History of Stonehouse
Stonehouse appears in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book of 1086 under its Old English name “Stanhus” - so called, it is believed, because the Manor House was built of stone rather than the usual wattle and daub. Stonehouse Court now stands at the Manor House site next to St Cyr’s Church by the Stroudwater Canal and the River Frome. In medieval times the Manor lands included a great deer park, a vineyard, and the manor corn mill at Lower Mill. Upper Mill also probably existed in 1086, and later became a cloth mill, joined by several others including Bond’s Mill. These mills continue today as commercial centres.
St Cyr’s Church is one of the oldest buildings in Stonehouse, the tower dating from the 14th century.The churchyard contains an impressive array of 17th and 18th century monuments
The woollen industry was important to Stonehouse people, first as producers of wool and later as experts in textiles. The small mills of the 17th and 18th century supported work at home for the growing population of the village, later changing to a factory system. As the textile industry declined, Stonehouse remained a thriving place as smaller businesses of every type took over.
Stonehouse is in an ideal position for trade having a river, canal and railway close at hand. The Stonehouse Brick and Tile Company was established in 1890, gradually slicing away one side of Doverow Hill, and remained an important employer for some 70 years. The Second World War brought the engineering companies, Hoffmann’s and Sperry Gyroscope, which heralded a new modern industrial estate, based at the western edge of the town, now near the M5 motorway.
Despite the growth of industry, Stonehouse remains an attractive rural town close to beautiful countryside. Its wide High Street contains a number of historic buildings from old coaching inns to the Post Office built of local brick in 1933. It is but a few minutes’ walk to experience the delights of rivers, woods and hills surrounding our historic town.
To find out more about the history of Stonehouse and some of the walks around the area, visit the Stonehouse History Group website
View the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Submission draft