A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 15, Amesbury Hundred, Branch and Dole Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1995.
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Cholderton, (fn. 1) 686 ha. (1,695 a.), is in the upper Bourne valley 15 km. north-east of Salisbury. (fn. 2) In 1086 there were eight estates called Cholderton, four in Wiltshire and four in Hampshire: (fn. 3) the Wiltshire four constitute Cholderton parish; the other four remained in Hampshire as part of the adjoining parish of Amport. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Wiltshire Cholderton was sometimes called West Cholderton, (fn. 4) the Hampshire one East Cholderton. (fn. 5)
On the north-east the parish boundary, with Hampshire, is marked by a prehistoric ditch, called Devil's ditch, and on the north-west crosses a summit of Beacon Hill. On the west another prehistoric ditch marks the east—west section of the boundary with Bulford, and roads mark the boundary on the south and east.
The parish is entirely on Upper Chalk. Where it crosses the east part, on a roughly north—south course, the Bourne has deposited gravel. (fn. 6) From c. 183 m. on Beacon Hill the land falls southeastwards to the river, which leaves the parish at below 91 m., and in the south-east corner of the parish there is land at c. 100 m. The river flows only in late winter; even then it is often intermittent, and its course is frequently dry all year. Sometimes, however, severe flooding has occurred. (fn. 7) There was downland pasture in the north and south parts of the parish, arable on lower land east, west, and north of Cholderton village, and meadow beside the Bourne. (fn. 8)
Two main roads crossed the parish in the later 17th century, the Oxford—Salisbury road via Hungerford (Berks.) across the west part, the London to Bridgwater (Som.) road via Andover (Hants) and Amesbury across the north part. A new course west of the parish had been adopted for the Hungerford road by 1773, and the old road through Cholderton parish decreased in importance. (fn. 9) The Andover–Amesbury road was turnpiked in 1761 and disturnpiked in 1871. (fn. 10) From 1958 it has been part of the London–Exeter trunk road, (fn. 11) and in 1988 a new dual-carriageway section was made across the parish a little north of the old course. (fn. 12) The road linking Cholderton village to Salisbury through the villages of the lower Bourne valley was blocked by imparking around Wilbury House in Newton Tony parish in the 18th century. (fn. 13) The old road south of the village fell into disuse, and Salisbury could be reached from Cholderton by what was evidently a new stretch of road southwest of the village and either a road on the western edge of Wilbury park or the road on the boundary with Newton Tony and the old Hungerford road. (fn. 14) In 1835, however, a turnpike road from Swindon and Marlborough to Salisbury was completed, a new section of road was made in Newton Tony, and the road through and south-west of Cholderton village became part of a main Swindon–Salisbury road through the Bourne valley. That road was disturnpiked in 1876. (fn. 15) It was still a main road in 1992, when the road on the boundary with Newton Tony and the old Hungerford road were tracks. A road from Grateley (Hants) crosses the main road in the village and runs west to join the Andover–Amesbury road in Bulford parish.
The two ditches on the parish boundary and a ditch, now obliterated, which crossed the parish north-west and south-east, all formed part of a prehistoric network, possibly connected with cattle ranching, centred on Sidbury Hill in North Tidworth. Two field systems, one of 50 a. south-west of Devil's ditch, and another of 100 a. in the south-west corner of the parish and extending into Newton Tony, are associated with them. Near the Bulford boundary are three Bronze-Age bowl barrows, one of which contained a secondary Romano-British cremation. Romano-British coins have also been found in the parish. (fn. 16)
Cholderton's assessment for taxation 1332–4 showed it as relatively prosperous, (fn. 17) there were 46 poll-tax payers in 1377, (fn. 18) and taxation assessments of the 16th century and earlier 17th indicate moderate prosperity. (fn. 19) The population rose from 127 in 1801 to 191 in 1861. It fell to 161 in 1871, apparently because a large family was away from the parish, but rose to 238 in 1911. It was 188 in 1921, 204 in 1961, and 200 in 1991. (fn. 20)
Cholderton village stands on the gravel, with buildings on both sides of the Bourne along the Salisbury road where it follows the west bank. Buildings on the east bank are approached by bridges. Near the north end a new bridge for Church Lane was built in 1834; in the south a bridge was built of brick with iron railings in 1858 and rebuilt in 1908. (fn. 21) The chief building materials of houses in the village are chalk, brick, and flint, and some cottages have thatched roofs.
