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Wootton under Edge, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Wotton-under-Edge or Wootton-under-Edge, a small market-town, the head of a petty sessional division, and a parish in Gloucestershire. The town stands under the Cotswolds, 1½ miles ENE of Charfield station on the M.R., 4 S of Dursley, and 106½ by road from London. It occupied anciently a site in the rear of the present town, was destroyed by fire in the time of King John, was rebuilt on its present site by the Berkeleys, and was granted a market and fairs and municipal privileges. The corporation was abolished in 1883. Wotton-under-Edge is a quiet little town consisting chiefly of one long street, and carried on at one time a considerable woollen manufacture, now nearly extinct. It has a head post office and two banks. The church is a handsome, spacious, Perpendicular edifice, with a massive embattled Decorated tower, and contains some ancient monuments and memorial windows. There are Baptist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The town-hall contains a free library and reading-room. The church institute contains a large lecture-hall and reading and recreation rooms. The grammar school was founded in 1382 by Katharine, Lady Berkeley, and was reconstituted by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. The school has an endowed income of about £600, and is situated in new buildings. There is also an endowed Blue-coat school, and five suites of almshouses. The market on Fridays has fallen into disuse, but there are fairs on the Tuesday preceding 25 March and on 25 Sept. The parish contains also the hamlets of Bradley, Coombe, Huntingford, Sinwell, Symondshall, and Wortley, and comprises 4950 acres; population of the civil parish, 3276; of the ecclesiastical, 3254. There is a parish council consisting of thirteen members. Traces exist of Roman and British camps. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; net value, £207 with residence. Patron, Christchurch, Oxford.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyGloucestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishWotton-Under-Edge St. Mary 
Poor Law unionDursley 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1571.

The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.


Church of England

St. Mary the Virgin (parish church)

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a spacious edifice of stone; the lower part of the tower is Decorated, but the two upper stages, and the greater part of the church is in the Perpendicular style: it consists of chancel, clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, south porch, above which is a priest's chamber, and massive western tower with panelled and embattled parapet and crocketed pinnacles, and containing a clock and 8 bells, recast in 1902, and carillon chimes: on the north side of the church is an ancient chapel of St. Katharine: the stained east window is a memorial to the Cooper family, and there are other memorial windows to Anthony Adey, Col. John Blagdon Hale, of Bradley Court, Major-General Ramsay, the Tait family, Jane Fisher and Alice Stuart Beal, a monumental slab to Richard-de-Wotton, rector, 1320, and a fine tomb of Purbeck marble, with two brasses to Thomas, 5th Baron Berkeley, d. 1417, and Margaret (lady de L'Isle), his wife, d. 1392. The organ, originally presented to the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, London, by George I. in 1726, was purchased by Dr. Tattersall in 1800, and re-erected here.


Baptist Chapel, Rope Walk

The Baptist chapel, Rope walk, built in 1808, has 500 sittings.


Congregational Meeting House, Old town

The Congregational chapel, Old town, founded in 1668, and restored in 1904, will seat 300 persons.

Congregational Tabernacle, Tabernacle Pitch

The Congregational chapel was founded in 1771, rebuilt in 1850, and has 750 sittings; attached are Sunday Schools, founded in 1783.

Union Chapel, Sinwell


Wesleyan Methodist Memorial Chapel, Bradley Street

The Wesleyan chapel, Bradley street, founded in 1717, was rebuilt in 1900, and has sittings for 450 persons.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Wootton under Edge from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.