A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.
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Burbage parish (fn. 1) lies south of Savernake forest and at the east end of the Vale of Pewsey. It contains Burbage village, 9 km. SSE. of Marlborough, and Durley village, hamlets called Ram Alley and Stibb Green, and several other pockets of settlement. Burbage's land lies as a north-south strip comparable to the strips of other settlements in the Vale of Pewsey; Durley was planted on downland which was probably part of Burbage's land until assigned to the new village as its agricultural land. (fn. 2) About 1213 a gift to Burbage church of the tithes from assarts at Durley probably confirmed that Durley was in Burbage parish. (fn. 3)
The boundary between Burbage parish and Savernake forest, which was extra-parochial, seems to have run east-west immediately north of Durley village. (fn. 4) In the 18th century it was called into question. It was debated whether a warren, which lay north-east of the village, was inclosed in 1703, and was converted to farmland, lay on Durley's land or the forest's, (fn. 5) and the parish, to which paupers born in the forest were returned, attempted to bring more of the forest within its boundaries in order to levy the poor rate on property in it. (fn. 6) The parishioners perambulated as far as Amity Oak, a point 3.5 km. north of Durley village. (fn. 7) The owner of the forest attempted to exclude all parts of the forest from the parish. Under an agreement between the parish and the owner proposed in 1786 part of the forest called Durley heath, the south-east part of which had been inclosed by the owner of the forest as a new part of the park of Tottenham House in Great Bedwyn, and other parts of the forest would have been excluded from the parish, the former warren included. (fn. 8) The proposal was apparently adopted, and in 1843 Burbage parish consisted of a main part, c. 3,038 a., and of the former warren, 145 a., which was separated from the main part by Durley heath and the park of Tottenham House. (fn. 9) By 1886 the heath, that part of the park, parts of the forest called Black Vault and Coal coppice, and c. 25 a. north of Leigh Hill copse had been added to the parish, thenceforth 1,624 ha. (4,012 a.). (fn. 10) The area was increased to 1,743 ha. in 1987 when a small part of Burbage was transferred to Great Bedwyn, and small parts of Great Bedwyn, Easton, Grafton, and Savemake were transferred to Burbage. (fn. 11)
Part of the boundary of an estate called Burbage was defined in the 10th century. Few of the features on it can be plotted on a modern map, but a track on the south-east or south-west, and a prehistoric enclosure now called Godsbury on the south, marked the boundary of the estate, and later a track on the south-east and Godsbury marked the parish boundary. The north part of the west boundary of the parish was marked by the pale of Brimslade park in Savernake parish and possibly followed the line of a deer fence which was on the boundary in the 10th century. (fn. 12) The rest of the parish's west boundary is generally straight; for a short distance it follows a stream.
To the north the parish is crossed by the southern scarp of the Marlborough Downs, there called Terrace Hill, and to the south-west by the scarp at the north-east edge of Salisbury Plain. At both ends of it chalk outcrops; north of Durley village, Reading Beds and Bagshot Sands also outcrop, there are extensive deposits of clay-with-flints, and gravel has been deposited in a valley now dry. In the south-west the land is highest, at 205 m., on the boundary at Godsbury, and in the north it reaches 200 m. on Terrace Hill. A broad band of Upper Greensand outcrops across the middle of the parish. The river Bourne and head streams of the Christchurch Avon rise on the greensand, and there are low points at c. 140 m. where they cross respectively the south and west boundaries of the parish. (fn. 13) Sheep-and-corn husbandry was for long practised on the land of both Burbage and Durley, and open fields covered much of the greensand and, both to the north and south, much of the chalk. (fn. 14)
The parish had 107 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 15) The population, 1,008 in 1801, rose from 1,195 to 1,448 between 1821 and 1831. It reached its peak of 1,603 in 1861, when men building a railway line were temporarily resident. It declined steadily from 1861 and was at a low point of 989 in 1951. (fn. 16) It increased in the later 20th century, when new houses were built; it was 1,319 in 1981 and, after the boundary changes of 1987, 1,434 in 1991. (fn. 17)
The course of the Roman road between Cirencester and Winchester via Mildenhall crosses the north-east corner of the parish. (fn. 18) A Marlborough-Winchester road via Ludgershall was important in the early 13th century and probably passed through Burbage. (fn. 19) Its most likely course is that now followed by High Street. In the 16th century the northern part of the direct course of a main Marlborough-Salisbury road west of Burbage was blocked, and Salisbury traffic seems to have been diverted on to the road from Marlborough through Burbage village and a road across the south-west part of the parish. In the later 17th century the road from Marlborough, of which High Street was part, forked c. 2 km. south of the village into branches to Salisbury and to Ludgershall, Andover, and Winchester; it seems that the Salisbury branch was then more important. North of Marlborough the road led from Chipping Campden (Glos.). (fn. 20) In 1736 the inhabitants of Burbage were presented for not repairing the Marlborough road and its Salisbury branch, but not its Andover branch, (fn. 21) and in 1762 the road from Marlborough to Burbage, and the Salisbury branch from Burbage to Everleigh, were turnpiked. The Andover branch was turnpiked in 1835 as part of a road to Salisbury along the Bourne valley. Two toll houses were built, one north of Burbage village before 1773, one south of the village between 1773 and 1817; only the southern was standing in 1995. The Marlborough road and both its branches were disturnpiked in 1876. (fn. 22) The Marlborough- Salisbury road via the Bourne valley remained an important route in 1995, and in 1991 was diverted to a new course west of High Street. (fn. 23) Use of the branch to Salisbury via Everleigh may have declined after 1835, and c. 1900 the road was closed south of Everleigh to allow for military training; (fn. 24) in Burbage the branch survived as a rough track in 1995. An east-west road across the parish links several villages east of Pewsey. On its original course it may have linked them from centre to centre, but in 1773 its course lay at the south end of Burbage village and at the north end of the villages west of Burbage. (fn. 25) East of Burbage it was declared a main road in 1886 (fn. 26) and grew in importance as a Hungerford- Salisbury route in the 20th century. In 1991 a roundabout was built at its junction with the Marlborough-Salisbury road. (fn. 27) Across the part of Durley heath which lay in the park of Tottenham House a new road was made, probably c. 1820, to link Durley village and Warren Farm. (fn. 28) North of Burbage village a new eastwest road was built soon after 1862 to link the Marlborough road to Savernake station. (fn. 29)
The Kennet & Avon canal was opened across the parish in 1809 and completely in 1810. It passes through the Bruce tunnel, 502 yd. long, said to have been built instead of a deep cutting at the request of Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, the owner of the surrounding land. Burbage wharf was built in the west part of the parish. (fn. 30) The canal was reopened across the parish in 1988. (fn. 31)
The Berks. & Hants Extension Railway, linking Reading and Devizes, was opened across the parish in 1862 as part of the G.W.R. network. It runs beside the canal, east of the Bruce tunnel on the north bank, west of it on the south bank. Savernake station, for passengers, was built where the line passed under the road from Stibb Green to Durley, and Burbage station, for goods, was built near Burbage wharf. In 1864 a branch line to Marlborough was built from a junction a little west of Savernake station, and from 1883 it and the main line east of it were used by trains running between Swindon and Andover. In 1898 a new line for Swindon-Andover trains via Marlborough was built a little north of the existing main and branch lines across the parish; a second station called Savernake, 150 m. north-east of the first, was built on the new line. From 1923, when the G.W.R., which owned the lines built in 1862 and 1864, and the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, which owned the line built in 1898, merged, there was a single stationmaster for the two passenger stations; from 1924 that built in 1862 was called Savernake Low Level, that built in 1898 Savernake High Level. Most of the line built in 1864 was closed in 1933, from when that built in 1898 was operated as two single lines. Burbage station was closed in 1941, and Savernake High Level station was closed to passengers in 1958 and entirely in 1959. The line to Marlborough was closed to passengers in 1961, from when Savernake Low Level was again called Savernake station, and entirely in 1964. Savernake station was closed to freight in 1964 and entirely in 1966. The line built in 1862 was part of a main London-Exeter line from 1906 (fn. 32) and remained so in 1995.
