A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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The ancient parish of Fisherton Anger, 348 a., lay on the west and north-west of New Salisbury, in Branch and Dole Hundred. By the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 a substantial slice of it, in fact almost all the inhabited area, was brought within the city boundary, (fn. 1) and formed into a part of St. Thomas's ward. (fn. 2) In 1894 185 a. of the ancient parish (six of them water) were transferred to the city of Salisbury as the civil parish of Fisherton Anger Within; the area thus transferred for parochial purposes coincided with the area transferred for municipal purposes in 1835. The transfer left 163 a. to form the civil parish of Fisherton Anger Without, which was absorbed into the city of New Sarum in 1904. (fn. 3) The area of the ancient parish is roughly oblong, with two projections on the south created by the curves of the Nadder in its eastward course to Salisbury, and most of it is wedged into the angle formed by the Avon and the Nadder. The greatest altitude, 325 ft., is on the north-west. A vein of fossiliferous brick earth runs through the area, beside and south of the Wilton Road. The subsoil is mainly gravel with a narrow strip of chalk marching with the Devizes Road. (fn. 4)
The original Fisherton, 'a village . . . or ever New Saresbyri was builded', (fn. 5) appears to have been strung along a lane connecting Fisherton Street with Fisherton Mill on the northern arm of the Nadder. In this lane, called Church Street in 1860, (fn. 6) and subsequently Mill Road, stood the first church. But Fisherton Street and Crane Bridge Road were also developed early. The first of these, starting at Fisherton Bridge, (fn. 7) formed originally the main western exit from Salisbury and attracted taverners. Six shops (seudas), presumably in this street, are referred to as early as 1286. (fn. 8) Speed's map (1611) marks an almost unbroken line of houses on the north side and there were a few on the south. By 1716 the southern line had become continuous. (fn. 9) Crane Bridge Road is recognizable in the 13th century as 'the southern way', (fn. 10) and in 1350 as the road from Fisherton to Bemerton. (fn. 11) It appears in 1611 to have led into open country. (fn. 12) In 1716 this road, called Back Lane in 1796 (fn. 13) and 1860, (fn. 14) forked a little to the west of the parish boundary at a point where it was, and is, borne by a bridge across a narrow stream connecting the Avon with the northern arm of the Nadder. (fn. 15) There one branch of it turned southwards to Harnham Mill on the southern arm of the Nadder, and followed a line still (1957) traversed by a much-trodden footpath. The other branch, called Harcourt Place by 1879, (fn. 16) ran northwards along the stream spanned by Harcourt Bridge and joined Fisherton Street at another bridge, (fn. 17) called Summerlock Bridge in 1752. (fn. 18) By 1716 a short stretch of road, (fn. 19) the property of the mill owner in 1777, (fn. 20) connected Harcourt Bridge Road, as it was called in 1879, (fn. 21) with Fisherton Mill. (fn. 22) This is probably the 'Water Lane' of 1790. (fn. 23) Harcourt Bridge Road is now part of Mill Road. Harcourt Bridge, formerly a footbridge, was rebuilt in stone in 1777 at the expense of the parish. The cost was thus borne on the understanding that the owner of Harnham Mill would keep the bridge repaired thereafter. The owner's responsibility was transferred to the parish in 1801, since when the bridge has been known by its present name. (fn. 24)
In the 19th century the western part of Fisherton was a favoured site for the erection of villa residences for the richer inhabitants of Salisbury. (fn. 25) The opening of the railway stations in 1856 and 1857 (fn. 26) led to the development of nearby areas with smaller houses, and by 1879 all of the eastern part, except for a floodable area east of the railway, and a bowling green and nursery south-west of Crane Bridge Road, had been built over. To the west the whole of the Wilton road as far as the parish boundary, and the whole area within the fork formed by the Wilton and Devizes roads was overspread with houses and gardens. The Devizes road, however, lay open on its north-eastern side from a point a little to the north-west of the gas-works. There was very little building in the Nadder loop, between Bemerton and the railway stations. (fn. 27) By 1937 the urban character of the parish had been accentuated by the disappearance of Fisherton Farm in the Devizes road, (fn. 28) and by the extension of the Infirmary to the south. (fn. 29)
The population of Fisherton was 865 in 1801, and it rose to nearly six times that number in 1891. The greatest decennial increase, 1,249, was in 1871; in the next decade the increase was still as much as 1,110. The Registrar General attributed the increase of 1861 to the opening of the railway, and that of 1871 to the development of railway traffic 'and to the selection of this parish as a place of residence because of its reputedly healthy character'. (fn. 30) Late-19th-century censuses differentiate between the extra- and intra-mural populations, the former amounting to 1,078 in 1881 and to 1,218 in 1891. Many of these were probably lunatics. Indeed all the population figures include the inhabitants of the infirmary and lunatic asylum, and also of the gaol so long as that was in use, although since 1800 the gaol had strictly speaking lain within the city. (fn. 31)
After 1281 Fisherton became the home of a community of Dominican friars whose history is described elsewhere. (fn. 32) The site and buildings of their house, which lay beside Fisherton Bridge opposite the infirmary, were granted some time before Michaelmas 1542 to John Bourchier, Earl of Bath. The earl then leased either the whole site or that part of it that was not occupied by buildings or gardens to Henry Sutton from year to year, so that he might keep there the 'game' of the earl's bears. (fn. 33) By 1545 the site had been resumed by the Crown, for the king then granted it with the prior's lodging, the graveyard, sundry houses and gardens and a fishery to John Pollard and William Byrte, who received much other monastic property at the same time. (fn. 34) The buildings were presumably demolished and were replaced by an inn called the 'Sun'. This is constantly referred to until 1842–4. (fn. 35) In it a theatre was fitted up in 1765, Otway's Venice Preserved being the first performance. (fn. 36) The site of the inn was later successively occupied by a wheel-wright's yard, a skating rink, and the Maundrel Hall. (fn. 37)
Other early inns were the 'George', the 'Lamb', the 'Angel', and the 'Bull'. The first of these belonged in 1558 to John and Mary Young, and perhaps was part of the Tropenell estate, (fn. 38) for Mary was a Tropenell. John Young died seised of it in 1588. (fn. 39) It has last been noticed in 1736. (fn. 40) The 'Lamb' occurs in 1637. (fn. 41) The name is not found in the 18th century records, but by 1822 it was again in use, (fn. 42) presumably for a different building. The 'Angel' is first mentioned in 1624–5. (fn. 43) It belonged to the dean and chapter and consisted in 1649 of a hall, parlour, buttery, 'low chamber', tap house and five lodging chambers, and had a frontage on the north side of Fisherton Street of 256 ft. (fn. 44) Its name constantly recurs until 1890. (fn. 45) By 1925 or there-abouts it had become a Y.M.C.A. hostel. (fn. 46) The 'Bull', almost opposite, occurs from 1706, (fn. 47) and still survives.
In 1674 the number of alehouses was deemed excessive and they were all suppressed for three months. (fn. 48) They revived, however, and remained numerous, as befitted a village that was so much a street. Between 1707 and 1826 (fn. 49) it is nearly always possible to find seven or eight of them in flourishing coexistence.
After its street, Fisherton is perhaps best known as having been the seat of the county gaol. A gaol at Fisherton can be traced from 1421, (fn. 50) and since the sheriff is known to have had an office (scaccarium) there in 1485 it was probably an adjunct to it. (fn. 51) Old Salisbury gaol, however, continued for a while to be used concurrently with Fisherton, and it was not until 1512 that Fisherton secured a monopoly. (fn. 52) The location of the first gaol is not known. In 1540 it seems to have belonged to Sir John Hampden, lord of the manor, and to have been leased by him to Robert South. (fn. 53) In 1560 the building belonged to Richard and Elizabeth Okedene and was by them commonly let to the sheriffs at £10 a year. The sheriff in 1558 had refused to pay the rent, (fn. 54) a refusal that could be attributed to the unsuitability of the accommodation. At all events the justices resolved in 1568 to build a proper gaol of their own on ground on the south side of Fisherton Street adjoining the Avon, which had been purchased from a Mr. Abarowe. The building, which was not finished until 1578, measured 53 × 28 ft. with walls 23 ft. high. A women's prison and a keeper's house were provided. (fn. 55)
In 1631 Fisherton was chosen to be the site of one of the county's houses of correction. The house, which seems to have adjoined the gaol, was certainly established, but its separate existence was a short one, barely lasting beyond the Restoration. (fn. 56) In the two succeeding generations gaol and bridewell, which presumably had for all practical purposes coalesced, grew increasingly congested. Between 1668 and 1712 the gaoler's house disappeared, (fn. 57) transformed perhaps into quarters for the prisoners, but other efforts made in 1713 (fn. 58) and 1730 (fn. 59) to enlarge the prison buildings proved fruitless. Though the gaol was claimed in 1712 as 'one of the most commodious . . . in England', (fn. 60) the tribute, even if just, was not a high one.
