A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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FUGGLESTONE ST. PETER
The rural area between the borough of Wilton and the ancient parish of Fisherton Anger, itself the western suburb of the city of Salisbury, formed the ancient parish of Fugglestone St. Peter. The parish included the chapelry of Bemerton, the tithing of Quidhampton, and part of Burdens Ball. The rest of Burdens Ball lay in South Newton; in 1649 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners recommended that the whole of Burdens Ball Farm, and two other houses in South Newton should be added to Fugglestone, but nothing was done. (fn. 1) Little evidence of prehistoric occupation has been found there, and the history of the parish is comparatively short. (fn. 2) Bemerton appears in Domesday, but the first known mention of either Fugglestone or Quidhampton is not until the 13th century. (fn. 3)
The situation of the parish between Wilton and Salisbury has to a great extent determined its history, while the geographical position of the three settlements within the parish has affected their individual development. The village of Fugglestone, of which little remains but the church of St. Peter, lay near Wilton Abbey, which held the manor in the Middle Ages. (fn. 4) Its growth and character were also influenced by its place as a suburb of the medieval borough of Wilton. Bemerton, however, lay at the opposite end of the parish, adjoining Fisherton Anger, and both its origin and early history were largely independent of either the abbey or the borough. As Bemerton was in existence in the 11th century, it is perhaps surprising that no church appears to have been established in the village until the 14th century, when St. Andrew's chapel was built. (fn. 5) A possible explanation is the absence of any large manor at Bemerton: the land was divided into a number of small manors or estates. Nevertheless, Bemerton has always been a relatively prosperous and highly-populated part of the parish. Since the beginning of the 19th century it has been increasingly affected by the expansion of Salisbury, and its rural character has been modified by suburban development.
The parish was broken up as an administrative area at the end of the 19th century. There had long been no proper nucleus to the settlement at Fugglestone itself, for part of the land where the village had once lain had been inclosed within Wilton Park. The remaining houses nearly all lay west of The Avenue, (fn. 6) and south of the Southern Railway line, that is, in the part of Burdens Ball, which lay within the parish, but adjoined the north-eastern outskirts of Wilton. This area was accordingly included within the borough at its re-incorporation in 1885, and was merged with Wilton for all civil purposes in 1894. (fn. 7) The ancient parish of Fugglestone St. Peter was thereupon dissolved, and the rest of the parish was reconstituted as the civil parish of Bemerton. (fn. 8)
The new civil parish had a short existence: the first encroachment came from the east in 1927, when the whole of the area within the ancient chapelry of Bemerton was transferred to Salisbury. The dismembered parish remained in existence for another seven years, but in 1934 a large area in the west was transferred to Wilton, and the parish was dissolved. The long narrow strip of land in the centre was formed into the civil parish of Quidhampton. In 1954 part of Quidhampton was transferred to Salisbury. (fn. 9)
In extent the ancient parish of Fugglestone was just under two miles both from east to west and, at its widest point, from north to south. It contained 1,778 a. of land and, with its three rivers, not less than 40 a. of water. When the civil parish of Bemerton was formed in 1894 it contained 1,755 a. of land and 39 a. of water; this was reduced to 1,152 a. of land and water together after the 1927 transfer of land to Salisbury. When Quidhampton was made a separate parish in 1934, it contained but 850 a., and 134 a. of this area were lost to Salisbury in 1954. The population of the ancient parish was just over 500 from 1801 to 1851; it then rose rapidly to reach 1,060 just before 1894. Only 46 people lived in the part of Fugglestone which was then transferred to Wilton, while the remainder lived in the area which became the civil parish of Bemerton. Between 1901 and 1921 the population of the new parish doubled, reaching 2,179 in 1921. Three-quarters of this population was included in the 1927 transfer of part of Bemerton to Salisbury, while in 1934 a population of 87 was included in the transfer of land to Wilton. At its creation Quidhampton had a population of 331, which rose to 370 by 1951. Meanwhile, in the Bemerton ward of Salisbury, the population increased to 6,689, an indication of its extensive development as a residential suburb. (fn. 10)
The ancient parish was roughly the shape of an axe-head, with Bemerton at the shaft or eastern end. In the south it included the water-meadows, marshes, and withy beds on the alluvial soils along the banks of the Wylye and the Nadder. (fn. 11) The land rises steeply from the meadows, reaching 250 ft. above sea level about mile north of the rivers, except in three places where coombes cut into the chalk plateau, which here stretches south from Salisbury Plain. The parish took in a large area of this chalk plateau: its northern boundary followed roughly along the top of the ridge which skirts the Avon valley. This ridge reaches 400 ft. above sea level in the north-west corner of the parish. The chalk plateau within the parish is masked by a thick deposit of reddish-brown loam, (fn. 12) so that it provides good arable land. In the Middle Ages it was partly arable and partly downland, but, since the mid-18th century, it has been almost entirely arable. (fn. 13) Patches of gravel are found between the meadows and the chalk: a gravel pit is mentioned in 1632 (fn. 14) and 1728, (fn. 15) and an abandoned gravel pit is marked on a late-19th-century map. (fn. 16) There are many old chalk pits in the parish, several of which now contain copses. There are also several areas of woodland, the largest ones being Wilton Park and Bemerton Heath.
The basic shape of the parish was modified by four projecting arms of land. One arm followed the Nadder where it turned southwards at the eastern end of Bemerton. The other three arms ran down the steep slope from the ridge towards the Avon. The largest one was at the extreme north of the parish; it bent at right-angles when it reached the river and continued north-westwards as far as Little Durnford bridge. At the other end of the ridge within the parish a smaller arm projected to the Avon and turned south-eastwards along it for a short distance. In the middle a broader arm stretched a short way down the slope: the parish boundary at this point follows exactly the extent of the arable within the parish in 1757. (fn. 17) The irregularities along this part of the boundary almost certainly spring from complex land holdings in the 16th to 18th centuries, and from the equivocal position of Avon. This was distinguished as a separate township in the 13th century although it is now a single farm. By the 17th century, it was apparently within Stratfordsub-Castle parish, (fn. 18) but the 'manor' of Avon was included with Fugglestone in 16th- and 17th-century surveys. (fn. 19)
The main road from Salisbury to Devizes runs along the ridge on the north-east of the parish, and for several hundred yards it formed the ancient parish boundary. In the south of the parish, the main road from Salisbury to Wilton, thence to Warminster, runs from east to west just south of the 250 ft. contour line. These two important through roads, both of which are unusually straight, were placed under a single turnpike trust in 1760. (fn. 20) A more winding road, now called Lower Road, runs roughly parallel to the main Salisbury-Wilton road, between that road and the River Nadder. This road serves the settlements of Bemerton and Quidhampton, which lie along it. In 1773 it continued straight on into Wilton (fn. 21) and was still shown on a map of 1783, crossing the Nadder at a bridge called Tumbling Bay Bridge, and continuing to join Minster Street near Wilton House. By 1789 it had been blocked by the extension of Wilton Park. (fn. 22)
This last period of inclosure within the Park was spread over about 40 years: in 1789 19 a. had 'recently' been taken into the Park to the north-east of the house, and the North Lodge had been built. (fn. 23) Early in the 19th century the whole approach to Wilton House from the north was remodelled; the old road from Wilton to Fugglestone, which had crossed the southern stream of the Wylye near the Island and ran for some distance between the streams before reaching the main road to the east of Fugglestone church, (fn. 24) was replaced by 1821 by a perfectly straight road which ran from the house to the west of the church. It was continued in the same line across the open fields to the Salisbury-Devizes road, being joined on the way by an older road called Kingsway, which ran from the Warminster road north of Wilton. By 1828 the Park had been extended to the north as far as the main road near Fugglestone church, and Fugglestone Farm rebuilt north of the road. This extension included land near the road for use as kitchen gardens for the house. (fn. 25) About 1840 the road running north from Wilton House as far as the Salisbury-Devizes road was planted with oaks and beeches by Sidney Herbert, who was then renting the house from his half brother, Robert, Earl of Pembroke; (fn. 26) it has since been known as The Avenue. Stretches of the Salisbury-Devizes and Salisbury-Wilton roads were also lined with trees at the same time; elms were used along the latter road, with the result that many of them had to be felled and replanted after a gale in 1930. These very straight tree-lined roads, the result of deliberate landscape-planning, are one of the most distinctive features of the parish.
