A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.

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A P Baggs. J Freeman. C Smith. J H Stevenson. E Williamson, 'Tidcombe ', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred, (London, 1999) pp. 215-222. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol16/pp215-222 [accessed 25 May 2024].

A P Baggs. J Freeman. C Smith. J H Stevenson. E Williamson. "Tidcombe ", in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred, (London, 1999) 215-222. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol16/pp215-222.

Baggs, A P. Freeman, J. Smith, C. Stevenson, J H. Williamson, E. "Tidcombe ", A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred, (London, 1999). 215-222. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol16/pp215-222.

In this section


Tidcombe parish, (fn. 1) c. 15 km. both south-east of Marlborough and north-west of Andover (Hants), comprised Tidcombe, 895 a., and Fosbury, 1,444 a., which were detached from each other; 27 a. of the land of Oxenwood, otherwise in Shalbourne parish, had been added to Tidcombe parish by 1786. (fn. 2) Tidcombe parish church stood at Tidcombe and in the 19th century a church was built at Fosbury. (fn. 3) In 1894 Wiltshire county council gave the parish the name Tidcombe and Fosbury, and Hippenscombe, 911 a., a civil parish, formerly extra-parochial, and linking Tidcombe's and Fosbury's land, was then added to it. (fn. 4) In 1934 the land lying between Tidcombe's and Fosbury's, part of Shalbourne parish and until 1895 in Berkshire, was transferred to Tidcombe and Fosbury parish, (fn. 5) increasing it to 1,529 ha. (3,778 a.). (fn. 6)

The population of Tidcombe parish in 1801 was 220. Between then and 1881, when it was 238, it was at its lowest, at 204, in 1811 and its highest, at 274, in 1861. It had fallen to 199 by 1891 and, despite the addition of Hippenscombe to the parish, to 190 by 1901. A rise to 251 between 1901 and 1911 and a fall to 197 between 1911 and 1921 cannot be explained. Despite the addition of part of Shalbourne in 1934 the population of Tidcombe and Fosbury parish continued to fall. There were 158 inhabitants in 1951, (fn. 7) 97 in 1971. In 1991 the population was 105. (fn. 8)


The main part of this article deals principally with Tidcombe. Most aspects of Fosbury and Hippenscombe are dealt with separately in subarticles under the name of each place.

The boundary of Tidcombe follows a Roman road for most of its length on the east and for a short distance on the north. Another road marks the boundary on the north-east, and the 27 a. of Oxenwood's land lies east of that road. (fn. 9) On the west the south part of Tidcombe's boundary follows a prehistoric ditch for c. 1 km. (fn. 10) On the south the point on the boundary where the Roman road crosses a prehistoric ditch was called Street gate in the 10th century. (fn. 11) All Tidcombe's land lies on chalk, a north facing scarp crosses the middle of it, and there is no stream on it. North and south of the scarp much of the land is flat. That to the north reaches its lowest point, at 150 m., on the north part of the boundary. That to the south is downland which falls gently from c. 260 m. immediately south of the scarp to c. 195 m. on the south part of the boundary; in two places the chalk is overlain by clay-with-flints. (fn. 12) Sheep-and-corn husbandry was for long practised on the land. (fn. 13)

No main road crosses Tidcombe's land. The Roman road followed by its boundary and crossing it north-east of Tidcombe village linked Cirencester and Winchester; the section on the east was part of a south-west deviation of the road from its otherwise straight course made to avoid broken relief. (fn. 14) Where it crossed and bounded Tidcombe all but a short part of the straight course was tarmacadamed and, leading north-west towards Marlborough and south-east towards Andover, was in use as a public road in 1998. A long barrow, a bowl barrow, and several prehistoric ditches lie on the downland south of Tidcombe village. (fn. 15) Tidcombe lay within Savernake forest until 1330. (fn. 16)

Most of the buildings of Tidcombe village have long stood in a north-south street immediately below the face of the scarp, with the church in the middle on the west side. (fn. 17) In the Middle Ages there were probably c. 16 small farmsteads in the street, (fn. 18) and in 1377, when it had 50 poll-tax payers, (fn. 19) Tidcombe village may have been more populous than at any time later. It had 76 inhabitants in 1841. (fn. 20) In the mid 18th century a manor house was built north of the church, (fn. 21) and in the earlier 19th century a vicarage house was standing on the east side of the street and east of the church. About 1840 there were two farmyards at the north end of the street, one on each side, and a house and a farmyard stood immediately north of the vicarage house. There were then nine cottages in the street, including a terrace of five at the south end. (fn. 22) In the mid 19th century the vicarage house was rebuilt and, south of the church and on the west side of the street, a school was built; (fn. 23) the school was converted to a house c. 1947. (fn. 24) Of the buildings standing c. 1840 only the church, the manor house, a small house apparently of 17th-century origin, and a possibly 19th-century cottage survived in 1998. At the north end of the street 20th-century buildings stood in the two farmyards; buildings on the site of the third farmyard were used for keeping horses. Only two new houses were built in the street in the 20th century.

