Thornbury, Gloucestershire

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Thornbury
Gloucestershire UK location map.svg
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Thornbury
Location within Gloucestershire
Population12,342 (2001 UK census)
OS grid reference ST636902
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bristol
Postcode district BS35
Dialling code 01454
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Avon
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire
51°36′34″N2°31′30″W / 51.6094°N 2.5249°W / 51.6094; -2.5249 Coordinates: 51°36′34″N2°31′30″W / 51.6094°N 2.5249°W / 51.6094; -2.5249

Thornbury is a market town and civil parish in South Gloucestershire district of the county of Gloucestershire, England, about 12 miles (19 km) north of Bristol. It had a population of 12,063 at the 2011 Census. Thornbury is a Britain in Bloom award-winning town, with its own competition, Thornbury in Bloom. [1] Nearby villages include Morton and Thornbury Park. The civil parish includes the hamlet of Milbury Heath.

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.

Civil parish Territorial designation and lowest tier of local government in England

In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; civil and religious parishes were formally split into two types in the 19th century and are now entirely separate. The unit was devised and rolled out across England in the 1860s.

South Gloucestershire Unitary authority area in England

South Gloucestershire is an extraordinary unitary authority area in South West England. It comprises multiple suburban areas to the north and east of Bristol as well as a large rural hinterland. South Gloucestershire was created in 1996 from the northern section of the county of Avon, which was abolished at that time.

Contents

History

There is evidence of human activity in the Thornbury area in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but evidence of the Roman presence is limited to the Thornbury hoard, of 11,460 Roman coins dating from AD 260–348, found in 2004 during the digging for a fishpond. [2] The earliest documentary evidence of a village at "Thornbyrig" dates from the end of the 9th century. [3] Domesday Book noted a manor of "Turneberie" belonging to William the Conqueror's consort, Matilda of Flanders, with 104 residents.

Neolithic Archaeological period, last part of the Stone Age

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.

Bronze Age Prehistoric period and age studied in archaeology, part of the Holocene Epoch

The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, and in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies.

Domesday Book 11th-century survey of landholding in England as well as the surviving manuscripts of the survey

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

St Mary's Church, begun in the 12th century with later additions, is the oldest surviving building. The town charter was granted in 1252 by Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and lord of the manor of Thornbury. [4] The charter's 750th anniversary in 2002 was celebrated with a "750" flowerbed planted in Grovesend Road. The town grew around the site of its cattle market. Thornbury lost its status as a borough in 19th-century local government reforms, but in 1974 the parish council exercised its new right to designate itself a town council.

Ancient borough historic unit of lower-tier local government in England and Wales

The ancient boroughs were a historic unit of lower-tier local government in England and Wales. The ancient boroughs covered only important towns and were established by charters granted at different times by the monarchy. Their history is largely concerned with the origin of such towns and how they gained the right of self-government. Ancient boroughs were reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which introduced directly elected corporations and allowed the incorporation of new industrial towns. Municipal boroughs ceased to be used for the purposes of local government in 1974, with borough status retained as an honorific title granted by the Crown.

A parish council is a civil local authority found in England and is the first tier of local government. They are elected corporate bodies, have variable tax raising powers, and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, serving in total 16 million people. A parish council serving a town may be called a town council, and a parish council serving a city is styled a city council; these bodies have the same powers, duties and status as a parish council.

The ancient parish covered a large area extending to the River Severn, and included the detached area of Rangeworthy until 1866, when this became a separate civil parish. In 1894 the western part was detached to form the civil parish of Oldbury-on-Severn and the eastern part to create that of Falfield. [5]

River Severn River in the United Kingdom

The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain at a length of 220 miles (354 km),. With an average discharge of 107 m3/s (3,800 cu ft/s) at Apperley, Gloucestershire, it has by far the greatest water flow in England and Wales.

Rangeworthy a village located in South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

Rangeworthy is a semi-rural farming village in South Gloucestershire, England, nearby communities include Falfield and Charfield. The village population taken at the 2011 census was 675.

Oldbury-on-Severn is a small village near the mouth of the River Severn in South Gloucestershire. The village population at the 2011 census was 780. It is home to the nearby Oldbury nuclear power station, a Magnox power station which opened in 1967 and ceased operation on 29 February 2012.

