A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 10. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1975.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The parish of Etchilhampton, 935 a., lies 2 miles east of Devizes at the western end of the Pewsey Vale and, with a base 2½ miles wide, is roughly triangular in shape. (fn. 1) Ecclesiastically it has always been a chapelry of All Cannings but was deemed an ancient parish in the early 19th century when it relieved its own poor. (fn. 2) It was deemed a civil parish from 1881. (fn. 3)
Some of the parish boundaries are marked by prominent natural features. The boundary with Bishop's Cannings runs up, and over the summit of, Etchilhampton Hill, part of that with Stert is marked by a tributary stream of the Bristol Avon, and the boundaries with All Cannings and Patney are marked by streams merging to form the Christchurch Avon. The land in the west of the parish slopes away from Etchilhampton Hill, 623 ft., to below 350 ft. south of the Devizes-Upavon road. The land in the east slopes down to Etchilhampton Water, about 365 ft., where, until it was channelled into a ditch in the 19th century, the boundary stream used to flow into All Cannings along the Etchilhampton to All Cannings road. (fn. 4)
Etchilhampton Hill is an outlier of Lower Chalk between Salisbury Plain and the Marlborough Downs. Except on its summit, which formed a small area of permanent sheep pasture, it is suitable for tillage. Upper Greensand, covered in the south by alluvium, outcrops in the rest of the parish which therefore contained much meadow land. (fn. 5)
Part of the main Devizes-Upavon road crosses the parish over the southern part of Etchilhampton Hill. That road was turnpiked from Devizes as far as the hill under the first Wiltshire Turnpike Act passed in 1707. (fn. 6) Because of the gradient of the hill, however, the road over it was difficult and in 1768 a new road was completed from Nursteed in Roundway to Lydeway in Urchfont across the lower slopes of the hill. It crossed the south-west of the parish and, where a road over the hill to Etchilhampton village diverged from it, a monument was erected to James Long who promoted the road. (fn. 7) The rectangular stone monument, still standing in 1971, is surmounted by a heraldic demi-lion finial. Apart from the Devizes-Upavon road, no main road or ancient track seems to have passed through the parish. The nearest railway station was at Patney.
Apart from some Roman pottery found on Etchilhampton Hill no archaeological finds or sites have been discovered within the parish. (fn. 8) Etchilhampton, whose name suggests that it developed after new land was taken into cultivation, perhaps from All Cannings, was a village by 1086, presumably on its present site. (fn. 9) Although not situated on a main road the village, like its neighbour All Cannings, developed along both sides of a street, near the middle of which, on the south side, stood the church. The demesne farm, with a manor-house probably from the late Middle Ages, was established in the south-east part of the street, and the other farms probably along both sides of it. Until the 19th century the village was called Ashlington as often as it was called Etchilhampton, (fn. 10) and even in 1971 was sometimes called Ashleton locally. In the early 14th century it was of average size among the villages of the Pewsey Vale (fn. 11) and in 1801 was still so. Its population was then 206. It fell to 179 in 1811 but reached a peak of 282 in 1841. It declined gradually to 205 in 1871, and stood at 179 in 1931 since when it has declined slowly. (fn. 12) The population was 120 in 1971. (fn. 13)
In 1773 the village stretched for ½ mile along the street. (fn. 14) After 1885, however, part of the street was reduced to a narrow path connecting the two ends of the village. (fn. 15) In 1971 Etchilhampton consisted of two groups of buildings approached by separate turnings from the road from All Cannings to Etchilhampton Hill and only linked by a footpath. It no longer had the appearance of a street village. Tinkfield Farm lay away from the village in the west of the parish. Etchilhampton House, beside the western turning, the church, and the school are situated at the west end. East of that house is an 18th-century house of chequer brick with a thatched roof. Behind Etchilhampton House is a timberframed and thatched house with a central entrance, a central chimney, and symmetrical front gables, probably dating from the later 17th century. (fn. 16) A pair of late-18th-century cottages encased by red brick stand on the north side of the street and east of the church is a pair of timber-framed thatched cottages probably of the late 17th century. Upper Farm, with a house possibly of the 18th century, and some 20th-century council houses also lie east of the church. The east end of the village is dominated by the manor-house with its extensive farm buildings including two thatched 18th-century barns, one of eight bays, and the other of seven bays. Beside the path leading from the manor-house to the church is a pair of brick-faced cottages with thatched roofs. Externally the structure shows no sign of antiquity but in one cottage a medieval cruck truss is incorporated in a cross-wall.
