Rev John Clark Knott (1818 – 1907) lived at Combe Hill House. His brother William Henry Smith Knott (1804 – 1851) was married to Sabina Judith Bernard (1812 – 1861). Her cousin Sabina Pool Atherton (1828 – 1913) married Charles Henry Gabriel (1821 – 1900). Thus the knotts were related to the Atherton / Gabriel family and all the others.
James Ledger Hill (1839 – 1912) lived at Combe Grove Farm. His wife wife Mary Tucker (1849 – 1931) was the daughter of William Henry Tucker (1814 – 1877) and his wife Emily Hannah Hendy (1815 – 1885) who lived at West Brow in the 1870s. James Ledger Hill’s daughter, Grace Hill (1881 – 1959) was married to Dermot Gun O’Mahony (1881 – 1960). His grandfather was Robert Gun Cuninghame (1792 – 1877) and one of his sons was Col Robert George Archibald Hamilton Gun Cuninghame (1818 – 1880) who married Isabella Tottenham (1817 – 1880), the daughter of Rt Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham (1773 – 1850) and The Hon Alicia Maude (1782 – 1866), a daughter of Cornwallis Maude 1st Viscount Hawarden and his third wife Anne Isabella Monck Viscountess Hawarden (1759 – 1851) after whom Isabella Place is named.
So now to the the Allen, Atherton, Bennett, Bryan, Cruttwell, Daubeney, Disney, Falkner, Fortt, Gabriel, Gore, Hope, Howard, Maude, Morley, Richardson, Vivian and Wingrove families we can add the Candler, Hill, Knott, Langford, Tucker families who have been involved in the development of Combe Down or lived here for a reasonable period and show that all are inter-related.
Even more evidence of property, power, position and patronage being the cornerstone of the class system, at least in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries, because it’s “not what you know, but who you know”.
I have now proven it to my own satisfaction, though I am still working on the complete, single family tree. As it’s not finalised with all citations etc it may be a while before I publish on the site, so I have uploaded a zipped GEDCOM for anyone who may be interested.
Let me try to explain. You’ll also find some conclusions at the end.
It’s well known that Ralph Allen was the first of the movers and shakers, responsible for building the first community on Combe Down but that he left no surviving children. His will stipulated that his estates were for the use of his wife during her lifetime. After she died the Bathampton Manor & estates were to go to his brother Philip Allen (1695 – 1765) and Prior Park in trust to:
Gertrude Tucker (abt 1727 – 1796 ), his niece (daughter of his sister Elizabeth Allen (1702 – 1731)) and her issue, sons and oldest first but daughters equally, but if none then
Move on some time and the Bennetts have left Widcombe Manor and acquired Rougham Hall in Suffolk. Maj Philip Bennett (1837 – 1875) married Barbara Sophia Harriet Disney (1838 – 1929) who was the great, great, great grand daughter of Rev John Disney (1677 – 1729). He was also the grandfather of Henry Woolhouse Disney Roebuck (1733 – 1796) who built Midford Castle. After the death of Maj Philip Bennett, Barbara Sophia Harriet Disney married The Hon Harbord Harbord (1836 – 1894), a son of Sir Edward Harbord, 3rd Baron Suffield (1781 – 1835). Though they had no children this marriage tied the Bennett, Disney and Harbord families together.
In 1911 Mary Morley (1855 – 1917), the daughter of Samuel Morley MP (1809 – 1866) lived at St Christopher, also residing there was her niece Rebekah Wilbraham Phibbs (née Taylor) (1877 – 1952) the daughter of Herbert Wilbraham Taylor (1847 – 1899) and her sister Rebekah Hope Morley (1842 – 1877). Mary Morley was the niece of Rhoda Mary Hope (1828 – 1910) and a cousin of Dr Charles Middleton Coates (1857 – 1933) who both owned Hopecote. Herbert Wilbraham Taylor was a grandson of Sir William Gosset CB KCH (abt 1783 – 1848) and Gertrude Martha Daniell (1789 – 1849). Gertrude Martha Daniell was the daughter of Ralph Allen Daniell MP (1762 – 1823) whose grandmother was Gertrude Allen (1697 – 1789) – Ralph Allen‘s sister. This links the Hope and Morley families to the Allen, Maude, Bennett, Disney, Vivian, Wingrove, Harbord, Atherton and Gabriel families.