One other road was re-constructed during the 19th century: this was the road from Netherhampton, past the western end of Quidhampton village. It had previously turned westwards towards Fugglestone, but it was altered to run north in a straight line from the end of Quidhampton to the main Salisbury-Wilton road. There was a toll-house at this junction in 1840. (fn. 27) The roads in the eastern part of the parish have been less disturbed: both Church Lane and Cherry Orchard Lane, each linking the village of Bemerton with the main Salisbury-Wilton road, follow the same course as in 1773. Folly Lane, which ran between the two main roads from Salisbury to Wilton and Devizes respectively, was partly overlaid at the end of the 19th century by a new road, called Roman Road because it follows approximately the line of the Roman road from Old Sarum to Dorchester. The Roman road from Old Sarum to the Mendip Hills (fn. 28) ran across the north of the parish, but it has nowhere been followed by modern roads, nor used to delineate field boundaries, so it must have been completely disused when this part of the parish was first ploughed. All the other roads at the Bemerton end of the parish are modern and were constructed in connexion with the development of Bemerton from the mid-19th century onwards.
The section of the former Great Western Railway, which passes through the parish, was opened in 1856, three years earlier than that of the former London & South-Western Railway. (fn. 29) The two lines run together from Fisherton, under the Salisbury-Wilton road at Skew Bridge, to Wilton, where they diverge. The station for Wilton on the L. & S.W.R. line lay just within the ancient parish of Fugglestone. (fn. 30)
All three of the ancient settlements lay in the south of the parish, along the north banks of the Wylye and the Nadder. In the late 18th century the half-dozen houses which comprised Fugglestone itself all lay south of the main road, to the east of St. Peter's church. (fn. 31) In 17967 there were only five inhabited houses in Fugglestone and Burdens Ball together for which taxes on windows were paid. (fn. 32) The village around the church appears to have been no larger in the 16th and 17th centuries, because in the surveys of 1567 and 1632 nearly all the houses and cottages are said to lie in Quidhampton. (fn. 33) The size of the medieval township, and the period when it was at its largest, are not known. (fn. 34)
St. Giles's Hospital, probably founded in 1135, lay about mile east of the church. (fn. 35) In 1851 the almspeople were moved to a row of cottages built on the north side of the Warminster road beyond The Avenue. St. Mary Magdalene's Hospital had been moved from Wilton to six cottages on an adjacent site in 1832. (fn. 36) These two almshouses occupy, therefore, the place where the houses of Burdens Ball hamlet stood in the late 18th century. (fn. 37) Burdens Ball Farm lay further west, outside the ancient parish boundary.
Fugglestone Farm in 1789 lay between the church and the original site of St. Giles's hospital. All of the land south of the main road had been inclosed within Wilton Park by about 1830, except the churchyard, so that the new farm buildings and house must have been built by then on the opposite side of the road. The present house is a square stone building probably dating from towards the end of the 19th century. It was taken over in 1949 by the War Office as the headquarters of Southern Command. (fn. 38) A large area of land, stretching northwards from the house alongside The Avenue, was also acquired: here many office buildings, barracks, huts, stores, and married quarters have since been built. The fields of Fugglestone are now cultivated from a farm called Fugglestone Red Buildings, in the middle of the old open field; at the very north of the parish, in the arm projecting towards Little Durnford Bridge, there is another farm called Hill Farm.
The layout of the village of Quidhampton has altered little since the 18th century. On the south side of Lower Road, along which the village stretches, are two or three houses with timber frames, possibly dating from the 16th or 17th centuries, although they have since been much altered. Quidhampton Mill (fn. 39) was at the west end of the village, near where the present road from Netherhampton crosses the Nadder. Two inns were open there in 1830, 'The Green Man' and 'The White Horse'. (fn. 40) The latter is still doing business today. The only public building in the village is the Mission Hall: this was built as a village hall by public subscription in 1852; it was enlarged in 1925, since when it has served as a mission church. (fn. 41)
Like Quidhampton the 18th-century village of Bemerton stretched along Lower Road; in 17967 there were 27 houses in the two villages together paying light and window duties. (fn. 42) Despite some mid-20th-century building at the eastern end of Quidhampton, and the westwards growth of Bemerton, the villages are still separated by fields and open road. The church of St. Andrew (fn. 43) lay in the centre of the old village. Opposite, on the south side of the road, lies the Rectory. It shows two main periods of building: 17th-century work, which is presumably George Herbert's rebuilding, (fn. 44) and a 19th-century addition to the west side. The Manor House lies at an angle to the road on the same side as the church. It is a small unpretentious rectangular building with two stories and a steep pitched roof. It has colour-washed stucco walls and probably dates from the late 17th or early 18th century.
Three of the larger houses in the village are built in a single style, and probably by the same architect: they are Squarey's House, Bemerton House, and Bridge House. All are compact square buildings made of cob covered with stucco. Their distinctive feature is large over-hanging eaves. Squarey's House was built in 1848 by R. Farrant of Salisbury. There may have been an earlier house on the site, for there is a sundial in the garden inscribed 'To commemorate the passing of the Reform Bill, June 1832, and the indefatigable exertions of Mr. R. Squarey, druggist, in the cause of liberty'. The Old Dairy, another cob building, is about 50 years earlier in date. It has a thatched roof, casement windows, and a curved west end. Some brick and tile cottages show late 17th- or early-18th-century work, and a much altered building, called the Parish Room, now a dwelling house, appears to be basically 16th- or 17th-century in date, with some 18th-century brickwork. Its thatched roof has been replaced by corrugated iron. At the end of the garden is a weather-board granary.
