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Wiltshire Community History

Wiltshire History Questions Search Results

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Question Date :

Monday 27th June 2005 15:08

Question:
Is there a definative guide to burgage plots in Wootton Bassett - I live on the Rope Yard and would like to know if my garden is one and if so what it means today

Answer:
The article on Wootton Bassett in A History of Wiltshire, Vol. 9 shows typical burgage development of a planted town added on to a small settlement by the church. Looking at the large scale Ordnance Survey map of the late 19th century I would say the land between the High Street and Rope Yard has long narrow properties that are most likely to have originated as burgage plots or half burgage plots. The burgage house would have fronted the High Street and the land behind would have contained workshops or storage. A back lane would have grown up to the rear of the properties and often the end of this was later sold or leased for smaller houses to be built. If you house is on the south-east side of the Rope Yard it is most likely to be at the end of a burgage plot.

The burgesses had responsibilities in local government and were allowed to vote on Parliamentary elections - from 1446 in the case of Wootton Bassett. None of this now applies and it did only relate to the owners of the houses in the High Street.

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