Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Alvediston - Ansty - Donhead St. Andrew - Donhead St. Mary - Ebbesbourne Wake - Handley (DOR) - Tollard Royal
University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
GenUKI - For information on Berwick St. John
Berwick St. John streetmap
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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.
The Parish Church of St. John
There was a church at Berwick St. John in or before the early thirteenth century. The Earls of Pembroke held patronage soon after the Reformation, with it passing to New College, Oxford, in the mid-eighteenth century. In line with general mid-Victorian enthusiasm for church building and restoration, by 1861 the church had been enlarged and, in the process, almost completely rebuilt and refurnished. Among the most interesting artefacts in the church are the two effigies of knights in the north and south transepts.
Monumental Inscriptions taken by Reverend Goodchild in 1920, are available as look-ups by following this link: Berwick St. John MI's
Parish Register Transcripts
The parish records above may contain gaps in the date ranges
Parish Registers held at WSHC
The parish includes Rushmore Lodge
Within the Chalke Hundred of Wiltshire, about thirteen miles west of Salisbury and some six miles east of Shaftesbury, the parish of Berwick St John settles between the chalk downs at the head of the Ebble Valley. To the north White Sheet Hill marks the steep descent down from the pre-turnpike route running westwards along the downs from Salisbury, while to the south the village of Tollard Royal sits on the border with neighbouring Dorset at the northern margins of Cranborne Chase. In earlier times the shape of the parish of Berwick St John resembled an inverted 'U', where once a wide tongue of land - actually a detached part of Donhead St Andrew, known as Easton Bassett - reached into the very centre of the village from the south. Less than a mile immediately south east of Berwick St John is the early Iron Age hill fort of Winkelbury Hill, or Vespasian's Camp. About a mile due west from the village is Ferne, once the seat of the Grove family. On the downs, immediately south from Ferne, there is the fantastic viewpoint of Win Green.
The Biography of a Country Church, Berwick St John, by Hazel Giffard, 1999, Winkelbury Publications, Berwick St John. ISBN: 0 9535893 0 7 (this may also be available from the church)
Victoria County History of Wiltshire, Volume 13, D. A. Crowley (Ed), 1987
1837 - April 1936 Tisbury Registration District
April 1936 - January 1978 Mere Registration District
January 1978 - Present Salisbury Registration District
Buildings and Land
Crime and Legal Matters
Victims of Crime
Emigration and Migration
Employment and Business
Agriculture and Land
Apprentice records published here may not necessarily mean that the apprentice was from the parish but was apprenticed to a master within the parish.
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
People and Parish Notables
Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies
Elections, Polls and Taxes
The Diaries of Charlotte Grove
Those researching families in Berwick St John, the Donheads and other surrounding parishes may be interested to learn about The Diaries of Charlotte Grove. Charlotte (1783-1860), the daughter of Thomas Grove of Ferne, married the rector of Berwick St John, Richard Downes. Her surviving diaries, within the period 1811-1858, include entries mentioning a great many parishioners and other individuals from every section of society - lords and ladies, clergymen, tenant farmers, shopkeepers, tradesmen, agricultural labourers and paupers. Further details can be found here
My personal interest in Berwick St. John
Former OPC John Lane says:- My 3xG grandfather, John LANE (1769-1840), was tenant farmer of Lower Bridmore Farm. He married Mansel MOORE of Fontmell Magna in 1805. They had eight children, including Mansel Moore (1806-1861) who married James BRINE, first cousin of his more famous namesake, the Tolpuddle Martyr; John (1807-1873) who became a successful London brewer; Stafford Moore (1814-1868) who became Farm Bailiff at Spye Park; James (1826-1863), my 2xG grandfather, who married Dionisia FUTCHER of Fovant. Among other names associated with the family are: ATKINS, BARNES, CHAMEN, FOOT and MITCHELL.
Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse
War, Conflict and Military Matters
|Why the Poppy||Diocese of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918||St. John Church Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1918|
|Bell Ringers Memorial Book Extract held in St. Paul's Cathedral Library, London|