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Saturday, 11 February 2012 18:58

Worton & Marston - The OPC is Teresa Lewis

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Worton & Marston - Christchurch|Marston - Baptist Chapel c1984|Worton - Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Worton & Marston - Christchurch|Marston - Baptist Chapel c1984|Worton - Wesleyan Methodist Chapel ||

Worton Village Gallery                   Marston Village Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Bulkington - Erlestoke - Great Cheverell - Potterne
Slightly further afield are:- Bishops Cannings - Devizes - Keevil - Little Cheverell - Market Lavington - Poulshot - Rowde - Urchfont - West Lavington


Websites of Interest

Genuki - For information relating to Worton & Marston and Wiltshire.
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - Historical information for Worton & Marston.
Worton Village - Information Pages.
A Vision of Britain Through Time - Worton Entry.


The Parish Church of Christchurch

Church Location

Christ Church is set back off the main road in Church Lane next to the village hall. The villages of Worton and Marston share the church, which was formerly part of the parish of Potterne and was built as a chapel of ease for the church at Potterne.

Christ Church and was built in its entirety in the middle of the 19th century at a cost of £1,582. It was intended to serve residents of Marston as well as Worton and is a Grade II listed building. The church was built in 1841 in the Gothic style out of Bath ashlar stone, Welsh slate and stone ridge tiles. It is composed of a nave, chancel, north and south transepts and a vestry. There is a single bell in the bell-cote and it was cast by a man called Mears in 1888. The architect for the church was Thomas Henry Wyatt, who went on to design the Liverpool Exchange and Kensington Barracks. It was built by Brian B. Jones from Bradford-on-Avon. The leading man behind the building of the church was Charles Snell Kensington, who was the owner of Littlecourt and who donated land for the church to the west of his house. He was not actually in permanent residence in Worton but took a great interest in the parish and was buried in the churchyard. It was consecrated in October 1841 by Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, the Bishop of Chichester. The registers are complete from 1843 and other than those in current use are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. The organ was bought by the Parochial Church Council for £650 in 1956.     

Christchurch Photo Gallery          Christchurch Churchyard Gallery            For Christ Church website

Church Sittings Board Christchurch Churchyard Survey Collection For Sunday & Daily Schools 1846
Church Matters 1850-1899 Royal Consent to the Creation of the Parish 1852 Churchyard Burial Plot Map 1928


Parish Registers





Please note that the condition of the print in the register combined with the handwriting resulted in difficulty in reading some of the entries. Wherever possible the entry has been cross referenced with civil registration records and a note has been made against that entry. A number appears in the margin of the register against nearly all entries and we believe that this may be the plot number/location of the burial and these have been included where legible. The Memorial Inscription Table has been kindly transcribed by John Pope (OPC for Potterne) from photographs taken by Lynne and Paul Powell. The table is sketchy in parts due to the condition of the headstones in the churchyard.

Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1841-1908     
Marriages 1852-1993 
Burials 1841-1994

Entries for Worton & Marston Residents prior to 1841 can be found in the St. Mary's Potterne Church Records
The original registers for the dates listed above are held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3QN, Tel: 01249 705500.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The registers after the dates listed are still in use at the church. The current incumbent is the Revd. D. Howard, The Vicarage, 4 Rookes Lane, Potterne, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5NF. Telephone 01380 723189


Parish History

Worton and Marston were former tythings of Potterne.     Worton is a small village in the heart of Wiltshire, about 3 miles from the centuries old market town of Devizes.  Marston is the village adjacent to Worton.  The two villages currently share the facilities of Church, school, public house and village hall.

B. M. H. Crane, writing about the parish of Worton, said: “There are no, nor were there, any famous families, no large estate, no earth shattering events have happened here. Worton is a village of the ordinary: Ordinary people doing ordinary things, leaving only slight marks of their passing.”

The Tithings of Worton & Marston Historical Connection to Potterne Worton & Marston Parish Timeline
A Concise History By John Chandler  Worton - A Village Description  Population Figures 1801-2001 & Other Parish Information
Village Tapestry 2000-2005    

Books, Newspapers & Publications

The following list shows newspaper coverage for the parish from 1737 - Present. Copies can be viewed at The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham. Some may be available via the British Newspaper Archives online.

Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette - 1816-Present Devizes Advertiser - 1858-1933 Devizes News - 1979-1985
Salisbury Journal - 1738-1819 Sherborne Mercury - 1737-1867 Wiltshire Independent - 1836-1876
Wiltshire Telegraph - 1877-1935    

>The Bath Chronicle also carried news items that were of significance.

