A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 14, Malmesbury Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1991.
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Charlton, 3 km. ENE. of Malmesbury, is a small village in a large parish. (fn. 1) The parish is rectangular, on an east and west axis, and measures 9.6 km. by 2.5 km., 1,929 ha. (4,766 a.). Its name, which may indicate that early in its history the village was dependent on a larger settlement nearby, (fn. 2) and its proximity to Malmesbury, where an abbey stood from the 7th century, (fn. 3) suggest that Charlton originated as a settlement for tenants of the abbey. Characteristically of the Wiltshire places so called (fn. 4) Charlton was a street village, belonged to the abbey, had in it a prosperous tenantry and little demesne, (fn. 5) and was not an early parish. Its church may have been served first by Malmesbury abbev but was a chapel of Westport from the later 13th century until it became a parish church in 1879. (fn. 6) Charlton, however, relieved its own poor (fn. 7) and in the 19th century was a civil parish. (fn. 8)
Charlton's boundaries were recited in the late 11th century or later. Marked by a stream and a road on the south, a stream on the west, and Hankerton on the north they approximated to the later boundaries of the west half of the parish. (fn. 9) Down Lane was the boundary with Hankerton in the 16th century (fn. 10) and later. The east half of the parish was outside the boundaries c. 1100. (fn. 11) The western boundary of Braydon forest in 1225 may then have been the eastern boundary of Charlton: it touched Pink Lane and Swatnage wood. The forest was extended westwards to include Charlton village in 1228, reduced in 1279 to its boundaries of 1225, and reduced further in 1300 when the western boundary was redrawn c. 4 km. to the east. (fn. 12) The area between the eastern boundary of Charlton, as defined in 1225, and the western boundary of the forest, as defined in 1300, was among the forest purlieus of which each village near the forest later claimed a particular part. (fn. 13) The part claimed and perambulated by Charlton approximated to what the later parish included: the east boundary was Shire ditch dividing it from Minety (then Glos.) and, north and south of Charlham oak, from the forest. Its other boundaries, recited in 1585, (fn. 14) 1595, (fn. 15) and c. 1600, (fn. 16) have not been plotted precisely. From c. 1580 the lord of Charlton manor and the lord of Cloatley manor in Hankerton disputed part of the purlieus and, almost certainly after the dispute was heard in the Exchequer in 1595, a triangle formed by the Cricklade—Malmesbury road, Shire ditch, and a line from Charlham oak to Stonehill wood, formerly claimed for Cloatley, (fn. 17) became Charlton land. In 1630 the Crown inclosed Braydon forest mainly on its boundaries of 1300, (fn. 18) and by 1631 the lords of many manors near the forest, including Charlton, had inclosed those parts of the purlieus claimed for their respective manors. Much dispute, two public meetings in the great lodge of the forest, and some compromise followed. (fn. 19) The lord of Charlton manor conceded to Garsdon possibly c. 200 a. to the south, (fn. 20) and to Oaksey a triangle of c. 100 a., much of the triangle earlier claimed by Cloatley; (fn. 21) and if, as seems likely, Brokenborough's woodland was the 84 a. adjoining Brinkworth east of Shire ditch, (fn. 22) he added it to Charlton manor. The boundary of the manor became the parish boundary. The triangle of c. 100 a. was apparently regained by the lord of Charlton manor by purchase in the later 17th century, (fn. 23) and by the parish. Minor changes were made to the boundaries in the 19th century: that with Hankerton along the Cricklade—Malmesbury road was redefined in 1809, (fn. 24) and c. 1882 a detached 2 a. of Charlton WSW. of the village was transferred to Malmesbury and further adjustments were made to Charlton's boundaries with Garsdon, Hankerton, and Malmesbury. (fn. 25) Since then the boundaries have been unchanged.
The west part of Charlton parish, containing the older settlement, embraces outcrops of Cornbrash and of clay and limestone of the Forest Marble; Kellaways Clay outcrops near the southern boundary, where there are several small areas of gravel deposits, and around Charlton village. (fn. 26) The land is mainly flat, at over 107 m. highest in the north and at below 76 m. lowest in the south where tributaries of the Bristol Avon meet. It favours both arable and pasture and was the site of Charlton's open fields. (fn. 27) Kellaways Sand has been exposed in the centre of the parish and in the 17th century was dug. (fn. 28) Oxford Clay outcrops in all the east part of the parish, overlain in a few places by glacial deposits. In the centre and east the land, declining westwards from 134 m. on the cast boundary to below 91 m., undulates more than in the west. An east-west stream was dammed to form Broad water, later Braydon pond, 6 a. c. 1600: (fn. 29) the pond, 40 a., had its present shape in 1773. (fn. 30) The clay, unfavourable to arable, can support woodland and has been much used as pasture: it was open to Braydon forest and its purlieus until the 17th century. From the later 16th century to the earlier 18th the contrast between the two halves of the parish was softened: the open fields in the west were inclosed and, after 1631, much clay land to the east was inclosed and improved. From the mid 18th century to the mid 20th most of the parish was a patchwork of fields divided by hedges and averaging c. 10 a., and from the later 19th to the mid 20th most fields were pasture. In the 15th and 16th centuries there was a park called Stonehill north of the Cricklade—Malmesbury road. (fn. 31) From the later 16th century land around Charlton Park was imparked: (fn. 32) the park wall, recorded in the early 17th century, (fn. 33) reached in 1773 to the village, where it divided the park and the churchyard, and ran for 1.5 km. on the east side of what became the Cirencester (Glos.) to Malmesbury road and for 1.5 km. on the north side of the Cricklade—Malmesbury road. (fn. 34) Much of the wall, including a later northern part along the road from Hankerton to Tetbury (Glos.), survived in 1988.
The Cirencester—Malmesbury road runs north and south across the west part of the parish, and the Cricklade—Malmesbury road east and west marking parts of the boundary at the north-east and south-west corners; the old Oxford—Bristol road crosses the south-east corner of the parish (fn. 35) also marking part of the boundary. The CrickladeMalmesbury road ran through the purlieus of Braydon forest. (fn. 36) In the centre of the parish it crosses a tributary of the Avon at Maggot's bridge and Broadwater bridge, and in the west it forms the east part of Charlton village street. Before Charlton Park was built and land around it imparked (fn. 37) the road almost certainly formed the whole street, being diverted southwards when the park was walled. (fn. 38) The Oxford—Bristol road, linking Purton and Malmesbury, may also have been diverted after the purlieus were inclosed in 1631, and it declined in importance in the 18th century. (fn. 39) The Cricklade—Malmesbury road was turnpiked in 1756, disturnpiked in 1876; the CirencesterMalmesbury road was completed across Hankerton parish and turnpiked in 1778, disturnpiked in 1874. (fn. 40) Tetbury Way was turnpiked in 1798: (fn. 41) it ran from Charlton church to meet the Cirencester—Malmesbury road and the Hankerton—Tetbury road, Down Lane, at a junction called Five Lanes. In 1808 it was replaced by a road, further from Charlton Park, which made a crossroads with the Cricklade—Malmesbury road and the west part of Charlton street and met Down Lane east of Five Lanes. (fn. 42) The turnpike house at the crossroads was apparently built c. 1808. The road was disturnpiked in 1876. (fn. 43) In 1773 and 1988 other roads linked Charlton to Hankerton, Garsdon, and Lea. (fn. 44) To the east the courses of the lanes may have been made or altered when the purlieus were inclosed, and were so when Charlton's common pastures were inclosed c. 1808. Pink Lane remains on the course it followed in 1773, but a westwards extension to link the farmhouses called Heath and Bisley became a footpath in the 19th century, and to the north a roughly parallel road linking Great Lype Farm, Turk's Farm, and Braydon pond also became a footpath. (fn. 45) A new turnpike road proposed in 1819 would have linked Garsdon Mill in Garsdon and the Cricklade—Malmesbury road east of Perry Green, enabled the road along the south side of the park to be closed, and taken traffic away from Charlton village, but was not built. (fn. 46) About 1626, in the later 17th century, and in the later 18th proposals for a Thames —Avon canal through Charlton came to nought. (fn. 47)
Charlton is a street village which was surrounded by its open fields: (fn. 48) taken with its name, that arrangement suggests that Charlton was planned as a settlement, possibly soon after Malmesbury abbey's foundation in the late 7th century. No other settlement in the parish has grown to be more than a hamlet. There were several farmsteads and possibly a hamlet called Kingershay east of the village in the Middle Ages. (fn. 49) Cottages were built on the waste there in the 16th century, (fn. 50) more farmsteads were built after the purlieus were inclosed, (fn. 51) and Stonehill, where there was a nonconformist chapel in the 19th century, (fn. 52) may have ranked as a hamlet. In the west farmsteads were built away from the village in the 16th century and later (fn. 53) and Perry Green at the east end of the street became a hamlet in the 19th century. Charlton had 152 poll-tax payers in 1377, apart from Malmesbury the highest number for a parish in the hundred. (fn. 54) In the 16th century the parish was perhaps of average prosperity, (fn. 55) but from the 1560s the presence of a large manor house (fn. 56) increased the population and overall wealth of the parish. The tithingman listed 125 adult males living in the parish in 1775. (fn. 57) The population increased from 1801, when it was 428, to 1851, when it was 690. A decline from 621 in 1861 to 565 in 1871 was attributed to emigration. From 612 in 1881 the population had fallen to 367 by 1931. After the Second World War temporary housing in Charlton park brought about an increase, to 654 in 1951, (fn. 58) but in 1961 there were only 376 inhabitants. In 1981 the population was 427. (fn. 59)
