Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Amesbury - Berwick St. James - Durnford - Winterbourne Stoke - Woodford
Websites of Interest
GenUKI - For information on Wilsford
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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. Michael
The parish church of St. Michael was completely rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1858 at the expense of Giles Loder. The tower contained three bells dated 1572, 1585 and 1601, two of which are now in the museum at Salisbury. In the church are monuments to the Duke, Hayter, Loder and Pinkney families.
Parish Register Transcripts
Registers held at WSHC
The parish of Wilsford cum Lake is made up of three hamlets, Normanton, Wilsford and Lake. Normanton was brought into the parish in 1895; prior to this it was included in the parish of Durnford. The parish lies on the west bank of the Avon, and is two miles from Amesbury and seven miles from Salisbury.
1837 - April 1936 Amesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Salisbury Registration District
Wilsford Parish Government
As the population was under 300, the Parish could not have a Parish Council, but they could have a Parish Meeting. In 1894 and 1895, three Parish Meetings were called to protest against the County Council's plan to amalgamate the parish with Amesbury. Mr Arthur Newall was in the chair for these meetings, and at least one, the Chairman of Amesbury R.D.C., Mr Harry Green, was present, and conveyed the wishes of the meeting to the County Council so that the idea of an amalgamation was dropped.
Buildings and Land
There are no shops or Inns in the parish, but a Working Men's Club existed from the 1930's. The Inchcape Hall, also at Lake, was built by Lady Janet and Colonel Frederick Bailey in 1932, and dedicated by the bishop of Salisbury. There was a smithy at Lake in the 19th century.
Wilsford Manor House
Wilsford Manor was was acquired in 1903 by Sir Edward Tennant, later to become Lord Glenconner. He commissioned Detmar Blow, a young Arts & Crafts architect to build Wilsford Manor, in the style of a 17th century manor house, after seeing Blow’s restoration of nearby Lake House. After Lord Glenconner died in 1920 his widow married Viscount Grey of Falloden, who was Foreign Secretary during the First World War. When Viscount Grey died in 1928 most of the estate was sold, except the Manor House, which was retained by the Tennant family. It was subsequently occupied by the Hon. David Tennant and his wife, Hermione Baddeley and later by the Hon. Stephen Tennant.
Lake House was built around 1580 by George Duke, and was home to the Duke family for nine generations. The house was sold by Jane, the widow of Edward Duke to Joseph William Lovibond, a Salisbury brewer. The House was restored in 1898 by Detmar Blow and again in 1912 after it was gutted in a fire. The house is now grade 1 listed. The house is now a grade 1 listed building, owned by musician Sting and his film director wife Trudi Styler.
A 200lb chondrite meteorite sat on the doorstep of Lake House for at least 80 years, before being donated to the Natural History Museum when the Bailey family sold Lake House in 1991. It is the largest meteorite known to have fallen in the UK, and is thought to have been buried in a prehistoric burial mound, before being excavated by Edward Duke. At present the meteorite is on display in Salisbury Museum.
Lake Post Office and Cottages
A Post Office was established in 1880, the postmaster, Mr John Brock, was also the village carrier. The Post Office was part of the village shop until 1942, when it closed. The last Postmaster was Mr John Hazzard. The buildings were converted to a single residential property now know as Post Office Cottages, one of the former cottages was home to District Nurse Lodge.
Stonehenge Woollen Industry
Miss Lovibond established the business in 1897, prompted by her father's concern at the depopulation of the area. She set up looms in the upper room of Lake House and local women were trained in the various processes. In 1900, cloth of the 'Stonehenge Woollen Industry' saw exhibited at the Albert Hall. After the First World War classes were set up for disabled servicemen. There was a shop in Salisbury until about 1959 and three shops in London were still operating in 1960. One of the thatched workshops is now known as Fir Tree Cottage. Other thatched cottages were destroyed by fire and replaced by stone built ones, which in turn were destroyed by fire sometime during WWI. These cottages stood where Diamond Cottages are located today.
Crime and Legal Matters
|Post Office 1855||Post Office 1859||Kellys 1867||Post Office 1875||Kellys 1889||Kellys 1895|
|Kellys 1898||Kellys 1903||Kellys 1907||Kellys 1911||Kellys 1915|
Wilsford Elementary School
A day school was founded in 1819 and catered for 14 children and by 1833 had 15 pupils, 8 of whom were taught at the expense of a lady residing in the parish, whilst the remainder were supported by their parents. The first Sunday School was started in 1831, and the average attendance was 32. The Church of England School was built in 1857 by Giles Loder of Wilsford Manor and received its first Government grant in 1876. The attendance in 1903 was 25, in 1910 it was 28, and in 1915, with an additional classroom added, the attendance increased to 54. In 1903 the schoolmistress was Miss Ellen Russell. In 1926 the Local Education Authority proposed that the school should be closed and the children sent to Amesbury School. However this proposal was not realised, and the school did not close until 1960 when the 9 children were transferred to Woodford.
Emigration and Migration
Employment and Business
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
People and Parish Notables
Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies
Census Registers Transcripts
Elections and Polls
Sting, Musician and Humanities Activist Trudi Styler, Actress and film producer
Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse
War, Conflict and Military Matters