There are two village publications - The Bridge (Worton & Marston Parish Magazine) available monthly for a nominal fee and The Link, produced by the Methodist/United Reformed Churches in Devizes which is also available monthly.

The Bridge Magazine
2014       April May June July August September October November December
2015 January February March April May June July August September October November December
2016   February March April May June July August September October November December
2017 January February                    


There was a publication in 1991 entitled "Memories of Marston & Worton" from which many of my snippets have been sourced. I would like to thank all the contributors who are residents of the villages and hope that they don't mind me using some of their memories.  In 2001 the village once more published a volume of memories based on the events of the year 2000.  It is called Worton & Marston Domesday Book 2000 (A year in the life of two Wiltshire villages).

Civil Registers

1837 - Present Devizes Registration District

The Superintendent Registrar, Registrar Office, The Beeches, Bath Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2AL.   Tel: 01380 722162

For copy certificates please now contact Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3QN - Telephone enquiries to 01249 705500 and ask for the Copy Certificate Registrar - You may send your request with payment to the above address

Parish Council

The parish council meets every 1st Monday of each month in the Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Parish Councillors 2015

Parish Council Minutes
2013       April May June July September October November December Annual General Meetings
2014 January February March April May June July September October November December  
2015 January February March April May June July September October November December  
2016 January February March April May June July September October November December 9 May 2016
2017 January February March                  

Village Amenities

Mains water came to the village only in 1937 previous to this most dwellings had a well in their garden. Sewerage and mains drainage came much later. Up until the mid 1960's 1 Mill Road still had an outside toilet housed in a shed some way from the house. This was a large bucket type toilet which had to be emptied regularly and manually into a cesspool much further down the garden beyond the apple trees and flower beds.


Buildings and Land

For information about the Enclosure Awards of 1824 for the tithings of Worton & Marston please visit the Potterne Parish page

Agriculture and Land

Gaming Notice 1846

Conservation and Planning

Conservation Area Statement 2003           Marston Pond Planning Permission Letter 2005


Newman - Farm Stock Sale 1870

Listed Buildings

Marston Listed Buildings         Worton Listed Buildings

Manor Surveys

Marston 1657          Worton 1657


Worton 1773 Marston 1773 Ordnance Surveyor's Drawings 1808-1811
Worton 1810 Marston 1810 Worton c1890 
Worton & Marston Ordnance Survey Map 1899 Settlement Boundary 2011  

Property Auctions

Auction of Grubs Land 1848

Property Sales

Bond to Perform Covenants from William May to Anne Simpkins 1735          Property To Be Sold in Worton 1748           Worton House 1943

Significant Buildings

Hurst Farm & Mill

The Farmstead and mill are of Medieval origin. There is evidence that these were standing in 1196 and referred to as Le Hurst. There are pronounced though slightly abraded remains existing to the west of the modern farm building. In 1649 the mill was described as a tucking or fulling mill and in 1777 as a tucking mill and ground where the racks stand. The farm and mill is situated on the very outskirts of the village just off Broadway between Great Cheverell and Worton Village almost backing onto Great Cheverell Wood.

Library Hall (Village Hall)

Village Hall Gallery

Worton & Marston Village Hall was built in 1911 and was funded partly through donations from people living in the parish. It was originally known as the Library Hall, for the remainder of the money needed to build the hall was donated by Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American who widely promoted the importance of England’s public libraries.  It became a charity in 1972 and is registered under the name Library Hall with the Charity Commission.     The Hall has retained its striking black and white mock Tudor timber and render external appearance and is a characterful building situated at the western approach to the village of Worton.  The kitchen was replaced in 2010 and the main hall internally redecorated by volunteers from Amey in 2012.     The Hall serves both villages of Worton & Marston.  There are a number of local groups & businesses using the Hall on a regular basis, for more details see clubs and societies under the people section.  In addition it is used as a Polling Station for local & general elections.  During WWII it was used as a classroom used by the evacuees to the village and their teachers.  

Annual Report 2014

Sandleaze Cottage

The site of a single find worked Bronze Romano-British Coin featuring the head of Antoninianus of Gallienus.

Worton Mill

The mill was owned in 1839 by G. Dowse.

