Wikipedia area entries around Combe Down

Combe Down

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

Combe Down

Combe Down
Holy Trinity Church Bath.jpg
Holy Trinity Church
Combe Down is located in Somerset
Combe Down
Combe Down
Combe Down shown 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
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Somerset
51°21′40″N 2°20′31″W / 51.361°N 2.342°W / 51.361; -2.342Coordinates: 51°21′40″N 2°20′31″W / 51.361°N 2.342°W / 51.361; -2.342

Combe Down is a village suburb of Bath, England in the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority 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 council houses; and a range of Georgian, Victorian and 20th century properties along both sides of North Road and Bradford Road.

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 of Bath. Parts of these woods are owned and managed by Bath & Northeast Somerset Council, but the majority are owned and managed by the National Trust and incorporate the Bath Skyline Walk. To the south of the village are spectacular views overlooking 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’.[2]

Governance

Formerly part of the parish of Monkton Combe, Combe Down was incorporated into the city of Bath in the 1950s.[3]

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

Local amenities

Bradford Road Post Office and store

Combe Down has many local amenities including schools, churches, shops, local societies and pubs.

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.[5] The nearest state secondary school with sixth form is Ralph Allen School. The independent Monkton Combe School is located in the local village of Monkton Combe while its Prep School, Pre-Prep and Nursery are all in Combe Down village. An independent Catholic foundation school for children aged between 2 and 18, Prior Park College is located on Ralph Allen Drive, a short walk from the village centre.

Shops in the centre of the original village include a co-op, a cycle shop, a delicatessen with coffee shop, two estate agencies, a pharmacy, a hair salon and a crockery hire business. There is also a suite of serviced offices available to rent. A car repair garage and an undertaker's are both close to the centre of the village. There is a small branch of Barclays Bank on North Road, adjacent to a second-hand children's clothes shop, and there is a fish and chip shop on Bradford Road. The village post office closed in 2006 despite public opposition and the nearest post office branch is now located inside a grocery store in a row of shops on the Bradford Road.

There are three local pubs, an Anglican church (Holy Trinity[6]) and a non-conformist chapel (Union Chapel[7]) in the village. A Roman Catholic church (Saint Peter and Saint Paul) is on the edge of the village, adjacent to the Foxhill estate. The Church Rooms in the centre of the village are available for hire by local groups.

The village pubs are the King William IV,[8] the Hadley Arms[9] and the Forester & Flower (formerly The Foresters).

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, BMI Bath Clinic (part of BMI Healthcare), 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.[10] Opposite the hospital is a 4-star hotel and health club, Combe Grove Manor, with 69 acres (28 ha) of gardens and woodland.[11]

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.[12] 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".[13]

On 15 July 2014 [14] 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.[15]

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. It 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,[16] the site of which was discovered in the 1850s. 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.[17] 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.[18]

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...".[19]

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...".[20]

The population increased from 1,600 in 1841 to 2,372 in 1901[21] and was 5,419 in 2011.[22]

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.[23] Over 40 quarry sites have been identified on Combe Down.[24] 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.[25]

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..."[26] 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). [27] 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.[27]

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.[27] 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.[27]

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.[27] Several public art projects celebrated the completion of the stabilisation works.[27]

Admiralty ownership of Foxhill

From 1940 to 2011 the Admiralty (later part of the Ministry of Defence) owned a 46 acre site at Foxhill on the Bradford Road. In 2013 Curo, a non profit housing organization, purchased the site where it is developing 700 new homes, open spaces and community facilities, to be called "Mulberry Park".

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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] While the burial ground suffered a period of neglect since its closure 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 1946. The Ohel which dates from around 1836 is of particular interest as there are few such examples still standing. English Heritage gave it 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 Ohel, conserve the grave stones, repair the boundary wall, replace the gates and develop interpretation of the site have been sought in partnership with the Combe Down Heritage Society and the World Heritage Enhancement Fund. The site is kept locked but access can be arranged by appointment through the Friends of Bath Jewish Burial Ground.[31]

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.[32]

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.[32] 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 .[33] The premises were then sold to wholesale stationer William Jennings Allen (1807 – 1839) .[33] 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’ .[33] 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.[34] In the 20th century cows and pigs were being reared on the site.[35]

Various parts of the mill have Grade II listed building status, including the southern range which consisted of the apprentice shops and stores,[36] the main east block which was the printing works where notes were printed for the Bank of England – later converted to cabinet manufacturing [37] and the chimney.[38] De Montalt, an Italianate villa set in the grounds is also grade II listed.[39]

The mill and its associated buildings were converted to residential use during 2007, with the main mill building being converted into four apartments.[40] Elements of the conversion featured in the Channel 4 television programme Grand Designs.[41]

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.[42] 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. The listed buildings on Combe Down are from 3 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 [43] which lead to the break up of the De Montalt estate in Bath [44] as speculators in property and mining took the opportunity.

The third phase was Victorian from c. 1830 – 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 all of these listed buildings with reference 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 [118] and the last trench veteran of World War I, 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 FRPS (1881–1936), society portrait photographer and harpsichord and clavichord maker.[119]

Frederic Weatherly (1848–1929), the composer of the song Danny Boy, lived at Grosvenor Lodge (now renamed St Christopher )[84] in Belmont Road during the second decade of the 20th century.[120]

Charlie McDonnell, the most subscribed YouTube vlogger in the United Kingdom, grew up in Combe Down before moving to London in 2010.[121]

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), an English novelist using the pen name 'Rita'.

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  106. ^ Historic England. "Prior Park Gymnasium (447140)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  107. ^ Historic England. "The Priory (447137)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  108. ^ Historic England. "Palladian Bridge (443307)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  109. ^ Historic England. "Porter's Lodge (443397)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  110. ^ Historic England. "Church of St. Paul (443308)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  111. ^ Historic England. "Middle gateway (448529)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  112. ^ Historic England. "Garden archway (447138)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  113. ^ Historic England. "Grotto (443309)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  114. ^ Historic England. "Ice house (443310)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  115. ^ Historic England. "Pool screen wall (447139)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  116. ^ Historic England. "Gate posts to drive (443398)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  117. ^ Historic England. "Gate posts to entrance (443399)". Images of England. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  118. ^ "Validated living supercentenarians". Gerontology Research group. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  119. ^ Mirrey, Lynne (2008). Pioneers of the English Clavichord Revival. The British Clavichord Society Newsletter, No 41. 
  120. ^ "Bath should honour links to writer of Danny Boy Frederick Weatherly". Bath Chronicle. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  121. ^ "Teenager's tea tips cause a stir". BBC. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

External links

Stone Mines

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Combe Down Quarries

Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines

Combe Down and Bathampton Down Quarries
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Tunnel between roughly hewn stone walls
Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines is located in Somerset
Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines
Location within Somerset
Area of SearchAvon
Grid referenceST761625
Coordinates51°21′40″N 2°20′41″W / 51.36106°N 2.34465°W / 51.36106; -2.34465Coordinates: 51°21′40″N 2°20′41″W / 51.36106°N 2.34465°W / 51.36106; -2.34465
InterestBiological
Area15.37 acres (0.0622 km2; 0.02402 sq mi)
Notification1991 (1991)
Natural England website

Combe Down and Bathampton Down Quarries (grid reference ST761625) make up a 6.22 hectare (15.37 acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Bath and North East Somerset, notified in 1991 because of the Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bat population.[1]

The disused quarries dates from the 17th and 18th Century and were used to extract Bath stone for the city of Bath and elsewhere in the UK.

A five-year project to stabilise the quarry workings was largely completed by November 2009.

Geology

Combe Down forms a plateau capped by Great Oolite limestones between the valley of the River Avon and Horsecombe Vale. The geology of the region is dominated by rocks of Middle and Early Jurassic ages. The Great Oolite is the uppermost lithology. This is underlain by the clays of the Fuller’s Earth Formation, which in turn is underlain by limestones of the Inferior Oolite and the Midford Sands of the Lias. The Great and Inferior Oolite formations provide effective aquifers (rock in which water can be stored and pass through) for public and private water supplies.[2]

History

The Great Oolite stone, used for building purposes, formed over 146 million years ago when the area was underneath a deep tropical sea on which ooliths were deposited. The ooliths bonded together to form the distinctive rock known as oolitic limestone or locally as ‘Bath stone’. The Romans found that it was easily worked and used it for important fortifications. During the 17th Century, small quarries were opened, with major quarries being developed in the 18th Century to produce the Bath stone used for many of the buildings in Bath and elsewhere in the UK, including Buckingham Palace. Stone was extracted by the "room and pillar" method, by which chambers were mined, leaving pillars of stone to support the roof.[2] These mines were once owned by Postmaster General Ralph Allen (1694-1764).

