The 1840 Tithe Map shows that there was a workshop and yard on the land now occupied by number 6 Gloucester Road in Thornbury.
In 1840 these properties were owned and used by John Hodges who was living just down the road and was building the properties which were to become Laburnum Terrace. To the rear of the workshops was a garden also owned and used by John Hodges.
We have not seen the deeds of the house and we have no precise knowledge as to when the house was built. We had always assumed that it was older than the other houses in the terrace. In fact it is the most modern, being built some time between 1861 and 1871. The house would have been built by George Hodges who had been living further down the terrace at number 12. Read about George Hodges
George had become a successful builder by the time he moved into this house and he had doubled his workforce since the 1861 census. By the 1871 census at the age of 51 he was employing ten men and one boy. His new house in the terrace was grander, more distinctive in style and it was situated conveniently right next door to his building yard and workshops.
The 1871 census shows that George had made the new house at 6 Gloucester Road his home. His family was also increasing in size. He now had eight children living at home with him. These were Mary Fairbrother Hodges aged 19, John Hodges aged 15, Sarah Ann Hodges aged 13, Fanny s. Hodges aged 12, James Albert Hodges aged 8, Emma Jane Hodges aged 5, Austin Edgar Hodges aged 3 and Eveline Laura Hodges aged 2. Tracey Hodges his wife was aged 40 by this time.
George and Tracey had had another son, named George, who had been born in 1862 and died in 1870 aged seven.
The 1881 census shows that George’s two eldest daughters had moved away but the other six were still living there. By the 1891 Census, his son, John Hodges had married and moved away to Castle Street. Note that George is still calling himself a ‘builder’ even at the age of 71. By the 1901 census, George was widowed. Tracey had died on 13th June 1898 aged 68 years. George was living in the house with two unmarried daughters, Fanny Staley, aged 42 and Emma Jane aged 35. George Hodges died on 2nd June 1905 aged 85.
The 1905 rate book of that year shows that the house is owned by the Representatives of the late George Hodges and the entry under occupancy states “representatives of the late George Hodges January 1906 void”. In his will, he arranged for all his children to share the income from his estate. No reference was made to any of his properties). The rate book of 1910 shows the house is “void” but owned by the Representatives of the late George Hodges. The daughters seemed to move away from Thornbury although they continued to act as trustees. Both Emma Jane and Fanny were living in Wellington, Somerset when they died in 1925 and 1927 respectively. Emma Jane married Thomas Fry in Wellington in 1912 and become Emma Jane Fry.
The house is now called Laburnum House – we are not sure when this name was adopted. The 1911 census shows the name as ‘Laburnum House’. George Hodges used the name ‘Laburnum Terrace’ as early as 1885 in his accounts books, so presumably George’s house was given the name of Laburnum House at the same time.