Parishes: Tockenham

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.

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'Parishes: Tockenham', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9, (London, 1970) pp. 168-174. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

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The parish of Tockenham lies 3 miles south-west of Wootton Bassett and covers 779 a. (fn. 1) It is a narrow oblong and measures some 2 miles in length and ¾ mile in breadth. The small village lies along the western boundary of the parish, and all the buildings on the west side of the village street are situated geographically in the adjoining parish of Lyneham. South of the village the street is known as Greenway after the farm of that name. (fn. 2) In 1968 there were plans to extend the south-western boundary of Tockenham in order to bring more land in this area, as well as West Tockenham (in Lyneham), within the civil parish. (fn. 3) It seems probable that until the 16th century, when certain common lands within Tockenham manor were taken into the Little Park of Vastern (Wootton Bassett), the north-eastern boundary of the parish extended further to the east. (fn. 4) Although no substantial estate existed at Tockenham in 1086, it is likely that the 13th-century manor of Tockenham extended over most of the ancient parish, which was also known by this date as East Tockenham to distinguish it from West Tockenham, which lay in Lyneham. (fn. 5) Tockenham Wick, in the extreme north of the parish, was probably never more than a cluster of cottages. By the 16th century the parish was, as far as is known, no longer referred to as East Tockenham, but by this date both parish and manor were known interchangeably as Tockenham or Tockenham Wick. (fn. 6)

Except for a narrow bed of Oxford Clay which stretches the length of the northern boundary of the parish, Tockenham lies entirely on the Corallian ridge and its soils range from an extensive bed of Coral Rag around Tockenham Wick to alternating beds of Red Down Clay and Red Down Iron Sand, which extend southward to Greenway and Tockenham Farms. There are outliers of Coral Rag northwest of Queen Court Farm, and immediately north of Greenway Farm, while east of Shaw Farm (Lyneham), there is an outlier of Red Down Iron Sand. The soils of Red Down Iron Sand are generally made up of a red or brown loam and are comparatively dry when well-drained, but rather wetter where the clay lies close beneath. Around Tockenham the fields show small pieces of dark brown ironstone. (fn. 7)

In the extreme north of the parish the Oxford Clay gives rise to a narrow valley, which is flanked to the north by Grittenham Hill (in Brinkworth). The main railway line from Paddington to Bristol and the Wilts. and Berks. Canal both pass through this gap. South of the low-lying clay vale the scarp slope of the Corallian ridge causes the ground to rise steeply until it reaches a height of over 400 ft. at Tockenham Wick. The extensive parkland which surrounds the house now known as Tockenham Manor stretches from the scarp slope across the Corallian plateau and is bounded to the south by the Swindon-Chippenham road. The dip slope of the ridge drops away to the clays and sands of the southern part of the parish, but nowhere does the level of the land fall below 350 ft. The land around Tockenham Wick carries a fairly large cover of trees, especially north-east of the Swindon-Chippenham road, where the woodland which skirts Tockenham park is known as Teagle's Copse. The land under cultivation in 1968 was largely devoted to pasture, especially on the wetter, heavier clays around the area in the north-west of the parish known as Shaw.

There may have been a small settlement at Tockenham in Roman times, since a stone relief of this period is set into the exterior wall of Tockenham church. (fn. 8) But it is unlikely that there was more than random settlement there before the Middle Ages. When assessed for the 15th of 1334 East Tockenham made a contribution which was the third highest in Kingsbridge hundred, as then constituted, after those of Hilmarton and Lyneham. (fn. 9) In 1377 East Tockenham had 64 poll-tax payers. (fn. 10) Fifteen persons contributed to the royal loan in 1523 (fn. 11) and there were 3 contributors to the subsidy of 1576. (fn. 12) No more is known of the population of Tockenham until 1801 when there were 124 inhabitants in the parish. This number rose steadily thereafter. In 1841 it was 263 but this included an influx of labourers laying the G.W.R. line in Tockenham and in the neighbouring parishes. By 1851 the population had fallen to 190 and by 1871 to 136 persons. It increased to 173 in 1911 but by 1931 this number had fallen to 131. By 1951 there were 212 inhabitants, (fn. 13) but in 1961 the population had declined to 119 persons. (fn. 14)

