A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 17, Calne. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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Its name (possibly Calne east tun) (fn. 3) may suggest that Calstone village was colonized from Calne. Its land was almost certainly part of the large estate called Calne held by the king in the 10th century or earlier, and included that which became Blackland manor. (fn. 4) By 1066 most of it had been granted away, and in 1066 the granted land lay in three estates, of which one became Calstone manor and an estate called Calstone Wylye, one became Calstone Wellington manor, and one was later called Blunt's. (fn. 5) The rest was granted away later, was called the black land of Calstone in 1194, and became Blackland manor and parish. The parts of Calstone's open fields and downland where most of Blackland manor lay adopted the name Blackland and, lying as a north-west arc around what continued to be known as Calstone's land, a tithing came to be called Blackland. In general this article ignores Blackland tithing. (fn. 6)
By 1301 a church had been built at Calstone, presumably on the estate called Blunt's. Its patron in the 14th century was the tenant in demesne of Blunt's, it was a parish church, and the parish was the estate. In 1600 and later the parish was unaccountably given the name Calstone Wellington, (fn. 7) the epithet having been derived from the surname of the lords of Calstone Wellington manor in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 8) Calstone manor, Calstone Wylye, and Calstone Wellington manor remained part of Calne parish (fn. 9) and, excluding the parts which lay in Blackland tithing, with Blunt's constituted Calstone tithing. (fn. 10) The article deals with the whole of Calstone tithing as if it lay in one parish. It covers the whole of Calstone village, which lay divided between Calne and Calstone Wellington parishes.
In the earlier 19th century Calstone tithing was of c. 1,350 a., of which c. 1,070 a. lay in Calne parish. Before inclosure the arable of the estate called Blunt's, and thus of Calstone Wellington parish, lay scattered in Calstone's and Blackland's open fields; in the earlier 19th century, after inclosure, most of Calstone Wellington parish was a compact block of 260 a. consisting mainly of Manor farm. Calstone tithing embraced 20 a. of Blackland parish. Detached from Calstone, Calstone Wellington parish also included 49 a. in four separate areas which presumably represented land or pasture rights formerly held with Blunt's: north-east of Calne 7 a. of a common pasture called Penn was assigned to the parish when the common was inclosed in 1821, 26 a. lay SSW. of Calne, 6 a. lay south of Calne, and 10 a. lay at Blackland. (fn. 11) In 1883 the 7 a. was transferred to Cherhill, the 10 a. to Blackland parish, and the other detached parts to Calne; 90 a. in the south-west part of Calstone tithing, embracing the 20 a. of Blackland parish, was transferred from Calne parish to Blackland parish, and c. 20 a. northwest of Calstone village was transferred to Calstone Wellington parish from Calne and Blackland. In 1885 Calstone Wellington parish measured 284 a. (115 ha.). (fn. 12) In 1890 the whole of Calstone and Blackland tithings, including Calstone Wellington and Blackland parishes, became part of Calne Without parish. (fn. 13)
On the south and east, and on the east part of the north, the boundary of Calstone tithing was that of Calne parish. On the south it followed a prehistoric ditch and the course of a Roman road, on the east it followed another prehistoric ditch, and on the north it followed a ridge and crossed a prehistoric hill fort. Elsewhere it was with Blackland tithing. On the west, where it is marked by a road, it crossed the contours at right angles, as most of it did on the north. Between those two sections the boundary is in places uncertain. (fn. 14)
What was Calstone tithing lies almost entirely on chalk. East of the village the western scarp of the Marlborough Downs runs northeast and south-west across it and is cut by deep dry valleys. There is flatter downland near the boundary south-east of the scarp. The highest point is at 262 m. on the northern boundary where, on a small part of the ridge followed by the boundary, clay-with-flints has been deposited. The dry valleys are tributaries of Ranscombe bottom, which runs east–west. The river Marden rises at the west end of Ranscombe bottom and flows west towards Calne; in Calstone village it is joined by a short southern tributary. About 1882 a reservoir to supply piped water to Calne was made by damming the Marden in Calstone village. North-west of the village Upper Greensand and Gault outcrop and the Marden has deposited a small amount of alluvium. Calstone's lowest point is at c. 90 m. where the Marden leaves the tithing. (fn. 15)
Even after parts of them were defined as Blackland's, (fn. 16) Calstone had extensive open fields. They lay on chalk and included the floors and lower slopes of Ranscombe bottom and its tributaries. The flat downland at the east end of the tithing was for long rough pasture, and there was meadow land beside the Marden near the west end of the village. There was little woodland. (fn. 17)
Calstone had 79 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 18) In 1841 it had c. 180 inhabitants, of whom 28 lived in Calstone Wellington parish; (fn. 19) in 1891 it had c. 120 inhabitants, (fn. 20) in 1999 almost certainly fewer.
Apart from the Roman road between London and Bath along the southern boundary, (fn. 21) and a Calne–Devizes road which marks the western boundary, no main road crossed Calstone tithing. The village is served by an east–west lane which, west of the village, divides into a branch leading west to the Calne–Devizes road, and a branch leading north to what was the main London–Bristol road; (fn. 22) no other public road has been tarmacadamed.
