A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.
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Great Bedwyn village stands 10 km. south-east of Marlborough and 7 km. south-west of Hungerford (Berks.). (fn. 1) In the Middle Ages Great Bedwyn parish apparently consisted of most of what became Great Bedwyn, Little Bedwyn, and Grafton parishes. (fn. 2) As Little Bedwyn the northern third of it had become a separate parish by the 16th century. (fn. 3) Great Bedwyn parish adjoined Savernake forest, which was extra-parochial, (fn. 4) and a part of the forest, and two areas which were almost certainly parts of the forest, were added to it: Bedwyn Brails bailiwick was a detached part of the forest embraced by the parish, Tottenham park was presumably part of the forest in the 16th century, (fn. 5) and north of the park Bedwyn common and Stock common were apparently part of the forest in the 18th century although a dubious claim was then made that they were not. (fn. 6) All those lands had been absorbed by the parish by the 19th century. (fn. 7) Including them Great Bedwyn was then a parish of 9,933 a. (4,020 ha.). As East Grafton the southern half of that parish became a separate ecclesiastical district in 1844 and as Grafton a civil parish in 1895. (fn. 8) From 1895 Great Bedwyn parish measured 4,007 a. (1,622 ha.) and Grafton parish 5,927 a. (2,399 ha.). In 1987 Great Bedwyn parish was increased to 1,679 ha. by transfers from it to Burbage and to it from Little Bedwyn, Burbage, and Grafton, and Grafton parish was decreased to 2,263 ha. by transfers from it to Great Bedwyn and Burbage. (fn. 9) This article deals with Great Bedwyn parish as it was from the 16th century to 1895 when, besides Great Bedwyn village, it contained villages and hamlets called Crofton, Ford, East Grafton, West Grafton, Harding, Marten, Stock, Wexcombe, Wilton, and Wolfhall. Burgage tenure in it gave Great Bedwyn borough status. (fn. 10)
The boundary of a large estate called Bedwyn was recited in 968. Attempts to relate much of it to modern parish boundaries are unconvincing, but it had some points in common with the boundary of Great Bedwyn parish as it was from the 16th century. (fn. 11) On the east the parish boundary follows a prehistoric ditch for c. 1 km., was drawn very near to two barrows, follows a Roman road for c. 60 m., and is marked by other roads for c. 1.25 km., on the south it runs along the bottom of two deep dry valleys, and on the west at the south end it is marked by a track which is possibly ancient, but for most of its length, c. 35 km., it ignores both relief and major features. (fn. 12) The boundary drawn between Great Bedwyn and Grafton parishes in 1895 followed a railway line, the Roman road, and other roads. (fn. 13)
Chalk outcrops at the south end of the parish, Upper Greensand in much of the centre. In the north part of the parish chalk outcrops as the lower land, the sands and clay of the Reading Beds, London Clay, and Bagshot Beds as the higher. There are deposits of clay-with-flints in the north-west and south-east parts of the parish, of gravel in dry valleys north-west and south-east of Great Bedwyn village, and of a small amount of alluvium immediately southeast of the village. (fn. 14) The relief is broken and most of the valleys are dry. Most of the parish drains north-eastwards towards the river Kennet. Several streams rising in the centre of the parish come together as a river known locally in the 18th century as the Bedwyn river or the Bedwyn brook, (fn. 15) downstream called the Dun in the 19th century; (fn. 16) in the later 20th century the name Dun was applied to the whole river. (fn. 17) In the north part of the parish the highest land is at 197 m. on the western boundary, several ridges reach c. 160 m., and the lowest point is at c. 120 m. where the Dun leaves the parish. The chalk downland in the south part of the parish includes some escarpments and deep dry valleys; the highest point is at 267 m. near the eastern boundary. South of the scarps the land drains southwards, and a feeder of the river Bourne rises in the south-west corner of the parish; the lowest land is at c. 140 m. where the feeder leaves the parish. Most, if not all, of the villages and hamlets in the parish had open fields and common pasture, most of the land is suitable for arable or pasture, (fn. 18) and in much of the parish, especially in the south part, there were few areas of dense woodland until the late 18th century. (fn. 19) There have been several parks in the parish, mainly in the north-west part. (fn. 20)
In 1377 the parish had 398 poll-tax payers. (fn. 21) The population was 1,632 in 1801. It had risen to 2,191 by 1831, it remained roughly constant from 1831 to 1871, when it was 2,068, and it had fallen to 1,627 by 1891. In 1901 Great Bedwyn parish had 877 inhabitants, Grafton parish 663. Great Bedwyn's population fell from 880 in 1911 to 789 in 1931, but thereafter the building of new houses in Great Bedwyn village caused it to rise: from 847 in 1951 it had increased to 974 by 1981 and, after the boundary changes of 1987, it stood at 1,093 in 1991. Grafton's population fell steadily from 1911, when it was 684, to 1971, when it was 547; it was 583 in 1981 and, after the boundary changes of 1987, 603 in 1991. (fn. 22)
The course of the Roman road between Cirencester and Winchester via Mildenhall runs north-west and south-east across the parish. (fn. 23) In 1996 it was used by roads south-east of Wilton and of Marten and by a track north-west and south-east of Crofton; in the north-west part of the parish it was imparked, probably before the mid 16th century, (fn. 24) and went out of use. The road between Oxford and Salisbury via Hungerford, important in the 17th century, crosses the south-east part of the parish; (fn. 25) it was turnpiked in 1772 and disturnpiked in 1866. (fn. 26) As a continuation eastwards of a road from Pewsey and Burbage a new road was made between 1773 and 1817, partly or wholly c. 1792, to link East Grafton village to the Hungerford road west of Marten. (fn. 27) In 1886 the section of it east of its junction with the Marlborough-Salisbury road at Burbage was declared a main road, (fn. 28) and, avoiding a steep gradient on the old turnpike road west of Wexcombe, it became the main Hungerford-Salisbury road. In the 20th century, especially after the London and south Wales motorway was opened in 1972, (fn. 29) the road took much traffic between London and the centre part of Wiltshire.
The Kennet & Avon canal was opened from Hungerford to Great Bedwyn in 1799, from Great Bedwyn to Devizes in 1809, and completely in 1810. (fn. 30) A wharf was built in Great Bedwyn village, (fn. 31) and four locks were built south-west of it in the parish. The reach west of Crofton is the highest part of the canal, and a pumping station was built south-west of Crofton to supply water to it from the Dun. The pumping station, of three storeys and red brick, housed a steam-powered beam engine which began pumping in 1809; a second engine began pumping in 1812. From 1836–7 the canal was fed from Wilton Water, an 8-a. reservoir made south of the canal by damming head streams of the Dun. A new red-brick chimney was built in 1856. In 1968 the Kennet & Avon Canal trust bought the pumping station, which by 1971 had been restored by the Crofton Society. The canal was reopened across the parish in 1988. (fn. 32)
The Berks. & Hants Extension Railway, operated by the G.W.R., was opened across the parish in 1862; it was built along the north side of the canal, and Bedwyn station was built in Great Bedwyn village near the wharf. The line led from Reading to Devizes and from 1900 to Westbury; from 1906 it has been part of a main line between London and Exeter. (fn. 33) In 1882–3 the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway, in 1884 vested in the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, was opened as a single-track line across the west part of the parish; it ran north-south, at West Grafton had a station called Grafton and Burbage, and used the G.W.R. line from a junction north-east of Wolfhall to Savernake station in Burbage. In 1898 a new double-track line, bridging the G.W.R. line and converging on the single-track line at a point a little north of Grafton and Burbage station, was opened for Swindon-Andover trains. To improve services to new army camps on Salisbury Plain the track south of that point was doubled in 1902 and the Grafton curve, a new section of line bridging the canal south-west of Crofton, was built in 1905 to enable trains to run directly between Bedwyn station and Grafton and Burbage station. A tramway between Grafton and Burbage station and Dodsdown brickworks north-east of Wilton village was opened in 1902 and closed in 1910. In 1933 the line built in 1898 was singled, and in 1961 the whole north-south line across the parish was closed. (fn. 34) In the late 20th century PaddingtonExeter trains did not stop at Bedwyn station, which was then the terminus for trains from Reading.
Many prehistoric remains, including artefacts of the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age, have been found in the parish. (fn. 35) The many barrows on the downland in the south-east include a long barrow 1 km. south of Wexcombe village. (fn. 36) An Iron-Age field system also south of Wexcombe village covers 100 a., and another on downland east of Wilton village covers c. 150 a. (fn. 37) A Neolithic enclosure has been found south-west of Crofton village, (fn. 38) and there are other prehistoric enclosures west of Great Bedwyn village and between West Grafton and Wolfhall. (fn. 39) The prehistoric ditch on the parish boundary at the south-east end of the parish may be one of a group mainly in Tidcombe and Fosbury parish. (fn. 40) In the north part of Great Bedwyn parish two Roman villas have been discovered, neither far from the Cirencester-Winchester road. (fn. 41) That SSE. of Great Bedwyn village was excavated 1983–6: it was built in the 1st century A.D., was enlarged to incorporate a courtyard, and was given luxury fittings in the 4th century. (fn. 42) There is a 6th- or 7th-century cemetery near Crofton village. (fn. 43)
The whole parish lay within Savernake forest; Great Bedwyn borough, although within the bounds, was exempt from the forest law. When the boundary of the forest was redefined in 1300 all but Bedwyn Brails bailiwick, an area southeast of Great Bedwyn village, was excluded, and, with that exception, the parish was finally disafforested in 1330. Land at the north-west end of the parish, as Tottenham park, Bedwyn common, and Stock common later part of it, almost certainly remained part of the forest in 1330. (fn. 44)
A gibbet was standing north-east of Wilton village in 1773. (fn. 45)
In the early 12th century there was a tradition at the abbey of Abingdon (Berks., later Oxon.) that a grant of land probably near Abingdon by King Cissa between 674 and 685 was a prelude to the founding of the abbey. The tradition was possibly based on fact, (fn. 46) but the statement that Cissa ruled from Bedwyn and gave his name to Chisbury, where he built a castle, was apparently first made in the 13th century, (fn. 47) was presumably made in the knowledge that Bedwyn belonged to the abbey in the 10th century (fn. 48) and that a hill fort had been made at Chisbury, (fn. 49) and was almost certainly fantasy. In the late 10th century there may have been a guild at Great Bedwyn: a document of that date in which ordinances of a guild were listed does not name Great Bedwyn but probably relates to it. (fn. 50) In the mid 11th century Great Bedwyn was a borough comprising 25 burgages and containing a mint. (fn. 51) The borough stood on the north-west bank of the Dun. (fn. 52) In the mid 18th century Great Bedwyn village consisted of a rectangular market place and of five streets leading from it. The market house stood at the south-east end of the market place, most of the streets was built up, and there seem to have been only one or two farmsteads in the village. (fn. 53) Those urban characteristics may have survived from the 11th-century borough; some of them were retained in the late 20th century, but no evidence of long and narrow burgage plots survived then. (fn. 54)
A church may have been standing in the late 10th century. The site of one which was standing in 1066 (fn. 55) is not known. In the 12th century the church stood 250 m. south-west of the market place (fn. 56) at what may then have been, and was from the 18th century to the 20th, the south-west edge of the built-up area. (fn. 57) A manor house for the prebendary of Bedwyn, and Manor Farm, a farmstead which was part of the Prebendal estate, were built beside the 12th-century church, (fn. 58) and a vicarage house was built nearby. Of Manor Farm, the farmhouse standing in 1996 was a square red-brick house of the mid 19th century; the farm buildings were demolished in the late 20th century. (fn. 59)
In the late 11th century Great Bedwyn's mint was apparently transferred to Marlborough, (fn. 60) and thereafter Great Bedwyn seems to have been stunted by its proximity to Hungerford and Marlborough. It was damaged by fire in 1201, (fn. 61) had only 87 poll-tax payers in 1377, (fn. 62) and c. 1545 was called by Leland 'a poor thing to sight'. (fn. 63) A fire destroyed 28 houses in 1716, (fn. 64) and in 1754 Great Bedwyn was 'a poor town of farmers, maltsters, and publicans'. (fn. 65) The market house was rebuilt, or built anew, probably in the early 17th century. (fn. 66) It was open on the ground floor and had a first-floor timber-framed room supported on turned columns; its roof was hipped and surmounted by an open cupola in which a bell hung. A large brick chimney stack had been built against the north-west end by 1770, when the building was repaired and a new bell was hung. The building was demolished in 1870. (fn. 67) A hospital in which St. John the Baptist was invoked from the 13th century to the 15th was said to stand in Bedwyn; the most likely site for it is one in Great Bedwyn village. It seems that the hospital, which in the 13th century was given a small estate in Crofton, was poorly endowed, and it may have been dissolved before the Reformation. (fn. 68)
Great Bedwyn's wide market place (fn. 69) and the street leading north-west from it were called Chipping Street or Cheap Street, (fn. 70) from 1841 or earlier High Street. (fn. 71) One house or more stood in the middle of High Street in the earlier 18th century, (fn. 72) two in 1751, (fn. 73) apparently none in 1773 (fn. 74) or later. Church Street leads south-westwards from the market place's south corner, Brook Street south-eastwards, and Farm Lane north-eastwards, from its east corner, and Back Lane south-westwards from its west corner: those streets were first so called in 1759, 1552, 1730, and 1675 respectively. (fn. 75) Farm Lane was renamed Jubilee Street, presumably in 1887, and reverted to Farm Lane in the later 20th century. (fn. 76) Brown's Lane, in which stand three buildings possibly of 17th-century origin, was made before 1751, (fn. 77) possibly as an alternative to Farm Lane, which was narrow and on lower ground south-east of it. In the 18th century the right to vote at parliamentary elections in Great Bedwyn was attached to tenements which stood in each part of the village. (fn. 78)
In 1648 the alehouses in Great Bedwyn, presumably the village, were regarded as a nuisance and too numerous by the inhabitants of neighbouring parishes. (fn. 79) In the 18th century c. 14 inns or alehouses were open at various times, including six in Church Street. In 1763 the Cross Keys in Brook Street was replaced by an inn of that name on the corner of High Street and Farm Lane, and in 1784 the Three Tuns was open on the corner of High Street and Brown's Lane. (fn. 80) In the 1790s the White Hart, on the north-west side of Church Street, the Cross Keys, and the Three Tuns were apparently the only inns open in the village; (fn. 81) the White Hart was closed in 1867, (fn. 82) and the other two remained open in 1996.
The houses in High Street and Church Street in 1996 were characteristically small, of red brick, and with tiled roofs. A few may have been 17thcentury, many were ostensibly 18th-century, and a few had been enlarged in the 20th century. In the 19th century 14 estate cottages replaced buildings which were standing in 1751. (fn. 83) The houses stood close together, there were several terraces, and on the south-east side of Church Street there was an unbroken row of what in the later 19th century was c. 15 houses. (fn. 84) The largest house to be built in the two streets is apparently that on the corner of High Street and Church Street which was built in the later 18th century with a main north-east front of seven bays. On the north-east side of High Street, part of a large house which has a main south-east front of six bays seems to consist of altered 18th-century cottages. Two terraces of four estate cottages, one terrace being dated 1871, stand on the north-east side of High Street, and three pairs stand in Church Street near the church. A school built in Church Street in the earlier 19th century (fn. 85) is one of the few stone buildings in the village.
In Farm Lane c. 16 houses and cottages built between the 17th century and the 19th were standing in 1996. Two of the cottages, timberframed and thatched, are apparently 17th-century; two houses of red brick and thatch, in one of which timber framing is visible, and two rows of cottages, each of a single storey and attics and of red brick and tiles, may be 18th-century. On the south-east side of the street a large red-brick malting, diapered with blue brick, was built in 1868 and converted to several dwellings c. 1975. (fn. 86) Immediately south-west of it what was probably the maltster's house is apparently contemporary with it and was built in similar style; it has its back to the street, and to the front has heavily carved bargeboards and a deep central recess. Nearby on the north-west side of the street there is a pair of red-brick mid 19th-century cottages with decorations of buff brick. Also on the south-east side of the street a small house, no. 12 Farm Lane, has at its west corner a tall early 17th-century chimney stack of stone and flint. The house of which the stack was part was replaced, probably in the later 17th century, by a smaller and lower house, largely timber-framed, in which the two fireplaces served by the stack were incorporated. The house standing in the earlier 17th century is reputed to have been the birthplace of Thomas Willis (1621–75), who discovered diabetes mellitus and was a founder of the Royal Society. (fn. 87)
Between the market place and the Dun two small 17th-century houses, each of one storey and attics, survived on the north-east side of Brook Street in 1996. Off the south-west side c. 26 houses were built in the late 20th century. Off that part of Brook Street to the north-east four pairs of red- and blue-brick estate cottages were built in 1870. (fn. 88) They are arranged in a symmetrical composition of two smaller and two larger pairs, face the railway line, were known as Railway Terrace in 1891, (fn. 89) and in 1996 remained conspicuous on the approach to the village from the south-east. (fn. 90)
At the north-east end of Back Lane a row of about six cottages had been built by 1751. One of the cottages was rebuilt in the 19th century; the others are of the earlier 18th century. Of the possibly 17th-century buildings in Brown's Lane two cottages, each of a single storey and attics, stand at the south-west end, a house at the north-east end; two other thatched houses stand on sites occupied by buildings in 1751. (fn. 91) A nonconformist chapel was built at the southwest end of the lane in the 19th century. (fn. 92)
In the 17th century Great Bedwyn village extended itself south-east of the Dun. Galley Lane, running north-west and south-east along the parish boundary and presumably fording the Dun and taking Marlborough traffic away from the village, was joined to the village by a southeast extension of Brook Street; (fn. 93) the junction, at which the Horse and Jockey inn stood in Little Bedwyn parish, took the name Jockey Green. By 1773 the two ends of Brook Street had been linked by a bridge over the Dun c. 50 m. north-east of the present bridge; (fn. 94) the site at which the Dun was bridged was apparently changed when the Kennet & Avon canal was built c. 1800. South-east of the river Frog Lane, so called in 1742, links Brook Street and Galley Lane. By 1751 a row of five cottages had been built on the waste at the southwest end of Frog Lane and 21 small houses on the verge beside the extension of Brook Street. (fn. 95) Most of the buildings survived in 1996. Of those which did all were thatched; a few were apparently 17th-century, most early 18th-century; most walling was of red brick, and several houses incorporated timber-framed attics. In the 19th century a pair of estate cottages was built at Jockey Green, and in the 20th nine houses and bungalows were built beside Brook Street.
In the 20th century Great Bedwyn village grew much more than in the 19th. North-westwards from the junction of High Street and Brown's Lane, where the road was given the name Forest Hill, settlement was extended c. 100 m. to where a block of six estate cottages was built in 1845; (fn. 96) a large brick house was built c. 1920, and 10 other houses, some of them large, were built in the mid and later 20th century. Also c. 1920 eight pairs of council houses were built on the north-west side of Church Street and linked the village to the buildings which stood on or near what was probably the site of Ford hamlet. (fn. 97) At Jockey Green two pairs of council houses were built in 1926, (fn. 98) in Farm Lane two pairs in 1936. (fn. 99) Between 1948 and 1996 nearly all the land between Brown's Lane and the railway line was used for housing. Northwest of Farm Lane 36 houses and 7 bungalows were built in Castle Road by the rural district council between 1948 and 1954; (fn. 100) south-east of Farm Lane 45 private houses and bungalows were built in the later 1960s; (fn. 101) near the railway 26 council bungalows for old people were built in the Knapp, 12 in 1969, 14 in 1971; (fn. 102) northeast of Castle Road 37 private houses and bungalows were built in the 1970s and 1980s, (fn. 103) a school and other houses in the 1990s. Small estates of private houses and bungalows were built off High Street and Church Street in the 1980s and 1990s. (fn. 104)
A friendly society which had been started by 1821 met until c. 1906 or later. (fn. 105) A Comrades hall had been built in High Street by 1922; (fn. 106) a British Legion club stood on the site in 1996. On a 3-a. field off Frog Lane which belonged to Cox's charity until 1923 a hall was built c. 1926 and used mainly as the headquarters of a summer camp for children from London. It was used partly as a village hall until 1949, solely as one thereafter. It was replaced by a new village hall built in 1982. The land was a cricket field from 1962 and in 1996. Land off Castle Road has been used as a public recreation ground from 1946 or earlier. (fn. 107)
A conservation area designated in 1975 and amended in 1996 included the whole village except the north-east end. (fn. 108)
Standing beside the Dun, in the Middle Ages Crofton was apparently a small village comprising several small farmsteads. (fn. 109) It had a chapel in the 14th and 15th centuries (fn. 110) and 25 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 111) In the 19th and 20th centuries it was no more than a hamlet.
In 1773 Crofton's buildings stood in an arc formed by the road from Great Bedwyn and the Roman road, and there were two mills on the Dun, which was bridged between them. (fn. 112) Three cottages standing in 1773 survived in 1996. Two on the north-west side of the Great Bedwyn road were thatched, timber-framed, probably 17thcentury, and extended in brick; one on the south-east side of the road was of red brick and probably 18th-century. The only farmstead in the hamlet in the later 19th century and 1996 was Crofton Farm, which stood beside the Roman road. The surviving farmhouse was built in the later 19th century. Two pairs of 19th-century estate cottages had been built beside the Great Bedwyn road by 1879. (fn. 113)
One of the mills at Crofton was demolished c. 1773, the other probably c. 1800. (fn. 114) The Kennet & Avon canal was bridged c. 100 m. south-west of the site of the bridge over the Dun. (fn. 115) From c. 1862, when the, railway was built beside the canal, (fn. 116) the new bridge was approached from Crofton village over a level crossing; a crossing keeper's cottage was built.
