The photograph on the left shows the hairdressing salon known as Dorinas which used the property known as 7 Silver Street in the 1960’s.
We are grateful to South Gloucestershire Council for allowing us to copy the deeds of properties in this part of the town. The house that became 7 Silver Street in Thornbury was on the corner of Silver Street and St Mary Street and the deed packet for this property is shared with the property known as 6 St Mary Street. There was obviously a shared history at some time and we have done our best to unravel the confusion!
We think that there were two properties on the site in the 1600s. In a rent roll created around 1670, there were two entries following the house occupied by Timothy Hasker (who was living at 5 Silver Street):
William Gayner the like 6d
Robert Bartons heires for the dwelling house ½ bur. & 1/12 7d
The Gayner property – a schedule of deeds (shown on a later indenture for the property) refers to indentures of lease and release dated 11th and 12th October 1737 in which the release was:
‘between William Gayner of Bristol grocer and John Gayner of Thornbury surgeon brother of said William Gayner and grandson and heir at law of John Gayner late of Thornbury deceased who was son and heir of William Gayner late also of the same town deceased of the one part and George Gibbs of Thornbury gentleman of the other part‘.
The William Gayner mentioned in the 1670 rent roll was a blacksmith. He died aged 66 and his will was proved in May 1681. He left his son John his shop and his tools. His house that “I now live in together with barne, backside and appurtenances” was to be sold after the death of his wife Ann so that various sums of money could be left to his children and to Robert Robertson, the husband of his daughter Mary. Although not mentioned in the will, the property in Silver Street appears to have descended to William’s son, John Gayner who acquired several properties in and around Thornbury. John’s only son, also John the younger, had died in 1719. When his father, John Gayner the elder made his last will in 1722 he left “my grandson William Gayner and to his heirs and assigns for ever all that the house lying and being in Thornbury aforesaid in a street there called Chipping Street wherein I now dwell and all gardens backsides and appurtenances to the same house belonging.” Click here to read about the Gayners
The Barton property – Robert Barton was Mayor of Thornbury in 1644/5, 1648/9 and 1661/2. He married Susannah Holway and had five children, John, Mary, Sarah, Thomas and Jonathan, all baptised at Thornbury between 1636 and 1652. Robert made his will on 9th February 1663 and was buried on 18th February at Thornbury. Robert’s will doesn’t make any reference to a property which we can link to Silver Street. However in the will of his son, John Barton dated 31st March 1687, John refers to a property in Chipping Street which he had inherited from his father. The full text of this bequest was:
‘I give devise and bequeath unto my sonne John Barton all that my messuage or tenement situate and being in the Burrough of Thornbury in a street there commonly called Chipping Street together with the garden and outlet to the same belonging which said messuage and premises were heretofore … of my father Robert Barton deceased and descended and came to me as heir at law to my said father to hold the said messuage and premises with the appurtenances unto the said John Barton my son, his heirs and assigns forever immediately from and after the said John Barton my said son shall accomplish full age of 21 years‘.
John Barton jnr was baptised on 28th August 1673, the eldest son of John Barton and his wife, Mary (nee Thurston). John became a butcher in Thornbury. He inherited the property at 7 Silver Street from his father when he reached the age of 21 in 1694. In 1700 John was described as ‘of Wotton-under-Edge’ and as a nephew of the deceased Thomas Barton in a Thornbury Court Roll. In the Court he was admitted to copyhold property in Oldbury held by his uncle, Thomas Barton, a butcher of Thornbury.
John married Sarah Winstone of Wotton-under-Edge at Stone Parish Church on 30th April 1700. The marriage allegation was dated 29th April and they were both described as ‘of Wotton-under-Edge’, he being twenty-four and she being twenty-one years old. Sarah, was the daughter of Thomas Winstone and Dorothy Oakes. She was baptised on 16th February 1679/80 at Wotton-under-Edge. John and Sarah’s first child, Mary, was baptised at Wotton-under-Edge Parish Church in 1701 but other baptisms between 1702 and 1717 took place at Thornbury. They had at least ten children including Susanna, the youngest, who died in 1713 aged twenty-three, Mary who died in 1733/4 aged thirty-two and John, who possibly died in 1733 aged twenty-eight years. Their sons Thomas and Jonathan both became butchers. John Barton made his will on 20th May 1727. He was buried on 28th May 1727 at Thornbury. Sarah was buried on 8th May 1745 at Thornbury.
At some time before his death, John Barton sold his property in Silver Street to John Gayner the younger (as when John Gayner died in 1719 he left ‘all that my messuage or tenement wherein I do now dwell situate in Thornbury in a street there called Chipping Street and which I lately purchased to me and my heirs in fee simple off John Barton’). When John Gayner, the younger died in 1719 he left that property to his son, William Gayner subject to him allowing his mother Hannah live there during her life time.
