The History of Peasedown St John

Peasedown St John is one of the largest villages in Somerset, England, lying on one of the many hills outside of Bath, roughly 7 km south-southwest of Bath and 20 km southeast of Bristol. The A367 (which follows the route of the Roman Fosse Way) between Lincoln and Exeter used to run through Peasedown, but it was bypassed in the mid 1990s

Archaeological and documentary evidence suggests that Peasedown St John had been occupied continuously since the early Iron Age. There is evidence of Roman and Saxon villages in Peasedown St John, the Saxon settlements resulting in several entries in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The small hamlet of Carlingcott is believed to have existed before the 1800s the modern developments began in the 19th century when the Somerset coalfield was expanded as the Industrial Revolution increased demand for coal across England. The sinking of the Braysdown colliery in 1845 allowed for the village to expand. By the second half of the 20th century there were at least six collieries within 3 km of Peasedown St John evidence of these mines can still be seen today around the area.

With the closure of the coal mines in the 1950s, and the popularity of people living out of town, Peasedown became a commuter village for the cities of Bath and Bristol. This enabled two further phases of construction, the first in the 1950s and 1960s and the second in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Both involved the construction of affordable family housing, the first phase being mainly in the southeast of the village and consisting of terraced or semi-detached properties. The second and more recent phase was the construction of a large number of detached and semi-detached houses.

Peasedown St John is well known for its 6.000 residents, most of whom have lived in the village for many years, but there was one noteable person who lived in the village he was called Peter Alexander (born 1952) actor who played Phil Pearce in Emmerdale Farm, and he also appeared in Eastenders, Hollyoaks, Brookside and Coronation Street, he spent the first seven years of his life in Peasedown.

Brays down lane
Braysdown Lane

Cultural References

Peasedown St John was one of several villages where in the 1930's budding children's author Roald Dahl would sell kerosene. As he describes in his autobiographical work boy; Tales of Childhood (Published in 1984)

Braysdown in the 1990's "my Kerosene motor-tanker had a tap on the back and when i rolled into Shepton Mallet or Midsomer Norton or Peasedown St John or Huish Champflower"

This is just a sentence from a whole paragraph describing how he sold kerosene to the Somerset people

Peasedown St John Parish Council was created in 1955 when it was formed from parts of the Camerton, Dunkerton and Wellow Parishes

Braysdown in the 1890's - not much has changed today.

Brays Down Lane in the 1890s
Braysdown Lane in the 1890s