A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The ancient parish of Bradford included the greater part of Bradford hundred. In 1851 the acreage of the parish was 11,272. (fn. 1) The modern parishes into which it has now been subdivided, with the exception of Holt, lie on the limestone plateau of north-west Wiltshire. Holt is situated on the Oxford Clay region of north and mid-west Wiltshire. There is a strip of Fullers Earth running through the parish of Limpley Stoke. (fn. 2)
The ancient parish contained the tithings of the Borough, Trowle, Leigh, Woolley, Cumberwell, Holt, Atworth, South Wraxall, Winsley, and Limpley Stoke. (fn. 3) Of these the Borough corresponded with the town of Bradford. (fn. 4) Holt, Atworth, and South Wraxall have since ancient times been villages with centres of population as large as those in many rural parishes. The other six tithings were until modern times more sparsely inhabited. At meetings of the hundred and manor courts and for other purposes Holt, Atworth, and Wraxall were usually treated as separate units and the smaller tithings often after c. 1500 grouped in couples, sometimes with each other, and at other times with neighbouring parishes. Thus in 1644 Leigh and Woolley were represented at the court leet by a single tithingman (fn. 5) and in 1645—6 Trowle was coupled with the parish of Wingfield, Leigh with Woolley, and Winsley with Limpley Stoke for the purpose of contributing to the support of the Parliamentary garrison at Great Chaliield. (fn. 6) In 1539 Cumberwell was coupled with the parish of Great Chalfield. (fn. 7) By the Bradford Town Improvement Act, 1839 (2 & 3 Vic, c. lxiii) the urban area of the parish, defined as that inclosed by a circle of 1 mile radius, centred at the Swan Inn, Bradford, was placed for purposes of 'paving, lighting, watching and improving', under the control of a body of Town Commissioners. On 19 December 1884 the tithing of Atworth was detached from the parish of Bradford to form (with Great and Little Chalfield) the new civil parish of Atworth. (fn. 8) On 10 July 1894 the urban area of Bradford was constituted a separate parish and Urban District under the name Bradford-on-Avon, and the rest of the former parish was constituted and named the parish of Bradford Without. On 11 August in the same year this parish of Bradford Without was divided into five new parishes, of Holt, South Wraxall, Winsley, Limpley Stoke, and Bradford Without. (fn. 9) The last named had an acreage of 236 in 1903. It included Cumberwell, Bradford Leigh, and part of Trowle. (fn. 10) On 15 November 1898 several small changes were made in the boundaries of the parishes of Bradford-on-Avon and Bradford Without. (fn. 11) The Wiltshire County Review Order, 1934, abolished the parish of Bradford Without, dividing it between those of Holt, South Wraxall, Westwood, and Wingfield, and the parish and Urban District of Bradford-on-Avon. (fn. 12) At the same time a small part of Winsley was added to Bradford-on-Avon, and small parts of Bradford-on-Avon added to Winsley, Westwood, South Wraxall, and Holt. (fn. 13)
The Urban District of Bradford-on-Avon is still roughly circular, its only large irregularity being in the south-east. (fn. 14) The town straddles the Avon where the river runs westward 8 miles south-east of Bath. On the north bank of the river the ground rises sharply to a height of almost 200 ft. above the valley. On the side of this hill are most of the older buildings of the town, including the Saxon church. From the Town Bridge across the Avon run roads north-west to Bath (A 363), north-east to Bradford Leigh, South Wraxall, Atworth, and Great Chalfield (B 3109), east to Holt (A 3053), south-east to Trowbridge, 3 miles away, (A 363), south to Wingfield and Westwood (B 3109), and west to Winsley and Limpley Stoke (B 3108). There has been modern building along all these roads, and especially along the Bath and Trowbridge roads. The Kennet and Avon Canal enters the Urban District on the west immediately south of the river, with which it runs parallel as far as Barton Barn. The canal then turns south for a short distance before continuing its eastward course. The railway runs close to the river throughout its course through the parish, and links Bradford with Melksham and Devizes to the east, Trowbridge and Westbury to the south, and Bath to the north-west. South of the river the land is open, but there is woodland in the north of the parish on both sides of the Bath road, and also in the north-east, at Woolley.
The gas-works is situated south of the river between the Frome and Trowbridge roads. There are three electric generator sub-stations. The largest is south of the Greenland Rubber Mills. The others are on the north of the town, one near the junction of Winsley Road and Huntingdon Street, the other close to Berryfield recreation ground, opposite the junction of Huntingdon Street and Ashley Road. The waterworks of the Urban District Council are just outside the parish boundaries on the west. The pumping-station is at Avoncliff, in Westwood, and the reservoir about ½ mile to the north, near the Winsley road. The sewageworks are south of the canal, opposite Belcombe Court, in the west of the parish.
The offices of the Urban District Council are at Westbury House, a few yards from the Town Bridge to the south of the river. This house, which was built early in the 18th century, was occupied in 1791 by a Mr. Phelps, a clothier, and was in that year besieged by a mob of machine rioters. (fn. 15) It later belonged to Dr. Bethell, father of Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury, who was born in the house which was later to bear his name. Later occupiers of the house were George Spencer (in 1859) and Charles S. Adye (in 1907). (fn. 16) It was acquired by the Council in 1911, from the trustees of the late Charles Adye. (fn. 17) The house is a large building typical of its period and well preserved. It is built of ashlar and has three stories and a basement. On the east front there is a stone doorcase with entablature and pediment on semi-Tuscan pilasters. The east front opens upon a large grass forecourt with paths, public seats, and a war memorial.
The Town Hall, at the junction of Market Street and Church Street, is a solid building in Elizabethan style with a central clock tower. It was erected in 1855 by a company formed for the purpose and formerly housed the Council offices, police station, and fire brigade. (fn. 18) Between 1903 and 1904 the fire brigade moved to Westbury House and in 1936 the police station was moved to Avonfield Avenue. (fn. 19) It is now owned by the Midland Bank, and Petty Sessions are held in it, (fn. 20) as they were in 1859. (fn. 21)
The Abbey House in Church Street, now the offices of the Bradford and Melksham Rural District Council, is a fine late-18th-century building with a 16th-century annex. The main building is of ashlar; it has three stories and a stone doorcase with Tuscan three-quarter columns on plinths. The annex was probably the residence of Thomas Horton (d. 1530) which was mentioned by Leland. (fn. 22) The exterior has been heavily restored, but the interior has good original oak-timbered ceilings.
A house in Leigh Road, for some time the Bradford-on-Avon District Hospital (see below—Local Govt. and Public Services), was formerly the residence of Lord Edmond, later Lord Fitzmaurice, and was then known as Leigh House. Lord Fitzmaurice took his title from it when in 1906 he became the rst Baron Fitzmaurice of Leigh. It is an early-19th-century building of ashlar.
The Brad ford-on-Avon Maternity Hospital, Bath Road (see below—Local Govt. and Public Services), formerly Berryfield House, was also built early in the 19th century. In 1903 it was the residence of A. R. FitzGerald. (fn. 23) It is a large house in extensive grounds. Woolley Grange, now a nursing home, is a mediumsized manor house dating from the 17th century. It is irregularly gabled, with tall square ashlar chimney stacks set diagonally in groups of two and three. The building was the residence of Captain Palairet who restored it about 1860 and diverted the road from Bradford to Woolley Green, which had previously passed beside the house. (fn. 24)
The Town club, Market Street, formerly a Methodist chapel, is described below (see—Nonconformity). The Liberal club, St. Margaret's Street, was built about 1800. It has a square-headed central doorway with flanking pilasters. The Conservative club, in the same street, is a building roughly contemporary and similar in style.
The Swan Hotel, a well-proportioned and pleasant building, bears the date 1500, but there are no external signs of so early an origin. The present frontage is 18th century. The 'Mason's Arms' in Newtown dates from the late 17th or early 18th century. The New Bear public house, Silver Street, is an early-18th-century building. The Old Bear Hotel (formerly, Inn) in that street, rebuilt in the 19th century (see below), once formed part of Hall's Manor. Before Michaelmas 1727, when the lease fell in, it had been leased to William Grant. It was next leased to Richard Grant who paid a rent of £15 a year in 1731. (fn. 25) In 1752 it was let to him and to Mary and Ann Grant for lives. (fn. 26) It was in existence under its present name in 1830 and was then occupied by Samuel Mundy. (fn. 27) The George Inn, Woolley Street, perhaps stands on the site of the New Inn, which existed in 1714 (fn. 28) and under the name of the New Inn, Tooley Street, was leased in 1734 by the Duke of Kingston to Mary Whatley. (fn. 26)
Two remarkably fine large buildings are still privately occupied. The Hall is described below under Hall's Manor of Bradford. Belcombe Court lies to the north of the railway line in the west of the parish. For centuries it was the residence of the Yerbury family, a branch of which settled at Bradford about 1600. (fn. 29) The house dates originally from the 15th century, but in 1734 the Bath architect John Wood the elder (1705 ? to 1754) was commissioned by the owner, Francis Yerbury (1706 to 1778), to add a wing. At the same time Wood altered the older facades to bring them into harmony with the new wing.
The house was still in the possession of the Yerbury family in 1859. (fn. 30) It is now (1950) the residence of Mr. W. H. Watkins. (fn. 31) It consists of three inward-facing elevations which inclose a paved courtyard, and it stands in extensive grounds.
Leland, who visited Bradford about 1540, described the town as 'made all of stone' and as standing 'on the hither (i.e. north) bank of the Avon'. There was a 'little street' over Bradford Bridge at the end of which, was 'an hospital of the King of England's foundation'. The visitor commented on the Hall, the chapel of St. Mary Tory (see below—Churches), the parish church, and vicarage, and Horton's house. (fn. 32) It is probable that most of the town then lay within the triangle roughly inclosed by Mason's Lane, Market Street (then known as Pippet Street), Silver Street, and Whitehead's Lane. Outside this area, in addition to the buildings already mentioned, was the Saxon church probably then used as a school; the Church House and the Chantry House (see below—Churches). At the western corner of the triangle was the large house which in the 19th century became known as the Priory. It was built in the 15th century and was the residence of the Rogers family. (fn. 33) In 1657 it was sold by Hugh Rogers to Paul Methuen and was the residence of the Methuens for more than a century. In 1763 it was bought by the Tugwell family and from them it was bought in 1811 by John Saunders. (fn. 34) In the middle of the 19th century it was occupied by a detachment of the Sisters of the Holy Trinity, an Anglican religious order founded in 1848 at Devonport by Miss Priscilla Sellon (1821 to 1876). (fn. 35) Many of the rooms were partitioned into cells and the dining-room was used as a chapel and equipped with an organ. Dr. Edward Pusey (1800 to 1882) the Tractarian, used to go there on holiday, and some of his works, for example, the Commentary on the Minor Prophets, were printed in the house—'a printer and his son, with many young female compositors doing the work'. (fn. 36) The sisterhood was probably responsible for renaming the house 'The Priory'. Their occupation was brief, for in 1887 the Priory was said to have been 'for many years' the residence of Thomas Bush Saunders, J.P. (fn. 37) In 1907 it belonged to a Mrs. Collett. (fn. 38) The building is now completely demolished. Portions of original window tracery and some crocketted pinnacles are dotted about the grounds in which the house formerly stood. In these grounds, however, still stands a building that was probably in existence in the time of Leland: a barn built in the 15 th or early 16th century. This is oblong in plan, of rubble with stone tiled roof. It is likely that the owners of the neighbouring house used it for the storage of garden produce from 'The Grove' (see below).
The Old Church House, Church Street, is a building of early-16th-century date. Presumably it was intended for parish business and so used, but by c. 1629 it was being let to a tenant at a rent of £3. It then measured 73 by 23 ft. (fn. 39) By c. 1660 the lord of the capital manor had let part of it to George Reynolds for £1. 15s.; the rest was ruinous. (fn. 40) The building was subsequently turned into cottages. Between 1873 and 1903 it housed the Free school (see below—Schools). A part of the building is now used as a Masonic Temple. The building is roughly T-shaped, and is constructed of rubble with ashlar quoins. The roofs are stone-tiled. The long portion is of two stories, the transverse portion of one. The ground-floor room in the long portion has oak-timbered ceilings with rough-hewn beams and close rafters. The room above has an original open stone fireplace and moulded beams which divide the ceiling into panels. In the room in the transverse portion is an original oak gallery. Two Tuscan columns which came from the Town club are preserved (see above, p. 6) and are said to have supported the pulpit in that building when it was a Methodist chapel.
The only other houses in the inner triangle of the town that can have been there in Leland's time are three buildings, now used as shops, in the Shambles. Portions of the Southern Electricity Service premises date from the 15 th century. The Tudor Café has a right to the name it bears, having probably been built in the middle of the 16th century, and Mr. Sumner's stationery and tobacco shop is similar in style and date. These three buildings are the only ones in Bradford with timber frames.
While there is no definite evidence it is probable that little building took place in the town during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. From the time of the Restoration, however, there must have been rapid expansion, to meet the needs of the reviving woollen industry. North of the river there are many 17th century houses still in existence. In the original triangle Nos. 20–24 Market Street are a pleasant example of small town houses of this period. They have two stories and stone-mullioned casement windows. In Coppice Hill Nos. 2–6, 9, 20, and 21, are 17th century and Nos. 10–13 a little later. Some of these houses have been partly spoilt by later alterations but they are an attractive group in similar style to the contemporary Market Street houses. Outside the triangle, but as a natural extension to it, there was some 17th-century building in Whitehill: Nos. 27 and 28 survive from that time. In Church Street, beside the Saxon church, there is a rank of cottages with stone-tiled roofs of varying heights and with square ashlar stacks at the apex of each gable. Next to them, and also built in the 17th century, is Orpin's House, named after Edward Orpin (d. 1781) who was for many years parish clerk of Bradford (see below). It is a solid, square building which has the peculiarity of two small square window openings, glazed with bottle-glass, between the centre window and side windows on the first floor. The purpose of these unusually small windows was probably to avoid window tax. 'Ye Old Bank House', also in Church Street, is another building of the 17th century. South of the river, extension was taking place in and around St. Margaret's Street. The Old Baptist Church (see below—Nonconformity) was built at the end of the 17th century. Nos. 6 and 7, and St. Margaret's, in St. Margaret's Street, No. 8 St. Margaret's Hill, and No. 4 St. Margaret's Place are all basically 17th century houses. The Three Gables Restaurant (originally three houses) and Mr. Lailey's (shoeing and general smith) premises also date from the 17th century, but their position near the bridge suggests that they have replaced older buildings on the same sites. (fn. 41)
It was, however, to the north-west that the most important expansion occurred. The name 'Newtown' borne by the road linking Wine Street and Masons Lane suggests that the area on either side of this road was built up fairly rapidly. (fn. 42) Stylistic considerations indicate that this happened in the late 17 th and early 18th centuries. (fn. 43) In Newtown itself Nos. 53–59, and Nos. 62 and 63 (the 'Bell') are 17th century. In Middle Rank, on the level above Newtown, Nos. 1–16 form a terrace of late-17th-century houses, with two stories and attics in the gables. Next to No. 1 is the Grove Meeting House (see below—Nonconformity). We know from the circumstances of the foundation of that meeting-house that Anthony Methuen (1650 to 1717) had before 1698 owned the ground on which it was built. The name of the meeting-house suggests that there was, or had been an orchard or park attached to the Methuen house and which extended at least to the eastern end of Newtown and Middle Rank. This is consistent with Aubrey's description (c. 1670) of the Tory chapel as being 'on the top of the north hill above Mr. Methwyn's'. (fn. 44) He added 'this high hill is rock and gravel... is the best seat for a vineyard of any place I know'. He reverted to the subject in his Natural History of Wiltshire. 'Elders grow everywhere. At Bradford all the side of the high hill which faces the south, above Mr. Paul Methuen's house, is covered with them. I fancy that that part might be turned to better profit, for it is situated as well for a vineyard as any place can be... the apothecaries well know the use of the berries and so do the vintners, who buy vast quantities of them in London.' (fn. 45) The new building in the Newtown area extended above Middle Rank to Tory, the highest level of the escarpment upon which Bradford stands. Nos. 1–25 Tory are of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. They are poor houses with little to commend them except a magnicent view. (fn. 46)
Above Conigre Hill, at Bearfield, there are a number of 17th-century houses: Nos. 1–5, 11 and 12, 16–18, and 22 Huntingdon Street, and Nos. 28–30 Bath Road. These buildings, however, formed an outlying hamlet rather than part of the town.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries building occurred mainly in the areas already mentioned, but there are some good 18th-century houses in Woolley Street ('Audleys', 'Lynchetts', 'Moxhams', 'St. Olave's') which were designed for the wealthier residents. Orchard Cottage, in Barton Orchard on the opposite side of the town, is a similar but smaller house of the same period. Druce's Hill House, Druce's Hill, built about 1750, is similar in design to Westbury House (see above). Morgan's Hill Congregational church (see below—Nonconformity) dates from 1740. In St. Margaret's Street there are two early-19th-century houses of the larger kind, No. 15, and 'Glenavon'. Christ Church (see below—Churches), Zion Chapel, the Methodist chapel, the Bearfield Congregational church (see below—Nonconformity) all date from the period 1800 to 1850. In the second half of the 19th century, after the town had recovered from a bank failure and slump of the forties, there was much rebuilding in the town centre and renewed extension in the suburbs. The cemetery, Holt Road, with its chapels and lodge, was constructed in 1856 (see below—Local Govt. and Public Services). (fn. 47) In the 1850's the town scenery was greatly changed by the building of the railway and its station. Between about 1860 and 1887 the Capital and Counties (now Lloyds) Bank, the Old Women's Almshouses (at the Lock), the Old Bear Hotel (Silver Street), the post office and a number of shops in the town centre were all built on the sites of older buildings. At the same time new houses were going up south of the river. By c. 1875 there were houses on the east side of Trowbridge Road up to the point at which the 20th century building begins, and on the east side of Frome Road as far as the canal. Between c. 1875 and 1914 the west side of Trowbridge Road was built up as far as the Poulton recreation ground and there was building also on the west side of Frome Road beyond the canal. The Fitzmaurice Grammar School (1897) was the outstanding building of this period.
After the First World War the southward development was continued by the building of the Southville Gardens Estate, off the Trowbridge Road, and in the north of the town, houses were built in the Priory Park Estate above Masons Lane, along the east side of Bath Road beyond Berryfield House, along both sides of Winsley Road and Churches Road, and in a number of other places on the outskirts of the town.
The tithing of ATWORTH formed the north-east corner of the ancient parish of Bradford. Its northern boundary was the course of the Roman road and Wansdyke, and to the east lay the parishes of Melksham and Broughton Gifford. The parish of Great Chalfield, now part of the parish of Atworth, lay to the south. The tithing was equivalent to rather more than half the area of the modern parish of Atworth. (fn. 48) Its exact extent probably varied through its history. In the early 19th century Cottles was usually classed with Little Chalfield as extra-parochial, but it was certainly part of the parish of Bradford in the Middle Ages. (fn. 49)
The land in the tithing varies between 210 and 320 ft. above sea-level, sloping to the north-west. (fn. 50) The southern part of Neston Park is in Atworth, and adjoining it is Cottles Wood. Cottles House, ½ mile south of the wood, stands in Cottles Park, and is now a private school for girls. (fn. 51) The village of Atworth lies in the north-east of the modern parish, straggling along the main road from Box to Melksham (A 365). In the centre of the village this road is crossed by a minor road from Neston to Bradford Leigh.
The modern parish of SOUTH WRAXALL adjoins that of Atworth to the west. It is larger than the former tithing of South Wraxall, including the former tithings of Bradford Leigh and Cumberwell. It is bounded on the west by Monkton Farleigh.
The land in the parish varies between about 200 and 400 ft. above sea-level, being higher in the west. There is a small wood near Cumberwell in the south-west of the parish. In the north-west corner is part of the avenue of elms that leads from Monkton Farleigh Manor House. South Wraxall Manor House is in the north of the parish, and adjoining it is Manor Farm, a two-story L-shaped building of the 17th century, which incorporates the remains of St. Owen's Chapel (see below—Churches). The village of South Wraxall lies ½ mile south of the manor house. Bradford Leigh is in the south-east of the parish and Cumberwell in the south-west. The secondary road from Bradford through Bradford Leigh to Corsham (B 3109) passes due north through the east of the parish. Near the village it is joined by a road which runs north-west to Monkton Farleigh and Bathford (Som.).
Court Farm, immediately to the north of the church and ¼ mile south of the village, is a rectangular building added in the middle of the 17th century to a small 16th century house. At the back there is a later addition, now a separate house. The only old internal features are two blocked 17th-century fireplaces.
The modern parish, formerly the tithing, of WINSLEY lies south of Monkton Farleigh and west of Bradford. It is bounded for a short distance on the west by the Somerset parishes of Bathford, Claverton, and Monkton Combe. (fn. 52) The land in the east of the parish is about 300 ft. above sea-level, and ascends to over 400 ft. in the west. Thence it drops to the River Avon, which forms the southern and western boundary of the parish. The Kennet and Avon Canal passes through Winsley a little to the north and east of the river. The railway from Bradford to Bath runs close to the river and the canal, both of which it crosses in the south of the parish. (fn. 53) Conkwell Wood lies along the west of the parish overlooking the river. The village of Winsley is situated in the south of the parish. Near it to the west is the Winsley Sanatorium for diseases of the chest, the foundation-stone of which was laid in 1903. (fn. 54) The sanatorium was enlarged between 1911 and 1919 to accommodate 45 patients and again in 1934 to accommodate 134 patients. The hamlet of Turleigh is ½ mile east of Winsley. Between Winsley and Turleigh is Turleigh Manor House (see below— Manors). Great Ashley and Little Ashley are in the north-east of the parish. The road from Bradford to Bath (A 363) passes through the north-east corner of Winsley. A secondary road (B 310) runs from Bradford through Winsley village to Limpley Stoke.
The modern parish, formerly the tithing, of LIMPLEY STOKE lies to the west of Winsley beyond the Avon. Parallel with the river, and a little to the west of it, runs the railway from Bradford to Bath. There is a station in the centre of the parish. From the river valley the land rises steeply to the west, and on the side of this hill, near the station, is the village of Limpley Stoke. There is a wood north-west of the village and another farther west near the edge of the parish. The main road from Warminster to Bath (A 36) passes through the village and from the village run minor roads south-east to Freshford (Som.), and west to Midford (Som.). Except for the boundary which it shares with Winsley, Limpley Stoke is wholly bounded by Somerset.
The modern parish, formerly the tithing, of HOLT is south of the parish of Atworth. It is bounded by Broughton Gifford on the north and west, and by Whaddon, Hilperton, Staverton, and Trowbridge on the south. (fn. 55) The height of the land in the parish varies from about 100 ft. above sea-level to about 250 ft., being highest in the north-west. Great Bradford Wood is in the south of the parish. South and east of the wood is the River Avon, which forms the parish boundary for part of its course. The Kennet and Avon Canal crosses the parish south of the river. The railway from Bradford passes through the south and east of the parish. At Holt junction it branches north-east to Melksham and east to Devizes. The main road from Bradford to Melksham (A 3053), passes northwest through the parish and along the road straggles the large village of Holt. North-west of the village is Holt Manor House, standing in its park. South from the village runs a road to Staverton (B 3106), and north a minor road to Great Chalfield and Atworth.
The bedding factory of Messrs. Sawtell & Co., incorporates the remains of the early-18th-century pump-room which was built to exploit the Holt waters. These consist of a recess flanked by Doric columns with part of the entablature, and in the recess an urn carved in low relief. A little to the south-west of the factory is a large house built a little before 1731, probably to accommodate visitors to the Spa. It is of red brick and has three stories. At one time it was used as a store, two windows on the south side being converted into loading doors. The interior has now been adapted to house six families, but the outside is otherwise little altered.
The Court, situated in the village, is a rectangular building with two stories and attics, dating from about 1750. The main part to the north-east has a slightly projecting porch of Doric columns supporting a semicircular pediment. The house was given to the National Trust in 1943 by Major T. C. E. Goff. Its furnishings include pictures and other heirlooms connected with King William IV, Major Goff's great-grandfather.
Bradford's name indicates its origin: it is the town that grew up at the 'broad ford' across the Avon. (fn. 56) The ford continued in use until the 19th century, when its northern end was blocked by the erection of a quay. (fn. 57) There is nothing to indicate when the first bridge was built. The present Town Bridge is of stone, and has nine arches. (fn. 58) All the arches on the western side are semicircular, and date from the 17th century, when the bridge was evidently widened. The eastern side retains two 13th-century arches, ribbed and pointed. At the south end of the bridge on the east side is the so-called chapel. This small building is almost square in plan and has four small window openings, two overlooking the river and one on each side. The domed roof rises (following the square plan) in a series of offsets and terminates in a heavy stone finial surmounted by a weather-vane. The rotating vane is in the form of a fish (the 'Bradford gudgeon'), and is of copper gilt. The 'chapel' as it exists today dates from the 17th century. It was not mentioned by Leland. Aubrey, who visited the town in about 1660, notices 'a strong and handsome bridge, in the middest of which is a little chapel, as at Bath, for Mass'. (fn. 59) There is no evidence, apart from Aubrey's statement, that the building was ever used for religious purposes. Before the present Town Hall was built the building on the bridge was used as a lock-up. William Hitchens, an early Methodist whose home was in Cornwall, was imprisoned in the lock-up for a night in 1757. (fn. 60) It is also possible that the building was used as a toll-house. (fn. 61) The antiquity of the weather-vane is uncertain. It existed in 1858 (fn. 62) but is not shown in an engraving that was probably made about 1800. (fn. 63)
The first documentary evidence of the Town Bridge occurs in 1400, when the Pope issued a general exhortation to the faithful to give alms for the repair of the bridge. (fn. 64) In 1502 it was in need of a 'copyng', the lack of which was 'to the grave danger of the King's people', and the town of Bradford appears to have been held responsible for this deficiency. (fn. 65) Early in the 17th century the bridge was again in need of repair. In 1617 Quarter Sessions ordered that the county should undertake the repair of 'the great bridge at Bradford called Arches'. (fn. 66) This order was renewed in 1621, and it was estimated that the repairs would cost 200 marks. (fn. 67) It was, however, a controversial point whether the town of Bradford or the county should bear the cost of repairs to this bridge for in 1632 the town was pleading at the Assizes its inability to maintain the bridge. Counsel for the town spoke of the great decay of the bridge and the extraordinary charge needed for its repair. The court referred the matter to a committee consisting of the Earl of Marlborough, Sir Edward Hungerford (the Sheriff of Wiltshire), and Gifford Long, who were to report at the next Assizes upon the cost of repair, the availability of materials and the reasonable contribution to be made by the town. (fn. 68) Six months later, in July 1632, the committee had not reported owing to 'it being a hard matter to get the said gentlemen together'. The court thereupon enlarged the committee to seven, with a quorum of three. (fn. 69) The town did not escape a contribution towards the cost of repair, for in 1634 the inhabitants of 'the borough' were ordered by the Assizes to repay a sum of money which they had levied for the purpose on Daniel Deverill, who was not resident within the borough. This time the repairs seem to have been well done. In 1675–6 the responsibility of the town for the cost of repairs was asserted by Quarter Sessions, (fn. 70) but it is not clear to what extent the 17th-century rebuilding of the bridge was in fact subsidized by the county or by other authorities outside Bradford. In the 18th century the acceptance by the county of at least a measure of responsibility is indicated by the appointment of Thomas Bush, a magistrate, as Surveyor of the County Bridge at Bradford. The post had previously been held by one, Samuel Cam. (fn. 71) In 1852 to 1855 the bridge was repairable by the county. (fn. 72)
The Avon is also bridged at Bradford by Barton Bridge, a narrow structure on four pointed arches. It was built in the 14th century and leads to Barton Farm and the Tithe Barn (see below—Manors).