Oldbury castle, an Iron-Age hill fort, lies on the boundary with Cherhill. Barrows near it include one on the land of Calstone tithing and a long barrow on the Cherhill boundary. One prehistoric ditch lies west of Oldbury castle, and others, including that on the eastern boundary of the tithing, lie on the downs south and south-east of it; the west end of the east Wansdyke is the ditch on the south boundary. A prehistoric field system lies partly on the easternmost land of the tithing. (fn. 23)
On the perimeter of Oldbury castle and near the boundary with Cherhill a stone obelisk, which in 1845 Charles Barry was commissioned to design, was erected by Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, marquess of Lansdowne. It was apparently conceived as a monument to Lord Lansdowne's ancestor Sir William Petty (d. 1687) and was presumably built soon after it was commissioned. (fn. 24)
In the Middle Ages Calstone village seems to have consisted of several demesne farmsteads and many smaller farmsteads loosely grouped along and off the east–west lane. Mills stood on the Marden to the north and on the tributary stream, (fn. 25) and the church, with a rectory house near it, was built on rising ground to the south. (fn. 26) In the 19th century it was alleged that in the Civil War a manor house in the village was destroyed: there is no direct evidence that such a house existed. (fn. 27)
By 1728 the number of farmsteads in the village had been reduced to c. 10, and they stood then, as they presumably had earlier, along and off the east–west lane. (fn. 28) In 1843–4 there were only three farmsteads. (fn. 29) At the east end of the lane the farmhouse of South Farm was demolished in 1971–2 and replaced by a house built in 1983. (fn. 30) Besides one of the 19th century, all the buildings at the farmstead in 1999 were apparently 20th-century. East Farm included a two-storeyed 18th-century farmhouse built of rubble stone on an L plan with a main north–south range and a short north-west kitchen wing; additions were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 20th century East Farm went out of use as a farmstead, farm buildings were demolished, (fn. 31) and the farmhouse was given the name Calstone House. Further west the farmhouse of Manor Farm was rebuilt in 1876; (fn. 32) in 1999 the farm buildings included a stone one of the 19th century and were otherwise 20th-century.
In 1843–4 there were in the village, besides the rectory house and the three main farmhouses, three mills on the Marden and c. 25 cottages and houses. Some small farmhouses, including several east and west of the rectory house, apparently survived from 1728; (fn. 33) none survived in 1999. About half the cottages and houses standing in 1843–4 had been demolished by c. 1900, (fn. 34) and in 1999 only 11 cottages and houses, none apparently older than the 19th century, stood on the line of the east–west lane and only one house off it. Along the lane stood a thatched cottage, a cottage ornée dated 1877, four pairs of 19th-century estate cottages, one of which had been extended and was occupied as a single house, and two 20th-century houses. A school built west of Manor Farm in 1860 (fn. 35) was occupied as a dwelling house. North of the Marden a house built in the mid 18th century stood near the site of the easternmost mill. (fn. 36) It is of high quality, two-storeyed, and mainly of red brick with ashlar dressings; on its main entrance front it incorporates a moulded pediment on brackets.
Sprays Farm and Sprays mill were built on adjoining sites where the lane leading north to the London road crossed the Marden a little north-west of the village. They stood there in 1728 (fn. 37) and probably much earlier. Sprays farm was so called in the 16th century. (fn. 38) The farmhouse was rebuilt in the 19th century, and in 1999 stood beside extensive 20th-century farm buildings. Sprays mill was demolished in the later 20th century. (fn. 39)
At the road junction south of Sprays Farm a pair of cottages was built on the waste in the mid 18th century. (fn. 40) It had been demolished by 1883, when a house and reading room of stone with red-brick dressings was built on the site. (fn. 41) In 1999 the reading room was part of the house.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES
Calstone's land was almost certainly part of the king's estate called Calne in the 10th century or earlier. (fn. 42) By 1066 most of it had been granted away and divided into three estates; (fn. 43) the descent of the rest, what became Blackland manor, is traced elsewhere. (fn. 44)
An estate of 3¾ hides was held by Gunnar in 1066 and by Richard Pungiant in 1086. (fn. 45) It was later divided. (fn. 46) The greater part, apparently what was later called CALSTONE manor, was held in the 1190s by Reynold son of Herbert, perhaps jointly with his father Herbert son of Herbert. It was apparently resumed by the king c. 1200, and in 1201–2 the king granted it to Fulk de Cauntelo, (fn. 47) the lord of Calne manor. (fn. 48) Thereafter the two manors descended together, and later the combined estate was often called the manor of Calne and Calstone. (fn. 49) On terms which are obscure Fulk gave Calstone manor to the Templars. In 1218 it was again resumed by the king, who in 1219 granted it to Fulk's nephew William de Cauntelo. From 1227 it was held as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 50) It descended from William (d. 1239) (fn. 51) in the direct line to William (fn. 52) (d. 1251), William (d. 1254), and George de Cauntelo (fn. 53) (d. s.p. 1273). The manor passed to George's sister Millicent, the relict of John de Montalt and the wife of Eudes la Zouche, (fn. 54) from Millicent (d. c. 1299) to her son William la Zouche (Lord Zouche from 1308, d. 1352), (fn. 55) and from William to his grandson William la Zouche, Lord Zouche (fn. 56) (d. 1382), and it descended with the title in the direct line to William (fn. 57) (d. 1396), William (fn. 58) (d. 1415), William (fn. 59) (d. 1462), William (d. 1468), John (fn. 60) (d. 1526), and John (d. 1550). (fn. 61) The manor was held in dower by Elizabeth (d. 1408), the relict of William (d. 1396), (fn. 62) and by Catherine (d. 1470), the relict of William (d. 1468) and the wife of Sir Gilbert Debenham; (fn. 63) a third of it was held in dower by Elizabeth (d. 1425), the relict of William (d. 1415) and the wife of William Carnell. (fn. 64)
