Town Clock, Nailsworth, 2009
Nailsworth shown within Gloucestershire
|Population||5,276 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
In ancient times it was a settlement at the confluence of the Avening Valley and the Woodchester Valley, on the Nailsworth Stream; among many notable historic buildings of medieval times in the area notable are Beverston Castle and Owlpen Manor.
In the modern era Nailsworth was a small mill town and centre for brewing. It was connected directly to the UK national rail network between 1867 and 1947 with a station that was the terminus of the Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway. The River Frome which runs through Nailsworth, was also the site of an important Trout fishery.
These days Nailsworth is sleepy and tranquil, visited in the summer by walkers, and holding a farmers' market every fourth Saturday in the month. Local events like the market and the Nailsworth Festival are announced by the town crier.
Over the past decade the small town centre has been reinvigorated and besides numerous restaurants and cafes now boasts a number of unusual and high-quality shops, you will find two bakers, a delicatessen with a fishmonger, one hardware store, two butchers, craft shops, bookshops, art galleries and a gardening shop. Nailsworth is a Fairtrade Town. Nailsworth is twinned with the French village of Lèves and an exchange visit takes place every year alternating between Nailsworth and Lèves.
St. George's Church
Built on the higher ground at the centre of town, St. George's was consecrated in November 1900. It can seat 500 and was designed in the Early English style by M. H. Medland of Gloucester. A lack of funds, however, meant that the church originally consisted only of a nave, aisles and south porch, without any chancel or tower. The chancel, Lady Chapel and vestries, dedicated to the memory of those who died in World War I, were added in 1939. A church tower was never added. In 1980 a large extension to the vestries was accomplished, in the form of a Parish Room. The church has no churchyard.
Three of the stained glass windows in the south aisle, depicting St. Luke, St. Paul and St. Barnabas, are by Charles Eamer Kempe. Three others depict St. Richard of Chichester, St George and St Martin. The other window is by Herbert Bryans and shows the prophetess Anna. The East window was designed by Peter Strong and was installed in 1977. On the West wall is a mural, painted by Sir Oliver Heywood in 1985, showing depicting community life in the town.
Christ Church and Tabernacle Church
The Baptist chapel at Shortwood was rebuilt in 1837 and, in spite of the emigration of over 80 members to Adelaide between 1838 and 1840, the adult congregation was at least 1,000 in 1851. In 1864 a dispute over a new minister led to the secession of some members who built their own chapel, opened in 1868, on Bristol Road, known as the Nailsworth Tabernacle Church. In 1910 the community rejoined the original Baptist church.
In 1967 the Shortwoood congregation united with the Forest Green Congregationalists to form a new church called Christ Church, Nailsworth. Services alternated for a few years with the Lower Forest Green Chapel, but the chapel on Newmarket Road, after modernization, became the permanent place of worship in 1972. In that year Christ Church became a member of the new United Reformed Church, although retaining its links with the Baptist Union. It had a membership of 147 in 1973.
Sport and recreation
Forest Green Rovers are the biggest football club playing in Nailsworth and currently play in the Conference National, one level below the Football League, at the The New Lawn stadium. The town also has another Non-League football club Shortwood United F.C. who play at The Meadowbank Ground.
Every spring, the town hosts the Nailsworth Festival during which local artists exhibit in the windows of all the high street shops, there are numerous cultural and street events, and a free music festival, Nailstock, takes place on one of the playing fields in the town, showcasing local bands.
- W. H. Davies, the Newport-born tramp poet, lived in Watledge from the mid-1920s until his death in 1940
- Simon Kitson, historian
- Sue Limb, writer
- Peter Reed, Olympic rower
- William Smith, local solicitor, who brought clean water to the town during a cholera outbreak in the 1800s
- Neighbourhood Statistics
- "About St George’s". St Georges Nailsworth. 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- British History Inline, accessed July 16 2008
- Stroud District Council
- Nailstock videos hosted by the New Musical Express
- Vaughan Williams' Manuscript of "The Ploughboy's Dream" at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Full English collection, accessed 30 March 2014
- Byron Adams, Robin Wells, "Hymn Tunes from Folk Songs" in Vaughan Williams essays, Volume 3; Volume 44, (Ashgate Publishing, 2003), ISBN 978-1-85928-387-5 p.111
- Nailsworth Town Council web site
- Nailsworth Town information site - to be updated
- BBC archive film of Nailsworth from 1985
- Nailsworth Town Webcam
- Trout Farm (1955) courtesy of British Pathe at YouTube (requires Adobe Flash)