|Peasedown St. John
(commonly referred to as just Peasedown)
is one of the largest villages in Somerset, England. Located on a hilltop roughly 7 km south southwest of of the city of Bath, Peasedown used to be a coal mining village. When the last of the mines were shut in the 1950s it became a commuter village for both Bath and, to a lesser extent, Bristol. Its size has been augmented by substantial housing developments in the 1960s and 1970s and more recently in the late 1990s.
Peasedown is located on one of the many hills outside of Bath, roughly 7 km south southwest of Bath and 20 km Southeast of Bristol. Peasedown used to be sited on the A367 (which follows the route of the Roman Fosse Way) between Bath and Frome, but a bypass was constructed to route the A367 around Peasedown and the village no longer lies on any major roads. The majority of the village lies on the relatively flat section on the top of the hill, but the northwestern side of the village does lie on the slope of the hill. The center of Peasedown lies at N51:18:55 W2:25:29 at an altitude of approximately 150m above mean sea level.
The hamlets of Carlingcott, Wellow and Shoscombe are sometimes regarded as part of Peasedown, but this is not strictly correct.
From archaeological and documentary evidence it seems that there has been continuous occupation of the area since at least the early iron age. There is good evidence of Roman and Saxon villages on the site, the Saxon settlements resulting in several entries in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The hamlet of Carlingcott is known to have existed prior to 1800 but the main modern development in the area began in the 19th century as the Somerset Coalfield was greatly expanded as the Industrial Revolution increased demand for coal across England. The sinking of the Braysdown colliery in 1845 provided extra impetus to expand the village.
By the second half of the 20th century there were at least 6 collieries within a 3 km radius of Peasedown, including Braysdown, Camerton, Dunkerton, Writhlington and Shoscombe. Evidence of these mines remains scattered around the area and is easily visible to even the casual observer.
With the closure of the coal mines in the period up to the 1950s, and the growing popularity of out-of-town living, Peasedown rapidly became a commuter village for the cities of Bath and Bristol. This was enhanced by two further phases of construction, the first in the 1950s and 1960s and the second in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Both phases involved the construction of significants amounts of what was intended as affordable family housing, the first phase being mainly in the southeast of the village comprised of mostly terraced or semidetached properties. The second more recent phase was the construction of a large number of mostly detached and semidetached houses on the eastern side of the village between the existing developments and the A367 bypass.
Administrative and legal
Peasedown lies within the county of Somerset and within the Bath and North-East Somerset county council. The village is part of the parliamentary constituency of Wansdyke and is therefore represented in parliament by Dan Norris MP. In the next general election in 2009/2010, the Wansdyke constituency will cease to exist and Peasedown will become part of its sucessor, the North East Somerset constituency. The creation of the Peasedown Parish council is a relatively recent event, occurring in 1955 when it was formed from parts of the previous Camerton, Dunkerton and Wellow parishes.
As of the 2001 census the population of Peasedown was approximately 5000, but owing to the recent housing developments, current estimates (as of 2005) put the population of the village at nearer 6500. The largest identifiable population group in Peasedown is married couples aged 20-44 who comprise almost half the total population of the village. Average incomes and levels of education are in line with the national average.
Local amenities in the Peasedown are are somewhat limited, and family oriented, as is typical in commuter areas. The village has:
1 Doctor's Surgery (4 GPs)
2 Veterinary surgeries
1 Primary School
1 Village Hall
3 Public houses
3 Fast-food outlets
1 Youth centre
Public transport in the village is generally good as the village lies on a primary bus route and just a short distance from Bath train station.