Join us in researching topics – Buildings, families, local industry, schools, places of worship, clubs and activities

Our next research project will be local industries.

David Noble has kindly offered to lead a new history project in looking at our local industries. If you worked locally in any of the local Industries, he would like to hear from you. You could contribute with an article or memories about your experience. Please either write and if possible, send any photos to David. Alternatively, he is willing to talk to you and then include your memories. David’s email is and his mobile is 07706482327.

Our Previous Research Project – Places of Worship

David Noble has has completed this research. Thank you to all those who helped in contributing information, photos and memories. David has now published a book on this subject ‘Places of Worship in Oldland Common, North Common, Bitton, Upton Cheyney, and Swineford‘. The book is available from David Noble at

David Noble requires no introduction to the people of Bitton Parish, let alone Oldland Common, where he is the respected historian of the village. Born in Oldland Common in 1943, he has a huge collection of photographs as well as recollections ‘within living memory’ provided by the friends and family he grew up with, went to school with at three of the local schools, his co-workers from his over 41 years at Fry’s and his teammates and colleagues at local football and cricket clubs.

During the nineteenth century, in the Parish of Bitton, within what was then a much larger area, there were no less than 19 chapels and churches. Before evangelism swept across the west of England, the local area was lawless. In the 1780s ten people were hanged at the gallows for murder or robbery within just three years. Yet within a period of 70 years the area became a peaceful, industrious place. There is no doubt that the lives of local people were transformed and that the major reason was the work of the chapels. Now, after contributing so much to the local community, the chapels are disappearing fast. David and all those who have contributed to this book will help preserve this vanishing history and make accessible the lovely memories of the fun and sense of family over the past 70 years.

Sources for Research

Resource Documents

The History Group has compiled a document listing known publications about the history of Bitton Parish. It is hoped this will serve as an aid to further research on our local history and as a guide that brings together all known material on the subject. Click on the link below:-

Archive 121616c

Useful Links

The following external links may be of assistance:

Bath In Time

Some books on local history by Ian S. Bishop

Bitton Parish Council

The History of the Parish of Bitton, Rev. H.T. Ellacombe here

Bitton and Oldland Registers here

Kingswood Museum

St Mary’s Church

Avon Valley Local History and Archaeology