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Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:39

Aldbourne - OPC Vacancy

Written by  John Dymond
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Aldbourne - St. Michael's Aldbourne - St. Michael's Courtesy of Neil MacDougall

Aldbourne Village Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Baydon - Chiseldon with Draycote Foliat - Liddington - Little Hinton - Mildenhall - Ogbourne St. George - Ramsbury - Wanborough



GenUKI - For information on Aldbourne
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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.
TreelinesUK - OPC's Own Website.  For further information about Aldbourne, email John via the contact us tab at the top of this page.


The Parish Church of St. Michael

The Church of England parish church overlooks the village green and is medieval and a Grade I listed building.  The nave and chancel are 13th Century; the east end shows the usual series of transepts and chapels filled with monuments whilst the clerestory, the roof other areas are 15th Century.  There is an elaborate Jacobean pulpit and, by way of variety, two Georgian fire-engines of 1778.  The tower is a particularly imposing structure but unfortunately lacking the large pinnacles by which it was intended to be completed. The architecture of the church is gothic, restored in the 1860's by the Victorian architect William Butterfield.          

St. Michael's Church Gallery               Inside St. Michael's Church               St. Michael's Churchyard

Churchyard Survey          Tour Around the Church           Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011

Church Officials

Curates          Rectors          Vicars

Marriage Licenses

William Read & Lydia Gould 1836

Parish Register Transcripts


1790-1796          1797-1805  


1605-1789          1790-1796          1797-1805                  


1790-1796          1797-1805 

Transcriptions of complete registers and census entries from 1637 to 1900 sorted chronologically by family will be found on John Dymond's site, TreelinesUK.

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1637-2005
Marriages 1637-2008
Burials 1637-1992

Other Resources

Parish History

In the heart of the north eastern Downland stands the one time bell-founding town of Aldbourne, watched over by the tall tower of its fine church.  The parish includes the tythings of Preston and Upper and Lower Upham. Also includes the areas of Ford, Crowood, Loves, Hillwood, Dudmore Lodge, Hickler Knoll, Warren, North Farm, North Field, East Leaze and Baydon Lottage.  The parish also contains the abandoned hamlet of Snap.

Jurisdictions and Population Figures          Timeline    

Civil Registration

1837 - April 1937 Hungerford Registration District
April 1837 - Present Marlborough Registration District

Popular Culture

In 1971, the village was used as the location of Devil's End in the Doctor Who episode The Dæmons, starring Jon Pertwee.  In 1992 a documentary called Return to Devil's End was alo filmed in the village.  In 2014 the village featured as the Village of Overton in the tv drama Glue.


Buildings and Land

Listed Buildings          Sale of Hillwood 1797          Owners of Land 1873 

Lewisham Castle

Lewisham Castle is a small medieval ringwork about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-west of the village.


Maps Gallery

Ordnance Surveyor's Drawings 1818

Public Houses

Bell Inn

Situated on the Square and closed in 1958.  It is now a residential property.

Blue Boar

Masons Arms

Situated at 11 West Street.  Now a residential property

Queen Victoria

The Queen Victoria was situated on West Street.  This pub was known as The Queen Inn until 1855 and is now a residential property.  Publican in 1900 was Jesse Bray, who died here that year.

Village Pumps

Two disused village pumps survive in the village


Crime and Legal Matters

Crime Reports 1800-1849               Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879              Swing Riots Special Constables 1830


Universal British 1793-1798 Pigots 1830 Robsons 1839 Pigots 1842-1844 Slaters 1852-1853
Post Office 1855
Post Office 1859 Kellys 1867
Post Office 1875
Kellys 1889
Kellys 1903
Kellys 1907
Kellys 1911 Kellys 1915
Post Office Telephone 1920
Swindon & District 1928
Kellys 1931
Kellys 1939



The village has a primary school, St. Michael’s C of E (Aided) School. Built in 1963, the school is on the site of a National school which opened in 1858.


Emigration and Migration

Parish Strays Index


Employment and Business

British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969                 Gamekeepers Certificates 1807


Wiltshire Society Apprentices

George Augustus Butler 1854               John Spackman 1830               Jesse Westall 1907 

Bell Foundry

For at least 130 years Aldbourne had a bell foundry.  Bells cast by the Cor and Wells families survive at parish churches at Berwick St. John and Seend.  Many others survive at other locations in the UK.

Master Bell Founders 1694-1826

Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

In about 1669 there were known to be Dissenter Meetings outside the Court House on Thursday and Saturday.  These meetings could attract up to 300 people from the area who came to listen to the sermon of the day.  Methodists and other non-conformist denominations had strong roots in the parish.