In 1773, and presumably earlier, the principal buildings of the village, the church, the Rectory, and Cholderton House, were at the north end. In Church Lane a range of single-storeyed cottages, partly thatched, was built on the north side, possibly c. 1800, (fn. 22) and a village school was later built on the south side. (fn. 23) South of the church stood a manor house which in 1773 and 1817 had a small park to the east: the house was demolished between 1817 and c. 1832. (fn. 24) On or near its site Upper Farm, later Drybrook Lodge, was built c. 1860 to designs by T. H. Wyatt (fn. 25) to replace a farmhouse which stood beside the road. (fn. 26)
In the south part of the village the buildings were in 1773 and 1992 more closely grouped. (fn. 27) On the west side Lower or Manor Farm had extensive farm buildings around it in the early 19th century. (fn. 28) The house, called Manor House in 1992, was built in the earlier 18th century on a square plan with a single-storeyed kitchen wing to the south. The principal east front, of five boys, has two storeys with attic dormers, and is built of red brick with decorations of black brick and a moulded brick cornice. A twostoreyed north service block was built from old materials in 1914 to designs by A. C. Bothams. (fn. 29) South of the house stand an earlier 18th-century stable and a weatherboarded barn on staddle stones. In the 1980s a farm building was converted for residence and two private houses were built. At the road junction south-east of the house, a village hall with a clock tower was built in 1912 and, a little to the north, a fountain was built about the same time. (fn. 30) On the east side of the road most of the cottages were either rebuilt or altered in the 19th century. The Crown was an inn in 1855 (fn. 31) and 1992. By 1773 settlement had extended south into what was later called Grateley Road, (fn. 32) and east along it there was later more. Holly Tree House on the north side was built of chalk in the late 18th century and extended in the early 19th; other houses were built in the early 19th. (fn. 33) North of Grateley Road in Edric's Close six council houses and six bungalows for old people were built 1952–4. (fn. 34)
North of the village a farmstead was built on downland beside a pond on the south side of the Andover—Amesbury road in the late 18th century or early 19th. (fn. 35) A coach house east of it (fn. 36) was later converted to a pair of cottages. The farmstead was burnt down in 1870 (fn. 37) and was replaced by Down Barn. (fn. 38) A few other buildings, including a commercial garage and a large house of c. 1900, (fn. 39) were built beside the road. About 1900 H. C. Stephens, who owned most of the parish, (fn. 40) commissioned three houses and three pairs of cottages, (fn. 41) all of flint and red brick in vernacular style and built outside the village: Walnut Cottage, Ann's Farm (later Beacon House), and two pairs of cottages were built beside the road leading west from the village, later called Amesbury Road; Scotland Lodge was built beside the parish boundary in Bulford parish, and a pair of cottages was built beside the parish boundary north of the village. Also in Amesbury Road a pair of estate cottages was built in the 1920s or 1930s, and 12 council houses, 4 in 1927, 4 in 1932, 2 in 1939, and 2 in 1958, (fn. 42) and 4 private bungalows were built. A large private house, Cowden, was built of brick on the former Cow down south of the village in 1939. (fn. 43)
In 1904 waterworks, fed from springs in Hampshire and including reservoirs and a water tower in Cholderton, were constructed for the Cholderton Water Co. Ltd. to supply H. C. Stephens's Cholderton estate in Wiltshire and Hampshire. In 1992 the Cholderton & District Water Co. Ltd., so called from 1939, still supplied Cholderton and parts of other parishes. (fn. 44)
Manors and other estates.
Alfsige (d. 959), archbishop of Canterbury, devised the reversion of either Cholderton or East or West Chittington (Suss.) to Alfwig. (fn. 45)
The estate of 3½ hides less 4 a. which became CHOLDERTON manor was held in 1086 by William of Eu (d. c. 1095). (fn. 46) Like other estates of William, the overlordship of the manor descended to Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke (d. 1245). (fn. 47) The overlordship has not been traced further.