The mines contain a range of features including well preserved tramways, cart-roads and crane bases. The walls and pillars are studded with pick and tool marks and show evidence of the use of huge stone saws, all of which bear testimony to the variety of techniques used to extract the stone over the mine's three hundred year history.[3]

No mine abandonment plans — either of the tunnels or the caverns, known as voids — were made prior to the 1872 Mining Act.[2]

During 1989 a utilities contractor unexpectedly broke through into part of the mine complex whilst excavating a trench, which resulted in Bath City Council commissioning studies to survey the condition of the mines. It was clear that the mines were in very unstable and some experts considered them to be the largest, shallowest and most unstable of their kind in Europe.[4]

Mine and environmental survey

An underground survey of the Firs and Byfield mine areas was carried out in 1994, commissioned by the then Bath City Council. It was found that approximately 80% of the mines had less than 6 m cover and as little as 2 m in some places.[5] Irregular mining and robbing stone from supporting pillars had left the mines unstable.[2]

Greater Horseshoe Bat

An Environmental Impact Assessment was completed for the stabilisation scheme and submitted to the Local Planning Authority in December 2002. This highlighted that the mine is; within the World Heritage Site of the City of Bath; adjacent to the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), within a conservation area, containing a number of Listed buildings; a Site of Special Scientific Interest; a candidate Special Area of Conservation; of international importance for Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats; and of international geological importance partly due to the work of William Smith.[2]

During the access and emergency works Oxford Archaeology produced large scale plans of visible areas and substantial photography was carried out as the modern roadways allowed access. There were also trials of video photography and laser scanning, so that a substantial record was produced of some 20% of the known workings.[3]

The mine also lies above a Grade 1 aquifer from which water for public and private use is extracted via the springs that issue at the base of these units, in particular at the Prior Park, Whittaker and Tucking Mill springs.[2]

Mine stabilisation project

In March 1999, the then Department of Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR) announced a Land Stabilisation Programme, based on the Derelict Land Act 1982. This was designed to “deal with abandoned non-coal mine workings which are likely to collapse and threaten life and property”. A Bath and North East Somerset Council outline bid for a two-phase stabilisation project was accepted in August 1999, by English Partnerships who administered the programme for the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.[2] A parliamentary Statutory Instrument (2002 No. 2053) was needed before the work could be undertaken.[6]

Approximately 760 properties were included within the planning application boundary — estimates were that ca. 1660 people lived within this area, which also included a primary school, a nursery and 3 churches.

Foamed concrete was selected as the solution for the large scale infilling of the old mine works: the single largest application of foamed concrete on a project in the UK.

The work was largely complete by November 2009, by which time approximately 600,000 cubic metres of foamed concrete had been used to fill 25 hectares of very shallow limestone mine, making it the largest project of its kind in the world.[7]

References

  1. ^ "Combe Down and Bathampton Down Quarries" (PDF). English Nature SSSI Citation Sheet. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Combe Down Stone Mines Land Stabilisation Project". BANES. Archived from the original on 17 January 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Combe Down Mines". Oxford Archeology. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Combe Down Mines". ISSMGE: 5th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnic. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  5. ^ "Combe Down Stone Mines Project". Scott Wilson. Archived from the original on 5 May 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  6. ^ "The Derelict Land Clearance Area (Combe Down Stone Mines, Bath) Order 2002". Statutory Instruments HMSO, the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  7. ^ Tipping, Christopher. "'1479 plates', Combe Down Stone Mines Project". Axisweb. Retrieved 29 August 2017. 

External links

Combe Down Tunnel

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Combe Down Tunnel

Combe Down Tunnel

Combe Down Tunnel
Combe Down Tunnel, near Bath - geograph.org.uk - 41502.jpg
Combe Down Tunnel in 2005
Overview
LineSomerset and Dorset [Joint] Railway
Locationc. 2.5 miles from Bath Green Park
Operation
Opened1874
Closed1966 (railway)
OwnerWessex Water
Technical
Length1,829 yards (1,672 m)
No. of tracksSingle
Grademostly 1 in 100 (1%) descending towards Midford (away from Bath)[1]

Combe Down Tunnel is on the now-closed Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway main line, between Midford and Bath Green Park railway station, below high ground and the southern suburbs of Bath, England, emerging below the southern slopes of Combe Down village.

Opened in 1874, this 1,829-yard (1,672 m) long disused railway tunnel was once the UK’s longest without intermediate ventilation.[2] The tunnel now forms part of the £1.8 million Two Tunnels Greenway walking and cycling path opened on 6 April 2013 and is the longest cycling tunnel in Britain.[3] Its custodian is Wessex Water.

Overview

The tunnel was on the "Bath Extension" line of the Somerset & Dorset Railway, built in 1874. The extension effectively bankrupted the independent company. The extension line was later made double-track northwards from Evercreech Junction to the viaduct at Midford, but the substantial civil engineering works associated with the tunnel and the steep approach into Bath, including the shorter Devonshire Tunnel, caused the northernmost section to remain single-track throughout its working life. Freight trains heading south from Bath were often banked (assisted in rear) by a locomotive that detached itself from the train at the entrance to Combe Down tunnel, and then returned down the gradient to Bath. This operation was a very rare example of two trains being permitted to run within a single-line section at once, although the train engine carried an electric tablet and the banking engine a staff, both of which had to be returned to their appropriate signalling instruments before other trains could be dispatched into the section. Sometimes the banking engine would be conveying additional goods vehicles for Bath Co-op Siding (situated within the single line section), so the bank engine (carrying the bank staff) would shunt the siding on its way back to Bath Junction whilst the main train (with the single-line tablet) would continue on its way to Midford. This unusual method of working operated right up to the closure of the S&D in 1966.

Accident

Combe Down tunnel had no intermediate ventilation and there were significant problems with fumes. On 20 November 1929, the driver and fireman of a northbound goods train were overcome by smoke. The train was moving very slowly in the tunnel due to a heavy load and due to starting from a standstill at Midford. The locomotive, S&DJR 2-8-0 No. 89, plodded on and eventually breasted the summit of the gradient. Its downward course to Bath was accomplished more quickly, and the train ran away, crashing into the goods yard on the approach to Bath Green Park railway station, killing the driver, Henry Jennings, and two railway employees in the yard.[4]

The fumes that overcame the footplate crew were a consequence of the restricted bore, lack of ventilation shafts, the exceptional humidity and lack of breeze, and the very slow speed of the train, running tender first. The inspecting officer, Colonel A. C. Trench recommended that maximum loads should be reduced or assistant engines provided to prevent a recurrence.[5]

Two Tunnels Shared Path

This section of the Somerset and Dorset Railway, including the tunnels, is now incorporated into a shared-use walking and cycling path, with planning permission approved in May 2008, and much of the funding via a Sustrans 'Connect2' lottery grant.

The fourth and final £100,000 tranche of Council funding was made in financial year 2011/12 when the tunnel was equipped with a cycle-friendly surface and LED lighting. The route was then opened on Saturday, 6 April 2013.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Two Tunnels Greenway". Twotunnels.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  2. ^ Yorke, Stan (2007). Lost railways of Somerset. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 48–60. ISBN 978-1-84674-057-2. 
  3. ^ "Bath Two Tunnels Circuit - Map". Sustrans. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ Smith, Peter W. (1978). Footplate over the Mendips. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0-86093-022-X. 
  5. ^ Gerard, M. & Hamilton, J. A. B. (1984). Rails to Disaster: More British Steam Train Accidents 1906–1957. London: George Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-04-385103-7. 

Coordinates: 51°21′22″N 2°20′29″W / 51.3560°N 2.3415°W / 51.3560; -2.3415

Prior Park

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Ralph Allen and Prior Park

Prior Park

Prior Park
PriorParkCollege.JPG
LocationBath, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°21′54″N 2°20′40″W / 51.36500°N 2.34444°W / 51.36500; -2.34444Coordinates: 51°21′54″N 2°20′40″W / 51.36500°N 2.34444°W / 51.36500; -2.34444
Built1742
Built forRalph Allen
ArchitectJohn Wood, the Elder
Architectural style(s)Palladian
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: Prior Park (Now Prior Park College)
Designated12 June 1950[1]
Reference no.443306
Prior Park is located in Somerset
Prior Park
Location of Prior Park in Somerset

Prior Park is a Palladian house, designed by John Wood, the Elder, and built in the 1730s and 1740s for Ralph Allen on a hill overlooking Bath, Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.

The house was built to demonstrate the properties of Bath stone as a building material. The design followed work by Andrea Palladio and was influenced by drawings originally made by Colen Campbell for Wanstead House in Essex. The main block had 15 bays and each of the wings 17 bays each. The surrounding parkland had been laid out in 1100 but following the purchase of the land by Allen 11.3 hectares (28 acres) were established as a landscape garden. Features in the garden include a bridge covered by Palladian arches, which is also Grade I listed.

Following Allen's death the estate passed down through his family. In 1828, Bishop Baines bought it for use as a Roman Catholic College. The house was then extended and a chapel and gymnasium built by Henry Goodridge. The house is now used by Prior Park College and the surrounding parkland owned by the National Trust.

