Aerial photo 1950cWe have no clear photographs of this house and we don’t know when it was built.  We would love to hear from anyone with any knowledge of the house.  We were delighted to be given an aerial photo which gives us some impression of the building.  Number 12 is the house in the centre of the photo.

We are grateful to South Gloucestershire Council for letting us see the deeds that they hold for this house and for number 14 Upper Bath Road which was owned by the same families for much of their known history.  South Gloucestershire’s help has given us access to information about the close of ground on which the plot was built.  It was called the Paddock and we have been able to trace how this close of land was divided up and sold to become building plots.  Click here to see a plan of the Paddock and details of owners and occupants.

We have also been able to trace the early owners of the land from the 1700’s.  Click here to read about the early history

We have a copy of schedule beginning 14th August 1865 that refers to an indenture which shows that David Greenman acquired the property on 30th September 1837.  The schedule of deeds seems to suggest that David bought it from from the trustees of William Clark in 1835.  William Clark bought the property from Luke Trayhurn by a release of 25th March 1820.  Luke had bought it on 2nd June 1814 from Matthew Mills.  We know from the deeds of 10 Upper Bath Road that in 1821 12 Upper Bath Road was a cottage and garden owned by William Clark.  This probably applies to 14 Upper Road as well.  This means that by 1820 William Clark was probably the owner of the two houses.  We do not know what Luke Trayhurn the tailor owned.  It may just have been field before the houses were built.

William Clark – we believe that William Clark bought this property by a lease and release of 24th and 25th March 1820 from Luke Trayhurn, although we do not have the details of the indenture neither do we know whether there were two cottages here at that time.  We do know that this cottage later number 12 Upper Bath Road was built by 1821.  Click here to read about William Clark

David Greenman – at the time of the 1840 Tithe Survey the house was part of Plot 112 which consisted of two houses and gardens (now 12 and 14 Upper Bath Road) owned by David Greenman and occupied by himself and Job Greenhill.  We believe that the property that David Greenman and his family actually occupied later became 14 Upper Bath Road.  Click here to read about David Greenman 

John Hodges and his family – following David Greenman’s death in March 1853, the property was transferred to his wife, Mary. Mary Greenman sold the whole property on 28th March 1857 to John Hodges a builder who lived in Gloucester Road.  On 14th August 1865 John sold this house number 12 Upper Bath Road to his son, George Hodges.  George then acquired number 14 Upper Bath Road in 1873.

George Hodges, John’s son, was shown as the owner in the 1880 and 1885 rate books.  The will of George Hodges made on 11th July 1900 gave all his property to his trustees upon trust to provide an income that was to be divided equally between his four daughters, two sons and the three children of his deceased son, John.  George died in 1905.   The 1926 rate book shows that the house was owned by the ‘Representatives of late George Hodges’.  On 11th March 1959 the Trustees of the Hodges’ estate sold the two houses, numbers 12 and 14 Upper Bath Road to Thornbury District Council as part of the redevelopment plan for £250.


Job Greenman – in the 1840 Tithe Apportionment the property was said to be occupied by ‘Job Greenhill’.  We can’t find any reference to a Job Greenhill in Thornbury.  We suspect that this may be another transcription error and that the actual occupant of the the house was Job Greenman.  This Job is listed as living in the area in the 1851 and 1861 censuses.  Job was baptised in 1812, the son of Richard and Sarah Greenman.

Ann Lester – in the 1851 census the house appears to be occupied by Ann Lester, a widow aged 61 from Brinkworth in Wiltshire and her unmarried daughter, Martha aged 35 born in Thornbury, a grand-daughter, Ellen aged 9 and Ann’s son, William a farm labourer aged 25 and his wife, Elizabeth aged 28.

Ann had been married to John Lester.  Their children Mark and Elizabeth were baptised at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on 1st January 1832 at which time the couple lived ‘in the Borough’.  The 1840 Tithe Survey shows John was occupying a cottage and garden in Plot 119 which was owned by Edward Doward.  This was one of the row of houses which later became numbered 11 to 19 Rock Street.  The 1841 census shows John was an agricultural labourer aged 50 and born outside of Gloucestershire.  He was living with Ann and their children, John and William both aged 15, and Ann and Mark aged 10.  John died in 1848.

