The house that is today called Fairfield House in Castle Street, Thornbury has changed subtly over the years. The larger black and white photograph on the left shows it as it was before World War Two. The coloured photograph on the right below which was taken in the 1980s shows some of the differences. This view shows that there have been more windows opened up on the street side and there appear to be more dormer windows in the roof, although that might just be the difference in the angle of the photographs. Read more notes about the building
Owners of the House
Click on the links under each family to read more.
- Edward Mathew 1788. We know little about Edward Mathew at this time. In the documents of 1764 by which Edward acquired a neighbouring house, The Chantry, from William Gyles he was described as a ship’s carpenter from Bristol. Read more about Edward Mathew
- Susannah Pearce 1788 – 1791. Susannah Pearce was the daughter of John Morse Pearce and his wife Elizabeth (nee Bell). Susannah was baptised on 22nd December 1766 at Berkeley. In 1788 Edward Mathew left the house which is now known as Fairfield House in Castle Street Thornbury to his great niece Susannah Pearce of Middle Mill, Berkeley. On the 12th May 1791 Susanna Pearce of Middle Mill sold the house and its garden on the south which was 40 feet by 40 feet, together with the stables and outbuildings to Arthur Taylor a tanner for £350. Read more about Susannah Pearce
- Arthur Taylor 1791- 1800(?). On the 12th May 1791, Susannah Pearce sold the house for £330 to Arthur Taylor, a tanner of the Hackett. Arthur Taylor was an executor of Edward Mathew’s will. Arthur Taylor of Thornbury married Elizabeth Pearce of Berkeley on 6th April 1778 at Stone near Thornbury. In his will dated 1st April 1797 Arthur Taylor left what is now Fairfield House to his wife Elizabeth for her lifetime. After her death it was to become the property of Susanna Jenner (formerly Pearce) from whom he bought the property. Read more about Arthur Taylor
- Henry Jenner and Susannah Jenner nee Pearce and their children 1809-1818. Susanna Pearce married Henry Jenner on 13th December 1792 at Stone. Susanna’s children inherited Fairfield House after the death of their mother. In 1818 all her surviving children had attained the age of 21 and an indenture between Susanna, Caroline and Stephen Jenner sold Fairfield House and its grounds to William Henry Robinson of Mary le Bon in Middlesex the son of the then tenant Susanna Robinson. Read more about Henry and Susannah Jenner
- William Henry Robinson and his son 1818 – 1852. By 1818 the ownership of the house having passed to the surviving children of Henry and Susanna Jenner, they sold it to Mrs Robinson’s fifth son William Henry Robinson for £650. William Henry Robinson was living in London at that time with his wife Catherine nee Skinner. Lady Catherine Robinson was buried at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, having died on 3rd July 1843. By her will dated 27th November 1837, she left her house and premises at Thornbury to her son William Henry Robinson and his intended wife Georgiana Buckle, daughter of Admiral Buckle. In 1852 when he sold the house to Edmund Lloyd, William Henry was a Major. Read about William Henry Robinson
- The Lloyd Family 1852 – 1934. The 1840 Tithe Map shows that the house was then owned by Lady Catherine Robinson the widow of Sir William Henry Robinson but the tenant was Major Edmund Lloyd. In 1852 Edmund bought the house, garden, stables and coach house for £600. He died on 4th June 1855. His widow Catherine Elizabeth survived him until 9th February 1878 and continued to live in Fairfield House. The son of Edmund and Catherine, Henry Hume Lloyd succeeded his parents to the ownership of Fairfield House, which on his death (4th March 1904 ) he left to his widow Alice. In April 1878 the house and gardens were valued at £1,500. Mrs. Alice Lloyd continued to occupy the house with her family until her death on 26th August 1934. In 1925 when some adjoining property came into the market she took the opportunity of improving the house by the purchase of the field to the East of the house. The price paid was £275. The Western Daily Press of 2nd March 1935 advertised the sale of the property owned by the Lloyds, including Hume House, which was said to be “late in the occupation of the late Mrs Lloyd.”
- Captain Sears 1936 -1937. In 1936 the house and grounds were sold to Captain Sears. Although it had been known as “Hume House” for many years, he promptly renamed it “Ruskin House”. Captain Sears was a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party and the name of the house reflected his political leanings. Read about Captain Sears
- John and Susan Fane de Salis 1937-1971. Mr Fane de Salis was born in 1897. He was the son of Cecil Fane de Salis and his wife Rachel. Read about John and Susan Fane de Salis
- Drs John and Diana Whallett. The Whallett family bought the house in 1971. They moved here from The Coombe in Gloucester Road. John and Diana came to Thornbury in 1965 to join the practice of Dr Prowse and Drs John and Alison Causton.