Shipton Moyne

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Shipton Moyne is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district, Gloucestershire, England located approximately 105 miles west of London. Its nearest towns are Tetbury (3 miles north), also in Gloucestershire and Malmesbury (3 miles southeast) in Wiltshire. Map. The population taken at the 2011 census was 265.[1]


The name Shipton, recorded in 1086, indicates the early importance of sheep-farming in the parish economy; the affix Moyne, recorded from 1287, was acquired when the manor was owned by the Moyne family.[2]

British History Online provides a detailed account of the history of the village from the eleventh to the twentieth century.

The Fosse Way forms part of the parish boundary and also the county boundary with Wiltshire. Shipton Moyne was one of several parishes which were transferred from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire in 1930.

Sites of interest[edit]

The Cat and Custard Pot c.1950 - Wilf Merrett

The Cat and Custard Pot (Public House)[edit]

In 1661 two parishioners were keeping unlicensed alehouses and in 1755 two victualers were licensed. A beerhouse on the west side of the village street was recorded in the early 19th century and was presumably occupied by the beer-retailers listed in the parish later. Apparently still unnamed in 1891, it was called the Estcourt Arms in 1927 but by 1931 the name had been changed to the Cat and Custard Pot.[3]

The village pub's unusual name is said to originate from the book 'Handley Cross or Mr Jorrocks's Hunt' by R S Surtees. The full text of which (including colour prints) may be found here.

The Kill on The Cat and Custard Pot Day
"when they reached the meet—the sign of the “Cat and Custard-pot,” on the Muswell Road, they found an immense assemblage"[4]
Shipton Moyne Church

St. John the Baptist's Church[edit]


The present building erected in 1864 replaced a church with a record going back to Norman times. Part of the North aisle and the porch were preserved and the Eastcourt Chapel on the South side and part of the nave, the central tower being demolished and the nave extended to form an enlarged chancel. A South aisle was constructed with a new tower at the South West corner forming a belfry and entrance.

Alexander Hore - Ruthven, 1st Lord Gowrie and his wife are both buried in St. John the Baptist churchyard. Lord Gowrie was the 20th Governor of South Australia from 15/05/1928 to 26/04/1934. From 15/01/1935 to 23/01/1936 he was the 27th Governor of New South Wales and from 23/01/1936 to 30/01/1945 he was Governor General of Australia. To date the longest-serving governor general. See linked article in Wikipedia.

The list of rectors goes back to 1297e; in the 19th century the church was served by Curates. The former church is recorded in engravings and photographsor. There is an account of the church in the Victoria County History: 'Shipton Moyne: Church', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), pp. 255–256.

Parish records[edit]

The records in 1086 tell us that there were 38 inhabitants, with the population gradually increasing to 90 communicants in 1551, 26 families in 1563, a population of 420 in 1881 and finally of 300 in 1983.


T.H. Wyatt (1807-1880) was a cousin of the architects James and Jeffrey Wyatt (and brother of Matthew Digby Wyatt).

T.H. Wyatt was an eminent architect and had a large practice that included work on many Wiltshire churches owing to his patronage by the Beauforts. His design of St. John the Baptist's Church is a good example of a High Victorian design if bearing little relation to its predecessor.

The bells[edit]

Five bells were recorded in 1680 and a further bell was added in 1865 - a treble weighing five hundred weight.

One tenor bell was cast in the mid-fifteenth century in London. Weighing fourteen hundred weight it was dedicated to The Virgin Mary.

Two were cast in Bristol by Roger Purden in 1620, on weighing 6cwt. and the other 7cwt.

Two were cast in Gloucester by Abraham Rudhall in 1704, one weighing 8cwt. and the other 10cwt.

In 1962, at the expense of Col. St. George of Hillcourt, two bells were re-cast by John Taylor of Loughborough; the 1620 bell weighing 7cwt. and the 1704 bell weighing 5cwt. All were rehung on a strengthened frame and re-dedicated. The total weight of the bells being some two and a half tons.

There is also a set of hand bells for use on appropriate occasions.

The organ[edit]

Built by Broughton and Son of Soho, London and restored by Osmond & Co. of Taunton in 1995, the organ has one manual electrically operated blower. The original handle operated manual blower is still present in the vestry.

The clock[edit]

Facing West in the tower, the clock was made by John Smith & Sons of Derby in 1887. It strikes on the hour and half hour. The face was restored in memory of Lt. Cmdr. J.T.B. Birch D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N., a past church warden who for several years gave his time to maintaining the church.

