Wotton-under-Edge (GB)

From Stamps of the World

Distinctive Maltese Cross Postmarks of Great Britain h.jpg
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Wotton-under-Edge is a market town within the Stroud district of Gloucestershire, England. Located near the southern end of the Cotswolds, the Cotswold Way long-distance footpath passes through the town. Standing on the B4058 Wotton is about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the M5 motorway. The nearest railway station is Cam and Dursley

The first record of the town is in an Anglo-Saxon Royal Charter of King Edmund I, who in AD 940 leased four hides of land in Wudetun to Eadric. The name Wudetun means the enclosure, homestead or village (tun) in or near the wood (wude). The "Edge" refers to the limestone escarpment of the Cotswold Edge which includes the hills of Wotton Hill and Tor Hill that flank the town. In the 1086 Domesday Book listing, Wotton was in the hundred of Dudstone.

Kingswood Abbey was founded in 1139, but all that remains is a 16th-century Cistercian gatehouse. Nearby historical buildings include the Tudor houses of Newark Park and Owlpen Manor. The medieval former public house The Ancient Ram Inn dates back to 1145.

The original town was burnt down during the reign of King John (1199-1216); it was rebuilt in 1252 and a charter granted to Johanna de Berkeley authorising her to hold a market and a three-day annual fair on the Feast of the Cross. In 1272 the inhabitants of the borough were authorised to elect one of their members as a Mayor, a practice that continued every year until 1886.

St. Mary the Virgin was consecrated in 1283, and is the oldest and largest church in the town.

The Katharine Lady Berkeley's Grammar School was established in 1384 and is now a comprehensive named Katharine Lady Berkeley's School although the present modern building is a little outside of the town on the way to the village of Kingswood. The British School was established in the village in 1835.

A battle occurred near the Ancient Ram Inn in 1469, when the building was owned by a Viscount Lisle. William Berkely led the forces that beat the Viscount, and after the battle his men sacked the manor.

Overlooking the town on the top of Wotton Hill are a collection of trees planted in the 19th century to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. These are situated on the site that housed one of the early warning beacons used to warn England of the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

New Mills, founded in 1810, prospered by supplying both sides in the Napoleonic wars but after a century of decline the mill was near to closing in 1981 when it was acquired by Renishaw plc.

Philatelic relevance in 1840 when the Maltese Cross postmarks came into being to cancel the Penny Blacks, the MX received by the postmaster was either made with small cuts in the design OR someone at the office made small cuts in the design. Along with this distinctive look the cancel has becaome much sought after by collectors. Wotton-under-Edge was further given the 915 PO numeral in 1844

Maltese Cross of Wotton-under-Edge[edit]

Wotton-under-Edge (GB) MX on Plate 18 stamp, characterised by the 'file' cuts across the cross
Wotton-under-Edge (GB) MX b.jpg