A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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THE ancient parish of North Bradley included the modern civil parishes of North Bradley and Southwick, which lie south and south-west of Trowbridge and extend from the boundary of the urban district to the Somerset border. (fn. 1) The whole area was within the bounds of the manor of Steeple Ashton in Saxon times. (fn. 2) In the Middle Ages it was for a time reckoned part of the parish of Edington, (fn. 3) but from about the mid-14th century seems to have been treated as an independent parish. (fn. 4) Southwick tithing relieved its poor separately from Bradley and so became a separate civil parish in the late 19th century. Detached parts of each parish were added to the other in 1885. After that the area of Bradley was 1,768 a., and of Southwick 2,473 a. (fn. 5) Southwick included the district of Rode Hill, adjoining the village of Rode (Som.), which became a district chapelry in 1852, (fn. 6) and subsequently a separate ecclesiastical parish. The southern part of it was transferred to Somerset in 1937, thus reducing the area of Southwick to 2,255 a. (fn. 7)
The irregularly shaped ancient parish lies in the clay vale of west Wiltshire, stretching from the valley of the Biss on its eastern border to that of the Frome on its west. Each river forms the parish boundary for part of its course. The area between them is mostly drained by small streams which flow into the Biss, for the highest land lies on the western edge of the parish. It rises to about 275 ft. near Overcourt Farm and 250 ft. at Vagg's Hill, from which there is a steep drop down to the Frome. Most of the parish is given over to dairy farming. The only areas of woodland remaining are at Vagg's Hill in the west, around Brokerswood in the south, and at Picket Wood near Yarnbrook. In the Middle Ages there was probably much more woodland, and Bradley and Southwick both lay within the bounds of Selwood Forest until 1300. (fn. 8) In the 18th century the parish was remarkable for the extent of its commons. Bradley village was almost surrounded by Woodmarsh Common to the north, Bradley Common, which stretched almost to Southwick, and Little Common near the farm of that name. Drynham Common stretched along the Trowbridge boundary, and Yarnbrook Common lay between Yarnbrook and the Westbury boundary. Southwick itself was built round a large common green, and to the west the very large Rode Common divided the inclosed lands along the Frome from the remainder of the parish. Part of Rode Common was inclosed in 1792, and the other commons in the parish in 1805. (fn. 9)
There were formerly an earthwork and some barrows near Rode Hill, but they were destroyed in the early 19th century. (fn. 10) Roman remains have been found near Cutteridge Farm. (fn. 11) North Bradley and Southwick both appear as settlements in the early Middle Ages, (fn. 12) and were of moderate prosperity in the 14th century. (fn. 13) With the rise of the Wiltshire woollen industry they grew in importance as centres of domestic clothworking for clothiers from Trowbridge. The amount of common land in the parish may have attracted weavers who were able to build cottages and keep animals on it, and in the late 18th and early 19th centuries the parish reached a peak in population if not in prosperity. In 1821 there were over 2,600 inhabitants; although in succeeding years the extinction of the domestic industry led to a considerable decline, both villages have remained comparatively large, (fn. 14) and dependent upon Trowbridge for the employment of much of their population.
The village of North Bradley is built partly along the main road from Trowbridge to Westbury and partly round a minor road in the shape of a narrow horseshoe which lies south-west of the main road and encloses the church. The regular layout of this minor road only dates from the early 19th century. In 1773 the village consisted of a number of houses irregularly built along several lanes and paths and with pieces of common land in between. (fn. 15) The northern branch, now called Southwick Road, but formerly Pound Lane, (fn. 16) was straightened c. 1830, while the southern one, Church Lane, formerly ran slightly to the south of its present line. (fn. 17) A small village green, allotted in 1805 to the lord of the manor as a place to hold the fair, (fn. 18) lies north of the church. Facing it is the Daubeny Asylum, (fn. 19) and opposite is the Old Rectory, a brick house of c. 1790. The large mid-19th-century vicarage lies south-west of the church. Nearby stands a large block of malthouses, of brick with small stone-mullioned windows with segmental heads and keystones, and half-hipped roofs of slate with truncated gables; they are dated 1837. The village contains many brick cottages of the 18th and 19th centuries in which lived the clothworkers. A common feature is a dentilled string-course at first floor level. At the south end of the village is a pair of brick houses, each dated 1735 and bearing the initials of members of the Butcher family. (fn. 20) Other houses in Church Lane are dated 1734 and 1746.
A few more 18th- and early-19th-century cottages stand on the Westbury road, and here also are King's Farm, Pound Farm, and Manor Farm. King's Farm is a substantial L-shaped house, probably of the late 16th or early 17th century. The ground floor is largely of stone, and has mullioned windows with hood moulds. On the upper floor timber-framing has been obscured by plaster. The gable end of the cross-wing has shaped barge boards and a pendant. In 1963 the house was in very poor condition. Manor Farm was rebuilt in the 18th century, (fn. 21) and Pound Farm is a stone house of the early 19th century. The road towards Trowbridge has been affected by suburban development, which seems to have begun in the mid-19th century with Beach House and Broadleigh House and some pairs of smaller brick houses. Other terrace houses date from the early 20th century, and there are some more recent small houses and bungalows. The village hall was built in 1912, (fn. 22) and nearby is the Baptist chapel.
West of Bradley church are groups of cottages which in 1773 stretched along the edges of the common there. (fn. 23) That along a lane north of the Southwick road is called the Rank, while south of the road are groups called Scotland and Ireland. Encroachments on the common were made at Ireland in 1740. (fn. 24) The hamlet of Yarnbrook to the south of Bradley, where roads from Trowbridge and Melksham join and go south to West bury, contained only a few houses and Bradley Mill in 1773. (fn. 25) Several small terraces of cottages were built there soon after the common was inclosed, and between the world wars small houses were built on the Westbury road.
There were two public houses in Bradley c. 1800. One, called the 'Bell', stood in Church Lane, while the 'Axe and Cleaver' stood in the lane still called after it, leading west from Woodmarsh. It took its name from a butcher who kept it in the late 18th century. In 1803 the publican of the 'Axe and Cleaver' closed it and had the 'Long's Arms' at Yarnbrook built. Later in the century several more houses in Bradley were licensed. (fn. 26) The 'Old Ring of Bells' was part of the Winchester College estate, and was rebuilt in 1843, (fn. 27) and the 'Rising Sun' is a very similar building. The 'New Ring of Bells' was in the building now Malthouse Farm, a brick house dated 1703 on the gable and 1713 on the porch. (fn. 28) By 1881 there were also the 'Royal Oak' and the New Inn. (fn. 29) Of these only the 'Rising Sun' and the New Inn in the village are still licensed.
Westward from Bradley a road leads towards Southwick, and from it a winding minor road leads to the hamlet of Brokerswood at the southern extremity of the parish, and so on across the Somerset border. It passes Cutteridge Farm which stands near the site of a large house pulled down c. 1800. (fn. 30) Some of the other farms in this part can be traced from the 16th century or earlier. (fn. 31) Pole's Hole Farm is a timber-framed building with brick filling and three small gables, probably of the 17th century.
The main part of Southwick lies along the main road from Trowbridge to Frome. Many of the houses in it were originally built on roadside waste; in the later 18th century the Clutterbucks, lords of the manor, made a number of leases for 1,000 years of small plots on many of which cottages were already built. (fn. 32) More houses were subsequently built on some plots. Thus by 1818 one house and garden previously let for 1,000 years had had three more houses built on it. (fn. 33) Many of the houses on the north side of the village street date from that period. The Poplars is a small house of brick with stone dressings and hipped stone-tiled roof, proably of the late 17th century. On the south side the area from the 'Fleur de Lys' westward to Pound Farm was until 1805 a large village green of varying width, covering the sites now occupied by the church, Providence Chapel, and the council houses. (fn. 34) From it Wynsome Road leads south-eastwards towards Bradley. It was turnpiked in 1768. (fn. 35)
South and west of the village minor roads lead from the main road to the hamlets of Lamber's Marsh and Hoggington and to scattered farms. The loop of road on which Whitaker's Farm stands was part of the main road in 1811, but a straight piece to cut it out had been built by 1841. (fn. 36) Whitaker's Farm is a 16th- or early-17th-century stone house, roofed with stone tiles and with three small timberframed gables at the front. Manor Farm at Hoggington was in 1881 a labourer's cottage. (fn. 37) It is a 16th-century house of stone, with a symmetrical front of three gables with copings and finials and stone-mullioned windows. A later porch is dated 1673 and bears the initials of members of the Greenhill family, and the door bears the same initials and date in the ironwork surrounding the latch.
The roads in the western part of the parish were much altered at the inclosure of Rode Common, and some only date from that time. The one from Tellisford Bridge towards Southwick is, however, said to have been a pack-horse route from Bristol through the Somerset villages of Combe Hay, Wellow, and Norton St. Philip, and on by Bradley and Edington over the plain to Salisbury. It was still occasionally used by drovers in the 1880's. (fn. 38) Tellisford Bridge was rebuilt, partly at the expense of the parish, by John Ducey, a Tellisford mason, in 1692. (fn. 39) Vagg's Hill Farm is a stone house dated 1618, with a projecting semi-circular stair tower. Dillybrook, Romsey Oak, Chancefield, and Odessa Farms all date from after the inclosure of the parish.
