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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
It is home to a number of business and industrial parks which are home to the Severnside Dairy operated by Medina Dairy for Müller and other large companies including Schlumberger, Renishaw, Delphi Automotive, Lister Shearing and Dairy Partners. The town centre is 2.5 miles east of the M5 motorway, junction 13. Stonehouse railway station has a regular train service to London.
The town is situated approximately 9 miles south of Gloucester city centre and 3.5 miles west of central Stroud, though following recent development it is partially contiguous with the Ebley district of Stroud. It includes the sub-villages of Bridgend (to the south) and Ryeford (to the east). Stonehouse's population in 2016 was estimated at over 8,000 residents.
- 1 History
- 2 Amenities
- 3 Green Areas and Canal
- 4 Growth
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Stonehouse appears in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book of 1086 under its Old English name “Stanhus” - so called, it is believed, because the manor house was built of stone rather than the usual wattle and daub. William de Ow, a cousin of William the Conqueror, owned the manor lands which included a vineyard, and two mills. The name may have evolved from Stanhus to Stonehouse : stān > stone + hūs > house, as an effect of the great vowel shift at the end of the Middle Ages.
The original manor house was completely rebuilt in 1601 and despite a fire in 1908, is still a beautiful Grade II* building, now occupied by Stonehouse Court Hotel. It is located next St Cyr’s Church near the Stroudwater Canal. St Cyr’s Church is one of the oldest buildings in Stonehouse, the tower dating from the 14th century.
In 1327, one of the manor's masters, John Maltravers, was implicated in the murder of Edward II in Berkeley Castle, and fled abroad. He later found favour with Edward III and the Stonehouse manor was restored to him “by tenure de Marchacia (of the royal Marshalcy) by a rose per annum”. The rose was a symbol of loyalty to the Crown. This may have been the origin of the modern day emblem of Stonehouse - the Tudor rose.
1375 – 1558 The manor was owned by the Earls of Arundel. The Lord of the Manor did not necessarily live at the house; it would have often have been occupied by a steward or tenant. During this period the manor house was a working court, holding jurisdiction over the whole manor. This is when it became known as Stonehouse Court.
1558 The Court was sold to local clothiers William Fowler and William Sandford. The cloth industry was now becoming the major source of employment in the area.
1601 William Fowler’s son Daniel rebuilt the manor house in the style we see now. The date stone over the door is thought to commemorate the new building
1685 The Court was let to farmers with the owners living in grander places.
1730 The earliest surviving map of the manor lands. A copy of this can be seen in the Hotel.
1779 The Stroudwater Canal opened, running through the manor lands
1810 Court Farm was built.
1847 The Court was owned by the Marling family
1906 Stonehouse Court was bought by Arthur Winterbotham who completely refurbished it to a design by architect Edwin Lutyens.
1908 A fire destroyed the new interior of the house leaving only the outer shell and a few original features. Winterbotham had the house restored in a similar fashion.
1936 Mr Winterbotham died leaving his widow Caroline living there until her death in 1974, when the house was sold and, after a period as business offices, eventually became an hotel in 1983.
The woollen industry was important to Stonehouse people, first as producers of wool and later as experts in textiles. The small mills of the 17th and 18th century supported work at home for the growing population of the village, later changing to a factory system. As the textile industry declined, Stonehouse remained a thriving place as smaller businesses of every type took over.
Due to the availability of raw materials in Stonehouse, brickmaking began there in 1856 with evidence of possible prior brickmaking as early as 1839 or 1840 and of as many as thirteen brickmaking sites altogether. The largest and last to close of the brickmakers, Stonehouse Brick and Tile Company Ltd., was located where the Rosedale housing estate now stands. It was founded in 1891, and by 1895 employed a large number of people in making pottery, terra-cotta, and bricks. The company closed in 1968 and the 202-foot high chimney was demolished. Bricks and other materials made by the company were not only used locally (notably in the Stonehouse Post Office, now the Town Hall) and in other areas of Britain, but were also used as far away as Cape Town, Gibraltar, and Buenos Aires, with those used in Gibraltar transported there on the RMS Lusitania during her sea trials.Among the many buildings abroad built from Brick and Tile bricks is the English Clock Tower in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which celebrated its centenary in 2016. Stonehouse History Group sent a commemorative plaque which is now displayed in the Tower.
