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Codford - OPC Vacancy

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Codford Codford

Codford Village Gallery

Contiguous Parishes our neighbours

Boyton - Chitterne St. Mary - Fisherton Delamere - Sherrington - Stockton - Upton Lovell


Websites of Interest

GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Codford St. Peter
GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Codford St. Mary
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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.
University of Leicester's - Website has historical Wiltshire directories free to view
Codford Parish Council - Local Authority Website

Please note that this page is divided into four sections Codford which holds information common to the whole parish or where the specific parish is uncertain, Codford St. Mary, Codford St. Peter and Ashton Gifford which holds information unique to those villages.

Parish Churches of St. Mary and St. Peter

Codford is served by two Anglican churches St. Mary and St. Peter which also serves the Ashton Gifford Community.  see individual village tabs below for details

Bishop of Salisbury's Memorial Fund 1870                Codford Choir at Choral Festival at Sutton Veny 1871

Parish Registers held at WSHC

See parish tab for resources held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Parish History

The village of Codford is located in the valley of the River Wylye, 7 miles south east of Warminster and 14 miles north west of Salisbury, in the southern shadow of Salisbury Plain. The village was formed by the union of two adjacent parishes - Codford St. Mary and Codford St. Peter in 1928. The hamlet of Ashton Gifford is part of the civil parish of Codford. 

The village was formed by the union of two adjacent parishes - Codford St. Mary and Codford St. Peter in 1928, when the union of the two Codfords was approved and six years later the two civil parishes became one. Both churches are still in use, with the Church of St. Mary located at the southern end of the village and the Church of St. Peter at the northern end. Together with the hamlet of Ashton Gifford a settlement was cleared to make way for the principle house of the village in the early 19 th century the area covers some 3,797 acres.

The layout of the village consists of a High Street, running south east to north west, with another road, the Chitterne Road, meeting it at right angles on its northern side. The village is now built around these roads and the New Road, which runs from the western entrance to the village to a point about three quarters of a mile north on the Chitterne Road. There are several small lanes and bridleways about the village. The parish itself is bounded by the Wylye to the south and by ancient drove roads to the west and east. The northern boundary roughly coincides with the Chitterne to Heytesbury Road.

The name Codford is thought to mean the fording place of Codda who was, perhaps, an Anglo-Saxon who owned the land on which the ford was situated. The oldest known recording of the name is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of land granted in the Wylye valley in the late ninth century; here the name is recorded as Coddan Ford.

Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1845                         Kiss-Wicket 1893-1895

Civil Registration

1837 - Present Warminster Registration District


Population figures are separate for Codford St. Mary & Codford St. Peter until 1951 when the 2 parishes were united in regards to census information.

Codford St. Mary's population was at it's lowest in 1801 with a total of 187 & at it's highest in 1861 with a total of 404. Codford St. Peter was at it's lowest in 1901 with a total of 242 while it's highest was in 1851 with 401. The decrease in population from 1861 to 1871 for both parishes could be attributed to the closing of a large Woolstapling business. In Codford St. Mary the position was made worse by the closing of certain training stables.

Population Figures 1801-2011 

Publications Relating to Codford

Books by John Chandler

Codford: Wool and War in Wiltshire

Books by Romy Wyeth
Book Of Codford: From the Bronze Age to the Bypass Men of St. Mary's & The Anzac War Graves Sterner Days: Codford During the Second World War
Swords and Ploughshares: Codford During the 20th Century Warriors for the Working Day: Codford During Two World Wars  


Buildings and Land


County Agriculture Report 1847

Ancient Monuments

Codford Circle

Codford Circle is a neolithic earthwork hilltop enclosure, or possible hillfort, located on the crest of Codford Hill, a chalk promontory of Salisbury Plain, near to the village of Codford. The elevated oval area is approximately 3.6 hectares and is surrounded by a bank 6.5 metres wide and up to 1.6 metres high from the outside. This is surrounded by a ditch 5 metres wide & up to 0.5 metres deep except for a section around the south eastern edge where it has been reduced by ploughing. Aerial shots show entrances on the east and west sides. The entrances on the southeast and northwest sides are later in origin. There is no archaeological evidence for occupation and the slight nature of the earthworks have been interpreted as being defensively weak. Also known as Wilsbury Ring, Oldbury Camp or Ogbury. It may have been formed by the Druids for religious rites.

Ancient Monuments List               Artefacts from Ashton Valley                 Codford Circle Sketch 1810

Crop Circles

A crop circle was reported to have appeared on 3rd June, 2010 between the villages of Codford St. Peter and Codford St. Mary, within sight of the earthwork hilltop enclosure of Codford Circle. The design consisted of a complex formation consisting of a central circle surrounded by a stellated dodecagon with a perimeter of twelve interlocking circles. It measured around 240 feet in diameter & was formed in 12 inch barley. This area of Wiltshire is not commonly associated with the appearance of crop circles and it is close to the military training area of Salisbury Plain - one of the largest Ministry of Defence training areas in the UK.