Artefacts from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age have been found in the parish. Iron-Age sherds associated with Godsbury, and goods from a Romano-British grave, have been found in the south part. (fn. 33)
The whole parish lay within Savernake forest. In 1330 the parish as it was until the 18th century was disafforested except for Southgrove copse, which stands in the south part of the parish and was thereafter a detached part of the forest. (fn. 34)
Between the 1720s and 1740s two straight rides, leading towards Marlborough from Tottenham House and later called the Grand Avenue and Column ride, were made across Durley heath. The south-east part of the heath was inclosed in the park of Tottenham House c. 1768, a column was built in Column ride in 1781, and, presumably c. 1820, gates were erected across the Grand Avenue where it crossed the new road between Durley and Warren Farm. (fn. 35)
The present Burbage village embraces three north-south lines of old settlement, Eastcourt, Westcourt, and High Street.
Westcourt was probably the site of a manor house in the earlier Middle Ages. (fn. 36) Nothing remains of a manor house, but two ponds, c. 1574 stocked with carp, bream, tench, and roach and called Stibb ponds, may have been associated with one. (fn. 37) The ponds were presumably those lying north-west of Stibb Green and called Ram Alley ponds in 1773. (fn. 38) In 1995 there was one large pond on the site of Ram Alley ponds. In the north-south lane called Westcourt a 17th-century house, thatched and timberframed, then stood on the west side and there were a few 18th-century houses of brick and thatch. At the south end of the lane and on the east side a house of brick and slate has a fivebayed west front and a central portico, of stone and with Tuscan columns; the house was extended to the south in the 19th century, when it may have been used as a school. (fn. 39) A house and a terrace of three estate cottages were built in the lane in the 1950s. (fn. 40)
The line of settlement which in the 20th century was given the name High Street was much more populous than Westcourt in the 18th century (fn. 41) and, being on the course of a main road, is likely to have been so long before; it was often called Burbage village to the exclusion of Eastcourt and Westcourt. (fn. 42) In 1995 the street, which especially at the north end has sunk between greensand banks, contained c. 30 thatched houses and cottages of the 17th century or later. Many of those buildings are timberframed, some of the timber framing being concealed by later brickwork. A large house of brick and thatch on the west side of the street is dated 1712. Buildings of the 19th century included, both on the west side, an ornamental estate house dated 1846 and Barn House dated 1852. In the early 20th century a nonconformist chapel was built on the east side of the street at the north end, (fn. 43) c. 1925 a terrace of eight redbrick cottages was built on the west side at the middle, (fn. 44) and 12 council houses were built c. 1936 on the east side at the south end. (fn. 45) On both sides of the street new houses were built in the later 20th century between the old. High Street is part of a conservation area designated in 1993. (fn. 46)
Eastcourt may have originated on land given to Burbage church, which stands there presumably on the site of the church standing in 1086. (fn. 47) The vicarage house was built north of the church. (fn. 48) In a north-south street west of the church and separated from it by a small green there is a row of 17th- and 18th-century cottages, thatched and partly timber-framed, and in a parallel street on the east side of the churchyard there are several cottages of similar dates and materials. At the south end of the west street schools were built in the 19th century. (fn. 49) A few new houses were built in the eastern street in the later 20th century. Eastcourt was designated a conservation area in 1985. (fn. 50)
Between 1843 and 1886 a group of houses, cottages, and other buildings was erected SSE. of the church and given the name East Sands, a name later transferred to the lane beside which they stood. (fn. 51) The land between East Sands and the church, crossed by Eastcourt Road, and between East Sands and High Street was built on in the 20th century. In Eastcourt Road 14 council houses were built in 1926-7. (fn. 52) About 62 council houses and bungalows were built between c. 1950 and c. 1974, mostly west of Eastcourt Road, (fn. 53) and from c. 1970 over 100 private houses and bungalows were built between Eastcourt Road and High Street and c. 10 others in East Sands. Other private houses were being built east of High Street at its south end in 1995. (fn. 54) Small private estates were also built on both sides of High Street at the north end in the later 20th century.
In the 1820s there were two inns in High Street, the Cleaver and the White Hart, both in the north part of the street and on the east side. The Cleaver, at the north end, (fn. 55) was called the Star and Cleaver c. 1850 and had been closed by 1859. (fn. 56) The White Hart was rebuilt in 1928 (fn. 57) and was open in 1995. South of the White Hart and also on the east side of the street the New inn had been opened by c. 1875; (fn. 58) as the Bullfinch it remained open in 1995. At East Sands the Red Lion beerhouse was open in 1880 and 1939; the building housed a restaurant in 1995. (fn. 59) A village hall has stood in Burbage from the 1920s, at first in High Street, (fn. 60) later in Eastcourt Road, and a British Legion club has been open in Eastcourt Road from 1950 or earlier. (fn. 61) A friendly society with members from Burbage and Easton was based in Burbage in the later 19th century and the earlier 20th. It had 260 members in 1898. (fn. 62)
The village stands north of Terrace Hill on high ground which was probably colonized from Burbage. (fn. 63) In 1773 it consisted of buildings standing beside a north-south street and of buildings standing west of the street along the south edge of Durley heath. (fn. 64) In 1843 there were c. 12 houses and cottages and, at the south end of the village, a farmstead incorporating a house on the east side of the street and other buildings on the west. (fn. 65) The farmhouse, of 18th-century origin and called Sturmy House in 1995, was enlarged in the 19th century. Immediately north of it Durley House was built in the late 19th century on the site of a house of that name standing in 1786, (fn. 66) and all the other buildings beside the street were either much altered or rebuilt in the mid or later 19th century, several in red brick decorated with yellow bricks arranged in diamond patterns. (fn. 67) West of the street a thatched house of c. 1800 survives, and other cottages and a house, each of the mid 19th century, stand there.