By the 1861 census, Ann was living in Bulls Lane (now called Bath Road).  She was a laundress aged 69 living with her unmarried daughter, Martha Ann aged 44 who was also a laundress.  In the 1871 census Ann was living alone in the house next to the Wheatsheaf in Chapel Street (8 Chapel Street).  She was described as ‘formerly laundress’ aged 78 from Brinkworth in Wiltshire.  She died in 1877 aged 87.

Of their children;

  • William Lester married Elizabeth Thomas on 11th August 1850.  She was the daughter of David Thomas, carpenter.  In 1852 William was arrested and tried for ‘feloniously stealing at Rockhampton 20lb weight of pig meat, the property of John Collins’.  He was described as being a labourer from Thornbury aged 26, height 5ft 3.5 inches with brown hair, hazel eyes, oval face with scar right side of chin and has a speck in each eye.  It was noted that he was married with no family, has been working for Dr Fox for six weeks and before that for Walter Bayliss of Thornbury Farm.  His religion was Baptist and his conduct was noted as being good.  At the Gloucester Quarter Sessions on 25th March 1852 he was discharged on the basis of ‘not a true Bill’.
  • John Lester married Elizabeth Vinicombe on March 28th 1850.  Elizabeth was the daughter of a labourer called Edward Vinicombe and his wife Sarah.  She was baptised in Long Sutton in Somerset on 15th May 1821.  In 1851 census John Lester was a gardener aged 25 and his wife Elizabeth was aged 29 and they were living at ‘Waterloo’ which was near Marlwood Lodge and Thornbury Farm and which we believe is now called Inglenook.  Living with them were their children, Mary aged 4 born in Olveston and son, Edward John aged 4 months born in Thornbury. John and Elizabeth were still living in this property in 1861   By this time Edward John was aged 10 , Emma was eight, Lucy was six, Eliza four and Ellen one.  All the children apart from Ellen were described as scholars.  The 1881 and 1891 censuses show they lived at Waterloo Cottage and he had become a waiter.  The 1896 Voters list continues to show that John Lester was entitled to vote because of his dwelling house on Alveston Hill.  John died aged 77 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 25th December 1898.  The notice of his death at Waterloo Cottage appears in the Bristol Mercury and Daily Post of December 24th 1898.  Elizabeth died in Tockington aged 78 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 4th June 1899.  In 1881 John daughter Ellen Lester married Charles Fry.  Another daughter Emma Amelia Lester married Albert Venn, a gardener from Redland, in 1882.
  • Martha Ann Lester was born about 1817.  The 1841 census shows she was a farm servant in Kington.  She married a farm labourer called John Cornock in 1866 in St James in Bristol.  The 1871 census shows that the couple lived in Alveston.
  • Mark Lester emigrated to America.  In the American Civil War he served as a private in the Union Regular Army.  On 9th February 1865 he married Marcella Steadman in Massachusetts.  At that time he was a tailor.

Isaac Clutterbuck – the 1861 census shows the house occupied by a widower, Isaac Clutterbuck, a gardener aged 60 and his children: Mary Ann, a house servant aged 20, William an agricultural labourer aged 15, John aged 11, Louisa aged 7 and Fanny aged 5.  Click here to read about Isaac and his family

George Hopkins – the 1871 and 1881 censuses show that the house was occupied by George Hopkins.  This is confirmed by the rate books of 1876 and 1880.  Click here to read about the Hopkins family

Thomas Ford – in the 1887 rate book and the 1891 census the house was occupied by Thomas Ford, a widowed carter aged 65 from Thornbury.  Thomas was baptised on 26th May 1827, the son of James Ford, a labourer and his wife, Mary.  In 1841 Thomas was living with his parents in Crossways.  We believe that Thomas Ford married Ann Jones in 1843.  By 1861 Thomas and Ann were living in Crossways.  Thomas was an agricultural labourer aged 34 and Ann was aged 40.  By this time they had had children: George baptised on 5th March 1854, Anne baptised on 4th June 1854 and James and William both baptised on 13th April 1857.  George was not living with his parents in 1861.

