The Early History of Shipton Moyne

The Early History of Shipton Moyne

The Roman road, The FOSSE WAY, passes within a mile of both Shipton Moyne and Tetbury.

These sites are mentioned in Domesday (1086) as 'Skipetone' and 'Teteberie'. Both are potential sites for Roman settlements being a half-day march from the Roman town of Corinium (Cirencester).

So far, no Roman remains have been found in either of the sites.

In the time of Edward III (The Confessor), Skipetone was recorded as being 'held' by Alwin and later by Rambert of Flanders and his son Gilbert of Shipton. Following The Conquest, the estate passed to a descendant of a Breton companion of the Conqueror named William Le Moyne - the name (meaning Monk) is still common around the town of Quimper in southern Britany. A descendant, Ralph Le Moyne, held the land in a Sargency as Larderer - supplier of food and other things - to the King (Henry I initially), which exempted them from military service. They held the land for over 300 years. There is evidence that the Le Moyne family held other lands in Dorset and possibly North Devon.

By 1303, however, the land had been divided with the Northern half held by the Estcourts and Beauboys. They held this land up to the later 1900s - some 700 years - though much reduced over time.

The southern half remained with the Le Moynes. By 1460 the land had passed by marriage to Lord Stourton based at Stourton, Wiltshire. He held the land until the Dissolution.

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, in effect, released some 20% of lowland England from church ownership. Henry VIII effectively sold this land gradually in order to fund his wars in France and to support the Court of Augmentations, which provided pensions for the displaced clergy (provided, of course, they swore allegiance to the Crown once a year). Within this upheaval, Lord Stourton sold his holding in Shipton Moyne and Dovel to John Hodges of Malmesbury in 1544. A small area of land in Shipton Dovel (to the west of Shipton Moyne) that had been in the ownership of St Augustine's Abbey in Cirencester was sold separately.

The Hodges family occupied the southeast estate from 1544 until 1786. In 1588, the original manor house was burned down and an Elizabethan house replaced it. This house is depicted in Jan Kip's Engraving in 1711. The house fell into disrepair after 1724 and was no doubt used for material for other structures, e.g. Walter Hodges House of 1727 (now gone) and Hodges Barn 1732 (still standing). Some windows and doorways in The Street of Shipton Moyne seem to be of much older origin and may have come from the old 1588 house. Nearly all traces of that house had disappeared by 1826, though the outline can be seen in old aerial photographs. The estate was merged into the Estcourt Estate to the north in 1786. The Hodges family and, in particular, Elizabeth, whose legacy persists to this day, are the subject of a separate article on this website.

Map Of Shipton Moyne In 1537


There is a huge wealth of historical records. An overview can be obtained through:-

British History Online

  • Atkins R: The Ancient and Present state of Gloucestershire 1712; including illustrations by Jan Kip of 60 seats of the gentry.
  • Rudder S:  A New History of Gloucestershire 1779

These histories do not always agree!

We need to be a little cautious concerning the name 'Shipton' as there are four places in Gloucestershire of that name: Shipton Moyne and Shiptop Dovel - both of this parish - but also Shipton Oliffe and Shipton Solers both near Cheltenham. Some early references merely name 'Shipton' so we cannot be certain of these.