This area covers the main route through the village along Priory Rd and Lodway from the King’s Arms to Cross Lanes, a side road along Church Rd from the King’s Arms down to St George’s Church plus all the cul-de-sacs leading off these roads.
It is approx ½ mile by ¼ mile in area and is a built up area of privately owned houses, mostly built in the 1970s.
Some houses along the main road date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
There is a football ground, church and churchyard, church hall and scout hut.
Many houses on the south side of Priory Rd and west side of Church Road back onto open fields.
Some houses have a view of the church and those in an elevated position can see across to Wales.
Some beautiful trees surround the church.
The community/public use the church and graveyard, the football field is the home ground for the local team, the scout hut is used by the scouts and beavers and the St. Georges church hall is used for a variety of activities notably the annual village pantomime!
Route of the original road through the village St George’s Church Hall opened 1956.
Priory Croft was an open sided barn, cow shed and slaughter house attached to Priory Lodge next door. Animals were kept in the cow shed awaiting slaughter. The house was converted for the parents of the owner of Priory Lodge in the 1920s.
St George’s Church and football field
Owned by the diocese and played on by St George’s Football club in red.
The church is dedicated to St George, the Patron Saint of England whose feast day is the 23rd April.
Most of the present-day church structure was rebuilt, using red rubble sandstone, by Ewan Christian in 1872 in the typical Victorian layout of chancel, sanctuary, choir, organ chamber, vestries, high nave with clerestory windows, north and south aisles and porch.
The organ (1882) by Sweetland of Bath. The Font in the nave is partly Norman. There are fine stained glass windows and many wall memorials, one for Captain Sturmy who kept his “Artises Magazen” in the church for benefit of other navigators. The church has a long association with the Channel Pilots of Pill, whose “boys” used the tower as a lookout.
The lower part of the Western tower is early 14C; has quadruple chamfered arch on semi-octagonal responds (which appears low as nave floor was raised in the 19C); and original stone spiral stairs. The tower carries a peal of 6 bells and is surmounted by spiret with a mediaeval gilded dragon wind vane.
The clock (1861) is by Fairer of London.
Many seafarers are buried in the 2 .5 acre churchyard.
St. George’s graveyard. Priory Farm and 11 Old Priory Rd.
Hedgehogs have been seen recently in the churchyard. The bird population has declined. There are a huge number of slugs and snails in the wet weather. There are many keen gardeners who attract wild life to their plants and ponds.
This map 1811 is the earliest known detailed map of the area around St George’s Church
A map from 1920 shows Priory Rd from the Kings Arms to Lodway winding round Court Hay and Old Priory Rd. St George’s Church and several houses are visible and still stand today such as Wyndham House, Priory Farm and Priory Villa (now Priory House). The sub-area is sparsely populated and on either side of the road are orchards and fields. Further afield the railway line is labelled “G.W.R. Portishead Branch”.
A map from 1955 shows two changes. Priory Rd is now straighter by-passing Old Priory Rd and St George’s Church Hall has been built opposite Priory Villa. Otherwise most things look the same although the railway would have been British Rail by then. Also by this time the land beside the church had been bequeathed to the diocese by Hall’s the brewers and the graveyard extended.
A map from 1982 and the landscape has changed out of all recognition! Priory Rd is straighter still by-passing Court Hay. (Apparently the bus used to get stuck on the bend of Court Hay according to Pat Derrick) The fields and orchards have all had houses built on them. Fernlea Gardens has been built off Lodway and Gordano Gardens, Priory Gardens and Wyndham Crescent have all been built off Priory Rd. Manor Close has been built off Church Rd. The last remaining open space is the football ground beside the graveyard. Further afield the M5 motorway has been built and two rows of pylons dot the landscape.
A map of 2003 shows few changes from 1982 – there is no room for further development! Further afield the open land around Portbury Dock has been extensively built on and the Port Company has built a bulk coal terminal and acres of car parks.
The majority of houses are owner occupied. The football field, scout hut and church hall are held in trust by the Diocese of Bath and Wells. The Scouts and St Georges football club have both signed up for long leases and the land cannot be developed.
How long lived here?44 years; 54 years; 20 years;
Enjoy? Yes; Yes; Yes;
Qualities? Village ambience, I live in the nicest road in the village (Wyndham Crescent), next to the countryside, 2 mins from the motorway, 20 mins to Weston or Bristol; Friendly people, lot going on, by the countryside.
Play area? Football field
Wildlife? Bird population has been decimated in last 10 years or so; slugs and snails.
Historic buildings? Church, houses opposite football field; Wyndham house; older houses.
Features you value? Surrounding fields – urgently in need of maintenance; the church and playing fields.
Make sub-area better? 20 mph throughout village; 20 mph, car free days, reclaim the streets for play.
Use green spaces? Yes
Need for development? Older people wanting to retire to appropriate accommodation; Affordable housing.
Priority for existing community? Yes
Embrace sustainability? Love it to stay as it is
Memories? Happy days at Easton-in-Gordano School as a member of staff and 2 daughters attending; buying this house; Joining Coal Watch when we were new to the village and making some good friends.
Jill and Pete Coleman 25.11.12