KINGSWOOD & SOUNDWELL Local History Site
If you click on the map you will be taken to a large scale version, which you can zoom in or out of and manoeuvre around.
The 1610 map is the first one of Kingswood. It was commissioned by Thomas Chester, owner of Barton Regis, probably made with his claim to also own the forest in mind.
Although the land seems to be mainly forest and heath, there is much that is recognizable today. It doesn't show them, but records suggest that the mines and quarries already present at the time were making a profit of around £4,000 a year. The streams which drain the area are still there.
Warmley Brook is on the eastern side, starting near the Trinity oak, which I guess was somewhere near what is now the top of Spring Hill. It flowed north-west by what are now Pool Road and Jubilee Road, around Charnhill, Rodway Hill and Siston Hill to Warmley; much can can still be seen today. Rodway Hill House is nearby and the tributary which joins it at Hotwater Lane is shown as well.
Gosthills Gully flows towards the River Frome to the east. It is now known as Coombe Brook or "The Gozzy".
To the south is Stradbrook, or Stroud Brook, which joins the River Avon after going through Hare Hill and Conham Hill. This can be seen at Magpie Bottom in Hanham.
Stroud Brook and Warmley Brook also mark the parish boundaries. The land to the south of these being in Bitton, with Mangotsfield to the north and Barton Regis to the west. Upper Soundwell was in Mangotsfield, while Lower Soundwell was in Bitton.
Mangotsfield Church is there and the Staple Hill Oak stood between the church and Marsh Riding House, which was where Hill House is now.
Of the main roads, Westerley and Sodbury Waye seems to pretty much follow the the current main road from Royate Hill, through Fishponds, Downend and Blackhorse. The Kingswood and Hanham routes are still there, but Mangotsfylde Waye looks quite different. It splits from Westerleigh Way at Royate Hill and takes a more southerly route, closer to what later became the railway line, before curving back northwards going into Mangotsfield.
Broad Arrow Head in the centre of the map was the site where Kingswood Castle later stood and is now the water works. It looks like it is marked by the "meere Stone" and nearby is the "meere oke" (meer stones were markers to show ownership of land). Garrots Meade was presumably a field somewhere around the site of Soundwell School..
To the west is "King John's Lodge", which was at the top of Lodge Hill, although the author of the map doesn't seem to be clear exactly where it is (see the notes on the right hand side of the map).
Nearby, on the main London Waye, probably near the junction of Regent Street with Two Mile Hill, is Old Oke's Cross. It no longer exists, but I wonder if Cross Street takes its name from this? Golden Caye marks the valley in Britannia Road but I don't know what Caye means.
Looking along Westerley and Sodbury Waye we see The New Pooles, which are no longer there but gave Fishponds its name. Channell Hill seems to mark a house where Channons Hill is now and Ridgeway House was still there in the 19th century.
The western boundary of Kingswood is marked by the entrances from Bristol. Roe Yate, meaning royal gate, is still a major junction (Royate Hill). Don John's Crosse stood where "The Fountain" at St. George is now. This gateway also marks the place at which the route to Hanham and Bath splits from the main London Waye.
In the southern part of the map are Harris Hill, now called Trooper's Hill, Dundridge House and Conham Hill. The forest boundary then goes through Hanham towards Barrs Court and Grimsbury Lane. High King's Hill and Windmill Hill are around the Cock Road area.