The History of Chitterne

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Last Revision: 3 February 2014

In researching the history of my home, The Round House in Chitterne, Wiltshire, I became fascinated by the history of Chitterne itself. I am still fascinated, so this history I present here for whoever is interested, is being added and to and revised from time to time. If, having read it, you find you have some historical fact about Chitterne that I have omitted, please email me : Sue Robinson Visit my website here to find out what I am up to and read my blog.

Chronological History of Chitterne

Before 1066 In Anglo-Saxon times Chitterne consisted of three settlements held by Azor, Chenvin and Wulfwen.
After 1066 An Englishman, Edward of Salisbury, held Chitterne and was made Sheriff of Wiltshire, he had his castle at Old Sarum. Chitterne passed from father to son. Edward had a son, Walter.
1086 In the Domesday Book Chitterne was called Chetre or Cheltre (a place of refuge). Chitterne means "dwelling in the wood", aern or ern being Anglo-Saxon for dwelling.
1142 Walter, Edward's son, founded Bradenstoke Priory and gave the Chapel of St Andrew in Chitterne to it. Edward's grandson, Patricius (Patrick), took the Chapel back in exchange for land at Wilcot.
1149 Patrick was created Earl of Salisbury by Empress Matilda, he was her steward of the household.
1168 Patrick died whilst returning from a crusade . His son William inherited. William was keeper of the charter for licensing tournaments).
1196 William died. His daughter Ela, Countess of Salisbury, inherited and was given in marriage to William Longespee, illegitimate son of Henry II and half-brother of King John, by King Henry II.
1215 As Earl of Salisbury, William was present with King John at the signing of the Magna Carta.
1220 Ela and William laid one foundation stone each of the new Cathedral of Sarum (now Salisbury Cathedral).
1226 William died and was buried in the Cathedral. His son William Longespee II inherited.
1229 Ela proposed a Monastery at Lacock.
1232 Ela founded Lacock Abbey.
1236 In an agreement with her son, William Longespee II, Ela undertook to give him all remaining lands in her possession. Later William gave his manor of Chitterne back to his mother for her maintenance 'whether ot not she entered religion'.
1238 Ela joined the Abbey at Lacock as a nun.
1240 Ela became Abbess of Lacock.
1248 William's gift of his manor of Chitterne to Abbess Ela confirmed by Henry III.
1250 William Longespee II was killed on crusade and his son and heir, William III, confirmed all the grants made by his grandmother Ela to Lacock.
1257 Henry III granted the nuns a market, a fair and free warren at Chitterne.
1261 Ela died and was buried at Lacock Abbey.
1264 - 68 H. de Bratton, chancellor of Exon, granted 17 acres at Chitterne to his valet, H. de Paddebroke, he in turn granted it to the Dean and Chapter for 20 marks.
1270 Giles de Bridport, as Bishop of Sarum, acquired Chitterne All Saints Church and 17 acres of glebe and gave it to his newly formed College de Vaux, at Harnham, Sarum.
1289 Lacock Abbey, under Abbess Juliana, bought one messuage and two carucates of land in Chitterne from William de Horton, Margaret le Rous of Beremtham and Matilda de Merweden at 20s . each.
1291 Nicholas Longespee, last surviving son of Ela, became Bishop of Salisbury.
1306 The first listed Vicar of Chitterne All Saints was John de Netheravene under the patronage of the Bishop of Salisbury.
1316 Chitterne mentioned in Nomina Villarum as Chuterne. The lords listed were "Abbissa de Lacock, Johannes Syfrewast (Cifrewast B) Prior de Bradenstoke et Alicia Pickeford."
1319 The first listed Vicar of Chitterne St Mary was William de Bratton, under the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury.
1341 At the Inquisition of the Ninths, the ninth of Chitterne was valued at 56s.8d., the portion of the Abbess of Lacock was 21s.3d. The Chapel of St Andrew was valued at 3.3s.4d., having one carucate of land with pasture and a dovehouse valued at 1.6s.8d.
1447 The belfry, the bell and all the Abbess's houses in Chitterne were suddenly burnt by lightening.
1450 St Mary's chancel is all that remains of the partly demolished Church of Chitterne St Mary and is reputed to date from around this time.
1530 Edward Morgan died, he was chief tenant in Chitterne of the Abbess of Lacock.
1536 Lacock Abbey placed in King Henry VIII's power. He spared it.
1539 Lacock Abbey and its properties, including Chitterne, were surrendered to the King.
1543 The Rectory of Chitterne, formerly belonging to the College de Vaux, Sarum was granted to Francis Morrice and Francis Phelips.
1545 John Williams and Anthony Stringer sold the Manor of Chitterne All Saints to Thomas and Elizabeth Temys, on 25th April 1545, for 207.14s.0d.
1547 Chitterne was granted by King Henry VIII to Lord St John.
1552-54 John Flower senior, son of John Flower of Worton, leased Milbournes Court in Chitterne All Saints and Morgan's in Chitterne St Mary.
1580 John Temys, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Temys, sold the Manor of Chitterne All Saints to his brother-in-law, William Jordan, on 3rd May 1580 for 440.