Decorations, monuments and tombs[edit]

'Shipton Moyne, the Seat of Walter Estcourt Esq.' by Jan Kip and Leonard Knyff, 1709
  • In the Chancel there is a stained glass window in memory of Walter Hodges and his wife Mary and another of Thomas Gildart Golightly and his wife Gertrude. The latter made and designed by Bryams in 1905.
  • In the North aisle there is a stained glass window in memory of William Frederic Hamilton Gratman made and designed by Ward Hughes in 1862 and in the West another in memory of Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Estcourt by Taylor (late O'Connor) 1877. There is also a small stained glass window in the porch to Major General B.B. Estcourt.
  • A large decorated tomb with Thomas Estcourt (1599) and his wife and family and a later tomb of Sir Thomas Estcourt (1624) and his wife. The latter tomb was transferred from Lasborough church in 1825 with two kneeling marble figures sadly lost in the process.
  • There are recumbent figures of two knights and a lady believed to be of the Le Moyne family (originally Le Moigne) and dating from the fourteenth century.
  • The font is in memory of Edward Dugdale Bucknall Estcourt. There is no trace left of the original Norman octagonal font recorded in 1843.
  • On the outside of the South Chapel there is built into the wall a stone carved plaque with the initials of Edmund Estcourt dated 1749.
  • A Caen stone and marble Reredos presented by Canon Golightly may be found in the Chancel.
  • The pulpit was carved by Barbetti of Florence; it depicts scenes from the life of John the Baptist.


Further pictures of the church, taken by John Wilkes of Cam near Dursley, may be found here

The Fosse Way[edit]

The only Roman road in Britain to retain its original Latin name - most others having been renamed by the Saxons - passes through Shipton Moyne. Its route takes it from Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) in southwest England, to Lincoln (Lindum) in the East Midlands, via Bath(Aquae Sulis), Cirencester (Corinium) and Leicester (Ratae Coritanorum).

Local personages[edit]



  • John Oldham (poet) (9 August 1653 – 7 December 1683), the poet was born in Shipton Moyne.
The Careless Good Fellow
A pox of this fooling, and plotting of late,
What a pother, and stir has it kept in the state?
Let the rabble run mad with suspicions, and fears,
Let them scuffle, and jar, till they go by the ears:
Their grievances never shall trouble my pate,
So I can enjoy my dear bottle at quiet.
What coxcombs were those, who would barter their ease
And their necks for a toy, a thin wafer and mass?
At old Tyburn they never had needed to swing,
Had they been but true subjects to drink, and their king;
A friend, and a bottle is all my design;
He has no room for treason, that's top-full of wine.
I mind not the members and makers of laws,
Let them sit or prorogue, as his majesty please:
Let them damn us to woollen, I'll never repine
At my lodging, when dead, so alive I have wine:
Yet oft in my drink I can hardly forbear
To curse them for making my claret so dear.
I mind not grave asses, who idly debate
About right and succession, the trifles of state;
We've a good king already: and he deserves laughter
That will trouble his head with who shall come after:
Come, here's to his health, and I wish he may be
As free from all care, and all trouble, as we.
What care I how leagues with the Hollander go?
Or intrigues betwixt Sidney, and Monsieur D'Avaux?
What concerns it my drinking, if Cassel be sold,
If the conqueror take it by storming, or gold?
Good Bordeaux alone is the place that I mind,
And when the fleet's coming, I pray for a wind.
The bully of France, that aspires to renown
By dull cutting of throats, and vent'ring his own;
Let him fight and be damn'd, and make matches and treat,
To afford the news-mongers, and coffee-house chat:
He's but a brave wretch, while I am more free,
More safe, and a thousand times happier than he.
Come he, or the Pope, or the Devil to boot,
Or come faggot, and stake; I care not a groat;
Never think that in Smithfield I porters will heat:
No, I swear, Mr. Fox, pray excuse me for that.
I'll drink in defiance of gibbet, and halter,
This is the profession, that never will alter.[5]
Lieutenant Harry Taylor
  • Lieutenant Harry Taylor (May 1889 - 18 August 1918), a First World War pilot with both The Australian Flying Corps and The Royal Flying Corps, died in an aerial collision during a training exercise over Shipton Moyne.


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011.Retrieved 24 March 2015". 
  2. ^ 'Shipton Moyne: Introduction', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), pp. 247-49. URL: Date accessed: 29 July 2006.
  3. ^ 'Shipton Moyne: Introduction', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), pp. 247-49. URL: Date accessed: 29 July 2006.
  4. ^ Surtees, R.S. (1854), Handley Cross or Mr Jorrocks's Hunt, Bradbury and Evans, London.
  5. ^ Oldham, J. (1684), Poems and Translations, Joseph Hindmarsh, London.

External links[edit]

Media related to Shipton Moyne at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°36′N 2°10′W / 51.600°N 2.167°W / 51.600; -2.167