A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13, South-West Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.
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Ebbesborne Wake, (fn. 1) 15 km. WSW. of Salisbury, was until 1894 a parish of 2,884 a. (fn. 2) It extended 1.5 km. northwards and 5 km. southwards from the river Ebble, which flowed east across the parish, and narrowed from 2 km. from east to west near its northern boundary to 1.2 km. near its southern boundary. In the 10th century what became Ebbesborne Wake parish was apparently part of Wilton abbey's estate called Chalke. (fn. 3) Ebbesborne had become a distinct estate by 1086 (fn. 4) and a parish by the early 13th century. (fn. 5) From the mid 12th century the suffix Wake, the surname of lords of the manor, was used (fn. 6) to distinguish it from Bishopstone, 7 km. east of it, which was also known as Ebbesborne until the later Middle Ages. (fn. 7) The parish's southern boundary was that of the estate called Chalke and part of the county boundary: it was possibly fixed in the 10th century and had certainly been fixed by the late 11th. (fn. 8) The northern boundary follows the ridge way on the watershed of the Ebble and the Nadder; it may also have been a boundary of the estate called Chalke and had apparently been fixed by the late 10th century. (fn. 9) The east and west boundaries, separating Ebbesborne Wake from other parts of the Chalke estate, had presumably been defined by 1066 and were roughly straight. The eastern boundary was marked by few physical features; the north part of the western boundary for 1 km. and the south part for 500 m. run along dry valleys. The parish contained two settlements near the river, Ebbesborne Wake village and the hamlet of West End. In 1894 the whole of Fifield Bavant parish, which then consisted of a rectangle of 870 a. (352 ha.) north of the Ebble and east of Ebbesborne Wake, was added to Ebbesborne Wake. The enlarged parish thereafter measured 1,519 ha. (3,754 a.). (fn. 10) Until the mid 20th century the spelling 'Ebbesborne' was used for the name of both village and parish; the spelling 'Ebbesbourne' was then widely adopted for the village. (fn. 11)
Narrow strips of alluvium on either side of the Ebble are the only deposits on the chalk which outcrops over the whole parish. (fn. 12) North of the river much of the land is above 152 m., and heights over 200 m. are reached on the northern boundary. Dry valleys running north and north-west, including Long Bottom and Church Bottom, intersect the downs. South of the Ebble lower, flatter, land lies west of Barrow Hill and is crossed from the south by a tributary stream. The land rises steeply 2 km. south of the river, reaching over 229 m. on South Down. Thence it falls southwards, gently at first, more steeply towards the southern boundary, where, at below 107 m., the land is the same height as beside the Ebble. Near the southern boundary dry valleys run north-west and north into the downs. The open arable fields of the parish lay between the northern and southern downs which, until inclosure in 1792, were open pasture. West of Barrow Hill the rectangular hedged fields, established in 1792, survived in 1985. From the 17th century the meadow land beside the Ebble was watered. South of South Down the parish was wooded until the mid 19th century. (fn. 13)
A late Bronze-Age field system of 182 ha. extends eastwards from Elcombe Down in Alvediston to South Down; on it a hoard of bronze bangles was found. East of the field system are barrows, a northsouth ditch 750 m. long, and a ditch which crosses the eastern parish boundary. Barrows are also scattered on the northern downs. On Barrow Hill a Pagan-Saxon grave has been found. (fn. 14)
The principal routes through the parish have long followed the river and the highest land across the downs. The ridge way which marks the parish's northern boundary was turnpiked in 1762 as part of the road from Salisbury to Shaftesbury (Dors.) but was superseded when a new Salisbury—Shaftesbury road further north was turnpiked in 1788. (fn. 15) Ox Drove, the ancient ridge way which ran east and west on downs south of the river, was in use in the late 18th century. In 1985 it was a metalled public road for only 500 m. within the parish. Of greater importance for Ebbesborne Wake than the ridge ways was the road linking the villages beside the Ebble. The road apparently followed the river very closely through Ebbesborne Wake parish, passing through the village north of the church having crossed the Ebble east of it. West of the village it recrossed the river at West End and ran west to Berwick St. John via Alvediston church. By the late 18th century a new road had been made on higher and drier ground north of the river on the west side of the parish, taking traffic away from the village, and south of the river west of the parish. In 1985 both roads were in use east of West End; only the southern was then a public road west of West End. Roads led north from West End and from east of the village to the Salisbury—Shaftesbury roads in the late 18th century. Others ran south from the village to South Down and to Sixpenny Handley (Dors.) and southeast to Bower Chalke. (fn. 16) That to Bower Chalke had disappeared by c. 1807. (fn. 17) The Sixpenny Handley road north of Ox Drove was the only public road in the parish running north and south in the late 20th century; south of Ox Drove it served only farmsteads. From it Ox Drove led east as a metalled road to join the road from Bower Chalke to Sixpenny Handley.