To judge from the number of landholders Charlton village was already populous in 1086 but grew little between then and the later 13th century. (fn. 60) The site of its church, at the extreme west end of the street, suggests that the church was built when the village was already mature and that the building of Charlton Park west of the village in the 1560s and the imparking of land between the house and the church (fn. 61) prevented it from growing westwards. It is possible that buildings west of the church were removed when the park wall was brought up to the village, probably in the earlier 17th century, but air photography does not reveal them. (fn. 62) The west part of the street, ending at the park gates, (fn. 63) has been called Park Street since the later 19th century. (fn. 64) Demesne farm buildings erected in the late 13th century (fn. 65) may have been on the south side of the street near the church, a site later used by the Howards, lords of Charlton manor, for a dower house. Most of the dower house was burned down in 1877: (fn. 66) parts of it survive in the large house, called Charlton Cottage, which replaced it. On the north side of the street near the church is a run of c. 7 stone cottages: one, gabled, may be 17th-century or older; most of the others are apparently 18th-century. Also on the north side is an early 18th-century farmhouse, and Street Farm, near the crossroads, is late 18th century. A pair of 19th-century cottages stands on each side of the street, and on the south side other buildings apparently range in date from the late 18th century to the late 19th. From the later 16th century the number of farmsteads in the street may have declined as more were built away from the village. (fn. 67) In the later 20th century 18 private houses were built on vacant sites in Park Street and several farm buildings were converted to dwellings. The church house, mentioned in the later 16th and earlier 17th centuries, (fn. 68) may have been near the church. Another house in Park Street was a police station in the mid 20th century. (fn. 69) East of the crossroads the buildings straggled more. On the north side Village Farm was built c. 1700 in an L shape. The symmetrical main front, of two storeys with attics and of five bays, has three tall gables and ovolo-moulded mullion and transom windows. The back range was made taller, possibly in the later 18th century, and the angle of the L was partly filled in the later 19th. The original newel stair and two bolectionmoulded stone fireplaces survive. At the east end of the street the Horse and Groom, an inn from 1822 or earlier, (fn. 70) was apparently built in the later 18th century and extended in the early 19th: a friendly society formed in 1833 met there. (fn. 71) Opposite the Horse and Groom, Woodcock Farm seems likely to be the house in the street largely rebuilt in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 72) On each side of the street is another small 18th-century farmhouse, the village school is on the south side, and the village hall, rebuilt in 1981–2, (fn. 73) is on the north side. In the later 20th century nine private houses were built and farm buildings of Village Farm and Woodcock Farm were converted for residence. In the south-east angle of the crossroads four old people's bungalows and 12 other council houses were built in 1953. (fn. 74) Beside the Cricklade—Malmesbury road a little south of the village a children's hospital with 11 beds, endowed by Lady Victoria Howard, was built in 1870. (fn. 75) In the 20th century, when patients were selected by the Invalid Children's Aid Society, the endowment was supplemented by fees and subscription. The hospital was closed in 1953. (fn. 76) The village was designated a conservation area in 1973. (fn. 77)
West of the village the manor house, called Charlton Park from the 18th century, (fn. 78) was visited by James I, (fn. 79) and parliamentary cavalry were garrisoned there in the Civil War. In 1667 John Dryden wrote Annus Mirabilis there, (fn. 80) and in the 18th and 19th centuries the owners, members of the Howard family, presumably had a large household. In the First World War part of the house was a Red Cross hospital (fn. 81) and in and after the Second a boarding school was in it. From the early 1950s to 1981, when it was divided into 18 apartments, it was not lived in. (fn. 82) In the south part of the park 71 dwellings were made from huts in the period 1950–3: (fn. 83) they went out of use c. 1967 (fn. 84) and were removed.
In the 13th century the estate called Kingershay may have included small farmsteads in a hamlet of that name: (fn. 85) its site may have been at or near that of Pond Farm, (fn. 86) in Braydon forest until 1300 and thereafter in the purlieus. (fn. 87) That site was called Braydon End in 1773. The use of the names North, South, and East Kingershay from the 15th century to the 17th (fn. 88) suggests that settlement was not then nucleated. Pond Farm, which has extensive farm buildings, was rebuilt in the later 20th century, and Pond Hill Farm incorporates a small 19th-century house. Nearby, Turk's Farm, an L-shaped house of one storey and attics on a crosspassage plan with a contemporary farm building, was built c. 1630 when the purlieus were inclosed.
Stonehill, later Cockroost, Farm is an apparently 18th-century house which with a group of cottages east of it on the north side of the Cricklade—Malmesbury road made up Stonehill hamlet in 1773 and 1988: the four cottages to survive are apparently 18th- or 19th-century. Two houses were built beside Cockroost Farm in the later 20th century.
Perry Green hamlet consists of buildings beside the road to Hankerton. After the vicarage house was built there in the later 19th century, (fn. 89) the road was called Vicarage Lane. Cottages may have been built there in the 16th century and the 17th. (fn. 90) Two buildings stood at the south end of the lane in 1773: one, a small farmhouse apparently of the 18th century, survives, as do three other small apparently late 18th-century houses and a pair of 19th-century cottages. A pair of council houses was built at the junction of Vicarage Lane and the main road in 1945 (fn. 91) and several houses have been built in the lane since then.
The pattern of scattered settlement in the parish has changed little from when it was set, apparently between the late 16th century and the early 18th. Unusually for so large a Wiltshire parish only one new farmstead was built in the 19th century. (fn. 92) In the west part of the parish Bambury Hill Farm was built c. 1575: (fn. 93) a 17th-century farmhouse and farm buildings of various dates were on the site in 1988. South of Charlton village was a farmstead called Bisley in 1773 and later: a 17th- or 18th century farmhouse, a cottage or outbuilding much altered in the later 20th century to form a house, and a house of c. 1930 survive there. In the west part of the park Charlton Park Farm, later Home Farm, consisting of a farmhouse and a regular farmyard with a barn and cattle sheds was built in the late 18th century: (fn. 94) the house was later extended. Griffin's Barn Farm west of it consists of an early 18th-century barn, a late 18th-century house, and later farm buildings. In the north-west corner of the parish a pair of cottages was built c. 1932, (fn. 95) and near Charlton Park Farm are two pairs, one of stone and red brick of the later 19th century and one of the early 20th in vernacular style.
In the centre of the parish Old Park Farm was built c. 1800, Bullock's Horn Farm in the later 20th century; Lower Moore Farm incorporates a mid 18th-century farmhouse; (fn. 96) and Moore Farm incorporates a small 18th-century farmhouse, near which are several small dwellings of the 19th and 20th centuries. Heath, now Langley's, Farm consists of a long two-storeyed east-west range of the 17th century with a lobby entrance to the south and a stair turret projecting to the north: in the early 18th century a short wing was built at the east end and the old east end was refronted. Lower Stonehill Farm incorporates an early 18th-century house and a possibly contemporary barn: in 1773 a farmstead further east, demolished before 1828, (fn. 97) bore the name. Lype and Pink Lane were place names from the 13th century or earlier (fn. 98) and may have been hamlets. Great Lype and Little Lype were separate farmsteads in the later 18th century (fn. 99) and 1988. Great Lype incorporates a house probably built in the 17th century as a single storey with attics and raised to two storeys and extended in the early 19th; Little Lype incorporates a house possibly of the 17th century and another of the later 20th. The present Pink Lane Farm is a farmhouse of 17th-century or earlier origin, extended and altered, with extensive buildings. On the north side of Pink Lane buildings standing in 1773 were removed in the mid 19th century. (fn. 100) Both Elm Farm and Newhouse Farm occupy sites in use in 1773. Elm Farm incorporates a farmhouse possibly of the early 19th century; a small house was built for Newhouse farm in the early 20th. Nearby is a small 18th-century farmhouse and several houses of the 19th and 20th centuries.
