Kelston, a village on the north-western side of Bath in Somerset was a manor that belonged to the Abbey of Shaftesbury in the Middle Ages.

No charter granting Kelston to Shaftesbury Abbey has been found, but it was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086 as being part of the Abbey’s land in Bradford, hidden under the name Alvestone because a scribe had dropped the initial letter of Calvestone. There is no entry for Kelston in the Domesday Book for Somerset.

“To this manor of Bradford belongs Alvestone. In the time of King Edward it paid tax for 7 hides [units of land area], apart from the above 42 hides [in Bradford proper]. There is land for 6 ploughs, of this land 4 hides is in demesne; there are three ploughs there.”

The 7 hides mentioned there accounts for an area of land that was missing when adding up the size of the medieval Bath Hundred, the rest of which had been given by various kings of Wessex and England to the Abbey of Bath.

After the dissolution of Shaftesbury Abbey in 1593 Kelston was granted by King Henry VIII, with Batheaston and St Catherine’s, to John Dyngley and from then on it was a true part of the Hundred of Bath Forum in Somerset and no longer connected with Bradford.

The aerial photograph shows the church of St Nicholas, a barn which may have belonged to the Abbey and earthworks that remain from the big Elizabethan manor house

via Kelston | Bradford on Avon Museum.

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