In the Middle Ages a chapel and probably a manor house stood at East Grafton, the chapel on land called Chapel mead in 1792. (fn. 117) A large demesne farmstead, adjoined by gardens, extensive inclosed lands, and a park, stood near Chapel mead in the 17th century; (fn. 118) in the mid 19th century the farmhouse was replaced by that called Manor Farm. Until the 19th century nearly all the other buildings of East Grafton village stood north-east of Manor Farm along the sides of a large triangular green formed by the junction of roads from Burbage, Collingbourne Kingston, Crofton, and Wilton. (fn. 119) The village may have shrunk between 1377, when it had 45 poll-tax payers, (fn. 120) and 1792, when only c. 20 houses and cottages stood around the green. (fn. 121) A pond on the east side of the green was drained in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 122)
In 1792 there were, in addition to Manor Farm, large farmsteads on the north side of the green and at the east corner. The farmhouse of that on the north side was rebuilt in the earlier 19th century; there remains part of a timberframed barn converted for residence. Of the other houses and cottages around the green in 1792 it seems that c. 14 survived in 1996. All are thatched. A timber-framed house at the south end is of c. 1600 and may be the oldest. On the east side two other timber-framed houses may be 17th-century; most of a third was replaced by a red-brick range bearing the date 1723. On the west side of the green a timber-framed and possibly 17th-century cottage stands in a row of three cottages. A short distance along the Crofton road a row of about four cottages, of brick and thatch, was standing in 1792. (fn. 123)
A church and a school in the 1840s, and between 1847 and 1860 a house for the incumbent, were built on the east side of the green. (fn. 124) By 1886 new farm buildings and a terrace of four cottages had been erected beside the Hungerford road east of the green, and a pair of cottages had been built beside the Burbage road west of the green. (fn. 125) The village expanded further in the 20th century. Beside the Wilton road 16 council houses called the Severals were built in four lots between 1936 and 1948, and 2 council bungalows were built in 1965; off the Hungerford road 6 houses in 1948, 9 houses in 1967, and 6 bungalows in 1973 were also built by the rural district council. (fn. 126) A private estate of 7 bungalows was built off the west side of the green c. 1970, (fn. 127) and in the late 20th century other small private estates were built off the Burbage road, to replace farm buildings on the north side of the green, and between the council houses in the Wilton and Hungerford roads. Other buildings erected in the mid and later 20th century include several thatched houses, of which one stands at the south end of the green and one beside the Burbage road, a few other houses and bungalows beside the Burbage, Hungerford, and Wilton roads, a village hall beside the green, and large farm buildings, disused in 1996, beside the Crofton road. (fn. 128) In 1996 the only farmsteads in East Grafton village were Manor Farm and that beside the Hungerford road. A conservation area designated in 1974 includes nearly all the village. (fn. 129)
Like many villages west of it in the Pewsey Vale, (fn. 130) but like no other settlement in Great Bedwyn parish, West Grafton village stood beside a north-south lane. Its lands were not extensive (fn. 131) and the village, which had 19 poll-tax payers in 1377, (fn. 132) was never large.
Near its north end the lane had been diverted eastwards by 1792. Apparently only two or three farmsteads then stood beside the lane; four cottages had apparently been built on its verge, and two houses stood on what was probably its old straight course. The age of the two houses, which survive, suggests that the diversion was made in the 18th century. By 1864 a nonconformist chapel had been built on the site of one of the cottages, and between 1792 and the mid 20th century no new site beside the lane was used for building. (fn. 133) In the later 20th century on new sites a pair of houses and a bungalow were built near the north end of the lane and large farm buildings at the south end.
Of the buildings standing in 1792 four houses and cottages survived in 1996. One at the south end of the lane was then the only farmstead. The farmhouse is timber-framed and 17th-century; in the mid or later 18th century it was refronted in brick and altered inside. The houses beside the old course of the lane are each 17th-century, timber-framed, thatched, and of a single storey and attics. One of the cottages standing on the verge in 1792 survives at the north end of the lane. (fn. 134)
Three sites west of West Grafton village had buildings on them in 1792. A farmstead stood beside the parish boundary in the later 17th century and a large farmstead stood there in 1792; nearly all its buildings were removed, mainly in the late 19th century and early 20th. Between it and the south end of the lane a cottage stood in 1996 on the site of a building standing in 1792, and beside the Burbage road at the parish boundary a building was replaced by a pair of cottages probably in the 19th century. Also beside the Burbage road a small cottage was built in the 18th century and other buildings, near Grafton and Burbage station, were erected in the late 19th century and early 20th. (fn. 135) In 1996 the main building at the station was a private house.
It seems that Harding Farm was built on the downland of a village which stood on a site now in Shalbourne parish. A farmstead stood on the downs in the 16th century. (fn. 136) The present farmhouse incorporates an early 17thcentury house which was almost certainly timber-framed, had a main east-west range on a three-roomed plan, and had a large chimney stack, which survives. The outer walls were encased in brick, some of the brickwork being of the late 17th century. In the later 18th century a west wing was built and extended northwards to provide a three-bayed west entrance front, with a central door, and a rear kitchen wing. Minor additions were made to the house in the earlier 19th century. Near the house in 1996 stood a large, 18th-century, and timber-framed barn, and a group of brick farm buildings erected in the mid 19th century. North-west of the farmstead a pair of cottages was built in the mid 19th century. (fn. 137)
Marten was probably the site of the battle of Meratun fought between the Saxons and the Danes in 871. (fn. 138) The village stands between two head streams flowing north-westwards to the Dun. On the ridge between the streams a platform c. 50 ft. square had a steep-sided moat, c. 15 ft. deep, with a returned entrance causeway and ditch against the north-east side. The platform may be the site of a manor house standing in the Middle Ages. North-east of it a grid of low banks was bounded by a ditched bank, and south-west of it there is an isolated mound and traces of ditches or hollow ways: those features may survive from those of the garden of such a house. (fn. 139) A short distance south-east of the platform a chapel stood in the Middle Ages. (fn. 140) A farmstead standing immediately south-west of the platform c. 1815 (fn. 141) had been partly demolished by 1879, wholly by the mid 20th century. (fn. 142) Also on high ground another farmstead, in 1996 called Manor Farm, was built c. 200 m. southeast of the platform. A farmhouse built there in the 17th century was timber-framed and survived in 1996 as an east-west range incorporated in the house called the Manor. The inside of the farmhouse was refitted in the earlier 18th century, the date of doors and a staircase which remain in it. In the earlier 19th century a south service range was built; it extended further east than the earlier range, which was encased in brick in the mid 19th century. In the late 20th century the old range was extended eastwards to the length of the new range, extensive alterations were made to the inside of the house and to a walled kitchen garden south of the house, and a timber-framed barn north-west of the house was dismantled. (fn. 143)
On lower ground beside the north-eastern head stream farmsteads, cottages, and houses stood along a lane, and by 1773 the Roman road between the lane and the farmsteads on the ridge south-west of it had gone out of use. (fn. 144) About 1815 two farmsteads and nine houses and cottages were standing beside the lane and beside the Roman road south-east of the lane's junction with it. (fn. 145) In 1996 a farmstead and 11 houses and cottages occupied the same sites as, or sites near to, those of the earlier buildings. A thatched house of 18th-century origin stood on the southwest side of the lane, and an 18th-century, timber-framed, and thatched cottage stood on the north-east side of the Roman road, but otherwise none of the buildings of c. 1815 survived. Four council houses were built on the north-east side of the Roman road in 1955. (fn. 146) On the south-west side of the lane one of the buildings standing c. 1815, or its site, was used for a school in the later 19th century. (fn. 147)
West of the junction of the lane and the Roman road a few buildings were standing in a short lane in 1773 and c. 1815. (fn. 148) Only one, an 18th-century cottage of brick and thatch, stood there in 1996. At the north-west end of the village, where the lane rejoins the Roman road at an elongated crossing of the HungerfordSalisbury road, the Nag's Head inn was open in 1724; (fn. 149) it was rebuilt in 1902 (fn. 150) and was called the Tipsy Miller in 1996.
Stock and Ford.
A village called Stock, the site of which is uncertain, apparently had a strip of land running north-west and southeast. Open fields lay on either side of the Dun south-west of Great Bedwyn's, and common pasture probably lay on the high ground towards the north-west end of the parish. (fn. 151) By analogy with the many Wiltshire villages which had open fields and common pasture in a strip of land stretching from a river to downland it is possible that Stock village stood beside the Dun, and possible that its site there was deserted in the late Middle Ages. By analogy with Chisbury in Little Bedwyn, and Rudge in Froxfield, settlements nearby, (fn. 152) it is more likely that in the Middle Ages and later Stock's open fields were worked from farmsteads on the high ground northwest of them. A manor house stood on the high ground in the 17th century and probably earlier. (fn. 153)
Its site was probably that of Stock Farm, from which much of Stock's land was later worked, and in the Middle Ages other farmsteads probably stood nearby. In 1751 there were several groups of buildings on the high land mostly south and south-west of Stock Farm. The farmhouse at Stock Farm was apparently built in the 17th century and altered and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 154) It was called Stokke Manor in 1996, when a few houses of the 19th or 20th century, large farm buildings, and what was apparently a service building converted for residence stood near it. Among the other buildings on the high land in 1996 were a timber-framed and thatched cottage of the 17th century and three thatched cottages, mostly of brick and partly timber-framed, probably of the 18th. Pairs of estate cottages built in the 19th century, some on the site of buildings standing in 1751, (fn. 155) include one west and five in various styles north-west of Stokke Manor.
A hamlet called Ford probably stood on Stock's land. In the Middle Ages Stock was linked in assessments for taxation with a settlement called Ford, (fn. 156) a manor was later called Stock and Ford, (fn. 157) and the 32 poll-tax payers ascribed to Ford in 1377 (fn. 158) presumably included inhabitants of both places. A mill standing at Ford in the 1230s (fn. 159) probably stood where, between Great Bedwyn village and Crofton, the Great Bedwyn to Wilton road forded the Dun immediately below a mill in 1751, and the hamlet standing near the mill and on the north-west bank of the Dun in 1751 was probably on or near the site of Ford. In 1751 the mill and c. 20 cottages and houses stood beside the Great Bedwyn road. (fn. 160) By 1773 the Dun had been bridged on the site of the ford. (fn. 161) At the northeast end of the hamlet nine cottages standing in 1751 had apparently been built on the waste at the junction of Back Lane and Church Street; (fn. 162) they were replaced c. 1870 by three pairs of small red-brick villas. The mill was demolished between 1879 and 1899, (fn. 163) and on each side of the road other cottages were replaced in the 19th century. On the north-west side of the road a timber-framed cottage and a red-brick cottage, both thatched and apparently 18th-century, were standing in 1751 and 1996. (fn. 164) In the 20th century the council houses built in Church Street linked Great Bedwyn village to the hamlet, (fn. 165) in which 13 new houses and bungalows had been built by 1996.
Its name suggests that the village originated in a coomb, and earthworks at the head of an east-west coomb (fn. 166) presumably mark where most of its buildings stood in the Middle Ages. In the 13th and 14th centuries it may have been larger and more populous than at any time later. A timber-framed hall, possibly part of a manor house or demesne farmstead, was built there c. 1235, (fn. 167) there was a prison there in 1277, (fn. 168) and in the early 14th century the court of an honor may have been held there by the lord of Wexcombe manor. (fn. 169) It seems that a large demesne farm was worked from the village and that tenants of the manor held small farmsteads there. (fn. 170) In 1377 there were 68 poll-tax payers. (fn. 171) The village grew between 1773 and the 1840s, when it consisted of c. 22 houses and had c. 140 inhabitants. (fn. 172)
On the ridge north of the coomb a new farmstead, later called Lower Farm, was built in the 17th century, and another, Upper Farm, was built in the early 19th. The farmhouse of Lower Farm was timber-framed and consisted of a main east-west range. In the early 19th century the house was encased in brick and extended northwards; in 1911 a new wing was built on the west, (fn. 173) the 19th-century extension was extended eastwards, and a new south gable was built at the east end of the house. In 1996 most of the farm buildings were 20th-century. A small redbrick farmhouse was built as part of Upper Farm; it was extended in the late 19th century and much altered in the early 1970s. (fn. 174) Large farm buildings stood around the house in 1996. On the high ground near Lower Farm two 18th-century cottages and an early 19th-century house, each of red brick and thatch, were standing in 1996. A chapel of ease at Upper Farm was served in the late 19th century and early 20th. (fn. 175)
On the floor of the coomb few buildings were standing in the later 18th century or early 19th. (fn. 176) In 1847 eight buildings, a total of 16 cottages, stood there. (fn. 177) Apparently the only one to survive in 1996 was a pair of cottages possibly of the early 19th century. A nonconformist chapel was built in the late 19th century; two pairs of houses were built in the mid 20th. Between Lower Farm and the floor of the coomb two pairs of estate cottages were built in the mid 19th century; one pair was rebuilt in the early 20th. (fn. 178)
In 1899 W. C. Finch, the lord of Wexcombe manor, provided waterworks for the village. A circular pump house was built. (fn. 179)
The village stands in the valley of a head stream of the Dun, on the course of which a pond served it from the 18th century or earlier and remained a feature of it in 1996. South-east of the pond a rectangle of c. 3 a. bordered by a lane and with five roads joining it at the corners may have been a village green; it had been inclosed and partly built on by the late 18th century (fn. 180) and was further built on later. In the Middle Ages the village apparently comprised many small farmsteads, (fn. 181) and it had 71 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 182) In the late 20th century it was notable for its pond and the survival of c. 20 cottages and small houses of the 18th century and earlier. It was designated a conservation area in 1985. (fn. 183)
In 1792 buildings stood beside the lane bordering what may have been the green and beside the roads leading north-east to Great Bedwyn, south towards Wexcombe, and north-west towards Crofton. The road leading southwards was later called Hollow Lane. Before 1792 a new section of road called Moor Lane was built from north-west of the pond to link the Crofton road to a road leading south-west to East Grafton, (fn. 184) and in the later 20th century most traffic through the village used the Great Bedwyn road, the north side of the rectangle, the Crofton road, Moor Lane, and the East Grafton road. Between 1792 and c. 1820 a new farmstead was built at the south-west corner of the rectangle, (fn. 185) and in the earlier 19th century a nonconformist chapel and a schoolroom were built on the east side of Moor Lane. (fn. 186) In the mid 19th century a large red-brick house was built south-west of the pond, and in 1849 a terrace of four estate cottages was built c. 200 m. along the Great Bedwyn road. (fn. 187) In 1955 the rural district council built four bungalows and two houses at Upper Brooklands on the west side of Moor Lane. (fn. 188) A few other houses were built in most parts of the village in the 20th century.
The only farmstead in the village in 1996 was Manor Farm, standing in the angle of the Great Bedwyn road and what in the 18th century was a road leading towards Marten. (fn. 189) The farmhouse, of red brick and thatch, was built in the earlier 18th century, incorporates an older house, and was extended in the 19th century. South of the house a large barn, aisled, timberframed, and thatched, is of the early 18th century; other large farm buildings are 20th-century. On the north side of the rectangle Batts Farm is a former farmhouse, (fn. 190) timber-framed, of the 17th or 18th century, and now with a principal south front of red brick and a tiled roof. Of the older cottages and small houses to survive most are thatched and apparently 17th-century. In some, timber framing with brick nogging is visible; from the 18th century or the 19th the brick walls of some others may have encased or replaced timber framing.
The Swan inn was open in 1724, (fn. 191) in the late 19th century and early 20th occupied a house on the north side of the rectangle, (fn. 192) and in 1996 occupied a mid 20th-century house at the northeast corner of the rectangle. In the late 18th century and earlier 19th cottages in the village were used as a parish workhouse. (fn. 193)
In the earlier Middle Ages Wolfhall, which possibly had open fields and common pasture, was probably a small village consisting of several farmsteads. Its lands amounted to c. 750 a. (fn. 194) Their boundary on the south, with East Grafton and West Grafton, followed a ridge. (fn. 195) On the north, by analogy with Wolfhall's western neighbours Burbage and Durley, they may have included, north of a line which was probably that of an upper reach of the Dun and was later followed by the Kennet & Avon canal, the steep north side of the valley of the Dun but not, north of that, the high flat land which was almost certainly part of Savernake forest and became Tottenham park. (fn. 196) Wolfhall had 14 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 197)
In the late Middle Ages the Seymour family lived in a manor house at Wolfhall, (fn. 198) and by the 16th century much of Wolfhall's land had been imparked and the village apparently deserted. (fn. 199) The manor house was visited by Henry VIII in 1535, 1539, and 1543. (fn. 200) John Aubrey, writing in 1672, related that the king's wedding to Jane Seymour in 1536 was observed in a long barn at Wolfhall. The manor house was partly demolished in the 1660s, (fn. 201) wholly probably by 1723. (fn. 202)
Where Wolfhall village stood is uncertain. The most likely site is one in an east-west valley, in which a head stream of the Dun may have flowed in the Middle Ages, about where a house called Wolfhall Farm stood in 1996. The house was built in the early 17th century: it was called the Laundry in 1633 (fn. 203) and may have been built on the site of an earlier laundry, but its architecture suggests that it was built solely as a dwelling house. It was built of brick with stone dressings, with two storeys and attics, and on an L-shaped plan with a short north-south range from which a short east range projected at the north end. The principal rooms on all floors were at the north end of the north-south range, and their fireplaces were served by a large stack in the north wall. Alterations of the 19th and 20th centuries included the blocking of a doorway in the west wall and the building of a porch in the angle between the ranges and of a new staircase.
Where the Seymours' manor house stood is also uncertain. The most likely site of that is one on the ridge south of Wolfhall Farm about where Wolfhall Manor stood in 1996. A long thatched barn which stood on the site was dilapidated in the 1870s and had largely collapsed by the 1920s; (fn. 204) there is no direct evidence that it was standing in 1536, but it was almost certainly the barn referred to by Aubrey. Wolfhall Manor, consisting of a timber-framed north–south range, was built as a farmhouse in the early 17th century. Much of the outer walling of the house was rebuilt in brick, possibly in the early 18th century, when additions were made to the east side. A new north front was built of brick in the early 19th century, and minor additions were made to the north part of the east side c. 1900. There were extensive farm buildings around the house in the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 205)
On the common pastures of Wilton on high ground north-east of the village a new house was begun in 1548 for Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, who then owned most of the land in the parish. Bricks were made nearby at Dodsdown, quarries were opened, foundations were laid, a conduit c. 500 m. long was dug to supply water, and plans to impark land with a circumference of c. 3 miles around the house were drawn up. Apparently work on the house ceased on or before Somerset's death in 1552 and was not resumed. (fn. 208)
In the north-west part of the parish Tottenham House was built in the early 18th century on the site of a lodge which was standing in the 16th century and until then. It was enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries and, standing in a large park which extended into Burbage parish, was the mansion of the earls and marquesses of Ailesbury. (fn. 209) North of the mansion, on the edge of the park, and on the boundary with Burbage parish a church, a vicarage house, a school, and two other houses were built in the later 19th century; (fn. 210) the vicarage house stands in Burbage, the rest in Great Bedwyn.
Bloxham Lodge was built in the mid 18th century on high ground east of Tottenham House. In 1773 it was described as newly built, bore its present name, and belonged to John Bloxham. (fn. 211) It is a brick house with a centre block of three bays and two storeys; it has single-storeyed wings in line which are possibly additions. In 1773 formal gardens lay south-west of it. (fn. 212)
A farmstead and seven houses and cottages stood as a group south of Great Bedwyn village in 1751. (fn. 213) The group was called Brail in 1773. (fn. 214) The farmstead, at the north end of the group, was called Brail Farm in 1879, when it included large farm buildings. (fn. 215) The farmhouse, of the early 18th century, survived in 1996; most of the farm buildings had been demolished by 1899. (fn. 216) New farm buildings were erected in the 20th century, and, apart from the farmhouse, none of the buildings standing in 1751 survived in 1996.
