The house that is now 38 Castle Street in Thornbury is at present the smart and brightly painted property that can be seen on the left. The image on the right below is a rather poor photograph of this area of Castle Street in the 1930s when the sewer pipes were put in for the first time. This must have been a huge improvement in living conditions at this time.
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 in Thornbury were all built by the same person, Joseph Parslow.
The owners of the house were for many years the owners of the house next door, number 36 and so the two the history of the two houses and their owners are dealt with together. Read about the owners of numbers 36 and 38 Castle Street
We also have some details of the people who lived in number 38 without owning it and these are listed below.
William Hurd. The Tithe number on the Tithe Apportionment Map for this house was the number 283 . The table that accompanies this shows us that the house was owned by William Woodruffe but occupied by William Hurd. Read more about William Hurd
James and Phoebe Collard. By the 1841 census the house was occupied by James and Phoebe Collard. Phoebe was the daughter of the owner of the property, William Woodruffe. Click here to read more
In the 1851 census the house appears to be unoccupied.
George Mattey. By the 1861 census the house was occupied by George Mattey then aged 34 who was a scripture reader from Allensmoor in Herefordshire. His wife, Elizabeth was aged 27 and from Gloucestershire. The place of birth of their children seems to indicate that they have not been resident in Thornbury for very long at this stage. The eldest child, James Henry then aged three was born in Cheltenham. The other two, Alice Emma aged two and Arthur Tom aged two months were born in Thornbury. They had a young servant girl, Harriet Burge aged only 12 from Alveston.
George Mattey was born about 1825, the son of James Mattey, a blacksmith and his wife, Elizabeth. In the 1841 census he was at home with his parents in Allensmoor. By 1851 he had left home and had become a Primitive Methodist Preacher lodging with Francis Cooper. He appears to have married Elizabeth Smith in Gloucester in the September quarter of 1856.
The Bristol Mercury of July 20th 1861 reported that “Mr George Mattey, Scripture-reader, Thornbury, is deserving of much praise for his exertions on behalf of the Institution (the Bristol Royal Infirmary) Mr Mattey having handed over £15 collected by him in Thornbury”.
The family seemed to have stayed in Thornbury only for a few years. They had three more children; Edgar George baptised in 1863, Sidney Herbert in 1865 and Charles James in 1867.
We are unable to trace this family anywhere else. In the 1867 rate book George Mattey’s name is crossed through and Boulton substituted.
John and Susannah Boulton. The 1869 rate book shows John Boulton. The Boulton family were associated with the house for about thirty years. Susannah Boulton appeared in the 1891 census for this house. Click here to read more
Frederick Goulding. In 1894 Frederick Goulding lived in the house. By 1899 Frederick had moved to Coombe Cottage. Click here to read more
Charles Phelps. In the 1899 rate book Charles Phelps lived in the house. The 1901 census shows that the tailor Charles Phelps then aged 26 was alone in the house, although he was married. Click here to read more
Robert Stafford. In the 1905 rate book the house was occupied by Robert Stafford. This is likely to be Robert Stafford who in 1901 was a boarder with Alfred Williams in the High Street near The Close. Robert Stafford was a coachman born in Derbyshire about 1877. In 1881 he was living with his grandparents in his home village of Stanton by Dale. Read more about Robert Stafford.
George and Sarah Wetmore. The 1910 rate book shows that George Wetmore lived in what became 38 Castle Street and the 1991 census shows he was living there with his wife, Sarah. We are not sure what happened to George. We know that his death was registered in the Thornbury District in 1919 aged 75, but the Prewett’s directories of 1914 – 1916 only show ‘Mrs Wetmore’ as living in Castle Street and no mention of George. Click here to read more
George Stone. We know that in 1930 the house was occupied by George Stone. George Stone died in 1937. Click here to read more
Charles and Beatrice Nelmes. Because we have not had access to the deeds of the house, from this period onwards we have no records to guide us other than the electoral rolls etc.
Charles Henry Nelmes was born in Newport Monmouthshire on 2nd April 1878. By 1881 the census shows that his father had died and he was living with his widowed mother Margaret Nelmes and her widowed father Jenkins Jenkins, her sister and two brothers in Mynyddislwyn, Monmouthshire. Margaret Nelmes remarried in 1882 , this time to John Cottle.
The 1901 Census shows that he was a tinworker in Briton Ferry, living with his mother, Margaret Cottle, and her husband. In 1913 he married Beatrice Alice Lewis who was born in Thornbury on 31st July 1886. Beatrice may have been the daughter of Frederick and Caroline Lewis who lived in Falfield.
After their marriage Charles and Beatrice seem to have continued to live in Wales. Charles and Beatrice first appear in the register compiled in 1939 in the advent of war. At that time the couple lived at what became 38 Castle Street and Charles was still a tinplate box maker. Charles H Nelmes died at his home in Castle Street in Thornbury on 9th March 1951 aged 72. Beatrice died in Thornbury in the January quarter of 1973.
Caroline and Peter Beetham. In the 1980 electoral roll the occupants of number 38 were said to be Caroline and Peter Beetham. Caroline Benson and Peter Beetham married in the Thornbury district in 1972.
We have also been told that Mr and Mrs Len Crayston lived at this house for many years.