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Grey stone building with red tiled roof, partially obscured by a hedge. A square tower is at the far end. The foreground includes several crosses and gravestones.
St Mary's Church, Saltford
Saltford is located in Somerset
Location within Somerset
Population4,073 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST681670
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBRISTOL
Postcode districtBS31
Dialling code01225
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
List of places
51°24′05″N 2°27′33″W / 51.4015°N 2.4592°W / 51.4015; -2.4592Coordinates: 51°24′05″N 2°27′33″W / 51.4015°N 2.4592°W / 51.4015; -2.4592

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.


The village lies on the A4 road and on the River Avon, to which the Saltford and Kelston locks provide access. The low-lying area is prone to flooding.

Aerial view of Saltford and the river Avon

There are four public houses in the village: The Bird in Hand,[2] The Jolly Sailor, The Crown and The Riverside.[3] Saltford possesses a number of listed buildings.

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.[4] 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.


The parish of Saltford was part of the Keynsham Hundred.[5]


Saltford Parish Council, like all parish councils of England, has responsibility for local issues. 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.

Bath and North East Somerset's area covers some of the ceremonial county of Somerset, but is administered separately from the non-metropolitan county, whose 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.[6] Before 1974 the parish was part of Keynsham Urban District.[7]

The parish is represented in the House of Commons as part of North East Somerset.[8] It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system; the sitting MP is Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative).[9]

Historic buildings[edit]

St Mary's Church, Saltford, a Norman church dating back to the 12th century, is a Grade II listed building.[10] 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 internal changes to the church. For instance, an organ gallery was built in the early part of the century.[11]

Saltford Manor House, which lies west of the church, dates from around 1160, and was found through a survey by Country Life magazine to be the oldest continuously occupied house in England.[12][13] 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.[14] The façade of the house dates from the 17th century.[15]

The 18th-century Old Brass Mill, like the Manor House, is listed as Grade II*[16] and is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[17] The Brass Mill was one of a series along the Avon Valley powered by water wheels.[18]

Saltford House was built in 1771.[19] In 1856 it bought by Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly who died there on 26 September 1867.[20][21][22]


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.[23]

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.[24] There has not yet been an Ofsted inspection since the school changed to academy status in September 2016.[25]

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.

Public transport[edit]

Bus services connect Saltford with Bath, Keynsham and Bristol. The Saltford Environment Group is campaigning to reopen Saltford railway station on the Bath–Bristol line, which was closed in 1970.[26]

Notable residents[edit]

In birth order:


  1. ^ "Saltford Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ The Bird In Hand, Saltford
  3. ^ The Riverside, Saltford
  4. ^ Saltford Community Association
  5. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  6. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Keynsham UD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Somerset North East: New Boundaries Calculation". Electoral Calculus: General Election Prediction. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  9. ^ Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
  10. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Mary (1384670)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
  11. ^ "Official St Mary's, Saltford Website". Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Oldest occupied house named". BBC News. 28 August 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Saltford Manor House (1384672)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Maev (28 August 2003). "Britain's longest-inhabited dwelling". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  15. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner: North Somerset and Bristol, p. 254.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Old Brass Mill (1384676)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
  17. ^ "Brass Mill". Listed Buildings Online. English Heritage. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  18. ^ "History". About the Saltford Brass Mill. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  19. ^ Historic England. "Saltford House and attached garden walls to north and west (1384656)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly". The London Gazette. p. 6603. 29 November 1867. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Blue plaque honours Admiral Benedictus Kelly". BBC. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly (1785–1867)". Saltford Environment Group. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Avon County Rowing Club". Avon County Rowing Club. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  24. ^ "Saltford C of E Primary School" (PDF). Ofsted. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  25. ^ "Saltford CofE Primary School – URN: 143083". Ofsted. Retrieved 16 December 2018. Academy conversion letter.
  26. ^ "Saltford Station Campaign News". Retrieved 8 January 2012.

External links[edit]