Bull at the Bath & West Show 1886 Bull at the Bath & West Show 1886 Show image info

Bull at the Bath & West Show 1886

Deposited Collections

We hold many records which have been given to us by a wide range of societies, organisations, businesses, and individuals in the region. We refer to these as 'deposited records'. The collections vary in size from a single item to several shelves' worth, and cover many different types of material. Some notable deposited collections are listed below.

Please search our online catalogue using the references given below.


Bath & West of England Society

The Royal Bath and West of England Society is the oldest agricultural society in the UK. Founded in 1777, the Society and its members made a remarkable contribution to the development of the rural economy in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is still active today and is best know for its annual show. This very large collection encompasses the entire history of the Society from its foundation in 1777 until the present day including committee minutes, secretary's correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, publications and press cuttings. Catalogue ref 0038/.

Bathwick Estate Company

The Manor of Bathwick was purchased by William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath (1684-1764) from the Earl of Essex in 1727 along with Wrington Estate.  Development of the estate was gradual until Henrietta Laura Pulteney, Countess of Bath (1766-1808),  allowed an increasing number of building leases to be granted from 1782. Building expanded and by 1840 most of the Estate was completed, however construction continued around Bathwick Hill well into the 1970s.  After the Countess's death the Estate passed to the first Duke of Cleveland, Harry William Vane (1766-1842), and ultimately to its final owner Captain Francis William Forester (1860-1942). Much of the estate was auctioned in 1919 and 1921, and in 1924 the Bathwick Estate Company was formed to manage the remaining properties, until it was liquidated in the early 1970s. Catalogued under refs 0036/, 0044/, 0055/ and 0103a/.

Rivers Estate, Manor of Walcot

This collection comprises land deeds relating to the Manor of Walcot, predominantly from the time it was owned by the Rivers-Gay Family. It contains many deeds relating to the Georgian expansion of Bath, from Queen Square to Lansdown Crescent. From the early 20th Century the estate began to be sold, the final parts of the estate are believed to have been sold in the 1980s. Catalogued as ref 0810/ with a 1908 plan of the estate at ref 0276/1.

Ellis Collection

Clifford Ellis (1907-1985) and Rosemary Collinson (1910-1998) first met in 1931, in the art department at Regent Street Polytechnic and married within a few years.  They were based in Bath where Clifford taught design at the Technical School, becoming Head of Bath School of Art in 1936, which evolved into Bath Academy of Art, moving to Corsham Court in 1946. With Clifford Ellis as principal, it became one of the most innovative and vibrant art colleges in the country. Besides teaching, Clifford and Rosemary Ellis developed a very successful design partnership, working closely together on posters, book jackets and wallpaper designs, often featuring imagery from the natural world. A printed catalogue is available at ref 1177/. Their finished works are held at the Victoria Art Gallery.

Beresford Smith and Partners, Architects

This collection amalgamates the papers of several architects practicing in the City of Bath from 1826, including George Phillips Manners, J. Elkington Gill, Mowbray A. Green and F.W. Beresford Smith. The documents cover mainly 1820s to the 1980s and provide a valuable timeline of architectural styles, highlight local and social historical developments (such as repairing bomb damages and converting coach-houses to garages), while at the same time reflecting the wider national historical setting. As well as architectural plans and drawings, the collection includes a lot of the associated paperwork relating to an architect's business. Catalogued at ref 0529/.

Langton family papers

This is a small but very significant collection of family papers relating to a family caught up in the Peninsular Wars 1808-1814. It was created by Michael Theobald Langton (b.1782) in the course of executing the Will of his father, Miguel Langton (1737-1810), who died in Cadiz while the rest of the family were living in Bath, where they had taken refuge from war. It includes correspondence and legal papers in English, French and Spanish. Catalogued at refs 0770/ and 0770A/.

Theatre Royal Bath

The theatre in Orchard Street opened in 1750 and was the first theatre to gain a Royal licence outside London in 1768, becoming the Theatre Royal Bath. It moved to its present site in 1805. A major fire in 1862 resulted in a one-year rebuild and it has been refurbished many times since, most notably in 1909 as a requirement to have its Royal Patent reinstated. Records include the 1805 Tontine used to fund the new building, title deeds, other accounts, legal papers over ownership from the 19th century, season receipts 1838-1862. There is an extensive collection of playbills and programmes in this collection and elsewhere, including records of the Box-keeper and the acting Company from the 1770s. Catalogued under refs 0310/ and 0483/.

Bath Cricket Club

Bath Cricket Club was founded in 1859 and moved to its current location in the 1860s. We hold administrative records such as minutes, membership and accounts, 1948-2003 and match records 1923-2007. Catalogued at ref 0742/.

Co-operative Societies in the Bath Region

The collection consists of records of the individual Co-operative Societies that merged in 1967 to form the Bath & West Regional Co-operative Society. As well as Bath and Twerton, it includes Calne, Devizes and Trowbridge amongst the north-western Wiltshire societies. The collection incorporates records of the Bath Trades and Labour Council 1914-1952 and Women's Guilds 1922-1977. Catalogued at ref 0591/.

Partis College

Partis College was founded in 1824 by Ann Partis as a charity 'for thirty reduced gentlewomen in the decline of life'.  The inmates all had to have a certain income (originally between £20-30 per annum), be over the age of 50 and be of good character.  The records consist of both successful and unsuccessful applications with related papers; and College Trustees' papers and accounts. Catalogued at ref 0423/.

Local History Society records

We welcome deposits from local history societies and currently we hold collections for Keynsham & Saltford (ref 0174A/), South Stoke (ref 0586/) and Bathford (1322/). These are not yet fully catalogued.

Parish Councils

We hold deposits from the following Parish Councils in Bath & North East Somerset:

  •     Bathampton (ref 0940/)
  •     Batheaston (ref 0437/)
  •     Bathford (ref 0568/)
  •     Farmborough (ref 0439/)
  •     Monkton Combe (ref 0548/)
  •     Timsbury (ref 0973/)
  •     Wellow (ref 1209/)

Records for High Littleton (ref 0721/), Hinton Charterhouse (ref 0740/), Dunkerton (ref 0837/), Whitchurch (ref 0664/), East Harptree (ref 1107/), Peasedown St. John (ref 0684/), Marksbury (ref 0638/), and Compton Dando (ref 0659/) Parish Councils have not yet been catalogued.