- Churchdown, Gloucestershire
Infobox UK place
region= South West England
Churchdown is a
villagein Gloucestershire, England, situated between Gloucesterand Cheltenham.
The Village is unusual in having two centres. The old centre is near
St Andrew's Church; the new centre is near St John's Church. Churchdown is a relatively large village, with a population of 11,261 (2001). ["UK Census 2001 Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts" datasets for Churchdown CP (Parish) - UK Office for National Statistics]
Churchdown is located in a semi-rural environment; so close to the city of
Gloucesteras to be treated by many as a suburb, but surrounded on three sides by open countryside. The local landmark is Churchdown Hill (also known as Chosen Hill), which rises to 154m above sea leveland has views over the Vale of Severn and to the Cotswolds, Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Malverns and Wales. The hill is home to the historic sites of Mussell Well and the "Roman" Steps, and a radio transmitter broadcasting BBC Radio Gloucestershireand Six reservoirsoperated by Severn Trent Water.
RAF Innsworthto the North and the district of Innsworthto the North West.
Churchdown is within the parliamentary
constituencyof Tewkesbury. At a local government level, Churchdown is represented as two wards - Churchdown Brookfield (the southern half of Churchdown also known locally as "Churchdown Village") and Churchdown St John's (the northern half near St John's church). For European Parliamentpurposes, it lies within the South West Region.
Transport and travel
Churchdown has long benefited from a convenient locationalong routes between larger settlements. The
Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroadbrought prosperity to the northern (St John's) end of the village. This was succeeded bya road between Cheltenham and Gloucester along a similar route(called Cheltenham Road East as it traverses Churchdown), which was once part of the main trunk road from Londonto Fishguard. Thisroad now provides access to Cheltenham and Gloucester, and alsoto the M5 via the "Golden Valley Bypass" section of the A40.
From 1874 until 1964 Churchdown was served by a
railway station on the main line between
Birminghamand Bristol. Little remains of the station itself next to whatis now Station Close, but through traffic continues.
Churchdown is adjacent to
Gloucestershire Airport(still known locally as "Staverton") and light aircraftare a regular feature in the skies above the village.
Residents enjoy the Churchdown Magazine, which is produced bimonthly and is delivered free of charge to 5100 households. ["The Churchdown Magazine", Issue 127 JAN/FEB 06] It includes articles of local interest, advertisements and details of local events, and has been in print since 1974.
:"See also List of schools in Gloucestershire" Churchdown has six schools, including two
secondary schools - Churchdown School and Chosen Hill School. There are also two primary schoolscalled Churchdown Parton Manor School and St. Mary's Catholic School along with Churchdown Village Infant and Junior Schools. [ [http://www.libraries.gloucestershire.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3596 Gloucestershire County Council - Community information for Churchdown] including list of schools]
Sport and leisure
Churchdown has an eighteen hole golf course and driving range on its outskirts at Brickhampton, and an inline and skateboard facility at Churchdown Park. Churchdown also boasts numerous football pitches and rugby pitches, as well as sports halls at both Churchdown and Chosen hill schools. [ [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5275 Geograph] - picture and description of Skate Facility]
Churchdown has three
Church of EnglandChurches: St John's, St Andrew's and St Bartholomew's. There are also the Evangelical Golden Valley Church which meets at Parton Manor School, Catholic Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Cheltenham Road East and Churchdown MethodistChurch on Chapel Hay Lane. St Bartholemew's is on the top of Churchdown Hill, built upon the site of a pre-Christian, Iron Age settlement.
In addition to its churches Churchdown has several interestingold structures including the Old School House on The Green,where the first village school was held, Ye Old House on SandfieldRoad (thought to have been built in the 16th Century,Dunstan Cottage in Chapel Hay Lane and The Cottage on Oldbury Orchard.
The village has two main rows of shops and two pubs - the Hare and Hounds near St John's, and the Bat and Ball near St Andrew's. There is also a Working Men's Club (Churchdown Social Club) located at the Community Centre where games of skittles sometimes take place.
Chosen Hill was made famous by composer
Herbert Howells. His Piano Quartet is dedicated "to the hill at Chosen and Ivor Gurneywho knows it".
In common with other large villages, some claim Churchdown is the
Largest village in England.
*"Churchdown Gloucester - Official Guide" 1 363642002X5 hardback, also paperback, 1975, "by order of the Parish Council", Forward Publicity Ltd, no author marked, copy held at Churchdown library
*"The Story of Churchdown", Gwen Waters, ISBN 0-904586-04-9, Gloucester Reprints, 1999
* [http://www.softdata.co.uk/gloucester/churchdo.htm Churchdown Views, Walks, Pictures and Videos]
* [http://www.wt-woods.org.uk/churchdownhill Woodland Trust - Churchdown Hill, Gloucestershire]
* [http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1158312533&men=gpro&lng=en&dat=32&srt=npan&col=ahdq&geo=510785783 World Gazetteer on Innsworth and Churchdown]
* [http://www.churchdown-pc.gov.uk/ Churchdown Parish Council]
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