Stroud Local History Society is the local history society for Stroud in the historic County of Gloucestershire, UK. Our monthly indoor meetings, from September to April, take place at the St Laurence Church Hall, or the Old Town Hall, both in The Shambles, Stroud. In the summer we arrange visits.

St Laurence Hall, Shambles
St Laurence Hall, Shambles, photo by P Stevens 2010

Currently we have over 70 members, and we are on Facebook and Twitter.

The menu links above tell you more about the society, our resources archive, and the wide variety of research carried out over the years by our members. Stroud People and Places Index is a good page to start.

Our programme is here.

Past meetings and events are described here.

Books currently for sale are here

A walk round Stroud is here

News is lower down on this page

Stroud and the Five Valleys are well known – but which are the five valleys?

P H Fisher in Notes and Recollections of Stroud (1871), says they are:

The vales of

  • Cuckold’s brook (Ruscombe brook joins the Frome at Dudbridge)
  • Painswick (Painswick Stream joins the Frome at Lodgemore)
  • Slad and Steanbridge (Slad Brook joins the Frome at Wallbridge)
  • Stroud and Chalford – River Frome
  • Rodborough, Woodchester and Nailsworth (Nailsworth Stream joins the Frome at Dudbridge)

These are separated by the hills of

  • Whiteshill; Wickeridge Hill; Stroud Hill; Rodborough Hill

The Frome rises at Climperwell, Brimsfield; after about 14 miles it reaches Stroud; then flows via the Vale of Stonehouse and after 8 miles it falls into the River Severn at Framilode



Summer Exhibition

15th – 23rd July 2017, the Museum in the Park (see their opening hours)

This year’s Summer Exhibition by Stroud Local History Society will tell stories of Holloway Brothers’ Clothing Company, and why George Holloway has a statue in Stroud; Schools in the Stroud district, by ten local history groups; The magnificent 1911 pageant; Everyday life in Stroud during WW1; and pioneering balloon ascents. SLHS members will be available to answer questions and collect your stories. Rolling slide-shows and a book sale will provide the opportunity for a quiet sit down.


New ‘Then and Now’ cards will be on sale


Old Town Hall
Old Town Hall, Shambles. photo by P Stevens 2010

Old Stroud BreweryJuly 2016 – New book The Old Stroud Brewery by Marion Hearfield

Jun 2016 –Holloway ledgers are back in Stroud

June 2016 – New book Stroud History Tour by Howard Beard

Jan 2016 – SLHS has stepped in to ensure the Digital Stroud website continues to provide an invaluable source of historical information about Stroud.

July 2015 – new acquisition – a book from Rodborough Charity School

July 2015 – new acquisition – Cainscross school archive

New book, March 2015 – Stroud Subscription Rooms – price £5 more info

New book , November 2014 – The Church by Stroud Hospital – price £5 more info


Added August 2014 – Information from the Archives of the Citizen

Added July 2014 – Virtual Town Trail with photos, so you can see Stroud and find out about some of it’s history, without walking around!

Added July 2014 – a review of 30 years of events that had happened in Stroud since our first meeting in 1984.


11.4.10 photos of Stroud 071

The Ram. top of High St
The Ram. top of High St, photo by P Stevens 2010

The Town of Stroud officially dates from 1304, prior to that it was  part of the parish of Bisley.  Stroud was granted a market charter in 1594 and the Old Town Hall in The Shambles dates from that time.

Stroud became an important centre for the woollen industry using local and imported wool, producing fine quality cloth, known internationally as ‘Strouds’. Billiard cloth and the cloth for tennis balls are still produced.

The development of the industry resulted from the purity and availability of water in the network of streams from the local hills. Mills were built along the streams to utilise the water power, many of these buildings remain today, one of which still produces cloth.

Questions, suggestions and submissions are welcome  – please use the contact us page

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