In 1871 the family had moved to as yet unidentified section of Upper Bath Road where Thomas was working as a haulier.  They had had another son, John, baptised on 13th March 1862 who died aged 20 months and was buried on 7th April 1863.  Only their daughter, Ann a general servant aged 17 and their son, William, were living with Thomas and Ann.  Their son, George, a labourer aged 20 was living next door on one side with his wife, Ann (the daughter of John Walker) aged 28.  On the other side was Thomas’s widowed father, James Ford a labourer aged 73 and his grandson (and son of Thomas and Ann), James Ford another labourer aged 14.  In the 1881 census, Thomas was a labourer aged 54 living in Sibland Road with Anne aged 60 with their son, William aged 23 and Mary aged 8.  Mary was baptised on 25th October 1872, the daughter of Anne Ford, whom we assume to be Thomas and Ann’s daughter.  Ann died aged 65 years and was buried on 8th February 1887.  The 1894 rate book shows that Thomas had moved to 4 Upper Bath Road.  Thomas died in 1897 aged 69.

Mrs Collins – the 1899 rate book shows the house was occupied by Mrs Collins.  We haven’t been able to identify this person.

Elizabeth Prewett – in the 1901 census the house appears occupied by Elizabeth Prewett and her children.  Click here to read more about the Prewetts

Albert Screen – we know from the 1910 rate book that Albert was living in this house.  Click here to read more about Albert and his family

Catherine Stone – we think that the 1911 census shows Catherine as the occupant of the house.  She was a widow of no occupation, aged 69 and born in East Lulworth.  She was living with her son, Albert George aged 25 of no occupation and born in Berkeley, and a boarder, Emma Poole, a widow aged 77 from Tytherington.

Elias & Alice Smith – the house was occupied for many years by the family of Elias and Alice Smith.  The electoral registers show they continued to live in 12 Upper Bath Road from 1918 until at least 1954, and in 1958 only Elias is listed as living there.  Elias was baptised on 3rd October 1880, the son of James Smith a shoemaker from Chippenham and his wife, Harriett (nee Parsons) who came from Milbury Heath.  In 1881 the Smith family were living in St Mary Street.  James was aged 50 and Harriett aged 31.  They had two other children living with them: Bertha Parsons aged 10 who was Harriett’s daughter, and Dorcas baptised on 1st June 1879.  Two doors away, another son of Harriett’s, John Fisher aged 5 (who was the son of Harriett’s first marriage) was living with Harriett’s mother, Amelia Parsons.

By 1891, Elias’s father had got into trouble and he was listed as a convict in Gillingham prison in Kent.  Harriett was now living in her three roomed house in Silver Street with her children: Dorcas now aged 11, John Fisher an errand boy aged 15, Elias aged 10, George aged 9, Alfred Merrett aged 4 (who was described as ‘dumb’), a boarder.  Ellen Baker who was a widowed charwoman aged 48 and a nurse child, Ellenor Curtin aged 5 months.  The census record suggests Alfred Merrett is Harriett’s son, but the baptism record shows Alfred was the son of Ann Merrett who was residing at the Workhouse.  We believe that Harriett may have provided a home for children in need of short term care.

By 1901 Elias’s father, James, had been released from prison, but he had not returned to the family home.  Harriet was still living in Silver Street.  She is described as a charwoman living with her children: George a builder’s labourer and Nellie aged 7, and a boarder, John Harris, another general labourer.

Elias became a groom and in 1902 he married Alice Maud Haines at Devonport when he was stationed there as a soldier.  Their first son , John Elias (known as ‘Jack’) was born in 1902 and baptised on 2nd November 1902 at Thornbury St Marys.  Elias and Alice had a daughter, Harriet, born on 7th September 1907 and a son, Charles G born in 1913.  An indenture dated 15th May 1903 shows Elias Smith was a tenant living at 8 Pullins Green.

The 1911 census shows the family living at Tytherington.  Elias was working as a groom.  They had four children living with them: Gilbert (who we believe to be Francis Gilbert) aged 10, Jack aged 9 and Harriett aged 4.

The electoral registers show Jack lived at home with his parents until at least 1938.  Click here to read more about Jack

The 1939 register compiled in preparation for the war shows just Elias and Alice living in 12 Upper Bath Road.  Elias was described as a general labourer.

Elias Smith appears in the electoral registers until about 1954.  He died in Thornbury in 1960 aged 80.

On 11th March 1959 John Hodges and Gladys Balls as trustees of George Hodges’ estate sold the two houses, numbers 12 and 14 Upper Bath Road to Thornbury District Council as part of the redevelopment plan for £250.  The house was demolished as part of the redevelopment scheme in Thornbury.