The problems with researching the history of 46 Castle Street in Thornbury can be better understood if one simply looks at the building itself. The house is the reddish brown coloured building in the centre of the photograph. It is clearly in two parts which are at very different roof heights.
Merely by looking at the photograph, it appears that at some time number 46 and the house to the left (number 48) formed one property which was divided into two houses. Number 46 then appears to have been extended into a part of 44 (the light coloured house to the right).
However we have not been able to confirm what seems so apparent by looking at the deeds. These date back only to 1858 and make no reference to any boundary changes. The deeds refer to this house and the neighbouring number 44 as tithe number 286. The accompanying Tithe Apportionment shows that the property (like the houses that later became 46 and 48 Castle Street) was owned by Thomas Gwynn.
The Tithe Apportionment is very puzzling as it says that number 286 (which is clearly two separate houses with one garden on the map) is one house and garden occupied by Sarah Ward while the small 287 which is one property on the map is described as two houses each of a house and garden, one void (empty) and the other occupied by James Council. All three houses were owned by Thomas Gwynn. This assumes of course that the transcripts of the Tithe Apportionment that we have seen are accurate.
At this point we believe that 46 Castle Street is the property that was empty at the time of the Tithe Survey.
Thomas Gwynn who in the Tithe Apportionment was said to have owned 46 Castle Street and the houses on either side was probably living at Porch House on the opposite side of Castle Street. We have evidence in the manor court records that the Gwynn family continued to own this property and its neighbours. On September 5th 1900 J Crowther Gwynn junior was subject to a fine by the Court of the Manor of Thornbury of two years value on his admittance as trustee of the will of Thomas Gwynn deceased for three copyhold cottages in Castle Street Thornbury on the death of Lieutenant R A Gwynn. These cottages were said to be numbers 286 and 287 on the Tithe Map and so were 44, 46 and 48 Castle Street. £27.10. The family continued to won this house until 1903. Read about Thomas Gwynn
The Lloyds – we know that the house was bought by Henry Hume Lloyd. On 14th October 1903 Henry Hume Lloyd was subject to a fine by the Manor Court of one year’s value of his admittance to three copyhold messuages and gardens in Castle Street which were “surrendered” by John Crowther Gwynn junior and his wife. Again these were described as 286 house and garden, 287 house and garden 287 house and garden. It will be noted that the house that later became 46 Castle Street was being described as 287 on the Tithe Map.
Henry Hume Lloyd died on 4th March 1904 and in his will he appointed his sons Edward Harford Lloyd, Charles Harford Lloyd and William Edward Harford Lloyd and his solicitor William Davis Canning as executors and trustees. The will was proved 9th April 1904.
Mrs Alice Lloyd then became owner and was also subject to a fine by the Court of the Manor of Thornbury on 1904 May 11th of a half year’s value on her admittance on the death of her husband Henry Hume Lloyd to the cottages in Castle Street. The 1905 rate book confirms that this house was owned by Mrs H H Lloyd and occupied by Stephen Gale. Alice Lloyd died intestate in 1934 and letters of administration were granted to Alice Magdalen Hodgson. This property was described as a house and shop in the occupation of Mrs Gale at the time of the sale of the estate in March 1935. Read more about the Lloyd family
Henry Edward Riddiford. On 23rd May 1935 the property was sold by the trustees for Alice Lloyd (Edmund Commeline Lloyd, Bernard Dashwood Wilkins, John Gammon Wicks and Alice Magdalen Hodgson) to Henry Edward Riddiford of Alveston a builder. By the conveyance of 1935 £295 was paid for this house, the shop and the neighbouring house (number 44) in the occupation of Frederick Gough and Mrs Gale respectively and numbered 286 on the Tithe Map.
Henry was born in Thornbury in 1871. He was the son of Thomas and Matilda Riddiford who lived in Olveston. The 1881 census shows that the family lived on Stroud or Strode Common in Olveston. Thomas Riddiford was a mason. Henry Edward Riddiford and Florence Waller were married in Thornbury in 1900. The 1901 census shows that Henry Edward Riddiford was a mason aged 29 living in Alveston with his wife Florence aged 22.
Although we cannot trace all the occupants of this house, we do not believe that Henry Riddiford lived there.
John Morgan. In the 1841 census the house was occupied by John Morgan the tailor aged 42 and his wife Elizabeth who was aged about 30 with their two sons Thomas aged 15 and Charles aged 9. They also appear to have a lodger Thomas Powell aged 29 a stone cutter. John Morgan and his son Charles were also associated with Clematis Cottage. Click here to read about John Morgan
Ursula Chitts. In 1859 the rate book indicates that the house was occupied by Miss Chitts and owned by Thomas Gwynn. On February 16th 1856 Ursula Chitts appeared in the long list of partners in the West of England and South Wales District Bank. She was said to be living in Thornbury at that time.
Ursula Chitts was the daughter of John Chitts a butcher and his wife Ursula. Ursula Child, the mother of Ursula Chitts, may have been the second wife of John Chitts. Ursula Child was the daughter of another butcher Thomas Child and his wife Anne. The Chitts family lived in Kington. We have found the baptisms of her brothers and sisters but not of Ursula Chitts.