An inventory drawn up in 1672 gives a few brief details of the prison buildings. It refers to the 'common gaol', the 'upper gaol', the 'upper cabin', the 'Whitehall', the 'Whitehall chamber', the 'Rose chamber', the 'Forest chamber', and the tap house. It also mentions the Bridewell, its chamber and brewhouse. In the 'yard house', presumably annexed to the Bridewell, were yarn, wool, and scales. (fn. 61) A new chapel was brought into use in 1764. (fn. 62) When Howard visited the prison about 1776 he found a building of two stories, in which the debtors were housed above the felons. There was a separate room for women. There was also an infirmary in which the sexes were likewise segregated. There was a 'bridewell', which Howard thought to be insecure. (fn. 63) Following the Houses of Correction Act (1782) (fn. 64) the justices decided to provide separate cellular confinement for felons. Twenty-four cells, in three stories, were accordingly constructed in 1783, (fn. 65) designed to be of white brick internally and stone externally. (fn. 66) About 1792 another 20 cells were added, and separate yards provided for felons and debtors. (fn. 67) By 1807 two rooms were set apart as infirmaries. (fn. 68)
In 1785 the city prison (fn. 69) had been closed and prisoners of all kinds from the city and the Close committed to the county gaol, until the city should rebuild. (fn. 70) It did not do so, however, and in 1800 Fisherton gaol was formally converted into a combined gaol for county, city and Close. At the same time Lord Radnor, who had rebuilt the city Council House, gave an acre of ground between the gaol and the infirmary for the enlargement of the gaol. (fn. 71)
Notwithstanding this enlargement and the reconstructions of the late 18th century the gaol remained inadequate, its site constricted and its buildings old. In the end it was completely rebuilt between 1818 and 1822 on a new site at the junction of the Devizes and Wilton roads. (fn. 72) The new building seems to have consisted originally of a debtors' ward, two felons' wards, a 'bridewell', a keepers' house, and a chapel. (fn. 73) In 1843 it was said to contain seven yards, appropriated to different classes of prisoner. (fn. 74) The Home Office never greatly cared for it, and it was closed in 1870. (fn. 75) Part was pulled down in 1875, (fn. 76) but the central block survived as a private residence, Radnor House. (fn. 77) In 1901 the War Department took a lease of this building from its owner, Dr. W. C. Finch, and bought it in 1922, together with the adjacent Nelson House and gaol chapel. (fn. 78) From 1901 until the outbreak of the Second World War Radnor House was used as the headquarters of the 2nd Army Corps, later Southern Command, and elements of that headquarters still remain within it. (fn. 79)
A spike, probably meant for a stake or gallows, is marked on Speed's map (1611) at a point just west of the present church. On Naish's map (1751) a rough drawing of a gallows appears at this point, and in 1773 the site was known as Gallows Gate. (fn. 80) Thus by the 18th century Fisherton had become a place of execution for Salisbury and was still so used in 1777. (fn. 81) At Speed's spike, according to tradition, the Protestant 'martyrs', John Maundrel, William Coberley and John Spicer, suffered death by burning on 23 March 1556, although it must be pointed out that Foxe merely says that they were burnt 'at a place between Salisbury and Wilton'. (fn. 82)
In 1766 a society was formed to promote the foundation of what became the Salisbury General Infirmary. (fn. 83) It purchased in that year some houses in Fisherton Street between the 'Bull' and the gaol, (fn. 84) and behind them the Infirmary was built. These houses, the first home of the patients, were pulled down in 1771, when the Infirmary was opened. (fn. 85) This building, designed by John Wood of Bath, the younger (d. 1781), (fn. 86) was of four stories, and included a committee room and chapel. (fn. 87) In 1822 the site was extended by the purchase of the old gaol, and in 1827 part of the prison governor's former house was converted into wards. (fn. 88) In 1845 a new east wing was built to replace a part of the old gaol. (fn. 89) In 1869 a new west wing, and in 1877 a north-east wing were added. (fn. 90) The Victoria Home for nurses, in Crane Bridge Road, was built in 1901 as a Diamond Jubilee memorial. (fn. 91) It was extended in 1930 and 1934. (fn. 92)
In 1920 the Infirmary building was adjudged quite insufficient, the removal of the hospital to a new site resolved upon, and then or soon after land bought for the purpose at Butts Farm, on the northern outskirts of Salisbury. (fn. 93) Meanwhile the existing buildings were altered in various ways, and were also enlarged, notably by the erection in 1924 of a maternity and child welfare clinic and a pathological laboratory. The cost of the first was borne by the Hon. Lady (Edith Maud) Hulse, of the second by the Hon. Louis Greville. (fn. 94) In 1933 it was decided to abandon the idea of using the Butts Farm site, (fn. 95) parts of which had already been sold as housing plots. (fn. 96) Instead of this, between 1934 and 1937, extensive new buildings were put up adjacent to the existing hospital. (fn. 97)
In 1892 Dr. John Roberts built the clock tower that stands on the east side of the Infirmary in memory of his wife. (fn. 98)
Harcourt House, in Mill Road, formerly Fisherton Cottage in Harcourt Bridge Road, was the home of the Alford family until its last Fisherton member died in 1873. (fn. 99) In 1874 it was established as the Diocesan Institution for Trained Nurses. (fn. 100) By 1939 it had been renamed the Nurses' and Nursing Home, and by 1956 had become the Preliminary Training School of Salisbury General Hospital. (fn. 101) The original building of the later 18th century has been enlarged.
Fisherton House, in Wilton Road, came into the hands of William Finch in the early 19th century. (fn. 102) From 1813, when the first patient was admitted, (fn. 103) until 1954 it was used as a private lunatic asylum, and since 1954 has remained a mental hospital under the S.W. Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. (fn. 104) Numerous piecemeal additions have been made to the original building, which was presumably the manor house. Thus a chapel was added in 1859, (fn. 105) and a hall, built in the asylum grounds for the entertainment of the Prince of Wales' entourage at the time of the autumn manœuvres in 1872, was subsequently converted into a ward, (fn. 106) and adjacent houses called Evelyn House, College House, and Osborne Villa, had been added to the complex by 1904. (fn. 107) The three houses were on the south of Wilton Road, but the Finches had also by this time purchased Montague Villas and the Paragon (fn. 108) on the north side, and these, unlike the others, have remained part of the hospital property. (fn. 109) 'Llangarran', on the opposite side of Wilton Road, behind the Paragon, was acquired apparently in 1906, (fn. 110) and Bemerton Lodge about 1919. (fn. 111) Orchard House was built in 1938. (fn. 112) The fee simple of the asylum buildings was conveyed in 1904 by Dr. W. Corbin Finch (d. 1905), the last of the Finches, to Frances Emily Parker (later Mrs. Baskin), who took over the business on his death. (fn. 113) By her both business and buildings were transferred in 1910 to Lady Chubb, the wife of Sir Cecil Chubb, Bt., and Finch's niece. (fn. 114) She in turn conveyed them to the Old Manor (Salisbury) Ltd. in 1924, and they upon their voluntary liquidation thirty years later to the Ministry of Health. (fn. 115) Since the conveyance of 1924 the hospital has been called the Old Manor.
