Historical research

HISTORICAL NOTES – Putting history back into the property industry!
By Carey Gilliland BA Hons Modern History

Below is a small selection of notes we have already used on our property details to help buyers learn about areas or specific roads. After all, each home or district has a story to tell!

Batheaston was named Estone in the Domesday Book. The village is overlooked by Solsbury Hill which is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and was an Iron Age hill fort occupied between 300 BC and 100 BC. The current A4 Bath Road follows part of the Roman Fosse Way through the village. Notable properties in the local area include Eagle House, which was built in the late 17th/early 18th century and then remodelled by John Wood, the Elder as his own home. The house had also been an important refuge for suffragettes who had been released from prison after hunger strikes, with trees being planted to commemorate each woman. From at least the early 17th Century to about 1820, Batheaston was part of the village based woollen textile industry of South West England. However, by 1823 the woollen industry in Batheaston was in terminal decline and the local factory was converted to silk production until this came to an end in 1840.

Ashley Avenue and Shaftesbury Avenue were named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. Lord Shaftesbury became a Tory MP in 1826, and almost immediately became a leader of the movement for factory reform. He was largely responsible for the Factory Acts of 1847 and 1853, as well as the Coal Mines Act of 1842 and the Lunacy Act of 1845. Serving as MP for Bath between 1847 and 1851, Lord Shaftesbury is more popularly commemorated by the Shaftesbury Memorial in Piccadilly Circus, London, erected in 1893, which is crowned by Alfred Gilbert’s aluminium statue of Anteros as a nude, butterfly-winged archer.

Whilst Timsbury itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book, the expansion of the village to include the Hook Hill area occurred during the early 1800’s – the most intensive period of mining in the area. Appearing on the 1784 Tithe map of Timsbury as pasture land owned by the Flower family, the cottages on this site are believed to date from around 1828 and certainly appear on the 1840 Tithe map (still under the Flower’s ownership). Like the rest of the village, the majority of the occupants would have been coal miners working in one of the 11 local pits.

Development in this area started in 1889 with the construction of West Avenue, with Millmead Rd following from 1896. The Millmead dairy (run by Ebenezer Chesterman) opened in 1898 and was turned into a stationers in 1908 whilst Charles Davis became the first landlord of the Victoria Hotel in 1897. However, the largest local landmark was the 230ft high chimneys of the Victoria Brick & Tile Company above the railway next to what is now Dartmouth Avenue.


 Madison Oakley are an independent estate agent and letting agent in Bath. We are a small director led firm with over 50 years combined local experience.To find out more about us, do visit our website. We would always be delighted to receive comments via our blog or do feel free to call us on 01225 466525.