Parish History

Parish History

The Parish of Goostrey, Cheshire has a population of approx 2170 (at mid-2008). Its area of 1,026 hectares (2,535 acres) contains almost 1000 houses.  The following assets are of historical or architectural importance.

These include:-

  • St Luke’s Church Grade II*
  • Crook Hall Grade II* (and the barn Grade II)
  • The Schoolhouse Grade II
  • Blackden Manor Grade II (and the outbuildings Grade II)
  • Swanwick Hall Grade II
  • Blackden Hall Grade II*
  • Toad Hall Grade and old Medicine House Grade II
  • Barnshaw Hall Grade II
  • Brookbank Farm Grade II
  • Church cottages Grade II
  • Winterbottom Farm Grade II
  • Brookside Farm Grade II
  • Barn at Millbank Farm Grade II
  • Lovell Telescope Grade I
  • Bowl Barrrow, Jodrell Bank Farm, Scheduled Ancient Monument.
  • Table Tomb, St Luke’s Grade II
  • Sundial, St Luke’s Grade II

It is possible that Goostrey was a meeting place or even a settlement when Christ was born, for stone and bronze axe heads and the barrows within the Parish boundary show the area was inhabited before the Iron Age. Our 1,200 year old Yew tree suggests that the mound on which the church is built was a focal point for a community during the ‘Dark Age’ of the first Millennium but by the beginning of the second Millennium Goostrey had arrived in history with two entries in the Domesday Book of 1086.

When St. Werburgh’s Abbey was founded at Chester in 1119, the Norman Earl’s barons contributed to its endowment and Baron Hugh of Mold, who owned Goostrey, gave it to the Abbey. The Parish of Goostrey-cum-Barnshaw remained ecclesiastical property until the 14th century, leased out at first and then managed by the Abbey directly. Abbey records mostly relate to maintenance of ditches, mills and fish ponds and we imagine a scatter of small farms set amongst woods and heath supplying wood, flour and fish to the great Chester Abbey, some later gifted to the new foundation of Vale Royal.

After the Dissolution, the land was purchased by the Mainwaring family of Peover and remained part of that family’s estate until the 20th century. From the 17th century, farming techniques improved and farms became bigger and more prosperous. Dairy farming and particularly the Cheshire speciality, cheese, thrived, shielding the county from poor harvests and low prices. Goostrey became a centre for a comparatively well-to-do farming community. The church, a wooden framed building built around 1220 was replaced by the present one of brick in 1792. The first recorded school early in the 17th century was rebuilt in 1775, a replacement built on another site in 1812 and that replaced by the present ‘old’ school in 1856 when some 62 boys and 40 girls were pupils. In addition at that time, the village provided at least two pubs, the mill, a blacksmith, two tailors, a shoemaker and two or three shops.

The first big change to the old way of life was the opening of the railway station in 1891. It offered a market for milk and produce and brought in occasional trippers. Temperance groups or Sunday schools out for a picnic. The villas appeared along Main Road and cyclists began the connection which continues. After the First War, motor cars were more frequent and the Annual Goostrey Horse Races became fashionable. The Second War over, things carried on in much the same way until the second big change in the late 1950’s when mains drainage was installed for post-war Council housing needs. In 1963 the first of three new estate developments was started and by 1970 the number of houses had quadrupled.

Goostrey took the invasion with typical Cheshire calm and soon the ‘Incomers’ were active members of village clubs and societies. Indeed, so much was going on that in 1976, I.T.V. made a series of 5 one-hour programmes entitled ‘Goostrey – A Village’- to the mixed views of the inhabitants.

Community spirit has grown with the village. A dream started in the 1920’s of a Sports field has become a reality in the 1990’s and it was a mixture of ‘old’ and ‘new’ residents that decided to plan for the Millennium well in advance.

The following is an extract from the Goldstraw genealogy web site and contains some interesting historical research on Goostrey.

The surname Goldstraw is a local variant of the place name Goostrey near Holmes Chapel, which is recorded as Gostrel in the 1086 Domesday Book,Gosetre, Gorstre during the 12th and 13th century, and Goulstry in the 17th century. The place name was originally taken by Ekwall in his Dictionary of English Placenames as meaning the tree belonging to Godhere, an old Saxon name, but McNeal Dodgson in the Placenames of Cheshire proposes a hypothetical Old English word “gorst-treow” in the sense of gorse bush or bramble. Interestingly enough, the place name is still pronounced Goostrey, and hence, is closer to its original form.

