned in the next paragraph.

Members of the Hickes Family Buried at Stinchcombe

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The Hickes Family Tomb and below the inscription of remembrance to Deborah and William Hickes

The following people mentioned in this article are buried in Stinchcombe Church Graveyard:

Joseph Hickes, William Hickes, Deborah Hickes, Stephen & Elizabeth Parsloe, Samuel Long, Neville & Irene Pain

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From the 1750s

An agreement on parchment dated I November 1753 shows the beneficial owner of Old Clingre Farm as ‘William Davies, gent.’, of Rolls Court, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.Davies’s copyholder was ‘Maurice Smith of Dursley, mercer’. This document is held at Gloucestershire Archives (Ref. D2957/65/124). Some interest in the farm was also held by the Tryes of Hardwick [who are not mentioned in the lease] and by Deborah Hickes – who lived in Stinchcombe, ‘the widow of William Hickes of Stinchcombe, gent‘ – and by her five unmarried daughters: Ann, Mary, Sarah, Hester and Jane.

All these parties came together to rent Old Clingre Farm for seven years to Stephen Parsloe of Stinchcombe at £91 p.a., “plus £20 for every acre converted to tillage.” This last charge was intended to be punitative. Landlords disliked the conversion of pastureland to arable because it reduced the acreage available for the highly profitable cultivation of sheep and wool. The property is described in the document as ‘a farmhouse at Clingre, Cam, with outhouses, garden, orchard and freehold lands and two meadows adjoining the house’, being in total seventeen acres.

The Longs move in

We know that Stephen Parsloe was related through his wife, Elizabeth, to the family of Long of Charfield, cloth manufacturers and farmers. Volume sixteen of The Monthly Magazine records that in 1803: “at Clingre in the parish of Cam died Miss M. Long‘. The 1841 census shows Old Clingre Farmhouse in the occupation of Sam Long 63, his wife, Sarah 55 and six of their known children: Samuel 25, William 23, Robert 20, Mary 17, Sarah 15 and Hester 12. These immediate family members were destined to be associated with Old Clingre Farm for about the next fifty years.

The tithe map and tithe apportionments database already mentioned give an accurate picture the Sam’s land holdings in the early 1840s. These amount to only about 20 acres. Interestingly, his elder sister Elizabeth Long together with Richard Greening rents much of the adjacent land from Earl Fitzhardinge.

By 1851 Sam Long was seventy-two years of age and farming a hundred and fifty-four acres with the help of his sons, Samuel 35, William 33, Rohen 30 and two hired labourers. Possibly, he has taken over the land formerly rented by his sister. Sam also made cheese on a large scale. We know this because on 31 January 1857 the Bristol Mercury published a list of those dairy farmers, Sam included, who attended a meeting in Dursley town hall to discuss the establishment of a cheese market within ‘Dursley Monthly Great Market’.

Sam Long died later the same year and the farm passed to his oldest son, Samuel Long the younger, who in 1861 was farming from here a similar acreage to that of his father. He had inherited the farm as the first-born son. Then or subsequently, his brother, William, married and moved a short distance down Clingre Lane to Downhouse Farm. His other brother, Robert, also married and took over the copyhold of Quarry Farm. Samuel, aged forty-four in 1851, had not found himself a wife and relied on his three unmarried sisters, Mary 36, Sarah 33 and Hester 30, to run his household for him. All three girls would have been considered by the village gossips to be firmly ‘on the shelf!”.

Hester however, confounded the pundits by finding herself a husband. Samuel, Sarah and Mary never married. All three were still residing here in March 1881 – Samuel being sixty-five, Sarah fifty-six and Mary fifty-three. By this date Samuel had retired and was also sharing the farmhouse with his younger brother, Robert 60, who had moved back from Quarry Farm, with his wife, Elizabeth, to take over at Clingre. Robert described himself as ‘farmer of 180 acres employing 3 men and 1 woman’.

The final member of the household in 1881 was Eliza Bennett, for whom we should spare a thought down the tunnel of the years. Although she was only twenty years old, as the only residential domestic she would have been responsible for all the chores outside the kitchen – and a good many within it – including the carrying of coals and bath-water to the top of the house and the lighting of all the fires. [A thrifty and dextrous servant was expected to light a fire with six pieces of kindling.]

