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Amenities and featuresEdit

 
Minchinhampton Market House and War Memorial

The town's shops clustered in and around the High Street include a general store, two hairdressers, a chain store, a ladies' boutique, a butcher's shop, a local organic dairy outlet, two restaurants, a cafe, a post office, an estate agency, and several charity shops.

The Crown Inn closed unexpectedly in March 2014, having hosted clubs and societies, including a folk club and Probus over the years. Its location in Market Square made it a focal point for the Minchinhampton Country Fayre, held every other year.[1]

The main square has a War Memorial, and a 17th-century Market House, given to the town in 1919 by the Lord of the Manor, Lt Col. H. G. Ricardo, and restored in 1944. A market is held every Thursday.[2] There is a twice-yearly craft fair at Gatcombe, and a summer visit by Gifford's Circus every year.[3]

The town also has doctors' and dentists' surgeries, a public library, a school and a youth club.

Sports facilitiesEdit

Horse trialsEdit

Minchinhampton is close to a residence of the Princess Royal, Gatcombe Park, which hosts the Gatcombe Horse Trials in late summer each year.

RugbyEdit

 
The Minchinhampton war memorial

The rugby club is very active, with three adult teams, minis and juniors from under 6 to under 16, and a large touch-rugby section. Minchinhampton RFC plays in the league Gloucester 2 north.[4]

In 2014, the Gatcombe Park resident Mike Tindall, a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner and ex-England and Gloucester RFC rugby international married to Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter and daughter of the Princess Royal, started to play rugby for Minchinhampton RFC.[5]

GolfEdit

Minchinhampton Golf Club has three courses.[6] The Cherington and Avening courses are located near villages of the same names, south-east of Minchinhampton. The Old Course is on Minchinhampton Common.

GovernanceEdit

The Minchinhampton electoral ward stretches eastwards to Aston Down. It had a population of 4,357 according to the 2011 census.[7] The town is twinned with Nkokoto, Tanzania.[8]

ChurchesEdit

 
The parish church, Minchinhampton, with its unusual "coronet" tower

There are two churches in Minchinhampton – Holy Trinity (Anglican) and Minchinhampton Baptist Church.

The spire of the parish church of the Holy Trinity was pulled down for safety reasons in 1563, after the nave arches supporting it were found to be failing. The stub was then surmounted by a "coronet" structure.[9] James Bradley, the Astronomer Royal, was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity in 1762.

Minchinhampton Baptist Church, which dates from 1834, is located in Tetbury Street.[10] The original Baptist chapel dates from 1765 and is now a private house in Chapel Lane.[11]

The CommonEdit

Nearby is Minchinhampton Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[12] It offers an area of 580 acres (230 ha) for the recreation of walkers and golfers owned by the National Trust since 1913 but only managed by the Trust since 2000. The Common is also used as grazing land for the cows of local farmers in the summer. On the Common are long parallel ditches and mounds known as The Bulwarks which formed part of a large Iron Age fort.[13] There are outstanding views from the Common, west over the Severn estuary into Wales, and east to the Golden Valley and further into the Cotswolds.

Aston DownEdit

Minchinhampton is close to the former Royal Air Force airfield, Aston Down, formerly a large employer in the area, now closed and used only for gliding. In 2005, following a Freedom of Information request, the local newspaper revealed that Aston Down is contaminated with arsenic, hydrocarbons and radium.[14] Since the site is located above a vulnerable aquifer, local residents have formed an Aston Down Action Group, in an effort to persuade local and central government agencies to implement more stringent safety regulations.

Notable residentsEdit

In birth order:

  • James Bradley (1693–1762), astronomer and university professor, was buried here.
  • Mary Deverell (1731–1805), religious writer and poet, was born and buried in Minchinhampton.
  • Flora Annie Steel (1847–1929), writer, died in Minchinhampton.
  • Jenny Joseph (1932–2018), poet, lived in the town.[15]
  • Keith Allen (born 1953) lives in the parish.[16]
  • Robert Addie (1960–2003), actor – his ashes are interred in Holy Trinity Church graveyard in Minchinhampton.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stroud News, Views and Information - Gloucestershire Live". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2014-03-12.
  2. ^ "Minchinhampton Country Market". Minchinhamptoncountrymarket.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  3. ^ "Gifford's Circus - Dates". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  4. ^ "Minchinhampton RFC". Pitchero.com.
  5. ^ "Former England and Gloucester centre Mike Tindall plays for his local club Minchinhampton". BBC Sport. 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Home - Minchinhampton Golf Club". Minchinhamptongolfclub.co.uk. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Ward population 2011". Ukcensusdata.com. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Stroud district twinning links". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  9. ^ "Welcome to Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton". Minchchurch.org.uk.
  10. ^ "Minchinhampton Baptist Church". Minchbc.org.uk.
  11. ^ "Minchinhampton Baptist Church: Church buildings". Minchbc.org.uk. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "The Bulwarks - East 1 and 2 - Minchinhampton". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  14. ^ Toxic threat to water supply, Stroud News and Journal. 17 August 2005
  15. ^ "Jenny Joseph 'When I'm Old I Shall Wear Purple...'". Stroudcommunity.tv. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Keith Allen loves life in Gloucestershire". Archive.is. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.

External linksEdit