About 1840 two cottages stood beside the lane by which the north end of Tidcombe street is approached. One of them, of brick, flint, and thatch and possibly of the late 18th century, survived in 1998. North-east of it two pairs of estate cottages were built between c. 1840 and 1879 and rebuilt in the mid 20th century. Beside a track leading to the street from the south four cottages were standing c. 1840; three were demolished between 1899 and 1922, the fourth in the mid 20th century. (fn. 25)

Tidcombe village was designated a conservation area in 1975. (fn. 26)


Tidcombe was probably part of the estate called Bedwyn which passed with the crown almost certainly from the 8th century. The estate was held by Abingdon abbey (Berks., later Oxon.) from 968 to 975 or later, and from 978 apparently again passed with the crown. (fn. 27) By 1066 Tidcombe had been granted away: it was held then by Wenesius, in 1086 by his relict. (fn. 28)

In the late 12th century TIDCOMBE manor was held by Henry Hussey. (fn. 29) Formerly it may have been held by members of the Beauchamp family, and in 1249 William de Beauchamp of Elmley Castle (Worcs.) confirmed it to Hussey's successor. (fn. 30) The overlordship of the manor was held by William's son William, earl of Warwick (d. 1298), (fn. 31) and descended with the earldom. (fn. 32)

Tidcombe manor passed from Henry Hussey to his son Geoffrey, to whom the king confirmed it in 1198. It presumably descended like Figheldean manor to Geoffrey's son Geoffrey (d. c. 1218), whose estate passed to another Henry Hussey (d. 1260 × 1263). (fn. 33) Tidcombe manor passed from that Henry Hussey to his son Sir Hubert (d. by 1275), (fn. 34) whose heirs were his infant daughters Margaret (d. c. 1320), who married Henry Sturmy (d. c. 1305), Maud (d. c. 1285 unmarried), and Isabel, who married John Thorney. (fn. 35) From c. 1285 to the later 14th century moieties of the manor apparently descended separately. In the 1320s what was probably one of the moieties was apparently disputed between Margaret Sturmy's sons Henry Sturmy and John Sturmy, as a moiety of Figheldean manor was, (fn. 36) and in 1331 John held an estate in Tidcombe, presumably the moiety. (fn. 37) John's estate may have passed to Henry (d. c. 1338) and probably passed to that Henry's son Henry (d. 1381). (fn. 38) By 1289 Isabel Thorney's moiety had apparently been acquired by (Sir) John of Kingston, (fn. 39) who in 1322 forfeited his lands for contrariance. (fn. 40) By 1329 it had apparently been recovered by Sir John (d. 1332 × 1339), who settled it on himself and his wife Constance for life with reversion to his son Thomas: in 1329 Sir John's right to the estate was acknowledged by John and Isabel Thorney, and in 1339 it was disputed by Henry Sturmy and by Isabel's grandson John Thorney and her daughter-in-law Maud Thorney. (fn. 41) The estate passed to Thomas Kingston's son John, who in 1375 conveyed a moiety of Tidcombe manor to Henry Sturmy and the younger John Thorney. (fn. 42) In 1382 the whole manor belonged to Henry's nephew and heir (Sir) William Sturmy. (fn. 43)

From Sir William Sturmy's death in 1427 Tidcombe manor was held for life by his relict Joan (d. 1429). Sir William's heirs were his grandson (Sir) John Seymour and his daughter Agnes, the wife of John Holcombe. (fn. 44) Tidcombe manor may have been assigned to Agnes and in 1447, as part of the settlement of a dispute over the partition of Sir William's lands, it was assigned to her son William Ringbourne (fn. 45) (d. 1450). It was held for life by William's relict Elizabeth and passed in turn to his son Robert (fn. 46) (d. 1485), Robert's brother William (d. 1512), and that William's grandson Thomas Brown, (fn. 47) who held it until 1532 or later. (fn. 48) By 1540 the manor had been acquired, probably by purchase, by Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (cr. duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 49)

On Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552 Tidcombe manor passed by Act to his son Sir Edward Seymour (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621), a minor. (fn. 50) From 1553 to 1675 it descended with Tottenham Lodge in Great Bedwyn successively to William, duke of Somerset (d. 1660), William, duke of Somerset (d. 1671), and John, duke of Somerset (d. 1675). (fn. 51) Under a settlement of 1672 the manor passed in 1675 to Somerset's relict Sarah (d. 1692), and from then until c. 1767 it descended in the Seymour family with Pewsey manor. (fn. 52) About 1767 Hugh Percy, duke of Northumberland, and his wife Elizabeth, by direction of Joseph Champion, sold it to Edward Tanner. (fn. 53)