In 1550 John, Lord Zouche, conveyed Calstone manor to Thomas Long, a clothier, possibly by way of mortgage or sale. (fn. 65) John was succeeded by his son Richard, Lord Zouche (d. 1552), and he by his son George, Lord Zouche, (fn. 66) who in 1554 conveyed the manor to Long, (fn. 67) apparently by way of sale or confirmation. Long (d. 1562) devised it to his wife Joan (d. 1583) for life with remainder to his nephew Edward Long (d. 1622). (fn. 68) The descent between 1562 and 1572 is uncertain. In 1572 the manor was conveyed by William Meredith and his wife Martha to Sir Lionel Duckett (fn. 69) (d. c. 1588), who settled it on his nephew Stephen Duckett (d. 1591) and Stephen's wife Anne (fl. 1594), later the wife of Thomas Edwards. (fn. 70) The manor passed in turn to Stephen's sons Lionel (d. 1609) and John (fn. 71) (d. 1648). From John it descended in the direct line to William (d. 1686), Lionel (d. 1693), George (d. 1732), and Lionel, who in 1752 conveyed it to his brother Thomas. (fn. 72) In 1763 Thomas Duckett sold Calstone manor to William Petty, earl of Shelburne, (fn. 73) and from then until 1954 it descended with Bowood House. (fn. 74)
In 1274 it was stated that a chief messuage had been built on Calstone manor probably at a cost of 100 marks or more. (fn. 75) Its site is not known and it is unlikely that the Zouches had a manor house at Calstone. (fn. 76) In the 19th century it was said that John Duckett, who was a royalist in arms, had a house at Calstone which was burned down or otherwise destroyed in the Civil War. (fn. 77) There is no direct evidence that Duckett had a manor house at Calstone, and the house in question may have been that at Pinhills, in Calne parish, which was lived in by his father and was slighted in 1644. (fn. 78)
A 2-carucate estate, later called CALSTONE WYLYE, was detached from what became Calstone manor. (fn. 79) It was apparently held by Philip of Calstone in 1198, when 1 carucate of it was claimed by Richard of Calstone as land assigned to him at a partition with his brothers William, Ellis, and Simon. (fn. 80) Richard recognized Philip's title in an exchange in 1199, (fn. 81) and the king confirmed it in 1204. (fn. 82) In 1227–8 the estate passed to Philip's nephew and heir Walter of Calstone, (fn. 83) and by 1243 it had passed to Walter's son Roger, who held it in chief. (fn. 84) It was held by Roger of Calstone, perhaps another, in 1275, (fn. 85) and at Roger's death c. 1292 passed to his son Roger, a minor. (fn. 86) From that Roger (d. c. 1342) the estate descended to his son John (fn. 87) (d. 1357), whose relict Eleanor (d. 1363) held it for life. It passed on Eleanor's death to John's daughter Agnes (fn. 88) (d. 1405), who married John Wylye (d. by 1402), and at Agnes's death it passed to her daughter Catherine Wylye, the wife of William Pershut. (fn. 89) About 1444 Catherine conveyed the estate to William Temmes (fn. 90) (d. 1475), and it passed in turn to William's son William (fn. 91) (d. 1499) and that William's son William (born c. 1480). (fn. 92) In 1563 William Temmes, perhaps another, sold the estate to Thomas Page, (fn. 93) who held an estimated 193 a. at Calstone in 1575. (fn. 94) In 1585 Page sold it to Stephen Duckett (fn. 95) and it was reunited with Calstone manor. (fn. 96)
What became CALSTONE WELLINGTON manor was held in 1066 by Edric and in 1084 and 1086 by his relict Estrild. In 1086, when the estate was assessed at 2½ hides, Estrild held it of Ernulf of Hesdin. (fn. 97) The overlordship apparently descended with Keevil manor in the Hesdin and FitzAlan families: it was held by Edmund, earl of Kent, as lord of Keevil manor at his death in 1330. (fn. 98) In 1228 and later Calstone Wellington was among estates held of the lord of Keevil manor by service of castle guard at Devizes, (fn. 99) and in 1349 and later Calstone Wellington manor was held of the king, or the grantee of Devizes castle, by that service. (fn. 100)
In 1228 Ralph de Wilington (d. c. 1237) held the manor to which his surname was later applied. (fn. 101) The manor descended in the direct line to Sir Ralph (d. 1255 × 1260), Sir Ralph (d. by 1294), John (from 1336 Lord Wilington, d. 1338), (fn. 102) who was granted free warren in his demesne at Calstone in 1310, (fn. 103) and Ralph, Lord Wilington (d. s.p. 1348). Apparently on the youngest Ralph's death Calstone Wellington manor passed to his cousin Henry de Wilington (d. 1349), whose relict Isabel held it for life as dower. (fn. 104) It passed to Henry's son Sir John (d. 1378), who was succeeded in turn by his sons Ralph (fn. 105) (d. s.p. 1382, a minor) and John (d. s.p. 1396, an idiot). In 1396 the manor was assigned to Sir John's daughter Isabel (d. 1424), the wife of William Beaumont. It descended in turn to her son Sir Thomas Beaumont (fn. 106) (d. 1450) and to Sir Thomas's son William (fn. 107) (d. 1453). It probably passed to William's brother Philip (d. 1473), and it passed in turn to Philip's half-brothers Thomas Beaumont (d. 1488) and Hugh Beaumont (fn. 108) (fl. 1501). John Basset (later knighted), nephew of Philip Beaumont, also had an interest in Calstone Wellington manor in 1501; (fn. 109) he was acknowledged as Hugh's heir and in 1504 the manor was settled on Giles Daubeney, Lord Daubeney, whose son was betrothed to Basset's daughter. Daubeney held the manor at his death in 1508. The marriage did not take place and the manor reverted to Basset (d. 1528) and descended in turn to his son John (d. by 1548) and John's son Arthur. (fn. 110) In 1571 Arthur Basset sold the manor to Richard Kington, (fn. 111) who in 1584 sold it to Stephen Duckett. (fn. 112) From c. 1588 it descended with Calstone manor, from 1763 also with Bowood House. (fn. 113)
An estate at Calstone held by Algar in 1066 and by Gunfrid Mauduit in 1086, when it was assessed at 2¼ hides, (fn. 114) was later known as BLUNT'S. The estate probably descended in the Mauduit family with Little Somerford manor and what became Whitley manor in Calne, and in 1242–3 it was apparently held in portions by Beatrice Mauduit, the relict of Robert Mauduit, and John Mauduit as mesne tenants. Thereafter no Mauduit is known to have held land in Calstone. The overlord in 1242–3 was Baldwin de Reviers, earl of Devon and lord of the Isle of Wight (fn. 115) (d. 1245), and the overlordship descended with the lordship of the Isle of Wight and with Fyfield manor in Milton Lilbourne: it was surrendered to the king by Robert Lisle, Lord Lisle, in 1368, (fn. 116) was held by William de Montagu, earl of Salisbury (d. 1397), and descended with the earldom of Salisbury. (fn. 117)
