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Minch market square.JPG
Market Square, Minchinhampton
Grid reference: SO871008
Location: 51°42’21"N, 2°11’10"W
Post town: Stroud
Postcode: GL6
Local Government
Council: Stroud
Minchinhampton Market House and War Memorial

Minchinhampton is a tiny, ancient market town in Gloucestershire perched on a hilltop 4 miles south of Stroud, in the Cotswold Hills.

The town's shops are clustered in and around the High Street. Here is a goodly range of local shops; a general store two hairdressers, a pharmacy, boutique, a butcher's, dairy, two restaurants, a café, a Post Office, and miscellaneous shops for local folk and visitors commensurate with Michampstead’s status as a town, with The Crown Inn standing among them.

There is also a doctors' surgery, library, dentist, school, youth club and sports facilities.

The main square has a War Memorial and an early Market House, where a market is held every Thursday.[1] The 17th-century Market House was given to the town in 1919 by the Lord of the Manor Lt. Col. H. G. Ricardo. It was restored in 1944.


Holy Trinity

There are just two churches in Minchinhampton:

Minchinhampton Common

Main article: Minchinhampton Common

Near the town is Minchinhampton Common, a recreation area for walkers and golfers, 580 acres of which are managed by the National Trust. The Common is also used as grazing land for the cows of local farmers in the summer. On the Common are long parallel ditches and mounds which formed part of a large Iron Age fort. There are good views from the Common, west over the Severn estuary into Monmouthshire, and east to the Golden Valley and further into the Cotswolds.

Minchinhampton Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[2]

Aston Down

Main article: Aston Down

Minchinhampton is close to the former Ministry of Defence airfield, Aston Down, formerly a large employer in the area, now closed down and used for gliding.

In 2005, following a Freedom of Information request, the local newspaper revealed that Aston Down is contaminated with arsenic, hydrocarbons and radium.[3] Since the site is located above a vulnerable aquifer, local residents have formed a pressure group, the Aston Down Action Group, in an effort to persuade local government and central government agencies to implement more stringent safety regulations.

Gatcombe Park

The Gatcombe Estate is the home of the Princess Royal. The park hosts the Gatcombe Horse Trials in late summer each year. There is a twice-yearly craft fair at Gatcombe, and a summer visit by Gifford's Circus every other year.[4]

Outside links