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Stroud from the air.jpg
Stroud from the air
Gloucestershire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Gloucestershire
Population32,670 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference SO851051
Civil parish
  • Stroud
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STROUD
Postcode district GL5
Dialling code 01453
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°44′38″N2°12′54″W / 51.744°N 2.215°W / 51.744; -2.215 Coordinates: 51°44′38″N2°12′54″W / 51.744°N 2.215°W / 51.744; -2.215
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Selsley Weather (Average, 2005–2009)

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

Market town European settlement with the medieval right to host markets

A market town is a European settlement that obtained, in the Middle Ages, the right to host markets, which distinguished it from a village or city. In Britain, small rural towns with a hinterland of villages are still commonly called market towns, as sometimes reflected in their names.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Stroud District Non-metropolitan district in England

Stroud is a local government district in Gloucestershire, England. It is named after its largest town, Stroud, and has its administrative headquarters in Ebley Mill, in the Ebley area on the western outskirts of the town.


Situated below the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills at the meeting point of the Five Valleys, the town is noted for its steep streets, independent spirit and cafe culture. [2] The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty surrounds the town, and the Cotswold Way path passes by it to the west. It lies 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Gloucester, 14 miles (23 km) south-southwest of Cheltenham, 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Cirencester and 26 miles (42 km) northeast of the city of Bristol. London is 91 miles (146 km) east-southeast of Stroud and the Welsh border at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire, lies 19 miles (31 km) to the west as the crow flies. Although not part of the town's parish, the civil parishes of Rodborough and Cainscross are contiguous with Stroud and are generally considered as suburbs.

Escarpment Steep slope or cliff separating two relatively level regions

An escarpment, or scarp, is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as an effect of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having differing elevations. Usually scarp and scarp face are used interchangeably with escarpment.

Five Valleys

The Five Valleys are a group of valleys in Gloucestershire, England, which converge on the town of Stroud at the western edge of the Cotswolds. The Five Valleys are notable both for the landscape, which attracts visitors, and their role in industrial development of Britain starting with the wool trade in the 11th Century, and developing through cloth manufacturing in the 18th Century. Despite very poor roads, the use of the rivers and streams in developing links to other centres, via, for example the Kennet and Avon Canal, helped the Five Valleys to prosper.

Coffee culture social atmosphere or series of associated social behaviors that depends heavily upon coffee

Coffee culture is a phrase describing a social atmosphere or a series of associated social behaviors that depend heavily on coffee, particularly as a social lubricant. The term also refers to the cultural diffusion and adoption of coffee as a widely consumed stimulant. In the late 20th century, espresso became an increasingly dominant drink contributing to coffee culture, particularly in the Western world and other urbanized centers around the globe.

Stroud acts as a centre for surrounding villages and small market towns including Amberley, Bisley, Bussage, Chalford, Dursley, Eastcombe, Eastington, King's Stanley, Leonard Stanley, Minchinhampton, Nailsworth, Oakridge, Painswick, Randwick, Selsley, Sheepscombe, Slad, Stonehouse, Thrupp and Woodchester.

Amberley, Gloucestershire village in United Kingdom

Amberley, Gloucestershire is a small village near Stroud in Gloucestershire, England. It is situated on the edge of Minchinhampton Common, known for its Golf Club and course.

Bisley, Gloucestershire Vicars of Bisley Church

Bisley is a village in Gloucestershire, England, about 4 miles (6 km) east of Stroud. The parish is combined with adjoining Lypiatt, the two being styled Bisley-with-Lypiatt. The once-extensive manor included Stroud and Chalford, Thrupp, Oakridge, Bussage, Througham and Eastcombe.

Bussage village in United Kingdom

Bussage is a village in Gloucestershire, England in the district of Stroud.


Stroud is known for its involvement in the Industrial Revolution. [3] It was a cloth town: woollen mills were powered by the small rivers which flow through the five valleys, and supplied from Cotswold sheep which grazed on the hills above. Particularly noteworthy was the production of military uniforms in the colour Stroudwater Scarlet. [4] [5] The area became home to a sizable Huguenot community in the 17th century, fleeing persecution in Catholic France, [6] followed by a significant Jewish presence in the 19th century, linked to the tailoring and cloth industries. [7]

Industrial Revolution Transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States

The Industrial Revolution, now also known as the First Industrial Revolution, was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system. The Industrial Revolution also led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth.