The manor descended from Edward Tanner (d. 1779) to his son John (d. 1797) (fn. 54) and passed to John's daughter Martha (d. 1855), from 1798 the wife of the Revd. W. R. H. Churchill (d. 1847). It passed to Martha's son the Revd. William Churchill, who in 1871-2 sold it to Thomas Hayward (fn. 55) (d. 1921). The manor descended in the direct line to Thomas Hayward (d. 1947), who sold the manor house and c. 25 a., T. P. Hayward (d. 1985), and Mr. J. W. Hayward, who owned Tidcombe farm, c. 940 a., in 1998. (fn. 56)

Tidcombe Manor was built in the mid 18th century, possibly for John Tanner soon after c. 1767. (fn. 57) It is a two-storeyed house of red brick with, on the south, a main front of five bays, of which the central bay is pedimented and incorporates an open-pedimented doorcase. (fn. 58) On the ground floor the house originally had four rooms, two on each side of a central staircase hall. In the 1930s a rear service wing was enlarged, the interior of the house was much altered, a garden with rustic walls of flint was made to the west, and a swimming pool house was built in a Moorish style. In the 1960s stables were converted to cottages, in the 1970s a bay was added to the service wing and a coach house was converted to a library, (fn. 59) and in 1990 the south forecourt was altered to designs by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. (fn. 60)

A licence of 1331 for Easton priory to appropriate Tidcombe church (fn. 61) was void. A licence for the priory to appropriate it as soon as it was vacant was granted in 1392, (fn. 62) and between 1401 and 1403 the priory appropriated the church. (fn. 63) The RECTORY estate belonged to Easton priory until the Dissolution, (fn. 64) and in 1536 it was granted to Sir Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (cr. earl of Hertford 1537, duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 65) In 1547 Somerset gave it to the Crown in an exchange and the Crown granted it to St. George's chapel, Windsor. (fn. 66) It was confiscated by parliament in 1643, assigned to the almshouses of Windsor castle in 1654, and recovered by the chapel at the Restoration. (fn. 67) In 1838 the estate consisted of 48 a. and all the tithes from the whole of Tidcombe and Fosbury; the tithes were valued at £481 in 1839 and commuted. (fn. 68) In 1867 the estate passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 69) who sold the land in 1920. (fn. 70)


In 1086 Tidcombe had land for 3 ploughteams: 1 team and 1 servus were on the demesne, and 2 villani and 6 bordars had 2 teams. There were 4 a. of woodland and 10 square furlongs of pasture. (fn. 71)

Until the later 18th century Tidcombe's only inclosed land, c. 25 a., lay in the home closes of farmsteads in the village and in a few closes of meadow and pasture near the village. North of the scarp which crosses Tidcombe immediately south of the village there were three open fields, North, East, and West, a total of 431 a. The scarp face and the downland south of it, 392 a., were common pasture. (fn. 72)

In the 16th century all the land of Tidcombe manor was apparently held customarily. There were then 14 holdings, with an average of nominally 38 a. in the open fields; the largest had nominally 67 a., the smallest nominally 13 a. Each holding included land in each of the fields, common pasture for sheep and cattle, and a tenement presumably in the village. (fn. 73) The only other holdings of Tidcombe's land were a freehold, about the size of the largest copyhold of the manor and apparently of 2 yardlands, and the land of the rectory estate, about the average size of a copyhold and of 1 yardland. (fn. 74) Sheep stints, at 60 to 1 yardland, were generous. (fn. 75) In the late 17th century there was a cow down, on which sheep were kept in winter. From 1692 or earlier no more than three beasts to 1 yardland was permitted on the common pasture, and from 1702 or earlier no more than 40 sheep or 80 lambs on the cow down. (fn. 76)

By 1774 all but one of the copyholds of Tidcombe manor had been agglomerated as one farm; the last was added in 1791-2. (fn. 77) The open fields and common pastures were inclosed in 1775 by Act. In respect of the farm later called Manor farm the lord of Tidcombe manor was allotted 295 a. of the open fields and 296 a. of the downland. Other allotments lay east of his: 47 a. was allotted to the owner of the Rectory estate, 90 a. to the freeholder, and 95 a. to the copyholder. The Act required that after inclosure no less than 230 a., shared proportionately among the owners, should be ploughed. (fn. 78) By c. 1840 little of the land north of the scarp face had been laid to grass and 137 a. of the downland had been ploughed. (fn. 79)

About 1840 Tidcombe had c. 590 a. of arable, c. 42 a. of meadows and lowland pasture, and c. 236 a. of downland pasture. Manor farm, then and later worked from two farmyards at the north end of the street, had 718 a., and a farm worked from the farmstead east of the church had 145 a. (fn. 80) Both were apparently arable and sheep farms. (fn. 81) The smaller was added to Manor farm in the later 19th century or early 20th. In 1910 Manor farm had 850 a. (fn. 82) In 1998 it was a farm of c. 940 a. on which corn was grown and sheep and beef cattle were kept. (fn. 83)

Tidcombe had little woodland. Scots Poor plantation, 18 a. at the southern boundary, was standing c. 1840 and in 1998. No other wood as extensive as 10 a. seems to have been planted. (fn. 84)


