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Updated 05/24/2013


Thornbury Cottage

Thornbury is a market town in South Gloucestershire, England, approximately 12 miles north of the city of Bristol.  There is evidence that Thornbury dates back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages but the earliest documented evidence of Thornbury's history comes in the 9th century, with a settlement of "Thornbyrig". The town charter was created in 1252.  In earlier times Thornbury had a thriving market, held on the High Street and in the Market Hall.  Thornbury's coat of arms is the arms of four families important in the town's history: Attwells, Howard, Clare and Stafford.

Thornbury's most notable feature is its castle, a Tudor structure begun in 1511 as a home for Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. The two intricate red-brick chimneys were built in 1514, and are similar to those found at Hampton Court Palace. Cardinal Wolsey beheaded the Duke for treason in 1521. Following the Duke's demise the castle was confiscated by King Henry VIII who stayed at the Castle for 10 days in 1535 with Anne Boleyn. Following the English Civil War the Castle fell into disrepair but was renovated in 1824 by the Howard Family. The Castle is now a 26 room luxury hotel and restaurant.

The tune was composed by Bruce Gandy.

Bruce Gandy is one of the most natural and talented musicians, composers and competitors to enter the world piping scene in the last 50 years. As a player, he is “a piper’s piper” – a player whose gift for technique, rhythm, melody and poise even the best look up to.

When in top form on the competition platform he is formidable, and while the major Scottish prizes seemed to elude him for a long time, in recent years he has begun to gather them up, much to the satisfaction of his friends and competitors.

As a composer, his catalogue of superb tunes is large and still growing. Pipers are often surprised to learn that a tune they’ve heard for years and thought was in the traditional repertoire is actually a Bruce Gandy composition.
In short, he is one of Canada’s national piping treasures.