In pictures: The ‘oldest village in England’ just outside Bristol

The median age of the former mining community is 72

A former mining community on the outskirts of Bristol has been named as the ‘oldest’ village in England - with the median age said to be 72.

The median age of residents inside the village, which has a population of under 2,000 people, is taken from the recent 2021 census and has been released by the Office for National Statistics.

Although not having a railway station (closed in 1961), the village does boast three pubs, a few shops and a cricket club - plus it has a highly-rated viaduct cafe we reviewed last month.

Technically it is in South Gloucestershire, but its position close to the expanding boundary of urban Bristol means some city residents having been buying homes at new developments, such as Blackberry Park.

But despite the median age of the village, some want the place to stay as it is. Christine Helliker, 73, a full-time carer, has lived in Coalpit Heath for 46 years, said: “There were no estates or new houses – the reason we first came here is because it was a village.

“[Building houses] has to be done, but I don’t like the green fields going. I think it’s lovely that it’s the third oldest village – I’d like it to stay like that. I think there’s a good mixture [of older and younger people] here, I don’t think we need younger people, there’s enough.”

Locals say their favourite thing about Coalpit Heath is the proximity to nature - and the friendly feel. Tina Thomson, 46, said: “I grew up here and it’s just a nice village with nice walks and all the amenities.

Basil Taylor, 79, said: “I spend most of my leisure time in Coalpit Heath and we’ve lived near for over 40 years. I’ve just come out of the ukelele club – I’m not a drinking man so we take the children and grandchildren to softball and football here.

“It’s a lovely area, most of the people know each other and lots of people have moved in since we came here.”

Here are 10 pictures showing life inside Coalpit Heath:

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