Fires 1804-1865                  Thatched Cottages Fire 2014


Postal Telegraphs 1872                   Proposed Main Road Between Chitterne & Codford 1886

Listed Buildings

Grade I - Buildings of outstanding architectural or historic interest.

There are no buildings in either village within this category

Grade II* - Buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest.

Both village churches are listed under this category see tabs below for details

Grade II - Buildings are nationally important and of special interest.

There are a total of 31 buildings listed for this category within the Codford Boundary 24 of which are situated in Codford St. Peter and the remaining seven in Codford St. Mary

Miscellaneous Items

Description of Villages on the "Wily" 1848         Oxen at Plough 1904           Gardens Open to the Public 1937-1939

Property for Auction, Let or Sale

Sale of Farm Stock at Fisherton Delamere 1872             Anzac Farm for Sale 1936                Old Rectory 2014                Old School House 2014

Public Houses

Beer House Licenses 1890

Railway Station

Codford Railway Station was an intermediate station on the Salisbury to Warminster branch line of the Great Western Railway. The Station was built in Ashton Gifford, on the lane to Boyton, at the far south-west corner of the parish and opened on 30th June, 1856, with a Stationmaster's Lodge nearby. Heytesbury was the next station heading towards Warminster and Wylye was the next station heading towards Salisbury. The original single platform was built on the north side of the line next to a level crossing. A passing loop was installed in 1897 which necessitated a second platform to be built towards Westbury. The line was doubled from Heytesbury in 1899 and on to Wylye in 1900.      The Station was an important feature in both world wars, serving the army camp at Codford. A branch line was built in 1914 to connect the Army Camp to Codford Station. This branch was taken over at the end of the First World War by the Great Western Railway but closed in 1922.     Codford Railway Station was closed to passenger services on 19th September, 1955 and its goods yard was closed on 10th June, 1963. The signal box remained in use until June, 1982. Trains still run between Warminster and Salisbury but no longer stop anywhere in between.           Codford Railway Station Gallery

Land for Railway 1844 & 1847                 Railway Branch to Open 1856 

Weather Phenomena

Great Flood 1841               Summer Hailstorm of 1785 & Damage Caused 1853                         Gale 1928


Crime and Legal Matters

Wilts Quarter Sessions 1610-1614 Committed to Unspecified Prison 1775-1883 Smuggled Tobacco 1788
Committed to Fisherton Gaol 1807-1848 Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879 Committed to Devizes House of Corrections 1826-1872
Offenders Fined in Lieu of Prison 1826-1888 Codford & The Swing Riots 1830 St. Peter & St. Mary v Thomas Topp 1824
Bendall, Jnr. v. Goodfellow 1847 Doughty v. Pearce 1848 Dorset County Gaol & House Of Corrections Admission Registers 1849 & 1877
3 Runaway Boys 1859 Gypsies Under Suspicion 1861 Ann Sparey - Arson & Assault 1865-1866
William Batt - Stolen Silver Watch Chain by Policeman 1883 William Henry Line - Gardener Charged with Destroying Plants 1886 James Haynes - Extraordinary Charge of False Pretences 1886
Driver Fined 1926 Extraordinary Behaviour of a Lunatic 1883  


George Benbawl - 7 years for Larceny - 1821 William Henrys - Death Commuted to 14 years for Burglary - 1825 Benjamin Woods - 7 years for Larceny - 1841
Praxell Alwood Hinwood - 10 years for Sending Threatening Letter - 1845    


Post Office 1849 Post Office 1855 Post Office 1859 Harrods 1865 Kellys 1867 Post Office 1875
Kellys 1880 Kellys 1889 Kellys 1895 Kellys 1898 Kellys 1903 Kellys 1907
Kellys 1911 Kellys 1915 Kellys 1920 Kellys 1927 Kellys 1939 Post Office Telephone 1940 


Annual Fete for School Children 1854-1858


Emigration and Migration

Emigration to Australia

Free Passage to Australia Advertisements 1838 & 1848

Letters Home

Letter from Australia 1847

News Sought Back Home

Advertisement to Find John Fry & Josiah Hinwood 1857

Emigrration to Canada

Emigration to Canada Advertisements 1861 & 1874

Emigration to the United States of America 

Anna Clancy - U.S. Passport Application 1923 

Imigration into Britain

Naturalization Certificates 1935-1966


Employment and Business


UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices 1710-1811                  Wiltshire Society Apprentices 1844-1910                Wiltshire Society Apprentice - Arthur Hinton 1877

