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|Population||12,342 (2001 UK census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
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. Nearby villages include Morton and Thornbury Park. The civil parish includes the hamlet of Milbury Heath.
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.The earliest documentary evidence of a village at "Thornbyrig" dates from the end of the 9th century. Domesday Book noted a manor of "Turneberie" belonging to William the Conqueror's consort, Matilda of Flanders, with 104 residents.
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.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.
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.
Thornbury Township, Pennsylvania, founded in 1687, was named after Thornbury, Gloucestershire, by George Pearce, whose wife Ann came from there.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 influenced his friend and colleague Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination.
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 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.
Thornbury had a market held in the high street and the market hall. It closed in the late 1990s and 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: the Attwells – Howard, Clare and Stafford. John Attwells bequeathed £499.99 for the establishment of a free school that merged with the grammar school in 1879. Their arms were 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).
Thornbury is situated in the Severn Valley in South Gloucestershire.
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.
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 KingCatholic 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.
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.
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:
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.
A tourist information centre operates on weekdays from the Town Hall in the High Street.
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.
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, which did not survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Jasper's great-nephew Henry VIII of England.
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.
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 emerges 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.
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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.
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.
Thornbury is twinned with Bockenem in Germany.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Gloucester is a cathedral city and district in Gloucestershire, of which it is the county town, in the South West of England. Gloucester lies on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the west, 19 miles (31 km) east of Monmouth, and 17 miles (27 km) east of the border with Wales. Including suburban areas, Gloucester has a population of around 150,000. It is a port, linked via the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal to the Severn Estuary.
South Gloucestershire is a 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.
Chepstow is a town and community in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the tidal River Wye, about 2 miles (3.2 km) above its confluence with the River Severn, and adjoining the western end of the Severn Bridge. It is 16 miles (26 km) east of Newport, 28 miles (45 km) east-northeast of Cardiff, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Bristol and 110 miles (180 km) west of London.
Berkeley is a small town and parish in Gloucestershire, England. It lies in the Vale of Berkeley between the east bank of the River Severn and the M5 motorway, within the Stroud administrative district. The town is noted for Berkeley Castle, where the imprisoned Edward II was murdered, as well as the birthplace of the physician Edward Jenner, pioneer of the smallpox vaccine, the world's first vaccine.
Caldicot is a town and community in Monmouthshire, southeast Wales, located between Chepstow and Newport on the Gloucester–Newport line served primarily by Caldicot station, whilst by road it is just off the busy M4 / M48 motorway corridor. The site adjoins the Caldicot Levels, on the north side of the Severn Estuary. Caldicot has easy access on the railway west to Newport, Cardiff Central and east to Chepstow, Lydney, and Gloucester, as well as one stop west to Severn Tunnel Junction and then east via the Severn Tunnel to Filton Abbeywood and Bristol Temple Meads and further afield. Generally good road access to Cardiff and across the Second Severn Crossing, old Severn Bridge to Bristol. The population of the town is around 11,000. It has a large school, Caldicot School, and is known for its medieval castle.
Almondsbury is a large village near junction 16 of the M5 motorway, in South Gloucestershire, England, and a civil parish which also includes the villages of Hortham, Gaunt's Earthcott, Over, Easter Compton, Compton Greenfield, Hallen and Berwick.
Tetbury is a small town and civil parish inside the Cotswold district in England. It lies on the site of an ancient hill fort, on which an Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded, probably by Ine of Wessex, in 681. The population of the parish was 5,250 in the 2001 census, increasing to 5,472 at the 2011 census.
Falfield is a village, located near the northern border of the South Gloucestershire district of Gloucestershire, England on the southern edge of the Berkeley Vale, to the east of the River Severn and just falling into the boundary of the Cotswolds. It is the last parish on the northern boundary of South Gloucestershire. The area has a Wotton-under-Edge (GL12) post code and so is often incorrectly listed as being in the Stroud district of Gloucestershire. Falfield is one of the longest villages in England, alongside local village Cromhall.
Rockhampton is a village and civil parish in the English county of Gloucestershire, situated in the unitary district of South Gloucestershire. It is located 2.8 miles (4.5 km) northeast of Thornbury, 18.6 miles (30 km) north of Bristol and is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) east of the River Severn. It had a population of 166 people according to the 2011 census.
Churchdown is a village in Gloucestershire, England, situated between Gloucester and Cheltenham in the south of the Tewkesbury Borough.
The Castle School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, England, which serves the town and the surrounding villages. Pupils from Bristol also attend the school. There are around 1,750 pupils, including 360 in the sixth form.
Henbury is a suburb of Bristol, England, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) north west of the city centre. It was formerly a village in Gloucestershire and is now bordered by Westbury-on-Trym to the south; Brentry to the east and the Blaise Castle Estate, Blaise Hamlet and Lawrence Weston to the west. To the north lie the South Gloucestershire village of Hallen and the entertainment/retail park Cribbs Causeway.
Tytherington is a village in South Gloucestershire, England. The quarry to the west belongs to Hanson plc. The parish population taken at the 2011 census was 666.
The region now known as Gloucestershire was originally inhabited by Brythonic peoples in the Iron Age and Roman periods. After the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century, the Brythons re-established control but the territorial divisions for the post-Roman period are uncertain. The city of Caerloyw was one centre and Cirencester may have continued as a tribal centre as well. The only reliably attested kingdom is the minor south-east Wales kingdom of Ergyng, which may have included a portion of the area. In the final quarter of the 6th century, the Saxons of Wessex began to establish control over the area.
Hill is a village and civil parish in South Gloucestershire, England, midway between the towns of Thornbury in South Gloucestershire and Berkeley in Gloucestershire. The parish stretches from the banks of the River Severn to an outcrop of the Cotswold escarpment. At the 2001 census, it had a population of 114. Hill is approximately 5 miles from the M5 motorway which links to Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bristol.
Quedgeley is a suburban town or modern village suburb 3.5 miles (5.6 km) southwest of the city of Gloucester, England. A thin strip of land between the Severn and the Gloucester Ship Canal occupies the west, and the south-eastern part of the town is Kingsway Village, directly to the north of which is Tuffley.
Marlwood School is a state-funded secondary school currently part of the CSET academy chain. Located in Alveston, South Gloucestershire, just north of Bristol, England, it is situated on the B3561 on the outskirts of the south-west of the village.
Elmbridge is a suburb of Gloucester centred 2 miles (3.2 km) from the city centre.
Thornbury Town Football Club is a football club located in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, England. They are currently members of the Hellenic League Division One West and play at the Mundy Playing Fields.
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