Several farmsteads were built outside the villages and hamlets of the parish. South of Wolfhall a lodge standing in Sudden park in the 17th century (fn. 217) was probably on or near the site of Sudden Farm, which was a farmstead c. 1718. (fn. 218) The farmhouse, called Suddene Park Farm in 1996, was rebuilt in the mid 19th century. South-west of Jockey Green a farmstead was called Brail Farm in 1773, later Jockey Green Farm. In 1996 a pair of 19th-century cottages stood on its site, and a few farm buildings stood nearby. Freewarren Farm had been built southwest of Crofton village by 1773; (fn. 219) its farmhouse was replaced in the early 19th century by a house of brick and thatch which was extended eastwards in 1996. Hillbarn Farm in the east part of the parish originated between 1773 and 1817, (fn. 220) Bewley Farm in the north part between 1820 and 1879. (fn. 221)
At Dodsdown, north-east of Wilton village, a pair of cottages was built in the mid 19th century on each side of the Great Bedwyn to Wilton road near a brickworks. (fn. 222) Other isolated houses in the parish include several 19th-century houses and estate cottages and several 20th-century houses. Fairway, built beside the Marlborough to Great Bedwyn road in the early 20th century, (fn. 223) is a large buff-brick house in vernacular style.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In the 8th century lands called Bedwyn were almost certainly in the hands of the king of Wessex. In 778 King Cynewulf granted away 13 manentes of them, apparently the land of Chisbury. (fn. 224) Other land at Bedwyn was given by Byrhtelm to Ealhmund, bishop of Winchester, and his see in an exchange between 801 and 805: it was possibly the estate said to lie at Stock by Shalbourne which Denewulf, bishop of Winchester, gave to King Edward in an exchange in 904. (fn. 225) A large estate called Bedwyn was, by his will made 879 × 888, given by King Alfred (d. 899) to his son Edward (d. 924), who succeeded him as king. It apparently passed with the crown, and in 968 King Edgar (d. 975) gave 72 cassati at Bedwyn to Abingdon abbey. In 968 the estate included the land of apparently all the villages which lay in Great Bedwyn parish in the 16th century, that of Burbage, probably that of Tidcombe, and, apparently lying almost detached after Chisbury was alienated in 778, probably that of Little Bedwyn. On Edgar's death the estate was taken from the abbey by force and assigned to his younger son Ethelred, king from 978. (fn. 226) Apparently it again passed with the crown and in 1086 it was held by William I. (fn. 227) By 1086 the land of Crofton, East Grafton, West Grafton, Harding, Marten, Wolfhall, Burbage, and Tidcombe had been granted in fee, almost certainly separately as individual estates, (fn. 228) and the king's estate called Bedwyn seems to have comprised then the lordship of the borough of Great Bedwyn, which consisted of the tenements of 25 burgesses, (fn. 229) and the lordship in demesne of Stock, Wexcombe, and Wilton and of what became West Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn manors. (fn. 230) The estate was held by the Crown until, probably c. 1130, Henry I granted it to John FitzGilbert, his marshal. (fn. 231) Little Bedwyn manor may have been excluded from that grant; West Bedwyn manor, Stock manor, and some of Wilton's land were probably subinfeudated after c. 1130. (fn. 232)
The lordship of the BOROUGH descended with Wexcombe manor until 1403, except that the Crown held it between 1314 and 1317 and Margaret de Audley probably held it from 1317; it apparently descended with Wexcombe manor from 1403 to 1553, (fn. 233) and from 1553 to the 19th century descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 234)
The tenements in Great Bedwyn village to which the right to vote as a burgess in parliamentary elections was attached became attractive to those wishing to influence elections. The lord of West Bedwyn manor and of Stock manor owned many from the 17th century or earlier until 1766, when he sold them to Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce, the lord of the borough. (fn. 235) Those tenements, others already owned by Lord Bruce, and others later bought by Lord Bruce and his successors in title, descended with Tottenham House and the lordship of the borough, and in the early 20th century Henry Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury (d. 1911), owned nearly all the houses and cottages in the village. (fn. 236)
The land of Great Bedwyn village lay mainly in two manors, West Bedwyn and one which was part of the Prebendal estate. (fn. 237) WEST BEDWYN manor was probably subinfeudated after c. 1130. (fn. 238) It was held by Richard Collingbourne (d. 1418), probably from 1408 or earlier, and passed to his son Robert (d. 1459). (fn. 239) It was held by William Collingbourne, who was executed and attainted in 1484. In 1485 Richard III granted it to Edmund Chadderton (d. 1499) for William's heirs, his daughters Margaret, wife of George Chadderton, and Jane, wife of James Lowther, and the Chaddertons and Lowthers held it in 1502–3. (fn. 240) The manor passed to Margaret's son Edmund Chadderton (d. 1545), whose son William sold it in 1568 to Anthony Hungerford (fn. 241) (d. 1589). From 1582 it descended with Stock manor and from 1766 to 1950 with Tottenham House; in 1996 its farmland belonged to the Crown. (fn. 242) The manor house, near which there was a pasture called Spain's, may have stood in the north-east part of Farm Lane, possibly on the site of no. 12 Farm Lane which in 1996 incorporated a tall early 17th-century chimney stack. (fn. 243) In 1408 the oratory in it was licensed for divine service. (fn. 244)
In 1086 Crofton was held by Alfred of Marlborough and of him by Hugh. (fn. 245) The estate may have been acquired soon after 1086 by Edward of Salisbury. It may have passed to Edward's daughter Maud, wife of Humphrey de Bohun, to Maud's son Humphrey de Bohun, and in the direct line to Humphrey, Henry (cr. earl of Hereford 1200, d. 1220), and Humphrey, earl of Hereford and of Essex (d. 1275). In 1229 Humphrey's right to Crofton was confirmed following a dispute with Ela Longespée, countess of Salisbury, Edward of Salisbury's great-great-granddaughter. (fn. 246) By 1300 Crofton's land had been divided between two manors, each of which had been subinfeudated. (fn. 247) The overlordship may have descended with the Hereford and Essex titles and the overlordship of Newton Tony to Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, of Essex, and of Northampton (d. 1373). (fn. 248) If so, it was presumably allotted to his daughter Eleanor (d. 1399), the wife of Thomas of Woodstock (cr. earl of Buckingham 1377, duke of Gloucester 1385, d. 1397); in 1479 Anne (d. 1480), the relict of Eleanor's grandson Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham (d. 1460), was overlord. (fn. 249)
In 1300 CROFTON FITZWARREN manor was held of a mesne lord, William Keynell, by William FitzWarin; no other mesne lord of the manor is known. FitzWarin (d. 1300) was succeeded by his son Alan, (fn. 250) who granted the manor to Richard of Polhampton (d. 1317) and his wife Margaret (d. 1331) for life. (fn. 251) The manor passed to Sir Fulk FitzWarin (d. 1349), who granted it for life to Robert Hungerford (d. 1352). It presumably reverted to Fulk's son Sir Fulk (d. 1374), (fn. 252) and it descended in the direct line to Sir Fulk (d. 1391), Fulk (d. 1407), (fn. 253) and Fulk (d. 1420): (fn. 254) each of the last four Fulks was a minor at his father's death. The last Fulk's heir was his sister Elizabeth (d. 1426 × 1428), the wife of Sir Richard Hankford (d. 1431), (fn. 255) and hers were her daughters Thomasine and Elizabeth (d. unmarried 1433). The manor passed to Thomasine (d. 1453), the wife of William Bourghchier (from 1449 Lord FitzWarin, d. 1469), (fn. 256) to her son Fulk Bourghchier, Lord FitzWarin (d. 1479), and to Fulk's son John, Lord FitzWarin (cŕ. earl of Bath 1536, d. 1539). (fn. 257) John's relict Elizabeth (fl. 1542) held the manor for life. (fn. 258) In 1540 his son and heir John, earl of Bath, sold the reversion to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547), (fn. 259) who already owned Crofton Braboef manor.
In 1275 CROFTON BRABOEF manor was held by William Braboef (d. 1284), a prominent justice, (fn. 260) after whose death his relict Joan de St. Martin (fl. 1289) held it for life. (fn. 261) In 1332 it was probably held by William Braboef. (fn. 262) Hugh Camoys and his wife Joan conveyed it to Thomas Warrener in 1365. (fn. 263) It was afterwards acquired by Easton priory, which in an exchange licensed in 1390 gave it to Sir William Sturmy (d. 1427). (fn. 264) From Sir William's death the manor descended in the Seymour family like Burbage Sturmy manor. (fn. 265)
On Somerset's attainder and execution in 1552 Crofton Fitzwarren and Crofton Braboef manors passed by Act to his son Sir Edward Seymour (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621); (fn. 266) thereafter they descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 267) Crofton's lands lie north-west and south-east. (fn. 268) About 1929 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold 60 a. at the south-east end as part of Freewarren farm; (fn. 269) in 1996 Freewarren Farm and that land belonged to Mr. A. J. Mills. (fn. 270) In 1950 land at the north-west end and c. 300 a. in the centre were sold, respectively as parts of Warren farm, based in Burbage parish, and Crofton farm, by Lord Ailesbury to the Crown, the owner in 1996. (fn. 271) Other land in the north-west continued to descend in the Brudenell-Bruce family with Tottenham House, of which it was part of the park, and in 1996 belonged to David Brudenell-Bruce, earl of Cardigan. (fn. 272)
In 1086 the lands of East Grafton and West Grafton lay in four or more estates. William of Eu (d. c. 1095) held one, in 1066 assessed at 1 hide, which Hugh held of him. (fn. 273) Three were held by serjeants of the king: Ralph de Halvile held 3 hides and 1½ yardland, Robert son of Ralph held 1 hide and 2½ yardlands, and Richard Sturmy held 1 hide. In 1066 Ralph de Halvile's undertenants were Alwin, Alwold, Lewin, and Celestan; Robert's land was then held by Ulmar. (fn. 274) Of those estates only Richard's can be identified with a later one. (fn. 275)
In 1167 EAST GRAFTON manor was held by Alan de Neville (d. c. 1178). (fn. 276) It descended to his son Alan (d. c. 1190), who added to it land formerly held by Thomas Martigny. (fn. 277) The manor was held by the younger Alan's relict Gillian, (fn. 278) passed to his heir, his brother Geoffrey (d. c. 1225), (fn. 279) and descended to Geoffrey's son John (d. c. 1253) (fn. 280) and presumably to John's son Geoffrey de Neville (d. 1267). The younger Geoffrey's heir was his cousin Sir Hugh de Neville, who subinfeudated the manor in 1271. (fn. 281) The overlordship apparently descended to Sir Hugh's son Geoffrey (d. 1316), to that Geoffrey's son Philip (d. 1345), and to Philip's heir John de Neville, Lord Neville, who was overlord in 1359. (fn. 282) It has not been traced further.
From 1271 the lordship in fee of East Grafton manor belonged to John Havering (d. apparently between 1302 and 1316) and his wife Joan (fl. 1316). (fn. 283) By 1324 it had passed to Sir Richard Havering (fn. 284) (fl. 1349), (fn. 285) who in 1347 was granted free warren in his demesne at East Grafton. (fn. 286) The manor descended in the Havering family until 1405 or later. (fn. 287) In 1428 a moiety was held in fee by Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. c. 1461), who was succeeded in turn by his son Thomas and grandson Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. 1503). (fn. 288) In 1530 the moiety was held by Sir Thomas's relict Elizabeth Barnardiston. (fn. 289) It reverted to his son Sir Thomas (fn. 290) (d. 1542), whose son Thomas (fn. 291) sold it in 1543 to Edward, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 292) The second moiety was held in 1411 by Sir William Butler (d. 1415), passed to his son Sir John (d. 1430), and was held for life by Sir John's relict Isabel (d. 1441). It descended in turn to Sir John's son Sir John Butler (fn. 293) (d. 1463) and to that Sir John's sons William (d. 1471) and Sir Thomas (d. 1522). (fn. 294) Later it was held with the first moiety by Edward, duke of Somerset. On Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552 the whole manor was classified as an estate which he had acquired by 1540 and as such passed by Act to his son Sir Edward Seymour (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621). (fn. 295) The classification was wrong for the first moiety and possibly for the second, it was apparently reversed, and the manor belonged to the Crown until 1611, when it was sold through agents to Gilbert Prynne. (fn. 296) Prynne was apparently a trustee of Lord Hertford, who held East Grafton manor in 1613. The manor passed in 1621 to Lord Hertford's grandson Sir Francis Seymour (fn. 297) (cr. Baron Seymour 1641, d. 1664) and descended in turn to Sir Francis's son Charles, Lord Seymour (d. 1665), Charles's sons Francis, Lord Seymour (duke of Somerset from 1675, d. 1678), and Charles, duke of Somerset (d. 1748), and that Charles's son Algernon, duke of Somerset (cr. earl of Northumberland and of Egremont 1749, d. 1750). (fn. 298) In 1750 it passed to Algernon's half-sister Frances, from 1750 wife of John Manners, marquess of Granby, his half-sister Charlotte, from 1750 wife of Heneage Finch (from 1757 earl of Aylesford), and his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, Bt., who succeeded him as earl of Egremont, as tenants in common. In 1779 it was allotted to Charlotte, (fn. 299) who in 1787 sold it to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury. (fn. 300) From 1787 the manor, to which other estates in East Grafton were added, (fn. 301) descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 302) About 1929 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold his land at East Grafton as the main parts of Manor farm, 518 a. apparently including c. 180 a. of West Grafton's land, Green farm, 390 a. including c. 35 a. of Wilton's land, and East Grafton farm, 439 a. including c. 140 a. of Wilton's land. (fn. 303) Mr. R. Browning bought Manor farm in 1965 and Green farm in 1970; in 1996 the combined holding, c. 800 a., belonged to Mr. Browning and members of his family. (fn. 304) In 1996 East Grafton farm belonged to Mr. B. R. Taylor, the owner of Manor farm, Marten. (fn. 305)
The estate held by Richard Sturmy in 1086 (fn. 306) was probably that at East Grafton which Robert Doygnel held by serjeanty in 1198. (fn. 307) Warin Doygnel (d. by 1235) held 4 hides there c. 1210. His heirs were his daughters Alice (d. by 1243) and Joan, wife of Richard Baxman (fl. 1243). (fn. 308) The estate was probably that held by Stephen Baxman in 1275 and 1289, (fn. 309) by William Baxman in 1303, and by another William Baxman (fn. 310) (d. c. 1312). The second William was succeeded by his grandson John Holt. (fn. 311) In 1350 John granted his estate in East Grafton to St. Margaret's priory, Marlboroúgh, (fn. 312) which held it until it passed to the Crown at the Dissolution. (fn. 313) In 1539 the estate was granted to Anne of Cleves and in 1541 to Edward, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 314) On Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552 it passed to the Crown, and in 1553 it was assigned to his son Sir Edward Seymour. (fn. 315) It thereafter descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House, from 1787 also with East Grafton manor. (fn. 316)
In 1336 Robert Hungerford gave 1 carucate probably in East Grafton to Easton priory, (fn. 317) and land in East Grafton was given to, or bought by, the priory c. 1349. (fn. 318) The priory was dissolved in 1536, when, with Easton Druce manor in Easton, its estate in East Grafton was granted to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (cr. earl of Hertford 1537, duke of Somerset 1547). On Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552 the estate passed by Act to his son Sir Edward. (fn. 319) From 1553 the estate, which in 1634 consisted of a farm accounted 112 a. with feeding rights, (fn. 320) descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House, and from 1787 also descended with East Grafton manor. (fn. 321)
In 1245 St. Margaret's priory was taking two thirds of the great tithes of East Grafton manor and giving 2 a. of wheat to the prebendary of Bedwyn. In exchange for 2s. a year to be paid by the priory to the prebendary, presumably in addition to the 2 a. of wheat, those tithes were confirmed to the priory in 1246. (fn. 322) Between 1412 and the earlier 16th century the priory also became entitled to the estate, consisting of ½ yardland, the remaining tithes from East Grafton manor, and other tithes, held in 1405 by the chaplain serving East Grafton chapel. The priory's estate passed to the Crown at the Dissolution. In 1541 it was granted to Edward, earl of Hertford, (fn. 323) on whose execution and attainder in 1552 it again passed to the Crown. (fn. 324) In 1591 the Crown sold it through agents to John Blagrave, (fn. 325) who in 1594 sold it to Edward, earl of Hertford. (fn. 326) From 1613 the estate descended with East Grafton manor, (fn. 327) and the tithes were merged with the land from which they arose. (fn. 328)
In 1198 Nicholas Monk held 1 carucate in West Grafton by serjeanty. (fn. 329) That was possibly the estate which Alan FitzWarin and his wife Margery conveyed to St. Margaret's priory, Marlborough, in 1260. (fn. 330) The priory acquired other land in West Grafton, (fn. 331) and in the 16th century its estate there was called WEST GRAFTON manor. (fn. 332) The manor passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, was granted in 1541 to Edward, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547), (fn. 333) and was forfeited on Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552. In 1553 it was assigned to Somerset's son Sir Edward Seymour (fn. 334) (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621). It thereafter descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House, (fn. 335) and other land was added to it. (fn. 336) In 1929 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold his land at West Grafton mostly as West Grafton farm, 428 a., and Kingston farm, 73 a.; c. 180 a. was part of Manor farm, East Grafton. (fn. 337) In 1963 West Grafton farm was bought by members of the Curnick family, and in 1996 it belonged to Mr. T. W. Curnick, the owner of Southgrove farm, Burbage, which adjoined it. (fn. 338)
Before 1275 Robert Fosbury held 1 carucate at West Grafton by serjeanty. (fn. 339) It passed to John Fosbury (d. c. 1294) and to John's son Peter (fn. 340) (d. 1352), whose coheirs conveyed it c. 1352 to John Malwain (d. 1361) and his wife Margery. John Malwain also held land at Marten, with which the estate at West Grafton descended to his son John (d. by 1378). (fn. 341) The estate at West Grafton had passed by 1380 to that John's sister Margery and her husband Helming Leget, (fn. 342) and with land at Marten it had been conveyed by 1399 by John Lovel, Lord Lovel and Holand, to St. Margaret's priory. (fn. 343) It was apparently merged with the priory's other estate in West Grafton. (fn. 344)
A farm in West Grafton later called SOTWELL'S belonged to Thomas Sotwell in 1543. (fn. 345) It may have passed to Thomas's son William (d. 1589–90), passed to John Sotwell (d. 1598), the younger of two sons of William so called, and was held for life by John's relict Anne. The farm passed in turn to John's sons Richard (d. 1628) and Robert (d. 1630) and to Robert's son Robert, (fn. 346) who in 1648 sold it to John Durnford. (fn. 347) John held the farm in 1679, when it was accounted 185 a. including 15 a. in Burbage. (fn. 348) In 1719 John's son John sold it to Francis Hawes, a director of the South Sea Company. (fn. 349) After the collapse of the company in 1720 Hawes's estates were confiscated by parliamentary trustees, who sold the farm in 1729 to John Hopkins. (fn. 350) From 1729 to 1788 the farm passed with Wexcombe manor. (fn. 351) In 1788 Benjamin Bond Hopkins sold it to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, (fn. 352) who added it to West Grafton manor.
