Stratford Park and its Mansion House, by Marion Hearfield

Stratford Park and its Mansion House, by Marion Hearfield

Published by the Stroud Local History Society & the Friends of the Museum, 112 pages. Paperback (N7655)

From the introduction: This book has been written at the request of the Museum in the Park and is published jointly by the Friends of the Museum and Stroud Local History Society. It tells the story of Stratford Park and its Mansion from mediaeval times until the opening of the Museum in 2001. Enough of the early deeds have survived to work out the 16th-17thC ownership of the estate. There are a couple of contradictions, several men called Giles and Gyles and two (or was it four?) women called Sarah Gardner, and a parish boundary divided the estate.

The Painswick stream that runs through Stratford Park was then the boundary between the parishes of Painswick and Stroud, which meant the land appeared in different local rate books and tax records, and the old parish maps show a blank space instead of the other part of the estate! In Charles Baker's 1839 map of Painswick parish (right) the mansion's lake and shrubberies are there a­ but the house (in Stroud parish) isn't. And the 1819 plan on p2 was taken from Baker's map of Paganhill tithing (part of Stroud parish) so the house is there but not the lake.

Within Stroud parish, Paganhill was a separate tithing and often had its own records. Despite all this, the story of Stratford Park is reasonably clear. The first chapters of this history summarise the early evidence. Later chapters describe the owners and their tenants, the change from private to public ownership, and the early development of the park as a public space for sports, leisure and entertainment.
Contents include:

Why Stratford?
1627 - Gyles Davys
1650s - The Gardners
The Gardner Charity
Callowell House (Lower Callowell House)
Callowell farm (the Home farm)
Stratford House
The 1SlhC summer house
1781 - Nathaniel Winchcombe / Clifford
The Iron Bridge
The Walled Garden gate
The Orangery
The Warwick Vase
1804 - Sir Samuel Wathen
1820 - Joseph Watts
1855 - Joseph Watts Hallewell (JWH)
The house contents in 1891
Trees and surviving clues
1891 - George Holloway
1902 - Isabella Lort Phillips
Belgian refugees
1919 - George Frederick Ormerod
Head Gardener
1935 - Stroud District Council
Bowling Green and Tennis Courts
The Lido
The Putting Green and bandstand
Wartime necessities
Day Nursery
Post War
1960 - The Brothers
1975 - The Leisure Centre
Jubilee gates
More new tenants
19S0 - The Railway Track
2001 - Stroud's Museum
Memories of Stratford Park
Appendix 1 - Stratford Mill
Appendix 2 - Stratford Abbey
Appendix 3 - Stratford Court
Appendix 4 - Colonel Edmund Gilling Watts Hallewell
Appendix 5 - MAPS

Condition of the book is generally very good. The covers have some minor scuffs and blemishes, and light wear and creasing along the edges and corners, but the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Has a small price sticker on the rear side cover