"MINCHINHAMPTON, a parish, post and market town, in the hundred of Longtree, county Gloucester, 1 mile S. of the Brimscombe railway station, and 4 miles S.E. of Stroud. The parish, which is large, is situated on the road from Cirencester to Gloucester. It comprises the chapelries of Amberley, Brimscombe, and Rodborough, with Nailsworth and 12 other townships Amberley and Brimscombe were constituted separate ecclesiastical districts by an order in council in 1840.
Minchinhampton was given by William the Conqueror to a nunnery of Caen, in Normandy, and came through the Windsors to the Sheppards. The origin of its present name is derived from the word Monachina, a diminutive of monacha, a "nun". The Thames and Severn canal passes through the parish. The woollen cloth trade is carried on very extensively, there being many clothing mills on the banks of the several streams, employing a large number of the inhabitants. There are also some maltings and a brewery at the hamlet of Forwood.
The town is situated on the summit and southern declivity of a hill overlooking the vale of the Severn. It consists of one long, irregularly built street, intersected by another partially paved, and is well supplied with water from springs. It is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county of Gloucester. The tithes were commuted in 1839.
The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £433. The parish church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a stone cruciform structure, with an octagonal tower containing a clock and six bells. It was built in the reign of Henry III. by the nuns, and contains a fine W. window and several antique brasses bearing date 1519 and 1556, and one to Dr. James Bradley, the astronomer, which has been removed from his tomb in the churchyard. In addition to the parish church there are three district churches at Amberley, Brimscombe, and Rodborough, the first two livings of which are perpetual curacies*, and the last a rectory*, value £300 each.
The parochial charities produce about £200 per annum, part of which is distributed to the poor in warm clothing; also almshouses for eight aged females. There are National and British schools for both sexes, with a small endowment. There are places of worship for the Baptists, Wesleyans, and Independents. David Ricardo, Esq., is lord of the manor.
On Minchinhampton Common is a very extensive entrenchment, called Amberley Camp, the site of which belongs to the poor, to whom it was granted by Mrs. Alice Hampton in Henry VIII.'s time, when the allotment was 1,000 acres; but, from the encroachments which have occasionally taken place, it has been reduced to nearly half that amount. The entrenchment stretches to the length of 3 miles from the hamlet of Littleworth to a valley on the opposite side of the town, called Woeful Danes Bottom - an appellation supposed to be derived from the sanguinary overthrow suffered by the Danes from Alfred the Great in 879.
There is a petrifying spring near Chalford, in this parish. Market day is Tuesday. Fairs are held on Trinity Monday and on the 27th October for horses, cattle, and sheep."
"BOX, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, hundred of Longtree, in the county of Gloucester, close to Minchinhampton."
"BURLEY, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, hundred of Longtree, in the county of Gloucester."
"COWCOMBE, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, in the county of Gloucester, 2 miles N.E. of Minchinhampton. It is situated on the Cheltenham line."
"FORWOOD, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, county Gloucester, in the neighbourhood of Minchinhampton."
"HAMON-TOWN, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, hundred of Longtree, county Gloucester, 12 miles S.E. of Gloucester. It is situated near the Thames and Severn canal."
"HOLCOMBE, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, hundred of Longtree, county Gloucester, 12 miles S.E. of Gloucester."
"HYDE, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, county Gloucester, 1 mile N.E. of Minchinhampton."
"LITTLEWORTH, an extra parochial place, in the middle division of the hundred of Dudstone, county Gloucester, 1 mile N. of Nailsworth, and 4 S. of Stroud. The Wesleyans have a chapel here. Mugmore House is the principal residence."
"ST. CLOE, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, in the county of Gloucester, near Minchinhampton."
"THEESCOMBE, a hamlet in the parish of Minchinhampton, county Gloucester."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
- Original source material relating to Minchinhampton, 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 Minchinhampton, by Ted Wildy.
- The transcription of the section for Minchinhampton from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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