Quakers Meeting House
The Friends Meeting House, has been a private residence since the 1980’s.It was built in 1692, after a visit by George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends, as a Quaker Chapel and used as such until 1932. Since then it has been used for meetings by various groups including the Women’s Institute and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Further down the hill the private house beside the river at the bridge was one of the corn mills on the River Frome until the 1920’s. Originally the River Frome formed the northern boundary of Chipping Sodbury. The 20 mile (32 km) long River Frome, rises in Dodington Park, travels through Chipping Sodbury and flows in a south westerly direction through to Bristol, joining the River Avon in Bristol’s Floating Harbour. The river was used to power several mills along its course in Chipping Sodbury.
St John’s Church
St John the Baptist
Church built in 1284 some 150 years after the town was laid out, the first Chapel of Ease (The Mother Church being at Old Sodbury) was dedicated on the site. Over the centuries the church has been extended, the phases of construction can be seen by the different styles of stonework, particularly by the 104 feet tower and south aisle which were added in the 15th century. The church underwent major restoration in 1869, with a porch modified by George Edmund Street, the architect who was also responsible for the new nave in Bristol Cathedral at the same time; he then went on to design the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Although the church has a clock inside, it has never had hands or a face it only indicates the time by the sound of its bells. Notice there is a Sun dial on the side of the church.
The George Hotel was first recorded in 1439, as overnight accommodation by pilgrims on their way between Kingswood Abbey near Wotton-Under-Edge and Keynsham Abbey.
Over the centuries the George has been the centre of the community and is recorded as a Hospice, Tavern, Inn, Alehouse and Hotel. The premises fell into disrepair and remained empty in the 1990s before being restored and reopened as a public house and restaurant in early 2000.
The Presbytery was originally The Swan Inn dating back to at least 1685. In 1838 it was purchased by Sarah Lunn for £1,300, using the wealth she had inherited from her deceased sister, who had been married to Philip St Martin Comte de Front, Sardinian Minister to the Court of St James. She gave the building to the Catholic Church as the Presbytery. 17 The stables at the back were converted to the Church of St Lawrence.
The Town Hall was originally built in 1452 as a Guild Hall. It has undergone several renovations since then, firstly in 1738, then the Victorian Gothic facade that still remains was added in 1858. In the 1970’s the Town Hall was modernised and re-opened after being greatly extended in 1981. It is now under the Trusteeship of Chipping Sodbury Town Lands Charity and used as a focus for community events. It retains many original features including a medieval fireplace and 16th century timber-work
The Tudor House, Hatters Lane was built c.1460, is believed to be the oldest property in Chipping Sodbury. A Medieval galleried open hall house of raised cruck truss construction, with a jettied first floor. Over the years this property has had many changes. In the early 1900’s it was a lodging house, by 1950 it had been sub divided into cottages which became run down and derelict and were in danger of being demolished but following renovation in 1956 it became the headquarters of the local Conservative Association
Melbourne House dated 1740, one of its previous owners moved to Australia and became an architect designing many buildings in Melbourne. This property was also owned by Daniel Ludlow, an apothecary who employed an assistant who promoted the link between cowpox and smallpox. The assistant subsequently went on to find fame as the man who spread vaccination against smallpox around the world – his name was Edward Jenner.
Horse Street once had a bar gate which stopped cattle wandering into or out of the town. Straying cattle were put in the pound which stood near the Boot Inn situated further along Horse Street.
Dr Jenner’s House Berkeley
Dr Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Jenner had an inquisitive, brilliant mind and excelled in medicine and despite training in London returned to live in Berkeley where he pioneered his most famous work – vaccination. Edward Jenner is one of the most important people in the history of world medicine.
Dr Edward Jenner pioneered vaccination (against smallpox) at this house and it is said his work has saved more lives than any other man who has ever lived. Jenner’s development of the first-ever Vaccine eventually led to the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the development of the Science of Immunology.