Lords of Cranborne Chase claimed rights in Ebbesborne Wake as a parish within the chase's outer bounds. (fn. 18) Those rights were apparently contested less fiercely there than in neighbouring parishes. (fn. 19) Presentments of offences committed in the parish were made to chase courts in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, (fn. 20) and in the 18th century the lord of the chase exercised rights over lands there south of the Ebble. (fn. 21) At the disfranchisement of the chase in 1829, compensation was paid to the lord of the chase for loss of rights over 360 a. in the parish. (fn. 22)
In the Middle Ages Ebbesborne Wake was one of the poorer and less populous parishes of Chalke hundred, although not of Wiltshire as a whole. In 1377 it had 99 poll-tax payers. (fn. 23) Although an early 16th-century tax assessment of the parish was low, (fn. 24) by the late 16th century Ebbesborne Wake may have become more prosperous; an assessment of £8 3s. 4d. in 1576 was above average for the hundred. (fn. 25) In 1801 the population was 225. It had fallen to 206 by 1811 but thereafter rose until 1871, when it was 338. Numbers declined, in spite of the inclusion of Fifield Bavant within the parish, until 1901 when the population was 230, but had risen again to 275 by 1911. The population had fallen to 194 by 1931. Thereafter numbers fluctuated; (fn. 26) there were 227 inhabitants of the parish in 1961, 209 in 1981. (fn. 27)
Ebbesborne Wake village stands south of the river, in the angle between the Ebble and its tributary. The village grew up in a curving street east of the rising ground on which the church stands, and in Pound Street which leads east from the church. The junction of the two streets became the centre of the village. In the 1770s, as in the late 20th century, most buildings stood on each side of Pound Street and on the lower, eastern, side of the southern end of the curving street, there called Handley Street. (fn. 28) The extent of the village changed little between the two dates. Apart from the church, the oldest surviving building is a cottage east of it, thatched, built of rubble, and perhaps of medieval origin. Cottages of the 17th century stand east and north-east of the church; thatched and built of stone and flint they are typical of the village. The village's southern limit was marked in 1773 by the Manor, (fn. 29) a small 16th-century house of cruck construction, to which a western range was added in the 17th century and an eastern in the late 18th. Probably in 1778 a new road, May Lane, was built leading north-west from the Manor to the old road on the south bank of the Ebble, taking more traffic away from the village centre. (fn. 30) In the 19th century some cottages were rebuilt in brick and new buildings included a school, north of the junction of Pound Street and Handley Street, a nonconformist chapel south of the junction, and a vicarage house south-west of it. Farm buildings were erected south of the Manor and cottages built beside Pound Street east of the junction. The Horse Shoe inn, a building of 18th-century origin, was so called in 1910 (fn. 31) and was probably open from 1867 or earlier. (fn. 32) Within the old limits of the village there was little new building in the 20th century. Beside May Lane, however, are two council houses of the 1950s and four council bungalows of the 1970s. The village was designated a conservation area in 1975. (fn. 33)
West End was perhaps called Castle in the late 18th century. The houses of the hamlet were then on each side of the old road beside the Ebble, both east and west of its junction with the road leading north. (fn. 34) Of the surviving buildings only West End Farm, on the north side of the road east of the junction, is older than the 18th century. (fn. 35) Cottages of the 18th and 19th centuries stand east and west of the junction, bungalows of the 20th century west and north of it. Two houses which stood on the south side of the road east of the junction in 1773 (fn. 36) had been demolished by c. 1845. (fn. 37)
A farmstead, perhaps then called Barton Hays but later called Prescombe Farm, stood east of the village on the north side of the road beside the Ebble in 1773. (fn. 38) The small farmhouse, built of brick and flint, dates from the 18th century, the farm buildings from the 19th. In 1773 there was a single building beside the new road north of the Ebble. (fn. 39) Scattered houses, bungalows, and a garage were built beside the road in the late 19th century and the 20th. Cleeves Farm, Chase Barn, and West Chase Farm were built respectively 1 km., 3 km., and 4 km. south and New Buildings, later Hill Farm, 500 m. south-east of the village in the mid 19th century; Valley Farm was built 500 m. east of the village in the 20th. (fn. 40)
Manor and other Estates.
