16 Upper Bath Road

16 Upper Bath Road 2016-10-25T14:26:15+00:00

We have no photograph of the house and we don’t know when it was built.  We would love to hear from anyone with any knowledge of the property.

We are grateful to South Gloucestershire Council for letting us see the deeds that they hold for this house.  This 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

The information given to us by South Gloucestershire has also enabled us to trace the owners of the land from the early 1700’s.  Click here to read the early history

This house stands on the plots of 112 and 113 on the Tithe Map drawn up between 1838 and 1840.  However at the time of the Tithe Survey this house was not actually built.  In the Tithe Apportionment the property that the house would later be built on was said to be owned by David Greenman who died in 1853.  On the indenture of 1865 (detailed below) there is schedule of transactions which ends on 28th March 1857 when Mary the widow of David Greenman, amongst others, sold the property to John Hodges.  We do not know whether there was this house on the property by that time.  We do know that John Hodges was a builder and that by 1865 there was a house on this property and that it later became 16 Upper Bath Road so we suspect that it was John Hodges who built the house.  In 1840 plots 112 and 113 on the Tithe Map were actually occupied by what later became number 12 and 14 Upper Bath Road and these two properties were retained by John Hodges and on his death passed to his son George Hodges.

On the 15th August 1865 John Hodges a builder of Thornbury sold this property to his son-in-law, John Williams for £50.  At that time the house was said to be in the occupation of Charles Prewett (see below).  On 11th May 1934 John Hodges Williams, who had inherited the property of his father John Williams, died.  By a will of 8th May 1934 the house was mentioned as part of the estate to be administered by the trustees, Edgar Walter Pitcher, John Gammon Wicks and Henry William Williams, the last being the son of John Hodges Williams.  At that time this house was said to be in the occupation of Mrs Gregory (see below).  On February 2nd 1959 the property was sold by Henry William Williams to Thornbury District Council for £130.

The Occupants

Silas Bracher – the 1861 census shows the house occupied by Silas Bracher, a journeyman bootmaker aged 28 and his wife, Eliza a boot binder aged 28 and their children: James aged 5, Harry aged 3 and Louisa aged 1.  We note that the 1862 rate book shows Thomas Bracher as being the tenant but we think this must be a mistake.  Silas was born in Wincanton in Somerset about 1833.  In the 1851 census he was a journeyman cordwainer (shoemaker) lodging in Callowhill Street in Bristol.  In 1854 he married Eliza Williams who was born in Thornbury about 1833.  They settled in Thornbury where their children were born.  Eliza died aged 33 and was buried on 26th May 1866.  Silas re-married in 1867.  We think his wife was Hannah Pow who came from Falfield or Thornbury.  Silas and Hannah moved to Bristol where they were living in 1871 census in 17 Lincoln Street.  They had a number of children who were baptised in Thornbury even after they had moved to Bristol.  In the 1881 census they were living in 53 Stevens Crescent, Bedminster.

Charles and Maria Prewett – the 1867 rate book shows Charles Prewett as the tenant and in 1868 when the house was sold to John Williams by John Hodges the house was said to be occupied by Charles Prewett.   The census of 1871 shows that the house was occupied by Charles Prewett, a tailor aged 53 and his wife, Maria a laundress aged 43.  Charles died aged 63 and was buried on 31st December 1880.  In the 1881 census Maria is living in the house alone.  On 7th November 1881 Maria Prewett married for a third time, this time her husband was Reuben Greenman, an army pensioner and the son of Richard Greenman.  Maria carried on living in the house with Reuben (see below).  Click here to read about Charles & Maria Prewett

Reuben and Maria Greenman – in the 1885 rate book and the 1891 census the house is occupied by Reuben Greenman a general labourer aged 64 and his wife, Maria a laundress aged 62, both from Thornbury.  Reuben was baptised on 1st October 1826, the son of Richard Greenman a labourer and his wife, Sarah.  The 1841 census shows he was living in one of the houses in St John Street which were replaced by 6 and 8 St John Street.  He was living there with his widowed mother, Sarah.  She was a charwoman aged 53 and Reuben was a mason’s labourer aged 14.