At the east end of the parish Summerhouse, formerly Hundred Acre, Farm, Worthy Hill Farm, and Bick's Farm may have originated in the early 18th century. Hundred Acre House was apparently a large house built in 1740 for John Carey: in 1773 it had a summer house to the south. The main house was replaced in the late 19th century by a house apparently built for C. A. Kemble. (fn. 101) Worthy Hill farmhouse is a double-pile red-brick house of the period 1730–50 with a contemporary barn and stable of red brick and a late 18th-century open cattle shed of stone. Bick's farmhouse and most of the farm buildings were rebuilt in the later 20th century. Beside the Purton road east of Worthy Hill Farm, Eighty Acre Farm, built c. 1857, (fn. 102) was called Bourne Valley Farm in 1988: Grove Farm was built west of it in the later 20th century. A late 19th-century stone cottage with red-brick dressings and a substantial late 20th-century house are nearby.
An electricity sub-station partly in Hankerton was built near Stonehill wood in 1970. (fn. 103) A water tower was built on the watershed of the Thames and Avon north-east of Braydon pond in 1981. (fn. 104)
Manors and other Estates.
To judge from its name (fn. 105) Charlton belonged to Malmesbury abbey from or soon after the abbey's foundation in the 7th century, (fn. 106) but the charter of 681 recording the grant to the abbey of 15 cassati near Tetbury, to which the recital of Charlton's boundaries was appended, is likely to have referred to Charlton in Tetbury. By interpolation the abbey also claimed, almost certainly falsely, to have been granted Charlton near Malmesbury in 844 by a charter of King Ethelwulf. (fn. 107) Aelfheah, ealdorman of Hampshire, devised Charlton to the abbey c. 970: (fn. 108) his had possibly been a temporary tenure under the abbey. Malmesbury abbey held Charlton in 1086 (fn. 109) and CHARLTON manor until the Dissolution. (fn. 110) The abbey considered Kingershay a small estate separate from Charlton in the late 13th century (fn. 111) but not later.
In an exchange in 1545 the Crown granted the manor to Thomas Wriothesley, Baron Wriothesley, (fn. 112) who in the same year returned it to the Crown in another exchange. (fn. 113) In 1547 the Crown granted the manor to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset (fn. 114) (d. 1552). In 1552 the Crown resumed it on Somerset's attainder and granted it to John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, (fn. 115) and in 1553 Northumberland sold it to Sir James Stumpe (fn. 116) (d. 1563). Stumpes heir was his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1585), wife of Henry Knyvett (knighted 1574, d. 1598). (fn. 117) Charlton manor passed in 1598 to the Knyvetts' daughter Catherine (d. 1638) and her husband Thomas Howard, Lord Howard (cr. earl of Suffolk 1603, d. 1626). (fn. 118) From 1631 it included all but perhaps c. 500 a. of the parish. (fn. 119) It was settled on the Howards' younger son Thomas (fn. 120) (from 1622 Baron Howard and Viscount Andover, cr. earl of Berkshire 1626, d. 1669), a royalist, who was allowed to compound for his sequestered estates in 1653. (fn. 121) The manor and the earldom of Berkshire passed in succession to Thomas's sons Charles (d. 1679) and Thomas (d. 1706), and to his great-grandson Henry Howard (d. 1757) who inherited the earldom of Suffolk in 1745. Charlton manor and the earldoms of Suffolk and Berkshire have since descended together. Henry was succeeded by his grandson Henry Howard (d. 1779) and Henry's posthumous son Henry (d. 1779), whose heir was his granduncle Thomas Howard (d. 1783). Thomas was succeeded by his third cousin John Howard (d. 1820) and he by his son Thomas (d. 1851). In 1839 Lord Suffolk owned all but c. 180 a. of the parish. (fn. 122) The manor and earldoms descended in the direct male line to Charles Howard (d. 1876), Henry (d. 1898), Henry (d. 1917), Charles (d. 1941), and Michael Howard, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire. In 1959 Lord Suffolk sold c. 2,500 a., the east half of the parish apart from Braydon pond and the woodland around it. (fn. 123) The pond and woodland were sold later, (fn. 124) and in 1978 Lord Suffolk sold 260 a. mainly south-east of Charlton village. (fn. 125) In 1988 he owned 1,471 a. of Charlton parish. (fn. 126) The land sold in 1959, c. 20 farms, was bought by Southery Farms Ltd., then controlled by A. H. Jarrard. (fn. 127) In the few years after 1959 Southery Farms sold the farms, mostly to the tenants. In 1988 the land of Charlton not owned by Lord Suffolk, c. 3,000 a., was in c. 20 separately owned holdings of which the largest was c. 250 a. (fn. 128)
A house at Charlton, on open land away from the village, was built for Henry Knyvett: (fn. 129) it was presumably begun after 1563, when his wife inherited the manor, and was apparently first occupied by the Knyvetts in 1568 or 1569. (fn. 130) The house had a main north-south range as the east side, and ranges extending westwards from each end of it as the north and south sides, of an enclosed and roughly square courtyard. (fn. 131) Knyvett did not build as large a house as he intended (fn. 132) but was not justified in calling it a poor cottage as he did in 1596. (fn. 133) His daughter Catherine extended and altered the house after his death in 1598. The principal addition was a west range including a loggia, with a long gallery above it, two-storeyed west wings, and stair turrets with domes and parapets in the re-entrant angles. The second floor was probably added then to the old part of the house and the whole building was given uniformity by large mullioned and transomed windows and an elaborate roofline. (fn. 134) There are stylistic similarities to the much larger house at Audley End in Saffron Walden (Essex) which Catherine's husband built between c. 1603 and 1616. (fn. 135) Changes were made to the inside of the house, later called Charlton Park, in the late 17th or early 18th century when some rooms were subdivided to make closets; and the courtyard elevations may then have been given sash windows. (fn. 136) In the 1770s great changes were put in hand by the elder Henry, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire (d. 1779), with Matthew Brettingham as architect. (fn. 137) He rebuilt most of the south range: the new south front, with sash windows to light taller rooms, was built on the line of an earlier central projection. In the east range Knyvett's hall, which was at the north end, was demolished, and a large central dining room was built behind a sash-windowed façade: to the north and south east wings and stair turrets similar to those on the west front were built. The central courtyard was roofed over as a large two-storeyed hall, lit by a central dome, with staircases and galleries on its north and south sides. (fn. 138) On the west front the domes and parapets of the stair turrets were altered and cresting above the central porch was replaced by a pierced parapet. The inside of the house had not been completely refitted by 1779, when Lord Suffolk died, and apparently remained unfinished throughout the 19th century. (fn. 139) The long gallery was panelled and decorated between 1900 and 1911, (fn. 140) and work on the central hall may have been finished only about then. (fn. 141) Between 1978 and 1981 the house was converted into flats (fn. 142) and many of the rooms, but not the dining room or central hall, were divided. Immediately north of the house a kitchen block was built in the 19th century and joined to the north-east corner by a tunnel. North of that is a square stable court, three sides of which were probably built in the mid 19th century. (fn. 143) The south-east side, with wings at each end to form a court open to the south-east, is probably of the 1770s: it was converted into a house c. 1950. Farm buildings west of the stables are mostly of the 18th and 19th centuries.
