A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 17, Calne. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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The town in the 20th century.
Between c. 1900 and c. 1920 the centre of Calne seems to have changed little. The only notable new buildings were a bank which in 1901 replaced the 18thcentury building at the west end of the old Butcher Row, (fn. 1) a library erected in New Road in 1904-5, and a cinema erected at the northwest end of Mill Street on a site near a school. (fn. 2) The bank (Barclays in 1999) is in a free mixture of Jacobean and classical styles. The library is a small single-storeyed building in freely mixed Jacobean and Gothic styles.
In 1915 the bacon factory on the right bank of the Marden behind High Street was enlarged, and in 1919 buildings in the old Butcher Row were replaced by a power station, built between the north side of that street and the left bank of the river, to generate electricity for the bacon factories. In 1920 a factory for processing food, at first called St. Dunstan's, was built to adjoin the factory behind the south side of the old Butcher Row. The club house adjoining New Road was demolished. St. Dunstan's was a steel-framed and brick-clad factory of 12 bays and 6 storeys with metal windows. The severity of its 12 bays was relieved only by a stair tower and by the name Harris on raised panels. Its long front ran along the east side of New Road, then part of the main road from London to Bath and Bristol, and the factory became a well known landmark. The factory adjoining it was replaced by one built in 1932. By then nearly all the older buildings in the old Butcher Row, then called Church Street, had been demolished, and in 1932 two bridges, one for traffic and one for pipes, were built across that part of Church Street to link the factories either side of it. (fn. 3) A short row of shops at the south-east end of that part of Church Street was built in the mid 20th century.
From the 1920s High Street (fn. 4) and its offshoots became more commercially important than Church Street, which lay further than High Street from the new housing on the north edge of the town, (fn. 5) and where the shops at the north-west end (the old Butcher Row) were demolished. Immediately north of the Lansdowne Arms a building apparently refronted was opened between 1920 and 1923 as another bank (HSBC in 1999), (fn. 6) on the corner of Curzon Street and Wood Street a Co-operative store was built in 1936, (fn. 7) and on the corner of Curzon Street and High Street a new post office was built in 1953. (fn. 8) In 1968 a new section of road was built to cut the corner of Curzon Street and High Street; it obliterated a garden which had been planted on the site of the market house demolished in 1882, and buildings in both streets were demolished. (fn. 9) The north end of High Street was closed to motorized traffic in 1968, (fn. 10) and in the late 20th century several of the premises there were given new shop fronts. In 1973 Phelps Parade, shops in a street open only to pedestrians, was built off the east side of Wood Street. (fn. 11) East of Phelps Parade, on the land inscribed by the Pippin (the old Broken Cross Road and Pippin Road), a large supermarket (J. Sainsbury in 1999) was built, and its car park was laid out, in 1997-8. (fn. 12) The only new shops off Church Street were those built in the early 1970s when the cinema and the school in Mill Street, cottages off the old Butcher Row, and cottages in the old Pippin Road were demolished and replaced by a building in Mill Street incorporating a short parade, offices, and a supermarket (Somerfield in 1999) with a car park behind it. (fn. 13)
In the later 20th century much of the new housing in the centre of the town was for the elderly. In Castle Street a block of 25 flats and a home for 35 old people were opened in 1963, (fn. 14) in 1974 a block of 24 flats for old people was built to replace the part of Castle House destroyed by fire, (fn. 15) and between the wharf and Patford Street 36 houses and flats for old people were completed in 1991. (fn. 16) Other housing included several three-storeyed blocks of flats built by the borough council in the 1960s in the angle of Silver Street and London Road on the sites of South Place and buildings at and off the north-west end of Back Road demolished in 1962. (fn. 17)
In the period 1984-6 the bacon and food processing factories on each bank of the Marden were demolished, (fn. 18) and between 1991 and 2001 their sites were re-used in a regeneration project, in which North Wiltshire district council, Wiltshire county council, and English Heritage co-operated. The old people's housing between the wharf and Patford Street was designed in the architect's department of the district council as part of the project, which was considered by English Heritage as a model for the regeneration of small towns. The new buildings erected after 1991 incorporate housing, shops, and a public library, were designed by Aaron Evans Associates Ltd., of Bath, (fn. 19) and are arranged to face Church Street, New Road, and High Street and to screen the car parks which occupy much of the sites of the factories. Those on the site of the factories in the angle of Church Street (the old Butcher Row) and New Road are eclectic in style, have references to Calne's historic buildings, and consist of terraces of houses in New Road and a terrace of houses and shops in Church Street. The terraces in New Road are faced in brick, stone, and render and have colourful details; the terrace in Church Street, in which the shops have flats above them, is rendered and more classical. The building erected on the site of the factory in the angle of Church Street and High Street was designed in a simple Postmodern style, faced in Bath stone, and completed in 2001. A large rotunda, which contains the library, stands at the junction of the streets and is flanked by rows of shops with flats above them. Between the south side of the building and Church Street the course of the Marden was altered and its banks were landscaped.
