A long list of relevant Wikipedia entries around Combe Down

Timeline of Somerset history

Key dates in the history of Somerset

Timeline of Bath, Somerset

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Bath, Somerset, England.

Prehistory

1st to 5th centuries

  • c. 60s – First Roman temple structures built, around the hot water springs; completed by 76.
  • 2nd century
    • Early: Baths extended.
    • Late: Baths vaulted.
  • 3rd century – By this time, Bath city walls are built for defence.
  • 300–350 – Evidence for Christians in Bath.
  • 5th century – Following the end of Roman rule in Britain, Bath is largely abandoned.

6th to 10th centuries

11th to 17th centuries

  • 1087 – Town, Abbey and mint pass to John of Tours.
  • 1090 – John of Tours, Bishop of Wells, moves the episcopal seat to Bath, giving it city status.
  • Early 12th century? – King's Bath built.
  • 1102 – Bath fair active.[4]
  • 1137 – Major fire.[6]
  • 1148–1161 – Abbey consecrated between these dates.[6]
  • c. 1174 – St John's Hospital founded.
  • 1273 – Old Bridge extant.
  • 1285 – Church of St Michael's Within built in St John's Hospital.
  • c. 1333 – Monks of the abbey establish a weaving trade in Broad Street.[7]
  • 1371 – Market mentioned in charter.
  • c. 1435 – Hospital of St Catherine established.
  • 1482 – "Sally Lunn's House" built.
  • c. 1495 – St Mary Magdalen, Holloway, built as a chapel to a leper's hospital.[6]
  • 1499 – Abbey found derelict by Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who begins its reconstruction.[8]
Roman Baths with Abbey beyond as at c.1900
  • 1533 – Rebuilding of Abbey substantially completed by this date.[6]
  • 1539 – January: Dissolution of the Monasteries: Abbey surrendered.
  • 1552
  • 1572
    • The roofless Abbey is given to the corporation of Bath[6] for restoration as a parish church.
    • Dr. John Jones makes the first public endorsement of the medicinal properties of the city's water.
  • 1576 – Queen's Bath built.
  • 1578 – Drinking fountain installed in the Baths.
  • 1590 – Bath chartered (city status confirmed) by Elizabeth I.[10]
  • 1597 – Deserving poor given free use of the mineral water.[11]
  • 1608 – Bellott's Hospital established.
  • 1613 and 1615 - Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI and I, visits Bath for her health
  • 1616 – Abbey Church consecrated.[12]
  • 1625–1628 – Guildhall rebuilt.[13]
  • 1643 – 5 July: Battle of Lansdowne fought near the city.
  • 1657 – Regular coach service from London.
  • 1676 – Dr. Thomas Guidott publishes A discourse of Bathe, and the hot waters there. Also, Some Enquiries into the Nature of the water, the first published account of the medicinal properties of the city's water.
  • 1677 – West Gate pub in business.
  • 1680 – Supposed origin of the Sally Lunn bun.
  • 1687 – Mary of Modena, queen consort of James II of England, visits in the hope that Bath waters would aid conception; by the end of the year she is pregnant with James Francis Edward Stuart.

1700s

View of Bath, 18th century
Royal Crescent, climax of the Woods' Bath
Bath Assembly Rooms
Thomas Rowlandson, Comforts of Bath – The Pump Room (1798)

1800s

Map of the city, drawn in 1818.
  • 1800
  • 1801
    • January: Jane Austen becomes resident in Bath when her father retires here; she will remain until summer 1806 living mostly in the new-built Sydney Place.
    • 1 May: Kennet and Avon Canal opens from Bath to Devizes[48] (completion of the locks at the latter place at the end of 1810 creates through inland water communication to London).[49]
Footbridges over Kennet and Avon Canal in Sydney Gardens

1900s

Empire Hotel with Pulteney Bridge beyond
City centre in 1958, still with signs of the Bath Blitz

2000s

Thermae Bath Spa
Elizabeth Park in the Bath Western Riverside residential development, opened in 2019

