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Wiltshire Community History

Collingbourne Kingston Search Results

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Collingbourne Kingston

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 Collingbourne Kingston Civil Parish Map:

Map of Collingbourne Kingston Civil Parish Map

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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

Thumbnail History:

Collingbourne Kingston is a parish on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain and approximately 14 km south, south east of Marlborough. It contained four small villages, Collingbourne Kingston, Aughton, Brunton and Sunton, and a part of Cadley hamlet. In 1934 the parish was reduced from 2,995 hectares to 2,915 when Sunton and the part of Cadley were transferred to Collingbourne Ducis. In 1987 it was further reduced to 2,018 hectares when all the land in the south-east part surrounding Sunton Heath, plus a small area in the south-west running from West Hill down to Snail Down, were also transferred to Collingbourne Ducis.

The parish lies mainly in the upper Bourne valley, and the name Collingbourne, referring to the bourne as 'the stream of Cola's people', suggests that it was an area of early settlement. Suffixes were added to the name Collingbourne to distinguish the two parishes. Kingston means 'the King's holding', referring to Domesday Book. The village of Aughton takes its name from Aeffe, the owner of it in the mid 10th century. Brunton was originally Burhampton, the 'hamtun by the burgh'; although it is not clear to what burgh reference is made. Sunton was Southampton, 'the south hamtun' in contrast to Brunton in the north.

The whole parish lies on chalk. The Bourne, which frequently dries out, flows from north to south across the middle of it and has deposited gravel. Clay-with-flints overlies the chalk on high ground in the eastern half of the parish. In several places the parish boundary follows ridges and dry valleys, and on the south it mostly follows field boundaries, but sometimes cuts across a field.

There are several sites of archaeological interest. Oldhat barrow and a second barrow to the south are both on the western parish boundary. Godsbury, on the boundary with Burbage, is an Iron-Age enclosure measuring 1.5 acres; an enclosure of similar date and size lies on Aughton Down and one of similar size on Fairmile Down. There is also a barrow near Summer Down Farm and another enclosure on the eastern parish boundary near Heath Copse.

Three of the five manors within the modern parish boundary were in the hands of the Seymour family by 1547. In 1544 the Crown granted Collingbourne Kingston manor to Edward Seymour, who was created Duke of Somerset in 1547. From then until c.1929 it descended in the Seymour, Bruce, Brudenell, and Brudenell-Bruce families. The manor was then divided into two and sold as Manor Farm and Parsonage Farm. In 1982 Manor Farm was divided in half and became Manor Farm and Summerdown Farm. Aughton Manor was also sold c.1929; some of the land was added to Manor Farm and the rest became Aughton House Farm. Lastly, Dormer Manor was also sold c.1929 as part of Brunton Farm.

Chadderton Farm was sold to Thomas Brudenell, Lord Bruce, in 1765. It then merged with Collingbourne Kingston Manor. Brunton manor, which was the largest portion of Collingbourne Valence Manor, passed through many families before it was finally bought in 1824 by Charles Brudenell-Bruce.

The village has one church and one chapel. The parish church of St. Mary dates from the 12th century, if not before. Major restoration work was undertaken in 1861. The Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1819 and remained open until 1985.

There are some fine examples of vernacular architecture in the village; a mixture of old and modern, some of brick, others timber-framed and thatched. Unfortunately the atmosphere is somewhat spoilt by the volume of heavy traffic using the main road that passes through the village. Many of the attractive houses and cottages date from the 17th century.

Manor Farm was originally the manor house of the village and its large size still shows this. The present building is mainly 17th century with 18th century work in brick. It has a substantial yard with outbuildings, including a timber barn built in the late 16th century and a cart shed dating from the 18th century. Inside the farmhouse, there used to be large bread ovens that could bake bread for the whole village.

Kingston had its own village school until 1978, after which the children had to travel to neighbouring Ducis. The attractive Victorian school building is now a successful licensed restaurant called The Old School House.

Working life in the Collingbournes was dominated by agriculture. Most men and boys were either employed on a farm or in industries associated with farming. The villagers also had the shops they needed for their daily lives. The 1851 census shows that there was a grocer at Aughton. There was a second grocer at Brunton who was also a woodman. Two occupations were not unusual; this was often necessary to enable a man to earn a living. A farmer at Aughton was also a baker. There are ten entries on the census for farms. The smallest farm was just 134 acres and employed five labourers; the largest was 1,000 acres employing 39 men and women.

The 1875 Kelly's Directory for Wiltshire carries listings for blacksmiths, grocers and drapers, shopkeepers, farmers, a tailor, carpenter and postmaster. Most villages remained largely self sufficient until the Second World War. At the centre of the Kingston community were the village post office and the two pubs. The post office, which was also the village shop and bakery, stood in the middle of the High Street. For many years it was run by the Gilbert family. The shop survived until the end of the 20th century, when, sadly, like many village shops, it was unable to compete with supermarkets. The shop is now a private house.

The oldest of the two pubs, and the one that is still open, is The Barleycorn. It is built of red brick and dates from the early 19th century. This pub has had at least four names; starting as The Cleaver, it was also the Collingbourne Kingston Inn and the Kingston Hotel. Opposite the post office stood The Windmill Inn; this is now a private house.

The 1901 census shows very little change in the pattern of employment, although a few men worked on the railway. The 1939 trade directory includes listings for the Kingston Hotel, a builder and a race horse trainer. There was also a 'cycle dealer, wireless engineer and agent for Belling and Lee aerial system'.

