Thursday September 18th 2014: Industrial Heritage of the Cotswolds

Dr Ray Wilson took members for a gallop around the industrial heritage of the Cotswold covering a surprisingly wide range of subjects considering the agricultural nature of the area (apart from the Stroud valleys). The subjects covered included mills, railways, canals and industry.

The buildings included Lower Slaughter Mill, Northleach Prison, Culkerton Chapel and many more. The were reminders of former industry as at Tobacco Lane in Winchcombe and an example closer to home is Gas Lane in Fairford.

The information about Leckhampton quarries was fascinating. The stone was quarried from about 1798 to provide for the expansion of Cheltenham. By 1830 a network of tram roads were linked by inclined planes cleverly using gravity. The Devil’s Chimney is a pillar of stone left by quarry men.

The interesting building at the Seven Springs junction was a place where packages were left to be collected, a much more trusting society than now where the postman will no longer leave packages at houses.

The Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology (GSIA) have produced an informative booklet entitled ‘Exploring Gloucestershire’s Industrial Heritage’ which lists all features that are still visible over the County. Available from GSIA.