The main tenant in demesne of the Mauduits' estate in 1242–3 was probably Andrew Blunt. (fn. 118) The estate apparently descended in the Blunt family with Beversbrook manor in Hilmarton, and was probably held by Sir Hugh Blunt (fl. 1302), Andrew Blunt (fl. 1330–40), and Ralph Blunt (fl. 1350–61). Sir John Blunt (d. c. 1383) probably held it in 1362 and held it in 1377. Sir John was succeeded by another Sir John Blunt, who in 1406 conveyed Beversbrook manor, and presumably his estate at Calstone, to William and Thomas Wroughton. (fn. 119) William Wroughton held Blunt's at his death in 1408, (fn. 120) when it passed to his son John (fn. 121) (d. c. 1429). The estate descended in the direct line to John (d. 1496), Sir Christopher (d. 1515), and Sir William Wroughton, (fn. 122) who sold it to John Mitchell in 1545. (fn. 123) From John (d. 1573) it passed to his nephew John Mitchell (fn. 124) (d. by 1623), whose relict Marion held it for life. The estate passed in turn to the second John's son John (fl. 1646), the third John's grandson John Mitchell (fl. 1687), and that John's son John, (fn. 125) who in 1720 sold it to Sir Edward des Bouverie, Bt. (fn. 126) (d. 1736). Sir Edward devised the estate to his brother Sir Jacob Bouverie, Bt. (cr. Viscount Folkestone 1747, d. 1761), for life and to Sir Jacob's son William, Viscount Folkestone (cr. earl of Radnor 1765, d. 1776). In 1770 it was settled on trustees for sale, (fn. 127) and it was probably bought in 1772 by Henry Bailey. In 1776 Bailey sold the estate to William, earl of Shelburne, (fn. 128) and it thereafter descended with Calstone manor and Bowood House. (fn. 129)
From 1776 to 1954 nearly all the land of Calstone tithing belonged to the owner of Bowood House. In 1954 George Petty-Fitzmaurice, marquess of Lansdowne, then the owner of Bowood House, sold East, South, and Manor farms to G. R. and Mr. M. J. Maundrell, brothers in partnership, who in that year sold East farm, 458 a., and in 1970 sold South farm, 524 a. (fn. 130) From 1970 Manor farm, c. 400 a., belonged to Mr. M. J. Maundrell, who in 1982 sold it to Sir (Harold) Brian Warren (d. 1996). In 1999 the farm belonged to Sir Brian's trustees. (fn. 131) East farm was bought in 1954 by Peter Luard, who sold it to B. H. C. Sykes in 1970. Sykes sold 262 a. to the National Trust, 47 a. in 1988 and 215 a. in 1993, and 184 a. in 1993 to Mr. D. R. Tyler, (fn. 132) the owner of Home farm, Heddington. The National Trust and Mr. Tyler owned those lands in 1999. (fn. 133) South farm was bought in 1970 by R. M. Roberts, who in that year sold all but the farmhouse and c. 50 a. to Mr. T. Powys-Lybbe; in 1999 Mr. Powys-Lybbe owned c. 473 a. (fn. 134) George, marquess of Lansdowne, retained Sprays farm, c. 125 a., which in 2000 belonged to his son Charles, marquess of Lansdowne. (fn. 135)
Philip of Calstone gave 1 yardland at Calstone to Stanley abbey in Bremhill. In 1227 the abbey gave it to Philip's nephew and heir Walter of Calstone in an exchange. (fn. 136)
Tithes from Calstone Wellington parish were due to the rector of the parish church. (fn. 137) Tithes from nearly all the rest of Calstone tithing were, with those from the rest of Calne parish, an endowment of the prebend of Calne and, as such, belonged to the treasurer of Salisbury cathedral from the 1220s and to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from 1841. (fn. 138) The commissioners' tithes arising from Calstone tithing were valued at c. £213 in 1842 and commuted in 1843. In 1844 the rector of Blackland proved his right to great tithes from Calne parish worth £40. In 1843 the tithes were commuted to a rent charge, of which £30 was imposed on 87 a. at Calstone. (fn. 139)
In 1086 the three estates at Calstone which had been granted away by the king had land for 9 ploughteams. They had in demesne 4¾ hides on which there were 6 teams and 5 servi, they had on them 1 villanus, 19 bordars, and 34 coscets with only 2½ teams, and they had 25 a. of meadow, 15 a. and 5 square furlongs of pasture, and 6 a. and 6 square furlongs of woodland. (fn. 140)
Calstone's lands, c. 1,350 a. excluding those parts which became known as Blackland's and lay in Blackland tithing, (fn. 141) included extensive open fields and downland pasture, and in the village the home closes of the farmsteads were probably not extensive. The open fields lay on all sides of the village except the north-west. (fn. 142) There were apparently two in the 14th century, as there were in the 16th. (fn. 143) What was almost certainly the same area of open-field land was worked in the earlier 18th century as three fields, North, South, and West, and in the early 19th as two, East and West. On the eve of inclosure in 1818 East and West fields totalled 820 a. East of the open fields lay c. 304 a. of downland pasture, none of which is known to have been commonable and all of which was several demesne land in the 18th century or earlier. Within the open fields the lower slopes of Ranscombe bottom and its tributary valleys were terraced; the low grassy risers between strips of arable were called linches in the earlier 19th century, when there were c. 110 of them. Also within the open fields there were small areas of steeply sloping downland south and SSW. of the church. The linches and the steep slopes, altogether c. 110 a., were commonable pastures. (fn. 144) Linches on some of the steep slopes, following the contours and resembling flights of steps, were probably made for cultivation before the open fields were laid out. The men of Calstone had plots and feeding rights in Abberd mead, a commonable meadow east of Calne, and with the men of Cherhill they shared Low, a common pasture adjoining Abberd mead. (fn. 145)
From the 13th century or earlier to the 19th century there were probably four main farms in Calstone, one on each of the principal estates. (fn. 146) The demesne of Calstone manor, which in 1274 had an estimated 350 a. of arable, an estimated 25½ a. of meadow in various places including 12 a. in Abberd mead, and several pasture for oxen and more than 350 sheep, was almost certainly the largest in the 13th century, (fn. 147) as it was later. (fn. 148) In 1349 the demesne of Calstone Wellington manor included 6 a. of meadow and an estimated 60 a. of arable; (fn. 149) in 1572 it was called Sprays farm. (fn. 150) The estate called Calstone Wylye consisted almost entirely of demesne in the 14th century; (fn. 151) in 1575 it was a farm accounted 183 a. (fn. 152) and in the 17th century was called Page's farm. (fn. 153) It is not clear what the estate called Blunt's consisted of in the Middle Ages; later it was entirely demesne, (fn. 154) and in 1589 and 1646 included 160 a. in open fields, an estimated 50 a. of downland, and 10½ a. in Abberd mead. (fn. 155) A part of Calstone's downland, probably allotted to each estate at Calstone when the estate was granted away by the king, (fn. 156) was used in severalty in each demesne farm. Calstone down, 240 a., was part of Calstone manor and was used thus in 1728, (fn. 157) as much or all of it apparently had been in the 13th century. (fn. 158) Spray down, 27 a. including the south part of Oldbury castle, was a several part of the demesne of Calstone Wellington manor apparently from the 16th century or earlier, and 37 a. of several down between Spray down and Blackland down which was part of Blunt's in 1728 (fn. 159) was presumably the downland of that estate earlier. When it was detached from Calstone manor there was apparently no downland assigned to the estate called Calstone Wylye, (fn. 160) and in the 17th century Page's farm had no several downland. (fn. 161)
