Northleach Town Trustees
The Town Trustees are responsible for the administration of several ancient charities in the town, which include the two sets of almshouses at East End and Mill End, the Northleach Downs, presently farmed, and land to the North and South of the old A40, being a mixture of grazing and woodland.
Origins of the Town Trustees
The first written records are of the Court – which once governed the town but which is now largely ceremonial – and date back to the sixteenth century. But its origins lie even earlier in the granting of a market charter to Northleach by King Henry III in 1227, when Northleach was laid out next to the Saxon settlement of Mill End.
The Court is presided over by Earl Bathurst of Cirencester and his Steward. Each year at the Court a jury of twelve drawn from the town elects a High Bailiff and two constables as well as a hayward (once responsible for cattle on the Northleach Downs, where each householder could pasture a cow), tything men (who brought any offenders before the court) and ale tasters (no explanation needed!).
The modern day Trustees
Nowadays the High Bailiff – currently Jacques Astic – chairs the Town Trustees, who meet quarterly to administer the almshouses, the several town charities inherited from the past, and land holdings.
The Court Leet may be ceremonial but the Trust itself is not: it recently contributed substantially to the cost of the new Northleach playground, and is involved in efforts to re-open the old A40, which partially runs through land owned by the Trust.
The current Town Trustees are Chris Hancock (Secretary), David Louisson (Treasurer), Stephen Ashby (Hon. Surveyor), Michael Chappin, Gerald Green, Emily Hartnell, John Lawrence, John Mustoe, Richard Owen, Tom Stevens and Simon Wills.
To contact the Town Trustees, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris Hancock on 01451-861284