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Thursday, 09 February 2012 01:09

Wootton Bassett (Royal) - OPC Vacancy

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St Bartholomew's and All Saints St Bartholomew's and All Saints Sheridan Parsons

 Wootton Bassett Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Brinkworth - Broad Town - Cliffe Pypard - Lydiard Tregoze - Tockenham



GenUKI - For information on Wiltshire and Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies
Wootton Bassett Community History - Historical information from Wiltshire County Council.
Royal Wootton Bassett -  Information from the Town Council including cemetery records search,
Royal Wootton Bassett Historical Society


The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints

St. Bartholomew and All Saints is the Anglican (Church of England) Parish church of Royal Wootton Bassett.  The Church is overseen by the Vicar and Rural Dean of Calne, The Reverend Canon Thomas Woodhouse.  The Parish Church Clerk is Mrs Lesley Jones.  The Parish Office is located in the Church Croft and is usually open for enquiries from Tuesday to Friday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.  There is a history of the Church on the Church Website.  The careers of Clergy in the Parish from 1540 to 1835 may be researched on the Clergy of the Church of England Database.  For Wootton Bassett the jurisdiction Diocese is Salisbury.

Proposed Furbishment Tender 1838

Parish Registers


1535-1699         1700-1799          1800-1837

Marriages are published with gaps and some in fills from BTs

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1595-1985
Marriages 1584-1989
Burials 1584-1914

Parish History

There is a comprehensive history of the Parish on British History Online.  According to the National Gazetteer (1868) the parish includes the village of Barkenham in the Wiltshire County jurisdiction - this village no longer exists.

Civil Registration

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

Royal Status

On 16th October 2011 Wootton Bassett was awarded the honour of being called Royal Wootton Bassett by the award of the Letters Patent on behalf of the Queen, in recognition of its dedication, loyalty and respect to those in the armed forces that passed through the town. During the ceremony Her Royal Highness Princess Anne said, "I am privileged to be allowed to add my thanks to those of Her Majesty the Queen and the whole country for the example you set in respecting with dignity the losses that this country’s operational responsibilities have forced upon us."


If you wish to research the Wootton Bassett area the newspaper archives list may be of use, most, if not all of which are available on microfiche in Swindon Library or the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.


Various maps are available to view at Swindon Library or the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.  These include Andrews and Drury map 1773 and Andrews and Drury Map 1810.  Others held are 1885, scale 1:2500; 1887-1889, scale 1:10560; 1900, scale 1:2500; 1901, scale 1:10560; 1919, 1:50000, Ordnance Survey Popular Edition 173 – Swindon and Devizes; 1923, scale 1:2500; 1925, scale 1:10560; 1936, scale 1:2500 and 1938, scale 1:10560  (One inch to one mile is equivalent to scale 1:63360)

Ordnance Survey Map 1816                 Ordnance Surveyor's Drawings 1818                  Ordnance Surveyor's Drawing North Wilts 1826


Buildings and Land


Cattle Plague Regulations 1867


Notice of Intended Construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal 1793


Burial and Burial Plot records at Royal Wootton Bassett Cemetery have been scanned and are available to view on the Town Council Website.  These date from the foundation of the Cemetery in 1872.

General Items

Some owners or tenants of houses which had a fireplace inside for cooking use were often referred to as pot-wallopers.  These were seen to be a little more wealthy and were therefore given the right to vote.

There was once a Workmen's Reading and Rest Room in Wood Street, possibly at the old cobbler's shop (now an Osteopath)

White Horses of Wiltshire 1930


Owners of Land 1873


Henry & Robert Millard - Lease for a year 1816

Property Sales

Dwelling House, Shop & Premises Sale 1847                   Sale by Auction of Buildings and Land 1902 

Public Houses

Beerex Festival 1976

Royal Oak

Royal Oak Inn Advertisment 1838


Horse on Railway Line Caused Accident 1846               Stoker Injured at Railway Station 1846


Crime and Legal Matters


Charges of Assault, Drunk & Disorderly 1872          Clergyman Charged with Assault 1875

Bastardy Examinations

Bastardy Examinations 1867           Jane Haddrell v William Cook 1855                Mary Clifford v John Henley 1867                Elizabeth Cole v Henry Page 1877

Crime Reports

1700-1799          1800-1849          1850-1899           Police Court Notices 1850-1899


Elizabeth Butcher, Charge of Child Murder 1846          Murder Trial of William Hillier 1878