The land which later formed North Bradley parish lay within the boundaries of Ashton as King Edgar set them forth in 968, and passed to Romsey Abbey with that estate. (fn. 40) By the 14th century, (fn. 41) and possibly long before (it is not separately mentioned in Domesday Book), some freehold estates in North Bradley were held of the Abbess of Romsey's manor of Edington, although others, mainly in Southwick, still owed suit and rent to Steeple Ashton. (fn. 42) At the Dissolution the overlordship of these two groups divided and followed the descent of the manors to which they were annexed. (fn. 43) Freehold rents were still being paid to the lords of Edington in the early 17th century (fn. 44) and to the lords of Steeple Ashton in the 1870's. (fn. 45)
The largest of the estates held of the manor of Edington became known as the manor of NORTH BRADLEY. Humphrey of Bradley (fl. c. 1190) (fn. 46) was probably tenant of this manor. Three-quarters of a century later another Humphrey of Bradley held lands there; (fn. 47) the same Humphrey or else a descendant granted a lease of land in North Bradley in 1281, reserving rent and suit of court. (fn. 48) He was dead two years later. (fn. 49) The first certain tenant is Reynold of Bradley, who in the mid-14th century held an estate described as two carucates of land by a rent of £3 10s. 1½d. (fn. 50) What was clearly the same estate was held by Robert of Bradley in 1357. (fn. 51) By 1413 it had passed to Thomas Godfrey in right of his late wife Alice (or Joan), daughter and heir of Reynold of Bradley. (fn. 52) Thomas had a son, Geoffrey, (fn. 53) who may have died in his father's lifetime leaving either a daughter or no issue. All that seems clear is that an heiress of the Godfrey family named Margaret had by 1423 married Robert Long, and that Thomas Godfrey and another Margaret Godfrey in 1426 joined Robert and Margaret Long in conveying the estate to feoffees. (fn. 54) This Robert Long was the ancestor of the Long family of South Wraxall, and Bradley descended in the same way as Wraxall (fn. 55) to Sir Walter Long (d. 1610). In the settlement of the disputes which followed his division of his inheritance, Bradley was allotted to his younger son Walter, and descended in the Longs of Draycot Cerne (fn. 56) to Sir James Tylney-Long, who died a child in 1805. His estates devolved on his eldest sister Catharine, who married William Wellesley-Pole; after her death her husband succeeded to the earldom of Mornington. Their only son, the fifth earl, died unmarried in 1863 and left his estate to his relative, H. R. Wellesley, first Earl Cowley. (fn. 57) North Bradley was sold almost immediately to C. P. Moore, tenant of the Manor Farm, who in 1879 sold it to Walter Hume Long of Rood Ashton. (fn. 58) He retained it until the breakup of the Rood Ashton estates in the present century. (fn. 59) By the late 18th century the estate consisted only of the Manor Farm, of about 130 a. (fn. 60) The farmhouse was rebuilt after a fire in 1760; the previous house stood nearby, and many fine trees which grew about it were felled in the early 19th century. (fn. 61)
In the late 12th century the Abbess of Romsey granted to Walter Cheyney land in Cutteridge which Warin the Marshal had held there, and before him Thedulf. (fn. 62) It must have descended to another Walter Cheyney who held a carucate of land of the manor of Steeple Ashton c. 1340. (fn. 63) In 1351 John Cheyney sold all his land at Cutteridge to John of Edington. (fn. 64) As elsewhere, John of Edington was acting for his brother William, Bishop of Winchester, and the land was assigned for the endowment of his chantry in Edington, later the house of Bonhommes there. (fn. 65) It remained the property of that house until the Dissolution. (fn. 66) In 1551 it was granted to the Warden and Scholars of Winchester College. (fn. 67) The estate was not large, but parts were held by copy of court roll and courts were held until the early 19th century. (fn. 68) In 1865 the College bought Church Farm, and in 1881 held 129 a. in the parish. Since then there have been further alterations in the estate, including the purchase of Organ Pool Farm in 1940. (fn. 69)
The manor of SOUTHWICK owed suit and rent to the manor of Steeple Ashton c. 1340, (fn. 70) although an estate which descended with it was held of the manor of Edington at about the same time. (fn. 71) Both rents were still paid in the 17th century. (fn. 72) The earliest known tenant of the estate was Adam de Grenville, who held land in Southwick in the reign of Richard I. (fn. 73) It was referred to as a manor in 1242, when this or another Adam de Grenville made an agreement with the Abbot of Keynsham, lord of Wingfield, about common rights. (fn. 74) Southwick descended in the Grenville family until the middle of the 14th century; holders included William de Grenville in 1274-5, (fn. 75) who may have had a son Adam, (fn. 76) another William and his wife Lucy in 1322, (fn. 77) and John de Grenville to whom Lucy released her dower in Southwick in 1338. (fn. 78) John was dead by 1349 leaving a daughter and heir Alice, whose wardship belonged to Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. (fn. 79) John's widow, Margaret, released her dower to the Earl in 1352. (fn. 80)
Alice de Grenville married Humphrey, son of Sir John Stafford of Amelcote and Bromshull (Staffs.). (fn. 81) Their son Sir Humphrey Stafford (d. 1442) had three sons Richard, John, and William, each of whom married and left an only child. Each of these three children succeeded to the estate in turn, but none of them left any issue; the last, Sir Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon, was executed in 1469. The whole property then passed to the issue of his aunt Alice, only daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford (d. 1442). She, by her two marriages, had left three daughters, and, the eldest dying without issue, the Stafford inheritance was divided between the other two. (fn. 82) Southwick passed through the elder of these, Alice's younger daughter by her first marriage, to Sir Edmund Cheyney of Brook in Westbury, and thence with Brook to the Willoughby family. It was held successively by Robert Lord Willoughby (d. 1502), and Robert his son (d. 1521). (fn. 83) The younger Robert sold it to Sir David Owen, (fn. 84) a bastard son of Owen Tudor, grandfather of Henry VII.
Sir David Owen died c. 1542 leaving an annuity of £22 out of Southwick to a chantry which he intended to found in the priory church of Easebourne (Suss.), which had, however, been dissolved since he made his will in 1529. The residue of the manor he left to the sons of his second marriage successively in tail male. (fn. 85) The eldest, Jasper, left no male issue; the second, Henry, possessed the estate, (fn. 86) but must also have left no male issue, for by 1547 it was in the hands of the youngest brother John. (fn. 87) In 1556 John Owen conveyed the manor to Christopher Bailey in return for an annuity of £42. (fn. 88) John Owen died in 1559 and the annuity passed to his son Henry, (fn. 89) who in 1573 sold it to Sir Wolstan Dixie, citizen and merchant of London. At his death in 1594 Dixie left the annuity to Christ's Hospital, London, (fn. 90) of which he was president. (fn. 91) It was paid until 1799, when the governors of the hospital sold it to Walter Long, then the lord, for £1,000. (fn. 92)
From Christopher Bailey, who had bought it in 1556, the manor passed to the Longs of Whaddon in the same way as the advowson of Wingfield, (fn. 93) and descended like Whaddon to Sir Philip Parker a Morley Long (d. 1741). Southwick was then divided; part remained with Sir Philip's daughter, who married John Thynne Howe, Lord Chedworth. (fn. 94) It was probably after his death in 1762 that his trustees sold the estate to Daniel and Lewis Clutterbuck of Bradford-on-Avon. At his death in 1769 Daniel left his share to Lewis. (fn. 95) Lewis, the ancestor of the Clutterbucks of Newark Park (Glos.), apparently sold Southwick to his nephew Daniel Clutterbuck (d. 1781), from whom descended the family of that name later seated at Hardenhuish. (fn. 96) The family still held some 500 a. in Southwick in 1881. (fn. 97)
The part of Southwick which remained with the Whaddon estates, descended in the Long family with that manor until the late 19th century. (fn. 98) It included Southwick Court, the capital messuage of the manor, but it is not known that any manorial rights were ever exercised. The house and farm were sold in the late 19th century, and have since changed hands several times. (fn. 99) The house stands at one side of an extensive moated site. It is an L-shaped building of stone with stone-tiled roof, of two stories and attics. The shorter wing bears two stones with the initials W.B. for Walter Bush, husband of Maud, formerly wife of Christopher Bailey, and the date 1567. It may have been added then to an older house in the same position as the longer wing of the present house. The south-west end of that wing is timber-framed, and the roof contains some smoke-blackened timbers, perhaps re-used from an earlier building. Other than that the wing seems to have been completely rebuilt in the late 17th century, and has the date 1693 cut on it. It has two-light stone-mullioned windows, and a central oval window on each floor of the north-west front. Several stone fireplaces and the staircase also probably date from the late 17th century. Attached to the north-east end of the longer wing is a two-storied gatehouse which may date from the mid-16th century; it is approached over the moat by a brick bridge, probably of the 18th century. The house was somewhat restored in the late 19th century; in particular the short wing has a large window of this period on the ground floor.
