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Wiltshire Community History

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Broad Hinton

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


From the Ordnance Survey 1890s revision of the one inch to one mile map. The modern parish boundary:

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

1890s
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre



Thumbnail History:


Broad Hinton, whose name means '(At the) high farm', lies approximately 7 km. south-west of Swindon on a broad chalk ledge between the claylands of North Wiltshire and the chalk Marlborough Downs. The parish originally included Bincknoll, Uffcott and part of the present Broad Town parish. In the early 19th century the parish covered some 4,400 acres. However, in 1884 the civil parish of Broad Town was created from the whole of Broad Town and a section of Bincknoll tithing north-west of the ridge between Broadtown Hill and Bincknoll Castle, representing a loss to the acreage of Broad Hinton parish of 1,326 acres. Broad Town had been an ecclesiastical parish in its own right since 1846. The modern civil parish of Broad Hinton comprises 3,114 acres. The section of Bincknoll tithing remaining in Broad Hinton parish lay originally in either Kingsbridge or Blackgrove hundred; Broad Hinton itself lies in Selkley hundred.

The south-western edge of the parish boundary lies to the east of Nonesuch Farm; from there the boundary runs eastwards then sharply north-eastwards between Broadtown Hill and Bincknoll Castle. The eastern section of the boundary runs south along the Marlborough to Wroughton road and the south-eastern corner joins the Ridgeway at Uffcott Down and continues along Hackpen Hill, the highest point of the parish at 239 metres. The village of Broad Hinton lies south-east of the watershed between the rivers Kennet and Bristol Avon at a height of 600 ft. The Kennet valley is some 4 km. wide between the watershed and Hackpen Hill. Streams running along the valley - one entering the parish north of Uffcott and another near Weir Farm - were used to establish water meadows in the 17th century.

Bincknoll Castle is a fortified enclosure covering some 3.5 acres on a north facing ridge. Archaeological finds have included barrows and a rectangular earthwork on the downs of Hackpen Hill. To the east of The Weir is a Romano-British burial site and, it has been suggested, that of a house of the same period. During restoration of St. Andrew's church in 1879, remains of a Saxon church were found. Probable Saxon graves were also uncovered but the building itself is principally 13th century.
The oldest road in the parish is the Ridgeway, on the south-eastern boundary and running from south-west to north-east along Hackpen Hill. The Hackpen White Horse lies on the Hill close to the Ridgeway and to the Wootton Bassett to Marlborough road, two miles south east of Broad Hinton village. It is believed that the figure was cut in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria. In World War Two, this horse covered with turf to avoid aiding the navigators of German aircraft.
The principal road through the parish today is the A361, also running north-eastwards across the parish, following a course from Devizes to Swindon and onwards. This road was turnpiked in 1767. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries this has become an important commuting route to Swindon, much expanded and economically developed since the Second World War.

At Broad Hinton village another road runs north-westwards towards Wootton Bassett; in the south-easterly direction this road leads to Marlborough; it was turnpiked in 1809. This road too is now subject to commuter traffic.

In the 18th century a road ran east from Highway in Hilmarton through Broad Hinton village and past the Weir and turned north at Uffcott to Wroughton, outside the parish. At Broad Hinton village it was joined by a road leading north-east from Yatesbury. In the later 18th century the Highway-Wroughton road declined in importance as a result of the turnpiking of the Devizes- Swindon road indicated above. West of the village of Broad Hinton it remains as part of the road from Clyffe Pypard to Broad Hinton and east of Uffcott it now takes the form of a footpath. A number of smaller roads, now mainly tracks, have been identified in the parish.

In 1066 there were a number of manors and estates within the confines of the present civil parish of Broad Hinton and their complex history may be read in The Victoria County History of Wiltshire, volume 12, p.105 onwards. A brief outline of the principal manors in the parish is given here, although a number of smaller estates existed.

In 1066 the manor which would later become known as Hinton Wase was held by Ulgar; in 1086 the overlord was Humphrey Lisle and the estate was held by Ranulf. At this date the Domesday Book records that it had land for four ploughs, 12 acres of meadow and 14 acres of pasture. Approximately 50 people lived there. The estate passed into the tenure of the Wase family and the name of Hinton Wase until the 14th century when, in 1365, it passed to William Wroughton and Bradenstoke Priory. In 1628 the manor was sold to Sir John Glanville, MP and two centuries later, in 1839 to Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington whose son sold it to M.H.N. Maskelyne in 1867. It was then purchased by Sir Henry Meux of the brewing family, who acquired a number of estates in north and central Wiltshire. The manor was sold in lots in 1906.

