A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.
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Lyneham lies 3¾ miles south-west of Wootton Bassett and 5½ miles north of Calne. (fn. 1) The parish covers 3,442 a. (fn. 2) and is roughly rectangular in shape. It measures 4 miles from east to west at its widest point and 2¾ from north to south. (fn. 3)
Lyneham is made up of 4 scattered hamlets and the evidence suggests that in 1086 the main area of settlement lay at the present hamlet of Bradenstoke in the north-west corner of the parish. (fn. 4) Known then as 'Stoche' (settlement), this area was then well wooded (fn. 5) and had probably once lain within Braydon Forest, since the settlement was called 'Bradenstoke' by the 12th century. (fn. 6) It was here that Bradenstoke Priory was founded in the 12th century. (fn. 7) Probably throughout the Middle Ages, and certainly in the earlier 16th century, the name 'Bradenstoke' seems to have been applied to the area immediately around the priory, including its demesne lands. (fn. 8) The name 'Clack' (hill), a word of uncertain origin, first occurs in the parish in 1310, (fn. 9) and evidently refers to the large mound north-east of Bradenstoke Farm (see below). The name was thereafter until the later 19th century generally applied to the hamlet which flanked the road leading to the priory. (fn. 10) The area was also known by the reduplicative name of 'Lousy (teutonic 'lloew' = hill) Clack', a tradition perpetuated in the local rhyme, which is quoted above. (fn. 11) The earlier name of 'Bradenstoke' was revived in the 20th century and the whole hamlet was known by that name in 1968. Lyneham, about a mile east of Bradenstoke, is mentioned for the first time in 1224, and was probably included in the Domesday holding of 'Stoche'. (fn. 12) West Tockenham, which lies a mile south-west of Lyneham village, was known in 1198 simply as 'Tockenham', (fn. 13) but by 1293 the area, which contained several small estates, was also known as West Tockenham to distinguish it from East Tockenham. (fn. 14) Preston, marked only by two farms, a few cottages, and a Methodist chapel in 1968, lies 1¼ mile south-east of Lyneham village. This hamlet formed part of the manor of Lyneham in 1557 (fn. 15) and remained such until the 20th century. (fn. 16)
The western and southern areas of the parish are situated on the Corallian ridge which runs southwestwards from Wheatley (Oxon.) to Calne. Within an area bounded to the north by the ChippenhamSwindon road, to the east by the HilmartonLyneham road, and to the south by the PrestonLyneham road, beds of Red Down Clay alternate with beds of Red Down Iron Sand. East of a line from Church End to Trow Lane the clay gives way to the Coral Rag of the ridge again. In the extreme south-eastern corner of the parish around Thickthorn Farm a belt of Red Down Clay, which runs south-westwards from Greenway to the boundary with Hilmarton, is succeeded by a bed of Red Down Iron Sand. In the most south-easterly corner of the parish Thickthorn Farm stands on an extensive bed of Kimmeridge Clay. (fn. 17)
The northern limits of the Corallian ridge determine the northern, western, and part of the southern, boundaries of Lyneham. Bradenstoke, Lyneham, and Preston all lie on the Coral Rag of the ridge, while West Tockenham and Shaw Farm are situated on the Red Down Iron Sand. In the west and south of the parish the Corallian ridge reaches a height of c. 400 ft., and rises gradually to over 475 ft. west of Bradenstoke. The dip slope of the ridge falls gently away south-eastwards to the clays and sandy soils in the east of the parish, where, at Thickthorn, on the Kimmeridge Clay, the land drops away to 350 ft. For the most part, by virtue of its somewhat exposed position on the Corallian ridge, the parish presents an open and treeless landscape, except in the north, where the spring action of Lilly Brook has caused the erosion of sand beneath the Coral Rag at Blind Mill. Here this process has resulted in the incision of a steep-sided and thickly-wooded gully. North and east of Preston the parish is traversed by a network of streams and the soil there is wet and heavy. These streams are tributaries of Cowage Brook and meet above Littlecott (Hilmarton). One stream has gorged a narrow, curving valley, now flanked by trees and known as the Strings, through which it flows southwards from Freegrove. Another tributary forms the eastern part of the southern boundary of the parish, while a third flows southwestwards from Middle Hill, past Preston, and thence to Littlecott. Most of the land was under pasture in 1968, although there was some arable cultivation on the lighter, sandier soils, especially around Shaw Farm. (fn. 18)
There is little visible evidence of early settlement in the parish, although the name 'Barrow End', applied to an area immediately north-west of Lyneham village, suggests prehistoric activity there. (fn. 19) Roman coins have been found near the site of Bradenstoke Priory and a hoard of Constantinian coins appeared at an unlocated area in the parish. An extended skeleton of unknown date was found near West Preston Farm. (fn. 20) Lyneham Camp, a motte-and-bailey earthwork of possibly Norman date, lies in the north of the parish by Hillocks Wood. (fn. 21) Clack Mount, a Norman earthwork, rises on the Corallian ridge at its highest point behind Bradenstoke Farm. (fn. 22)
In 1334 Lyneham paid the second highest contribution in Kingsbridge hundred to the 15th of that year. (fn. 23) The parish had 227 poll-tax payers in 1377, a number which constituted the highest in the hundred. West Tockenham was assessed separately at this date and had 24 contributors. (fn. 24) In 1523 54 people from Lyneham and Clack made contributions to the royal loan. The prior's household at Bradenstoke, assessed separately, provided 20 contributors. (fn. 25) Five people in Lyneham and one in West Tockenham contributed to the Benevolence of 1545, the average for the parishes in the hundred. (fn. 26) In 1576 21 people in Lyneham, Clack, and Preston contributed to the subsidy of that year, a number second only to Wootton Bassett. (fn. 27) Thereafter little is known of the population of the parish until 1801 when there were 833 people in Lyneham and its hamlets. (fn. 28) Thenceforth the population rose gradually until in 1841 there were 1,317 people in the parish, (fn. 29) a number which included 179 labourers employed in laying the G.W.R. line in the neighbouring parish. (fn. 30) After this date the population declined again until in 1921 there were only 836 inhabitants in the parish. (fn. 31) The establishment of R.A.F. Lyneham in 1940 (see below) resulted in a sharp increase in population. In 1951 there were 2,430 inhabitants, (fn. 32) and by 1961 this number had increased to 3,688. (fn. 33)
Roads in the parish have changed comparatively little since the 18th century. The junction of all roads, then as now, was Lyneham Green. The Calne-Lyneham road followed its present (1968) course as early as 1736, and at that time was known as Even Lane where it ran through the village. (fn. 34) Although a secondary road, it carried a considerable amount of traffic in 1968. In 1773 the SwindonChippenham road entered the parish from Dauntsey to the east of Bradenstoke Priory and ran eastwards forming the village street of Bradenstoke. This road was probably of some importance during the Middle Ages, when it led to the priory and to Clack spring and fall fairs. On leaving Bradenstoke the road skirted Lyneham Green and thence ran northeastwards to Tockenham, leaving the parish to the north of Shaw Farm. (fn. 35) By 1887 a bypass to the north of Bradenstoke was built and henceforth that part of the road which formed Bradenstoke high street became relatively unimportant. In 1968 the Swindon-Chippenham road was the only main road in the parish. Two small roads in the parish have been entirely obliterated with the coming of the airfield. One of the these led to Lyneham Court Farm and on to Stockham Marsh (Bremhill), while the other ran from Lyneham Court towards Freegrove. (fn. 36) The eastern boundary of the parish in 1968 ran along the west side of the minor road known north of West Tockenham as Trow Lane, and to the south as Greenway, thus bringing the west side of Tockenham village street, which lay along this road, into Lyneham. In 1968 a proposal to move the boundary westwards and thus to include West Tockenham in the parish of Tockenham was being discussed. (fn. 37) From this road a small lane turns back westwards past Thickthorn and Preston to Church End. An early-19th-century toll-house stood at this junction and survived until c. 1960. (fn. 38) Tockenham Reservoir, constructed in c. 1810 to feed the Wilts. and Berks. Canal, which had been constructed north of the parish by 1801, lay partly within the parish north-east of Blind Mill. The reservoir was abandoned when the Swindon section of the canal was closed in 1914. (fn. 39) In 1968 it was used for boating and fishing.