Births

John Palmer (postal innovator) at age 75

See also

References

  1. ^ Aston, Mick. "The Bath Region, from Late Prehistory to the Middle Ages" (PDF). Bath Spa University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth (1136). Historia Regum Britanniae.
  3. ^ a b "Saxon Bath". The Mayor of Bath. Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Letters, Samantha (2005), "Somerset", Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516, Institute of Historical Research, Centre for Metropolitan History
  5. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. "Vikings and Anglo-Saxons". British History Timeline. BBC. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Forsyth, Michael (2003). Bath. Pevsner Architectural Guides. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10177-5.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Spence, Cathryn (2012). Water, History & Style – Bath: World Heritage Site. Brimscombe Port: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-8814-1.
  8. ^ "Bath Abbey". Sacred Destinations. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Tymms, Samuel (1832). "Somersetshire". Western Circuit. The Family Topographer: Being a Compendious Account of the ... Counties of England. Vol. 2. London: J. B. Nichols and Son. OCLC 2127940.
  10. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bath (England)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 03 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 511–512.
  11. ^ a b "Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases". Bath Heritage. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Bath". Great Britain (7th ed.). Leipzig: Karl Baedeker. 1910. hdl:2027/mdp.39015010546516.
  13. ^ a b c Wood, John (1765). Description of Bath (2nd ed.). London: W. Bathoe.
  14. ^ Townsend, George Henry (1867). "Bath". A Manual of Dates (2nd ed.). London: Frederick Warne & Co.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Buchanan, R. A. (1969). The Industrial Archaeology of Bath. Bath University Press. ISBN 0-900843-04-7.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Peach, R. E. M. (1893). Street-Lore of Bath. London: Simpkin, Marshall.
  17. ^ a b Maxted, Ian (2006). British Book Trades: Topographical Listings. Somerset. Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  18. ^ Kaufman, Paul (1967). "The Community Library: A Chapter in English Social History". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 57 (7): 1–67. doi:10.2307/1006043. JSTOR 1006043.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Commemorative inscription.
  20. ^ Haddon, John (1982). Portrait of Bath. London: Robert Hale. ISBN 0-7091-9883-3.
  21. ^ Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopaedia of British Racing. London: Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 0-354-08536-0.
  22. ^ a b c d Headley, Gwyn; Meulenkamp, Wim (1999). Follies, grottoes & garden buildings. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-85410-625-4.
  23. ^ a b Historic England. "Masonic Hall formerly Theatre (443204)". Images of England. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012.
  24. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "1–30 The Circus (1394142)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Bath (England) Newspapers". Main Catalogue. British Library. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  26. ^ a b Toone, William (1835). Chronological Historian ... of Great Britain (2nd ed.). London: J. Dowding.
  27. ^ a b Page, William, ed. (1906), "Romano-British Somerset: Part 2, Bath", History of the County of Somerset, Victoria County History, vol. 1, University of London, Institute of Historical Research
  28. ^ a b Green, Mowbray Aston (1904). Eighteenth Century Architecture of Bath. Bath: G. Gregory. OCLC 1718577. OL 6953596M.
  29. ^ "History". Bath: Theatre Royal. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  30. ^ Rules and orders of the Society Instituted at Bath, for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. 1777. OCLC 85861288.
  31. ^ "About The Museum". Museum of Bath at Work. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  32. ^ Torrens, Hugh (1990), "The Four Bath Philosophical Societies, 1779–1959", Proceedings of the 12th Congress of the British Society for the History of Medicine, Bath
  33. ^ Thicknesse, Phillip (1780). The Valetudinarians Bath guide, or, The means of obtaining long life and health. Dodsley, Brown and Wood.
  34. ^ Although initially recording it as a comet. Herschel, W.; Watson, Dr. (1781). "Account of a Comet, By Mr. Herschel, F.R.S.; Communicated by Dr. Watson, Jun. of Bath, F.R.S". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 71. London: 492–501. Bibcode:1781RSPT...71..492H. doi:10.1098/rstl.1781.0056. S2CID 186208953.
  35. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "The Cross Bath (1394182)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  36. ^ Historic England. "Numbers 1 to 12 (442847)". Images of England. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
  37. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "South Colonnade at Grand Pump Room (1395196)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  38. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "North Colonnade at Grand Pump Room (1395195)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  39. ^ "Key objects of the collection". Bath: Roman Baths. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  40. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "1–8 Bath Street (1394178)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  41. ^ a b c Handy Guide to Bath. Bath: Jolly & Son. 1900. OCLC 12987834. OL 17860578M.
  42. ^ Historic England (15 October 2010). "Grand Pump Room (1394019)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  43. ^ a b c Wright, G. N. (1864). The Historic Guide to Bath. Bath: R. E. Peach, printer. OL 25319615M.
  44. ^ a b Winchester, Simon (2001). The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-14-028039-1.
  45. ^ The Trial of Jane Leigh Perrot. 1800.
  46. ^ a b c Clegg, James, ed. (1906). International Directory of Booksellers and Bibliophile's Manual. J. Clarke.
  47. ^ Roth, Cecil (2007). "Bath". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 210.
  48. ^ a b Clew, Kenneth R. (1985). The Kennet & Avon Canal: an illustrated history (3rd ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8656-5.
  49. ^ Allsop, Niall (1987). The Kennet & Avon Canal. Bath: Millstream Books. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-948975-15-8.
  50. ^ a b c Annals of Bath, from the year 1800 to the passing of the new municipal act. Bath: Printed by Mary Meyler and Son. 1838. OCLC 5258530. OL 23277637M.
  51. ^ Historic England. "Cleveland Baths (Grade II*) (1396146)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  52. ^ a b c d e Wallis, Peter, ed. (2008). Innovation and discovery: Bath and the rise of science. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution; William Herschel Society. ISBN 978-0-948975-82-0.
  53. ^ "History". Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  54. ^ Historic England. "Cleveland Bridge (442453)". Images of England. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012.
  55. ^ "Royal Victoria Park, Bath, Bath, England". Parks & Gardens UK. Parks & Gardens Data Services. 27 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  56. ^ Major, S. D. (1879). Notabilia of Bath. Bath: E.R. Blackett.
  57. ^ "Destruction of Bath Theatre". Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette. 24 April 1862. Retrieved 18 October 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  58. ^ "Bath". Handbook for Travellers in Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire (4th ed.). London: John Murray. 1882. hdl:2027/uc1.l0098676091.
  59. ^ "Photographic Societies of the British Isles and Colonies". International Annual of Anthony's Photographic Bulletin. New York: E. & H. T. Anthony & Company. 1891.
  60. ^ Hobbs, P.R.N; Jenkins, g.O. "Appendix 1 Major recorded landslides in the Bath area In: Bath's 'foundered strata' - a re-interpretation Physical Hazards Programme Research Report OR/08/052" (PDF). British Geological Survey. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  61. ^ Pearce, David (2015). "The Co-operative Movement in Bath". Proceedings of the History of Bath Research Group. 3:15–18.
  62. ^ "Small Talk of the Week". The Sketch. 18 December 1901.
  63. ^ "Bath Historical Pageant". The Redress of the Past. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  64. ^ "A Potted History of the RUH". Royal United Hospital. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  65. ^ Rothnie, Niall (1983). The Bombing of Bath: the German air raids of 1942. Bath: Ashgrove. ISBN 0-906798-29-9.
  66. ^ Wilson, A. N. (2007). Betjeman. London: Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-099-49837-7.
  67. ^ Abercrombie, Patrick; Owens, John; Mealand, H. Anthony (1945). A Plan for Bath. London: Pitman.
  68. ^ "Brutal Bath" (PDF). Museum of Bath Architecture. 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  69. ^ Fergusson, Adam (1973). The Sack of Bath: a record and an indictment. Salisbury: Compton Russell. ISBN 978-0-85955-002-4.
  70. ^ a b "Population Statistics". Bath and North East Somerset District Council. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  71. ^ Britten, Elise (15 December 2019). "Looking back on the day an IRA bomb exploded in Bath city centre". SomersetLive. Reach. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  72. ^ Dean, Malcolm (22 July 2017). "Maggie Roper". The Guardian. London. p. 37.
  73. ^ Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath and North East Somerset Cultural Strategy 2011-2026 (PDF), p. 40
  74. ^ "Bath Festival of Children's Literature". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  75. ^ "Bath". BANES 2011 Census Ward Profiles. Retrieved 2 May 2015.(Combined populations of the 16 wards that made-up the unparished area at the time of the 2011 census.)
  76. ^ "Bath tipper truck crash kills child and three adults". BBC News. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  77. ^ Barltrop, Paul (25 August 2023). "Bath air quality improves since introduction of clean air zone". BBC News. Retrieved 26 August 2023.