Bernard was William of Eu's tenant in 1086, (fn. 48) and the mesne lordship descended in his family to Roger Bernard (fl. c. 1175) and to Eudes Bernard who held it in 1242–3. (fn. 49) One of the family subinfeudated the manor to Reynold de Argentine, (fn. 50) and Richard de Argentine held it in 1242–3. (fn. 51) It passed to Reynold de Argentine (d. c. 1308) and his son John (d. c. 1323), who left a son John, a minor. (fn. 52) The family's interest has not been traced further.
The first Reynold de Argentine further subinfeudated the manor to a member of the Bassingbourn family. (fn. 53) Alan of Bassingbourn held it in 1242–3 (fn. 54) and it passed like Bassingbourn manor in Wimpole (Cambs.) in the direct Bassingbourn line to Baldwin (d. 1275), Warin (d. 1323), Warin (d. 1348), who held in chief and was granted free warren in his demesne at Cholderton, and Warin. (fn. 55)
John Skilling and his wife Faith held Cholderton manor in 1382. (fn. 56) Another John Skilling held it in 1428, (fn. 57) and it descended in the Skilling family like Shoddesden manor in Kimpton (Hants) to Elizabeth, daughter of a John Skilling, who married John Wynnard (fl. 1465) and afterwards Thomas Wayte (d. 1482). (fn. 58) Sir Thomas Lovell held the manor in 1492–4: it is likely that it had been forfeited, perhaps in 1485, and granted to him by the king. (fn. 59) In a way that is obscure it passed to John Thornborough, who died seised of it in 1511. It passed to John's son Robert (fn. 60) (d. 1522) and to Robert's relict Anne, who later married Sir Anthony Windsor. It was held in 1562 by Robert's grandson John Thornborough, (fn. 61) and after John's death c. 1594 by his relict Margaret. (fn. 62) The manor was sold before 1603 to Sir George Kingsmill (fn. 63) (d. 1606), passed to his relict Sarah (fn. 64) (d. 1629), afterwards wife of Edward la Zouche, Lord Zouche (d. 1625), and of Sir Thomas Edmundes, (fn. 65) and reverted to Bridget (will proved 1672), relict of Sir George's elder brother Sir Henry Kingsmill (d. 1624). (fn. 66) Bridget was succeeded by her son Daniel Kingsmill (will proved 1679) and Daniel by his relict Abigail (fl. 1681), (fn. 67) on whose death the manor reverted to Daniel's nephew Sir William Kingsmill (d. 1698). From Sir William's son and heir William (d. s.p. 1766) it descended to his niece Elizabeth (d. 1783), wife of Robert Brice, who took the name Kingsmill in 1766. (fn. 68) The manor was owned from 1781 or earlier by William Hayter (d. 1795) and afterwards by his nephew the Revd. Edward Foyle (d. 1832). (fn. 69) The manor house was that, south of the church, demolished in the earlier 19th century. (fn. 70)
Foyle, who already owned other land in the parish, (fn. 71) devised his Cholderton estate to his niece Frances Bolton (from 1835 Frances Nelson, Countess Nelson, d. 1878). (fn. 72) Her son and successor Sir Maurice Nelson sold the 1,016-a. estate in 1889 to the ink manufacturer H. C. Stephens (fn. 73) (d. 1918). (fn. 74) From 1893 Stephens owned nearly all the parish. (fn. 75) He devised it to his grandson P. M. L. Edmunds (fn. 76) (d. 1975), whose son Mr. H. A. Edmunds sold 380 a. in 1986 (fn. 77) and owned over 1,000 a. in 1992. (fn. 78)
Other estates in Cholderton originated in small estates held in 1066 by Alwin and Ulvric (½ hide each), Sewi (I hide), and Ulward (1 hide and 4 a.). Ernulf of Hesdin held them all in 1086 when Godric held the two ½ hides of him and Ulward held his I hide and 4 a. by lease. (fn. 79) The overlordship of the estates descended like Berwick St. James manor: it passed from Ernulf through the Chaworth family, in the 14th century was held by the earls and dukes of Lancaster, and as part of the duchy of Lancaster was attached to the Crown in 1399. (fn. 80)
