A Local Guide to Batheaston
Situated on the north bank of the River Avon, Batheaston is a small village and civil parish that lies two miles east of the city of Bath.
A Brief History of Batheaston
The village of Batheaston is an ancient parish, cited as Estone in the Domesday Book of 1086, which translates simply as ‘East Village’.
The 16th century saw John Hussey as Batheaston’s Lord of the Manor, the 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford. Historians have found that by the 18th century, Sir John Riggs Miller, 1st Baronet, and Anna Miller, were holding a fortnightly literary salon much to the mockery of the local residents, with competitions and prizes given at their house in the village. Contributions were received from people such as David Garrick, Christopher Anstey, and the poet Anna Seward.
Batheaston is run by their own parish council, which falls within the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act of 1992. This single tier of local government is responsible for all functions including local planning, building control, council housing, environmental health, markets, fairs, recycling, cemeteries, leisure services, education, social services, public transport and tourism.
Since 2005, Batheaston has been twinned with the French city Oudon.
Location of Batheaston
Overlooked by Solsbury Hill, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Batheaston is linked to Bathampton on the south bank of the river via a toll bridge. The village also borders Bathford.
Batheaston sees Bannerdown Hill ascending to the Fosse Way Roman road. The hill rises to almost 200 metres above sea level, with the Three Shire Stones resting by the roadside at the top. These stones, three vertical blocks of limestone with a large cap, mark where the historical counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Somerset meet, formed in the style of a burial chamber.
The Bybrook River joins the River Avon in Batheaston, flowing through nearby villages such as Castle Combe and Box.
The northernmost end of the parish is known as Northend, and leads the way to St Catherine. The northern end of Bannerdown is home to a Second World War RAF Fighter Command and Bomber Command airfield, known as Colerne Airfield, covered in former quarries where Bath stone was extracted to create the picturesque architecture it houses.
Sights to See
Batheaston is home to many religious sites, such as their parish church and Grade II listed building, the Church of St John the Baptist, joined with St Catherine. Built during the 12th century, the church was later remodelled during the 15th century, holding a pierced embattled parapet, setback buttresses, projecting octagonal stairs, and a turret at the south-east corner which terminates in a spirelet.
The famous Pine House dates back to 1672, when it was built for Richard and Mary Panton. There is also the Batheaston House, constructed in 1712 for Henry Walters, as well as the Eagle House which was made in the late 17th/early 18th century. Home to Mary Blathwyat, the house became an important refuge for suffragettes who had been released from prison after hunger strikes. Trees were planted to commemorate each woman, with at last 47 planted between 1909 and 1911.
Things to Do
Batheaston is a beautiful place to take in some of the stunning local scenes of nature, such as walking on Solsbury Hill, taking a drive down Batheaston Toll Bridge, or even taking a guided walking or camping tour of the local area.
The National Trust owned Bathampton Meadows leading offers a wonderful route to walk, leading the way to the popular Bathampton Mill pub and the canal.
The village also houses a bustling high street, complete with a pub, chemist, vet, hairdressers, newsagents, locally renowned fish and chip shop and the popular Gather cafe, offering organic food and a cosy shabby chic interior.
For local musicians, there is Batheaston’s Riverside studios, which has been used to record albums for decades, including Robert Plant’s Mighty ReArranger.
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