Wool natural fibre from the soft hair of sheep or other mammals

Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, from hide and fur clothing from bison, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camelids; additionally, the Highland and the Mangalica breeds of cattle and swine, respectively, possess wooly coats. Wool consists of protein together with a few percent lipids. In this regard it is chemically quite distinct from the more dominant textile, cotton, which is mainly cellulose.

Watermill structure that uses a water wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process

A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as milling (grinding), rolling, or hammering. Such processes are needed in the production of many material goods, including flour, lumber, paper, textiles, and many metal products. These watermills may comprise gristmills, sawmills, paper mills, textile mills, hammermills, trip hammering mills, rolling mills, wire drawing mills.

Stroud was an industrial and trading location in the 19th century, and so needed transport links. It first had a canal network in the form of the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal, both of which survived until the early 20th century. Restoration of these canals as a leisure facility by a partnership of Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust is well under way [8] with a multimillion-pound Lottery grant. Stroud railway station (on the GloucesterSwindon Golden Valley Line) was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Canal Man-made channel for water

Canals, or navigations, are human-made channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicles.

Stroudwater Navigation

The Stroudwater Navigation is a canal in England which linked Stroud to the River Severn. It was authorised in 1776, although part had already been built, as the proprietors believed that an Act of Parliament obtained in 1730 gave them the necessary powers. Opened in 1779, it was a commercial success, its main cargo being coal. It was 8 miles (13 km) in length and had a rise of 102 ft 5 in (31.22 m) through 12 locks. Following the opening of the Thames and Severn Canal in 1789, it formed part of a through route from Bristol to London, although much of its trade vanished when the Kennet and Avon Canal provided a more direct route in 1810. Despite competition from the railways, the canal continued to pay dividends to shareholders until 1922, and was not finally abandoned until 1954.

Thames and Severn Canal

The Thames and Severn Canal is a canal in Gloucestershire in the south of England, which was completed in 1789. It was conceived as part of a canal route from Bristol to London. At its eastern end, it connects to the River Thames at Inglesham Lock near Lechlade, while at its western end, it connects to the Stroudwater Navigation at Wallbridge near Stroud, and thence to the River Severn. It has one short arm (branch), from Siddington to the town of Cirencester. It includes Sapperton Tunnel, which when built was the longest canal tunnel in Britain, and remains the fourth longest. There were always problems with water supply, as no reservoirs were built, while the summit section near the tunnel ran through porous limestone, and there were constant difficulties with leakage. Competition from the railways took much of the canal's traffic by the end of the 19th century, and most of the canal was abandoned in 1927, the remainder in 1941.

High Street, the main shopping street Stroud High Street.jpg
High Street, the main shopping street

Though there is much evidence of early historic settlement and transport, Stroud parish was originally part of Bisley, and only began to emerge as a distinct unit in the 13th century, taking its name from the marshy ground at the confluence of the Slad Brook and the River Frome called "La Strode", and was first recorded in 1221. The church was built by 1279, and it was assigned parochial rights by the rectors of Bisley in 1304, often cited as the date of Stroud's foundation.

Confluence Meeting of two or more bodies of flowing water

In geography, a confluence occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river ; or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name ; or where two separated channels of a river rejoin at the downstream end.

Slad village in United Kingdom

Slad is a village in Gloucestershire, England, in the Slad Valley about 2 miles (3 km) from Stroud on the B4070 road from Stroud to Birdlip.

River Frome, Stroud river that flows through Stroud in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

The River Frome, once also known as the Stroudwater, is a small river in Gloucestershire, England. It is to be distinguished from another River Frome in Gloucestershire, the Bristol Frome, and the nearby River Frome, Herefordshire. The river is approximately 25 miles (40 km) long.

Historic buildings and places of interest in the area include the neolithic long barrows (Uley Long Barrow) at Uley, Selsley Common and Nympsfield to the west; Roman era remains at Frocester, West Hill near Uley, and Woodchester; the medieval buildings at Beverston Castle; and the outstanding Tudor houses at Newark Park and Owlpen Manor. Woodchester Mansion is a masterpiece of the Gothic Revival by local architect Benjamin Bucknall.