In the 18th century the main road from Wootton Bassett to Chippenham took a more southerly course through Tockenham than it did in 1968. The road entered the parish north-east of the village in 1773, whence it turned sharply northwards and left the parish south of the 'Red Lion', which lies on the Lyneham side of the parish boundary. (fn. 15) In 1790–1, when a turnpike trust was created, a new stretch of road from Hunt's Mill Bridge (in Wootton Bassett), to the 'Red Lion' was built. (fn. 16) The new road ran south of Teagle's Copse on a direct westerly route from Wootton Bassett along a shelf formed by a narrow monoclinal fold at the junction of the Coral Rag and Red Down Clay. This road carried most westbound traffic from Swindon in 1968. In 1968 the south-western boundary of Tockenham lay immediately west of the minor road from Clyffe Pypard to Dauntsey. It is probable that this boundary was not established as a division between East and West Tockenham until the later 14th century, by which date the Prior of Bradenstoke had consolidated his estate at West Tockenham. (fn. 17) It was the duty of the parishioners of Tockenham to repair this road in 1562. (fn. 18) The Wilts. and Berks. Canal had been constructed across the parish by 1801. The canal was closed in 1914. (fn. 19) The G.W.R. Paddington-Bristol line was laid to the north of the canal and was completed by 1841. (fn. 20)

The village of Tockenham is grouped around the winding lane which branches eastwards from Greenway. It is likely that this was the area which formed the medieval, as well as the modern, nucleus of the parish. To the south-east stands Queen Court Farm on a partly moated site, while the church stands south-west of the farm. The western side of the village street of Tockenham, which, as explained above, lay in Lyneham, contained several brick houses, a shop, and a derelict Primitive Methodist chapel in 1968. To the east of the village street stood several bungalows at this date. South of the village and east of Greenway stood Greenway Farm, an early-18th-century, two-storied building of brick, with a symmetrical stuccoed front and a hipped roof of stone slates. Nearby were a few council houses in 1968. There was a small settlement at Tockenham Wick in the 18th century, (fn. 21) which presumably grew up around the house built there by Richard Danvers shortly before 1604. (fn. 22)

John Ayliffe, a member of the Ayliffe family of Grittenham, was born at Tockenham in c. 1718–19. He was educated at Harrow and on his return to Tockenham, taught for a while at the recentlyfounded free school at Lyneham. Soon afterwards, hoping to acquire an interest in the Grittenham estate, he became estate manager there. Subsequently, in his attempts to secure the Grittenham estate, Ayliffe was guilty of many frauds, and was executed for forgery in 1759. (fn. 23)

Manor and Other Estates.

There were 3 small estates at Tockenham in 1086. Alfric the little, the king's thegn, held 1 hide there, another one-hide estate was held by Algar, while Alric, also the king's thegn, held ½ hide in Tockenham. (fn. 24) No more is known of these Domesday estates, but it is probable that they merged to form the estate held some time in the 12th century by William Pinkney. By 1194 the lands had escheated to the Crown. (fn. 25) Presumably either William Pinkney, or Walter Pinkney, possibly his son, regained the estate at a later date, since in 1242–3 Herbert, son of Peter, held an estate at Tockenham which had come to him from Walter Pinkney through the wish of the king. (fn. 26) On the death of Herbert without issue at an unknown date the manor of TOCKENHAM passed to his brother Reynold, who, again at an unknown date, conveyed it to Amy de Stanford. (fn. 27) She apparently died without issue and her estate passed to her sister Isabel, who by c. 1295 had been succeeded by her son John de Stanford. (fn. 28) By 1300 the manor formed part of the demesne lands of Hugh le Despenser, (fn. 29) and thereafter Tockenham descended as the manor of Wootton Bassett until 1553. (fn. 30)

In 1553 the Crown granted the manor of Tockenham to John Wright and Thomas Holmes, and in the same year they were given licence to alienate the estate to William Allen. (fn. 31) In 1560 William Allen was licensed to convey the manor of Tockenham to John Sturgis the elder, (fn. 32) who died seised in 1571. His heir was his son John the younger, (fn. 33) who in 1575 sold the manor to Roger Newborough the elder, probably a member of a cadet branch of the family of Newborough of Berkley (Som.). (fn. 34) Roger Newborough had apparently died by 1604, when his widow Anne held the manor for life as her jointure. (fn. 35) Roger Newborough was succeeded by his son Roger Newborough the younger, who was seised of the manor of Tockenham in 1617. (fn. 36) It was presumably Roger Newborough the younger who at some date conveyed the manor to William Wallis, who was lord in 1641. (fn. 37) Henry Wallis, presumably his son, was seised of the manor by 1655. (fn. 38) By 1702 Henry Wallis had been succeeded at Tockenham by his son, William (II) Wallis. (fn. 39) In 1719 William (II) Wallis and Lucy his wife conveyed the manor of Tockenham to John Jacob (d. 1728). (fn. 40) The manorial estate was augmented in 1746 by an estate at Shaw previously carved out of the ancient manor of Tockenham, and brought to John Jacob by his second wife Mary Smith (see below). John Jacob was succeeded by his son John the younger (d. 1776). He in turn was succeeded by his nephew and heir, Sir Robert John Buxton of Shadwell Court, Rushford (Norf.), the son of his sister Elizabeth (d. 1765) the wife of John Buxton. (fn. 41) On his death in 1839 Sir Robert John Buxton was succeeded by his son Sir John Jacob Buxton (d. 1842). He in turn was succeeded by his son Sir Robert Jacob Buxton (d. 1888), whose heir was his daughter, Maud Isabel Buxton. (fn. 42) She married Gerard James Barnes, who assumed the name of Buxton in 1902. (fn. 43) Maud Isabel Buxton died in 1951. (fn. 44) She conveyed her estate to her husband at their marriage, and on his death in 1963 Tockenham passed to his greatnephew, Mr. David Barnes, who owned the estate in 1968. (fn. 45)