Throughout the 20th century brick was used more widely for buildings within the town than it had been in earlier centuries, but most buildings, if not of stone, were designed with reconstituted stone facing or render to conform to the existing older buildings. The centre of Calne was designated a conservation area in 1973. The boundaries of the area were revised in 1983 and 1987. (fn. 20)
On the north-west edge of the town land and buildings were acquired in and after 1907-8 for St. Mary's school. (fn. 21) The buildings included a house off Curzon Street, a villa off North Street, the union workhouse, the isolation hospital, and no. 5 Curzon Street; all except the workhouse were standing in 1999. (fn. 22) As the school grew in the 1930s and especially from the 1950s new buildings for teaching and boarding were erected and the grounds were landscaped. (fn. 23) Most of the new buildings are detached, bear the dates at which they were erected, and were designed in styles typical of their periods.
Between 1920 and 2001 the built-up area of Calne was greatly increased. Estates of houses were built on all sides of the town, especially the north, and, as part of the town, at Quemerford. (fn. 24) From 1920 to c. 1970 most new houses were built by Calne borough council, which in 1974 transferred c. 1,700 dwellings to North Wiltshire district council, (fn. 25) after c. 1970 by private speculators. (fn. 26)
In 1920-1 the borough council built an estate called Northend, c. 60 houses, along and off the west side of Lickhill Road, the northern extension of North Street; c. 100 more houses had been built by 1939 to extend the estate northwards and westwards, (fn. 27) and c. 225 houses were built to extend it westwards in the 1960s. (fn. 28) In the 1930s c. 50 private houses were built in Bryans Close Road in the angle of North Street and Oxford Road, (fn. 29) and in 1954 the borough council bought 21 a. of Newcroft farm, off the east side of Lickhill Road, (fn. 30) and by 1960 had built c. 275 houses in streets north of Bryans Close Road. (fn. 31) In 1961 the council bought the remaining 38 a. of the farm, off the west side of Oxford Road, (fn. 32) and in the 1960s that land was used for c. 230 houses, (fn. 33) two schools, (fn. 34) and an industrial estate. The industrial estate was extended northwards on other land bought by the council c. 1970, (fn. 35) another school was built in 1971, (fn. 36) and the housing area was extended northwards in the 1980s. (fn. 37) In 1999-2000 a new road was made round the north part of the town from the Bristol road near Berhills Farm c. 750 m. west of the town centre to Oxford Road near High Penn Farm c. 2 km. north of it; the road runs immediately south of Lickhill Farm. Between 1999 and 2001 much of the land between the northern edge of the town as it was in the 1980s and the new road was built on.