All the other houses and cottages appear to be 19th- or 20th-century in date. Most of them are fairly small houses, but two more substantial dwellings were erected about the middle of the 19th century. One was Bemerton Farm, a hagstone gabled building, which lies west of St. John's church, towards Quidhampton. The architecture and layout of this farm show a Russian influence. (fn. 45) Bemerton Lodge, which lies well away from the ancient settlement, north of the Wilton Road on the extreme east of the parish, is built in neo-Italian style of the mid-19th century. In 1872 it was the home of Dr. William Corbin Finch, the owner of Fisherton House Lunatic Asylum. (fn. 46) In the autumn of that year he entertained the Prince of Wales there on the occasion of the Salisbury Plain manuvres. (fn. 47) In 1919 this house was taken over as an extension of the Lunatic Asylum. (fn. 48)
When the Bemerton manor lands were sold in 1838 (fn. 49) the agricultural lands became part of the Pembroke estate, but the land around the village of Bemerton was sold in separate lots for building. On the whole, the built-up area was gradually extended northwards from the old village. The cottages in Church Lane were probably some of the earliest to be erected after the sale. Between the railway line by Skew Bridge and the old village there were some clay pits and brick kilns: these were built over at the end of the century and in the first decade of the 20th century. (fn. 50) There was some ribbon development from Fisherton out along the Wilton road before this, and building extended into the eastern part of the wedge-shaped piece of land between the Wilton and Devizes roads well within the 19th century. Almost all the 20th-century expansion has been within this area. It moved gradually further west until accelerated after the Second World War, when Salisbury Corporation purchased a large part of Bemerton Heath as the site of a new housing estate. (fn. 51)
What few public buildings there are in the parish apart from the churches and chapels all lie in Bemerton. There is a small late-19th-century Conservative Working Men's Club in Lower Road near Bemerton post-office, and a Labour Hall, built in the second quarter of the 20th century in Pembroke Road, one of the roads between the Wilton and the Devizes roads. The Fisherton burial board opened a cemetery for Fisherton Anger parish on ground just within the Fugglestone boundary along the Devizes road in 1856. (fn. 52)
The total number of houses in the whole parish in 1801 was 111. (fn. 53) Variations in this number were very small during the next fifty years. In 1841 there were 124 houses: 79 in Quidhampton, 24 in Bemerton, and 21 in Fugglestone. (fn. 54) By 1871, and even more by 1881, the effects of the sale of the Bemerton manor lands are reflected in the figures: there were 208 houses in 1871, and 231 in 1881. (fn. 55) Another 50 houses were built in the next twenty years, (fn. 56) and over 200 in the following twenty years. (fn. 57) Boundary changes make the figures from the 1931 Census valueless, but the tremendous increase of houses in Bemerton is brought out by the 1951 Census: there were then no fewer than 1,849 dwellings in the Bemerton ward of Salisbury, compared with 101 dwellings in the civil parish of Quidhampton. (fn. 58)
In 1194 the area between Salisbury and Wilton was made one of the five recognized tilting grounds in England; (fn. 59) the place used probably lay on the higher ground between the Wilton and Devizes roads. In the later Middle Ages the gallows which served the surrounding district was called the 'Bemerton gallows'. (fn. 60) More probably, however, it was just outside the parish in Fisherton Anger, near the fork where the Wilton and Devizes roads part. (fn. 61)
In the 16th century Simon Forman, surgeon and astrologer, lived at Quidhampton, and acquired a local reputation for healing the sick and mentally afflicted. (fn. 62) Since the 17th century, however, the parish's chief claim to fame has been its association with the religious poet, George Herbert, who was rector there from 1630 until his death two years later. (fn. 63)
Only one estate mentioned in the Domesday Survey can be assigned without reservation to the area which later comprised the ancient parish of Fugglestone St. Peter: this is the 2-hide estate at Bemerton held by Aldred, a thegn, in both 1066 and 1086. (fn. 64) This estate cannot be equated with any of the later medieval manors.
The largest manor in the parish was that of FUGGLESTONE itself. It was held by the Abbess of Wilton in 1242, (fn. 65) and remained among the abbey's possessions until the Dissolution. Part of the village of Quidhampton was included in this manor by the 16th century, (fn. 66) although the rest seems always to have been included with the Bemerton manors (see below). There is no record of Quidhampton as a separate manor.
A manor referred to as Fugglestone manor, but which was almost certainly the estate later known as Burdens Ball, is said to have been among the possessions of Robert Burdon (d. c. 1280). It was assigned in dower to his widow Mary, but William of Chardstock, a canon of Salisbury, established his right to be enfeoffed of the manor for life. Mary, therefore, was compensated with lands elsewhere. (fn. 67) Robert's son and heir, Nicholas, was a minor in the king's ward at this time. He later succeeded to the manor, (fn. 68) and was said to be the tenant-in-chief at his death in 1304. (fn. 69) The manor probably remained in the hands of the Burdon family throughout most of the 14th century, (fn. 70) but by 1362 the Abbess of Wilton had established her claim to it. (fn. 71) The Burdons' position henceforth was clearly that of mesne tenants: they held the manor by knight service, and suit at the abbess's court of the Bell-house. (fn. 72) Cecily Thorpe, daughter of John Burdon (d. 1394), held this fee after her father's death, (fn. 73) and her son Thomas after her. Thomas's widow, Agnes, held it in 1423. (fn. 74)
In the 16th century there were clearly two separate estates: the manor of Fugglestone and the reputed manor of Burdens Ball. (fn. 75) After the Dissolution the former remained in the king's hands until it was granted to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke, in 1544. (fn. 76) Burdens Ball was held by Henry Clifford in 1536, when he acknowledged the right of Sir Anthony Hungerford to hold the 'manor' from him. (fn. 77) Clifford sold it to Sir William Herbert for 300 in 1547. (fn. 78) Both Fugglestone and Burdens Ball have formed part of the Pembroke estates ever since.
CHAMBERLAIN'S, GRIMSTEAD'S or COMPTON'S BEMERTON.
Despite the unusual form of the name, it seems probable that the Domesday hide estate at 'Bermentone' should be identified as Bemerton. (fn. 79) This was held in 1086 by Aiulf, Sheriff of Dorset, also called Chamberlain (Camerarius). (fn. 80) His main holding lay in West Grimstead, which seems to have descended through his son Edmund until it eventually passed to the family which took its name from the manor of Grimstead. (fn. 81) As land at Bemerton was held in chief by the Chamberlain family in the 13th century, and by the Grimstead family in the 14th, it seems likely that the Domesday estate was indeed at Bemerton. It may have descended with Aiulf's main holding, but by the 13th century other lands at Bemerton were involved, and it is impossible to relate the hide estate to any particular land, or even to be sure that it was always held by the Chamberlain family. In 1196 Geoffrey Chamberlain, Walter of Grimstead, and one Hugh of Haversham with his wife Joan had seisin of knight's fee in various places including Bemerton. (fn. 82) It is not known whether Geoffrey was the tenantin-chief of this fee, and 45 years later a Geoffrey Chamberlain was but the mesne tenant of various lands in Bemerton and Quidhampton. These consisted of a hide of land held of Geoffrey in free alms by the Abbess of Wilton, knight's fee held of him by Robert of Blakeford, and 1/5; knight's fee held of him by John of Grimstead. The tenant-in-chief of whom Geoffrey himself held all these lands in 12423 was Ingram de Praux, (fn. 83) perhaps the ancestor of the Henry de Preaux who was a knight of the shire in the Parliament of 1295. (fn. 84) His name, however, does not occur again in connexion with Bemerton: Geoffrey Chamberlain only is mentioned as party to a sale of rent in Bemerton to William Isembard at some date before the latter was hanged in 1258. (fn. 85) Thirty years later Hugh Chamberlain was the tenant-in-chief of John of Grimstead's holding of 1/10 knight's fee in Bemerton and Quidhampton. (fn. 86)
The last Chamberlain known to have held lands in Bemerton or Quidhampton was Robert (d. ante 1333). He was the tenant-in-chief of the 1/16; knight's fee held there by Andrew of Grimstead at his death in 1324. (fn. 87) In 1333, when Robert of Hungerford granted rents in Bemerton and Quidhampton to Ivychurch Priory, they were said to be held of the heirs of Robert Chamberlain by service of 1/30 knight's fee. (fn. 88) Five years later, however, John of Grimstead, grandson of the above John, held his estate in Bemerton directly of the king. (fn. 89) The Grimstead holding may have been administered as part of the main Grimstead manor much earlier than this, for in 1288 the Grimstead family received the pleas and perquisites of the court from their estate in Bemerton.
