Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Brokenborough - Charlton - Crudwell - Minety
Websites of Interest
GenUKI - For information on Wiltshire and Hankerton.
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies.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 Listed Buildings and Monuments - Information on the Listed Buildings of Hankerton.
Duncan and Mandy's Website - For Images of Holy Cross Church.
BBC Domesday Reloaded - Hankerton in 1985.
Open Library Archives - Description of farm life in late 19th century Wiltshire by Richard Jefferies.
Hankerton Village - Current Community Information.
The Parish Church of Holy Cross
The first church built in Hankerton was probably in the 12th Century and started as a chapel of Crudwell church. By 1222 a vicar had been appointed but the church was still dependent on Crudwell. This situation continued until 1445 when the graveyard came into use. It was not until 1763 that the name The Church of The Holy Cross was adopted. The building consists of a chancel, a nave with north aisle and south porch and a square tower. The present chancel was rebuilt in 1904 to replace the original, which had been demolished in the late 16th century. Only three of the original four bells in place in 1553 remain, the oldest dating from the latter half of the 14th century. From 1954 to 1987 the vicarage was united with that of Charlton with Brokenborough but now is joined with Ashley, Long Newnton, Crudwell and Oaksey.
Parish Register Transcripts
Parish Registers held at WSHC
BTs 1607-1609, 1619-1623, 1632-1635, 1666-1679
BTs 1859 are held at Bristol Record Office
The parish of Hankerton is one of the most northerly in Wiltshire. It is long and narrow, approximately 5 miles by 1.2 miles, and runs roughly east to west. The whole area is flat, the ground level varying by only about 20 metres and virtually all of it drains eventually into the river Thames. Apart from the two groups of houses just to the west and south east of the church most of the buildings are scattered all over the parish. The village of Hankerton, which is situated 3.4 miles north-east from Malmesbury and 8 miles south-south-west from Cirencester, is very pleasant and is obviously well cared for by the present inhabitants since it was awarded first place in the small village category of The Best Kept Village Competition 2012. Brian Woodruffe, in his book Wiltshire Villages, writes "Hankerton may be a beautiful spot with just the hum of bees and a distant tractor but it is far from deserted or neglected. The large churchyard is closely cut and carefully trimmed, not a sight to please the wildlife enthusiast though impressive to the visitor." There is still a thriving community atmosphere and, as no village hall exists, the various meetings and activities take place in the north aisle of the church which has been adapted for this purpose. Hankerton has at various times in its history been known as Hanekington or Hanekinton or Hanekynton. The hamlets of Cloatley (or Cloatly or Clotley) and Bullock's Horn lie within the parish together with the village of Hankerton, which is the oldest settlement within the parish. It is believed that Hankerton, which is not mentioned in Domesday Book, originated from part of Malmesbury Abbey's Crudwell estate. Throughout its history the predominant use of the land has been as arable and pasture. Despite a change from mainly common ground to the system of farms nowadays, and despite much change in land ownership, there has been relatively little change to the parish boundaries over five centuries.
1837 - April 1936 Malmesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Chippenham Registration District
Population and Jurisdictions
Buildings and Land
Cloatley Manor Farm
Crime and Legal Matters
Breach of Contract
Breach of the Peace
Governance of the parish was initially by the Malmesbury Abbey court. From the latter part of the 16th century the leet jurisdiction system was adopted. This attempted to control many aspects of the parish inhabitant’s life through annual or bi-annual courts. Records of Cloatley tithing no longer exist but from those for Hankerton, examples of the range of offences dealt with are shown in the link below. From the late 1600’s to the early 1800’s the system evolved to mainly control the husbandry aspects of the parish, such as the control of the use of open or common ground, the maintenance of boundaries, gates and watercourses.
Extracts from Gloucester Courts Leet
|Beale v Hibbert June 1602||Beale v Hibbert October 1602||Hibbert v Hibbert & Stock 1604|
|Whitinge v Forte 1609||Churchwardens v George 1611|
Drink Related Crime
Embezzlement and Fraud
Prisons and Prisoners
|Committed to Devizes Gaol 1800-1849||Committed to Fisherton Gaol 1800-1849||Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879|
|Committed to Devizes Gaol 1850-1899|
There has been no school in Hankerton since 1966. The nearest Primary school is at Crudwell and the nearest Secondary school is at Malmesbury.
Emigration and Migration
For marriages of Hankerton residents outside the parish 1609-1836 please refer to the transcript section below.
Employment and Business
Few non-agricultural trades have survived in Hankerton. There are a few records of weaving and other cloth industry jobs in the 1550 – 1720 period and of brick making in Cloatley in the early 19th century. Some small scale quarrying of limestone took place at a few sites to the west of the village. In 1840, there were 1,585 acres of grassland and 514 acres of arable land out of a total of 2,200. By the 1930’s, however, the arable land had reduced to about 200 acres. Initially driven by the need to produce more food during the 1939-1945 period, this subsequently increased again and by 1977, the acreage being used as arable land had risen to 710.
|Miscellaneous Newspaper Reports||Newspaper Adverts||Temperance Meeting 1883|
|Friendly Society Festival 1879||NFU Meeting 1922||Local Election Nominations 1934|
|Hospital Scheme 1939|
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
In 1851 the evening services at the Strict Baptist Chapel in Hankerton village were attended by about 120 people. This Chapel was built in 1837 and continued in use until 1971 when it became a private dwelling.
People and Parish Notables
Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies
Census Returns Transcripts
Elections and Polls
|Voters List 1705||Poll of Freeholders 1772||Poll Book 1818||Voters List 1832|
|Electoral Register 1839||Voters Lists Revisions 1843||Voters List 1865||Voters List 1868|
|MP Nominations 2015||MP Nominations 2017|
|John Collar 1843||Henry Boulton 1845||Richard Collar 1847||William Joachim 1880||Thomas Ovens 1874||Elizabeth Woodward 1868|
|Mr Wheeler 1900||New Born Baby 1906||New Born Baby 1936|
Sports and Pastimes
|Fox Hunting Report 1847||Report on Cirencester Choral Festival 1869||Report on Cirencester Choral Festival 1871|
|Cycle Ride 1877||Steeplechase Meeting 1883|
Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse
Prior to the Malmesbury Poor Law Union coming into existence on 4th December 1835, poor relief in Hankerton 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 Hankerton. 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.
Administration Bonds and Inventories
Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held
War, Conflict and Military Matters
War Memorials and Memorial Books
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.