Some estates held of Ernulf of Hesdin and his successors apparently merged to form LOWER farm. In 1203 Jordan Britton made good his claim against William Bacon to hold 3½ yardlands in Cholderton. (fn. 81) William Britton conveyed I hide in 1236 to Michael of Cholderton, (fn. 82) who held ½ knight's fee in 1242–3. (fn. 83) Land in Cholderton, possibly the same, was confirmed to Peter of Cholderton and his wife Isabel in 1256. (fn. 84) In the later 13th century William Edmund conveyed land, again possibly the same, to John of Durnford, who conveyed it to Sir Henry Thistleden. (fn. 85) About 1330 Henry Thistleden held land in Cholderton later reputed a manor (fn. 86) and either he or a namesake held it in 1361. (fn. 87) It apparently passed to Walter Carbonell and by 1428 had been divided into five or more parts. (fn. 88) One part, held in 1428 by William Nail, was conveyed in 1440 by him or a namesake to Thomas Bailey. (fn. 89) Later it was said to comprise a house and c. 508 a. and was held by Robert Bailey. Robert's daughter and heir Elizabeth married Ralph Reeve and 1532 x 1544 their son John claimed it. (fn. 90) Called a manor, it was later owned by Cuthbert Reeve (d. 1594) and his relict Eleanor (fl. 1599). (fn. 91) Another part, also called a manor, was held in the later 16th century by William Pound and his wife Ellen; (fn. 92) others were held by Agnes Philpot (fl. 1540) and her son Edward Philpot, (fn. 93) by William Rutter, (fn. 94) and possibly by Henry Clifford (fl. 1599). (fn. 95) None of the five has been traced further, and some or all were apparently merged to form Lower farm, which Henry Hoare (d. 1785) owned in 1737 and William Blatch (d. 1820) in 1781. (fn. 96) Blatch's son William sold the farm in 1830 to Sir Alexander Malet, Bt. (d. 1886), whose son Sir Henry Malet, Bt., sold it, then 565 a., in 1893 to H. C. Stephens, the owner of most other land in the parish. (fn. 97)
Other estates held of Ernulf of Hesdin were possibly the origin of the CHOLDERTON HOUSE estate. One, perhaps the ½ knight's fee held in 1242–3 by John de Aure, (fn. 98) was conveyed by Robert Hungerford (d. 1352) to Ivychurch priory. (fn. 99) It passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, (fn. 100) and was sold through agents in 1582. (fn. 101) John Harding (d. 1609) owned it, and his son Thomas (fn. 102) sold it in 1613 to Sir Thomas White (will proved 1641), who owned it in 1638. (fn. 103) It passed, apparently like Claygate manor in Ash (Surr.), to Sir Thomas's cousin Robert Woodroffe (d. 1639). Robert was succeeded in turn by his sons Thomas (fl. 1658) and George. (fn. 104) In 1676 George sold it to Jonathan Hill (d. 1727), who already owned land in the parish. (fn. 105) Hill's estate descended to his grandson John Lee Hill (will proved 1760), who owned it in 1737, and to John's son John Jonathan Hill. (fn. 106) J. J. Hill sold Cholderton House and 750 a. in 1771 to the Revd. Edward Foyle (d. 1784). The estate passed to Foyle's son the Revd. Edward Foyle and from 1795 descended with Cholderton manor. (fn. 107) In 1690 Cholderton House was built, of flint with red-brick dressings, as a twostoreyed house with attics above dentilled eaves and with a central doorway in a five-bayed east entrance front. (fn. 108) Features of 1690 to survive inside the house include panelling in rooms in the north-east corner, a staircase, doorcases, and doors. Other panelling was renewed or inserted in the 18th and 20th centuries. In the 19th the attics were made into a third storey. Before c. 1840 a west wing was built from the south end of the west elevation and a south wing from the west end of the south elevation. (fn. 109) The south wing was demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 110) West of the house the walls of a former kitchen garden incorporate a small, possibly early 19thcentury, classical gazebo and a large doorway with a keystone dated 1780. North of the house, and perhaps of c. 1690, a grove of yew trees, c. 3 a., was aligned in four north-south rows c. 250 ft. long: the inner rows enclosed two circular clearings. (fn. 111) The grove was ruined by a gale in 1893. (fn. 112)