The estate called Chalke granted by King Edwy to the nuns of Wilton in 955 probably included lands later EBBESBORNE WAKE manors. (fn. 41) The abbey had apparently granted away the lands by 1066; they were held then by Alward and Fitheus, and in 1086 by Robert son of Gerald. (fn. 42) Overlordship of the manor passed to Robert's nephew William de Roumare (perhaps earl of Cambridge in 1139, cr. earl of Lincoln c. 1141). William was succeeded in 1155 by his grandson William de Roumare, perhaps also earl of Lincoln. After that William's death in 1198, a portion of his estates passed to Hubert de Burgh (fn. 43) (chief justiciar 1215–32, cr. earl of Kent in 1227), (fn. 44) who was overlord of Ebbesborne Wake in 1201. (fn. 45) In 1207 the Crown held estates formerly Roumare's and granted the manor to be held in chief by the tenant in demesne, but later apparently restored the overlordship to Burgh, (fn. 46) who held it until 1222. (fn. 47) Thereafter the tenants in demesne held Ebbesborne Wake manor in chief as 1 knight's fee. (fn. 48)
Robert held Ebbesborne of Robert son of Gerald in 1086. (fn. 49) Geoffrey Wake, who held the manor in 1166, (fn. 50) was succeeded in that or the following year by Simon Wake (fn. 51) (fl. 1202). (fn. 52) Another Geoffrey Wake was the Crown's grantee in 1207 (fn. 53) and was apparently succeeded in 1210 or 1211 by his daughter. William Duston, perhaps her husband, had keeping of the manor in 1211. (fn. 54) By 1218, however, Ebbesborne Wake had passed in moieties to the younger Geoffrey's sisters Hawise and Isabel. (fn. 55) Probably in 1222 and certainly in 1236 both moieties were held by Hawise's son Matthew Wake or de Baynton. (fn. 56) Matthew (d. c. 1247) was succeeded by his daughters Joan, Christine, and Ellen. (fn. 57) In 1249 Joan and her husband Philip Lucyen surrendered her share of the manor to Christine and her husband Berenger of Wells, also called John Berenger (d. 1272), and Ellen and her husband Richard de Wyggebar, (fn. 58) who thereafter held it in moieties. Christine (fl. 1272) (fn. 59) probably died in or before 1275, when her moiety was held by Robert of Oaksey, (fn. 60) perhaps as trustee for her son Ingram Berenger. (fn. 61) On Ingram's attainder in 1330 his estates were forfeited; some, including Ebbesborne Wake, were granted in that year to John of Leicester, subject to annual payments of £10 to Bevis de Bayeux and £5 to Odard Dependale. (fn. 62) Ingram's estates were restored in 1331, (fn. 63) and in or before 1336 he was succeeded by his son John (fn. 64) (d. 1343), who settled the moiety on his wife Emme for life. (fn. 65) The reversion passed to John's nephew Nicholas Berenger, (fn. 66) who inherited the moiety on Emme's death in 1380. (fn. 67) The other moiety passed on Richard de Wyggebar's death in 1269 to his son William. (fn. 68) Another William de Wyggebar died seized of the moiety in 1325. (fn. 69) His relict Joan retained a third for life; two thirds and the reversion of Joan's third passed to William's brother Richard, who in 1325 settled them on himself and his wife Maud for their lives with reversion to Ingram Berenger. (fn. 70) On Maud's death in 1359 the whole moiety passed to Nicholas Berenger, (fn. 71) who from 1380 thus held the whole manor. Nicholas (d. 1382) was succeeded by his daughters Joan and Anstice, (fn. 72) who were said in 1382 to hold moieties of the manor (fn. 73) but later to have inherited a third and two thirds respectively. (fn. 74) Anstice, wife first of Stephen Bodenham (fn. 75) and then of Thomas Semley, died in or before 1407, when her share of the manor passed to Semley. (fn. 76) By 1422 he had conveyed it to her son Robert Bodenham. (fn. 77) Joan's portion was retained after her death in 1386 by her husband Peter Stantor (fn. 78) and on his death in 1415 passed to Robert Bodenham. (fn. 79) Robert (d. 1466) was succeeded by his son Richard. (fn. 80) The manor was held in 1499 by Henry Bodenham (fn. 81) (d. 1515) and passed in turn to his son Henry (fn. 82) (d. c. 1573) and that Henry's sons Henry (fn. 83) (d. 1596) and Philip (fn. 84) (d. 1599). Philip's posthumous son Henry (fn. 85) was declared a lunatic c. 1625; (fn. 86) his mother Anne, then wife of Sir William Bamfield, was guardian of his estates in 1633. (fn. 87) The manor was held by Henry's son John in 1652 (fn. 88) and 1662. (fn. 89) That John or a namesake was succeeded in 1721 (fn. 90) by Philip Bodenham, (fn. 91) who in 1735 sold Ebbesborne Wake manor to Henry Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery. (fn. 92) The manor passed with the Pembroke title to Reginald, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, who in or soon after 1918 sold c. 2,000 a. in the parish. Manor farm, 417 a. in 1918, (fn. 93) was bought in or before 1923 by W. P. Burrows (fl. 1935). (fn. 94) As a farm of 285 a. it was bought in 1937 by U. J. Cleverly, who was succeeded by her sister Phillis, wife of Sir (John) Donald Fergusson (d. 1963). After Phillis's death in 1971 the farm was held in trust for members of the Fergusson family. (fn. 95) Prescombe farm, 920 a. in 1918, (fn. 96) or a large part of it, was bought by A. G. Hull (fl. 