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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village


SEG Home > The History of Saltford

The History of Saltford

Saltford has a fascinating past. Whilst many are aware of Saltford's Domesday Book entry, our timeline reveals a remarkable history unsurpassed by any other English village.

Saltford Environment Group's extensive research has revealed many facts about the amazing past of this Somerset village that remained largely unknown until now. Locals and visitors from all generations are finding the project of great interest.

Saltford School visits the Heritage Centre, February 2018

Project News

Since 2015 SEG's news page has featured stories concerning the History Project as its research and other activities have revealed previously little known information about Saltford's history. These past news stories can be found on SEG's News page for recent news stories or in SEG's News Archive and include:-

  • This year's archaeological dig in Saltford September 2019
  • Report from the 2018 archaeological dig in Saltford published May 2019
  • See the 11th C Viking Buckle at Saltford Heritage Centre, 30th March March 2019
  • Bronze Viking Buckle found in Saltford! February 2019
  • New 'Historic Maps of Saltford' display, September 2018
  • Archaeological Dig: Trial trench unearths Roman artefacts, August 2018
  • Image of important early 18th Century River Avon painting returns to Saltford! May 2018
  • SEG publishes aerial photographs of Saltford village, May 2018
  • The amazing 1,000 mile walk of John Stokes in Saltford, 1815 May 2018
  • WWI Centenary: The Great War Centenary event, Saltford, April 2018
  • Online Map Room with old maps of Saltford, April 2018
  • Wanted! Interesting photos of Saltford, April 2018
  • The owners of the manor (area of land) of Saltford, March 2018
  • 360 local school children visit the Heritage Centre, February 2018
  • Saltford Heritage Centre opens for Saltford Festival, June 2017
  • Rural 19th Century painting of Saltford revealed, May 2017
  • Our village in the 1950s, March 2017
  • Discovering Roman Saltford: Geophysics survey report (final) published on 6 Feb 2017
  • SEG publishes image of the oldest painting of Saltford, December 2016
  • Geophysics search for Roman dwelling completed! November 2016
  • Walking Saltford's history - new history walks published October 2016
  • Blue Plaque commemorating Admiral Kelly unveiled at Saltford House, 1 October 2016
  • 75th anniversary of fighter aircraft exploding on impact at Saltford station, October 2016
  • The emerging plans for Saltford Heritage Centre, September 2016
  • A Saltford Heritage Centre? August 2016
  • SEG's history project reveals fascinating new insights into Saltford's past, July 2016
  • Don't mess with Saltford's Admiral Kelly! June 2016
  • Roman Saltford: Geophysics (1st) survey report published, February 2016
  • Medieval artefact (Pilgrim's Lead Ampulla) found on Saltford/Keynsham border, December 2015
  • Surviving winter in Saltford for over 3,000 years, December 2015
  • Saltford's history and the mystery of the Piltdown Man hoax, November 2015
  • When drinking Saltford's water could be fatal... August 2015
  • Saltford Carthaginian Coin proves popular with festival visitors, June 2015
  • Launch of the Saltford Carthaginian, April 2015
  • Local actor from Poldark to help tell story of what was lost in Saltford 2,300 years ago... April 2015
  • The History of Saltford goes live! April 2015

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History Project Background

As part of its purpose to champion all that's great about Saltford for a better and more sustainable future, Saltford Environment Group decided in early 2015 to research and record the history of Saltford on our website. Only by valuing our history and origins can we gain a better understanding of the importance that we as a community should take care of the land and people that support us all.

This is a significant evidence based project. We are recording Saltford's history from pre-Roman times to the 20th Century and making it available for all to see here on our website. We have uncovered many fascinating facts about life in Saltford in past centuries. This is an iterative process, slowly growing and developing in content as we research and discover information.

We are grateful for all offers of materials to help produce this unique record of Saltford but please be aware that if you are kind enough to offer material for us to use, we need to be selective in what we decide to publish and cannot guarantee to use everything supplied to us.

If residents are able to lend us old photographs, sketches, historic documents etc. concerning Saltford (the older the better) please contact us (see below).

Please note. This is a continuous and growing project that commenced in March 2015. New content is added on a regular basis.

