Gotherington Primary School

The Lawns, Gotherington, Cheltenham, GL52 9QT

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Our School  »  Our School and Village History

Learn more about the history of our school and our village

As part of their work on the local area, our children have created a section of the school website which aims at developing our understanding of the history of the school and of the village of Gotherington. They have made really good use of their historical skills as well as benefiting from a visit from a local historian. We hope that you enjoy reading about what they have found out.


Developing your historical skills: ‘How to be a historian’ by Oliver and Ethan

How good are your historical skills?  We were asked to use the clues in the pictures to order them in date order.

The Village Hall

We think picture B is the oldest because it is different to the other pictures and has no electricity and not many animals.

Then it would be picture D because there are many difference between the two pictures and because picture B has straw and this picture has tiles so that means this it is newer than picture B.


After that, it would go picture C because picture B and D don’t have any cars but picture C does so that means this is the second newest and one of the most recognised.

So that leaves us with picture A. It looks like the newest because it has electricity poles and it also has the metal gates.


The Village Shop

Now we would like to tell you about the village shop .

First is picture B because people are walking on the road and the shop looks completely different.

After that, it is picture C because it is getting colour on the camera. It also has electricity and picture B doesn’t have any electricity so that leaves us with picture A.

Finally picture A is left because it looks just like it is now but only one building is different!

So now you haver the historical skills, we arev pleased to take you on a historical tour of Gotherington and our school.


The village of Gotherington is a small village near to Bishop’s Cleeve. It is believed that Gotherington was founded in about 780 A.D. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Godrinton’ and was for around six centuries split into Upper Gotherington and Lower Gotherington.

It was an area with a lot of agriculture until the mid-nineteenth century, from which point market gardening increased in its place.

The development of the village began in the 1880s when the village was one of the first to have its own rural nurse that had been organised by Elizabeth Malleson. The village school opened in 1881 and a post office in 1894. The local Parish Council was formed in the same year.


Gotherington 165 million years ago by Amelia & Lexi
165 million years ago Gotherington was under water and was very hot. The Blocky Plesiosaur swam round this area because of the pure water in Gotherington. The Blocky Plesiosaur had a long neck with blue smudges on the top of the flippers. Nearly the whole of the plesiosaurs’ body was grey.

Gotherington has such pure water because the water is filtered through the sand beds. In the past the water was used to help eye surgeons. The water goes through the wells in Gotherington. These wells have since been found underground.


Did you know? This is ‘Gotherington Sand Pits’ aka ‘The Lawns’.


The Stone Age (6,000 years ago) by Jonathan, Alessandra and Harriet

The Tibblestone is near Teddington. It was made in the Stone Age 6,000 years ago. Maybe it was used to meet other people because they had no phones? Some people say the stone had been thrown by a Giant near Bredon Hill. Recently, as it was standing, people piled grass up against it, and this made people cross as it was once an important stone. The name means ‘Stone of Tedbald’. It can also mean ‘Theobald’s Stone’. Theobald was a person recorded as a member of the Royal Northumbrian Family.


Stone Age axes are made from flint or chert. Some of the Stone Age axes found in our local area were made in the North of Wales and one was made in Cornwall.

   Did you know? Someone carried the axes from where the two arrows point all the way to Oakfield Road, Bishop’s Cleeve!


The Bronze and Iron Age by Sam, Devin and Isaac

On Nottingham Hill a farmer was ploughing his field when he found a wooden box with 25 Bronze age objects including swords, knives etc... in it. He thought these tools were made by a smith (a blacksmith).

After a few years, an arrow head was found near The Shutter Inn in the village.

Did you know? 2,500 years ago, in the Iron Age, Bishop’s Cleeve would have been made up of farmsteads with people living inside it. We think the people might have farmed cows and hens etc...


When the Romans Invaded by Alice, Hari & Juliette

Romans arrived in what is now Gloucestershire in about AD 43. In Woolstone Church there is a Roman column. Now it is a place to put pretty flowers.

In Woolstone there is a hill called the Walls and someone found some broken Roman pottery there. It looked like a type of pot or bowl.


Did you know? A very clever man made a model of a Roman farm to show what one would have looked like. If you want to know what life was like in Roman times you can go to Chedworth Villa.


