Bathampton and Fairfield Park historical notes

Bathampton is named as Hantone in the Domesday Book as owned by Hugh ‘the interpreter’ and Colgrim ‘the Englishman’. In 1791, the village consisted of 26 houses and 150 inhabitants, whilst in 1822 the 47 local families in 37 houses were primarily (39 families) listed as employed in agriculture.

Bathampton Church is the burial place of Admiral Phillips, the first governor of New South Wales in Australia. Also buried in the churchyard is Viscount du Barry, the nephew of Louis XV’s mistress, who was mortally wounded in the last legal duel in England (on Bathampton Down) and expired in the George Inn .

William Harbutt, the inventor of Plasticine, commercially produced his product in an old steam flour mill in Bathampton from 1900 to 1983. Harbutt arrived in Bath in 1874 as the head of the Art School (No33 the Paragon) but later ran his own Paragon Art Studio in Bladud Buildings. Plasticine was developed in 1897 for his own use but also sold in local stores.

Fairfield Park was primarily farmland and market gardens until the late 19th century, when artisan housing was built on the Fairfield estate (owned by TH Delabere May Esq). Most of the Raglan Lane terraces date from around 1897.

Fairfield Park formed part of the parish of Walcot, at one time the second largest parish in England behind St Pancras in London. At the time of the battle of Lansdown, the only building in the area was Dead Mill but housing began to creep along the mail road from Bath towards Larkhall in the 1840’s.

Housing in the Whitewells area was built on farmland adjoining the grounds of Batstone Farm (which covered what is now Croft and Baytree Roads). At the same time, Marshfield Way was built on ‘Eight Acres’, previously land owned by the Co-Brethren and Sisters of St Johns Hospital.

Sources – ‘A History of Bath’ (Davis & Bonsall), ‘Street Lore of Bath’ (REM Peach), ‘Bath – a history’ (J.Haddon) and the Walcot Townswomens Guild’s invaluable ‘History of Walcot Parish’

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