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Dursley

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Dursley is a market town in Gloucestershire, England. It is under the North East flank of Stinchcombe Hill, and about 6 km South East of the River Severn. The town is adjacent to Cam which, though a village, is a community in its own right.GovernanceAn electoral ward in the same name exists. The population and area of this ward are identical to that of the parish.HistoryDursley gained borough status in 1471 and lost it in 1886. From then until 1974 it was the administrative centre of Dursley Rural District (RDC). In 1974 the RDC became part of Stroud District.The Parish Church of St. James the Great dates from the 13th century, but the modern building is largely of 14th and 15th century construction. The original church spire collapsed in January 1699 during a bell-ringing session, causing casualties. The current bell tower, in an imposing 'Gothic Survival' style was built by Thomas Sumsion of Colerne in the years 1708-09.The pillared market house, complete with statue of Queen Anne and bell turret, dates from 1738, when the town's markets attracted farmers and traders from miles around. It is now maintained by the Dursley Town Trust who also look after Jacob's House and the Heritage Centre.In 1856 a short branch line railway opened, called "The Dursley Donkey" by locals, linking Dursley and Cam to the Bristol - Gloucester main line at Coaley Junction. The branch line was closed in 1968. Coaley Junction station was also closed at about this time. However, in 1994 a new railway station called Cam and Dursley was opened on the main line 300m north of the site of Coaley Junction.
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