'In this paper Weller demonstrates that, chiefly with "examples from the parishes in and around Bristol and Somerset, that the older church buildings we see today, whilst for the most part still possessing a Medieval structural core, have undergone varying degrees of transformation, sometimes including partial or occasionally total demolition, during the Victorian Age"'.
"‘Those who have not been within six miles of Bridgwater within the last fortnight have missed one of the most remarkable sights ever witnessed in this country’, remarked the Western Gazette in November 1875. ‘Floods are no new thing in Somersetshire... but never,since the moors were artificially drained, never since railways were introduced, have the floods attained such a height, covered so enormous an area and caused so much loss and misery, as during the last few days". Steve Poole looks at the history of flooding in the West Country and how it has been presented, whilst taking into consideration how it has shaped the physical development of the region.
'James Naylor's entry into Bristol in 1656, seated on an ass in imitation of Christ, together with the severity of his public punishment, has long been regarded as one of the most notorious and colourful episodes of the Civil War era. But was the punitive reaction of the city authorities a response to his political radicalism or to his religious heterodoxy? Flora Menzies takes a fresh look at the evidence'.
Parish registers have long been regarded as the preserve of family historians, and, more recently, demographic historians. They should be regarded not only as bureaucratic records of the rites of passage, or sources of population data, important as these are, but also as chronicles of communal memory and experience. In this study, Steve Hobbs reveals the wide range of historical research that can be informed by the memoranda and jottings found in these sources.
In 1668, the King's council was informed that George Bishop, 'The Grand Ringleader (or Archbishop) of the Quakers had been buried in Bristol 'attended by a more numerous company than ever I yet saw at any funeral'. If the title of 'Archbishop' was a play on his name, it was a barbed one: Quakers rejected all forms of priesthood. But Bishop was indeed famous, or infamous, as a Quaker leader, bracketed at times with George Fox. He had been especially active as a writer, and for some time maintained at Bristol the sort of secretariat and information centre for which his previous career had well qualified him. In this article, Jonothan Harlow reconstructs the story of the man who was entrusted with the responsibility of ‘discovering conspiracies against the Commonwealth’.
In the years after 1600 Taunton was marked by a heady mixture of radical Puritanism and the volatile wool trade. Together these pitched Taunton into the centre of the Civil War in the area and, on two occasions in the second half of the seventeenth century, into open rebellion against the government. William Gibson follows Taunton’s transition from a centre of rebellion to peaceable borough in the eighteenth century.
Like many of the chalk hill figures of England, the Wiltshire White Horse on the hillside above Bratton dates back to the eighteenth century. In this article Brian Edwards, traces the history of this chalk figure back much further, looking into the origins of the ‘Alfred Horse’ which pre-dated it, in that very same spot. Edwards explores the customary lore of the earlier figure; as well as the potential political motivations for its creation, examining the argument for tracing it back to the Glorious Revolution.
In this article, Brian Edwards follow the heritage timeline of Avebury, as well as incorporate the efforts of the heritage authorities to cash in and further popularise the history of Stonehenge and the surrounding area. The timeline stems from John Aubrey introducing Charles II to Avebury in 1663, to the impact that the Five Mile Act had on the surrounding environment.
Eric Carpenter looks at the American connections with Slimbridge, relating to the many who travelled to the New World to find their fortune. Using church records and other available pieces of evidence, he looks to establish a background to the migration, as well as ascertain the motivations behind the original emigration of the Bridger's to the New World.