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Box Summer History Trail Answers

Thank you for taking part in the Box Summer History Trail! 

Here are the answers and more information if you are interested.

1. There are 5 stone angels on the outside of the Chapel of Rest. The new cemetery was built in 1858 on land donated by Mr Northey, who owned most of Box and Ashley in this period. For more info on the cemetery


2. The Pyramid gravestone is in the top left-hand corner of the churchyard near Springfield Cottage. The story goes that the wife of the man buried there said she would ‘dance on his grave’ so he asked for a pyramid gravestone to prevent her doing so! 


Three tombs down are the Bowdler Family, a prominent Ashley family. Thomas Bowdler was famous for writing a family friendly version of Shakespeare with the bawdy and vulgar bits removed so it could be read aloud to family with propriety!


3. There are 41 windows in Springfield House. This area by the church was rebuilt in the early 1700s by Rev George Millard. Springfield Cottage was the school master’s house and Springfield House was the poorhouse with a charity school on the 3rd floor.​

4. Frederick John Gingell was the submariner in the Royal Marines. He was killed when HM Submarine E15 ran aground on 17 April 1915 and came under enemy fire while trying to pass through the Dardanelles in Turkey. He was awarded the Messina Medal.

For more information on the men who lost their lives in WW1 -

For more information on the Gingell family and what happened to Frederick

For more information on the building of the war memorial

5. The little building next to the Queen’s Head is the Blind House. It was used to house drunks and petty criminals overnight. It has no windows and so when you’re inside you would not be able to see anything!

6. The pound was used to lock up or ‘in pound’ stray animals (answer on the map in the pound). Most villages had a pound as farming would have been a key occupation and stray animals common. It cost 4p to get your animal back!

7. The building in the gap is the Methodist Church. Methodism was huge in this area because its doctrine was that you could achieve salvation through faith alone, you didn’t need to spend money doing good works, which was attractive to the working class quarrymen who spent 6 days a week underground. The Methodist Church was funded by subscription and built by the congregation themselves.

8. William Henry Poynder built the fountain in 1877. Poynder lived at nearby Hartham Park in Corsham and the water that fed the fountain was piped by Northey along the A4 from his spring in Ashley.​

9. Box Brewery was established in 1864 (date on the main building can be seen from the Market Place car park) by George Pinchin who also owned the Northgate brewery in Bath. George Pinchin built the current Hatt House (near fiveways). Other Pinchin members owned Box Mill, now the Real World Music Studios. In the 1930s the Brewery was sold to Murrary & Baldwin who made tennis racquets and then Dodds, an engineering company, bought the site in 1962 and are still there today.

10. Rev Awdry invented Thomas the Tank Engine. He lived in Lorne House, or Journey’s End as it was called in the 1920s, as a boy. He listened to the steam trains as they steamed through Box Tunnel and got the idea that they had different personalities. It wasn’t until the 1940s when Awdry told the stories to his son Christopher that the books were produced.

11. Bargates runs from opposite the Doctors surgery round to the Tennis Ball factory, which used to be the soap and candle factory. The houses on Bargates and Brunel Way were built after World War 2 to meet the rising demand for new houses.

12. Box tunnel is 3212 yards long which is about 1.83 miles. It was the longest railway tunnel in the world when it was completed in 1841. Designed and built by Brunel, it enabled people to travel by rail from London Paddington to Bristol. While the Tunnel was being built, Box was overrun with rough navvies who lived in temporary structures or boarded with families across Box Hill, Box village to Middlehill. Sadly 100 navvies died in its building.

13. The original door knockers, still on houses 1,6&8, are of bats. The three terraces of cottages 1–8 Mill Lane, 17-26 Fairmead View and 1–7 High Street were constructed by the Bath Stone Firms Ltd who in 1908 – 11 became the Bath and Portland Stone Firms to provide housing for their workers. ​

14. There are lots of roads and buildings that have been built since 1870, here are a few but you may have come up with others!

Roads – Bargates, Brunel Way, Barn Piece, the Bassetts, Valens Terrace, Fairmead View, Lycett’s Orchard, the Wharf

Houses, which might include your home, on these roads and on Mill Lane, The Ley, Hazelbury Hill, Quarry Hill, High Street

Buildings – Selwyn Hall, Methodist Church Hall, Brunel Care Home

Places – The Rec, the park, the allotments, War Memorial

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