Go to history of the house

The house was built before 1840.  The Survey taken in 1840 shows it as part of Plot 328, a house, garden, and orchard owned by Mary Allen and occupied by George Williams.  The orchard covered the area which was later used as the site for the Town’s market.  We can’t identify Mary Allen.

George Williams – the 1841 census shows that George was an agricultural labourer aged 30 living with his wife, Sarah aged 30, and children Charles aged 9, George aged 8 and Henry aged 3.

George married Sarah Tyler (who was born in Gloucestershire) on 12th December 1830 also at St Mary’s Church.  They had several children: Charles, baptised on 31st August 1831, George, baptised on 14th April 1833, Eliza, baptised on 3rd May 1835 (who died in 1836 aged 14 months), Henry baptised on 29th April 1838, Mark baptised on 8th August 1841, Charlotte baptised 18th August 1844 and Emma baptised on 6th December 1846 and Ellen baptised on 21st July 1850 (who died in 1851 aged 6 months).  Ellen’s baptism record suggests that George had become a haulier before he died.

Notice of apology by Sarah Williams 1840

Notice of apology by Sarah Williams 1840

We were intrigued when we found the notice published in the Bristol Mercury dated 1st August 1840.  A copy of this notice is shown on the right.  It appears that Sarah had been spreading gossip about Sarah Walker around the town and had exhibited effigies holding Sarah Walker up to public ridicule.  We would love to know what caused this action!

George died and was buried on 27th January 1850 aged 42 years.  This is presumably about the time that his widow, Sarah, left the house.  The 1851 census shows Sarah, a widowed charwoman aged 46 living in Bulls Lane (in the house which later became known as 8 Bath Road) with Charles and George, both agricultural labourers aged 19 and 18, and her younger children, Mark aged 10, Charlotte aged 6 and Emma aged 4.

In the quarter ending December 1851 Sarah married again, this time to John Garlick.  The 1861 census shows John was a farmer aged 57 born in Killmartin, Wiltshire.  He is living in Bulls Lane, which is Lower Bath Road, with Sarah (who in this census is shown as being born in London), her sons, Mark an agricultural labourer aged 19, and Emma a nursemaid aged 14.  In 1871 John and Sarah are still there presumably in the same house but the address is now called Lower Bath Road.  John is described as an ‘occupier of lands’.  The rate books of this period show that John owned the two properties which later became 6 and 8 Bath Road and that they occupied the one which became number 8.  For reasons that are not clear, the 1881 census shows Sarah’s birthplace as London.  In 1881 they are still living in what was then called Bulls Lane.  Sarah’s birthplace is given as Wapley, Gloucestershire.  John died in 1881 aged 78.  Sarah died in 1887 aged 79 years.

George Gough – in the 1851 census the house now known as 3 Upper Bath Road appears to be occupied by George Gough, an agricultural labourer aged 52, his wife, Jane aged 54 from Oldbury, and their children: George, an unmarried agricultural labourer aged 25 and Joseph, an agricultural labourer aged 15 and Hannah aged 12.  We believe that George’s age given in this census is inaccurate.  In fact his age varies very widely in the different sources.  The 1841 census shows him as being 50, the 1851 census shows him as 52, the 1861 census shows him as being 70, the 1871 census shows him as being 84 and his death record shows him as being 82 when he died in 1871.  The variations in his age make it difficult to identify his birth record, but we suspect it to be the birth on 21st March 1793, the son of Joseph and Sarah Gough.

George Gough married Jane Everett on 14th October 1812.  They had several children: Henry and Eliza both baptised on 15th October 1815, Bethia baptised on 29th November 1821 (when living at the Borough), Ann and George baptised on 1st September 1822 (when living at the Borough), Jane baptised on 10th July 1825 (when George was a hallier living at Crossways), Job baptised on 6th February 1828 (when George was a labourer living in the Borough), Maria baptised on 15th December 1829 (when George was living at Crossways), Aaron baptised on 6th June 1833 (when living at Sibland) and Joseph baptised on 10th August 1834 (when living in the Borough) and Hannah baptised on 31st January 1838 (when living at Crossways).

We can’t explain the frequent movements of George and Jane between the Borough (which is in the town centre) and Crossways and Sibland (which were just outside of the town).  We are able to confirm that they are the children of the same George and Jane by the fact that all except Henry, Eliza, Ann and Jane lived at some time with George and Jane, and Henry had Bethia as a witness when he got married.