On the east side of the town the whole length of Broken Cross Road (formerly Eastman Street) between its junctions with Pippin Road and Oxford Road had been built up on both sides by c. 1930 with houses in pairs and terraces, and in the later 20th century it was embraced by housing on Coleman's farm east of it, and by the supermarkets south and west of it. In the 1920s two terraces, each of six council houses, and another 10 council houses were built in Anchor Road (formerly Cow Lane), and 16 council houses were built in Bentley Grove off Anchor Road. (fn. 38) East of Anchor Road the borough built 32 houses and bungalows in Priestley Grove off Low Lane in 1934, (fn. 39) and four pairs of houses at the junction of Anchor Road and Low Lane c. 1937. (fn. 40) In Abberd Way and other streets off the southeast side of Oxford Road it built c. 185 houses and bungalows in the 1940s and 1950s. (fn. 41) In 1963 it bought Coleman's farm, south of Abberd Way, (fn. 42) and from the late 1960s to the 1990s houses, bungalows, flats, and a school were built between Abberd Way and Low Lane. (fn. 43)
On the south edge of the town in 1929-30 a factory to process the by-products of the bacon industry was built near the station, a cattle market was set up beside it, and a school and a police station were built nearby in Silver Street; the factory was enlarged in 1936. (fn. 44) Housing on the south-west side of the London road was ex tended as far as Holy Trinity church, near which the road was called Wessington Avenue in the 20th century. About 1906 a terrace of nine houses with stone faôades was built opposite the church, and a detached house with castelated bays was built south-east of the terrace. In the 1920s or 1930s two identical houses were added to the terrace and, in domestic revival style, eight detached houses and a semi-detached pair were built further southeast. (fn. 45) Houses were built in the 1950s and 1960s off the north and east corners of Shelburne Road, in the 1980s on the sites of Woodlands, the factory near the station, and the cattle market, in the 1990s in the angle of Silver Street and London Road, and in 1999-2001 on the site of the school in Silver Street. In the extension of the built-up area to Quemerford c. 110 bungalows and houses were built off the north-east side of Wessington Avenue in the 1960s, c. 230 houses in and off Stockley Lane mainly in the 1960s, and c. 85 houses off the south-west side of Wessington Avenue in the 1980s. (fn. 46)
On the west edge of the town c. 140 bungalows were built in the park of Castlefield House, in the east part in the 1960s and 1970s and in the west part in the 1980s. (fn. 47) The bungalows, in a Californian idiom, have prominent stone rubble chimneys and decorative panels and stand on plots open to the street. (fn. 48) On the north side of the Bristol road houses were built in the late 1990s east of the road round the north part of the town.
Throughout the 20th century other houses were built singly or in small groups mainly on what, when they were built, were the edges of the town. In the 1920s and 1930s short ribbons of houses were built in Lickhill Road and Oxford Road, and in the later 20th century there was infilling on many sites and on all sides of the town.
In 1612 the borough constables complained that there were too many alehouses in the town and that the beer sold in them was too strong. (fn. 49) In 1620 there were three inns, a tavern, and c. 10 alehouses in the town, (fn. 50) in 1745 evidently as many as 25 inns and alehouses, (fn. 51) and in the 1790s three inns and five or more taverns. In the period 1822-42 there were two inns, the Lansdowne Arms and the White Hart, and six taverns, all but two of the taverns being on the main course of the London-Bristol road as it was until New Road was built. (fn. 52) Besides the Lansdowne Arms and the White Hart there were nine public houses in 1939, (fn. 53) six in 1999.
The Catherine Wheel was first mentioned as an inn in 1660. (fn. 54) The inn which bore that name in the 18th century and until the 1820s was often called the Wheel, and it was renamed the Lansdowne Arms between 1822 and 1828. (fn. 55) It was built or rebuilt in the early 18th century, perhaps c. 1707, the year in which the London- Bristol road was turnpiked through the town. In 1728 it was the largest of the buildings which had been erected in the south part of the market place and stood facing the London road. (fn. 56) It has a long north-south range, the eight southernmost bays of which retain six bays of an original collar-truss roof and, at their north end, a west staircase projection. (fn. 57) Traffic on the road presumably increased in the earlier 18th century, especially after 1744, (fn. 58) and in 1748, or shortly before, a carriage arch was made through the eighth bay from the south. (fn. 59) The range apparently had its present length in 1763-4. (fn. 60) In the earlier 19th century, presumably in the 1820s when the inn was renamed, or perhaps in the early 1840s when the Marden was covered and the Strand became the market place and town square, (fn. 61) the bays south of the staircase projection were almost doubled in depth and the north part of the whole range was rebuilt as six bays with large rooms on both main floors. The 14-bayed façade was unified by giving bolection moulded window surrounds to the north part to match those of the south, sashed windows to the south part to match those of the north, and a parapet with a dentil cornice to the whole. At its south end a late 17th-century house was separately occupied in 1763-4 and 1828 and was afterwards incorporated in the inn. The inn has a large rear courtyard which occupies much of the south end of what was the market place and defined the north side of Cox's Hill and the east side of Hog Street. When the 17th-century house became part of the inn the entrance to its rear yard from Cox's Hill became another entrance to the courtyard of the inn, and the arch made in 1748 or earlier has been blocked. (fn. 62) A coach house of the earlier 18th century stood in the north-east part of the courtyard in 1999. On the west side of the courtyard a building with a well lit second storey, possibly a range of coach houses or a malthouse, was built in the earlier 19th century; on the north side a three-storeyed brewery of coursed rubble with brick dressings was built in the mid 19th century, (fn. 63) and on the south side a two-storeyed stable range was built in the mid or later 19th century apparently to replace the outbuildings of the 17th-century house and other buildings. (fn. 64) By 1999 the inn had become the Lansdowne Strand Hotel.