Although flanked to the south by the airfield, the hamlet of Bradenstoke remained relatively unchanged in 1968, still resembling the compact medieval village which had been dominated by the buildings of Bradenstoke Priory to the south-west. Most of the priory buildings were removed c. 1930. (fn. 40) The village consists of a single narrow street, closely built up on both sides. In a widening near the middle of the street on its south side stands the base and part of the shaft of an ancient cross first mentioned in 1546–7. (fn. 41) South of this the church of St. Mary was built in 1866. (fn. 42) On the opposite side of the street is Providence Chapel, dating from 1777. (fn. 43) A few of the houses have exposed timberframing while others, although altered and refronted, show traces of their timber construction. It is probable that several are of medieval origin, among them a partly refronted house at the corner of the road to Dauntsey, which has heavy curved braces to its framing. A house to the west of Providence Chapel, now three dwellings, has a jettied upper story with a continuous moulded bressummer, probably dating from the early 16th century. Two brick houses carry date-stones of 1762 and 1788. Several thatched roofs, and others of stone slate, add to the picturesque appearance of the street.
The two farm-houses at Preston are largely of early 18th-century date although Preston East Farm incorporates a 17th-century building. To the south of Preston West Farm is an older house, now two cottages, of which the principal range was formerly timber-framed and of medieval cruck construction; the remains of two cruck trusses dividing its three bays have survived. A small group of timber-framed thatched cottages stands near the ford at the east end of Preston. Shaw Farm, which lies east of Trow Lane, is an 18th-century building.
The arrival of the R.A.F. Station in 1940 and its consequent housing development have partly obscured the former village of Lyneham which straddled the Hilmarton-Lyneham road. The nucleus of the village lay to the north, where a few houses of various periods were still grouped around an extensive green in 1968. At this time the green was crossed by the Hilmarton and main Chippenham-Swindon roads. There were also some older houses scattered along the Hilmarton road between the green and Church End. Lyneham's development since the Second World War has been limited for the most part of an area directly west of Church End. Here, in 1968, stood the new schools surrounded by an R.A.F. housing estate. An extension of the estate lay in the apex of the Preston and Hilmarton roads.
West of the Calne-Lyneham road the parish is now covered by the airfield of R.A.F. Station Lyneham, which stretches the width of the Corallian ridge from Bradenstoke in the north to the northerly edge of Catcomb Wood (Hilmarton), in the south. R.A.F. Station Lyneham, opened in 1940, assumed full status as a station in 1942. (fn. 44) The airfield covered over 1,200 a. in 1968 and was made up of land formerly belonging to Lyneham Court Farm, Church Farm, Cranley Farm, and Bradenstoke Abbey Farm. (fn. 45) In 1968 the station was the principal employer of labour within the parish. (fn. 46)
Manors and Other Estates.
It is probable that at the time of the Domesday Survey the estate later known as Lyneham was included in Edward of Salisbury's holding at 'Stoche', and presumably passed with it to Bradenstoke Priory in c. 1139. (fn. 47) By 1316 the Prior of Bradenstoke held LYNEHAM, then described as a vill. (fn. 48) The manor continued to be held by the priory until the house was dissolved in 1539. (fn. 49)
Lyneham apparently remained with the Crown until 1557 when Thomas Matson received a royal grant of the manor including land at Littlecott (in Hilmarton), Preston, and Thickthorn, to be held by service of 1/20 knight's fee. (fn. 50) It is likely that this grant was revoked, since in 1559 the queen granted the manor of Lyneham to William Button, (fn. 51) who died seised of it in 1591. (fn. 52) He had previously settled the manor on his second son, William (II) Button, (fn. 53) who entered and died seised in 1599. (fn. 54) His heir was his son, William (III) Button (d. 1654–5), who in turn was succeeded by his son William (IV) Button (d. 1659–60). William (IV)'s heir was his brother Robert (d. c. 1679). (fn. 55) Robert Button's heir was his brother John, who was certainly seised by 1679. (fn. 56)
John Button died without issue in 1712, and his heir was his great-nephew Heneage Walker, grandson of his sister Mary, who had married Clement Walker. (fn. 57) During the lifetime of John Button, the land at Littlecott, until then part of the manor of Lyneham, was sold as a separate farm. (fn. 58) Heneage Walker died in 1731 and was succeeded by his brother John (d. 1758). John Walker's heir was his son, another John, who in 1777 adopted the name Walker-Heneage. (fn. 59) In 1793 his estate at Lyneham comprised 9 substantial farms, including East Preston, West Preston, and Thickthorn. (fn. 60) John Walker-Heneage died without issue in 1806 and was succeeded by his great-nephew George Wyld, son of his niece Mary. (fn. 61) George Wyld subsequently adopted the name of Walker-Heneage, and on his death in 1875 was succeeded by his son Clement Walker-Heneage (d. 1901). (fn. 62) Clement WalkerHeneage was succeeded by his son Godfrey WalkerHeneage (d. 1939). (fn. 63) In 1905 the Lyneham estate, reckoned at 2,016 a., was offered for sale. At this date it comprised most of Lyneham village as well as various farms which included the Preston and Thickthorn Farms. (fn. 64) Godfrey Walker-Heneage remained lord in 1931, but by this date the estate had been sold in lots. (fn. 65) In 1951 Church Farm, previously part of the Lyneham estate of the Walker-Heneage family, and then estimated at 120 a., was bought by the Air Ministry from the trustees of William Miflin for the enlargement of the airfield at Lyneham. (fn. 66)
In the time of King Edward Stremi held 'Stoche', (fn. 67) an estate which probably included the later manors of Bradenstoke and Lyneham. Edward of Salisbury held the estate in 1086. (fn. 68) Edward was succeeded by his son Walter, and the estate at 'Stoche' subsequently formed one of the chief endowments of the house of Augustinian canons which Walter founded at Bradenstoke in c. 1139. (fn. 69) In 1207 King John confirmed the manor of BRADENSTOKE to the convent. (fn. 70) Thenceforth the estate remained with the priory until the house was dissolved in 1539.
