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The drive fróin Gloucester is reckoned one of the most beautiful in this part of the country.
STONE, two miles to the south, has a chapel in the Decorated style, dedicated to All Saints. The edifice is adorned with battlements, and has a good spire at its west end. It underwent repairs some years ago. This place is of some antiquity, old records speaking of chantries founded here in the reign of Edward III.
THORNBURY, with its interesting castle and church, is between five and six miles from Berkeley, and four from Stone. [See THORNBURY.]
DURSLEY, a small market-town of 550 houses and 2477 inhabitants, is four miles east from Berkeley. It is accessible by rail by a short branch from Dursley Junction, and is worth a visit chiefly on account of the picturesqueness of its adjacent scenery. The town is pleasantly situated at the base of a steep hill, covered with hanging brushwood. Its trade is inconsiderable, the population having decreased since 1851 more than 10 per cent. This is attributed to the decline in the cloth trade, which in the same period also caused a general decrease of population in the neighbouring parishes of Stinchcombe, Cam, and Slimbridge.
Dursley is mentioned in Domesday Book, and, as has been already mentioned, was one of the manors conferred on Roger de Berkeley. There was originally a castle on the manor, but it has disappeared. Its site is, however, indicated by a field near the town bearing the name of Castle Field. This parish was the birthplace of Dr. Edward Fox, who was made bishop of Hereford in 1535, probably in reward for his services as a diplomatist on various embassies. Fuller calls him “the principal pillar of the Reformation, as to the managery of the politic and prudential part thereof, being of more activity and no less ability than Cranmer himself.” Fox died in London in 1538.
The Church of the Holy Trinity is an ancient building, consisting of nave, aisles, chancel, and tower at the west end. It is in the Decorated style. In a niche in the wall of the south aisle is a recumbent effigy, supposed to represent a person of the name of Tanner who founded a chantry in this aisle.
The market-house, a respectable building of freestone near the centre of the town, and a couple of Dissenting chapels, are the only other public edifices.
NIBLEY, two miles south-west from Dursley was the scene of a bloody encounter between Thomas Talbot, Viscount Lisle, and William, Lord of Berkeley, in 1471. These two noblemen being engaged in a great lawsuit for the possession of the manor of Nibley, and being impatient of the law's delays, met in arms, attended by their followers, at Nibley Green. A hundred and fifty men, among them Lord Lisle, perished in the fight, and the victorious Lord Berkeley rifled his opponent's house of many important deeds. In the disturbed state of the country no inquisition was made regarding these violent and lawless proceedings. Sir Robert Atkyns has preserved Lord Lisle's challenge and Lord Berkeley's acceptance, both of them curious documents.
The Church, an unimportant building, contains several old monuments.
George Smyth, a native of this parish, was an able and indefatigable antiquarian. Sir William Dugdale has confessed his great obligations to his manuscript collections in genealogical history.
BRISTOL HOTELS : White Lion and White Hart, Broad Street; Swan, Maryport Street ; Railway Hotel and Saracen's Head, Temple Gate ; Talbot, Bath Street. There are numerous Hotels in CLIFTON (which see, p. 37).
From London, 1184 miles ; Gloucester, 374 ; Birmingham, 94 ; Edinburgh, 392. BRISTOL is situated on the banks of the river Avon, about eight miles from its mouth, in the Bristol Channel. Its position is favourable both for health and picturesqueness, as it is built on six or seven low hills, with intermediate valleys. The lower and older portions of the city are close and crowded ; but the newer streets, and the charming suburb of Clifton, have been built with every attention to beauty and sanitary requirements. Part of the city is in Somersetshire ; but it enjoys the dignity of an independent county, having received a charter conferring that privilege from Edward III.
There can be no doubt that Bristol is a place of great antiquity. Its ancient name was Caer Odor, meaning the city of the chasm, or deep river channel, referring to the physical features of the bed of the Avon, at the point where it passes the city. "Chatterton derives its present name from Brictric, the last king of Wessex, who died in 800. It is more probable, however, that Bristol is simply a literal Saxon translation of the ancient British name, Bric corresponding to Odor, and the affix stow to the prefix caer. Bricstow in course of time caine to be changed into Bristol, the modern designation. From the importance of the position, there can be little doubt that the Romans had a settlement here, though they have not left the marked traces of themselves which are to be found in many other localities. Florence of Worcester informs us that Harold set sail from this city to invade Wales. In Domesday Book Bristol is mentioned as a walled town possessing a castle, and rated to the king at one hundred and ten silver marks. Both the castle and town must have been well defended. In the time of Stephen it is said the walls, which were above a mile in circumference, varied from 12 to 25 feet in thickness. The first governor of the castle was an ancestor of the present family of Berkeley. This massive structure, after being repeatedly besieged, was demolished by the forces under the command of Oliver Cromwell, and that so effectually, that at the present day scarcely any of its parts remain. The ancient city, the walls of which are still in existence, stood almost in the centre of the present one. A convent of the order of St. Augustine formerly flourished here, the church of which was formed into a cathedral at the Dissolution, when Bristol first became the seat of a bishop. It has since been united by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the see of Gloucester, under the style of Bishopric of Gloucester and Bristol. During the eighteenth century the city