History

Bathford, an ancient parish.

Bathford is a very old parish, listed in the 1086 Domes Day Book, where it is called Forde. It had a mill then and still has today, though not powered by the By-Brook any more. The parish stretches from Shockerwick in the north to Conkwell in the south, including Warleigh. The old village lies between the Great Western Railway and the road to Bradford on Avon, and stretches up towards Bathford hill, or Farleigh Down as it has been called.
Employment through the ages has been, farming, the mill, quarrying and the usual village trades of butcher, baker, milkmen, gardeners, blacksmith, laundry, pubs, etc. and shops Until the 20th century the village was largely self-contained where people lived and worked in the parish. During the 20th century, however, Bathford started to look outwards with people working outside the parish but living in the village.

At one time Bathford probably had more pubs than normal in a village of its size due to the number of residents working in the quarry extracting Bath limestone; thirsty work. All but one have now closed leaving The Crown at the bottom of Bathford Hill still providing food and ales and acting almost as a gateway to the village. The last pub to close was the Inn, sometime called the New Inn, standing in a commanding position at the top of Bathford Hill. When it closed in 1994. It became the village Post Office and general stores. With the government cutbacks of 2006 the post office was closed and it reopened as a community shop with a paid manager but staffed by volunteers from the locality.

Probably due to its proximity to Bath, Bathford has a significant number of large houses or mansions most built during the 1700s and 1800s, such as Titan Barrow, Rock House, Eagle House, Sycamore House, and Bathford Manor. In the north of the parish stands Shockerwick House, a grade one listed mansion built in the 1750s by John Wood the Elder, now a BUPA Care home. In the south, Warleigh Manor nestles in the valley close to the river Avon. The present building was built in 1815 to replace a much older building.  The manor had been in the Skrine family since the 16th century until 1956 when the line ended with the death of Miss Anna Dorothea Skrine. It then became a series of schools before a developer turned it into luxury apartments.

The church at the southern end of Church Street, has origins back to Saxon times although the present building is a Victorian rebuild in the 1870s. There is a pre-school called the Pepper Pot, taking its name from the local name for the tower at the top of the hill, normally called Brown’s Folly. Next to this school is the main junior school which has an excellent reputation.
There is a strong community spirit in the parish with numerous clubs and societies, such as drama (Bathford Players), Bathford Society (Local History), etc. holding meetings regularly in the Parish Hall in Church Street. Details of the events are published monthly in the Bathford Bulletin, issue free to every house in the parish. The Bathford Parish Council website also carries links to most of the parish clubs and societies.

David Howells. 1st November 2016

For more information on Bathford, a guide is available in the village shop which gives a slightly expanded history, details of the main buildings, a stylised map and descriptions of some walks. For more detailed information, with many coloured illustrations, the shop also stocks ‘Bathford, Past & Present’ Second edition by David Howells.

Gallery of Photographs

 

Included below are a small selection of pictures taken in and around Bathford parish.

Events

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News

Bathford Railway Bridge

Bathford Parish Council, supported by 60 witnesses, applied for the footpath alongside the Bathford Railway Bridge and across the Avon to be registered. If it had not been registered, it would have been lost as a public right of way. BANES has now confirmed that there have been no objections from Network Rail or anybody else and the route will now be recorded on the Definitive Map. Thanks to all those who supported the application. The Full Order Can be downloaded


Flower Show – 2018

This year’s Flower Show will take place on Saturday 1st September 2018 and a list of the Classes is attached for reference.  Printed Schedules will available during July from the normal outlets, including the Village Shop.  Entry forms will be printed along with the Schedule and should be completed and handed in to the Secretary on the evening of Wednesday 29th August at the Parish Hall, as usual. Please click on the links below and select ‘download’ on the next page 2018 Flower Show Schedule of Classes Entry Form 


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Full Council Minutes - May 2018 223.50 KB 5 downloads

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Full Council Minutes - April 2018 220.54 KB 12 downloads

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