Manor and Other Estates.
Edward of Salisbury held Etchilhampton in 1086. (fn. 17) Part of it passed to his son, Walter of Salisbury, and descended with the earldom of Salisbury in the same way as the manor of Alton Barnes. (fn. 18)
William Malwain held land in Wiltshire, possibly at Etchilhampton, in 1176, and had clearly acquired the manor by 1195. (fn. 19) Thereafter the manor of ETCHILHAMPTON was held by a succession of William Malwains until c. 1300 when it passed to John Malwain (d. 1322). (fn. 20) John was succeeded by his son John, then a minor, who held the manor until c. 1375 when he was succeeded by his son, another John. (fn. 21) After John Malwain's death before 1426 the manor was held by his widow Alice, probably until her death in the 1430s. (fn. 22) John's son Roger was dead by that time and the manor passed to Roger's daughter Joan who in 1441 settled it on herself and her husband, Henry Long. (fn. 23) Joan died in 1468 but Henry held the manor until 1489 when it passed to John Ernle (d. 1519), great-grandson of John Malwain and Chief Justice of Common Pleas in 1519. (fn. 24) John Ernle was succeeded by his son John (d. 1555), grandson John (d. 1572), and great-grandson Michael (d. 1594). (fn. 25) The manor thereafter passed to the sons of Michael's second marriage, Walter (d.s.p. 1618) and Edward (d. 1656). Edward's heir was his son, Sir Walter Ernle (d. 1682), who was succeeded by his grandsons Sir Walter (d. 1690) and Sir Edward (d. 1729). Sir Edward's heir was his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1759), the wife of Henry Drax. (fn. 26) She was succeeded by her sons Thomas Erle Drax (d.s.p. 1789) and Edward Drax (d. 1791), whose heir was his daughter Sarah Frances Drax (d. 1822), the wife of Richard Grosvenor (later Erle-Drax-Grosvenor). From her the manor passed successively to her son Richard Erle-Drax-Grosvenor (d.s.p. 1828), and daughter Jane (d. 1853), the wife of John Sawbridge (later Sawbridge-Erle-Drax). Jane was succeeded by her elder daughter, Maria Caroline Sawbridge-ErleDrax (d. 1885), and younger daughter, Sarah Charlotte Elizabeth, who married Col. Francis Plunkett Burton (d. 1865) by whom she had a daughter Ernle Elizabeth Ernle-Erle-Drax, later Baroness Dunsany (d. 1916). Sarah, who adopted the name Ernle-Erle-Drax in 1887, died in 1905 and was succeeded by her daughter Lady Dunsany. (fn. 27) The manor passed at the death of Lady Dunsany in 1916 to her son the Hon. Reginald PlunkettErnle-Erle-Drax who sold the land, nearly 600 a., in 1928. (fn. 28) In 1971 the greater part of it, Manor farm, 383 a., belonged to Mr. L. W. J. Clark. (fn. 29) Etchilhampton Hill, much of it formerly part of the manor, belonged to Mr. A. G. Edwards of Stert.
The manor-house is a two-storeyed timberframed house which has been extended at various periods, but the oldest part, consisting of a hall range with a gabled cross-wing to the south of it, probably dates from the 16th century. (fn. 30) The external timbering is largely concealed by brick facing or plaster, but both the hall range and the wing have jettied fronts. In the angle between them is a gabled two-storeyed porch, also jettied, which gives access to the former screens passage. On the upper floors of both porch and wing are small oriel windows of shallow projection. A massive external chimney on the south wall of the wing, probably serving the original kitchen, is now enclosed in a later addition to the house. Rooms at the north end of the hall, which may have included a parlour, have been demolished at some period, but their fire-places are still visible on the present external wall. There is a very large moulded stone fire-place in the hall and a smaller one in the room above. The plan of the house is basically medieval, but there is no evidence that the present structure ever had a single-storeyed hall. The survival of some re-set linen-fold panelling suggests, however, that rebuilding may have taken place before the middle of the 16th century. A timber-framed wing at the rear was probably added in the mid 17th century. South-east of the house is a timber-framed structure of three bays which is rather earlier in date and may originally have been free-standing. It is now connected to the cross-wing by a tall 18th- or early-19th-century range of two storeys and attics.