Although the lord of Tidcombe manor in the late 12th century held the manor quit of suit to shire and hundred courts, (fn. 85) no separate view of frankpledge or court leet is known to have been held in respect of it. Records of the court baron survive for 1615-16, 1620, 1692-1702, and 1711-89. In the early 17th century the homage presented the death of tenants, and orders were made for hedges and boundaries to be repaired. In the late 17th century and early 18th it seems that the court usually met once a year, occasionally more often. Then and later in the 18th century it witnessed surrenders of and admittances to copyholds, endorsed regulations, most of them stereotyped, for common husbandry, and occasionally penalized the contravening of custom or of a regulation. The court met less often after the early 18th century: not at all between 1716 and 1719, only thrice in the 1740s, infrequently after 1760, and last in 1789. (fn. 86)

To relieve the poor of Tidcombe and Fosbury the parish appointed two overseers, each of whom relieved poverty throughout the parish. In 1775-6 the parish spent £142 on poor relief. In the late 1780s much more was spent on monthly doles than on making occasional payments for shoes, clothing, medical help, and funerals and in meeting other needs. The parish had a workhouse, in which there were usually three paupers in 1780; it stood at Fosbury and was probably closed in 1783. From Easter 1782 to Easter 1785 poor relief cost an average of £106 a year. In 1802-3 £160 was spent on relieving 15 adults and 14 children regularly and 10 people occasionally; by their labour the poor contributed £27 to their maintenance, and at 3s. the poor rate was about the average for the hundred. (fn. 87) In 1814-15 £344 was spent on relieving 5 adults regularly and 41 occasionally. (fn. 88) The cost of poor relief reached a peak of £441 in 1817-18; it had fallen to £146 by 1822-3, and between then and 1833-4 exceeded £300 only twice. (fn. 89) By 1848 Tidcombe parish had joined Hungerford (Berks.) poor-law union, which was formed in 1835. (fn. 90) Tidcombe and Fosbury parish became part of Kennet district in 1974. (fn. 91)


Tidcombe church was standing in the mid 13th century. (fn. 92) It was served by a rector until, between 1401 and 1403, it was appropriated by Easton priory. In the licence to appropriate, which was given in 1392, the bishop required the priory to appoint a resident stipendiary chaplain who was to be presented to him to receive cure of souls, (fn. 93) but by 1403 a vicarage had been ordained. (fn. 94) Vicars were presented until 1575. (fn. 95) From when the vicarage was vacated by the vicar instituted in 1575 the church was apparently served by stipendiary curates. (fn. 96) From 1789 it was served by a perpetual curate licensed by the bishop (fn. 97) and from 1868 called a vicar. (fn. 98) Tidcombe ecclesiastical parish was reduced in 1856, when Fosbury, where a church was consecrated in that year, was made a separate ecclesiastical district, (fn. 99) and increased in 1879, when Hippenscombe was added to it. (fn. 100) In 1926 the vicarages of Tidcombe and Fosbury were united, (fn. 101) and in 1962 the united benefice was united to East Grafton vicarage. (fn. 102) In 1979 that united benefice was united to others to form Wexcombe benefice, and the ecclesiastical parishes of Tidcombe and Fosbury were united. (fn. 103)

The advowson of Tidcombe rectory belonged to Henry Hussey (d. 1260 × 1263), the lord of Tidcombe manor, and descended with the manor to his son Sir Hubert (d. by 1275). From c. 1275 to 1335 it was disputed. (fn. 104) In 1275 and 1276, when as overlord he was keeper of Sir Hubert's daughters and heirs, the king presented, (fn. 105) and Sir Hubert's daughters Margaret, the wife of Henry Sturmy, and Isabel, the wife of John Thorney, later claimed to share the advowson with each other and attempted to present alternately; Margaret's claim passed to her son Henry Sturmy. Against that claim it was said in 1324 that the advowson had passed by successive conveyances from Sir Hubert Hussey to his brother John, to Richard de la Mote, and to William Mauduit; it was said to have descended to William's son Thomas Mauduit and to have been conveyed in 1324 by him to the rector Vincent Tarent, (fn. 106) on whose resignation in 1324 his claim was disputed by the younger Henry Sturmy. Tarent claimed that the candidates presented by the king had not been instituted, ignored a successful claim by Margaret Sturmy and Isabel Thorney against William Mauduit's relict Joan Mauduit in 1305, (fn. 107) and claimed that candidates presented successively by John Hussey and Richard de la Mote had been instituted; he himself had been presented in 1318 by Thomas Mauduit. Sturmy claimed that a candidate presented by his parents before c. 1305 had been instituted and, although the bishop recorded that it had been disputed by John Thorney, (fn. 108) claimed that the presentation of 1318 had been by grant of Isabel Thorney's turn. Jurors found for Tarent, who presented his own successor in 1324 and presented unchallenged in 1325. (fn. 109) At the following vacancy, in 1335, Henry Sturmy and John Sturmy, who were apparently disputing what was probably a moiety of Tidcombe manor with each other, each presented a rival to the candidate as rector presented by Tarent: Tarent's candidate was instituted, and between 1336 and 1349 Tarent presented five rectors without challenge. In 1361 William of Wykeham and John Froile, probably feoffees, presented, (fn. 110) and by 1374 the advowson had been acquired, possibly by purchase, by the younger Henry Sturmy's son Henry (d. 1381), who probably held a moiety of Tidcombe manor. (fn. 111) The advowson passed with Tidcombe manor to Sir William Sturmy, under a licence of 1390 Sir William gave it to Easton priory in an exchange, (fn. 112) and the priory was patron in 1392 when it was licensed to appropriate the church. (fn. 113) From 1403 to the Dissolution the priory presented vicars. (fn. 114) The patronage passed with the Rectory estate to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, and to St. George's chapel, Windsor, (fn. 115) and in 1575 William Ernle, the chapel's lessee, presented a vicar. Thereafter stipendiary curates were appointed by successive lessees or their nominees, (fn. 116) apparently until the late 18th century. In 1789 and later the perpetual curates and the vicars were nominated by St. George's chapel. (fn. 117) In 1926 the patronage of Fosbury church was given to the chapel in an exchange, and the chapel was the sole patron of the united benefice of Tidcombe with Fosbury. (fn. 118) From 1962 the chapel shared the patronage of the united benefice and from 1979 had a seat on the board of patronage for Wexcombe benefice. (fn. 119)

