In 1544, Lord Stourton sold his estate in Shipton Moyne to John Hodges of Malmesbury.
This estate covered almost all of the southern half of the Parish, including a manor house just east of the Church, perhaps the southern half of the village, Shipton Dovel and Hill Court to the west. One small patch near Shipton Dovel was in the ownership of the Abbey at Cirencester: this was sold by the Crown to John Dudley and John Ascough in 1575.
John Hodges died in 1562. His Grandson Thomas was said to be High Sheriff of Gloucestershire and died in 1680. His descendant, Thomas, married Edyth Estcourt in c.1685. This was not a very successful union. Thomas died in 1696 and Edyth in 1717. They had at least three children: Thomas (b&d) 1686, Elizabeth (1687 – 1724), who died a spinster at 37, and Estcourt (1691 – 1721), who never married and died aged 30. The most likely reason for these deaths in early adulthood is tuberculosis. The full extent of the Hodges holdings is revealed in the will of Elizabeth, the relict of the entire local estate.
After 1724 the manor passed to Walter Hodges DD, a cousin of Elizabeth. He was an academic, Provost of Oriel College Oxford and twice Vice-Chancellor. He had no children. The estate was combined into the Estcourt estate (to the north) in 1788 in accordance with Elizabeth’s will.
The original manor house burnt down in 1588 and was replaced with an Elizabethan House. This house became derelict after the death of Elizabeth Hodges in 1724 and was probably used as salvage for other structures such as Walter Hodges House (now Hodges Farm House) and Hodges Barn (1732), both still standing today. It is interesting to note that some parts of buildings in the Village Street built in the 1800s appear to be of a much earlier date.
The Will of Elizabeth Hodges
Elizabeth inherited a considerable estate. The Will set up four Trusts, all of which were to be administered by the Estcourts and others. She specifically required that it be published. Elizabeth made her will in 1723 after the death of her younger brother Estcourt Hodges, whereupon she became the sole survivor of the family (i.e. ‘the relict’). The estate was of considerable size.
The First Trust was endowed with lands in the parishes of Leonard Stanley, Cam, Stinchcombe and Berkeley, yielding £60 a year divided equally to augment the resources of Schools in Tetbury and Malmesbury for teaching poor children to write, read and cast accounts to make them better capable of gaining livelihoods.
The Second Trust endowed with lands in Shipton Moyne and, Dovel yielding £55, partly providing poor relief in Tetbury and Malmesbury, and partly providing for teaching poor children in Shipton Moyne, Sherston, Westonbirt. EastonGrey, Brokenborough and Newnton.
The Third Trust provided a house called ‘Punters’ (now Cranborne Cottages) as a school house and teacher’s residenceThe Fourth Trust endowed with lands in Worcestershire provided legacies for her family.
The village archive contains many documents that survive to this day relating to this Will and the resulting Trusts. It is of some note that Elizabeth did not distinguish boys from girls in her legacy.