Fifteen things you didn't know about Keynsham
A type of fossil called an ammonite is common around Keynsham. Legend has it that Saint Keyna, the beautiful daughter of a Welsh prince came to Keynsham as a Christian missionary. The area was infested with serpents but her prayers turned the snakes into stone.
A number of important Roman remains have been discovered by archaeologists at Keynsham. The Roman villa at Durley Park was the largest villa ever discovered when it was excavated in the 1920's and possessed many fine mosaics.
"Cainesham" is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
In 1166 an abbey was founded in Keynsham by Augustinian "black canons" funded by William, Earl of Gloucester, whose distinctive coat of arms with six golden trumpets the town still bears today. The Victorine Abbey grew to be one of the most significant in the country until it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.
In 1964 a bypass was built through the remains of the abbey.
When King Charles II died, his brother, James II became king. However the Duke of Monmouth, the illegitimate son of Charles, declared that he wanted the crown. Monmouth gathered his troops and marched on Bristol. The 9,000 strong rebel army reached Keynsham on the morning of the 25th June 1685. During the evening they were attacked by two cavalry forces. In true Keynsham-style, the Battle of Monmouth was rained off. As a result, Monmouth was unable to march into Bristol which would have bolstered his army. In July 1685, Monmouth's army was obliterated by overwhelming forces at the Battle of Sedgemoor near Weston Zoyland, Somerset. Monmouth was later captured and executed along with eleven residents of Keynsham.
Originally a Somerset town, Keynsham was in the County of Avon between 1974 and 1997. It is now part of Bath & North East Somerset.
The tower of the Keynsham parish church is at the "wrong" end of the building. The original tower collapsed during a storm in 1632 and was rebuilt at the west end.
Keynsham's Somerdale is home to a chocolate factory. As well as the good transport links, JS Fry was attracted to Somerdale because of the natural wells. They weren't the first to exploit this source of water - on the site is Britain's deepest Roman shaft well. JS Fry and Sons is now owned by Cadbury Trebor Bassett. Each year the factory produces 50,000 tonnes of Chocolate Cream, Mini Eggs, Crunchie, Curly Wurly, Fudge, Chomp, Double Decker, Picnic and Fry's Turkish Delight. In 2008, Cadbury's announced it planned to move production of chocolate to Eastern Europe.
Keynsham is well known to listeners of Radio Luxembourg. Horace Batchelor advertised his football pools system and his jingle spelt out his address: K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M. Wherever we go, people of a certain age say, "Oh, Keynsham. Spelt: K-E-Y ..."
Horace Batchelor's radio adverts inspired the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band to name a song, and their 1969 album, after the town. The sleeve notes state, "In the dental-white district of Keynsham stands the Thermometer Zoo. The ferocious bushy-faced villagers of Keynsham hate the inmates of the Thermometer Zoo."
There is no thermometer zoo in Keynsham.
Cricketer Marcus Trescothick MBE was born in Keynsham and played cricket for Keynsham Cricket Club before debuting for Somerset aged just 17. He captained England under-19s against India in 1994 and went on to make 1000 runs at that level - only bettered by John Crawley among English cricketers. Marcus was instrumental in the victorious England team in the 2005 Ashes competition.
The comedian Bill Bailey, son of a Keynsham doctor, was once the landlord of The Talbot Inn.
Keynsham is home to five Camel Trophy Land Rovers... Follow their story here!