Activities & Events

The Widcombe & Lyncombe Local History Society works closely with the Widcombe Association, and meets eight times a year mostly in Widcombe Baptist Church Hall. Members of the group are encouraged to pursue their own research and present findings to the group and ultimately to the Society’s archive.

The Widcombe & Lyncombe Local History Society with the Widcombe Association host a variety of enjoyable events throughout the year.

View & Print Program

Contact the Local History Society

For further information about the group’s activities contact:

Phil Bendall (Email)

Researching Family History*

Investigation of family history, for the area covered by the Association, is centred on the civil and church records which are available at Bath Record Office and Somerset Record Office at Taunton. There is an online catalogue at the Somerset Record Office site that includes some of the holdings at Bath.

Bath Record Office Burial Index

Bath Record Office Burial Index is a comprehensive resource compiled by a team of volunteers under the direction of the WA’s archivist Dr Phil Bendall. Bath Record Office offers a research service for those unable to visit it.

Bath Record Office Burial Index

Civil Records

For births, marriages and deaths for the period from 1837 to present, BathBMD
( has the civil records for Bath and its surrounding area in a form that is more comprehensive than the conventional General Register Office (GRO) indexes. It has been produced by volunteers using the locally-held registers and has the following additional information:

  • for births the mother’s maiden name is given from 1837, not just from 1911. Searches can be performed on the combination of surname and mother’s maiden name.

  • marriage records give the spouse’s name from 1837, not just from 1912. In addition, it indicates who married whom. With the GRO index this might be inferred from other information or, if this is not possible, the certificate has to be obtained. If the marriage was in a church, BathBMD gives its name. (If it was in a chapel it just states ‘Bath Register Office’).

  • for deaths the age is given from 1837, not just from 1866.

Parish Records

Parish Registers for most Anglican parishes are available on microfiches at Bath Record Office, located in the Guildhall. The same microfiches are at Somerset Record Office at Taunton.

The International Genealogical Index (IGI), and its online manifestation at , has poor coverage of parish register information for Somerset. The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers (edited by Cecil R Humphery-Smith) gives the location of parish registers and any transcripts and the coverage by the IGI, parish by parish.

Bath Record Office also has indexes for some parish registers. Transcriptions of some registers for Bath parishes can be found in the Local Studies section of Bath Central Library but are mainly for dates prior to 1837.

There are four cemeteries for Widcombe and Lyncombe. The first is by St Thomas à Becket Church. The second is nearby in Church Lane. The third, which opened in 1825, is by St Mark’s church which came later in 1832. The fourth, which opened in 1861, is on the Lower Bristol Road. Although commonly referred to St James’ Cemetery, it was actually bought by Widcombe & Lyncombe with St James being allowed to bury there. (St James didn’t have much space in it graveyard and in the middle of the 19th century had its poor buried in adjacent parishes, much to the distress of the parish council who received only a pittance for this.) For burial registers for Widcombe & Lyncombe, there are:

  • Survey of Tombstones in the Upper Churchyard by Alistair Durie, 2001. This upper churchyard is the second Widcombe & Lyncombe graveyard in Church Lane.

  • Transcript of the Registers of St Thomas à Becket, The Parish Church of Lyncombe & Widcombe 1813-1840, E S Jenkins, 1983.

  • St Mark’s Lyncombe, Bath. Burial index and description of surviving memorials produced by Widcombe Association. Available at Bath Record Office, Bath Central Library and the Society of Genealogists, London. This has the burial register entries from 1825 for St Mark’s and St Thomas à Becket as well as descriptions of the surviving memorials.

The National Burial Index (3rd Edition) has entries from burial registers for Abbey Cemetery and St Mark’s. In addition, the entries for St Mark’s cemetery are available free online at Somerset Online Parish Clerks ( These sources do not give the locations of the graves.

St Matthews, Widcombe Hill, does not have its own graveyard. Bath Record Office has a copy of the documentation of the memorials inside the church produced by David L Houldridge in 1983.