Samuel Long died in the 1880s. Robert followed him to the grave 31 January 1892 aged seventy­ one. He left an estate valued for the purpose of probate at £678 14s Od., or about £42,000 at today’s rate of exchange.

Newspaper Cutting

In 1896 much of the farm was sold judging by this advert in the Glos Journal Feb 1896

CLINGRE FARM. 2 Miles from Dursley, and 1 from Berkeley Road Station on the Midland Railway. 60 Young DAIRY COWS and HEIFERS, 7 CART HORSES and COLTS, PIGS, IMPLEMENTS and DAIRY UTENSILS.

The farm tenancy was then advertised in 1904 to be let – half a mile from Berkeley Road Station consisting of 64 acres of rich old pasture land with good house and buildings.

The Great Farm Fire of 1906

On 28th September 1906 the Gloucestershire Echo reported there had been a very damaging fire at the farm a few days before although luckily the farm house escaped the flames.

newspaper Cutting 1906

A disastrous fire, involving four hay and wheat ricks, a wagon, a threshing machine, and a valuable sheepdog.

Although the Dursley Fire Brigade was called, as there was little water on the farm due to the drought, they were unable to control the fire which eventually burnt itself out. A bigger tragedy was that the farm dog was caught in the fire, could not be reached and sadly died.

The Threshing Machine was owned by J Nicholls of Stinchcombe with the tenant of the farm, Mr P J Bennett were covered by insurance. Threshing had been in progress all day but the cause of the fire was never found

1911 Onwards

Little else is known about that tenancy until 1911, when it was occupied by a farmer named John James Tutt 35, his wife, Florence 31 [d.1956] and their daughter Mabel 8. In 1911 Tutt told the census authorities that he and Florence had been married for ten years and that the union had produced two children, one of whom had died. The Tutt family was still in occupation of the farmhouse in 1939. It then had neither a telephone nor what was called ‘the electric light’.

Newspaper Cutting

TUESDAY, JUNE 12th, 1934, at 6 p.m. CLINGRE FARM, NR. DURSLEY.
Sale of Haymaking and other Implements, Cider Mill and Press, 100 Gallons Cider, Harness, Dairy Utensils and other effects. About 150 useful lots, for Mr. James Tutt (owing to ill-health).

Newspaper Cutting

All the Tutt’s Outdoor Effects and Useful Household Furniture was advertised for sale at Auction on 18th November 1942 when they likely vacated the farm.

Probably during the Second World War, the tenancy passed to Neville Pain (maybe the son of William mentioned below), who paid a yearly rent of £172. When Pain died in 1947 the owner of the farm, A.H. Jotcham, a partner in the firm of Goldingham & Jotcham, solicitors, of Wotton-under-Edge, found a new tenant in the person of John P. Dennis. From correspondence of this time, which has survived in Gloucestershire Record office, it seems that the widow Pain and her son, had broken gates, taken away all the manure ‘and cut the land up badly recently’. The last letter to have survived of this correspondence, chiefly mundane in nature, leaves Jotcham pondering whether to claim dilapidations of £132 9s. 9d.

Clingre Cow Strays

From a Gloucester Citizen newspaper article farmer William Pain of Clingre appeared at Dursley Petty Sessions on 20th October 1930 and was fined 12s 6d for allowing cattle to stray into the road where one collided with a motorcyclist at 9.45 in the evening. The Chair of Petty Sessions said it was bad luck for the cowman George Perewith who was responsible for leaving a gate open although he said he checked it every night at 7.30pm

Colin Pain

One of William and Kathleen Pain’s sons, 24 year old Colin William Duckett Pain is mentioned on the War Memorial in the village. He is one of only two villagers to lose his life in the Second World War. Lance Bombadier Pain served with the 7th Medium Regiment of the Royal Artillery and died on 28th or 29th May 1941.  His details have been obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission opens in a new window. Colin’s name also appears on the Athens Memorial opens in a new window at the Phaleron War Cemetery, a few kilometres from Athens.  Based on his regiment and the date of his death, he is likely to have been killed during the evacuation after the Allies lost the Battle of Crete opens in a new window.