History

Construction

Ralph Allen, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, was notable for his reforms to the British postal system. He moved in 1710 to Bath, where he became a post office clerk, and at the age of 19, in 1712, became the Postmaster.[2] In 1742 he was elected Mayor of Bath,[3] and was the Member of Parliament for Bath between 1757 and 1764.[3] The building in Lilliput Alley, now North Parade Passage in Bath, which he used as a post office, became his Town House.[4]

Allen acquired the stone quarries at Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines.[3] He used the unique honey-coloured Bath stone, used to build the Georgian city, and as a result made a second fortune. Allen built a railway line from his mine on Combe Down which carried the stone down the hill, now known as Ralph Allen Drive, which runs beside Prior Park, to a wharf he constructed at Bath Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal to transport stone to London.[5] Following a failed bid to supply stone to buildings in London, Allen wanted a building which would show off the properties of Bath stone as a building material.[6][7]

Hitherto, the quarry masons had always hewn stone roughly providing blocks of varying size. Wood required stone blocks to be cut with crisp clean edges for his distinctive classical façades.[8] The Stone was extracted by the "room and pillar" method, by which chambers were mined, leaving pillars of stone to support the roof.[9] Bath stone is an Oolitic Limestone comprising granular fragments of calcium carbonate laid down during the Jurassic (195 to 135 million years ago). An important feature of Bath stone is that it is a freestone, that is one that can be sawn or 'squared up' in any direction, unlike other rocks such as slate, which forms distinct layers. It was extensively used in the Roman and Medieval periods on domestic, ecclesiastical and civil engineering projects such as bridges.[10]

Prior Park, Bath and Ralph Allen's railway in 1750 from an engraving by Anthony Walker

John Wood, the Elder was commissioned by Ralph Allen to build on the hill overlooking Bath: "To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see".[3] Wood was born in Bath and is known for designing many of the streets and buildings of the city, such as The Circus (1754–68),[11] St John's Hospital,[12] (1727–28), Queen Square (1728–36), the North (1740) and South Parades (1743–48), The Royal Mineral Water Hospital (1738–42) and other notable houses, many of which are Grade I listed buildings. Queen Square was his first speculative development. Wood lived in a house on the square,[13] which was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as "one of the finest Palladian compositions in England before 1730".[14]

The plan for Prior Park was to construct five buildings along three sides of a dodecagon matching the sweep of the head of the valley, with the main building being flanked by elongated wings based on designs by Andrea Palladio.[7] The plans were influenced by drawings in Vitruvius Britannicus originally made by Colen Campbell for Wanstead House in Essex, which was yet to be built.[7][5] The main block had 15 bays and each of the wings 17 bays each. Between each wing and the main block was a Porte-cochère for coaches to stop under.[5] In addition to the stone from the local quarries, material, including the grand staircase and plasterwork, from the demolished Hunstrete House were used in the construction.[15][16]

Construction work began in 1734 to Wood's plan but disagreements between Wood and Allen led to his dismissal and Wood's Clerk of Works, Richard Jones, replaced him and made some changes to the plans particularly for the east wing.[5][17] Jones also added the Palladian Bridge.[18] The building was finished in 1743 and was occupied by Allen as his primary residence until his death in 1764.[19]

Drawing from 1875 by W.Wills after Thomas Hearne incorrectly showing 13 bays in the main house

Later use

After Allen's death in 1764, William Warburton, Allen's relative, lived in the house for some time and it was passed down to other family members and then purchased, in 1809, by John Thomas, a Bristol Quaker.[20][6] After William Beckford sold Fonthill Abbey, in 1822, he was looking about for a suitable new seat, Prior Park was his first choice: ""They wanted too much for it," he recalled later; "I should have liked it very much; it possesses such great capability of being made a very beautiful spot."[21] Prior Park was offered for sale after Thomas's death in 1827 but the asking price of £25,000 was not obtained and the offer of sale withdrawn.[20]

Augustine Baines, a Benedictine, Titular Bishop of Siga and Vicar Apostolic of the Western District of England, was appointed to Bath in 1817. He purchased the mansion in 1828 for £22,000 and set to work to establish two colleges in either wing of the house, which he dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul respectively, the former being intended as a lay college, the latter as a seminary. The new college never became prosperous, however. Renovations were made according to designs by Henry Goodridge in 1834 including the addition of the staircase in front of the main building.[5][22] A gymnasium was also built in the 1830s including a courtyard for Fives,[23] and three barrel vaulted rooms on the first floor and a terrace roof.[24]

The seminary was closed in 1856 after a fire which, in 1836, had resulted in extensive damage and renovation and brought about financial insolvency. It was bought in 1867 by Bishop Clifford who founded a Roman Catholic Grammar School in the mansion.[6] Prior Park operated as a grammar school until 1904. During World War I the site was occupied by the army. Following the war several tenants occupied the site. In 1921, the Christian Brothers acquired the building. They opened a boarding school for boys in 1924.[25]

The main building (the Mansion) has been badly burnt twice. The 1836 fire left visible damage to some stonework.[26] The 1991 fire gutted the interior, except for parts of the basement.[27] Unusually, the blaze started on the top floor, and spread downwards. Rebuilding took approximately three years.[28]

The site continues on in use as a School, Prior Park College, one of four schools owned by The Prior Foundation (the other three are Prior Park Preparatory School, in Cricklade, Wiltshire, The Paragon School in Bath, located just down the hill from the main College in the vale of Lyncombe, and Prior Park School, in Gibraltar).[29]

Architecture

John Wood, the Elder's planned layout for Prior Park

The house described by Pevsner [30] as "the most ambitious and most complete re-creation of Palladio's villas on English soil" was designed by John Wood the Elder, however, Wood and his patron, Allen, quarrelled and completion of the project was overseen by Richard Jones, the clerk-of-works.[7]

The plan consists of a corps de logis flanked by two pavilions connected to the corps de logis by segmented single storey arcades. The northern façade (or garden façade) of the corps de logis is of 15 bays,[1] the central 5 bays carry a prostyle portico of six Corinthian columns. The southern façade is more sombre in its embellishment, but has at its centre, six ionic columns surmounted by a pediment. The terminating pavilions have been much altered from their original design by Wood; he originally envisaged two pavilions at each end of the range; an unusual composition which was ignored by Jones who terminated the range with a single pavilion as is the more conventional Palladian concept.[30] The East Wing was altered around 1830 when it was converted into a school, having included a brewhouse previously when a pedimented three-bay second floor was added by John Pensiston.[31] Around 1834 Goodridge altered the West Wing to include a theatre, which was damaged by bombs during the Bath Blitz of 1942.[7] The central flight of steps and urns, in Baroque style, which front the north portico were added by Goodridge in 1836.[1]

In the 1830s Goodridge put forward plans for a large cathedral to be built in the grounds. However this was never proceeded with and instead was replaced by a plan for a small chapel to be incorporated in the west wing of the mansion.[32] In 1844 Joseph John Scoles created the Church of St Paul which, along with the remainder of the west wing, is Grade I listed.[33][1]

The total length of the principal elevation is between 1,200 feet (370 m) and 1,300 feet (400 m) in length. Of that, the corps de logis occupies 150 feet (46 m).[34] The two storey building with attics and a basement is topped with a Westmorland slate roof.[1]

Gardens

The Palladian Bridge

The first park on the site was set out by John of Tours the Bishop of Bath and Wells around 1100, as part of a deer park, and subsequently sold to Humphrey Colles and then Matthew Colhurst.[6] It is set in a small valley with steep sides, from which there are views of the city of Bath. Prior Park's 11.3 hectares (28 acres) landscape garden was laid out by the poet Alexander Pope between the construction of the house and 1764. During 1737, at least 55,200 trees, mostly elm and Scots pine, were planted, along the sides and top of the valley. No trees were planted on the valley floor. Water was channeled into fish ponds at the bottom of the valley.[6]

Later work, during the 1750s and 1760s, was undertaken by the landscape gardener Capability Brown.[35][36] This included extending the gardens to the north and removing the central cascade making the combe into a single sweep.[6] The garden, as it was originally laid out, influenced other designers and contributed to defining the style of garden thought of as the English garden in continental Europe.[37]

Inside the Palladian Bridge

The features in the gardens include a Palladian bridge (one of only 4 left in the world), Gothic temple, gravel cabinet, Mrs Allen's Grotto,[38] ice house,[39] lodge[40] and three pools with curtain walls[41] plus a serpentine lake. The Palladian bridge, which is a copy of the one at Wilton House,[5] was built by Richard Jones,[42] and has been designated as a Grade I listed building[43] and Scheduled Ancient Monument.[44][43] It was repaired in 1936.[45]

The rusticated stone piers on either side of the main entrance gates are surmounted by entablatures and large ornamental vases,[46] while those at the drive entrance have ornamental carved finials.[47] The porter's lodge was built along with the main house to designs by John Wood the Elder.[48]

