Aylworth Manor is located near the hamlet of Naunton,
Gloucestershire, England. Originally a small settlement of eleven people in
1066, Aylworth, gradually formed into a large estate of 600 acres by the
17th century. It was rebuilt in the latter part of the 17th century, and
rebuilt again in the 18th century on a slightly different site.
The manor house was described in an 18th century publication
as a large three story structure built of ashlar with a Cotswold stone roof. The
Aylworth family, had since ancient times, held considerable land in and around
Naunton (see St. Andrews below). They acquired this area, where the manor
house is located in 1564. It was granted to Anthony Aylworth by Vincent and
Anthony died in 1566 and the manor passed successively to
Richard (d. 1578), Richard's son Edward (d. 1640), Edward's son Bray (d. 1640),
Bray's son Richard (d. 1661), Richard's son Joshua, after who's death in 1718
the manor was sold to John Herring of London.
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The Aylworth family at one time or another owned parts of
Naunton and was a great benefactor of the Church of St. Andrew. Several family
tombs are located inside the church and there are several burials in the church
yard. One interesting feature of Naunton is the large dove cot (short for
cottage) which was owned by the family (see photo). Dove cots were used to raise doves for
food, much like a hen house. This is an unusually large one and quite elaborate.
Naunton has changed little since the time that the Aylworth
Family was prominent. It is a delightful example of Cotswold beauty. There is
still a wonderful little inn called the Naunton View Inn and a traditional
English Pub, The Black Horse.
The Church of St. Andrew the Apostle
- Naunton upon Cotswold
The Parish Church of Naunton has been the center of the religious
life in the Naunton area from the 1200's and possibly long before that. The
Church has been added to and restored several times and unfortunately causing
the loss of many features that we would today consider very important. Many of
those features were provided by the Aylworth Family. One feature that survives
is the Aylworth Chapel, a small addition to the north side (see a North side
view below). The Aylworth Chapel, built in the late 1400's or early 1500's, is
basically a room open to the church proper. During the Reformation, most of the
shrines and ornaments provided by John Aylsworth in the early 1500's were
removed and destroyed, among them a large, elaborate rood. Rood is a Saxon term
for cross or crucifix, often accompanied by figures of the Virgin Mary and St.
John. Another loss are the M.I.'s (English term for memorial stones -- memorial
inscriptions) that covered the tombs of the Aylworth Family in the Aylworth
Chapel. These were lost or covered over when the floors were raised during the
restoration in the 1880's.