Rural Barton. Barton is on the west of the
parish, at the foot of Wavering Down and Crook Peak. Once highly agricultural,
most of its farms have now either diversified or closed down altogether but
this has not changed the rural nature of the hamlet. Maxmills, at Max Mills
Farm, is described as 'probably 12th century'. One of the guided walks will take
you nearby: do visit this most picturesque part of the parish!
The Bristol Children's Help Society was founded
in 1884 to give poor children from Bristol a holiday in the countryside. In
1888, after various local land owners in Barton had given about eight acres to
the society, a camp was built and a small corrugated iron building, part of
this original camp and now used as an office, can still be seen. Since that
time, Barton Camp has been in continuous use and now provides holidays for
about 1500 children each year. Over the years there have been considerable
improvements, including the construction of a heated swimming pool. During the
winter the Camp is used as a conference centre.
Sir George Oatley, the architect and
philanthropist, was also attracted by the rural nature of Barton and built a
house, Barton Rocks, for his own use near Barton Hill. Sir George is
particularly celebrated for his design of Bristol's Wills Tower (also known as
'Great George') and several other University buildings. At one time he was
church architect for St. Mary Redcliff and the Parish Church of St. James the
Great in Winscombe.