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 8 Pullins Green in this photograph but its two windows (one upstairs and one down) are nearest the foreground towards the the left in this photograph and the first 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.
Ursula Twining – also known as Ursula Twinning in some sources. In the 1851 census Ursula Twining was living in the house that became 8 Pullins Green alone. She was a widow aged 54. She had been born on 2nd September 1796 in Thornbury, the daughter of William and Hannah Morgan. In the 1841 census she was a servant for a Stephen Barker at Hill House Cottage, Wickwar. In December quarter 1842, she married Isaac Twining, who had been widowed earlier in the year.
Isaac died on 8th May 1847. In his will dated 10th March 1846, he left his property in Berkeley and Thornbury to his son, Isaac Twining but left Ursula with his personal estate. In 1851 when Ursula was living in Pullins Green, she was described as an ‘annuitant’ aged 54. By 1861 she had moved to Bulls Lane, we think to a house later known as 6 Bath Road, in Thornbury. She was now described as a ‘landed proprietor’. By 1871 she had moved again, this time she was living at the junction of St John Street and St Mary Street. She appears to be sharing a house with the butcher, William Cole.
Ursula died 8th November 1879. We have seen a copy of her will dated 18th August 1874 which left all her money and personal estate to her “husband’s grand-daughter” Louisa Knight, a dressmaker.
The 1859 Rate Book appears to show that the house was vacant at the time.
James & Louisa Nelmes – in 1861 census the house was occupied by James Nelmes, a journeyman blacksmith, aged 49 from Thornbury and his wife, Louisa a dressmaker aged 40, and their children: Ellen, a dressmaker aged 18, Emily aged 11 and Lennard aged 6.
James Nelmes was a blacksmith, born in 1808, the son of James Nelmes (a member of the South Gloucestershire Militia) and his wife, Mary. The 1840 tithe survey and 1841 census indicate that James lived with Louisa, then aged 24, in Crispin Lane, known at that time as Mutton Lane. They then moved to the small terraced houses in Gloucester Road. The 1851 census shows that they lived at number 9 Gloucester Road. James was living there with Louisa, then aged 37 and daughters Ellen aged 9 and Emily aged 2. They had all been born in Thornbury.
By 1871 James and Louisa were sharing the house at 8 Pullins Green with their daughter, Ellen and her family. Ellen had married Edwin Wathen, a baker, in 1862. He was the son of William Wathen, a brewer. Edwin and Ellen had two daughters, Minnie aged 4 and Emily aged 1 month. Ellen Wathen died and was buried on 5th September 1872 aged 29. Edwin re-married in 1875, his wife was Harriett Pearce Neale, the daughter of William Neale. In 1881 Edwin and Harriett were living in 3 Horseshoe Lane with his mother, Ann Wathen aged 75.
James Nelmes was buried on 3rd July 1873 aged 61 years. Louisa was buried on 9th November 1876 aged 65.
George Maishment – George and his wife, Elizabeth were shown as living in the house in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses. George may have been living at Stokefield Cottage before he moved to Pullins Green. Click here to read more
Elias Smith – an indenture dated 15th May 1903 shows that Elias was a tenant of the house at that time. Click here to read more
The Pullens – from the early 1900’s to the mid 1930’s, the house was occupied for many years by Herbert George and Jessie Pullen who later moved to live at number 9 Pullins Green. Click here to read more
Hannah Godwin – from about 1938, or a little earlier, the house was occupied by a widow, Hannah Elizabeth Godwin. Hannah Elizabeth Collier was born in the Cheltenham area on 6th August 1869. She married Thomas Godwin in September quarter 1892 in the Gloucester area. Thomas was a stone quarryman according to the 1901 census. In 1911 Thomas and Hannah were living at Crossways. Thomas and Hannah had a foster son, Thomas George Stanley Godwin who went to the Council School in Thornbury. He was Thomas’s nephew, born in Tuffley, Gloucestershire in 1898, the son of Frederick Godwin from Buckover. During the War Thomas served with the 4th Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He died of wounds on 4th October and was buried in Mount Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport.