In 1546 the king granted Richard Pexsall the site of the priory, the prior's lodging, and certain specified lands in Bradenstoke, Clack, and Lyneham, (fn. 71) most of which had previously formed part of the priory demesne lands. (fn. 72) After the Dissolution until at least the later 17th century the manor was frequently known as that of Bradenstoke with Clack. (fn. 73) In 1540–1 the lands had been leased to Henry Long (d. 1556) for 21 years. (fn. 74) Shortly before his death in 1571 Sir Richard Pexsall devised his estates, including Bradenstoke, to his second wife Eleanor (née Cotgrave) for 13 years until his grandson Pexsall Brocas, son of his daughter Anne, came of age. The will was invalid as to a third of the estate, and this part descended to 4 coheirs, daughters of Sir Richard Pexsall. These were Anne, wife of Bernard Brocas; Margery, who married, first Oliver Beckett, and secondly Francis Cotton; Elizabeth, who married John Jobson, and Barbara, the wife of Anthony Bridges. (fn. 75) It seems that Eleanor Pexsall still retained the two thirds due to Pexsall Brocas in 1590. (fn. 76) By this date, besides the twelfth she had inherited, Anne Brocas had also acquired her sister Barbara's twelfth and thus held a sixth of the estate. (fn. 77) In c. 1572–3 Elizabeth Jobson and her husband granted their twelfth to Eleanor Pexsall, who, by this date, had married John Savage. (fn. 78) Eleanor and John Savage settled this twelfth on Edward Savage, second son of John Savage, in 1573, (fn. 79) and he retained it in 1590. (fn. 80) In 1609 Pexsall Brocas was apparently entitled to a life estate in the manor of Bradenstoke, (fn. 81) but it seems likely that his stepmother, Eleanor Savage, continued to hold two thirds until her death in 1617–18. Pexsall Brocas, who by this date had also inherited his mother's sixth, died seised of ten twelfths of his estate in 1630. (fn. 82) He was succeeded by his son Thomas in 1630 and Thomas Brocas conveyed some form of interest in the manor of Bradenstoke to his son Robert in 1635. (fn. 83) It was presumably Robert Brocas who sold ten twelfths of the manor to Henry, Earl of Danby, in c. 1640. (fn. 84)
By the time of his death in 1594 Sir John Danvers had acquired, either from Edward Savage or Francis Cotton, a twelfth of the manor of Bradenstoke. (fn. 85)
His heir was his son Charles (d. 1601), who was succeeded by his brother Henry (cr. Earl of Danby 1626), (fn. 86) who probably acquired the Brocas ten twelfths in c. 1640 (see above). Henry (d. 1644) was succeeded by his brother John (d. 1655). (fn. 87) The estate held by the Danverses at this date was still reckoned to consist of a twelfth of the manor of Bradenstoke, but there is no doubt that they had acquired the manor itself by 1655. John Danvers's heirs were his daughters, Elizabeth (d. 1709), wife of Robert Wright alias Villiers alias Danvers, and Anne, wife of Sir Henry Lee. (fn. 88) In 1677 Elizabeth Danvers and her husband were seised of half of the manor. (fn. 89) Presumably Anne Lee and her husband held the other moiety. Eleanor (d. 1691), daughter of Henry and Anne Lee, married James, Lord Norreys, later Earl of Abingdon (d. 1699), (fn. 90) and had inherited her mother's moiety of the Bradenstoke estate by 1678, when James, Lord Norreys, leased out land there. (fn. 91) In 1683 Elizabeth Danvers, now the wife of John Duvall, conveyed her moiety to James, Lord Norreys, (fn. 92) and he thus acquired the whole manor. The estate presumably passed to his son Montagu, 2nd Earl of Abingdon (d. 1743), and during his ownership the Bradenstoke estate was sold to Germanicus Sheppard, who was in possession by 1738. (fn. 93) At an unknown date Sheppard sold the manor to Paul Methuen (d. 1795), (fn. 94) who was succeeded there by his son Paul Cobb Methuen (d. 1816). He in turn was succeeded by his son Paul, Lord Methuen (d. 1849), whose estate was made up of lands which included Bradenstoke Farm and Cranley Farm in 1846. (fn. 95) Paul, Lord Methuen, was succeeded by his son Frederick, Lord Methuen (d. 1891), who sold the estate to Gabriel Goldney (d. 1900) in 1863. (fn. 96) From Gabriel Goldney the estate passed to his son Gabriel Prior Goldney (d. 1925), who sold it to Francis, Baron de Tuyll in 1917. (fn. 97) Baron de Tuyll sold the manor to J. A. A. Williams in 1920 and he in turn sold it in 1921 to H. Lushington Storey. (fn. 98) In 1923 the estate was offered for sale (fn. 99) and it was presumably bought at this date by H. Fry, who was owner in 1926. (fn. 100) Shortly afterwards it was apparently broken up. Donald and Hannah Bridges owned Cranley Farm, estimated at 133 a., in 1942, at which date the farm was bought by the Air Ministry. By 1946 Bradenstoke Abbey Farm was owned by Maria Cole, who that year sold 235 a. of it to the same purchaser. (fn. 101)
The 19th-century farm-house attached to Bradenstoke Abbey Farm, built on the site of the former priory, may contain some of the masonry of the conventual buildings, most of which, together with the tithe barn, were demolished in c. 1930. The buildings of the former priory have been outlined elsewhere. (fn. 102) In 1968 little remained on the priory site except the vaulted undercroft of the cloister's western range and a square turret which had stood at its north-west angle; both date from the 14th century. (fn. 103)
During the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries the priors of Bradenstoke consolidated their holding in West Tockenham by the acquisition of a number of small estates there. These, together with estates granted by the families of Bohun and Mortimer, and the manor known as Little Tockenham or Tockenham Doygnel, formed the later manor of WEST TOCKENHAM.
In 755–7 Aethelbald granted Abbot Eanberht of Malmesbury 10 cassati at 'Toccansceaga', (fn. 104) an area later known as West Tockenham. King Ethelwulf may have granted 5 mansiones there to Malmesbury in 854, although this grant is suspect. (fn. 105) By the time of King Edward an estate at 'Tockenham' was certainly held by Malmesbury Abbey, but by the time of the Domesday Survey the abbot and convent had apparently relinquished their rights in it. (fn. 106) By 1086 the estate had passed to Durand of Gloucester. (fn. 107) At his death his lands passed to his son Roger (d.s.p. 1106). Roger's heir was his cousin Walter, who was in turn succeeded by his son Miles (d. 1143), who was created Earl of Hereford in 1141. Miles's coheirs were his two daughters, one of whom, Margaret, wife of Humphrey de Bohun, secured most of Durand's Wiltshire fief. (fn. 108) Margaret de Bohun's grandson Henry was created Earl of Hereford and thenceforth the overlordship descended with the earldom. (fn. 109) The last recorded mention of the Bohun overlordship occurs in 1384 when, after the death of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford (d. 1373), his daughter Mary and her husband Henry, Earl of Derby, were confirmed in the overlordship of an estate in West Tockenham. (fn. 110)
In 1066 Doun held the 'Tockenham' estate of Malmesbury Abbey. By 1086 Roger held it of Durand. (fn. 111) No more is known until the 13th century, when part at least of the estate was apparently held under the Bohuns by the Baynton family. In 1242–3 Walter Baynton held 1/5 knight's fee in 'Tockenham' of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford (d. 1275), as of his honor of Trowbridge. (fn. 112) It was presumably this small estate which Henry Baynton and his wife Joan granted to Bradenstoke Priory in 1262. (fn. 113) At a date before 1373 Humphrey, Earl of Hereford (d. 1373), granted an estate in West Tockenham to the priory. (fn. 114)
In 1066 Alwin held an estate, reckoned at 2½ hides, in 'Tockenham'. (fn. 115) In 1086 the overlord of the estate, which may have included land previously held by Malmesbury Abbey, was Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore. (fn. 116) The overlordship of this small estate remained in the family of Mortimer of Wigmore until the 14th century. (fn. 117) It is last mentioned in 1425 when Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March (d. 1425), was overlord. (fn. 118)
In 1086 Oideland held the estate at 'Tockenham' of Ralph Mortimer. (fn. 119) No other mesne tenants are known until 1242–3 when Thomas of Tockenham held ½ knight's fee in 'Tockenham' of Brian of Branton, who held it of the overlord Ralph Mortimer (d. 1246). (fn. 120) Some time before 1265 Thomas of Tockenham granted the estate to Bradenstoke Priory, who thenceforth apparently held it of the Mortimers. (fn. 121) The holding was estimated at 1 knight's fee in 1360. (fn. 122)
In 1198 William Spelman held an unspecified amount of land in West Tockenham, (fn. 123) which cannot be identified with any Domesday estate. At an unknown date between 1198 and 1293 this estate had passed to Nicholas Spelman. (fn. 124) By 1293 it had passed to Christine Spelman, (fn. 125) although her relationship to Nicholas Spelman is unknown. The estate is perhaps the same as that held in chief in 1344 by Gilbert Testwood, the grandson of Catherine Spelman. (fn. 126)
By 1198 William Spelman had subinfeudated ½ carucate in West Tockenham to Richard Spelman. (fn. 127) Their relationship is unknown. Before 1293 Nicholas Spelman, as overlord, granted Guy Doygnel 1 hide in West Tockenham, a holding which included ½ hide held by Nicholas Spelman in demesne, 1 virgate held by Henry Forde, and 1 virgate held by Humphrey FitzPayne. (fn. 128) In 1293 Silvester Doygnel, presumably the son of Guy Doygnel, died seised of 3 virgates in West Tockenham, which he had held since c. 1269. (fn. 129) The estate, reckoned in 1313 to contain 1 messuage and 4 virgates, (fn. 130) passed to his son Peter, who in 1332–3 conveyed a life estate in the manor of Little Tockenham to John of Cricklade, bailiff of Lyneham. (fn. 131) The manor was known alternatively as Tockenham Doygnel in the later 14th century. (fn. 132) In 1334 Peter Doygnel conveyed the manor to Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 133) With this grant, together with that made in the 13th century by Thomas of Tockenham and that made by Humphrey, Earl of Hereford (d. 1373), the manor of West Tockenham finally emerged. It was further augmented in 1412 when John Elcombe and his wife Joan gave the priory land in Lyneham, Littlecott, and West Tockenham, amounting to about 100 a. (fn. 134) The manor remained with Bradenstoke until the house was dissolved in 1539.