Methodist Church, Lottage Road

Methodist Church Gallery

In 1968 both groups of Methodists (Primitive and Wesleyans) combined to build Aldbourne Methodist Church in a newly built hall in Lottage Road.  This church has closed in recent years.

Primitive Methodist Chapel, West Street

A Primitive Methodist chapel opened in West Street in about 1840, and a new chapel was built on the same site in 1906.  This chapel was demolished in 1982.

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lottage Road

The original chapel was built in 1807, rebuilt in 1844 and was demolished in 1968.  A new Methodist Chapel was built in its place.

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Woodsend

Zoar Baptist Chapel, Back Lane

A Baptist chapel was opened in 1841 in Back Lane and rebuilt as New Zoar Chapel in 1868. The chapel was sold in 1914 and demolished at some time after 1931; its burial ground survives.


People and Parish Notables

People Gallery

Natives of Aldbourne are known as Dabchicks, named after the Little Grebe 


Shocking Accident to A Child 1874

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1827-1871          


Bankruptcy of James Chapman 1879 

Census Returns Transcripts

1841          1851

Coroners Bills

County coroners were introduced in England in around 1194 once established other boroughs and liberties sought the right to have their own coroner.  Often in Medieval times the coroner also assumed the role of the sheriff and his duties weren't limited to holding inquests on dead bodies although almost a full time post they were unpaid for the duties apart from those that were deemed murder of manslaughter when they would receive 13s. 4d.   From the 24th June 1752 a law was passed allowing the coroner to claim £1 for every inquest they attended not held in a gaol and also to claim 9d per mile travel allowance from the place of residence.  Inquests held in any gaol were performed at a rate totalling no more than £1.  These costs were to be paid from the county rates.  In cases of homicide the coroner also received the former fee of 13s. 4d.  The coroners submitted their bills at the quarter session sittings for approval.  Coroners Bills 1752-1796

Elections, Polls & Politics

General Items

Voters Lists Revisions 1843                Political News 1850-1899                  

Nominations for Office

Councillor Nominations 2015                 MP Nominations 2015

Voters Lists

Poll of Freeholders 1772          Voters List 1832     Poll Book 1818

Family Notices


General Items

Where is George Palmer 1848                  Secrets of Farming Book Subscribers 1863

Inquest Reports 

Mary Bunce 1861

Parish Notables

Mavis Cheek - Novelist - 1948- Gerald Brenan - Author and Historian - 1894-1987 Hilda Beatrice Currie - Liberal Politician - 1872-1939
Ruth Dalton - Labour Politician - 1890-1966 Gerald Finzi - Composer and Musicographer - 1901-1956 Joy Finzi - Artist - 1901-1991
Muriel Foster - Writer - 1877-1937 Ida Gandy - Writer - 1885-1977 Hammond Innes - Novelist - 1913-1998
Anthony Marreco - Barrister and Founding Director of Amnesty International - 1915-2006 Charles McEvoy - Dramatist, Author and Playwright Desmond Morris - Zoologist, Ethologist and Writer - 1928-
Johnny Morris - Writer and Broadcaster - 1916-1999    


Rural Sports 1895       


Hair Powder Tax 1796

Wedding Celebrations

Wedding Celebrations for Labourers of Mr. Chandler 1869


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse



National Probate Index 1858-1966

Wiltshire Wills Indexes


Parishioners Wills        

Miriam Brown Proved 1840


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

Why The Poppy          British Troops on Best Behaviour 1846          Servicemen & Families with the 1st Wilts. Regt. in South Africa 1911

English Civil War

A Royalist force led by Prince Rupert fought a Parliamentarian force in a skirmish at Aldbourne Chase on 18 September 1643, two days before the First Battle of Newbury.



Casualty Biographies of WWI     

Memorials and Commemorations
Commonwealth War Graves in St. Michael's Churchyard Church Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1918 Diocese of Salisbury Remembrance Book 1914-1918
War Memorial 1914-1919    



During WWII, U.S. Army paratroopers of Easy Company (part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division) were based at Aldbourne from late 1943 to mid-1944, in preparation for the D-Day landings of June 1944 and for Operation Market Garden in September.  Both Easy Company and the village were featured in the 2001 American miniseries Band of Brothers.

Casualty Biographies of WWII          Church Roll of Honour Plaque 1939-1945           War Memorial 1939-1945          Band of Brothers Billet 2004          


Harold Kvam 1944





Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1827-1871


Wiltshire Wills Indexes






Abandoned Hamlet 1967


Wiltshire Wills Indexes






Wiltshire Wills Index


Read 22881 times Last modified on Saturday, 19 October 2019 21:02

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