1935), (fn. 97) who owned 616 a. of it in 1929. (fn. 98) In 1948 the farm, then 650 a., was bought by Sir Donald and Lady Fergusson; thereafter it was held with Manor farm. (fn. 99) The remainder of Prescombe farm may have been bought by W. P. Burrows in the 1920s; (fn. 100) c. 1950 it was sold to a Mr. Hiscock, whose sons Mr. J. Hiscock and Mr. D. Hiscock owned c. 300 a. as Valley farm and Hill farm in 1985. (fn. 101) Chase Barn farm and West Chase farm, which in 1918 included 220 a. and 310 a. respectively in Ebbesborne Wake, (fn. 102) were bought c. 1920 by Charles Coward. The farms passed in turn to his son Charles and to the younger Charles's sons Mr. John Coward and Mr. David Coward, who owned West Chase farm, c. 550 a., in 1985. (fn. 103) Cleeves farm, 108 a. in 1918, was then sold to William Weekes (fn. 104) (fl. 1934). (fn. 105) It passed to members of the Torrens family who sold it in 1962 to Christopher Parnell, Baron Congleton, the owner in 1985. (fn. 106) Wakesdean Wood, 22 a., was sold with Stonedown Wood in Bower Chalke to a Mr. Ingle in 1919, (fn. 107) and was bought in 1920 by Marsh Bros. and in 1937 by the Forestry Commission. (fn. 108)
The tithes from half the parish belonged to Breamore priory (Hants) in 1224 and possibly before 1222. (fn. 109) In 1241 William le Eskirmisur surrendered 1 hide in Ebbesborne Wake to the priory; (fn. 110) it is not clear whether the land was already part of or an addition to the priory's estate there. After the Dissolution the estate, of land and tithes, was granted in 1536 to Henry Courtenay, marquess of Exeter. (fn. 111) It reverted to the Crown on Exeter's attainder in 1539, (fn. 112) and was granted in 1553 to John Cox and Henry Bodenham. (fn. 113) Cox presumably surrendered his interest to Bodenham and the estate thereafter passed with Ebbesborne Wake manor. The lands, 42 a. with pasture rights, were merged with those of the manor; (fn. 114) in 1839 tithes owed to Robert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, were valued at £164 and commuted. (fn. 115)
By 1323 the remainder of the rectory estate had been given as an endowment to the succentor of Salisbury cathedral. (fn. 116) The endowment was confiscated during the Interregnum, and in 1651 the estate in Ebbesborne Wake was sold to Benjamin Drew. (fn. 117) It was apparently bought soon afterwards by William Coles, (fn. 118) but was recovered by the succentor at the Restoration. (fn. 119) In 1839 the succentor held tithes, then valued at £303 and commuted, and 46 a. in the parish. (fn. 120) The land was transferred in 1854 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 121) who sold 9 a. to A. H. L.-F. Pitt-Rivers in 1895 and the remainder to E. H. Matthews and L. B. Matthews in 1902. (fn. 122)
At his death in 1556 Sir George de la Lynde held WEST END farm, c. 200 a. He was succeeded by his son Edward, who died in the same year. (fn. 123) The farm passed to Sir George's sisters Avice, wife of Sir Thomas Trenchard, Warborough, wife of Thomas Morton, and Anne, wife of Robert Williams, as coheirs. (fn. 124) Avice's and Anne's interest had been surrendered by 1595 when Warborough's son George Morton died holding the whole farm and was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 125) Sir George Morton, perhaps Thomas's brother, held the farm at his death in 1610 and was succeeded in turn by his son George (fn. 126) (cr. a baronet in 1618, d. 1661), and by Sir George's son Sir John (d. 1698). The farm passed to Sir John's daughter Anne, wife of Edmund Pleydell (fn. 127) (d. 1726), and thereafter from father to son in the Pleydell family, to Edmund (d. 1754), Edmund (d. 1794), and Edmund (d. 1835), whose heir was his daughter Margaretta, wife of the Revd. James Michel. (fn. 128) Margaretta (d. 1871) was succeeded by her nephew J. C. Mansel, who took the additional surname Pleydell (fn. 129) and in 1894 sold West End farm, 564 a., (fn. 130) probably to E. H. Matthews and L. B. Matthews, the owners in 1910. (fn. 131) In 1924 the farm, 634 a., was offered for sale in lots; (fn. 132) the larger portions were probably then bought by S. Hiscock and Enos Foyle, who held 360 a. and 149 a. respectively in 1929. A third holding, of 84 a., belonged to L. Matthews in 1929. (fn. 133) By 1931 the largest of those farms, still called West End farm, had been acquired by a Maj. Stewart. (fn. 134) His sister S. C. Stewart held the farm in 1939 (fn. 135) and afterwards sold it to C. G. Belfield. It was sold by Belfield to a Mr. Hickman in the 1940s, and by Hickman to L. A. Barter, who sold it in 1959 to Lord Congleton, the owner in 1985. (fn. 136) West End Farm has a tall central range on a north— south axis, with a principal west front. That range survives from a substantial stone house of c. 1600, the northern service wing and southern parlour of which had probably been demolished by the mid 18th century. New service rooms were built on the southern and western sides of the surviving range c. 1750. The house was extended north-westwards and a new staircase added in the 19th century, and in the late 20th new rooms were added to the east side of the southern kitchen wing.
