Hospitals: St John the Baptist, Great Bedwyn

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Hospitals: St John the Baptist, Great Bedwyn', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, (London, 1956) pp. 334. British History Online [accessed 2 March 2024]

In this section



Walter le Bret of Crofton, in Great Bedwyn, by an undated deed, granted for an annual rent of 4s. 1d. to the brethren and sisters serving God in the house of St. John the Baptist, Great Bedwyn, a messuage with croft, meadow, and wood and 6 acres of land in Crofton. (fn. 1) The formalities of mortmain were not observed, so that the gift may have been made before 1279. A Walter le Bret of Somerset died in 1279, and another was alive in 1302-3; the family was established at Stratton St. Margaret in Edward I's time. (fn. 2) It seems probable that this deed was the hospital's foundation charter.

The master of the hospital had a grant of protection for five years in 1264. (fn. 3) Philip of Upton died in 1360 holding 1½ acre of arable in Crofton at 3d. a year of the warden of the hospital. (fn. 4) There is no further record of the hospital, but the 18thcentury vestry minute books witness to leases of 'St. John's' at 2s. 6d. a year. (fn. 5) In 1790 among the church property were three cottages at Wilton (now in the parish of Grafton but close to Crofton) which were used as a poor-house; (fn. 6) and in the early 20th century a house called St. John's was demolished to make room for The Lodge. (fn. 7)


  • 1. Cat. Anct. D. iii, C 300. The deed has been transcribed in W.A.M. xxxix, 380–1.
  • 2. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 94; Cal. Genealogicum, 646; Aubrey, Topog. Coll. ed. Jackson, 161.
  • 3. Cal. Pat. 1258–60, 306.
  • 4. Wilts. Inq.p.m. 1327–77 (Index Libr.), 264.
  • 5. Char. Com. Rep. H.C. 273, p. 37 (1908), lxxx.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ex inf. Mr. E. R. Pole, Great Bedwyn.