14 Castle Street

Bank Cottage

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There is now a dental practice in Thornbury in the building called Bank Cottage at 14 Castle Street.   As its name suggests the building was formerly a Savings Bank.  Click here to read about its earlier history as a bank.

When the bank finally closed, the property was bought by John Crowther Gwynn in an auction that took place in February 1890.  The photograph shown here on the left was probably taken a little later, around 1913  when the property was owned by Matilda Ogborn (see below).

The 1891 Census gave  the house the name of "Old Savings Bank."  It showed that  77 years old Frances Salmon was living there with her daughter Mary Ann Salmon. aged 52.  Frances was described as a housekeeper and Mary Ann does not seem to have an occupation.  Mary Ann and her mother were both born in Bruton in Somerset. 

The 1841 Census showed Frances living in Bruton with her husband John who was a foreman in a silk factory.  At this time they had two children, Elizabeth aged five and Mary Ann aged two.

By 1851 the Census showed that Frances was a widow and that she was a silk winder living in Evercreech with her two daughters and a son, Richard aged eight.  Elizabeth aged 16 did not work but Mary Ann aged 12 was a silk winder.

By 1861 Mary Ann had moved to Thornbury and become a grocer.  Click here to read more about the Salmons

Frances Salmon died aged 77 and was buried on 3rd July 1891.

The Rate Book of 1894 shows that William Rumming (or Rummings) now rented Bank Cottage from John Crowther Gwynn.  William Rumming was a timber merchant.  Between about 1889 and 1895 William Rummings was a partner with Edmund Cullimore in the sawmills.  Click here to read about the sawmill.

By 1899 the Rate Book shows that Maria Laver lived in the house which she rented from John Crowther Gwynn.  Click here to read about Maria Laver Maria Louisa Laver died on 6th January 1900.

The next tenant was Mary Wetmore who appears in the 1901 Census.  At that time Mary Wetmore was a 67 year old spinster living on her own means and born in Rockhampton.  She was sharing the house with the widowed Hannah Wetmore from Old Sodbury and a servant called Miriam Bale aged 13 and from Morton.

We have some difficulty in being sure about the history of Mary Wetmore as the records we have seen are not consistent in respect of her age.  At the moment our best guess is that she was the daughter of John and Susanna Wetmore of Rockhampton and she may have been baptised in Rockhampton on March 3rd 1822.   We believe that Mary's mother, Susanna died in Oldbury aged only 48 and she was buried on 16th November 1840 at Hill.  The 1841 Census seems to show Mary and her father living in the Oldbury area.  Mary was aged about 15. We have been unable to find Mary in the 1851 Census but her father was lodging with another family.  In 1861 and Mary then aged 35 was working as a housekeeper to Robert Screen a farmer in Kington.  She appears to have stayed with Robert Screen for some time as the 1871 Census shows that she is still there but now aged 40.

In the 1881 Census Mary Wetmore seems to be only 49 and staying in Clevedon with Frances Jane Dodd a 36 year old widow.  It seems likely that Mary was acting as a paid companion rather than a visitor in the normal sense as in 1891 the Census shows she was aged 60 staying in Olveston with Hannah Edwards another widow, aged 62.  It seems possible that in 1901 Mary Wetmore was acting as housekeeper or caretaker in this house.  The next record we have is the 1905 Rate Book which shows that Mary Wetmore had moved out of Bank Cottage and was renting another house at 1 Castle Street owned by Frederick Exell.  We do not know where Mary was living in 1910 as she does not appear as a tenant in the Rate Book.  She died in 1911 aged about 89.  She was buried in Rockhampton which seems to confirm that her family was from Rockhampton.  Mary was said to have died at her residence in Castle Street.  We are not sure at this time where that would have been.

On 29th September 1903 John Crowther  Gwynn sold the house to Charles Augustus John Porter, a bank manager for 300.  The property at this time included a court yard with a shed and privvies and a loft overhead.  It also include the right to use the access way to the rear of the premises.

Charles Augustus Porter died on the 19th of October 1905.

The Rate Book of 1905 shows that 'Mrs Porter' lived in the house and that it was owned by the representatives of the late C. A. Porter.  Click here to read more about Charles Augustus Porter and wife Mary Ann, nee Petvin.  Mrs Porter died in 1909.

By an indenture of 24th of June 1909 William Davis Canning and Edwin Howard Porter acting as trustees for the estate of Charles Augustus Porter sold the house to Matilda Ogborn for 535.

Interestingly a connection with banking seems to run through the records of Bank Cottage.   Charles Augustus Porter had a direct link with banking but he seems to have bought it only after his retirement from the bank.  Matilda Ogborn certainly had no connection with banking but we have the army record of Frederick Charles Sidwell who was a bank employee - an accountant with Thornbury Bank.  The record gives his address in 1917 as Bank Cottage, Castle Street, Thornbury.  He appears to have been a tenant or boarder of Matilda Ogborn.

The Rate book of 1910 showed that Matilda Ogborn owned and lived in Bank Cottage, which had previously been void.  Matilda Ogborn was baptised on 25th February 1855 in Stoke Gifford.  She was the daughter of Eliza and John Ogborn.  Matilda was the sister of William Ogborn the butcher and Joseph Ogborn the dairyman.  Click here to read more about Matilda Ogborn.  Matilda Ogburn died on 3rd September 1923 aged 67 years at Bank Cottage.  In her will which was made 1st June 1921 Matilda left her home at Bank Cottage to her companion, Edith Eliza Meech.

The Trade Directory of 1923 shows that the next occupant of Bank Cottage was Miss Edith Eliza MeechShe was the daughter of Albert and Catherine Meech.  The 1891 Census shows that the family lived in Clifton and Edith's father was a cab proprietor.  We have been unable to trace Edith in the 1901 Census but her parents remained in Clifton.  Although we do not know when or why Edith came to Thornbury it appears that she was the companion of Matilda Ogborn for some years.  Edith inherited the house and continued to live there.  On 12th July 1926  Edith Eliza Meech married John Hodges who had lived almost opposite in Clematis Cottage in Thornbury.  Click here to read more about John Hodges and his family.  The will of Edith Hodges made on 12th February 1946 left all her property, including Bank Cottage to him.  Edith died 20th June 1959 and her husband John Hodges died 11th February 1961.

The National Provincial Bank acting on behalf of the estate of John Hodges sold Bank Cottage for 3,550 to James Murland Hunter of Park House, High Street Thornbury on October 25th 1961.  The Electoral Register of 1961 shows that James M Hunter and Margaret J Hunter lived at Treetops, Park House in the High Street.

On 3rd May 1965 James Murland Hunter sold Bank Cottage to Peter Ewart Birkett and Kenneth Reginald Tyrrell who were at that time carrying on business at a dental practice in the High Street.  James Murland Hunter was born in 1930.  He died in Bristol in September 1989.

This property became the practice of Messrs Birkett, Carlyle and Cole-Morgan and later became known as Bank Cottage Dental.

Click here to read about its earlier history as a bank.

 This page was last updated: 10/12/2014