In 1271 Sir Roger of Calstone conveyed lands in Ebbesborne Wake to Walter Scammell, (fn. 137) later bishop of Salisbury. They were settled in 1324 on Richard, son of a Walter Scammell, and his wife Alice (fn. 138) and were held in 1356 by Philip Scammell (fn. 139) and in 1379 by Walter Scammell. (fn. 140) They were probably conveyed soon afterwards to John Gawen, whose son John held them in 1397. (fn. 141) They were held c. 1400 by Thomas Gawen, (fn. 142) in 1448 by Anne Gawen, (fn. 143) and at his death in 1559 by William Gawen. Thereafter the Gawens' estate in Ebbesborne Wake passed with Norrington manor in Alvediston in turn to William's relict Alice, their son Thomas (d. 1604), Thomas's son Thomas (d. 1656), and the younger Thomas's son William, who sold Norrington. (fn. 144) On his death in 1682 (fn. 145) the estate in Ebbesborne Wake passed to his son Thomas, who sold it in 1683. (fn. 146) The estate cannot be identified certainly with any later holding but may have been that belonging c. 1740 and c. 1770 to Henry Rebbeck. (fn. 147) John Rebbeck held c. 100 a. in 1792 (fn. 148) and 1794, (fn. 149) as did his son John c. 1833. (fn. 150) That John or a namesake probably sold the land after 1885; (fn. 151) in 1894 it was apparently part of West End farm. (fn. 152)
Lands, said to have belonged to members of the Bingham family, (fn. 153) were held in 1684 by Thomas Skinner (fn. 154) and were inherited by his daughter Grace, wife of George Duckett. George (d. 1732) was suc ceeded in turn by his sons Thomas (d. 1766) and William (d. 1780), his daughter Grace (d. 1784), wife of Gwyn Goldstone, and by Grace's daughter Grace Goldstone. (fn. 155) In 1792 the lands, c. 120 a., were held by the younger Grace's husband, Sir George Jackson, Bt., (fn. 156) who in 1797 took the surname Duckett. On his death in 1822 they passed to his son Sir George, (fn. 157) who held them c. 1833. (fn. 158) They were probably sold soon afterwards and in 1839 were apparently part of West End farm. (fn. 159)
In 1403 William Stourton and Robert Rugge were licensed to grant a messuage and 2 yardlands in 'Ebbesborne', presumably Ebbesborne Wake, to Glastonbury abbey (Som.) to provide a lamp at high mass. (fn. 160) The abbey held land in the parish in 1448 (fn. 161) but not, apparently, later.
King's College, Cambridge, held c. 30 a. in Ebbesborne Wake in the 18th century. (fn. 162) The land was part of the college's Chalke Rectory manor and had presumably passed with the rest of that manor from Wilton abbey to the college in 1448–9. (fn. 163) By 1839 the land had apparently been sold. (fn. 164)
In 1086 the estate which was later Ebbesborne Wake manor included demesne of 10 hides, on which there were 6 teams and 4 servi; 18 villani and 7 bordars shared 4 teams. There were 14 a. of meadow, pasture 14 furlongs long and 4 furlongs broad, and woodland 2 leagues 'between length and breath'. (fn. 165) In 1247–8 the demesne of Ebbesborne Wake manor was assessed as 2 carucates. (fn. 166) The demesne arable was estimated at 215 a. in 1325 and at 341 a. in 1331; of the 341 a., 203 a. were poor. There were 2–3 a. of meadow land, 3 a. of several pasture, and 12 a. of woodland in demesne. Whether all or some of those figures refer to all or half the demesne is obscure. (fn. 167) From 1402 or earlier the demesne arable was leased. Demesne pasture remained in hand, (fn. 168) but by 1413 had been leased with the arable. (fn. 169) There was demesne pasture for 300 sheep in the late 15th century. (fn. 170) In 1325 and c. 1400 there were 19 customary tenants. At the earlier date 10 were cottagers; at the later 5 were cottagers and 14 held a total of 17 yardlands. (fn. 171) Before 1247–8 yardlanders were required to work for the lord daily from 1 August until 29 September and on one day a week for the rest of the year; by 1248 those services had been commuted. (fn. 172)
Sheep-and-corn husbandry was presumably practised in Ebbesborne Wake in the Middle Ages as in other parishes of the Ebble valley. In the 16th century there were perhaps four open fields, as there were in the early 18th century, (fn. 173) and pasture on the downs in the northern and southern ends of the parish was shared by the lord of the manor, his customary tenants, and freeholders. (fn. 174) It seems that in the 16th century the right to pasture in those northern and southern ends depended on tenure of, respectively, arable in North field or a tenement in the north part of the village, and arable in South field or a tenement in the south part of the village, (fn. 175) but there is no later evidence of such a dependence. The rights were frequently disputed by the occupiers of freeholds and of the demesne farm. In the 1530s the farmer of the demesne was said to claim several pasture on downland which had previously been common. (fn. 176) On the advice of 'one James, a Frenchman', the number of ewes in the demesne flock was increased, the number of wethers decreased; that was followed by more conflict. To provide the better grazing needed by the extra ewes c. 100 a., including some former arable, were inclosed. The freeholders complained that they had lost pasture rights and that the farmer fed his flock, larger than before, on the downs and his cattle in the common meadow for longer than was customary. (fn. 177) Water meadows were established beside the Ebble in Ebbesborne Wake probably in the mid 17th century. A meadow at the eastern end of the village was said to produce grass of extraordinary length and sweetness. (fn. 178)