Ram Alley is a hamlet on Burbage's border with Easton and Savernake parishes. It bore its present name in 1632, (fn. 68) when it probably consisted of several cottages on the waste. (fn. 69) There were apparently eight cottages or houses there in 1773, (fn. 70) and in 1843 at Ram Alley a late 17th- or early 18th-century cottage, a pair of cottages of c. 1800, a tenement housing five families and of c. 1800, and another cottage stood in Burbage parish. (fn. 71) The first three of those buildings were standing in 1995, when Ram Alley consisted of seven cottages or houses in Burbage, Easton, and Savernake; a 19th-century cottage on the site of the fourth may have been built after 1843.
Stibb Green stands where the road to Durley forks from the Marlborough road north of Burbage village, and it apparently originated as a group of cottages built on the waste around the triangular green at the fork. By 1843 the settlement had extended a short distance along each of the Durley and Marlborough roads. (fn. 72) The oldest house to survive in the hamlet is of brick and thatch and stands at the south end on the east side of the green: it was probably built not long before 1711, when it incorporated an inn called the Duke of Somerset's Arms. The inn, called the King's Arms from 1716 or earlier, was closed apparently soon after 1859. (fn. 73) Several other houses at Stibb Green are of brick and thatch and were built in the later 18th century or the early 19th. The Three Horse Shoes on the west side of the green was a beerhouse in the late 19th century (fn. 74) and was open as a public house in 1995. A pair of estate cottages was built at the north-east corner of the green in 1843, a block of four on the east side of the green in 1845. (fn. 75) To the south, building beside the Marlborough road in the 19th and 20th centuries linked Stibb Green and the north end of High Street, and, to the north-west, bungalows extended the hamlet further along the Marlborough road in the 20th. Stibb Green was, with High Street, part of a conservation area designated in 1993. (fn. 76)
East of Burbage village three buildings beside a lane collectively bore the name East Horns, possibly a mistake for East Sands, in 1773. (fn. 77) Two small houses of the 17th or 18th century and a 19th-century house stood there in 1995. North of Burbage village redbrick buildings, including a wharfinger's house, were erected in a small group beside the canal at Burbage wharf. North-east of Stibb Green a hotel, open in 1995, was built near Savernake station between 1862 and 1886. (fn. 78)
Of the farmsteads built outside Burbage village and the hamlets in the parish Bowden Farm, which stood in 1773 near the boundary with Easton north of Westcourt, (fn. 79) was probably the first. The farmhouse was rebuilt in brick in the 19th century. Six other farmsteads were built in the earlier 19th century. Manor Farm, including a farmhouse and large farm buildings, was built on the east side of the Marlborough road between Stibb Green and the north end of High Street. Marr Green Farm, of brick and thatch, Goldenlands Farm, and Southgrove Farm were built off the Salisbury and Andover roads, Harepath Farm was built on the site of cottages beside the Pewsey road, and Kinwardstone Farm was built off the Hungerford road. (fn. 80) New Barn Farm was built north of the site of Savernake station between 1843 and 1886. (fn. 81) All except Marr Green Farm and Goldenlands Farm were in use as farmsteads in 1995, the buildings of Southgrove Farm being particularly extensive. A house and farm buildings were erected in Southgrove copse in the later 20th century.
On the former warren north-east of Durley village three large houses were built shortly before 1820. (fn. 82) Each is rendered, has brick dressings, and stands on the north-west side of the new road from Durley. The middle one was built as the farmhouse of Warren Farm, (fn. 83) which also has model farm buildings of red brick. Warren Lodge was built of stone south-west of the group c. 1860. By 1886 the buildings collectively were called the Warren. (fn. 84) South-east of the Warren and on the boundary with Great Bedwyn a house for the vicar of St. Katharine's church, which stands in Great Bedwyn parish, was built in Burbage parish in 1879-80. (fn. 85)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
King Edgar (d. 975) allegedly gave 22 cassati at Burbage to Abingdon abbey (Berks., later Oxon.) in 961, and Burbage's land was part of a large estate called Bedwyn given by Edgar to the abbey in 968. (fn. 86) On Edgar's death Burbage was taken from the abbey by force and assigned to his younger son Ethelred, king from 978. (fn. 87) By 1066 it had been granted away by the king, and in 1086 its land lay in four estates. (fn. 88)
An estate of 2½ hides, the later manor called BURBAGE STURMY or WESTCOURT, was held by Alvric the huntsman in 1066. Richard Sturmy held it in 1086, when William held it of him. (fn. 89) The manor was sometimes said to be held by the serjeanty of keeping Savernake forest, and later owners of it were hereditary wardens of the forest. Henry Sturmy held the manor c. 1130. (fn. 90) Henry Sturmy, possibly another, held the forest and perhaps the manor in 1156 and 1162. (fn. 91) The manor was held by Geoffrey Sturmy (d. 1198-9), who was deprived of it briefly c. 1197 for his opposition to Richard I, and passed to his son Henry (fn. 92) (d. c. 1226). From Henry Sturmy the manor, which from the earlier 13th century was held with Durley, descended in the direct line to Geoffrey (fn. 93) (d. c. 1254), Henry (fn. 94) (d. c. 1296), Henry (fn. 95) (d. c. 1305), Henry (fn. 96) (d. c. 1338), and Henry Sturmy (fn. 97) (d. 1381). The last Henry, who in 1359 was granted free warren in his demesne lands at Burbage, was succeeded by his nephew Sir William Sturmy (fn. 98) (d. 1427). From Sir William the manor descended to his grandson Sir John Seymour (fn. 99) (d. 1464). It descended to Sir John's grandson John Seymour (fn. 100) (d. 1491) and passed in the direct line to Sir John Seymour (fn. 101) (d. 1536) and Sir Edward Seymour (cr. Viscount Beauchamp 1536, earl of Hertford 1537, duke of Somerset 1547). (fn. 102) On Somerset's execution and attainder in 1552 Burbage Sturmy manor passed by Act to his son Sir Edward (fn. 103) (cr. earl of Hertford 1559, d. 1621), a minor until 1558. (fn. 104) The manor, with other manors and estates in the parish, descended from 1553 to the 20th century in the Seymour, Bruce, Brudenell, and Brudenell-Bruce families with Tottenham Lodge and Tottenham House in Great Bedwyn. (fn. 105)
A manor house, in which c. 1213 Henry Sturmy was licensed to have an oratory, almost certainly stood on Burbage Sturmy manor. (fn. 106) There is no evidence that the house survived the Middle Ages. (fn. 107)
An estate of 2½ hides at Burbage was held by Edric in 1066, was held of Humphrey Lisle by Blacheman in 1086, (fn. 108) and was apparently the origin of two manors. The overlordship presumably passed to Adelize Lisle and in the Dunstanville family, possibly like estates at Bathampton in Steeple Langford, and Walter de Dunstanville (d. 1270) was overlord of ½ knight's fee at Burbage in 1242-3. (fn. 109)