Alvric the huntsman held Harding in 1066. Richard Sturmy held it in 1086, when Robert held it of him. (fn. 353) It apparently descended in the Sturmy family, was held by Walter Sturmy (d. 1243), and was divided between Walter's sisters Alice, wife of Robert Kernet, and Letewarie. (fn. 354) Alice's moiety descended with, and apparently became part of, Westcourt manor in Shalbourne, and apparently lay mainly in Shalbourne parish. (fn. 355) Letewarie subinfeudated her moiety, the later HARDING farm, which lay mainly in Great Bedwyn parish, to Richard of Harding (d. c. 1250), whose heir was his son Richard. (fn. 356) It passed to another Richard Harding (d. c. 1294), whose heir was his uncle Roger Harding (fn. 357) (d. c. 1331). The estate passed to Roger's niece Maud, wife of Thomas Alresford (fn. 358) (d. 1361), (fn. 359) and in 1336 was settled on Thomas and Maud for life and on Thomas's son Roger and other members of his family in tail. (fn. 360) The descent of the estate from 1361 to the mid 15th century is obscure. Sir John Seymour (d. 1464) settled it on Roger Seymour in tail male, and on the death of Roger's son John in 1509 it reverted to Sir John's great-grandson Sir John Seymour (fn. 361) (d. 1536). Harding farm thereafter descended with Burbage Sturmy manor, (fn. 362) and from 1553 with Tottenham Lodge, (fn. 363) until the death of John Seymour, duke of Somerset, in 1675. Under a settlement of 1672 the farm passed in 1675 to Somerset's relict Sarah (d. 1692), and from 1692 to c. 1767 descended in the Seymour family with Pewsey manor. (fn. 364) In 1767 Hugh Percy, duke of Northumberland, and his wife Elizabeth, by direction of Joseph Champion, sold it to John White. (fn. 365) It descended in the direct line to John (d. 1797) and Thomas White, who in 1801 sold it to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury. (fn. 366) It thereafter descended with Tottenham House to George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, who sold it c. 1929. It then measured 396 a. and included c. 70 a. of Wilton's land and c. 65 a. of the former Bedwyn Brails bailiwick. (fn. 367) In 1996 the land was part of a large estate based at Stype Grange in Shalbourne and belonged to Mrs. V. L. Duffield. (fn. 368)
At Marten in 1086 there were three estates, held by Odolina, Ralph de Halvile, and Turbert. Lewin held Turbert's estate in 1066. Ralph and Turbert held by serjeanty. Odolina may have given her land to Westminster abbey in the late 11th century, (fn. 369) but there is no evidence that the abbey later held land at Marten. Before 1187 one of the estates seems to have been held by Philip de Chartrai. (fn. 370)
An estate later called MARTEN manor was held 'by John de Palerne, whose son Henry conveyed it to William Brewer (d. 1226) c. 1200. (fn. 371) In 1227 Brewer's son William gave it to Mottisfont priory (Hants), (fn. 372) and the priory held the manor, with land at Wilton, until the Dissolution. In 1536 the Crown granted it to William Sandys, Lord Sandys (d. 1540), and his wife Margery (d. 1539). (fn. 373) It passed to the Sandyses' son Thomas, Lord Sandys (d. 1560), (fn. 374) on whose daughter-in-law Elizabeth (fl. 1598), wife of Ralph Scrope, it was settled for life in 1572, (fn. 375) and to Thomas's grandson William Sandys, Lord Sandys (d. 1623). In 1602 Lord Sandys sold the manor to Sir Edward Hungerford (fn. 376) (d. 1607). It passed to Sir Edward's grandnephew Sir Edward Hungerford (d. 1648), to that Sir Edward's half-brother Anthony Hungerford (d. 1657), and to Anthony's son Sir Edward, (fn. 377) who sold it in 1674 to Edmund Pyke. In 1690 Edmund's son and heir Henry Pyke sold part of the manor in portions, and in 1692 sold the rest to the executors of Evelyn Fanshawe, Viscount Fanshawe (d. 1687). Lord Fanshawe's heir was his uncle Charles Fanshawe, Viscount Fanshawe (d. 1710), who in 1693 bought one of the portions sold in 1690. Charles's heir was his brother Simon, Viscount Fanshawe (fn. 378) (d. 1716), who devised Marten manor to Thomas Fanshawe (d. 1726). From Thomas the manor descended in the direct line to Simon (d. 1777), whose relict Althea held it until her death in 1805, (fn. 379) Henry (d. 1828), and Henry (d. 1857). From 1815, when additional land at Marten was received in exchange for tithes and for land at Wilton, the manor measured c. 545 a. (fn. 380) The younger Henry Fanshawe was succeeded in turn by his brother the Revd. Charles Fanshawe (d. 1859) and Charles's sons the Revd. Charles Fanshawe (d. 1873) and the Revd. John Fanshawe (d. 1892). From John the manor descended in the direct line to Henry (d. 1913) and Charles Fanshawe, who in 1920 sold it to Gordon Crees (d. 1961). In 1980 Crees's executors sold Manor farm, c. 360 a., to Faccombe Estates, a company from which Mr. B. R. Taylor, the owner in 1996, bought it in 1985. North-east of the village c. 150 a., formerly part of Manor farm, belonged to Mr. J. R. Crook in 1996. (fn. 381)
In 1242–3 William Longespée (d. 1250), styled earl of Salisbury, was overlord of 1/5 knight's fee at Marten. William was succeeded by his son Sir William Longespée (d. 1257) and he by his daughter Margaret, from 1261 countess of Salisbury (d. by 1310), wife of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln (d. 1311). (fn. 382) The overlordship descended to Margaret's daughter Alice de Lacy, countess of Lincoln and of Salisbury. In 1325 Alice and her husband Sir Ebles Lestrange granted it to the younger Hugh le Despenser, Lord le Despenser, (fn. 383) who forfeited it in 1326. (fn. 384) It was presumably granted in 1337 with the earldom of Salisbury to William de Montagu (d. 1344). William's great-grandson Thomas de Montagu, earl of Salisbury, was overlord in 1428. (fn. 385) The lordship in fee of the estate was held by John Malwain in 1242–3 (fn. 386) and by William Malwain in 1275. (fn. 387) In 1313 it was held by Ralph Malwain and his wife Maud, (fn. 388) and it passed to their son John (fn. 389) (d. 1361), who also held land at West Grafton. That John was succeeded by his son John (fn. 390) (d. by 1378), (fn. 391) whose heirs were his sisters Joan, wife of Peter Tebaud, and Margery, wife of Helming Leget. In 1385 the Legets conveyed their part of the estate to John Lovel, Lord Lovel and Holand, (fn. 392) who by 1399 had conveyed it to St. Margaret's priory, Marlborough. (fn. 393) There is no evidence that the priory later held land at Marten. In 1397 Peter Tebaud conveyed Joan's part of the estate to John Malwain (fn. 394) (d. by 1426), and thereafter it descended in the Malwain and Ernie families with Etchilhampton manor to Michael Ernie (fn. 395) (d. 1594). In 1610 Michael's son Sir John Ernie (fn. 396) sold his estate at Marten, then described as a third part of Marten manor, to Sir Anthony Hungerford. (fn. 397) Either at Sir Anthony's death in 1627 or by conveyance in 1620–1 it passed to his son Sir Edward Hungerford (fn. 398) (d. 1648), who added it to Marten manor. (fn. 399)
In 1246 Mottisfont priory was taking all the tithes arising from its estate at Marten and giving 2 a. of wheat to the prebendary of Bedwyn. The tithes were confirmed to the priory in 1246, from when additionally it was to give 1 a. of barley and 1 a. of oats to the prebendary. (fn. 400) The tithes apparently descended with Marten manor, and at inclosure in 1815 Henry Fanshawe was allotted 90 a. to replace them. (fn. 401)
Land at Bedwyn given by Byrhtelm to the bishop of Winchester and his see by exchange in the early 9th century was possibly the 20 manentes, then said to lie at Stock by Shalbourne, given by the bishop to the king in 904: if so, it was presumably added or restored to the king's estate called Bedwyn. (fn. 402)
STOCK manor was probably subinfeudated after c. 1130. (fn. 403) In the early 14th century Thomas de St. Vigeur held it, and in 1335 his relict Maud held a third of it in dower. Thomas conveyed the manor to Adam of Stock (d. c. 1313) and Adam's wife Gena (d. c. 1335) and son Patrick. About 1313 it passed to Gena, who married Robert Hungerford, and c. 1335 to Adam's grandson Edward Stock (fn. 404) (d. 1361). Edward's heir was his son John, at whose death in 1376 his lands were divided between his aunt Margaret Stock, wife of John Weston, and his cousin Nicholas Danvers (d. by 1387), a chaplain. Nicholas's moiety reverted to Margaret, who by 1387 had settled the manor on herself for life with remainder to John Comberwell in tail. (fn. 405) The manor was held by Thomas Stock in 1428 and formerly by William Stock. (fn. 406) In the period 1429–31 Thomas conveyed it to Walter Hungerford, Lord Hungerford (d. 1449). (fn. 407) From Walter it descended in the direct line to Sir Edmund (d. 1484), (fn. 408) Sir Thomas (d. 1494), Sir John (d. 1524), Sir Anthony (d. 1558), Sir John (d. 1582), Anthony (d. 1589), and Sir John Hungerford (d. 1635). (fn. 409) Anthony's relict Bridget (d. 1621) held it for life. (fn. 410) In 1630 Sir John sold it to Sir John Danvers (fn. 411) (d. 1655), a regicide. Danvers's estates were confiscated at the Restoration, and in 1661 the Crown conveyed Stock manor to trustees, who in 1664 sold it to William Byrd (fn. 412) (d. 1692). (fn. 413) After c. 1716 Byrd's son William sold the manor to Francis Stonehouse (fn. 414) (d. 1738), (fn. 415) in 1741 Stonehouse's son Francis sold it to Lascelles Metcalfe, (fn. 416) in 1753 Metcalfe sold it to Ralph Verney, Earl Verney, (fn. 417) and in 1766 Lord Verney sold it to Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce. (fn. 418) The manor thereafter descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 419) About 1929 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold Stock's land southeast of the Dun as Brail farm, 120 a. (fn. 420) In 1996 the farm, then c. 200 a., belonged to Mr. J. J. Hosier. (fn. 421) In 1950 the rest of Stock manor, except the woodland, was sold by Lord Ailesbury to the Crown, the owner in 1996. (fn. 422)
A manor house stood on the high ground west of Great Bedwyn village. In the mid 17th century it was said that it had earlier been moated (fn. 423) and, if so, it was presumably lived in by the Stock family in the 14th and 15th centuries; it was apparently lived in by Sir John Hungerford (d. 1582). (fn. 424) Stokke Manor probably occupies its site and nothing of it is known to survive. (fn. 425)
In the 1230s the executors of Sir John Dacy gave an estate including Ford mill and a nominal 33 a. in the open fields of Stock to Salisbury cathedral. (fn. 426) The cathedral owned the mill and 21 a. in the open fields in 1751. (fn. 427) By an exchange of 1800 it gave its estate at Stock to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, who added it to Stock manor. (fn. 428)
WEXCOMBE manor, which, probably c. 1130, Henry I granted to John FitzGilbert (d. 1165), his marshal, probably passed in turn to John's sons Gilbert FitzJohn (d. 1165–6) and John (d. 1194). (fn. 429) In 1189 Richard I confirmed it to John the marshal, (fn. 430) at whose death it passed to his brother William Marshal, earl of Pembroke (d. 1219). It descended to William's son William, earl of Pembroke (d. 1231), whose relict Eleanor (d. 1275), the wife of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester (d. 1265), held it for life. (fn. 431) On Eleanor's death the manor passed to Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and of Hertford (d. 1295), the grandnephew of William, earl of Pembroke (d. 1231). (fn. 432) It was held for life by Gilbert's relict Joan (d. 1307) and passed to his son Gilbert, earl of Gloucester and of Hertford (d. 1314), (fn. 433) whose relict Maud held it until her death in 1320. (fn. 434) The manor passed to the younger Gilbert's sister Margaret (d. 1342), one of his heirs and the wife of Hugh de Audley (cr. earl of Gloucester 1337, d. 1347), whose estates were held between 1321 and 1326 by the king because of Hugh's contrariance. In 1347 the manor passed to Margaret's daughter Margaret de Audley (d. 1348), the wife of Ralph de Stafford (cr. earl of Stafford 1351, d. 1372), and in 1372 to that Margaret's son Hugh de Stafford, earl of Stafford (d. 1386). (fn. 435) It descended with the Stafford title to Hugh's sons Thomas (d. 1392), William (d. 1395), and Edmund (d. 1403). Edmund's heir was his son Humphrey, earl of Stafford (fn. 436) (cr. duke of Buckingham 1444, d. 1460), a minor until 1423. Humphrey was succeeded by his grandson Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, whose estates passed to the Crown in 1483 when he was executed and attainted. (fn. 437) Wexcombe manor was probably held by the Crown until 1485 and was probably among the lands restored then by Act to Henry's son Edward, duke of Buckingham. It passed to the Crown again in 1521 when Edward was executed for high treason. (fn. 438) In 1522 it was granted in tail male to Sir Edward Darell (d. 1530), (fn. 439) in 1544 the reversion was granted to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547), (fn. 440) and in 1545 Sir Edward's grandson and heir Sir Edward Darell conveyed the manor to Seymour in an exchange. (fn. 441) In 1552 the manor passed to the Crown on Seymour's execution and attainder. In 1553 it was assigned to his son Sir Edward (fn. 442) (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621), and it descended to that Edward's grandson and heir William Seymour, earl of Hertford (cr. marquess of Hertford 1641, restored as duke of Somerset 1660, d. 1660), (fn. 443) who devised it to trustees to pay debts and legacies. The duke's trustees held the manor until 1719 when, by order of Chancery, it was sold to John Hopkins (d. 1732). Hopkins devised it in trust for the children of his cousin John Hopkins. The trustees held it until 1772; they then conveyed it to that John's grandson Benjamin Bond, who took the additional surname Hopkins. (fn. 444)
In 1788 Benjamin Bond Hopkins sold Upper farm and Lower farm, which together included nearly all the land of Wexcombe, to Ralph Tanner and Daniel Tanner respectively. (fn. 445) On Ralph's death in 1800 (fn. 446) Upper farm passed to Edward Tanner; c. 1808 Lower farm passed from Daniel to Thomas Tanner (fn. 447) (d. 1822), who devised it to William Tanner, and c. 1829 passed from William to Edward Tanner (fn. 448) (d. 1843), the owner of Upper farm. Both farms were devised by Edward Tanner to J. B. H. Tanner (will proved 1846), (fn. 449) and remained in the Tanner family until the 1880s. (fn. 450) They were owned in 1889 by W. C. Finch, who conveyed them in 1904 to Florence Parker, later wife of J. L. Baskin, and Florence owned them in 1907. (fn. 451) K. A. MacAndrew owned them from 1908 or earlier to c. 1920. (fn. 452) In 1920 they were bought by the brothers A. J. Hosier (d. 1963) and Joshua Hosier. (fn. 453) Both farms descended in the Hosier family, and in 1996 belonged to Mr. P. Hosier, A. J. Hosier's grandson. (fn. 454)
The land of WILTON was probably granted c. 1130 as part of the king's estate called Bedwyn. As tenant in chief of the estate granted c. 1130 the lord of Wexcombe manor retained the lordship in demesne of some of Wilton's land and apparently subinfeudated the rest. (fn. 455) In the 13th century Wilton's land lay in three estates, and for long periods one belonged to the lord of East Grafton manor, one to the lord of Marten manor, and one to the lord of Wexcombe manor.
William de Ros (d. by 1229) held an estate at Wilton of which part descended to his son Hugh, whose heirs held ½ knight's fee of Pain de Chaworth in 1275. (fn. 456) Hugh's was probably the estate at Wilton which John Havering held in 1302. (fn. 457) Havering's estate thereafter descended with East Grafton manor. (fn. 458) When it was sold by Charlotte, countess of Aylesford, to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, in 1787 it was accounted c. 9 yardlands. (fn. 459)
By 1225 William de Ros had given land at Wilton to Mottisfont priory, (fn. 460) and from 1227 the land descended with Marten manor. (fn. 461) After inclosure in 1792 Althea Fanshawe held c. 200 a. at Wilton. (fn. 462) In 1815 Henry Fanshawe gave 148 a. of it by exchange to Charles BrudenellBruce, earl of Ailesbury, (fn. 463) who, as heir to his father Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, already owned nearly all the other land of Wilton. (fn. 464)
In 1275 Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and of Hertford, the lord of Wexcombe manor, held 1 knight's fee in Wilton which William Rivers held of him. (fn. 465) There is no later evidence of an undertenant, and the lordship in demesne of the estate descended with Wexcombe manor. (fn. 466) In 1778 Benjamin Bond Hopkins sold the estate, then accounted c. 412 a., to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury. (fn. 467)
From 1815 nearly all Wilton's land descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 468) About 1929 George, marquess of Ailesbury, sold it mainly as three farms, Manor, 408 a., Wilton Bank, 268 a., and Batt's, 224 a., and as c. 250 a. of woodland consisting of Wilton Brail, 107 a., and about two thirds of Bedwyn Brail. In addition c. 175 a. was sold as part of East Grafton farm and of Green farm, East Grafton, and c. 70 a. as part of Harding farm. (fn. 469) In the 1950s half of Manor farm, most of Wilton Bank farm, Wilton Brail, and the whole of Bedwyn Brail belonged to Sir William Rootes (cr. Baron Rootes 1959, d. 1964), who in 1958 sold that estate to Seymour Egerton, earl of Wilton. In 1962 Lord Wilton sold it to Victor Warrender, Lord Bruntisfield, in 1971 Lord Bruntisfield sold it to Mr. A. J. Buchanan, and in 1984 Mr. Buchanan sold it to Mr. R. M. Charles, who in 1996 owned the agricultural land as Hillbarn farm, 360 a., and the woodland, 361 a. (fn. 470) In 1948 the other half of Manor farm, and c. 1962 the rest of Wilton Bank farm, were bought by D. L. Lemon. As Manor farm they passed to his son Mr. P. D. L. Lemon, who added most of Batt's farm to them by purchase c. 1993 and owned Manor farm, c. 500 a., in 1996. (fn. 471)
A fourth estate at Wilton, consisting of 1 yardland and a meadow, was part of an estate given in the 1230s by the executors of Sir John Dacy to Salisbury cathedral. (fn. 472) In 1800 Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, gave an additional 34 a. at Wilton to the cathedral by exchange. (fn. 473) The estate passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who in 1911 sold their land at Wilton as a 64-a. farm. (fn. 474) In 1996 that land belonged to Mr. P. D. L. Lemon as part of Manor farm. (fn. 475)
Turold and Alwin held 4 hides at WOLFHALL in 1066, Turold held all or part of the estate in 1084, and the whole estate was probably held by Ralph de Halvile in 1086. (fn. 476) In the 1180s land at Wolfhall was claimed from William de Coleville by William Dauntsey, who in 1189–90 apparently succeeded in his claim. (fn. 477)
In 1242–3 Robert de Beauchamp, Hugh le Poer, and Richard Benger held 1 knight's fee at Wolfhall. (fn. 478) Benger's title has not been traced further. Beauchamp (d. 1264) was succeeded by his son John, of whom Henry Sturmy held ½ knight's fee at Wolfhall in 1275; the lordship in demesne of that estate apparently passed from Henry (d. c. 1296) in the direct line to Henry (d. c. 1305), Henry (d. c. 1338), and Henry Sturmy (d. 1381), (fn. 479) who was granted free warren in his demesne at Wolfhall in 1359. (fn. 480) Hugh le Poer's estate may have been the land in Wolfhall held by Sir Philip Basset (d. 1271); in 1294 Ela Longespée, Sir Philip's relict, who held it for life, and his grandson Sir Hugh le Despenser (cr. earl of Winchester 1322), who held the reversion, conveyed Sir Philip's land there to Adam of Stock (d. c. 1313) and his brother Roger. (fn. 481) In 1316 the estate, assessed at ½ knight's fee in 1313, was conveyed by Adam's relict Gena and her husband Robert Hungerford to Roger Stock (fn. 482) (d. c. 1333), probably Adam's son. In 1360 Roger's son Edward conveyed it to Henry Sturmy (d. 1381). (fn. 483)
Wolfhall manor presumably passed from Henry Sturmy to his nephew Sir William Sturmy, (fn. 484) on whose death in 1427 a moiety passed to his grandson Sir John Seymour (d. 1464) and a moiety to his daughter Agnes, wife of John Holcombe (d. 1455). Agnes, her son William Ringbourne, or William's son Robert apparently exchanged her moiety for a rent charge of 13 marks from the whole manor. About 1485 the rent charge passed at Robert Ringbourne's death to his brother William (fl. 1491); it has not been traced further. Sir John Seymour's heir was his grandson John Seymour, who held the whole manor at his death in 1491. (fn. 485) From then the manor descended with Burbage Sturmy manor, from 1553 also with Tottenham Lodge, until 1675. (fn. 486) John Seymour, duke of Somerset (d. 1675), devised Wolfhall manor to his second cousin Francis Seymour, duke of Somerset, on whose death without issue in 1678 it reverted to John's niece Elizabeth Bruce. From 1678 it descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 487) About 1929 George, marquess of Ailesbury, sold 235 a. as Sudden farm, and 88 a. probably part of the manor as part of Freewarren farm; as most of Suddene Park farm all that land belonged to Mr. P. J. Devenish in 1996. (fn. 488) In 1950 Lord Ailesbury sold c. 230 a. as part of Wolfhall farm to the Crown, the owner in 1996. (fn. 489) The rest of Wolfhall manor, c. 200 a. between the Kennet & Avon canal and the park of Tottenham House, descended with Tottenham House, was sold in the early 1970s (fn. 490) to Mr. D. C. F. Gent, and in 1996 belonged to Mr. A. Day. (fn. 491)
The manor house which stood at Wolfhall in the late Middle Ages (fn. 492) may have been timberframed and built around a great court and a little court. It incorporated a chapel, a long gallery, and a tower. The tower was demolished in 1569. The gallery and an evidence room survived the partial demolition of the house in the 1660s; (fn. 493) the whole house had probably been demolished by 1723. (fn. 494)
Woodland called the BRAIL, assessed at 212 a. in 1568, (fn. 495) stood south-east of Great Bedwyn village. (fn. 496) When the bounds of Savernake forest were revised in 1300 it was denned as a detached part of the forest, (fn. 497) and as Bedwyn Brails bailiwick it belonged to the Crown. (fn. 498) In 1544 it was granted to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (fn. 499) (cr. duke of Somerset 1547), on whose execution and attainder in 1552 it passed back to the Crown. (fn. 500) In 1552 it was granted to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, (fn. 501) and it descended with the Pembroke title. (fn. 502) By c. 1625 most of the land had been converted to agriculture and was worked as Brail farm. (fn. 503) The farm was sold in 1783 by Henry Herbert, earl of Pembroke and of Montgomery, to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury. (fn. 504) It thereafter descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 505) About 1929 George, marquess of Ailesbury, sold c. 75 a. as part of Bedwyn Brail and c. 65 a. as part of Harding farm, and in 1930 he sold 101 a. as part of Jockey Green farm. (fn. 506) Jockey Green farm was bought by E. B. Gauntlett and added to Little Bedwyn manor, of which it remained part in 1996. (fn. 507)
West of Great Bedwyn village land which was almost certainly part of Savernake forest in the Middle Ages had been inclosed as TOTTENHAM park by the earlier 16th century. (fn. 508) All or most of it was later part of Great Bedwyn parish, and Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House, which replaced Tottenham Lodge in the 1720s, were built on it.
Tottenham park was presumably included in Savernake forest when the reversion of the forest was granted to Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, in 1547 (fn. 509) and when the forest was assigned m 1553 to his son Sir Edward Seymour (fn. 510) (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621), a minor until 1558. The park descended with the earldom to the younger Edward's grandson William Seymour (cr. marquess of Hertford 1641, restored as duke of Somerset 1660, d. 1660), (fn. 511) and with the dukedom to William's grandson William Seymour (d. 1671), a minor, and the younger William's uncle John Seymour (d. 1675). (fn. 512) On John's death Tottenham Lodge and the park passed to the younger William's sister Elizabeth (d. 1697), from 1676 the wife of Thomas Bruce (earl of Ailesbury from 1685, d. 1741). Elizabeth's heir was her son Charles Bruce, Lord Bruce (a minor until 1703, earl of Ailesbury from 1741, d. 1747), from whom Tottenham House and the park passed to his nephew Thomas Brudenell (later Bruce), Lord Bruce (cr. earl of Ailesbury 1776, d. 1814). Thomas was succeeded by his son Charles Brudenell-Bruce (cr. marquess of Ailesbury 1821, d. 1856), and thereafter the house and park descended with the marquessate to Charles's sons George (d. 1878) and Ernest (d. 1886), to Ernest's grandson George Brudenell-Bruce (d. 1894), (fn. 513) and to George's uncle Henry Brudenell-Bruce (d. 1911). They descended in the direct line to George (d. 1961), Chandos (d. 1974), and Michael BrudenellBruce, marquess of Ailesbury, who in 1987 transferred them to his son David, earl of Cardigan, the owner in 1996. (fn. 514)
In Tottenham park stood a lodge which was large enough to accommodate the mother and children of Edward, earl of Hertford, when Henry VIII visited Wolfhall in 1539. (fn. 515) About 1580 Tottenham Lodge superseded the manor house at Wolfhall as one of the principal houses of Edward's son Edward, earl of Hertford, (fn. 516) and in the 1660s materials of the manor house, part of which was then demolished, were used to alter, enlarge, or rebuild Tottenham Lodge. The work on Tottenham Lodge was apparently in progress in 1672, when the house was expected to become 'a complete new pile of good architecture'. (fn. 517) The expectation may not have been fulfilled: soon after 1676 Elizabeth Seymour, who on the death of John, duke of Somerset, in 1675 inherited Tottenham park and other lands of his, and her husband Thomas Bruce were said by Elizabeth's mother Mary Somerset, duchess of Beaufort, to lack a house in Wiltshire in which they could live. (fn. 518) In the early 18th century Tottenham Lodge was apparently in poor repair and in 1712 part of it was damaged by fire. (fn. 519) In 1716 it was rectangular, incorporated an inner courtyard, and had two short wings, one at each end of its south-east front; in plan it was smaller than its stable block, which stood north-east of it. (fn. 520)
About 1720 Charles Bruce, from 1741 earl of Ailesbury, invited his brother-in-law Richard Boyle, earl of Burlington, to design a new house, and in the 1720s Tottenham Lodge was demolished and Tottenham House was built on its site to designs by Lord Burlington. Previously Lord Burlington had designed features only at his own houses, Chiswick House (Mdx.) and Burlington House (Piccadilly). Tottenham House was built of brick with stone dressings and was square in plan and of moderate size. It was of one tall storey between attic and basement, except at the angles where each wide outer bay rose an additional storey to form a tower with a pyramidal roof. On the north-west a cramped three-bayed entrance front was slightly recessed from the outer bays; on the garden front to the south-east the five centre bays were pedimented, projected slightly, and had an attached hexastyle Ionic portico to attic level. The entrance front was set within a walled forecourt flanked by service pavilions, one on the north-east side and one on the south-west, each of one tall storey. In the 1730s the house was enlarged to new designs by Lord Burlington. Four narrow wings, each of one tall storey over a basement, were built to extend both the north-west and south-east fronts north-eastwards and south-westwards, thus making deep open-ended north-east and south west courts; the two wings extending the northwest front were linked to the existing pavilions to become L-shaped. (fn. 521) Between c. 1740 and the early 19th century the house was little altered. (fn. 522) Alterations and rebuilding begun in the 1820s (fn. 523) almost entirely destroyed its external features and its plan, and in 1996 all that could be seen of it were a length of rusticated walling in the cellars and panelling in a room south-west of what was then the entrance hall. (fn. 524)
Between c. 1823 and 1870 Tottenham House was converted to a stone-clad mansion, and enlarged, to designs by Thomas Cundy (d. 1867), whose father designed new stables in 1816, and probably by Thomas Cundy (d. 1895). (fn. 525) On each main front the bays between the towers were raised to the height of the towers, the wings built in the 1730s were raised to two storeys, the two courts were built on to produce continuous north-east and south-west elevations, and the pavilions built in the 1720s were altered. A giant tetrastyle Ionic portico was added to the entrance front, and a single-storeyed one of paired columns replaced that on the southeast front. The fenestration was altered, new Venetian windows in the outer bays of the main fronts recalling the original design. Dates on rainwater hoppers suggest that the exterior work on the centre and south-west parts of the house was completed in 1825, that on the north-east in 1860. Two convex single-storeyed quadrant wings, one extending west from the south-western of the pavilions built in the 1720s, the other extending north from the north-eastern, were completed c. 1870. (fn. 526) Each wing has a large pavilion at its far end: that on the west is an orangery connected to the main part of the house by a lean-to conservatory along the back wall of the wing, and that on the north forms one side of an enclosed garden. Inside the house rooms lead off a central hall in which there is a flying stair. The interior decoration in 1996 was nearly all of the later 19th century. In the principal rooms it was very rich and showed French and Russian influences.
