Avon Local History & Archaeology

Books

Since 2009, Avon Local History & Archaeology has published a series of small books on aspects of Avon history. We have now published 24 titles, all of which are still in print and are listed on this site

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Books

Since 2009, ALHA has published a series of small books on aspects of Avon history. We have now published 23 titles, all of which are still in print and are listed on this site. Books are about 42 pages in length, and are written by experts in their field.


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Joseph Bettey
978 1 911592 01 3

In addition to three monastic houses and eighteen parish churches, four friaries and many hospitals, almshouses and chapels were crowded in and around Bristol in the later Middle Ages. This book relates how these institutions were founded, built and supported by pious benefactors; how they provided help and relief to the sick, the old, the destitute and the outcasts of society; and how the physical and spiritual needs of Bristolians suffered in the suppression of religious houses and chantries under Henry VIII and Edward V1, when so many charities were destroyed.

Supplied by: Avon Local History & Archaeology
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Ref: ALH-1

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Mary Wright
978 1 911592 02 0

The Blue Maids Orphanage opened in 1795, a generation before Muller’s Orphanage. But it lay at the bottom of Ashley Hill with Muller’s at the top, and has been rather overshadowed by the larger and richer institution. Yet there is a tale to tell even in its relative lack of funds and the struggles of the directing committee to keep it going until eventual closure in 1927. Drawing on the surviving records (including century-old photographs) and well placed in the context of its times, this book explores the behaviour and expectations of its donors, managers and inmates; and contributes yet another chapter to the rich history of charitable care in Bristol.

Supplied by: Avon Local History & Archaeology
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Ref: ALH-2

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William Evans. Illustrated by Simon Gurr
978 1 911592 03 7

Conventional history is all very well, but it goes on too long. Alternative Annals brings together in 29 easy pieces all the truly memorable moments and characters of Avon’s history, together with some that didn’t actually feature, but should have, or perhaps will some day. Many have previously appeared in the pages of Avon Local History & Archaeology, while others have been specially, ah, researched for this publication.

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Ref: ALH-3

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Michael Whitfield
978 1 911592 04 4

Dr Henry Goodeve was a distinguished Victorian physician who made his reputation in British India. Cook’s Folly was a seventeenth century building which stood on the Bristol side of the Avon Gorge until it was pulled down in the 1930s. Before they set out to India, Goodeve and his wife had visited the Folly and formed an ambition to make it their home. Goodeve’s very successful practice in India enabled them to fulfil this dream and live there for the rest of their lives. Their story links a study of the practice and teaching of medicine in mid nineteenth century India to the social history of a Victorian professional family.

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Ref: ALH-4

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Peter Malpass
978 1 911592 05 1

The Bristol Dock Company was set up in 1803 to finance, carry out and operate the improved harbour which had long been urged. But the company structure and capital reflected the local politics and tensions which had delayed action hitherto, and which continued to handicap its operations over its 45-year life. It was never popular, and was much criticised in its lifetime and subsequently, but this detailed and fully documented account sets out to show that most if not all its weaknesses arose from the compromises and constraints built into its very foundations.

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Ref: ALH-5

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Elizabeth White
978 1 911592 06 8

Keynsham in the late nineteenth century seemed just the place for a free non-denominational Board School under Forster’s 1870 Education Act. But Vicar Gray campaigned successfully against this, and at the same time expanded the Parochial Schools which continued to provide all the primary schooling for the children of the poor in Keynsham until 1954. Here is a fascinating account of the clash of personalities, principles, prejudices and propaganda which brought this about.

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Ref: ALH-6

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Kathleen Hapgood
978 1 911592 07 5

The Bristol Library Society took over the old Jacobean library founded by Robert Redwood and operated it until they in turn handed it over to the City Council in 1894. This account therefore illustrates the transition from private charity, via personal subscription, to the rates as the basis for public library provision; and features some of the debates involved. It also sheds light on reading habits over this period, and the links between literature, science and civic culture in the age of assured progress.

