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DURSLEY is a market town and civil parish in southern Gloucestershire , England. It is under the northeast flank of Stinchcombe
Stinchcombe
Hill , and about 3 3⁄4 miles (6.0 km) southeast of the River Severn
River Severn
. The town is adjacent to Cam which, though a village, is a slightly larger community in its own right.

CONTENTS

* 1 Governance * 2 History * 3 Character and amenities * 4 Railways * 5 Trivia * 6 References * 7 External links

GOVERNANCE

An electoral ward in the same name exists. The population and area of this ward are identical to that of the parish.

HISTORY

Dursley
Dursley
Market House

Dursley
Dursley
gained borough status in 1471 and lost it in 1886. From then until 1974 it was the administrative centre of Dursley
Dursley
Rural District (RDC). In 1974 the RDC became part of Stroud District
Stroud District
.

The Parish Church of St. James the Great dates from the 13th century. The modern building is largely of 14th and 15th century construction and carries the Tudor coat of arms on the outside of the building below the guttering, indicating that some of its construction was funded by the Tudor royals. The original church spire collapsed in January 1699 during a bell-ringing session, causing casualties. The current bell tower, in an imposing Gothic survival style was built by Thomas Sumsion of Colerne
Colerne
in the years 1708–09.

The pillared market house, complete with statue of Queen Anne and bell turret, dates from 1738, when the town's markets attracted farmers and traders from miles around. It is now maintained by the Dursley
Dursley
Town Trust who also look after Jacob's House and the Heritage Centre.

In 1856 a short branch line railway opened, called the "Dursley Donkey" by locals, linking Dursley
Dursley
and Cam to the Bristol – Gloucester
Gloucester
main line at Coaley Junction. The branch line was closed in 1968 and Coaley Junction station was also closed at about this time. However, in 1994 a new station called Cam and Dursley
Dursley
was opened on the main line, 330 yards north of the site of Coaley Junction.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Dursley
Dursley
was a large-scale manufacturing town, and engines built here by the Lister engine company were used around the world. That company's successor, Lister Petter , was based in the town until 2014, though much of the original 92-acre (37 ha) factory site was acquired in 2000 by the South West Regional Development Agency and then in 2011 by Stroud
Stroud
District Council . It is now being developed as a large housing development with some industrial units. The Towers, a large gothic-style house, formerly part of the Lister Petter estate, still overlooks the town and has been converted into flats and a residential care home. Church of St James the Great

Other large factories based in the town included Mawdsley's, an electrical equipment manufacturer; Bymack's, an upholsterers; and the Bailey Newspaper Group, a newspaper printer, all of which have reduced or closed operations in recent years.

Ancient historical sites in the vicinity give evidence of earlier occupation. Uley Bury , in nearby Uley
Uley
, is an Iron Age
Iron Age
hill fort dating from around 300BC, and the area also has neolithic long barrows (one of which, called "Hetty Pegler\'s Tump " can be entered). Notable Roman remains exist at Frocester , West Hill near Uley
Uley
, Woodchester and Calcot Manor .

CHARACTER AND AMENITIES

The town sits on the edge of the Cotswolds escarpment where it drops off towards the Severn Vale
Severn Vale
and the River Severn
River Severn
. It is adjacent with Cam which, though a village, is a community of double the size. The two communities (combined population about 12,000) share many facilities.

Dursley's main watercourse is the River Ewelme which becomes the River Cam when it enters Cam. The town is surrounded by beautiful woodland and countryside and the Cotswold Way long distance trail passes through Dursley
Dursley
town centre.

In March 2010 Sainsbury\'s opened a newly built 20,000 sq ft supermarket within walking distance of the town centre. Other recent arrivals include Lidl (November 2009, in premises on Kingshill Road previously occupied by the Regal Cinema and then Kwik Save ) and Iceland (July 2010, replacing Somerfield in the town centre ). The Co-op has operated a smaller store in Rosebery Road since 2002. Although some people dismiss Dursley
Dursley
as the "supermarket and charity shop" district of Gloucestershire, the town centre also hosts a wide range of other shops including a traditional ironmonger's, a haberdashery, an old fashioned sweet shop, a florist, a butcher, a baker and a greengrocer. A quality camera shop is proving a great success in the town, and a vintage clothing shop opened in June 2014. There are a number of cafes.

A range of markets are held at the Market Place in the centre of the town; a farmers' market is held there on the second Saturday of every month and a craft market on the fourth Saturday of each month. There is an active Transition group in Cam and Dursley
Dursley
(part of the global Transition town network) which looks after Dursley's Secret Garden, among other projects. Continuing urban sprawl now joins Dursley
Dursley
and the nearby village of Cam .

Dursley
Dursley
has a number of licensed premises and the Old Spot pub is regularly voted Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
'Pub of the Year'. The pub was also named as 2007 CAMRA National Pub of the year .

Around 1496, the famous Christian writer and martyr, William Tyndale was born near here, probably at Slimbridge
Slimbridge
.

RAILWAYS

The nearest railway station is at Cam and Dursley
Dursley
on the Bristol
Bristol
and Gloucester
Gloucester
Railway , with trains run by First Great Western .

TRIVIA

* Mikael Pedersen invented the Pedersen bicycle in Dursley
Dursley
in the 19th century. * Dursley
Dursley
once had a castle, built by Roger de Berkeley in 1153. * Harry Potter
Harry Potter
author JK Rowling , born in nearby Yate
Yate
, named the Dursley family in the Potter books after the town. * It is claimed that William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
may have spent part or all of the eight years between 1582 and 1590, a period of his life of which little is known, in Dursley, possibly working as a school teacher. In Richard II act II scene 3 there is reference to "the wolds of Gloucestershire", and when Bolingbrook asks how far it is to Berkeley as "these wild hills and rough uneven ways draw out for miles", the reply given is "there stands the castle beyond that tuft of trees". Many people understand this as a conversation taking place on Stinchcombe
Stinchcombe
Hill overlooking the Vale of Berkeley and its castle . * The writer Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
lived in nearby Stinchcombe
Stinchcombe
between 1937 and 1956. * The writer Peter Currell Brown wrote the cult classic 1965 surrealist novel Smallcreep\'s Day while working in Dursley.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Dursley
Dursley
Location Information * ^ citing from Branch lines of Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Archived 31 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. ISBN 0-86299-959-6 * ^ "Littlecombe, Dursley". South West RDA. 2005. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2017. * ^ "New Lease of Life for Historic Lister Petter Home". South West RDA. 20 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2017. * ^ New Sainsburys Supermarket * ^ New Lidl Store * ^ New Iceland store * ^ Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Pub Voted Best Pub in Britain! 15/02/08 – CAMRA * ^ Dursley
Dursley
Pedersen Bicycle Homepage – The ultimate site of Dursley
Dursley
Pedersen cycles

EXTERNAL