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Almondsbury is a large village near junction 16 of the
M5 motorway The M5 is a motorway in the United Kingdom linking the Midlands with South West England. It runs from junction 8 of the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading southwest, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Bir ...
, in
South Gloucestershire South Gloucestershire is a unitary authority area in South West England. It comprises multiple suburban areas to the north and east of Bristol as well as a large rural hinterland. South Gloucestershire was created in 1996 from the northern secti ...
, England, and a
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. C ...
which also includes the villages of Hortham,
Gaunt's Earthcott Gaunt's Earthcott, sometimes spelt Gaunts Earthcott, is a hamlet in the civil parish of Almondsbury in South Gloucestershire, England. It consists of a ruined chapel, a few houses and two farms, Green Farm and Court Farm. The village is located a ...
, Over,
Easter Compton Easter Compton is a village in the civil parish of Almondsbury, South Gloucestershire, England. It is situated at the bottom of a hill (known as ''Blackhorse Hill'') near Junction 17 of the M5 Motorway on the B4055 road. The village is only 1.5 m ...
,
Compton Greenfield Compton Greenfield is a small hamlet of farms and spread out houses to the south west of Easter Compton, in South Gloucestershire. The parish church of All Saints is a Grade II* listed building. It has a Norman arch in its porch, but the church w ...
, Hallen and Berwick.


Governance

Almondsbury is in the South Gloucestershire
unitary authority A unitary authority is a local authority for a place's borough which is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national govern ...
area. The
electoral ward A ward is a local authority area, typically used for electoral purposes. Wards are usually named after neighbourhoods, thoroughfares, parishes, landmarks, geographical features and in some cases historical figures connected to the area (e.g. Willia ...
of Almondsbury covers the same area as the civil parish, stretching from Gaunt's Earthcott east of the M5 motorway south west to Hallen on the boundary with
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
.


Description

The village is split by a steep hill, part of the escarpment overlooking the
Severn , name_etymology = , image = SevernFromCastleCB.JPG , image_size = 288 , image_caption = The river seen from Shrewsbury Castle , map = RiverSevernMap.jpg , map_size = 288 , map_caption ...
floodplain. At the bottom of the hill is Lower Almondsbury where a pub and hotel, The Bowl Inn, is situated.
South Wales South Wales ( cy, De Cymru) is a loosely defined region of Wales bordered by England to the east and mid Wales to the north. It has a population of around 2.2 million, almost three-quarters of the whole of Wales, including 400,000 in Cardiff, 250,0 ...
, the
Forest of Dean The Forest of Dean (Welsh: ''Fforest y Ddena''):cy:Fforest y Ddena is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It forms a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to ...
, the
River Severn , name_etymology = , image = SevernFromCastleCB.JPG , image_size = 288 , image_caption = The river seen from Shrewsbury Castle , map = RiverSevernMap.jpg , map_size = 288 , map_caption ...
and both Severn Bridges are visible from the higher parts of the village. The other part of the village consists mainly of ribbon development along the A38, which has more of an urban characteristic. The place-name 'Almondsbury' is first attested in the
Domesday Book Domesday Book ( or , Middle English for "Doomsday Book"; Latin: ''Liber de Wintonia'' "Book of Winchester") is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conque ...
of 1086, where it appears as ''Almodesberie''. The name means 'Æthelmod's or Ealhmund's burgh or fortified place'. The pub takes its name from the bowl shape of the land surrounding the estuary. Parts of this whitewashed-stone inn were originally the three cottages erected in 1146 to house the monks building the adjacent church of St Mary the Virgin. The present building became a licensed inn in 1550. Also at the bottom of the hill is the local church, dedicated to Saint
Mary the Virgin Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by various titles, styles and honorifics was a 1st century Galilean Jewish wom ...
. The church and tower were built in 1140 AD. The lead-covered spire was added some time before 1619. In 1817, a woman purporting to be Princess Caraboo was found in the town, in what was to become one of the more elaborate deceptions of the period.


Amenities

Another pub, The Swan Inn, is located on the A38 road, A38, in the upper part of the village, almost opposite an open space known as Almondsbury Tump. In March 2009 a community shop was opened in the village by the not-for-profit Almondsbury Community Services Association (ACSA), situated opposite the Old School Hall at 14 Church Road. The community shop is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. The aim of the project goes beyond a ''village shop'', being a service for the village, to support local suppliers wherever possible, and to be another focal point where people in the village can meet. A proportion of the surplus generated by the shop is returned to community projects and organisations in the village. In 2018, the village community purchased the premises from the church through a Community Share issue. The chairman of the shop committee is John Mclevy. The village also has an ambulance station, a motorway police station, a garden centre, and a restaurant/pub. A helicopter base is currently in development next to the Almondsbury Interchange as a new home for National Police Air Service, NPAS Filton and the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Great Western Air Ambulance.


Sport and leisure

Almondsbury is home to non-League football club Almondsbury UWE F.C., Almondsbury UWE who play at Almondsbury Sports & Social Complex on Gloucester Road. Almondbury Cricket Club and Almondsbury Tennis club are also based at the same site. Gloucestershire FA are also based in Almondsbury at Oakland Park. North Bristol RFC play next door. Almondsbury is home to St Nick's Gaelic Athletic Association, GAA club.


Education

Education is provided by Almondsbury Church of England Primary School. This is a state maintained school. The Ofsted report, dated April 2009, rated the school as good (outstanding in places). For secondary education Almondsbury is served by Patchway Community College.


Notable residents

Almondsbury is the birthplace of Alex Kapranos, the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand (band), Franz Ferdinand. The stage and silent film actor Reginald Crompton (1870–1945) was born here.


Civil parish

The
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. C ...
of Almondsbury is much larger than the village. It includes the villages of Hortham, Gaunt's Earthcott, Over, Easter Compton, Compton Greenfield, Catbrain and Hallen. It also includes Cribbs Causeway and the site of the village of Charlton, Bristol, Charlton, now the western end of Filton Airfield. When it was originally created in 1866 the civil parish also included Patchway, but not Easter Compton, Compton Greenfield, Hallen, Cribbs Causeway or Charlton, all of which were transferred from the parish of Henbury in 1935. The parish of Patchway was separated from Almondsbury in 1953.


Notes and references


External links


Almondsbury Parish Council website
* {{Authority control Villages in South Gloucestershire District Civil parishes in Gloucestershire