In 1716 Tottenham Lodge stood in the northwest part of a roughly circular park of 600 a., most of which was used for agriculture and in which a farmstead stood c. 300 m. north of the house. The only features of the park to survive in 1996 were, south-west of the house, woodland with a north-east and south-west walk through it and, respectively south and east of the house, Langfield copse and Haw wood. (fn. 527)
The park was redesigned between the 1720s, when Tottenham House was built, and the 1740s. A banqueting house, which was built near the far end of the walk through the woodland south-west of the house, an octagonal temple, which was built on a circular lawn north-west of the banqueting house, and possibly other features were designed by Lord Burlington. The other new features included an exedra-ended lawn on axis with the south-east front of the house, a curved forecourt to the north-west front, a broad walk on axis with the north-east side of the house to match the walk on the south-west side, north-east of the house a plantation of trees arranged geometrically and a short canal, and south-west of the house two canals and parterres. Three straight rides were made, each leading from the house across and beyond the park. North-east of the house the broad walk was extended c. 1730 as an avenue called London ride to join the road to London from Bath and Bristol in Little Bedwyn parish; two rides led to Marlborough, one, later called Column ride, on axis with the entrance front and one, later called the Grand Avenue, roughly on the course of the Roman road. New stables, c. 1740 depicted as in Palladian style, were built between the house and the farmstead north of it. (fn. 528) They were demolished c. 1816, (fn. 529) and the banqueting house was demolished in 1824; (fn. 530) the octagonal temple, which was used as a summer house, (fn. 531) was standing in 1996.
From 1764 the park was altered and enlarged to designs by Lancelot Brown. (fn. 532) It was extended north-westwards and c. 1768 part of Durley heath was impaled as the New (later Durley) park; further north-west the rest of Durley heath and the woodland of Savernake forest were brought into the overall design of the landscape. The park was brought up to the two main fronts of the house, trees were planted informally around the house, and the principal drive, the ride leading to Marlborough from the northwest front of the house, was developed as a vista of which the main feature was a column erected in 1781 at the highest point of the ride. Straight drives, meandering paths, and consciously irregular clearings, Ludens Lye, Ashlade, Woolslade, and Bagdens Lawn, were made in the woodland; four drives, including the Grand Avenue, met in Ludens Lye; Woolslade and Bagdens Lawn were later called Savernake Lawn. To abut the farmstead and stables north of Tottenham House a walled kitchen garden was made, and a neoclassical greenhouse was built between the stables and the house. Between 1786 and c. 1818 new buildings were erected in the kitchen garden, and a menagerie was built between the garden and the Grand Avenue. (fn. 533)
Between 1816 and 1818 the stables were replaced on the same site by a new stables quadrangle designed by Thomas Cundy (d. 1825). (fn. 534) Shortly before 1820 Warren Farm was built 1.5 km. north of Tottenham House, and probably c. 1820 a new road was made across the New park between Durley village and Warren Farm; where the road crossed it the Grand Avenue was gated. The farmstead north of the house was demolished before c. 1820, presumably when Warren Farm was built. Between c. 1820 and 1879 the greenhouse was demolished and new buildings, probably glasshouses, were erected on the site of the farmstead; a boundary was made around private gardens on three sides of the house, and the north-east walk and part of the south-west walk were obliterated. Between c. 1820 and 1886 a circular plantation was made around the rond-point, called Eight Walks, where the drives met in Ludens Lye. (fn. 535) No lodge was ever built on the perimeter of Tottenham park.
In the late 19th century the park seems to have been informally extended north-westwards over the rest of Durley heath, on the north-west part of which woodland increased. In the 20th century nearly all the park was used for farming and from 1939 most of the woodland of Savernake forest north-west of it was used for commercial forestry. (fn. 536) In 1996 the enclosed gardens still lay on three sides of the house, north-west of the house c. 300 a. of grassland grazed on by sheep lay as a park crossed by the road from Durley to Warren Farm, and deer were kept in the woodland south-west of the house; (fn. 537) the column still stood in Column ride and the gates in the Grand Avenue, and near the house the stables quadrangle and the walls of the kitchen garden survived.
At the north-west end of the parish BEDWYN COMMON and STOCK COMMON, so called in the 18th century, (fn. 538) almost certainly belonged to the Crown as part of Savernake forest in the Middle Ages and from the 16th century to the owner of Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 539) About 1760 Ralph, Earl Verney, the lord of West Bedwyn and Stock manors, tenants of whom had the right to feed animals on the commons, claimed the freehold against Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce, the owner of the forest and of Tottenham House. (fn. 540) The claim had presumably lapsed by 1766, when Lord Bruce bought the two manors from Lord Verney, and the commons thereafter descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 541) In 1939 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, leased the woodland on the commons, c. 265 a., with c. 200 a. of woodland of West Bedwyn, Crofton, and Stock manors and of the Prebendal estate, to the Forestry Commission for 999 years. (fn. 542) In 1950 Lord Ailesbury sold the farmland on the commons, c. 60 a., to the Crown, which in 1996 owned it as part of Warren farm based in Burbage parish. (fn. 543) The reversion of the woodland descended with Tottenham House and in 1996 was held by David, earl of Cardigan. (fn. 544)
In 1086 Great Bedwyn church belonged to Bristoard the priest, whose father had held it in 1066. It was acquired by Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, who gave it to the cathedral in 1091. By 1179 the church's estate had been used to endow a prebend in the cathedral, and it was later called the PREBENDAL estate. It consisted of all or nearly all the tithes from the whole of what was Great Bedwyn parish from the 16th century, of tithes from what became Little Bedwyn parish, and of a manor assessed at 1½ hide in 1086 and comprising mainly land of Great Bedwyn village. (fn. 545) By 1246 great tithes arising from lands of East Grafton and Marten had been alienated, (fn. 546) and small tithes were assigned to the vicar. The tithes from the demesne of Crofton Braboef manor, to which the chaplain serving the chapel at Crofton was entitled in 1405, apparently reverted to the prebendary when the chapel went out of use. (fn. 547) The prebend was dissolved in 1543, (fn. 548) and in 1544 the Prebendal estate was granted to Edward, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 549)
In 1547 Somerset gave the great tithes which were part of the estate, except those from Crofton and Wolfhall, to the king in an exchange, (fn. 550) and in the same year the king gave them to St. George's chapel, Windsor. (fn. 551) Under an Act to resolve disputes between them, the chapel leased those tithes to Edward, earl of Hertford (d. 1621), for 99 years from 1603 at a rent of £77, (fn. 552) and it made successive leases at the same rent to Lord Hertford's successors as owner of Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 553) In 1790, when there was said to be doubt about which tithes were held by the lease, the freehold of the chapel's tithes was transferred by Act to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, subject to a rent charge of £77 and a corn rent of 5 loads 1 qr. 1 bu. of wheat. (fn. 554) The tithes descended with Tottenham House. (fn. 555) Under an inclosure award of 1815 those arising from Marten were exchanged for 148 a. in Wilton, (fn. 556) and by 1847 most of the other tithes had been merged with the land from which they arose. In 1847 the tithes which had not been exchanged or merged, arising mainly from Wexcombe, were valued at £394 and commuted. (fn. 557) The 148 a. in Wilton was sold c. 1929 by George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, as part of Wilton Manor farm and of Wilton Bank farm. (fn. 558)
About 1550 Somerset gave away c. 88 a. of the manor which formed part of the Prebendal estate in exchanges at an inclosure. (fn. 559) In 1552 the manor and the tithes from Crofton and Wolfhall should have reverted to the Crown on his execution and attainder (fn. 560) but were concealed from it. From 1552 to 1565 they were held by Somerset's son Sir Edward Seymour (cr. earl of Hertford 1559), a minor and a ward of the Crown until 1558; (fn. 561) in 1565 they were sold by the Crown to Thomas Blagrave, (fn. 562) and in 1567 Blagrave sold them to Lord Hertford. (fn. 563) They thereafter descended with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. (fn. 564) By 1847 the tithes had been merged with the land from which they arose. (fn. 565) In 1718 the land of the manor was accounted 419 a., of which 355 a. was Great Bedwyn's land, 5 a. Crofton's, and 24 a. Wilton's; 35 a. lay in Little Bedwyn parish. Of the 355 a., 337 a. lay in Manor farm. (fn. 566) In 1950 George, marquess of Ailesbury, sold Manor farm, then c. 320 a., to the Crown, the owner of that land in 1996. (fn. 567)
From 1547 the manor house of the Prebendal estate passed with the land. In 1552, when it was becoming dilapidated, it was of stone and was said to be large. (fn. 568) Its hall was reroofed with stone slates in 1502–3. (fn. 569) In the later 17th century that house or a replacement was standing immediately north-east of the church on the site occupied later by Manor Farm. It was burned down between 1674 and 1695 and was replaced c. 1695. The new house was enlarged c. 1705 (fn. 570) and was presumably demolished in the mid 19th century when Manor Farm was built. (fn. 571)
In 1086 the king's estate called Bedwyn, which apparently included several parts of what became Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn parishes, had land for 79 ploughteams. In demesne there were 12 teams and 18 servi; 80 villani, 60 coscets, and 14 coliberts had 67 teams. There were 8 mills, 2 woods assessed at 2 square leagues, 200 a. of meadow, and 72 square furlongs of pasture. (fn. 572)
The land of Great Bedwyn village, probably c. 600 a., apparently lay as a north-west and south-east strip, crossed near its south-east end by the Dun. (fn. 573)
In the Middle Ages Great Bedwyn apparently had four open fields, all near the village. Tile field, 37 a., and Barr field, 30 a., lay north-west of Brown's Lane; Harding field, 19 a., and Conyger field, 8 a., lay south-east of the Dun. Land south-west of the road leading from the village towards Marlborough was also arable. Meadows lay beside the Dun, and Spain's, a pasture probably of c. 20 a., lay north-east of the village. The land north-west of Tile field and of Barr field, and some land south-west of the Marlborough road, was probably pasture. By c. 1550 the arable south-west of the Marlborough road, and some of the pasture, had been inclosed; Spain's had been inclosed and divided. The open fields and additional pasture were inclosed, and previously inclosed lands were exchanged, c. 1550. (fn. 574)
Great Bedwyn and Stock were among the villages on the periphery of Savernake forest for each of which a particular part of the forest was designated for their sheep to feed on in common. The commons lay open to the forest and the deer in it. The part assigned for the men of Great Bedwyn and Stock, c. 325 a., lay immediately north-west and west of the lands of those villages; in 1703 it was cut off from the unfenced parts of the forest by the inclosure of a rabbit warren north-east of Durley in Burbage parish, and by 1751 it had been divided between Great Bedwyn and Stock. Great Bedwyn's part, Bedwyn common, c. 200 a., included Broad moor, c. 65 a., south-west of Stock Farm. The men of Great Bedwyn also had the right to feed cattle at large in the forest. (fn. 575)
Most of Great Bedwyn's land was part of the Prebendal manor or of West Bedwyn manor. (fn. 576) Great Bedwyn church had land for 1 ploughteam in 1086. (fn. 577) In the earlier 16th century the demesne of the Prebendal manor, later called Manor farm, was probably of c. 100 a., and customary tenants held c. 50 a. About 1550 the demesne farm was reduced to c. 55 a. (fn. 578) From 1582 West Bedwyn manor belonged to the lord of Stock manor, (fn. 579) and its land in Great Bedwyn was apparently added to holdings worked from Stock or elsewhere. In 1718 Manor farm included 20 a. of watered meadow, 202 a. of arable, 3 a. of pasture, and, presumably, feeding rights on the common pasture. Its farmstead, later called Manor Farm, stood in Church Street, (fn. 580) and in 1751 was almost certainly the largest on Great Bedwyn's land. (fn. 581) About 1770 Manor farm had 206 a., of which 49 a. was part of Stock's land, and included 19 a. of meadows and all Great Bedwyn's former open fields; 67 a. in four closes, three of which were called Bewley, were not then part of the farm as they had been. (fn. 582)
Feeding rights over Bedwyn common were presumably extinguished in the late 18th century or early 19th, after the lord of the Prebendal manor had bought Stock manor and West Bedwyn manor, (fn. 583) and most of the land was afforested in the 19th century. (fn. 584) By the early 19th century Great Bedwyn's agricultural land north-west of its former open fields had been added to Stock farm, and Stock's former open-field land northwest of the Dun had been added to farms based in Great Bedwyn village. In 1847 two farms had farmsteads in the village and all their land nearby. Manor farm had 271 a., and a farm with buildings on the north-west side of Church Street and on the south-west side of High Street had 264 a. The tenant of Manor farm also held Jockey Green farm, 132 a. (fn. 585) In the early 20th century Manor farm was held with Harding farm. (fn. 586) Bewley Farm was built on Great Bedwyn's north-western land in the mid 19th century, (fn. 587) and in the 20th century nearly all Great Bedwyn's remaining agricultural land, and most of Stock's north-west of the Dun, was worked from it. In 1996 Bewley farm was an arable and beef farm of 587 a.; from that year it was worked in conjunction with Manor farm, Chisbury, 446 a. The part of Bedwyn common which was not afforested, c. 35 a. of Broad moor, was then used from Burbage as part of Warren farm. (fn. 588)
Between the open fields in the south-east and the common pasture at the northwest end the Prebendal manor included 36 a. of woodland in five coppices in 1552. (fn. 589) In 1718 the manor had 101 a. of woodland in six coppices, including Barr Field coppice adjoining Barr field, Horse coppice adjoining Tile field, Bewley coppice north-west of Barr Field coppice, and Brimley coppice and Faggotty coppice northwest of Horse coppice. (fn. 590) All that woodland was standing in 1996. Between c. 1880 and 1899 trees were also planted between Barr Field coppice and Horse coppice, and between those three coppices and Brimley coppice, a total of c. 19 a., all of which was also standing in 1996. (fn. 591) Of Bedwyn common c. 165 a. had been afforested by 1886, (fn. 592) and it remained woodland in 1996.
A market was held at Great Bedwyn in the later 13th century, when the village was sometimes called Chipping Bedwyn. The lord of the borough was entitled to the tolls. (fn. 593) In 1468 a Monday market was granted to the burgesses; (fn. 594) in 1641 a Tuesday market was granted to the lord of the borough and apparently supplanted it. (fn. 595) A market house stood in the market place from the 17th century or earlier; (fn. 596) butchers' shambles were mentioned in the mid 15th century and in 1740. (fn. 597) The market was held on Tuesdays in the late 18th century and early 19th. (fn. 598) In the 1840s and 1850s the market house was disused and there was no more than a corn market for samples held at the Three Tuns. That had apparently been discontinued by 1859. (fn. 599)
In 1468 a four-day fair beginning on the first Monday after 25 March, and a six-day fair at Michaelmas, were granted to the burgesses of Great Bedwyn, (fn. 600) and in 1641 annual fairs, one on 24 April and one on 28 October, were granted to the lord of the borough. (fn. 601) In 1792 the fairs were held on 23 April and 15 July, each apparently for only one day; (fn. 602) in the 1830s and 1840s they were held on 23 April and 26 July. (fn. 603) The spring fair had lapsed by the 1880s. (fn. 604) That held on 26 July was then a pleasure fair; it lapsed in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 605)
Trade and industry.
Burel, a coarse woollen cloth, was made at Great Bedwyn in the early 13th century. (fn. 606) There is no later evidence that more than the usual rural trades flourished there. John Bushel, a mercer of Great Bedwyn, issued a trade token in 1669, and in 1670 was indicted at quarter sessions for making and uttering brass and copper farthings of very low value. (fn. 607) There were two clothmakers in the village in the later 17th century (fn. 608) and a weaver in 1711, (fn. 609) and members of the Newman family were tailors in the mid 18th century. (fn. 610) There were six hopyards in the village in 1675, (fn. 611) in the 18th century each of several inns incorporated a malthouse, (fn. 612) and there were several maltsters in the village in the earlier and mid 19th century. (fn. 613) A new malting was built in Farm Lane in 1868. (fn. 614) From 1851 or earlier and in 1996 members of the Lloyd family were in business in Church Street as stonemasons. (fn. 615) Other trades in Great Bedwyn included wig makers in the mid and later 18th century and a clock and watch maker in 1842. (fn. 616)
In 1086 Crofton had land for 5 ploughteams. There were 3 teams and 3 servi on the demesne; 2 villani and 5 coscets had 2 teams. There was 10 a. of meadow, and there was pasture which was said to lie 6 a. long and 6 a. broad. (fn. 617)
The land of Crofton village, which stands beside the Dun, was disposed like Great Bedwyn's and Stock's which lay north-east. (fn. 618) It consisted of a small common meadow beside the river, in the earlier 16th century probably c. 50 a. which lay in closes near the village, and, also near the village, two open fields north-west of the Dun and two south-east. About 1536 the fields north-west were North, which was probably bounded to the north-west by Haw wood, and Hatchet; those south-east were Sands, which probably lay on the greensand south-west of the village, and the field beyond the water, which was later called Mill field and probably lay south-east of the village. Crofton also had an extensive common pasture which presumably lay north-west of its open fields. (fn. 619)
In the Middle Ages Crofton FitzWarren manor and Crofton Braboef manor each included demesne and customary land. (fn. 620) About 1536 Crofton Braboef manor consisted of seven holdings, of which the largest was nominally of 47 a., the smallest nominally of 13 a.; the tenants had the right to feed 415 sheep on the open fields and the common pasture. (fn. 621) By the early 16th century demesne land of Crofton FitzWarren manor had apparently been inclosed; (fn. 622) it was possibly the land south of the Dun on which Freewarren Farm had been built by 1773. (fn. 623)
Nearly all the land north-west of the open fields, presumably Crofton's common pasture, and part of Hatchet field south-west of Haw wood were inclosed in Tottenham park, possibly in the mid 16th century. The inclosure had certainly taken place by the earlier 17th century, and in the early 18th those lands lay within the park, the boundary of which came to within c. 650 m. of Crofton village. (fn. 624)
In the 17th century and the earlier and mid 18th Crofton's land still seems to have been worked as farms of less than 100 a. In 1764 Crofton farm, probably the largest, was of c. 95 a. (fn. 625) In the 18th century the open fields measured 174 a.: Upper (formerly North) measured 60 a., Middle (formerly Hatchet) 63 a., Mill 31 a., and Sands 19 a. They were inclosed by private agreement in 1764. (fn. 626) In the mid 18th century Bloxham Lodge was built on land formerly in or adjoining Upper field, (fn. 627) and land around it was later planted with trees. (fn. 628)
In the early 19th century Crofton farm, 172 a., was almost entirely arable. Other land in Crofton lay in holdings of 67 a., 57 a., 30 a., and 19 a.; only one included a farmstead and it is likely that the others were worked as parts of farms based elsewhere. The land around Freewarren Farm was then apparently part of Wolfhall farm. (fn. 629) In 1910 a farm of 168 a. and one of 153 a. were worked from Crofton village, and Freewarren was then a separate farm of 97 a. Most of Crofton's other land was part of Wolfhall farm, and some was worked from Wilton. (fn. 630) In 1929 Freewarren was a dairy farm of 148 a. including 88 a. of what was probably Wolfhall's land. (fn. 631) It remained a dairy farm until c. 1990. In 1996 Freewarren Farm and the 60 a. of Crofton's land were used for keeping horses, (fn. 632) and Crofton farm, c. 150 a. of which was Stock's land, was an arable and dairy farm of 463 a. Much of Crofton's land inclosed in Tottenham park was then farmland, some of which was worked from Burbage parish as part of Warren farm. (fn. 633)
In 1086 there was woodland 3 furlongs by 1 furlong at Crofton. (fn. 634) Haw wood, 19 a. in 1716, was standing in the earlier 17th century and stood in Tottenham park in the earlier 18th. (fn. 635) Immediately north-east, east, and south-east of Haw wood additional woodland was planted around Bloxham Lodge. Most of it had been planted by c. 1820; (fn. 636) c. 55 a. of woodland stood in several copses there in 1886, and another 4 a. was planted in the early 20th century. (fn. 637) Haw wood and all that other woodland was standing in 1996.