Walter of Salisbury granted a hide of land in Etchilhampton to Bradenstoke Priory in the early 12th century, and it remained among the priory's estates until the Dissolution. (fn. 31) The land was granted to William Allen in 1544, and in 1545 Allen was granted licence to convey it to Robert Bayley, the lessee of Tichborne's farm (see below). (fn. 32) That conveyance probably did not take place, however, because in 1552 Allen sold the land to Richard Bayley, possibly Robert's brother. (fn. 33)
Richard Bayley was apparently succeeded by a son Richard (d. 1609), whose son Richard (d. 1642) held the land after him. (fn. 34) Richard was succeeded by another Richard Bayley (d. 1688), and he by his son Richard (fl. 1683). (fn. 35) By 1736 the land was held by John Bayley (d. 1751), (fn. 36) and passed to another Richard Bayley (d. 1790), presumably his son. It was apparently sold c. 1781 to James Gibbs (d. 1792) whose widow probably sold it to Robert Sloper c. 1803. (fn. 37) It passed c. 1819 to George Sloper who held it in 1839. (fn. 38) The estate, including 207 a. in Etchilhampton, was sold in 1884 and broken up. (fn. 39)
Etchilhampton House, built after 1773, was part of the estate. Although more than one phase of construction is evident in the main block, the house may have developed over a relatively short period in the late 18th century. The old interior fittings are of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A large service wing was added on the west in the later 19th century.
In the late 11th century part of the manor of Etchilhampton passed after Edward of Salisbury's death to his daughter Maud, the wife of Humphrey de Bohun, and descended in the Bohun family until the time of Humphrey de Bohun (d. by 1166). (fn. 40) It was held of the Bohuns in the early 12th century by Ilbert de Chaz who alienated it to Monkton Farleigh Priory. (fn. 41) His gift was confirmed by Humphrey de Bohun after 1131 (fn. 42) but the priory seems to have sold or exchanged the estate soon afterwards and the descent of the land cannot be traced further.
Two hides in Etchilhampton were granted to Ernulf of Hesdin after 1066. (fn. 43) The overlordship of that land passed in the same way as the manor of Keevil to Ernulf's heirs and to the earls of Arundel, until the death of Edmund, earl of Kent, in 1330. (fn. 44)
T.R.E. the two hides belonged to Edric, whose widow Estrild held them of Ernulf in 1086. (fn. 45) By 1228 the land was held for service at Devizes Castle by Ralph de Wilington (d. c. 1237), governor of the castle 1232–4, clearly of the manor of Keevil for which the earls of Arundel owed castle guard duties at Devizes. (fn. 46) Ralph was succeeded by his son Sir Ralph and he by his son, another Sir Ralph, who died before 1294. The land passed to the last Sir Ralph's son, John de Wilington (d. 1338), (fn. 47) and to John's son Ralph (d.s.p. 1348). Ralph was succeeded by his uncle Reynold de Wilington (d.s.p. 1355), and he by John, the son of Sir Henry de Wilington (d. 1349). John was succeeded by his son Ralph who died without issue. The land in Etchilhampton was taken into the king's hand because of the minority and idiocy of John de Wilington, Ralph's brother and heir, who died in 1396. (fn. 48)
The Wilingtons' land in Etchilhampton was further subinfeudated. Geoffrey Blount probably held it in 1194. (fn. 49) He was apparently succeeded by the 1230s by Richard Blount who held the land in 1255, (fn. 50) but who was succeeded by Geoffrey Blount before 1270. (fn. 51) Geoffrey died seised of the land in 1280. (fn. 52) Richard Blount, his heir, was a minor but presumably entered the land in 1292 and held it until c. 1333. (fn. 53) Richard was succeeded by another Geoffrey Blount who died before 1363 leaving as heir his daughter Margaret, the wife of Walter of Frampton. (fn. 54) The land probably passed from Margaret and Walter to John Frampton, presumably their son, who held it in 1412. (fn. 55) John was succeeded in 1425 by his son Robert (d. 1464) who was succeeded by another John Frampton. (fn. 56) The land apparently passed after John's death to another Robert Frampton whose son James (d. 1523) devised it to religious uses for fifteen years. Reversion in it passed to his cousin and heir Roger Frampton (d. 1530), whose heir, his nephew John Frampton, presumably entered the land in 1538. (fn. 57) John was succeeded before 1560 by his son Robert who sold the land in 1568 to William Lavington of Chirton. (fn. 58)
