North Cerney, Gloucestershire Genealogy
- 1 Parish History
- 2 Cerney, North Parish
- 3 Gazetteer Description of North Cerney
- 4 Inside North Cerney Parish, All Saints Church
- 5 North Cerney Places
- 6 Agriculture, Livestock and Tradesmen
- 7 How closely North Cerney is tied to Cirencester?
- 8 North Cerney Family History Research
- 9 References
CERNEY, NORTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Cirencester, hundred of Rapsgate, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 4 miles (N.) from Cirencester; containing, the tythings of Calmsden and Woodmancote. 
Cerney, North Parish
"Cerney North is so called from the point of distance it bears from Cirencester, and in distinction to another village, which lies in the opposite direction (South Cerney). It is one of the parishes, by which the Hundred of Rapsgate is formed, in the Coteswold Division of the county; distant four miles from Cirenester, seven south-westerly from North Leach, and from Gloucester fourteen on the east. The extent of it is nearly six miles, the breadth less than three, of a light soil chiefly tilled, with many meadows on the river's side. The Village, on every approach to it, forms a pleasing and highly cultivated landscape; the acclivities upon which it is built being easy and picturesque."
(Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections of Gloucester, FHL BRITISH Book Q Area, 942.41, v2b 1786)
North Cerney is a Parish and a Village
North Cerney Parish, All Saints Church, is located on a hill across the street from North Cerney Village. A small light shines through a stained glass window, bidding travelers welcome.
"It is worth spending a short time walking round the outside of this little church, which has been described as one of the prettiest in rural Gloucestershire. Pearched on a hillside overlooking the village, which is across the main road. All Saints is a typical Churn valley church, with a lovely old slate roof and a charming low saddle-back tower. The grass in the churchyard is cropped in Spring and Summer by sheep." 
(All Saints Church, North Cerney (Church brochure) Rewritten by Mrs. V. A. Patuck, 1989, from information gathered by Canon A. James Turner, Vicar of North Cerney Church from 1952 to 1973.)
North Cerney Parish Churchyard
showing few headstones on the north side.
"The Churchyard Cross dates from the 14th century, but has been completely restored within the past ten years. There are some interesting table tombs in the churchyard and there is a complete record of every memorial and inscription, marking where they are set. The Cross was originally the memorial for all those buried on the south side - There was a great fear of the north side and no burials took place there. The coffin was taken out through the north door - it still is, the only time this door is used - but burials now take place on all sides and as it is now the custom for indivual stones to be erected (this dates from the 17th century) it is impossible to re-use the ground as they did in medieval times."
(All Saints Church, North Cerney (Church brochure) Rewritten by Mrs. V. A. Patuck, 1989, from information gathered by Canon A. James Turner, Vicar of North Cerney Church from 1952 to 1973.)
North Cerney Parish Poorhouse
"A parish poorhouse in Cerney village was recorded in 1799. (69) Glos. R.O. D 2525, N. Cerney leases 1799-1852.) In the early 19th century the number of people receiving permanent relief from the parish was c. 40-60. (70) Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 180-1; 1818, 154-5.) In 1836 North Cerney became part of the Cirencester poor-law union (71) Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. p. 522.) and it was later in Cirencester rural district, (72) (Census, 1911.) becoming part of the new Cotswold district in 1974.) (The Victoria History Of The Counties of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert, Volume VII, Page 160)
Gazetteer Description of North Cerney
"CERNEY (North), a parish in the Cirencester district, Gloucester; near Ermine-street, 4 miles N of Cirencester r. (railroad) station. It includes the tyhings of Calmsden and Woodmancote; and has a post-office under Cirencester. Acres, 4,158. Real property, L5,194. Pop., 692. Houses, 153. The property is divided among a few. Cerney House is the seat of the Croomes (The Croome family, who owned it at the time the gazeteer was printer). The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value L654. Patron, University College, Oxford. The church is very good." (The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, page 390)
"Calmsden is a tithing and small hamlet, 2 miles east, and near the old Roman Rossway. A curious old wayside dial-cross stands here over a copious and perennial spring. The village consists of two or three farms and a few cottages. Parish Clerk, Henry James Mason."(Kelly's Directory of the County of Gloucester, 1914; Farmily History Library, British 942.41, E4ke)
"Woodmancote is a hamlet 1 mile north-west. Here is a Plymouth Brethren Mission hall." (Kelly's Directory of the County of Gloucester, 1914; Farmily History Library, British 942.41, E4ke)
"Woodland recorded on Gilbert son of Turold's manor of Cerney in 1086 (80) [Com. Bk. (Rec. Com.), i. 168v.] evidently lay in the north-west part of the parish, where Woodmancote hamlet takes its name from a woodman's cottage. (81) [P.M. Glos. i. 148.]" (The Victoria History Of The Counties of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert, Volume VII, Page 150)
"The slopes of the Churn valley, above the narrow belt of meadow-land in the valley bottom, and much of the Calmsden area were formerly cultivated as open fields while the high and level ground on the east side of the valley was occupied by extensive downland. In the early 18th centurh Cerney Downs were said to be famous for hawking, hunting, coursing, and racing (86) [Bodl. MS. Top. Glouc. c. 3, f.214.] and they were long the venue for the annual Cirencester races. (87) Glouc. Fnl. 5 May 1752; Rudder, Glos. 325.) (The Victoria History Of The Counties of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert, Volume VII, Page 150)
Inside North Cerney Parish, All Saints Church
North Cerney Parish Banner
A regal banner with scarlet side borders and vibrant blue embroidered letters introduces the North Cerney Parish and the Holy Mother Mary, holding baby Jesus.
