Gloucestershire 1820 map by Sidney Hall
Courtesy of YourMapsOnline/©Rod Neep
Bitton Families in Gloucestershire (GLS)
Our known families were present in Bitton and surrounding areas from about 1700 onwards, (some even earlier). We are starting with entries from the parish of St. Mary, Bitton, and hope to expand to include information from other neighboring parishes where we know our families lived.
Select the Parish name page link for specific information about the contents of each parish transcription (for now only Bitton). The Parish page has a link to the database.
Part of Gloucestershire 1787 Map by John Carey
Courtesy of YourMapsOnline/Keith Tinkler.
Bitton, Hanham, Kingswood, OldlandThese parishes are grouped together as they were created one from the other, and our Bitton records are likely to be in any of them. Reg Harris, who grew up in/around Bitton, has contributed the following description.
"The parish church of Bitton is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin. There has been a church on the site for almost 2,000 years. Reverend ELLACOMBE wrote in his history of St. Mary that he believed there to have been a pagan place of worship on the site before that.
When the Normans arrived the new Norman lord gave thanks by rebuilding on a larger scale and some of their work can still be seen in the fabric of the present church (see picture at right). Improvements continued to be made over the years, and in 1370 the tower at the West end was added. In the late 1700s the interior was "modernized".
As a matter of interest, in the area around Upton Cheyney, Beach and Bitton there was a Romano British estate when the country was occupied by the Romans and Revd Ellacombe suggests there was a Temple/Church on the site of St. Mary and that when repairs were being done to the church, Roman artifacts were found near the foundations. There is evidence of the Norman building above these.
There was an equally ancient Chapel in Oldland dedicated to St. Anne. This was demolished in 1830 and a new Chapel built on a different site (see picture of new chapel at left).
It had its own parish boundary, which included what later became the parish of Holy Trinity.
It functioned as a Chapel of Ease to the mother church at Bitton and was served, on alternate Sundays, by a curate who served at St. Mary in the morning. The purpose of a Chapel of Ease was to meet the needs of parishioners who lived too far away to get to Bitton.
The next most ancient was the Chapel of Ease called St. George at Hanham Abbots. In 1330 the Manor house at Hanham Abbots was given to the Monks of Keynsham Abbey and they built the Chapel in 1350 to serve their needs and the local families. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII it came into private hands, and was served on alternate Sundays by the curate who served Oldland on the other Sunday.
|In 1821 Holy Trinity, Kingswood was the first church in the country built with a grant from Queen Anne's bounty. Its parish was carved out of the parish of Oldland and covered the whole district of Kingswood, which included Hanham.
In 1841 Christ Church, Hanham was built and the parish was carved out of Holy Trinity. St. George Hanham Abbots became a Chapel of Ease to Christ Church."
Photos of St. Mary's Bitton (above right) and St. Anne's Oldland (above left). Courtesy of Hidden Heritage.
Postcard of Holy Trinity Church, Kingswood, courtesy of Clare.
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