Haresfield (St. Peter)

HARESFIELD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Wheatenhurst, Upper division of the hundred of Whitestone, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 6 miles (S. S. W.) from Gloucester; containing 576 inhabitants. This ancient manor enjoys peculiar rights, and is independent of the hundred court; it was united with the manors of Wheatenhurst and Newnham, in conferring the dignity of lord high constable, held by grand serjeantry, from which circumstance its privileges arose. The parish is situated on the Bath and Bristol roads, and comprises, according to computation, 3000 acres. Oolite limestone, of which the church and many of the houses are built, is extensively quarried. The river Severn runs very near the lower part of the parish; and the Gloucester and Berkeley Ship-canal, and the railroad from Gloucester to Swindon, intersect it. Haresfield Court, the seat of J. D. Thomas Niblet, Esq., is a handsome mansion in the Elizabethan style, erected in 1670, on the site of the ancient manor-house, which was surrounded with a moat. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £17; patron and impropriator, Mr. Niblet. The tithes were commuted for land in 1812: the glebe altogether comprises 150 acres, of which the greater part was acquired in lieu of tithe; the glebe-house was rebuilt of stone, in the later English style, by the patron, in 1837. The church, an ancient edifice with a tower surmounted by a spire, appears to have been erected by the prior of Llanthony; it consists of a nave, with north and south porches, and two chancels, of which one belongs to the vicar and the other to the impropriator, and contains some interesting details in the Norman, and early, decorated, and later English styles. On the Beacon Hill, where are the remains of a Roman encampment, coins, chiefly of the Constantine family, have been found at various times; and on the 13th of August, 1837, a vase was turned up by the plough, in which were some thousands of copper coins, now in the possession of the incumbent. Archdeacon Rudge, author of a History of Gloucestershire, was vicar of the parish.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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