Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Cricklade - Leigh - Minety - Shorncote - South Cerney (GLS)
GenUKI - For information relating to Ashton Keynes
Ashton Keynes Online - For village information
University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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 Holy Cross
Parish Register Transcripts
Please note that the Baptism and Burial Transcripts provided are possibly incomplete
Parish Registers held at WSHC
Ashton Keynes is 4 miles West of Cricklade, and 4 miles South of Cirencester (Gloucestershire). Situated on the Isis section of the River Thames the parish formerly included the chapelry of Leigh before it was elevated to parish status. There are the remains of 4 ancient crosses and part of the monastery surrounded by a moat which by 1868 had been converted into a farmhouse. The church is an ancient edifice. Ashton Keynes Crosses Gallery
1837 - April 1936 Cricklade Registration District
April 1936 - Present Swindon Registration District
Buildings and Land
Horse and Jockey
Situated at 15 Gosditch. The buildings was sold for redevelopment
Situated in Back Street.
White Hart Inn
Crime and Legal Matters
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
The Congregational Church/Bethesda Chapel, Fore Street
This is now a private house. In 1823 a house was registered for meetings of Independents, and in 1838 the Bethesda Chapel, a simple gabled stone-fronted building with adjacent manse, was built, receiving its meeting house certificate in June 1839. There was not always a Minister attached to the church in later years and visiting preachers would come from Cirencester, Cricklade and other surrounding places to conduct the services. It closed in 1970.
Primitive Methodist Chapel
The earliest reference to Methodism in Ashton Keynes is the application for a meeting house certificate in 1811. In 1840 a chapel was opened in Gosditch. The first services were held on May 3rd, the afternoon congregation filling the building. A detailed account appeared in a Primitive Methodist magazine. The chapel was 33' by 21' outside, and 15' from floor to ceiling inside. It was built in stone, with a slate roof, and the total cost was approximately £220. The Saunders family were very involved in the building of the chapel, giving the land on which it was built and donations towards costs. By c.1860 it had fewer worshippers and almost closed. However the arrival of an unnamed family saved the chapel. Their regular attendance proved an inspiration to others, and money was raised to renovate the chapel interior. This work, including the erection of a gallery, was completed in 1862, and the chapel re-opened on January 4th 1863. The chapel closed in the early 1930s and then became a bakery. It is now a private house.
Strict Baptist Chapel
The Baptists do not seem to have had their own chapel building, although towards the end of the 19th century Kelly's Directories mention a chapel; this probably referred to the meeting place at The Grove rather than a purpose built chapel. A Primitive Methodist called John Jefferies, a shoemaker in the village, was dismissed from his job though the endeavours of the Rector, but with the help of friends set up a business on his own. He later rented a cottage for services but no one came, although several people had promised support. He eventually converted one woman who encouraged other villagers to attend services. Soon the room in the cottage was full and it is believed that a chapel was built. The views and beliefs of Jefferies moved away from Methodism to those of the Strict Baptists and these were not agreeable to his congregation. In 1869 he took The Grove and it was opened as a Strict Baptist Chapel by Mr. Hammond of Gosport. In 1874 Jefferies baptized four people in the river and preached to about 500 people and so the church was formed. He died in 1891 and the Baptist cause seems to have disappeared after 1895, although Baptists are mentioned in the Directories until 1903 but are not included in the Ashton Keynes entry for 1907.
People and Parish Notables
Census Returns Transcripts
Coroners Bills & Inquests Reports
County coroners were introduced in England in around 1194 once established other boroughs and liberties sought the right to have their own coroner. Often in Medieval times the coroner also assumed the role of the sheriff and his duties weren't limited to holding inquests on dead bodies although almost a full time post they were unpaid for the duties apart from those that were deemed murder of manslaughter when they would receive 13s. 4d. From the 24th June 1752 a law was passed allowing the coroner to claim £1 for every inquest they attended not held in a gaol and also to claim 9d per mile travel allowance from the place of residence. Inquests held in any gaol were performed at a rate totalling no more than £1. These costs were to be paid from the county rates. In cases of homicide the coroner also received the former fee of 13s. 4d. The coroners submitted their bills at the quarter session sittings for approval. Coroners Bills 1752-1796
Elections and Polls
|Poll of Freeholders 1772||Poll Book 1818||Voters List 1832||Voters Lists Revisions 1843|
|Poll Book 1868||Electoral Lists Revision Court 1902||MP Nominations 2015||MP Nominations 2017|
Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse
Inquisitions Post Mortem of Lands Held
War, Conflict and Military Matters
|Why the Poppy||Calne & District Casualty Lists WWI||Casualties of WWI|
|Holy Cross Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1919 & 1939-1945||Casualties of WWII||Civilian Deaths 1939-1945|
The War Memorial for Ashton Keynes is located within the churchyard of Holy Cross Church. The structure is that of an ancient preaching cross which was restored in 1917 to include a dedication as a war memorial, the cross had originally been smashed during the civil war and with some detective work by the Rev. Milling all pieces bar one were found dotted around the village. It now commemorates those who died in both WWI and WWII with the addition of bronze plaques listing the names of the fallen. Ashton Keynes War Memorial Millions for War Memorial Restorations 2015