The photograph on the left shows part of Pullins Green in Thornbury. There is a terrace of six small cottages on the left of the photo each with one window upstairs and one downstairs. They each have a front door under a porch shared by the neighbouring cottage. It is difficult to see number 6 Pullins Green in this photograph but its two windows (one upstairs and one down) are second from the left on this photograph and the second gateway leads to the front door under the shared porch.
We had heard that the six cottages were built in the early 19th century for quarry workers, but we have not yet found any evidence to support this theory. They were built by Daniel Burchell on land he had bought in 1823. The land was part of a burgage plot bordered by St Mary Street, Horseshoe Lane and Pullins Green. Click here to read about the early history of that land
The Burchells – the cottages were listed in the 1840 Tithe Survey when they were owned by Daniel Burchell, a carpenter who was then living in St Mary Street. The cottages were owned by the Burchell family for a long time. Daniel Burchell died on 16th September 1866 and after a period when they were administered by his Trustees, Jane Burchell, one of Daniel’s children, exercised her right given to the children in his will and bought the six houses from the Trustees for £565. Jane died on 9th January 1903 aged 78 and her will directed that the properties be passed to her brother, Frederick Burchell. Frederick died in 1905 and the houses were put up for auction in 1907. On 9th January 1908 Frederick’s son, Frederick Henry Burchell, bought the six properties, paying £730 for the six properties. We know that in 1909/10 rents of about three shillings per week (£8 per year) were being paid to Frederick Henry Burchell. In 1918 the houses were put up for sale at auction as three separate lots of two houses. Click here to read more
We know that two of the lots (i.e. the four houses later known as 6 – 12 Pullins Green) were bought by Charley Davies for £437 10s on 29th October 1918. Read more about Charley Davis
Although the Tithe Survey lists the occupiers of the six houses in 1840, it does not make it clear who is living in each house. The six people were: John Screen, Charles Owen Pearce (a cordwainer), Mary Jackson, Mary Langobeare, Mary Olive and John Birt. In many cases like this, we can link people to houses by using the 1841 census. However in this case it is difficult to link the names in the census to any of these houses and none of the people listed in this census (or the 1851 census) are the same as those listed in the Tithe Survey.
We have gathered some information about the other families who lived in this house.
James Hodges – in 1851 the house was occupied by James Hodges, a master wheelwright aged 39 born in Olveston, his wife, Charlotte, aged 40 from Thornbury and daughter, Martha aged 8. James was the son of John Hodges and his wife, Sarah. John was a carpenter and built the row of houses in Gloucester Road, then called Laburnum Terrace, but now called numbers 6 to 22 Gloucester Road. We know a great deal about John and his family – click here to read more
The 1841 census shows James and Charlotte living in Colwell Street Lane, in the row of houses being built by his father. It is not possible to say precisely which house they were living in, but we believe that it was likely to have been the house now known as 16 Gloucester Road. The census shows that James and Charlotte had one son at the time, John who was baptised at Thornbury St Mary’s on 28th February 1841. In 1843 they had a second child, Martha baptised on 5th February, but John died when aged only 2 years 7 months and he was buried on 13th August 1843.
It is interesting to note that in three Thornbury Trade Directories between 1842 and 1852 James is described as a beer retailer. We are not sure whether this refers to the period he was living in Gloucester Road or in 6 Pullins Green. Charlotte died on May 27th 1856. In 1861 James had moved back to Colwell Street Lane, living next door to his father at what we believe to be the house now known as 16 Gloucester Road. He was a carpenter, a widower aged 48. Living with him was his daughter, Martha, aged 17 and described as ‘formerly a dressmaker’.
James died on February 15th 1866 aged 55 years. He and Charlotte are buried in Thornbury St Mary’s in the same grave as his parents. Their only daughter, Martha, married James Noble Greenham in Bristol in 1867. The deeds of 5 St John Street show that when Martha’s grandfather, John Hodges, conveyed number 5 to his son, George Hodges in 1873, he arranged for Martha to receive £8.00 in annual rent.
William Symes – in 1861 and 1871 the house was occupied by William Symes, a journeyman tailor aged 43 born in Shepton Mallett and his family. The 1880 Rate Book shows that William had moved to 2 Pullins Green. We know quite a lot about this family. Click here to read more
John Smith – in the 1880 Rate Book and the 1881 census the house was occupied by John Smith, a carpenter aged aged 68 years. His wife, Eliza, seems to be working as a monthly nurse in Marylebone, London. There were 2 grandchildren living with him: George and Ellen Keniston, aged 9 and 8 respectively.
Prior to 1881 John was living in what later became number 5 St John Street – Click here to read more about the Smith family
John Nathaniel Bartlett – the 1890 Rate Book shows that John Bartlett was living here. By 1891 John had moved with his wife, Ellen, to 4 The Plain where he had a butchers shop for many years. Read about John Nathaniel Bartlett
Elizabeth Gastrell – in 1891 the house was occupied by Elizabeth, a widow aged 56. The 1894 Rate Book shows that the house was occupied by ‘Jane Gastrell’. We have found no other reference to Jane, so we suspect that the record should have read ‘Elizabeth’.
Elizabeth was born in Alveston about 1835, the daughter of Thomas Smith, an agricultural labourer and his wife, Martha. The 1851 Census shows Elizabeth living at home with her parents – she was a dressmaker. By 1861 she had moved into Thornbury where she was now working as a housemaid in the Vicarage.k
On 15th May 1862 Elizabeth married John Chitts Gastrell who was a groom in the Vicarage. The marriage took place at Thornbury St Mary’s Church. John was the son of George Gastrell, a cooper. Elizabeth died on February 21st 1898 aged 66 years. Read about John Chitts Gastrell
Mary Knight – in 1901 the house was occupied by Mary Knight, a widow aged 68. Living with her was a lodger, George Emery, a general farm labourer aged 40 from Dunball in Somerset.
Mary had been born about 1832 in Olveston. She was the daughter of Thomas Millard, a labourer. On 16th October 1859 Mary married James Knight at Berkeley. James was a widower aged 31, a labourer, the son of Thomas Knight, a carpenter. They were both living in Bevington, near Berkeley at the time. The 1861 census shows the couple still living in Bevington where James was employed as a slaughterman. By 1871 James had become the innkeeper at the Crown Inn, Bevington and they were still living there in 1881. James died and was buried at Berkeley on 21 October 1889 aged 61 years.
In 1891 Mary had taken over as innkeeper at the Crown. By 1901 she had moved to number 6 Pullins Green, Thornbury, but the 1905 Rate Book shows she had moved by then to 49 St Mary Street. She died there in 1907 aged 74 years.
George and Dorcas Cook – George and Dorcas lived in number 6 from early 1900’s until 1957. Click here to read more
We have very little knowledge of more recent occupants of number 6. The electoral register shows that Hector and Alice M Gill were shown as living there in 1965, although the baptism records show that Terence and Marion Ann Davies were living there in 1962 and 1967 when their son, Stephen and daughter Sarah Jane were born.
Adrian Green – the 1970 electoral register shows the house was occupied by Adrian and Jean Green. They lived there for a short time following their marriage. Adrian was the son of Tom and Joan Green who lived for a long time at 5 St John Street which is where Adrian was born.
By the 1960s, the six houses had fallen into disrepair and lacked modern amenities. They were at one stage condemned by the Council. They were however saved when the Council chose to renovate and modernise them as part of the town centre development which took place in the 70’s. On 4th January 1974 Charley Davis sold the four properties he owned to Thornbury Rural District Council for £6500.