Thomas is remembered on the war memorial tablet in the United Reformed Church and the family headstone in Thornbury Cemetery, where his age is given as 20. The War Graves Commission’s record gives his age at death as 19. He would have been about two months short of his 20th birthday.
Thomas died on 1st January 1937 aged 70. His obituary printed in the Western Daily Press on 8th January 1937 shows he had worked in Tytherington Quarries for 43 years and had retired about 7 years previously. Thomas and Hannah were still living in Crossways at the time of his death, but she appeared to move to 8 Pullins Green by 1938. Hannah continued to live there until she died in Thornbury Hospital on 11th February 1950 aged 80 years. The fact that she continued to live in this house is confirmed by the sale of the furniture and effects of Mrs Godwin of Pullins Green which took place on March 10th of that year.
Frederick Smith – we understand that Frederick Smith and wife, Ethel, also lived in the house for a short time before they moved to the Queens Head in the High Street. We have found no record to tell us when they lived in Pullins Green, but they were living in Easton Hill up to 1946 at least and were already in the Queens Head by 1950. It is likely therefore that they were living there at the same time as Hannah Godwin.
Mervyn and Eileen Cheaker – they lived in the house from the early 50’s. They were shown as living there in the 1954 electoral register. Mervyn Thomas John Cheaker was the son of John Frederick and Amy Cheaker who lived in Church Road, Thornbury. John Cheaker was gardener at the workhouse. They were listed as living in Midanbury, 5 Church Road in the electoral registers from 1935 to 1958, but they were not living in Thornbury at the time of the 1961 electoral register.
We understand that Mervyn was an electrician. The Gazette showed his photograph in July 1947 when he was celebrating his 21st birthday serving with the RAF in Egypt. Eileen became secretary to the head master at the Council School in 1951 and was transferred to the Castle School when that opened.
Irene Elizabeth Midwinter – Irene lived at 8 Pullins Green at the time of the 1965 electoral register. She was the widow of Inspector Francis Seymour Midwinter of Gloucestershire Constabulary who died suddenly on 27th April 1953 aged 58 years.
Irene Elizabeth Lewis was born in 1897 and her birth was registered in the Gloucester district. She married Francis Seymour Midwinter in the September quarter of 1922. Their son John H Midwinter was born in 1922 and his birth was registered in the Stroud area. Another son, Francis E, was born in that area in 1927.
Francis Midwinter had a long history of public service, joining the Royal Horse Artillery in 1912 and later becoming Sergeant. In the 1914-18 War he served in France and Italy and carried on for a time with the Army of Occupation. On demobilisation he joined the Gloucestershire Constabulary in May 1919 and was appointed detective-constable three months later. He transferred to the uniformed branch and was stationed at Dymock, Stroud and Coombe Hill and in 1930 he was promoted Police Sergeant at Cheltenham before going in charge at Tetbury. In 1936 he took a course at the Falfield Anti-Gas School and became a first class inspector in civilian anti-gas precautions and later took other courses in air raid precautions generally. In December 1937 he was promoted Inspector at Cheltenham and moved to Thornbury in August 1938 replacing Inspector Brant who was moving to Cheltenham. Francis was for a number of years a member of the Mounted Branch of the Police Force and held the unique position of trumpeter until his promotion to Sergeant. Whilst he was on duty in this capacity on one occasion the Duke of Windsor (when Prince of Wales) came up to him and expressed interest in his calls as trumpeter.
We know from the electoral registers that Francis and Irene were living in the Police Station in 1946 and in the flat above 43 High Street at the time of the 1950 electoral register. Their son, Francis E was living with them in 1950. In 1954 only Irene was living in the flat at 43 High Street. Then Irene seems to leave Thornbury for a few years until she returned to live at 8 Pullins Green. Irene died on December 14th 1965 aged 68 years.
Joseph Clutterbuck – the 1970 electoral register shows Joseph as living in the house. We understand that this was ‘Joey the post’ who had worked in Francis Hopkins shop.
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.