By c. 1600 the gardens and yards of Charlton Park, c. 20 a., had been enclosed by a high wall, and there was a park. (fn. 144) In the later 18th century a walled garden survived north-west of the house, beyond it was an enclosure with a regular plantation which may have been an orchard, and a short avenue was across the south-west of the house. By 1773, possibly by c. 1610, the park had been extended eastwards to the village; winding paths through a wood indicate that it had reached its full extent to the south-west by the early 18th century; (fn. 145) and in 1808 it was further enlarged to the north-east. (fn. 146) Capability Brown, who was at Charlton in 1768, proposed alterations to the house which were not accepted, and drew sketches for water near the house and for a kitchen garden and offices. (fn. 147) The walled kitchen gardens at the west edge of the park in 1773 were probably by Brown, and after 1773 a small lake was made south-east of the house and the last of the formal gardens removed. (fn. 148) The kitchen garden was a flower garden in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 149) In 1773 the principal approach to the house was apparently along the old course of the Cricklade—Malmesbury road, from the south and from the village westwards. (fn. 150) A new drive with an entrance lodge was made from the Cirencester—Malmesbury road in the late 18th century, possibly c. 1778 when the road was turnpiked, (fn. 151) and lodges were built at the old south entrance to the park in the mid 19th century.
In 1086 Ranulph Flambard held at Charlton lands assessed at a total of 3 hides, but precisely where they lay is obscure. (fn. 152)
In the late 12th century or early 13th Malmesbury abbey granted to Wibert son of William a small manor and a corrody for service in the abbey and as the abbey's forester. (fn. 153) Wibert's estate later passed in the Charlton family of which he may have been the progenitor. It was possibly held by Thomas Charlton in 1242–3 (fn. 154) and by Wibert Charlton in 1283–4. (fn. 155) Roger Charlton bought a freehold in Charlton from William Theyn in 1268 (fn. 156) and it apparently passed to his son Roger: a licence to build an oratory in his house at Charlton was granted to either the father or the son. (fn. 157) Later the Charltons' two estates seem to have been united. (fn. 158) Wibert Charlton (fl. 1347, (fn. 159) d. by 1362) (fn. 160) may have held the united estate. Robert Charlton's estate in 1387 included what had been Wibert son of William's: (fn. 161) it was later reputed a manor, called CHARLTON TANTUM in 1608 (fn. 162) when it included c. 200 a. and pasture rights. (fn. 163) Robert's estate passed to his son Walter (d. by 1428) and to Walter's son Wibert (fl. 1454). (fn. 164) John Charlton, who was escheator of Wiltshire and of Hampshire, (fn. 165) held it in 1473 (fn. 166) and sold it in 1478 to Sir Roger Tocotes (fn. 167) (d. 1492). On Tocotes's attainder in 1484 the estate was granted for life to his wife's son Sir Richard Beauchamp, from 1491 Lord St. Amand (d. 1508). (fn. 168) Tocotes recovered his lands and in 1492 conveyed the estate to St. Amand (fn. 169) who devised it for life to his illegitimate son Anthony St. Amand, with reversion to Henry Long (fn. 170) (later knighted, d. 1556). (fn. 171) The estate passed to Long between 1530 (fn. 172) and 1541 (fn. 173) and descended with Draycot Cerne manor to Sir Robert Long (d. 1581) and Sir Walter Long, (fn. 174) who in 1608 sold it to Thomas, earl of Suffolk. (fn. 175) It was thereupon merged with Charlton manor.
Between 1208 and 1222 Malmesbury abbey granted to Henry Lype 1 yardland almost certainly at Lype. (fn. 176) Henry's successors apparently included Edith Lype, a freeholder in 1283–4, (fn. 177) and Roger Lype, a freeholder in the later 13th century. (fn. 178) An estate bought in 1489 by Hugh Martin from Richard, son and heir of William Short, and his wife Joan included land at Lype, (fn. 179) seems likely to have been what was later GREAT LYPE farm, (fn. 180) and may have been what the Lypes held. It was owned in 1541 by Anthony Martin (fn. 181) (d. 1570) who was succeeded in turn by his sons Robert (fn. 182) (d. 1577) and Roger (fn. 183) (d. 1595). Roger, a clothier of Steeple Ashton, was succeeded by his son Roger (fn. 184) who in 1606 held Lype House and 91 a. with pasture rights. (fn. 185) Henry Martin owned the estate in 1637. (fn. 186) It passed to his son Henry (d. 1689), to Henry's son Michael, who held it until 1723 or later, to Michael's nephew Roger, who held it 1731–9 or longer, and to Roger's nephew Michael Martin who in 1752 sold it (fn. 187) to Humphrey Woodcock (d. 1754). Woodcock devised it to his nephew Charles Williamson (fn. 188) (d. 1760) whose executors sold the estate in 1763 to Henry, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire. (fn. 189) Great Lype farm, c. 150 a., was among the lands sold by Michael, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, in 1959. In 1961 it was bought by J. B. Walker (d. 1971) and in 1988 belonged to his son Mr. J. A. Walker and daughter Miss J.J.Walker. (fn. 190)
Besides those of the Charltons and Lypes there were several other freeholds in Charlton in the Middle Ages. Until its dissolution a chantry at Cirencester in honour of Jesus held a small one. (fn. 191) In the later 13th century Richard of Lea and his son Richard held 1½ hide in Charlton and land in Lea: (fn. 192) some of that estate was possibly among lands entered on in 1340 by John Moleyns, lord of Lea manor, and formerly Ralph of Combe's. (fn. 193) Land in Charlton descended with Lea manor in the Moleyns, Hungerford, and Hastings families. (fn. 194) In 1571 Henry Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, sold his small estate in Charlton, called EDWARDS, to Anthony Webb. (fn. 195) Edwards, 30 a., may have descended to Webb's grandson Anthony Webb but from 1595 (fn. 196) its descent is obscure. Thomas Burrows owned it c. 1672, (fn. 197) Adam Burrows in 1702, and it remained in the Burrows family until 1737 (fn. 198) or later. It is likely to have been bought by Humphrey Woodcock and to have passed to Charles Williamson who settled land on the marriage of his niece Sarah Kyffin and Matthew Sloper. (fn. 199) Before 1780 Sloper's trustees sold Edwards to John Paul (d. 1789). Paul devised it to his nephew Josiah Paul Paul (formerly Josiah Paul Tippetts) who in 1795 sold it to John, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire. (fn. 200) It was merged with Charlton manor.
In 1540–1 Roger Young was a freeholder in Charlton. (fn. 201) His was possibly the freehold there which William Roberts (d. c. 1547) settled on himself for life and on his grandson Giles Roberts. (fn. 202) Apparently between 1590, (fn. 203) and 1594 Giles Roberts sold his estate to Justinian Smith (fn. 204) (d. c. 1602) (fn. 205) whose son Richard owned 95 a. and pasture rights in 1606 (fn. 206) and sold them in 1609 to Thomas, earl of Suffolk. (fn. 207) The lands were merged with Charlton manor.
In 1606 freeholds of 33 a. and 32 a. with pasture rights belonged, respectively, to John Palmer and Robert Ring, and there were other small freeholds. (fn. 208) Palmer's belonged to William Palmer, rector of Little Somerford, in 1625 (fn. 209) and 1646, (fn. 210) but their descents are otherwise obscure. Some of the lands may have been in John Turk's freehold which in 1724 was settled on the marriage of his granddaughter Hester Phelps and Thomas Jones (d. 1768). The Joneses' estate passed to their son John, who owned 107 a. c. 1780, and to John's son Thomas: in 1804 Thomas Jones sold the estate to John, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, (fn. 211) and it was absorbed by Charlton manor.