In 1241 William Blanchard held ½ virgate of land in Cutteridge which his father William had held before him; for it he paid a rent of 7s. to the Abbess of Romsey and owed suit to the manor of Steeple Ashton. (fn. 100) This estate, with others added to it later, formed the reputed manor of CUTTERIDGE, which remained in the Blanchard family until the mid-15th century. The exact descent is not clear, and the lands appear to have been sometimes divided between various members of the family. In 1304 William, son of Alexander Blanchard, assured the ½-virgate estate to another William Blanchard for his life. (fn. 101) Some 50 years later Thomas Blanchard held it. (fn. 102) John Blanchard, Archdeacon of Worcester, died in 1383 leaving a small property in Honeybridge to his brother, this or another Thomas, who held the main property. (fn. 103) Thomas died in 1387 leaving a son John, (fn. 104) who died c. 1395, when the wardship of his son John was granted to his wife's second husband. (fn. 105) Nicholas Blanchard was a suitor at the court of Steeple Ashton in 1413. (fn. 106) In the mid-15th century John Blanchard held the ½-virgate estate while Thomas Blanchard held a virgate which had once belonged to Hugh Beauservice; both properties had formerly been held by Nicholas. (fn. 107) A third estate which probably formed part of the family complex was that held of the Abbess of Romsey of her manor of Edington by a family described as 'of Cutteridge'. The supposition is supported by the fact that there were tenants called Thomas (c. 1350), (fn. 108) and Nicholas (1420), (fn. 109) whose Christian names correspond with those of known members of the Blanchard family.
The Thomas Blanchard who lived in the mid15th century married Agnes, daughter and coheir of William Mohun of Warminster, (fn. 110) and left an only daughter Alice who married Richard Kirton. (fn. 111) He did suit to the court of Steeple Ashton in 1498. (fn. 112) Alice was a widow by 1508. (fn. 113) Thomas Kirton held the manor in 1518 (fn. 114) and Richard Kirton c. 1540. (fn. 115) In 1546 Richard and his son Christopher conveyed Cutteridge to Thomas Champneys, (fn. 116) no doubt a member of the family seated at Orchardleigh near Frome. Champneys sold it in 1558 to Richard Trenchard, a member of a Dorset family. Richard died two years later leaving an infant son William, (fn. 117) who died c. 1591. His son Francis died c. 1622, and was succeeded by a son Francis. (fn. 118) At his death in 1635 the younger Francis left only a daughter (fn. 119) who does not appear to have survived infancy, and Cutteridge passed to his younger brother Edward, who was a lunatic by 1655 (fn. 120) and left no issue. The heir to the estate was his nephew William Trenchard, son of a third brother, John, who was already dead. William held the manor until his death in 1710. His son John was a barrister and M.P. for Taunton; he was a noted Whig pamphleteer, cooperating with Thomas Gordon in The Independent Whig and Cato's Letters. (fn. 121)
John Trenchard died childless in 1723, leaving his estates to his nephew Robert, second son of his sister Frances by John Hippesley of Stanton Fitzwarren. He assumed the name of Trenchard and held Cutteridge until he died in 1787. His only son John William died without issue in 1801, leaving his estates to his two nephews, children of his sister Ellen by her two husbands. Cutteridge passed to the elder, John Ashfordby, who assumed the name of Trenchard. (fn. 122) In 1807 he sold Cutteridge to John Whitaker whose widow Anna Maria held it in 1841. (fn. 123) Their grandson Frank Whitaker Bush held it in 1872, (fn. 124) and subsequently sold it to William Francis the tenant. He sold it immediately to Sir Roger Brown of Trowbridge, (fn. 125) after whose death in 1902 it passed to his heir W. H. Mann. (fn. 126)
A large house, traditionally said to have been second only to Longleat in size in the county, formerly stood near the site of Cutteridge Farm. The suggestion that it had not been built by Leland's time, because he did not mention it when he visited Brook, is plausible, and it may have been built by the Trenchards in the late 16th or early 17th century. All that is known of it is that it was remarkable for the number and size of its windows and that it was roofed with copper. It was pulled down c. 1800. (fn. 127) The house appears to have stood in front of and slightly south-west of the present farmhouse. In 1773 it was surrounded by formal gardens and approached by avenues of trees; (fn. 128) two avenues of old limes still remain. The farmhouse probably formed a detached domestic building such as a brewhouse or kitchen. It is of stone with hipped stone-tiled roof and stone-mullioned windows of two lights. The ground floor was remodelled, and an extension added at the west end probably when the large house was pulled down.
The Grenvilles, lords of Southwick, held property in Langham by 1241. (fn. 129) The manor of LANGHAM probably included land subinfeudated by them, for a quit rent of 24s. was paid out of it to the manor of Southwick in the 16th century. (fn. 130) A quit rent of 6s. 8d. for another part of the manor was paid directly to the overlord, the Abbess of Romsey, and suit was performed at Steeple Ashton. The first known tenant of Langham was Philip de Welislegh who held it c. 1340 (fn. 131) and died in 1348. His holding then consisted of a mill and a small quantity of land held of the manor of Southwick, and a toft, 30 a. of uncultivated land, and 6 a. of wood at 'the Frith', held of the abbess. His heirs were his daughter Joan, wife of Ralph of Tytherley, and William, the infant son of another daughter by William Bannister. (fn. 132) In 1351 the Tytherley moiety was sold to Sir Nicholas Seymour, lord of the adjoining manor of Rode. (fn. 133) Seymour held the whole manor before his death in 1361. (fn. 134) From him it descended in the same way as the manor of Wittenham in Wingfield to the Zouches, Lords Zouche. (fn. 135)
At the death of Richard, Lord Zouche, in 1552, the manor was apparently divided between his sons. One moiety descended with the title to his grandson Edward, Lord Zouche, (fn. 136) who sold it to Sir Walter Hungerford in 1578. (fn. 137) The other part belonged to Charles Zouche, probably the younger son of Richard, Lord Zouche, (fn. 138) who in 1570 assured it to John Walsh. (fn. 139) In the following year Walsh conveyed it to John Sturges the younger. (fn. 140) By 1586 it was in the hands of creditors of Sturges, who evidently attempted to sell it. (fn. 141) Some part of it appears to have passed to John Sadler in 1599; in 1601 he joined Sturges in conveying the whole of this moiety to Edward Hungerford, to whom the other moiety had descended. (fn. 142)
Langham descended in the Hungerford family of Farleigh Castle (Som.) until the break-up of their estates in the later 17th century. Like the castle itself and many other properties in the district, this manor seems to have been acquired by the Houlton family of Trowbridge. In 1737, however, Robert Houlton sold the lordship to John Andrews of Bristol, (fn. 143) retaining most of the land. Andrews died c. 1744, leaving Langham to his son Edward. (fn. 144) By 1792 it had passed to Edward's son, another Edward, of Mangotsfield (Glos.). (fn. 145) Four years later he sold it to Samuel Day of Hinton Charterhouse (Som.), (fn. 146) but no later mention of it has been found; it may have passed with Day's other property to the Pooll family of Rode. (fn. 147) Langham Farm was retained by the Houltons when they sold the lordship in 1737. (fn. 148) They sold it to T. W. Ledyard, a Rode clothier, in the early 19th century, (fn. 149) and his executors held it in 1841. (fn. 150) By the 1870's it belonged to Abraham Laverton of Westbury; it was sold in 1920 to Walter Greenhill of Hilperton Marsh. (fn. 151)
None of the lords of Langham is known to have lived on the manor, and nothing is known of any manor house. The house now called Langham House, formerly Rode Hill House, was probably built by T. W. Ledyard soon after 1800. It is of ashlar, of three stories and five bays. The windows on the ground floor have semi-circular heads, and the central door has a porch supported by pairs of columns. The house was rented by Samuel Kent, a factory inspector, in 1854, and here six years later his daughter, Constance, committed one of the most celebrated and puzzling crimes of the 19th century when she murdered her three-year-old step-brother. (fn. 152)
It is possible that the manor of OVERCOURT formed part of the lands of the Grenvilles, lords of Southwick, in the Middle Ages, and descended in the same way as Southwick to the Willoughbys of Brook in Westbury. (fn. 153) It was first described as a separate property in 1516 when it was held by Robert, Lord Willoughby. (fn. 154) It was retained when Southwick was sold, and descended in the same way as Brook to Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy. (fn. 155) He sold it to Henry Long, lord of the manor of Southwick, in 1599. (fn. 156) In 1617 Long's widow and his son sold Overcourt to Francis Trenchard of Cutteridge. It then consisted of a demesne farm and land held by nine tenants; lands occupied by William Druce were reserved out of the sale, (fn. 157) and as Druce's Farm descended in the same way as Southwick Court. (fn. 158) Overcourt remained part of the Trenchard estates until they were divided in the early 19th century, when it was allotted to Walter Long of Preshaw (Hants). He sold it to John Whitaker, the purchaser of Cutteridge, in 1807, (fn. 159) from whom it descended like Cutteridge until the present century. (fn. 160)
