|From:||Air Balloon (SO934161)|
|Length:||25.8 miles (41.5 km)|
|Meets:||A417, A435, A40, A429, A44|
|Former Number(s):||B4023, B4068|
|Old route now:||B4068|
|Route outline (key)|
If you leave Gloucester on the A417, you find yourself climbing a very steep hill. At the top you find yourself at a roundabout near the Air Balloon Public House where, to stay on the A417, you need to turn sharp right (a worthwhile detour as it takes you towards a great view point where you can see the scale of the hill you've just climbed. But, returning to the point, this roundabout marks the beginning of the A436.
Air Balloon - Chastleton
The road begins by following a hilly course through woods and farm land towards a staggered cross roads at Seven Springs with the A435 (the A436 is the road with the stagger). We continue on to Kilkenny where the road forks and the primary A436 continues ahead whereas the non-primary A436 takes the left hand fork. The reason for this apparently strange case of road numbering is that this first section of the A436 forms a southern bypass to Cheltenham and the signed route from the A40 to Gloucester (itself on the A40) is via the A436 rather than through Cheltenham itself. Therefore, the right-hand fork is effectively a spur, giving a short cut to and from the eastbound A40, whereas the left-hand fork forms the mainline of the A436, which itself reaches the A40 after a mile at the village of Andoversford.
Here, it is the A40 that runs north-south, so we take a brief left and right across the A40 to resume our eastward course through the Cotswolds. The course can be described as gently undulating, but relatively straight - there is a sense of old Roman alignments here, particularly at the junction with the B4068 which continues in a straight line from the approaching course of the A436. We continue on until we meet the A429 at Bourton on the Water - definitely a Roman Road, being the Fosse Way. I would say we weave our way between Bourton on-the-Water and Lower Slaughter, but you can't really describe a dead-straight road as weaving. It just manages to miss the two settlements.
The Landranger map shows that we are running parallel to The Gloucestershire Way, Monarch's Way, Macmillan Way and the Heart of England Way. Now that's a multiplex of foot paths to put most road multiplexes to shame.
A mile south of the impressive Cotswold town of Stow-on-the-Wold we meet the A424. At the crossroads in the middle of Stow we turn right, back on the A436 in its own right. As we leave the town, the B4450 forks off to the right, whilst we head north east, again through a mix of farm land and wood lined road, climbing from Adlestrop alongside Chastleton Barrow Fort to a T-junction with the A44, which marks the end of the A436.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies
The A436 is described in the1922 Road Lists as Andoversford - Stow-on-the-Wold - Chipping Norton (Cross Hands Inn); the eastern end was in the same place as now. However, as shown in the map on the left, the original routing was via the current B4068 rather than the current multiplex with the A429.
The section between the Air Balloon and Andoversford was unclassified in 1922 but soon became the B4023. It became part of the A436 in 1935.
The current route of the A436 east of Andoversford was unclassified in 1922 but became the B4068 in 1935. The two numbers were swapped over in the 1980s, although the A436 does not serve Bourton as the B4068 did.