A community centre is located near the Town's High Street, together with a festival of good shops, Post Office (in the supermarket), Town hall, butchers, several food places and a building society. A large petrol station, complete with shop, is located just north of the High Street. The town is well served by doctors and dentists. A good sized pay-and-display car park is located off the High Street and where public toilets are sited.
Green Areas and Canal
The town has a popular and well used central recreation ground at the Laburnum Playing Field which can be accessed from lanes off the High Street. This ground has a large grassed area with seating, a child play area, permenant table tennis tables and an area containing a comprehensive range of high quality keep fit equipment, all free to use. A similar sized recreation ground is Meadow Road Park, located east of the High Street on the eastern side of the railway line, having a child play area and a sizable grassed area. At the northern end of the town, a recreation ground is located next to the Stonehouse Football Club, this ground comprising a large grassed area with an enclosed childs play area containing a variety of play equipment.
From the town, there are a number of footpaths and lanes leading to the nearby canal, where a variety of ducks, swans and moorhens are in permenant residence and from where miles of canal walks can be accessed.
In the town there are two primary schools. Park Infant hosts pupils from reception through to year 2 (Age 5 to 7) and has approximately 160 pupils. Park Junior school for pupils between years 3 and 6 (Ages 7 to 10) and has approximately 200 pupils. Each school has two classes per year.
One of the most well known establishments in the area is Wycliffe College. The College, complete with its own landmark chapel, is spread over two campuses, with its Preparatory School campus on the Ebley Road and the senior campus close by at the south of the town, it's pupils being a mix of boarders and day pupils. The College was founded in 1882 by G. W. Sibly and is for girls and boys aged 3–18 years old however it is now co-educational. One of the school's houses, Haywardsend, is one of the town's oldest buildings, an old Tudor farmhouse. In 2018, The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened a new £6 million boarding house named Ward's-Ivy Grove. Amongst Wycliffe's notable ex pupils is singer/songwriter Al Stewart, famous for his 1976 world-wide hit record Year of the Cat recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios, London.
The Parish church is St Cyr's Church, after St Cyriac or St Cyril. George Whitefield, the Gloucester-born evangelist, preached here Other churches include Stonehouse Methodist. St Joseph's Catholic, a Baptist, Stonehouse Community Church (@ Maidenhill School) and the Bethel Church. Stonehouse Live is a network of Christians bringing all the Churches together in Stonehouse.
An electoral ward with the same name exists. The area and population are identical to that of the parish.
In 1838 the whole parish (including Cainscross and Ebley and Westrip) had a total of 33 public houses and beerhouses and in 1891 there were 21 public houses. In the village of Stonehouse in 1901 there were about 14. In 2018 there are two – The Woolpack and The Globe which both date from the early 19th century. The Woolpack Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Stonehouse, developed from 16th century cottages and barns. It catered for the wool traders and farmers whereas the Crown and Anchor in the middle of the town (now a doctors' surgery) was the main coaching inn where the Bath coach stopped. The Spa Inn on Oldends Lane was one of Stonehouse’s oldest public houses, developing from 16th century cottages. During the 19th century it was selling mineral water from its well and a pump room was added. Gradually the Spa business faded and it became a beerhouse. It was a successful pub during the 20th century, but was closed early in 2013 after a succession of landlords and then sold by the brewery Wadworths in 2014.
The national trail, Cotswold Way, passes close to Stonehouse.
Bus services to Gloucester and Stroud are provided by Stagecoach, with other services to Cam, Dursley and the Stanleys.
The town is served by Stonehouse railway station on the "Golden Valley Line", with a good and frequent service to London. There is also an ongoing campaign to reopen the old station near Court View, or build a new station further up the line in the north of the town which would then link Stonehouse directly to the Midlands and to the South West.
Stonehouse development was partly due to good communications for transport, In 1779, the Stroudwater Navigation, (now part of the Thames and Severn Canal) was cut and relics of the canal can still be seen. Ocean Bridge was an iron swing bridge where canal boats would turn. Once there was a repair yard here. Canal restoration is actively underway and to relink it all the way to Saul Junction where it will meet the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. To achieve this, a new railway bridge is to be constructed at the 'Ocean' and a new canal cutting under the M5 near Fromebridge Mill. When completed, boats will be able to navigate from Saul Junction all the way to the centre of Stroud and beyond.
Business increased further when the land was prepared for the opening of the Midland Railway Station in 1844, and the Great Western Railway Station a year later. The Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway opened a branch to Nailsworth in 1867 and Stroud in 1885.