We suspect that George is the same person who was mentioned as living in part of 5 St John Street in 1818.  The 1841 census shows George and Jane were living in the same area of the town.  In this census, George is an agricultural labourer aged 50 and Jane was aged 45.  Their children living with them were: George an agricultural labourer aged 18, Job a mason’s labourer aged 13, Maria aged 9, Aaron aged 8, Joseph aged 5 and Hannah aged 3.  In the 1851 census, in addition to the persons named above, there were two other children listed in 3 Upper Bath Road; Frederick Williams aged 10 and Sarah Williams aged 8, whom the census record as George Gough’s ‘son’ and ‘daughter’.  These were actually the children of Ambrose Williams and Bethia (nee Gough) so the children were actually George and Jane’s grandchildren.  Bethia went on to marry thee times – click here to read more about Bethia

George’s wife, Jane, died aged 66 and was buried on 17th March 1861.  In the 1861 census George was still living in the vicinity of Upper Bath Road.  It is very difficult to be sure, but we think it could have been the house which became number 9 Upper Bath Road.  He was now being described an agricultural labourer aged 70.  He was living with his daughter now Hannah Smart aged 22 and Hannah’s husband, William Smart, an agricultural labourer aged 21.  Living next door was George’s son, also called George, described as an agricultural labourer aged 39 with his wife, Edith (daughter of Nicholas Landfair) aged 39 from Cheltenham and their children: Eliza aged 8, James aged 6, Sarah Ann aged 4 and Mary aged 8 months.  In the 1871 census George is in the Workhouse.  He is described as an agricultural labourer aged 84.  He died in the Workhouse and was buried on 26th April 1871 – his age was then given as 82.

It is remarkable that all of George and Jane’s eleven children survived to adulthoood.  Of these, ten of them are recorded as marrying in Thornbury, and some of them on more than one occasion!

  • Henry – married Sarah Bell on 13th March 1833.  She was born on 25th August 1811, the daughter of Joseph Bell, a soldier and his wife, Ann.  We know a newspaper report at the time of their son’s Golden Wedding in 1919 (kindly sent to us by Jayne Williams, a descendent of the family) that Henry and Sarah moved to Varteg in South Wales shortly after their son, Henry was born at Crossways in 1838.  The report mention that Henry Snr was a member of the Chartist Movement and escaped capture following the riots which took place in the Monmouth Valley at that time.  Henry died on 28th March 1849.  When he was discharging a shot in the stone quarry he accidentally touched the powder instead of the priming paper and the instant explosion ‘blew him a considerable distance’.  He left his widow and six children with his widow Sarah expecting another child.
  • Eliza – married Charles Robinson on 29th December 1835 (note – her sister Bethia was a witness).
  • Bethia – married on three occasions – to Ambrose Williams, Charles Reeves and Samuel Ball.
  • Jane – married Charles Thatcher on 15th April 1846.  Charles was born in Elberton in 1823, the son of Thomas Thatcher and his wife, Amelia (nee Baker).  Charles and Jane appear to have lived in Blakeney for a time.  They had two sons, George and John, baptised there on 9th September 1848.  Jane died on 5th November 1850 when they were living at Neylors Cottage, Horfield in Bristol.  In the 1851 census Charles and son John were living with his married sister, Ann Bridges, in Turnpike Road, Horfield.  We do not know where son George was at the time.  Charles married again.  On 28th July 1851 he married Susannah Nichols at St Andrews Church, Montpelier in Bristol and the following year the family emigrated to Australia.  They sailed on SS Arabian which left Liverpool on 26th October 1852 and arrived in Melbourne on 14th February 1853.
  • Job – married Emma Hayman on 5th October 1851.  We understand from a message posted on the Internet that Emma was the daughter of James and Hannah Hayman from Alveston.  She was born in 1827.  This couple emigrated to Australia in June 1858 sailing on the Herald of the Morning.  The sailing record shows they had ‘in their charge two orphan children’ who were the children of Frances Gough; Selina baptised on 15th March 1848 and Sarah Ann baptised on 20th December 1854.  Emma died in Hartley NSW in 1871 and Job died there in 1878.  The sailing record shows Job was a farm labourer, they were of Wesleyan religion and whilst Job could read and write, Emma could only read.  The Bath Chronicle of 14th January 1836 has an item that might indicate why Job and Emma chose to emigrate.  James Hayman (Emma’s father) was transported for seven years for stealing two sacks of potatoes from Job Hodges.  A family tree on the Ancestry website shows that Emma died in Blackmans Flat in New South Wales on 1st January 1871.
  • Joseph – married Ann Hollister on 11th September 1859.  We have a copy of a newspaper report showing that on 3rd October 1858 Joseph was stabbed in the neck by Ann’s father and he was lucky to survive.  At the time Joseph and Ann were ‘living together’ and Ann’s father was also sharing the house.  William was a widower and in the habit of drinking excessively.  When Joseph suggested that William contribute towards the rent of the house rather than spend his money on drink, William attacked Joseph.  William was warned by the Police that if Joseph died, he would be hung.  Luckily for everyone Joseph survived and he and Ann were married 11 months later. 