Although Bradford was never on the main road from London to Bath and Bristol it has since ancient times been a place of some importance in the local system of communications. It links Salisbury, Westbury, Warminster, and Trowbridge with Bath and Bristol. Of the roads which converge at Bradford the most important are those leading to Bath, Melksham, and Trowbridge. No proper provision for the upkeep of these roads was made until the middle of the 18th century. The first Road Act for Bradford was passed in 1752. A turnpike trust was thereby set up for the repair of the road that ran from Combe Bridge (Som.) via Winsley to Bradford, and thence across Staverton bridge to join the Trowbridge-Steeple Ashton road on Ashton Common. (fn. 73) By the same Act the Bradford-Trowbridge road was turnpiked as far as Cockhill Gate. Provision was thus made for the improvement of one of the two roads to Bath and that to Trowbridge. Ten years later (1762) the road from Bradford through Holt and Melksham to Lacock was turnpiked. (fn. 74) In 1777 the Act of 1752 was renewed and additional provision was made for the upkeep of the Avon bridge at Limpley Stoke. (fn. 75) In the same year the Act of 1762 was renewed and extended to provide for the turnpiking of the road that runs northwards from Bradford to Kingsdown Hill in Box, where it meets the main London—Bath road. (fn. 76) In William Tunnicliff's Survey of the Western Circuit (1791) there are shown four turnpike roads leading from Bradford: (1) north to Kingsdown Hill; (2) east to Melksham; (3) west to Bath (via Winsley); and (4) south-east to Trowbridge. The road through Staverton is not so marked. In 1792 the road from Bradford via Bathford to Bath was turnpiked. (fn. 77) This is today known as the Bath Road as it leaves Bradford. In 1798 the Acts relating to both the roads to Bath were renewed. (fn. 78) The Act of 1798 also maintained the turnpiking of the road through Staverton. In 1806 the Acts of 1762 and 1777 relating to the Melksham and Lacock road were renewed and extended. (fn. 79) The Acts of 1798 and 1806 were renewed in 1819 and 1826 respectively. (fn. 80) In 1841 the last Bradford Road Act was passed, consolidating all the previous Acts, and turnpiking the road from Bradford to Wingfield. (fn. 81) There were three toll-gates at the approaches to Bradford. The eastern gate was in Woolley Street near Kingston Villa, the southern near the Old Baptist Church and the northern near the Castle Inn at Bearfield. (fn. 82) From 1839 all the roads within the town of Bradford were maintained by the Town Commissioners out of the rates: the Act of 1839 specifically forbade the use of turnpike tolls for the upkeep of the town roads. (fn. 83) In 1864 the rural tithings of Bradford parish were included, as one highway parish, in the Trowbridge Highway District. (fn. 84) In the following year each of the tithings of Atworth, Holt, Limpley Stoke, and South Wraxall was constituted a separate highway parish, with one waywarden. It was then asserted that before 1864 those tithings and also those of Bradford Leigh with Woolley, the Borough, Trowle, and Winsley had each separately maintained its own roads. (fn. 85) The order of 1865 provided that the tithings of Bradford Leigh with Woolley, the Borough, Trowle, and Winsley were not to be affected by the changes; they remained united for highway purposes. (fn. 86) The Bradford turnpikes were abolished in 1873 by the Annual Turnpike Acts Continuance Act. (fn. 87) The turnpike roads then became the responsibility of the Trowbridge Highway District. (fn. 88)
In spite of the improvement of the local roads it does not seem to have been possible for passengers to get to Bradford direct from London until after 1800. In 1740 two goods carriers made weekly runs from London to Bradford: one started from the 'Bull and Mouth', Aldersgate, the other from the 'King's Arms', Holborn Bridge. (fn. 89) In 1755 a third carrier was operating from the 'Swan', Holborn Bridge. (fn. 90) In the second half of the 18th century there was always at least one carrier; sometimes there were two or three a week. (fn. 91) In 1799 there were no fewer than five carriers a week going to Bradford. (fn. 92) In 1808 there was, apparently for the first time, a coach service for passengers to the town; it ran three times a week. (fn. 93) Nine years later there was a daily coach service. (fn. 94) This service was apparently shortlived: in 1822–3 there was no London coach passing through Bradford. In that year there were six wagons every week from Bradford to London, leaving on Mondays and Thursdays. (fn. 95) In 1830 there were five wagons a week (fn. 96) but no direct coach to London. A coach service from London to Bradford via Trowbridge was operating in 1841. (fn. 97) In the same year the G.W.R. line from London reached Bath and Bristol. (fn. 98)
In 1701 there were no stage-coaches passing through Bradford, which must mean that passengers to Bath had to rely upon private or special conveyances or upon the stage wagon which left Bradford four times a week. (fn. 99) In 1822–3 there were coaches from Bradford to Bath and Bristol every day except Sunday and wagon services daily to Bath, twice weekly to Frome and Wincanton and once weekly to Melksham and Calne. (fn. 100) In 1830 two coaches, the 'New Regulator' and the 'Accommodator' ran daily to Bath (and in the reverse direction to Trowbridge and Westbury). A market coach ran on Thursdays to Devizes. There were daily wagons to Bath and Bristol, three a week to Salisbury, and one a week to Calne and Melksham, to Frome, and to Stroudwater. (fn. 101) In 1837 a two-horse coach from Westbury to Bath called at Bradford. The coach offices were in Pippet Street (now Market Street) under the care of a Miss Wiltshire. About this time a 'road engine' (presumably worked by steam) was being used to bring stone from Monkton Farleigh to Bradford. (fn. 102)
The original plan of the G.W.R. had included a 'probable' branch from Chippenham to Bradford. (fn. 103) This was not, however, included in the first draft of the G.W.R. Bill. Its subsequent inclusion was due to a rival scheme sponsored by the London and Southampton Railway Company (later the London & South Western) for a railway from Basingstoke to Bath via Newbury, Hungerford, Devizes, Trowbridge, and Bradford. (fn. 104) The G.W.R. Act empowered the company to construct a line from near Chippenham to Trowbridge, with a fork to Bradford. (fn. 105) By 1848 when the line to Trowbridge was opened, (fn. 106) the station at Bradford had been built (fn. 107) but 'to the extreme discontent of the inhabitants' the Bradford loop was not opened until 2 February 1857. (fn. 108) Its completion was partly due to the strenuous efforts of William Stone, a local solicitor. (fn. 109) By the new line Bradford was linked directly with Bath as well as Trowbridge. The section between Bath and Bradford had proved 'a tedious and rather difficult operation' according to Brunei. It had required seven viaducts and two aqueducts. To the west of Bradford intermediate stations were built at Freshford (Som.) and Limpley Stoke. (fn. 110) Later in 1857 the branch line to Devizes was also opened. It joined the Melksham—Trowbridge line at Holt junction but no station was built at Holt until 1861. (fn. 111) Until 1895 Bradford could be approached by rail from the east only via Trowbridge. In March of that year a new loop was opened, which left the Melksham-Trowbridge line a short distance to the north of the Trowbridge—Bradford fork. This made it possible for trains from Melksham and Devizes to reach Bradford and Bath without going through Trowbridge. (fn. 112)
In 1780 a 'vessel' left Kennet's Wharf, Thames Street, London, on a regular passage with goods for Bradford. (fn. 113) Since the Kennet and Avon Canal was not yet constructed the goods carried by this vessel (presumably a barge) probably went by water only as far as Newbury. In 1808 several 'vessels' were available for the transport of goods from London to Bradford. (fn. 114) The Kennet and Avon Canal was opened in 1809. (fn. 115) In 1822–3 there was 'a handsome and commodious wharf at Bradford (fn. 116) which enabled the town to share the 'considerable trade' on the canal. In addition to the barges there were 'fly boats' for passengers: in 1830 three of these boats left Bradford every day in each direction, for Bath, Bristol, and London. (fn. 117) In about 1837 a 'Scotch boat' with first- and second-class cabins and a string band was making trips twice daily to Bath and back. (fn. 118) Fly boats were still plying to Bath in 1855, (fn. 119) but soon after this they appear to have ceased. (fn. 120)
In the latter part of 1609 Bradford was visited by the plague. (fn. 121) In that year when the outbreak had lasted for twenty weeks the tax imposed upon places within 5 miles of the town was said to provide insufficient relief. (fn. 122) In 1646 plague had again caused distress and 'Constables and attenders' appointed to look after the sick are mentioned. (fn. 123) A fire on 30 April 1742 consumed several houses in the town. (fn. 124)
It was in Bradford parish—at Holt—that there occurred, in July 1838, the first Chartist meeting yet known to have been held in Wiltshire. (fn. 125) On 21 or 22 September another such meeting, attended by about 2,000, was held on Trowle Common; at it William Carrier of Trowbridge was elected the Bradford and Trowbridge delegate to the Chartist National Convention. (fn. 126) A torch-light meeting was held in Bradford itself on 21 November. (fn. 126) In January delegates from Bradford and Winsley attended a conference of Working Men's Associations and Radical Unions at Bath. (fn. 127) By January 1839 there had come into existence a Bradford Working Men's Association and a Bradford Female Patriotic Association. Each had its own premises. (fn. 128) In May membership of these associations numbered 517 and 324 respectively. (fn. 129) In April a Holt association, whose secretary was Thomas Rich, numbered 101. (fn. 130) These bodies organized meetings in Bradford in early January, (fn. 131) in Holt in mid-March, (fn. 132) and at Atworth late in April. (fn. 133) Chartism, however, though sufficiently prevalent in Bradford, does not seem in the troubled early months of 1839 to have assumed such alarming forms as it did in Trowbridge. This may perhaps be attributed to the continuous presence of troops in Bradford from early March, (fn. 134) until at least early August; (fn. 135) whereas in Trowbridge (q.v.) there appear to have been none between December 1838 and June 1839. By the middle of May the movement was dying down throughout the county, though a public meeting took place in Bradford on 15 June. (fn. 136)
Chartism in Bradford was not ended with the suppression of its militant phase. In March 1840 the Holt 'Radicals' were contributing to a fund in defence of Frost, the Monmouth Chartist. (fn. 137) By April 1841 the Chartists of Bradford possessed a 'chapel' at Whitehill, (fn. 138) which was still used for meetings in July 1842. (fn. 139) Four delegates attended the Complete Suffrage Conference in Birmingham in December 1842. (fn. 140) This was a larger delegation by two than that sent from Trowbridge, but in general the movement, then as in earlier days, seems to have been stronger in Trowbridge than in Bradford. The Holt Chartists are last heard of in August 1841. (fn. 141)
The best-known natives of Bradford were John Methuen (d. 1706), diplomatist and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, son of the first clothier of the name; L. G. Jones (1779 to 1839), soldier and Radical political writer; Richard Bethell, rst Baron Westbury (1800 to 1873), Lord Chancellor; R. A. Willmott (1809 to 1863), author and divine; J. P. Knight (1812 to 1887), composer of songs, including 'Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep'; Sir Richard Glass (1820 to 1873), under whose supervision the Atlantic telegraph cables were laid in 1865–6, and Clement Heaton (1824 to 1882), glass-painter and decorator, who worked at Eaton Hall Manchester Town Hall, and elsewhere. Mary Lofthouse (1853 to 1885), water-colour painter, was born at Holt. (fn. 142)
Thomas Gainsborough, who came to live in Bath in 1760, must have visited Bradford. His well-known painting 'The Parish Clerk' is a portrait of Edward Orpin of Bradford (d. 1781), and his 'Return from the Harvest' is said to be based on a scene near the town. (fn. 143) Dr. E. B. Pusey (1800 to 1882) was a frequent visitor to the Sisters of the Holy Trinity (see above). Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice (1856 to 1935), statesman and historian, resided at and took his title from Leigh House (see above).
The most eminent Vicar of Bradford was Canon W. H. Jones, F.S.A. (1817 to 1885), antiquary and historian of the town. His edition of the Wiltshire Domesday has long been used by scholars, and he was responsible for the recognition and restoration of the Saxon church. His history of Bradford appeared originally in the W.A.M. (1859), and was reissued and continued by Dr. John Beddoe, F.R.S. (1827 to 1911), a noted anthropologist, who settled in the town after practising as a physician in Bristol. (fn. 144)
Roman coins have been found in considerable numbers in and near Bradford, (fn. 145) but the earliest documentary evidence of a settlement here is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. (fn. 146) It is there stated that in 652 Cenwalh, King of Wessex, fought at 'Bradanforda be afne'. This reference is usually regarded as proving the existence of a settlement and there seems a strong probability that one did then exist; but the reference, as it stands in the chronicle, may mean merely 'the broad ford by the Avon'. (fn. 147) The authorities do not agree as to who were Cenwalh's enemies in the battle. Aethelweard states that it was a 'civil war' in a place called Bradanforda next to the River Avon. (fn. 148) This indicates that the enemies were not Britons: they may have been Mercians, for Cenwalh had certainly fought against Penda before this date. (fn. 149) William of Malmesbury, however, states that about this time Cenwalh fought two battles with the Britons, the first in a place called 'Wirtgernsburg', the second near a hill called 'Penne' (i.e. Penselwood, Som.). (fn. 150) The battle near Penne is also mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, under the year 658. (fn. 151) All the authorities agree that this later battle was against the Britons. The source of Malmesbury's statement about 'Wirtgernsburg' is not known, but since it occurs only in the later versions (B. & C.) of Gesta Regum it is possible that the information came from Glastonbury Abbey. (fn. 152) The sum of evidence suggests that the battle of Wirtgernsburg was identical with that 'at the broad ford'. Perhaps the battle took place near Bradford at a place called 'the hill of Vortigern'. It would be interesting if the place could be found to be connected in some way with the British King Vortigern who received Hengest in Kent, but there is no evidence to suggest such a connexion.
A monastery existed at Bradford in 705, when St. Aldhelm, having become Bishop of Sherborne, agreed at the request of the monks to remain as their abbot. (fn. 153) Aldhelm then referred to Bradford, Malmesbury, and Frome as 'my monasteries', and William of Malmesbury in his life of Aldhelm mentions the foundation of the monastery by Aldhelm and adds that there was in his own day (c. 1125) a little church (ecclesiola) at Bradford that was said to have been dedicated to St. Laurence. In Malmesbury's time nothing remained of the monastery at Bradford. (fn. 154) He was uncertain as to whether it had been destroyed by the Danes or by the English 'in a greedy carousal' (rapacibus conviviis). The church of St. Laurence may be identical with the little church which still stands near the parish church of Bradford.
The next reference to Bradford is in 955, when King Eadred bequeathed to Nunnaminster (St. Mary's Monastery, Winchester) three towns, one of which was Bradford. (fn. 155) Four years later (959) Bradford was the scene of a great council at which Dunstan was ordained a bishop. (fn. 156)
The town did not long remain in the possession of Nunnaminster, for in 1001 it was granted by King Aethelred II to the abbey of Shaftesbury. (fn. 157) The purpose and the terms of this grant are very interesting. Aethelred gave to Shaftesbury the monastery of Bradford cum adiacente undique villa in honour of his brother, St. Edward the Martyr, and in order that the nuns of Shaftesbury and the relics of the martyr should find at Bradford an impenetrable refuge from the attacks of the barbarians (i.e. the Danes). Aethelred expressed the wish that on the restoration of peace the nuns should return to their ancient abode but that they should leave a detachment behind at Bradford. The town was exempt from all royal exactions with the three customary exceptions: the raising of troops and the building of bridges and forts. (fn. 158) The bounds of the land granted to the nuns of Shaftesbury were set out at length in the charter. (fn. 159) It would appear that the gift included not only Bradford and its immediate environs but South Wraxall, Atworth, Holt, Winsley, Westwood, and Wingfield. (fn. 160) This raises certain difficulties: Westwood and Wingfield did not belong to Shaftesbury in or after 1086 although they were undoubtedly part of the hundred of Bradford. (fn. 161) There is, however, no evidence that these places were not granted away by Shaftesbury between 1001 and 1086. The presumption is that the grant of 1001 included the hundred (see Bradford hundred). It seems probable that the monastery at Bradford was destroyed soon after 1001. There is no mention of its existence after this date, and it was evidently a distant memory in 1125. Perhaps its destruction occurred in Cnut's raid up the River Frome in 1015. (fn. 162)
In 1086 the manor of Bradford was held by the abbey of Shaftesbury and included 42 hides. An estate of 7 hides at 'Alvestone' also belonged to the manor, but this has not been identified. (fn. 163) The Abbess Emma (temp. Henry I) bought from 'Sacon and his sons' 1½ hide in Bradford and Budbury which was confirmed to the abbey by Stephen and later kings. (fn. 164)
In 1281 the king claimed the manor of Bradford against the Abbess of Shaftesbury, saying that Richard I had been seised of it. (fn. 165) Judgement was given in favour of the abbess and in 1293 she was granted free warren in her demesne lands of Bradford. (fn. 166) Thereafter the manor remained peacefully in the possession of the abbey until the Dissolution. Before 1532 it was evidently leased to George Hastings, 18th Earl of Huntingdon, for in that year the earl settled it upon his son Francis (later 19th Earl) on his marriage to Catherine, elder daughter and coheir of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montague (d. 1539). (fn. 167) The 18th Earl of Huntingdon had married Mary Hungerford (d. 1533) suojure Baroness Botreaux, Hungerford, and Moleyns. (fn. 168) In 1535 the manor of Bradford brought to the abbey an income of £154. 2s. 5d., out of which payments of £5. 18s. 4d. were due. (fn. 169)
The manor of Bradford was granted by the king in 1546 to Sir Edward Bellingham, gentleman of the Privy Council. (fn. 170) Bellingham was a distinguished soldier and administrator who ended his career as lord deputy of Ireland. (fn. 171) He died in 1549, apparently without heirs, for the manor of Bradford reverted to the Crown and in 1551 was leased for twenty-one years to William Herbert, 20th Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 172) A grant of 1554 by which lands in Wiltshire, held for life by Elizabeth, relict of Walter, Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury, were settled upon Walter Hungerford, their son and heir, included the manor of Bradford, but this must have been an error. (fn. 173)
Henry Herbert, son of the 20th Earl of Pembroke and later 21st Earl (d. 1601), secured a renewal of his father's lease of Bradford in 1568 for a further period of twenty-one years. (fn. 174) He bound himself to find food and drink for the king's steward coming to hold the court of the manor, which was thus not included in the lease. In 1571 Henry, now Earl of Pembroke, again obtained the renewal of the lease for twenty-one years. (fn. 175) The new lease included the manorial courts and one of the earl's court rolls of the manor still exists, dated 28 February 1573. (fn. 176) In 1574 the reversion of the lease from Michaelmas 1588 was granted to Stephen Blanchard, alias Sanshue. (fn. 177) Blanchard does not, however, seem to have occupied the manor. In 1576 the reversion of it after the expiration of the lease of 1571 was granted to Sir Francis Walsingham and his heirs, to be held of the Crown for 1/40 knight's fee. (fn. 178) Walsingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth, died in 1590 and his widow, Ursula Lady Walsingham (d. 1602), was holding the manor of Bradford in 1598. (fn. 179) In 1584 Sir Francis had settled the manor upon his only child Frances on her marriage with Sir Philip Sidney. (fn. 180) Sidney died in 1586 and in 1590 Frances married Robert Devereux, 19th Earl of Essex (d. 1601). As her third husband she married Richard de Burgh, 4th Earl of Clanricarde and later 1st Earl of St. Albans (d. 1635). (fn. 181) In1610 the site of the manor was leased to Constance Lucy, widow, to hold for the lives of her sons George, Robert, and Francis Lucy at a rent of £22. 3s. (fn. 182) Francis Lucy was still holding it in about 1660. (fn. 183) Frances Countess of St. Albans died in 1632 and in 1634 the earl conveyed Bradford to John Paulet, 5th Marquess of Winchester (d. 1675). (fn. 184) This was probably a settlement on the occasion of the marriage of the marquess with Honora, daughter of the 1st Earl of St. Albans. (fn. 185)
During the Civil War the Marquess of Winchester held his house at Basing (Hants) for the king and after it had fallen in 1645 he was imprisoned in the Tower. His estates were sequestered and in 1650 the manor of Bradford was bought by Walter Strickland. (fn. 186) Strickland, John Chicheley, and George Cony held the court of the manor in 1654 and 1655. (fn. 187) The Marquess of Winchester recovered his estates in 1660. His wife Honora died in the following year and on his death Bradford passed to Lord Francis Paulet, their second but eldest surviving son. (fn. 188) Lord Francis died in 1696, leaving a son Francis (d. 1712) and a daughter Anne who later married the Revd. Nathan Wrighte(d. 1721) son of Sir Nathan Wrighte (d. 1721) Keeper of the Great Seal. (fn. 189) The manor of Bradford was apparently held until 1728 by Lady Anne Paulet, relict of Lord Francis. In or before 1738 it passed to Paulet Wrighte, son of Anne and the Revd. Nathan Wrighte. (fn. 190) Paulet Wrighte was succeeded by his son of the same name, who in 1774 sold the manor to Paul Methuen of Corsham, subject to an annual payment of 38s. from the manor to the old almshouses in Bradford. (fn. 191)
The manor was bought about 1850 from Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen (d. 1849), or from his son Frederick H. P. Methuen, 2nd Baron Methuen (d. 1891), by John Cam Hobhouse, 1st Baron Broughton (d. 1869). (fn. 192) On the death of Lord Broughton, Bradford was purchased from his heirs by his nephew (and successor as baronet) Sir Charles Parry Hobhouse, 3rd Baronet (d. 1916). Before 1907 Sir Charles transferred the manor to his son Charles E. H. Hobhouse, later 4th Baronet (d. 1941). (fn. 193) The manor then descended with the baronetcy to the present lord, Sir Charles Chisholm Hobhouse. (fn. 194)
The manor house or grange of the capital manor is represented by Barton Farm. It was presumably this building which, under the name of the site of the manor, was leased in 1539 for forty years to William Webbe, together with the site of Atworth Court, works of customary tenants, and some pasture. The rent reserved was £26. 16s. 8d. The sum of £2. 10s. 8d. was spent in 1539–40 on repairs to the house. (fn. 195) At some time during the first half of the 18th century it was occupied by Thomas Bethell (d. 1755), greatgrandfather of Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury (see above). (fn. 196) The present house of ashlar with a stonetiled roof is mainly of the 18th century, but a porch and a few other portions date from the late 15 th or early 16th century. The building is L-shaped with the short leg projecting forwards at the right hand of the main frontage and forming a room over the archway under which the drive passes. The main elevation is of two stories with attics. Adjacent to the house are some outbuildings with timbered roofs of 14th- or 15th-century date, and a barn of early-14th-century date. The barn measures 167½ by 30¼ ft. and is divided into fourteen bays. At the 5th and 10th bays large porches project from the north side and smaller ones from the south. The oak-timbered roof is formed of arched couples with three purlins on each side and is tiled with stone. The barn was conveyed in 1914 by Sir Charles Hobhouse, bt., its then owner, to the Wiltshire Archaeological Society, and was thereupon restored under the supervision of Sir Harold Brakspear. (fn. 197) In 1939 it was conveyed by the Society to the Ministry of Works. (fn. 198)
The manor styled HALL'S MANOR or the MANOR OF BRADFORD originated in an estate held of the Abbess of Shaftesbury as part of her manor of Bradford. The family of Hall was prominent in Bradford from the 14th to the 18th century. (fn. 199) William de Aula, his wife Katherine, and his son Thomas were living there early in the reign of Edward II. (fn. 200) In 1324 Reynold de le Sale of Bradford granted land by a charter in which he referred to his brother Thomas, Rector of Portishead (Som.). (fn. 201) William, son of John de Aula, was presented in 1350 to the chapel of Barley in Bradford parish. (fn. 202) Thomas atte Halle, who was alive in 1350 and 1360, (fn. 203) was succeeded by his son Thomas who came of age in 1373. (fn. 204) The younger Thomas (or a namesake) was living in 1382 and 1408. (fn. 205) Alice, relict of Thomas Halle, died in 1427, holding land in Bradford Leigh and South Wraxall of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 206) Alice was apparently the sister and heir of Peter Atford, of Atford. (fn. 207) Reynold Halle, who endowed a charity in the parish church of Bradford in 1420, was probably the eldest son of Alice and Thomas. (fn. 208) This Reynold must have predeceased his mother, for her heir was her son Thomas Hall. Thomas Hall of Bradford was alive in 1450. (fn. 209) His son and heir was Nicholas Hall, who died in 1478 leaving to his son and heir, Henry, lands, houses, and mills in Bradford held of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 210) Henry Hall probably died soon after his father, for he is omitted from the pedigree recorded in the Herald's Visitation of 1565. (fn. 211) The family estates passed to Thomas Hall, probably brother of Henry, who died in 1515 seised of 'the Manor of Bradford called Hall's Manor'. (fn. 212) Thomas was succeeded by his son William, who died in 1550. (fn. 213) Leland, who visited Bradford about 1542, noted that William Hall lived 'in a pretty stone house at the east end of the town' and that he was 'a man of £100 lands by the year'. (fn. 214) William's son and heir was Thomas Hall, whose son John died in 1597. (fn. 215) In the course of a lawsuit in 1575 between John Hall and John Stevens of Bradford, butcher, Stevens stated that 'John Hall, son of Thomas Hall esq. deceased is, and his ancesters have for a long time been seised of certain water mills and other lands' in the manor of Bradford, which had been held of the abbey of Shaftesbury and after the Dissolution of the grantees of the abbey's lands in Bradford by a rent of 75s. a year and suit at the court of the manor. (fn. 216) John Hall was succeeded by his son, also named John, who probably built the present mansion, the Hall. The younger John died in 1631, leaving a son and heir, Thomas. (fn. 217) Thomas Hall, later knighted, was a Royalist and compounded for his estates in 1647. (fn. 218) He was succeeded in 1663 by his son John, the last of his line, who died in 1711. John Hall's estates passed to Rachel, daughter of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Baynton of Little Chalfield. Mystery surrounds this bequest, but the evidence suggests that Rachel was in fact the daughter of John Hall by an adulterous union with Elizabeth Baynton, or at least that Hall himself thought so. A special Act of Parliament was passed to secure the property to Rachel on her marriage to William Pierrepont, son and heir of Evelyn Pierrepont (d. 1726) later 1st Duke of Kingston. (fn. 219) Rachel's husband died in 1713 and she herself in 1722 at the age of 27. Her son Evelyn Pierrepont succeeded his grandfather in 1726 as 2nd Duke of Kingston. (fn. 220) During his time the manor, or parts of it, was let. John Fellows was renting the 'home estate' in 1731 at £80. (fn. 221) At Michaelmas 1768 a three-year lease of the offices and upper court belonging to the 'Great House' was granted to Scudamore Perry, and in 1770 Richard Whatly was leasing the 'home estate' for £65. 4s. (fn. 222)
The 2nd Duke of Kingston died in 1773, after a bigamous marriage with the notorious Countess of Bristol. The duke bequeathed all his estates to his 'wife' for her life and although his relations succeeded in bringing the countess to trial before the House of Lords for bigamy they were unable to prevent her enjoying the bequest until her death in 1788. The duke had left no children and by his will his estates then reverted to Charles Medows, son of his sister Frances, who had married Philip Medows. (fn. 223) Charles took the name of Pierrepont and in 1796 was created Viscount Newark. He became Earl Manvers in 1806. (fn. 224) In 1802 the Hall, with about 9 acres of land, was sold to Thomas Divett who allowed it to fall into decay. In 1848 Divett's trustees sold it to Stephen Moulton, founder of the Bradford rubber firm, in whose family it has since remained. Earl Manvers has subsequently sold much of his land in the parish of Bradford. (fn. 225) In 1939 Mrs. Moulton was the largest landowner in Bradford. (fn. 226)
The Manvers Collection in Nottingham University Library contains many records of the administration of the Duke of Kingston's estates in Bradford including an almost unbroken series of rentals (1722 to 1780) and estate accounts (1726101780) and a survey of Bradford, Trowbridge, Dauntsey, and Trowle manors (1752).
The manor house, called the Hall, and sometimes Kingston House, is a well-preserved building dating from c. 1580 to 1600. (fn. 227) It is of stone, the south and west elevations being of ashlar, the north and east of coursed rubble; the roofs are stone slated. There is a basement, hidden on the south and west fronts by terraces; the elevations are of two main stories, with attics whose windows are contained in gables, three on the north and south fronts, two on the east and west. The south (principal) front is symmetrically designed with three square bays rising to the top of the second story. The central bay contains the main doorway, surrounded by Doric pillars and entablature and surmounted by a scrolled pediment. Above this is a small four-light window and, on the first-floor level, a large four-light bay window with two transomes. Between the centre and side bays are similar two-transom windows on each floor. The side bays are also square, but their large projecting windows break into semicircular bows of four lights. Horizontally, the facade is broken by moulded string-courses at window head and floor levels; these are carried round the side elevations and are richly ornamented; that at the attic-floor level carries strapwork cresting round the bays. The side elevations are plainer; each has four three-light windows, similar in style to those on the south, on each floor, and on the west side there is a doorway between the two centre windows on the ground floor. At the back there is a projecting wing on each side, carried through all stories, and the fenestration is irregular.
After the extinction of the dukedom of Kingston the house fell on evil days, and in the early 19th century was 'let out in separate apartments to workmen and their families'. (fn. 228) In the 'thirties it was occupied by Samuel Pitman, clothier, formerly of Trowbridge, the father of Sir Isaac Pitman. (fn. 229) Thereafter it was used as a farmhouse until it passed into the hands of the Moulton family and was restored to its former splendour. It served as the model for the British Pavilion at the Paris Exhibition of 1900. (fn. 230)
The manor ultimately called the PREBENDAL MANOR in Bradford is dealt with below (see— Churches).
ROGERS MANOR which also became known as the manor of Bradford belonged to the Rogers family. Thomas Rogers, Serjeant-at-law, lived at Bradford in the second half of the 15th century. He apparently settled in the town after his first marriage, to Cecily, daughter and coheir of William Besill. His son William Rogers succeeded him and was himself succeeded by a son Anthony. (fn. 231) During the reign of Henry VIII Anthony Rogers, son of Anthony, held the 'manor' of Bradford. (fn. 232) He died in 1583. His daughter and heir Dorothy married John Hall (d. 1597) owner of Hall's manor (see above). (fn. 233) It would be natural to assume that the Rogers manor thus passed to the Halls, but during the first half of the 17th century an estate described as the manor of Bradford was held by members of the Rogers family. In 1623 a conveyance of this manor was made by Edward Rogers and Katherine his wife and his sons Sir Francis Rogers and George Rogers. (fn. 234) Edward Rogers (of Cannington, Som.) was a descendant of Serjeant Thomas Rogers by Thomas's second marriage, and he died in 1627, leaving the manor to his heir Sir Francis. (fn. 235) Sir Francis was succeeded in 1638 by his son Hugh Rogers. (fn. 236) Hugh Rogers and Dorothy his wife made a conveyance of the manor in 1653. (fn. 237) In 1659 the manor of Bradford was apparently in possession of Henry Rogers (possibly Henry, brother of Sir Francis Rogers), for in a chancery suit shortly after it was alleged that about 26 November in that year Henry Rogers had sold it to Daniel Witcherley for £3,000. The suit was brought by John Hurding, who had allowed himself to be associated with Witcherley as trustee for the purchase and who was now being sued for the residue of the purchase money, which Witcherley had failed to pay. (fn. 238)
There is no further mention of this manor. Probably it passed like the house, later known as 'Methuens' (see above, p. 6), to the Methuen family.
The manor of ASHLEY originated as an estate held of the abbey of Shaftesbury as of the manor of Bradford. Roger de Asselegh was a tenant at Bradford in 1280. (fn. 239) He was possibly an ancestor of John de Ashley, who witnesses deeds at Bradford in 1356 and 1381. (fn. 240) Hugh de Ashley, who died in 1493, hacl held the manor of Ashley beside Bradford of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 241) He was a direct descendant of John de Ashley. Hugh's heir was his infant son Henry, who died in 1549. (fn. 242) From Henry was descended Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earlof Shaftesbury (1621 to 1683). Henry was succeeded by his eldest son Sir Henry Ashley (d. 1588) who made a conveyance of the manor of Bradford in 1571. (fn. 243) Sir Henry's son, Sir Henry, left no sons. (fn. 244) This manor is next found in the possession of John Blanchard: in 1629 Elizabeth, Susan, and Joan Blanchard, sisters and coheirs of John, held a messuage and 4 yardlands called Great Ashley, of the manor of Bradford, for the service of ¼ knight's fee and 10s. rent and 2s. for ploughing 4 acres of the lord's land every year, and by suit of court to the hundred of Bradford every three weeks and yielding a mortuary, viz. one horse with saddle and bridle after the death of the tenant. (fn. 245) In c. 1660 the heirs of John Blanchard still rendered the service of 10s. rent and 2s. 'for ploughing parte of the lord's demeasnes'. (fn. 246) The estate (no longer called a manor) was in the possession of Susan Blanchard at her death in 1635. She had married Michael Tidcombe, and her heir was her son Edward. (fn. 247) Michael Tidcombe survived until 1662. (fn. 248) As a Royalist he was forced to pay £450 in composition for his estates at Great Ashley. (fn. 249) In 1705 the Hon. Langham Booth, of Thornton (Ches.), was dealing with a yardland in the parish of Bradford called Ashley Barn and also a messuage and tenement called Little Ashley, which contained about 50½ acres of arable, meadow, and pasture. (fn. 250) Little Ashley was said to have been formerly in the tenure of Jeremy Bruce and later of William Tidcombe. All the tenements had been bought by Michael Tidcombe of Robert Shaa, and were demised by Michael to William Tidcombe and his heirs. (fn. 251) This conveyance, the object of which was to settle the estate upon Langham Booth, also included certain closes called Rowleases, previously part of a capital messuage or farm called Great Ashley. The Tidcombes retained land in the parish of Bradford at least as late as 1725. (fn. 252) Edward Bailey (d. 1760) held an estate at Ashley which passed through his daughter Margaret (d. 1796), wife of William Fisher, to the Revd. R. B. Fisher of Basildon (Berks.) who held it in 1859. (fn. 253)
One hide of land in BUDBURY was held in 1086 by Ulf. (fn. 254) Reference has already been made under the capital manor of Bradford to the purchase in the time of Henry I of 1½ hide of land in Bradford and Budbury by the Abbess Emma of Shaftesbury from Sacon and his sons. In 1208 Robert, son of Maisy, granted to William de Budebury a quarter of a wood in 'Budebury towards the south'. (fn. 255) In 1304 John de Budebury, who was the heir of an earlier man of the same name, made a conveyance of lands in Bradford. (fn. 256) Budbury later became annexed to the manor of Ashley (see above), and was held by Hugh Ashley at his death in 1493. (fn. 257) It descended with Ashley to the sisters of John Blanchard (1629) and to Langham Booth (1705). (fn. 258) In c. 1660 the heirs of John Blanchard rendered £1 a year to the overlord. (fn. 259)
The manor of ATWORTH or ATFORD also originated in an estate held of the abbey of Shaftesbury.