Bibliography

Christopher Anstey, author of The New Bath Guide, with his daughter, painted by Bath resident artist William Hoare c.1777

Published in 18th century

Published in 19th century

1800s-1840s

1850s-1890s

Published in 20th century

  • Emanuel Green (1902). Bibliotheca Somersetensis. Vol. 1: Bath Books. Taunton: Barnicott and Pearce. OCLC 7080200.
  • G. K. Fortescue, ed. (1902). "Bath". Subject Index of the Modern Works Added to the Library of the British Museum in the Years 1881–1900. London: The Trustees.
  • William Tyte (1903). Bath in the Eighteenth Century. Bath: Chronicle Office.
  • Robert Donald, ed. (1908). "Bath". Municipal Year Book of the United Kingdom for 1908. London: Edward Lloyd. hdl:2027/nyp.33433081995593.
  • Bryan Little (1947). The Building of Bath 47-1947: an architectural and social study. London: Collins.
  • Walter Ison (1948). The Georgian Buildings of Bath from 1700 to 1830. London: Faber.
  • Benjamin Boyce (1967). The benevolent man: a life of Ralph Allen of Bath. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • "Bath in the Eighteenth Century". Apollo. London. November 1973.
  • Peter Coard (1973). Vanishing Bath: buildings threatened and destroyed (3rd ed.). Bath: Kingsmead Press. ISBN 0-901571-67-9.
  • Adam Fergusson (1973). The Sack of Bath: a record and an indictment. Salisbury: Compton Russell. ISBN 978-0-85955-002-4.
    • Adam Fergusson; Tim Mowl (1989). The Sack of Bath and after. Salisbury: Compton Russell. ISBN 0-85955-161-X.
  • Charles Robertson (1975). Bath: an architectural guide. London: Faber. ISBN 0-571-10750-8.
  • Larry R. Ford (1978). "Continuity and Change in Historic Cities: Bath, Chester, and Norwich". Geographical Review. 68 (3): 253–273. Bibcode:1978GeoRv..68..253F. doi:10.2307/215046. JSTOR 215046.
  • Bryan Little (1980). Bath Portrait: the story of Bath, its life and its buildings (4th ed.). Bristol: Burleigh Press. ISBN 0-902780-06-9.
  • R. S. Neale (1981). Bath 1680-1850: a social history. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7100-0639-4.
  • Christopher Pound (1981). Genius of Bath: the city and its landscape. Bath: Millstream. ISBN 978-0-948975-01-1.
  • Barry Cunliffe; Peter Davenport, eds. (1985). The Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath. Monograph 7. Vol. 1: The site. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. ISBN 0-947816-07-0.
  • Barry Cunliffe (1986). The City of Bath. Gloucester: Alan Sutton. ISBN 0-86299-297-4.
  • Tim Mowl; Brian Earnshaw (1988). John Wood: architect of obsession. Bath: Millstream Books. ISBN 978-0-948975-13-4.
  • Peter Davenport, ed. (1989). Archaeology in Bath 1976–1985. Monograph 28. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. ISBN 0-947816-28-3.
  • G. A. Kellaway, ed. (1991). Hot Springs of Bath. Bath City Council. ISBN 978-0-901303-25-7.
  • Peter Davenport (1999). Archaeology in Bath: excavations 1984–1989. BAR British series 284. Oxford: Archaeopress. ISBN 1-84171-007-5.
  • Peter Borsay (2000). Image of Georgian Bath, 1700–2000. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-820265-2.
  • Barry Cunliffe (2000). Roman Bath Discovered (3rd ed.). Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-1902-1.

Published in 21st century

  • Peter Davenport (2002). Medieval Bath uncovered. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-1965-X.
  • Michael Forsyth (2003). Bath. Pevsner Architectural Guides. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10177-5.
  • John Wroughton (2004). Stuart Bath: Life in the forgotten city, 1603–1714. Bath: Lansdown Press. ISBN 0-9520249-5-0.
  • Peter Borsay (2006). "Myth, Memory, and Place: Monmouth and Bath 1750–1900". Journal of Social History. 39 (3): 867–889. doi:10.1353/jsh.2006.0001. JSTOR 3790298. S2CID 144152506.
  • John Wroughton (2006). Tudor Bath: Life and strife in the little city, 1485–1603. Bath: Lansdown Press. ISBN 0-9520249-6-9.
  • Peter Wallis, ed. (2008). Innovation and discovery: Bath and the rise of science. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution; William Herschel Society. ISBN 978-0-948975-82-0.
  • Cathryn Spence (2010). Bath – City on Show. Brimscombe Port: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-5674-4.
  • Dan Brown & Cathryn Spence (2012). Bath in the Blitz: Then & Now in colour. Brimscombe Port: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-6639-2.
  • Roger Rolls (2012). Douched and Doctored: thermal springs, spa doctors and rheumatic diseases. London Publishing Partnership. ISBN 978-1-907994-09-8.
  • Cathryn Spence (2012). Water, History & Style – Bath: World Heritage Site. Brimscombe Port: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-8814-1.
  • Mike Jenner (2013). The Classical Buildings of Bath. Bristol: Redcliffe. ISBN 978-1-908326-03-4.

External links

51°23′N 2°22′W / 51.38°N 2.36°W / 51.38; -2.36

Wansdyke

The Wansdyke on Tan Hill, Wiltshire

Wansdyke (from Woden's Dyke) is a series of early medieval defensive linear earthworks in the West Country of England, consisting of a ditch and a running embankment from the ditch spoil, with the ditching facing north.

There are two main parts: an eastern dyke which runs between Savernake Forest, West Woods and Morgan's Hill in Wiltshire, and a western dyke which runs from Monkton Combe to the ancient hill fort of Maes Knoll in historic Somerset. Between these two dykes there is a middle section formed by the remains of the London-to-Bath Roman road. There is also some evidence in charters that it extended west from Maes Knoll to the coast of the Severn Estuary but this is uncertain. It may possibly define a post-Roman boundary.

Usage

Wansdyke consists of two sections, 14 and 19 kilometres (8.7 and 11.8 mi) long with some gaps in between. East Wansdyke is an impressive linear earthwork, consisting of a ditch and bank running approximately east–west, between Savernake Forest and Morgan's Hill. West Wansdyke is also a linear earthwork, running from Monkton Combe south of Bath to Maes Knoll south of Bristol, but less substantial than its eastern counterpart. The middle section, 22 kilometres (14 miles) long, is sometimes referred to as 'Mid Wansdyke', but is formed by the remains of the London to Bath Roman road. It used to be thought that these sections were all part of one continuous undertaking, especially during the Middle Ages when the pagan name Wansdyke was applied to all three parts. However, this is not now considered to be certain.

