Minchinhampton

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Minchinhampton
Minch market square.JPG
Market Square, Minchinhampton
Minchinhampton is located in Gloucestershire
Minchinhampton
Minchinhampton
 Minchinhampton shown within Gloucestershire
Population 2,875 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SO871008
Civil parish Minchinhampton
District Stroud
Shire county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STROUD
Postcode district GL6
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Stroud
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire

Coordinates: 51°42′21″N 2°11′10″W / 51.705783°N 2.185980°W / 51.705783; -2.185980

Minchinhampton is an ancient market town, located on a hilltop, 4 miles (6.4 km) south-south-east of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, in the Cotswolds. The town is twinned with Nkokoto, in Tanzania.[1]

The Common[edit]

Main article: Minchinhampton Common

Nearby is Minchinhampton Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[2] It offers an area of 580 acres (230 ha) for the recreation of walkers and golfers and is managed by the National Trust. The Common is also used as grazing land for the cows of local farmers in the summer. On the Common are long parallel ditches and mounds which formed part of a large Iron Age fort. There are outstanding views from the Common, west over the Severn estuary into Wales, and east to the Golden Valley and further into the Cotswolds.

Minchinhampton Market House and War Memorial

Town centre[edit]

The town's shops are clustered in and around the High Street and comprise a general store, two hairdressers, Boots the Chemist, a ladies' boutique, a butcher's shop, a local organic dairy outlet, two restaurants, a cafe, a Post Office, an antiques shop, an estate agency and several charity shops, together with The Crown Inn.

The main square has a War Memorial, and a 17th-century Market House, given to the town in 1919 by the Lord of the Manor Lt. Col. H. G. Ricardo and restored in 1944. A market is held every Thursday.[3]

Churches[edit]

The parish church, Minchinhampton, with its unusual "coronet" tower

There are two churches in Minchinhampton – Holy Trinity (Anglican)[4] and Minchinhampton Baptist Church.[5] The spire of the parish church of the Holy Trinity was pulled down for safety reasons in 1863 and now the stub has been completed with a "coronet" structure.

Aston Down[edit]

Main article: Aston Down

Minchinhampton is close to the former Royal Air Force airfield, Aston Down, formerly a large employer in the area, now closed down and used for gliding. In 2005, following a Freedom of Information request, the local newspaper revealed that Aston Down is contaminated with arsenic, hydrocarbons and radium.[6] Since the site is located above a vulnerable aquifer, local residents have formed a pressure group, the Aston Down Action Group, in an effort to persuade local government and central government agencies to implement more stringent safety regulations.

Sport and amenities[edit]

The town has is also a doctors' surgery, library, dentist, school, youth club and sports facilities. The town has a very active rugby club, Minchinhampton RFC, with three adult teams, minis and juniors from under 6 to under 16 and a large touch rugby section. Minchinhamption RFC play in Gloucester 3. [7]

Notable residents[edit]

Minchinhampton is close to the home of the Princess Royal, Gatcombe Estate, which hosts the Gatcombe Horse Trials in late summer each year. In 2014, the 2003 rugby world cup winner and ex England and Gloucester RFC rugby international Mike Tindall who is married to Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter and daughter of the Princess Royal, and who lives at Gatcombe Park started to play rugby for Minchinhampton RFC.[8] There is a twice-yearly craft fair at Gatcombe, and a summer visit by Gifford's Circus every other year.[9]

Minchinhampton was both the birthplace and country residence of novelist Joanna Trollope. The actor Keith Allen lives within the parish.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]