Historic Highnam

Please visit Highnam Heritage Website for more information

Highnam through the Centuries

Pre 11th Century

780 – Ethelmund, son of Ingeld granted an estate of 30 hides at Over, for Gloucester Abbey.

804 – Ethelmund’s son, Ethelric confirmed the estate to the secular clerks at the Abbey.

11th –12th Century

1033 – The earliest description of the land at Ham (Highnam). Wulfin le Rue gave Churcham and Highnam to the church of St. Peter.

1086 – The manor Highnam is recorded in the Domesday Book. The manor of Lassington, as listed in the Domesday survey, belonged to the Archbishop of York.

1095 – The earliest known reference to the Lassington church is it’s re-dedication to St. Oswald on Palm Sunday 1095, after the building of the Norman nave, chancel and side chapel.

1100 – Gloucester Abbey owned Churcham & Highnam. The eastern manor of Churcham became known as Highnam in 1100.

13th –14th Century

1228 – On the northeast of the original Highnam Court the Newent road was recorded as the great road from Gloucester to Newent.

1332 – Gloucester Abbey was allowed to emparc 80 acres.

1329 – 1337 – John Wygmore, Abbot of Gloucester, believed to have built a greta grange at Highnam.

15th –16th Century

1516 – John Arnold leased Highnam Court; a mansion was included with the property.

1542 – The manor of Highnam was granted by the crown to John Arnold.

1545 – John Arnold left the manor to his son Nicholas who was knighted in 1552.

1580 – Nicholas’s heir, Dorothy, died and she was married to Thomas Lucy who assumed ownership. Lucy was knighted in 1593 and died in 1605.

1593 – Thomas Lucy knighted.

17th  Century

1605 – Thomas Lucy died

1607 – Lucy’s daughter Joyce took over Highnam Manor and was married to Sir William Cooke.

1618 – Sir William Cooke died. The estate was taken over by Robert Cooke.

1621 – Robert Cooke was knighted.

1643 – Robert Cooke died and the early house was seriously damaged in the Civil War battle fought at Highnam.

1658 – The new Court was built and its design was linked to Edward Carter, a pupil of Inigo Jones. The house was built for William Cooke, the son of Sir Robert Cooke, following the damage of the original structure in the English Civil War.

18th  Century

1703 – Following William Cooke’s death, the estate was inherited by his son Edward Cooke.

1724 – Edward Cooke died and the estate w as inherited by his son, Dennis Cooke.

1747 – Following Denis Cooke’s death the estate was inherited by his sisters. The estate passed by marriage into the Guise family.

1769 – John Guise reunited the manor.

1783 – John Guise inherited a baronetcy and took ownership of the manor following the death of his cousin Sir William Guise of Elmore.

1792 – All Gloucester executions took place at Over prior to 1792.

1794 – John Guise died and the manor passed to his son Sir Berkeley William Guise.

1796 – Hereford & Gloucester canal. Building began and a canal was opened from Gloucester heading north westwards to Newent and then onto Oxenhall tunnel, a distance of eight miles.

19th  Century

1834 – Following Sir Berkeley’s death he was succeeded by his brother Sir John Wright Guise.

1838 – Sir John was forced to sell the manor following the crippling expenses of an election. Highnam Court was purchased by Thomas Gambier Parry.

1840 – 1855 The house was significantly renovated by the architect Lewis Vulliamy. James Pulham laid out extensive new gardens.

1844 – Highnam Woods contain a pinetum, a collection of conifers that was started by Thomas Gambier Parry in 1844 and included over 300 species by 1863.

1849 – Construction of Holy Innocents was started with completion in 1851.

1851 – The Ecclesiastical parish of Highnam was established

1869 – Further renovations were performed on behalf of Gambier-Parry and included a billiard room.

1871 – Thomas Gambier Parry of Highnam bought Stone End farm in 1871.

1881 – The H&G canal was closed. The original portion of the canal, from Gloucester to Ledbury was drained and the Ledbury to Gloucester railway was started on the canal bed.

1882 – In 1882, Highnam, Linton, and Over had gained small parcels of land from Rudford and the North Hamlet division of Gloucester City.

1888 – Thomas Gambier-Parry died. His wife Ethelinda Lear retained the manor until her demise.

1896 – Ethelinda Lear died. Her husband’s son, composer Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, succeeded her.

20th  Century

1914 – 1918 – World War 1

1918 – Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry died. His half brother Major Ernest Gambier-Parry succeeded to the estate.

1935 – In 1935 Highnam, Linton, and Over united with Lassington to form the civil parish of Highnam

1936 – The major died and the estate was passed to his one surviving son, Thomas Mark Gambier-Parry who resided at the estate until 1966.

1939 – 1945 – World War 2

1950 – Thomas Mark Gambier-Parry gifted the farms of the estate to W.P. Cripps, his cousin

1966 – Thomas Mark Gambier-Parry died. He was succeeded by his cousin, Thomas Gambier-Parry’s great-grandson Thomas Fenton

1977 – The Court, gardens and part of the park sold to Roger Smith. The freehold of the Garden House outbuildings and walled garden remained in Tom Fenton’s hands, as did much of the park.

1992 – A restoration plan for the estate, the Singleton Report, was put together.

1994 – The Highnam Court Estate was purchased by Roger Head.


This information was kindly provided by Highnam Heritage.

To find out more about Highnam Heritage contact Maurice Atkinson highnamheritage@gmail.com