Selsley

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Selsley
Cows on Selsley Common - geograph.org.uk - 192472.jpg
Selsley Common
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Selsley
Location within Gloucestershire
Civil parish
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance South Western
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire
51°43′52″N2°14′49″W / 51.731°N 2.247°W / 51.731; -2.247 Coordinates: 51°43′52″N2°14′49″W / 51.731°N 2.247°W / 51.731; -2.247

Selsley is a village within the civil parish of King's Stanley and district of Stroud, in Gloucestershire, England. It is composed of around 175 houses, scattered around the western and eastern edge of a Cotswold spur, located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Stroud.

Contents

History and notable events

Selsley Common is an ancient place, but the name Selsley was only used for the settlement after the parish was created in 1863, with the village divided into Selsley West and Selsley. Previously Selsley West was a series of hamlets known as Stanley End, Picked (or Peaked) Elm and The Knapp, with The Knapp east of present day Middleyard, Stanley End closer to the modern Selsley village, and Picked Elm the houses near Peaked Elm Farm. [1]

Stanley Park in Selsley was the destination of pioneering Oxford balloonist, James Sadler, on the first ever flight from Stroud on 19 October 1785. It was estimated that the flight was watched by forty thousand people. [2]

Selsley made the news again when the Common was the site of a Chartist rally, attended by five thousand people, on Tuesday 21 May 1839. [3]

Houses

Stanley Park is the original manor house in Selsley West dating from the time of Elizabeth I. The house was rebuilt in the mid-18th century and then further remodelled when it was bought by Samuel Marling in 1850. [1] In 1952, the house and estate was sold by the Marling family, with the house divided into flats. [1]

Elsewhere in the village, architecture indicates that most of the older housing dates from the 18th and 19th century, [4] interspersed with 20th-century build.

Ancient pathways and tracks

Running through the village is Water Lane - a prehistoric track that winds its way to North Woodchester and thence to South Woodchester and on to Bath. In parts, its banks tower ten feet overhead, cloaked by hedges of hawthorn, blackthorn, ash and beech. Spring water rushes along the two sides of the lane where the geology changes. It runs parallel to a track continuing from Bell Lane and going past a cottage down over the brook and onto the Villiers estate in Woodchester.

Geography and geology

The western scarp face falls hundreds of feet to the flat Severn Valley. Beyond the Forest lie the Black Mountains and beyond these the Brecon Beacons. Also located on the scarp is a Bronze Age barrow.

Church of All Saints

Selsley Church Selsley Church.jpg
Selsley Church

Alongside the manor house lies Selsley Church, commissioned by the Marling family during the mid-19th century and modelled by Bodley in the French Gothic style. Its stained glass was one of the first commissions undertaken by William Morris and his partners Rossetti, Webb, Ford Madox Brown and Burne-Jones. The design of the church derives from the squires' name. The church is modelled on one seen in Marlengo (Marling) in the disputed area of the Italian Tyrol.

Selsley Common

History

Despite attempts to enclose the common at Selsley, it has been vigorously defended over the years. The first recorded dispute was in the Saxon period,[ citation needed ] and the threat to enclose the common in the 19th century met with vocal public outrage. There is one area which did become enclosed, known locally as 'Dead Man's Acre'. The story goes that a man was told that he could have as much land of the common that he could enclose in one day. The effort though, proved too much, and killed him. The truth of this tale is dubious, as it bears similarities to works of fiction such as Leo Tolstoy's How Much Land Does a Man Need?

Dotted over the common are the long abandoned remains of quarries once used to supply stone for local building and walling. Lesser hollows are the remains of a medieval soldier's camp - so identified in 1942 by Captain H.S. Gracie. In addition, the grassed-over ways used by the quarry wagons can still be seen.

An oblique near infrared kite aerial photo of the long barrow on Selsley Common, The Toots. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1002131 An oblique kite aerial photo of Selsley long Barrow.jpg
An oblique near infrared kite aerial photo of the long barrow on Selsley Common, The Toots. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1002131

Site of Special Scientific Interest

Selsley Common
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Selsley Common - geograph.org.uk - 361592.jpg
Selsley Common
Area of Search Gloucestershire
Grid reference SO829030
InterestBiological/Geological
Area39.4 hectare
Notification 1966
Natural England website

Selsley Common (grid reference SO829030 ) is a 39.4-hectare (97-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1966. [5] It is a large open expanse and a rich habitat for rare flora and fauna. During the summer, bird song mingles with the sound of cattle as commoners can, and still do, exercise grazing rights.