Adjacent to the banner, on the left side, a corner of a North Cerney Memorial wall plaque is visible in the picture (to the left). The plaque is one of two plaques embedded in the parish walls, facing each other on opposite walls. It is interesting to note that both memorial plaques recognize and honor the early ancestral Painter families that lived and worked, and died in North Cerney. Their children and children's children also stayed to live, worship and work in the parish and now rest in the North Cerney Parish Churchyard. To list their individual names, would require a plaque that would cover an entire parish wall.
The Townsend surname represents another large family of individuals who lived, worked, died, and now rest in the North Cerney Parish Churchyard. The first Townsend surname appears in the North Cerney Parish registers in 1660. Two ancestral North Cerney Parish families united when the William and Ann (Mustoe) Painter's son, Joseph married Hannah Townsend, the daughter of George and Margaret Townsend, as declared on the three-generation Painter Memorial Wall Plaque described below.
North Cerney Parish Painter Family Memorial Wall Plaques
Honoring early Painter Family parishioners
William Painter and Ann Mustoe (3 generation wall plaque)
The plaque records: "In this churchyard lie the bodies of William Painter and Ann (Mustoe) his wife, who both died in September 1727, both aged 65, also
Joseph Painter, their son, died May 1799, aged 85, and Hannah, his wife, daughter of George and Margaret Townsend, of North Cerney, buried 3rd January 1788, aged 71.
Also John Painter, son of Joseph and Hannah, died 1800 aged 51, and
Elizabeth, his first wife, daughter of Jacoband Sarah Heaven, of Frocester, died May 1783, aged 34.
In Piam Memoriam Proavorum Posuit A.C.P. MCMXIV."
'Additional Family Information:
North Cerney Parish Christening, Marriage, and Burial records provide vital information regarding the Painter family members honored on the plaque. William and Ann, married 'North Cerney Church 6 Jul 1703, christened 7 children between May 7, 1704 and 17 Nov. 1715. Their names were Richard, William, John, Ann, Martha, Joseph, and Thomas.
Joseph and Hannah, married 14 Jun 1740, North Cerney, christened 8 children between 15 Mar 1740/1 and
8 Aug 1758. Their names were: Ann, William, Mary, Richard, Hannah, John, Margaret, and Betty.
John and Elizabeth, married 25 Oct 1772, North Cerney, christened 4 children between 11 Apr 1773 and 15 May 1781. Their names were: Joseph, Richard, William, and Thomas.
Richard Painter and Joyce Stockwell Memorial Wall Plaque
"Here in the dust our bodys lyes, Till trumpet sound the dead arise. Then soul and body shall unite, in hopes of everlasting life."
"This was erected by Richard Painter, their younger son."
Additional Information about Richard and Joyce Painter:
North Cerney Christening records provide birth dates for 4 of Richard and Joyce's children, christened beginning 14 Sep 1701 through 26 May 1710. The children's names are: John, Prudence, Daniel, and William. Richard, jr., who erected the wall monument, is not listed in the Christening records.
The Victoria History of Gloucester gives additional information on Richard Painter:
"A new mill built on the Cerney Manor Estate by Richard Painter c. 1715 was probably Perrott's Brook Mill c. 600 m. upstream of the Perrott's Brook bridge."
