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Coordinates: 51°31′N 2°26′W / 51.51°N 2.43°W / 51.51; -2.43

Westerleigh
Westerleigh.the.new.inn.arp.jpg
The New Inn, Westerleigh
Westerleigh is located in Gloucestershire
Westerleigh

 Westerleigh shown within Gloucestershire
Population c. 4,800
OS grid reference ST670818
Parish Westerleigh
Unitary authority South Gloucestershire
Ceremonial county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BRISTOL
Postcode district BS36
Dialling code 01454
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Avon
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Northavon. To be replaced by Thornbury_and_Yate
List of places: UK • England • Gloucestershire
The church of Saint James the Great, Westerleigh

Westerleigh is a village and parish in South Gloucestershire, England near the edge of the Cotswold hills. The village is located between Yate and Bristol, nearby villages include Nibley, Wapley, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Codrington. The village is first mentioned in a Saxon document of 887AD. At that time it was probably just a clearing in the woods with possibly a wooden church. Westerleigh is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

In medieval times the village would probably have been a green with the houses and church around it, and prosperous. The northern wall and porch of St James church is from the 13th century, as is the carved stone pulpit. The church was rebuilt in the perpendicular style, with the tower (once used as the village lock up) added at a later date. The 700th anniversary was celebrated in 2004.

By 1600 the village supported a shoemaker, a blacksmith , a sawyer, a flour mill, a malt house and two public houses. In 1617, John Crandall was baptised to James and Eleanor Crandall at St. James the Great church, and became one of the founders of Westerly, Rhode Island, USA.

The discovery of coal in 1660 provided employment for the villagers, with further finds at Coalpit Heath and Parkfield providing more employment. The mines closed in the last century, when the coal was exhausted.

By 1876 occupations in the village included farmers, a bootmaker, shopkeepers, innkeepers, butchers, a plasterer, a blacksmith, a wheelwright, a market gardener and a carrier. At the end of the 1800s many of the old houses were demolished. At the beginning of the 20th century, the railway and mining provided most of the work. Now residents find work in nearby Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Bristol, and in the village itself.

Contents

Amenities

The village has two public houses, the New Inn and Ye Olde Inn. Wot Not second-hand shop, Kemps Nursery and two garages are the only shops in the village.

Transport

In the late 1700s roads were built to Downend. The Great Western and Midland railways were constructed in the 1800s. Westerleigh junction was a crossing point of east-west and north-south main lines. In particular it is considered to be the present end of the line from milepost zero at Derby. Westerligh formerly had its own railway station on the Bristol and Gloucester Railway. Demolished in the 1960's as part of the Beeching Axe cuts, the site is now the home of one of Murco Petroleum Ltd's UK refineries.

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