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Ref: ALH-7

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Joseph Bettey
978 1 911592 08 2

The original Morning Star of the Reformation was John Wycliffe, whose teaching prefigured much that would become mainstream Protestantism a century later, especially the direct relation of Christian to God through the words of the Bible and not through priests. Despite repression, his followers, known as Lollards, remained active in the South West until overtaken or subsumed within the Lutheran reformation of the sixteenth century. Bettey’s account here takes the story through to that other great figure, William Tyndale, the Gloucester man who can claim much of the credit for the wording of the King James Bible of 1611.

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Ref: ALH-8

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Michael Whitfield
978 1 911592 09 9

In 1849, Bristol suffered its second outbreak of cholera. Among those who rallied to counter it were members of the recently formed Bristol Microscopical Society.

Dr Whitfield profiles the members with particular attention to the three who reckoned to have found micro-organisms uniquely associated with the disease, and recreates an illuminating episode from the pioneer days of scientific medicine in the provinces.

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Ref: ALH-9

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Peter Malpass
978 1 911592 10 5

In 1850, Redland was still largely a rural area outside the city of Bristol. By 1900 it was very much the middle-class suburb that it is today. Peter Malpass shows how this development took place in an era before planning restrictions and big construction firms. Light is cast on the, not always logical, road system and the characteristic varieties of housing. This detailed reconstruction, fully illustrated with maps and photographs, makes a fascinating episode in the history of Bristol and a case study in Victorian urban development.

Includes an A3 map showing land ownership in 1841.

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Ref: ALH-10

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Joseph Bettey
978 1 911592 11 2

In 1530, England was an orthodox Catholic country whose King had been proclaimed Defender of the Faith by the Pope. By 1603, it was a fiercely Protestant country, where Catholics were forbidden to worship and the Queen was subject to a papal fatwa. In this book, Dr Bettey traces the various responses of the people in the Avon region as they withstood or ran ahead of the bewildering shifts in official religion, ending with a summary of the factors which brought about this monumental transformation.

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Ref: ALH-11

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Mick Aston
978 1 911592 12 9

In Shapwick & Winscombe, the late Mick Aston tells about work on two Somerset parishes: Shapwick, on which he was engaged for ten years; and Winscombe. Shapwick was historically a classic example of a closed settlement, dominated by one or two landlords; Winscombe of the open kind, enjoying relative freedom. But despite these contrasts, there were great similarities in the investigations: co-operation with colleagues of many disciplines, and wholehearted and valued involvement by the communities involved.

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Ref: ALH-12

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Chris Heal
978 1 911592 13 6

For over three centuries from the time of Elizabeth I a felt-hat industry flourished in South Gloucestershire, supplying perhaps 40 million hoods for Bristol’s hatters and Bristol’s exports. Yet this important trade has been largely overlooked in the history of the region. Here Dr Heal tells of the rise of the industry to its peak around the end of the eighteenth century.

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Ref: ALH-13

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Chris Heal
978 1 911592 14 3

At the end of the eighteenth century, Bristol & South Gloucestershire were home to a flourishing felt hat industry. It was the major employer in many villages and exports ran into tens of thousands. But then markets were lost, damaging strikes drove the major employers away, technology and fashions changed. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century the local industry was dead. Here Dr Heal tells the story of this decline.

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Ref: ALH-14

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Michael Whitfield
978 1 911592 15 0

Homoeopathy was as controversial in the nineteenth century as it is today, but it flourished in Bristol alongside conventional medicine. Here Dr Whitfield tells the story of Bristol’s homoeopathic practitioners up to 1925 when the opening of the Homoeopathic Hospital set the seal upon their endeavours.

Dr Michael Whitfield was senior lecturer in General Practice at the University of Bristol. In his retirement he has devoted himself to the history of medical practice in nineteenth-century Bristol, and is the author of several books in the ALHA series.