From “The History of the County Palatine and City of Cheshire, evidence in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian MSS, Parochial Register, and various private collections”, by Ormorod (date 1882) Goostrey was known as Gostrel in the Domesday Book, probably comprising the two manors of Bernulfshawe and Gostre, property of the founder of the Barony of Montalt – Hugo de Mara also known as Hugh Fitznorman. He gave his share of “Gostrey” along with Lawton to the Abbey of St Werburgh. Ormorod’s translation of the Domesday entry records: “The
families of Croxton, Twemlowe, Gostre, Bonetable, Bernulschaw, and Aston passed the manor and lands of Barnshaw and Goostrey to the Abbey of St Werburgh”. Particulars of the grants are in the charter of the Abbey (Harl MSS 1965.35 and 35(b))

A charter was granted to the convent by Michel de Gostre by which the abbey was empowered to embank a lake for the use of the mill, and also to serve them as a vivary or fish pond. [There is no date for this, but it is linked to another reference given a date of 1249-65].

Ormorod suggests that a mansion house must have existed at an early period in Goostrey. Later on, Ormorod continues: Goostry gave name to a family, originally most probably seized of the manor. They rarely occur in the rolls of the Palatine [of Cheshire], but the following brief and interesting pedigree (Harl.MSS.2059.245)
shows the descent of their estate here from about the reign Edward III
[1327-1377] to the temp. Henry VII [1485-1509] and connects them with
the Kinsey of Blackden of whom little is known.

Michel de Gostre (who could scarcely have been identical with the before-mentioned Michel or Michael, the benefactor of the Abbey, though there was also a Thomas de Gostre living in his day) was grandfather of Thomas de Gostre (temp. Richard III [1483-85]) to whose name is appended a curious note. He married a daughter of … Hamond of Bancroft ‘against his father’s will and his own worshippe, and through evil councell he did such things for quiche he was done to death for yt was shame and greefe to his fader and his frendes’

There then follows a family tree showing the following:

  1. Michel de Gostre
    1.1 His son Thomas married Alianore, daughter of William Mainwaringe.

They had three children:
1.1.1. Thomas, married Hamond of Bancroft (temp Richard II [1377-
1399]), had four daughters [not named]
William, married Alice daughter of Richard Hadley.
. Roger [for whom no marriage or descendants are shown]

William had 3 children: Thomlyn, married the daughter [no first name given] of Jenken
Rowley and had one daughter, Anne who married William Vernon and had
issue which died s.p. (which William was living 7 Hen[1]. 5 a widower) Wilkin or William, married [not given], had land in Blackden.
Jenken, who had land in Blackden of gift of father. Wilkin had two children:, wife of Robert Kinsey, who had a son William Robertson
Kinsey, coheir with his aunt to the Gostre Estate (1498)., coheir to Anne Vernon, wife of Jack Snelsone in or about

[Note that some of these names appear in the IGI: Thomas Goostrey and
Alinora (formerly Manwaring) had a son Thomas born about 1307; William
born about 1310; Roger about 1313 (all recorded at Sandbach)]

A survey of Goostrey Church taken in 1569 (Harl MSS 2151.66) notices the
arms of Kinsey, and a tablet “Anne, wife of John Kinsey of Blackden
died 18 Feb 1665”.

Ormorod then goes on: There is also reference to the family of Barnshaw – Roger de Berneshagh, a commissioner. The rarity of this name may in some measure be accounted for by supposing the family borne the alias of Gostre, or of Grene. The Grenes presumably the ancestors of the Grenes of Congleton.

There is information under the township of Croxton. There is a reference to Liulph de Croxton, or Tremlowe, who one genealogist had made the son of Wulfric, but Ormorod thinks it more likely he was the grandson. He also goes by the names of Walthew, Orme, and William.

Ormorod goes on: If however it can be proved that Liulph de Croxton and Tremlowe were two successive proprietors, and not one generation as the genealogists have uniformly made them, Wulfric, the grandfather of the first, will be thrown back to the Conquest or to the time of the Confessor, and there will then be no difficulty in point of time in crediting the interpolation before mentioned which, after calling the second generation Walthew, makes Wulfric the grandfather of “Margeria filia Walthei, filia Wulfrici”, which Margeria undoubtedly brought Marton in marriage to the grandson of the Norman Baron of Kinderton. [A footnote says that the male ancestor of the Croxtons was undoubtedly one of the “five brethren” who came in at the Conquest. These can be assumed to be
brothers of the first Baron of Halton. There is then a reference to Ledolf de Crocstun, sheriff to the end of the reign of King John, who witnesses the assignment of the 2nd Baron of Halton. Ormorod concludes that there must have been two or three Lidulfs successively in the period previously thought to have been one.] Ormorod continues:

