Salisbury: St Edmund's parish

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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'Salisbury: St Edmund's parish', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962), pp. 83-85. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Salisbury: St Edmund's parish", in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962) 83-85. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

. "Salisbury: St Edmund's parish", A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962). 83-85. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,


This parish, which was in area the largest of the medieval parishes, took in most of the northern half of the city. Its boundary on the east and north was the city rampart, running from Milford Street northward to the present Council House grounds and then westward, north of St. Edmund's Church. In the north-west the parish extended to include a number of houses built outside Castle Street Gate. The boundary then ran down the Avon to a point level with Scots Lane, thence along the middle of Castle Street, diagonally across the Market Place to take in the present Guildhall, and eastward along Milford Street to the rampart again. (fn. 1)

The rectangular pattern of streets seen in St. Martin's parish is continued here by four lines running from north to south and three lines from east to west. Of the former, Greencroft Street, so named by 1533, (fn. 2) took its name from the open ground which bounds its northern part on the east (see below). In the 15th century it was called Melemonger Street. (fn. 3) Guilder Lane was known as Gelderland in the 16th and 17th centuries; (fn. 4) the street includes a group of 16th-century timberframed cottages with overhanging first floors (nos. 2–14), and a brick warehouse or workshop of the 18th century. St. Edmund's Church Street was no doubt in use from the time of the building of the church in or before 1264, (fn. 5) but the name has not been noted before the 15th century. (fn. 6) It contains, among smaller houses, two large 18th-century ones; no. 41 is a brick house of seven bays, now used as offices, and no. 24 is also brick, of five bays with a projecting window above the porch. Pennyfarthing Street, so-called by 1633, may have been once part of Gigant Street. (fn. 7) Behind some buildings at the corner of Pennyfarthing Street and Milford Street stood the hall used by the Tailors' Company from 1533 to 1880. (fn. 8) Rollestone Street is said to have derived its name from Rolf, who built a group of houses in this area. (fn. 9) In the early 15th century it was called Rollestone by Melemonger Street. (fn. 10) In a similar way another group of houses nearby, probably built or owned by the Nug or le Nugghe family, had become known as Nuggeston by 1350, although it did not give its name permanently to any street. (fn. 11) The corporation brewhouse, established in 1623 as a measure of poor relief, stood in Rollestone Street opposite the side of the 'Old George'. (fn. 12) Nos. 12–14 are large 18th-century houses of brick now used as offices; adjoining them is the employment exchange built in 1937. Endless Street, which formed the northern part of the early High Street (see above) originally extended as far south as Milford Street, thus taking in the section skirting the Market Place, now called Queen Street. (fn. 13) The name, which was used in the 14th century, (fn. 14) was perhaps given to the street in contrast to those further east whose northern ends extended no further than Bedwin Street. The weavers' company formerly had their hall in Endless Street until 1784, when they moved to a new hall in Rollestone Street. (fn. 15) From 1810 to 1878 the old building was used as a bank by Everett, Seward and Co. and their successors. (fn. 16) In 1883 it was demolished and a police station built which remained in use until 1930, (fn. 17) when the present fire station was built on the site. The police station was then moved to a large 18th-century house on the west side of the street, where it remained until 1956. The south end of Endless Street is mainly occupied by shops and commercial premises, including the Regal Cinema and former County Hall, subsequently the Palace Theatre, which was built in 1889 and was in 1960 a garage. On the east side is the 'bus station, made in the thirties. The part of Endless Street above Bedwin Street contains a number of 18th-century houses, including nos. 52–54, a pair of brick houses each of five bays, three-storied with dormers above. Nos. 60–74 are smaller 18th-and early 19th-century houses. At the north end of the street Belle Vue is a plain house of the early 19th century.

