Place:Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, England


Alt namesWintrebornesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 115
Coordinates51.517°N 2.5°W
Located inGloucestershire, England
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Winterbourne is a large village and civil parish in South Gloucestershire, England. The village had a population of 8,623 in the 2001 census. The Civil Parish of Winterbourne is centred on the village but also encompasses the neighbouring communities of Winterbourne Down, Hambrook and Frenchay. To the north-east is the village of Frampton Cotterell and to the west lies the new town of Bradley Stoke.

Much of Winterbourne is located on a hill. The village is partially surrounded by woodlands and fields, most with public access, but urban development has greatly reduced these areas. The River Frome snakes its way through a scenic valley from Frampton Cotterell (north-east of Winterbourne) and on towards Frenchay. The Bradley Brook flows from Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford to the west and joins the Frome near Winterbourne. Since the 1960s the M4 motorway has bypassed the village to the south and west.

Winterbourne Viaduct carries the railway over the River Frome. Beneath the viaduct is the abandoned Huckford Quarry, a public nature reserve popular with dog walkers. Winterbourne has a large duck pond which overlooks part of the Frome Valley and is a popular spot for fishing and feeding the ducks and swans.

On Winterbourne's south-eastern slope is the village of Winterbourne Down, host of the Parish's annual May Day carnival. Parts of the village are subject to minor flooding from the River Frome during the winter months.

The Parish Church is St Michael's, a building believed to date from the 12th century and which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1998. Set away from the bustle of modern Winterbourne, St Michael's now sits amidst green fields and attractive cottages with its distinctive spire visible for miles around. It is believed that the original village of Winterbourne was located here. At the altar a stone depiction of the Last Supper, based on the painting by Leonardo da Vinci, greets the congregation. Winterbourne Court Farm Barn is close to St Michael's Church. This is a grade II* listed 14th century tithe barn – an outstanding example of its type.

Winterbourne has a number of pubs including The George and Dragon (the upstairs of which served as the original location of St Michael's Primary School), The Swan and The Mason's Arms. A number of the village's pubs have become restaurants; two of which now serve Indian cuisine.

Due to Winterbourne's size, people are divided over whether it should be classed as a village or town. The village has three social centres: St Michael's Rooms, Fromeside Community Centre and Greenfield, hosts to clubs, functions and other public events.

Winterbourne has branches of the Co-op and Tesco Express, a chemist, optician, a handful of dental practices and a library. NatWest has a branch in the village. The typical aspects of an English village remain, however; a bakery, butchers' and Post Office. Horses and cows can be found grazing in the fields surrounding the village, notably the Cloisters area, which offers a picturesque view of the Frome Valley and viaduct.

In late 2004, the local secondary school (then The Ridings High School, now Winterbourne International Academy) opened a large all-weather pitch in the heart of Winterbourne as part of its 'Sports Village' scheme. The school also owns the local swimming pool and gym.

As well as being the centre of an extensive Civil Parish, Winterbourne contains the hamlet of Watley's End, nestled on the border between Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell. Nowadays, it is regarded as an area of Winterbourne, but a few decades ago (and still by a number of older residents) it was considered to be a separate village. People with a sense of identity in Watley's End refer to the busy, uphill part of the village as 'Winterbourne Hill'. Salem, the local Methodist church, is in Watley's End.

Children in the village can join Fromeside Youth Club, and the gymnastics club, Fromeside Gym Club, both situated on Watleys End Road.

Winterbourne was recorded in the Domesday book (1086) as Wintreborne, meaning 'Winter Stream'. The village is believed to have derived its name from the nearby Bradley Brook as much of medieval Winterbourne is believed to have originally built up around St Michael's Church, which is situated near the river.

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