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Thursday, 09 February 2012 01:22

Purton - The OPC is Tara Frugalone

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Purton - St Mary Purton - St Mary Image courtesy of Nick Temple-Fry

Purton Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Blunsdon St. Andrew - Brinkworth - Charlton (Malmesbury) - Cricklade St. Sampson - Lydiard Millicent - Rodbourne Cheney


Websites of Interest

Duncan and Mandy Ball's - Website for images of St Mary Church.
GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Purton.
Museum & Historical Society - Local Museum and Information about Purton's History.
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies.
Wiltshire Community History - Historical information for parishes within the Wiltshire County jurisdiction.


The Parish Church of St. Mary

St. Mary Interior Gallery

Between Swindon and the northern borders of the county stands the church of Purton, an impressive structure having both a central tower and another at its west end.  Externally it seems quite a late building but its nave shows early origins and considerable modification as the centuries passed.  The crossing is a pleasant assembly of arches; the tower above is caped by a spire.  The west tower is tall with a good belfry stafe.  The church has several windows showing tracery designs and there are a number of carved niches for statues.  In the south transept is a fourteenth century wall painting.

In the church vestry is a notice dated 1778 that the rents and profits of the late Hiscocks lease on the common shall be given to the poor every Good Friday

Parish Register transcripts


1558-1699             1700-1812 

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1564-1986
Marriages 1558-1985
Burials 1558-1951
BTs 1837-1876 are held at the Bristol Record Office


Parish History

Purton is 3 miles North of Wootton Bassett and 3 miles Northwest of Swindon.   This parish also includes the hamlets of Braydon and Pavenhill.  Purton is twinned with Heric, France

Civil Registration

1837 - April 1936 Cricklade Registration District
April 1936 - Present Swindon Registration District

The Manor of Purton

The earliest known written record of Purton dates from AD 796 when Saxon king Ecgfirth of Mercia gave 35 hides from Purton to the Benedictine Malmesbury Abbey.  The Abbot continued to be the chief landlord of Purton throughout Saxon and Norman times.

Village Publications

Village Magazine January 2013


Buildings and Land

Owners of Land 1873             Property to be Sold 1822


Ordnance Survey Map 1816             Ordnance Map 1816

Public Houses

Purton seems to have been well served by public houses but all of these have closed over the years.

Blue Pig - At the Brinkworth to Minety and Purton to Garston crossroads closed a couple of decades ago.
The Forester's Arms - Was next door to the Royal George in Pavenhill and closed in 1904.
Another Forester's Arms - was on the parish boundary at Common Platt but closed in 2010.
The Railway Hotel - renamed The Ghost Train after the railway station was closed in 1963 and the pub closed in 2008.
The Hope Inn - at the Collins Lane junction closed in 1995.
The Live & Let Live - in Upper Pavenhill closed in 1967.
The Mason's Arms - in the Upper Square closed in 1945.
The New Greyhound - in Pavenhill closed in 2008.
The Queens Arms - was near the sub-post office in the High Street.


Crime and Legal Matters


Suspicious and Dangerous Fellow at Loose 1752

Capital Punishment

Anne Jourdan - Infanticide 1798          Capital Punishment in Wiltshire 1800-1827

Crime Reports



Attempt to Murder 1847             Murder at Purton by Henry Harman 1874

Prisons and Prisoners

Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879



Kellys 1915             Swindon & District 1928             Taylors Telephone 1941             Taylors Telephone 1941 (Purton Stoke)            



Steven’s Charity - Miriam Stevens in her will of 1723 charged her estate in Purton with an annual payment of £17-10s for ever, £16 for a schoolmaster to teach 20 children reading, writing and accounts


Emigration and Migration

Published in tables from the Poor Law Commissioners Annual Reports for 1835, 1836 and 1847-1848 the following may be of use for tracing missing ancestors.  38 paupers emigrated to Upper Canada under an assisted emigration programme between July 1835 - July 1836, 21 to Canada between July 1836 - July 1837 and 14 to Canada in 1844.