The capital messuage of the ancient manor of Tockenham may be identified with the site of Queen Court Farm, which lies south of the old turnpike road from Wootton Bassett to Chippenham, near the church and the western boundary of the parish. It was presumably always used as a farm-house. The present house, which is partly of rough-cast stone, has external features of the early 18th century, including a hipped roof of stone slates with dormer windows, a weather-mould at first-floor level, a door-hood on brackets, and more or less regular fenestration. The asymmetrical plan, however, suggests that a house of the 17th century or earlier may have been remodelled in the 18th century. Two arms of a moat survive to the north and west of the house.

During the 17th century Thomas Smith (d. 1668) accumulated an estate, situated in the north of the parish around Tockenham Wick and Shaw, which after 1746 became part of the Tockenham manor estate. In 1616 Roger Newborough and Joan his wife conveyed a messuage, 40 a. of land, 30 a. of pasture, and 6 a. of meadow to Thomas Walter (d. 1641). (fn. 46) This estate lay at Shaw south-west of Tockenham Wick. (fn. 47) Thomas Walter was succeeded by his son John, a minor, (fn. 48) and on John's death in 1649 the estate passed to John's niece Mary Pinnell, who was seised of the estate at Shaw at the time of her marriage to Thomas Smith (d. 1668) in c. 1656. (fn. 49)

By the time of his death in 1604 Richard Danvers had acquired a small estate at Tockenham Wick, which he devised to his wife Mary for life, and which, after her death, was to pass to his son William. (fn. 50) Mary died c. 1623 (fn. 51) and was presumably succeeded at Tockenham Wick by William, who died childless at an unknown date. By 1656 the capital messuage at Tockenham Wick, together with its appurtenant estate, had passed to John Danvers of Corsham (d. 1699), the great-nephew of Richard and Mary Danvers. (fn. 52) In this year John Danvers conveyed the estate to Thomas Smith (d. 1668). (fn. 53) Thomas Smith was succeeded in his newly-acquired estate by his son Matthew (d. 1733), who was in turn succeeded by his son Goddard Smith (d.s.p. 1746). His heir was his sister Mary (d. 1762), who married first, in 1711, John Jacob (d. 1728), lord of the manor of Tockenham. Through her the estate passed to her son John Jacob the younger (d. 1776), and thereafter descended with the manor of Tockenham. (fn. 54)

Before his death in 1604 Richard Danvers built a house at Tockenham Wick on land known as 'Walters'. (fn. 55) This house can probably be identified with the oldest part of Tockenham Manor, a large rambling building which has been altered and extended at various periods. The core of the house is an early-17th-century stone structure with a Tshaped plan. The entrance range faces north-west and has a two-gabled front with a central porch; internally there is a massive central chimney and the original staircase was probably immediately behind it. The leg of the T is a rear wing, extending southeastwards and having at its further end a room with a Jacobean overmantel and panelling, perhaps re-set. During the ownership of Thomas Smith (d. 1668) the house comprised a hall, parlour, kitchen, and pantry, while above were a hall chamber, parlour chamber, kitchen chamber, and a 'green chamber'. (fn. 56) Matthew Smith (d. 1733) appears to have made some internal alterations and to have added a finial to the porch bearing the date 1698 with his initials and those of his wife. (fn. 57) An alternative possibility is that the whole front range was built or rebuilt at this period in a somewhat old-fashioned style. In the 18th century two brick additions, a drawing room and library, probably the work of John Jacob the younger (d. 1776), more than doubled the size of the house. The tall singlestoried library, which has late-18th-century fittings, continued the line of the entrance range towards the south-west. The Buxtons, successors to the Jacob family, did not live at Tockenham, and it is likely that the house was used as a farm-house after an earlier farm-house attached to the estate had been burnt down in 1787. (fn. 58) It was known as Manor Farm in 1887. (fn. 59) In the early 20th century, however, Maud Isabel Buxton and her husband came to live there, making extensive alterations and additions to the building. (fn. 60) The principal additions were a wing on the north-east side of the forecourt, and a gabled service wing north-east of the house, added in 1904 and 1912 respectively. In 1967 Mr. David Barnes started to reduce the size of the building and to modernize it internally. Work was in progress in 1968, the drawing room extension having already been demolished. In the stable court to the north of the house is a gabled stone building of the later 17th century surmounted by a cupola. The upper story was probably built as a dovecot and the lower part has been converted into a stable by the insertion of 18th-century wooden stalls in the classical style. The stalls may originally have belonged to a brick stable block of the 18th century which stands nearby. To the west of the house is a timber-framed barn with a thatched roof.

