Minchinhampton

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Minchinhampton
Minch market square.JPG
Market Square
Minchinhampton is located in Gloucestershire
Minchinhampton
Minchinhampton
Minchinhampton shown within Gloucestershire
Population2,875 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSO871008
Civil parish
  • Minchinhampton
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSTROUD
Postcode districtGL5, GL6
Dialling code01453
PoliceGloucestershire
FireGloucestershire
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire
51°42′21″N 2°11′10″W / 51.705783°N 2.185980°W / 51.705783; -2.185980Coordinates: 51°42′21″N 2°11′10″W / 51.705783°N 2.185980°W / 51.705783; -2.185980

Minchinhampton is an ancient market town on a hilltop, 4 miles (6.4 km) south south-east of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, in the Cotswolds. The Common offers outstanding views to the east and the west.

Amenities and features[edit]

Minchinhampton Market House and War Memorial

The town's shops clustered in and around the High Street include a general store, two hairdressers, a chain store, a ladies' boutique, a butcher's shop, a local organic dairy outlet, two restaurants, a cafe, a post office, an estate agency, and several charity shops.

The Crown Inn closed unexpectedly in March 2014, having hosted clubs and societies, including a folk club and Probus over the years. Its location in Market Square meant it was a focal point for the Minchinhampton Country Fayre, held every other year.[1]

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.[2] There is a twice-yearly craft fair at Gatcombe, and a summer visit by Gifford's Circus every year.[3]

The town also has doctors' and dentists' surgeries, a public library, a school and a youth club.

Sports facilities[edit]

Horse trials[edit]

Minchinhampton is close to a residence of the Princess Royal, Gatcombe Park, which hosts the Gatcombe Horse Trials in late summer each year.

Rugby[edit]

The Minchinhampton war memorial

The rugby club is very active, with three adult teams, minis and juniors from under 6 to under 16, and a large touch-rugby section. Minchinhampton RFC plays in the league Gloucester 2 north.[4]

In 2014, the Gatcombe Park resident Mike Tindall, a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner and ex-England and Gloucester RFC rugby international married to Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter and daughter of the Princess Royal, started to play rugby for Minchinhampton RFC.[5]

Golf[edit]

Minchinhampton Golf Club has three courses.[6] The Cherington and Avening courses are located near villages of the same names, south-east of Minchinhampton. The Old Course is located on Minchinhampton Common.

Governance[edit]

The Minchinhampton electoral ward stretches eastward to Aston Down. It had a population of 4,357 according to the 2011 census.[7] The town is twinned with Nkokoto, Tanzania.[8]

Churches[edit]

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

There are two churches in Minchinhampton – Holy Trinity (Anglican) and Minchinhampton Baptist Church.

The spire of the parish church of the Holy Trinity was pulled down for safety reasons in 1563, after the nave arches supporting it were found to be failing. The stub was then surmounted by a "coronet" structure.[9] James Bradley, the Astronomer Royal, was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity in 1762.

Minchinhampton Baptist Church, which dates from 1834, is located in Tetbury Street.[10] The original Baptist chapel dates from 1765 and is now a private house in Chapel Lane.[11]

The Common[edit]

Nearby is Minchinhampton Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[12] It offers an area of 580 acres (230 ha) for the recreation of walkers and golfers owned by the National Trust since 1913 but only managed by the Trust since 2000. 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 known as The Bulwarks which formed part of a large Iron Age fort.[13] 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.

Aston Down[edit]

Minchinhampton is close to the former Royal Air Force airfield, Aston Down, formerly a large employer in the area, now closed and used only for gliding. In 2005, following a Freedom of Information request, the local newspaper revealed that Aston Down is contaminated with arsenic, hydrocarbons and radium.[14] Since the site is located above a vulnerable aquifer, local residents have formed an Aston Down Action Group, in an effort to persuade local and central government agencies to implement more stringent safety regulations.

Notable residents[edit]

In birth order:

  • James Bradley (1693–1762), astronomer and university professor, was buried here.
  • Mary Deverell (1731–1805), religious writer and poet, was born and buried in Minchinhampton.
  • Flora Annie Steel (1847–1929), writer, died in Minchinhampton.
  • Robert Addie (1960–2003), actor, ashes interred in Holy Trinity Church graveyard in Minchinhampton.
  • Jenny Joseph (1932–2018), poet, lived in the town.[15]
  • Keith Allen (born 1953) lives in the parish.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stroud News, Views and Information - Gloucestershire Live". Archived from the original on 2014-03-12.
  2. ^ "Minchinhampton Country Market". Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  3. ^ "Gifford's Circus - Dates". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  4. ^ "Minchinhampton RFC".
  5. ^ "Former England and Gloucester centre Mike Tindall plays for his local club Minchinhampton". BBC Sport. 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Stroud district twinning links". Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  9. ^ "Welcome to Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton".
  10. ^ "Minchinhampton Baptist Church".
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ Natural England SSSI information on the citation, map and units of assessment
  13. ^ The Megalithic Portal Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ Toxic threat to water supply Stroud News and Journal. 17 August 2005
  15. ^ Stroud Community TV Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Keith Allen loves life in Gloucestershire". 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.

External links[edit]