St. Paul's Home, lying within the graveyard of the church, was founded by Francis Attwood (d. 1871), a Salisbury surveyor, in 1863 for three Anglican gentlewomen, aged 50 or more, with annual incomes of between £25 and £70. The women must have lived at least five years in Salisbury diocese — a requirement slightly varied in 1868 — and for preference should be the widows, sisters or daughters of clergymen. They were to receive annual stipends of £30. The original endowment was £2,700 stock, together with the reversion of the site. Subsequently three more cottages, designed by R. F. Fisher, were built on the site of the Wilton Arms Inn and settled in trust in 1868. In 1871 the founder gave some land and bequeathed £1,000. Next year his widow, Caroline Mary, gave more land. All the land was sold between 1900 and 1956. By 1906 the stipends had fallen to £28 but the inmates shared in any surplus revenue. In 1955 no stipends were paid. The total yearly receipts were £327 in 1905 and the net income £425 in 1956. The six houses under one roof are built in alternate courses of flint and grey brick. The trustees have always been the Mayor of Salisbury, the Dean of Salisbury, and the incumbents of the three ancient Salisbury churches and of Fisherton. (fn. 116)
The former G.W.R. railway station in Fisherton, the terminus of the Warminster—Salisbury railway, was opened in 1856, and closed to passenger traffic in 1932. (fn. 117) It has remained an unaltered example of Brunel's 'usual all-over roofed stations'. (fn. 118) In 1859 the L.S.W.R. opened its station beside it, and closed its station at Milford to passenger traffic. (fn. 119) What is now the Southern Region station seems at first to have consisted of two parts. One of these lay on the west side of Fisherton Street and was probably built by the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway Co. It forms the eastern section of the present station buildings. The other part lay wholly on the west side of Fisherton Street and was presumably the L.S.W.R. station. It seems to have been the later of the two. (fn. 120) Vestiges of the eastern station, and the approach road giving access to it, remain. After the purchase of the Salisbury and Yeovil Co. by the L.S.W.R. in 1878 (fn. 121) the two stations presumably came to be used as down and up platforms respectively. Between 1899 and 1906 the station was greatly altered, the up platform being moved to the west side of the street facing the down platform, and the station buildings extended to the west. (fn. 122) The Salisbury Railway and Market House Railway traverses the parish. (fn. 123)
The Salisbury Gaslight and Coke Company was formed in 1832 (fn. 124) and in January 1833 a gasworks was opened on a site in Fisherton parish behind the gaol. (fn. 125) The works were enlarged in 1893, 1919 and 1928. (fn. 126) Production ceased in 1957 on the completion of a main to supply the city from Southampton. (fn. 127)
A company to supply water to that part of the parish that lay beyond the city boundary was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1867. It was authorized to construct within four years a reservoir in Highfield, and a pumping station. (fn. 128) The pumping station survives, but the company was taken over by Salisbury Corporation in 1924. (fn. 129)
For the first few months of 1579 Fisherton parsonage was the home of Simon Forman (1552–1611), astrologer and quack. (fn. 132) Fisherton is also associated with two witches: Agnes Mills, widow, hanged for murdering by witchcraft William, son of Edward and Agnes Baynton, in 1564, (fn. 133) and Anne Bodenham, a poor teacher, executed about 1649 for lesser offences. (fn. 134)
Godric held FISHERTON in the time of King Edward, and by 1086 it had passed to Hugh of Avranches, Earl of Chester. Under Hugh it was then held by Hamon de Masci. (fn. 135) Both tenant-in-demesne and overlord appear to have forfeited their interests in it in consequence of their revolt against Henry II in 1173. (fn. 136) About 1194 the Earl of Salisbury's bailiff was claiming land in Fisherton (fn. 137) and by 1242–3 the Earl shared the overlordship with the Earl of Arundel. (fn. 138) The Arundel portion of the overlordship is not heard of again, but the overlordship of the Earl of Salisbury can be traced to 1428. (fn. 139)
In 1242–3 Richard son of Aucher was the tenant-in-demesne of both overlords, his tenement being rated at 1½ fee. (fn. 140) From his family the parish took its name. By 1272 it had descended to Henry son of Aucher, otherwise Henry Aucher, (fn. 141) who died seised of it in 1303. (fn. 142) Aucher, son of Henry, presumably a direct descendant, appears to have been lord in 1309, (fn. 143) and settlements for his benefit were made in 1319 (fn. 144) and 1338. (fn. 145) One of his line, John son of Aucher, otherwise John Aucher, appears to have been at some time in possession. (fn. 146) There is then a lapse in the descent, as in the descent of other manors held by the Auchers. (fn. 147)
Some time before 1365 a John Frank had been considered to be lord. (fn. 148) The manor then passed to the Pophams. In 1376 Henry Popham was holding land in Fisherton, (fn. 149) and in 1380 the manor was settled on him and Joan his wife in fee, with remainder to Joan's heirs. (fn. 150) Henry died seised in 1418, having first settled the remainder upon his son Stephen and Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Rede, in tail male. (fn. 151) The manor was accordingly delivered to Stephen and Margaret, (fn. 152) and Stephen died seised of it in 1445. (fn. 153) He was survived by four daughters, all minors, though the eldest of them was married to John Wadham. (fn. 154) It is said to have been Stephen's intention to settle the manor upon the Wadhams but this was unfulfilled at his death. (fn. 155) When and what kind of a partition of his whole inheritance was made has not been ascertained, but, if anything may be inferred from the descent of the advowson, (fn. 156) the manor remained in the hands of Stephen's feoffees until at least 1456. In 1470, however, the advowson was in the hands of a Thomas Hampden. (fn. 157) Thomas Hampden of Hampden (Bucks.), presumably the same, married Margery, Stephen Popham's second daughter, (fn. 158) and apparently acquired the manor through her. At all events tenants were claiming to hold under him in 1488, (fn. 159) and his son Edmund was of Fisherton when attainted of high treason in 1484. (fn. 160) Thomas does not mention any Wiltshire lands in his will made in 1482, (fn. 161) and there is no inquisition upon any such lands after his death. On the other hand his relict (then called Margaret) is described as lady of Fisherton in 1490, (fn. 162) as is Katharine Hampden in 1521. (fn. 163)
In 1548 Sir John Hampden conveyed the manor to Edward Ferrers or Ferris. (fn. 164) In 1589 Henry, Edward's son, sold it to John Quarles, citizen and draper of London, (fn. 165) who in 1608 sold it to Judith, relict of another John Quarles of London, the vendor's brother. (fn. 166) In 1627 Judith sold it to George Lowe, of London. In 1639 Lowe entailed it on his son George with remainders to his nephews John and Richard Lowe in fee. The younger George succeeded and died without issue. A dispute between Richard Lowe and Matthew Raymond, to whom John had devised his share by his will dated 1649, was then settled by an equal partition between Raymond and Lowe. In 1661 Raymond appears to have conveyed his whole interest to Lowe, who by his will of 1663 left his Fisherton lands, not called a manor, to his son Edward in fee. In 1670 the premises were entailed upon Gabriel Ashley and Margaret, daughter of James Harris, and their issue. Their daughter Catherine married George Wyndham. He claimed the manor through her and was confirmed in it by chancery decree of 1720, after he had been tortiously disturbed in his possession by John and Frances Deye acting as agents of W. V. Riddlesden, a felon. (fn. 167) The descent is then uncertain, but by 1747 the manor had come into the hands of Frances, relict of William Harris, of the Close, Salisbury, and of William and Sarah Hayter. (fn. 168) Sarah was William Harris's daughter and sole heir, (fn. 169) and after Hayter's death she married Henry Southby of Carswell in Buckland (Berks.). (fn. 170) The Southbys seem to have been jointly seised in 1773 and 1778. (fn. 171) In 1782 William Hayter, a son of Sarah's first husband, was lord, (fn. 172) and to him was allotted the second largest area of land under the Inclosure Award of 1790. (fn. 173) He was still living in 1794, but by 1797 had died an intestate celibate lunatic, and his sister Sarah had succeeded to the manor. (fn. 174) In the same year she settled the manor itself and all her lands in Fisherton in trust for the benefit of the almshouse of her foundation. Certain rents and profits of the lands were to be applied first to the trust and thereafter to her own use. (fn. 175) The trustees were therefore only usufructuaries, and the manor itself was devised on Sarah's death in 1822 to Francis Thomas Egerton, of Roche Court, Winterslow, grandson of one Thomas Hayter. (fn. 176) On his death in 1861 he left it to his cousin Frances Elizabeth, dowager Countess Nelson (d. 1878), with limitation upon her death to Horatio, Earl Nelson (d. 1913) in tail male. (fn. 177) Henry Edward Joseph Horatio, 7th Earl Nelson, may now (1957) be considered to be lord.