From 1837 to 1841, Stroud's MP was Lord John Russell of the Whig party, who later became Prime Minister. Russell was an important politician: he was responsible for passing Acts of Parliament such as the Public Health Act 1848, but he is mainly remembered as one of the chief architects of the Reform Act 1867. This Act, also known as the Second Reform Act, gave the vote to every urban male householder, not just those of considerable means. This increased the electorate by 1.5 million voters. Lord John Russell is remembered in the town in the names of two streets, John Street and Russell Street, as well as the Lord John public house.

Neolithic remains

The long narrow at Randwick is large: about 56 by 26 metres (184 by 85 ft), it still stands 4 metres (13 ft) high at the north-east end. Excavations in 1883 found a round barrow opening to the north-east, from which there was access to a simple square chamber of one cell containing disarticulated human remains. Traces of the chamber can still be seen, although it is not accessible. Additional burials were found adjacent to the barrow on the southwest side.

According to history books, the Iron Age tribesmen of Gloucestershire made their final stand against the massive Roman invasion on Minchinhampton Common. Survivors eventually fled to the north. Some earthworks, known as 'the Bulwarks,' and the Longstone of Minchinhampton are evidence of these ancient fortifications.

Roman remains

Woodchester Roman Villa is one of many Roman villas discovered in Gloucestershire and was occupied between the early 2nd and late 4th centuries AD. There is now nothing visible of the villa above ground and the site is occupied by a later churchyard. The villa's most famous feature is the Orpheus mosaic, the second largest of its kind in Europe and one of the most intricate. It dates to c. AD 325 and was re-discovered by Gloucestershire-born antiquarian Samuel Lysons in 1793. It has been uncovered seven times since 1880, the last time in 1973, but there are no plans to reveal it again. It depicts Orpheus charming all forms of life with his lyre and has been praised for its accuracy and beauty.

In 1979, several portions of Roman tessellated pavement, Roman tiles, coins, pottery, etc. were discovered in the grounds of the house at Brown's Hill, one mile north of Stroud, suggesting the existence of a Roman villa.

Remains of a Roman villa have been found in the parish of Painswick, on a farm called Highfield, about half a mile north-west of the town. Walls were found, crossing one another at right angles; also many flue tiles, and some Roman coins. It was opened some years ago in a rough and hurried way, and covered up again. A short account of it appeared in the public press at the time.

The excavation at a site at Ebley Road in Stonehouse has revealed evidence of some of the earliest Roman activity known in the Stroud Valleys. A large rectangular enclosure dating back to the 1st century AD was found and more than a dozen human skeletons were unearthed at the end of 2010.


At the 2001 UK census, Stroud civil parish had a total population of 12,690. [9] For every 100 females, there were 96.4 males. Ethnically, the population is predominantly white (98.2%). [10] 20.6% of the population were under the age of 16 and 8.3% were aged 75 and over; the mean age of the people of the urban area was 39.5. 92.6% of residents described their health as "fair" or better, similar to the average of 92.8% for the wider district. [11] [12] The average household size was 2.4. [13] Of those aged 16–74, 24.5% had no academic qualifications, [14] lower than the national average of 28.9%. [12] Of those aged 16–74, 2.6% were unemployed and 28.4% were economically inactive. [15] At the 2011 census, 107,026 people were described as white British, plus 591 being from the Irish Republic. 2,752 were white other, 364 Caribbean, 129 African, 429 Asian and 300 other Asian, all from mixed multiple ethnic groups. Of these, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh accounted for 258 people. Chinese and Arab people accounted for 226 people.

The are two definitions for the town of Stroud. [16] The narrowest definition is the parish, which had a population of 13,259 in 2011 and only includes the town centre and inner suburban areas. [17] The urban subdivision had a population of 32,670 and includes many suburbs often considered part of the town. [1] The urban area, which includes Stonehouse that has a largely separate identity, and other surrounding villages had a population of 60,155. [18] Despite its extensive urban area, Stroud is surrounded by the greenbelt of the Cotswolds to the north, south and east.