Atworth is mentioned in the bounds of Aethelred's charter of 1001. (fn. 260) Henry I confirmed to Shaftesbury 1 hide held in demesne there and additional confirmation was given by Henry II. (fn. 261) In 1205 John confirmed the abbey in possession of 1½ hide in Atworth. (fn. 262) This estate was about this time subinfeudated to a family which took its name from the place. In 1242–3 Thomas de Atworth held ¼ knight's fee in Atworth of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 263) Hugh de Atworth held land of the abbess for which he owed suit at her hundred court in 1267–8. (fn. 264) In a rental of the manor of Bradford that may have been drawn up before this Bennet de Atford is returned as holding a house and a virgate of land formerly held by Aitricus and ½ virgate which Godric had held. (fn. 265) George de Percy, lord of the manor of Little Chalfield (q.v., Great Chalfield) held land at Atworth, for which he paid rent to the Abbess of Shaftesbury, at the time of his attainder in 1331. (fn. 266) This is apparently the last mention of a subtenant of the abbey in this manor of Atworth. The tenants of the 'vill' of Atworth were obliged among other services to bring 30 hens to Shaftesbury. (fn. 267)
At the time of the Dissolution the abbey was receiving rent from Atworth to the value of £7. 10s. 1d. (fn. 268) The site and capital messuage of the manor were granted by the Crown to Sir Edward Bellingham, probably at the same time as the site of the manor of Bradford. (fn. 269) Atworth passed in the same way as Bradford to Sir Francis Walsingham, who in 1590, shortly before his death, sold 'the farm of Atworth' to William Gerrard and others for the payment of his debts. (fn. 270) Three years earlier part of the estate had been leased for eighty years to John Yerbury, who died in 1614, leaving the remainder of the lease to his son John. (fn. 271) This estate does not appear to have carried with it any manorial rights. Walsingham did not apparently sell all his rights in Atworth, for in 1618 his daughter and heir Frances and her husband Richard, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, conveyed to William Poulett 11 messuages and 200 acres of land in Atford Magna. (fn. 272)
John Yerbury 'became a lunatic by the visitation of God on the 1st day of April 1625'. In 1633 it was found that his heirs were his daughters Joan, Elizabeth, and Mary. (fn. 273) From this point the descent of the estate is lost.
A second manor of ATWORTH originated in an estate which in 1431 was held by Agnes, relict of Thomas Bourton. (fn. 274) In that year she granted the manor of 'Atteward' to trustees for the execution of her will, and afterwards ordered that the subsequent reversion should be sold in her lifetime. This was done and the reversion was bought by Robert Long of South Wraxall (see below) who paid the trustees £40. (fn. 275) Agnes later married Thomas Tropenell, and died in or about 1449. (fn. 276) This manor does not appear to have been any part of the manor of Atworth Cottles. It descended in the same way as that of South Wraxall and is mentioned in 1670 in a conveyance by Hope Long. (fn. 277) According to Aubrey, Atworth was sold by Long about this time. (fn. 278) The manor later became merged with that of Bradford, but was retained by Lord Methuen when he sold Bradford to the 1st Baron Broughton. (fn. 279)
When Aubrey visited Atworth he noted that there was an old house there 'and seems to be by the great window of about Edward III, and so the chancel window'. (fn. 280) There are now no remains of any great house at Atworth.
The manor of ATWORTH COTTLES, or LITTLE ATWORTH, or COTTLES was held in 1242–3 by Richard Cotel of the Earl Marshal for ⅓ knight's fee. (fn. 281) In 1278 Richard Cotel (probably a son of the earlier Richard) settled the manor, described as a messuage and 2 carucates of land in Atworth, upon himself and Isabel his wife with remainder to his children John, Thomas, and Iseult successively in tail. (fn. 282) Richard Cotel was still alive in 1309, but by 1324 had been succeeded by George Selyman, husband of his daughter Iseult. (fn. 283) In or about August 1350 Selyman was outlawed for murder and the manor escheated to the king, who, after holding it for a year and a day, ordered that it should be granted to Ralph, Earl of Stafford, of whom (according to an inquisition of 1352) it was held as part of that moiety of the earldom of Gloucester which Ralph held jure uxoris. (fn. 284) The Earl of Stafford granted the manor to Robert de Bourton and in 1354 George Selyman, whose life had been spared, acknowledged for his own lifetime the right of Robert de Bourton to all George's land in the vill of Atworth. (fn. 285) Robert died soon after July 1360 and his relict Agnes married Oliver Russell, who held the manor jure uxoris in 1362. (fn. 286) Russell did not hold Atworth for long. In 1366 the king ordered a new inquiry into the circumstances of George Selyman's outlawry. At the subsequent inquisition it was found, correctly this time, that the manor had been held in chief of the king as of his manor of Hampstead Marshal (Berks.) (i.e. the caput of the Earl Marshal's honour, which was then in the hands of the king). (fn. 287) This finding was promptly acted upon. The grants to the Earl of Stafford and to Robert de Bourton were set aside, and in June 1366 the king committed the manor of Atworth during pleasure to Thomas Spigurnell, his squire (q.v., Broughton Gifford). (fn. 288) Three years later Spigurnell gained a better title to the manor. George Selyman (who had died before the inquisition of 1366) had surrendered only his life estate in the manor. His heirs by virtue of the entail of 1278 were the representatives of his sister Gill, her daughter Margaret, and John Wrenche, Margaret's husband. In 1369 Margaret and John Wrenche sued for possession of Atworth. (fn. 289) Having gained it they transferred their right in the manor to Thomas Spigurnell. (fn. 290)
The next step in the manorial descent is not entirely clear. Spigurnell died before 6 October 1374, and his relict Katherine on 15 October in the same year. In 1375 Atworth was in the hands of trustees, and in 1377 it was conveyed (again, by trustees) to Sir Philip Fitz Waryn. (fn. 291) In 1382 Fitz Waryn was granted permission to settle the manor upon himself and his wife Constance and his heirs in tail. (fn. 292) Constance married Sir Henry de la Rivere after Fitz Waryn's death, and by 1401 was again a widow. (fn. 293) Before 1401–2 Atworth had passed to Joan, daughter of Fitz Waryn, and her husband Thomas Beaushyn. (fn. 294) In 1404–5 Constance confirmed her surrender of dower in Atworth to Thomas and Joan Beaushyn. (fn. 295) In 1428 Thomas held the manor of Joan, Queen of England (relict of Henry IV), as of her manor of Hampstead Marshal for the service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 296) Thomas was still alive in 1439, but dead before 1449. (fn. 297) His relict Joan presented to the chapel of Atworth in 1451. (fn. 298) Her heir was her son William Beaushyn and she apparently settled the manor upon him in her lifetime. (fn. 299) William died in 1495, leaving a son and heir John and a relict Alice. A family squabble ensued, between John on one side and Alice and her son Thomas Hedley on the other. John accused Alice and Thomas of unlawfully withholding from him the title-deeds of his manor of Atworth. Alice and Thomas replied that they had retained the documents in order that the will of William Beaushyn (in respect of legacies to his daughters Margaret and Agnes and his son Henry) should be fulfilled. Alice added that the documents had been placed in a box sealed under her seal and under the seal of Philip Baynard, Commissioner, in order that Baynard might deliver them into the Court of Chancery, where the case was being heard. (fn. 300) John Beaushyn evidently made good his claim to the manor, which he held in 1516 and before 1533 was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 301) Thomas was followed by his son Anthony and Anthony by his son John Beaushyn, who in 1564 settled Atworth upon himself and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Eyre of Great Chalfield. (fn. 302) In 1 592 John Beaushyn sold Atworth to William Hall and William Eyre, probably a brother of his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 303) Sir William Eyre and his wife sold the manor in 1604 to William Poulett. (fn. 304) In 1618 Poulett settled the manor upon his son William upon the marriage of the latter to Susan, daughter of Sir Richard Saltonstall. (fn. 305) William Poulett the father died in 1638. (fn. 306)
In 1672 Bernard Poulett, to whom the manor had passed on the death of his brother Richard, conveyed Atworth Cottles to John Rogers and Edward Noell, who were apparently trustees. (fn. 307) Bernard died in 1700 and the manor subsequently passed to his sister Mrs. Jane Brown who by her will proved in 1706 charged it with rents for various charitable purposes. (fn. 308) Soon after this it passed to Gabriel Hale, who died possessed of it in 1718. (fn. 309) He was succeeded by his son Edward Bisse Hale, who made a settlement of Cottles in the same year. (fn. 310) Edward's eldest son Robert died without issue in 1781 and the manor passed to Anne, daughter of a younger son and wife of John Blagden. Anne and John made a conveyance of the manor in 1782. (fn. 311) On the death of Anne in 1814 Cottles passed to her son Robert Hale Blagden, who assumed the surname of Hale. (fn. 312) In 1829 Robert and his wife Theodosia Eleanor and his eldest son Robert Blagden Hale made a conveyance of the manor for the purpose of barring the entail. (fn. 313) Robert Blagden Hale sold Cottles in 1857 to Charles Conolly of Midford Castle, Bath. (fn. 314)
BARLEY, which gave its name to a medieval manor, no longer exists as a place-name in this area. It is possible that it adjoined Cumberwell, whose descent it shared during the 14th and 15th centuries, but in the 15th century it was described as Barleys Court in South Wraxall and the evidence concerning the chapel(s) of Barley and Wraxall point to the location of Barley in South Wraxall (see below—Church). It is possible that the name of Beanfield in Bradford (Berefeld, temp. Edw. I) has a derivation common to that of Barley. In 1086 Barley was held by Azor, one of the king's thanes. Before 1066 it had been held by Done. (fn. 315) In 1225 William le Bret was granted a writ of mort d'ancestor against Roger de Calmundesden and Agnes his wife concerning 1 hide of land in Barley. (fn. 316) Roger de Calmundesden held 1/5 knight's fee in Barley in 1242–3, as tenant of Henry Husee, who held of the king. (fn. 317) In 1301 Adam, son of Henry de Barley, and Henry Squires and Alice his wife sought to replevy their land in Barley which had been taken into the king's hands for their default against Alice, late the wife of Richard de Duneshale. (fn. 318) Roger de Barley held land in Barley and Wraxall in 1309. (fn. 319) His son, another Roger de Barley, acquired a messuage and land in Barley in 1355 from Sir James Husee of 'Hampton'. (fn. 320) The younger Roger had married Sybil, daughter of Sir James, in or before 1347. (fn. 321) In 1403 ⅓ of the manor of Barley was held by Alice de Barley, presumably in dower, and the remainder by John de Barley and Isabel his wife. (fn. 322) The manor descended in the same way as Cumberwell (see below) to John Blount, who in 1428 was holding Barley for ¼ knight's fee of Robert Tornay. (fn. 323) When John Blount died in 1444 Barley was held by his relict Wilhelmina, in her own right, and was said to be held of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 324) This is the only reference to the abbey as the overlord of the manor and is certainly incorrect. (fn. 325) After this time the manor became known as Barley's Court in South Wraxall and belonged to Edmund Blount, son of John, at his death in 1468. (fn. 326) It passed to his son Simon, who died in 1476, leaving it to his daughter Margaret. (fn. 327) There appears to be no further mention of the manor. It probably became merged with Cumberwell.
The manor of CUMBERWELL was held before 1066 by Levenot, and at the time of the Domesday Survey by Pagen, of Humphrey de Lisle. In 1086 the king also held 1 hide in Cumberwell, of which an Englishman held half. (fn. 328) The manor formed part of the honour of Castle Combe, and the overlordship followed the descent of that honour and after its division the descent of the manor of Castle Combe. (fn. 329) In 1444 Cumberwell was said to be held of Sir John Fastolf as of his manor of Castle Combe. Soon after this date the true overlordship was lost sight of, and in 1591 an inquisition reported that Cumberwell was held of the manor of Bradford. (fn. 330) There is no later indication of overlordship.
The descendants or heirs of Pagen, the Domesday tenant, appear to have taken their name from the manor. Hugh de Cumberwell held land in the neighbourhood in the 12th or early 13th century, (fn. 331) when he confirmed to Robert de Slade lands which Ralph de Cumberwell exchanged with Robert, i.e. 'Spenna' for 'Portfurlong'. In 1221–2 a Hugh de Cumberwell was holding a knight's fee at Cumberwell. (fn. 332) He may have been identical with Hugh de Cumberwell to whom Gilbert de Horwude conveyed ½ virgate of land in 1236. (fn. 333) In 1242–3 Philip de Cumberwell held a knight's fee at Cumberwell of Walter de Dunstanville. (fn. 334) Sir John de Cumberwell held the manor in 1316. (fn. 335) From the family of Cumberwell it passed to that of Barley and in 1329 Roger de Barley was holding a knight's fee in Cumberwell. (fn. 336) In 1347 Roger settled upon his son Roger and Sybil his son's wife, daughter of Sir James Husee, a messuage and land in Cumberwell which was at that time held on a ten-year lease by Husee. (fn. 337) In 1403 Alice de Barley held ⅓ of the manor (probably as dower) and the remainder was settled upon John de Barley and Isabel his wife. (fn. 338) In 1412 John Blount held lands in Cumberwell and Wraxall worth 40s. (fn. 339) In 1428 he was said to hold certain lands in Cumberwell, formerly of Roger Barley, for service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 340) When he died in 1444 it was found that he held the manor in right of his wife, Wilhelmina, and it is therefore probable that she was the heiress of the Barley family. (fn. 341)
John Blount's son and heir Edmund (d. 1468) was succeeded by Simon, son of Edmund, who died in 1476, leaving an infant daughter Margaret as his heir. (fn. 342) Custody of Margaret and her lands was granted to Sir William Hussey (d. 1495), Chief Justice of the Common Please. (fn. 343) Before 4 August 1492 Margaret had married Sir John Hussey, son of Sir William. (fn. 344) She was still alive in 1509, but had died before 1531, when the manor of Cumberwell was conveyed by her husband, now Lord de Hussey, and Sir William Hussey her son to William Button. (fn. 345) William Button died in 1547 (fn. 346) and the manor passed to his son of the same name (d. 1591). (fn. 347) The younger William Button left the manor entailed upon his second son William, and successively to his other sons John, Francis, Henry, and Ambrose. (fn. 348) The third William Button (d. 1613) who married Jane, daughter of John Lambe of Coulston, was the father of Sir William Button, who was created a baronet in 1622. The 1st baronet, who died in 1655, had four sons and four daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son William (o.s.p. 1660) and Cumberwell passed, with the baronetcy to his third son Sir Robert (o.s.p. about 1679). (fn. 349) By his will, dated 1677 and proved 1679, Sir Robert Button left Cumberwell to Charles Steward, son of Dr. Richard Steward (d. 1651), Dean of St. Paul's, who had married Jane, sister of Sir Robert. (fn. 350) Charles Steward died in 1698. (fn. 351) By his will he left Cumberwell to his wife for life with remainder to his cousin John Walker of Hadley (Mdx.) (d. 1703), son of Mary (d. after 1663), another sister of Sir Robert Button, who had married Clement Walker (d. 1651). John Walker was succeeded by his son Heneage Walker (d. 1731). (fn. 352) According to Canon Jackson, Cumberwell was sold by Heneage Walker to John Allen Cooper (see Wingfield), (fn. 353) whose relict Mary conveyed it to her father Sir Edward Baynton-Rolt, bt. (d. 1800), in trust for her children. Baynton appears to have been in occupation in 1773. (fn. 354) Jackson states that from the Coopers it went to the family of Taunton and from them by sale to the family of Thomas Clarke who was the owner in 1862. (fn. 353) In 1950 it was the property of Lord Halifax. (fn. 354)
The manor house lay at the top of a rise just north of a 19th-century farm known as Great Cumberwell. The whole area is now enveloped in woodland and undergrowth which obscure what little remains of the building. Foundations can be traced in places and dressed and moulded stones are scattered over a considerable area. There are some standing portions of boundary walls, some of stone, others of red brick faced with stone, and revetment walls forming a ha-ha. The moulded stones and brick-backed stone walls suggest that the destroyed house was built early in the 18th century on the site of an earlier one, to which a large well-built arch masonry drain, that can be traced from the site to the farm, probably belongs.
The priory of Farleigh held a small estate in Cumberwell, for which at the Dissolution it paid a rent of 3s. 4d. to the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 355) It is suggested that this may have been given to the priory by the Dunstanville family. (fn. 356) This estate presumably became annexed to the manor of Monkton Farleigh (q.v.) and descended with it.
The manor of HOLT was held of the manor of Bradford. It must have been included in the grant of Bradford to Shaftesbury Abbey in 1001. (fn. 357) In 1242–3 Holt was named along with Bradford as part of the manor held by the abbey. The overlordship descended with the capital manor of Bradford (see above). (fn. 358) In or before the 13 th century the manor was subinfeudated to a family which took its name from it. In 1252 Robert de Holt was granted free warren in the demesne lands of his manor of Holt, and permission to hold an annual fair in the manor. (fn. 359) John de Holt had a park at Holt in 1316 (fn. 360) and in 1334 he or a namesake obtained licence to hear divine service in his manor of Holt. (fn. 361) In 1344 John de Holt conveyed the manor to William of Edington, who became Bishop of Winchester in 1346. (fn. 362) The grant was confirmed in 1361 by Michael de Holt, evidently the heir of John. (fn. 363) William of Edington granted the manor to trustees, apparently to the use of Amauri de St. Amand, 3rd Baron St. Amand (d. 1402), and his wife Eleanor (d. 1426). (fn. 364) Eleanor granted Holt to John de Lisle, by modern doctrine 5 th Baron Lisle of the Isle of Wight (d. 1408), and his wife Elizabeth (d. 1435). In 1429 John Lisle, 6th Baron Lisle, died holding the manor in common with Elizabeth, his father's relict, of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 365) John Lisle, by modern doctrine 7th Baron Lisle, succeeded his father and died in 1471, leaving as his son and heir Nicholas (d. 1506), 8th Baron Lisle. (fn. 366) Holt was held after the death of the 7 th baron by his relict Isabel, who later married Thomas Beauchamp; she died in 1484. (fn. 367) Nicholas was succeeded by his son John, 9th Baron Lisle (see Wingfield). The heir-at-law of the 9th baron was his niece Mary (d. 1539), daughter of his sister Eleanor, wife of John Kingston. The 9th baron had effected the marriage of his niece to his cousin Sir Thomas Lisle, but there was no issue of the marriage and when Lord Lisle died in 1523 he bequeathed some of his estates to Lancelot Lisle, brother of Sir Thomas, in order that they should continue in the family. (fn. 368) Holt was apparently one of these estates, but Lancelot only obtained possession of it after litigation with Mary Lisle and her husband. (fn. 369) At the time of the death of the 9th Baron Lisle the manor consisted of 1 fee held of the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 370) In or about 1532–3 Lancelot Lisle leased the site of the manor of Holt, called Wilsheires Farm in Holt, to William Bayley for fifty years. More than thirty years later there was litigation over the tenancy of this farm between John Michell and Edmund Bayley. (fn. 371) Lancelot Lisle retained the manorial rights and after his death in 1543 they passed to his relict Anne, who afterwards married Anthony Rogers (d. 1583). (fn. 372) Anthony and Anne held courts at Holt between 1544 and 1556 and Anthony is mentioned in connexion with land at Holt until 1568. (fn. 373) Anne was still living in 1562–3. She was succeeded by Anthony Lisle, son of her son Thomas Lisle (d. 1562). (fn. 374) Anthony died in 1604, having settled Holt on his son William, who had married Bridget (fl. 1665), daughter of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney (Glos.). (fn. 375) William, who was knighted in 1606, was the father of John Lisle the regicide (d. 1664). He was still living in 1622. His son and successor Sir William Lisle (d. 1665) was an ardent Royalist, and accompanied Charles II into exile. A conveyance of the manor made in 1659 by John Lisle suggests that the regicide had obtained possession of his brother's estate. (fn. 376) John fled to Switzerland at the Restoration and Sir William recovered the manor, which passed at his death to his son Edward (d. 1722), who settled it in 1689 upon himself and his wife Mary (d. 1749), daughter of Sir Ambrose Phillipps of Gattenden (Leics.). (fn. 377) Edward Lisle's son, another Edward (d. 1752), made a conveyance of the manor of Holt in 1723. He subsequently sold the manor to James Burton, who held it in 1767. (fn. 378) From Burton Holt passed to the Revd. John Burton Watkin (a nephew?) and on the death of the latter about 1822 to his nephew T. Watkin Forster. (fn. 379) The manor subsequently descended in the Forster family. The present owner, son and heir of Lt.-Col. T. H. B. Forster (d. 1927), assumed the additional names of Smith Barry in 1930. (fn. 380)
No reference to GREAT TROWLE as a manor distinct from Little Trowle (see Trowbridge) has been noticed until 1731. There was then declared to be a manor house separate from that of Little Trowle. (fn. 381) Courts for both manors, however, appear to have been held together. (fn. 382) Separate manor houses are still mentioned in 1770. (fn. 383) The manor belonged to the Duke of Kingston in 1731 and appears to have descended with the manor of Little Trowle until 1829. (fn. 384) When, however, Trowle Common was inclosed in 1853 Lord Broughton was declared to be lord of the manor. (fn. 385)
The manor house of Great Trowle was being leased in 1731 to Samuel Gilbert. (fn. 386) In 1735 a lease was granted to his daughters, Elizabeth (who married Richard Sartain of Trowbridge) and Jane. Another lease was granted in 1750 to persons called Coles. (fn. 387)
The reputed manor of WINSLEY or WINSLEYCUM-TURLEIGH formed part of the manor of Bradford during the Middle Ages. (fn. 390) In 1352 John Marreis and Edith his wife held lands in Bradford and Winsley. (fn. 391)
At the time of the Dissolution Shaftesbury Abbey was receiving rents from Winsley to the value of £21. 4s. 7½d. (fn. 392) The grant of Bradford to Sir Edward Bellingham in 1546 included appurtenances in Winsley. (fn. 393) In 1700 the manor of Winsley and Turleigh was mortgaged by Thomas Kent to Thomas Dixon, D.D. (fn. 394) Kent died in 1703 devising the manor to his mother Elizabeth for life with remainder, as to one third, to his uncle Richard Gaisford, and as to two-thirds, to his aunts Jane Rose, Anne Munday, and Margaret Kent. The apportionment of the surviving encumbrances on the estate was regulated by Chancery decree in 1711 and 1713. (fn. 395) In 1731 John Thresher conveyed the manor to William and Richard Long, (fn. 396) and in 1758 Robert Colebrooke and Elizabeth his wife conveyed a quarter of the manor to Sir Robert Long (of Draycote), 6th Baronet, and Walter Long. (fn. 397) There is no indication of the size or exact location of the estates conveyed in 1731 and 1758. That conveyed to Dixon in 1699–1700 was said to consist of 5 messuages, 500 acres of land, 40 acres of meadow, 300 acres of pasture, and 60 acres of wood in Winsley, Turleigh, Haugh, and Bradford. It is likely that the estate mentioned in 1758 passed as part of the manor of South Wraxall (see below) of which Walter Long (d. 1807) was lord. In 1828 a manor of Winsley was said to belong to John Hayes Dunkin and James Baber. (fn. 398)
Much of the land in Winsley was glebe belonging to the manor of the rectory of Bradford (see below— Churches). (fn. 399) In 1822 the 'parsonage manor of Winsley' was held by Ann Atwood of Bradford. (fn. 400)
Turleigh Manor House was built in the middle of the 16th century, added to in the 17th century, and almost entirely rebuilt early in the 18th century. The west front retains its 17th-century mullioned and transomed windows with a central bolection moulded doorway inserted in the 18th century; it is built of squared and coursed masonry with worked dressings. The north front is built of rubble and retains two of its 16th-century windows. There are original rebated gate piers with carved urns and side-scroll brackets. Internally most of the rooms retain their 18th-century panelling and chimney pieces; there is also a fine oak staircase. The walls of the staircase and two rooms have recently been panelled with contemporary panelling brought from elsewhere.
The manor of SOUTH WRAXALL was probably included in the manor of Bradford at the time of Aethelred's grant to the abbey of Shaftesbury. Part of South Wraxall was apparently granted early in the 13th century to the priory of Farleigh. In 1227 the Abbess of Shaftesbury, in return for a money rent, released the Prior of Farleigh and his tenants at Wraxall from suit to Bradford hundred. (fn. 401) At this time or soon after a certain Martin, the chaplain of Wraxall, who held a messuage and ½ hide of land there as a tenant of Shaftesbury, granted his tenement to the priory. The grant was confirmed by the Abbess of Shaftesbury in two deed, one dated 1267 and the other probably of or about the same year. (fn. 402) The priory continued to hold this estate in Wraxall until the Dissolution. In 1535–6 it was being leased by John Buckeley, the younger, and Margaret his wife, for Margaret's life. (fn. 403) In common with the other possessions of Farleigh it was frequently in the king's hands during the wars with France in the 14th century. (fn. 404) In 1535 the priory's manor of Wraxall was valued at £3. 8s. (fn. 405) 'Lands in Wraxall belonging to Monkton Farleigh' were granted in 1537 to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (later Duke of Somerset). (fn. 406) This estate was confirmed to Edward, Earl of Hertford, son of the Duke of Somerset, in 1582. (fn. 407) The earl was still in possession of this manor of Wraxall in 1608, when it was administered for him by Samuel Daniel, the poet (1562 to 1619). (fn. 408) Soon after this it must have been sold, for about 1628 it was in the hands of Fulk Greville (d. 1628), 1st Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court. (fn. 409) The manor descended with the title of Brooke at least until 1716, when a settlement of it was made by William, 7th Baron Brooke (d. 1727). According to Canon Jones this manor ultimately came into the possession of the Longs and was merged with their manor of South Wraxall (see below). (fn. 410)
The manor of South Wraxall, which remained in the possession of Shaftesbury Abbey after the grant or grants to the priory of Farleigh, was attached to the office of beadle or bailiff of the hundred of Bradford. In the time of Richard I the beadlery was granted to Beatrice daughter of Herbert. (fn. 411) In 1255 William of Wraxall was bailiff of the hundred. (fn. 412) He may have been identical with William the beadle who was recorded in the Shaftesbury cartulary as holding 1 hide of land in 'Wrokesham' for the service of being beadle. (fn. 413) In 1321–2 the lands in Wraxall of John de Wroxhale, a rebel, were seized into the hands of the king. (fn. 414) A year or two later (1323) the king issued orders to his escheators to meddle no further with the beadlery of the hundred of Bradford, and to restore the issues thereof 'the escheator, having certified... that he took a simple seisin of the beadlery in the king's name; because he found by inquisition that Mary, Abbess of Shaftesbury, who held the hundred and beadlery aforesaid with other lands of the king's progenitors in frankalmoin, alienated the beadlery to Beatrice daughter of Herbert; and that the alienation was made in the time of King Richard'. (fn. 415) The significance of these last two references is obscure. It is possible that John de Wroxhale was the tenant of South Wraxall but it is certain that a man of that name was the lord of the manor of North Wraxall in Chippenham hundred and that he was temporarily disseised of North Wraxall in 1322. (fn. 416) It would therefore seem probable that the seizure of the beadlery was an isolated incident and that no John de Wroxhale was beadle and tenant of South Wraxall at this time. In 1329 1 messuage, I carucate of land, 6 acres of meadow, 1 acre of wood, and 15s. rent in Wraxall and Moxham and the bailiwick of the beadlery of the hundred of Bradford were acknowledged by William Harpenden and Elizabeth his wife to be the right of Richard Pointz of Bradford. (fn. 417) Richard Pointz still held this estate in 1340, when he alienated to Shaftesbury Abbey 15s. rent out of a messuage and 2 carucates of land in Wraxall for the foundation of a chantry in the abbey church. (fn. 418) The next reference that has been found to the beadlery manor is in 1411, when it was held by Laurence Juivet and Maud his wife. The estate then consisted of 6 messuages, 4 carucates of land, 8 acres of meadow, 4 acres of wood, and 5s. rent in Wraxall, Moxham, Farley, Tresham, and Wormwood. (fn. 419) It seems probable that the beadlery and manor passed soon after this time to the Long family. The beadlery is not mentioned again until 1556–7, when it was among the possessions of Sir Henry Long. (fn. 420) Robert Long had a house at Wraxall in 1429, (fn. 421) and in 1433 he obtained licence to make an exchange with the Abbess of Shaftesbury of certain lands and tenements in Atworth, Bradford, and Wraxall which he held of the abbess in return for other lands there of the same value. (fn. 422) He was called Robert Long of Wraxall in 1448 (fn. 423) and Wraxall became the principal residence of his heirs. There is doubt as to the date of his death but it is probable that this was 1447. (fn. 424) He was succeeded by his son Henry (fn. 425) who died in 1490 leaving as heir his nephew Thomas Long, son of his brother John. (fn. 426) There is some corroboration of the statement by Leland that the Longs owed their initial advancement to the Hungerfords. (fn. 427) Apart from the doubtful reference of 1459 already noted, Robert and Henry Long occur frequently in early—15th-century deeds to which the Hungerfords were party. (fn. 428) Sir Thomas Long, as he later became, was the lord of the manor of Draycote Cerne (Calne hundred) and the first of his line to hold both Draycote and South Wraxall. He died in 1508 (fn. 429) and was succeeded by his son Sir Henry, who was one of the attendants of Henry VIII at the Field of Cloth of Gold. (fn. 430) Sir Henry died in 1556 and was succeeded by his son Sir Robert (d. 1581) (fn. 431) from whom the manor passed to his son Sir Walter. (fn. 432) Sir Walter Long (d. 1610) was a friend of Sir Walter Raleigh and according to Aubrey it was through this friendship that tobacco smoking was introduced into north Wiltshire. (fn. 433) Sir Walter Long was the last of his family to hold both Draycote and Wraxall. The story of the separation of the two manors has also been told by Aubrey. According to this account Sir Walter disinherited his eldest son John, the child of his first marriage, in favour of Walter, his son by his second marriage, and it was only after litigation that John Long recovered part of the estate, including Wraxall. Something like this must have happened, although the details may not be precisely as Aubrey gives them. According to the inquisition taken after Sir Walter's death he had in 1593 made a settlement of estates upon his second wife, Katharine Thynne and his heirs by her, on the occasion of their marriage. (fn. 434) Wraxall was one of the manors included in this settlement, but Draycote was not. Had the settlement been adhered to Draycote would have passed to John as his father's heir, and Wraxall to Walter. The reverse of this ultimately took place, for John's heirs succeeded to Wraxall and Walter's to Draycote. In 1622 John and Walter Long concluded an agreement whereby South Wraxall and other properties were secured to John and his heirs. (fn. 435) The office of 'bailiff or beadle' of the hundred of Bradford was said to be appurtenant to these estates, though not specifically to the manor of Wraxall. John (d. 1636) was succeeded by his eldest son, William Long, on whose death without issue in 1647 Wraxall passed to a younger son, John Long. (fn. 436) John Long died in 1652 (fn. 437) leaving a son and heir Hope Long. (fn. 438) On Hope's death without issue in 1715 Wraxall passed to his cousin, Walter Long of Bristol, whose father, Walter Long (d. 1669) was the third son of John Long (d. 1636). (fn. 439) Walter Long of Bristol and Wraxall also died without issue (1731) leaving Wraxall to the sons of his cousin Katherine (d. 1726), sister of Hope Long, who had married John Long of Monkton and Bath (d. 1705). (fn. 440) John Long, eldest son of Katherine, died without issue in 1748 and the manor passed to his brother Thomas (d. 1759). (fn. 441) Thomas Long's son and heir Walter died in 1807, leaving this estate in trust for Walter Long (d. 1867), son of Richard Godolphin Long (d. 1835) of Rood Ashton. (fn. 442) The manor subsequently remained in this branch of the Long family. Walter Hume Long (d. 1924), the Conservative politician, was the grandson of the last named Walter Long. In 1921 he was created Viscount Long of Wraxall. (fn. 443) His grandson Walter, 2nd Viscount Long, was killed in action in 1944 and the title is now held by Richard E. Onslow Long, 3rd Viscount. (fn. 444) The South Wraxall estate, however, was broken up by sale in 1919, (fn. 445) and there are now a number of small landowners in South Wraxall. (fn. 446)
The manor house (fn. 447) is a very well preserved example of a 15th-century country house, with noteworthy internal fittings of later date. The plan is irregular, and now consists of the north, east, and part of the south side (fn. 448) of a court, with a long wing projecting eastwards from the south—east corner, and a shorter one from the middle of the east side. The building is mainly constructed of stone, with stone—slated roofs. The earliest portion is the east side of the court; this was probably built by Robert Long (fl. 1429). (fn. 449) It consists of the hall, with a kitchen and a parlour and lord's chamber over at the south end, and buttery, and guest chamber over at the north end. The hall has been little altered and is a fine specimen of the architecture of its period. It retains its entrance porch at the south—West corner and several two and three—light windows. Its parapet has some well—carved gargoyles. The block of offices on the north side of the courtyard is probably a little later in date; it has been much altered. Additions and alterations were made about the end of the 15th century by Sir Thomas Long, Robert's great—nephew. To this period belong the southern half of the gatehouse, which is a noteworthy design with diagonal buttresses, a fourcentred archway with prominent rectangular dripstone finishing in lozenge—shaped panels, and a fine oriel window with tracery of two lights in each face. The roof of the gatehouse is high pitched. The wing projecting eastwards from the buttery and guest chamber is also of this period, though most of its features have been altered. Internal fittings of this date include the linenfold panelling and four—centred fireplace in the 'Raleigh Room'; (fn. 450) the overmantel of this fireplace dates from the next great reconstruction of C. 1600.
