Historical Society

Olveston Parish Historical Society


The Society 

The society was formed in 1966 to "promote interest in the history of Olveston and the surrounding areas and to collect and preserve documentary and photographic records". The Society meets at the Methodist Hall on the first Wednesday of each month from October to April with guest speakers on topics as diverse as The Severn Channel during the Ice Age and Concorde. In the summer months we usually have two or three field trips, often following up talks given during the previous winter. Visitors are always welcomed and, more often than not, recruited.

You can use the menu buttons on the left hand side (under Historical Society) to find out more about:

  • the history and historic buildings of Olveston Parish
  • the Society's publications
  • and various local historical organisations.

This photo shows some OPHS members taking part in a historical walk around Aust, guided by Society Archivist, Eric Garrett.

OPHS trip to Aust 

Contact details for Olveston Parish Historical Society

  • Chairman of Society, principal contact and holder of the society's publications:  Les Harper  01454 612304
  • Society Archivist:  Eric Garrett  01454 613019
  • Programme Secretaries:  Jenny & Richard Newley  01454 202011 
  • Membership Secretary & Treasurer: Anne Young  01454 412528  





Wed. 2 Oct 2013

This meeting will be at St. Mary’s Church, Olveston.

This FREE event, open to all, will consist of a very short AGM, followed by the chance to hear a recording of the late Arthur Robbins in conversation with Peter Floyd in 2010. Arthur’s description of his long life in and around Olveston will be accompanied by photos from OPHS and June’s collection. Not to be missed!

Wed. 6 Nov. 2013

Tony Cherry will relate some great tales from his new, beautifully illustrated book on The History of Thornbury Castle – never a dull moment!

Wed. 4 Dec. 2013

Cherry Hubbard, who once worked for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, offers us a perspective on A Tudor Christmas – not the perspective of the nobles of Thornbury Castle but that of a Tudor housewife ‘of the middling sort’. She will dress authentically and present her ‘Christmas table’, explaining how her food and clothes were made.

Wed. 8 Jan. 2014

[Note: this is the 2nd Wed. of the month - to avoid New Year’s Day]

Eric Garrett’s topic for the new year is Large Houses in the Locality – places such as Tockington Manor, Olveston Court, Over Court, Knole Park… When were they built? Who lived in them? What’s left of them now?

Wed. 5 Feb. 2014

Tony Conder, ex-Curator of the Gloucester Waterways Museum, will give a fascinating, well-illustrated talk on Gloucester Docks - Then and Now, explaining the history of the docks, trade routes and the goods that were transported.

Wed. 5 Mar. 2014

Drawing on her research into 18th century skeletons and BRI inpatient logbooks, Dr. Annsofie Witkin will give a talk on: Blood, Guts and Gore: The Health of the Working Poor in Eighteenth Century Bristol and Gloucestershire.

Wed. 2 Apr. 2014

Still on a health-related theme but one with a global reach, local professor and Dean of Medicine Gareth Williams will draw on his recent best-seller Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio to tell the extraordinary history of the disease which killed or paralysed millions in the 20th century and of the scientists who struggled to defeat it. Expect tales of skulduggery and missed opportunities as well as heroism.

All events (except that on 2 October 2013, which will be held in St. Mary's Church, Olveston) will be held at the Methodist Church, The Street, Olveston BS35 4DR at 7.30pm.  

Existing and new members are very welcome, as are visitors. 

Annual membership and entry to the entire season of talks: £5, payable at the door.              

Entry to single talk: £2, payable at the door. 



Following up Paul Barnett's February 2010 talk on the Purton Hulks, OPHS members visited the hulks, with Paul as a guide, in May.  This was one of our two field trips in 2010.

OPHS Visit to Purton Hulks