John Frampton leased the land to Robert Bayley, (fn. 59) and William Lavington leased it to Robert's son John. (fn. 60) John Bayley was succeeded as lessee by his son Robert (d. 1610), to whom Lavington conveyed the land in 1588, and who was Lavington's executor in 1590. (fn. 61) Robert Bayley was succeeded by his son Richard, then a minor, who died in 1626 leaving his son Robert also a minor. (fn. 62) Robert probably entered the land c. 1644. (fn. 63) It passed at his death before 1681 to his daughter Honour (d. 1685), the wife of Henry Eyre, (fn. 64) and was probably sold by Henry to William Tichborne and his brother Michael in 1722 when he sold them Wedhampton House in Urchfont. (fn. 65) The estate, called Tichborne's, was settled on the marriage of William's son Michael in 1759. (fn. 66) Michael Tichborne was succeeded in the early 1790s by his daughter Teresa. She sold the estate in 1797 when it was broken up. (fn. 67) Tichborne's farm, only some 55 a., belonged in 1971 to Economic Forestry Group (Nurseries) Ltd. (fn. 68)
Two Frenchmen held 2¼ hides in Etchilhampton in 1086. (fn. 69) The land of one of them, 4½ virgates, was probably the land bought by Richard Chandler from Walran son of Ives in 1236. (fn. 70) Richard was apparently succeeded by another Richard Chandler (d. before 1281), whose son Richard held the land after him. (fn. 71) In 1316 Richard conveyed reversion in the land to Richard Blount who had apparently married the elder Richard Chandler's widow. (fn. 72) The land passed to Blount, probably before 1326, and was merged with his other holding in Etchilhampton. (fn. 73)
Erleching held 1½ virgate in Etchilhampton in 1086. (fn. 74) His land was possibly that acquired by Richard Chandler from William Bussel and his wife Agnes in 1249. (fn. 75) It was held of the younger Richard Chandler by Richard Blount in 1281 (fn. 76) and presumably passed with Chandler's other land to Blount before 1326.
An estate of perhaps 100 a. in Etchilhampton probably belonged to members of the Dorchester family in the late 17th century. (fn. 77) It apparently passed from Roger Dorchester to his daughter Anne, the second wife of William Hunt. (fn. 78) Anne was succeeded c. 1787 by Walter Hunt-Grubbe, her late husband's grandson. Walter was succeeded in 1807 by his nephew William Hunt-Grubbe (d. 1817) who sold some of his land in Etchilhampton to Richard Erle-Drax-Grosvenor. (fn. 79) William was succeeded by Lady Sarah Hunt-Grubbe c. 1819. The rest of the estate was broken up and sold by 1839. (fn. 80)
There were several estates in Etchilhampton in 1086. Edward of Salisbury's was assessed at 7 hides T.R.E. He had 4 hides in demesne with 3 ploughs, and 12 bordars, 6 cottars, and 2 Frenchmen who shared 2 hides, a virgate, and 2 ploughs. His lands were previously worth £6 but in 1086 the demesne was worth £6 10s. and the Frenchmen's lands were worth £2. The land included 6 a. of meadow and 50 a. of pasture. Ernulf of Hesdin's land amounted to 2 hides on which there were a plough, 7 bordars, and a cottar. He held 12 a. of meadow and 12 a. of pasture. His land was previously, and was still in 1086, worth 40s. The 1½ virgate held by Erleching in 1086 amounted to land enough for 2 oxen, worth 7s. 6d. At that time the lands in Etchilhampton amounted to some 9 hides worth a total of £10 17s. 6d. There were no villeins. Most of the land was clearly in demesne farms although the 19 bordars of the village may each have held a few acres. (fn. 81)
There was apparently a single arable field in Etchilhampton in the 13th century. (fn. 82) The pastures were used in common and in 1270 an agreement was reached between William Malwain and the prior of Bradenstoke to regulate the use of the cattle pasture by the tenants of William, the prior, and Geoffrey Blount, the three principal lords of land in the parish. (fn. 83) In 1285 William Malwain and the prior of Bradenstoke also reached agreement over the use of the sheep pasture. They decided that their respective men should have pasture throughout the year for as many sheep as they could keep in winter. (fn. 84)
All the arable and meadow land and most of the pasture of Etchilhampton was apparently commonable in the 16th century. The arable was in the north and west of the parish, including Etchilhampton Hill, and was probably cultivated on a two-field system. The north-eastern part, below the hill, was called Shortland field. (fn. 85) The south-western part, including the hill, was later called Whitelands. (fn. 86) The meadow land, part of which was called Long Mead, lay in the north-east and east of the parish. (fn. 87) The meadows of the various freeholders, the farmer, and the copyholders of Etchilhampton manor, were divided only by merestones. (fn. 88) The pasture seems to have been mainly in the south and south-east, but Tinkfield was a common lowland pasture south-west of the hill. (fn. 89) It was decided in 1541 that the common pastures should be used by the tenants of Etchilhampton manor at the rate of 20 sheep in summer and 30 sheep in winter for each virgate of land they held. (fn. 90) In the 16th century the two largest farms of the parish were apparently the demesne farm of Etchilhampton manor, later called Manor farm, and the Frampton family's farm, later called Tichborne's farm, held by Robert Bayley in 1548. (fn. 91) The smaller farms included the two held of Bradenstoke Priory, (fn. 92) later Bayley's farm, and the several copyholds of Etchilhampton manor.
