45 47 & 49 SMSWe apologise for the poor quality of the photo on the left, but it is the only photo we have of the numbers 47 and 49 St Mary Street.  The house on the extreme left of the photo is part number 45. We believe number 51 was similar to numbers 47 and 49.  We would love to hear from anyone with any photos of this end of the street.

We are fortunate that South Gloucestershire Council have allowed us to see the deeds of this and several other adjoining houses.  They show that a house built in the early 1700’s in St Mary Street had been converted around 1800 into three houses which later became known as 47, 49 and 51 St Mary Street.

Three other houses were built at various times on the orchard at the eastward end of the garden, fronting Rock Street.  These later became 16, 18 and 20 Rock Street.  Click here to read more

The deeds show that the original house in St Mary Street and one of the houses in Rock Street (believed to be the one later known as 20 Rock Street) were built by Thomas Hulbert on an area of orchard.  Thomas was a carpenter of Thornbury when he bought the orchard from Andrew Buck on 21st July 1716.  On Thomas Hulbert’s death the properties descended to his eldest son, John Hulbert.

The properties descended through the Hulbert family and then in 1774 sold to John Rudge of Thornbury.  By 1783 the properties were bought by Thomas Hendy, a Thornbury butcher who converted the house on St Mary Street into three houses and built two more cottages on the land fronting Rock Street alongside the existing cottage.  The six houses were bought by William Hunt in 1801.  Following William’s death in 1842 the properties passed to his son-in-law, John Hall and from him to his second wife, Frances Kirk Hall and then their only son, John Augustus Hall.  It seems like the Hall family lived in Chepstow and John Augustus was a member of the Chepstow Urban District Council for many years.  The three houses were put up for sale at auction in 1921 but they failed to find a purchaser.

Following John’s death on the 7th December 1928, the properties on St Mary Street (numbers 47, 49 and 51 St Mary Street) were bought by Joseph Davis, a tinsmith of Thornbury.  The houses were all sold by Joseph’s widow, Sarah Annie Davis to Thornbury Rural District Council in 1963.  They were demolished and the land incorporated into the new St Mary Street Car Park.


In the 1840 Tithe Survey, the houses were located on Plot 142 which were described as houses and gardens owned by Thomas Hunt.  There were actually six houses on this plot, three houses fronting Rock Street and three fronting St Mary Street.  By using the 1841 census, we know that the three houses on St Mary Street were occupied by Giles Pritchard, Samuel Barge and Hester Birnall.

Samuel Barge – in the 1841 census Samuel was an agricultural labourer aged 59 living with Charlotte a laundress aged 50, and their children: Hannah a laundress aged 25, Thomas an agricultural labourer aged 25 and Emma aged 12.  Click here to read more

William Matthews – the 1851 census shows that William Matthews was occupying the house.  William was a journeyman cordwainer aged 45 from Taunton living with his wife Mildred who was aged 43 and came from Thornbury and their children: William a mason’s labourer aged 15 and Priscilla aged 14.  Click here to read more

Thomas Barge – the 1861 census shows Thomas Barge and Mary Bendall living in the house with three Bendall children.  Thomas was the son of Samuel and Charlotte Barge who had lived in the house at the time of the 1840 Tithe Survey and 1841 census.  Click here to read more

William Comeley – the 1871 census shows the house was occupied by William a labourer aged 56 from Purton in Wiltshire.  William was living there with his wife, Mary Ann aged 52 from Charfield and children: Charles a labourer aged 27 from Charfield and Hannah aged 12 born in Thornbury.  Click here to read more

The 1876 rate book shows the occupants in the three houses in a different order as the 1881 census and later rate books. It is possible that the families moved houses, but we suspect that the sequence of the people in the 1876 rate book is misleading. We have therefore adjusted the sequence to reflect the position in other records.

John Goodman – the 1876 rate book shows that John Goodman was occupying the house, having just left 3 Upper Bath Road.  Click here to read more

John Smith – the 1880 rate book, the 1881 census and the 1885 rate book shows the house was occupied by John Smith. The census shows John was a chimney sweep aged 46 from Kidderminster living with his wife, Sarah aged 42 from Frome.  Ellen Mahagan was also living there, but we are not sure of any relationship between her and the Smiths.  She was a aged 22 from Thornbury.  We don’t know any more about John and Sarah.  It appears as if John may have died in Thornbury aged 52.  A John Smith was buried on 19th June 1886.

Maurice John Poulton – the 1887 and 1890 rate books and the 1891 census show the house was occupied by Maurice John Poulton.  The census shows Maurice was a chimney sweep aged 24 from Wotton Under Edge living with his wife, Emily aged 22 from Bevington and William Henry Webb, who was Maurice’s brother in law a chimney sweep aged 18 from Haines in Gloucestershire.  Click here to read more

Luke Higgs – the 1896 rate book shows Luke as occupying the house.  Click here to read more

Ellen Davis – the 1899 rate book shows the occupants as having the name of ‘Davis’.  We suspect this could be Ellen Davis, the widow of Joseph Davis, a grinder who died aged 44 and was buried on 4th July 1885.  Joseph had been a widower labourer born in Cirencester when he married Ellen Dixon on 19th May 1879.  His first wife was Mary Ann who had died aged 35 and was buried on 17th December 1876.

Ellen was the daughter of Robert Dixon, a labourer and his wife, Jemima.  In 1881 census Joseph was a hawker aged 40 living in Chapel Street with Ellen aged 26 and Joseph aged 12 born in Lechlade, Rebecca aged 10, Elizabeth aged 7 and Mary Jane aged 1.  Joseph and Ellen had one more child, which Scribes Alcove describes as being ‘Hammie Katie’ baptised on 13th June 1883.  In the 1891 census Ellen was a hawker living with her parents and her daughter ‘Keeley’ in Chapel Street.  Ellen died aged 41 and was buried on 28th September 1900.

Esther Purnell – in 1901 census the house is occupied by Esther Purnell, a widowed charwoman aged 33 from Berkeley with her three daughters, Ella aged 9, Florence aged 7 and Ada aged 5.  Click here to read more

Mary Knight – the 1905 rate book shows that the house was occupied by Mary Knight.  We assume that this would have been the Mary Knight who was living at 6 Pullins Green at the time of the 1901 census.  She died there in 1907 aged 74 years.  Click here to read more

In the 1910 rate book the house is shown as being vacant.

The Coles – the 1911 census shows that the house was occupied by Henry Alfred Coles, a gardener (and army pensioner) aged 35 from Quainton in Bucks.  He was living there with his wife, Jane and three step-children.  Henry died in 1912 aged 38.  We know from the 1916 Prewett’s Street Directory and the 1918 electoral register that Jane had been living in St Mary Street and assume that she was living in this house.  The 1925 Valuation List and 1926 rate book show the house was occupied by Jane Coles.  She was still there when the property was sold in 1929 and the electoral registers up to 1935 at least list her as living in St Mary Street.  By 1938 she had moved to Horseshoe Lane.  Click here to read more

Walter & Lilian Thurtell – the electoral registers from 1946 to 1954 show the house occupied by Walter and Lilian Thurtell.  In 1958 just Lilian is listed in the electoral register and she was still there in 1961 when it is interesting to note that the house is called ‘Eastbourne’. By 1965 Lilian had moved to 38 Streamleaze.