Mottisfont priory (Hants) held land at Cholderton at the Dissolution. It was possibly given by one of the Chaworths, overlords of land in Cholderton and descendants of the priory's founder. In 1536 the land was granted to William Sandys, Lord Sandys (d. 1540), and his wife Margery. (fn. 113) From their son Thomas, Lord Sandys (d. 1560), it descended to his grandson William, Lord Sandys (d. 1623), who owned it in 1600. (fn. 114) It was perhaps the estate owned in 1659 by Jonathan Hill (d. 1670). Hill devised his lands to his wife Elizabeth (d. 1675) and to his son Jonathan (d. 1727). (fn. 115) From 1676 they descended as part of the Cholderton House estate. (fn. 116)
Two yardlands at Cholderton were given to Monkton Farleigh priory by Roger son of Otes, possibly the Roger of Cholderton who leased them from the priory in 1210. (fn. 117) The priory held the estate in 1291. (fn. 118) No later evidence has been found.
Before 1737 Anthony Cracherode (d. 1752) acquired an estate in Cholderton. He devised it to his cousin Mordaunt Cracherode, (fn. 119) who in 1755 sold it, then 97 a., to Thomas Hayter. (fn. 120) From Thomas (d. 1779) it passed to his son William (d. 1795), and it was merged with Cholderton manor. (fn. 121)
In 1086 the four estates at Cholderton had land for 5½ ploughteams which were there: apparently 3 teams were on demesne land and 2½ on land held by 5 bordars and 5 coscets. On the demesne of what became Cholderton manor there were 2 servi. There were 36 square furlongs of pasture but neither meadow nor woodland. (fn. 122)
Sheep-and-corn husbandry prevailed in the parish until the later 19th century. Until the later 18th there may have been roughly equal areas of open fields and common pasture. Nearly all the land north of the Andover—Amesbury road was apparently pasture for sheep: in the early 19th century, after inclosure, Tenantry down (c. 120 a.), Upper down (c. 200 a.), and Lower down (c. 200 a.) were mentioned, and a further 58 a. called Upper down lay west of the old Hungerford road in the south-west corner of the parish. In the south-east corner lay Cow down, c. 130 a. The open fields, mainly in the centre of the parish and perhaps c. 750 a., were called North, West or Middle, and South in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Meadows lay on either side of the Bourne. (fn. 123) A sheep down of 220 a., on which 560 sheep could be stinted, was inclosed in 1737, (fn. 124) other downland and some arable were inclosed in the period 1747–52, (fn. 125) and the remaining commonable land, c. 180 a. of arable and 73 a. of Cow down, was inclosed in 1806. (fn. 126) After it was inclosed most of the downland was ploughed. Some was burnbaked in the earlier 18th century (fn. 127) and in the earlier 19th all the downland except 52 a. of Cow down was arable. About 40 a. more of Cow down were ploughed in the period 1840–7. In the later 18th century there were two small parks, West park, c. 40 a. in 1776, and that south-east of the church: both had been ploughed by c. 1840. (fn. 128)
In 1659 there were two large farms, Upper and Lower, and four others, 1 of 2½ yardlands, 2 of 1 yardland, and 1 of ½ yardland. (fn. 129) Sainfoin was grown on c. 30 a. of Lower farm in the earlier 18th century (fn. 130) and elsewhere in 1753. (fn. 131) From 1781 or earlier to c. 1797 nearly all the land in the parish was in Lower farm, worked by William Blatch. From c. 1798 Upper farm was again separate. (fn. 132) In 1840 Upper farm was 953 a., of which c. 863 a. were arable, and Lower farm was 595 a., of which c. 550 a. were arable. The fields of both farms were of 20–30 a. (fn. 133)
