The Village of Saul in Gloucestershire
By Rosemary Bailey
This article was originally published in the March 1997 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
My family and I recently spent a weekend in Frampton‑upon‑Severn which is beside Saul, the village where the Gloucestershire Sauls may have originated.
We parked next to St. James' Church, which despite it being 11 a.m. on a Sunday, was deserted as services are only held there every few weeks. Unfortunately the church was locked but we wandered around the graveyard reading the gravestones (not surprisingly, there were no Sauls) and found that the earliest decipherable stone was dated 1802. The village is just a mile or so from the River Severn and several deaths had occurred through drowning.
Next to the church is the modem Primary School which consists of half a dozen portacabins. Opposite this is a private house called School Cottage which was presumably either the old school, or the mistress's cottage (or both).
Like most villages these days there is a mixture of new and old houses. Many of the older houses have dates on them, the oldest we saw being Spring Cottage which was built in 1829. Quite a way out of the village towards Framlode were houses which looked much older, possibly of Tudor origin. One in a row of cottages had a bust of a sailor and the date 1802 on it above the front door. The owner (who was hanging out her washing) said they found it in the garden when they moved in and had been told that it is a Captain Cam who worked on the River Severn and built the cottages. She also pointed out a cottage across the road which, above the door, had two doves facing each other with, underneath, two men in white trousers and blue jackets and hats. These are, apparently, twin brothers who married two sisters (possibly also twins) and were drowned on the Severn.
There is a small petrol station and a pub but no shop. The village farm is called Saul Farm but the herd of cows is known as the Saule Herd. I wonder when that variant began?
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