Stroud, a town, the head of a poor-law union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and a parish in Gloucestershire. The town stands on the side of a steep hill, on the Thames and Severn Canal, adjacent to the rivulets Frome and Slade, 10 miles S of Gloucester, 12 NW of Cirencester, and 99 by road and 102½ by railway from London. It has a head post office and a station on the Swindon and Gloucester branch of the G.W.R., and another station on the Nailsworth, Stroud, and Stonehouse branch of the M.R. Stroud is a long straggling town, the centre of the clothing district of the West of England. It is governed by an urban district council, and is well drained and well supplied with water. The Town-hall, formerly the market-house, was erected in the 15th century, and was restored in 1865. The meetings of the district council, petty sessions, and county courts are held here. The Subscription Rooms, built in 1836, include a large assembly room for lectures, &c., and the premises of the Stroud Club. The Free Library, opened in 1888, is situated in a handsome building in Lansdown. The Hospital was erected in 1875 to replace the former hospital and infirmary, established in 1790. Lansdown Hall and Badbrook Hall contain halls for lectures, concerts, &c. The parish church of St Lawrence was rebuilt in 1867, with the exception of the tower and spire, and is a large handsome edifice in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, porch, and tower. It contains a fine pulpit, a reredos designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, and several stained windows. Holy Trinity Church, erected in 1838, is a large edifice in the Early English style, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, and two small turrets at the W end. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1859, and is connected with a Dominican convent. There are Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels, a meeting-house for the Brethren, a Jewish synagogue, and a cemetery. A daily evening newspaper and two weekly newspapers are published. There are three banks. A weekly market is held on Friday, and fairs on 10 May and 21 Aug. There are two fire-engine stations, one belonging to the Stroud Local Board, the other being a volunteer brigade. An extensive cloth manufacture of long standing and much celebrity is carried on, and there are, in the town or in its neighbourhood, dye-houses, silk-mills, iron-foundries, pin mills, breweries, flour-mills, sawmills, logwood-crushing mills, chemical works, and artificial manure manufactories. The Conservative Club was erected near the Western Railway station in 1895. A parliamentary borough of Stroud was constituted by the Reform Act of 1832, which included Stroud parish and twelve other parishes, and returned two members to Parliament, but by the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 the representation was merged in that of the county.
The parish includes the tithings of Lower Lyppiatt, Upper Lyppiatt, Pakenhill, and Steanbridge. Four new parishes were constituted in 1895-viz., The Uplands, Cainscross, Whiteshill, and the Thrupp. Acreage, 3869; population, 11,519. The parish includes the ecclesiastical parishes of St Lawrence (population 4875), Holy Trinity (constituted 1879, population 4692), and Whiteshill (constituted 1843, population 1695). The livings of St Lawrence and Holy Trinity are vicarages in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, both in the gift of the Bishop; net value of St Lawrence, £265 with residence; of Holy Trinity, £394 with residence. Dr. Joseph White, professor of Arabic at Oxford, who died in 1814, and John Canton, F.R.S., who died in 1772, were natives. Lyppiatt Park, the seat of the Dorrington family, is a 16th-century mansion, said to be the place where the Gunpowder Plot was concocted. Stratford Park, The Grove, and Brown's Hill Court are chief residences.
Stroud or Mid Parliamentary Division of Gloucester was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 56,488. The division includes the following:-Stroud -Bisley, Cranham, Haywardsfield, Miserdine, Painswick, Pitchcombe, Stroud; Horsley-Avening, Horsley, Minchinhampton, Rodborough, Woodchester; Dursley (except the parish of Slimbridge)-Cam, Coaley, Dursley, Nymphsfield, Owlpen, Stinchcomb, Uley; Wotton-under-Edge-Charfield, Cromhall, Kingswood, North Nibley, Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge; Whitminster (part of)-Randwick, Eastington, Stonehouse, Leonard Stanley, King Stanley, Frocester.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Stroud St. Lawrence|
|Poor Law union||Stroud|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The Cemetery, in Bisley road, on elevated and sloping ground near the union house, was formed in 1855, enlarged in 1870, and again enlarged in 1892; the whole now covers an area of 11 acres. There are two mortuary chapels.
The register of St. Lawrence dates from the year 1624.
The register of the Holy Trinity dates from the year 1879.
The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.
Church of England
St. Lawrence, High Street (parish church)
The parish church of St. Lawrence, rebuilt, with the exception of the tower and spire in 1868, at a cost of about £12,000, is an edifice of Bisley stone, with dressings and internal work of Bath and Painswick stone, in the Gothic style of the 14th century, from the designs of Messrs. Wilson and Wilcox, architects of Bath, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave of four bays, transepts, aisles, sacristy, south porch and a western tower with spire containing 10 bells, and a clock with chimes; the tower and spire were repaired in 1897 at an estimated cost of £400; all the fittings are of English oak: there are several stained windows given by the families in the neighbourhood, and one by the children of the parish: the pulpit and font are executed chiefly in alabaster and Painswick stone, with inlays of rich marbles; the principal carvings were executed by the late Joshua Wall, a local sculptor: the foundation stone was laid Nov. 7, 1866, and the church consecrated August 4, 1868, by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol: there are 1,000 sittings.
The Holy Trinity, Whitehall
The church of The Holy Trinity, at Whitehall, erected in 1838, is an edifice of stone in the Early English style, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave and two small turrets at the west end, one of which contains 1 bell; in 1883 the chancel was decorated and a new organ erected at, a cost of £500; during 1884 the nave was re-seated, decorated, partly re-floored and new windows put in at a cost of £1,800: there are 900 sittings.
Baptist Chapel, John Street
The Baptist chapel in John street, built in 1824, has 750 sittings.
Brethren meeting rooms, Acre Street
Congregational Chapel, Old Chapel Street
The Congregational chapel, in Old Chapel street, founded in 1711, has 650 sittings.
Congregational Chapel, Bedford Street
The Congregational chapel, in Bedford Street, founded in 1837, has 900 sittings.
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Parliament Street
Wesleyan Chapel, Castle Street
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Beeches Green
The Catholic church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, was built by the Dominicans, and opened by the late Cardinal Wiseman in 1859; it is an edifice in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, east and west aisles, chapel of St. Lawrence and a spacious sacristy: in 1887 representations of the 14 "Stations of the Cross," carved in stone with alabaster frames by Alfred Wall, of Cheltenham, were placed in the church, and four stained windows have been inserted: there are sittings for about 400 persons.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Stroud from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Stroud, or Stroudwater (St. Lawrence))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.
Online maps of Stroud are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:
- Gloucester Citizen
- Gloucester Journal
- Gloucestershire Chronicle
- Gloucestershire Echo
- Cheltenham Chronicle
- Cheltenham Looker-On
The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.