Read more about the  History of Worton Mill          Worton Mill Photo Gallery    The images of Worton Mill in this gallery have been reproduced with the kind permission of Yvonne Joyce-Midgley, Old Mill Arts, 6/7 Mill Road, Worton

On land just south of Christchurch, Worton a single find metal saucer brooch of early medieval Saxon origin was found.

At Littlecourt a single Romano-British Bronze Coin was found. It was described as counterfeit bronze type 4 of Gloria Exercitus type, period 330-336AD. This area of the village is said to be the remains of the medieval settlement known in 1173 as Wrton and later in 1279 as Lytlecote. There is evidence of settlement shrinkage close to the church.

Taxes, Rents and Tithes

On 10th September 1332 parliament granted Edward III a fifteenth and a tenth of the movable goods of the laity of the realm.  Those with movable goods in cities and boroughs and on ancient demesne of the Crown were to contribute the tenth, others the fifteenth. Parliament had granted fractions of such goods to the king from time to time since 1283 and by 1332 such grants had become a familiar form of taxation. The grants, which were universally understood to be grants of the money value of the fractions, were not always of the same fractions and did not always distinguish the classes of taxpayers. To raise the money in 1332 the king appointed for each county principal assessors and collectors who appointed under-assessors: the under-assessors made the assessments, received the money, and transferred it to the principal assessors and collectors who paid it to the king through his exchequer. Two assessors and collectors were appointed for each county including Wiltshire, on 16th September 1332. There were 134 under assessors for Wiltshire. Lists of the movables of each taxpayer were to be made by the under-assessors and summarized in a county list. No under-assessors list of 1332 survives for Wiltshire, where in many cases no more than the total value of each taxpayer's movables, or perhaps no more than his liability for tax, may have been listed. The Wiltshire county list, compiled in the Winter of 1332-1333 and handed in at the Exchequer on 23rd February 1333, is the Wiltshire tax list of 1332.    Worton Liability          Marston Liability

In 1337 a Poll tax was introduced. This required the payment of one penny for all members of the community over 14 years of age. Records show that Worton had 82 taxable residents and Marston 88.

In 1575 another tax was levied. This was between £3 and £8 per person depending on their listed status.

In 1778 yet another tax variation was introduced "a penny for every cow white" and "a penny for every garden". The tithe for Worton Mill in 1778 was 2s. 2d.

Until the early 19th Century most rents were paid to the Bishop of Salisbury, since the church owned most of the land and properties in the area.

In Potterne church on the fly sheet of a large Prayer Book dated 1784 is written "the tithes of Worton and Marston will be collected at the Rose and Crown on Friday next week". This entry is dated 1820

Marston Tithe Awards 1839           Worton Tithe Awards 1839


Crime and Legal Matters

It is a natural assumption that villages are quiet and that not a lot of impact making incidents occur amongst the villagers. There may be the odd squabble and feud between neighbours but these are normally sorted with the parties not bothering to speak and this can continue for generations. However occasionally more sinister rare incidents occur.  Below are a few of the more elusive incidents.

In 1249 the people of Worton and Marston were involved in a Crown Plea when they apprehended four witnesses (I think this is accomplices in this day and age) in the murder of Adam Gutelyn in Devizes. The four were absolved of any partaking in the murder which had been committed by William Corlyk who was found guilty and hanged.

In 1339 William the Clot murdered his wife Christina Owdowes.  William fled the area leaving some Worton residents facing harbouring, aiding and abetting charges.

Animal Related Crime

Cruelty to a Pony 1947


Arson at Worton 1845


Assault Over Road Dispute 1870 (Marston)

Bankruptcy and Debt

Debtors in Prison

Up Until 1869 debtors were incarcerated if unable to pay what they owed.  After this date debtors who had meant to pay their debts but refused could be imprisoned for up to six weeks at a time.  

John Gaisford 1755               Roger Purches 1775                 William Miell 1795


Men who fathered children outside of wedlock were pursued by the parish for the upkeep of the child. It was a legal requirement for the mother to name the alleged father who was duly summoned to appear at the Quarter Session sittings. The local magistrates would listen to the evidence from the mother, alleged father and other witnesses and a verdict would be passed. If the case against the father was proven then he had to pay to maintain his child and if he failed to make the payments as required by law he could face imprisonment. If the case was not proven then the mother left the courts having to face possible life in the workhouse or to find other means of supporting her child. Some of these Bastardy Examinations may be found in the document attached.  Worton & Marston  Bastardy Examinations 1840-1878 

