|Description||The deeds cover the period 1225-1444, and include grants of land to the abbey, confirmation of grants, accounts of receipt and expenditure, confirmations of privileges, and papal letters. They are reputed to contain the oldest surviving rent rolls in England. The fifty deeds concerned were collected and bound by Francis Frederick Fox. They have since been disbound. With the collection are catalogues of the sale and related materials. See also DM 121 (housed with DM 104) which is a transcript and summary of the Kingswood Abbey Deeds, compiled by Henley Evans in 1946.|
Kingswood Abbey was founded in 1139 by William of Berkeley in accordance with the wishes of his uncle, Roger II of Berkeley, and colonised from the Cistercian house at Tintern. The grant was confirmed by Roger III of Berkeley, son of William, in 1148. The monks moved to Hazleton during the Civil War after Kingswood was confiscated by King Stephen, but were driven back to Kingswood by the owner of Hazleton, Reginald de St. Waleric. As penance, Reginald moved the monks to Tetbury. Roger III complained that his predecessor had founded the abbey, and he would have his lands back unless the monks returned. After a long dispute, the monks were granted a better site at Kingswood near the water, and a new abbey was built. The monastery was surrendered in 1538.
The Victoria County History notes that the revenues of the monastery in 1538 were drawn from the demesne lands, the manors of Kingswood, Ozleworth, and Bagpath, Culkerton, the granges of Ilbery, Bagston, Redge, Hyll, Hazleton, Calcot, and land and rents in Acton, Wotton, Nibley, Dursley, Berkeley, Stone, Newport, Tetbury, Bley, Bristol, and Gloucester, and the rectory of Kingswood. (A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 2, pp. 99-101).
Typescript catalogue available in University of Bristol Special Collections.
Digital images sponsored by the University of Bristol Alumni Fund.