Celebrating our historic past – Chipping Sodbury Heritage Trail

November 29 2015

Over the course of the year we have looked at the six properties in Chipping Sodbury that feature a commemorative plaque and are part of the town’s heritage trail.

Over the course of the year we have looked at the six properties in Chipping Sodbury that feature a commemorative plaque and are part of the town’s heritage trail.

We now look at some of the other prominent buildings in the town, many with a story to tell or with a colourful history. 

The trail can be followed with the help of a map that is available at the entrance to Hatherell’s Yard, while a trail guide is available at the Tourist Information Centre.

The Moda House effectively closes the upper end of the High Street and is an important feature often pictured in both old and new photographs of the main thoroughfare. 

Once known as View House, the Moda takes its name from a suburb of Istanbul, formerly Constantinople. 

Built in the 17th century, the house has predominantly been occupied by surgeons and general practitioners, including Dr Alfred Grace, brother of the legendary England cricketer WG Grace. 

But in the 1700s, Ebenezer Ludlow and Septimus Hardwicke occupied the premises and were involved with setting up the Bank of Chipping Sodbury, which published its own notes. The Ludlow family was also partly responsible for the early education of Edward Jenner, the pioneer of the smallpox vaccination. 

Dr Grace moved to Chipping Sodbury in the late 1860s to practice medicine and took over View House from a Dr Brookman, a local physician and surgeon. 

The Grace family developed a long association with Chipping Sodbury Cricket Club, with no fewer than ten members of the family, including WG, having donned the whites to represent one of the country’s oldest established cricket clubs.

In the late 1920s, View House became the home and surgery of Dr Haig Sarafian and remained as such until the practice moved to neighbouring Yate. Dr Sarafian had spent his early years in Moda and decided to change the name of the building in recognition of the suburb.

In the early 1970s, after a period of refurbishment, the house became a hotel.

Guided Tours 

Anyone involved with a club or group can book a guided tour of the heritage trail, which takes about 45 minutes. It includes a talk on each of the properties with a commemorative plaque and a brief overview of many of the other historic properties in the town. 

To arrange a tour call 01454 334410 or email rounceval-house@btconnect.com for further information.