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Wiltshire Community History

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Patney

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 the Civil Parish of Patney:

Map of the Civil Parish of Patney

1890s
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


From the Ordnance Survey 1890s revision of the one inch to one mile map. The modern civil parish boundary has been superimposed.


Thumbnail History:


Patney is located at the western end of the Pewsey Vale about 4½ miles from Devizes. The Christchurch (Salisbury) Avon flows in the south east part of the parish and has low lying alluvial soil bounded by lush withy banks. Larger deposits of alluvial soil occur west and north east of the village. The original common meadow is west of the village and the main pasture land is in the north east. A small rise of chalk reaches 121 metres in height, north of the village, and there is also a belt of greensand, now partly pasture.

There is evidence of the name ‘Patney’ as early as c.963 and it is thought to derive from ‘Peatta’s well watered land’. Various spellings include Peatanige, Patneye, Peteneia and Pateneye. Field names within the parish include Clayfield, mentioned in a Pembroke survey of 1570, Maddocks which means boundary oaks and ‘Seldom Seen, ‘a nickname given to a field in the more remote part of the parish. The land rises gradually in the north easterly direction.

In c.1248 Patney was in the hundred of Studfold, but by c.1841 it was in the hundred of Elstub and Everleigh, an amalgamation of the medieval hundred of Elstub and the liberty of Everleigh. This originally contained ten ancient parishes, three chapelries and three tithings. In 1086 the land was held by Saint Swithun’s, Winchester, and the holding was expanded in the 13th century with small parcels of land scattered throughout the county, creating a ‘ragged’ hundred. It was therefore linked by ownership rather than its geographical location. From the point of view of administration two units existed; one around Enford in the Avon valley and the other around Alton Priors; this was the one that included Patney. Courts were attended at Alton Priors twice a year until the dissolution and then they were held in Elstub and presided over by the steward of Winchester chapter. By 1580 all of the tithings attended. As the hundred was so fragmented the decisions of the court tended to be confirmations of decisions, appointments and judgements.

There is mention of an imprisonment at Patney (Pettenye) in the crown pleas of the Wiltshire Eyre, between 1241 and 1249, when Alice Hors was imprisoned, escaped, fleeing to the church and then the county; she was later hanged for larceny.

Archaeological finds include fragments of Iron and Bronze Age pottery near Hail Bridge in the north of the parish, a medieval coin near Patney Bridge and a medieval pilgrim badge depicting the head of Thomas à Becket near Manor Farm. There is evidence of a small barrow south of Patney copse and also evidence of a concentration of Saxon buildings just south of the church and near the village centre.

There is no separate entry for Patney in the Doomsday Book as it was included in the estate of Alton Priors but earlier evidence from charters indicates that Patney had an area of five hides in 1086. There is most likely to have been a mill here then but it is impossible to say how the households listed were divided between Patney and Alton Priors. Patney was valued for taxation in 1291 at £21 and there were ninety poll tax payers (people aged over 14) recorded in 1377. Larger contributions were made by the copyholders that held the manor in the 16th and 17th centuries and this was worth £29 in 1535.

In 963 King Edgar held land which included the later manor of Patney and by the 11th century this was in the possession of the Bishop of Winchester as well as the monks of the old minster. Bishop Stigand and the monks leased three virgates (pieces of land) at Patney to Wulfric and this estate was later held by Wulfward Belgisone and then William Scudet before being restored to Saint Swithin’s by 1108. In 1284 the Bishop of Winchester confirmed Patney to the convent and in 1300 the house received a grant of free warren. By the time of the dissolution the estate had passed to the Crown. In 1541 the manor was granted to the new Cathedral chapter at Winchester who ceded it to the crown by 1547; it was then granted to Sir William Herbert, later created earl of Pembroke by 1551. It descended with the Pembroke title and was mortgaged to William Pynsent who acquired it in 1692; this was confirmed by Lord Pembroke’s daughter and heir, Charlotte and her husband, Lord Jeffreys. It descended with the Pynsett estate at Urchfont to William Pitt who sold it in 1767 to William Bouverie, Earl of Radnor. It descended with the Radnor estate until 1919 when the 590 acres were sold by Jacob, Earl of Radnor.

