Wotton under Edge
"WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE, a parish, township, and market town in the upper division of Berkeley hundred, county Gloucester, formerly in Wilts, 19 miles S.W. of Gloucester, 7 S. of Dursley, and 2 from the Charfield station on the Gloucester and Bristol railway, which passes through the parish. This place derives its name from its situation beneath the western ridge of the Cotswold hills, and was once of more importance than at present, being one of the clothing towns, and having flourishing manufactures of fine woollen cloth, which are now entirely decayed.
In the reign of John, it was destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt on a different site by the Berkeleys, who obtained for it from Henry III. the grant of a market and fairs, with various municipal privileges. A mayor is still chosen annually in October at the manorial court leet, but he has no magisterial authority, nor have the 12 aldermen, the town being under the government of county magistrates, who hold petty sessions for the division fortnightly on Friday. It is an election and polling place for West Gloucestershire.
The parish, which is watered by the Bourn, Edbrook, Dyers Brook, and the Ousel, contains besides the town of Wotton, the hamlets of Bradley, Coombe, Horseley, Huntingford, Sinwell, and Symondshall. The present town, which consists principally of two parallel streets, is well built, and lighted with gas. It has a branch bank, savings bank, literary institution, subscription library and reading-rooms, and several water mills.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £115, in the patronage of the dean and canons of Christ Church, Oxford, who are impropriators. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome structure, and contains several monuments. The Tabernacle meetinghouse, originally built in 1775 by Rowland Hill, joining the house where his wife died, has been rebuilt in a more pretentious style. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Baptists have chapels.
The free grammar school, the oldest public school in the kingdom, was founded in 1387 by Lady Berkeley, and has an income from endowment of about £500 per annum, with exhibitions at Oxford and Cambridge. There are a blue-coat school, in which thirty boys are clothed and taught, National school for girls, and British and infant schools. The charities realise above £1,200 per annum, including the endowments of the schools and almshouses, of which there are two sets, Perry's and Dawes', the former for 12 and the latter for 6 poor persons.
The Roman road from Cirencester goes through the parish, and there are remains of British and Roman camps and Roman buildings. Market-day is Friday. Fairs are held 25th September, and on the Tuesday preceding 25th March, and there is a monthly market the first Tuesday in the month."
"BRADLEY, a joint tything with Sinwell, in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, hundred of Berkeley, in the county of Gloucester, close to Wotton-under-Edge."
"COMBE, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, in the county of Gloucester, 1 mile N.E. of Wotton."
"HUNTINGFORD, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, county Gloucester, 2 miles from Wotton."
"SIMOND'S HALL WITH COMBE, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, county Gloucester, 2 miles N. E. of Wotton."
"SINWELL WITH BRADLEY, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, upper division of Berkeley hundred, county Gloucester, near Wotton."
"SYMOND'S-HALL, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, upper division of Berkeley hundred, county Gloucester, 3 miles N.E. of Wotton."
"WORTLEY, a tything in the parish of Wotton-under-Edge, county Gloucester 1 mile S.E. of Wotton."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
- Original source material relating to Wotton under Edge, and other parishes in Diocese of Gloucester may be found at the Gloucestershire Archives.
- The Wotton under Edge Heritage Centre is a registered Museum run by the Wotton under Edge Historical Society. In addition to the Museum, there is also a Research Room in the Centre (admission requires a small daily fee) which has an extensive collection of records (including copies of Parish Registers) and several indexes of interest to family historians. More details, and opening hours on the site.
- Transcription of section of Pigot's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1830 for Wotton under Edge, by Ted Wildy.
- The transcription of the section for Wotton under Edge from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Wotton under Edge to another place.
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