Churchdown

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Coordinates: 51°53′N 2°10′W / 51.88°N 02.17°W / 51.88; -02.17

Churchdown
Old School House Churchdown UK.JPG
The Old School House building at The Green in Churchdown
Churchdown is located in Gloucestershire
Churchdown
Churchdown
 Churchdown shown within Gloucestershire
Population 11,261 (2001)
OS grid reference SO875205
Shire county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLOUCESTER
Postcode district GL3
Dialling code 01452
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Tewkesbury
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire

Churchdown is a village in Gloucestershire, England, situated between Gloucester and Cheltenham.

The village is unusual in having two centres. The older (Brookfield or "village") centre is in Church Road near St Andrew's Church; the more modern centre is in St John`s Avenue near St John's Church.[1] Churchdown is a relatively large village, with a population of 11,261 (2001).[2]

Location[edit]

Churchdown is located in a semi-rural environment; so close to the city of Gloucester as to be treated by many as a suburb, but surrounded on three sides by open countryside. Churchdown borders Imjin Barracks and the district of Innsworth to the North West.

Churchdown Hill[edit]

A local landmark is Churchdown Hill[3] (also known locally as Chosen Hill), which rises to 154 metres (510 ft) above sea level and has views across the Severn Vale and to the Cotswolds, Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Malvern Hills, and into Worcestershire.

The hill is home to the historic sites of Mussell Well, the "Roman" Steps,[4] St Bartholomew's Church and also an analogue radio transmitter broadcasting BBC Radio Gloucestershire[5] and two reservoirs operated by Severn Trent Water.

Churchdown Hill is supported by a local group called The Friends of Churchdown Hill. The Friends were active in the establishment of the Woodland Trust's Churchdown Hill Nature Reserves[6] and have published a walking guide and map to the hill.[7]

Nature Reserves[edit]

Parts of Churchdown Hill are managed by the Woodland Trust[8][6] and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust[9] and are open freely to the public.

Administrative[edit]

Churchdown is within the parliamentary constituency of Tewkesbury. At a local government level, Churchdown is represented as two wards - Churchdown Brookfield (the southern half of Churchdown also known locally as Churchdown Village) and Churchdown St John's (the northern half near St John's church). For European Parliament purposes, it lies within the South West Region.

Transport and travel[edit]

Churchdown has long benefited from a convenient location along routes between larger settlements. The Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad[10] brought prosperity to the northern (St John's) end of the village. This was succeeded by a road between Cheltenham and Gloucester along a similar route (called Cheltenham Road East as it traverses Churchdown), which was once part of the main trunk road from London to Fishguard. This road now provides access to Cheltenham and Gloucester, and also to the M5 via the Golden Valley Bypass section of the A40.

Rail[edit]

From 1874 until 1964 Churchdown was served by a railway station on the main line between Birmingham and Bristol. There are some remains of the station itself next to what is now Station Close, but only through rail traffic continues today.

Air[edit]

Churchdown is adjacent to Gloucestershire Airport, still known locally as Staverton. Light aircraft are a regular feature in the skies above the village, and occasionally military aircraft past and present. For the last ten years, the airport is regularly used as a helicopter training base for police and military purposes.

Bus[edit]

Local bus services are operated by Stagecoach West. Three services pass through Churchdown: The 94 between Cheltenham and Gloucester passes through on Cheltenham Road east, every 10 minutes. There are also the 97/98 routes, which also run between Cheltenham and Gloucester, but take a different, longer route between the two towns. In the village, the 97 runs via Parton Road and the 98 via Pirton Lane.

Local information[edit]

Magazines[edit]

Residents enjoy the Churchdown Magazine, which is produced bimonthly and is delivered free of charge to 5100 households.[11] It includes articles of local interest, advertisements and details of local events, and has been in print since 1974.

Churchdown Online[edit]

Churchdown residents benefit from Churchdown Online .[12] A Local website established in 2006 providing residents with the latest News, Events & Information. The website is in Partnership with MyChurchdown - A Magazine distributed to over 5,000 households.

Partnership
On 1 March 2013 it was announced Churchdown Online was to enter partnership with MyChurchdown. A local magazine distributed to over 5,000 households in Churchdown. Churchdown Online confirmed that the website would continue to exist and that the two organisations were just sharing information, news & events.

Other Projects

  • The Official Online Directory for Churchdown was launched shortly after the re-design. The Directory contains local business & organization listings.

