Calne Wiltshire Family History Guide

Calne is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Wiltshire.

Other places in the parish include: Quemerford, Eastmead-street, Calstone, Stock, Stockley, Studley, Blackland, Beversbrook, Whitley, and Whetham.

Parish church: St. Mar

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1537
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1579

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Particular Baptist, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist. 

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CALNE, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred in Wilts. The town stands on the rivulet Marlan, at the end of a branch railway from the Great Western, and of a branch canal from the Wilts and Berks, 5¼ miles E by S of Chippenham. Its environs are a fine mixture of dale and hill; and adjoin, on the SW, the Marquis of Lansdowne’s seat of Bowood. It rose originally from the ruins of a Roman station; dates from the Saxon times; and was the scene of the synod, in 977, at which St. Dunstan presided, for settling the disputes respecting the celibacy of the clergy; when all present, except the president, went down by the falling in of the floor. It is a quaint old place, with small stone houses, either weather worn or white washed; and consists of one long chief street, and a few minor ones, all narrow, and paved with pebbles. It had an hospital so early as the time of Henry III.; and has now a post office under Chippenham, two banking offices, three chief inns, a town hall, a parish church, a chapel of ease, five dissenting chapels, a free school, and a workhouse. The church is early English, with traces of Norman; has a pinnacled tower, 93 feet high; and was recently restored. The chapel of the Free Christians was erected in 1868, and is a structure of some elegance. The free school was founded in 1660, by John Bentley; and has an endowed income of £54, with two scholarships at Queen’s college, Oxford. The workhouse is at Northfield, and cost about £5,000. A large cloth trade was formerly carried on, but has become nearly extinct. There are now flour-mills, flax-mills, and paper-mills. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; and fairs on 6 May and 29 Sept. The town is a borough by prescription; is governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; sent two members to parliament, from the time of Richard II. till the act of 1832; and now sends one. Its municipal limits comprise only 800 acres; while its parliamentary limits comprise all Calne parish, and parts of Blackland and Calstone-Wellington parishes. Direct taxes, £3,038. Electors in 1868, 175. Pop. of the m. borough, 2,494; of the p. borough, 5,179. Houses in the m. borough, 501; in the p. borough, 1,105.

The parish comprises, in addition to the m. borough, the tythings of Blackland, Calstone, Eastmead-street, Quemerford, Stock, Stockley, Studley, Whetham, Whitley, and part of Beversbrook. Acres, 8,079. Real property, exclusive of the part of Beversbrook, £25,974. Pop., 5,098. Houses, 1,087. The manor was given by Edward I. to the Cantilupes; and passed to the Zouches. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Trinity, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £769. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The vicarage of Christchurch at Derryhill, is a separate benefice.-The subdistrict and the district are co-extensive; and contain the parishes of Calne, Blackland, Calstone-Wellington, Bremhill, Heddington, Cherhill, Compton-Basset, Hillmarton, Highway, and Yatesbury, and the liberty of Bowood. Acres, 28,610. Poor-rates in 1866, £8,028. Pop. in 1861, 8,885. Houses, 1,929. Marriages in 1866, 72; births, 278, of which 9 were illegitimate; deaths, 142, of which 36 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 642; births, 2,651; deaths, 1,788. The places of worship in 1851 were 11 of the Church of England, with 2,186 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 150 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 825 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 160 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 633 s.; 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 418 s.; 1 of Moravians, with 200 s.; and 1 of Brethren, with 100 s. The schools were 14 public day schools, with 1,270 scholars; 12 private day schools, with 251 s.; 13 Sunday schools, with 1,282 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 40 s.-The hundred contains eight parishes and a liberty. Acres, 19,083. Pop., 4,297. Houses, 972.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

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County: Wiltshire
Civil Registration District: Calne
Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne
Diocese: Salisbury
Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 – None, Post-1846 – Avebury
Poor Law Union: Calne
Hundred: Calne
Province: Canterbury