Picture: Briscoe House (D. Howells 2006)
The present Briscoe House was built about 1870 for the Misses Ann and Susanna Briscoe who were the last of that family to be landowners in the parish. The architect of this Victorian building is believed to have been Frederick Preedy, the architect for the rebuilding of the parish church about that time. Above the roof of the house is a bell in a turret used to summon the coachmen from the stable block on the opposite side of the road.
The present building stands on the site of a fine old house dating, probably, from the seventeenth century. A plan of the Briscoe estate dated 1792 shows this to be the site of their house at the junction of Church Street, then called Bathford Street, and Horselands Lane which is the proper name for Ostlings Lane, a phonetic corruption of recent date.
Some of the Briscoe land was originally held by the Fisher family, William Fisher of Bathampton having been one of the co-purchasers of the Bathford Manor estate in 1634. It descended with the Fisher family until his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Fisher married William Briscoe who also owned land in the parish left to him by his uncle, also William Briscoe, a mariner, of Marshfield. It was their great-grand-daughters who were the last of the Briscoes living at Briscoe House. Shortly before their deaths in June and July 1899 Ann and Susanna made new identical Wills under seemingly unusual circumstances breaking the entail on the Briscoe property which consequently did not descend to the heir-at-law, William John Briscoe who died in 1905.
The Victorian house now forms two dwellings and houses have been built in the grounds.