Stone stiles are found in many areas of the country. There are examples throughout Gloucestershire including the area in and around Cirencester For centuries they have provided access to locals walking along pathways as they went about their business whilst preventing sheep and cattle from straying further afield. Despite the historic value of these stone stiles, scores of them have been abandoned and some now lost forever.
In 2020 Peter Wilson, launched ‘The Stile Project’. Working in association with CPRE and the Cotteswold Naturalists Field Club, Peter’s aim is to produce a record of every remaining stone stile in Gloucestershire before they are lost forever …but he needs your help.
When you are out walking, if you spot a stone stile, or if you know of an existing stile, please photograph it, if possible, from both sides. Download a Stile Recording Form by going to the CPRE website, https://www.cpreglos.org.uk/creating-a-record-of-gloucestershire-stone-stiles/ Please give as much information as possible before emailing the form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any ‘duplicate’ stiles recorded are welcome as you may take a better picture than the one already on file. In addition, Peter is looking for background notes, history, geology and the landscape setting of each stone as well as its precise OS location. Don’t worry if you’re not able to give all that information but he would like to know exactly where you came across the stile.
It’s heartening to report that since the project was launched just a year ago, over 500 stiles have been recorded. Peter believes however there are up to 100 stiles in the county as yet unidentified. The stile you come across may be one of those!
So, when you see a stone stile, please take a picture, download the form and send it to Pete STONE STILES with as much information as you can. Thank you.