Welcome to the web site for Stonehouse History Group
- promoting interest in the History of Stonehouse & the locality.
History of St Cyr’s Church Stonehouse
The Parish Church of St. Cyr is hidden by trees from most of the town but is a splendid view from the towpath for walkers – and the many keen photographers. The original Church’s location would have been chosen so that it was close to the Manor House (Stonehouse Court, which is an ancient site). Most of the original dwellings would have been quite close to the Manor House also.
The Church building is believed to have had Saxon beginnings but when William de Eu was given the Manor by his relative, William the Conqueror, a simple stone building was constructed. This served a large area - including Cainscross and bounded by Randwick, Standish and Eastington – but with few households.
The building rose and fell, was rebuilt, altered and patched up until the 1850s when repair was no longer possible. A decision was taken to rebuild: permission was granted, an architect appointed, a design chosen (“a chaste perpendicular style”), a builder chosen, most of the building pulled down, & rebuilding completed – all between 1852 and the re-opening on 4th January 1855. Without aid of telephone or computer, our forebears could get a move on! The old tower was left intact, the Chancel built on the foundations of the one it replaced, and copies made of the North Doorway and Font.
There is a ring of six bells - the youngest dating from 1768. The Church retains the original Parish Chest but all the registers, dating from 1558, are now in safe keeping at the County Records Office. The East Window was a gift to the rebuilt Church from the Vicar of Eastington, while two modern Sanctuary windows are the work of Edward Payne of Minchinhampton. Outside is a large Churchyard graced by many fine tombstones of varying design and several War Graves. This is an area which all should treat with respect.
The vicars – known from the year 1225 – varied from saintly to scientist, from most politically incorrect to puritan, and are worthy of a book to themselves!
This is a print of the old church made in 1835, which shows a low roof over the nave, and a variety of window shapes.
The Church as it is today, you can see the new roof and windows.
John Mill 1473
Richard Brown 1515 resigned in 1556.
Edward Fowler 1556 - Member of Stonehouse Clothing family.
Edward Cross 1563 - Non resident.
Thurston Shaw 1574-1609 Non resident.
William Norris 1610.
John Norris (Williams Son) 1643 he was here at the time of the Civil War and was ousted by Parliament in 1644.
Thomas Wallace 1648
Thomas Thatch 1664
John Norris again 1659
William Robson 1670-1689 - 1684 the Vicarage was rebuilt.
Robert Radcliffe (1690-1708)
John Hilton 1708 from St. Nicholas Gloucester; during his office the whole church “was newly roofed, leaded and otherwise beautified by 1713”.
Samuel Lawrence 1723.
Samson Harris, the son of a mayor of Gloucester, was appointed in 1727.
John Pettat 1763 was here for twenty-five years, followed by his son Thomas, until he moved to Beverstone in 1803.
Thomas Pettat 1798
William Baker 1803.
Henry Cripps 1826-1858, he divided a portion of the Parish, to form a new parish, Cainscross, to serve the increasing number of houses being built on the outskirts of Stroud, Stonehouse and Randwick. - During this time the Vicarage was rebuilt.
William Farren White (1861-1898). He wrote and published a book called “Ants and Their ways”. In 1883.
William Phillips (1898-1911)
Robert Waugh (1911-1920), who spent part of his time as a chaplain to the forces in the Great War.
Leonard Dawson (1920-1937), during this time the new church hall was built and fully used.
Geoffrey Highmore (1937-1949) saw the parish through the difficult days of the war.
Frank Springford (1949-1954) introduced Sung Eucharist as the central act of worship, and was renowned for his Children's Services and flourishing Sunday School.
Hilary Way (1954-1968) came to a lively parish, and it was in his time that the old Liddiatt organ was removed and another one installed at the West End of the church.
Lionel Ford (1968-1982), the first to move into the new vicarage.
James Harris (1982-2002), came to St. Cyr’s from St. Cyr’s Stinchcombe.
Charles Minchin 2003 ‘Priest in Charge’, who came from his previous parish of Brierley Hill. Charles began his ministry, reading Theology at Cambridge, having started there reading Mathematics.