Saul, Framilode and Fretherne

FRETHERNE AND SAUL were formerly separate parishes lying 8 miles south-west of Gloucester. They are washed on two sides by the River Severn. Fretherne and Saul lie across the neck of the sharp bend in the Severn that encloses the parish of Arlingham, so that the river is the boundary of the two parishes both on the north at Framilode and on the south-west by Saul Warth. An area of mostly farm land, there is great walks to be found almost around every corner and a dog walkers haven.

The parish of Fretherne with Saul has the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal as one of its boundaries. Along this canal you can find the Waterways Heritage Centre, the Willow Trust offering boat trips along the canal and peaceful walks. Hosts to some events along the stretch of waterway, including rowing, canal boat regattas and tall ship passages to Gloucester, there are many ducks that require feeding and many fish to be caught with Pike and Zander, being the premier catches.

The Memorial hall located at Saul Park, built in 1960 as a memorial to both world wars, is fully utilised by all three villages alike. Our current list of regular users are Saul under Fives playgroup (most weekdays) and Yoga, WI and fitness/aerobics being available in the evenings. The hall is available for all private bookings weekdays and weekends.

Saul Park being the central entertainment space, has been recently kitted out with a brand new table tennis table and stage to add to the current facilities of climbing frames, swings, slide, zip wire, waterfall, nature pond and basketball hoop. The park is a great asset to the village and visitors beyond, very popular in summer months and voted one of the best parks in Gloucestershire and play equipment adapted for wheelchair users. The park hosts two local council events a year with the Easter Eggstravaganza and Summer Fete.

Allotments are located in Saul for residents and non residents alike and has a great community spirit, we have a waiting list of eager growers.

All three villages have their own church and churchyard – each one maintained by their attendees and volunteers. St Mary’s of Fretherne, St James of Saul and St Peters of Framilode all hold great historical significance and their histories can be traced back to as early as 1281 ad.

The area has well utilised footpaths by ramblers and dog walkers alike. The Severn Way long distance footpath runs along the River Severn and part of which connects Upper and Lower Framilode. If you like a challenge you can walk the 10 mile stretch from Framilode to Saul Warth around the horseshoe and enjoy the fantastic views and countryside, perhaps even discover some fossils?

Framilode and Saul has the River Frome running through it which has its heading from several springs around Nettleton near Birdlip, approximately 25 miles away and meanders it way through Stroud Valley running parallel to the Stroudwater Canal finally coursing into the Severn River at Framilode. Which is also the location of part of the now disused Stroudwater Canal, currently an area under an environmental survey. There is currently work being undertaken to re-open the link between Saul Junction and Eastington, eventually opening back up the Stroudwater Canal to traffic which could link Saul with London eventually.

Saul is currently the second largest nesting site for Great Crested Newts in Gloucestershire and the Common Frog is a regular and protected visitor to the village. We have a great group of local enthusiasts that commit their free time to ensuring our local species thrive and co-exist alongside the human population, reducing our impact on their environment.

We have a well maintained village green which is host to the annual Saul Carol Service in December, where the local community gather to sing festive songs around the Christmas tree, eat mince pies, share good tidings and laughter.