Acquisition of the Land

THE BENEFACTION OF SIR STANLEY WILLIAM TUBBS BART.

Sir Stanley William Tubbs, Baronet
(Born 23rd March 1871 - Died 11th December 1941)

STINCHCOMBE HILL RECREATION GROUND TRUST ACQUISITION OF THE LAND AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TRUST.

This Charitable Trust was established by and enrolled with the Charity Commissioners Number L. 110611 on the 25th February 1930 and relates to land known as Stinchcombe Hill which is situate in the Parishes of Cam, Stinchcombe and North Nibley which was purchased by the late Sir Stanley Tubbs during the year 1928 together with certain woodlands which he subsequently gave to the Dursley Rural District Council. These are now in the ownership of its successor the Stroud District Council.

The land comprising the top of Stinchcombe Hill commonly called The Hill was originally owned by three families or estates. The greater part belonged to the Berkeley Estate, the next largest part belonged to the Stancombe Estate, which belonged to the Purnell family, the last owner being Mrs. Purnell-Edwards, the remainder formed part of the Stinchcombe Estate owned by the Prevost family'. At one time these families and their tenants occupied and used most of the Hill for agriculture. A Golf Course was laid out on the Hill many years ago, it is believed before the turn of the century. Certainly in 1909 Baron Fitzhardinge granted a Lease of land on the Hill which was part of the Berkeley Estate to the Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club. In 1922 the outlying parts of the Berkeley Estate were sold, and as a result a substantial part of the Hill came into the ownership of the Cory Trustees. Later some small sales were carried out by Mrs. Purnell-Edwards.

The Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club owned the Club House and its site and during the 1920's a main water supply was laid on to the Club House. In 1927 Mrs. Purnell- Edwards granted a right of way and hard road leading to the Club House. At that time there was no planning control and there was a genuine danger that houses would be built on part of the Hill, or that it would be turned into a landing ground for a gliding club.

Sir Stanley Tubbs was very anxious to preserve the Hill as an open space and as a Golf Course. In 1928 he set out to acquire this land. The negotiations were carried out by Mr. R.E. Penley, Solicitor of Dursley, and nearly the whole of the top of the Hill was purchased by Sir Stanley from the Cory Trustees, the Earl of Berkeley, Mrs. Purnell-Edwards, Sir Charles Prevost, Bart., and Mr. Walter Daniel Gorton. Sir Stanley Tubbs was not at that time able to acquire about 14 acres of land at the eastern end of the Hill. He did however purchase this by a Conveyance dated the 15th March 1938 from William Inkerman Dowdeswell Orchard, by which time the existing private road leading to Little Park Lodge and Lanterns had already been laid out. Details of these purchases are set out in Appendix Number 1.

As soon as he had acquired the land Sir Stanley granted a Lease to the Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club's Trustees for a term of 99 years from the 6th January 1929 at an annual rent of £20. The land included in the Lease covers an area of 135 acres. The Lease contained special provisions to allow the Dursley Golf Club's members to play golf on concessionary terms, and was subject, among other things, to the right of the Earl of Berkeley to hunt foxes and to play golf on the Hill. A year later by a Conveyance dated the 1st January 1930 which was enrolled with the Charity Commissioners, Sir Stanley conveyed the land which he had purchased, approximately 185 acres to Trustees to be held by them under the provisions of the Recreation Grounds Act 1859, but subject to the Lease already granted to the Golf Club's Trustees. The land which was purchased afterwards was similarly assured. Part of the land which had been in the Stinchcombe Estate was designated in the Inclosure Award for the Parish of Stincheombe as an 'open space' for the exercise and recreation of the inhabitants of the Parish of Stinchcombe and the neighbourhood.
Drakestone Point which is included in the Benefaction comprises an Iron Age Fort which has been designated as an Ancient Monument.

There always were public rights of way across the Hill. These were preserved by the Benefaction and additional rights given to enable those, who wished to ride on horseback to ride round the perimeter of the Hill. In addition the Hill was preserved so that the inhabitants of the Parishes of Dursley, Cam, Stinchcombe, North Nibley and the neighbourhood could use it for fresh air and recreation, provided they did not impede or interfere with the playing of golf.

Model Bye-laws were provided by the Recreation Grounds Act 1959 and with the approval of the Charity Commission a set of these Bye-laws was approved for the Hill.

In 1930 the number of cars which were driven to Stinchcombe Hill were very few. In post War years the number of motor cars has increased steadily and many people outside the immediate neighbourhood took to visiting the Hill,. particularly on fine weekends during the Summer. To accommodate these visitors the Trustees in 1957 laid out a special area as a second Car Park, which overlooks Hollow Combe and Stancombe and provides the public with a very fine view to the south and west. The Car Park has undoubtedly proved a great benefit to members of the public and members of the Golf Club. The first Car Park is near the Club House.

Particulars of the woodlands which Sir Stanley Tubbs acquired and subsequently conveyed to the Dursley R.D.C. under the Open Spaces Act 1906 are set out in Appendix 2.
Sir Stanley Tubbs reserved, with the approval of the Charity Commissioners, the power to appoint new Trustees during his life, and provided that a similar power should, on his death, pass to his widow. Sir Stanley Tubba died on the 11th December 1941, and his widow succeeded him as Chairman. Lady Tubbs, later Lady Durand on her remarriage, held the office of Chairman from Sir Stanley's death until 1982 when she was succeeded by Sir Stanley's nephew Mr. Vincent Henry Tubbs. Sir Stanley Tubbs and Lady Durand took great care to seiect suitable persons to be Trustees. However it was found that the general tendency for people to move about and not to remain in one neighbourhood throughout their lifetime made it desirable that some change should be made in the method of appointing Trustees. In 1964 enquiries were made from the Ministry of Education, which had then assumed the duties of the Charity Commissioners in respect of recreation grounds, and after lengthy correspondence and consultations with local bodies a new Scheme was approved and sealed on the 11th May 1964 reference 4797/L. Under this Scheme, a copy of which forms Appendix 3 Lady Durand retains during her lifetime the power to appoint 10 Foundation Trustee and the following Local Authorities each have the power to nominate one Representative Trustee for a period of 3 years:

Gloucestershire County Council,
Stroud District Council,
Cam Parish Council,
Dursley Town Council,
North Nibley Parish Council,
Stinchcombe Parish Council.

A copy of this Scheme is incorporated in Appendix 3 and in Appendix 4 there is set out the names of those who have served as Trustees since the inception of the Benefaction and the offices they have held.

It is believed that Sir Stanley Tubbs' Benefaction was at the date when it was established the largest single Benefaction of its type within the County of Gloucester.