Prisons and Prisoners

Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879

Quarter Sessions

Victims of Crime 

Sidney Watts 1870


Horse Stealing 1847


Throwing Trees, Waldron vs Twine 1878



Many Directories covering Wootton Bassett are available to view at the Historical Directories website created by the University of Leicester including: transcripts of the entries for this parish will be added in the future.  The Directories covering Wootton Bassett include:-  Kelly's Directory of Wiltshire; Pigots Directory of Wiltshire; Post Office Directory of Hampshire, including the Isle Of Wight, Wiltshire and Dorsetshire; Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorsetshire; Post Office Directory of Wiltshire and Slaters Royal National and Commercial Directory

Kellys 1889           Kellys (Extended) 1915             Swindon & District 1928          Taylors Telephone 1941



Education News 1850-1899

The first school in Wootton Bassett is thought to have been run by a Mr Dyer on top of the Market House from around 1750. This was closed about 1859.

The British School

In 1842 the Primitive Methodists formed a school next to their "Hillside Church" on School Hill. The first Head was Mr Tuck. This school became the British School when the British and Foreign Society took it over in 1858. It then became non-denominational. This school expanded to the extent that by about 1950 classes were also being held in four chapels, a "Hut" and the club room of the Beaufort Arms. The problem was resolved when the students were split into three age groups. The Infants remained on the original site, the seniors moved to the new Modern School at Lime Kiln in 1958, and the juniors moved to Noremarsh in 1968.

The National School

In 1850 another small Church school was started in two cottages opposite the Primitive Methodist's School in School Hill (Mount Pleasant). Boys were downstairs and girls upstairs. The first master was Henry Blanchett, son of the sub-agent of the Earl of Clarendon. The first mistress was probably Miss Sellwood, whose father owned the Curriers Arms. The cottages were sold, and in 1860 a new school built in Station Road, on land donated by Lord Clarendon. The new school, the National School, was opened in 1861. The school grew and eventually became overcrowded and classes were held in the Vicarage. In 1890 the collection of 1000 books which had been collected at the school were moved to the Town Library at Town Hall. As with the British School, the senior pupils moved out to the new Modern School in 1958. The National School closed in 1974 and the building is currently used as the Civic Offices.

Other Schools

Mrs E Drake had a private school around 1842 which lost pupils to other schools and was eventually forced to close.

Miss Woodward ran a Seminary for Young Ladies at Priory Cottage, Wood Street from about 1896 to unknown date.

Miss Wheeler ran a Young Ladies' Seminary in the High Street until the 1930s.

Headmaster C E Ashfield MA ran a Boys' Preparatory School at 'The Lodge' in 1897.

Mr J T Greatfield ran Collegiate House School, a boarding school for young gentlemen which also admitted girls.

Little Meads School was run at the Manor House, the first head being Captain Eric Fenn in 1924, the second Mr J E Whittaker, the third Major Christian Weis Cranko, and the last another Cranko, when the school closed.

On the closure of the National School in Station Road in 1974 two new schools were opened to replace it - St Bartholomew's and Longleaze.


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.  7 paupers emigrated to Canada under an assisted emigration programme in 1845.

Strays Index


Employment and Business

Trade Union Memberships

Business & Employment Gallery

Agriculture and Land

Game List 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.

William Booth 1756

Wiltshire Society

Simeon Shelton 1846


British Postal Services Appointments 1737-1969           


General Medical Council Registrations 1859-1959        


Miscellaneous Documents

Parish Snippets 1739-1836                   Joseph Little Ceramic Jug 1896             

Wootton Bassett YMCA records are held at the Cadbury Research Library, Special Collections, University of Birmingham.


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Primitive Methodism 1824 to Present

For in depth information the best source is the book, "Victory in the Villages", written by Reverend W C Tonks in 1907. In 1824 the Primitive Methodist preacher Mr S. Heath arrived on his 'Wiltshire Mission' from Shrewsbury and visited Brinkworth, "proverbial for its wickedness, ignorance, glaring vice and barbarous practices". He then moved on to Wootton Bassett High Street. In 1827 the Mission was renamed the Brinkworth Circuit and the first three chapels were built in Broad Town, Bradenstoke and Brinkworth. Wootton Bassett meetings were at first held in a cottage licensed for Primitive Methodist worship and in the Long Room at the Royal Oak, until in 1831 two houses and a garden on School Hill (Mount Pleasant) were bought and converted into a chapel which was licensed in October 1831. The Methodist cause prospered and in 1838 a new and enlarged chapel was built on the same site. This is sometimes known as "Hillside Church" due to its location. In 1841 a gallery was added to accommodate more people and in 1842 a day school was built (taken over by the British Society in 1858). The congregation continued to grow. The Primitive Methodists were joined by the Wesleyan Methodists in the early 1960s. In 1964 the Wesleyan chapel was demolished and the two congregations worshipped together as Wootton Bassett Methodist Church in the Primitive Methodist chapel. There is no Cemetery and the site is occupied by shops, offices and ancillary accommodation.