Documentation of St Thomas à Becket’s graveyards and the memorials inside the church is currently being undertaken by the Widcombe Association. For records prior to 1813, the burial registers need to be consulted. For the cemetery on the Lower Bristol Road no index exists. Bath & NE Somerset Council can undertake searches of its un-indexed records provided an approximate date is supplied
( It makes a charge per name. To obtain an application form it is necessary to email


Typically the online access to census entries makes use of the usual genealogical information providers. Nonetheless Bath Central Library, in its Local Studies Section, has indexes to some censuses for the local area.


The Georgian Newspaper Project has indexed local papers for some years in the period 1770-1779 and the database can be searched online. Local newspapers are available on film at Bath Central Library in its Local Studies section but these are unindexed.

Directories and Maps

Bath Library, in its Local Studies section, has a large series of directories on the open shelves. Those prior to about 1840 have to be ordered from the stack. In practice, because Widcombe and Lyncombe were considered for a long time to be outside the city limits, adequate coverage of the area only occurs after about 1880. Maps of the area are available both at Bath Central Library and Bath Record Office.

* Notes by Dr Philip Bendall

The Association is unable to answer specific questions relating to family history. For help in researching family history, researchers covering Somerset advertise in family history magazines. In addition Bath Record Office offers a research service for the Bath area.

The Survey of Old Bath

Publications connected with Widcombe and Lyncombe.

Available at the Record Office and Central Library or from The Survey. Records of Bath History Volume1 (RoBH 1) contains a number of articles on the Ralph Allen Estates and the J. Charlton Map of Lyncombe and Widcombe 1799.

Noted Articles in The Survey’s Magazine

No.2 Then called 'The Bath Survey' November 1994

P.8 Connie Smith and Mike Chapman: ‘Temple of the Winds’.

P.19 Allan Keevil: ‘Tracing the Fosseway at Bath’.

No.3 Now called ‘The Survey of Bath and District' June 1995

P.4 Doreen Collyer: Report on the Widcombe and Lyncombe History Study Group (WLHSG)

P.9 Connie Smith: ‘The Sandpits’ (Oldfield)

P.9&10 Elizabeth Holland: Note on a presentation at Widcombe Manor.

P.11 Allan Keevil: Note on ‘Wellsway and the Former Barrack Farm’.

P13 Mark Lewcun: ‘St Thomas à Becket Church, Widcombe’. Report on excavations with diagrams.

P.16 Peter Addison: ‘Combe Down Roman Villa’.

No.4 November 1995

P.5 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.9 Elizabeth Holland: A note on Widcombe Manor.

P.22 Text of a talk by Andrew Ellis on Widcombe Manor. Later research has revised some points.

No.5 June 1996

P.8 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.16 Note on Widcombe Manor

No.6 November 1996

P.8 Note on the Nicholas Pearson study of Widcombe Manor.

P.9 Allan Keevil: Note on the Red Lion, Odd Down.

P.19 John Hawkes: ‘Widcombe Manor Mount and Cascade’. Article on the drawing by Thomas Robins.

No.7 June 1997

P.9 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.13 Note on the houses on the ‘Bagatelle’ site.

No.8 November 1997

P.3 Report on a walk round Lyncombe Vale led by John Hawkes.

P.6 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.10 Diagrams of the grounds of ‘King James’ Palace’, Lyncombe Vale.

P.15 Article on the houses on the ‘Bagatelle’ site.

No.9 June 1998

P.7 Note on the application by Widcombe Manor to build a gymnasium. Also a note on Widcombe Week.

P.10 Note on Trevor Fawcett’s publication on Lyncombe Pleasure Gardens.

P.12 Note on King James’ Palace.

P.13 Notes by John Hawkes on the missing numbers on the Ralph Allen Estate Map (re printed in ROBH 1)

No.10 October 1998

P. Note on the Widcombe Association and Widcombe Week.

P.7 Note on Widcombe Manor (the owners having withdrawn the application for a gymnasium)

P.7 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.9 Note on excavations near the presumed site of the Fosseway.

P.10 Note on the publication of the J. Charlton map.

P.11 The publication of Peter Addison’s book, ‘Around Combe Down’.

