Holcombe is situated about 12 miles south of Bath, in Somerset.  "Holcombe" is descriptive of the original village, i.e.  A dingle or enclosed valley in the hills, " Hole-in-the-Combe".  The land is mostly pasture; the soil, rich and red, abounds in coal.  The inhabitants used natural products of the soil for agriculture, coalmining, iron smelting, pottery making, glass making, vine growing, brewing, silk winding, wool combing and dyeing, stocking knitting and hat making.  In recent centuries, the industries were dairy farming, quarrying, cement works, timber works, brewing and coal mining.  

Today, apart from farming and pre-cast concrete production, Holcombe is a dormitory village. There is proof of Roman occupation and Saxon occupation.  On Charmborough hill, a long chambered barrow was first excavated in 1916.  Human skulls and bones of both sexes were found, and flint flakes some of which were formed into arrowheads and scrapers.  Broken Roman pottery and some Roman coins were found, showing that this was the interment site of Romano-British folk.

In ancient times, this part of Somerset was called West Wales, where the Welsh held out against the Saxon invasion till the battle of Bradford.

The earliest church in Holcombe, currently known as the "Old Church" was Norman.  Its doorway still has a Norman arch.  But, once, it was probably a wooden Saxon church.  In the burial ground the most notable memorial is to the Scott family, as Captain Robert Scott's (Scott of the Antarctic) father was manager of the local brewery (appropriately in Brewery Lane).  He lived in Holcombe House (now called Holcombe Manor House).  This house, a solid, square late Georgian house, was built by one of the family of Ashman Green who owned the brewery.  Captain Scott's father was the last manager of this brewery.

The original Holcombe Manor, situated opposite the Holcombe Inn, was demolished around 1874.

Edford colliery, now occupied by a stone and concrete works, closed in 1916.

The Old Church has 18th century furniture.  The first rector of Holcombe was appointed by the Abbot of Keynsham in 1344.  The earliest record of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, is from 1698.  One interesting item is the marriage of the sister of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, with the latter's signature.

The new church of St Andrew was built in 1884.  There was also a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in the village.  John Wesley preached here in 1774.  This chapel was built on the site of the old village green, where cockfighting and other sports had taken place in former days.

Clive Cook

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About Holcombe

This page was last updated on 10 April 2015 by webmaster

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