Wheatley print of Priston High St
"Priston Village" by W.W. Wheatley (1811-85)
by kind permission of Mrs E Southgate


Date Event
-500,000 BC
A member of Homo heidelbergensis left a Palaeolithic handaxe in the fields around Priston, later found by Robert Davies and donated to Roman Baths Museum.
-199 AD
Roman farmstead in Priston, site of coffin found in 1917.  You can view:
930 King Athelstan gives Manor of Priston to Monastery of Bath.  See the charter and the article  written by Clare Cross for The Link.
931 Wooden church already in existence.
1086 Domesday book entry for Priston.
12th C Nave of church built.
15th C Oldest existing bell installed in Priston Church, but see article.
1530 Dissolution of the monasteries leads to loss of Priston by Monastery of Bath
1550s Priston sold to Christopher Bayly, a wealthy clothier of Trowbridge.
1568 Priston inherited by Christopher Bayly's grand-daughter, Rebecca
1588 Rebecca marries Henry Long of Whaddon, near Salisbury.
1593 Priston man hanged at top of Tunley Hill for poisoning his wife.

from the court roll: 36 Elizabeth [1593] Court Baron of Henry Long [Lord of Priston], James Ley seneschal:
20 March - Richard Clement, who held by courtroll one half of a tenement with pertinences and certain lands belonging [the village bakery], was convicted before the last court of a felony for killing with poison Margery his wife and therefore was attainted and condemned to hang. Afterwards he was hanged whereupon the hanging took place at Tunley

The gallows presumably stood beside the main road at the top of Tunley Hill, a prominent position adjoining the south-west corner of the parish.

(with thanks to Mike Chapman).
1633-66 Church Farmhouse built.
1667-1732 Granary built, next to Church Farmhouse.
early 1700s Estate sold to Lord Chedworth and Simon, Earl of Harcourt.
1754 Priston church tower rebuilt.
1757 Priston Manor sold to William Jenkins for £15,475.
1764/65 Coal mining first started in Priston by William Jenkins.
1803 Priston Poor House established.
1813 William Vaughan presents cockerel weathervane and clock to Priston Church.
1830-40 Priston Manor House enlarged to its present size.
1838 Priston Poor House converted for use as school.
George Bush is murdered in Cow Lees (see article)
1860s Priston church restored - pulpit installed.
1866 School rebuilt in present form.
1869 Stained glass window installed.
1892 William Vaughan-Jenkins becomes Lord of the Manor on the death of Frederick Vaughan-Jenkins
1894 Priston Parish Council created by Local Government Act 1894.
1897 William Vaughan-Jenkins is succeeded as Lord of the Manor by his son (also called William).
1908 See some old  postcards of Priston dating from c 1908.
1910 School building extended to create cloakrooms - later to be used as a kitchen.
1915 First coal extracted from Priston coal pit.
1917 Roman coffin found on Hill Farm - later placed in entrance to Priston Church.  You can read:
1918 John Ormonde Butler, son of the Revd. Robert Moore Peile Butler (Rector of Priston), died in April 1918 while serving with the RAF in France during WWI. See Butler family memorabilia.
1919 Auction of Priston Manor Estate.See the Auction Map.
1930 Priston pit closed - coal was still worked from Camerton colliery until c. 1940.
1934 Priston School becomes a junior school only.
1936 Priston Manor sold to Ingle family.
1939 School provided with running water and playground is ashphalted.
1948 Priston WI started.
Henry Purcell Priston's Peppermint Horse, falls at Becher's Brook at the Grand National, breaks its back and has to be shot. See photo of Henry Purcelland article for The Link by Aylet Anderson.
1970 Priston School closes
1972 First Village Social held.
1975 Priston Shop and Post Office closes.
1977 First edition of The Link.
1977 Priston Jubilee Morris formed.
1984 Priston Cricket Club formed.
1985 Priston Toddler Group formed.
1995 Priston Glee Club formed.
First ever New Year's Day Duck Race, organised by Priston Cricket Club.
1997 Most recent regilding of cockerel weathervane from Priston Church tower.
1998 Priston Garage goes mobile.
1999 Bus service giving four buses a day starts.
2000 Priston celebrates Millennium by:
  • lighting a beacon on Pensford Hill as part of a nation-wide scheme
  • a village photograph
  • presenting every child with a specially-designed mug
  • beating the Parish Bounds;
  • a day-trip to Weymouth for every child in Priston
  • a Summer Ball at Priston Mill
  • restoring the village water-trough and well

See Millennium Event photos.
2001 Our Millennium Book is published.
2002 The Priston Web launched.
2004 Bench in memory of Jim Nokes and Charlie Fry erected on the village green.
2004 Reunion of pupils of Priston School (1937-1945).
Trafalgar 200 celebrations.
2008 First Priston Festival held.
2009 Automated external defibrillator handed over to Priston Parish Council by the PRIDE Group.
2010 Stained glass window installed by Nicola Hopwood installed in Priston Church.
2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations
2014 Priston Stone erected in Priston Valley by Stephen Jones.
Waterloo celebrations
Queen's 90th Birthday celebrations
2016 TrueSpeed Ultrafast broadband goes live in the village.
2019 Major refurbishment of the Village Hall completed.
2020 Priston experiences lockdown due to Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Priston marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day under lockdown conditions.
2020 Priston Web relaunched in a more responsive and accessible format.
2022 Priston celebrates the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

1991 Farm Survey documents

(all by kind permission of Mike Chapman and Bath & NE Somerset Council)

History Group Resources

BACAS Survey Reports

Camertonia articles

(articles reproduced with permission from BACAS - Bath & Counties Archaeological Society).

Other Priston Web Resources

Other External Links