Thornbury Township, Pennsylvania, USA, founded in 1687, was named after Thornbury, Gloucestershire, by George Pearce, whose wife Ann came from there. [6] In 1765 Dr John Fewster of Thornbury presented a paper to the Medical Society of London entitled "Cow Pox and its Ability to Prevent Smallpox". Fewster was a big influence on his friend and colleague Edward Jenner, the pioneer of vaccination. [7]

Thornbury Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania Township in Pennsylvania, United States

Thornbury Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 8,028 at the 2010 census, up from 7,093 at the 2000 census. It is adjacent to, and was once joined with, Thornbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. It contains part of the census designated place of Cheyney University.

Dr John Fewster (1738–1824) was a surgeon and apothecary in Thornbury, Gloucestershire. Fewster, a friend and professional colleague of Edward Jenner, played an important role in the discovery of the smallpox vaccine. In 1768 Fewster realized that prior infection with cowpox rendered a person immune to smallpox.

Medical Society of London

The Medical Society of London is one of the oldest surviving medical societies in the United Kingdom.

Thornbury was once the terminus of a Midland Railway (later LMS) branch line from Yate on the Bristol to Gloucester main line, with intermediate stations at Iron Acton and Tytherington. It lost its passenger services in June 1944 but continued as a goods route, also serving quarries at Tytherington. The site of Thornbury railway station and the line have been redeveloped into a supermarket, a housing estate, a bypass road and a long footpath. Further relics of the line can be seen at Tytherington Quarry to the east of the town. There are plans to reopen the line to Yate via Tytherington and Iron Acton and possibly restore services to Gloucester and Bristol.

Midland Railway British pre-grouping railway company (1844–1922)

The Midland Railway (MR) was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1844 to 1922, when it became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. It had a large network of lines managed from its headquarters in Derby. It became the third-largest railway undertaking in the British Isles.

London, Midland and Scottish Railway British “Big 4” railway company, active 1923–1947

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) was a British railway company. It was formed on 1 January 1923 under the Railways Act of 1921, which required the grouping of over 120 separate railways into four. The companies merged into the LMS included the London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, several Scottish railway companies, and numerous other, smaller ventures.

Yate town in Gloucestershire, England

Yate is a commuter town and civil parish in South Gloucestershire, England, at the southwest extremity of the Cotswold Hills, 12 miles (19.3 km) northeast of Bristol city centre and 98 miles (160 km) due west of London. Yate developed from a village into a sizable town from the 1960s onwards partly as an over-spill or commuter town for the city of Bristol. Although not a new town in the official sense, Yate took on many of the characteristics of one.

Thornbury had a market held in the high street and the market hall. It closed in the late 1990s, being partly replaced by a smaller market in a car park near the United Reformed Church. The older site has been redeveloped as a community centre called "Turnberrie's"; the older community centre, at the Chantry in Castle Street remains in active use. The old market hall is now a restaurant.

Thornbury's coat of arms combines the arms of four families important to its history: Attwells, Howard, Clare and Stafford. John Attwells bequeathed £499.99for the establishment of a free school that merged with the grammar school in 1879. The Attwells arms was later adopted as the badge for the grammar school. The other three families held the manor at Thornbury over several centuries, with the Latin motto Decus Sabrinae Vallis (Jewel of the Severn Vale). [8]

Politics

Thornbury has been successively part of the following parliamentary constituencies: Thornbury (1885–1950); Stroud and Thornbury (1950–1955); Gloucestershire South (1955–1983); Northavon (1983–2010); and Thornbury and Yate (2010–present). The current member of Parliament is Luke Hall of the Conservative Party.

Amenities

Thornbury High Street. On the left is the old market hall (now commercial premises), the White Lion pub and a Tudor style house. Thornbury.high.street.arp.750pix.jpg
Thornbury High Street. On the left is the old market hall (now commercial premises), the White Lion pub and a Tudor style house.

Thornbury has a high street, a shopping centre (St Mary's Centre), two supermarkets and many smaller shops. The town has seven places of worship: St Mary's Church, Christ the King [9] Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, St Paul's Church, and the Hackett and Thornbury Baptist churches. On the outskirts at Lower Morton stands an independent evangelical church, Morton Baptist Church. [10]

The many pubs in the town include the White Lion in the high street, which won the Thornbury in Bloom award in 2003 and the Britain in Bloom award for Best Pub Display in 1999. Restaurants include one at Thornbury Castle, also Ronnie's of Thornbury.

