We do not know when the house was built. A will dated 1794 of Ann Child (who owned and occupied the house which became 5 Horseshoe Lane) refers to a ‘small tenement or dwelling house wherein Joseph Gough the elder deceased for many years inhabited and James Wetmore doth now dwell’. There is a record of a death of a Joseph Gough aged 90 who was buried on 21st March 1794.
At the time of the 1840 Tithe Survey, the house was owned by Joseph Stephens and occupied by Hannah Pride.
Hannah Pride – Hannah was born in Breadstone, near Berkeley, the daughter of Richard Pride. She was baptised on 1st May 1791. Hannah moved to live in Thornbury. Although she never married, she appears to have had at least 3 children: Elizabeth Pride baptised 22nd April 1821 (when Hannah gave her abode as Kington, John Cooper Pride baptised on 17th November 1822 (when Hannah’s abode was Crossways) and Caroline baptised on 29th November 1825 (when Hannah’s abode was the Poorhouse).
The 1840 Tithe Survey shows Hannah as occupying the house, which became known as 3 Horseshoe Lane. The 1841 census shows her as living there with her daughter, Elizabeth. Both were working as laundresses. In 1851 census, Hannah was living on her own in Back Street – she was a laundress aged 57. In 1861 Hannah was aged 69 and working as a house servant for Elizabeth Parmiter in Colwell Street. In 1871 she was a pauper living in one of Sir John Stafford’s Almshouses in St Mary Street. The census enumerator recorded that she was aged 82.
She died and was buried on 2nd January 1872. Her address at the time was the Thornbury Union Workhouse. Her age was noted as being 74. Nobody seemed to know how old she was!
Jabez Pullin – Jabez appears on a website produced by South Gloucestershire about walks around Frampton Cotterell. it seems that Jabez lived in a cottage there in the census of 1841. Jabez had been adopted by his grandfather John Pullin who was a hat-maker and a devout Methodist. According to the website when John died in 1816 he asked his family’to treat Jabez “with all possible kindness”, to let him live with them, and to instruct him in a”all branches of hat-making”. However it seems that Jabez had left his trade and followed his grandfather in another way in his devotion to religion. By the 1851 census Jabez had moved to Thornbury and was living in this house in Horseshoe Lane. The census describes Jabez Pullin as a scripture reader aged 48 and born in London. His wife, Jane was a schoolmistress aged 47 from Frampton Cotterell. They had four children at this time: Emma aged 12, Frank aged 11, Eliza aged 9, and Jesse aged 6. Another Emma Pullin was a boarder aged 12 who was born in Bristol.
Jane Pullin must have died between 1851 and 1855 because in 1855 Jabez married Sabina Adams in Thornbury. In 1871 Jabez was a home missionary living in Duckpool Road, Newport, Monmouth with his wife, Sabina aged 59 from Oldbury on Severn. J abez died in Monmouth in 1889 aged 82.
Joseph Stephens – the 1861 census shows the house occupied by Joseph Stephens, a gardener aged 58, his wife, Mary, aged 63 and his daughter, Jane Hopkins Stephens, a dressmaker aged 22.
Joseph was born in Alveston about 1803. His first wife was Hester Mountford. She was born on 28th April 1796, the daughter of James and Esther Mountford. In 1840, Joseph married Mary Anne Gifford. In 1841 Joseph, a gardener, and Mary were living in Castle Street (although this was called High Street at the time of the census). His son, Joseph was living with them aged 7. Their daughter, Jane, was living next door with Jane Hopkins (aged 60) and Anne Hopkins (aged 52).
In 1851 Joseph and Mary was living in Sidcot, near Winscombe, Somerset. By 1861 Joseph and Mary had moved back to Thornbury to live in Horseshoe Lane. The records of the Society of Friends in Bristol Records Office show Joseph Stephens died aged 64 years on 4th March 1866. He was buried in The Friends Burial Ground at Hazel, near Old Down.
An indenture dated 13th November 1866 shows that this property had belonged to Joseph’s first wife, Hester Mountford and she had been left it to Thomas Smith Child, her heir at law. Joseph had been allowed to live there until his death after which the house had been conveyed to the British School to provide them with a schoolmaster’s house or to be used to raise money for the school from rent.
Reference is made in the indenture that Hester Mountford ‘died without issue’. The 1841 and 1851 censuses show that Joseph had a son, Joseph born about 1834, and the 1861 census shows there was a daughter, Jane H. aged 22. We know that ‘Jane H’ was Jane Hopkins Stephens who was living with Jane and Anne Hopkins, next door to Joseph Stephens in the 1841 census. It looks likely that Joseph had a second wife, after the death of Hester and before he married Mary Gifford.
Although we have found no record of this marriage, it seems as if she was Mary Hopkins who was a sister of Jane and Anne Hopkins with whom Joseph’s daughter, Jane H Stephens was living in 1841. There is a record of a Mary Stephens who died and was buried on 27th November 1839 aged 54 years. However if this age at death is correct she cannot be the same Mary Hopkins as she would have been unlikely to have had children in her 50’s and Jane and Anne’s sister was born in 1806.
