Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)
Bemerton - Berwick St. James - Durnford - Fugglestone St. Peter - South Newton - Stapleford - Wilsford cum Lake
GenUKI - For information on Wiltshire and Woodford
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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.
Register of One-Place Studies - Woodford Entry
The Parish Church of All Saints
Parish Register Transcripts
Registers held at WSHC
Woodford Parish lies between Salisbury and Amesbury on the western side of the Avon Valley. The parish comprises the villages of Upper Woodford, Middle Woodford and Lower Woodford. Until the beginning of the 19th century Upper Woodford was known as Great Woodford; Middle and Lower Woodford together were known as Little Woodford or Nether Woodford. The population of the parish was 345 in 1801. Between 1811 and 1871 it rose form 322 to 533, falling to 408 in 1901. In 1955 the population figure was 455.
1837 - April 1936 Amesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Salisbury Registration District
The first Parish Council meeting took place on 18th December 1894, and the councillors elected were:- Messrs. G.Asher, W.Conduit, G.Dear, J.Dear,S.E.Flower, J.A.Pile, E.C.White, and Rev. J.H.Twining. The newly formed council appointed the Vicar as Chairman, E.C. White the clerk, and J.Dear the Treasurer. The Council also had to appoint two Overseers, whose responsibilities now included rating assessments and rate collection for the Parish, Rural and County Councils. In 1896, the Parish Council adopted the provisions of the Street Lighting Act, and erected two street lights in Middle Woodford, near the church. The cost of running these two lamps was 2d per week, which included paraffin and labour. In the same year, an allotments Sub-Committee was formed to administer the allotments behind the church; the average rent for one of these was 5d a rod. In 1897 the council was asked to approve a schedule of the Southern Railway Company to run a line through Woodford to Amesbury and Bulford. This they did, subject to a passenger station being provided at Middle Woodford. Unfortunately after going to all this trouble, the Railway Company changed their plans, and brought their line to Amesbury from Andover instead of from Salisbury.
Buildings and Land
Heale House dates from the mid sixteenth century and was built by William Green. The house was given to his daughter and son-in-law Gerald Errington in 1553 as a wedding present. A new house was built in the late 1600's, which now forms the south wing of the present house. In 1596 it passed to Errington's son Henry, and in 1600 it became the property of Sir Lawrence Hyde, a notable lawyer, who died in 1643. He was succeeded by his eldest son Lawrence, who also died in 1643. His widow Katherine famously sheltered King Charles II in 1651 when fleeing the battle of Worcester. The house remained in the hands of the extended Hyde family for many years. In 1813 it was bought by Captain Gilbert Heathcote R.N., and upon his death in 1831 it passed to his brother The Rev. Samuel Heathcote. In 1846 it was bought by Giles Loder and the in 1894 by the Hon. Louis Greville, the great uncle of the present owner. The house and grounds are now open to the public.
The Bridge Inn is situated at Upper Woodford. In 1855 George Conduit was both blacksmith and innkeeper until his death in 1867. He was succeeded by his son William who with his son Tom tended bee skeps on land opposite the inn. The honey they produced probably used to make mead to sell in the public house. By 1911 the Bridge Inn was occupied by Robert John Nobbs. It remains a popular public house to this day.
Charlie Marchant and his son Frank lived in the cottage prior to its renaming. Charlie was the village blacksmith.
The Wheatsheaf Inn is situated at Lower Woodford. In 1855 it was occupied by James and Caleb Newman, but by 1859 Charles Davis was in residence; later in 1875 the occupant was John Dear. It remains a popular public house to this day.
Lower Woodford Grocery Shop
Now a private residence but from the late 1920's to 1947 supplied the village with all its essentials. The shop was owned by Isaac Hazzard and was located opposite the entrance to Lower Woodford Manor.
