The house that is now number 34 Castle Street in Thornbury is the little grey house in the photograph on the left. The early history of this house is linked to that of its neighbours as the six houses which are now numbers 32 to 42 Castle Street were all built by the same person, Joseph Parslow.
Thomas and Elizabeth Savery. The 1840 Tithe Apportionment Map shows that Thomas Savery lived in the house and that it was owned by William Reeve or Reeves. We have not been able to trace any information about William.
The 1841 census shows that Thomas Savery aged 45, a watchmaker and his wife Elizabeth Savery aged 47 lived in the house that became 34 Castle Street with their children; John aged 19, William aged 12, Joseph aged ten, Robert aged eight and John Cullimore aged 82 a labourer. Read more about Thomas and Elizabeth Savery
Grace Reeves and Elizabeth Gibbs. The 1851 census shows that the next occupant of the house that we know about was Grace Reeves a nurse from “Luckam” (actually Luckham or Luccombe) in Somerset. She was living with with her 30 year old unmarried niece a dressmaker Elizabeth Gibbs who was born in Thornbury. We do not know very much at all about this family. It seems probable that Elizabeth Gibbs was the daughter of William and Sarah Gibbs who was baptised 11th September 1814. William Gibbs married Sarah Reeves in October 1811. We believe that Sarah Reeves would have been the sister of Grace Reeves’s husband.
We know that Grace Reeves owned this property because in 1915 when the neighbouring house (number 36 Castle Street) was sold it was said to be next to a house be formerly owned by Grace Reeves (number 34). We do not know how or when she acquired it but we assume she inherited it.
The 1861 census describes Grace Reeves as a widow aged 78 who was a nurse born in “Luckin” in Somerset and her niece Elizabeth Gibbs aged 40 and an unmarried governess from Thornbury. There were also three children in the household Mary Gibbs aged 15 also a niece and Frances Weekes a boarder aged 5 and Wesley Whitfield also a boarder aged 5.
Grace’s “niece”, Mary Gibbs was the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Gibbs. This would make her actually Grace Reeves’s great niece rather than her niece as Mary’s father, Charles Gibbs, was Grace’s nephew. Charles was a cordwainer.
In 1851 Mary had been living with her parents Charles and Elizabeth in the High Street. In the 1861 Census Charles Gibbs a shoe maker was aged 43 and living with his wife Elizabeth and young Charles aged 12 and Elizabeth aged 10.
The 1867, 1869 and 1871 rate books all show Mrs Reeves continued to occupy the house. The 1871 census shows Grace Reeves was a widowed monthly nurse aged 94 from Somerset living with her lodger Mary Gibbs a 46 year old unmarried school mistress from Grovesend. This Mary Gibbs was actually a niece of Grace Reeves. She was the daughter of William Gibbs and his wife Sarah and would have been the sister of Charles Gibbs.
Grace died in Thornbury in the March quarter of 1872 aged 95.
It seems that one of Grace Reeves’s nieces actually owned the house after her death because the 1876, 1878 and 1879 rate books shows that Ann Bevan lived in this house and that it was owned by Miss Gibbs. Possibly this would be the niece, Mary Gibbs, who was living with her before her death but we have no confirmation of this.
Ann Bevan. The 1881 census shows that Ann Bevan, a staymaker 54 years of age, was living in the house with a blind lady Harriett Griffin who was a boarder aged 69 and a widow maintained by her son. They had a visitor Mary Griffin who was an unmarried laundress born in Devizes Wiltshire and aged 34.
The rate books of 1880, 1885, 1890 and 1894 all show that Ann Bevan continued to live in a house owned by Miss Gibbs. Read more
Caroline Butler nee Bevan. The rate book of 1899 shows that Ann Bevan continued to live in the house but that it was owned by Mrs Butler. We believe that “Mrs Butler” was the daughter of Ann and Thomas Bevan. Read about Caroline Butler
In the 1901 census Ann Bevan was a 76 year old corset maker living on her own in 34 Castle Street, which had three rooms. Ann Bevan died on 23rd June 1903 aged 78. Her address then was given as “High Street.”