Two more Grimsteads held land in Bemerton and Quidhampton, Adam (d. 1346) and John, who died seised of it in 1362. (fn. 90) The latter had no issue and a period of dispute over his lands began. The year before he died John had appointed four feoffees, presumably to the uses of his will. (fn. 91) His heir was his cousin, Reynold Perot, son of Isabel Perot, sister of Adam of Grimstead. The land at Bemerton, however, was occupied by John of Biddestone (alias Bettesthorne and Budesterne). (fn. 92) The jurors at an inquisition denied knowledge of John of Biddestone's title, so Reynold Perot was admitted to the property, which he held until his death in 1370. (fn. 93) The Bemerton holding was then assigned to his widow, Beatrice, in dower. When their son and heir, Ralph, came of age in 1390 his right to the property was challenged by John of Biddestone and William Wymond, the second being the sole survivor of the four feoffees of 1361. (fn. 94) They produced a charter, said to be from John of Grimstead, and appear to have won their case. (fn. 95) In 1399, when John of Biddestone died, his property included the hamlet of Bemerton, which he was said to hold in chief. (fn. 96)
John's heir was his daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Berkeley, who held lands in Gloucestershire, Dorset, Somerset, and Hampshire, and in Wiltshire in Plaitford, Enford, and Whiteparish, as well as in West Grimstead, and Bemerton. The property descended in the Berkeley family of Beverstone (Glos.) (fn. 97) to William Berkeley who in 1483 was attainted and fled overseas. (fn. 98) In the following year his lands in Bemerton and Quidhampton were granted to Roger Hertlington, (fn. 99) but in 1485 Berkeley's attainder was reversed. (fn. 100) He died without issue, and his Bemerton property passed to his sister Katharine, who died possessed of it in 1494. (fn. 101) By her first husband Francis Cheyney she left a daughter and heir, Werburgh, who married Sir William Compton. (fn. 102) His great-grandson, Sir Henry Compton, still held Bemerton in 1595, when he was granting leases to copyhold tenants in the manor court. (fn. 103)
At this date the lordship of the manor was held jointly by William Gray and William Peltam. (fn. 104) William Gray alone exercised his right as lord for the next seven years, but in 1603 the lordship was held by Barnaby Lewis. (fn. 105) Lewis sold part of it to William Feltham (? alias Peltam) in 1609. (fn. 106) Two years later Sir Richard Grobham shared the lordship with William Feltham, and by 1615 Sir Richard was the sole owner of the lordship. (fn. 107) In 1612 he had acquired the lordship of Prior's Bemerton (see below), so the two manors were united under a single owner.
Sir Richard Grobham died childless in 1629, having settled his Bemerton property on his brother John. (fn. 108) He, too, left no issue, and his estates passed to the family of his sister Joan, who had married John Howe of Bishop's Lydiard (Som.). (fn. 109) Their great-grandson, Sir Richard Grobham Howe, died without issue in 1730, and his property passed to his cousin John Howe, who was created Baron Chedworth in 1741. His grandson John, the fourth baron, still held it in 1796, (fn. 110) but it subsequently passed in an unexplained way to Richard Wilson of Lincoln's Inn and was sold with his other property at a sale in Salisbury in 1838. (fn. 111) Sidney Herbert, brother of the then Earl of Pembroke, bought most of the agricultural land, (fn. 112) but not the land in the village, which was sold in small lots. (fn. 113) After Sidney Herbert's death the manor was united with the other Pembroke estates.
The prior of St. Denys, Southampton, founded c. 1124 for Austin Canons, (fn. 114) began to acquire property in Bemerton fairly early in the 13th century. In 1241 William Boys granted the priory 32 a. of land, 9 a. of meadow, and 25s. rent in Bemerton. (fn. 115) This was probably the same as the property called the court of Bemerton and the meadow called 'Boysmeade' which were later said to have been given to the priory by William Boys '60 years before the Statute of Mortmain'. (fn. 116) In the same year a Geoffrey of Weston and his wife Juliana granted the priory 5 a. of land in Bemerton. (fn. 117) A year later they gave another 27 a. (fn. 118) Both William Boys and Geoffrey of Weston were mesne tenants; the tenants-in-chief were not named, but in both cases may have been the Matthew of Bemerton, who held part of Bemerton at this time. (fn. 119)
The priory retained its manor at Bemerton and Quidhampton until the Dissolution. (fn. 120) It was leased to Henry Burry and his wife, Edith, of New Salisbury, for their lives in 1326, (fn. 121) and to Peter Bennet and his wife, Christine, also of New Salisbury, in 1353. (fn. 122) Just before the Dissolution the priory leased the manor to Thomas Paco for 40 years, (fn. 123) but he sold his rights to a Thomas Hole. (fn. 124) After the Dissolution the manor was retained by the Crown until 1577 when it was granted to Henry Campion, mercer of London, and his heirs to be held as 1/40 knight's fee. (fn. 125) It changed hands again in 1584 when it passed to Sir Roland Hayward. (fn. 126) Roland's son and heir, George, sold it to Sir Richard Grobham in 1612. (fn. 127) Three years later Sir Richard united in his ownership this manor and Compton's Bemerton, and the two manors henceforth descended together.
In 1334, Robert of Hungerford granted the Priory of Ivychurch rents of 52s. in Bemerton and Quidhampton to provide for a chaplain to celebrate a daily mass for his soul and for those of Walter Hervey, late Archdeacon of Salisbury and their ancestors. (fn. 128) This chantry was maintained until the Dissolution. (fn. 129) In 1537 Robert Seymour, king's servant, was granted a 21-year lease of the 'manors' of Bemerton and Quidhampton lately held by Ivychurch Priory, and a year later this was extended to a life grant. (fn. 130) John Berwick, steward of the Earl of Hertford, bought the reversion of this property in 1544. It eventually became part of the Pembroke estate. (fn. 131)
Among the gifts of Henry I to Tewkesbury Abbey (Glos.) was 'Bermertona', which can be identified as Bemerton. (fn. 132) In 1291 the holdings of the abbey in Fugglestone and Bemerton were slightly more valuable than those of the Priory of St. Denys. (fn. 133) Little is known about them, however, after this date. Just before the Dissolution the abbey was receiving 40s. in rent from lands and tenements in Bemerton. (fn. 134) These rents were paid by the Thomas Paco who was also leasing the manor of Prior's Bemerton. (fn. 135)
From the mid-15th until the early-17th centuries the Earls of Northumberland appear to have held an estate in Bemerton. (fn. 136) As this was held in conjunction with the manor of West Harnham, it probably lay in the extreme south-east of the ancient parish. It is first mentioned in 1456 when it was held from the earl by David Cervington of Longford. (fn. 137) It comprised land, 3 fulling mills, a grain mill, and assized rents. Three generations of Cervingtons occupied the estate. (fn. 138) It is last mentioned in 1646 when it apparently became united to the Pembroke estates. (fn. 139)
More evidence has survived about the later economic history of Fugglestone manor than about the rest of the parish because it formed part of a large highly-organized estate. (fn. 140) Little is known, however, about its extent or the way it was farmed when it was held by Wilton Abbey. In the late 13th century the abbey's Fugglestone estate was valued at 13 18s. 11d. (fn. 141) At this time several burgesses of Wilton held strips in the common fields. (fn. 142) By 1535 the manor yielded 17 4s. in money rent, 5 13s. 10d. in food rents, and 3s. 4d. from fines. (fn. 143) Just after the Dissolution in 1539, it brought in 2 7s. 2d. and 6 2s. 1d. in rents from the free and customary tenants respectively, and 6 8s. 8d. in money and value of food rents from the demesne farm of Fugglestone. (fn. 144) This farm had been leased two years earlier to Henry Bodenham, probably a relative of Cecily Bodenham, the last Abbess of Wilton. The food rent paid by him corresponded exactly to the food receipts of the abbess in 1535, which suggests that the latter may have come from the rent of a previous lessee of the demesne farm.
The economy of the manor in 1567 is revealed in the first and most detailed of the surveys made of the Pembroke estates. (fn. 145) Two later surveys, made in 1632 (fn. 146) and 1705, (fn. 147) provide less full evidence. All three surveys reckon most of Quidhampton and all of Avon as part of Fugglestone manor, although some part of Quidhampton belonged to the Bemerton manors. (fn. 148) The knight's fee of Burdens Ball is mentioned with Fugglestone in 1567, but not in the later surveys. Even in 1567, no details are given of its extent, but it was thought to include 2 houses, 300 a. of arable and 70 a. of meadow in 1536. (fn. 149)
In 1567 there were 15 free tenants on the joint manor which included Quidhampton and Avon. Among them were two religious bodies: St. Giles's Hospital, which had only 2 small pieces of arable and 1 a. of meadow, and the Chapter of Salisbury, whose holding included a house, 36 a. of arable, and 6 a. of meadow. There were three secular tenants with holdings of roughly the same size as the chapter. One of these was Henry Bodenham, who also held the lease of the demesne farm. These three tenants and the chapter all had grazing rights for 100 sheep and from 6 to 12 oxen. The only other tenant holding more than one virgate was Henry Compton, almost certainly the man who held the manor of Compton's Bemerton at this time. He had four separate lots in Fugglestone manor comprising together 35 a. of arable, 6 a. of meadow, and grazing for 10 or 11 oxen and 90 sheep. Three tenants, including a tenant in Avon, held one virgate with grazing rights for 60 sheep.
