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Barnwood was originally a small village. The Church of England parish church of St Lawrence, about two miles east of the city centre of Gloucester, is known for The Barnwood Guild of Church Bellringers, inaugurated in 1952. However, bell ringing has a long history in the Gloucester area and Barnwood had long been a part of it when its activities were disrupted by World War II.
Samuel and Anne Bubb, who were grandparents of the inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802–75), lived at Barnwood Manor House. Biographical notes of 1887 say that Sir Charles stated that he was born in the house and lived there as a young child, and this was the scene of some of his earliest experiments. In later years Wheatstone often returned to Barnwood. A local public house is named The Wheatstone Inn after him.
The Generation Design and Construction Division of the CEGB became the centre of a new office development when it moved here in the early 1970s. This then became the corporate headquarters of Nuclear Electric, and later the English offices of the (nominally Scottish-based) British Energy, which in 2009 became part of EDF Energy. Other major companies in Barnwood include Cheltenham & Gloucester and InterCall. There is also a Holiday Inn, Sainsbury's and Virgin Active in the area.
Barnwood Park Arts College is a girls' secondary school located in the area.
Barnwood Arboretum is set on the grounds of the Barnwood House Hospital which was closed in 1968 and finally demolished in 2000. The arboretum consists of an enclosed woodland area that is cared for and conserved by Gloucester City Council in conjunction with the Friends of Barnwood Arboretum (FOBA). The Arboretum's main entrance is located off Church Lane, Barnwood and provides its visitors with various habitats, for example, grassland and wetland, and is set amongst a collection of mature native and exotic specimen trees.
Barnwood arboretum has benefited from improved access, information boards and tree identifications. The Friends (FOBA web site) also organise a wide range of events throughout the year to encourage local citizens to use the area in an educational manner.
- St. Lawrence C of E Church
- The Barnwood Guild of Church Bellringers
- Charles Wheatstone and the Concertina
- Gloucester City Council site for Barnwood Arboretum
- BBC Breathing Spaces-Barnwood Arboretum
- Barnwood in the Domesday Book
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