Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Crudwell - Kemble - Minety - Poole Keynes - Somerford Keynes
GenUKI - For information on Oaksey and Wiltshire
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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.
British History Online - For information on Oaksey and Wiltshire
Duncan and Mandy's Website - Information and photographs of All Saints Church
Warning to Sabbath Breakers - Photographs and information of Wall Paintings
St Christopher - Photographs and information of Wall Paintings
Oaksey Village - Website for community news
Register of One-Place Studies - Oaksey Entry
The Parish Church of All Saints
The church of All Saints stands beside the main street of the village. It is a grade 1 listed building and is principally of ashlar construction with castellated parapets. The square tower contains a peal of six bells, made by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester and installed in 1773. It is also fitted with a clock, which is believed to commemorate a former rector who died in 1882.
Elements of the church in the south porch, chancel and tower suggest the original construction to have been in the 13th century or possibly earlier. Other elements indicate modifications taking place in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1933 a series of large murals were uncovered. These have been dated to the 15th century.
More information and many photographs of the church and the wall paintings can be found on the websites listed above.
The church register dates from 1670. The living is a rectory and now forms part of the Braydon Brook Benefice which covers the parishes of Ashley, Crudwell, Charlton, Hankerton, Minety and Oaksey.
|Churchyard Memorial Survey||Incumbents 1465-2014||Church Description 1825|
|Parochial Church Meeting 1936||Church Windows 1936|
Parish Register Transcripts
Parish Registers held at WSHC
BTs 1838-1897 are held at Bristol Record Office
The parish includes the tything of Flintham & Wick. Oaksey is, and has always been, a predominantly farming parish, and covers about 1,800 acres. It is one of the most northerly in Wiltshire and is approximately 2.4 miles north to south and 2.6 miles east to west. Oaksey village lies at the centre of the parish and is equidistant, about 5 miles, from Malmesbury to the south west and Cirencester to the north east. The Cotswold Water Park is just to the east. Evidence of early occupation is scarce. A Bronze Age axe has been found. It is believed that the motte and bailey structure, the remains of which are now known as Norwood Castle, had been built to protect a 13th century manor house which stood near the church until the late 16th century. The parish appears in the Domesday Book as Wochesie and is shown to be held by Brihtric or Beorhtric, a Saxon lord. Eventually, via the de Bohun family, Oaksey became part of the Duchy of Lancaster under Henry IV, and in due course his successors. It remained as such until the 17th century when it came into the control of Sir Edward Poole. The Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway built a line through the parish in 1841. The regular fox hunting meetings at Oaksey started in the early 19th century and led on to the Oaksey races which took place over a three and a half mile course on Park Farm where there is now an airfield. These races attracted many national riders and continued until World War I. In the late 1930's Oaksey temporarily became home to part of the Cotswold Bruderhof Commune, many members of which were Germans who had fled Nazi oppression. During the 2nd World War Oaksey was bombed at least twice. In 1941 a large bomb fell near the railway bridge but did not explode, and, at another time, five small bombs fell across the village. One set fire to a tree in a field and another landed on the railway bridge. In her book "Gallipot Eyes", a diary of life in Oaksey, Elspeth Huxley recorded Oaksey's pride in having been an enemy target and how the incident excited bitter jealousy among the citizens of Crudwell, who took solace in the thought that, while the bombs might have fallen on or near Oaksey, they had been released over Crudwell. Today Oaksey is a very friendly village with a thriving community spirit, which is witnessed by its comprehensive and particularly informative website. Oaksey's population has remained remarkably steady over two centuries. There have been temporary fluctuations such as in 1841 when many railway construction workers , some with their families, added to Oaksey's population for the duration of the line construction. Lately there has been an increase in house building.
|Population Figures & Other Information||Domesday Book 1086|
|Parish News 1850-1899||Parish News 1900-1935||Parish News 1936-1948|
|Cotswold Bruderhof 1939-1941||Links with Royalty 1944|
1837 - April 1936 Malmesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Chippenham Registration District
Buildings and Land
Oaksey Park House was built in the 17th century, by the Poole family, to fill the role of manor house. It changed its name to Oaksey House in 1773 and to Oaksey Manor 1938, before being demolished in 1956 after a short period as a hotel. There are records of mills existing in Oaksey at various times in its history, from 1086 until the last mill, the one on a leat of Flagham Brook, was demolished at some time before 1773. In 1975 the majority of the village, not including the new council houses at Bendybow, became a conservation area.
The farming activity in the parish has been carried out principally on the following properties. Hill Farm, Oaksey Moor and Lower Farms, which were combined to become Lower Moor Farm, Court Farm, Church Farm, Clattinger Farm, Dean Farm, Park Farm, Street Farm and Sodom Farm.
The Wheatsheaf Inn is a long standing part of Oaksey's community. It is thought to be at least 600 years old and, like the majority of Oaksey houses, is built of Cotswold stone. In the last few years The Wheatsheaf has gained an excellent reputation for the quality of its catering.