We can’t be sure who was living in the house in 1861 census and on until about 1876.

John Goodman – the 1876 rate book shows the property had just been vacated by John Goodman. John moved to several different addresses in Thornbury.  Click here to read more

Joseph Goodenough – the 1876 rate book shows that Joseph replaced John Goodman as the occupant of the house.  We can find no information about Joseph.

Charles Pritchard – in the 1881 census the house was called ‘Streamleaze’.  It was occupied by Charles Pritchard, a groom aged 44, his wife, Ann aged 44 from Elberton, his children: Mark a groom aged 18, Eliza aged 13, George aged 10, all from Olveston, William aged 7, and Louise aged 5 both from Alveston and Charlie aged 3 from Thornbury, and grandson, John Smith aged 1.

Charles Phelps Pritchard was baptised on 21st April 1836.  He was the son of Frederick Pritchard and his wife, Eliza (nee Phelps), who came from Morton.  On 12th April 1859 Charles married Ann Neale, the daughter of John Neale, a labourer and his wife, Hannah.  The birthplaces of their children show that Charles and Ann moved between Olveston and Alveston before coming to Thornbury.  The family had moved to Thornbury about 1877 and settled in Upper Bath Road.

In 1891 Charles was a gardener aged 54 living with his wife, Ann, also aged 54 from Hazel, Olveston and their children: Louise aged 16 from Alveston, Charley a coal merchant’s assistant aged 14, Frank aged 10, and his wife’s widowed mother, Hannah Neale aged 76 and his widowed brother, George Pritchard aged 58.  Ann died aged 61 years and she was buried on 30th June 1897.

 Charles re-married in March quarter 1901; his new wife was Mary Ann Wallis who came from Berkeley.  In 1901 Charles and Mary were living at Buckover where Charles was employed at a jobbing gardener.  Charles died aged 73 years and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 12th November 1909.  His address at the time of his death was still shown as Buckover.

In 1901 the house, then called Streamleaze Cottage, was vacant.

Thomas Alsop – indentures dated 1906 show that the property was ‘late in the occupancy of Thomas Alsop’.  Thomas was born in Newington in London about 1854.  In 1877 he married in the Clifton area of Bristol.  His wife was Emily (or Emila) Gethin Pitman who was born in Almondsbury.  Thomas and Emily had several children: Joseph William born in 1877 who died in 1881 aged 3, Edith Annie born in 1879, Charles Edward born in 1880, Alice Louisa born in 1882, Emily Bessie born in 1883, Eva Phoebe born in 1884, Robert George born in 1886, Bertha born in 1888 who died in 1895 aged 6, William John born in 1890, Arthur Henry in 1892, Elsie May in 1894, and Herbert Thomas in 1895.

Thomas and Emily seemed to move around a lot.  The 1880 rate book and the 1881 census shows Thomas and Emily were living in St Mary Street, we think it was the house which later became known as number 37 St Mary Street.  They were living there with their children, Edith Annie and Charles Edward.  The 1885 and 1890 rate books shows the family had moved to the house owned by the Corporation which later became known as 8 St Mary Street.  We know that from about 1891 to about 1901 Thomas and his family were living at 17 St Mary Street.  The 1904 voters list shows Thomas was living at Streamleaze at that time.  Their daughter, Elsie May died in 1905 when their address was Raglan Castle.  Both these addresses seem to refer to the house later known as 3 Upper Bath Road.  The 1905 rate book shows that Thomas vacated the property on 31st December 1904. Postcards sent to Emily in 1906 and 1907 show she was living in Gillingstool Hill.  One card dated 1908 gives her address as being in ‘Crossways’.