We believe it is possible that Ursula Chitts worked as a servant as there is an Ursula Chitts of approximately the right age and born in Thornbury who was working in Dover in the Census of 1851. She was part of the household of George Franklyn a merchant and his wife Mary.
Ursula Chitts appears to have returned to Thornbury on her retirement some time before 1859 when she first appeared in the rate books. In fact a newspaper article of 17th July 1858 describes what happened when a cow got into her house in Castle Street and the house appears to be what is now 46 Castle Street. We have an image of the article on the left. Ursula must have been living in the house by 1858.
Ursula Chitts was listed in the 1861 census as unmarried, a “fundholder” and aged 63. She was living alone in this house. She died the year after the census on 13th April 1862 and was buried in Thornbury on 19th April 1862 aged 64.
The minutes of the Baptist Church in Thornbury noted “died April 13th 1862 aged 64 Ursula Chitts member of the Thornbury Baptist church. She was a conscientious upright woman and one who waited for the consolation and Salvation of God.”
The probate record of Ursula Chitts dated 20th May 1862 shows that the executors were her sister Flora Gastrell (the wife of a cooper George Gastrell) and Henry Knapp the blacksmith. The returns of the South Wales and District Bank in 1876 still showed that Ursula Chitts of Thornbury deceased was a fundholder.
Nathaniel Barlett junior. In 1867 the occupant of this house was said to be Nathaniel Bartlett junior.
Nathaniel Bartlett’s family had a long link with Thornbury and we have not yet traced it all. We know that records dating 1791 refer to “Nathaniel Bartlett, gent” and in 1769 a Nathaniel Bartlett rented Ogborn’s field. We know that Nathaniel Bartlett was the son of a mason, Nathaniel and his wife Elizabeth Bartlett. It appears that Nathaniel’s brother John was baptised in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on 28th September 1834 and that the family had a connection to the church but we have not yet found a record of Nathaniel’s baptism.
The Tithe Survey shows that the family lived in the Old Rectory on the Glebe in front of the church in Thornbury. In 1839 the trade directory shows Nathaniel Bartlett a mason lived in Church Street which is likely to be the description for the area near the Glebe. The 1841 census shows that both father and son were masons. The census at this time showed only approximate ages. Nathaniel was about 20 at that time and his father was about 55 while his mother was a little younger, about 50. Nathaniel’s parent continued to live in the Old Rectory until their deaths.
Elizabeth died in April 1846 aged 57. Nathaniel senior died aged 88 and was buried on 30th September 1874.
Nathaniel junior married a widow Rhoda Clark on 7th March 1846 in Thornbury. Rhoda Clark was the daughter of William Ball and was baptised on 16th February 1817. At the time of her marriage to Nathaniel she was the widow of Thomas Clark, a groom. Rhoda Ball and Thomas Clark seem to have married in Cheltenham in 1838. Their daughter Jane Clark was baptised on 23rd December 1838 at Berkeley. Thomas died in April 1841 aged only 29 years. They had another child at Berkeley, a son called Thomas who was baptised 8th August 1841 after his father’s death.
This son died in his first year and was buried in Thornbury aged ten months on 3rd May 1842.
At the time of the 1851 census Nathaniel Bartlett was living in Gillingstool in the house later known as South View. He was described as a stone mason aged 32 and born in Thornbury. His marital status was shown as ‘Married’ but he was living on his own. His wife, Rhoda, was visiting Thomas Morgan in Oldbury Naite.
There were about six children of the marriage of Nathaniel and Rhoda Bartlett. Elizabeth the eldest daughter who was baptised 19th March 1848 married Stephen Gale who bought 40 Castle Street in 1894. Emma was baptised on 14th July 1850. Emma Bartlett later bought what became 6 Castle Street. William Nathaniel Bartlett was baptised 10th October 1852. He was buried aged only one year and five months on 6th June 1854. The twins, a second William Nathaniel and Thomas Frederick were both baptised 12th February 1855. The youngest child Rosina on 7th June 1857.
The family must have been regular attenders at St Mary’s Church as Nathaniel was a bell-ringer. The board in the belfry records his first peal (tenor).
In the 1859 rate book and census of 1861 the family lived in one of Stokefield Cottages on the opposite side of the road from number 46. The cottage was owned by the Reverend Maurice Townsend the vicar of Thornbury. At that time Nathaniel was 41 years old and a mason and his wife Rhoda who was from Berkeley was 44 and a dressmaker. Rhoda’s 22 year old daughter (Nathaniel’s step daughter) Jane Clark was a dressmaker. Also living in the family were 10 year old Emma, Thomas and William aged 6 and Rosina aged 3.
The 1871 census shows that Nathaniel Bartlett then aged 57 was a mason. At the time of the census he and his wife Rhoda (who was aged 63 and from Berkeley) had four children at home. Elizabeth Bartlett aged 23 was a dressmaker. The twins Thomas Frederick and William Nathaniel were 16 and were carpenters. Rosina aged 14 was still at school. We believe that Rhoda Bartlett became a shopkeeper about this time (certainly by 1877 when it appears in the Trade Directories) and we know that the house continued to be used as a shop for many years.
