Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: December 2009

SEARCHING FOR THOMAS

by Chris Hobson (FHS Occasional Paper No 6)
Price £1Thomas Morton

Thomas Morton was a curate of Fairford for Francis William Rice (5th Baron Dynevor) for almost three decades from 1851 to 1879. This paper traces the life of Thomas using a number of information research tools as an illustration of the wide variety of family and local history resources that are now available to the researcher. Born in St Helens, Lancashire, Thomas was also a curate in Plymouth, London and Hull before retiring from Fairford to live out the remainder of his days in Edwards College in South Cerney. The portrait of Thomas Morton is by Samuel Vines, an ironmonger of Fairford who was also a talented artist.

A CHRISTMAS RAILWAY TRAGEDY

by Chris Hobson (FHS Occasional Paper No 5)
Price £1.00OC5 Railway Tragedy

On Christmas Eve in 1874 a mother and her two children caught the train from Fairford station for a festive holiday in the West Midlands. Sadly, they never completed their journey. This new occasional paper (printed in A5 format) tells the story of one of the most dreadful accidents in British railway history.

November 19th 2009: the Role of the Archaeology Service and the County SMR (Sites and Monuments Records) by Anna Morris, Outreach officer of Gloucestershire Archaeology

During a fascinating talk Anna Morris explained the role and work of Gloucestershire Archaeology’s Sites and Monuments Record which seeks to create and develop a comprehensive record of all archaeology within the County, including sites of finds.

The SMR currently consists of a large and very sophisticated database of about 30,000 individual records of sites and artefacts dating from the Palaeolithic period right up until World War Two. This information can be searched and presented in a variety of ways including plotting on large and small scale maps. In this way all archaeological finds in a specific area or all examples of a specific type of monument found throughout the entire county can be displayed.

Gloucestershire Archaeology has close links with other organisations and is currently working with the English Heritage Aerial Survey Team on several National Mapping Programme (NMP) projects, mapping and recording archaeological features shown on aerial photographs and also two major surveys: the Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment and a survey of the Forest of Dean. The latter survey is being conducted using the newly-developed LiDAR technology which enables accurate aerial images of the ground surfaces to be produced despite dense vegetation that would normally preclude such a result.

Anna gave examples of the ways in which Gloucestershire Archaeology can assist individuals and local societies and it is expected that FHS will take advantage of this offer.

Barrow Elm: on the edge of the parish near Hatherop, thought to be the centre of Brightwell’s Barrow Hundred and a meeting place, possibly Bronze Age.

Barrow Elm: on the edge of the parish near Hatherop,
thought to be the centre of Brightwell’s Barrow Hundred
and a meeting place, possibly Bronze Age.

A round barrow near Far Hill Farm, possibly Bronze Age

A round barrow near Far Hill Farm, possibly Bronze Age