Tetbury shown within Gloucestershire
|Population||5,250 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||The Cotswolds|
Tetbury is a small town and civil parish within the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It lies on the site of an ancient hill fort, on which an Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded, probably by Ine of Wessex, in 681. The population of the parish was 5,250 in the 2001 census.
During the Middle Ages, Tetbury became an important market for Cotswold wool and yarn. The Tetbury Woolsack Races, Founded 1972, is an annual competition where participants must carry a 60 pound sack of wool up and down a steep hill (Gumstool Hill). The Tetbury Woolsack Races take place on the "late May Bank Holiday", the last Monday in May each year (27 May for 2013).
Notable buildings in the town include the Market House, built in 1655 and the late-eighteenth century Gothic revival parish church of St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalene and much of the rest of the town centre, dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Market House is a fine example of a Cotswold pillared market house and is still in use as a meeting place and market. Other attractions include the Police Bygones Museum. Chavenage House, Highgrove House and Westonbirt Arboretum lie just outside the town.
Events include: Woolsack Day, held on the last Bank Holiday in May - famous for the races (where intrepid individuals and teams sprint carrying heavy and bulky sacks of wool up and down the town's scarliy steep Gumstool Hill) and traditional street fair - and the more recent, but similarly quirky, fun and exciting "Wacky Races" soap-box (or aerodynamic carbon fibre if you prefer) derby (downhill only!) the first Monday in May, organised by the local Lions Club. Tetbury Summer Show is held at the Recreation Ground in August, with traditional show classes including crafts, baking, vegetable growing and children's art and crafts as well as a typical summer fair of sideshows, food and entertainment. The "Tetbury Fiesta" has become a successful annual event, starting in 2008 as the brainchld of a local councillor and former "roadie" as a family-friendly community festival of live music and fun it now raises spirits and funds for local charities. The event for 2013 will take place on 14 July at a new venue - The Great Tythe Barn - just outside the town. The Tetbury Food and Drink Festival is held in September (18th to 22nd in 2013) - not that the town really needs more delights for the tastebuds, having a great selection of local and seasonal food on offer - but an influx of enthusiasts and challengers makes it a fun and tasty place to be. Tetbury Music Festival is held in October (3 to 6 October 2013). It is small and intimate, with most performances in the wonderful setting of Marys' Church.
Tetbury has won five consecutive Gold awards in the Regional "Heart of England in Bloom" competition in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was category winner "Best Small Town" in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010 Tetbury was Overall Winner of Heart of England in Bloom and won a Judges Discretionary Award for Community Achievement. Tetbury won Silver Gilt as a first-time entrant in the National Britain in Bloom Campaign in 2009 and a second Silver Gilt in Britain in Bloom in 2011.
The Tetbury town crest features two dolphins, which is curious given that the town is many miles inland. One story, unconfirmed, is that an erstwhile "Lord of the Manor" was saved on a sea voyage by a pair of dolphins. Whether these were real benevalent "citizens of the sea" or some other items of marine equipment or paraphernalia is not known. Either way, it's a nice story and a distinctive crest for the town.
Tetbury is situated in a landscape of gently rolling hills primarily used for farmland, including grazing of sheep and grain production. Its location is associated with a nearby major east-west trade or drovers trail, which would account for its early importance as a wool trade centre. Nearby to the west are Owlpen Manor, Beverston Castle and Calcot Manor. The Tetbury Avon, a tributary of the Bristol Avon, known locally as the Ingleburn rises to the north of the town.
- Avening - 3 miles north
- Shipton Moyne - 3 miles south
- Nailsworth - 5 miles northwest
- Minchinhampton - 5 miles north
- Kemble - 6 miles northeast
- Aston Down - 6 miles north
- Malmesbury - 5 miles southeast
- Stroud - 8 miles northwest
- Cirencester - 10 miles north-east
- Chippenham - 13 miles south
- Gloucester - 15 miles north
- Swindon - 17 miles southeast
- Cheltenham - 18 miles north
- Bristol - 20 miles southwest
- Birmingham - 60 miles north
- London - 90 miles east
Most of Tetbury falls in the Tetbury parish, although some of the northern parts of the town are officially in Tetbury Upton.
