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Miscellaneous - Stonehouse (Eng)
Stonehouse, Gloucester
The Two Stonehouses and the Downfall of Edward II

Stonehouse, Gloucester
To the best of my knowledge there are at least four, possibly six villages by the name of Stonehouse, throughout Britain. When Stonehouse in Gloucester is mentioned locally, the conversation will probably be in relation to misdirected mail. I was the witness of such, in 1996, when my first book after being printed was sent to Stonehouse, Gloucester, the day before it was due to be launched.

, Gloucester is a small town in the Severn Vale, 9 miles South of Gloucester, 30 miles North of Bristol and 4 miles West of Stroud, just off the M5 motorway. Like our own village, Stonehouse, Gloucester has a long and eventful history dating back to the Norman period. The origin of the name Stonehouse (Gloucester), appears to date to William the Conquerors Domesday Book of 1086, in which it states, ‘Stanhus’ was a place where the Manor House was built of stone, as opposed to the usual wattle and daub.

Historically, in the industrial sense, we both possessed prominent textile industries, with our southerly neighbour having a strong heritage in cotton mills. Agriculturally, we have little in common, as Stonehouse, Gloucester retains only a few farms, whilst we have a large farming community of over 50 farms. This is reflected in the considerably larger acreage of the two parishes.

In 1986 the two communities were brought together, when outbreaks of meningitis plagued the counties of Lanarkshire and Gloucester. As a result Stonehouse Community Council and Stonehouse Parish Council (Gloucester) established regular correspondence in sympathising and supporting one another during the health scare.

Some 340 miles from our own village, Stonehouse, Gloucester bears many similarities to Stonehouse, Lanarkshire. Geographically both Stonehouses are situated in similar landscape, both adjacent to motorways, with rivers flowing through the parish. The river Avon and the river Frome adjoin the more prominent rivers of the Clyde and the Severn. Both Stonehouses have acknowledged areas of outstanding natural beauty and geological interest. Equally significant are the great number of public footpaths throughout the countryside in both locations.

With populations not dissimilar, our villages are predominantly commuter based with large ongoing residential developments. However, in seeking employment, transport to such outlying towns varies considerably between the two villages. Stonehouse, Gloucester enjoys several regular bus services and a railway station with access to Gloucester and London, whilst here we have a limited bus service to Hamilton and Strathaven and the London Midland and Scottish Railway line closed in 1965. This line formerly went through Stonehouse, Gloucester and was closed here in the same year.

Despite its relatively small population, Stonehouse, Gloucester, is fortunate in possessing excellent recreational facilities and public amenities. The town of only 7000 inhabitants retain a community centre, recreational walking grounds, 20 acre playing fields, including cricket pitches, a basketball court, a skateboard ramp, football pitches, a youth centre and several children’s play areas throughout the village. Other services include seven churches, a citizens advice bureau, seven schools, two tourist information offices, a hospital and a ‘manned’ police station.

Our villages are very much ‘communities’ in the purest sense of the word, with many long established voluntary organisations working for the benefit of all.
The Two Stonehouses and the Downfall of Edward II
An interesting link between Stonehouse (Lanarkshire) and Stonehouse (Gloucester) occurred between 1296 and 1328, during a period known in Scotland as the Wars for Independence.

The direct line from the first proprietor of the Scottish Stonehouse was Sir William Douglas, a friend and companion of Sir William Wallace. Douglas’s son, known in history as “The Good Sir James” Douglas, was the right hand of King Robert the Bruce and was instrumental in hastening the return South of Edward II of England after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Thirteen years later, Edward II visited Berkley Castle, Gloucester, and met an untimely end at the hands of four people, one of whom was John Maltravers, the proprietor of Stonehouse, Gloucester.

Walter Fitzgilbert (ancestor of the Dukes of Hamilton) who fought with Bruce at Bannockburn was granted the barony of Cadzow in 1315. Before the Treaty of Union in 1707 the Duke of Hamilton (leader of the country party) was a strong believer in an independent Scotland and had expectations himself of one day becoming King when Queen Anne was unable to provide an heir to the throne.

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