Winterbourne is one of the largest villages in south west England with a population of over 8,965, as of the 2011 census. The Civil Parish of Winterbourne also includes Winterbourne Down, Hambrook and Frenchay.
Urban development and the expansion of Bristol has seen a lot of the natural woodland and fields surrounding Winterbourne disappear. The River Frome runs through Winterbourne where it continues onto Frenchay and eventually Bristol's floating harbour.
Winterbourne is a typical English village but residents are divided on whether it should really be classed as a town such is its size (St Michael's Rooms, Fromeside Community Centre and Greenfield are all social centres). Watley's End, a hamlet on the border with Frampton Cotterell, is also covered by Winterbourne although many residents still regard themselves as a separate village.
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Winterbourne has a long history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, where it was referred to as Wintreborne, which means 'Winter Stream'. The beautiful St Michael’s Church celebrated its 800th birthday in 1998 and is believed to be situated on the original location of the village of Winterbourne.
Among Winterbourne's once notable inhabitants was J K Rowling the author of the Harry Potter books and the inventor Harry Grindell Matthews, who invented the controversial so-called 'death-ray'.
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