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CIRENCESTER (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, and the head of a union, comprising the borough of Cirencester, which is a hundred of itself, and several tythings in the hundred of Crowthorne and Minety, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 17 miles (S. E.) from Gloucester, and 89 (W. by N.) from London. Two other churches, one dedicated to St. Cecilia, and the other to St. Lawrence, have long been in ruins. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians.
"Cirencester Parish Church is the largest parish church in Gloucestershire, funded by the thriving wool trade of the 13th century.
Cirencester Parish, Dedicated to John the Baptist
Cirencester Parish presents an awe-inspiring image with elaborately carved stonework encasing its multiple windows and a decorative lace sky-line border. This ancient Cotswold parish still dominates the busy market street, but has almost been engulfed by modern businesses, near the once famous wool and corn market areas.
A closer view of the stonework on this parish shows the chiseled precision of the stone masons who labored to create the unique lace pattern along the roof-line of the parish.
"The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Gloucester. The church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is a magnificent structure in the decorated style of English architecture, erected in the fifteenth century, with a lofty embattled tower crowned with pinnacles; its interior and exterior are richly adorned in the most elaborate style, and it contains several chapels of exquisite beauty and many sepulchral monuments." Samuel Lewis, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.) Vols. I-II, p. 459
The Coronation of the Virgin
"The Lady Chapel dates from 1240, when the cult of the Virgin Mary was especially popular and such chapels were added to churches around the country."
"The Lady Chapel is dominated by the Bridges Monument
The Bridges Monument
The man with the ruffled collar (above) positioned at the head of Humphrey Bridges is also a part of the Bridges Monument.
"In 1620, Mrs. Elizabeth Bridges founded an almshouse, with a small endowment, which has been subsequently augmented; and there are various minor bequests for the benefit of the poor, and for apprenticing children." Samuel Lewis, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.) Vols. I-II, p. 459
The Effigy Tomb of John Master
The Samuel Johnson Memorial Plaque
A marble wall-plaque honors the Rev. Samuel Johnson, who served as Minister of the Cirencester Parish "with exemplary zeal and punctuality" for 24 years.
The Nichols Memorial Plaque commemorates Thomas, the son of Thomas and Jane Nicholls and his wife, Jane, the daughter of William Turner.
Chapel of St. John the Baptist
"Originally 13th century and now used to house the organ and serve as a vestry." Revd. Leonard Doolan,Vicar, Cirencester Parish Church of St. John Baptist, "Welcome," Cirencester Parish Brochure.
Cirencester Organ not only provides a sound pleasing to the ears but the colorful organ pipes, painted with vivid colors and intricate gold designs, present an image pleasing to the eyes.
The Wool Market
"For many centuries the county of Gloucester has held a prominent place in the agriculture of the kingdom, originally by reason of the native breed of sheep which takes its name from the Cotswold Hills. the wool of this variety was once highly valued for the production of the fine fabrics that were formerly in great demand, not only in this country, but on the continent of Europe, and numerous large flocks were maintained in the country, which was for a long period the center of the English wool trade." William Page, F.S.A., Editor The Victoria History Of The County of Gloucester,"Agriculture," Vol. II ((Published for The University of London Institute of Historical Research, Reprinted by Dawsons of Pall Mall, Folkestone & London) p. 239
"No county of its acres is more distinguished for the excellence of its flocks and herds than is the county of Gloucester." "Reference has already been made to the breed of Cotswold sheep that was renowned in the middle ages, and stood its ground until the last quarter of the nineteenth century." Ibid., "Live Stock," p. 255.
Cirencester Wool Market
The hanging Wool Market sign identifies the ancient location of the famous Cotswold wool market were fortunes were made and lost in buying and selling fleece.
"For live stock there are markets at Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Berkeley Road, Cirencester, Andoversford, Fairford, Lechlade, Nailsworth, Tetbury, Chipping Norton, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Winchcombe. These have largely taken the place of the fairs that were formerly the only centres for the disposal of stock, but Barton Fair at Gloucester in September, Stow Fair in May, and at Cirencester the fairs for fat and store sheep in May and September, and the ram fair in August attract large numbers of animals for disposal, and are attended by buyers from all parts of England." William Page, F.S.A., Editor The Victoria History Of The County of Gloucester,"Live Stock," Vol. II ((Published for The University of London Institute of Historical Research, Reprinted by Dawsons of Pall Mall, Folkestone & London) p. 259
Cirencester Wool Ram Statue
The Corn Market
Cirencester Corn Hall is located across the street from Cirencester Parish, where corn was sold.
"The markets making returns of sales of corn to the Board of Trade are Gloucester, Cirencester, Cheltenham, and Tewkesbury." The Victoria History Of The County of Gloucester,"Live Stock," Vol. II ((Published for The University of London Institute of Historical Research, Reprinted by Dawsons of Pall Mall, Folkestone & London) p. 259
Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester
"No review of Gloucestershire Agriculture would be complete without a reference to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, which was established in 1845, and was the first institution where opportunity was given to learn the science and practice of agriculture. It originated in an address to the Cirencester and Fairford Farmers' Clubs in 1842 on 'the advantages of a specific education for agricultural pursuits,' by the late Mr. Robert Jeffreys Brown, of Cirencester, who devoted an immense amount of time and energy to explaining his objects to landowners and agriculturists throughout the kingdom and interesting them in the subject. By Mr. Brown's efforts a large sum of money was raised by subscription, a charter obtained, and the erection of the college and farm building commenced on a farm offered by Earl Bathurst. Owing to the cost of the college and buildings having been greatly under-estimated there was some unforeseen delay, but the necessary funds were raised and the college was opened for the reception of students in 1845." The Victoria History Of The County of Gloucester,"Live Stock," Vol. II ((Published for The University of London Institute of Historical Research, Reprinted by Dawsons of Pall Mall, Folkestone & London) p. 259-260.
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
|FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk (£)|
|FREG = FreeReg.org.uk|
|CIRENCESTER PARISH (year) Online Records|
Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformists and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection
Census records from 1841-1891 are available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 288789. To view these census images online, they are available through the following websites for a fee ($) or free:
- FamilySearch has some of the British Censuses available.
- FindMyPast ($) has all available census records including images, and is free at Family History Centers and the Family History Library and some public and academic libraries.
- Ancestry.co.uk ($) has now all available census records but free at Family History Centers and the Family History Library and at numerous public and academic libraries. The library versions are known as AncestryInstitution.com.
- The Genealogist.co.uk ($) has all available censuses and is free at Family History Centers and the Family History Library and various other libraries.
- FreeCen is a UK census searches. It is not complete and individuals are always asked to consider helping out with transcriptions.
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Gloucestershire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
Maps and Gazetteers
Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.
- ↑ Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 612-616. Date accessed: 22 July 2013.
- ↑ http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/cirencester-church
- ↑ Cirencester Parish Church, "What to See,"(Sacred Destinations)10 June 2007, 
- ↑ 'Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,' Origins.net, accessed 1 December 2012.
Contributor: Add any additional sites that aren’t mentioned above.
- This page was last modified on 17 September 2013, at 16:33.
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