Saltford is a large English village and civil parish in the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority, Somerset. It lies between the cities of Bristol and Bath, and adjoins Keynsham on the same route. Saltford Manor House (built about 1160) claims to be the oldest continuously occupied dwelling in England.
In 1948 the residents started a community fund that was used to build a village hall. Saltford Hall was completed in 1961, after residents had given their time free to digging the foundations and building the main hall itself. Since its completion, it has been run by a voluntary charity, the Saltford Community Association. Its fund-raising committee not only raises the money to maintain and improve the Hall, it also supports local charities. The hall provides for local community events and services such as blood donation evenings, citizens advice, community support and entertainment. It has recently introduced a week-long village festival.
Saltford Parish Council takes the same responsibilities as all parish councils of England has responsibility for local issues. The Chair of Saltford Parish Council is Councillor Chris Warren and his Vice Chair Councillor Phil Harding. The parish falls within the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, which was created in 1996 under the Local Government Act 1992. Fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the Great Western Ambulance Service.
Saltford elects two councillors to the unitary authority, Bath and North East Somerset Council. Since its inception, Saltford has always elected two Conservative candidates, currently Francine Haeberling, first elected in 1999, and Emma Dixon, first elected in 2015.
Bath and North East Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset, but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county, whose administrative headquarters are in Bath. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of Keynsham Urban District.
The parish is represented in the House of Commons as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system; the sitting MP is Jacob Rees-Mogg. It is also part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament, which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
St Mary's Church, Saltford, is a Norman church which dates back to the 12th century and is a Grade II listed building. The tower dates from Saxon times, although it has been extensively repaired and the top 10 feet were added later. The church used to include an external porch, but this was demolished in the 19th century and the stone used to build the vestry; the line of the porch can still be viewed on the ground, by the layout of the drainage. In the 19th century, there were also internal changes to the church. For instance, an organ gallery was built in the early part of the century.
Saltford Manor House, which lies west of the church, dates from around 1160, and was found by a survey by Country Life to be the oldest continuously occupied house in England. Architectural historian John Goodall believes the house has details, particularly in the ornate windows, which date it securely to before 1150, and probably to around 1148, the completion date of Hereford Cathedral, with which it has some similarities. The front façade of the house is newer and dates from the 17th century.
The 18th-century Old Brass Mill is like the Manor House, listed as Grade II* and is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The Brass Mill was one of a series of mills along the Avon Valley which were powered by waterwheels.
The village is the location of the Avon County Rowing Club, which is available to all local age groups and also used by Bristol University for training. The club has competed at local and national level, having success with its veteran 4 at racing events like the Henley Royal Regatta and other events like the British Rowing Championships.
There is a sports and social club behind Saltford Hall that maintains a large area of open land leased from BANES and used mainly for football and cricket. The club is not for profit and has close links with Saltford Community Association.
The village also has a thriving football club, which aims to cater for all age groups from about five years of age up to and including adults. The club, Saltford Football Club, is affiliated to the Somerset Football Association and a Charter Standard club. Its First Team currently play in the Somerset County League Division 1.
Saltford C of E Primary School was rated good overall in the 2013 Ofsted report and outstanding for behaviour and safety of pupils. There has not yet been an Ofsted inspection since the school changed to academy status in September 2016.
A school has existed in the village for several centuries. Originally housed in what is now St Mary's Church Hall, it is now off Claverton Road. It has its own swimming pool, large fields, a pond and a playground. The school has invested much in IT facilities and its library. It will shortly have a purpose-built before-and-after school nursery on site, run by a local business.
In birth order:
- Benedictus Marwood Kelly (1785–1867) was an admiral in the Royal Navy who had served in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was also a railway company director.
- Horace Batchelor (1898–1977) used radio advertising to promote a scheme to predict the results of football matches and win money on the football pools.
- Racey Helps (1913–1970) was a noted children's writer and illustrator. His best known character was Barnaby Littlemouse.
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