Another manor, to become known as Hinton Columbers, was also held by Ulgar in 1066; the overlord in 1086 was Gilbert de Breteuil. The Domesday Book records that it had land for 5 ploughs, 16 acres of meadow and 30 acres of pasture. Approximately 44 people lived there. In 1242-3 the manor was held by Baldwin de Reviers, earl of Devon and lord of the Isle of Wight and in 1428 by Queen Joan, widow of Henry IV.

The estates of Humphrey de Lisle and Gilbert de Breteuil were held together from the late 14th century.

There were two estates in Bincknoll manor which were also under the overlordship of Gilbert de Breteuil in 1086. In 1066 one of the estates had been held by Hacun. There was land for 2 ploughs, 10 acres of meadow, 12 acres of pasture, and 4 acres of woodland; approximately 26 people lived there. Some 240 acres of the same estate were held by Toli, with land for 6 oxen. Approximately 6 people lived there. The second estate of approximately 180 acres was held by Saul and Alwin in 1066. In 1086 there was land for 10 oxen, 4 acres of meadow and 6 acres of pasture. Approximately 12 people lived there. The manor was surrendered to the Crown in 1368. From the mid-16th century the manor was held by successive members of the St. John family; one of whom, in 1751, inherited the viscountcy of Bolingbroke and the estate descended with the viscountcies of St. John and Bolingbroke until 1899. The widow of Viscount Bolingbroke sold Bincknoll estate in lots in 1920.

An estate at Uffcott of some 180 acres was held by Almar in 1066. Durand of Gloucester was the overlord in 1086. Some 420 acres at Uffcott were held by Ulvric at this date, his father having held the land before 1066.

In 1361 the manor of Uffcott was held by the Crown and had an adult population of at least 46 in 1377. When Charterhouse Hospital was founded in 1611 Uffcott manor was one of the properties with which it was endowed. In 1919 the governors of Charterhouse sold the manor to Wiltshire County Council and in 1922 it was purchased by H.J. Horton.

In 1253 the Rectory estate within the parish was appropriated by St. Nicholas' Hospital in Salisbury. In 1341 there were approximately 120 acres of land and a demesne meadow worth 8 shillings. There were 55 acres in 1845. At the end of the 20th century lands in Uffcott and Broad Hinton were still owned by the Hospital and a stained glass window in the church is dedicated to the institution.

Broad Town manor lay in both Broad Hinton and Clyffe Pypard parishes. In 1086 it was held by Miles Crispin and then by the Despenser family and the earls of Warwick. In 1487 Anne Neville, countess of Warwick, conveyed the manor to Henry VII. In 1536 the manor was granted to Edward Seymour, later Duke of Somerset and it descended with the title until 1692 when, under the will of Sarah Hare, Duchess of Somerset, it became the principal endowment of the Broad Town Trust. The Trustees sold the estate in 1920.

Throughout its history Broad Hinton has been primarily an agricultural parish devoted to both arable and pastoral farming. From the 16th century to the mid 19th century arable farming was apparently pre-eminent. Open fields existed south and east of the village: East and West Fields were separated by the Swindon-Devizes road; in the 18th century there was also a South Field.

In 1802 there were Manor Farm and Weir Farm which together comprised some 1,180 acres in the east of the parish, including land on Hackpen Hill; Norborne Farm worked 596 acres of mainly arable land. From 1851 to 1866 Richard Stratton and his son held Manor Farm with lands at Salthrop. They kept a summer flock of 1,000 sheep but were noted for their shorthorn cattle herd. They were, reputedly, the first farmers in Wiltshire to use the steam plough.

In the early 20th century Broad Hinton Manor was divided into four large and several smaller farms. The largest was Manor Farm, comprising 568 acres in 1906. In 1981 it comprised 1,350 acres and included land in Bincknoll; a large dairy herd was maintained and corn grown. After 1925 Hackpen and Weir farms were worked together as Weir Farm, with a total of 680 acres. In 1981 it comprised some 800 acres, with a herd of 140 cows and 450 acres given over to arable farming.Most of Norborne Farm, which comprised 214 acres in 1906 was subsequently divided between Manor and Weir Farms.

Bincknoll manor lands were held in four farms in 1845, the largest of which was dedicated to both arable and pasture and measured 489 acres was worked from Bincknoll House and Sanfurlong Farm. The other three were worked from farmsteads at Cotmarsh. Smaller farms within the tithing included Little Town Farm (112 acres) worked with Bincknoll Farm, and Cockroost (62 acres). By 1920 Bincknoll Farm was primarily a dairy farm. In 1981 Great Cotmarsh Farm (170 acres) and Little Cotmarsh Farm (100 acres) were dairy and stock rearing farms. It is known that a mill existed at Bincknoll in the first half of the 15th century.