SUMMERHOUSE farm, 105 a. c. 1780, (fn. 212) originated as an inclosure of 100 a. of the purlieus of Braydon forest: it was apparently the triangle conceded to Sir Nevill Poole, the lord of Oaksey manor, by Thomas, earl of Berkshire, in 1633. It was bought, apparently in the later 17th century, by an earl of Berkshire from Giles Poole, Sir Ralph Dutton, and John Waters, possibly trustees, but did not descend with Charlton manor. It was bought in 1740 by John Carey (d. 1752) who devised it to his nephew John Carey. The nephew was succeeded by his sisters Jane (d. 1786), wife of the Revd. Richard Brooke (d. before 1809), and Mary (d. s.p. 1806), wife of Richard Fowler, tenants in common. The farm passed to the Brookes' son Samuel (d. 1837), to Samuel's son S. B. Brooke (d. 1869), and to S. B. Brooke's nephew the Revd. Charles Kemble (d. 1874) and his wife Charlotte. (fn. 213) In 1882 Charlotte Kemble assigned it to her son C. A. Kemble, (fn. 214) and it belonged to a Kemble in 1910. (fn. 215) Later owners included Frederick Hays, 1924–39 or longer, (fn. 216) and Mrs. D. J. Woolford who in 1984 sold the farm to Mr. M. H. Wood, the owner in 1988. (fn. 217)
All the great tithes from Charlton belonged to Malmesbury abbey. (fn. 218) After the Dissolution all tithes of corn and hay were granted with Charlton manor (fn. 219) and descended with it. In 1840 those arising from 2,238 a. were merged with the land, those from 6 a. were commuted: the remainder of the parish was free from great tithes. (fn. 220)
Charlton had land for 13 ploughteams in 1086 but only 9½ teams were there. On its demesne Malmesbury abbey had 2 teams and 7 serfs; 23 villani, 13 cottars, and 2 coscets had a total of 5 teams; and Ranulph Flambard had 2½ teams. About half Flambard's land was formerly held by the abbey's villani. The three types of land, the demesne, 12 hides worth £8, and the customary and thegnland, a total of 8 hides worth £2, were not valued in proportion to the number of teams on them: (fn. 221) a possible explanation is that extensive uncultivated land east of the village was deemed demesne.
In the Middle Ages there seems to have been little inclosed land outside Charlton village. The arable was in open fields, possibly two in 1333, (fn. 222) three in 1396 and later: in 1409 they were called East, West, and Grandon. Meadow land was commonable, (fn. 223) there was feeding in common in the purlieus of Braydon forest, and between the arable and the purlieus lay common pastures in the 16th century (fn. 224) and almost certainly in the Middle Ages. As might be expected from the name of the village, (fn. 225) demesne land was not extensive despite its high valuation in 1086. It was stocked with 16 oxen c. 1210. (fn. 226) Later in the 13th century it was in hand (fn. 227) and enlarged. The pasture called Stonehill was inclosed from the waste by the sacrist of Malmesbury abbey and given to the abbot in an exchange, the pasture called Middle Hurst was added to the demesne after the abbot acquired by exchange the freeholders' pasture rights in it, and six customary holdings were taken in hand. Dairy farming on the demesne is implied by the description of Stonehill as a cow pasture. (fn. 228) New farm buildings were erected in the later 13th century (fn. 229) and buildings stood on Stonehill pasture in 1292. (fn. 230) In 1396 there were 90 a. of demesne in the open fields and 12 a. in the common meadows. Customary works were almost certainly sufficient to cultivate it. (fn. 231) By the mid 15th century Stonehill had apparently been imparked and stocked with deer, (fn. 232) but in the early 16th it was one of c. 10 leased demesne pastures, most lying apparently between the arable and the purlieus. A lease in 1519 of the arable and rights to common pasture (fn. 233) was presumably not the first. Charlton manor comprised three types of customary holding in the later 13th century, yardlands, ½–yardlands, and Monday lands, and five types of tenant: there were 3 freeholders, 12 yardlanders, 14 ½–yardlanders, 9 acremen, and 8 gavelmen. In addition Malmesbury abbey's land at Kingershay was then a separate small manor with 4–5 customary tenants, (fn. 234) and in the early 15th century Walter Charlton's estate, also partly at Kingershay, had on it four tenants each holding between 10 a. and 20 a. (fn. 235) In 1541 Charlton manor had 6 freeholders, 31 customary tenants, and 2 tenants at will. Some held what had earlier been more than one customary holding but it is unlikely that, excluding pasture rights, any holding in the parish, including the demesne of Charlton manor, exceeded 100 a. (fn. 236)
Between c. 1541 and c. 1631 only about half Charlton parish was farmland: east of a line roughly from Bullock's Horn in Hankerton to Pink Lane Farm was largely woodland and rough pasture open to similar land north and south and to Braydon forest to the east. (fn. 237) In the west half of the parish there were still three main open fields, but references to Middle, North, and Hay fields suggest subdivision. (fn. 238) In the later 16th century there was piecemeal inclosure, and Hay field was inclosed by agreement in 1572. Much of Grandon field and part of West field were inclosed. In addition, exchanges of strips in the fields were often agreed on (fn. 239) and in 1583 a meeting was arranged for all the tenants of Charlton manor, including freeholders, to decide on bringing together into larger tracts all the strips in the fields. (fn. 240) That meeting failed whether it was intended to promote inclosure or only to rearrange the strips. (fn. 241) By the early 17th century, however, apparently by exchange, amalgamation, and inclosure, (fn. 242) demesne land had been removed from the open fields. In 1616 the open fields contained 678 a. shared among 45 occupants and divided into 1,000 strips: most of West field, 216 a., was presumably west of what was later the Cirencester—Malmesbury road, Grandon field, 22 a., was apparently south or south-east of Charlton village, and Home, formerly East, field, 440 a., was north of and adjoined the village. (fn. 243) The custom had apparently long been for a hay crop to be taken in small parts of the fields: (fn. 244) in 1578, for example, the practice was apparently to make hay on inclosures in the fallow field, (fn. 245) and 12 a. of meadow were in the open fields in 1616. (fn. 246) Other meadow land also remained commonable and some was held in rotation. (fn. 247) The Moor, 20 a., and the Heath, 30 a., were common pastures east of the village mostly south of the Cricklade—Malmesbury road. North of them Inner down, 10 a., was used in common from 1 August to 2 February. (fn. 248) In 1606 there were, apparently, 30–40 farms in the parish, all but a few based in the village, and still none exceeding 100 a. (fn. 249)
West of the village Sir Henry Knyvett built Charlton Park (fn. 250) on part of West field, and in 1572 he bought out a copyholder and thereafter gave parts of that copyhold and demesne elsewhere in the open fields in exchange for 45 a. or more of Rudge furlong in West field. (fn. 251) About 1610 the park around the house was said to measure 350 a. and to have in it woodland, deer, and 15 a. of meadow. (fn. 252) In addition, mainly around the village, perhaps c. 300 a. of the open fields had been inclosed as parts of farms by 1606. East of the village Stonehill was again imparked. It was for a time called the new park and was paled: a keeper was appointed in 1576. (fn. 253) It was called the old park c. 1610 when it was said to measure c. 400 a. and to include woodland and 35 a. of meadow. (fn. 254) Inclosed demesne pastures and meadows west or south of Stonehill park continued to be held on leases (fn. 255) and in the later 16th century three farms, Bambury Hill, with buildings first erected c. 1575 on land inclosed from Hay field, and two called Lype, were based there. (fn. 256) Cultivation was extended further eastwards between 1610 and 1620 when Stonehill park was apparently leased in portions for agriculture; a new farm, with buildings and 60 a., had been created from the park by 1618. (fn. 257)
Although its boundaries were defined several times in the 13th and 14th centuries and unchanged after 1300 (fn. 258) Braydon forest was not inclosed, and on all sides woods and pastures also lay open outside the boundaries of 1300. In the 16th century those woods and pastures were called the purlieus and were in four quarters, of which Charlton or Minety quarter was one. Inhabitants of, and tenants of manors in, parishes near the forest were allowed to keep cattle freely throughout the year in the purlieus and the forest, and the forest officers freely entered the purlieus to hunt or protect deer: that was the custom in the 16th century and almost certainly long before. Except for those accustomed to feed cattle in the forest but without land adjoining the purlieus, to drive cattle was forbidden, but Charlton cattle could be. turned into the purlieus from the Heath or the Moor and left to wander. Although the purlieus were open, boundaries across them to divide the land of separate manors were recognized. (fn. 259) Braydon was disafforested in 1630 and inclosed, and the Crown, as owner of the forest, gave up its rights over the purlieus. (fn. 260) Thomas, earl of Berkshire, lord of Charlton manor, inclosed Charlton's part of the purlieus in 1631. (fn. 261) The land inclosed was described as bushy and woody and overgrown with bracken and bramble. (fn. 262) By agreement with the freeholders and other tenants of Charlton manor Lord Berkshire took most of it to be improved for his own use. (fn. 263) Part was left as woodland and possibly c. 1,000 a. became several farmland. (fn. 264) In place of their feeding for cattle in the forest and the purlieus the farmers of Charlton accepted 400 a. in Charlton's part of the purlieus as a common pasture, called Charlton common, and the cottagers of Charlton were allotted a common of 50 a. In 1631 gates and gaps were left for both commons to be open to parts of the purlieus outside Charlton while Lord Berkshire disputed with the lords of other manors the extent of his inclosures, but from 1633 the two commons were exclusive to Charlton. (fn. 265)