The smaller farms based at Calstone were mainly copyholds of Calstone manor. In 1274 there were 19 tenants of the manor holding 8⅓ yardlands and c. 20 a. free from labour service; 9 tenants each held 1 or ½ yardland for 10s. rent and c. 20 days' work a year on the demesne, 6 had smaller holdings and also worked for c. 20 days, and 6 held a messuage and 5 a. and worked for c. 8 days. (fn. 162) In 1299 there were 11 free tenants, and there were 34 customary tenants of whom none held more than 1 yardland, 14 mowed the lord's meadow, and 28 reaped his corn for 1 day. (fn. 163) In 1349 Calstone Wellington manor included a few free and customary tenants, (fn. 164) and in the Middle Ages a few tenants of Blackland manor may have had farmsteads at Calstone. (fn. 165) In 1621 there were 19 copyholders of Calstone manor and many small farms were apparently based at Calstone. (fn. 166)
The larger farms based in Calstone included closes of meadow or pasture which presumably lay, north-west of Calstone village, in both Calstone and Blackland tithings. (fn. 167) A common pasture called Moon lanes was inclosed, divided, and allotted before 1657. (fn. 168)
In 1728 the demesne of Calstone manor was a farm of 439 a. worked from the buildings later called South Farm. It included 143 a. in Calstone's open fields, 8 a. in Blackland's open fields, a 6-a. close of arable, 42 a. of inclosed meadow and pasture, and Calstone down. The farm earlier called Page's was worked from the farmstead later called East Farm and had 90 a. in the open fields, 11 a. of inclosed arable, and 62 a. of inclosed meadow and pasture. Blunt's estate was a farm of 217 a. including 91 a. in Calstone's open fields, 15 a. in Blackland's open fields, 73 a. of inclosed arable, meadow, and pasture, the 37 a. of several downland, and the farmstead later called Manor Farm. Sprays farm, 129 a., included 67 a. in Calstone's open fields, 3 a. in Blackland's open fields, closes totalling 33 a., Spray down, and Sprays Farm on its present site. Seven other holdings with farmsteads in Calstone village had between 25 a. and 53 a.; each included both open-field arable and inclosed grassland and more of the former. The inclosed meadow and pasture of all the farms and holdings, c. 200 a., lay mainly north-west of the village between the two open fields of Blackland (fn. 169) and constituted most of that part of Blackland tithing which was not part of Blackland manor and parish. (fn. 170)
The pasture called Low, in the early 17th century used by the men of Calstone and Cherhill to feed horses, cattle, and sheep in common, (fn. 171) had been divided by 1728: after the division Calstone Low, 37 a. lying detached from Calstone tithing (fn. 172) and in the 19th century called Calne Low, (fn. 173) was presumably a common pasture for use only by the men of Calstone. The open fields of Calstone were inclosed, and common rights over the roughly 110 a. of linches and steep slopes in them extinguished, in 1818 under an Act of 1813. (fn. 174) By the early 19th century most of the smaller holdings had been absorbed by three of the four principal farms, and the farms were apparently being worked in severalty before 1818. In 1817 Calstone (then Middle, later South) farm, 610 a., lay east of the village and included Hill barn and 211 a. of Calstone down. East farm, 403 a., lay mainly north-east of the village and included c. 118 a. of downland, including Spray down. West (formerly Blunt's, later Manor) farm, 366 a., included the land south and south-west of the village. Sprays farm, 78 a., lay north-west of the village. (fn. 175) By 1843 the whole of Calstone Low had been added to Sands farm, Quemerford. (fn. 176)
The four farms based in Calstone changed little in size and content in the 19th century. In the 1840s South, East, and Manor were mainly arable; Sprays, 94 a., included only 36 a. of arable; South, Manor, and Sprays had a total of c. 140 a. in Blackland tithing. In the late 19th century and early 20th East and Manor, a total of 760 a., were worked together; in 1910 South farm was of 597 a., Sprays of 97 a. (fn. 177) In the early 1930s Calstone's land was more pasture than arable and was used for mixed farming. The east part of Calstone down, much of which was under the plough in 1970, was first ploughed in the Second World War. (fn. 178) In 1954 East farm, 458 a., was a separate farm on which only 175 a. was ploughed and dairy cattle and sheep were kept, (fn. 179) in the 1970s it remained a mixed farm, and between 1988 and 1993 it was divided into portions which were added to other farms. (fn. 180) South farm, 524 a., was an arable, dairy, and stock rearing farm in 1970. (fn. 181) In 1999, c. 473 a., it was mainly arable, and sheep were kept on the parts which could not be ploughed; most of the buildings and c. 30 a. immediately south of them were then used for keeping and training horses. In 1999 Manor farm, c. 400 a., was also a mainly arable farm on which some sheep were kept, and it was still worked mainly from Calstone village. (fn. 182) Sprays, c. 125 a., remained a dairy farm. (fn. 183) In 1993 the land at the head of Ranscombe bottom, and the coombs and Spray down north of it, 215 a. in all, most of which was formerly open-field land, were bought by the National Trust. North of that land the trust already owned Oldbury castle and Blackland down, and in 1999 all its land was in agricultural use as pasture. (fn. 184) South-west of Blackland down 184 a. of former open field was part of Home farm, Heddington, and arable. (fn. 185)
Calstone was sparsely wooded. South of the village a 13-a. copse at the head of Horsecombe bottom was standing in 1728, (fn. 186) probably long before, and in 1999. In the 19th and 20th centuries trees were standing on c. 10 a. around the source of the Marden, and in the 20th century a small copse was planted south-east of the rectory house. (fn. 187)
In 1086 there were four mills at Calstone including two on what apparently became Calstone manor. (fn. 188) When the estate called Calstone Wylye was separated from the manor one of the two mills was apparently assigned to it; there was a mill on the estate in 1227 and one on the manor in 1254. (fn. 189) All the mills were driven by the Marden.