In the early 16th century Breamore priory's lands consisted of 40 a. of arable, 2 a. of meadow, and pasture for 200 sheep with the demesne flock. (fn. 179) They were leased with the demesne farm from c. 1610. (fn. 180) In the mid 17th century boundaries between the two holdings were ploughed out and exchanges were made with customary tenants of the manor, perhaps to create a more compact farm. (fn. 181) The combined farm was later called Ebbesborne farm. (fn. 182) In the late 16th century West End farm consisted of c. 200 a. of arable and pasture rights with the customary tenants of the manor, (fn. 183) and in the early 17th century the succentor of Salisbury's estate included c. 40 a. of arable, pasture rights for 200 sheep, and 3 a. of woodland. (fn. 184) William Coles was the succentor's lessee in 1670, (fn. 185) and members of the Coles family were lessees of the estate throughout the 18th century. (fn. 186) In 1757 William Coles was lessee of West End farm. (fn. 187) The Gawen family's holding, assessed as 1 yardland, included 17 a. of arable and pasture rights for 190 sheep c. 1580. (fn. 188) About 1740 Ebbesborne farm included 122 a. of inclosed arable lying south of the village and 275 a. of arable in the open fields. Rights of common pasture had apparently been replaced by 122 a. of meadow and of inclosed downland in the parish's north-eastern corner. (fn. 189) By 1792 the area of inclosed arable had increased to 200 a. (fn. 190) Other leaseholds of the manor, held by eight tenants c. 1740, then comprised another 275 a. in the open fields, 14 a. in closes, and pasture rights for 950 sheep. There were five copyholders; they held a total of 176 a. in the open fields, 5 a. in closes, and pasture rights for 634 sheep. (fn. 191) In the 1770s only 43 a. of arable, held by two tenants, were copyhold. Leaseholds, apart from Ebbesborne farm, included one of 124 a. of arable with pasture rights for 400 sheep. (fn. 192) From the 1780s some lands formerly leased separately were added to Ebbesborne farm. (fn. 193)
In the mid 18th century woodland in the southern end of the parish belonging to the lord of the manor was kept in hand and managed with woods in Bower Chalke, Broad Chalke, and Alvediston. Each year some coppices were cut and the wood from them sold; in 1749–50 the coppices cut included Forlorn coppice, 10 a., (fn. 194) and in 1775–6 Maplewandle coppice, 19 a. (fn. 195) In 1794 the lord had 439 a. of woodland, most of which remained in hand until the mid 19th century, while 32 a. of woodland were part of West End farm and some 30 a. part of smaller holdings. (fn. 196)
Common husbandry in the parish was ended by an award of 1792 under an Act of 1785. Some 2,200 a. were inclosed, including c. 850 a. each of arable and downland and c. 450 a. of woodland. (fn. 197) In 1794 Ebbesborne farm, c. 900 a. worked from the Manor, had most of its land north of the Ebble and in the central part of the parish south of the Ebble. Ebbesborne Wake manor included leaseholds of 275 a. lying north of the river and of 260 a. and 109 a. south and south-west of the village; all were apparently worked from the village. Fields on the flat land west of Barrow Hill were shared among smaller leaseholds of the manor. West End farm, 323 a., was a narrow strip along the parish's western edge. (fn. 198) In the early 19th century the smaller holdings were added to the larger, (fn. 199) and in 1839 most agricultural land in the parish was in two large farms. Ebbesborne farm, 1,320 a., was worked from the Manor and from Prescombe Farm. From West End Farm 850 a. were worked, including land on the east side of the parish. Half the parish was then arable; there were c. 900 a. of pasture and 550 a. of woodland. (fn. 200)
In the mid 19th century c. 350 a. of woodland south of Ox Drove were cleared and converted to arable. The land was worked with part of Ebbesborne farm as Chase farm, 527 a., in 1863. The rest of Ebbesborne farm and lands formerly part of West End farm had by then been divided into Prescombe farm, 735 a., and Manor farm, 617 a. Cleeves Farm may have been a subsidiary farmstead of Manor farm. All three farms were chiefly arable. (fn. 201) In 1902 Prescombe was a farm of c. 800 a. lying mainly north of the river and including lands formerly in Fifield Bavant. In 1918 it was a sheep and corn farm of 920 a., approximately half pasture and half arable. Manor farm, 417 a. in 1897 and 1918, was at the later date a dairy farm, lying south of the village; it included 50 a. of woodland. (fn. 202) From 1948 Prescombe farm, 650 a., and Manor farm, 285 a., were worked together. In 1985 the chief crop of the combined holding was wheat, stock included 120 cows and 600 sheep, and 130 a. of downland were kept as a nature reserve by agreement with the Nature Conservancy Council. Some 300 a. formerly part of Prescombe