HISTORY

OVERVIEW

Randwick village lies two miles north-west of the Gloucestershire town of Stoud in a small valley high on the northern slope of the River Frome on the Cotswold escarpment.  The hill-top above the village is crowned by Randwick Wood, its trees concealing an ancient dyke, tumuli and a long barrow, as well as severall disused stone quarries.  An ancient track way, which runs along the Cotswold ridge and through the wood, is used as part of the Cotswold Way long distance footpath.  Other tracks cross over the hilltop and formerly provided access to the hamlet of Oxlynch and onwards to Standish and the Severn Vale.

All of the larger older houses in Randwick and the Parish Church, part of which dates back to the 14th century, are situated close to the road through the village.  In the days before the arrival of the internal combustion engine, when travel was made either on foot or by horse, this road was the through route from Dudbridge near Stroud, to Gloucester.  Following the lie of the land the improved road, rail and water ways were sited in the valley and as a result by-passed Randwick.

The Lane,  a narrow road which branches off the Gloucester road, leads into the heart of the village and links with a network of steep pitches and track ways, known locally as “Laggers”.  These give access to the cottages scattered across the hillside which housed the weavers who, before the industrial revolution, wove the traditional local broad cloth on hand looms, before returning the woven cloth to the mills for finishing.

The early part of the nineteenth century saw the introduction of steam to replace water power in the local mills, after which all stages of woollen cloth manufacture took place in the mills.  The complicated network of footpaths leading from Randwick are mainly the routed established by villagers who worked in the factories of the Stroud values.  Some of these old paths are still used by people who now walk them mainly for pleasure.

Lower Randwick which lies around the lanes at Humphries End, More Hall and Westrip, covers the former agricultural part of the Parish and was noted for its orchards.  The modernisation of farming methods, coupled with the greater need for new housing following the Second World War, has changed this part of Randwick almost beyond recognition .