The total rent of the freeholders in 1567 was 2 2s. 6d., but not all tenants paid even a nominal rent: some of the smaller tenants were excused rent, and Henry Clifford, who held the knight's fee of Burdens Ball, gave riding service of a palfrey twice a year. The 1632 survey does not include the free tenants, and that of 1705 is much less detailed than the early one, as it only lists the substantial freeholders. Both in 1567 and in 1705 one of the largest freeholders also held by lease the demesne farm of Fugglestone. In 1567 this farm, known as Fugglestone Farm, comprised 154 a. of arable, 11 a. of meadow, 2 closes of 5 a., and grazing for 400 sheep and unlimited oxen, but by 1632 only 111 a. of arable were held in the common fields, and more closes had been created. Slight changes in the size and names of these small closes were the only differences between the 1632 estate and that of 1705. The rent paid remained the same from the time of the granting of the lease to Henry Bodenham in 1537 until 1705, namely, 13s. 4d., 10 qrs. of wheat, 20 qrs. of barley, and 6 capons.
Quidhampton Mill (fn. 150) was the only other property leased out at the time of all three surveys. In 1567 and 1632 it was held by a tenant not holding land in the manor, but in 1705 it was held with Fugglestone Farm.
The number and rents of the customary tenants remained virtually unchanged throughout the period covered by the three surveys, except that by 1705 the largest of them held by lease rather than copy. (fn. 151) The two largest tenants both held farms in Avon. One held 4 virgates or yardlands at a rent of 73s. 4d., and the other held 3 yardlands at a rent of 34s. There were 7 virgaters or holders of one yardland: in 1632 they paid 11s. 11d. money rent, a cock, and a hen. Four smaller tenants held land there in 1567, and five such tenants in 1632 and 1705. The total value of the rents of the customary tenants was 10 7s. 6d. in 1567, and 11 9s. 9d. in 1632. At the latter date, there were in addition 9 copyholders with only a small house plot, each paying 1s. rent, and 1 cottager paying 4d.
The three-field system was practised throughout the manor: in Avon the fields were divided into North, South, and Middle fields, while in Fugglestone and Quidhampton there were East, West, and Middle fields, although the fields of Fugglestone Farm were called East, West, and North. It is not absolutely clear from the surveys whether Fugglestone and Quidhampton had a single set of open-fields or whether, as seems more likely, there were two sets, each called the East, West, and Middle fields. Some slight evidence that there were two sets comes from the 1567 survey, which includes among the possessions of Fugglestone Farm 4 a. in 'Quidhampton field' as well as acres in the East, West, and North fields of Fugglestone. There were certainly two separately recognized areas of downland in 1567: Fugglestone Down lay between Burdens Ball and Quidhampton, and contained 100 a., while Quidhampton Down lay between Fugglestone Down and Bemerton, and contained 140 a. The problem is still more difficult for the common meadows: tenants in Fugglestone had pasture in Longemeade, West Meade, Comynham, and Kingsmeade, tenants in Quidhampton had pasture in West Meade, Comynham, and Kingsmeade, and the Avon tenants had pasture in Chekeland and Rackham. It seems unlikely that there were two sets of meadows called West Meade, Comynham, and Kingsmeade. The free tenants in 1567 also held pasture in Goormeade, Crokemeade, Middleham, and Donham.
There were three important changes on the manor in the later 17th or earlier 18th century: the area given to arable farming was increased at the expense of the downland; water-meadows were constructed along the river valleys; and the holdings belonging to Fugglestone Farm were consolidated. The exact date at which these changes were effected is uncertain, but some of the downland had already been ploughed up by 1705, for the survey mentions a 'New Field' and says that this had been 'recently' ploughed up from the down. The process was finished by 1757, when the only downland left in the manor was in the north where Camp Down in South Newton and Stratford-sub-Castle just continued over the boundary into Fugglestone. All the rest of the high ground between the Salisbury-Wilton and Salisbury-Devizes roads was already at this date arable. (fn. 152)
It is not certain how far the ploughing up of the downland was followed by an immediate decrease in the number of sheep bred on the manor. To some extent, the reduction of the downland was offset by the creation of water-meadows, which played an integral part in Wiltshire's sheep-and-arable farming in the 18th century. (fn. 153) If all the tenants exercised their full grazing rights, there must have been nearly 1,700 sheep on the manor in 1567: 600 belonging to the free tenants, 400 to the tenant of Fugglestone Farm, and 700 to the copyholders. The grazing rights of the latter increased to over 750 by 1632, but dropped to 680 by 1705. It seems doubtful whether these figures accurately reflect the real number of sheep on the manor: even with the increased efficiency of sheep rearing, which followed the introduction of water-meadows, it seems unlikely that the downland would have been ploughed up if the tenants were exercising fully their only slightly decreased rights.
The consolidation of Fugglestone Farm appears to have taken place during the earlier 18th century. It was certainly complete by 1789, when a plan of the farm shows that all its lands then lay in the west of the parish, forming a long narrow triangle with its base from Burdens Ball nearly to Quidhampton, and its point at the north of the parish. (fn. 154) The 1757 map shows a hedge along most of the 1789 boundaries of the farm; it seems probable, therefore, that the process of consolidation was well advanced in 1757. There is, moreover, a close similarity between the field divisions within the farm area on the two maps. There were 12 separate arable fields within the farm in 1789, varying from 53 a. to 5 a. in size. The two largest fields were called East field and West field and they probably represent the core of the old Fugglestone East and West fields, thus providing further evidence for there having been two sets of open fields. The total arable area was 270 a. compared with but 13 a. of downland. The conversion of the pastures into water-meadows was equally advanced: there were 51 a. of water-meadow against 19 a. of dry meadow or pasture.
The rest of the manor retained its open fields until the middle of the 19th century: an Inclosure Act was passed in 1825, but the award was not made until 1860. (fn. 155) By this date the land in the whole parish was utilized as on Fugglestone Farm: out of 1,584 a. of land subject to tithe in 1841, 1,110 a. were said to be arable, 299 a. pasture (the acreage of water-meadows is not separately given), 122 a. woodland, and the other 53 a. gardens or building plots. (fn. 156) The period at which most of the common of Bemerton manor was ploughed and the pastures converted into water-meadows is not known, but it is probable that these changes took place roughly contemporaneously throughout the parish. No inclosure award was made for Bemerton, probably because the open fields were divided up when the manor lands were sold in 1838. (fn. 157)
While the information about Bemerton in the later period is scanty, slightly more is known about its constituent manors in medieval times. The Domesday estate of Aldred at Bemerton had land for two ploughs, and there were 4 a. of meadow. There was one villein and three bordars. The total value of the estate was 40s., including a mill paying 12s. 6d. (fn. 158) The -hide estate at 'Bermentone' had land for half a plough and was worth 12s. (fn. 159) The estate at Bemerton held by John of Grimstead at his death in 1288, of which the small Domesday estate may have been part, was worth 71s. 8d.: (fn. 160) it included 48 a. of arable, worth 6d. an acre. (fn. 161) By 1362, however, the Grimstead holding contained only 36 a. of arable, worth 3d. an acre, 4 a. of meadow, 66s. in rents, and 12d. in pleas and perquisites of the court. (fn. 162)
A survey made apparently for Lord Pembroke in 1553 gives details about this Bemerton and Quidhampton estate under the manor of West Grimstead. (fn. 163) There were 3 free tenants in Bemerton holding nothing but a house, and 4 copyholders. The chief copyholder was Robert Strudwell, who held with his son, Richard, 60 a. of arable and pasture, 6 a. in the common meadow, and pasture for 80 sheep. The same man held, with his son John, 20 a. of arable, 7 a. in the common meadow, and pasture for 60 sheep. The total rents from the Bemerton copyholders was 72s. 9d. There were also 4 copyholders with land in Quidhampton, but their holdings were very small: the largest contained only 12 a. of arable. The whole estate in Bemerton and Quidhampton together probably contained just under 132 a. of arable land, and the tenants had grazing rights for 223 sheep.
