About Quedgeley

In 1872 Quedgeley was described as:

"QUEDGELEY, a village and a parish in the district and county of Gloucester. The village stands near the Gloucester and Berkeley canal, 3 miles S S W of Gloucester r. station; and has a post-office under Gloucester. The parish contains also the hamlet of Woolstrop, and comprises 1, 453 acres. Real property, £4, 578; of which £1,000 are in the canal. Pop., 408. Houses, 80. The property is divided among a few. The manor, with Q. House, belongs to J.Hayward, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value, £230.* Patron, J.Hayward, Esq. The church is decorated English; was recently repaired; and consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and porch, with tower and spire. There is a national school."

From British History Online:

The parish of Quedgeley lies on the left-hand bank of the River Severn 3 miles south of the centre of Gloucester. The proximity of the city and the course of the main Gloucester-Bristol road through the middle of the parish have greatly influenced its development.

From historical maps & the the division of the open fields, it is likely that Quedgeley parish was an agglomeration of parts of other parishes and this is supported by the fact that part of the tithes of Quedgeley was owed to the church of Whaddon.

Quedgeley church or chapel, and by inference some form of parochial independence, had been established by 1095.

Until 1882 Quedgeley was an irregularly shaped parish of approx. 1,450 acres, including several small detached parts. In the south-east small pieces of the parish lying intermingled with pieces of Whaddon, Brookthorpe, Harescombe, and Haresfield represented holdings in shared open fields that were inclosed in 1841 and 1866.

  • On the north boundary Quedgeley included a peninsula reaching into Hempsted and containing Netheridge.
  • The eastern boundary of the parish followed for a mile a brook sometimes known as the Qued brook.
  • The western boundary was and is marked by the Severn and by the Dimor (or Fisher's) brook. The small irregularities in the boundary were adjusted in 1882 and 1885; in 1885 also the peninsula of Netheridge was transferred to Hempsted.

In 1900 Lower Tuffley was added to Quedgeley, but in 1935 the 135acres of Lower Tuffley were transferred to Gloucester and Quedgeley gained 130acres including Field Court, from Hardwicke.

In 1951 a further 271acres of Quedgeley, north-east of the Qued brook, were added to Gloucester, and in 1954 Quedgeley gained 96acres from Hempsted, giving it an area of 1,419acres.

The western part of Quedgeley, known as the hamlet of Woolstrop, was by 1252 in Dudstone and King's Barton, not Whitstone, hundred. The northern peninsula of Netheridge was represented on maps as also part of Dudstone and King's Barton hundred,  perhaps because it was regarded as part of Woolstrop hamlet, but from 1775 it paid land-tax as part of Whitstone hundred with the rest of Quedgeley.

Origins of Quedgeley

Quedgeley is likely to have originated as a roadside settlement. The church and the site of Woolstrop manor are close together ¼ mile west of the Bristol road, but there is no evidence of a nucleated village there. Although a few houses that were pulled down in School Lane near the church are said to have been old,  the main settlement has been strung out along the Bristol road, including most of the older surviving houses, which date from the 16th century or earlier. A triangular green of 35 acres, called Great Green, stretched north from the church on both sides of the main road until inclosure in 1841, and a smaller green along the road in the north of the parish was called Howbones or Holborn Green. In 1675 the settlement was described as 'Quedgeley Green, a discontinued village'. Later, a piece of former green was used for a recreation ground and a parish pound. Away from the main road the older houses include Quedgeley Manor Farm, ½ mile SE. of the church and former green, and Netheridge. 

The older houses in Quedgeley, widely spaced in ones and twos along the road, are timber-framed, and some retain thatched roofs. The Little Thatch, earlier called Queen Anne's Farm and Read's Farm, is a small timber-framed and thatched house built on an L-shaped plan, of two stories and gabled. It was enlarged in the 19th century, and in 1967 was used as a restaurant. A tradition that Anne Boleyn stayed there has not been verified. Packer's Cottage is another timber-framed house that retains its thatch. It is apparently of the 16th century and is a long rectangular building, with later additions, of one story with an attic.

In 1327 12 people were recorded at Quedgeley and 2 at Woolstrop. Numbers appear to have increased between the mid 16th century and the mid 17th: there were 69 communicants in 1551, and 123 in 1603; 28 households were recorded in 1563, 44 adult men in 1608, and 40 families in 1650. The estimated population in the 18th century remained constant at c. 170, but by 1801 it was 203. The population increased steadily to 297 in 1831, rose again to 401 in 1851 after a slight fall, and then again grew steadily to the end of the century. After 1891 the available figures are for an area other than that of the ancient parish. The first boundary changes did not significantly affect the population, but from 1901 to 1931 the figures include the inhabitants of Lower Tuffley and during that period numbers rose from 639 to 912. There was a further rapid increase between 1951 and 1961, when there were 1,121 inhabitants in the civil parish.

