Pauntley (St. John the Evangelist)
PAUNTLEY (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, in the union of Newent, hundred of Botloe, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 2¾ miles (N. E. by N.) from Newent; containing 280 inhabitants. The parish lies on the high road from Newent (over the river Leadon) to Redmarley-D'Abitot, and comprises about 2000 acres. The surface is in continuous undulations, and the scenery is beautiful, with the Malvern hills to the north, the line of the Cotswold hills to the east, the Herefordshire hills to the west, and May Hill to the south: the lower lands are watered by the Leadon. In 1292, Pauntley was a chapelry to Newent. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; net income, £80. The tithes have been commuted for £450. The church, an ancient edifice, has lately received some improvements at the expense of the vicar: the arch of the tower, and the west window, have been restored, by the removal of a singing-gallery; and the chancel arch, of very beautiful proportions, has been freed from whitewash, and its handsome architrave well developed, but the lower parts of the shafts and their bases are still concealed by unsightly pews, which disfigure the church generally. More recently, a new (open) roof has been put up by the parishioners, and the chancel has been repaired by C. W. Osborne, Esq., of Hawford, the impropriator. The south door is Norman, with a great variety of ornament; the windows and mouldings, and a chantry chapel, are for the most part in the perpendicular style. In the chantry chapel, a handsome window has been blocked up, and a huge monument to Lady Ann Somerset placed against it. With the exception of the improvements just mentioned, the church is in a state of disrepair. The present vicar has also established a provident club, for assuring medicine and medical attendance, and 8s. weekly, during sickness, to day labourers within the parish. Here are some springs similar in character to, but more powerful than, the Cheltenham waters; pigeons resort to them, for the sake, as is said, of the salt obtained from evaporation. The mutilated shaft of a preaching cross was recently dug up, in clearing away the earth from the church walls. The celebrated Wythington, Withington, or Whittington, lord mayor of London; and Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormonites, are said to have been of this parish.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.