Defence of an unrecorded border

Among the largest defensive earthworks in the United Kingdom, Wansdyke may be compared to both Offa's Dyke (later, and forming a Mercian border with Wales) and Hadrian's Wall (earlier, and forming a border between Britannia and Caledonia). Nennius, an 8th-century Welsh monk who had access to older chronicles since lost, describes these defences and their purpose, and links them to the legends of King Arthur.[1]

Nomenclature and dating

The earthwork is named after their god Woden (Odin), possibly indicating that the incoming Anglo-Saxons had no information about the origins of a structure that was there when they arrived, and which was of no significance to locals at that time.[2] Its name occurs in charters of the 9th and 10th century AD. Its relationship to the expansion of the West Saxons was considered in 1964 by J.N.L. Myres, who maintained that Wansdyke was constructed by some sub-Roman authority.[3] Fowler speculates that it was a fortification intended for use against invading Saxons in the 490s, and abandoned when the news of British victory at Mons Badonicus made it redundant.[4] The name 'Woden's Dyke' eventually became Wansdyke.

East Wansdyke

East Wansdyke in Wiltshire, on the south of the Marlborough Downs, has been less disturbed by later agriculture and building, and is more clearly traceable on the ground than the western part. In places the bank is up to 4 m (13 ft) high and the ditch as much as 2.5 m (8.2 ft) deep. Since at least the tenth century, there have been gaps, "gates", in the work. The ditch is on the north side, so Wansdyke may have been intended by the Romano-Britons as a defence against West Saxons encroaching from the upper Thames Valley westward into what is now the West Country. Fowler suggests that its plan is consistent with those of Roman border fortifications such as Hadrian's Wall: not just a military defence but intended to control locals and travellers along the Wessex Ridgeway.[5] He suggests further that the works were never finished, abandoned in the face of a political change which removed their rationale.[4]

Lieut.-General Augustus Pitt Rivers carried out excavations at the Wansdyke in Wiltshire in the late 19th century, considering it the remains of a great war in which the south-west was being defended.[6] In 1958, Fox and Fox attributed its construction to the pagan Saxons, probably in the late sixth century.[7]

West Wansdyke

Although the antiquarians like John Collinson[8] considered West Wansdyke to stretch from Bathampton Down south east of Bath, to the west of Maes Knoll,[9] a review in 1960 considered that there was no evidence of its existence to the west of Maes Knoll.[7] Keith Gardner refuted this with newly discovered documentary evidence.[10] In 2007 a series of sections were dug across the earthwork which showed that it had existed where there are no longer visible surface remains.[11] It was shown that the earthwork had a consistent design, with stone or timber revetment. There was little dating evidence but it was consistent with either a late Roman or post-Roman date. A paper in "The Last of the Britons" conference in 2007 suggests that the West Wansdyke continues from Maes Knoll to the hill forts above the Avon Gorge and controls the crossings of the river at Saltford and Bristol as well as at Bath.[12]

As there is little archaeological evidence to date the whole section, it may have marked a division between British Celtic kingdoms or have been a boundary with the Saxons. The evidence for its western extension is earthworks along the north side of Dundry Hill, its mention in a charter and a road name.[13]

The area became the border between the Romano-British Celts and the West Saxons following the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD.[14] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Saxon Cenwalh achieved a breakthrough against the Britons, with victories at Bradford on Avon (in the Avon Gap in the Wansdyke) in 652 AD,[15] and further south at the Battle of Peonnum (at Penselwood) in 658 AD,[16] followed by an advance west through the Polden Hills to the River Parrett.[17] It is however significant to note that the names of the early Wessex kings appear to have a Brythonic (British) rather than Germanic (Saxon) etymology.[18]

A 1,330-yard (1,220 m) section of Wansdyke in Odd Down, which has been designated as an Ancient monument,[19] appears on the Heritage at Risk Register as being in unsatisfactory condition and vulnerable due to gardening.[20]

Modern use of name

The Western Wansdyke gave its name to the former Wansdyke district of the county of Avon, and also to the Wansdyke constituency.

Route and points of interest

Point Coordinates
(Links to map resources)
OS Grid Ref Notes
Maes Knoll hillfort 51°23′28″N 2°34′34″W / 51.391°N 2.576°W / 51.391; -2.576 (Maes Knoll hillfort) ST599659 Maes Knoll
Stantonbury Camp 51°22′12″N 2°28′16″W / 51.370°N 2.471°W / 51.370; -2.471 (Stantonbury Camp) ST672636 Stantonbury Camp
Joining the River Avon 51°21′22″N 2°19′37″W / 51.356°N 2.327°W / 51.356; -2.327 (Joining the River Avon) ST773620 Monkton Combe
River Avon to Lacock 51°24′43″N 2°07′05″W / 51.412°N 2.118°W / 51.412; -2.118 (River Avon to Lacock) ST918681 Lacock
Morgan's Hill 51°24′07″N 1°57′32″W / 51.402°N 1.959°W / 51.402; -1.959 (Morgan's Hill) SU029670 Morgan's Hill
Shepherds' Shore 51°23′38″N 1°55′59″W / 51.394°N 1.933°W / 51.394; -1.933 (Shepherds' Shore) SU047661
Milk Hill 51°22′26″N 1°51′11″W / 51.374°N 1.853°W / 51.374; -1.853 (Milk Hill) SU102639
Shaw House 51°23′13″N 1°48′40″W / 51.387°N 1.811°W / 51.387; -1.811 (Shaw House) SU131654
Savernake Forest 51°22′59″N 1°40′48″W / 51.383°N 1.68°W / 51.383; -1.68 (Savernake Forest) SU221649 Savernake Forest