Economic History.

Of the three Domesday estates in Tockenham, the one-hide estate held by Alfric had land for 1 plough, an appurtenant 6 a. of meadow, and 6 a. of pasture. It was worth 13s. in 1086. Another one-hide estate held by Algar had land for 1 plough as well as ½ plough with 1 bordar. This estate also had 6 a. of meadow and 6 a. of pasture, and was worth 13s. in 1086. Alric's half-hide estate had land for ½ plough, 3 a. each of meadow and pasture, and was worth 7s. in 1086. (fn. 61)

In 1330–1 the receipts of Tockenham manor amounted to £10 2s. 9d. No tenants within the manor are mentioned. At this date common pasture lay at 'Doddefeld', 'Thornyelese', 'Westlye', 'Merehegg', 'Combe', 'Inwode', 'Waterdich', and 'Estlye'. (fn. 62) In 1341 a water-mill at Tockenham rendered tithes worth 3s. yearly. (fn. 63) This is probably the same mill in which Henry de Badmynton and Eleanor his wife had an interest in 1340. In this year they conveyed two thirds of the mill to Robert Philipps. (fn. 64) No more is known of a mill at Tockenham. By 1369–70 manorial receipts had risen to £17 19s. 8d., and by this time certain lands within the manor were leased to William Bailly at £5 yearly. There were 16 customary tenants and 7 cottars on the manor during this period. All tenants owed bean-picking, sheep-washing, sheep-shearing, hoeing, weeding, hay-making, stacking, and harvest duties. Only the 16 customary tenants were liable to render ploughing and hay-carting duties. (fn. 65) It is likely that composition payments were made in place of services, as was the case in 1371–2. (fn. 66) In 1449–50 manorial receipts totalled £26 19s. 10½d., a sum which included the farm of certain demesne arable, pasture, and meadow leased to William Somerset for £4 yearly. (fn. 67)

Before 1602 the tenants of Tockenham manor had common pasture for cattle in 54 a. of pasture and wood known as Dodford Lawn and Dodford Wood. In the earlier 16th century these commons were taken into the Little Park of Vastern, and in exchange tenants were given common pasture in the Great Park of Vastern, from 25 March to 21 December. (fn. 68) Each tenant paid 1s. 6d. yearly and the Rector of Tockenham had free summer pasture there. (fn. 69) In 1671 certain common fields within the manor were known as Padmead, Little Field, Far Field, and West Lye. (fn. 70) In c. 1699 private inclosure of common land within Tockenham manor was agreed upon (fn. 71) and it was probably after this date that the manor, which covered some two thirds of the parish, was consolidated into a number of farms. A wide ravine in Teagle's Copse was formerly known as the 'Vineyards'. The south-facing slope may have been terraced for vines in early times and Goddard Smith (d. 1746) probably replanted vines there in the early 18th century. (fn. 72) In 1764 the manorial estate at Tockenham, which by this date included the former estate of the Smith family at Tockenham Wick and Shaw, comprised 4 farms, Wick, Shaw, Queen Court, and Greenway Farms, besides a small amount of land which may be identified with the park attached to Tockenham Manor. (fn. 73) Tockenham Fields Farm was at this date known as 'Mr. Sheppard's farm'. (fn. 74) By the time of the tithe award it has passed to Jacob and Richard Smith.

In 1839 all the farms in the parish were occupied by tenant farmers. Greenway Farm (89 a.), Wick Farm (290 a.), Shaw Farm (39 a.), and Tockenham Fields Farm (87 a.), were under pasture at this date, although some mixed, as well as pasture farming was done at Queen Court Farm (179 a.). (fn. 75) By 1877 Tockenham Fields Farm had become part of the manorial estate at Tockenham and it was at about the same date that both Tockenham Fields and Greenway Farms were sold. (fn. 76) In 1968 the parish was mainly under pasture.

Local Government.

Records of views of frankpledge for the manor of Tockenham exist for 1546, 1547, and 1548, (fn. 77) but otherwise no records concerning the government of the parish are known.