Character and amenities

Stroud has a significant artistic community that dates back to the early 20th century. Jasper Conran called Stroud "the Covent Garden of the Cotswolds"; [19] the Daily Telegraph has referred to it as "the artistic equivalent of bookish Hay-on-Wye"; [20] while the London Evening Standard likened the town to "Notting Hill with wellies". [21] The town has the largest and most diverse number of creative artists, musicians and authors outside London. [ citation needed ]

Kite aerial photo of Stroud Leisure Centre Kite aerial photo of Stroud Leisure Centre.JPG
Kite aerial photo of Stroud Leisure Centre
Kite aerial photograph of the restoration of the walled garden at the Museum in the Park. Museum in the Park, Stroud.jpg
Kite aerial photograph of the restoration of the walled garden at the Museum in the Park.

The town was one of the birthplaces of the organic food movement and was home to Britain's first fully organic café, Woodruffs. [22] The Biodynamic Agricultural Association is based in the town. [23]

For many years Stroud has hosted a fringe festival on the second weekend in September. A new committee took over in early 2015 and now holds the festival on August Bank Holiday each year. The festival has been expanded to cover art and literature, as well as a diverse range of unsigned[ clarification needed ] bands. With a number of outdoor stages, and the majority of the venues in town taking part, over 400 performers can be seen free of charge over the course of the weekend. The town also hosts an annual series of lectures and exhibitions on contemporary textiles and textile culture called SELECT, run by Stroud International Textiles, [24] the UK's only festival to celebrate the diverse culture of textiles. [25]

The Stroudwater Textile Trust was founded in 1999 to link the past and present of textiles in the Five Valleys [26] and to manage the opening of several mills in which historic textile machinery, including a working waterwheel, has been restored and is demonstrated. The Trust has produced a DVD, Rivers of Cloth, using archive film and interviews which was due to be released in early 2011 and a photographic survey of surviving woollen mills was undertaken for a book, Wool and Water, published in 2012. [27]

Subscription Rooms Subrooms.jpg
Subscription Rooms

Stroud has a strong community of independent shops and cafés. The town centre has seen two controversial developments: a new cinema (which replaced the bus station) and a branch of McDonald's which, when plans were unveiled in 2004, came against opposition from locals.[ did it attract enough support to remain open until 2016? ]

The Subscription Rooms in the heart of the town centre provide a venue for a wide variety of entertainment [28] and also house the Tourist Information Centre. There is also a small theatre, the Cotswold Playhouse, which is home to the amateur Cotswold Players; it occasionally hosts visiting professional companies. [29]

On the fringes of the town are Stratford Park, originally the park of a small local weaver, now home to a leisure centre with an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, and the Museum in the Park, a museum of the history and culture of the Stroud valleys.

The Redlers industrial estate is the site of the original Dudbridge Mills, beside the River Frome. From the mid-18th century onwards it housed the three mills of Daniel Chance: one corn, one gig and a dyehouse with eight drying racks. It was acquired in 1794 by John Apperley, whose family used the site for wool- and cloth-making for the next 140 years. In 1801 an industrial accident killed a young worker.


Stroud citizens have a history of protest going back to the Stroudwater Riots of 1825. [30] [31] In the late 1970s Stroud Campaign Against The Ringroad prevented Gloucestershire County Council's attempt to introduce new traffic plans. A few years later Stroud District Council tried to demolish 18th-century buildings in the town centre. Stroud High Street Action Group, with some rooftop protests and a high court judgement, demonstrated against this. The restored buildings are now a feature of the High Street. After a short occupation a compromise was reached in the demolition of buildings in Cornhill with many being saved, including one identified as a medieval house. This campaign led to the formation of the Stroud Preservation Trust. which has been instrumental in saving many of the town's oldest buildings such as Withey's house, the Brunel Goods Shed and the Hill Paul building. [32]

Stroud Save The Trees Campaign came to national prominence in August 1989 when Stroud District Council tried to implement a road-widening scheme by a midnight raid on thirteen trees it wished to fell within the perimeter of Stratford Park. However local people got wind of the 'secret' and were there first to protect the trees. After a stand-off that lasted till dawn the police called off the operation on the grounds of public safety. The following year instead of road-widening the first 'traffic calming' in the county was installed. The trees remain to this day.

The restored Hill Paul building HillPaulBuilding.jpg
The restored Hill Paul building

A few years later Stroud District Council planned to fell the hornbeam on the Subscription Rooms forecourt, the only mature tree in the town centre. A quickly mobilised citizenry persuaded them otherwise and the hornbeam survived.