P.17 John Hawkes: ‘Prior’s Park from the Dissolution to Ralph Allen’. (Reprinted in RoBH 1)

P.20 Stuart Burroughs: Article on the Fuller’s Earth Windmill.

No.11 June 1999

P.7 Doreen Collyer: Report on the WLHSG.

P.10 Picture of Prior Park Buildings.

P.11 Pictures of the Baptist Church.

P.13 Notes on the Davis Family and South Hayes.

P.19 Barbara Collins: ‘Recollections of Former Residents of the Prior Park Road area’.

No.12 November 1999

P.12 Note on spillage of oil into Prior Park Buildings watercourse.

P.20 Miriam and Ken Evans: ‘Recollections of Widcombe and Widcombe Baptist Church’.

P.22 Angela Marks: ‘A Brief Overview of Oldfield Park’.

P.31 Mike Chapman: ‘The Prior’s Fair at Holloway’ as part of an article on Bath Fairs.

No.13 June 2000

P.5 A note on Widcombe Association’s Millennium Map

P.6 Grants to The Paragon School, Lyncombe Vale

P.14 Letter from Don Lovell on the R.S.P.C.A. clinic. The poem by the Holloway trough.

No.14 November 2000

P.11 Bath Record Office has acquired a copy of Vachell’s The Golden House, supposedly based on Widcombe Manor.

P.20 Photo of an alley off Gordon Road

No.15 June 2001

P.7 Report on a geological meeting of the WLHSG

No.16 June 2001

P.8 Lyn Coles: Report on the WLHSG

P.19 Allan Keevil: ‘Ingle Brook’.

P.21 Guy Whitmarsh: ‘A Brief Social History of a Late Georgian Terrace: Prior Park Cottage’.

No.17 November 2002

Cover and P.16: Photo of the former Poor House at the foot of Lyncombe Hill’.

P.24 John Hawkes: Article on 1839 sale particulars of Widcombe Manor.

P.45 Elizabeth Holland: ‘Widcombe Manor, Lyncombe Hall, and the Chapman family of Bath’.

No.18 November 2003

Cover picture: St Thomas a Becket.

P.13 Report on the WLHSG

P.33 John Hawkes: ‘The Hermitage or Garden House by Widcombe Church’.

N0.19 November 2004

P.15 Report on the WLHSG

P.21 Note on Widcombe Manor (various documents relating to the site)

No.20 October 2005

P.4 Ianto Wain: Report on the Combe Down Mines.

P.19 Rosemary Simmons: ‘Combe Down Buildings Record’.

P.35 Alistair Durie: ‘Lyncombe and Widcombe Poor Houses’.

No.21 October 2006

P.5 Peter Davenport: note on The Gothick Temple, Prior Park.

Ditto: The De Montalt Paper Mill.

P.6 Note on St Martin’s Hospital

P.11 Report on the WLHSG

P.22 W.H.A. Chislett: ‘Frederick Edward Weatherly’ ( for a time Weatherly lived at Combe Down)

P.30 Doreen Collyer: ‘What did the 19 th Century do for Widcombe?’

No. 22 October 2007

P.7 A note on the proposed Holloway study.

P.11 Report on the WLHSG

P.18 Note on the Time Team programme on Prior Park mansion gardens.

P.22 W.H.A.Chislett: ‘Bath Union Workhouse, the Chapel, John Plass and St Martin’s Hospital’.

P.32 Portraits of two 18 th century owners of Lyncombe Hall, then Lyncombe Farm.

P.63 Photograph of ‘Allotments north of Englishcombe Lane’.

No.23 October 2008

P.2 Note on TV programme showing Widcombe Manor.

P.3 Sale of the Toilet Block by Ha’penny Bridge.

P.9 Report on the WLHSG.

P.23 Allan Keevil: ‘The Saxon Boundary of Clifton’ with colour centre spread.

P.40 Trevor Fawcett: ‘William Street: an Apothecary’s Progress’.

Also Lyncombe Spa

Back Cover: Drawing of St Mark’s Church by Mike Chapman.