Minchinhampton

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Minchinhampton
Minch market square.JPG
Market Square
Minchinhampton is located in Gloucestershire
Minchinhampton
Minchinhampton
Location 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
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 Cotswolds market town, on a hilltop 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. Its common offers wide views over the Severn Estuary into Wales and further into the Cotswolds.

Amenities and features[edit]

Minchinhampton Market House and War Memorial

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.[1]

A market is held on the first Saturday of each month.[1] There is a twice-yearly craft fair at Gatcombe and an annual summer visit by Gifford's Circus.[2] Minchinhampton Country Fayre is held every other year in the High Street.[3]

The small high street includes Henry's Dairy,[4] The Kitchen coffee shop,[5] and a corner shop.[6] There is also a post office,[7] and Boots pharmacy.[8]

Sports facilities[edit]

Horse trials[edit]

Minchinhampton is near 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 has 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.[9] In 2014, the club's players were joined by Gatcombe Park resident Mike Tindall, a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner and ex-England and Gloucester RFC rugby international married to Zara Phillips, the daughter of the Princess Royal.[10]

Golf[edit]

Minchinhampton Golf Club has three courses.[11] The Cherington and Avening courses lie near villages of the same names, south-east of Minchinhampton. The Old Course is on Minchinhampton Common.

Tennis[edit]

The Minchinhampton Tennis Club is situated on the Stuart Playing Fields in Minchinhampton. The Team often competes in regional/national events.

Governance[edit]

The Minchinhampton electoral ward stretches eastwards to Aston Down. It had a population of 4,357 according to the 2011 census.[12] The town is twinned with Nkokoto, Tanzania.[13]

Churches[edit]

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

Minchinhampton has two places of worship: the Anglican parish church of the Holy Trinity Church, and Minchinhampton Baptist Church.

The spire of the parish church 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.[14] James Bradley, the Astronomer Royal, was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity in 1762.

Minchinhampton Baptist Church in Tetbury Street dates from 1834.[15] The original Chapel Lane Baptist chapel dating from 1765 is now a private house.[15]

The Common[edit]

Minchinhampton Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[16] It offers an area of 580 acres (230 ha) for walkers and golfers. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1913, but only managed by it since 2000. The Common is also used as grazing for cows and horses from May to October. It has long, parallel ditches and mounds known as the Bulwarks, which formed part of a large Iron Age fort.[17] There are wide views from the Common, west over the Severn estuary into Wales, and east to the Golden Valley and further into the Cotswolds.

The limestone Longstone of Minchinhampton is supposedly the burial site of a Danish leader.[18][19]

Aston Down[edit]

Minchinhampton is close to the former Royal Air Force airfield, Aston Down, formerly a major employer, but now closed and used only for gliding. In 2005, after a Freedom of Information request, the local newspaper revealed that Aston Down is contaminated with arsenic, hydrocarbons and radium.[20] Since the site lies above a vulnerable aquifer, local residents have formed an Aston Down Action Group aimed at persuading local and central government agencies to implement more stringent safety regulations.

Discoveries[edit]

Holotype and only known specimen of Proceratosaurus bradleyi, collected from Minchinhampton Reservoir in 1911

One of the world's oldest tyrannosaurs, Proceratosaurus, was excavated from Minchinhampton reservoir in 1910.[21]

Notable residents[edit]

In birth order:

  • James Bradley (1693–1762), astronomer and university professor, was buried here. His grave is marked by the James Bradley Monument in Minchinhampton Church.
  • Mary Deverell (1731–1805), religious writer and poet, was born and buried here.
  • Jolly John Nash (1828–1901), born here and became a music hall entertainer in London.[22]
  • Flora Annie Steel (1847–1929), writer, died in Minchinhampton.
  • Jenny Joseph (1932–2018), poet, lived in the town.[23]
  • Keith Allen (born 1953), actor, lives in the parish.[24]
  • Robert Addie (1960–2003), actor – his ashes are interred in Holy Trinity churchyard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minchinhampton Country Market". Minchinhamptoncountrymarket.co.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
  2. ^ "Gifford's Circus - Dates". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Stroud News, Views and Information - Gloucestershire Live". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Minchinhampton family merges dairy with its café business". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  5. ^ "The Kitchen | Cafe Tea Room | Minchinhampton | Stroud". the-kitchen. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  6. ^ "M & b Stores Stroud Minchinhampton". Cylex UK. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Branch Finder | Post Office". www.postoffice.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Minchinhampton West End". www.boots.com. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Minchinhampton RFC". Pitchero.com.
  10. ^ "Former England and Gloucester centre Mike Tindall plays for his local club Minchinhampton". BBC Sport. 27 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Home – Minchinhampton Golf Club". Minchinhamptongolfclub.co.uk. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Ward population 2011". Ukcensusdata.com. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Stroud district twinning links". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton". Minchchurch.org.uk.
  15. ^ a b "Minchinhampton Baptist Church". Minchbc.org.uk.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "The Bulwarks – East 1 and 2 – Minchinhampton". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  18. ^ Partridge, J. B. (1912). "Cotswold Place-Lore and Customs". Folklore. 23 (3): 339–341. JSTOR 1255154.
  19. ^ Darvill, Timothy (2013). Prehistoric Gloucestershire: Forests and Vales and High Blue. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445619941.
  20. ^ Toxic threat to water supply, Stroud News and Journal. 17 August 2005.
  21. ^ "Oldest T. rex relative identified". 4 November 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  22. ^ Mary Atkins, "'Jolly' John Nash: A Forest 'Lion Comique'", The New Regard: Journal of the Forest of Dean Local History Society, No. 23, 2009, pp.60–64
  23. ^ "Jenny Joseph 'When I'm Old I Shall Wear Purple...'". Stroudcommunity.tv. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Keith Allen loves life in Gloucestershire". Archive.is. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.

External links[edit]