In 2000 Stroud District Council gave permission for the Victorian landmark Hill Paul building to be demolished. After thwarting demolition, local activists formed a company and sold enough shares at £500 each to take an option on the building, which they passed on to a local developer. The building has now been restored and converted into apartments (see photo on the right). [33] [34]

The Save Stroud Hospitals Taskforce has been campaigning since spring 2006 against a range of cuts to health services in and around Stroud, with thousands of people taking part in street demonstrations. Stroud Maternity Hospital was saved in September 2006. [35]

The Uplands Post Office branch in Stroud was one of 26 in the county to shut as part of a nationwide programme to cut losses. Following local opposition, the Post Office agreed to talks with civic chiefs to look at how it could reopen. The town council agreed to provide £10,000 of funding for the service in 2008 and up to £25,000 for 2009. In November 2008 it was confirmed that Stroud has become only the second place in Britain to save one of its Post Offices. [36]

However, despite the protests, Tesco opened a store near Stratford Park in 1989, McDonald's built a fast food restaurant at Rowcroft in 2005 and, soon after, the bus station was replaced with a cinema.

In September 2010 the BNP scrapped plans to move their national media centre to Stroud after protests by local residents. [37]

In February 2012 NHS managers agreed to halt plans for Stroud General Hospital to be run by a social enterprise after local residents mounted a legal challenge in the High Court. [38]


There is still a small textile industry (the green baize cloth used to cover snooker tables and the cloth covering championship tennis balls is made here), but today the town functions primarily as a centre for light engineering and small-scale manufacturing, and a provider of services for the surrounding villages. Stroud is a Fairtrade Town.

The Stroud and Swindon Building Society had its headquarters here until it merged with the Coventry Building Society on 1 September 2010. The building is now the headquarters of the renewable energy provider Ecotricity. [39]

Damien Hirst owns the 'Science' facility in Stroud which produces his art. [40]

In September 2009, the Stroud Pound Co-operative launched the Stroud Pound [41] as an attempt to reinforce the local economy and encourage more local production. The currency's design follows that of the Chiemgauer, in being backed on a one-for-one basis by the national currency, having a charge for redemption which is donated to local charities, and including a system of demurrage to encourage rapid circulation.

Farmers' market

Bread loaves in the farmers' market StroudBread.jpg
Bread loaves in the farmers' market

A farmers' market, launched by Jasper Conran and Isabella Blow on 3 July 1999, [42] takes place every Saturday at the Cornhill market. It was nominated for the national Farmers' Market of the Year in 2001 and won it in 2007 and 2013. It also won the Cotswold Life magazine award for the best farmers' market in Gloucestershire in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. The market featured in an episode of BBC TV's The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain in September 2009, and won the Best Food Market award at the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2010. [43] It is certified by FARMA.

In addition to the farmers' market there is a smaller market held in The Shambles, an area adjacent to the steep High Street. John Wesley preached from a butcher's block in The Shambles on 26 June 1742. [44] opposite one of the oldest existing buildings in Stroud, the Old Town Hall. Originally called the Market-house, this was built in 1594 [45] and is still in occasional use today.

Stroud Market Stroud Market.jpg
Stroud Market


School of Science and Art Art&Science.jpg
School of Science and Art


"There was a school at Stroud in 1576 but the schoolmaster, who did not have a licence and failed to teach the catechism, was then dismissed..." [46]

Primary schools

There are six primary schools in the town:

Schools in surrounding areas include

Further schools include Amberley Parochial School, Nailsworth School and Woodchester School.

Secondary schools

There are three secondary schools in Stroud.

Archway Comprehensive School [55] is a County Council maintained school offering an 11-to-18 education for children in Stroud, Rodborough and Cainscross.

There are also two state-funded selective schools, Marling School and Stroud High School. These former Grant Maintained and Foundation schools became Academies in 2011. Both schools can trace their history back to the founding of Marling School in 1889 and Stroud High School which was founded in 1904 as the Girls' Endowed School. They continued to be grammar schools long after the comprehensive school became the norm in secondary education, and their future was the subject of long-running controversy. [56] The two schools now share a mixed sixth form, called the Downfield Sixth Form, which works in a three-way consortium with Archway Sixth Form and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and attracts pupils from many surrounding schools.

