siddington village - gloucestershire

The history of siddington

Signs of Bronze Age and Roman habitation have been found all over the parish. The first written records start with the Doomsday Book in 1086. At that time, the parish of ‘Sudintone’ consisted of five manors with two priests, covering an area of 20 hides (about 1500-2000 acres). Today Siddington covers just over 2000 acres. There used to be two churches in the village, St Peter’s Siddington and St Mary’s Upper Siddington. The two parishes were amalgamated in 1663 under the rector of St Mary’s, Dr George Bull. When St Mary’s was finally demolished in 1778, some of the bricks were used to construct the rectory and the school which opened in 1860, both now standing near the site of the old church.

Siddington is proud of the fine Norman building of St Peter’s church. The tower has six bells which were hung in 1879 and there are a few Victorian additions. Next to the church stands the one of the oldest tithe barns in the country, dating from the mid-13th century when the manor was given to the Knights Hospitaler of St John.

Not far from the church, behind a high stone wall, stands Roberts House, the former home of John Roberts (1619-1683). one of the founding members of the Quaker movement. Near to the house is a now disused Quaker burial ground.

The line of the disused Thames and Severn Canal runs through the village. From 1789 the canal linked the two great rivers, but there were numerous structural problems and the canal was never a financial success. The canal path has been cleared and villagers can enjoy the perfect cross-sections of locks as they take a stroll.

The abandoned Midland and South Western Junction of the main Swindon to Cheltenham railway line (1883-1964) and the Great Western railway from Cirencester to Kemble (1841-1965) both ran through the village. The path of the old railway line is also a much-loved walk by locals.

Today the parish of Siddington has a population of approximately 1,200 people with about 750 living in the village itself and a further 400 in north Siddington and others in outlying dwellings.