George Fry – in 1871 the house was occupied by George Fry, a tailor aged 47 from Tytherington, his wife, Elizabeth aged 50 and their children: Annie Elizabeth aged 23, Robert aged 14, Charles aged 12, Charlotte aged 10, Mary aged 8 and Katherine aged 6 and a grandson, William aged 10 months.
George Fry was born in Tytherington about 1824, the son of Isaac Fry, an innkeeper. He was a tailor and we understand he moved to live in Thornbury when he got employment with John Williams, who ran the tailoring business in Gloucester House, Gloucester Road. He was to carry on working for the Williams business for almost 50 years.
On 21st July 1844 George married Elizabeth Powell, the daughter of William Powell, a mason and, according to Elizabeth’s obituary, the Parish Clerk for the greater part of his lengthy life. George and Elizabeth were to have a large family: Ursula baptised on 21st July 1844, Alvin Powell Fry baptised on 19th July 1846, Ann Elizabeth and Susannah Maria both baptised on 3rd January 1848, George John baptised on 19th May 1850, Fanny baptised on 22nd August 1852, Lucy baptised on 5th November 1854, Robert baptised on 11th June 1856, Charles baptised on 1st August 1858, Charlotte baptised on 6th May 1860, Mary baptised on 5th April 1863 and Catharine Grace baptised on 25th December 1864. Unusually for such a large family, the children all survived their early childhood, with the possible exception of Lucy for whom we can find no other trace apart from her baptism.
In the 1851 George and Elizabeth and their three young daughters were living at what is now 13 Castle Street George was a master tailor. They were in this house until about 1859 as they appear in the 1859 Rate Book across the road in 6 Castle Street. In the 1861 census George and the family were living in what is now 6 Castle Street, often called Oriel Cottage, which would have been a larger house. They moved from here to 3 Horseshoe Lane and then moved again. In the 1881 and 1891 censuses they are shown as living in 73 High Street. Elizabeth’s brothers, William and John Powell moved in to live with them. The 1901 census shows George and Elizabeth had moved to 22 High Street, but the 1905 and 1910 rate book showed they spent their final years living in 3 Silver Street.
George and Elizabeth were to outlive most of their children. George died on 7th April 1913 aged 89 years. At the time of George’s death, his son Charles was living in Tytherington with his wife, Ellen, his daughter Mary was in New Zealand and other children mentioned on the floral tributes were Jack and Ursula.
Elizabeth died on 11th November 1916 aged 95 years. The report of Elizabeth Fry’s death in the South Gloucestershire Chronicle of November 17th 1916 had a particularly good photo which sadly we were unable to copy. At the time of her death she was the oldest inhabitant of Thornbury and had been bedridden for five years but always cheerful. Apparently she was the last of twelve young girls who had processed to Thornbury Church carrying crowns to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria. The members of the family that attended her funeral included her son Charles Fry, her son in law F K Howell the local stone mason and her grandsons F Jefferies of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, G J Fry, S. Clements and R D Edwards. Click here to see a link to an album of photographs of the Fry family
Edwin Wathen – the rate books of 1876, 1880 show that Edwin Wathen lived here. Edwin was the son of William Wathen who lived in 1 Horseshoe Lane. Click here to read about William
Edwin was a baker. In the 1861 census Edwin was sharing a house at 73 High Street with Charlotte Cossham. In 1862 Edwin married Ellen, the daughter of James and Louisa Nelmes. In 1871 Edwin and Ellen were living 8 Pullins Green. They had two daughters Minnie aged 4 and Emily aged 1 month. Ellen died and was buried on 5th September 1872 aged 29. Edwin re-married on the 8th July 1875, his wife was Harriett Pearce Neale, the daughter of William Neale, farmer.
In 1881 Edwin and Harriett were living in 3 Horseshoe Lane with his mother, Ann Wathen aged 75. Edwin died and was buried on 23rd August 1881 aged 43 years. The 1891 census shows Ann living in Horseshoe Lane with her unmarried son, Hugh, who was working as a general labourer. Ann died on 28th June 1891 aged 86 years. She was buried in Thornbury St Mary’s Churchyard in the same grave as her husband, and their sons, Mark who died June 29th 1864 aged 21 years, George who died 7 April 1877 aged 40 years and Edwin.
In the 1885, 1887 and 1890 rate books, Maria Wathen is shown as living here. We don’t know how Maria was connected to the other Wathens and we can’t find her in any Thornbury census.
William Phillips – in 1901 the house was occupied by William Phillips, a steam roller engine driver aged 39. Click here to read more
James and Florence Clutterbuck – for about 50 years from 1910 the house was occupied by the family of James and Florence Clutterbuck. Click here to read more
Dr. Michael R and Gillian S. Watts – occupied the house in 1965.
Alice Taylor – we know that Alice Taylor, or ‘Ma’ Taylor as she was called locally, lived in the house for a few years after she left number 2 Sawmill Lane. She was living there with her son, Ronald (Fonzo) Taylor in the late 60’s. Click here to read about the Taylors