Agriculture & Land

Game List 1824-1848 Game Licenses 1834 Servant's Awards at Agricultural Shows 1840-1849
  Strike of Farm Labourers 1853  Wiltshire Labourers 1871 
South Wilts Chamber of Agriculture Attendees 1883 & 1888
South Wilts Chamber of Agriculture 1890


British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969

Comunity Services

Police Sergeant Reakes Retires 1932

Markets, Exhibitions & Shows

Warminster Industrial Exhibition 1869           Ram Sale Purchases 1869-1871


Railway Labourers' Strike Turns Violent 1854               Warminster & Salisbury Railway Workmen 1854                Railway Employees 1856-1915                 Great Western Railway Employees Accidents 1914


Miscellaneous Documents

Complaints about High Prices of Necessaries 1847                 Turkish Bath 1861


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

See Codford St. Mary for more information


People and Parish Notables

People Gallery


John Rose 1855           Mother and Infants Drowned 1922

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Harmonic Society Inaugural Meeting 1835


Address to S. G. Osbourne 1866            Melksham Agricultural Society 1871         Agricultural Report 1873       

Friendly Societies

Wiltshire Friendly Society Membership 1827-1871           Codford Friendly Society 1848           Wiltshire Friendly Society 1848- & 1851


Bankrupts 1805-1869

Elections and Polls

Poll Book 1818          House of Commons Petitions 1833           MP Nominations 2015           


Codford Annual Balls 1838-1866

Family Notices

1700-1849          1850-1899            1900-1949

Inquest Reports

Eliza Ann Goodfellow 1843 Charles Hann 1915 Injury to Isaac James 1909 George Lye 1915
Henry Manning 1888 William Miles 1888 Ambrose Moody 1900 Jane Mould 1858
William Potticary 1855 Sarah Topp 1866 Austin Vincent 1915 Herbert Wells 1915
Frank Winter 1915      

Number of Inquests Held Over Last 4 years in Parishes near Wilton 1840 


Parish Notables

William Creed - 17th Century Rector of Codford St Mary
Robert Dampier 1799-1874 - Artist & Clergyman. Born and raised at Codford St Peter where his father was Rector
James Ingram 1774-1850 - An Oxford don & President of Trinity College, Oxford
Sir William Mahon, 7th Baronet born 1940 - a retired soldier, lives at Codford

Notable Inhabitants of Codford 1939  


Boxing Match Between Lacock & Goodfellow 1825                  Stag Hunt 1853


UK Death Duty Registers 1796-1811

Uncategorised People Items

Donations for Flood at Shrewton 1841          Community Spirit Wins Top Award 2005


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse

Codford came under the jurisdiction of Warminster Poor Law Union. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, usually one representing a constituent parish. Overseers of the Poor was another term used, their roles were similar in that they administered poor relief such as money, food and clothing as part of the Poor Law system. Usually Church wardens or Landowners were selected for these roles.

Guardians of the Poor & Overseers 1835-1890 Election of the Number of Guardians for Each Parish 1836 Paupers Recorded in Census 1851
Warminster Union Parishes Census Breakdown 1861 Paupers Recorded in Census 1861 Paupers Recorded in Census 1871
Recorded as Living on Parish Relief in Census 1891



UK Extracted Probate Records 1536-1698                                  Probate Index 1538-1876 WSHC                 

Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held

Christopher Polden 1626


War, Conflict and Military Matters

Codford was the demobilisation centre for Polish troops at the end of WWI and many settled in the area.           During World War II, British, American & Polish soldiers were deployed in the Codford area. Among the troops stationed in Codford were 6th Guards Armoured Brigade consisting of 4th Grenadiers, 4th Coldstream & 3rd Scots Guards as well as 2nd Battalion of Welsh Guards.  between 1941 & 1943. They were followed by the American 3rd Armoured Division September 1943 - June 1944.

Why the Poppy Records of Armed Forces - Army 1802-1837 Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services 1810-1893
Gabriel Sparey, Deserter of 5th Bn Wilts Local Militia 1811 Rifle Corps 1860 Wilts Rifle Volunteers Subscriptions 1868
Autumn Manoeuvres 1872 Obituary of Major-General Yeatman-Biggs 1898 Register of Merchant Seamen 1913-1972
Remembered in England 1920 Visit to Soldiers' Graves 1920 Australian Graves Abroad 1921
Army Hutments for Sale 1922 Gambling and Camp Life in General Remembered 1923 Death of Mrs Walker, AIF Canteen Volunteer 1927
R.A.F. Crash 1936 Return to Codford 1936 Sterner Days, Codford During WWII
Remembering Codford Camp 1983 Search & Recovery of WWII Spitfire 2004-2005 Recalling American Soldiers 2005
Recalling Italian Prisoners of War 2005 Prisoner of War Camps 2012 Codford Remembers Great War Impact 2014