1588 John Flower and William Jordan of Chitterne donated 25 each to the fund for the defence of the country against the threatened invasion by the Spanish Armada.
1592 John Flower of Chitterne died and left his Chitterne estates to John, son of his brother Thomas Flower.
1600 John Flower, son of Thomas died and left his Chitterne estates to his son Edward, aged 9 years.
1619 Edward Flower sold the lease of his Chitterne estates to John Aprice to pay off his gambling debts.
1625 Edward Flower and John Aprice sold the lease of the Chitterne estates on to Sir James Ley, Earl of Marlborough.
1635 Matthew Ley nephew of Sir James Ley, died in possession of manors or farms and land in Chitterne All Saints and Chitterne St Mary.
1648 Henry Paulet was lord of the Manor of Chitterne St Mary.
1651 Henry Paulett granted a licence for the digging of clay, from the clay pits on Chitterne St Mary Down, to be made into tobacco pipes.
1662 William Jordan (grandson) and Jane his wife sold the Manor of Chitterne All Saints to John Gyles of Fisherton Delamere.
1668 Samuel Pepys stayed at the White Hart (now White Hart House) overnight.
1672 Henry Paulet died and was succeeded as lord of Chitterne St Mary by his son Francis.
1696 Francis Paulet died and was succeeded as lord of Chitterne St Mary by his son Norton Paulet.
1714 The bride wore her smock at the wedding of a Chitterne couple who married at Orcheston St Mary.
1716 Highway Robber shot by Edward Slade of Chitterne
1741 Norton Paulet died and was succeeded as lord of Chitterne St Mary by his son Norton Paulet.
1742 The George Inn burnt down.
1758 Paul Methuen of Corsham purchased the Manor of Chitterne St Mary from Norton Paulet esq.
1761-62 The Amesbury Turnpike Trust was set up. Chitterne is on the section of the road from West Amesbury to Ansty Hill.
1768 Oram's grave burial site of suicides outside the village boundary.
1771 Paul Methuen purchased the Manor of Chitterne All Saints from John Holder.
1775 The Michell family had an addition made to All Saints Church to house their pew and mausoleum.
1795 Paul Cobb Methuen, son of Paul Methuen, inherited the Chitterne estates on his father's death.
1798 Paul Cobb Methuen bought Biggs Farm in Chitterne St Mary from Bryant Biggs.
1812 The Vicarage (now the Old Vicarage) was built in Chitterne Saint Mary.
1816 Matthew Michell bought All Saints Manor Farm from Paul Cobb Methuen.
1819 The benefices of Chitterne All Saints and Chitterne St Mary were united by deed.
1826 The Methuens put their Chitterne estates up for sale.
1830 The trustees of the late Walter Long (of South Wraxall, died 1807) bought land in Chitterne Saint Mary and Chitterne All Saints. Walter Long (of Rood Ashton) becomes Lord of Chitterne St Mary.
1839 Highway Robbery foiled by Farmer Dean.
1840 Chitterne School was opened.
1841 Chitterne was inundated by a great flood on 29 January
John Wallis Titt born in Chitterne. He went on to found his own agricultural engineering business and became internationally known for his windpumps and farm and waterworks equipment.
1852 Manor Farm buildings and house at Chitterne All Saints were destroyed by fire on 17 April.
1861 The two old churches, were demolished, except for the chancels, which were used for mortuary chapels. The foundation stone of the new church of All Saints with St Mary's was laid by the Venerable Archdeacon Macdonald, Vicar, on land given by Walter Long for the purpose.
1862 The new church was consecrated by the Bishop of Salisbury.
1867 Walter Long died and his Chitterne estates were inherited by his son Richard Penruddocke Long.
1868 The Amesbury Turnpike Trust was defunct. The effects, including the Chitterne gates, were auctioned off in 1871.
1871 The village school site was given to the village by deed of grant on 24th November by Richard Penruddocke Long
1872 William Fred "Farmer" Brown of Scotland Yard was born in Chitterne.
1875 Richard Penruddocke Long died and his Chitterne estates were inherited by his son Walter Hume Long.
1877 The chancel of the old church of All Saints was removed.
1878 Polden and Feltham, carpenters and wheelwrights, started in business in the village.
1879 Charles Morris died and bequeathed 300 in his will for the benefit of Chitterne School, known as the Morris Charity.
1881 The population of All Saints was 431, St Mary's 198, totalling 629.
1885 Election riots at Chitterne. A group of farm labourers rioted following the declaration of the poll for the parliamentary election for West Wilts.
1891 The population of All Saints was 428, St Mary's 154, totalling 582.
1894 The Inception of The Rural District Council. Annie Compton representing Chitterne St. Mary became one of the first women councillors in the country.
1896 Walter Hume Long offered some of his properties in Chitterne for sale.
1897 The Jubilee Tree, a horse chestnut, was planted on the village green to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
1901 The population of All Saints was 319, St Mary's 132, totalling 451.
1902 Percy Dean of Chitterne invested capital in a Salisbury company that later became Scout Motors.