In 1291 the Bishop of Salisbury acquired a small plot of land in Fisherton, where he already had a pond. (fn. 178) In 1629 he owned Blue Boar Mead. (fn. 179) By the later 13th century the chapter had also acquired a small estate there, part of a complex called 'Our Lady's Chamber', the revenue from which was given to the poor. (fn. 180) By 1341 they owned Fisherton meadow, which may or may not have formed part of this complex. This, with some other property in Fisherton, was then transferred by the Archdeacon of Salisbury, its farmer, to the wardens of the fabric fund, who, in return for a yearly rent of £1, were authorized to build upon it. (fn. 181) In 1535 the chapter drew from their property in Fisherton rents amounting to £8 12s. 8d. net, of which the fabric fund received the greatest share. (fn. 182) In 1649, at the time of the Parliamentary confiscation, they were holding the Angel Inn, and five other houses. The rents then amounted to £7 15s. 8d., a figure near enough to that entered in the Valor to suggest that there had been little change in the constitution of the estate meanwhile. (fn. 183) St. Nicholas's Hospital acquired its first holdings in Fisherton from Richard son of Aucher between 1237 and 1245. (fn. 184) By the end of the 13th century its holdings had increased and in the middle of the 16th appear to have amounted to 20 garden plots. (fn. 185) The charter of 1610 confirmed them in possession of Buckett's Mead, St. Nicholas Gardens and two pasture closes. (fn. 186) They sold all their Fisherton property between 1879 and 1905. (fn. 187) In 1281 the Friars Preachers of Salisbury received from the Crown meadows and other lands in Fisherton to build their house upon, and they enlarged the site in 1295. (fn. 188) Such were the ecclesiastical lands in the village.
Of the many small lay freeholders, sixteen of them in 1303, (fn. 189) special mention may be made of the Tropenells. Upon Thomas Tropenell, of Great Chalfield, (fn. 190) two small estates were separately settled in 1457 (fn. 191) and 1465. (fn. 192) The first of these, which seems to have lain between Fisherton and Crane Bridge Streets, (fn. 193) originated in a 13th-century gift by Richard son of Henry Aucher to Austin le Corvesire. (fn. 194) The second sprang from a gift from Robert Fraunceys to Robert le Poleter and his wife Godeline in 1317. (fn. 195) It is possible to trace, stage by stage, the descent of both these tenements upon the Tropenells. (fn. 196) The lands passed to Christopher Tropenell, Thomas's son, (fn. 197) to Thomas his grandson, (fn. 198) and to Giles his great-grandson, who was a minor in 1550. (fn. 199)
In 1086 Fisherton was assessed at 3 hides, 2 of them in demesne. There was land for 2 ploughs, 1 of which with one serf was in demesne. There were 40 a. of meadow and the same of pasture. There were 3 villeins and 5 bordars. (fn. 200)
In 1303 Fisherton manor was valued at £5 7s. 6d., £4 of which represented the value of the mill. There were 24 a. of arable in demesne and 12 a. of meadow; and there was a dovecote. The 10 customary tenants owed no works, but paid 25s. annually. (fn. 201)
Fisherton Field, apparently a unity in 1262 (fn. 202) and 1548, (fn. 203) had by 1638 been divided into two fields or more, for in that year there are references to the Lower Field 'upon Wilton way' and the North Field. (fn. 204) In 1790, the year of inclosure, we read of four fields: Church, North, Middle, and St. Ann's Stile (or Little) Fields. (fn. 205) Long Lands or Brick Field may perhaps be reckoned a fifth. Probably Church Field was a new name for the Lower Field. (fn. 206) The meadow is first mentioned in 1341. (fn. 207) In the 16th and 17th century there are several references to particular meadows: Friars Mead or Rycrofts (1624, (fn. 208) 1649 (fn. 209)), Blue Boar Mead (1544, (fn. 210) 1629 (fn. 211)), Buckets Mead (1610), (fn. 212) Plashets or Little Mead (1657), (fn. 213) and Broad Mead (1619, (fn. 214) 1638 (fn. 215)). The first of these lay beside the Avon, Plashets to the north of it, and Broad Mead in the west of the parish beside the Nadder. Blue Boar and Buckets Meads are not mentioned in the Inclosure Award; Parsonage and Spring Ditch Meads make their first appearance there. Spring Ditch Mead lay north of Broad Mead. (fn. 216)
The award of 1790 affected only 205 a., including roads, out of a parochial area of 348 a. (fn. 217) The difference between the two areas is attributable to building and to earlier inclosures. Of the latter phenomenon there is some evidence. An inclosed meadow had been taken out of Broad Mead before 1638, (fn. 218) and Willow Grove in Middle Field had been inclosed within the six years preceding the award, which contains other references to old inclosures. Fisherton marsh, part at least of which lay between Fisherton and Crane Bridge Streets, (fn. 219) is said to have been inclosed about 1616. (fn. 220)
At the statutory inclosure James Harris, 1st baron (subsequently 1st Earl of) Malmesbury (103 a.), and William Hayter (70 a.) were the only substantial allottees. (fn. 221) In 1801 42 a. within the parish were sown to wheat, 35 to barley, 7 to peas, 6 to oats and 1 to potatoes. (fn. 222) About 1834 there were 160 a. of arable, and 60 of pasture; about 30 a. were devoted to private gardens. There were 4 or 5 very small farms. (fn. 223) In 1844 an acre or two of hops were grown in the parish. (fn. 224)
The Tithe Award of 1842–4 shows that the northwest and west parts of the parish, on both sides of the Devizes and Wilton Roads, were devoted to arable. (fn. 225) The lands on the right bank of the Avon north of the village were meadow, and so were those in the west of the parish from the point where the arable ended to the Nadder. The second of these areas included two withy beds of 10 a. They seem to have been formed about the time of the inclosure, for their rating has not been noticed until 1790. (fn. 226) At the time of the award, 135 a. were arable; water meadows and pasture accounted for 50 a. each. (fn. 227).
The village proclaims in its name (fn. 228) the original primary occupation of its inhabitants, and in the later 13th century it still contained two professional fishermen. (fn. 229) Its fishery was tithable in 1341, (fn. 230) and a several fishery, presumably in the Avon, belonged to the Dominican friary, and was conveyed with the site at the Dissolution. (fn. 231) In 1718 William Croome, the miller, was dealing with a fishery, (fn. 232) and fishing rights were still annexed to the mill in 1899. (fn. 233)
There was a mill, worth 10s., in 1086. (fn. 234) A mill is next mentioned in 1273 when Maud, relict of Robert Walrand, claimed her dower in it against Alan Plogenet. It was then worth 30d. (fn. 235) This can hardly be the same mill as that of which Henry son of Aucher died seised in 1303, for his was annexed to Fisherton manor and was valued at £4. (fn. 236) It is no doubt this second building, described as two mills, that in 1589 was conveyed with the manor by Henry Ferrers to John Quarles. (fn. 237) It seems to have descended with the manor until 1653 when the mills, then called three grist mills, with adjacent lands, were conveyed by Richard Lowe to Matthew Raymond. (fn. 238) The devolution of the property then becomes obscure, but by 1718, if not before, it seems to have been separated from the manor, for in that year William Croome, who had been paying rates on it in 1714, (fn. 239) was dealing with it. (fn. 240) Croome was still the occupier in 1736. (fn. 241) In 1777 one Neave owned it. (fn. 242) Between 1855 and 1867 the mills were occupied by George Gregory, between 1875 and 1899 by H. G. Gregory. (fn. 243) In 1891 they were fitted with a 2½-sack roller plant (fn. 244) and in or about 1899 were purchased by Messrs. F. Bowle & Sons who remained the owners until 1931. (fn. 245) From 1935 to 1953 they were occupied by J. H. Bartlett (fn. 246) and in 1956 by Messrs. H. R. & S. Sainsbury & Co., Ltd. (fn. 247)
Fisherton Millhouse is an 18th-century house of three stories built of brick. The entrance door has a plain arched fanlight above and on either side Doric pilasters with carved scroll brackets support a moulded hood. To the south there is a 19th-century extension set slightly back. An early-19th-century mill building of three stories and attic adjoins the house on the north, and at the back there is a long range of mill buildings of possibly earlier date.
