The above image was taken from an old photograph of the house now known as The Hollow in Kington Lane. It was given to us by descendants of the plumber George Hall who lived in the property around 1900 so we suspect that the photo was taken around that time.
We don’t know when the house was built. We know that the house has had several previous names including Cockmead, the Apple Tree Inn and The Laundry. It was also listed in census records under the name of ‘Wildfield’ and ‘Wellfield’ but these were the names given to several properties in this area just outside of the town.
Our earliest knowledge comes from the 1840 Tithe Survey. The image on the right is taken from the Tithe Map which accompanied the survey. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image. It shows the stretch of Kington Lane running from the junction with Castle Street. In the survey carried out between 1838 and 1840 this property was numbered 356. The apportionment that accompanies the map shows Arthur Screen owned this, and other properties, and Simon Slade rented the house and the orchard attached to it.
There is a document at Gloucestershire archives which records a manorial fine dated January 1841 Mr Isaac Parslow Allen to Henry Howard Esq of a fine of one years value ‘on surrender by you to Mr Robert of your reversion on the death of Arthur Screen of and in a messuage and orchard at Wellfield .
We don’t know much ‘or what happened to the ownership of the property. It was put up for sale in 1920 as part of the Kyneton Estate which had been in the ownership of the Jenner-Fusts following the death of William Osborne Maclaine. It was described as a cottage with garden, paddock and excellent pasture orchard. It was 2 acres, 3 roods and 18 perches. The cottage, garden and paddock was occupied by Mrs Maishment at a weekly rent equal to £15 12s per year. The pasture orchard was occupied by Messrs C. A. & W. Parsons for £12 per year. The paddock was part of tithe plot number 357.
When it was advertised for sale in 1959 it was described as “An excellent freehold roadside smallholding’ with a very pleasant residence soundly constructed of stone, part pebble-dashed with Bridgewater tiled roof. It had a wide entrance hall, large lounge, dining room , large living room with electric ‘Heatrae’ water heater to sink, kitchen annexe with cold water and larder, glazed conservatory and four bedrooms. The farm buildings included three ‘deep litter houses’, pair calf shed, pig stye and yard, barn, dairy, storeroom, garage, two pig huts and farrowing house. There was 14 acres of arable and pasture land.
Most of our knowledge of the property relates to its occupants:
The 1841 census shows Simon Slade living in this property. He and his wife, Mary had previously lived at 55 St Mary’s Street. Click here to read more
In 1841 Simon was described as a tallow chandler aged 52 born outside Gloucestershire. Mary was also aged 52. They were living with Mary Ann aged 26, Louisa aged 19, Thomas aged 16, and George aged 13. There was a servant Elizabeth Berry aged 16. The trade of a tallow chandler involved making candles out of animal fat. It was a smelly business and we don’t know that Simon carried on this work at the property in Kington Lane although its remote location would have some advantages.
Simon died aged 59 and was buried on 16th August 1846. Their daughter Mary Ann married Josiah Thurston at St Augustine’s Church in Bristol on 21st November 1842. It appears that Josiah and Mary Ann took over the property in Kington Lane as by 1851 census her mother Mary was living on Colwell Street. She was a laundress. Mary died aged 70 and was buried on 27th February 1859.
The 1851 census shows Josiah and his wife Mary Ann Thurston were living at the property then called ‘Wildfield’. At that time the census describes Josiah as a tailor. He was aged 36 and was living there with Mary Ann aged 33 and their daughters: Mary aged 6 and Elizabeth aged 4. Mary Ann’s brother, Thomas Slade, was also living with the family. He was a carpenter aged 25.
Josiah was baptised in Thornbury on 31st July 1814. He was the son of John Thurston, a labourer and his wife Rachael. On 21th November 1842 Josiah married Mary Ann, the daughter of Simon Slade and his wife Mary at St Augustine’s Church in Bristol. Mary Ann was the daughter of Simon Slade, the previous occupant of the house who had died in 1846.
Although Josiah was a tailor, the 1856 trade directory shows he was also a beer retailer. In that record the property was referred to as being ‘Wildfield’. Wildfield seems to be a name that was given to more than one property nearby and could have been the name for the area. When Josiah died in 1857 Mary Ann took over the running of the beer house. In the 1861 census it was then described as ‘The Appletree Inn, Cockmead’.
