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Old School House Churchdown UK.JPG
The Old School House, Churchdown
Grid reference: ST779869
Location: 51°52’48"N, 2°10’12"W
Population: 10,990  (2011)
Post town: Gloucester
Postcode: GL3
Dialling code: 01452
Local Government
Council: Tewkesbury

Churchdown is a village in Gloucestershire, situated between Gloucester and Cheltenham. It is named from the hill above the village, on which stands St Bartholomew's Church.

The village has two centres: the older (Brookfield or "village") centre is in Church Road near St Andrew's Church; and the more modern centre is in St John's Avenue near St John's Church.

This is a relatively large village, with a population of 10,990 at the 2011 census.

About the village

Churchdown is located in a semi-rural environment; so close to Gloucester and Cheltenham but surrounded on three sides by open countryside. Churchdown borders Imjin Barracks and the district of Innsworth to the North West.

Churchdown Hill

A local landmark is Churchdown Hill, local known as 'Chosen Hill', which rises to 510 feet above sea level and gives views across the Severn Vale and to the Cotswolds, Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Malvern Hills, and into Worcestershire.

The hill has some historic sites: Mussell Well, the "Roman" Steps,[1] St Bartholomew's Church, also an analogue and now a DAB radio transmitter broadcasting BBC Radio Gloucestershire[2] and two reservoirs operated by Severn Trent Water.

Churchdown Hill is supported by a local group called The Friends of Churchdown Hill. The Friends were active in the establishment of the Woodland Trust's Churchdown Hill Nature Reserves and have published a walking guide and map to the hill.[3]

Nature reserves

Parts of Churchdown Hill are managed by the Woodland Trust[4][5] and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and are open freely to the public.

Main article: Chosen Hill, Gloucestershire


St Bartholemew's Church, on top of Churchdown Hill
St Andrew's Church
  • Church of England
    • St John's
    • St Andrew's
    • St Bartholomew's
  • Methodist: Churchdown Methodist Church
  • Roman Catholic: Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

St Bartholomew's stands on the top of Churchdown Hill, built upon the site of a pre-Christian, Iron Age settlement.

Transport and travel

Churchdown has long benefited from a convenient location along routes between larger settlements. The Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad[6] brought prosperity to the northern (St John's) end of the village. This was succeeded by a 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 London to Fishguard. This road now provides access to Cheltenham and Gloucester, and also to the M5 by way of the Golden Valley Bypass section of the A40. There are some segregated bicycle paths but there are sections which do not connect with each other and have poor design.


From 1874 until 1964 Churchdown was served by a Churchdown railway station on the main line between Birmingham and Bristol. There are some remains of the station itself next to what is now Station Close, but only through rail traffic continues today.


Churchdown is adjacent to Gloucestershire Airport, still known locally as Staverton. Light aircraft are a regular feature in the skies above the village, and occasionally military aircraft past and present. For the last ten years, the airport is regularly used as a helicopter training base for police and military purposes.


Residents enjoy the Churchdown Magazine, which is produced bimonthly and is delivered free of charge to 5,100 households.[7] It includes articles of local interest, advertisements and details of local events, and has been in print since 1974.

Historic buildings

Churchdown has several interesting old structures including the Old School House on The Green, where the first village school was held, Ye Old House on Sandfield Road (thought to have been built in the 16th century), Dunstan Cottage in Chapel Hay Lane and The Cottage on Oldbury Orchard.

On The Green stands a house where Beatrix Potter stayed, when she visited Gloucester in 1901, hence her famous story "The Tailor of Gloucester".[citation needed]

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.[8] Churchdown also boasts numerous football pitches and rugby pitches, as well as sports halls at both Churchdown and Chosen Hill schools.

Youth football is active through the Churchdown Panthers, who play mostly in the Cheltenham FA league.

The Chosen Hill Former Pupils rugby club first team plays in the South West League and has an active youth section.[9]

Before the First World War, a golf course operated between the railway line and Churchdown Hill, with a club house adjacent on Pirton Lane.[10] The area is now open farmland.

Outside links


  1. see The Story of Churchdown and Churchdown Gloucester - an official guide which discuss Mussell Well and the Roman Steps
  2. Churchdown Hill (Gloucestershire) radio transmitter status and details
  3. [ of Churchdown Hill|publisher=Churchdown Parish Council|title=Walks on Churchdown Hill|accessdate=9 February 2014}}
  4. "Churchdown Hill - Management Plan 2010 - 2015". The Woodland Trust. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  5. "Visit Woods: Churchdown Hill, Gloucestershire". The Woodland Trust. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  6. The Gloucester & Cheltenham Railway and the Leckhampton Quarry Tramroads. Locomotion Papers Number Forty-Three. D. E. Bick, Oakwood Press, 1968.
  7. "The Churchdown Magazine", Issue 127 JAN/FEB 06
  8. Geograph - picture and description of skate facility
  9. Chose Hill Former Pupils RFC - Rugby Club Web site
  10. Friends of Churchdown Hill - Map See "Historical Notes" section.