Driving Offences

Fined for Using a Dog-Cart Without License 1890

Miscellaneous Items

This is a list of some of the residents of Worton and Marston who were Victims, Witnesses, Accused or Convicted at Wiltshire Quarter Sessions 1728-1859  The original documents may be consulted at Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

Crime Reports 1700-1799                 Crime Reports 1800-1849                 Sale of Timber by Court Order 1832                 Crime Reports 1850-1899


Murder of Susan Dean 1879

Prisons and Inmates

Convicts sent to Prison Hulks 1823-1842



Various Trade Directory Entries 1852-1863 Post Office 1855 Post Office 1859 Kellys 1867  
Kellys 1898 Gillmans 1899 Gillmans 1899 Gillmans 1900 (Marston) Gillmans 1900 (Worton)
Kellys 1907 Gillmans 1913 (Marston) Gillmans 1913 (Worton) Gillmans 1914 (Marston) Gillmans 1914 (Worton)
Gillmans 1915 (Marston) Gillmans 1915 (Worton) Kellys 1915 Gillmans 1916 (Marston) Gillmans 1916
Kellys 1931        


Education photo gallery

Old Village School

In 1689, two cottages stood on the old Worton and Marston school site on what is now the High Street. These were owned by John Flower of Flowers Farm. Sometime in 1844 the cottages came into ownership of Sarah Bolter.  Around this time the buildings were used to educate local children lessons being centred around those of a Sunday School. Upon Sarah's death she bequeathed £100 towards the education of the poor children in the tithing of Worton.

A further bequeath by Reverend George Edmondstone of Potterne the school was expanded in 1896 and was built by James Holloway a local builder. The school children were often recorded as absent for reasons of working the fields at harvest time or for fruit and vegetable picking. The village supplied fruit especially blackberries to a jam making factory at Great Cheverell.

In 1931 the school was adopted by the County Council with partial control remaining within the local community under a management committee, members of which included Alfred Phillips, Ralph Harding, Henry Goodall and General Stevenson. [Adapted from "Memories of Marston & Worton"]

The Worton & Marston Parochial School          

There is a photograph reproduced in this document of the staff and pupils in 1963 not long before the school was closed and the new school (now named Five Lanes Primary) opened in 1965. If anyone can put names to faces on this photograph please contact me via the contact us tab at the top of this page. Most of the pupils and staff members have now been identified however a few others still allude us.

School Admissions Registers

Register 1913-1914

School Log Books

December 1874-December 1876          January 1877-December 1879          January 1880-September 1884

Five Lanes Primary School

The school is divided into two sites at Worton & Potterne.  The Worton site caters for older children at Key Stage 2 and is situated just off the High Street.  Younger children at Key Stage 1 are educated at the Potterne site at Blackberry Lane.    Five Lanes Website


Emigration and Migration

Strays Index - The list includes those people who were born in the villages of Worton & Marston but were recorded elsewhere in the various census returns and in other documents. Some of the Marston entries may refer to Marston in Highworth, Marston Meysey and South Marston but are included here where it hasn't been obvious they belong elsewhere. Should anyone have firm knowledge that they do not belong here then please let me know via the contact us tab at the top of this page. 

Strays Index         Emigration Home Contact Requested 1800 - Present                  Retirement of W. C. Kensington in New Zealand 1912


Employment and Business

Villagers and their Occupations


Apprentice records published here may not necessarily mean that the apprentice was from the parish but was apprenticed to a master within the parish.

John Butcher 1723*

Please note that entries marked * may refer to Marston Meysey or South Marston


Miscellaneous Documents

Ghosts and Strange Things          


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

The Act of Toleration was an act of the English Parliament [24 May 1689, citation 1 Will. & Mar. c. 18] the long title of which is "An Act for Exempting their Majestyes Protestant Subjects dissenting from the Church of England from the Penalties of certaine Lawes"     The Act allowed freedom of worship to Nonconformists who had pledged to the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and rejected transubstantiation, i.e., Protestants who dissented from the Church of England such as Baptists and Congregationalists but not to Catholics. Nonconformists were allowed their own places of worship and their own teachers, if they accepted certain oaths of allegiance.     It purposely did not apply to Catholics and non-trinitarians and continued the existing social and political disabilities for Dissenters, including their exclusion from political office and also from universities.     Dissenters were required to register their meeting locations and were forbidden from meeting in private homes. Any preachers who dissented had to be licensed.     Between 1772 and 1774, Rev Dr Edward Pickard gathered together dissenting ministers in order that the terms of the Toleration Act for dissenting clergy could be modified. Under his leadership parliament twice considered a bill to modify the law. Both were unsuccessful and it was not until Pickard and many had lost interest that a new attempt was made in 1779.     The Act was amended (1779) by substituting belief in Scripture for belief in the Anglican (doctrinal) articles, but penalties on property remained.     Penalties against Unitarians were finally removed in the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813