Nationally, Tetbury is in the Cotswold constituency, and has been represented in Parliament by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative) since 1997. He has a majority of nearly 10,000 over the Liberal Democrats.
Tetbury is renowned for its antique and bric a brac shops.The town centre also has a number of independent specialist food and clothing shops, banks, charity shops, estate agents and other shops including lifestyle clothing brands Overider and Moloh, and a branch of the auction house Bonhams and the Prince of Wales's original "Highgrove Shop".
A Tesco supermarket was opened a quarter of a mile from the town centre in July 2002. Despite fears that the supermarket would threaten the existence of the town's main shopping streets, the majority of businesses have survived, and there are a number of specialist award-winning shops selling cheese (House of Cheese), breads (Hobbs House) and meats (Jesse Smiths).
The town has pubs and hotels, including The Royal Oak Inn—which was featured in the 1971 film Dulcima and in an episode of BBC1's Bonekickers—The Priory Inn, The Crown Inn,The Close Hotel, The Greyhound Inn, The Ormond at Tetbury, and The Snooty Fox. The Trouble House is immediately outside the town. Between 1959 and 1964, the latter was served by Trouble House Halt, possibly the only railway "Halt" in England built specifically to serve a pub.
Tetbury Hospital is a privately run facility which funds itself from government funding and charitable donations. The hospital, which homes a Minor Injuries Unit, has been improved in recent years, although it was recently[when?] announced that beds at the site will be cut. The nearest Accident and Emergency Department is in Cirencester.
The town has two schools, St Mary's Primary School and Sir William Romney's School, a secondary school which specialises in creative arts. Sir William Romney's recently[when?] announced that it would be closing its Sixth Form centre, meaning students wishing to sit A-Levels now travel to Cirencester or Stroud or even Filton College in Bristol. Westonbirt School is the local independent school and educates girls aged 11 to 18.
Some Tetbury children travel further afield, with students at the two grammar schools, Marling School for boys and Stroud High School for girls, both in Stroud, and some at the comprehensive Deer Park School in Cirencester.
Army Cadet Force
Tetbury Army Cadets is based on Cirecester Road, neighbouring Tetbury's industrial estate.
Air Training Corps
Tetbury Air Cadets unit is based in the grounds of Sir Williams Romney's School.
Tetbury Youth Club
The People's Pod is a youth club for KS3-KS4, its loctated in the Rec
Tetbury has bus services which serve local towns. The nearest railway station is at Kemble; the nearest major airport is Bristol Airport. General aviation uses Kemble Airport at Kemble. The former airfield at Long Newnton (1 mi southeast of Tetbury) was originally the home of the Cotswold Gliding Club, which has since moved 6 mi to the north to Aston Down.
- HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, lives at Highgrove, Doughton, near Tetbury
- Anne Hooper, journalist, author and counsellor
- Jake Meyer, youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest
- Jet Black, drummer and founder member of rock band The Stranglers
- Brian Trubshaw, first British test-pilot of Concorde, died 2001
- Laurens van der Post, owned a nearby farm in the 1930s, died 1996
- Cecil "Sam" Cook, Gloucestershire cricketer and umpire, died 1996
- Alice Liddell Hargreaves, inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland
- Robert Crowley, stationer, poet and Protestant clergyman in the 16th century
- Tetbury Online
- Town Council
- A Tetbury Community Youth Project
- Woolsack Races
- Tetbury in Bloom
- Images of the church
- Tetbury Upton Parish Council
- Christ Church Tetbury
- Tetbury Town Football Club
- Tetbury Music Festival
- BBC archive film of Tetbury from 1981