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Tuesday, 07 February 2012 06:19

Berwick St. John - OPC Vacancy

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Berwick - St John Berwick - St John Courtesy of Les Dodd

Berwick St. John Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Alvediston - Ansty - Donhead St. Andrew - Donhead St. Mary - Ebbesbourne Wake - Handley (DOR) - Tollard Royal



University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
GenUKI - For information on Berwick St. John
Berwick St. John streetmap
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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. John

There was a church at Berwick St. John in or before the early thirteenth century. The Earls of Pembroke held patronage soon after the Reformation, with it passing to New College, Oxford, in the mid-eighteenth century. In line with general mid-Victorian enthusiasm for church building and restoration, by 1861 the church had been enlarged and, in the process, almost completely rebuilt and refurnished. Among the most interesting artefacts in the church are the two effigies of knights in the north and south transepts.

Berwick St. John Protestation Return 1641-1642

Monumental Inscriptions taken by Reverend Goodchild in 1920, are available as look-ups by following this link:  Berwick St. John MI's

Parish Register Transcripts


1560-1699         1700-1799         1800-1885 




1560-1699         1700-1799         1800-1837

The parish records above may contain gaps in the date ranges

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1560-1893
Marriages 1559-2003
Burials 1560-1965



Parish History

The parish includes Rushmore Lodge

Within the Chalke Hundred of Wiltshire, about thirteen miles west of Salisbury and some six miles east of Shaftesbury, the parish of Berwick St John settles between the chalk downs at the head of the Ebble Valley. To the north White Sheet Hill marks the steep descent down from the pre-turnpike route running westwards along the downs from Salisbury, while to the south the village of Tollard Royal sits on the border with neighbouring Dorset at the northern margins of Cranborne Chase. In earlier times the shape of the parish of Berwick St John resembled an inverted 'U', where once a wide tongue of land - actually a detached part of Donhead St Andrew, known as Easton Bassett - reached into the very centre of the village from the south. Less than a mile immediately south east of Berwick St John is the early Iron Age hill fort of Winkelbury Hill, or Vespasian's Camp. About a mile due west from the village is Ferne, once the seat of the Grove family. On the downs, immediately south from Ferne, there is the fantastic viewpoint of Win Green.


The Biography of a Country Church, Berwick St John, by Hazel Giffard, 1999, Winkelbury Publications, Berwick St John. ISBN: 0 9535893 0 7 (this may also be available from the church)
Victoria County History of Wiltshire, Volume 13, D. A. Crowley (Ed), 1987

Civil Registration

1837 - April 1936 Tisbury Registration District
April 1936 - January 1978 Mere Registration District
January 1978 - Present Salisbury Registration District

Appointment of a New Registrar 1913


Buildings and Land


Crime and Legal Matters


Bastardy Examinations 1850-1860             

Crime Reports 

1850-1899                1900-1949       


Theft of Rings 1931

Victims of Crime

William Follett 1914



Post Office 1855         Kellys 1867         Post Office 1875         Kellys 1915




Emigration and Migration

Strays Index


Employment and Business

Agriculture and Land

Game Licenses 1834          Game Licenses 1846 


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

Roger Best 1724


British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969          


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Baptist Chapel


People and Parish Notables

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1837-1871


Bankruptcy Notices 1700-1899    

Census Returns Transcripts

1851          1861

Elections, Polls and Taxes       

Poll of Freeholders 1772            Poll Book 1818           Voters List 1832                  Poll Book 1865            MP Nominations 2015           MP Nominations 2017

Family Notices

1750-1799                1800-1849              1850-1899                               

General Items

The Diaries of Charlotte Grove

Those researching families in Berwick St John, the Donheads and other surrounding parishes may be interested to learn about The Diaries of Charlotte Grove. Charlotte (1783-1860), the daughter of Thomas Grove of Ferne, married the rector of Berwick St John, Richard Downes. Her surviving diaries, within the period 1811-1858, include entries mentioning a great many parishioners and other individuals from every section of society - lords and ladies, clergymen, tenant farmers, shopkeepers, tradesmen, agricultural labourers and paupers. Further details can be found here

My personal interest in Berwick St. John

Former OPC John Lane says:- My 3xG grandfather, John LANE (1769-1840), was tenant farmer of Lower Bridmore Farm. He married Mansel MOORE of Fontmell Magna in 1805. They had eight children, including Mansel Moore (1806-1861) who married James BRINE, first cousin of his more famous namesake, the Tolpuddle Martyr; John (1807-1873) who became a successful London brewer; Stafford Moore (1814-1868) who became Farm Bailiff at Spye Park; James (1826-1863), my 2xG grandfather, who married Dionisia FUTCHER of Fovant. Among other names associated with the family are: ATKINS, BARNES, CHAMEN, FOOT and MITCHELL.


Anne Staples 1872

News Reports

Farewell to Lord James of Hereford 1901


Falstone Day Book 1645-1653              


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse



National Probate Index 1858-1966


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorial & Military Gallery

Why the Poppy Diocese of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918 St. John Church Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1918
Bell Ringers Memorial Book Extract held in St. Paul's Cathedral Library, London


Home Guards 1940-1944

Read 20316 times Last modified on Tuesday, 04 February 2020 15:45

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