In 1659 there was an inn called the Hart, (fn. 65) which may have occupied all or part of the building erected at the south-west corner of the Green in the 16th century. The whole of that building above the basement was rebuilt between the 17th and 19th centuries, (fn. 66) and in the 18th century its west end, at the corner of the Green and the London road, was known as the White Hart. (fn. 67) In 1728 what was almost certainly already the White Hart consisted of four ranges enclosing all but the south-east corner of a courtyard. Its entrance was probably on the west front, which faces the London road, and, as it certainly was in 1763-4, the courtyard was probably entered through a carriage arch at the east end of the north front, which faces the Green. Between the mid 18th century and the earlier 19th all four ranges were evidently rebuilt and, apart from the carriage arch and another entrance at the east end of the south range, the courtyard was fully enclosed. In the same period a larger courtyard was formed by extending the east and west ranges southwards and by building a stable block on its south side; the stable block is of coursed and squared limestone rubble with ashlar dressings and has a carriage entrance and stone-mullioned windows. By 1828 a raised portico had been built at the main entrance to the inn on its west front, and the main entrance to the new courtyard was then from the London road on the west. (fn. 68) The White Hart remained an inn in 1999.
Two inns or alehouses open in the early 19th century were public houses in the same premises in 1999. The Borough Arms in High Street was renamed the King's Arms apparently in the 1830s. It occupied a building of the early 19th century, and in 1828 had a porch on its principal front: (fn. 69) the porch was presumably the Tuscan one which the King's Arms retained in 1999. The Wheatsheaf in Curzon Street was open in 1822; (fn. 70) the building is of the earlier 19th century. Other inns and public houses in the town included the Bear and the Crown, both open from the 17th century to the 19th, when the Bear, in Butcher Row, was replaced by the free church, and the Crown, in High Street, was also demolished. (fn. 71) The Bell, formerly the White Lion, occupied no. 4 Market Hill in the 17th and 18th centuries; (fn. 72) the Green Dragon occupied no. 33 the Green in the late 19th century and until the late 1960s. (fn. 73) The Anchor off Cow Lane, open in the later 18th century and the earlier 19th, (fn. 74) gave a later name to the road; (fn. 75) the Butchers Arms in Church Street, open in the earlier 20th century and until 1984 or earlier, (fn. 76) stood near the bacon and food processing factories. (fn. 77) The Peach Tree, in Wood Street, became a coffee tavern in the 1880s; (fn. 78) the King George, built at the junction of New Road and the old Back Street in the mid 19th century, (fn. 79) was open in 1999.
Utilities and public services. From 1850 Calne borough was policed by, and contributed to the cost of, the Wiltshire county police force, which had been policing the rest of Calne parish since the force was formed in 1839-40. The borough provided a police station in High Street. That was replaced in or shortly after 1886 by a station built as part of the new town hall, (fn. 80) and that in turn was replaced by a station built in Silver Street in 1929 (fn. 81) and still in use in 1999.