The manor remained in hand until 1560 when William Button (d. 1591) and Thomas Estecourte were granted the reversion. (fn. 135) In the same year Estecourte relinquished his rights. (fn. 136) The manor, known from the 17th century as Tockenham Court Farm, descended in the same way as the manor of Lyneham (see above) and passed from the Buttons in 1712 to their successors, the Walker-Heneages, who remained lords in 1900. (fn. 137)
Tockenham Court Farm is a stone house apparently of 18th-century date, but incorporating an L-shaped building of the late 16th or early 17th century. The only visible features of the older house are its heavy chamfered ceiling beams which retain carved stops of several different designs. The house, then owned by Sir William Button (d. 1654–5), was looted by Parliamentary troops in 1643 and 1644. (fn. 138)
The house known in 1773 as Tockenham House (fn. 139) and in 1968 as Meadow Court, which stands about 500 yards north-east of Tockenham Court Farm, is a building of two distinct periods. The southern part represents the two-storied hall range and service cross-wing of a stone house of c. 1630, partly remodelled in the 18th century. Alterations to the service wing in the 20th century included the removal of a massive chimney at its east end. Externally on the west wall are inscribed the words 'Levavi Oculos'. It has been suggested that the house was occupied by the Walker family after the death of the last Button in 1712. (fn. 140) If so Heneage Walker (d. 1731) must have been responsible for the building or rebuilding of the northern part of the house on a grand scale between 1720 and 1730. (fn. 141) The brick addition, which is probably on the site of a former solar wing, is only one room deep but is of considerable height and has an impressive entrance facing north. This elevation is of seven bays, the three central bays being surmounted by a pediment; stone dressings include moulded window-heads with carved keystones and a central doorway with an open segmental pediment on brackets. Internally there are panelled rooms and a contemporary staircase. A brick orangery or coach-house to the southeast of the house also dates from the earlier 18th century. Tockenham Manor Farm lies further east and has a stone farm-house probably of 18thcentury origin.
In 1341 the glebe attached to the church of Lyneham amounted to 1 carucate of land, worth £2 yearly. (fn. 142) It is probable that this small rectorial estate had increased considerably by 1541–2, when Henry Long (d. 1556) received a royal grant of an estate of c. 315 a. in Lyneham and Littlecott, previously held by Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 143) This estate represents the glebe-lands of the impropriate rectory of Lyneham. (fn. 144) On Henry Long's death the estate apparently passed to his fifth son, Richard, who died in 1558 seised of a capital messuage belonging to the rectory of Lyneham. (fn. 145) He was succeeded there by his son Edmund. (fn. 146) In 1571 the estate contained a holding known as 'Freth Grove' (Freegrove), (fn. 147) and in 1617– 1619 included the parsonage house and a small park stocked with deer. (fn. 148) Edmund Long died seised in 1635, and by virtue of a settlement made in 1619 the rectorial estate was divided between his sons Richard and Walter. The bulk of the estate, reckoned at c. 289 a., passed to his elder son Richard, but some 80 a. were settled on his younger son Walter, (fn. 149) who predeceased his father in 1630. The smaller estate passed to Walter's widow, Mary, as her jointure, and she was still seised in 1636. (fn. 150) No more is known of this small estate. On Richard (II) Long's death in 1639 his estate at Lyneham passed to his eldest son Edmund (II) Long (d. 1664), who was thus entitled to most of the glebe-lands. (fn. 151) Edmund Long sold off the estate in lots at an unknown date. (fn. 152)
By 1667 Oliver Pleydell (d. 1680) was seised of the largest portion of the former rectorial lands, known by this date as the Lyneham Court estate. (fn. 153) He was apparently succeeded by his grandson Thomas Pleydell, who in turn was succeeded by his son Thomas (II) Pleydell (d. 1727), (fn. 154) who held the estate in 1704. (fn. 155) Thomas (II) Pleydell was succeeded by his son Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell (d. 1768), whose daughter and heir Harriet married William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor (d. 1765). (fn. 156) Their son Jacob, Earl of Radnor (d. 1828), was seised of Lyneham Court in 1800. (fn. 157) The estate then descended with the Radnor title until the early 20th century. (fn. 158) It was sold to the tenant, Frank Fry, in 1920. (fn. 159) In 1940 Lyneham Court Farm, estimated at 292 a., and owned by Frank Fry, was bought by the Air Ministry. (fn. 160)
Before his death in 1664 Edmund (II) Long sold part of the estate of the impropriate rectory of Lyneham to either Adam or Robert Tuck. (fn. 161) The estate remained in the Tuck family and by 1719 Robert Tuck was seised of Freegrove Farm. (fn. 162) In 1744 he devised Freegrove to his son Adam. (fn. 163) No more is known of the estate until 1846 when it was owned by Jacob Large. (fn. 164) By 1880 Freegrove, at this date leased to Arthur Pocock, had been acquired by William Henry Poynder (d. 1880), and by 1885 had passed to William Dickson-Poynder. (fn. 165)
T.R.E. an estate at 'Stoche' paid geld for 16 hides and 1 virgate and was worth £6. The size of the estate suggests that it included the later manor of Lyneham. At the time of the Domesday Survey the estate contained enough land for 10 ploughs, and 7½ hides were held in demesne. There were 4 ploughs and 2 serfs on the demesne hides. Elsewhere on the estate there were 16 bordars, 16 cottars, and 8 villeins with 6 ploughs. At this date there were 4 a. of meadow and 12 a. of pasture, while the woodland was estimated to be ½ league long and 3 furlongs broad. The value of the estate had risen to £10 in 1086. (fn. 166) There was an additional half-hide holding in 'Stoche' in 1086, which contained land for half a plough and was worth 10s. (fn. 167)
During the Middle Ages the manor of Lyneham comprised the property of Bradenstoke Priory in Lyneham, Clack, Littlecott (in Hilmarton), and Preston, and was worth £18 6s. in 1291. (fn. 168) In 1535 the manor of Lyneham, which still included Littlecott and Preston, but which by this date excluded Bradenstoke (see below), was valued at £40 17s., of which £27 represented the rents of an unspecified number of customary tenants and £6 the farm of the rectory of Lyneham. There were 211 a. of arable land and 78 a. of pasture and meadow in demesne at this date. (fn. 169) During the years 1538–40 the manor was valued at £14 0s. 1d., an estimate which probably did not include the farm of the rectory lands. At this date the rents of customary tenants in Lyneham were reckoned at £18 19s. 10d., while those of customary tenants in Preston were reckoned at £8 3s. (fn. 170) In 1545–6 the overall value of the estate was £46 4s. 3d. and in 1546–7 £48 17s. 8d., while the rents of customary tenants were reckoned at £27 2s. 9d. There were apparently no freeholders on the manor at this date. (fn. 171) The total rents paid by tenants there in 1563 amounted to £23 13s. 1d. (fn. 172)
In the later 16th century Preston Leynes, a pasture ground, was leased to the tenants of Lyneham manor at Littlecott. (fn. 173) Traces of this common pasture survived in 1968 as an extremely wide verge on either side of the road at Preston, just west of Thickthorn Farm. Nothing is known of any open fields within the manor and it is likely that most of the estate was farmed in consolidated holdings from an early date. In a survey of the manor of Lyneham dating from the earlier 18th century there were 10 copyhold tenures within the manor and 53 leasehold tenures. (fn. 174) In 1793 the manor of Lyneham included 9 farms, namely, Thickthorn (163 a.), Preston East and West Farms (134 a. and 127 a.), Lyneham Church Farm (107 a.), Lyneham Pound Farm (108 a.), Lyneham Green Farm (116 a.), Barrow End Farm (151 a.), Mansion House Farm (151 a.), and Middle Hill Farm (162 a.). All these farms consisted of practically equal amounts of arable, pasture, and meadow. (fn. 175) In 1896 all these farms remained within the Walker-Heneage estate at Lyneham. (fn. 176)
