"DURSLEY, a parish and market town in the upper division of the hundred of Berkeley, in the county of Gloucester, 14 miles S.W. of Gloucester, and 110 from London. It is a station on the Dursley branch of the Midland railway. It is situated on the river Carn, under the Cotswold hills, which are here clothed with beech woods. The town derives its name from dwr and ley, signifying "water meadow", from the Broadwell spring in the vicinity. It was one of the five boroughs returning members to parliament in the reign of Edward I., and is still an election town and polling-place for the county. The town is governed by a bailiff and 12 aldermen. It contains the market house, two banks, fulling-mills, and several breweries. County and manor courts are held, and a board of guardians meet regularly for the Dursley Poor-law Union, which embraces 11 parishes. Woollen cloth used to be manufactured in large quantities, but the trade has much declined.
The living is a rectory* with the curacy of Woodmancote annexed, in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £228, annexed to the archdeaconry of Gloucester. The church, dedicated to St. James, is a handsome modern structure. The chapel-of-ease of Woodmancote is a neat stone edifice. The parochial charities produce nearly £180 per annum, about £25 of which is for Sunday-schools. The Independents and Wesleyans have each a chapel, and there is an endowed as well as a National school.
Two miles to the N.E. of Dursley, on Nibley Knoll, is a memorial to Tyndale, the martyr, and translator of the Bible. The Knoll belongs to Lord Fitzhardinge and the freeholders of North Nibley, in which village Tyndale was born. The first stone was laid on the 28th May, 1863, and when completed: the memorial will consist of a tower 111 feet high, exclusive of the terminal, which is to be a reflector. The cardinals will be ornamented with sculpture, representing the chief events in Tyndale's life. Inside the entrance door will be a book-tray, upon which a Bible will be chained.
A great many fossils have been found in the neighbourhood. Thomas H. S. Sotherton, Esq., is lord of the manor. Thursday and Saturday are market days. Fairs are held on the 6th May and 4th December for horses and cattle."
"STOUTS HILL, a hamlet in the parish of Dursley, hundred of Upper Berkeley, county Gloucester, 1 mile E. of Dursley, under the Cotswold hills. Rudder, the county historian, was born here."
"WOODMANCOTE, a hamlet in the parish of Dursley, hundred of Upper Berkeley, county Gloucester, 2 miles from Dursley, and 15 S.W. of Gloucester, under the Cotswold hills."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
- Original source material relating to Dursley, and other parishes in Diocese of Gloucester may be found at the Gloucestershire Archives.
- Transcription of section of Pigot's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1830 for Dursley, by Ted Wildy.
- The transcription of the section for Dursley from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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