Rodborough Manor Frigg's Mill The Bear Hotel Hillgrove House Bownham Park Private Road Rodborough Common Achards/The Achers Rooksmoor
GRO Rodborough Common IMG 0955
What: Some 242 acres of open grassland
Where: Located on top of Rodborough Hill

This area once belonged to the Lord of the manor of Rodborough, in which the inhabitants of the parish had the right to graze their livestock. Local farmers still exercise this right.

Notable landmarks are

  • the Plaque commemorating Lord Baden-Powell's visit to the area (founder of the Scout movement) encircled by trees
  • and the folly - Rodborough Fort
Now: Designated a European Special Area of Conservation, the common has been owned by the National Trust since 1937. Adding to its Tourist Appeal the Common has its very own Ice Cream factory called Winstone's, across from the Bear Hotel

Rodborough Common consists of some 242 acres of open grassland on the top of Rodborough Hill, which rises to over 600 ft. above sea level. In origin, it was an area of woodland belonging to the lord of the manor of Rodborough, in which the inhabitants of the parish had the right to graze livestock. In 1615, when it was described as 'the custom wood', there were evidently still trees, but subsequently intensive exploitation left it as the present open common. Local farmers still have the right to graze livestock here.

In more recent centuries, the common has been used for many purposes. In the 18th century, building stone was quarried at several small quarries on the edge of the common and archery tournaments were held at the Bear Inn. In 1906, the Stroud Golf Club was established at the Bear, and a nine-hole golf course was laid out on the common. The golf course closed in 1929-30 at the height of the depression, but it is still possible to make out four of the greens.

The flora and fauna of the common are unique in many respects, and it was one of the first sites in the country to be designated a European Special Area of Conservation. Since 1937, the common has been in the ownership of the National Trust.

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society