Marshfield Heritage Walking Trail leaflet

Many towns and villages now include a Walking Trail around their locality and it was felt that Marshfield was in need of such a trail, based on an earlier leaflet produced by Marshfield & District Local History Society.  Marshfield has a rich history, with early prosperity from the sheep industry in the 14thCentury, later overtaken by the growth of malt production in the 18thCentury.   It has many fine buildings, including St. Mary’s Church, reconstructed in the 15thCentury, the early 17thAlmshouses, 1 late 17thC public house and 1 18thC public house.  Many private residences date from the 18thC and some have older origins within their buildings.

 In 2017, work began on producing a Marshfield Heritage Walking Trail leaflet, with the aim of producing an illustrated fold out A3 document, which could be used whilst undertaking the trail.  The trail was designed to commence and end at St. Mary’s Church and a potted history of some of the most notable buildings were accompanied by coloured photographs.    The art work was undertaken by Simon Marley and the photographs were taken by Arthur Lees. Research on the buildings was based on a variety of sources, including, amongst others, the guide to Marshfield produced by the Marshfield W.I., the reports produced by the former Avon County Council and more recently, South Gloucestershire Council. Marshfield & District Local History Society was fortunate to receive grants towards the production of the leaflet from both Marshfield Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council.  The leaflet was published in December, 2017 and is available for sale from St. Mary’s Church, Sweetapples Tea Shop, The Lord Nelson PH, The Catherine Wheel PH & Country Stores, all in Marshfield.

Social History

Due to the success of the Heritage Walking trail leaflet, a Social History Group was formed in 2017, which continues to meet and conduct ongoing research into the social history of Marshfield.  We hope that it may eventually be possible to produce a book of our findings but in the meantime, information is circulated via our membership and also in articles prepared for the local magazine, All Around Marshfield.  Our achievements so far include:

ORAL HISTORY RECORDING: From 2018 to 2020, a total of 28 of current and former residents of Marshfield, agreed to take part in recorded interviews, for the purpose of storing such information at Gloucester Archives.  These were residents with very long associations with Marshfield, three of whom have since died.  We hope that this will be a valuable resource for current and  future local historians.

MARSHFIELD PARISH MAGAZINE SOCIAL CONTENT FILE: The large stock of the available parish magazines from 1901 to 1972, has proved to be a mine of information about the life of Marshfield during this period.  Work began in July, 2019 to compile relevant extracts for each available year and subsequently catalogued according to subject.  The basic work was completed by January, 2021 and currently, is undergoing final checks and editing.  The results will be produced in a limited run of an  extensive printed document, which will be available for reference.

This important work will greatly assist us in our wider research, thanks to Chris Hart and Jill Roseberry.

COVID 19 LOCKDOWN EXPERIENCES: The current pandemic caused by Covid 19, is an event of huge historic significance.  Since the first lockdown was introduced in March, 2020, we have been gathering local documents relating to the availability of services, such as delivery of food supplies from local shops and the delivery of other services, such as prescription collections, by volunteers.  During the current third lockdown, we have devised a covid lockdown questionnaire, for completion by any one living in Marshfield. Paper copies have been distributed to the local shops and extra paper copies can be requested via the Contact Page.  Also the questionnaire can be downloaded from Revised Covid anon questionnaire. Once completed you can paste and send using the contacts page or give a printed copy to a committee member. All this information will be shared with Gloucester Archives, as part of a regional initiative.

OTHER RESEARCH: Information has emerged concerning the former Marshfield Fire Brigade and the Tolzey Hall, as part of an enquiry into local markets.  Due to the current closure of Gloucester Archives, research in these areas  have been paused but will resume when it is possible for the Archives to re-open.  In other words, there is a lot going on!