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 Church on the first Wednesday of each month from October to April.  Talks usually have a local connection, either through the subject matter or the speaker.  In the summer months we usually have two trips, often following up talks given during the previous winter. Visitors are always very welcome at all our meetings.




October 2023 - April 2024

All meetings take place in the Methodist Church, The Street, Olveston BS35 4DR at 7.30pm, with refreshments served before the start of the meeting.

Annual membership is £10, payable on the door - covers all talks and refreshments

Visitor fee is £3, payable on the door - includes refreshments

All welcome!  Anyone can join or visit.

Wed. 4 Oct 2023

Welcome, all!  After a short AGM, we’ll have an update from Aaron Girdlestone on the local Excavations at Lower Hazel. This summer’s dig, carried out by volunteers and university students, has revealed that the site is more extensive than first thought, with mysteries still to unravel.

Wed. 1 Nov. 2023

Nine or ten years ago, some of us visited the Bristol Port Company at Avonmouth, learned about its history and had a fascinating guided coach tour around the site. Spool forward a decade and now one of the company’s directors, John Chaplin, will give us an illustrated talk about the Challenges and Opportunities of Planning for the Future at Bristol Port Company.

Wed. 6 Dec. 2023

A welcome return for Dr Mark Lewis, Senior Curator (Roman) at the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, who will give us a talk called Saturnalia: From Roman Winterfests to Modern Christmas Customs. Discover how some of our present customs have Roman origins.

Wed. 10 Jan. 2024

Cocktail and gin history specialist, Anistatia Miller, has recently returned to study (MA, MSc, PhD) and is discovering a huge amount about The History of Brewing in Bristol from the 16th to the 18th Centuries. Come along and hear - it’s fascinating!

Wed. 7 Feb. 2024

Professor Richard Coates has been investigating The Shirehampton Remount Depot (1914 -1927) and can explain how this vitally important site coped with mind-bogglingly vast numbers of horses and mules needed for haulage and pack duties on the Western Front.

Wed. 6 Mar. 2024

Philip Ashford returns to tell us about The Experience of Travel in the Bristol Channel 1420-1820. Using diaries, government papers, private memoirs and business sources, Philip will explain why people of all sorts came and went, and the hazards they encountered at sea. 

Wed. 3 Apr. 2024

Local landowner John Gunnery will be giving us a fascinating talk about Tockington Park. Expect to hear about the deer park and the Roman villa!  Not to be missed.



Contact details for Olveston Parish Historical Society:

  • Chair and principal contact:              Richard Newley 01454 202011
  • Programme Secretary & Secretary:   Jenny Newley  01454 202011 
  • Membership Secretary & Treasurer:  Anne Young  01454 412528  
  • Holder of the society's publications:  Les Harper  01454 612304




Olveston book cover

This newly published book, written by Steve Humphries, tells the story of the parish through the memories of Eric Garrett, Jean Panes, Nigel Dawes, Ted Addis, Angela Shepherd and other local people aged around ninety, whom Steve (an acclaimed oral history documentary film maker and author) has recently interviewed.

Illustrated with over 100 photographs, the book can be bought for £10, through Olveston Parish Historical Society, to whom Steve is generously donating any profits. The  first two print runs sold out but we have had a recent reprint and copies of the book are now available again.  Don't miss out!

To buy a copy of the book, please ring Jenny or Richard on 01454 202011




Scroll down the page to find the 'Graveyard Survey' link.  Here you can find out all about the Historical Society's project to transcribe and digitise the transcriptions of all the graves and memorials in Olveston church and churchyard.


You can use these links to find out more about:


This photo shows an OPHS trip to Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire

OPHS visit to Owlpen Manor