In 1649 a brewery, malt house and kiln of eighteen bays, with malting rooms above, stood on the north side of Fisherton Street. They belonged to the dean and chapter, and were then occupied by Roger Jole under a lease of 1628 to Robert Jole, whose ancestors had long occupied them. (fn. 248) They are traceable to 1778. (fn. 249) In 1796 four malthouses were rated, in 1800 two, in 1814–5 three and in 1826 two again. (fn. 250) In 1842–4 there was only one malthouse in the parish. It was in the ownership and occupation of George Pothecary, and stood to the southwest of Crane Bridge Road. (fn. 251) The buildings still stood there in 1900, (fn. 252) though apparently converted to a different use, and in 1908, under the name of Fisherton Brewery, were put up for sale. (fn. 253) By 1879 six malthouses stood on the north side of Fisherton Street between the 'Angel' and the river. (fn. 254) From 1867 they belonged to Messrs. Charles and Alfred Williams. (fn. 255) The firm called Messrs. Williams Bros. still occupied them in 1939. (fn. 256) Since 1950 they have belonged to Messrs. Samuel Thompson & Sons. (fn. 257)
Lying as it did so close to Salisbury, Fisherton in the Middle Ages naturally housed a number of clothworkers of various kinds, and in the later 14th century contained a tenter. (fn. 258) To other industrial enterprises there are no early references. In later times, however, the brick earth of the parish naturally encouraged the establishment of brickworks. Mrs. Gooden, or Goodhind, occupied a kiln in 1706, which in 1714 and 1716 was in the hands of the firm of Forhead & Goodhind. Between 1714 and 1718 a second kiln or 'kiln ground' is discoverable. Until 1826 there is no further evidence that there was more than one works, but in that year a 'kiln' and a 'yard' were separately rated. (fn. 259) In 1844 there were four brickworks: one occupied by John Pike on the west of Mill Road, two 'yards' occupied by William Harding, one on the south of the Wilton Road, where the Devizes Road leaves it, another on the west side of the Devizes Road a little to the north of it, and a 'field' occupied by Dr. Richard Greenup and Thomas Napier in the Wilton Road to the south-west of Harding's. A 'kiln', occupied by Frederic Tabor, almost opposite the lunatic asylum, seems by this time to have been converted to arable. (fn. 260) In 1854 Harding and one Darby worked brick pits in the parish, north of the Wilton Road. (fn. 261) Harding, who was also a lime burner and merchant, survived until 1859. In 1855 the manager of the Fisherton Brickworks was living in the parish. Perhaps he worked for Robert Futcher, who carried on a brickmaking business from 1859 to 1880. (fn. 262) A brick, lime, and whiting works, almost certainly an enterprise distinct from Futcher's, had been established in the Devizes Road, opposite Fisherton Farm, by 1860. (fn. 263) In 1880 it belonged to R. C. Harding who had set up as a lime burner and merchant in 1867, and still owned it in 1899. (fn. 264) By 1903 the brick earth was 'very little worked' as the cream-coloured hand-made bricks hardly paid to make. (fn. 265) By c. 1908 the works had become a dairy, and in 1914 were taken over by the Nestlé Company as a condensed milk factory. (fn. 266)
There were timber yards in the parish between 1706 and 1747, two of them in fact in 1714 and three in 1718. (fn. 267) The yards have not been noticed again until 1842–4, when there were two, both in Fisherton Street. One occupied by Walter Morrice lay opposite the site where the church now stands. A few years later it seems to have come into the hands of a Mr. Futcher. (fn. 268) The other timber yard was occupied by John and James Griffin and was beside the malt houses. (fn. 269) Griffins, whose business had become a steam saw mill by 1879, were still occupiers in 1903. (fn. 270) The business passed into the hands of The Building Material Co., who still owned it in 1956. (fn. 271) By 1879 there was another yard immediately to the north of Summerlock Bridge; it was still there in 1887. (fn. 272)
Other economic enterprises worthy of passing mention are a lime kiln or pit, rated between 1790 and 1800, (fn. 273) a rope walk in 1859, multiplied to two rope walks in 1879, (fn. 274) and several nurseries. One of the nurseries lay beside the bowling green, (fn. 275) where in 1842–4 'gardens' were occupied by A. G. Dent, who also occupied other gardens due north of them. (fn. 276) The nursery was still in cultivation in 1956. (fn. 277) Since 1875 there has been another nursery, called Waterloo, behind the houses on the north of Fisherton Street. (fn. 278) Since at least 1939 both nurseries have been in the hands of the firm of W. F. Gullick. (fn. 279)
Despite these varied economic activities Fisherton, from the early 17th century, was a poor parish often visited by pestilence or hunger. References to the pestilence begin in 1604, when the justices made arrangements for the relief of the poor weavers of the parish, who were falling out of work because of local epidemics. (fn. 280) In 1646 there was another outbreak of the plague, and the justices ordered the surrounding neighbourhood to contribute to the rate then authorized. Later in the year the rate was doubled by direction from the justices of assize. In petitioning for an increase on such a scale the inhabitants declared that there were 269 poor in the parish, and that not more than eight parishioners could relieve themselves. (fn. 281) They had erected a pest house, the memory of which survived until 1842–4. (fn. 282) The device of rating other places for Fisherton's behoof continued. There are seven instances of it between 1661 and 1718, and no other Wiltshire parish was thus benefited so frequently. (fn. 283) The gift of £50 to the poor of Fisherton made by George I, when visiting Salisbury in 1722, is probably another sign of parochial destitution. (fn. 284) In 1715 175 inhabitants suffered from smallpox. (fn. 285)
Fisherton was visited by cholera in 1849, and when inspected in 1851 was found to be still exposed to the dangers of disease. It lacked closed sewers, and contained many piggeries, cowsheds, and slaughter houses. The defective pavement of Fisherton Street held pools of stagnant water. (fn. 286) The ensuing improvement in sanitary conditions, (fn. 287) and the coming of the railways brought better health and more employment to the people and so enlarged the population. Service on the railways became a leading occupation of the inhabitants, so that in 1918 St. Paul's could justly be described as 'essentially a railway parish'. (fn. 288) But poverty and sickness were not stamped out. In the hard winter of 1894–5 coal, grocery and soup tickets had to be distributed, a fish kitchen started and free breakfasts served to the children; (fn. 289) towards the end of 1895 the services of a trained 'lady nurse' were secured to tend the poor freely; (fn. 290) and at Christmas 1896 three benefactors augmented Lambert's charity (fn. 291) by gifts of bread and coal. (fn. 292)
The rectory of Fisherton is first mentioned in 1319, when Aucher son of Henry presented to it. (fn. 293) The survival, however, of a Norman font, (fn. 294) if nothing else, raises the presumption that the church (St. Clement's) (fn. 295) was established long before. From 1319 the advowson appears to have descended with the lordship of the manor until 1650. (fn. 296) The lords, however, did not always exercise their rights in person. Stephen Popham's feoffees presented in 1444, 1446, 1453, and 1456. In 1490 Sir Roger Tocotes presented by grant of Margaret Hampden, in 1548 Thomas Hughes, executor of Dr. John Hughes, by grant of Sir John Hampden, and in 1575 Hugh Powell by grant of Edward Ferrers. In 1520, for unspecified reasons, the bishop was presenting. (fn. 297)
Under the award made after the death of John Lowe (c. 1649), (fn. 298) the advowson seems to have been assigned to Richard Lowe, who in 1653 conveyed it to Matthew Raymond. (fn. 299) It then passed through many different hands. In 1692 Eleanor Shadwell, widow, presented, in 1731 John Talman of Salisbury Close, clerk. (fn. 300) Talman's presentee, Richard Fishlake, seems likewise to have owned it; at any rate he included it in his marriage settlement, made in 1732. (fn. 301) Dr. Thomas Troughear, of Northwood (Isle of Wight), was patron in 1754, Elizabeth Mathews, of Stanmore (Middx.), widow, in 1758, and Martha Davenport, of Lacock, widow, in 1786. (fn. 302) By 1790 the advowson had passed to William Davenport Talbot, of Lacock, (fn. 303) and was owned by William Henry Fox Talbot between 1804 (fn. 304) and 1849. (fn. 305) For some years after 1850 it belonged to Revd. Dr. James Cottle, (fn. 306) who did not have an opportunity to exercise the patronage. In 1864 Samuel Waldegrave, Bishop of Carlisle, and four other trustees presented. (fn. 307) The living has remained in the hands of trustees, who are now represented by the Church Patronage Society. (fn. 308)
The rectory was valued at £6 13s. 4d. between 1291 (fn. 309) and 1428, (fn. 310) at £13 net in 1535, (fn. 311) and at £80 in 1650. (fn. 312) It was valued at £48 when discharged of first fruits under the Act of 1707. By 1731 it seems to have been valued at £80, as in 1650, but it is not clear to what this augmentation was due. (fn. 313) In 1835 the gross and net values were returned respectively at £169 and £160. (fn. 314) In 1878 the net value was said to be £300 with a house. (fn. 315) In 1864 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners endowed the benefice with £1,000, (fn. 316) a sum which seems to have been yielding £66 yearly in 1887. (fn. 317) In 1903, when efforts towards augmentation were made, the living was described as 'poor'. (fn. 318)
