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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village


SEG Home > History of Saltford > A - Z > Online Museum > Document Library

The History of Saltford


Here we have made available digital copies of Saltford's historic documents for you to see and/or download. In some instances we have transcribed the original texts so that you can read them in a digital form.

Scroll down page or click on these links to see:-

Also see:-


TIMELINE (300 BC to the modern age)

(Back to A - Z)

1086: Domesday Book entry


The earliest documentary record we have for the existence of a settlement at Saltford is in the 1086 Great Domesday Book (as "Sanford").

For background information, translation and intepretation click here: Domesday Book - Saltford >>

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1876: Church life at St Mary's

The Church Rambler: St Mary's in 1876

"The Church Rambler" was a series of detailed articles on the churches in the neighbourhood of Bath written for the Bath Herald by Harold Lewis and published in 1876. We have transcribed Harold Lewis's article on St Mary's which gives a rare glimpse of Saltford in the 1870s and what went on at St Mary's.

You can download this interesting account here (pdf, opens in new window):

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Late 19th C: Saltford's contaminated water supply


A public meeting was held in November 1886 at Saltford School to respond to the illness and six fatalities arising from sewage contamination of the village water supply. The account of the meeting in the Bath Chronicle showed the frustration of local inhabitants at the failure of the authorities to recognise and respond to their concerns despite repeated representations.


The Bristol Mercury published an account of a public meeting of ratepayers, a "vestry meeting", held at Saltford School in May 1893 about the polluted state of Saltford's drinking water. Much of the time appears to have been spent arguing over who should be permitted to attend(!).

You can read the full transcipt of these two press articles that give a unique insight into life in Saltford here (pdf, opens in new window):

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1890: Sport (rabbit coursing) at Saltford


A question in the House of Commons on 27th February 1890 was raised concerning rabbit coursing and reference was made to this practice at the Crown Inn, Saltford.

The resulting article in the Bristol Mercury the next day (28th February) makes fascinating reading. You can download the text of the Bristol Mercury article that gives an opinionated yet interesting insight into the attitudes towards hunting with dogs in the 1890s here:-

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1891: "Adventures in a train"

Dean 4-brake third class coach (#9940) as used by GWR in late 19th C.
This, the only remaining example was manufactured in 1891.
Photograph courtesy of Didcot Railway Centre
(www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk) and Frank Dumbleton.

We have transcribed from the 9th April 1891 edition of the Bristol Mercury the full news story "Adventures in a train" depicting the court case in Wells which reveals a fascinating insight into late Victorian life in Bath and Saltford.

It is quite a long account but makes a great read and is amusing at times taking us back in time to life in Bath and Saltford in 1891.

Click on the link here:

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Late 19th and early 20th Century meeting minutes of the "Saltford & District Conservative & Unionist Association"


You can see some of the original minutes of meetings of the Saltford and District Conservative and Unionist Association from their Minute Book. The Association's meetings were held in several venues around Saltford including Saltford House, then home to Colonel Rolleston, and the Crown Inn, Saltford School, the W.I Hall/hut and the "Iron Building" also referred to as the "Village Reading Room" where they had their HQ and Club Room in the High Street (see photograph below). The W.I. hut and the Village Reading Room have long since been demolished. Below is a press cutting from the minute book concerning the Association's first use of the Iron Building.

(1908 postcard)

The minutes of the meeting deal mainly with the mundane administration of the Association such as the named individuals present and the topics, not substance, of the discussions. However some give an interesting insight into Saltford life as well as listing names of prominent residents such as 2nd Boar War veteran Colonel Rolleston and his son S V Rolleston, barrister-at-law; both were branch Chairman at one time and the Colonel was also President of the Association until his death in 1921.

Click on the links to open the meeting minutes (pdfs):-

  • SDCUA Meeting 22 July 1904 (& Smoking Concert, October 1905) - held at the Crown Inn where at the end of the meeting "a number of capital songs were sung during the evening". Also Smoking Concert held on 13th October 1905 at the Bird and (sic) Hand with a list of gentlemen who sang during the evening.
  • SDCUA Meeting 01 October 1906 - Mr George Henshaw, co-founder in 1879 of the engineering company Strachan & Henshaw of Bristol, present. He owned the Avon Motor Manufacturing Co. that manufactured the famous Avon Trimobile on the Saltford/Keynsham border. Full details of the Avon Trimobile can be found in the Transport Section (Online Museum, 20th C page).
  • SDCUA Meeting 23 October 1906 - These minutes were signed by Colonel Rolleston; this is our earliest image of his signature. The main business of the meeting was to arrange a Smoking Concert to be held at the Bird in Hand.
  • SDCUA Meeting 08 October 1916 - The 'Somerset Mule Squadron D' to be allowed to let the club room "as an office for Military purposes... at 2 per month."