Middle Woodford Carpenters Shop
In 1895 the Carpenters shop was owned by William Harding. His wife Annie and children Annie, William and Harry lived in the cottage attached to the workshops. It was owned in the early part of the 20th century by Edward 'Arthur' Tinham. Harry Gee was his apprentice. Many pieces of heavy furniture made at the workshop still survive in the area. The building is now a private residence known as the Old Workshops.
Woodford Post Office
It is not known for certain when the first Post Office was established in Woodford, but by 1875 there was a Post Office at Upper Woodford, with John West as sub-postmaster. In 1898 the Post Office had moved to Middle Woodford, George Dear being the sub-postmaster until his death in 1906. His son William George Dear and his wife Blanche (nee Portnall) took over the running of the Post Office, which also included a shop. He in turn was succeeded by his second son Reginald until his death in 1968. His eldest son Harold went to London to join the police force. The original Middle Woodford Post Office was a thatched building which caught fire in the 1930's and was rebuilt wit a new slate roof. It is now a private residence.
Woodford Village Club
The Woodford Village Club was built in 1901, the gift of the Hon. Louis George Greville of Heale House and Lord of the manor.
Crime and Legal Matters
|Post Office 1859||Kellys 1867||Post Office 1875||Kellys 1889||Kellys 1895||Kellys 1903|
|Kellys 1907||Kellys 1911||Kellys 1915|
Woodford had a school of some sort in the 18th century as a schoolmaster, John Webb appears in the registers from 1770 until his death in 1802, aged 66. A dame school was run by Mrs. William Dear in 1793 at Pound Cottage. In 1809, Ann Beach, schoolmistress was buried, aged 69. The first recorded school was established in 1819 for 46 pupils. The old schoolroom in Church Lane was built in 1837 for £107 and by 1859 had 40 girls and 20 boys. In 1833, it became a National School. After the 1870 Education Act, the present school was built by Mr Giles Loder, a single classroom for 80 children and a school-house, costing £800. The original schoolroom was bought by the Friendly Society as a Club Room for £50. Since then as an Aided School, it has been considerably enlarged and is now the only school in the valley for children 11 and under. In 1876 the average attendance was 48, in 1906 it was 54, and in 1937 it was 48. In 1939 the school took in 22 evacuees, bringing the numbers to 64. In 1951, children over 13 years of age were transferred to Durnford, and in 1958, children over 11 were transferred to Amesbury County Secondary Modern School or to Grammar School. A Milk Scheme was started in March 1935, and a School Meals Service in 1945. A kitchen was provided in the 1966 alterations, and meals were prepared at the school. In 1966, extensive alterations took place, and the school was enlarged once more, this time to make three classrooms and to install proper water sanitation which was long overdue. Fortunately these alterations were carried out without losing too much of the character of the original building. The school playing field was the gift of the Hon. L. Greville to commemorate the coronation of George VI. Head Teachers since 1873: 1873 Laura Charlotte Annetts, 1878 Ellen Eliza Ellis, 1880 Amelia Brockway, 1884 Matilda Elizabeth Rattue, 1887 Emma E. Grasse, 1923 Joseph Gray, 1958 E. Champion (temporary head), 1958 Reginald Sheppard.
Emigration and Migration
Employment and Business
Agriculture and Land
The main occupation has always been farming and its related crafts. The valley was untouched by the Tudor enclosures, and most of it was still farmed in the strip system until the beginning of the 19th century. Until the mid 18th century most men held land by some form of tenure, and therefore their own cottage. From the church records we can see that the many occupations included farmers, carpenters, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, carriers and millers. The river Avon was also important for fishing.
Alfred Chapel worked at Heale House from 1900 as a groom and by 1908 had been promoted to chauffeur.
Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship
People and Parish Notables
Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies
Census Returns Transcripts
Please note that the 1897 census lists the head of household and the number of male, female and child occupants only. The list was compiled for Queen Victoria's Jubilee Celebrations within the parish.
Elections, Polls and Taxes
Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse
Probate Index 1849 (WSHC)
War, Conflict and Military Matters