An estate in North Bradley which belonged to the Dukes of Bolton in the 18th century probably formed part of the Romsey Abbey property in the Middle Ages. If so, it descended in the same way as the manor of Edington Romsey, but was retained on the sale of the Edington property. It was let as a single farm in 1759, (fn. 161) called King's Farm by 1773. (fn. 162) In 1805 it was held by the widow of the last Duke of Bolton. (fn. 163) After her death it was divided between the issue of her husband's two daughters by separate marriages. They were George, Earl of Sandwich (d. 1818), and William, afterwards Duke of Cleveland (d. 1864). (fn. 164) In 1841 representatives of these families still held it. (fn. 165)
Hardly any information has survived about the agriculture of the tithing of North Bradley in the Middle Ages. In the 12th century pasture which Alric had formerly inclosed lay near the church there, (fn. 166) and both arable land and inclosed crofts lay at Cutteridge in the 13th century. (fn. 167) In the 16th century a holding in Bradley included arable land in common fields called Little Field and Perry Field, and there was a common meadow called Hassage. (fn. 168) Little Field perhaps adjoined Little Common, north-east of the village, where ridge and furrow lands can still be seen. The inclosure of these fields probably took place piecemeal between the 16th and 18th centuries. Thus in 1625 the parish land, formerly described as ½ a. of arable, had become 'a ridge of pasture ground . . . lying in Mr. King's Leaze, the sixth ridge from the hithermost hedge', (fn. 169) and in 1703 two closes of pasture called the New Tyning lay near Drynham Common. (fn. 170) By 1788 the Trenchard property in Cutteridge, amounting to nearly 500 a., consisted entirely of inclosed land, (fn. 171) and by the time the parish was inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1807, no open arable land remained. (fn. 172)
In the mid-14th century some of the customary lands of the manor of Steeple Ashton lay in Southwick. They amounted to 6½ virgates held by 7 tenants, who were obliged to perform works on the demesne land at Ashton. (fn. 173) These lands were still held of Steeple Ashton manor 200 years later; they then consisted chiefly of inclosed land, but also contained land in common fields called Carley Field, Copley Field, and Acre Field. (fn. 174) Arable land in Carley Field and Copley Field is regularly mentioned in the 17th and early 18th centuries; (fn. 175) it must have been inclosed piecemeal like the fields in Bradley tithing. Carley Field lay south of the village between Mutton Marsh and Overcourt Farm; (fn. 176) Copley Field perhaps lay in the north of the parish. References to land in Acrefield are more puzzling; they generally mention pasture land, meadow, and wood there, (fn. 177) and the ground seems to have been a common pasture partly cleared and divided between tenants rather than a conventional open arable field. It was unaffected by the inclosure of the parish, and in 1841 an area called Acrefield Wood still consisted of many small plots of different ownership, unfenced from one another, on the site of the present Park Farm. (fn. 178)
The common fields, then, seem from the 16th century at least, to have played only a minor and diminishing part in the agriculture of the parish. Even in the Middle Ages their extent may not have been great, for parts of the parish were clearly occupied by woodland which was gradually cleared into inclosed land. Thus in the north-east corner of the parish lay a 20-acre close of wood and pasture called Hookwoods, which formed part of the Edington monastery (later Winchester College) estate. (fn. 179) A close called Inwoods in Elizabeth's reign, with a grove of underwood adjoining it, had by 1655 been divided into 4 inclosures of pasture land. (fn. 180) In the early 17th century grounds 'anciently called Northleyes', then divided into 9 inclosures of some 97 a. in all, belonged to the manor farm of Southwick. They were distinct from the 'ingrounds' around Southwick Court, 7 closes amounting to 119 a. (fn. 181) Many of the farms in the parish become recognizable in the 17th and 18th centuries. Pound Farm was held by a family named Rogers in the 1630's; (fn. 182) as Rogers's Farm it was let at a rack rent by 1713. (fn. 183) Druce's Farm takes its name from a family holding land in Cutteridge of the manor of Southwick in Elizabeth's reign. (fn. 184) Blue Barn farmhouse bears the date 1637. (fn. 185) Norris's Farm was so called by 1746. (fn. 186) In 1788 the Trenchard estate consisted of Cutteridge and Overcourt Farms, each of some 150 a., and 8 smaller holdings of from 7 to 50 a. (fn. 187) Most of it consisted of pasture land. Against the Biss, west of Druce's Farm, is Barnfield, part of Cutteridge Farm, which in the early 18th century had such a reputation at Smithfield that 'the name of Barnfield grazing produced an immediate sale', until all the cattle from the district were said to have been fattened there, and the deception was detected. (fn. 188) Yet although the clay land favoured this type of farming, some land was kept under the plough; in 1801 116 a. of wheat, 85 a. of oats, and small quantities of barley, potatoes, and beans were sown. (fn. 189)
A feature of the parish before the early 19th century was the extent of the common land in it. As early as 1242 Adam de Grenville, lord of Southwick, granted pasture for 240 sheep, 30 other beasts, and 30 pigs in his common to the Abbot of Keynsham, lord of Wingfield. (fn. 190) When they were inclosed, Rode Common in 1792, and the other commons in 1805, some 1,000 a. were added to the agricultural land of the parish. (fn. 191) Much of this land evidently went under the plough for in 1834 there were over 1,000 a. of arable land in the parish, (fn. 192) four times as much as in 1801. These were bad times for farming in the parish, however, largely due to the incidence of the poor rates, which were nearly £1 an acre in the worst years. The farmers complained c. 1830 of the 'poor, wet soil, requiring constant application of expensive labour', while the unemployed woollen workers for whom they were forced to find work were of little use to them. (fn. 193) In 1841 there were 923 a. of arable land and 2,751 a. of meadow and pasture. Few farms were of above 100 a. (fn. 194) After that time the proportion of grassland in the parish increased, especially with the growth of milk condensing in the district. By 1905 there were only about 200 a. of arable land, (fn. 195) and in 1963 most of the parish is permanent grass for dairying.
Although the villages of North Bradley and Southwick were from the 16th to the 19th centuries as much dependent upon the woollen manufacture of the district as upon agriculture, they were chiefly important as places where weavers and other workmen lived rather than as independent centres from which clothiers worked. Only a few clothiers are known to have carried on their businesses in the parish, and they were not very prosperous. Thus John Adams, who was active at Southwick in the reign of Henry VIII, (fn. 196) was only assessed at 8s. in 1545, a small sum compared with the clothiers of Trowbridge and Westbury. (fn. 197) Weavers and other clothworkers were clearly numerous in Bradley and Southwick from the 16th century until the mechanization of the industry in the 19th century. (fn. 198) In 1831 there were 250 families dependent on trade and manufacture com pared with 152 supported by agriculture. (fn. 199) When handloom weaving died out, many of the workers were able to obtain employment in the factories at Trowbridge and Westbury, to which they walked daily. (fn. 200)
A fair was held at Bradley in 1770 on the Monday after Holy Rood day (Sept. 14) for the sale of cattle and cheese. (fn. 201) It was still held then in 1866, and another was held on 13 May. (fn. 202) In 1881 the May fair has been discontinued but the ghost of the autumn fair, then held in October, remained. Only a few years before the village green had been covered with cattle and merchandize, but the fair was then entirely for pleasure. (fn. 203) It was given up about 1900. (fn. 204) A fair at Rode Hill, which had been held until a few years before 1881, was probably the same as that mentioned at Rode for the sale of cattle and cheese in 1770; (fn. 205) it was then held on the Monday after 29 August. In the later 19th century it was on the Monday after Rode Revel, held on or after 9 September, for the sale of cheese and for pleasure, but it was killed by the competition of the fair at Frome. (fn. 206)
Isabel of Bradley held a water-mill in Bradley in the mid-14th century. (fn. 207) She was probably a member of the family which held the manor of Bradley, for the mill descended in the same way. (fn. 208) Thus Thomas Godfrey held it in 1411, (fn. 209) Henry Long at his death c. 1490, (fn. 210) and Sir Walter Long in 1604. (fn. 211) It was evidently separated from the manor in the 17th century, for in 1689 it was assured to John Greenhill the younger by Thomas Adams and others. (fn. 212) Grace Greenhill held it in 1697, (fn. 213) and another John Greenhill in 1724. (fn. 214) A mill at Bradley, presumably this one, was destroyed by rioters in 1766. (fn. 215) Since the late 18th century it has been owned by several families in succession. (fn. 216) Steam power was installed in the late 19th century, but water continued to be the main source of power until after the Second World War. The mill was in 1963 still used by Thomas Sloper & Sons for grinding animal foods. The large brick building is probably of the early 19th century; adjoining it is a stone house of about the same time.