In 1291 land at Clack was included for purposes of assessment as part of the manor of Lyneham (see above). Little distinction seems to have been made between the Lyneham and Bradenstoke estates for administrative purposes until 1535, when for the first time, so far as is known, the manor of Bradenstoke was assessed separately. The manor there was then valued at £12 19s. and the Prior of Bradenstoke held 270 a. of arable land and 90 a. of pasture and meadow in demesne. (fn. 177) During 1538–40 the manor itself was valued at £13 13s. 9d., while manorial rents totalled £23 19s. 10d. The manor at this date included a park, and the demesne arable of the Prior of Bradenstoke, now reckoned at 81 a., included Prior's Field, Faircroft, Sheepleaze, Longmead, Bryerclose, and Butteclose, while the demesne pasture, now reckoned at 193 a., included Grange Pasture, Cosyners Leaze, Windmill Field, and Woodfield. (fn. 178) In 1545–7 manorial rents totalled £24 3s. 10d. At this time there were 8 copyholders, at least 4 leaseholders, and a similar number of tenants-at-will within the manor. (fn. 179) The demesne lands at Bradenstoke held by Sir Richard Pexsall were let to farm at £5 5s. 4d. in 1549 (see above) and supported 5 tenants. There were 15 tenants on the rest of the manor, and unspecified rents there totalled £5 12s. 8d. (fn. 180) In 1590 manorial rents totalled £33 16s. 4½d., and the demesne lands, farmed by Sir John Danvers, were valued at £16 10s. 2d. There were 23 tenants within the manor of Bradenstoke at this date, but it is not known how they held their land. (fn. 181) The estate was frequently leased out after the Dissolution. In the 17th and early 18th centuries it was leased successively by Thomas Crompton, Henry Pinnell, and Goddard Smith. (fn. 182)
An estate at 'Tockenham', held at that date by Bradenstoke Priory was worth £4 6s. 8d. in 1291. (fn. 183) Another estate also held by Bradenstoke, was taxed at £2 10s. at the same date. (fn. 184) Little is known of the manor of West Tockenham before the later 14th century. By this time the Prior of Bradenstoke had received grants of estates there from Thomas of Tockenham and from the Doygnel family (fn. 185) and had consolidated his holding by the acquisition of several smaller estates. (fn. 186) A survey of West Tockenham made shortly after this period of consolidation shows the manor once held by the Doygnels there to have contained 3 open fields, North Field, West Field, and East Field. The West Field contained about 54 a. of arable land, the East Field about 81 a., and the North Field 38 a. Four tenants held land in the East and West Fields, together with small appurtenant parcels of meadow land, but only three of these held land in the North Field. (fn. 187) In 1532 Anne Danvers (d. 1539), widow of Sir John Danvers (d. 1514), leased the farm of 'Tockenham' from Badenstoke Priory for an 82-year term. (fn. 188) She was succeeded in the lease by her son John (d. 1556), (fn. 189) grandson Richard (d. 1604), (fn. 190) and great-grandson William. (fn. 191) Thereafter the estate continued to be leased out until the 20th century. By 1535 the enlarged manor of 'Tockenham' was worth £15. (fn. 192) In 1535–7 the estate was valued at £17 16s. 11½d. The assessed rents and those of the free tenants were reckoned at 2s. 11½d., while the rents of customary tenants totalled £8 14s. (fn. 193) In 1563, shortly after the Button family acquired the estate, the manorial rents totalled £9 9s. 5½d. and there were 3 free tenants and 10 other tenants. (fn. 194) In the earlier 17th century the manor apparently covered a total acreage of 265 a., which included 126 a. of meadow, 54 a. of pasture, and 85 a. of arable. (fn. 195) Inclosure within the manor appears to have taken place at an early date. In 1609 the lessee of the Tockenham estate, Timothy Stampe, agreed not to plough up Tockenham Marsh, which had been 'lately laid in severalty'. Stampe further agreed not to plough up ley grounds or lawns beside certain arable lands in West Tockenham, 'which were lately also inclosed'. (fn. 196) By 1673 the manor, known as Tockenham Court Farm, was farmed in conjunction with Shaw Farm, also part of the Button estate. In this year a total of 557 sheep and lambs was kept at Tockenham Court Farm, besides 55 beasts and cattle. (fn. 197) By 1793 the farm contained 412 a., including a park of 20 a. The general increase in acreage was the result of increased pasture land, which now covered some 211 a. (fn. 198)
Little is known of economic conditions within the parish during the 19th century. In 1968, despite the large acreage of R.A.F. Station Lyneham, there were 10 farms in the parish, mostly devoted to mixed farming.
Much agricultural land within the parish was purchased by the Air Ministry during the period 1940–58 for the initial establishment, and later enlargement, of R.A.F. Station Lyneham, (fn. 199) which, since its establishment in 1940–1, has been the largest employer of labour in the parish. In 1940 No. 33 Maintenace Unit, which was still based at Lyneham in 1968, was opened on part of the present airfield. A year later control of Lyneham passed to Flying Training Command and in 1942 Lyneham, by then part of Ferry Command, assumed full status as a station. The chief function of R.A.F. Lyneham during the Second World War was the dispatch of most outward-bound, non-combatant aircraft from Britain. In 1942 an Air Dispatch and Reception Unit began to function and since that time many distinguished people have flown from Lyneham. At the end of the war Lyneham became part of Transport Command and in 1967 became part of the newly-formed Air Support Command. (fn. 200) In 1965 the station was reported to employ some 3,400 personnel, including about 500 civilians who lived in the parish. (fn. 201) At about the same date some 400 flights, 2,000 aircraft movements, 8,000–10,000 passengers, and 1¾ million lb. of freight were handled monthly. In 1968 the station was served principally by a newly-formed squadron of C–130K Hercules transports. (fn. 202)
Mills. In 1086 a mill on the 'Tockenham' estate of Durand of Gloucester paid 50d. (fn. 203) Between 1189–94 Bradenstoke Priory built a mill on an estate, presumably recently acquired, at 'Tockenham'. (fn. 204) In 1301–2 Robert Brut and others granted a mill in West Tockenham to Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 205)
At the time of the Domesday Survey a mill at 'Stoche', an area which at this date probably included the modern settlements of Bradenstoke and Lyneham, was assessed at 30d. (fn. 206) In 1538 a horse-mill, with two appurtenant closes of pasture, all part of the manor of Bradenstoke, was leased to William Towresley for 40 years by Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 207) No more is known until 1649 when Thomas Crompton's lease of the Bradenstoke estate included a 'newlybuilt' grist-mill near the farm-house. (fn. 208) In 1692 James, Earl of Abingdon, leased a grist-mill at Bradenstoke to Henry Pinnell, who agreed to keep it in repair. (fn. 209) After Henry Pinnell's death, Goddard Smith became entitled to the unexpired term of the lease formerly held by Pinnell, but by 1738 he had let the mill fall into disrepair. (fn. 210)
No record of a mill on the Lyneham estate survives until the 18th century. In 1718 James and Mary Baker were granted a lease of Blind Mill, although the lease did not include the right to take fish from the mill-pond. (fn. 211) In 1773 Blind Mill, fed by Lilly Brook, lay to the north of Lyneham village. (fn. 212) It was presumably the same mill, then known as Lyneham mill, which was tenanted by James Hiskins in 1885. (fn. 213) He remained tenant in 1903. (fn. 214) In 1968 the site of the mill, then derelict, could be seen beside Lilly Brook to the south-west of Hillocks Wood.