There was less arable, but still about two thirds of the parish, in the period 1867–76, when grain, especially barley, was sown on about half the arable, root crops and vetches on the rest of it. More arable was laid to pasture 1876–86, and flocks totalling c. 2,000 sheep and herds averaging 60 pigs were kept. (fn. 134) Between 1889 and 1900 nearly the whole parish was brought in hand as part of H. C. Stephens's Cholderton estate based at Cholderton Lodge in Amport. It was divided into four farms, each with its arable divided into fields of 24 a. and its own manager. Michael's farm, 435 a. worked mainly from Down Barn, had 13 fields and c. 120 a. of woodland and downland; Ann's or Mount Pleasant farm, 389 a. worked from Beacon House, had 11 fields and c. 122 a. of woodland and downland; Pearl farm, 308 a. in the north corner of the parish, had 11 fields and c. 40 a. of woodland; Scotland farm, 330 a., had 11 fields and c. 62 a. of woodland. Cow down and other land east of the village was tenanted. The estate maintained a herd of Tamworth pigs, pedigree herds of Galloway and of Highland cattle, a stud of Cleveland Bays set up in 1885 from which carriage horses were supplied for the royal mews, and a flock of Hampshire Down sheep formed in 1890. Sainfoin was reintroduced as summer grazing for sheep. By the 1930s all the farms had been leased, the fields were again of different sizes, and all the downland north-east of the old Hungerford road was again pasture. In 1992 all except Ann's farm were again in hand as part of the Cholderton estate, which included about as much land in Hampshire as in Wiltshire: much of the Wiltshire land was arable and the Hampshire Down flock and Cleveland Bay stud were maintained. (fn. 135) Based at Beacon House, Cholderton Rare Breeds farm, c. 50 a., was open to the public. (fn. 136)
Hill's copse, 4 a. in 1817, was apparently the only woodland in the parish until c. 36 a., including the 14 a. of Scotland wood, were planted between 1817 and 1840. (fn. 137) Hill's copse was enlarged before c. 1878, and between 1889 and 1910 a total of 25 a. in four areas in the centre and west of the parish were planted. Between 1925 and 1948 trees were also planted along the parish boundary at its north corner. (fn. 138)
All those woods were standing in 1992.
At a small factory opened at Down Barn c. 1990 Country Leisure Group Ltd. in 1992 employed 18 people in making equipment for swimming pools. (fn. 139) Extensive stabling and an indoor riding school were built c. 1980 west of Cholderton House for a commercial equestrian centre. In 1992 the buildings and the former kitchen garden of the house were used for dressage training. (fn. 140)
An average of £16 a year was spent on the poor 1783–5, and in 1802–3 c. £37 was spent on relieving 7 regularly and 6 occasionally. Between 1812 and 1815 c. £70 a year was spent on relieving c. 8 regularly and c. 6 occasionally: the total number relieved in Cholderton was a much smaller proportion of the population than was usual elsewhere. (fn. 141) Sums spent each year were low for Amesbury hundred: they averaged c. £44 in the early 1820s, c. £67 in the early 1830s. (fn. 142) There was no unemployed pauper in Cholderton in 1848. (fn. 143) The parish was included in Amesbury poor-law union in 1835, (fn. 144) in Salisbury district in 1974. (fn. 145)
A church stood in Cholderton c. 1175 when Roger Bernard, mesne lord of Cholderton manor, granted it to St. Neots priory (Hunts.). (fn. 146) The benefice remained a rectory and became part of Bourne Valley benefice in 1973. (fn. 147)
The advowson was held until 1337 by St. Neots priory, which presented rectors. Its right to present was challenged unsuccessfully in 1305 by Henry Spicer, who may have been undertenant of Warin of Bassingbourn's Cholderton manor. After 1337 the possessions of St. Neots, the cell of an alien house, were frequently in the king's hands, and the king presented rectors in 1337 and 1348. The lords of Cholderton manor presented from 1399, except in 1602 when Giles Hutchins presented by grant of a turn. (fn. 148) On the death of Sarah Edmundes in 1629 the advowson, unlike Cholderton manor, reverted to Sir George Kingsmill's nephew Sir William Kingsmill (d. 1661), whose wife Anne presented in 1651. (fn. 149) The advowson passed to Sir William's and Anne's son Sir William Kingsmill (d. 1698), lord of Cholderton manor, who sold it in 1692 to the Revd. Thomas Cholwell (fn. 150) (will proved 1694). Cholwell devised it to Oriel College, Oxford. (fn. 151) John Potter (d. 1747), then regius professor of divinity, presented in 1709 by grant of a turn, (fn. 152) but thereafter the college presented and from 1973 was on the patronage board for Bourne Valley benefice. (fn. 153)
