STROAT – Gloucestershire – Forest of Dean

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Archive for the ‘Tidenham’ Category

The Wibdon / Stroat Broad Stone

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 09/04/2012


If YOU have ANY information on the village of Stroat 
PLEASE contact the blog owner as soon as possible 
for it to be added.

The Wibdon / Stroat Broad Stone

I was reading, some time back, through back copies of Chepstow Weekly Advertiser I had, and noted that W.H. Greene had published a couple of his poems – Checking this out in my copy of ‘Folklore and Dialect of The lower Wye Valley‘ by Ivor Waters, a Moss Rose Publication of 1982, I noted the story on pages 72-74.

This is the story of a stone throwing competition between those old rivals Jack O’ Kent & The Devil, said to have taken place at Tidenham Chase and resulting in the Devil’s throw placing a standing stone, which menhir can be seen to this day rising some 9 feet in a field adjoining the old GWR line, still used, from Chepstow to Gloucester.

The stone stands in Stroat on the landward side some 50 feet from the railway line is rather unimaginatively known as The Wibdon Broad Stone though formerly it may well have been known as The Devil’s Quoit to judge by William Henry Greene’s poem.

It is strange that it has attracted the name Wibdon Broad Stone as it very clearly stands in Stroat on the land of Stroat Farm and at 50 inches in width it can hardly be considered ‘broad’ – It is thus more reasonable to call it The Stroat Standing Stone’ or perhaps ‘The Dolmen of Stroat’ or perhaps ‘The Stroat Menhir’!

It is said that with a smaller stone Jack O’ Kent (might that be a popularisation to Kent of the title ‘Gwent’?) was thrown somewhat further landing near Thornbury on the South Bank of the River Severn.

You can read more of W.H. Greene born in Ross on Wye in 1832 who lived for some time in Chepstow and worked as a newspaper reporter for various titles in Monmouthshire – a profession his son followed in having been a reporter for The Chepstow Weekly Advertiser – W.H. Greene died in Newport on 31-Mar-1893.

For more about W.H. Greene CLICK HERE

When the weather improves I will try to remember to get some photos of The Stone and may also be able to track down The Thornbury stone via my cousin who has lived and worked in the Thornbury area all his life.

I have spoken with my cousin and he is trying to identify Jack O’ Kent’s stone near Thornbury.

I on the other hand set out to find The Stroat Standing Stone which I eventually found, almost directly between our house and The Severn standing isolated in a field, in fact nearer 50 yards than 50 feet from the rail line.

The Menhir stands some 97 inches high from the ground level to its tip.

Though wider at the base the widest point higher up is about 50 inches.

This heavily statified menhir is 14 inches thick.

There is no indication of how deeply set the standing stone is set in the soil.

IF YOU HAVE any information, stories or anecdotes of Stroat and its immediate environs please share them – do contact me and I will add them to the internet record – whether attributed or not is YOUR choice.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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Posted in Devil's Quoit, Ivor Waters, Jack O' Kent' Chepstow Weekly Advertiser, menhir, STROAT, Stroat Standing Stone, Tidenham, WH Greene, Wibdon Broad Stone, Wye Valley | Leave a Comment »

STROAT HOUSE A Growing History!

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 18/08/2011

STROAT HOUSE A Growing History!

Stroat House

For various sale data including those of Archer & Co as at the time it was purchased Apr-2013 & Saville’s sale data after renovation as at Sep-2015 CLICK HERE

Picture No. 16

It is believed that Stroat House was built between 1680 and 1690 and it has a most interesting provenance, thought to have only changed ownership five times in its long history.