Great alterations were made in the early 17th century. The original guest chamber at the north end of the hall was enlarged into the existing drawing-room, with its fine eight-light bay windows facing west into the courtyard and north into the garden, and its very elaborate stone fireplace and plaster ceiling. (fn. 451) An unusual feature is the semi-hexagonal projection on the north side, opposite the fireplace, with five plastered recesses with shell canopies and wood panelling above. The purpose of this projection was to provide support for the original 15th-century roof by leaving part of the north wall in situ, and connecting it to the new wall by canted partitions. The fine screen and the simpler fireplace in the hall also belong to this period; the latter is dated 1598. About the same time another kitchen was built, forming a south-east wing connected with the hall by a covered arcade, (fn. 452) and the north wing was extended at both ends. The eastward extension of this wing has another covered arcade, with two bays on the north and four on the east, as its lower story. Several rooms in the house have panelling, ceilings, and fireplaces of this period, and it is probable that the northern half of the gatehouse also dates from this time. About 1700 the upper rooms in the north wing were remodelled, a new staircase inserted, the rooms in the east wing panelled in deal, and several windows and doors inserted in this and the south-east wing.
The house was restored between 1900 and 1902 under the supervision of A.C. Martin. (fn. 453)
From 1820 to 1826 the house was used as a boarding school. (fn. 454) Thereafter it seems to have been uninhabited, except by a caretaker, until 1900, when Mr. E. Richardson Cox took a long lease of it. (fn. 455) It is now the residence of the 2nd Viscount Rothermere. (fn. 456)
The little Saxon church, dedicated to ST. LAURENCE, has already been mentioned. From the terms in which William of Malmesbury refers to it it may be concluded that it was not serving as the parish church in c. 1125. (fn. 457) The church is one of the most important remains of Anglo-Saxon architecture extant in this country. A hundred years ago the building was used as a school, and was much hemmed in by surrounding buildings. The credit for its recognition as an Anglo-Saxon monument of great importance has commonly been given to Canon W. H. Jones, who was undoubtedly the prime mover in its restoration to its original purpose in the 1870's. Writing in 1859, he only states that the building 'escaped, till a very recent date, the notice of archaeologists', (fn. 458) but the drawings from which the illustrations of the church in the Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, vol. v (1859) were prepared were made only the previous year. (fn. 459)
It was for a long time supposed that the church was the actual ecclesiola mentioned by William of Malmesbury as being part of the monastery built at Bradford by St. Aldhelm c. 705–10. (fn. 460) On stylistic evidence, however, Professor Baldwin Brown considered the church to date from the latter part of the 10th century, (fn. 461) and his opinion as to a late rather than an early date has been followed by most modern authorities. (fn. 462)
The church consists of a rectangular chancel, about 13 by 10 ft., nave of about 25 by 13 ft., and north porch about 10 ft. square. Another porch of similar dimensions existed on the south side of the nave, as was proved by the excavation of its foundations in 1872. (fn. 463) The walls of the building are of squared ashlar—a rare feature for an Anglo-Saxon building— and the roofs are of stone slates. All three component parts of the church are very high for their width, the walls of the chancel being over 18 ft. high to the wallplates, those of the nave over 25 ft., and those of the porch over 15 ft.—in each case as much or more than the length of that part of the building.
At about two-thirds the height of the chancel walls and half the height of the nave walls a continuous unmoulded string-course runs round the building. Below this level the walls are divided by shallow pilasters into a series of 'bays', two to the east end and two to each side of the chancel, two to the west end and three to each side of the nave, the middle bay on the north side being occupied by the porch. In the eastern bays on the south sides of the nave and chancel are roundheaded double-splayed windows of a single light, the only ones in the church except for a similar window in the west wall of the porch and a modern two-light window high up in the west wall of the nave. The doorways in the north wall of the porch, and from the porch into the nave, are of two orders with rudimentary capitals and slightly stilted round heads; the chancel arch, which is only 3 ft. 6 in. wide, is somewhat similar.
Above the string-course is a shallow arcade, of four bays on each wall of the chancel, two on each wall of the nave on each side of the porches or the sites thereof, and of six bays across the west end of the nave. The central bays of the last-mentioned section are pierced to form the two-light window mentioned above. There are traces of pilasters similar to those in the arcading around the walls of the porch, which terminate at the point of springing of the arches on the main walls. Above the arcading on the nave there is another stringcourse; the wall-plate of the chancel comes immediately above the arcading round the chancel. The east gable of the nave and that of the porch are decorated with fluted pilasters resembling half-timber work.
High up in the east wall of the nave on the interior face are two figures of angels in low relief, bearing scrolls; they were found embedded in the wall at the restoration of the church and are not in situ. They resemble drawings in the Benedictional of St. Ethelwold, c. 963–84, and so form an argument for the late Saxon dating of the church. (fn. 464)
Traces of 12th-century work in the parish church of Holy Trinity prove that in that century there was another church in Bradford besides that dedicated to St. Laurence.
From at least as early as 1349, and probably from an earlier date, the chapels of Atworth, South Wraxall, Limpley Stoke, Winsley, Holt, and Westwood were annexed to the parish church at Bradford. (fn. 465) In 1656 it was proposed to reform this large parish by severing from it the chapelries of Holt, Atworth, and Wraxall. Holt was to be joined with Great Chalfield, Little Chalfield, and Staverton to form a new parish, and Atworth and Wraxall were to be united with Monkton Farleigh, 'Cottles House', and Moxhams. (fn. 466) This rearrangement, if it ever took place, was shortlived and no permanent change was made until the 19th century.
The early history of the rectory of Bradford is obscure. It is likely that the grant of the manor of Bradford to Shaftesbury Abbey in 1001 included rights and responsibilities connected with the church of the town. A vicarage existed at Bradford in 1291 (fn. 467) so that the rectory had been appropriated by then, although express permission for its appropriation by Shaftesbury Abbey was not given until 1332 (see below). In 1291 the church of Bradford 'cum capell", as distinct from the vicarage, was assessed at £46.13s. 4d. Out of this a portion of £6. 13s. 4d. issued to Shaftesbury Abbey. (fn. 468) In 1312 the presentation to the vicarage was made by Gilbert de Middleton, who was described as 'farmer of the church of Bradford'. (fn. 469) In 1348 and 1349 Robert de Worth, described as 'rector', presented in a similar capacity. (fn. 470) Meanwhile Shaftesbury Abbey had been taking steps to regularize the position. In 1332 royal licence was granted for the abbey to appropriate the church of Bradford. (fn. 471) In 1343 the consent of the Pope was obtained, (fn. 472) and in 1349 to complete the appropriation the vicarage was ordained (see below). (fn. 473) Royal confirmation of the appropriation was given the same year, and a provision accompanying it throws some light on the earlier history of the rectory. This stipulated that as soon as the church of Bradford should be vacant by cession or decease of the rector, the king should provide against any further impeachment of the abbey's possession of the church. (fn. 474) It would seem, therefore, that Robert de Worth was correctly described as rector in the institution of 1349, and that the appropriation could not take full effect until after his death or resignation. The rectory and the advowson of Bradford remained with Shaftesbury Abbey until the Dissolution.
Temporal as well as spiritual property appears to have been attached to the church from an early date. According to the cartulary of Shaftesbury Abbey, Roger, the priest, acquired for 13s. 8d. 'in the time of King Henry' (? Henry I) a tenement in Bradford which apparently comprised ½ hide and 1 virgate in 'Forda'. After the death of the same king he further acquired a meadow called 'Cadeham' and a stall in the market. (fn. 475) Elsewhere in the cartulary Roger is said to have held 2 hides and 1/2; virgate and the tithes of the vill. (fn. 476) His successor, Colstan, the priest, held this estate with lands in Holt and Wraxall. He also held 2 acres in the demesne of Bradford for which he owed a rent of 2s. (fn. 477) He also had 3 (market) stalls at a rent of 6d. and toll and team for ½ hide at Ford. (fn. 478) Edwin, another early priest of Bradford, held a third of the tithes belonging to the church and churchyard and all altar dues and a house ('mansio'). (fn. 479) He also held the 'church' of Atworth with 1 virgate of land and tithes and the 'church' and a third of the tithes of (Limpley) Stoke. (fn. 480) In 1244 Ralph, parson of Bradford, was granted a deer from one of the royal forests of the district. (fn. 481) In 1341 the rector, besides spiritual property, had in demesne 10 virgates, worth with common of pasture £1. 16s. 8d., and 15 acres of meadow worth £1. 10s. 6d. The rents and services of his tenants were valued at £1. 3s., and his several pasture at 6s. 8d. (fn. 482) An account for the year 1383 for the parsonage ('personatus') of Bradford shows the estate, which is presumably the estate belonging to the rectory, to have been managed that year for Shaftesbury Abbey by William Wastel, bailiff, who was also reeve of the capital manor. (fn. 483) In 1428 the church cum capella together with the vicarage was valued at £51. 13s. 4d. (fn. 484) In 1535 the value of the rectory was stated to be £52. 3s. 8d. of which £3. 6s. 8d. was paid to the archdeacon, £12. 4s. to the sacrist of Shaftesbury Abbey, and £3. 6s. 8d. towards the support of twelve poor people of Bradford. (fn. 485) In 1542 the rectories and 'churches' of Bradford, Winsley, Holt, Atworth, Wraxall, and Cumberwell (fn. 486) were granted to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 487) In the library of the Wiltshire Archaeological Society there is a copy of court roll of a court held at the prebendal manor of Bradford by the dean and chapter in 1543. (fn. 488) That the rectory of Bradford should have been organized as a manor a year after it had been granted to the dean and chapter makes it seem probable that it had been so organized while in the hands of the abbey of Shaftesbury. It is doubtful, however, whether a clear distinction was maintained between the courts of the rectory manor and those of the lay manor and the hundred of Bradford during the century before the Dissolution.
In 1545 the dean and chapter granted the site of their parsonage at Bradford with its tithes of corn and hay in Rowley, Winsley and 'Tinlyn' to William Webbe of Bradford, his wife Cicely, and their sons Anthony and William to hold for their lives in survivorship at an annual rent of £20. The Webbes were to act as bailiffs for the dean and chapter. (fn. 489) In 1581, apparently after some pressure had been brought to bear on him, John Sprint, Dean of Bristol, presented the lease of the' rectory to the queen for seventy-eight years at a rent of £47. Three months later the queen assigned her lease to Sir Francis Walsingham. (fn. 490) In 1652 the rectory having been seized by the Commonwealth Commissioners for the sale of Church Lands, was sold to William Menheire of London. According to the deed of sale the lease granted to the queen in 1581 had been for ninety-nine years for the copyhold lands and tenements and for seventy-eight years for the rest of the property, both leases (or the latter lease) to start at the expiration of a twenty-one year lease to Anthony Webbe. (fn. 491) In 1660 the dean and chapter regained possession of the rectory, but during the 18th century it was frequently farmed out with the manorial rights attached to it. Between 1731 and 1770, if not indeed before and after, the lord farmer was the Duke of Kingston, who paid a rent of £57. 8s. (fn. 492) In his time the manor was charged with pensions of £2 to the Bishop and 13s. 4d. to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury. (fn. 493) The lord farmer recouped himself for his expenses by leasing the rectorial tithe and portions of the glebe. In 1731 the tithes of Leigh, Woolley, and Cumberwell were let to Richard Grant for £55; the glebe and tithes of Bradford, Trowle, Winsley, Haugh, and Holt to John Thresher for £33. 2s. 6d.; the tithes of Atworth and South Wraxall to John Long for £12; and the tithes of Limpley Stoke to Thomas Dicke for £2. 8s. By 1763 the tithes of Leigh and Woolley had been divided from those of Cumberwell. The former were leased to Richard Whatley and the latter to John Cooper. In the same year the representatives of a Mrs. Thresher and of Thomas Long paid the same rents for the groups of tithes formerly held by John Thresher and John Long respectively. All these arrangements are still found in operation in 1770. In addition George Dyke was leasing the tithes of Limpley Stoke. (fn. 494)
In 1788 the lord farmer of the rectory was the Hon. Daines Barrington, surviving trustee under the duke's will. (fn. 495) William Clavill was lord farmer in 1795 and 1811. (fn. 496) After this the dean and chapter appear to have resumed immediate administration of the rectory or 'prebendal manor'.
In 1704 the property of the benefice consisted of the glebe house with a stable, houses occupied by the parish clerk, (fn. 497) the sexton, and by 'one Cooper', meadow (2 acres) 'now converted into a public garden' with a house built upon it and 3 other gardens. (fn. 498)
In 1291 the value of the vicarage at Bradford was assessed at £5, a low assessment in proportion to that of the rectory (fn. 499) (see above). In 1349, seventeen years after permission had been given for the appropriation of the church by Shaftesbury Abbey, the vicarage was ordained. Thus were allotted to the vicar all oblations and small tithes from the town of Bradford; the tithes of wool and lambs and of all grain grown in gardens, curtilages, and orchards there; the tithes of all mills; herbage and pasturage arising from all churches and chapels pertaining to the parish of Bradford; the tithes of lambs and wool and all oblations and small tithes from the chapels of Wraxall, Atworth, and (Limpley) Stoke; also tithes of wool and all oblations and small tithes from chapels of Winsley and Holt; all tithes, small and great, and all other profits from the chapel of Westwood; all mortuaries in the parish; a sufficient place for a garden and curtilage and for enlarging the existing vicarage house, 'which is too narrow and low in the roof. The vicars were to maintain chaplains to serve the chapels of the parish, to pay the archdeacons' fees and to pay 'a quarter of the tenths when they shall be computed', and included in the quarter the portion of the tenth of the vicarage, viz. 11s. which the vicars had been accustomed to pay. The abbess and convent of Shaftesbury, as rectors, were to pay the residue of tenths and all other charges in connexion with the church of Bradford and its chapels. (fn. 500) In 1535 the vicarage with its six chapelries was valued at £50. 8s. of which 7s. 6d. was paid to the archdeacon for procurations. (fn. 501)
William Birde, vicar in 1535, was attainted in 1540, with Walter Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, his friend and patron, on charges of treason. (fn. 502) The bill of attainder alleged that Birde had aided the northern rebels and that Lord Hungerford knowing him to be a false and abominable traitor' had pretended to arrest him but had actually installed him as chaplain in the castle of Farleigh Hungerford. It is possible that the relationship between Birde and Hungerford may not have been as close as the bill of attainder suggested; a little light is shed on the matter by a letter sent by Hungerford to Cromwell two years before: 'although you did command me to send the vicar of Forde to the common gaol for speaking against the king, he is still at large in his parish and uses his tongue as unthriftily as ever.' (fn. 503) Birde was deprived of his living and was replaced by Thomas Morley, Bishop Suffragan of Marlborough. (fn. 504)
The advowson of the church at Bradford, having rested with the abbey of Shaftesbury from at least the middle of the 14th century until the Dissolution, passed with the rectory to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 505) When, however, in 1581 the rectory was leased to the queen, the advowson was exempted from the lease as having been previously leased (also in 1581) to Anthony Webbe. (fn. 506) In 1592 the presentation to the vicarage was made by John Lacey, who claimed his title under a grant made by the dean and chapter in 1569 to John Morant, whose executor Robert Costlyn granted the advowson to Lacey. (fn. 507) William Porret of Swell (Som.) and Edward Craddock of Foddington (Som.) presented in 1634 for that turn by the assignment of Edith, relict of John Wilkinson, Prebendary of Bristol. (fn. 508) The dean and chapter regained the advowson with the rectory in 1660, and held it until 1892 when it was transferred to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury in exchange for that of St. Sampson's, Cricklade.
There were three chantries in the church. The first, founded by Reynold Hall in 1420, was apparently not in existence at the Dissolution. (fn. 509) The chantry priest was to serve at the altar of St. Nicholas. A second chantry was founded in 1524 by William Birde, who gave lands to the value of £10 a year to endow a priest to serve at the altar of the Holy Trinity. (fn. 510) Birde, who was Vicar of Bradford (see above), was also the chantry priest of his own chantry in 1535. At that time a sum of £3. 6s. 8d. a year from the income of the chantry was distributed in charity. (fn. 511) In 1545, after Birde's attainder, the messuage and garden called Birde's Chantry House escheated to the crown and the chantry seems to have been dissolved. (fn. 512) In the following year the Chantry House then occupied by Agnes Pantre, widow, was granted by the king to Sir Thomas Moyle (d. 1560) one of the general surveyors. (fn. 513)
The third chantry was founded by Thomas Horton of Iford (d. 1 530) on the same day as Birde's Chantry. (fn. 514) According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus the chantry priest in 1535 was another Thomas Horton. The value of the endowment was £10 a year, of which £2. 15s. 4d. was then given in charity. (fn. 515) The chantry priest said mass at the altar of Our Lady. (fn. 516) The revenue of the chantry was derived from land in Allington, Chippenham, Wingfield, Hullavington, Bradford, Keevil, and Box, and from three places outside Wiltshire. The goods and ornaments of the chantry were valued at 23s. 4d. William Furbner, who was priest in 1549, lived at Bradford in the 'mansion house' of the chantry and was described as 'a very honest man, well learned and well able to serve a cure, albeit a very poor man and hath none other living but the said chantry'. It was further added that by the terms of the foundation he was bound to keep a free school at Bradford and to pay the clerk there 20s. a year for teaching the children to sing for divine service, and also to give to the poor 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 517) The income of the chantry had appreciated slightly, being then £11. 5s. 11d. The townspeople were evidently anxious that the chantry should be maintained. They submitted to the commissioners who were inquiring into chantry revenues that Bradford was 'a great parish in which be number of 566 people which receive the blessed Communion and no priest to help the vicar there in the administration of the sacraments saving the said chantry priest'. (fn. 518) In spite of this appeal the chantry with its lands was granted (fn. 519) in the same year to Thomas Horton (d. 1549), (fn. 520) nephew of the founder, and Richard Bellatt to hold as of the manor of Heytesbury.
The extremely complex descent of the chantry house in the 16th and 17th centuries has been set out by Sir Charles Hobhouse, bt. (fn. 521) It seems that some time before (and probably well before) 1664, the house came into the hands of the Hungerford family who sublet it on a 2,000-year lease to other persons who themselves assigned or mortgaged their terms. Amongst those who dealt in these under-leases were members of the families of Bailey, Daunton or Taunton of Bradford, and Houlton of Bradford and Trowbridge. In 1696 Edward Thresher of Bradford, who (or whose ancestor of the same name) had already had an interest in the property in 1665, acquired the residue of the lease from John Houlton, of Bromham, and his sisters. From the Threshers the property passed to the Cams, thence by marriage to the Hobhouses, and so to the Revd. J. C. Thring, from whom it was purchased in 1891 by John Beddoe. (fn. 522) The present (1950) occupier is Mr. H. Wadsworth. (fn. 523)
The house in Barton Orchard, now called the Chantry, presumably embodies parts of the original chantry house. A portion of the north elevation, of three stories with dormers, is believed to date from the mid-16th century. The west elevation, however, of three stories, and the remainder of the north elevation are of the 17th century. The south elevation, of three stories with a basement, and the east elevation, of two stories, are of the 18th century.
The parish church of HOLY TRINITY comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle, a chapel at the south-eastern corner of the nave, south porch, and west tower. The side walls of the western end of the chancel, and a reused window over the porch in the south wall of the nave date from the 12th century. The chancel walls are of rubble with stone dressings, the tower of coursed rubble and the rest of the church of stone ashlar. The original church probably consisted only of a chancel, about two-thirds as long as the present one, a nave of the same dimensions as now, and possibly a west tower. (fn. 524) The chancel was extended eastwards in the 14th century, its narrow round-headed windows were blocked up, and they remained blocked until the 19th century when the easterly ones, one on either side, were opened up and their sills lowered. The north aisle was built at two periods, and appears to have been formed by the removal, probably in the 16th century, of a screen or wall between two chapels on the north of the nave. The western portion of the aisle was probably originally the chantry chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas endowed in 1420 by Reynold Hall (see above). The eastern portion may have been the site of a lady chapel built in the 13th century, which was converted or built over to form the chantry at the altar of Our Lady endowed in 1524 by Thomas Horton (fn. 525) (see above). An unusually long squint (18 ft.) from the aisle traverses the angles of the nave and chancel walls. This may have been built when the chancel was lengthened, and it has been suggested that it was built on the foundation of a former squint. (fn. 526) The tower was added to the church in the 15 th century. It rises in three stages and is finished with a battlemented parapet, short octagonal spire, and at the south-eastern corner it has a small octagonal stair turret. In the same century the chancel arch was replaced. The final addition to the church was the south chapel, now called the Kingston Aisle. This was probably erected by a member of the Hall family in the early 16th century. In the middle of the 19th century the chapel was separated from the nave by a Jacobean screen and the arms of the family of Hall were to be seen above the lintel of the doorway. (fn. 527) The screen has now disappeared. The Kingston Aisle, which had been kept in repair by the owners of Kingston House, was given up by Stephen Moulton in 1864. Two 'faculty' pews were allotted to Moulton and his ancestors in return for this gift. These were said to be immediately in front of two other 'faculty' pews belonging to Horton's chantry. (fn. 528)
The church was much restored in the 19th century. In 1856 the east window was restored and its tracery renewed. In 1864 the south chapel (Kingston Aisle), the south wall of the nave, and the porch were taken down and rebuilt on the lines of the old work, reusing the original windows. The arcade was completely rebuilt with its arches equally spaced out instead of having its two eastern bays narrower than the western ones, as was formerly the case. (fn. 529) At about the same time the 17th-and 18th-century galleries were removed. These had run across the west end, the whole length of the north arcade, and across the chancel arch.
On the north side of the east window above the altar there is part of a 14th-century wall-painting representing the Virgin Mary being taught to read, and fixed to the west wall of the nave are two early 16th-century painted panels. Built into the south wall of the chancel is a basin of a late-14th-century piscina with a carved rosette in the centre with drain holes passing underneath, an unusual feature. In the centre of the south wall there is a white and grey marble monument to Anthony Methuen (d. 1699), signed M. Rysbrack. In a floor slab before the altar there is an excellent brass to Anne (d. 1601), wife of Gifford Long of Rood Ashton, and on the east wall of the aisle is another brass to Thomas Horton and Mary his wife with the dates of death left blank, except for mccccc (Thomas Horton died in 1530). There are many 18th-and 19thcentury memorials and three of the 17th century to Michael Tidcombe (d. 1662), William Bayley (d. 1695), and Charles Stewart (d. 1695). In two 14thcentury tomb recesses in the chancel there are effigies; on the north a much-worn figure of a female; on the south a knight with crossed legs, and almost hidden under the organ in the aisle is another, said to be of a female figure. Fixed in the north wall of the nave is a head and shoulder effigy of a young woman—a fine example of 13th-century work. In a window on the south side of the nave, there is a fine series of 17thcentury Flemish glass medallions, presented in 1760 by J. Ferrett, one bearing the inscription 'Jan. Verscrieck 1630'. In the centre of the north wall of the nave is an interesting recess with splayed jambs and head, the splays and back decorated with trefoil-headed panels, quatrefoils, and a central deep hollow in the form of a cross with a round pedestal at the base for a crucifix. It may have been a reredos from one of the two chantry chapels, or, more probably, a shrine. The doorway to the rood staircase has its original oak door of two vertical panels with carved cinquefoil cusped heads. The font, late 15th century, is octagonal with carved panels and stem, all redressed and standing on three octagonal steps.
The registers begin in 1579. Baptisms are missing from 1648 to 1661; marriages from 1650 to 1653 and are defective or missing from 1653 to 1661; burials from 1642 to 1647 and are imperfect or missing from 1647 to 1661. In 1553 a chalice (16 oz.) was left for the church and 5 oz. silver were taken for the king. The chalice was soon replaced by another, hall-marked 1564. Another chalice, with paten cover, was given in 1634 by Richard Reade. A set of plate comprising 2 chalices, 2 patens, a tankard-shaped flagon, an almsdish, and long handled spoon with perforated bowl was given by John Ferrett in 1764: all the pieces date from that year except the spoon which is hall-marked 1756. A silver gilt paten of 1705 was given that year by Francis Smith. There is another tankard-shaped flagon hall-marked 1723, and a modern silver chalice and paten presented in 1940. (fn. 530)
There were three bells in 1553. (fn. 531) By 1735 the number had increased to six; and in that year two new ones by William Cockey of Frome were added at a cost of £93. 14s. 2½d. exclusive of hanging. (fn. 532) The number remains at eight; of the existing bells, the 5th and 7th were cast by John Wallis of Salisbury in 1615, the treble, 2nd, and 6th by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, 1754. The 3rd and 4th, originally by Roger Purdue of Salisbury (1680), were recast by Gillett & Johnson of Croydon and William Blews & Sons of Birmingham in 1924 and 1870 respectively. The tenor, by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel (1842), was recast by Llewellin & James of Bristol in 1882. (fn. 533)
A chapel of St. Olave was mentioned in 1288–9. (fn. 534) It was situated in what is now Woolley Street, which was formerly known as Seynt Olesstret (1426), St. Toles Street (1612), Tuley Street (1660), (fn. 535) St. Olave's Street (1731), (fn. 536) and Tooley Street (1752). (fn. 537) Between 1731 and 1770 it formed part of the Kingston estate and was divided into tenements. (fn. 538) No traces now survive.
