A brief history of Andoversford Village

Andoversford hamlet, named from the crossing of the river Coln by the Stow–Gloucester road at the east end of the parish, is mainly of 19th- and 20th-century growth, though there were a few dwellings in that area by the 13th century when several inhabitants of Dowdeswell were surnamed ‘of Andoversford’. In the early modern period the place-name usually took the form Anford or Anfords ford. From the Gloucester road a short way west of the ford an old lane led northwards to join an old Cheltenham–London road in Whittington parish west of Syreford, and in the early 17th century an inn (from the mid 19th century called the Royal Oak) was built on the Gloucester road opposite the entrance to the lane. A stone farmhouse, later called Home Farm, was built beside the lane in the 17th century and comprises and before the end of the18th century at least one cottage had been established on the waste on the north side of the Gloucester road near the entrance to the lane; the lord of Dowdeswell manor gave a mason leave to rebuild it on a larger scale in 1807 and it was joined by a second cottage soon afterwards

Garricks House to Garricks Head

A house called Crarricks House in 1737 (later usually Carricks or Garricks House) stood west of Andoversford on the north-west corner of the junction of the Gloucester road and the road from Lower Dowdeswell. Its position suggests that it was at one time an inn or alehouse, and in 1824 and until the early 20th century a smithy adjoining served traffic on the main road. A small stone house built at the south-west corner of the junction (within Withington parish) after 1819 had opened as a public house by 1851 under the sign of the Garricks Head, though the name Garricks House was also used sometimes for it as well as for the older house opposite. The public house closed in the mid 20th century.

The role of Andoversford

The new Cheltenham-London road built through Andoversford in 1825 crossed the old lane north of Home Farm and crossed the Coln by a bridge before forming a crossroads with the Gloucester road beside the old ford. Though making Andoversford a focal point on the road system, the new road was little developed until the 20th century; the only buildings on it by 1838 were the new Andoversford inn (later Hotel) on its east side, a cottage and smithy at the crossroads, and a cottage and carpenter’s shop near-by. A pair of cottages for the Sandywell estate was built just north of the inn in 1877 and others, in pairs or threes, were added before the end of the century further north on the site of a former brickworks. Before 1883 a terrace of 10 cottages was built on the south side of the Gloucester road adjoining the Royal Oak inn.

The role of Andoversford was enhanced in the late 19th century by the building of the two railway lines and their stations; it became a centre for the local carrying trade and a live stock market was opened there. The Midland and South Western Junction line overlaid part of the Cheltenham–London road at the south end of the hamlet, and the road was diverted to the east by means of two right-angled turns and a bridge to carry the railway over it. The opening of the railway stations brought more business and in 1889 it kept its own post horses and carriages. It closed in 1980 and was later demolished to make way for housing. By 1906 two coal merchants (one also dealing in hay) and a corn and manure merchant had premises at Andoversford and during the earlier years of the 20th century it was a depot for railway freight, with, as well as the livestock on market days, much corn and timber being loaded there and large quantities of coal unloaded for distribution to surrounding villages.

The Northleach rural district council built six houses on the Cheltenham road at the north end of the hamlet in 1921. A few houses and bungalows were added to the hamlet in the 1920s and 1930s by private enterprise, which in 1930 the council said was likely to supply local housing needs.

In 1939 elements of what had become an important centre for the area were the sale yard, coal merchants, two public houses, two garages, a doctor’s surgery, a branch of the National Farmers Union, a post office (kept at Home Farm), the smithy, and a grocer, builder, and newsagent.

The small settlement at Garrick’s Head was enlarged in 1939 by an estate of eight council houses called Clock House Square and in the 1950s and 1960s by a few private houses and bungalows, one replacing the original Garrick’s House. After the Second World War, however, the council decided on Andoversford, with its good road and rail communications and its proximity to Cheltenham, as the site of its main housing development outside Northleach town, and in the mid-1950s the Crossfields estate was built north of the Gloucester road some way west of the old hamlet. The estate was further enlarged in the 1960s and new private bungalows were also built in the Andoversford area.

A small industrial estate was established on the south side of Andoversford in 1966, other firms settling there later included Cleanacres, and Cotswold Windows. In the late 1980s a development company bought another part of the former railway property further south and introduced other businesses.

In the late 20th century, after a bypass had relieved the pressure of traffic, there was further private building, including a substantial estate on the west side of the Cheltenham road called Hunters Way; that estate was being expanded in 1998 by building on the site of the Banbury and Cheltenham line station called Pine Halt. Another recent estate then covered the site of the Andoversford Hotel (Huntsman’s Meet) on the east of the road. In 2011 building started on the site of THWhite; it now has 39 2, 3, and 4 bedroom Houses called Coln Gardens. The site opposite Dale’s stores started in 2012 and now has 17 2, 3, and 4 bedroom houses called Jubilee Mews. In 2016 17 new houses were built on the Old Cattle Market on Station Road and is now renamed The Old Market Place.

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