Goldstone, Shropshire

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Shropshire farmland near Goldstone - - 1322156.jpg
Goldstone, viewed across the surrounding farmland
Goldstone is located in Shropshire
Goldstone shown within Shropshire
OS grid reference SJ706284
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TF9
Dialling code 01630
Police West Mercia
Fire Shropshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°51′07″N 2°26′10″W / 52.852°N 2.436°W / 52.852; -2.436Coordinates: 52°51′07″N 2°26′10″W / 52.852°N 2.436°W / 52.852; -2.436
The coat of arms of William Vardon of Goldstone Hall (1783–1856), lord of the manor of Goldstone, from his memorial inside St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine. The heraldry of the shield is Or, Fretty Gules, illustrating the connection with the de Verdun/Verdon family of Alton, Staffordshire; the crest of a stag's head should have antlers, but these broke off many years ago

Goldstone is a small hamlet in eastern Shropshire, England, in the civil parish of Cheswardine. It lies in an isolated rural area north of Hinstock and Ellerton, around 5 miles south of the nearest town, Market Drayton.


Its name, which in the mediaeval period was variously spelt Goldestan, Golston, and Goldston, is formed on the Old English -tun ("farm, settlement") while Gold- was a common element in Old English personal names.[1] The first time it is mentioned is in The Mount Gilbert (i.e. Wrekin) Forest Roll of 1180, when Goldestan is listed among those places where assarts (a piece of land cleared of timber and fit for tilling), or imbladements (the sowing of lands within the bounds of a Royal forest) were assessed, and an Alan de Goldestan is named.[2] A Walter de Goldestan is then mentioned in the Pipe Roll records for Shropshire in the 31st year of the reign of King Henry II (i.e. 25th Oct 1185 - 5 June 1186).[3]

In 1278 Goldstone was recorded as forming, with Ellerton and Sambrook, one of the four townships of Cheswardine parish[4] and it remains part of the parish to this day. In the 13th century Goldstone was recorded as an outlying member of the manor of Little Ercall (Child's Ercall), the change possibly dating from a period in which tenure of the two manors was nearly identical.[5]

However, it is clear that at some point in time a subordinate lord was enfeoffed at Goldstone and that it became a sub-manor of Child's Ercall. In 1280, specific reference was made to a separate Lord of Golston in an extent of the manor of Cheswardine, then held by Roger le Strange, who was at that time also lord of Child's Ercall.[6] Other members of Childs Ercall – Naggington and Dodicote – had also become separate manors.[7] The lordship of Goldstone continued to be held separately from that of Child's Ercall by the Goldstone family of Goldstone, who are first mentioned in the 12th century as 'de Goldestan'.[8] The Goldstones appear to have added another property to Goldstone itself, since they are found living at their manor of Dunval in the 16th century,[9] with a number of the family thereby appearing in the registers of Astley Abbotts, and members of the family are mentioned as resident in Astley Abbotts parish from the 15th century. Some information on Richard's father Humphrey Goldston is found in the History of Parliament Trust publication:- The House of Commons 1509–1558. It confirms that Humphrey was one of the members of Parliament for Bridgnorth, and that in 1541 he was receiving income of lands at Astley Abbotts, north of Bridgnorth, formerly belonging to Shrewsbury abbey. There is a date of 1598 on one of the timbers of Dunval Hall, which provides possible evidence that the property was built by the Goldstones, since they are recorded living there after that time.[10][11] The Acton family who later owned it may have made alterations; they may also have been related to the Goldstones.[12]

The Goldstones appear to have relocated themselves to London, in the late 1600s/early 1700s, and lived off The Strand, at one time in Howard Street.[13] This may explain why the lordship and manor of Goldstone was passed to the Goldstone's cousin Edward Pegg, who already had land nearby at Ellerton, in 1720[14] via the use of a legal method called The Common Recovery; he had married Jane Goldstone, daughter of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone. Pegg and his successors built and extended a newer Goldstone Hall next to the older manor house, bits of which he must have incorporated since some much older medieval wooden beams have been discovered within its structure. From Pegg, the estate and manor of Goldstone passed to other cousins of the Goldstones – the Haywards of Aston Cliffe, Staffordshire and Hulme Walfield, in the Parish of Astbury (Newbold Astbury), near Congleton, Cheshire. Thomas Hayward had his estate at Goldstone plotted on a map painted on vellum, entitled: Goldstone Lordship, and Estates in the Parish of Hinstock and County of Salop, Belonging to Thomas Hayward Esq, Surveyed 1771 by John Wedge.[15]

On the death of the last of the Haywards, Goldstone, along with their estate at Hulme Walfield, was inherited by their cousin William Vardon, whose family also came from Cheshire. The Vardons are a branch of the de Verdun (Verdon) family from Normandy (ref: de Verdun of Alton, Staffordshire), whose name changed from Verdon to Vardon in the later 17th century. William Vardon must have made some structural changes to the Hall since one wall has a feature which incorporates his crest of a stag's head with his initials "WV" underneath. The building that replaced the original old Manor House at Goldstone was finally incorporated into and connected to the newer Goldstone Hall by Henry G. E. ("Jack") Vardon, heir of Hugh E. Vardon of Goldstone (nephew of William Vardon), after the First World War.[16] The more modern property named 'Goldstone Manor' is the farmhouse of Goldstone Manor Farm, rather than the structure or site of the historic Manor.