There are still some fragments of the original structure of the chapel of St. Mary, Tory. The chapel was noticed by Leland when he visited Bradford in c. 1540 as 'a chapel on the highest place of the town as I entered'. (fn. 539) Aubrey (c. 1660) wrote of 'the finest hermitage I have seen in England: several rooms and a very neat chapel of good freestone... on the top of the north hill'. (fn. 540) Late in the 18th century the chapel was converted into a cloth factory. (fn. 541) By the middle of the 19th century it had fallen into decay (fn. 542) and about 1870 it was much restored by T. Bush Saunders, then its owner. (fn. 543) At the present time (1950) a service is held in the chapel every Sunday morning. There is a cottage under the same roof. (fn. 544)
It is probable that there was a chapel dedicated to St. Catharine which formed part of 'Old Women's Almshouses' on the south bank of the river. There is a tradition that the chapel bell was removed to Winsley church. St. Catharine was a favourite saint in the parish of Bradford. The fair at Holt was held on her day and the custom of making 'Cattern cakes' had only recently lapsed when Jackson wrote in 1859. (fn. 545) The almshouses and chapel do not survive but were seen by Aubrey. (fn. 546)
There may once have been a chapel near Ashley. In a field, which in 1859 was still called the Church field, a coffin had been dug up, and there had been found other signs of the previous existence of a burial-ground. (fn. 547)
A chapel existed at Atworth soon after the Norman Conquest, when it was held by Edwin, the priest of Bradford. (fn. 548) The Abbess Cecily of Shaftesbury (elected 1107) gave ½ virgate of land for the finding of lights in the church of Atworth, and 2 acres in demesne and half the wood of the demesne. (fn. 549) When the record of institutions of clerks began at the end of the 13th century Atworth had a priest of its own, who was presented by the lord of the manor of Atworth Cottles. (fn. 550) The advowson of the chapel descended with the manor of Atworth Cottles and the last recorded presentation was made in 1533 by Thomas Beaushyn. (fn. 551) In 1449 the rents and profits of the 'free chapel' of Atworth Cottles were conveyed by Robert Chitterne, 'rector or warden' of the chapel, to William Beaushyn. (fn. 552) Throughout the Middle Ages the chapelry remained annexed to the parish church of Bradford, and was included in the grant of 1542 to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 553) The lords of the manor of Atworth Cottles continued to claim, though they did not exercise, the patronage of the chapel at least as late as 1639 (fn. 554) and in 1829–30 tithes of grain and hay were annexed to the manor. (fn. 555) On the other hand, conveyances of the 'free chapel of Atworth Parva' were made by the queen in 1584–5 to Anthony Collins and John Mayland, and in 1586–7 to Charles Bagehot and Bartholomew Yardley. This suggests that the chapel had passed to the queen under the lease of Bradford rectory made in 1581 and had been confirmed by that lease. (fn. 556) In 1847 the chapelry of Atworth, with South Wraxall annexed, was made a perpetual curacy, endowed with a vicarial rent-charge. (fn. 557) The patronage was vested in the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, in which (unlike that of the mother church of Bradford) it has since remained. (fn. 558)
In 1614 there was a glebe house consisting of a hall and chamber. In 1704 the vicarage house, as it was then called, with a close of about 2 acres lay on the north-west side of the church. (fn. 559)
The church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, Atworth, stands on the west of the village about ½ mile from Cottles House. It is a plain square building with a tower connected to it by a narrow passage. The tower dates from about the middle of the 15th century and is built of rubble with worked dressings. It rises in four stages, the two upper diminished by weathered offsets, and is finished with an embattled parapet, saddle-back roof, and plain gargoyles, two on each face. The rest of the church is of ashlar and was built in 1832 to replace an earlier one (fn. 560) demolished, except for the tower, in the previous year. The pulpit, font, gallery, and fittings are contemporary. When Aubrey visited the church in 1668 he reported that all the windows were broken. (fn. 561)
The registers begin in 1654 and are complete. The plate, which was unrecorded in 1553, now comprises 2 chalices, 2 patens, a flagon, and a silver alms-dish hall-marked 1844. (fn. 562)
Atworth had four bells in 1553. Of these one, the present treble, remains. It dates from c. 1350 and was cast at Bristol; it bears the inscription 'AVE MARI', with a wheel between the words and a floriated cross at the ends. The 2nd is by William Bilbie of Chewstoke (Som.), 1786, and the tenor, roughly inscribed 'GLORIA In excelsis deo 1606', probably by Roger Purdue of Bristol. The recasting of the 2nd bell, and new ropes and rehanging for all three, cost £40. 6s. 9d. In 1900 the treble was badly cracked and lacked a clapper, and all three were 'in filthy and disgraceful condition'. (fn. 563)
The chapel of Barley is mentioned only for twentyfive years in the first half of the 14th century. In 1323 and 1342 presentations to it were made by the Prior of Farleigh; in 1345,1347, and 1349 the king presented because the priory estates were in his hands. (fn. 564) There is no other reference to this chapel. It has been suggested that it was identical with the chapel of St. Owen in South Wraxall (see below) which certainly belonged to Farleigh Priory. (fn. 565) An alternative but less likely theory is that Barley chapel was at Cumberwell.
The existence of a church at Cumberwell is implied in the grant (1542) to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol of the 'rectories, chapels and churches... of Bradford, Winsley, Holt, Atworth, Wraxall, and Cumberwell.' (fn. 566) No further mention has been found of a chapel at Cumberwell. Apparently it was not in existence in 1553, when a survey of church goods in Bradford hundred was made. (fn. 567) The rectory, or portion, of Cumberwell was conveyed with that of Bradford to Sir Francis Walsingham (fn. 568) and so descended.
A chapel existed at Holt early in the 12th century, when Cecily, Abbess of Shaftesbury (elected 1107), gave land belonging to the church of Bradford to the church of Holt. (fn. 569) The church of Holt is again mentioned in 1288–9. (fn. 570) The chapel of Holt was annexed to the vicarage of Bradford in 1535 (fn. 571) and was granted with it to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. A lawsuit in 1691–2 shows that the parishioners of Holt were then badly served. The suit was between Thomas Lewis, Vicar of Bradford, and Thomas Sartin, yeoman of Holt. The vicar claimed arrears of tithe, and witnesses for the defendant complained that Holt had been neglected by the curate in whose charge it lay. The curate, also named Thomas Sartin, had cure of the church of Great Chalfield and the chapels of Atworth and South Wraxall as well as Holt. He was 'a very turbulent person and hath bin at difference with almost all his neighbours concerning tithes, . . . and hath made use of the trade of a joiner... keeping a journeyman in his house to help him.' (fn. 572) The chapelry of Holt became a perpetual curacy in 1846. (fn. 573) The living is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 574)
In 1605 the 'parsonage' of Holt included 2 small cottages, 1 small orchard, 1 'little garden ground'—a total of 1½–2 acres of glebe. To a later inquiry (1704) it was replied that the glebe lands consisted of 12 'lugs' of meadow called 'The Paddock', adjoining the chapelyard on the east side of the chapel and 8 'lugs' adjoining the chapelyard on the north-west of the chapel 'lying in and being part of the Parsonage Barton'. (fn. 575)
The church of ST. KATHERINE, Holt, stands in a small churchyard on the southern outskirts of the village. It comprises a tower, chancel, nave, north and south aisles, vestry, and south porch. With the exception of the tower, the church was rebuilt in 'Gothic' style of a 15th-century character in 1801. C. E. Ponting was the architect. All that was retained of the previous church, besides the 15th-century tower, was the south wall of the south aisle, the south porch, the plinth of the north aisle, and a number of wall memorial tablets, the earliest being to John Bailey (d. 1642), and two of the 18th century, one signed Brewer of Box. The tower is built of ashlar and rises in two stages; it is finished with a saddleback ashlar roof, battlemented parapet, crocketted finials at the angles, and two grotesque gargoyles on each face; the merlons, on the west side only, are decorated with the spiked wheel of St. Katherine. Below the two-light windows on the east and west faces of the belfry are canopied niches each with an angel with outspread wings holding a shield. These niches are of the same design as two on the south porch of St. James Church, Trowbridge. Below the niche on the west face there are two wheels of St. Katherine. Another wheel is to be seen on one of the stops to the west doorway, while on the other stop there are crossed nails. The present church follows the plan of an earlier one with the addition of a vestry and organ chamber on the north side of the chancel. The font dates from the 12th century. The churchyard was extended in 1842 and closed in 1894, Electric lighting was installed in the church in 1930.
The registers for marriages and burials begin in 1568, those for baptisms in 1580. (fn. 576) The church plate includes a chalice of 1754 with domed cover surmounted by an acorn; a paten of Brittania metal, 1690, presented by Judith Forster in 1838; another paten made in Exeter in 1719, and given by James Bliss, curate of Holt, in 1838; a plated flagon; a silver chalice in memory of Jane Knight (d. 1928); a silver paten in memory of W. H. Roberts (d. 1904), and a silver wafer-box added in 1941 and purchased by public subscription. (fn. 577)
There were three bells at Holt in 1553. Of these one, the present 5th, survived until 1925. It was a product of the Bristol foundry, c. 1500; the inscription is 'Sancte micael ora pro nobis', with a medallion of unusual type at the beginning and floreated cross of the usual Bristol type after 'Micael'. Until 1905 there was a ring of five, as follows: treble, 1665; 2nd, by Clement Toser or Tosier of Salisbury, 1682; 3rd by William Cockey of Frome, 1716; 4th, the medieval 'Bristol' bell; tenor, by Lewis Cockey of Bristol, 1698. In 1905 a new treble was added in memory of the Revd. H. H. Moseley, vicar 1865 to 1901, and all the others except the medieval bell recast by Warner of London. The new bells were 'a very poor lot, especially the tenor', and were again recast in 1925. (fn. 578) In 1651 the parishioners complained at Quarter Sessions that one of the churchwardens had removed one of the bells, which he refused to return to the church. (fn. 579)
There was a chapel at Limpley Stoke in 1349 (fn. 580) when the vicarage of Bradford was ordained (see above). From architectural evidence it must be presumed to have been then in existence for at least 280 years. This chapel, which was dependent on the mother church of Bradford was for some reason not included in the grant of Bradford to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol and was therefore presumably kept in hand by the Crown. In 1578 the queen granted to John Mersche and John Turpyn a ruined chapel called 'Our Lady of Limpley's Chapel' and a small house once called the church house in Hanging Stook, or Stoke-upon-Avon—which had recently been occupied by persons responsible for maintaining the offering and lights before the image of St. Mary, called the image of Our Lady of Limpley Stoke. (fn. 581) The rectory or portion of (Limpley) Stoke was included in the grant of Bradford rectory to Sir Francis Walsingham in 1581 (see above) and so descended. (fn. 582) Whatever the purpose of the grant of 1578 the chapel was not permanently handed over to secular uses. In 1608 there was annexed to it a house and an acre of land adjoining. This house was in existence in 1704 and had a garden containing 4 'lugs'. (fn. 583) In 1846 the chapelry of Limpley Stoke was joined with that of Winsley to form a perpetual curacy. (fn. 584) The patron is the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 585)
The church of ST. Mary the virgin at Limpley Stoke comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, west tower, and north porch. It is a small church dating from pre-Conquest times, but was probably rebuilt in the 12th and again in the 13th centuries. The west tower was built in the 15th century. In 1870 the chancel was restored and the nave reroofed. In 1921 an aisle and vestry were added on the south side destroying a 12th-century doorway in making the arcade, but retaining as part of the arcade a tall preConquest round-headed doorway. The nave is built in random rubble, plastered, the chancel in ashlar, and the tower in squared and coursed masonry. The chancel is lighted on the east by a restored 15th-century pointed traceried window of three cinquefoil lights with a modern single cinquefoil light on each side. The aisle is lighted by three square-headed windows of two cinquefoil lights on the south, and by part of a 14th-century traceried window removed from the south wall of the nave. The nave is lighted by two two-light and one three-light windows. The porch entrance is roundheaded; the doorway is of late-15th-century date and is fitted with a contemporary oak door somewhat restored. The tower is divided into two stages by a string-course. It is without buttresses and is crowned by a plain parapet and short octagonal spire divided into three by equidistant string-courses. The east end of the nave has a gabled bell-cote. Above the chancel arch is a painted coat of arms of George III. A modern organ-loft has been erected across the west end of the nave, reusing some 17th-century carved panels in the front. The 15th-century carved stone pulpit now consists of two sides of an octagon projecting from a recess in the north wall at the east end of the nave. The font is modern. In the churchyard are twelve coffin-shaped slabs of the 13th and 14th centuries, all badly weathered, three with traces of head and shoulder effigies, the remainder, including one for an infant, have traces of floriated crosses.
The registers date from 1707 and are complete. (fn. 586) The plate includes an Elizabethan chalice with paten cover, 1577; a silver gilt paten purchased by subscription c. 1884; a glass flagon; a second chalice presented anonymously in 1911; a paten given in 1950 in memory of Ethel May Wheeler and a wafer-box hall-marked 1935. (fn. 587)
There were three bells in 1553. Two bells were sold in 1788. The existing bell was cast in 1596, probably by William Purdue of Closworth (Som.). It is said formerly to have hung in the bell-cote on the east gable of the nave. (fn. 588)
There was a chapel at Winsley in 1349, which was mentioned when the vicarage of Bradford (see above) was ordained in that year. The chapel was granted, with the parent church, to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol (1542) and in 1553 was said to have three bells. (fn. 589) In 1608 there was annexed to the chapel a house and garden belonging to the vicarage of Bradford. (fn. 590) There was a curate at Winsley in 1628 and in addition to the house and garden he enjoyed all small tithes except those of lambs. These tithes, which were of coppice wood, pigs, wool, 'cow white', calves, apples, and the issues of 2 mills, were of a value not exceeding £10 a year. (fn. 591) A later inventory (1704) gives the area of land attached to the house as about 6 'lugs', and there is also a detailed list of tithes and other offerings due from the inhabitants of the chapelry. These included the left shoulder of every calf killed and the tenth penny of every calf sold; the tithe of honey; 5d. for every man and his wife and their garden to be paid at Easter, and for every cock 3 eggs and every hen 2, to be paid on Good Friday; 2d. to be paid by everyone above 16; 4d. for every woman churched; 10s. for every person dying worth £40 in goods and chattels, his debts being paid. (fn. 592) This is an interesting example of the survival of church-scot. The 'capital messuage or parsonage house of Haugh', presumably the house of the curate of Winsley, was leased with the tithes between 1731 and 1770 (see above, p. 25). As noted above, (fn. 593) the chapelry of Winsley became part of a new perpetual curacy in 1846 and of a new parish, that of Winsley with Limpley Stoke, in 1868. The patron is the Dean and Chapter of Bristol.
The church of ST. NICHOLAS, Winsley, consists of a nave, chancel recess, tower, and south porch. The original church, with the exception of the tower, was demolished and a new one built in 1841 a little to the north of the tower to which it is connected by a covered passage. The church is a plain building in the 'Gothic' style, built of ashlar and roofed with Welsh slates. The tower, probably dating from the 15th century, rises in three stages finishing in a plain parapet and saddleback roof. The late-15th-century font was found in a garden in 1876 and restored to the church.
The registers begin in 1724 and are complete. (fn. 594) In 1553 there was a chalice of 12 oz. at Winsley and 3 oz. of silver were taken for the king. There are now 2 small cups, 2 patens of plated metal, a glass flagon, a silver chalice purchased c. 1927, and a paten given in memory of Mrs. Banks in c. 1935. (fn. 595)
There were three bells at Winsley in 1553. Two of these survive, the treble inscribed 'sancte toma ora pronobis h 1', by Henry Jefferies of Bristol, c. 1550, and the tenor inscribed 'sancta maria', probably by Thomas Gefferies or Jefferies, his father (d. 1545–6). The intermediate bell was cast or recast by Thomas Bilbie of Chewstoke (Som.) in 1756. There is also a clock bell on the roof of the tower, uninscribed but probably by Thomas Bilbie. (fn. 596) The bells were rehung in a new frame in 1951.
The mention of 'Martin the chaplain of Wraxall' in or about 1227 (fn. 597) indicates that a chapel then existed at South Wraxall, and the grant by Martin to the priory of Farleigh of a house and half a hide of land in Wraxall, which he had previously held as a tenant of Shaftesbury Abbey, was possibly the grant of the endowments of that chapel. It is possible that the chapel is identical with that described in 1323 to 1349 as the chapel of Barley (see above). From this point it is very difficult to be certain whether a reference to a chapel in Wraxall means the chapel held by Farleigh, which was dedicated to St. Owen, or the chapel of St. James, which is now the parish church and which contains an early-14th-century tower. It is apparently the chapel of St. James which is mentioned as appurtenant to the church of Bradford in the ordination of the vicarage in 1349, which passed after the Dissolution to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, and which had four bells in 1553. (fn. 598) The chapel passed with the rectory of Bradford to Sir Francis Walsingham (1581) and from that date continued to follow the same descent as the rectory. In 1704 it was stated by Thomas Sartin, curate of Wraxall, (fn. 599) that there was belonging to the bishop within the precincts of South Wraxall a small dwelling-house with a garden and stable and all tithes except corn and hay. The value of the property was £15 a year. (fn. 600) If this was a correct return it suggests that the glebe and vicarial tithes of Wraxall had been granted to the bishop between the Dissolution and 1704. Possibly the grant was made by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford (later Duke of Somerset), at the same time as that of the manor of Monkton Farleigh (q.v.). The earl had been granted the manor of Wraxall formerly belonging to Farleigh Priory and although he did not convey Wraxall manor to the bishop he may have granted the church property. This theory, however, implies that the chapel of St. James had belonged to Farleigh priory, and there is no other evidence that this was so. An alternative possibility is that the terrier of 1704 refers to the chapel of St. Owen (see below). The chapel of St. James was joined with the chapel of Atworth in 1847 to form a perpetual curacy and the patronage was vested in the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. (fn. 601)
The church of ST. JAMES,, South Wraxall, consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, south chapel, west tower, and vestry. With the exception of the tower and chapel, the church has been rebuilt, the aisle in 1823, the chancel, vestry, and present arcade in 1882. It is built of ashlar in the 'Gothic' style of the 15th century, and there is nothing to indicate the period or extent of the original structure. The chapel was probably added in the late 14th century and was partly rebuilt in 1566 by the Longs. It is built of squared and coursed masonry with worked dressings and is lighted by two restored late-14th-century squareheaded traceried windows of three cinquefoil lights. The doorway is square headed of one splay, with a label above. Above the label is inscribed 'R.A°.R. 1556' with left a fetlock, and right a stag's head. The tower dates from the early 14th century and rises in three stages, the upper diminished by a weathered offset, and is finished with an ashlar saddleback roof and a central ball finial. Within the church is a late-15thcentury stone altar-tomb with the recumbent effigy of a woman; it bears no inscription but the front panel has an angel holding a shield with the Long arms and the mouldings are decorated with fetlocks. There are numerous 18th-century wall memorials including one on the west wall to Thomas Long (d. 1733) and there is one 17th-century memorial to William Jones (d. 1660). The altar and pulpit are modern. The font has been recut and redressed but may date from the late 14th century.
The registers begin in 1672 but until the middle of the 18th century there are many gaps. (fn. 602) In 1553 there was a small chalice of 7 oz. left to the church, and 1½ oz. of silver was taken for the king. The present chalice, paten, and flagon date from 1881, and were given to the church in the following year by Miss M. E. A. Cusack of South Wraxall. (fn. 603)
There were four bells at South Wraxall in 1553. The present peal of six bells is by Abraham Bilbie, 1769, and is a very light ring. In 1835 it was resolved that 'there should not Be But tow Rining Days in the year that Is to say Corination Day and 5 th Day of November'. (fn. 604)
In 1535–6 Anthony Long was paying 10s. a year for a portion of tithes belonging to a chapel dedicated to St. Owen which he enjoyed under a conventual lease. (fn. 605) From the dissolution of Farleigh Priory the chapel itself was apparently kept in hand until in 1579 the queen granted it to Edward Downing and John Walker. (fn. 606) Appurtenant to the chapel were a close of land or pasture called 'Radmouse' in Wraxall with a small coppice of wood and a close of land and pasture called 'Angelettes' and 'all tithes in Wraxall'. In 1629 the 'rectory of the chapel of St. Owen', all tithes belonging to it, and 20d. yearly from 'Priors Court' for 'kine white' were conveyed by Henry Thynne to John Long of Haugh. (fn. 607) In 1679 John Long, probably the son of John Long of Haugh, conveyed St. Owen's to Thomas Long and Edward Aubrey, possibly for the purpose of a settlement. (fn. 608) The younger John married Katherine, sister and heir of Hope Long of Wraxall, and St. Owen's Chapel probably became annexed to the Longs' manor of Wraxall. The chapel became incorporated in a farmhouse, known as the Manor Farm, not far from the manor house. The present condition of the house makes it difficult to determine what parts of the chapel the remains represent. (fn. 609)
CHRIST CHURCH, Bradford, was built in 1842 to meet the spiritual needs of inhabitants of the northern districts of the town. (fn. 610) The patronage is exercised by the vicar of Holy Trinity, the mother church. The church, in the Perpendicular style, begun in 1840, consists of chancel, nave, south porch, and west tower with spire. The chancel is an addition to the original building and is from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott. An organ chamber was also added in 1891. (fn. 611) There is one bell. The plate includes 2 chalices, 2 patens, a flagon, and an alms-dish, presented by the Dean and Chapter of Bristol in 1840, and another almsdish, silver gilt, presented by Septimus Palairet in 1846. (fn. 612) The register dates from 1842. (fn. 613)
Nonconformity appeared early in Bradford. In 1532 a man named Trapnell was publicly burnt in the old market-place for so-called heresy in denying the king's supremacy. (fn. 614) The prosecution of Lord Hungerford and of William Birde, Vicar of Bradford in 1539 (see above—Churches), included charges of sympathy with the northern rebels.
Further evidence of nonconformity in the town has not been traced before the middle of the 17th century. By 1660 the Presbyterians and Baptists had gained a considerable following in the neighbourhood. In 1666 a remarkable parcel of letters was sent to Sir George Downing, bt., by a Colonel Giles Strangeways, evidently a west country magistrate. (fn. 615) Strangeways's letter (which was dated 28 February) covered three inclosures. The first was to Strangeways himself from Edward Philips, of'Montague', Somerset, and recited how he had picked up in the street 'at Alonsey in the parish of All Reades' a letter from John Pitman of Bradford to John Chamberlain of Old Exchange, London. Philips inclosed this letter and also one to Pitman from Robert Bennet, dated at Taunton. The last letter was first in point of time, having been written on 18 January 1666. It was terse and to the point: 'All is ready for a rising; 40,560 men have taken the oaths. Axes are ready and a man appointed to kill the King. The colours bear "Charles shall down and lose his head". Powder and iron bars are ready in London to fire the city. No quarter must be given to cavaliers. The rising will be within three weeks. Pitman's letter to Chamberlain, dated 17 February 1666, was on the same subject. 'The design is forwarding to overthrow the tyrant Charles and all the posterity, for the curse of God will follow them for persecuting his people.' The writer asked the day of the rising in order that horses might be prepared for service and concluded that he would as soon 'whet his sword in the King's blood as in a dog's'. On reading the letters from Philips, Strangeways, so he said, had ordered a militia officer to arrest Pitman, to search the houses of all in the parish who did not come to church and frequented conventicles, and to seize three out of the four nonconforming ministers there (one of whom had recently taken the oath 'prescribed by the late Act') and bring them to Dorchester before the deputy-lieutenant.
The four Nonconformist ministers mentioned in Col. Strangeways's letter were probably identical with four whose names were given in the Episcopal Returns of Conventicles of 1669. (fn. 616) In those returns there was stated to be a Presbyterian conventicle numbering about 200 persons at Bradford held in the house of John Crooke, farmer. The ministers' names were 'Weekes of Bristol, Flower of Castlecombe, Fox of Marshfield, and Gawen of Malmesbury'. John Weeks (d. 1698) had been ejected from the vicarage of Buckland Newton (Dors.), and subsequently ministered to a large congregation in Bristol. (fn. 617) Benjamin Flower was the son of a former Rector of Castle Combe, of the same name. He had been curate there to his father when they were both ejected in 1662. In 1669 he ministered at Horningsham and Warminster as well as at Bradford. He later settled at Chippenham and ministered there and at Devizes. He died in 1709. (fn. 618) John Fox (d. c. 1678) had been Vicar of Pucklechurch (Glos.) until his ejection. He lived at Marshfield and ministered to three dissenting congregations in Somerset and three in Wiltshire. (fn. 619) Simon Gawen (d. 1672) had been ejected from the vicarage of Malmesbury. He ministered at Dunkerton (Som.) as well as Bradford. (fn. 620) The returns of 1669 included also a conventicle at Atworth, described as Anabaptist. (fn. 621) It consisted of 20 or 30 persons 'of meane quality' who met at the house of Samuel Love, and the ministers were 'one Painter of Wraxall, silkman', and Samuel himself, who was a flockman.
A year later (1670) John Eyre of Little Chalfield was writing anxious letters about the activities of local dissenters. On 11 August, writing to Sir Gilbert or Sir John Talbot, (fn. 622) he referred to meetings of Anabaptists and Presbyterians, the latter numbering from 1,500 to 2,000. (fn. 623) He described the widespread popular sympathy with dissent and the devices adopted by the dissenters to avoid punishment, and said that he had long ago urged that some of Lord Oxford's troop of horse should be stationed at Chalfield, Warminster, Trowbridge, Bradford, and other places in Wiltshire. John Eyre enclosed the statement of four informers, part of which related to a dissenters' meeting at the house of John Selcock at South Wraxall. On their approach 'he called them informing rogues and threatened to knock out their brains if they approached nearer'. This correspondence was forwarded to the Bishop of Salisbury, and on 2 September 1670 John Eyre was writing to the bishop on the same subject. (fn. 624)
Three conventicles were licensed in the parish of Bradford under the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672. The house of John Holton at Bradford was registered as a Presbyterian meeting-house. (fn. 625) The house of John Lydiard and the barn of John Broomejohn were licensed as Baptist conventicles and Henry Sharpwell of Bradford was licensed as a Baptist teacher. (fn. 626) In 1711 several rooms in houses belonging to Joseph Smith in South Wraxall were licensed as meeting-places for dissenters, and in 1727 the dwelling-house of John Deverell in Bradford was licensed for the same purpose. (fn. 627)
By 1672 there were also a number of Quakers in the neighbourhood, although there do not appear to be any licences to them in that year. According to one account there were regular meetings at Cumberwell as early as 1660. (fn. 628) During a meeting in May of that year there was a raid by troopers under a Lieutenant Ayers, who arrested Robert Star and carried him to Salisbury, where he was sent to prison by the Commissioners of the Militia.
Bishop Compton's Census of 1676 gave the number of Nonconformists in the parish of Bradford as 159, and of Conformists as 3,105. (fn. 629)
It seems probable that the Society of Friends was the first dissenting sect to have a permanent meetinghouse in Bradford parish. This was at Cumberwell and the building stood on or near the site of the modern Pottick's House. (fn. 630) There was also a Quaker burial-ground at Cumberwell. (fn. 631) Probably this adjoined or was near the meeting-house. In 1678 the society at Cumberwell formed part of the Lavington Monthly Meeting. (fn. 632) In 1694 it was described for the first time as that of Cumberwell and Bradford and from 1698 simply as the Bradford meeting. (fn. 633) Not long after this a meeting-house was built in Bradford. (fn. 634) This still stands in a court leading out of St. Margaret's Street and the date 1718 is inscribed above the door. Here the Quakers worshipped until the end of the 18th century. The society was never one of the strongest in the county, but it still survived in 1775, when the Lavington Monthly Meeting was merged with those of Charlecote and Chippenham to form the Wiltshire Monthly Meeting. (fn. 635) Bradford was dropped from the list of societies in 1780, (fn. 636) but it was included in a list in the back of the Monthly Meeting Register for 1788 to 1800. The society was included in the Melksham Preparative Meeting and in 1790 had 2 members. In 1798 there was only 1 member. (fn. 637) This must have been the end of the society. Its members may have been meeting with the strong society at Melksham before this time. The meeting-house in St. Margaret's Street was for long disused. In or about 1850 it was taken over for use as a British school (see Schools). It is now (1952) used as a builder's store. It is not clear what had happened to the earlier meetinghouse at Cumberwell. Andrews and Dury marked it as a Quaker meeting-house on their map of 1773, which suggests that it then still belonged to the Friends. There were occasional Quaker burials at Cumberwell until 1803. (fn. 638) The Cumberwell meeting-house was said in 1859 to be used as a school. (fn. 639)
The Grove Chapel is the oldest surviving Nonconformist place of worship. It was built in about 1698 on land conveyed in that year by Anthony Methuen to Francis Yerbury, the elder, of Ashley, Francis Yerbury, the younger, of Bradford, and Thomas Bush of Bradford. (fn. 640) It has been suggested that the foundation was assisted by Thomas Jones, who had been evicted from the vicarage of Calne in 1660. (fn. 641) In its early years the meeting was Presbyterian. The first minister whose name has survived was William Dangerfield (d. 1717). He had been a candidate for the ministry in 1690, when living at Marlborough. (fn. 642) His successor at Bradford was Thomas Barker, who was there from about 1717 to 1729. (fn. 643) During Barker's time the congregation numbered 400, of whom 28 were qualified to vote in the election of knights of the shire and 3 in the election of parliamentary burgesses. The chapel was said to be worth '£500 at least'. It was receiving a grant of £6 a year from the Presbyterian Fund. (fn. 644) Barker was succeeded by Dr. Josiah Read. Read was apparently associated in office with a Mr. Wereat. Between 1730 and 1740 doctrinal differences arose in the church. Wereat was suspended for expressing Unitarian views, but his opponents, who included Dr. Read, were evidently in the minority and in 1739 seceded from the Grove to found the Independent chapel at Morgan's Hill (see below). (fn. 645) The society at the Grove was probably Unitarian from this time onwards. In 1793 a Unitarian liturgy was introduced. The chapel declined greatly during the long pastorate (1777 to 1810) of Edward Williams. (fn. 646) After his death John Evans of Bristol acted for a short time as pastor, but by 181 5 there was hardly any congregation and in that year the Grove was let to a group of Independents who had seceded from the Morgan's Hill chapel led by William Coombs. (fn. 647) The Grove did not at first flourish under Coombs and many of his followers went back to Morgan's Hill. In spite of this, however, the Independents of the Grove were suffi ciently active and prosperous to build Zion Chapel (see below) opposite the Grove, and to this they moved in 1823. (fn. 648) From 1823 to 1827 services were held at the Grove every Sunday evening by Richard Wright, pastor of the Conigre (Unitarian) church at Trowbridge. His successor Samuel Martin (1827 to 1873) at first continued this practice but later held services only once or twice a year for the purpose of securing the small endowment. (fn. 649) In or soon after 1873 the Grove was taken over by Zion Chapel (now Baptist) and used as a Sunday school until 1939 when the congregation of Zion moved back to the Grove for their services as well as for the Sunday school. (fn. 650) Thus in 1951 the Grove was again in regular use as a place of worship, having been in turn Presbyterian, Unitarian, Independent, and Baptist.
The Grove Chapel was endowed, by deeds of 1783 and 1786, with two cottages (Nos. 18 and 19 Newtown). New trustees were appointed by an Order of the Charity Commissioners of 1892, and early in the present century the property was let for £13 yearly, the revenue being applied to the repair of the chapel.