In 1993, the National Trust obtained the park and pleasure grounds. In November 2006, the large-scale restoration project began on the cascade, serpentine lake and Gothic temple in the Wilderness area, this is now complete.[37] Extensive planting also took place in 2007. The Palladian Bridge is also featured on the cover of the album Morningrise by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth released in 1996.[49][50]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England. "Prior Park College: The mansion with linked arcades) (1394453)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Staff 1964, p. 57.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ralph Allen Biography". Bath Postal Museum. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ralph Allen's House, Terrace Walk, Bath". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Durman 2000, pp. 91–94.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Prior Park, Bath, England". Parks and gardens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Forsyth 2003, p. 94.
  8. ^ Greenwood 1977, pp. 70–74.
  9. ^ "Combe Down Stone Mines Land Stabilisation Project". BANES. Archived from the original on 17 January 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  10. ^ "Tales From The Riverbank". Minerva Conservation. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "The Circus". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "St John's Hospital (including Chapel Court House)". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "Queen Square". UK attractions. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  14. ^ "Queen Square". Bath Net. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  15. ^ "Hunstrete Grand Mansion". Wessex Archeology. Videotext Communications Ltd. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  16. ^ "Combe Down, "Alice is a sexy sl*t" Was Here: Modern vs. Historical Graffiti". Bath Daily Photo. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Varey 1990, pp. 112–117.
  18. ^ Curl 2002, p. 44.
  19. ^ "History of Prior Park College". Prior Park Alumni. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  20. ^ a b "John Thomas – the forgotten man of Prior Park". Combe Down. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  21. ^ Benjamin 1910, p. 322.
  22. ^ Richardson 2001, p. 65.
  23. ^ "The Gymnasium to north of North Road". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Monument No. 204217". Pastscape National Monument Record. Historic England. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Prior Park". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  26. ^ Colvin & Mellon 2008, p. 1143.
  27. ^ Gillie, Oliver (6 April 1994). "Craftsmen restore country house to former glory: Sculptors use delicate skills to recreate rococo ceiling destroyed by fire". London: The Independent. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  28. ^ Gillie, Oliver (5 April 1994). "Craftsmen restore country house to former glory: Sculptors use delicate skills to recreate rococo ceiling destroyed by fire.". Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  29. ^ "Prior Park Schools". The Prior Foundation. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Pevsner 2002, p. 114.
  31. ^ Forsyth 2003, pp. 95–96.
  32. ^ Goodridge 1865, p. 5.
  33. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Paul, with West Wing (1394459)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  34. ^ Kilvert 1857, p. 11.
  35. ^ "Green Priorities for the National Trust at Prior Park". questia.com. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "Prior Park Landscape Garden". National Trust. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  37. ^ a b "Prior Park Landscape Garden". Minerva Stone Conservation. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  38. ^ Historic England. "Grotto in grounds of Prior Park (1394467)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  39. ^ Historic England. "Ice-house in grounds of Prior Park (1394461)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  40. ^ Historic England. "Prior Park Lodge (1394608)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  41. ^ "Screen wall to pool below the West Pavilion and Church of St Paul". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  42. ^ Forsyth 2003, p. 99.
  43. ^ a b Historic England. "Palladian Bridge in grounds of Prior Park (1394463)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  44. ^ "List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments". Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  45. ^ Borsay 2000, p. 161.
  46. ^ Historic England. "Gate Posts at entrance to Prior Park (1394605)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  47. ^ Historic England. "Gate Posts to Drive at Prior Park (1394606)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  48. ^ "Porters Lodge". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  49. ^ "Morningrise". Last FM. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  50. ^ "Morningrise Opeth". Metal Archives. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 

Bibliography

External links

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Ralph Allen and Prior Park

Prior Park Landscape Garden

View from Prior Park over the Palladian bridge towards Bath

Prior Park Landscape Garden surrounding the Prior Park estate south of Bath, Somerset, England, was designed in the 18th century by the poet Alexander Pope and the landscape gardener Capability Brown, and is now owned by the National Trust. The garden was influential in defining the style known as the "English landscape garden" in continental Europe.[1] The garden is Grade I listed in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.[2]

Around 1100 the site was part of a deer park set out by the Bishop of Bath and Wells John of Tours. In 1720s it was bought by Ralph Allen and landscaped to complement his new house. Further development was undertaken after the house became a seminary and then a Roman Catholic grammar school (which later became Prior Park College). In the 1990s 11.3 hectares (28 acres) of the park and pleasure grounds were acquired by the National Trust and a large scale restoration undertaken. Features of Prior Park Landscape Garden include a Palladian architecture bridge, lake and ancillary buildings.

History

The gardens as they appeared in 1750

Set in a small steep valley overlooking the city of Bath a park was established on the site by John of Tours, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, in around 1100 as a deer park.[3] It was subsequently sold to , a lawyer and member of parliament for Somerset,[4] and then another member of parliament, Matthew Colthurst.[5][3] Even before the Dissolution of the Monasteries the walls which had enclosed the deer park had fallen into disrepair and the deer had escaped. The land was then returned to agricultural use.[2]

18th-century design

Purchased by the local entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph Allen in the 1720s,[2] Prior Park's 11.3 hectares (28 acres) English landscape garden was laid out with advice from the poet Alexander Pope during the construction of the house,[6][7][8] overseen by Allen between the years 1734 and his death in 1764.[9] During 1737, at least 55,200 trees, mostly elm and Scots pine, were planted, along the sides and top of the valley. The valley floor remained as grassland and drainage water was channelled to form fish ponds at the bottom of the valley.[3]

The ice house at Prior Park

Later work, during the 1750s and 1760s, was undertaken by the landscape gardener Capability Brown;[10][11][12] this included extending the gardens to the north, removing the central cascade and making the wooded hillside (combe) into a single sweep.[3] "The garden was influential in defining the style of garden known as the 'English garden' in continental Europe".[1] The gardens were laid out in two distinct areas: those on the east side of the house were set out as vegetable plots on either side of the serpentine path, while on the western side were statues and grottoes, trees and evergreens with climbing and scented plants. Exotic plants which had only recently arrived in Britain included Aristolochiaceae, Passiflora and Bignonia.[13]

In 1828 the house and estate were purchased by Bishop Augustine Baines to create a seminary and then Bishop William Clifford for a Roman Catholic grammar school which later became Prior Park College. Further landscaping was carried out in the 1880s.[2]

Restoration

In 1993 the park and pleasure grounds were acquired by the National Trust and it was opened to the public in 1996.[14][15] In November 2002, a large-scale restoration project began on the cascade, serpentine lake and Gothic temple in the wilderness area, this is now complete. Extensive planting also took place in 2007. Future plans include re-roofing the grotto and building a replica Gothic temple.[15]

Garden features

The garden's features include a Palladian architecture bridge (one of only four of this design left in the world),[6][7][8] Gothic temple, gravel cabinet, Mrs Allen's Grotto,[16] the ice house,[17] lodge[18] and three pools with curtain walls[19] as well as a serpentine lake. The curtain wall by the lake is known as the Sham Bridge and is similar to Kent's Cascade at Chiswick House and Vunus Vale at Rousham House.[14] Ralph Allen was also responsible for the construction of Sham Castle on a hill overlooking Bath.[20]

The rusticated stone piers on either side of the main entrance gates are surmounted by entablatures and large ornamental vases,[21] while those at the drive entrance have ornamental carved finials.[22] The Porter's Lodge was built along with the main house to designs by John Wood the Elder.[23]

Palladian bridge

The Palladian bridge

The Palladian bridge, which is a copy of the one at Wilton House,[24] has been designated as a Grade I listed building[25] and scheduled monument.[26][27] It was repaired in 1936.[28]

The Palladian Bridge was later featured on the cover of the 1996 album Morningrise by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth.[29][30]

Bath Skyline

A five-minute walk from the garden leads on to the Bath Skyline, a six-mile (10 km) circular walk around the city that encompasses woodlands, meadows, an Iron Age hill-fort, Roman settlements, 18th-century follies and views over the city.[31]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Prior Park Landscape Garden". Minerva Stone Conservation. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Historic England. "Prior Park  (Grade I) (1000144)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Prior Park, Bath, England - History". Parks and gardens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Colles, Humphrey (by 1510-70/71), of Barton Grange and Nether Stowey, Som.". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Colthurst, Matthew (by 1517–59), of Wardour Castle, Wilts. and Claverton, Som.". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Prior Park's History". Prior Park College. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Prior Park Landscape Garden". National Trust. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Prior Park Landscape Garden". Visit Bath. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Greeves, Lydia (2006). History and Landscape: The Guide to National Trust Properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Trust Books. pp. 316–317. ISBN 978-1-905400-13-3. 
  10. ^ Bond, James (1998). Somerset Parks and Gardens. Somerset Books. pp. 82–84. ISBN 978-0-86183-465-5. 
  11. ^ "Green Priorities for the National Trust at Prior Park". questia.com. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  12. ^ "Prior Park Landscape Garden". National Trust. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  13. ^ Mowl, Timothy; Mako, Marion (2010). Historic Gardens of Somerset. Redcliffe. pp. 93–99. ISBN 9781906593568. 
  14. ^ a b "History: Prior Park, Bath, England". Parks and Gradens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Development of the garden at Prior Park". National Trust. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Historic England. "Grotto in grounds of Prior Park (1394467)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Historic England. "Ice-house in grounds of Prior Park (1394461)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Historic England. "Prior Park Lodge (1394608)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Screen wall to pool below the West Pavilion and Church of St. Paul". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Dunning, Robert (1995). Somerset Castles. Tiverton: Somerset Books. p. 77. ISBN 0-86183-278-7. 
  21. ^ Historic England. "Gate Posts at entrance to Prior Park (1394605)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Historic England. "Gate Posts to Drive at Prior Park (1394606)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Porters Lodge". Images of England. Historic England. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  24. ^ Durman, Richard (2000). Classical Buildings of Wiltshire & Bath: A Palladian Quest. Bath: Millstream Books. pp. 91–94. ISBN 978-0-948975-60-8. 
  25. ^ Historic England. "Palladian Bridge in grounds of Prior Park (1394463)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments". Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  27. ^ Historic England. "Palladian Bridge, Prior Park, Bath (1004514)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  28. ^ Borsay, Peter (2000). The image of Georgian Bath, 1700–2000: towns, heritage, and history. Oxford University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-19-820265-3. 
  29. ^ "Prior Park Landscape Garden". Ashwick Parish. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  30. ^ "Cover Locations". Discogs. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  31. ^ "Bath Skyline". National Trust. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°22′02″N 2°20′37″W / 51.36721°N 2.34374°W / 51.36721; -2.34374