At the time of the Domesday survey the population of Collingbourne Kingston was approximately 300-350 people; neighbouring Ducis had 100 more. By the time of the first census in 1801, Kingston's population was 731 while that of Ducis was only 457. Kingston remained a bigger village than Ducis until 1950. It reached its population peak in 1841 when the figure was 933. It dropped by 200 between 1861 and 1881; this coincides with the agricultural depression which began in 1870. Over the next 30 years 400,000 farming jobs in England were lost, as farmers battled with the weather, disease and cheap imports. Men were forced to move their families to the towns to look for work. They may have moved to Marlborough or possibly over the border into neighbouring Hampshire. The population continued to drop gradually until 1961. By 2001 it was 456, just 60 people more than 1961.

There was no workhouse for the poor in the village but the overseers provided regular outdoor relief. In 1802 £650 was spent relieving almost 20% of the population. A survey of clergy housing that was carried out in 1812 noted that the vicarage was a ruin, but the parish officers rented it to house paupers. To quote the survey, 'two miserable families inhabit the kitchen, exposed to the air, and their lives are in danger every day'. In 1835 Collingbourne became part of the Pewsey Poor Law Union, and its destitute villagers would have gone to the workhouse at Pewsey.

In 1890 there were two charities providing blankets and coal for elderly paupers. In 1904, 81 people received these gifts plus a small amount of money. In 1994 the income from the two bequests was almost £100 and seven people each received £10. A third charity was from money given in 1895 to maintain a family's memorial windows in the church. Any money left over was to be given to the poor and it was usually given to a clothing club to distribute.

In 1929 the Savernake estate, which included most of the land and properties in Kingston, was broken up and sold by the Marquess of Ailesbury. Land at Aughton and Brunton was sold to Arthur Hosier, who was responsible for inventing the movable milking bail where the 'dairy' was taken to the cows in the field. The third generation of the Hosier family still continue to farm successfully and are generous supporters of village activities.

A number of new houses have been built in the 20th century. The village was extended south by new detached houses built mainly on the west side of the road. Thirty eight council houses and bungalows were built as Ham Close and Cuckoo Pen Close in the 1930s and 1960s.

The Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway was built beside the Bourne and opened in 1882. Cadley station in Collingbourne Ducis stood a little south of Sunton village. A halt immediately north-east of Collingbourne Kingston church was opened in 1932. The line was unfortunately closed by Dr Beeching in 1961.

The population of Kingston almost halved between 1901 and 1961, losing nearly 100 people each decade. The picture is quite different in neighbouring Ducis, where after the boundary changes in 1934 the population continued to rise steadily until in 2001 it had more than doubled its size in 100 years.

Sadly, the village has now lost most of its local services. In 1939 there were two grocers, a Post Office, shopkeeper, two pubs, a school, church and chapel. The church and The Barleycorn pub are all that remain. The village does, however, have a thriving village hall. It was built in 1937 to replace an earlier wooden building that was destroyed by fire. It was the centre of the community's social life, hosting dances, amateur dramatics, socials and indoor sports. The same building is still well used today by many groups, including cubs and brownies, line dancing and a mother and toddler group. The village website shows Collingbourne Kingston to be an active community with lots of activities for its residents to be involved in. There is a gardening club, WI, youth club, line dancing, coffee club, cricket, bowls, twinning association, scouts, beavers, brownies and cubs. A quote on the village hall page of the website emphasizes how important it is for a small village to work together in order to maintain a thriving community.

Parish Web Site
CouncilWiltshire Council
Web Sitewww.wiltshire.gov.uk
Parish CouncilCollingbourne Kingston Parish Council
Parish Emailcatherine@kingsdownjoinery.co.uk

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

Church of St. Mary, Colligbourne Kingston
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Collingbourne Kingston
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.

An Inventory of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting Houses in South-West England p218
Collingbourne Kingston a guide and survey
Collingbourne Kingston a photographic view 1900-1950s
Collingbourne Memories
Excavations at Snail Down, Everleigh: 1953, 1955. An interim report
Exploring Historic Wiltshire, vol 2, South, p25
Highways and Byways in Wiltshire pp104-5
Snail Down Wiltshire
The Church Bells of Wiltshire p62
The Church Plate of the County of Wilts p167
The Churches of Aldbourne, Baydon, Collingbourne Ducis and Collingbourne Kingston
The Monumental Brasses of Wiltshire p38
The Victoria County History of Wiltshire vol 16 pp 126-140
The Wiltshire Village Book p77
Two tenth-century Wiltshire charters concerning lands at Avon and at Collingbourne
Wiltshire (Buildings of England series) pp187-8
Wiltshire Villages pp130-131

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 to 1816
Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette 1816
Marlborough Times 1859
Sherborne Mercury 1737 to 1867
Wiltshire Independent 1836 to 1876
Wiltshire Telegraph 1877 to 1935

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 240558
O.S. 25 inch County Series 1870s-194042/11
O.S. 6 inch County Series 1870s-194042
O.S. 1:2500 metric edition; 1950s onwardST 2255-2355; 2256-2356; 2456-2556
O.S. 1:10000 metric edition; 1950s onwardST 25 NW; ST 25 NE
O.S. Explorer131
O.S. Landranger174
Geological Sheet282/283

Map of Collingbourne Kingston

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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 Collingbourne Kingston

There were no Folk Biographies found for Collingbourne Kingston

There were no Folk Plays found for Collingbourne Kingston

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 30. There are no Grade I buildings; and two Grade II* buildings, the Chuch of St. Mary and Brunton House.

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:Devizes
Address:The Beeches, Bath Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2AL
Former District:Pewsey to April 1936

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