Reuben is missing from the censuses in 1851 and 1861.  It is possible that he was serving in the Army because when he married in 1881 he was described as an army pensioner.  At the time of this marriage, he was described as a bachelor, but in the 1871 census he is listed as a married man living in 8 St Mary Street as a labourer with his wife, Elizabeth who was aged 60, 14 years older than Reuben.  Living with them was Alfred Davis, described as a stepson who was working as a shoemaker.  He was the son of Hugh Davis, a shoemaker and his wife, Elizabeth.  Hugh died in 1864.

In the 1881 census Reuben is described as an unmarried pensioner lodging in St Mary Street with Ruth Jefferies.  On 7th November 1881, Reuben married Maria Prewett, a widow who had been married twice before .  Maria was baptised on 7th September 1828, the daughter of Charles Hopton and his wife, Hannah.  In 1882 Maria got into trouble and brought up in front of the Petty Sessional Court at Thornbury.  She was charged with being drunk and disorderly on the highway on 1st July 1882.  She was convicted and sentenced to pay 2/6 with 8/6 costs or, if she was unable or refused to pay this fine then 7 days imprisonment.

Reuben and Maria carried on living in the house.  Reuben is shown in the 1894 rate book, but he died aged 69 years and was buried on 28th July 1896.  The 1899 rate book and the 1901 census shows Maria is living in the same house alone.  She died aged 75 in 1904.

The Gregorys – throughout the 1900’s until it was demolished about 1960 the house was occupied by the family of William Thomas Gregory.  They were shown as living there as early as the 1910 rate book.  William married Mary Ann Jupe in the Farnham area in 1902, but they settled to live in Thornbury.  Mary Ann was born in Botley, Hampshire on 1st January 1875.  She was the daughter of Henry Jupe.

William and Mary Ann had three children in Thornbury and they were all baptised at St Mary’s Church.  Reginald Walter born on 9th December 1903 and baptised on 12th February 1904 when William was described as a gardener.  Edith was born on 24th December 1905 and baptised on 4th April 1906 when William was described as a labourer.

The 1911 census shows that William was a gardener born in Long Sutton, Hampshire about 1868. Mary was born in Botley, Hampshire about 1875.  They were living with Reginald Walter aged 7 and Edith aged 5.  Eric George was born on 28th December 1912 and baptised on 5th January 1913.  When Reginald Walter was baptised in 1904, their address was given as ‘Raglan Castle’.   Although 11 Upper Bath Road was a building actually called Ragland (or Raglan) Castle in its early days, this term (spelled either Raglan or Ragland) was used for that whole area of Upper Bath Road.  We assume in this instance it refers to the house later known as 16 Upper Bath Road.

During World War I William Gregory fought with the 4th Gloucesters.  We also know from the obituary in the Gazette of 10th October 1925 that William T Gregory had been employed by Major Mundy for nearly thirty years at The Farm, so he must having been living in Thornbury at the time of the 1901 census although we can find no trace of him.  William died on October 3rd 1925 aged 57 years.  Mary Ann carried on living at the house.  Reginald is also listed as living with her until her death on 20th January 1940 aged 65, and he continued in the house afterwards.  The electoral registers of 1935 and 1938 show Eric living with his mother and brother, but there is no further sign of Edith after her school record.

The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Mary Ann, Reginald and Eric all living in the house.  Reginald was a road repair worker and Eric was a dustman.  It was noted that during the War Eric worked as an ‘ARP Decontamination’.

We know that Eric married Iris Irene Blanche Sansum in 1941 and they moved to settle in Eastland Avenue.  Reginald carried on in the house in Upper Bath Road until it was earmarked for demolition and he then spent a short time at 47 St Mary Street where he is listed in the 1961 electoral register.  When these houses were demolished in the early 60’s Reg was re-housed by the council to 8 Streamleaze where he was listed in the 1965 electoral register.  He died on 26th December 1974 aged 71 years.

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