By 1722, both of these properties became owned by William Gayner, the grocer and son of John Gayner who died in 1719. Thus William Gayner had become owner of the two properties referred to above. From that time onwards we only have records relating to a single property so assume that William must have combined the two.
In 1737, following his mother’s death and his inheritance of the property, William Gayner sold the property in Chipping Street to George Gibbs. Click here to read about the Gayners
George Gibbs – George bought the property from William Gayner on 12th October 1737. We don’t know much about George. His name appears in the 1751 and 1754 Assessment of the Rate for Poor Relief ‘for his dwelling house’ when he was described as a ‘Gent.’
In George’s last will was dated 19th August 1767. He left the property where he was living to Anna Bruton, widow of Joseph Bruton of Wotton Under Edge for her lifetime and then, if not sold, it should be left to Anna’s daughter Mary. She was described in the will as being ‘my good friend’. George left other property in Cowhill to his nephew, Nathanial Baylie, the son of Stephen Baylie of Paulton and made financial and other bequests to other nephews and nieces. Anna was made sole executor of the will and she was requested to use her discretion to bestow some of the goods that she shall apprehend or know belonged to the late mistress Hester Trotman to some of the relations of the said Mistress Trotman’. George also mentioned he was a member of the Thornbury Meeting House and that he had preached there.
Hannah (or Anna) Bruton – the 1769 and 1770 Poor Rate assessment lists show that Mrs Hannah Bruton was living at the property described as ‘late Gibbs’. Hannah was the widow of Joseph Bruton of Wotton Under Edge. She had been left the property in the will of George Gibbs who died in 1767 (see above).
We know from another indenture dated 14th November 1769 that Anna Bruton of Wotton under Edge widow relict of Joseph Bruton late of same place crape maker deceased and Joseph Bruton of Wotton under Edge crapemaker only son and heir of the said Joseph Bruton by the said Anna his wife sold (or leased) a property to Edward Mathews of Thornbury gentleman. The property was described as being in the High Street ‘wherein one Joan Bussher formerly dwelt and wherein James ??? Goslin and George Cossham now dwells with the garden and orchard thereunto adjoining and belonging on the southward part thereof all which said premises do contain one burgage and a half lying between the orchard and lands formerly of one Peter Hawksworth afterwards of Sarah Harris widow and now of the said Edward Mathews on the southward part thereof and the tenement and lands heretofore of one Charles Wither and now of William Pontin on the northward part and extendeth forwards there to the said street called the High Street and backwards to the land of the said William Pontin‘. We think that this property was actually in Castle Street (which was called the High Street in earlier times) and that it was situated somewhere in the area of the street opposite the Chantry.
By indentures of lease and release dated 24th & 25th February 1777 Anna Bruton of Bristol widow sold the property at 7 Silver Street to Alexander Thorne of Thornbury carpenter.
Alexander Thorn (or Thorne) – our research into Alexander is made more difficult by the fact that there were three generations of Alexander Thorns all connected with property in this part of the Town. We believe the property was bought from Hannah Bruton by Alexander Thorn, the wheelwright. The accounts of Thornbury Castle show that Alexander was paid £2 7s 8d for carpentry work done on the Castle Estate. Alexander died aged 48 and was buried on 18th April 1787. The 1796 and 1797 land tax records show that Mary Thorn, presumably Alexander’s widow was the owner and occupant of a property in that area of Town. The 1800 land tax record shows that her son, Alexander Thorn, had taken over the occupancy as tenant of Mary Thorn and this continued to be the situation up to 1810.
In 1812 Alexander had taken over as owner and occupant so we assume that Mary had died. Based upon his age at death, Alexander was born about 1774. He became a carpenter. By 1798, he had married Mary (maiden name unknown although it might have been ‘Stonehouse’ as that name was used as a middle name of one of their children). Alexander and Mary had several children: Sarah born on 27th June 1798 and baptised on 2nd September 1798, Alexander and Elizabeth born baptised on 11th December 1802, Ambrose born about 1807 but not baptised until 3rd August 1825 when he was aged 18, John and Edwin Stonehouse both baptised on 13th June 1813, Mary baptised on 28th January 1816 and Eli baptised on 28th February 1819.
Mary died aged 42 and was buried on 13th January 1819, possibly at the birth of her son, Eli. Her burial record shows she was living in Silver Street at the time of her death. Alexander died aged 45 and was buried on 18th April 1819. The 1819 land tax record indicates that Alexander was living in 7 Silver Street when he died.
The 1821 land tax record shows that the third generation of Alexander Thorns had taken over as owner. He was renting the house to Jonathan Trotman in 1821 and from 1822 to 1826 a person called Joseph Kemin? was the tenant. John Screen was the tenant between 1827 and 1829 and then in 1830 Alexander became the owner and occupant.