In the west half of the parish open fields were still cultivated in the 18th century, and a third field, Middle, was apparently taken from Home field; but consolidation of strips into larger tracts and inclosure continued, (fn. 266) and it is unlikely that there were more than vestiges of the open fields c. 1760. Most inclosure was apparently in the period 1709–48 when Humphrey Woodcock was steward of Charlton manor. Woodcock owned an estate in Charlton, was a copyholder and leaseholder, and favoured inclosure: he was dismissed by Henry, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, who accused him of breaches of trust and false accounting throughout his period of office. (fn. 267) Little land was granted by copy after c. 1731, (fn. 268) the number of farms was reduced, and the consolidation of strips and inclosure presumably accelerated. Most of the land was apparently worked from farmsteads in the village: based outside it Bambury Hill farm was 195 a. c. 1780, and Griffin's Barn farm was 205 a. worked from buildings west of the Cirencester—Malmesbury road. (fn. 269) Also in the west half deer were kept in Charlton park in 1674. (fn. 270) In 1760 the park measured c. 245 a. (fn. 271) When in hand it was partly used for stock rearing but sometimes it was leased and within its walls West field, c. 60 a., remained arable. (fn. 272) The park was enlarged c. 1770 for more deer to be kept (fn. 273) and in 1773 its walls enclosed c. 675 a. (fn. 274) In the east half of the parish the land was improved after 1631 and there was hedging, ditching, and tree felling in the late 1630s. (fn. 275) In the 18th century the average size of the closes there was under 10 a. Acreages of farms which existed in 1631 were increased and new farms created. The largest, Worthy Hill farm, measured 457 a. c. 1780. Others then included Stonehill, 410 a., Kynaston, later Pond, 142 a., Hundred Acre, later Summerhouse, 105 a., Pink Lane, 291 a., Great Lype, 250 a., and Little Lype, 107 a. Between the former open fields to the west and the former purlieus to the east the Heath and the Moor, respectively 45 a. and 54 a. c. 1780, remained for use in common (fn. 276) and there were other smaller areas of common pasture called Pink Lane, Perry Green, and Broad Green. (fn. 277) The 50-a. pasture allotted to the cottagers in 1631 was apparently not marked out until 1660 or later. (fn. 278) That and the 400-a. common pasture were respectively south and north of Braydon pond. (fn. 279) Despite encroachments on them all those pastures were still used in common c. 1780. (fn. 280) In 1660 stinting on the commons was related to contributions to church rates, 6 sheep to 1d., 1 beast or 1 horse to 2d. (fn. 281) In 1698 it was based on the value of holdings, 20 sheep for every £10, 1 horse for every 8 sheep, and cattle at the rate of 1 for every 4 sheep. (fn. 282)
The common pastures were inclosed, presumably mostly by agreement, c. 1808. (fn. 283) No new farm was created and most of the new inclosures went to enlarge farms: (fn. 284) trees were planted around Braydon pond. (fn. 285) North of Braydon pond Thomas, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, held 55 a. as field gardens in 1839: (fn. 286) they were replaced, possibly before 1898, by 71 a. of garden allotments near the south-east corner of the parish, (fn. 287) and the 71 a. became farmland in the mid 20th century. (fn. 288) In 1809 John, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, tried to improve his estate by converting pasture to arable, erecting new buildings and installing threshing machines, and fertilizing and draining land: new tenants, especially from Scotland and Northumberland, were invited, but few tenancies changed. (fn. 289) In 1839 the average size of the fields remained c. 10 a. and the parish still had about six times as much grassland as arable: more arable was in the west than the east but no farm had more arable than grass. In 1839 Park farm, 205 a. worked from buildings beside the CirencesterMalmesbury road, was wholly within the walls of Charlton park, which had again been enlarged in 1808, and 408 a. of the park were in hand. (fn. 290) Deer were kept c. 1867 but not c. 1892. (fn. 291) The other farms in the west in 1839 were Street, 260 a. including land imparked in 1808, Village, 106 a., others of 81 a. and 27 a. based in the street, Woodcock, 143 a., Bambury Hill, 255 a. including 67 a. in Hankerton, and Griffin's Barn, 230 a. including 50 a. in Malmesbury. Bishoper farm based in Hankerton included 75 a. of Charlton west of the Cirencester—Malmesbury road. In the centre and east the farms were Heath, 116 a., Great Lype, 221 a., Little Lype, 126 a., Lower Moore, 23 a., Old Park, 316 a. including 82 a. in Hankerton, Lower Stonehill, 198 a., Stonehill, 138 a., Pond, 177 a., Pink Lane, 111 a., Elm, 199 a., Worthy Hill, 321 a., Bick's, 160 a., and Summerhouse, 173 a. including 59 a. in Hankerton. Of the south-east corner of the parish Moonsleaze farm, based in Purton, included 85 a., and Rookery farm and another farm, both based in Brinkworth, included respectively 135 a. and 97 a. (fn. 292) The 85 a. of Moonsleaze farm was later, possibly from 1857, Eighty Acre farm. (fn. 293) In 1887 the parish contained 596 a. of arable, 160 a. of grass under rotation, and 3,764 a. of permanent grassland: 1,006 sheep, 525 pigs, 465 cows, and 534 other cattle were kept. (fn. 294) There may have been some market gardening in the south-east. (fn. 295)
The 19th-century pattern of farming in Charlton continued until the Second World War. In 1910 much more of the park than in 1839 was in Park farm, 541 a. worked from the buildings beside the Cirencester—Malmesbury road and from others near Charlton Park, but most of the other farms were smaller than in 1840 and there were several new small farms: by then Elm farm had been halved and Turk's taken from Old Park. (fn. 296) In 1939 only 5 of 30 farms based in Charlton parish exceeded 150 a. (fn. 297) There were then only c. 200 a. of arable. Sheep and pigs were still kept but most farming was dairying: 820 cows and 248 other cattle were kept in 1937. (fn. 298)
After 1939 more land was ploughed, but dairy and cattle farming also increased: 1,000 a. were arable and c. 2,700 cattle were kept in the parish in 1977. (fn. 299) The fields were made much larger. Most of the arable was in the west where much land of the Charlton Park estate was taken in hand. In 1988 over half the 1,000 a. in hand were arable, with woodland and pasture for beef cattle in the park: the farmland was worked from the buildings near Charlton Park and from Brokenborough. The tenanted farms, Griffin's Barn, 194 a., and Bambury Hill, 206 a., were both arable and dairy farms. The c. 70 a. of Bishoper farm in Charlton remained arable. (fn. 300) In 1988 the centre and east of the parish was mainly pasture and worked in 15–20 farms. Little Lype, Old Park, Elm, Lower Stonehill, and Bick's remained dairy farms, cereals were grown on Pink Lane farm, and there were large buildings for cattle on Pond, Worthy Hill, and Heath farms, for pigs on Bullock's Horn farm, and for chickens near Pink Lane Farm. Turk's farm was used for rearing cattle and horses, Summerhouse farm for a riding school, and the Braydon pond estate for shooting and fishing. Land near Charlton's boundary with Brinkworth was worked from Brinkworth. (fn. 301)
In 1086 Charlton had little woodland, 2 furlongs by 1 furlong, (fn. 302) and with access to the woody grounds to the east and to Braydon forest may have needed no more. Charlton Thorns, 16 a., and Swatnage coppice, 6 a., were woods in the 16th century (fn. 303) when many trees also grew in Charlton's part of the purlieus: woods of c. 40 a. and 20 a. referred to c. 1600 are likely to have been in the purlieus. (fn. 304) Charlton Thorns was possibly what was later called Dellas wood and Stonehill wood. (fn. 305) Woodland was in both parks in the early 17th century (fn. 306) but after 1631 some was almost certainly cleared from the east part of the parish. (fn. 307) There were c. 220 a. of woodland c. 1780. The woods included Stonehill, 64 a., Swatnage, 14 a., Great Withy, 29 a., and Little Withy, 12 a.: most of the remainder was in Charlton park. (fn. 308) More trees were planted in the 19th century, including Pond plantation, c. 194 a., c. 1808. There were c. 480 a. of woodland in 1839, (fn. 309) 500 a. in 1910 when 450 a. were in the east. (fn. 310) Most of that woodland remained in 1988.