This last Lidulp, sheriff of Cheshire in the reigns of Richard I [1189- 99] and John [199-1216], the surviving temp. Henry III [1216-1272] lord of Tremlowe, Croxton, Goostrey, Cranage and half of Winnington, had a second brother, Randle, to whom he gave the fourth of Cranage, and from whom the families of Granage, Ermitage, Tremlowe and Le Brun descended. Lindulph had issue Richard, Robert and Michael. From the last two sons named descended severally the families of Winnington and Goostrey. Richard settled his lands in Gorestree on his son Michael. Richard de Croxton, son and heir of Lidulph, had a grant from his father of all his lands in Cheshire, except a moity of his land in Gorestree setted on his son Michael.

There is a family tree: The Croxton and Mainwaring of Croxton, with Arms of Croxton – sable, a lion rampant Argent, debruised by a bend compare Or and Gules. The tree reads as follows:

Wulfric, lord of Croxton under Ornus de Tuchett, living in the time of
Edward the Confessor and William I

Two sons are shown:
1. William (Harl MSS 2119.143) and sometimes called Orme (called
Wultheus filius Wulfrici in an interpolation in Booth’s pedigree, ibid
p156, b, which interpolation is probably correct.
Ormus filius Wulfrie (possibly).

Willam had a son and a daughter:
1.1 Ledulf de Crocstun, witness to a deed of William Fitz-Nigell, temp
Henry I [there is a reference to “see Val 1 page 690”]
Margery filia Walthei filii Wulfrici, wife of Gilbert Venables, Baron of

Ledulph is shown with two sons and a daughter:
Lidulph de Tremlow (and de Croxton), Lord of Tremlow, Croxton, Cranage,
half of Winnington, Goosetrey. Sheriff of Cheshire temp Richard I and
John and living temp Henry III. Confounded in the Cheshire pedigrees
with the preceeding Ledolf of whom he was a son or grandson.
Randle, ancestor of Cranach of Cranach

1.1.1 Lidulph is shown to have three sons:

Richard, son an heir.
Robert, lord of a moity of Winnington, married (1)Margery, daughter of
Robert de Wynynton, from whom Winnington of Winnington; (2)Mathilda,
daughter of Richard de Wilbraham (from whom Leftwich of Leftwich).
Michael, lord of a moity of Goosetrey from whom Goosetrey of Goosetrey.

There is a separate reference, not part of the family tree, to Gilbert,
who had issue Warin de Clyve. Omorod goes on:

About the time of King John and Henry III, Warin de Clive said to be a
younger son of Lidulph de Tremlow, assumed his local appellation from the township. From him the noble and distinguished family of Clive traces its origin.

There is a later reference: Cicely, daughter of William de Goostree married 1339 Roger de Swetenham. Said to have will dated 1366, and to be living in 1382.

Other miscellaneous references: From “The Tale of Ipstones” which records some old parish records at the back: Nov 5 1712 Edith uxor Samuelis Gossney(?) buried May 1714 Samuel Goostrae and Francis Snow de par de Ipstones mar fs
Thomas massey et E

Church Briefs on Behalf of Cheshire People and Places (Dec 1936, p 108)

Goostrey (£1,145. 6s. 0d). Church built ? mid 1700s. Unfit.

Cheshire Pleas of Quo Warranto 1499

Includes a plea from Gostre.

In the 14th Century the Black Prince vigorously attacked the privileges and franchises of the ‘barons’ of Cheshire, as well as those of monastic bodies and private persons.

In the time of Prince Arthur in 1499, there was an outburst of similar attacks. The object of the proceedings was probably to raise money for the marriage of the young Earl of Chester [later Henry VIII] to Katherine of Aragon in 1501.

Writs related to common privileges (markets, fairs, trade guilds, forresters, master sergeants of peace).

Bridges of Cheshire in the time of James I [1603-1625] (1925)

Over Peever: A horse bridge, the one half maintained by Over Peever, the other by Barneshawe and Goostree in Northwich Hundred.

1619: One horse bridge over Goostre brook to be built and maintained by the said town. The other horse bridge over Peever Eye, betwixt Goostree and Over Peever in Bucklowe Hundred to be built and maintained by the said towns proportionately.

3 July 1443

  • Johanna de Goosetrey-Goustree (and others) recognizance for 20s [£1]
    that the said Johanna keep the peace towards William Nayler, wright.
  • Subsequent references suggest these may be in the Welsh Records Office
  • “temp.” occurs several times and means “in the time off” (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

“Hen” occurs several times and seems to mean “Henry” although this
particular reference is unclear.