Inclosure of the lowland pasture, some of the arable, and probably the meadow land, apparently took place in the earlier 17th century. By 1626 the farm that became Tichborne's included pasture lately inclosed from the waste, (fn. 93) and by 1683 all its 160 a. were cultivated in severalty. The farm included pasture inclosures of up to 10 a. and Tinkfield, an arable inclosure of 70 a. at the western end of Whitelands. (fn. 94) There is no evidence of cultivation of meadow land in common or of common rights over lowland pasture after that date although common rights over the rest of the arable were presumably retained by the tenants of Etchilhampton manor and perhaps by the other freeholders.
In the later 18th century Jacob Giddings held the two largest farms in Etchilhampton, Tichborne's farm which he had leased in 1779, and Manor farm. (fn. 95) Charles Hitchcock held Manor farm, 221 a., in 1815 when there were also some ten small farms held by leases from Etchilhampton manor, 600 a. in all. (fn. 96) Hunt-Grubbe's land, Bayley's farm, and Tichborne's farm, by then broken up, were other farms in the parish. (fn. 97) William Hitchcock held 400 a. in Etchilhampton in 1839 and John Biggs held 160 a., but there were still seven or eight farms of less than 50 a. There were 516 a. of arable, most of it in two open fields, North field and Whitelands, (fn. 98) common pasture rights over which, however, were not mentioned, and there were 290 a. of inclosed meadows and pastures. (fn. 99)
The arable fields were probably inclosed in the later 19th century when the farming units of the 20th century began to emerge. Tinkfield farm south of the Devizes-Upavon road, 48 a., was created from Bayley's land when it was sold in 1884. (fn. 100) Tichborne's farm, with buildings behind the church, reduced to 40 a., was sold in 1905, (fn. 101) and, when it was sold in 1928, Etchilhampton manor comprised only Manor farm, some 500 a., and Church or Upper farm, 83 a., with buildings on the northern side of the old village street. (fn. 102) By 1971 Manor farm had been reduced to 383 a. and there was still a number of small farms in the parish including Upper farm, some 30 a., Tinkfield farm, 40–50 a., and Tichborne's farm where ornamental trees were cultivated. Etchilhampton Hill was largely part of Manor farm, Stert. (fn. 103) The use of the land has remained substantially unchanged. In 1971 the hill was still arable but the rest of the parish was devoted largely to dairy farming.
Records of two courts of Alice Malwain, 1429–30, (fn. 104) and of five courts baron of the manor of Etchilhampton held between 1546 and 1586, (fn. 105) are the only evidence of early local government in the parish and they deal only with tenurial matters and the observation of agrarian custom. Prominent among the entries in the later records are matters relating to the use of commonable land. The Ernles claimed suit of court of those holding other land freely in the parish but apparently failed to enforce it.
A church was built at Etchilhampton in the later 14th century. It was annexed to the church of All Cannings as a chapel, apparently from its foundation, and remained so in 1971. (fn. 108)
All the great and small tithes of Etchilhampton were taken by the rector of All Cannings. When they were commuted in 1839 £316 was allotted to the rector in respect of the tithes of Etchilhampton. (fn. 109)
The chapel was endowed with a house, used as a barn c. 1600 and not subsequently recorded, and some 4 a. of land enjoyed by the rector of All Cannings. (fn. 110)
From at least the mid 16th century rectors of All Cannings appointed curates to assist them. (fn. 111) When the rectors lived at All Cannings, which they did not always do, the curates were possibly specifically responsible for the cure at Etchilhampton. (fn. 112) The curate who assisted the rector at Etchilhampton received a stipend of £30 in 1674. (fn. 113) In 1783 he held services every Sunday at Etchilhampton, once in winter, twice in summer. (fn. 114) In 1833 he received a stipend of £81. (fn. 115) On census day in 1851 the church was attended by congregations of 40–50 people in the morning and 80–90 people in the afternoon. (fn. 116) In 1864 services were held, apparently by the curate, twice every Sunday and at festivals. The Sacrament was administered to some 15–20 communicants four times a year. (fn. 117) In 1971 the rector of All Cannings held services in the church.