Two fire engines were given to the borough by its M.P.s in 1748. (fn. 82) The town had only one fire engine in 1822, when the vestry resolved to keep it in the church tower. (fn. 83) By 1828 it had been housed in the north-west end of the poorhouse in New Road, (fn. 84) later it was housed in Wood Street, and from 1888 it was kept in a new fire engine house built on the wharf behind the town hall. A proclamatory inscription on the doorway of what was the fire engine house in 1828, and the building on the wharf, survived in 1999. A new motorized engine was bought in 1933, the town fire brigade became part of the county brigade in 1947, (fn. 85) and a new fire station was built on the north side of Station Road in 1966. (fn. 86)
Part of the London-Bristol road through the town had been lit by 1831. (fn. 87) Lighting inspectors for the borough were appointed in 1835, more lamps were put up, and soon afterwards the Calne Gas and Coke Company provided gas for lighting. Some lamps were still lit by oil in 1840. By 1844 the main road was lit between Curzon Street and London Road. (fn. 88) Paving the streets began in 1862. From 1901 it was compulsory for houses to be numbered. (fn. 89)
The Calne Gas and Coke Company was formed in 1835, (fn. 90) built a gasworks in Horsebrook, and lit the town from 1838. (fn. 91) The company was bought by Calne borough council in 1921. (fn. 92) The gasworks was closed in 1939 and had been largely demolished by 1965. From 1939 gas was supplied to the town by the Bath Gas Company, from 1949 by the South Western Gas Board. (fn. 93) Electricity was generated privately by C. & T. Harris (Calne) Ltd., the company which owned the bacon and food processing factories in the town, and from 1926 Calne borough council used electricity generated by the company to supply the town and Calne Without parish. (fn. 94) Electricity was supplied thus until 1948, thereafter by the Southern Electricity Board. (fn. 95)
The Calne board of health provided sewers for High Street and Curzon Street in 1858-9. Those sewers were presumably replaced in 1881, when sewerage for other parts of the town was installed and sewage filter beds were constructed west of the town. (fn. 98) A sewage works remained on the site west of the town in 1999. The Calne Waterworks Company was formed in 1881 (fn. 99) and, to supply water to the town, in 1882 was licensed by the landowner to take water springing at Calstone and took a lease of land there to build a reservoir. (fn. 100) Water drawn from the reservoir would otherwise have fed the Marden, and in 1923 owners and tenants of mills on the river formed the Calne Millowners Association to defend their rights to water. The association was dissolved in 1972, when there was no longer a water-powered mill on the river. (fn. 101) In 1947 the Calne Waterworks Company was bought by Calne borough council. Water was supplied to the town by the council until 1962, by the North Wiltshire Water Board thereafter. (fn. 102) A refuse removal service for the town was begun by the board of health in 1886. (fn. 103)
About 1816 a recently built house at Quemerford was used as a pesthouse, (fn. 104) presumably for Calne. In 1833 Northfield House in Curzon Street (later St. Cecilia's; no. 5) was opened as a lunatic asylum with one patient by G. S. Ogilvie; the number of patients never rose above seven, but the house sometimes accommodated boarders who were not lunatics and had 11 residents in 1841. The asylum was closed in 1845 when Ogilvie moved to Bristol. Northfield House was again a lunatic asylum in 1854-5. (fn. 105) A hospital for children was opened in the town in 1858 and had been closed by 1865. (fn. 106) In 1881 the board of health acquired a house on the Melksham and Devizes road 1.5 km. south of the town for use as an isolation hospital. It was replaced by a new isolation hospital, singlestoreyed, of red brick, and with half-timbered gables, built north of Curzon Street in 1888; (fn. 107) that hospital had 4 wards and 20 beds in 1923 (fn. 108) and was closed c. 1934, (fn. 109) since when there has been no hospital in the town. In 1970 a health centre was opened east of the Pippin. (fn. 110) In 1955 the nonconformist cemetery in Curzon Street was given to Calne borough council and renamed Calne municipal cemetery. (fn. 111) It remained open in 1999.
From 1920 to c. 1970 most new houses in the town were built by Calne borough council. (fn. 112) From 1902 schools were provided by Wiltshire county council. (fn. 113) A free library in the town became a branch of the Wiltshire county library in 1949. (fn. 114) In 2001 the branch library was moved from the building in New Road erected in 1904-5 to the large new building erected in the centre of the town. (fn. 115)
Social, cultural, and sporting activities. In the later 18th century a clothworkers' club met at the White Hart. In 1785 William Petty, marquess of Lansdowne, the owner of Bowood House, became patron and new articles of association were drawn up: expenditure on feasts and festivals was to be reduced, Lord Lansdowne gave a new club room, and meetings were no longer to be held at the White Hart. (fn. 116) For how much longer the club met is not clear.
