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St George's Church, Brockworth. - - 566900.jpg
St George's Church, Brockworth
Brockworth is located in Gloucestershire
Location within Gloucestershire
Population7,387 (2011 Census)
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic countyGloucestershire
Post townGloucester
Postcode districtGL3
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°51′N 2°9′W / 51.850°N 2.150°W / 51.850; -2.150

Brockworth is a parish, village and district of Gloucester in Gloucestershire, England, situated on the old Roman road that connects the City of Gloucester with Barnwood. It is located 4 miles (6.5 km) southeast of central Gloucester, 6 miles (9.5 km) southwest of Cheltenham and 11.5 miles (18.5 km) north of Stroud. The population taken at the 2011 census was 7,387.[1]

Since the mid-20th century, Brockworth has been known locally for the annual rolling of Double Gloucester cheese down Cooper's Hill. During World War II the nearby village of Hucclecote at the Gloster Aircraft Company produced the famous Hawker Hurricane fighter, and following the war it gained renewed fame for producing several notable aircraft, including Britain's first jet aircraft, which was test flown here. Brockworth is also the birthplace of actor, comedian and writer Simon Pegg.


An electoral ward of the same name exists in Tewkesbury Borough. The population and area of this ward are identical to that shown above.

Brockworth has a parish council.[2]


The name Brockworth is derived from the Saxon "wurthin" for enclosure and "broc" for brook.[3] Settlement is believed to have occurred around 600 AD, after the defeat of the Gloucester-based Romano British at the Battle of Dyrham in 577 AD. Older, Roman remains have been found locally but they indicate an estate rather than a village.[4] Also, the Saxon-derived name suggests that the first settlers were Saxons.

The oldest surviving building in the village is the Grade I listed building St George's Church, which dates back to 1142.[5] The present structure has elements from then until the nineteenth century. Adjacent to this is the Tudor manor house Brockworth Court, a Grade II* listed building,[6] that was built between 1534 and 1539 for Richard Hart, the last prior of Llanthony Priory.[7]

Brockworth was the third in a series of rural villages located along an old Roman road following a more-or-less straight line to the inland port city of Gloucester. Its original semi-remote location made it ideal for the location of an aircraft factory (now the Gloucester Business Park) where aeroplanes could be built and tested without worries about noise.[8] Also, land availability made the area ideal for a flight test airfield.

Gloster Aircraft Company[edit]

The Gloster Aircraft Company was first formed at Hucclecote, Gloucestershire in 1915, as the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company. In 1926 the name of the company was abbreviated to Gloster Aircraft Company because customers outside of the United Kingdom found the original name too difficult to pronounce. In May 1934 the company was purchased by Hawker Aircraft but the company name was unchanged.

From 1921 the company produced the following aircraft types: Sparrowhawk, Nighthawk, Nightjar, Grouse, Grebe, Gamecock, Gorcock, Guan, Gambit, Gnatsnapper, Gauntlet, Gladiator, Hawker Hurricane; Hawker Typhoon; Gloster Meteor and Gloster Javelin and its runway became famous for the first flight of Sir Frank Whittle's turbo-jet aircraft.[9]

Brockworth bombed[edit]

The Gloster Aircraft Company (known locally as GAC) drew upon an employment pool from the surrounding area and it was responsible for much of the growth in the development of housing estates which was halted by the outbreak of World War II. During the war Brockworth and the surrounding area were bombed by the Luftwaffe in an attempt to halt the production of aircraft.[10]

1939–45 WWII production[edit]

As the pre-war biplane Gladiator was rapidly rendered obsolete by faster monoplanes the Brockworth factory was available to manufacture Hawker aircraft. In 1939 the company built 1,000 Hawker Hurricanes in the first 12 months of World War II and it delivered the last of 2,750 Hurricanes in 1942. Production was then switched to building 3,330 Hawker Typhoons for the Royal Air Force. On 8 April 1941 the first test flight of the Gloster E28/39 with a single turbo-jet engine (invented by Sir Frank Whittle) took off from the company's flight test airfield at Brockworth. This was followed by the twin-engined Gloster Meteor, the only jet to be used by the Allied Forces during World War II. The speed of the Meteor enabled it to fly alongside V1 flying bombs, tip them off course, to crash before they could arrive at their London target. In 1945 the Meteor gained a world speed record of 606 mph (975 km/h) and it was eventually put into service by 12 nations.

Post-WWII developments[edit]

Following World War II it took the area many years to revive; but after the mid-1950s, renewed housing growth, the development of motorways and redistricting eventually changed the entire look of Brockworth and what were once adjoining villages. In 1952 the Brockworth factory produced the two seat, delta-winged Gloster Javelin which was developed as an all weather fighter that could fly above 50,000 feet at almost the speed of sound. In 1962 the Gloster Aircraft Company closed down and its once famous runway fell victim of redistricting and it is now within the boundary of Hucclecote. The airfield has now been redeveloped as the modern Gloucester Business Park, with additional housing developments continuing to grow around it.

Cooper's Hill[edit]

Cooper's Hill (grid reference SO892146) is a local landmark within the parish of Brockworth, and is known in Britain[11] and beyond[12] for its annual cheese rolling contest. A large round cheese is rolled down the steep slope of the hill and chased by a group of "runners", who in fact spend most of their brief descent to the bottom of the hill falling and tumbling. Two hundred years ago this was part of a larger mid-summer festival with other activities and competitions, but the event is now confined to the cheese-rolling and is held in May during the Spring Bank-holiday Monday. It is usually said to have originated as a pagan festival celebrating the arrival of summer, fertility, or both.

The contest was the subject of the BBC One programme The Great Cheese Chase broadcast in 2018.[13]

The Witcombe Festival was originally held at the bottom of Coopers Hill but since 2018 has been in Brockworth Road.[14]

See also[edit]


Brockworth Community Library
  1. ^ "Parish population 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2015". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-19-869103-7.
  4. ^ "Great Witcombe Roman Villa". English Heritage. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Church of St George". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  6. ^ Good Stuff. "Brockworth Court - Brockworth - Gloucestershire - England - British Listed Buildings". Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  7. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Gloster Aircraft Factory". Pastscape. Historic England. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Gloucestershire Aircraft Company". BAE systems. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Air raid life near the Gloster Aircraft Company". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  11. ^ Cheese Rolling. BBC Gloucestershire, 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2013. Archived here.
  12. ^ "American flies in to win Gloucestershire cheese rolling contest". The Guardian. 27 May 2013. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  13. ^ "The Great Cheese Chase - BBC One". BBC. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  14. ^ Boobyer, Leigh (20 June 2018). "Bigger, better and even more cider: Witcombe Cider Festival is on the move". Gloucestershire Live. Retrieved 18 August 2020.


Coordinates: 51°51′N 2°9′W / 51.850°N 2.150°W / 51.850; -2.150