This house did not become 16 Gloucester Road in Thornbury until the numbering of houses was introduced generally until the early 1950s. However, there were numbers allocated to the houses in the terrace from a lot earlier. This house was originally described as ‘5 Laburnum Terrace’.
We haven’t yet seen the deeds of number 16. Our earliest source of information is the Tithe Survey published in 1840 which shows that about half the terrace had already been built. Plot 248 of this survey includes the two houses with gardens, now known as numbers 16 and 18 Gloucester Road. These properties were owned by John Hodges, the builder who built the terrace. John was recorded as living in one of the two houses, Thomas Longstreet was living in the other house, but unfortunately we don’t know which house each person was living in.
We discovered that the deeds of numbers 8 Gloucester Road and 10 Gloucester Road both contain copies of an indenture dated 14 August 1865 which relates to numbers 16 and 18. This document refers to earlier indenture of lease and release of 23rd and 24th August 1832 which shows the land was conveyed by James Ford to John Hodges. We assume therefore that number 16 was built by John Hodges at some time between 1832 and 1840.
In the early days of the house, it was occupied by members of the Hodges family. The 1841 census appears to show the house was occupied by John Hodges’s son, James Hodges and his family. James aged 29 was a wheelwright. He and his wife Charlotte had a 15 month baby boy called John. Ann Trayhurn aged 15 lived in the house as a servant. The 1851 census shows James and his family were living at 6 Pullins Green. It is interesting to see that three trade directories between 1842 and 1852 describe James as ‘beer retailer’. There were several beerhouses in Thornbury at this time. Under the Beer House Act any person with room in their front parlour could open up for the sale of beer or ale. No spirits were allowed to be sold. We are not sure whether this refers to the period he was living in Gloucester Road or in Pullins Green.
Following the death of his wife, Charlotte in 1856, James appears to have moved back to live at 16 Gloucester Road. A trade directory published in 1856 shows James was back in Gloucester Road, then called Colwell Street Lane. He was listed as a wheelwright. The 1861 Census shows James Hodges was living in 16 Gloucester Road. He was now a widower aged 48 and working as a carpenter. The Census shows James had been born in Olveston. Martha his daughter was aged 17 and born in Thornbury. Her occupation is described as “formerly a dressmaker.”
The 1862 rate books shows James living next door at 14 Gloucester Road and the occupancy taken over by his father. James died on 15th February 1866 aged 55. He and Charlotte are buried in Thornbury St Mary’s in the same grave as his parents. Their only daughter, Martha, married James Noble Greenham in Bristol in 1867. The deeds of 5 St John Street show that when Martha’s grandfather, John Hodges, conveyed number 5 to his son, George Hodges in 1873, he arranged for Martha to receive £8.00 in annual rent.
A map in the deeds of 8 Gloucester Road shows the ownership of property in the terrace in 1865 and shows that number 16 is owned by John Hodges. An indenture dated 14 August 1865 shows that John Hodges sold three properties, including number 16, to his son, George Hodges, for the sum of £50 for the lot. In the 1871 Census, George’s father, John Hodges was living at number 16, although now he was now a widower aged 85 and retired from his work as a carpenter. John died on 8th June 1877 aged 91.
George carried on as owner until his death in 1905. In his Will, George arranged for Trustees to manage the property. The trustees were initially his four surviving daughters, Sarah Ann Hodges, Fanny Staley Hodges, Emma Jane Hodges and Laura Evelyn Balls and one of his two surviving sons, Austin Edgar Hodges. Over the years, these Trustees gradually died off and new ones were appointed to ensure that the Estate was managed properly. The houses were gradually sold off. Read more about George Hodges and his estate
Duncan Moncrieffe – who acquired the house in early 1989. Duncan was born in the Cheltenham area in 1960, the son of Ivor L Moncrieffe and his wife, Jean (nee Brown). Duncan was a builder, and with the help of his brother, Cameron, and their friends, he gutted the inside of the house and made extensive modernisations and changes. He demolished the old kitchen and bathroom and built a two storey extension. He installed French windows to the back bedroom and dining room, installed central heating and removed the old fireplaces. Most woodwork and all plaster work were replaced at this time. On completion, Duncan named the house ‘Laburnum Cottage’ which it has retained ever since.
Sadly after all this work, Duncan did not live in the house very long. He had been very ambitious with his plans for the house and this proved very expensive. He went to work in Germany and let the house to three young men for about a year. When Duncan returned from Germany, his parents came to live in the house with him, but eventually he had to sell the house. He continues to live in Thornbury.
Lindsay and Clinton T Lloyd – Clinton and Lindsay bought the house in December 1996. Clinton (shown on the right) was a South African who studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, qualifying in 1990. He moved to England where he worked at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, specialising in adult cardiac surgery. His wife, Lindsay was from Scotland and she was a nurse.
They sold the house and moved away in January 2000 when Clinton got a job at Southampton University Hospital. They now live in Plymouth area with their three sons.
Melville Kitchen & Deborah Dear – the current owners bought the house in 2000.