Mushroom Internet design and host websites from the Stroud district and surrounding areas. Gloucestershire is such a beautiful part of the UK, we thought it only fair we provide a little bit of history about the area.
Stroud is known for its involvement in the Industrial Revolution. It was a cloth town; woollen mills were powered by the small rivers which surge through the five valleys, and supplied by Cotswold sheep which grazed on the hills above. Particularly noteworthy was the production of military uniforms in the colour Stroudwater Scarlet. The area was made home by a sizable Huguenot community in the 17th century, fleeing persecution in Catholic France, followed by a significant Jewish presence in the 19th century, linked to the tailoring and cloth industries. Stroud was an industrial and trading location in the nineteenth 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. It is now planned to restore these canals as a leisure facility by a partnership of Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust with a multi-million pound Lottery grant. Stroud railway station (on the Gloucester Swindon the Golden Valley Line) was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
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 by 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 Strouds foundation.
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, Strouds MP was Lord John Russell of the Whig party who was later to become Prime Minister. Russell was an important politician, responsible for passing acts of parliament such as the Public Health Act of 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 resulted in the electorate being increased by 1.5 million voters. Lord Russell is remembered in the town by two street names, John Street and Russell Street, as well as in the name of the Lord John public house.
As of the 2001 UK census, Stroud urban area (consisting of the civil parishes of Brimscombe, Nailsworth, Stonehouse and Stroud) had a total population of 47,348. For every 100 females, there were 96.4 males. Ethnically, the population is predominantly white (98.2%). 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. The average household size was 2.4. Of those aged 16 74, 24.5% had no academic qualifications, lower than the national average of 28.9%. Of those aged 16 74, 2.6% were unemployed and 28.4% were economically inactive. Information found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroud More information can also be found at Stroud Councils website at http://www.stroud.gov.uk/docs/community/local_history.asp
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