By 1974 Manor Farm, measuring 607 acres, was owned by English Farms Ltd. and by 1976 it was owned and run by Mereacre Ltd. The farmhouse building has six bays facing south west, and includes some timber framed walling. The original 17th century house was enlarged with brick and had stone window frames inserted in 1700. In the 19th century it was extended to the north east, re-roofed and the interior was re-fitted. The south west side was also rendered. The rear garden was enclosed with high brick thatched walls and also contained a gazebo.

In the early 13th century, Saint Swithun’s priory held a small estate of about 16 acres, land that may also have been held by the Eyre family in the 14th century and later by John Dauntsey. It is thought to have descended with that family and then with the Earls of Abingdon. By 1764 it was sold to Robert Amor, passing eventually to his daughter and was settled on her marriage to William Tinker, who still owned the land in the early 19th century. By 1828 it was bought by the Earl of Radnor and merged with the manor estate.

The 1801 census records 130 people in the parish, it rises to 196 by 1841 and then declines over the following twenty years. By 1901 it has risen again to 127 but dropped to 85 by 1921. In 2011 the recorded population was 155.

In 1210 Patney had eight oxen and 50 sheep and was worth £11. Most of the land was leased by smallholders and labour services were supplied in the form of sowing, reaping and hay making duties from these tenants. Small rents were also paid. The valuation in 1291, for taxation purposes, was £21. This had risen to £29 by 1535 and all monies were paid into the Priory treasury. In the Middle Ages an interchange of grain and stock took place, usually with East Overton and Alton Priors, but sometimes with Stockton and Wroughton as well. For example, in 1267, oxen and ewes were sent to Wroughton and ewes and lambs to Alton Priors. Also in 1267, 197 doves were hatched and dispatched to Devizes Castle to provide falcon fodder, and 157 cheeses were produced in Patney in that year. By the late 16th century the manorial lands were shared between eleven tenants paying a total rent of £27 per year. They held 519 acres between them and 101 acres of meadow. Four of these farms were larger than 50 acres.

By 1773 Patney was estimated at 894 acres and all of the work in the village must have centred on the land. Leases were held by George Lewis and Robert Amor and fields in the east and west of the parish were sub-divided by the 18th century. Open arable fields were located in the north, Clay Field, and Puckland and Little Fields in the west and east as well as Sand Field in the eastern corner. These arable fields were surrounded by a belt of meadow and pastureland, approximately 90 acres by 1773. The largest common meadow was called West Mead and was in the south west of the parish. Some meadows were farmed by John Foster, in the 16th century and later by William Button and later his son. By 1773, 88 acres of meadow, 128 acres of pasture and 58 acres of arable land had been inclosed, some of which may have been reallocated by 1780 and the parliamentary inclosure that followed. The Earl of Radnor was then allocated 110 acres, the rector 127 acres and the remaining 177 acres shared between small freeholders, leaseholders and copyholders. Later, the rector’s share became Rectory Farm, the Earl of Radnor’s became the basis of Manor Farm, and two farms were consolidated. Manor Farm also included the water mill and some former copyholders. In the late 19th century the predominant crops grown were wheat and barley and approximately half of the land farmed was pasture.

Manor Farm was leased to Edward Bouverie in 1783 and later had Thomas Powys as its tenant by 1800. By 1830 Stephen Ackerman was the tenant of both Manor and Rectory Farms. In the early 20th century the Radnor estate at Patney was divided into Manor Farm (216 acres) and Home Farm (256 acres) and was let to Frank Stratton and Company. Both farms were sold in 1919. The sale catalogue shows how the estate was divided and sold off; the bulk of the land was divided between Manor and Home farms. Manor Farm included the farm house with garden and stables, coach house, cart and cattle sheds, cattle yard, modern built barn, granary, waggon shed and Patney Mill as well as four cottages. Home Farm comprised the house, cooling house, outhouses, two cattle yards with modern brick built sheds, loose boxes, pigsties, stables and harness room, barns and other buildings and four good cottages. Other lots comprised pasture lands, meadow lands, the nursery garden " with a modern dwelling house and greenhouse suitable for growing vegetables. This was situated on the lane leading north to All Cannings. Opposite was a pair of cottages known as Railway Cottages, which were let to the station master. Three brick built cottages north of the church were then let to Manor Farm workers and two thatched cottages also north of the church and currently let were also included in this sale. All of these cottages had large gardens making them suitable for vegetable growing. Manor and Home Farms were sold to H. H. Pickford 1919. The farms were later merged and by 1976 Manor Farm, then measuring 542 acres, was worked alongside Manor Farm in Beechingstoke.