Samuel Cam, by will proved in 1792, gave £100 to be invested and the interest applied to the minister's salary. In 1835 the stock in which this legacy had been invested was transferred to the National Debt Commissioners, as the interest had been unclaimed for ten years. In 1875 the stock was reclaimed through the Charity Commissioners and early in the present century was represented by £118 Consols, producing £2. 19s. a year. (fn. 651)
Of those who seceded from the Grove in 1739 to found the Independent chapel at Morgan's Hill, Dr. Josiah Read was spiritual head, but he was an old man and it is likely that the most energetic leadership came from two laymen, Walter Grant of Monkton Farleigh and John Pitman of Bradford; it is natural to suppose that Pitman was a relative of the incendiary of 1666. (fn. 652) Both Grant and Pitman were related to Dr. Read.
The dwelling-house of John Pitman was licensed as a meeting-place for dissenters in 1738. In 1741 a licence was granted to Joshua Read, John Pitman, and two other persons for a house newly erected and intended for a meeting-house. It was said to be near 'a strett called St Margetts Strett joyning to a place Called Morgan Hill'. (fn. 653)
The building of the new chapel was made possible by a gift of land by Mrs. Mary Grant and by gifts of £100 each by Dr. Read, Grant, and Pitman. By their wills Grant and Pitman subsequently endowed the chapel with property amounting to £2,144. (fn. 654) The founders of the chapel 'were but few in number but very respectable in point of character and property'. (fn. 655) Dr. Read remained pastor until his death in 1745 or 1746. It was he who at first encouraged but later disappointed John Wesley in 1739. (fn. 656) The next pastor was a Mr. Humphries (c. 1747 to 1751) 'but his wife being a high church woman gave the poor man no rest until he conformed to the established church; he then got some curacy or living of some kind and was heard of no more'. (fn. 657) There was, however, more to the matter than this. Humphries had quarrelled with the trustees of the church about his stipend and allowances. John Pitman, commenting upon these events in a letter, said that if Humphries 'had done his best' the trustees would have been able to make up his salary to £35 or £40 a year. (fn. 658) Clearly Pitman and his colleagues regarded the minister as their servant. The congregation at Morgan's Hill never seems to have been large during the 18th century. Nicholas Phené (pastor 1773 to 1792) was a good man and well loved, but in his time 'so small was the congregation that it is said that on Tuesday evening he would look in to see if there were seven persons present; if there were he would go in and preach, if not he would desire them to hold a prayer meeting'. (fn. 659) Phené's successor the Revd. Mr Dun (1793 to 1805), enlarged the chapel. At the time of Dun's death there were 62 members. Ten of these died within a month of him, but Thomas Williams (1805 to 1812) added 70 new members before resigning because of illness. From 1812 to 1815 various preachers supplied the pulpit; one of these was William Coombs, a student. In 1815 Coombs was invited to become pastor and was about to take office when a dispute arose between him and the trustees over their right to appoint or dismiss the pastor without consulting the other members of the society. Coombs left Morgan's Hill, taking with him a number of the members and they opened a new meeting at the Grove (see above). The secession was followed at Morgan's Hill by a remarkable gesture of defiance. The society had previously raised £10 a year for the public stock. After the secession more than £100 a year was raised, 'a humbling and painful reflection upon man, depraved man, who will do ten times more for a little spite or opposition than he will do for the grace of God'. (fn. 660) In November 1815, however, the Morgan's Hill trustees renounced the power they had previously claimed to appoint and dismiss the minister, and in 1816 the pastorate was taken by Daniel Fleming, who in 1820 wrote the history of the chapel. (fn. 661) There was still great bitterness between the members of Morgan's Hill and the schismatics at the Grove and soon after Fleming's arrival a meeting was held to compose matters. Representatives of both sides met at the New Bear Inn, 'spent nearly a whole day together, dined... and came to a number of amicable resolutions... which as I am bound to say as a faithful witness were kept most honorably by the Morgan's Hill people but nothing like kept by the other party'. The controversy of 1815–16 probably benefited Morgan's Hill in the long run by ending the rule of the trustees. The chapel has prospered since that time. It had a succession of good pastors in the 19th century, notably William Gear(1830 to 1856), Benjamin Beddow (1875 to 1883), and William Attwell (1889 to 1898), and there have not usually been long pastoral vacancies.
The origin of Zion Chapel has been described above under the Grove Chapel. From its foundation in 1823 until 1842 it consisted of Independents who had seceded from Morgan's Hill. In 1842 the original congregation was joined by a party which had seceded from the Old Baptist Chapel in St. Margaret's Street (see below). (fn. 662) Almost immediately Zion became Baptist, and so has continued. The society took over the Grove meeting-house as a Sunday school after 1873 and now uses the Grove for its services. During the Second World War Zion Chapel was used as a store and it is now disused and dilapidated. (fn. 663) The membership of Zion in 1861 was 104, and there were 234 Sunday scholars and 4 local preachers. (fn. 664) In 1884 there were 84 members and 200 scholars. (fn. 665) The number of members thereafter remained steady for 40 years but attendance at the Sunday school declined. In 1921 there were 56 members and 120 scholars. (fn. 666) Ten years later there were 58 members but only 53 scholars. (fn. 667) The church lost its last pastor in 1933, and in 1949 had 14 members and 40 scholars. (fn. 668)
A Baptist church, later called the Old Baptist Church, existed at Bradford in 1689, when it sent deputies to the Baptist Assembly in London. (fn. 669) In the same year a chapel to hold 300 was built near St. Margaret's Street on land granted on a 1,000 year lease at a nominal rent by Zachariah Shrapnel. The premises also included vestry, burial-ground, and an adjoining house. The property then stood in the names of Jacob Silbey, maltster, and Richard God by, fellmonger. The first minister was John Flouret. (fn. 669) In 1700 the property was transferred to trustees. (fn. 670) In c. 1715 the pastor's name was 'Brouse' and he was said to have 350 hearers of whom 12 were county voters. (fn. 671) In 1722 there were joint pastors, Thomas Chapman, a handle-setter, and John Dowding, a tanner from Turleigh. (fn. 672) The church seems to have flourished throughout the 18th century. The pastorate of Richard Haynes (1750 to 1768) was especially successful. During that time several men were called into the ministry by the church. (fn. 673) John Loyd, who became pastor in 1785, was dismissed by the congregation in 1789. He made an unsuccessful attempt to gain reinstatement by action in the King's Bench. (fn. 674) At this time, and later, the church belonged to the Particular Baptist Western Association. (fn. 675) In 1797 the church was rebuilt on the same site. To give direct access to the new building the ground floor rooms of one of the houses in St. Margaret's Street were knocked down. The total cost of the work was £900, of which £500 was raised before building took place. (fn. 676) The minister at this time was Joseph Ring (pastor 1792 to 1801). (fn. 677) In 1828 the church, under its pastor Joseph Rodway (1824 to 1836) helped to raise funds to build the new Baptist church at Corsham. (fn. 678) In spite of a secession of members to Zion Chapel (see above) in 1842, the church continued to flourish in the 19th century. A benefit society was run in connexion with it, and another in connexion with the Sunday school. (fn. 679) In 1865 there were 105 members, and in 1890 there were 60 members and 96 Sunday scholars. (fn. 680) By 1903 the numbers had sunk to 40 and 48 respectively. (fn. 681) At that date, however, the church was maintaining a pastor, and it still did so in 1950. (fn. 682) It never appears to have been in the Baptist Union; it now belongs to the National Federation of Strict and Particular Baptist Churches. (fn. 683)
This church was in 1901 endowed with the leasehold of its building, schoolroom, and burial-ground, the minister's house in St. Margaret's Place, seven other houses (No. 18 St. Margaret's Street, Nos. 2 to 4 St. Margaret's Place, and Nos. 5, 6, and 8 Beaconsfield Terrace, Trowbridge Road) producing £67.7s. annually, and investments amounting to over £1,000 derived from the gifts of Mrs. Elizabeth Reyner (will proved 1765), Richard Haynes (will proved 1768), the Revd. John Hinton (will dated 1815), and James Patch (will dated 1846). The bequest of Patch, who devised two freehold cottages in Middle Rank, Tory, was applied in sums of £4. 10s. each to the Baptist and Congregational schools. Hinton's charity, of which the annual value was £1. 4s. 4d., and £1 from Mrs. Reyner's charity were applied to poor members of the congregation. (fn. 684)
Bearfield Congregational church, formerly the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, appears to have originated as an Independent society in or before 1787. In that year 'Bethel Chapel' was built at Bearfield and opened for worship by the Revd. Mr. Norman. Services were conducted according to the forms of the Church of England. Norman left the town a few years later. The chapel was supplied for a time by ministers from Bath, including a Mr. Bargest, but declined and was closed. The building was bought by Mr. Posthumous Bush of Bradford. Not long after, it was bought from Bush by the Revd. Thomas Watkins of Bath. Watkins, who had married a wealthy woman from the West Indies, settled in Bradford and built himself a house. He reopened the chapel for worship, built a new gallery, and gathered 'a good and respectable congregation'. He died in 1802, and was buried under the pulpit. Supplies again came from Bath, including a Mr. Savage. In 1806 Mrs. Watkins, relict of the previous pastor, married Joseph Rawling, schoolmaster and preacher of Ide (Devon). Rawling settled at Bearfield and assumed pastoral charge of the chapel that belonged to his wife. He died in 1813 and Mrs. Rawling in 1816. On her death the chapel was left in trust to Henry Stroud and a Mr. Howard. Stroud, who lived at Farleigh, had been converted by Rawling and had become his close friend. Shortly after 1816 he was appointed one of Lady Huntingdon's trustees, and later he and his co-trustee made over the Bearfield chapel to Lady Huntingdon's Connexion. In 1847 (after various pastors had held office) the pastorate was accepted by the Revd. Joseph Rawling, grandson of the earlier minister of the same name. (fn. 685) When he began his pastorate there were only 7 members in the church. By 1865 the number had been increased to 28. In 1849 the chapel was renovated and in the following year an organ was installed at Mr. Rawling's expense. Rawling, who in 1865 wrote an account of the early history of the chapel, died in 1866. In 1880 a new chapel trust was formed and the buildings and society were transferred from the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion to the Wilts and East Somerset Congregational Union. After this the Revd. A. Balfour, pastor of the Silver Street Congregational church, Trowbridge, undertook also the pastorate of the Bearfield church, spending one Sunday a month at Bearfield and one day there during each week in visitation and preaching or in conducting a prayer-meeting. In 1881 the Revd. John Sharp of Malmesbury became pastor of the Trowbridge and Bearfield churches. Some time later the minister's house at Bearfield was altered and repaired (the upper story being removed) for use as a Sunday school. The basement of the Sunday school building is now used to house the heating-plant. The Book of Records of the church, dating from 20 January 1793, and including the register of births and deaths, was sent to the Registrar-General, Somerset House, in 1857. (fn. 686)
James Hayes, by a codicil to his will proved in 1868, gave £50 to the trustees of the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel for investment, the proceeds to be distributed at Christmas amongst poor members of the congregation in half-crown pieces. His will was challenged in the courts, and it was not until 1896 that £35, the residue of the bequest after legal expenses had been paid, were invested in the purchase of £30. 19s. 6d. Consols. The stock produced 15s. 5d. which was given away according to Hayes's instructions. (fn. 687)
Providence Baptist chapel, Bearfield, which accommodates 100 was opened in 1858. (fn. 688) Its membership was 20 in 1871. (fn. 689) In 1915 there were 22 members and 50 Sunday scholars. (fn. 690) In 1949 the numbers were 11 and 16 respectively. (fn. 691)
John Wesley visited Bradford early in his career as an evangelist. On 17 July 1739 he rode from Bath and asked leave of the vicar, John Rogers, to preach in his church. Rogers said that it was not usual to preach there on week-days but that Wesley would be welcome to assist at the services on Sunday. Wesley then went to see Mr. Read, minister of the Grove Chapel, who had shown him goodwill when they had met in Bath. 'But it was passed. I found him now quite cold. He began disputing on several heads, and at last told me plainly that one of our own college had informed him that they always took me to be a little crack-brained at Oxford.' In spite of this discouragement Wesley preached that day to an audience that he estimated to number about 1,000. (fn. 692) The site he selected was on Bearfield, and he returned to it regularly during his early visits to Bradford. After the service on 17 July he had dinner with a Mrs. Bailward or Ballard. (fn. 693) This was probably the lady of that name who died shortly before Wesley's visit to Bradford in 1788. She left £80 in trust, the interest of which was still being applied to the support of the Methodist minister at Bradford in 1938. (fn. 694) Wesley preached at Bradford frequently during the summer and autumn of 1739, nearly always on a Tuesday. (fn. 695) On 11 September 1739 his brother Charles visited the town for the first time. Charles made a bad impression on some of his audience, for he later received a letter warning him not to go again to Bearfield lest the weavers of Bradford should rise against him. (fn. 696) The threat was ineffective, for John and Charles again visited Bearfield on 9 October. (fn. 697) On the following Sunday Charles came to take advantage of the vicar's offer to let John preach in the parish church, but the vicar refused to permit it. After these visits there was a period of ten years during which John Wesley did not visit Bradford. He preached at Bearfield on Sunday, 1 March 1749; 'this day I was wet from morning to night with the continued rain, but I found no manner of inconvenience'- In 1751 John and Charles Wesley had to pay several visits to Bradford in connexion with James Wheatley, whom they had to suspend from his duties as a preacher. In or about 1756 the first Methodist chapel was opened in Pippett (now Market) Street. (fn. 698) Wesley continued to visit the town until shortly before his death, and usually preached in the open air. On 9 October 1785 he noted in his diary that the work of God had much increased of late in Bradford. (fn. 699) His last visit was on 26 August 1790. (fn. 700) During his visits to Bradford he had frequently stayed in a house in Silver Street. In 1882 this building was used by a Mr. Jennings as a draper's shop. (fn. 701) For the forty years before 1790 Bradford had been at the head of Methodism in north Wiltshire. The Bradford Circuit, originally set up in 1780, and reformed in 1793, included more than thirty places in north Wiltshire, Dorset, and west Somerset. The itinerant preachers rarely stopped two days in the same place, and were constantly on horseback. (fn. 702) One of these preachers, who was sent to Bradford in 1782, was (Dr.) Adam Clarke (d. 1832), later President of the Methodist Conference and biblical scholar. During his year in the Bradford Circuit he is said to have preached 506 sermons. (fn. 703) Another early Methodist preacher connected with the town was Thomas Olivers, who lived there from 1749 to 1753 as a 'mechanic'. He was accepted as a member of the Methodist society in about 1750 and for a time acted as 'knocker-up' for early services. In 1753 he became an itinerant preacher and later was editor of the Arminian Magazine. (fn. 704) He had been befriended at Bradford by Richard Pearce, an innkeeper, who nursed him through a severe attack of smallpox in 1752. Pearce was for many years a leader of Bradford Methodism. In 1757 he offered to stand bail for William Hitchens, the Methodist imprisoned in the lock-up on the bridge (see above, p. 9), and in 1782 it was at Pearce's house that Adam Clarke spent his first night in the Bradford Circuit. (fn. 705) Among other prominent Bradford Methodists during the second half of the 18th century were the Cams of the Chantry and John Smith, attorney and steward to the notorious Duchess of Kingston. Smith's daughter married Dr. Thomas Coke (1747 to 1814), Methodist pioneer in America. (fn. 706) In 1818 the present Methodist chapel was built in Coppice Hill. One of the first society stewards was Joseph Rawling, who later became pastor of the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, Bearfield. (fn. 707) The old chapel was subsequently used as a court-house and sessions room and later as the meeting-place of the Good Templars. (fn. 708) It is now used as the Town club (see above, p. 6). (fn. 709)
Bradford remained head of its circuit until 1884, but many of the places in the circuit were withdrawn from it to form new circuits. The society is now associated with that at Trowbridge in the Trowbridge and Bradford Circuit. (fn. 710) From its origin until the 20th century the Hanny family has been prominent in the affairs of the church. A Mr. Hanny was one of the first Bradford local preachers, and his son William was a class leader. William Peters Hanny (1802 to 1894) was a member of the society from 1816 until his death; he was a Sunday school teacher, temperance worker, and leader of cottage prayer-meetings. His descendants are still connected with the church. (fn. 711)
The stipend of the Wesleyan minister at Bradford was augmented by two charities dating from the end of the 18th century. Mrs. Ann Bailward, by will proved in 1788, intended to leave £80 for investment, the interest to be applied to the expenses of the Wesleyan minister. This portion of her will was not carried out until 1893, when Henry Bailward paid £100 in respect of the legacy, which was invested in Consols.
In 1796 land comprising rather more than 1 acre, in Leigh and Woolley, was purchased (for £114, raised mainly by subscription) to be leased for the benefit of the minister. In 1879 the land was sold, and the proceeds invested in £365. 9s. 8d. Consols, which early in the present century produced £9. 2s. 8d. yearly, together with £2. 10s. from the Bailward charity. (fn. 712)
The Methodist church, Bradford Leigh, was built in 1892 as a mission church attached to the church at Coppice Hill. (fn. 713) A society had existed there as early as 1873, when it was included in the official returns of accommodation. At that time the premises were not connexional property. (fn. 714) The chapel, an iron building, has recently been closed. (fn. 715)
The Primitive Methodist church was built in 1845, (fn. 716) in Sladesbrook. The society had been formed under the influence of the Primitive Methodist church at Melksham, and was part of the Melksham (later the Calne) Circuit. It can never have been a strong chapel and was given up between 1885 and 1890. (fn. 717) The building apparently became a Temperance Hall. (fn. 718) It is now used as part of the Christ Church school.
Atworth Independent chapel was built in c. 1790 to 1792. (fn. 719) The site was presented by a Mr. Barton of Atworth and the cost of building was raised by public subscription. A Mr. Dillon was appointed Pastor, but resigned in c. 1816 when it proved impossible to find the means to raise his salary to £26 a year. Since Dillon's resignation the chapel has been served by preachers from neighbouring churches. The congregation numbered 30 in 1951, and there were 30 scholars and 4 teachers in the Sunday school.
Atworth Baptist church was opened in 1864. In the following year it had 6 members and a pastor, the Revd. A. Burbage. (fn. 720) Burbage was still there in 1871 (fn. 721) but in 1872 the church had become a mission station under the Priory Street Baptist church at Corsham. (fn. 722) Since then there has been no change in its position, and although small in numbers the Atworth church, unlike some others in the district, is still active. (fn. 723) It is known as Ebenezer Church and has 120 sittings. (fn. 724)
Holt Congregational church, which is said to have arisen 'out of the great Methodist movement', was formed about 1800. (fn. 725) A small congregation met at first in the place which was later used as the club-room of the White Hart Inn. In 1810 a small building was built at a cost of £220. This was owing to the exertions of T. Stratton, father of the Revd. James Stratton, minister of Paddington chapel, London. Early ministers at Holt included the Revd. James Hamlyn (d. 1831) and the Revd. Benjamin Wills (d. 1858). William Say of Bath and Rowland Hill (1744 to 1833) sometimes preached in the chapel. Hill also preached on one occasion under the large elm that used to stand on Ham Green. The chapel was enlarged in 1846 at a cost of £330, and in 1880 the foundation-stone of a new chapel was laid. The architect was W. S. Stent of Warminster. The building which has 780 sittings is described as 'Early English of the 14th century', and includes nave, transepts, a western aisle, and provision for an eastern aisle if required. The cost was about £2,000. (fn. 726) The old chapel continued to be used, for the Sunday school and other purposes. Pastors after Benjamin Wills were the Revd. W. Smith, the Revd. Moody Blake, the Revd. Thomas Rogers, and the Revd. S. B. Stribling. Stribling in 1897 wrote the history of the Wilts and East Somerset Congregational Union, to which his own church belonged.
South Wraxall Congregational church was a mission chapel dependent upon Holt. There was apparently an Independent society at South Wraxall in 1829. (fn. 727) A chapel was built in 1844. In and after 1865 this was listed as a mission station under Holt. (fn. 728) It was given up in 1925. (fn. 729)
In or about 1811 a room at Limpley Stoke was licensed as a Baptist place of worship. The Revd. James Barnard, pastor of the Old Baptist Church at Bradford, and a Mr. Palmer of Bath were among those who preached there. In 1815 G. Head of Bradford and Opie Smith of Bath took the initiative in building a small chapel, which was opened on 1 January 1816. Soon after this a Mr. Pulsford came from Tiverton (Devon) to act as pastor. He later removed to Great Torrington (Devon) and the chapel was looked after by the Revd. J. P. Porter of Bath. In December 1820 19 members were dismissed from the church at Bath and formed into a church at Limpley Stoke. In June 1821 the Revd. Abraham Jones was set aside as the pastor, having preached at Limpley Stoke for some time. He had previously been a member of the Baptist church at Penknap, Westbury Leigh. He was pastor only for about a year. His successor was William Huntley, one of the 19 foundation members of the church, who was set aside as pastor in 1829, then being 31 years of age. Huntley remained in office for 55 years, and was active until close on his death. (fn. 730) During his ministry the church prospered. A Sunday school was formed and a new schoolroom built. Baptisms were carried out in the river which flows through the village. In 1888 the old chapel, which had become dilapidated and was an inconvenient shape, was pulled down and rebuilt on the same site. A Mr. Mack greatly assisted in this work. The new chapel has seats for 150 and cost £300, all of which had been paid by 1890. (fn. 731) In spite of long pastoral vacancies the chapel has continued to flourish. In 1890 there were 35 members, 4 Sunday school teachers, and 40 scholars. In 1915 there were 42 members, 4 teachers, 18 scholars, and 2 lay preachers. The pastor was the Revd. A. R. Hawkins. (fn. 732) In 1925 there were 44 members, 2 teachers, 32 scholars, and 2 lay preachers, and the pastor was the Revd. C. J. Leal. (fn. 733) In 1949 there were 52 members, 3 teachers, 15 scholars, and 1 lay preacher. (fn. 734)
A small Baptist church was opened at Turleigh in 1849. One of its first pastors was the Revd. A. A. Case, who settled there in 1852. (fn. 735) Case was still pastor in 1865, but was succeeded in the following year by the Revd. J. Kempton. In 1868 the Revd. J. Sargent had succeeded Kempton but he remained only for about a year. (fn. 736) Sargent was the last pastor. The church was then taken under the care of Zion Baptist church. (fn. 737) In 1873 there were 7 members and 30 Sunday scholars. (fn. 738) This left little margin for losses. The church struggled on until 1885 and was then closed. It remained to the end a mission station of Zion. (fn. 739)
The Methodist church, Winsley, is said to have originated in a meeting of Methodists at Farleigh during the 18th century. The meeting was held in the loft of the stables attached to a house there and the titledeeds of the house contained a clause providing that a room in the house was to be at the disposal of John Wesley or any of his preachers during their visits. (fn. 740) In 1829 there was said to be a Methodist society with 50 members at Limpley Stoke. (fn. 741) It was possibly identical with the society that existed at Winsley in 1875, and met in a chapel accommodating 146. (fn. 742) The present chapel was built in 1902 and has 100 sittings. (fn. 743)
Local Government and Public Services
Throughout its history the government of the ancient parish of Bradford must have presented peculiar problems. Its area was more than 10,000 acres. Until the 19th century the town of Bradford was compact and occupied a very small proportion of the total area of the parish. This accentuated the contrast between the town and the rural tithings.
In 1086 there were said to be in the manor of Bradford 10 serfs, 18 'coliberts', 36 villeins, 40 bordars, 22 swineherds, and 33 burgesses. (fn. 744) The population of Bradford from 1590 onwards has been roughly estimated by Canon Jones and his editor, Dr. J. Beddoe, from the burial figures in the parish registers. (fn. 745) Their estimates show too much fluctuation to be accepted without reserve, but it is probably safe to reckon that in the first half of the 17th century the population was between 1,500 and 2,000 and that it rose to between 2,000 and 3,000 in the period 1670 to 1730. This is not inconsistent with what is known of the new building that took place in the town in the 17th and early 18th centuries (see above). Bishop Compton's Census (1676) gave the total number of persons over 16 years of age in Bradford parish as 3,265. (fn. 746) No detailed estimates have been made for the years 1730 to 1801. The first official census in which the town is enumerated separately from the 'outparish' is that of 1811, when there were 2,989 dwellers in the town out of a total for the parish of 8,018. (fn. 747) By 1821 the town population had risen to 3,760, and that of the parish to 10,231. (fn. 748)
From 1001, when Bradford was granted by Aethelred to Shaftesbury Abbey, until the dissolution of the abbey, the government of the town and most of the parish was exercised by the officials of the abbess, acting through the courts of the hundred and manor of Bradford. In the Shaftesbury cartulary it is stated that Walter de Aula, Gilbert son of William, William Basset, and Bernard held courts in Bradford. (fn. 749) The nature of these courts, whose jurisdiction can hardly have been wide, is obscure. No medieval court rolls for Bradford are known to survive but there is a record of the customs of the manor. (fn. 750) The latter document is attributed to 1343, but it obviously embodies later customs.
After the Dissolution the rectory (or Prebendal) manor of Bradford became separated from the lay manor, under a different lord, who held his own courts baron (see above—Churches). Records survive of the activities of these courts from the 16th century onwards. (fn. 751) The courts were still being held in 1861. (fn. 752) In 1730–1 courts for this and for Hall's manor were held on 15 October and 24 June. (fn. 753)
In and after the 16th century the lord of the capital manor of Bradford held a number of courts whose character and functions it is not easy to determine. In 1539–40 the perquisites of the courts of the manor and the hundred, both in the lord's hands, were separately valued. (fn. 754) In 1546 the 'portmote' was leased with the hundred and hundred jurisdiction to Edward Bellingham. (fn. 755) Between 1629 and 1631 a Three Weeken court for the borough was being held in which civil pleas under 40s. were heard. (fn. 756) By 1720 a court leet and court baron for the manor and the hundred and borough courts were being held together at the same time and place, though each was still separately represented by its own jury. (fn. 757) A court for the manor, hundred, and borough was summoned as late as 1863, (fn. 758) but this must have been one of its last appearances, for it never met after 1869, when Sir Charles Hobhouse became lord. (fn. 759) It is said that the homage was not summoned after 1774. (fn. 760)
As is shown by numerous copies of court roll preserved in Devizes Museum copyhold tenants were being admitted at the manor court at least until 1778. (fn. 761) In 1644 it was stated at Quarter Sessions that the court leet of Bradford had recently been allowed to lapse and that no parish constables had been appointed. The justices thereupon appointed constables themselves. (fn. 762) In 1720 the lord held the court leet with the court baron and other courts (see above).
It has been said that there were burgesses in Bradford in 1086. Two burgesses were summoned to the Parliament of 1295 (fn. 763) but not to any subsequent one. Bradford was not separately represented at the 13 th century eyres and is not called a 'borough' in the Nomina Villarum (1316). Between 1629 and 1631 a portreeve and 'burgesses' were bound to appear at the Three Weeken court for the borough. (fn. 764) There are references to burgages in 1660. (fn. 765) Before the court for the borough, held with the manor and hundred courts in 1720 (see above), appeared the portreeve, two borough constables, two coroners of the market, (fn. 766) and two sealers of leather. This is all that can at present be collected about the status and institutions of the 'borough' of Bradford.
One is tempted to conclude that at one time four separate courts were held in Bradford: a three-weekly hundred court, a court baron, a court leet, and a three weekly borough court. By the time, however, that records are available some or all of these courts had been fused and the respective functions of the courts, if they were indeed ever clearly distinct, were entangled in one another.
