April 2024: Local History with CHAP

I’VE been reading Veronica Smith’s book ‘The Street Names of Bristol: Their Origins and Meanings’, and spotted some interesting local examples:

Beckspool Road: The Quaker Joseph Beck created a pond in the grounds of the manor house he owned from 1737. The overflow was the pool, which he added to the grounds.

Bromley Heath Avenue/Road: An ancient name for the area which translates as ‘fields where broom grows’.

Coronation Road: Celebrates the coronation of George VI, in 1936.

Cossham Street: Handel Cossham, born in Thornbury in 1824, made a fortune from mines including nearby Parkfield. After his death in 1890 a bequest built the hospital which bears his name.

Dibden Close/Lane/Road: A low, deep, wooded valley – a very old name for what must have been the boggiest part of the parish.

Edmund Close: King Edmund, called the Grand, was murdered at Pucklechurch on 26 May 946.

Farm Court/Road: Led to Downend Farm, which existed as early as the 1600s and was demolished in 1958.

Hermitage Road: After a house that once stood here, described by Rev Emlyn Jones in his ‘History of Mangotsfield’ as being “the prettiest homestead in the Parish”. One occupant was a Mr Lanaway, after whom a road in Downend is named. Demolished before 1905.

Hillhouse Road: Named after the imposing house which was home to many prominent people, including Alderman Page. Last private owners the Punters, organ makers, left in the 1970s.

Jubilee Crescent: Celebrates George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1936.

Lodge Walk: After the lodge belonging to the mansion of Cleve Hill.

Peache Road: After the popular Rev Albert Peache, vicar of Mangotsfield from 1859 to 1875.

Quakers Close/Road: This was a Quaker burial ground for four centuries, from 1657 until it was sold for development in 1961.

St James’s Place/Street: After the nearby church, which in turn was named after the priory of the same name in Bristol, which owned all the land in the area of the roads.

Shepherds Close: There used to be a coal mine here owned by people of this name.

Stanshaw Close/Road: The Stanshaw family levied fines in Stourden (near Winterbourne) and were a well-known family in South Gloucestershire during the reigns of Henry IV and Edward IV.

Stockwell Avenue/Close/Drive/Glen: Derives from a field name: Stockways Hill is shown on a map of 1697. A Mr H Andrews ran Stockwell Hill Farm in the early years of the twentieth century.

Trident Close: Named after the de Havilland/Hawker Siddeley Trident airliner, the first three-engined jet, and the first with an automatic landing system.

Tyler’s Lane: Mr Tyler was appointed Relieving Officer to the parish in 1849 when efforts to improve sanitation and avoid the cholera epidemic were underway.

This excellent book covers Bristol, not South Gloucestershire, so only includes some street names from Downend, and none from Emersons Green. 

We are keen to find out the origin of more street names in our area. If you can help, contact CHAP at big.gin@talktalk.net or 49 Overnhill Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 5DS.

Helen Rana