There was a mill at Langham in 1241. (fn. 217) In 1348 it was ruinous. (fn. 218) It descended in the same way as the manor of Langham to Richard, Lord Zouche, who in 1551 confirmed an estate in it to Anthony Passion, a Trowbridge clothier. (fn. 219) It was then a fulling mill. It is not clear whether Passion's interest was leasehold or freehold, though he certainly held freehold land at Langham which he acquired from James and Elizabeth Morris. (fn. 220) By 1600 Jeffery Whitaker, the Bratton clothier, had an interest in the mill, which was occupied by Edward Rutty. (fn. 221) In 1609 Walter Passion conveyed the mill to Edward Hungerford, lord of the manor of Langham. (fn. 222) At the break-up of the Hungerford estates toward the end of the century, the mill was sold separately from the rest of the manor to John George alias Edwards of Worton. (fn. 223) Elizabeth George held it in 1699, (fn. 224) and another John George in 1713. (fn. 225) By 1738 it had passed to Thomas Earle of Malmesbury, who made a lease of it in that year. (fn. 226) In the following year it was sold to the Houltons of Farleigh Castle (Som.), of whom it was held at a rack rent by William Pooll, millman, in 1771. (fn. 227) It was sold to T.W. Ledyard c. 1821, (fn. 228) and was still in use as a fulling mill in 1839. (fn. 229) It must have fallen out of use soon afterwards, and had disappeared by the end of the century. (fn. 230)
A deed of the earlier 12th century mentions the monasterium of Bradley; (fn. 231) since nothing is known of any religious foundation there, it is probable that it refers to a chapel in the village. There was certainly a chapel by 1241, (fn. 232) when it was dependent on the church of Edington. It remained so until 1351, when the advowson passed to the newly-founded chantry, later house of Bonhommes at Edington; from that time it has been parochially independent. A chapel at Southwick Court was subordinate to the church of Bradley in the Middle Ages. In the 19th century daughter churches were founded at Rode Hill, Southwick, and Brokerswood. Rode Hill was made a district chapelry in 1852, (fn. 233) but the other two have remained chapels-of-ease to Bradley.
The church of Edington with Bradley chapel belonged to one of the three prebendaries in Romsey Abbey by 1241, (fn. 234) and he must have taken the great tithes and appointed vicars. Bradley was treated separately from Edington, for institutions of vicars to the chapel at the presentation of the prebendaries are recorded from 1316. (fn. 235) In 1317 a Trowbridge man was described as farmer of the chapel of Bradley; (fn. 236) he no doubt held the great tithes of the chapelry from the prebendary. In 1351 the chapel passed with Edington church from Romsey Abbey to the chantry, later house of Bonhommes, at Edington, (fn. 237) and licence to appropriate the great tithes was given in the same year. (fn. 238) The rector of the house presented vicars to Bradley until the Dissolution, (fn. 239) and then the king presented in 1543 and 1546. (fn. 240) In 1551 the advowson was granted with the rest of the Edington property in the parish to the Warden and Scholars of Winchester College, (fn. 241) by whom it was still held in 1963.
At the Dissolution the rectory was held by Ambrose Dauntsey by a lease for 23 years from 1538 at a rent of £9 1s. 4d. (fn. 242) The College let it to various tenants until 1639, when it was let to John Willis, Vicar of Bradley. (fn. 243) By 1646 Willis had left the parish and the lease had passed into other hands, for the inhabitants complained to the College that it was enjoyed by a stranger, and offered to pay the same rent for it, collect the tithes themselves, and hand the profit to the vicar. (fn. 244) It was probably as a result of this that the rectory was let to the new vicar, Matthew Buckett, in 1647, for his 'better livelihood and maintenance'. (fn. 245) For some reason this arrangement must have proved unsatisfactory, for Buckett surrendered his lease in 1651. (fn. 246) A new one was made to Robert Beach of West Ashton, charging the rectory with a yearly payment of £10 to the vicar. (fn. 247) This sum was still paid in the late 19th century. (fn. 248) In 1665 the rectory was worth £65 a year. (fn. 249) The Beach family of West Ashton held it until 1739. Tenants later in the 18th century included Avery Thompson, Vicar of Steeple Ashton, and his widow, who held it successively between 1743 and 1756. In 1795 it was let to Charles Daubeny, Vicar of Bradley, (fn. 250) who held it for the rest of his incumbency, and then to his successor, Harry Lee, who still held it in 1841. (fn. 251)
The early leases of the rectory included tithes of corn, grass, hay, wool and lambs, and all mortuaries, (fn. 252) but in 1641 it was said that mortuaries had always been paid to the vicar. (fn. 253) The lessee of the rectory was still disputing them with the vicar in 1704. (fn. 254) In 1841 the tithes of hay of about 600 a. were paid in small sums of money laid down by prescription. (fn. 255) It was probably these payments which William Pinniger, lessee in 1774, tried to increase, apparently without success. (fn. 256) The great tithes were commuted in 1841 for £460. (fn. 257)
A house and 2 a. of land belonged to the chapel of Bradley in 1351. (fn. 258) In 1538 4a. of arable land in Copley Field belonged to the rectory. (fn. 259) In 1581 a small tenement, formerly a copyhold, was added to the lease of the rectory and regularly let with it from that time. (fn. 260) It apparently only consisted of a house and 5 a. of pasture. (fn. 261) In 1642 the house, which contained a hall, a kitchen, a chamber, and a buttery, was much decayed. (fn. 262) The whole rectorial glebe in 1776 consisted of a house and some 11 a. of pasture. (fn. 263) Charles Daubeny rebuilt the house c. 1790 to provide accommodation for his curate, (fn. 264) and it still stands on the north side of the road opposite the village green. The inclosure of the parish increased the rectorial glebe to 22 a. (fn. 265)
The vicarage of Bradley was worth £10 18s. 9d. in 1535. (fn. 266) In 1646 its value was said to be so small that no 'well-deserving divine' would hold it. (fn. 267) Its augmentation by £10 a year charged on the rectory has been described above. When it was discharged from the payment of first fruits and tenths on the foundation of Queen Anne's Bounty, the vicarage was worth £33 a year. (fn. 268) There was a tradition in the 19th century that Edward Batten, vicar 1739-78, received only £20 a year, and that the congregation subscribed £5 a year to augment it. (fn. 269) Although £20 was probably an under-estimate, it is clear that the living was very poor. When Charles Daubeny was instituted in 1776, the income was about £50 and all was in such a state of decay that only a man of private means could have taken it. (fn. 270) It was augmented by the income from a bequest of £200 in 1778, and £200 was added from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 271) By 1835 the income had risen to £400. (fn. 272)
In the 15th century the vicar had tithes of cows, calves, foals, pigs, geese, eggs, and gardens. (fn. 273) Matthew Buckett, vicar during the Interregnum, found that the sectaries who formed the greater part of his flock would not pay their tithes to him. (fn. 274) Some tithes were taken by composition in 1704. (fn. 275) During Charles Daubeny's incumbency the vicarial tithes were never worth more than £180 a year. (fn. 276) They were commuted for £640 in 1841. (fn. 277)
In the later 16th century the vicar's glebe consisted of a house, orchard, and garden, and two little closes. By 1608 a new house of 6 bays had replaced the old one of 2 bays. It was probably the same house that was described as a large, strong, tiled dwelling-house in 1704. (fn. 278) When Charles Daubeny went to Bradley the vicarage was a 'miserable hovel, scarcely habitable'. He largely rebuilt it and added to it, (fn. 279) so that in 1783 it contained 4 rooms downstairs, 6 bedrooms, and garrets He also inclosed the garden with a wall. (fn. 280) The present vicarage was built in 1841-3. (fn. 281)
Although Matthew Buckett was not presented to the church until 1645, he does not seem to have satisfied parishioners with radical tendencies, who refused to pay their tithes to him. (fn. 282) In 1654 they obtained licence for William Crabb to preach both on weekdays and Sunday afternoons at the church; (fn. 283) he was perhaps the preacher on whom the Anabaptists much relied and for whom they tried to get the living on Buckett's death. (fn. 284) Nathaniel Brewer, vicar 1720-7, held the living of Keevil as well, (fn. 285) and Edward Batten, 1739-77, was curate at Rode and Farleigh Hungerford. (fn. 286) By the end of Batten's incumbency the living was in 'a state of general dilapidation and disorder'. Service was performed only once on Sundays and was thinly attended, the parish was 'overrun with dissenters of the worst kind', and the population was 'wild and uncivilized'. Charles Daubeny, vicar 1777-1827, increased the services to twice on Sundays, began prayers on weekdays and holidays, and instituted monthly communions. He spent large sums of his own money on improving the church and the vicarage, instituting an asylum and a poorhouse, and building Christ Church at Rode Hill. By 1788 he had formed a Sunday school which met in the evening and to which his Lectures on the Catechism were originally delivered. Daubeny published many other works of theology and controversy, in which it has been said that he anticipated some of the views of the Oxford Movement. In spite of his very considerable charities, however, his spiritual success in his parish was limited. Rigid orthodoxy and lack of tact in attacking nonconformity cannot have been suitable for a parish with so strong a dissenting tradition, and his custom of spending the winter in Bath, leaving a curate in Bradley, was probably also a hindrance to him. Congregations remained small, and he saw three dissenting chapels built in the parish. (fn. 287) Daubeny's successor, Harry Lee, also held the living for over 50 years, but was nonresident and unpopular. Congregations did not increase; (fn. 288) in 1851 the average was 50 on Sunday morning and 100 in the afternoon, and there was a Sunday school of 35 children. (fn. 289)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of clerestoried nave with north and south aisles, chancel, north and south chapels, south porch, and prominent western tower. A good deal of it was rebuilt in 1862, (fn. 290) but the previous building seems to have been carefully copied. The nave arcades of three bays were renewed then, but reproduce the round piers and capitals and doublechamfered arches of the 13th century ones they replaced. The south porch may also be part of an earlier church, but all the rest of the building is in the style of the 15th century. The chancel and clerestory were rebuilt in 1862, but the two chapels, the outer walls of the aisles, and the tower were left undisturbed. The south chapel occupies the two eastern bays of the south aisle and one bay flanking the chancel. It formerly had glass in the east window which bore the arms of the Longs and related families, (fn. 291) and probably belonged to them as lords of the manor of Bradley. It was later used for burial by the Trenchards of Cutteridge, and was known in the 19th century as the Cutteridge chapel. (fn. 292)
The north chapel is of one bay only, to the north of the easternmost bay of the aisle. It was evidently built by the Stafford family of Southwick Court to hold the tomb of Emma (d. 1446) mother of John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury 1443-52. He was probably a bastard son of Sir Humphrey Stafford, lord of Southwick (d. 1413). (fn. 293) The chapel is richly decorated both inside and out. Outside is a two-tier frieze of quatrefoils above the base, and diagonal buttresses with two tiers of attached crocketed pinnacles. The upper pinnacles are decorated with faces, but the lower ones were built into position only roughed out, and the carving of the faces and crockets has never been completed. Inside, the square-headed north window is taken down as if to form a seat. The sides and back of the recess so formed are panelled to form a surround for the flat stone which bears the incised effigy of the archbishop's mother and an inscription to her. The chapel has a deep, panelled, timber ceiling, each panel being carved with hunting scenes.