What became BURBAGE SAVAGE manor, probably part of what Edric held in 1066, was apparently the estate conveyed by Sir Thomas Savage to Pain de Chaworth in 1274. (fn. 110) Burbage Savage manor later belonged to Sir William Sturmy (d. 1427), who in 1425-6 conveyed it to Robert Erley in tail male. The manor passed to Robert's grandson Richard Erley (fn. 111) (d. s.p. 1502), on whose death Sir John Seymour (d. 1536), the heir of Sir William Sturmy, entered on the manor as reversioner. Despite a challenge to Seymour's title by Richard Erley's nephew William Chafin in 1535, from 1502 the manor descended like Burbage Sturmy manor. (fn. 112)
A manor later called BURBAGE DARELL, probably the other part of what Edric held in 1066, was held in 1242-3 as 1 knight's fee by Thomas Savage, allegedly of Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 113) The manor passed to James Savage, to whom Thomas granted a carucate for life in 1250, and in 1262 James conveyed it for life to Philip Basset (d. 1271) and his wife Ela, countess of Warwick (d. 1298). (fn. 114) The reversion was acquired by Hugh Chastulon, who in 1286 conveyed it to Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and of Hertford (fn. 115) (d. 1295). Gilbert's relict Joan (d. 1307) entered on the manor in 1298. (fn. 116) From then to 1660 the manor descended like Wexcombe manor in Great Bedwyn, (fn. 117) apart from the period 1392-1438 when Burbage Darell manor was held in dower by Anne (d. 1438), the relict of Thomas de Stafford, earl of Stafford (d. 1392), from c. 1398 to 1403 the wife of Thomas's brother Edmund, earl of Stafford, and later the wife of William Bourgchier, count of Eu. (fn. 118) From 1553 Burbage Darell manor also passed with Burbage Sturmy manor, as it did after 1660. (fn. 119)
In 1066 Alric, and in 1086 Ralph de Halvile, held 2 hides and 1 yardland at Burbage. (fn. 120) The estate was presumably that at Burbage acquired by William Brewer (d. 1226) before 1194, the year in which it was held by the Crown, for reasons which are obscure, as an escheat. (fn. 121) The king granted woodland at Burbage to Brewer in 1199, a grant confirmed in 1200 when the right to hunt on his land was also granted to Brewer. (fn. 122) Other land at Burbage was held by John de Palerne, whose son Henry conveyed it to Brewer c. 1200. (fn. 123) William Brewer gave the rent from his land at Burbage to the priory which he founded at Mottisfont (Hants), (fn. 124) and by 1227 his son William had apparently given the land. In 1228- 9 the priory's title was challenged, apparently unsuccessfully, by John de Neville, who claimed that the land had descended to him from his great-great-grandfather Alan de Neville (fl. before 1189). (fn. 125) The estate, part of which was later called MOTSON'S farm, was kept by Mottisfont priory until the Dissolution. In 1536 the Crown granted it to William Sandys, Lord Sandys (d. 1540), and his wife Margery (d. 1539). The estate passed with the title to William's son Thomas (d. 1560), and to Thomas's grandson William, (fn. 126) who seems to have sold it in portions. In 1599 Edward, earl of Hertford, bought Motson's coppice, 22 a. later Leigh Hill copse, from William, Lord Sandys, (fn. 127) and that, and almost certainly other parts of Lord Sandys's estate, afterwards descended with Burbage Sturmy manor. (fn. 128) Motson's farm, accounted 70 a., was acquired by Thomas Hooper and Richard Hooper, who together sold it to Robert Hitchcock in 1627. (fn. 129) It was sold by Hitchcock to William Hitchcock in 1650, (fn. 130) by William Hitchcock to Richard Shipreeve in 1664, (fn. 131) and by Shipreeve's son William to John Horner in 1683. (fn. 132) At Homer's death in 1714 (fn. 133) the farm passed to his daughter-in-law Rebecca Horner (fl. 1726). (fn. 134) In 1739 Rebecca's son Walter Horner sold it to Anthony Bathe (fn. 135) (d. c. 1769), (fn. 136) whose son Anthony sold it in 1792 to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury; (fn. 137) it was added to Lord Ailesbury's other estates in the parish. (fn. 138)
John de Mohun (d. c. 1279) was overlord of an estate in Burbage, possibly part of that held by his great-great-grandfather William Brewer (d. 1226). In 1275 John's tenant in demesne was Alan of Walton, who may have held the estate, then assessed as ½ knight's fee, (fn. 139) as an heir of William de Reyny. (fn. 140) The estate descended to Stephen of Walton, who in 1338 settled it on himself with remainder to Alan of Walton and Alan's wife Isabel. (fn. 141) Before 1405 John of Walton conveyed it to Sir William Sturmy (fn. 142) and it afterwards descended with Burbage Sturmy manor. (fn. 143)
From 1792 Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury, owned nearly all Burbage's land. (fn. 144) About 1929 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold the farmland south of the Hungerford and Pewsey roads as Goldenlands farm, 375 a., Southgrove farm, 639 a., and Kinwardstone farm, c. 296 a. (fn. 145) Goldenlands farm was bought by W. Colebrook, Southgrove farm by T. Curnick; in 1995 Mr. T. W. Curnick owned both farms. (fn. 146) Kinwardstone farm was bought by H. C. Norris; Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Denny owned it in 1995. (fn. 147) In 1950 Lord Ailesbury sold most of Burbage's other land, c. 1,000 a., to the Crown; nearly all that land belonged to the Crown in 1995, when it lay in Manor, Harepath, and Bowden farms, all based in Burbage parish, and in Wolfhall farm based in Great Bedwyn parish. (fn. 148) About 125 a. on Terrace Hill continued to descend with Tottenham House, and in 1980 Lord Ailesbury's grandson Michael BrudenellBruce, marquess of Ailesbury, sold it as New Barn farm to Mr. P. D. Blanchard, the owner in 1995. (fn. 149)
In 1255 SOUTHGROVE copse, which Robert le Moyne had previously held by serjeanty, was in the king's hands. (fn. 150) As a detached part of Savernake forest it was held by the Crown for most of the period 1255-1544. (fn. 151) In 1544 it was granted to Edward, earl of Hertford, (fn. 152) later duke of Somerset. In 1552 it was forfeited to the Crown on Somerset's attainder and granted to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 153) It passed with the earldom of Pembroke (fn. 154) until 1683, when Philip, earl of Pembroke and of Montgomery, sold it to Thomas Kingston, (fn. 155) and from 1699, when Kingston sold it to Thomas, earl of Pembroke and of Montgomery. (fn. 156) In 1783 Henry, earl of Pembroke and of Montgomery, sold Southgrove copse to Thomas, earl of Ailesbury, (fn. 157) who added it to his other estates in the parish. About 1929 George, marquess of Ailesbury, sold the wood, then 232 a., to H. A. Twyford. (fn. 158) The Crown bought 100 a. of the wood in 1957 and owned it in 1995. The rest, c. 120 a., belonged to Mr. T. W. Curnick in 1995, having previously belonged to his father W. R. Curnick. (fn. 159)
St. Denis's priory, Southampton, held a small estate in Burbage from 1291 or earlier (fn. 160) until the Dissolution. (fn. 161) In 1399 Sir John Lovell gave land in Burbage to St. Margaret's priory, Marlborough. (fn. 162) It was retained by the priory and was worth 26s. 8d. at the Dissolution. (fn. 163) The Hospitallers also held a small estate in Burbage at the Dissolution. (fn. 164)