The Anglo-Saxons by Griffin and Phoebe

The Anglo – Saxons first came to Britain from North-Western Europe in about AD 450 as farmers and traders, but also as fighters for new land. The part where Cheltenham still stands was part of the Hwicce Kingdom. There were twin brother’s called Eanhere and Eanfrinth who ruled it.

Did you know? The name Gotherington is from the Anglo – Saxons which was originally called Guthere’s farmstead.



1066 by Ben and Alfie

In 1066 Gotherington was given as a present to William the Conquerer’s standard bearer called Thurstan. The Domesday Survey shows us what was in Gotherington at that time.

Did you know? The Domesday Book tells us there were 8 ploughs, 22 people, 7 small holders with 13 ploughs and 20 slaves in Gotherington. There was also one mill.


All about the Dixton paintings by Isabelle, Eleah & Hattie

The Dixton paintings are of Gotherington countryside and fields. The Dixton paintings are by Jane Sale.

Jane’s house was Dixton manor and lots of people asked for her paintings of the area. There are two large paintings of the beautiful views from the big hills. Dixton is a little village in Alderton .

Did you know? The Dixton paintings were painted in about 1725.


The Old Forge by Florence & Martha

There is no date which tells us when the house was built. In1801 John and Sarah sold the property to Richard Williams. He then built a pig sty and stable. When Richard died in 1805 his wife and then his four sons owned it.

In 1841 a census tells us that Henry Sollis aged 30, along with his wife Hannah and their children Ann, Robert, William, Ellen, Emma and baby Henry lived there.

Did you know? On cold days, the children from Gotherington School went to the old forge to warm up. Florence now lives at the old Forge.


Gotherington Sampler by Bethan and Chloe

You may think that treasure is just underground but this was found in a cupboard! Charlotte Williams was 10 years old at Gotherington School in 1839 when she sewed this. We think the house on the picture was Ivy Ville, Malleson Road.

The census tells us she had 3 brothers - George who was 10, Charles who was 8 and John who was 5. They lived on Nottingham Hill and they walked to and from school down the muddy hill every day.


Did you know? 10 years later in 1851, another census revealed that she had moved off Nottingham Hill and was then found as a 22 year old at Bourton on the water as a slave!


Gotherington Primary School

A day school in Gotherington, opened in 1829, which had 18 boys and 4 girls in 1833. A Sunday school opened in 1823 which had 15 boys and 20 girls. The day school was supported by the parents, and the Sunday school by a Nonconformist congregation.

A school board for Gotherington was formed in 1875 and a new school building was opened in 1881. This was a small stone building with a house attached at the turning to Bishop's Cleeve. The school had a certificated master in 1881. It was divided into mixed and infant departments. The attendances at the time were recorded as 67 and 11 in 1908.

By 1936 it was a junior mixed and infant school. In 1964 there were approx.100 children.

In 1984 an extension was built onto the infant base in the shape of a very colourful sports hall and in 1985, a terrapin was added to the school grounds for what was known as the J3 and J4 classes to work in.


In 2015, the school had a new extension built which now houses the Year 5 and year 6 classes as well as a new school kitchen. This was opened by Sir Geoff Hurst, MBE.


The Railway by Vinnie & Sophie

On the Friday 1st June 1906, the railway opened. The children of the Irish railway workers went to Gotherington School. They had so many people so they had to use the village hall!

To check if the railway was ok, loads of men went on cattle trucks. They think it was the greatest event in Gotherington’s history! Gotherington Railway Station is a privately owned station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

Did you know? The railway line on this part of the Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon line remained open until 1976 with the track being in lifted around 1979.

The railway line was then replaced by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway reaching Gotherington in 1997. It was then extended to reach Cheltenham Racecourse in 2003.


The War Memorial by Mimi & Sophie

In 1918 the War Memorial in Gotherington was only a small patch of grass but after the war, a lot of children from the school helped to raise money to build the war memorial that we see today.

After the war, they put a gate around it so it didn’t get harmed. It was made on the 19th of November 1919 and its location is Cleeve Road in Gotherington. It was built so that everybody could remember their loved ones who died in the war.