Lock-up
Read more about the 'lock-up'.
Did you know that on  27  November 1953 the Lock-up became listed as an Ancient Monument. See what it looks like now and how the immediate area has changed.


Domesday Book
See the 1851 map for actual quote


Population

Combe Down is now no longer part of Monkton Combe - the Parishes having split.



School
Monkton Combe School is still a thriving private school. Visit their website  here.


Waterways
Visit the websites of
Kennet and Avon Canal
and the
Claverton Pumping Station


Tucking
'Tucking' was the process of 'fulling, rowing and teaselling of cloth'.


Titfield Thunderbolt
Titfield Thunderbolt
The famous Ealing Studios film was made in Monkton Combe and local area with some of the residents used as "extras". Click the image to visit a Titfield Thunderbolt website.

A little bit about Monkton Combe - Page 3

Nowadays the village is dominated by Monkton Combe School, the largest landowner in Monkton Combe. Perhaps for these reasons it has been said that it is a village without a history. There is certainly no record of great events having taken place here, and even the Pitchfork rebellion passed it by, but the story of the people who have lived here can still be read in the evidences of change over nearly two thousand years.
The entry in the Domesday Book begins "The Church itself holds Cume", and proceeds to enumerate it value in ploughs, workmen, mills and woodland. It is plain that the settlement recorded had been in existence long before then, for the land had been given to the Abbey Church of St. Peter by an English and not a Norman King. Before that again, as befits a fertile valley near the important Roman centre of Bath.
There was a villa or farm near the head of the valley which would have needed Ancient Britons to work the land, herd the animals, tend the vines, and quarry the stone to built that and other villas and maybe even parts of Bath itself. By the middle of the 19th century the population had grown to over seventeen hundred souls and the Reverend Francis Pocock, a remarkable clergyman, was the incumbent for the living which, at that time, was linked with South Stoke and served Combe Down as well. He entirely rebuilt the church, built a vicarage for himself, and founded a school for boys. To do this he bought up a number of houses on the main street, including the Jacobean house of Combe Farm and its land stretching down to the bottom of the valley where the playing fields now lie. 
As the school has grown and flourished it has become a separate community with a social life of its own, and the village itself, with its attendant hamlets at Dundas and Tucking Mill, is no longer an active rural community.

Gone are the canal and railway workers, the mill hands and quarrymen, the Wheelwrights Arms, public housecarpenter, the cobbler, James Morgan the ‘snuff and coffee salesman’ who ran the village store, the post office, the village school and school-mistress, the gardeners and servants who worked in the houses of the gentry and the blacksmith’s forge which has become the village pub the Wheelwrights arms - click on picture for enlarged view. Today the village is quiet and residential. Discreet tourist accommodation is beginning to cater for the visitors who come to walk or seek peach and tranquillity, while hot air balloons drift gently over the hills from Bath and Bristol.

After the dissolution of the monasteries the old stability was destroyed and the manor of Monkton Combe was sold. It changed hands many times and only one name, that of William Bassett, has come down to us. His tomb used to stand in the Norman Church, and the oldest of the Church Registers records the burial of Mistress Bassett in 1593.
By the 18th Century, however, things began to change. Travellers who visited the area wrote that there were a number of good houses on the outskirts of the village. John Wesley preached there more than once, and the Kennet and Avon Canal was built only half a mile away. Here the Dundas Aqueduct carried the canal over the River Avon, and at this important juncture a subsidiary canal was built along the Midford Valley to the Camerton coalfield.

Stone was now exported as well as coal, and since the cloth trade in the area was flourishing it is likely that the two mills, one in the village and one at Tucking Mill, were contributing to it. A notable resident of Tucking Mill was a surveyor on the canal called William Smith who has been called the ‘Father of English Geology’ as a result of the work he did here and elsewhere on the identification of strata.

Later, as railways replaced canals all over the country, trains came to Monkton Combe and carried passengers as well as goods, until the Beeching axe fell upon the branch line. Before its closure there was a last moment of glory in the making of the film The Titfield Thunderbolt.

 

top of page


©2014 Contact Webmaster