The original border between Shropshire and Staffordshire was Goldstone Brook, which formed the boundary between the manors of Cheswardine and Goldstone, Cheswardine originally being in Staffordshire. Edward Hayward of Goldstone made an interesting reference to some old manorial marker stones that demarcated Goldstone from Cheswardine, in an entry in his Journal dated 21 May 1805, as follows: This day Mr Pierpoint of Ellerton told me that the proper old course of the Goldstone Brook is by the Gate going into Sowdley Lane which is also the Boundary of Goldstone Manor. This he heard the late Mr E. Pegg of Goldstone declare when he refused to give one of the large stones there to [---?] Jones the Miller.[17] It is perhaps possible that these marker stones may have more than significance as a part of Goldstone and Cheswardine's manorial history, but also that of the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire, since they could also have been boundary stones marking the original border between Shropshire and Staffordshire.

As in many rural areas of Britain, the rural depopulation of the 19th and 20th centuries has left Goldstone with only a few dwellings clustering around Goldstone Hall, a Georgian brick house (now a hotel) with an earlier core. In its garden is a well reputed to be the deepest in Shropshire.[18]

The hamlet gives its name to the Goldstone Brook, which rises nearby, while the surnames Goldstone, Gulson and Goulson similarly or first appeared either here or in Goldstone in Kent.[19]


  1. ^ Bowcock, E. Shropshire place names, Wilding & Son, 1923, p.105
  2. ^ R.W. Eyton : Antiquities of Shropshire Volume 10 (1854)
  3. ^ The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, Volume 34 (1913), page 128
  4. ^ Quo Warranto Inquisition, 1278
  5. ^ Donaldson-Hudson, R. An historical survey of the parish of Cheswardine, Wilding & Son, 1939, p.165
  6. ^ 'Goldstone – the story of a Shropshire Manor, see:'
  7. ^ Robert W. Eyton – Antiquities of Shropshire, Vol. 8 pages 16–18
  8. ^ Mount Gilbert (i.e. Wrekin, Shropshire) Forest Roll, 1180 (mentioned in Eyton's 'Antiquities of Shropshire', Volume X)
  9. ^ In his will dated 1567, Richard Goldstone of Dunval refers to "my Mannor or Farme of Donvall"
  10. ^ Francis Goldstone of Goldstone was buried at St Calixtus Astley Abbotts, 10th April 1612. His son John Goldstone of Goldstone was buried there 8th October 1638 (Source: Parish Register).
  11. ^ Memorandums of Goldstone Manor - 20th Feb 1605, detail a marriage settlement in the 1st year of the reign of King James I (1603) that mentions Dorothy Goldstone of Dunval (widow of John), and her son Francis Goldstone, heir of John, who had married Susan Whitton of Whitton, near Ludlow. The marriage settlement includes the words: "Dorothie and Francis Goldstone settled all their Estates in Abbotts Astley Goldstone Nordly Bridgnorth Dunval & Cheswardine in the County of Salop to several Trustees therein"
  12. ^ 'Goldstone – the story of a Shropshire Manor, see:'. Discussion on marriage of Lawrence Goldstone to Elizabeth, who may have been an Acton.
  13. ^ Will, dated 3 June 1782: Elizabeth Goldstone of Howard Street in the Parish of Saint Clement Danes
  14. ^ Copy of documents, with Goldstone, Pegg and other seals – 'Goldstone, the story of a Shropshire Manor' (
  15. ^ Goldstone Lordship map, privately held.
  16. ^ Two maps, one from 1771, the other from the 1950s, seen on the website link to Goldstone Manor below, show the Manor House and Hall initially separate and later connected
  17. ^ Edward Hayward's Journal: "Memorandums, Observations & Appointments" (held privately)
  18. ^ Raven, M. A Guide to Shropshire, 2005, p.81
  19. ^ Freeman, J. W. Discovering Surnames, Osprey, 2008, p.44

External links[edit]

Goldstone and the Manor of Goldstone –

Bertram III de Verdun – Bertram III de Verdun and his family