A church in Tockenham is first mentioned in 1276. (fn. 78) In 1924 the benefice, which has always been a rectory, was united with those of Lyneham and Bradenstoke-cum-Clack. (fn. 79) In 1954 the rectory of Tockenham was separated from the united benefice and from that date has been held in plurality with the vicarage of Clyffe Pypard. (fn. 80)

Before 1276 the advowson of the rectory of Tockenham belonged to Herbert, son of Peter, who was lord of the manor. (fn. 81) After the death of Herbert some time in the 13th century the advowson descended with the manor of Tockenham until the 16th century. On the death in 1548 of Queen Katharine Parr, the last of the queens of England to hold the manor, the advowson reverted to the Crown, and remained with the Lord Chancellor in 1968. (fn. 82)

The rectory was taxed at £5 in 1291 (fn. 83) and in 1341 the overall value of the benefice was £5 18s. 4d. (fn. 84) The church was again taxed at £5 in 1428. (fn. 85) In 1535 the value of the rectory was £6 6s. (fn. 86) Before certain common lands in the parish were inclosed in c. 1699 the rectory was reported to be worth £160, but by c. 1744 the rector reported that as a result of inclosure the value of the benefice had declined to £85. (fn. 87) The rectory had an average yearly net income of £283 in 1835. (fn. 88)

In 1341 the great tithes arising from the demesne land of Queen Isabel in Tockenham were valued for purposes of taxation at £1, while certain other great tithes within the parish were worth £2 10s. The small tithes of Tockenham at this date were valued at £1 6s. 4d. (fn. 89) No more is known of either the great or small tithes until 1602 when the rector was allowed certain pasture rights in the Great Park of Vastern in place of great and small tithes in Dodford Wood and Dodford Lawn, which were formerly common pasture of Tockenham manor, but which had subsequently been inclosed in the Little Park of Vastern. (fn. 90) By 1650 the rector claimed that his parishioners rendered neither tithes in kind nor paid any modus in place of them. (fn. 91) By 1678 the pasture rights in the Great Park of Vastern, given in lieu of tithes from Dodford Wood and Dodford Lawn, were replaced by a yearly payment of £1 6s. 8d. made out of the Little Park of Vastern. (fn. 92) This payment was still made in 1704. (fn. 93) In c. 1699 when a private inclosure agreement was made at Tockenham, the landholders agreed to pay the rector a modus instead of rendering tithes in kind. Early in the 18th century the tithes, both great and small, were valued at £45. About 1770 the rector attempted to take tithes in kind. A dispute arose and eventually landholders at Tockenham agreed to allow him an additional £20 in order to make the modus more representative of the value of the tithes. (fn. 94) In 1839 the tithes arising from 762 a. in Tockenham were commuted for a rent-charge of £255 3s. payable to the rector. (fn. 95)

In 1341 the rector had a virgate of land and a meadow. (fn. 96) In the mid 16th century there was an unspecified amount of glebe-land attached to the church, (fn. 97) but no details about the rectorial estate are known until 1662 when there were 35 a. of glebe, which included 8 a. of pasture, known as Parsonage Close and which adjoined the parsonage house, as well as a parcel of 10 a. called 'Smallinges'. (fn. 98) This estate apparently remained intact and virtually the same amount of glebe-land was recorded in 1671 and 1678. (fn. 99) The rector in 1783 claimed that by reason of a private inclosure agreement made about 1699, his glebe-land had been considerably reduced. (fn. 100) A terrier of 1704, however, recorded 35 a. of glebe, which still included 9 a. called 'Smallingras'. (fn. 101) In 1764 the rectorial glebe was divided into two compact parcels, one of which lay south of the church and included Cowleaze Glebe and Glebe Mead, while the other, which included Great Smallingers, lay immediately north-west of the turnpike road from Wootton Bassett to Chippenham above Queen Court Farm. (fn. 102) The same estate was recorded in 1839. (fn. 103) A parsonage house is mentioned in 1662, (fn. 104) 1671, (fn. 105) and in 1704. (fn. 106) In 1887 the house, a large redbrick building, stood to the south-west of the church. (fn. 107) In 1968 it was used as a private house, since the incumbent lived in Clyffe Pypard. (fn. 108)

The rectors of Tockenham were probably resident in the Middle Ages. In the 17th and 18th centuries temporary arrangements were sometimes made for neighbouring incumbents to serve the cure. In 1686 the rector, William Durston, was described as a 'scandalous and disorderly man', who, besides neglecting his cure, had not provided a licensed substitute. (fn. 109) In 1692 the parishioners reported that Durston had visited Tockenham only once in the past six months, and that Christopher Symons, Vicar of Seagry, served the church at Tockenham, although he had no licence to do so. (fn. 110) After c. 1781 a prolonged illness prevented the rector, Algernon Frampton, from fulfilling his duties, and arrangements were made for neighbouring clergymen to serve Tockenham. (fn. 111) In 1864 there was no rector and the church was served by the Vicar of Wootton Bassett, assisted by a curate. (fn. 112)

In 1553 the parishioners complained that there was no preaching at Tockenham. (fn. 113) In 1783 the rector reported that before his illness prevented him, he had always taken a service on Sunday mornings, but that weekday services were never held since none would attend. Holy Communion, attended by an average of 7 people, was administered at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun. (fn. 114) On Census Sunday 1851 it was reckoned that over the past year there had been an average congregation of 104 at the morning services and about the same number in the afternoons. (fn. 115) In 1864 services, at which sermons were preached, were held twice on Sundays, while weekday services were held on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. There was an average congregation of 50 people at these services. Holy Communion was celebrated 4 times yearly and the communicants averaged 20 persons. (fn. 116) In 1968 Holy Communion was celebrated and Evening Prayer said each Sunday.

