Historic Abbot's Seat restored for Great Flood memorial in Keynsham

June 04 2018
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Volunteers are preparing to unveil a permanent memorial to the Great Flood of 1968 as work continues on restoring Keynsham’s historic County Bridge stone.

Working with staff from the B&NES Heritage Services department, members of Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society have been busy removing 500 years of accumulated grime from the former landmark, known to older residents as the Abbot’s Chair.

The stone was built into the north parapet of the ancient County Bridge on the Bitton Road and was reputed to have come from Keynsham Abbey. Along with the bridge, it was swept away by the flood but
was recovered and has been kept in the council’s archaeology store. 

The stone will form the centrepiece of the memorial, which will be installed in Keynsham Memorial Park.

The design incorporates the stone and an engraved plaque.

Funding for the project, which also involves a specialist archaeology company and a builder, is being raised by the history society, which launched a £5,000 public appeal in October.

Chairman Richard Dyson said: “We have been very pleased to receive many donations from local residents and businesses and with the support given to the project by Keynsham Town Council. 

“However, we still have a gap between the expected cost and our fund total, so fundraising needs to continue.”

The society is producing a brochure about the flood, which will be on sale later this month.

Anyone who would like to support the appeal can download a form at www.keysalthist.org.uk or pick one up from Keynsham Town Council’s offices in Temple Street.