Project Team

A small Project Team from SEG's membership was initially established in early 2015 to plan the project and get it started. This is an ongoing process; we shall be constantly adding new information and images.

The original Project Team (2015) comprised Phil Harding (SEG Chairman & Project Leader); Debbie Cini (SEG Secretary); Andrew Stainer (SEG Treasurer); Dick Bateman; and Jon Godfrey. Roger Vaughan was subsequently brought in to organise the geophysics surveys with BACAS.

Phil Harding and Andrew Stainer continue to lead the project and they are also curators for the Saltford Heritage Centre whilst several SEG members are assisting the project on an ad-hoc basis.

photograph   photograph  
Phil Harding & Andrew Stainer

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Debbie Cini & Dick Bateman

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Jon Godfrey & Roger Vaughan

Please see below for how to contact the History of Saltford project.


SEG would like to thank the following who have provided various contributions, research, guidance and other support to this project:-

John Baker, Jamie Balsdon, Julian Balsdon, Dick Bateman, Adrian Betts, Dave Boston, Dave Brennan, Barbara Butler, Richard Canter, Derek Cann, Marie Carder, Debbie Cini, Jill Coles, Tony Coverdale, David Cox, Dave Curnock, Noel Dawson, Robin Dixon, Sue Dixon, Berenice "Bunty" & John Dunford, Trevor Ewins, William Feay, Ivor Ford, Jon Godfrey; Malcolm Guthrie, Phil Harding, Katie Horgan, Jaye, Steve Johnson, Robert Knaap, Leah, Richard Loxton, Owen McDermott, Dr Sam Moorhead (British Museum), Bob Mordle, Sam Norris, John Oswin, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Carl Say, Alan Sims, Hilary Smedley, Sally Smee, Adam Stratton, Alistair Sutherland, Margaret Stabbins, Richard Stabbins, Dave Taylor, Rob Taylor, Rosemary Turner, Roger Vaughan, Brian Vowles, Chris Warren, Robert Woodberry, Michael Worthington-Williams.

We also thank everyone in the village who has supported and encouraged us on this project.

Contacting the project

You can contact the History of Saltford project via SEG's Chairman, Phil Harding - please state "SEG History Project" in the email subject heading.

Photographs: A high resolution copy of some of the historic and contemporary photographs may be available on request to Phil Harding via the home page of this (SEG's) website. Where available these can be supplied in return for an agreed donation to SEG to help cover the cost of this online publication.

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Research: web links & guidance

How to start researching your family history

You can download here the 2-page How to start researching your family history guide (pdf) produced by the Saltford Parish Clerk for the WWI Armistice Centenary village event held on 11 November 2018.

We use online and other records for our research including (click on blue links):-

Bath Record Office

Forces War Records & Military Genealogy

Heritage Gateway

Historic England (includes The Heritage List of listed buildings, scheduled monuments etc.)

Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society (online records: Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials)

Know Your Place West of England project

Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)

SW Heritage Trust: Somerset Archive Catalogue

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, J. A. Giles & J. Ingram (Gutenberg free ebooks)

A-Z of pages
& features


TIMELINE (300 BC to the modern age)



MAPS: Online Map Room




Project News

Project Background

Project Team (& Acknowledgements)

Research: web links & guidance



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SEG wishes to thank the following organisations for the support and/or advice they have given to this project:

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Bath Royal
Literary and Scientific

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Bath & North East
Somerset Council

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Bath Spa University
(School of Humanities &
Cultural Industries)

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(Geophysics survey 2015 & 2016)

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(Heritage Centre sponsorship 2018)

The British Museum
has provided advice & guidance on the
Saltford Carthaginian Coin - one of the
oldest coins found in Britain.

Saltford Station (c.1901)

Saltford Brass Mill (2013)

A mill is referred to in the Domesday Book entry for Saltford. Probably on the same site as the Domesday Book mill, Saltford Brass Mill was converted to working brass in the 18th Century.

The Brass Mill is the only surviving building, still with a furnace and working water wheel, remaining from a group of 18th Century mills making copper and brass goods in the Avon Valley between Bristol and Bath. The mill worked brass until 1925.


Saltford Environment Group
W3C compliant website. Web page designed and produced by Phil Harding.