The church of ST. GILES (before 1928 dedicated to St. John the Evangelist) (fn. 117) is a 13th-century building consisting of a chancel and an unaisled nave with a wooden bell-turret at its west end. The west wall of the nave contains two lancet windows with a central buttress between them. Near the west end of the south wall is a two-light window with 13th-century tracery and opposite to it on the north side is a 14th-century window. Most of the other windows are of the 15th century. A curious arrangement which may have dated from the 13th century is shown at the east end of the chancel in a drawing of 1806 by John Buckler: two pointed windows, each of two lights, are combined under a single arch, the tympanum being pierced by a plain circular opening. (fn. 118) The present east window, in the Decorated style, is work of 1876. At the west end of the nave two ancient posts supporting the bellturret are incorporated in a timber-framed partition. The nave roof is of the trussed-rafter type. At roodloft level a wooden door-frame has survived. The church contains a tub-shaped Norman font ornamented with flat arches and scallops.

In 1553 (fn. 119) and 1686 (fn. 120) the chancel was reported out of repair. The church, together with a 'tower', was said to be greatly out of repair in 1674, (fn. 121) but it is unlikely that anything larger than a turret ever existed at the west end. It may have been as a result of this report that the turret was rebuilt as shown by Buckler (fn. 122) and also part of the south wall of the nave below it; this bears the date 1699, together with the initials of two churchwardens. The south porch appears to be of the same period. A relief carving of Roman date, identified as a figure of Aesculapius or Hygea, has been built into the south wall west of the porch. (fn. 123) The church was restored in 1876, when the south wall of the chancel was rebuilt and the east window inserted, and again in 1908. (fn. 124) At one of these restorations the bell-turret was once more renewed. The most notable memorial in the church is a mural tablet with a portrait bust commemorating Mrs. Goddard Smith (d. 1726).

In 1553 the church retained a 6 oz. chalice for the use of the parish. (fn. 125) In 1692 the parishioners accused the absentee rector, William Durston, of taking away the communion vessels. (fn. 126) These were apparently returned to Tockenham eventually, and are probably to be identified with the chalice and paten, hallmarked 1681, which comprised the church plate in the 20th century. (fn. 127) In 1553 there were two bells. In the mid 20th century there was only one bell, that of c. 1480 from the Bristol foundry, inscribed 'Micael Celi Satrapa'. (fn. 128) A register of baptisms, marriages, and burials runs from 1653– 1766. Another containing baptisms and burials covers the years 1767–1812, while banns of marriage (1765–1812), and marriages (1755–1816), are contained in another register. Yet another register contains marriages from 1814–36. (fn. 129)


In 1669 there was a group of Baptists at Tockenham Wick. (fn. 130) This may possibly be identified with the 7 nonconformists at Tockenham returned in Bishop Compton's census of 1676. (fn. 131) Thereafter nothing is known of nonconformity in the parish until the later 19th century, when a Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1863, served the village. (fn. 132) The chapel, which stands on the west side of the village street, is thus geographically in Lyneham. By 1961 it was no longer in use and was derelict in 1968. (fn. 133)


A Sunday school was established in Tockenham in 1828 and in 1835 17 boys and 15 girls were taught there. The school was supported by voluntary contributions, from which the master and mistress were paid a yearly salary of £6. (fn. 134) By 1859 a school at Tockenham was supported principally by Lady Buxton of Shadwell Court (Norf.). Here, in a good, recently-erected schoolroom 30 or 40 pupils were taught by an uncertificated mistress. A house in which the teacher lived adjoined the school. (fn. 135) A private school, presumably that formerly supported by Lady Buxton, had accommodation for 41 pupils in 1871. By this date a National school had been established at Tockenham. (fn. 136) This school had an average attendance of 56 pupils in 1906. (fn. 137) In 1926 it was closed and the children henceforth attended school at Lyneham. (fn. 138) From 1940 to 1946 the school was re-opened owing to danger of enemy attacks at Lyneham. (fn. 139) The former National school stood immediately south-west of the church and in 1968 was a private house.


In 1780 Ann Jacob bequeathed £500 in trust for the endowment of charities in Hilmarton and Tockenham. (fn. 140) In Tockenham part of the profits was to be used for the upkeep of the family tombs in Tockenham church, while the remainder was to be distributed amongst certain poor people of the parish who did not receive alms. The recipients were to be chosen by the incumbent of Tockenham and the lord of Tockenham manor. In 1834 there were 22 parishioners who benefited from the charity. In 1896 £2, thenceforth to be known as Ann Jacob's Ecclesiastical Charity, was allotted for the upkeep of the Jacob tombs. The remainder of the income, to be called Ann Jacob's Parochial Charity, was to be given to the poor. The income from the Parochial Charity amounted to a little over £4 in 1904 and was distributed with Mary Clutterbuck's Charity.