See also

References

  1. ^ Gardner, Keith S. "The Wansdyke Diktat? – A Discussion Paper". Wansdyke Project 21. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  2. ^ Fowler 2001, pp. 195–196.
  3. ^ Myres, The English Settlements (1986:156); H. Trevor-Roper, "Wansdyke and the origins of Wessex" in Essays in History
  4. ^ a b Fowler 2001, p. 197.
  5. ^ Fowler 2001, p. 193.
  6. ^ Pitt-Rivers, "Excavations in Bokerly and Wansdyke', 1892
  7. ^ a b Cyril and Aileen Fox, "Wansdyke reconsidered", Archaeological Journal (1958)
  8. ^ Collinson, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, 1791
  9. ^ For example see Major, A "The course of Wansdyke through Somerset", Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society Proceedings Vol 70, 22–37 (1924)
  10. ^ Keith Gardner, ""The Wansdyke Diktat? Bristol and Avon Archaeology (1998).
  11. ^ Jonathan Erskine, "The West Wansdyke: an appraisal of the dating, dimensions and construction techniques in the light of excavated evidence", Archaeological Journal 164.1, June 2007:80–108). https://doi.org/10.1080/00665983.2007.11020707 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00665983.2007.11020707
  12. ^ Keith Gardner, "The Land of Cyngar the Priest, The Last of the Britons 400–700", published 2009
  13. ^ "Maes Knoll". Wansdyke Project. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  14. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 501–97 AD.
  15. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 645–56 AD
  16. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 658–75 AD
  17. ^ The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, Vol 1 (1906)
  18. ^ Hills, C., (2003) Origins of the English, Duckworth. p. 105: "Records of the West Saxon dynasties survive in versions which have been subject to later manipulation, which may make it all the more significant that some of the founding 'Saxon' fathers have British names: Cerdic, Ceawlin, Cenwalh."
  19. ^ Historic England. "Wansdyke: section 1,230 yd (1,120 m) eastwards from Burnt House Inn (1007003)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Wansdyke: section 1,230 yards (1,120 metres) eastwards from Burnt House Inn, Southstoke — Bath and North East Somerset (UA)". English Heritage. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2013.

External links

  • Wansdyke Project 21 – A project to preserve Wansdyke (the earthwork), last updated 2008
  • Wansdyke – Devizes Heritage website, archived in 2010

Combe Down

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Combe Down development timeline

Combe Down
Holy Trinity Church
Combe Down is located in Somerset
Combe Down
Combe Down
Location within Somerset
Population5,419 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST763625
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBATH
Postcode districtBA2
Dialling code01225
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireAvon
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Somerset
51°21′40″N 2°20′31″W / 51.361°N 2.342°W / 51.361; -2.342

Combe Down is a village on the outskirts of Bath, England, in the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority area, within the ceremonial county of Somerset.

Combe Down village consists predominantly of 18th- and 19th-century Bath stone-built villas, terraces and workers' cottages; the post World War II Foxhill estate of former and present council housing; a range of Georgian, Victorian and 20th-century properties along both sides of North Road and Bradford Road; and the 21st-century Mulberry Park development on the site of former Ministry of Defence offices.

Location

Combe Down sits on a ridge above Bath, approximately 1+12 miles (2.4 km) to the south of the city centre. The village is adjoined to the north by large areas of natural woodland (Fairy Wood, Long Wood, Klondyke Copse and Rainbow Wood) with public footpaths offering views overlooking the city. Parts of these woods are owned and managed by Bath & Northeast Somerset Council, but the majority are owned and managed by the National Trust; the Bath Skyline trail runs north of the woods.[2] To the south of the village are views of the Midford Valley.

Etymology

"Combe" or "coombe" is a word meaning a steep-sided valley derived from Old English "cumb" and possibly from the same Brythonic source as the Welsh cwm. "Down" comes from the Old English "dūn" or "dūne", shortened from adūne ‘downward’, from the phrase of dūne ‘off the hill’.[3]

Governance

Formerly part of the parish of Monkton Combe, Combe Down was incorporated into the city of Bath in the 1950s.[4]

There have been a number of boundary changes and local government changes affecting Combe Down.

Amenities

Bradford Road Post Office and store

Combe Down has many local amenities including schools, churches, shops, local societies and pubs. It has two allotment sites: 64 plots on a privately owned site at Church Road, established in 1895, and 10 plots at Foxhill owned by the parish council.

The local state primary school is Combe Down CEVC (Church of England Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, housed partly in a log cabin imported from Finland.[6] The nearest state secondary school (with sixth form) is Ralph Allen School. The independent Monkton Combe School is in the nearby village of Monkton Combe while its prep school, pre-prep and nursery are all in Combe Down village. Prior Park College, an independent Catholic secondary school, is adjacent to the village.

The centre of the village has a range of shops and small businesses. The post office closed in 2006 despite public opposition and the nearest post office branch is now inside a grocery store in a row of shops on the Bradford Road.

There is an Anglican church (Holy Trinity[7]) and a non-conformist chapel (Union Chapel[8]). A Roman Catholic church (Saint Peter and Saint Paul) is on the edge of the village, adjacent to the Foxhill estate.

The village pubs are the King William IV,[9] the Hadley Arms[10] and the Forester & Flower (formerly The Foresters). The King William has not reopened since the pandemic of 2020 and the Forester & Flower opens only for one evening a week, so as at December 2023 the Hadley Arms is the only fully operational village pub.

Combe Down has two flourishing rugby union clubs and a cricket club, a children's nursery, a doctors' surgery and a dentist as well as an active Cub and Scout Group (10th Bath) with its own Scouts' Hut. There are several societies, including an active local history group (the Combe Down Heritage Society), a branch of the Women's Institute and two art groups.

The Hadley Arms

There is a private hospital, Bath Clinic (owned by Circle Health Group) on Claverton Down Road, based at Longwood House, the former home of the Mallet family of Mallet Antiques. Margaret Mary Mallett (1882–1959), who lived at Longwood House, and her daughters Margaret Elizabeth Mallett (1905–1991) and Barbara Penelope Mallett Lock (1896–1978) donated 347 acres (140 ha) of land on Combe Down and Claverton Down including Rainbow Wood farm, Klondyke Copse, Fairy Wood and Bushey Norwood to the National Trust.[11] Opposite the hospital is a 4-star hotel and health club, Combe Grove Manor, with 69 acres (28 ha) of gardens and woodland.[12]

A public open space (Firs Field) incorporates the village war memorial and a play area with children's play equipment. Three parcels of land make up the Firs Field open space, two of which are under the control of the local Council. The deeds state that the Firs Field is intended for the recreation of the residents of Combe Down in perpetuity.[13] Firs Field was restored to meadowland status following the successful completion of the stone mine stabilisation works in 2010. A residents' group (The Friends of Firs Field) exists to ensure the appropriate representation of local residents' interests with regard to the management of the field. In 2015 Firs Field was granted "commemorative" status and designated an official Fields in Trust "Centenary Field".[14]

In July 2014[15] the Ralph Allen CornerStone was opened. It is run by a charity, the Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust, as a sustainable building and educational centre. The Combe Down Heritage Society has museum-standard secure archiving space in the basement where it catalogues and stores unique local heritage material, and which can be accessed by researchers.[16]

There are daily bus services to the village from Bath city centre. The privately owned Bath 'circular tour' bus passes the outskirts of the village and down Ralph Allen Drive on its route to the city centre. The Bath Circular bus (service number 20A) passes through Combe Down and caters for students travelling to the University of Bath and Bath Spa University.