In 1291, when it was worth £5 6s. 8d., the rectory was of below average value for the diocese. (fn. 120) Apparently the rector held 1 yardland and was entitled to all the tithes from Tidcombe and Fosbury. (fn. 121) The vicar was entitled to no tithe and, apart from a house, had no glebe. In 1535 the vicarage was worth £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 122) From 1612 the lessee of the Rectory estate was required to pay £13 6s. 8d. for services in the church, £14 6s. 8d. from 1627, £38 from 1669, (fn. 123) £45 10s. in the earlier 19th century. The living was augmented in 1723 by £400, of which Queen Anne's Bounty gave £200, and in 1830 by £400 given by Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 124) The incumbent's average income from 1829 to 1831 was £77. (fn. 125) The living included a thatched house in 1812. (fn. 126) In 1833 the house was said to be unfit for residence (fn. 127) and in 1843 was dilapidated. (fn. 128) A new house was built c. 1865. (fn. 129) It was sold c. 1926. (fn. 130)

In the late 1320s an obligation to pay for the daily service of the church by two chaplains and a holy water clerk was placed upon the rector; the patron, Vincent Tarent, endowed the rectory with 100 wethers, 4 oxen, 2 horses, and 10 pigs to meet, or to help meet, the cost. The obligation was removed in 1374. (fn. 131) In 1553 quarterly sermons were not preached and the church had no communion table. (fn. 132) From 1612 or earlier a condition of the lease of the Rectory estate was that eight sermons a year were to be preached. (fn. 133) In 1783 services were held by a curate who lived at Chute and served the cure there. At Tidcombe one service was held each Sunday, alternately morning and afternoon, and communion was celebrated four times a year; there were 8-12 communicants. (fn. 134) In the earlier 19th century large new private pews were built and the incumbent complained that as a result some poor parishioners attended nonconformist meetings because there was too little room for them to worship in the church. Alterations to provide more free seats were made c. 1845. (fn. 135) From 1810 or soon after, services attended by inhabitants of Fosbury were held in a schoolroom standing in Shalbourne parish beside the Oxenwood road near Fosbury House. Sunday service was held there in the morning in 1851 with a congregation, presumably including inhabitants of Oxenwood, said to average 200. (fn. 136) In 1851 there was still only one service held each Sunday in Tidcombe church; the congregation numbered only 50 on Census Sunday. (fn. 137) In 1864 two services were held each Sunday and additional services on Good Friday and Christmas day; communion was celebrated every two months and at Easter, Whitsun, and Christmas with 6-8 communicants. Between 1862 and 1864, after Fosbury church was built, the average congregation at Sunday services was said to have risen from c. 16 to c. 35. (fn. 138) In the late 19th century and early 20th the vicar held services in a chapel of ease at Wexcombe in Grafton parish. (fn. 139) The vicarages of Tidcombe and Fosbury were held in plurality from 1916 to 1925; (fn. 140) that of Tidcombe with Fosbury was held in plurality with the rectory of Ham with Buttermere from 1952, with East Grafton from 1955. (fn. 141)

