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Group of Three Chest Tombs to William Lane, Charlotte Higgon and Sarah Lane; in the South 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: -1.8638 / 1°51'49"W

OS Eastings: 409508

OS Northings: 200063

OS Grid: SP095000

Mapcode National: GBR 3R8.HLT

Mapcode Global: VHB2S.NK17

Entry Name: Group of Three Chest Tombs to William Lane, Charlotte Higgon and Sarah Lane; in the South of St Mary's Churchyard

Listing Date: 18 August 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393933

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508802

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


1064/0/10022 OLD CHURCH LANE

A group of three chest tombs dating from the later C18 and earlier C19, in the burial ground of the former church of St Mary. The churchyard, which is roughly square, is now set within the grounds of Priory Farm House, and is bounded on three sides by later buildings; the west side is bounded by a dry-stone wall with double gates. To the south of the churchyard is this group of three tombs, each orientated east-west. The group runs northwards in a single row.

1. A chest tomb to WILLIAM LANE, c1823: constructed from sandstone, the tomb is set on a cyma recta moulded plinth, and has a roll-top capping stone, with cornice and architrave. The long sides have central moulded panels, flanked by fluted pilasters. The south side is inscribed to William Lane (died 1823), and his wife Jane; the remainder of the inscription is badly weathered. There is a further inscription to the west end panel.

2. A chest tomb to CHARLOTTE HIGGON, c1819: constructed from oolitic Cotswold limestone, the tomb is set on a moulded base, and has a moulded cornice and hipped capstone, with plain panels defined by incised beads. The south side is inscribed HERE LIES THE BODY OF / CHARLOTTE HIGGON / WIFE OF WILLIAM HIGGON / SURGEON OF CRICKLADE / AND DAUGHTER OF HENRY WILLIAMS ESQ / OF CARDIFF, GLAMORGAN-SHIRE / WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MAY 22ND 1819 / AGED 42 YEARS / ALSO AN INFANT DAUGHTER. The north side is inscribed to William Higgon, aged 79 years; the remainder of the inscription is much weathered.

3. A chest tomb to SARAH LANE, c1800?, but likely to be a slightly earlier, with later inscription of 1851 to the north, and further inscriptions to either end. The monument is set on a moulded plinth, and has a reeded frieze with rosettes below an elaborately-moulded cornice and capstone. The southern side has an oval cartouche set within a rectangular panel, with carved, winged putti heads and foliage in the spandrels, flanked by relief-carved flowers and foliage. The cartouche carries the inscription TO THE MEMORY OF / SARAH THE WIFE OF / HENRY LANE / WHO DIED MAY ... ?1800 / AGED ... YEARS. The north side has a similar layout, but with reeded margins rather than floral ones. This face is inscribed SACRED / TO THE MEMORY OF / HENRY LANE OF / MARSTON MAISEY IN THE COUNTY OF / WILTS WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE / APRIL 3 1851 AGED 71 YEARS / .... The remaining inscription is rather weathered.

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.

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 late-C18 and earlier-C19 chest tombs to William Lane, Charlotte Higgon and Sarah Lane 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 earlier 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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