Many of the buildings in Patney, such as the cottages included in the above mentioned sale, date from the late 17th or early 18th century and are of a part timber-framed construction with thatched roofs. Additions dating from the 19th century are usual and these building dates can also be applied to the farm houses and Queen Anne’s cottages.

The Mill, often referred to as ‘Somerells’ in earlier documents, was held in the 13th century by John the miller, and included three acres of land; it cost him ten shillings a year to lease from St. Swithin’s. It was held in the 16th century by William Gilbert and then from the 18th century was leased with Manor Farm. It was, therefore, offered for sale with that farm in 1919. A corn mill stood west of the church and the 19th century brick base was still visible in 1976. It was driven from a leat constructed from Patney’s boundary stream which flowed south west of the mill and a timber aqueduct conveyed the water to the mill.

In 1773 the roads into Patney crossed Hail, Limber Stone and Weir bridges. Two of these were still in use in 1979 but the road over Hail Bridge was then just a track. There was also, in the 18th century, a track that led west from the road junction south of the church, and took you to Wedhampton and Urchfont. By the 19th century a semi-circular track led south to Chirton, from Limber bridge and a track that led north to Stanton Mill in Stanton St. Bernard had been made redundant by the Berkshire and Hampshire railway extension in 1862; this ran through the centre of Patney. The road to All Cannings was diverted over a bridge also in 1862 and Patney and Chirton railway junction was built to the west of this bridge. The station had four platforms and included one for military traffic and was a useful stop for loading agricultural produce, including milk. An extension to Westbury opened in 1900. Passengers would use the station to travel to Devizes as well as London and in 1938 as many as 32 trains would stop there on a daily basis. The station was closed in 1966 although the line is still there and forms part of the main westerly rail route.

In the 1830s an average of £385 per year was spent on the poor of the parish and in 1835 it became part of the Devizes Poor Law Union.

In the 18th century the village developed around the ‘T’ junction, once a cross roads, east of the church and the layout is much the same as today. The Rectory is south of the church and the mill to the west. The village extends north and north eastwards along the two lanes. The older properties are either side of the north easterly lane and include one timber-framed 17th century house.
Manor Farm marks the end of the settlement and Home Farm, once called Queen Anne’s cottage, is opposite Manor Farm and may once have been part of the 18th century estate held by the earls of Abingdon. It is a late 17th, early 18th century brick house with stone dressings, an altered north west entrance and five bays with mullioned and transomed windows. Two brick cottages were built on glebe land south of the church by Henry Weaver of Devizes while other buildings tended to be located to the northern end of the lane that leads to All Cannings, along Woodlands Road, and this includes post war social housing.

Kelly’s directories list a shopkeeper in 1885 and all other trades listed are farmers. There was a small POW camp in the area during the Second World War that housed German and Italian soldiers and they were employed on local farms, including those at Patney. They planted four trees on the site of the Pucklands housing estate in Woodland Road where they were housed in Nissan huts.

The nearest public house, the Wiltshire Yeoman, is located at Chirton on the Andover Road and bed and breakfast accommodation can be found at Patney Weir in a comfortable cottage. The gardens at Manor farmhouse have been developed from 1983 to 2011 and have been both a ‘laboratory and showcase’ for Michael Balston’s work being featured in the gardening press. He now runs his architectural landscape business from the property. Other local businesses in 2014 include a web design business, a computer and electrical business and a roofing business.

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Parish CouncilPatney Parish Council
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Parish Emailemma@bff.org.uk
 

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Population 1801 - 2011

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Folk Arts:

Folk Songs from Patney

Folk Biographies from Patney

Folk Plays from Patney

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 historical importance is 8. There are no Grade I buildings, and no Grade II* buildings.

English Heritage and National Monuments Record

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