St Mary's Church, Saltford
Saltford shown within Somerset
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||Bath and North East Somerset|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Saltford is a large village and civil parish in the Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority, Somerset, England. It lies between the cities of Bristol and Bath, and adjoins Keynsham on the same route.
In 1960 the residents started a community fund that was used to build the Saltford Hall, which was completed in 1961, after residents had given their time freely 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.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council's operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council provides an opinion on local planning applications and works with the district council officers on matters of planning enforcement and contraventions. The parish council's role also includes consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of playing fields, other open spaces, highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also of interest to the council. The Chair and Vice Chair of Saltford Parish Council are Councillor Duncan Hounsell and Councillor Phil Harding respectively.
The parish falls within the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset which was created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992. It provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within its area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection, recycling, cemeteries, crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. it is also responsible for education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, Trading Standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although 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 & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) every four years. Since B&NES's inception, Saltford has continuously elected two Conservative candidates. The sitting councillors are Francine Haeberling, first elected to B&NES 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. Its administrative headquarters is 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 the Keynsham Urban District.
The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election; 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 nineteenth 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 nineteenth century, there were not only external changes to the church, but also internal; the gallery which houses the church organ, for example, was constructed 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 facade 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 is 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.
Such a school has existed in the village for a number of centuries. Originally housed in what is now St Mary's Church Hall, the school is now located off Claverton Road. It has its own swimming pool, large fields, a pond and a playground. The school has invested greatly in IT facilities and in its library. It will shortly have a purpose-built before-and-after school nursery on site, run by a local business.
Bus services connect Saltford with Bath, Keynsham and Bristol. The Saltford Environment Group is campaigning for the reopening of Saltford railway station on the Bath-Bristol line. The station closed in 1970.
- Horace Batchelor (1898–1977) used radio advertising to promote his scheme to predict the results of football matches and thereby win money on the football pools.
- Racey Helps (1913–1970) was a noted children's writer and illustrator. His most famous character was Barnaby Littlemouse.
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