1800s Onwards

The growth of Quedgeley in terms of building is represented by an increase from 27 houses in 1801 to 80 in 1861. Most of the new houses were along the main road, built of brick in pairs or detached, and many of them later became roadside guesthouses. In the late 19th century and early 20th small brick houses were built along Sims Lane, Elmore Lane, and Naas Lane.

The older houses in Quedgeley, widely spaced in ones and twos along the road, are timber-framed, and some retain thatched roofs. The Little Thatch, earlier called Queen Anne's Farm and Read's Farm, (fn. 32) is a small timber-framed and thatched house built on an L-shaped plan, of two stories and gabled. It was enlarged in the 19th century, and in 1967 was used as a restaurant. A tradition that Anne Boleyn stayed there has not been verified. Packer's Cottage is another timber-framed house that retains its thatch. It is apparently of the 16th century and is a long rectangular building, with later additions, of one story with an attic.

The growth of Quedgeley in terms of building is represented by an increase from 27 houses in 1801 to 80 in 1861. Most of the new houses were along the main road, built of brick in pairs or detached, and many of them later became roadside guesthouses. In the late 19th century and early 20th small brick houses were built along Sims Lane, Elmore Lane, and Naas Lane.

A group of old people's bungalows was built 1962 near the church. An estate mainly of pairs of houses was built off Sims Lane in the sixties, when a large amount of land in the parish was designated for further building. In 1967 there were two caravan sites near the Bristol road roundabout, one of which was associated with Quedgeley Court, a large brick house built c. 1880 and converted into flats.

In the same area, along the Bristol road, much of the land was developed in the nineteen fifties and sixties as commercial and industrial sites.

In 1884 Quedgeley had a beerhouse and an inn called the Boat Inn, both on the Bristol road. By 1889 the Boat Inn was called the 'Plough', which was the only inn in 1891 and in 1967.

A village hall was opened in the 1930s on the Bristol road near School Lane, on land given by Miles Curtis-Hayward. It was destroyed by fire in 1959 and a new hall was opened on the same site in 1962. A Red Cross centre, opened in the former school building in 1945, had closed by 1967.

Main water, electricity, and gas were available in Quedgeley by 1935, but in 1967 there was no main sewerage.

Gloucester & Berkeley Canal & Railway

The parish is crossed by the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, begun in 1794 and opened to traffic in 1827. Sims Lane and Elmore Lane cross the canal by swing bridges. My first cousin 4 times removed - Albert Joseph Priday - was a bridgekeeper on the canal at, I believe, the Elmore Lane swing bridge.

The main railway line south from Gloucester, crossing the east side of the parish, was opened in 1844. From the 1920s Quedgeley has been served by a regular bus service between Bristol and Gloucester.

Royal Air Force, Quedgeley

After the establishment of the R.A.F. maintenance unit in 1939 houses were built for its staff east of the main road and north of Naas Lane.

On land to the East of the village of Quedgeley, just outside the city of Gloucester was a large site known to many as RAF Quedgeley or to give it its official name, Number. 7 Maintenance Unit, RAF Quedgeley whose Motto was ‘Omnibus Ubique Servimus’ – ‘We Serve All, Everywhere’. The No 7 Maintenance Unit, Royal Air Force Quedgeley, originally consisted of 8 different sites, occupying some 574 hectare’s of land. With several large sites on both sides of the road it had some two million square feet of covered storage and workshop area.

It has had a long and distinguished history here in the locality since 1914. It finally closed as an independent RAF unit on 13 February 1995. The closure of the site brought to an end an 80 year bond between Quedgeley and the Defence of the Nation. Part of the site was formerly, in 1915, the No 5 National Filling Factory which provided a huge amount of gun ammunition to the British Army from 1915 to the end of the First World War.

The Lands Built On

The area known as Manor farm, can be dated from at least 1066 when it was given to Durrent the Sheriff of Gloucester by William the Conqueror, and possibly even as far back as 982ad. Later the farm and lands passed to ‘Miles of Gloucester’ who was associated with Empress Matilda, who became known as the ‘six month queen’ following her crowning as Queen in Worcester in 1141.History of the farms and land is a little vague after that date but its known that in the reign of George III in 1820, one John Beach, owned Manor Farm and other land in the Quedgeley and Hardwicke areas.

It is known that Manor Farm passed through several families until 1914 when the War Office took control of the lands.