From at least 1722 Bradford has been a meeting place of Petty Sessions. (fn. 767)
In the 18th century power had come to reside in an oligarchy of the wealthier inhabitants of the parish, many of them the prominent clothiers who are mentioned below. In addition to their economic power as employers these men acted as justices of the peace, and controlled the administration of poor relief through the parish vestry. In spite of the fact that it was styled a public vestry this was not usually attended by more than 6 or 10 people. (fn. 768) In 17 5 8 the vestry met monthly. (fn. 769) Meetings were announced beforehand in the parish church and its chapels and sometimes in the press. (fn. 770) In 1777 it was proposed that statutory powers should be obtained for the appointment of a salaried additional overseer of the poor who should act as the executive officer of the parish vestry in all matters relating to poor relief. (fn. 771) This was eventually done by the Act of 24 Geo. III (Sess. 1), c. 20 (1784). In this Act it was provided that the additional overseer should be appointed and controlled by all inhabitants of the parish paying 9d. or more to the poor-rate. This was a high property qualification. In 1741 the borough of Bradford had contained about 100 ratepayers, more than 50 of whom were rated at less than 6d. Outside the borough at that date the parish had contained fewer than 20 other ratepayers of more than 1s. (fn. 772) It is probable that in this respect the Act of 1784 merely confirmed the existing practice of oligarchy. As far as can be judged from the poor-law rate books and vestry minute books the provisions of the Act were adhered to by most of those concerned with their enforcement. Some of the additional overseers were dishonest but the forms of their election and of the audit of their accounts were respected. (fn. 773) Such abuses as arose were probably due to lack of interest on the part of the ratepayers: on 7 April 1829 a meeting was held at Bradford for the examination of the accounts of the parish treasurer and the additional overseer, but nobody attended except those officials themselves. (fn. 774) The oligarchs were apparently careful to call a meeting of all inhabitants or ratepayers for the discussion of matters not comprehended by the Act of 1784. Before 1830 such meetings were few. In November 1821 a meeting of 'the principal inhabitants' appointed a committee to organize the constitution of a nightly patrol of the town. In November 1830 a meeting of 'the inhabitants of the hundred of Bradford', meeting in the vestry room, resolved to appoint a foot patrol for the hundred. (fn. 774) In November 1831 a meeting of 'ratepayers and other inhabitants' was convened to discuss a more serious matter—the threat of a cholera epidemic. It was resolved to set up a local board of health to enforce measures of hygiene in the town. The board consisted of the vicar and churchwardens, the magistrates, the additional overseer, two doctors, and others. The town was divided into six districts, and a committee of four set up to deal with each district. These committees were to visit the homes of the poor and to enforce personal cleanliness, the ventilation and whitewashing of the houses, and the clearance of cesspools and middens. Similar committees were set up for the tithings of Winsley, Stoke, Wraxall, Atworth, and Holt. Persons not complying with the orders of the board and its committees were to be prosecuted. The legal standing of the board was very doubtful, but its prompt and sensible action probably helped to prevent an outbreak of cholera in the town and parish. The parish's escape from the disease was celebrated by a day of solemn thanksgiving in January 1833. (fn. 775)
By 1833 it was becoming increasingly obvious that those responsible for the government of the parish, and especially of the town, needed wider statutory powers. In 1831 there had been a complaint that the poor-rates were being misapplied. (fn. 75) This charge was not pressed, but in March 1833 a large meeting of ratepayers was held to consider the whole question of poor relief and parish government, and in particular whether the Act of 1784 should be repealed. (fn. 776) Another meeting in the following month resolved that Parliament should be petitioned for repeal. (fn. 777) In December 1833 a vestry meeting attended by about fifty ratepayers resolved that it was expedient to light the town of Bradford at public expense and that a public meeting of ratepayers should be asked to sanction the adoption of the Lighting and Watching Act, 1833. (fn. 778) This sanction was apparently given, and in 1834 the town was lighted by gas for the first time. (fn. 779) The wider problems of government were less easily solved. In January 1834 there was a keen controversy over the repeal of the Act of 1784. The parish was split into two factions, which corresponded roughly to the town and the rural tithings. The country party was headed by William Boord. It urged repeal of the old Act and the introduction of a Bill to enlarge the franchise for the election of overseers of the poor, to abolish the additional overseer, and to revise the parish rating which was alleged unduly to favour the town. Boord's draft Bill apparently proposed to place public works within the competence of the overseers of the poor, and it also provided for an elaborate system of fines for the non-attendance of the overseers and churchwardens at weekly and monthly meetings laid down for them. It was a crude attempt to remedy acknowledged evils, and it was defeated without great difficulty by the town party led by F. H. Saunders, a clothier and former parish treasurer. At a public meeting on 24 January 1834 Boord's proposals were rejected and a poll which he demanded of all parish ratepayers gave the same result five days later. (fn. 780) Under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the parish of Bradford became part of the eponymous Union. Reform of the parish government in its other aspects was not long delayed. In July 1834 there was a petition of ratepayers for the surveying of the parish in order to revise the rating. (fn. 781) A surveyor (George Ashmead of Bristol) was appointed for this purpose five months later. (fn. 782) By August 1836 his survey was well advanced. Finally, in 1839, the Bradford Town Improvement Act became law. (fn. 783) By this Act the town of Bradford, defined as the area enclosed by a circle of 1 mile radius centred on the Swan Inn, was provided with separate government under a body of commissioners. More than sixty commissioners were nominated in the Act. Vacancies arising from death, resignation, or the neglect of duty for more than two years were to be filled by a majority vote of ratepayers. Commissioners were to live not more than 2 miles from Bradford and were to hold real estate property in the town worth £20 a year, or were to occupy premises in the town rated at £20, or were to possess real or personal estate or real and personal estate together worth £1,000 or more. Five commissioners were to constitute a quorum for the transaction of public business. The Act conferred upon the commissioners the power to levy a rate for purposes of paving, lighting, cleaning, and draining the town, and for the provision of a police force and a fire brigade. The rate was not to be more than 2s. 6d. in the £1 on the full annual value of private houses, shops, and wharfs, and on half the annual value of mills, factories, and malt-houses. The commissioners might borrow up to £1,500 against the rates. The commissioners were also empowered to enforce sanitary regulations, to strengthen roads, and to enter private property where this was necessary to the operation of the public services. It was laid down that whenever houses in the town were being rebuilt or altered the commissioners might if necessary order them to be set back to conform with the regular line of the street. Compensation was to be paid when private property was affected in this or any other way. In cases of dispute between private persons and the commissioners two J.P.s were to arbitrate. Elaborate safety precautions were laid down in connexion with the manufacture and supply of gas. The commissioners were empowered to manufacture gas for public lighting but were not permitted to sell it. (fn. 784) They were also empowered to appoint salaried executive officers, specifically a clerk, a treasurer, a rate collector, a public scavenger, and policemen. The offices of clerk and treasurer were not to be held by the same person or by two persons associated in business.
This comprehensive Act compares favourably with the crude proposals of Boord in 1834. It remained the main statutory basis of town government in Bradford until the Local Government Act, 1894. Bradford became an Urban Sanitary District under the Public Health Act (1872) and in 1875 the sections of the Bradford Town Improvement Act relating to the levying of rates were repealed to enable the town commissioners to levy a general rate as provided in the Act of 1872. (fn. 785) In 1878 the number of town commissioners was reduced to twelve. (fn. 786)
The cemetery on the Holt road was built by the town commissioners in 1856. (fn. 787) In 1883 the commissioners opened the new waterworks at Avoncliff, (fn. 787) built at a cost of £12,000. The town's water had previously come from Lady Well, immediately below the chapel of St. Mary, Tory. The public baths in Bridge Street, an amenity unusual in a town of this size, were built in 1897 with the help of John Moulton (of the Hall) and Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice. A new sewage scheme was carried out by the Urban District Council in 1903 and completed in 1907 after the collapse of part of the works. (fn. 788) In 1904 the Western Electric Distributing Corporation Ltd. was authorized by Act of Parliament to supply the Rural and Urban Districts of Bradford. (fn. 789)
The Bradford-on-Avon Maternity Hospital was opened in 1939 and was owned and administered by the County Council until 1948 when it was vested in the Minister of Health under the National Health Service Act (1946). (fn. 790) Plans for a voluntary hospital were being prepared in 1939, but on the outbreak of war the hospital's premises were requisitioned by the military authorities. The hospital was opened in 1947 as the Bradford-on-Avon District Hospital and became vested in the Minister of Health in 1948. (fn. 791)
In 1839 there was a public circulating library in Bradford with 295 subscribers. The weekly charge for each volume issued was 2d. (fn. 792) The present public library was opened in 1923 and was the first urban branch library to be established by the County Library Committee. It was housed first in Westbury House (see above, p. 5). In c. 1929 it moved to Church House, and later to a room in the Constitutional Club. (fn. 793)
The first record of a postal service at Bradford is in 1769, when a John Rennison was appointed postmaster. (fn. 794) Rennison was still postmaster in c. 1791 when he was also a clothier and a grocer. (fn. 795) In 1830 the post office was in St. Margaret's Street and the postmaster was Charles Johnson. (fn. 796) In 1837 the postmaster had a letter-carrier to assist him. The carrier delivered letters in the town in the morning and at Winsley and Westwood in the afternoon. At South Wraxall there was a woman named Priscilla who charged 1d. for carrying local letters to their destination. At the same date the 'Tradesmen's Room' in the Swan Inn at Bradford was the accepted clearing-house for local news. (fn. 797) The present post office is situated at the junction of Market Street and the Shambles. It was built specially for the purpose and leased to the Postmaster-General in 1899. When this lease expired in 1923 the property was bought by the Post Office. The adjoining premises, No. 9 the Shambles, were bought in 1932 and in 1936 extensive structural alterations were carried out. (fn. 798) Telegraph service was provided by the Post Office in 1870. (fn. 799) The National Telephone Company opened an exchange at Bradford in 1898. (fn. 800)
The rural tithings of Bradford parish were included after 1834 in the Bradford Poor Law Union. They maintained their roads separately until 1864. (fn. 801) Under the Public Health Act, 1872, they became part of the Bradford Sanitary Division, later the Bradford Rural District. (fn. 802)
In 1086 there was land for 40 ploughs in Bradford. In demesne were 8 ploughs, with 9 serfs and 18 'coliberti'. There were 36 villeins, and 40 bordars, with 32 ploughs. There were 22 swineherds (porcarii). One 'serviens' rendered 7 sextaries of honey. There was an arpent of vineyard and 50 acres of meadow. The pasture was 11 by 3 furlongs, the wood ½ mile by 2 furlongs. The whole manor with its appurtenances was worth £60. The appurtenances included 'Alvestone' where there was land for 6 ploughs, 3 in demesne. (fn. 803) In Barley there was land for 4 ploughs. Two ploughs were in demesne with 1 bordar and 7 villeins. (fn. 804) The manor was and had been worth 40s. In Budbury there was land for 1 plough. There were 4 bordars, 3 serfs, and 3 acres of meadow. The manor was and had been worth 10s. (fn. 805) In Cumberwell there was land for 5 ploughs. Two ploughs were in demesne, with one serf. There were 2 villeins and 4 bordars with 3 ploughs. There were 4 acres of meadow and 5 of wood. The manor was worth £3. (fn. 806) It will be noticed that the extent of meadow and woodland is relatively wide, as might be expected in this terrain.
Only three early field names have been noticed: Bearfield, now represented by a district on the northwest of the town, Kingsfleld, now represented by Kingsfield House, and South Field. The first and last first occur in documents conjecturally dating from the reigns of Edward I and Edward II respectively: the second in 1324. Wooley Field and the Moor—the latter perhaps also the name of an open field—also occur first in 1324. (fn. 807) It is reasonable to suppose from the appearance of 'Garston' (? now Gaskins) and 'Elmescroft' in 1208, (fn. 808) that inclosure had begun early. 'Garston' was an inclosure in Bearfield, and in 1332 there were inclosures in Kingsfield called 'Cole Croft' and 'Inhok'. (fn. 809) In 1249 John Bassett expressly secured the right to inclose a meadow called 'Mannemede'. (fn. 810) Throughout the Middle Ages the names of closes, pastures, and meadows preponderate, both in Bradford and the hamlets, over those associated with open arable farming.
Some fragmentary accounts of reeves and other ministers of the Abbess of Shaftesbury in Bradford from 1368 to 1392 are in the hands of Lord Methuen, of Corsham Court.
In 1539–40 the rents of assize due from the Abbess of Shaftesbury's late tenants in Bradford and the hamlets were as follows: Bradford—free tenants £6. 14s. 6d., customary tenants, £7. 15s. 1¾d.; Atworth—free 16s. 3s., customary £6. 13s. 10d.; Holt—free £2. 4s. 11½d., customary £11. 6s. 11¼d.; Leigh—free £2. 5s. 5d., customary £7. 4s. 3¼d. Limpley Stoke—free £2. 6s., customary £12. 9s. ¼d.; Trowle—free £9. 10s. 1¾d.; Winsley—free £1. 17s., customary £19. 12s. 7½d. Wraxall—free £3. 10s., customary £6. 7s. 1/8d. (fn. 811) In 1535–6 the rents of assize due from the Prior of Farleigh's late free tenants in Wraxall amounted to 3s. and from his customary tenants £1. 3s. His lands in Wraxall were charged with a rent resolute of £6 to the Abbess of Shaftesbury. (fn. 812) A rent called larding silver or larder money, apparently peculiar to Bradford, was payable to the chief lord in 1629 (fn. 813) and in c. 1660. (fn. 814) It has been explained by Blount as a payment for pannage and by Cowell as a commutation of the service of carrying salt or meat. (fn. 815) Miss Neilson classes it once as a food rent and once as the commutation of a service connected with the salting-house. (fn. 816) Veal money or veal noble money, also apparently peculiar to a hamlet in Bradford, is classed by Miss Neilson as a herbage rent (fn. 817) and by Cowell as a food rent. (fn. 818)
In 1801 1,237 acres in Bradford parish were sown with wheat, 491 with barley, 438 with oats, 280 with peas, 170 with beans, 100 with potatoes, and 85 with turnips. (fn. 819)
The stages by which final inclosure was accomplished are hard to trace. Bearfield was still open in 1705, (fn. 820) Hare Knap Field, Kingsfield, and Wooley Field in 1752, (fn. 821) but there were inclosures within the last three. In 1818 an Act was passed for inclosing Atworth Common and Bradford Leigh and Forwards Common. (fn. 822) The award has not been traced. While the Bill was passing through Parliament doubts about the ownership of the latter common arose, and the several contestants—Sir Charles Hobhouse, Lord Manvers, and Paul Methuen of Corsham—agreed to refer their differences to arbitration. (fn. 823) In 1853 Trowle Common (168 a. 3 r. 18 p.) was inclosed under the General Inclosure Acts of 1845. An area of 12 a. 16 p. was allotted to Lord Broughton, as lord of the manor, and the rest, divided into seven allotments, to eight different persons. (fn. 824) In 1867 Holt Great Common, Holt Little Common, and Holt or Ham Green (about 8 a.) were inclosed under the same Act. There was allotted to the churchwardens and overseers of Holt four parcels (2 r. 27 p. in all) designed for recreation. One of these was Ham Green which is still (1951) open. An area of 2 r. 15 p. was allotted to T. B. W. Forster, as lord of the manor. The rest was sold in sixteen lots to seven purchasers, the largest purchaser being James Beaven of Holt who paid £267. 10s. for 2 a. 2 r. 9 p. (fn. 825) It is plain that these two statutory awards only affected a small part of the total area of Bradford parish.
In 1249 John Bassett surrendered his right to estovers in the Abbess of Shaftesbury's wood in Bradford and in Ham Wood in Trowbridge (q.v.) in return for specified grazing rights and oak timber in those woods. (fn. 826) Here presumably is a reference to Bradford Great Wood, to the reversion of which John Hall (d. 1631) was entitled at his death. (fn. 827) The wood, for which 12s. was being paid in c. 1660 to the lord of the capital manor, (fn. 828) continued to form part of Hall's Manor and was kept in hand between 1731 and 1770. In the latter year the sum of £1. 12s. was spent on mending its bounds. It measured 95 a. 2 r. 27 p. in 1752. In 1762 forty-two of its oaks had been felled to provide timber for buildings in Bath. Sixteen loads of the tops of these trees were sold in 1763 for £16. (fn. 829) In 1907 it belonged to John Moulton (fn. 830) and was therefore still appurtenant to the Kingston Hall estate. Pasture and wood (8 acres) in 'Towgazleu' formed part of the premises leased to William Webbe in 1539 (see above—Manors). In 1539–40 30s. were spent on inclosing 60 perches round the wood. (fn. 831) Great trees in a wood called 'Togazlewe' were excepted out of the premises leased to Lord Pembroke in 1568 and 1571 (see above—Manors). (fn. 832) Budbury Wood is named in 1208. (fn. 833) In 1640 it was an appurtenance of Ashley manor. (fn. 834) A hundred acres of wood formed part of Atworth Cottles manor in 1369. (fn. 835) This is no doubt the present Cottles Wood.
John Hall died (1631) seised of a fishery in the Avon from Bradford bridge to the Biss mouth. (fn. 836) It still formed part of Hall's Manor in 1731, when it was valued at £6 a year and was in hand. It was stated in 1752 that part of the fishery that lay between Bradford Bridge and the weir was never leased separately from Kingston House. This rule had been broken by 1763 when the reach in question was let at £2 a year to Samuel White, who was not the tenant of the mansion. The residue of the fishery was let at £4 to William Miles. This portion stretched, on both sides of the river, from above the weirs to the Biss mouth and thence upwards, on the west side only, to the corner of 'Mutchell Mead'. White and Miles were still tenants on the same terms in 1770. (fn. 837)
In 1629 6s. was paid yearly to the lord of the capital manor for the right of fishing in the Avon between Bradford and Barton Bridges. The same sum was paid in c. 1660 by Simon Deverell. (fn. 838) A fishery in Winsley, Turleigh, Haugh (in Winsley), and Bradford was put in settlement in 1699. (fn. 839)
There were two mills in Bradford in 1086 valued at £3. (fn. 840) A mill is mentioned in 1268 (fn. 841) and 1329, (fn. 842) and a miller in 1439 (fn. 843) and 1502. (fn. 844) The mill or mills seem to have become attached to Hall's Manor. In 1478 Nicholas Hall died seised of two water-mills in the manor. (fn. 845) In 1515 Thomas, presumably Nicholas's son, died seised of 3 grist-mills and 2 fulling-mills there. (fn. 846) It was stated in 1575 that before the Dissolution it had been customary to take wood out of Bradford capital manor for the repair of these mills. (fn. 847) In 1550 William Hall died seised of 3 water grist-mills in Bradford borough and 3 water fulling-mills in Great Trowle. (fn. 848) In 1592 John Hall, his grandson (d. 1620), settled upon his own son John, in expectation of marriage, property which included 3 grist-mills, 2 acres of meadow called 'Rockhams' (doubtless associated with the mills) and what was called the Lower Tucking Mill. The younger John died seised of them in 1631. (fn. 849) A fulling-mill in Trowle or Bradford, which John Hall put in settlement in 1618, (fn. 850) is perhaps to be identified with the Lower Tucking Mill.
In 1731 the grist-mill or mills in the manor were on lease to John Beard at £115 a year. In that year £3. 17s. were spent on repairing the mills with timber. In 1752 the mill with the Mill Rackham covered 3 a. 16 p. and by that time the Mill Lower Rackham (1 r. 38 p.) had been 'laid to' the rest of the area. In 1763 the mills were being leased by Richard Whatley at £50 a year, and in 1770 by Charles Bryant at the same rent. In the latter year 13s. was spent on repairing the stone-work of the 'thorough'. In 1770 the masonry of the 'thorough' of the Middle Mill in Trowle was repaired at a cost of £3. 7s. 6d. (fn. 851) The later history of the Bradford fulling-mills is dealt with below (see Industry and Trade).
A miller of Winsley is named in 1439. (fn. 852) Two mills belonged to the curate of Winsley in 1678 (fn. 853) and a fulling-mill either in Winsley or in Limpley Stoke was in the possession of Eleanor Dick the elder in 1698. (fn. 854) In 1650 a water-mill in South Wraxall or Atworth was settled on John Long (fn. 855) and in 1716 a water grist-mill comprised part of the Brooke manor in South Wraxall. (fn. 856)
Industry and Trade
The woollen industry was already well developed in Bradford at the time of Leland's visit in c. 1540. 'All the town of Bradford', he wrote, 'stondith by clothmaking'. (fn. 857) It is probable that the industry had been carried on there for some time before this (fn. 858) but documentary evidence is lacking. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries the leading clothier was Thomas Horton (d. 1530) the builder of the Church House and founder of Horton's Charity. (fn. 859) Leland mentioned him by name. (fn. 860) Another thriving clothier contemporary with Horton was named Lucas—possibly the Walter Lucas who built the south aisle of Steeple Ashton parish church. (fn. 861) A younger Thomas Horton died in 1549 leaving his fulling-mill in Bradford to his son Edward. (fn. 862) Later in the 16th century the Yerbury family began its long connexion with Bradford. Thomas Yerbury (d. 1573) of Trowbridge and Bradford had married Mary Horton, grand-niece of Thomas Horton. (fn. 863) His son, John Yerbury (will dated 1614), succeeded him at Bradford. Thomas Yerbury (fl. 1632) was the son of John. (fn. 864) All these men were clothiers. Other Bradford clothiers in the late 16th and early 17th centurieswere Richard Steer (fl. 1561), (fn. 865) Richard Home (d. 1577), (fn. 866) John Parker (fl. 1595), (fn. 867) John Yew (fl. 1622) (fn. 868) John Browne (fl. c. 1630), (fn. 869) Howard Tally (fl. c. 1630), (fn. 870) William Home (fl. 1635), (fn. 871) and John Smith (fl. 1644). The last named in 1644 petitioned to be removed from the post of constable of Bradford as he 'hathe a great family of his owne and many poore people doe depend on him for worke and matters concerning his office doe soe much take him off... that he cannot ymploy his family, much lesse the poore'. (fn. 872)
During the reign of James I Bradford shared the slump in the Wiltshire woollen industry which resulted from the disastrous 'Cockayne experiment' in homedyed cloth. (fn. 873) Even before this, in 1608, there had been concern in Bradford over the high price of corn. (fn. 874) In 1632 the poverty of the town was pleaded as an excuse for its failure to repair the Town Bridge. (fn. 875) Between 1630 and 1634 West Wiltshire was visited by a royal commission 'for reformation of the abuses in cloth making'. (fn. 876) This followed complaints by Dutch buyers of Wiltshire cloth. Anthony Wither the commissioner had a very hostile reception. At Bradford, while he was inspecting a consignment of cloths at a fulling-mill, 'he was seized and flung into the Avon at a place where it was twenty feet deep and where a number of cloths were floating on the surface—so that, as he pointed out, if he had risen under any of them he would inevitably have been drowned'. (fn. 877) Wither also reported that the cloth searchers at Bradford sealed cloths without inspecting them. (fn. 878)
After the Restoration the Wiltshire woollen industry was revived, and Bradford clothiers led the revival. The 'Cockayne experiment' and the Civil War had deprived the industry of a considerable part of the market for the white broad-cloths that were its main product. The revival was achieved by switching production to medley cloths and selling these in a new and wider market. Experiments had been made before the Civil War with medleys, in an area along the Wiltshire and Somerset border that included Bradford. (fn. 879) In the reign of Charles II the most famous Wiltshire clothier was Paul Methuen (d. 1667). Methuen had come into the industry by marrying the daughter and heir of a Somerset clothier named John Ash. (fn. 880) He had settled in Bradford by 1630. (fn. 881) Aubrey called him 'the greatest clothier of his time'. (fn. 882) He is best known for bringing foreign workmen to Bradford: in 1659 he gave a bond of £100 to save from the parish 'one Richard Johnson, otherwise Derricke Johnson, spinner, with Hestric his wife and several small children... out of Amsterdam'. (fn. 883) In 1674 three Dutchmen or Poles named 'Adolfe, Gregorius and Jone' were brought to Bradford by William Brewer, a leading Trowbridge clothier. (fn. 884) The memory of these immigrants is still preserved in Bradford by the street name Dutch Barton. Methuen's eldest son John (d. 1706) entered political life. (fn. 885) The second son Anthony Methuen (1650–1717) succeeded his father as a clothier in Bradford. Thomas Methuen (d. 1737), son and heir of Anthony, followed his father's trade, but Paul (1723–95), son of Thomas, bought Corsham House and settled there as a country gentleman. (fn. 886) Another branch of the Methuen family was active in the cloth industry in this period. Anthony Methuen (d. 1684) was the brother of Paul Methuen (d. 1667), and like him a clothier. (fn. 887) Paul, son of this Anthony, followed his father. (fn. 888) Another family which was prominent in the industry at the end of the 17th century was that of Houlton. The Houltons had been clothiers since the time of John Houlton (fl. 1607), (fn. 889) but they reached their point of greatest prosperity after the middle of the 17th century, in the persons of Robert (son of John) and his son Joseph. (fn. 890) Thereafter as clothiers they were mainly associated with Trowbridge (q.v.). Anthony Druce (fl. 1687) was a clothier after whom Druce's Hill in Bradford was named. (fn. 891) Druce was a Quaker, and so were a number of other clothiers—Israel Noyes (fl. 1692), (fn. 892) Charles Tyler (fl. 1706), (fn. 893) and George Grant (fl. c. 1697). (fn. 894) Other Bradford clothiers of this period were Richard Halliday (fl. c. 1694), (fn. 895) John Curll (will dated 1703), (fn. 896) Michael Tidcombe (fl. 1700), (fn. 897) Robert Rawlins (fl. 1699), (fn. 898) Ebenezer Lyddiard (fl. 1720), (fn. 899) and a Mr. Heylyn (fn. 900). These may not all have been in a large way of business, but Edward Thresher (d. 1725) and his son John (d. 1741) were among the wealthiest citizens. John Thresher's daughter married Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th bt. (d. 1784), and thus entered county society. The Thresher memorial in the parish church covers the whole of a window on the north side of the chancel. (fn. 901)
The cloth trade continued to flourish at Bradford during the second half of the 18th century. Among the leading clothiers in this period were Francis Yerbury (1707–78) and his son John (fl. 1787), (fn. 902) who were descendants of the John Yerbury (will dated 1614) mentioned above. Francis Yerbury was the inventor of a new method of making superfine cloth, for which he took out a patent in 1766. (fn. 903) He was the owner of Belcombe Court (see above, p. 6) and was responsible for the rebuilding carried out by John Wood of Bath. Samuel Cam (fl. 1780) was apparently a newcomer to Bradford. He was of nonconformist descent (fn. 904) and was a benefactor to the Grove Meeting House (see above—Nonconformity). His daughter was the mother of John Cam Hobhouse, Baron Broughton, who became lord of the manor in the following century. Zachariah Shrapnel (fl. 1761) was a clothier sufficiently prosperous to buy Midway Manor in Wingfield (q.v.). (fn. 905) Humphrey Tugwell (d. 1775) is said on his monument in the parish church to have 'carried on an extensive manufactory in Bradford for fifty years'. (fn. 906) Other clothiers of this time were John Rennison (1745–1816), (fn. 907) Francis Hill (d. 1828), (fn. 908) and Phelps whose house was besieged by a mob in 1791. (fn. 909)
Little is known about the factory buildings of Bradford at this time. In February 1725 Edward Thresher was leasing a fulling-mill, belonging to Hall's Manor, at £1. 6s. 8d. a year. He then assigned it to John Phillips for fourteen years at £30 a year from Lady Day 1726. Phillips thereafter held it from the Duke of Kingston at a rent of £22, £8 a year being allowed him to meet the cost of repairs. In 1752 this building was known as the Lower Fulling Mill, and with a little garden taken out of Rackham (see Mills) covered 3 perches. Phillips was succeeded in the tenancy by Benjamin Fisher who held the mill at £20 a year in 1763 and 1770.
Another building, on the Kingston estate, formerly a malt-mill, had been turned into a dye-house by 1763. It was then being leased at £5 a year by Richard Whatley from whom it passed to Charles Bryant (see above, Mills). Another dye-house by the fulling-mill garden was let in 1763 at 15s. a year to a Mr. Tugwell (presumably Humphrey) who held it in 1770. (fn. 910)
Daniel Defoe, who visited west Wiltshire in c. 1725, described Bradford and Trowbridge as 'the two most eminent towns in that part of the vale for the making of fine Spanish cloths of the nicest mixtures'. (fn. 911) Bradford's prosperity, based upon the manufacture of highgrade cloth, lasted until after 1800. A directory of c. 1791 lists 17 clothiers belonging to the town. (fn. 912) In 1814 more than 12,000 broad-cloths were said to be produced annually in Bradford. (fn. 913) There were again 17 clothiers listed in 1822–3, and the cloth trade was 'not now so brisk as formerly but yet is reviving again with every prospect of its former prosperity'. (fn. 914) This prospect was not realized. In 1830 there were only 6 clothiers in Bradford and a directory commented that none of these was doing extensive business, and that 'perhaps few places in England have felt the vicissitudes... and migrations of its trade more than Bradford'. (fn. 915)
This decline of the cloth industry was a disaster not only for the clothiers but for their employees. For three centuries this had been the town's only industry. This is clearly shown for the period 1668 to 1825 by the indentures of pauper apprentices preserved among the parish records (see next column). (fn. 916) Further details of these indentures are given in the sections on Local Government and Poor Relief. The 'various' trades of the appended table cover a wide range of employment of types that one would expect to find in a small town. The indentures from 1804 to 1825 are numbered consecutively in what seems a contemporary hand, and are almost complete according to this enumeration. Most of the master weavers to whom these children were bound must have been in a small way of business. In 1789–90 the 66 apprentices were distributed among 58 masters, and in 1791–2 every weaver apprentice had a different master, and most of these masters had not received apprentices in 1789–90. This state of affairs was typical of the whole period of the indentures. The masters usually received 2 guineas with each child, and it can be assumed that when trade was good an apprentice was well worth his keep. Since the population of Bradford was rapidly increasing between 1801 (7,302) and 1821 (10,231) it is a reasonable inference from the apprenticeship figures that the slump in the local cloth industry became serious in and after 1809, and that a slight improvement in 1813 to 1815 was followed by a renewed slump.
These slumps brought with them weavers' riots. This was nothing new. There had been labour troubles at Bradford in 1726. (fn. 917) In 1766 a gang of rioters, led by a weaver named James Kitlety, had plundered warehouses in the town. (fn. 918) In 1787 a combination of weavers was broken by the determined action of John Yerbury of Belcombe Court. (fn. 919) In 1791 a mob of 500 weavers attacked the house of a clothier named Phelps and burnt a scribbling machine. (fn. 920) There were again riots in 1802. (fn. 921) In 1820 Henry Daubeny of Wraxall House, writing to the Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth, referred to the distress of the Bradford poor and described it as 'a notorious fact' that the clothiers of the town were in the habit of sending cart-loads of goods to be manufactured in Chippenham, where cheaper rates could be obtained. The distressed weavers of Bradford, Daubeny asserted, were thus thrown upon the parish poor-rates, to which the clothiers were underassessed. (fn. 922) In 1822 the Bradford magistrates were said to have applied for a troop of cavalry to be stationed at Trowbridge to protect the area against rioters. There had apparently been a riotous assembly near Bradford in January of that year, but peace had been restored before the arrival of two troops of yeomanry. E. H. Mortimer of Trowbridge, who gave this information in a letter to the Home Secretary, did not take the matter seriously and urged that there was no need for the permanent presence of troops. Meanwhile the Bradford weavers were starving. Four suicides were said to have taken place on a single day in 1821, (fn. 923) In 1826 William Cobbett while staying at Heytesbury met a number of men and boys who had tramped from Bradford to get nuts. They told him they had all been employed in cloth factories in or near Bradford, on quarter work at 1s. a yard. They added that 'there was a turn out last winter when the price was reduced to 1s. but it was put an end to in the usual way—the constable's staff, the bayonet and the gaol'. (fn. 924)
There is much evidence of industrial depression in Bradford in the late thirties and the forties. In 1839 the secretary of the Bradford Working Men's Association averred that in 1814 wages were nearly double their 1839 level and in 1820 more than a third of it. (fn. 925) In 1815, said Ezekiel Edmonds, an anti-Corn-Law supporter, 678 ends of broad-cloth were manufactured in Bradford each week by 30 masters, but in 1838 only 144 by 3 masters. Rents, the selling price of houses, and the profits of retail trade were all said to be a quarter of what they once were. (fn. 926) In 1840 182 handlooms out of a total of 367 were idle and the weavers were described as 'absolutely in great distress'. (fn. 927) In 1841 a local bank failed and put several of the largest manufacturers out of business. (fn. 928) A Chartist newspaper stated in the same year that 15 years before there had been 27 master manufacturers and that in one factory 50 double pieces a week were made. In 1841 there were only 2 masters who 'have not half work for their men to do'. (fn. 929)
A directory for 1842 gives the names of only three cloth manufacturers (Edmonds & Co., Church Street, Samuel Pitman, Mill Street, (fn. 930) and Thomas Spackman, jr., Coppice Lane) and one dyer (Charles Timbrell). (fn. 931) Between 1840 and 1850 emigration caused the population of the town to decrease by about 25 per cent. (fn. 932)
In these circumstances it would not have been surprising if the cloth industry in Bradford had died out in the middle of the 19th century. In fact it remained alive until 1905, when the last cloth mill closed. (fn. 933) In 1855 there were four cloth manufacturers in the town—Edmonds & Co., John King, St. Margaret's Street, H. Applegate, also in St. Margaret's Street, and J. W. Applegate at Greenland Mills. (fn. 934) Four years later King had dropped out and Edmonds had evidently taken a partner named Harper: their factory was Bull Pit Mill. (fn. 935) In 1867 only Greenland and Bull Pit mills were still active (fn. 936) but by 1875 the Abbey Mill had been built in Church Street for Harpy, Taylor & Co. (later Ward & Taylor). (fn. 937) Another new mill built about this time was that behind the Lamb Inn. (fn. 938) In 1885 Greenland Mill was still working under Applegate Bros., and Ward & Taylor had the Church Street and Abbey mills. At the same date Moore Bros. had a wool dyeing establishment in St. Margaret's Street. (fn. 939) By 1903, however, none of these businesses survived except the Greenland Mill (fn. 940) and this has now ceased to produce cloth.