The rectory was valued at £4 6s. 8d. in 1291, (fn. 154) £11 10s. 6d. in 1535, (fn. 155) and £60 in 1650. (fn. 156) Its average income of £225 a year 1829–31 made it one of the poorer livings in Amesbury deanery. (fn. 157) Oriel College augmented the living in 1864. (fn. 158) The rector was entitled to all the tithes from the whole parish. (fn. 159) They were valued at £267 in 1840 and commuted. (fn. 160) The rector had 16 a. of glebe in 1341, (fn. 161) 12 a. in 1677, (fn. 162) 10 a. in 1840, and, after two exchanges, 8 a. from 1896: (fn. 163) 5 a. were sold in 1960, the remaining 3 a. c. 1967. (fn. 164) The rectory house was repaired in 1652–3, extended east in 1659, (fn. 165) and rebuilt c. 1722. (fn. 166) Most of the new house was demolished when another was built further east in 1828. (fn. 167) That was enlarged between 1836 and 1847. (fn. 168) It was sold c. 1967, (fn. 169) a new house having been built west of it c. 1965. (fn. 170)
Rectors, one of whom was licensed to study for a year in 1298, were often in minor orders in the late 13th century and early 14th. (fn. 171) In 1409 the rector was given a year's leave of absence. (fn. 172) A curate assisted the rector 1550–3 (fn. 173) and one may have served the cure in 1565 when the rector, a pluralist, did not reside. (fn. 174) Nathaniel Noyes, rector 1622–51, signed the Concurrent Testimony and, although he did not live in Cholderton, preached twice on Sundays in 1650. (fn. 175) His successor, Samuel Heskins, was rector 1651–1709. (fn. 176) In 1662 the church lacked the Book of Homilies and Jewell's Apology. (fn. 177) The rectors were fellows of Oriel College 1709– 1879. (fn. 178) George Carter, rector 1709–20, was provost of the college and employed a curate at Cholderton. (fn. 179) John Bradley, rector 1774–1801, (fn. 180) was also rector of Worting (Hants) (fn. 181) and employed Basil Cane, rector of Everleigh, as curate at Cholderton. Cane lived at Kimpton and was also curate of Shipton Bellinger (Hants). He held two Sunday services at Cholderton and preached at the morning one; he administered the sacrament four times a year to 12–14 communicants. (fn. 182) James Pickford, rector 1802–36, was also perpetual curate of Little Eaton (Derb.). His curate at Cholderton preached at two services each Sunday in 1832, held some weekday services, and administered the sacrament four times a year. (fn. 183) Thomas Mozley, rector 1836–47, (fn. 184) was a pupil and brother-in-law of J. H. Newman. He was the first rector since 1709 to reside continuously and propagated the tenets of the Tractarians, locally by distributing Tracts for the Times, nationally through the British Critic, of which he became editor in 1841, and in articles in The Times. (fn. 185) James Fraser, rector 1847–59, continued Mozley's work and incurred the displeasure of leading parishioners by preaching in a surplice. He became bishop of Manchester in 1870. (fn. 186) In 1850–1 c. 80 people attended Sunday morning services, c. 100 those on Sunday afternoons. (fn. 187) The rector held two services on Sundays in 1864: he preached at all the services except the morning ones in alternate weeks. Weekday services were attended by c. 20. The sacrament was administered on Christmas day, Easter Sunday, either Whit Sunday or Trinity Sunday, and eight other Sundays. Of the c. 36 communicants, c. 20 received communion at the great festivals, c. 18 at other times. (fn. 188) The last fellow of Oriel College to be rector, 1875–9, was William Stubbs, who in those years lived at Cholderton each summer: