11 Chapel Pill



Chapel Pill Lane is the course of Sustrans cycle route 41 to Bristol, it also serves as a footpath and right of way.

Chapel Pill Lane

Continuing down the lane one is aware of the Folly and spectacular trees in the grounds of Penny Bronn Centre and the impressive Old Stables, now a splendid residence, further and one encounters a group of ex- hospital cottages with a commanding view over the lake.

On the other side of the lane lies the ‘Hollows’ a much extended cottage in an enviable position  directly adjacent to the lake.


Further down the hill the full vista lovely Ham green lake comes into view, popular with fishermen and maintained with loving care by its owner who also keeps chickens, ducks and geese, adding to its bucolic air.The lake is self is host to ducks and swans and horse chestnut trees grace both sides of the lane. Opposite the lake is a strip of common land which offered access to Chapel Pill creek and was once the site of the local refuse tip. Further and the lane give access to a farm and farm buildings re- developed into dwellings. Beyond this public access is restricted to the footpath/cycle route which skirts around Chapel Pill to join the towpath along side the Avon.

As the towpath is encountered both Hung Row (back up the river) and the ‘Old Magazine’ the other side are visible but as they say that’s another story. The lane/path is great for bird watching and black berries, elder flower and sloes.

Derek Waters 02/10/12


Thomas BERKELEY built the chapel of St. Katherine about 1346, It is believed that this chapel was once richly furnished by sailors making donations for a safe passage and on their return.

Many references state that the remains of the Chapel are now under Chapel Pill Farm but there are substantial remains of horizontal stone columns in the woods of the peninsula opposite the farm across a small creek.

The bend  in the river before Horse Shoe bend is called Hung Road where the banks rise high above the river and form a natural, deep water sheltered mooring for sailing boats

At low tide it was necessary to stop the boats capsizing so they were ‘hung’ by their masts by chains attached  to rings  embedded into the rocks.  Most of the rings were removed during the First War but some still remain in the woodland above the river and there are also some remaining just above high water below.

The Bristol Merchant Ventures paid £600 in 1782 to improve moorings for fourteen vessels and in 1745 the paid £300  to dredge the area.

jug      Puzzle jug

The original name Crockerne Pill means ‘pottery’  and there are suggestions that it was so named because of the pottery kilns excavated some years ago in the fields behind Rock Cottages up Chapel Pill Lane.However more recent research shows tracks leading from the kilns to hung road where the pottery could be lowered directly into the ships holds. The pottery was in production between 1100 AD to 1250 AD and has been found from the Algarve in Portugal to Iceland. Because the dating is precise and production was for such a relatively short period it is important for archaeological dating purposes.Bristol  Museum has a selection of Ham Green pottery but it no longer on public display (2012).


The archaeological monitoring was carried out during preparatory groundworks prior to the construction of a new rising water main. The primary importance of the site was that it contained the only known pottery kilns of the so-called Ham Green industry, active from c. AD 1100-1250, which were excavated in the 1950’s. Two scatters of Ham Green pottery were located on the site, 5 and 20m to the north and north-west of the previously recorded associated kilns. No further kilns were located during the monitoring works. The remains of a trackway thought to date to the medieval period was also identified.





Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s