Other secondary schools in the locality include Maidenhill School in Stonehouse, and Thomas Keble School in Eastcombe and the private Wycliffe College in Stonehouse

Kite aerial photo of Thomas Keble School Kite aerial photo of Thomas Keble School.jpg
Kite aerial photo of Thomas Keble School
Kite aerial photo of Marling School June 2010 Kite aerial photo of Marling School.JPG
Kite aerial photo of Marling School June 2010
Kite aerial photo of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College SGS Stroud Campus Aerial Photo.jpg
Kite aerial photo of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College

Tertiary education

Tertiary education in the town is provided by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

The University of Gloucestershire has campuses a few miles to the north (in Cheltenham and Gloucester) and the Royal Agricultural University west of Cirencester is 12 miles (19 km) to the east.


Public bus transport in Stroud is run by Stagecoach West, operating from its depot on London Road, and Cotswold Green. Some of these routes deployed from Stroud are Stagecoach Gold, including the 63 to Gloucester and the 66S/E/Q/Y.

The town is also served by Great Western Railway trains from Stroud railway station, with frequent services to Gloucester, Cheltenham, Swindon, Reading and London Paddington. The railway link was established in 1845. Up to then, Stroud had its own time which was set by a sundial at the top of Gloucester Street. There was also an observatory across the road from the hospital where now is a car park. As Stroud time was roughly 9 minutes behind GMT and people kept missing the train, a railway clock was put up in 1858 at the bottom of High Street. It was later moved across King Street to the top of Gloucester Street. The clock fell into disrepair over the years. It was finally saved by Captain Michael Maltin, who restored the clock in 1984 and found a new home for it in the Stroud library. Stonehouse railway station is on the western edge of the town and in the wider urban area.

The A46 road links Stroud to Gloucester in the north and Bath to the south, with the A419 connecting Stroud to Cirencester in one direction and the M5 motorway at Junction 13 in the other.

National Express coaches serve the town on routes 327 (BathScarborough) and 445 (HerefordLondon Victoria). Stroud also lies on the traffic-free section of Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 45.

Stroud was connected to the canal system when the Stroudwater Navigation opened in 1779. It then became part of a through canal route from Bristol to London when the Thames and Severn Canal added a route over the Cotswolds in 1789. The canal closed in 1954 but the Cotswold Canals Trust is leading a project to reopen the entire length of the trans-Cotswold route. A visitor centre and restored lock are located in the town.


Novelists Sue Limb, Jilly Cooper and Katie Fforde, children's authors Jamila Gavin, John Dougherty Cindy Jefferies and Clive Dale, poet Jenny Joseph, and The Guardian 's food critic Matthew Fort have followed in the footsteps of the Rev. W. Awdry, and W. H. Davies and made the Stroud area their home.

Two of its most famous sons are the authors Laurie Lee, whose most notable creation Cider with Rosie is set in the nearby Slad valley, and Booker Prize-winning author Alan Hollinghurst. Poets Dennis Gould, Jeff Cloves, Philip Rush, Ted Milton, Michael Horovitz, Frances Horovitz and Adam Horovitz have grown up, lived and/or live in the area.


Stroud is home to the Bardic Chair of Hawkwood, an annual competition held at Hawkwood College in May to select that year's Bard who then has the responsibility to promote the bardic arts in the Stroud area.


Stroud Rugby Club, founded in 1873, play in the Western Counties North league. Their home ground is Fromehall Park, near the town centre.

Stroud Cricket Club is over 150 years old and plays its home games at Farmhill. The club has three senior teams, with the first eleven playing its cricket in the South West Premier league.

Since 1982 Stroud Athletic Club has organised an annual half marathon which takes place in October. Nearly 2,500 runners, from all over the country, entered in 2007. Members of the club include the UK number one Olympic Marathon runner Dan Robinson.

Stroud Swimming Club was officially formed in 1978, but can trace its origins back to 1905 when it was known as Stroud Swimming and Water Polo Club. In 2006 and 2007 club members made up two-thirds of the County team that finished in silver and bronze places respectively in the National Open Water Championships.[ citation needed ]

Stroud Hockey Club was founded in 1928 and has produced some top-class hockey players including Simon Mason. The club has three men's teams, three women's teams and a boys Badgers and a girls Vixens team, and under 8s, 10s and 12s for rising club stars. The club's home ground is at Stratford Park Leisure Centre, with training on Tuesday evenings during the season.

