To mark the 375th anniversary of the Siege of Bristol, the Sealed Knot are re-enacting the event at Ashton Court Showground over the end of May Bank Holiday Weekend. Why not bring a Picnic, interact with members on the Living History Camp and then settle down to watch an spectacular and explosive display of Cannon, Musket, Pike and Cavalry as the Sealed Knot re-enacts the Siege on the Battlefield.
Free event, but you are advised that there is no specific event car parking. More details of the event timetable are on the Sealed Knot website.
John Robert Lucas was born in 1754. After his father Robert Lucas died in 1774, he took over his beer and cider works in Bristol and his shares in a glass making business in Limekiln Lane, Bristol. In 1781 John Robert married Anna Adams and they had a son and two daughters. In 1787 he leased a glassworks at Stanton Wick.
John Robert Lucas established a glass works at Nailsea in 1788. He chose Nailsea as the site for his new glassworks because of the abundance of coal produced by the mines around the town and local supplies of sand and limestone. He may also have been influenced by plans for the Grand Western Canal, which would have linked the English and Bristol Channels with a branch to Nailsea. However only the section from Tiverton to Taunton was ever built.
Lucas’s company was called Nailsea Crown Glass and Glass Bottle Manufacturers. Initially one cone shaped kiln and a furnace were built at Nailsea. A second glass furnace was built there in 1790.In 1793 John Robert Lucas went into partnership with William Chance, Edward Homer and William Coathupe. In 1788 William Chance had married John Robert’s sister Sarah and Edward Homer had married John Robert’s sister Mary.
In addition to window glass and bottles, the Nailsea Glassworks also produced domestic ware and novelty items such as flasks, rolling pins, pipes, jugs and walking sticks, which were sometimes decorated with flecks, loops or bands of white or coloured enamel. Most of these items were produced by workers at the end of their shifts using leftover pieces of glass.
In 1811 William and Sarah Chance’s son, Robert Lucas Chance, took over the management of the Nailsea works and married his cousin Louisa, the daughter of Mary and Edward Homer. In 1812 he persuaded John Hartley, the leading crown glass expert in the country, to come and work at Nailsea.
The partnership of Lucas, Chance, Homer and Coathupe lasted until 1821 when William Chance sold all of his shares and Edward Homer sold part of his to William Coathupe. Edward Homer’s son James Edward Homer was taken into the partnership at this time and the company traded as Lucas, Coathupe and Homer.
John Robert Lucas died in 1828 and was buried at Backwell. Most of his estate passed to his grandsons John Rodbard Bean and Henry Lucas Bean.
The New House Cone was built at Nailsea c1828. Experienced sheet glass blowers were recruited from France and Belgium from the 1830s, due a shortage of skilled British glass blowers. By 1835 Nailsea was the fourth largest glassworks in Britain. Bottle making ceased at Nailsea in the 1830s in favour of plate, crown and sheet window glass.
In 1835 a partnership called Lucas, Coathupes, Homer and Cliffe was formed to run the business. In 1844 the company became Coathupes & Co with Charles and Oliver Coathupe, John and Henry Bean and James Edward Homer as shareholders. In the 1840s a new cone known as the Lilly or Lily Cone was built.
In 1848 Charles Coathupe retired and Oliver Coathupe became manager at the Nailsea works. Over the next 25 years there were various changes in the partnership and shareholdings. In 1861 the Nailsea works were closed for a while and the following year they were leased to Samuel Bowen, a glass merchant from West Bromwich, and John Powis of London. They traded as Nailsea Glass Company and made patented ventilating glass, cut glass and coloured glass for stained glass windows. Samuel Bowen became bankrupt in 1869 and he and Powis surrendered their lease. In 1870 the Nailsea works were sold to Chance Bros of Smethwick, together with a coal mine on the same site.
Glass production ceased at Nailsea in 1873, due to competition from cheap Belgian imports and the decline in production from the Nailsea Coalfield, and the works were closed in 1874. The New House Cone was demolished in 1905. Some of the rubble from it was supposedly used to build the extension to the runway at Filton in the late 1940s.
Extensive archaeological excavations began on the glassworks site in 1983 and continued for several years. In 2002 a supermarket was built on part of the site. The only surviving building is the one which housed the French kilns, and gas-fired furnaces. This was later converted into the Royal Oak Garage.
A collection of Nailsea Glass items can be seen at the National Trust’s Clevedon Court. However much of what is today described as Nailsea Glass was not made at Nailsea but was made in the same style elsewhere in England e.g. Stourbridge.
This was sculpted by Vanessa Marston and unveiled in 2008
This would have been filled with cold water into which surplus molten glass would have been ladled. Once the glass had cooled and solidified it was broken up and used to speed up the melt of the next batch of sand, limestone and soda.
Two glazed ceramic tile panels illustrating the glassworks and its various manufacturing processes. The panels were designed and produced by Ned Heywood of the Workshop Gallery in Chepstow. They incorporate fragments of glass excavated from the site. They are on display on the outside wall of Tesco’s Supermarket.
An app, which has been launched to help Weston residents and visitors find historic landmarks in and around the seaside town, has exceeded targets and is the second most downloaded walk, and more popular than the Buckingham Palace trail.
