Historical Street Names in Thornbury

Historical Street Names 2016-10-25T14:24:57+00:00

The streets of Thornbury have changed their names over the years which sometimes makes it confusing for people researching their families in census and other records.

Please note that Castle Street was considered part of the High Street in the 1841 Census.  From the 1851 Census the houses were listed under Castle Street, although High Street continued to be used on legal documents referring to properties in what we now know as Castle Street for much longer.

St John Street – in the 1841 – 1861 Censuses, all the street was called St John Street or John Street.  Then in the 1871 Census, the eastern part of St John Street became known as Pullins Green.  We have found deeds which refer to ‘St John Street’ where the property is clearly in what we would call ‘Rock Street’ today.

See the table below for some other examples we have encountered.

Old Name Current name

History

Back Street St Mary Street The old name reflected that it ran along the back of the houses in Front Street.  In 1841 and 1851 Censuses the name of Back Street seems to include the properties in Outer Back Street (now Rock Street).  From then onwards the name Back Street seems to have been given to the top end of what is now all St Mary Street, as both names appear in the 1851 and 1861 Census.  It appears to be Back Street from the top down to the junction with Horse Shoe Lane/Soapers Lane.  By the 1871 Census and thereafter all the street was named St Mary Street although it has continued to be called Back Street by some locals.
Backchurch Lane Park Road see also Gas Works Lane below.
Bells Cross The Plain Several indentures of late 18th and 19th century refer to ‘a place known as Bells Cross or The Plain’.  Sometimes it was spelled ‘The Plane’.
Blakes Avenue Crispin Lane In 1901 this was the name given to Mutton Lane. It was changed to Crispin Lane at some time in the 1900’s.
Bulls Lane, Bulgars Lane, Balseys Lane,
Bullseys Lane or
Bulls Eye Lane

Bullwell Street Lane
Bath Road In the 1841- 1861 Censuses  Bulls Lane was used.  In 1871 it seems to be called Lower Bath Road and in 1881 both Bulls Lane and Lower Bath Road exist.  In 1891 and 1901 both Lower Bath Road and Bulls Eye Lane exist. 
Burgage Hill Gillingstool Early name for Gillingstool Hill
Chipping Street Silver Street Early Name
Church Lane Church Road and Eastland Road Early name for the lane which ran from the Church towards Easton Hill.
Colwell Street The Plain  In 1841 – 1871 it was called Colwell Street.  From 1881 Census, it was called The Plain.
Collesters Lane, Colwell Street Lane
or Colwell Lane
Gloucester Road In 1841, 1851 and 1861 Censuses it was called Colwell Street Lane (although in 1851 it mentions that the street was commonly referred to as Collisters Lane and the houses on east side of the road are listed under that name).  In 1871 it was Colwell Lane and in 1881 it was Colwell Street Lane again.  From 1891 it was called Gloucester Road
Fore Street High Street Early name – see also Front Street
Forechurch Lane Church Road Early name – see also Church Lane
Front Street High Street Early name – see also Fore Street
Gas Works Lane, Gas House Lane Park Road Early names – see also Backchurch Lane
John Street St John Street Early name – see also Trumplington Street
Mutton Lane Crispin Lane In Censuses 1841 – 1871, it was called Mutton Lane.  In the 1881 Census, it was included under Pullins Green.  In 1891 shown as Mutton Lane.  In 1901 it was called Blakes Avenue.
Nelmes Street
Nelme Street
Rock Street Old documents refer to ‘Nelmes Street otherwise Back Street’ which led people to assume that Nelmes Street was St Mary Street.  However recent evidence shows that it was an alternative name for Back Street when Back Street was the name being used for what is now called Rock Street.
Outer Back Street Rock Street In 1901 Census, the name of Rock Street appears.
Poultry Brook Lane The lane does not exist now, but it did run at the top of the town between Rosemount House and Daggs allotments.
Raglan (or Ragland) Road or Raglan (or Ragland) Castle In 1861 Census, the name of Ragland Road was used.  Then  in 1871 and 1881 Census it became Upper Bath Road – it seemed to be used to refer to that section of Rock Street between the junction with Chapel Street and the Railway Station.   There was a property here, possibly an earlier beerhouse or farm, known by the name of Raglan (or Ragland) Castle.
Rotten Row Chapel Street Previously called Top of Back Street in 1851, the name of Rotten Row was used in 1861.  The name apparently came from the number of butchers houses in the street.  It was re-named Chapel Street in the 1871 Census.
Soap House Lane, or Soopers Lane Soapers Lane Early names
Top of Back Street Chapel Street In 1851 Census it was Top of Back Street, it became Rotten Row in 1861.
Trumplington Street or Trumpleton Street Rock Street Early indentures refer to ‘Nelmes otherwise Trumpleton Street’ so it appears that it was yet another name for what we now call Rock Street

 

The area around Bath Road and the Market Site is very confusing as the names kept changing and we cannot provide a clear picture of the names used at different times.

Bulls Lane, Bulgars Lane, Balseys Lane,
Bullseys Lane or
Bulls Eye Lane
Bullwell Street Lane
Bath Road In 1841- 1861 Census  Bulls Lane was used.  In 1871 it seems to be called Lower Bath Road and in 1881 both Bulls Lane and Lower Bath Road exist.  In 1891 and 1901 both Lower Bath Road and Bulls Eye Lane exist.  In the 1901 Census, the name of Rock Street appears.In 1861 Census, the name of Ragland Road was used.  Then in the 1871 and 1881 Censuses it became Upper Bath Road – it appears to cover other streets including Outer Back Road as the Seven Stars and Streamleaze are mentioned.
Market Site
Outer Back Street Rock Street
Ragland Road
or Raglan Road

Notes:

Castle Street was considered part of the High Street in the 1841 Census.  From the 1851 Census the houses were listed under Castle Street, although High Street continued to be used on legal documents referring to properties in what we now know as Castle Street for much longer.

St John Street – in 1841 – 1861 Censuses, all the street was called St John Street.  Then in the 1871 Census, the eastern part of St John Street became known as Pullins Green.  We have found deeds which refer to ‘St John Street’ where the property is clearly in what we would call ‘Rock Street’ today.

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