There is evidence that some residents of the villages followed the Quaker Religion as shown with this burial entry in the Quaker Records found in Wiltshire Notes and Queries.  1st March 1672 - at Devizes - Mary Thomas alias Joyner of Worton was buried

On 27 September 1787, the house of George Biggs was licensed for private worship. Another Independent house, belonging to Thomas Few, was licensed on 18 May 1798.    Meeting House Licenses for Worton 1714-1827

There was a Wesleyan chapel at Worton in 1829, within the Devizes Circuit. It had 13 members in 1832, 15 in 1842, and 10 in 1852. A new building was erected in 1848 opposite the village hall. It was of red brick with stone dressings. The society is still active but the chapel is now a private dwelling.

When The Methodist Chapel closed the building was re-opened as a place of worship as St. Brithwold's an Anglican Catholic Church. This Anglican Catholic church was opened by the Very Revd. Patrick J. McEune in the former Methodist chapel in the 1990s. It closed in 2002 following his resignation from the Anglican Catholic Church. St. Brithwold was the 8th and last bishop of Ramsbury before the see was moved to Old Sarum.   Worton & Marston Non Conformity Photo Gallery

Marston Primitive Methodist Chapel was formed in 1835 and the present chapel was built prior to 1903. It holds services weekly on Sundays at 6 p.m. The Chapel is administered by the St. Andrew's United Reform Church in Devizes. All church registers are held by the Minister, the Revd C. Cory. Tel: 01380 724264


People and Parish Notables

Please browse the People Gallery and see if you recognise anyone. If anyone has any images they would like to contribute to this section please contact me via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page.

Accidents and the Sad Cases of Suicide

In 1774, Martha Helps hanged herself for reasons unknown but was judged to have been a lunatic.
In 1776, John Stone hit himself with an axe whilst chopping wood in Marston and died of his injuries.
In 1786, William Holloway accidently shot and killed Robert Biggs when his gun discharged itself.
In 1786, John Tilley died after falling from a hayrick.
In 1788, Mary Coleman hanged herself again said to have been a lunatic.
During the late 1700's four children under age 7 were drowned in the ditches found in and around the villages.
The farmers wife at Pound Farm was an epileptic. She accidently fell into a cheese vat and died after one of her fits.

Found Drowned After Drinking Heavily 1847          Accidental Shooting of Edith Webb 1890          Drowned in the Mill Stream 1927

Associations, Clubs, Organisations, Societies and Sports

For more information and contact details of village groups please visit the Worton Village Website.  The link can be found in the website list at the top of the page.

Agricultural Societies

James Glass Selects Shorthorn Cattle for New Zealand Herd 1864


1st Worton & Marston Brownies meet weekly on Tuesdays during school term-time from 6 p.m. - 7.30.p.m. in the village hall

Dog Training

Dog Training sessions are held each Tuesday at 10 a.m. and on Wednesday at 2 p.m in the village hall

Friendly Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1827-1871

Gardening Club

The Gardening Club meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month at 8 p.m. excluding August and December in the village hall

Ladies Group

The village Ladies Group meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7.30 p.m excluding August and December in the village hall


The Rainbows meet weekly on Tuesdays during school term-time from 4.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. in the village hall

Toddler Group

The group meets weekly during school term-time from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m in the village hall

Women's Institute

The WI meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. in the village hall


Golden Wedding Celebrated 1937           Worton Man awarded the M.B.E. 2007-2008          Diamond Wedding Anniversary 2010

Census Returns Transcripts

Worton 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
Marston 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Elections, Polls and Voters Lists

Worton Poll Book 1705 Poll of Freeholders of 1772
Voters List 1832 Voters Lists Revisions 1843 Conservative Party Meeting at Worton 1890
Marston Poll of Freeholders of 1772
Poll Book 1818 Voters List 1832 (Marston)   MP Nominations 2015

Family Notices

1800-1849          1850-1899           1900-1949          2000 - Present          Life Events of the Millennium Year 2000

