The Sub Rooms are a part of Stroud’s cultural heritage. In the same way, they were funded and constructed by proud local businessmen in the 19th century, they were recently restored to public hands after a long struggle by the community.

In this sense, we can’t separate the history of the Sub Rooms from the history of Stroud. We also can’t separate it from the city’s daily life. If a visitor shall come to this beautiful area, he or she will probably want to know the background of the Sub Rooms and find out what other attractions are there to see.

Manufacturing and progress in Stroud

The success of the Cotswold lies in its natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. This is a wealthy area with spectacular homes, estates, and churches that changed dramatically during the reign of Henry VIII. In those times, there was a change of policy regarding exportation and production. In other words, they realized that it would be much more profitable for the British to produce their own cloth, rather than exporting raw wool and importing the clothing back into the country.

In this context, Stroud was the ideal place for wool processing and cloth production thanks to the five streams that feed the Frome River. This amount of water available was quite useful because it provided the proper cleansing for the wool. Besides, it powered the many mills required to weave the cloth.

These changes had a significant effect on the northern towns of the Cotswold and, particularly for Stroud, it guaranteed a prosperous future. Thus, the town and its surroundings flourished with manufactural activity and everything this entails for a small town like this.

The first record of a settlement in the area of modern Stroud dates back to 1221. Its name probably refers to the marshy ground at the confluence of the River Frome and the Slade Brook.

After this, the town started to develop slowly but steadily. The first church was built in 1304, while the first market was established in 1594. In only 100 years, Stroud became known as the centre of cloth production, manufacturing high-quality, richly dyed broadcloth.

Even today we can see signs of this glorious era for Stroud and the region. The marketplace, for example, was close to the church at Shambles square. Here we can still see signs of those times, which give Stroud a picturesque look and undoubted historic value.

Nature meets culture in the Stroud district

If you come to visit the Sub Rooms, you’ll probably want to take a few days to explore the region. This is a wise decision as the area is rich in cultural and natural attractions. The video below gives you a peek at what you can do in the Stroud district.

If you like what you see, there are plenty of things to do in Stroud and its surroundings. Here is a list of some places you won’t regret visiting:

  • Select festival
  • Cotswold and Stroud Valleys
  • Lypiatt Park
  • Stratford Park
  • Miserden Garden
  • Museum in the Park
  • St Mary’s church
  • Historical trail
  • Coaley Peak
  • Woodchester Park
  • Cloth mills of the five valleys
  • Woodchester mansion
  • Stroudwater navigation
  • Farmers’ market
  • Subscription rooms

Select festival

If you want to see a fine selection of workshops, talks, and exhibitions, come to Stroud from April to June. This is when the Stroud Festival takes place, a textile-based arts event that represents the town and the region. These events are held all over town, but especially at the Sub Rooms and the Museum in the Park.

Cotswold and Stroud Valleys

Stroud Valleys

A place with unique beauty, the Cotswold welcomes visitors from all over the world. The bucolic landscape is filled with grassy hills and five beautiful valleys: Slad, Cam, Chalford, Nailsworth, and Painswick. Among other charming sites, visitors will encounter picturesque villages that strived during the industrial revolution.

Historical trail

The historical trail at Stroud’s downtown is not famous for its length. Being less than 1 mile long, this is a fascinating trail through the town’s historical snippets. The best starting point is St Laurence’s churchyard and one of the most interesting places is the Old Town Hall, dating back to 1570. The Shambles Market is nearby forming an impressive scene.

Farmers’ market

Stroud’s farmer market is considered one of the best ones in the UK. Mainly showcasing the work of local producers, this is a great place to support small businesses. Visitors come here to find a variety of regional products like cheese, preserves, poultry, tea, Cotswold wine, artisan soaps, craft beer, and vegan food.

Stroudwater navigation

The Severn River served as a carrier of materials during the thrive of the wool industry, which was quite active in this area. This waterway was completed as a part of a system that connects London to Bristol with such success, that it was still in use even after the railways were implemented.

Now, many of the mills and houses were restored and the waterway is a perfect place to admire this testimony from the past. The Geographical Society has laid out a walk of only 3 miles from Stroud to Stonehouse to make this possible.

Testimony of an era

If we take a look at the Stroud district and what it offers, it’s clear that there is much more to it than the Subscription Rooms. In any case, the surroundings only make this building more valuable, placing it as a symbol of a town that has a rich history behind it. In Stroud, the past and the present are combined to offer residents and visitors a unique experience.

By Sarah