The mill which stood on Calstone manor was a fulling mill in 1563. (fn. 190) It was probably Upper mill, which stood north of South Farm and was so called in 1564. (fn. 191) In the late 17th century and early 18th Upper mill was possibly a cloth mill occupied by Henry Fry, a clothier of Calstone. It was held by Anthony Fry in 1728, and c. 1750 it was both a grist and a fulling mill. It was rebuilt as a paper mill c. 1786 (fn. 192) and was used as such by members of the Huband family in 1803 and apparently until 1860 or later. (fn. 193) The mill was demolished before 1885, presumably c. 1882 when a reservoir was made north of South Farm to supply water to Calne. (fn. 194)
The mill which stood on the estate called Calstone Wylye, used for fulling in 1475, (fn. 195) was possibly Lower (formerly Swaddon's, sometimes Cove's) mill, which stood north-west of South Farm. (fn. 196) Lower mill was partly a corn mill and partly a cloth mill until c. 1784, when it was refitted as solely a corn mill. A dispute over the use of the Marden began c. 1786 between the tenants of Lower mill and Calstone mill, which stood below it; it was settled by arbitration in 1804. Lower mill was burned down c. 1805, was rebuilt c. 1813, and from c. 1814 was used like Upper mill by members of the Huband family for making paper. (fn. 197) Members of the Dowding family made paper at Lower mill from 1848 or earlier, and in 1876 W. J. Dowding & Sons had a machine there 48 in. wide for making paper. (fn. 198) The mill was demolished before 1885, presumably when the reservoir was made c. 1882. (fn. 199)
A mill on the estate called Blunt's was called Wolheys in 1545, later Calstone mill. (fn. 200) About 1560 its breast-shot wheel, which had earlier replaced an undershot wheel, was itself replaced by an overshot wheel; the change c. 1560 was said to have disrupted the flow of water at a neighbouring mill. (fn. 201) Calstone mill stood below Lower mill, was a fulling mill in 1571, (fn. 202) and in the 17th century and earlier 18th housed a grist mill and two fulling mills. (fn. 203) It was rebuilt in the late 18th century, (fn. 204) and in 1804 had three wheels, one each for the corn, fulling, and gig mills which it housed. In 1830 five overshot wheels drove two pairs of stones, a dressing machine, three gig mills, two pairs of stocks, 22 shearing frames, and a brushing machine. (fn. 205) Cloth making had ceased by 1869, when the miller was said to have a good flour and malting business. (fn. 206) Milling continued until c. 1913. (fn. 207) The late 18th-century building probably combined the mill and the miller's house. It is of brick, has sashed windows, and is of three storeys and three bays with a two-storeyed and two-bayed wing and north and south additions. Nearby and apparently contemporary with the mill there is a long red-brick workshop or warehouse, partly weatherboarded and with stone-mullioned windows.
A mill on Calstone Wellington manor was described in 1349 as broken down and worthless. (fn. 208) Later Sprays mill was presumably part of that manor, as Sprays farm is known to have been. (fn. 209) The mill stood below Calstone mill and in 1629, the late 17th century, and the early 18th century was a fulling mill. In the later 18th century or earlier 19th it was rebuilt as a three-storeyed mill with three-light mullioned windows. From 1780 or earlier to 1805 Sprays mill was used by B. W. Anstie of Devizes for grinding snuff, and from 1805 to 1825, when Viveash & Co., clothiers of Calne, held it by lease, it was a cloth mill. (fn. 210) It was a corn mill in 1865, (fn. 211) and from 1875 or earlier to c. 1900 was a mop mill. (fn. 212) It had gone out of use by 1922 and was later demolished. (fn. 213)
In 1728 Little mill stood east of East farm on the tributary flowing north to the Marden. (fn. 214) It may have been the mill said c. 1740 to have been recently built. (fn. 215) It had gone out of use by 1812. (fn. 216)
In 1679 Hardwick mill was said to be a fulling mill at Calstone. (fn. 217) If it was, and if it was not Little mill or one of the mills on the Marden, its site is not known.