A mill with 12 a. of meadow and 15 a. of pasture was at Charlton in 1086, (fn. 311) and a mill was part of Charlton manor in the mid 13th century. (fn. 312) In the 16th century a copyhold water mill was near the parish boundary SSW. of the church. (fn. 313) It was a grist mill, (fn. 314) called Smith's in 1773 when it was within the park. (fn. 315) It may have gone out of use about then. (fn. 316) A windmill was part of the manor c. 1600, when it was in hand, (fn. 317) and in the earlier 17th century. (fn. 318) It was in the north-west part of the parish near the Charlton—Tetbury road. (fn. 319)
Non-agricultural trades developed little at Charlton. A weaver was mentioned in 1577, (fn. 320) shoemakers and a parchment maker in the early 18th century; (fn. 321) and there was a slaughterhouse at Perry Green in the early 19th century (fn. 322) and a saw mill near Elm Farm in the 20th. (fn. 323) A haulage business was run from Pink Lane Farm in the later 20th century.
Malmesbury abbey held view of frankpledge for Charlton, at Hocktide and Martinmas, in the later 13th century (fn. 324) and at the Dissolution, (fn. 325) and spring and autumn views continued to be held with manor courts until the 18th century. (fn. 326) From 1563 to 1598 the lord of Charlton manor was Sir Henry Knyvett, (fn. 327) whose treatise of 1596 on the defence of the realm shows him to have favoured local organization for defence and suggests that he was aware of his powers to enforce the law locally, (fn. 328) and in that period Charlton's courts were very active. That and the thread of efficiency and good organization which runs through local government in Charlton to the 19th century may be partly due to Knyvett's impact on a community whose origin (fn. 329) implied social and economic co-operation.
In the later 16th century the view of frankpledge was distinguished from the manor court, but later the two were held together; from the 16th century to the 18th additional courts baron were sometimes held. Leet business was done in the later 16th century and the 17th. In the later 16th the tithingman presented infractions of the assize of bread and of ale, millers for taking excess toll, and strays: his presentments were affirmed by jurors who corporately made additional presentments. Assaults were sometimes presented by the tithingman, sometimes by the jurors. Later the jurors made all presentments. (fn. 330) Other matters dealt with in the later 16th century under leet jurisdiction included the administering of the oath of allegiance to young men, (fn. 331) the tithing's failure to have the statutory rook net, (fn. 332) the playing of unlawful games, (fn. 333) and the harbouring of suspect women. (fn. 334) In 1564 the court ordered that the statutes should be complied with and that vagabonds, beggars, and the suspected should be taken to the constable for punishment. Thefts were punished by three hours in the stocks in 1564, (fn. 335) a day in the stocks in 1584; (fn. 336) and the making of a pillory was required in 1565. To sell ale between Easter and Whitsun was in 1565 forbidden to all but the parish clerk. (fn. 337) Archery practice was enjoined in 1579. (fn. 338) In the earlier 17th century a single body of jurors made presentments under leet jurisdiction and acted as the homage, and similar business was done. (fn. 339) In addition to bakers, tapsters, and millers a butcher was presented. (fn. 340) The prohibition against harbouring the suspected was extended to oblige those subletting to indemnify the parish and later to deny right of settlement to those thought likely to become a charge on the parish: in 1635 an inhabitant was penalized for failing to eject his own mother from his house. (fn. 341) From the later 17th century the courts continued to appoint the tithingman but dealt with little leet business. (fn. 342) The office of tithingman, like that of reeve, passed in the order in which the bread was received at holy communion. (fn. 343)
From the mid 16th century to the early 18th the most important business of the manor courts, apart from the normal recording of surrenders of and admittances to copyholds, was to confirm agreed changes in the way that the open fields and common pastures were used, and, by listing and amercing transgressors, to inhibit bad agrarian practice and establish precedent. Matters ranged from the recital of the boundaries of the manor in 1585 (fn. 344) and the agreement with the lord following the inclosure of Braydon forest (fn. 345) to orders to scour ditches, ring pigs, brand cattle, tie up bitches in season, and share in paying a mole catcher. (fn. 346) The court appointed a hayward, a reeve, and overseers of the fields, (fn. 347) and in 1636 levied a rate to pay the hayward 2s. a week for overseeing the new common pastures. (fn. 348) Of particular and persistent concern was the maintenance of boundaries, both to restrict animals and demarcate, the limiting of common of pasture to certain times and numbers and kinds of animals, and the achievement of piecemeal inclosures of arable and pasture. The homage's adjudication in minor agrarian disputes was also recorded, (fn. 349) and in the later 16th century pleas between tenants were heard. In one a tenant demanded the return of the lower half of his wife's petticoat which, without his consent, she had pledged to buy firewood: the court allowed the gagee to keep the garment but ordered its full value to be rendered. (fn. 350) In 1580 tenants were forbidden to implead each other at any but the lord's court unless 40s. or more was claimed. (fn. 351) In the 18th century the courts continued to witness transfers of copyholds, new rules for husbandry were sometimes recorded and some new inclosures referred to, and officers were appointed, but most of their business was by then stereotyped and they had declined as an agent of local government. (fn. 352)
Charlton relieved its own poor and was apparently doing so in the 1570s. (fn. 353) Overseers' accounts are complete from 1707 to 1835 (fn. 354) when the parish joined Malmesbury poor-law union. (fn. 355) In each year one overseer served from Easter to Michaelmas, another from Michaelmas to Easter. Expenditure was divided between monthly doles and ad hoc payments for such things as shoes, clothes, fuel, funerals, rents, and, occasionally, repairs to buildings. Usually more was spent on doles than other payments: from April to September 1737, for example, £29 of the £39 spent was given as doles to c. 17 recipients. In 1751–2 £132 was spent. In the late 1760s and early 1770s the parish may have had a workhouse (fn. 356) but otherwise the method of poor relief was not changed. Expenditure rose in the late 18th century: it was £131 in 1775–6, £187 in 1791–2, £375 in 1798–9, and £809 in 1800–1. In 1802–3 monthly doles were paid to 30. Between then and 1835 with some fluctuation expenditure decreased, but it was often above average for a parish of Charlton's size and in several years exceeded £500. (fn. 357) The parish owned six cottages in Charlton in 1839. (fn. 358) In its first year Malmesbury union kept three Charlton paupers in the workhouse and relieved a further 44. (fn. 359) In 1974 the parish became part of North Wiltshire district. (fn. 360)
Overseers of highways were sometimes appointed in the manor court in the later 16th century, (fn. 361) presumably ad hoc, and in 1634 accounts were demanded from the overseers. (fn. 362) In the late 18th century two surveyors of highways were appointed each year. (fn. 363)
Charlton church was standing in the late 12th century. (fn. 364) It was called a chapel in 1248 and may then have been served by Malmesbury abbey, which took the tithes of Charlton, (fn. 365) but in the later 13th century was a daughter of Westport church. (fn. 366) The vicar of Westport took small tithes from Charlton and had a house and land there, (fn. 367) presumably all given by Malmesbury abbey, and in 1346 the abbey ordered the vicar to repair the chancel of Charlton church because the church was a chapel of Westport. (fn. 368) The church's status may have been in question in 1437–8 when, apparently to oblige the vicar or the abbey to repair the chancel, the parishioners denied that there was right of burial at Charlton and by implication that Charlton was a parish church. Bodies, which the parishioners said were taken to Malmesbury, were presumably buried at Westport. (fn. 369) From the 17th century or earlier baptisms, marriages, and burials were all at Charlton, (fn. 370) and, presumably because the glebe was at Charlton where several vicars lived, (fn. 371) Charlton was often mistaken for the mother church. (fn. 372) Its dependence on Westport was apparently marked by no more than the incumbent's title of vicar of Westport, but it remained dependent until 1879. Charlton with Brokenborough then became a separate parish served by a perpetual curate with Charlton as the parish church: Brokenborough church, also a daughter of Westport until 1879, became a chapel of ease in the new parish with no right of marriage until 1933. The Crown, patron of Westport, became patron of the new living. (fn. 373) The benefice was united with the vicarage of Hankerton in 1954 and the bishop of Bristol became joint patron: in 1961 the archbishop of Canterbury presented by lapse. (fn. 374) Brokenborough was detached from the benefice in 1984. In 1987 Charlton, without Hankerton, was joined to Lea and Cleverton and to Garsdon to form a new benefice: the bishop of Bristol and the Church Society Trust became joint patrons. (fn. 375)