The land of DURLEY, probably colonized from Burbage, almost certainly belonged c. 1213 to Henry Sturmy (d. c. 1226). (fn. 165) It descended with, and remained or became part of, Burbage Sturmy manor; from the 16th century it also descended with Tottenham Lodge and later with Tottenham House. (fn. 166) Of the land north-east of it which had been added to the parish by 1886, (fn. 167) in 1939 George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury, leased c. 130 a. of woodland on Durley heath and Black Vault to the Forestry Commission for 999 years, (fn. 168) and in 1950 sold Coal coppice, the rest of Black Vault, and the former Durley warren, c. 215 a. in all, to the Crown; the land sold in 1950 belonged to the Crown in 1995 as part of Warren farm. In 1950 Lord Ailesbury also sold the southern part of Durley's former open fields, c. 95 a., to the Crown; in 1995 the Crown owned it as part of Manor farm, Burbage. (fn. 169) The reversion of the woodland and the rest of Durley's land continued to descend with Tottenham House, the park of which then included the rest of Durley heath and the northern part of Durley's former open fields, a total of c. 300 a. In 1975 Michael, marquess of Ailesbury, sold c. 73 a.; the reversion of the woodland and the park of Tottenham House belonged to his son David, earl of Cardigan, in 1995. (fn. 170)
Burbage church was held by Viel the priest in 1086. (fn. 171) Between 1103 and 1139 it was bought by Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and given by him to the cathedral. (fn. 172) By c. 1150 a prebend, later called the prebend of Hurstbourne and Burbage, had been endowed with the RECTORY estate, (fn. 173) which in 1341 included 1 carucate and all the tithes from Burbage parish. (fn. 174) Part of the estate was later assigned to the vicar of Burbage, (fn. 175) and in 1840 the prebendary held 40 a. and most of the tithes of the parish. The tithes were then valued at £678 and in 1843 were commuted. (fn. 176) In 1847, on the death of the last prebendary, the estate passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who in 1868 sold the land to George Brudenell-Bruce, marquess of Ailesbury (d. 1878). (fn. 177)
In 1086 Burbage had land for 6½ ploughteams, and 6 teams were there. Only 1½ hide, on which there was 1 team, is known to have been demesne land; the other teams were held by 5 villani, 7 coscets, 1 bordar, and 2 servi. Meadow on one of the four estates was accounted 2 arpens. (fn. 178)
In the Middle Ages Burbage apparently had extensive open fields, probably 1,000-1,500 a. In the early Middle Ages c. 230 a. of downland to the north was probably taken from it to provide the agricultural land of Durley, and thereafter Burbage had little downland pasture. In the 16th century there were probably some five open fields on the greensand east and west of the village, there were two fields on the chalk north of the village, and there were three main fields, South Clay, East Clay, and West Clay, on the chalk in the south part of the parish. In the south-west corner of the parish Burbage down, estimated at 22 a. c. 1574, and north of the village Leigh Hill, 20 a., were upland pastures on which sheep were fed in common. On the greensand there were extensive lowland pastures used in common. North of the village they included Bitham common, estimated at 80 a., which was for cattle in summer and sheep in winter, and Nether heath, 25 a., which was for cattle and sheep throughout the year; south of the village Harepath and Marr Green common was estimated at 3 a. and Short Heath common at 4 a.; other common pastures were estimated at 30 a., 24 a., and 18 a. By c. 1574 c. 40 a. of East Sands field, probably open field east of the village, had been converted to a common pasture for cattle. Four ponds were used in common, including Stibb ponds which earlier may have been associated with a manor house at Westcourt. Southmere, later Seymour, pond, at the south end of what was later called High Street, contained eels and carp c. 1574; in 1995, newly relined and restored, it lay within a small enclosure. Manheath pond south of it, which c. 1574 contained fry of carp, was drained between 1843 and 1886. (fn. 179)
Burbage Sturmy, Burbage Savage, and Burbage Darell manors all had demesne and customary lands in the open fields. (fn. 180) In 1305 the demesne of Burbage Sturmy manor included arable estimated at 320 a. and meadow at 11 a.; 10 customary tenants each held a messuage and 10 a., 4 freeholders had similar holdings, and 5 other freeholders had a total of 8½ yardlands and 5 a. (fn. 181) The demesne was in hand in the earlier 14th century and there were exchanges of stock with other manors of the lord. In 1312-13 there was sown on the demesne 42 a. of wheat, 34 a. of rye, 27 a. of barley, 11½ a. of dredge, and 7 a. of oats; 17 oxen were kept but only 28 wethers and 48 ewes. (fn. 182) By the early 15th century the demesne had been leased in portions; land at Westcourt was leased to the prior of Easton, whose demesne land at Easton it presumably adjoined. (fn. 183) In 1307 on what became Burbage Darell manor the demesne included an estimated 150 a. of arable, 4 a. of meadow, a several pasture worth 6s. 8d. for sheep, and a several pasture worth 10s. for oxen; each of eight ½-yardlanders worked on the demesne for two half days and one full day a year. (fn. 184) In 1314 the demesne was said to include 169 a. of arable, 10 a. of meadow, and 110 a. of pasture; there were 18 free tenants, 9 tenants each holding ½ yardland in villeinage, and 17 cottars. (fn. 185) The demesne had been leased by the earlier 15th century. (fn. 186) In the later 16th century the three manors included c. 28 copyholds with c. 600 a., and 9 yardlands were held freely. Most of the copyhold land was in the open fields. Most of the demesne of Burbage Savage manor was a farm of 169 a., of which 50 a. lay in closes and 60 a. of its open-field arable lay as one parcel; at Westcourt another 52 a. of demesne had been added to a copyhold. Of the demesne of Burbage Darell manor 57 a. had been added to copyholds as bourdland. (fn. 187)
Apart from the home closes in the village, (fn. 188) the first inclosure of Burbage's land seems to have been at Westcourt, where c. 1450 the demesne land held by the prior of Easton lay in closes. (fn. 189) It adjoined a warren and inclosed pasture associated with the house in Easton later owned by the lord of Burbage Sturmy manor and was in hand in the late 16th century. (fn. 190) A few small inclosures east of Burbage village may also have been made by the early 15th century, (fn. 191) and by c. 1574 some of the meadow land had been inclosed. (fn. 192) Some of the open fields on the greensand, probably lying east and west of the village, and Leigh Hill and the pasture formerly part of East Sands field were inclosed, divided, and allotted c. 1596, (fn. 193) but proposals in the 17th century to inclose other common pasture were disputed and not carried out. (fn. 194) The remaining open fields, 922 a., were inclosed with 76 a. of common meadow and 139 a. of common pasture in 1721; most of the 922 a. lay on the chalk in the south part of the parish, but on Terrace Hill it included Great Leigh field, 185 a., and Little Leigh field, 15 a. (fn. 195) Other common pastures, called the Marsh and Lower Heath, had been inclosed by c. 1730. (fn. 196) The remaining common pasture, Burbage down, Burbage or Stibb common north-west of the village, Marr Green common, Harepath common, and Short Heath common, a total of c. 213 a., was inclosed in 1824 by Act. (fn. 197)