In 1784 Mary Clutterbuck bequeathed £200 the interest on which was to be distributed yearly at Christmas amongst the poor of Tockenham. (fn. 141) In 1905 Ann Jacob's Parochial Charity and the Clutterbuck Charity were administered together and used to cover the expenses of coal and provident clubs in the village, and to supplement their dividends with cash bonuses. A few money doles were also paid to poor parishioners.

In 1962 Ann Jacob's Parochial Charity amounted to about £4 and was distributed in cash payments to the poor of Tockenham, presumably as need arose. The income of about £5 from Clutterbuck's Charity was distributed in either cash or goods in kind at this date.

In 1834 it was reported that a sum of £3 yearly was paid out of part of the Tockenham estate known as the 'Marsh'. (fn. 142) This sum was distributed by the churchwardens to certain poor parishioners who did not receive alms. In 1905 the Poor's Money, as this charity was called, was distributed shortly after Christmas. A sum of £3 arising from Tockenham Marsh was still distributed, in an unspecified manner, to the poor of the parish in 1962.


  • 1. Much of the preliminary work for this article was done by M. R. Pickering, whose work is gratefully acknowledged.
  • 2. Maps used include: O.S. Maps 1", sheet 157 (1958 edn.); 1/25,000, SU 07 (1959 edn.); 6", Wilts. XIV, XXI (1st edn.).
  • 3. Ex inf. Clerk of County Council, Trowbridge, and see p. 93.
  • 4. See p. 171.
  • 5. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 161; C.P. 40/106 rot. 162d.
  • 6. C 3/13/106.
  • 7. For an acct. of the geology of the parish see W. J. Arkell, 'Geology of Corallian Ridge near Wootton Bassett and Lyneham', W.A.M. liv. 1–18.
  • 8. See p. 173.
  • 9. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 300; see p. 3
  • 10. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 309.
  • 11. L. & P. Hen. VIII, iii (2), p. 1490.
  • 12. Taxation Lists (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 106.
  • 13. All above figures from table in V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 359.
  • 14. Census, 1961.
  • 15. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), pl. 14.
  • 16. W.A.M. xxix. 195; V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 270–1.
  • 17. See pp. 95–96.
  • 18. S.R.O. Button-Walker-Heneage Mun. 1446, Ct. R. for West Tockenham manor, 1562.
  • 19. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 273–7.
  • 20. Ibid. 281–2.
  • 21. W.R.O. 248/184, Estate Map of Tockenham manor, 1764.
  • 22. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Story-Maskelyne Papers, J/52, Will of Ric. Danvers, 1604, and see p. 170.
  • 23. W.A.M. xxi. 199–204.
  • 24. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 161.
  • 25. Pipe R. 1194 (P.R.S. n.s. v), 18, 200.
  • 26. Bk. of Fees, ii. 729.
  • 27. C.P. 40/21 rots. 87, 89.
  • 28. C.P. 40/106 rot. 162d.
  • 29. W.N. & Q. vii. 520.
  • 30. See pp. 190–1.
  • 31. Cal. Pat. 1553, 262–4, 109.
  • 32. Ibid. 1558–60, 264.
  • 33. C 142/159/86.
  • 34. W.N. & Q. viii. 282; Hutchins, Hist. Dors. i. 429.
  • 35. C 142/289/81.
  • 36. C 2/Jas.1/W 25/33.
  • 37. Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1625–49 (Index Libr.), 322–3.
  • 38. W.R.O. 212B/Tock. 7/31, Survey of leases in manor of Tockenham, 1719.
  • 39. Ibid.
  • 40. C.P. 25(2)/1078/5 Geo. 1 Trin.
  • 41. W.N. & Q. iv. 469, 471.
  • 42. G.E.C. Baronetage, v. 332.
  • 43. Burke, Peerage and Baronage (1907), s.v. Buxton.
  • 44. Ex inf. Mr. E. C. Barnes, Hungerdown House, Seagry.
  • 45. Ex inf. Mr. D. Barnes, Tockenham Manor.
  • 46. W.R.O. 212B/Tock. 21A, Deed, Newborough to Walter.
  • 47. Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1625–49 (Index Libr.), 322–3.
  • 48. Ibid.
  • 49. W.R.O. 212B/Tock. 23A, Will of Thos. Walter; ibid. 212B/Tock. 62A, Settlement, Thos. Smith and Mary Pinnell.
  • 50. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Story-Maskelyne Papers, J/52, Will of Ric. Danvers.
  • 51. P.C.C. 19 Swann.
  • 52. F. N. Macnamara, Memorials of the Danvers Family, p. 539.
  • 53. W.R.O. 212B/Tock. 57A, Deed, Danvers to Smith.
  • 54. W.N. & Q. i. 425.
  • 55. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Story-Maskelyne Papers, J/52.
  • 56. J. Badeni, Wilts. Forefathers, 148–9.
  • 57. Ibid. 149. The date has sometimes been misread as 1608.
  • 58. Wilts. Cuttings, x. 290.
  • 59. O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XIV, XXI (1st edn.).