The minutes of the inaugral meeting of the Association held in July 1892 can be found on the 19th Century page of this Online Museum.

Acknowledgement/Information Source
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for NE Somerset (Cons) (2017)

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WW1 Aircraft spotting guide for Boy Scouts

Guide provided for local Boy Scouts.
Click here for pdf
larger version.

During WW1 with the threat of air raids from German airships and airplanes many observers were needed to keep watch from hilltops and other vantage points to raise the alarm if airships or bombers were seen heading towards Britain. Boy Scouts were recruited to help and our local Boy Scouts then had their HQ in Keynsham, organised initially on an informal basis in 1909 with the first formal troop formed in 1916; Saltford's own Boy Scouts troop was not formed until 1927.

This original aircraft spotting guide was owned and used in Bristol by Boy Scout Reg Dunford (father of Saltford resident John Dunford) during WW1.

Click here to see larger version of guide and manuscript notes on the reverse (pdf opens in new window):- WW1 Aircraft Spotter Guide.

Guide provided by Bunty and John Dunford (2017)

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1939 Booklet on Saltford Manor by Saltford Boy Scouts

In January 1939 Saltford Boy Scouts published a small A5 size booklet "Saltford Manor House" to mark the opening of Saltford Manor House as their Headquarters and to show their gratitude to Noel Flower for his permission to allow the free use of the house.

We have scanned this fascinating 20 page booklet (including advertisements) which you can download here as a pdf by clicking on the image or the link beneath it (opens in new window):

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Boy Scouts Booklet on
Saltford Manor House, 1939

(pdf 2MB)

This booklet is also featured on our page about Saltford Manor House.

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1941: Saltford Boy Scouts play important role in local war effort

Noel Flower, owner of Manor Farm (Saltford Manor House), had allowed free use of the Manor Farm to Saltford Scouts as their Headquarters from January 1939. The letter below from Noel Flower to Mr Cecil Ewins, Hon. Secretary, Saltford Boy Scouts Group Committee, gives a glimpse of local life during WW2 and illustrates the excellent work of our local Boy Scouts.


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WW2: Ivor Stabbins and the Home Guard

Ivor Stabbins at 19 (1945)

You can download here the account by Saltford resident Ivor Stabbins (1926 - 2012) of growing up in Saltford during the 1930s and 1940s provides a fascinating and light-hearted insight into Saltford life and in particular the local Home Guard that he joined (under age at only 15) in 1941.

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1941: Westland Whirlwind fighter crashes into Saltford Station

image + link to pdf document

An article giving a graphic eyewitness account of the day in October 1941 when a Westland Whirlwind fighter crashed into the weighbridge at Saltford station and exploded. The article paints a picture of the important part Saltford station played in village life in the 1940s. Click on image or here to open document (pdf opens in a new window).

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1959 Brochure "Our Village" by Saltford WI

Published on 10 February 1959 this "brochure" was compiled by six members of Saltford Women's Institute with "knowledge gained from various sources".

It provides a rare description of 1950s Saltford with its "quaint old world appearance... the almost medieval character of some of its habitations... and... a romantic attractiveness which one cannot fail to appreciate".

Click on image to download key extracts from this 1959 brochure (pdf opens in new window).

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Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Original brochure loaned by Margaret Stabbins (2017)

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St Mary's Parish Magazine, November 1975

To see the November 1975 edition of St Mary's Parish magazine click on the image below.

The advertisements for shops that once served the village in Saltford's High Street are particularly interesting. Also the article (on page 9) about the memorial window to the late Cecil Ewins in the tower above the porch is noteworthy.

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Click on image to open magazine in new window (pdf 3.9Mb).

This magazine is also featured on our page about St Mary's church.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Original magazine from Trevor Ewins (2016)

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Saltford Cricket Club v Somerset CCC
Programme, 9th July 1995

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Click on image to open programme in new window (pdf 3Mb).

This programme makes specific reference to the historic first recorded cricket match played in Somerset at Saltford on 13th July 1751 and includes the autographs of 5 Somerset County cricketers including Marcus Trescothick and Keith Parsons.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Original programme from Rob Taylor (2016)

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Don't forget to also visit our Timeline page as this shows what was
happening around the world, in England and in Saltford as Saltford
emerged from the Iron Age to how it is today.


Saltford Environment Group
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