Rodborough Court is at the bottom of Walkley Hill. It was built in 1888 for Sir Alfred Apperly (knighted 1907) as his family home.
We are grateful to John Baker and Randall & Payne Accountants for permission to use this history with photographs of Rodborough Court and the Apperly family.
The Apperly family mausoleum
In 2022 the Apperly family mausoleum in Rodborough churchyard was listed by Historic England.
This little-known architectural gem in Rodborough Parish churchyard is now Grade 2 listed.
It was constructed after the death in 1913 of Sir Alfred Apperly, of Rodborough Court on Walkley Hill, who owned the family woollen cloth business at Dudbridge Mills and was a patron and benefactor of many local organisations. Other family names appear on the pillars, including Sir Alfred’s son Arthur who was killed at the Somme.
Researchers from Historic England were able to confirm that the architect was Percy Morley Horder. Percy had married Sir Alfred’s niece; His works included the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and locally, the building of the Greyhound pub in Stroud, and extensive remodelling of the Clothiers Arms and Prince Albert in Rodborough c1910.
The sculptor of the carved angels has been identified as John Houghton Maurice Bonner, who was better known as an Arts & Crafts jewellery maker but designed a number of memorials in his home parish of Llangedwyn, Powys. He had also worked closely with Sir Alfred Apperly on projects for his home and business.
When you visit, picture the scene; on a bright autumn day in September 1913 when over a thousand people followed Sir Alfred’s coffin from Rodborough Court and an equal number lined the route, including Rodborough School children, the girls dressed in white, and the church and churchyard “filled to overflowing”. 150 wreaths were carried by “his workpeople “, and “above the vault entrance stood a large harp of white lilies with a broken string”.
Percy Morley Horder
Percy Morley Horder undertook many other local projects, including extensions to Rodborough Court, design of the East Window and organ screen in St Mary Magdalene Church and the building of private houses including Cotsmoor (later Rodborough Crest, 1913) on the common. c1910, he designed the extensively remodeled Clothiers Arms and Prince Albert for Stroud Brewery.
(Photos courtesy of Sally Mclean, granddaughter)
Percy married Rosa Catherine (Katie) Apperly in 1897. She is pictured centre with their daughters Barbara, left, & Joanna, right, at the final family home, East Meon Court House in Hampshire. Katie kept a large green book detailing her husband’s work and with the kind permission of Louise Mclean, granddaughter, a transcript is reproduced here: