Keynsham, Somerset Family History Guide

Keynsham is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Somerset.

Other places in the parish include: Chewton Keynsham.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1628
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1593

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform

Adjacent Parishes

  • Hanham
  • Whitchurch
  • Compton Dando
  • Queen Charlton
  • Corston
  • Bitton
  • Brislington
  • Burnett
  • Saltford

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KEYNSHAM, a village, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Somerset. The village stands on the river Avon, at the influx of the Chew, at the boundary with Gloucestershire, and on the Great Western railway, 5 miles ESE of Bristol; got its name from St. Kayne or Keyna, mentioned in the previous article St. Keyne; had long a celebrated Augustinian abbey; was once a market town; is now a seat of petty sessions, and of a court leet; consists chiefly of one street, nearly a mile long; and has a station with telegraph on the railway, a post office under Bristol, two chief inns, a police station, a church, Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, parochial schools, a workhouse, and charities £205. St. Kayne is storied to have lived here in a wood infested with venomous serpents, and to have converted these into stones; and the common people long believed that ammonites found in the neighbouring quarries, were the veritable quondam serpents. The leprous king Bladud also is fabled to have been hired here as a swineherd, and to have driven his hogs hence to the wells of Bath. The abbey was founded between 1167 and 1172, by William, Earl of Gloucester; possessed, at the dissolution, an income estimated variously at £420 and £450; was then given, for 21 years, to John Panter; and afterwards followed the fortunes of the manor. The buildings of it appear to have been very grand; but large portions of them were taken down, in the 17th century, for restoring the parish church and rebuilding its tower; and the last remains of them, above ground, were levelled in 1776. The substructions, however, were excavated in 1865, with the view of laying open and retaining as much as possible of them on the spot; and they were found to present features of much interest to antiquaries, and to include many Norman tiles. Some relics of the abbey exist also in the curious "hostelry for pilgrims" in the village; and the gateway of its grange, in Norman architecture, is at Queen-Charlton. The parish church is large; was appropriated to the abbey about 1292; comprises nave, aisles, chancel, and chapel, with lofty tower; contains a handsome carved screen, and monuments of the 16th century to the Brydges, ancestors of the Dukes of Chandos; and was, in 1861, about to undergo complete restoration. The greater part of it is early English; one aisle is decorated, another is perpendicular; and the tower is of mixed character, from decorated to debased. Fairs are held on the Monday after Easter, and the Monday after 15 Aug.; a considerable clothing trade was formerly carried on, but has nearly disappeared; and the chief business now is variously malting, brewing, flax-spinning, and traffic connected with neighbouring limestone works. The surrounding scenery as very fine; and the adjacent course of the railway runs through a remarkable series of tunnels and excavations. The parish contains also the hamlet of Chewton-Keynsham, and comprises 4,171 acres. Real property, £13,562; of which £121 are in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 2,318; in 1861, 2,190. Houses, 443. The manor was settled, by Henry VIII., on his last Queen, Catherine Parr; was leased after her death by Edward VI., to Sir John St. Loe; was granted, soon afterwards, by the same king, to Thomas Brydges, Esq.; descended from him to the Dukes of Chandos; went by marriage to the Dukes of Buckingham; and is now divided among several proprietors. A seat of the Dukes of Chandos and Buckingham, called Chandos House, was here; and a stone from the ruins of that mansion was laid, in 1862, as the foundation stone of a residence for Richard B. Cox, Esq., to be called Chandos Villa. Limestone works, which had been carried on in the parish by a limited company, were reopened by new proprietors in 1865; and they are from blue lias lime, of good quality and very hydraulic, and produce Portland, Roman, and other cements and plasters. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £250. Patron, the Duke of Buckingham. The sub-district contains also the parishes of Queen-Charlton, Whitchurch, and Brislington. Acres, 9,713. Pop., 4,214. Houses, 762. The district comprehends likewise the sub district of Newton, containing the parishes of Saltford, Corston, Newton-St. Loe, Priston, Stanton-Prior, Marksbury, Compton-Dando, and Burnett; the sub-district of Oldland, containing the parish of Mangotsfield and the hamlet Oldland, both electorally in Gloucestershire; and the sub-district of Bitton, containing the parishes of Kelston, Northstoke, Siston, and part of Bitton, -the two last electorally in Gloucestershire. Acres, 33,358. Poor rates in 1863, £10,940. Pop. in 1851, 21,615; in 1861, 21,802. Houses, 4,511. Marriages in 1863, 89; births, 763, of which 42 were illegitimate; deaths, 543, of which 222 were at ages under 5 years, and 14 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,220; births, 7,004; deaths, 4,107. The places of worship, in 1851, were 22 of the Church of England, with 7,122 sittings; 8 of Independents, with 2,381 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 1,250 s.; 17 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 4,388 s.; 7 of Primitive Methodists, with 340 s.; 7 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 1,301 s.; and 1 of Moravians, with 180 s. The schools were 24 public day schools, with 2,298 scholars; 46 private day schools, with 953 s.; 38 Sunday schools, with 3,973 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 36 s. The hundred contains ten of the parishes in the district, and six other parishes. Acres, 24,896. Pop. in 1851, 9,141; in 1861, 8,649. Houses, 1,739.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Administration

County: Somerset
Civil Registration District: Keynsham
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Bath and Wells
Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 - Redcliffe and Bedminster, Post-1846 - Bath
Poor Law Union: Keynsham
Hundred: Keynsham
Province: Canterbury