Less is known about the other medieval estates or manors in Bemerton. The manor of Prior's Bemerton was valued at 2 4s. 8d. in 1291. (fn. 164) Sixty years later it was said to be worth 5. (fn. 165) The rents in Bemerton and Quidhampton, granted to the Prior of Ivychurch in 1334, were worth 52s. (fn. 166) Just before the Dissolution they were worth 42s. 9d., of which 26s. 8d. was spent in paying a chaplain. (fn. 167) After the Dissolution the king received 50s. 9d. from these rents. (fn. 168) The holding of Tewkesbury Abbey in Bemerton was worth 2 6s. 2d. in 1291, (fn. 169) and 2 in 1535 when it was leased to the Prior of St. Denys. (fn. 170)
A rental of 1620, when both Prior's Bemerton and Compton's Bemerton were held by Sir Richard Grobham, (fn. 171) is the only surviving evidence for the 17th-century economic history of Bemerton. (fn. 172) Even this is of limited value, as it gives no information about field-systems, other than that there were open-fields. There were 3 free tenants in Prior's Bemerton: 2 were non-occupiers holding 1 and 1 yardland respectively at rents of 5s. and 6s.; the third held and farmed 9 a. of arable in the common field at a rent of 10d. and 1 lb. of cummin seed. The demesne was leased out in two parts: one tenant held a farm with a house and 4 yardlands (of 20 a. each) at a rent of 56 8s. 4d., and another a farm and two yardlands at 26 8s. 4d. It was said that on this manor each holder of a yardland also had about 6 a. of meadow and pasture. There were 5 other leaseholders, the largest of whom held two yardlands. Approximately 13 or 14 rent was paid for each yardland. The total rent from the manor was 143 8s. 4d. The rental was amended between 1625 and 1639; during this period many of the rents were drastically reduced, but in compensation entry fines were increased. The total rents after this change in policy were 101 15s. 10d.
The other part of Sir Richard Grobham's estate, i.e. Compton's Bemerton, was managed quite differently. There were no leaseholders, only free and customary tenants. The rents of the freeholders were nominal: the largest, James Jacob, held 4 yardlands at a rent of 5s. He was also the tenant of the 4-yardland demesne holding in Prior's Bemerton (see above). Another freeholder held 2 yardlands in free socage by suit of court and a rent of lb. pepper. (fn. 173) There were 8 customary tenants, 4 with land in Bemerton and 4 with land in Quidhampton. Two of the Bemerton tenants each held 2 yardlands of the estate which comprised Bemerton farm at a rent of 27s. and a capon. The other two Bemerton tenants, and 3 of the Quidhampton tenants, held a -yardland at rents varying from 5s. 5d. to 10s. 11d. with either a capon or a hen.
There is a gap in the information about Bemerton until 1780. At that date the largest owner-occupier was the rector, who held most of his estate personally and not as glebe. Lord Chedworth's estate was farmed by the man who farmed most of Lord Pembroke's manor of Fugglestone. (fn. 174) It is not known whether the principal tenant farmer of Fugglestone also held land in Bemerton and Quidhampton throughout the next century, but it was again the case in 1881 when a Mr. Taunton held Fugglestone Farm, (fn. 175) and it was probably so in 1860. (fn. 176)
The predominance of agriculture in the economic life of the parish is reflected in the occupation tables of the 1831 Census. At that date there were 130 men in the parish over 20 years old, of whom 90 were agricultural labourers, and 7 farmers employing labourers, while only three were employed in manufacturing. A mid-19th-century directory lists a solitary blacksmith at Quidhampton; all the other entries were of gentlemen or farmers. (fn. 177) This absence of industry within the parish was less striking at an earlier date. In the 13th and early 14th centuries it is possible that linen was made in the parish as well as in Wilton. (fn. 178) In the 16th and 17th centuries the mention of racks in all three surveys, and the fact that Quidhampton Mill was a fulling mill, show that woollen manufacture was carried on. The digging of gravel was also carried on in the 17th century, and chalk has probably been dug at most periods. None of the other activities survived the 18th century.
In the later 19th century there was a small increase in industrial activity. A whiting works was opened on the edge of the chalk escarpment, just north of the railway line. (fn. 179) The natural resources of the parish were also exploited by brickmakers: in 1875 there were three brickmakers at Bemerton with kilns just south of Skew Bridge, but this area was built over early in the 20th century. (fn. 180) A manure and agricultural salt and cake works was opened shortly before 1875, and two or three other small industrial concerns were established on the side of Bemerton next to Fisherton. The largest factory in the parish is the Excelsior Works in Lower Road, Bemerton, built by Scout Motors Ltd. in 1907: in 1912 two motor cars were produced there each week. In 1922 the building was sold to Whitley & Co., of Pewsey, general and agricultural engineers. (fn. 181) On the whole, however, the growth of population in Bemerton since 1850 has been residential in character, and has not been accompanied by industrial development on the same scale.
There was a mill on Aldred's 2-hide estate at Bemerton worth 12s. 6d. a year at the time of the Domesday survey. (fn. 182) There was no mention of a mill among the possessions of the Grimstead manor at Bemerton, nor of Prior's Bemerton until after the Dissolution, but in 1584 when Sir Roland Hayward held the late priory's manor of Bemerton and Quidhampton there were apparently one or two mills. (fn. 183) It is, however, uncertain that these in fact lay within Bemerton. The paper mill which was working from the 16th to the 19th centuries was often described as being in Bemerton, (fn. 184) but in fact lay just outside the boundary in West Harnham. (fn. 185) There were certainly no mills in Bemerton by the later 19th century. (fn. 186)
A water mill at Quidhampton, on the abbess's Fugglestone manor, was first mentioned in 1332. (fn. 187) There were two mills among the property leased there by Henry Bodenham in 1539: a mill called 'Hokemill', and Quidhampton water mill, which was worth 66s. 8d. (fn. 188) Just over twenty years later Quidhampton Mill was used as a fulling mill, and was leased by Nicholas Poole at a rent of 65s. 8d. This mill continued in use throughout the 17th century, (fn. 189) and is marked as a fulling mill on a late 18th-century map, (fn. 190) but it vanished during the 19th century.