In the early 17th century at Uffcott open fields occupied much of the flat land north and south of the village. Common pasture was also located on Uffcott down and on Uffcott common in the south-east and north-west of the tithing respectively. Between this date and the 1790s the whole of Uffcott common had become part of Uffcott Farm. The down, however, was still held in common and East, West, Middle and Uffcott Fields remained open. However, by 1796 the common holdings had been enclosed.

From the mid 16th century to the early 18th century Uffcott Farm was leased by the Cleeter family and in the 19th century by members of the Brown family. In 1919 Wiltshire County Council purchased the farm in order to create smallholdings for former soldiers; however, in approximately 1922 it was again being worked as a single farm. In 1981 the farm comprised some 900 acres of principally arable land, although a dairy herd and some beef cattle were kept. Lands still belonging to Salisbury Cathedral were leased to local farms for the greater part of the 19th century and then became part of Uffcott Farm. Lands belonging to St. Nicholas' Hospital, Salisbury were leased to the owners of Uffcott Farm.

The population of Broad Hinton parish in 1801 stood at 550, rising in 1851 to 714. From the 1891 census, however, when some 195 inhabitants were incorporated into the new Broad Town civil parish, the population declined, until in1931 it was 304. The population has since grown again and in 2009 it stood at 640. The proximity of Swindon with its economic growth in the second half of the 20th century is no doubt a factor in the population re-growth.

A mains water supply was established in the village in 1952 and mains drainage in 1968.

Since the late 20th century ten dwellings in Broad Hinton have been listed as being of special architectural or historic interest. These include Manor Farmhouse, which is believed to incorporate a number of the stones which were part of the old Manor House, built in 1540 and said to have been burnt down by Sir John Glanville, speaker of the Short Parliament of 1640, in order to save it from Parliamentary forces. Traces of the foundations of the house are visible nearby.

'Coffee Tavern' comprises two cottages of the 17th and 18th centuries. This property originally belonged to the parish and housed paupers. It was later acquired by the rector and operated as a coffee tavern in order to provide an alternative source of refreshment to the public houses of the village. Following the sale of the property the Coffee Tavern was sold to Manor Farm. Two public houses remain in the village: the Crown, mentioned the 1895 Kelly's Directory, in the village itself and the Bell, recorded in 1793, at its edge alongside the Devizes to Swindon road, while the Queen's Head is mentioned in the 1850s.

At Uffcott there was an inn called the Harrow at the east end of the village in the late 18th century but it was closed after 1836.
The first Parish Hall was an army hut brought from Yatesbury Camp in 1919. The hall was replaced and the new building formally opened in September 1963. In 2008 the latter building was demolished and a new Parish Hall built on the same site.

In the twentieth century individual dwellings were built in the village, and in the later 20th century small estates were built at Pitchens End and Fortunes Field. The latter was built on land where Tea Cosy Cottage had stood earlier. Small developments of local authority provided housing for elderly residents have also been established.

Non-agricultural enterprises and trades recorded in recorded in Kelly's Directory in 1880 were those of a blacksmith, a carpenter, a grocer and baker, in addition to the Post Office.

In 2010 the Post Office and village store continues in Broad Hinton village. A van sales centre is in operation on the A4361 at Broad Hinton, and the motor garage established in the 1950s on the opposite side of the road, close to the Bell Inn, continues in business. A firm supplying heavy earth moving equipment has been based at a site of the old blacksmith's forge since 1995.

The National Hunt jockey and trainer, Jeff King, established racehorse training stables at Broad Hinton at Elm Cross House in 1981 and retired in 2005, since when another trainer has continued his work there.

Other notable and memorable events took place in the village of Broad Hinton in the second half of the 20th century: As part of a Civil Defence exercise in the autumn of 1951, a so-called 'Army of Occupation' moved into Broad Hinton. In the exercise the church was supposed to be a securely guarded place to store 'nuclear bombs'; trenches were dug in the Vicarage shrubberies and aeroplanes circled overhead.

On 1st August 1997 the village post office was subjected to an armed robbery. A subsequent Wiltshire Constabulary Certificate of Appreciation was dedicated to the people of Broad Hinton village for their 'courageous, determined and public spirited actions' on the morning of the robbery. The robbers' car was chased and stopped by the police; the men were tried, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.

CouncilWiltshire Council
Web Sitewww.wiltshire.gov.uk
Emailcustomercare@wiltshire.gov.uk
 
Parish CouncilBroad Hinton & Winterbourne Bassett Parish Council
Parish Web Site 
Parish Emailelegancebyelaines@yahoo.co.uk
 

Churches: Information on both current and disused churches and chapels.

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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.

 

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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 Broad Hinton

Folk Biographies from Broad Hinton

Folk Plays from Broad Hinton

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 26. There are one Grade I building, the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula.

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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