Introduction
The Batheaston Society is undertaking a measured survey of the buildings of Batheaston.
The criterion for survey is portrayal of the building on the 1840 Tithe Map, in so far as it still survives, without distinction as to type or usage of the property. We are interested in so-called vernacular dwellings, gentry houses, commercial, industrial and agricultural structures. The first stage of the survey has been completed with just over 50 representative properties recorded out of the 160 or so buildings to be ultimately surveyed.

The aims of the survey are, firstly, to establish a date, as near as can be, for the original construction of individual properties. Here documentary evidence plays its part but it has limitations. For instance, in earlier times properties lacked addresses as we understand them today or the structure referred to in the documentation may not be the one visible today even if on the same site and, indeed, the usual problem with vernacular buildings, there may be no early documentation at all. Thus the importance of a physical survey to assess age. Of greater interest is our second aim to establish a property’s developmental history. Buildings are not static; they are subject to alterations, extensions, changing usages and new fashions as revealed through structural surveys. Analysis of these structural changes will throw some light on the economic and social changes through which Batheaston has, and is, passing – our third and ultimate aim. The survey is clearly a long term project and we are still a long way from achieving our third aim. Thus this is merely an interim report of some of our findings so far and an indication of our methodology.


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