Dursley Location Information....

... and a look at the Town in the Past, Present and Future

compiled by local Architect John Wilkes

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Images of Dursley
  3. Contemporary Images of Dursley
  4. The Future
  5. Directions
  6. Links


    Location in U.K.

    County Map

    1.  Introduction


    Dursley is the second largest town in the
    Stroud District of Gloucestershire; and is
    located at the South-West edge of the Cotswolds.
    It is not just an industrial centre but a town of charm and
    tradition, surrounded by beautiful farming country.
    Dursley had Borough status from 1471 until 1883.
    The Market House, with its statue of Queen Anne,
    is dated 1738. The upper part of the building is
    supported by pillars and has a bell turret.
    The Parish Church of St. James the Great dates from the 13th century.
    It is, however, largely of 14th and 15th century construction.
    The church originally had a spire but this collapsed in January 1699
    during a bell-ringing session. There were casualties.
    Following that disaster, an imposing 'Gothic Survival' bell tower
    was built by Thomas Sumsion of Colerne in the years 1708 - 09.
    The church underwent further 'restoration' in the 19th century.
    The Dursley Tabernacle United Reform Church was built in 1808.
    An early painting shows the Tabernacle and, at far left, a crenellated gatehouse
    that belonged to 'Dursley Castle'.
    This castle was built by Roger de Berkeley in 1153
    using tufa stone from the Chestal quarry.
    It was an enlargement of his earlier stronghold on the site
    which had been constructed in the late 11th Century.
    All traces of the moated castle and the gatehouse have disappeared.
    In the early 19th Century, Edwin Budding, from Dursley, invented
    the lawnmower. Later, Mikael Pedersen, who was a Danish engineer,
    devised the safety bicycle while living in the town.
    Dursley is the home of the engineering firm Lister-Petter Ltd.
    The Cotswold Way, for walkers, follows the edge of the Cotswold escarpment
    and passes through the centre of Dursley.
    The local golf course is on Stinchcombe Hill.
    Fine views of the Severn Vale can be enjoyed from this vantage point.
    Back in the centre of Dursley, the view along
    Castle Street shows the Telephone Exchange;
    part of the Swimming Pool building; and, as a backdrop,
    the wooded flanks of Stinchcombe Hill.
    The Dursley Pool is a very popular local facility.
    Viewed from Castle Street, the Methodist Chapel and
    St. James' Church
    appear as prominent features of the townscape.
    The red brick college building has now been demolished.
    The youth club and old fire tower were demolished to make way for Sainsbury's supermarket.
    The historic Weaver's House appears adjacent to the new Heritage Centre.
    A wide variety of architectural styles can be seen in the town.
    The former Post Office building is in Parsonage Street.
    The splendid new surgery is in May Lane.
    The "Old Spot Inn", situated in Hill Road,
    is one of the many good public houses in Dursley.
    The "Old Bell" hotel is in Long Street.
    Kingshill House was originally a private residence but is now an Arts Centre.
    A new fire station has been built at Kingshill.
    Rednock School has grand new buildings.

    Parish Church of 'St. James the Great'

    Click here for a full montage presentation.

    2.  Historical Images of Dursley

    Dursley as seen from the Hermitage Wood area in 1850

    Dursley town centre in 1905

    The changing face of the Market Place area over the years:

    1858; 1860; 1890; 1895; 1897; 1898; 1899; 1900; 1901; 1902; 1903; 1905; 1906; 1910; 1928;
    1929; 1930; 1943; 1945; 1946; 1947; 1949; 1957; 1958; 1959; 1960; 1961; 1962; 1963; 1965;
    1970; 1985; 1986; 1992; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; and 2009

    The Priory, Long Street

    Bull Pitch

    Parsonage Street

    The 'Garden Suburb' in Kingshill Road

    Parsonage Street

    3.  Contemporary Images of Dursley

    The 'Wilkes' site following demolition of the shop

    During the October 1998 demolition, discoveries included
    a decorative mosaic and a vaulted cellar.

    The former 'Wilkes' site today

    The Crescent in Parsonage Street

    Dursley's Principal Streets and Features

    Parsonage Street - views 1, 2 and 3;
    Long Street - views 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10; Silver Street - view 11;
    Castle Street - views 12 and 13; and Bull Pitch - view 14.

    Dursley from the roof of the Church tower ... views 15, 16 and 17.

    "Lister Petter" factory; "Drake House" offices; and "The Towers".

    The Broadwell

    Millennium Dawn: 1 and 2

    4.  The Future

    ( ( ( ( ) ) ) )



    5.  Directions

    Location Map

    To reach DURSLEY by Car > > >

    Exit Southbound M5 at Junction 13 or
    * * * * *
    Exit Northbound M5 at Junction 14 or
    * * * * *
    Exit M4 at Junction 17;
    take A429 and B4014 to Tetbury;
    then A4135 to Dursley
    * * * * *

    To reach DURSLEY by Train > > >

    Disembark at the Cam/Dursley station on the Gloucester/Bristol main line
    * * * * *

    6.  Links

    Click X for Uley interactive map.

    National Map Link

    Link to John Wilkes'
    Gloucestershire Digital Photo Library

    Link to Allan Taylor's
    'All-The-Cotswolds' website

    BBC interview report

    John Wilkes' C.V.

    Home Page last revised: January 22nd, 2009.