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Wiltshire Community History

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Hullavington

This page is one of 261 pages covering every community in Wiltshire, and is provided by Wiltshire Council Libraries and Heritage. A project to provide a fuller picture of each community is in progress, working on the larger communities first. When these 261, which are modern civil parishes, are completed we will begin work on a further 180 villages and hamlets to provide comprehensive coverage of Wiltshire communities large and small.

From Andrews’ and Dury’s Map of Wiltshire, 1773:

From Andrews’ and Dury’s Map of Wiltshire, 1773


Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham



From Andrews’ and Dury’s Map of Wiltshire, 1810:

From Andrews’ and Dury’s Map of Wiltshire, 1810


Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


This is a corrected and updated edition of the 1773 map that includes the recently built canals.


Map of Hullavington Civil Parish:

Map of Hullavington Civil Parish

1896
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


From the Ordnance Survey 1896 revision of the one inch to one mile map. The modern civil parish boundary has been superimposed.


Thumbnail History:


The parish of Hullavington contains the village of Hullavington (population 1,245 in 2001), the hamlet of Bradfield and also the site of the former settlement of Surrendell. The parish covers an area that measures 4km north to south and 7km east to west and is situated 6km southwest of Malmesbury and 9km northwest of Chippenham. The Foss Way forms the most part of the western boundary of the parish whilst the eastern is marked by a now unused road that once joined Malmesbury to Castle Combe. Gauze Brook traverses the parish from the southwest corner, where it forms part of the southern parish boundary, up to the northeast corner. The Brook represents the boundary between Hullavington village and Bradfield. Both places were separated from the settlement of Surrendell by a road called 'Pig Lane'. The layout of the lanes in the parish has changed little since the mid 18th century. The Malmesbury to Chippenham road was turnpiked in 1756 and three other roads including The Street followed in 1820. All were deturnpiked by 1874.

There are very few prehistoric remains in the parish (there is one long barrow situated southwest of Surrendell) but more evidence exists about settlement post Norman Conquest. Earl Harold owned the Hullavington estate in 1066 and is believed to have passed it to Roger Mortimer; certainly it was held by Roger's son Ralph by 1084. The manor was given to the abbey St Victor-en-Caux in the early 12th century but was passed to the crown during the reign of Henry V and then on to Eton College from 1443-1958. Bradfield which today stands as a tiny hamlet was described by Aubrey in his 17th century history of Wiltshire as a “parish of itself” during the 12th century. It too had a manor with evidence of tenancy and possibly a chapel. The manor belonged to Bristwi and Elwi in 1066 but then like Hullavington, was passed to the Mortimer family). However by the 15th century only the manor house and farmstead still stood. The manor house still stands today: a mixture of original 15th century architecture with 17th century additions. Surrendell also experienced much of its development during the Middle Ages. The manor was owned by Alwi in 1066 before being passed, as with Hullavington and Bradfield, to the Mortimer family. A church was mentioned as early as 1179, along with evidence of a small population presumably living in surrounding farmsteads. A new manor was built between 1545 and 1575 and Surrendell Farm was established early 17th. However by the end of the 19th century, the manor had been demolished and the church had been destroyed completely by neglect. All but Surrendell Farm remains standing today.

The village of Hullavington is a street village and even in modern times settlement within the parish has mostly gravitated around the main street (The Street) and its lanes. Settlement was in a regulated fashion with copyhold farmhouses built facing The Street with enclosed pastures behind, a pattern that remained for many centuries. There were few significant buildings built off The Street by 1764 the exceptions being: the Court House, northwest of the church; 17th century Mays Farm; the large stone Vicarage (apparently built in the 17th century but much altered today); and Church House built between 1504-1535 which was temporarily the Plough pub during the 19th century but demolished later that century. Only nine of the farmhouses on The Street present in 1764 survive today and most of the other buildings on The Street are a mixture of 18th and 19th century with 20th infilling. A small settlement north of the village, now called Newtown, developed mainly during the 19th century as a collection of cottages and a non-conformist chapel. Due to further building in the 20th century, Newtown has now been joined up with The Street. Eton College have owned much of the land in the parish right up until the 20th century: they sold off their remaining land and property (with the exception of Jubilee Cottages) by 1958.

