A V E N I N G.

PARISH fituate in the hundred of Longtree, and deanery of Stoneboufe, more than two miles fouth of Minchin Hampton, three miles north of Tetbury, and fourteen fouth of GLOUCESTER. Avon rivulet, rifing from a collection of fprings at Afton Hill, continues a winding courfe through this parifh, to which it forms a boundary; and, paffing from Woodchefter to Rodborough, joins the Stroudwater at Dudbridge. Avening probably owes its name to this ftream; "Ing," in the Danifh language; implies a low, meadow ground, and for that reafon has obtained much as a termination to the names of villages in Lincolnfhire. The greatefs extent of the parish is nearly feven miles, and its greateft breadth, which lies between the towns of Tetbury and Minchin Hampton, does not exceed a mile and a half. A proportion of three fourths of it, is applied to tillage; the remainder confifts of pafturage, with 400 acres of woodland, chiefly beech. The foil is, in general, light. Strata of ftone lie within a foot of the furface in many places, in which great quantities of anomiae, and other foffil fhells, are to be difcovered.
    The benefice is a rectory; valued at
24l. in the King's books; and the church, according to ECTON, dedicated to Saint Mary. But the feaft, or revel, being kept on the feftival of the Holy Crofs (Sept. 14), and the following Sunday, confirms a report prevalent in the parifh, that the church was fo dedicated, and not to the Holy Virgin. It is conftructed with a tranfept, a low tower in the middle, in which are five bells, and a fmall aile attached to the nave, which is appropriated to the DRIVERS, of Afton. The ftyle of its architecture is evidently that of the Norman era, apparent from the pillars, windows, and mouldings. Tranfepts are unufual in this country; and it may be conjectured, that as the adjacent church of Minchin Hampton has ever had the fame patrons and ground form, they are coeval in the time of their erection. WILLIAM the Conqueror the advowfon to the nunnery of Caen, in Normandy; at the Fuppreffion of the alien priories, it was appropriated to that of Sion, in Middlefex.
    The property of the manor of Avening was vefted in the patrons of the advowfon, till the general diffolution of religious houfes, and the confequent difperfion of their revenues.
ANDREW LORD WINDOR received it from HENRY VIII. THOMAS LORD WINDSOR, his lineal defcendant, fold it to SAMUEL SHEPPARD, Efq. In the laft century, in whofe family it ftill continues. The right of prefentation to the living, though occafionally alienated, has been ever vefted in the Lords of the Manor. EDWARD SHEPPARD, Efq. The prefent poffeffor, refides at Gatcombe Park, where he has built an elegant modern edifice. The park is not wholly in this parifh; the houfe and gardens being within the limits of Minchin Hampton

    Nearly midway between the church and the village of Afton, ftands the ancient manor houfe. FRANCIS BOUGHTON, Efq. is the prefent inhabitant. His lady, the eldeft daughter of the late S. SHEPPARD, Efq. is maternally defcended from JOHN LORD BRUGES BARON CHANDOIS, of Sudley, whofe feventh fon, HENRY BRYDGES, EFQ. was a refident in this parifh; and of whofe monument in the church, an engraving is annexed.
    A large tumulus, or barrow, in a field adjoining the Gatcombe Park, is faid to have been thrown up during the wars of the Saxons and Danes. On the fummit is placed a huge fragment of rock, evidently a fepulchral monument, which has been known for ages by the name of Tingle Stone.
    Of the two hamlets belonging to this parifh, Nailfworth and Afton; the former is a confiderable village, a mile and an half weft of the church. The elliptic arch of a window is there fhewn in a ruinous building, which is reported to have been a chapel for the fervice of this populous deftrict, in which the manufacture of cloth has been long eftablifhed, and is ftill continued by gentlemen of reputation.
    Afton, fo called from its eafterly fituation, bears nearly an equal diftance from the village of Avening. This place, with the extenfive farm of Loefmore, was inherited for many generations by the family of DRIVER; a refectable name, now extinct, excepting in very remotely collateral branches. The relict of the laft MR. DRIVER fold thefe eftates to MR. BERESFORD, of whofe executors Afton was purchfed by EDMUND ESTCOURT, Efq. and now poffeffed by THOMAS ESTCOURT, of Shipton Moigne, Efq. and Loefmiore (a reputed manor, the privileges of which have never been allowed) by MR. SLOPER, whofe fon, GEORGE SLOPER, Efq. of Tetbury, fucceeded to this eftate.
    The Parfonage-houfe, which, by the non-refidence of former rectors, had fuffered confiderable dilapidations, has been repaired and improved by the prefent incumbent.

B E N E F A C T I O N S.

    JOHN DRIVER, late of Afton, in the parifh of Avening, Efq. gave, for ever, to bind out poor children apprentices, fifty pounds, vefted in GEORGE SLOPER, of Tetbuty, Efq. the annual produce two pounds ten fhillings.
ELIZABETH COXE gave, to bind out poor children apprentices, one hundred pounds, vefted in EDMUND CLUTTERBUCK, of Avening, Efq. the annual produce four pounds.
ELIZABETH COXE gave, to teach poor children to read, and find them books, fifty pounds, loft by the infolvency of the perfon in whofe hands the money was once vefted.


This information on this page was found on the website of, The Church of the Holy Cross, Avening, Glouscestershire, England. To visit this site to learn more, plus see several pictures of the church go here.

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