Bath Abbey Cemetery

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Bath Abbey Cemetery

Bath Abbey Cemetery

Bath Abbey Cemetery

The Anglican Bath Abbey Cemetery, officially dedicated as the Cemetery of St Peter and St Paul (the patron saints that Bath Abbey is dedicated to), was laid out by noted cemetery designer and landscape architect John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843) in 1843 on a picturesque hillside site overlooking Bath, Somerset, England. The cemetery was laid out between 1843 and 1844.

The cemetery was consecrated on 30 January 1844. It was a private Anglican cemetery financed by W. J. Broderick, Rector of Bath Abbey.

The layout is a mixture of formal and informal arranged along a central avenue. It features a mortuary chapel, designed by Bath City Architect G. P. Manners in the then fashionable Norman Revival architectural style.[1]

History

The eccentric William Thomas Beckford was originally buried here, but moved when his former retreat of Lansdown Tower came under threat of becoming a pleasure garden and was transformed into Lansdown Cemetery in the parish of Walcot. "The best monuments are slightly neo-Grecian with canopied tops, dating from the 1840s. Note that to S. M. Hinds d.1847 signed Reeves, the Bath firm of Monumental masons, that flourished from c.1778 to 1860…."[1]

The cemetery and mortuary chapel are Grade II* listed.[2][3][4] 37 monuments in the cemetery are Grade II or II* listed.[5][6][7] A general trend is that the most elaborate monuments belong to individuals formerly residing at the most exclusive addresses. An interesting trend seems that clerics get Gothic Revival style monuments and military men typically get Greek Revival style monuments.[1]

The Roman Catholic is adjacent to Bath Abbey Cemetery.[8][9]

Mortuary chapel

The three-bay double-height chapel was built in 1844 to designs by George Phillips Manners in the Norman Revival architectural style with a prominent west tower over a three-sided open porch / porte cochere. The chapel is built above a crypt and was planned to be flanked by open cloister wings containing a columbarium and loculi. Ever since the cemetery’s closure, the chapel has also been closed and in a deteriorating condition.[1] It was listed Grade II historic building on 5 August 1975,[4] but is now Grade II* listed.[3] It remains owned by Bath Abbey, although a lease or sale was considered to Bath’s Orthodox church, which never materialized.

List of prominent memorials

  • Crimean War Memorial, c. 1855, an obelisk memorial of polished stone designed in the Greek Revival style.[1]
  • Robert Scott of 3 Duke Street, St James, c. 1861, a white marble memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style[1]
  • Elizabeth Hunt of 72 Pulteney Street, c. 1846, a polished stone obelisk designed in the Gothic Revival style[1]
  • Robert Harvey Forsmann of St Petersburg (records infant death), of 15 Bennet Street, Walcot, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Doverton Chalmers Greetree Swan of Island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (records infant death) of 36 Pulteney, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • John Gill (also Louise Gicnac) of 14 Bathwick Street, c. 1851, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Francis Hunt of 65 Pulteney, c. 1851, a memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Gen. Paul Anderson of 10 Paragon Buildings, a polished stone memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Joseph Chaning Pearce of Montague House. Lambridge, c. 1847 (House became a museum to his 200 fossil collection), a polished pink granite, and polished stone plinth, designed in the Greek Revival style (Signed Rogers of Bath)[1]
  • Sidney P. Macgreggor of Widcombe House, Widcombe, c. 1855, a marble memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style (signed by Tucker, mason)[1]
  • Ellen Maria Lamb of New Bond Street, St Michael’s, c. 1856, a polished stone memorial, designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • John Pavin of 5 Cavendish Crescent, Walcot, c. 1848, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Julius Hall of 45 Pulteney Street, c. 1869, a white marble memorial obelisk designed in the Gothic Revival style[1]
  • Charles Pratt of Combe Grove Manor, c. 1844, a white marble mini temple memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • Henry John Sharpe, Merchant of New York, of Royal Hotel, St James, Doric Column on Pediment WM- designed in the Greek Revival style (Signed by Treasure Mason)[1]
  • John Collingridge of 57 Pulteney Street, c. 1855, a memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • James Weeks Williams of 6 Claremont Place, Walcot, c.1848, a marble classical revival mini temple (signed White)[1] "The Williams Memorial[10] is a white marble miniature open Greek temple raised up on a penant stone pedestal. Four pained sets of fluted columns with lotus and acanthus leaf capitals support a canopy over a draped urn flashed by an angel and a female mowner. The equally elaborate inscription is to Jane Wiliams who died at her residence, 17 Kensington Place, Bath, in 1848 aged 88. One side of the base commemorates 17-year-old Henry Williams, ‘who by accidentally falling off the West India docks in a dense London fog was unfortunately drowned’ in 1853."[11] (Listed II*)[7]
  • Stothert (Family) of Hay Hill, c. 1855, a polished stone memorial designed in the Greek Revival style[1]
  • ??daria Lady Hargood of Royal Crescent, c. 1849, a memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style[1]
  • Elizabeth Ingram of 11 South Parade, c. 1845, a memorial designed in the Norman Revival architectural style
  • Samuel Maxwell Hinds of 7 Raby Place, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style (signed Reeves)
  • Mary Ann Hunter of 7 Edward Street, c. 1869, a white marble cross memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • Robert Neale of Butt Ash Cottage, Widcombe, c. 1873, a white marble obelisk designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • Ann Partis of 58 Pulteney, c. 1846, founder of Partis College, a white marble memorial designed in the Greek Revival style (Listed II*)[6]
  • Lt. Col. Richard Tatton of Blyth, Northumberland, c. 1867, a white marble obelisk designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Eleanor Moody of Pulteney Street, c. 1844
  • Edwin Augustus Lawton of St Mary’s Buildings, Lyncombe, c.1863, a white marble headstone designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • Capt. Peter Gapper of Easton Home, Beechen Cliff, c. 1866, a white marble obelisk designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Charles Hamper of the Grove, Bathampton, c.1866, a polished stone memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • Rose Caroline Browne of Bathampton, c. 1858, gabled memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • John Hay Clive of Hastings (late of Bathwick Hill), c. 1853, a memorial designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Charles Rainsford Hall of Bathampton, c. 1848, a memorial designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Benjamin Plim Bellamy of Beacon Hill, Walcot, c.1847, a polished stone monument designed in the Greek Revival style (Signed Reeves)
  • Charles Richardson (briefly) of New Bond Street, c. 1890 (drowned in River Avon), a polished stone memorial designed in the Greek Revival style
  • William Westall of 1 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill, c. 1853, a polished stone obelisk memorial, designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Rev. Edward Tottenham of Marlborough Buildings, Walcot, c. 1853, a polished stone memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • Rev. Nathan Ashby of Combe Down, Monkton Combe, (same as Tottenham), a polished stone memorial designed in the Gothic Revival style
  • John Monk Lambe of 3 Sydney Buildings, c. 1865, a memorial designed in the Greek Revival style
  • Rear Admiral John Bythesea, died 1906, Crimean War VC recipient, tall Celtic granite cross.[12]

War graves

The cemetery contains 3 Commonwealth service war graves of World War I, registered and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission - a British Army Captain, a Canadian soldier and a Royal Air Force airman.[13]

References

Coordinates: 51°22′12″N 2°20′53″W / 51.3701°N 2.3481°W / 51.3701; -2.3481

Monkton Combe

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Monkton Combe

Monkton Combe

Monkton Combe
Monkton combe church arp.jpg
St Michael's Church
Monkton Combe is located in Somerset
Monkton Combe
Monkton Combe
Monkton Combe shown within Somerset
Population554 [1]
OS grid referenceST771620
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBATH
Postcode districtBA2
Dialling code01225
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireAvon
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Somerset
51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.357°N 2.327°W / 51.357; -2.327Coordinates: 51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.357°N 2.327°W / 51.357; -2.327

Monkton Combe is a village and civil parish in north Somerset, England, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Bath. The parish, which includes the hamlet of Tucking Mill, has a population of 554.[1]

History

Monkton Combe was part of the hundred of Bath Forum.[2][3]

According to Rev. John Collinson in his History of Somerset (1791), the town's proper name is Combe Monkton, or really just Combe with the Monkton being attached as an adjective to differentiate it from neighbouring Combe Down and Combe Grove. The village was originally owned by the monks of Bath Abbey, hence Monkton Combe.