Market and Fairs. The two annual fairs and the weekly market granted to Bradenstoke Priory in the 13th and 14th centuries have been mentioned in another volume of the History. (fn. 215) They presumably brought a considerable amount of trade to the parish. It is probable that the fairs were held on the ground called Faircroft in 1538–40. (fn. 216) Presumably the fairs continued on this site, which may possibly be identified with the part of Clack known as Horse Fair, which lay to the south-east of the hamlet in 1887. (fn. 217) Nothing is known of the weekly market which was granted to Bradenstoke Priory in 1361. (fn. 218) It may, however, have flourished for a time. In 1628 Clack was described as a 'market town' and delinquency there was such that it was necessary to suppress 4 alehouses. (fn. 219) Before 1827, Clack spring and fall fairs, as they were called, were well-attended for such purposes as the sale of livestock, the hiring of servants, and for entertainment. (fn. 220)
In 1513–14 the Prior of Bradenstoke granted land called 'Harvies' for the building of a house, later known as the church house of Lyneham, for meetings of the parishioners. The site proved to be too far from the church and an alternative site called 'Weekemeade' was granted in 1530 for the erection of 'a very good and meet house', which, when built, cost c. £100. William Button, lord of the manor of Lyneham, subsequently claimed the house as parcel of the manor there. The claim was allowed in 1611, provided that the yearly rent from the premises was paid to the churchwardens of Lyneham, but it is not known whether the parishioners of Lyneham continued to meet there. (fn. 221)
Before the dissolution of Bradenstoke Priory manorial courts for the manors of Lyneham and West Tockenham were held in Lyneham at Lyneham Court. (fn. 222) After the Dissolution the courts of both manors continued to be held by the king's officials either at Lyneham Court or in the church house at Lyneham. (fn. 223) There is a court roll for Lyneham manor for 1567, (fn. 224) and a record of view of frankpledge for 1647, at which a constable and a tithingman were elected. (fn. 225) After 1560, when William Button purchased the reversion of West Tockenham manor (see above), courts for West Tockenham were apparently held separately there. Court rolls survive for West Tockenham manor for 1560, (fn. 226) 1561, 1562, 1563, (fn. 227) 1567, in which year two courts were held, (fn. 228) and for 1584. (fn. 229) At these courts manorial officials were appointed and copyholders admitted; in 1562 various presentments concerning the necessity of repairing the lane between West and East Tockenham, and between Tockenham Marsh and Marrow Ash, were recorded. (fn. 230) Very little can be said of the government of the parish after this date. Apart from the parish registers the only surviving parish records are a vestry book for 1863–81, which deals with the levying and administration of poor rates, and a vestry minute book for 1888–1923. (fn. 231)
Lyneham church is first mentioned in 1182 when it belonged to Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 232) It is likely that the church, together with estates in Bradenstoke and Lyneham, were among the original endowments of the house in c. 1139. (fn. 233) The appropriation of the church by Bradenstoke was confirmed by Pope Lucius III in 1182. (fn. 234) After the Dissolution the benefice became a perpetual curacy and after 1868 was deemed to be a vicarage. In 1864 the need was felt for a church to serve the hamlet of Clack, which lay over a mile from Lyneham parish church. (fn. 235) As a result the consolidated chapelry of Bradenstoke-cum-Clack was formed in 1866 (see below). In 1924 the consolidated chapelry of Bradenstoke-cum-Clack, the vicarage of Lyneham, and the rectory of Tockenham were all united to form one benefice. (fn. 236) In 1954 Tockenham was separated from the other two churches, (fn. 237) which thenceforth became the united benefice of Lyneham with Bradenstoke-cum-Clack.
The church of Lyneham was probably served by canons of Bradenstoke from earliest times and no vicarage was ordained. A canon was described as curate of Lyneham in 1538. (fn. 238) After the dissolution of Bradenstoke the Longs, as lay rectors (see below), were responsible for appointing and paying a curate to serve the church, but apparently frequently neglected to do so. In the mid 17th century Edmund Long's failure to make an appointment (fn. 239) led to the presentation by the king in 1678 of an incumbent, who was duly instituted by the bishop, the only occasion before the 19th century when this procedure was adopted. (fn. 240) After the break-up of the rectory estate in the mid 17th century the responsibility for providing and paying a curate was said to be divided between the various holders of the parts of the estate. (fn. 241) But no appointments seem to have been made by them and throughout the 18th century the church was served by the incumbents of either Hilmarton or Tockenham, or by the curate of Hilmarton. (fn. 242) After the beginning of the 19th century, when the benefice had been endowed by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty (see below), the lay rectors, who were also lords of the manor, began to present incumbents regularly, who were licensed, or after 1868, instituted by the bishop. The first such presentation occurs in 1826 when G. H. W. Heneage presented. (fn. 243) Thenceforth the advowson followed the descent of the manor. (fn. 244) After the union of the benefices of Lyneham, Bradenstoke-cum-Clack, and Tockenham in 1924 the patrons of the three livings retained for a time their rights to present in turn. (fn. 245) But after the rectory of Tockenham had been separated from the combined benefice in 1954, the patronage of the united benefice of Lyneham and Bradenstoke-cum-Clack passed to the Lord Chancellor, with whom, in theory, it remained in 1966. (fn. 246) In practice, however, early in the 1960s existing patronage rights were suspended and an agreement reached between the Bishop of Salisbury and the Chaplain-in-Chief R.A.F., whereby R.A.F. chaplains were to serve the churches of Lyneham and Bradenstoke-cumClack. (fn. 247)
After the dissolution of Bradenstoke Priory the rectory of Lyneham was granted by the king in 1541–2 to Henry Long (d. 1556). (fn. 248) He was succeeded as lay rector by his son Richard (d. 1558), who was in turn succeeded by his son Edmund Long (d. 1635). (fn. 249) In 1619 Edmund Long had settled the rectory on his second son Richard (d. 1639), (fn. 250) and he succeeded his father as lay rector. On Richard (II) Long's death his eldest son Edmund (II) was entitled to the rectory. (fn. 251) Edmund Long died in 1664 and was succeeded by his half-brother Humphrey Long as lay rector. (fn. 252) Humphrey died in 1679 without heirs and the rectory passed to Robert Compton and his wife Susanna (née Long), sister of Edmund and Humphrey Long. (fn. 253) After the death of Robert Compton, Susanna married a second time in 1690 and in her marriage settlement she directed that after her death her trustees should dispose of her estate. (fn. 254) She died before 1698–9 when her trustees, in accordance with her instructions, conveyed the rectory of Lyneham to Henry Danvers, who made his future wife, Mary Wolnall, joint purchaser of the property. (fn. 255) Henry Danvers died without heirs at an unknown date. His wife Mary died in 1736 and devised the rectory to Elizabeth Warwick, Hannah Hylton, and Robert Fransham, as joint tenants. In 1743 Thomas Hylton and his wife Hannah acquired the thirds held by Elizabeth Warwick and Robert Fransham, and thus became entitled to the whole rectory of Lyneham. (fn. 256) Thomas Hylton died shortly before 1758, in which year John and Robert Hylton, kinsmen and devisees of Thomas Hylton, together with William Hylton, Thomas Hylton's son, conveyed the rectory to Jeremiah Berry. (fn. 257) In 1765 Berry conveyed it to John Walker (later Walker-Heneage). (fn. 258) Thereafter the rectory remained with the Walker-Heneage family and descended as the manor of Lyneham. (fn. 259)
In 1291 the church of Lyneham was valued for taxation at £10. (fn. 260) It was estimated to be of the same value in 1341. (fn. 261) At the beginning of the 18th century the endowments to which the incumbent was said to be entitled, besides a stipend of £13 a year, were a house, the herbage of the churchyard, and the Easter offerings. (fn. 262) In 1813 a grant of £1,400 from the Royal Bounty was made to endow the benefice. (fn. 263) In 1835 the average net income over the past three years was estimated to be £58. (fn. 264) In 1910 a grant of £74 was made to the church by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from the Common Fund. (fn. 265)
The Abbot of Malmesbury had a portion payable out of the church of Lyneham, assessed for taxation in 1291 at 10s. (fn. 266) In 1364 a dispute arose over this portion, which was payable in lieu of the right of the Abbot of Malmesbury to take tithes from lands granted by Thomas of Tockenham to Bradenstoke Priory at some date before 1265. An agreement was reached whereby Malmesbury Abbey allowed Bradenstoke Priory to take the tithes in return for a yearly payment of 20s. (fn. 267) In 1535 the abbot was still receiving this payment. (fn. 268)
In 1341 the great tithes of Lyneham were due to Bradenstoke Priory as rector, while those arising from the rectory estate (see below) were reserved for the sole use of the prior. (fn. 269) In 1364 the prior and convent also established their right to certain tithes, both great and small, in West Tockenham (fn. 270) and at the time of the Dissolution all the tithes in the parish belonged to Bradenstoke. (fn. 271) After the dissolution of Bradenstoke these tithes were included in the grant of the rectory to Henry Long (see above). (fn. 272) In 1629 Edmund Long (d. 1635) settled certain of the great and small tithes, presumably those arising from the rectorial estate (later known as Lyneham Court), on his son Richard (II), Richard's second wife, Susanna, and their heirs. (fn. 273) Richard (II) Long died in 1639 and the tithes of the estate apparently passed to his son by his first marriage, Edmund (II) Long, as guardian of his half-brother Humphrey Long. (fn. 274) Edmund (II) Long (d. 1664) then conveyed all the tithes of Freegrove, formerly a part of the rectorial estate, to either Adam or Robert Tuck. (fn. 275) Humphrey Long died in 1679 and his heir was his sister Susanna, wife of Robert Compton. (fn. 276) Thereafter the remaining tithes both great and small from the rectory estate continued to belong to the lay rectors of Lyneham, who have been traced above.
