8 High Street - formerly Vine House

August 24 2017
8 High Street - formerly Vine House

ONE of the most prominent buildings in Thornbury is the grade two-listed 8 High Street, which used to be called the Vine House.

ONE of the most prominent buildings in Thornbury is the grade two-listed 8 High Street, which used to be called the Vine House.

It has been vacant since early 2016 but is set to be converted into a bar selling real ale after South Gloucestershire Council planners approved the change of use.

Listed building officers at the council now hope the future of the property will be secured as a result of the scheme and the work to be carried out on the fabric of the building, as well as helping improve the conservation area in which it sits.

The name Vine House appears in early documents dating from December 1673, when the property formed part of larger premises that included a farm.

It is positioned next to the site of the town’s former cattle market, which was held in the street until 1911, and for more than 250 years accommodated a string of butchery businesses that included a shop, slaughterhouse and neighbouring fields for livestock.

Since 1940 it has been used for a variety of purposes, including the selling of antiques, clocks and heating equipment. Most recently it was an Indian restaurant.

Now it is set to have another role, with Pete Tiley of the multi-award winning Salutation Inn at Ham, Berkeley, planning to set up the real ale bar.

Over the centuries, a number of people lived on the premises, among them Nicholas Bedggood, who had been mayor of Thornbury in 1678-9, and butcher Arthur Aylworth.

Other butchers to occupy the site included Thomas Child - who later moved to Morton and may even have taken over a pub there - John Carter, George Nicholls, Edward Williams, Charles Young, John and Eliza Ogborn and their children William, Joseph and Matilda.

The Parsons family were the last of the line of butchers, the trade finally disappearing from the building in the early days of the Second World War.

For a period of seven years from 1942, part of the Vine House kitchen garden was let to the Ministry of Defence so a water tank could be placed there for use by the National Fire Service.

But the house was then advertised for sale in 1950 and it was sold for £4,500 to Claude Browning, who moved his antiques shop to the premises from further up High Street.

It changed hands again 14 years later when Mr Browning retired, with the 1970 electoral register showing Barry and Patricia Cottle living there. Mr Cottle was an architect and Mrs Cottle ran a clothes shop on the premises.

The current owner is Sir George White, of Rudgeway, who bought the building in 1972 and established a shop selling clocks.

He is the great grandson of the founder of the Bristol Aeroplane Company - also Sir George White - and a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, with the role of consultant keeper of the Clockmakers’ Museum.

After that use ended, the premises were used for a short time to sell heating equipment and radiators before the Indian restaurant business was set up, operating until last year.


Information and photographs supplied by Thornbury and District Museum