The church of ST. MICHAEL, so called in 1763, (fn. 142) is built of rendered flint rubble and consists of a chancel and an aisled and clerestoried nave with north porch and, within its westernmost bay, a tower. Apart from the porch and tower it was built in the 14th century; on the north wall of the chancel an arch, now blocked, may have led to a chapel. In the 15th century the chancel was reroofed and the clerestory was built. The tower was built, and the west bay of each aisle was altered, c. 1600. The porch, of brick, was built in 1675. West buttresses were built of brick in 1707. (fn. 143) Proposals to build a gallery were made in 1724 and 1750; (fn. 144) there is no evidence that one was built. (fn. 145) The church was lightly restored in 1882 to designs by Ewan Christian. (fn. 146)

Plate weighing 2½ oz. was confiscated from the church in 1553 and a chalice of 9 oz. was retained. A silver chalice of the earlier 18th century, a silver paten hallmarked for 1727 and probably given to the church in 1736, and a silver-plated flagon given in the later 19th century were held for the church in 1891 and 1998. (fn. 147)

Three bells hung in the church in 1553. The treble was replaced by a bell cast by John Wallis in 1608, the middle bell by one cast by Wallis in 1622, and the tenor by one cast by John Danton in 1636. In 1907 the treble cast in 1608 was replaced by a bell cast by Llewellins & James at Bristol, (fn. 148) and the bells were rehung. (fn. 149) The bells of 1907, 1622, and 1636 hung in the church in 1998. (fn. 150)

The registers begin in 1639. They are lacking for 1702-30, and registrations of burials are also lacking for 1676-9. (fn. 151)


Inhabitants of Tidcombe village may have been among parishioners who refused communion in the 1580s and 1686 (fn. 152) and among the five nonconformists, including four papists, who lived in the parish in 1676. (fn. 153) In 1816 a meeting house in Tidcombe was certified, probably by Independents, and Independents certified a meeting house there in 1828. (fn. 154) In 1864 there were eight Primitive Methodists and four Baptists in Tidcombe, some or all of whom met in a cottage in the village. (fn. 155) No nonconformist chapel is known to have been built.


A National school in Tidcombe village was opened between 1846 and 1855. (fn. 156) It was held in a cottage until 1858, when it was attended by c. 20 children, probably including some living in Wexcombe. A new school was built in 1858. (fn. 157) It was apparently closed c. 1879. (fn. 158)


Ann Crook (d. 1825) gave by will nearly all the income from £100 for blankets and fuel for four poor inhabitants of Tidcombe village, and by will proved 1849 Edward Tanner gave a similar amount for fuel for four similar people. In 1904, when each charity had an income of £2 10s., the trustees of the two charities gave coal to 14 people. (fn. 159) In the 1950s coal was given away every few years. (fn. 160) In 1998 the charities were being wound up. (fn. 161)