In the early 19th century four or more benefit societies met at public houses in the town. (fn. 117) They were found to be insolvent and were replaced by the Calne District Friendly Society, which was founded in 1835, met in the church house, and had 335 members in 1900. In 1913 the society resolved to admit no new member and in 1953, when it had c. 59 members of whom c. 38 were receiving pensions, it was wound up. (fn. 118) Calne Savings Bank was open in the early 19th century, when its books and papers were kept in the church. (fn. 119) In 1848 the bank bought the building in Church Street intended for the Society for the Cultivation of Useful Knowledge. It sold it, and was closed, in 1893. (fn. 120) The Calne and District Permanent Benefit Building Society was formed in 1886, in the 20th century managed its affairs through the office of a firm of solicitors in the town, and was absorbed by the Britannia Building Society in 1977. (fn. 121)
A Bud of Friendship lodge of Oddfellows met at the White Hart from 1888 or earlier (fn. 122) and in 1893 bought the savings bank's premises in Church Street. (fn. 123) Meetings in the town had evidently ceased by the mid 20th century. (fn. 124) A freemasons' craft lodge of St. Edmund was formed in 1925. (fn. 125) In 1999 freemasons met in the former technical school on the south side of the Green. (fn. 126)
The Calne Chronicle and Chippenham Times was published in Calne from 1876 to 1878, when it was absorbed by the North Wiltshire Herald. For a few months in 1906 and 1907 the Calne and Chippenham Express was published in Calne. The Calne Graphic, known to have been printed in Bristol in 1910, was perhaps no more than a Calne edition of a shortlived Bristol paper. (fn. 127)
A Society for the Cultivation of Useful Knowledge was formed in Calne in 1840 with a library of books deemed apolitical and uncontroversial. The society met first in the town hall in the market house, afterwards in the church house. (fn. 128) A building erected in Church Street in 1840 or soon afterwards was intended as a headquarters for the society. The intention was frustrated by the society's shortage of income, and in 1848 the building was being used by a body, presumably different, called a Mechanics' Institution. (fn. 129) From 1852 the society met, and kept its books, in a room in the building, which then belonged to the savings bank and from 1893 was the Oddfellows' hall. From 1872, when the society was called Calne Literary Institution, that room was opened as a free reading room and library. A building paid for by Andrew Carnegie was erected in New Road in 1904-5 to house a new free library. The new library opened in 1905, and in that year the literary institution transferred its books and papers to it and was wound up. (fn. 130)
A musical society was founded in Calne in 1886; it was disbanded in 1964. (fn. 131) A choral society formed in 1969 existed in 1997. (fn. 132) A town band was reconstituted in 1926. (fn. 133) There was a silver band in the town in 1996. (fn. 134)
A cricket team from Calne is known to have played a match in 1776. (fn. 137) In the later 19th century there were clubs in the town for cricket, cycling, and tennis; (fn. 138) in the early 20th there were cricket, football, and rifle clubs. (fn. 139) In the 1920s and later many sporting and social activities in the town were organized by, or in conjunction with, C. & T. Harris (Calne) Ltd., and the company's Welfare and Entertainment Society held an annual fruit, vegetable, and pig show. (fn. 140) About the early 1920s the town's and the company's football clubs merged as Calne and Harris United. (fn. 141) In the 1990s clubs existed in the town for bowls, cricket, football, netball, rugby, and tennis. (fn. 142)
The recreation ground opened in 1891 in what is now Anchor Road was provided by Calne borough council using money given to it by Thomas Harris, the proprietor of the bacon factory behind High Street; (fn. 143) with its pavilion it remained in use in 1999. Two other sports grounds, one off Anchor Road and one off the east side of Lickhill Road, were opened c. 1930, (fn. 144) and a football ground off the west side of Lickhill Road was used by Calne and Harris United (later Calne Town) in the later 20th century. (fn. 145) South-east of the town a swimming pool fed by the Marden was opened in 1896; (fn. 146) it was closed c. 1939. (fn. 147) A swimming pool and indoor sports centre off Wessington Avenue was opened in 1976. (fn. 148)
In the 14th century sessions were held at Calne by the justice of the forests south of the Trent or his deputy; at them offences against the vert and venison in Chippenham forest were presented. (fn. 149) Quarter sessions were occasionally held at Calne from the 16th century to the 18th. (fn. 150) From 1765 a Court of Requests for the recovery of debts of less than £2 was held for Calne, Chippenham, and North Damerham hundreds and Corsham liberty jointly; it met at Calne by rotation every six weeks in the earlier 19th century, perhaps more frequently earlier. (fn. 151) In 1847 it was superseded by a court for the recovery of small debts held for Calne registration district. The new court was still meeting at Calne in 1870. (fn. 152) In 1851 it was said that the county magistrates had long held petty sessions monthly at Calne. (fn. 153) A Calne petty sessions division was formed in that year and the county magistrates held sessions there until the early 1990s. The sessions were held in the old town hall until 1882, in the new town hall from 1886; they were held monthly until c. 1900, fortnightly thereafter. (fn. 154)
Joseph Priestley, scientist and theologian, was librarian at Bowood House from 1772 to 1780; in that period he published several theological works, undertook scientific research, and had a house at Calne. (fn. 155)
There was a royalist raid on Calne in December 1645, near the end of the first Civil War. (fn. 156)