A mill stood at Crofton in 1086. (fn. 638) In the 13th century a mill there was part of Crofton Braboef manor, (fn. 639) in the late 15th century the lord of the manor offered to share with the tenant the cost of adding a malt mill to it, (fn. 640) and in the earlier 16th century the manor included two mills probably under one roof. (fn. 641) A new mill at Crofton was built c. 1598, (fn. 642) and in 1773 Upper mill and Lower mill stood on the Dun c. 400 m. apart. (fn. 643) Upper mill was possibly the mill said in 1773 to have been recently demolished. (fn. 644) The source of the water used to drive both was used to feed the Kennet & Avon canal, one of the mills was bought c. 1800 by the owner of the canal, (fn. 645) and neither mill is known to have worked in the 19th century.
In 1086 the four estates in which East Grafton's and West Grafton's land lay had land for 8 or more ploughteams; there were 5 or more teams on demesne land. There were 4 servi, 9 coscets, and 3 bordars on the estates, but no villanus. Pasture was assessed at 3 square furlongs, woodland at 2 arpens. (fn. 646)
East Grafton's lands, c. 1,000 a., lay as a north-south strip bounded on the north by a ridge between two head streams of the Dun and on the south by the parish boundary. In the Middle Ages extensive open fields lay south of the village; east and west of the village land called the Sands was probably common pasture; north of the village there was a common pasture called the Heath, probably the land, c. 100 a., northwest of one of the streams; Grafton down, which rises in the south-east corner of East Grafton's land, was a common pasture for sheep. There were home closes in the village, the green was apparently used as a common pasture on which sheep fed in winter, and there was meadow land used in common probably beside a head stream which flowed northwards from the east end of the village. (fn. 647)
In 1347 the lord of the manor was licensed to impark a wood at East Grafton. (fn. 648) A park of c. 70 a. was made north-west of the village and in the mid 16th century contained woodland and was stocked with deer. (fn. 649)
In the 16th century the Heath may have been used as pasture for sheep and cattle. It was inclosed, divided, and allotted between 1571 and 1623, and the Sands had also been inclosed by the earlier 17th century. Sheep continued to be fed in common on the open fields and the downland, but allotments of the Heath, and probably of the Sands, replaced all rights to feed cattle in common: one holding was allotted 5 a. of the Heath to replace feeding for 8 cattle. (fn. 650) From the earlier 17th century to the later 18th there remained c. 700 a. of open fields and common downland south of the village. The open fields were Home, which extended north almost to the south corner of the green, and Further, which extended south to the parish boundary. Grafton down was probably of c. 100 a. (fn. 651)
From the 16th century several of the farms based in East Grafton seem to have been moderately large. In 1611 a farm of 299 a. was apparently the demesne of East Grafton manor. (fn. 652) In 1657 the demesne of the manor was accounted 446 a., of which c. 175 a. lay in closes west and north-west of the village. To the north-west 37 a. of the Heath had apparently been allotted as demesne and added to the park, then accounted 106 a., of which 27 a. was coppices and woody ground, 59 a. meadow and pasture, and 20 a. arable; the closes to the west were apparently allotted as demesne when the Sands was inclosed. The 446 a. also included a nominal 140 a. in East Grafton's open fields, and it included land in West Grafton of which a nominal 88 a. lay in open fields. (fn. 653) In 1631 a copyhold of 3 yardlands was said to include 80 a., one of 2 yardlands 56 a., and another of 2 yardlands 51 a. (fn. 654) In 1634 a farm was assessed at 112 a. with feeding for 160 sheep. (fn. 655) In 1786 East Grafton manor included Grafton farm, 503 a. including the park, and farms of 121 a. and 105 a.; (fn. 656) the farm of c. 112 a. in 1634 may have remained over 100 a.
In 1792 the open fields, Grafton down, and 7 a. of common meadow were inclosed by Act, (fn. 657) and in the early 19th century most of East Grafton's lands lay in Grafton (later Manor) farm, 507 a. worked from the buildings later called Manor Farm, and a composite farm of 456 a. probably worked mainly from the buildings, later called Green Farm, on the north side of the green. Grafton farm apparently included c. 180 a. of the former open fields of West Grafton. Together the farms had 725 a. of arable. (fn. 658) By 1886 a new farmstead had been built beside the Hungerford road. (fn. 659) In the early 20th century Manor farm, 503 a. in 1910, and Green farm, 381 a. in 1910, were worked together, and the farmstead beside the Hungerford road was that of East Grafton farm, 439 a. including c. 140 a. of Wilton's land. (fn. 660) In 1996 Manor farm, c. 800 a. including most of Green farm and c. 180 a. of West Grafton's land, was devoted to arable farming and the production of organic beef. (fn. 661) The land of East Grafton farm was then worked in conjunction with Manor farm, Marten, as a holding of c. 775 a. devoted to arable farming. (fn. 662)
Little of East Grafton's land was wooded. Two copses standing north-west of the village in the late 18th century, Round, 4 a., and Culversleaze, 7 a., may have survived from the medieval park. (fn. 663) Round copse was grubbed up in the mid 20th century; (fn. 664) Culversleaze copse was standing in 1996. Grafton clump, 12 a. of which half was East Grafton's land, was planted on the border with Collingbourne Kingston apparently between 1820 and 1843 (fn. 665) and was standing in 1996.
In 1347 a Thursday market at East Grafton was granted to the lord of the manor. (fn. 668) There is no evidence that a market was held.
The lands of West Grafton, c. 700 a., lay, like those of East Grafton, as a north-south strip from the ridge between two head streams of the Dun to the parish boundary. Like East Grafton, West Grafton had a common pasture called the Heath north of the village. It had a common pasture called the Sands probably east of the village, south of the village it had a lowland pasture called the Marsh adjoining the west boundary of the parish, and further south, adjoining the same boundary, Thorny down was a common pasture which, despite its name, lay on low and flat land. In 1638 the Heath was estimated at 30 a. or 80 a., the Sands at 34 a. or 50 a., the Marsh at 18 a. or 40 a., and Thorny down at 40 a. or 50 a.; Thorny down is known to have been 43 a. The Marsh was for sheep the whole year; the other three pastures were for cattle in summer and sheep in winter. (fn. 669) South of the village and mainly east of the common pasture West Grafton had c. 400 a. of arable in open fields. In the 16th century there were fields called Home, which stretched north nearly to the village, and Further, which lay south of Home; respectively those fields adjoined the Home field and Further field of East Grafton. (fn. 670) Later there was a third field, Hazelditch, 22 a., south of Thorny down and adjoining the parish boundary west and south. (fn. 671) In the 17th century there were closes of meadow near the village, and there was a small amount of common meadow land. (fn. 672)
In 1361 the demesne of an estate at West Grafton consisted of 63 a. of arable, 3½ a. of meadow, and feeding for 12 cattle and 200 sheep. (fn. 673) In 1611 there was a holding, later called West Grafton farm, of 102 a. including 22 a. in closes and 79 a. in the open fields. (fn. 674) In 1638 the farm included a nominal 124 a. in the open fields, 31 a. of meadow of which 2 a. was in Broad mead, and the right to feed 300 sheep and 36 beasts in common, and Robert Sotwell's farm was assessed at 200 a. with feeding for 230 sheep and 28 cattle. (fn. 675) There were probably a few smaller farms with land in West Grafton. (fn. 676)
Between 1638 and 1657 the common pastures of West Grafton were inclosed. In 1679 Sotwell's farm included 58 a. in closes and nominally 115 a. in the open fields; it also had 15 a. in Burbage, and its farmstead stood near the parish boundary west of West Grafton village. (fn. 677) The open fields were inclosed by Act in 1792, and about then the principal farms were rearranged. Sotwell's became a long and narrow farm of 202 a. lying along the Burbage boundary and consisting mostly of old inclosures. West Grafton farm, 306 a., lay east of it, was worked from the farmstead at the south end of the village, and included 163 a. of the former open fields. The east part of the open fields was apparently added to, and remained part of, Manor farm, East Grafton. (fn. 678)
In 1867 the management of West Grafton farm, then 299 a. including 258 a. of arable, was said to be rather slovenly. Sotwell's farm had 282 a., including 98 a. in Burbage, of which c. 214 a. was arable. (fn. 679) Most of Sotwell's farm was added to West Grafton farm, probably in the late 19th century. (fn. 680) In 1910 West Grafton farm had 434 a., and Kingston farm, worked from buildings at the north end of West Grafton village, had 47 a. in West Grafton. In 1929 West Grafton farm was a mixed farm of 428 a., Kingston a pasture farm of 73 a. including 23 a. in Burbage. (fn. 681) In 1996 West Grafton farm, the buildings of which were then called Manor Farm, was part of a large arable and poultry farm based at Southgrove Farm, Burbage. (fn. 682)
In 1086 Harding had land for 1 ploughteam. All its land was demesne and 1 team was on it. (fn. 683) The village probably had open fields, a common pasture for cattle, and a common down for sheep, (fn. 684) and it seems that when the lordship of Harding was partitioned c. 1243 most of the north-east part of the village's land, including the open fields, was allotted to one lord, and most of the south-west part, consisting mainly of the downland, to the other. The north-east part was later in Shalbourne parish, the south-west in Great Bedwyn. (fn. 685)
In 1331 the demesne of the estate on which Harding Farm was built included 150 a. in the open fields, 6 a. of meadow, and a pasture worth 3s. 4d. (fn. 686) By the 16th century the downland had been inclosed and Harding Farm built on it. About 1536 Harding farm consisted of the farmstead, 46 a. of arable, 5 a. of meadow, 109 a. of pasture in eight closes, feeding for cattle in a common pasture, and feeding for 300 sheep in the open fields. It is almost certain that the arable lay in open fields in Shalbourne, that the sheep could be fed on the same fields, and that the pasture lay in Great Bedwyn parish. (fn. 687) It is not clear how much of Harding's land in Great Bedwyn parish lay in farms worked from Shalbourne. A new farmhouse was built on the downland in the early 17th century, (fn. 688) probably on or near the site of that standing c. 1536. In the mid 18th century Harding farm had c. 257 a., including 44 a. in open fields in Shalbourne: by an agreement which remained voidable at pleasure the 44 a. had been inclosed and the farm's feeding for 200 sheep on the rest of the fields had been given up. The farm included 18 a. of meadow and 217 a. of arable, much of the downland around the farmstead having apparently been ploughed up. (fn. 689)
Harding farm was estimated at 287 a. in 1825. (fn. 690) In 1910 it measured 351 a., including 12 a. in Shalbourne, and was held by the tenant of Manor farm, Great Bedwyn. (fn. 691) In 1929 it measured 396 a., of which c. 70 a. was Wilton's land and c. 65 a. was part of what was formerly Bedwyn Brails bailiwick: the farm included 203 a. of arable and 165 a. of pasture. (fn. 692) In 1996 the land which was Harding farm's in 1929 was worked from Shalbourne parish (fn. 693) and was arable.
Harding copse, 10 a. north-east of Harding Farm, was standing in 1820 (fn. 694) and 1996.
In 1086 Marten had land for 3½ ploughteams. Most of the land seems to have been demesne, and there were 2 servi, 4 coscets, and no villanus. There were 6 a. and 2 arpens of meadow, 30 a. 'between meadow and pasture', and 12 a. of pasture. The land lay in three estates. (fn. 695)
Marten village stood roughly in the centre of its lands, c. 725 a. Open fields lay south and east of the village, meadow and pasture lay around the village and west and north-west of it, and the easternmost part of the lands was a northsouth scarp face, Botley down, c. 100 a., which was rough pasture for sheep. In the Middle Ages the meadow presumably lay beside the head stream of the Dun north-east of the village. (fn. 696) A park, which in the earlier 13th century was said to lie between Wilton and Marten, was presumably north-west of, and possibly not far from, Marten village. (fn. 697) Both Marten manor and the Malwains' estate included a demesne farm, the buildings of each of which stood on high ground immediately south-west of the rest of the village; (fn. 698) c. 140 a. south, west, and north-west of the farmsteads was probably demesne pasture lying in closes, and possibly the 13th-century parkland. (fn. 699) The Weares, a common pasture probably of 25–40 a. and apparently for the cattle of customary tenants, lay north-west of the village and apparently mostly north-west of the Salisbury road. It had been inclosed, divided, and allotted by 1601. (fn. 700)
In 1410 the demesne of Marten manor included 118 a. of sown arable and had on it 7 cows and calves and 318 sheep and lambs. (fn. 701) In 1621, in addition to the two demesne farms, there were eight holdings with a nominal 162 a. in the open fields, 18 a. of meadows, 40 a. of inclosed pasture, and feeding for 360 sheep on Botley down. The largest holding was of c. 38 a., the smallest of c. 14 a.; (fn. 702) each presumably had a farmstead in the lane between the course of the Roman road and the head stream. In the mid 18th century, when they were called Great farm and Little farm, the two demesne farms were held by one tenant, and there seem to have remained a few small farms. (fn. 703)
In 1765 the lord of the manor unsuccessfully sought an agreement to inclose Botley down and the open fields. The fields were then Hill, Middle, and South, (fn. 704) later North, c. 100 a., Little, c. 65 a., and South, c. 125 a. In 1815 they and the down were inclosed by Act and many exchanges of old inclosures were made. Then and later most of Marten's land seems to have lain in Manor farm, which was worked from a farmstead on the high ground south-west of the Roman road and incorporated the two demesne farms and probably some former customary land. (fn. 705) In the 19th century two smaller farms seem to have been worked from buildings on the north-east side of the lane through the village. (fn. 706)
Manor farm had c. 600 a. in 1861, (fn. 707) 630 a. in 1910, (fn. 708) and c. 500 a. in 1920, when it was a mainly arable and beef farm. (fn. 709) In 1910 there was also a farm of 63 a. (fn. 710) Manor farm was reduced to c. 360 a. in 1980; in 1996 it was worked in conjunction with the land of East Grafton farm as an arable holding of c. 775 a. (fn. 711) In 1996 c. 150 a. north-east of Marten village was arable worked from outside the parish, and there was a cattle farm of c. 60 a. with new buildings on the north-east side of the lane through the village. (fn. 712)
Stock's land, c. 500 a. in 1751, lay as a north-west and south-east strip south-west of Great Bedwyn's and, like Great Bedwyn's, was crossed by the Dun near the south-east end. There were four open fields, Town, 34 a., and Coward, 39 a., north-west of the river, and Costow, 18 a., and Brail, 54 a., south-east. Beside the river and between the open fields lay c. 35 a. in closes and a few acres of meadow. North-west of the open fields the land was probably pasture in the Middle Ages. The men of Stock, along with the men of Great Bedwyn, had the right to feed sheep on c. 325 a. of Savernake forest immediately north-west and west of the land of those villages. By 1751 that part of the forest had been cut off from the unfenced parts and, as Stock common, 125 a. of it had been assigned to Stock. The 125 a., north-west of, and detached from, Stock's other land, could be fed on by 300 sheep. (fn. 715)
In the Middle Ages Stock's open fields were probably worked from farmsteads standing on the high ground north-west of them. (fn. 716) The pasture on the high ground was possibly inclosed in the 16th century, as was some similar pasture of Great Bedwyn. (fn. 717) On one of the upland closes Stock Farm probably replaced a manor house and had apparently been built by the 17th century; (fn. 718) the demesne farm of Stock manor was worked from it in the 18th century. (fn. 719) In 1751 there were apparently two or three other farmsteads among the upland inclosures. (fn. 720) In the 17th century or earlier 18th Stock Farm was held with c. 85 a. in closes around it; most of the land in the open fields was part of copyholds. (fn. 721)
Stock's open fields were inclosed by private agreement in 1769. (fn. 722) By the earlier 19th century most of their land north-west of the Dun had been added to Manor farm and the other farm based in Great Bedwyn village; in the later 20th century it was shared between Bewley farm and Crofton farm. (fn. 723) Of the land south-east of the Dun, Brail field became part of Brail farm, for which buildings had been erected on Stock's land by 1751. In 1929 Brail farm was a dairy farm of 120 a., and it remained a dairy farm until the 1980s; in 1996 it had c. 200 a., was mainly arable, and was worked from outside the parish. (fn. 724) In 1996 Costow field was part of Crofton farm. (fn. 725)
By 1769 Stock farm had been increased by the addition of other inclosures north-west of the open fields to those around the farmstead. In 1769 the farm, 320 a., included the feeding rights on Stock common and almost certainly some of Great Bedwyn's land. (fn. 726) There were 390 sheep on the farm in 1787. (fn. 727) In 1807–8 it had 390 a., of which c. 300 a. was arable, and included the closes called Bewley, other land in Great Bedwyn, and feeding for 200 sheep on Stock common. (fn. 728) By 1879 most of Stock common had been afforested. (fn. 729) In the 20th century most of Stock farm became part of Bewley farm and some, including that part of Stock common not afforested, part of Warren farm based in Burbage parish. (fn. 730)
In 1575 the lord of Stock manor sold 430 oak trees growing near his manor house. Most of them may have stood in Shawgrove copse, which in 1751 and 1996 was a wood of 19 a. south-east of Stokke Manor. Several other small copses stood on Stock's land in 1751 (fn. 731) and 1996. Of Stock common c. 75 a. was afforested before 1879, c. 25 a. later; (fn. 732) both areas remained woodland in 1996.
Ford mill, which was standing in the 1230s, belonged to Salisbury cathedral from then until 1800, when it was given to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, in an exchange. (fn. 733) In the 18th century the mill, then called Bedwyn mill, stood on the Dun near the probable site of Ford hamlet. (fn. 734) There is no evidence that it worked in the 19th century (fn. 735) and it was demolished between 1879 and 1899. (fn. 736)
Of Wexcombe's 1,700 a. c. 1,150 a. is chalk downland. (fn. 737) There were open fields, probably lying east of the village in the coomb and north of it on the lower slopes of the chalk, and downland presumably south of the village was used to feed cattle and sheep in common. Further north Wexcombe marsh, low land on the greensand, was a common pasture which in the late 16th century was used for sheep in winter and for horses and cattle at other times. (fn. 738)
In the Middle Ages large flocks of sheep were kept on the demesne of Wexcombe manor: in 1165–6 it was stocked with 458 sheep and 30 oxen, (fn. 739) and c. 1322 it had on it a flock probably of c. 700 or more sheep. (fn. 740) In 1296 the demesne arable was estimated at 164 a., in 1307 at 300 a., and in 1314 at 478 a.: if those figures are accurate the increase was probably caused by the ploughing of downland. In 1296 the demesne also included 15½ a. of meadow, and pasture worth 60s. and presumably extensive. The customary tenants then either paid rents totalling £5 4s. 2d. or worked on the demesne. (fn. 741) In the late 13th century the men of Wexcombe's claim to have pasture for cattle free of charge in the king's forest at Hippenscombe was disputed. (fn. 742) In the earlier 15th century there was said to be, or to have been, 11 yardlands in Wexcombe held customarily. The demesne was then held on lease, in portions or collectively, by four men. (fn. 743) In the later 15th century it was apparently a single farm. (fn. 744) A hare warren was made, probably in the early 16th century and almost certainly on the downland immediately south-west of the village where four fields totalling 145 a. bore the name Hare warren c. 1847. (fn. 745)
In 1682 there were at Wexcombe the demesne farm, accounted 479 a., and 18 copyholds and 2 leaseholds assessed at between 10 a. and 48 a. (fn. 746) About 1716 the copyholds and leaseholds included feeding rights for 120 cattle and horses and c. 1,125 sheep, and by then some had been merged to form two or more farms of over 100 a. (fn. 747)
By 1780 all Wexcombe's land had been shared between Lower and Upper farms (fn. 748) and common husbandry presumably eliminated. A new farmstead was built for Upper farm in the early 19th century. (fn. 749) The farms lay several c. 1847, when Lower farm had 775 a., Upper farm 885 a. Each lay as a north-south strip, Lower farm to the east. Lower farm included 533 a. of arable, 56 a. of meadow and pasture, and 168 a. of downland pasture; Upper farm included 537 a. of arable, 63 a. of meadow and pasture, and 275 a. of downland pasture. (fn. 750)
From 1920 Lower and Upper farms were worked together by A. J. Hosier and Joshua Hosier, brothers who at Wexcombe developed a method of dairy farming which, compared to the existing method, required fewer buildings and less labour. Most of the arable and downland was converted to fenced pastures, a water supply to the downland was installed, and cows were kept on the pastures the whole year and milked in mobile sheds which were taken to the pastures. Each shed contained bails and a milking machine, from which milk was pumped into churns for immediate transport to London by road. The dairy herd at Wexcombe was increased from 80 c. 1923 to 320 in 1927 and, in the same period, the average yearly yield of each cow rose from 633 to 725 gallons. The Hosiers set up a company to make milking sheds and to sell them to other farmers. About 1930 they also introduced a folding system for poultry; in 1933 there were 160 mobile pens and c. 4,000 laying hens at Wexcombe. (fn. 751) In 1996 Wexcombe farm, c. 1,550 a., was an arable and beef farm. (fn. 752)
In 1521–2 there was 12 a. or more of woodland at Wexcombe. (fn. 753) About 1847 there was c. 45 a. including Picked plantation, 7 a., and Scotspoor wood, 23 a., in the extreme south-east. Those two woods were apparently planted after 1820 (fn. 754) and were standing in 1996.