Of the roads crossing the parish from east to west Winchester Street, called Wyneman Street (fn. 18) until the 16th century, was an important thoroughfare leading from Winchester Gate directly to the Market Place. The name Winchester Street, formerly used for the modern Milford Street, probably replaced the name Wyneman Street because of a change in the route to Winchester. (fn. 19) It is clear that it is the present Winchester Street which was once called Wyneman Street, for the building formerly the Three Cups Inn in the modern Winchester Street was said in 1484–5 to lie in Wyneman Street, and in 1565 in Winchester Street alias Wyneman Street. (fn. 20) The gate at its eastern end was called Winchester Gate or Wyneman Gate in the mid-15th century. (fn. 21) The first city workhouse was established in this street in 1564. (fn. 22) At the north-east end stand the almshouses established by Margaret Blechynden in 1682. The site may have been chosen because Margaret was a kinswoman of the Eyre family, one of whom, Christopher, had left money in 1617 for the foundation of the Eyre Almshouses nearby. (fn. 23) Most of the western part of Winchester Street consists of 18th- and 19th-century buildings converted into shops, but to the east it remains residential. The former Three Cups Inn, now no. 47 Winchester Street, belonged to the city from 1431 to 1877. A renewal of the lease in 1671 included a covenant to rebuild, and the present large brick house dates from that time. In 1773 the building was converted into a private house, and it was probably then that it was refronted with mathematical tiling. (fn. 24)

Salt Lane is first mentioned in 1587; (fn. 25) in the 15th century it was considered part of Chipper Lane. (fn. 26) The name Salt Lane is now applied to the whole length between Endless Street and Greencroft Street, but the two western sections were sometimes called Cow Lane and Hog Lane. (fn. 27) The Pheasant Inn, a timber-framed building with overhanging upper story dating in part from the 15th century, stands at the corner of Rollestone Street and Salt Lane. It was formerly called the Crispin Inn (fn. 28) after the patron saint of the shoemakers' company, whose hall adjoined at the back. (fn. 29)

Chipper Lane, mentioned as 'Chipperystrete' in 1331, (fn. 30) and Scots Lane, so called in 1343, (fn. 31) derive their names from the Chipper and Scott families, members of which were living in Market Ward at least by 1306. (fn. 32) References to these streets indicate the extent of the building north of the Market Place during the first century of the city's growth. The Public Library in Chipper Lane was built in 1905. (fn. 33) Adjoining it is the Picture Gallery, containing local water colours by Edwin Young, who presented the gallery to the city in 1910. (fn. 34) Nos. 26–34 are threestoried brick houses of the 18th century.

Bedwin Street was mentioned in the 15th century as Bedwin Row on the way from Scots Lane to St. Edmund's Church, (fn. 35) which stands on its north side. East of the church is the site of the college of priests founded in 1269 to serve it. (fn. 36) After the college was dissolved, its property in Salisbury was sold by the Crown to William St. Barbe, a layman who had been the last provost. In 1549 he sold it to John Beckingham, a Salisbury merchant who already held a lease of the college premises from the former provost. In 1575 Beckingham's son Henry sold the college house to Giles Estcourt, whose descendants held it until 1660. In that year Sir Giles Estcourt sold the house to Sir Wadham Wyndham of Norrington in Alvediston. (fn. 37) In 1670 the house still retained its Elizabethan or Jacobean appearance, but c. 1700 the long two-storied south front with its two projecting staircase wings and central two-storied porch was refaced in red brick with stone dressings. (fn. 38) In the later 18th century a park of over 40 a. was made on the north by Henry Penruddock Wyndham (d. 1819). (fn. 39) At the same time the house was extended on the north side, the interior was remodelled and the central feature was replaced by a classical porch. At the west end two stone-mullioned windows survive from the original building. The property remained in the Wyndham family until 1871, when the greater part was sold. Two years later the house and some land was bought by the Revd. George Hugh Bourne who used it for some years as a school, and later as a private house. In 1927, two years after his death, the corporation purchased the house and its extensive grounds to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the city, (fn. 40) and it has since been used as the Council House. In the grounds are the 15th-century porch removed by Wyatt from the cathedral in the 18th century, and the only remaining portion of the city rampart. The houses in Bedwin Street are mainly of the 18th and 19th centuries, but nos. 36–38 are a pair of cottages under one half-timbered gable, probably of the 16th or 17th century. Larger 18th-century houses are Croft House (no. 60) and no. 33; Taylor's almshouses (1698, rebuilt 1886) and Frowd's almshouses (1750) are on the south side of the street. (fn. 41)

