Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire

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The centre of the hamlet
The Somerset Monument, near Hawkesbury Upton

Hawkesbury is a hamlet consisting of a few cottages around a triangular green. It is also the name of a civil parish in the South Gloucestershire unitary authority in England in which Hawkesbury itself lies, it is located west of Hawkesbury Upton, off the A46 road.

The civil parish includes Hawkesbury itself, the larger village of Hawkesbury Upton and the hamlets of Dunkirk, Petty France and Little Badminton. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 1,235,[1] increasing to 1,263 at the 2011 census. Prior to 1991 what is now the Hillesley and Tresham parish in Stroud District formed the northern part of the parish.

The village is in 'Cotswold Edge' electoral ward. This ward starts at Hawkesbury in the north and stretches south to Tormarton. The total population of this parish taken from the 2011 census was 3,381.[2]

The Cotswold Way passes by the two settlements.

There is a monument (the 'Somerset Monument') on the Cotswold Edge at grid reference ST772878. The monument was erected in 1846 to commemorate General Lord Edward Somerset. He was a soldier son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort, (whose ancestral home is at Badminton), who had served with distinction at Waterloo. The first keeper of the monument was Shadrack Byfield, a one-armed veteran of the Anglo-American War of 1812, whose memoirs of that conflict have achieved a measure of fame.


A house in the centre of Hawkesbury

John Marius Wilson described nineteenth century Hawkesbury in his Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales as a "tything, a parish, and a sub-district, in Chipping-Sodbury district, Gloucester…has a post office, of the name of Hawkesbury-Upton, under Chippenham, a police station, and a fair on the last Friday of Aug." The population of Hawkesbury at that time was 466 and the town included 108 houses. Together with the tithings of Upton, Hillesley, Little Badminton, and Saddlewood-with-Tresham and Killcott, the parish of Hawkesbury had a population of 2,173 with 499 houses [3]

Hawkesbury was a rural parish in Gloucestershire in which agriculture and animal husbandry were economically dominant. The climate in southwestern Gloucestershire was partial to raising potatoes, along with domesticated animals.[4] Cattle and sheep were important to the livelihood of the residents of Hawkesbury as there was a fair held on last Friday in August for the sale of those animals.[5] The raising of sheep was a principal source of income, primarily for their wool. Homes constructed along streams aided in the wool production industry as it provided water necessary for dying and washing.[6] This water also provided means to grind corn in grist mills and finish cloth in fulling mills.[7]

Religious sites[edit]

The Church of St Mary was built in the 12th century. It is a Grade I listed building.[8]


  1. ^ 2001 census Neighbourhood Statistics
  2. ^ "Cotswold Edge ward 2011". Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  3. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/entry_page.jsp?text_id=769560&word=NULL Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-1872
  4. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50983&strquery=gloucestershire#s3 A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
  5. ^ http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/GLS/Hawkesbury/Gaz1868.html The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868
  6. ^ http://www.hawkesburyhistory.com/brief_history/index.htm "Hawkesbury History: A Brief History of Hawkesbury"
  7. ^ http://www.hawkesburylocalhistorysociety.co.uk/windmill.html Hawkesbury Local History Society,"Hawkesbury Upton’s Mill"
  8. ^ "Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin". Historic England. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 November 2018.

Coordinates: 51°35′19″N 2°19′50″W / 51.58859°N 2.33049°W / 51.58859; -2.33049

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