Plaque on Stinchcombe War Memorial

The Berkeley Weather Predicting Trees

For many years, there were reports in a few of the local papers including the Gloucester Citizen of the 22nd August 1922 of 2 ‘Weather Predicting’ Elm Trees which were situated on the Berkeley Estate and at Clingre.

Newspaper Cutting
From Gloucester Citizen – Tuesday 24 May 1932 – Click for larger image

It was the leaves and their colour and shades that people relied on for the predictions and this was true for many years. Another newspaper article from the Gloucestershire Citizen dated 19th May 1937 was still predicting the future weather and a fair summer was in store.

In the course of a particular heatwave in May of 1937 when water supplies were very short and the fate of crops were in question that there pessimistic predictions that there would be a very wet summer that year and these were made from facts observed from the 2 trees in question. The predictions were correct and there was continual rain throughout the summer.

We presume the elms disappeared with Dutch Elm disease as there is no mention of them in present times. We wonder if they would have managed to change their predictions when faced with Climate Change!?

Farm Awards

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An article in the Glos Citizen dated 8th August 1949 and again in the Tewkesbury Register 29th August 1953 listed Farm Awards made on the best cultivated and managed farms under 200 and 100 acres.

J. K. Dennis came 1st and 2nd in the under 100 acres category in those 2 years, so he must have worked hard to bring the farm back from how the Pains had left it.

Stone Stile Project

One of the stone stiles in Stinchcombe’s Stone Stile Project opens in a new window lies on the edge of Clingre Farm and is one of the 6 found in Stinchcombe and the environs. N.B. Clingre Farm not Old Clingre Farm – Kath

Medieval Pottery

On an Archeological dig in the 1920s/30s there was some Romano-British Pottery, medieval and post-medieval Pottery found at Clingre Farm, Stinchcombe and this is held by the Bristol Museum.

Present Day Ownership

For the past fifty years Old Clingre farm has been in the ownership of Christopher Cooke and his family.

Chris and Clare Cooke bought the farmhouse and run down farm with outbuildings in 1970 and the house was in very poor condition with the roof falling in. They tell us their bedroom was on the ground floor away from the roof but despite this in a storm on one January night the water was pouring into their bedroom. So some rapid renovations had to take place. They rebuilt the North wall of the house to ensure the roof was secure and used what stone and materials they had including part of an old millstone as in the picture.

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Part of the mill stone used to help repair the Northern Wall

As mentioned earlier it appears parts of the house when it was rebuilt in about 1720 were the remains of previous houses and this is perfectly illustrated from the various brick and stone parts shown in the photographs below

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Although the house you see today dates in essence from about 1720, circumstantial evidence suggests it has an older core of perhaps 1660. Of Marlstone rubble it has a small modem extension at the north-east comer. The principal front, which faces away from Clingre Lane, has a central ridge chimney stack. The former central door is now a matching window. The elevation to the road has various casement windows. The one of three lights on the first floor left is 18′” century in origin. The interior boasts 3 fine, large fireplaces the major one with the remains of a bread oven.

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The farmhouse today taken from the Western elevation, showing the former central door as now a matching window.

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The largest of the 3 fireplaces with the bread oven

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Detail of bread oven

Doorway from No-Where

There is a mystery doorway built into the north wing which dates back to about 1580. Maybe part of a former house on the site but its a mystery where it came from no one seems to know.

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The Mystery C1580 Doorway. Possibly from a previous house on the site or another property

When Chris Cooke bought the farm the agricultural buildings were redundant but Chris used one for his joinery business. He realised the potential of letting the buildings out to small businesses and Stroud District Council agreed the site would make an excellent small industrial estate and hence Taits Hill Industrial Estate was born and has now 15 letting units.

Agricultural Activity

There is little mention in this article of the agricultural activities that were carried out at the Farm or the number of acres that were involved before the present owners bought Clingre.

Certainly it has been a mixed farm since Domesday, but it is hoped that this history will be added to in the future.

The Cookes are the latest in a long line of owners and occupiers of this historic old house and site spanning the best part of a thousand years … from the days of the great Domesday survey of 1086 when this land was held of the Conqueror by Roger, ‘for his tillage’. .

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