The shop front of the Wildings (formerly Worthington's) clothing shop was used in the Two Ronnies serial sketch, "The Worm That Turned". The nearby nuclear power station at Oldbury-on-Severn, Tytherington quarry and Stokefield Close were all used as locations for the 1976 four-part Doctor Who serial The Hand of Fear . The Castle School, Thornbury was used for an episode of Casualty broadcast on 2 May 2009.[ citation needed ]

Thornbury has its own radio station, which returned in July 2017 after a five-year break. [11]

Musical and drama groups

There are a number of musical and drama groups performing in Thornbury. The largest venues are the Armstrong Hall near the town centre, seating 350, and the adjacent Cossham Hall, seating 140. Performances also take place in church halls and occasionally in the leisure centre. Some local amateur groups are:

Employment

One of the biggest firms on the industrial estate in the south of the town is Essilor, who manufactures spectacle lenses. The construction of the Midland Way has boosted industry by allowing traffic to avoid the steep and narrow B4061 road.

Major roads and streets

Tourist sights

The west front of Thornbury Castle Thornbury.castle.west.front.arp.750pix.jpg
The west front of Thornbury Castle

A tourist information centre operates from the Town Hall in the High Street, weekdays 9am to 5pm.

Thornbury castle

One of town's notable features is its castle, a Tudor structure begun in 1511 as a home for Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. The two intricate redbrick chimneys, built in 1514, resemble those found at Hampton Court Palace. Cardinal Wolsey had the Duke beheaded for treason in 1521, after which the castle was confiscated by King Henry VIII, who himself stayed there for ten days in 1535 with Anne Boleyn.

Thornbury Castle fell into disrepair after the English Civil War, but was renovated in 1824 by the Howard Family. It now serves as a 27-room luxury hotel and restaurant.

Parish church

St Mary's Church Thornbury.saint.marys.church.arp.750pix.jpg
St Mary's Church

Construction of the Anglican Church of Saint Mary the Virgin started in 1340, with major additions in 1500, 1848 and 1988. It remains in use for regular worship, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals and remembrance services. It also hosts the local primary school (St Mary's CEVA Primary) for their seasonal celebrations, such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter.

The church is the resting place, according to his will, of the entrails of Jasper Tudor, uncle and mentor to the young Henry Tudor, later Henry VII of England. The rest of his remains were buried in Keynsham Abbey, Somerset, but the buildings did not survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Jasper's great-nephew Henry VIII of England, so that the church here has his only remains.

Town pump

Thornbury town pump (no longer functioning) Thornbury.pump.arp.750pix.jpg
Thornbury town pump (no longer functioning)

The town pump on a small island at the bottom of the High Street shows a hand pointing "To Gloucester". The original pump was removed in 1924 as a road hazard by the council. The new one built in 1984 was temporarily painted gold to celebrate the Golden Jubilee in 2002. It is usually adorned with flowers and birthday greetings.

Walks and scenery

A footpath called 'Streamside Walk' starts at Gillingstool Primary School, passes over several roads and bridges, continues past Thornbury Hospital and Manorbrook Primary School, and on to the north of Thornbury, where the stream leaves the town. Another stream runs through the north east of Thornbury and merges at an old mill.

Although the station building has been demolished, the old railway line serves as a footpath. It was laid out in the 1990s to support new housing and industrial developments, previously having been grassed over and neglected. Starting from the industrial estates it follows the route of the streets of Streamleaze and Avon Way, ending near a roundabout at the top of Avon Way.

Created by the Thornbury and District Heritage Trust as a Millennium project, the 'heritage trail' encompasses the town's historic buildings. There are forty way-markers indicating the route, which starts outside the town hall.

Sports and leisure

Mundy Playing Fields were donated to Thornbury by Mrs Violet Mundy in 1937. They feature a children's play area and sports ground. Nearby are Thornbury Golf Club, Thornbury Leisure Centre, Thornbury Lawn Tennis Club and a skate park. In south Thornbury there is a small children's play area. There are green spaces around the town. A Thornbury community garden was set up near Gillingstool School, but has closed due to housing development. A replacement community garden will be installed next to the new Community Centre.

Thornbury RFC play in the South West 1 League. Despite being a Thornbury club, their ground is located in Rockhampton, on the outskirts of the town.

