Visiting Stonehouse

Places of Interest

Green Spaces

Oldends Lane Playing Field

History: In the 1930s there were three separate fields located between the two railway lines next to Oldends Lane. One small field had already been bought by the National Playing Fields Association. During WW2 this was taken over by the Gloucestershire War Agricultural Committee. After the war this land was leased to the council for a playing field. In the 1960s the council bought another large field (previously owned by J.C.C. Kimmins) and finally the last small field to combine into Oldends Lane Playing Field.

Laburnum Recreation Ground

History: In 1919 the Parish Council wanted to acquire a field to serve as a recreation ground for the people of Stonehouse as a Memorial for the First World War. The Laburnum Field was bought by Mr J.C.C. Kimmins, owner of Kimmins Mill, and donated to the Parish. He requested that public subscriptions should be collected to pay for its adaptation to a recreation ground and that the Parish Council should pay for its upkeep in the future. A trust was set up for this purpose. Later on the Council asked Mr Kimmins if he wanted any particular name for the Field but he declined the offer.

Stonehouse Football Club used to play there before Oldends Lane Football Ground was opened. All manner of fetes and shows have been held there during the past 100 years including Horticultural Shows, It’s a Knockout, Fancy Dress Competitions and the Summer Jolly.

Community Centre

History: In 1941/42 a British Restaurant was built in the corner of the Laburnum Recreation Ground (at the Co-Op end). In 1943 the Council was told that a recreational centre was to be built for war workers at the other end of the field, and the land was commandeered by the Government for that purpose. What is now known as the Community Centre was opened there on September 9th 1944. In 1946 a parish meeting had authorised the Council to take over the old recreational centre and, on December 14th, Stonehouse became the first Parish Council in the country to run a Community Centre. Overseeing activities at the Centre made great demands on the Council members and their clerk, leaving little time to pursue other matters. So in August 1948 the Council handed over control of the Community Centre to a Community Association.

The Canal

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals – the Stroudwater Navigation (7 miles/12km) and the Thames and Severn Canal (29 miles/46km) – will see the connection of England`s two greatest rivers; the Thames and the Severn for the first time in over seventy years.

This restoration project will provide opportunities for all by acting as a catalyst for continuing social, economic and environmental regeneration whilst safeguarding their future for everyone to enjoy. To find out more look at Cotswold Canals Partnership website.

Read more about the history of The Canal

Restoration Phase 1A

The length of canal to be restored under the Phase 1A Restoration Programme is between ‘The Ocean’ at Stonehouse on the Stroudwater Navigation, and Brimscombe Port to the east of Stroud, which is on the Thames & Severn Canal. A total length of about 6 miles.

Phase 1A restoration includes:

  • 6 miles of canal
  • Re-instatement of  about 1000m (total) of infilled canal at Ebley, Capel’s Mill, Hope Mill, Gough’s Orchard & Brimscombe Port
  • Upgrading the towpath
  • Construction of 10 bridges
  • Restoration / re-instatement of 10 locks and the major reconstruction/redevelopment of Brimscombe Port.
Revised Restoration Plan

Since restoration  commenced, it has become apparent that there is insufficient funding to complete all the planned works. As of November 2012, the restoration of the canal from west to east will stop at Bowbridge. This means that restoration of the following major items cannot  be scheduled, due to the funding shortfall.

  • Bowbridge Lock
  • Ham Mill Lock
  • New lock at Hope Mill
  • New road bridge at Hope Mill
  • Removal of infill at Hope Mill
  • Gough’s Orchard Lock (mainly fitting of Lock Gates)
  • Removal of infill above Gough’s Orchard Lock
  • New river crossing near Brimscombe Port
  • New road bridge near Brimscombe Port

At Brimscombe Port, the plan now is that the Stroud Valleys Canal Company will restore the canal route through the Port, and developers will be sought  to construct the commercial and residential property.

Find out more about the Canal Rejuvenation Project