Charles Phelps. The rate book of 1905 shows that Charles Phelps lived in the house and that it was owned by the Representatives of the late H Butler. In 1901 Charles Phelps was a 26 year old tailor. Click here to read about Charles Phelps
Mary Reeves. The rate book of 1910 shows that Mary Reeves lived in a house owned by the representatives of the late H Butler. The 1911 census shows that the house was occupied by the widowed Mary Reeves aged 45 who was living with her daughter Annie Reeves, a dressmaker. The census records that Mary had had three children but that one had died. The inscriptions in Thornbury cemetery tell us more of the story. There is an inscription for Frederick Charles Reeves the beloved son of Charles and Mary who died August 19th 1901 aged 7 years and 9 months. There is an additional inscription to the effect that Charles Reeves also died. He passed away on October 25th 1909 aged only 48. Read more about Mary and Charles Reeves.
Charlotte Alice Maud Price. The 1911 census also shows that Charlotte Alice Maud Price aged 48 and unmarried lived in a separate household at this address. We assume she was a lodger of Mary Reeves. Charlotte was a school mistress at the Council School.She was born in Bristol and was the daughter of Jonathan and Frances Price. In 1881 she was living with her parents in Hotwells Road in Clifton. She was 18 years old and a pupil teacher. In the 1891 census she was teaching at a National School in Imber in Wiltshire. In 1901 she was living in Baylham in Suffolk, where she was a schoolmistress living in the School house next to the Rectory. She seems to have moved into Thornbury about 1910. She died in Bristol in 1944 aged 82.
The Barge family. The next occupant of 34 Castle Street was Arthur John Barge. Arthur John Barge was born in Thornbury on 6th April 1888. We believe he was the son of Samuel and Emma Barge and that he appears in the 1891 census as “John Barge” living in St Mary Street. Read about the Barge family.
On 23rd February 1914 Arthur John Barge, 25 a chauffeur living in Thornbury married Emily Mary Bowyer aged 20 of Kington. Their first child was their daughter Edith whose birth was registered in 1915. Please see below for more details of their children.
When Arthur joined the Army Service Corps he described himself as “Arthur John Barge of Castle Street aged 27 years 7 months.” At the time of enlisting he was a chauffeur. The record says he was “Church of England religion, 5ft 4 inches, 140 lbs, 37.5. inch chest with 2 inch range.” The record also says his children at that time were Edith Leah born 12th December 1914 and Herbert John was born 4th May 1916. The campaigns he was involved in were in England 27th April 1917 to 21st May 1917 and in France from 22nd May 1917 to 10th July 1918. He was demobbed from the army on 7th December 1919. He embarked on ‘Archimedes’ from Southampton to Le Havre on 6th May 1917.
By 1915 when the neighbouring house (number 36) was sold this house (number 34) was described as formerly owned by Grace Reeves and now owned by Francis Williams.
The last will and testament of Emma Ann Screen dated 15th May 1916 shows that Emma was the owner of the property at that time. Emma died in Dulwich on 2nd February 1917.
On 7th September 1918, 34 Castle Street, amongst other properties was put up for sale. It was said to be “in the occupation of Mr J Barge at £10 and 10 shillings a year”. The Western Daily Press of January 11th 1918 showed that it had been bought by Mr S Barge. We assume that Samuel Barge bought the house for his son.
The electoral rolls up to 1954 show Arthur John Barge and Emily Mary Barge. Emily Barge is in the photograph on the right with her son Herbert and daughter Edith Leah. The photograph above on the left shows Arthur John Barge in his garden. From 1950 the electoral roll also showed Arthur John’s sister Leah M Barge also lived in Castle Street.
In 1954 the electoral roll showed Arthur John Barge and his wife Emily shared the house with their son, Roy, and Arthur’s sister Leah. The same record also shows that their daughter Olive and her husband Ronald York lived at 34 Castle Street. It seems possible that Emily Barge died between 1958 and 1965 as she does not appear in the electoral roll for 1965. It seems likely that her death was registered in Bristol in the March quarter of 1959. After 1975 their son Roy Barge occupied the house. We understand that Roy lived there alone for many years and did not marry.
Of the children of Arthur John Barge
Edith Leah Barge was born on 12th December 1914. We have been told that Edith married John Moran
Herbert J Barge was born on 4th May 1916. Herbert was known as Tom. We have been told that his wife’s name was Joyce. The photograph on the left shows Tom whilst he was serving with the 8th Army. There is a Free BMD record that Hebert J Barge married Frances A J Watkins in Thornbury in 1940.
Joan M Barge was born in 1920. Joan married George Benson in 1937.
Olive Barge was born in 1927. Olive married Ronald York in 1948.
Roy C Barge was born in 1932.