Winterbourne, Gloucestershire

Coordinates: 51°31′28″N 2°30′16″W / 51.52445°N 2.50447°W / 51.52445; -2.50447
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Michael Winterbourne2.jpg
The Parish church of St Michael the Archangel.
Winterbourne is located in Gloucestershire
Location within Gloucestershire
Population10,250 (2021 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceST647807
Civil parish
  • Winterbourne
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBRISTOL
Postcode districtBS16, BS36
Dialling code01454
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°31′28″N 2°30′16″W / 51.52445°N 2.50447°W / 51.52445; -2.50447

Winterbourne is a large village in South Gloucestershire, England, situated just beyond the north fringe of Bristol.[2] The village had a population of 8,965 according to the 2011 census. This has risen to 10,250 at the 2021 Census.[3] The Civil Parish of Winterbourne is centred on the village and includes the neighbouring communities of Winterbourne Down, Hambrook and Frenchay. To the north-east is the village of Frampton Cotterell and to the west lies the new town of Bradley Stoke.

Winterbourne was recorded in the Domesday Book as Wintreborne, meaning 'Winter Stream'.[4] The village is believed to have derived its name from the nearby Bradley Brook as much of medieval Winterbourne was originally built up around St Michael's Church, which is situated near the river.

St Michael's Church

The modern village is largely built on top of a hill, with woodlands and fields encompassing its urban features. The River Frome flows through a valley between the village and nearby Frampton Cotterell, continuing on towards Frenchay, and eventually draining via Mylne's Culvert, into the tidal Bristol Avon New Cut, to the east of what is now Gaol Ferry Bridge. The Bradley Brook divides Winterbourne from Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford to the west, before flowing into the Frome at Hambrook. Since the 1960s, the M4 motorway has bypassed the village to the southwest.

Looking towards the Huckford Viaduct and Frome Valley from Cloisters
The village pond, home to ducks and swans. Shelter for the ducks is provided on the islands.

The Huckford Viaduct carries the Great Western Railway over the River Frome. Beneath the viaduct is the abandoned Huckford Quarry, a public nature reserve. Winterbourne is known for its large duck pond,[citation needed] which overlooks the Frome Valley and is a common spot for fishing and feeding the ducks and swans.[citation needed]

The parish church is St Michael's, a building dating from the 12th century, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1998. St Michael's sits amid fields, flanked by cottages, with its prominent spire visible for miles around. At the altar is a stone depiction of the Last Supper, based on the painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Winterbourne Court Farm Barn is immediately adjacent to the church. This is a grade II* listed 14th century tithe barn and is an outstanding example of its type.[citation needed]

Winterbourne has a number of pubs including the George and Dragon, the Swan and the Mason's Arms. In recent years,[when?] a number of the village's pubs have become restaurants; two of which now serve Indian cuisine. The village has three social hubs: St Michael's Rooms, Fromeside Community Centre and Greenfield, which host clubs, functions and other public events.

The High Street

Winterbourne contains branches of the Co-op and Tesco Express, a chemist, optician, a handful of dental practices and a library. Other village amenities include a bakery, butcher and a Post Office serving the community. Horses and cattle are a common sight in the fields, including in the Cloisters area, which has views of the Frome Valley and the Huckford Viaduct.

As well as being the centre of a large civil parish, Winterbourne contains the hamlet of Watley's End, located on the border between Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell. Nowadays, it is regarded as an area of Winterbourne, but a few decades ago[when?] it was considered to be a village in its own right. Some people in Watley's End continue to refer to the busy, uphill part of the village as 'Winterbourne Hill'.[citation needed] Salem, the local Methodist church, is in Watley's End.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches from Winterbourne in the north west to Hambrook in the southeast. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,994.[5]


Winterbourne contains several schools. The main primary schools are Elm Park and St Michael's, with most students going on to attend the nearby secondary school, Winterbourne Academy, originally named The Ridings High School when formally opened by Tony Benn in 1957. Silverhill School and Day Nursery is an independent preparatory school for children aged 6 months to 11 years. St Michael's was founded in 1813 by the abolitionists and educational reformers, Hannah More and William Wilberforce. The original school was located upstairs in the George and Dragon pub. Larger rooms were then provided in Bourne House, where the school remained until a permanent building was erected on the High Street. St Michael's present location on Linden Close was opened in 1970.[6] St Michael's alumna, J. K. Rowling,[7] is reputed to have based much of her character, Albus Dumbledore, on Alfred Dunn, who was headmaster during her studies.[8]

Notable residents[edit]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Winterbourne has a Non-League football club Winterbourne United F.C. who play at Parkside Avenue and a popular village cricket club that fields 5 senior sides - Winterbourne CC - who share the same ground. Winterbourne Down Border Morris performs during the year at events such as wassailing, and especially on Boxing Day when they perform a Mummers play.[14]

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ "WINTERBOURNE". City population. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  2. ^ OS Explorer Map, Bristol and Bath, Keynsham & Marshfield. Scale: 1:25 000.Publisher: Ordnance Survey B4 edition (2013). ISBN 978 0319239773
  3. ^ "Winterbourne (Parish, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location".
  4. ^ ISBN 0-19-852758-6 Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names
  5. ^ "ward population 2011". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. ^ Winterbourne Family History Online, St Michael's School Admission Register 1966–1970 – Accessed 14 August 2006.
  7. ^ Winterbourne Family History Online, St Michael’s School Admission Register 1966–1970 – Rowling listed as admission No.305. Accessed 14 August 2006.
  8. ^ Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire Community Information and Magazine, Winterbourne, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore!. Accessed 8 August 2009.
  9. ^ "Cllr Tim Bowles". Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservatives. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  10. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 11, Colston, Edward Author: William Hunt. Accessed 28 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Ambition for the West of England" (PDF). Labour Party. 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  12. ^ St Michael's School Admission Register 1966–1970 – Rowling listed as admission No.305. Accessed 14 August 2006.
  13. ^ "Edinburgh "cub reporter" press conference, ITV, 16 July 2005". Quick Quotes Quill. Archived from the original on 6 January 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  14. ^ "Winterbourne Down Border Morris".

External links[edit]