History

It is believed that a Roman villa was situated on the southern slopes of the village somewhere below Belmont Road,[17] the site of which was discovered in the 1850s.[18] An inscription on a stone recovered from the area reads "PRO SALVTE IMP CES M AVR ANTONINI PII FELICIS INVICTI AVG NAEVIVS AVG LIB ADIVT PROC PRINCIPIA RVINA OPRESS A SOLO RESTITVIT". This can be translated as: "For the health of Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus, Naevius the imperial freedman, helped to restore from its foundations the procurator's headquarters which had broken down in ruins." It is thought to date from AD 212–222.[19] Many finds from the site were taken to the Somerset County Museum at Taunton.

John Leland, the 16th century antiquarian and traveller, noted some stone mining activity in Combe Down as he passed by.

By 1700, small open stone quarries were operating on Combe Down. Most of the land and the quarries were purchased by Ralph Allen in 1726 but there was as yet little habitation.[20]

In 1791 John Collinson describes Combe Down as still undeveloped:

"On the summit of Combedown a mile northward from the church [mc], among many immense quarries of fine free stone, are large groves of firs, planted by the late Ralph Allen, esq; for the laudable purpose of ornamenting this (at that time rough and barren) hill. Among these groves is a neat range of buildings belonging to this parish. It consists of eleven houses [De Montalt Place], built of wrought stone, raised on the spot ; each of which has a small garden in front. These were originally built for the workmen employed in the quarries, but are now chiefly let to invalids from Bath who retire hither for the sake of a very fine air-, (probably rendered more salubrious by the Plantation of firs) from which many have received essential benefit. The surrounding beautiful and extensive prospects ; the wild, but pleasing irregularities of the surface and scenery, diversified with immense quarries, fine open cultivated fields, and extensive plantations of firs...".[21]

From their 1924 history of Combe Down, D. Lee Pitcairn and Rev. Alfred Richardson state that:

"The houses in Isabella Place were built about 1800, and in 1805 when the De Montalt Mills were founded cottages were erected in Quarry Bottom and Davidge's Bottom to take the place of wooden booths which labourers and workmen had hitherto occupied for the day and in which they had sometimes slept during the week. From this time onwards the place began to develop little by little... In 1829 when the Combe Down quarries were disposed of by Mrs. Cruickshank, building further increased...".[22]

The population increased from 1,600 in 1841 to 2,372 in 1901[23] and was 5,419 in 2011.[24]

Stone mines and quarries

Inside the Combe Down quarry

Combe Down village sits above an area of redundant 18th and 19th century stone quarries, many of which were owned and developed by Ralph Allen in the 1720s. These quarries were fully infilled and stabilised during a central government-funded project which took place between 2005 and 2010.[25] Over 40 quarry sites have been identified on Combe Down.[26] Only one working quarry (Upper Lawn Quarry) remains on the edge of the village, located off Shaft Road. This supplies high quality Bath stone to the city and across the UK.[27]

John Leland, the 16th century antiquarian and traveller, wrote in the 1500s that he approached Bath from Midford "...And about a Mile farther I can to a Village and passd over a Ston Bridge where ranne a litle broke there & they caullid Midford-Water..2 good Miles al by Mountayne and Quarre and litle wood in syte..."[28] which could be a reference to quarrying around Horsecombe Vale, between Midford and Combe Down.

The mines at Combe Down were Oolitic (oolite) limestone mines. Stone was extracted by the "room and pillar" method, by which chambers were mined out, leaving pillars of stone to support the roof. The Bath stone used for many of the buildings in Bath – as well as for other important buildings around the United Kingdom including Buckingham Palace – was mined from beneath and around Combe Down. Many of these workings were once owned by the eighteenth century entrepreneur Ralph Allen (1694–1764). [29] The mines were closed in the 19th century but building work continued above ground, with some roads and houses eventually resting on only a thin crust – in places between only one and two metres deep – above large underground cavities with inadequate support.[29]

A five-year central government-funded project began in late 2005 to stabilise and fill the abandoned mine workings. Bath and North East Somerset Council approved the planning application in June 2003 and approximately 760 village properties were included within its boundary.[29] All mine workings inside the boundary of the planning application were stabilised using foam concrete to satisfy a 100-year design life while ensuring archaeologically important areas and bat habitats were protected. In some hydrologically sensitive areas, "stowing" – an infill with limestone aggregate – was undertaken. Archaeologically important areas were filled with sand and new bat caves and tunnels were created.[29]

The £154.6 million grant for the works came from the Land Stabilisation Programme which was set up by the government in 1999 to deal with "abandoned non-coal mine workings which are likely to collapse and threaten life and property" and managed by English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency. The total amount included £22.7m which had already been used for emergency stabilisation work before the approval of the main project.[29] Several public art projects celebrated the completion of the stabilisation works.[29]

Foxhill Estate and Mulberry Park

From 1935 to 2011 the Admiralty (later part of the Ministry of Defence) owned a 46 acre site called Foxhill (previously a farm) on the Bradford Road. In 2013, the Curo housing organisation purchased the site where it is developing 700 new homes (151 of those to be social homes) with open spaces and community facilities, to be called Mulberry Park. Foxhill already had nearly 900 homes, and in 2014 Curo wanted to redevelop Queens Drive, Kewstoke Road, local shops and Sedgemoor Road. In 2018, Curo decided not to demolish the Foxhill Estate and instead will improve the existing rented properties on the estate. The development of Mulberry Park continued and is set to complete in 2024, although many properties are already occupied and a school and community centre are in full operation.[30]

Combe Down railway tunnel

Combe Down Tunnel was opened in 1874 and emerges below the southern slopes of the village. It was once the UK's longest railway tunnel (1,829 yards) without intermediate ventilation.[31] The tunnel now forms part of the £1.8 million Two Tunnels Greenway walking and cycling path which opened on 6 April 2013. At over a mile long, the Combe Down tunnel is the longest cycling tunnel in Britain and features an interactive light and sound installation as well as mobile phone coverage.[32] Its custodian is Wessex Water.

