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Group of Three Chest Tombs to Thomas Eldridge, David Moulder and John Howse; in the South-West of St Mary's Churchyard

A Grade II Listed Building in Poulton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6992 / 51°41'57"N

Longitude: -1.8639 / 1°51'50"W

OS Eastings: 409500

OS Northings: 200064

OS Grid: SP095000

Mapcode National: GBR 3R8.HKQ

Mapcode Global: VHB2S.MKZ6

Entry Name: Group of Three Chest Tombs to Thomas Eldridge, David Moulder and John Howse; in the South-West of St Mary's Churchyard

Listing Date: 18 August 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393932

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508801

Location: Poulton, Cotswold, Gloucestershire, GL7

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold

Civil Parish: Poulton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Poulton St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Listing Text


1064/0/10021 OLD CHURCH LANE

A group of three chest tombs, dating from the C18 and earlier C19, constructed from local limestone ashlar. The three tombs, together with another to JH which is not of special interest, are tightly set in a square arrangement towards the south-west of the churchyard, north of Priory Farm House.

1. A chest tomb to THOMAS ELDRIDGE, c1777: constructed from oolitic Cotswold limestone, the monument is set on a cyma recta moulded plinth, with moulded cornice and architrave, and a high, elaborately-moulded capstone. The sides and ends have inset moulded central panels flanked by narrower matching panels. The inscriptions are weathered but the name Thomas Eldridge, and a date, 1777, are discernible.

2. A chest tomb to DAVID MOULDER, c1742: constructed from oolitic Cotswold limestone, the monument has a deeply-moulded flat capstone. The long sides are each divided into two moulded panels, with wave-crest carving to the margins. One panel is inscribed; the extensive inscription is weathered, but the name of David, son of Richard Moulder, and the date of his death, 1742, are legible.

3. A chest tomb to JOHN HOWSE, c1797 with later inscription of 1839 to the south: constructed from oolitic Cotswold limestone, the monument is set on a moulded plinth, and has a cyma-recta moulded cornice, with a crenellated capstone. The sides have architraves with beaded moulding, and the central panels are flanked by moulded recesses with fluted half-columns with Doric capitals. The north side is inscribed to John Howse, died 1797, and his wife Sarah. The south side is inscribed to another John Howse, died 1839, and his wife, Jane, died 1850, in elaborate lettering.

HISTORY: The parish of Poulton was an outlying part of Wiltshire until 1844, when it was transferred to Gloucestershire. The parish church of St Michael was in existence from the C12. In 1337, Sir Thomas Seymour, who was then lord of the manor of Poulton, founded and endowed a chantry in the parish church, and in 1348 constructed a chapel for five chaplains. In 1350, an agreement between Seymour and the king saw the majority of the manor and the advowson of Poulton granted to the Priors and Canons of Sempringham (the Gilbertines). They founded the Priory of St Mary, a priory for canons only, adopting the chapel of 1348 as the priory church, dedicated to St Mary. In 1387, the priory took over the earlier chantry in the parish church. In 1389, Alice Seymour was granted licence to remove the remains of her ancestors from the parish church to the priory church, indicating that the parish church may have been going out of use at this time.

There are few records of the priory after this time until the Dissolution. The priory was surrendered by the Bishop of Llandaff, at the time head of the order, and Thomas, Prior of Poulton, on 16 January 1539. The house at this point consisted only of the prior and two canons, each of whom received a pension at the surrender.

The priory church, which remained dedicated to St Mary, was used as the parish church from the Dissolution until it was replaced by a new church, dedicated to St Michael, built further to the north, within the new centre of the village, in 1873. The priory churchyard of St Mary, which contains a large collection of chest tombs and headstones dating from the later C17 to c1873, was left in situ, and a new burial ground created adjacent to the new church. The large number of grave markers and headstones was removed to the edges of the churchyard in the later C20, leaving only the larger tombs in situ.

SOURCES: A History of the County of Wiltshire (Victoria County History), Volume 3 (1953), 319
D Verey and A Brooks, The Buildings of England Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds (2002), 565

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The three C18 and earlier C19 chest tombs to Thomas Eldridge, David Moulder and John Howse in St Mary's churchyard, are designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture and design: the three tombs are of high quality in design and execution, showing good use of architectural forms, carved decoration, and inscription
* Historic: an illustration of the wealth of the inhabitants of Poulton in the C18 and C19, and of the continued use of a former Gilbertine priory site, of which this churchyard is the only extant element
* Group value: with each other, and with three other groups of tombs in the same churchyard also listed at Grade II.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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