Burbage was among the villages on the periphery of Savernake forest for each of which a particular part of the forest was designated for their sheep to feed on in common. In the 18th century Burbage's designated area, c. 200 a., lay north of Leigh Hill copse; most of it could be fed on only in winter. Cattle kept on farms in Burbage in winter could be fed in the forest at large in summer. (fn. 198) The rights to feed cattle and sheep in the forest were extinguished presumably in the later 18th century and earlier 19th when copyholds fell in hand. All had apparently been extinguished by 1874. (fn. 199)
By c. 1840 most of Burbage's land had been arranged into mainly compact farms, for which new farmsteads had recently been built outside the village. Two farms, one with a farmstead at Stibb Green, had apparently been merged as Manor farm, 325 a.; Southgrove farm had 316 a., Goldenlands farm 231 a., Kinwardstone farm 200 a., and Harepath farm 122 a. A farm of c. 207 a. with a farmstead in High Street had been added to Durley farm; Bowden farm had 125 a. in Burbage and, as it had later, probably c. 150 a. in Easton; north-east of Burbage village 128 a. was worked from Great Bedwyn as part of Wolfhall farm. There remained several farms, each of 50-100 a., with their buildings in the village. All the farms were predominantly arable. (fn. 200) Later in the 19th century the larger farms grew in size, probably as the smaller ones were added to them. Goldenlands farm had 299 a. in 1867, when it was worked from Easton as part of Easton farm. Manor farm was c. 450 a. in 1867, when the tenant, W. H. Gale, (fn. 201) hired agricultural machinery to neighbouring farmers. (fn. 202) In the late 19th century large flocks of sheep were kept, and cereal growing, dairy farming, and pig keeping all increased. (fn. 203) S. W. Farmer and W. B. Gauntlett introduced intensive dairy farming on Southgrove farm in the early 20th century. Cereal growing declined after 1916, (fn. 204) and in the early 1930s most of Burbage's land was meadow or permanent pasture. (fn. 205) By 1995 nearly all the land had been restored to arable. Southgrove farm, which from c. 1987 included Goldenlands farm, was in 1995 an arable and poultry farm of c. 1,600 a., some of which lay in Easton and West Grafton. (fn. 206) Harepath farm, c. 300 a., was entirely arable. (fn. 207) Kinwardstone farm, 334 a. including 38 a. outside the parish, and Bowden farm, c. 335 a. including c. 150 a. in Easton, were mainly arable; cattle for beef were kept on Kinwardstone farm, and potatoes were grown on c. 100 a. of Bowden farm. (fn. 208) Manor farm, 640 a. including c. 100 a. of Durley's former open fields, was worked in conjunction with New Barn farm, c. 125 a.; mixed farming was practised on it. (fn. 209) Wolfhall farm's land in Burbage, c. 100 a., was used for arable and dairy farming. (fn. 210)
There was woodland assessed at 20 square furlongs at Burbage in 1086. (fn. 213) In 1568 Southgrove copse was fenced and contained 180 a. in four coppices, one of which, Hazelditch, 60 a., was planted with ash, hazel, willow, maple, and oak. (fn. 214) Southgrove copse and Leigh Hill copse were the only extensively wooded parts of Burbage's land in 1773. About 37 a. of Southgrove copse was grubbed up and converted to meadow, probably between 1773 and c. 1840. Southgrove copse measured 194 a., Leigh Hill copse 28 a., c. 1840. (fn. 215) The woods covered the same area in 1995, c. 100 a. of Southgrove copse having been replanted in the 1960s. (fn. 216)
At Burbage wharf coal, timber, bricks, and other goods carried on the Kennet & Avon canal were loaded or unloaded, presumably from 1810 when the canal was opened. A revolving wooden crane built at the wharf in 1831 was restored in the period 1972-8. A firm of coal and timber merchants was based there in the mid 19th century, (fn. 219) and from 1874 to the early 1970s members of the Fall family were in business there as wharfingers, coal and corn merchants, and wholesalers of animal foodstuffs and fertilizers. Until the 1940s they kept steam engines there and used them in ploughing and threshing under contract to local farmers. (fn. 220)
A malthouse was built in the parish c. 1762; (fn. 221) there was a malthouse at Westcourt c. 1840 (fn. 222) and one at Kinwardstone Farm in 1867. (fn. 223) Bricks and tiles were made in the parish in the 19th century. (fn. 224) In the 1920s and 1930s Vines & Pinneger, agricultural auctioneers and valuers, were based at Burbage; at Savernake Low Level station the firm held monthly livestock auctions and separate monthly auctions of calves. (fn. 225) In 1995 W. Mundy & Sons supplied coal and building materials from a depot in East Sands and employed 19 people. (fn. 226) There was an office of the Crown Estate Commission at Burbage wharf in 1995. (fn. 227)
The land of Durley, c. 230 a., (fn. 228) is downland. Before Durley village was planted on it most of it was probably rough pasture used by the men of Burbage. (fn. 229) Afterwards most of it was worked as open fields. (fn. 230) Some of the land was demesne and some was held customarily. Early 18th-century evidence suggests that the farmsteads stood in the north-south street of the present Durley village. (fn. 231) The demesne had been leased by the early 15th century; (fn. 232) in 1441 there were six customary holdings with farmsteads probably in Durley, c. 1574 there were seven, (fn. 233) and in 1729 there were 11 holdings with land in the open fields. (fn. 234)
Three of Durley's open fields lay east of the Durley-Burbage road and covered 124 a.: they were, from north to south, East field, c. 33 a., Hill field, c. 46 a., and Clay field, 45 a. A field probably called Sands field, c. 41 a., (fn. 235) probably lay west of the village street; it was inclosed, divided, and allotted shortly before 1574. (fn. 236) The others were inclosed by private agreement in 1729, (fn. 237) and by 1786 all or most of East field had been added to the park of Tottenham House. The land west of the street, c. 95 a., lay in 20 closes in 1786. (fn. 238) Durley seems to have had very little woodland. (fn. 239)
About 1840 most of the former open fields, including the land west of the street, lay in Durley farm, 454 a., which also included land in Burbage and buildings at the south end of Durley village and in Burbage village. (fn. 240) Durley farm was later divided and its buildings at Durley were demolished. In 1995 most of its former open-field land east of the Durley-Burbage road was arable and in Manor farm, Burbage. (fn. 241)