The tall western tower is of three stages, and has an octagonal stair-turret carried up higher than the uppermost stage. The tower windows have tracery reminiscent of that at Keevil and Steeple Ashton. The tower and turret and the two chapels are embattled, and the nave and aisles have plain parapets.
Aubrey records that the windows of the church were 'extraordinary good' before the Civil War. For one window in the south aisle Westbury offered to pay £80 and glaze the window again. After the war the arms of the Staffords and Longs and families related to them remained in their chapels, and in the chancel could be seen those of Edington. In the south chapel were the remains of an inscription to Thomas Elme, Rector of Edington 1433-50, and the date 1527. (fn. 294) What fragments remained were destroyed at the restoration of 1862. (fn. 295)
When Charles Daubeny became vicar in 1777, the church was half in ruins. (fn. 296) In 1782 the parish agreed to spend one poor rate on it if the vicar gave an equal sum. (fn. 297) With this the vicar newly paved and repaired it throughout, re-roofed the chancel, and rebuilt the east window. (fn. 298) By 1861, however, it had again been in a bad state for many years, and the fall of a large piece of the ceiling which nearly killed a farmer's wife made it clear that thorough restoration was needed. (fn. 299) Besides the rebuilding mentioned above, a west gallery was taken away, and a number of gravestones was destroyed. The churchyard was levelled and many stones there destroyed too. (fn. 300)
In the south chapel is a large baroque monument to William Trenchard of Cutteridge (d. 1710), and a tablet of coloured marble put up in 1756 to members of the Long family of Melksham, relatives of the Trenchards by marriage. (fn. 301) The font is a large one of the late 15th century, octagonal, and bearing on its panels symbols of the Passion and emblems of the evangelists. (fn. 302) On the south porch is a sundial inscribed TEMPUS FUGIT and RAWLINGS, BOX, FECIT, 1777.
There were 4 bells in the church in 1553. The oldest now remaining is by John Wallis of Salisbury, dated 1591. Five were cast by Thomas Bilbie of Chewstoke (Som.) in 1748, (fn. 303) and the peal was made up to 8 in 1950. In 1553 the Commissioners took 8½ oz. of silver for the king and left a chalice of 10 oz. In 1629 a silver chalice and a pewter flagon belonged to the church. In 1963 the plate consisted of a plated chalice, paten, and flagon, all dated 1818. They were probably provided by Charles Daubeny, who did not agree with the use of silver vessels. There are also preserved in the church a small pewter chalice and paten, believed to be of the 14th century, which were found in a coffin beneath the chancel at the restoration of 1862. (fn. 304)
In 1623 the churchwardens held ½ a. of land and a church house. (fn. 305) In 1657 they began to use the church house to keep poor people in, and a few years later it was in decay. (fn. 306) No more is heard of it. The ½ a. was effectively converted into a rentcharge of 6s. 8d. a year, which was redeemed in 1954. (fn. 307)
In the 13th century disputes between John of Romsey, Rector of Edington, and Adam de Grenville, lord of Southwick, were settled by an agreement which allowed Adam to have a perpetual chantry in his chapel of Southwick. The chaplains were to do fealty to successive rectors, only the Grenville family and their guests were to use the chapel, and careful provision was made about what offerings were to belong to the chantry chaplain and what to the chaplain of Bradley. Adam gave certain lands in free alms for the support of his chaplain, and promised to pay 2 lb. of wax to Bradley church each year. (fn. 308) The chapel was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. (fn. 309) In Henry VIII's reign it was served by a morrow-mass priest, who was not allowed to say high mass. He lived in a small house adjoining the Trowbridge road, and was supported by the rents from several copyholds, which the lord of the manor kept in his own control and from which he took the entry fines. These rents amounted to a stipend of just over £6 a year, which was made up to about £11 by another gentleman of the parish. About 1544 the chantry priest, Hugh Lloyd, fled into sanctuary at Bradley to escape prosecution for incontinence and later went away. In the early 17th century several aged witnesses agreed that no service was performed in the chapel after Lloyd's departure, except that the vicar or curate of Bradley would read an epistle or a gospel there when they went in procession in Rogation week. (fn. 310) In spite of this, two more chantry priests were appointed after Lloyd's departure, for in 1545 John Owen, lord of the manor, presented Balthazar Leggat on the death of Percival Clough. (fn. 311) Leggat was still priest at the dissolution of chantries, but was 70 years old, feeble and lame. The lands of the chantry lay in Southwick, Steeple Ashton, and Keevil; (fn. 312) it was perhaps because they were never under the control of the chantry priest directly that they did not pass to the Crown. (fn. 313) Only the rent of £6 7s. was claimed; it was granted to John Shelbury and Philip Shute in 1606, (fn. 314) and they began a lawsuit against Henry Long to obtain it. (fn. 315) Its outcome is not known. The chapel building remained standing, used as a cow-house, until 1839. (fn. 316) Its site was apparently in the south-east part of the moated site of Southwick Court. Among the considerable fragments found there are two capitals, parts of the jambs of a door, and a piece of a Purbeck marble shaft, all indicative of a 13th-century building.
The building of a church at Rode Hill, the part of Rode within the parish of North Bradley, was first suggested by some of the inhabitants there in 1821. Archdeacon Daubeny was able to raise considerable subscriptions, and grants from Queen Anne's Bounty and the Church Building Society, amounting in all to over £8,000. The rest of the total building cost of over £12,000 he subscribed himself, and the church was begun in 1822 and opened in 1824. (fn. 317) Daubeny gave £1,000 to endow the living, and other benefactions and grants from Queen Anne's Bounty (fn. 318) made it possible to employ a stipendiary curate whose salary was £159 in 1835. (fn. 319) A house had by then been added to the living. In 1851 average attendance was 60 in the morning and 140 in the afternoon, and there was a Sunday school of 12 pupils. (fn. 320) Rode Hill was made a district chapelry in 1852 and about 500 a. of the ancient parish assigned to it. (fn. 321) Since 1933 the church has been held with that of Rode, (fn. 322) and the area it served forms part of the civil parish of Rode, Somerset.
CHRIST CHURCH stands on rising ground overlooking Rode village. It was designed by H.E. Goodridge of Bath in what a contemporary described as the 'purest Gothick style'. (fn. 323) 'It forms a feature', wrote another, 'on which the eye of the most fastidious critic may repose with transport'. (fn. 324) By the 1870's it was, however, described as 'hideously ugly', (fn. 325) and the historian of the parish felt obliged to defend it against those who had imbibed the ideas of architecture originated by Pugin. (fn. 326) Its latest critic speaks of its 'amazing exterior', with detail 'independent of Gothic precedent, wilful and entirely lacking in grace'. (fn. 327) It is a rectangular building of 5 bays, consisting of nave, shallow chancel, and lean-to aisles without windows. Flanking the chancel are a vestry on the north and an entrance porch opposite. The nave is lighted by tall, narrow clerestory windows, with geometrical tracery which was probably inserted later. The west front is flanked by two polygonal turrets surmounted by small spires. Many of the internal features were designed by Archdeacon Daubeny. (fn. 328) The sanctuary has its original gothic reredos, and the west gallery is also original. At a reseating in the 1890's the eastern part of the nave was included in the chancel, and there are other furnishings of that time. The sanctuary is flanked by elaborate monuments to members of the Daubeny family. That of the archdeacon has a communion table with a bible and a chalice standing on it, with full-size figures of Faith and Charity standing at the sides.