Wesleyan Church

The Wesleyan Methodists were holding services in Wootton Bassett by 1851 and built a chapel in the High Street on the corner of Coxstalls in 1855. Support dwindled and the chapel was eventually demolished in 1964. The congregation merged with that of the Primitive Methodists on School Hill. There is no Cemetery.

The Baptist Church

The Baptists built Hope Church in 1896 opposite the present Infant School on School Hill. There was no resident minister and the chapel ceased to run services in 1939. The site is now easily spotted as the side garden of a residential property.

The Congregational Church/United Reform Church/Hepzibah

This church had its roots in the Independent Nonconformists who were active in Wootton Bassett from at least 1676. The first defined meeting place was a converted barn in Wood Street in 1797. A permanent meeting house, Hepzibah, was built in Wood Street in 1825. In 1972 the congregation linked with the local Presbyterians to form a United Reform Church. They continue to worship in the original building. There is no burial ground.

The Catholic Church

The local Catholic Church has its roots in the worthy old families of the area, some of which had their own priests. Catholicism remained very low key in the area until WWII when the Catholic congregation grew, partly due to the arrival of some Catholic evacuee children. A Chapel of Ease was formed in 1941 and the Church of the Sacred Heart was built in 1954.

The Bible Society

A non-denominational Bible Society formed in 1846 and met first in the Town Hall, then at the Royal Oak, them back at the Town Hall in 1906. It remained active until at least the 1970s.


People and Parish Notables

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

United Oddfellows & Foresters March 1874

Census Returns Transcripts


Elections and Polls

Poll Book 1705          Poll of Freeholders 1772          Poll Book 1818           Voters List 1832          Voters Lists Revisions 1843          MP Nominations 2015


Hunt Ball 1929

Family Notices 

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

General Items

Secrets of Farming Book Subscribers 1863                 Almost Married 1921


John Simpkins 1841                  Thomas Newth 1866                Henry White 1868

Personal Research Items

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.


Pigeon Racing Annual Awards 1956


Falstone Day Book 1645-1653

Wedding Reports

Elizabeth Pratt and Charles Tanner 1861


Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

The earliest known workhouse in Wootton Bassett was in Old Court. There were 12 inmates in 1793. At the time this was the poorest area of the town.

The Workhouse covering Wootton Bassett was the Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Union Workhouse built in 1836 in Purton. The Workhouse was managed by a Board of Guardians. They released regular reports which were generally published in the Swindon newspapers. The County Council took over the management of the Workhouse in 1929 and it closed in 1948.

Workhouse Crime 1835-1850                Public Assistance Administration 1948



Probate Index 1570-1881

Inquisitions Post Mortem 

John Saye 1632 

Parishioners Wills

William Brinsdon Proved 1640 Mary Cripps Proved 1789 Timothy Crips Proved 1679 Jane Cruse Proved 1812
James Harrison Proved 1826
John Henly Proved 1795 William Norris Proved 1763 Lydia Parham Proved 1740
Seth Parham Proved 1738 Moses Sarraude Proved 1734 William Saye Proved 1594  

War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

General Military Items

Military News 1700-1799           Why the Poppy


Before April 2007, the bodies of fallen servicemen were repatriated to the UK via RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. When renovations began at Brize Norton in April 2007 repatriations were moved to RAF Lyneham. The last to pass through Wootton Bassett was 24-year-old Lieutenant Daniel Clack of 1st Battalion The Rifles. From September 2011 repatriations returned to RAF Brize Norton. The departure from Wootton Bassett was marked by a quiet and dignified sunset ceremony; there had been 167 repatriations in all. The Roll of Honour below lists the repatriations which took place through Royal Wootton Bassett.          Roll of Honour of Repatriations 2005-2011

Servicemen & Women

Chelsea Pensioners 1808-1828

War Memorials

Royal Wootton Bassett War Memorial          Poppy Tribute to WWI Fallen 2014

Wiltshire Regiments

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


War Memorials & Books of Remembrance

Diocese of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918

Wiltshire Regiment in WWI 

Wounded List July 1917 


WWII Civilian Deaths 1939-1945

Casualty Biographies 

William Alfred Baston 1940




War, Conflict and Military Matters


Calne & District Casualty Lists 1914-1918 (Bushton)


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