  • 1. This article was written in 1998. Maps used include O.S. Maps 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 and later edns.); 1/25,000, SU 25/35 (1994 edn.).
  • 2. W.R.O. 1933/11; ibid. tithe award.
  • 3. Below, church; ibid. Fosbury, church.
  • 4. O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 edn.); W.R.O., F 2/200/3, order no. 31776; for Hippenscombe, below, Hippenscombe, intro.
  • 5. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 357, 359; O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 edn.).
  • 6. Census, 1961.
  • 7. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 359.
  • 8. Census, 1971; 1991.
  • 9. W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 10. For the ditch, inf. from Arch. section, Co. Hall, Trowbridge.
  • 11. Arch. Jnl. lxxvii. 76.
  • 12. Geol. Surv. Map 1/50,000, drift, sheet 283 (1975 edn.).
  • 13. Below, econ. hist.
  • 14. I. D. Margary, Rom. Roads in Brit. (1973), pp. 98-9.
  • 15. V.C.H. Wilts. i (1), 144, 192, 254, 259; inf. from Arch. section, Co. Hall, Trowbridge.
  • 16. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 399-400, 448, 450-1.
  • 17. Cf. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 12.
  • 18. Cf. W.R.O. 192/52, ff. 11v.-13v.
  • 19. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 309.
  • 20. P.R.O., HO 107/1180.
  • 21. For a description of the ho., below, manor.
  • 22. W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 23. Below, church; educ.
  • 24. W.R.O., G 8/760/468.
  • 25. Ibid. tithe award; O.S. Maps 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 and later edns.); 1/25,000 SU 25 (1958 edn.).
  • 26. Inf. from Dept. of Planning and Highways, Co. Hall, Trowbridge.
  • 27. W.A.M. xli. 284, and map at p. 281; above, Great Bedwyn, manors [preamble], where, in n. 28, there is comment on a chart. of 968.
  • 28. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 164.
  • 29. Cal. Chart. R. i. 394.
  • 30. P.R.O., CP 25/1/251/16, no. 84.
  • 31. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii (1), 260; Complete Peerage, xii (2), 368.
  • 32. e.g. Cal. Inq. p.m. v, p. 401; xviii, p. 171; P.R.O., C 139/40, no. 44.
  • 33. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 394; V.C.H. Wilts. xv. 109.
  • 34. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii (1), 260; W.R.O. 1300/111.
  • 35. Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1242-1326 (Index Libr.), 160, 312- 14; P.R.O., JUST 1/1006, rot. 26.
  • 36. Reg. Martival (Cant. & York Soc.), iii, p. 125; V.C.H. Wilts. xv. 109.
  • 37. Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1327-77 (Index Libr.), 78-9.
  • 38. Cf. V.C.H. Wilts. xv. 109; below, church.
  • 39. P.R.O., JUST 1/1006, rot. 26.
  • 40. Ibid. SC 6/1148/19A.
  • 41. Feet of F. 1327-77 (W.R.S. xxix), pp. 20, 58-9.
  • 42. W.R.O. 1300/111.
  • 43. Ibid. 1300/32; Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, p. 202.
  • 44. P.R.O., C 139/28, no. 22; C 139/40, no. 44.
  • 45. W.R.O. 1300/141; cf. V.C.H. Wilts. xv. 109.
  • 46. P.R.O., C 139/138, no. 18.
  • 47. Ibid. C 142/27, no. 68; V.C.H. Wilts. xv. 109.
  • 48. W.R.O. 192/52, f. 13d.
  • 49. Complete Peerage, vi. 504; P.R.O., E 328/117.
  • 50. Complete Peerage, vi. 505-6; P.R.O., E 328/117.
  • 51. Above, Great Bedwyn, manors (Tottenham).
  • 52. W.R.O. 1300/290; 1300/299A; above, Pewsey, manor (Pewsey).
  • 53. Alnwick Castle Mun. X.II.11, box 10, bdle. of draft deeds; cf. above, Pewsey, manor (Pewsey).
  • 54. P.R.O., KB 122/471, no. 573; W.R.O. 1836/6; 1933/1.
  • 55. Burke, Land. Gent. (1937), 412; W.R.O., A 1/345/392.
  • 56. P. Bushell, Tidcombe Manor (copy in Wilts. local studies libr., Trowbridge), 11; W.R.O. 1933/26; inf. from Mrs. J. M. Hayward, Downside.
  • 57. Cf. above, this section; Edw. Tanner lived at Wexcombe in Great Bedwyn: W.R.O. 347/5.
  • 58. Above, plate 21.
  • 59. Inf. from George Jellicoe, Earl Jellicoe, Tidcombe Manor.
  • 60. Drawings in possession of Lord Jellicoe.
  • 61. Cal. Pat. 1330-4, 122.
  • 62. W.R.O. 9/15/48.
  • 63. Cal. Papal Reg. v. 354; Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 89.
  • 64. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 149.
  • 65. L. & P. Hen. VIII, x, pp. 526-7; Complete Peerage, vi. 504.
  • 66. P.R.O., E 305/15/F 42-3.
  • 67. V.C.H. Berks. iii. 26; Acts & Ords. of Interr. ed. Firth & Rait, ii. 1021.
  • 68. W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 69. Lond. Gaz. 28 June 1867, pp. 3630-4.
  • 70. Ch. Com. file 28633.
  • 71. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 164.
  • 72. P.R.O., KB 122/471, no. 573; W.R.O. 192/52, ff. 11v.-13v.
  • 73. W.R.O. 192/52, ff. 11v.-13v.
  • 74. W.A.M. xli. 36; P.R.O., KB 122/471, no. 573.
  • 75. Alnwick Castle Mun. X.II.11, box 22B, survey of Tidcombe, 1705.
  • 76. Ibid. X.II.11, box 22A, ct. bk. of Tidcombe, 1692- 1702.
  • 77. P.R.O., KB 122/471, no. 573; W.R.O. 347/5; ibid. A 1/345/392.
  • 78. P.R.O., KB 122/471, no. 573.
  • 79. W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 80. Ibid.