(The Victoria History Of The Counties Of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert, Volume VII, Brightwells Barrow and Rapsgate Hundreds, Oxford University Press 1981, British Q Area, 942. H2svg, V. 2. page 159.)
"The river Churn bisects the parish from north to south in a deep valley. From south of North Cerney village to near Perrott's Brook a straight channel was but in 1824 alongside the original meandering course of the river to supply a newly built cloth-mill (Glos. R.O., D 2525, loose deed 1824.) But in 1978 the new cut was dry and had been partly filled in."
(The Victoria History Of The Counties Of England Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert, Volume VII, Brightwells Barrow and Rapsgate Hundreds, Oxford University Press 1981, British Q Area, 942 H2svg, V. 2, page 150)
North Cerney Places
North Cerney Village
"North Cerney village stands in the centre of the parish on the east bank of the river Churn. The church stands by itself on the opposite bank, probably because it was founded by the owner of an estate which passed to the honor of Gloucester and included the land of Woodmancote tithing west of the river, while the village and land adjoining on the east of the river belonged to a manor held by the archbishops of York. From a crossing-point on the Churn the village developed up the hillside on the road leading up to the White way near Nordown; a small green was formed at the junction with the Calmsden road. The only large house is the former manor-house, Cerney Manor (formerly North Cerney Farm), at the bottom of the village."
(The Victoria History Of The Counties Of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert Volume VII, Brightwells Barrow and Rapsgate Hundreds, Oxford University Press 1981, page 151)
The picture at the left shows a home at the top of North village, probably constructed using the reconstructed stone, partially hidden and protected from the curving road, behind the tall village rock wall.
North Cerney Manor
"Cerney Manor, at the bottom of North Cerney village, evidently occupies the site of the capital messuage of the manor recorded from the 1550. (62) (Req. 2/20/168; Glos. R.O., D 2525, N. Cerney man. 1552-1657, lease 1604.) For most of its history the house has been used merely as a farm-house; of the lords of the manor only Nathaniel Poole is recorded as being resident at Cerney.(63) (Glos. R.O., D 2525 N. Cerney man. 1625-81.) The house dates mainly from a rebuilding of c. 1700 and has a main range with a symmetrical front of seven bays and a short rear wing housing a staircase. Additons were made to the north in the later 18th century and to the east in the 19th and 20th." (The Victoria History Of The Counties Of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert Volume VII, Brightwells Barrow and Rapsgate Hundreds, Oxford University Press 1981, page 153)
The history of the land known as "the Manor of North Cerney," dates back to Beorhtwulf, king of the Mercians.
"In 852 Beorhtwulf, king of the Mercians granted to Alfeah 12 hides of land in Cerney and Calmsden, evidently including the whole of the later parish of North Cerney. (45) [Grundy, Saxon Charters, 56-61) Part of the estate, extended at 4 hides , later passed to St. Oswald's Priory, Gloucester, and was among the lands of the priory that the archbishop of York held in 1086. (46) [Dom. Bk. Rec. Com.), i. 164v.] That land, known as the manor of North Cerney, was retained by the archbishop as a member of his barony of Churchdown (47) Feud. Aids, ii. 239, 299.)until 1545 when the manors of the barony were exchanged with the Crown. (48) L. & P. Hen. VIII, xx(I), p. 214.]) In 1552 they were granted to Sir Thomas Chamberlayne (49) [Cal. Pat 1550-3, 357.]) who sold North Cerney manor in 1556 to William Partridge (50) Glos. R.O., D 2525, N. Cerney man. 1552-1657]) (d. 1600) and Robert by his son John Partridge (52) [C 142/268 no. 146.]) of Synde who sold the manor in 1610 to his brother Anthony, of Wishanger. (53) [Glos. R.O., D 2525, N. Cerney man. 1581-1610) Anthony Partridge sold it in 1611 to William Poole of Long Newton (Wilts., later Glos.) (54) Ibid. N. Cerney man. 111-20) (d. 1625 or 26)." (The Victoria History Of The Counties Of England, The History of Gloucester, Edited by N. M. Herbert Volume VII, Brightwells Barrow and Rapsgate Hundreds, Oxford University Press 1981, page 152.)