Wilton had c. 1,650 a., by far the greater part of which was used for sheep-and-corn husbandry in common until the late 18th century. The village stood roughly in the centre of its open-field land, c. 800–950 a. North-east of the fields lay an arc of common pasture, c. 535 a., and along the boundary with Crofton's land west of the village the Heath was a common pasture of c. 25 a. The head stream of the Dun crossing the land from south-east to north-west provided meadow land. (fn. 755)
Most of Wilton's land belonged to the lords of manors with demesne farms based elsewhere, (fn. 756) and it was shared mainly by customary tenants with farmsteads in the village and with holdings which were not extensive. There were apparently many such holdings. In the later Middle Ages the lord of Wexcombe manor had 16 or more customary tenants holding 15 yardlands or more at Wilton; (fn. 757) in the late 17th century he had 12 holding c. 18 yardlands. (fn. 758) In 1621 the lord of Marten manor had copyholds of 2 yardlands, 1 yardland, and 20 a. at Wilton, (fn. 759) and in 1631 the lord of East Grafton manor had eight copyholders with 10 yardlands. (fn. 760) In the earlier 16th century there was also a holding of 12½ a., assessed at ½ yardland, which was part of Crofton Braboef manor. (fn. 761) By the 18th century holdings had been agglomerated, and in 1765 all Wilton's land lay in 10 farms. (fn. 762) Farms of 218 a. and 195 a., each with pasture rights, were held together in 1773; (fn. 763) they had been merged by 1787, when the land included 45 a. of meadow and 367 a. of arable. (fn. 764)
In Wilton village 45 a. lay in the home closes of the farmsteads, (fn. 765) and by the earlier 17th century the Heath and some meadow land had also been inclosed. (fn. 766) The Heath was divided into c. 20 closes, each of c. 1 a. (fn. 767) In 1765 the occupiers of the land made new regulations governing the use of the open fields and common pastures, (fn. 768) and in the 1770s 131 a. of arable and 60 a. of meadow lay inclosed and there were 815 a. of open-field arable and 41 a. of common meadows. There were then c. 11 open fields, including south-west of the village, on the greensand, Upper Sandy and Lower Sandy, south-east of the village Overland, Little Prior Croft, and Great Prior Croft, north of it Dodsdown and Underdown, and east of it Stony Way, Forehill, Underhill, and Yonderhill. The north part of the arc of common pasture was the cow common, c. 300 a., the east part the sheep common, c. 200 a. Where the two commons and Stony Way field and Yonderhill field met c. 10 a. had been inclosed as seven closes called Heath Hill closes. (fn. 769)
The open fields, common meadows, and common pasture were inclosed in 1792 by Act. About 200 a. of the cow common and c. 50 a. of the sheep common was immediately planted with trees. Immediately after inclosure Manor farm had 555 a., including c. 44 a. of meadows, 347 a. of arable, and 158 a. of the two commons. There were holdings of 63 a., 42 a., 35 a., and 32 a. worked from buildings in the village, and 175 a. adjoining Marten's land south-east of Wilton village may also have been worked from there; 52 a. was worked from Crofton. (fn. 770)
In 1828 there were seven farms in Wilton; the largest had 304 a., the smallest 50 a. (fn. 771) In 1867 there were five, all mainly arable. Manor, 388 a., was poorly farmed; Wilton Bank, 241 a., and Batt's, 143 a., were well farmed. The other farms had 100 a. and 96 a., and it was thought desirable to add their lands to larger farms. (fn. 772) In 1929 Manor farm, 408 a., lay east of the village, Wilton Bank, 268 a., mainly north-east and south of the village, and Batt's, 224 a., north and west of the village. All were worked from farmsteads in the village and were mixed farms.
Manor farm included Hill Barn. (fn. 773) Later the east part of Manor farm and the part of Wilton Bank farm north-east of the village were worked as Hillbarn farm, which in 1996 was an entirely arable farm of 360 a. (fn. 774) In 1996 the rest of Manor farm, the part of Wilton Bank farm south of the village, most of Batt's farm, and other land, an entirely arable holding of c. 500 a., were worked as Manor farm, the principal buildings of which remained in the village. In partnership or under contract the farmer also worked other arable holdings; machinery was housed at Manor Farm, and a large building to house equipment to dry grain stood south of the village. (fn. 775) In 1929 c. 140 a. of Wilton's land south and south-west of the village and c. 70 a. north-east was part of East Grafton farm and Harding farm respectively, (fn. 776) and in 1996 was worked with the land of those farms. (fn. 777)
Wilton had very little woodland (fn. 778) until c. 1792, when c. 200 a. of the cow common and c. 50 a. of the sheep common were afforested. Of the new woodland 107 a. stood as Wilton Brail. (fn. 779) The rest of the woodland adjoined woodland in the former Bedwyn Brails bailiwick (fn. 780) and, with that, a total of 212 a., later bore the name Bedwyn Brail. (fn. 781) Wilton Brail and Bedwyn Brail comprised c. 361 a. of woodland in 1996. (fn. 782)
A windmill, (fn. 783) a tower mill of red brick, was built c. 750 m. east of Wilton village in 1821. In 1828 it contained three pairs of stones, a flour machine, and a dressing mill. It ceased to work c. 1908 and became dilapidated. Between 1971 and 1976 it was restored to working order by the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust. (fn. 784)
At Dodsdown, where in 1548 bricks were made for the house begun for Edward, duke of Somerset, a new brickworks c. 750 m. north-east of Wilton village had been opened by c. 1820. (fn. 785) A tramway linking it to the railway at West Grafton was constructed in 1902 to enable bricks to be taken to North Tidworth for use in the army barracks being built there. The tramway was closed in 1910, (fn. 786) the brickworks c. 1930. (fn. 787)
In 1086 Wolfhall had land for 3 ploughteams. The demesne of the estate there had no stock; there were 4 villani and 4 coscets. (fn. 788)
Wolfhall had c. 750 a. (fn. 789) On chalk north of the line followed by the Kennet & Avon canal it may have had steep land used as pasture for sheep; that was possibly the land called Tottenham Hill, 40 a. of which was sheep pasture c. 1550. (fn. 790) On greensand south of that line, which was probably that of an upper reach of the Dun, the land is undulating and may have been the site of open fields; Wolfhall field was mentioned in 1289. (fn. 791) The upper reach of the Dun and a tributary flowing north-eastwards to it may have provided meadow land.
In 1333 a moiety of Wolfhall manor was said to include 800 a. of demesne arable, 30 a. of demesne meadow, and no land held customarily. (fn. 792) In 1341 formerly cultivated land assessed at 4 carucates lay fallow, (fn. 793) and by the mid 16th century much land had been imparked. The Home park was mentioned in 1536 (fn. 794) and was possibly the park called the Horse park c. 1550. The Horse park, 20 a., may have embraced the site of Wolfhall village, and in the early 17th century a house called the Laundry (in 1996 Wolfhall Farm) was built on it. The south-western part of Wolfhall's land was inclosed in Sudden park, accounted 240 a. c. 1550; Red Deer park, 40 a. c. 1550, may have lain at Wolfhall or in Savernake forest. In the mid 16th century, when the manor house was used as a residence by Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset (d. 1552), (fn. 795) all Wolfhall's land lay in demesne. (fn. 796) There were 126 a. of arable and 14 a. of meadows; the rest of the land, including that in the parks, was pasture. (fn. 797) In the earlier 17th century red and fallow deer were kept in Sudden park. (fn. 798)
In 1633 demesne land north and probably north-east of Sudden park was leased as a farm. The lease included the site of the manor house, and the farm was probably worked from Wolfhall Manor, which was built as a farmhouse in the early 17th century, and buildings near it. (fn. 799) The farm was later called Wolfhall farm. Sudden park was leased as a farm in 1654; a farmstead, probably incorporating the lodge, stood in the middle of the park. (fn. 800) The Laundry was leased with meadow land in 1675. (fn. 801) In 1673 Wolfhall farm had c. 645 a. including land probably in Crofton and Burbage: all its land, including 483 a. of arable and 158 a. of meadow and pasture, lay in severalty. (fn. 802) In 1718 Sudden farm, 243 a., included c. 173 a. of arable and c. 57 a. of meadow and pasture, and Laundry farm consisted of the farmstead and 41 a. of meadows. (fn. 803)
In 1807–8 Wolfhall farm had 678 a., of which 52 a. lay in Burbage, and included 528 a. of arable, 122 a. of meadow, and 13 a. of pasture. (fn. 804) In 1867 it had 692 a. including 97 a. in Burbage. (fn. 805) In 1910 Wolfhall farm had 549 a., Sudden farm still 243 a. (fn. 806) In 1929 Sudden was a mixed farm of 235 a., and 88 a. of what was probably Wolfhall's land was part of Freewarren farm, the buildings of which stood on Crofton's land. (fn. 807) About 1990 the 88 a. was added to Sudden farm, which in 1996 was called Suddene Park farm, measured 390 a., and was entirely arable. (fn. 808) In 1996 Wolfhall farm was an arable and dairy farm of 333 a. including c. 100 a. in Burbage. (fn. 809) Wolfhall's land north of the Kennet & Avon canal, c. 200 a. which was worked with Wolfhall farm until c. 1990, was arable in 1996. (fn. 810)
Woodland at Wolfhall was accounted 4 square furlongs in 1086. (fn. 811) In 1333 one of the moieties of Wolfhall manor included 100 a. of woodland. (fn. 812) The only woodland later known to have stood on Wolfhall's land is Sudden grove, a circular plantation of 10 a. standing near Sudden Farm in 1718. (fn. 813) It was grubbed up between c. 1820 and 1886, (fn. 814) and no woodland has since been planted.
Woodland south-east of Great Bedwyn village in which there were deer in the earlier 13th century was part of Savernake forest and, after the boundaries of the forest were redefined in 1300, stood as a detached part. As Bedwyn Brails it became a separate bailiwick of the forest. (fn. 817) In 1568 the woodland, 212 a., stood in four coppices which contained many oaks and were planted with hazel, ash, and willow. Another coppice, 3 a., had been cut to provide timber for a new house built at Ramsbury by William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 818)
By c. 1625 most of the woodland had been cleared, a farmstead had been built, and the land had become Brail farm. In 1645 the farm had 145 a. of arable, 7 a. of pasture, and 6 a. of meadow. (fn. 819) It was later called Jockey Green farm. (fn. 820) In 1929 it was a mixed farm of 157 a., of which 101 a. lay in Great Bedwyn parish and the rest in Little Bedwyn; in 1996 the 101 a. was used for arable and dairy farming as part of Manor farm, Little Bedwyn. In 1929 c. 65 a. of what was formerly Brail farm was part of Harding farm, and in 1996 it was worked with the land of that farm. (fn. 821)
In 1645 there remained five copses, then assessed at 33 a. and including Castle copse and Ivy's copse south of the farmstead. (fn. 822) In 1773 the woodland stood in two areas, that south of the farmstead and as Round copse east of it. (fn. 823) Castle copse and Ivy's copse adjoined woodland planted on Wilton's land c. 1792 and were part of the woodland later called Bedwyn Brail. In 1879 Castle copse measured 33 a., Ivy's copse 7 a., and there was a circular copse of 7 a. near them. In 1929 and 1996 c. 75 a. of Bedwyn Brail stood on what was formerly Bedwyn Brails bailiwick. Round copse measured 20 a. in 1879. (fn. 824) It adjoined woodland in Little Bedwyn and was standing in 1996.
Land almost certainly part of Savernake forest in the Middle Ages had been imparked as Tottenham park by the earlier 16th century. (fn. 827) A lodge stood in the park in 1539 and Tottenham House was built in it later. (fn. 828) The park was estimated at 300 a. c. 1550. (fn. 829) Possibly about then a small part of Crofton's open fields, and much land north-west of them, presumably common pasture, were added to it, (fn. 830) and c. 1560 c. 260 a. of woodland was said to stand on it. (fn. 831) In 1716 the park had in it 600 a., all but c. 30 a. of which lay in Great Bedwyn parish. There were 386 a. of arable, 60 a. of pasture, 28 a. of meadow, and 116 a. of woodland, including Haw wood. A farmstead stood c. 300 m. north of Tottenham Lodge. (fn. 832) From the 1720s, when Tottenham House was built, there was apparently less agriculture in the park, which was enlarged north-westwards to take in part of Burbage parish. (fn. 833) In 1786 a farmstead stood on or near the site of that standing in 1716. It was demolished before c. 1820, presumably shortly before when Warren Farm was built 1 km. north of it. (fn. 834) Of the park as it was in 1716 the only farmland in the 19th century was apparently c. 70 a. in the south part near Crofton, and possibly land north of the house and in Warren farm. (fn. 835) Other parts of that park were converted to farmland in the 20th century: in 1996 c. 150 a. in the north-east part was part of Warren farm, (fn. 836) there was c. 230 a. of farmland south and south-east of Tottenham House, sheep grazed on c. 50 a. of grass north-west of the house, and red and fallow deer were kept in a park of c. 75 a. SSW. of the house; c. 100 a., including Haw wood, was woodland. (fn. 837)
Great Bedwyn borough was incorporated by charter in 1468; the charter was confirmed in 1673. The borough developed no institution for self government although its bailiff was given the powers of a justice of the peace. (fn. 838) A new matrix for the borough seal was given by Daniel Finch, M.P. for the borough, probably in 1673. It is 9.5 cm. in diameter and depicts a castle, domed, embattled, and with a round-headed doorway, surmounted by a griffin on a mantled helm and surrounded by the legend The common seale of the corporation of great bedwin. (fn. 839)
The lord of the borough apparently held a court for it in the late 12th century (fn. 840) and was granted regalian rights over it in 1200. (fn. 841) He presumably exercised leet jurisdiction over it, in the 12th and 13th centuries the borough was sometimes called a hundred, (fn. 842) and in 1275 the lord claimed the assize of bread and of ale in respect of it. (fn. 843) Records of the view of frankpledge or court leet held for the borough by the lord exist for the 16th century to 1837. From the mid 18th century the court was held yearly in autumn in the market house. It enforced the assize of bread and of ale and heard pleas of debt and of trespass, but was concerned mainly with good order and safety in the village. Nuisances brought to its attention included thoroughfares fouled with dung, blocked watercourses, unsafe chimneys and wells, dilapidated buildings, roads and bridges in need of repair, unlawful undertenants, unlawful grazing in the streets, and wandering animals. The limits of the borough were described in 1748, and in 1758 some waste grounds were defined and protected from encroachment. The court also ordered that the instruments of punishment and restraint should be maintained: there was a blindhouse, a cage, and a cuckingstool in the 17th century, stocks in the 18th and 19th centuries, and a pillory in 1740. The principal officers of the court were the portreeve and the bailiff. In the early 17th century the court also appointed an aletaster, from c. 1675 two aletasters; in the 18th century those minor officers were called aletasters, bread weighers, and keepers of weights and measures. (fn. 844)
In 1281 and 1289 the prebendary of Bedwyn claimed view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and of ale, and pleas of vee de naam in respect of his manor in Great Bedwyn. The Crown denied his right to the pleas. (fn. 845) The prebendary's right to hear pleas in the court of his manor and to punish offences under leet jurisdiction was confirmed in 1340. (fn. 846) Records of the court of the Prebendal manor survive for the 1570s, when view of frankpledge was also held, and for the 18th century and early 19th, when it was called a court baron. In the 1570s the court transacted the normal business of a manor, and in 1575 heard a plea of debt; in 1576 the view punished an assault and a theft and elected a tithingman. The court was usually held yearly 1738–70. It met mainly to hear presentments that tenants had died, to order repair of buildings and amendment of minor nuisances affecting holdings of the manor, and for conveyancing; occasionally a tithingman was elected and the lord required to repair the pound. From 1770 to 1814 the court did no more than witness four admittances and surrenders, the last in 1800. (fn. 847)
Records of the court of either Crofton FitzWarren manor or Crofton Braboef manor survive for 1354, 1455–6, and 1459–62. The court regulated the use of common pasture and transacted the normal business of a manor; in 1456 the homage agreed that no trout under a foot long should be taken from the water of the manor. In the mid 16th century the courts of the two manors were merged. As part of its normal business the composite court regulated common husbandry and concerned itself with boundaries and hedges. In the mid 18th century the condition of gates was of particular concern. Apart from occasionally witnessing an admittance the court did very little business in the late 18th century and early 19th. It apparently ceased in 1818. (fn. 848)
The court of East Grafton manor, of which records exist for the later 16th century to the earlier 18th, dealt mainly with transfers of copyholds, including those in Wilton held of the lord. In the 16th and 17th centuries other business included the occasional presentment of minor nuisances and of breaches of manorial custom. In the 18th century the unsatisfactory condition of hedges and gates was also presented. (fn. 849)
The records of the court held for Marten manor survive for 1628–40. The court was held twice a year. Its jurisdiction extended over the lord's land at Wilton, and its main business was to deal with minor breaches of agrarian custom and minor nuisances; it heard presentments that buildings were dilapidated and that holdings had been sublet without licence. (fn. 850)
Of the estate called Bedwyn held by the king in 1086 the lands of Wexcombe, Stock (includ ing Ford), Wilton, and what became West Bedwyn manor had apparently not been infeudated by 1086 and were probably included in the grant to John FitzGilbert c. 1130. Stock, some of Wilton's land, and West Bedwyn manor were probably subinfeudated after c. 1130; (fn. 851) the lord of Wexcombe manor retained leet jurisdiction over them and exercised it with that over Wexcombe at a view of frankpledge. That part of Wilton which belonged to him was also within the lord's jurisdiction. (fn. 852) In the 15th century two views were held each year. (fn. 853) In the later 16th century and earlier 17th separate presentments were made by the tithingman of Wexcombe and Wilton and by the tithingman of Stock and Ford, whose presentments included matters relating to West Bedwyn manor and thus Great Bedwyn village. The view dealt with breaches of the assize of bread and of ale, assault, and stray animals, and orders were made to remove unlicensed undertenants, to repair buildings and the highway, to make hedges, and to ring pigs. The only direct record of the view after 1619 is for 1673, when little leet business was done at it. The view was held with the court of Wexcombe manor, in which matters relating to the lord's holdings in Wilton were also dealt with. In addition to recording the death of tenants and witnessing transfers of copyholds, in respect of Wexcombe the court made regulations for common husbandry, ordered the repair of the pound and a gate, and appointed tellers of sheep and overseers of common pastures; Wilton matters included misuse of the common pasture and orders to make a pound and to identify what lands there belonged to the lord of Wexcombe manor and what to the lord of Marten manor. (fn. 854) In 1766 Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce, whose predecessors as owners of Tottenham park were lords of Wexcombe manor until 1660, bought Stock and West Bedwyn manors (fn. 855) and in respect of them began to hold what was called a court leet and view of frankpledge. A jury made a few presentments in 1766 but no other business was done at the court, which was last convened in 1808. (fn. 856)
Records of the court of a manor of Wolfhall survive for 1263–5. The court dealt with the normal business of a manor and particularly with the use of pastures. (fn. 857)
There was a workhouse in Great Bedwyn village in the mid 18th century, (fn. 858) and from 1786 or earlier cottages at Wilton were used as a parish workhouse. A master of the workhouse was appointed and the services of a surgeon were provided for the inmates. The workhouse contained 11 beds and 8 spinning wheels in 1795, housed 19 paupers in 1802–3 and 12 in 1812–13, and remained open until 1835. In 1797 inmates were forbidden to leave it without permission, to receive visitors, or to collect wood for fuel. (fn. 859)
In 1775–6 the parish spent £799 on relief of the poor, in the three years to Easter 1785 an average of £697 a year. In 1802–3 it spent £987 on outdoor relief and £80 on indoor relief. Out of the workhouse 88 adults and 144 children were relieved regularly, 21 occasionally. (fn. 860) In the late 18th century and early 19th monthly doles cost more than extraordinary expenses. (fn. 861) In 1812–13 the parish spent £3,076 on outdoor relief for nearly half the population: 150 were relieved regularly, 760 occasionally. Thereafter total expenditure and the number of paupers fell. Expenditure was £1,988 in 1813–14 and £1,116 in 1814–15. (fn. 862) Between 1815 and 1834 it was between £1,000 and £2,000 in all but three years, in each of which it was higher. (fn. 863) In 1835 Great Bedwyn parish joined Hungerford poorlaw union. (fn. 864) In 1974 Great Bedwyn parish and Grafton parish became part of Kennet district. (fn. 865)
Great Bedwyn returned two burgesses to parliament in 1295 and was represented at six of the 17 parliaments summoned between then and 1315. The borough returned two members in 1362 but, having failed to answer a summons in 1378, was otherwise unrepresented in parliaments summoned between 1315 and 1379. It returned two members in 1379 and, although it again failed to answer summonses in 1381 and 1388, was represented at most parliaments which met between 1379 and 1390. Between 1390 and 1419 it is known to have returned members to only one of 25 parliaments. From 1420 it seems to have been represented at all parliaments, except one of 1421, one of 1425, and those of 1653–6, until it was disfranchised in 1832. (fn. 866)
In 1295 and the 14th century elections are likely to have been initiated by a precept sent by the sheriff of Wiltshire to the bailiff of the lord of the borough, and most of those elected were probably burgesses of Great Bedwyn. In the 15th century members included men who, although they may have owned burgage tenements in Great Bedwyn, bore the surnames of local landowners. Other members, whose local connexion is less obvious, may have been elected through the patronage of the lord of the borough or his lessee. (fn. 867)
The right to vote for candidates at parliamentary elections at Great Bedwyn was attached to tenements in the village. In the 18th century, when the right could not be extended to any building erected on a new foundation, there were c. 120 voters. (fn. 868) Elections were conducted by the portreeve, a principal officer of the borough court, (fn. 869) and in the 18th century were held at the market house. (fn. 870)
In the 16th century the lord of West Bedwyn manor may have owned many of the tenements in the village, as he did in the 18th. (fn. 871) Anthony Hungerford, from 1582 lord of Stock manor, bought West Bedwyn manor in 1568: (fn. 872) Hungerfords were M.P.s for Great Bedwyn at several parliaments in the later 16th century and earlier 17th, (fn. 873) and in 1660 representatives of the lord of West Bedwyn manor thought mistakenly that they had enough tenants in the village to win both seats. (fn. 874) The lordship of the borough, and possibly some tenements in the village, descended in the Seymour family from 1545, (fn. 875) and some M.P.s in the 16th and 17th centuries were apparently nominees of successive Seymours. (fn. 876) Elections were contested in 1640, 1660, and 1661. (fn. 877) From 1676, when it was acquired by Thomas Bruce, from 1685 earl of Ailesbury, successive lords of the borough were Tory. (fn. 878) Some non-Tory members were returned, including the republican John Wildman in 1681 and in 1689, (fn. 879) when the borough was described as open; (fn. 880) in 1705 clothiers of Newbury (Berks.) successfully bribed electors to return candidates opposed by Lord Ailesbury. (fn. 881)