1903 A fire destroyed a large part of the Baptist Chapel in Bidden Lane.
1904 Reverend John Thomas Canner, author of "The History of Chitterne", became vicar of Chitterne.
1907 The two parishes of Chitterne All Saints and Chitterne St. Mary became the civil parish of Chitterne by an order of the Local Government Board.
1911 The village celebrated the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.
1914-18 Chitterne at war. Photo of the 4th Batt.Wilts.Regiment, transcript of Chitterne War Memorial etc.
1919 Walter Hume Long's remaining Chitterne estates were offered for sale and many were bought by the tenants in residence.
1920-21 The Chitterne Hut was erected in Bidden Lane for social gatherings in the village.
1923 Chitterne Football Club completed a hat trick by winning the Warminster Hospital Cup for the third consecutive season.
1928 Ushers Brewery gave a piece of land to the village for the enlargement of St Mary's graveyard.
Queen Mary visited Chitterne on 17 August, calling at Chitterne House, the home of her lady-in-waiting, Lady Eva Dugdale.
1933 Chitterne's postal address changed from "Chitterne, Codford, Wiltshire" to "Chitterne, Warminster, Wiltshire" on Monday 6th November 1933.
1936 Air crash at Chitterne.
1939-45 Chitterne at war again Wartime anecdotes about the Home Guard, the cadets, the Air Raid Warden etc.
1940's The Chitterne Brook was excavated and half-lined with concrete.
1957 Gay Donald, winner of the Chetenham Gold Cup in 1955, arrived at Chitterne Racing Stables with his trainer Jim Ford.
1967 Chitterne School closed.
The two ball-topped pillars that flanked the old main entrance from Garston to the house that once stood on the sportsfield were removed and re-erected on the Duchess of Newcastle's estate at Boyton
1970 The Right Honourable Richard Gerard, 4th Viscount Long, conveyed the old school building to the village on 16th March for conversion into a village hall
1971 A village newsletter was first produced in April 1971. It was called the 'Chitterne Calendar'
The Village Hall , newly converted from the old village school, was opened by Lord Long and Rev. H.T. Yeomans on Friday 17th December 1971
1975 Farm buildings of a former pig farm, on the north side of the Warminster Road, were demolished and a housing development built on the site. It was named St Mary's Close, but the locals still call it "The Piggeries".
1977 The former grounds of a great house in the centre of the village was purchased from the MoD for use as the village Sportsfield
1981 The village roads were blocked by heavy snowfalls.
1983 Chitterne Barn, which lay outside the village limits near Copehill Down, was dismantled.
1984 Scenes in "Return to Oz", a film starring Fairuza Balk, were shot on location at Chitterne.
1986 Chitterne won the Best Kept Village in Wiltshire Competition in the small village category.
The Ministry of Defence proposed, and had built, a FIBUA (Fighting in built-up areas) training village on Copehill Down, a mile outside Chitterne, despite vigorous protests from the villagers.
1988 Wessex Water built a new Pumping Station just outside the main village on the Tilshead Road at a cost of 1.7 million. The water, drawn from seven bore holes, serves Trowbridge and West Wiltshire.
1993 A second-hand organ, originally built for Laleham Abbey Convent, Middlesex in 1968, was installed in the church.
1998 Chitterne Village Hall, previously the school, was demolished.
1999 The new Village Hall, on the same site, was opened on the 13th February.
2000 Chitterne Post Office closed its doors for the last time.
The MoD opened the new Southern Range Road which passes to the north of Chitterne, through Breakheart Bottom. The road, built purely for army traffic, links Warminster, Knook, West Down and other camps en route to Tidworth, and should greatly reduce army traffic through the village. The skeleton of a Bronze Age warrior clutching an arrowhead was discovered during the excavations.
2001 Chitterne Cricket Club was launched.
The village website chitterne.com went live in September.
2002 To mark the Golden Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II new gates were erected alongside All Saints with St Mary's Church.
2003 The newly repaired Church clock was rededicated by the Ven. Alan Jeans, Archdeacon of Sarum.
The old red telephone box on the Green was knocked over when a car skidded into it in icy conditions. It was replaced by one of a modern design.
2004 The road bridge over the Chitterne Brook near the Codford Road junction was completely rebuilt to bring it up to the new standard during the first three months of the year.
2005 Broadband came to Chitterne on 18 May.
2007 A book called Chitterne - a Wiltshire Village was published by Hobnob Press.
2011 The King's Head became a Free House for the first time in 100 years when it re-opened on 1st April 2011.
2012 The 150th anniversary of the church was celebrated on 4th November 2012.
2013 The standard of No.3 (F) Squadron RAF was laid up in All Saints with St Marys Church, Chitterne on Sunday 12th May 2013.


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If you notice any faults with these history pages please report them to: Sue Robinson