The 1840 Tithe Survey shows that there was a small house on the site, which was owned by Thomas Wise and occupied by ‘John Lydiard’. Click here to read about the owners of the house, many of whom also lived thereJohn Liddiatt – the 1841 census shows that it was John Liddiatt, an agricultural labourer aged 60 and his wife, Mary, aged 65 who were occupying the house in Horseshoe Lane. By 1851, John and Mary had moved to a house in St John Street (which later became known as number 11). At that time he was a landowner aged 75 years. Mary was aged 79 and born in Almondsbury. She died and was buried on 25 January 1852. We suspect John died in 1861.
John Liddiatt – we don’t know if there is any connection between the John Liddiatt who had been occupying the property in 1841 census and the one there in 1851. It seems very likely, but could just be co-incidence. In 1851 John Liddiatt was a master sawyer aged 49. His wife was also Mary and she was also born in Almondsbury, but she was aged 46. We suspect that this John Liddiatt was the son of William Liddiatt who was also a sawyer.
Mary died in 1851 shortly after the census. The 1861 census shows John had re-married and he was now living with Jane, his new wife, in Rotten Row (now Chapel Street). Jane was aged 40 and born in Hartland in Devon. Click here to read more about John and Jane Liddiatt
William Wathen – in 1861 the house was occupied by William Wathen, a brewer aged 56 and his wife, Ann aged 55. They had three children living with them: George, a journeyman shoemaker aged 28, Hugh, an agricultural labourer aged 22 and Mary aged 13. The same five were still living together in the 1871 census. Ann had become a laundress and Mary a general domestic servant. Otherwise they were just 10 years older. The 1876 rate Bbok also shows William living in the house.
William Wathen was born on 18th April 1804 and baptised on 27th May 1804. He was the son of Joel and Flora Wathen. Although we haven’t seen it personally we understand that the baptism register shows Flora’s name as ‘Flower’ when William and his siblings were baptised. On 12th April 1829, William married Ann Saniger. Ann was born on 23rd June 1805, the daughter of William and Mary Sanigar of Sundays Hill, Falfield.
William and Ann Wathen had several children: William baptised on 8th May 1831, Harriett baptised on 14th February 1836, Edwin baptised on 27th December 1837, Hugh baptised on 20th February 1839, Eliza baptised on 21st April 1841, Mark baptised on 1st October 1843, George baptised on 15th July 1846 and Mary baptised on 15th July 1848.
The baptism records show that William had several different occupations. He was a labourer in 1831, a publican or beerhouse keeper from 1836 to 1841, a dealer in 1843, a labourer in 1846 and a grocer in 1848. The trade directories show William as a beer retailer in 1842, 1849 and 1852. It is not impossible that William was a beerhouse keeper at the same time as following these other occupations. A beerhouse was not usually profitable enough to be the only source of income. Because the trade was carried on in the home of the licence holder, the wife could serve any customers during the day alongside her domestic work while her husband was out at work.
The 1841 census shows William as beerhouse keeper in the High Street (we have been told by George Ford a local pub historian that this was actually the house known today as 30 Castle Street). By 1851, William had moved with the family to ‘Top of Back Street’ where the census shows him as a brewer, and he was a brewer in the 1861 and 1871 censuses when he was living in Horseshoe Lane.
William died on January 20th 1878 aged 73 years. Ann moved to live with her son, Edwin the 3 Horseshoe Lane.
George Thorn – the 1880 rate book and the 1881 census show that George Thorn was living in the house at that time. The census shows George was a labourer aged 41 living with his wife, Harriett, also 41, and a boarder, Henry Isaac Thorn aged 6. In 1891 George and Harriett were still living in the house. George is now described as a farm labourer and Harriett as a dressmaker. They now have a step-daughter, Harriett Thorn aged 13, and a visitor, Mary Flora Thorn aged 5. Henry Isaac, the boarder, and Harriett, the step-daughter appear to be the children of Isaac Thorn, George’s cousin who was a sailor and ship’s steward.
George was baptised on 8th September 1839, the son of Thomas and Anne Thorn of Crossways. Thomas was a labourer and George also became a labourer. The Thorn family lived in Hackett Lane and there were plenty of other Thorn families in the area. On 16th June 1860, George married Harriet Clarke, the daughter of Thomas Clarke, a blacksmith from Morton and the 1861 census shows that they too settled into Hackett Lane in a house close to his parents and other relatives. On 1st September 1861 they baptised their only child, Albert George and they continued to live there in the 1871 census when Harriett’s widowed mother, Flora Clark aged 69 was also living with them.
By 1881 they had moved to 1 Horseshoe Lane, and they continued living there until George’s death in 1892. He was buried on 14th April 1892 aged 52 years. We don’t know what happened to Harriett.
James Cornock – the 1894 rate book shows that James was living here. Click here to more
Mary Knight – the 1899 rate book shows that Mary Knight was living in the house.
James and Eliza Pullen – in 1901 the house was occupied by James Pullen and his family. Click here to read more
Henry Morris – the 1905 rate book shows that Henry Morris was living here. A legal declaration made by Percy Luce about the house said the ‘Mr C. Morris’ lived there in 1905. Click here to read more
William Vaughan Watkins – the 1910 Rate Book and 1911 Census show that William was living here with his wife, Sarah. William was a market gardener aged 67 born in Grosmont, Monmouthshire. Sarah was aged 67 born in Radnor.
In 1891 the Census shows that William and Sarah were living in Greenbank Cottage in Bedminster, Bristol. At that time they were living with their three sons; Harry, Frank and Hugh. They also had an elderly lady lodging with them.
Sadly their son Harry Vaughan Watkins died in Thornbury aged only 23 and was buried on April 30th 1900.
The 1921 Electoral Register shows William was still living in Horseshoe Lane.
The Burns and Higgins families – we know from several locals that the house was occupied in the early 1900s by the Burns family. The 1916 Prewetts Street Directory shown W. H. Burns as living in Horseshoe Lane at that time. Click here to read more
Harold Riddiford – Harold lived there for a few years before moving to Bristol. His father, Alfred Riddiford bought the property. Click here to read more
Jesse Powell – in 1970 the house was occupied for about 2 years by Jesse and his wife, Janet May (nee Woodward) from 10 Park View Avenue. They moved to a council house in North Road so that The Cottage could be demolished.