The two houses, 9 and 11 Horseshoe Lane were built before 1840 and are shown on the Tithe Survey map as Plot 132 – owned by Mary Wilkes and occupied by Sarah Hughes and Mary Lidiard.

The Hughes family – the 1840 Tithe Survey shows the house occupied by Sarah Hughes.  We are not sure if there is any connection between Sarah and the Samuel and Sarah Hughes who were occupying the house in the 1841 census.  Indeed it is possible that it was Samuel who had been the occupant of the house in the Tithe Survey, and that his name had been misread on the transcriptions as we have come across several other errors of this sort.  Click here to read more

Frederick & Ellen Sainsbury – the house was occupied by Frederick Sainsbury and his wife, Ellen from about 1871 to 1891.  Read more

John Isaac Phillips – the 1894 rate book shows the house was occupied by John Isaac Phillips.  Click here to read more

William Cornock – in the 1899 rate book and the 1901 census the house was occupied by William Cornock, a sawyer of wood aged 42 and his wife, Harriett and their children: Thomas, a mason’s labourer aged 18, Madeline aged 11, and Rose aged 7, all from Thornbury.

William was born in Cambridge, Gloucestershire about 1859, the son of Thomas Cornock, who was a shoemaker in 1861 and an agricultural labourer in 1871, and his wife, Hannah.  In 1879 William married Harriet Malpas who was born in Cam.  The marriage was registered in Dursley.   Harriet’s age varies a lot in different censuses – she was 29 in 1881, 34 in 1891 and 45 in 1901!

The 1881 census shows William, now a sawyer, and Harriet sharing a house in Cambridge with his brother, James, also a sawyer and his family.  Also living in the house were Victor R. Stanley, a boarder aged 40 (or at least it looks like 40, but an earlier entry has been overwritten) with no occupation and no place of birth recorded and Cornock Malpas noted as a nephew of James Cornock aged 1 born in Frampton.  We are puzzled by these entries.  The 1891 census for William and Harriet shows they had a son called Victor Richard aged 11, but can’t understand the differences in age and why they call him a ‘boarder’ in 1881.  It looks likely that Cornock Malpas was also the child of William and Harriet, but we can’t find his birth or any further sign of him later.

It appears that when the family moved to the Thornbury area around 1882 they settled in Gillingstool. The 1890 Voters List shows William moving from Gillingstool to Bulls Eyes Lane.  In the 1890 Rate Book and the 1891 census William and Harriet were living in Bulls Eyes Lane (in the house which later became known as 9 Bath Road). William was a pit sawyer aged 31.  They now had five children: Victor Richard Stanley born in Frampton about 1879, Thomas Francis Henry born in Morton in 1882, and Ernest Samuel Maurice born in 1884, Eveline Annie born in 1886 and Madeline Asenath born in 1890, all born in Thornbury.  Note ‘Asenath’ seems to be the maiden name of William’s mother as William’s brother gave his daughter, Ethel, that middle name.  William and Harriet had one more daughter, Rose Hannah, born in Thornbury in 1893.

Shortly after 1891 the family seemed to be on the move again; this time to St Mary Street, to one of two cottages backing onto Mr Ellis’s chemist shop in the High Street.  William and Luke Higgs are shown as tenants of these cottages when put up for sale in 1892.

The 1896 voters list shows William moving from a house in St Mary Street to Horseshoe Lane.  It is interesting to note that when William’s children, Evelyn, Madeline and Rosa, started at the National School in 1899 their address was shown as ‘Rock Cottage’.  It would be nice to think that that was the name of the house which later became just ’11 Horseshoe Lane’, but as yet we have found no other reference to this name in Horseshoe Lane.

William died in 1914 aged 57.  Of their children:

Richard Victor – died aged 13 in 1901.

Evelyn Annie – married Frank Rugman a decorator from Olveston in 1904.

Thomas Francis Henry – married and settled in Birmingham.  He was killed in the First World War when serving in Palestine.  Click here to read more 

Edward Purnell – the 1911 census shows that the house was occupied by Edward Purnell and his wife, Minnie who had married the previous year.  He appears to have carried on living in Horseshoe Lane until at least 1916 as he is listed as living there in the 1916 Prewetts Directory.  Click here to read more

We do not know who lived in the house from 1916 until 1924 when two houses were put up for sale and they were described as being occupied by Mrs Hughes and Mrs Harris.  They were both bought by Mr J. Tuck for £300.

Fred Harris

Frederick Charles Harris

Frederick & Lily Harris – the Harris’s lived in the house from about 1924 until 1968.  Frederick Charles was born on 5th May 1895 and baptised in Thornbury on 2nd June 1895.  He was the son of William George Harris and his wife, Ellen (nee Derrick).  Fred came back from the fighting in France during the First World War having been gassed in the trenches.  He never fully got over this and suffered with a bad chest throughout the rest of his life.  In 1921 he married Lily Maud (nee Skillern), a widow in the Pontypool area.  Lily had been born in 1888 in Awre in the Forest of Dean area of Gloucestershire.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Skillern and brother of the Joseph Skillern who was killed in the War and is listed on St Mary’s War Memorial.  Lily married Harry G Bone in St Pancras, London in 1914.  He had joined the Navy in 1909 but was discharged suffering from chronic bronchitis.  In WW1 he served in 3rd (City of London) Royal Fusiliers.  He was killed in action at Gallipoli about 15 or 16 days after Joseph Skillern’s death.  Fred and Lily had one son, George Frederick, born on 6th May 1923.

The electoral registers show that during the period 1927 to 1938 Lily’s brother, William Charles Skillern, was living with the family in Horseshoe Lane.  Lily’s mother may also have been living with them.  She died aged 69 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 16th October 1934.

According to the register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war describes Fredrick as a general road labourer.

Fred always had an interest in football and was groundsman at the Mundy Playing Fields for many years and always supported Thornbury Town Football Club.  He died on 26th April 1960 aged 64 years.  Lily died on 3rd August 1968 aged 80.

At the time of the town re-development in 1969 the two houses number 9 & 11 were owned by C. P. Pimm of Kingbridge in Devon.  The houses were vacant or demolished by the time of the 1970 electoral register.