Contiguous Parishes our neighbours
Boyton - Chitterne St. Mary - Fisherton Delamere - Sherrington - Stockton - Upton Lovell
GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Codford St. Peter
GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Codford St. Mary
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies
Wiltshire Community History - Historical information for parishes within the Wiltshire County jurisdiction.
University of Leicester's - Website has historical Wiltshire directories free to view
Codford Parish Council - Local Authority Website
Please note that this page is divided into four sections Codford which holds information common to the whole parish or where the specific parish is uncertain, Codford St. Mary, Codford St. Peter and Ashton Gifford which holds information unique to those villages.
Parish Churches of St. Mary and St. Peter
Codford is served by two Anglican churches St. Mary and St. Peter which also serves the Ashton Gifford Community. see individual village tabs below for details
Parish Registers held at WSHC
See parish tab for resources held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre
The village of Codford is located in the valley of the River Wylye, 7 miles south east of Warminster and 14 miles north west of Salisbury, in the southern shadow of Salisbury Plain. The village was formed by the union of two adjacent parishes - Codford St. Mary and Codford St. Peter in 1928. The hamlet of Ashton Gifford is part of the civil parish of Codford.
The village was formed by the union of two adjacent parishes - Codford St. Mary and Codford St. Peter in 1928, when the union of the two Codfords was approved and six years later the two civil parishes became one. Both churches are still in use, with the Church of St. Mary located at the southern end of the village and the Church of St. Peter at the northern end. Together with the hamlet of Ashton Gifford a settlement was cleared to make way for the principle house of the village in the early 19 th century the area covers some 3,797 acres.
The layout of the village consists of a High Street, running south east to north west, with another road, the Chitterne Road, meeting it at right angles on its northern side. The village is now built around these roads and the New Road, which runs from the western entrance to the village to a point about three quarters of a mile north on the Chitterne Road. There are several small lanes and bridleways about the village. The parish itself is bounded by the Wylye to the south and by ancient drove roads to the west and east. The northern boundary roughly coincides with the Chitterne to Heytesbury Road.
The name Codford is thought to mean the fording place of Codda who was, perhaps, an Anglo-Saxon who owned the land on which the ford was situated. The oldest known recording of the name is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of land granted in the Wylye valley in the late ninth century; here the name is recorded as Coddan Ford.
1837 - Present Warminster Registration District
Population figures are separate for Codford St. Mary & Codford St. Peter until 1951 when the 2 parishes were united in regards to census information.
Codford St. Mary's population was at it's lowest in 1801 with a total of 187 & at it's highest in 1861 with a total of 404. Codford St. Peter was at it's lowest in 1901 with a total of 242 while it's highest was in 1851 with 401. The decrease in population from 1861 to 1871 for both parishes could be attributed to the closing of a large Woolstapling business. In Codford St. Mary the position was made worse by the closing of certain training stables.
Publications Relating to Codford
Books by John Chandler
Codford: Wool and War in Wiltshire
Books by Romy Wyeth
|Book Of Codford: From the Bronze Age to the Bypass||Men of St. Mary's & The Anzac War Graves||Sterner Days: Codford During the Second World War|
|Swords and Ploughshares: Codford During the 20th Century||Warriors for the Working Day: Codford During Two World Wars|
Buildings and Land
Codford Circle is a neolithic earthwork hilltop enclosure, or possible hillfort, located on the crest of Codford Hill, a chalk promontory of Salisbury Plain, near to the village of Codford. The elevated oval area is approximately 3.6 hectares and is surrounded by a bank 6.5 metres wide and up to 1.6 metres high from the outside. This is surrounded by a ditch 5 metres wide & up to 0.5 metres deep except for a section around the south eastern edge where it has been reduced by ploughing. Aerial shots show entrances on the east and west sides. The entrances on the southeast and northwest sides are later in origin. There is no archaeological evidence for occupation and the slight nature of the earthworks have been interpreted as being defensively weak. Also known as Wilsbury Ring, Oldbury Camp or Ogbury. It may have been formed by the Druids for religious rites.