From 1611 to 1715 William Poole's descendants and extended family members controlled the manorial rights in North Cerney manor until a sale was made to Allen Bathurst. (Ibid. 152) Additional property transfers were made until the estate was sold to William Croome in 1814 and the estate was held by the Croome family (mentioned in the Imperial Gazetteer, quotation above until 1930.
On page 160, in the above referenced Victoria History of Gloucester, page 160, There is a more complete description of who held the manor property, through an advowson, and when and why it was transfered to the next owner--beginning with Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, who held the advowson in 1255....)
North Cerney CE Primary School
Although the building for the The North Cerney Church of England Private Primary School was constructed many years ago, today dedicated teachers still strive to teach North Cerney Village children and give them a proper education, with lots of individual attention. The students range in ages between 4 and 11and students number 39.
The rectangular brick fence encloses the North Cerney Church of England Primary School Play Yard. Here the children run, play, and laugh much the same as early North Cerny students did many years ago.
"What do our pupils do after leaving this school?"
"Our children transfer to a variety of schools. Our catchment area schools are Cirencester Kingshill and Deer Park school. However, some of our pupils transfer to Pates' Grammar School in Cheltenham and Farmor's Comprehensive School in Fairford. A small number of children join the independent sector at 11 years old."
North Cerney CE Primary School Profile: Google Search < North Cerney school>
The North Cerney Manor Farm
The North Cerney Manor Farm yard has many sheds and brick structures, forming a circle around the very large farm yard.
Directly across from this brick building the North Cerney Farm horses are stabled in a matching ancient brick building.
heads over their stall doors in their ancient rock stable home. Bridles hang on the wall next to the first stall, ready to slide over the horses' muzzles and lead them out into the large farm yard. The North Cerney Manor Farm is one of the very largest farms in the area. Farm horses carried their riders all over the Churn River Valley.
North Cerney Circular Farm Building
Agriculture, Livestock and Tradesmen
Click here to go to the page on these topics.
How closely North Cerney is tied to Cirencester?
(For those of us who do not live in England) North Cerney is a lovely rural pastoral suburb of Cirencester, 4 miles from the railroad station in Cirencester, within walking distance. This North Cerney-Cirencester relationship has existed from very early years until today. North Cerney still receives mail through Cirencester. (North Cerney, Cirencester, Gloucester, England) Children who graduate at age 11 from the North Cerney CE Primary School can continue their education through schools in Cirencester, and other locations. The North Cerney Parish is attached to the Cirencester Diocese. The fine quality wool, and probably the highly prized Cotswold sheep were sold and traded, through the large wool market at Cirencester, which was located across the street from Cirencester Parish. People, involved in the Cotswold Cloth industry traveled from London, Northampton, Oxford, and Wiltshire, and other parts of Gloucester to the Cirencester wool market. They traveled on the heavily trafficked roads built by the Romans when they invaded England. After 1841, people from Cricklade and Swindon Wiltshire traveled to Cirencester via the railroad line Great Western Railroad opened at that time. Thus people could leave their ancestral famlies in North Cerney relocate to Wiltshire and, utilizing this convenient early train service, travel back home to visit their families, like many people today commute from their suburban homes to business connections in larger cities. There were also canals and waterways that provided a means to bring goods to the Cirencester market. Our early ancestors were often a lot more mobile and traveled greater distances than we might ever think they would travel. Also, if you can't find family member's information in the North Cerney Parish Registers, you might consider looking in the Cirencester
How does understanding the North Cerney and Cirencester connection help me with family history research?
Have you ever wondered how your ancestors came to settle in rural North Cerney or where they "vanished "or relocated when their names no longer appeared in the North Cerney Parish Registers? "Lost ancestors" might be located by studying the wool trade routes, searching records in other counties and parishes tied to the wool trade along the roads that lead to Cirencester.
Cirencester provided a travel portal to Gloucester, Oxford, Northampton, Wiltshire and London and gave people participating in the wool market opportunities to associate with people from all of these other counties and form business relationships, that would encourage travel or relocation to other counties in England. Many families traveled to the wool market, thus providing social contact with families from other communities and many subsequent marriages might be traced back to the opportunity for young people to get acquainted through their wool business associations.
North Cerney Family History Research
Click here for resources and records for family history research.
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- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 538-542. Date accessed: 04 March 2013.
- (All Saints Church, North Cerney (Church brochure) Rewritten by Mrs. V. A. Patuck, 1989, from information gathered by Canon A. James Turner, Vicar of North Cerney Church from 1952 to 1973.)