It was on the route of the (now disused) Somerset Coal Canal, which ran parallel to Midford Brook.

Monkton Combe railway station featured in the 1953 film The Titfield Thunderbolt, one of the Ealing comedies. The film's plot centred on efforts by villagers to preserve their local railway line. It was on the short-lived branch line of the Bristol and North Somerset Railway which went from Limpley Stoke to Camerton and had closed to passenger traffic in 1925, though the line was used for freight traffic from the Somerset coalfield until 1952.

Governance

The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, such as the village car park and playgrounds, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also of interest to the council. The Village Hall and Village Green are the responsibility of the Village Hall Committee and not of the Parish Council.

The parish falls within the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset which was created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992. It provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within its area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection, recycling, cemeteries, crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. It is also responsible for education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, Trading Standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the Great Western Ambulance Service.

Bath and North East Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in Bath. Between 1 April 1974, and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon.[4] Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Bathavon Rural District.[5]

The parish falls within the 'Bathavon South' electoral ward. The ward starts in the north east at Monkton Combe and stretches south west through Wellow to Shoscombe. The total population of this ward at the 2011 census was 3,052.[6]

The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of the Bath county constituency which is to become North East Somerset at next general election.[7] It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It is also part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Religious sites

The parish church of St Michael was thought to have been Norman but was razed in the early 19th century. The more or less Early English Period 1865 structure that currently stands with significant 1886 additions was constructed on the site of the 1814 one. It was designed by C. E. Giles, of London, and the builder was Mr. S. G. Mitchell. It is a Grade II listed building.[8]

The churchyard contains the grave of Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier who served in the First World War.

Landmarks

Village Lock up

The village has one public house, the Wheelwrights Arms, which was built as a private house in the mid-late 18th century.[9]

There are two mills, neither of which in working order. The Old Mill was built in the early-mid 19th century.[10]

There is also a village lock-up built in the 18th century, probably 1776, which is a Grade II listed building[11] and an Ancient monument.

School

A significant proportion of the village centre is taken up by Monkton Combe School, an independent Christian boarding and day school of the British public school tradition, with 350 pupils — most of whom board. The Channel 4 Television presenter and investigative journalist Seyi Rhodes is among the School's former pupils.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b "Monkton Combe Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Reverend John Collinson (1791). The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset. 1. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-171-40217-6. 
  3. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "Bathavon RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bathavon South ward 2011". Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Somerset North East: New Boundaries Calculation". Electoral Calculus: General Election Prediction. Retrieved 19 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "St. Michael's Church". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Wheelwright's Arms". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Old Mill". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Lock-up". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 

External links

St Michael's Church

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: St Michael’s Church

St Michael's Church, Monkton Combe

St Michael's Church, Monkton Combe
Monkton combe church arp.jpg
51°21′22″N 2°19′43″W / 51.35611°N 2.32861°W / 51.35611; -2.32861Coordinates: 51°21′22″N 2°19′43″W / 51.35611°N 2.32861°W / 51.35611; -2.32861
DenominationChurch of England
ChurchmanshipBroad Church
History
DedicationSt. Michael
Administration
ParishMonkton Combe
DioceseBath and Wells
ProvinceCanterbury

St Michael's Church is the Church of England parish church of Monkton Combe, Somerset, England. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]

Background

The structure is mostly mid-Victorian. Predominately an example of Early English Gothic Revival, the structure has a steep pitched polychrome Welsh Slate roof and other aspects that clearly mark it from a distance as being a mid 19th Century construction. The main tower is surmounted by a gilded weather cock.

Norman Church

The town was owned by the Bath Abbey monks, hence the name Monkton Combe, and the first structure was considered to be an “ancient Norman” one, and the parish minutes of 1757 give a glimpse of the small church structure having a chancel with at least two pews in it.[2] “The church is a small structure, 50 feet in length and 16 feet in breadth, covered with tiles; at the west end in a little stone turret hangs two small bells. It is dedicated to St. Michael.”[3][4]

Regency Church

“About the beginning of the 19th century, when this little old church, after long neglect, needed extensive repairs, the inhabitant instead of repairing it, pulled it down and out of its materials build a new church of about the same size, seating only 95 persons, but to their minds no doubt more comfortable. It was erected in 1814 and did not last long. The Rev. Francis Pocock, being appointed vicar of Monkton Combe in 1863, found this church in a dilapidated state, and … for the needs for the parish, and had the courage to undertake the entire rebuilding of the sacred edifice.”[2]

Victorian Church

The tower contains an 8-bell carillon which was installed in the 1920s.[5]

Organ

The church contains a two manual pipe organ by Henry Jones and Sons.[6]

Churchyard

The churchyard contains the grave of Harry Patch, known as the "Last Fighting Tommy" and the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches of World War I. He was buried there following his death in July 2009 at the age of 111, alongside several members of his family.[4]

External links

References

  1. ^ "St Michael's Church, Monkton Combe". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "St Michael, Monkton Combe". Church of England. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Church of St. Michael and All Angels". Monkton Combe. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "St. Michael's Church". Monkton Combe. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "St Michael and All Angels, Monkton Combe". Holy Trinity. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Somerset (Avon), Monkton Combe St. Michael [N08612]". National Pipe Organ Register. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  • Rev. John Collinson, History of Somerset, 1791.
  • Rev. D. Lee Pitcairn and Rev. Alfred Richardson, An Historical Guide to Monkton Combe, Combe Down and Claverton (Bath: F. Goodall Printer, 1924) 28–29.
  • Bath Chronicle, July 6, 1865.
  • Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 229.

Monkton Combe Halt

Monkton Combe Halt railway station

Monkton Combe Halt
Monkton Combe station site geograph-3789051-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Site of the station in 2001
Location
PlaceMonkton Combe
AreaBath and North East Somerset
Coordinates51°21′21″N 2°19′33″W / 51.35595°N 2.32595°W / 51.35595; -2.32595Coordinates: 51°21′21″N 2°19′33″W / 51.35595°N 2.32595°W / 51.35595; -2.32595
Operations
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
Platforms1
History
1910 (1910)Opened
1915Passenger services suspended
1923Passenger services resumed
1925Closed to passengers
15 February 1951 (1951-02-15)Line closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal
Bristol and
North Somerset Railway
MR
Bristol & Gloucester Railway
to Gloucester
Bristol Harbour
GWR
Great Western Main Line
to London
Bristol Temple Meads
St Philip's Marsh(TMD)
River Avon
GWR
Bristol and Exeter Railway
to Exeter
Brislington
Whitchurch Halt
Pensford
Pensford Viaduct
over River Chew
Clutton
Camerton branch
Hallatrow
Farrington Gurney Halt
Paulton Halt
Radford and Timsbury Halt
Camerton
Dunkerton Colliery Halt
Dunkerton
Combe Hay Halt
Midsomer Norton and Welton
Somerset & Dorset Jt Railway
Radstock West
Midford Halt
Monkton Combe Halt
Wessex Main Line
to Bath Spa
Limpley Stoke
Mells Road
Westbury
Wessex Main Line
to Southampton
Whatley Quarry
Heart of Wessex Line
to Westbury
Frome
Heart of Wessex Line
to Weymouth

Monkton Combe Halt railway station was a railway station in Monkton Combe, Somerset, UK. It was built by the Great Western Railway in 1910, on the Camerton branch of the Bristol and North Somerset Railway line.

Operation

The Camerton branch had been built in 1882 from Hallatrow to Camerton, and extended in 1910 through Monkton Combe, where the station and level-crossing were built, to Limpley Stoke railway station, where it joined up with the line from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon railway station.[1][2]

Passenger services started in 1910 and were suspended during the First World War on 22 March 1915; they resumed in 1923 (on 9 July, though Midford Halt never reopened) but were withdrawn entirely two years later on 21 September 1925.[1][2] Passenger services ran five times a day and used GWR steam rail motors, and the station was run by one man who was also responsible for the level crossing, the signals, and maintaining the gardens.[2]

After the end of regular passenger services, traffic included coal trains, some goods wagons to the mill, and a special train, with covered wagons for luggage, delivered or collected the boys from Monkton School at the beginning and end of school terms.[2]

Closure

The goods services between Limpley Stoke and Camerton continued until Camerton Pit, the last working coal mine in the Cam Valley, ended production in 1950 and the line closed on 15 February 1951.

