|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
Longwell Green shown within Gloucestershire
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||South Gloucestershire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Longwell Green is a suburb just outside the east fringe of Bristol. It is located within the traditional county of Gloucestershire and the unitary authority of South Gloucestershire (previously Avon). It lies along the A431 Bath Road, near the river Avon at grid reference ST658710. Population (2011 census) was 6761.
Until relatively recently this was a small rural community but this changed in 1976 when 1.62 km² of land were developed for housing and businesses as part of Bristol's recent rapid expansion.
The centre of Longwell Green, and the site of the original village, is based along a stretch of the A431 Bath Road. The A431 is a Roman road and runs from Bath to Bristol. Longwell Green sits five miles (8 km) from Bristol and seven miles (11 km) from Bath.
There are a number of transport links which connect Longwell Green with both Bristol and Bath. The much criticised 45 bus route, operated by First Bristol, travels from Cadbury Heath to the centre of Bristol via Hanham, St. George and Redfield, whilst the 332, operated by First Somerset & Avon, connects the centres of both Bristol and Bath via Longwell Green. Keynsham is reachable on the 318 bus, also operated by First Group, and from here it is possible to travel by train Bristol and Bath, both of which have services to London. The Bristol ring road also passes through the outskirts of Longwell Green.
W.J. Bence started a carrier/bus service in this area c.1890. Later in 1918 he started building bus bodies on military chassis that had been used during the recent World War. Bus body building continued until 1944 when a new name was sought and Longwell Green Coachworks Limited came into being. They built many buses and lorries until 1966 when the last 2 buses were completed. The firm then concentrated solely on lorries and vans until 1983 when it ceased to trade. On the bus building side some of their customers included the corporations of Cardiff, Newport, Aberdare, Gelligaer, Merthyr Tydfil and larger companies Rhondda Transport and South Wales Transport (to name but a few). Some of the clients for lorries, vans and crew buses were British Road Services, British Rail and the GPO (later Telecomms). A more detailed story is covered by Ian S. Bishop in his book 'Longwell Green Our Village' available from The Bristol and Avon Family History Society.
Set in a valley on the edge of Longwell Green, Willsbridge Mill is a restored 19th Century Corn mill and Long Barn, located within a 22 acre (89,000 m²) nature reserve that is bisected by Siston Brook.
Most noticeable in the area is Aspects Leisure Park due to its elevated location alongside the A4174. The Park includes a multi-screen Vue cinema, Bowlplex 10-pin bowling alley, several restaurants and a gym. There is a new swimming pool which opened in early 2007 and a new Frankie & Benny's restaurant opened in early September 2006. A Laser Quest centre, called Laser Fusion, has also opened next to the Pizza Hut in August 2006. Two new restaurants have since been opened - Chiquito and Nando's.
Several large companies have chosen to set up branches in Longwell Green. The Asda superstore allegedly attracts more customers than the larger Asda Cribbs Causeway also in Bristol, the store was used as the location for the supermarket in a 1994 episode of Chucklevision where the Chuckle Brothers make their own supermarket to rival the Asda. It is also the home to what used to be the largest B&Q in the south-west, and several other DIY stores such as Wickes and Homebase. Next door to B&Q is Currys PC World that opened in July 2013 after the Comet closed. For animal lovers, there is also Jollyes pet superstore and Jenny's tack shop. Smaller shops include Tesco Express, Cherry Art Centre and several food outlets. In December 2007 Gallagher Developments opened a 91,000sq.ft. retail park with Boots, Next, Outfit (Arcadia), Clarks and New Look. This was followed by the opening of The Carphone Warehouse, Clinton Cards and River Island stores in October 2008. A Marks & Spencer store with clothing, food and cafe opened in April of this year. Opposite the park is Richleys and Allied carpets along with Jakes snack shack, a fast food van which has been there for 20 years with various owners.
Longwell Green County Primary School is the only school in Longwell Green, and has just received an "outstanding" Ofsted report. The local secondary schools include Hanham High, The Grange Community School, Wellsway and SBL.
The community is also very well served by three pre-schools. Longwell Green Pre-School, Busy Bee Playgroup and Footprints. All receive good Ofsted reports, are well supported by local businesses and parents and act as feeders for the local primary school.
Longwell Green Community Centre is a large local centre in the heart of the old village which provides function rooms for hire and host a variety of activities from Salsa Dancing to Pantomimes. The latter are staged in the main hall, which also contains a Badminton court. They also have extensive sports grounds and regularly hold outside sporting events and fairs. Longwell Green Sports F.C. play their home games on the sports ground and have a clubhouse at the rear of the Community Centre.