Dudbridge is a suburb on the southern edge of Stroud in
1.2 Hampton Cars
2 Present day
5 External links
Dudbridge gains its name from the first bridge in the location, which
spanned the River Frome. This made it an important crossing point for
traffic heading south from the
Cotswolds to the port of Bristol, which
is reflected in that it is the meeting point of four parishes: Stroud
in which lies, plus
Rodborough to its east, and Stonehouse and Kings
Stanley to its south.
The fast-flowing river made
Dudbridge a natural location for early
industry, with the earliest record of a mill dating from 1235. Later
industries included dying, forging and metalwork.
The Redlers industrial estate is the site of the original Dudbridge
Mills, located directly beside the River Frome. From the mid-18th
century onwards it housed the three mills of Daniel Chance, who sold
it to[who?] in the mid-18th century, owned three mills: one corn; one
gig and a dyehouse with eight drying racks. In 1794, John Apperley's
family for the next 140 years used the site for woll and cloth making.
After the business collapsed in 1933, Redlers conveyors manufactured
industrial handling equipment on the site until the mid-1990s, when it
became an industrial estate.
The original Lightpill site is one actually located in Rodborough, but
in light of inter-war and 1960s developments, exists now further in
Dudbridge. A cloth mill from the 17th century, in 1910 it became
home to a printing works. In 1910 Syrolit Ltd became one of the
world's first plastic manufacturers, which in 1914 was reorganised
Erinoid ltd in order to gain a UK license to manufacture a German
process to manufacture a new plastic substance used for buttons and
ornaments. By 1933, the business had expanded south on the site and
employed 500 people. Taken over by O. & M. Kleeman Ltd in 1957, it
was than merged into
Mobil Chemicals Ltd in 1961. In 1965 the complex
was acquired by British Petroleum, operating initially as BP Plastics
and later as BP Chemicals International Ltd. After takeover the site
expanded west up to the Stroud railway line spur, producing polyvinyl
chloride products, latterly bin bags. In 1973, when 700 people were
employed, the factory manufactured polystyrene, articles in
thermo-plastic materials for use in the electrical and building
industries, and casein and polyester button blanks. To accommodate
increased production, three large chemical containers were constructed
on the west side of the railway line on the former dye works, supplied
Wincanton Transport trucks shipping raw chemical products
from the docks at Southampton, Bristol and Sharpness. Closed in the
late 1980s, the production site became the Bath Road Trading Estate,
while the former dye works and chemical storage area became a new
In 1770, dyer Richard Hawker built
Dudbridge House close to the river
and his works. Today[when?] the house has been converted into flats,
and faces a housing estate which was built in the 1980s on part of the
In 1849, Kimmins Mill was constructed to mill flour. After ceasing
milling in 1935, it was used as a storage facility, including textile
machinery. Now located next to
Sainsburys carpark, it is now the
Stroud Mills Heritage centre, with a national collection of books and
information about the construction industry, and historic information
about the Stroud area.
Up until 1900, the site where Sainsbury's supermarket now sits was an
orchard, with an attached small foundry. Before the First World War,
James Apperley founded the
Dudbridge Patent Machine Works to
manufacture textile machinery, but after his business failed H G
Holbrow manufactured steam engines, and then J D Humpidge manufactured
gas engines. In the late 1920s, Hampton cars were assembled there.
After their failure, the site reverted to a foundry until the late
early 1990s, home to the cupola iron furnaces of Lewis & Holes
To the top of
Dudbridge Hill, and on the junction between Dudbridge
Rodborough on the
A46 road to Bath, lies the Daniels industrial
estate. In 1840, Thomas Daniels founded an engineering, millwrighting
and foundry business which quickly grew. After his death of Lionel
Daniels in 1956, the company became the London Stock Exchange listed
Daniels plc, which was taken over by Unichrome International in 1968.
After the site closed in the late 1980s, it was converted to an
industrial estate, with the tenants including a Focus
Main article: Hampton (car)
The Hampton Engineering Company had been formed in Kings Norton,
Birmingham in 1912, but after it went into receivership, in 1919 the
company was re-established as a joint venture between William Paddon
and Charles Apperley of the Stroud Metal and Plating Company, and
production was transferred to Dudbridge. The first post-war car was
the Hampton 11.9 with either a 1496 cc or 1795 cc Dorman
four-cylinder engine but only a few were made before the money ran out
and the company was bought by a major shareholder John Daniel and
re-registered as Hampton Engineering Co (1920) Ltd. In 1925 a receiver
was appointed yet again, but Hampton bounced back again as Hampton
Cars (London) Ltd with finance from businessman John Hatton-Hall. The
company moved to smaller premises on
Selsley Hill, before ceasing
production just before World War II.
Dudbridge today is a mixed industrial and housing development, with
the industry towards the foot of the valley on one side of the A419
road, while the housing rises higher up towards Rodborough.
Redevelopments of the late 1990s brought about the building of a major
Sainsburys supermarket, serving southern Stroud and onwards to
Stonehouse. Damien Hirst's SCIENCE art production facility lies within
Along with most of Stroud,
Dudbridge has low levels of burglary, theft
of motor vehicles, with numbers of serious and fatal road traffic
accidents lower than the county average. The percentage of young
offenders resident in the area and of children with low scores at key
stages 1–3, are also below the Stroud and county averages.
Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway
Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway branch to Stroud at
Dudbridge, now a cycle path. The road bridge carries
Being low in the Stroud Valleys, and an already formed crossing point,
Dudbridge was a natural point of congregation for transport. The
Stroudwater Canal opened a wharf in 1779 in Dudbridge, while in 1886
the Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway, later part of the Midland
Railway, opened a railway station. Opened as "
Stroud," the buildings included a two-storey station-master's
house, and though there was originally only a single platform, the
station was a passing place on the single-track branch line.
In 1885, the
Midland Railway built a very short branch line from
Dudbridge to Stroud. The new line opened for goods traffic in 1885 and
for passengers the following year, at which point
Dudbridge became a
junction station, and a second platform was built. Passenger services
were suspended on the line as an economy measure to save fuel in June
1947, and were officially withdrawn from 8 June 1949. Dudbridge
remained open for goods traffic until 1966, when the Beeching cuts
closed the line. The station building remained until the early 1990s,
when it was demolished to make way for the route of the Ebley Bypass.
^ a b c "Dudbridge". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
^ "Redlers". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
^ "Lightpill/Bath Road Trading Estate". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved
^ "A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and
Longtree Hundreds (1976)". british-history.ac.uk. Retrieved
Dudbridge House". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
^ "Kimmins Mill". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
Sainsburys site". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
^ "Daniels". DigitalStroud.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
^ a b Georgano, N. (2000). Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile.
London: HMSO. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
^ Mike Oakley (2003).
Gloucestershire Railway Stations. Wimborne:
Dovecote Press. pp. 64–65. ISBN 1-904349-24-2.