The church of ST. ANDREW, so dedicated before 1423, (fn. 118) consists of chancel with north vestry and nave with south porch and double bellcot at the west gable end. The nave dates from the later 14th century and the chancel was evidently of the same period before it was rebuilt. (fn. 119) The only older feature in the church is a late-Norman circular font bowl. The chancel arch has an unusual ball moulding on its east side. The nave has diagonal buttresses, that at the north-west angle carrying on each face an ogee-headed and canopied niche, and its tiebeam roof, with king-posts, queen-posts, and cusped wind-braces, appears to be original. Mounted in a recess formed by the blocked north doorway is a carved stone panel of the 14th century representing the angel Gabriel. A figure of St. Anne teaching the Virgin was formerly in a niche above that doorway but by 1856 had disappeared. (fn. 120) The chancel contains a fine altar tomb of the late 14th century which was formerly in the north-east corner of the nave. (fn. 121) It bears the recumbent effigies of a man in plate armour and a woman with a square head-dress. They possibly represent members of the Malwain family, or the Blount family, who may have had some connexion with the building of the church. Box-pews, of various dates from the 17th century, are raised at the west end to serve as a low gallery. The chancel was rebuilt and the vestry added 1868–9 to the designs of Henry Weaver. (fn. 122) The 19th-century porch replaced an older one (fn. 123) and the bellcot has been restored.
There were two bells in 1553. There were still two in the early 20th century, the second dating from 1675 and said to be cracked. (fn. 124) Both were in the bellcot in 1971.
There was a chalice weighing 8 oz. in the church in 1553 when 2½ oz. of silver were taken for the king. In 1971 the plate included an Elizabethan cup and a paten, hall-marked 1675, given in 1681 by Mary, the widow of Robert Bayley. Another chalice and paten were given by the rector of All Cannings in 1883. (fn. 125)
The registers date from 1630 and are complete. (fn. 126)
A meeting-house in Etchilhampton was registered in 1798, (fn. 127) and two more houses were registered as dissenters' meeting-places in 1836 and 1837. (fn. 128) In 1851 Baptist services began to be held in a private house in Etchilhampton, attended by 35 people on census day in that year, but no chapel was provided for the congregation. (fn. 129) Some people of Etchilhampton attended the Baptist chapel at Allington but in 1890 a Baptist mission room was erected in the village. (fn. 130) It was sold in 1962. (fn. 131)
A day- and Sunday school for about 40 children was opened in Etchilhampton in 1818. (fn. 132) A new school, with an attached house, was built in 1831 in the centre of the village on the north side of the street. (fn. 133) In 1833 the day-school was attended by 29 boys and 31 girls. (fn. 134) The schoolhouse was rebuilt in 1875. (fn. 135) In 1906 the average attendance was 37. (fn. 136) In 1929 the older children were transferred to Devizes and by 1938 the average attendance at Etchilhampton had fallen to 27. (fn. 137) In 1970 the school was closed. In 1971 about 10 Etchilhampton children attended All Cannings school. (fn. 138)
Charities for the Poor.
William Dorchester, by his will proved 1721, bequeathed £10 to benefit the poor of Etchilhampton not receiving parish aid. Another £10 was subsequently added and the annual interest on the £20 yielded 10s. Bayley's charity was set up with £52 given by Edward Bayley in 1814. The trustees allowed the interest to accumulate until 1823 when £63 was invested. The incomes of Bayley's and Dorchester's charities were subsequently allowed to accumulate for a few years, and then spent jointly on blankets. (fn. 139) Residents of Etchilhampton also benefited from Methuen's charity set up for parishioners of All Cannings in 1883, a third of the income of which, £1 4s. in the early 20th century, belonged to Etchilhampton. (fn. 140) At that time the income from all three charities was applied jointly. It was used to buy flannel which was given away in lengths of three yards to nearly all the poor people of Etchilhampton. (fn. 141)
The income from Dorchester's and Bayley's charities amounted to £3 4s. in 1965 when six people each received 10s. in cash. (fn. 142)