There is evidence of an Iron Age
settlement at Hartpury, but the village really developed from Roman times taking
the name Morewent (Mara-venta - great market). Although not immediately apparent
today, the settlement around the church was once on a main route between
Gloucester and Hereford. Christianity arrived in Gloucestershire during the
first century of the Roman occupation, and was not abandoned by the indigenous
Celts on the Romans' departure.
A Minster church was established at
Gloucester by 979 and by the beginning of the 9th century such churches existed
throughout the diocese. Although opinions differ, it is probable that the parish
system developed from them.
Offa, King of Mercia, gave the Manor
later known as Hartpury to the first Abbey at Gloucester in or about the year
760. Priests presumably came to Hartpury from the first abbey to minister to the
inhabitants and in due course a church would have been built.
The Domesday Book records
'Mereument', the historic name for the area, as held part by St Peter's Abbey
and part by the crown. In 1100 Hartpury Church, its revenues and the manor were
confirmed by the Bishop of Worcester as part of the endowment of St Peter's
Abbey, Gloucester. The Abbey would have received all its tithes and other income
and provided the priest - probably one of their number but otherwise someone in
receipt of a small salary or the Small Tithe.
Hartpury College was established in the
post-Second World War era of the late 1940's as a small agricultural college with fifty students. The
college remained relatively unchanged until 1990, when current Principal Malcolm Wharton joined, initiating a
rapid expansion programme, starting with the provision of a larger variety of
further education courses. The first higher education programme in Equine
Studies was introduced in 1992,
followed by the first degree programme in Equine Science in 1994. Hartpury’s link with the University of the West of
England (UWE) began in 1997 when
Hartpury was awarded Associate Faculty status. 1999 saw the
introduction of the first Master’s Degree programme – an MSc in Equine Science.
The college was able to offer Foundation degree programmes from 2003 and 2004 saw the first PhD Student. Hartpury College was awarded ‘Outstanding College' status by
Ofsted for its further education courses and facilities in November
Of course the most important ex pupil
to us is of course mum. A few years ago saw her taking cookery lessons here as
part of her student teacher studies.
ALL IN ALL A VILLAGE OF
OUTSTANDING BEAUTY AND HISTORY