A church at Fugglestone is first mentioned in 1291. (fn. 191) The chapel of St. Andrew at Bemerton, however, was in existence at least five years earlier than this. (fn. 192) This chapel was dependent on the church of St. Peter at Fugglestone in 1340, (fn. 193) and this may well have been their relationship from its foundation. The fact that the Abbess of Wilton's holdings in the parish are given together under the heading 'Fugglestone and Bemerton' in 1291 (fn. 194) suggests that the two already formed a single parish. If this was so, the church at Fugglestone was probably established several years at least before its first mention in 1291. There is no trace of any Norman work in the church, and its earliest features accord well with a 13th-century date. (fn. 195)
Although by the 14th century the Abbess of Wilton held the advowson of the church and also received 1/9 of the great tithes (worth 18s. in 1340), (fn. 196) the church was not appropriated and has remained a rectory. The abbess retained the advowson until the Dissolution, (fn. 197) when it passed with the other possessions of the abbey to Sir William Herbert, later Earl of Pembroke. The earls of Pembroke have owned it ever since, although in 1620 the then earl granted it to John Bowles for one turn, and in 1630 it was exercised by the king. (fn. 198) William of Ippele was parson at Fugglestone in 1297; (fn. 199) he apparently belonged to a family who owned land locally, for in 1306 another William of Ippele, son of Hugh of Ippele, granted to him and his successors an acre of land at Bemerton. (fn. 200) This was possibly the origin of the ancient charity known as 'God's acre'. The rent from just over an acre of land was used by the rector and churchwardens for church expenses. (fn. 201) It was sold in 1897 and the money invested. The interest, which was 3 6s. 8d. in 1949, (fn. 202) has since been used towards the cost of maintaining services in St. John's Church, Bemerton. (fn. 203)
In 1291 the benefice was valued at 13 6s. 8d., (fn. 204) approximately the same as the gross value in 1340. (fn. 205) In 1535 the net value was assessed at 24, (fn. 206) and in 1562 at 26 13s. 4d. (fn. 207) Just under 90 years later the benefice was said to be worth 200, (fn. 208) although in 1707 John Norris, the then rector, complained of receiving only 70. (fn. 209) The net annual income averaged 482 in 182931; (fn. 210) and in 1958 it was 846, (fn. 211) more than many other rural parishes. Tithes formed the chief source of revenue: in 1340 the great and lesser tithes were worth 8 and 3 6s. 8d. respectively. Out of the great tithes the abbess received a pension of 18s.; (fn. 212) this right passed to the Pembroke family with Fugglestone manor in 1544. (fn. 213) The tithes were commuted for 552 in 1840. (fn. 214) There was only one acre of glebe in 1616, and again in 1705. (fn. 215) This acre adjoined the rectory house, which was opposite St. Andrew's chapel; it seems probable that this was the acre given to William of Ippele and his successors in 1306. In the 19th century, however, there were 4 acres of glebe. (fn. 216)
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners of 1649 recommended that the chapel of St. Andrew at Bemerton be made a parish church, because it was not conveniently placed for union with St. Peter's church, (fn. 217) but the change was not carried out. The rectory has sometimes been called Bemerton rectory, probably because the rectory house was at Bemerton. Moreover, in 1860 a new church, dedicated to St. John, was built in Bemerton as a memorial to George Herbert, and since that time the main weekly services have been held there instead of in St. Peter's church at Fugglestone. Monthly communion and occasional services are still held at St. Peter's, and mid-week services are held in St. Andrew's chapel, but the principal church is St. John's. The ecclesiastical parish remained unaltered, however, until 1938, when the northern part of Bemerton, which had been developed as a housing estate for Salisbury, (fn. 218) was detached from the ecclesiastical parish to form the new parish of St. Michael. A hall had been built in Alexandra Road as a mission station in 1933, and this continued to be used for services until a new church was built in 1956. (fn. 219)
Surviving accounts show, however, that there have been two pairs of churchwardens, one for Fugglestone and one for Bemerton, since at least the late 18th century. (fn. 220) The arrangement of the registers may be significant in this respect: there is a single register for the whole parish containing baptisms (15681653), burials (15681654) and marriages (160833), but there are separate books for the two churches after 1654. (fn. 221) The provision of separate registers may have been a first step towards following the 1649 commissioners' recommendation that Bemerton be made a separate parish, and separate churchwardens and perhaps vestries may have been created at the same time. If this were so, it would mean that for some purposes Bemerton has had an independent existence since then, although the division of the parish was not in fact carried out.
Just before the Dissolution an unpaid chaplain performed the services at Bemerton chapel. (fn. 222) There was a curate when George Herbert was rector (fn. 223) and since 1649, at least, there has been a paid curate working in the parish: he was paid 30 in 1649, (fn. 224) and 124 a year in 182931. (fn. 225) There were two assistant curates by 1906, (fn. 226) and there have remained two throughout the 20th century except during the two World Wars. The rector himself was probably non-resident in the mid-14th century at the times when the Crown presented during the vacancy of the abbey. Vitalis Seguyn, instituted 1344, was a king's clerk, (fn. 227) and there is a record of the payment of expenses in 1368 to John of Wilton, the then rector, for a journey to Calaison the king's business. (fn. 228) In 1533 and 1620 rectors were appointed who not long afterwards were promoted to bishoprics: Nicholas Shaxton became Bishop of Salisbury in 1535, while Walter Curll became Bishop of Rochester in 1628. Curll was translated to Bath and Wells in 1629, and to Winchester in 1632. (fn. 229)
The best-remembered of all the rectors of the parish resided there during his incumbency: this was George Herbert, the poet and hymn-writer. He went to Bemerton in 1630, and was ordained priest. By this date he was suffering from consumption, and he died in March 1632/3. The duties which he considered a parish priest should fulfil are laid down in his treatise, A Priest to the Temple. Great importance is attached to humility, the care of the poor, and to regular services in which the congregation fully participate. A shrewd knowledge of people and how they ought to behave, and an ability to present his sermons in a way that ordinary people can understand, are said to be essential attributes of the priest, who ought to reconcile neighbours and prevent them resorting to lawsuits wherever possible. Izaak Walton said of George Herbert's period at Bemerton, 'his behaviour towards God and man may be said to be a practical comment on these [his precepts]'. Few details are known about his life there, except that he repaired the church and St. Andrew's chapel, and then partly rebuilt the rectory house. (fn. 230)
Although Herbert considered that sermons were a valuable means of teaching his congregation, he was quite opposed to Puritanism in all its other forms. On the contrary, the services at Fugglestone and Bemerton were conducted with a Laudian reverence and Anglican ceremonial in order to bring out their spiritual significance. Herbert's influence continued after his death, and during the Civil War his successor, Thomas Lawrence, was indicted for railing round the communion table and placing it in the position of an altar. (fn. 231) Lawrence was replaced by Robert Tutt in 1645, (fn. 232) but by 1648 Philip Pinckney, who signed the Presbyterian testimony, was rector of the parish. (fn. 233) There is evidence of some conflict of opinion at this date, because in May 1650 a churchwarden took away the key of the church and said that neither Pinckney nor the curate should go into the church until they had taken 'the engagement'. (fn. 234) Pinckney's son John, who was later ejected from Longstock (Hants), took over the care of the parish from 1655 to 1659, (fn. 235) but he was replaced by Stephen Jay before the Restoration. Jay in turn was replaced almost immediately after the Restoration. (fn. 236)
At the end of the 17th century, another poet and mystic was Rector of Bemerton: this was John Norris, one of the leading students of Platonism and a disciple of the French philosopher Malebranche. (fn. 237) He was very much opposed to nonconformists, but none seems to have lived in the parish at this date. (fn. 238) The Miscellanies, a collection of poems, was published in 1687; he came to Bemerton in 1692, and there wrote his chief prose work, An Essay towards the Theory of an Ideal and Intelligible World.
A third literary figure connected with the parish is William Coxe, who was rector from 1788 until his death in 1828. (fn. 239) He travelled widely and his memoirs are valuable for late-18th-century history. His best known work is his History of the House of Austria, and he was the patron of Henry Hatcher, the historian of Salisbury.
