- Stanley Pontlarge
The hamlet was mentioned in the
Domesday Book, when it was referred to as "Stanlege". [ [http://www.stanleyroots.co.uk/Domesday.htm Stanley villages in the Domesday Book of 1086] ]
The hamlet has a small
church, whose dedication is unknown. The church was a possession of Hailes Abbeybefore the Dissolution. The original Norman structure was heavily restored by Thomas Collins in 1860-61. The chancel was rebuilt. The church is noted for its Late Norman north door, with chevron mouldings, and a Norman chancel arch, leaning outwards, also with chevron moulding. The nave roof was rebuilt in 1923-4 by Sir Philip Stott. The font is a Norman bowl, remodelled into an octagonal shape in the 14th century. Most of the furnishings in the church date to the 1860-1 restoration. By agreement among the parishioners, graves in the churchyard are not marked by headstones. A guide to the location of burials is provided within the church.
The Cottage is 14th century in origin, probably built as a priest's house by Hailes Abbey after 1387, when the abbey was granted the living of Toddington and Stanley Pontlarge. Massive cruck trusses survive in the attic. The exterior of the house is 16th century in appearance, although the windows may date to the restoration by Thomas Collins in 1873. The Cottage was bought in 1921 by Lionel Rolt, and became the home of the writers Tom and Sonia Rolt in the 1950s. The house, and life in the surrounding countryside, are described in detail in Rolt's two volumes of autobiography "Landscape with machines" and "Landscape with figures". Tom Rolt is buried in the churchyard.
Stanley Pontlarge lies on the steep northern escarpment of the Cotswolds. The steep hillsides can appear bleak, but offer a superb view northwards to the
Vale of Evesham. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railwayis a prominent feature of the landscape.
A variety of ugly agricultural structures and overhead wires were removed by the
Landmark Trustin the 1970s.
D. Verey & A. Brooks. 2002. "The Buildings of England. Gloucestershire 2". London: Yale University Press.
* [http://www.winchcombeparish.org.uk/stanleypont.asp Stanley Pontlarge church] (Parish Website)
* [http://www.stanleyroots.co.uk/ Stanley Roots] -- the roots of places and people called Stanley in medieval England.
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