The common and village are in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and overlies the Jurassic limestone of the Cotswolds. It supports herb-rich calcareous grassland habitat. Leigh’s Quarry, which is in the southern part of the SSSI, is of particular geological significance. [5]

The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 (online for download) as an SSSI and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS). [6]

Geology

The quarry provides one of the most extensive, and thus significant, cross-sections of the Middle Jurassic Inferior Oolite in the south of the Cotswolds. Oolite Marl, Upper Trigonia Grit and Clypeus Grit are in the succession. This is a site with a notable example of hardground, which is a thin layer of rough limestone formed during environmental changes. [5]

Biology

The grassland is dominated by grasses such as upright brome, sheep's fescue, and there is little tor-grass. The latter makes the common different from others in the region. Herbs include rock-rose, common bird's-foot-trefoil, salad burnet and wild thyme. Orchids are in abundance including autumn lady's tresses, green-winged orchid and fragrant orchid, particularly in the quarry areas. There are scrub areas of hawthorn and there some trees such as ash. [5]

The habitat supports a range of invertebrates including the mollusc Abida secale , and butterflies. The latter include small blue, grayling and Duke of Burgundy fritillary. [5]

Related Research Articles

Stroud Human settlement in England

Stroud is a market town and civil parish in the centre of Gloucestershire, England. It is the main town in Stroud District.

Samuel Marling British politician

Sir Samuel Stephens Marling, 1st Baronet was a British cloth manufacturer and Liberal Party politician. He was particularly associated with the village of Selsley, Gloucestershire.

Rodborough civil parish in Gloucestershire, England

Rodborough is a civil parish in the district of Stroud, Gloucestershire, in Southwest England. It is directly south of the town of Stroud, north of the town of Nailsworth and north-west of the village of Minchinhampton. The parish includes the settlements of Bagpath, Butterrow, Kingscourt, Lightpill and Rooksmoor, and is adjacent to the Stroud suburb of Dudbridge. The population taken at the 2011 census was 5,334.

Wotton Hill

Wotton Hill is a hill on the edge of the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, England, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north of Wotton-under-Edge. The Cotswold Way passes over the hill.

Swifts Hill SSSI

Swift's Hill is a 9.15-hectare (22.6-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1966 and renotified in 1984.

Bull Cross, The Frith and Juniper Hill

Bull Cross, The Frith and Juniper Hill is a 42.33-hectare (104.6-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954. The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 as an SSSI and Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).

Cleeve Common

Cleeve Common is a 455-hectare (1,120-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974. It is looked after by a small charity called Cleeve Common Trust, formally Cleeve Common Board of Conservators.

Cockleford Marsh

Cockleford Marsh is a 3.2-hectare (7.9-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1991.

Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods

Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods is a 665.5-hectare (1,644-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954.

Crickley Hill and Barrow Wake biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974

Crickley Hill and Barrow Wake is a 56.8-hectare (140-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974.

Edge Common

Edge Common is a 20.47-hectare (50.6-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974.

Knap House Quarry, Birdlip

Knap House Quarry, Birdlip is a 1.80-hectare (4.4-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974. The site is listed in the 'Cotswold District' Local Plan 2001-2011 as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS) and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common is a 63.8-hectare (158-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954. There are five units of assessment.

Minchinhampton Common

Minchinhampton Common is a 182.7-hectare (451-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1972.

Nibley Knoll Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire

Nibley Knoll is a 3.2-hectare (7.9-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1974. The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 as an SSSI and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).

Puckham Woods

Puckham Woods is a 32.38-hectare (80.0-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire to the east of Cheltenham near Whittington, notified in 1954. The site is listed in the 'Cotswold District' Local Plan 2001-2011 as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).

Range Farm Fields

Range Farm Fields is a 12.8-hectare (32-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, near to Gloucester City, notified in 1996.

Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire

Rodborough Common is a 116.0-hectare (287-acre) biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954. The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 as an SSSI and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS). The Common is also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive

Quarry Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest in North Yorkshire, England

Quarry Moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, or SSSI, at the south edge of Ripon, North Yorkshire, England, and adjacent to the A61 road. It contains an outcrop of Magnesian Limestone, exposed by former quarrying. 255 million years ago this limestone was the peripheral sediment of a tropical sea. The land was donated in 1945 to the people of Ripon by the town's mayor, Alderman Thomas Fowler Spence, a varnish manufacturer. The land was notified as an SSSI in 1986 because its calcareous grassland supported a large diversity of plant species. The site features a Schedule 8 protected plant, thistle broomrape. The land is protected as a nature reserve, and it is also managed as a recreational area. Therefore, its calcareous grass area is fenced off for protection and study, but it also contains a car park, information signs, a children's play area, accessible paths, benches, and dog waste bins.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Bown, Stephen (2000). Old Selsley. Stonehouse, Glos: Zeta Printing Services.
  2. Davies, Mark (2015). King of Balloons. Stroud: Amberley. p. 91.
  3. "Selsley and the Chartist movement" . Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. Yorke, Trevor (2015). The Cotswold Cottage. Newbury, Berks: Countryside Books.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Natural England SSSI information for citation, map and unit detail
  6. Stroud District Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 ‘Sites of Nature Conservation Interest’ Archived 6 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine

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