In the 15th century land called Martin's Croft lay to the north-east of the city; the name was perhaps derived from an owner rather than from the fact that it was in St. Martin's parish. In 1399 a garden there was described as opposite the graveyard of St. Edmund, (fn. 42) and in 1455 it included a number of courtyards, gardens, and racks let to several tenants. (fn. 43) In that year a croft called Greencroft in Melemonger Street was mentioned separately. (fn. 44) In 1456 William Carent and others let a croft there with hedges and ditches in Melemonger Street opposite St. Edmund's house and churchyard to the mayor and commonalty for 99 years at 8s. rent. (fn. 45) The lessors were no doubt feoffees for the Ashley family, for chamberlains' accounts of later in the century record a rent for the farm of the Greencroft paid to Edmund Ashley. (fn. 46) In 1550 Henry Ashley renewed the lease for a further 21 years, when the pasture was described as bounded by the town ditch on the east, Melemonger Street on the west, the highway leading out of the city to St. Edmund's bars on the north and other property of the Ashley family on the south. (fn. 47) It is not known when the city acquired the freehold of the Greencroft, but it was probably fairly soon after this date. In 1566 the city let it, reserving liberty of playing and walking, but five years later it was decided that it should henceforth be held by the chamberlains and not leased out. (fn. 48) In spite of this it was let again in 1572 and again in 1578 and 1595. (fn. 49) In 1619 Richard Pain leased the croft together with Winchester Gate, the ditches he already held and certain market rights, subject to covenants as to the burial of the poor in time of plague, and the city's right of use for the execution of criminals. (fn. 50) An obligation to level the Greencroft within two years was not carried out by Pain. In 1624 it was decreed that it should be levelled, and the next year Pain was forbidden to graze any cattle other than sheep on it. (fn. 51) In 1663 Thomas Hancock, brewer, leased the herbage of the Greencroft, a house used as the hurdle house, and the profits of the sheep fair there on condition that he rebuilt the house, inclosed the ground and put up three stiles and one pair of bars, allowing public use for walking and lawful recreation. (fn. 52) Subsequent leases to members of the Wyndham family, or their trustees, continued to reserve these amenities, which included shooting and bowling. (fn. 53) This family also had the freehold of a triangular piece of ground between the present London Road and the city rampart which, together with the lease of the main part of the Greencroft, was acquired by the Revd. George Hugh Bourne in 1873 when he bought St. Edmund's College (see above). Ten years later Bourne conveyed both freehold and leasehold to the city. (fn. 54)

In the north-west corner of St. Edmund's parish many inhabited plots (fn. 55) along Castle Street outside the bars formed a suburb which from the 13th century was always included in the liberty of the city (see above). One property there, known as 'Buntysplace' or 'Burntesplace', probably took its name from the family of Robert le Bont, mayor in 1368 and 1370, who held several cottages in Minster Street beyond Castle Street bars. (fn. 56) In the following century it was held by John, Lord Stourton (d. 1462) and his grandson John, Lord Stourton (d. 1485); it then comprised a messuage with 12 cottages and 47 a. of land, meadow, and pasture in New Salisbury, Old Salisbury, and Stratford. (fn. 57) In 1553 Charles, Lord Stourton, conveyed the site of the manor of Bountes Courte alias Bownes Courte 'lying within the city without the gate … called le Castell Gate' to Giles Atclough of Salisbury, innholder. With it went four houses nearby in Castle Street and four in Catherine Street. (fn. 58) In the following year Atclough conveyed the property to William Moggeridge, (fn. 59) who held it in 1585 (fn. 60) and died c. 1588. His grandson Leonard Moggeridge held the property at his death c. 1619, but no further reference to the estate has been found. (fn. 61)