  • 81. P.R.O., IR 18/11171.
  • 82. W.R.O. 756/77; ibid. Inland Revenue, val. reg. 60.
  • 83. Inf. from Mrs. Hayward.
  • 84. O.S. Maps 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 and later edns.); W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 85. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 394.
  • 86. Alnwick Castle Mun. X.II.11, box 22A, ct. bk. of Tidcombe, 1692-1702; W.R.O. 9/1/135, rot. 12; 9/1/137, rot. 8; 9/1/143, rot. 1; 1005/1.
  • 87. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 566-7; W.R.O. 1933/11.
  • 88. Poor Law Abstract, 1818, 498-9.
  • 89. Poor Rate Returns, 1816-21, 188; 1822-4, 228; 1825-9, 219; 1830-4, 212.
  • 90. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1848); Poor Law Com. 1st Rep. App. D, 242.
  • 91. O.S. Map 1/100,000, admin. areas, Wilts. (1974 edn.).
  • 92. P.R.O., CP 40/253, rot. 49.
  • 93. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 14, 16, 21-2, 30-1, 38, 42-3, 46, 53; W.R.O. 9/15/48; above, manor (Rectory).
  • 94. W.R.O., D 1/2/6, f. 91.
  • 95. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 89-90, 116, 118, 132, 167, 181, 187, 202, 228.
  • 96. MSS. St. Geo.'s Chap., Windsor, ed. J. N. Dalton, pp. 430-1; e.g. W.A.M. xli. 36; W.R.O., D 1/48/1-4.
  • 97. W.R.O., D 1/2/28, f. 40v.; D 1/2/31, f. 53.
  • 98. Clergy List (1870); Incumbents Act, 31 & 32 Vic. c. 117.
  • 99. W.R.O. 1933/25; below, Fosbury, church.
  • 100. W.R.O., D 1/36/4/8, no. 10.
  • 101. Ibid. D 1/36/4/11, no. 57.
  • 102. Ch. Com. file, NB 34/371B/2.
  • 103. W.R.O. 1933/32; inf. from Ch. Com.
  • 104. P.R.O., CP 40/253, rot. 49, where the dispute to 1324 is rehearsed; for the descent of the manor and for Sir Hubert Hussey's successors, above, manor (Tidcombe).
  • 105. Cal. Pat. 1272-81, 83, 135.
  • 106. Feet of F. 1272-1327 (W.R.S. i), p. 111.
  • 107. P.R.O., CP 40/154, rot. 6.
  • 108. For the presentation of 1318, Reg. Martival (Cant. & York Soc.), i. 128-9.
  • 109. Ibid. 304-6, 340-1.
  • 110. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 30-1, 38, 42-3, 46, 53.
  • 111. W.R.O., D 1/2/3/1, f. 216; above, manor (Tidcombe).
  • 112. Cal. Pat. 1388-92, 179.
  • 113. W.R.O. 9/15/48.
  • 114. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 89-90, 116, 118, 132, 167, 181, 187, 202.
  • 115. L. & P. Hen. VIII, x, pp. 526-7; P.R.O., E 305/15/F 42-3; above, manor (Rectory).
  • 116. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 228; MSS. St. Geo.'s Chap. pp. 430-1.
  • 117. Clergy List (1856 and later edns.); W.R.O., D 1/2/28, f. 40v.; D 1/2/31, f. 53.
  • 118. W.R.O., D 1/36/4/11, no. 57.
  • 119. Ch. Com. file, NB 34/371B/1; inf. from Ch. Com.
  • 120. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 189.
  • 121. W.A.M. xli. 36; W.R.O., tithe award.
  • 122. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 151.
  • 123. MSS. St. Geo.'s Chap. pp. 430-1.
  • 124. C. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty (1845), pp. cxxxvi, cccxxxvi; W.R.O. 1933/36.
  • 125. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 850-1.
  • 126. W.A.M. xli. 135.
  • 127. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 850-1.
  • 128. W.R.O. 1933/36.
  • 129. MSS. St. Geo.'s Chap. p. 36.
  • 130. W.R.O., D 1/36/4/11, no. 57.
  • 131. Ibid. D 1/2/3/1, ff. 215v.-216v.
  • 132. Ibid. D 1/43/1, f. 142v.
  • 133. MSS. St. Geo.'s Chap. p. 430.
  • 134. Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), pp. 214-15.
  • 135. W.R.O. 1933/36.
  • 136. Ibid. Shalbourne tithe award; P.R.O., HO 129/121/1/8/13; cf. below, Fosbury, educ.
  • 137. P.R.O., HO 129/121/2/2/1.
  • 138. W.R.O., D 1/56/7.
  • 139. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1899 and later edns.).
  • 140. Crockford (1930); W.R.O., D 1/36/4/11, no. 57; Ch. Com. file 100594.
  • 141. Ch. Com. file 102353; W.R.O. 1933/30.
  • 142. J. Ecton, Thesaurus (1763), 406.
  • 143. Dates on bldg.
  • 144. W.R.O., D 1/61/1/31; ibid. 1933/10.
  • 145. Cf. ibid. 1933/36.
  • 146. Ibid. 1933/39.
  • 147. Nightingale, Wilts. Plate, 172; inf. from Mrs. J. M. Hayward, Downside.
  • 148. Walters, Wilts. Bells, 215.
  • 149. W.R.O., D 1/61/43/23.
  • 150. Inf. from Mrs. Hayward.
  • 151. W.R.O. 1933/1-2; 1933/4; 1933/28; bishop's transcripts for several years in the 1620s and 1630s and for some of the missing years are in W.R.O.
  • 152. Ibid. D 1/43/5, f. 19; D 1/43/6, f. 38; D 1/54/11/2/20.
  • 153. Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 127.
  • 154. Meeting Ho. Certs. (W.R.S. xl), pp. 78, 118.
  • 155. W.R.O., D 1/56/7.
  • 156. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Wilts. 10-11; Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1855).
  • 157. Acct. of Wilts. Schs. 44.
  • 158. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1875, 1880); O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XLIII (1882 edn.).
  • 159. Endowed Char. Wilts. (N. Div.), 943-5.
  • 160. W.R.O., L 2, Tidcombe.
  • 161. Inf. from Mrs. Hayward.