In the absence of business records for Bradford it is difficult to say why the early-19th-century depression was more serious there than in neighbouring Trowbridge (q.v.). The main reason for the depression in both places was undoubtedly the increasing competition of the Yorkshire woollen industry. The history of the woollen firm of J. & T. Clark of Trowbridge shows that it was possible for a Wiltshire clothier to meet that competition successfully by increased mechanization and general efficiency. (fn. 941) The failure of most of the Bradford clothiers was probably due to out-of-date methods. It is surely significant that Edmonds & Co., one of the few firms of clothiers to survive the slump of 1810 to 1840, took out two patents for woollen manufacture, in 1825 and 1850. (fn. 942) By 1834 all the six surviving clothiers of the town were using steam-engines but none of them carried out weaving in their factories. (fn. 943) In 1840 there were said to be in Bradford and its environs 367 hand-looms operated by weavers in their own homes, and only 159 'factory looms'—whether operated by power is not stated. (fn. 944)
The last fifty years of cloth manufacture in the town coincided with the rise of a new industry. In 1848 Stephen Moulton bought Kingston Mill and a number of smaller mills near it, and in October of that year started to make rubber. (fn. 945) The choice of Bradford as the site of one of the first rubber mills in England was at least partly due to Moulton's friendship with Captain Palairet, of Woolley Grange, who sank £5,000 in the business at its inception. (fn. 946) Like Paul Methuen, in the 17th century, Stephen Moulton brought foreign technicians to Bradford. A Mr. Frost of the Vulcan Iron Works, New York, came to help with the installation of new machinery at Kingston Mills. Other American workers were S. P. Abbott and Amelia Fisher. (fn. 947) In its first week the factory employed 21 men and 2 women. In its early years the firm's main product was waterproof clothing. This accounts for the fact that three-quarters of the 60-odd workers in 1858 were women. (fn. 948) Government contracts during the Crimean War helped to put the firm on its feet. (fn. 949) As early as 1850 Moulton had established relations with over 40 business houses and had entered the export market. (fn. 950) An early connexion with the G.W.R. led to concentration on the production of rubber springs and vacuum pipes for railway use. (fn. 951) From about 1860 these railway goods became the main product and as a result the proportion of men to women in the factory rose considerably. (fn. 952) In 1891 the firm amalgamated with that of George Spencer of London. (fn. 953) Soon after this the Bradford section of the firm was extended by the purchase of several large houses and two small inns, and of the 'Lamb', Church Street, and Abbey mills, formerly cloth mills. All these premises were converted for use in the making of rubber. New laboratory buildings were opened in 1948, to mark the centenary of the firm. At that time there were about 600 on the pay-roll. (fn. 954)
In or about 1907, Greenland Mills, which had ceased to make cloth two years before, were acquired by the Sirdar Rubber Co. (fn. 955) In 1915 this factory was bought by the Avon Rubber Co., of Melksham. It then had 300 workers. The company disposed of the mills in 1933 to Dotesios (Printers) Ltd., (fn. 956) who have subsequently parted with a portion of the premises. (fn. 957)
In 1628 there were said to be thirteen alehouses at Bradford, which brewed malt in quantities varying from 6 to 12 bushels a week. (fn. 958) In 1645–6, when the district was placed under contribution for the support of the Parliamentary garrison at Great Chalfield, Bradford supplied more beer than any other place except Broughton Gifford. (fn. 959) Beer was still brewed in the town in the 19th century. John Spencer & Co. were brewing in Silver Street in 1830, and in 1903 G. & T. Spencer had a brewery in Whitehead's Lane. (fn. 960) Wilkins Bros, had a brewery in Newtown in 1855, and the business was still in existence in 1903. (fn. 961) Both these breweries have now closed.
In 1903 there were two iron-foundries, both in Bridge Street. (fn. 964) In 1939 only one was listed in the directory, that of Uncles & Son in Trowbridge Road. (fn. 965) This business still survived in 1950. (fn. 966)
The woollen industry of Bradford was not confined to the town. There were probably weavers in most of the rural tithings of the parish during the boom years of the industry. Nicholas Goldsborough, clothier (fl. 1639), was resident at Atworth and at Holt there were numerous weavers during the 17th century and no doubt later. (fn. 967) In 1842 J. E. Davis had a cloth factory at Holt. (fn. 968) He was still carrying on the business in 1867. (fn. 969) By 1875 it had passed into the hands of Gordon Jones, who carried it on until between 1885 and 1890. (fn. 970)
Early in the 18th century a leather industry was started at Holt by James Beaven. About 1800 glove making was developed as a branch of the business. In 1924 the business employed 100 men and 50 women in the factories and several hundred women were making gloves in their own homes. (fn. 971) The Beaven family still owns the business. (fn. 972)
The firm of John Sawtell & Co., bedding manufacturers, has been active in Holt since about 1859. (fn. 973)
In 1865 Richard Papps & Son made organs and pianos at Holt. (fn. 974)
During the first half of the 18th century Holt enjoyed some importance and prosperity as a spa. The 'Holt waters' were discovered in 1690, and between c. 1715 and 1750 they were widely sold, in particular as a cure for King's Evil. After the latter date their popularity apparently declined. (fn. 975)
Fairs and Markets
In 1280–1 the Abbess of Shaftesbury claimed the prescriptive right to hold an annual fair at Bradford on the vigil and feast of the Holy Trinity, to which the parish church was dedicated. (fn. 976) In 1792 the fair was being held on the Monday after Trinity, and this continued to be the day until the fair was discontinued shortly before 1907. (fn. 977)
Another fair was held at Bradford Leigh, at least as early as 1792, on the Monday fortnight after Lansdown Fair, i.e. on 24 August if that day was a Monday or on the Monday next following that date. (fn. 978) In 1818 the fair-ground was Bradford Leigh Common. Its tolls were received by Paul Methuen, lord of the capital manor. (fn. 979) The fair was still being held in 1903, but lapsed soon after. (fn. 980)
In 1252 Robert de Holt was licensed to hold an annual fair in Holt on 24 November. (fn. 981)
There was a market at Bradford in 1086. It was appurtenant to the Abbess of Shaftesbury's manor and was valued at 45s. (fn. 982) The market descended with the manor until 1882, when it was sold by Sir Charles Hobhouse, bt., to the Town Commissioners for £250. (fn. 983) It was still in existence in 1903 (fn. 984) but was no longer held in 1911. (fn. 985) In 1792 the market day was Monday. (fn. 986) In 1822–3 the market was being held on Saturday (fn. 987) and this continued to be the day for as long as the market was held. (fn. 988) The Old Market House (also known as the Town Hall) stood in the centre of the town adjoining the Shambles to the east. It consisted of three stories: the basement (used about 1820 as a crockery store) was at street level; the ground floor was an open colonnade looking up Coppice Lane and was occupied by the stalls of the country butchers; the first floor had at one time been used as the manorial court room, but by 1820 was dilapidated and lacking a staircase. Not long after 1820 the whole building fell down; its fabric was sold for 20s. and removed. (fn. 989)
As already stated the maintenance of a free school in Bradford was one of the objects of Horton's chantry (see Churches). After the dissolution of the chantry the school seems to have been maintained by the Crown by means of an annual grant of £10. 12s. 7d. out of the issues of Bradford manor. (fn. 990) Furbner, the pre-dissolution chantry priest, continued to teach in the school. (fn. 991)
In 1559 Queen Elizabeth, at the instigation of the citizens of Salisbury, transferred the endowment to that city. It was claimed that the 'upland town' of Bradford had only a 'scanty population' and was but a 'limited resort of merchants and gentlemen'. (fn. 992) After this no more is heard of a school in Bradford for over 150 years.
In 1712 the Revd. John Rogers, vicar 1710 to 1754, opened a school for 65 children. Three years later it was placed on a permanent footing. The Revd. Nathan Wright, lord of the manor in respect of his wife the Hon. Anne (Paulet) in 1715, bought from Anthony Methuen and leased to trustees a building in the churchyard called the Skull-house, (fn. 993) and granted it on a 1,000-year lease at a peppercorn rent for use as a school. It was put into repair at a cost of £85, of which £35 was applied by Rogers from £50 given by Edward Dike and £50 raised by subscription. (fn. 994) The school was endowed with £250 from Francis Smith (1725), of which the interest was to be used for teaching 10 children; £200 from the estate of Edward Wadman at Trowle (1744), which was lost to the school before 1786; (fn. 995) £326. 8s. 1d. stock in two portions; (fn. 996) and £400 in 3 per cent. Consols from John Strawbridge (1805). (fn. 997) In 1819 (fn. 998) and 1838 (fn. 999) the income of the school was about £40 a year, and in the latter year there were 32 free and 8 fee-paying pupils. In 1858 the number of fee-payers had risen to 18. (fn. 1000) Under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 1873 the Skull-house was exchanged for the Old Church House (see above— Churches); this was converted into a school for 60 children. This school is mentioned in 1903, (fn. 1001) but in September of that year it was closed and its income devoted to the provision of county scholarships at other schools. (fn. 1002)
A British school was established in Bradford in 1830, in the former Friends' Meeting House, St. Margaret's Street—a building which dated from 1718. (fn. 1003) The school became popular, with an average attendance of 140 to 200 boys during its first year. (fn. 1004) About 1860 a separate girls' school was built in Church Street, 'managed by nonconformist ladies of the town'. (fn. 1005) Between 1880 and 1885 a new girls' school, with accommodation also for infants, was built in Mason's Lane, (fn. 1006) and in 1891 the boys' school was closed (fn. 1007) and the children transferred to Mason's Lane. In 1893 the accommodation here was 193, and the attendance 141. (fn. 1008) In 1896 a separate infants' department was constituted, and the accommodation increased to 240. (fn. 1009) The average attendance in 1907 was 180, (fn. 1010) but fell rapidly after this date, and in 1925 it was decided to replace the Mason's Lane school by a junior Council school. Until the new buildings were ready the managers carried on the school in nonconformist church premises. (fn. 1011)
The Church schools associated with the parish church of Holy Trinity date from 1836, when a Treasury grant of £190 was made towards the total cost of about £600. (fn. 1012) The school was enlarged on land purchased from the Edmonds family for £90 in 1850 to 1852 and 1867 (fn. 1013). £50 of this sum was bequeathed to the school by Hannah Smith (d. c. 1860). (fn. 1014) In 1859 it was attended by 50 to 60 boys and 80 to 90 girls, under a certificated master and mistress, and was described as a 'good school under kind and liberal management'. (fn. 1015) A teacher's house was built in 1869 on land conveyed by the vicar. In 1896 the school was rebuilt on an adjoining site in Newtown, conveyed by Mrs. Emily Collett for £330, and the old site laid out as a playground. (fn. 1016) The accommodation of the old school had been 312; (fn. 1017) the new school provided 529 places (boys 157, girls 168, infants 204). In 1910 the average attendance was only 303 in all departments, and in the reassessment of the same year the permitted accommodation was reduced to 320, at which figure it has since remained. In 1928 the school became a senior mixed school, and in 1939 the buildings were altered and renovated. Controlled status was granted to the school in 1948. (fn. 1018) The latest attendance figure (1950) is 185, with 11 teachers. (fn. 1019)
Christ Church School, Mount Pleasant, was built in 1847 at the cost of Capt. S. H. Palairet. (fn. 1020) From 1849 it was in union with the National Society, (fn. 1021) and ten years later 120 children were in attendance, under two teachers. (fn. 1022) In 1879 an infants' school was built at the cost of Miss Poynder of Leigh Court. (fn. 1023) Up to 1910 the authorized accommodation was 255 (mixed school) and 147 (infants), with average attendance in that year of 21 5 and 119 respectively. After 1910 the accommodation assessment was reduced to 204 mixed and 132 infants, at which figure it remains. Under the 1928 reorganization this school became the junior mixed and infant school of the town, and controlled status was adopted in 1949. (fn. 1024) The following year the attendance was 282, with 9 teachers. (fn. 1025)
In 1838 there were in the town of Bradford, besides the Free school and the recently founded British school, eight other mixed schools with 61 boys and 101 girls, and two girls' schools with 32 pupils. (fn. 1026) Thus there were about 500 children at school in Bradford (including the schools in the villages of Atworth, Holt, and South Wraxall) at a time when the total population of the parish was some 10,000.
In 1819 it was reported that the mistress of the school in Atworth received £10 annually from an endowment. The vicar received £10 annually for catechizing the children. There was also £1 due each year from the Cottles estate for books. (fn. 1027) These sums were derived from the will of Mrs. Jane Brown, dated 1705 and proved the following year. In 1906 the vicar was still receiving £10 a year from this source, and £11 was paid towards the general expenses of the school. (fn. 1028) The school, which was built or rebuilt in 1828, (fn. 1029) received no special comment in the 1833 report, but in 1859 it is entered as a school with an endowment of £10. The school was said to have been built by a Mr. Blagdon Hall; as the conveyance for educational purposes was not properly executed it was sold with the rest of his estate. The purchaser, a Roman Catholic, allowed the continued use of the building as a National school, and in 1859 70 children were in attendance. (fn. 1030) The school was enlarged in 1884, (fn. 1031) but was superseded by a new building in 1896, which in its turn was enlarged by the addition of an infants' classroom two years later. This brought the accommodation up to 207; in 1900 the average attendance was 125. (fn. 1032) In 1903 the school was leased to the County Council for 21 years. (fn. 1033) The 1910 reassessment of accommodation resulted in a reduction to 172 places (117 mixed, 55 infants), since increased by the provision of 10 more places for infants. (fn. 1034) The average attendance, however, has always been much lower than this—101 in 1910, 76 in 1938, and 62 in 1950. (fn. 1035)
In 1839 the secretary of the Holt Working Men's Association stated that there were then 4 day schools in Holt, one of them for infants, and that there had been two such schools between 1814 and 1830. (fn. 1036) It was, however, reported to the Brougham Committee in 1819 that the children of Holt were 'nearly all employed in factories during the week', and there was then no day school in the village. (fn. 1037)
Holt National School was built in 1834–5 with the aid of a grant of £40 from the Treasury. (fn. 1038) It was said to have an attendance of about 140 m 1839. (fn. 1039) Thesitewas conveyed in trust in 1843. (fn. 1040) In 1859 it was reported that there were 50 to 60 children in attendance, in the charge of one mistress. (fn. 1041) In 1887 James Chapman bequeathed £200 in trust for the benefit of this school. This was invested and the interest (£7. 2s. 8d. in 1906) applied to the general expenses. (fn. 1042) In 1893, when the average attendance was 101, the recognized accommodation was 156. (fn. 1043) The accommodation was reduced in 1910 to 127 (90 mixed, 37 infants). From 1931 the school has been one for juniors and infants only, and from 1935 has worked in conjunction with the Holt Congregational School. For a few months in the latter year the National School buildings were used exclusively by the infants and the Congregational buildings by the juniors, but since the end of 1935 the position has been reversed. In 1938 the two schools were grouped under a single body of managers. The unit is known as Holt Primary and is a Church of England school. (fn. 1044) In 1950 the average attendance in the two departments was 101. (fn. 1045)
The Congregational day school was opened in 1869; the trust deed of that year provided that part of the premises conveyed in trust in 1813 for use as an undenominational chapel should be used as a day school. (fn. 1046) In 1880 a new chapel was built and the old cleared of pews and converted into a large schoolroom, capable of holding 255 children. (fn. 1047) In 1893, however, only 76 were in attendance. (fn. 1048) Alterations were made to the building in 1895, and between that date and 1910 the recognized accommodation was 223; (fn. 1049) after the 1910 reassessment it was 180 (125 mixed, 55 infants). The average attendance, however, seems never to have exceeded 100, and was further reduced by the removal of the seniors to Bradford in 1931. (fn. 1050) Since 1935 this school has been merged with the Holt National School (see above).
By a deed of 1844 land at Limpley Stoke was conveyed in trust for a school in union with the National Society. (fn. 1051) No school seems at that date to have existed in the parish, and the following year a building was erected with the aid of a Treasury grant of £75. (fn. 1052) The school seems to have lapsed a few years after it was started, for in 1859 it was reported to have been 'reopened' three years before. (fn. 1053) At this date (1859) some 20 to 30 children were in attendance and prospects were said to be 'encouraging', in spite of the fact that many children of Dissenters in Limpley Stoke attended the school at Freshford (Som.). (fn. 1053) In 1893 there were 79 places and an average attendance of 51, (fn. 1054) reduced in 1910 to 56 and 39 respectively. The school was closed in 1932. (fn. 1055)
In 1833 there was a day school at South Wraxall, attended by 10 children. (fn. 1056) In 1841 a trust was created for a school in union with the National Society, (fn. 1057) and the schoolroom was built in the same year. (fn. 1058) It was reported in 1859 that there were 40 to 50 children at this school, which was considered 'not unsatisfactory' in spite of a deficiency of books and instruction 'of a most rudimentary kind'. (fn. 1059) In 1893 the recognized accommodation was 60 and the average attendance 45. (fn. 1060) About the turn of the century the attendance figures rose sharply, (fn. 1061) necessitating an enlargement of the building to provide 79 places; (fn. 1062) this was reduced by the 1910 reassessment to 74 (46 mixed, 28 infants). In this year the average attendance was 59, but it has since declined, partly owing to the removal of the senior children to Bradford (1931). (fn. 1063) In 1938 it was 37, (fn. 1064) and in 1950, when there were two teachers, only 29. (fn. 1065) Controlled status was granted in 1949. (fn. 1065)
Records of parochial poor relief in Bradford start in the late 17th century. The Indentures of Apprenticeship, 1668 to 1825, appear to be complete for the period they cover. The Poor Law Rate Books survive for 1741 to 1782 and 1799 to 1808, and the Poor Rate Assessment Books for 1789 to 1835. There are other miscellaneous documents relating specifically to poor relief, and the Vestry Minute Book for 1816 to 1835 has numerous references to the subject. (fn. 1066)
Throughout the period covered by the Indentures of Apprenticeship the cloth industry provided the main employment of pauper children. (fn. 1067) Up to about 1750 domestic service (for girls) provided for the largest group of children outside the cloth industry and be tween 1701 and 1753 55 children were thus ap prenticed, out of a total, for the non-textile trades, of 92. In 1730 a child was apprenticed for the first time to a chimney sweep. Nine others were placed in the same trade between 1730 and 1775—about 15 per cent, of the total for the non-textile trades. Between 1776 and 1825 the number of apprentice sweeps rose to a total of 69—almost 50 per cent, of those placed in non-textile trades. Most of the master sweeps carried on business in Walcot (Bath) or in Bristol. In and after 1808 the indentures signed by these masters included conditions as to the treatment of the boys: apprentices were to be provided with a new suit at least once a year; they were to be made to wash once a week and to attend church on Sundays; they were not to be forced to climb chimneys above burning fires and in general were to be treated 'with as much humanity and care as the nature of the employment of a chimney sweeper will admit of. The parish authorities at Bradford were apparently acting in this respect in advance of legal requirements: it was not until 1834 that similar conditions of employment for boy sweeps became statutory. (fn. 1068) There are other indications of concern for the fate of the apprentices. A few of the indentures after 1750 were cancelled on the ground of cruelty by the masters.
It appears from the Poor Rate Assessment Books that a workhouse existed at Bradford in 1741. For the year ending Easter 1742 the poor-rate totalled £1,987, about one-fifth of which was spent on the upkeep of the workhouse. For ten years after this the rate was much smaller: £1,148 in 1742–3, as low as £561 in 1744–5,£634 in 1748–9, and £773 in 1751– 2. (fn. 1069) It may be assumed that this was a decade of prosperity in Bradford. The rate rose in 1752–3 to£1,404, and it was possibly this that moved the parish vestry, in August 1752, to pass a resolution empowering the overseers and churchwardens to hire new premises for use as a workhouse. (fn. 1070) No immediate action seems to have been taken, for a similar resolution was passed in May 1754, and in the following June the overseers and churchwardens were specifically authorized to lease houses called 'The Catch', belonging to William Allen, for the accommodation of the poor. (fn. 1071) The poor-rate dropped slightly between 1753 and 1755, but it was £1,835 in 1755–6 and £2,074 in 1757–8. It then fell sharply and continuously to £881 in 1761–2.
Another rise followed, reaching a peak of £2,599 in 1766–7. (fn. 1072) The numbers of paupers aided out of the rates naturally varied. In the period so far considered the average sum paid to each recipient was between 20s. and 30s. In addition to those drawing out-relief there was a small number in the workhouse. In the 1760's there were usually 70–80 persons in the workhouse during the late summer (the minimum) and 200 or more in late winter (the maximum). (fn. 1073) Between 1767 and 1778 the rates were fairly steady at £2,000£2,500 but they then went up to a new high level of £3,099 in 1782–3. (fn. 1074) There is then a gap in the records and when the series of rate books begins again in 1799 the rate was £4,392. (fn. 1075)
Meanwhile, in 1784, the parish had obtained statutory power to appoint a full-time salaried overseer of the poor. (fn. 1076) Such an appointment had sometimes been made before this without statutory authority—in 1766–7 James Stephens had been appointed overseer at a salary of £50. (fn. 1077) The Act of 1784 provided for a maximum of £100, and this sum was the normal salary of the overseer. In spite of this generous remuneration at least one of the paid overseers had to be removed for fraud—John Self, appointed in 1799, and dismissed in 1806. It seems likely that he was using parish funds to trade in provisions on his own account: in the last quarter of 1804–5 he spent out of the rates far more in the purchase of cheese, mutton, flour, and peas than can have been required by the 90 inmates of the workhouse. (fn. 1078) James Ferris, who succeeded Self, remained overseer until 1825. In 1819 he was accused of some malpractice but the vestry decided to take no action against him, and actually granted him a pension when he retired. (fn. 1079) In 1800 the master and mistress of the workhouse were dismissed for 'flagrantly wicked conduct'. In some respects, however, they must have served the parish well, for in the year 1799–1800 there was a small profit from the workhouse (fn. 1080) —a most unusual event.
In 1803 the poor-rate was £3,587. (fn. 1081) It was £4,333 in 1807–8 (fn. 1082) and in 1813 it was £5,474. (fn. 1083) For the years 1816 to 1821 the figures were £3,784, £5,611, £8,663, £5,304, £8,483, and £6,575; (fn. 1084) and for 1822 to 1824 they were £6,004, £3,768, and £4,112. (fn. 1085) The rate was £8,368 in 1831. (fn. 1086) In 1839 it was said to be 4s. 6d. in the £. (fn. 1087)
In 1834 the workhouse contained 122 paupers of both sexes, ranging in age from 3 to 90 years. No income was derived from the workhouse and no work was done there. (fn. 1088) After the bank failure of 1841 400 paupers are said to have been taken into the workhouse and another 300 employed in work on the roads. Many of the distressed poor were assisted to emigrate to Wales and the north of England and elsewhere. (fn. 1089)
Charities (fn. 1090)
In 1535 twelve poor persons at Bradford received £3. 6s. 8d. yearly out of the rectory for offering prayers for the soul of the founder of Shaftesbury Abbey. (fn. 1091) There is no definite evidence of the continuance of this charity after the Reformation, but at the time of the Charity Commissioners' Inquiry of 1834 it was believed to be represented by the 'Old Almshouse', situated by the canal. This almshouse was certainly in existence by 1587, and in the late 16th and 17th centuries was apparently open to both sexes. (fn. 1092) In 1834 it was occupied by three almswomen and had formerly been occupied by four. From at least 1702 it was endowed with 12½ acres of land in various parts of the parish, let at rents ranging from £8 to £12 a year, and with £1. 18s. annually from the lord of the manor, who had the right of nominating the occupants. (fn. 1093) In 1868 the three dwellings of which the almshouse consisted were rebuilt at the cost of John Bubb, (fn. 1094) and ten years later a fourth was added by the Trustees. Early in the present century they were occupied by four women rent free, who received 16s. a week and a ton of coals yearly. In 1906 the endowment amounted to about £60 a year, including the £1. 18s. from the lord of the manor, £10 from the Gas Company, to whom part of the site was leased in 1834, (fn. 1095) £11 from the Canal Company, and £636. 15s. 9d. Consols, of which £70 had been purchased at various times with surplus income.
In 1700 a new almshouse for four men was erected by John Hall, (fn. 1096) who by his will, dated 1708, endowed it with £40 a year from his farm at Paxcroft in Steeple Ashton. The property was put in trust in 1735, but the right of patronage and appointment remained with the Duke of Kingston, the owner of Paxcroft, and with his successors, the Earls Manvers, even after Paxcroft had passed to Walter (later Lord) Long. The yearly endowment of £40 was increased in 1894 by £31. 10s. —the income from £1,000 bequeathed to the trustees by Horatio Moulton. At the beginning of the 20th century the four almsmen received 6s. each weekly, and two coats with the arms of John Hall as a badge on the sleeve.
John Curll, by his will dated 1703, bequeathed about 140 acres of land at Chirton, from which £30 a year was to be paid to the poor of the borough of Bradford and the tithings of Winsley, Leigh, and Woolley, in 120 5s. pieces. In 1899 59 acres were sold to the War Department for £480, and part of this sum was used to pay off a mortgage incurred in the improve ment of the farm and the remainder (£367. 12s. 3d.) was invested. The remaining land was let during the early years of the 20th century for £54, but the income, after payment of tithe and land-tax, did not suffice for the full distribution as laid down by the founder. In 1899 the Bradford poor received £16. 18s., in 1900 £15. 10s., (fn. 1097) and in 1906 £19. 15s. The parish of Freshford (Som.) shared in this charity in 1906.
In 1747 John Ferrett, a native of Bradford, gave £50 to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge to provide for the distribution in Bradford of Bibles, prayer- and other religious books to the value of 50s. yearly. About 1821 the society was in arrears with the distribution, and thereafter the annual value of the books distributed was increased to £4. 10s. In 1907 it was £4. (fn. 1098)
Ferrett also left £250 3 per cent. Old South Sea Annuities, later £275 2½ per cent, annuities, to provide two quartern loaves each to 20 poor men and women of Bradford on the first Sunday of each month. In 1907 19 persons participated in this charity, for which they were continuously eligible. (fn. 1099)
Another bread charity was that of Samuel Cam who, by his will dated 1792, gave £100 stock, the interest to be distributed in bread to non-paupers. In 1858 it was the custom to distribute in money, but in 1907 the income (£2. 16s. yearly) was again given in bread. (fn. 1100)
In 1799 Mrs. Elizabeth Tugwell bequeathed £105 stock for the benefit of 40 poor persons. At the beginning of the 20th century the dividend amounted to £2. 12s. 4d. annually, which was distributed in amounts not exceeding s. 6d.
John Strawbridge, by will dated 1805, left £400 stock to the churchwardens of Bradford for the benefit of the poor. Litigation in 1847 reduced the value of this charity by about a quarter, and in the early 20th century the dividends, amounting to some £8 to £9, were distributed in 65 to 70 2s. 6d. pieces. Poor persons of the town of Bradford, both Anglicans and Nonconformists, were eligible provided that they were not in receipt of poor relief. The Charity Commissioners in their report of 1902 expressed the opinion that this charity should be open to the whole of the ancient parish. (fn. 1101)
John Bubb, the rebuilder of the Old Almshouses (see above), by will dated 1860, left £1,000, the income of which was to be applied to the provision of coal for those deserving poor who were prepared to pay half the cost.
In 1874 Mrs. Charlotte Amelia Beavan left £50, the interest to be used for the distribution of bread to poor persons at the parish church on Christmas Day. In the early 20th century 28 persons participated. (fn. 1102)
By his will dated 1721 Edward Thresher (d. 1725) (fn. 1103) left £100, the interest to be given to poor and impotent persons of the town of Bradford and tithing of Winsley, not being paupers. This was given away in bread for about fifty years, and from 1779, when new trustees were appointed, in sums of 5s. and 2s. 6d. During the first half of the 19th century the charity was distributed somewhat intermittently and a balance accumulated. (fn. 1104) It was transferred to the Official Trustees in 1858 and invested in £359. 4s. 10d. Consols. At the beginning of the 20th century the interest, of about £9 yearly, was given in clothing-tickets of 2s. 6d. value to poor persons of Holy Trinity and Winsley parishes, who had not for twelve months been in receipt of poor relief. (fn. 1105)
Several former charities had lapsed by 1859. Such were Nathaniel Wilkinson's of £10 for bread for the poor of Leigh and Woolley, Nathaniel Houlton's of £50 and William Yerbury's of £100, for £5 worth of bread during Lent. (fn. 1106) Most of these were already in abeyance, and the dates of foundation unknown, at the time of the 1834 inquiry.
The above charities relate to the town of Bradford, though in some cases certain of the hamlets also participated. In 1906 the following were for the exclusive benefit of the hamlets.
Mrs. Jane Brown, by her will proved in 1706, left a rent-charge of £31 on her manor of Atworth Cottles, mainly for educational purposes (see above—Schools); £5 were to be used for clothing two or more poor persons of Atworth tithing. In 1906 G. P. Fuller of Corsham, the then owner of the estate, used the money to provide an overcoat each for three poor men, and alternately a gown apiece for eight poor women; the recipients were selected by the parish council.
Richard Atwood, by his will proved in 1808, left £500 to be invested and the dividends paid on 31st October (his birthday) to poor persons of Turley and Winsley, in sums not exceeding 10s. 6d. to enable them to buy coal and other necessaries. In 1906 the bequest was represented by £569. 0s. 4d. Consols, and the interest of £14. 4s. 4d. was divided amongst 60 poor persons of Winsley.
James Fussell, by deed of 1874, gave £1,000 (subject to a life interest of himself and his wife) to be invested and the interest given in coals and blankets to poor persons residing in South Wraxall. The charity became operative on Fussell's death in 1882, and in 1906 £25. 4s., the interest for that year, was applied as follows: 15s. to every widow in the parish, 5s. to every household, and 1s. to every child therein, as far as the income would allow.
Besides Chapman's charity of 1887 (see above— Schools), about ½ acre of land was awarded upon the inclosure of the commons in 1867 to the churchwardens and overseers as a recreation ground for the inhabitants of Holt. The interest on an investment of £108. 1s. 9d. Consols was applied to the maintenance of this ground. In 1906 nothing was known about the origin of the capital sum.