Thomas died in Thornbury aged 55 in 1908.  The 1911 census shows Emily living at 64 High Street with her son, Herbert Thomas.  Emily was described as being ‘supported by her children’ and Herbert was working as an assistant to a cycle agent.  Emily died in Oldfield Park, Bath aged 60.  She was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 29th September 1915.  Two of Thomas’s children, William and Louisa, later lived in 16 Rock Street.  Click here to read more about them

Thornbury Rural District Council – on 17th August 1906 Francis William Yates, the owner of the property, agreed to lease it to Thornbury Rural District Council for 14 years at a yearly rent of £16.  The property was described as ‘a messuage or dwelling house, stables and paddock situate at the upper end of Streamleaze’ lately in the respective occupancy of Thomas Alsop and Thomas Exell’.  We have taken this to mean that Thomas Alsop occupied the house and Thomas Exell the paddock and stables.  Thomas Exell was a grocer and corn dealer in the High Street from about 1889 up to the 1920’s.  It is probable that he would have used horses in his business, to make deliveries, and therefore required stables.  An agreement dated 1st September 1906 shows that the Council quickly let the house, pigsty and garden (late in the occupation of Thomas Alsop) to William Phillips for a monthly rent of 11 shillings.  The Council used the property as a small depot.  We have been told that the steam roller was kept there, and the 1910 rate book describes the property as ‘agricultural land, stables and refuse sheds’.

In 1909 the Council began making plans to relocate the Town’s cattle market from its position on The Plain where it blocked the town’s main street for several hours on market days.  There were threats from the Board of Agriculture that the market could be forced to close because it was unsanitary and should be on a proper paved area which could be cleaned.  The land at Upper Bath Road was one of four alternative sites considered by the Council and it was the one chosen.  In 1910 they arranged for the purchase for £950 of over 3 acres of land from Francis William Yates.  This included the house and stables which they continued to let to William Phillips, the rest they used for the site of the new market and for allotments over the rest of the land.  The ‘Council Depot’ moved to a new site further along Upper Bath Road nearer the railway station.  

It is interesting to note that the Council applied in 1911 to improve the drainage at the house by connecting it to a cesspit in the market.  The house was then referred to as the ‘Engineman’s House‘.  We have been told that the house used at some stage in the past to keep the Council’s steamroller and know that William Phillips was described as ‘engine driver – steam roller’ so we assume that naming the house ‘Engineman’s House refers to the steamroller rather than anything to do with the market.

The Phillips family – the house was occupied from 1906 by the family of William Alfred Phillips.  Members of William’s family continued to live there until the year 2000.  Click here to read about the Phillips family

The Blenkinsopps – in 1947 John and Mollie Elizabeth Blenkinsopp took over the house, having exchanged their home at 61 High Street with Elvere Phillips.  Mollie Elizabeth was the daughter of Elvere’s step-son, Francis George Phillips, and his wife, Fanny.

John Blenkinsopp was known locally under the name of ‘Jack’.  He had moved to Thornbury from County Durham in the early 30’s.  He is listed in the 1931 electoral register as living at 7 Eastland Road.  We understand that John was a builder and he moved south for work.  He was employed as a bricklayer, initially by Bristol Tramways working on the maintenance of their buildings, then on the construction of houses in Monks Park and Hortham Hospital.  He later became a builder working for himself.  On leaving the Grammar School, Mollie worked for some years as a typist in a local solicitors until she left to bring up her family.

John Blenkinsopp 1975

John Blenkinsopp 1975

John and Molly had three sons: John Phillips Blenkinsopp born in 1934 and who went on to work as a civil servant, Colin born in 1937 who worked as a prison officer and Roger born in 1940 who became a teacher.  The family were living in Bristol until about 1940 when they moved to Thornbury.  Initially they lived in a small house next to the Exchange Hotel at 61 High Street where they are shown as living in the 1946 electoral register.  Molly’s uncle, Harry, a painter and decorator lived next door at 63 High Street.

In 1947 John and Mollie moved to 3 Upper Bath Road.  We know that they were in this house by 1948 as they were both appointed Trustees of the Methodist Church in that year and their address was 3 Streamleaze (one of the known addresses for this house).  John was able to use his skills as a builder to assist with the construction of the single story Methodist Church Hall which replaced the old tin hut in 1975.  The image on the right shows John standing in front of the memorial plaque in the church.

Mollie was also very active in the church, following her mother as Sunday School Superintendent.  She also enjoyed participating in amateur dramatics, playing a part in a local production of ‘My Lady Jennifer’ in the Cossham Hall and in other productions of the local dramatic society.  During the War she served in the canteen for the servicemen stationed in the area.  Mr Blenkinsopp is listed as a builder living at Streamleaze in the 1967 programme for the Flower Show.  John and Mollie carried on living in Upper Bath Road until John died on 22nd March 1993.  He was aged 85.  Mollie carried on living there until 2000 when she moved to Castle Court until she died on 23rd June 2002.

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