The church of ST. PETER consists of a chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch, and a small octagonal bell-turret. The chancel is narrower than the nave and is mainly 13th-century in date, having narrow lancet windows with a wide splay. There is a small length of a possible 13th-century string course on the north wall. The remains of a rood-screen suggest that there was a south aisle at a fairly early date, although it was much altered in the 19th century. The belfry is almost certainly 15th-century work. The remains of some 17th-century decorated box pews line the walls, but all the present woodwork, both the pews and the gallery, belong to a late-19th-century restoration of the church. The north windows were probably replaced in the late 18th or early 19th centuries: an undated Buckler drawing shows square windows and a central door, now blocked. (fn. 240)
There are three bells, two by John Danton dated 1628 and inscribed 'Praise God' and 'Love God'. (fn. 241) Among the parish plate is a silver cup, of Elizabethan date, decorated with strapwork. An elaborate Elizabethan tankard (1589) was given to the church in 1776 by the then rector, John Hawes. There is also a second cup, similar to the first, two patens, a small silver-gilt, possibly Italian, chalice, and a spoon. (fn. 242)
The church of ST. ANDREW, although much restored, dates from the 14th century. It is very small, comprising nave and chancel, and is built of flint with ashlar dressings. There is a small south porch. In addition to George Herbert's restoration, the church was extensively repaired in 1776, (fn. 243) 1866, (fn. 244) and 18946, (fn. 245) with the result that little of the early building remains. The south wall has the least 19th-century restoration: it has a two-light window of 14th-century style east of the porch. The heavy panelled oak door with wrought-iron straphinges and studs may date from the 16th century. A curious feature of the church is a little square opening and shutter in the south wall, possibly a squint or dole window. The small bell-turret and weather-vane were added between 1790 and 1800, (fn. 246) and possibly restored in 18956. The gallery was removed during the restoration of 1866. (fn. 247) There is one bell, probably cast at Reading in c. 154050, but possibly made at Chertsey Abbey (Surr.). (fn. 248)
The upkeep of the chapel has been helped by various gifts, notably a legacy of 100 by Charlotte Elizabeth Fox (d. 1880). This charity is administered with the St. Andrew, Bemerton, Restoration and Repair Fund endowed in 1893 by Francis Warre, rector, with the help of donations from the congregation. The sum of 30 was invested. By 1902 this had increased to 72 by new donations and accumulation of income. The dividends were used to insure the chapel at the end of the 19th century, and have since been used to pay for minor repairs and maintenance. (fn. 249)
The church of ST. JOHN, dedicated in 1860, is the largest in the parish. It was built with the help of donations from George Herbert's admirers in America, and Gladstone gave the lectern. It has a chancel, a nave of three bays, two aisles, a south porch, and a square northern tower with a small steeple at one corner. The whole is neo-Early-English in style. A lych-gate was added as a memorial to parishioners killed in the First World War. There is one large bell made by C. & G. Mears, of London, in 1860, and a set of tubular bells installed in 1887. (fn. 250) A complete set of modern plate bought by public subscription was presented to the church when it was opened. (fn. 251)
A gift of land adjoining St. Andrew's churchyard, and forming part of an orchard called 'Church Lane Close', was given to the rector for the support of St. John's church by John Fulford in 1872. The land was then worth 200. (fn. 252) Another gift has benefited the whole parish: in 1906 Robert Rawley Watts left Stourpaine Cottage at Bemerton to the use of his sister Anne, and then to augment the rector's stipend. From c. 1925 until 1948 it was occupied by the assistant curate. It was sold for 1,000 the following year and the proceeds are administered for the benefit of the rector. (fn. 253)
ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, consecrated in 1957, is a cruciform church with an apsidal chancel, built in yellow brick with stone facings. It is Romanesque in inspiration, but has a mid-20th-century character in its details; it was designed by N. F. Cachemaille-Day. The interior is painted white and is well lit. On the outside of the apse is a large relief by Miss Kate Parbary showing the Resurrection.
The site of the church was a gift of F. H. and G. J. Wort, and F. R. Way, all of Salisbury, partners in the firm of building contractors, Wort & Way Ltd. Their original gift in 1930 was later exchanged for the land on which the present church lies. (fn. 254) A third of the 9,438 estate of the late Miss Florence Pauline Warre (d. 1948) is used to repair the church and augment the income of the incumbent. (fn. 255)
There was a Presbyterian rector at Fugglestone during most of the Interregnum, (fn. 256) but there is no evidence of separatist activity there until the 18th century. About 1720 the house of John Thring of Quidhampton was registered for nonconformist worship. (fn. 257) Towards the end of the century there were three groups of dissenters meeting in the parish: these were Quakers, Methodists, and Independents. (fn. 258) Another house at Quidhampton was registered for Methodist worship in 1807, and yet another for Independent worship in 1813, but these congregations were never able to build a chapel. It was only the Baptists who did this: their chapel at Quidhampton was registered in 1835. (fn. 259) Two houses registered in 1831 and 1832 may reflect the beginning of this Baptist congregation. The chapel had 50 sittings, and in 1851 had an evening congregation of 25. (fn. 260) It had gone out of use by the end of the century, and no other chapels have been established in the ancient settlements within the parish. The modern development of north-east Bemerton, however, has been accompanied by the opening of a Methodist chapel in Roman Road in 1932; while the Salisbury congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses have a chapel in Alexander Road. (fn. 261)
The church of St. Gregory in north-east Bemerton was founded in 1938 but, as the second Roman Catholic church serving Salisbury, its history is traced below. (fn. 262)
Records of the court baron held on Fugglestone manor survive for 1559, (fn. 263) 1567, (fn. 264) 1584, (fn. 265) 16334, (fn. 266) and from 1724 to 1815, (fn. 267) and on the combined Bemerton manor from 1595 to 1639. (fn. 268) The meetings were irregular on both manors: at Fugglestone in the 18th century they were normally held twice a year but there were frequent lapses, while at Bemerton in the early 17th century the courts were held only once a year normally, but sometimes an extra one was held.
The churchwardens' accounts for Fugglestone and Bemerton have been kept separately since at least the 18th century, but it is not clear whether there were ever separate vestries for the two places. From 1838 until 1894 all the ratepayers in the parish attended a single vestry meeting. (fn. 269) These were held two or three times a year until 1840, and from then only yearly in March. In addition to two pairs of churchwardens, three waywardens were appointed, one each for Fugglestone, Bemerton, and Quidhampton, and three overseers.
A Church of England school was established at Bemerton, on the south side of Lower Road to the west of the Rectory, in 1846, through the generosity of Lord Pembroke. (fn. 270) It was remodelled in 1848 and first received a Treasury grant in 1857. (fn. 271) Two years later between 60 and 70 children were being taught in 2 rooms by a certificated mistress, and a pupil teacher, but desks and books were scanty. (fn. 272) The school was united with the National Society in 1870, (fn. 273) and a year later it was rebuilt with 1,123 raised by local promoters, led by Lord Pembroke, and a Treasury grant of 226. (fn. 274) Accommodation rose from 129 in 1870 (fn. 275) to 195 in 1891. (fn. 276) The erection of an additional infants' school in 1902 increased the accommodation to 253 but it was reduced to 223 in 1910. (fn. 277) By 1912 the mixed department had been enlarged at the expense of the infants, but the average attendance exceeded the recognized accommodation. From 1915, therefore, some of the children were taught in the Parish Hall. (fn. 278) The average attendance was 252 in 1921, (fn. 279) and three years later the school was included in an inspectors' list of unsatisfactory premises. It was transferred to the Salisbury Education Authority when the city was extended in 1927, (fn. 280) and the mixed and infants departments were amalgamated in the following year. Serious overcrowding persisted, however, until 1933 when the senior children were transferred to Fisherton Anger Council School. (fn. 281) Temporary accommodation was abandoned, and each class was given a separate room, except for two groups of infants. The school was removed from the list of defective premises, and its accommodation was re-assessed at 200 junior mixed and infants. (fn. 282) It became an aided school under the 1944 Education Act. (fn. 283)
The Devizes Road, Bemerton Heath, new St. Thomas's, and Westwood Schools all lie within the ancient parish but they were erected as part of the 20th-century building programme for Salisbury schools and are described below. (fn. 284)