ďThe Land of the Horseshoe BendĒ

Arlingham  Framilode  Frampton  Fretherne  Saul

Since manís earliest settlements appeared in the land bordering the Horseshoe Bend, the River Severn has provided food and a means of transport for the people living along its banks. Sadly, the earlier abundance of fish, eels and wild birds has dwindled to a shadow of its former glory. The hazardous navigation through the reefs and sand banks of the river was alleviated when, in 1827 ad, the Gloucester Sharpness canal was opened to shipping. The earlier Stroudwater canal crossed the Gloucester Sharpness canal at Saul Junction and this opened a route for water borne traffic from Gloucester right through to the navigable head waters of the River Thames and then onwards to London. The new junction made the canal basin at Upper Framilode, with its lock gates into the tides of the Severn, virtually redundant and marked the start of the hamletís decline from a busy industrial area to its present peaceful state.

Before the onset of Dutch Elm disease and, prior to that, the grubbing out of hundreds of acres of orchards following the the decline of fruit growing in the area, the view over the Vale from the Cotswold escarpment gave the impression of a great forest. Now it is the field patens that dominate the landscape but fortunately, the ruthless ripping out of hedges that have dominated some other areas of the country, has been much less evident in this locality, with many hedgerows and small groups of trees still surviving. The predominant agriculture of the area centres around sheep, cattle and dairy farming but an interesting side effect of the sharp decline in  the profitability of the latter, has been the planting of a significant area of mixed hardwood trees to the South of Frampton village.

The predominant impression that a visitor to the parishes  receives, is one of largely unspoilt countryside, with a rich variety of cottage and house styles in the villages, leavened by the interest boat movements on the canal, the wide open reaches of the bordering river and the distant views of the Forest of Dean and the Cotswold Escarpment. Frampton has, what is reputed to be, the largest enclosed village green in the country, as well as the historic Frampton Court and Manor Farm.

Food and drink are available at the Bell Inn and the Three Horseshoes in Frampton, the Ship Inn at Upper Framilode, the Red Lion in the middle of Arlingham and the Passage Inn, beyond Arlingham, on the bank of the Severn opposite Newnham.

Brief histories of the five C of E churches in the parishes and the Congregational Church at Frampton can be found by opening their respective pages elsewhere in this web site. A more detailed description of Framptonís houses, fauna and flora, together with information on itís shops, pubs, garages, B&Bs and accommodation to rent can be found on the Frampton Village Societyís web site. To gain access to it, click here

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