Family Research

Bodman Family

Bodman Family 2006

Galpin Family

Henry Galpin 1872-1955

Hale Family and Worton

The images in the gallery for this article show the memorial stone of Bethia Hale, including one showing its context in the churchyard at Worton. With the exception of one grave from 1960, this is the only known marked grave of one of Brian and Graham's direct ancestors. The other image shows Grange Lodge, Worton, in 2009. Read about the Hale Family of Worton and their roots

For further family history related to the Hale family please visit Graham & Brian Carter at their web site.   Hale Family of Worton Photo Gallery   The images in this gallery are reproduced with the kind permission of Brian & Graham Carter

For a collection of baptisms, marriages and burials for the Hale family and connected families please click on the links below.

Hale Family Baptisms at Worton 1841-1907 Hale Family Baptisms at Potterne 1772-1878 Hale Family Marriages at Worton 1852-1937
Hale Family Marriages at Potterne 1813-1842 Hale Family Burials at Worton 1841-1950 Hale Family Burials at Potterne 1836-1839
Newman Family
Marston Highway Accounts 1787-1836 Wedding Report for Isabel Newman & John Butler 1905 The Newman Family of Worton House c1915
Golden Anniversary of James John & Mercy Newman 1916 Funeral Report of Mercy Newman 1917 Obituary of James John Newman 1925
Funeral Report of James John Newman 1925
Court Baron & Potterne Court Books 1719-1861 relating to the Newman & Associated Families  
Tuck Family

Tuck Family Research Burial Extracts - These items were 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 references to Quaker entries may be found from across the county.

OPC's Personal Surname Interests within Wiltshire
Andrews - Market Lavington/Easterton/Great Cheverell/West Lavington Henly/Henley - County Wide (Plus associated families and one name study)
Holloway - Worton & Marston/Great & Little Cheverell Sheridan - Worton/Devizes/Melksham
Spencer - Market Lavington/West Lavington Topp - Market Lavington/Easterton/Great Cheverell/West Lavington/Worton

 If anyone has information on these surnames please contact me via the Contact us tab at the top of this page. Thank you.


Cecil Henry Brassey 1949          Lesley Badge 2011

Parish Notables

David Johnson - Author

Read about the author of the Dark Victory series of books

Sir Maurice Robert Johnston - Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire

Read a bit about his career and Wiltshire involvement

Frederick Kempster - Gentle Giant

Read about one of Worton's famous residents Frederick Kempster as told by James Kempster, his great nephew and browse the gallery.  Read a little more about the life of Frederick Kempster in this article.  Even as late as 2007 Frederick's memory has still been kept alive in places where he was a well loved character as is seen in this commemorative card from the Barge Inn at Seend.     The Frederick Kempster Photo Gallery (I would like to sincerely thank Jim Kempster for supplying the images which appear in this gallery and for writing the true story about Frederick and his connection to Worton)

Sybil Letheridge, Author
A Bit About Me (Teresa Lewis OPC)

I was born in the village of Worton, moved to Wales when I was 6, and moved to Scotland in 2009 which is where I feel I will end my days (not too soon I hope). Although I haven't been back to Worton for a long time, I still have family there. If there is anything you would like to ask about the parish, I will do my best find an answer for you or put you in touch with someone who can. I am an ardent family historian and Stoke City supporter and my roots spread to many corners of the UK. It is a privilege to be able to give something back to help others as I have been helped by others in the past whilst researching my family history.


Soccer 1900-1999

Wedding Reports

Sidney Topp and Hazel Henly 1939           Richard Cordell Newbury & Joyce Mabyn Tomkinson 1951


Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

Worton & Marston Church and Charity                  Poor Commission Election 1837               Poor Law Union Bread & Flour Contract 1838

The Union Workhouse, Devizes (later Southbroom)

The Union Workhouse in Commercial Street, Devizes was responsible for "caring" for the poor of the villages of Worton and Marston.  Births and Deaths occurring in the Workhouse for the villages 1853-1898

In 1881 Stephen Coleman was murdered by a fellow inmate of the Devizes Workhouse. To discover what happened and why read this article      Reports on the Conviction and Execution of Charles Gerrish 1882



Several probate related items can be found within this document including wills, notices of beneficiaries, Will locations etc.