farm were worked from c. 1950 as Hill farm and Valley farm; in 1985 the latter was chiefly a dairy farm. (fn. 203) By 1897 Chase farm had been divided into West Chase farm, 310 a., Chase Barn farm, 220 a., both including land outside the parish, and Cleeves farm, 108 a. (fn. 204) In 1918 West Chase farm, half pasture and half arable, lay at the southern end of the parish, Chase Barn, then a corn and dairy farm, lay between it and Ox Drove, and Cleeves farm, which was mainly pasture, north of Ox Drove. (fn. 205) Chase Barn and West Chase were worked as a single mixed farm from c. 1920. Sheep were grazed on the downs in the 1970s; in the 1980s cattle were reared for beef. (fn. 206) In 1894 West End farm was a mixed farm of 564 a. (fn. 207) By 1924 it had been divided into a northern holding of 150 a. and a southern of 362 a.; between them was a smaller farm of 73 a. The larger farm included substantial areas of downland pasture, the smallest was chiefly arable. (fn. 208) In the 1930s West End farm, c. 370 a., was a dairy and mixed farm; (fn. 209) in the 1980s it was worked with Cleeves farm as a sheep and corn farm. (fn. 210)
Courts for Ebbesborne Wake manor were held usually twice a year in the late 14th century and the 15th, probably annually from the mid 16th century until the mid 18th, and thereafter at intervals of several years until 1812. The homage presented defaulters, breaches of manorial custom, and tenements, fences, and bridges needing repair. Tenants were admitted to, and surrendered, holdings. From the 1740s most business was tenurial. (fn. 215)
Annual parish expenditure on poor relief rose from £22 in 1734–5, when an average of four parishioners were relieved each month, to £44 in 1760–1, when the average number relieved was 10. It increased more sharply in the late 1760s and the 1770s. (fn. 216) In 1775–6 the parish spent £101, a high figure for a parish of its size; in the 1780s annual expenditure was much lower. In 1802–3 permanent relief was given to 35 adults and 13 children and occasional relief to 24 parishioners, at a cost of £162. (fn. 217) By 1818 expenditure had risen to £316; thereafter it fell, more sharply than in other parishes of the hundred. (fn. 218) In the early 1820s between £65 and £85 a year was spent. (fn. 219) From 1830 the annual cost of poor relief, although fluctuating, was higher: £172 was spent in 1832, £106 in 1834. (fn. 220) Ebbesborne Wake became part of Wilton poor-law union in 1836, (fn. 221) and of Salisbury district in 1974. (fn. 222)
In the early 13th century a rector served Ebbesborne Wake church. In 1222 ownership of the advowson was disputed between Breamore priory and Matthew Wake, probably then lord of the manor. (fn. 223) The grain tithes from half the parish and possibly some land, which the priory held in 1224, may represent the priory's right to a mediety of the church before 1222 or an estate assigned to it to settle the dispute. The priory retained its estate, (fn. 224) but the later ownership of the advowson is obscure. The rectory was poor, valued in 1291 at only £5, well below the average for Chalke deanery. (fn. 225) Its endowment presumably included all tithes not paid to the priory and perhaps c. 40 a. of arable with pasture rights for 140–200 sheep later said to be part of the rectorial estate. (fn. 226) In or before 1323 the rectory was annexed to the office of succentor of Salisbury cathedral. (fn. 227) Ebbesborne Wake was probably thereafter served by curates appointed and paid by succentors or their lessees, although none is recorded before the 16th century. In the early 19th century the living was described as a perpetual curacy. The curate received £30 yearly c. 1830, (fn. 228) and in 1844 his annual stipend was augmented by a grant of £40 from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 229) Further augmentations were made in 1864 (fn. 230) and 1874. (fn. 231) In 1863 the succentor's right to appoint a curate was transferred to the bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 232) The living, described from the late 19th century as a vicarage, (fn. 233) was held in plurality with the rectory of Fifield Bavant from 1859. (fn. 234) In 1923 the benefices and parishes were united; the patrons of Fifield Bavant, Thomas Thynne, marquess of Bath, and his successors, and the bishop of Salisbury had the right to present at alternate vacancies. (fn. 235) In 1951 Henry Thynne, marquess of Bath, transferred his share of the patronage to the bishop. (fn. 236) From 1956 the united benefice was held with Alvediston vicarage. (fn. 237) In 1963 the benefice of Ebbesborne Wake with Fifield Bavant and Alvediston was formed, (fn. 238) and in 1970 the parishes were united. (fn. 239) The benefice was served by the Chalke Valley group ministry from 1972, (fn. 240) and in 1981 became part of Chalke Valley West benefice. (fn. 241) The bishop of Salisbury was patron at two of every three turns of the united benefice from 1963, (fn. 242) and at every third turn of Chalke Valley West benefice from 1981. (fn. 243) A red-brick vicarage house at Ebbesborne Wake, built in 1875–6, (fn. 244) was sold in 1951. A new house was then built and was occupied by an assistant curate in 1985. (fn. 245)