In the earlier and mid 18th century successive lords of West Bedwyn manor and Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, and his successors as lord of the borough and owner or lessee of an increasing number of tenements in the village shared or disputed influence at elections. Francis Stonehouse, who may have had an interest in West Bedwyn manor from 1699, was elected several times 1679–1702 and Lascelles Metcalfe, lord of the manor 1741–53, was elected in 1741 and, after a contest, in 1747. (fn. 882) Of 155 properties in the village listed in 1751 Metcalfe owned 52, Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce, 32. (fn. 883) In 1754 Ralph Verney, Earl Verney, owner of West Bedwyn manor 1753–66, and Lord Bruce promoted a candidate each by agreement. Lord Bruce bought other tenements after 1751, and in 1761 candidates promoted by him won both seats at a contested election. In 1766 Lord Verney sold West Bedwyn manor, including his tenements in Great Bedwyn village, to Lord Bruce subject to an agreement by which a nominee of Lord Verney was returned at a by-election in that year and at the following general election. Thereafter Lord Bruce (cr. earl of Ailesbury 1776, d. 1814) and his son Charles BrudenellBruce, earl of Ailesbury (cr. marquess of Ailesbury 1821), controlled elections held in the borough. No election was contested after 1761 and members acceptable to the government were usually returned. (fn. 884)
A minster church may have stood at Great Bedwyn in the late 10th century, when God's servants at Bedwyn were referred to. (fn. 885) A church stood there in 1066. (fn. 886) Its revenues were given to Salisbury cathedral in 1091 and became an endowment of Bedwyn prebend. (fn. 887) The prebendary was rector of the church, (fn. 888) in which a vicarage had been ordained by 1316. (fn. 889)
The prebendary of Bedwyn exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction, triennially inhibited by the dean of the cathedral, over Great Bedwyn parish, including what became Little Bedwyn parish. From 1543, when the prebend was dissolved, the jurisdiction descended with the Prebendal manor and, from 1567, with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House. The area over which it was exercised, Great Bedwyn, Little Bedwyn, and Collingbourne Ducis parishes, was called the peculiar of the Lord Warden of Savernake Forest: the name echoes the hereditary title of the owners and their forbears. The visitation court was competent in testamentary matters, was often held by the vicar of Great Bedwyn, and was usually held in Great Bedwyn church or Collingbourne Ducis church. In 1675 it was held at the King's Head, probably in Great Bedwyn village. The jurisdiction ceased in 1847. (fn. 890)
Little Bedwyn had become a separate parish by the 16th century, (fn. 891) in 1844 a church was built at East Grafton and the south part of Great Bedwyn parish was assigned to it as a district, (fn. 892) and in 1861 the church of St. Katharine, Savernake Forest, was built and in 1864 the northernmost part of Great Bedwyn parish and parts of other parishes were assigned to it as a district. (fn. 893) In 1982 the vicarages of Great Bedwyn, Little Bedwyn, and Savernake Forest were united. (fn. 894)
Vicars of Great Bedwyn were presented to the dean, until 1543 presumably by the prebendary. From 1544 the advowson of the vicarage descended with the Prebendal manor. The Crown presented in 1574, for a reason which is obscure, and in 1595 and 1611 by lapse. The dean collated by lapse in 1784 and 1796. (fn. 895) George BrudenellBruce, marquess of Ailesbury, who sold the land of the Prebendal manor to the Crown in 1950, transferred the advowson of the vicarage to the bishop of Salisbury in 1953. The bishop was appointed patron of the united benefice formed in 1982. (fn. 896)
The vicarage, valued at £9 in 1535, (fn. 897) c. £20 in 1678, (fn. 898) and £212 c. 1830, (fn. 899) was poor. It was augmented in 1823 by £600 given by parliament and £400 given by the patron; Queen Anne's Bounty and the patron each gave a further £400 in 1828. (fn. 900) The vicar was entitled to small tithes, probably from the whole parish. In 1792 those arising from Wilton were valued at £13 and commuted to a rent charge. In 1847 the rent charge and the rest of the tithes were valued at £212; in 1849 they were commuted to a rent charge on c. 900 a. lying mainly around Great Bedwyn village and at Wilton. (fn. 901) The vicar had no glebe. (fn. 902) A vicarage house, designed by G. G. Scott (d. 1897), was built in 1878–9 (fn. 903) and sold in 1968. A new house was built in the garden of the old c. 1966. (fn. 904)
In the Middle Ages several churches, in addition to that of Little Bedwyn, were dependent on Great Bedwyn church as chapels. (fn. 905) Presumably because they received great tithes the chaplains of Crofton, East Grafton, and Marten were each called a rector. (fn. 906)
The chapel at Crofton was mentioned first in 1317. (fn. 907) St. Catherine was invoked in it and it stood on Crofton Braboef manor, the lord of which was the patron. The chaplain was prohibited from administering any sacrament, and mass might only be said when the lord of the manor was present. The chaplain was entitled to all tithes from the demesne of Crofton Braboef manor and had a barn, 1 a., and a croft: in return he paid 13s. 4d. a year to the prebendary and 7d. to the lord of the manor. The chapel was dilapidated in 1405 (fn. 908) and last mentioned in 1414. (fn. 909)
At East Grafton a chapel was standing in 1302, when St. Mary was invoked in it and the lord of East Grafton manor was licensed to give 1 yardland and 4 marks rent to it. (fn. 910) Later the chaplain was entitled to the small tithes, the hay tithes, and a third of the great tithes from East Grafton manor and from 64½ a.; he held ½ yardland and paid 2s. a year to the prior of St. Margaret's, Marlborough. He was instituted and inducted by the prebendary of Bedwyn, to whom he was presented by the lord of East Grafton manor, and was entitled to administer the sacraments to members of the lord's household at East Grafton and officiate at their burial at St. Margaret's priory. The chapel, in which St. Nicholas was invoked in 1405, was not served in 1468 or 1486. It was in use in 1480 but apparently not thereafter. (fn. 911)
At Marten a chapel was standing in 1313 on the estate which was held then by Ralph Malwain and was later conveyed by Peter Tebaud to John Malwain. (fn. 912) By 1405 the altar had been dedicated to the Assumption. The owner of the estate, his household, and his tenants had all rights in the chapel except burial; the chaplain had 8 a. and was given 1 a., a croft, and 1 load of corn yearly by the prebendary. The chapel was not served in 1486 and is not known to have been served thereafter. (fn. 913)
At Wilton in 1405 a chapel in honour of the Assumption stood on the land which belonged to the lord of East Grafton manor. As in the case of the chapel at East Grafton, the lord of the manor presented the chaplain to the prebendary for institution and induction. The chaplain had 1 yardland and was entitled to all tithes from Port mill, presumably the mill of that name in Marlborough. The chapel was vacant 1403–5, was not served in 1412, and had ceased to exist by c. 1440. (fn. 914)
In the Middle Ages Ralph Randall gave land to Great Bedwyn church for prayers, and another donor gave 3 a. and a rent of 2s. for a light. (fn. 915) In the early 15th century the church was rich in plate, books, and vestments, and had a box covered in silk and containing relics of saints. In 1409 the vicar was accused of frequenting taverns, an accusation which he denied, and in 1412 he was failing to appoint a chaplain because of the poverty of the vicarage. (fn. 916) The vicar was not resident in 1758, when the curate read prayers and preached every Sunday and held a communion service eight times, (fn. 917) or in 1812, when a single service was held each Sunday, a communion service was held four times a year, and there were 100 communicants. (fn. 918) In 1832, when the vicar was required to officiate at a chapel in Tottenham House, two services were held each Sunday in Great Bedwyn church. (fn. 919) In 1851 on Census Sunday 324 attended morning service, 374 afternoon service. (fn. 920) In 1864 the vicar and his assistant curate served Great Bedwyn church and St. Katharine's, but not East Grafton church. At Great Bedwyn the average congregation at the two services each Sunday was 250; services were also held on Wednesdays and Fridays, on holy days, and in Lent and Holy Week. A communion service was held twice a month, when the average attendance was 24, and at five principal festivals, when it was 31. (fn. 921)
A chapel of ease at Wexcombe had been built by 1879. (fn. 922) Services in it were held by the vicar of Tidcombe in 1899 and later. Its closure took place apparently between 1920 and 1923. (fn. 923) The vicarage of Great Bedwyn was held in plurality with that of Little Bedwyn from 1953 to 1958, with that of Savernake Forest from 1958, and with both from 1965. (fn. 924)
A tenement or more in Great Bedwyn village belonged to the church in 1564, (fn. 925) and in the 18th century the incumbent and churchwardens held an estate in trust for repairs to the church. It consisted of a parcel of land called St. John's at Crofton which was possibly part of the estate given to St. John's hospital in the 13th century, several tenements on the north-west side of Church Street in Great Bedwyn village, 4 a. at Great Bedwyn, some of which was allotted to replace open-field arable in Stock, and a nominal 9 a. in open fields in Shalbourne parish. In 1792 that estate was exchanged for 14 a. in Little Bedwyn, (fn. 926) of which 4 a. was sold in 1893–4. (fn. 927) From 1835 income from the cottages at Wilton owned by the parish, and until then a workhouse, was also used for repairs to the church. (fn. 928) The cottages were sold in 1923. (fn. 929) In the 18th century the church received c. £20 a year for repairs from its estate, in the earlier 20th c. £39. (fn. 930) In 1996 the income from its land and from the capital accruing from the two sales yielded c. £300 for repairs. (fn. 931)
The church of ST. MARY, so called in 1405, (fn. 932) is built of ashlar and flint with ashlar dressings and consists of a chancel with south vestry, a central tower with transepts, and an aisled and clerestoried nave. (fn. 933) The church standing in the 12th century, when the aisles were built, was already large. The chancel was rebuilt in Chilmark stone in the mid or later 13th century. The crossing was built in the mid 14th century, presumably to replace a tower, and the transepts are contemporary with it. In the 15th century the clerestory was built, the aisles were altered, and all the roofs, until then steep, were reconstructed with a lower pitch and covered with lead. The stair turret at the north-east corner of the tower was built in 1840, and the west front of the church was rebuilt in 1843. The church was restored between 1853 and 1855 to designs by T. H. Wyatt. (fn. 934) A new east window in 14th-century style was inserted, the vestry was built, and the stair turret was rebuilt; a north porch and a south porch were removed from the respective aisles, the walls of the aisles were apparently rebuilt, and a doorway in the south aisle and one at the west end of the north aisle were blocked; all the roofs abutting the tower were restored to their earlier pitch. The church was refitted, and galleries, for which timber was given in 1702, (fn. 935) were removed. By 1894 the chancel screen, which was made in the 14th century, had been moved to the south aisle; (fn. 936) it was removed from the church c. 1905, (fn. 937) and in 1975 was placed across the north aisle. (fn. 938) A pair of tomb recesses in the south wall of the south transept are apparently for members of the Stock family and coeval with the transept; memorials of the Seymour family include a tomb chest of c. 1590 on which lies an effigy of Sir John Seymour (d. 1536). (fn. 939)
In the early 15th century the church had three chalices each with a paten, (fn. 940) and Peter de Testa (d. 1467), the prebendary, by his will directed that a gilt cup should be bought. (fn. 941) In 1553 the king took 42 oz. of plate, and 14 oz. was retained for the parish. By c. 1890 that plate had been replaced by two chalices hallmarked for 1785, a plate hallmarked for 1712 and given in 1831, a flagon hallmarked for 1805 and given in 1840, and an almsdish hallmarked for 1846. (fn. 942) All that plate was held for Great Bedwyn parish in 1996. (fn. 943)
Money for bells for the church was being collected in 1405. (fn. 944) There were five bells in 1553. Possibly in 1623, when the present tenor was cast by John Wallis, the ring was increased to six. Of the other five bells in the ring one was cast by William Purdue and Nathaniel Boulter in 1656, the others by Henry Knight of Reading in 1671. A sanctus bell was cast by John Cor in 1741. (fn. 945) Those seven bells hung in the church in 1996. (fn. 946)
There are registrations of burials from 1538, of marriages from 1540, and of baptisms from 1554. Apart from burials and baptisms of 1635–6 and burials of 1769–79 the registers are complete. (fn. 947)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS was built at East Grafton, and a district was assigned to it, in 1844. It was served by a perpetual curate, from 1868 called a vicar, presented by the vicar of Great Bedwyn. (fn. 948) In 1962 the vicarage was united with the vicarage of Tidcombe with Fosbury, and in 1979 the united benefice became part of Wexcombe benefice. Between 1962 and 1979 the vicar of Great Bedwyn shared the patronage of the united benefice, and from 1979 was a member of the board of patronage for Wexcombe benefice. (fn. 949) The vicarage house, built between 1847 and 1860 on a site assigned for it in 1844, (fn. 950) was sold in 1978. (fn. 951)
On Census Sunday in 1851 morning service was attended by 480, afternoon service by 300. (fn. 952) In 1864 the perpetual curate held a service twice on each Sunday and held additional services in Holy Week and on each Wednesday and Friday in Advent and Lent. He held a communion service c. 20 times with a congregation averaging 44 at great festivals, 34 at other times. (fn. 953) From 1955 the vicarage was held in plurality with that of Tidcombe with Fosbury. (fn. 954)
The church, of Bath stone, was built in Romanesque style to designs by Benjamin Ferrey. (fn. 955) It has an apsidal chancel, an aisled and clerestoried nave, and a north-west tower with a pyramidal roof.
By will proved 1894 Elizabeth Carter gave the income from £100 for repairs to the church. (fn. 956)
Two chalices, a paten, a flagon, and an almsdish, all hallmarked for 1843, were given by the vicar of Great Bedwyn in 1844 and remained for the use of East Grafton parish in 1996. (fn. 957) A ring of tubular bells was hung in the tower in 1902 and remained there in 1996. (fn. 958)
The church of ST. KATHARINE was built at the north end of Great Bedwyn parish in 1861. It was served by the vicar of Great Bedwyn until 1864, when a district called Savernake Forest and consisting of parts of Great Bedwyn, Little Bedwyn, and Burbage parishes was assigned to it, the patronage was vested in George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, and a perpetual curate, from 1868 called a vicar, was presented. (fn. 959) In 1953 George, marquess of Ailesbury, transferred the advowson to the bishop of Salisbury. The vicarage was united with the vicarages of Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn in 1982. A vicarage house built in 1879–80 was sold in 1950. (fn. 960)
In earlier 1864 most services were probably held by the assistant curate of Great Bedwyn. Two services were held each Sunday with a congregation which averaged c. 160; additional services were held at festivals and on saints' days, those held in the morning being attended by a congregation of 12–20, those in the evening by one of 40–80. About 1864 communion was celebrated c. 20 times a year; of c. 90 communicants 66 received the sacrament at Easter 1864. (fn. 961) The vicarage was held in plurality with the vicarage of Savernake (Christchurch) from 1947 to 1949, (fn. 962) with Great Bedwyn from 1958, and additionally with Little Bedwyn from 1965. (fn. 963)
The church, of flint with ashlar dressings, was built in early 14th-century style to designs by T. H. Wyatt. It has an apsidal chancel with north vestry, a nave with north and south transepts and north aisle, and a south tower with spire. The interior is richly provided with coloured floor tiles, stone screens with marble shafts and foliage capitals, and varnished pine benches with decorated ends. The north aisle has been walled off and is used as a vestry and a meeting room. Mary, marchioness of Ailesbury (d. 1892), is commemorated by a monument designed by Alfred Gilbert. (fn. 964)
The church was given two chalices, each with a paten, and a flagon and an almsdish, all hallmarked for 1861 and retained in 1996, (fn. 965) and it has a peal of five bells cast by G. Mears & Co. in 1862. (fn. 966)
Recusants living in Great Bedwyn parish included one at Marten in the 1590s, (fn. 967) one at Wexcombe in 1639, (fn. 968) and one at Wolfhall in the 1660s. (fn. 969) Two who were papists in the 1670s may also have lived in the parish. (fn. 970)
In Great Bedwyn village a Methodist chapel was opened c. 1810. It stood on the north-west side of Church Street near the church, and on Census Sunday in 1851 it was attended by 150 in the morning and 140 in the evening. (fn. 971) It was presumably replaced by the Methodist chapel, small and of red brick with stone dressings, built in Brown's Lane c. 1874. (fn. 972) A schoolroom was built beside that chapel between 1899 and 1922. (fn. 973) The chapel was closed in 1967. (fn. 974) West of the village a house on Bedwyn common was certified in 1825 for worship by Methodists. (fn. 975) A single service, attended by 56, was held in it on Census Sunday in 1851 (fn. 976) and it had apparently been closed by 1864. (fn. 977)
At West Grafton a chapel for Primitive Methodists had been opened by 1864. (fn. 978) It was open in 1939 and had been closed by 1964. (fn. 979) At Wexcombe a building was certified in 1844 for worship by Primitive Methodists. (fn. 980) A small chapel was built apparently between 1880 and 1885. (fn. 981) It was open in 1939 and had been closed by 1966. (fn. 982) At Wilton the Bethel chapel, small and of red brick, was built in 1811 and was used by Wesleyan Methodists. A school was built in 1843. (fn. 983) Two services were held in the chapel on Census Sunday in 1851; 179 attended in the afternoon, 180 in the evening. (fn. 984) The chapel was closed c. 1994. (fn. 985)
By a deed of 1799 William Cox (d. 1812) gave 3 a. off Frog Lane to provide money after his death for 10 children aged between 5 and 10 to be taught to read. The income from the land was allowed to accumulate until 1824, when a schoolmaster was appointed; because the teaching of girls was provided for well enough at other schools only boys were taught. In 1834 the charity's income was £7, and 10 boys were taught. From 1847 the rent from the land was divided equally between the master and the mistress of the National school. In 1904 the income was still c. £7. (fn. 989) By a Scheme of 1913 £3 a year was given to the Sunday school and the rest of the income spent on travelling expenses and maintenance allowances for pupils and on school equipment. (fn. 990) The charity sold its land in 1923. It continued to receive a small income, and in 1991 £70 was given away, mostly to the schools at Great Bedwyn and East Grafton. (fn. 991) It was wound up in 1993–4. (fn. 992)
W. G. Pike (d. 1839) gave by will the income from £50 to the National school. (fn. 993) The income, £1 10s., was still being paid to Great Bedwyn school in 1984. The charity's assetts were probably transferred to a day centre for old people with those of Pike's eleemosynary charity in 1987. (fn. 994)
In the parish in 1818 there were three or four day schools attended by a total of c. 70 children; clothes were given at a school for c. 20 girls. (fn. 995) In 1833 there were 13 day schools attended by 145 children. (fn. 996) The number of schools declined after National schools were opened in the 1830s and 1840s. (fn. 997)
In Great Bedwyn village a National school in Church Street was built in 1835. (fn. 998) It had c. 30 pupils in 1846–7. (fn. 999) A room for infants was added in 1856, (fn. 1000) and in 1858 the school had c. 130 pupils. (fn. 1001) Between 1906–7 and 1926–7 average attendance fell from 139 to 104. In the 1930s it was c. 150. (fn. 1002) The school was closed in 1993 when a new one in Farm Lane was opened. The new school had 108 pupils on the roll in 1996. (fn. 1003)
At East Grafton a National school was opened in 1846. (fn. 1004) It was attended by children living in the district served by East Grafton church, and in 1858 its 70–80 pupils came from Crofton, East Grafton, West Grafton, and Wexcombe. (fn. 1005) In the period 1898–1901 the schoolmaster taught commercial arithmetic, elementary science, and horticulture at a night school. (fn. 1006) Average attendance at the day school was highest at 101 and lowest at 77 between 1906–7 and 1926–7, and was c. 125 in the 1930s. (fn. 1007) There were 24 children on the roll in 1996. (fn. 1008)
At Wilton the upper room of the Methodist school built in 1843 was used for a day school in 1858, when there were c. 30 pupils and an untrained teacher. (fn. 1011) The day school apparently ceased between 1880 and 1885. (fn. 1012)
In the park of Tottenham House a wooden building used as a school had been converted to a summer house by 1858. (fn. 1013) A new school was built near St. Katharine's church between 1861 and 1864. (fn. 1014) In the late 19th century it was for girls. (fn. 1015) In the 20th it was mixed. Between 1906–7 and 1926–7 average attendance was highest at 78 and lowest at 41; in the 1930s it was c. 106. (fn. 1016) In 1996 there were 53 children on the roll. (fn. 1017) From 1946 to 1994 Tottenham House was used as Hawtreys preparatory school for boys. (fn. 1018)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
By deed of 1604 Sir Anthony Hungerford (d. 1627) gave £10 a year to apprentice two children born in Great Bedwyn village. In the earlier 19th century an average of one boy a year was apprenticed, and one boy was apprenticed in each of the years 1899–1902. (fn. 1019) By a Scheme of 1914 the income was used to equip young people for a trade or to prepare them for a career. In the late 20th century occasional gifts of money were made; three beneficiaries shared £142 in 1986 and one received £30 in 1989. (fn. 1020)
By the early 19th century John Bushell had given a rent charge of 10s. to provide 6d. a year for poor widows of Great Bedwyn village at Christmas; each year in the earlier 19th century fewer than 20 received money. (fn. 1021) W. G. Pike (d. 1839), Georgina Pike (will proved 1871), and John Sawyer (will proved 1880) each gave by will £100 for the poor of Great Bedwyn parish. In 1903 the income from those three charities and from Bushell's was c. £9, of which the share of Grafton parish was £1 10s. In Great Bedwyn parish £3 was given to a clothing club and the rest of the income was given away in sums of 5s. or less. (fn. 1022) Income and the pattern of expenditure had changed little by 1928. (fn. 1023) In the 1970s sums of 50p were given. (fn. 1024) Under a Scheme of 1987 the income and assetts of all four charities were given to a day centre for old people in 1987–8. (fn. 1025)
By will proved 1877 John Miles gave £200 to provide gifts of 1s. to 20 widows or widowers of East Grafton, West Grafton, Wexcombe, and Wilton and gifts of money or coal to labourers working on Upper farm, Wexcombe. In 1904 £6 was distributed among 17 widows, 14 widowers, and 16 labourers; (fn. 1026) 20 widows and widowers each received 1s., and 17 labourers each 5s. 4½d., in 1923. (fn. 1027) The charity had been wound up by 1993. (fn. 1028)