Capt. William Tucker RN (abt 1728 – 1770), the nephew of Ralph Allen was married to Diana Marriott (1740 – 1816). Her father was Rev Dr Randolph Marriott DD (1699 – 1782) and her mother Lady Diana Feilding (1706 – 1756) the daughter of Basil Feilding (1668 – 1716) 4th Earl of Denbigh and 3rd Earl of Desmond and Hester Firebrace (1670 – 1726) Countess of Denbigh and Countess of Desmond. One of her father’s siblings was Lady Mary Feilding (1670 – 1697) Countess of Kingston-upon-Hull who was married to Evelyn Pierrepont (1665 – 1726) 1st Duke of Kingston upon Hull, 1st Marquess of Dorchester KG PC. One of Evelyn Pierrepont’s sons was William Pierrepont (1692 – 1713) Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull who married Rachel Baynton (1695 – 1722), which brought Great Chalfield Manor and much of the old Bath Priory property in central Bath to the Pierrepoints. In the 1730s Gen Evelyn Pierrepont (1712 – 1773), 2nd Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull, sold the old Bath Abbey Orchards land in Bath to John Wood the Elder (1704 – 1754) and his business partner James Leake who went on to design and construct housing and named the streets Pierrepont Place and Pierrepont Street in homage. The rest of the lands passed to Charles (Medows) Pierrepont (1737 – 1816) 1st Earl Manvers, grand son of Evelyn Pierrepont (1665 – 1726) 1st Duke of Kingston upon Hull when the 2nd duke died without issue.
Everything noted in the last five paragraphs links the Bryan, Daubeney, Gore, Howard, Fortt and Richardson families to the Allen, Maude, Bennett, Disney, Vivian, Wingrove, Harbord, Hope, Morley, Falkner, Cruttwell, Atherton and Gabriel families as well as the Pierreponts.
So what, you may reasonably say. It’s just a whole load of old families you may add. I find it more fascinating than that.
Property, power, position and patronage were the cornerstone of the class system (and still are?) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Their lands and estates were often made up of tenanted farms, in which case the gentleman could live entirely off rent income so that they did not have to to actively work. They could even pass off most of the administrative work to a steward. This allowed them to pursue other careers at court, in the military or politics from which they could gain even more property, power, position and patronage. The nobility and gentry had good reason to make sure that they married other people of a similar ilk who understood the ‘rules of the game’ and only to ‘let in’ those who had made it to a similar status whom they then absorbed in the ‘rules of the game’. It still goes on today, think of quangos.
In another tenuous coincidence I have discovered that Benjamin Wingrove (1773 – 1840), who has his own page on this site, and was an attorney, land speculator, agriculturalist and road builder is the 1st cousin 1x removed of the wife of the husband of the 7th great-aunt of our son-in-law. I said it was tenuous!
His children also prospered. Francis (1733 – 1795) became a well known baker.
His daughter Mary (1742 – 1803) married John Hensley (1737 – 1802) a coachmaker based in Broad Street.
Another son William (1745 – 1786) was a brewer and died quite young but married Martha Whittaker (1737 – 1795) a daughter of Thomas Whittaker (1702 – 1760) of Bratton, Wiltshire. The Whittakers were clothiers, fullers, corn and sheep farmers. After her husband died Martha became a pump mistress at the baths. The pump mistresses were widows of good repute. They needed to have reasonable means as the annual rent was £840 but the potential was that they could make a good profit and set themselves up for retirement. The covenant was with Mayor, aldermen and citizens and the duties included opening and shutting the pump rooms, keeping the rooms tidy and fit for the reception of Nobility, Gentry, Inhabitants and others and paying all taxes. It related to baths and vaults at the Kings & Queens Baths, Hot Baths and Cross Bath.
Another daughter, Elizabeth (1749 – 1822) married Robert Forman (1741 – 1792) an attorney.
His son John Wingrove (1739 – 1790) ran the Marlborough Tavern, 35 Marlborough Buildings, Walcot, Bath and the Fox & Hounds, Walcot Street. He married Anne Blatchly (1740 1822) on 14 February 1764. They had six children in 11 years, but 4 died in infancy or childhood. His eldest son John (b 1765) became a ribbon weaver in Bristol.
The Curo cable care plan was abandoned after negative feedback during the consultation process but what I find interesting is why it was put forward? Did Curo really believe that it would receive planning permission in Bath’s World Heritage Site?
A quick review of this would have shown the obstacles that the Curo cable care plan would have faced in getting any planning approval – presumably why they said they intended to bypass the usual planning system and go straight to the Secretary of State for Transport.
"Government guidance on protecting the Historic Environment and World Heritage is set out in National Planning Policy Framework and Circular 07/09. Policies to protect, promote, conserve and enhance World Heritage properties, their settings and buffer zones are also found in statutory planning documents. The Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan contains a core policy according to which the development which would harm the qualities justifying the inscription of the World Heritage property, or its setting, will not be permitted. The protection of the surrounding landscape of the property has been strengthened by adoption of a Supplementary Planning Document, and negotiations are progressing with regard to transferring the management of key areas of land from the Bath and North East Somerset Council to the National Trust."
