St Peter’s Field

A lot is spoken of Pounds Close, our main ground. But it is important the St Peter’s Field doesn’t go unnoticed. Here we will take a dive into the history of what is referred to by the locals as ‘The Stadium’..

An Archaeological Watching Brief was generated in October 2006. We have taken some of the findings in this report to give a little bit more information. This was generated when we were looking to add the extension to the existing pavilion. So let’s get to it!

St Peter’s Ground is located 1.3km to the west of Frocester, immediately north-west of the now largely demolished church of St Peter’s. The site lies at approximately 30m AOD, and is generally flat.

The underlying geology of the area is mapped as Third Terrace Gravels of the River Severn of the Pleistocene and recent era.

Archaeological interest in the site arises from previous archaeological observations within the adjacent church and churchyard that revealed evidence of Roman occupation indicative of a villa. The existing cricket pavilion was subject to archaeological investigation during its construction in 1997 and 1998 when further evidence of Roman walls and ditches were identified 1m below the existing ground surface.

Quantities of Roman pottery, animal bone, ceramic building material, sea shells and iron objects were recovered from demolition spread 1003.

The pottery is consistent with that previously recovered from the current site in 1997-8 and at Frocester Court and would suggest a Late Roman date of late 3rd century to 4th century. The bulk of the assemblage consists of Dorset Black Burnished ware and a local highly micaceous coarseware, Frocester Fabric 55. Forms present include everted rimmed dishes, a ‘fish’ dish and a pedestal based beaker.

Fragments of box flue tile and tegula are present along with two iron masonry nails. Of note is a possible iron rake prong.

Animal bone present consists of a sheep upper molar and cow sized metatarsal fragments.

St Peter’s Priory

This Place of Worship was founded in 1150, but we understand it was closed in 1952.

As the name suggests, “Frocester” was a Roman town, and indeed it has been suggested that St Peter’s church is on, or close to the site of the Roman occupation, now some distance from the present settlement of Frocester. A reference in 1313 to an “old minster” at Frocester further suggests it was a place of some importance, and a tradition recorded in the 15th century states that a college of secular priests once resided here. The earliest reference for a church is c.1150, when it had parochial rights over Nympsfield, and it may also have served Coaley parish too.

St Peter’s Spire

As the name suggests, “Frocester” was a Roman town, and indeed it has been suggested that St Peter’s church is on, or close to the site of the Roman occupation, now some distance from the present settlement of Frocester. A reference in 1313 to an “old minster” at Frocester further suggests it was a place of some importance, and a tradition recorded in the 15th century states that a college of secular priests once resided here. The earliest reference for a church is c.1150, when it had parochial rights over Nympsfield, and it may also have served Coaley parish too.

A century or so later, in 1282, a chapel of ease was founded within Frocester village, dedicated to St Andrew. Between 1677 and 1691 this was rebuilt on a new site, and over the years the chapel co-existed with St Peter until the latter’s demolition in 1952, during which time services have varied between being held exclusively in one or other building – or during some time periods, in both. Traditionally, of course, marriages would have taken place in the “mother” church, though even as early as 1600, the chapel of St Andrew is known to have being used for some marriages. So if you have an ancestor who was baptised, or married at Frocester, the service could have taken place in either building – though fortunately, there has only ever been one set of parish registers.

The most notable attempt to restore St Peter’s Church was in 1849, to a design of Francis Niblett. The part of the church remaining owes its appearance largely to his design.

PAVILION OPENING

The ground opened on Sunday 14th June 1998.

It is home to our senior 3rd & 4th XI’s as well as many ladies, girls & youth teams.

During the hugely successful Frocester Beer Festival it will also home the 1st or 2nd XI fixture scheduled to be played at Pounds Close on that day.

The ground is available to hire and local side Coaley use it throughout the Summer on the odd Friday evening.

Nogger Hawkins spent hours, days, weeks, months, years turning this simple farmers fields into one of the best kept secret grounds in the county. In recent years Nev Gardiner has taken over and put his stamp on the field. To quote Nev ‘Grass is evil’ so you can imagine on a nice sunny day if the coin falls your way you should just sit back and watch your batsmen rack up a big score!

Below are a few images taken at St Peter’s Field over the years.

St Peter’s doesn’t only produce cricket. It also has a football pitch located down the bottom. Once dubbed ‘Nogsholm’ the shape of the posts changed but the enjoyment didn’t. From the overs versus unders game to Cotswold Rangers using it as a base. In more recent times some of the lads from the club created Frocester United.

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