Jewish burial ground

The Jewish burial ground is a site of historic value on Bradford Road and is one of only fifteen in the country to survive from the Georgian period.[33] While the burial ground suffered a period of neglect since it ceased to be used in the early 20th century, much remains intact to serve as an important reminder of Bath's historic Jewish community. It dates from 1812, and the last recorded burial was in 1942. The site contains a small building, once thought to be a prayer house (Ohel), but more recent research by the Friends of Bath Jewish Burial Ground.[34] who manage the site, have shown that it was a cottage used by the caretakers of the burial ground, and not used for religious purposes. English Heritage gave the Burial Ground a Grade II listing in 2006. The site contains two chest tombs and some fifty gravestones, dating from between 1842 and 1921, with both Hebrew and English inscriptions. Funds to restore the cottage, conserve the grave stones, repair the boundary wall, replace the gates and develop interpretation of the site have been obtained from a number of charitable sources and a series of restoration works have been undertaken in the period 2015-2022. The site is opened for public visiting several times a year and private access can be arranged by appointment through the Friends.[34]

De Montalt Mill

The De Montalt paper mill stood on the southern slopes of the village during the 19th century; it gradually fell into picturesque ruin until it was converted into housing during 2007. The mill was built on land owned by Thomas Ralph Maude, Viscount Hawarden (1767–1807) in the early 19th century and was owned by John Bally (1773 – 1854), (a bookseller in Milsom Street in Bath), William Allan or Ellan (1781 – 1832) and George Steart (d.1837), all trading as paper-makers under the name of John Bally & Co.[35]

A print dating from the 1850s shows the mill which then possessed the largest water wheel in England, measuring 56 feet (17 m) in diameter. It has subsequently been discovered that most of the coloured papers used by J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) for a good number of his approximately twenty thousand drawings and watercolours were made at De Montalt Mill.[35] The collection is now housed in The Turner Bequest at the Tate Gallery, London. The paper was of a very high standard and the watercolour boards were made without being pasted together which ensured they remained free from mildew; however, despite the early success of the business, it failed in 1834 .[36] The premises were then sold to wholesale stationer William Jennings Allen (1807 – 1839).[36] After his death it was sold to Charles Middleton Kernot (1807 – 1876) to be used as a ‘manufactory of patent interlocked and dovetailed felted cloths’.[36] By 1859 it was used for a laundry run by the Bath Washing Company Ltd. and later used for a variety of purposes including market gardening (1871); and cabinet making from (1875) until the lease expired in 1905 and it closed.[37] In the 20th century cows and pigs were being reared on the site.[38]

Various parts of the mill have Grade II listed building status, including the southern range which consisted of the apprentice shops and stores,[39] the main east block which was the printing works where notes were printed for the Bank of England – later converted to cabinet manufacturing[40] and the chimney.[41] De Montalt, an Italianate villa set in the grounds is also grade II listed.[42]

The mill and its associated buildings were converted to residential use during 2007, with the main mill building being converted into four apartments.[43] Elements of the conversion featured in the Channel 4 television programme Grand Designs.[44]

Local flora

A local woodland wild flower is the Bath Asparagus, also known as the Spiked Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum). The flowers appear in June after the leaves die; the leaves resemble bluebell leaves but are a softer green and not as glossy. The flowering spike is up to one metre high.[45] At the unopened stage the flowers used to be gathered in small quantities as a fresh vegetable by local people; it was also occasionally sold in local markets, but picking the flowers today is not encouraged as wild asparagus is becoming rare. According to research carried out by Avon Wildlife Trust the plant is found throughout Europe but has only a limited UK distribution. It is possible that the flower was first brought to the Bath area as seeds carried on the wheels and hooves of Roman vehicles and animals.

Allium ursinum, also known as Ramsons or wild garlic, is abundant in the National Trust woodlands adjacent to Combe Down during the spring.2015.

Grade I and II listed buildings on Combe Down

There are 79 Grade I and Grade II listed buildings – a building officially designated as being of special architectural, historical, or cultural significance – on Combe Down, the earliest dating from 1729 and the latest from 1909. They are from three main phases of building activity.

The first phase was c. 1700–1742. These are the buildings at Combe Grove, and the buildings commissioned by Ralph Allen at Prior Park and at De Montalt Place on Church Road.

The second phase was c. 1800 – c. 1820. These are mainly buildings along Combe Road, Summer Lane, and Church Road at Isabella Place and from Claremont House to Hopecote Lodge, which were built soon after the death of Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden (1729–1803) who died with substantial debts[46] which led to the break-up of the De Montalt estate in Bath,[47] as speculators in property and mining took the opportunity.

The third phase was Victorian, from c. 1830 to 1860. Combe Down had become known as a place for convalescence and "good air" (away from polluted cities) and, being only about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Bath, was perfect for this as well as for middle class professionals. These are mainly buildings along North Road, The Avenue, Belmont Road and Church Road east of Hopecote Lodge.

A list of these listed buildings with links to Images of England – an online photographic record of all the listed buildings in England at the date of February 2001 – is given below.

Notable residents

Henry John Patch (better known as Harry Patch, the "Last Fighting Tommy") was born in Combe Down in 1898; both his father and grandfather were Combe Down stonemasons. His family home is still in existence in Gladstone Road. Patch was briefly the third oldest man in the world[120] and the last trench veteran of World War I, a status which earned him international fame during the early 21st century. He died in July 2009, aged 111, by which time he was the last soldier to have fought in the trenches during World War One as well as the second last surviving British war veteran and one of four surviving soldiers from the conflict worldwide. His memoir The Last Fighting Tommy (published in 2007) records his Combe Down childhood in some detail. His funeral cortège passed through Combe Down village on its way to his burial in Monkton Combe churchyard.

