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Wednesday, 08 February 2012 04:46

Ashton Keynes - OPC Vacancy

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Ashton Keynes - Holy Cross Ashton Keynes - Holy Cross

Ashton Keynes Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Cricklade - Leigh - Minety - Shorncote - South Cerney (GLS)



GenUKI - For information relating to Ashton Keynes
Ashton Keynes Online - For village information
University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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 Holy Cross

Holy Cross Church Gallery          Holy Cross Church Interior               Holy Cross Churchyard Gallery                Churchyard Survey

Parish Register Transcripts


1800-1849           1850-1874            1875-1899           1900-1949


1583-1650          1651-1750           1751-1800           1801-1837



Please note that the Baptism and Burial Transcripts provided are possibly incomplete

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1582-1961
Marriages 1583-1967
Burials 1582-2005
Other Resources 


Parish History

Ashton Keynes is 4 miles West of Cricklade, and 4 miles South of Cirencester (Gloucestershire).  Situated on the Isis section of the River Thames the parish formerly included the chapelry of Leigh before it was elevated to parish status. There are the remains of 4 ancient crosses and part of the monastery surrounded by a moat which by 1868 had been converted into a farmhouse. The church is an ancient edifice.               Ashton Keynes Crosses Gallery

Portrait of A Village 1967

Civil Registration

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


Buildings and Land

Inclosure Awards Extract 1778               Owners of Land 1873


Ordnance Surveyor's Drawings 1816

Public Houses

Horse and Jockey 

Situated at 15 Gosditch.  The buildings was sold for redevelopment

Plough Inn

Situated in Back Street.

White Hart Inn


Crime and Legal Matters

Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879



Post Office 1855                  Kellys 1867          Post Office 1875                  Kellys 1915                  Swindon & District 1928                 Swindon & District 1928                Taylors 1941




Emigration and Migration

Strays Index


Employment and Business

Agriculture and Land

Gamekeepers Certificates 1807     


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 Biss 1725


Aviator Certificate John Bowley 1918       


British Postal Services Appointments 1737-1969               


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Meeting House Certificate 1811

The Congregational Church/Bethesda Chapel, Fore Street

This is now a private house. In 1823 a house was registered for meetings of Independents, and in 1838 the Bethesda Chapel, a simple gabled stone-fronted building with adjacent manse, was built, receiving its meeting house certificate in June 1839. There was not always a Minister attached to the church in later years and visiting preachers would come from Cirencester, Cricklade and other surrounding places to conduct the services. It closed in 1970.

Primitive Methodist Chapel

The earliest reference to Methodism in Ashton Keynes is the application for a meeting house certificate in 1811. In 1840 a chapel was opened in Gosditch. The first services were held on May 3rd, the afternoon congregation filling the building. A detailed account appeared in a Primitive Methodist magazine. The chapel was 33' by 21' outside, and 15' from floor to ceiling inside. It was built in stone, with a slate roof, and the total cost was approximately £220. The Saunders family were very involved in the building of the chapel, giving the land on which it was built and donations towards costs. By c.1860 it had fewer worshippers and almost closed. However the arrival of an unnamed family saved the chapel. Their regular attendance proved an inspiration to others, and money was raised to renovate the chapel interior. This work, including the erection of a gallery, was completed in 1862, and the chapel re-opened on January 4th 1863. The chapel closed in the early 1930s and then became a bakery. It is now a private house.

Strict Baptist Chapel

The Baptists do not seem to have had their own chapel building, although towards the end of the 19th century Kelly's Directories mention a chapel; this probably referred to the meeting place at The Grove rather than a purpose built chapel. A Primitive Methodist called John Jefferies, a shoemaker in the village, was dismissed from his job though the endeavours of the Rector, but with the help of friends set up a business on his own. He later rented a cottage for services but no one came, although several people had promised support. He eventually converted one woman who encouraged other villagers to attend services. Soon the room in the cottage was full and it is believed that a chapel was built. The views and beliefs of Jefferies moved away from Methodism to those of the Strict Baptists and these were not agreeable to his congregation. In 1869 he took The Grove and it was opened as a Strict Baptist Chapel by Mr. Hammond of Gosport. In 1874 Jefferies baptized four people in the river and preached to about 500 people and so the church was formed. He died in 1891 and the Baptist cause seems to have disappeared after 1895, although Baptists are mentioned in the Directories until 1903 but are not included in the Ashton Keynes entry for 1907.


People and Parish Notables

People Gallery


William Cuss 1861

Census Returns Transcripts

1841          1851           1861           1871           1881           1891          1901           1911

Coroners Bills & Inquests Reports

County coroners were introduced in England in around 1194 once established other boroughs and liberties sought the right to have their own coroner.  Often in Medieval times the coroner also assumed the role of the sheriff and his duties weren't limited to holding inquests on dead bodies although almost a full time post they were unpaid for the duties apart from those that were deemed murder of manslaughter when they would receive 13s. 4d.   From the 24th June 1752 a law was passed allowing the coroner to claim £1 for every inquest they attended not held in a gaol and also to claim 9d per mile travel allowance from the place of residence.  Inquests held in any gaol were performed at a rate totalling no more than £1.  These costs were to be paid from the county rates.  In cases of homicide the coroner also received the former fee of 13s. 4d.  The coroners submitted their bills at the quarter session sittings for approval.  Coroners Bills 1752-1796

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

Family Notices

Family Notices 1800-1849

Miscellaneous Items

People News 1700-1799


Charles Howse 1896


Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

Public Assistance Administration 1948



National Probate Index 1858-1966

Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held 

Richard Walrond 1640

War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

Why the Poppy Calne & District Casualty Lists WWI Casualties of WWI
Holy Cross Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1919 & 1939-1945 Casualties of WWII  Civilian Deaths 1939-1945

War Memorial

The War Memorial for Ashton Keynes is located within the churchyard of Holy Cross Church.  The structure is that of an ancient preaching cross which was restored in 1917 to include a dedication as a war memorial, the cross had originally been smashed during the civil war and with some detective work by the Rev. Milling all pieces bar one were found dotted around the village.  It now commemorates those who died in both WWI and WWII with the addition of bronze plaques listing the names of the fallen.           Ashton Keynes War Memorial                 Millions for War Memorial Restorations 2015

 Millions raised for War  Memorial Restoration 2015                           


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