In 1952, the station was used as "Titfield" station in the Ealing comedy film The Titfield Thunderbolt.[1] Many of the scenes of the village of "Titfield" were shot in the nearby village of Freshford.[3]

The station was demolished in 1958.[3]

Preceding stationDisused railwaysFollowing station
Midford Halt
Line and station closed
 Great Western Railway
Bristol and North Somerset Railway
 Limpley Stoke
Line and station closed

References

  1. ^ a b c Browning, Michael. "The Railway comes to Hallatrow" (PDF). High Littleton & Hallatrow History and Parish Records. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Monkton Combe Women's Institute (November 2000). Railways. Portrait of a Parish. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Broadhead, Sheena. "Titfield Thunderbolt". Freshford Website. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 

Cross Keys Inn

Cross Keys Inn

Cross Keys Inn
The Cross Keys, Combe Down - geograph.org.uk - 1561688.jpg
LocationOdd Down, Bath, England
Coordinates51°21′20″N 2°21′49″W / 51.35556°N 2.36361°W / 51.35556; -2.36361Coordinates: 51°21′20″N 2°21′49″W / 51.35556°N 2.36361°W / 51.35556; -2.36361
BuiltLate 17th or early 18th century
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: Cross Keys Inn
Designated11 August 1972[1]
Reference no.1395715
Cross Keys Inn is located in Somerset
Cross Keys Inn
Location of Cross Keys Inn in Somerset

The Cross Keys Inn is a Grade II listed public house in Midford Road in the Odd Down area of Bath in the English ceremonial county of Somerset. It is now a free house and restaurant and is a Grade II listed building, having been added to the register on 11 August 1972.

History

The current building was erected in the late 17th or early 18th century.[1] The site was owned by Bath Priory until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was then owned by Hugh Sexey.[2] An inn is known to have stood on the site in 1718 when it is described in a document as "a new erected tenement or dwelling house...now a Public House on Odwood Down". At that time, the lease cost forty-two pounds and there was an annual rent charge of one pound ten shillings.[2][3] In the mid 18th century the lease was held by Ralph Allen who was the postmaster of Bath and made a fortune by reforming the postal delivery system.[4] The inn was situated strategically on a crossroads, with major roads going to Bristol, Warminster, Bath and Wells. It served as a coaching inn.[5]

The front of the building was altered in the 19th century.[1] Sexey's Hospital was the owner until 1896 when it was sold to Oakhill Brewery. It remained under the control of breweries or pub management companies until 2014, when the freehold was purchased privately.[2] It is now a free house and restaurant.[6]

Architecture

The building has late seventeenth century or early eighteenth century origins, and was extensively modified in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was built out of squared off rubble stone and has a roof of Roman tiles. Originally the building was a single room deep with two gable ends and a stair at the centre of the rear wall. It had coped front and end gables, with cross saddle-stones, and an ashlar chimney stack at each end. Since then, right and left wings have been added to the building at the rear and an ashlar extension with entrance added at the front. The building consists of three storeys and a cellar, the front extension is two storeys high and has a flat roof. There is a central tall chimney stack at the front, between the two gable ends. The interior of the building is reported to have an original staircase and fireplace.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Historic England. "Cross Keys Inn (1395715)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "The History of The Cross Keys". Cross Keys. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Canvin, John. "Southstoke History" (PDF). Southstoke Parish Council. p. 52. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ralph Allen Biography". Bath Postal Museum. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Canvin, John. "Southstoke History" (PDF). Southstoke Parish Council. p. 14. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "The History of The Cross Keys". Cross Keys. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 

Midford Castle

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Midford Castle

Midford Castle

Midford Castle
MidfordCastle.jpg
Midford Castle
General information
Architectural styleGothic
Town or city

Midford, Somerset

51°21′2″N 2°20′47″W / 51.35056°N 2.34639°W / 51.35056; -2.34639Coordinates: 51°21′2″N 2°20′47″W / 51.35056°N 2.34639°W / 51.35056; -2.34639
CountryEngland
Completed1775
Client
Design and construction
ArchitectJohn Carter

Midford Castle is a folly castle in the village of Midford, and the parish of Southstoke 3 miles (5 km) south of Bath, Somerset, England.

The castle was built in 1775 for from designs by John Carter in the shape of the "clubs" symbol used in playing cards (♣). It has been suggested, originally in a magazine article in 1899, that he asked for the clubs design to represent an ace of clubs because he had obtained the money for the castle from gambling on a card game, but this is unlikely, as the porch which creates the "stem" of the symbol was added later.[1] It is more likely that the layout was taken from an article which had been published in Builder’s Magazine in 1774.[2] The house has a sub triangular or trefoil plan formed by 3 semi-circular towers conjoined in a gothic style. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building.[3]

In 1810, the castle was bought by one of the Conollys of Castletown House in County Kildare, who added the porch (said to give the clubs symbol its stalk) and built the nearby stables and chapel, known as the priory.[4] The latter fell into disrepair after the last of the Conollys sold the house in 1901.[5]

Soon after 1810 Kingham Field, which was part of the estate, was operating as a stone quarry similar to the nearby Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines. William Smith, who became known as "Father of English Geology", proposed conveying the stone by a railway down to Tucking Mill where it would be sawn by machinery, and then loaded on to canal barges and transported via the Somerset Coal Canal and the Kennet and Avon Canal to Bath and London. In April 1814, Smith mortgaged the remainder of his estate to Charles Conolly who then controlled the railway and probably extended it to his Vinegar Down Quarry. The scheme failed and in 1819 Conolly had Smith committed to the King's Bench Prison for debt and took over the sawmill and Smith's house at Tucking Mill.[6]

Michael Briggs and his wife Isabel (better known by her pen name of Isabel Colegate) bought Midford in 1961[1] and carried out extensive renovation work; which included incorporating the chapel into the garden as a picturesque ruin.

In July 2007, the castle was sold to actor Nicolas Cage for £5 million.[7][8][9][10] Cage sold the castle in 2009.[11]

The castle is listed Grade I on the National Heritage List for England.[12] The castle grounds also include the Grade II listed archway with lodge and screen wall, [13] a pair of gatepiers and gates,[14] and the Grade II* listed group of the stables, old chapel, walls enclosing the stable yard, coach house and greenhouse.[15] The priory 500 yards to the north east of the castle is Grade II listed. [16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Gray, Sadie (2007-04-01). "A first-class return". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Midford Castle". Bath Daily Photos. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  3. ^ "Midford Castle with former Offices and Coach-houses". Images of England. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  4. ^ "The Priory, in Priory Wood, 500 yards (460 m) to north-east of Midford Castle". Images of England. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  5. ^ "Midford Castle, Somerset". Country Life. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  6. ^ "William Smith's Tucking Mill to Kingham Quarry Tramway". The Somersetshire Coal Canal (Society). Archived from the original on 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Hollywood actor is king of the castle in Bath". Daily Mail. London. 2007-07-29. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  8. ^ Hodgson, Martin (2007-07-30). "Nicolas Cage joins Britain's castle-owning classes". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  9. ^ "Nicolas Cage biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  10. ^ Chittenden, Maurice (2007-07-29). "Another day, another castle: Cage adds to his empire". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  11. ^ Kay, Richard (2009-10-15). "Debt-ridden Nicolas Cage sells his English castle". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  12. ^ Historic England, "MIDFORD CASTLE WITH FORMER OFFICES AND COACH HOUSES (1277079)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 1 June 2017 
  13. ^ Historic England, "ARCHWAY AND LODGE WITH SCREEN WALL, TO MIDFORD CASTLE (1232450)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 1 June 2017 
  14. ^ Historic England, "PAIR OF GATEPIERS AND GATES 50 YARDS NORTH WEST OF MIDFORD CASTLE (1232488)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 1 June 2017 
  15. ^ Historic England, "THE STABLES, THE OLD CHAPEL AND THE REMAINS OF THE CHAPEL, WALLS ENCLOSING STABLEYARD, COACH HOUSE AND GREENHOUSE TO MIDFORD CASTLE (1277080)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 1 June 2017 
  16. ^ Historic England, "THE PRIORY, IN PRIORY WOOD, 500 YARDS TO NORTH EAST OF MIDFORD CASTLE (1232452)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 1 June 2017 

Midford

Midford

Midford
Midford Houses - geograph.org.uk - 275618.jpg
aerial view of Midford
Midford is located in Somerset
Midford
Midford
Midford shown within Somerset
OS grid referenceST761607
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBATH
Postcode districtBA2
Dialling code01225
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireAvon
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Somerset
51°20′42″N 2°20′43″W / 51.3451°N 2.3454°W / 51.3451; -2.3454Coordinates: 51°20′42″N 2°20′43″W / 51.3451°N 2.3454°W / 51.3451; -2.3454

Midford is a village approximately 3 miles (5 km) south-south-east of Bath, Somerset, England. Although relatively small, it extends over 2 counties (Wiltshire and Somerset), is part of two unitary authorities (Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset) and is part of five parishes (Southstoke, Hinton Charterhouse, Wellow, Freshford and Limpley Stoke). Although all five parishes extend very near to the village centre, most of the residents reside in the parish of Southstoke and are part of the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority.

