Sibford Gower - History

History

The Sibfords sit close to an ancient trackway which once ran between south-west England and York. Sibford Gower's situation on the top of a hill, close to this trade route, made it an early site for settlement. The Domesday Book records two Norman landowners in the village. William, son of Corbician, had about 1,000 acres, and the other, with a similar amount of land, was Hugh de Grantmesnil. The community's strong connection with religious activity began in the 1100s, when the Knights Templar established a chapel in the village. This was taken over by the Knights Hospitaller in 1312, who ran the chapel until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A group of Cistercians also lived in the village between 1194 and 1349. Like other Cotswold villages, Sibford Gower became affluent as the wool trade boomed in the 1400s. There is no record of the village being directly involved in the Civil War. However, Parliamentarian sympethisers were executed on the outskirts of the village, at a place that has since been known as Traitor's Ford. In 1773, 2000 acres of land in Sibford Gower were enclosed, resulting in many villagers leaving to look for work in local towns.

The Manor House was built in the 17th century and substantially remodelled between 1907 and 1915 by Frank Lascelles (1975-1934, pageant master, artist and sculptor).

Today the village is affluent and attracts a small number of tourists each year, being situated close to several Cotswold walkways.

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