  • 1. Hatcher, Salisbury, 735–6.
  • 2. W.R.O. 492/131; in Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 38, it is 'Grenecroftstrete alias le Melemongerstrete' in 1542.
  • 3. D. & C. Sar. Deeds 1/1/8; Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds J. 1.v, 1456; Hatcher, Salisbury, 92.
  • 4. Sar. Corp. MSS. Ledger C. f. 62d.; D. & C. Sar. 1/1/3, no. 56; W.R.O. 130/20a, 20c; see p. 80.
  • 5. See p. 151.
  • 6. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., pp. 19, 41.
  • 7. W.R.O. 492/41; Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 37.
  • 8. See p. 137.
  • 9. Hatcher, Salisbury, 93.
  • 10. Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1413–33, f. 4.
  • 11. Ibid. Swayne, Scrapbk., pp. 19, 35, 37–38. Both these groups of houses evidently lay on what was the N. outskirt of the city N. of the present Salt Lane. By the late 15th cent. they were apparently synonymous: ibid. p. 21. In 1565 a street was still referred to as Nuggestone St. alias St. Edmund's St.; Sar. Corp. MSS. Rent roll 1565.
  • 12. Haskins, Guilds, 324–25. See below, p. 111.
  • 13. D. & C. Sar. Wills, Wm. Hupewell, 1310; Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds B. 10. vii, 1331. A tenement in Endless St. opposite the Guildhall, 1432: Tailors' Guild deeds, box 12, no. 64.
  • 14. P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 20.
  • 15. See p. 137.
  • 16. Haskins, Guilds, 95–7.
  • 17. See p. 115.
  • 18. The name was in use by 1362: P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 21.
  • 19. See p. 79.
  • 20. Haskins, Guilds, 303–4.
  • 21. Ibid. 265–6; see also below, pp. 88, 89, and Sar Corp. MSS. Ledger B. ff 49d. and 157.
  • 22. Hatcher, Salisbury, 283.
  • 23. See p. 169.
  • 24. Haskins, Guilds, 303–6.
  • 25. Sar. Corp. MSS. Ledger C. f. 102.
  • 26. Ibid., Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 37; see p. 80.
  • 27. So named on Bothams Plan, 1860.
  • 28. So called 1798: Univ. Brit. Dir. iv. 562. It was called the 'Pheasant' by 1830: Pigot, Nat. Com. Dir. (1830).
  • 29. See p. 137.
  • 30. Tropenell Cart. ed. Davies, i. 243–4.
  • 31. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 56.
  • 32. Hatcher, Salisbury, 742. Scots Lane probably takes its name from John Scocche who lived near the boundary of St. Thomas and St. Edmund in 1269: ibid. 52.
  • 33. See p. 115.
  • 34. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1939).
  • 35. Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1413–33, f. 224.
  • 36. See p. 151.
  • 37. C. Haskins, Salisbury Charters and History of St. Edmund's College, 34–40. For Sir Giles Estcourt, see p. 104
  • 38. Ibid., pls. facing pp. 30 and 43; the latter is enlarged from Buck's View of Salisbury from the NE. 1734.
  • 39. Haskins, op. cit., 42–4; for Wyndham, see D.N.B.
  • 40. Haskins, op. cit., 49–53; see pl. facing p. 87.
  • 41. See p. 170.
  • 42. Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1396–1413, ff. 25, 30; see also Hatcher, Salisbury, 93 (1428).
  • 43. W.A.M. xxxvii. 70, 85–6, 88.
  • 44. Ibid. 74.
  • 45. Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds J. 1. v, 1456.
  • 46. Ibid. Swayne, Scrapbk., pp. 19, 21, 23, 58. The Ashley family, of Wimborne St. Giles (Dors.), derived property in Salisbury from the heiress of John Talbot of Trowbridge, who in turn had succeeded to it by marriage with the heiress of Robert of Knoyle, mayor in 1309 and 1314: ibid. p. 33; Hutchins, Hist. Dors. iv. 594–5.
  • 47. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 56; Haskins, Salisbury Charters, 60.
  • 48. Sar. Corp. MSS. Ledger B. f. 340; Ledger C. f. 19d.
  • 49. Ibid. Ledger C. ff 23d., 53d., 148d.
  • 50. Hatcher, Salisbury, 335; for executions here, see Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 77.
  • 51. Hatcher, op. cit. 339, 455.
  • 52. Ibid. 455.
  • 53. Ibid. 528; Sar. Corp. MSS. Corp. Terrier 1672–1716, f. 45; Haskins, Salisbury Charters, 61–2.
  • 54. Haskins, op. cit. 61–2.
  • 55. e.g. John Newman, a wealthy citizen and grocer in 1402, owned tenements, shops, and racks here: P.C.C. 11 Marche; Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds G. 16. i, 1449.
  • 56. Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1357–68, f. 2. He also owned property in Stratford: Tropenell Cart. ed. Davies, i. 144–6.
  • 57. Cal. Close, 1461–8, 126; Lord Mowbray, Hist. House of Stourton, i. 246; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i. p. 61; W.A.M. xxxvii. 80.
  • 58. Cat. Anct. D. v. A. 12706.
  • 59. C.P. 25(2)/887/1 and 2 Ph. and Mary Mich.
  • 60. Cat. Anct. D. v. A. 12496.
  • 61. Wilts. Visitation Pedigrees (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 121–2.