World War 2
When the threat of world war two became clear in the late 1930s, the Cotswolds were seen as a suitable location for the dispersement of aerospace shadow factories, being a safe place away from German bombers range. Smiths were co-located to Bishops Cleeve and Stonehouse was chosen as a good place to build factories for the manufacturers Sperry's Gyroscope Company, who moved to Bond's Mill and Hoffmann's Bearings located to Oldends Lane. These two factories employed many people during the war and for a long time afterwards ensuring employment in the town for many years. The Gatehouse at Bonds Mill was originally constructed during World War II as a defensive pillbox. It is a rare example of a two-storey pillbox with a rooftop gun emplacement and is a Grade II listed building. It is now used a visitor centre run by the Cotswold Canals Trust.
On 12 September 1940, a lone Dornier flew along the Stroud Valley and photographed the area. Detailed mapping of the Sperry factory was noted by German Intelligence, in preparation for a raid in February 1943, although this never occurred.
Rationalisation of the railways happened quickly after the Second World War, with passenger services being suspended on the Stroud and Nailsworth branch in 1947, and to freight in the 1966. Though special excursion trains for mill workers were provided for day outings (up to 1965). The Midland Railway Station was closed in 1965. Burdett Road Station, the last of two stations that Stonehouse possessed, was threatened with closure in 1972, but remains open to this day. (The Mildland line had a separate platform from the Bristol main line that users referred to as a third station)
Stonehouse was connected to the national motorway network in 1971, when the M5 opened. In the late 20th century, Stonehouse saw substantial growth within industry; large multinationals such as ABB, International Intelligence Limited and Intelligent Armour Limited moving into the area.
Housing development in Stonehouse continued during the post war period, with the Park Estate being built in the 1950s, Little Australia, Boakes Drive and continuing into the 21st century, with the small developments at Arrowsmith Drive and Court View, which is located opposite Stonehouse Court and built partially on the old Stroud and Nailsworth branch line in 2002. A small development adjacent to Arrowsmith Drive is being constructed in 2017, technically this is in the parish of Standish.
In 1986 Stonehouse was thrust into the national limelight after a deadly outbreak of meningitis. Following the outbreak, The Meningitis Trust was founded and was registered as the first meningitis charity in the UK. Now known as Meningitis Now and based in nearby Stroud, the charity has funded over £12 million of preventative research, distributed over 22 million awareness symptoms cards, supported over one million people, including calls to their helpline, and worked with thousands of families whose lives have been devastated by meningitis.
Stonehouse is very well situated for business and business growth due to its central UK location and close proximity to the motorway networks of the M5 & M4. Today Stonehouse has a large number of residential housing estates, including council housing and a small high street. As with so many small towns, the last of Stonehouse's banks closed for good in 2016 and the town's Post Office moved into the Co-op on the High Street in 2017.
In 2011, Stonehouse High Street was made into a Community Shared Space, reopening in September 2011.
In 2016 a new eco-business park and wood-based football stadium for Forest Green Rovers was mooted by local businessman Dale Vince, CEO of Ecotricity, to be constructed west of the town, close to the M5 junction.
- "Stonehouse (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Dairy Crest sells milk business to Muller in £80m deal". Stroud News & Journal. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Kathleen Morgan; Brian S Smith (1972). C R Elrington; N M Herbert; R B Pugh, eds. A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10: Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Victoria County History. pp. 276–284. ISBN 978-0-19-722725-1. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Wilson, Ray (1997). "Stonehouse Brick and Tile Company" (PDF). Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology Journal: 14–26. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- Census 1901
- "The Gatehouse at Bonds Mill, Stonehouse". Historic England. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- Wiseman, Jamie. "Historic Gatehouse on Stroudwater canal to get new lease of life as mini heritage centre". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- "Stonehouse traders fear impact of roadworks". BBC News. 5 May 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.|
- Stonehouse Town Council
- Stonehouse, Gloucestershire at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Stonehouse History Group
- See Stonehouse Brick and Tile workers at work 1945
- Stroud Voices (Stonehouse filter) - oral history site
- A collection of images of shop and business signs in Stonehouse (2017)
- A collection of images of residential house names in Stonehouse (2017)
- A collection of images of the minutia of Stonehouse eg various signs, street furniture, boot scrapers etc (2017)