Edmund (II) Long (d. 1664) also conveyed certain of the great and small tithes in Lyneham, Preston, and West Tockenham to William (III) Button, lord of the manors of Lyneham with Preston and West Tockenham. (fn. 277) These tithes then followed the descent of those manors and so came in 1712 to Heneage Walker. (fn. 278) In 1753 the lay rectors, who, as shown above, had only the tithes of the rectory estate, claimed unsuccessfully the West Tockenham tithes belonging to John Walker, brother and heir of Heneage Walker. (fn. 279) Twelve years later, in 1765, John Walker acquired the rectory and so added to the tithes of Lyneham, Preston, and West Tockenham, those of the rectory estate.
There was an estate belonging to the church by 1341, which was subsequently enlarged and held by Bradenstoke Priory, as rector, until the Dissolution. (fn. 280) After the Dissolution it was granted with the rectory to Henry Long. Its subsequent descent has been traced above. (fn. 281)
Since no vicarage was ordained, the small as well as the great tithes of the parish were due to the rectors and in 1341 small tithes, including the tithe of fowls and young deer, belonged to Bradenstoke Priory. (fn. 282) After the Dissolution James Cole, the curate of Lyneham, had apparently received at least some of the small tithes of the parish as well as a stipend of £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 283) This arrangement did not last, and in 1678 Daniel Salway, then curate of Lyneham, was unsuccessful in his claim to the small tithes. (fn. 284) Certain small tithes were included in the grants mentioned above of great tithes made by members of the Long family in the 17th century. Like the great tithes, however, most of the small tithes eventually came into the hands of John Walker (later Walker-Heneage) in 1765 (see above).
In 1775 and 1782–3 tenants on Lyneham manor compounded their tithes for £71 9s. (fn. 285) By 1846 most of the tithes in the parish had been declared to be merged in the lands from which they were due. Only those arising from 161 a. were still due in kind and in 1846 a rent-charge of £37 was awarded to G. H. W. Heneage in respect of these. (fn. 286)
After the Dissolution the practice whereby the lay rectors paid someone to serve the cure evidently led to the church being frequently without any incumbent at all, or else resulted in the appointment of some unsatisfactory person. The canon of Bradenstoke who served the church at the Dissolution was still curate in 1553, (fn. 287) but thereafter there is no record of a curate at Lyneham until the later 17th century when Edmund (II) Long allowed John Hayes, described as his servant, £13 to read divine service in the church. (fn. 288) Hayes, who was reported to be 'defective through age', (fn. 289) died before 1674, and no one apparently succeeded him, although previously Humphrey Long, half-brother of Edmund (II) Long, had, as lay rector, allotted £13 for the maintenance of a curate. (fn. 290) The only incumbent to be episcopally instituted before the 19th century, Daniel Salway, successfully established his right to the arrears of a salary of £13, chargeable on all the holders of the rectorial estate. (fn. 291) In the later 18th century, when the church was served by the Rector of Tockenham, a service was held at Lyneham early on Sunday afternoons. At this time there were 10 or 12 communicants in the parish. (fn. 292) By 1783 the Vicar of Hilmarton was undertaking the customary afternoon service. (fn. 293) Early in the 19th century the parishioners informed the bishop that they had resolved to raise among themselves an annual stipend and provide a comfortable residence in order to secure the full-time services of a certain curate, who had served the church in the past. (fn. 294) It was presumably shortly after this that incumbents began to be regularly presented and paid from the endowment granted in 1813 (see above). On Census Sunday in 1851 it was reckoned that the average congregation at morning service over the year had been 95 and at afternoon service 105. (fn. 295) The distance at which many of the congregation lived from the parish church was remarked upon at this time and it was stated that many people found it more convenient to attend church in Tockenham. (fn. 296) In 1864 morning and evening prayers were said in Lyneham church and in addition evening prayers were said at a licensed schoolroom in Clack. Services were held at Lyneham on festivals and on Wednesdays and Fridays, but weekday attendance was reported to be poor. Holy Communion was administered at Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, on Trinity Sunday, and on the first Sunday in every month. There were about 37 communicants at this date. (fn. 297)
The Prior of Bradenstoke evidently provided a house, at least in the earlier 16th century, in which the curate of Lyneham lived. (fn. 298) There was evidently a house available in the early 18th century but it was not required until the 19th century when incumbents began to be regularly presented. (fn. 299) In 1864 the curate, John Duncan, lived in the glebe house. (fn. 300) This is probably to be identified with the vicarage house, an 18th-century building with a 19th-century 'Gothic' frontage, which stood south of the road from Lyneham to Wootton Bassett in 1887, (fn. 301) and in 1968 was used as a private house.
The church of ST. MICHAEL, dating largely from the later 14th and 15th centuries, consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and embattled west tower. Both the tower, which has belfry windows containing early Perpendicular tracery, and the nave, were probably rebuilt late in the 14th century; the north aisle may be slightly later in date. The chancel, shown in a watercolour of 1806 (fn. 302) to have had 15th-century features, was out of repair in 1662 and again in 1674. (fn. 303) A new chancel was built by William Butterfield in 1860 (fn. 304) and the nave appears to have been reroofed and thoroughly restored at the same time; a single Perpendicular window in the south wall (fn. 305) was replaced by two windows of similar design. An ancient yew which stands near the south porch is shown in 1806 as an already well-established tree. (fn. 306)
Fittings in the church include a re-set 15thcentury chancel screen and a carved Jacobean screen below the tower arch. Among memorials to the Walker and Walker-Heneage families is a large wall monument of veined marble commemorating Heneage Walker (d. 1731). It stands in the north aisle and consists of an inscribed tablet flanked by Corinthian pilasters and surmounted by an open segmental pediment, putti, and a cartouche of arms.
There were three bells in 1553. (fn. 307) It may have been one of these which was reported broken in 1662. (fn. 308) In the 20th century there was a peal of 5 bells, including one of c. 1450 from the Bristol foundry. (fn. 309) One bell was recast and the whole peal rehung in 1926. (fn. 310)
The commissioners of Edward VI took 2 oz. plate for the king's use, but left a chalice weighing 7 oz. for the use of the parish. A cup, dated 1811, and an 18th-century paten, were sold to the parish of Seagry in the 19th century, and a new chalice, flagon, and paten, all hall-marked 1863, were bought. (fn. 311) In 1682 it was noted that the parish register of Lyneham had been lost in 'the late troubles', and that another had been begun. (fn. 312) The registers of baptisms in 1968 dated from 1708, those of marriages from 1709, and those of burials from 1708. Baptisms are wanting between 1754 and 1761, and marriages between 1736 and 1754. (fn. 313)
The consolidated chapelry of Bradenstoke-cumClack was formed in 1866 out of parts of Lyneham and Christian Malford. (fn. 314) In 1924 it was united with the benefices of Lyneham and Tockenham (see above). Gabriel Goldney, lord of the manor of Bradenstoke, was the first patron of the consolidated chapelry. (fn. 315) He was succeeded by his son Gabriel Prior Goldney in 1900, (fn. 316) but by 1926 the advowson had passed to the Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 317) After the benefices were united in 1924 the three patrons had the right to present in turn (see above).
Shortly after its creation the consolidated chapelry received endowments which consisted of certain tithe commutation rent-charges worth £27 6s. This sum, together with a benefaction of £1,000, provided a yearly income of £33 6s. 8d., to which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners added an additional stipend of £50 from the Common Fund. (fn. 318) The former vicarage, which stands in the village street opposite the church, is a stone house with a date tablet of 1710; it was evidently converted into a vicarage, enlarged, and given lavish red brick dressings c. 1866.