In 1341 the glebe consisted of arable land valued at 3s. 4d., and some meadow. (fn. 319) In 1638 it consisted of the rectory house, with its adjacent lands covering 3 a., 10 a. of arable, 3 halves of meadow, 4 a. of pasture and 6 beast leazes in the common fields. In 1688 the arable area and the number of leazes appear to have fallen slightly. (fn. 320) At the inclosure in 1790 about 9½ a. were allotted to the rector for glebe, mostly in the North Field and the Plashets, (fn. 321) and in 1842–4 the acreage was about the same. (fn. 322) In 1851 the glebe was valued at £30, (fn. 323) in 1868 at £56, (fn. 324) and in 1887 at £125. (fn. 325) By award made in 1842 and confirmed in 1844 tithe was commuted for a rent charge of £162. (fn. 326)
The Church Land, 1 a. in the North Field, had been acquired by the parish before 1790. (fn. 327) In 1833 the rent from it was used for church repairs. The land was sold for building in 1897, and in 1942 the ground rent brought in £44 a year. (fn. 328) In 1831 Lt.-Gen. Mitchell gave £100 stock to buy coal to warm the church. In 1950 the interest, £2 10s., was paid into the church expenses fund. (fn. 329) In 1894 James Clark gave £100 for Sunday school prizes. The income was £5 in 1905. (fn. 330) In 1909 Eliza Lucas gave £100 for church expenses, which yielded £3 11s. in 1950. (fn. 331) In 1917 Francis Drake Deverill gave £300 subject to legacy duty. The capital was not settled in trust but applied to church expenses. (fn. 332) Church collections were thrice-yearly from 1876 until the turn of the century when they seem to have become weekly. (fn. 333) Pew rents were abandoned in 1924. (fn. 334)
Stephen le Criour, who in 1319 owned land in Fisherton, (fn. 335) joined with his wife Maud in 1324 to found a chantry, dedicated to St. Mary, in Fisherton church. (fn. 336) They endowed it with lands in Bemerton and Fisherton, which were to support a chaplain celebrating daily for the souls of the founders, their ancestors, and all faithful departed. They provided the chantry with books and ornaments, and the first chaplain with farming implements, furniture and household gear. The Archdeacon of Salisbury was made patron, and he or his attorneys always exercised the patronage. (fn. 337) How it came about that in 1384 Thomas and Agnes Leycestre released the advowson of the chantry to Nicholas de St. Lo is hard to fathom. (fn. 338) In 1535 the gross value was £5 12s. 8d., and its net value £5 9s. 6d. (fn. 339) In 1548 the chantry lands, which included the chantry dwelling house, the chantry mead (2 a.), and 18 a. of arable in Fisherton and Bemerton were valued at £5 18s. 2½d. net. The incumbent was then a layman who was applying the stipend to his own education. (fn. 340) The chantry was dissolved, and in 1549 much of the property described above was given by the Crown to Laurence Hyde of London. (fn. 341) In 1592 further chantry lands in Fisherton were given to William Tupper and Robert Dawe. (fn. 342)
By will proved 1505 Richard Harrison, or Brewer, of Fisherton, left 9 marks to be paid for 10 years to a priest to celebrate in Fisherton church for the souls of himself, his wife Maud, and all faithful departed. (fn. 343) In 1413 Thomas Mannyng of Fisherton left small bequests to the three brotherhoods of the lights of the Holy Trinity, St. Christopher and the Holy Cross in the church. (fn. 344)
There are known to have been 'curates' serving the parish, or serving in the parish, in 1674, (fn. 345) 1736, (fn. 346) 1796, (fn. 347) 1808, (fn. 348) 1819, (fn. 349) and 1836. (fn. 350) During the quarter of a century after 1853 there seems normally to have been at least one assistant curate. In 1878 there were two, and from 1884 to 1897 normally three. (fn. 351) In 1901 there was only one, but the need for a second was emphasized and an 'additional curate fund' was started. (fn. 352) There were two curates in the next year and this was the normal number until 1914. (fn. 353) Between 1914 and 1926, (fn. 354) and in 1937 (fn. 355) there was only one. In 1957 there was none. In 1892 a 'scripture reader' and a 'Bible woman' were appointed, (fn. 356) and between 1904 and 1925 there was usually a lay reader or 'lay worker'. (fn. 357) The payment of wages to a parish clerk was authorized in 1744, apparently for the first time. (fn. 358) There was still a parish clerk in 1934. (fn. 359) In the 19th century and until 1928 there was also a vestry clerk. (fn. 360) To save the cost of pew openers, sidesmen were appointed in 1896. (fn. 361)
Richard Kent (d. 1692), rector from 1644, had been ejected from the living by 1650, after a party of Parliamentarian soldiers had entered the church at service time and started a brawl. (fn. 362) His successor George Bayly (fn. 363) appears to have been replaced in 1654 by another royalist, Samuel Forward, who was ejected in the same year in favour of S. Bayly and lived in great want. (fn. 364) Kent was restored in 1660. (fn. 365) In 1754 the rector was holding the living in plurality with that of Sutton Benger. (fn. 366) In the 1840s there was a male and female choir led by a band of string and wind instruments. The band was replaced by a barrel organ and eventually by a pipe organ. The singing was then so much improved that it was thought the best in the diocese. (fn. 367)
The 'low church' principles that have characterized the parish ever since seem to have been established in the time of the Revd. A. B. Handley (1864–73). Upon his institution some who 'did not value evangelical truth' left the congregation; others thought him 'too religious'. (fn. 368) He was succeeded in 1873 by E. N. (from 1908 Canon) Thwaites (d. 1919), who was locally renowned as an evangelistic preacher, and as an unusually gifted and energetic organizer. Thwaites made his parish a centre of missionary activity at home and overseas. (fn. 369) It was through him that the church was enlarged and adorned, (fn. 370) and a new school and halls for devotional meetings built. (fn. 371) He started a parish magazine, (fn. 372) a temperance hotel, and a hostel for girls. (fn. 373) Somewhat surprisingly in such a parish, a communicants' union was formed and held its first meeting in 1888. (fn. 374) Within the church the number of communions was somewhat above the diocesan average. (fn. 375) In 1883 celebrations occurred at least fortnightly, in 1895 usually once a week, and by 1912 regularly so. (fn. 376) On Easter Day three celebrations were normal, and the number of communicants was sometimes considerable — 412 in 1889, (fn. 377) and 382 in 1890. (fn. 378) The parish was a pioneer in the neighbourhood in holding midnight services on 31 December, which, even after other parishes had adopted the habit, were well attended. (fn. 379)
W. C. Procter, who succeeded Thwaites, while describing himself as 'a very decided Evangelical', (fn. 380) introduced several novel practices: a regular 8.0 a.m. Sunday morning communion, (fn. 381) singing the Gloria, more frequent settings of the Canticles, (fn. 382) open-air services on summer evenings. (fn. 383) He also urged the congregation to kneel at prayers. (fn. 384) Determined to administer the parish on 'thoroughly democratic principles'. (fn. 385) he established a church council. (fn. 386) But his ministry does not seem to have been successful, for in his own estimation he was neither a good administrator nor a diligent visitor. (fn. 387)
H. M. (later Canon) Allen succeeded Procter in 1917. He was thought to possess the qualities that his predecessor lacked, and he was a capable musician. (fn. 388) He introduced a surpliced choir, (fn. 389) and provided for simpler, more congregational singing. (fn. 390) As was to be expected, the first of these innovations came to Fisherton much later than to most parishes in the diocese. (fn. 391) Allen also founded in 1920 a parish hall or church institute in an Army hut erected on land to the north of the church. (fn. 392)
Since Allen's resignation in 1930 the most remarkable events in the life of the parish have been the replacement in 1933 of the 'iron room' (fn. 393) by the Church Rooms in the old St. Paul's Schools, and of the church hut by a new Parochial Hall built on the site of the hut in 1937. An objection lodged in 1945 to a faculty for a plain oak cross upon the Communion Table illustrates the tenacity of the evangelical tradition of St. Paul's. (fn. 394)
Perhaps the most striking monument to Thwaites was the Maundrel Hall opened in 1880 beside Fisherton Bridge. Named after one of Fisherton's Protestant 'martyrs', (fn. 395) and provided by public subscription, it was designed as a meeting-place for undenominational worship and discussion, especially for the poor who were not habitual churchgoers. (fn. 396) The hall gathered round it other buildings devoted to Christian purposes: the Luther Hall (later the Little Maundrel Hall) to the west, opened about 1884, (fn. 397) west of that a building, called successively the 'British Workman' and the 'Star of Hope', opened about 1883 as a temperance hotel, (fn. 398) and behind the 'Star of Hope' the Princess Christian Home (later Hostel) for women, opened in 1907. (fn. 399) In 1895 J. H. Maundrel settled £500 in trust for the benefit of the hall. The income was £15 in 1955. (fn. 400) The erection of the new Parochial Hall beside the church, and the shift of population westwards deprived the Maundrel Hall of much of its usefulness, and under Orders made by the Charity Commission in 1953 and 1954 it was sold, together with the Little Maundrel Hall and the Princess Christian Hotel. (fn. 401) It was then taken over by Messrs. Graham, furniture dealers, and the other property by Maidment's Publicity, Ltd.