  • 60. The 20th-century history of the house is from information supplied by Mr. David Barnes and from plans and photographs in his possession.
  • 61. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 161.
  • 62. S.C. 6/1057/3.
  • 63. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 161.
  • 64. C.P. 25(1)/254/44/33.
  • 65. S.C. 6/1061/2.
  • 66. S.C. 6/1061/3.
  • 67. S.C. 6/1115/1.
  • 68. For the Great and Little Parks of Vastern, see p. 190.
  • 69. C 78/114 Entry 19; see p. 172.
  • 70. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier, 1671.
  • 71. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 72. W.A.M. xl. 364.
  • 73. W.R.O. 248/184, Estate Map of Tockenham manor, 1764.
  • 74. Ibid.
  • 75. Ibid. Tithe Award, 1839.
  • 76. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat. 1877; ex inf. Mr. D. Barnes, Tockenham Manor.
  • 77. S.C. 2/209/69.
  • 78. C.P. 40/21 rot. 87.
  • 79. See p. 100.
  • 80. Ex inf. the Revd. F. E. Coward, Rector of Tockenham.
  • 81. C.P. 40/21 rot. 87.
  • 82. See pp. 169, 190–1; Reg. Ghent (Cant. & York Soc.), 822; Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. (see index in W.A.M. xxviii. 232).
  • 83. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 190.
  • 84. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 161.
  • 85. Feud. Aids, v. 285.
  • 86. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 130.
  • 87. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 88. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, H.C. 54, pp. 850–1 (1835), xxii.
  • 89. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 161.
  • 90. C 78/114 Entry 19.
  • 91. Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. i. 121.
  • 92. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier, 1678.
  • 93. Ibid. 1704.
  • 94. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 95. W.R.O. Tithe Award, 1839.
  • 96. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 161.
  • 97. C 1/1333/5.
  • 98. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier, 1662.
  • 99. Ibid. 1671, 1678.
  • 100. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 101. Ibid. Glebe Terrier, 1704.
  • 102. W.R.O. 248/184, Estate Map of Tockenham manor, 1764.
  • 103. Ibid. Tithe Award, 1839.
  • 104. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Ep. Vis. 1662.
  • 105. Ibid. Glebe Terrier, 1671.
  • 106. Ibid. 1704.
  • 107. O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XIV, XXI (1st edn.).
  • 108. See p. 38.
  • 109. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Chwdns.' Pres. 1686.
  • 110. Ibid. 1692.
  • 111. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 112. Ibid. 1864, and see p. 202.
  • 113. Sar. Dioc. R. O. Bp's Detecta Bk. 1553, f. 147.
  • 114. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 115. H.O. 129/251/1/3/6.
  • 116. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Vis. Queries, 1864.
  • 117. Crockford (1929).
  • 118. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, vol. iv. 44.
  • 119. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Bp's Detecta Bk. 1553, f. 147.
  • 120. Ibid. Chwdns.' Pres. 1686.
  • 121. Ibid. 1674.
  • 122. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, vol. iv. 44.
  • 123. V.C.H. Wilts. i(1), 114.
  • 124. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1939); leaflet in church.
  • 125. Nightingale, Wilts. Plate, 143.
  • 126. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Chwdns.' Pres. 1692.
  • 127. Pevsner, Wilts. (Bldgs. of Eng.), 466.
  • 128. Walters, Wilts. Bells. 219.
  • 129. W.R.O. 907.
  • 130. V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 113.
  • 131. W.N. & Q. iii. 536.
  • 132. See p. 93.
  • 133. G.R.O. 15926.
  • 134. Educ. Enq. Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 119 (1835), xliii.
  • 135. Acct. of Wilts. Schools, H.C. 27, p. 109 (1859 Sess. 1), xxi (2).
  • 136. Retn. rel. to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, p. 418 (1871), lv.
  • 137. Retn. of Non-Provided Schools, H.C. 178–xxxi, p. 834 (1906), lxxxviii.
  • 138. See p. 103.
  • 139. Ex inf. Chief Education Officer, Trowbridge.
  • 140. All inf. from Endowed Char. Wilts. (1908), pp. 945–9.
  • 141. All inf. from Endowed Char. Wilts. (1908), pp. 946, 948 and Char. Com. Files 204382, 204384.
  • 142. All inf. from Endowed Char. Wilts. (1908), pp. 946, 949 and Char. Com. File 204383.