Like those of Burbage the men of Durley had the right to feed cattle in Savernake forest at large in summer. They also had the right to feed sheep the whole year on their designated area of the forest: that area lay north and north-east of Durley village and included Durley heath, c. 400 a., (fn. 242) and two warrens in which rabbits were preserved from the early 17th century or earlier. A smaller warren had been inclosed by a pale by 1609. A lodge stood in each warren, and in the early 17th century a tenant held both for a render of 1,520 rabbits. From 1623 or earlier rabbits were apparently preserved only in the great warren. (fn. 243) In 1703 the warren, 145 a., was inclosed and divided by private agreement; to replace their feeding rights the men of Durley received allotments totalling 130 a., for which they were thereafter required to pay a yearly rent of 6s. an acre. The lodges, all the trees, and 15 a. were allotted to the owner of the forest. (fn. 244) The south-east part of Durley heath, c. 150 a., was inclosed in 1768 and added to the park of Tottenham House. To compensate for the loss of feeding rights the owner of the forest extended Durley's designated area northwards. (fn. 245) The rights of the men of Durley to feed animals in the forest, like those of the men of Burbage, were presumably extinguished in the later 18th century and earlier 19th. (fn. 246)
North-west of the former warren parts of the forest called Black Vault and Coal coppice had apparently been inclosed by 1673 and 1786 respectively. Trees had been cleared from Coal coppice by 1786. (fn. 247) In the early 19th century Warren Farm was built and 135 a. of the former warren, and probably Black Vault, which was then meadow land, Coal coppice, which was then apparently arable, and other land were worked from it. (fn. 248) In the 20th century Warren farm included land in Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn parishes; (fn. 249) in 1995 it was a dairy farm of 492 a., of which c. 215 a. lay in Burbage parish. (fn. 250)
In the 19th century c. 180 a. of Durley and Durley heath lay in the park of Tottenham House. (fn. 251) Trees beside the Grand Avenue, between Black Vault and Durley heath, were presumably planted in the earlier 18th century, and a belt standing along the north-west boundary of Durley heath in 1786 was presumably planted after 1764. (fn. 252) In the late 19th century the rest of the heath seems to have been added to the park informally, and woodland in the northwest part of it and in the angle of the Grand Avenue and the belt increased to c. 130 a. (fn. 253) The woodland was used for commercial forestry from 1939. (fn. 254) In 1995 on the rest of the park in Burbage parish, c. 300 a., sheep were grazed on all but c. 50 a. which was arable. (fn. 255)
Between 1263 and 1266 and in 1271-2 the meetings of the court of Burbage Sturmy manor were roughly quarterly. The chief business of the court was to demand payment from the tenants for the use of the lord's pasture. (fn. 256) The court of the manor which came to be called Burbage Darell also met several times a year in the Middle Ages, and records of meetings held between 1358 and 1374 and in 1455 survive. In 1367 the court met at Stibb Green and settled a dispute between tenants. In 1362 and 1374 it was presented that neifs had left the manor without licence. (fn. 257) Although from the mid 16th century Burbage Sturmy, Burbage Savage, and Burbage Darell manors were in the same ownership, (fn. 258) a separate court continued to be held for each manor and to proceed on the presentments of the relevant homage. In the later 16th century and earlier 17th each court usually met twice a year and on the same days as the other two. From the later 17th century the meetings were usually annual and usually in the autumn. Each court dealt with all aspects of copyhold tenure and the regulation of common husbandry. In the 18th century the courts frequently ordered that the gates to the common pastures of Burbage should be repaired. From the later 18th century each court was held less regularly, less often, and only when copyhold business required it. No court was held after 1817. (fn. 259)
The parish spent £146 on poor relief in 1757, £333 in 1775-6, and £536 in 1802-3. It had a smallpox house in 1761, and from c. 1774 a workhouse in which paupers were employed in spinning and laundering. Most poor relief, however, remained outdoor, and in 1794 the parish bought 74 wheels for paupers to use in their own homes to spin hemp. In 1802-3, when the population of the parish was c. 1,008, 83 paupers were relieved regularly and 30 occasionally. (fn. 260) Expenditure on the poor reached a peak in 1812-13, when the parish spent £1,139 on relieving 46 regularly and 173 occasionally. (fn. 261) In 1824 the parish was housing 12 paupers and their families in buildings at Ram Alley, Stibb Green, and Westcourt. (fn. 262) Expenditure on the poor reached a low point of £425 in 1828 (fn. 263) and averaged £657 in the period 1833-5. The parish became part of Pewsey poor-law union in 1835. (fn. 264) It was included in Kennet district in 1974. (fn. 265)
A church stood at Burbage in 1086. (fn. 266) By 1139 it had been given to Salisbury cathedral and by c. 1150 a prebend had been endowed with its revenues. (fn. 267) Although a man was described in 1281 as the vicar of Burbage, (fn. 268) the church was probably served by a chaplain appointed by the prebendary (fn. 269) until, apparently between 1341 and 1405, a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 270) In 1864 the Warren and land at the north-east end of Burbage parish were transferred from the ecclesiastical parish of Burbage to that of St. Katharine, Savernake Forest. (fn. 271) The vicarage of Burbage was united to the vicarage of Savernake (Christchurch) in 1973, and in 1975 most of Savernake Christchurch ecclesiastical parish was added to Burbage ecclesiastical parish; (fn. 272) the united benefice became part of Wexcombe benefice in 1979. (fn. 273)
The prebendary of Hurstbourne and Burbage exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction in the parish until 1847 (fn. 274) and presented vicars to the dean of Salisbury for institution. (fn. 275) The bishop collated for an unknown reason in 1434, (fn. 276) and the relict of the prebendary who died in 1661 presented in 1662. (fn. 277) In 1847 the advowson passed by Act to the bishop of Salisbury, (fn. 278) who from 1973 to 1979 shared the patronage of the united benefice (fn. 279) and from 1979 sat on the board of patronage for Wexcombe benefice. (fn. 280)
The vicarage, worth £7 3s. in 1535 (fn. 281) and £257 c. 1830, (fn. 282) was of average value for the diocese. By 1405 it had been endowed with some great tithes, and all the small tithes, from the parish. (fn. 283) The tithes were valued at £363 in 1840 and commuted in 1843. (fn. 284) The vicar's glebe was accounted 4 a. in 1615, (fn. 285) was increased to 8 a. at inclosures in the 18th century and early 19th, (fn. 286) and measured 4 a. in 1995. (fn. 287) The vicarage house was ruinous in 1650. (fn. 288) It was presumably replaced in the later 17th century or restored: in the early 19th century the vicarage house, which stood north of the church, was old and thatched and had low rooms. (fn. 289) That house was replaced in 1853 by a new house built on the same site in coursed brick and flint to designs by T. H. Wyatt. (fn. 290) The house built in 1853 was sold in 1969 (fn. 291) and replaced as the Vicarage by a new house built north-west of it.