The church of ST. CLEMENT was largely built of flint and consisted of a nave, north aisle, north and south transepts, chancel, west tower and south porch. There was a small projection, probably containing a rood loft stair, on the south side of the chancel. Lancet windows survived in the north aisle until at least 1807, and it is probable that much of the structure was of 13th century date. The belfry stage of the tower was an addition of the 15th or early 16th century. There was a blocked Perpendicular window at a high level in the north aisle. Several other windows and the south porch appear to have been of post-Reformation date. (fn. 402) When he visited the building about 1824 Sir Stephen Glynne found it an 'unassuming village church . . . kept neat and tidy'. The west tower window he considered was Perpendicular. (fn. 403) Most of the windows were modern and 'bad'; some small Perpendicular ones had been walled up. There were five stone crosses on the gable ends. The nave was divided from the north aisle by an octagonal pillar, and a 'ruder kind of partition'. Plain pointed arches opened into the transepts and chancel. (fn. 404)
Some information survives about improvements in the fabric. In 1742 new seating was provided in the south 'aisle' (presumably south transept) and the whole building was retiled and repaved. There were lesser repairs in 1773–4, 1776, 1778, and 1784–7. In 1791 a gallery was erected, the south end of which was reserved for 'singers' in 1810. Further repairs and improvements were authorized in 1803. (fn. 405) The churchyard was enlarged in 1788, (fn. 406) and again in 1809. (fn. 407)
In 1850 the vestry, moved, it is believed, by Dr. W. C. Finch, (fn. 408) met to consider for the first time the erection of a new church to house the expanding population. (fn. 409) In pursuance of the decision taken then or soon after, the foundations of ST. PAUL'S church in Devizes Road were laid in 1851, and in 1853 that building was consecrated. (fn. 410) St. Clement's was demolished in 1852, (fn. 411) but the churchyard has remained an open space. (fn. 412)
St. Paul's, built in early 'Decorated' style to the design of T. H. Wyatt of London, consisted originally of chancel, nave of six bays, aisle, west gallery, south vestry, small organ chamber, south porch and tower. The tower buttresses, some of the interior arches and piers, and the font were brought from St. Clement's, and the new tower built to the dimensions of the old to accommodate the bell-frame timbers and bells from the old church. (fn. 413) Sidney Herbert and Bishop Denison contributed to the expenses of the new building. (fn. 414) In 1876 a north aisle and west porch were added. (fn. 415) In 1880 the chancel walls were coloured, (fn. 416) and in 1883 painted texts were placed over all the arches. (fn. 417) In 1885 the chancel was retiled and carved fronts added to the choir stalls. (fn. 418) In 1892 a new organ chamber for a new organ was constructed north of the chancel. (fn. 419) In 1895 a screen was erected so as to convert the former organ chamber into a choir vestry. At the same time the choir stalls were rearranged, so that the choir could thereafter sit on either side of the chancel. (fn. 420) In 1898 the whole building was restored, (fn. 421) in 1910 the chancel. (fn. 422) In 1917 a new choir vestry was constructed at the north-west corner of the church. (fn. 423) The clergy vestry was enlarged in 1932. (fn. 424)
The east window, erected in 1866, commemorates members of the Alford family, (fn. 425) and that in the south aisle, erected 1910, the relict and sisters of Thomas Norwood (d. 1879). (fn. 426) The Norman font, standing on modern steps, was brought from St. Clement's. (fn. 427)
There is one 17th-century monument in the church commemorating William Boucher (d. 1676), of Salisbury Close, and a number of 18th-century date. (fn. 428) Nineteenth-century monuments commemorate members of the Alford and Finch families.
In 1553 St. Clement's had four bells. (fn. 429) Six were brought to St. Paul's, (fn. 430) one of them having been recast in 1705. (fn. 431) In 1923 the bells were rehung, and in 1926 a chiming apparatus by Mears & Stainbank was fitted. In 1949 two trebles were added and the whole octave rehung. (fn. 432)
The king's commissioners of 1553 left to the parish a chalice (10 oz.), and reserved ½ oz. of plate to the king's use. (fn. 433) New plate appears to have been provided in 1853, when St. Paul's was opened. (fn. 434) The plate now consists of 2 chalices, 2 patens, and a cruet-shaped flagon, 1869, and an alms dish presented in 1932 in memory of W. J. Naish (d. 1931). (fn. 435) The last replaces a silver-gilt dish. (fn. 436) The parish also possesses three pewter flagons, one of 1660 and two of 1672. The first, 21½ in. high, is thought to have been an extra-sacramental ringers' flagon, and is inscribed 'the pot of Fisherton Anger Church'. (fn. 437) Presumably these were in use until 1853.
The registers of births and baptisms date from 1651, of marriages from 1654, and of burials from 1653 and are complete. The other parish records include three volumes (1705–96) somewhat confusedly recording churchwardens' and overseers' accounts and vestry minutes, a sequence of vestry minute books from 1778, and overseers' rate and payment books (1766–1803, 1809–34). Most of these are in the Council House in Salisbury.
A rectory house in Mill Road was in existence by 1638, and was considered 'little' in 1688. (fn. 438) It was evidently rebuilt on ampler lines in the early 18th century. Seriously damaged by fire in 1834, (fn. 439) it was very dilapidated when Handley became rector thirty years later. In Handley's time it was largely reconstructed except for the walls, and the entrance moved from the front to the back. (fn. 440) An 'iron room' for meetings was erected in the garden in 1885. (fn. 441) In 1937 the building was sold, (fn. 442) and a new rectory put up beside the church. A fund of £440 collected for the maintenance of the rectory house and glebe was settled in trust in 1904. (fn. 443)
St. Anne's chapel, to which in the 14th and 15th centuries a hermitage was attached, (fn. 444) presumably formed no part of the church. St. Anne's Stile Field, of uncertain location but probably lying north-east of Fisherton Street, seems to have preserved its memory almost until the 19th century. (fn. 445)
In 1676 there were seven dissenters in the parish, none of them Roman Catholics. (fn. 446) In 1767 there were two Roman Catholics, who presumably worshipped in Salisbury. (fn. 447) There are no other evidences of Romish recusancy.
The Methodist meeting, held for a short time in the 'Green Dragon', after Westley Hall became curate at Fisherton in 1736, has already been mentioned. (fn. 448) Houses for Methodist worship were certified in 1794 and 1810, on the second occasion by John Sutton. (fn. 449) Either of these meetings may have become the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Mill Road opened in 1832. (fn. 450) Such a building was still in use in 1842–4. (fn. 451) In 1851 it had 250 sittings. (fn. 452) A new Wesleyan chapel, with the same number of sittings, was built in Wilton Road in 1860. (fn. 453) Presumably it replaced the Mill Road chapel, although that building was not struck out of the Worship Register until 1889. At any rate there seems to have been only one Wesleyan community in Fisherton in 1874. (fn. 454) By 1927 the number of sittings in the Wilton Road chapel had risen to 400. (fn. 455)
A garden was certified for worship by 'Tent' Methodists, probably early Primitive Methodists, (fn. 456) in 1823. (fn. 457) A Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1826; (fn. 458) it lay on the south side of Fisherton Street, well back from the road, (fn. 459) and was certified for worship in 1835. (fn. 460) There were 500 sittings in 1851 and a settled minister, but the congregation was about the same size as that which frequented the Wesleyan chapel. (fn. 461) By 1957 the building had become the Fisherton Conservative Club. In 1869 a new chapel, seating 340 in 1880, was erected on the north side of Fisherton Street, where it is joined by Chapel Place. (fn. 462) In 1917 a third church, seating 450, was built in Dew's Road, (fn. 463) and by 1923 or thereabouts its predecessor had been converted into a cinema. (fn. 464) In 1958 the Wilton Road and Dew's Road churches had memberships of 107 and 89 respectively, and shared a minister. (fn. 465)
A house for Baptist worship was certified in 1800, (fn. 466) and a small congregation of Baptists existed in 1829–30. (fn. 467) It is not certain whether there was any direct connexion between these persons and those who worshipped at the Harcourt Bridge Road Baptist chapel, with 240 sittings, erected in 1875 (fn. 468) in what is now Mill Road. At all events no Baptists are included in the ecclesiastical census of 1851. The Harcourt Chapel was still used for worship in 1890, (fn. 469) but was struck out of the Worship Register in 1894. In 1957 the building still stood but was unused.
