Text Size

Sunday, 19 February 2012 04:37

Hankerton - The OPC is Jenny Todd

Written by 
Rate this item
(23 votes)
Hankerton - Holy Cross Church Hankerton - Holy Cross Church

Hankerton Photo Gallery

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Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies.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.

Holy Cross Church in 1805


Churchyard Survey


The Family of Rev. James Wiggett          Incumbents and Patronage 1550-1987          News Reports about Incumbents 1763-1910          Rev. Harry Kenrick Adkin 1851-1928          Obituary Rev. Knight-Adkin 1927 

Parish Register Transcripts


1607-1609 (BTs)          1619-1623 (BTs)          1632-1635 (BTs)          1666-1679 (BTs)           1704-1749          1750-1799          1800-1838          1881-1933 


1607-1679          1700-1837


1600-1699           1700-1749           1750-1799           1800-1837

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1699-1881
Marriages 1699-1994
Burials 1699-1971
BTs 1607-1609, 1619-1623, 1632-1635, 1666-1679
BTs 1859 are held at Bristol Record Office


Parish History

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.

Memories of Hankerton                 Parish History 1862         Village Memories

Civil Registration

1837 - April 1936 Malmesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Chippenham Registration District 

Parish Council        

Parish Council Meetings 1938-1939     

Population and Jurisdictions             

Hankerton and Cloatley Population


Buildings and Land 


Two Farms to Let at Clotley 1783                   Farmland Sale 1846                Sale Notice 1854                 Sale Notice 1917                  Sale Notice 1918

Church Farm

Sale of Stock and Buildings 1860

Cloatley Manor Farm

Cloatley Manor Farm 1997

Hankerton Farm

Sale Notice 1921

Laurel Farm

Sale Notice 1938

General Items

Owners of Land 1873


Land Inclosure 1809                   Approval of Land Exchange 1868

Manorial Records

Ownership of Hankerton and Cloatley Manors                 Manor Rent Survey 1602                   Sale Notice 1883


Aerial View of Hankerton Village                   Maps of Hankerton             Ordnance Survey Map 1816                 Land Usage in 1930's

Property Sales

Sale Notice 1842                  Sale Notice 1857                  Sale Notice 1874                 


Tithes Commutation 1838 


Crime and Legal Matters


Nathaniel Tyler 1864                   Matthews and Price 1873                  Charles Gleed 1888                   Lewin Vincent 1889

Bastardy Examinations

Blizzard v Shipton 1874               Scott v Garland 1874

Breach of Contract

Wilkins, Wilkins and Frayling 1888                    George Way 1900

Breach of the Peace

Hiscock, Field and Hatton 1881

Business Crime

Samuel James 1902

Courts Leet

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.    

Reports of Courts Leet Meetings               Examples of Offences 1500-1699

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  

Crime Reports

1800-1849                  1850-1899                   1900-1949

Criminal Damage

Golding and Woodward 1872

Drink Related Crime

Charles Woodward 1873           Drunk & Leaving Master Charges 1885           Samuel Sparrow 1888

Embezzlement and Fraud

John Woodward 1864                   Daniel Stratford 1884 


Sly and Scutts 1879                   Maurice Golding 1888

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    


William Nipper 1829                  Joseph Major 1884                  George Woodward 1889                    George Woodward 1890                   George Major 1901



Post Office 1849 Post Office 1855 Post Office 1859 Harrods 1865 Kellys 1867 Kellys 1875
Post Office 1875 Kellys 1889 Kellys 1895 Kellys 1898 Kellys 1903 Kellys 1907
Kellys 1911 Kellys 1915 North Wilts 1920 Kellys 1927 Swindon & District 1928 Kellys 1931
Post Office 1939 Taylors 1941        



There has been no school in Hankerton since 1966.  The nearest Primary school is at Crudwell and the nearest Secondary school is at Malmesbury.

Church of England School               Early Schools               National School               School Admissions Register 1930-1965


Emigration and Migration

For marriages of Hankerton residents outside the parish 1609-1836 please refer to the transcript section below.