The Crumbs City Trail mobile app, which has been launched under the Heritage Action Zone, takes the user on a walking route scattered with clues and trivia questions all based around the history of Weston.
Cara MacMahon, Heritage Action Zone Officer, said: “We are delighted with the positive response from local residents and visitors. Weston is a treasure trove of hidden historic gems and we welcome anything that highlights the beautiful architecture we have here.
The highly decorated rectangular carved stone font in St Augustine’s Church at Locking probably dates from the 12th century. At each corner there is a human figure with both arms outstretched to meet the hands of the figures on the adjacent corners. The figures are alternately male and female. Three of the four sides are also highly decorated with intertwined Celtic serpent designs. The fourth side is plainer with two bands of chevrons, probably because in its original location this side faced a wall.
The font originally stood on one central pillar. Four corner pillars were added in the 19th century for extra support. The head-dresses of the four figures were cut off in the 19th century when the rim of the font was reduced in height to make it level.
St Augustine’s Church was probably founded by the monks of Woodspring Priory in the 13th century. The oldest part of the present church is the tower, which dates from 1380, but this may have been built on the site of an earlier church.
Historic England is asking the public to share their knowledge of England’s secret, unknown and forgotten memorials. They want photographs and information about lesser-known memorials, and those that are well-loved by small groups or communities but unknown nationally. It is also looking for rituals and activities attached to memorials. The stories and pictures contributed by the public will be recorded to form part of an exhibition in the autumn. The best examples of community memorials may be listed.
Frederick Edward Weatherly, songwriter and barrister, was born at 7 Wood Hill (now 63 Woodhill Road) in Portishead on 4th October 1848. He was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Oxford University. After graduating he remained at Oxford and worked as a teacher. In December 1872 he married Anna Maria Hardwick in Worle and they had a son and two daughters. They later separated and he lived with Maude Francfort for many years.
At some point in his adult life Frederick dropped the k from the end of his name and became Frederic. In 1887 he left teaching to qualify as a barrister in London. In 1893 he joined the western circuit and moved to Clifton, Bristol. In 1900 he moved to Bath where he continued to work as a barrister. Frederic’s wife Anna died in 1920. Maude Francfort died in 1923 and later the same year Frederic married a widow, Mrs Miriam Bryan. He died in Bathwick on 7th September 1929 after a short illness and was buried at Bathwick Cemetery.
Frederic Weatherly published his first song lyrics, poems, two novels, many children’s books, and librettos for cantatas and oratorios while he was living in Oxford. He went on to write the words to many of the most popular songs in the English-speaking world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His songs were performed by the leading singers of the time. He also translated several Italian and French operas into English.
Frederic Weatherly claimed to have published more than 1,500 songs in total. Dozens of them were extremely popular in his lifetime, and several of them, including Nancy Lee (1876), The Holy City (1892), Danny Boy (1912) set to the tune of ‘Londonderry Air’, and Roses of Picardy (1916) remained popular after his death.
Four fully illustrated Civic Society lectures delivered in the comfort of a Weston hostelry by John Crockford-Hawley. On Mondays 5th, 12th, 29th and 26th March, John will be delivering talks on ‘The History of Weston’. The topics will be:
5th March: A Flock of First & A string of Seconds. How Weston leads the world..
12th March: Chuff Chuff to the Seaside. How the railway has played a significant role in Weston’s development.
19th March: To the Manor Born. Grove House and the Smyth-Piggotts.
26th March: Weston at War. Weston in WWI and WWII, with some amazing photographs.
All talks will be held at the Imperial, South Parade, BS23 1JN at 7.30pm. Pre-booking essential. Please see details on the Civic Society webpage.
Milestones and mileposts are stones or short pillars set up at the roadside indicating the distance in miles from that point to a particular place or places. The first milestones in England were erected by the Romans, who constructed good metalled roads to enable them to move soldiers and supplies quickly across the country. They measured out distances to assist with timing and efficiency and marked every 1,000 double paces with a large cylindrical stone. 117 of these stones still survive in the UK, although most of them are no longer in their original locations. The Latin word for thousand is ‘mille’ and the Roman mile was 1618 yards long. In England the statute mile of 1,760 yards was defined by Act of Parliament in 1593 but various other miles continued in use in many parts of Britain until the 19th century.
In 1697 an Act of Parliament enabled Justices of the Peace to order the erection of inscribed waymarkers known as guide stoops or guideposts at the intersection of paths in remote moorland areas. These stone guide stoops, which often resembled farm gateposts, pointed the way to the nearest market town.
From the late 17th century to the 1840s Turnpike Trusts were set up by Acts of Parliament to improve the state of Britain’s roads, which often became impassable in the winter months. Local groups of wealthy people paid for improved roads to be built and then charged people tolls for using them. The turnpike milestones of the 18th and early 19th centuries used statute miles. At first these milestones were made of stone or were engraved in walls of buildings but the later ones were made of cast iron. After 1767 milestones were compulsory on all turnpike roads to inform travellers, to help coaches keep to schedules and for the calculation of charges for the changes of horses at coaching inns.
Most milestones and mileposts were removed or defaced at the beginning of the Second World War to confuse the Germans in the event of an invasion and not all were replaced afterwards. Some have been demolished more recently during road widening schemes and others have been damaged by vehicles colliding with them or by hedge cutting equipment. However several have survived in North Somerset.