The one bell, by J. Rudhall, and the communion service of plated metal, are contemporary with the church. A barrel organ by Flight and Robson, which had formerly belonged to Frederick Augustus, Duke of York, was placed in the west gallery when the church was built. In 1876 the barrels were removed and the organ renovated and placed in the church. (fn. 329) It was replaced by a new organ by Prosser of Frome in 1897.
Daubeny House, the former vicarage, was built shortly after the completion of the church. It is a three-storied stone house with Gothic glazing bars to the windows and conservatory, and a gothic stone porch.
In 1851 the Revd. G. W. Daubeny, eldest son of the archdeacon, gave a small piece of land adjoining the vicarage so that it could be let to the incumbent, who was to pay £5 a year for it towards church repairs. Parts were subsequently sold to enlarge the burial ground of the church, and most of the remainder was sold with the vicarage. The proceeds of the sales have been invested for the same purpose. (fn. 330)
An iron mission church was built at Southwick in 1881, and destroyed by fire in 1897. (fn. 331) The present church of ST. THOMAS was built in 1903 to the design of C. E. Ponting. It is of hammer-dressed stone in the 14th-century style, and consists of nave with north aisle, chancel, and western tower surmounted by a shingled spire. (fn. 332) It contains a plain 14th-century font which was formerly at Chilton Foliat. At the west end of the church a tank is sunk into the floor for baptism by immersion, a concession to the strong tradition of Baptist principles in the village. (fn. 333)
A small iron mission church was built at Brokerswood in 1905, and is in 1963 still in use. (fn. 334)
Soutwick was one of the earliest and largest Baptist centres in Wiltshire. (fn. 335) Representatives from the congregation there were at the meeting of the Western Baptist Association in 1655, (fn. 336) and in 1661 it was said that the major part of the 'middle and inferior sort' of people in the parish were Anabaptists. (fn. 337) In the years after the first Act of Uniformity the congregation met at times in Witch Pit Wood, near Cutteridge House. The owner of the house, William Trenchard, was a justice, but was sympathetic and gave some protection; (fn. 338) it was perhaps because of this that a certain Major William King was able to build a meeting-house, which he called a barn, at which it was alleged that 800 or 1,000 people met. (fn. 339) This barn was at Pig Hill on the road from Bradley to Southwick where it stood until the 19th century. In 1669 meetings attracting 200 or 300 people were being held in it twice weekly, taught by a farmer, a brickmaker, and a tailor. (fn. 340) In 1670 two men were imprisoned for speaking treasonable words at the meeting, (fn. 341) and a year later it was said that as many as 2,000 people from this and surrounding parishes were meeting on Southwick Green and at Brokerswood. (fn. 342)
The importance of Southwick as a centre was clearly indicated at the first Declaration of Indulgence in 1672, when Thomas Collier, the great itinerant Baptist, was licensed to preach both there and at Bradley. (fn. 343) In 1676 a large part of the inhabitants, 340 out of 440, were obstinate separatists. (fn. 344) After the ending of the first period of toleration, the history of the congregation is obscure for some years, though it evidently continued to exist. (fn. 345) During the period of persecution Southwick was a refuge for those unable to worship at Trowbridge. After 1689 they were free to worship in the town, but retained some association with the Southwick church for many years. John Davisson and John Lawes appear to have been ministers at both places in the early 18th century, and as late as 1714 the Conigre church at Trowbridge called itself the 'church usually meeting at Trowbridge and Southwick'. (fn. 346) This may, however, be misleading, for there appears to have been a split rather before then; a deed of 1704 (fn. 347) assigned a small piece of land near Bradley Common to a number of trustees who included several prominent members of the Conigre congregation. (fn. 348) On this ground was built a chapel which was used for about a century by a congregation still connected with the Conigre church, but distinct from the Southwick Old Baptist chapel. Little is known of this chapel; after John Davisson's death in 1721 the members attempted to become independent, perhaps because of the new pastor's unorthodoxy, but were persuaded to remain. The cause dwindled in the later 18th century, and the chapel was taken down in 1800. (fn. 349)
The main part of the Southwick Baptists, however, had probably ended the connexion with Trowbridge before 1704. In 1706 four men were nominated for the ministry, and three years later a new chapel was built on land conveyed by one of them, John Miller, to James Taunton. (fn. 350) Taunton, a Trowbridge man, was the pastor; a few years later his congregation numbered 300, of whom ten were rich. (fn. 351) For much of the remainder of the 18th century little is known of the history of the meeting. The long pastorate of Thomas Sayer, from 1744 to 1785, seems to have been a period of decline, though it seems unlikely that Wilson's assertion that it actually became extinct is true. (fn. 352) Under Sayer's successor, William Norris, there was a notable revival, crowned in 1815 by the re-building of the chapel. (fn. 353) Two other successful pastorates followed; (fn. 354) in 1851 the Old Baptist chapel was the best-attended place of worship in the parish, with an average congregation of 370 on Sunday evenings; a Sunday School, which had been begun under Norris, numbered 120 pupils. (fn. 355) Under Henry Nightingale, 1856-61, arose the disputes in the congregation which led to the foundation of the Providence Chapel, (fn. 356) but the congregation did not fall off. The interior of the chapel was modernized in 1872, and the cause flourished during the pastorate of its historian, William Doel. (fn. 357)
Several small benefactions were made to the church in the 18th and 19th centuries. By his will dated 1787 Joshua Keates left 10s. a year to the minister, but it was not paid after 1837. Another annuity of 30s. was left by Matthias Miller (d. 1730); £1 was to go to the minister and 10s. to poor members. This sum was still paid in 1963. Henry Usher (d. 1739) and Robert Keeping (d. 1756) left £30 and £50 respectively to the use of the ministry. The money was settled in trust in 1787, but appropriated to help to pay off the building debt in 1817, and never repaid. James Doel (d. 1876) left £100, the interest of which was to be divided equally between the Sunday School, poor members of the church, and choir expenses. (fn. 358) In 1939 Amelia Perry left £100 to provide for the upkeep of the chapel and graveyard. (fn. 359)
The chapel built in 1709 was a thatched building which stood on a site in front of the one which replaced it. (fn. 360) The chapel, of 1815, is of brick, with stone window and door surrounds and a hipped slate roof. The windows have segmental heads, keystones, and imposts, and the door has a flat stone hood on cut brackets.
Providence Chapel, Southwick, was founded when some twenty people, who did not approve of Henry Nightingale's dismissal from the pastorate of the Old Baptist Chapel in 1861, left with him to form a society of Strict Baptists. After meeting in a house for some months, they built a stone chapel in the village, to which a burial ground was later added. No settled pastor was appointed after Nightingale's death in 1877, and by 1890 the church was somewhat reduced in numbers, although there was a flourishing Sunday School with 60 pupils. (fn. 361)
Although the village of Bradley must have contained many Baptists from the 17th century, no organized congregation was founded there until 1768. Then a farmer, George Batchelor, began holding prayer meetings in his house, (fn. 362) at first under Wesleyan influence. He later arranged for Robert Marshman, pastor of the Baptist church at Westbury Leigh, to come and preach, and fitted up a room which would contain 100 people. A church was formally established in 1775 and a chapel was built in 1779. The congregation gradually increased; a gallery over the front entrance was built in 1796; in 1803 the chapel was lengthened at the back to take another gallery, and in 1831 it was widened along one side for a third. The space underneath the latter was left separated from the body of the church by the lower part of the old wall, and formed a room to accommodate the Sunday School begun in 1825. (fn. 363) In 1851 the average Sunday evening congregation was 240, and there were 135 Sunday School pupils. (fn. 364) A year later the interior was entirely remodelled, the schoolroom being thrown into the church and a new one built at the back. A new roof was built in 1887, and an organ by Mr. Prosser of Rode was installed. (fn. 365) In 1961, for a congregation of about 40, a new church was built on a site between the old chapel, which was then pulled down, and the main road. (fn. 366)
The congregation has benefited by several important gifts and bequests. George Batchelor at his death in 1814 left £200, of which the church received £180. This money was retained until 1869, when it was used to buy Lime Villa as a manse for the pastor. In 1903 Ann Greenhill left £50 to the church. (fn. 367) Three years later Clara Francis settled just over £350 in trust to pay £10 yearly for the maintenance of services; the rest of the interest was to accumulate to provide a new church. By 1948 the fund had reached nearly £4,000. In 1944 Harry Merritt, a native of the village, who had emigrated to the United States over 50 years before, left over 56,000 dollars for the same purpose. (fn. 368)
The old chapel was a plain brick building with stone quoins and a slated roof. It stood along a lane north-east of the Trowbridge-Westbury road facing what was, before the inclosure of the parish, Little Common. The new one was designed by T. W. Snailum in a mid-20th century style. It is of concrete framing and brick, with stone dressings and a low pitched roof covered with copper. The pulpit, dais rail, and some pews were brought from the old church; there is accommodation for 150 people. Behind are schoolroom, vestry, and kitchen. (fn. 369)