STROAT HOUSE and an estate were owned by Somerset Jones, Vicar of Tidenham (d. 1769);
1776 after his death it was held by his widow who married his successor in the vicarage William Seys, who lived at Stroat House until his death in 1802.
Margaret Griffiths abt 1800 Chepstow, Monmouth, Wales Sister in Law Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England
John Read abt 1811 Bourton, Dorset, England Head Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England
The estate passed to Anne, daughter of Somerset Jones, and her husband Charles James of London who died in 1818.
1830 – One of the owners was a Captain Thomas Fenton who purchased the property in 1830. He was considered something of a hero seeing action in the Peninsula Wars and waterloo with the 4th Dragoons and Scots Greys. It is believed that he used prize money from Waterloo to ‘gentrify’ the façade of Stroat House adding fashionable quoining, the classical pediment over the front door and archway in the stone wall to the front.
This series of letters by Thomas Fenton are held at the Somerset Record Office, references DD/COL 53 Fenton Family and DD/HY 15/6/23 correspondence from George Horton-Fawkes to the 4th Bart. The Somerset Record Office have graciously given permission for me to publish these letters.
Thomas Charles Fenton was the son of James Fenton of Loversall and Grinton who married Thomasina Ibbetson of Denton Park. He was one of ten children, his elder siblings were Thomasina, Jane, Mary Anne, Isabella (Bell) and William Carr Henry; his younger siblings being Harriet, Elizabeth, George and Edward.
Thomas Charles Fenton was born in 1790 and became a Cornet at the age of fourteen in the 4th (Queen�s Own) Dragoons by purchase on 13 November 1804 and rose to lieutenant in the same regiment on 22 July 1806 and captain by purchase on 2 January 1812. As such Fenton sailed to the Peninsula in 1809 and saw action throughout the war, at Talavera, Busaco, Usagre, Albuera, Villagarcia, Salamanca, Vitoria and Toulouse. Returning home in 1814, Fenton went on half pay, but transferred to the 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons, or Scots Greys and commanded a troop at the Battle of Waterloo. Despite all these adventures Fenton miraculously came through these campaigns without wound or serious illness, a fortunate man indeed, or was it his hardy Yorkshire upbringing?
Fenton married Harriet Rooke in 1817 and retired from the army in 1819, living at Stroat House, Tidenham, near Chepstow. The couple had at least one son, Charles Hamilton Fenton who married Mary Isabella Salmon in 1846.
With all the Peninsula memoirs being uncovered; is there anything unique about Fenton’s letters? The simple answer is yes, very much. Despite having served with Wellington throughout almost the whole of the Peninsular War, virtually nothing is known of their service, because no memoir of this regiment has ever been published previously. It therefore pains me to mention that I have in my possession transcripts of two sets of letters from this regiment, the second set being that of Fenton’s friend and colleague Lieutenant Norcliffe Norcliffe, whom I have been able to use to verify facts and also to quote sparingly to flesh out incidents briefly mentioned by Fenton. Unfortunately however, the owners of Norcliffe’s letters have declined all requests to publish the letters in full. It is hoped that they will reconsider this decision in due course.
Letters and memoirs of the heavy dragoons in Spain are particularly rare and these letters are therefore of immense value, describing not only their actions in battle, but much of the mundane marching, patrolling and screening that took up much of their time.
It is therefore a great privilege to be able to publish these letters to aid significantly our understanding of the role of the heavy dragoons in the Peninsular War.
In 1843 the estate, which then included 226 a., was owned by Mary Webb. 

Stroat House

In 1851, my great great grandmother, Mary-Ann Wyatt worked as a servant girl in Stroat House.
Her age according to the 1851 census was 23 years old but in fact she was only 19 years old having bern born in 1832. Her husband to be, Mathew Cox was living in Brookend, Woolaston. After marriage in 1857 they lived and worked in Penhow, near the Chepstow to Newport road.  Thanks to Martin Taylor for this snippet of information.
1866 Elizabeth Etkins abt 1866 Woolastone, Gloucestershire, England Servant Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England
1870 Post Office Directory give Charles Higgins esq. at Stroat House

Bessie J. Brown abt 1872 Bristol Adapted Child Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England


Martha M. Read abt 1837 Chepstow, Monmouth, Wales Daughter Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England
Sarah M. Read abt 1805 Chepstow, Monmouth, Wales Wife Stroat House, Tidenham, Gloucestershire,
Read, Martha M abt 1836 Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales Head Tidenham Gloucestershire
Martha M Read abt 1836 Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales Head Tidenham Gloucestershire

Stroat House

by Slowhand-s @, Friday, June 17, 2005, 02:57 (2253 days ago) @ Slowhand-s for Sale £975,000
Stroat House, a three-storied house faced in rough-cast with stone dressings, dates from the earlier 18th century. It has an ornate road front, divided into three bays by rusticated pilasters, with a modillion cornice, and stone quoins to the angles and window openings. The central doorway is surmounted by a fan-light and a pedimented hood on shaped brackets; above it the windows to both floors are roundheaded, but elsewhere the windows are paired sashes, all retaining their wide glazing-bars. The staircase, the staircase window, and an archway in the hall are of the original date.

C1961 – The garden front of the house was remodelled c. 1961. The pedimented stone gateway to the forecourt, contemporary with the house, was moved when the road was widened.
From: ‘Tidenham including Lancaut: Manors and other estates’, A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume X: Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds (1972), pp. 62-8. URL: Date accessed: 14 June 2005.

Stroat House

by slowhands 🙂 @, Sunday, July 03, 2005, 06:19 (2237 days ago) @ Slowhand-s
For those in the UK – or with access to a UK edition of Saturday 2nd July 2005 Daily Mail, there is an article about Stroat House and the current owners…( the on-line Daily Mail does not appear to have the article – sorry)

Some of the above detail is with thanks to Archer & Co. of Chepstow

The Forest of Dean Family History Research Forum CLICK HERE
Details on Thomas Fenton CLICK HERE
For further sale data including those of Archer & Co as at the time it was purchased Apr-2013 & the sale data after renovation as at Sep-2015 CLICK HERE

WELCOME TO STROAT. If YOU have ANY information on the villiage/hamlet of Stroat PLEASE contact the blog owner as soon as possible for it to be added.

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Posted in Battle of Waterloo, James Fenton, Tidenham | Leave a Comment »

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