A crop circle was reported to have appeared on 3rd June, 2010 between the villages of Codford St. Peter and Codford St. Mary, within sight of the earthwork hilltop enclosure of Codford Circle. The design consisted of a complex formation consisting of a central circle surrounded by a stellated dodecagon with a perimeter of twelve interlocking circles. It measured around 240 feet in diameter & was formed in 12 inch barley. This area of Wiltshire is not commonly associated with the appearance of crop circles and it is close to the military training area of Salisbury Plain - one of the largest Ministry of Defence training areas in the UK.
Grade I - Buildings of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
There are no buildings in either village within this category
Grade II* - Buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest.
Both village churches are listed under this category see tabs below for details
Grade II - Buildings are nationally important and of special interest.
There are a total of 31 buildings listed for this category within the Codford Boundary 24 of which are situated in Codford St. Peter and the remaining seven in Codford St. Mary
Property for Auction, Let or Sale
Codford Railway Station was an intermediate station on the Salisbury to Warminster branch line of the Great Western Railway. The Station was built in Ashton Gifford, on the lane to Boyton, at the far south-west corner of the parish and opened on 30th June, 1856, with a Stationmaster's Lodge nearby. Heytesbury was the next station heading towards Warminster and Wylye was the next station heading towards Salisbury. The original single platform was built on the north side of the line next to a level crossing. A passing loop was installed in 1897 which necessitated a second platform to be built towards Westbury. The line was doubled from Heytesbury in 1899 and on to Wylye in 1900. The Station was an important feature in both world wars, serving the army camp at Codford. A branch line was built in 1914 to connect the Army Camp to Codford Station. This branch was taken over at the end of the First World War by the Great Western Railway but closed in 1922. Codford Railway Station was closed to passenger services on 19th September, 1955 and its goods yard was closed on 10th June, 1963. The signal box remained in use until June, 1982. Trains still run between Warminster and Salisbury but no longer stop anywhere in between. Codford Railway Station Gallery
Crime and Legal Matters
|George Benbawl - 7 years for Larceny - 1821||William Henrys - Death Commuted to 14 years for Burglary - 1825||Benjamin Woods - 7 years for Larceny - 1841|
|Praxell Alwood Hinwood - 10 years for Sending Threatening Letter - 1845|
|Post Office 1849||Post Office 1855||Post Office 1859||Harrods 1865||Kellys 1867||Post Office 1875|
|Kellys 1880||Kellys 1889||Kellys 1895||Kellys 1898||Kellys 1903||Kellys 1907|
|Kellys 1911||Kellys 1915||Kellys 1920||Kellys 1927||Kellys 1939|
Emigration and Migration
Employment and Business
Agriculture & Land
|Game List 1824-1848||Game Licenses 1834||Servant's Awards at Agricultural Shows 1840-1849|
|Strike of Farm Labourers 1853||Wiltshire Labourers 1871
||South Wilts Chamber of Agriculture Attendees 1883 & 1888|
|South Wilts Chamber of Agriculture 1890|
Markets, Ehibitions & Shows
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
See Codford St. Mary for more information
People and Parish Notables
Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies
Elections and Polls
William Creed - 17th Century Rector of Codford St Mary
Robert Dampier 1799-1874 - Artist & Clergyman. Born and raised at Codford St Peter where his father was Rector
James Ingram 1774-1850 - An Oxford don & President of Trinity College, Oxford
Sir William Mahon, 7th Baronet born 1940 - a retired soldier, lives at Codford
Uncategorised People Items
Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse
Codford came under the jurisdiction of Warminster Poor Law Union. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, usually one representing a constituent parish. Overseers of the Poor was another term used, their roles were similar in that they administered poor relief such as money, food and clothing as part of the Poor Law system. Usually Church wardens or Landowners were selected for these roles.
Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held
War, Conflict and Military Matters
Codford was the demobilisation centre for Polish troops at the end of WWI and many settled in the area. During World War II, British, American & Polish soldiers were deployed in the Codford area. Among the troops stationed in Codford were 6th Guards Armoured Brigade consisting of 4th Grenadiers, 4th Coldstream & 3rd Scots Guards as well as 2nd Battalion of Welsh Guards. between 1941 & 1943. They were followed by the American 3rd Armoured Division September 1943 - June 1944.
World War I
Casualties of WWI
|Edward Kent||Arthur John Johnson 1915||Harry Cummins 1916|
|William Walter Smith 1916||Harold Henry Kitley 1917||Hector James Down 1918|
|Percy Pike 1918|
The Salisbury Plain area in Wiltshire had been used by the British Army for manoeuvres for at least 40 years before the start of World War I. As with many other villages located within and around the Salisbury Plain during World War I, Codford was chosen by the military as a training and transfer camp for troops on their way to the Western Front. Codford was chosen for its easy road access to Warminster and Salisbury; its rail line was extended from Codford Station to a branch line known as the Codford Camp Railway which was used to bring supplies and troops to and from the main line. At first the military camps at Codford consisted of tents; with the wet weather in the winter of 1914-15, the wet conditions made the area a muddy; unlikeable place, with roads becoming almost impassable. The tents were replaced with wooden army huts. The village, which had consisted of about 500 people, soon became full of temporary shops, cafes; barbers to cater for the troops in the area; its shifting population grew with anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 troops and other service personnel. Codford had 15 camps located within its two parishes, which mainly comprised of British, Australian & New Zealand soldiers. In July, 1916, Codford was chosen as the site of the No. 3 New Zealand General Hospital. This was set up to serve the needs of New Zealand soldiers convalescing before either being returned back to the War or sent home.
In 1916, an Australian Commonwealth Military Force Badge - "The Rising Sun" was cut into a steep slope at the top of Lamb Down, near Codford, Wiltshire. It is less detailed in its design than a similar chalk emblem located at Fovant, Wiltshire.
"The Brigade Commander of the nearby garrison wanted to leave a visible Australian mark on the English countryside. Gazing out from the reading room of his headquarters at Stockton House, he came up with the idea of carving out a Rising Sun badge in the chalk hillside opposite, known as Lamb Down. The initial work on the badge was started by the 13th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force AIF. The badge was then embedded with green, brown and clear beer bottles to make it shine bronze like the badge worn on the Australian uniform. Maintaining the badge became the focus of punishment parades and as a result the spur on which it was carved was affectionately known as "Misery Hill" by Australian troops. The badge remained untouched until WW2 when it was covered over to prevent aircraft using it as a navigation aid. After the war it was uncovered, however, most of the glass had either washed away or sunk into the chalk below. The outline of the badge remains to this day.
Proudly worn in two World Wars, the Rising Sun, officially known as the General Service Badge of the Australian Imperial Forces, became one of the best recognised and honoured insignia of the allied armies and an integral part of the Digger tradition. Its distinctive shape, worn on the upturned brim of a slouch hat is readily identified with the spirit of ANZAC." From Anzacs in Codford - Information board
|Anzacs (Map of Australia) 1928||Restoration of the Rising Sun Chalk Emblem on Lamb Down 2010||Chalk Badge Shines Bright Again 2013|
|Chalk Badge Gets a Clean Up 2014|
War Art & Poetry
War Art is produced to illustrate and record many aspects of war, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural. The work of the artist is to embrace the causes, course and consequences of conflict and has an essentially educational purpose. War Art records military activities in ways that cameras and the written word cannot.
A Special Thank You to Romy Wyeth from Codford for her Knowledge, Assistance & Photographic Submissions
Grateful thanks to Cathy Sedgwick for her submissions and research whilst OPC for this parish
With thanks to Mark How for photos of the Rising Sun Badge