Crime and Legal Matters
In the 13th century the Earl of Hereford and Essex governed Oaksey via the frankenpledge system, whereby the inhabitants were held jointly responsible for problems with maintenance of boundaries, watercourses, roads and encroachment on common land. By the 1700's this had evolved into the manorial court system, which dealt primarily with copy-holder business.
|Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879||Crime Reports 1800-1899||Water Against Spirit 1843|
|Crime Reports 1900-1949|
|Post Office 1855||Post Office 1859||Post Office 1875||Kellys 1895||Kellys 1903|
|Kellys 1915||North Wilts & District 1917||Kellys 1920||North Wilts & District 1920||Swindon & District 1928|
|Kellys 1939||Taylors 1941|
There have been junior schools in Oaksey since the early 19th century through to the present day. Since 1854 the school has been sited adjacent to the church and currently has about 90 pupils. The nearest secondary school is at Malmesbury. Read about Oaksey Schools here.
Emigration and Migration
Employment and Business
Throughout its history Oaksey has been a mixed farming, dairy and arable, area. The proportion of arable land in cultivation has gradually increased over time, but, owing to evermore mechanisation, there are now very few agricultural jobs in the parish.
|Bristol Register 1657||Apprentice Register 1725-1760||Newspaper Advertisements 1800-1899|
|Situations Wanted and Vacant 1876-1948||Newspaper Advertisements 1900-1949||Report of Strike 1930|
|Land Workers Charter 1931|
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
As early as 1802 a room in the possession of Joseph Brown was certified for the use of Independents in Oaksey. This was followed, in 1812, by a house belonging to Thomas Wilton and in, 1822, in a house occupied by Rev J W Lowrie
Moravian Church Members
In 1812 the dwelling house of John Earl was certified for Methodist worship. Later Methodists from Brinkworth came to the village to encourage residents to become Methodists and, in 1838, they certified a house belonging to William Reynolds. The growing number of Methodists had a strong presence in the village and at one time outnumbered the peopled who went to the Church. A Chapel in the west of the parish was built in 1842 and in 1851 it was attended by 101 people during the afternoon service. The chapel had to be rebuilt in 1874. After World War II the presence of the Methodists reduced and the chapel was first used for storing hay, about 1956, before it was converted into a private residence. Primitive Methodist Synod 1918
People and Parish Notables
Census Returns Transcripts
Elections, Polls and Voters Lists
|Poll of Freeholders 1772||Poll Book 1818||Voters List 1832||Voters Lists Revisions 1843||Voters List 1865
|Electoral List 1868||MP Nominations 2015||MP Nominations 2017|
|John Johnson 1804||Rev F P Johnson 1882||Rev W A Norris 1889|
|Charles Howse 1896||Rev Joseph Storr 1923||Edward Heavens 1930|
|Robert Warner 1930||John Eden 1931||Mrs E Mayo 1935|
|Rev Sidney Hinkes 2006||Jacqueline Kent 2007|
Inhabitants of Oaksey, notable for various reasons, include Geoffrey Lawrence, the first Lord Oaksey, John Lawrence or John Oaksey, the second Lord Oaksey, both of whom lived at Hill Farm. Inez Broom, later Craven, later Mundy, was a one time occupier of Flintham House. The author Elspeth Huxley had a home at Woodfolds for many years.
|Samuel Andrews||Inez Broom||Rev W F Gover|
|John Hitchings||Elspeth Huxley||Geoffrey Lawrence|
Uncategorised People Items
|Burfitt & Carter 1924||Cooper & Higgs 1935||Wilkins & Balker 1936|
|Read & Scaysbrook 1937||Morgan & Pendlebury 1938||Murray & Hardinge 1943|
|Dundas & Lawrence 1950|
Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse
Prior to the Malmesbury Poor Law Union coming into existence on 4th December 1835, poor relief in Oaksey was handled within the parish. The new Malmesbury workhouse, designed to accommodate 250 inmates, was built on a site in Sherston Road Malmesbury in 1838 at a cost of £3,100, to integrate the poor relief for 25 local parishes including Oaksey. In the 1833-1835 period the average poor rate expenditure was £8,720 or 13s 4d per head of the population of the union district. At the end of their life as a workhouse the buildings were used as flats but were eventually demolished in 1971.
|Expenditure on Relief 1775-1834||Election of Guardians 1837||Tenders for Medical Service 1837|
|Election of Guardians 1839||Election of Guardians 1844||Election of Guardians 1860|
|Nomination of Guardians 1886|
|Probate Notices 1600-1649||National Probate Index 1858-1966||Probate Notices 1900-1949|
War, Conflict and Military Matters
There is a wall plaque in All Saints Church commemorating the parish fallen.
|John Herbert 1817-1839||World War I Casualties||Soldiers Who Died in WWI in Calne & District Casualty Lists;|
|World War II Casualties||Bomb Disposal 1948||Roll of Honour Plaques|
|Memorial Dedication in New Oaksey Village Hall - The Rest 2001||Why the Poppy|
Much of this page was submitted by David Palmer as OPC for the parish. Sadly David passed away in December 2015 but he has left a fantastic legacy to this page.