In the late 13th century and later the vicar of Westport took small tithes from Charlton apart from Malmesbury abbey's demesne. (fn. 376) They were worth £25 in 1705. (fn. 377) In 1784–5 the vicar successfully refused compositions agreed with his predecessors. (fn. 378) Thereafter moduses were paid for the Charlton demesne land and Charlton park, and the full value of the small tithes was paid in respect of 2,250 a. (fn. 379) In 1794 John, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, paid the vicar a total of £260 for the moduses, the small tithes from Charlton and Brokenborough, and a lease of the glebe, (fn. 380) from 1800 £280, and from c. 1812 £430. (fn. 381) The tithes were commuted in 1840. (fn. 382) From 1879 the vicar of Charlton with Brokenborough was entitled to the rent charges from Charlton and Brokenborough and to the glebe. (fn. 383)
The vicar of Westport held land in Charlton c. 1286. (fn. 384) It was possibly 1 yardland and in 1409 and later included land in the open fields. (fn. 385) A house on it in 1438 (fn. 386) was not one in which later vicars lived. By 1671, when the glebe was estimated as 56 a., it had long been used as a barn and there was no glebe house. (fn. 387) The glebe, all in Charlton, was 46 a. in 1839. (fn. 388) A large glebe house built in Vicarage Lane c. 1876 (fn. 389) became the vicarage house of the new benefice in 1879. (fn. 390) It was sold in 1974. The new vicarage house built in its garden in 1973 was sold in 1981. (fn. 391) The diocesan board of finance sold 35 a. of the glebe in 1982 and retained 5 a. in 1988. (fn. 392)
In the Middle Ages a house, called Our Lady's house, and 4 a. were given for masses in Charlton church. (fn. 393) Prescribed ornaments were not in the church in 1556. (fn. 394) The vicar of Westport apparently lived at Charlton in 1438, (fn. 395) and in the 17th century vicars lived and held services at Charlton. A house, apparently newly built, was leased to the vicar in 1609. (fn. 396) Matthew Whitley, vicar from 1650 or earlier to 1670, lived at Charlton, sometimes employed a curate, and was accused of persistent drunkenness, solemnizing a clandestine marriage, and claiming skill in palmistry. (fn. 397) Except in the mid 18th century most later vicars themselves held services at Charlton. (fn. 398) John Hollinworth, curate from 1768, vicar 1782–1800, lived at Charlton and solemnized there many marriages which might have been expected to take place at Westport. (fn. 399) In 1783 he held at Charlton a Sunday service every week and communion four times a year. (fn. 400) John Nicholas, vicar 1800–36, (fn. 401) lived at Charlton until c. 1810. John, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, added £150 a year to Nicholas's income c. 1812 to provide for additional services at Charlton, but the two quarrelled and Nicholas left Charlton: he was rector of Fisherton Anger, where he lived c. 1818 to 1825, and of Bremilham, and employed a curate to serve Charlton. (fn. 402) Thomas, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, favoured evangelicalism and appointed a scripture reader. In 1850 the reader was accused by the vicar, G. H. H. Hutchinson, of convoking congregations and convicted of allowing his cottage to be used as an uncertified place of worship: he was replaced by a second curate. (fn. 403) Only 90 attended the service at Charlton on Census Sunday in 1851, a congregation said to be smaller than usual. (fn. 404) Soon afterwards Alfred Church, later professor of Latin at University College, London, was curate. (fn. 405) Services in the earlier 20th century were more frequent and in 1933, for example, communion was celebrated 75 times at Charlton. (fn. 406)
In 1706 Frances Winchcombe, daughter of Thomas, earl of Berkshire (d. 1706), gave a rent charge of £4 for prayer books and Bibles for poor children in Charlton and other parishes: Charlton's share was £1. In the 19th century and early 20th the income was spent on such books to be given to children or sold cheaply to adults. (fn. 407)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, so called in 1763, (fn. 408) consists of a chancel with north chapel and south vestry, a nave with north aisle and north and south porches, and a west tower against which is an extension of the aisle, and is of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. The chancel and the nave and its four-bay arcade and its aisle were built in the late 12th century. In the early 14th the aisle may have been rebuilt and was extended westwards, the chapel and tower were built, and windows in the chancel and nave were renewed. Other windows in the chancel (fn. 409) and in the nave and nave aisle were renewed in the 15th century when the south porch was added. A large south window was inserted in the nave in the late 16th century or early 17th, and the upper stage of the tower was apparently rebuilt in the 17th century. A canopied monument to Sir Henry Knyvett (d. 1598) and his wife Elizabeth (d. 1585) (fn. 410) stood under an arch between the chancel and chapel until 1864 or later: (fn. 411) afterwards it was moved to the north wall of the chapel and the arch was replaced by a two-bayed arcade. The church was restored in 1874–5: the vestry was built, the original triple-lancet east window of the chancel was replaced by a window with geometrical tracery and a similar window was placed in the west wall of the tower, a gallery incorporating carved wood from Sherborne House (Glos.) was removed from the west end of the nave aisle, and the church was reseated. (fn. 412) A wooden rood screen and a pew, which was used by the earls of Suffolk and of Berkshire, incorporated elaborate 16th-century carving, and extended across nearly the whole width of the nave and nave aisle at their east end, were removed, and the pulpit, dated 1630, was moved from half way along the north wall to the south-east corner of the nave. (fn. 413) The north porch was built in the 19th century. A 17th-century altar table remains in use, 17th-century woodwork survives in the pulpit, and wood from the screen and the Suffolk pew has been re-used as an organ case in the chapel. The church, which was reroofed in 1926, (fn. 414) contains a late 12th-century font reset on a 17th-century base.
In 1553 the king took 3 oz. of plate and left a chalice of 11 oz. In 1988 the parish owned a chalice, a paten, and a flagon, all hallmarked for 1706 and given by Lady Frances Winchcombe and her father, and an almsdish given in 1851. (fn. 415)
There were three bells and a sanctus bell in 1553. A new peal was cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1712: a bell cast by John Rudhall in 1805 hangs in the ring of five as a replacement. The bells were in poor condition in 1924 and 1988. (fn. 416)
The registers are complete from 1661. (fn. 417)
Thomas, earl of Berkshire (d. 1669), and Charles, earl of Berkshire (d. 1679), were papists, and seven papists lived at Charlton in 1676. There was no papist there in 1680. (fn. 418)
Quakers lived at Charlton from the later 17th to the mid 18th century, (fn. 419) and in 1669 there may have been Presbyterians there, (fn. 420) but in 1676 only three protestant nonconformists were in the parish. (fn. 421) A meeting house for dissenters was certified in 1717. An Independent meeting house was certified in 1800, a Baptist one in 1819, another one, at Stonehill, in 1827, and possibly others in 1818 and 1833. (fn. 422) A small Primitive Methodist chapel was built at Stonehill in 1836: afternoon and evening services on Census Sunday in 1851 were attended by 38 and 35 respectively. (fn. 423) It had apparently been closed by 1882. (fn. 424)
A day school, largely paid for by Thomas, earl of Suffolk and of Berkshire, was attended by 21 boys and 11 girls in 1833. (fn. 425) Charlton Park National school and a schoolhouse were built in the east part of the village in 1838. (fn. 426) Two dame schools were also held in 1846–7. (fn. 427) In 1858 c. 75 attended Charlton Park school, where land was provided for industrial instruction. (fn. 428) There were 76 pupils in 1871 (fn. 429) and 73 in 1902. (fn. 430) Average attendance remained above 70 until the early 1930s: 49 children attended in 1935–6. (fn. 431) The school was closed in 1975. (fn. 432) A boarding school for c. 50 girls, Wings school, was in Charlton Park during the Second World War and until the early 1950s. (fn. 433)
Charity for the Poor.
Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas, earl of Berkshire (d. 1706), gave 8 a. in Brokenborough, the Poor's land, to the second poor of Charlton. In 1834 the rent from the land was £8 10s. and sums of between 2s. 6d. and 7s. were given at Christmas. (fn. 434) The charity, which was regulated by Scheme in 1925, gave small sums at Christmas until 1979: £5 17s. was distributed among 30 in 1950. The land was sold in 1960, and in the 1980s the charity made occasional gifts. (fn. 435)