A Local Guide to Claverton
With a population of just over 100, Claverton is a small village and civil parish that sits around two miles east of Bath, at the southern end of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding of Natural Beauty.
A Brief History of Claverton
A village of Saxon origin, Claverton is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Clafertone’, which is thought to come from the Saxon word for clover, referencing the numerous meadows that make up the area. Saxon remains have been found within multiple sites of the village by historians and researchers.
Claverton was also part of the hundred of Hampton, one of the 40 historical ‘hundreds’ in the ceremonial county of Somerset which date as far back as before the Norman conquest during the Anglo-Saxon era.
Following the Norman conquest, the settlement was given by William II to Hugolinus, a commissioner who was involved in the compiling of Domesday Book.
Claverton has a large number of listed building groups, including St Mary’s Church which has stood since 1250. The west tower remains as the only recognisable mediaeval element of the building, as the church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1858. The church also holds a restored monument to William Basset, the former Lord of the Manor, dated 1613.
The Claverton Pumping Station was designed over the course of 1810 to 1813 – the year Pride and Prejudice was published – by civil engineer John Rennie, created to lift water from the River Avon to the Kennet and Avon Canal by utilising power from the flow of the river. It burns no fuel and makes no waste, making for an incredibly environmentally-friendly power solution. The station is a rare surviving example of technology utilised in the Georgian Regency period.
During 1981, Claverton was recognised as being a space of special architecture and historical interest, and became officially designated as a protected conservation area.
Location of Claverton
Situated in Somerset, Claverton lies just west of the Wiltshire border, falling within the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset. The village sits so close to Bath that the Claverton Downs are home to the University of Bath’s main campus, on the east side of the city.
Sights to See
Claverton is also home to the church of St Mary the Virgin, which holds a Norman tower and a peal of six bells, three of which date back to 1637. Other parts of the church can be traced back to the 13th century, despite undergoing intensive renovation during 1858.
Historical sights of the village also include the burial ground of entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph Allen, who lies in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard. Allen was famous for his work with the British postal system during the early 18th century, becoming postmaster of Bath at the age of just 19.
Things to Do
Designed by Jeffry Wyatville and completed in 1820, the country house of Claverton Manor sits on the valley slope above the village, and has housed the American Museum since 1961. It is a Grade I listed building, with extensive gardens surrounding the grounds.
The American Museum holds an extensive history of American culture, with world-renowned collections of furniture, quilts, and folk art.
In the summertime, Claverton’s Warleigh Weir is a prime spot for locals and visitors to swim in the waters and bathe on the banks, with lush green spaces and stunning natural views situated just off the Kennet and Avon canal path.
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