In the early 15th century the church was rich in service books and vestments, which included a set made of red cloth of gold. (fn. 292) Charges made against the vicar in 1412 included immorality. (fn. 293) Hugh Nash, vicar from c. 1644 to c. 1662, was ejected in 1646 and restored in 1660. (fn. 294) Curates frequently assisted the vicar or served the cure in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 295) In 1832 the curate lived in the vicarage house and held two services each Sunday. (fn. 296) Two services were held each Sunday in 1850-1, when the average congregation was c. 150. (fn. 297) During the incumbency of Thomas Stanton, vicar 1852-75, a canon of Salisbury from 1859 and archdeacon of Wiltshire 1868-74, (fn. 298) the church, the vicarage house, and the parish school were rebuilt. (fn. 299) In 1864 Stanton held two well attended services each Sunday and preached at both, and he held other services in Lent and on Christmas day, Good Friday, and Ascension day. About 30 communicants attended the monthly celebration of communion, and c. 50 the additional celebrations on Christmas day and on Easter, Whit, and Trinity Sundays. (fn. 300) The vicarage of Burbage was held in plurality with the vicarage of Savernake from 1970. (fn. 301)
The income from 3 a. on Leigh Hill was given, possibly by Philip Pearce (d. 1805), for repairs to the church. The land was sold c. 1921, and the income of the Leigh Hill charity in 1962 was only £2. In 1973, after two gifts of capital, the income was £52. (fn. 302)
ALL SAINTS' church, so called c. 1213, (fn. 303) was largely rebuilt c. 1853. (fn. 304) Of the old church the tower, which incorporated a west porch, was 14th-century, the chancel mostly 14th-century, the south aisle 15th-century, and the south porch 16th-century. (fn. 305) The west end of the roof of the south aisle was elevated in 1702, when a gallery was built. (fn. 306) The new church was built of patterned flint and stone to designs by T. H. Wyatt. (fn. 307) It consists of a chancel, to which a south chapel was added c. 1876, (fn. 308) an aisled and clerestoried nave with south porch, and a west tower with west porch: the tower and its porch are those of the old church.
The church had two chalices and two patens in 1405. (fn. 309) In 1553 a chalice of 10½ oz. was left and 11 oz. of plate was taken for the king. A chalice, a paten, and a flagon, hallmarked respectively for 1624, 1719, and 1733, were held in 1995. (fn. 310) There were three bells in the church in 1553. A ring of five cast by John Wallis was hung, presumably in 1607, the date of four of the bells. The tenor, dated 1606, was recast in 1851 by J. Warner & Sons. The ring remained in the church in 1995. (fn. 311) The registers survive from 1561 and are complete. (fn. 312)
A few papists may have lived at Burbage in the 1660s. (fn. 313)
Thomas Taylor, the intruder in Burbage vicarage 1646-60, was a Presbyterian. (fn. 314) There were Baptists at Burbage in 1663, and a Baptist conventicle which met there in 1669 was led by Edward Delamaine. (fn. 315) In 1676, however, there was no dissenter in the parish, (fn. 316) and the meeting houses certified in 1697, 1704, and 1714, (fn. 317) may not have been open long.
In 1821 Wesleyan Methodists certified a house at Ram Alley and in 1822 a chapel at Eastcourt. (fn. 318) Three services at the chapel on Census Sunday in 1851 had congregations averaging 119. (fn. 319) The chapel was closed in 1906, when a new one was opened in High Street. (fn. 320) In 1995 services were still held in the chapel in High Street. Primitive Methodists certified a house in 1838, and dissenters certified a cottage at Ram Alley and another house in respectively 1842 and 1850. (fn. 321)
A schoolmaster lived at Durley in 1717. (fn. 322)
A school was built at Eastcourt in 1806 (fn. 323) and was endowed with £10 a year by Philip Pearce (d. 1805). (fn. 324) It was attended by 45 children in 1818, (fn. 325) and by 80 in 1833, when the attendance of 40 was paid for partly by Pearce's charity. (fn. 326) As a National school it had 106 pupils in 1846- 7. (fn. 327) It was rebuilt in 1854, (fn. 328) and in 1858 had 140-60 pupils. (fn. 329) A separate building for the younger children was erected in 1861. (fn. 330) The schools were attended by 179 on return day in 1871. (fn. 331) By will proved 1872 Robert Highett added £5 a year to the endowment. (fn. 332) In the 20th century the number of pupils attending the schools increased: average attendance was c. 190 in 1906 (fn. 333) and c. 226 between 1932 and 1936. (fn. 334) The schools were closed in 1989, when a new one was opened. The new school, between Eastcourt and High Street, was for children aged 5-11 and had 127 on the roll in 1995. (fn. 335)
Other schools in the parish were attended by a total of 80 children in 1818, (fn. 336) and in 1833 there was a girls' day school and a school begun in 1827 and attended by 24 children. (fn. 337) None of the three evening schools held in 1864 flourished, (fn. 338) and attendance was poor at another held in the period 1893-1901 to teach boys arithmetic, carpentry, geography, and other subjects. (fn. 339)
A private boarding and day school was open at Eastcourt in the 1840s and 1850s, and a similar school at Westcourt from the 1870s to the 1890s. (fn. 340)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
A gift of £20 a year from the earls of Ailesbury to the poor of Great Bedwyn and Burbage in the 18th century was voluntary and by 1834 had been discontinued. Payments to the second poor of the parish of 7s. a year by Henry Deacon, of 3s. a year by John Baynton, and of 3s. a year by Mary Baynton were all given by will and were said to have been made from 1730, 1740, and 1776 respectively; all three charities had been lost by 1834. A payment of 10s. a year for poor widows, said to have been made from 1679, was given under the will of John Bushell. Until the 1920s 1s. a year was given to each of 10 widows. (fn. 341) The charity was afterwards lost.
Philip Pearce (d. 1805) by will gave the income from £2,000, except £10 a year reserved for the school, to the second poor of the parish. In the earlier 19th century c. £90 a year was spent on flour, and in the early 20th allowances to be spent with local tradesmen were given; in 1902 an allowance of 2s. 2d. each was given to 434. (fn. 342) In 1928 £43 was spent on groceries and coal for 428 people. Cash was distributed in the 1950s and later; in 1979 c. £2 was given to each of 19 people. (fn. 343)
By will proved 1872 Ralph Highett gave the income from £250 to buy coal for paupers; 44 people received 3 cwt. each in 1900. (fn. 344) Coal was still distributed in the 1920s, but later small gifts of cash were made. (fn. 345) From c. 1990 the income of the charity, £43 a year, was apparently allowed to accumulate. (fn. 346)
Thomas Stanton, vicar of Burbage, by will proved 1875 gave the income from £200 to buy food, blankets, and cloaks for paupers. In the early 20th century only blankets were given, to 14 people in 1900 (fn. 347) and to 11 in 1926. In 1948 doles of 5s. were given to 19 people. (fn. 348) The charity's income, £26 in 1993, was allowed to accumulate from c. 1990. (fn. 349)