Stubbs was regius professor of modern history at Oxford 1866–84 and later bishop of Chester and of Oxford. (fn. 189) The rectory was held in plurality with that of Newton Tony 1953–73. (fn. 190)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS was so called in 1763. (fn. 191) In the early 19th century the nave may have survived from the 12th-century church. The chancel may have been built in the early 13th century: it had a roof of lower pitch than the nave's but internally was undivided from the nave. Two windows were inserted in the south wall of the nave in the 15th century or early 16th. A west gallery was lit by a south dormer window. The church also had a west porch. (fn. 192) A new church was built 1841–50, mostly at the expense of Thomas Mozley, beside and north of the old, which was demolished in 1851. The new church, collegiate in plan and 15th- or early 16th-century in style, comprises an undivided chancel and nave with west ante-chapel and north-west belfry. It was built of flint with dressings of Tisbury stone to designs by Mozley and T. H. Wyatt which allowed a late-medieval 10-bayed roof from Ipswich (Suff.) to be used. The pyramidal cap of the belfry was replaced by a wooden cage c. 1987. (fn. 193) A late 12th-century font and most of the mid 19th-century fittings survived in 1992.
In 1553 the king's commissioners took 2 oz. of plate and left a chalice of 8 oz. A paten and flagon given in 1848 and a chalice given in 1850 were held in 1992. (fn. 194) There were two bells in 1553, one presumably the medieval bell from the Salisbury foundry which alone hung in the belfry in 1992. (fn. 195) Registrations of baptisms and burials survive from 1652 and are complete. Marriage registrations survive from 1664 but are lacking 1753– 1812. (fn. 196)
A school for poor children was held in the earlier 18th century, evidently by the curate, (fn. 199) and Anthony Cracherode (d. 1752) gave by will £8 17s. a year to provide a teacher and books for 12 poor children. (fn. 200) Cracherode's school existed from 1753, and in 1818 a poorly qualified woman taught 6–8 children at it. Another school had c. 15 pupils in 1808 and was presumably the school with 16 pupils in 1818. (fn. 201) In 1833 the charity school had 28 pupils and was the only one in the parish; (fn. 202) in 1846–7 another ill qualified woman taught 14 children in it. (fn. 203) A new school in Church Lane was built from materials of the old church and opened in 1851, (fn. 204) when 17 attended. Numbers rose to 36, including children from other parishes, in 1853, (fn. 205) and in 1858 two teachers taught 40 children. (fn. 206) There were 30 pupils on attendance day in 1871. (fn. 207) The school was enlarged in the earlier 20th century; (fn. 208) the £8 17s. a year was added to its funds. (fn. 209) Average attendance was 53 in 1906–7, 34 in 1932, and 46 in 1938, (fn. 210) only 18 when the school was closed in 1978. (fn. 211)
An evening school was held twice weekly in winter 1851–3 by the rector and the schoolmistress. (fn. 212) The rector still held a night school in 1864. (fn. 213) At an evening continuation school held 1894–1900, attended by c. 9 pupils 1896–9 and c. 6 in 1900, arithmetic, geography, chemistry, botany, drawing, and music were taught. (fn. 214)
Charities for the poor.
Anthony Cra-cherode (d. 1752) gave £3 3s. a year for the poor at Christmas. The money was shared among 6–8 people in 1901, (fn. 215) among 3 in 1951. (fn. 216) The £12 yearly income from that and from Cracherode's educational charity was being allowed to accumulate c. 1992. (fn. 217)
Agnes, relict of the rector James Fraser, by deed of 1885 gave £250 for winter clothing for the poor. In 1901 £8 10s. was given to a clothing club and £1 10s. to old people. (fn. 218) Between 1933 and 1947 money was given to a nursing fund and to poor people. The £9 income was divided among 9 people in 1951. (fn. 219) The £25 yearly income was being allowed to accumulate c. 1992. (fn. 220)