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Ref: ALH-15

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Joseph Bettey
978 1 911592 16 7

St James’s Fair was the first and for seven hundred years the most famous of Bristol’s fairs. At its height, it drew traders from all over England, and the rich cargoes destined for it were a magnet for pirates. Even at the end it still prospered, albeit more for pleasure than business; and it was the dubious moral character of those pleasures rather than financial failure which brought about its closure. Dr Bettey supplies a richly documented account.

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Ref: ALH-16

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John Stevens
978 1 911592 17 4

In the period following the Reform Act of 1832 Bristol voters still had two votes each and cast them openly. But the parties were changing: old Whigs and Tories still flourished, but Liberals and Conservatives were instituting or accepting reforms in every branch of national life. Bristol itself was of course particularly involved in the abolition of slavery and municipal reforms and shared the national concern with Corn Laws and Chartism. And then, as always, there were personalities … A thoroughly documented account of a fascinating era.

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Ref: ALH-17

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Brian Vincent and Raymond Holland
978 1 911592 18 1

Chemistry only emerged as a science in the later 18th century. Since then, it has transformed our understanding of the natural world, our medical care, and our products and processes. The knowledge and experience of the two authors well qualifies them to tell us how this story played out in Bristol over some 150 years.

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Ref: ALH-18

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Peter Malpass and Michael Whitfield
978 1 911592 19 8

In the first half of the 19th century, Bristol was one of the most unhealthy cities in the country. David Davies was the first Medical Officer of Health (1865-1886), and here a medical and an urban historian combine to show how he worked, on the whole successfully, to reduce the mortality from infectious disease, while eschewing a more radical, preventive, approach to housing and sanitation.

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Ref: ALH-19

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Murray Stewart
978 1 911592 20 4

Between 1911 and 1921, Abbots Leigh experienced both the Great War and the sale of the entire village and its surroundings which had belonged to the Miles family for a hundred years. Just another hundred years after that sale, Village in Transition tells in detail what happened and how the population and ownership of the area was changed.

Includes an A3 map of the village.

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Ref: ALH-20

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Brian Vincent
978 1 911592 21 1

Around 1780 two brothers, John and William Herapath, moved from Devon to Bristol where they ran pubs and breweries. From these two men descended five generations of scientists and doctors, all born in Bristol. Some members of the Herapath family were medical practitioners, whilst others made notable contributions to physical and analytical chemistry and to forensic science.

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Ref: ALH-21

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Kathleen Hapgood
978 1 911592 22 8
Barton Hill, Bromley Heath, Downend, Eastville, Easton, Fishponds, Greenbank, Hillfields, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Redfield, St George, Speedwell, Soundwell, Stapleton and Whitehall: all today thriving districts of Bristol. But all that area east of old Bristol Castle was countryside in the sixteenth century.

Kathleen Hapgood (author of ALHA No.7 The Friends to Literature: the Bristol Library Society 1772-1894) surveys the terrain, its occupants and their occupations, and the consequences of the Reformation in Tudor times.

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Ref: ALH-22

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Nicholas Orme
978 1 911592 23 5
The Guild of Kalendars was Bristol’s most ancient religious guild, existing for at least four hundred years from the twelfth century until the Reformation. It gathered together the clergy and leading citizens for monthly celebrations of the dead in the church of All Saints. From 1464 it operated Bristol’s first public library. This study examines its history and functions, and legends.

Nicholas Orme is emeritus professor of history, Exeter University, and (among many other works) co-author of Westbury-on-Trym: Monastery, Minster and College (Bristol Record Society, 2010).

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Ref: ALH-23

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Richard Coates
978 1 911592 24 2

Henry John Wilkins was a progressive force in local politics before entering the great tradition of English parsons who have been active local historians. The fact that  he was particularly a historian of Westbury-on-Trym makes it appropriate that this memoir and detailed bibliography should appear in the year that this parish celebrates its first thirteen centuries.
Richard Coates is Professor of Linguistics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He is Hon. Director of the Survey of English Place-Names, and has written extensively on the place names and dialect of the Bristol area. He has a strong interest in local history, especially that of the ancient parishes of Westbury-on-Trym, including Shirehampton and Avonmouth and Henbury.

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Ref: ALH-24

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