Further reading would have shown:
"The site boundary is the municipal boundary of the city. This covers an area of approximately 29 square km. As noted in chapter 1, Bath is exceptional in this respect as the World Heritage inscription in almost every other city worldwide covers only a part of the urban area and not the entire settlement. Venice and its lagoon is the closest European comparator.
The property was inscribed in 1987 without a boundary map, which was not uncommon at that time. The description of the ‘City of Bath’ was taken to mean that the boundary encompassed the entire city and it was managed accordingly. This boundary was subsequently confirmed by letter (dated 17 October 2005) from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre."
"Bath remains a compact city, contained largely within the hollow in the hills as previously described. The city does not have significant ‘urban sprawl’ and high quality built development directly adjoins high quality landscape at the urban edge. The skyline is predominantly characterised by trees or open pasture. The green hillsides provide a backdrop to the urban area and are visible from most of the city centre. Bath is well provided for in terms of parks and open spaces, with the River Avon cutting through the city centre providing natural beauty and sense of calm. All of the above contribute to an impression that the city is smaller than it actually is."
"The Green Setting of the City in a Hollow in the Hills
42. The compact and sustainable form of the city contained within a hollow of the hills
43. The distinct pattern of settlements, Georgian houses and villas in the setting of the site, reflecting the layout and function of the Georgian city
44. Green, undeveloped hillsides within and surrounding the city
45. Trees, tree belts and woodlands predominantly on the skyline, lining the river and canal, and within parkland and gardens
46. Open agricultural landscape around the city edges, in particular grazing and land uses which reflect those carried out in the Georgian period
47. Fingers of green countryside which stretch right into the city"
as well as various maps:
So, why was the Curo cable care plan put forward? It would seem that it was most unlikely to get planning permission – unless there’s something I don’t know about.
Ordinary folk living their lives as best they can, given that they had been described as living in an area that was designated “in the most deprived 20% of the country”, who are given a master plan to regenerate their community by the housing association that owned many of the affordable homes in the area and a council that granted the housing association outline planning permission.
That outline planning permission was, later, adjudged, in a Judicial Review, to have been given without: ” due regard to the need to remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic or to take steps to meet the needs of such persons The relevant characteristics were age, disability, race and pregnancy or maternity … The grant of outline planning permission on 30 November 2017 was unlawful, and that outline planning permission will be quashed.”
Quite what all this proves, other than that my blogging frequency has declined, I don’t really know. Having said that it’s interesting to me to see the range of subjects that have been covered.
Also, there are many things that are within the site that have not been covered by the blog. I find the money troubles that Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden seems to have inflicted on himself quite fascinating. I’m not particularly risk averse but the way some of the aristocracy behaved back in the 18th century really does boggle my mind – though, I suppose it shouldn’t given all the financial shenanigans we see today! Even so having mortgages of £18,008 18s 0d in 1799 on land that was doubly mortgaged to different lenders, seemingly without their knowledge and not having the wherewithal to pay the interest does seem slightly risky.
So many of these things are so normal to so many of us these days that we barely even think about them and, sadly, when we do, it’s too often to criticize the ‘patriarchal attitudes’ or similar of the people who pushed them and who were, in their day seen as progressive. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Combe Down’s freestone is, of course, why the village exists. Combe Down’s quarries were heavily worked between 1730 and 1840 and did not cease operations until the early years of the 20th century. Over 40 quarries have been listed on Combe Down. In 1895 The Builder listed 10 open quarries and one mine on Combe Down. Upper Lawn Quarry, across the fields from Gladstone Road, continues to operate today, the last quarry on Combe Down.
According to The British Geological Survey: “The best freestones in the Chalfield Oolite are found in the upper part of the Combe Down Oolite Member and within the Bath Oolite Member, where the rocks are composed of fine- to coarse-grained ooid-limestone with a sparry cement and little matrix.”
When quarrying stone needs to be carefully removed and prepared for use without causing damage to or weakening of the stone and quarrying is hard work. When the Combe Down stone mines stabilisation was taking place, lots of graffiti was found and it provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the miners, throwing light on such matters as the price of beer in 19th century pubs and the miner’s often uncomplimentary attitude to their employers.
Two centuries of excavation of Bath stone left a huge void under the original parts of Combe Down village and so an infilling project was started. It lasted for 10 years from 1999 until 2009, covered 25.608 hectares, and affected 649 properties. The total volume of infill placed was 620,894 cubic metres, enough to cover a football pitch to a depth of nearly 90m.
Things that are new on the site recently are a small section on Combe Road – something of a shaggy dog story given that it, unfortunately, has so little of consequence in it. But one can’t just make things up for a site like this.
