Bisley is a charming village set on a remote hilltop, high in the Cotswolds, overlooking the Stroudwater Valley. Locally, the village is known as, “Bisley, God help us”. This name may originate from the times when the village was cut off in Winter, or could relate to the poverty which the village suffered in the late 18th century when the textile industry collapsed.
Gabled greystone houses rise in terraces on either side of the main street. At the top of George Street, is the Bear Inn. It has distinctive 17th century columns, supporting the upper floor and clearly denotes its former use as the Court House. It is only a short walk to the open-fronted Lock-Up, dating from 1824.
All Saints Church dates from the 13th century, but was restored in the 19th century. The rector then, was the Rev. Thomas Keble, the younger brother of the Rev. John Keble, after whom Keble College, Oxford was named. Church Hill climbs to the lychgate, the entrance to the churchyard. At the foot of Church Hill, is Wesley House, the home in the late 19th century of Sister Amelia and other Wesleyan Sisters, who ran a temperance mission, seeking to divert customers away from the five public houses, which the village then supported and also providing holidays for deprived children from London.