World War I

Australian WWI Recruitment Posters Photographs of Temporary Memorials of AIF Servicemen Sent to Next-of-Kin WWI Soldiers Who Died in WWI Who Enlisted at Codford
Codford WWI Casualties Summary Table Fund Raising for Recruit Recreation 1914 Concerts at Codford 1915
Entertainment for the Soldiers 1915 Spies in Kitchener's Army 1915 Concert in New Zealand Concert for Codford Camp 1916
Inquest Report on Albert Hudson 1916 Inquest Report on Joseph Lingard Kirk 1916 Lieutenant and Quartermaster Charged 1916
Message from Codford 1916 Postcards Home from Pte. Michael J. Barritt 1916 Anzacs Marrying English Women 1917
Military Medal Awarded to Pte. E. Henderson 1917 Services for the Catholics 1917 Anzac Day Pilgrimage 1918
Central Queenslander Contacts 1918 Letters Home from Pte. Robert J. D. R. Phelan 1918 Musketry Instructor, L/Cpl. J. Boyns Killed in Action 1918
Western Australians in Camp 1918 Australian Soldier Charged with Murder 1919 Australian Troops Going Home 1919
Deserter - Rex Thomas 1919 Letters Home from L/Cpl. John R.Hawke 1919 Lieutenant Lloyd Dowe Heading Home 1919
Casualties of WWI
Edward Kent Arthur John Johnson 1915 Harry Cummins 1916
William Walter Smith 1916 Harold Henry Kitley 1917 Hector James Down 1918
Percy Pike 1918    
Codford Camp

Codford Camp Photo Gallery

The Salisbury Plain area in Wiltshire had been used by the British Army for manoeuvres for at least 40 years before the start of World War I. As with many other villages located within and around the Salisbury Plain during World War I, Codford was chosen by the military as a training and transfer camp for troops on their way to the Western Front. Codford was chosen for its easy road access to Warminster and Salisbury; its rail line was extended from Codford Station to a branch line known as the Codford Camp Railway which was used to bring supplies and troops to and from the main line.          At first the military camps at Codford consisted of tents; with the wet weather in the winter of 1914-15, the wet conditions made the area a muddy; unlikeable place, with roads becoming almost impassable. The tents were replaced with wooden army huts. The village, which had consisted of about 500 people, soon became full of temporary shops, cafes; barbers to cater for the troops in the area; its shifting population grew with anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 troops and other service personnel.           Codford had 15 camps located within its two parishes, which mainly comprised of British, Australian & New Zealand soldiers. In July, 1916, Codford was chosen as the site of the No. 3 New Zealand General Hospital. This was set up to serve the needs of New Zealand soldiers convalescing before either being returned back to the War or sent home.

Conditions at Codford Camp

Chalk Badges

Rising Sun Chalk Badge Gallery

In 1916, an Australian Commonwealth Military Force Badge - "The Rising Sun" was cut into a steep slope at the top of Lamb Down, near Codford, Wiltshire. It is less detailed in its design than a similar chalk emblem located at Fovant, Wiltshire.

"The Brigade Commander of the nearby garrison wanted to leave a visible Australian mark on the English countryside. Gazing out from the reading room of his headquarters at Stockton House, he came up with the idea of carving out a Rising Sun badge in the chalk hillside opposite, known as Lamb Down. The initial work on the badge was started by the 13th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force AIF. The badge was then embedded with green, brown and clear beer bottles to make it shine bronze like the badge worn on the Australian uniform. Maintaining the badge became the focus of punishment parades and as a result the spur on which it was carved was affectionately known as "Misery Hill" by Australian troops. The badge remained untouched until WW2 when it was covered over to prevent aircraft using it as a navigation aid. After the war it was uncovered, however, most of the glass had either washed away or sunk into the chalk below. The outline of the badge remains to this day.

Proudly worn in two World Wars, the Rising Sun, officially known as the General Service Badge of the Australian Imperial Forces, became one of the best recognised and honoured insignia of the allied armies and an integral part of the Digger tradition. Its distinctive shape, worn on the upturned brim of a slouch hat is readily identified with the spirit of ANZAC."    From Anzacs in Codford - Information board

Anzacs (Map of Australia) 1928 Restoration of the Rising Sun Chalk Emblem on Lamb Down 2010 Chalk Badge Shines Bright Again 2013
Chalk Badge Gets a Clean Up 2014    
War Art & Poetry

War Art Gallery

War Art is produced to illustrate and record many aspects of war, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural. The work of the artist is to embrace the causes, course and consequences of conflict and has an essentially educational purpose. War Art records military activities in ways that cameras and the written word cannot. 

War Art                 Army Poetry & Songs




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