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Wiltshire Community History

Barford St. Martin Search Results

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Barford St. Martin

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 Barford St. Martin:

Map of the Civil Parish of Barford St. Martin

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:

Barford St. Martin lies about 6 miles west of Salisbury on the northern bank of the River Nadder, in the south of the county. The earliest mention of the village is in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bereford; the meaning is 'Barley ford' - a river crossing which could carry a wagon laden with corn. 'St. Martin', from the dedication of the church, had been added by 1304, thus distinguishing it from Barford in Downton parish.

The modern village is sited on a bend of the A30 road from Salisbury to Shaftesbury (Dorset) where the road turns sharply across the river over a hump-backed bridge. The earlier important route was the east - west road from Salisbury to Dinton, Teffont and Chilmark. The present main road came into being in 1788 when the old turnpike from Salisbury to Shaftesbury was allowed to expire and a new Act turnpiked the easier route through Barford to Whitesheet Hill.

This was a fairly typical chalk valley parish with an area of arable and meadow land in the valley bottom and pasture land on rising ground to the north towards Grovely Wood. The inhabitants of Barford and Great Wishford were given the right to gather 'snapping' wood in Grovely and on Oak Apple Day (29th May) to gather oak boughs, decorate their churches with some, and take others in procession to Salisbury Cathedral where they laid claim to their ancient rights in front of the high altar. Today the ceremony is only observed in Great Wishford.

It is possible that this area has been continuously occupied since the late Iron Age as a large Romano-British village had its origins in that period. This is to the north of the village being called Hamshill Ditches, comprising extensive earthworks with enclosures, ditches, and many house platforms. This was a large settlement site of the Iron Age and Roman periods which had a large field system around it.

The Saxons may have had a wooden preaching cross here that was later replaced by a stone cross. There was certainly a substantial population here in late Saxon times. In the Domesday Book Barford is divided into four estates with the largest, Hurdcott, being as large as the other three put together and with twice their population. Altogether there were 5.5 hides of land worked by seven plough teams. There were 20 acres of meadow and eight acres (in Hurdcott) of pasture. The mill was in Hurdcott. The total population is estimated to have been between 90 and 105 people.

A church had been built by the 13th century but the preaching cross could indicate a much earlier congregation here. By the early 15th century the House of Ball, on the site now occupied by East End Farm, is believed to be the house where pilgrims obtained tickets of admission to Wilton Abbey. For later travellers the Barford Inn originated in the 17th century as the Dragon, or Green Dragon. By the early 19th century it was a coaching inn for local traffic and by mid-century it was home to the Green Dragon Slate Club; their annual feast was held on Whit Monday when members paraded to the Green Dragon for lunch and then had tea, with their families, at Manor Farm, where there were stalls and dancing.

In 1812 the villagers bartered the rights to live wood in Grovely Forest for £5 a year from Lord Pembroke. By the mid 19th century Lord Pembroke forbade the right to gather dead wood there, but this was challanged by four local women who deliberately went out and gathered firewood. They were fined but refused to pay and were sent to prison. Faced with this demonstration of determination the village rights to dead wood were confirmed the following day and the women were released from prison, being feted on their return to the village.

There are about 240 houses in the parish and they range from the Old Rectory and Little Orchard, originally of the 15th century, East End Farmhouse of around 1600, several houses and cottages of the 17th and 18th centuries, a few of the 19th and modern housing from the 1950s, with the first council houses were built in 1946. In 1980 Gall Bridge, the narrow hump-backed bridge across the original Barley Ford, was swept away and replaced with a modern, but less characterful, bridge.

The soil in the parish is mainly chalk and the chief farming has been arable and pasture, mainly for sheep. The area of the parish is 1,646 hectares.

Parish Web Site
CouncilWiltshire Council
Web Sitewww.wiltshire.gov.uk
Parish CouncilBarford St. Martin Parish Council
Parish Emailjanedavidchilds@btinternet.com

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

Methodist Chapel, Barford St. Martin
Parish Church of St. Martin, Barford St. Martin
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Barford St. Martin
Schools: Information on both current and closed schools.

Population 1801 - 2001

Photographs: If images have been added for this community they are available here.: We hold a collection of over 50,000 photographs of places in Wiltshire in the County Local Studies Library. These may be viewed at this library and copies of out of copyright material may be purchased. We can search for a picture of a building or event if you e-mail us with details.

Historical Sources: A select list of books and articles is listed in 'Printed material'. You may go directly to the actual text from some of these.

Printed Material: This is a select book-list for the community but in the case of a town there may be hundreds more books, pamphlets and journal articles.

The full text of some items is available to view on this site.

A stone axe fragment from Hamshill Ditches, Barford St. Martin
Ancient Wiltshire, Vol. 1: Hamshill Ditches (pages 109 & 119)
Brasses of Wiltshire (page 65)
Church Bells of Wiltshire
Church Survey, Rectory etc.
Customs of Wishford and Barford in Grovely
Enclosure Act extinguishing rights of common in Barford and Baverstock . . .
Future arrangements for first School education in Barford St. Martin, Dinton and Fovant:a consulatation paper
Hamshill Ditches, Barford St. Martin
History of Barford St. Martin (7 page pamplet)
Modern Wiltshire; Hundred of Dunworth (pages 92-4, 187-90, 210, & 218-20)
The Rev. William Wilkes,DD, rector of Barford St. Martin, Wiltshire, 1576-1637

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.

(opens in new window) Explore Wiltshire's Past web site

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.

Salisbury Journal 1738
Salisbury Times 1898 to 2000
Avon Advertiser 1979
Salisbury & Wiltshire Herald 1833 to 1852
Sherborne Mercury 1737 to 1867

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

Map Type Map Sheet Reference
O.S. National Grid Reference SU 058314
O.S. 25 inch County Series 1870s-194065/12
O.S. 6 inch County Series 1870s-194065
O.S. 1:2500 metric edition; 1950s onwardSU 0431-0531
O.S. 1:10000 metric edition; 1950s onwardSU 03 SW; SU 03 SE
O.S. Explorer130
O.S. Landranger184
Geological Sheet298

Map of Barford St. Martin

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Map showing Panoramio pictures and Wikipedia entries for the area around Barford St. Martin

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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:

There were no Folk Songs found for Barford St. Martin

There were no Folk Biographies found for Barford St. Martin

There were no Folk Plays found for Barford St. Martin

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 39. There are two Grade I listings, the Church of St. Martin and the early medieval Village Cross, and one Grade II* listing, Little Orchard.

English Heritage and National Monuments Record

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

Literary Associations: Some communities have featured in novels or may have been the main setting for a book.

Registration Districts: If you want to obtain a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate you can contact the local registrar.

Current District:Salisbury
Address:The Laburnums 50 Bedwin Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3UW
Former District:Wilton to April 1936

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