The Cam and Wellow Brooks merge in Midford to form the Midford Brook, which then flows down to join the River Avon close to the village of Monkton Combe.

Railways and canal

In the village, straddling the B3110 road, is the disused viaduct of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway and close by are the remains of a lesser viaduct that once carried the Somerset Coal Canal, and later the Great Western branch line from Limpley Stoke to Hallatrow. Midford railway station, on the S&DJR line served the village until 1966. That line is now on the route of NCR 24, the Colliers Way.

The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway passes over the Bristol and North Somerset Railway's viaduct on an even taller viaduct.

For about four years from 1911 to 1915, Midford had a second railway station: Midford Halt railway station on the Limpley Stoke to Camerton railway that followed the former Somerset Coal Canal. At Camerton it made an end-on junction with a branch from Hallatrow on the former Bristol & North Somerset Railway. The line was open to passenger traffic for only seven years in all, from 1910 to 1915, and from 1923 to 1925. Midford Halt opened a year late and then did not reopen for the second period. Midford Halt was in Wiltshire; the county boundary runs up to the B3110 road at the point where the canal/railway crossed the road, and the halt was on the Wiltshire side.

Places of interest

On the hillside above Midford is Midford Castle a late 18th-century folly castle built in the shape of the ace of clubs (♣). The castle was built in 1775 by Henry Disney Roebuck. It was owned by the Briggs family who spent 45 years restoring the castle, before its sale in July 2007, to actor Nicolas Cage for £5 million. It changed hands again in 2009.

To the west of the village is upper Midford. Here in 1995 plans were made to create a new plantation to be known as Millennium wood. In 2000, land between Midford, Southstoke, and Combe Hay was prepared and planted with a variety of native trees and shrubs. This is open to the public all year round and is crossed by several public footpaths. The site overlooks the Cam brook and the restored remains of the Somerset Coal Canal as well as the 40-foot-high (12 m) viaduct built in 1908 that carried the Somerset & Dorset Railway line across the valley.[1]

To the east of Midford village along the restored canal bed and towpath is Packhorse bridge, now closed to foot traffic but still intact. Further along the towpath is the fully restored . A lottery grant and other funding was made available to local volunteers and building professionals who completed the work in 2001 at a cost of £1,000,000. It was the most substantial single structure built during the late 18th century Somerset Coal Canal project and was officially opened in 1803.[2] The railway lines that meet and cross each other in the village were the site of the opening scene in the classic 1950s British comedy film, the Titfield Thunderbolt.[3]

Fuller's earth in Horsecombe Vale

In 1883 George Dames and his brother Charles Richard Dames leased land in Horsecombe Vale from the Midford Castle estate and opened a mine and processing works for Fuller's earth. The mines extended nearly 20 acres (8.1 ha) through four adits. In 1915 the works was taken over by the Fuller's Earth Union and despite geological problems continued until the end of World War II. At the bottom of the valley was the pan grinding works where water from Horsecombe Brook was used to make a slurry from which sand settled at the bottom of troughs. The slurry then passed through an earthenware pipe to Tucking Mill just beyond Midford, where a second stage of sedimentation took place.[4]

Transport links

Midford is one of the starting points for a project by Sustrans (sustainable transport) organisation to link with an existing cycle route to the City of Bath via the Two Tunnels Greenway. The project has re-opened the old Devonshire and Combe Down railway tunnels to make the new link.[5]

Local amenities

There is one public house in the village: the Hope and Anchor which is on the main road leading into the village, adjacent to the railway bridge and cycle path route.

Bath Natural Burial Meadow

Situated in Midford, approximately 4 miles south of the city of Bath, Bath Natural Burial Meadow offers full interments, ashes interments, and the scattering of ashes. As well as providing these services, the burial ground is also restoring the apple orchard that once existed inside the site. It forms part of Clearbrook Farm that has views over the Midford valley and Wellow brook. The burial ground is operated by Leedam Natural Heritage, who manage several natural burial grounds across the UK.

References

  1. ^ "Midford Millennium Wood Management Plan 2012-2017" (PDF). The Woodland Trust 8 January 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Midford Aqueduct". Avon Industrial Buildings Trust (AIBT) 17 August 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "The titfield thunderbolt". World news 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Macmillen, Neil (2009). A history of the Fuller's Earth mining industry around Bath. Lydney: Lightmoor Press. pp. 21–31. ISBN 978-1-899889-32-7. 
  5. ^ "Work beings on Bath Two Tunnels route at famous Devonshire tunnel". Sustrans 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 

Further reading

  • Somerset Railway Stations, by Mike Oakley. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press (2002)
  • Wiltshire Railway Stations, by Mike Oakley. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press

External links

Midford Brook

Midford Brook

Midford Brook
River
Midford Brook viaduct.jpg
Railroad viaduct over Midford Brook at Midford
CountryEngland
CountySomerset
DistrictBath and North East Somerset
SourceWellow Brook & Cam Brook
 - locationMidford, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, England
 - coordinates51°20′27″N 2°20′32″W / 51.34083°N 2.34222°W / 51.34083; -2.34222
MouthRiver Avon
 - locationDundas Aqueduct
 - coordinates51°21′40″N 02°18′36″W / 51.36111°N 2.31000°W / 51.36111; -2.31000Coordinates: 51°21′40″N 02°18′36″W / 51.36111°N 2.31000°W / 51.36111; -2.31000

Midford Brook is a small river in Somerset, England.

It is formed by convergence of the Wellow Brook and Cam Brook at Midford before passing Tucking Mill and joining the River Avon close to the Dundas Aqueduct and the remains of the Somerset Coal Canal.[1]

It has a catchment area of 147.4 km2 which is largely over impermeable Lias. The deep steep sided valleys means that it responds rapidly to rainfall.[2]

References

  1. ^ "KandAC mile 70". Kennet and Avon Scrapbook 2000. University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  2. ^ "53005 - Midford Brook at Midford". Station summaries. The National River Flow Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 


Midford Halt

Midford Station

Midford railway station

Midford
Midford Railway Station.jpg
Station building and platform in 1962
Location
PlaceMidford
AreaBath and North East Somerset, Somerset
Grid referenceST761607
Operations
Pre-groupingSomerset and Dorset Railway
Post-groupingSR and LMSR
Western Region of British Railways
Platforms1
History
20 July 1874Opened
10 June 1963Closed to goods traffic
7 March 1966Closed to passenger traffic
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Midford railway station was a single-platform station on the Bath extension of the Somerset and Dorset Railway, just to the north of the point where the double-track became a single track. It served the village of Midford. The station was closed with the rest of the line in March 1966 under the Beeching axe, though it had been unstaffed for some years before that.

There was a small goods yard to the north of the station, towards the entrance to the Combe Down Tunnel, which loaded Fuller's earth from Tucking Mill.[1] South of the station, a signal box presided over the double track junction: the railway then ran across the Midford valley on a high viaduct that still exists.

For about four years from 1911 to 1915, Midford had a second railway station, Midford Halt located on the GWR Camerton Branch, which passed under the S&DJR viaduct.

Services

Preceding stationDisused railwaysFollowing station
Wellow
Line and station closed
 Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway
LSWR and Midland Railways
 Bath Green Park
Line and station closed

The site today

After a long period in private hands the site is now part of a surfaced cycleway and footpath — the Two Tunnels Greenway. The platform and remains of the goods shed survive.

The station is now owned by the New Somerset and Dorset Railway who have plans to rebuild the station building and relay the track, when the cycleway will be diverted or accommodated. The site has been cleared to uncover the remains of the old station. [2]

The New Somerset and Dorset Railway

The New Somerset and Dorset Railway[3] formed in early 2009 aims to restore the complete line to mainline operations, so it is possible that Midford will one day see passengers again.

As the initial objectives of the New S&D are focused on the southern end of the line (notably Blandford-Bournemouth), in the short term Midford will be restored as a cafe and information centre, along much the same lines as the existing Shillingstone Station Project.

References

  1. ^ Macmillen, Neil (2009). A history of the Fuller's Earth mining industry around Bath. Lydney: Lightmoor Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-899889-32-7. 
  2. ^ http://www.gebejay.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/s&d-midford.html
  3. ^ http://www.somersetanddorsetrailway.co.uk
  • Somerset Railway Stations by Mike Oakley, Dovecote Press, 2002

External links

Coordinates: 51°20′42″N 2°20′43″W / 51.3449°N 2.3452°W / 51.3449; -2.3452

Midford Valley Woods

Midford Valley Woods

Midford Valley Woods (grid reference ST769611) is a 24.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Midford and Limpley Stoke in Wiltshire, notified in 1975.

Sources

External links

Coordinates: 51°20′55″N 2°19′59″W / 51.34851°N 2.33307°W / 51.34851; -2.33307


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