About 1850 a group of young men who were members of the North Bradley Baptist church began to hold prayer-meetings in a cottage at Yarnbrook. They soon moved to another house there, where they eventually fitted up a room at which regular services were held. Preachers generally came from Emmanuel Church at Trowbridge, and it was as a village station from there that a chapel was eventually built in 1874. A Sunday School began immediately, held at the lower end of the chapel. In 1890 there were 20 members and 70 Sunday School pupils. (fn. 370) In 1957 the chapel was sold; since then it has been used as an Independent Baptist chapel. (fn. 371) The chapel was designed and built by Noah Hobbs, a member of the original group of 1850; it is in the Gothic style and provides 120 seats. (fn. 372)
No group apart from the Baptists has made a permanent impression in the parish. Methodism came to Southwick in 1818 when a chapel was built in the lane to Poles Hole Farm. (fn. 373) In 1851 the congregation was about 40, and there was a Sunday School of about 50 pupils. (fn. 374) About 1870 the cause began to decline, and the chapel was closed in 1876 and subsequently pulled down. (fn. 375) Early in 1851 some 40 Methodists were meeting in a disused house at Bradley, but ceased to do so before the end of the year. (fn. 376)
Even more transient were a small group of Quakers in the village late in the 17th century, (fn. 377) Independents licensed to meet in a house in 1774, (fn. 378) and a 'Free Christian Church' registered at Yarnbrook in 1863. (fn. 379) The latter was begun by Charles Dunning in a room which was also used by the first Agricultural Labourers' Union in the county; the opposition of the farmers apparently extended to the meeting as well as the union, and both were given up. (fn. 380)
One Overseer for each of the tithings of Bradley and Southwick was being appointed in the 1620's. (fn. 381) From that time until the end of the old poor law the poor of each tithing were relieved separately from rates raised within it, but the appointment and control of each overseer was carried out in one vestry for the whole parish. (fn. 382) The vestry was always open to all ratepayers; (fn. 383) in 1740 it was complained that the poor crowded in to the church at vestry meetings too. (fn. 384) A salaried assistant overseer was appointed in the early 19th century. (fn. 385)
In the 1640's and 1650's the amount expended on the poor was often between £40 and £60 a year for the whole parish. (fn. 386) Between then and the end of the century it rose gradually, so that c. 1700 each tithing was spending £70 or £80 a year on its poor. About half the money went in regular payments to some dozen recipients in each tithing, all aged people, widows with children, orphans, or infirm people. The remainder provided extra help for clothes, fuel, medicine, and rent both for the regular poor and for others when necessary. (fn. 387) The same system of payment was pursued throughout the 18th century, still with steadily rising expenditure. By 1740 the parish was spending almost £400 a year on its poor, and the rates were said to be daily increasing. (fn. 388) They were clearly proving a heavy burden at this time, for in 1734 the vestry agreed to build or buy a poor house, to withhold regular relief from those who refused to wear a parish badge, to require settlement certificates from strangers or else to enforce their removal, and to prosecute intruders on the commons. (fn. 389) The building of a workhouse was approved by Sir Philip Parker Long in 1737, but was evidently replaced by renting a house called Park Lane House. In 1739 it was agreed to rent more houses at Southwick and Rode, and ordered that in future no help was to be given with the payment of individuals' house rent. This order was soon disregarded, and the management of the poor seems to have carried on much as before. (fn. 390)
It may, however, have been the stricter application of the laws from the 1730's, coupled with improving times in the cloth industry, (fn. 391) which kept expenditure virtually stationary for about three decades. It was not until the 1770's that it regularly exceeded £400, and by c. 1790 it was exceeding £500. Then began the phenomenal rise in the poor rates characteristic of the greater part of England at this time. Within a few years expenditure doubled and doubled again: in 1796-7 each tithing spent over £500, in 1802-3 over £800, and in 1811-12 almost £1,000. In the worst years the £1,000 was well exceeded. In 1821 Southwick spent £1,404, and in 1831 Bradley £1,29 8. (fn. 392)
It is clear that, as elsewhere, the problem was caused by the necessity to relieve able-bodied labourers who could not obtain employment, but it was aggravated here by the large numbers whose employment in the woollen industry was only intermittent. The parish was able to do little except pay them enough to subsist on. No workhouse was ever built. In 1834 the parish still owned a number of cottages, in which there were 122 people, mainly brought in by removal orders. In addition it was usual to give out-relief to between 50 and 90 able-bodied workmen and their dependents, a total of over 200. Many woollen workers not regularly on the parish were helped to pay houserent and loom-rent in attempts to keep them solvent. The roundsman system was tried in 1831, when labourers were allotted to farms in proportion to their poor-rate assessment, and wages were paid by the farmers according to a scale laid down by the parish. It proved extremely unpopular with the farmers and was discontinued. The provision of 35 a. of allotment land and of seed to sow it with failed, because, the farmers alleged, of the idleness of the paupers, who were unwilling to give up any of the parish allowance to which they had become accustomed. By 1834 it was generally agreed in the parish that the burden of the poor-rates was proving too much for the farmers to bear. (fn. 393)
There was a school at North Bradley church in Henry VIII's reign. (fn. 394) No more is known of a school there until Archdeacon Daubeny began one taught by the parish clerk in a house in Church Lane. (fn. 395) Daubeny subsequently incorporated a schoolroom in the Asylum which he built and endowed in 1808; it was intended for 30 day pupils and a Sunday School of 60. (fn. 396) In 1819 it was said education was a secondary consideration with most parents, who set their children to work at the clothing trade. (fn. 397) In 1833, however, there were 60 day pupils at the Asylum School, which was conducted on Bell's system. All the children were taught to read, but could only learn to write if their parents supplied the necessary books. The schoolmistress had living quarters in the Asylum and £20 a year, and the resident curate supervised the school. (fn. 398) The school continued to educate some 60 pupils, all Anglicans, until 1880, (fn. 399) but at that time it had received no government aid, and neither the building nor the instruction met the requirements of the Education Act. (fn. 400) A School Board was set up compulsorily in that year, (fn. 401) but the new vicar, E. A. Were, quickly prevented the building of a non-sectarian school by offering to set apart a piece of the glebe and to build a school on it. The building, which included a teacher's house, was designed by Weaver and Adye of Bradford and opened in 1881. (fn. 402) Daubeny's school was closed, and a scheme of 1882 allotted £25 a year from the income of his charity to the new school. (fn. 403) It was placed in union with the National Society. In 1931 the senior children were removed to the Trowbridge schools, and since then it has been a junior mixed and infant school, which has controlled status under the 1944 Act.
There were 5 private day schools in Southwick in 1833. (fn. 404) In 1858 most of the children from the village attended the school at Upper Studley in Trowbridge parish. (fn. 405) Ten years later R.P. Long of Rood Ashton gave a piece of land, and a school and teacher's house were built by subscription. The building, of brick with stone dressings, was designed in a Tudor style by Lemuel Moody of Trowbridge. (fn. 406) It became a junior mixed and infant school in 1931 when the senior children were removed to the Trowbridge schools.
By her will proved in 1781 Rachel Long, daughter of Sir James Long (d. 1729), lord of the manor of Bradley, left £3 a year charged on Manor Farm, to be divided among six deserving poor families. This charge was later increased to £4 and paid as directed to 8 families. (fn. 407)
In 1808-10 Charles Daubeny, Vicar of Bradley, built an Asylum near the church for the accommodation of 4 aged people 'of good character and rather above the lowest classes'. (fn. 408) The building also housed a school. In 1818 he built a row of three cottages to provide homes for 12 poor people who were maintained by the parish. At his death in 1827, he left £3,800 to the warden and scholars of Winchester College; out of the income they were to pay £30 a year to the minister of Christ Church, Rode Hill, to be divided equally between the maintenance of the church, the support of a Sunday School there, and the relief of regular attenders at the church. The remainder of the income was to support the Asylum, school, and poorhouses. The inmates of the asylum received 4s. a week each, the salary of the schoolmistress was £20 a year, and the rest was apparently given in occasional relief to the people in the poorhouses.
After the establishment of another school in Bradley in 1881, the school in the Asylum was closed and the whole charity regulated by a scheme. Winchester College was discharged from the trust, and £25 a year was assigned to the new school; it was provided that the old schoolroom in the Asylum should be let to the vicar for a parish room. The Rode Hill charity was allotted £1,000 of the stock to provide the £30 a year required for it. In 1903 the vicar's poorhouse was still occupied by people supported by the parish but there was little demand for admission. In 1959 the name of the poorhouse was changed to St. Nicholas's Cottages; only one of the houses was occupied under the charity, the others being let. The Asylum only had two inmates and was in bad repair, and the whole future of the charity was doubtful. (fn. 409)
The Asylum stands facing the village green. The front is of ashlar, of two stories and seven bays, surmounted by a plain parapet with central pediment, containing the arms of Charles Daubeny and the date 1810. The rest of the building is of brick with stone dressings, and there is a hipped slated roof. It contains four two-storied and tworoomed houses, each with its own entrance. On the left of the central passage is the schoolroom, with teacher's quarters above.
By his will proved in 1868 Robert Nokes of Bradley Mill left £50 to provide small annual payments for six poor inhabitants of Yarnbrook; the income in 1963 was still laid out as directed. (fn. 410)