Tetbury Town Trail
From the goods shed situated on the edge of the car park follow the signpost to the town centre via Gumstool Hill. Go through the gateway and over the bridge and bear right to follow the pathway around the Horse Pool and John Phillips Green , named after a prominent member of the town, officially named on November 10, 2000 by HRH The Prince Of Wales.
From the Millennium Plaque continue over the road to the left of garages to ascend a slope to the road. Turn left and immediately left again onto Chipping Steps, which is possibly the most photographed part of Tetbury. The steps are medieval and the houses lining the steps are 17th/18th century. Ascend the steps to the northeast corner of the car park. At the top of steps, on the edge of the Chipping is a small alley leading through a medieval archway to the Malthouse. This building displays a plaque commemorating the planning and creating of a model of Omaha Beach on the coast of Normandy used by the US Army for the planning of Operation Overlord.
Cross the car park towards Chipping Court,a small shopping mall and and once a cinema and leisure centre. From the ticket machine cross over the road and go towards Christ Church, designed by Thomas S. Lansdown in 1861 in an Italianate style. Continuing on past the church and towards the Priory Nursing Home to go left along Eccles Court to reach the Royal Anniversary Garden opened in 1992. This area was landscaped by the Tetbury Civic Society to celebrate 25 years of the Society.
Leave the garden along a narrow alley to join The Ferns. Continue to the right to pass the Romney House Surgery, the former Sir William Romney Grammar School. Follow the Ferns past the KitKat Clinic to reach London Road. Turn left and after few steps enter Long Street. The Police Station Museum can be visited on the corner. The building also serves as the Town Council Offices and the former Court Room, is the Council Chambers which can also be seen.
On leaving the museum cross over the busy Long Street junction to enter New Church Street, formally called Combers Mead after the wool combers who once lived here (signposted Dursley) to visit the church of St. Saviour, a church built for the poor in 1848, was badly damaged by lightening in 1975 and is now under the care of the Redundant Churches Fund. After visiting the church return to the road and turn right crossing over the road keeping to the left of the small triangular green and to the right the old school opened in 1837 and until 1870 funded by the church and the Feoffees. A little past the school turn left into West Street, again the name of the street was changed from Harper Street, a name that was associated with poverty, vice and degradation and some of the house were demolished. Go along the street passing some new houses, built on the former site of the Prince of Wales public house. Continue past the car park and through the no entry signs passing
The lane was the main route into the town and the steep hill descending down under the Bath Bridge would have took its toll on the horses and this would have been a welcomed stop. Pass over the old packhorse bridge and climb to the end of the track. Situated on the wall is a plaque commemorating 1300 years of recorded history for the town, recorded first in 681AD when a Saxon monastery, named after Tette, occupied the present church site.
Turn around to go over the bridge, built in 1775, with fine views of the church with the fourth highest spire in England at 182 feet. At the top of the slope go through the gates into the grounds of St. Mary the Virgin Church, rebuilt in 1777 and retaining the tower and spire from the earlier medieval church. Leave the church from the main gates and continue into the town along Church Street to reach the Market Hall erected in the 17th century and originally a three levels structure. The hall is administered by the Feoffes a feudal society dating from 1632.
Leaving the Market Hall go towards Malmesbury and the Market Place on the left. Here the annual Woolsack Races take place when teams of four runners race up and down Gumstool Hill carrying 65lbs bags of wool on their backs. Turning sharp right, continue towards Malmesbury and follow the road around to the left. Opposite is The Green and the Princess Diana Rose Garden, planted with white roses in memory of the Princess of Wales. The Green was possibly the centre of the Anglo-Saxon village in Tette's time. Descend Fox Hill, named after the public house that is evident on the left, 33 public houses were recorded in the Town during the 16th and 17th centuries, and on the corner of the wall is an original gas pipe and lamp fitting which was the first to be lit by gas in the town during 1836
Go over Wiltshire Bridge, until 1935 the boundary between Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and on reaching the far side turn left and follow the Old Rope Walk to return through the landscaped railway yard to the car park.
Click On for more information about Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings on June 6th, 1944.
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