In 1866 the church of ST. MARY at Bradenstoke, designed by C. F. Hansom in the Decorated style, (fn. 319) was built in stone at the expense of Gabriel Goldney (d. 1900). It consists of chancel, nave, and north aisle, with a stone bell-cote at the west end of the nave. The interior is enriched with carved stonework and the carved font is said to have been exhibited at the Exhibition of 1862. (fn. 320)
The church plate, dated 1862, comprises a flagon, paten, and plate, all presented by Mrs. Gabriel Goldney at the opening of the church in 1866. (fn. 321)
After his ejection from Hilmarton the former vicar, Robert Rowswell, preached in Lyneham and Clack. (fn. 322) He was licensed to preach at his house in Clack in 1672. (fn. 323) Independency flourished in the parish in the 18th century. In 1739 John Cennick, the disciple of George Whitefield, preached at Lyneham and in c. 1741–3 a society, regarded at first as an offshoot of Whitefield's Tabernacle, was formed there. (fn. 324) This society had possibly moved towards congregationalism by 1773, when a licence was granted to a group of Independents at Lyneham. (fn. 325)
In 1777 Isaac Turner of Calne built a Particular Baptist chapel at Clack, (fn. 326) later known as the Providence Chapel. The chapel is a high building of red brick with stone dressings and a roof of stone slates. A hipped gable-end facing the street contains a segmental-headed window and is surmounted by a wooden bell cupola. Similar windows below appear to have been enlarged and a porch has been added. The minister's house is attached. In 1851 it was reckoned then that the average congregation over the past year had numbered 110 persons in the morning, 112 in the afternoon, and 50 in the evening. The chapel was served by lay ministers. (fn. 327) By 1934 a baptistry beneath the floor of the chapel had been added. Previously baptisms had taken place in 'Adam's Dam', a pond near Bradenstoke, or in disused clay-pits at Old Dauntsey brickyard. (fn. 328) Services were still held at the chapel in 1968.
In 1783 it was reported that some 'Methodists,' belonging to 'the lowest class of people', had recently built a chapel at Clack, together with a house for the minister. (fn. 329) It seems likely, however, that this is in fact a reference to the Particular Baptists at the Providence Chapel. Wesleyan Methodism, if indeed it ever appeared in the parish, apparently had little lasting influence there, but that of Primitive Methodism lasted throughout the 19th century. As a result of Samuel Heath's evangelizing activities in the early 19th century around Brinkworth, many chapels were built, including a Primitive Methodist chapel at Clack in 1827, (fn. 330) which was registered a year later. (fn. 331) The members of this chapel were taunted by fellow villagers in 1837 until the trouble was suppressed by the incumbent of Lyneham. (fn. 332) In 1851 this chapel, a low brick building standing on the north side of the village street, had 50 free and 40 other sittings. On a certain Sunday in that year it was estimated that the average general congregation over the past year had numbered 40 in the afternoon and 100 in the evening, while those who occupied separate sittings averaged 30 persons at both afternoon and evening services. (fn. 333) In 1887 a larger and more substantial building, able to accommodate 150, was built to the east of the former chapel. (fn. 334) Seventeen members attended in 1907, (fn. 335) and services were still held at the chapel in 1968.
Primitive Methodism also flourished at Preston, where a society was formed in 1830, and until 1906 services were held in cottages. (fn. 336) In c. 1907 the new chapel of corrugated iron had 7 members. (fn. 337) Services were still held in this chapel once on alternate Sundays in 1968. A society of Primitive Methodists, made up of 9 members, was formed at Lyneham in 1906 and services were held in cottages. (fn. 338) In 1934 the Gaisford Memorial Methodist chapel was built in the centre of Lyneham village, and in 1968 was used by Presbyterians and other denominations. At this date the chapel was served by chaplains from R.A.F. Lyneham.
In 1716 Ralph Broome of Lyneham bequeathed £450 to the parish to provide for a school master, to be appointed by the trustees of the charity. The master was to teach 30 poor children of Lyneham reading, writing, arithmetic, and the Christian religion according to the Church of England. (fn. 339) No more is known of the free school until 1819 when 41 children, some of whom boarded in the master's house, attended. The master was assisted by a 'very old and infirm man', and it was feared that the charity children were greatly neglected. (fn. 340) By 1834 the improved premises contained a schoolroom and 4 other rooms, where an average attendance of 20 pupils in the summer and of 40 in the winter, was usual. Pupils, both day children and boarders, were generally admitted at 6 years and remained in the school until they were 12 years old. (fn. 341) In 1835 it was reported that, besides the charity children, additional fee-paying pupils, presumably the boarders, were taught in the school. (fn. 342) By 1861 the free school was united with the National Society and in this year new buildings were provided. (fn. 343) These stood at Church End in Lyneham, opposite St. Michael's church. (fn. 344) An average number of 27 infants and 76 mixed juniors attended Lyneham National School in 1902. The infants were taught by an articled teacher, while the juniors were taught by a head teacher and two assistants. (fn. 345) By 1905 the school was administered by the Wiltshire County Council. (fn. 346) In 1953 a new county primary school was built on adjoining land but the old buildings remained in use. (fn. 347) A new infants' school was built in 1965. In 1968 the two schools had a total attendance of c. 860 from Lyneham and Bradenstoke, 90 per cent of whom were children of R.A.F. personnel. (fn. 348)
In 1859 the older children from the hamlet of Clack attended school at Lyneham, while the younger children were taught in a cottage by a young woman. A few children from the hamlet went to school at Christian Malford. (fn. 349) In 1860 a National school was built in the hamlet, (fn. 350) and in 1875 part of the income of the Broome charity at Lyneham was allotted to the school, (fn. 351) which stood opposite the church of St. Mary. (fn. 352) Owing to the cost of new buildings at Lyneham school charity funds were applied to Bradenstoke only once, in 1889. In 1899 it was agreed that when the cost of building at the Lyneham school had been discharged, three quarters of the income of the Broome charity was to apply to Lyneham, while a quarter was to be known as Broome's Bradenstoke Charity. Trustees, who were to receive payment from the Lyneham trustees, were appointed to administer the new charity. (fn. 353) In 1902 an average of 69 boys and girls were taught by a head teacher and an assistant in two rooms. (fn. 354) In 1905 it was reported that for 2 or 3 years past Broome's Bradenstoke Charity had been used for school prizes, but that in this year it was used to maintain an evening school in the buildings of the National school. (fn. 355) The school, then known as Bradenstoke C.E. Controlled Primary School, was closed in July 1966, (fn. 356) and pupils henceforth attended the schools at Lyneham.
In 1831 a school for 24 boys was supported by 'the lady of the manor', while in 1835 20 or 30 girls in the parish were taught at the expense of their parents. (fn. 357)
Lyneham shared equally with Wootton Bassett in the charity created by Charles Compton in his will, dated 1700. (fn. 358) Lyneham's share, which amounted to £50, was at first distributed to the poor of the parish on Tuesday in Easter week. The charity was further regulated in 1726 as the result of a lawsuit and reinvested in land at Badbury (Chiseldon). A moiety of the profits was then distributed among the poor of Lyneham, according to the size of their families, at Midsummer. (fn. 359) The charity lands at Badbury were sold and the proceeds invested in stock in 1961.
In the early 18th century Dame Eleanor Button, Sir Robert Button, and John Still made various bequests to the poor of Lyneham. These charities were known jointly as 'The Poor's Land'. (fn. 360) This was, together with Charles Compton's and Thomas Burchall's charities (see below), vested in the Charity Commissioners in 1862.
Thomas Burchall (d. 1734) devised land in Bushton (Clyffe Pypard) to the poor of Lyneham. (fn. 361) The income was to be used to keep his tomb in repair, to provide bread for the poor on the day of his funeral, and for the endowment of 6 sermons, one to be preached on the anniversary of his death, and the others at appointed times. The ministers who preached these sermons were to be paid 10s. each. Apparently the sermons soon lapsed and the charity was distributed in bread. By 1834 money payments were made to the poor of Lyneham at Christmas.
In 1862 the incomes of all the above-mentioned charities were amalgamated, provision being made for the maintenance of Thomas Burchall's tomb. Ninety-seven persons received 13s. 6d. each from the income of the Button and kindred charities in 1956. In 1962 the total income of the amalgamated charities was about £75.
By his will, proved in 1865, Robert Henley bequeathed £200, the profits of which were to provide coals for the poor of the parish of Lyneham, excluding Bradenstoke, on 21 December. (fn. 362) By 1905, however, it was usual for money to be distributed. In 1956 36 persons received payments of 3s. each.