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Saturday, 11 February 2012 08:35

Bowerchalke - The OPC is Jane Dick

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Bowerchalke - Holy Trinity Bowerchalke - Holy Trinity

Bowerchalke Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Broad Chalke - Ebbesbourne Wake - Fifield Bavant - Handley (DOR) - Martin - Pentridge (DOR) - West Woodyates (DOR)



Duncan and Mandy Ball's - Website for images of Holy Trinity Church
GenUKI - For information on Bowerchalke.
British History Online - An excellent article on Bowerchalke early history (Vol 13: South-west Wiltshire: Chalke & Dunworth Hundred)
University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies 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.


The Parish Church of Holy Trinity

The incumbent of Holy Trinity Church is Reverend Canon David Henley, The Rectory, Broad Chalke, Salisbury SP5 5DS.

Bower Chalke Protestation Return 1641-1642                Church News 1850-1899

Parish Register Transcripts






1813-1822         1823-1840   

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1694-1975
Marriages 1694-1965
Burials 1694-1998

Other Resources 


Parish History

Bowerchalke is a rural parish in South West Wiltshire close to the county borders of Hampshire and Dorset.  It lies within Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs, both designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The River Chalke, a classic chalk stream, rises in the village and joins the River Ebble at Broad Chalke, flowing into the Hampshire Avon south of Salisbury. The Bowerchalke Downs, known individually as Woodminton Down, Marleycombe Down and Knowle Down, are a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the species-rich chalk grassland. 

Bowerchalke is recorded in the Doomsday Book as part of the manor of Chelke, which included the neighbouring village of Broad Chalke. During the reign of Henry VIII the area came into the ownership of the Earl of Pembroke, whose descendants continued in ownership until part of the family’s estates were sold off at the end of World War One.  Reputedly Wiltshire's most haunted village, today the village is mainly residential, having seen the closure of its school, pub, Post Office and shop in recent years.

Population and Other Information

Civil Registration

1837 - April 1936 Wilton Registration District
April 1936 - Present Salisbury Registration District


Buildings and Land

Owners of Land 1873                   Land & Building News 1800-1849

Property Sales

For Sale Notice 1780


Crime and Legal Matters


Assault in Salisbury Market Place 1867


Bastardy Examinations 1801-1849

Miscellaneous Crime

Committed to Fisherton Gaol 1800-1849               Crime Reports 1800-1849               Youth of Today 1883


Stealing Lead from the Church 1866                Thefts by Gypsies 1889



Post Office 1855          Post Office 1875          Kellys 1915                   



Diocesan Board of Education Meeting 1874             Deja Vue 1905


Emigration and Migration

Strays Index                 Henry & Matilda Penny, Old Colonists 1853-1915


Employment and Business

Gamekeepers Certificates 1807               Gamekeepers Certificates 1834               Hard Times for Ag. Labs. 1846                 Employment News 1850-1899


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship


People and Parish Notables

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and  Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1837-1871               Winners at Salisbury Sheep Fair 1878

Census Returns Transcripts

1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Elections and Polls

Voters List 1832          Poll Book 1865                   MP Nominations 2015

Family Notices

1800-1849                1850-1899

Parish Notables

Iona Brown internationally renowned violinist, lived at Misselfore Cottage from 1968 until her death in 2004. In a BBC Radio interview she said that hearing the larks while walking on nearby Marleycombe Down was a central influence when playing her signature piece - Ralph Vaughan Williams’ "The Lark Ascending".

From 1878 until 1924 Reverend Edward Collett, known as the Father of the Farthing Press and long time Vicar of Bowerchalke wrote, printed and published a unique village newspaper documenting the social history of the village. In 2004 the papers were republished in a book by Bowerchalke resident Rex Sawyer as Collett's Farthing Newspaper: the Bowerchalke Village Newspaper 1878-1924.  The family pedigree of the Reverend Collett.   The Collett One-Name Study produces it own Newsletter.

William Golding Nobel Laureate & author of Lord of the Flies lived in the village in his middle years.  He is buried at Holy Trinity Church.

Dr. James Lovelock, scientist & environmentalist and author of the Gaia Hypothesis (named by his friend and fellow resident William Golding) lived here in the 1960s & 70s.

British born, Canadian novelist and poet Marjorie L. C. Pickthall also stayed and wrote at Chalke Cottage around the time of the First World War.

First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon lived in the village for a while before moving to Heytesbury.

William Thick born in 1845 at Misselfore Green left the village in 1868 to join the Metropolitan Police.  In 1888, by then based in London’s Whitechapel  District, he was involved in the investigation of the notorious Whitechapel Murders.  During the investigation Sergeant Thick himself was falsely named in letters as the likely murderer know as Jack the Ripper.


Falstone Day Book 1645-1653             


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse

Wilton Union Guardians Appointed 1835



Probate Index 1546-1864 (WSHC)                National Probate Index 1858-1966

Parishioners Wills

John Gould alias Hawkins Proved 1658 Thomas Norris Proved 1810 Edward Heasell 1827
John Norris Proved 1827 Thomas Humby Proved 1841 Sally Norris Proved 1841


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

Why the Poppy Diocese of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918 Roll of Honour Plaque;
Men Who Served 1914-1919 Flying Accident - F. C. Butler 1918  



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