According to the entry in the Victoria County History (1907, 113) the manor of Quenington was granted to the Hospitallers by Agnes de Lucy and the Order had established a preceptory there by 1193. Apart from the 1338 Extent no further details are provided. The preceptory was dissolved in 1535.


QUENINGTON PRECEPTORY IN 1338


The account for the Bajulia de Quenyngton  lists a manerium with a garden and dovecote worth 20 shillings. A watermill valued at 50 shillings and a fulling mill valued at 40 shillings are also listed as are agricultural lands, profits from the sale of stock, court dues and rents. Quenington also had an interest in property at Wysangre and in four churches. Notably, Quentington church itself is not listed.


The Reprise lists three ordained brothers, all knights, one serving as preceptor. Other personnel consisted of a shepherd, a chaplain, a steward, a squire, two clerks, a groom, three boys, a treasurer, a cook, a chamberlain, a baker and a gate keeper. Also listed are a washer woman and a swineherd. With a total compliment of 19 Quenington was one of the largest establishments recorded.

The Knights' Gate at Quentington is thought to date originally from the 14th century, although it appears to have been partly rebuilt and extended to the north-west in the early 16th century with the addition of a two storey wing. The earliest feature is a postern in the form of a pointed arched doorway with chamfered jambs and pointed holdmould. Immediately to the west is a broad, flat, carriage arch, probably of 16th century date but replacing an original, medieval, opening. Slightly off-centre above the two openings is a single, square window.


doves. Inside the wall is perforated with 600 nesting boxes reached by a ladder on a revolving central pin. To the east of the gatehouse, in the bottom of the valley, is the Knights' Mill.  The Extent mentions both a watermill and a fulling mill but the present structure, now a private house, dates from the 17th century with later additions. Writing in the late 18th century Rudder (1779, 617) recorded that the remains of a moat could still be seen at Quenington. Although no longer extant, a line of fishponds to the south of the gatehouse may be a vestige of one of its arms.

Quenington Preceptory lay on the west side of the valley of the River Coln (NGR SP14810397) on the southern edge of the Cotswolds. The main upstanding remains are the gatehouse, known as Knights Gate, and Listed Grade 1. About 80m to the south-west stands a dovecot, which may be the one referred to in the 1338 Extent. To the south lie the remains of a series of fishponds and a water mill, known as the Knights Mill. Also, the preceptory complex lay immediately north of St Swithin's church, an 11th century foundation and believed to have functioned as the preceptory chapel (Gilchrist 1995, 77).

QUENINGTON PRECEPTORY, GLOUSTERSHIRE (NHLE 1089944)

Of particular interest just below and slightly to the left of the window is a small rectangular niche with a cinquefoil hoodmould and within which are what the List describes as a headless statue. Closer examination shows this to be incorrect. The statue consists of a diminutive figure hiding behind a large shield  and scabbard. The figure has a hand on the scabbard while its head, in chainmail, peeps over the top of the shield.  The interior of the gatehouse and the adjoining wing were not examined.

QUENINGTON PRECEPTORY; archaeology

QUENINGTON PRECEPTORY; documents

Although the gatehouse constitutes the only standing remains of the preceptory, excavations within the grounds of Quenington Court in 1955 (Clifford 1961) and 1971 (Reece 1974) have revealed traces of some of the other buildings. Clifford found traces of a rather lightly built structure associated with food debris and domestic pottery which she suggested may have been part of the kitchens while Reece identified a more  substantial building with a wooden floor that may have been part of the preceptory hall. A dovecote is mentioned in the 1338 Extent, but the surviving structure may be rather later in date. It is a small round building with a string course projecting below the eaves. It has a conical slate roof with a lantern 'lid' providing access for the

REFERENCES

Clifford, E.M. 1961 'Quenington, Gloucestershire' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Volume 80, 93-98


Gilchrist, Roberta 1995 "Milites Christi: the archaeology of the Military Orders" Chapter 3 Contemplation and Action, The Other Monasticism​, London, Leicester University Press, 62-105


Larking, L.B. and Kemble, J.M. 1857 The Knights Hospitallers in England Camden Society, 28-29


Reece, R. 1974 'The Knights Hospitallers at Quenington' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Volume 93,, 136-141


Rudder, S. 1779 ​New History of Gloucestershire


VCH 1907 'The House of Knights Hospitallers: The preceptory of Quenington', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 2 . 113 URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx? compid=40291