There was a congregation of Independents in 1829–30, (fn. 470) but there is no return for them in 1851. It probably had no connexion with the present Congregational church, a conspicuous feature of Fisherton Street, which was built by the Salisbury congregation in 1879. (fn. 471)
The 'exclusive' Brethren met in Fisherton Street in 1885 and 1890 and in Churchfields in 1895. (fn. 472) The chapel of the Christian Brethren in Church Street, seating 400, was built in 1860 (fn. 473) and has remained in use. A chapel of the New Jerusalem Church (Swedenborgian) was certified in 1829 (fn. 474) and a building belonging to a Mr. Whitehorn was certified for use by the same sect in 1872. (fn. 475) The second of these, which was in Fisherton Street, (fn. 476) was struck off the register in 1878, (fn. 477) when the congregation probably moved to Antelope Yard, Salisbury. (fn. 478)
Certifications of dissenting meeting places, of unspecified denomination, also took place in 1821, (fn. 479) 1822 (John Holmes' house), (fn. 480) 1830 (a schoolroom) (fn. 481) and 1881. (fn. 482) The fourth of these was in the chapel of the former gaol. Mr. Gregory's mission room in Dew's Road, and Mr. Simper's mission room, are mentioned in 1874. (fn. 483)
In the 18th century the parish seems to have been served by the not unconventional complement of two churchwardens and two overseers. (fn. 484) Surveyors of the highways are not mentioned until 1805; a hayward, not previously mentioned, was being appointed in vestry in 1808. (fn. 485) From 1822 there was a perpetual overseer then paid £15, a sum doubled in 1826. The assistant overseer, appointed in 1852, as a collector of rates of every sort, was paid £20. (fn. 486) A successor in office, appointed in 1884 after a poll, was paid £75. (fn. 487)
Between 1716 and 1778 the usual attendance at the annual parish meetings or vestries for the election of overseers was about eleven, (fn. 488) and later meetings called to deal with the practical issues of poor relief and workhouse management were attended by about as many. Between 1805 and 1824 such meetings, at least in theory, were held monthly. In 1824 a select vestry was appointed under the Sturges Bourne Act. (fn. 489) In 1854 it resolved to constitute a burial board. (fn. 490)
In 1715 the parish paid the rent of certain paupers who lived in Matthew Bony's houses. (fn. 491) It is not clear from the context whether Bony owned a poor house, or whether his tenants, though contractual ones, were too poor to pay their rent. A workhouse was in existence by 1778, when the vestry appointed a master and mistress to take charge of the poor within it. The master's salary was £21 a year and 1s. in the £ on the work of the house. The regulations were to be the same as those of Salisbury workhouse. (fn. 492) Further regulations made in 1780 show that the poor did spooling and weaving, and that the master or mistress was required to teach the workhouse children to read and learn the Catechism. In 1796 a new master undertook to farm the poor at 3s. each a week. (fn. 493) By 1810 this had risen to 3s. 9d. and was then further raised to 4s. In 1802–3 there were 15 people in the house, in 1806 13, and in 1814 21, including children in each case. (fn. 494)
The cost of maintaining the poor per head of population rose from 8s. in 1803 to 11s. 3d. in 1813. (fn. 495) Four years later the level of the poor rate seemed to the vestry 'alarming', and a special vestry was summoned to consider what to do. (fn. 496) In 1819, as a means of reducing the cost of the workhouse, it was resolved that the poor should no longer be farmed but should be paid allowances, and the master or mistress granted 5s. a week with house and garden and the exclusive use of a loom. (fn. 497) The rates continued to rise and reached 12s. 8d. a head in 1821. (fn. 498) By 1831, however, they had fallen to 6s. 1d. a head. (fn. 499) In 1839 Alderbury Union sold the workhouse, (fn. 500) where since 1778 the vestry had met. (fn. 501) The site, or part of it, was eventually occupied by the parish school. (fn. 502)
In 1842 the four sane parishioners who lived outside the borough boundary declared themselves in vestry too few to enable the requirement to appoint parish constables to be complied with. (fn. 503) In 1894 a parish council for Fisherton Anger Without was appointed, with the rector as its first chairman. (fn. 504) In 1905 its duties were transferred to the city council. (fn. 505) In 1879 the vestry, which in 1851 was maintaining a rather inadequate system of street lighting, (fn. 506) adopted the Lighting and Watching Act of 1833, (fn. 507) and appointed inspectors to administer the lighting of the parish — powers that were assumed in 1895 by the parish council. (fn. 508)
The public elementary schools have been described with the other primary schools in Salisbury. (fn. 509) Private schools included one kept by R. West in 1803, (fn. 510) Fisherton Academy, a Methodist establishment existing in 1836, (fn. 511) a 'young ladies' school' kept by Miss Emily A. Blundell in 1855, (fn. 512) another kept by the Misses Cullingham, of Rhynwick House, in 1891 and 1897, (fn. 513) and a third kept by Miss Harrison in 1910–11. (fn. 514)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Sarah Hayter, lady of the manor, having already built an almshouse, styled the Asylum, endowed it in 1797 with the rents and profits of Fisherton manor and about 100 a. in Fisherton. (fn. 515) This institution, later called Hayter's Almshouses, was intended to house six poor Anglican spinsters, of 'sober and peaceable deportment', aged 50 or more. They were to be drawn from the parishes of Fisherton, Bemerton, and St. Thomas, Salisbury, in that order of preference, or, in default, from other Wiltshire parishes. Each woman was to receive 5s. weekly, and, if circumstances permitted, a bonus as well. After Sarah's death in 1822 the right to take the surplus revenue from the trust estate descended with the manor until it was extinguished in 1957 for £5,300. Between 1861 and 1905 many of the lands of the original endowment were sold or exchanged, and other lands in Fisherton, Whiteparish, and Stratford-sub-Castle acquired in place of them. The gross income amounted in 1905 to £684. Further sales were subsequently authorized, notably the sale of Fisherton Farm to Salisbury corporation in 1922, and by 1953 the trustees had divested themselves of all their real property. The gross income from stock amounted in 1956 to £1,382. The stipends of the inmates, which had risen to 12s. 6d. in 1905, were in 1957 raised still further to 15s. 6d. The buildings consist of six red brick houses in Fisherton Street under one tiled roof with gardens at back and front. Arrangements made in 1906 to move the almshouse to St. Paul's Road were abandoned in 1911, because the plans did not fully comply with Salisbury corporation by-laws. The trustees for choosing the inmates have always been the Dean of Salisbury and the parsons of the three parishes benefiting. (fn. 516)
In 1731 John Woodward left a £1 rent charge to be spent on bread for poor householders on St. Thomas's Day (21 Dec.). There were 80 recipients in 1905. (fn. 517) In 1950 it was unspent. (fn. 518) Under the will of another John Woodward, proved in 1829, £900 was settled in trust for distributing clothes at Michaelmas to twelve poor male parishioners not in the poor house. The interest amounted to £31 in 1833 and £22 in 1905. In the latter year it was still used for its original purpose, (fn. 519) but the uses to which it was put in 1950 were unspecified. (fn. 520)
The only addition to the parish charities in the later 19th century was the benefaction of Edmund Lambert, who, by will proved 1878, left £200 to supply the deserving poor with necessaries at Christmas. The revenue was £5 in 1905 and was used for coal. (fn. 521) In 1950 it was being mistakenly applied to church expenses. (fn. 522)
In 1895 the benefits of the Salisbury Municipal Charities were extended to Fisherton. (fn. 523)