Thornbury Town FC is Thornbury's main football club, providing football for children from six years old up to open age, with its First Team and Reserves. The exact formation date is uncertain, but football was being played in the town in 1896 and that there was a Thornbury Town Club in 1898. The youth section was formed in 1990 as a separate club (Thornbury Falcons). In 2010 the two clubs merged as a new Thornbury Town FC. The First Team play in the Gloucestershire County League, which is tier 11 in the English football league. They won their first league title in the 2009–10 season and a second in 2017–18. The First Team play at the Mundy Playing Fields, with their youth teams playing in various locations around Thornbury. In 2016, an area of land adjacent to the Mundy Playing Fields, known as Poulterbrook, was converted into two purpose-built youth football pitches, as well as allotments for the local community.

Real Thornbury FC plays in the Bristol Premier Combination Premier One, which is tier 13 in the English football league. It was established in 2007 and became an FA-affiliated team in 2009 in the Bristol and District League. It has gained promotion each season, with back-to-back league titles from 2010–11 to 2013–14. In the 2013–14 Bristol and District Division 2 season the team won all 26 games, with a goal difference of plus 143, and was granted promotion to the Bristol and District Senior Division, skipping Division 1. It went on to beat Hambrook on the final day of the 2014–15 season to secure promotion to the Bristol Premier Combination League as runners up. Real Thornbury FC play at Oaklands Park in Almondsbury, which has been home to several clubs, including Winterbourne United and Almondsbury Town both of which have since dissolved.

Other attractions

These include Filnore Woods, Armstrong and Cossham Halls and Thornbury Museum. A heritage trail offers information signs about places of interest, starting from the town hall (once the police station and magistrates' court) and now home to the Town Council. The MacLaine Memorial Fountain is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Hector MacLaine, a local man who helped protect the British in India from the Russians and Afghans in 1880. Thornbury has an antiquarian mathematics bookshop.

Twinned

Thornbury is twinned with Bockenem in Germany. [16]

Schools

The Castle School is Thornbury's secondary school. The former Thornbury Grammar School buildings on Gloucester Road are now its sixth form centre. (Thornbury Grammar School was relocated to new buildings in neighbouring Alveston in 1972 when it received its first comprehensive school intake and was renamed Marlwood School.) [17]

Gillingstool Primary School dates back to 1862, and is known for its school bell. The school was rebuilt in a project that began in spring 2009. The Victorian era buildings are being retained and will continue in their present use as a Sure Start Children's Centre. [18]

Other schools include St Mary's Church of England Primary School (founded in 1839), which recently celebrated its 175th anniversary with a series of spectacular events, including a Victorian Week, where the children dressed up in period dress and planted daffodils to commemorate the event. Crossways Infant and Junior schools, Christ the King Roman Catholic Primary School, Manorbrook Primary School, New Siblands Special School and the Sheiling School (an independent special school part of the Camphill Movement). John Attwells's Free School existed in the 19th century. A plaque about it can be seen on a shop in St Mary's Shopping Centre.

Notable people

Related Research Articles

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Almondsbury village in South Gloucestershire, England, UK

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Falfield a village located in South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

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Rockhampton, Gloucestershire human settlement in United Kingdom

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The Castle School Academy in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England

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History of Gloucestershire

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Thornbury Town F.C.

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References

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  2. It was acquired by Bristol Museum for £40,000. treasurehunting.tv
  3. Thornbury Location 7 history
  4. Thornbury & District Museum: The Historic Borough and Town of Thornbury Archived 28 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Vision of Britain website.
  6. Smith, George, History of Delaware County, PA, Delaware County Institute of Science, 1862.
  7. Nicolau Barquet and Pere Domingo. "Smallpox: The Triumph over the Most Terrible of the Ministers of Death". Annals of Internal Medicine. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  8. i16.tinypic.com
  9. CTK-thornbury.org.uk
  10. www.mortonbaptist.org.
  11. GLOSS FM.
  12. NYTC Web Page
  13. Thornbury Area Music Trust Web Page
  14. South Cotswold Youth Orchestra Page
  15. Thechantry.org.uk
  16. "Twin town gets birthday gifts". Gazetteseries.co.uk. 9 July 2004.
  17. "SCHOOL HISTORY". thornburygrammar.co.uk. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  18. Gillingstool Primary School Newsletter Extra [ permanent dead link ] 6 June 2008.