Education[edit]

See also List of schools in Gloucestershire

Churchdown has six schools, including two secondary schools - Churchdown School Academy and Chosen Hill School. There are also several primary schools ; Churchdown Parton Manor Infant and Junior Schools, St. Mary's Catholic School and Churchdown Village Infant and Junior Schools.[13]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Churchdown has an eighteen hole golf course and driving range on its outskirts at Brickhampton, and an inline and skateboard facility at Churchdown Park.[14] Churchdown also boasts numerous football pitches and rugby pitches, as well as sports halls at both Churchdown and Chosen Hill schools.

Youth football is active through the Churchdown Panthers, who play mostly in the Cheltenham FA league.

The Chosen Hill Former Pupils rugby club first team plays in the South West League and has an active youth section.[15]

Prior to the First World War, a golf course operated between the railway line and Churchdown Hill, with a club house adjacent on Pirton Lane.[16] The area is now open farmland.

Churches[edit]

St Bartholemew's Church, on top of Churchdown Hill in Gloucestershire
St Andrew's Church, in Churchdown Village in Gloucestershire
See also List of churches in Gloucestershire

Churchdown has three Church of England Churches: St John's, St Andrew's and St Bartholomew's. There is also the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Cheltenham Road East, and Churchdown Methodist Church on Chapel Hay Lane. St Bartholomew's is on the top of Churchdown Hill, built upon the site of a pre-Christian, Iron Age settlement.

Historic buildings[edit]

Churchdown has several interesting old structures including the Old School House on The Green, where the first village school was held, Ye Old House on Sandfield Road (thought to have been built in the 16th century), Dunstan Cottage in Chapel Hay Lane and The Cottage on Oldbury Orchard.

On The Green stands a house where Beatrix Potter stayed, when she visited Gloucester in 1901, hence her famous story "The Tailor of Gloucester".[citation needed]

Other information[edit]

The village has two main rows of shops and two pubs - the Hare and Hounds near St John's, and the Bat and Ball near St Andrew's. There is also a Working Men's Club (Churchdown Club) located in Church Road where games of bowls and tennis sometimes take place, and Churchdown Community Centre[17] on Parton Road which houses Churchdown Social Club, and in which various functions are held and skittles on two alleys.

Composer Herbert Howells dedicated his Piano Quartet "to the hill at Chosen and Ivor Gurney who knows it",[citation needed] referring to Churchdown Hill.

Publications[edit]

  • "Churchdown Gloucester - Official Guide" 1 363642002X5 hardback, also paperback, 1975, "by order of the Parish Council", Forward Publicity Ltd, no author marked, copy held at Churchdown library
  • "The Story of Churchdown", Gwen Waters, ISBN 0-904586-04-9, Gloucester Reprints, 1999

References[edit]

  1. ^ Though even this area is over 100 years old, see for example 1885 1:2500 map of the area.
  2. ^ "UK Census 2001 Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts" datasets for Churchdown CP (Parish) - UK Office for National Statistics, also Largest village in England for comparison.
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey Landranger and Explorer maps, Open Street Map as well as many others name it Churchdown Hill, while colloquial local usage tends to prefer Chosen Hill. Historical studies (see The Story of Churchdown) note a common etymology from a lost medieval or earlier root
  4. ^ see The Story of Churchdown and Churchdown Gloucester - an official guide which discuss Mussell Well and the Roman Steps
  5. ^ Churchdown Hill (Gloucestershire) radio transmitter status and details
  6. ^ a b "Churchdown Hill - Management Plan 2010 - 2015". The Woodland Trust. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  7. ^ Friends of Churchdown Hill. "Walks on Churchdown Hill". Churchdown Parish Council. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  8. ^ "Visit Woods: Churchdown Hill, Gloucestershire". The Woodland Trust. Retrieved February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Chosen Hill". Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  10. ^ The Gloucester & Cheltenham Railway and the Leckhampton Quarry Tramroads. Locomotion Papers Number Forty-Three. D. E. Bick, Oakwood Press, 1968.
  11. ^ "The Churchdown Magazine", Issue 127 JAN/FEB 06
  12. ^ / Churchdown Online
  13. ^ Gloucestershire County Council - Community information for Churchdown including list of schools
  14. ^ Geograph - picture and description of skate facility
  15. ^ Chose Hill Former Pupils RFC - Rugby Club Web site
  16. ^ Friends of Churchdown Hill - Map See "Historical Notes" section.
  17. ^ Churchdown Community Association web site detailing the Community Centre building and Social Club

External links[edit]