Number 28A Castle Street in Thornbury is the house shown here with the black door. The adjoining house with the yellow door is number 28 Castle Street and the two houses share an interesting history. Read about the early history of these properties
We have been been able to trace the occupants of the house that is now 28A Castle Street by studying a variety of sources including indentures and land tax records.
Ann Reed. The land tax records of 1800 shows that the tenant of what we believe to be 28A Castle Street was owned by Abraham Riddiford and tenanted by Ann Reed. Ann was a tenant of 28A Castle Street up to the time of death aged 92 in January 1823. We believe that Ann was the widow of a shoemaker called William Reed and that she was born Ann Rice. Read more about the Reed family
William Philpot. By 1822 the land tax records show that the house was occupied by William Philpot. William Philpot was a basket maker. He married Elizabeth Park at the Church of St Augustines the Less in Bristol on 4th April 1818. By 1826 William Philpot no longer appeared in the Thornbury land tax records. It’s possible that they moved to their house on The Plain at this time as the house would have been located in the Tything of Kington and therefore not in the Thornbury Land Tax area. Read more about William and his family
William Liddiatt (or Lydiatt) By 1826 the land tax records show that the tenant of the house was now William Liddiatt. We cannot be sure that the records were kept up to date but William Liddiatt is referred to as a tenant in Abraham Riddiford’s will of 1827 (see below).
We don’t know anything about William’s early life. He married Hannah (maiden name unknown) and they had several children born and baptised in Thornbury: Elizabeth born on 27th November 1804 and baptised on 27th November 1804, Thomas born on 20th July 1807 and baptised on 23rd August 1807, James born on 1st January 1810 and baptised on 18th March 1810, William (noted as having the surname ‘Lidyat’) baptised on 10th January 1813, Richard baptised on 7th May 1815, Ann baptised on 16th August 1818, Sarah baptised on 30th December 1821 and Charles baptised on 10th April 1825. The baptism records show that William was a sawyer. Although we haven’t found any baptism record we suspect that William had another son, John, born about 1805. In 18541 John was also a master sawyer, but he went on to become a publican at the Wheatsheaf.
The 1841 census shows that William was aged 64 and a sawyer. He was living at this property with his wife Ann Liddiatt aged 62 and Richard, a sawyer, Sarah aged 19, Charles aged 16 and baby Elizabeth and G. Watkins aged 9. ‘Anna’ died later that year on 1st September aged 62 and William died 19th April 1846 aged 70 years. In Gloucester Record office there are documents amongst the papers of John Thurston which refer to receipts for rent and for timbers in 1839 and 1841 respectively from William. We do not know what premises William Liddiatt would have been renting, perhaps this was connected with his business. We believe that William Liddiatt junior, the son of William and Ann Liddiatt married Margaret Mitchie and lived at 13 Castle Street and 4 Sawmill Lane.
The will of Abraham Riddiford shows that he left the properties that became 28 and 28A Castle Street to his daughter Ann. In 1827 the will described them as follows;
“all that my freehold messuage or dwellinghouse in three tenements in the several occupations of William Liddiatt John Longden and Mary Hopkins widow as my tenants thereof with the gardens and appurtenances thereto adjoining and belonging and which said I bought and purchased of Mark Nash and also all that messuage or dwelling house in two tenements in the several occupations of Richard Lansdown and …(left blank)..Carter as my tenants thereof with the garden and appurtenances thereto adjoining and belonging which I bought and purchased of William Taylor all which said messuages tenements or dwellinghouses gardens and premises are lying and adjoining on the East side of the …street of the town and borough of Thornbury aforesaid.“
The second property which appears to be what is now 28A was divided into three and in 1827 the occupants there were William Liddiatt, John Longden and Mary Hopkins. The Tithe Map of 1840 confirms that the property was given the reference number 278 and was at that time occupied by Sarah Webb, William Liddiatt and Joseph Birt.
John Longden may be the man who died in the poorhouse in December 1841 aged 72 years. The registers of St Mary’ Church show that a man called John Longden was married to Hannah nee Edmunds (or Edmonds) on 20th April 1796. Hannah was the daughter of John and Mary Edmonds. John and Hannah Longden had several children, some of whom died very young; William born 15th March 1799, John born 25th December 1801, George 7th May 1804, Emma born 20th December 1806 and died in 1818 aged 11 years and finally James 28th August 1809 and died in 1817 aged 7 years. We have seen a receipt for work done by John Longden for Thomas Rolph dated 1809. The receipt is for building work done which seems to include stones for a wall to be built and two gate posts. The receipt mentions labourers which implies that John had men working for him.
John and Hannah Longden may have lived in one of Stokefield Cottages from about 1812 to about 1821. This property had previously been tenanted by Hannah’s mother Mary Edmonds.
In 1827 on the 12th November there was a newspaper report of the commitment to gaol of two men, one Ephraim Wilson and the other George Longden. They were charged with entering a wood in Thornbury at night with guns “with intent to destroy game.” George Longden would have been the right age to be the son of John Longden, who was baptised in in 1804 and he would be a couple of year younger than Ephraim Wilson who was with him. Poaching seems to have been a common crime in the area.
John’s wife, Hannah, died aged 65 in February 1837.
Mary Hopkins the widow in 1827 married Joseph Birt on 10th July 1836. The 1841 census shows that they were still living in the house and Joseph Birt was a 58 year old agricultural labourer and his wife Mary was 59. Read more about Joseph Birt
Sarah Webb was 48 in the 1841 Census and was living with Charlotte 15, Thomas 11 and Sarah 8 (baptised 23rd Sept 1832). She was living with George Webb who was 27. The 1851 census shows that Sarah was 59 and a milk carrier still living in this house.
An indenture of 1852 says that the houses were then or late occupied by five householders. The households in 28A were Sarah Webb (widow), William Liddiatt and Joseph Birt. The 1851 census suggests that this is more likely to have been the situation some years earlier although Joseph Birt and Sarah Webb were indeed living here in the 1851 census. By the 1861 census Sarah was an occupant of Sir John Stafford’s Almhouses. Read more about Sarah Webb
James Moxham. In the 1851 census James Moxham and his family were also living there. Presumably they had moved into the property previously occupied by William Liddiatt. In 1851 James Moxham was aged 34 and an agricultural labourer from Thornbury. His wife Elizabeth was 36 and they had five children George 6 James 4 Elizabeth 3 Jane 1 and baby Mark. Click here to read more about the family
The 1861 census shows that the number of occupants of the houses had reduced to three families. One of these was the family of Thomas Eddington who eventually bought the property from George Danvers Crossman some time between 1880 and 1885. The Eddingtons appear to have gradually taken over the smaller units. When the Embletons owned the property in the 1980’s the larger one was 28A and the smaller 28 was occupied by Mrs Embleton’s mother. In the absence of other evidence we have assumed that the Eddingtons lived in 28A. Click here to read about the Eddingtons.
Subsequent occupiers of 28A appear to have owned it.