There’s also a great YouTube video on the Combe Down quarries page that is an animation of a quarry crane produced by Mark and Ben Jenkinson to illustrate the Corsham Institute’s Bath Stone exhibition in autumn 2016 at Cranes at Work. Cranes were an essential part of the quarrying process: they were used to lift the blocks of stone cut from the working face onto carts, which were then pulled to the surface by horse or donkey; or later, the transport was provided by small locomotives. The main structure of the cranes was wooden, with metal gearing and fixings. They could lift blocks of around 5 tonnes. A crane would be erected in a new working area until all the stone within its reach had been quarried. Then it would be dismantled, moved along to a new area, and re-erected to continue working.
They want to restore the remains of a shaft wall where Combe Down freestone was hauled out and create a curved seat for all to enjoy as a memorial to Ralph Allen’s role in the building of Georgian Bath with Combe Down stone. It will also commemorate the stabilisation project that, by 2009, restored the village to safety.
With the approval and support of B&NES, local councillors Bob Goodman and Cherry Beath, the UNESCO World Heritage Enhancement Fund, conservation professionals and local community groups, they now have seed money pledged. However, they need to raise a further £6,000 to get this project underway. If you would like to donate just text DONATE STONED to 88802 to give £5.00.
It all started last year. A group of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students helped with an archeology project to detail and record the conservation of the last surviving mine shaft on public land in Combe Down.
The students feel it is important “to have a site visitors and locals can visit to see how mining for stone shaped our village and also shaped the world famous architecture in Bath and the surrounding area”. They detailed their work in a great blog ‘Firs Field Mine Shaft‘ where there’s information about how they surveyed the site, made a map and planned and executed their dig. The students had help from The Museum of Bath Stone, the Combe Down Heritage Society and experts from Cliveden Conservation and Odgers Conservation. The blog has many images of them hard at work and is well worth a visit.
The project got some great publicity from Bath Newseum who also created a video with Val Lyon who directed the Firs Field Project telling the story in more detail.
A small point first. Despite some people’s insistence, and my own preference, that stone is quarried, in the UK a ‘mine’ is defined, legally, as an underground working and a ‘quarry’ as a site of mineral extraction without a roof. In other parts of the world, the world, ‘mining’ is used interchangeably with ‘quarrying’.
Brief history of quarrying Combe Down stone
Bath stone was used by the Romans, who were probably the first to quarry on Combe Down from the 1st to 5th centuries, but, with hundreds of years of quarrying at the same sites, all evidence of earlier workings has been lost and there are no written accounts.
The Anglo-Saxons built mostly in wood though in the 7th century Osric founded the first Abbey in Bath. The Saxons had a ready supply of material left from the Roman era and even today some Roman stone is still visible in Bath Abbey. A later Abbey was built and used for the coronation of Edgar in 973, but this was demolished in 1088. Whether any of these buildings used Combe Down stone is unknown.
It was, of course, Ralph Allen who transformed the landscape of Combe Down and started the village with his quarrying activities. He had begun to purchase land on Combe Down in 1726 and by 1731, he held a monopoly over the quarries. By 1744 he owned the entire area and, with architect John Wood, had planned and put into effect a complete rebuilding of Bath using Bath stone, the best source of which was on Combe Down. Together they were responsible for Prior Park, Queen Square, The Circus and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.
Ralph Allen died in 1764 and his estate eventually passed to the Viscount Hawarden who took no active interest in the stone mines and quarries, but was happy to rent them out. The first Viscount Hawarden died indebted in 1803 and his son began to sell of the estate to pay his debts. Individual quarry masters were now able to purchase land to quarry. There was a steady influx of skilled migrants from the Corsham / Melksham area as stone production expanded and thus began probably the most productive period of quarrying on Combe Down.
The ‘boom’ was relatively short lived. Underground evidence suggests that by 1840 most of the stone had been quarried and the coming of the railways led to newly discovered workings at Box and Corsham to provide an alternative source of supply. But, though less was quarried, Combe Down stone was still recognised as of superior quality. According to Horace Bolingbroke Woodward in 1876: “In regard to the qualities of the Great Oolite, the best stone for weathering is considered to be that at Combe Down;…”
Although quarrying fell into decline after 1840, it continued in some parts of Combe Down, particularly on the north side of Bradford Road, until well into the 20th century. Combe Down has had both quarries and mines though only one, Upper Lawn Quarry continues to operate today, the last quarry on Combe Down.
All this activity in the the stone mines and quarries left a legacy – underground workings. By the 1980s, roof collapses at Firs Quarry led to housing subsidence and an underground survey of the Firs and Byfield quarries was carried out in 1994. It found that approximately 80% of the underground quarries had less than 6m cover and as little as 2m in some places. Irregular quarrying and robbing stone from supporting pillars had left the quarries unstable.
A stabilisation program was started. By 2009 the project was complete. The result was that 649 properties were stabilised, most domestic homes. The total volume of infill placed was 620,894 cubic metres, enough to cover a football pitch to a depth of nearly 90m. 590,894 cubic metres of foamed concrete, plus 30,000 cubic metres of stone were placed into the quarries.