Welcome to the website of Bitton Parish History Group. One of our main aims is to preserve and make accessible our rich local history.

We are please to have your contributions to the site on articles about Bitton, North Common, Oldland Common, Swineford, Upton Cheyney, Beach and Willsbridge. The website is newly started and so at this stage shows just a taster of the content we would like to show – with your help.

Bitton Fete – History Group Quiz

We had a tremendous response to our quiz. Two people had 11 out of 12 questions right: Ann Coales and Geoff Wilmott. The one question that Geoff got wrong (Q4 Willsbridge tramway wharf was a more difficult question than the one Ann answered incorrectly (Oldland Common, The Coach and Horseshoe) and so Geoff was awarded first place with Ann as runner up.  The full answers are shown on the link here: History Group Quiz Answer Sheet Bitton Fete 2017

This year at the Bitton Fete at St Mary’s Church, the ancient ritual of ‘Shooting the Meadow’ was revived, when the Queen of the Meadows opened the fete. This was a medieval custom for the opening of the common lands, involving a white bull or stallion dressed in white, being led into the common, followed by much partying and merriment.

Next Meetings:

Excavation of Roman buildings, 6 October, 1:30 for 2:00pm, Manor Farm, Upton Cheney with Tony Roberts talking about the next phase of the archeological dig at Hanging Hill, Upton Cheyney

The social effect of Methodism in our area, 8 November, 7:00 for 7:30pm, Unity Methodist Church, Oldland Common, with Gary Best talking about ‘The Social Impact of Methodism on Bristol in the Eighteenth Century’

Last Meeting:

An evening about Rebecca Worlock  27 June

Many thanks to Adam, Bel and Penny for a very informative and enjoyable evening about Rebecca Worlock,  Rebecca murdered her husband in 1820, by mixing poison in his beer. She was hanged for this crime the same year, in Gloucester Gaol.

Bel now lives in the house where Rebecca was born and raised and offered her own thoughts about the story which haunts her more and more. Penny Deverill kindly shared so much of the research she carried out for her book ‘Two Penneth of Poison’. Adam generously showed his much acclaimed short film about the trial.

Further details of Rebecca Worlock are shown here


The Olde Bath Barge, Swineford, photo courtesy Bristol Records Office, the George Elliot Collection

The Olde Bath Barge, Swineford, photo courtesy Bristol Records Office, the George Elliot Collection
















Richard Davey, date unknown: photo courtesy Peter Davies

Richard Davey, date unknown:
photo courtesy Peter Davies









Further Details  Bitton History Group contacts:

Stephanie Bailey (Chair)
e-mail: stephanie4791@yahoo.com 0117 932 8949


Mike Gates (Secretary)
e-mail: mg122@btinternet.com 0117 932 8777