In the early 18th century a lime burner lived at Calstone, (fn. 218) and in the earlier 19th century and until the early 20th members of the Green family made whitening from crushed chalk at a site near South Farm. (fn. 219) In the 19th and 20th centuries sand was extracted from Calne (formerly Calstone) Low. (fn. 220)
Clocks or watches may have been made at Calstone in 1745. (fn. 221)
A court and view of frankpledge was held by the lord of Calstone manor. Direct records exist for 1535–6 and many of the years 1580–1612, 1665–89, 1705– 67, and 1810–34. The court usually met twice a year until the 18th century, once a year in the 19th. It dealt with business relating not only to Calstone but also to Quemerford and Stockley, both in Calne parish, where the lord held other land. Under leet jurisdiction it proceeded on the presentments of the tithingman of each place and of a jury. In 1595 it punished the perpetrator of an assault but most presentments concerned the poor condition of gates, bridges, and boundaries, other public nuisances, and breaches of agrarian custom. Some presentments were of millers whose use of the Marden at their mills adversely affected other mills. The homage presented the death of tenants and witnessed surrenders and admittances. A court baron, dealing only with the conveyancing of copyholds, met occasionally. (fn. 222)
A court of Calstone Wellington manor was presumably held in the Middle Ages. A court at which a new lord of the manor was acknowledged by his tenants was held in 1572. (fn. 223) From c. 1588 the manor was held by the lord of Calstone manor (fn. 224) and the court is not known to have met after 1572.
Most of Calstone lay in, paid rates to, and received poor relief from Calne parish. (fn. 225) The rest of Calstone, as Calstone Wellington parish, relieved its own poor. The accounts of successive overseers of Calstone Wellington parish, who each held office alone, exist for 1715–39 and 1754–1802. In 1715–16 the parish spent £1 1s. on poor relief, of which £1 was given in doles to one man. Expenditure increased gradually: it was £6 in 1728–9, £15 in 1758–9, and £31 in 1768–9. In addition to regular doles given to a few parishioners an apprenticeship was paid for, doctors' bills were met, rent was paid, and money was spent on shoes and a coffin. (fn. 226) The parish spent £24 on poor relief in 1775–6, an average of £19 in the three years to Easter 1785, and £35 in 1802–3, when at 3s. 10d. the poor rate was average for the hundred, and 5 adults and 5 children were relieved. (fn. 227) In 1812–13 £32 was spent and 3 people were relieved regularly and 4 occasionally. (fn. 228) Between 1813 and 1835 spending was lowest in 1820–1 at £21 and highest in 1830–1 at £70. (fn. 229) Calstone Wellington parish joined Calne poor-law union in 1835 (fn. 230) and, as part of Calne Without parish, Calstone became part of North Wiltshire district in 1974. (fn. 231)
Calstone church was standing in 1301 and was served by a rector. (fn. 232) Its parish was the estate called Blunt's (later Manor farm), the tenant in demesne of the estate was the patron in the 14th century, tithes from the estate were the rector's main source of income, (fn. 233) and the church was presumably built on the estate. The rest of Calstone tithing was part of Calne parish. (fn. 234) In 1600, sometimes in the mid and later 18th century, and from the 19th century the diocese unaccountably adopted the name Calstone Wellington for the parish of Calstone church. (fn. 235) In 1881 the rectory was united to Blackland rectory. (fn. 236) In 1962 it was disunited from Blackland and united to Heddington rectory, (fn. 237) and in 1973 the united benefice was united to other benefices to form Oldbury benefice. (fn. 238) In the late 18th century the rector held as glebe, or received tithes in respect of, several small areas of land detached from Calstone, presumably land formerly held with Blunt's. Some of those areas were part of Calstone Wellington parish in the early 19th century when, at inclosure, new boundaries were given to Manor farm and thus the parish. (fn. 239) In 1887 most of Calstone's land which lay in Calne ecclesiastical parish, including most of Calstone village, was transferred to Calstone Wellington ecclesiastical parish, and Calstone Wellington's detached lands were absorbed by the ecclesiastical parishes which embraced them. (fn. 240) In 1962, when the benefices were disunited, part of Blackland ecclesiastical parish was transferred to Calstone Wellington ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 241)
In 1301 the bishop collated a rector by lapse, in 1302–3 successive presentations were made by Sir Hugh Blunt, probably the tenant in demesne of Blunt's, and by Philip Corbyn, a former rector, (fn. 242) and in 1311 Corbyn conveyed a moiety of the advowson. (fn. 243) In 1330 what were apparently rival presentations were made by Andrew Blunt, probably the tenant in demesne, and Sir John Mauduit, whose forebears had held the estate. (fn. 244) Between 1336 and 1362 successive presentations were made by Andrew, Ralph, and (Sir) John Blunt. Sir John or his successor and namesake apparently alienated the advowson, and in 1392 Nicholas Houghton and Thomas Samkins made rival presentations. Houghton may have been the true patron: John Houghton presented in 1393 and Nicholas Houghton in 1394. From 1396 or earlier to 1430 or later John Green, the prior of the hospital of St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony at Calne, was apparently the patron: he presented jointly with John Pacon in 1396 and 1402, alone in 1419 and 1430. By 1436 the advowson had been acquired by William la Zouche, Lord Zouche, the lord of Calstone manor, and thereafter it descended with the manor and from 1763 also with Bowood House. The bishop again collated by lapse in 1448 and 1458 and again collated in 1563. (fn. 245) Successive marquesses of Lansdowne, owners of Bowood House, had the right to present at alternate vacancies of the united benefice formed in 1881, and the marquess presented in 1902 and 1927. (fn. 246) The marquess held a right to present similarly for the united benefice formed in 1962, did not present, (fn. 247) and was a member of the patronage board for Oldbury benefice from 1973. (fn. 248)