From the 16th century to the mid 19th the poorly paid curates of Ebbesborne Wake were frequently pluralists and often lived outside the parish. In 1565 the curate was not resident and the furnishings of the church were reported to be inadequate. (fn. 246) In 1650, however, the minister, Henry Swaddon, preached once or twice every Sunday and was paid by public subscription, (fn. 247) although he had been sequestrated from Sutton Veny rectory for drunkenness and for active support of the royalist cause. (fn. 248) There was no copy of the Book of Homilies in the church in 1662 and the curate then lived at Cranborne (Dors.). (fn. 249) In 1783 the curate, although resident, also served Swallowcliffe. In Ebbesborne Wake he held one service each Sunday and additional services in Holy Week. Communion was celebrated at the great festivals and at Michaelmas; there were usually 15 communicants. (fn. 250) In 1851, on Census Sunday, 145 people attended an afternoon service. (fn. 251) From the 1860s the parish was better served; in 1864 two or three services were held on Sundays and there were services on weekdays in Lent and Advent. The average congregation numbered 40. Communion, celebrated monthly and at Easter and Christmas, was usually received by between 16 and 20 people. The incumbent, who lived at Fifield Bavant, urged that provision be made for a resident minister in Ebbesborne Wake, especially to counter nonconformity; (fn. 252) from the 1870s the vicar or a curate lived in the parish. (fn. 253)
The church, called ST. JOHN'S in 1763 (fn. 254) and later dedicated to St. John the Baptist, (fn. 255) is mostly of flint rubble and has a chancel with a north vestry, a nave with a south porch, and a west tower. The nave and chancel, built perhaps c. 1300, are unusually wide. The tower, of ashlar, was added probably in the early 16th century. In 1874 the church was restored to designs by Ewan Christian. The walls were largely rebuilt and the roof and most of the windows were replaced. (fn. 256)
Plate weighing 2 oz. was confiscated from Ebbes borne Wake in 1553. A chalice of 6½ oz. was then left there; it was presumably the 16th-century chalice which belonged to the parish in 1985. A paten and a flagon, both 19th-century, also belonged to the parish c. 1890; the flagon was still held in 1985. A chalice and a paten, both 20th-century, were then in regular use. (fn. 257)
There were three bells in 1553. They were replaced by a bell of 1633, cast by John Danton, one of 1637, and one of 1660 by William Purdue. Treble and tenor bells by Llewellins & James of Bristol were added in 1884. (fn. 258) Those five bells hung in the church in 1985. (fn. 259)
There are registers of births and baptisms and of deaths and burials from 1653 and of marriages from 1654. Those for some years in the 17th and 18th centuries are missing. (fn. 260)
Parishioners of Ebbesborne Wake attended Independent meetings held in Broad Chalke in the 1770s. (fn. 261) A house in Ebbesborne Wake was licensed for Independents in 1781; (fn. 262) meetings were held there from 1782 and attended by preachers provided by Joanna Turner, founder of the Tabernacle in Trowbridge. (fn. 263) The meetings were probably those called Methodist by the curate in 1783, at which attendance was said to be increasing. (fn. 264) A chapel was built c. 1790, but services may thereafter have been held irregularly until 1812, when a minister was appointed to serve Congregational churches at Ebbesborne Wake, Broad Chalke, and Bower Chalke. Ebbesborne Wake was served separately between 1817 and 1839, and with Broad Chalke from 1839 until 1890 (fn. 265) or later. In 1851, on Census Sunday, 138 people attended the morning service and 180 the evening service at Ebbesborne Wake. (fn. 266) A new chapel, of stone and in a plain style, was built in 1857. (fn. 267) Dissent remained strong in the parish, although the curate's claim in 1864 that more than two thirds of his parishioners were dissenters may be an overstatement. (fn. 268) The chapel was served with others in Wilton and Broad Chalke from 1959. (fn. 269) In 1985 it was used as an independent chapel. (fn. 270)
Houses in Ebbesborne Wake were licensed for meetings of Primitive Methodists in 1844 and 1846. (fn. 271)
Although the poor of Ebbesborne Wake were said in 1818 to desire education for their children, (fn. 272) there was no day school in the parish in 1833. (fn. 273) A school affiliated to the National Society was opened in or before 1846. (fn. 274) A schoolroom was built in 1854 and a teacher's house in 1870. (fn. 275) In 1859 c. 50 children, including some from Fifield Bavant, attended the school. (fn. 276) Average attendance was between 40 and 50 in the late 19th century and the early 20th. (fn. 277) In 1985, when there were 18 children on roll, the school was closed. (fn. 278)
Charity for the Poor.
At inclosure in 1792 an allotment was made of 9 a. from which poor parishioners might cut furze. It was still held for that purpose in 1906, (fn. 279) but from the 1960s or earlier it was leased and the income paid to needy parishioners. (fn. 280) In the 1980s the income was £150 a year. (fn. 281)