Kingswood (St. Mary)
KINGSWOOD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Dursley, Upper division of the hundred of Berkeley, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 5¼ miles (S. by W.) from Dursley; containing 1321 inhabitants. A Cistercian monastery was founded here in 1139, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, by William de Berkeley, who placed in it brethren from Tintern Abbey. The society soon afterwards removed to Tetbury, but in 1170 returned to this parish, and settled at Mireford, near the site of their former establishment, where they continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when their revenue was returned at £254. 11. 2.: the only remains are, the foundations of the two churches, a gate-house, and some small ruins. The parish comprises 2200 acres by computation; the lands are watered by the Middle Avon, and on its banks are several extensive mills for the manufacture of woollen-cloth. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £99; patrons, the Inhabitants. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. A school was endowed in 1674, by John Mayo, with a farmhouse and 25 acres of land; the present income is £50 per annum. Josiah Sheppard, in 1726, bequeathed £1500 to purchase land for the benefit of the nonconformist minister and the poor of his congregation.