The rectory, valued at £4 in 1535 (fn. 249) and at £200 c. 1830, (fn. 250) was poor. In 1722–3 it was augmented by £400, of which Queen Anne's Bounty gave £200 to match benefactions. (fn. 251) The rector was entitled to all tithes from the whole parish and held land which had presumably been assigned to him from Blunt's estate. By 1844 the tithes from the glebe had been merged, and in that year those from the rest of the parish were valued at £82 and commuted. (fn. 252) Besides those from detached areas which were then part of Calstone Wellington parish, the rector was also entitled to the tithes from 17 a. in Blackland; they were valued at £7 in 1845 and commuted from 1844. (fn. 253) In 1783 the rector held 5 a. in closes in Calstone, 36 a. in Calstone's open fields, 10 a. at Blackland deemed in 1844 to be part of Calstone Wellington parish, and 9 a. in Calne parish in or near Abberd mead; he also held 22 a. in Box which had been bought at or soon after the augmentation of the living in 1722–3. (fn. 254) After inclosures and exchanges of land in 1818 and 1821 the rector held 20 a. in Calstone and 7 a. in or near Abberd mead. (fn. 255) The land at Box was sold in 1918, (fn. 256) the 7 a. in 1919. (fn. 257) The rectory house and the 20 a. were sold in 1962. (fn. 258) The core of the rectory house is a two-storeyed early 18th-century house of rubble stone on a T plan; the rear wing, to the north, may have been the north end of an earlier house. In 1783 the house was already roughcast. (fn. 259) In the early 19th century it was heightened and two full-height bow windows were built on the south front. In 1842 a kitchen was built in the west angle of the house, and other service rooms were built to adjoin the kitchen north and west. (fn. 260) A porch was built on the south front in 1849, (fn. 261) and by 1883 the bows had been converted to bay windows. The house was further enlarged to the west in 1883, when the principal rooms on the ground floor were replanned, (fn. 262) and in 1886; (fn. 263) in 1962 further alterations were made to the service rooms in the north-west part of the house. (fn. 264)
The rectory changed hands thrice in 1301– 3, (fn. 265) four times in the period 1392–4. (fn. 266) In 1662 there was no cloth for the communion table and no surplice, and the books of Homilies and Jewell's Apology were missing. (fn. 267) Rectors in the 18th and 19th centuries were pluralists. Thomas Heath, rector 1758–1802 and vicar of Hilmarton, lived at Calstone, where in 1783 he held a service each Sunday and celebrated communion thrice; seven parishioners communicated at Easter. Other rectors apparently did not reside until 1842, and from 1843 the resident rector was also rector of Blackland. (fn. 268) In 1851, when it numbered c. 120, in 1864, when it numbered c. 80, and presumably at other times, the congregation included inhabitants of Calstone who were parishioners of Calne. In 1851 there were two services each Sunday, in 1864 one. In 1864 services were also held at Christmas and on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Ascension day, Wednesdays in Lent, and most days in Holy Week; they were held by a curate because the rector was ill and absent. Communion was then celebrated every six weeks with an average of c. 17 communicants. (fn. 269)
The church of ST. MARY, so called in 1763, (fn. 270) is built of stone rubble with ashlar dressings and consists of a chancel, a nave with north porch and south vestry, and a west tower of three stages. It was rebuilt in the mid 15th century, the date of all its parts except the vestry; the timber roofs of the nave and porch, and some fragments of stained glass, also survive from then. The easterly of two windows in the north wall of the chancel has intersecting tracery and was inserted for the first time or as a replacement in the late 15th century or early 16th, and in the early 19th century the two windows in the south wall of the nave, and the westerly of two windows in the south wall of the chancel, were narrow upright rectangles. (fn. 271) A small west gallery was built in the later 18th century. (fn. 272) In 1884–5 the church was conservatively restored under the supervision of Ewan Christian. The vestry, entered by the south door of the nave, was built, the chancel was reroofed, the narrow upright windows in the nave and chancel were replaced by traceried windows in 15th-century style, and the gallery was removed. (fn. 273)
A chalice and a paten, made in or after 1728, were given to the church probably c. 1738. They were retained in 2000. A silver paten and a pair of silver and glass cruets were given in 1885 and held in 2000. (fn. 274)
Two bells hung in the church in 1553. A bell cast by John Wallis in 1603 hung alone in the tower until 1885, from when it was the treble in a ring of three. The two new bells were cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough (Leics.). (fn. 275) Those three bells hung in the church in 2000. (fn. 276)
The registers begin in 1760 and are complete. (fn. 277)
In 1704 a meeting house at Calstone was licensed for dissenters, (fn. 278) in the mid 18th century a few Quakers lived in the village, (fn. 279) and in 1827 a meeting house for Methodists was certified. (fn. 280) Methodists, who also met nearby at Blackland from 1841 and at Theobald's Green from 1850, (fn. 281) worshipped in the mill house at Sprays mill from c. 1829 to 1866. (fn. 282) On Census Sunday in 1851 afternoon service was attended by 30, evening service by 50. (fn. 283) A new Methodist chapel was built at Theobald's Green in 1866, (fn. 284) and no later meeting house at Calstone is known.
All three schools known to have been held at Calstone were attended by children of the village whether they lived in Calstone Wellington parish or Calne parish. (fn. 285) George Millard, rector 1701–40, opened a school at Calstone in 1711. The pupils, who in 1712 included six paid for by Millard, were catechized and taught to read. (fn. 286) There is no evidence that the school outlasted Millard's incumbency, and there was apparently no other day school at Calstone until, probably in 1845 or 1846, a National school was opened. (fn. 287) In 1846–7 the school had 32 pupils, including some from Blackland; (fn. 288) in 1859 it had 40 pupils and was held in a cottage by a mistress. (fn. 289) A new school, incorporating a teacher's house, was built west of Manor Farm in 1860 for the children of Calstone and Blackland. (fn. 290) The average attendance was 37 in 1906–7, between 38 and 47 from 1910 to the late 1920s, and 13 in 1936. (fn. 291) The school was closed in 1963. (fn. 292)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
Most inhabitants of Calstone were parishioners of Calne and eligible to benefit from charities endowed for the poor of that parish. (fn. 293) No charity to benefit inhabitants of Calstone Wellington parish, and no charity endowed after 1890 to benefit Calne Without, of which all inhabitants of Calstone were parishioners, is known.