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The History of Henbury - Part 2

Henbury was first mentioned in 692 as Heanburg. The name is from the Old English hēan byrig, meaning 'high fortified place'. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Henberie.

Henbury was historically a very large parish. It extended to the River Severn and included King's Weston, Lawrence Weston, Charlton, Easter Compton, Pilning, Northwick and Aust. When the civil parish was created in 1866, parts of the ancient parish were separated to form the civil parishes of Redwick and Northwick (later Pilning and Severn Beach) and Aust.

In 1901, part of the civil parish was absorbed into Bristol, and further parts were absorbed into Bristol between then and 1933. In 1935, the civil parish was abolished, when the remaining parts were absorbed into the civil parishes of Pilning and Severn Beach, and Almondsbury.

Botany Bay is an old name for the area of Henbury centred on the modern Marmion Crescent believed to derive from the nineteenth century name of a row of cottages. The Great House, Henbury was the home of the Astry family, and of Scipio Africanus. Nearby Henbury Court was built by Thomas Stock to replace the Great House. Henbury Court was demolished in the 1950s.


Within the lifetime of many local people, Henbury has changed dramatically from a predominantly rural farming community to a residential area mainly for professional and retired people. From 1911 there was a gradual increase in the population until 1951 when it reached 400. In that period there was very little house-building in Henbury. Thus, apart from Whirley Rise that was built between the two World Wars, all the houses on Church Lane, Anderton's Land and Dark Lane and south of the A537 had been built before the end of the 19th century.

Shortly after the end of the Second War, from the early 1950s there was a dramatic change. First, the Council houses on the north side of Church Lane were constructed. Then individual houses were built on the north side of Church Lane and the south side of Anderton's Lane. By 1960 the southern end of a road leading north from Church Lane had been laid, with houses on either side. In 1961 this was named Henbury Rise. At about the same time another builder constructed the first part of a road and houses which became Hightree Drive. For a time these separate developments proceeded in stages, but in March 1967 permission was given for the building of a further 54 houses on a layout which linked the two partly built new roads and added the closes off them. Thus much of Henbury as we now know it came into being. As a result there was a large increase in population. From 400 in 1951, it grew tot 686 in 1971, an increase of over 70%, and has since remained fairly steady. The substantial majority of residents now live north of the A537.

The cottages are now owned by the National Trust. They are still occupied and not open to the public, but the ensemble may be viewed from the outside. All the cottages, and the sundial on the green (which is accessible to the public), are Grade I listed buildings.

The hamlet was designed by John Nash, master of the Picturesque style. He had worked for Harford on other buildings.



Last modified onSunday, 17 September 2017 22:53
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