According to George Ford, local pub historian, the pub was ‘used by drovers taking animals to and from Thornbury market, the cattle being penned in the narrow roadside field to the west of the building’. We understand that animals were brought over to Thornbury Market from the other side of the River Severn on the Aust Ferry. So it is possible that drovers used the fields around the Cockmead prior to being taken to the Market, but we have not found any confirmation of this and would be interested in hearing if anyone has any information about the running of the pub.
Mary Ann gave up running the beer house in 1869 when according to George Ford the licence was transferred to The Bathin Place. Instead Mary Ann became a laundress, presumably making use of the supply of water provided by the stream running alongside the property. Mary Ann continued to live at Cockmead with her daughter, Mary Rachael who had married Philip Boulton, and her two daughters.
The image on the left is an extract from the 1881 OS Map showing the buildings and land around Cockmead. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image. It is interesting to see that in this version of the map that the section of stream running alongside the property is coloured in blue and parts of the stream seem widened, possibly to facilitate the use of the water for the laundry business. It seems possible that the stream may have been dammed with a sluice gate to allow the level of water to be controlled.
Mary Ann was still shown as being a laundress in the 1891 census when she was aged 73. She was living there with her grand-daughter Dorothy Lily and her husband Francis Henry Pitcher. We understand that Mary Ann’s other grand-daughter, Frances Elizabeth Boulton also lived with Mary Ann following her marriage to plumber George Herbert Hall on 3rd April 1893. Mary Ann died in 1899 aged 83 and was buried on November 30th.
The 1901 census shows the house was taken over by the family of William and Catherine Maishment. We can find no connection between the Maishment, Boulton or Hall families. William continued living there with his family in the 1911 census. He worked as a domestic gardener, but his wife and other members of the family ran a laundry on the property. Trade directories and electoral registers then described the address as ‘The Laundry’. We know that following their daughter’s marriage to Harry White in 1920 Kate and Harry lived with her parents at The Laundry and their first son, Francis Arthur was born there in September 1923.
We are not sure how long the laundry operated. William died in 1924 and Catherine moved to live in Easton Hill. The 1927 trade directory shows she was running a laundry in Crossways.
Catherine died in 1928. Click here to read more about this Maishment family
Harry Maishment Trayhurn took over the occupancy of the property following William Maishment’s death in 1924. Harry was William Maishment’s nephew, the son of William’s sister, Elizabeth and her husband, George Trayhurn
Harry changed the name of the property to ‘The Hollow’.
Harry was a butcher who traded from his shop on the corner of St John Street, The Plain and St Mary Street. He was living at The Hollow in 1925 and 1928 when Donald and Stanley, the sons of his second marriage to Millicent Mary Allen, started at the Council Infants School and in 1928 and 1930 when Donald and Stanley started at the Council Upper School.
Harry and Millicent were listed as living there in the 1932 electoral register. By 1933 they had moved to the Court House in St John Street. Click here to read more about these Trayhurns
The electoral registers of 1938 to 1950 show that The Hollow was occupied by John and Eliza Ann Nichols and their daughter Mary Elaine. John had married Eliza Ann Butler in 1916 in the Long Ashton area. The birth of their first child was registered in the Chipping Sodbury area.
The 1954 electoral register lists Nellie D Pearce as living in The Hollow. Nellie Doris Pearce was the widow of Percy Levi Pearce. Percy had married Nellie Doris Driver in Thornbury in 1929. They had at least six children and the family had been living at Fewsters Farm, Kington. He had died there on 18th August 1949 aged 52.
The 1958 electoral register shows Nellie had moved to live at 65 High Street. Her son, William G took over the occupancy of the Hollow with his wife, Joyce A (nee Sprackman). By 1961 they had moved from Thornbury. Nellie died on 5th February 1986 aged 86.
The electoral register for 1961 and 1964 list Roy W and Barbara M Wood as occupants of the house. Roy had married Barbara Cook in the Thornbury area in 1954. In 1958 the electoral registers show them living in St Arilds Cottage, Kington.
We don’t know any more about the later occupants of the property. At some time the property was divided. The building at the rear of the house (which was presumably the one used for the laundry) was converted into residential use and incorporated into a modern bungalow called Meadow View.
We understand that in more recent times the property was occupied by various other families including, Clive and Ann Bailey and Hugh Jones and his wife.