Forest Green Rovers is the nearest professional football club and play in EFL League Two. They play around 3.5 miles away in nearby Nailsworth. A lot of supporters live and come from Stroud.

Politics and media

In the 2017 General Election, Labour's David Drew became Member of Parliament for the Stroud constituency, having previously represented the constituency from 1997 until 2010, when Conservative Neil Carmichael was elected.

In March 2008, a community radio station, Stroud FM, was launched in the town, broadcasting 24 hours a day on 107.9FM. The station, staffed by volunteers and funded by donations, focussed on local news and music, as well as national and international music, but closed in February 2014 due to a lack of funds. Both BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Heart (Gloucester) have dedicated FM and DAB transmitters serving the town.

There are now two local newspapers covering the town: the weekly Gloucester Citizen , now called Stroud Citizen to replace Stroud Life , published by Gloucestershire Media (part of the Northcliffe Group); and the Stroud News & Journal , published by Newsquest Media (Southern) Limited, part of the American Gannett Company.

Stroud Life launched in 2008 and closed in October 2017. Most of its distribution was free direct to homes, but a significant share (about one-third) was sold through the news trade. [57] The Stroud News and Journal was formed by a merger in 1959 of the Stroud Journal (which started in 1854 as a Liberal-supporting newspaper) and the Stroud News (which started in 1867 and generally supported Conservative and Unionist interests).


Figures from the local police force and the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership[ citation needed ] indicate that Stroud has a significantly lower level of crime per head of population than the national average.[ clarification needed ]

Crime rates in Stroud (per 1000 population) 2005–2006[ citation needed ]
Theft of a motor vehicle2.394.04
Theft from a motor vehicle7.119.59
Sexual offences.791.17
Violence against a person13.3619.97

Notable people





Engineering and manufacturing




Plaque to John Canton on the Old Town Hall in the Shambles John canton.jpg
Plaque to John Canton on the Old Town Hall in the Shambles

Sportsmen and women


Twin towns

Songs about Stroud

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Stonehouse is a town in the Stroud District of Gloucestershire in southwestern England.

Brimscombe and Thrupp civil parish in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England

Brimscombe and Thrupp is a civil parish made up of two small linked villages situated in the narrow Frome Valley slightly southeast of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. The parish also includes the hamlets of Upper and Lower Bourne, Lypiatt, Quarhouse, the Heavens and Claypits. The population taken at the 2011 census was 1,830.

Stroud (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1955 onwards

Stroud is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by David Drew of the Labour Co-op party.

Stroud and District Football League

The Stroud and District Football League is a football competition based in England. This league was established in 1902. The league is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. It has a total of seven divisions with the highest, Division One, sitting at level 14 of the English football league system. It is a feeder to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League (GNSL).

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.

Cainscross farm village in the United Kingdom

Cainscross is a suburban community and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England, on the western outskirts of Stroud and forming part of the Stroud urban area. The parish includes the communities of Ebley, Cashes Green and Hamwell Leaze, and part of Dudbridge.

The Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway was a short railway line in the county of Gloucestershire, England. It was promoted independently to connect the industrial town of Nailsworth to the main line railway network at Stonehouse. It opened in 1867, but was immediately in financial difficulty, due largely to debenture interest payments and other financial commitments from the construction.

Stroud District Council

Stroud District Council is the local authority for Stroud District. Stroud District is located in Central Gloucestershire in the South West of England region. The Council itself is based in the Council Offices in Stroud proper, but the borough also comprises Nailsworth, Dursley, Cam, and Wotton-under-Edge as well as a number of other settlements. It is administratively distinct from Stroud Town Council, which serves the smaller parish of Stroud only.

Dudbridge human settlement in United Kingdom

Dudbridge is a suburb on the southern edge of Stroud in Gloucestershire, England.

Minchinhampton Common

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

Maidenhill School

Maidenhill School is a coeducational foundation secondary school located in Stonehouse in the English county of Gloucestershire.

The Gatehouse at Bonds Mill

The Gatehouse at Bonds Mill at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, England, was constructed during World War II as a defensive pillbox as part of the Stop Line Green. It is a rare example of a two-storey pillbox with a rooftop gun emplacement and is a Grade II listed building. It is now used a visitor centre run by the Cotswold Canals Trust.


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Following the Cotswold Way
Chipping Campden
14 km (9 miles) to
~13 km (8 miles) to