Strays Index             Emigration Home Contact Requested 1800 - Present


Employment and Business


John Bathe 1710


Aviators Certificate of Edward Oscar Bickford 1931


British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969

Community Services

Metropolitan Service & Pension Records

George Allen 1863-1891


Cricklade Monthly Markets 1838


Medical License Extract for James Hickes 1676


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Non Conformists Gallery

Primitive Methodist, Joseph Sweeper 1834-1911           Sunday School Exam Successes 1963


People and Parish Notables

Associations, Clubs, Organisations, Societies and Sports

Pigeon Racing Annual Awards 1956

Census Returns Transcripts


Elections and Polls

Poll of Freeholders 1772 Poll Book 1818 Voters List 1832 Voters Lists Revisions 1843 Poll Book 1868
Electoral Lists Revision Court 1902 MP Nominations 2015 MP Nominations 2017  

Entertainment, Fairs and Fetes

Purton Fair 1826-1827

Family Notices

1800-1849          1850-1899           1900-1949          1950-1999

General Items

Secrets of Farming Book Subscribers 1863                    Longevity 1912-1914

Inquest Reports

Inquest Reports 1700-1799

Local Families

In the Tudor period the Maskelyne family were significant land owners and landlords in Purton having inherited rights granted by the last Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey to the Pulley/Pulleyne family.  The Maskelynes were involved in Purton life for more than four centuries from the 16th.

The Rev. Dr. Nevil Maskelyne (1782-1811) lived at Down Farm and is buried in Purton churchyard.  He was appointed Astronomer Royal in 1765.

The Royalist statesman and author Edward Hyde who was the MP for Wootton Bassett in the 1630s lived at College Farm in the centre of Purton.  It is likely that his daughter Ann, the first wife of James II, also lived there for a while. Hyde became Lord Chancellor of England and was ennobled as Earl of Clarendon.  Hyde’s Whig arch-rival, Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, also had a property in Purton .

In 1859/1860 Dr. Samuel Champernowne Sadler FRCS of Purton had built the Pump House at Salt’s Hole, a natural mineral water spring said to have medicinal healing properties.  His son, James Henry Sadler DL. JP. (1843-1929) although a Purton native lived in Lydiard House.  A strict but generous benefactor, Sadler gave the cricket ground and Working Men’s Institute to the village.

Parish Notables

Neville Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal                  Desmond Morris, Zoologist, Ethologist and Writer

Personal Research Items

Tuck Family Research Burial Extracts - This item was donated by Ken Tuck and contains entries that may or may not relate to the Tuck family however they have been published as such.  Many refer to Quaker burials found across the county     


Tax List 1332               

Wedding Reports

Almost Married 1921                   Wilkins & Baker 1936               


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse

Nevil Maskelyne, who died about 1679, charged Privy Pasture with a yearly payment of £5 to the poor of Purton and a further 10 shillings to a minister to preach on  Good Friday.  The Privy Pasture contained 9 acres and was part of the Down farm, later it was called Wilde’s Pry.  The money was paid to the poor of the parish who attended church on Good Friday in shillings and sixpences. 

Gleed’s Charity - Frances Gleed gave £200, rents and profits, to the poor housekeepers of the parish not receiving weekly alms, 10s once a year but the relatives of the benefactor received preferential consideration.  The £200 was invested in about 13 acres of land at the Cross Lanes on the north side of Hawks Moor Lane called Poor’s Ground. 

Purton Stoke Poor’s Land - Charles I by letters patent gave 25 acres to the poor of Purton Stoke  in lieu of their right to feed cattle and collect wood in Braydon Forest.  The benefits between £1-15s. and £4 were distributed annually in January. 

The Cottage Hospital was erected in 1877 by the generous kindness of Mr.  And Mrs.  Wykeham-Martin.  It was open to all classes of the inhabitants of Purton and surrounding area and supported by voluntary subscriptions. 

Settlement Examination of William Kibblewhite 1796                 Workhouse Crime 1835-1850                  Public Assistance Administration 1948



Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held

William Bathe 1625              Henry Caffey 1639               Henry Caffey 1641                  Edmund Maskelyne 1630             William Read 1628               John Saye 1632                            


War, Conflict and Military Matters

General Military Items

Why the Poppy      

Prisoners of War and Camps

Prisoner of War Camps

Royal Navy

Deserters in Australian Newspapers 1851

Service Men and Women

Servicemen & Families with the 1st Wilts. Regt. in South Africa 1911



Calne & District Casualty Lists 1914-1918               Casualties of WWI




Braydon Village Gallery

Crime and Legal Matters

Crime Reports 1800-1849


Swindon & District 1928              Taylors Telephone 1941

Emigration and Migration

Strays Index               Tuck Family - Braydon to Cheltenham, Australia

Employment and Business

Game Licences 1834

Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship


Chapel Gallery

People and Parish Notables

Poll Book 1868

Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

Removal Orders 1729

Wiltshire Regiment in WWI                      

Wounded List July 1917 


Read 11127 times Last modified on Saturday, 28 December 2019 11:37

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