It seems that one of the Alexander Thorns re-developed the property, thus creating a number of separate houses. Indentures of mortgage dated 1840 refer to the property in St Mary Street (thought to be 6 St Mary Street) and they refer to ‘the house in which Alexander Thorn did then dwell as being lately built by the said Alexander Thorn were formerly a stable or slaughterhouse stood in the occupation of George Rice’. The 1840 Tithe Survey shows that Plot 176 comprised four houses and courts owned by Alexander Thorne, one of which was void, the others were occupied by Thomas Elliott, Joseph Underhill and himself. We assume that Alexander was living in the house later known as 6 St Mary Street.
On 1st October 1840 Alexander arranged a mortgage of £50 with Elizabeth Hadley, a spinster of Thornbury. It appears that Alexander had some trouble repaying the mortgage. Elizabeth died in 1846 having arranged for her property to be put into trust of her brother, William Pearce Hadley. We have copies of notes dated 1852 confirming Alexander Thorne paid £56 to Elizabeth’s husband. We are not certain of what happened but by 1859 and thereafter William Pearce Hadley is being shown as the owner of the property. Presumably Alexander defaulted on the loan or chose to sell the property to his mortgagee.
The Hadleys – on 23rd September 1841 a marriage settlement was made prior to the marriage of Elizabeth Hadley, then late of Thornbury but then of Frampton upon Severn spinster to Charles Norris of Mutterell Farm, Uley, farmer. Elizabeth put her property into the trust of William Pearce Hadley of Frampton upon Severn wheelwright and Daniel Merrett of Morton Valence, farmer. The property was specified as:
‘all that freehold messuage or tenement situate in Silver or Chipping Street in the borough of Thornbury wherein Alexander Thorne formerly inhabited and James North did then or then lately dwell together with the garden or outlet thereto adjoining and also all that messuage or tenement adjoining thereto then or late in the occupation of Thomas Elliott as tenant thereof and also all that cottage situate in the Back Street otherwise St Mary Street in the borough of Thornbury formerly in the occupation of George Webb and then or late of Joseph Underhill as tenant thereof‘.
The trustees were to pay the profits and income from the property to Elizabeth, for her sole use, during her lifetime and after her decease to her husband and thence to any children they might have.
In her will dated 6th December 1845 Elizabeth appointed her brother, William Pearce Hadley of Frampton upon Severn, carpenter as her executor. She died on 19th March 1846 with having any children. Charles Norris died on 3rd July 1875. Elizabeth’s property descended to her heir, her brother, William Pearce Hadley who was living in Ham, near Berkeley. He died a widower on 4th March 1889 leaving his son, Ellis Hadley, as his eldest son and heir. Ellis died on 24th April 1897 intestate leaving his widow, Minnie Ellen Hadley and his only son, George Hadley as his heir.
Phillip George Hawkins – on 20th December 1920 Phillip bought the property from George Hadley of 7 Albert Terrace, Newlands, Banbury, an auctioneers clerk and Minnie Ellen Hadley of Berrycroft, Berkeley for £50. The property was described as:
‘all that two messuages or tenements situate adjoining one another on the south side of Silver Street in Thornbury and at the corner of Silver Street and St Mary Street and also all that messuage or tenement adjoining and situate in St Mary Street together with the gardens or outlets to the said messuages belonging and formerly occupied therewith and which said hereditaments were formerly in the occupation of James North, Thomas Elliott and Joseph Underhill and are now and have for some years unoccupied‘.
On 17th May 1923 Phillip bought the adjoining property (5 Silver Street) for £305. It appears that Phillip re-developed the properties he had bought there. There is an planning application for two lock up shops in Silver Street in 1922 which we believe meant converting the property at 7 Silver Street into two separate units. From the image of the new shops shown in the photographs, it appears that he must have demolished all three of the old buildings bought from the Hadleys to build the shops. We assume that he also re-built the house at 5 Silver Street as the brickwork is very similar to that used for the new shops. When Phillip Hawkins sold 5 Silver Street to Thomas Ball on 4th June 1924 it had been extended to include one of the lock up shops. Phillip kept the other shop for his own use. The photo on the right shows the new shop. Note – the part of the shop on the left is the unit which was sold to Thomas Ball in 1924.
When Phillip died in 1937 his property and the business was taken over by his sons. Click here to read more about the Hawkins family
In 1958 the firm had a new shop built at 49 High Street which replaced the shop at 7 Silver Street. In 1959 an application was made to convert the shop to ladies hairdressers and on 4th June 1959 the shop was let to Dora Regina Spiller, a ladies hairdresser of 92 Belmont Road, St Andrews, Bristol. The shop traded under the name of ‘Dorinas’. The lease was for 14 years, but on 24th September 1969 Dora Regina Merriott of The Farm Bungalow, Bristol Road, Thornbury agreed to surrender the lease because the Hawkins family had agreed to sell the property to Thornbury Rural District Council. The photograph at the top of the page shows Dorinas in 1969. Dora had bought 5 Silver Street in 1962 – click here to read more
The building was demolished to make way for the new development of St Mary Centre.
Click here to read about the other tenants of 7 Silver Street