The 1881 census shows that Nathaniel and Rhoda continued to live in this house and that Nathaniel aged 61 was still working as a mason. Rhoda aged 63 was said to be trading as a grocer.
The 1887 rate book shows Nathaniel Bartlett’s name crossed through and we believe it was about this time that he and Rhoda moved to 6 Castle Street
By 1891 the census shows they were living with their daughter Emma at 6 Castle Street. Although the head of the household was the 71 year old Nathaniel we know that Emma had actually bought the house in 1888. Rhoda aged 73 was still a grocer. Emma does not have an occupation shown on the census. Nathaniel Bartlett continued to be shown in Trade Directories as a shopkeeper in Castle Street until 1897, although Rhoda his wife died 20th October 1895 aged 78. Nathaniel Bartlett died 22nd March 1900 aged 80.
Of their children;
- Emma – started by working as a house servant but by 1888 she had bought the house at 6 Castle Street and moved to live there. Her parents joined her there by 1891 census. emma married Robert Phels in 1898. Click here to read more
- William Nathaniel Bartlett – married Emma Feltham in 1878 in the Keynsham area. The 1891 census shows that they lived in Mangotsfield. Emma was 48 at that time, 12 years older than William who was a carpenter. They had three children.
- Thomas Frederick Bartlett – married Louisa Prewett in Bristol in 1876. The 1881 census shows them living with her mother Elizabeth Prewett who was trading as a coal merchant in Oldbury on Severn.
- Rosina Bartlett – married Henry George Clark. The 1911 census shows that they lived in Rockhampton where George was farming a 100 acres. By that time they had been married 33 years and had five children, the youngest Florence May Clark aged 12 was still living at home.
Stephen Gale. By 1890 the rate books show that Stephen Gale rented this house from the trustees of John Crowther Gwynn senior who had died in 1883. We believe that his wife Elizabeth, nee Bartlett continued to run a grocery shop here, probably with her father Nathaniel Bartlett. On 13th October and 4th November 1899 much of the estate of John Crowther Gwynn was advertised for sale including this property. The three houses were in occupations of Messrs S Gale, W Gimblett and G Power. This house and its shop was said to be occupied by Stephen Gale who was paying £8.10s rent a year for it. The houses were said to be copyhold and the three houses together were subject to a land tax of 4s 1d. Read more about Stephen Gale
The houses may not have sold at that time as the Poor Rate Book of 1900 shows that the owner was now John Crowther Gwynn junior. We believe that Elizabeth Gale lived at 46 Castle Street until her death in 1938.
Thomas and Sarah Pearce. The register compiled in 1939 in the advent of war shows that the house was occupied by two couples. These were Thomas Pearce (born 28th February 1868) who was a confectioner with his wife Sarah (born 12th January 1871) who was a semi invalid. Sarah Pearce died on 30th January 1942 and Thomas Pearce died in Thornbury on 6th September 1947. Click here to read more about Thomas and Sarah
They seemed to be sharing their house with Richard Sims (born 4th June 1912) who was a grocer and his wife Edith (who was born 27th December 1911). Edith was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Pearce. By 1946 Richard Sims and his wife were living at 16 Chapel Street. Click here to read more about the Sims family
Audrey Blaszczyk (Blasycjyk). The electoral registers of 1958 1961 and 1965, for example, show that Audrey Blaszczyk (Blasycjyk) occupied 46 Castle Street. We have been told she ran it as a sweet shop. Edward Blaszczyk married Audrey Higgins in 1950. Audrey was the niece of Fred Pearce who had lived in the house previously. She was the daughter of Fred’s sister, Phyllis Rose, who had married Albert Cook. Following a series of disasters in the Cook household, Audrey had been adopted by Nelson Higgins and his wife, Ella.
Henry Edward Riddiford died at his home Pinecroft in Alveston on 14th January 1948. His widow Florence Louisa Riddiford and daughter Adelaide May Riddiford administered his estate.
Adelaide Riddiford married Arthur Hallett Russell in Alveston on 28th December 1958. Adelaide Russell and Florence Riddiford sold 46 Castle Street to Richard John David Gervais Blackmore and his wife Ruby Joan both of 25 Ellesmere on 31st January 1968.
Richard and Ruby Blackmore. The 1975 electoral roll shows the house was occupied by Richard and Ruby Blackmore and what is presumably their daughter Pamela. The Blackmores had previously lived at 25 Ellesmere, Thornbury.
Peggy Barbara Miller. On 30th June 1977 Richard and Ruby Blackmore sold the house to Peggy Miller. The 1980 electoral register shows that Peggy Miller occupied number 46. Peggy was the daughter of Bond Wilby Woodhouse. Peggy married John Harry Bartholomew a widower from Hertfordshire on 19th May 1977 in Thornbury.
Anthony Simon Green and Cherry Susanne Green bought the house from Peggy Barbara Bartholomew, formerly Miller on 19th August 1980. The Greens had previously lived in Crispin Lane.