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Saturday, 04 February 2012 00:21

Woodford - The OPC is John Dear

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Woodford - All Saints Woodford - All Saints

Woodford Photo Gallery                 Postcard Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Bemerton - Berwick St. James - Durnford - Fugglestone St. Peter - South Newton - Stapleford - Wilsford cum Lake


Websites of Interest

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Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies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


The Parish Church of All Saints

Great Woodford Protestation Record 1641-1642               Little Woodford Protestation Record 1641-1642               Heale Protestation Record 1641-1642

Parish Register Transcripts


1546-1679            1680-1779            1780-1837            1838-1909




1538-1729            1730-1837            1837-1870

Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1546-1952
Marriages 1538-1986
Burials 1538-1993


Parish History

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.

Civil Register

1837 - April 1936 Amesbury Registration District
April 1936 - Present Salisbury Registration District

Parish Council

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

Owners of Land 1873

Heale House

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.

Bridge Inn

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.

Keepers Cottage

Charlie Marchant and his son Frank lived in the cottage prior to its renaming.  Charlie was the village blacksmith.

Wheatsheaf Inn

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

Crime Reports 


Proceedings in Chancery Elizabeth I Era (1558-1603)

Compton and others v Errington, Greene, Gardner, Whithorne



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.

Woodford School Press Members 1927


Emigration and Migration

Strays Index


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.

Great Sheep Fair 1857


 Richard Biggs 1719


British Postal Services Appointments 1737-1969 


Alfred Chapel worked at Heale House from 1900 as a groom and by 1908 had been promoted to chauffeur.


Blacksmith, Leonard Moody 1884-1967  


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship


People and Parish Notables

People of the Village Gallery


Shooting Accidents 1809

Associations, Clubs, Organisations and Societies

Druid's Lodge                 Durnford, Wilsford & Woodford Friendly Benefit Society Members c1833               

Census Returns Transcripts

1841           1851           1861            1871           1881           1891           1897           1901           1911

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

Poll Book 1705           Poll of Freeholders 1772           Poll Book 1818          Voters List 1832              Poll Book 1865                MP Nominations 2015          MP Nominations 2017           

Family Notices



Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

Amesbury Union Guardians Appointed 1835 

Appointment of Overseers            

1860           1868           1870         1872   



Probate Index 1849 (WSHC)


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

Wiltshire Militia 1780-1814               Dioceses of Salisbury Memorial Book 1914-1918            Why the Poppy



Read 12894 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 16:57

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0 #1 napier79 2020-05-01 08:17
Hi John,

Please can you help me?, I am trying to search for a Thomas BLACK married Ann, I thought the date was 1736, he daughter was 1733, Woodford, Hannah.



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