Herbert Lambert (1881–1936), society portrait photographer and harpsichord and clavichord maker.[121]

Frederic Weatherly (1848–1929), the composer of the song Danny Boy, lived at Grosvenor Lodge (now renamed St Christopher )[86] in Belmont Road during the second decade of the 20th century.[122]

Charlie McDonnell, once the most subscribed YouTube vlogger in the United Kingdom, grew up in Combe Down before moving to London in 2010.[123]

Chris Anderson, founder of Future Publishing and curator of TED lived at Combe Ridge on Belmont Road for some years in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Eliza Margaret Jane Humphreys (1850–1938), a novelist using the pen name 'Rita', lived in Richardson Avenue (now The Firs) in the 1920s before moving to the house called West Brow.[124]

Rod Adams (born 1945), a former professional footballer who started his career in Foxhill Rangers.[125]

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External links

Combe Down RFC

Combe Down
Full nameCombe Down Rugby Club
UnionSomerset RFU
Founded1896; 128 years ago (1896)
LocationCombe Down, Bath, Somerset, England
Ground(s)Holly's Corner
ChairmanJamie Knight
PresidentKelvin Cox
Coach(es)Chris Thompson
Captain(s)Tom Wheatley
League(s)Southern Counties South
2021-226th

Combe Down Rugby Club is an English Rugby Union Club found in Combe Down, Bath. Founded in 1896 the club currently play home fixtures at Holly's Corner. The club currently has two teams; the 1st XV who play in Southern Counties South (tier 7) following their promotion as champions of Dorset & Wilts 1 North at the end of 2018-19 season, and the 2nd XV play who play in Dorset & Wilts 2 North (tier 9).

History

No records exist of the circumstances regarding the club's founding, or who the moving spirits were behind its inception, but photographs showing the early teams, together with their playing records show that rugby on Combe Down was adopted with enthusiasm and played with instinctive ability.

The original team in jerseys of chocolate and gold played its first season on the Firs Field. Subsequent years saw the Club, with its colours changed to black and amber, playing on various fields on Combe Down from the Monument field to the water tank. A red letter day in the club's history came in 1957 when a long-held ambition was realised and the club was able to buy the ground at Holly's Corner which it had tenanted since 1922.

As the grounds were changed so were the headquarters and from the one time Church Rooms in Tyning Road they moved to the headquarters on Firs Field and to the King William IV. Finally the club became proud possessors of their own headquarters which were erected on the ground, and on 4 April 1966 the Combe Down R.F.C. Club house was officially opened by Alec Lewis, the old Bath F.C. international.

Senior Teams

Combe Down has successfully fielded two senior teams since 1947 and a Third XV was formed in 1968 which has seen inconsistent appearances. There are currently two sides at the club.
Recent achievements saw the 2nd XV win Dorset and Wilts North 2 in 2014/15 and the 1st XV win Dorset and Wilts North 1 in 2015/16. In the same year the club enjoyed a tour to Oldershaw RFC in Wallasey, Liverpool.
Combe Down RFC is a family club with traditional rugby values at its core. Senior teams train on a Tuesday and Thursday evening and new players are always welcome.

Notable players

John Horton - John played 13 times for England and made over 375 appearances for Bath, captaining the club in the 1979-80 season. He was regarded as being part of the team that changed the style of rugby at Bath, from a forwards game to a more open, running game. John spent several seasons at Combe Down RFC.
Brian Jenkins - Brian played 290 1st Team games for Bath Rugby Club and another 120 for the 2nd XV between 1970-1980. He also played 20 times for Somerset in the County Championship between 1975 and 1979 earning him the Somerset Cap. In his day job, Brian worked for Royal Mail and played for the National Side. Brian played over 100 times for Combe Down, captaining the club in 1982 and has been instrumental off the field in securing the club's future, holding several key positions on the committee (Treasurer 1984, Chairman 2000-2003, President 2004-2006) and is currently the disciplinary officer. Brian's brothers Peter, Alan and David also represented Combe Down and Bath.
Wyn Bailey - with over 1130 appearances for the club Wyn has been an integral part of the history. He was Club Captain in 1974, Honorary Fixture Secretary between 1971-1995, Chairman from 1993-1996 and President from 1998-2001.
Kevin Adams -grew up on the down and played for the colts. He also played for the 3rd, 2nd & 1st teams He went to school at Culverhay and in 1975 played for England U16 Schools. He then joined Avon and Somerset Police where he was selected for England Colts. He represented British Police, Somerset and played at Bath during the 1984/85 seasons before injuries forced an early retirement in 1986.

Jer Burns - father of Freddie and Billy Burns, Jer joined Combe Down in 2014 and has played alongside his other two sons Jack and Sam.
The club has had many players that have played for Bath Rugby over the years including Keith Ridewood, Simon Jones, Kevin Adams, John West, Roger Willcox, John Millman, Kelvin Cox, Bob Gay and Andy Burr. Another two notable players are Combe Downs current front row props Bill "grrr bear" Fairman and Joel Lye, they love nothing more than a good scrum.

Honours

1st team:

2nd team:

Junior and Mini Section

A Colts XV was formed in 1974 but there were many years that this part of the club was missing until a recent rejuvenation with the help of Jerry King, Jamie Knight, and Lee Dyte, all who had sons playing in the U13 team for the 2008/09 season. Charlie Knight, Ed Hall and Sam Dyte all went on to represent the 1st XV in later years.
Current Club coach Dave Cobb and Committee member Giles White formed another U13 team the following season (2009/10) and also enjoyed success in later years by winning the U17 Bristol Combination Cup. They were also runners-up in the U16 Somerset Cup in 2012/13. From that group, James Vecchio and Tom Dabell represented Bath Academy.
Following the success of the junior section, a mini section was formed by Adrian Sprake in 2010, who is now Chairman of the junior section while Steve Cottle now leads the minis.

References

1. double/story-20062944-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

2. https://web.archive.org/web/20151216122701/http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Combe-RFC-14s-praised-Chris-Robshaw-award/story-26842016-detail/story.html

3. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Combe-celebrate-JD-Lettings-sponsorship-[permanent dead link]

4. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Bath-Rugby-150-mercurial-John-Horton-looks/story-28341894-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

5. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/run-teams/story-11334222-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

6. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Combe-Rugby-Club-minis-juniors-ndash-1013/story-15110779-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

7. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Combe-players-reunite-remember-Somerset-Cup/story-18644712-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

8. http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Combe-RFC-pink-Hope-4-Harmonie-Fairford-beaten/story-23622576-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]

9. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/combedown/news/rob-lambern-trophy-match-1547263.html

External links

Stone Mines

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Combe Down Quarries

Combe Down and Bathampton Down Quarries