Probate Indexes 1571-1860 (Worton) Probate Indexes 1593-1854 (Marston) Indenture of John Oram 1695
Indenture of Giles Oram 1734 Notice of Beneficiaries 1779 James Glass Appointed Trustee 1851

Parishioners Wills

William Hunt Proved 1663 John Saulter Proved 1575)  John White Proved 1580 John Whytte Proved 1599*
John White - Written 1600      


Please note the wills marked * in the above table are probably duplicates open to transcriber interpretation therefore as with all transcribed material it is highly recommended that the original document is consulted wherever possible.

Sarah Axford Proved 1786 John Cowche Proved 1599
John Deane Proved 1620
George Flower proved 1746 Stephen Gaysford Proved 1688
John Longe Proved 1597  
John Oram 1711 John Oram 1736 Thomas Smith Probed 1648
Isaac Stow Proved 1832


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

During my research it has sparked a curiosity about the role Wiltshire played throughout the conflicts this nation has been unfortunate to have had to defend itself from whether it be civil war or the two major 20th Century wars to modern day conflicts.

Worton and Marston as small as they are in comparison to the major towns within the county as with other villages stood proud in their duty for the cause. Being an agricultural area it no doubt helped feed the nation it also acted as workplaces for both Italian and German prisoners in WWII, it also served as a halfway point for troops of all nationalities making their way to the Bristol Channel Ports from training grounds along the Salisbury plain in WWI. The combined villages also gave up some of their sons to the war effort some of whom failed to return to their families and are recorded on the memorials around the village. One casualty that deserves a special mention is Private 9091 John Burbidge of the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. John was killed in action on 28th March 1918 near Roye, Somme, France and was aged just 18 and has no known grave. At the age of 14 John volunteered for service and arrived in France in November 1914. John is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France on Panel 64

Worton & Marston in The Great War by Robin Shercliff and Wendy Ellis (Reproduced with permission).  This publication was created to mark the centenary of the commencement of hostilities during WWI.  The book contains information about the village during WWI and short biographies on the men that made the ultimate sacrifice.  It also includes a few names not found on the war memorial in Christchurch but had close connections to the village.  The book has been distributed to every household in Worton & Marston and the idea is that the book remains in that property forever.  If the occupants move home then the book should remain for the next occupant to enjoy.

The villages also served as safe havens for children from the major cities in England and housed several evacuees some of whom stayed in the area and others that went away and have never returned. One man who has returned to take part in the 100 years celebration of the raising of the village hall is Pete Weston. Pete is a musician and is leader of the Pete Weston Swing and Jazz bands. He has very kindly allowed me to publish a few chapters from his memoirs about his time in Worton as a young lad of 5 when he arrived from the big City to this strange and scary county

Pete Weston - Evacuee    Part 1    Part 2   Part 3    Part 4 (Images of Pete some of which were taken in Worton)

The document Worton & Marston at War details some of the other war time tales concerning the villages. Included are the names and biographies (where found) of those named on the WWII memorial situated in the grounds of the village hall and on the WWI Church Memorial.

Villager, David Stanner recounts being a child in Worton and Marston during World War II in his story "The Day The Plane Came Down"

Rivington - in July 1941 on active service A/C2 Paul Sangster Rivington, RAF, son of the late Dr. and Mrs. C. S. Rivington of Sandcliff, Devizes and dearly loved brother of Cicely, Kathleen and Peter.  [Source Andrews Newspaper Index Cards]  (See the At War article for more information regarding Paul Sangster Rivington)

Why the Poppy Casualty Biographies of WWI WWI Military Service Exemption Tribunals
Church Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1918 Diocese of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918 Memorial Scroll of Edwin John Burbidge 1918
Casualty Biographies of WWII War Memorial 1939-1945 Major Hugo Willis - War Writer 2011


Finally An Appeal for Help

If you have appreciated the effort that has gone into creating this page or have been aided by its contents - please think about how you could contribute to make it more interesting. I would like to appeal to anyone who may have interests in the village if they would be willing to share some items with me to add to my page. If you have any old photographs of people or buildings, stories, transcriptions of any kind I would love to hear from you. I may be contacted via the Contact Us Tab at the top of this page. I am really interested in hearing about Bodmans Coaches - the main village industry other than agriculture.  I would love to receive a list of Worton Parish Church Incumbents, or any memorial inscriptions from the churchyard.  Help me make this page something that will benefit future researchers and make it part of history. Thank You. Teresa Lewis OPC


Read 24754 times Last modified on Monday, 27 April 2020 16:44

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