Hullavington's economy was mainly based upon farming in the open fields around the village. Until the latter half of the 20th century, the land was worked from the farmhouses built along the street. In 1840 the land around Hullavington, worked by 10 farms, was half arable and half grassland. Between then and 1939, this balance was tipped in favour of grassland pasture for sheep and then dairy cattle. Several farms lost land to the government when RAF Hullavington was built in the 1930s and the whole of Bell Farm was demolished. Since then much of the farm land is either arable or dairy and worked from further afield. There is evidence of several small mills having been in existence throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, presumably on Gauze Brook. There was also a malthouse in the late 18th - early 19th century.

The Street now hosts only one pub, The Star, which opened as a public house in 1819. Until recently, there were two pubs in the village but The Queens Head, a possibly 18th century building which opened as a public house in the early 19th century, has now closed. Hullavington has had various shops and trades in the village throughout the 19th century; blacksmith, baker, harness maker, carpenter, beer retailer, shoemaker and unusually, hurdlemaking. There was a carrier to and from Bath or Chippenham every week and a Post Office from around 1880. During the mid-20th century The Street had four shops and two garages but now is served by only one shop, one garage and the Post Office.

The population of Hullavington was affected by two significant events during the 20th century. Firstly, the introduction of the London to South Wales railway line that was built through the parish. The first sod was cut in 1897 and the Station at Hullavington was officially opened in 1903. Hullavington hosted a station, weighbridge and siding. The influx of around 280 railway workers boosted the village population and consequently left a large dent in numbers when the navvies left. The railway station was closed entirely by 1965, although the main line from Paddington to South Wales still runs through the parish. Village numbers were later boosted once more when in 1937 RAF Hullavington was opened to the south east of the parish as part of national defence expansion in preparation of World War Two. Unlike many airfields of the day RAF Hullavington was built in attractive Bath stone to blend in with its surroundings. The airfield played an important part in the national war effort and was the subject of German air attack on 14th August 1940: a raid that killed 7 and seriously injured 6 airmen and damaged an aircraft hanger. In 1955 Wellington Close was built between The Street and the airfield to house RAF workers and featured 94 new houses. The airfield which reached its peak in size and operations during the 1960s is now closed. Its closure may have been the cause for the significant decrease in population recorded in 1981. The site however is now used by the army and Buckley Barracks houses several families. The population of Hullavington was 1,247 as recorded in 2001, double that of the 1950s.

CouncilWiltshire Council
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Parish CouncilHullavington Parish Council
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Churches: Information on both current and disused churches and chapels.

Schools: Information on both current and closed schools.

Population 1801 - 2011

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The Victoria History of Wiltshire (opens in new window) is a partnership between local authorities and the Institute of Historical Research at London University. The History of Wiltshire is now the largest county history in the country and is still growing. The volumes are divided between general and topographical with Volumes One to Five covering subjects such as prehistory, ecclesiastical, economic and political history. The Volumes from Six onwards are topographical and will ultimately provide a comprehensive and systematic history of every single town and parish in the county.

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Newspapers from 1738: These newspapers covered this community at different times. Newspaper titles in bold text are either the ones you should check first for information about this community.

 

Maps: listed are maps on which you can find this community. All maps are Ordnance Survey maps.

 

Archaeological Sites: A Sites and Monuments Record (opens new window) is maintained by the County Archaeology Service and covers some 20,000 sites. The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society was formed in 1853 and have been publishing an annual journal since 1854. The journal contains both substantial articles and shorter notes on archaeological excavations, finds, museum objects, local history, genealogy and natural history.

Folk Arts:

Folk Songs from Hullavington

Folk Biographies from Hullavington

Folk Plays from Hullavington

History of Buildings: The collections of the Wiltshire Buildings Record are housed in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Listed Buildings: The number of buildings, or groups of buildings listed as being of architectural or historic importance is 27. There are two Grade I buildings, Bradfield Manor Farmhouse and the Church of St. Mary.

English Heritage and National Monuments Record

Local Authors: There could be an author who was born or has lived in this community.

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