Strays Index               Out of Parish Marriages 1609-1836               Over Yonder 1901


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. 

Lord Suffolk's Farm Prizes Malmesbury Market Reports Parish Occupation Distribution
Medical License Extract for Mark Rottier 1678 British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969 Apprentice Register Entries 1753-1792
Gamekeepers Certificates 1807 Gamekeepers Certificates 1834 Notice of Tree Sale 1852
Farm Sale Notice 1860 Situations Wanted and Vacant  

Miscellaneous Documents

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.

Nonconformist Confirmation Records 1701-1770                 Non-Conformist News Reports 1800-1849                  Nonconformist Births 1824-1833 

Baptist Chapel

Chapel Gallery                Chapel Members 1846-1852      


People and Parish Notables


Accidents 1800-1899                  A Chapter of Accidents 1867                Accident on Holloway Hill 1877

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Fete 1878

Census Returns Transcripts

1841           1851          1861          1871           1881            1891           1901           1911

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    

Family Notices

1800-1849              1850-1899               1900-1949 


Funeral of Agnes Pincott 1934        

General Items

A Venerable Couple 1901          

Inquest Reports

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    


Elizabeth Woodward 1916                  Francis Bates 1935                 Mrs Fanny Woodward 1938                 Rev Sidney Hinkes 2006

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  

Wedding Celebrations

Maurice Chamberlain & Harriet Rowland 1905 Alfred Stevens and Marjorie Cook 1936 Stanley Butcher and Frances Denly 1936
Frederick Scott and Eva Tugwell 1936 Eric Packer and Stella Blacklin 1937 Reginald Price and Eileen Wheeler 1937
Frederick Denley and Evelyn Thornbury 1937 Thomas Young and Doris Chivers 1938  


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.

Memorial in Hankerton Holy Cross Church Expenditure on Poor Relief 1775-1834 Tenders for Medical Service 1837
Election of Guardians 1837 Election of Guardians 1839 Election of Guardians 1844
Election of Guardians 1860 Hannah Ludlow - Legacy to the Poor 1869 Nomination of Guardians 1886
Nomination of Guardians 1888     



Probate Notices 1620-1907

Administration Bonds and Inventories 

William Beale 1685

Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held 

John de Hanekinton 1279

Parishioners Wills

John Beale Proved 1744 John Beale Proved 1807 William Beale Proved 1643 William Beale Proved 1650
William Beale Proved 1660 Robert Causon Proved 1712 John Davis Proved 1700 Alice Gagg Proved 1671
Richard Gagg Proved 1754 William Goddard Proved 1837 Daniel Harding Proved 1725 Thomas Ludlow Proved 1741
Samuel Pitt Proved 1763 Richard Sisum Proved 1843 Thomas Shewring Proved 1718 George Skuse Proved 1830
Daniell Sparkman Proved 1725 Margarett Warneforde Proved 1693 Thomas Weaver Proved 1651 George White Proved 1744
James White Proved 1837 William Williams Proved 1663 Henry Yearington Proved 1626  


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery


Casualties of WWI          Casualty Biographies of WWI          Thomas Henry Smith Commemoration 1916           Letters Home - George Pennel 1916-1917           George Pennell Memorial Scroll 1917

Casualty Biographies

Frank Ernest Gardner 1917           Alfred Charles Hayes  1915          Edgar Cecil Law 1916

Funeral Reports

Thomas Henry Smith 1916


Arthur John Tugwell 1944          Arthur John Tugwell Memorial Scroll 1944

Uncategories Items

Why the Poppy

War Memorials and Memorial Books

Holy Cross Church WWI Memorial


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. 



People and Parish Notables

Elections, Polls and Voters Lists

Poll Book 1818

Read 14659 times Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:46

Add comment

Please be aware that comments are not checked daily, if you have a question it is better to contact the volunteer directly. However if you just wish to show appreciation or remark upon the page please feel free to do that here.

Security code

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk