View from Yate Heritage Centre

May 31 2016

WE are pleased to be supporting the forthcoming Victoria County History (VCH) of the three Sodburys. This will be a detailed and thorough history of Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury and comes after a similar project in Yate last year, bringing great benefit to historians.

St Adeline’s Church

WE are pleased to be supporting the forthcoming Victoria County History (VCH) of the three Sodburys. This will be a detailed and thorough history of Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury and comes after a similar project in Yate last year, bringing great benefit to historians.
The new Sodbury project is already generating much newly uncovered history on the three Sodbury areas and we can now reveal some of the quirks of history uncovered so far.
Old Sodbury Clergy
St John’s in Old Sodbury is the oldest church in the Sodburys, dating to 1215-1225. It also attracted vicars of some social standing in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The living was briefly held in 1768-69 by William Harley, a son of the Earl of Oxford and Mortimer and a descendant of Robert Harley - chief minister under Queen Anne in 1710-14 and sometimes referred to as “prime minister”. The family is also credited with the development of Harley Street in London. How much Old Sodbury saw of William Harley is debatable as he held four other livings, one as far north as York, and he died within a year of his appointment.
In 1833 the living went to Thomas Blofeld, a surname synonymous with cricket and James Bond. Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld is from the same family and it is thought Bond creator Ian Fleming chose the name for his villain because he was at Eton with Henry Blofeld’s father. In 1837 Thomas Blofeld left Old Sodbury and returned to the family seat in Hoveton, Norfolk, as its vicar.
From Old to Little Sodbury
Anyone walking from St John’s to St Adeline’s in Little Sodbury will follow what is known as the Coffin Trail. Before the present St Adeline’s was built in 1859, an original chapel was on land too rocky for burials so bodies would have been carried for burial in Old Sodbury.
St Adeline’s is the only parish church bearing the name in the country but the source of the name remains a mystery.
For your diaries
Thursday, June 2: Print workshop. Make your own felt from scratch to create various objects. Ideal for children aged 5-12. Booking essential. 10.30am or 1.30pm.
Friday, June 3: Roman craft workshops. Become a Roman and create “historic” objects.
Booking essential. 10.30am or 1.30pm.
Tuesday, June 7: Yate lecture series, GWR and the Badminton line with Alan Freke. Admission £2 or free for Friends of YHC. Booking essential. 7.30pm.
Wednesday, June 15: Lecture on the archaeology and history of Little Stoke with Martin Davis. Admission £3 or free for Yate Archaeology Group members. 7.30pm
Tuesday, June 21: Summer general knowledge quiz. Admission £6 per team of 4-5. Booking essential. 7.30pm
Photo: St Adeline’s Church, Little Sodbury Copyright, Gloucestershire Gazette